Archive for feminism

The pinking of America

Posted in pop culture with tags on May 20, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

smurfetteWe haven’t come quite that long a way, baby.  With the news that Dell has created a laptop especially for women called the “Della,” which comes in adorable “designer” colors and is touted as being just perfect to keep track of diet tips and recipes, not to mention the nationwide release of Mars’ sparkling, pink-wrapped “just for women” candy bar Fling, it’s pretty clear that we’re looking at a resurgence of gender-neutral products repackaged and remarketed to appeal to our more feminine sides.  Not even board games are safe: as evidenced by this photograph seen here, even that beloved classic Scrabble is now available with a pastel colored, flower trimmed playing board and  ‘FASHION’ used as a sample word.  Scrabble isn’t the only game getting the powder puff treatment: Monopoly, Life, even Ouija boards are all being sold in packages that look like they should contain sanitary napkins.

I’m pretty certain women are supposed to be flattered that someone is thinking of our needs and making versions of Scrabble, though it’s still the same game played with the same rules, just for us.  Yet, I keep going back to that picture, which makes Scrabble look like something that should be available in an Avon catalog, and I find myself vaguely offended.  I also wonder if perhaps it smells like Love’s Baby Soft or something from Yankee Candle Company.  Have sales of Scrabble in its standard, drab brown and beige issue tended to be skewed towards men? I’ve bought at least two copies of the game  in my lifetime, plus Scrabble Junior for my daughter when she was younger.  Who are these women that wouldn’t have normally been interested in the game until it could be found amongst the dress-up clothes and Hannah Montana dolls at the local Target? The idealist in me believes not nearly as many of them exist as insulated, undoubtedly male marketing designers think, while the cynic in me believes that they do exist, but are going to be in for a great deal of disappointment when they discover that there isn’t anything inherently “girly” about the game itself, unless you restrict yourself to making only girly-related words, such as “boys,” “makeup,” “kittens,” “kissing” and “glitter.”

Where is the actual, legitimate demand for feminized, rather patronizing products such as this? Are there women seeing ads for Fling bars (or rather, “fingers,” as they keep insisting on calling them, giving their marketing campaign a disturbing masturbatory angle) and thinking to themselves “Finally, a candy bar for me! No more of those macho Twix bars, I can’t take those!” In 2009, when over 80% of households in America have at least one computer, are there still women who have been holding off on buying one for themselves until they could get one that came in cute colors and touted its usefulness in keeping track of dieting and weight loss first before anything else? If this is the case, and forgive me as this makes me a terrible feminist, but who fucking cares about these dipshits? Anyone who’s up to this point refused to buy Scrabble because they don’t like the color it comes in isn’t going to be capable of coming up with a word more challenging than “cat” in a game anyway, so what’s the use in trying to market to them?

Of course, there probably aren’t that many women who really operate like that, with the possible exception of Paris Hilton.  Women can like the color pink without insisting that every last item be made available in it, just as women can dislike the color pink without handing over their female card.  It’d be really awesome if it became no longer necessary for there to be a “for women” version of everything from computers right down to snacks, because much of the campaigning of it seems subtly to downright overtly insulting.  Dell’s ads for the “Della” laptop (I guess we should be glad they didn’t call it the “Dellette”), before women rallied and complained about it, not just continuously pushed the fact that it’s cute, but that it’s easy to use.  You know, as opposed to an HP or a Gateway, the kind that men use, they’re just so complicated, am I right, ladies?  The Fling campaign hinges on the stereotype that while men eat chocolate to ease their hunger, for women it’s a surrogate for sex, something that’s done to be bold and daring, without telling your boyfriend about it.  The message is clear, still, still, after all this time, advertising is still based upon the idea that XY=technically savvy, eats for sustenance, XX=scared of anything mechanical, eats for emotional fulfillment.  It’s all a little tired and aggravating, really.

That girls under the age of 12 are up to their eyeballs in pink is an inevitability, just as action figures and Legos are still sold as “boys’ toys.”  That grown women are finding themselves inundated with enough pink, glitter and fake fur to keep a drag queen troupe in costumes for the next fifty years is just asinine, especially considering this supposed demand for it really doesn’t exist.  To the creators of the special “designer’s edition” of Scrabble I say: blow me, fifty one points on a triple word score.


More feminist than thou

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 13, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

Slate opens a new blog written by women, for women: win!

A disappointing number of the articles consist of the same old girl-on-girl bashing regarding feminism, motherhood and celebrities: fail!

The concept of feminism as a movement seems to be taking a particularly rough thrashing, with articles such as ‘Whine, Womyn and Thongs: How Feminism Has Failed’ and ‘How I Got Bored With Feminism.’  The real prizewinner in the Fail Bowl, however, is Linda Hirshman’s hatchet job on Jezebel, dissected by her target here.  Hirshman posits that the gals who write for Jezebel should probably turn in their feminist membership cards, because despite rape being a pressing issue for women, they talk about getting drunk a lot and occasionally engaging in casual sex.  After all, any real feminist worth her salt would know to avoid any behavior or situation that could lead to getting raped, because men shouldn’t be expected to control themselves.  Granted, this “I’m not saying anyone deserves to get raped, but…” attitude is hardly new, if not particularly distasteful coming from a woman, but Hirshman ratchets the female misogyny up a few more notches by suggesting that because one of the writers was sexually assaulted as a teenager but didn’t report it to police, any opinion she might have on rape and its effect on women and society is unreliable at best.

You know, this pandering “I’m a woman-hating feminist who tells it like it is” twaddle wasn’t any more charming when Camille Paglia was spouting it back in the eighties.  Hirshman previously exhibited her privilege and astonishing lack of empathy when she wrote an article claiming that the best way to help someone stuck in an abusive relationship is to relentlessly badger them into leaving.  It would appear that she’s blessed to have gotten this far in her life without ever having been raped or a victim of domestic violence.  I have too, thank the gods, but I also know that there’s nothing easy about reporting a rape to the police, even less if it makes it to a courtroom.  As I pointed out in Monday’s article, it’s a grueling, traumatizing experience for the victim, due to the fact that there are still far too many people in society who believe that rape is a “misunderstanding” or that if you hadn’t left the house in that short skirt, it would never have happened.  Would you want to put yourself through that? I don’t know that I would.  If I failed to report, would it be to the detriment of my fellow women? Perhaps.  But my decision to report or not report, as would be anybody’s, is mine and mine alone.  Identifying yourself as a feminist doesn’t automatically require you to be held accountable to other women.

As for her questioning why women in abusive relationships just don’t walk away, again, Hirshman shows the insufferable, insulated self-righteousness that taints modern feminism as a whole.  Sure, it’s a question of just leaving, it’s that easy.  Because abusers don’t inflict the same amount of damage on their victims’ minds as their bodies.  They don’t isolate them from their friends and families and convince them that their lives, and perhaps the lives of their children are at risk if they try to escape.  They just pop them in the face once in a while, what kind of woman would put up with that? A weak, pitiful woman that namby-pamby other feminists coddle, according to Linda Hirshman.  She’s not putting up with that nonsense.

I will agree that too much of today’s feminism is bogged down in splitting hairs over semantics and blowing entirely too much steam over relatively meaningless things, such as arguing over whether or not Seth Rogan playing a character who commits date rape might mean he condones it in real life.  I buy that much of it is a distraction to try to deal with the frustration over that old chestnut about things staying the same the more they change.  Women still aren’t given the respect they’re due in the workplace.  The nature of rape is still misunderstood, and rape victims are still treated as though they have something to be ashamed of.  We’re still plagued with body image issues perpetrated by both the media and, saddest of all, each other.  Little girls are still encouraged to be pretty, pretty princesses draped in pink.  Feminism isn’t dead, not by a long shot, but we haven’t come close to winning yet.  It’s not even a matter of “winning,” really, so much as achieving certain goals.  If we’re losing, it’s because we’ve taken up with in-fighting and pseudo dick-waving “I’m a better feminist than you” competitions, judging each other for everything from shaving our legs to having children to engaging in alternative sexual practices to taking a husband’s name upon marriage to the “right” way of handling a sexual assault.  Who fucking cares who’s a better or “real” feminist? What does it matter? Betty Friedan isn’t going to rise from the grave and present you with a golden WORLD’S GREATEST FEMINIST trophy.  Female misogyny isn’t edgy or revolutionary.  It’s just sad.

