“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.” ~ Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman


                   
“Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.” ~ Samuel Johnson, from A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

Two things that belong together:

I really don’t know why I continue to be surprised and amazed at how much of the world still views and treats women. I mean, I’ve faced gender discrimination head on more times than I can count, so that this way of thinking is still so prevalent today really shouldn’t catch me off guard. But it does. The first part comes from an article by Kelly Koo on designtaxi.com, and it highlights the prevalence of misogyny just through popular search engines, and the second part comes from an unbelievable load of malarkey that I ran across on tumblr: The Case Against Female Self-Esteem

Ad Shows The World’s Popular Opinions Of Women Using Search Engine

By Kelly Koo, 18 Oct 2013

Gender inequality exists in many parts of the world—women are still being denied proper work, wages, education and healthcare in some places.

UN Women teamed up with Christopher Hunt of Ogilvy & Mather to come up with a series of thought-provoking ads that highlight authoritative attitudes towards women.

The ads show the real Google search results of search terms like “women need to”, “women should” and “women cannot”, revealing the abhorrent opinions that people around the world have about women.

The words “women shouldn’t suffer from discrimination anymore” and “women cannot accept the way things are” appear in tiny, white print that are barely legible, showing how these opinions are largely ignored.

                   

“Both porn and religion distort a person’s perspectives on women.” ~ Jesse Dangerously

So I clicked on a link on tumblr, and this is what I found:

Feminists can claim that women don’t need men, but their actions put the lie to that; they need us far more than we need them. Girls will all but die without masculine attention. Hell, I’m even starting to think that the feminist agita about “rape culture” is part of this as well. Pushing lies like the claim that one in three women will be raped during her lifetime and their constantly expanding the definition of rape are ways for feminists to indulge their desire for vulnerability in a way that doesn’t conflict with their view of themselves as “strong” and “empowered.”

At the end of the day, there are no Strong, Independent Women™. There are only shrews pleading for a taming. All the posturing, the pill-popping, the whining and demands for “equality”; they’re a cry for help. Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it. They want to be collectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.

I am loathe to include the author’s name or a link to his site mostly because I don’t want him to get any more attention because obviously this cretin would view any attention as good attention. But what I find truly ironic is that this guy’s byline is “The man who shouted love at the heart of the world.” Love? Really?

I read his entire post, and what it is full of is not love but outright misogyny under the guise of revealing truths about women. Right. What a bucket load of crappola. For example, he has this to say about self-esteem:

Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem (emphasis mine).

In the world of men, respect—and by extension self-esteem—is based on actually achieving something of worth or having some kind of skill or talent. Are you a bodybuilder or jacked? Men and women will respect you because the effort to mold your body like that requires an enormous amount of work and dedication (emphasis his).

To say that bodybuilding is something more worthy of respect is just plain weird. He claims that “they [women] demand respect not based on their merit as people, but for merely continuing to breathe,” which is a sweeping generalization based solely upon the opinion of this supposed author. Facts are not present in this testosterone-laden screed.

I mean, this guy has the gonads to claim that “the vast majority of girls work useless fluff jobs” and that “if every man lost his job tomorrow, the country would collapse” (emphasis his). I think we’ve just witnessed via the government shutdown what happens when a bunch of men with self-important jobs think they are running the world.

There’s more (unfortunately).

He asserts that “‘confident’ women are incapable of viewing men as human beings” and that “women don’t want to have high self-esteem” (emphasis his), as if he has the data to back up such folderal. He doesn’t.

I really shouldn’t read things like this because it does nothing for my blood pressure or my migraines.

This guy is obviously intimidated by strong, secure women, and the only way that he can make himself look better is to claim to know what women really think and want (emphasis mine). His contention is that “so-called confident women are as threatening as a pile of dog turds.” Wow. So glad you clarified that for us.

This guy wouldn’t know how to have an adult conversation with an educated woman, or any woman (for that fact) with an IQ above 100. This philistine is only comfortable with the Barbies, the gigglers, the fatuous, silicone-enhanced superficial sex-kittens who can keep his massive ego stroked and stoked. He as much as says so: “I had this epiphany; the girls I’ve loved the most were the ones who were the most insecure, the most emotionally vulnerable.”

