Jezebel shames a 3 year old for having a natural human reaction to bears breaking her stuff

Jezebel* has surpassed itself with it’s policy on shitting on people for no reason whatsoever. This time their target is a three year old who gets distressed whilst a family of 6 bears take over her backyard and break some of her toys. Being three, the natural reaction was to be upset. Hell, the father is upset and Jezebel doesn’t insult him for winding up his three year old. Nope, Jezebel has to go for the whole publicly shaming a three year old. And, yes, the child is identifiable to all of their neighbours, extended family and anyone else watching the video:

Five years from now, the little girl featured in this video will watch this and realize just how flagrantly youth is wasted on the young. That’s because, at eight years old, she’ll realize what she didn’t at three: Bears chilling on your swingset isn’t a cause for tears but a cause for celebration! (Just like when a bird poops on you for good luck, but less gross.)

And at 8 the child will be able to read and learn that Jezebel has invited the internet to trash her for being a three old. With emotions. Because nothing says cause for celebration being publicly shamed by a major media outlet.

We’re also supposed to be okay with the bears causing damage because a swing set only costs $300 at Target:

Bro Bible reports that the scene you’re witnessing happened in New Jersey, and correctly chastises this entire family for not just stopping for a second and recognizing how cool it is that six bears (a mother and her five cubs) are ripping up your backyard amenities. A swingset costs $300 at Target, but a story about a bear cub just chewing the hell out of your floatie while his brother tries to use your slide? That’s priceless!

This assumes that the family has $300 to spare to replace the pool and the swing set. The commentary in the video implies they might be but circumstances change and that pool may never be replaced. It’s okay to be disgruntled and annoyed at your stuff being broke. Granted, the father winding up the small child isn’t exactly a vision of excellent parenting, but he’s still allowed to be upset at the bears damaging their possessions.

The rest of the article is also twaddle:

And it’s all on video, so no one can even say shit when the toddler featured here tells everyone about it at school. “You think I’m joking about them ripping up my Eddie Bauer licensed pool float?” she’ll ask her teacher, after being gently accused of having a very vivid imagination. “Well, why don’t we just roll the goddamn tape, Sharon?”

Plus, you know that this is just an excuse for a bigger, better pool, right? Everyone wins!

Unless of course they can’t afford to buy another pool. Or, the bears keep coming back and some over officious police officer shoots them for causing a public menace. Or they get killed by a hunter. Or hit by a car. Or a million other things that can go wrong when bears enter human spaces.

Jezebel seriously needs to dump the label feminist when publishing shit.

* clean link

And, Baby Bangs? Just Wtf?

All together Now:

Ugly Baby:

dahliadrop2

 

Cute Baby:

 

dahliadrop 1

 

Ugly Baby & Cute Baby

bb1

Ugly Baby & Cute Baby

bb 2

Ugly Baby & Cute Baby

bb3

At least, I think this is what Baby Bangs is telling us with the production of fake hair for babies. Without fake hair, baby girls are UGLY.

And, seriously, who wants an ugly baby?

Not Baby Bangs, that’s for sure:

Our Philosophy
At Baby Bangs! we believe in the beauty of childhood. Our unique designs are sprinkled with MAGIC!~inspiring a world of whimsical wonder and mystical magical memorable moments for you and your baby girl to cherish Forever! For she is, and always will be, 
Your LiTTLe PRINCESS!

Babies can only live in a world of whimsical wonder and mystical magical memorable moments if they only look like girls. And, aren’t ugly.

Otherwise, their lives will suck.

Or, something.

 

<thank you to Sophia Greene for bringing this to my attention>

 

 

Girlie Glue: Because it’s never too early to be girly.

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I thought this was a late April Fool’s rocking up in my Twitter feed. But, no. It appears to be an actual product with an actual website so you can glue shit to your babies’ head so they don’t forget they are girls. Granted, I’ve always been under the impression that babies don’t actually know what “girl” is since they do precisely four things: eat, sleep, shit and cry. But, that’s totally irrelevant. Now, you can ensure that your baby and the world around them know you’ve bought into majorly damaging gendered stereotypes and glue ribbons and bows to your kid’s head. Just so no one destroys their identity by mistaking them for a boy.

Because that would fuck them up for life.

Gluing shit to your kids head, on the other hand, is totally normal.

And this does not fill me this confidence:

Girlie Glue is made with Agave nectar and other all natural Ingredients

It’s safe, 100% Honey-Free and washes away easily with water.

I don’t care that it washes out or that it’s “natural” (and let’s be totally realistic here, all sorts of shit you wouldn’t want near your kid are called natural). You are gluing shit to your babies head.

Actually gluing shit to your babies head.

So people know they are a girl.

I can’t even begin to describe how fucked up that is.

You have a baby. Not a dress-up dolly. It doesn’t matter if your baby is bald and someone in Tesco thinks they are a boy. It’s a baby. You need to cuddle them  – not dress them up like freaking Barbie.

Girls have their entire lives to be groomed into passing the patriarchal fuckability test. At least give them a few years before you start gluing shit to their heads. images 2 Unknown 1

 

High School Musical: Disney Goes Feminist

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Granted High School Musical 3 has a rather unnecessary number of shots of Sharpay Evans’ arse and there is a very clear evidence of bullying by the two main male leads: Troy Bolton and Chad Danforth who steal the clothes of two younger classmates and make them chase them through the school dressed only in towels. In HS-land this gets the bullied boys detention. In my-land, it gets the two bullies an in-school suspension and a ban from participation in after school activities because it constitutes sexual harassment. And, I can’t even begin to describe the horror which is the Tiki song in High School Musical 2: racism a go-go there.

There are also very few non-white actors in the films. The best friends of the two leads are both African-American but they both are stereotypes. Chad Danforth is basketball obsessed and a loyal friend. Taylor McKessie is bossy, demanding and over-organised. Her character is also incredibly intelligent and loyal to her best friend which is a departure from many portrayals of African-American characters in Disney films. But, they are still only supporting characters living stereotypes of what “good” African-American teenagers are interested in: boys do basketball and girls do smart & over-bossy. On the other hand, the main character Gabriella Montez is Hispanic-American, which is a major departure for mainstream Disney programs. Disney does feature non-white actors but only in supporting roles and frequently as crass stereotypes.

We can’t forget the issue of class as every single one of the characters lives in a huge house, including Gabriella Montez whose mother is a single parent. Poverty is never an issue. In fact, the characters can afford to just hop on planes and fly 1000 miles without so much blinking about the credit card charge. Obviously, abuse doesn’t exist and no one has any disabilities. It is the American Dream: a white heteronormative culture.

There are also serious problems with gender stereotyping. The mothers of all the teenagers are shown in kitchens only bringing in groceries, baking snacks, serving food, and interrupting private moments between teenagers. Fathers, on the other hand, are actively involved in coaching sports and being ‘cool’. The drama teacher is OTT in the ridiculous and Sharpay, well, Sharpay is a blond narcissistic ice queen who treats everyone like shit. Because, that is oh-so-original.

Yet, High School Musical is probably one of the most feminist films Disney has ever produced. The main character Gabriella is a “good” girl who wears virginal outfits. But, she’s also intelligent, loyal and prone to speeches on everyone working together. She changes everyone for the better by encouraging them to be true to themselves. She’s also true to herself valuing her education over her boyfriend. Gabriella isn’t mean and she doesn’t take shit from anyone. Yes, there is an unnecessary amount of twaddle about boyfriends and girlfriends and loving one another forever but Gabriella is an inspiring female character. The value placed on friendships between the teenage girls is so very, very different. With the exception of Sharpay, the girls support one another through their dreams, their hobbies and their lives.  They work together for each other and they talk about the importance of valuing yourself as an individual over any potential relationship.

It’s not a perfect feminist film but it’s a start. And, in a complete departure from normal Disney narratives, the boy follows the girl to university.

 

<this rant is brought to you by my daughters who’ve been watching the trilogy together>

 

Vulvas, gender and the real price of being female

In my living room right now are two little girls playing Monopoly. So far this morning they’ve discussed the following: the existence of God, what happens to your vagina when you give birth, and whether or not they are talking about vaginas and vulvas. Granted, I could have done without the 6:30 am wake up call asking me where I fit on the vagina/vulva debate.

