nwhiker: (Default)
You should've asked by French comic artist Emma.

I count myself lucky. I've been a stay at home mom most of my kids' lives, and dh considered that doing <i>that</i> was my job. Not cooking and cleaning or doing all the shopping, and he's really one of the better ones at the division of tasks.

I still do have to ask. I'm still the one, even as the kids have gotten older, who remembers The Things.

It was strangely clear when AC was in the hospital last year: we were very clearly both there and involved etc, and both knew her medical history, but I'm the one who kept track of stuff as she was getting sicker and sicker: what meds she'd had when, names of doctors we saw, the fact that various vaccinations had been done. Sill stuff, but it's always on me.

Part of it, I'm sure, was being the stay at home mother. But not all. Even as I commute to grad school 90 minutes each way, I'm often the one who is the keeper of the schedule, the details, the menus etc. I delegate, which is fine, but dh does not take the initiative. I hate that, but since he's SO great in some many other ways, eh, I live with it.

Again, I'm very clearly trying not to complain. But I do see it, and I know it's a real issue the author is discussing. I'd like to say I hope things get better for the next generation, but I already see AC mothering her disgusting boyfriend (which just grosses me out, I've NEVER mothered any guy, and he treats her like she's his little sweetie and UGH, WTF?) and Perry wouldn't notice if a sink needed to be wiped down or a pile of laundry that needed to be folded to save his life. UGH. Parenting fail. (Actually, I'm not sure AC notices household tasks, but at least she listens when asked to do them, and does them 90% rather than 50% like Perry.) Yeah, parenting fail.

Linnea... hard to tell yet, I don't have as good a sense of her as a supposedly able to contribute to the household without being repeatedly asked person as I do her older siblings.

nwhiker: (heart)
As a country, we are delusional. To the point that it is truly harming us, because it allows for people not to see the real issues, and instead focus on the strawmen erected by the 1%.

See: these (interactive) polling results from CNN: What it takes to get ahead

The world may be flat these days, but the path to success differs around the globe. In some countries, education and hard work are enough. In others, connections and bribes play a big role. Pew Research surveyed people and asked them which factors are absolutely necessary to get ahead in their nation.


73% of Americans think it takes hard work to get ahead, and only 18% think that belonging to a wealthy family is necessary.

It is to weep.

I won't even address the fact that only 14% of us think that being a man is necessary. But then again, I also won't address Satya Nadella's inane comments about oh hai, women, good karma is NOT asking for a raise and waiting for it to come to you!

We are truly screwed if such a small percentage of our population has realised that, at this time in history, the decks has been totally dealt against us, and that being born into wealth is truly the only mostly reliable path to it.

We so love the execeptions, the teen mom who goes on to Harvard (most are stuck in poverty, never able to move up in the world), the African American man who gets an education and ends up in a position of wealth and power despite a childhood in abject poverty, the proverbial immigrant off the boat with no money who ends up building an empire. They make good stories, wonderful (I'm sure) novels, but they don't make for good social policy, and that is what we do here. We make -or rather we allow the powerful to make- decisions and choices for our nation that name being exceptionally bright, driven, and lucky (fex) the expected median.
nwhiker: (Cottage Lake snow)
A while back I reviewed Libriomancer, a book I really enjoyed. Perry loved it too.

I just finished the second book of the series (Need! Book! 3!!! Only I don't think it's written yet!), Codex Born.

More madcap magical fun, more Isaac, whom I adore, more Smudge the flammable spider, whom I adore even more than I adore Isaac. All in a all a great read.

With, blam, right there, one of my pet Harry Potter issues (hi <lj user=" />) addressed: the use of forgetfullness spells, Obliviate in the HP world. Those spells are tossed around in HP non-stop with no apparent thought to what it actually means to take away someone's memories. Memory is an essential part of what shapes us, our emotions, of who and what we are. Our reactions to an event are almost always (always?) tied to our memories of similar events, to things in that. What happens when you take away the memory, and you're left with the emotional pathways? And then this is addressed in the book, Isaac, (did I mention I adore him? Oh yes, I did. At least once.) understands this and has objections to the inevitable fact of memory modification when some people have magic that must be hidden from the rest of us.

And Isaac. Who muses about consent and obliviates. He's a guy. But he's just that, a guy. Not a Guy. He doesn't feel like he's a male protagonist because of course all heroes must be male, that anyone that awesome must be a man etc. I don't know if I can quite pin this down, but Isaac is a human being who happens to be male. I'm not sure I can convey exactly what I'm trying to say, but that in distinction between of-course-a-guy and happens-to-be-a-guy lies the whole possibility of a feminist hero, a man who just happens to be male, but whose interactions with women are clearly interactions between equals.

Jim C. Hines wrote that guy, and I'm thrilled he did. Because I adore Isaac.

Half way through writing this review, I went over the the author's website to see if there was a perhaps publication book on the next installment of the series and found instead... this: a whole series of papers written by Hines on rape and consent, and victim blaming, and domestic violence.

Colour me impressed and thrilled but not surprised.

I've handed Codex Born over to Perry. It's a bit more adult in places than Libriomancer was, with a bit more sex which he'll hate, but it's a good book and he'll love it. Even if dh doesn't quite understand why I feel 100% ok with handing the boy a book with a polyamourous relationship between a nymph, a shrink, and a librarian! Heh.

I just hope Nidhi's cat is ok.
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I might have been able to see some humour in the Marianne-the-sex-tart allegory to Reason and Liberty, but I see NONE, ZERO, ZIP in Toy execs co-opting the tooth fairy.

UGH.

JUST NO NO NO.

Oh, and boys lose the tooth fairy. They get time travel tooth elfs. Much more manly, I suppose.

But girls? Girls get sexy tooth fairies. And a villain of course. With glasses, buck teeth, leg hair... and do you have to even ask if she's tall and slender like the Real Tooth Fairies (tm)? No, of course you don't.

Blech.

For the record:

Stepella, the "villain". tooth_fairy_faqs_stepella_10

The sexy-fairies.


tooth-fairy-kindness-program-3
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OMG. Laughing in a horrified manner, or horrified in an amused manner at this one.

Puting under a cut because of images... )
nwhiker: (heart)
I've posted this before, but feel the need to post it again. A holiday that makes a good portion of the people it's supposed to celebrate feel bad isn't a great holiday in my book. Every year I try to decide which I hate worse, Mother's Day or Valentine's Day and I come up blank. I think I loathe them both equally.

[...]

But can I just state that I still detest Mother's Day?

I feel so guilty about that. I don't enjoy the attention, or the whole freaking concept of it. It's so not me. I just... don't get it.

I mean, I love my kids, I love being their mother, but Mother's Day? Bzzzt!

I think part of it is that it is a day that is made to celebrate one facet of some women's identity, to the exclusion of all others. And people will be out there today, a tear in their eye, talking about mother's and mother's work and never EVER freaking mentioning that all the while we glorify this mythical mother, we cut funding for the real mothers, make it harder for them to get the help they need. We make motherhood a punishment for having sex. We refuse to acknowledge lesbian mothers as families, by not letting them get married. Mothers have fewer opportunities in the workplace, we mock them with the 'mom-' (mom-hair, mom-car, mom-jeans, mom-whatever) construct, and contrast "regular" moms with MILFs (dear god, how I hate that), and Britain's "yummy mummies" (I hate that even more).

So yeah, Happy Mother's Day to all those of you who did it right, who are straight, and married, and wealthy enough to not need any type of government aid. Because when we say Happy Mother's Day, we mean them, not the lesbians, the poor, the single. Bah.

Motherhood is a reality for many of us, but it's not a requirement for being a woman, a contributing member of society, and I'm sorry that it seems like this is the only facet of womanhood that gets celebrated.

However... Happy Mother's Day to Everyone who wants to lay claim to the day for whatever reason, kids, cats, dogs, nieblings, whatever, whomever.
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Yes, the Republicans are looking more and more stupid, to say the least. Here's the latest: Birth Control Debate: New Hampshire Lawmaker Urges Married Couples To Practice Abstinence.

Morons.

Obama is keeping out of the debate, and many talk about how wise this is, not engaging with the crazies, not "stooping to their level", not responding to the rantings in the Iowa morons who wants people who perform abortions charged with feticide, and thrown in jail for life without parole.

Here is the problem with that strategy.

When the dust settles, and we've all agreed that the Republicans are nuts, the debate will have shifted rightward yet again. But not pushing back, by allowing these people to rant on unchecked, Obama is allowing the parameters to shift. We might be at a status quo legally, not having ceded anything, but the idea that birth control is controversial, and its use needs to be questioned will be part of the national Zeitgeist. (Is national Zeitgeist redundant?).

Obama is allowing this by trying to be the Great Messianic Uniter, or whatever grandiose image he has of himself. By keeping himself above the debate, he is allowing it to shift towards rightwing ideas, with no opposition from the person who is supposed to be a Democrat/someone who believes in women's rights.
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Wednesday we had a meeting at Perry's school. It was a mid-year get together with admin and parents to see how the year was going, touching base and all that. In French, I'd call it a mise au point. Anyhow, it was for 5th and 6th grade parents.

It was interesting. One of Perry's favourite things is what they call Experiential Ed. They go out to do service projects, as a group. They've pulled noxious weeds, and made cat and dog toys, and today they're going to a local experimental sustainable and green farm to do a service project.

This has meshed well with his Environmental Practices class. To best of my understanding, it's a second trimester class for all the kids, so they're all at the same point. The school is working on the ecological restoration of a local park, so this all fits in well. Plus, eh, we tend to be outdoors people. Perry is taught about, say, solal or Oregon grape, etc in class (not that we haven't taught him before, but in one ear out the other), and able to recognise them when we went hiking, and he likes that. So a great class, well integrated with the curriculum (like everything at that school. I love that school.)

At the parents meeting, however, the 5th grade parents started to complain about their Experiential Ed component. It seems they go to a local horse rescue, and help out there with caring and rehab of the horses. The parental consensus is that the kids aren't interested and just want to ride, something that is not done there.

Then the 6th grade parents started to complain about all the noxious weed pulling. One mother started and three more piled on. I spoke up in defense of it, said how much Perry was getting out of it etc, then was dismissed by the one mother who said something along the lines of, "But he's a boy. Girls don't like being in the mud pulling weeds."

Wow. Talk about selling girls short. Sigh.

Perry's school has a high coefficient of nerd parents. Very high, compared to either Linnea or AC's schools. There is, however, some people with kids there because that is what is done in their socio-economic class: you send your kids to private independent schools. Because mostly, I've found, nerd parents? Don't assume that because the kid is a nerd she isn't going to like tromping through the mud.

In these days of video games, one should not, also, assume that boys like tromping around in the mud. Many don't.

So stop excusing a child's dislike for dirty, rough work by saying she's a girl. Just don't. It doesn't help. It limits girls in the long run.

Pushing kids a bit out of their zone of comfort, I think, helps them learn and grow. So maybe your kid -boy or girl- doesn't really want to spend an afternoon pulling Scotch Broom from a park. There are, however, things to be learned doing that type of work, about community, about parks, about noxious weeds, and about hard work.

Add in the fact that you've also not just limited your child, but also projected out to the world an opinion that will have effects: girls don't like to play in the mud. What about the girl who does like to? Is she less of a girl? A freak? What?

In my family? AC? Mud? Bring it on! Perry? Mud! More mud! Is there a video game about mud? Linnea? OMG! Mud! My shoes are dirty! So I do understand that some kids don't like getting dirty. They don't enjoy wallowing... but I also suspect that for some, the lack of enjoyment came later, after she has internalised the message that girls should not like playing in the mud, and certainly not beyond a certain age. And that bothers me.

Girls, especially, should be encouraged. And not excused because they're girls and would rather be elsewhere. It won't serve them in the long term.
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I've been called a humourless feminist enough times to not quite feel comfortable asking some people, so I'll bounce this out here...

Went to my local hospital's website today, Evergreen Hospital.

At the bottom of the page, there is a listing of "key services". Here they are:



Cancer

Cardiac

Home Care

Neuroscience

Primary & Urgent Care

Spine & Orthopedics Care

Women and Children



Yeah. Notice that last one. Women and children.

WTF?

I understand that the default human being is male. I get this. I also understand that there are whole areas of healthcare that men will never need (leaving aside all gender, sexuality, and self identification etc issues). I get that. However, women are never going to need Prostate Care, which granted isn't mentioned here.

But it does sorta put women in a different bucket, does it?

And in a bucket with the children.

For the record, that link takes you to a page where they talk a lot about the childbirth center... but also about incontinence, hysterectomies, breast health, and pediatrics.

Yeah, women and children.

Just like in the old movies? Save the women and children because they're both powerless and unable to save themselves, help themselves, think for themselves. Lumped together, ever the lesser counterpart to MEN! who are the only "real" humans.
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From someone on another forum (I asked permission before quoting him.)


One thing the right knows to do is when they have an issue that's important to them, they go balls to the wall, no retreat, no compromise, all hands on deck, all fronts, add your own cliche.

When they do that they start a hundred fires. Most of them get snuffed but some don't and at the end of the day - even at the cost of overreach and looking crazy and/or stupid - they have advanced their cause.

It's changing slowly, but too many Dems - and not-batshit-insane-Americans in general - act as if we're dealing with sane people who whom we share good faith and a common interest in the general welfare. We aren't. They are the political equivalent of a fucking Terminator.

"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever."

I don't know what kind of strategy you can adopt to both defeat people like that AND strengthen what little remains of our Constitutional republic and participatory democracy. Maybe there isn't one.


I thought it was a good illustration at what is happening in the United States, how the political landscape is shifting, inexorably it seems, to the right.

I'm disgusted by how people in many so called liberal communities are reacting.

--- Well, yeah, the FDA said it was safe for all ages, but you know, the FDA has fucked up recently a few times and.... And that is exactly what the Bush administration did, over and over: ignore the science, and if you can't, attack the scientific agency or the scientists.

--- My daughter will get Plan B is she needs it! The "Fuck you, I've got mine" attitude. I'm so fond of that. If every girl in the US has parents she could talk to, or a trusted relative etc, maybe this would not as big an issue.

--- Well, an 11 year old should talk to someone before... Yeah, she should. If she can. And she will, since a pharmacist has to dispense Plan B. But more importantly, 11 year old make up 10% of the people we're talking about. So using the OMG, 11 years olds buying plan B!!! scare thing is just wrong. It's more likely to be 14, 15, 16 year olds. Plus, at $50 a dose, yeah... That's a lot of pocket money.

--- Same argument about 11 year olds taking something that could impact "the rest of their reproductive life". No, actually. And it's a lot less risky that an abortion, which itself is less risky than pregnancy and childbirth.

--- Anyone who disagrees with this decision has "Obama Derangement Syndrome". Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. I so hate the immediate accusation that you're deranged if you happen to disagree with what is, imo, a really crappy decision.

It's a decision that is bad for girls, for young women. It fails to protect the most vulnerable, the young women for whom this drug could really make a difference. But it's politically expedient, so the lucky girls who have parents to help, yay for them, but the ones who don't... well... too bad? I guess so.

I'm disgusted, in large part, too, because it's so very easy to hide behind the 11 year old girl buying OMG PLAN B RIGHT NEXT TO THE BUBBLEGUM!!! when what we're looking at here is just more ceding of terrain on women's reproductive choice to the right wing. And I find that very sad.

