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Archive for January, 2010

Married men are biggest earners. What’s new?

January 21, 2010 4 comments

A new study by Pew Research Center has come out, saying that the “biggest gainers were married college-educated men” in terms of income. Was that supposed to surprise me? Married college-educated men have generally always been the highest earners.

However, the study is saying that the reason these men are the biggest earners is because more women are receiving higher earnings. The study did a comparison with earnings in 1970, and said this:

“In the past, when relatively few wives worked, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than that of men. In recent decades, however, the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men.”

Call me crazy, but I think marriage has always been good for economic status for men. For some reason, employers really love it when men settle down, buy a house, start a family, etc. These men work up the company ladder. They get the promotions. They receive more income.

However, it’s opposite for women. Once women are married, employers will automatically go into this “Oh crap, she’s going to have all these responsibilities now and maybe have kids! Ack!” mode. Married women somehow become unreliable and the expectation is that they’ll be spending more time in the home, and maybe care less about work. It’s ridiculous.

Just another double standard in our oh-so-wonderful society.

Ugh. Again? #arealwifey…

January 19, 2010 3 comments

Once again, Twitter is sucking. People just LOVE to say what “good” wives would do, don’t they? This has happened before, and I’ve posted on it before. So, here I am, posting on it again…and revealing how disgustingly sexist and misogynistic some of these responses are.

#arealwifey stays in her place. The kitchen and the bed……. Naked.

#arealwifey will lay down in a puddle Of water so u can walk on her back when crossin the street so yo kicks won’t get mess

#arealwifey can take a punch then apologize 4 making him mad Bitch I told u leave me alone

#arealwifey would take care of me while I sit on my ass and do absoloutely nothing

#arealwifey doesnt ask why you watch soo much porn she just accept it for what it is

#ARealWifey would cook and clean

#arealwifey doesn’t let her husband do the dishes

These are of course just a few. I don’t think I need to explain how sexist and misogynistic these are. They really speak for themselves. Ugh.

Categories: misogyny, sexism Tags:

Vintage sexist ad

January 19, 2010 1 comment

Ridiculous. A vintage Mr. Leggs ad:

The text:

Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn’t have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready for him to walk all over her. That noble styling sure soothes the savage heart! If you’d like your own doll-to-doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these he-man Mr. Leggs slacks. Such as our new automatic wash wear blend of 65% “Dacron” and 35% rayon – incomparably wrinkle-resistant. About $12.95 at plush carpeted stores.

Categories: ads, sexism Tags:

Elderly women rapes in Texas

January 19, 2010 1 comment

This is quite a terrifying story, and pretty discomforting.

A serial rapist in some Texan communities is targeting elderly women that live alone. This isn’t just some random person who has no plan surrounding these attacks and rapes. It is known that he has clearly studied some lone elderly women in their homes. He finds out where they live, and in some cases, he has cut phone wires and some porch lights had been unscrewed.

All the women have been between the ages of 65 and 91. I think that’s definitely not something that you would think you would have to worry about as an elderly women, but at this point, elderly women in these communities are terrified. Rightfully so.

Police are still looking for this guy.

Categories: crime, rape Tags:

Haitian earthquake effect on girls and young women

January 17, 2010 2 comments

Women and girls have always carried the brunt of natural disasters. They become more vulnerable than they may already be. They become more impoverished, due to the fact that they were probably in a worse-off financial situation beforehand. Since they’re generally the primary caretakers, they have other people to take care of, so they don’t put their own needs first. Also, the countries are usually rebuilt on the shoulders of women. You get the picture. Obviously nature disasters effect men in negative ways, but women just carry the brunt of negative effects.

When I heard about the earthquake, I was immediately thinking about how women and girls were going to be effected, and now there is actually an acknowledgment that young women and girls are in more danger now than ever before in Haiti.

As of right now, relief efforts are being put into Haiti, and many have said that things like security is just not something that is important at this moment. However, Gerardo Ducos, a Haitian researcher for Amnesty International states,

“My worry is we put a lot of effort into bringing relief, but we have to have some protective measures to benefit women and girls to avoid their being victimized and sexually assaulted. It was already difficult in ordinary times.”

As Ducos said, it was already difficult during ordinary times. There are various reported numbers, but so many girls and young women do not report their rapes or other sexual assaults. During this time of crisis, this issue is just going to get worse. Yifat Susskind, policy and communications director for MADRE, says that women need more support during this time, but this is what happenings:

“They need support commensurate to the burden they are carrying. Instead, we see women and girls are targeted in all sorts of way, especially gender violence.”

She also mentioned that there are simply more losses for girls and young women, by stating,

“Her grandmother, the one person (a girl) could go to for protection or solace – she doesn’t know if she is dead or alive. Her school, the one safe place she could go every day is destroyed. … “

Ultimately, this earthquake has been such a huge hit for everyone, and it’s wonderful that the world is really stepping up and pouring out love to Haiti. We just can’t forget that women and girls are the ones that are going to be effected by this the most in the short and long run.

