Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Hope Chris Brown goes DOWN.

Jump under the cut! Wow, CNN. Can Chris Brown's Career Survive? REALLY?!

Sometimes I just sit there and... my jaw dangles. I hear about some of the headlines, some of the things being said about this whole bloody thing and I see red. I turn into the She-HULK and want to start pounding inanimate objects (I don't like hitting people, but the urge to smash is there).

I'm going to break this down into my core opinion because, let's face it, other people (feministe, feministing, jezebel, etc et al) have been far more eloquent than I in dissecting this entire mess, and I tend to veer off course and get over-emotional, especially about women suffering assault. But let's break this down into two sections shall we?


- It doesn't MATTER how much of a bitch she was to him - YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE.
- FUCK the Lamborghini keys - YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE.
- Whether she is too masculine or feminine, too uppity or too this or that? IRRELEVANT. YOU DON'T FUCKING HIT PEOPLE.
- Are we getting the point yet, O Ignorant Fucks of the Mainstream Media? It's something we learnt as children, I don't know WHY you're having such a hard time grasping this painfully simple concept: YOU DON'T HIT PEOPLE. And if someone has been hit, you don't BLAME THEM FOR BEING THERE WHEN THE FIST CAME DOWN. Holy fucking shit, how hard is this to understand?!


- His side of the story? There is no HIS side of the story. He didn't just hit her once in a moment of lost temper, here. He REPEATEDLY PUNCHED HER. AND HALF-STRANGLED HER. AND TRIED TO THROW HER OUT OF A CAR. Attempted Murder, yo? Why isn't this in the fucking headlines?
- He doesn't deserve a career. He doesn't deserve any of that shit. Not protection from friends, not a sensitive fucking press release, NONE of it. He should front up for what he did, be a man for once in his sorry life and serve his time.

I know, I'm very emotional over this and it might seem that I'm very black and white over the issues, but I'm not. There are Men's Help lines here in Australia to prevent spousal abuse - I fully support this idea. Getting this problem solved before it happens? Brilliant. Education. Support. Counselling. You name it - it's a great idea.

But once this happens, a crime has occurred. And it doesn't matter if she's a woman, if she's his girlfriend/wife/fiance, if she forgives him or not. The crime STILL OCCURRED. And the man should damned well serve his sentence, without sympathy but with dignity.

Happy Birthday Barbie.

Jump under the cut! Women tend to have a love-hate relationship with Barbie. A lot I know hate her. Me? Well, for some weird reason, I just love her. I still collect dolls and action figures, and I never, ever saw Barbie as some forced ideal or Blonde Goddess that I had to become. Maybe I had a nice solid upbringing by a feminist mother, but to me, I always thought Barbie's proportions to be laughable and just easier to get clothes on. I much prefered Hasbro's moulds for their Jem dolls. At the young age of 9 I lauded their realistic design to my family.

"Look, Mummy!" I said. "Her boobs are normal! That's what boobs look like!"

And I still prefer my Jem dolls to this day. But I can't ignore what a huge and positive impact Barbie had in my life.

She could be anything. In the Barbie aisle of the toy store, I'd be in awe. She was a cook, a horse rider, a tennis player, a princess, a pop singer, a business woman, a mother (I didn't realise that the babies and the little girl Barbies were supposed to be her sisters at the time). It didn't occur to me that she wasn't a construction worker, or a head of a company, or some other traditionally male role. It never even entered my mind that Ken was somehow essential to her existence. I felt more than he was an accessory, as was her horse and her friends and her deliciously deep pink 87 corvette (which I still own, buffed, additionally decorated with remote control car decals as it is).

The thing that I loved about Barbie, the thing that I remember and still love, is that the bitch had choices, damn it. She had opportunities. And sure, there are huge problems with her image and the inherent sexism in the marketing, but I can't ignore the fact that Mattel have at least *attempted* to be politically correct. I'm undoubtedly cynical as to the reasons why, but those are things for us to worry about - the grown ups.

Kids don't know about profit. They don't know about marketing image. They don't know about women's rights or any of those things, not really. I didn't.

All I knew was that Barbie was a beautiful doll who had friends and could go on adventures. She was *my* dollie, who I could put in any outfit I could scrounge together with scraps of material or, if I was very lucky, new clothes bought for me at either Christmas or my birthday. Yeah, I was frustrated with her shortcomings - her waist was too small, her feet were too tiny and her boobs didn't sit right. But that's okay, she was only a plastic dolly and not a *real* person.

Barbie, for me, was an avatar. An avatar where I could explore my dreams and my ambitions. I can't see anything bad about a little girl doing that. Should these dolls be more realistic with their body image? Hell yes. Mattel has got a lot of shit they need to sort out.

I can't blame them solely for something that is ingrained into our very culture. Before Barbie, us girls had baby dolls to take care of. Since Barbie, we've had a doll that's had jobs, friends, opportunities, dreams and *choice*. I can't ignore that, and I can't turn my back on a beloved thing of my childhood.

I loved my first Barbie doll. I still have her. Half her hair fell out from me brushing it too much. She's very tan and blonde, as was the fashion from the early 80s. I remember being with Dad when he bought her. I was so excited. She had pool parties and she was a rock star. She had a love affair with my brother's 12" C3P0 toy and struggled with the reality of dating a sentient robot. (Yeah, I was a strange kid). And she fell off cliffs a lot. Had to get saved. Yeah, I dunno.

She was a childhood friend and a tool of my imagination. I still cherish her to this day.

Happy Birthday, Barbie.

Heroine of the Week: Helen Thomas

Jump under the cut! Now, being from Australia, the only thing I've really seen of Helen Thomas is through soundbytes and clips from other TV shows. But here's a woman that's been in journalism, doing, you know, ACTUAL JOURNALISM, what it's supposed to be, for a very, very long time. And doing it for the right reasons.

And she's still doing it, when most other journalists would have retired, or wangled their way to some upper level cushy job that is basically a celebrity talking head.

Here's a clip from The Daily Show where she totally owns John Oliver (who I have some weird crush on. Him, Jon Stewart and me. Yeah, that'd be a good time. Actually... Him, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert AND Jane Fonda... Actually - fuck it, I'll be in my bunk).