Sexy Girls Have It Easy

That’s the name of this awesome and fascinating documentary (god I sound like I should be saying that in a British accent on a BBC nature show). It’s about how one woman goes and tries to get free stuff. Only, she tries to get all the same free stuff, but in two outfits– one is her regular self, and one is a dolled-up, conventionally pretty, big-haired version. Aaaaand the conventionally pretty version gets 20.5 pounds (it’s set in Britain) more free stuff. There is something really fucked up about society when looking conventionally pretty gets you monetarily rewarded.

Whoops- I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so here’s the link to the article I found about it.

Yo, Sluts

Hello! Today’s edition of Rabbit the Feminist is brought to you by the letter S, for “slut” and also “shaming”. Let’s talk about slut-shaming, shall we? We can begin with a simple definition.

Slut-shaming is calling someone a slut, skank, whore, etc. because of how they act, dress, or whom they sleep with. Slut-shaming is when you assume someone is trashy, trampy, “low-class”, stupid, boy/girl-crazy, etc. etc. because they have a lot of sex. Not necessarily with the same person. Slut-shaming is when you say someone was “asking for it” because they were wearing a low-cut dress, or had had a few drinks, or are a stripper. Slut-shaming is the dehumanization of sex workers. Slut-shaming is attributing a set of negative traits to someone who happens to like sex. Slut-shaming is applauding virgins for keepin’ their legs closed. Slut-shaming is abstinence-only education, claims that birth control rarely works and that masturbation isn’t a viable alternative to sex/total abstinence. Slut-shaming is assuming that guys jack off but that girls have less knowledge of their nether regions than I have of the history of the lumber industry in Tibet. Slut-shaming is the belief that open marriages/relationships are devoid of real love and that being poly is just for greedy people. Slut-shaming is all this and a hell of a lot of other things as well, all bad.

Guess who slut-shaming happens to? Women. Because when men sleep around, they get high-fives. Guess what? I like high fives too, and I’m a girl.

Assuming that most of you are sane, kind people with half of a brain open-minded folks who don’t believe in calling gay people “fag”, “dyke” etc. etc. in a derogatory manner, let’s use this example. If you aren’t one of these people, either suck it up or leave, thankyoubye.

Calling someone a slut/skank/whore/etc. is like calling someone a faggot/dyke/other anti-gay slur. You are shaming them for their sexuality. It is none of your business who they get it on with/how they get it on/how many people they get it on with unless they really want to share with you. These are basic manners, peeps. Wast thou raised by wolves?

Also, guys rarely get slut-shamed. Sometimes they get called man-whore, but that’s more of a joke than anything else. Slut, skank, whore, etc. just don’t apply to men. Like I said, boys just get high-fives from their pals.

Gimme my high fives, dammit.

Women: The New Slabs of Meat

Hey, chum-buddy hoo-hoos! So, I was wondering… how sexist do you think it is to compare a woman to a hunk of meat?

Pretty bad, huh? Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being neutral and 10 being a dress outlining a lady’s sexy-bits in a way that compares her to a chunk of dead cow meat? Because I was thinking this is pretty sexist.

Oh look! It has a huge sign saying “Rack”! How very clever and not at all creepy. But, seriously? What self-respecting lady WEARS this? What self-respecting lady has the burning desire to compare herself and her sexuality with a dead animal’s flesh for sale? Yeesh. I think this one kind of speaks for itself.

And is it just me, or does this seem sort of serial-killer-y? I feel like a serial killer who has a girlfriend who has no idea he is actually a murderer (“He always seemed so normal!”. Yeah, honey. That’s what they all say) would want his ladyfriend to wear this during their sexytime. And then he fantasizes about chopping her up into itty-bitty pieces, starting with her “RACK”, maybe moving along to her “SHANKS” then carving out a nice “RIB”. Shiver.

Golden Showers

By a show of hands, I’d like to see how many of you think peeing on women is hilarious, clever, and not hateful towards women IN THE SLIGHTEST. I am going to go ahead and assume that none of you raised your hands, because I’m assuming that as you are intelligent enough to be reading this, you are intelligent enough to realize peeing on women is neither hilarious, nor clever, and it is certainly hateful.

