exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

dear bbc breakfast, part 2

by Jen at 9:01 am on 20.04.2007Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

surely, if your country, one of the most powerful countries in the world, was lead by a woman for more than 10 years – surely then, isn’t *entertaining* the laughable topic of “should a woman commentator call the football match of the day” on a national breakfast programme downright insulting?

(oh, and i’m pretty sure as a 43-year-old professional, she’d prefer *not* to be called a “girl”, as your male co-host referred to her.)

thanks for the sexism with my toast.

sincerely yours,

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only fools and horses

by Jen at 10:28 pm on 13.04.2007 | 4 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

i don’t know why the tradition of “ladies’ day” before the grand national race nettles me so. perhaps tying a parade of elitist women in ridiculous fashions so closely with the display of elitist thoroughbred horses just sets my teeth on edge. perhaps the implicit association between the expensively groomed trophy wives and the expensively groomed animals just rubs me the wrong way.

perhaps i’m reading too much into it.

i’ll let you be the judge.


jurassic 5 – a day at the races

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yeah – what *she* said!!

by Jen at 10:37 am on 9.04.2007 | 2 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

i had more than a few thoughts on the ridiculously sexist way the media sensationalised the woman naval officer who was amongst the recent british hostages in iran, but amity said them far better than I ever could:

To use and exploit motherhood to evoke emotions in the public, emotions everyone thinks are valid and chivalrous, is to further male-dominated agendas and knock women’s lib down a peg or two. The message is clear: the men were brave, the woman was saved. And now that she’s selling her story, insisting that it’s something ‘extraordinary’ when it was her job, what she signed up to do, pisses me off even more. There is nothing extraordinary about being a woman, being a mother, and being in the military. Millions of women do it every day. To pretend otherwise is to confirm what many have known all along — women are still not equal, in the boardroom or in the war zones, both at home and abroad. Turney exemplifies this and willingly makes herself a part of that prejudice.

so go read her post instead.

the decemberists – sixteen military wives

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dear bbc breakfast show

by Jen at 6:51 pm on 12.03.2007 | 6 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

I was watching your programme this morning, listening to the report on the resurgence of women’s roller derby, whilst enjoying my coffee – until I heard your reporter say something which made my jaw drop:

*Should* women be involved in such a violent sport?”

I hate to be the one to have to break the news, but this is the year 2007. Women *should* be involved in whatever sport they damn well please – whether that be boxing, roller derby, rugby, or ballet.

Women *should* no longer be viewed as, or be implied to be delicate, dainty, helpless beings, too genteel for anything more vigorous than sitting around with a parasol. Women *should* be spoken about respectfully in the media, like the strong, passionate, and capable individuals they are.

If we can lead entire countries, raise families, run businesses, and serve in war, surely we *should* be able to survive a little weekend roller derby. Your reporter would do well to remember that.

Many thanks, yours sincerely, etc., etc…

(yes, i sent it!)

song of the day: josh ritter – girl in the war

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thank you, emmeline pankhurst

by Jen at 8:15 pm on 8.03.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

last year, on international women’s day, andy asked what happened to “international white guy day”. to which i pointed out *every day* was international white guy day.

this year, i was on my lunch hour walk with my friend bernie. and we went past the statue of emmeline pankhurst, in front of the houses of parliament. there were wreaths of flowers lain in front, and i asked bernie who she was (history was never my strong suit). turns out, she was the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the u.k., the british equivalent of our susan b. anthony. she chained herself to the gates of parliament, bombed westminster abbey, went on hunger strikes, suffered imprisonment to achieve her goal. i found it touching that her statue was in such a prominent position, and that there were floral tributes in homage from all the major political parties.

flickr photo courtesy of tomroyal

the problem is that it remains tokenism. if you bother to check out the statistics, you soon find that women remain dramatically underrepresented in parliament. that the u.k., in fact, lags far behind not only many of the most progressive european countries (the scandanavian contingent are all in the top ten), but also more surprising countries such as rwanda, cuba, and mozambique.

