Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Pink Stinks! are targeting companies such as the Early Learning Centre, the British equivalent of Toys 'r' Us, for producing a flood of pink pink pink toys for girls and reducing their role models to princesses, barbies and beauticians. They actually discovered that one company was making pink microscopes for girls which had a less powerful lens than the boys' equivalent. It's not like girls were going to actually use the microscope, were they?
Pink Stinks! don't like the fact that when you go into a British toy shop, you'll immediately know which section is for girls and which is for boys. Venturing into the boys' section of the store with a little girl on your hand will feel like a transgression, and let's not even imagine taking your boy to the PINK section. Pink is for girls!!! But why on EARTH should there be a difference between boys' and girs' toys? What justification is there? THIS INJUSTICE MUST END!
I once went into the kids' pyjama section at British Home Stores, which was a nightmare: girls' were (guess what?) pink and said stuff like Princess, or Faaaairy, or whatever. They were basically unwearable, lest I was to be constantly reminded that I was a 'girl'. The boys' ones were even worse: they depicted action figures and violence, such as Catching. Hmm, lovely. The one I finally picked for myself actually said: 'What a nightmare'. How fitting. It was in the -guess what?- boys' section. It had a scary-looking monster on the front which glows in the dark! So cool. Of course girls are kept away from scary things so they grow up afraid, whereas boys are trained not to be afraid. So unfair.
Oh look at mummy's little princess! The subliminal message is that girls can only ever aspire to being pretty little passive things that other people look at, self-absorbedly spending their waking hours grooming themselves. They have to be prim and proper and focus on not dirtying their white tights and pink fluffy cumbersome dresses, or to constantly worry about their knickers showing, so they'll learn to sit in weird positions, keeping their legs together. Though there are other reasons for girls and women to keep their legs together: they are not supposed to be sexually available. Boys and men can sit with their legs apart no problem. But that’s a different topic. Boys can get dirty and are encouraged to do important stuff! Venture out! Be strong! The downside is that people think it's ok for them to punch each other in the face. And that they're not allowed to cry.
In films and TV series even today, physical violence between men is depicted as quite normal across the board. The TV series "90210" frequently depicts fist fights between (posh) MALE high school students as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Yes, I watch 90210. So what?
Women on the other hand never get into fist fights, except for comic effect. They couldn't be taken seriously now, could they? Women can't clench their fists anyway, lest they are to impale themselves with their own nails. Women lying in each others' hair and scratching each others' faces, that is more like it. Nails and hair - they have loads of that for sure.
Man up! Don't be gay! Boys don't cry! In Argentina, that's how some women try and shut up their crying boys. An anarchist I met, said to one of them: stop saying that. "What business is it of yours?", the reply came back. It's my business because this boy is going to grow up and start going out with my granddaughter, and then she's going to have to live with an emotionally challenged macho!
A friend just told me about a Hannah Montana cushion marketed towards girls, which contains a pouch for 'my secret diary'. Have you ever heard of boys being encouraged to pour out their heart? It's actually not that frequent. And, God forbid would they pour their heart out to a diary! Not even when tempted with scented pink pens? Noooooo.
And it's not just that. Parents and their friends and family treat girls and boys differently and have different expectations of them, before they're even born. When the baby's born, it's bombarded with blue OR pink, stuffed into pink OR blue rooms, given a barbie doll OR a power ranger to play with. Why oh why? CrimethInc, a culture jamming collective, have thought up a really cool trick: they went into a toy shop and exchanged the voice boxes between Barbie dolls and Action men. Imagine you buy your son an Action man and when he pushes the button, it comes out saying stuff like: ‘I want to go shopping’. Or your daughter unpacking a Barbie doll which says........ well I don’t know what action men say, you see, I grew up as a girl!
Check out Pink Stinks! at http://www.pinkstinks.co.uk/.
A seasonal horror story involving, tangentially, Santa Claus.
Someone I know went into class today and the students were asked to pair up and read out a dialogue between Santa Claus's sinister helper (the one who punishes little children) and a little child.
The (woman) teacher specifically asked that the men in the class read the sinister helper part, and the women read the child's part.
Yuk! EEEEeeech! *Red alert, red alert*
In my mind, this gives off a pretty problematic message - that, somehow, women are more apt for impersonating children, or worse, that women really are like children - they need protection, telling off, guidance... they certainly cannot fend for themselves!
And then, on the other hand, that men are somehow sinister? Strong? Punishing? An authoritative figure?
Do we really want to perpetuate such role models?
Monday, 13 December 2010
And how women have a little policewoman in their head saying: you must clean. must clean. must clean. must.
Cleanliness! Passed from mother to daughter for centuries!
