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Bringing you regular rage against the patriarchy, drenched in sarcasm and capslocks #FEMINISTFRIDAY

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Top 10 most ridiculous sexy makeovers for Halloween

This comes courtesy of an extended Feminist Friday, after the last blog I have been having numerous rage filled conversations with women about why and when Halloween became sexy rather than scary.

An excellent feminist, Jenni Lloyd put together a top 10 list of the most ridiculous things to make sexy, with a running commentary. Find another? Post it below.

no10

In at NUMBER 10 we have sexy Mrs. Potato Head, That’s right, what was once a children’s toy or the dullest vegetable is now sexy enough for you to strut in this Halloween. Garlic Mayo dip anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

no9

Coming in at NUMBER 9 we have…a duck, dinosaur, hedgehog?!

This made the list because it’s so dumb I don’t even know what it is. The sexiness of the costume is so much more important that what the costume actually is that no one even knows anymore = FAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

no7

At NUMBER 8 we have SEXY PIZZA, Firstly, who dresses up as a pizza let alone, a sexy fecking pizza?!

An most importantly, she forgot the mushroom, I most definitely will be having words with the chef (who in this case, is absolutely a man)

 

 

 

 

 

 

no8Up four places to NUMBER 7 and with a side of egg, it’s SEXY BACON.

That’s right. Haven’t you always woken up on a sunday and thought, you know what’s missing from this brunch, some sexy bacon, my normal bacon is just so frumpy looking, she never makes the effort…my eggs barely titillate me these days.

Does the above make you uncomfortable?! GOOD BECAUSE I AM SEXUALISING BREAKFAST.

 

 

 

 

no6NUMBER 6, a none mover, we have SEXY CORN. There seems to be an obsession with food stuff being sexy, or maybe the obsession is to make women look as ridiculous as possible, I’m really not sure anymore. We maybe at the half way point of the chart, but I am already in the fetal position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

no5At NUMBER 5, it’s SEXY CHUCKY. You know from the horror movie of a possessed doll. Now on the surface, that’s already a costume fit for halloween, being scary….right?! But let’s change that, so it no longer makes sense.

What’s even worse – it costs £29.99!!!! what?!

 

 

 

 

 

no4Number 4…SEXY BEAVER. YEAH.

Subtlety has never been a strong suit for this industry. Despite the many awesome double entendres that can be made with this costume, as a Canadian, it horrifies me.

Our hardworking, noble, national animal has been ruined…RUINED! Halloween; is nothing sacred anymore? This makes the list for making me question everything that I hold dear about my homeland.

 

 

 

 

no4NUMBER 3 is SEXY ERNIE, BERT AND COOKIE MONSTER.

Aside from the fact that the only bit of the costumes that make it look at all like the characters are the bits on their heads, they have just murdered a bit of my childhood. DEAD AND GONE. all that are left are tears, mourning for a better time.

 

 

no2 We’re almost there, at NUMBER 2 is SEXY MENTAL PATIENT (yes, that is how it was advertised and for a period was available on the Asda website)

So not only are we sexualising anything to make women into objects, we’re stereotyping and being highly offensive to those with any mental health condition. Absolute disgrace.

 

 

 

 

no1And in at NUMBER 1, its’ believe it, or not, SEXY OSAMA BIN LADAN.

It’s a sexy costume based on a terrorist responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people. But apparently this it totally ok.

Don’t forget it comes with the nose and beard combo.

That’s it folks, that’s the top 10 i managed to find.

 

 

 

 

I would like to point out, that maybe you are going to a vegetable or breakfast related fancy dress party, although that in itself, is a bit weird, by all means go as corn or bacon, but the point here is, why does it have to be sexy corn or sexy bacon. I always thought the point of fancy dress was the laughing part, not the gratification of men.

However, if the sexy dress appeals to you than GO FOR IT, but let’s not let it be the only choice on the shelf. 😦

Please note; copyright of these images is the sole propriety of the original creators.
The images of dinosaur, corn, Sesame Street characters, pizza and patient are the property of yandy.com and can be found here.

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Sexy or Slutty? Halloween Decisions

It’s that time of year again. When we make a poor attempt at being fun (and/or frightening), where stores sell the exact same thing at higher prices by adding “Spooky” or “scary”; Spooky Sardines….Scary Satsumas?! Who knows, It’s usually a pretty tedious link.

The Halloween season isn’t complete with a school halloween party. I remember mine, Mother dressed me as a pumpkin, and made me an orange dress that she stuffed with pillows and then stuck leaves to my head…School was a tough time.

It won’t be difficult to see the link between this and Feminist Fridays…My niece came into the room this week and asked “How can you dress up as combat Barbie?” SHUDDER.

I reply with, “How do you think you would dress up as combat Barbie?” She replied with “Like some kind of army outfit, loads of make up and heels?” Yes, that’s exactly how you would dress in combat, that’s right up there in being as practical as Lara Crofts unrealistically large boobs and Wonder Woman’s corset.

SIGH. I asked why she wanted to go as Combat Barbie, and she said she couldn’t think of anything else that works, it’s all cats and witches…Indeed, even Sex in the City got it:

“1.45m Miranda: There are only two choices for women; witch or sexy kitten. Carrie: You just said a mouthful there sister” (admittedly, you have to ignore a fair bit in this movie to find feminist points)

So I asked my niece for other suggestions about what she might like to go as, or get her to think about how she would like to create a combat Barbie. Don’t get me wrong, if she looked happy about “loads of make up and heels” I would have told her to go for it, it’s the fact that she explained it as if, it was what was expected of her, in a tone of “obviously cause I’m a girl who’s dressing up,so that’s got to be there”.

I’ve always viewed fancy dress a different way. An opportunity to turn things on their head, I’m assaulted with messages of “make up and heels” on a daily basis, when you read “fancy dress”, social protocol changes and I can go out looking like I please, and to be fair, that usually resembles something pretty frightening anyway.

Then, my niece and I made the mistake of googling fancy dress. Much like googling symptoms of a health condition, the internet provided us with things we never asked for or wanted to know.

The most striking was when we looked for women characters and found GI Jane. On the left is GI Jane character in the film, on the right the costume interpretation:

gijane

I, and I am sure neither you, are particularly surprised by this. Google costumes for women. Seriously go do it, I’ll give you a minute….

Done? What did you find? Disney princess…made sexy, Women heroes…made sexy, animals…made sexy.

Google even gives you a handy quick to use category guide: Homemade, sexy, cute, witch, pirate.

Google men’s costumes and you get categories such as women, cool, 2012 and Zombie. To be fair, sexy also comes up, as a fireman and a man dressed as some kind of vending machine…whatever floats your boat.

I’m not being prudish, this isn’t a call to shut down costume stores. It’s about choice and yet again, the narrow pick we have to choose from. Almost all campaigning in feminism is about pulling away expectations, providing more social, economic and political power and CHOICES for women. Equal pay is about giving women the economic power for them to make choices, pushing for the vote was about women having their choices considered in how their country should be governed, encouraging women into STEM subjects is about them having real choice about their future career prospects, being pro-choice is about women having real choice about what they do with their reproductive systems.

It’s not a big thing to, in 2013, ask for choice in bloody Halloween costumes. You want to look sexy great, but if you don’t want to, why is it the only choice you have? Why can’t you easily buy the whole GI Jane outfit (either kind), if I wanted to do that today, I would have to buy the men’s size, with the man on the front, in the men’s section…reaffirming at every turn, that it’s not aimed at me, it’s not about me and it’s not what society expects of me.

Well, suck it costume makers, I’m getting the pumpkin costume back out again.

This just in: whilst writing this piece I came across the Ana Rexia costume. (been around since 2011, apparently) Yes, it’s a costume that allows you mock a severe mental health condition as well as society’s ongoing obsession with making women feel inferior and self conscious about how they look. You see it’s not enough that we ridicule your physical appearance, we would also like to ridicule the mental and emotional well being of women too. Just when I think the state of society can’t shock me, here I am with my head in my hands.

Back to the conversation, After this google searching, my niece, rolled her eyes and said to me “Ugh! Why can’t you just say; Combat Barbie, sounds great, here’s a lipstick to go with it, now I hate that idea.”

Yes, welcome to the burden of knowledge, also welcome to having an uncool feminist aunt. SCARY BEANS.

You know what’s really scary folks: STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY AND PATRIARCHY. Yeah, that’s right.

Happy Halloween for next week.

Day of the (stereotyped) Girl

What do you think when someone says to you it’s international day of the girl?

If it’s “Oh I should go and buy something pink and sparkly for the little cute girls in my life” You’ve probably stumbled upon this by accident, whilst googling “unicorn and princess costumes to gender stereotype girls to the point of nausea” or something along those lines.

The International Day of the Girl is not really recognised as widely as it could be (it was only declared a “day” in 2011), but it’s a day for girls (note: this is not a general term for women, i actually mean girls as in under 16) to raise their voices and be counted, for campaigners to push their agenda whether it is to prevent child brides, campaign for education for girls, end child trafficking and abuse, or simply to make girls, and the excellent things they do, something to be talked about (which is rare unless it is a beauty pageant).

I support many charities, campaigns and organisations which work tirelessly to make the world a better and more socially just place for women and girls – and this is a day where I get to say you are all bloody brilliant. In particular, I support Plan UK which works to empower and educate girls in developing countries (take a look and help them out).

This day of the girl however, I have been surrounded by all the bits of “girl” that have not been defined by the endless things a girls can be, but the commercial limitations of what a girl should be. Earlier this week I was confronted by something, that may seem trivial, but as I have written about before, actually isn’t.

A beloved part of my childhood Kinder Surprise has gone gender bias. Gone are the days where all, regardless of our gender definition, ate the chocolate in one breathe (oh, that was just me? ok.) and got to the little orange plastic box inside to find 3 pieces of a toy for us to piece together, a monkey hanging from a tree, a plane, a car or something none of us could actually decipher, but gave us endless joy. Well, by endless joy, I mean about 5 minutes until it was lost behind the sofa, only to be found again in the vacuum bag.

But now they have jumped the gender stereotyping bandwagon and helped all parents out by labeling their eggs blue or pink. I can just imagine before this, parent stumbling around their local asda, some of them in the foetal position, wondering which god forsaken toy would emerge from the chocolate egg and make their child too feminine or masculine. I bet it plagued their lives.

GAH!

GAH!

But it’s not only Kinder Surprise, it’s also Muller Yogurt too, and countless others. THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MY RESCUE. Thus far I may have been buying XY diary products.

It might seem trivial but it’s not. When we define children by colours, symbols, toys and now food stuff, we aren’t catering to their needs, we are limiting their imaginations which later limits what they think they can be. Why are women more likely to be in caring, catering and cashier jobs? Shall we ask if the majority of them had baby dolls, easy bake ovens and were told to go shopping as teens? Why are men more likely to be in highly skilled, outdoors or scientific jobs? Were they playing with science kits, encouraged to play sports?

But there is also a darker part of gender stereotyping, the part that encourages girls to be nice (read; submissive) and boys to be powerful (read; aggressive), this can (but not always) play into a false dichotomy of what men and women should be towards each other.

If you think this is far fetched, nothing illustrated it better to me, than when a friend pointed me in this direction:

"Hey babe"

“Hey babe”

That’s right. It’s a cat calling lego sticker. Shouting “Hey babe” at passing women as he works on the site. Seriously. (not sure how this passed me by!). “Hey kids, cat calling and street harassment is fun, why not try it in the playground?!”

The link between toys targeted at boys, teaching them what being masculine is and then their attitude towards women, suddenly becomes much clearer, yes? (note: lego no longer stock this, but they did, and it had to get passed several designers, printers, managers and marketing bods that thought it was ok to give the green light to…)

This International Day of the Girl, why not swap it around a little? Buy something (or don’t feed “the man” and use something at home!) targeted at boys for a girl, and buy something targeted at girls for a boy. It’s just a colour and it’s just a toy. Lets be a little more ambitious for the girls in our lives.

I’ve bought my younger nieces a science kit, where we get to play with gunge. I am pretty sure I will regret it.

 

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