Last week, Nightline aired a hand-wringing episode about single black women. Specifically, single black women who have not heeded Steve Harvey's advice to marry the first assbag who comes along lest they continue to be single and, by extension, continue to cause problems like the incarceration of black men, drug addiction in the black community, the slaughter of millions of kittens with ruthless force, etc., because we cannot be having all these single black women! The terrifying statistic: 43 percent of black women have never been married. Quelle horreur! Don't ask for any proof or sound reasoning about why this is a crisis, just believe Nightline when they tell you: single black women are bad.
The persons-with-brains-o-sphere responded in force, and there have been some brilliant single black lady critiques of the Nightline episode. In The Nation, Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Courtney Young note how Nightline failed to address any of the institutional, systemic issues behind these marriage statistics:
They call themselves "Crazy Bitches," and they appear to be an anti-capitalist feminist group who have resorted to violent measures to get their voice heard. Bryce Covert over at the Lady Finger has some details:
France is deeply concerned about Muslim women's ability to freely express themselves, so the country is set to completely ban Muslim women from wearing a particular item of clothing. President Nicolas Sarkozy, the great protector of stupid, oppressed women who don't know better everywhere, is hoping to ban veiling in his country so that the ladies can be proper ladies, the way ladies are supposed to be proper.
Because everybody knows the best way to ensure that women are happy and free is for their mostly-male government to them what they can and cannot wear. Per the New York Times:
All you harpy feminists can quit your bitching about the beauty myth, because the New York Times has profiled a female basketball player who, along with a handful of other famous women in the entirety of the world today, has REDEFINED BEAUTY!
That's right, you read it in the Style Section first: all those weight-loss articles, "dress for your shape" missives and body-shaming commentary from style analysts will soon be a thing of the past, because Baylor's Brittney Griner is really tall and has big feet AND WAIT FOR IT! people think she's pretty!
I don't want to get your Thursday morning off to a grumpy start, but this shit that is going on with anti-choice conservatives threatening the House Dems who voted for health care reform cannot go unacknowledged, even on our silly little poppy-culturey blog that only occasionally gets outraged about what-have-you.
And thus I ask: what is it about being "pro-life" that makes the crazies want to inflict bodily harm on--and occasionally kill--other human beings?
All the single ladies! All of them! Listen up, because I know this will be news to you: unmarried women face pity and scorn as they age without getting married. Please take a moment if you need to recover from the shock you surely feel at reading that statement. And, once you've done that, go back to taking pride in being a single lady. Because my favorite Twitter hashtag and a new film affirm: single ladyhood has serious perks.
Sometime last year, fellow Doll Susan Quesal and I started using the Twitter hashtag #beingasinglelady, and since its inception, it has brought us many, many laughs. (Susan wins for best one so far: "Almost just choked to death on a carrot because I was yelling at my cat #beingasinglelady.") See, whenever you find yourself doing single lady things--though one need not be a single lady, necessarily, for this to be the case--you simply alert your Tweeps that it's a #beingasinglelady thing.
And so I am anxious to see the new documentary film, Seeking Happily Ever After, for its unabashed #beingasinglelady-ness. And thus I will take this opportunity to both promote my favorite hashtag and this film, which needs yours and my and everybody's donations to get distributed in theaters.
Hello, ma'am, and welcome to Abortions R Us! In order to best serve you, you dirty slut, we'd like to inform you that we are required, by law, to ask you why you are coming in for this abortion procedure today, you thoughtless hussy. You are not required to answer this question, but we think it's important we ask you, just in case you were wandering around pregnant one day and accidentally stopped into this clinic and asked for an abortion and hadn't really thought about it beforehand. Also, please allow us to inform you of the pain you will be inflicting on your fetus during the procedure, you heartless, selfish bitch.
Now, wait 24 hours and come back tomorrow and tell us if you are absolutely sure you want that abortion. Slut.
Last week, Amnesty International released a report on the atrocious maternity death rate here in the United States, which we mentioned here on HD. According to the report, inaccessible and overpriced medical care are responsible, as well as the over-use (over-prescription?) of cesarean section births. And, indeed, the same week the Amnesty International report came out, the National Institutes of Health held a "census development" conference on the use of C-sections--determining eventually that doctors are too quick to rule out vaginal labor. Vaginas: 1, medicalization of birth: 0, at least in this round.
A couple weeks ago, I was leaving the lecture hall where I'm a T.A. for a cultural anthropology class. We'd just gotten done talking about language and metaphor and the way language shapes behavior, particularly medicine. The prof talked a lot about the mechanization of birth, and one of my students was unconvinced. "But Western medicine saves lives. Who is going to argue with that?" he asked me. I told him what little I knew--that I thought unnecessary C-sections and inadequate application of the Great White Wonder That Is Western Medicine has made birth a doctorly--rather than a motherly, or midwiferly--business. My student remained unconvinced.
You can be sure, then, that I will forward him and the rest of my kids this article, detailing an Amnesty International study that reports maternity deaths as doubling over the past 20 years. You know, the past 20 years in which medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds.
Settle in for a long, long ride on the This Is A Thing Now Train, because male marketing and male beauty products are here to stay, along with no shortage of discussion about the same. This week in AdAge, Jack Neff explores the phenomenon of selling beauty--or anything else--to men and gives some interesting examples of products that actually started as "lady" products. Any of you girls want to fire up a Marlboro? They were originally for you!
It would almost be cute that the Chicago Tribune thinks teenaged girls are picking the paper up and checking it out for diet tips if the Chicago Tribune didn't clearly think teenaged girls are ... picking it up and checking it out for diet tips. I struggle to find something that isn't problematic about "How To Lose 10 Pounds Before Prom," least of which is my difficulty imagining a high schooler picking up a daily newspaper these days.
"And yea, though I walk through the well-lit city street, I shall fear every man, for I wear skinny jeans. My heels and my eyeshadow, they maketh me ask for it."
Repeat this to thyselves, base female sinners! For remember, if you wear the unholy clothes of whores in the VA-TN Tri-Cities area, you may be flagged down in the street and given a religious pamphlet admonishing you for your Satanic dress--and warning you that if you keep dressing like a giant slut, you are probably going to get raped, and if you do, it's your fault. Props to the local paper, the Bristol Herald Courier, covering this thoughtfully ... or at all:
We all know and loathe Carrie Prejean, the Christian beauty queen from California who, aside from being surprisingly unable to say two coherent sentences in a row, also only believes in "opposite marriage." Oh, sure, she has lots of gay friends--who in the beauty queening industry doesn't? For that matter, who in America doesn't?--but really, those gay friends shouldn't really have rights and stuff.
But because one Bible-thumping pageantess from California isn't enough, we now have Lauren Ashley, Miss Beverley Hills. Again, she has lots of gay friends. But she wants them to know that they will be mightily smote down by The Lord God for their abominations. She recently told Fox News:
They were asked to consider whether or not a man was justified in punching his partner when he found out she had had an affair. Nearly all of the children thought that the woman deserved to be hit. In
another scenario, about 80% of the children said a man had cause to
slap his partner because she did not have the dinner ready on time.
Nancy Lombard described the findings as "worrying" because the
youngsters had naturalised and normalised violent behaviour. She
said: "The children didn't agree with violence, but gave reasons to try
to justify it if the woman had done something 'wrong'.
And then, from an online poll unfortunately (and terrifyingly?) called Wake Up To Rape: