Now Your Clothes Can Defend You From Rape

So apparently in Japan they made an “anti-rape” dress. It actually looks like a skirt, and basically it turns into a giant vending machine costume so that women can hide from would-be rapists. Oh Japan! You so crazy. 

Let’s just point out the obvious flaws with this first, shall we? First of all, most vending machines don’t billow in the wind, outlining a female form. And while the concept of sentient vending machines sounds like an adorable plot for a heartwarming Pixar movie (or a horrific idea for a sci-fi thriller about evil A.I. technology, depending on your point of view), most do not have feet.

But I have to say, I really don’t like this idea.

For one thing, why must it be marketed as an “anti-rape” dress? I get why it is marketed at women; while I don’t have a problem with it, I get that the majority of men don’t wear skirts on a day-to-day basis (and certainly not butt-ugly giant table-cloth orange ones). Ignoring the fact that it is way too obvious to actually help someone hide from attackers, why “anti-rape”? The vast majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. If you’re with your boyfriend who’s trying to rape you, he’ll probably notice when you turn into a massive vending machine with toes. This dress would only be (conceptually) effective if the attacker was a stranger who saw you on the street, which, as already mentioned, happens less than rape by someone you already know. So that’s problematic.

And also, just like everything else in our culture (OK, I realize this is from Japan but same idea) it is trying to stick the responsibility on the woman. Nobody has ever asked a victim of attempted murder whether they said no. Nobody has ever taken a victim of a mugging’s “morality” into question (because as everyone knows, you can’t rape a slut, because she was asking for it). Nobody says a victim of a mugging was “asking for it” because they looked rich and had a nice watch in a bad neighborhood. Women are expected to order their lives around keeping themselves safe from rape. Nobody is expected to be constantly careful not to be murdered. And if someone is killed, the murderer is always held responsible. There is no gray haze in murder, muggings, assault, etc. Rape is a violent crime just like murder, muggings, and assaults, and rapists need to be held responsible for it.

Being safe is one thing. It is good to be aware of your surroundings, and know how to take care of yourself. But nobody’s coming out with “anti-murder” ties. This is one more thing that puts responsibility on the woman instead of the rapist. “Well, ma’am, you may have been raped– but you could have avoided it, if you’d been wearing this anti-rape skirt”. Obviously that’s an extreme example, but a rapist in Italy got off because his victim was wearing jeans. JEANS, for Chrissakes. Because apparently the woman must have helped him take her pants off, as jeans are too hard to remove forcibly. You know what? Even if she’d been buck naked and ready to have sex, if she changed her mind and said no it would still be rape.

So while I do not approve of putting responsibility for rape on women’s shoulders, this is still a fucking awesome dress. Seriously, it would be so cool to wear this to finals week and just get up in the middle of the test and turn into a vending machine. OH! I know. I’d sing the Transformer’s theme song while transforming. Transformers, robots in disguise… I’ve got class.

What’s Bald and Smelly…

Snogs kangaroos, wears shoes that don’t fit and a bra that’s too tight (and knickers that need a good wash), smokes, drinks, and fights too much for her own good and right now has a mega hangover?

Tank Girl, of course!

I’m a little lazy today, so here’s a gallery of Tank Girl lovin’. Because not only is Tank Girl badass as a… there’s nothing that compares to the badassery of Tank Girl, actually. But anyway, she’s badass, AND is a style icon! So there.

Let’s all give a collective cheer for Wendy O. boobs on Tank Girl. 

I love Booga so much. My favorite Booga quote (O.K., I got lazy and just found it on Wikipedia) is “I’m Tank Girl’s boyfriend. We’re in love. Well, I’m in love and she occasionally pours boiling water down my Calvin Kleins.”

And finally, some classic Tank Girl missile boobs.

I just remembered; I got The Cream of Tank Girl which is a coffee table book about the creation of Tank Girl at my library. Apparently when the creators met, one of their first impressions was that the other guy drew a lot of cocks all over anything. He described it as “a veritable blizzard of cock”.

Sounds like a really terrible nightmare.

Bad Romance With the Patriarchy

So, kids, today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite weird pop star, Lady Gaga! Yeah, I know, I’m super late to the boat on this one. So late that if the boat were Noah’s Ark Rabbit would be an extinct species (woo for bad puns). But I was watching the video for “Bad Romance” the other day and it is actually ridiculously badassly feminist. The video is, anyway– while I did cheer at the “I’m a freed bitch, baby” bit, the lyrics are really pretty bad. “I want your revenge”? Um, no, actually, I prefer my love affairs* without my daily dose of revenge, thank you very much. And no, I don’t “want your ugly”, either, you can keep it. Really, I insist.

But the video ROCKS. The basic premise is Lady Gaga is being sold to a total creep dude as a sex-slave. She resists being sold, and then blows up the guy who bought her. But *twirls mustache* let’s do a more in-depth analysis, shall we?

Things start getting interesting at 1:26, as a pink-haired Gaga is dragged forcibly from her peaceful bathtime (rubber ducky, you’re the one!) by two rather violent young ladies. It can be assumed they run the sick, twisted brothel or whatever is going on in this video. Then at 1:49, they attempt to force-feed her some kind of roofie mind-altering substance. Y’know, like a roofie. My Date-rape Metaphor Sense is tingling, you guys. But then, at 1:54, Gaga does the only right thing to do in this situation; spit the drink in your attacker’s eyes! Good job, Lady G (Holy invisible figure in the sky that I can’t see even in an airplane, did I seriously just say Lady G?). Only moments later, Gaga shows clad in what appears to be a Burberry burlap sack covered in graffiti. She struggles to keep it on, but ALAS! Her attackers (who are female but I’d bet anything they represent systemic patriarchal oppression) rip the coat/sack off. Aaaand now, my little petunias, do you see how this is representative of the constant forced sexualization of women? Underneath the coat/sack is naught but a well-placed chandelier, and some slightly gratuitous sexerful-dancing follows. Except the potty-dance at 2:21 is not really sexerful, but that’s O.K. too.

Gaga proceeds to give a lap-dance to her arrogant patriarchal oppressor random golden-jawed dude who is apparently looking to buy. I was not too happy with this, needless to say. NOO, LADY GAGA! DON’T APPEASE YOUR OPPRESSOR! HE IS THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU DOWN!! O.K., got that out of my system. After, it cuts to a shot of a bunch of computers with “LADY GAGA – $1,000,000 – SOLD” on them. I guess he liked his lap dance.

After some more dancing and extremely high lobster shoes, Gaga approaches golden-jawed man wearing her Polar Bear Cape of Justice. She drops it to the ground, revealing sexerful lingerie, golden-jawed man goes from golden-jawed to slack-jawed and then… she blows him up. WOOT! Good job, girl. Blow up your oppressor.** Blowing up your oppressor is especially amazesome when you pose super-dramatically afterwards with a wind-machine and then lay coyly by the desiccated corpse wearing a missile launcher bra.***

*That was funny because I DON’T HAVE LOVE AFFAIRS!! Ha ha!! Well, I do have a love affair with brownies, but it’s complicated. We’re taking a break right now, so we’re open to seeing other people.

**I don’t actually advocate blowing anybody up, but from an artistic/metaphorical point of view… Everything’s better with Boom, right?

***I can’t be the only one who thought of Tank Girl (I effing love Tank Girl – the comics, not the movie) when I saw that bra.

Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

“Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” by X-Ray Spex. Isn’t Poly Styrene’s outfit awesome here? If you check out other X-Ray Spex videos she is dressed in equally enchanting ensembles. Yay for alliteration! Seriously, though, I’m not sure what kind of fabric the dress is but it looks like it would be fairly simple to make… I think I might even have a pattern from an old Halloween costume that would work. And the song itself is kind of awesome, especially the drowsy-sounding, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard…” followed by her screaming, “OH BONDAGE, UP YOURS!” Cheers!

Fashion: Not Just For Skinny White Girls!

I was over at 90swoman (another GREAT feminist blog) and I they had an article about fashion/lack of diversity in it. (big surprise there) Anyway, they had a link to Of Another Fashion, a tumblr dedicated to vintage pictures of women of color dressed in some of the most kickass vintage outfits ever. As a fashion devotee (although I’m more devoted to my huge motorcycle boots than heels right now.) this is awesome. I’m addicted. 

And how gorgeous is this girl? If my hair were still long (it’s chin-length right now) I would try to figure out this hairstyle. Except I would look like a poodle that got caught in a tornado, except instead of going to Oz and having magical adventures, I’d be getting my hair done by Richard Simmons. Which is not nearly as glamorous as the girl above.

I Hate Useless Stuff

O.K., so I don’t really hate useless stuff– at least not all of it, because I still have all my plastic animals from when I was about three. But I do hate it when clothing companies make completely useless items, like this Herve Leger swimsuit. That, y’know, you can’t actually swim in.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/fashion-that-makes-us-sad-1-050-swimsuit-that-can-t-get-wet-2467373/

Um. This might just be me, but paying over $1,000 for a swimsuit you can’t SWIM in seems so, so, stupid to me. And yep, sexist too! I (unfortunately) own a pair of jeans that, when I tried them on, looked well and good. But then I got home, took the tags off and wore them, only to find that they have no pockets. Oh, sure, it LOOKS like they have pockets, but they’re fakes. They deceived me with false promises of pocketdom, and that is just not O.K. with me. It’s not as if pockets would have added massive amounts of bulk to the pants, so why put FAKE pockets?

Oh yeah, because girls obviously care about how things look, but not about function. DUH, you guys– girls obviously just care about looking good (except I look like an idiot trying to put my hands in nonexistent pockets, only to have them scrape awkwardly down my leg). Clothing companies would never put fake pockets on boy’s pants or make boy’s swim trunks that you couldn’t actually swim in. Mainly because it’s dumb to begin with but also because apparently girls don’t need pockets, or to be able to swim. We just have to look good in our itty-bitty teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikinis by the poolside.

Thanks, but NO THANKS. I have STUFF that I need to put in pockets, like gum and keys and my iPod and weapons of mass destruction and stuff! What am I supposed to do with my mini-nuclear bombs and the four-page-long epic ballad that I wrote instead of doing homework in Bio.