Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘femininity’

A week or so ago, I saw a slide show of “strange plastic surgeries” on MSNBC’s web site.  While I’m pleased that the site listed these procedures as extreme (even “oddball”), I was struck by one thing in particular.  Two of the surgeries were meant to remedy complaints about women’s calves.  If a woman had “cankles”–large calves that stretch to her ankles (hence eliminating the “normal” curve the ankle/calf distinction creates)–she could correct the flaw with liposuction.  If a woman had “radish calf”–large, muscular calves that apparently create too much of the aforementioned curve–she could inject botox to reduce the size of the muscle.  The upshot of all of this is that a woman must neither have a calf that is too big nor too small.  Like Goldilocks’ proverbial porridge, a truly feminine lower leg must be “just right.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

The new movie Whip It, about female roller derby, is set to release, and I’ve noticed that the phrase “tough yet feminine” tends to turn up a lot. Not as often, thankfully, as “Juno joins the derby” but still often enough that it made me wonder about the phrase.

In case you haven’t heard about the movie, here’s the trailer, which does not feature the phrase, focusing instead on empowerment and finding a place in the world.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I should begin by saying I’m fairly sure this is not a hoax.  Several credible sources (the U.K. Telegraph, Discover, and Yahoo! Sports among them) are reporting that Caster Semenya has had a makeover and is on the cover of South Africa’s You magazine this week.  Here is the photo:

This photo, apparently, is meant to prove that she’s a woman.  I mean, look at her!  How could a man look like that?  But the pretzel logic that frames this photograph as a vindication of Semenya’s gender status could have some interesting consequences. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Since it was Labor Day, every channel was running marathons of the show they most want to hook people into, and TLC decided the show to pimp was Toddlers and Tiaras. The show is about as horrifying as the title suggests and as the promo demonstrates, TLC is selling it as a guilty pleasure that makes the audience feel titillated and superior:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The issues involving Caster Semenya, the gold medal runner who has been asked to undergo genetic testing, are complicated and multi-layered, and lay bare many of the assumptions we hold about gender.

First there is the simple question of why she is suspected of being a man at all, which is apparently simply that she looks “mannish.” Russian runner Mariya Savinova is quoted as saying “Just look at her.” Well, here’s a picture: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Like all good liberals, I get most of my news from MSNBC.  Every Thursday, the MSNBC web site features the Today Show‘s newest “Ambush Makeover” participant.  There are a few things about this “news” feature that I find problematic. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I could write about how refreshing it is to see plus-sized women on Fox’s reality dating show More to Love.  Of course, it would be refreshing if plus-sized women (and men, for that matter) were regularly included on dating shows of all stripes.  One problem with More to Love is that it does not actually say that larger people can find love.  It says that larger people can find love with other larger people.  The show claims to democratize love while really offering “separate but equal” status to those who are overweight.  Anyway, I could write about that aspect of More to Love, but that’s not what I’m going to write about. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »