Yes, this is a real commercial.

After seeing this on TV for the second time, I felt compelled to share it with all of you. At least, I figure, I won’t be alone in my rage against this company and whatever marketing “genius” came up with it.

The first time I saw this, I thought, “Oh awesome! This guy built a mousetrap-style machine that refills his drink! This should be cool.” Alas, I was disappointed, aghast, angered, etc. to find that instead, the solution to the empty drink glass is the girlfriend (wife?). What the fuck. How is this on television? Why isn’t the whole world pissed about this? I mean, the Miller Lite commercials they used to have on TV promoting the “manliness” of drinking Miller Lite (e.g. don’t be a sissy, girls’-pants-wearing light beer drinker!) seem tame and almost endearing compared to the outright misogyny of this gem. I mean, really? We haven’t moved beyond “women belong in the kitchen and/or serving my every need including thirst”? It’s 2012 for godsakes.

I mean, the idea of businesses like SportsClips thrive on the idea that women are meant to serve men both in deed and as eye candy (see also America’s favorite place to get buffalo wings and glimpses of boobies, Hooters). The problem isn’t only the proliferation of antiquated notions of what it means to be a Woman–that is, buxom, always sexy, kitchen- or service-centered, adorably dumb… the list goes on–but antiquated notions of what it means to be a Man. Commercials like this imply that part of being a man means treating all women like glorified servants and exclusively doing “manly” things like watching sports–and being unable to drag oneself away from such manly activities in order to groom oneself, because that’s for pussies. It’s not only women that should be outraged at commercials like this that appeal to undeniably sexist notions of male/female relations, likely located somewhere in the irrational amygdala.

I don’t want to suggest that we should be better than this. We are better than this and it’s about time we show it.

Only Forcible or Legitimate Rapists Need Apply

Okey dokey, Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Do we really need to go over this again? What the fuck were you doing during high school Biology and/or Health class, or did you spend the entirety of high school asking Jesus to punish you for your teenage boner from looking at Prom Queen Kelly Ann Simons too long? Todd Akin (R-MO)–you may remember him from the “forcible rape” debacle of a bill he co-sponsored with none other than our new pal Paul Ryan (R-WI)–apparently told KTVI-TV the following on Sunday: “From what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

I would like to tell the men of the U.S. Congress something very important: the female body is not magic. The vagina is not a mysterious pit that has the power to discern the motivations of the penis entering it and conveniently stop a pregnancy if the dick looks or acts rape-y. Since when did the discourse around the female body slide back into the mentality of fourth grade boys who have heard shady rumors from kids two years older than them that have grossly misunderstood their sex ed classes? (Sidenote: these are the same people who think we shouldn’t teach sex ed in school. Apparently “magical vaginas” should be the standard for biological knowledge of sexual intercourse.)

After apologizing for his comments, Akin went on to say he screwed up; what he really meant wasn’t “legitimate rape” but “forcible rape”:

Akin appeared as a guest on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s radio show. When asked about what he meant by the term “legitimate rape,” he said, “I was talking about forcible rape, and it was absolutely the wrong word.”

His bad, guys. But seriously, what the fuck!? How has some nonsense term like forcible rape even entered our general lexicon? What the hell does it mean? And one of the idiots who co-sponsored the initial “forcible rape” bill nonsense is running for Vice President of the United F*&$ING STATES OF AMERICA!!! This isn’t a problem of terminology. Rape is forced. Any rape is legitimate because it’s RAPE. If somebody puts their dick in you and you don’t want it there, that’s rape. It doesn’t matter how you were dressed or what you ate for breakfast. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how skinny or fat you are, how old or young you are, whether you’re dressed like a prostitute or a housewife: if you say no, it fucking means no. It doesn’t mean that it’s not rape if she’s wearing booty shorts and he does a lot of begging and then just does what he wants.

Do we really need to parce rape into different degrees of culpability on the part of the rapist? Rape is rape. Period. And on top of this, citing some nonsense pseudo-science about mystery secretions and hormonal changes under stressful situations makes every woman who ever says no and is violated and impregnated a dirty, lying whore. Scientifically.

