America’s Next Bill Clinton!


On your period? Ewww, you sick

Sorry if the paragraphs aren’t broken up. For some reason, it’s not doing that, and I’ve tried to fix it, but it doesn’t work. So I gave up. 

Are you on your period? Do you naturally bleed each month? Are you a woman? What shame! My God – you should be hiding the fact that your body naturally secretes blood every month because, like, it just grosses us out, hmmmkay? 

This is the message you’d be getting if you buy into this shit http://www.simplydiscrete.com/ 

It’s essentially a little box thing that women can put their tampons in so that they’d hide the fact their on their periods, so that, according to the vendor, if they’re over at their in-laws house, they can change their tampons discretely.

I actually first spotted this product a few weeks ago at the NOW conference in Detroit and it kind of ticked me off. So I played football with the box, which many fellow feminists thought was kind of amusing.

Here’s the thing: I’ve never had a period, I don’t plan on having one anytime soon – and up until last week, I didn’t even know the mechanics of tampons and pads, and the difference between the two.

But I know this: I am not comfortable with the idea that they’re selling a product and making money off women by encouraging them to “hide” what is most natural.

So they bleed every month. So what? They’re supposed to hide this, why? Why are we still taking steps to make women feel ashamed of what’s natural to their bodies?

And this idiot had the bright idea to sell them at the feminist conference!

Secondly, over at a feminist blog, there is talk of new scented underwear that’s coming out. Apparently, the idea behind this all is that women are supposed to smell like flowers (and melons!) because any other would be unnatural.

In fact, I’ve learned that such a product doesn’t provide for much comfort, either, and can create more infections and Urinary Tract Infections.

So, again, why are we shaming women into buying things to make their bodies unnatural and into what we want? This is consumerism and sexism at its best.

And not to be crude – but goddamn, if a vagina looks and tastes like 1800flowers.com just delivered it to my door, I ain’t touching it. Sorry.



Michael Vick, race and class

If you’ve tuned in to get an opinion on how long Michael Vick should be in jail for his crimes, you’re not going to get it here. Similarly, if you’re looking for a breakdown on how the Vick-less Falcons will now how to move on with journeyman quarterback Joey Harrington at an attempt to the yet-to-start NFL season, you’re not going to get that, either. There are other news sources, blogs and radio shows to talk about that, if you’re interested.

What you’re getting here is what seems to be missing from the mainstream media – the fact that, just has Michael Vick’s hope of playing under center this season is gone, so are the dreams of many young black men who, for too long, have been denied a chance in society because of the color of their skin.

In the end, no matter how long Vick goes to jail for, he’ll still be a millionaire. In the end, no matter how well the Falcons do this season (I am calling 6-10 in a strong division), their players and fans will still be privileged. But, with the Michael Vick controversies, the lives of thousands of black men will be affected, and negatively.

The image of African-American males in the media is already lacking, and in rare instances when they are represented, such images are usually not in a positive light. This only adds to such problems. To whom will the young black man look up to as a role model? Certainly not Michael Vick. For a very long time, Vick represented the American Dream – the dream of being born to teenage parents in the projects, yet working hard enough to the icon of the sporting world. Although I assert that children ought to seek role models in other areas, Vick represented to these young men, the fact that if you work hard enough, you can make something of yourself. But for Vick – and many young men, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare. To whom now shall young African American men turn as role models?

Furthermore, Vick isn’t helping with the image of Africa-American males. To mainstream society, and we know it’s not true, African-American males are seen as foolish, heartless individuals who make extremely bad decisions in life. Like it or not, who we appear to be does matter in society. I can only imagine the backlash and negativity African-American males will receive from it.

What upsets me is the tune in to any TV channel and you’ll get expert analysis of the Falcons’ season and Vick’s jail time. But I’ve  heard nothing at all about the lack of positive image of African-American males.

Everyone else has their role models. White young males have everyone. Young women have Hillary Clinton. Young Mormons have Mitt Romney. Indian-Americans have Dr. Sanjay Gupta. African-American women have Michael Jackson, and Asian-American males have …well, me.

What of the African-American males?



What’s in a name? Pro-feminist males or simply feminists?

So, I wanted to write about the misogynistic and patriarchal idea of how some claim two people of different genders can’t “just be friends,” because there’d be too much sexual attractions, but instead, I’ll write about something a poster asked of me last night: why I call myself a pro-feminist male rather than a feminist.

The value of this post is not about activism, but rather, feminist theory. I’d like to know what you think on it.

 So, the following are the reasons I call myself a pro-feminist male.

1) The feminist movement has been and was created for and by women.  For me to call something that was created for the purpose of women’s rights my own is the very definition of patriarchy – and I have a big problem with that. While I can be an ally and a suppoter, I’ll never, ever truly know what the female plight is like. It seems if I were to call myself a feminist, it would trivialize the importance of women’s rights.

 2) To own and have possesion to something is to have power. Thus, the feminist movement empowers women. As pro-feminist males, we’re always encouraged to give up our male privileges (at least birth-right/unjustified privileges anyhow). By taking the feminist movement as our own, all we’re doing is holding on to those privileges, and gaining from them.

