Archive for ‘unhealthy’

March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen’s Mysogyny

by d

…is tolerated as part of a larger cultural misogyny. Anne Holmes, creator of Jezebel, has an excellent opinion piece in the New York Times called The Disposable Woman.

Holmes demonstrates how Charlie Sheen‘s record of lashing out and being abusive toward the women in his life has been tolerated, even affectionately joked about, by the media at large. Part of the problem, she argues, is the sort of women he’s been involved with.

But there’s something else at work here: the seeming imperfection of Mr. Sheen’s numerous accusers. The women are of a type, which is to say, highly unsympathetic. Some are sex workers — pornographic film stars and escorts — whose compliance with churlish conduct is assumed to be part of the deal. (For the record: It is not.)

Holmes goes on to point out how the exploitation and debasement of women has become a normal part of reality TV culture.

Honestly, there are so many great quotes and arguments in this piece, I can’t possibly pull them all.

Read it for yourself at the NYT.

February 28, 2011

Tearing at the Roots/ Dec. 2006

by feyruhan
Dust bunnies

Image via Wikipedia

Breathe.  Stop.  Let it sink in.

My room is a mess of small clutters.  Papers, cables, boxes filled to the brim but not yet sealed; never sealed. Could I ever seal them? I’m getting whiny and should stop.

Move-out is in eight and a half hours. Dad will come by with a truck from the store and give me an encouraging hug before getting to work.  I can’t expect much from him, but I can expect something, and it’s more than Mom will offer.

The walls are bare; painted a dusty light-blue, the wall along my bed–at my back–cluttered with small cards, a poster, train tickets.  I should take these down, but I won’t, not yet, not until the very last hour.  I will carry them with me, and these walls, and this dust, and this oppressive air, and the sourness between the woman who is my mother and myself.

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December 24, 2010

This has to be fake.

by f

courtesy Postsecret Favorites via Flickr

Read: “I want an Arranged Marriage”.

No, you don’t.

No, you don’t want an arranged marriage.

(I understand it’s an emotional argument to make. I also understand that I can’t make blanket statements. I am going to violate every cardinal rule of argument or political correctness — you know, that convention that prevents us social anthropologists from saying that one tradition is inherently better than the other.)

The writer has chosen not to reveal her name. This is smart. She is clearly confused and her thoughts are badly organized. If she gave her real name, she would have been pilloried across the internet.

This story was a mishmash of disjointed orientalist stereotypes, and it should not have been run. I love the Frisky’s GirlTalk segments as a rule, but this is awful. I hope against hope that this doesn’t turn into a farce of Gilbert-style proportions.

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November 22, 2010

by V
When the comments first started rolling in, we were still operating under old assumptions and worked from that point. 

Now we’ve reread it critically and realized that what it actually says is not what we originally read it as. That’s our mistake. And it’s our fault for not treating it more responsibly.

We cannot keep this up so long as it has the potential to hurt another reader. However, the comments will remain on the post as taking them down would be dishonest.

Your editors are now taking a break from Subterfuge for the indeterminate future. We thank you for reading and we wish you all the best.

[Update: The editorial  response is here.

Due to points raised by commentators  — for which we thank you — the editors here at Subterfuge are reviewing the post and the editorial process. We have striven to create a space where our contributors can be honest. We acknowledge that we neglected our editorial duties by not ensuring that the facts given in this opinion piece were backed up.We ask that new comments on this piece include recommendations for further reading and study.

A longer and more detailed response is coming.

Please believe us when we say that it has never been our intention to hurt. Mea culpa.

-The Editors, D & F

November 10, 2010

Oprah and Tyler Perry Give Male Abuse Victims a Voice

by d

Oprah Winfrey dared speak the truth of her sexual abuse many years ago, giving millions of women permission to acknowledge their abuse. Today (Nov. 5) and next Friday (Nov. 12), Oprah has chosen to join forces with Tyler Perry to open doors for another huge group who need understanding and healing for the sexual abuse they’ve suffered: men. I honor the bravery and genius of Oprah and Tyler, who both dared to dream that they could help men heal by creating a safe enough place to tell their stories.

The sheer numbers of male survivors are staggering; according to most researchers, one in six men has been sexually abused by age 18. The estimates go up to one in four when you add in victims of covert non-contact abuse. Our culture teaches men to keep their abuse secret for many complex reasons. They learn that they aren’t supposed to be vulnerable; they learn they should be in control, so it’s impossible to be a victim; they might wrongly blame themselves for leading someone on; many mistakenly fear their abuse makes them gay or less masculine.

I wasn’t able to watch Friday’s episode, but I want to promote the next one. This is an incredibly important issue. Men face their own set of challenges when it comes to being abused, particularly sexually. Women have learned to become more vocal, but men are still encouraged to say nothing.

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November 2, 2010

RAF or RYE Part 4

by V
Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC)

via Flickr

I’m back again for (probably) the last installment of this running commentary on TTH’s Romancing a Feminist post. The URL for the actual post can be found here.

The URL for this particular portion of the comments can be found here.

Now, on with the commentary!

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October 27, 2010

What Women Want: Shaving?

by roxythekiller

Art by our own Roxy

Fear of my bodily hair consumes me— and rudely interrupts my sexual fantasies: I slide off my panties, and the sexy, shirtless guy lounging on the bed says in Antonio Banderas’s husky accent: “That’s not a pussy, that’s a Persian cat!”


Most men will never know why their girlfriends aren’t up for sex: shaving. Yes, shaving— female shaving: a time-consuming ritual which includes scraping hair off the armpits, crotch, butt, and vaginal regions. Although some women enjoy shaving, just as some men enjoy plucking their eyebrows, most of us shave for one key reason: Fear. Specifically, fear of rejection… that we won’t land that job, that guy, or worse, the acceptance of our friends and family. Although fear of rejection is about as old as mankind, and fundamentally human, the fear which compels women to shave their bodies is a recent one, encroached in disturbing double-standards and prejudice that dehumanize us.

Where the hell did this custom come from?

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October 15, 2010

Global Gender Gap Report, NOW calls Whitman a political whore, and bride-nappings

by d
The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

Today is one of those days with too much going on, news-wise. Here are some summaries with a tch of commentary.

2010 Global Gender Gap Report

The World Economic Forum has published its 2010 Global Gender Gap Report, which measures factors like the number of women who hold high-level offices in government and wage gaps to determine how how the genders measure up.

The US has made gains, jumping a full twelve places to reach spot 19. This is the first time it has been in the Top 20 in the five years the report has been put out.

@Huffington Post, or Full Report

California NOW (National Organization for Women) president adopts controversial language

Democratic California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown‘s staffers were caught on tape calling his opponent, Meg Whitman, “a whore.” Cue furor.

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October 14, 2010

I’m admitting I Have a Problem/ September 2010

by feyruhan
Advertisement for curing morphine addictions f...

Image via Wikipedia

Addiction is simple.  There’s something you in some way shape or form enjoy.

A drug.  A drink.  Sex.  A person.

You obsess over it.  You get as much of it as you can.  At some point that thing, the need for that thing, starts interfering negatively with your life, and you either say, “I don’t care,” or “I don’t like what this is doing to me.”

And you either quit, or keep going.  And then once you’ve gotten through the first day, the first month, the first year, without that thing, you’re done.  You’re finished.

You’re free.

Is it really that easy?

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October 11, 2010

The Modern Bully: Someone Else’s Problem

by d

Nerd VennWe have this image, in our collective consciousness, of what a bully looks like. It’s a kid, usually a boy, often larger than the other children. He will be either rich and athletic and perfect, or flawed, stupid and angry. Either way, he needs to make himself feel better. He needs to make other people feel worse. So he finds the weakest, and he destroys them. Or he finds those who threaten his position and he wears away at them until they are no longer a threat. The he continues just because he can.

The female bully has gained less notoriety because she is more subtle. Sometimes she takes the imposing form of the large, angry boy, but usually she is a social climber. She wants to be popular; if she is popular, she wants to stay there. She has learned that it is easier to destroy others than to depend on your own good qualities. So she spreads rumors and cuts down other children when they least expect it. She sows seeds. She speaks in a coded language fraught with layered meaning. She does not need to use her fists. Movies like Mean Girls acknowledged that this creature exists, and how she operates.

It is easy to recognize a child or teenager who bruises his fellow classmates. Women can always tell when another female is targeting someone. But bullying has changed, and it continues to do so at lightning speed. 

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