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Tea and Strumpets

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ten Things I hate about Lady-Hating Comment-Baiting Articles

Paula Joye is well known for her “fashion” “articles”, in which she likes to tell women everything that’s wrong with them, in the name of making them look better. This time, she’s excelled herself at pitching fashion as a “battle of the  sexes“.

I don’t want to comment on the article, except to say that you can pry my leopard print from my cold, dead hands, bitch. But, as a service to you, I read the comments. Because they are brilliant.

First up, James, with my favourite internet comment ever:

Rule number 1: if she is tattooed up, she is not marriage material. Damaged/defaced goods.
To quote FOTLG Oliver, “I think you are confusing marriage with taxidermy”. Two of your friendly Lady Gardeners, at least, are tattooed. I’m damaged goods, certainly, but my men like me that way, James, and you can suck it.
Actually, apparently the men of Australia hate tattoos.
+1 for tattoos. Also fake breasts, most especially when much exposed. Ditto fake tans and large fake eyelashes and too much makeup. You look like those Jersy Shore bimbos.
Sorry, ‘yeah-no’, but I think you are missing a really important point here. You know, the correlation between how women are…encouraged…to dress, and the fact that you think they look like bimbos.
Oops. You know what else you shouldn’t do? Point out that this article just might be sexist.
You forgot the cool word of the day “Misogyny” all the sheeple’s are using it
Sigh. Oh, also, ladies. This should probably go without saying, but don’t be fat.
Saw a trainee checkout worker, size 24? With jeggings tight tee and a skimpy sheer short top just this week. The visual is still in my head.
Not good, and surely the employer should have a word.
I mean, at least if you’re fat, you should have the decency to dress so no one else has to contemplate the idea that you might have a body under that caftan.
I wish I say that to all the overweight women that like to wear them near where I live. Not a good thing to see. Shame they don’t want to dress to suit their figures. And no – black leggings aren’t slimming on those of us that are overweight (and yes I’m unfortunately one of them)
Someone gets it. Thank you Sir. (I mean, doesn’t at all, and wants a cookie for it, but he’s trying. I think. Or trolling. One of the two. I get so confused.)
The worst enemies of women are (1) themselves, (2) other women and (3) women’s magazines. If you are genuine and confident, men don’t really care what you wear. Sure we don’t get animal print but hey, if you look great overall… we don’t care. Have a nice day ladies!
This guy almost gets it, but fails at the last hurdle. And then some more.

LOL – I was in hairdresser recently and commented to wife on how first 1/3 of these mags is all about losing weight & who is thin or lost weight, next 1/3 is about who is fat and gained pounds and last 1/3 is recipes with ads galore all way through for weight loss mixes, pills and other products like makeup & stuff to get rid of cellulite. WTF. How low does self esteem have to be to buy those trash mags ?

Fail – Add the thong hanging out above the jeans like a plumbers crack. Almost as bad as wearing a huge bra with a singlet. Its mens equal to wearing undies over pants.

But again, don’t point out that this article might be sexist – and in fact demeaning to all genders.
The article isn’t all about you Phillip, or you personal tastes and preferences. Nor is it about your mates or most men you know either. It’s just the majority opinion from the author’s sample.The author isn’t telling women how to act, or even what to wear. She is just telling them which clothes don’t appeal to a lot of men.Women take decide for themselves if they want to take any notice or ignore the information.So take your quest for victimhood elsewhere.

(If I go on a quest for victimhood, what do I need to take? A sword, a dragon and a short skirt? No, leggings, right? They REALLY hate leggings.)

