I usually find that by the time I get around to watching a YouTube vid, it’s already been co-opted for a Burger King commercial and its catch-phrase is appearing on bargain-bin T-shirts at Walgreen’s. But on the outside chance that your finger is even more distant from the pulse of pop culture than mine, here’s the Legitimate Rape song. ↬
Aug 20 2012
Veteran blamer Liza sneaked this link into the comments on yesterday’s post: the pinkfaced Republican genius running against Missouri senator Claire McCaskill has breaking news about human reproduction. According to nominee Todd Akin, women possess heretofore unheard-of “biological defenses” against any pregnancy that might result from a thing he calls “legitimate rape.” That women can magically dispatch a rape-engendered pregnancy is why Akin thinks that it’s just fine to oppose abortion rights across the board.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Well, I have to say, that’s news to me. From what I understand from doctors, the female body can only “shut that whole thing down” by getting a fucking abortion. How does this anti-pregnancy bodily function work, exactly? Are abortifacients conveniently secreted by the victim’s Human Rights Lobe in response to sexual assault or what? Gosh, I hope Mr Akin isn’t thinking about the biological defense where the victim says “no, get the fuck away from me,” causing the rapist to concede, “Oh, well, damn! I guess that’s the end of that. See you around,” because it turns out that method of shutting the whole thing down doesn’t, alas, work so good.
And you gotta love that dear old “legitimate rape” concept. Like Whoopi’s rape-rape, it postulates the concomitant existence of a variety of rape that we apparently can all pretty much dismiss as inconsequential in the grand scheme of violence against women. You know, the fun kind of rape!
Aug 17 2012
Holy crap, it’s been so long since I posted that I actually forgot my blog admin password. And then I realized I forgot the password to the thing where I store my passwords. Spent over half an hour straightening that all out. By then I was so exhausted I had to sit around with a trippple essspressso reading the internet on an iPad. Whereupon I learned one or two things.
For example, I found out that modern brides-to-be are now expected to pose for porn photo shoots as wedding gifts for their porndog husbands. This conveys to the groom, in graphic terms that even he can understand, a sense of his woman’s commitment to pornulational hegemony, to male supremacist mores, and to such compliant self-abasement as befits a newly endrudgened member of the sex class. It used to be enough that she put up with having cake smashed in her face at the reception, but now she’s gotta spread it for some perv “boudoir” photographer? Seriously, can wedding culture get any more gross?
But enough about me. What about this flippin all-girl Chicktown in Saudi Arabia? That’s right, Saudi dudes are building an entire woman-only city so they can put their underutilized females to work in a separate-but-unequal environment while continuing to comply with antediluvian laws governing women’s oppression. Now that is some super-sexist shit, there. Like, the sexistest shit ever. You might be tempted to think, “yay, you go girls, it’s a separatist’s dream come true,” but you know these women arent going to enjoy any real autonomy. When has apartheid ever produced anything but misery and oppression and rancor?
I’d go off on this for about another 17 paragraphs, but I’ve got niece duty in Austin. The kid is having some kind of hula girl party. Le sigh, as they say in these chick blogs.
Jul 28 2012
Fully loaded ice bucket next to couch? Check. Bottle of Prosecco in it? Check. Bag of Funyuns? Check.
That’s right. Time to watch the season premier of “Breaking Bad.”
Wait! The phone’s ringing? Son of a bitch, phone off hook, not-check!
Well, it was my mother. I always answer when it’s my mother because she’s in the habit of falling down and snapping her bones in half. At her funeral I don’t want to be the asshole standing there in mourning weeds thinking, “I could have saved her, but I was too busy gnawing on Funyuns while watching a TV show about the moral decay of a fictional suburban white drug lord.”
To my horror, my mother, whose bones were not broken this time, wanted to know if I was watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. This meant, in effect, that I had to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Summoning all the courage of the Fasters, I poured myself a glass and hit the remote.
The thing had already been underway for some minutes. I understand there was supposedly some story arc involving England Thru the Ages or whatever, and that I had just missed a fake queen skydiving, but even those two contingencies could not mitigate my confused, quasi-enskeevedness over the incomprehensible spectacle of about 28,000 children in luminous insane asylum beds, attended by an army of parlour-maid-looking female nurses. So it’s true then, what generations of Americans raised on Dickens have always suspected? That all English children are raised in Victorian orphanages? But what of the unsettling giant baby? What the fuck was that?*
And oh, they can’t be serious. A British Invasion medley? Really?
