When things are actually funny, I’ll laugh

14 Jun

I have been pretty annoyed/angry/sad lately regarding the way I have seen women treated in a few different situations.  However, I have been scared to address it because women do not seem to be allowed to have an opinion regarding their treatment without being called a bitch, a radical or someone with a chip on their shoulder. 

It all started a few weeks ago when I attended a dinner theatre for a friend’s birthday.  I was really excited to get out and enjoy some comedy.  I was surprised to discover that “humour” involved stereotypes, racism, and sexism.  Although the dinner theatre managed to offend many groups, I would say the most targeted group was women.  It began when myself and other females around me received their chicken dinner and male servers/actors rubbed up behind us to give us our “nice breast”.

When a “lucky” female member of the audience was called on stage, one of the actors proceeded to grind his crotch on the side of her and ask “Do you feel that? Do you feel that? It’s just my belt buckle”.  Then in one of the first skits the female actors ran out to male members of the audience and put these men’s heads right between their breasts (guess the owners found a way to degrade their female staff too).  This was followed by at least 25 jokes throughout the evening which insinuated that all women do is give oral sex to men or think about giving oral sex to men.  I would have walked out early in the show but it being a friend’s birthday celebration I endured the whole 3 hours.  Lucky for me, I, of all people won the door prize.  Winning included the male actor giving me the free tickets and a hug that involved him rubbing his body on me in a circular motion and then calling me “not too smart” because my writing on the draw ticket was messy.  Luckily for me he assured me this was ok because I was “cute…for about five more years”.

I tried to hide my disgust with the whole show because I did not want to ruin anyone’s birthday.  However, my face and the fact that I quickly pushed away from the jerk who gave me the tickets must have clued everyone in because I was asked “why I was so upset?” and told to “lighten up”, “learn to have fun” “just have another drink” and “well they treated all the women in the audience like that so it is ok”.  Feeling totally sad, angry and violated was one thing but being told it had something to do with me was the worst part of it all.   

More recently I was at a party with some friends and was introduced to a guy I was told is “hilarious”.  To explain just how cool and funny he was his friend told me about a time a girl was annoying him so he grabbed her head and proceeded thrust his crotch in her face.  First of all, this guy missed the week in preschool when they taught everyone to use their words and second, he attempted to get his point across by degrading and humiliating this girl through the use of sexual harassment.   

THIS IS FUNNY!?!?

Again I was the only one not laughing (although a female friend of mine had a very uncomfortable type of laugh happening).  These are just a few examples but the truth is that women are treated like shit all the time and when anyone says anything about it they are defined as the problem within the situation (Bitch, angry man-hating-feminist, or prude just to name a few).  If not laughing at all these things means that I am going to be defined as some kind of uptight bitch then so be it because the alternative is so much worse.  The only thing I need to learn is to speak up instead of simply not laughing along. 

I think that this video helps to explain why the men in the above examples felt that it was ok to use women however they wanted.  It helps to explain how they thought it was acceptable to use, grope, demean and laugh at any woman they wanted.  Although the images and examples used in the video are of the more extreme type, sexism and the degradation of women exists to varying degrees in many forms of media and social interactions .  If it they didn’t, then the above situations would not have happened or at the very least, people would have not so readily accepted them as tolerable or funny. 

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Size Matters

10 Feb

You’re in love.  Ready to spend forever with the person you care most about.  What do you do?

Get the biggest damn diamond you can.

Well that may not always be true but sometimes it seems that way. 

Some men have been criticized for being insecure and therefore needing to buy expensive things.  You know….sports car = small you know.  We women think that we are above that and that  and will pity the poor men who go through crazy phases trying to assert their masculinity and prove themselves.  If you have ever read Cosmo you know that many men skip the sports car and worry directly about their you know.  Asking if women really mind a small one or if there are ways to make it bigger (or seem that way by using different angles).  Those who have them (big you knows or small sports cars) seem to find a way to brag.  Yes that’s why they all shower together after hockey.  The ones who skip the shower have something to hide.

Anyway.  Moving on.

The diamond on the engagement ring is the new sports car….or the female you know in material form.  Size matters.  The bigger the better.  And the good news is that you can buy this type of size.

  I have heard a lot of different things about “size”.  Chatting with some girls at a wedding I learned that one mutual friend was waiting to get engaged so that her boyfriend could save up for a proper sized diamond.  I heard another girl claim that the boyfriend could choose whatever cut he wanted but that the diamond itself needed to be big.  A friend of mine, upon seeing the engagement  ring that my husband so lovingly picked out and said “I really like it but if I got that one I would want a full carat”.  I have heard people talk about how unfortunate it is that someone they knew got a small diamond.  How many times have you heard “Its a princess cut and so many carats?  I have have heard the carat size down to the .01.  Apparently it matters.

However my the best “ring story” I have ever heard reminds me of those who are not only in love but know that they have nothing to prove.  At a girls night out one of the girls so tactfully asked another if she was going to get a bigger diamond ring one day when she and her husband were finished university.  This girl replied that she did not plan to ever get a new ring because the ring she had was one that was given to her when she and her husband knew they wanted to be with one another forever.  She said that she knew the diamond was small but it was very precious to her.

Now beat that.  My love story is bigger and better than yours.

The art of accepting a compliment

3 Oct

I read awhile ago that women have a difficult time accepting compliments because they think that doing so makes them seem conceited.  I know I sometimes feel the need to talk myself down when I get a compliment.  However, I now know how annoying it is to be on the other side.

