Blogically Speaking

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Posts tagged sexism

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He said/She said: “What a moronic article”

While the interwebs and cell phones have prevented many a communication disaster, technology brings its challenges. Thank goodness that GalTime.com (yup, actual name) has brought us “He Said/She said: Decoding the text message" to help navigate the rocky waters of SMS:

Text: I wish you were here

GIRL INTERPRETATION:  “He really likes me! Awww and he misses me!! So cute!”
BLOGIC INTERPRETATION: We don’t have high hopes for this relationship. For one thing, Unidentified Text Messenger is so cool that he only speaks in Pink Floyd album titles, while Girl has rewatched Sally Field’s Oscar win too many times 

Text: Are you going out tonight/ What are you doing later?

GIRL INTERPRETATION: “He wants to hang out with me! He can’t stop thinking about me!”
BLOGIC INTERPRETATION
: At last, someone is telling the truth about how girls only think in exclamation points! Or, on special occasions, hybrid question marks/exclamation points?!
BONUS: “Ensley,” commentator, offers this helpful text interpretation: “Maybe I can get this one in the bag before I have to buy her too many drinks.”

Text: Can we reschedule for another night? I am not feeling well.

GIRL INTERPRETATION: Poor little boo boo! He needs me to bring him chicken soup and some lotion-infused Kleenex!
BLOGIC INTERPRETATION: Girl’s following thought: “Too bad I can’t bring him any of those things. I’m too young to drive.”

Text: I’ll text you later.

GIRL INTERPRETATION: He must be really busy right now. He has such a stressful job! Why can’t his boss give him a break?!
BLOGIC INTERPRETATION: What? No texting at work?!? This Girl seems fundamentally confused about the real-world demands of a job - but that’s probably because her full time job is providing in-depth relationship analysis in 140 character increments.

Blogic is all about making communication easier (if, at the very least, to avoid these situations), but Galtime’s “advice” is does more to perpetuate absurd gender stereotypes than provide any real technological insights. Besides, trying (and failing) to provide insight into relationships via canned stereotypes is so 90s.

Filed under gender internet offensive sexism technology women text messages

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Powerful men, scary women

John Denny has taken a “tongue-in-cheek look at the women who scare him the most - in a good way.” Expecting to find the Blair Witch and that girl from The Ring, we instead found a list of women who are actually just really good at their jobs: Helen Hanna Casey is one of the most successful women business leaders in Pennsylvania…. Helen also makes sure the company gives back to the community – to the tune of $5.5 million to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. Or Ann McGuinn, a passionate, tireless leader of many causes, of whom Denny cleverly says: “There is only one person more scared of Ann McGuinn than me and that’s her husband Marty McGuinn.”

Given the tone of the piece, we must believe that Denny is joking - but this is a stale joke. Instead of adding smart commentary, or mocking other journalists who perpetuate this kind of thinking, Denny rests on sexism’s laurels and his piece comes off as pure chauvinism (women! powerful! ballbusters! scary! good one!). We’re certainly not the first ones to point this out, but calling strong women scary is the oldest trick in the book to diminish their power. This “scare” tactic is clearly rooted in gender stereotypes and perpetuates norms about who should be in control. Men who attain similarly lofty goals are not “scary,” they’re skilled leaders - even if their companies are big and scary. After all, who’s afraid of Bill Gates?

While if some might find it commendable that Denny bothered to make a list of Pennsylvanian women leaders in the first place, we would prefer that he had left the job to someone capable of honoring these women without diminishing their accomplishments, even if for a few quick laughs. Sexist articles like this one do more to perpetuate gender power imbalances than to right them.

Blogic decided to create our own list of scary men. These are the type of people who deserve to be associated with the adjective “scary:”

David Miscavige: Current leader of the Church of Scientology and affiliated organizations. His work included securing the church a tax exemption status, and being the “driving force behind … Scientology for the past two decades." His career has been riddled with multiple reports of emotional and physical abuse of his staff, forced labor and child labor, and embezzling. We’re scared of David Miscavige because he appears to be a control freak, has a lot of money at his disposal, and because he’s a personal friend of Tom Cruise (he even was Best Man in Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes).

Jared Lee Loughner: Few words are needed to demonstrate that the man charged with the brutal, senseless attack in Tuscon this past January is terrifying. We’re afraid of this man because he has no regard for innocent life.

Mel Gibson: Remember him? With Charlie Sheen taking up so much celebcrazy, it’s all too easy to forget the man who, perhaps most (in)famously, left racist, sexist and violent messages on ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva’s machine (click here to see the 20 worst things Mel said in that call, as presented by kittens). He’s also been known to make homophobic and antisemitic statements, and year later, still refuses to apologize for them. Also, that beard. Basically, we’re afraid of Mel because he hates almost everyone who isn’t like him, he’s famous and people apparently still like him, and he looks like a Robot Devil

Paul Ryan: Rep. Ryan is a Republican in the House of Representatives who, unfortunately for the American public, serves on the House Budget Committee and the Committee on Ways and Means. Ryan’s fiscal “strategy” is based on taking the food out of the mouths of the average American family and stuffing it into the pockets of the wealthiest 2% of individuals and corporations. Ryan is a fierce proponent of trickle-down economics, and consistently pushes for both lower tax rates for the wealthy and less health care for the working poor. We are afraid of Paul Ryan because he wields enormous power in this country and uses that power to make life even more difficult for individuals, families, and communities most at risk and because he is the favorite potential presidential candidate among tea-party members.

