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Ah, the blogosphere - sweet sweet internets, I learn so much from you.

Seriously - I am a massively sheltered person. By dint of my white, upper-middle class upbringing and privilege, I am able to cocoon myself from a lot of the rougher aspects of what it means to be female right now, in this culture. I don't have to put up with anyone telling me to my face that I'm not as smart as men, or deal with animosity for my progressive views. My interaction with the outside world is carefully controlled, and I can choose to ignore most things that do not please me, assuming I wish to be that disassociated from the issues that too many people deal with every moment of every day.

Heck, even my little corner here is pretty safe - I only get a few assholes every now and then.

Which is why I read. I need to know what's happening in the fight for all humans' rights, large and small. I want to know who the assholes are, and I want to know who's fighting them. I surf and surf, bouncing from a wonderful beginner's community like racism_101  (moderated; posting for members only, but I encourage anyone dipping a toe into discussions of race to check it out), and dive through links upon links, coming across incredibly fun, serious, insightful, heart-breaking, and enlightening sites and blogs that I did not know about before. And all of them increase my vocabulary in the fight against people who want to maintain the status quo, no matter how it disadvantages everyone but them. This delights me.

The thing about fighting for anything that has staunch opponents is that you need answers and facts to come back against the false accusations and hate that gets flung at people who want change (change is scary - we get that, but we're bringing it anyway). Take feminism - I'm very fond of feminism, personally, but there are some people out there who consider it responsible for the decline of civilization. This makes me sad.

(Actually, it makes me grind my teeth down to powder in a rage.)

But then, I find great blogs like Crimitism, and I'm in heaven. Smart, sane people who can laugh at the assholes! And so many great links - I want to know about these people. I end up reading for hours, and my language for protest grows again and again - there's no joy like finding the words to articulate the anger that you couldn't explain to someone in a way that they might understand (assuming they're reachable - some people are the equivalent of dinosaurs, and will never understand).

For an explanation about why it's so annoying when the group in power says "but we're oppressed, too!", check out The Shrub's Privilege in Action series - completely awesome. The PIA series covers all kinds of privilege, and gives words to the wordless frustration we feel when someone tries to take over our space - all other spaces are yours, why do you have to take this one, too? It's like a child grabbing all the cupcakes, even though they already have more than they could ever eat on their plate, because they're incensed that any other child might get one to themselves.

(I use cupcakes as a metaphor so much, I need to make a tag for them.)

(Yum, cupcakes.)

I think this is part of the frustration and disgust I feel over sexism in advertising - on one level, it's just stupid, but on a second level, it's so fucking insulting. Like the Burger King mini-burgers ad - on one level, it's a silly ad about dumb pathetic guys getting chicks to look at them because chicks dig tiny cute stuff, but on another level, it's an insulting sexist ad about how women are so easily manipulated they'll fall for a guy, even if he does have tiny testicles, because tiny testicles are sooooo cute!.

If the really amazingly cute girls were only fawning over the burgers, I might let it go, but they're not. By the end of the ad, they're stroking the guy, staring admiringly at him, rubbing up against him, and generally behaving like they're going to kneel down and perform fellatio right there.

This is demeaning to both men and women - pretty much like those Axe body wash/cologne ads (by the way, is there any woman out there who actually thinks that stuff smells good? It produces an instant migraine in me, and I haven't met a person of the female persuasion yet who doesn't think all the scents Axe produces reek). It says men are so stupid, they'll actually buy a sack of mini-burgers in the hope that they'll be able to pick up women, and women are so stupid, they'll associate the cuteness of a burger with the guy holding it, and use that as a basis for fucking him.

I hate you so much, Burger King. Which is sad, because some of your previous ads amused me, and I kind of like that chemical lighter-fluid taste of your burgers (because I am very, very strange). I actually got why the "King" ads were amusing, and the creepy was slightly funny. But this crap is just off-putting.

Look, I know guys go through an insecure phase where they obsess over and at the same time hate, girls. Most guys get over it after their teenage years, but a significant minority seem to contract a virulent strain of misogyny that stays with them their whole life (and they all hang out on the internet). I just wish we didn't think enshrining this phase as "normal" guy behaviour was such a good idea. It leads to terrible things like a sex therapist advocating women submitting to sex with their husbands, whether they want to or not, and the idea that women's bodies are public property, to be condemned or felt up as the men around them see fit.

And if anyone wants to tell me that doesn't happen, I would like to point out that, as sheltered as I am, I have been felt up (back, breasts, buttocks, legs, arms) by numerous men who felt that they had the right to lay their hands on my body without my permission (I didn't even know half of them, and the other half were not close friends with touching rights).  And what I've gone through is nothing - nothing! - compared to what other women have had to endure. 

So I read - the more ammunition I have to pull out against people who insist that women just need to "deal" with having no say in how their bodies are treated, the happier I am.  And if someone wants to call me a dirty man-hating feminist, well, saying it doesn't make it so.  I will point out that I have a delightful husband who gets where I'm coming from, even if he does get mini-burgers from BK and wave them at me, saying "go on, squeal". 

(He was amused by my expression, and was wise enough to stop before he ended up wearing the rest of that burger.)

And guys, if you want sex so badly you're willing to have it with a woman who doesn't want to fuck you, may I suggest that the answer to all your problems is in the palm of your hand?

Aaaaaah.  There's nothing like starting the day with a good masturbation joke.


( 53 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Mar. 19th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
Ya know, cupcakes fit in the palm of your hand. Just sayin'. :-D
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
mmmmmmm, cupcakes.

Considering what men will put their dangly bits into (I read medical reports!), cupcakes are tame. I hear about vacuum cleaners most often, and of course, the joke about the milking machine (I do know one guy who claimed a friend of his tried it on milk calf - they suck very hard - but didn't like it). I can't imagine.

I read a doctor in the UK saying that British guys also have a propensity for sticking things up their butt, and the two "most unusual" items he had removed (they got "stuck") were a lightbulb and a milk bottle. No word on whether US men have the same urges.

Of course, Bob sent me an article yesterday about a woman who got injured when she and her partner mounted a sex toy on a reciprocating saw - and didn't remove the blade first. Most unintentional episiotomy ever.
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(no subject) - virginiadear - Mar. 19th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - christianet - Mar. 19th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - virginiadear - Mar. 19th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - not_justagirl - Mar. 19th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msmcknittington - Apr. 9th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Mmm, cupcakes.

Also, there was a bottle of Axe Dark Temptation body wash in a friend's shower the other day, and I took a whiff, and it wasn't bad.

I like guys who use things like bay rum or sandalwood, though.
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
I love bay rum - Bob uses it. I don't like anything too musky (uh, except for actual guy smell, which when fresh, is nice), and I think part of the problem is the tendency of Axe wearers to drench themselves.

But I'll add your reaction to my mental database. One woman likes the body wash. :)
(no subject) - rikibeth - Mar. 19th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Mar. 19th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_guenievre - Mar. 24th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
Worse than just being offensive, somehow our culture has managed to convince children that it's okay for men to beat their girlfriends, that it could even be the woman's fault. Obviously I have no proof that something like the BB King commercial (which I have not actually seen), contributes to that sort of thinking, but I can't imagine objectifying either gender helps.

Being fairly sheltered myself, and shrinking my bubble even more by mostly avoiding television, I can not fathom how on earth a child, whom I assume is taught not to hit in school, is also taught that sort of crime is okay. I just don't get it, and it makes me sick.
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Further on in your link, the same kids say she was trying to destroy his career -- odd that he beat her up on the eve of her scheduled Grammy performance, which she then had to cancel.

But I think the issue of loyalty comes in to this -- kids value loyalty, and defending your idol (male or female) is part of being seen to be loyal. Right or wrong don't matter. What do you think?
(no subject) - nitesongofafish - Mar. 19th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lanome - Mar. 19th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Mar. 19th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
Re: We are very lucky...
If I knew that, we would not be in this position. :(

And I would be rich.
Re: We are very lucky... - brennahaldana - Mar. 19th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We are very lucky... - sstormwatch - Mar. 19th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: We are very lucky... - mariposaverde - Mar. 20th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Crispin Porter + Bogusky does the ads for Burger King. Unfortunately, they espouse the hipster/frat boy attitude I despise so much in consumer advertising agencies. It's like Mad Men, except folks wear jeans and khakis and ironic T-shirts instead of gray flannel suits (unless it's a client meeting).

