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Ranting and raving
Wed 20-Jan-10
12:33 pm
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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I don't know if this will prove popular, but it struck me that thre's no thread so far for people to blow off steam about somethin that has really gotten on their nerves lately. Grumpy old barstweard stylie.

A short background note:Some of you may be aware that the comedian Eddie Izzard describes himself as a lesbian stcuk in a man's body. If he is that, then I am a grumoy old gay man stuck in a woman's body. Despite my tender chronology I'm proud of my premature middle aged tendencies.

Today i am getting all bent out of shape because a friend of mine sent me this link http://www.simonethomas.com/ as he is interviewing this classy looking lady and wanted suggestions of suitably high brow questions to ask her.

I would ask her if she ever worries that by choosing to objectify herself for male titillation (which she may argue is her right to, and that making money from their baser instincts is in fact empowering) she is is in fact supporting, although perhaps unconsciously, the idea that it is acceptable for men to view all woman as sexual objects, even if those women haven't made the same lifestyle/career choices that she has. And if she thinks this pervailing attitude contributes at all the reported attitude among jurors that by dressing or acting a certain way (i.e. emulating the ones who strip and pose for these sort of pictures) woman are at least partially responsible when they get raped. An attitude that leads to the conviction rate in rape trials being around 6%, and the accepted, though inherently hard to prove, knowledge that many times more rapes go unreported because of the social stigma attached to the victim.

Also if she thinks there could be any sort of causal link between the increasing social acceptability of dressing young girls like grown up/porns stars, as exemplified by the quite frankly disturbing marketing of the playboy brand to under 12s, and rates of paedophilia.

This thing vexes me no end, the playboy thing. Though it's not just playboy. Pop music, indeed most of popular culture (an oxymoron?) it seems, pushes the idea that it's ok for little girls to dress and act like hookers.

The lyrics of pop songs are overwhelmingly about sex, and this is seen as suitable stuff for kids to listen to, while rock and punk, which are more likely to highlight issues of social injustice, are seen as a negative influence.

Also the pervasive impression that girls should like pink and want to be princesses. That angers me in more ways than I can express. Princesses are not positive role models, they are simpering idiots incapable of fending for themselves whose sole aim in life is to marry a prince and be looked after. This stereotype encourages girls to define themselves primarily in relation to men. and it doesn't stop at children's stuff.

Magazines like Cosmo are full of nothing but advice about how to dress to attract or keep a man, how to please a man, or how to defy ageing. When they do, very occasionaly, include articles about something more serious i fear it actually trivialises that subject. To include a report on the white slave trade on the page next to the 50 must have shoes for the season or some other such banality is to me offensive.

What also gets to me is how complicit women of my genreation in particular have become in this negative stereotype. They see being squealing, pink, fluffy, accessory obsessed, man chasing harpies as soemthing to aspire to. It's bordering on ungrateful. And some of them have the shortness of thought to proclaim that they are feminists, tottering through a town centre in a micro skirt and 6 inch laboutin heels, pissed out opf tehir skulls on some filthy alcopop, waving a rampant rabbit over their heads, reeking of desperation and vomit.

Furthermore (I'm nearly done I promise) it really bugs me that if I voice an objection to any of this I'm dismissed as some sort of backward, hairy legged, man hating feminist who is missing the point.

Rant over Laugh

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Wed 20-Jan-10
3:02 pm
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KateUK
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Hurrah! Couldn't put it better myself...I despair at what has become of the progress my generation of women thought we had made....I cannot, just cannot see what is 'empowering' about teetering on heels et al. And as for the pink thing...even grown women are now doomed to total pinkness- not that I mind a good magenta in its place....aaaaaargh!Steam

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Wed 20-Jan-10
3:24 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Quite agree, it is a real problem here in Latvia too, as women dress to please their men. Frown

Wed 20-Jan-10
4:44 pm
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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I'm not necessarily entirely opposed to the concept of dressing to please your man. doing things to please your man every now and again is part of a good relationship, just as he should do things to please you. but defining your worth as a person by how attractive you are to random members of the opposite, or even same, sex rather than the quality of your own happiness and relationships with people you love. that's what i'm against.

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Wed 20-Jan-10
7:18 pm
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elrohana
North West Leeds, UK

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I like pink.  However I should add that I'm 44 next week and have spent the past 4 weeks wearing combat boots/trousers to work.  I do despair of this air-headed, t*ts-out, slapper culture that seems to be the in-thing amongt a certain type of young women these days.  I've a friend who is a proper first-generation bra-burning feminist, and she is heartbroken at how her efforts and those of her contemporaries are being squandered by current generations.  I imagine Emmeline Pankhurst is spinning in her grave.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.

Wed 20-Jan-10
7:49 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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But don't you think it is just that?  It is a certain type of woman and we must be very careful not to tar all young women with the same brush.  I know many young girls who are not like that at all.  Girls and young women who are level headed and whilst they certainly do want to be attractive, do not feel the need to behave in an inappropriate manner.  Yes, some  behave very unwisely and I agree that the media doesn't help.  In fact they downright encourage  outrageous behaviour  in pursuit of sales.

What we need is education and to encourage parents to be more vigilant.  

Lots of girls like pink and princesses, but in a Disney kind of setting.  My two granddaughters are a great example of this.  They like to dress up, but their mum is a down to earth person who will keep them on track.

 I remember my mum going absolutely crazy at me because I was wearing a mini skirt and high heels. ( I 'd fall over now)  Good God was I a tease?  No, it was the fashion of the 60's.  I remember the girls who we all thought were a bit much but funnily enough the majority of the boys thought the same.

