On the show Baggage, Nerds, and Hot Women

Don’t judge me, but I have a confession to make. I…. watch Baggage, hosted by the one, the only: Jerry Springer. I usually find it on television somewhere when I’m up at 3 a.m. and have no desire to go to sleep (You know, because 3 in the morning isn’t late enough already).

If you don’t know what it is, Baggage is a show where a lovely lady or a kind gentleman is seeking love and decides the best way to do this is to go on a game show (Naturally). Three eligible men or women are then lined up ready to be picked by the first woman or man to go on a date with. The catch of this game is that those three contestants all have dark or weird secrets. Basically, they all come with “baggage” and then must reveal their naughty secrets to the other and hope not to be eliminated.

baggage

 

The reason I bring all this up is that last night I caught an episode. A lovely lady looking for love stands up on the podium and announces that she is looking for a sweet, nerdy, quirky guy to go out on a date with. It was the nerdy part that caught my attention. I watched the show, and it was exactly what I feared. When this beautiful young woman claimed she wanted a nerd, she didn’t actually mean it. What she wanted was this:

Joseph Gordon Levitt

 

Or this….

Johnny Depp Nerd

 

But certainly not an actual nerd. This is how the show went. Three guys went up and revealed their baggage. One was eliminated. The remaining two revealed all three pieces of baggage.

Guy #1‘s baggage: was 35 years old and had never had a real job & had his parents pay for everything, powdered his junk every day, and couldn’t help snooping through his past girlfriend’s diaries and email.

Guy #2‘s baggage: made clothes out of duct tape, was in a polka band, and has a low labido due to growing up with a very “liberated” mother.

Guy #1 couldn’t stop talking  about how he likes to work with kids and how he was a camp counselor (for four months. Only four months. Seriously, the way he kept bringing it up it sounded like he’d been doing it for years. He wouldn’t shut up. It’s was clearly a ploy to try and snag the woman’s heart).

Guy #2 was a quirky, kind, adorable nerd who likes to explore new places and go on roadtrips. He even quoted Star Wars.

Both were physically attractive (though, Guy #2 was actually more handsome than Guy #1, in my opinion.)

All these things I tell you because from the first moment I met these contestants, I was rooting with Guy #2. I wanted him for myself. The man was adorable. He was exactly what this woman had described before the show had ever started. He was genuine and compassionate and silly and lovable. I think we can tell where this is going.

She didn’t pick him.

Of COURSE she didn’t pick him. He was the NERD.

But wait, didn’t she say she wanted a nerd? From the first moment that word escaped her lips I knew, I KNEW, she was not going to pick the nerd because she didn’t really want a nerd.

I am really tired of this new “nerd” kick that has been floating around, because it hasn’t changed anything. Nerds are not cool. They aren’t by definition. This new-age “cool nerd” thing is simply just another costume for cool, popular, well-adjusted people to like Star Wars or play video games and wear thick glasses and then call themselves by a different name.

Us actual nerds, the people who deserve this name, who have earned the title, are still the socially awkward, ill-adjusted, introverted, and unsociable on the bottom of the societal totem pole. And that’s fine. That’s where we’ve always been. We’re in our basements, our apartments, our nerd lairs and batcaves. The problem is when people like this hot woman claim they desire nerds when they actually do not. You know not the meaning of the word. 

Nerd whore

 

Sure, say you want the nerdy guy and then choose the untrustworthy, email-snooping, unemployed junk-powderer. (Right, I’m sure the cute nerd with duct tape lederhosen and a polka band was so much worse than that long-haired creep.) Just stop lying to yourself about wanting a nerd. Because you don’t. You’ve proven that. You sully the good name of Nerd by even uttering it from your perfect baby-pink lips.

To some, the title of nerd is an insult to designate superiority and inferiority. To others, it’s an honor to be earned and treasured. You disrespect everyone when you throw the word around as casually as “totes”, “lol”, or “cray cray”. And it’s pissing me off.

 

Women Scientists You Should Thank but Do Not Know

Happy Women’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there! Here are six women scientists you should know but don’t.

1. Ada Byron was the daughter of a brief marriage between the Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke, who separatedAda Byron
from Byron just a month after Ada was born. She was a gifted analyst, metaphysician, and a founder of scientific computing.

2.  Rosalind Franklin. There is probably no other woman scientist with as much controversy surrounding her life Rosalind Franklinand work. Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of DNA. Biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer, she received no credit for her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA, and was beaten out of publication by Crick and Watson.

3. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist. She held the view that human beings were but one part of nature

PHOTO: Rachel Carson

distinguished primarily by their power to alter it, in some cases irreversibly. Disturbed by the profligate use of synthetic chemical pesticides after WWII, she wrote Silent Spring and challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world. That book, along with her other writings, are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

4. Lise Meitner, a physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics, was part of the team that Lise Meitnerdiscovered nuclear fission (in fact, Otto Hahn, one of the head hanchos of the project, met with Lise secretly and she helped him greatly when they were stuck in the wrong direction), but Lise was overlooked for the Nobel Prize in favor of male colleagues.

5. Cecilia Payne in 1925 became the first person, woman or man, to receive an Ph.D. in astronomy from Cecilia PayneHarvard. Shapley had attempted to get her a Ph.D. in the already existing physics department, but the chair refused. To get around this roadblock she received her Ph.D. in astronomy instead. Her Ph.D. thesis, later labeled as “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy”, was an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium.

6. Mary Anning. Despite the fact that Mary Anning’s life has been made the subject of several books and articles, Mary Anningcomparatively little is known about her life, and many people are unaware of her contributions to paleontology in its early days as a scientific discipline. How can someone described as ‘the greatest fossilist the world ever knew’ be so obscure that even many paleontologists are not aware of her contribution? She was a woman in a man’s England. When she was only 10 or 12 years old, Mary help to discover the first specimen of Ichthyosaurus to be known by the scientific community of London.

Why Gay Marriage will be hard to Achieve

I find that most of my human interactions happen in cafes or cafeterias or restaurants. I wonder why that is. Something about the watering hole, I’m sure, brings people from all backgrounds and thought bubbles into one place. The watering hole is an equalizing gathering place.

Enough musing. As I said before, I was in a cafe. A regular college cafe full of regular college students. Behind me I heard a group of girls laughing and talking about Buffy, Firefly, and Joss Whedon. I was just thinking about turning around and talking to them, perhaps I would even whip out the Firefly DVD case I happened to have in my backpack, when the conversation turned to Nathan Fillion, and then to Neil Patrick Harris.

And, unfortunately, the conversation took a predictable turn.

“He’s so hot! It’s too bad he’s gay.”

Too bad he’s gay. I am so sick of hearing this. What does that even mean? Like, if he weren’t gay, you would have a shot at him and Neil Patrick Harriscould get married to him and live happily ever after? I don’t think so. Even if Neil was the womanizing Barney from How I Met Your Mother, random girl in Utah, I still don’t think you would have a shot at his genitals, and even if you did, you’d probably break up anyways. Just saying.

But then these girls went on talking.

“He can act, sing, dance, and he’s gorgeous! What a waste that he can’t have kids.”

Alright, first of all, just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he can’t beget children. There are such things nowadays thanks to this witchcraft called science like artificial insemination, or surrogacy, or drunken horny one night stands. All those things can and have fathered children from gay parents. But more importantly, what did you just say?

What a waste.

Those words have been ringing in my head ever since I heard them.

What a waste.

A waste of what? I understand the fact that you would like to get good genes into Humanity’s gene pool and continue on the Harris line of awesomeness, but those words. A waste of genes? A waste of a pleasurable sexual encounter? Or are you somehow implying that he’s a waste of life?

That last one seems a little extreme, and she probably never meant that in her wildest dreams, but you can’t help but stop on those words and wonder what was wasting away?

This is the problem. This is why it’s going to take a while for marriage equality, because of an underlying attitude in today’s culture that undermines equality. .Too bad…... What a waste…... Why are all the good men married or gay….... This attitude, that gays are some how not worthy, or they’re stealing away chances of happiness from women, is more detrimental than the hardcore anti-gay protesters. Because there’s always going to be someone who will protest, but it’s like this attitude is infecting the pro-gay people.

I believe in gay marriage. It’s just too bad that they’re gay.

That’s not really helpful, now is it? It’s not really equality, it’s not really tolerance, and it’s not really acceptance. In the back of people’s minds, there’s still this nagging. We can’t seem to accept people as people–purely and only as people who have feelings and ideas and something to contribute to the world other than children and sex.