<note for children who may be reading this: it is always too early to wake up to discussions on mislabelling of body parts within a patriarchal culture.>

The first debate could have been any child, but the second is a conversation that little girls have constantly because they are taught from birth that having a vulva isn’t something to be proud of – and if you don’t believe me, just look at the sheer number of threads on Mumsnet by women worried about what to call their daughter’s vulva: a foofoo, front bottom, or flower being continual suggestions. Can we just look at how stupid the term front bottom actually is? We never tell boys they have front bottoms – it’s only girls who are told their reproductive organs are dirty and probably full of pooh from birth. And, flower, besides being linguistically stupid, isn’t a “nice euphemism”. It’s a ridiculous term which makes it difficult for small children to explain if someone is hurting them. After all, the statement “he hurt my flower” could mean anything.

Children need to know basic biology . They need to understand how human reproduction works – and it isn’t like flowers do it – regardless of what you learned from Grease 2. It isn’t basic biology which is harmful to children, contrary to this rather ridiculous article in Slate.  It is the coercive gender roles we assign to male and female which harm children, as Glosswitch so eloquently writes. It is the idea that male children are A and female children are B which damages our children. It is telling boys they can be as violent as they want without repercussions and teaching girls that they are responsible for becoming a victim of male violence. That is harmful; not labelling an infant male or female (unless the child is intersex which, whilst rare, has not been handled appropriately by the medical profession).

When I gave birth to my daughters, I didn’t think they could only be nurses or that they could be whatever they wanted to be. When i gave birth to two girls, I thought about the likelihood they would become a victim of male violence.

When I gave birth, I thought about the increased risk they would live with for being born female:

  • child sexual abuse
  • rape as a teenager
  • rape as an adult
  • sexual harassment in the street, school and workplace
  • their increased risk for contracting STDs through PIV
  • their increased risk of contracting STDs from a male partner ejaculating in their mouth or eyes (as is increasingly common via porn)
  • the fact that most UTI in women are a direct consequence of PIV since men don’t tend to wash their penis after urinating (or hands for that matter)
  • the risk of unwanted pregnancy (and having no access to birth control or abortion)
  • the increased risk of domestic violence, stalking and harassment
  • the increased risk of being killed for being female

I also thought about the “privileges” of being female:

  • earning less than men for doing the same work
  • being fired for being pregnant
  • being forced out of the workplace because of childcare commitments
  • living in poverty because of piss poor pensions
  • living in poverty because they are raising children whilst the father makes no financial contribution
  • being less likely to work in senior management or on a board of a FTSE 500 company

And a 1000 other things which women are punished with for the crime of being born female in male supremacist culture. These punishments are not because we have vaginas, rather its because of the gender coercively assigned to biology which creates women as an inferior class. Gender needs to be abolished – not the biological reality of women’s bodies.

Our girls should be playing monopoly and discussing their bodies without feeling ashamed – but perhaps not at 6:30 in the morning.

 

Glosswitch’s response: Boy or Girl? Why not have a stereotype instead is a must read.

This isn’t a “prank”. It’s just another part of the spectrum of male violence

An 18 year old called Jacob Dowdle has been expelled from school after shoving a creme pie in a teachers face. The expulsion came 2 days later after a video of the incident was posted online. The police have also questioned Dowdle about the incident. Dowdle threw a pie in a teacher’s face and was expelled (on the last day of classes) but will be allowed to sit his A-levels. I’d have thought a fairly normal response from a school to a student being an ass (and I checked with the teenager – she agrees with me on this and, by definition, this is  weird because she’s a teenager) but a bunch of people have started a petition because “boys will be boys” and holding them accountable is just mean.

Granted, Dowdle’s attack isn’t the worst thing a student can do to a teacher but it is being minimised and dismissed as irrelevant. We’re supposed to pretend that Dowdle’s behaviour is normal because he’s a “kid” and kids do stupid thing. Well, kids do do stupid things. Problem is, Dowdle isn’t a kid – at 18 years old he’s an adult. He has the right to vote, to drive and to drink alcohol and yet we think he shouldn’t be held accountable for harming his teacher. Dowdle made a choice and he needs to face the consequences of that decision. He isn’t being sent to prison for 20 years or banned from taking his A levels. He’s not being allowed to return to a school where he assaulted a teacher – not banned for life from having an education. Banning him from a building is hardly going to ruin his life.

The “boys will be boys” rhetoric is very dangerous. It is used constantly to minimise inappropriate behaviour in young boys. Instead of raising our boys to be thoughtful, considerate and to understand that there are consequences to their actions, we tell them that it was just a “prank” and that everyone will get over it. Well, I don’t want to get over it. I don’t want to live in a culture where an 18 year old is allowed to vote but not held accountable for his actions. I don’t want my children to attend schools where the teachers are having to worry about whether or not a male student will behave like a jackass. I want my children to attend schools where sexual violence is non-existent and bullying is dealt with appropriately.

I’m sick to death of the “boys will be boys” bullshit and I am so fucking bored of this idea that boys aren’t responsible for their own behaviour. That men can’t be held responsible for their actions.  Ched Evans doesn’t think he’s a rapist because he’s spent his whole life being told that he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants whenever he wants. His fans believe they have the right to be as abusive and nasty as they want because they are men and men get to be assholes. Elliot Rodger killed 6 people because he believed he had the right to kill them. And, men rape and abuse women every single day because they believe they have the right. Dowdle’s action are part of the spectrum of male violence and he is being forgiven for his actions just as every other man is.

This school has made it very clear to their students that they will not tolerate the “boys will be boys” bullshit. Frankly, I’d like to write them a thank you letter.

<thank you to Karen Ingala Smith for tweeting this article out and raising her concerns this morning>

 

 

 

The Official Magnetic List of Acceptable Boy and Girl Words


Because gender stereotyping and hatred of women is just so fucking funny. God forbid girls like helicopters and aeroplanes. Probably their vaginas would dry up. Or something equally tedious. And, I do love the inclusion of sweets, sherbert, candy, ice cream and chocolate on the girls list whilst the boys only get sweets. Setting up our girls for a life time of eating disorders, self-loathing and low self-confidence. That way they will spend time failing to meet the heinous Patriarchal Fuckability Test rather than kick-starting the Revolution.

 Just for once I’d like to see this shit written about in terms of the emotional and psychological abuse of children.

This came via A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World on Facebook. They are pretty awesome and are well worth following.

The Lorax: Interesting Environmental Message Served With a Side of Sexism

I took small to see The Muppet Movie; an experience which was ruined by the inclusion of the utterly misogynistic Aquafresh Nurdle World ad. And, then we saw an add for the new Dr. Seuss film The Lorax. It looks brilliant fun; a film about being yourself, questioning authority and respecting/ caring for the environment. That would be brilliant fun right up until the point where there was a lurvely ‘joke’ about gender and violence.


It was the same tired old joke about not threatening violence against women unless they don’t ‘look’ like women: that is too say fat. Because, it’s just totally okay for children’s films to reinforce the same tired old stereotypes about women only having value if they are skinny and pretty. Or, that women can only ‘look’ like women if they are skinny. Or something.

It would be nice if just one film directed at children didn’t include threats of violence and gender stereotyping. Is that really so much to ask? Is Hollywood so lacking in imagination that they can’t imagine a world where people don’t run about threatening to punch anyone who disagrees with them or denigrating those who don’t fit Patriarchal Constructions of Fuckability?

It Doesn’t Make You a Special Fucking Snowflake:

This came from Being Feminist on Facebook. I just love this quote: 

Snow White and the Huntsman: It was Pretty. And, Erm, It was Pretty.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an interesting film attempting to play against the Disneyfication of the Princess genre. Supposedly, it’s closer to the Grimms version but, frankly, everyone claims that. Even Disney. It’s been years since I read the Grimms version but I don’t remember Snow White running about it chain mail. Maybe, I just skipped that bit of the fairy tale. My brain was drifting a bit during the film so I may have had a nap at some point and missed some extremely important Feminist point. But, I’m guessing not.

Despite claims to the contrary, it is most certainly not a feminist film; unless you watched the entire thing wearing headphones playing Reclaim the Night anthems. Over and over again. Or, someone reading Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse. It was pretty though; especially fairy land with lolloping bunnies and flittering butterflies. That bit was like watching In the Night Garden without the ghastly music. Being pretty isn’t generally considered a requirement to attain feminist approval what with feminists normally being concerned with destroying the Patriarchy so I’m not entirely sure why the film’s being advertised in the way it is.