With 19.5%, the UK is ranked 52nd out of 189 countries listed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in terms of the percentage of women holding office in the lower or single House of the national Parliamentary body.

for a westernised country that aspires to achieve real equality,that’s just not good enough. every day in modern history has been “international white guy” day. i’m lucky enough to live in one of the few countries in the world that has the opportunity to change that.

once a year flowers and a statue, not matter how well intentioned, are just not good enough.

ms. pankhurst would say the same.

song of the day: no doubt – just a girl

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more on why rape doesn’t matter

by Jen at 10:26 pm on 12.02.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

i wrote the other day about how rape is not taken seriously in the u.k.

this just underlines the point – the bbc, no less

The BBC has been accused of “trivialising rape” with its new show The Verdict, in which a jury of C-list celebrities decides the outcome of a mock trial.

The fictional rape case involves a 19-year-old waitress who claims she was subjected to a degrading sex attack by a footballer and his friend. All are played by actors.

Professor Liz Kelly, campaign chairwoman, said: “The Verdict is guilty of trivialising rape. This is reality television that misses much of the reality of rape – for example, the fact that most women are raped by someone they know.

“With rape rarely dealt with at any length by broadcasters, The Verdict is a missed opportunity to show the facts on rape. The bleak truth about rape is that little support or justice exists for women in this country.”

because rape is always a surefire ratings winner.


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why rape doesn’t matter

by Jen at 9:59 pm on 31.01.2007 | 3 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

there’s still a lot about the u.k. that is inherently sexist. some of it is more overt (the topless photos inside the “newspapers”) and some of it is more subtle (the use of the endearment “love” in a pejorative and belittling way). margaret thatcher notwithstanding, there are still a lot of obvious inequalities and insidious patriarchal attitudes that pervade the culture. i was quite struck by it when i first arrived, and i am sad to say, it has since faded into background noise. because, well, i live here – and you just can’t spend all day every day in a black cloud of righteous indignation.

one thing that never fails to raise my hackles, however, is the topic of rape. rape is an appalling topic no matter what the circumstances, but rape in the u.k. is truly horrific because only 5% of reported rape cases end in a conviction. that’s a number which has, in fact, been falling since 1977. of the cases that go to trial, one of every two ends in acquittal. in other words, a victim who manages to make it to trial has only a 50/50 crapshoot of getting to see her attacker put behind bars.

and reading the reports, it’s not hard to understand why. in news item after news item, there’s just no sense that anyone in the justice system takes rape seriously. there’s a lot of talk about the number of false accusations, the difficulties of determining consent if someone’s been binge drinking, and passing the buck blame-gaming. all we hear is how hard it is to determine what happened when the two parties know each other. attempts at judicial reforms have been dismissed by judges, police incorrectly record allegations as “no crimes”, and more than a third of dropped cases have should have been pursued. but perhaps the most telling indicator of how rape is viewed and prosecuted in the u.k. is that women are still often questioned about their sexual history as part of the trial.

all of those elements combine to form a pretty clear picture: rape just doesn’t matter much. and given that most rape victims are women, it implies that women just don’t matter much. which is why it is estimated 9 of 10 cases are never reported. the response to the most recent reports are feeble at best. there is no outrage, no shock – instead people say there shouldn’t be artificial targets for conviction. they trot out the old stereotype of a woman who only cries “rape” the morning after in a haze of regret. they say that a trial ending in a verdict of “innocent” is just as successful as a trial ending in a verdict of “guilty”.

what it boils down to is more of the same old shit. when rapists are free to walk the streets, they are free to rape again, creating more victims who don’t come forward or have ineffectual trial cases, further solidifying the wall of silence and making even more women vulnerable. and in a culture where victims of rape are blamed and disbelieved, why should any woman want to put herself through even more trauma when the chances of justice are so low, and the chances of humiliation so high? for victims of sexual assault, there truly is no justice. and while i can tune out the page 3 titties staring out at me from the papers every morning and i can tune out the men with a disparaging sneer in their voice, i simply cannot tune out the horror of living in a country where rapists get away with it – over and over again.

