Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I finally, finally, finally got my work laptop on Monday afternoon. I had to sign an agreement saying that it's for school-business related things only, not for anything personal.....

Of course I immediately went home and used the thing to type a paper for my child-development class and surf the web. Which I've been doing ever since.

So, yes, I'm back in the land of Tech, finally. I've been catching up on blogs, which has been a challenge, because ordinarily I just click "bookmarks" and work my way alphabetically through my list of sites. Since I'm on a new machine (which is really an old machine, but still), I've been trying to remember all of the blogs I read. It's a bit hard, really.

On Sunday, given my lack of net to surf, I spent all afternoon watching TV. Oy vey. I hadn't seen an episode of MTV's "The Real World" since maybe the 7th grade, and so I stopped in to see how it's doing. Well, the misogyny abounds. It was pretty appalling, actually, that the boys on the show (I won't even give them enough credit to call them "men") get away with the horrendously offensive sexist language and behavior. One charming example went something like this:
"Where are those dumb girls?"
"I dunno, probably shaving their vagina hair."

Wow. Um, leaving aside the crassness of the answer, which is not even worth commenting on, the child needs an anatomy lesson.

The interesting thing, though, is that this season's real world has a transgender character. Caitlin (I don't know how she spells it) is a 24 year-old trans woman. For the most part, the housemates seemed really respectful and supportive. Since the premise of the show is that it's a house full of people from all different backgrounds, I assumed that the conservative army kid would be a shithead to and about her. In fact, he really wasn't. He asked some questions that seemed awkward and poorly worded, but you could tell that it was coming from a sincere place. Even after coming out to everyone (which she did little by little), people seemed to use the right pronouns when referring to Caitlin and seemed to value her. Except one, who started by asking what seemed like sincere questions and ended up spending days tormenting her with the same lewd, inappropriate suggestion. It made me want to throw up a little....

I watched for as long as I did to see whether the women of the house would ever call out the boys on their sexist language and actions. The answer seems to be: nope. Not at all....


The other pop-culture horror that I saw a bit of was called "Tough Love" (I think). This one is straight-up barf inducing. I'm sick this week, though, and so maybe I thought that I only deserve things that will make me feel sicker.....I don't know. Anyway, this little gem involves a male "matchmaker" reforming a bunch of undateable wenches into charming, matched up ladies. Or something. I think that the basic message is "You should be looking for a man all the time and your goal should be to pair yourself up and if you don't make yourself look the way the menz want your useless and a bitch."

Yeah, charming, huh?

The women on the show (why on earth would they sign up for something like this???) all seem to have labels "the princess," "the bad girl," "the ball-buster" (she's Russian, of course, because ethnic stereotypes are even more fun than misogyny). In the first couple of minutes of the show, they were analysed by a group of "real men" and then told all of their flaws in gory detail. Bien sur, "doesn't take care of herself" and "could drop some weight" were used at least once.

I was really, really angry. Then I got to thinking: If you really buy into this idea that being paired up is the most important thing in the world, and you are "searching for love" all the time, why not do whatever it takes to get you some man-meat? If that means being degraded on national television, then, hey, that's millions of MTV watching boys who can see you and maybe want you as their very own Barbie inspired doll!

Or, you could work on being and interesting, independent person who gives the finger to the notion that if you're not paired up with a gel-and-Axe-body-spray-covered male of the species you're worthless.

The whole show included *one* decent piece of advice: "Work on yourself. If you don't know who you are and what you want, you'll never succeed." Of course, this girl was already thin and conventionally pretty.....


Louis said...

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