Clothes aren’t the issue, it’s who’s wearing them, guys or girls. Muffin tops, cauliflower thighs, camel toes and the trailer park or “heroin-chic” look are NEVER going to be in. Noting worse than seeing a size 16 crammed into a pair of leopard sheen-printed leggings. If you’re overweight, underweight, disproportionate, covered in scars or tatts, then wear clothes that won’t highlight the issue. Wear something that presents you well (as opposed to trying to look the bandwagon part by wearing the latest trend). That’s about it.
YES! Ladies, it’s not about the clothes! It’s about you! And that really annoying way that your body fails to be totally fucking perfect according to whatever arbitrary standard I have decided on. I mean GOD. Don’t you know your job is to look good for me?
And again, that means no, really no, tattoos. Don’t you learn?
I would also add Tattoos. You know the little ones on the ankle, wrist, back of the neck – the ones women think make them so unique, oblivious to the fact that almost every girl/middle-aged woman in the office suddenly has one. And no, the little star you have tattooed behind your ear is not discreet or cool.
Sadly, according to these people,  I am NEVER going to attract a mate. And of course, that’s all I could possibly want.
+1 on tattoo’s, no bigger turn off than a scrag tag.
Perhaps a cigarette hanging out of one side of the mouth goes close.
Fuck. I’m screwed. But it’s OK, I have my feminist friends to keep me company in my long, long, spinsterhood. I’m getting second thoughts about that, though. Cos, it would appear that EVERYTHING is the feminists’ fault.
Men get labelled paternalistic misogynists if we voice an opinion on behalf of women.
Fuck, I wonder why?

Today in Lady Rage

Do you hate men? Do you think they are all a bit useless and pointless, and now that you’ve got your “modern woman” accoutrements like a career and easy sex, wonder why they are still around? Do you refuse to let your “mate” love and provide for you?

Congratulations. You are no longer a woman.

I know, right! I mean here I was, laboring under the albeit cissexist assumption that I am a woman. I’ve always assumed that, even though my uppity ways would suggest that while I might be a woman, I’m certainly no lady.

It’s strange though. You see, apparently feminism won me all these things. A career, though odds are good I’ll still be paid less than the men in my profession. Apparently I can have “sex at hello”. Which would be nice, if I weren’t threatened with sexual assault for doing just that, and if I couldn’t remember in vivid detail the most recent time I was called a slut for wearing a tight skirt. It won me the right to parent as I like – with or without a job – but seemingly I need to cave to men over that, because I need them to “pick up the slack at the office”.

She’s right. I am angry. And probably more than my fair share of defensive. But I’m not angry because I think of men as the enemy. Trite as it is, I think of the patriarchy as the enemy, and that it hurts all genders as much as it hurts me. And Ms Venker here is apparently a High Priestess of the Institutionalised Sexism denomination.

Maybe I should just admit it. I hate men. I don’t want them around, and I don’t ever want to get married or have babies, because that would get in the way of my plans to smash the glass ceiling and have all the sex I want. With *gasp* whoever I want. Oh, and I hate porn.

So, I took the quiz. I thought i might need the 12 step programme to get over my ridiculous fantasies (of equality, perv). I thought, maybe, this was true:

…there’s nothing empowering about moving in and out of intense romantic relationships, postponing marriage indefinitely, or pursuing careers with a verve that belies common sense. There’s nothing empowering about shacking up, rejecting your husband’s surname, ignoring your biological clock, refusing to depend on a husband, or becoming a single mom.

To be truly empowered, you’re going to have to do a 180.

You mean, there’s NOTHING empowering about having a life of my own? That any man who might want to marry me might value my career and not just my capacity to breed. That (get those pearls ready for clutching) I Might Not Even Want Children. That I might want to keep my own name as a sign of my independence and that I am not just my husband’s property.

Anyway, now I’m confused. I don’t need the programme. I felt so sure I would. I felt so sure Ms Venker and Fox news and their ilk would consider me such a pointless woman, with my career and my high heels and my disturbingly silent biological clock. But. I don’t consider myself better than men. I’m not holding out for Brad Pitt. Or George Clooney for that matter. I’m (through luck rather than design) not a product of divorce, nor do I need to be right all the time. As often as possible, but not every time. Smart, stable and kind sounds lovely, though I’d throw in funny, and certain…other requirements. (Mostly grammar-related.) Even mustering the loosest definitions possible, I still only managed four yesses.


One last thing.

What exactly are “the consequences of sex”? As in

It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.  It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life.

