Posts Tagged ‘gender’

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…)


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By now you have probably heard at least some of the commentary surrounding women’s college soccer player Elizabeth Lambert’s recent use of violent “tactics” in an important (conference tournament semifinal) game.  Today’s AP article on the subject presents the debate as one between outraged feminists and apologist male commentators.  I think the AP article is wrong on a few counts, but I’m more interested in the article’s framing. (more…)

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A college friend of mine (and a friend of this blog) sent us a link to Michael Gerson’s Washington Post op ed about the dangers of cohabitation.  Mr. Gerson’s logic is so tortured in so many places that I hardly know where to begin.  Since I am also under the influence of some very strong cough syrup, I will attempt to address several points here in no particular order (rather than weave my usual, byzantine tapestry of impeccable logic and flawless rhetoric). (more…)

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A friend and regular commenter sent me a link to this article, which reveals the little known fact that in 8 states and the District of Columbia, being abused by your spouse is a pre-existing condition and can get you denied health care. “In 1995, the Boston Globe found that Nationwide, Allstate, State Farm, Aetna, Metropolitan Life, The Equitable Companies, First Colony Life, The Prudential and the Principal Financial Group had all either canceled or denied coverage to women who’d been beaten.”

I’ve put off blogging about this because I don’t quite know how to respond, other than to type “WTF” over and over.  But I finally have two short points.

First, anyone who thinks universal health care isn’t a feminist issue is an idiot. Women are still far more responsible for taking care of sick family members (children, parents, whomever) than men and women are more likely to be misdiagnosed and mistreated because the models are all male (did you know that men and women usually have different symptoms when experiencing a heart attack?)

Second, apparently in 2006 the Democrats tried to end this with a bill in the Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee. Is anyone surprised that all 10 of the “no” votes were Republican? Once again, the “family values” party proves that by “family” they mean “white, upper middle class, rich, nuclear, straight, abled and Christian…aka, just like us.”

I don’t know which is more appalling: that most Republican politicians consistently prove that they have no regard for any “family” that didn’t walk out of a Sears catalog or that there are still people who believe they are the party of decency and ethics. WTF!

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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…)

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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:


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This morning, Dana of Mombian sent us this link to an article about a documentary called Orgasm, Inc., which details the pharmaceutical industry’s mission to profit from FSD (female sexual dysfunction).  While I applaud the author for deriding the notion that women who lack sexual desire should be characterized as “dysfunctional,” I think this article (and others on the topic) miss the underlying assumption that makes the FSD phenomenon so troubling. (more…)

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