Like everyone else in the country with excellent taste and a belly full of adult beverages, I very much enjoyed Beyoncé’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday. I loved her all-woman band, particularly Bibi McGill’s spark-shooting axe. I loved the Destiny’s Child reunion. I loved that my Beyoncé half-time BINGO card included a square for “killing it,” which I ticked off within seconds of the show’s start.
And yet, my reaction to her post-halftime announcement of the upcoming “Mrs. Carter Show” tour was not to cheer her on in a post-feminist choose-your-choice fist-pump, but to huff: “Call me when Jay-Z goes on a Mr. Knowles tour.”
Why does the most powerful woman pop star in the world want, or need, to remind everyone she’s married? What does a Mrs. moniker have with her ability to sing, dance and write songs? And no, the name issue isn’t what gets me. I’m not raising a figurative eyebrow at “Carter,” I’m raising a figurative eyebrow at “Mrs.” Keep reading »
New York Times’ writers KJ Dell’Antonia and Bruce Feiler recently went head to head over parenting for the latest “Room For Debate.” Their discussion focused on whether moms or dads more often take the lead when it comes to parenting, and more importantly, why?
This particular debate is an age-old parenting topic. In an era where women are constantly reminded about “having it all” despite stereotypical gender roles being enforced, it’s no wonder that we’re still discussing who takes on what when it comes to parenting. For a long time, parenting actually meant mothering by default. It was traditionally assumed that men were the wage earners while women were the caretakers, no matter how much that “ideal” didn’t match up with families that needed two incomes to stay afloat. Regardless of the advances in equality accrued by feminism, that traditional framework has been a hard one to shake off and families still have trouble when it comes to equal parenting. Keep reading »
Jon Stewart’s latest crusade: picking apart the right-leaning backlash stemming from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to allow women to serve in combat roles. A former U.S. Marine penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal [second item] fretting that in combat soldiers often have to urinate and defecate in front of each other — often in close proximity to a fellow soldier’s face. Stewart points out: In a war zone, are you really worried about “dying from embarrassment?” Keep reading »
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military. This would entail overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from certain ground combat roles, thus opening up more jobs to servicewomen. Women have already been attached to ground units performing these jobs — they just haven’t been properly credited for it.
Yesterday, Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Join Chiefs Of Staff, officially overturned the 1994 rule. “Everyone is entitled to a chance,” Panetta said. According to The New York Times, the Army is now creating gender-neutral standards for all their positions but will not be lowering the physical standards required just so that women can be admitted.
All week there have been reactions to lifting the ban, both for and against. I’ve rounded up some of the responses: Keep reading »
Oh, feminism, what a tangled web you weave! How could I have missed “Wives With Beehives,” a program that aired last Thursday night on TLC (of course), about couples who purposefully live a 1950s lifestyle? The husbands go off to work, carrying their lunch in a pail, natch, while the wives stay at their kitsch-ed out ’50s home wearing full makeup and retro dresses, cooking and cleaning before his return. Here’s a clip featuring 37-year-old Amber chatting about how this lifestyle is just the bee knees. Keep reading »
When I was a little girl, playing LEGOs with my little brother was far from appealing. Not only did I have no interest in hanging out with him anyway, but I much preferred settling myself in my bedroom loft, cutting my Barbie’s hair off and allowing her to scandalously peck my Swan Princess Prince Derek Barbie doll on the cheek. Barbie got lucky with him. He was a hunk.
Next week, though, Mattel will be combining a LEGO-like atmosphere with Barbie in their new construction set, Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Style. This new toy, featuring a mini-Barbie that can attach to each construction site, comes in various scenes like “a fashion boutique, a mansion and an ice cream cart,” where the children can rearrange and build the play set themselves. Keep reading »
Mommie Dearest is The Frisky’s new biweekly column about being a mama.
I have a love/hate relationship with catalogs. There are some that I love to flip through and pretend that I have the money to burn. Who wouldn’t want her own cotton candy machine, night vision goggles, or handcrafted teak patio furniture? (I don’t even have a patio.) The holiday season provides me with an ample supply of these catalogs, depositing no less than three catalogs a day into my mailbox. However, they’re not all fantasy furnishings and expensive gadgets. The majority of the catalogs I receive actually cause me to roll my eyes, gnash my teeth and fill my already stuffed recycling bin to the brim: toy catalogs promoting tired traditional gender stereotypes. Keep reading »
Originally appeared on Role/Reboot. Republished here with permission.
Of all the holidays that I bemoan, Thanksgiving is the one in which I play my Pick Your Battles card and allow myself to enjoy without too much inner turmoil. In spite of the holiday’s history, for me it prevails with a modern, singular purpose that I don’t mind: familial appreciation.
That family might be your community family or maybe your blood-tied family, but either way it tends to be a holiday centered on getting into the same zip code as the people you love most in the world. My own family’s Thanksgiving observations have altered many times over the years, ranging from eight-hour drives to my aunt and uncle’s house when I was a boy to smaller gatherings at my parents’ house during my teenage years to the modest tradition today comprised of family and friends of family.
Regardless of where or how Thanksgiving happened, one constant remained throughout all those alterations: Traditionally, the women cook and the men watch sports and talk in the den. Keep reading »
Thanksgiving is a lovely time of year to not only see distant family and beloved friends, but also dredge up decades-old resentments. A famous familial bugaboo is who helps clear the table/wash plates/Saran Wrap the leftovers and who sits on their ass, pretending to be paralyzed by a food coma. (Of course, food coma person perks right up when the pecan pie comes out. I’m on to you, Christian.) I am fortunate that I grew up with a father who has always shared 50/50 of chores equally with my mother, including on holidays. The fact that my parents’ kitchen is clogged with women doing cleanup has more to do with the fact they have four daughters than anything else. Keep reading »
“Whether it’s a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a ’50s housewife—which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason—I just really like dresses. …
If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up. … [I]t’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with. Some combinations of people are toxic, you know? You have to find the right one that isn’t just going to explode into fiery ash and destruction.”
This is Taylor Swift in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, first talking about her love of dresses, and elsewhere in the interview talking about what she wants from a relationship. Tay-Tay is someone I’ve criticized in the past because she seemingly doesn’t understand feminism whilst declaring herself not a feminist. Fine, don’t be a feminist, but at least understand what it actually is that you’re disagreeing with. So I found myself nodding my head in agreement when I read these quotes above that she gave to Harper’s about what kind of dudes she likes to be with in a relationship. I nodded my head because hey, Taylor Swift, I am the exact same way.
So I was somewhat dismayed to see Taylor getting trashed for these quotes on the blog Mommyish. Keep reading »