Plastic surgery obsession in Western societies

January 15, 2010 3 comments

First off, I’m sorry for neglecting this little blog at the moment. I have some personal family things going on and I’m completely distracted and incoherent at times. I’m going to try and be as consistent as I can, but I can’t really guarantee that right now!

Anyway, by now, you might have seen Heidi Montag (The Hills) on the cover of People Magazine, being called a plastic surgery addict. She is 23 years old. I seriously don’t want to give Montag anymore press, but the issue of a plastic surgery obsession is of interest and is changing the landscape of image for women in North America. So first, here is Montag’s before and after photo, where she clearly had multiple procedures. Ten to be exact.

Um, I just need to say that she now looks 40, and I’m not entirely sure if that’s what she was going for. Isn’t our culture obsessed with youthfulness as well? Maybe Montag isn’t. Not sure.

So how is the availability of plastic surgery effecting women and girls in our society? Well, obviously we already know that women and girls alike are self-conscious about their appearance, and celebrities who do partake in plastic surgery don’t help the situation. I must say, the one good thing about Montag coming out and saying she’s had so much plastic surgery might mean that “normal” women and girls won’t even worry to compare themselves to her apparent “perfection”.

But what about the people that are having plastic surgery that claim they haven’t had any work done? Women and girls are still looking at those people and saying “Oh crap, I’m never going to look like that“, or “Wow…she’s so perfect. I wish I could be like that“, or something along those lines. Now that plastic surgery is readily available to those who can afford it, artificial beauty is becoming more commonplace.

And what does more artificial beauty create? Shitty feelings in women and girls. Low self-esteem. More image-consciousness. The feeling to need “perfection”. We know that women and girls are valued in terms of their appearance, but as the obsession with plastic surgery grows, I think this value based on appearance will grow as well, which is disheartening. Now, I am not blaming celebrities and other people who can afford it, for getting plastic surgery. We do have beauty standards in our society for women and there is absolute pressure to be a part of that standard. I guess what I’m wishing for is a society where these things never mattered. A society where women and girls were not valued for their appearance over a lot of other things, such as intelligence, talents, or individual personalities.

Do you agree? Do you think our society’s obsession with plastic surgery will ultimately hurt women and girls in the end?

Sexism in South Africa

January 12, 2010 3 comments

A recent study in South Africa shows that sexism is alive and well, and very pervasive. And this is among men and women. Remember, we usually see things through the dominant groups lens. This is one reason why women and girls do get sucked into agreeing with some sexist things and whatnot. Here’s the breakdown:

It is acceptable for a man to beat his wife – 6% of men think yes/5% of women think yes
A boy has more right to an education than a girl – 11% of men think yes/8% of women think yes
A woman’s place is in the house – 20% of men think yes/14% of women think yes
When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to jobs than women – 38% of men think yes/22% of women think yes
Men make better political leaders than women do – 41% of men think yes/25% of women think yes

The article also mentions that 1 out of 4 men in South Africa have admitted to committing rape; some admitted to doing it multiple times. Wow. And that’s just the amount that has admitted to it. Of course, we do know that South Africa has the highest amount of rapes per capita, but even knowing that doesn’t lend itself to the rape stats being less shocking.

What do you think about these stats? Do you think that there would be some similarities if we did the same questions in North America?

Clean & Clear ad pulled

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

A misleading Clean & Clear ad from the UK has been pulled, due to the fact that they used “light powder” for after shots of the women who are in the ad. Let’s look at a picture:

Um, yeah. There’s clearly some makeup enhancement going on there. Even if this woman’s skin did improve (which it very well might have), you can just tell when someone has makeup on, and she definitely does. But when this kind of thing is done, when the “after” shot is just sooooo perfect, it usually makes the rest of us women feel like shit.

But how am I not surprised? We should all know by now that the media is very deceptive and will do anything to make women feel bad about themselves so they’ll go out and buy every product under the sun. I know. I’ve been there and done that.

I’m glad this ad has been pulled, despite it only being one of many ads that probably should be pulled. However, it all has to start somewhere, right? Feel free to make your own judgment. Watch the ad below:

Categories: ads

Hillary Clinton’s speech for the International Conference on Population and Development

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

On January 8th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech commemorating the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development and it was a great speech for women’s rights, health and reproductive rights. Here are some excepts (via The Broadsheet):

“One woman dies every minute of every day in pregnancy or childbirth” and, “for every woman who dies, another 20 suffer from injury, infection or disease every minute.”

“20 million unsafe abortions” occur every year, millions of women die annually from preventable sexually transmitted diseases and millions of lives are destroyed by fistula, which is often “the result of pregnancies that occur when a girl is too young.”

“Seventy million — that’s sev-en-ty million — women and girls worldwide have been subjected to female genital cutting,” which can lead to life-threatening infections and complications while giving birth.

One quote I love, as it is seems so simple, yet…the world doesn’t get it, is:

“Investing in the potential of women and girls is the smartest investment we can make. It is connected to any problem on anyone’s mind in the world today.”

There is much more than these small excepts, I encourage all to watch the speech here.

Portugal passes same-sex marriage bill

January 8, 2010 1 comment

Great news coming from Portugal! Today, they passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage. Portugal is the 6th European country to allow same-sex marriage. The bill simply removes the reference to marriage being between two people of the opposite sex.

