Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Grand American Tradition of Racism

It is time once again for the traditional inspection of the President’s long form birth certificate. This custom dates back to Einsenhower; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people naturally demanded that a  copy of his birth certificate be printed in the newspaper and shown on television. People’s suspicions were founded on the premise that he was of German descent and on the fact that he simply “looked like a traitor to the American people.” They speculated on his religion, despite his claim to have practiced Christianity. His German roots simply could not escape public scrutiny. He finally put all fears to rest when he produced a copy of his birth announcement with his feet-prints on it accompanied by a birth certificate which confirmed the information found on the birth announcement, in addition to a photograph of himself as a newborn being foot-printed along with a stamped and sealed verification of his birth date and social security number, a blood sample and full medical records. As is the tradition, the President’s origins are constantly doubted and questioned by the opposing party.

Ford continued the legacy when his British heritage was found out; people demanded reassurance that he was, indeed, born in Omaha, Nebraska. He was forced to produce five witnesses who could confirm his identity, a petition proclaiming his innocence, his marriage certificate and living will, his full dental records and a court-ordered psychological evaluation. It was then that his political opponents pounced on his lack of transparency, pointing out that he’d never offered to provide his school records or his original driving permit and must therefore be hiding something. Ultimately, Ford was forced to comply with the demands of the people, and revealed the shocking truth: he got C’s in Biology.

Does anyone know why Barack Obama is the first President EVER to be grilled about his ethnicity? Hands? Anyone?

Judging a Book By Its Cover: A Quick, (Judgemental) and Vomit-Inducing Glance at Barnes and Nobles’ Bookshelves

Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Are Getting Shafted By Their Romantic Expectations – And What They Can Do About It – by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake

I found this title to be riddled with misandry and harmful to men (as well as women.) It’s a common stereotype that women marry for money. Perpetuating this perception encourages women to victimize men in this manner which prompts men to mistrust women. My brother aptly suggested that the converse of this book would be titled, “Smart Old Guys Marry For Looks and Youth: Why Rich, Old Men Should Choose A Girl Who Will Be Hot For the Rest of Their Lives.”

Snooki: A Shore Thing – by Nicole Polizzi

Looks like the main point of this book is to portray girls as ditzy, tanned and “easy.” I have nothing against being “easy,” but the positivity of sex is not exactly being embodied by this laughable anti-role-model. When you’re publicly dumb and sexual, you stereotype intelligent sluts as idiots. (Thanks, but no thanks.) She makes fun of herself for being stupid. This can not be a good sign. I also have to admit that it shames me every time a self-admitted moron is allowed to write a book. Where’s the pride in the accomplishment of book writing?? Snooki, you’re just making us girls look bad.

Bikini Body Made Easy: Your Step-By-Step Guide To A Beautiful Beach Body In Under Six Weeks – by Charmaine Yabsley

Anything that touts one definition of a “beautiful” beach body is total shit in my book. There are many different forms of beauty, and only one form is represented throughout the book, and on the front and back covers. This is the type of loose stool that shames women into believing they “shouldn’t” wear a bathing suit or go out in public. Clearly, since their bodies don’t look like that, they should go back inside and hide under a mumu. This is merely bullshit reinforcement of poor self-esteem.

In Fifty Years, We’ll All Be Chicks (And Other Complaints From an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy) – by Adam Carolla

It’s just a joke. And that’s the problem. The feminization of men is consistently a joke. What’s so funny about it? Well, isn’t it obvious? He’s… being girly! And that makes him less of a man! Which makes him weak! Because girls are weak! And that’s funny!!… I’m SO sick of hearing shit like this being spewed indiscriminately; male is the position of power and admiration – everything else is pathetic and laughable. I hate it almost as much as when I hear people using “gay” as a negative adjective: “That movie was so gay.” Gay is not a negative adjective. “Girly” isn’t either. Guys are allowed to have feminine traits. Stop trying to box men into the ridiculous masculine “ideal,” and stop telling me femininity is a bad or WEAK thing, because it’s NOT.