A few weeks ago I met up with a bunch of girlfriends .  One of our friends had recently gotten her hair cut and coloured (which is a huge deal if you are female).  Well she looked amazing so she got compliments right away.  First our friend told her that her hair was a great colour and even made her look tanned.  To this she responded that it actually made her look pale.  I then told her the colour was great and she looked great.  Again she said she wasn’t sure she looked good.

As our girls night progressed our friend kept asking if her hair looked good and, telling the truth every time, we all said it looked great.  Finally, at the end of the night my friend asked once again if I really thought she looked good.   I reassured her again that I loved her new look.   In response she asked if I was just saying this to make her happy.  This being the fourth or fifth time my compliment or reassurance was denied I was pretty much done. I responded by saying. “Yes! YES! Your hair looks good.   Your face, body, clothes and everything looks good so, please, PLEASE  just take the compliment!

Ok so I was pretty impatient and harsh.  But the moral of the story is, that although it may feel uncomfortable at first, learn to take a compliment.   And if you are going to ask for reassurance, please accept that when you get it.  Yes people may sometimes be lying.   But most of the time people don’t go out of their way to lie and say they like something.   People are not that creative or that kind.

The Gentleman

3 Aug

The other day I ran over a nail and got a flat on the Fraser Highway.  I was lucky enough to be able to stop at a gas station.  I was parked near the air hose thing and a guy soon pulled up to fill up his tires.  He walked past my flat tire, my spare, and looks at me and says,“50 cents for air, this is such an inconvenience for me. It cost money at the last place too! ”.

Ya, I feel so bad for you, you have to pay 50 cents.  I only have a flat tire.  I am very lucky.

He proceeds to fill up his tires.  Then he walks up to me.  I am feeling bad because I know he has come to offer help and that I have misjudged him.  He looks at me and says ,“Know where the closest  Tim Horton’s is?”

Never mind.

These are the times that I wish I were a hot blonde.   I’m sure I would have gotten help if I were super hot.

Thank goodness for makeup!!!!!!!!!!!

20 Jun

I got some new makeup and wanted to try it out.  I thought it would be fun to take a before and after.

I do not think that women should feel that they have to wear makeup.  But I am so very thankful that I have the option.

I will be brave and post the pictures.

BEFORE

John Fogerty and Random Stuff 3064

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

AFTER

John Fogerty and Random Stuff 3065

Cleanliness IS next to Godliness

19 May

So I had some Mormons over for dinner a month ago. Why not?

Anyway they came back to visit again.  I was happy to see them and give them something to drink after a long day of door knocking.  After a few minutes spent getting them some ice water I came back to the living room to sit down.  They seemed a little uncomfortable but who doesn’t feel weird  in sorta strangers home?

We started talking.

Have you heard of Joseph Smith? Yes….?

Do you have any questions about our Church? No, but do you want any more water?

They still seemed a little uncomfortable. Then I noticed it.  My silky black bra!   Right there on the coffee table in front of the Mormons.

When you invite young Missionaries into your home, remember to clean up that bra that you took off while watching TV the night before.

mormons

Really?

12 May

I’m a communist.

Apparently.

A few months back, while I should have been doing homework, I turned the channel to FOX. On it was a new show called “Secret Millionaire”.  It seemed to be about giving and I was into getting the warm fuzzies, so I decided to put off my homework for another hour.

Well, as I should have guessed from the title, the show was more about the millionaires than the giving.  I watched two episodes and in both the millionaires talked in length about their success, their nice homes, and their amazing lifestyles.  Both millionaires took time to talk about their businesses and one even took some airtime to promote a book that he had coming out.  Next, they went and lived in secret among the poor and working class for a week.  At the end of the week, after living on welfare-sized income, the millionaires put their diamonds, Rolexes and fancy clothes back on and surprised those that they lived among with various cash gifts.

secret millionaire

Don’t get me wrong; there were some really amazing people who got money (single mothers, soup kitchen workers, group home directors).  There is also that chance that some viewers were inspired to go out and help someone because of the show.

However, watching soup kitchen workers, single mothers, and crisis workers cry tears of gratitude and sing words of praise while the millionaires handed them a cheque made me feel very yucky.  Why should the millionaires be praised let alone while they are on television promoting their restaurants and books?

One of my favorite authors, Donald Miller recalls of a time when he was in line at a grocery store and the lady at the front of the line was paying her bill with food stamps.  He says that he was uncomfortable and felt bad for her.  It wasn’t until later that he realized that he was the one who should be pitied because, in a way, he wanted to buy her her dignity and not groceries.  What was even sadder was that by judging her in that line-up he was the very person who was taking her dignity away in the first place.

I feel like this show was doing what Miller was so shamed for doing.  It felt as if FOX, the “millionaires” and I the viewer, were spending our time pitying these people who were in need.  Worst of all, we were watching with pity so that we could feel good “that something was being done”.

But was anything really being done?

Long story short:

I went on a message board for the show and said that I felt that the show did not seem right and that millionaires were not doing much more than promoting their business interests while being glorified by millions for their charitable acts. I also said that this kind of charity in the absence of any kind of social change would not get us that far.

Then I got called a communist by another poster on the message board.

This reminded me of another author, Farid Esack, when he wrote in a chapter of his book:

“The martyred Latin American Bishop, Dom Helder Camara, said that when he cared for the poor he was called a saint, but as soon as he asked why people were poor and started addressing the root causes of poverty he was accused of being a communist”

No, I am not comparing myself to a Bishop.  But this part of Esack’s article made me feel like it was OK to feel uncomfortable with “Secret Millionaire” and the way it ignored the reasons for poverty and suffering.  The chapter also made me realize and that charity is necessary, beautiful and important…… but not sufficient.

However, I still sometimes get angry that I was called a communist.   And I thought being called “bitch” was bad!