Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Sex and the City Can Teach Us (But Probably Won't)

I'm going to give the writers of the inexplicably overrated and mostly moronic television series/movie Sex and the City the benefit of the doubt: I'm going to assume that the characters Charlotte, --the oh-so-wholesome girl next door who spends her entire life either a.) whining about wanting a husband b.) whining about wanting a child c.) fetching a husband of child, or d.) gushing obnoxiously about how happy they both make her--and Samantha, the 40something "nymphomaniac" whose preference of do-em'-ditch-em' sex over monogamous relationships is almost refreshing, as cultural symbolism. I'm going to assume that the entire purpose of having these two characters interact with one another, despite their personal differences, is to illustrate the classicly epic battles of two seperate entities. You see, ladies and gents, it isnt just Charlotte vs. Samantha, that exist in these cliched, badly written scenes. It is conservatism vs. liberalism. It is ancient vs. modern. Marriage vs. singledom. Good vs. evil. And, of course, it is feminism vs. patriarchy.

And while i know the only reason the S.&T.C writers created Samantha is because she gave a good excuse to shoot a tacky graphic sex scene every 30 seconds, the logic behind my theories are still supported.

Because for every quasi-feminist, sex-obsessed Samantha that exists in America, there will a Charlotte, vowing to hang herself by the sheets of her JC Penny canopy bed if she isn't hitched by age 30. These women seem to flock to their appropriate piles and branch off into the two opposing camps:

Camp # 1. The Charlotte camp. --This one is usually a mix of brainwashing via housewife mother and Billy Graham television programs. Even if they aren't religious, these women believe that her body should be cherished and respected in a Holy fashion. This undoubtedly means: a.) No sex until marriage so that on your wedding night, your new-fangled hubby will be so profoundly impressed with your incredible ability to keep your legs closed, that he will never tell you that he just slept with your best friend at the bridal shower and may have a hefty case of Chlamydia. b.) No sex on the first date, because a man will be so impressed with your incredible ability to keep your legs closed (in the name of respect!) that he will never tell you that he slipped a roofie into your chardonnay at the dinner party. Or c.) No mastubation or impure thoughts, as this may lead to violation of rules one and two, not to mention the eternal damnation and shame that should face you for reaching sexual satisfaction without aid from a dilapidated penis. These are women who take Cosmopolitan quizzes that tell them if they may be too aggressive (or bitchy or apathetic or arrogant or outspoken) to get a man, (The answer, is always, "yes") they use cheesy cliches for their virginity, like, "flower petals" or "gift of virtue" and lecture hookers on the importance of letting her flower grow until the right man comes along to pick it. They are women who cannot fathom a life where a man does not control it, run it, make it, or destroy it. They are, frankly, utter morons.

Camp #2, the Samantha Camp, is, predictably, the opposite. They are wild and untamed. They are women who go up to men in the bars to set a time and a place. They say "fuck" more times than they say "making love", they are single, and they like it, because they don't have to answer to anyone (and wouldn't even so). They use men like men use women, as physical tools of sexual desire, but can only ever be sluts when they do. They make married women nervous, make them curiously question their husbands whereabouts and check pants pockets for phone numbers. They are women subjected to, "dont you ever want to get married?" questions and have to, exhaustedly, perpetually, come up with an answer. They are women who get jobs and statuses, and lives that don't revolve around a man, they learn to change their own tires and pay their own rent. They are free and absolutely, undeniably, unstoppable. And they are feminists.

The only trouble is, like the women of Sex and the City, there are still far too many who start out wanting to be Charlotte, and always end up happier as Samantha.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Slick 70's Slogan

Femspo for the day:

"77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant."


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Open Tent=Open Mind, Right? Wrong.

Some women just kinda decided that feminsm should become one of those invitations to a fifth-grade birthday party. You know, the ones your mother made you give out to everyone so that the paste-eaters, cootie-catchers, and kids with lesbian moms in your class wouldn't grow up to be 40-yr. old hermits talking to 14-year old girls online, only to re-emerge from their basements to go on a shotgun rampage at the post office because they're still angry they weren't invited?.

Apparently, Laura Bush got a wee bit tired of her prestigous First Lady duties of tea parties and shopping for badly tailored suits and thought (so she is capable of such a function? go figure.) that she would take up said invitation. "First lady Laura Bush identified herself as a 'feminist' on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos.."Ed O'Keefe writes in a 2006 article i stumbled upon. "A lot of what I do internationally does have to do with women's issues, with women's rights, with the education of women and girls," says Mrs. Bush.

Laura, honey. Sweetie. Sugar plum. You are not a feminist. You cannot serve the cookies and serve the cause. You cannot wear the apron and wear the pants. You cannot be June Cleaver and Gloria Steinem. People will laugh at you. Most importantly, i will laugh at you. This is the truth.

I can't imagine what catastrophe occured to make Laura decide to identify herself as a feminist. She broke a nail? Ann Taylor ran out of slingbacks in her size? She got into an argument with Bush? Ha!

Imagine this, seriously:

BUSH: Laura? Laura?!! How many times have i told you to handwash mah boxers!
LAURA: But, honey, we have people to do that for us, so i just figured our staff would--
BUSH: No! No staff! How many times have i told you, if you aint-a-workin, yur-a-washin?
LAURA: But i'm the First Lady, for godsakes!
BUSH: Exactly! What doya think that means? It means you aint got no job but ta' tend to my underrgarments. Thats what all the first ladies arre 'supposed to do! Nancy did it, my mama did it, Hillary did it! Now yur gonna do it! Ya hear me? Oh, and dont ya say God's name in vain! Ya know how much i hate that!
LAURA: George, honey, don't yell at me! I feel belittled!
BUSH: Dont be a-callin be George, from now on its "King George"...and what the hells 'belittle' mean? You been readin' again?! Stop usin' all them fancy words woman!
LAURA: I will not! And i will not take this abuse! I have been reading books, and they tell me that i'm special, and that i dont have to be married to someone who treats me like dirt! I'm becoming a feminist, you hear me! A feminist!!
BUSH: Oh, shut up and go get me a sandwich, woman.
LAURA: Sigh. Okay, honey. But then i'm becoming a feminist.

Reactions to Laura's political rebirth were somewhat mixed. Feministing ranted, "Hey Laura, if you’re really a feminist then why not tell hubby to stop rolling back women’s rights?" and "I'm sorry, but feminism just isn't for everybody."

Danelle Morton wrote a great piece about it, but kind of got off balance with: "I'm for Big Tent Feminism. Everyone welcome. places [the movement] back in the middle of things instead of remaining a small-scale interest of a few elite intellectuals."

This brings me around to my point: Feminism is not, and should not be, an Open Tent. Or a blanket invitation. There are basic rules, minimum requirements for anyone who dare bear the "F"-word: 1.) you cannot be, or be married to G. Bush. 2.) You must be pro-choice. 3.) You must believe in social, financial, educational, and political equalities for men and women. 4.) You may not be a housewife.

The last one will surely step on toes. But i dont believe any woman who calls herself a feminist and chooses to simply be married with children for her fullt-time job. To accept it as her identity. To live and die as Mrs. (fill and the blank). Elizabeth Wurtzel's Bitch nailed this home: "...Feminism demanded certain rights, and every woman who continues to live in a man's shadow is an affront to what few gains were made. It's not that a woman should be a self-sufficient person; it's that she must." and "Women who go out and make their own way in the world...are more important...women who get manicures all day are less important than women who write legal briefs."

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean i believe in Closed Tent feminism (if there is such a term), because i want it to grow and be adknowledged and relatable. But if we start to blur the lines that distinguish us as a movement, if we start to "accept" any and every ol' body, if we make one exception and then another and then another, what are we left with? The answer is: Nothing. We would be a bunch of women with mixed-up views and foggy intentions that are so unclear and uncertain, we'd forget what we were trying to do in the first place.

