Life Isn’t Like Mad Men

I love ‘Mad Men’. Not as of late. I feel that Don Draper is really predictable and not the complicated existential dilemma he should be. But Joan, Peggy, even Betty…I’m a big fan of the 1950’s style. In fact my style icons are Hepburn (Audrey not Katherine), Monroe, Bardot. Women of the 50’s just knew how to look.

Having said that I would never say “I love the 1950’s” or “I wish I had been born in the 1950’s” My heart isn’t even there. Great style and movies sure, but what a horrible time! I didn’t realize this until today…but it really bothers me when women say things like that. “Oh, I wish it were back in the 50’s” NO YOU DO NOT! It ain’t all Mad Men. You would not be “the Joan”. You would be “the Megan”.

I don’t know why we forget how horrible it was for women. If you were beaten, you dealt with it. It was probably your fault. You want to work? How are you going to get dinner on the table by 5 and mind the children you have to have? You have an opinion? No you don’t. Why? WHY would women ever think they would enjoy that?

Women have it pretty rough in 2013, imagine what it was like in 1953. These recent protests of women taking to the street telling the government to get out of their vagina? Well, only sluts would need abortions and only indecent women would talk about or support it. It’s best you die in a back alley from a botched hanger job. Really, women…get it the F together. A pretty dress and nice handbag does not mean a good life.

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False Prophets

Julie Bindel speaks at numerous conferences about female victims rights. I’m not a big fan of Bindel after she said, ““I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man” in 2004.

Right there I’ve stopped caring about your stance because you’re a fraud in my opinion. You cannot argue victims rights and deny a medical condition. Clearly, you’re not really interested in ‘abuse victim’s rights” you are interested in the right victim’s rights.

Having said that…I was interested in her once again when I read an article that stated she pulled out of a speaking engagement due to ‘rape and murder threats’.

It is scary to receive these kinds of things. I’m aware of that. I get that. I find it cowardly to pull out of an event because of it. I can’t imagine how many threats the President gets, or the Queen, or any other person in a position that has an undesirable opinion. They still showed up.

She pulled out of an event because she’s a coward. She picked on the transgender
community because they’re an easy target. She is not a role model. She is not someone I want discussing victims rights. She just made herself a victim. “Oh I can’t speak on this because I’m afraid the thing I stand against will happen to me.”

Give me a break.

I can’t decide if I’m more disgusted by her reaction to the threats or that human beings still use this as a threat. “Show up here and I’m gonna rape you” who the F writes that? Who can sleep after they say that? What kind of deplorable human does that?

What is wrong with people? I’m getting really jaded and disillusioned with the human race. Why do we still think that because you can overpower someone physically you have the right to torture them mentally? Bindel should’ve seen those threats for what they really were–a cowardly cry. Instead of pulling back the curtain and showing the little man working the levers she gave power to the threats. Shame…shame all around.

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Intersectional Feminism: Because Feminism Is For Everyone

(The above image is from this article, which I also recommend reading, though I disagree with the idea of rejecting a widespread movement and ideal because some people in it are detrimental to the cause or simply don’t seem to grasp what the cause is about)

Feminism is great. It’s about opposition to the social and cultural forces that cause so much injustice in our world. Pernicious patriarchal societal forces tell people what they should and should not be, how they should behave, and how they should interact and regard one another, with many roles determined purely by the biological sex of the individual.

In other words, some things are for men and some things are for women, and in 99.99% of those instances, these socially prescribed gender roles favor men. Men getting paid more and having more power, with the lives of women revolving around men.

That’s patriarchy. It’s absolutely gross. It’s not a conspiracy by a cabal of bearded old men who sit around contemplating whom and how to oppress in order to keep themselves in power. For the most part, the presence of the patriarchy in the modern world is just the product of thousands of years of human stupidity. And a lot of tradition is involved.

And there’s a lot to it. This cultural force has an awful lot to do with men controlling families and, specifically, controlling their wives and daughters (and children in general being regarded as property). The modern and very real effects of patriarchy range from slut-shaming to street harassment to the many layers of rape culture to the proportions of men and women being much less than representative in most professions. It impacts how people are expected (and even allowed) to dress. It impacts what classes students are encouraged to take in school or what arts they may feel open to pursuing.

What the patriarchy does best of all is probably double-standards.

It’s wonderful that feminism exists to, essentially, be the solution that dissolves the patriarchy. All joking aside, feminism is not about women being better than men, or about women taking over the world and ruling it. Though the jokes are quite entertaining.

Like I said, entertaining.

