Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kicking Ass

Well, this cheered me up a little after my Halloween tirade.

Who's number one on Pajiba's list of Ass-Kicking Heroines? That's right, my girl Buffy. Anyone who hasn't seen the show is probably laughing right now. But seriously, it's a wonderful show. Feminists, fan-boys, action-adventure lovers, and sci-fi geeks. The show is like food for them. And I didn't even mention the fact that it's incredibly well-written.

But this isn't just a gush-post. What really made me smile was the introduction to the list:

"This was supposed to be a Halloween Horror Heroine guide, but it’s been crafted into a fusion that includes kick-ass chicks of the sci-fi and comic genres for a few reasons: 1) These genres are incestuous; many films, like Terminator (a film that actually scared the metallic liquid out of me upon its first viewing), are hybrids of horror, action, and sci-fi genres and sub-genres; 2) chicks in horror movies are generally portrayed as weak-willed, simpering damsels who can’t do much but unwittingly impale themselves; and 3) in rare cases where females are allowed to kick some horror keister, their characters are largely one-dimensional Tn’A jigglers. Consequently, most lead female characters in horror flicks don’t qualify for the “Ass-Kicking” heroine title, so heroines have been borrowed from the action/sci-fi realm."

So if women are helpless and sexy in horror movies, maybe it makes sense that on Halloween, the night when the world is horror, women go for sex. Maybe we're all just playing a role. In which case, I stand by my tirade below.

Bemoaning Halloween

I've never understood it. People get dressed up, get free candy. Other people drive around and smash mailboxes. Others throw eggs at houses (for no clear reason that I can see). And women compete to find the sexiest costume they can think of.

First: Halloween. Don't understand the draw. Sure, it's exciting to scare yourself. It's an excuse to party, get drunk on weird orange liquor. But you have to wear a costume, put on make-up. Why?

I know this is subjective. Don't like candy, don't like bats, don't like Halloween. And I think it's the only reason pumpkins still exist in the US. Not that pumpkins wouldn't grow without Halloween, but what else do we use pumpkins for? I mean, really?

I get that it's a chance for people to be someone else for a night. A chance for people to be clever or make fun of politicians with their costumes. But why (WHY) does it seem like the perfect night for women to wear nothing? What's clever or interesting about that? What are you going to be? A cat? Britney Spears? Random sexy girl?

And that brings me to the worse offense of all. Because of this response to Halloween, the costume shops have turned everything "sexy."

I mean, what's next. Sexy Girl Beaver?

I don't normally care what people wear. But if an adult is going to wear a costume, I feel like it should be a clever one. Why do women insist on falling back on the traditional? Be creative, ladies! Please. Or don't. I mean, a witch costume would be good. Just not a "sexy" witch costume.

Okay, I realize I sound like an ass. I'm not offended by short skirts or tight outfits. I just feel like women (and girls) are selling themselves short. Hey, if it's a creative and sexy costume, I'm all for it. I just hate this costume travesty we've just accepted. Cats aren't sexy, and "sexy" isn't a costume. I just want some creativity! Be sexy, I don't care! Just don't be "sexy" for Halloween.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October Awareness

This AlterNet article got me thinking. I don't think the article makes it's point very well, but it's something I've been thinking about for awhile.

The point of the article: October is the "awareness month" for both breast cancer and domestic violence. According to the article, we ignore domestic violence because breast cancer is sexier. You know...because of the boobs.

I agree. Pink ribbons abound and...well...does domestic violence even have a ribbon?

Yes, in fact. A quick Google search - purple. Wear a purple ribbon and a few people might know you're supporting victims of abuse.

First point of contention - purple and pink? Are we seriously resorting to baby girl colors? Plus, purple for domestic abuse victims? Purple? The color of bruises? This is the least of our problems, I know, but it's still a little ironic. Or sad. Or both.

Second - yes, breast cancer gets more press. It's hot. Like AIDS. Ugh. It makes me sick that disease has been American-ified. But shit. It gets people to donate money. For research. Right?

Some more than others. Let's put it this way - if you're going to donate, it's better for everyone if you don't buy a ribbon or a hat. Just give the money to the charity. Oh, and stay away from the American Breast Cancer Foundation, the Strang Cancer Prevention Center, and the Walker Cancer Research Institute.

So does publicity/popularity for one disease take away money from diseases with less zazz? Are we too focused on saving boobs that we overlook the psyche of the abused?

I don't know. But the more I think about the two, there are a lot of similarities between breast cancer and spousal abuse. Survivors form strong support groups and want to help others get through what they went through. Both can kill. The victims of both are overwhelmingly women. Both started out as "personal" problems and are gaining focus in a broader realm (SEE: women are the majority of victims).

But - breast cancer could have a cure. Could any amount of research eradicate spousal abuse? I am not in anyway saying domestic violence charities can't do a tremendous amount of good. But it's more about the services - shelter, counseling, etc. Maybe it's the research, the race to the finish line we love to give our money to. "Find a cure." You know.

And, yes, we love a nice, clean face to our charities. That's why AIDS has lost panache even though it's still prevalent in Africa.

And we love boobs. Bottom line: people are giving money to charity. That's a good thing. And awareness months? I don't think they really do anyone any good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New skin, new purpose

It's time this blog got some focus. No more BCOOs, no more Wallstrips (go to to get your fix - I'm writing a lot of them now). This blog is pure ladies. Women. Women's rights (or lack thereof), cool women doing cool things, etc.

I know there are a lot of great ones out there. And I have (and will) quote them a lot. But this is what I care about and what I'm interested in, so there you go.

Hope all one of you will stay tuned. I'll try to post more often.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Does the good news make the bad news hurt any less?

Good news first: Portland, Maine is awesome!

Okay, so I'm pretty partial to the Portland on the other side of the country, but Maine deserves some major thumbs in the up direction.

King Middle School, in Portland, will have birth control and STD education onsite.

Okay, so it sounds a little more shocking than it really is. An independently operated health care center already exists at the school, but they're now allowed to administer immunizations, and physicals, as well as the little pink baby-preventing pills to middle-schoolers.

Of course, some parents are outraged, in the fist-to-the-sky, why I would-a, do-nothing kind of way. Surprisingly, most are okay with it. What, we're letting our children get an education and teaching them how to be safe and no one's bombing the clinic? It's an outrage!

And we might be able to count on our new chief birth control officer (officially, acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs) to correct this aberration on the face of society. Susan Orr may soon take birth control away from all of us. With her track record, how could she just sit by and watch all those whores have sex willy nilly?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Wallstrip. Bang!

Kidneys and rainbows

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fun with Post-its

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Navigation and Robots on Wallstrip

Monday, October 08, 2007

The gift no one wants

Lindsay is awesome. I wrote the intro. (ish)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Smell It