(while i have referred only to female victims of rape here, that’s not in any way to dismiss the plight of male victims of rape – simply that the overwhelming numbers are women)


blogging for choice

by Jen at 9:04 pm on 22.01.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

i have often blogged about being pro-choice. but today, the anniversary of roe v. wade, i am asked to quantify *why* i am pro-choice.

it’s very simple for me, really. i am pro-choice, because I am pro-women.

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falling off the ladder in nicaragua

by Jen at 6:00 pm on 19.11.2006Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

as often as i rail against the appalling record on women’s rights by the u.s. and u.k. government, there are times when i am confronted with just how much worse it really can be. when i realise how grateful i am that a capricious and random stroke of luck determined my citizenship in a modern, westernised, developed country.

because i could have been born in nicaragua, where women’s lives are considered so expendable that they are allowed to die rather than have access to an abortion.. their real, actual lives as daughters/mothers/wives/sisters are less important than the potential (yet dependent) life of a fetus which may kill her. women are so often on the very lowest rung of society’s ladder – and now, in nicaragua, they come even lower than a fetus which has yet to be even a baby. how many women will this government kill through deliberate medical neglect? women have been relegated to the role of vessel – their lives are of no consequence if they have a risky or dangerous pregnancy.

what should be our greatest source of strength – the ability to bring life into the world – instead becomes our potential death sentence. it’s abhorrently misogynistic – and sadly, not the least bit surprising. because on the last rung of the ladder, who ever notices when you finally fall off?

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election cheers and jeers

by Jen at 12:27 pm on 8.11.2006 | 4 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, rant and rage

a huge thank you to: south dakota, for showing common sense even when your leaders have none.

shame on: Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, South Dakota, Colorado, and Wisconsin for banning same sex marriage. you may constitutionally restrict “marriage”, but you will never be able to legislate who someone falls in love with.

boo hiss for: arizona, who in a demonstration of pure xenophobia voted to make english the official language of the state. too bad no one remembered their *own* immigrant origins.

and a hearty congrats to: massachusetts, for getting back to your democratic roots and electing the state’s first black governor. I couldn’t agree more when he said, “This was not a victory just for me. This was not a victory just for Democrats. This was a victory for hope.”

it’s such a nice change to wake up in the morning with a tiny hint of cautious optimism. i only vaguely remember what it feels like… but i could certainly get used to it.

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international women’s day

by Jen at 6:31 pm on 8.03.2006 | 3 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

today is international women’s day.


International Women’s Day is the universal day that connects all women around the world and inspires them to achieve their full potential. IWD 2006 launches another year of working progressively for women’s equality worldwide. It is an important day around the world because the collective power of women is witnessed by milions, and the brave achievements of women past, present and future are respectfully honoured. International Women’s Day 2006 will
be celebrated globally on Wednesday 8 March. Join the action !!

how ironic, in the face of all the efforts to roll back women’s rights to their own bodies recently.

Aletta Jacobs, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes – they would all be rolling over in their graves right now. Instead of honouring their memories and building upon their legacy of fighting for women’s rights, we are denigrating their accomplishments.

We’ve fought so hard to control our own destinies and our own bodies, a luxury many women worldwide *still* do not have, and would die for. And we’re throwing it all away through negligence and apathy.

In honour of women everywhere who don’t have choices… donate to international planned parenthood.

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you can’t be serious

by Jen at 11:53 pm on 6.03.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

mark morford gets it right again:

S. Dakota Slaps Up Its Women
Another state you should never visit passes an appalling abortion ban, because they hate you

Here’s a fascinating aspect: Most women are stunned by this news. Most women not living in one of the few remaining prehistoric red states cannot believe their ears, eyes, souls. I’ve told a number of my youngish female friends of this hideous development and they all respond the same way: stunned silence, then “You can’t be serious,” then this ashen “Oh my God” feeling of utter horror, followed by, “Does anyone else know this? Why isn’t this making bigger headlines? Where the hell is Oprah?” Etc.

