Disneyfication of Real Life Female Role Models

There is this wonderful space online called Womantra.  I have had the honour and privilege of being a part of it for some time now.  We post all manner of things and have all sorts of wonderful discussions and one member posts this link:

http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/flatten-heroine-artist-puts-disney-princess-filter-10-real-life-female-role-models/

…and asks “this princess concept is so alien to me but I get what the artist is trying to do…what do you think of this ‘princessifying’ of real life women heroes?”

This is my response:

I LOVED that they are ‘princessifying’ real life role models!!! Did you know that for years I hated being female, because we did not get the attention we deserved in the areas that we deserved it? When I say for YEARS, I mean, long before puberty hit.

I am a voracious reader. I will read anything and everything.  And I did.  Boys got to go on all sorts of adventures and the girls waited at home and listened wistfully at their stories.  The girls stayed home and cooked, and cleaned, and listened.  But no one listened to the women, who were evil stepmothers, and whiny and conniving.  But God forbid a woman go out on a journey! There would be so much hullabaloo because who would cook, and sew and clean?

It was when I got into biographies at around the age of 12 that I read of my first real life female role model or RLFML – Madame Marie Curie.  That changed my life.  But there were no toys that made her accessible to me.  She was in a book, but I couldn’t bring her to the playing field.  He-man, GI Joe were heroes that did THINGS, but Cinderella and Snow White were dependent on men to come rescue them.  Mme. Curie? When her husband Pierre died, she went on a few years later to win ANOTHER Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of Polonium.  No hand wringing waiting for her prince to come!

I felt so glad when I came across the biographies of these women.  They were the truest adventures and they were real! They existed!  I knew nothing of forced gender roles and how it destroys societies by forcing half of the population into dreary servitude with absolutely no regard for the individual’s dreams and desires.

I never played with dolls much, and I never felt comfortable being female.  Much less a girl or a woman.  Now how is Disneyfying these women important?  For one, the accessories would change.  No longer would I pine for Malibu Stacy and her car with a bikini – now I can pine for Madame Curie and her safety glasses with lab coat and maybe a rack of test tubes.  Maybe I can get some Amelia Earhart goggles and a remote control plane.  Maybe I can be Danica Patrick for Halloween (if I were an American child).  I am no longer relegated to slutty <insert generic profession here>.  I would no longer have to begin my life by busting out of a cage of tradition reinforced by gender stereotypes.  Those are years that I could spend living out my adventures.  And I want that for every child all across the world.

Grammatically Correct

I am not a grammar Nazi.

Having said that, I do believe that the Internet is pushing its luck with me.  May it is unfair to blame the Internet, when the newspapers do it rather regularly and blatantly enough that I can spot it without the help of the squiggly, green line.

Commas often get a bad rap from the ‘Mericans.  But they help.  They separate words within sentences to give your brain a chance to pause.  That comes in handy to a user.  If you do not understand what I am saying, try reading a long sentence without any commas.  If you do not read enough to have encountered this, please get off this page.  Go back to watching funny pictures on Facebook where you are verbally abused for correcting bad language.

We learn language by absorbing it from what we hear and read.  Sometimes, I get messages that have me scratching my head.  The language has become so distorted that comprehension is lost.

Referring to someone who bemoans the lost art of Correct Grammar as a Grammar Nazi has created people that defy the good works of Correct Grammar because of the negative connotations.  I say call them…The Grammar Police.  Like the Fashion Police, but for language.

Hillary

I could quote you multiple paragraphs on why I love Hillary Clinton and why she means so much as a role model to me.