Of all the nasty, below-the-belt showbiz conventions, medleys suck the worst. There is no pleasure, no gratification, no philosophic value in a medley. There is only a sort of jarring pain, a stab of yearning, in being forced to endure 3 seconds of a beloved rock classic interrupted by 3 seconds of another beloved rock classic, many times in rapid succession. You just want to hear one whole fucking song, even if it’s fucking “Stairway to Heaven,” although one would of course prefer “Kashmir.”
By the way, all the featured medley artists were dudes. In Swinging London, birds didn’t rock.
At some point during the 3 seconds of “Bohemian Rhapsody” one of the commentators broke the sobering news that another dude, Sir Paul, was scheduled to appear at any moment. That did it. My filial obligations be damned! I immediately switched back to “Breaking Bad,” and you would have done the same. Can anybody even look at Paul McCartney — especially now that he’s an irrelevant geezer — without experiencing that haunting, guilty pang? You know, the one that whispers, “they killed the wrong Beatle”? Alternatively, I understand that when some of the younger set look at Paul McCartney, their pang says “Who the hell is Paul McCartney?”
The subject is nominally the Olympics here, so I’ll have to mention with a curled lip the women’s beach volleyball male fantasy/beach blanket bingo outfits.
Talk of cold weather had created panic in the British press that the female players would go for long-sleeves instead of the standard bikinis – a longtime but little used rule in international volleyball […] But the beach party atmosphere was augmented by the dancers, who filled the downtime with kicklines and even one tango that ended up with the dance partners flopping suggestively in the sand. [Huffington Post]
The “Playboy Prince” Harry has front row seats to the women’s final. Need I say more?
Probably not, but I will anyway. Just in case you were anxious that coverage of the sport would fail to sufficiently objectify the athletes, the Huffington Post comes through with this classy booty shot.
* I have since been apprised that the hospital beds spelled out “NHS” and were meant to represent Britain’s national health service. It still seems strange that national health would be depicted by 19th century sick people, but whatever. England’s just quirky like that!
Beds photo from Christian Science Monitor
Jul 25 2012
This device, invented by a woman suffering the femininity-imposed body dysmorphia typical of all 21st century women over the age of 12 (she was moved to create it “out of pure panic,”) attaches to your hair and stretches out your face. It’s a mini torture-rack for your head. The purported purpose of the face bungee is to “take 10 years off your face.” The actual purpose of the face bungee is to make you feel like something stuck on the bottom of a cheap shoe.
According to the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, it is of paramount importance that all women should endeavor to look ten years younger than they are. If the pursuit of 10-years-youngerness is painful and costs money, so much the better, as the world order depends for its continued stability on the mighty cornerstone of women’s self-loathing. Without self-loathing it would be impossible to coerce women’s boundless contributions to consumerist culture, dude-affirming culture, porn culture, misogynist culture, and the unpaid drudgery of the nuclear family.
But dayum, the heart bleeds for those poor women in the video. They look exactly the same with the face bungee as without it! You just wanna take’em out for a marg and read’em selections from the S.C.U.M Manifesto or something.
Jun 27 2012
Since my blogging time will be pre-empted by a horrifying dentist appointment this morning, here’s a link to a blurb sent in by blamer Keri. Male concern-teen in some Tumblr wields an admonishing sign, “Dear Girls: Don’t be insecure. You don’t need makeup and nice clothes. You’re all fucking beautiful.” Unleashing a feminist backlash. And then a bunch of sign-wielders.
Tragically, I read this in the aforelinked post:
“Hopefully [the concern boys] won’t take these women’s hilarious responses as an excuse to devolve into nasty adult misogynists.”
No, no, no. It’s mega-irritating when women are supposed to expect rotten behavior from dudes when we don’t appease. As I have noted elsewhere about 286574 times, the wrongness of oppression isn’t contingent on the sweet demeanor of the oppressed.
Off to the torture chair. My new dentist is, I think, godly, which bodes ill. Feel free to express your views on dentists, sign-wielding, or anything else in the comments.
Jun 26 2012
Jaecks is one of the approximately 3 other women on the entire planet besides me who declined to get “reconstruction” after breast cancer surgery. * Her boobs are a thing of the past, so why would she wear a goddam boulder holder? Wearing clothes when you intend to be underwater is kind of weird anyway, but for a person who lacks the sort of tissue that requires the support of spandex scaffolding, and who in fact asserts that such superfluous garments actually inflict pain on her scars, it’s flippin absurd.
But women, including 45-year-old androgynous lesbian women, are expected to perform femininity at all times, even when they have been effectively neutered by various cancer amputations, and even when it hurts. Our skitzo enpinkified survivor culture values pluckiness but requires capitulation. The imperative is ever to appease. Enforce/Embrace the gender binary lest civilization crumble!
Here’s how I put it, back in Aught-Eight:
The world will literally explode if the following two conflicting conditions are met: (a) a female appears in public topless, and (b) a female in public fails to produce mammary tissue upon inspection.
You see the catch? It’s not exactly a Catch-22; that catch comes later. This is more of a Catch-23. If you have mammary tissue, you have to cover it up. If you don’t have mammary tissue, you’re obliged to get some, then cover it up. If you don’t get some, you still have to cover it up.
To put it another way: you have to hide it in order to prove that you have it. If you can’t prove that you have it, you have to prove that you’re willing to fake having it.
It goes without saying that if you won’t fake having it by hiding what isn’t, you must be shunned.
Thus did Seattle shun Jodi Jaecks. Apparently they actually accused her of intentionally trying to “shock” people. Fuck. You know what’s shocking? 1 in 7 women get breast cancer, and nobody’s ever seen a post-op chest. Fuck. The nonsensical arbitrariness of social convention never ceases to cheese an aunt off.
Eventually, back in Seattle, the magnanimous Parks & Rec Superintendent relented somewhat on the compulsory tankini issue, reclassifying Jaecks as not so “alarming” after all. At present, Jaecks is permitted to go trunks-only, but only during designated adult swim periods. Protect the delicate youths from monstrous cancer-women lest their idyllic Grand Theft Auto-playin’ childhoods be irreparably damaged by a couple of scars on a middle-aged woman.
Anecdote: my young nieces Fin and Rotel have grown up fully cognizant of my boob scars. They know what cancer is, they know what surgery is, and I can assure the anxious public that despite this exposure they are 100% unfazed. They are way more interested in my tattoo, but that’s a scar for another day.
* “Reconstruction” is in quotation marks because the surgery to which it alludes does not actually reconstruct a functioning breast. The surgery, which is risky, painful, and has absolutely zero therapeutic value, con-structs a funbag. This allows the patient to resume her rightful rung on the discrimination ladder as she recuperates from the horrible disease that nearly killed her.
Jun 24 2012
Years from now, after the revolution, we’ll look back on these wacky times and laugh (“Feminists with housekeepers and nannies? Bwaa!”), but at present one suffers just a smidge of elite-white-women-and-their-problems fatigue.
I allude to the Anne-Marie Slaughter vs. Sheryl Sandberg knife fight over the eternal (since the 1970′s, anyway) question “can women ‘have it all’?” By which is meant “can affluent, highly educated honky women have it all?”, since everyone knows poor women can’t have jack shit. Sandberg says yeah, if you get off your duff and crank it out like a dude and don’t let the bastards get you down. Slaughter says no, the deck is totally stacked against affluent, highly educated honky women. She has written a now-famous essay addressing the particular issues afflicting her bedraggled women-in-leadership-roles demographic. See Friday’s NYTimes for a recap.
The heart bleeds for Slaughter, who apparently has just realized that patriarchy actually exists. She has probably always suspected that it existed for women in what she quaintly calls “the real world,” but now it’s dawned on her that it exists even for people like her, a tenured international affairs professor at Princeton, TV pundit, and former State Department honcho.
What siren call of reason led her to conclude that she can’t “have it all”? It’s hard to tell, since her lengthy lament in the Atlantic is, I regret to say, liberally obfuscated with personal anecdotes about her kids and the many high-powered Washington social events she attended where the discussions appear to have revolved (conveniently, it would turn out, for the success of her upcoming article on same) exclusively around the subject of “life-work balance.” However, it seems that ultimately what got Slaughter cheesed was the gnawing awareness that parenting a rebellious teen is not as highly valued by DudeNation as racking up 976 billable hours per day, and that she therefore couldn’t run her State Department department without feeling torn asunder by the gnarled claw of maternal guilt.
In other words, life at the top is too grueling for the feminist ladies who wish concurrently to participate in the romance of the nuclear family. Lawyering and politicking and other power-professions need to take it down a notch so women can have fulfilling careers and raise their kids. Slaughter’s thesis appears to be that if patriarchy can be made a little bit more user-friendly for the privileged white ladies of the leadership class, it can only raise the happiness quotient of the entire planet.
I certainly want nothing more than for privileged women to have it easier, and I’m pretty gung-ho about chucking out the status quo. But tweaking the system so that supermoms can office-drone (or write national policy) from home computers is not the solution to getting more women into positions of power. Quoth Rebecca Traister in the afore-linked NYTimes article, this whole “have it all” narrative “irresponsibly conflate[s] liberation with satisfaction.”
Liberation is the solution.
Instead of trying to get the State Department to install classified document equipment in your home office, I suggest we begin by smashing up the core of patriarchy: the nuclear family.
One house, two frustrated parents, two neurotic kids: it’s got to go. It’s a weird, irrational, often narcissistic construct that forces the modern gal into an impossible life of stress, isolation, and failure: she’s a sex provider, fetus incubator, domestic drudge, child care professional, inventory maintainer, bacon bringer-homer, and fry-it-up-in-a-panner. The only way a woman in this day and age can compete with dudes in the public sphere is to contract out half (or more) of the labor generated by this inefficient, insular arrangement (and employing nannies and housekeepers just reinforces an already oppressive caste system).
But because the nuclear family model so elegantly screws women and children over, it has become the most cherished cornerstone of the megatheocorporatocracy. The first job of the nuclear family is to indoctrinate its kids with a thorough appreciation for the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, so essential for the replication of patriarchal mores. The nuclear family relies on guilt to shackle women to the home. The nuclear family makes women financially and relationshipally dependent, feeds corporate greed, replicates heternormativity, promotes social conservatism, inflicts suffering when it fails (as do more than half of nuclear families), and supports fast food, disposable culture, and poor taste.
Thus do women, raised as masochists, crave the dream.
Germaine Greer — in The Whole Woman, I think — has proposed that we harken back to days of yore when humans lived in communal clumps with aunts, cousins, grandmas. Domestic drudgery and child care are spread across a wider pool of talent, everyone has more time for personal pursuits, old people aren’t shipped off to death dorms, and, most intriguingly, Greer maintains that kids in this more diverse environment don’t whine.
Anyway, the point is, as long as the nuclear family is the familial unit of choice, the future success of the culture of domination is ensured.
Jun 21 2012
Cast your mind back, back, back through the mists of time to the craggy cliffs of the distant past, and you may recall a little blurb I wrote on the subject of the vaginafication of pop culture. Media personages, in an effort to enhippen themselves using the time-honored technique of women’s objectification, have taken to sticking the hi-fuckin-larious word “vagina” in all their scripts, monologues, and comedy bits. To the extent that some industry dudes are now claiming to suffer from vagina fatigue.
Not so, apparently, dudely Michigan state politicians. Vaginas rattle them to the core. I allude, in particular, to one Republican State Representative Mike Callton, who considers the allusion to female anatomy
“so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
What the what? Why, in this age of vagina saturation, is Michigan state rep Mike Callton flipping his weenypeen? Dear god, did one of his female colleagues call him a cuntalina on the House floor?
Almost! It turns out that State Rep Lisa Brown alluded to her own vadge, using the word horrible word “vagina,” in a speech criticizing some super-misogynist anti-choice bill. The next day, after figuring out how horrified they were by this and what an excellet pretext this would be for shutting the bitch up, the pro-compulsory-pregnancy honchos banned her ass.
That’s right. Banned, by Republican jacknuts, from the debate, because she used the word “vagina” in a discussion on women’s health care legislation. Brown’s shockingly disgusting obscenity “violated the decorum of the House.”
Ladyparts. Can’t allude to’em on the House floor,** can’t remove unwanted parasites from’em. It’s almost like men control’em!
Here is Rep. Brown’s first person account of the Michigan ledge’s vaginasteria.
* This super-edgy fad comes mere decades after Eve Ensler.
** Alternate rules apply to TV and internet, wherein one is required to allude to the vulva at all times, although it is mandatory that the less accurate word “vagina” be substituted, because apparently nobody in the entertainment business has ever so much as glanced at an anatomy poster at the gyno’s office.
Jun 05 2012
Racism extends considerably beyond prejudiced beliefs. The essential feature of racism is not hostility or misperception, but rather the defense of a system from which advantage is derived on the basis of race. The manner in which the defense is articulated – either with hostility or subtlety – is not nearly as important as the fact that it insures the continuation of a privileged relationship. Thus it is necessary to broaden the definition of racism beyond prejudice to include sentiments that in their consequence, if not in their intent, support the racial status quo.
From a comment submitted on June 3 by Pheeno, attributed thusly:
Wellman, David T. Portraits of White Racism. Second Edition. Cited in: “Definitions of Racism”. Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc. 2001. 23 Dec 2004.