See, modern women under 40, they simply don’t accept it. They have no conception of a world in which they don’t have complete control over their flesh, their reproductive rights, their sexuality. For most women of this generation, reproductive choice is simply a fundamental, incontrovertible human right, obvious and ironclad and indisputable, and so to hear that it’s being deeply threatened in this back-ass BushCo world is so foreign, so surreal, it induces an immediate cringing recoil, like watching Tom Cruise stick his tongue in Katie Holmes’ face, like watching flies feed, like seeing Dick Cheney naked. It simply does not compute.

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world gone mad

by Jen at 8:45 pm on 25.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: blurblets, like a fish needs a bicycle

Kansas is one of 12 states in which underage sex — under 16 in this case — is a crime even when it involves teenage peers. In 2003, state Attorney General Phill Kline, a bandstanding prolifer, interpreted that law to require doctors, educators, counselors, and healthcare workers to report virtually all sexual activity by those under 16 to the state…

There was also the testimony of Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, best known as a stalwart of the abortion-gives-you-breast-cancer misinformation campaign. She said that teenage girls are always the victims of sexual activity because ”there’s always a power differential between a boy and a girl.” When girls have sex, they aren’t doing, she said, ”they have been done to.”

…Kline’s real purpose in mandating reports is to scare teens away from birth control and abortion clinics. If Kansas actually believed that all under-16 sex was harmful, why would it allow 13-year-olds to marry?

America is soooo fucked up.

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not done yet

by Jen at 7:26 pm on 24.02.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, rant and rage

as an expat, I’ve never felt further away from where I need to be. I want to take to the streets, and shout and protest. Yet my rage from 3000 miles away makes me feel so alone.

I know a lot of pro-choice women. In fact, the most vehemently pro-choice women I know are mothers. I’ve known a lot of women who’ve had abortions. I have NEVER in my entire life met a single woman who thought an abortion was a Good Idea.

But the minute they tell me I CANNOT control my uterus … that’s a *part of my body*. Whatever you may think about abortion in general, neither you, nor Bush, nor anyone gets to tell me what to do with *MY* body, because it is the only thing in this world i was born with and it is the only thing in this world I will die with, and it is the ONLY thing in this world that makes me ME.

I don’t think anyone can appreciate that until someone tells you what you can and cannot do with your penis, or your mouth, or your hands. The state didn’t give me a right to my body – only God or fate or whatever universal capricious force you believe in, gave me a right to inhabit my body. It is the only thing that I think with, breathe with, exist with.

I understand there are people who believe that unborn fetuses have those same rights.

What I don’t understand is at what point those rights take over *MY* rights, and, most importantly, why it’s not God or fate or whatever universal capricious force you believe in that’s deciding that, but the state. That’s what I don’t get.

I was up late thinking about this. Crying over this.

Men grow up with the given assumption that they have complete primacy over their bodies.

Women grow up with the idea that at some point, they will voluntarily cede control of that primacy to a baby’s needs.

The idea of having to *involuntarily* cede primacy of one’s body is pretty upsetting.

But do you know what happens to women who don’t have abortions? Who can’t/don’t care for the baby? Those children become foster kids.

Adoption? That happens to a small proportion of newborn white babies who are given up by healthy normal mothers.

The rest – the massive numbers of children who don’t get adopted, end up in the system. If they’re lucky, they end up there from birth. If they’re not lucky, they get taken away when they’re older because bad things have happened to them. Know what happens to them? Go visit a childrens home (yes, orphanages still exist in this day and age). Go talk to the 10 year old who’s lived in 12 different foster homes, and has exactly 4 pairs of pants and 3 photos to her name. Go talk to the little girl with cigarette burns on her back, who got raped at 3 years old. Go talk to the brain damaged kid with special needs who was born addicted to crack. Go talk to the child who was abandoned at age 2 by and found alone in the house after 3 days. Go talk to the HIV positive kid who might not live to see their 13th birthday. Go talk to the kid who’s been bounced back and forth 4 times to see if their mother can “get her act together”.