HT to S. for this one. HHS: Let's Treat ALL Women Like Children An excerpt from that blog post:

Barack Obama says that as the father of two daughters, he wants the government to “apply common sense” to rules about over the counter medications. Well, I too have a daughter, and so many many pro-choice women. Who died and made Barack Obama daddy in charge of teenage girls? Would he really rather that Sasha and Malia get pregnant rather than buy Plan B One-Step at CVS? And excuse me, Mr. President, thanks to your HHS, acquiring Plan B is prescription-only not just for 11-year-olds but for the 30 percent of teenage girls between 15 and 17 who are sexually active, and is a cumbersome process for all women, who have to ask a pharmacist for it and, as many news stories have reported, be subjected to fundamentalist harangues and objections. Apparently, it’s okay with you if Michelle is treated like a sixth-grader.


I'm the mother of two daughters, and I hope they'd come to me if they needed contraception, plan B, an abortion, whatever. But you know what? If they don't, I hope to hell that they can get what they need. Because that's the fundamental thing of it. Becoming a parent at a young age is not ideal, and I don't wish it on them. But personal feelings aside, it's not about me or my daughters, it's about all daughters, and Obama appears to be making public policy based on his personal feelings about the relationship he has with his daughters, applying it as if it were universal to all daughters. That's privilege, and short sighted, and not realistic.

But then again, I suppose expecting this president to take a stand for women isn't realistic either.
nwhiker: (Default)
The concept of "privilege" is one that is, I think, difficult to see from the inside. I mean, I'm, pretty much, an upper middle class white woman. I have loads of privilege related to that. I'm fat, so I lose some. I have lived as a kinda non-privileged person (in France), so I know a bit about prejudice.

Still very aware of loads of privilege.

I know I've linked to Shakesville before because I love that blog. I love the political perspective, the unapologetic feminist view point, the respectful attitudes toward the concept of safe place, and the unfailing "calling out" on privilege. I don't comment much there, because I fear using a word they find offensive, or saying something that isn't ok. They aren't very tolerant of even slightly divergent view points when it comes to some things. Which is fine. (The one thing I despise about the blog is rather minor: the whole zie/hir bit. I much prefer s/he or whatever.) Anyhow.

I do like that they call out privilege when it asserts itself, because we often don't realise it. When a black woman comments about her hair being touched, to cite a recent example, saying OMG, when I was in Africa/Asia, people touched my blond hair too is irrelevant, it is NOT the same thing and it is offensive at the very least.

They're also very good about calling out thin privilege, and it's a fat accepting place. They strike for inclusiveness and respectful language. Overall, it's a pretty awesome group of bloggers/commenters.

With, imo, one pretty serious blind spot.

This post was made last week: Quote of the Day and since it's so short, I'll grab most of the post:



"By calling girls like me fat this is what you're doing to other people." — Miley Cyrus, on her twitter, responding to critics of her new, plumper body, by posting a picture of an emaciated woman. [...] Miley followed up with a tweet stating "I don't wanna be shaped like a girl I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN."



Yay, Miley Cyrus, right? I mean, she's right: she isn't fat in the slightest, and skewing the perspective of what fat means is hurtful to many people. If someone like her is "fat", WTF are the rest of us?

Cyrus says that she loves being shaped like a woman.

And the pile-on at Shakesville started in the comments. The very thin women started to complain.

They're not fond of the "real women have curves" mantra. Yeah, I understand why. Real women are... women, they may or may not have curves. I get why the distaste.

But you know that? Fuck that.

Complaining like many people do, that "real women have curves" is a exclusionary vision because they're women, but they're flat chested/hipless/buttless is, imo, shit.

Because those poor skinny curveless women? Are the dominant paradigm of beauty in our society.

Whining that they don't have curves and they're women and it's not right to say to be a real women is to have curves because they don't, repeat ad nauseum, is about as offensive to me as a blue-eyed blonde with fair skin and straight hair complaining that "Black is Beautiful!" excludes her, because her skin is "pale as milk", and she can't sport an Afro in a million years because her hair is just too silky.

When you are the standard by which beauty is measured, screaming that you're be discriminated against by Real Women Have Curves, is, imo, hypocritical beyond belief, and to totally awash in privilege, I don't see how one can even unpick it.

