Category Archives: Domesticity
I was just sitting in a massage chair with my toes soaking in the deliciously-warm whirlpool below me and flipping through a People magazine when I was suddenly slapped in the face. Ok, not literally, but that’s definitely what it felt like. I stared at the ad, blinking a few times just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. An attractive guy was holding an armful of white towels while talking on his cell phone in the foreground; in the background, a female was enjoying a leisurely soak in a bubble bath. Okayyy, I thought. So….? Then I read: “Reason to get him whipped #8.” Pinnacle Whipped Vodka.
Seriously?? So… what are they trying to say here? Let’s say your boyfriend does the laundry (and mine does – well, actually, we both do it). Does that automatically make him “whipped”? Or does it only make him “whipped” if he does the laundry *while* you’re doing something enjoyable, such as taking a bath? In which case… are you supposed to immediately scamper into the kitchen to find some kind of household chore to do as soon as he extracts the first few items from the hamper? Well, fuck it. I guess I’m just one of those stereotypical, humorless feminazis who doesn’t understand why the portrayal of a helpful boyfriend would include the insinuation of utter female domination.
Is this supposed to let men know that whenever they dare step out of their role as the stereotypical lazy-slob bachelor, they might as well check their testicles at the door?
And what does this say about women? What do you call a woman who does household chores? Anyone got a punchline for that one??
Is it pathetic to do household chores period? Are women everywhere being tricked into thinking they’re doing something to help out when, in reality, they’re being laughed at and seen as broken, manipulated fools? If so, what’s the “cute” name for a female idiot like that? Is it “housewife”? No, it can’t be that – we’ve heard over and over again that to be a housewife is a choice that we’d better respect because it’s just as dignified as having a career outside the home.
So… what’s so hilarious about a guy doing laundry while talking on his cell phone?
I checked out the Pinnacle Whipped website and… omg I have to try some of these. There’s actually a Cotton Candy flavor (!!!) as well as a plethora of other tastebud-tempting flavors such as: Cake (you can’t be serious!!), Butterscotch, Gummy (as in, gummy fish!), Chocolate Whipped, Espresso, Root Beer (sheesh!), and, of course, plain old “Whipped”, featuring a huge dollop of whipped cream on the front. These amazing flavors alone are enough to have their clearly-female demographic racing to the liquor store even before they give their partner’s testicles a final, parting cigarette burn.
There are so many ways this product could have been marketed seductively toward women without harming men in the process. It’s hard enough for a man to find self-respect and dignity in a world of must-watch football, must-drink beer, must-lift weights, must-have muscles, must-drive sportscars and everything else that is counterproductive to a man’s self-esteem and individuality. The gender binary oppresses both genders and forces each into little boxes from which they dare not stray.
I call bullshit and remind these marketing assholes that REAL MEN can do laundry, REAL MEN can cook, and REAL MEN can iron clothing. For fuck’s sake, leave the guy alone.
Other “Whipped” ads from Pinnacle include:
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
You know Michael, one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. … Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care.
— Mike Huckabee
As I perused the aisles of blockbuster for a decent action flick conducive to adrenaline-pumping romance with my boyfriend, my guts were suddenly clutched by the sight of this pink-framed, psychotic barbie staring at me from the shelves. With one mischievously-raised eyebrow, she held a fork near her mouth where a tiny, helpless groom was impaled on the tines. The title, accompanied by her maniacal grin, could only mean one thing: this movie would definitely piss me off. Instead of merely rolling my eyes, I plucked it from the display and read the back.
Clarissa has every detail of her wedding planned. She has the dress tailored, the invitations labeled, and the due date set. Now all she needs is a groom! A Hollywood “it” girl who knows all the players, Clarissa finds herself turning 32 and realizes that although she can get any hot celebrity on the phone, at home, she’s all alone. She decides it’s time to get hitched, and starts planning her own wedding with the confidence that she can hook a husband using the same cunning and guile she uses to navigate the Hollywood social scene. Sarah Chalke stars along with Judy Greer, Gregory Harrison, and Maria Conchita Alonso. Based on the best-selling novel by real-life Hollywood player Gigi Levangie Grazer, Maneater recounts the hilarious adventures of one woman’s search for true love in the land of fake boobs.
Gulp. Flushed with agitation at the blatant sexism depicted in the summary, I wisely chose to put it back where I got it… until Patrick (said-boyfriend) chimed in, “Why don’t we get that one, too?”
Fierce negation electrified my gaze as I curtly replied, “No fucking way.”
“Why not?” he pursued, intrigued.
“Because it would definitely piss me off.”
He immediately snatched it from the rack and countered, “Then we’ll watch this one first.”
Okay, I thought. Fine. Maybe it will be funny. Maybe it won’t be as bad as it seems. Worst case scenario, I’ll blog about it.
So, ladies and gents, it has come to this: the worst case scenario. But here’s the problem: there was so much to barf at, I’m not sure I can make a quality post about all of it. So here are just a few things that can be found in this Lifetime Original movie:
- Ageism – The intense emphasis on the horrors of getting older (without a man) is borderline-ridiculous. The insinuation that women are no longer cool, attractive, nor fashionable once they breach the 30-year mark is deeply embedded. (Actual quote: “Haven’t you heard? 20 is the new 9!”) However, the worst-fathomable consequence of aging is the inability to obtain a husband (Actual quote: “What I have to offer has a shelf life!”) – which is what the entire movie is about.
- Sexism – I can’t even begin to describe every disgusting nuance and rude comment, but how about this: one of the Main Character’s friends is smeared, to her face, as a “feminazi” by a southern “gentleman” who claims to “know how to treat a lady” – a lie that the audience is made to believe, since he was offering to push in her chair for her. She later falls in love with him, offering viewers an example of a “happy ending” for a frustrated girl with “daddy issues” who typically falls for married jerk-offs. And, btw, ALL relationship issues that women experience somehow track back to their paternal intimacy.