Think I’m exaggerating? I swear to you, I’m not. Go see for yourself. These are the children who are not wanted. If they’re not fucked up before they go into the system, they sure as hell are coming out. there are more than *half a million* children in the system.

What happens to these children? Who makes sure they don’t drop out of school at 16? Who helps them try to get into college? Who teaches them how to get a bank account, get a job, get a apartment? What happens to them at 18?

What happens to the children whom society treats like stray dogs? The ones who’ve never had anyone to love and guide them? Who don’t love themselves?

Unwanted pregnancy is about more than just the mother. It’s about the children.

There are people in this world who should never have had children. And we, as a society, only continue to desperately fail those children again and again. And then they grow up and the cycle begins again – lather, rinse, repeat.

3-4 million dogs and cats are adopted every year. We should feel utter shame at allowing a half million children to go unloved without families.

There are lots of people who try to make a difference, but it’s like sand against the wind. The foster care “system” is a massive, abysmal crime against children.

Until what’s broken can be fixed, I see legal abortion as an option which keeps more innocent kids from becoming part of that torturous, horrific cycle. I know others don’t agree – but that’s why *I* cannot and will not be dispassionate about it.

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failing words, falling back on sisters

by Jen at 9:33 pm on 23.02.2006 | 3 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

since eloquence eludes me, i’ll let others say it better than myself:

bitch ph.d.: not to put too fine a point on it

Of course, women with money will just leave the state for their abortions. If they’re smart, a lot of them won’t come back… I predict that poor and principled women in South Dakota will start learning how to do at-home d&cs.

feministe: ignorance typified

this law really does call bullshit on any “pro-lifer” who claims that the anti-choice movement cares at all about women…This ban additionally states that “life begins at the time of conception,” which again demonstrates that politicians probably shouldn’t be making laws about medicine when they have no idea what they’re talking about (hello there, “partial-birth” abortion!). “Conception” isn’t a medical term. Fertilization is, but pregnancy doesn’t start at fertilization — it starts at implantation. And if “life” in South Dakota starts at “conception,” they’re going to have a skyrocketing miscarriage rate…

shakespeare’s sister : the anger we all feel

I don’t know if I can accurately convey my feelings about being an adult women, with a good mind and a purpose and a family and a home (all of which is one way of saying I have a life that’s important to me), who stands to have fewer rights and less value under the law than an unwanted fetus. That if I am raped, or my health is under threat, my soundness of mind and body are worth less than an unwanted fetus. That there are people who do not feel my uterus should be under my own control.

It’s insulting. It’s belittling. It’s unfair. It’s infuriating. And none of that matters to the people who would seek to protect a life that doesn’t exist at the expense of mine, which does.

This issue is not just about women who may, at some point, want or need abortions. It’s about all women—and our standing in society, our autonomy. Control over my own body, of which legalized abortion is a significant part, is part of how I define and understand myself and my role in our culture. Taking that away from me is taking away a part of myself, and make no mistake, that’s what this fight is really about.

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misogyny is alive and well in south dakota

by Jen at 5:58 pm on Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

A US state legislature has approved a bill to ban most abortions, in a move aimed to force the US Supreme Court to reconsider its key ruling on the issue… It calls for jail sentences of five years for doctors who perform abortions, even in cases where the woman has been raped, her health is threatened or she became pregnant in an incestuous relationship

can i vomit now? my stomach is churning.

you can say this isn’t a bill meant to be enacted… but it just makes me want to cry. what kind of sick, twisted, women-hating lawmakers would *vote for this bill*??? what kind of world are my nieces growing up in???

