Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I can screw you over

These words really are a perfect expression of how most cops feel about their jobs. As Dallas police officer Robert Powell says this to Ryan Moats, who ran a red light while rushing to the hospital where his mother-in-law was dying, you can hear in Powell's voice how much of a hard on it gives him to be able to say this. Even after Moats gives up on trying to talk reason to him and just starts replying "yes sir" to everything he says, he continues listing all the ways he can fuck him over. Why? Because it makes his peepee hard. I'm not saying that every cop is like this. No doubt some aren't. But if you investigated the reason why most cops chose their job, you'd find that being able to treat people like this makes their dick get hard. And that's really all there is to it.

Part One

Part Two

And what makes this story even richer? Police Chief David Kunkle has now admitted that it appears Powell was following Moats before he ran the red light that caused all the trouble. Yep. He was following him. P-R-O-F-I-L-I-N-G

Guy Culture

I tend to have more male friends than female friends. I always have. As a kid I was always very athletic but not particularly good at the social "games" the girls in my class played. I wasn't that interested in gossip or Barbies or nail polish. I didn't have any negative feelings toward other girls, and they didn't seem to have negative feelings toward me. But they generally seemed like puzzling creatures from another country to me. There was a sort of "language barrier" there. This sort of continued as I got older. I went to a private high school where the standards for "girling it up" were very high. If you didn't anguish over your clothing choices every day, spend hours on your hair and makeup, and have all the right accessories, you were not cool. And by high school these girls who had seemed puzzling but benign to me in our younger years were flat-out brutal. Fortunately I was still an athlete, and in my high school, being a good athlete, especially if you were involved in a number of different sports, gave you automatic "acceptable" status. You could stumble into your first class in sweats and a tank top, with wet hair, no makeup, and still brushing your teeth after early practice and nobody would raise a carefully groomed eyebrow. So I rode out high school with the same few athletic female friends and a variety of male friends. In college I majored in male-dominated fields (engineering and philosophy), and so still avoided making many female friends. This trend continues, and I still tend to have mostly male friends.

As a feminist, this often puts me in a strange position. Most of my drinking buddies (when I still had time to be out drinking all the time) are male. It's not uncommon for me to be sitting at a booth at the bar with 4 or 5 guys. This means it's not uncommon for me to be in on the conversations they have about the women in the bar, which has led to a number of (ahem) "interesting" conversations.

But the thing that really strikes me lately is a certain feature of hetero male culture that seems deeply inconsistent to me. If a group of straight guys is discussing something unpleasant, like a tax audit, or some stressful event at work, or an upcoming exam, or some interaction with police, they always, always, always use the same analogy. Which is? ...you guessed it: getting fucked in the ass. Yep. That's it. In hetero-man-language, this is how you convey that something is veryveryvery unpleasant and/or painful. It's a staple in movies that are meant to appeal to men. The most recent instance of this that I've seen was in Hancock. But most male-oriented comedies and action movies play off this meme. We could talk about the latent homophobia involved here, or take this discussion in a number of different directions. But what's really interesting to me is the deeply contradictory message involved.

At the same time as anal penetration is held up in hetero male culture as the ultimately painful/humiliating/unpleasant experience, it's also held up as one of the premium sexual experiences any man can have - IF he's on the penetrating end. The plethora of articles in men's magazines and on men's websites that instruct men on how to get their girlfriend/wife to have anal sex is staggering. Based on the sheer quantity of coverage, it seems like they're obsessed with it. For examples, click here or here or here or here or here. Seriously. So on the one hand, anal penetration is the thing hetero males are supposed to spend their entire lives working as hard as they possibly can to avoid, while on the other hand they're exhorted to pursue it at all costs with their female partners. Which leads to this question. If anal penetration is the horrible, painful, humiliating thing you imagine it to be, why would you ever want a woman you love, or one you respect and to whom you're attracted, to experience it? If it's this horrendous experience, why, oh why, are you expending so much energy trying to inflict it on someone else? And if you expect women to be open to trying it, why continue to use it as the ultimate analogy for all things negative? Don't you think we hear you when you talk? Don't you think we get that you associate anal sex with pain and humiliation? Seriously. Someone needs to explain this to me. It seems to me like there's some deep and subtle misogyny involved here. Tell me if/why I'm wrong.

*Possibly coming soon: a summary of the paper I wrote in grad school on ancient Greek/Roman sexual attitudes toward actively penetrating vs. being penetrated (which probably answers my own questions...).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blast from the past

What to do when you've survived a long exhausting day, come home to three sick and high-maintenance family members, juggled the dinner-bath-bed routine, done some minor cleanup and laundry duties and then find you can't sleep in spite of your exhaustion? Simple. Pour yourself a rum and root beer (in the absence of whiskey) and park yourself in front of the computer to peruse vintage sexist ads. It's a restorative to treat any feminine ailment.

The best of the best:

Nancy used to feel uncomfortable when people stared at her titties while speaking to her or leered at her ass from behind, but with Pacatal, she takes it all in with a smile.

Watch Clara: she's always trying to stash her meds in her "secret place." If there's anything we don't need up in here, it's women hiding meds in their "secret places."

Phenergan is great for inducing a light sleep in obstetric situations. 'Cause you don't need to be awake for the birth of your child.

I feel so much better now that I don't have to drink excessively in order to tolerate the only career my culture allowed me to pursue and for which I am poorly suited.

These fucking pearls are cutting off the blood supply to my brain, but if you prefer to see it as anger disguised as charm I'll take your fucking pills already.

At least when you're at home you get to wear really tight, uncomfortable shoes that give your feet muffin top.

