Sunday, August 02, 2009

Musings from a black woman: Me too!

Not looking for things to get pissed off about, by nails at skeptifem. Emphases mine.

I have been trying pretty hard to avoid finding day ruining sexism and racsim, but it just isn’t working out. I don’t have as much time these days to go venting my emotions via blogulation, though I hope I will have more next semester. Nothing is more dismissive of the experiences of women and minorities than the accusation that extreme offense only comes out of ‘looking for something to get pissed off about’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is a template for my days:

So, I go to work and stuff like this happens:

*patients aggresively tell me or my coworker “SMILE” because we do not display unending cheer at being in the presence of dudes

[ . . . ]

Note to readers: I despise that "Smile" one, particularly when it comes from my (female) gym class instructors towards our mostly female class. Who feels like smiling while doing lunges and squats? No one, that's who. So back up, people! I smile when I am happy. If you're not happy, you should feel no obligation to smile for the benefit of others. No wonder so many women fake orgasms. Heaven forbid women admit that they are not enjoying themselves.

*people ask my coworker if I am a lesbian, or sometimes they ask her if I am a dude if they only get a quick look at me. I can’t imagine them needing that information unless it would funadmentally change our interaction somehow.

[ . . . ]

*the breast scar capsules of women who have had their implants go horribly wrong arrive in the lab in a tub of blood and formalin. A pathologist will look into it.

*my boss asks me if I have had any ‘cat fights’ with my coworker, and tells everyone how I didn’t laugh about it and how weird is that.

*a guy who just got promoted to oversee our whole department sends out an email called “why I am afraid to exercise”, the joke is literally nothing but pictures of women who are body builders. I have to fill out some sexual harassment form thingy which is supposed to shield me from retaliation but I am not counting on it.

[ . . . ]

So I watch some tv instead, and an ad for the ugly truth comes on. It’s a movie where the writers bust out that popular template of a lady, the one with a good career and an empty life because she isn’t impregnanted or married. So, she needs help from someone to change her personality or otherwise decieve a man into loving/impregnating her. A review informs me that this movie was written by three women who have apparently internalized the message that they are worthless when not maintaining pornulational compliance. In this case gerard butler is the misogynist savior, who plays a shock jock who tells her that she needs to take off her clothes and quit having opinions before guys will like her. It works when she does it, and instead of being angry about it she accepts it as the nature of things. She eventually falls for the radio douche, who pets the dog to convince us all he is a good person (the dog in this case is his orphaned nephew, aww).

I totally did not see that fakakte ending coming. Ha! No, I did.

Horrible movies get made all the time, but this kind of shit is akin to the already offensive black cop/white cop comedies ending with the black one realizing that whitey’s advice that he uses his savage jungle nature to scare suspects into compliance really was the right way to do things, and thank goodness he found his place in the world through his oppressor. The awfully racist old style cartoons have for the most part been banned from airing on tv these days, but I can still hear a babysitter go “hehehe, math is hard” on the phone during an episode of tom and jerry. Movies like the ugly truth are being put out constantly, they make it through marketing meetings and production and people buy into it. There are tons of movies every year with outright woman hatred as the main spectacle that people just love, usually between saying that there isn't a need for feminism anymore.

Again, not just me. I don't want to complain about movies and TV shows that I expected to love. But I get disappointed because it's 2009 and writers can't conceive that rampant sexism and general bigotry is not acceptable in our media.


No comments: