Friday, August 04, 2006

Greatest. Applicator. Ever. 

Over at Tampon Crafts, they have created the most amazing thing.
Okay, I'll ruin the surprise: It's a Tampon Shooter.
Now With Bandolier!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Die, Already. 

Yesterday I was driving behind a fairly nice looking automobile. But I spotted a bumper sticker and suddenly it didn’t seem so nice anymore.

“Don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

Well, I have heard this joke before, usually amongst women talking about “anything” as being the period itself, not a woman in her entire glory. Usually it is phrased as a question, “What bleeds for five days and doesn’t die?” with no mention of trustworthiness. As distasteful as it might be, it is about a bodily function, not the gender itself.

But next to the text on this sticker was a buxom silhouette.

Clearly, the message was “Don’t trust women.”

As I pondered this, a hairy arm reached out to tap a cigarette.

I read the second bumper sticker, “Give U.S. jobs to U.S. Citizens!” it read. Huh. But do you value the tobacco farmers?

The cars with multiple bumper stickers don’t usually set me off. I figure they have every type for every thought, and why bother getting offended because of one particular message in the sea of many? Besides, if someone is going to trash their car with messages, then that person isn’t particularly someone I am trying to impress.

But this car was fairly nice.

And the two messages this driver had chosen were xenophobic and misogynistic.

Oh well, I guess he isn’t the type of guy with whom I’d want to socialize. But I admit that I thought about his bumper sticker for awhile. I don’t want to get into a huge rant about objectification of women and all that, but I hate being portrayed on a mud-flap, or next to words that make fun of the unfortunate-to-deal-with, yet extremely-useful-for-producing-children aspect of our cycles.

I know a few women who wish they could bleed for five days so that they could eventually become pregnant. Inconvenient? Yes. But something about which to mock? No.

Similarly, another blog for which I write was recently linked to by a group of male women-peeing-in-their-pants enthusiasts. I wondered why my daily hits were suddenly elevated by 700%.

To their credit (?) one of the posters wrote something about not wanting to offend me by linking to my blog. He warned the group members to not email me offending messages privately. (Thankfully, I have a spam filter.)

I had written a post in which I revealed that I hadn’t made it to the restroom in time that day. Twice. The post was meant to convey desperation and also the “huh-I-gave-birth-so-I-can’t-hold-it-anymore” reality of having children. Of course I didn’t write it thinking men would masturbate to it.

Like menses, loss of bladder function is a non-glamorous aspect of what is supposed to be the beautiful sex.

Rather than rant on either on the women-wetting-their-pants website or on my own blog, I simply removed the post.

But, their sudden interest certainly got me thinking. I imagine that anything out there can be considered a turn-on or offensive, or special or what-have-you. I suppose men can mock periods, or the unfortunate accidents that happen with a weakened bladder. But, I can’t pee in a jar like those men, nor can I go tampon-free all month, so it feels like an unfair “fight.”

Not be trusted because my body is working properly? Or be idolized because it isn’t?

Now that is something to think about.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Regular Post 

I want to share my excitement with the internet. For the past few weeks, I've been taking one Metamucil pill a day, and holy carp*, it is so awesome. I am so amazingly regular. I didn't know it could be like this. Everyone should have it this good. Tell your friends.

*the fish

Friday, December 09, 2005

More on cell phones & marketing to women 

I just saw two back-to-back commercials:

The first had a young, sexy guy waking up a laundromat owner in the middle of the night, so he could get his sexy, perfectly-fitting jeans, which slip on like a dream. Of course, the woman doesn't mind being woken up, because he's just so cute in those jeans.

The TV went immediately to a young woman with a perfect figure grunting and gasping as she struggles to pull on jeans. Then she has to choose between two cell phones, and she picks a pink one, which easily slips into her back pocket. The tag line says "Here more phone fits in less space." Levis sells jeans that make men irresistable, and Motorola had to make a phone extra tiny to fit in the teensy tiny jeans even skinny women have to torture themselves into.

Gzeesh. The sad thing is, I probably wouldn't have even noticed that there's something wrong here if the commercials hadn't happened to play back-to-back.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More on Rape... 

I just read the following post from a woman, Zube Girl, who was raped, impregnated, and then had an abortion. As unluck would have it, she is now trying to conceive a child by her husband, but has suffered several miscarriages. That is something peripheral to the story, however heartbreaking.

The meat and bones of her post Sunday is a heartfelt defense of being pro-Choice. Before the rape and termination of the resulting pregnancy, she had been pro-Life. (She even once said "I think it would be healing for a survivor of rape to give birth to the resulting child." Such irony, she points out.) It has often been said that the most convincing arguments come from those who used to be on the other "side."

Of course, I wish there weren't "sides" but instead an understanding that some women may CHOOSE to have an abortion while some women may CHOOSE to raise the child resulting from an unintended pregnancy. Some may view abortion as being immoral, some may not, but that it remains legal. I wish that people weren't killed by those who believe in "life" or that those undergoing a procedure wouldn't be heckled.

(One friend of mine had a late stage miscarriage and had to have a D&C to remove the already-deceased fetus. One of the medical assistants gave her the cold shoulder and at one point made some snide remark about hoping she was happy. Clearly, said assistant didn't realize the procedure was cleaning up an incomplete miscarriage, but even so, such a remark was out of line.)

I am tired of people who say they are of a religious persuasion that practices "love" to be showing so much "hate" to those who have made difficult choices with regard to their reproductive organs. Some of those choices have been necessitated by health of the mother or child, by poverty, or in the case of Zube Girl, by rape. These aren't choices being made lightly, and to complicate matters by damning them is disgraceful.

Zube Girl does a great job of addressing some misconceptions about proposed compromises such as limiting abortion's legality to victims of rape (how to prove the rape before the child is born in our innocent-until-proven-guilty society?)

I must admit that having carried two children and seeing their little heartbeats on the seven week ultrasounds has made me doubt that I could ever terminate a pregnancy. But if I were raped? Or if my health were in danger? Or if it wasn't me but instead a fourteen year old incest victim? Or a desperate 30 year old low-income woman with eight children? Sure, I don't think abortion should be done lightly as a secondary form of birth control, but I can certainly see many scenerios in which it would be the best choice for all involved.

I am outraged at pharmacies who won't stock the morning-after pill. I don't even think of it as an "abortion" since the egg hasn't implanted itself yet. (IUDs prevent implantation; do people think of IUDs as abortion-causing devices? Possibly, but we don't hear about it often.) I could go on a tirade about how pharmacies taking away choice in this manner can result in harder choices down the road.

Zube Girl's post didn't change my stance on abortion. After all, I was already pro-Choice. But it definitely made me think nonetheless.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Why rape is the most underreported crime. 

Holy freaking crap. Thanks to Feministing for writing about this one:

A Beaverton, Oreg., teenager was convicted Friday of filing a false police report after she claimed to have been raped by three teenage boys. She faces up to 30 days in jail and $1,250 fine. The D.A. will not be pursuing a case against the young men, who claim the sex was consensual.
After a day-and-a-half trial, Municipal Judge Peter A. Ackerman on Friday convicted the woman of filing a false police report, a class-C misdemeanor. Ackerman explained his decision, saying there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young men to be more credible. He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident.

Right. Because everyone reacts the same way to trauma. This comes on the heels of a British Amnesty International poll that found that 1 in 3 Brits think that a woman is at least partially to blame for her rape if she was flirting or drunk, about 1 in 4 think she's to blame if she was dressed sexily. And if a woman is known to have had an active sexual history? 15% think she'd be partly to blame for being raped and a full 8% think it would be completely her fault.

The Guardian article here, the Amnesty International U.K. press release here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Barbie's Dream Phone 

Samsung's E530 mobile phone is really pissing me off today. I've long bemoaned the fact that technology seems to be designed by men for men, and when software and gadget designers try to tap the female market, they do it in incredibly insulting ways. I'm thinking here of dress-up/make-over/dream date computer games for young girls that are supposed to help them realize their potential as computer users and science students.

But this phone, man (er, women). Wow. From Samsung's press release:

The new Samsung E530 pink mobile phone is a girl’s best friend, equipped with calorie counter, megapixel camera, shopping list…oh and it even tells the ladies when they’re ovulating!

Sydney, 10 November, 2005: Samsung Australia today announced the launch of the chic Samsung E530 pink mobile phone. Combining all the stylish features you need in this fashion age, this sexy little number will be a valued addition to any handbag.

Where looks are concerned, the Samsung E530 sets the scene. The attractive compact clam-shell style mobile comes in a unique ‘lavender pink’ and silver design, which is sure to make heads turn.

Proving it not only has the edge in design, Samsung continues to lead the way in digital convergence too. Reminiscent of the popular diamante encrusted Samsung T500 mobile, this phone has the looks and intelligence to make things happen!

Want to know the real bit of fun with this feminine phone? A sub-menu in the applications section called ‘Women’s Life’. As you would expect to find, there are all sorts of things for the ladies in there – everything from the things you might like to know (such as the fragrance that best suits your personality) to things you’d prefer to forget (like your percentage body fat).

The Samsung E530 ‘Women’s Life’ includes:
Fragrance type: Are you lovable and soft? Then the sweet, fruity scent is for you.
Biorhythm: Find out the status of your physical, emotional and intellectual being on a daily or monthly basis. It even predicts how you’ll look and feel tomorrow!
Height/weight ratio: Simply plug in your height and weight to find out how you rate…if you dare.
Calories: Now that the Atkins is out, keep count of your calorie intake with this tracker.
Pink Schedule: This phone will even keep track of your cycle, telling you when it’s the best time to conceive…or when to avoid it.
Shopping list: Let your phone keep record of what you need to buy, how many you need and how much it’ll cost… but you will have to actually do the shopping yourself!

I appreciate a design that accommodates long fingernails and has an antenna that won't get snagged on things in my purse. But come on, a height/weight ratio calculator? If you're going to include such a so-called "feature" at all, at least use BMI, which is harder to calculate and more medically useful. A food diary is a useful tool for anyone who is trying to make any sort of change to their eating habits, but calling it a calorie tracker makes me feel terrible. I don't even know where to begin with the biorhythm tracker and perfume advisor.

But a PINK SCHEDULE? Since when is "pink" a euphemism for menstruation? I wish I could laugh at the thought of people being stupid enough to use their cell phone as a rhythm method tool, but I just can't.

I wonder if you can program it to change your ringtone during PMS into the Wicked Witch of the West theme?

Thanks to Feministing and Broadsheet.