Tuesday, July 3, 2007

In the news...

I just wanted to point out the reprimandation women face in other countries as they fight for their rights. In Iran, a woman who protested the country's discriminatory laws was sentenced today to not only THREE YEARS in jail, but also TEN LASHES.

In France, a woman who is "sometimes mistaken for a man," was kicked out of a restaurant after a customer complained that there was a male in the ladies restroom. Ok, this is a important topic because what we are talking about here is fitting in to molds – if one does not look female enough (what ever that means exactly), or if one does not look male enough (what ever that means exactly) -- and if one does not, then they have the chance of being discriminated against. This article is very topical, and only mentions this issue in passing, and in fact it seems to perpetuate other problems. First, it mentions the eatery, but uses a reference to margaritas as its identifying marks. It seems a bit insulting that an important issue such as gender discrimination is juxtaposed next to the fact that "[the] Caliente Cab Company, a Mexican restaurant [is] known for its enormous margaritas." More – and this most certainly the more important aspect of the coverage's flaws – the headline of the article points to the woman's sexual orientation. The fact that she got kicked out for her looks has nothing to do with the fact that she is a lesbian. To me, this is yet another example of the ways in which the media exploits lesbians as a titillating way to sell stories.

This little blurb highlights the ways women resemble crocodiles and porcupines when they don't live up to societal expectations: having smooth, shaven legs.

Just like a similar post about all-women hotel floors, an Italian beach's idea to only allow women access to the sand has latent repercussions. First, this makes ALL men look like dogs, and any feminist would rather support an equal opportunity space where both sexes can live comfortably. Second, this article, once again, focuses only on the heterosexual gaze. Third, by "giving the women their own world," what they have done is further marginalize and ostracize women. Having single-sex anything reminds many that women are too weak to fend for themselves, or that men are too promiscuous to lay next to a woman on the beach. And of course, the beach’s biggest slap in the face: "The lifeguard must be a man," the article points out. "You clearly need a man to save a woman in the sea."