Which is why I now have a Twitter account. I figured it was time to see what the fuck everyone has been talking about, but I mainly did it so that no one else could get my screen name in case I find some use for it someday. I for one can’t understand why anyone would give a shit what I’m doing at any given moment, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll post wiener jokes. Here’s my page.
Ugh. Do I have to admit this? OK, I’m on Facebook. I was checking my Facebook page today to see what kind of dorky shit the people I know who have Facebook pages were doing and I happened to spy a teensy little ad in the column to the right of the page. The ad was for a place called Dimples Kids Spa (nice name — pardon me while I puke), which is located in Brooklyn Heights. I love New York sometimes, but I really hate it sometimes too. If someone can come up with a disgusting, insulting way to part people and their money, it’ll happen here first. This place has been open for a bit, so I’m sure there’s something similar in LA by now, but whatever. New York is the world capital of offensive profligacy, the city that offers the rich asshole the largest variety of opportunities to communicate the fact that she/he is evil by doing things like pissing off to eat a $1000 ice cream sundae after blindly waltzing past a woman begging for change for some corporate shit-burger with no nutritional value. And what better way to tell the world and all of its poor people that they can collectively huff a dong than to throw hundreds of dollars away on spa treatments for children?
Hence we have Dimples Kids Spa. If you live in Brooklyn Heights and just can’t figure out how to waste your money quickly enough, toss your kid into your Orbit Baby Infant Carrying System (MSRP $900), stop off for an $8 non-alcoholic beverage, and then drop her ass off for a spa day (drop your son off at the park where he can exercise and develop coordination and motor skills). At Dimples, your little girl can “indulge” in hair, nail, and facial services, and they even do parties! Their services include temporary tattoos (what your daughter really needs is a temporary lower back tattoo), manicures, pedicures, chocolate facials, strawberry honey facials, hair braiding, hair styling for the “evening” (you know, for all of those black-tie events), and flat-ironing. Because nothing looks less sexy on a kid than wavy hair.
What the fuck!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Has everyone lost sight of what spas (massage services notwithstanding) and salons are really about? They do nothing other than enable women to waste their lives and money striving for the ever-elusive beauty standards that our society sets up for them. And whence do those standards derive? From boners. Salons and spas exist to help women increase the number of men who want to fuck them, and that’s it. All of this bullshit about “self-indulgence” and “empowerment” and “me time” is fucking absurd. I mean, sure, it’s a good idea, if you have to waste several hours a week on your appearance, to make the wasting of those hours as pleasant as possible, but women wouldn’t do any of that shit if we weren’t told that we are blowing it as human beings if we don’t look like gold-dusted, semi-moist cartoons.
The fact that the average woman’s idea of the ultimate way to spend a day so often involves hundreds of dollars’ worth of beauty treatments ought to show you that there’s something seriously amiss with femininity, our cultural ideas of what’s sexually attractive, and capitalism. Feminity is a fucking jail sentence, not an “indulgence.” It requires that we sacrifice our time, energy, and self-worth chasing a goal we’ll never reach, the goal of being adequate as human beings when “adequacy” for women means hotness and when the definition of what’s hot changes every second. Our social construction of what is attractive binds women into a never-ceasing downward spiral of self-hatred and doubt, because our social construction of what is attractive springs from misogyny and is abetted by capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t work if we have a sense of “good enough,” and the entire world of marketing and product development exist to remind us that there’s no such thing as “good enough.” We don’t have enough shit, we aren’t hot enough, we haven’t put forth the effort or spent the money that we need to. We have to take that next step on the staircase to nowhere in order to be a little bit less worthless.
I have a good idea! Let’s introduce our daughters into this fucking mess as early as possible so that they’ll never have a chance to escape it! Let’s make sure that they learn that their lives ought to revolve around how much sexual attention they can get from men, and quick! Get ‘em started on mani-pedis, facials, and the idea that the natural texture of their hair is an abomination as early as possible. It shouldn’t be that hard to convince a female child to accompany mom to the salon in the current Pepto-Bismol environment young girls are forced to live in, just tell her there’ll be lots of pink shit and that she’ll feel like a princess. Of course it’s not inappropriate to sexualize a 6-year-old and to encourage her to objectify herself. It’s good, clean mommy-daugther bonding action!
For those of you new moms, Dimples Kids Spa has an even better option. They do baby mani-pedis, so you can get your daughter onto the femininity track as a baby so that, by the time she’s five, wearing nail polish and having facials will come as naturally to her as tilting her head and pretending to be stupid and dainty when men talk to her. Hey, if you don’t get her used to the idea early on that she exists on this Earth to be looked at and lusted after, she might get the foolish idea that she’s a human being, and we all know that leads to disappointment, frustration, and a sense of unfairness — and then on to FEMINISM! And we wouldn’t want that. Men don’t want to fuck feminists, and if no one wants to fuck you, what power have you got as a woman?
Wake up, you fucking dupes. If not for yourselves, then for your daughters. I understand that as things are, sex appeal is one of the few sources of power that women have, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to allow our worth as human beings be determined by advertisers, by the fashion industry, by how much male lust we can garner, but the only hope we have is that we start teaching young girls the right things, and the right things don’t include chocolate facials. I didn’t start hearing that it was my responsibility numero uno to put shit all over my face, fingers, and hair every day in service of the fuckability mandate until I was an adolescent. As such, I stood some chance of seeing it for the inconvenience and outrage that it is. Had I been coated in face masks and nail polish at the age of 6, I’d have stood absolutely no chance, especially if the coating took place in a cutesty party environment and if it was presented as a bonding experience with mommy.
If anyone wants to toilet paper this place, send me an e-mail.
I know I’ve got some fabulously talented readers who are up on important radical feminist issues and who write really well. I’m proud to say that I’m a part of the kick-ass team of women who is getting off our backs back up and running, and that off our backs is accepting submissions for its upcoming issue. If you’ve got an idea for an article or know someone else who might, I encourage you to submit your work and to pass this info along to others. Here’s the announcement:
Call for Submissions!
Deadline: April 18, 2009
About off our backs
off our backs is a news journal by, for, and about women. It has been published since 1970, making it the longest surviving feminist newspaper in the United States. It is run by a collective where decisions are made by consensus. The mission of off our backs is
• to provide news and information about women’s lives and feminist activism
• to educate the public about the status of women around the world
• to serve as a forum for feminist ideas and theory
• to be an information resource on feminist, women’s, and lesbian culture; and
• to seek social justice and equality for women worldwide.
We are interested in articles that explore and engage contemporary feminist issues, news, ideas, theory and analysis from a distinctly feminist perspective. We are particularly interested in news, reports, personal accounts, analysis and theory-making around the issues of femicide, rape, violence against women, prostitution, pornography, trafficking in women, mainstream media treatment of women, media invasion of women’s privacy and internet feminism.
We are looking for manuscripts of 500 to 2,000 words . If you are interested in writing a longer piece, please query first.
Deadline: April 18, 2009
For manuscript submission guidelines, please visit the off our backs website here: http://www.offourbacks.org/Write.htm
Submit manuscripts to email@example.com AND to firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, queries, comments? Please email:
Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff (email@example.com)
Please distribute this call for manuscripts widely.
I just want to make sure that anyone googling info on Kyle Payne knows that, despite his bullshit posturing, he’s a fucking miscreant rapist piece of shit. I was thinking about ignoring his return to blogging because he is, after all, a nugatory flea with a readership of about four (minus the hits he gets from feminists telling him to kill himself and quit pretending to membership in our movement) who doesn’t deserve the attention, but Ren’s post convinced me that wasn’t the right way to go (see Genevieve’s take here as well).
So, Kyle, here’s what I think you ought to do: go ahead and blog about whatever lefty political shit you think you have something interesting to say about (you don’t; your writing is terrifyingly boring, derivative, and banal), but please add some kind of disclaimer at the bottom of each post to alert the reader to the fact that, while you might hold all kinds of fancy anti-oppression opinions, your actions do not mesh with them. You see, it’s unethical for you to present yourself as an activist who cares about women’s right to live free from male abuse when you are yourself an abuser of women. And I’m not using the present tense on accident; I don’t believe that sexual predators can magically remorse themselves out of the belief that women are there for the abusing, and I therefore don’t believe that you’ve lost the urge to do so.
If you can’t take the embarrassment of including that disclaimer, then maybe you ought to get the fuck off of the internet. I for one can’t believe your sense of shame doesn’t keep you from writing, but I suppose I ought to not be all that surprised, given the fact that you had the nerve to claim to be a radical feminist while commiting sex crimes.
For the search engines:
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Dear people who make rocks for use as deodorant,
I’m on board with your product. Aluminum chlorohydrate sucks, I’m not into Alzheimer’s or breast cancer, and I’m totally down with a deodorant product that doesn’t contain that shit or cause toxins to build up near my lymph nodes. So I made the decision to jettison my old school deodorant and buy your version. I wandered down to the nearest health food store, perused the shelves, and got super pumped when I saw that you even offer a spray option for those of us who don’t want to rub a wet rock on our armpits. I took it home and have been using it for weeks and it rules.
There’s just one problem: I looked at the packaging this morning and was a little taken aback when I did so.
What the fuck is going on in your package design department? Why in god’s name is this the graphic you guys decided to go with? I’m almost at a loss for words on this one. I mean, what in the fuck are you trying to communicate here? That your deodorant is so bad-ass that even Matsu-flex won’t be able to stink through it? That women are so drawn to a colorless, odorless underarm product that the mere sight of it (in conjunction with a flexed bicep) will bring them running over to participate in its application?