At some point you have to put up the velvet rope to this secret little club of ours. And what better person to start with than Mrs. Bush herself?

All It Takes Is Three...

Three men i chatted with the other day helped me to get a good, snug, grasp on calcualted male operations in the quest to getting laid.

I was running errands a few afternoons ago, as is my custom, when three very conspicuous young men were huddled around a bench near a parking lot. A place i've come to realize that (besides jail) is the 24-hour hotspot for deliquents, ex-cons, and criminal offenders when they aren't in women's nylon stockings holding up pizza delivery guys. I was walking by, when one of them decided to get my attention with this curteous, ever-so-charming remark:


I. The Approach. This is the first step, and the most important step toward in the guide-to-getting-laid. The goal here is to be noticed by your target (i.e,, an unexpecting girl on her way to the post office) using whatever tactic necessary. Wave an arm, scream, dance, walk up to her, appear from behind a dumpster waving a condom. Don't waste time with silly anecdotes like, "what's your name?" or "how are you today?" The less talking the better. Besides, once you have your target in the desired location (bed, sofa, or any flat surface in a horizontal position) it won't matter if her name is "I Eat Large Bugs", since the only oral interaction you are striving for will take place below the waist. Be blunt, foward, and aggressive!

I turn around, snatch out my earbuds, oblivious as to what he wanted. Then, Boy # 2 spoke up: "YOU GOTTA MAN OR WHAT?"

Atta boy. Right to the point.

Me: Excuse me?

II. The Invitation. This second step is crucial to the completion of your quest. Here, you want to make sure you make it clear that you would like her company, but being ambiguous about your intentions at the same time. So, the phrase, "I'm tryin' to see if we can get together" could mean anything; Could we be going on a picnic? Seeing a Broadway play? Engaging in a game of Scrabble? (For best results, consider a target that is considerably less intelligent than you, so that it isn't obvious--perhaps until she sees the bottle of K-Y personal lubricant on your nightstand--that you will not, indeed, be playing Scrabble tonight).

Me (in thought): What am i trying to do?? I'm trying to get to the fucking post office, what is it look like? Why the fuck are you talking to me, anyway? Cant's you see i'm busy, you brainless pest! Huh? Can't you see that?!!
Me (speaking): Uh. Okay.

Despite my suggestion of choosing a target of less intelligence, Boy#2 and his accomplices gambled on one that in fact, does have an I.Q exceeding 80. A risky wager considering the fact that their vocabulary consists of about 6 words ("aye" and "girl" being among the favorites), so 80 might be a little far reaching.

The smallest one, Boy#3, looked like a knock-off version of Aaron Carter back when "Candy" was still a radio hit, and was making not-so-subtle gestures toward his nether regions. Unfortunately for him, i wasn't in any mood for a lolipop.


III. This is called the, "Your Place or Mine?" phase, where the time and place should be decided. Always, always ALWAYS suggest her place. That way, if she goes totally Alex Forrest on you, you can collect your belongings and leave abruptly. No strings (or rabbits) attached. Oh! and make sure you create enough time in your schedule for this affair (10-15 minutes for the travel, 4-5 minutes for small talk and two minutes for the actual sex.) After you've finished, mumble something loud enough for her to hear, "I'll call you," but not loud enough to have any definitive details. Describe the sex in graphic details to your friends, and begin scouting for your next target.

Me (finally): Fuck off, i have somewhere to be.

IV. Now, be aware guys. The possibility of this happening are very rare (especially to someone as bright and as charming as these young men) but be prepared anyway. I call it, "The Revival" :If she walks away (as was the case in this scenerio) reclaim your dignity with a couple, "I didn't want that bitch anyway"..s. A few "fuckin tease" and "cunt!" or two for the road.

Okay. So let's review: Approach, Invite, Decide, and Goodbye. In Boy tongue thats: See her, get her, fuck her, leave her. Got it? Class dismissed.