”It’s a slight change to the law, it’s true,” Socrates, the prime minister, said. ”But it is a very important and symbolic step towards fully ensuring respect for values that are essential in any democratic, open and tolerant society: the values of freedom, equality and non-discrimination.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Very exciting news!

Music Hit: Marina and the Diamonds

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been currently obsessed with Marina and the Diamonds. Her music is on constant repeat for me right now, especially the songsI Am Not A Robot, Seventeen and Mowgli’s Road. Marina Diamandis, of Marina and the Diamonds, is a Welsh-born singer-songwriter and I personally think she is amazing! Her music is a lot of different things. I guess you could put it in a poppy-type category, but I would say it’s a bit more dynamic than that. She’s not your typical pop star, with that typical voice.

Her new single from her album coming out this February, is called Hollywood, and talks about our society’s obsession with Hollywood and how many people can really get wrapped up in it. This song has also been on repeat for awhile. You can check it out below:

You can check out her MySpace here, and her website here, where she keeps a pretty cool blog. Hope you like!

Categories: fun, music Tags:

Feminist Mary Daly passes away

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Mary Daly has passed away at the age of 81. She is the author of “The Church and the Second Sex“, as well as “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation“. She was on faculty at Boston College, and took on it, as well as the Catholic Church. She was a great feminist thinker and was very influential in the 20th century.

Gloria Steinem states,

“She was a great trained philosopher, theologian, and poet, and she used all of those tools to demolish patriarchy — or any idea that domination is natural — in its most defended place, which is religion.”

Sister Joan Chittister says of Daly:

“Her legacy is a cloud of women witnesses and male theologians, too, who have now been released into whole new understandings of what the tradition really holds and really means for all of us, male and female. She was a great thinker, she was a great icon. She will be maligned by some, but history will see her very differently.

Daly was fierce and honest about her feminism and hopefully her work will continue to influence all people for generations to come. Thank you, Mary Daly.

Categories: feminist Tags:

Mother sterilized against will

January 5, 2010 1 comment

Not cool. Tessa Savicki, a mother of nine, is saying that she was sterilized against her will, when all she wanted was a IUD to be inserted, obviously making a birth control choice. But of course, doctors, with all their enlightened knowledge, power and authority (because you know, doctors are the be all and end all, right?), decided that it would be better to permanently sterilize her. Why? Well, as the Boston Herald puts it:

Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Um, so? Since when does that give anyone else the right to decide for another person whether or not they should be permanently sterilized? An article over at Jezebel about this brings up the age old support for eugenics in the United States, and Savicki would definitely be deemed one of those “unfit” parents who would be sterilized.

Despite all of this, Savicki knows that she was “not ready to make that kind of decision”, and in fact, was hoping to have one more with her fiance. She’s suing the hospital, and rightfully so. We’ll have to see how this case goes. Either way, no woman should have to participate in forced, or unwilling sterilization. These doctors should seriously be ashamed of themselves.

Ugandan woman forced to breastfeed pups

January 4, 2010 2 comments

What a horrific story to start off the new year. While I read the article featuring the story of a Ugandan woman whose husband forced her to breastfeed their pups, my jaw dropped open and I covered my mouth with my hands in horror. Add this to another reason as to why I am a feminist and not ashamed to say it.

Jennipher Alupot has been receiving this cruel, unusual and dehumanizing abuse for 7 years and now that her story is out, it is sending waves across Uganda about domestic abuse, and people are quite frankly horrified by this. So what exactly does this abuse entail? Well, her husband, Nathan Alowoi would “appear at the marital bed, bind his young wife’s legs and hands together and force the mewling animals to her nipple.” He apparently did this because he had given her family two cows for the “bride price”, and so, he no longer had milk for the pups. Jennipher explains more, “I had to feed them all through the night; then in the morning he would untie me.

Eventually they started having children, and their third child had to share the breast milk with the pups. Eventually their son “started having fits and foaming at the mouth,” and died just before he was two. Jennipher says that she most likely believes that it had something to do with the pups also breastfeeding at the same time. Um, yeah.

Jennipher tried reaching out for help. She wasn’t silent; however, no one would listen to her.

She had a fourth child this past March and was hoping that after their son had died, her husband would stop the abuse. However, that’s not what happened. It got more violent, and “one night when she protested, her husband pierced her with a spear under the chin.” That was it for her, and she fled to the women’s refuge center in Pallisa.

Since Jennipher fled, she is now taking legal action against her husband. As well, a Ugandan bill that was centered on domestic violence was passed this last month after being on the table for years. Many are saying that it was Jennipher’s case that made that bill pass. Why must this abuse happen before a bill tightening domestic violence laws to be passed? It’s sad and in no way preventative.

Ultimately, this is a shocking and horrifying thing that no one would wish on anyone (I would hope). Domestic violence is something that remains prevalent all around the world, but is something is kept hush hush. Although horrifying, these stories need to continue to be brought to the forefront to show people around the world that so many women receive horrible treatment from their partners.

I’m still in complete shock over this story.