Pity the perspicacious woman who happens upon Mr. Machismo in all of his glorious XY splendor. It’s evident that lacks the depth to perceive that the brain is the most sexual organ of the body.

He further states that women want “nothing more than for a man to throw them over his knee, shatter the Berlin Wall around their hearts, and expose the lovestruck, bashful little girl within.”

Oh thank you kind sir (she exclaimed in her highest little girl voice). Why I never would have been able to cobble together such deep, insightful thoughts without your guidance.

Excuse me. I need to go and rinse my mouth.

Okay. I’m back.

So, in the end of his treatise on the female sex, he has this to say:

At the end of the day, there are no Strong, Independent Women™. There are only shrews pleading for a taming. All the posturing, the pill-popping, the whining and demands for “equality”; they’re a cry for help. Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it. They want to be collectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.

You know, this particular woman has no further time for such neanderthal thinking. I’ll just take my masters degrees (yes, plural), my experience as a program director, a writer, an editor and all of the rest, and bid him a not so fond farewell. He and I should never ever cross paths. After all, he is obviously not worthy.

Enough. More later.

Music by Aqua, “Barbie Girl”

” I was ecstatic that Mattel thought Ruby was insulting to Barbie — the idea of one inanimate piece of molded plastic hurting another’s feelings was absolutely mind-blowing.” ~ Anita Roddick, The Body Shop founder

Happy June. We’re off doing something completely foolhardy, and once again, my husband’s big heart comes through for the win. More on that later.  In the meantime, here is an eye-opener. I love this for so many obvious reasons. It boggles my mind that I never knew about Ruby . . .

                   

Ruby, the Anti-Barbie

Posted on November 27, 2001 by the late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

In 1998, The Body Shop debuted its self-esteem campaign, featuring the generously proportioned doll we dubbed “Ruby.” Her rubenesque figure graced windows in The Body Shop windows in the UK that year, along with our slogan, “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.” She went on to appear in stores in Australia, Asia, and the United States, where she captured the imaginations of consumers weary of the rail-thin heroin-chic of the beauty industry’s advertising messages.

Ruby was a fun idea, but she carried a serious message. She was intended to challenge stereotypes of beauty and counter the pervasive influence of the cosmetics industry, of which we understood we were a part. Perhaps more than we had even hoped, Ruby kick-started a worldwide debate about body image and self-esteem.

But Ruby was not universally loved. In the United States, the toy company Mattel sent us a cease-and-desist order, demanding we pull the images of Ruby from American shop windows. Their reason: Ruby was making Barbie look bad, presumably by mocking the plastic twig-like bestseller (Barbie dolls sell at a rate of two per second; it’s hard to see how our Ruby could have done any meaningful damage.) I was ecstatic that Mattel thought Ruby was insulting to Barbie — the idea of one inanimate piece of molded plastic hurting another’s feelings was absolutely mind-blowing.

Then, in Hong Kong, posters of Ruby were banned on the Mass Transit Railway because authorities said she would offend passengers. (Granted, Ruby often appeared without clothes on, but like Barbie, she had no nipples or pubic hair.) Of course, the much more seriously offensive images of silicone-enhanced blondes in other ads were permitted to stay on the trains.

And there, in a nutshell, is my relationship with the beauty industry. It makes me angry, not only because it is a male-dominated industry built on creating needs that don’t exist, but because it seems to have decided that it needs to make women unhappy about their appearances. It plays on self-doubt and insecurity about image and ageing by projecting impossible ideals of youth and beauty.

Leonard Lauder, son of Estée, once refused to advertise in Ms. Magazine (back when they still accepted ads) because, he said his products were meant for “the kept woman mentality.”

I think it is a moral imperative that The Body Shop, as a cosmetics company itself, continue to buck the industry on issues of self-esteem, and to expose the cruel irony of the myth that a company must make a woman feel inferior in order to win her loyalty.

Ruby, who still watches us from posters throughout The Body Shop’s offices, won’t let us forget.

