#Problematic: Menstruation Is On Trend, Robin Thicke Returns & Target Nixes Gendered Toy Aisles
Hello, Dollies. I thought I would greet you how my mother usually greets me. Her pet name for me is Dolly, because she very much wanted to name me after Dolly Parton and was shot down by my father. See, this is a safe space—I’m sharing! What were your childhood pet names? Do your parents still use them, or are they too weathered from lives of answering to the man, whisky and disappointment to call upon nostalgic revery? Don’t you think it’s odd that both that despite giving you your Christian name, parents still always call you something else? I guess it’s an extension of that whole “I put you in this world, I can take you out” mentality. I think someday I’ll call my children by the names of vegetables no one likes. Now on to something you might not know about, this week’s problems…
1. Women Are Free To Bleed Freely
Much like my inner Bikram enthusiast and inner alcoholic like to argue, I often find myself vacillating between a tits-out, middle-finger to the patriarchy feminism versus my engrained southern sensibilities that remind me to put on lipstick and sit up straight. Suffice it to say I have a lot of feelings about menstruation becoming a trending topic. (Insert tired joke about periods and feelings).
It began with Donald Trump, still high on all the cocaine he did in the ’80s, making a strange reference to Megyn Kelly having been on her period during the first Republican debate because there was blood coming out of her “wherever”? (Whoever is keeping score, please add periods to the list of things Donald Trump doesn’t understand, along with spousal rape, immigration and the shelf life of a hair piece.) Obviously a man deflecting his own incompetence to a woman’s hormones is going to be a unifying force for #yesallwomen. This is all gravy, but it seems as though the conversation is now turning from a feminist insistence that men not make our periods a factor—to us insisting that everyone acknowledge our periods are always a factor.
The general idea is that our culture is ridiculously hostile to something that is a natural, frequent part of a woman’s life—and that’s problematic as fuq. Just ask Rupi Kaur, whose photos very delicately introducing menstruation as an artistic subject were taken down and deemed unsafe by Instagram. If men bled from their dicks every month, you can bet they would have a special hat they put on so everyone could high five and buy them a red colored shot. In protest of this, some women have begun what has been termed as “free bleeding,” or abstaining from use of feminine hygiene products during your period, and letting that red, red uterus wine flow down to the ground from whence it came and shall now return. Queue feelings.
The menses tactic came to the forefront of conversation recently, when M.I.A.’s drummer, Kiran Gandhi, free bled the London marathon (unclear if we can use free bleeding as a verb, but doing it anyways!). I hear you moon sister, I do. There is nothing as specifically uncomfortable as having to do things with a tampon that is too full, too dry or just not quite in right—especially run a marathon. Pads are also equally inconvenient. But at the same time, I don’t see either as a patriarchal weight on my freedom. I very much feel Gandhi for not giving a fuck, nor putting cultural norms in front of what she thought best for herself. But at the same time, I would personally take the discomfort over the clean up.
Also, as much as I hate to stray into the status quo, I also wouldn’t love to be around women free bleeding. Even though one of the big feminist points against sexist period-phobia is that menstrual blood is not dirty, it’s still blood, y’all. I really don’t think subjecting everyone to your blood, when it’s coming from any orifice, is a grand idea. And not to be a reactionary asshole, but only 12 percent of the world’s women have access to clean, safe sanitary products, and it’s a bit of a slap in the face of the other 88 percent to eschew tampons. As much as women rebelling against our forced compliance and politeness by the patriarchy is a rock solid, unicorn, Hillary for president move, may I suggest a Diva Cup to the freebleeders?
As #Problematic as … the GOP getting so bad that liberals have to defend Megyn Kelly:
2. Robin Thicke is Back 😩
Robin Thicke, a penis with a man attached to it, has returned to the scene because he’s out of money for bad haircuts. Well, I’ve got news for you, Thicke, you’re no Britney, America’s real comeback queen.
At first mention, one would think the song “Back Together” portends some kind of redemption. If you forgot the timeline of this tale, three years ago, Thicke released “Blurred Lines,” was possessed by the demon that escaped hell after the song’s 666th play, and then became the human embodiment of the halitosis possessed by someone who would actually say “I have something that’ll tear your ass in two.” Somewhere in there his wife also left him, having royally fucked up with the woman who’d been there since way before he was famous enough for models to let him drive toy cars on their asses.
So, with that narrative still in all of our minds, a song about wanting someone back piques our interest as a potential mea culpa. What we get instead is a very creepy video featuring a lot of women half Thicke’s age, him begging one in particular to “fuck me back together.” Pour one out for self awareness, because in this case it’s dead.
The only un-problematic thing is this Nicki Minaj verse: “They call me Hillary cause I ride ‘em (Rodham).” Carry on, Nicki. Carry on.
As #Problematic as … Kirk Cameron growing up to be a really scary Christian:
3. Target Does Away With Gendered Toy Aisles
Target did a very Targé thing, and announced last Friday that the “everything you need for $10 more than it should be” store would be removing gender labels from the children’s toy section. This is a nice move for a corporation in the way that getting an amuse bouche from the chef at a fancy restaurant is a nice move—it’s a tease that reminds you that you’re very hungry for more.
What is truly remarkable here is the shitshow that subsequently ensued. The Target Facebook page has become a donkey show of “Well now you’ve gone and done it, say goodbye to my business, I’m going to Walmart from now on!!!” hilarity. Apparently the heightened risk of a boy picking up a Barbie doll and suddenly becoming Rip Taylor is too much. One woman went extra hell fire with the whole thing, writing:
“I would never give a boy a barbie doll. It’s not chauvinistic, but the BIBLE says women are the weaker vessel I Peter 3:7 so many people are making their boys the weakest link and making their daughters manly.”
LOL Stacy Mclemore of bumfuck wherever, shouldn’t you be more worried about your sons picking up those sexy, anatomically incorrect dolls and wanting to fuck them? I’m the weaker vessel though, what on earth do I know besides always needing help with jars.
If you’d like a video presentation of this kerfuffle, Fox News gave this walking squint some screentime where he proceeds to shame what he refers to as “Tergret.”
On the other side of the spectrum there is an American man who spent his weekend trolling the angry ex-Target enthusiasts, responding to all of their comments on Target’s Facebook page as though he were a customer service representative. He had some good jokes. I think all we can hope is that all of those homophobes enjoy their slightly itchier, more easily broken, comes in less fun colors Walmart merchandise.
As #Problematic as … sex dolls: