Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oh, the irony!

Now, I know there are a lot of Third Wavers out there who will take umbrage at me for taking umbrage at the cover of this book (and Third Wave feminism in general). But, and correct me if I'm wrong here, isn't one of the most important planks of feminism (in all its iterations) the moving away from woman-as-sex-object? Maybe I missed a memo or something, but I kinda thought that's what I signed on for.

I know some of you will simply dismiss me as a crusty old Second Waver who needs to join the sex-positive revolution, and to you folks I say, simply and very calmly, "shut up." I am not anti-sex. Nor am I anti-pleasure or anti-the-choice-to-whatever. I just think that if you cared about women's equality as much as about selling books, you would think twice (and maybe even three or four times) before writing a book about feminism and placing a naked woman on the front. I especially dig the subtitle of the book: "A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters." I would venture to say that feminism matters because of this book cover.

Now, lest you all think I'm some rigid feminist hypocrite, let me state that I believe that feminism is about all sorts of freedoms to choose, even the freedom to choose to put a naked woman on the cover of a book about feminism. I also think that women ought to be able to choose to do whatever they want to do with their bodies, including promoting themselves as sex objects. I'm not saying that women shouldn't have these choices. I just think that if they were really interested in equality, they wouldn't WANT to choose these things.

Because, no matter how you slice it, choices have consequences. And those consequences often aren't realized only at the individual level. A woman's choice to wear high heels, short skirts and a face fulla makeup doesn't only affect how people see HER. It affects how people see WOMEN. She might as well wear a sandwich board and advertise the Patriarchy. Likewise, when a feminist author chooses the naked torso of a woman to grace the cover of her book, she encourages people to see women as nothing more than naked body parts. Which, to me anyway, is about as unfeminist as you can get.

Like it or not, we are representatives of our identity groups, and we are accountable to each other. I try to do my part by not wearing the uniform the Patriarchy has assigned to me. Because that uniform is awfully constricting, flattering on way too few bodies, and serves mostly to titillate men and make women easier to catch (on accounta high heels are hard to run in). Also, I swear and use power tools and show my hairy legs in public, so I'm doing my share to represent "other" versions of womanness. What have YOU done for feminism lately?

I'm not asking you to give up your FREEDOM to choose the things that genuinely bring you pleasure. All I'm asking is that you check yourself in the metaphorical mirror once in awhile and ask yourself, "What message am I sending with this?" If you find that the message you're sending is one that suggests women are little more than sex receptacles, I urge you to reconsider. Does choosing to send that message feel good? Does it feel better than the alternative messages you could be sending? Does it make you feel good enough to outweigh the expense to other women? 'Cause, like, I don't always feel like picking up your tab.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Friday Weigh In, 2/23/07

So, I wasn't actually near a scale on Friday morning for my weekly weigh-in. I weighed in at 199.5 last Wednesday, and then MonkeyPants and I went on the road (which is not generally good for the diet).

I ate tempeh-based meals twice on Thursday, and when we stopped on the way to New York and on the way back, we split a turkey sub at Quizno's. And the morning that I was on my own for breakfast, I got a package of Special K cereal and a quart of skim milk from the gas station. We packed our own Weight Watchers-friendly snacks and were pretty good about sticking to them (except for the donut we each had in the car on the way home...). All in all, it was pretty decent.

For our Friday night free night, we ordered Chinese food. We should know better. It sticks with ya for awhile on accounta all the sodium. Saturday morning I weighed in at 201.0. This morning the scale said 200.5. That makes 12 pounds altogether, so whatever.

I gotta say that I am most impressed with myself for not falling completely off the WWagon. I wanted to, believe me. Saturday I wanted to eat the leftover Chinese food and some of the remaining donuts (you didn't think we bought just one, did you?). But I didn't. I was sensible and conscious. So, bully for me. And for MP, who wanted to order pizza last night but changed her mind and had a soy "chicken" patty instead.

You can say it. We're awesome.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Getting to know me

I like answering questions about myself. And since no one asked, I'm asking them of myself. I found the list on someone else's blog and thought it looked like a more interesting list than I usually see. So, here goes...

1. The phone rings. Who are you hoping it is? I don't hear the phone ring.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yes, because I like to be helpful. Also, I worked at a grocery store for a number of years, and I hated rounding up stray carts.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Depends on who else is there. With friends, I'm usually the talker. With new people, I'm usually the listener.

4. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? I don't watch Survivor for nuthin'.

5. Do you like to ride horses? My aunt Susan took me riding a couple of times, and I loved it. Mostly I think I loved doing something special with her.

6. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Girl Scout camp once. Hated it. Everything was damp, and I was overheard saying something bad about one of the chaperones, who happened to be my friend's mom. It was uncomfortable.

7. What was your favorite board game as a kid? I remember playing Sorry! a lot. And Monopoly, which I liked for some reason. And Candyland.

8. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was taken what would you do? Well, since I'm taken too, there's not much of a problem.

9. Are you judgmental? Yes. I'm not proud of it.

10. Would you date someone with different religious beliefs? Done it. Any religious belief is "different" to me.

11. Are you continuing your education? Formally? Perhaps someday. Informally, I learn new shit all the time.

12. Do you know how to shoot a gun? I shot at and hit a clay pigeon during hunter safety class in seventh grade. Haven't touched a gun since. But I think I would like to go to a shooting range and practice with a handgun. For protection purposes only...when I wrestle someone else's gun away from him.

13. If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab? The partner, then the cats. Then my wallet.

14. How often do you read books? Mostly every night before going to bed. Occasionally on the bus.

15. Do you think more about the past, present or future? Now that Chris is job-searching, I get to think about the future. Which is a nice distraction from the present.

16. What is your favorite children's book? I used to love the book about Prince Bertram the Bad. And the Richard Scarry books. And I get a kick out of Never Tease a Weasel.

17. How tall are you? 5'2"

18. Where is your ideal house located? Somewhere near my ideal job.

19. Last person you talked to? Chris

20. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? Hmm...right before I moved from Iowa City. It was with Becky and Colleen as a going away luncheon.

21. What are your keys on your key chain for? Unlocking things.

22. What did you do last night? Paid my car registration, got groceries, ate Chinese food, and caught up on reading all the blogs I missed while I was out of town.

23. Do you like mustard? In very small quantities.

24. Do you like your mom or dad? They're the best parents I could have asked for. Aside from loving them, I like them very much.

25. How long does it take you in the shower? Depends on how tired I am. Sometimes I like to sit down and hang out awhile.

26. What movie do you want to see right now? Pan's Labyrinth.

27. What did you do for New Year's? Took my parents to the airport. Fretted about the warning light that came on in the car. Can't remember much else.

28. Do you think The Grudge was scary? I didn't see it.

29. Do you own a camera phone? Chris has it.

30. Who did you vote for on American Idol? I've never voted.

Primary Roundup

If the Democratic primary were held today, for whom would you vote?
Joe Biden
Wesley Clark
Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd
John Edwards
Al Gore
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich
Barack Obama
Bill Richardson
No Clue
Free polls from

Celebrity Crush Montage - Male Edition

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What's the opposite of "nether regions"?

My, my, my. I certainly wasn't expecting this. Kinda like I wasn't expecting to see Britney Spears' cue-balled nether regions a month ago. After that (brace for upcoming pun...) flap, I didn't think there was much more the Toxic singer could do to shock me.

But I'll be damned if the girl didn't go and make the drapes match the carpet! That's right, folks. Daring to defy Heidi Klum by being too "matchy-matchy", Britney Spears has shaved her head. When I first read this, I was skeptical. A practical joke, I was sure. Once over my disbelief, though - after all, wouldn't lead me astray - a more disturbing thought set in: how bad does she look? The image in my mind wasn't pretty. Not pretty at all.

Now, I've been no fan of Britney's style over the years, but I've been especially critical of her look of late. I didn't care about the baby weight, but her insistence on fake blonde hair (and even the brown hair looked bad), too-tight tanks, oversized sunglasses, stupid hats, and the I-just-got-outta-bed hairstyle really inspired acid reflux. Witness:

I know that pointing out all these things is kinda judgy for someone who proclaims not to buy into the Beauty Myth, but someone tryin' to make a career comeback hasta look like she cares. I'm just sayin'.

But even though Britney's style has historically repulsed me, I was sure this would be worse. How could it not be? Not that I'm opposed to women with shaved heads in general - Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, and my friend Jess are examples of women who wore the look very well. I genuinely dig women who have the guts to shave off their femininity and put it out there for the world to see. I just didn't think it would look good on Britney. Britney, the naughty schoolgirl who appealed to pedophiles the world over a few short years ago, the former only-slightly-better half of one of the grossest couples in Celebrityland, the former poster girl for exploitative femininity. Bald was a look I just didn't think she could pull off.

But when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong. And I think I was wrong. The limited footage I've seen of her recent visit to a tattoo parlor makes her look pretty good. I will go out on a limb and even say she looks better than before. Her head has a nicer shape than I was expecting, and the absence of all that blondeness has really brought life to her face. I think she could use a funky pair of glasses to complete the look, but it ain't half bad. Take a look for yourself.

Now, if we could only make her politics match her new look...

Celebrity Crush Montage - Female Edition

Friday, February 16, 2007

Best news I've heard from the world of sports in a long time

Chicago Tribune - The University of Illinois' American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek, no longer will perform at athletic events on the school's main campus after Wednesday — the last men's home basketball game of the season.

School officials today issued a news release on the retirement of the 81-year-old mascot, who is portrayed by buckskin-clad students who dance at football and basketball games and other athletic events.

The Great Nor'easter of 2007

This was our porch at 1pm, before shoveling.

This was our porch at 2pm, right after shoveling.

And this was our porch at 6pm, right before shoveling the second time.

We got a lot of snow. The porch needs to be shoveled again. Ugh.

Friday Weigh In, 2/16/07

This morning I weighed in at 201.0. That makes 1.5 pounds for the week and 11.5 overall. Progress is slow but steady. I was hoping to be under 200 pounds by my birthday (on Monday), but I don't really see that happening, as we will be going out for Mexican food tonight. Got a birthday coupon and all...

This picture is of my breakfast this morning. Eggo Special K waffles (1 point each), strawberries with a Splenda marinade (free), and some fat-free Cool Whip (half a point). Two and a half points for the whole thing. Mmm. For good measure, and since it's Friday, and since my birthday is comin', I also added a No Pudge brownie for 2 points. Now, THAT'S breakfast!

Happy weekend, all!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Friday, February 9, 2007

A little Friday cheers and jeers

Just a few things I have on my mind right now that are deserving of public judgment...

Cheers to Harvard! Word has it, they're about to hire their first female president in the school's 371-year history. 'Bout time!

Jeers to Wal-Mart! For selling t-shirts emblazoned with an image used by the Nazis. Dispicable? Yes. Surprising? Not so much.

Cheers to Bill in Portland Maine over at DailyKos! He writes the best Cheers & Jeers ever, and he spreads the love around. He recommended two of my comments this week. What great validation! He rawks.

Jeers to Bill Donahue of the Catholic League! For whining that two of the bloggers John Edwards hired to do his netroots outreach had made some offensive statements on their personal blogs and encouraging their dismissal. But he has also gone on record saying that a professor who slept with a drunken 18-year-old student shouldn't lose his job for something in his personal life. Dick.

Whatever to John Edwards! For hiring these two women, caving to Bill Donahue's intimidation, releasing a statement saying that some of the statements in the blogs were personally offensive to him and that he doesn't want his campaign represented like that, and then keeping them anyway. I say fire them and be a douchebag, or keep them and support them. You can't please both sides here, and your attempt to do so makes you look wishy-washy. Have you been taking lessons from Hillary?

Jeers to the Pentagon! For purposely manipulating intelligence to create a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda in the run up to the war. Fuckers. All of 'em.

Cheers to the Defense Department's inspector general Thomas F. Gimble! For exposing such slimy dealings.

