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February 08, 2010

10 Thoughts on the Super Bowl

1) I am not particularly a fan of either team, but I was rooting for the Saints because a) I like underdogs and b) that's who my father said we liked. (I tend to outsource these decisions to my father and/or brother.) So, that ended happily.

2) This is self-evident, I suppose, but football is so much more interesting now that I have some idea what's going on.

3) Of course, the problem with caring about both the football and the commercials is that it makes it hard to figure out when to get up to get a snack.

4) So. THAT was the Tebow ad? Well played, Focus on the Family, well played. You got us all excited about something that didn't even mention abortion. The message was in the pre-ad controversy, not in the ad itself.

4a) To all of you saying how bizarre it is for a college football player to tackle his mother, I ask: Have you spent much time with college football players recently? They do that all the time. In my experience, though, they're usually joking around and don't actually knock their mothers over.

5) The rest of the commercials, though! If they are a reasonable metric of society (and I certainly hope they are not), women are evil and/or worthless and men must assert their masculinity by buying cars. Or, um, pants. Seriously, though, I was shocked by the consistent level of misogyny, and if Twitter is anything to go by, I wasn't the only one.

6) Mark Sanchez's ad about women and heart disease, however, was a lovely exception to the ongoing assumption that only men were watching this broadcast.

7) And Google's ad was adorable. I choose to believe that the fact that they advertised does not mean that they are in any danger from Bing, but was instead done as a public service to give us a break from all the awful ads.

8) Oh! And the Harry Potter thing! I want to go!

9) So yes, The Who are past their prime, but I enjoyed their performance. But then, I like old British rockers. (I was disappointed that they did a weird medley thing instead of whole songs, though.)

10) Drew Brees's son is adorable. And who did the little ones in pigtails belong to? SO CUTE.

Posted by Kat at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2008

Love your body!

Happy Love Your Body Day!

Posted by Kat at 11:42 AM | Comments (1)

February 20, 2008

Of holding doors and carrying heavy things

Please discuss:

What do we think about the idea of going on a date with someone* who makes a good point of bringing up within his first few e-mails that he "believes in" opening doors for women? Now, I'm not against the actual action. I think holding doors is polite. (I generally think whoever is at the door first should hold it, regardless of gender, actually.) But what seems weird to me is making a big point of it. What is that supposed to convey, exactly? That he's very proud of his manners? That he thinks women need (or want) to be taken care of? That he thinks women should stay in their place? Is it a test to see if I'm one of those crazy feminists who will object to such actions? Hmm. (Honestly, I'm not as fixated on this one statement as it might seem; it just got me thinking and I thought it could be an interesting discussion.)

Sort of related: The other day I was walking with a male friend and he was carrying something slightly heavy that we had purchased for joint use. (Okay, I guess technically he had purchased it. It was a $4 thing of cat litter for use in getting our cars unstuck on my icy driveway.) Part of the way home I offered to carry it for a while, and he said it was fine, and then we both laughed as we realized that we both knew that I felt like I should offer but actually would rather he carry the heavy thing, and I think we were both okay with that.

I'm not sure exactly what my point is with the second story - I guess that it seemed like a more okay version of the "chivalry" thing without making a big point of it.

* This is a theoretical question at this point, because I've pretty much decided not to go out with the person, for other reasons. But I'm still curious as to thoughts on this issue.

Posted by Kat at 09:16 AM | Comments (7)

July 22, 2006


Is it wrong that I'm knitting a shockingly pink baby sweater, of all things, while researching Mary Wollstonecraft?

By the way, if you ever decide to leave your honey bottle upside down so the honey settles near the opening, you might want to make sure that the bottle is actually closed. Tightly. Someone in my house neglected to do this. (Honestly, I have no idea which of us it was. So I'm certainly not trying to assign blame.) Incidentally, I'm also amused that the Honey Leak of Aught-Six meant that I also had to take a break from Wollstonecraft to clean the kitchen.