Thursday, 9 December 2010
I used to pluck my eyebrows. I first had it done at the hairdresser's (another institution I haven't seen from the inside for years), which cost money and was painful. Then I bought myself my first pair of tweezers and started plucking myself, which was tedious and painful. Then I couldn't find my tweezers in my suitcase when I was abroad, and I had to watch my eyebrows grow back!!! It was terrible!!! I'm still traumatized!!! What am I supposed to do with full natural eyebrows? My face doesn't look refined enough! It is suddenly ill-proportioned!
Why can't women leave their eyebrows alone and get on with more rewarding things in life?
But reality is harsh. The classic female moustache, once worn so elegantly by Frida Kahlo or the little dutchess in War and Peace, is currently out of fashion. It being out of fashion, however, doesn't mean that it's not pretty, hot, sexy! Most women would probably disagree with me there, but why not take Leo Tolstoy's word for it?
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
My favourite way of choosing a surname for a couple/group of people who want to share a surname, is to merge their surnames, or even to invent a new one from scratch.
So, for example, Adam Smith and Diego Morales would become Adam and Diego Moralith, or Smorales, or any other combination of the two surnames. You may want to avoid choosing one which will send everyone off in giggles, unless that's your thing. If you plan to have children, try and choose one which won't make them the laughing stock of everyone they meet.
You can even invent a surname from scratch. Maybe there's a word which means something to both/all of you? Do whatever you like!
Merging or inventing new surnames tends to work better than a double-barrelled surname for all partners. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, women still find that their choice of a double-barrelled surname is not always respected as some people will think it's ok to call her by her first surname only. Double-barrelled surnames also have the disadvantage of being long and unwieldy. And, finally, with double-barrelled surnames, the question remains: which one comes first? And, if the order isn't the same for all partners, which surname will it be for their children, if they do decide to have children?
Women, on the other hand, are defined by marriage, through this little, but significant distinction. They are reminded of it constantly, by this one little, annoying question that just won't go away. "Is it Miss or Mrs?". I think it's offensive to be asked this question, just as I hate having to choose between putting my tick next to the Male or Female box on the form (as though I had a choice).
All I really want to be, is a person.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Most think it must be some kind of super-orgasm, the holy grale of orgasms. Don't go looking for it, because it doesn't exist. It just means multiple orgasmS: one orgasm, followed by a second, by a third, by a fourth and so on, with little space between each orgasm. Couple of minutes maybe, or 20. If you let pass a few hours or days, I would maybe call the next orgasm a stand-alone orgasm, or the first of a potential new series of orgasms, i.e. mulitple orgasm. I'll stop using the word ORGASM now. No, hang on: ORGASM ORGASM ORGASM ORGASM ORGASM!
Ah, it was good to get that out!
Blimey, are men jealous of that little trick women have up their sleeve, he he he.
Feminists have been saying it for decades, but the news hasn't hit home yet.
Who am I to claim I know how 'women' orgasm. But here are my twopence worth:
clitoris and G-spot.
So pull it out and get working on that tiny little area. And, most of all, communicate. Women are the best judges of what works for them, not men. Most men get to orgasm quite comfortably through vaginal penetration. For women, usually that just won't do.
For those women out there who have never had an orgasm or aren't sure they have, but would like one, my advice is: masturbate. If you're not sure how to masturbate, you can find some good instructions online. Here's a good one in French: http://www.masturbation-
Mavericks may like to consult Charlotte Roche's novel 'Feuchtgebiete' (Wetlands). There are some seriously crazy masturbation techniques in there, most of which will require medical attention.
What on earth are they doing here?!!!!!!
And, OMG, what is THIS (**) Ladies and Gentlemen! Meet the monobosom!!
Seriously though, the book is awesome. Think about it. Why do we spend so much time making ourselves pretty, instead of throwing on something practical that allows us to run around and get dirty, without worrying about skirts riding up or waisting half our attention on trying to walk in high heels.. left alone the deformations to the foot caused by wearing these incredibly stupid inventions.
Oh and I have another complaint to make! Why do women wear stupid high heels on the dancefloor? Anyone who's ever got their achilles tendon stomped on with one of those knows what I'm talking about. I think high heels should be banned on dancefloors.
By the way, men wear stupid things too. They also wear clothes that are too tight so they have to hold their belly in all day and come out of them with big red marks around the waist (if they do manage to squeeze out). They wear suits (that's so impractical!). They are obsessed with their body-hair, much like women are, though men are at least allowed hairy legs and armpit hair.
Now don't get me started on armpit hair! And hairy backs and torsos - remember those James Bond films with Sean Connery sporting his hairy chest? Couldn't easily do that these days... men are supposed to have smooth chests like babies!
Marketing companies are getting their body lotions and shaving creams sold, and everyone's happy!
I also rather dislike the 'Mrs John Green' tradition, which is still alive and thriving in Spanish-speaking countries. Take Argentina's president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. I mean, seriously, would her late husband and former president have liked to be known as Néstor Kirchner de Fernández? Of course not. He was not his wife's little puppet! At least not officially.