My inner 12-year-old girl is so jealous!
I just finished writing a strongly-worded email to the webmaster of a website called Bear411, a networking site for "bears." For those of you who are unfamiliar, the bear community is a sub-culture of gay guys who are big and burly, like yours truly. The cool thing about bears is that they're typically a pretty welcoming group, and with good reason. It's alienating enough to grow up gay in a heteronormative world. It sucks even more when you finally come out of the closet and seek out gay culture, only to find that it's just as alienating--even hostile--for guys who don't fit the trim and trimmed body type--so prominently exemplified in the gigantic banner on the side of the Saloon, in the pages of Lavender, on Logo, etc.--that's popular among the gay mainstream.
I just posted a Le Tigre video on the class blog, and it reminded me of this song, which is similar in sentiment to the Pozner article about people challenging the vitality of feminism. It's kind of hard to understand the lyrics, and they're really great, so I'm posting them here in the extended entry. Oh, and there's some swearing and stuff, so don't pump up the volume if you work at a Baptist nursing home, or whatever.
My grandma died a couple weeks ago, and there was something I found disturbing in her obituary. She had ten children: eight boys and two girls. Each of her sons, married or single, is listed just by his first name, since they all share my grandma's last name: "John, Tom, Peter, David, etc;" but the daughters, including my mom, are listed like this: "Carolyn (Dr. Timothy) Hogan." None of my uncles' spouses are even mentioned, but the obituary writer(s) apparently deemed it necessary to note my dad's first name--and, incidentally, the fact that he's a doctor--in order to legitimize my mom's surname. Why not just list her as "Carolyn Hogan"? If it's not worth pointing out that my uncles have wives, why mention out my mom's husband?
I just had another thought about my consumption of media. I was watching "Project Runway" recently. I'd downloaded the episode, so there were no commercials, as such, but there was the usual product placement within the show: "Let's go to the Tressemmé hair salon;" "Send your models to the Loreál makeup room;" "We were given Blockbuster DVD players to watch clips of our models;" etc.
It occurred to me that these advertisements are aimed at viewers like me, who don't see regular commercials very often. Although the executives at NBC/Universal/EverythingElse undoubtedly get up in arms about illegal downloading, Blockbuster probably doesn't care how I watch the show; either way, I'll see their little advertisement.
I just read Jennifer Pozner's "Big Lie" article. I was thinking of how cheeky--I never use that word, but "nervy" feels too complimentary--it is for mainstream culture to continually deem feminism dead. It seems like people, regardless of their education about/involvement in feminism are all too eager to throw in their two cents on the matter. It has a distinctly different tone from conversations about race relations, in which the uninitiated tend to hold their tongues for fear of being called racist. It seems feminism is more of a spectator sport. There are a number of reasons for this, but I think the main one is people's general familiarity with women and girls; the idea that knowing and respecting certain women (or even being a woman) acts as a shield against accusations of sexism or misogyny.