The film would have seriously stunk without Charlize Theron as the Queen. Theron is such an incredibly talented actress and really carried the entire film herself. How they managed to land such a talented actress to star in such a stupid film is beyond me. The only possible reason is that Theron is now considered “old” by Hollywood standards and the only available roles for her are “character parts”. The failure of Hollywood to capitalise on Theron’s talent is just depressing. She’s talented and beautiful [not to mention a campaigner for domestic violence services]; I’d have thought production companies would be standing outside her front door begging her to take on their projects.

However, the Queen was an unbelievably problematic character with the whole “women have no value unless they are beautiful” trope being played out. She commits heinous crimes in order to preserve her beauty because, as the Queen’s mother tells her in a flashback, the only power women have over men is to be beautiful. Yeah, thanks for that. Perhaps, a little bit of contextualisation there could have helped since the soon-to-be-Queen is promptly kidnapped [weirdly along with her brother] by an invading force because of her beauty. And, in the evil women stakes, the-soon-to-be-Queens mother is the one who curses her with the whole “be beautiful or die” trope; blaming the mother for her daughter’s subsequent behaviour”: a well-known Patriarchal trick.

The Queen kills Snow White’s father the day of their marriage in the wedding bed after tricking the king into marrying her. That’s a pretty nasty message about women’s sexuality and beauty being used for evil. The fact that the Queen kills him after saying: “Men use women. They ruin us and when they are finished with us, they offer us to the dogs like scraps.” At first glance, this can be seen as the evil man-hating feminist trope which is even more tedious than the “evil beautiful woman” trope. Except, there is something else going on. At least, it is slightly more nuanced than evil man-hating feminist as there are several mentions of the abuse the Queen had received at the hands of her first husband. Yes, committing mass murder isn’t the general trauma response to serious domestic violence and the film could have done more with this story line, particularly at the end when Snow White kills the Queen, but it was there. Generally, Hollywood films don’t bother with a back story for why women might be angry at men. Of course, nothing is actually done with the male violence sub-theme and what could have been an intriguing feminist critique of fairy tales went straight out the window.

Snow White as the Virgin Queen trope was as equally dire as it is in every other retelling of the story. In this one, the cast kept blithering on about Snow White being “pure of heart” and that her “fair blood” the only thing that could destroy the Queen. All those montages in the adverts with Kristen Stewart leading her knights into battle, like Joan of Arc, lasted about 2 minutes of the film. With the exception of one rousing speech, Snow White spends most of the film being virginal and kind and super-dooper lovey-dovey with even the cantankerous dwarves falling for her innocent charm. She runs through forests and mountains quite a bit. The scenery, at least, was worth admiring.

Possibly the most interesting not-actually feminist but could have been was the Huntsman rousing Snow White from her sleep with “true love’s kiss”. Big clap for not going with the Prince, who hadn’t seen her since she was 8 being her true love, but the drunken Huntsman isn’t exactly my idea of a good man. Except, the Huntsman’s character is a drunk after losing his beloved wife to the Queen’s machinations and the speech he gives before kissing Snow White is about his love for his wife. Apparently, Snow White reminds the Huntsman of his wife. And, this is where the story could have gone for an intriguing plot change with the Huntsman raising Snow White from the dead not because he’s fallen in love with her pretty face but rather the Huntsman’s love for his wife brings Snow White back from the dead. That would have broken the dire love story subplot.

It’s not a Feminist-friendly film. Snow White hits on a number of themes which could have been explored in a Feminist fashion [and made it a better film] but the director clearly pulled his punches all the way through. All things considered, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was far more feminist-friendly insofar as the love interest is actually an astrophysicist and not, you know, a princess renown for being beautiful and the bringer of life. Being an astrophysicist is way more fun than being a princess. This is why my youngest daughter wants to be a superhero mermaid when she grows up: mermaids have lovely tails but its incredibly boring sitting about brushing one’s hair all day. Poor Snow White gets to spend the rest of her life sitting about being “pretty”. Can’t see the Feminist message in that.

Some other Interesting Critiques:

Snow White and the Huntsman: A Feminist Fairytale?

Snow White and the Huntsman: Shitting Crikey

10 Reasons Not to See Snow White and the Huntsman

Why Feminists Should See Snow White and the Huntsman

McCoyed, Snow White, Huntsman, Feminism

Snow White and Attempted Feminism

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Snow White and the Huntsman

Has Anyone Seen Snow White and the Huntsman?

Snow White and the Huntsman: Where do I begin?