And now to cheer things up a bit, here’s a picture of Memebon, a tiny kitten in a rice bowl.  I had to, it was depressing me to write this.  I may just consider changing the name of this blog to Tiny Kittens in Rice Bowls.

How the breast was won

Posted in pop culture with tags on January 12, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

mcboobiesFound by way of Jezebel, The New Yorker is featuring a really fascinating article on the cultural history of breastfeeding.  It’s been a long and strange journey to the current belief of breast being best, with the popularity of it wildly varying in just over a few hundred years.  Initially a task passed off to servants, like pretty much everything else in child rearing for upper class women of the 18th to early-19th century, breastfeeding gained popularity in the mid-19th century when the importance of the mother-child bond became emphasized, if not romanticized.  In other words, mothers were encouraged to actually get to know and show affection for their children as people, as opposed to evidence of their husbands’ virility.  Along with the Victorian notion of women being delicate creatures who couldn’t be expected to do such base things as feed their children like a common sow, Sigmund Freud quickly put the kibbosh on it with his inexplicably popular theory that seemingly innocent, not to mention unavoidable, interactions with one’s child, whether it be breastfeeding, toilet training or bathing, have sexual undertones to them.  Freud, it seemed, found it best to keep a polite distance from your children, perhaps offering a warm handshake as opposed to a hug, lest they grow up incapable of differentiating between maternal and sexual love.  It took much longer than it should have for Freud’s Oedipal and Electra theories to be debunked as twisted horsepucky that said more about him than anything else, and during that time breastfeeding was once again relegated to wet nurses and nannies.  With the invention of the first infant formula in the 1860s, it gave women who couldn’t afford such services, or who had difficulty breastfeeding, an alternative as well.

With some scientists insisting that human females were actually evolving away from breastfeeding, it fell out of favor almost entirely by the turn of the 20th century, despite other scientists, such as bacteriologist Francis Denny, discovering that there were certain properties in mother’s milk that just couldn’t be duplicated in formula, properties that strengthened an infant’s immune system.  Breastmilk was all but prescribed as medication to babies who were ill or failing to thrive, while formula and processed baby food distributors kicked up their marketing towards mothers as acceptable substitutes.  La Leche League published what is still widely considered the Bible of breastfeeding, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, in 1958, but it wasn’t until well into the late 70s and 80s, along with the increased popularity of natural childbirth, that it became popular again, and that popularity continues to be on the rise to date.

However, as the article points out, let’s not dislocate our shoulders by patting ourselves on the back just yet.  Despite the proven benefits of mother’s milk over formula, the United States has a surprisingly low number of women who breastfeed when compared to women in other countries, and that number decreases significantly when their children pass the age of six months, even more at one year.  The reasons why are less surprising: most predominantly, the ridiculously short amount of time women are given for paid maternity leave from their jobs, if that time is paid at all.  It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century most American employers still offer a maximum of three months maternity leave, sometimes as little as six weeks.  Further, only one-third of employers offer suitable facilities to pump breastmilk (and no, a bathroom stall doesn’t count), and generally those employers are white collar companies with six figure staff.  In other words, the new mothers who work at Target are probably ducking into the employee restroom on their lunch breaks to pump milk, rather than a cushy private break room.

Not exactly optimal conditions in which to prepare food to be given to your child, even if that food is going directly into a bottle or freezable bag, and yet it’s either that, stay out of work until your child is ready to wean, or forego breastfeeding altogether for most working mothers.  The lack of options is complicated further by the guilt trip mothers who formula feed get from other mothers or well-meaning lactation specialists.  Everybody seems to know what mothers in situations that make it difficult to breastfeed should do, without regard to if they can.  It’s easy to see how much said situations are rooted in sexism and classism.  America seems to be hopelessly behind the times when it comes to breastfeeding; hell, we’re still arguing over whether or not it’s appropriate for a woman to do it in public.  There’s always someone who will complain about trying to enjoy their Big Beef Burrito at the local mall food court and being repulsed by the sight of a mother nursing her child, insisting that it should be done either in the privacy of their own homes, or at least with a blanket covering the baby so no one else can see.  A simple retort to this would be “Let’s see how you like eating lunch with a blanket over your head, you knob,” but the belief that there’s something vaguely offensive about breastfeeding is more widespread than you’d think.  Facebook, taking a cue from LiveJournal, recently banned users from posting breastfeeding photos, deeming them “offensive content.”  One wonders if this is just part of an overall ban of any photos that show a bared breast, regardless of the context, or if a bunch of users got together to complain about them.  It seems to me that a breast with a child suckling at it pretty much desexualizes it, so who is it offending? Are these the same people who complain when someone lets their toddler run around bare-assed in their yard because that phantom pedophile might be watching them in some nearby bushes? These people need to stop for a moment and wonder if maybe the problem is that they see something sexual in the innocence of such things as breastfeeding and naked babies, and that projecting that sexualizing onto others isn’t going to solve what only years of therapy can do.

