Friday, January 05, 2007

Let us now blame the patriarchy

I do like to read I Blame the Patriarchy from time to time (and I ought to update my blogroll one of these days). I never took a women's studies class in college, I've never read any of the core feminist books, and I'm solidly in the liberal feminist camp rather than a radical feminist.

I don't always agree with Twisty and her cadre of rad-fem commenters. For example, I'm married and have a kid, and think it's a net good. I do put on lipstick almost once a month...or several times a year, at least. I don't wear high heels, but it's possible I would for dressy occasions if my feet didn't object more strenuously than most.

But I've found it useful to absorb the basic rad-fem tenets by browsing at I Blame the Patriarchy, and it's opened my eyes to some of the crap that is endemic in our culture (and many, many others).

Case in point: Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as the new Speaker of the House yesterday, the first woman to hold that post. How does Jay Leno address that in his monologue? He asks, "How much plastic surgery has she had?" Yeah, she looks a lot younger than most 66-year-olds. But her appearance is completely beside the point here. I mean, look at her predecessor, former Speaker Dennis Hastert. You wanna riff on somebody's appearance, why don't you seek out some punchlines in Hastert's blotchy bloat and ill-fitting suits? Oh, because he's a man, and ugly, out-of-shape men tend to get a free pass, even in TV-land. (Compare, if you will, the women and the men who do sports reporting and commentary on ESPN. Any women who aren't conventionally attractive and made-up? No? How about the men—are they all lookers?)

You know what I blame for this, of course: I gotta blame the patriarchy.

9 comments:

E. said...

I love I Blame the Patriarchy, and I love Twisty. She's sharp as a pistol, eloquent, and damned funny. And I agree with a lot of her analysis, even if she does regularly dismiss marriage and motherhood as tools of the patriarchy. She's definitely a bit of a provocateur, and she values wit above all, so I take all that with a grain of salt. And anyway, I think it's healthy for us straight folks with kids to have to feel the sting of an attack on our "lifestyle" every so often. We get automatic props for being straight and reproducing so very, very often, and maybe having the tables turned gives us a deeper sense of why lifestyle and "family values" politics suck.

ChaCha said...

How awesome for Nancy!! How unfair of Jay Leno, like he is some Greek God to talk about how others look!

JoannaO said...

Jay Leno hasn't been funny for over 20 years.

Narya said...

I don't think she dismisses marriage/kids so much as she points out how those partnership/reproduction arrangements are tools of the patriarchy--which frees us up to think about other ways of doing some of that, and perhaps enables us to consider how much of how we do those things is a (perhaps inescapable) part of the patriarchy. And I really like how her analyses enable one to think. (Many of the commenters, on the other hand, fly off the handle in any of a number of annoying directions.)

ding said...

i, too, love Twisty and often am envious of her posts ('dang, she got to that one first!') and while i don't consider myself a rad-fem, i have to say that 99.9% of the time, i give her a loud 'Amen.' her posts on pop culture are sharp sharp sharp.

Anonymous said...
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Mona Buonanotte said...

Yeah, baby!

Rayne of Terror said...

Hey, went to Anna Maria Pasteria last night on your recomendation and licked everything in sight. It was an awesome meal, especially after we had to walk from Clarendon to CLark in the blistering wind. Seat us in the warm section and bring wine immediately we said upon arriving, and they did.

Rayne of Terror

JT said...

As irritating as the Jay Leno bullshit is, I have to say if all they've got to go on with Nancy Pelosi is a facelift, then the Dem-bashers are gonna have a rough ride.

Tee hee hee.