I feel so violated as a woman. to think that someone would consign me to having the baby of my rapist if i lived in south dakota. to think that people find it okay to subject me to the mental torture of carrying the seed of some evil fuck within me for nine months, giving birth to it, and being responsible for it, *on top of the trauma of being violently robbed of my body in the first place*.

to be molested by one’s father/brother/uncle, and having to carry their baby as a permanent reminder of that invasion.

this is the kind of shit which will bring back bloody hangers and bleach douches. this is the kind of shit which will drive women to suicide. my lone ineffectual rage cannot stop this.

the thought of all this makes me feel so helpless.

and somehow, i’m sure that’s the point.

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alito’s abortion audition

by Jen at 8:40 pm on 21.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

Fucking scary – the supreme court will decide the constitutionality of a late term abortion… without the tie-breaker former justice o’connor, who previously insisted that any restrictions must carry exceptions to protect the health of the mother. this is a *federal* ban, folks. a ban on something very rarely ever carried out except under extreme circumstances anyway. Y’know, I just don’t think anyone can ever, ever, ever tell someone what to do with their body. Ever. I’ve talked about it before, but the minute you start encroaching on the right to preserve that last bastion of self-determination, the last frontier of the most personal boundaries, the most literal definition of who we are as humans, our individual physicality… that’s the minute *none* of us completely own our bodies. Man or woman. If that doesn’t scare you, it should.

in the end, none of the other arguments even matter to me. the fetus may be a potentially viable life – but the actual living breathing existing woman has rights which will supercede those, full stop, and i can’t wrap my brain around any argument to the contrary.

edited to turn off comments – while everyone is entitled to their opinion, i’m not interested in sponsoring a link to some rabid prolifer on my site. and luckily, it’s my blog.

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by Jen at 11:24 pm on 13.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

valentine’s day has been co-opted by the greeting card companies for schmaltz and profit. so i urge you to celebrate something meaningful this day instead. recognise v-day – until violence against women worldwide is a thing of the past. donate, volunteer, promote. give of your heart.

for all the women you know and love. and for all those you don’t.


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why men are responsible for women’s happiness

by Jen at 12:39 am on 4.02.2006Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

Watching some *bullshit* programme on how feminism is dead, has in fact been detrimental to women, and how they “can’t have it all”. The upshot of the argument is that women have tried to become men, and instead have made themselves less happy, less appealing to men, and less able to have children and care for their families. That they end up undermining the institution of marriage and destabilising society by wanting to have it all.

I can’t even begin to tell you how vehemently I disagree with this hurtful and self-sacrificing load of shite. People bemoan the ladette culture and ask if women are really happy behaving like sexually liberal drunks. They ask if they’re happy earning less and working harder at the same jobs. People ask if women who postpone having children are happy to go through fertility treatments and adoption. People ask if mothers who work outside the home are happy given their general exhaustion and stress levels.

These are all the wrong questions.

What they should be asking is: just how would society change if it was *men* caught in the above scenario? Because if there was true equality in salary, opportunity, expectation, responsibility, and choice in today’s society, none of this would be an issue.

Where is the expectation that men take on half the childrearing? Where is the expectation that men sacrifice their careers for the good of their children? Where are the egalitarian salaries so that families can decide what’s best for them, not what makes the most financial sense? Where is the expectation that men stop acting like drunken sluts? Where is the expectation that men make some of the hard choices about going back to work? Where do we get off lauding ourselves as a progressive society because a few elite women have made it to the top, instead of working diligently to change the fact that the women who do get there only do so at great personal cost?

Women’s roles have changed tremendously over the past 50 years. Yet men’s roles have changed hardly at all. So why, on top of everything else are *women* responsible for changing society? Why the hell aren’t we taking men to task for not doing their part?!? Why the hell should women have to downsize their expectations of society? Certainly no one expects men to self-sacrifice like that.

Instead of asking if women are happy with their modern expectations and responsibilties, we should be saying, “Women aren’t happy with their current expectations and responsibilities – now what the fuck are you gonna do about it?”