But I digress, long and often.  It’s pretty much agreed upon that breast is best, and that the best way to encourage women to provide it is by scaring them with somewhat embellished facts about how formula feeding will render your child into a sickly, malnourished nincompoop, but at what point do we demand that society make accommodations? Shrugging it off with “she can just stay home” isn’t a solution.  How much can it really cost a mid-level employer to devote one office or conference room into a comfortable, private space where a woman can pump her milk for ten minutes or so? Why in the present United States, when one of the top annual television programs for the past few years has been a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, is breastfeeding treated as something that should be kept hidden so as not to offend someone? This isn’t like smoking, breastfeeding isn’t a privilege, it’s a necessity to feed one’s child.  We can’t insist that it’s the right thing for women to do without giving them the facilities and support necessary to do it.

The hair/bare bunch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 12, 2008 by Gena Radcliffe

Jessica at Jezebel writes about a rather silly article in the continuously less relevant Salon, on yet more victims of the failing economy: spas that provide Brazilian wax services.   It seems that women are less inclined to spend upwards of $60 to $100 every six weeks or so to keep their bits hair-free, possibly ushering in a return to the 70s porn bush days.  Jessica posits that we shouldn’t mourn the loss of profits to salon owners, because as best as she can tell not nearly as many women go through the torture of professional waxing as fashion magazines and Sex and the City would have us believe at the best of times.  Au contraire! say several commenters, who claim that not just they but most of their friends maintain vulvas that resemble freshly polished hardwood floors.  Not surprisingly, this quickly devolves into yet another debate over the anti and pro-feminism messages behind whatever it is we women decide to do with our pubic hair.

Before I go on, let me say that I’m going to try real hard to wax philosophical (pun shamelessly intended) on this subject without specifically mentioning my own grooming practices.  It never ceases to amaze me how, particularly on the internet, “debating” consists less of backing up your position with facts than with irrelevant personal anecdata.  A good example of this occurred a couple years ago when Pandagon linked to a notorious blog post written by a woman who furiously spoke out against performing oral sex on men, believing it to be degrading and anti-feminist.  If a nickel shot out of my computer every time someone at Pandagon prefaced their comments with “I just love giving blowjobs!” I would have earned enough to buy a venti chai latte at my local Starbucks.  The same goes for the eternal waxing/shaving/going natural debate: claiming that having no pubic hair leads to better orgasms has no basis in fact, it’s personal experience.  If you love giving blowjobs, swell, rock on with your bad self, but it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not oral sex could reasonably be perceived as degrading to women.  By that same measure, claiming sex feels better without pubic hair has no bearing on how pro-feminist the decision to shave or not shave is.  No doubt women who walk around looking like they’re carrying hedgehogs between their thighs believe sex is better for them too.

But see, that’s the thing: what we do with our body hair, particularly that which surrounds our genitals, is such an intimate decision that it’s impossible to not turn debates over it into personal issues.  It’s truly bizarre that shaving or waxing off our pubic hair has become political, along with wearing makeup, short skirts and high heels.  For a lot of feminists, these are seen as traitorous acts to the Cause, being that these “fascist beauty standards” are generally intended to attract and please men.  Women who choose to go bare vehemently defend their decision, claiming that there’s nothing more pro-feminist than being able to choose what you do with your own body.  Granted, but you immediately invalidate that argument by claiming that your partner likes it that way, or worse, that you insist that he shave as well.  There’s nothing pro-feminist about insisting that your partner shave his chest or genitals; if you want the freedom to groom or not groom without criticism the same should go for him.  Taking a defeatist “well, all men like it that way, so what are you gonna do?” stance on it doesn’t work either, because, going by both my own unscientific research and otherwise, the majority of men, surprise surprise, are content leaving the decision of pubic landscaping up to the owner of said pubes.  It’s unwise to go by Cosmopolitan, Maxim and TV to gauge the opinion of the average American male on such a subject, you’d get more accurate results by simply asking friends and partners.

And yet, berating women who shave as “giving into the patriarchy” is simply unfair and melodramatic.  In the end, it really does come down to choice, and as feminists we continue to show an enormous amount of hypocrisy in regards to decisions over really meaningless things.  Staunchly anti-shaving feminists insist that women go through the hassle, mess and occasional pain of ridding oneself of pubic hair solely for the aesthetic pleasure of men; further, those men are obsessed with their partners looking eternally youthful.  While I am inclined to agree that there is a certain unsavoriness to men who insist that their partners go bare, I don’t genuinely believe that men who simply have a preference for it secretly want to fuck 12 year-olds.  The difference is with insisting and preferring: if you give into a badgering partner who treats pubic hair as a dealbreaker, sorry, thanks for playing, but there’s nothing “pro-feminist” about your decision.  No, not even if you manage to convince yourself that you really wanted to do it the whole time.  However, if your partner merely states a preference, and you’re cool with that, then the decision does become your own, and no one really has the right to belittle you for it.  There’s no need to explain that it’s supposedly cleaner, or that sex feels better, or that you can wear a swimsuit with confidence, just like there’s no need to insist that women who go natural are somehow better feminists.  Really? Honestly? No one cares.  You watch out for your own bits, and I’ll take care of mine.

Sometimes I get lazy and let other people speak for me

Posted in politics with tags on September 10, 2008 by Gena Radcliffe

Jessica at Jezebel, which I usually read mostly to get my shameful celebrity gossip fix, posted a fantastic semi-rant on what it is about Sarah Palin that makes women so damn angry.

…for a certain kind of feminist, Palin is a symbol for everything we hoped was not true in the world anymore. We hoped that we didn’t have to hide our ambition or pretend that our goals were effortlessly achieved…we hoped that we could be mothers without having our motherhood be our defining characteristic, as it seems to be for Palin. We hoped that we did not have to be perfect beauty queens to get to where we wanted to be in life, that our looks, good or bad, wouldn’t matter. Whether or not you think it’s appropriate to comment on Palin’s appearance, the fact of her attractiveness exists, and is being used to her advantage by Republican sloganeers (“the hottest Governor in the coldest state,” et. al).

Man, I couldn’t have put that any better if you locked me in a room for a week with only a typewriter and a thesaurus.  And then one of her commenters goes and puts it even better than that.

You must be pretty, but not showy or god forbid “slutty” about it. You must be a mother, doting on a pod of children. You must pay lip service to feminism, while working to undermine every gain women have made. You must not be “strident” but rather “feisty”. You must constantly mention your children, your motherhood, babies and kids. You must be defended against even the mildest criticism by sexists claiming that you are the victim of sexism. You must have gotten into politics “for the children”. You must prove you can run with the boys by killing things and posing with carcasses. You must smile all the time. You must be religious, deeply and devoutly so. You do not need to be educated or well-informed. You don’t need to have experience or well-thought out opinions. You don’t need to be able to articulate yourself with “clouds of rhetoric”. You should speak simply, humbly because you are lucky to be here…girl.

When John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, initially I was surprised, then amused.  It seemed like such a transparent ploy to draw female voters who were either undecided about Obama or still disappointed over Hillary Clinton’s loss in the Democratic primaries.  It didn’t seem all that alarming to me, particularly when the news about her daughter’s teenage pregnancy came out.  I felt certain that the controversy, the inevitable flack they would catch from McCain’s conservative Christian supporters would send her the way of Thomas Eagleton, so that a new, more suitable candidate could be brought in as a replacement.  Then, in one of those moments where I become convinced that I really am taking crazy pills, I see that after her speech at the Republican National Convention, one in which she seemed more intent on bashing her opponents than discussing issues and her qualifications as a potential vice-president, suddenly Sarah Palin is a star.  Everybody loves her, she’s a brilliant pick for VP.  John Mc-who? It’s Palin Time, baby, she’s where it’s at.

And now, the more I read about her, and more importantly, the more I read about how people are reacting to her, I’ve come to realize, indeed, I am developing an intense dislike for Sarah Palin, not quite one that leaves my laptop screen covered in spittle, but it’s getting there.  While she may not be the Devil incarnate (that would be our current vice-president), she could potentially make a whole lot of people’s lives very difficult if she’s elected.  In short, the first woman elected as vice-president could be the worst possible thing to happen to American women in a very long time.

Continue reading

I believe Rodney King said it best

Posted in politics with tags on August 27, 2008 by Gena Radcliffe

I must admit to being a naughty little liberal by not watching coverage of the Democratic National Convention.  While I certainly don’t mind seeing my candidate and his supporters speechamafying, it’s the commentary that bores the shit out of me.  It’s like John Madden interrupting the Super Bowl to analyze a single play, you just want to shout at the television “We saw that part a dozen times already, can we just move on?” I don’t care to watch a bunch of political analysts listen to a thirty second snippet of speech and then try to translate it into easy to read words, as if the viewers don’t possess the mental faculties to try to figure it out for themselves. I definitely don’t care to watch right-wing pundits play the speeches backwards so that they can hear the Satanic messages in it, or the uproariously shitheaded Karl Rove claiming that Michelle Obama’s speech on Monday night didn’t prove enough that she loves America.  These are the kinds of things that make me think maybe the people who spend their days walking around on subways yelling about Jesus aren’t so crazy after all.  Maybe they watched too much Sean Hannity one day and just snapped.

I gotta say though, after reading the transcript of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech from last night, I’m rather impressed.  It’s everything a good political speech should be: engaging, eloquent, moving without being mawkish.  She demonstrated pride in American values without beating the constituents over the head with the notion of capital-p Patriotism.  It offered sincere (or at least, sincere sounding) endorsement and support of her one-time political rival Barack Obama.

Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.

This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win.

I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights at home and around the world . . . to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.

And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.

No way. No how. No McCain.

Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.

Tonight we need to remember what a Presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you — the American people, your lives, and your children’s futures.

That’s some good stuff right thar.  I’d love to have those first three lines put on a t-shirt or tote bag.  Later in the speech, Clinton seemed to speak directly to those who were so disappointed in her loss of the Democratic nomination that they are now swearing to not vote at all, or worse, vote for McCain.

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

Continue reading

Super hot girl-on-girl action

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 22, 2008 by Gena Radcliffe

Jezebel links to a fascinating article on the frequent amount of female on female bullying and harassment in the workplace.  Unlike male on female harassment, which is considered an abuse of power and occasionally involves physical contact, female on female harassment usually involves gossiping and snide remarks, and tends to be brushed off by superiors and Human Resources associates as merely a “personality clash” between victim and offender, something to either be worked out or ignored.  Also, it seems that people are still on this “women are so kind and gentle, they wouldn’t hurt each other” trip.

Lynda Cuddy, who was a target of girl-on-girl workplace bullying said, “You tend to expect women to have more empathy and compassion, but she didn’t have it. And when she seemed to, it wasn’t genuine.” And the evil female boss used this perception to her advantage: “the ‘compassion’ was likely nothing more than her fishing for personal information to identify Ms. Cuddy’s vulnerabilities,” the Financial Post notes.

I have to be honest with you, Occasional Reader, I don’t expect women to have more empathy and compassion any more than I expect men to be incapable of putting a toilet seat down.  It’s a stereotype that will never die, which is why articles like this shock people.  Women are mean to each other? Poppycock, we’re too busy having tea parties and doing each other’s hair.  There’s this amusing misconception that, while girls may be cruel to each other in middle school and high school, as soon as we turn eighteen we’re suddenly BFFs, always lending each other a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on in times of need.  I really hate to burst that little pink, sweet-smelling bubble, but we women take out our anger and insecurities on each other long into adulthood, on our friends, our co-workers and complete strangers.

Continue reading