Archive for June, 2010

Sweep the Leg, Johnny! We Shouldn’t Brush Off Sweeping Gender Stereotypes

Nice guys. They are often subject to ridicule, and we’re quick to peg them as chumps or losers – they ‘have no balls’. This backwards way of thinking puts unnecessary pressure on men to live up to the stereotypical standards that they must be macho, aggressive, and egotistical to be respected.

Instead of rewarding them for talking about their feelings or being chivalrous, many men find themselves being the nail that gets hammered. And when you’re down for the count on more occasions than you care to admit, you wonder if it’s even worth it to get back up.

Even a feminist like myself is strongly attracted to the bad boy – the guy who you should never introduce to your mom, the person who cusses like a sailor, and the man who encourages your bad drinking habits. There’s something wrong here.

Sure, the element of danger is hella sexy, but how evolutionarily adaptive is this? There’s no future with men who are essentially assholes. They won’t stick by you through thick and thin. They’re all about the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. Then peace out.

Why is it that nice men seem to finish last?

While you think about that, check out this funny short clip I came across on Funny or Die featuring The Karate Kid star, Ralph Macchio (all grown up, but still as sweet as ever). You’ll also see some other familiar faces including Molly Ringwald and Kevin Connolly.

Click on the link below to watch the clip called “Wax On, F*ck Off!”

The premise of the hilarious video is that poor Ralph Macchio is such a nice guy that his wife, friends, and even gardener are concerned and stage an intervention. They claim that he’s polite, kind, and gentle so there must be something wrong with him. He didn’t become an alcoholic or get tangled with prostitutes. He didn’t start taking drugs or have a sex scandal. Basically, he’s being questioned for being one of the good guys.

This is totally not meant to be taken seriously, but it’s interesting to see gender stereotypes brought to the forefront in such a comical fashion.

Kickin’ Ass & Takin’ Names

In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet says, “What’s in a name? / That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet”. But is it really true? I disagree. What you name something or someone definitely matters. Just ask Apple. No, not the fruit or the computer company. Apple’s the daughter of the boring, harmless-as-flies celeb couple Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. Yawn.

Grenade. Seriously? Yeah. We were friends at summer camp, and we made quite the hilarious pair. She was this macho, big-boned girl who was nice enough but who also didn’t tolerate any crap. Everyone just knew not to mess with her. And there I was, this small, bony, happy-go-lucky girl who was always making gimp bracelets and friendship bracelets. We actually had nothing in common except total respect for each other. But an angel, I was not. I’d often make cracks about how her mom probably picked Grenade’s name because of the crude way she was delivered.

Sticks & Stones May Break My Bones, But Names Will Never Hurt Me

Names also play an important role in the cosmetics industry. Lots of women (including myself) are suckers when it comes to buying products with punny names. Allow this nail-polish addict to provide examples: OPI: Eiffel for This Color and China Glaze: Kaleidoscope Him Out. Gotta give props to the creative teams who come up with the names.

Normally mascaras have standard, boring names like Blackest Black and some cheaper brands even just use numbers to differentiate between colours. Then you get companies who try to blow the lid off the compost bin. Yes, it’s all in fun (and I did get a laugh when I heard about most), but if you look deeper than the surface level, you’ve gotta wonder if these names are a bad influence or not.

When does being sassy begin to colour outside the lines and paint its way into anti-feminist territory? I’m definitely not a prude, but sometimes I ask myself if some shocking colour names are really necessary. Aren’t there other (and better) ways to get attention from consumers?

Sex sells:

We Don’t See Eye to Eye on Being Cheek to Cheek

I own China Glaze Tickle My Triangle. And I was thinking about buying Cheeky Monkey Brazen Hussy, but the more I think about, the more I feel like I shouldn’t be supporting a company that sexualizes women. It goes against my feminist ideals that I’m trying to uphold (even though I am, of course, still human and hypocritical at times).

Cheeky Monkey is a cosmetics brand that I didn’t know much about until last week, so I did some research. According to their website, the Cheeky Monkey philosophy is all about empowering women:

“Cheeky Monkey is not conventional.

Neither are the women who wear it.

We believe all women should feel free to express their personal edginess. You work hard, make responsible choices and embrace life to the fullest. Engage the cheeky side of things – you get the joke. You know that to be good, you have to be a little naughty. Cheeky Monkey cosmetics are environmentally safe and 3 Free healthy. They are edgy and fun, but above all, high quality. Just like the women who wear them.”

Sounds great, right? It makes women sound like the world is their oyster and that they have the freedom to change it. I don’t have any issue with that. My problem is that they’re saying one thing, but then doing another. We’re all hypocrites, and I’m certainly not one to stand on a pedestal to proclaim how morally superior I am, but c’mon…with a mission statement like that, how can they possibly justify nail-polish names like Cheap Whore and Back Alley Sally? Yes, they make us giggle, but what the hell is empowering about being a slut and being used for your body?

Cosmetic politics.

What do you think?

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