When the blood had spilled and screams for the 14 dead women faded into muffled tears, it was found that the gunman had left a note explaining his actions — he’d wanted to kill feminists for making his life so much harder, thanks to quotas and changes in hiring practices.
I don’t remember where I was when I’d heard about the killings, but I remember slowly growing aware of what happened and why. I remember the confusion I’d felt as as a 16-year-old and the anger and fear this massacre opened in me.
In 1989, things were pretty “advanced” for women already. We had the old soul sisters Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin belting out that “sisters are doin’ it for themselves,” and movies like Baby Boom were showing that women no longer felt they had to have a man in order to make a “family” work.
I knew I could do anything I wanted to — that being a female really didn’t mean much anymore. Or did it?
I can’t help it, I like Oprah. I even have the 20-hour 20th Anniversary DVD set, but I blame GayBoy for that, since he picked it up as an Xmas gift for me.
So, there I was, watching it, and who should she have on? Pink. The chanteuse who belts out that anti-mainstream track, Stupid Girls. Oprah invited her onto the show based on the brilliance of that track’s video, (you can play it here) which mocks the mainstream perception of what the complete woman is these days.
The gist of it is this, we live in a most ludicrously plastic time. This cult-of-celebrity shit goin’ round just pisses me the hell off. I could go and pepper this fucking rant with a hundred celebrities’ names and get myself some major hittage, but I won’t stoop that low.
God forbid I should piss off the power-bloggers (IE: Pink is the New Blog, Go Fug Yourself, Gawker, and more), but who gives a shit? How can people today care even remotely as much as they do about what Mr. Fucking Britney Spears is doing with his life? Does it matter?
The answer to that is an unequivocal NO.
I can’t understand the obsession. Can anyone explain this to me? Probably not. People are becoming so vacuous and vapid and shallow that it’s a wonder the world has any future, seriously. Cure for cancer? Not fucking likely! A better world? Fuck no! A better cellphone? You betcha!
But I’m getting off-track. What pisses me off most of all is what’s happening to the chicks of today’s generation.
I’m a fierce feminist, baby, in my own way. I don’t resent men a bit. I don’t want to see masculinity erode as the price of my attaining a stronger position in the world. I think I can have my cake and eat it, too. (And I do, it’s chocolate and caramel. Tasty.) I’m smart, I’m sexy in my cute little way, and I live my life with my integrity on my sleeve. I capitulate to no one, yet understand compromise is a way of life. I know how to get what I want, how to say what I mean, and how to behave in a non-threatening, yet intelligent manner.
Too bad the same can’t be said for the younger chicks coming up behind me. What the FUCK is going on? I blame Britney Spears, Madonna, and anyone else who’s put their fucking beauty before their brains in the last couple decades.
Like Pink said, “Sexy and smart aren’t oil and water.” You do NOT need to dumb yourself down to sex yourself up.
As long as men have a choice between a non-threatening chick who’s gonna laugh at their jokes and a smart chick who can bring some edumacatin’ to the table, there’s going to be a dichotomy of choice. The guy who chooses the latter’s always going to be the better choice for you, and don’t forget it.
Now, I don’t run around flexing my big IQ all the day long, but I can flex it when I need it, and I never, ever abandon it in favour of making a less-threatening impression.
I could have, back when I was the Queen of First Dates. I know I intimidated more than a few guys, but they got what they deserved. I said I wanted an intelligent guy who wasn’t threatened by my intelligence, yet THEY showed up on the fucking date. What, did I stutter? You wanted smart, so long as she isn’t smarter than you? Keep going, bub, this ain’t your stop.
We have a generation of Bubblegum Girls on our heels. The ones who think cleavage speaks louder than creativity, that breast size matters more than brains, that plastic surgery is the path to perfection.
Got news for you: There is no perfection.
The Guy’s not one of these losers who can’t handle smarts. But then, he’s pretty darned smart himself. Put us in a hat store and they’re gonna have some trouble sizin’ us up, I bets. He referred to me as “flawed” when listing all the things he liked about me. I furrowed my brow and quizzed him, “Flawed?” I think he was worried I was taking it the wrong way, but I was somewhat amused, since I’ve no illusion on my shortcomings. Still, he explained his thinking and introduced me to something that has previously eluded me: The concept of Wabi Sabi.
No, no, not the green stuff you mix with soy sauce for sushi, that’s wasabi. This is the Japanese principle of imperfection being the definition of beauty. That is, it’s in our uniqueness, our flaws, our subtle imperfections that our true beauty lies. The guy cited Sophia Loren as an example – weird eyes, large nose, strange jaw, dominant cheeks, but you throw it into a bowl and give it a good mix, and you have one of the most stunning beauties of this past century.
But tell that to our vapid Western society. Tell that to they who wield the airbrushes of the world. Tell that to Gawker, to Vogue, to the music video industry. Tell them that the scar on my right nostril gives me character or uniqueness. To them, it’s a reason to go under the knife and be “healed.” Tell them my intellect makes as large an impression as my big green eyes or my smiling lips or my verging-on-ghetto bootay. Today, it just don’t work that way.
While other girls wanted to be Madonna, I wanted to be Janeane Garofalo. I nearly died laughing last week when the Guy and I were talking about the “Allowed To Fuck” monogamy exlusion — that one person we can fuck outside the relationship, if the opportunity arises. His choice? Janeane Garofalo. My response? “Shit, I’ll join you.” (I haven’t decided who I’d choose yet. Hmm. So many choices, so little time. My answers were not finite, Guy!)
Garofalo’s cute, smart, sexy, funny as hell, and she doesn’t take shit from no one. Did I mention the killer smarts? And, like me, she wears glasses instead of contacts. She’s flown in the face of a Hollywood that demanded she conform, yet she’s held her own. Sure, she’s thin now, but she wasn’t always, and she did it for herself, not for the industry.
It’s bad enough that the media’s perpetuating these stereotypes – and even escalating them, but to have today’s young women participating in these negative trends usurping them of their righteous feminine powers is a fucking travesty.
Respect yourself. Be who you really are. Use your brains. Speak in your own voice. Don’t dumb shit down for a guy who doesn’t deserve what you have to offer.
And men, if you’re tired of the vapid beauties, fucking well SAY something about it. You may enjoy looking at the images, but are you enjoying the lack of brains that come with?
Can we, for once, return to the long-ago fantasties of sexy librarians and teachers with yardsticks? Chicks with brains who knew what they were doing when they dropped their drawers? Is it really such a terrible thing, self-knowledge and the ability to express one’s self? Must I and my peers continue feeling like some sort of carbon-dated example of what women once were?
‘Cause, shit, honey, I’ll tell you one thing: I go under the knife for no one. I am what I am, it is what it is, and you’d better get accustomed.