From the monthly archives:

November 2013

Two teenagers take a photograph with an Abercrombie & Fitch employee inside Westfield San Francisco Centre during Black Friday in San Francisco, California November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

 

 

As a mom to a teenage boy, I’ve yet to step inside any Abercrombie & Fitch. (Let’s leave aside whether I meet the standards for the type of customers the jackassy CEO envisioned wearing his company’s clothes) I find the idea disconcerting to shop at a store that showcases relentlessly half-nekkid virile young men. “Hey, look at me! Do I make you randy? Now come in and bathe in the glory of my bare chest. And while you are at it, remember to pick up some clothes from here so your son can look like me.”

Eh. NO.

The same way I found it disturbing when I overheard a mom say to her preteen/teenage daughter, “Ooo. You look sexy. Do you want to get it?” Really? I understand the concept of treating sex and sex talk as a natural/neutral subject. But we’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Somehow in our eagerness to promote girl empowerment, we’ve found girl empowerment in places where there was none. [Advertisers surely have taken great advantage of our wishful thinking. The branding efforts by many products surrounding Hunger Games – Catching Fire are some of the most brilliant yet infuriating, ok, at least annoying, marketing campaigns. Nerf guns for girls – sized for smaller hands. About time! And they’re pink! Of course…] We’ve pushed the line way way way back. It is so easy to equate sexy = empowered, and call it a day.

Sex does not equal power. Sex became a means to power for women because we were left with few options and recourse.

 

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Only in my dream.

This post could also have been titled, “Why women of Asian descent, especially those with the ‘privilege’ of living in the West, are fucking tired of seeing images of Geisha representing US when so few of people that look like ME (if I were younger and needed a role model in pop culture, on the stage, in celeb magazines, in my formative years) are properly represented on TV shows, in the movies, on the stage, and heck yes, even in gossip magazines.”

Or simply, “That is not a fucking Kimono (& I’d have been less stabby if this many people were not calling it an ‘authentic’ performance)”

Or, how about this? “Dear stupid, cherry blossoms, rice paper screens and umbrellas do not ‘authentic’ Japan make”

Or, we could have gone with, “Stop saying it is AUTHENTIC when you clearly have no idea what the heck you are talking about.”

Or, “That is not a ‘traditional Japanese dress’, Stupid. Authenticity has nothing to do with it.”

Or, “Dear Katy Perry, thank you for giving the ‘traditional Asian’ dress a sexy high slit. Now it’s a lot easier for me to run to serve my masters.”

I chuckled at this one myself: “Katy Perry ventured into fashion design for hostesses at pretentious Asian fusion restaurants”

To be honest? I give up.

Let’s just stick with a caption contest, shall we?

 

Thank goodness my team did not make me tape my eyes.

 

I’ll go first.

Thank goodness my team did not make me tape my eyes.

 

Ok. Your turn.

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Yesterday I stepped on the soapbox and pontificated on why we need more feminism, now, even while some famous and influential female celebrities refuse to be identified as a feminist when asked point blank “Are you a feminist?” My cerebral writer and thinker friend Christine left a much more eloquent comment highlighting the significance of the confluence between “feminist” and the word “bitch” in popular imagination.

Being identified as a bitch opens a woman up to disrespect, disdain, renunciation, and violence.

“The bitch deserves it.”

 

Someone on my Twitter stream was exasperated that something called “rapeseed” even exists. I laughed because I’ve always felt the same way about this and would never want to be caught dead with a bottle of “rapeseed oil” in my kitchen. Just because. I decided to find out WHY it has such an unfortunate name. So I searched for “Why is rapeseed named” only that I did not get far before I caught sight of this and had to pause and hyperventilate…

 

This is why we need more feminism and not less

 

Really? Really?!

 

By now you must have come across images from the ad campaign for UN Women (dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women) created by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai. It’s infuriating, to say the least.

In the face of “prevalent opinions” as revealed by Google searches, we remember what Arundhati Roy said about the Voiceless:

[T]here’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Arundhati Roy (2004)

 

UN-Women-Ad-1_495x700 jpg UN-Women-Ad-2_495x700 jpg UN-Women-Ad-3_495x700 jpg UN-Women-Ad-4_495x700 jpg

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I am a feminist. (With a necessary disclaimer)

November 4, 2013 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Jezebel collected statements from several famous (and influential and therefore powerful, and yes, many are influential simply because they’re famous. We could sit down and ponder on the curious progression from fame -> influence -> power in this Social Media age. Think Kim Whatshername. The fact you know who I am referring to without her […]

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