Marry Him: The Case for Settling For Mr. Good Enough – by Lori Gottlieb

Why, why, whyyyy must people present marriage as some kind of inevitability?? It might be my old fashioned values talking here, but isn’t marriage supposed to be a result of true love?? So if he’s just “good enough,” then why would you get married? I personally wouldn’t even date a Mr. Good Enough, but to suggest that I marry Mr. Good Enough is ridiculous. If I were inclined to marry, I would reserve the offer for Mr. Super-Fantastic-Can’t-Believe-I-Met-Such-a-Fabulous-Guy-Makes-My-Heart-Skip-a-Beat-And-My-Tongue-Wag-Whenever-I-See-Him. And if the inference here is that “at a certain age,” you’re less likely to get many offers, then I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Marrying someone doesn’t make your life happier. Period. That is all.

Kobe Uses The F-Word (And I Don’t Mean “Fuck”)

Nothing pisses me off more than the use of the word “gay” or “fag” as an insult. “That movie is so gay,” is supposed to automatically indicate that it sucked (not that it had boy-on-boy/girl-on-girl action) or “You’re such a fag,” is supposed to indicate that said fag (as a male) is feminine (femininity being innately bad, of course) or stupid. Being that those of us who aren’t born white, heterosexual and male simultaneously are summarily dismissed due to our “minority status” at one point or another in life, it always grinds my gears when members of a heavily-oppressed minority bash another heavily-oppressed minority group. Like when a black guy uses the word “faggot.”

Unfortunately, this particular black guy, a famed celebrity, has lead a privileged life since his youth that may not have lent itself to much empathy. But he’s not alone. Individuals of all races and economic statuses gleefully take part in homophobic mud-slinging. Why? Because, for some reason, it’s still okay to say “faggot.” The N-word went out with the “politically correct” era of the 80’s and 90’s and it’s a pretty big deal when a high-profile personality uses it nowadays. But, in reality, it hasn’t been that long since it’s been dropped from the acceptable lexicon and – even today – in some shit-brained, ethnocentric circles, it’s perfectly tolerable (if not encouraged.) There’s always the lunatic fringe to contend with. And, of course, there are all of those in the middle who don’t use the word out loud, but mean it.

So here we are again, this time with the word “faggot” – or, as Kobe Bryant prefers to use the term, “fucking faggot.” We’re back at square one, and the word can be spat in any circumstance against anyone of any color or sexual persuasion. Straight or gay, you can be called a “faggot.” Black or white, you can be called a “faggot.” Anywhere but on public television, you can pretty much get away with using this heinous slur, but fortunately Kobe Bryant was dumb enough to get caught, and justice was (sort of) served. He was fined $100,000 and then he gave this apology:

“What I said (Tuesday) night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

Riiiight. Kind of like when I accidentally call my brother a nigger because he’s beating me in a video game. Wait a second… that has never happened in my life. Why? Because I have respect for people of all races and would never use that word in my daily speech or at any time in my life (except to impactfully illustrate its caustic, abhorrent nature.) I don’t toss the N-word around at anyone because I respect black people. I don’t toss the word faggot around because I respect gay people. I don’t use the word “gay” as an insult, because it isn’t one, and it’s despicable to infer that it is.

However, allow me to make this perfectly clear: I am not equating the African-American experience with the GLBT experience. They are completely separate and different experiences and identities entirely with completely separate and different dynamics involved. BUT… is it too much to ask that us minorities band together against the establishment’s systemic, straight-white-male supremacy that prevails in our society?

Kobe. Mr. Bryant, sir. I know you attended Lower Merion High with all of the other well-to-dos and high-profilers. I realize that you’ve been living your celeb-tastic life as though you’re invincible, and the fine they made you pay was more like a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru… but please examine your conscience and don’t blow this off as another scandal you shrugged off or another penalty you avoided. You’re a star and people – even grownups – look to you for validation and inspiration. You’re talented. You’re loved. So please… I’m begging you… STOP FUCKING IT UP.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

I speak from personal experiences when I say that it is of crucial importance for a woman to ensure her own economic independence. It’s imperative to her own well-being and also that of her child. I would never suggest that money is more important than family because for me it isn’t. I have no desire to hold a high-powered job making six or seven figures. I want only to make a decent living for myself and for my family.

Three years ago, I came to the harsh realization that for my own sake and that of my daughter, I had to leave my marriage. It was an agonizing decision made all the more so by the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. With no way of providing for myself or my child, I was terrified at the idea of leaving and yet I knew I had to for the good of everyone involved. The end result is that I have struggled for the past three years to provide for myself and my child. I could not possibly love my daughter more and had I been given the choice, I would have continued working so as not to have had to put her through this period of economic instability. Fortunately, she is very young and will likely not remember the vast majority of it but I will never forget the pain of knowing that I couldn’t provide for my child the things I so desperately wanted to provide for her. I certainly gave her all the love and attention possible but neither of those things will put food in a child’s belly or clothes on that child’s back. There were days when I cried over being unable to spend a few dollars on an ice cream or a ride on the merry go round. I would never wish that experience on anyone, male or female.

Having been a stay-at-home mom, I know how difficult the job is and how little recognition women in that position often receive. In no way am I looking down on women who choose to stay home with their children. I’m simply cautioning them to think carefully about their choices as the unforeseen can strike any of us at any time and with no warning. I certainly never expected to get a divorce from a man to whom I’d been married for five years before getting pregnant and to whom I was utterly devoted, a man I had loved so passionately for the nearly seven years of our marriage. I certainly never imagined I’d feel the powerlessness that my economic dependency brought about, nor did I imagine I’d submit to the misery I did because of this dependency. Even at this considerably more stable point in my life, I shudder to think of those dark days and of the physical and psychological toll they took on me. This book is absolutely correct in stating that a man is not a financial plan and I am living proof of this.

Bookphile, on a book review of “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts

The Depravity of the Pedicure

J. Crew’s recent ad for the latest $65 Coastline-Stripe Pullover and $8 Essie Nail Polish has gotten Fox in a frenzy. In the ad, Jenna Lyons and her son, Beckett, are shown laughing together with his pink-toed foot in her hand.  Clearly, Essie looks smashing, even on a rough-and-tumble toddler; the ad evokes warm feelings of family togetherness and the playful abandon that your children can inspire within you. But according to the ominous paranoid ramblings of Dr. Keith Ablow, boys who play with pink might as well chop off their weenies now to save on doctor bills later: “Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your ‘innocent’ pleasure.” In his conspiracy-theorist tangent, he links Beckett’s playtime pedicure to “assaults on genuine emotion and genuine relationships,” the sexualization of young girls, “split-second Prozac prescriptions,” and — the old Fox standby: ethnic self-hate — making false claims to African-American heritage and, inversely, bleaching African-American skin in order to appear Caucasian.

He further claims that the fallout of this $8 Essie Nail Polish will include: the abandonment of all gender identity, the psychological turmoil of our entire species, a mass compulsion to “grotesquely amputate body parts” (an obnoxious and outrageous contortion of the sex-change operation procedure), female-on-female violence, a society that tosses out family in exchange for sexual gratification and refuses to serve in the armed forces, and, finally, the downfall of the entire human race.

So my question is this… what about all those girls who wear pants and baseball caps? Should we worry about the girls who aren’t painting their toenails, since they’re clearly just denying who they really are? Does it take just one pedicure to destroy a boy child’s psyche, or does this irreversible damage only occur after several instances? Can boys avoid psychological destruction if they use blue nail polish?

Keith… come on, now. Put your eyeballs back into your head and get a grip.

Why did they ever get rid of Glenn Beck? At least he would’ve made a frenetic flow chart for us to follow. Perhaps Mr. Ablow’s aversion to medication is rooted in the fear of his self-diagnosis… maybe a healthy dose of Prozac is just what this doctor needs.