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Sacrifice and Devotion in the Indian Tradition: A Response to the NYT Article

17 Oct

This post is a response to the NYT article in the Sunday, October 17 paper. The article can be found in an online slideshow form here.

What I loved about this article was it’s focus on devotion. At first it starts out explaining that the holiday is a celebration of devotion to one’s husband (with an all day fast), but as you go through the 5 different profiles, which span generations, neighborhoods, and family histories, you find that the focus is on a very different kind of devotion. Instead of the journey of fasting being about a woman’s gratefulness to her husband (whose language, if not theme, is at least problematic), in almost every profile the couple fasts TOGETHER because as Pradeep Kashyap says of his marriage to Reena,”I’ve always thought of ours as an equal relationship, so I chose to fast with her, and we’ve done it together every year.”

What I love about this SO MUCH isn’t JUST that it puts the focus on equality and giving to one ANOTHER (in one situation the man is a doctor and though he used to fast with her, she insisted he stop doing so so that he doesn’t compromise his patients safety). And by all means, I’m not saying that this isn’t how EVERY Indian celebration of this holiday and others it is or should be. My point, and my appreciation for the article, is the way in which the media (and the populous) generally highlights the inequalities, the wrongs, and the “weirdness” of other traditions.

I thought this was a wonderful article which (and I think unintentionally, though no less wonderfully) highlights that even the most “traditional” of families, marriages, and religious unions are still places where equality exists.

Give up coffee and wine in 19 years?

12 Nov

“I used to drink an awful lot of coffee, but I was told after the age of 40 you have to be careful with coffee and wine. Apparently, that can be one of the reasons older women get bloated around their stomach… I don’t miss having a glass of wine because I’ve switched to vodka. I don’t really like vodka that much but if I’m at a party I have a small one with a lot of fizzy water and a huge squeeze of lime. Initially it’s like medicine but I’ve got used to it now.” — Liz Hurley. [Daily Mail]

(courtesy of jezebel.com)

 

I’ll take my coffee and wine with a side of bloated stomach puh-lease.

Seriously though, coffee and wine is probably half is not more than half of the liquids I consume daily (if it counts, it’s mostly coffee).

Personally, it sounds like Liz Hurley still hates her vodka medicine, but godforbid she gets a little bloated in the middle. Just and FYI, Liz Hurley looks like this:

liz-hurley-20050621-48509

Speaking of perpetuating rape culture

27 Oct

Feministing said it well: “being drunk isn’t what puts a woman at risk of sexual assault–being near a rapist does.”

(click the link to read A Little Victim Blaming With Your Coffee)

Sorry I haven’t had time to write my own stuff. Crazy week following three days off for my Dad’s wedding.

This is the most Horrifying thing. Ever.

27 Oct

From Jezebel:

Bay Area Homecoming Dance Becomes Scene Of Brutal Crime

Brace yourself for the most stomach-turning story in a long time: on Friday, a 15-year-old girl was brutally gang-raped after a homecoming dance in a suburb of San Francisco, while as many as 15 teenage boys stood around, doing nothing.

The victim was leaving the dance in Richmond, CA — a suburb of San Francisco, not too far from Antioch, where Phillip Garrido held Jaycee Dugard — when a classmate invited her to drink with him in a secluded area near the school. She agreed, becoming so inebriated that she fell over, at which point as many as seven young men raped her, beat her, took photographs, and stole her jewelry. They assaulted her for two-and-a-half hours, injuring her so badly that she had to be flown from the scene in critical condition.

A gang rape always has the added awfulness that the rapists are comfortable enough with their crime to commit it in front of others. This case is especially bad because the girl’s attackers continued in front of multiple witnesses, assuming that they would do nothing. That assumption was correct. In fact, it was someone hearing about the assault at a local house party who called the cops. Richmond police lieutenant Mark Gagan said, “What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening, and failed to report it.”

At first I thought this was a Kitty Genovese situation, in which indifferent bystanders failed to help a crime victim. In fact, it’s worse. CNN’s Nick Valencia writes that, “as many as 15 people, all males, stood around watching the assault, but did not call police or help the victim.” Gagan adds, “As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated.” This isn’t a case of people turning their heads away and saying “none of my business.” It’s a situation in which 15 boys and men (one suspect in custody is 19, the other 15) treating public, brutal assault as a form of entertainment.