So why is it there are so many freaking urinals shaped like women? What kind of assbag frat-boy thought this up? Women are turned into urinals and peed on objectified all. The. Time. And if you don’t believe it, I have proof. Warning: pictures are NSFW.

Oh, I see what you did there! Ha! See, it’s funny because you’re peeing into what looks like an old whore’s vagina. Totally not hateful or misogynistic at all, because sluts aren’t people anyway, so it’s O.K. to pee on them. Well, unless you have a soul, or a heart, or a conscience, but you’ve probably sold all those on the black market by now anyway. But sometimes you aren’t out to indulge in disgusting rape/pee fantasies. Sometimes you just need an ego-boosting. You know what the best way to boost your ego is, men? Have a pretty lady tell you your dick is nice. That’s what I do when I’m feeling a little down on myself, anyway.

So isn’t this convenient? A wide array of passive (cuz, you know, they’re pictures, not real women), conventionally pretty, white ladies to ogle, measure, eye seductively and snap a shot of (to show the grandkids!) your dick. All while you pee on them.

Ah, gee! Y chromosome carriers sure are thoughtful. For these, they’ve helpfully removed any part of the female body not totally pornified by society (so, that leaves only the boobs, ass, and legs, charmingly clad in thongs and garters) so that men don’t have to deal with women as human beings. Because treating people like people is so hard! Why, it’s much simpler to subvert an entire gender and treat them as inanimate sex toys! You know, like dildos and stuff. Woman, vibrator, it’s all pretty much the same, doncha think?

Sometimes, though, you need something classier. Something that doesn’t scream “we chopped some stripper’s heads off and Krazy-Glued them to the wall”. And there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, that doesn’t scream class like peeing in someone’s mouth. I mean, check out that expertly applied lipstick! This level of class doesn’t come easily. I mean, we’re talking Audrey Hepburn-, Fred Astaire-level shit here, guys.

Honestly, this pisses me off, pun not intended. Don’t say it’s meant to be a joke. Well, obviously it’s meant to be a joke. And it’s funny– you know, in the same way that Holocaust jokes, or racist jokes, or rape jokes are funny. Funny in the kind of way that maybe you laugh at, but if (in this case) you’re a woman, they make you feel a little sick or a little uncomfortable and maybe you’re not sure why.

Until you realize that, “Oh hell. That’s me they’re joking about pissing on.” Because all of the “women” represented (well, they’re fake but you get my drift) are anonymous. They are not specific (not that that would be any better). They are supposed to represent something– someone. Who are they representing?

Women. The joke is merely that pissing on women is funny, and not to be taken seriously, despite the utter disrespect it shows. If you are a woman, all of the above urinals are jokes about peeing you, all of the above urinals are a show that you are, in fact, lesser. That you are something less than human, and because of that, disrespecting you is A-O.K. happy-fun-times.

I am so tempted to glue Lorena Bobbitt’s face over the women in the second picture’s faces. Also, super-glue knives into their hands. That sounds funny to me!

Why?

Today one of my friends told me she didn’t really agree with feminism. I tried to restrain myself from launching into a short verbal essay and/or roundhouse kicking her. I think I answered tactfully. I said something along the lines of, “Feminism is just the belief that women are human beings.” which is really pretty weak and certainly isn’t changing anyone’s minds anytime soon. But it’s hard to defend something you believe in so strongly to someone you care about. Especially because– well, how does one explain feminism?

Of course, pretty much everyone and their cousin knows sort-of what feminism is. But it seems like so many people have such a screwed-up idea of feminists. We’re man-haters, we have no sense of humor, we’re all lesbians (O.K. I’m queer but I don’t speak for all feminists), and we should just get over ourselves because the battle is over. And in a situation like that, you need a quick comeback. Not necessarily something clever that will leave them speechless with pure awe and shame, but have you ever tried to explain double-standards, the beauty myth, the virgin/whore complex, rape apologism, the rift society creates between women, and why yes, heels are actually a symbol of oppression, regardless of how adorable they are*? It’s impossible to sum up how women are oppressed in 140 characters or less. And you have to admit “feminism is just the belief that women are human beings” isn’t going to make a radical feminist out of anyone, let alone inspire them to read the books and figure out what is really is.

