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.

 

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Why I don’t like One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” a feminist perspective.

The other day my sister asked me why I felt the need to break my arm lunging to change the radio station when What Makes You Beautiful came on. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It’s wasn’t just because they were a boy band, or because I had already heard the song enough times to fill a lifetime, or because I’m just not into this particular type of music, but something else. I figured out why. It’s the lyrics.

I’m only going to put in about half of the song. I think that’ll be enough. The song is about this guy singing to this girl about how beautiful she is.

You’re insecure
Don’t know what for
You’re turning heads when you walk through the door
Don’t need make up
To cover up
Being the way that you are is enough

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

Let’s start here, focusing on the first few lines. You’re insecure/Don’t know what for. I do. She’s insecure because she’s been bombarded with media and images of beautiful, perfect, unattainable women; women from television shows and movies and billboards and magazines, and she feels like she doesn’t compare. She can’t compare. She’s in high school (presumably). Those years can be the shittiest in life. Her breasts aren’t big enough, her lips are plump enough, her eyebrows aren’t waxed enough, her butt is too small or too big. When she looks in the mirror she doesn’t see the beautiful young lady she is, she sees the love handles on her hips, and the gap in her teeth, and her eyes are too far apart, and her scrawny legs. She doesn’t see the girl you see, because women aren’t supposed to. To know you are beautiful is to be full of yourself, or too confident, stuck up, conceited.

But also, perhaps she is insecure not about her beauty, or her weight, but we can conceive that perhaps she feels inadequate for other reasons, such as she doesn’t have as many friends as she would like, she doesn’t feel smart enough, she hasn’t been to a party, she secretly doesn’t want to drive, or rebel, like all of her other friends do and so in that way she feels like she is an outsider, etc. There are other reasons to be insecure besides beauty.

[Chorus]

Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don’t know
Oh Oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful

Let’s be honest here, she could be faking that hair flip and coy glance downwards. Whoever this little girl out there is, no offense to you, but it is a possibility.

If only you saw what I can see
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know
Oh oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful
Oh oh
That what makes you beautiful

But wait, a minute ago you were saying how she shouldn’t be insecure, but it is that insecurity that you like? That’s what makes her beautiful? That is exactly what I just said up above in my very first paragraph. Girls aren’t supposed to be confident. They’re not supposed to know they’re beautiful. We like them insecure. We like them anxious. It makes girls “cute” and “delicate” or some other bullshit like that.

So c-come on
You got it wrong
To prove I’m right I put it in a so-o-ong
I don’t know why
You’re being shy
And turn away when I look into your eyes

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

Well, I just told you why. Or maybe she’s just shy. Maybe she likes you and is embarrassed. Maybe she grew up in a family that never taught her the skills to look people dead in the eye when they talk.

There’s basically no new lyrics after this point in the song. It just repeats itself a few times before ultimately coming to a final and complete end.

I just don’t really understand the song. Yeah, boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl is beautiful, boy sings about girl…. but then he sings about her beauty, she doesn’t realize her own beauty, that’s why he likes her, and then he wants her to own her beauty? The logic doesn’t quite follow.

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.

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.

Hermione is a Feminist

I remember watching an interview of an actress from the Hunger Games (I don’t know which one) and something she said really stood out to me. She said there aren’t a lot of strong female characters out there, which is why Katniss and the Hunger Games was really cool.


Hermione

I beg to differ.

Let me count the strong female characters in Harry Potter: all of them! Hermione, Luna, McGonagall, Ginny, Molly Weasley, Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Trelawney, Pomona Sprout, Madam Pomfrey, Lily Potter, Cho Chang, Alice Longbottom, Katie Bell, Fleur Delacour…. on and on and on!

Hermione stands out the most to me, however. She is the most feminist, the strongest, and the coolest. Here’s why:

1. Brightest witch of her age. She makes it cool to be a bookworm. “Honestly, don’t you two read?” Without her, Harry would have Hermione 1never been able to defeat Voldemort the first time, or the second time, or the third… or fourth… or known who Nicolas Flamel was, or known the Basilisk was using the pipes, or been able to save Buckbeak… Okay, basically Harry (and the world) was damn lucky to have Hermione there to know what’s what.

2. Hermione is courageous. (She is in Gryfindor, after all.) Even when she was in her first year of Hogwarts and labelled as a know-it-all, she refused to dumb herself down to be accepted by others. She fears little else but failure. Oh yeah, and she stood up to the greatest, evilist wizard ever. So there’s that.

Hermione Granger 23. Hermione withstood Bellatrix’s torture. It would have been so much easier to give up while trapped in the Malfoy’s mansion filled with deatheaters, being tortured by the infamous Bellatrix LaStrange then to resist, but Hermione resisted.

4. Hermione’s a badass! She snuck into the restricted section of the library. She trapped the annoying Rita Skeeter in a jar when she
finds her eavesdropping, and then blackmails her. She lead Dolores Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest! She gets this reputation for being prim and proper, but just look how wrong that is.
hermione 25. She doesn’t have the double-ended sword. Usually women who are highly logical/rebellious/aggressive are stripped of their femininity or emotions. Hermione doesn’t have this problem. She was written to eschew stereotypes. She gets to have her cake and eat it too!

6. When the trio are out hunting for horcruxes and Ron leaves, Hermione doesn’t have a break down. Sure, Hermione grangershe’s devastated; but she pulls herself together. She stays to help Harry, and she keeps searching for horcruxes (unlike some female characters… *Cough* Bella *cough*)

hermione granger 17. She’s a true feminist! Hermione is constantly pushing back against the rules, calling for equality. It’s her idea to start Dumbledore’s
Army, which was very against the rules. In GoF, she yells at her best friend after he defends house elves’ enslavement; then she goes one step further–creating a student organization dedicated to the freedom and fair pay of house elves.