Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Something comment-worthy?

*Note: There would be an amusing photo here, but Villagephotos is still crap.

I've been trying to think of something comment-worthy, but I'm lacking. I have a small notebook that I use for lesson plans and keeping track of attendance, and last Thursday I got bored while my students were taking a quiz and started writing down possible blog entries. Some of them include:

The Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost
Weird Students (they abound this semester)
The appeal of shoes to fat women (being hippy with a lot of shoes)
Why pornography is hurtful to women.

But do I feel like thinking enough to post about any of these juicy things right now? Not so much. My eyes feel like little blue ticking bombs...ready to explode and make a huge mess at any second. I think I finally fell asleep around 1am....had a lame sex dream...and the alarm went off at 7:00. I snoozed until 7:18, got ready, and here I am. I almost forgot the jump drive with all my quizzes for today which would've been a bloomin' disaster.

My first class took a homonym quiz, and they were so spread out that I didn't have to worry about cheating. I sat on a table in the back of the room and read The Beauty Myth. Don't ask me if I believe the rumors about Harold Bloom groping her back in the day. I don't care (although I don't really like Harold, so I would tend to say yes, he did grope her).

This morning's reading addressed women's mass culture and I found the part about women's magazines particularly interesting. Wolf claims, and I agree, that women's magazines have a tendency to perpetuate the "beauty myth" and make women feel even shittier about their wardrobe, makeup, and sexual prowess than they already do. I was a Cosmo reader for a couple of years, and while the magazine operates under the guise that it's trying to pump up women's independence and self-esteem (the monthly Fun Fearless Female, for example), it's a catch-22. They're still trying to sell cosmetics and clothes, and the cover still has a scantily clad, airbrushed model or other celeb on the cover every month (same pose, same general feel....can we say Stepford Wives?), and it's all a big beating over the head with the beauty myth. "You've gotta be feminine and gorgeous and fit to be worthwhile and for things to happen to you." Read the chapter and you'll know more about that quote.

I started reading Bust instead of Cosmo. It focuses more on herbal, do-it-yourself makeup and skin fixes, actual fearless females that do graffiti art, are mystics and witches, that started their own 'zine which later became what we now lovingly call Bust. Does it still fall into the beauty myth?? I dunno....still struggling with that. There's fashion, there's makeup, but there's a hell of a lot more substance, too. Book reviews, music, "odd-girl-out" celebs. I guess I don't feel like I'm being beat over the head with the same old shit when I'm reading Bust. I don't feel like I'm being pushed toward a stereotype when I'm reading Bust. I'm not expected to be the girl next door OR the ugly, man-hating feminist ogre.

Anyway, still struggling with my thoughts on the beauty myth and how/if/why I'm a part of it. That was actually a half-way decent post for a "eyes-as-bombs" day. Whoda thunk!

On TV: There isn't one, thank God.
CD player: Evanescence Live
In my head: my wild curly hair that's grown inward and begun to seize my brain


  1. I loved The Beauty Myth. I was never much of a Cosmo reader, and since reading TBM I've come to loath it and the women/girls who think it's some sort of bible. Sheeeeeeit.

    Have you read Promiscuities, also by Wolf? Loved, loved, lurrrrved it. It's more of a sexual memoir than anything, but she does off lots of insight into how women are view sexually.

    I also hope you do eventually post on how porn is hurtful to women, because I'd like to see what someone else has to say on the subject. I never seem to formulate proper thoughts when arguing with others.

  2. I haven't read Promiscuities, but it's on my wishlist. Doesn't she have another one called Misconceptions or something like that?? I can't remember what it's about, so I'll have to go Amazon it.

    I will definitely work up the porn post. I was actually just thinking about that, since Wolf mentioned that, worldwide, it's a bigger industry than music and film combined. That's INSANE!

  3. that was a brainless post, huh? interesting. how many people argue that porn is NOT hurtful to women, except those scumbags who are addicted to/and or making money from it?

  4. You might be surprised, Clarerooo! I know many a person that would argue in favor of porn. Intelligent ones, too. Oh well, I'll get into that in a bit.

    It started out a brainless post, then something just happened. lol

  5. And that should've said Clackeroo. Laptop screen is still cracked. Ack!

  6. I started reading The Beauty Myth a while back and then got sidetracked. What I read so far was good, but it made me so angry. All the really good women's studies books do that to me.

  7. Same here, April. I still have some feministy stuff on my TBR after The Beauty Myth....The Feminine Mystique, The Second Sex, and Andrea Dworkin's memoir...Heartbreak.

  8. I don't think that porn in and of itself is harmful to women. but that the industry that surrounds it is, and that the majority of porn does dehumanise the subject, whether they are male or female.

    Then again, maybe I have a broader definition of porn, and include stuff others would refer to as erotica??

    I had something else to say... nope gone out of my head, so I may be back later :)

  9. Fence,
    Interesting point. I'll be chewing it over until I finally formulate my own thoughts on porn. lol I had a good semi-post worked up in my head yesterday, but then I went to sleep and there it went. hehe

    Come back if you remember what else you were gonna say! Oh, and I was referring mostly to magazines (Playboy, Hustler), and actual porn films. Not writing of any kind, but just the visual.

  10. Hi Andi! This is Amanda A. from book-a-week club! I checked out your blog and its cool. I thought about blogging before, but I didn't quite know how to set it up. I might try a site like this.

    I like your comments on Bust magazine. Last year, a friend and I shared a subscription and this year I have subscribed. I didn't know if you knew this -- but on the Bust website if you click on submissions they have the rules for if someone wants to submit an article. You're such a good writer you might want to think about submitting. keep up the good work. Amanda A.

  11. Hi, Amanda!!! I'm glad you stopped by and decided to comment. :o)

    I just looove Bust (which I'm sure you noticed from the post). hehe I've thought about trying to work up a submission, but I haven't come up with anything (that I think is) hefty enough. Maybe The Beauty Myth will inspire me! :oD

    Oh, and I definitely think you should blog!!! I would read it!

  12. I remembered what I wanted to say, but it isn't all that interesting :)

    Just that I agree that magazines, especially those marketed towards women do encourage low self-esteem/body image problems. I mean it is okay for Madonna to spend 24 hours a day doing yoga to look like she does, other people have to work all day. And yet we are attracted to the pretty pictures, and pretty faces on covers & on the TV. So we encourage more depictions of beauty.

  13. Omigod, are we talking about porn? Wicked post, Ander McDoo. I'm gonna be all over this after class tonight. I should lend you all my porno books to read!

  14. Bound and Gagged is on hold at the library. I've read it before, but it's one of my favourite books on porn that I don't actually own.

    If you want extreme opinions on porn, Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon are the ones to look to.

  15. Denadoonie, I want titles on porn!! I know I'll get a dose reading Dworkin's memoir for sure, but I want more more more! Thanks in advance, and I can't wait to hear what you have to post. ;o)

  16. K, later, porn fiend! haha

    I got lots.

  17. Please do a porn post! This is a pet (peave) subject for me. In fact this subject played a big rule in destroying my marriage.

    I don't have a problem with the sex part of pornography nor with the nudity part of magazines like Playboy.

    It's the promotion of bodies that don't exist in nature and movies that depict bone dry silicone encrusted women writhing and moaning over some fat hairy dweeb with a 13 inch cock who didn't even buy her a nice dinner, let alone provide any foreplay.

    I could rant about this for looong time, but I'll save something for your future post. But if Playboy were to show us something realistic they might start a pair of blonde busty twins humping Hef's wallet.

  18. AMEN, CATHERINE!!! You're inspiring me here!!

  19. Dworkin is a fascinating woman -- as much as I detest some of her viewpoints and attitudes (if you let her, she'd lead your life FOR you, and that is not feminism in my opinion!!!), I think she's a top feminist critic of culture and social standards. BUT (big but) she's definitely one to be put in a petri dish and studied.

    I don't want to offend anyone, but take a look at this woman: she has been brutally raped, loathes men, and is grossly overweight. I think a lot of what she imposes on women as a "feminazi" is coloured entirely by her own experiences. I wonder if she is truly in support of women -- she seems too angry to really care about anything or anyone but her own agenda.

    I said it!

  20. Ladies, as a compliment to all your reading of women's issues, you HAVE to read Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Etcoff!

  21. From the brief clips I've seen and read of Dworkin she does seem overly angry. Maybe something more at home in a previous feminist wave. lol I like the way you put it, Dena: "I wonder if she is truly in support of women -- she seems too angry to really care about anything or anyone but her own agenda."

    Maybe she could be the poster child for revenge feminism.

    And thanks for the rec! I've heard mention of Survival of the Prettiest somewhere, but apparently it didn't stick.


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