3) In the end, all of these are merely semantics, but I believe we must highlight the differences in privilege that we have. Even within the feminist movement, there are differences in class and privilege – often based on race, gender, age and areas of focus. While I might just be able to say that I am simply a feminist, I am not. I get more privilege as a male, no matter  how we slice it. To merely call myself a feminist would mean to reject that fact that I am still privileged for being male.

 Often times, those who are privileged don’t feel the need to recognize or acknowlege such differences, because they aren’t being treated any differently or aren’t losing perks because of the differences. But for me, as a pro-feminist male, to think that we are all one, and are treated the same, is to be irresponsible.

When I look in the mirror, I may see “just a person,” but women are still looked at as women, and with that, comes limitations cast on by society (whether we like it or not and how much we hate it, we are gendered by society because we’ve been trained to be that way.) This is merely a way to highlight and remember that, so we don’t lose sight of what feminism truly is about.
Thoughts?

Marc



BITCH!
August 7, 2007, 5:07 pm
Filed under: bitch, Feminism, feminists, gender, gender roles, language, sex, women

Over the feministing.com Web-site there is a blog regarding the outlawing of the word “bitch” because it is demeaning. I am a fan of free speech and reshaping language. I believe “bitch” to be a good thing. And I think it’s helped with a few questions I’ve had!

The answer is this: there aren’t enough bitches in the world.

The question: every little nagging inquiry about my status and inability to maintain a relationship, often sparked by curious family members I see at Thanksgiving dinners and those who wonder why I manage to break morerelationships than I do wine glasses.

There you have it. There’s your answer: “there aren’t enough bitches in the world.”

Before you call the NOW police and report me to your local FMF chapter, to take my feminist card away from me, let us define what a “bitch” is. Although I guess those of you who have read “the Bitch Manifesto” know where I am going with this.

A woman is called bitch because she is strong, intelligent and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s called a bitch because she’s ambitious, outspoken and doesn’t let anything stop her from accomplishing her dreams. She’s a bitch, as defined by society, because she challenges what’s natural, does what makes her feel happy, and doesn’t accept society’s norms and rules – especially when said norms and rules are designed to keep her down.

She is strong, and speaks out when a situation makes her uncomfortable. But she doesn’t do it as a way to complain, but rather, to say, “Continue what you’re doing and I’ll kick your fucking ass!”

She fights for her fellow women, but not because they’re women. She fights for them because she sees them as human beings, just as she sees herself.

She doesn’t need a man or woman in her life, as she is a complete person. While a partner – of either sex, would enhance her life, it doesn’t define her life. Her happiness comes from her accomplishments and what she can do for the world and herself, not by virtue of her “womanhood.”

She’s happy with who she is, and doesn’t have to dress up or put on make-up to make anyone happy; if she so chooses to do that, it’s to make herself happy. She owns her body, and is willing to use it for her own pleasure and the pleasure of those she deems deserving, but dare pressure her into anything and she’ll kick your ass.

She loves her fellow human beings, to include children, but doesn’t necessarily think she has a maternal calling. While she’ll be happy with kids, having them doesn’t define her. They’re neither an extension of her nor are they the greatest things in her life. They are merely a part of her life, and she’ll do all she can to take care of them, but kids don’t dominate her life.

She is a woman, but she’s a human being first. She is defined by the fact that she walks and breaths, and not because she has a vagina.

Society is afraid of bitches because they’re not natural. They challenge the patriarchy, they make people uncomfortable in their own shoes. So, instead of worshipping bitches, they write them off, and they look at bitches as undesirable and lesbians and whatever you can think of.

But, me? I love bitches! I love each and everyone of them, and I don’t care what society says. Of my relationships, only one was with a bitch. It was good. I didn’t have to treat her like anything other than a human being. We respected each other, and loved each other, but knew we didn’t need each other. She did her things to change the world, and I did mine. For Christmas, she donated $100 to Planned Parenthood for me; and I donated $100 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for her. She kicked ass.

She’s only one among many bitches out there.

Hillary Clinton = a total bitch.

Gloria Steinem = the bitch of bitches.

Lisa Simpson = a fictional bitch.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton = the foremothers of bitchery.

Angelina Jolie = the biggest bitch in Hollywood (although one would argue she’s a privileged white bitch, which makes the complexities of class, race and gender the moreso interesting.)

My future wife = better be a bitch.

My future daughter = will be raised to be the biggest 5-year-old bitch in pre-school.

The next time I am on a date and decide the girl is good enough for a second date, I’ll say with the utmost sincerity, “You’re the biggest bitch I’ve ever met.” I think I’d enjoy getting a black eye in a restaurant.

All of you who with whom I associate = total bitches – and if you’re a male, you’re an honorary bitch, and I love you all for it. In fact, I think there might be something wrong if, in the 21st Century, a woman isn’t a bitch.

One of my passions is changing language and gender. I’ll bet that if we can take the word “bitch” back and make it into something positive, as defined by so many feminist scholars, “bitch” then becomes a good word.

By the way, the BITCH Manifesto, one of my favorite feminist reads, can be found here.

http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/bitch.htm

Thoughts?!?!?