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the pornification of america

by Jen at 11:10 pm on 24.01.2006Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

You know, i haven’t been following the alito hearings because it’s was always a fait accompli, and dwelling on it just makes my gut twist. Is he qualified? Sure. The problem is that no matter how you wrap it, the bulk of judicial decision-making comes down to interpretation coloured by opinion. And I doubt, from what I’ve read so far, that his opinion has very much in common with mine. Unfortunately, his counts for a helluva lot more.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declared, “If one is pro-choice in this day and age, in this structure, one can’t vote for Judge Alito. It is simply that simple.”

’nuff said.

Read a very interesting article today on “the pornification of america”, about how omnipresent sexual material has become in our society.

…the porn aesthetic has become so pervasive that it now serves as a kind of sensory wallpaper, something that many people don’t even notice anymore. The free-speech-versus-censorship debates that invariably surround actual pornography do not burn as hot when the underlying principles of porn are filtered more subtly into the mainstream.

whatever one might think of the pervasive sexual overtones and what it does to the the social standing of women, I think it is getting to the point where the backlash is building. I know that sounds a bit naive, but as mentioned above, it’s gotten to the point where sex is becoming background noise. Because of this, I theorise there’s going to be a backlash because sex is losing its effectiveness to sell – and the effectiveness which has, to this point been so thoroughly exploited, is dependent on a) the ability to shock and b) the element of taboo. Both of those angles have been stretched to their breaking point. By saturating the market with sexual messages, advertisers and marketeers are shooting themselves in the foot, when it fails to titilate as it once did. There’s only so far one can take the notion of define one’s actions in direct opposition to something (i.e. if the conservative right is decrying the loss of “family values”, you can only go 180 degrees opposite to that before you run out of room). It’s like those adverts that get your attention through silence – when you become so used to tuning out the loud, brash, in-your-face manipulation, the subtle approach works by appearing in stark contrast. as a ploy, that might work for a while… but not forever.

the article also makes the argument that:

…the ”conservative right, in its eagerness to keep sexuality forbidden, is really just stoking the fire of an appetite for porn, for naughtiness, for the whole lust for sexual transgression.” She maintains that if conservative forces were to ”give up their repressive game where sex is concerned,” the mainstream manifestations of porn will lose their appeal to a lot of people.

The example of the UK would seem to support this. Here there is a healthy dose of realism – t & a are definitely for adult consumption, but theres no shying away from it either. turn on any channel five late movie and what you’re watching is something you could easily rent off the back shelf of the video store. Because there’s no pretense of puritanism to rebel against, there’s much less “risque” material floating around. For the most part, things are not sold using sexually explicit imagery or innuendo. Politicians say very little, in fact, about sex and the media, and feel no need to hang their hat on prudishness.

America needs to drop its facade of innocence – it’s not fooling anyone anyway. The pendulum will have to swing back the other way eventually, and though i doubt we’ll ever go back to the days of long petticoats and white gloves, the people who make their living using sex to sell cars/music/blenders will be forced to be < *gasp*> original.

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what a goddamn suck-ass week

by J at 7:17 pm on 1.07.2005Comments Off
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, rant and rage

In the states at the moment, but am well and truly pissed off.

O’Connor resigns: goodbye legalised abortion. As the key swing vote on upholding a woman’s right to choose, I predict dire days ahead for women’s rights in the u.s.fucking-a. I can’r even put words to my fears.

zimbabwe continues to steamroll people – literally. and south africa won’t take a stand. this is not because they agree with what’s happening, but more because they are afraid to undermine any political pull they might have with mugabe, by being seen as a puppet of western coutries. in the meantime, they continue to provide massive amounts of zimbabwe’s electricty, yet refuse to consider using that as leverage to bring about change. primarily, because they fear the potential for a destabilising civil war, and the implications for s.a. as their neighbour. this article is spot on

right, going back to trying to enjoy my holiday now… where are those earplugs and blindfold?

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