Anyway I do agree with the comments to a degree, but let's give credit to all the caring sensitive and sensible young women who are out there.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Fri 22-Jan-10
9:40 am
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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You're not wrong Danuta, there are a few of us (I'm actually only 24) who aren't ravening hosemonsters. But it often feels to me that we're a minority, and that there is a tangible message being sent to the generation below me that to be accepted they have to conform to this porn-lite stereotype. Kids as young as 8 have apparently been sending sexualy provocative picture messages to their "boyfriends". It's disturbing. 

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Fri 22-Jan-10
10:58 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Rae Mond said:I'm not necessarily entirely opposed to the concept of dressing to please your man. doing things to please your man every now and again is part of a good relationship, just as he should do things to please you. but defining your worth as a person by how attractive you are to random members of the opposite, or even same, sex rather than the quality of your own happiness and relationships with people you love. that's what i'm against.


Again I agree, and the problem here in Latvia is that it is almost out of a sense of desperation for affirmation and love that it is done, rather than in a secure and loving relationship. Some are dressing to get love but sending out all the wrong signals and ending up with the wrong kind of attention.

Fri 29-Jan-10
2:07 pm
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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It's not such a heartfelt rant this one, but it's topical, so that should count for something. In fact I guess it's not really a rant so much as pointing and laughing, then picnhing the bridge of my nose and shaking my lowered head in despair.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/.....007692.ece

This is started at my local tesco, and in case you were wondering, no, I have never been there in my pyjamas, though I may have been tehre in my decorating clothes, which may have made me look a little like a hobo (a pair of paint and plaster stained jeans with a rip up one leg which I wear over black tracksuit bottoms, and an old hoodie commemorating a straight edge band called Earth Crisis.

The pyjama wearing thing really surprised me when I moved to cardiff a few yeara ago, the first day I saw people out and about in the middle of a week day (before I'd gotten myself a job and holed up in a nice safe office) I thought it must be a charity fundraising type go to work in pyjamas day. but no.

I then suspected it might be a badge of perverse honour, flaunting the fact that the wearer doesn't have to go to work and is free to remain pyjama clad all day. This view was initially supported by sightings of locals in pyjamas with extensive make up and jewellery.

Closer examination has revealed that these people mostly haven't thought it through that far.

I suppose the view could be taken that no caring for the conventions of a hide and class bound society is good, and shows strength of personality and character. part of me wants to agree with that.

However most of me sides with the view that not bothing to get dressed before leaving the house is a sign of lazyness and lack of self respect.

I also tend to leap blindly and with gay abandon t the conclusion that the permanently pyjamaed are also terrible parents, feckless and anti-social, having observed many yelling obscenities at their children, ignroing their children's bad behaviour, littering and generally showing no consideration for anyone around them.

This upsets me for two reasons: one is the general disintegration of society, the creation of a self defined and self perpetuating underclass that contribute nothing, are miserably unhappy and seem intent on bring everyone down to their level.

Two is that in thinking this I amv ery worried that I may have accidentally become a fascist.

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Fri 29-Jan-10
4:56 pm
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KateUK
uk

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My daughter got me to do a 'where are you on the political scale' quiz once and I came out so far left I was almost far right...know the feeling, the rant above could be mineSteam....though I do wear my slippers to the supermarket on days when my feet just hurt too much!

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Fri 29-Jan-10
5:40 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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I used to have a mum who often dropped her child off at school still wearing her pyjamas.  She was a very good parent but I must admit it was quite disconcerting to be discussing matters with her.  She just laughed it off.  Mind you,  children were picked up by parents on quad bikes and tractors occasionally, so nothing was really a surprise.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Fri 29-Jan-10
9:50 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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I think the "pyjamas in Tesco" thing is a hoot! Personally, I would not prohibit it. Maybe instead put up a sign that says

"If you insist on wearing nightclothes in this store, then you are likely to be pointed at and snickered at by many shoppers. Your choice may infringe the Human Rights of your fellow shoppers. That is natural. Therefore the risk is up to you.The management accepts no responsibility for offence taken by those who insist on wearing nightclothes in our store."

I reckon the subtle message in that sign would be to encourage sniggering and laughing out loud at PJ wearers. Far more effective than prohibition, which only glamourises the exponents.

Having said that, Fiona has taken to stocking the gateside stand in her PJs and green "Waitrose Wellies" with her aunt's old tweed jacket thrown over her shoulders. Very fetching, I might add. But it's only 3.5 miles to Tesco.

Give it time. Big_Laugh

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 29-Jan-10
10:37 pm
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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How I wish you were right Danny!

But alas and indeed alack, that would only work with people who feel shame.

If you or I were to openly point and laugh we would get roundly abused in return.  Admittedly the fluffy slippers might dull the blows when they start kicking in your ribs, but that will just prevent bruising. It'll still hurt.

This is a self defining underclasss that have made virtues of indolence, ignorance and violence. They believe it is their "yoomin right" to disregard the conventions that make society tolerable for other people.

despite my wishwashy liberal leftist leaning I believe these people should be forcibly sterilised, then formed into chain gangs and made to do useful things like pick up litter, clean graffitti, dig community gardens and vegetable gardens, that sort of thing.

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Fri 29-Jan-10
10:48 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Rae Mond said: Admittedly the fluffy slippers might dull the blows when they start kicking in your ribs, but that will just prevent bruising. It'll still hurt.


I love that image! But, sadly, I think that you have correctly analysed it, Rae.

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 29-Jan-10
10:53 pm
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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Fluffly slippers with bunny ears, the ears flapping in the breeze as each blow lands. They might even have googly eyes (though obviously the eyes wouldn't be on the ears).

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

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