Yes, I can see very thin, boyishly shaped women do get some negative stereotypes thrown their way, but nowhere near what happens to a curvier woman (Eat a sandwich vs Die fat pig!). Nobody takes their thin body shape to be a symbol of their morality (fat people are greedy gluttons, they're lazy and dirty). They are not prejudged in the same way. [eta] Nobody blames those thin boyish women for global warming and food prices. Just like nobody blames extremely thin kids for the economic crisis, like Michelle Obama did fat kids.

Curvier women have embraced "Real Women Have Curves" because it's one small fucking bit of positive light shone on curvier bodies. Whining that you, on whom the light of privilege shines brightly, are being excluded from this small bit of positivity, is like white men complaining that "women and blacks get it all". [eta] Or Christians complaining about "Happy Holidays" and calling themselves persecuted.

This has always bothered me at Shakesville, that they don't call out that bit of privilege, saying "yes, thin women, I understand that you are not overly endowed with curves... but a good percentage of the population would pick your body out as the archetype of a beautiful body, so please don't complain."
nwhiker: (Default)
Marianne Kirby's take on a Psychology Today (should be renamed Sewage Today) article: You Are a Poor Scientist, Satoshi Kanazawa; The Disgusting Racism of that Psychology Today Article. Gah.

The article, by a -gasp!- ev psych has already been pulled. Kirby has it linked here

Ev psych is a "scientific" way for crappy people to justify their crappy behavious. I'm "hardwires" to rape, cheat, and lie! I can't help myself! I can't watch female news anchors, they're too hot. Boys like ideas, girls like feeeeeelings. Woman "can't help" returning to their abusers. Etc.
nwhiker: (Default)
Marianne Kirby's take on a Psychology Today (should be renamed Sewage Today) article: You Are a Poor Scientist, Satoshi Kanazawa; The Disgusting Racism of that Psychology Today Article. Gah.

The article, by a -gasp!- ev psych has already been pulled. Kirby has it linked here

Ev psych is a "scientific" way for crappy people to justify their crappy behavious. I'm "hardwires" to rape, cheat, and lie! I can't help myself! I can't watch female news anchors, they're too hot. Boys like ideas, girls like feeeeeelings. Woman "can't help" returning to their abusers. Etc.
nwhiker: (Default)
A few months ago, I remember being horrified that a woman I've known for over a decade saw nothing wrong in referring to a young girl as "a pair of boobs". She was talking about how some boy invited her still flat chested daughter out to a movie, and not "just the first pair of boobs he saw walking by".

I was extremely disturbed by that comment. Extremely. Months later, it still makes me tremble.

Because, ya know, my daughter is that "walking pair of boobs". She's developed early, and will be short and stocky. She won't even luck out in all probability, and be small breasted. Fuck.

But that brings me to an other comment made by another mother in the same group.

That has been bothering a lot as well.

She said that her daughter, who has developed early, would probably sexually active earlier rather than later.

Ton of bricks on my shoulders.

The disgust at her daughter's body, at her large breasts, was fairly dripping from her tone.

Plus she happily bought into the societal assumption that early developer = slut who will be screwing around at an early age.

Do people not see how this is a self fulfilling prophecy?

How we imply, in so many ways, that girls who develop early are happy for the male attention, and revel in it. That they'll of course starting fucking around as soon as possible, and probably have more partners, and just be all around sluts.

Leaving aside the whole issue of the slut shaming of women who enjoy and want sex to begin with, there is an additional pressure placed upon young girls who have the misfortune of hitting puberty early (slut shaming aside, there is literally no good side to early puberty at all, from being short, having low self esteem, to the higher risk for beast cancer.) So not only are these girls emotionally kids, they're a) being treated like women, and b) being treated like slutty women. They're assumed to be "sexually available" at 12, 13, when they are emotionally still children.

It's pervasive in our culture.

At an early age, these girls are put in position of seeing how their developed body is seen as the most important part of them, that society places value on their breasts and hips. They're not given the extra few years of childhood self image, the extra few years to keep themselves close, and learn about the world and about how they fit in. They've become sluts, public property, and we wonder why they have low self esteem compared to girls who develop later.

And to me, it's very sad when a parent makes the problem worse.

[eta] Part of the reason that this is upsetting to me right now is that my MIL is pushing the "Anne-Chloe is a woman" thing real hard. Every time I say she's a kid, MIL will chime in with a "for all intents and purposes she's a woman", which is bull-fucking-shit. She may have breasts, but she is a child, she thinks like a child, she's moves like a child, and her face is still a child's. I was saying the other day that one of the reasons I was a bit concerned about going to a concert in downtown San Francisco is that we don't know the city, and could easily get in trouble, and having a kid with us ups the stakes. MIL chimed in that AC was "like a woman" and god was I ever pissed. No, she's not, and people can tell. We take her to concerts and the men, both young and older, give her a wide berth. Because you and dh are there, says MIL, but I tried to explain that no, it's not that. She walks to the bathrooms and I can see how guys take a look and move out of the way, something they don't always do for me or other women. She's just so invested in AC being "a woman" that she does not seem to see how damaging that is, because telling a child she's a woman, or even that she "has a woman's body" is giving more messages than just how tall she is.
nwhiker: (Default)
A few months ago, I remember being horrified that a woman I've known for over a decade saw nothing wrong in referring to a young girl as "a pair of boobs". She was talking about how some boy invited her still flat chested daughter out to a movie, and not "just the first pair of boobs he saw walking by".

I was extremely disturbed by that comment. Extremely. Months later, it still makes me tremble.

Because, ya know, my daughter is that "walking pair of boobs". She's developed early, and will be short and stocky. She won't even luck out in all probability, and be small breasted. Fuck.

But that brings me to an other comment made by another mother in the same group.

That has been bothering a lot as well.

She said that her daughter, who has developed early, would probably sexually active earlier rather than later.

Ton of bricks on my shoulders.

The disgust at her daughter's body, at her large breasts, was fairly dripping from her tone.

Plus she happily bought into the societal assumption that early developer = slut who will be screwing around at an early age.

Do people not see how this is a self fulfilling prophecy?

How we imply, in so many ways, that girls who develop early are happy for the male attention, and revel in it. That they'll of course starting fucking around as soon as possible, and probably have more partners, and just be all around sluts.

Leaving aside the whole issue of the slut shaming of women who enjoy and want sex to begin with, there is an additional pressure placed upon young girls who have the misfortune of hitting puberty early (slut shaming aside, there is literally no good side to early puberty at all, from being short, having low self esteem, to the higher risk for beast cancer.) So not only are these girls emotionally kids, they're a) being treated like women, and b) being treated like slutty women. They're assumed to be "sexually available" at 12, 13, when they are emotionally still children.

It's pervasive in our culture.

At an early age, these girls are put in position of seeing how their developed body is seen as the most important part of them, that society places value on their breasts and hips. They're not given the extra few years of childhood self image, the extra few years to keep themselves close, and learn about the world and about how they fit in. They've become sluts, public property, and we wonder why they have low self esteem compared to girls who develop later.

And to me, it's very sad when a parent makes the problem worse.

[eta] Part of the reason that this is upsetting to me right now is that my MIL is pushing the "Anne-Chloe is a woman" thing real hard. Every time I say she's a kid, MIL will chime in with a "for all intents and purposes she's a woman", which is bull-fucking-shit. She may have breasts, but she is a child, she thinks like a child, she's moves like a child, and her face is still a child's. I was saying the other day that one of the reasons I was a bit concerned about going to a concert in downtown San Francisco is that we don't know the city, and could easily get in trouble, and having a kid with us ups the stakes. MIL chimed in that AC was "like a woman" and god was I ever pissed. No, she's not, and people can tell. We take her to concerts and the men, both young and older, give her a wide berth. Because you and dh are there, says MIL, but I tried to explain that no, it's not that. She walks to the bathrooms and I can see how guys take a look and move out of the way, something they don't always do for me or other women. She's just so invested in AC being "a woman" that she does not seem to see how damaging that is, because telling a child she's a woman, or even that she "has a woman's body" is giving more messages than just how tall she is.
nwhiker: (heart)
I know [livejournal.com profile] maiac agrees with me, but it seems from talking with a bunch of women of ages ranging from about 30-50, that I'm in a serious minority in seeing a man refusing to let me pay him a courtesy as a putdown.