Something Different for Wednesday

early-depiction-of-eros-as-protagonus
Early Depiction of Eros as Protogonus

 

Feeling Prolific Today

My telephone conversations went much better than expected today: My prescription insurance card has bee taken care of by the one really nice person in Human Resources, and my presecriptions were called in again and put on rush, so those two things are finally fixed. Hooray. Now I can start on another to-do list tomorrow.

But today I did something completely unexpected: I came home and wrote two poems. I’m not sure where they came from. I have a feeling that they were simmering under the surface, but with all of the emotions that have been tossing around my psyche lately, I didn’t realize that they were there.

So here they are; two completely different themes, well maybe not, but two entirely different approaches. I’m pretty happy with them because they reflect where I am at this moment, so I’m putting them out here.

The first one has a Greek mythological backgroud based on Heriod’s Theogeny that Eros is much older than the Greek gods, that he actually is one of the first four to rise out of chaos, so it’s important to remember that this Eros is not the equivalent of Cupid.

The other one, well, I’m really not sure where the other one came from. I think that it just arose from watching young girls try so hard to be different that they all look the same. And what they don’t realize is that a lot of this is permanent: tattoos on your face and neck? Those don’t go away. I mean I know that we all went through our rebellious phases, with whatever that entailed, but am I just out of touch here when I think that having piercings all over your body might hurt you on a job interview later?

Who knows? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m completely wrong about this. It’s not the length of the skirts. God knows I wore mine as short as I could. It’s not the wild colors. It’s none of that. Maybe what distresses me so is the act of being deliberately stupid. To what end? What can possibly be gained by acting as if you don’t have a brain in your head? I think that maybe that’s what I really take issue with. Or with issue up with which I will not put . . .

Okay, enough now. As I said earlier, here they are:

Conversations With a Son Who is Never There

eros-roman-copy-praxiteles
Statue of Eros

Penia Speaks to Eros

 

 What if I were to leave and never return?

Would you notice the lack of my presence,

or would you continue with your chaotic existence

a world that nothing penetrates

made for you and you alone.

 

What would you do if everyone around you

were as covetous as you,

feeling entitled to everything

without ever once contemplating

how it makes its way to you . . .

 

How would you feel if I failed to keep my promises

when you have always known that I would?

I wonder if it would be anything

more than an inconvenience to you

in your ability to continue to take when you please

leaving nothing but cruelty,

bitter and sweet, or

indiscriminate charisma and charm.

 

What if I were to leave and never return?

What if the earth suddenly ceased

its eternal revolution on its axis

and you fell off because none of your anchors

remained to keep you grounded

to remind you

that you may be only human

after all,

and even humans need guidance occasionally

from mere demi-gods.

 

Lolita Liwag

February 6, 2009

 

*Eros is the child of Porus (Expedience) and Penia (Poverty). Like Penia, Eros was said to always be in search of something, and like Porus, he always found a means of attaining his aims.

                                                                                                                                    

 

Observations from the Sidewalk

anime3_pink_goth 

Pink–Haired Gurl

Pink-haired gurl

your attempts to scandalize

are too simplistic—

having already gone there

with my red streaks, black hair,

black and red talons

silver rings on every finger

patchouli oil and incense,

offers to read cards and fortunes—why not?

Be more inventive, less marginal

You want to prove something?

Get a job, or lurn to spell,

be different from the fray.

All of those holes in your eyebrow, nose,

And all the way down both your earlobes,

paint on your neck and breasts—

nothing remains sacrosanct . . .

Only a sad animé now

where once you were a young gurl

who waited, wept about daddy

and dressed your Barbie

in pretty pink dresses.

But daddy left home

and Barbie was all alone.

Little gurl lost, perhaps 

you had more to wonder about then,

in your black patent Mary Janes

and white lace socks,

More than you can ever accomplish now

in the tortured performance art

that your life has become.

So despondent and blue.

No tears shed for you,

Poor little pink-haired gurl.

 

  pink-hair-with-rosary 

Lolita Liwag

February 6, 2009

More later. Peace.