Remember those BIC For Her pens that inspired hilarious customer reviews a while back? Well, they weren't the first pens to be marketed to small-handed, weak-fingered women.
In "Girlie Pens, Again? Why Ordinary Things Go Pink" Lisa Hix explores the reasons behind Pink Think, when "mid-century manufacturers realized that if you take an ordinary object, turn it pink, and put the word 'Lady' in front of the name, then you've created a product 'for women' that can be sold for more money."
When I was in elementary school, we played a game in P.E. where we basically just threw foam balls at targets. My mean gym teacher Ms. Heinz would make the girls stand closer to the targets than the boys, because presumably 8-year-old males have rocket arms or something while 8-year-old females need special accommodations just to get a nerf ball off the ground (not the case). I remember thinking, "Why do we girls need our own version of this dumb game when we could just play the one the boys are playing?" My thinking is similar, if gender-role-reversed, when it comes to MANteresting. Who needs a men-only, crappier version of Pinterest?
Maude Lebowski called. She wants her vagina art back.
Lest you think nothing good could come of this essentialist (only women with vaginas who have orgasms that come from sexual partners can be creative or experience feminine joy), privileged (Wolf recounts looking out from her "little cottage upstate," contemplating her vadge next to a "cold iron wood stove," and she is getting paid to write a book about it), prescriptive (ladies, if you want a partner who treats your vagina right that person best be familiar with "the Goddess Array"), cringe-worthy (see: "yoni massage") tome, think again: Ariel Levy has written a smart and hilarious review and you should read it.
You may have seen the hilarious Amazon customer reviews for the BIC "For Her" Ball Pen that have been circulating the web this week. Written in response to BIC's ludicrous idea that women need a pen with an "Elegant design - just for her!" and a "Thin barrel to fit a women's hand," the reviews are smart, sarcastic, and sounding alarms in the social media world for all the wrong reasons.
Legendary comedienne Phyllis Diller died yesterday at the age of 95. Though she wasn't the first woman to do standup comedy, her jokes about domestic life and her willingness to make fun of herself paved the way for countless funny ladies who came after her.
We spend a lot of time in the handful of decades that we exist in this world being told things and telling things. But there are comparitively very few moments when we allow our pretenses to drop and we come together to share something honest, and complex, and for many of us a little (or a lot) scary. That's a transformative thing.
What would happen if Melissa from Shakesville, Garland from Tiger Beatdown (and the Bitch blogs!), and Jessica from scATX joined forces and created a Super Site, like when the Transformers would combine and make a Super Robot? It sounds like the stuff of feminist blogosphere fanfic, but it's actually happening! Introducing: Flyover Feminism.
Kerry A. Gunther, bear management biologist at Yellowstone National Park explains in her information paper "Bears and Menstruating Women," "The objective of this paper is to present the data available on this subject so that [campers] can make an informed choice when deciding whether or not to hike and/or camp in bear country during their menstrual period." In the end, the author concludes that, "There is no evidence that grizzly and black bears are overly attracted to menstrual odors more than any other odor." However, those of us who menstruate should take the recommended precautions that include using tampons instead of pads, and packing out used tampons and pads out in a double baggie. I can see the headline now in a million women's magazines: "Could Your Tampons Get You Mauled to Death!?"
Oh, Bitch readers. My time with the Bridal Party series is nearing its end. For my penultimate post, I thought I'd share with you something I never knew existed prior to this series. Something so amazing (read: absurd) that I'm not even sure I can develop a critical thought framework around it. That is a lie. I could develop a critital thought framework about a slice of pie if I tried.
Sound familiar? You don't have to be Nigerian to recognize the challenge of traditional gender roles—and women being pigeon-holed into caregiving. Some of us have these roles upheld through political systems or religious faiths. However, in my case, the gendered role (of caring for everyone else and sacrificing my needs, constantly, for the betterment of my family and community) happens to be dictated by my culture. Still, my Nigerian/African heritage is a very central part of my identity; our family values, community-centric approach to everything, and the strong sense of duty that comes with both of those things have guided me for as long as I can remember. Thus, even with the heightened awareness that perhaps an unusual amount of self-sacrifice came with my name, I was reluctant to deviate from this for a very long time.