Saturday, May 14, 2005

Latent Sexism and Sharon Stone's Turtleneck

The two aren't related, or are they?? Hmm.

Warning: The following post is an editorial by Bra Burning Kate, Kate The Great's Extra-Jiggly, Women's-Lib Supporting Ego. Kate apologizes in advance for any offense that may be taken by great men everywhere.

Ask any man (okay, not every man. How about Tom DeLay?) and they'll tell you women are just as equal as their penile counterpart. They'll say years of growing armpit hair, burning bras and marching in Washington has given rise to equal rights everywhere. To black, to gays, and of course to the fairer sex. Darlin'.

I'm sure my militant sisters would say otherwise.

"But Kate!", you say. "What bumblebee has stirred your bonnet? What's all the fuss, glamourpuss?"

Well. It all has to do with the crappy, changing table in the women's restroom.

My normally sunny, go-along disposition took a jolt of sorts when I decided to use the fine facilities at Cincinnati's downtown public library. The jilted jolt arose when I noticed the very prominent changing table in a vestibule between the point of entry and my destination (stall number three). I realized there was a sign outside the restroom indicating to parents everywhere this location would accommodate little tykes with that "not-so-fresh" feeling.

It simultaneously occurred to me the men's bathroom did not feature a similar type of signage.

So people, I ask, wassup with that? Daddies can't change a poopy diaper? Just because a chick's got some mammaries on her, that automatically makes her the Chief Engineer of the family sanitation department?

And what about single dads? What about male babysitters? What about non-traditional (read same sex) couples? This great water closet injustice is leaving all those folks up a shitty creek without a paddle, too.

I say this little discrepancy is just one more indicator that sexism is still alive and well, thick into The New Millennium.
Why is it that some men think they have some kind of prospectors rights on every pretty girl they see walk by?

Exhibit A: Man at cellphone kiosk imposing himself on me as I happen to be doing my shopping. He wrangled me in by asking me about my cellphone plan and wanting to see my cellphone and blah blah blah when all of a sudden he's handing me his card and saying "Please do give me a call if there's anything I can do while you acquaint yourself around this new city." Tossing out mentions of fun bars and restaurants and "I'd love to give you a call so we could talk just a little bit."

Well, how very 50 Cent of him.

Why did Mister Kiosk Man use a professional opportunity to be decidedly un-businesslike? Why did he automatically assume I was single? Maybe I was having my wedding ring cleaned at the nearest Kay's Jewelers while I was shopping. Maybe my boyfriend was in the sporting goods store. Maybe my husband was still circling the parking lot looking for a damn spot.

Exhibit B: That little glare men give each other when they're circling fresh meat. Note to men everywhere: Please be a bit more guarded when expressing your interests to the competition. You make a woman feel like a piece of roadkill when you shoot each other dirty looks in an attempt to express some kind of ownership.

"Back off bitch. She mine," is not an attractive come-on line.

Sharon Stone's 22 dollar Gap turtleneck scored me some bragging rights. A co-worker of mine and I were engaged in a duel of wits, Trivial Pursuit-style last night. The trash talk started early last week: both of our noggins were full of all kinds of useless information. The braggadocious banter led to Friday night's challenge, each of us paired with a partner to compliment our respective weaknesses (me: science and all things sports).

My teammate and I cleaned the board up early, winning the Pop Culture edition with a question about Sharon Stone's infamous Academy Awards wardrobe selection.

The high-fiving and chest-bumping was shortlived, though. The men won the rematch of the Millennium edition.

What's up with Sharon Stone's turtleneck, anyway? Can't a girl stay covered up once in a while? Do the great ta-tas have to be in full view for all to see at every awards show? Or was it just shock she showed up in something so off the rack, so simple, so... suburban?

I can't honestly say with a straight face that I've never worn anything revealing (What? Me? Never!), but I am a huge fan of letting women wear what they want, when they want. Not as a way to make herself a man's sex object, but as a way for her to express her sexuality, freedom and beauty.

As Britney Spears says, "It's my prerogative."

This concludes this feminist rant. Kate will now put the apron back on and return to the burning batch of cookies and her Cosmopolitan magazine.


Vertical Man said...

Oh, c'mon Kate, don't retreat anywhere, least of all to your Cosmo magazine! First, while the youngest of my 4 daughters is now 17 and I haven't been in need of a changing table for quite a while, I don't recall a men's bathroom lacking one in, oh, forever. Maybe they need better signage. Besides, if there isn't a changing table, men find the floor an acceptable substitute! I'm gonna make such a great grandfather someday!

As for men and prospector's rights, well, you're right and darned if I can explain it. But raising 4 daughters gave me all the evidence I need.

As for Sharon Stone, don't you find that the more tenuous the career, the more visible the ta-ta's?

Micah said...

Well, I never!

Yeah, I'm an ogler. And I get caught out on occasion. My head's on a constant swivel. I know I should follow Jerry Seinfeld's policy ("looking at cleavage is like staring at the sun: you get a sense of it and then look away"). I figure that: A) I'll never see The Woman in Question again and B) she wouldn't be interested in me anyway so why try to make a gentlemanly first/only impression? Now, I don't get all slobbery and obnoxious like the wolf in those Tex Avery cartoons; I try to be somewhat discreet. But is it my fault that the female form is a work of art?

Yeah, I need to get laid. :)

Hasselback said...

You know, now that I'm living in what is, essentially, a third-world emerging country, I've started to notice how much disparity between the genders still exists.

I therefore, officially, take back many of my grumbled "you're overreacting" statements made to female friends/relatives/significant others over the years.

Now I'll have to turn in my "knuckle-draggers" card.