March 5, 2011
…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.
July 30, 2010
On the other hand, Oklahoma and New Mexico will both electing a female governor this year. Governor is the highest state position, and this is only the third and fourth times, respectively, that two women have secured their parties’ nominations, for an all-woman race. (We have ‘third parities’ in the US, but no one takes them seriously.)
Compare that to CAWP’s list of woman-versus-woman U.S. House races, and the difference is striking. In 2008 alone there were 10 races in which a woman was assured a seat in the House of Representatives. And since 1944, there have been a total of 114 such contests, not including the four woman-versus-woman 2010 House races at last count. Clearly, women are more likely to run for, and win, House and Senate seats than find themselves in their state’s executive office. There are currently six female governors, or 12% of the total; meanwhile, 17% of both the U.S. House and Senate are women. (Of course, there were eight female governors until Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas left for the Obama administration and Sarah Palin decided to quit her job.) (Washington Post)
When I heard about these woman vs. woman races, I thought, “Huh, lets see how much focus is on their hair and clothes now!”
Then I saw the Jezebel post:
Yesterday, we learned that voters were polled on whether Barbara Boxer or Carly Fiorina has better hair. Even without the 2008 election’s bombast (Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin), the past year has been rather rocky for women in politics. Some lowlights:
1) Public Policy Research’s question about the really important stuff in the California Senate race had its own illustrious background: Carly Fiorina being caught on camera calling Boxer’s hair “so yesterday.”
July 26, 2010
Sadly, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than writing. Writing good, well-researched pieces takes time, and there has been excellent reading material out there these days.
As I comb through the internet, trying to find good ideas for issues to highlight, I find a lot of good material that stands on its own. So I’ll list a few. Hopefully, in the comments, we can start a lively discussion on some of the following.
read more »
January 25, 2010
I regularly read the posts on Jezebel.com. While browsing this morning I came across their review of Lori Gottileb’s book, Marry Him: the Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. A lot of relationship bloggers have a great deal to say about this book because it’s a book that elicits strong opinions. Many people, including Prozac Nation’s Elizabeth Wurtzel, agree with Gottileb’s general premise. Jezebel does not, and neither do many female bloggers and writers. Newsweek has an impressive rebuttal of Gottileb, which I’ve also found through Jezebel. These are all worth reading.
Neither the premise nor the author’s love of the subject is uncharted territory. (An excerpt of the book appeared in the Atlantic in 2008.) The premise goes like this: women in the dot-com, post-feminist-and-Facebook, fiercely individualistic and picky present have insane checklists for potential partners. These wishlists might include height, political, clothing, outlook, wealth, status, emotional and other such requirements. However, these attitudinal shifts create some real repercussions. When women reach their thirties and find themselves still single, they realize that they’ve passed up on many legitimate offers for reasons that seem stupid retrospectively.
Someone’s got to put the brakes on this bullshit.
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