Welcome to my fourth installment of Imposed Cultures, a series that takes a closer look at common societal practices and beliefs to reveal that what we often think of as “natural” is anything but! Today we are going to explore the popular idea that ”Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” While many people use the scientific “truth” that men and women have different brains to explain gender divides, there is actually a lot wrong with this theory – starting with the fact that I don’t even like chocolate. Continue reading
As any policy debater would be doing the wee hours of the morning before a tournament (insert lame, self-deprecating joke here), I recently found myself watching YouTube videos of Slavoj Zizek’s musings. Zizkek’s comments from this Q & A segment, particularly on polyamory and psychopaths, were entertaining as hell, but I found myself getting distracted by the mushrooming debate taking place between Egyptian-American activist and blogger Mona Eltahawy and Australian journalist Greg Sheridan over the Arab Spring. Given that previous debate topics had already sparked my interest in the so-called “Middle East”, particularly the Arab Spring, I was hooked. Who is this Mona Eltahawy and what else does she have to say about the Arab Spring and feminism?
I’m an avid sports fan, particularly when it comes to the NFL. Like most other fans, I frequent both watching and browsing ESPN. Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting offshoot of ESPN.com—ESPN W. Yes, tucked away at the far right of the browsing bar of ESPN.com is the link to ESPN Women.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been beyond stressed out lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept much in the last week. Maybe it’s because I’m struggling to juggle a full-time job, a full course load, and still maintain some kind of social life.
Whatever the reason is, I am sick and tired of being a feminist. I’m tired of constantly defending myself, of trying to explain things. Like all of this:
I am tired of female politicians getting asked silly, vapid questions. As if who your favorite designer is has ANY impact on your ability to lead.
I am tired of having to walk down the quad after class and listen to a group of fraternity brothers refer to people as “fags,” as if being LGBTQ is an insult.
I am tired of hearing my male friends complain about being “friendzoned.” I am tired of the idea that just because you are nice to a girl and give her a shoulder to lean on, she should automatically fall in love with you and/or enter into a sexual relationship with you.
I’m sick and tired of listening to male politicians trying to make decisions about MY body. I’m tired of people like Paul Ryan, the VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE of the Republican Party, trying to argue that RAPE is a form of conception.
I’m tired of not being able to have a conversation about poverty in America without someone bringing up “welfare queens.” Just like Melissa Harris-Perry, I am sick of hearing that poor people are lazy, that they don’t work hard, that single mothers struggling to make ends meet just want to suck on the government tit.
I’m tired of telling people that I write and edit for a feminist blog and getting looks of disdain and dismissal. I’m tired of people assuming anything about me or my sexuality because I’m a feminist. I’m tired of being told that I make a big deal out of “stupid” things. I’m tired of being told to learn to take a joke. I’m tired of my very righteous anger being dismissed as the rantings of a silly young person who will calm down once she’s out of school.
I recently came across a quiz in Cosmopolitan that inspired this week’s myth-busting post. The quiz gave a series of questions ultimately leading the reader to discover whether she liked it hard, gentle or a mix of both in the bedroom. I gave the survey some thought, and after doing a tad bit of research, decided to de-bunk this myth once and for all. Continue reading
(I originally gave this post a super long boring title, so to save ya’ll from that, here’s a subhead: A Review of Miss Representation and the Panel Discussion the Followed).
On Thursday evening, blogger BlondeRedhead hosted a screening of the film Miss Representation, followed by a panel discussion that included myself, Aliasmitch, Carrie Robinson from SisterSpeak, and Drs. Mary Thompson and Melissa Aleman. The documentary itself challenges media constructions of femininity and the idea that women’s only value lie in our physical appearance. That for a woman, the only way to have any worth is to be beautiful all the time. The documentary was very interesting, and well put together, although I think it does have a few flaws, which I would like to address. But what I also want to talk about in this post is the amazing discussion afterward, where about 30 audience members stayed 70 minutes after the film ended to have a productive, in-depth discussion about women, how to talk about these issues, media literacy, rape culture, and how to move away from women’s misrepresentation.
Since coming to college, I have made the decision to become a vegetarian. After doing weeks of research and talking to others who had made the same decision, I had learned enough about vegetarian nutrition to talk about it with the best of them. I quickly learned, however, that if I wanted to talk about what I had learned or the decisions I was making about my eating choices, I would have to be careful of whom I spoke to. In the three years since I have become a vegetarian, I have yet to have a productive conversation with a male about eating habits.
You, like many others, may be thinking that it serves me right to get flack for spouting my mouth off about vegetarianism. One of the most common arguments I’ve heard is that people who don’t eat meat are too vocal about it, making everyone else either bored or uncomfortable. However, I make it a point not to discuss the issue with anyone unless they bring it up. Whenever a male friend of mine notices the lack of meat on my plate, they frequently choose to address the subject. And boy, do they have a lot to say. Continue reading
I was recently browsing through Bed, Bath and Beyond with my mother this past weekend. She was attempting to refurnish our new house and we were wading through shower curtains and bathroom racks when I saw something that irritated me. I was thinking of buying a shoe rack/shelf for my apartment and I was staring at the pictures on the boxes. I looked closer and discovered that most of the shoes dominating that shelf … were heels. I looked at other boxes and discovered that women’s shoes dominated the pictures on the boxes. Continue reading
Liz Canner presents quite an interesting perspective in her documentary, Orgasm Inc. (available on Netflix) in February 2011. She dives into the science of the female orgasm and analyzes attempts from the pharmaceutical industry to quell so called female sexual dysfunction as she is hired for a drug trial for this “medicine.”
Apparently, this is a brand new, huge, billion-dollar industry. Viagra for women?
According to studies from healthywomen magazine, 43% of women suffer from sexual dysfunction. This “dysfunction” includes the lack of desire and pleasure during sexual encounters, among other “symptoms”. After a simple survey from the 90’s was run, the industry hopped on board, no questions asked, even Oprah (shame on you, Oprah). According to Liz, this survey indicated that much of the “dysfunction” was perfectly normal, though this statistic was conveniently underplayed.
This new field of medicine, Viagra for women, is becoming an increasingly popular subject of research. Vivus, a top competitor to patent a successful product, is testing a cream that was originally designed to treat erectile dysfunction. Not only does this ignores the complexities of the female body, but also assumes male erections and functionally the same as female orgasms… Sorry world, but that’s just untrue. Needless to say, clinical trials are not going so hot with male dominated companies spear heading this mission to battle over FDA approval. Big surprise there!
This raises a very important question: What is this “dysfunction” and why are we just starting to hear about this now?
More specifically, if you’re complaining about being forced to talk or act ‘politically correct,’ you’re probably just a bigot and don’t want to admit it. I think of the sort of people who rely solely on racial, sexuality, and gendered based terms and ‘humor’ as every day conversation. This sort of person thinks it’s acceptable to use racial slurs when talking about people, because they “don’t really mean it.” They cause a huge scene when they’re called out on their behavior. It’s a common defense to claim they have a right to freedom of speech for what they’re saying; however, having the right to say something does not make it acceptable to say it. This extends beyond racial terms though, and includes the sort of person that relies on belittling women, bashing homosexuals, or attacking any other part of a person’s identity.
This video discusses similar themes in advertising and the media.