I still feel very strongly, though, and I'm trying to tease out why.

I think part of is most definitely the "ladies" thing. Give me a fucking break. By now people should have figured out that the Lady Term is going to be perecieved as pejorative by many women.

Next. If, as a woman, I refuse to go through a door held by a man, I'm a radical feminist (BAD! BAD! BAD!), if he refuses to go through a door I am holding, he's polite. OK. That makes no sense to me. No matter how much I twist it around I can't see how refusing me a role he'd have taken on himself could ever be polite.

I guess part of me sees courtesy as governing behaviour among equals. By refusing a courtesy I was offering, he made it clear to me, all "ladies" aside, that we are not in fact equals.

Is he so protective of his penis that walking through a door held by a woman might make it shrivel and fall off?

The whole "chivalry" and "Southern politeness" thing makes me want to hurl, but remember, I wasn't the one who refused to walk through a door being held for me. If "chivalry" means "being rude to people you consider your inferiors", maybe. But... ummm... Fuck.

If I babysit for a friend for an afternoon, I don't expect her to pay me. It's a favour between two adults, and that's that. I'd not pay her for either. Same with the lady next door: I'll watch her kids for a few hours one day, she'll keep an eye on mine an other.... but if the (hypothetical) teenager down the street comes to babysit, I'd pay him/her. That's how that relationship is stratified, and by paying, I am asserting my "power" in the transaction. With the gal next door, or my friend, if I offered to pay, or attempted to, I'd be saying that they are not my equals, able to enter this transaction as adults who don't want compensation, I'd be "putting them down" to the level of the teenager. (Obviously, here, I'm not talking about regular childcare, but a one-off 'can you watch my kids while I' type event).

Allowing someone to do you a favour is giving them equal status to yourself.

Refusing a freely offered favour is, I beleive, the opposite: making it clear to the person offering that they are not in any position to offer you anything.
nwhiker: (heart)
I've taught the kids that the first person to the door, unless it's Linnea who often can't, opens it and hold it for the rest of us to go in.

Today, Perry was first, ignored the "rule", and AC followed him, not correcting him. So I grabbed the door for Linnea. There was a guy right behind us and since I was already fucking holding the door, I just smiled and said 'Go ahead'. He waited, as if he didn't beleive me and I nodded again, and he said 'Ladies first'.

I was so fucking disgusted and creeped out.

I went, though. The kids were already well into the library by then, and I wasn't about to pick a fight with a fucking asshole of a man.

Of course in retrospect, I wish I'd stood my ground. I did sorta stare at him as if he were a moron, but in the larger scheme of things? I feel dirty, and as if he'd won. Because he did. He put me in my place.
nwhiker: (Default)
Fuck this.

Maya and Miguel, a Scholastic cartoon, it seems. And it aired on PBS. PBS. Damn.

The opening theme? "He leads with his head, she follows her heart".

Sexism much? Huh?

And the first episode on the disk? Starts with Maya deciding that "math is boring" and off to doing some matchmaking. "Less thinking, more doing". Right. Jesus.

Fuck.

It's everywhere. Just fucking everywhere.
nwhiker: (Default)
Fuck this.

Maya and Miguel, a Scholastic cartoon, it seems. And it aired on PBS. PBS. Damn.

The opening theme? "He leads with his head, she follows her heart".

Sexism much? Huh?

And the first episode on the disk? Starts with Maya deciding that "math is boring" and off to doing some matchmaking. "Less thinking, more doing". Right. Jesus.

Fuck.

It's everywhere. Just fucking everywhere.

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