Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Secret Life of the Bees

I'm so excited for this film, it looks like it's one of Alicia Keys' biggest role in film. Did I mention I'm going to see her perform in September!!! =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's good to be back

On Sunday I watched a horrifying BBC documentary about the rising popularity of vaginal cosmetic surgery called "The Perfect Vagina". I had previously read an article about hymen replacement surgery gaining popularity in the muslim community due to the pressure for brides to bleed on their wedding nights. The article focused on young muslim women in Europe dealing with the dichotomy of living within two cultures and when I read it I was heartbroken. This BBC documentary went much further, though. It profiled English women (one in particular was 21 years old) who find their vaginas ugly and go to doctors (all of whom profiled were men) who perform procedures such as cutting off parts of women's inner labia or clitoral hood. The documentary showed where images of "ideal vaginas" come from: from porn, obviously, and showed the experiences of women who served as models for an artist in Brighton. This artist created a giant vagina mural by making moulds of women volunteers' vaginas and stacking them up into a wall. The women's main reaction when they saw the wall was "Wow, they all look so different!" They all seemed to have the perception that there was some kind of "normal" or "standard" vagina that most women had and many of the women were initially nervous to compare. What an interesting perspective!
Moving onto the part of the documentary which disgusted me right to my bones: the doctors. They focused on two male doctors, both of whom are extremely convinced that they are doing these women a service by mutilating their cunts and telling them that they are improving them. One of them talked about one of his patients who was 16! I told my step mother about the documentary and she brought up her fear of the long term physical and psychological effects on these young women. Will they be able to experience pleasure in the same way? And what message is being delivered?
This is a new trend apparently that is growing quickly in popularity. Is that not horrifying? Women are now being chopped up all the way to the part of us that delivers life and we're being told that our vaginas can be ugly and imperfect and that a doctor cutting off half of our labia will make us more beautiful?
I really don't think I can keep discussing this right now...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

welcome back my good friend!

Hello Etheline! Welcome back! I don't think I was holding up too well being the only blogger on this blog for a month or so. As you saw, I received 0 comments. Our limited readers (being me, and you, and sometimes sara, and matt when I force him to read, but now we broke up, so it's just me, you and sometimes sara.) missed your humor, just in that little paragraph that you wrote I was laughing for quite awhile.

anyway! so back to business....

so this co-worker of yours huh? I know it must be frustrating cause I've entered a stage of my life where I expect every female to support the actions of another female, to unify together in the struggle against oppression!!!! But of course this is a very naive lense to perceive the united states of america by. But i'm in beginning stages of my feminist identity. Anyway... I would say it's honestly no surprise this co-worker of yours responds in such "militant opposition" to your ideas. As a society, this culture is irritated and annoyed by the feminist voice, they don't take feminism seriously, and it'll be awhile until they do. So to counter such absurd ideas I feel like many times individuals like to make a mockery of what we stand for. "You think females are oversexualized and objectified? well it's not different than men, have you seen the commercial from axe??? they totally oversexualize the man and make the woman seem like some goddess that the man is obssessed about." You have no idea how many times I find people mocking my ideals. Namely my no ex-boyfriend did it ALL THE TIME. I just laughed along at the time, but now looking back on it he never really understood the ideas I tried to share with him, he just thought my righteous -ness and passion for these issues was "cute" and "funny." No wonder that relationship didn't work out.. Anyway.. so back to this co-worker of yours. Yeah well she's just irritated by anything that relates to feminism just as any other individual of this country that bought into the medias oversaturated images of what they want us to think.

i'm sorry you were so frustrated at work! To share some of the frustration, I work in retail. I can't even count HOW MANY TIMES a co-worker and/or manager will tell me they aren't racist right before they tell me a story of when a black person came in and tried to steal. It's very interesting and complex and I plan to write more on it later!

good to have you back etheline!

<3 Olives

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'm still around!

Hello limited readers of this blog, just thought I'd toss in a post to establish my continued presence here. I had a bit of limited internet access and now I'm across the antlantic for awhile. Hopefully soon I'll be able to provide some of my cross cultural comparisons or something akin to Olives' LA insights. For now I'm just recovering from the last of my jet lag and planning some more exciting adventures than staying in watching films and reading all day.
I just finished working a short summer job and one of my coworkers got me thinking. When I (often) challenged the comments my coworkers would make that tended toward sexism she seemed to always feel it necessary to say things like "well I objectify men!" as if to say that her views of some men as sexual objects somehow overshadows, and thus nullifies, the larger gender imbalanced social forces at play. Why? Why such a militant opposition to my point of view from another woman? At first I thought she was trying to seem cool infront of our male coworkers, but when we were alone she made the same statements and seemed really threatened by what I was saying. Maybe the things we have yet to overcome are intimidating and it's nicer to ignore them? Or maybe her statements are her way of trying to empower herself?
Any thoughts Olives?