The discourse surrounding not only rape but women’s rights to control their bodies (and one doesn’t even have to look to the issue of abortion anymore, just birth control!) is in the toilet. From personhood amendments to ultrasound probes to “forcible rape,” there’s a lot of finger pointing at and distrust of women as a class of people. I thought we had made strides in this department. I guess not. I’m just hoping this forcible rape nonsense doesn’t turn into a steaming pile of forcible bullshit in November.

A Happy Thought for Sunday

After hearing that Chad Johnson head-butted his wife the other day, this makes me feel a little bit better.

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

Watching “Chubby/Curvy Chick” Porn Does Not Make You Progressive

As a self-proclaimed “curvy” girl, I am all for the praising and appreciation of curvaceous bodies.  For the record, “curvy” is referring to bodies Christina Hendricks, Beyonce, the current Christina Aguilara, Jessica Simpson, and most of the Kardashians, this term does not and should not apply to random, tiny celebrities who claim to be curvy because they weigh more than 105 lbs.

Having a B-Cup isn’t enough, ladies!  Having a big ass is sufficient.  Having annoyingly large breasts will also do the trick.  Though, you are probably going to have to weigh a little more… you know, like 125 lbs.

I think there are a lot of great websites that can help curvier girls feel better about themselves, and I think having sites like that is wonderful.

Sites like SkinnyVsCurvy are doing it the right way.  Sure, it’s gossipy and not entirely nice, but at least they give due credit to the curvy ladies who look a heck of a lot better than some of the Lexy Anorexies out there.  Being too skinny is unhealthy.  Being too fat is also unhealthy.  Let’s celebrate the healthy range in a healthy way.

Celebrating healthy bodies in a healthy way probably doesn’t mean watching porn.

Porn is demeaning to all parties involved.  Porn is a major industry.  I know that tons of people love porn, rely on it, and are overall BIG fans.  However, being a lover of porn does not make you an academic; that’s not enough.  I know that most porn features women with bodies that have been perfected and sculpted by work out routines and plastic surgeons to create unrealistic, or at least rare, results.  Just like Hollywood, porn emphasizes a very particular kind of body as idealized, and it’s a kind of body that most women cannot achieve.  Most of porn is detrimental to the female image because its “activity and subject matter” depict women as objects, nothing more than desperate, helpless, sex-crazed weirdos; it also doesn’t help that the women look like barbies.

Of course, there are more fetishes and niches out there than imaginable, which means there is also a lot of porn portraying ultra-skinny ladies, ultra-fat chicks, any race, any place, involving any imaginable thing.  Heck, pick any noun, adjective, adverb, verb… It’s in a porn-o.

That said, there is a lot, like A LOT, of chubby bunny/curvy/chubby/not-so-skinny/something called “BBW” (google at your own risk) stuff out there.  This wouldn’t normally come on my radar, but earlier a random dude yelled at me while I was running – I’m not entirely sure I caught everything he said, but he definitely referred me to a specific site.  The weirdest part of this is that he wasn’t really saying that he liked my “situation,” he was mostly pointing out that he was proud of me for being confident in my body.  WHAT?  First of all, pick a new medium.  The cat-call isn’t right for you.  Second, no.  NO.

There are a bunch of sites out there that post naked pictures of “curvy” and/or “chubby” chicks to “empower them,” and to “make them feel more beautiful.”  

How the hell is a bunch of porn going to be “empowering” for me?  Screw that bullshit!  These sites are just fetishist porn sites that are claiming to be some kind of grandiose feminism.  That’s not how it works.  Feminism does not mean you show people your vagina.  Feminism is more about being powerful, smart, and capable regardless of your genital-situation.  Curvy chicks are not being helped by exploitative sites that praise giant boobs, round tummies, and bubble butts; curvy chicks are being helped by fashion that encourages their bodies to be seen as beautiful and normal.  No woman was ever helped to feel beautiful (in a healthy way) by a bunch of half-dressed, poorly lit strangers clicking on pictures of her vagina in the middle of the night.

Glorified porn sites won’t solve eating disorders.  They will only alleviate the pressure in the pants of certain dudes (and chicks).

*At press, this writer was not considering herself especially skinny, or especially chubby.  She also has yet to visit the site recommended by that empowering drunk guy.