Here’s the thing—for the majority of the Twentieth Century, study in the West of feminism (and, particularly, feminist movements) had to do with Western women. It had to do with white women. It had to do with straight women. And it had to do with cisgender women. Which is all great, if you’re a Western white straight woman whose female gender identity and expression happen to match up with female sex organs.

Not so great for, um, everyone else. In particular, women who are not white. If you point out that Third Wave feminism is noted for expanding the scope of the feminist movement to include Women of Color, LGBT women, and women from different social and economic backgrounds, then you’re right. But you should also consider that viewing feminism and the history of feminism from that perspective means that you are basically viewing feminism from a white/straight/cis perspective.

Unfortunately, as with a lot of LGBT Rights issues, sometimes a lot of important issues get overlooked when it comes to feminism—essentially, people who are campaigning for human rights and for social justice kind of forget to be inclusive. Sometimes, it’s a calculated PR campaign targeting an audience that may have a racial bias. And sometimes it’s an oversight.

If your feminism is not intersectional—if your idea of feminism does not consider and include people who are different from you—then you are not doing it right. I do not only say this because the demographic of “women” includes women of so many religions, ethnicities, nationalities, sexualities, body-types, and economic levels (though that should be reason enough). I say this because the patriarchal ideas of ownership and the ongoing fight for women to be recognized as peers and equals is very relevant to matters of racial equality and LGBT issues.

Unfortunately, while some people may not consciously view them as separate issues, some white feminists can neglect to include . . . well, everyone else . . . in their feminist promotions.

This article, regarding a topic on Twitter (#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen), is really on-point (though it mostly just contains images of select tweets and a few editorial images).

Sometimes, you will see a promotional image or an image for an article about feminism discussing how feminists come from many different walks of life. The message loses some of its meaning when the image is of a bunch of white girls.

Sometimes, well-meaning feminists see religious garb worn by some women as oppressive. May the religion that gives a reason for a head-covering (I’m not speaking exclusively of Islam, here) be patriarchal in its origin and in many of its values? Absolutely. But being a feminist does not mean that you may not cover your hair, or your entire body—in fact, being a feminist does not need to impact any aspect of your appearance or what you do with your body, except that you should do it for you. A law requiring women to cover their heads? That is unjust. A woman wearing her own head-covering of her own volition, for any reason, is not a woman in need of rescuing.

Also, most uncomfortably of all, there is the White Savior idea. It’s the idea of a white person coming to the rescue of an oppressed racial minority. It’s a bizarre masturbatory, self-congratulatory aspect of white storytelling and it produces films like The Blind Side or The Help. You know, movies in which the message is “thank goodness that these black Americans had white ladies to fix their problems!”

Like I said: uncomfortable. It’s a problematic (and offensive) message.

Feminists should know better than most to be conscious of the privileges that they enjoy in society but others do not. That applies to straight feminists, cis feminists, wealthy feminists, and it certainly applies to white feminists.

Feminism is not just for any one group. Feminism wants to make the world a better place for everyone.

Feminism is for everyone.

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Non-Spoiler Review: Orange is the new Black

I, like everyone else, am obsessed with “Orange is the new Black. In case you don’t know, OITNB is a series on Netflix. It’s based on the memoir by Piper Kerman about her time spent in a federal woman’s prison.

It not only is superbly acted it’s amazingly true to it’s topic. I grew up with a police officer, I have a very early memory of being taken to a jail (I’m pretty sure he was just picking something up but I can remember the paint and sound of the door slamming behind us), and I have had a life long obsession with documentaries surrounding the prison system. OITNB is spot on.

The best part about this show is that it is almost all females. There are five main male roles and about half a dozen (or more) main female roles. There is never a time where you can point to one girl upstaging another. There is never a time that I can think of when these women are stereotypes. In fact, when I first started watching I was on Piper’s side and by the end of the series I was all, “F-that-B”.

The show explores Piper’s time in prison for a crime she committed ten years prior. Piper is now in her 30’s, engaged to an upper class “New York Jew”(as Annie Hall might say) in short—Piper has a dream life. Ten years prior she was in love with Alex a female leader of a drug ring and she helped Alex smuggle drug money.

Now she is faced with telling her family and her fiancée’s family about the time she spent as a lesbian drug smuggler. Fun times, amiright? Apart from watching Piper’s internal emotional struggle, you watch her revert back to her old ways. It’s prison…you go lesbian and commit crimes to survive.

The friendship between the women is complex and rich; the romantic relationships showcase the fact that women need sex to survive just like men do. It also shows the strength of women when facing oppression in a male dominated place. OITNB explores what I like to call “the pride”. Like lions, females will band together and keep the family and themselves safe.

If you’re not already watching “Orange is the new Black” you’re missing out.

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