You’re talking about babies, right? They’re the consequences of sex? First, how delightful. Second, women are left, quite literally, holding the baby, and it’s FUCKING FEMINISM THAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Sharing the Love

Things we liked, or didn’t like, from around the internet this week.

31 arguments against gay marriage. (And how to tell the person using them to STFU.)

Girl on the Net on Adverts for the Ladies: or, “I won’t buy your shit just because you painted it pink.”

Jill at Feministe talks about the importance of cool aunts and uncles. (They don’t have to be biologically related.)

The UN Population Fund has called family planning “an essential human right“.

Charlie Glickman talks about things men can do to not be creepy. There are some other great suggestions in comments.

It’s the constant testing of limits, whether that’s moving into someone’s personal space, touching them without permission, getting permission for one kind of touch and then moving past that, and so forth, that makes it creepy. It’s because they keep looking for ways to creep past the boundaries.

Marc Ellis (not that one) talks about his experience of coming out of the Masculinity Box.

As I worked to accept myself, I began to seek out advice on how to restore my marriage which has long suffered a break-down in communication. While I found advice on dealing with a spouse that did not communicate, where intimacy was lacking, and there was a desire for vulnerability and sexual satisfaction; nearly all of this advice was written for a woman.

Grantland sent a 25 year old dude to watch all 5 Twilight movies. In a row.

And in that moment, I was sure that Twilight had somehow taken me to another dimension. One in which Academy Award winners could be conjured from thin air to silently mock me during my quest.

On Caitlin Moran and cool feminism.

So much of what Moran says sound like it comes from a weird twilight zone of “feminism.” It’s a lot like those celebrities who say they support gay rights or a women’s right to choose, then make a point of scoffing, “But don’t worry, it’s not like I’m a feminist or anything!” Except in Moran’s world, she’s proudly proclaiming “YES I’M A FEMINIST!” while saying a lot of stupid shit so she can keep fitting in with the guys. Because this is cool feminism. Or something.

Christmas gifts for people you don’t really like.

Enjoy a bitchy fashion memoir? Grace Coddington is the shit.

Tomorrow is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. (Which really needs a better name.) Here’s a piece on violence against women in South Africa (obvious trigger warning.) Here’s one on women in Papua New Guinea. (ditto) (And what UN Women is doing in PNG.) Maybe it’s time to think about your dance moves?

To get the rest of your weekend off on a slightly more cheerful note, have you me Tama, the Station Master cat?

And because the Lady Gardeners like a parody….Fifty Shades of Chicken.

On Geeks and Privilege

So yeah, another tech conference, more problems with racism and sexism. BritRuby has been cancelled. (And yes, I’m as startled as you are that it’s a Jezebel article that gives the best run-down of the issues. You can also read here, but please, for the love of bunnies and sanity, don’t read the comments.)

You may at this point be idly wondering, “Why should I, weighing everything up here, bother giving a fuck?” Because the otherwise pointless fuckuporama produced this: Geeks and Privilege.

The reason we’re seeing such vicious anti-equality bullshit in the geek community over the BritRuby situation and other conference type stuff is because the very existence of societal inequalities (against women, racial minorities, gender/sexual minorities) threatens the whole idea that hackers got where they are because they are super-fucking-smart.

That piece is a really good run-down of unacknowledged privilege in the geek community. What I want to add to it is basically, “Because Intersectionality.”

Intersectionality is a long word, but not a difficult concept, at all. One day I might strip it back to its bare bones for Public Address, but here I’m going to assume people have a grasp of it.

One of the reasons that geek men are resistant to having their privilege pointed out to them is that they perceive themselves as outsiders. Not so much for geeks my son’s age, but for my cohort, people who were interested in (or, more accurately, obsessed with) science and computers and role-playing were not the Cool Kids. Part of the whole Freaks and Geeks stereotype is being the socially-awkward outcast. Hardly the recipients of social privilege in the adolescent hierarchy.

So like Pakeha women and gay men, if you’ve been on the receiving end of social bigotry and put-downs and people making life hard for you, it’s much harder to recognise that not only do you have privilege over other people you’re not aware of, but you might actually be exercising it against them.

And no, privilege is not luck. Finding ten bucks on the ground is luck. Having a family with money is privilege.

I don’t feel guilty about being a man but I do realise that it has certain benefits that women don’t get and certain opportunities I get that women have to fight much harder for. This doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. But denying that this is the case in order to preserve my illusions makes me an ignorant person.

Now, I’ve seen conference organisers, and other people too, try very hard to find willing female voices, and fail. But they’re not pretending that diversity and privilege aren’t problems. These guys really were. And, y’know, fuck those guys. Don’t be those guys.

Sharing The Love

Things we liked, or didn’t like, from around the internet this week.

Girl on the Net on Turning Someone Down.

Erika Lust does an interview in Spanish Marie Claire where she talks about ‘what you tell your daughters’.

I will tell them that I am a writer and director of films, and that my movies talk about love, about men and women who desire each other, about passion and sex. And of course I have to tell them what sex is, but this isn’t just me, it’s all of the fathers and mothers in the world!

Top Five questions about the female orgasm. (While this article is sensible and useful, one wonders where all the “Male orgasm: Explained (lolz!)” articles are. Maybe I’m just reading the wrong websites. Relatedly (to genitalia).

The heartbreaking case of Savita Halappanavar and what happens when women’s bodies are simply chattels for others’ wishes.

A sentence I (Tallulah) never thought I’d read:

Two developments of the past few years make me think it is worth re-opening this discussion of the relationship between feminist politics and the referentiality of language: the feminist blogosphere and the lyrics of Taylor Swift.

A really interesting question.

“Something strange is happening to feminists. We’re winning.”

Prehistoric European figurines and pornography.

…So why do we think we can interpret images of naked women that were created in a completely different cultural context tens of thousands of years ago?

All your friendly lady gardeners are busy this weekend, so no pretty shoes, but have a great weekend.

Carry That Weight. No pun intended.

Ah, Twitter. Both a boon and a bane. Great for organising social outings and sourcing hot shoes. Really, really bad at social justice.

It’s somewhat depressing to jump on Twitter after a nap, only to find people who should know better making fat jokes. In the guise of punning about music. I really wish this were an uncommon occurrence. Sadly, it really, really isn’t.

Oh! You’re so funny! Fat people like to eat lots! They’re obsessed with buffets and friands and ham. Great.

And of course, when a bunch of people called out the fatshaming, there was a chorus of whining of “but I just wanted to make puns about food!”. How nice for you. Then why did you have to include the hashtag about fat people? Why denigrate people because of how they look and their perceived relationship with food? Because you can, because you didn’t think, because fat people don’t have feelings you could possibly hurt.

Here’s the thing. If the Beatles were fat dudes? It’s very, very unlikely they would be famous enough for you to be making puns about them. Sure, random dude on Twitter, you can name four fat artists (Adele, Beth Ditto, Aretha, Fat Joe), so everything must be OK, and there’s no imperative in the music industry to be thin. Or something. Would the girls have screamed, so long and so loud, if they four nice-looking boys from Liverpool have been overweight.

I wonder if the people who wrote that hashtag over and over again took a moment to think about the people they might be hurting when they tweeted. The teenage singer who wants a career but was told she can’t because she’s too big. The boy who wanted to be on TV, but was fat. Any overweight person who had the temerity to think that despite their size they might be entitled to personhood. I can only speak for myself, but it felt like being punched in the stomach. I mean, I couldn’t feel it, on account of being so desperately addicted to curly fries, but still.

Sharing the love

Things we liked, or didn’t like, from around the internet this week.

Mostly, we liked the republican rape philosophers getting thoroughly trounced in the USian election, and we wrote about it on TLG. Plenty of American feminists had plenty to say about it too. Feministe has the details. Also, there are binders full of women making their way into the senate. Still a long way to go, but when one in five of the people in the US senate identifies as a woman, then being a woman in a place of power is no longer an oddity.

Political Correctness:

But in practice it is not an equal-opportunity sneer; it’s almost always wielded by those with more power in order to dismiss objections (to language, policies, or behaviors that harm or offend people) offered by those with less power, and thus to shut them up.

TLG crush Lesley Knope and Vice President Joe Biden? YES.

Clarisse Thorn talks porn, sex workers rights, censorship…, in fact all those things that can be problematic. This article is well worth your time, especially if you’re new to sex positive feminism.

Via my (Deb) cousin Anne, How to Pressure a Woman Into Sleeping With You.

Tom is probably a good guy. He probably sees himself as a feminist, as uniquely respectful of women. He probably didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, or that he was in any way pressuring her. But men need to consider the position they put us in when they ask over and over again if we want to sleep with them. When they smile and coyly promise to treat us well, to make us breakfast in bed even, if only we’ll come home with them. Men need to realize that they are not hearing the word ‘no’.

And some of Anne’s own writing, at Scoop: Gay Red Stop: John Key and homophobic language.

I’m marking… masses and masses and masses of exam scripts. So no pretties this week.

Shutting down rape culture, one election at a time

The Republican Rape Philosophers lost. (H/T Feministe)

Incumbent Roger Rivard (R), lost his Congressional seat to Steven Smith (D). Rivard was the chap who told passed on his father’s wisdom that “some girls rape easy.”

Todd Akin (R) failed to take what should have been a winnable senate seat for the Republicans. Akin was the chap who told us that if a rape was “legitimate”, then a woman could not get pregnant because her body would shut conception down.

Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock couldn’t win what should have been a wide open race, giving the Democrats one more seat in the Senate. Mourdock was the chap who told us that pregnancy resulting from rape was something that God intended.

But why should we care, here in New Zealand, an ocean away from the United States?

Here’s why. We should care because the anti-women rhetoric coming from conservatives in the US travels down here swiftly. Rape culture is alive and flourishing in New Zealand, and concepts like “legitimate rape” and “can’t get pregnant from rape” and “some girls rape easy” and “God meant for you to be raped” play into it, and sustain it.

I am so very glad that voters in the United States rejected these men who endorsed rape. It’s a push back, a small step towards dismantling the narrative of hatred and contempt for women.

Cross posted

Sharing the love

Things we liked, or didn’t like, from around the internet this week.

Twitter has introduced advertising targeted on a user’s gender! Isn’t that awesome?

Edward Chen listed real tweets that help differentiate women from men, and nobody came out looking good. Not women, not men, and not Twitter for looking for gender in such stereotypical places; and for missing some of the sad ironies of the gender signifiers it pointed to with an implied, “Eureka! I’ve found it!”

Penny Red on having it all.

We have no reason to be grateful. We have every right to want more. We have a right to want everything, including not being morally and financially attacked by bigots in government with a business agenda every time they want to distract attention from their own fuckups. We have every right to demand more than this.

(trigger warning) At this point, one has to wonder why someone in the leadership of the Republican Party hasn’t told all their candidates to Shut Up about rape, and pregnancy and women’s bodies being disposable political tools. I mean, aside from the fact that they are pandering to the right-wing nutters and shielding their leaders from having to espouse their own views. Anyway, Shakesville on “the rape thing” and don’t forget ladies, it probably actually IS your own fault.

Some more on abortion. The first one is doing the rounds everywhere. It’s hardhitting, and deeply triggering, especially for people who have been raped, and even more so for people who have become pregnant as a result of rape. The post itself carries a trigger warning too, and the writer means it.

John Scalzi: A fan letter to certain conservative politicians

And Libby Anne has written a tremendous post on why she broke away from the pro-life movement: How I lost faith in the pro-life movement.

No one ever gets over being 13.

NewsWithNipples is putting together a hand list of snappy, and not-so-snappy comebacks for when misogynists strike: Actually… how to respond when you see some sexism happening.

Statement: Someone tells a joke in which the punchline is sexist, or involves someone getting raped.
Response: Reply, “I don’t get it”. And keep repeating this until they explain exactly how it’s funny. It’ll make them look stupid.

I (Deb) have a serious case of shoe envy. These gorgeous lime green shoes belong to my friend Belinda.

Belinda’s lime green shoes