- Racism – I was floored to see this issue surface. The expectation of sexism was a no-brainer and the ageism was inevitable… but the racism was a bit of a shock. To begin with, Clarissa’s arch “frenemy” is a woman of color – absolutely gorgeous – and, at first, I didn’t catch on. This chick was fierce. But the running theme of the movie was that Clarissa stole every man she ever had away from her. That bugged me. I thought, Every man? Really? Not even a friendly back-and-forth? I was about to consider myself oversensitive when, suddenly, enter the pool-boy love-interest, Pablo. A lilly-white-girl with super-conservative, upper-class fam falls for gardener/pool-boy/caterer and her true love inspires her to bravely, occasionally, subtly request acceptance of other cultures. Okay… but then Pablo’s friends are all ex-cons – that he met while in prison – and not one of them is white. Adding insult to injury, when Pablo and friends arrive to cater an event, the matriarch of the palace exclaims, “You didn’t mention the house was being robbed!” Ouch.
The plot, in a nutshell, is Clarissa’s manipulation of – and eventual marriage to – an up-and-coming Hollywood star. Her father was a jerk, so she rejects intimacy (Daddy issues for everyone!) Her mother was a homemaker who considered it an honor to iron her cheating husband’s shirts, so she rejects the traditional housewife role. Clarissa is every career woman – in other words, chicks who are just waiting for the moment their life can truly contain meaning. (Meaning is another word for “husband and baby.”) Manipulation and harassment, if it leads to marriage and pregnancy, justify the means. All we women need to hear is that we’re pretty, and we know he’s The One. If we want to score a man, we must demurely accept all displays of chivalry and refrain from displaying any personal strength (Actual quote: “I’d offer to carry something for you, but I wouldn’t want to mess with your empowerment.” – Prince Redneck Charming.)
Since all’s well that ends well, each and every single woman – AND I MEAN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM – isn’t single anymore at the “happy” ending. And we know Clarissa is with the right guy when we hear, “I never thought anyone could tame her.” Because, after all, if chick flicks have taught us anything it’s that once you’ve been tamed and impregnated, there’s no where to go but up!
I’m not sure I can even express the level of nausea I felt after reading this article.
“Why Men Love Bitches.” As soon as I laid eyes on that title, I knew I wanted to get to know this book a little better. And, like most bad relationships, it was good in the beginning. Don’t chase him, Don’t cook for him, Limit your availability, Believe in your worth – most of the first few sections of Sherry Argov’s book are fairly attractive (and contain practices I implement effortlessly, anyway.)
And then we arrive at page 75. Dumb Like a Fox: How to Convince Him He’s in Control While You Run the Show. Just the title gave me an uncomfortable tingle in my lower back. I knew something noxious was lurking on the other side of the page… and then – whoa. Check this one out: “When you appear softer and more feminine, you appeal to his instinct to protect. When you appear more aggressive, you appeal to his instinct to compete.” Yeah, um…. I’m going to have to call bullshit on this.
Maybe the guys she’s been with have had major insecurities… but I am here to tell you that lots of men are attracted to aggressive women. My current boyfriend loves it when I’m aggressive. In fact, if I wasn’t, he’d lose interest.
I don’t know how she does it – I suspect her idea of flirting is squeezing a guy’s bicep and cooing at it – but when I flirt with a guy, I’m usually battling wits or playing some sort of mental tag with him. I’m showing off. I’m “arm-wrestling” him a little. This does not turn guys off… competition is intriguing. However, Argov argues that when you “give a man the impression that you want to ‘wear the pants,'” you’re competing with him. When you compete with a man, according to Argov, he “plays to win at your expense,” since you’ve now become his opponent, and “good luck getting anything that way.” Personally, I prefer telling a man outright what I want and what I don’t want. Why? Because people tend to do better with clear instructions.
She then offers helpful tips on how to make him feel studly. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of these propositions, and when I read them to my boyfriend, so did he.
Argov’s Suggestion: If you hear a noise at night (like a bird pooping on the roof), act really scared. Tell him to check to see “what that noise is about.”
What I’d Actually Do: Grab my asp and pepper spray, get up, investigate, and devise a hypothesis. After determining it was a pooping bird, go back to bed.
Argov’s Suggestion: Ask him to open a jar that you can’t open (even if you can) or unzip your dress (even if you can reach it.) Or, you can ask him to lift a small box for you.
What I’d Actually Do: Open my own jar… though I would definitely let him unzip my dress if I thought it might make him horny… but, dammit, why stop at a small box? I’d make him lift a big box if I was struggling terribly with it – like my 60-inch TV. Thank god he was here to help me get that son-of-a-bitch upstairs.
But here’s the thing, Shel: aren’t you defeating your own purpose in the long run? I mean, are you really going to act that way all the time?? No, of course not – so what happens when you slip up and accidentally lift your own small box or kill your own spider or open your own jar? Won’t his ego be crushed and devastated from the realization that you didn’t really need his help all of those times? How manly will he feel when he figures out you’re feigning weakness?
If you truly want him to feel manly, show that you’re capable and strong. Then when you do need him, he will really feel needed. He’ll know that he did something big. Something important. Something macho.
He might even grunt with pride, if you’re lucky.
Seriously, Shelly, your exes must’ve had issues. Stand up for yourself? Yes. Be mysterious? Definitely. Play hard to get? Absolutely. But please don’t tell me to feign incompetence so that he’ll be attracted to my inferiority. That’s not foxy. That’s just dumb.