I have some thoughts about Wollstonecraft, as is probably clear, but I'm not sure I should start writing them here right now. Since, you know, I'm supposed to be writing a paper. But at the moment, I'm fascinated by the fact that even some of her biographers - even Janet Todd, who seems to have spent a great amount of her professional life researching Wollstonecraft - don't seem to like her much. Apparently she's too whiny and emotional and... feminine. Hmm.

Posted by Kat at 08:19 PM | Comments (2)

July 01, 2006

I... can't even... gah.

It is way too early in the morning to wrap my brain around this, but I had to share. A new anti-abortion movement has a bold new plan: get pro-life men to marry single pregnant women so they don't have abortions. Um. Right. Do you see why I'm having trouble even finding the words?

Two favorite lines from the article:

"The motif of a man proposing marriage to a woman pregnant with another manís child is a common one on soap operas that are a fairly good gauge of female fantasy. These stories represent the truth that many pregnant women donít really want to abort, and would not, if marriage and commitment were offered to them."


"Most women are quite rational people."

Yes, the first quote clearly shows how rational the author thinks women are. (Women? People? What? Dorothy Sayers review coming soon.) I'm not sure I want soap operas to be taken as an accurate gauge of "women's fantasies." Maybe some women, sure, but, um, no thanks. If you must have an accurate gauge of my fantasies, please use Jane Austen.

It seems like this would be setting up a really bad dynamic for a marriage: "I saved your baby's life. Without me, you'd be going to hell." Umm, Godlike husband much? Of course, that's probably the point.

(Thanks to Feministing for the link.)

Posted by Kat at 07:55 AM | Comments (11)

January 22, 2006

Happy birthday, Roe v. Wade

Today is the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Honestly, this is an issue I've struggled with, but I have come to realize that the goal is the creation of a world in which abortion is not necessary. Since we do not live in that world, however, abortion needs to be safe, legal, and available. So I am joining hundreds of other bloggers in "Blog for Choice" day. Click on the icon for more information and to see the list.

Posted by Kat at 09:09 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2005

Denim dilemma

So, as I mentioned yesterday, my so-called "skinny jeans" are more or less fitting again. (They're still a bit tight, but wearable, so it counts.) I have four pairs of these jeans and I lovelovelove them. Therefore, of course, L.L. Bean has stopped making them. I need to diversify at some point, especially now that I am getting back toward a size at which I am willing to buy clothes. So I have been looking at pants on the L.L. Bean site, because, why yes, I am slightly obsessed with that particular brand. But hey, they're high quality and they fit.

And most of my other pants, now that I am starting to fit into them again, are things that I no longer actually like. I have determined that the correct fit for me is, as defined by dear L.L., "Fit: Sit below waist; slightly fitted through hips and thighs; boot-cut legs." So I think that, in the relatively near future, I will have to get myself a pair of these or maybe these, and probably one of these. (Yes, those last ones have straight legs, but I think that's a risk I'm willing to take in order to see the look on my brother's face when he sees me wearing cargo pants.)

And then I saw these.

Now, there are two main problems that I have with the so-called Boyfriend Jeans:
1. I am generally against the idea of paying someone extra to make my clothing look worn out. It seems a very elitest practice.
2. "Boyfriend Jeans"? What? Who borrows jeans from boyfriends? "Boyfriend sweater," I could see. But jeans? Huh? And besides, why can't these be worn out old jeans of my very own? What's with the implication that I need a boyfriend? (Would you date a man who wore jeans like that?)

These are both very good reasons. But. For some reason, I want them. Really. I have looked at them at least three times today. I am ashamed. So... what to do? Do I hold their name and inherent elitism against them, or do I add them to my Christmas list?

Posted by Kat at 04:18 PM | Comments (3)

November 04, 2005

What's in your purse?

Bitch Ph.D. asked about the contents of our purses or pockets. I have no pockets in my skirt today (what is WRONG with women's clothing designers?), so, the contents of my purse:

Sock in progress
Packet of tissues
Small bottle of hand sanitizer
Two pens (blue and purple)
Two Lip Smackers (Cookie Dough and Strawberry Kiwi Comet)
Cell phone
Cough drops
Just-in-case pad
Asthma inhaler
Antibacterial wipes
Simmons ID
Paycheck to be deposited
Knitted pouch holding some cards that don't fit in my wallet (library, insurance cards, etc.)

