Archive for the Feminist Issues Category

That’s (Not) So Gay: A Rant

Posted in Feminist Issues, GLBTQ, Misogyny, Stereotypes, Tales of a Teenage Feminist with tags , , , , on October 10, 2008 by Sally Rebel

I don’t usually do angry rants. I’m not usually super angry. Today I’ll make an exception.

So, here’s how my math class went the other day:

Meathead #1: This pen is so GAY!

Me: (pissed) It can’t be gay! You have to have a brain (or other central nervous system) in order to be gay!

Meathead #2: No, not gay, gay. Gay like mentally retarded gay.

Me: So you’re saying gay people are mentally retarded?

At this point in similar conversations, the other person usually launches into a string of, “No! No, I don’t mean that! I love people! I know this gay guy! He’s great!” Instead, this is what happened:

Meathead #2: Yeah!

Me: Waiwaiwait. You’re saying gay people are mentally retarded?

Meathead #2: Well, no, just…I’m just anti-homo. I think homos can do whatever they want, but it’s disgusting. Like, you think lesbians are disgusting, right?

Meathead #3: I have no problems with lesbians…if they’re hot!

(Neanderthal high-fives and chuckles abound)

Me: What a horrible, sexist, homophobic thing to say! How can you be so totally sheltered and stupid?!

Biblical Meathead: The bible says we shouldn’t be gay.

Me: The bible also says don’t get haircuts…

Biblical Meathead: Actually, my hair grows like this naturally.

(Neanderthal high-fives and chuckles abound)

Then they all sat and laughed at me, the stupid girl who decided to have a conscience and not skip around smearing on lip gloss and shoving my boobs into their faces. You know, like girls are supposed to?

Nobody expects girls to have political ideas at my school. Boys wear Obama pins, anti-war buttons, political bumper stickers, but when i do it, I’m branded as the shrill feminazi who all the boys mock and objectify so that they can feel more powerful.

Well, here’s a newsflash, dudes: You are powerful. You are rich, white, Christian, conservative, straight guys, and you’re popular. You freaking rule the Western world. I’m not sure why you feel you have to make women and black people and gays into little jokes when you can have pretty much every single opportunity you want in the world. But it’s still not enough. What the hell, guys? I mean, really. You are not oppressed by feminism. You are not oppressed by black people. Homosexuality isn’t contagious. You can stop building up barriers of intolerance and smug self-satisfaction.

I guess in the end it must be fear. For the last, what, two thousand years? People like them have lived on top of the other people below them. Now we’re catching up. We’re gaining equality, and some of these guys can’t deal.

Hopefully, they’ll mature. Maybe not. I really don’t know.

But you know the funny thing? This scenario happened twice in one day.

Hurrah for the future of America.



Dropping the F-Bomb

Posted in Feminist Issues, Stereotypes with tags , , on September 20, 2008 by Sally Rebel

Right now, there is a smart, independent young woman somewhere, living her day-to-day life. She goes to work or school or soccer practice, she eats and sleeps and breathes. She considers herself equal to any man. But for some reason, she won’t call herself a feminist.

Maybe it’s the image of an unshaven, screaming man-hater, brandishing a “Male Pigs” sign and snarling at a police officer. Maybe it’s the amused, patronizing response people have to the word–an eye roll, a silly smile, hands thrown up in mock defense. Or maybe it’s because the prefix “fem” makes people instantly think that feminism–the movement that began as “the radical belief that women are people”–means women being superior to men.

Here’s the way I see it:

As long as oppression against women exists, feminism must exist. Go ahead, call it “egalitarian,” or “gender equal,” or whatever you feel describes it best, but it is all the same concept: the presence of a uterus is not a disability. Just like more melanin in the skin is not a disability, just like being attracted to your gender is not a disability. It has nothing to do with preferring women to men, as many would have you think–“If it was equal, it would be called humanist!! Man-hater!!!” Screw that. If you’ve got a hole in your jeans, you need a patch. That doesn’t mean you like the patch more than the rest of the jeans. It just means you need it. Once the patch is sewn on, it’s not a patch, or a hole. It’s a pair of jeans.

Have I taken the metaphor a little far? Maybe. But I’ll take it a bit further.

Right now, the hole is pretty big. We’ve done all we can to fix it, and we’ve made progress, but we still have a ways to go. So I believe, in this day and age, we shouldn’t make feminism the third F-word. If you believe men are equal to women and deserve freedom to choose what to do with themselves and their lives, you are a feminist. The little girl who believes she is as good as a little boy is a feminist. Her brother, who thinks that girls deserve as much respect as he does, is a feminist. The stay-at-home mother down the street is a feminist if she believes she is equal to her husband. Her working sister, if she believes the same thing, is a feminist, too.

And the smart, independent young woman mentioned before, as much as she hates to admit it, is a feminist, too.



A Few Thoughts On Children’s Pageants

Posted in Beauty, Children, Feminist Issues, Media, Pageants with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2008 by Sally Rebel
Taken from a Pageant Photo Site

Taken from a Pageant Photo Site

Sites such as the one that created the photo above have been circling around the feminist blogosphere for a while. Well, now it’s my turn to talk about them.

These “Pageant Photography” sites will (for a fee) retouch your little darling’s photo so she can look like a 35-year-old with a growth disorder, allowing her (or him, I suppose) to wow the judges at your local pageant. And if that doesn’t do the trick, you can always rely on spray-tans and temporary veneers to cover up those gap-teeth!

Do you think I’m kidding? Because I’m not.

A few weeks ago, TLC released a documentary, “Painted Babies at 17,” as a follow-up to a previous documentary, titled (you guessed it), “Painted Babies.” The former caught up with the two stars of the latter, Brooke Breedwell and Asia Mansur, both child pageant queens. There’s one catch, however: Brooke has since dropped out of pageants, while Asia is still going strong, competing far and wide in teen divisions. At one point, she is seen rehearsing a song for her performance, the ironic “Cause I’m a Blonde” by Julie Brown. Sung unironically:

Because I’m a blonde I don’t have to think, I talk like a baby and I never pay for drinks
Don’t have to worry if I’m getting a man if I keep this blonde and I keep these tan
Cause I’m a blonde yeah, yeah, yeah
Cause I’m a blonde yeah yeah yeah

I see people working and it just makes me giggle,
cause I don’t have to work, I just have to wiggle

And, to top it all off, here’s a lovely photo for pageant costumes from a site called “Broadway Babe.”

Just a few thoughts.