Jeers to Donatella Versace! For suggesting that Hillary is too butch. According to Donatella, Hillary should "treat femininity as an opportunity and not try to emulate masculinity in politics." And what, exactly, has femininity done for us lately? Oh, that's right - made us all feel a little less than acceptable in almost every way unless we look like Anna Nicole Smith. And look where it got her this week (may she rest in peace).

All right...I feel better now that I've foisted my judgment upon these very deserving individuals and corporations. Let that be a lesson to all of you out there!

Friday Weigh In, 2/9/07

Yippee!! I have officially lost 10 pounds as of this morning.

As a reward (and because it's the Friday Rule), I will stuff my face with some of the best pizza the Upper Valley has to offer. And then I'll spend all of next week trying to diet it away. Ah, the insanity of dieting!

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Can you tell which is which?

Icky "guy fashion"

Here's a sample of some of the icky stuff crawling the catwalks at the Heatherette show this fall. Dee-scusting. No one needed to see that.

I choked a little on this one

“This is a silly story, and I think it’s been unfair to the speaker,” White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

Yes, you read that right. That was Tony Snow. Defending Nancy Pelosi. And there are no flying pigs anywhere!


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Snickers update

So, here's the official statement from Snickers:

“As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer, primarily 18-to-24-year-old adult males,” said a spokeswoman for Masterfoods, Alice Nathanson. “Feedback from our target consumers has been positive, and many media and Web site commentators on this year’s Super Bowl lineup ranked the commercial among this year’s best.”

“We know that humor is highly subjective and we understand that some consumers have found the commercial offensive,” Ms. Nathanson said, adding: “Clearly that was not our intent. We do not plan to continue the ad on television or on our Web site.”

They just don't seem to get it. Humor is "highly subjective?" We're not talking about a love or loathing of knock-knock jokes here. We're talking about a "joke" in which you told millions of people that queerness is to be avoided at any cost, even when that cost is physical pain or death. And of course the core Snickers consumer thought this was humorous! As John over at Americablog said, "Yeah, well, any idiot could have told them that homophobia ranks pretty high up there with some members of the 18 to 24 year old adult male crowd. So does racism, Jew-hating, and the sexual harassment of women. Is this what we can expect next from Snickers?"

Still waiting on that apology...

Monday, February 5, 2007

Boycott Snickers!

I hate to do this to my father, as he is a Snickers lover, but I am calling for an immediate boycott of Snickers and all affiliated products.

Why would I do such an unAmerican thing? Well, it seems that the douchebags over at the Snickers HQ thought it would be a good idea to trade in a little homophobia in honor of the Super Bowl. As though professional football weren't already a hoppin' hotbed of homophobia.

The offense in question involves their commercial in which two mechanics accidentally kiss while eating from opposite ends of the same Snickers bar. Thoroughly disgusted by what has transpired, one says, "Quick! Do something manly!" Whereupon both of them proceed to rip out their chest hair to prove their straightness. For now I am leaving aside the insane conflation of sexuality with gender "strength" and will proceed to the real outrage.

It seems that on the Snickers website, you can view and vote for three alternate endings to the commercial. In the first, an effeminate man asks to join the "love boat," as though gay men are all just dyin' to find a threesome with any ol'body. In the second, the men drink motor oil and antifreeze - 'cause, you know, it's better to be dead than gay. In the last one, they beat the shit out of each other, making violence against gay people seem like a reasonable course of action if one happens to kiss you. Or if you happen to kiss him. Either way, beating up a suspected gay person is apparently "manly."

In addition, the site shows reactions of Bears and Colts players to the kiss, ranging from scrunched-up-in-disgust faces to comments of "ain't right." Thanks, guys, for being embassadors of your queerfraid sport. I'm not sure why I expected more.

But I expected more from Snickers. I don't know why, but I did. I guess I just didn't think that in 2007 this type of overt hatred would be endorsed by anyone, let alone such visible corporations as Snickers and the NFL. That's right...the NFL has allowed their official logo to appear on this website.

So, let's see how many things I get to boycott here: Snickers, Mars (parent company), the NFL, the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts (for appearing on the site with such grotesque reactions). And the Daytona 500, for agreeing to air whichever version was most popular with voters. And FOX for airing the Daytona 500. All of these should be easy enough for me. But my poor father!

