16 thoughts on “Midday Coffee Break

  1. What do you guys think

    about this story on Jezebel?

    A teenager telling his female classmates that they are beautiful, no matter how they dress or look or act, that they should be confident in being who they are……..

    On the one hand, I can see Jezebel’s point that a girl’s sense of self-worth should not come from what a boy tells them.

    but, OTOH, have you met a teenage girl lately?  How does it hurt to have a boy say “hey, really, nice guys are out here!”

    There are a lot of hateful, marginalizing, and demeaning images and words about girls/women.  A teen boy is as much a target of this as a teen girl is, and as powerless to change the “culture.”  So, how is it wrong for him to try to change his own little part of the culture?

    My DD had a very strong reaction to Jezebel’s story, along the lines of “this gives men no ‘right’ way to go….can’t win”  and “of course  it helps to hear a boy say this”     Her conclusion was “this is why I am not a feminist” which breaks my heart because I think she is actually the ultimate feminist – smart, strong, active, assertive, confident – isn’t that what feminism has been telling us to be and to raise our daughters to be?

    • Oh, for the love of pancakes

      He’s a high school boy, not a women’s study major.  His heart is in the right place–his intention is obviously not to keep obsessive pandering to the male gaze alive.  He’s trying to be kind, and I bet it has meant something to the girls he’s encountered.  

      I think most feminists have the maturity and perspective to appreciate the context here.  Jezebel can be great, but it IS a Gawker site.  I hope your DD will reconsider her impression that this is an accurate reflection of feminists.

    • Good grief.

      I am apparently the antithesis of a Jezebel feminist. Their argument including virtually all the comments seem to come from complete outer space. Saying that it’s ok to not live up to a particular form of media-designated female beauty = slut shaming? Uh, what?

      But this would not be the first time I didn’t agree with them. I like their articles but the comments and commentary (especially about kids / parenting) are often WAY off.

      • Jezebel

        and the majority of its commenters tend to think that conventionally attractive and/or thin women are the biggest victims of lookism.  They don’t say it like that, but it is very clear.  This despite all evidence to the contrary.  I agree that no woman really wins when there is so much emphasis on the external, but there really are countless studies showing that attractive women make more money, are perceived as more intelligent, etc.  

        I do see the slut-shaming point, though, just because he specifically mentioned revealing clothing.  I think his point would have been a lot stronger if he hadn’t, but I chalk it up more to clumsy wording than anything.  Could have done without the title of “what guys really want,” too.  But it didn’t kill what he was trying to say.  

        And yeah, Jezebel is also crap about kids and parenting issues.  I blame the number of commenters in their late teens and early 20s who’s arguments tend to consist of an intellectualized version of “Ya huh!  My mom said!”

    • I think he sounds like an ass

      and as a teen age girl I would have mercilessly mocked him. And you can tell your daughter why, a MASS valentine that makes no differentiation amongst all the girls that go to his school, plus all the girls in the world, basically is treating us like we are all an undifferentiated set of cliches. If I dress in a way that this kid decides is “revealing” (and I bet in HS I did) then I must be doing it for male attention and my natural, neutral self is really a button-upped mousy girl with a dirndel skirt. Right? If I wear “revealing” clothes then necessarily I lack self esteem in this kid’s world view. That shows disrespect to me by assuming motives I do not have. I was by far the most well read and academically gifted girl in my class, and I had so much ego I formed my own professional acting troupe and performed all over my home county. (Not to brag, but, seriously…)

      It takes some cojones to say that all girls are pining for him to explain how the world works (in his mind) to every girl you attend school with and furthermore I think it is borderline harassment. (Similar to when the HS Christian club put graphic abortion pictures in every single locker.) Does he have a relationship of some kind with EVERY girl in the school? Again, no. So here is this guy who literally does not know me at all forcing his views on womanhood on me.

      Had he wanted to be truly a “nice guy”, he would value the opinions of the women in his life, he would listen to what they had to say and he would always be respectful in his dealings with the opposite sex.

      THIS may be an incoherent rant, but GAH, the man who sexually assaulted me was such a “nice guy” that several of my friends didn’t believe me. I escaped sexual assault at the hands of another “nice guy” friend by lying that I was already sleeping with another friend of ours and he “couldn’t do that to another guy”. God save me from “nice guys”.

      • I hear you, Suzanne!

        I felt the same way. Especially this:  

        furthermore I think it is borderline harassment.

        and who the fu*k does he think he is, anyway? Ugh. Male privilege.

        • It is male privilege.

          And I don’t blame the kid entirely, our whole society is structured around this Prince Charming narrative and I am sure he thought this would come through as super sweet and the head cheer leader would finally see how those apes on the Football field weren’t as… sensitive… as he is, and CUE MUSIC, fade into the sunset on the happy couple kissing passionately.

          But in reality he’s just being a big jerk.

    • I read it

      I think I’ve seen his letter or ones like it before.  It’s something going around among conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians.  So that makes me a little suspicious right there.

      I don’t know, I’ve met “nice guys” who complain that only the a**holes get the girls but then they end up being not as nice as they claim.  That said, it must be tricky to be a boy.  It must be hard to navigate these waters gracefully.

  2. Last night

    we told Simone that she needed to go to bed in part so DH and I could spend some time together.  She said “EWWWWWWW!”. LOL.  I told her that I was simply referring to hanging out, thankyouverymuch.  

  3. Impostor complex

    Got an e-mail from my publisher tonight.  They like the revisions but want to send it back through the peer review process since it’s changed significantly from the first draft.

    Now I’ve played one sentence into a full-on “I’m totally not suited for my job and need to stop pretending I know something about this topic.”

    Stupid impostor complex.  I blame the Republicans.

    • Ugh

      More peer review? Gah.

      You’re not an impostor or you wouldn’t be keynoting conferences! Hopefully the review will be quick and easy.

      • The frustrating part

        is that the only reason it’s going back to review is because they made me rewrite the damn thing.  The initial reviews were very positive but the marketing department asked for all kinds of changes to make it more “google-able.”

        But still- I have so many irons in the fire and Im not getting anywhere with any of them. If I could just get one. damn. thing. done.  I’d feel better.

    • I wish you could talk to my BFF

      She submitted the manuscript to her first book a few weeks ago. It’s now going to a reader, who my BFF suspects is the first reader who said something along the lines of her whole thesis is incorrect & not used in the field. I think she has drank more in the last two weeks than she has in years.

      Oh…and she’s a PhD in her field, gotten grants to study all over the world, & presented in her field’s major conferences. And she’s sure someone’s going to knock on the door & arrest her for impersonating an intelligent person.

      Courage, woman!

  4. Watching the weather

    and hoping our midwestern and southern MTers are okay.  Check in and let us know you made it through the bad weather ladies?

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