So my question is: is it worth it to try to explain? Do you have any fallback replies to things like this? How do you explain to someone your perception of feminism? Please leave a reply in the comments. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Lady Gaga from the “Judas” video (which, by the way, I have watched at least a million times).

P.S.: DO NOT say “women and men are just different”. Having a vagina vs. a dick doesn’t have anything to do with whether your hair is long or short, you wear skirts, you like to shop, your friends are men or women, etc. etc. Plus, “women and men are different” can justify anything. “Women should stay home! They’re different! They have babies, and men don’t, and babies stay at home!”, “Men and women are just different. THAT’S why women are weak”, “Men and women are different! Men are BUILT to be in positions of power over women!”

*I have nothing against heels in general, besides the fact that they often hurt like hell. But why is it that painful and restricting shoes/garments are relegated to women? Oh yeah the world hates us and wants us to be unable to run away from rapists ha ha I forgot about that for a moment.

Women: They’re Just Too Sexy

Fun Fact of the Day: Women are just too sexy for the public. It’s true. That seems to be the super-Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung’s point of view, anyway. Violating guidelines explicitly stated on the official White House flickr page, they decided to go ahead and photoshop the only two women (Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason) out of an image of a counterterrorism conference.

Whuh?

Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s yawn or cough or whatever was just too “sexually suggestive” to be seen by the public. Seriously, have you ever seen a picture more pornographic than this? I mean, this is the kind of stuff teenage boys hide under their mattresses. But… what was poor Audrey Tomason doing? Just standing there, looking… like a woman. Come on! You can’t even see their boobs!

The Original Picture

The newspaper eventually printed this crock of shit photoshopped picture instead.

According to the magazine, they don’t believe that pictures of women should ever be printed. I, obviously, have a problem with this.

I understand that many religions have a focus on chastity and modesty. O.K, that’s one thing. But Hillary wasn’t dancing in her skivvies on the table to “Sexyback”. She was not sucking a lollipop and winking seductively at the journalist. NO! She was yawning, or coughing, or something. The fact that merely having women in the picture was too sexually provocative asserts that men are the target demographic (I’m assuming the readers are straight for convenience’s sake. Also, if lesbians ran the world, this would never happen). Out of a group of straight readers, who are the ones who might find Hillary and Audrey provocative? Men. Nobody is complaining that women might get lady-boners from Prez Obama’s intense stare. Because women can’t read! Women aren’t interested in politics! Hahahahaha! What a silly idea. There is a constant double standard in our society; there is one accepted way to be a woman, and myriad different accepted ways to be a man. And guess what? The one way to be a woman? It’s impossible, guys. Nobody can be that thin– but not anorexic. Nobody can be that giggly and sweet– and mean it. Nobody can have perfect hair, or perfect boobs, or always be in a good mood, and nobody WANTS to always defer to men (I hope). And Hillary and Audrey have strayed off that perfect path just by being powerful women in the same room as powerful men. They are just as much a part of history as any of the men in that room. They have just as much of a right to be in that picture. It is the constant portrayal of women as “other” that means people can see a woman as merely a sex symbol, instead of a respected professional. Because if women were truly seen as human beings, then people would see them as politicians, not as constantly sexual.

And there is just something about the whole idea that reeks of rape apologism. The idea that women, just by existing in a room, can incite lust? Can make men lose control? Like I said, Hillary and Audrey weren’t exactly doing a burlesque routine. They were appropriately dressed and behaving just like all the men in the room. But because they are women, they are too sexual. This kind of mindset just furthers that if men are turned on, they lose control of themselves, they aren’t responsible. The newspaper is just perpetuating the myth that it is the woman’s fault for inciting lust, and that she deserves punishment; in this case, being photoshopped out. In a real life situation, being raped. Not only does this hurt women, it just seems downright insulting to men. It seems a little insulting to say that men are all beasts who have no self control. We are all human– women are not sex symbols, but people. Men are not sex-machines, but people.

Can we all start thinking that?

Oh, and by the way– even if Hillary were to come to work in a cardboard box with eye holes she would get bad P.R. If she’s not sexy enough, they say she’s frumpy and letting herself go. If she’s too sexy, they say she’s inappropriate for a politician. Such is the life of a powerful woman. Hey, even if Hillary was in sweatpants and a sweatshirt she’d look better than that guy right behind Obama, and no one’s yelling at him for letting himself go.

Rabbit Fumes in the Back Row

If you attended my high school and went to the assembly we had today, and happened to glance into the back row about halfway through, you would have seen me with steam blowing out of my ears and a feminist lecture upon my lips. Because some utter asshole decided it would be a great time to bring up the sandwich thing.

Let’s get this straight. Feminists have nothing against sandwiches. I’m sure there are even feminists who like sandwiches. Hell, I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional peanut-butter-and-chocolate-chip myself. Sandwiches are not the problem here. Sandwiches are an innocent snack or meal.

But feminists will bare their teeth, unsheath their claws*, and shriek a vicious war cry when that tired old, “make me a sandwich” line is pulled out from its dusty place in a closet in Patriarchy HQ. Yes, during the election speeches given during the assembly today, someone actually mentioned the sandwich thing.

A girl whom we shalt call ‘O’ was explaining how she would add incentives for people to attend school events. This is all howdy-doody, but then she proceeded to give examples of what people considered incentive. “So-and-so would go to a game if we gave everyone a bowl of Cheerios, what’s-his-face would attend a play if there was free food. And Sir Asshole Toolster would attend a game if there was a woman to make him a sandwich.”

At this point I turned in my seat and told my friend K, “And Rabbit would go if she got to slap the ass who told a woman to make him a sandwich.”

And yes, I realize: time and time again it has been proven that high school boys are 99% more likely than most other human beings (with some exceptions, mainly for frat boys) to be misogynist sacks of hormones and woman-hate. And I realize someone is probably going to write me an angry comment telling me that is was “just a joke, God, feminists are all so serious, learn to laugh”. But none of the administration thought it was a problem for someone to put such an obnoxiously sexist piece into their speech? The subjugation and degradation of women is not a joke; calling it so is a) further demeaning to women and b) belittles the fight for gender equality. One would think that a group of adults trusted to run a hothouse of teenage hormones should be the most sensible, intelligent people on the planet. The kind of sensible, intelligent people who realize that making jokes at women’s expense is NEVER OK, even if it does make jocks laugh. I have the right to go to school and not have my entire gender insulted by someone who knows nothing about women and girl’s struggles.

I am considering complaining to someone, but if somebody could give me advice on how to continue, that would be great! I am not exactly sure how to bring up that this upset me, who to talk to (the principal?), how to complain, so any help with this (just leave a comment) would be wonderful.

*All feminists have adamantium claws, just like Wolverine. Because feminists are X-(WO)MEN AND WE ALL KNOW IT OK?

It’s Official

I am making it official that I am in love with Ivan E. Coyote. First that awesome video of her (I think she uses female pronouns, let me know if she prefers male or gender neutral pronouns) addressing all the femmes out there, and now this. I am reading her book Bow Grip, and I came across the past two quotes that were too good not to share.

“There is no type of woman that allows a man to hit her. There is only the type of man that would beat his wife.” (150).

How is that for possibly the best way to sum up not blaming the victim in two sentences ever? And my personal favorite,

“Don’t delude yourself into thinking women are the weaker sex, Joseph. They are just expected to tolerate more bullshit than we are.” (150).

These are wise words indeed. Memorize them and use them as a mantra to calm yourself by remembering that sane people do exist when someone says, “Well, she was asking for it” or “She’s such a slut” or “No one’s sexist anymore”.

And then go swoon because Ivan E. Coyote is amazing AND an awesome writer AND speaker, which is too much talent to be fair, and her name is this far from being Wile E. Coyote which is obviously pretty awesome.

How Seventeen is Hindering La Revolution, One Article About Boobs At a Time

DISCLAIMER: This is more like Sexism Today 101 and not for advanced feministers who already know all this b.s., but if you want to rant along in time, feel free.

I’m sad to say I used to like Seventeen magazine. As a paragon of all that is stereotypically feminine and girlish, I too once cooed over floral dresses and tutted over alarmist articles about wild teen sex lives (trust me, the only “wild teen sex life” I know of is… I actually don’t know.) and smiled smugly at the “Love Your Body!” articles. And yes, I still have a subscription, if only because I paid money for that and now I want my money’s worth, even if I’m only going to write feminist criticisms of the smiling models and their accompanying articles.

Unfortunately, some of my friends aren’t as enlightened (or as self-satisfied and smug at their knowledge that they are correct in their worldview) as I am. And while I would not be irritated if they liked to read Seventeen, they have the gall to tell me that I’m overreacting when I point out sexist pig poo.

Just a hint, ladies and gentlemen and any other designations: never tell an angry feminist that she/he is overreacting. Never. Your last moments will be more painful than a chainsaw shoved up… Never mind.

So without further ado, my top five reasons that Seventeen should be banned except maybe as toilet paper or a makeshift parachute.

1) Love your body by staying anorexically skinny with huge boobs. This is one of the most obvious. Does nobody find it even the teensiest bit ironic that RIGHT NEXT to the “Body Love” article or whatever is a thousand and one ways to make your boobs look more boobilicious and your thighs skinnier and your spleen more shapely? I dunno, it just seems kind of discouraging to vow to love your body through thick and thin (thick and thin THIGHS! Get it?) and then turn the page and see an itty-bitty model proclaiming that YOU TOO can have Dolly Parton’s ta-tas NATURALLY and your waist can be that of an underfed whippet. Hypocrites.

2) BOYS don’tcha just love ‘em they’re so cute and cuddly and… Bleurgh. I absolutely HATE the “Love Life” section. It is undoubtedly the worst part of the whole magazine. I shit you not, in the last issue there was a part that told me not to be too confident, for fear of scaring off potential penis. Um… welcome back to the 50s, I guess. Because being too confident can come off as bossy. Just gonna put this out there, it’s hard enough to be confident in the first place as a teen, I don’t need people telling me I need to dumb myself down or no one will ever love me. Waaah, if a guy can’t deal with the fact I’m not a doormat he sounds kind of pathetic to me.  Another thing that pisses me off about this section? It is ridiculously heteronormative. The one time they actually mentioned that bisexuality or lesbianism exists at all, it was NOT in the “Love Life” section; instead, it was a tiny, slightly dismissive article about a girl who falls in love with her best (girl) friend. So basically lesbians/anyone not straight doesn’t exist? … Sure, Seventeen. And neither does anyone who is not skinny/white/WASP-y looking. For a magazine targeted at girls, you’d think they realize that a huge section of their magazine is excluding all of their non-het demographic.

3) Lack of diversity. O.K., this shouldn’t come as a surprise to ANYONE, but look through the magazine and count how many white models you count. Now count how many non-white models there are. Noticing anything? A trend, maybe? Yeah.

4) The fashion is boring. I love fashion; I read a s***load of fashion blogs, I read Teen Vogue (which is only slightly better than Seventeen, but hey, no “Love Life” section!) and I like shopping (at Goodwill, but nevertheless). And maybe the fashion has gotten worse, but it’s just boring these days. No fun at all. That wasn’t a feminist critique but it is a valid point; how can I coo over cute outfits if they are pretty much a t-shirt and a skirt on a plain grey background?

5) The perfect girl. Seventeen does such a marvelous job of telling girls everywhere that YES, there is only one right way to exist! If you have any thoughts that this magazine does not address, you are not this beautiful-yet-impossible standard of female beauty that we all must aspire to! I know too many girls who buy into this poop WITHOUT a major magazine encouraging them; I hate seeing my perfectionist friends tear themselves apart because they cannot do everything and still feel and look and act perfect. It’s sad, and it hurts to see people I care about feeling self-conscious because someone is telling them they aren’t good enough because they aren’t perfect.

So, please, even if you MUST read Seventeen (why you must I have no idea) just be aware that it is pretty much a friendly, neighborhood way to oppress young women and girls!

How To Get Your Guy (Through Lies, Deceit, and the Loss of a Great Friendship)

I went to the movies yesterday with my aunt to go see Jane Eyre. I haven’t actually read Jane Eyre, so I was expecting to be choking on feminist fury the entire time. Jane Eyre is, after all, a Victorian romance and those two words should be enough to make any feminist worth her copy of The Feminine Mystique gag. But Jane was actually pretty independent and cool, at least as much so as you could expect from a Victorian romance. She would totally have been a feminist if she’d lived today.

What I wanted to talk about was a preview I saw. It nearly made me heave my swallowed bubblegum across the theater. The basic premise of the movie was a young woman (I don’t remember the character’s name, but she was played by Ginnifer Goodwin) who has a massive crush on this guy (whose name I also don’t remember.) But she is shy, cute, and seems to have next to no personality so that she is relatable to women. Because women don’t want or need personality right? As long as we’re cute, right? Anyway, she’s so shy that she never tells the guy, and her best friend Darcy ends up engaged to him some time later. This makes our protagonist completely miserable, because obviously it is impossible for single girls to be happy *sarcasm*. As this is a rom-com, little Ginnifer Goodwin ends up drunk and in a cab with Dreamboy, and they end up making out and having a one night stand.

So what does Ginnifer do? Oh, you know; just hide it from Darcy, keep away from Dreamboy while secretly thinking she’s the one who deserves him, all while getting advice from her sassy male best friend* Some choice lines were from her sassy male best friend (SMBF)

SMBF: So you’re just going to let Darcy win?

GINNIFER (upset and hysterical, because females are hysterical. NOT): YES! Because that’s what Darcy does– she wins! Darcy always wins!

Oh, sorry, Ginnifer, I wasn’t aware this was the freakin’ 50s and getting the man means winning. How disgusting is it that this entire movie is set up around the idea that a) it is impossible for women to be happy when they don’t have their guy, b) you need to compete with other women to GET the guy and therefore be happy, and c) that romantic, (oh, but only if it’s heterosexual) love is worth so much more than friendships with other women. And notice Ginnifer didn’t have to give up her MALE best friend (SMBF, remember?) to get Dreamboy, just her female friend. How can people not realize that this is obviously setting up women’s friendships and respect (and therefore women) as inferior?

And SO. MUCH. GIRLBASHING. I’ve never seen a movie PREVIEW so jampacked with misogyny and girls and women hating on other girls and women. Hell, it was like a freaking King size** candy bar of misogyny. Except candy tastes good and leaves a good taste in your mouth, whereas this… didn’t. Needless to say, the whole thing was ridiculously heteronormative. Please, please, I’m begging you to NOT see this movie. Go see Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, who seems cool, and the movie is about a kickass girl who seems to have superpowers without being dressed in a sexy spandex outfit. Plus, Saoirse Ronan starred in the The Lovely Bones, which is a great book (I haven’t seen the movie).

So what was this movie called, Rabbit, so we can picket it as soon as it comes out?

It’s called Something Borrowed.

That is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. I need to go take a long, hot shower now.

*And it didn’t bring this up in the preview, but he’s probably gay. Because ALL sassy male best friends are gay. DUH. At least that is apparently how things work in Hollywood. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been to Hollywood.

**King, notice. Not Queen, which is obviously smaller than King, because men are supposed to be big and huge and masculine and women are supposed to be itty-bitty teeny tiny and cute.