We're also glad that she's not miserable and puking anymore, but mainly we developed this drug so she would cook breakfast for you throughout the pregnancy.

'Cause the last we thing we need up in here is a bunch of excited women.

Thoradex: it allows you to resume staring at flower arrangements with a blank but pleasant expression for hours on end.

Thoradex: for those who enjoy posing like one of the Bronte sisters, but have been feeling too anxious and depressed to do so.

First I thought the divorce was my biggest problem, but then I realized how fucked up my eyes are. I'll take whatever pills you've got.

It's of utmost importance that the fatties among us understand that they're not happy. Let's make sure they're aware of that.

The idea that fatties are happy is a fallacious myth propagated by this guy, whoever he is. Also, how did he learn to balance on a teeter-totter type scale thingy like that?

Relax, Doris. The Ritalin will help you deal with both the depression and my inappropriate physical contact. You'll see.

I'm warning you Ethel, if you don't stop screaming about my alleged infidelities I'm going to have to administer a fast-acting hypnotic barbituate, and I don't think either one of us wants that.

Actually, if you'll give me some Valium, I think I can learn to be OK with my universe orbiting around doctors.

Newsflash: woman comes out of the dark to reveal her perky but strangely placed breasts.

Benzedrine: it helps alleviate the psychomotor retardation experienced during the menopause.

Taking Milprem allows you to continue drinking tea and looking vaguely like the Queen of England even during the menopause.

Dexamyl will supply you with fortitude, help you see your life in persepctive, decrease your appetite, and increase your spirituality. Side effects include dry mouth.

There's the brink of insanity, and then there is the abyss...

Poor Jan, suffering from unmarrieditis. Hey wait. I'm 35 and unmarried; can I get some Valium too?

Who are you calling arrogant? Why, I'll crush you like a citarette butt under the toe of my pointy, clickety shoes, you upitty little *%$&#@*

Ritalin: it used to help people be better parents. Then we figured out we could just give it to the kids. Whew.

Maybe because nobody ever helps her with the fucking dishes? Just a guess.

I know. We'll use a picture of creepy looking dolls with even more creepy looking feet to sell Butibel. That oughta do the trick.

It still hasn't occurred to me not to wear super tight and pointy slippers that cut off the circulation in my feet when I go to bed, so I use Placidyl to lull me to sleep.

Unfortunately Mabel and Bridget have destroyed their self-esteems by staring for too long into funhouse mirrors, so they need Butisol to calm their nerves.

God, I can't believe that fucking tranquilizer wore off and bathtime isn't even over yet.

I used to confuse unfamiliar feelings of relaxation with drowsiness, so I made up this creepy little mask game to help me remember the difference.

Some women experience symptoms of the menopause, while others don't. They all need Premarin.

If your kids are assholes and you have a hard time reading the newspaper while vacuuming you might need Serpasil.

Lifetime script for valium versus fear of being squashed by giant women...kind of a toss-up.

Wait! Don't throw yourself off that roof! Losing the symbol of your femininity isn't that bad. Just take Marplan.

When Gerald lost the will to stare at titties, his doctor prescribed Dexamyl, which helped him realize that his real problem was that his wife was just too plain and dowdy, in spite of her jaunty hats and matching accessories.

After spending hours applying cosmetics at her dressing table, Greta began to feel that she had developed a meaningful relationship with the creepy faceless dismembered head that held her wig. This plunged her into a deep depression, from which Benzedrine was the only thing to save her.

Yet another ad regarding the symptoms of "the menopause" which seems to have been written as a class project in ESL 101.

Stelazine cures stalkeritis.

While Thorazine appears to cure every ailment on the planet, your child probably won't stop puking as long as you insist on pushing his head down into the sink like that.

'Cause if there's anything a menopausal patient needs, it's management.

Because having a baby is one experience toward which you really should have a detached attitude.

And wearing a cute lil bonnet helps too.

Because people are different. Like they wear different hats and have different kinds of pets. And sometimes their hat doesn't match their coat, but other times it does. But all of them need help controlling their overweight and mood

Thorazine relieved Eileen's anxiety and fear, and she learned to disregard the ominous shadows that always seemed to be looming on the wall in front of her.

Because once a woman becomes useless in the eyes of her husband and son, it's time for her to "graduate."

It's OK. They've been sanitized in our patent-pending tapeworm sanitizing process.

OK, I'll give them this one. Beer actually does increase milk production...

After returning home from the asylum, Madge had trouble shaking the feeling that there was a giant hand lurking behind her. But every time she stopped mopping the floor to turn around and look, it disappeared.


And finally, a semi-serious one. I've gotten terrible coughs all my life, and at times codeine is the only thing that helps. Sadly, I was born too late to ever have codeine with cannabis extract prescribed for my coughs. The injustice of the universe in this regard is staggering.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Healthy for 2: Class Warfare, Part III

I know, class warfare again. I swear, this one just fell into my lap, so I'm gonna go with it.

This post, which I arrived at via Feminocracy, is a great example of the history within medical research of not taking the informed consent of minority and lower-class subjects seriously when recruiting them for research. The study subjects, who are lower-income, "overweight," black and hispanic pregnant women, are being led to believe that they're "being enrolled into a free health program" which will increase their chances of having a healthy birth. However, the treatment that they're receiving actually seems to result in increased risks to mother and baby.

While it's obviously true that things have improved in this area, this latest example of coercion in which the autonomy and rational decision-making of minority and poor women is underestimated and undervalued shows that the same old historical mindset is alive and well. I have no problem with researchers recruiting pregnant women who are probably at higher risk for complications to participate in their research. But if that requires misleading them on the true risks to their babies and themselves, then that's just a deal breaker, and the desired info is going to have to be acquired elsewhere.