Monday, August 20, 2007

Time to Speak Up

In a very interesting study, researchers found that while most men benefit from marriage in terms of health, many women are often silenced, experience irritable bowel syndrome, and are depressed.

This is not new news, as many folks say that marriage is often pushed in this country because it is good for both the man, and the capitalist machine: when men come home from work they get a good meal, they get clean clothes, they can be comforted...and this means that they are less likely to quit their job, that they will get up every morning and fiscally contribute. This is not to say that working is a bad thing, but what is wrong is this reliance on women to get their man's ass out of the house...this perpetuation continues to place women in the position of maid or assistant; not an equal.

Women, on the other hand, have to come home from work, put on their rubber gloves, and begin their second job. I do wish that these truths could only be seen on 1950s TV programming, but the reality is that women are still forced to be submissive (however, obviously, forces such as feminism have allowed more equal roles to take place).

And this leads up to the most important finding: women who are in these types of relationships must adhere to her husband's rules because of the verbal, emotional and physical abuse, or possibly death. As a result, many will stay silent during explosive arguments, or when their men come home stressed out...better to rub his feet than speak her mind:

Over a 10-year period, the most striking finding was that women who self-silenced were four times more likely to die than women who expressed themselves freely during marital arguments.

Women: if this is you, or a friend, you must believe in the strength of help. It is out there. Don't be afraid to speak up.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just moved to NYC

I am here to begin my master of social work program at Columbia University, and it is taking me a bit to get settled, and back in to my regular agenda, so please be patient on the (lack of) posts.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Female Circumcision

A report out today about the second young woman in the last couple of months who have died due to complications arising from banned female circumcision surgeries.

The procedure, which many refer to as female genital mutilation, usually involves the removal of the clitoris and other parts of female genitalia. Advocates say it tames a girl's sexual desire and maintains her honor. Opponents say girls can bleed to death, suffer chronic urinary infections and have life-threatening complications in childbirth as a result.

Not to mention that this mutilation is happening against the young woman's free will.

Of course it does not appear that men are not made to lose their sexual desires, and the article does not discuss whether or not a young man has to remain a virgin until he is ties the knot. Those who believe in this practice believe that cutting off a woman's sexual desire also means lowering the odds that she will have sex before marriage.

Obviously this type of story breaks my heart, especially because the practice is only banned, and not outright illegal. The folks behind this particular case may never be prosecuted.

Still, the craziest fact here is the astonishing number:97 percent of the married population have undergone this horrific surgery, while half of Egypt's ladies between 10 and 18 have been limited of their desires.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Caddy Chicks

It's summertime, and for many that may mean vacations, relaxation and golf. This year's outing can be spruced up with the help of some [warning...this is annoying] good-looking ladies:

If you're a golfer then you know that lugging around those clubs can be a pain. Thankfully the caddy thing caught on. Well now this concept is being taken to a whole new level. Allow us to introduce... the "Caddy Chicks" - these ladies are really making golf look good! Check it out.

That is a blurb on a golf and caddy service called CaddyChicks.

Hmm. First, I thought that caddys were there to serve as an aid, maybe offer advice; not prostitute their looks.

Not only does the web site boast that the caddies will "spice up" a golfers' game, but they also say the golfer will laugh more, and be the "envy of their buddies." Wow. Golf has always been a classy game, and it is nice to see that well respected courses will be dotted with escorts. Keep it classy! More, I wonder how many women and men -- who would potentially use this service -- are in relationships, and whose partners may find it frustrating that their significant other needs to "spice up" their game.

That being said, I think it is cool to see that the CaddyChicks mission is to break women in to the often very-male game of golf. The compnay offers an oportunity for women to get out there and learn more about the game, work, and play a vital role in the sport. It also gives out scholarships. However, the approach is a bit off for me -- using women to bring spice, good looks and/or envy to a game appears to go against the idea of their mission.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Putting the moron in oxymoron.

Here is an interview with a writer who is making attempts to smash some of the stereotypes between the sexes. In many ways, Robert Dubac, who created the theatrical performance, "Male Intellect: An Oxymoron", is admired because he first attempts to find some of the differences, and then he applies this to life lessons: he basically says that when men admire the idea of putting "a few notches on his belt," they tend to live up to an unsafe, unemotional foundation.

Ok. Good stuff, but what ticks me off about Dubac is the fact that he is supposed to be this expert on the sexes: being able to identify the differences. Well, first off, the interviewer asks him about the differences in his new town in Colorado, of which he first calls the female population GIRLS, and then he makes a silly generalization: “The girls don't shave their legs as often." Huh? What a random thing to say about women in Telluride.

This perception is interesting because GIRLS don't shave their legs because, um, they are too young; but more importantly -- because it is clear that Dubac meant women -- it is important because he goes on to give the golden answer to "what do women want." I can't help but wondering how in the world he can know anything if he still considers them people with the intellect and needs of a child?

He says that women basically want the same thing as men, but because they only want to be "CHERISHED" for their hard work -- as opposed to the "RESPECT" that men crave -- they go through different steps to get to their goal.

This actually may be true, as women have no choice sometimes but to take other routes to get to the top because let's face it, there are many roadblocks in the way (pressure to be in a traditional role, sexism, the glass ceiling...) but come on Dubac, elaborate.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Video montage

Glen Beck wants a journalist to pose nude:

Please educate our younger sisters...

Why do people keep mixing feminists up with folks fighting against equality? It's not about one being more anything than the other -- no real feminist would say that ONLY men are aggresive, oppressive, violent, etc. This video, which focuses on women-only fighting (and I am sure they could have found just as many examples of violent men) is perpetuating the untruths:

And while I will not post any of the videos that I found on YouTube when I typed in the word rape -- in hope of finding news or educational videos -- I want to say that there are handfuls of segments that call the abuse "hot" and "sexy." More, the comments made by YouTubers are incredibly savage. When did rape become sexy? Oh yeah. NEVER.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cleavage, legs; what's the difference?

There has been a lot of coverage about Hillary Clinton's choice of wardrobe. She decided to wear a v-neck shirt on the Senate floor, and was thus, exploited by a Washington Post columnist because she has (gasp!) female anatomy. In fact, this line really sticks out in Robin Givhan's article, and really pisses me off:

"There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable."

So, I mean, what is the big deal? Of course it is undeniable; she is a woman! Is it a surprise that the presidential hopeful has breasts? Are people that shallow that this is a constant nag on her campaign?

This reminds me a lot of a similar knock on the physique of women (in addition to the constant barrage of sexist b.s. that graces nearly all modes of media in our mainstream society), when Katie Couric was promoted to one of the most coveted positions in nighttime news.

We really need to focus less on complete coverage of clothes, the hair, the boobs, and so on. Let’s really smash that perpetuation and begin to truly value women for what they are: humans.

Jackass Star is, Well, a Jackass

In the words of Johnny Knoxville, "He explained: "I don't like it when girls do disgusting things. They should leave that stuff to the guys."

Whatever dude. I guess he has not been surfing the numerous feminist sites that are angry that comic book superwomen have not been getting their due process (in fact old school characters, such as SuperGirl, have been stripped down and sexed up).

There is, however, hope that the new generation of comic artists are on the path to change, as stated in the above-referenced Mother Jones article:

"Some of the guys who write comics are listening. I'm conscious that female characters have been treated poorly for much of comics' history, and I don't want to fall into the same traps," says Superman writer Kurt Busiek. Brian K. Vaughan, who has written The X-Men, says he's developing more interesting female characters "to raise the dialogue about comics beyond, 'Could her boobs be smaller?'