slemslempike: (Default)
This morning when I was swimming I miscounted my backstrokes and smashed my head into the tiles. And the week is going to continue to be this horrible until about Thursday evening.

It would comfort me greatly to know that it is not in fact the case that everyone else is doing brilliantly, so if you would like to have a grump in the comments, that would be lovely. Sod positivity.

Shoes

Jan. 16th, 2008 04:41 pm
slemslempike: (b5: spiders)


The F Word just linked to this Harvey Nicks ad. It is obviously vile in many ways. It plays to a very specific discourse of femininity, it makes the men into headless pieces of meat, the sole black man is second from last desirable, the shoes are UGLY...

But the part that really annoys me is that THERE IS NO LINE. We are meant to infer that it goes up to the right, but really, it could be opposite, or squiggly or zig-zag, or any such scientific term. But it is not showing us anything. And people are goig to use this to say "oh, silly women, you're getting all het up over nothing, the ad isn't saying that trainers make you undesirable or that fat men are automatically ugly, you're making it say that with your own silly stereotypes! You're the baddy here!"

I hate them.

Though it has reminded me that I wanted to post pictures of my new boots. I love them.
slemslempike: (nemi: Angry Pike)
There's been a news story in England about a police officer being shot, though not fatally. This is obviously pretty nasty,

However, I am angry with the press coverage of the incident, and especially the reported comments of Lancashire's Acting Assistant Chief Constable, Jerry Graham. Yahoo! (I check my mail there, I don't rely on them for news, thankfully) quote him as saying:

"It troubles me greatly that at a close confrontation level, someone is shooting not only a police officer but a female one who was clearly identified."

What the fuck? Why on earth would he think that shooting a female police officer is worse than a male one? Is it interfering with their strategy of throwing women at (male, of course) criminals and hoping that their famous chivalrous instincts kick in and they put down their weapons to catch her? That's probably the only way in which the quote makes the vaguest sense.

The BBC don't quote this in their (shorter) story, but have headlined it "Armed robber blasts woman officer". In a follow-up story, "Arrest after woman officer shot", they end with this:

Pc Johnson is the latest female officer to have been shot while on duty.

In November 2005, Sharon Beshenivsky, 38, was shot dead as she tried to stop an armed robbery on a travel agency in Bradford.

Three months later, trainee officer Rachael Bown needed emergency surgery after being shot in the abdomen while attempting to apprehend a suspected burglar in Nottingham.


Women just aren't cut out for police work, poor lambs, as they aren't equipped with a penis with which to deflect bullets. Seriously, what on earth is the point of that? To imply that only women get shot? Or that when men get shot it doesn't really matter? Unfortunately, the answer is fairly obviously that the point is to reinforce the idea that real police officers are men.
slemslempike: (nemi: omg)
Anne Enright says " The statistics on how often mothers choose not to breastfeed girl babies are shocking." I had no idea that there was a difference - I don't think it occured to me that there might be at all. Does anyone know what the statistics are? Is it a culture-specific thing, or fairly widespread?


Rosalind Coward says "the issue of date rape arrived in Britain, as American trends inevitably do". Yes, date rape is almost as annoying as Barbie. She then goes on to ask: “The question is whether in such situations we can really equate unwanted penetration with rape – penetration against our will.” She paints a nostalgic view of the time when a man could force a woman to have sex, and the woman would just chalk it up to experience. Ah, happy days. This is from her 1999 book Sacred Cows, which is subtitled "Is Feminism Relevant to the new Millennium?" - unsurprisingly, she thinks not. And I can see why she thinks that, because apparently she hasn't ever considered that feminism might be anything more than the seventies' media stereotype.

One of the most offensive things she does (and as you can see, there's no shortage) is appropriate the term "womanism" for her own ends: "What I have called 'womanism', a sort of popularised version of feminism which acclaims everything women do and disparages men. Womanism is feminism's vulgate." I think she thinks she's invented the term, which would come as quite a surprise to many African-American womanists/feminists such as Alice Walker. That Coward could blithely ignore the history of womanism as a term and a movement and use it to describe a "vulgate", a lesser, dumbed down version of the "proper", (white) feminism is disgusting. Surely, surely at some point in the publication someone must have said "oh, that's actually already a term, and it doesn't mean anything like that?"