That Creepy Guy lebvs Recently Saw on The Street: “Join the church of the places and why would you not my children only if you can’t see the truth of truths to stay true! Or else you will become [mumble mumble mumble].” Also, he was wearing a tattered choir boy outfit. It was dark out, and he came out of nowhere.

Filed under GOP Most Powerful Women gender john denny mel gibson pennsylvania scientology sexism women paul ryan tea party celebrity

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Babe bracket: It’s like March Madness, only sexist!

In honor of March Madness, Men’s Health Magazine has developed a bracket of its own: The Babe Bracket 2011. According to the website, "It’s like March Madness, only hotter!" 64 female athletes faced one another in successive rounds, and voters selected the winners of each round in a method similar to that of kittenwar.com.

The contest focuses on female athletes, which seems like something that blogic would support - except, the athletes are judged not on their athletic abilities but on their levels of relative hotness. In fact, the two finalists’ photos do not even depict them doing their sports, (unless, that is, Julia Mancuso typically races down the mountain without pants). The finalists’ athletic abilities do not seem to correlate with their success in the Babe Bracket. Golfer Anna Rawson has “LPGA Tour Member” listed as her “accomplishment.” Now, we’re not golf experts, but we’re pretty sure that “member” is not synonymous with “winner” when it comes to the LPGA tour.

But perhaps we should give Men’s Health credit for trying to include women in the NCAA Tournament. I mean, it’s not like they have a tournament of their own, or anything.

*Kittenwar.com, unlike “babe bracket,” is in fact a quality website and not sexist at all.

Filed under Sports babe bracket march madness men's health sexism women gender

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Who says red sox and pink hats clash?

Red Sox fans have a distinct mentality: always the underdog, eternal hatred for the Yankees, and the fervent belief that “new” fans don’t know what it means to truly suffer like the long-term fans have experienced. We know, because exactly 1/2 of blogic is a die-hard Red Sox fan. The team’s success and elevated national profile over the past decade has challenged that mentality, bringing new fans into the fold and leaving certain fans disgruntled or - in this case - sexist.

In his sports blog post today, “Not pretty in pink,” Matt Gelfand attacks a group that he believes is threatening the legitimacy of Red Sox fanhood: Pink Hats. Calling someone a Pink Hat fan means they are "the ultimate posers. Bandwagon fans." Temporarily ignoring the obvious reference to (commercialized) femininity, let’s learn more about this particular brand of fan. Matt Gelfand describes them as the "I don’t know how many innings are in a game, but my team is good now so I’ll spend $50 on a stylish hat and tight T’ fans." In case we missed the words “stylish” and “tight T,” which apparently symbolize women everywhere, Gelfand explains "the pink hats come in all shapes and sizes, but in all likelihood are female with little actual knowledge of the game of baseball."

Gelfand rightly anticipates outrage from the bleachers and tries to assuage us, writing "the pink-hat controversy isn’t about sexism, as some feminists might argue. Gelfand even admits that "there are plenty of passionate female Red Sox fans." But by defining a bad fan as one who wears a Pink Hat, an obvious female/feminine signifier, Gelfand suggests that a) all bandwagon fans are women and b) “real” women fans are the exception, not the rule. At its core, his argument is sexist. Gelfand seems to think that male bandwagon fans aren’t as big of a threat to Red Sox fandom - as if, because of their gender, men have an inherent claim to liking the Red Sox.

Gelfand knew exactly what kind of imagery - and what gender - his Pink Hat reference would bring to mind. Saying that the term “pink hat” fan isn’t gendered and offensive is like saying that the phrase “that’s so gay” isn’t homophobic because in this usage, gay is just a synonym for “stupid” and has nothing to do with sexuality.

This issue goes beyond the Red Sox; it is about who can be a real sports fan, regardless of team affiliation. Ultimately, it is about policing where women - and men - belong. The use of the pink hat as a symbol for newcomers (meaning, female newcomers) is prevalent in Red Sox culture. Like Gelfend’s blog post, this notion is filled with stale stereotypes and unstable assumptions, and says more about one’s feelings toward women than it does about a passion for the Red Sox. And that sentiment doesn’t belong in a sports blog or a baseball park.

As a rule, Blogically Speaking is opposed to all phony marketing ploys directed at women, whether they be ugly, pepto-bismol colored hats or stupid skinny cans.

Filed under baseball feminism gender pink hat red sox red sox nation sexism sports women boston