I’m pretty sure I should be offended by this, but I can’t figure out how to be because it’s so fucking stupid. I suppose it’s yet another example of the old “woman fawning all over a dude who uses a personal hygiene product” ad theme, which isn’t really anything new or noteworthy, but it’s almost as if the concept people at Crystal Deodorant Company thought about that, decided it wasn’t insulting or absurd enough, and opted to take it up a notch with the flexing and mutual-application elements.
Isn’t this supposed to be a unisex product? What if I don’t want random women running over to help me put on my deodorant every morning? What if I don’t want to buy a product from a company that uses women as decorations and portrays us as cooing idiots whose lives are lighted up by the chance to act as Roman bath slaves to men? What if I happen to kick a lot of ass and flex a lot? Why can’t we have a label that features a bad-ass woman with a dude who is clearly awestruck by her deodorant application skills? Or, barring that, how about skipping the stupid bullshit and just selling deodorant without a demeaning photo that’s so dumb as to almost be funny?
Thanks for caring whether I get breast cancer, guys, really. How about taking that a step further and acknowledging the fact that I’m a human being?
I swizzled a few things around on the site. I think it looks a little less clusterfuck-ish, no? I brought back my OG header image and added some new things to my “greatest hits” section over on the right. I also got rid of those stupid drop-down menus that make browsing the categories and archives such a pain in the ass and jettisoned a lot of the superfluous buttons. How many “add this” buttons does one site need, anyway? I’ve also decided that having a “donate” button makes me look like an asshole and is totally out of keeping with my vision of myself as an altruistic-as-fuck freedom fighter. I don’t want to go too ballzout just yet, but I’m also considering switching themes. We’ll see. I’ve re-written my about page and tinkered with my comment policy, so you can check those out if you give a shit.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I wanna take at the ‘chine in the future, and I’ve got some re-orientation in mind. I feel like I’ve become too weenie-ish lately and have forgotten that this site is here for me to express my opinions on and that that’s its chief purpose. My discomfort was triggered when I read some post somewhere wherein someone referred to me as this site’s “moderator.” Yuck. Comments are cool and all, and I’m happy for each one that I get and don’t delete, but this isn’t a forum, it’s a blog. I’ve allowed negative attention to put me off of saying what I think (or at least to tie me up in arguments, which keeps me from posting my thoughts on things). It’s cramping my style and sapping my energy, and I think I’m going to skip it for awhile and stick to saying what I have to say in posts (though I still welcome discussion in comments). Unless I decide to do otherwise, that is. I do know that I’m done responding to dudes who don’t think we live in a sexist culture, because that position is too stupid to take seriously.
I’ve been looking at a lot of my old posts this week. In reading them, I get the sense that I went off a lot more back then, and going off is what I’m all about. I know that I’ve chilled out a bit as I’ve been forced to deal with nuance and stop pretending I’m the radfem Rush Limbaugh, but I don’t think I need to keep qualifying everything I say for people who pretend they don’t get what I’m saying or misquote me/take shit out of context to try to prove non-existent points. Besides, I can’t have people figuring out that I’ve got a sense of empathy and will buckle when someone tells me I’ve hurt their feelings.
Anyway, thanks for reading, y’all. I’ve got stuff to do until Thursday, but then I’m on spring break (show us your tits!), which means I’ll have time to get to the 15 drafts I’ve got saved on this thing.
What the fuck, dude? I just found out that there are entire BDSM websites dedicated to exploring “cervical dilation.” As anyone who’s ever had a gynecological exam can tell you, having your cervix fucked with is the worst feeling in the goddamned world. And dilating it can allow bacteria from the vaginal canal into the uterus, which can cause all kinds of insane infections, which can lead to PID, which can lead to infertility. Fucking sick. I’m sorry, but if anyone tries to tell me they enjoy cervical dilation, I’m going to have to assume they’ve lost the plot.
For reals, dude. Her name’s Kendall and she’s a bad-ass. And I’m not just saying that because our writing styles are similar and we’re both SoCal escapees living in New York. Her site’s as entertaining as America’s Best Dance Crew, and I don’t say that kind of shit lightly.
… but is it really appropriate, when trying to tell a feminist that she’s not a feminist, to tell her that her opinions are the result of “rape trauma” (which you’ve got no idea whether is even the case) and to toss gendered insults around? Because that’s what some fucking dumbass called Keori did over at Natalia Antonova’s place. And is it just me, or does it sound like someone’s making light of rape trauma and reducing fairly massive swathes of radical feminist theory to “hysteria”? She even called me frigid and told me that I should suck her strap-on in hell (which is derivative anyway; she stole it from Ren). I’m just saying, dude.
Alright, enough of this high school bullshit.