How many times have we seen this? Just go to any Adam Lambert song on Youtube and see for yourself. The comments are not about how well done this song was, or what an amazing voice he has, or what the video means. All of the comments are qualified and tainted with something like

… if only he wasn’t gayadam lambert

… too bad he’s gay

… I don’t care that he’s gay, he rocks

… Isn’t he gay?

…..

I mean, seriously, when did he come out? Three, four years ago? And we still can’t get over it. We can’t just talk about his music, we can’t just say he’s talented, we can’t have a conversation about him being hot or him being our favorite singer without yourself or somebody else chiming in You know he’s gay, right? I’ve never been able to.

This ‘If Only He Wasn’t Gay’ thing has to stop. It has to. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words hold the real power. They last. They hurt. They break. They change the world.

The words that come out of our mouth reflect our thinking, and right now it doesn’t look good. How we think affects how we act, and our actions affect others.

We the people of the United States hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cannibalism, and Gender

Ever see those Cinnamon Toast commercials? They’re weird, right? Slightly disturbing, cute, and funny all at the same time. Those crazy squares are cannibalistic, always eating each other, sometimes even themselves!

They work together to try and hunt down their own species and reap the rewards of the cinnamon and sugar, and then are betrayed by the very same squares, or they fall into a messy trap. Survival of the fittest in pursuit of deliciousness. And rightly so. Can you blame them?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch 4

But something caught my attention the other day. The first two words of the commercial said “Hey, Ladies.” and then the last words, the sort of tagline was “Everybody craves those crazy squares.” Now, this may just be the English major in me (we like to pick things apart and look at the details) but I couldn’t help but think of those two opening words.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch 1

Maybe the commercial is directed towards us ladies because women’s tongues are different then men’s and are more inclined to sweets.

Or maybe its because women on their period crave sweets. Or it’s the hormones, you know?

I kid, of course.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch 2

But then again, it’s interesting how they target the cereal towards women, but have that cereal then be cannibalistic and treacherous.

Hm…

But then again, I suppose the Toasty squares aren’t actually female. They’re more gender neutral, which, because they don’t have long eyelashes and luscious pink lips, mean they look male. That could possibly make up for it, right? They only said ladies, but then the actual members look male. That gets them off the hook.

No, wrong again. Because feminism isn’t just interested in women, we’re interested in masculinity and men, too. So, it also catches my attention that the cannibalistic, self-destructive, shifty, backstabbing Squares are male-esque characters.

But what are you going to do? Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Criticized with women and men. Well, that’s just how things are, I suppose. The problem is this isn’t like an intentional attack on gender, it’s just there. We don’t think about it. It’s ingrained in our skin and it comes out in our media in things as small and insignificant as cereal commercials.

Molly Weasley is a feminist

Molly WeasleyMolly Weasley is in fact a feminist. Some people think that she isn’t a feminist because she’s so grounded in domesticity, but her motherhood does not negate her feminism.

Some people have argued that the final fight scene between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange is a symbolic fight between motherhood/domesticity and feminism. They say that motherhood is chocked full of characteristics that feminists despise. They say that J.K. Rowling wrote from a Christian perspective to show the value of true womanhood or some other bull like that.

It’s not true, because feminists don’t hate motherhood. Feminism is about equality between the sexes. Giving women every opportunity that a man has, and every advantage, and every right to do so. A woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her life, and should be able to accomplish that goal if she works hard and is good at that particular thing. She shouldn’t be held back just because she has ovaries. This encompasses everything from a Fortune 500 CEO to a stay at home mom. To each her own.

Not my daughter, you bitch!

Not my daughter, you bitch!

The very idea that feminists could somehow despise motherhood is beyond. That’s just blatant anti-feminist propaganda  Feminists clearly want us all to stop be loving, nurturing, and warm. Of course those evil feminists want all women to be barren so they don’t have to be afflicted with the sexist burden of children.
Molly Weasley Chuck NorrisIt’s true that Molly doesn’t fit the traditional feminist roll; nonetheless, Molly Weasley is a feminist. She’s strong, independent, nurturing, determined, intelligent, strong-willed, loyal, loving, egalitarian, the head of her household–a house filled with mostly boys, and she can fight. She is a fierce warrior who is deadly with a wand. Molly Weasley is not the embodiment of family fighting against the embodiment of something else. She’s a feminist fighting for family.

Bellatrix Lestrange a Feminist!

Yes, that psychopath we all love to hate, Bellatrix Lestrange, sister to Narcissa, murderer of a one notorious mass-murderer Sirius Black, slayer of Dobby, lover of Voldy, escapee of Azkaban, collector of figurine elephants and people’s souls, is a strong woman figure.

Bellatrix Lestrange Wanted Poster

You can’t deny it. Yes, she’s evil. Yes, she’s wicked. And bat-shit crazy. But damn, she’s fabulous.

Bellatrix LestrangeShe’s determined.

She’s capable of tremendous loyalty.

She’s clever. Resourceful.
Strong-willed.

She’s prepared to die for what she believes in.

She’s powerful and influential in a male-dominated society, the Death Eaters.

She pushes back against society. Sure, that society is Hogwarts and the good people, and the changes she wants is purebloods over equality, so there’s that. So not so feminist or egalitarian there. But still.

I found a couple people online disputing this. These people shall remain nameless, but here are my responses:

 s—o says: she also had to fight in a sparkly dress and heels and curled hair, because women can’t wear normal fighting clothes.

Bitch, please. She is fabulous. She is fighting people left and right and looking fantastic while doing it. That has nothing to do with feminism. She doesn’t have to walk around in sweats and a baseball cap.

t—k says: she depnded on a man to rescue her from Azkaban. if she was so strong she would have escaped herself.

It’s Azkaban! What do you expect?? She can’t just be like “Okay guys, it’s been fun, but I think I’m gonna leave now! Kthxbye.” Bellatrix did not depend on a man to rescue her. She had no intention of being rescued.

y—t says: why did a woman kill her? a man can’t kill her because that would be to rude. a woman should only be killed by another woman. thats anti feminist!

*headdesk* Yeah, it’s totally rude. Before a man kills a woman, he has to lay his coat down on the ground for her to collapse upon.
Molly was protecting her daughter. I’m sorry Molly doesn’t have testicles or something.

All of you.. just… all of you…

This is my exasperation towards all of you.

This is my exasperation towards you.

Ever After, Feminism, & my Three Hands

Ever After

Ever After: A Cinderella Story. This might in fact be my favorite Cinderella story, because she doesn’t use magic to win the Prince’s heart, but art; and she rescues herself. I’m telling you, this is a feminist movie.
Ever After Drew BarrymoreNow, what I really want to talk about is the end. Her stepmother trades her to this creepy dude to pay their taxes, and this is where I get conflicted. On the one hand, I love that Danielle fights her way free of the creepy old bastard. She’s a strong-willed woman and she refuses to be subservient, even for a second. She is a human being, not a teapot to be traded and bartered with. I love that she rescues herself and breaks herself free. Throughout the movie, Danielle is constantly pushing back against the barriers society creates against her.

On the other hand, maybe this is just me, but I was disappointed in the end when she didn’t beat the guy up. I wanted her to kick some

serious ass, and she seemed to just throw a few things and went on her merry way. She just sort of walked out of his castle…….. Alright,Ever After fight 1 I just rewatched the end of that movie and I was wrong! That gross sonnuvabitch was all smelling her hair and saying he was going to break her like a horse when she spun around and owned his ass! But I remember why I felt disappointed. Because it didn’t show her actually gaining her freedom. I can totally see another showdown going down as she unlocks her chains, and maybe Monsieur lunges in a final desperate act to reclaim his manhood and keep this wild woman, and Danielle whips around and punches him in the face! That’s what I wanted. But it just shows her walking out of the castle like It’s no big deal. He won’t call the cops on me, even though I just slashed his face.

And on my third hand, even being a feminist, even as I bounce in my seat as I watch Danielle take back her own life, I am still somehow disappointed in the Prince. I feel like he somehow lost something when he failed to rescue her from Monsieur. Yes, he had every intention to; Yes, he just got there a few minutes too late; but I feel like he needed to redeem himself in some way. He did betray her, after all. Maybe it’s just the childhood of Disney movies like Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid worming themselves into my idea of masculinity, or maybe it’s not, but I just feel like … why didn’t you do anything? Danielle is inside, being verbally, emotionally, and almost physically abused and molested, where were you? You were standing outside the castle.

Good for you.

Way to go.

One more Chandler Bing style: Could you BE any more useless?Ever After stepmother punishment

But maybe that’s just me. The Prince did in fact make her queen and threw her evil stepsister and mom into perpetual misery after that,
so maybe that’s enough.