takedown thursday #3
Image via the Jezebel article on gender-neutral advertisements in Swedish toy catalogues.
Oh dear. Over at the Irish Times, William Reville has written a very enlightened article about how letting kids play with whatever toys they want is social conditioning and the equality “agenda” and sex hormones and some other stuff. Honestly, it’s all a bit disjointed. In any case, I’m supposed to be in bed, but as soon as I read this, I got a rage headache and I felt in my bones that the only way to make it go away was a healthy dose of snark. And then I realised, that yes, yes, it is time.
It is time for another Takedown Thursday.
Attention male readers. How would you like it if Michael Noonan introduced a tax on men in reparation for the violence that men have visited on society over the ages?
Well, such a law was proposed by a radical feminist/green lobby in Sweden, where they take gender equality seriously. Unfortunately, I think they are getting it very wrong.
Attention all readers. Just in case you were wondering, this proposed law has fuck diddly squat to do with the rest of the article. However, it was important to shoehorn it in there because feminists (and also environmentalists?) are evil and probably involved somehow.
This law was never close to being enacted,
BUT IT WAS STILL VERY IMPORTANT TO MENTION IT.
It gets even more fun behind the cut. Warning, super-long.
mra feedback loop
Woman: I am wary of strange men when I'm walking by myself at night...
MRA: That is sexism against men, you are discriminating based on gender, you are paranoid, statistics about male-on-female violence are greatly exaggerated, I talked to my sister about this and she said she's never worried about going out after dark, you are clearly a crazy feminist looking for things to get upset about, stop being a professional victim!
Woman: Well, it's because this one time I was sexually assaulted by a strange man on my way home from a bar...
MRA: What the hell were you thinking wandering around by yourself at night? Look, I'm not saying it was your fault, but if women would just take some basic precautions and pay attention to red flags, then this sort of thing wouldn't happen so much. You should never walk home alone after dark, you shouldn't wear revealing clothing, and you should definitely never drink alcohol or talk to men in bars because that's just asking for trouble, and then you should take self-defense classes and carry pepper-spray and avoid bad areas and always text your friends to let them know you got home safely and hold your keys in your fist in case you need to hit an attacker and...
Woman: ... and generally arrange my life around the idea that all men are potential rapists?
MRA: OMG MISANDRY FROTH FROTH FROTH
Neglected blog is neglected because I have been busy with other life endeavours. Here is a poem I have been working on forever:
I told him I write every day, so I should follow through on that.
I told him I like his arms, so I should follow through on that.
I told myself I would stop worrying about this sort of thing.
My handwriting feels small and cramped and neat.
This is not my usual genius-scrawl.
My hips have opened up.
My lips have healed.
I have worried about poetry.
I have left it in my other notebook.
I told myself I would stop being so precious about notebooks.
Two moleskines lie untouched and half empty on my desk.
My cheap brown copybook fills up with scribbles and sketches that are not profound enough for Picasso or Hemingway.
But this has nothing to do with them.
My teeth have rattled around in my head as I fly over speedbumps.
My ears have been left ringing in the dark.
It was time to stop thinking.
It was time to breathe through the pain and be still.
I have left it in my body.
He has left it in my body.
We have left it crashing through my body.
Over and over again.
A sheaf of pages slamming against a wall.
A fist balled under a pillow.
Over and over.
thank you for your concern
Susan Venker has a lot of ideas about what women need to do to be happy. Most of them involve marrying young and giving up their jobs and their income to raise children and do housework. She likes writing articles about how all the successful driven women out there are going to be sooooooo sorry that they pursued careers instead of focusing on settling down with Mr. Right and how they are going to be sooooooo lonely when they realise that all the “good” men out there actually want submissive little housewives because BIOLOGY OR SOMETHING.
Her entire outlook on life is stupid for a variety of reasons.
- She lives in a heteronormative bubble. She is going to be shocked when she discovers that queer women are a thing now.
- Marriage is no longer the pinnacle of female achievement.
- Very few bright successful women want to marry a man whose idea of marital bliss is having a glorified servant who he can also bang whenever.
These reasons, as well as her rampant hypocrisy, are all well-covered elsewhere.
However, even if none of the above were true in any case, the key point here is that women are autonomous individuals who are capable of making their own decisions about what will or won’t make them happy. Women are capable of understanding and acting on their own desires. They don’t need Venker (or anyone else) waving a study in their face and saying “Look! A percentage of women have said they want this thing! So this is also what you want! Because women are a monolith and what 35% of ladies rate as important, ALL LADIES RATE AS IMPORTANT.”
Susan Venker is a high-profile concern troll, peddling tired traditionalist gender bullshit to the tune of “But I’m just so WORRIED about all the poor confused feminists!”
A general note to all members of the Traditional Gender Roles Concern Troll Choir, in handy bullet point format:
- Stop telling women what they should want based on a study that says what some other women want.
- Stop telling women what they should want based on your extremely loose grasp of evo-psych and your dubious ideas about what “cavemen” did.
- Stop telling women that they had it so much better back in the day, because men had to take their hats off for them and pay for everything. Unless you are also going to mention that, under the same charming set of rules, it was socially acceptable to beat a woman for sass and disobedience.
- Stop telling women what they should want based on “it’s just the way things are” and “common sense” and “everyone knows” and other boring generalisations.
- Instead, start listening to the real living and breathing women who are standing in front of you TELLING YOU WHAT THEY WANT.
Stop telling feminists how to be happy. Seriously. We’ve got this one.
the eternal intern
Unpaid Interships Don’t Always Deliver, says shocking NY Times article!
When I read this article for the first time, I was just finishing up an internship with a prestigious Chicago theatre. It had been an intense five months, with many excellent moments but also some stressful-to-the-point-of-tears ones. Looking back, it was a positive experience. At 24, I vowed it would be my last internship. That I was too old for this shit. I was going to go back to education. Get my Masters degree. Get a real job with a real income. Start all that actual life stuff.
So here I am, on my intensive practical hands-on Masters course. And guess what we are strongly encouraged to pursue outside of teaching hours? That’s right! Internships!
As the above article points out, while internships have long been a feature of film and non-profit organisations, they have slowly spread out to cover the entire gamut of the Non-Specific Media Career world. The job climate is abysmal, it’s an employer’s market and bright-eyed young graduates with no skills except Twitter and Starbucks are falling over themselves for that ever-elusive Experience with a capital E.
How much Experience do you need before you start getting paid for the work you do? How many internships is enough? One? Three? I’ve done five so far, and I’m about to start my sixth.