Saturday, January 19, 2019

That's Normal, Right

I may have been watching-slash-listening to too much true crime.  Listening to how every victim of unjust horrible murder was a joyous glowing mother-healer of virtue make me think -- am I not worthy of being murdered?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Fun, but not Too Fun

So do the parents draw like children, or d they encourage their kids to stand in high counters to doodle on the high up chalkboard?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Defending the Beard

A recent new story in New Zealand included the little morsel "KFC [only] allowed beards to be worn for legal, religious or medical reasons".  And this gave me a serious WTF moment. And I'm like, I am used to tattoos and braid and  bright hair colors being treated as somehow shocking. But beards? What kind of anti-hipster hellscape is this?

The situation with beards is unusual only in that the other normal grooming habits that are banned link to a specific moral panic.  Tattoos -- dangerous biker gangs hoodlums (clutches pearls).  Colored hair -- anti-social punk feminists (think of the children!).  Braids -- things black people do (I guess?).  But Beards?  Things every man does unless they actively choose not to at least once a day? What is the underlying panic? Does someone out there think beards shed like a cross between a stressed Persian and a porcupine, embedding themselves in every surface?

Free the Beard!

And not only because beards are sexy as smurf. But because this is the thing about service work. You can hand people a chicken sammich with a tattoo, with green hair, with braids, with a mustache, and with a beard (on a boaty, with a goatee etc).  Sure you may be required to wear one of those ludicrous beard snoods if you are involved in actually cooking or assembling the food--but big whoop.

When it comes to service work your employer is hiring your labor, not your body and any intrinsically attached parts thereof.  They don't own you. And if they think their customers can't deal with seeing perfectly normal forms of personal grooming--let alone forms that probably pre-date homo sapiens as a species like having a hairy chin--then the employers and/or customers need to grow the fuck up.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

File Under: No Shit, Sherlock

WATCH included a plastic Wonder Woman sword in their "ten worst toys" list this year.  On the basis that it is exactly what it appears to be

There are probably plenty of kids out there who shouldn't be given anything plastic and pointy, but I think that under the circumstances this is something that can be left to parents to figure out.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Power

Caroline Leaper, fashion editor at the Telegraph is declaring "pink is the power color to wear in the office".  The headline in my Google News had an eighties vibe the second I saw it.  But the picture.... a full sized flashback to the age or spiral perms and doing the locomotion.  And not in an ironic-cool-hipster way. The point of the story seems to be that pink is now post-eighties and gender doesn't matter any more--or more specifically "as personality now prevails over gender, why are we still afraid of looking sweet?"  A statement that could hardly be more tone deaf, as the news bombards us with CK cornering people to masturbate over them and a 32-year-old politician "dating" a 14-year-old girl... and celebrity of the week pointing his dick at inappropriate person of the week ad naseum. The common thread being, men do this more than many people want to believe and uncooperative victim's careers suffer.

And in a dizzying flip the the very next quote in this article destroys its own thesis with: "‘it’s disarming’: ‘People almost don’t expect you to present a killer strategy just because you look ‘cute’’, thus allowing her to strike them by surprise." Which explicitly admits that feminine dressing will in fact make some people think you are less competent.  Leaper seems to be trying to contrast her pro-girly-color rah rah fest to the eighties, but actually that's just how the eighties were. Beloieve me, I was there--Fido Dido T-shirt, stone-washed bubble skirt, sequined headband and all.

I remember very well being told women were equal now and to celebrate being a "girl", but wearing heels is compulsory and don't expect to get promoted.  Girls can do anything, but will get paid 80c on the dollar.  Sexism existed then and it exists now--and it is time for people to stop pretending otherwise even in the smallest of ways.  All that changes is how it is expressed and what we do about it. Looking "sweet" affects how people see you.  Dressing into that stereotype is a choice to make carefully and strategically, not because you think your "personality" is all that matters because that's just fucking naive.