13 July 2010

A gender crime is a gender crime.

Lately, and forever, I've noticed that when a man shoots up a workplace or shoots members of his family or by whatever method murders his wife/girlfriend/partner the MSM never ever calls it a crime against women. They just call it a "workplace shooting" or a homicide. Okay, so it might also be a workplace shooting and a homicide. But, it is also a very common crime against women. In fact I would say it is a very frequent crime that men perpetrate against women that doesn't get identified as a gender crime.

What I would most like is for this to stop, but since it won't what I would appreciate seeing is this: a headline that tells the truth and reads Yet another guy kills his wife.

You can bet your booty that when a woman kills her husband, a much less frequent occurence, it is identified as a wife killing her husband. But every fucking article I've read about this asshole in New Mexico keeps calling it a "workplace shooting." So he shot her and himself at her place of work. That doesn't make it a workplace shooting. I'm just tired of the patriarchy not seeing itself as a patriarchy. I guess hoping it will change is ridiculous.

Here's a few examples:

Fox News: 3 dead, 4 wounded in New Mexico Office Shooting

Yahoo News: 3 dead in workplace shooting

USA Today: Shooter kills two, then self at New Mexico Plant

11 July 2010

Pontypool Changes Everything . . .

Last night I watched a truly interesting movie called Pontypool. My brother first brought this film to my attention months ago and it's been on my radar ever since. I finally bought a copy since it refused to appear on Netflix. Whatever. Netflix can be stubborn. Anyway, it was billed as one of the ten best zombie movies ever. Sure.

But really, people, I love this movie. It is one of the smartest and scariest movies I've seen in awhile, and that's saying something, for me. I couldn't stop watching it, stayed up late, and was truly creeped out enough to check behind the shower curtain before heading off to bed.

The plot is simple: DJ Mazzy Starr begins his early morning shift at a small radio station in Ontario when he and his staff begin to get reports of violence and strangeness in their small town. Havoc ensues, almost entirely off-screen. There is a virus that is infecting people and causing them to try to eat each other. That's all I can say. You must watch this movie, I tell you. It's amazing.

Just to get you excited, here's a little quote from the film:

Mrs. French's cat is missing. The signs are posted all over town. "Have you seen Honey?" We've all seen the posters, but nobody has seen Honey the cat. Nobody. Until last Thursday morning, when Miss Colette Piscine swerved her car to miss Honey the cat as she drove across a bridge. Well this bridge, now slightly damaged, is a bit of a local treasure and even has its own fancy name; Pont de Flaque. Now Collette, that sounds like Culotte. That's Panty in French. And Piscine means Pool. Panty pool. Flaque also means pool in French, so Colete Piscine, in French Panty Pool, drives over the Pont de Flaque, the Pont de Pool if you will, to avoid hitting Mrs. French's cat that has been missing in Pontypool. Pontypool. Pontypool. Panty pool. Pont de Flaque. What does it mean? Well, Norman Mailer, he had an interesting theory that he used to explain the strange coincidences in the aftermath of the JFK assasination. In the wake of huge events, after them and before them, physical details they spasm for a moment; they sort of unlock and when they come back into focus they suddenly coincide in a weird way. Street names and birthdates and middle names, all kind of superfluous things appear related to eachother. It's a ripple effect. So, what does it mean? Well... it means something's going to happen. Something big. But then, something's always about to happen.

07 July 2010

I miss Cagney and Lacey

Lately I've been seeing these commercials for some new TNT show called Rizzoli and Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as two cops of some kind. What has really pissed me off about this new show is the way they have constructed these two women. In every advertisement I've seen both women are very sharply dressed, and both are wearing totally ridiculous high heels. They're both standing around looking fabulous, which I suppose is their only option since they couldn't possibly run or even walk wearing the shoes that they are wearing.

I don't plan to watch this show, nor do I really care what they wear, but truly what has happened to strong, powerful, non-glamorous women on television? These ads made me remember the old Cagney and Lacey show from the 1980s--now this show had its flaws, but still, it was refreshing to see two actors who were not supermodel types and who wore sensible shoes while they did their jobs. Why do we have to have models playing cops? Why do they have to have long flowing hair? Why do they have to wear snazzy clothes and full-on makeup? Why do they have to embody the current standard of beauty so perfectly?

Much of what was watchable about Cagney and Lacey were the stars: Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly. (I love Tyne Daly.) But they were so much more regular to me than Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. I'm not saying women have to look a certain way to be acceptable--far from it. I appreciate women of all shapes and sizes. I just wish we weren't so obsessed with ultra-skinny women who look like models and who wear crippling shoes to work at jobs where any person with half a brain would wear something more practical. Just saying.

01 July 2010

Mansplaining . . . explained.

I have to thank my friend Miranda for bringing this term and idea to my attention. Of course I knew about the action that this terminology refers to, but holy shit is it nice to have a word for it!

The activity is called "mansplaining," and here is an excellent paragraph from Rebecca Solnit's opinion piece from the Los Angeles Times that perhaps began the coalescence or convergence of feminist brilliance that came up with the term:

Men explain things to me, and to other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men. Every woman knows what I mean. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence.

What Miranda sent me was a wonderful blog post from Science Blogs that also grapples with the mansplaining syndrome. It's worth a read. Science Blogs also refers to another blog post, by Karen Healey, about the same topic. Quoth Healey:

Mansplaining isn't just the act of explaining while male, of course; many men manage to explain things every day without in the least insulting their listeners. Mansplaining is when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate "facts" about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.

Bonus points if he is explaining how you are wrong about something being sexist!

Think about the men you know. Do any of them display that delightful mixture of privilege and ignorance that leads to condescending, inaccurate explanations, delivered with the rock-solid conviction of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation?

That dude is a mansplainer.

It's a beautiful thing when smart feminist women gather their thoughts and work together to create greater understanding of living in patriarchy.