I have contacted Snickers and insisted that until they pull the ad campaign and issue a public apology, they will have lost me and my family as customers. I hope that's okay with my family!

Super Bowl ads

I didn't watch much of the Super Bowl last night, I'll admit. As soon as I declared my support for the Bears, the Colts decided to start playing. Oh, well. I'm not much of a professional football fan, so I didn't really care. People like me, it's true, watch the Super Bowl only for the commercials. I just didn't feel like sitting through all the football to get to the ads.

Lucky for me (and now you, dear reader), you can watch all the ads here: And not only do you get to watch the ads here, you get to go all March Madness on them until there's only one ad left standing. You tell me which one you chose as the winner, and I'll tell you mine.


I just have one question

Where does she put all her internal organs?

My new cakes!

So, I caught the Wedding Cake Challenge on the Food Network at 1am on Sunday, and even though I have never even attempted to bake a cake, I sat with rapt attention. These people are amazing! I'm not planning to get married anytime soon, and with an $800 minimum order for at least one of these places, I doubt I would be able to afford one of these works of art. But they're awful purty to look at!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Friday Weigh In, 2/2/07

After a bit of cheating, I weighed in at 204.0 this morning. When I first stepped on the scale, it said 205.5, and boy was I pissed! So I took a shower and grumbled about how all my hard work this week was for naught.

Well, the dirt on me must have been pretty heavy, because when I got out of the shower, I weighed myself again, and the scale said 204.5. I thought to myself, "I can handle that."

So I dried my hair and decided to try one more time. 204.0. Feeling that I might start to piss off the Weight Watchers Goddess, I decided to take it and move on.

That makes 1.5 pounds last week and 8.5 altogether. For three and a half weeks of dieting, I'd say that's pretty good. I think it would have been more this week except that we decided to have Chinese food last Friday. Twice. Once at 5:30pm and then again at 11:00. Friday night is our "free time," and if we didn't finish what was left from dinner, we were going to have to pitch it. And nothing makes me sadder than throwing away perfectly yummy Chinese food. I think I spent most of the week trying to work that off!

This week's "free time" will be tomorrow night since Partner is out of town at a job interview tonight and tomorrow morning. We're going to have rather sensible burritos and then go out for coffee drinks. Mmm...

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

A look that cannot die soon enough

What, exactly, is posh about this? If she was going for Skeletal Insect, though, she nailed it!

I hope reincarnation exists.

One of my favorite people has died. Molly Ivins, bullshit-caller extraordinaire, died yesterday at the age of 62. She had been fighting breast cancer since a 1999 diagnosis, but somehow I only heard about it a couple of days ago when her health took a turn for the worse. Had I known earlier, I would have made more of an attempt to appreciate her.

But appreciate her I did. She was fearless in taking on the Republican idiots. She was a powerful voice for human rights and goodness in general. Growing up in a small town as I did, Molly Ivins' voice was one of few I heard (or read, rather) that spoke to me. The Des Moines Register doesn't carry (or didn't when I was coming of age) many liberal columns, and I was so grateful to have her there to balance out Cal Thomas. I kind of couldn't believe she could get away with saying some of the things she said. It was wonderful and comforting, and she will be missed.

Here are some quotes of hers that I enjoy. Please pay your respects by enjoying them, too.

On getting attacked by Rush Limbaugh: "It is like being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you feeling all slimy."

“It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side”

“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.”

“What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.”

“In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.”

“This is the man (Ronald Reagan) who proved that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency”

“I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years.”

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.”

“Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.”

“The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”

Rest peacefully for now, Molly. Hope to see you again soon!

Biden steps in his own pile of macaca

Oh, Joe Biden. Didn't anyone tell you that you're supposed to keep this kind of shit bottled up until AFTER the election?

Speaking about Democratic rival Barack Obama, Biden told a reporter, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Aside from it being a completely asinine thing to say, perhaps a little awareness of environment was in order. After all, you weren't talkin' to your grandma. This was a reporter from the New York Observer. A little more precision with your words is called for in such situations. And a little less racism.

Just tryin' to help, man.