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the awfulness of the book, as she writes approvingly of both Melanie Phillips and Katie Roiphe, and has a quote from Fay Weldon on the cover. Still, she is providing me with material that draws together many of the strands of my work.
slemslempike: (nemi: Angry Pike)
There's an interview on Parent Hacks with the authors of The Dangerous Book For Boys. Parent Hacks asked them why they aimed it specifically at boys, what about girls? Their answer:

I suppose you could argue that heroic characters like Douglas Bader are inspiring for girls and boys, but that would be to come at it from the other side. It's not how we parcel them out - it's what works best that matters. The simple fact is that boys are inspired by stories of men being courageous and self-sacrificing much more than Jane Goodall and her chimps. That's part of accepting that boys are different to girls, really. No doubt some heroes are suitable for both, but in the main, boys take their values from stories about the men they could one day be. It's not just Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing conquering Everest, it's the fact that they refused to say who reached the top first. That's what will get a boy, every time.

Yeah. Girls hate stirring human interest stories like that. Why the hell is he comparing Edmund Hilary to Jane Goodall? Could they not have both? Could they not write an interesting and exciting book for all children. Well, of course they couldn't. That would be madness. There is a sort of companion volume for girls, apparently, but it's not The Dangerous Book for Girls, it's The Daring Book for Girls. Arguably slight but important semantic difference there. We can't really strengthen the campaign to make women understand that they must avoid danger or risk attack/rape if we're encouraging them to seek danger. Also, daring is transgressive for girls. Knowing how to change a tire? Man's work! But they might let us play for a while.

If you absolutely squint then you could pretend that he's trying to say something about needing to promote homosociality, and cooperation instead of competitiveness. BUT HE ISN'T. It's the same stupid shit about the "innate" differences of boys and girls, and oh look, it just so happens that boys don't like girls, and girls will have to make do with whatever's left over. And in case we accidentally leave them something good, let's make it so that anything girly is automatically rubbish. Yeah!

Oh I hate everybody. When we went to see Sandi Toksvig and Bonnie Langford, Sandi Toksvig said that she was writing a book about great women in history to try and inspire girls, and the publishers insisted on bringing out an equivalent book for boys. Argh.

Ra ra skirt

May. 4th, 2007 03:42 pm
slemslempike: (x: Red Flag)
Previously on slemslempike, I made a post about tampons with skirts.

I initially locked it because of paranoia about Tampax hunting me down for breaking the rather loose security thing I ticked and leaving me in a pool of (blue) blood). Now they are advertising it, according to [livejournal.com profile] notmarcie, so I needn't have, but since there are comments I will leave it locked, in case people didn't want to share.

Anyway, further to that post, in which I signed up for a trial, I have received my box of clothed tampons. I am to use them as I normally would, not allow my friends and family to use them, and send back any unused ones. They came with a sheaf of informative leaflets, the first of which told me brightly that these tampons were definitely not harmful! At all! The rest of the leaflets were mostly warning me about the dangers of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Anyway, my lady time is not yet upon me, and so until I can report properly on the actual experience of using a tampon with a skirt, I bring you the experiments of slemslempike and the frilly tampon.

Cut for lots of pictures. And the SHAME OF MENSTRUATION, obv. )
slemslempike: (Default)
I have been hating people who, when you're in a perfectly normal conversation about generalities, suddenly smile condescendingly and say "you're talking to someone who...", where the ellipses represent something incredibly banal, and frequently almost entirely unrelated to the topic in hand. It leaves me thinking ...and? What on earth have you added to this conversation by saying that? I mean, my god, if I'd known I was talking to someone who has two legs, I'd have been more careful! Imagine how much of a fool I feel now that we've been talking about [completely unrelated subject], and I hadn't been told about the two leg thing! Think of the fool I have made of myself!

I have been being exasperated with toilets where they have very kindly provided a sanitary receptacle, but have chosen one that takes up the entire side of one cubicle, so that when you sit on the toilet seat, it cuts cruelly into your thigh, and taints what might have been going to be a pleasant evacuation.

I am also very taken with Robert Webb's sex arms. Specifically in Peep Show, when the lucky recipient has the camera on their head. I saw him do it live as well for the Mitchell and Webb thing in Preston, and very nice it was too.

I walked into a seminar the other day to hear a bearded man say very earnestly "of course, extremism of any kind is dangerous" and his neighbour nodding sagely. I eavesdropped shamelessly hoping to hear pearls of wisdom to steal in case I found myself in complex political discussion, but it transpired that they were actually talking about how cold the weather was that day, and how damaging the changing temperature was to women's skin.

What have you been doing? I missed you all trimmensely.
slemslempike: (Default)
NO. No, there is never an occasion to whistle in the office, never ever ever. Stop it. It's piercing and I hate you.

Why did the students have to come back? Especially the one I detest for no real reason other than the fact that he looks arrogant.

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