Hmm, I think that's it. Your turn!

Posted by Kat at 02:24 PM

November 03, 2005

Can we call it "opting otherwise" instead?

So everyone has been up in arms about Maureen Dowd this week, and who am I to let a perfectly good bandwagon roll on by? A lot has already been said, better than I could say it, so I'll give you some links on Dowd's elitism and the truth behind Dowd's examples of "backlash" and how Dowd's "data" is questionable at best. And, before I get into my main point here, I'd like to say that my first reaction upon reading the article was that dear Maureen needs to get over herself. Maybe she'd have more romantic success if she, you know, tried being nice to people, or didn't make it quite so abundantly clear that she feels she is superior to everyone around her. I was also a bit unclear as to how Dowd would actually like women (or, for that matter, anyone) to behave, as she seems to disapprove of, well, everything.

But anyway. The part that most bothered me was her take on the whole concept of "opting out." To her credit, Dowd does admit that "to the extent that young women are rejecting the old idea of copying men and reshaping the world around their desires, it's exhilarating progress. But..." And, of course, there's a "but." It's exhilarating progess, but she doesn't like it. She sees it as spoiled, pampered women turning their backs on long-sought education and opportunities in favor of dependence on rich husbands. This strikes me as a narrow view, to say the least.

A little background, although you probably all know all this: I am currently single and self-supporting1. I work for a reasonably large corporation as well as a very large retail chain. I'm in grad school, ostensibly to become qualified to be a professional in a particular field. And, given the chance, I would (I think) "opt out" in a second. But I don't think but reasons are horrible and unfeminist.

1. First of all, corporate life really isn't that great. Theoretically, some people like it, but I haven't met many of those people, either male or female. Other than for reasons of job security, I really couldn't care less whether the company I work for makes money. This isn't the greatest motivation for trying to climb the corporate ladder. I'd rather be doing something I thought actually mattered, somehow.
2. If I ever have children, I feel pretty strongly about staying home with them (and quite possibly homeschooling, but we'll leave that for another discussion) if circumstances allow. I don't think this is because I want to be a Stepford wife, though. It's more that I want to be with my children through their early development. I think that's reasonable (and really rather responsible) of me2.
3. I will admit that I have literary aspirations, and "opting out" of a nine to five schedule would give me more time to write. (Although not if/when there were small children around. I do realize that, don't worry.)
4. I also realize that there is certainly some amount of "the grass is always greener..." in this. Someone3 once posted about a sort of alternate universe fantasy they had: that somewhere there was another version of themselves, a single, childless version with a job and apartment and free time and freedom/money to travel. And I had to laugh, because it sounded like a romanticized version of my life, and I have a parallel alternate universe fantasy that was basically a romanticized version of that person's life.

So there are some of my reasons. Please note that "I want to be pampered and spoiled" was not among them.4 More importantly, though, I refuse to believe that corporate/business/career "success" is any more intrinsically valuable than raising children or knitting a sweater or baking fabulous cupcakes or, for that matter, fixing a car or playing a musical instrument. It's all a question of what you want to do and what makes you, not some ideal, happy and fulfilled. Dowd pays lip service to the idea that feminism is about having choices, but she clearly doesn't actually believe that any choice other than "the old idea of copying men" is a choice worth making.

1 Well, mostly self-supporting: my parents pay most of my tuition, and I don't want to leave that out or seem ungrateful.
2 Not to imply that working mothers are doing something wrong; I just think, for me, I'd rather be home.
3 I thought it was Cate or maybe Jody, but I can't find it in either of their archives. If anyone remembers, please speak up!
EDIT: It was Rachel! Sorry about that.
4 Not that I'd object to a little pampering occasionally. Everyone deserves that.

Posted by Kat at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

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