Anyone who went to a big, rough high school has seen this happen with a fight — everybody in the school rushes to the scene, cheering, booing, and even joining in as kids beat each other up. This practice is bad enough, exposing teen bloodlust and lack of compassion, but adding sexual assault to the mix makes the onlookers’ situation all the more heinous. That all said onlookers were male seems important here — were they so afraid of having their masculinity questioned that they couldn’t say anything? Or, more disturbingly, were they enthusiastic about the event, participating, however vicariously, in some kind of conquest? Whatever the case, not one, not two, but fifteen young men watched a gang-rape take place and essentially chose to side with the rapists — as Yes Means Yes would say, “that’s rape culture.”

I’m lightheaded with shock and appall after reading this. I can’t even form thoughts in rebuttal. Seriously. This is going to take way the fuck more than a hot chocolate to get over. (For those that don’t know me, I’m generally fairly certain a hot chocolate will fix all my problems.)

Here’s some comments I “enjoyed” from the Jezebel post:

I’m going to hand in my “homo sapien” card. If this is the group I’m classified with, I’d rather be something else.

And this is a key example of why guys need to go past giving lip service and actively help to dismantle the rape culture. You in particular not being a rapist is no longer sufficient. It is about you in particular being strategically situated to help potential victims and spark change in situations where women are viewed as nameless, faceless pieces of ass, to be used and exploited as men see fit. This is the patriarchy, right here, and it is high time that it was toppled. I hope they press charges on all of those worthless bystanders as well for aiding and abetting these gangraping assholes.

Paging Michael Kimmel – I heard him speak to a group of students and this was almost exactly what he said, “You in particular not being a rapist is no longer sufficient.”

[This is in reference to men needing to take an active role in stopping rape culture. Not being a rapist, is no longer sufficient. I echo this too in feminism: not being a sexist doesn’t make you a fighter for feminism.]

Your BF is engaging in a common error of sociological thinking. “I’m not a rapist, I don’t know any rapists, ergo, rape culture is not a problem for anyone anymore.” Which completely overlooks the institutional underpinnings that allow the ism and attending abuse to continue. But society allows rape, even encourages it. It is a societal value in America that women’s sexuality is bad and scary and needs to be controlled-unless she’s around a guy, any guy, in which case, why isn’t the bitch putting out? And it is a societal value that men’s sexuality is important, so important that it needs to be exercised all of the time, regardless of the willingness of the other participant. And the legal system abuses the victim a second time. Until this behavior is as discouraged and as widely derided as evil as murder is, I will not be satisfied that the battle is won. And good for you for fighting the good fight. If you don’t make the effort, he may never get it

the sad part is that i am sure the majority of those bystanders would blame the victim… in this case, a drunken 15 year old girl. because anybody knows a 15 year old girl who somewhat clandestinely drinks alcohol is literally asking to be gang raped. *headdesk*

It’s very hard to call the police while you’re filming the assault on your phone.

Jezebel is a great site that covers horrifying news shit like this and also fashion, hollywood, etc. I suggest checking it out if you haven’t.

Also, I suggest, if you ever see a gang rape, go all Hulk on they ass, or you know, at least call the fucking cops.

Worst Friends Ever

22 Oct

Worst advice ever as a response to worst friends ever.

I suggest reading the letter to the advice columnist and reading the columnist’s response, but here’s the summation. Girl gets ruffied at a bar. Girl gets left by friends. Girl manages to make it out of the club, but wakes up on the curb outside da’club with ambulance. Girl’s friends won’t even come to the hospital to see her and only came after Girl said they won’t let her leave until she finds a ride home. Only then did they begrudgingly drive across town (gasp!) to pick up their friend. Girl asks advice columnist if her friends suck and if she has a right to be mad at them.

Advice columnist says rufie-shmoofie you’re a big fucking sissy and she wouldn’t have come down that night to the hospital either.

Ok, now since then the advice columnist has been quite ridiculed (I’m a little behind the game) and has issued a statement (somewhere, couldn’t find it) apologizing and realizing that rape may sometimes follow being ruffied.

What MAY follow?! MAY FOLLOW? I don’t know many other things that follow being slipped a ruffie. This girl lucked the fuck out in managing to get out of the club. She’s REALLY lucky she woke up in the hospital without being brutalized and raped.

This girl’s friends fucking suck. They claim they thought she got herself home and just didn’t say goodbye.

I say, there are these wonderful fucking things called cell phones that, by the way, we ALWAYS have on us. ALWAYS. Why would you not check? ESPECIALLY if someone didn’t say goodbye. Further, how would they not know she got slipped something? I mean, I have no experience with ruffies, but I would imagine that it would affect your ability to speak and stand and, uh, fight back to rape.

I’m so fucking happy I have such not-horribly-shitty people as friends.

In fact, I didn’t go out and drink even moderately for a long time because I didn’t feel like I was ever around anyone that I could trust. Not that I had any idea in my naive little brain that I may get ruffied, I just meant even a little too tipsy! Still, I have  a hard time having any more than a couple of beers because I have a hard time depending on others (yes I know, I’m a psychologists fucking dream).

I really just can’t even fathom what was going through these ass holes’ minds. And to act so burdened to go pick her up after hearing this news! It’s one thing to fuck up in basic rationality, maybe they were drunk too, maybe she often leaves without saying goodbye (as I do), and not call her to double check. But man, if I heard the my friend was in the hospital (for any reason, let alone the most common date rape drug), I would already be in the car before they ever had to ask. And not that I’m oh-so-wonderful and loyal, it’s just (and should be) how you act to people you love.

That rant took a totally different path than I had originally thought. I’ll let it be though, since I have to run to class.

iphone and itouch apparently lead to isexism

18 Oct

Oh crimey. We knew someone would fuck up the brilliance that is the itouch/iphone app ability. I didn’t think it would be Pepsi.

They have a new app that allows you to ibrag about all the girls you score with. It also gives you tips on just how to score with them. First, identify her “type.” Here’s the list:

Artist
Aspiring Actress
Athlete
Bookworm
Businesswoman
Celebrity
Cougar
Dancer
Foreign Exchange Student
Goth Girl
Indie Rock Girl
Married
Military Girl
Nerd
Out-Of-Your-League Girl
Political Girl
Princess
Punk Rock Girl
Rebound Girl
Sorority Girl
Treehugger
Trouble
Twins
Women’s Studies Major

There are so many fucking things wrong with this I don’t know where to start…. let me just point out a quick, nifty little tid bit: MARRIED is on the list.

What’s the next step you ask? Ok, if you really want to know: KEEP A LIST, name, date, and details you remember.

At least they are implying that you’d have to be out of your fucking mind to try this list, so out of your mind that you may not remember doing so.

Oh, and don’t forget to brag, boys. Email your friends, twitter, facebook, myspace, whatever fucking way you can.

Fanfuckingtastic. Jezebel had this to say on the topic:

There’s a reason why I go after bro culture as often as I do: things like this, which are completely unacceptable and ridiculously offensive. This is a program sponsored by a major corporation that encourages men to look at women as objects to be won, used, and tossed away after a “victory” is obtained, and the more normalized things like this become, the worse off we’re all going to be.

If the rationale is that the target audience for AMP energy drink is filled with pathetic douchebags, then perhaps instead of continuing to feed this audience and encourage this kind of behavior, we should offer them something different and stop shoving bro culture down everyone’s throats as if it’s totally acceptable to Tucker Max-it out at all times. Until then, the best we can do is to mock it mercilessly; if people actually think this kind of thing is attractive and effective, they’ll continue doing it, but if it’s ripped apart as often as possible, the “awesomeness” factor of stupid crap like this might be dulled a bit.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: I am just really tired of bros, man. It would be nice to turn on the television one day and not see some dude completely dehumanizing women as a part of some asinine “game” in order to promote deodorant or soda pop or body wash, but I guess there isn’t an app for that yet.

You know I’m angry when my f word count goes about 5 in a blog under 15 sentences.

Barbie’s a fattie-bo-battie, I have a huge crush on Tina Fey

18 Oct

Man talk about fat-hating!

Apparently Barbie has cankles, and like hell we’re going to allow that to stay! That’s right folks, the doll who is so disproportionate she’d have to walk on all fours if she was life size… yes, the doll who’s feet have been permanently molded to wear high heels. Yes, she’s now too fat… in the feet. THE FEET.

What’s the obsession with cankles anyways? next thing you know they’ll be saying we’re too fat around the… oh wait, I think we’ve run out of shit to freak out about! Nope, ears; I bet we attack earlobes next.

I STAND CORRECTED:

Earlobe Lifts

SORT OF IN RELATION TO BARBIE BUT NOT REALLY:

Here are a few clips of Tina Fey on Letterman from Jezebel.com which address her recent photo shoot in Bazaar, in which she (unfortunately) ditched the glasses for more of a sexier look.

Dear Tina Fey,

You made wearing glasses cool. I can’t touch my eyes, or even watch people touch their eyes. Glasses are a part of who I am and have been since I was 10 and will be until I die. Please keep making them cool, cause errrybody know I’m not doing it.

Unchangingly and most fondly yours,

Philososaurus

The second clip references her daughter’s Halloween costume and what a wonderful feminist mother Ms. Fey is. I’d love to hear more on the topic. (This is where is sort of kind of related to Barbie.)

Also, I want to be a bacon eating robot.

(For Halloween?)

Nope, all the time, but with fakin’ bacon.