I grew up blissfully ignorant of gender roles. Growing up in the ‘90s, I never thought I’d one day need a man with a six-figure income to take care of me. But I wasn’t a feminist, either—I didn’t even know what feminism was until my 20s. All I knew was what my mother taught me—that I’d have to work hard to become a self-made woman—and what Hollywood taught me — that eventually I’d meet a Jonathan Taylor Thomas look-a-like and be swept away to my happily ever after.
Though my JTT look-a-like never surfaced, I did find someone to share my happily ever after with. When we first entered couplehood, neither of us had much in the way of disposable income. Date nights included hitting up Applebee’s for happy hour and grabbing a $.99 movie rental. If I had to name one of us as the breadwinner, it was him, but money was such a non-issue in our relationship that we never thought of who earned more. We viewed each other as equals so we split the bills down the middle, paying little attention to who earned what. We were in love and that was all that mattered, right? Keep reading »
Last month, the student society at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, approved $30,000 to establish a men’s center. The center’s main supporter, a student named Keneen Midgely, said the volunteer-run men’s center would only be equitable, considering SFU already has had a women’s center since 1974. It would be a space, he pointed out, for men to support each other and deconstruct masculinity and gender roles just like SFU women can.
I couldn’t agree more. Yet somehow, establishment of the SFU men’s center is controversial. Instead of being seen in a positive light as a “safe space” for men, it is being seen as an unnecessary, even frivolous, expense to give men their own space in what is already a patriarchal culture. Keep reading »
Once upon a time, a male kindergarten teacher or a male nurse was an oddity, even a novelty. But changing gender roles — and a turned-on-its-head economy — mean that more men than ever are working in what were previously considered to be “pink collar” jobs.
In an article about the trend today, The New York Times explains that “pink collar” jobs in fields like health care and home care/child care haven’t been bombed out by the economy because they cannot be outsourced and they are available to anyone without a college degree, regardless of gender. Hence, while jobs in all those fields are growing in general, the numbers of men working in them are increasing apace. Keep reading »
I’ve been reflecting more on why I felt such deep shame while watching “The Bachelor” finale the other night. I think part of it has to do with the way they talk about the bachelorettes. It’s like they are stock characters. Well, I guess they are. It’s television. But in real life as well, I find myself irked by a certain subset of commonly used phrases to describe women. They are just kind of one-dimensional, stereotypical and well, annoying. After the jump, the female descriptors that make my skin crawl. Keep reading »
I won’t beat around the bush: “tips for a happy marriage” from Michelle Duggar are as bad as they sound.
In the season premiere of “19 Kids and Counting” this week, the reality TV mama (whose family is stumping for Rick Santorum) is filmed at a conference on how to have a happy, evangelical Christian marriage in which the man is the authority and head of the household.
Michelle passed out tips from her lecture to the audience and a viewer screengrabbed the advice, where it was posted on Television Without Pity. Not suprisingly, you might want to “keep a barf bag handy” as Faith Goes Pop blogger Lilit Marcus puts it, because Michelle Duggar’s happy marriage tips include become financially dependent on your husband, always keeping your hair did, watch your weight, and being more “loyal” to him than your family and friends.
You can read some of the more egregious tips from “7 Basic Needs Of A Husband” — the workbook off of which Duggar was reading — after the jump: Keep reading »
“Grooms get in free!”
That’s the generous offer from Austin Monthly, my local glossy society rag, for its “Couture, Cakes and Cufflinks,” uh, “Bridal Bash.” There’s nothing particularly unusual about this kind of shill party, and that’s what makes it particularly offensive. It’s every disgusting wedding narrative rolled into one day-long event that women are actually expected to pay to attend.
There’s so much to hate about mainstream wedding culture — the consumerism, the gender policing, the fucking consumerism, the body-shaming, did I mention the consumerism? — but perhaps the wedding-related narrative that pisses me off more than any other is the idea that men are incapable of being interested in weddings and must be coddled and babied so that their delicate wedding-hating sensibilities are not offended. Keep reading »
I’ve been putting off making the trip to the county clerk’s office to see about getting Patrick and I common-law married. In order for me to be enrolled on his health insurance, Patrick’s employers need some kind of governmentally sanctioned proof that we’re not just total liars. The process in Texas for proving you’re not a total liar is pretty simple: you tell the government that you’re not a total liar, sign a piece of paper, and they believe you. Suddenly, marriage!
This one little trip that I can’t seem to make is probably one of the most important things I could be doing just about now. And yet here I sit in my lacy black silk pajamas (Fancy Lady Obsessed With “Downton Abbey” So She Bought Some Nice Underthings Alert!), drinking coffee and fending off keyboard-fascinated cats instead of achieving the twofer of making my relationship more legitimate in the eyes of the government and ensuring that I have proper health coverage.
Though to be fair, I also buy extra underwear so that I can go a month without hitting the laundromat, so know that I am a world-class procrastinator of some renown. It’s not that I have apprehensions about becoming a wife.
Right? Keep reading »
One of the things that freaks me out the most about having kids someday is letting them choose their gender roles on their own. I am going to make a conscious and concerted effort to let my kids know they are loved and accepted however they choose to express themselves. But I’m also realistic and I know the outside world fits little kids much more neatly into “boy” and “girl” boxes. Just this weekend, I was at a toy store and rolled my eyes to the top of my head at puzzles targeted for girls’ and boys’: the girls’ puzzles were pink and had makeup shapes, while the boys’ puzzles were blue and had truck shapes. God, could it be any more stereotypical? If I’m acting that way now, childless and single, how am I going to be when I have an actual kid whom I am responsible for?
Probably a lot like the blogger at Feminist Breeder (aka Gina Crosley-Corcoran, formerly of the ’90s band Veruca Salt) who is committed to “gender-neutral parenting,” but was given a free vanity from her dad’s girlfriend. Now she’s agonizing about putting this super-uber-girly-feminine piece of furniture in her little daughter’s bedroom. Keep reading »
My name is Winona and I am a slob.
Growing up, my mom affectionately referred to my bedroom as “the pig sty,” and rightfully so: the clothing, books, art supplies and cereal bowls that covered the floor would often reach knee-height before I felt the urge to tidy up a bit. At some point my brothers began gathering up the trash from their cars and setting it my room instead of putting it in the garbage. Months would pass before I found the bags of Slurpee cups and cracked Green Day CDs.
When I moved into my college dorm, my roommate was also a slob, and within months the trek from our doorway to our beds had become eerily reminiscent of the scene in “Star Wars” where Luke Skywalker falls into the Death Star’s garbage compactor. Keep reading »