Three-year-old Jim leaned over and gave his four-year-old neighbor, Ivan, a big smooch on the lips. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" yelled Jim's dad, making no effort to hide his distress. The kids didn't seem to notice Dad's outburst, but it's a message that children, especially boys, hear a lot: "Don't be gay."
When it comes to women and sports, we've got a long way to go before we reach the promised land of gender equity. Still, when you consider that Title IX just passed in 1972 and that we've got some seriously kickass women athletes to look up to in the wide world of sports today, well, it could be worse. So how are we doing when it comes to women, sports, and advertising? Well, let's start on a high note:
Trivia: Which came first: the Model T Ford or the windshield wiper?
Might seem counter-intuitive, but it was the wiper! Yep, the first successful windshield wiper was invented, and patented, by Mary Anderson in 1903.
Last week, Amanda Hess wrote an excellent and completely infuriating piece for The Washington City Paper called, "Test Case: You're Not a Rape Victim Unless Police Say So" about one woman's unbelievably frustrating struggle to get a rape kit. (I definitely recommend reading the piece, but it could be triggering so keep that in mind.)
Anyway, as one astute Bitch reader reminded us, this woman's story was also covered in issue 38 of the magazine back in 2007 (Lost & Found, p 16), and as the reader said, "It was a small article then but I was so disturbed and had often wondered what had become of the woman mentioned since. I believe it is the same person [covered in Hess' piece], and now knowing the details am even more disturbed and angry at her treatment. I think other readers may appreciate the story as well." Reader, you were right: It is the same woman, and, unfortunately, things haven't improved much.
I hate to break it to you, but we have a sell-by date. We're perishable, dude. Highly perishable.
I spoke these words to a friend as we meandered down the street engaged in another one of our snarky, rapid-fire dialogues about how we ended up here. Here being the waning years of our twenties without being firmly established on solid career paths and without appropriate grown-up milestones (marriage, kids, home ownership) in our cross-hairs. We've known each other forever, so it felt almost as if we were 17 again (but we're both so much cooler now) and wondering what we were actually going to do with our whole lives in front of us. Except we're not 17 and our grace period for a To Be Determined future is rapidly running out. Comforting, non?
Last month, NBC aired 30 Rock's "Future Husband" episode, wherein TGS creator/head writer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) tracks down the man she labeled her spouse-to-be on her iPhone. It was a follow-up to the Valentine's Day-themed "Anna Howard Shaw Day," which found the show's heroine spending the most romantic day of the year at the dentist, haunted by hallucinations of ex-boyfriends as the painkillers took hold. Apparently while doped up, Lemon met a British man named Wesley Snipes (Michael Sheen). When they exchanged phone numbers, both parties were looking to settle. "Future Husband" focuses on them not wanting to acknowledge that society thinks their age and relationship status thinks that they should. For those who'd like to watch the episode in full, go here.
As I was anticipating this blog series at the time of my viewing, imagine my good fortune when I realized that Lemon changed her ringtone from Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" (i.e., Elmer Fudd's "Kill the Wabbit") to Peaches's "Fuck the Pain Away."
Watching Bristol Palin's teen pregnancy PSA the other day and reading reactions to it (including Bitch's own Kelsey Wallace), I was reminded of a question that I've been turning over in my mind lately, namely who has the authority/credibility/legitimacy to speak to issues of class and privilege?
"Now when I listen to a really good song, I start nodding my head like I'm saying yes to every beat. 'Yes! Yes! Yes, this rocks!' And then sometimes I switch up with 'No! No! No, don't stop a'rockin!'"
Give it up for the power of yes! And the power of no! Give it up for choice!