Tag Archives: the patriarchy

excuse me, I’m not wimpy.

This Sports Illustrated article (“Wimpiest/most bizarre team names”) reinforces traditional standards of masculinity:

Dude, really? Wimpy team names and you leave out the NYU Violets? They have a hockey team…a HOCKEY team called the “Violets”. That ranks up there with the Peoria “Prancers.”
Jarod, Elmhurst, Ill.

Violet: a color. Also a name for girls. Also associated with “purple,” both colors considered “gay.” To prance, from Merriam-Webster: to spring from the hind legs or move by so doing; to ride on a prancing horse; to walk or move in a spirited manner. Or prance from Urban Dictionary:

Translation: Homosexuality is wimpy.

Allisonville High School Alices and the Frankfort High School Hot Dogs.
Travis Allen, Valparaiso, Ind.

Alice: another girl name. Same as Violet, above.

Translation: Girls are wimpy.

When Troy Aikman played high school football in Henryetta, Okla., the team name was the Hens. In the late ’80’s a woman I knew from there was part of a local group that finally got the school board to to change the name to something (anything!) else. So the team became the Knights. And opposing fans quit wearing Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets on their heads at games.
Richard Williams, Nashville, Tenn.

Hen: a female chicken. Also, slang for a human woman.

Translation: women are wimpy.

Wimpy team names: Columbia, Mo., Hickman High School Kewpies (a baby doll).
Charlie, Jeff City, Mo.

As far as wimpy high school names go, the worst has to be David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., whose nickname is the Kewpies (like the kewpie doll). Even worse, I seem to remember the colors of the pressbox at the stadium being yellow and lavender. I’ve got to believe every pregame pep talk by an opposing coach involved something along the lines of “No WAY we’re losing to a bunch of Kewpies!”
Jeff Lewis, Greensboro, N.C.

The Kewpies may have it worse of all. SI included a remarkable five quotes about this Midwestern school, including one that was not originally bolded in the article (is SI trying to say something?) like all the other quotes were. Let’s examine the bias against the Kewpies.

Kewpie dolls were (according to Wikipedia) “illustrations by Rose O’Neill that appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1909.” Dolls can be safely filed under “girls only toys.” “Lavender,” supposedly one of the school colors (actually purple) is even more associated with homosexuality than either purple or violet.

Translation: anything girly in tandem with males must turn males gay/effeminate/girly. Girly = bad. (I guess they’ve forgotten that girls play sports too.)

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I like to be well dressed, but…

Women’s Wear Daily reports:

Ports 1961 has struck a deal with NBC Universal to dress four female commentators for NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and USA Network during the Games, which take place Aug. 8 to 24.

So I know that Ports only has a womenswear division, but isn’t it, hmm, weird that only the female commentators are supposed to be that well dressed? Where’s the menswear designer outfitting all the male commentators?

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substitutions aren’t necessarily a good thing.

I was reading old blog posts from Greg Mankiw when I stumbled on this one:

Todd D. Kendall, an economist at Clemson University, reports that more pornography leads to less rape:

The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography. Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence.

I’ve previously seen that report, back in my first fumbling forrays into feminism. Of course, Mankiw is far from a shining example of a feminist, even if he did go watch the Sex and the City movie with his wife.

Too bad rape and pornography aren’t about lust for sex but about lust for power. And in the case of those two behaviors, one is more culturally accepted than the other. So people with a little morality recognize that one is a little better than the other, as rape manifests itself in violence and psychological damage, while pornography can narrow this damage down to a select group of people (the actors/actresses).

In any case, while eliminating rape is a priority for feminism, I doubt any feminist would consider that goal as the end-all, that’s-it-we’re-done. I’d rather establish equality between genders. Too bad it’s impossible when porn consumers are still operating under Let’s-Uphold-the-Patriarchy through porn usage instead of rape.

Note: I understand that plenty of people have written about this before but I am too lazy to look up links.

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I just made up a simple rule-of-thumb.

It addresses the truth that women’s bodies are held to be within the public domain: Guys, if what you do to a female would be construed as “gay” if done to a male, it’s not appropriate. And the same holds true for gals going through the same motions.

Note: I am not endorsing homophobia in any way.

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well, I think men’s bodies are most flattering with no clothes on, so they shouldn’t wear anything on the streets.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/24/fashion/24DRESSES.html

The problem with the main argument in that NYTimes article, that men like to look at women in dresses and thus women should wear dresses (oh no! the pant! how horrible! it helps women cross their legs – but where are the ultra-feminine dresses of the pre-second-wave-feminism era?!), is that then women should be making their clothing choices depending on the whims of another group. Besides, the standard constantly shifts. Certainly, in societies where women don’t wear Western-style dresses, men think those women “look good” in other types of clothing. If someone else decides the standard, that someone else can also change the standard.

Besides, women aren’t in the world for men to oogle and shape to their fancy. We’re people, too.

[edit 7:56 PM] I got the jump on feministing this time, but Vanessa wrote another rebuttal of the NYTimes piece here.

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