Axe is reek in a can. For my man, I love the smell of the natural cedar and olive oil soaps I just got him. Or the Crabtree and Evelyn Siena, or the No. 6 scent from Caswell-Massey. Just the soap, no extra cologne layering.
Mar. 19th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Illuminating. Thank you for the information! :)
(no subject) - christianet - Mar. 19th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
One of the things that I really like about teh intarwebz is that when I see a commercial like that that makes me want to throw things ....

I fire up a tab to the company that's running the commercial and tell them how blatantly offensive (and/or stoopid) that I find the commercial ("yes, I have RA but I didn't know it could damage my joints" >headdesk!<) right then and there -- while the insult is still fresh. And then I fire off another to the network/show that the ad is on and tell *THEM* just how offensive I find that commercial.

May not make any difference, but it gives me great satisfaction!
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Hell yeah, hell yeah.

(May want to correct your html though, it's racism_101).
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
Crap! I don't know why it does that sometimes - usually, it goes community. *sigh*

ETA: Got it - missed the underscore. Duh!

Edited at 2009-03-19 03:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - popelizbet - Mar. 19th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
You, too? I hate that commercial.

Although it did make me love my husband a little more. His instinctive reaction to it was a curled lip.
Mar. 19th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Mine was eye roll and shake of the head.
Mar. 19th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Alex and I have noticed this kind of stupidity showing up in movies, too, especially lately (at least if you believe the previews). See I Love You, Man and Miss March. Why is the media so determined to portray men as sex-crazed idiots who will do anything to sleep with a woman, any woman? (Well, preferably gorgeous Playboy models, but a lot of them seem to be single in Movieland.)

I'm lucky enough to have never been told that I should just "deal with it" when a man touches me without permission. The very idea pisses me off. Any man who touches me without my permission is going to get called on it, and if he touches me sexually without my permission, he's asking to get slapped. That is never okay, and I have the right to defend myself. (I would also like to point out that I think guys have this same right. If anyone touches a guy sexually without permission, he has every right to defend himself.)
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Hahahahahaha!!! I sure will deal with it. By a method of my own choosing.
(no subject) - elfie_chan - Mar. 19th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morrghan92 - Mar. 19th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elfie_chan - Mar. 19th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morrghan92 - Mar. 19th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elfie_chan - Mar. 19th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Umm... I think the BK commercial is going for irony. And if they provoke a bit of outrage? That's a bonus, because the have people talking about them, like people talked about how creepy their "waking up with the King" ads were.

Mission accomplished. Someone else just blogged about the commercial. Here's your bonus, Mr. Commercial writer.
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Irony only works if it's actually funny. And commenting on how sexist an ad is is better than letting it go by without bringing attention to its hateful message.
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Post-nap, I'm thinking Irony isn't the term I was looking for. Parody is a more apt description. It seems they are attempting to parody the sex sells commercials by going over the top.

Not defending - examining the intent. As for execution: it's a pretty lame commercial.
Mar. 19th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I thought I was the only one that found the BK ad over the top...

Last night while watching American Idol there was an ad that was for a woman's product. You didn't know the product until the end because it was just a series of women walking past a bunch of shrubs which we getting trimmed as she walked by. When they announced it was for a woman's razor I shouted "that's way over the top wrong." My wife asked why and I looked at her. She'd missed it. "What's another word for a shrub?" I'm sorry but even this dinosaur can see when marketing goes too far and disrespectful.

(I was so shocked I missed the product name or I'd tell you)
Mar. 19th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - brickhousewench - Mar. 21st, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 19th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
There's one product that won't be appearing on my shopping list.
Mar. 19th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the ads are done by the same company that does Carl's Jr.s offensive sexist ads.

And great post! I do not appreciate unwanted body contact, and will be teaching my own daughter to stick up for herself.
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