There is an old joke about why both men and women love her: to women, she is a smart, powerful woman.  To men: her husband cheated on her and she let him get away with it.  But really, the goal of a woman in the 21st century is not to sit idly by as society marches on, it is to get up and create change in society.  To be a discreet lady has its merits, you would make a damned good spy, but a woman such as Hillary has the tendency to polarize.  Public opinion is either love her or hate her.  There usually is no middle ground.  (Do I admire her because I see myself in her? Maybe)

Recently, she came under fire for not wearing makeup in public.  Tim Gunn, Mr. Make-It-Work, himself has criticised her for her lack of fashion knowledge.  I love Tim, and fashion is his whole world. Poor Tim, the world needs more than just a beautiful woman to run it.  This world needs women with balls to do unprecedented things like make greater efforts to recruit more black students and staff at Wellesley back in the 60’s.  Her postgraduate work on children’s rights is still quoted when discussing children’s competence.  For the record, balls ain’t pretty.
Her beauty for me lies beyond the magic of makeup and Photoshop.  She is the ideal woman, the Galatea if you will.  Even the Bible supports my case for her as the modern-day virtuous woman:

            • Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies (Her salary will attest to that)
            • She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.(Her pro bono work with child advocacy while still bringing in an income)
            • She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
            • Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (um, Bill?)
            • She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (She isn’t a Kardashian, so maybe not this one)

This is a woman who has endured harsh criticism all her public life.  From not understanding culturally significant music (to southerners), to seeming to bash homemakers, she has led the gamut of criticism.  Now to bash her for her bravery to show her real face in public?  Really?  Has humanity really sunk that low?

I do not care.  I am not some blind sheep that will look past her mistakes and indiscretions.  I have chosen to pursue my education, think independently, stand up for what I believe in, protect those who I can, and hold on to my identity as a person.  That is what being a role model is about.  And hopefully, some woman in the future will write a clumsy, heartfelt blog on the way I changed her life.

Body Image and Media

On Facebook, a fellow group member shared something that has forced me to look inward: “I find lately everywhere I turn, messages are telling me I am not a real woman…#doomed..”…this is for her.

My response was that the media has its own agenda and that as a woman, actually, as an individual we should figure out our own agendas and not deviate from it.  What is the media’s agenda?  I don’t know.  After all, men are required to be violent, sexist, racist, and homophobic.  Women are expected to give on-demand blow jobs, make a sandwich and shut up – not necessarily in that order.

The fashion industry coupled with the entertainment industry seems to be geared towards creating a negative body image among the 99%.  Not just that, I have noticed a disturbing trend among non-stereotypically beautiful who now sow hate in their hearts for those that are stereotypically beautiful.  If you cannot accept another person for being beautiful, then how do you expect to love yourself when time wreaks its havoc over all that you held to be true and beautiful?  Coco Rocha is tall, slim, and white – she is beautiful.  Jill Scott is curvy, talented and black – she is beautiful.  Michelle Yeoh is tall, slim, and Chinese – she is also beautiful.  Alicia Keys is curvy, talented and mixed – she is also beautiful.  Sophia Loren is Italian, curvy, 60 and still sexier than most 20-year-olds.

What is your agenda?  Who are you now vs. where you want to be?  Figure out your agenda and work towards it.  One morning, I woke up and decided to be beautiful.  I understood my own beauty was not mirrored in the fashion magazines or on television.  I was told I was too smart to be beautiful.  I decided to cover my mirror and turn my mental headphones to LOUD!  I was now marching to the music of my own inner peace.  I smiled a gap-toothed, coffee-stained smile and declared myself beautiful.

–ND

Friendzone: The Analysis

Quite frankly, nothing reduces fellas to a bunch of whiny, snivelly pansies like being friendzoned.  It is the most unholy of hells for a masculinity.  The concept of a man spreading his precious penis near and far is threatened by being a friend with a woman.

To be quite honest, how many men do you think a woman friendzones a day?  In some cases, quite a few.  Do you have any idea how that would pile up at the end of the week?  How would you feel to know that the woman that you thought was yours is now with someone else because they were offended by being friendzoned?

A woman is not a machine that you deosit kindness until sex falls out

Let me explain the friendzone.  If a woman wants to be a friend, then she just wants to be a friend.  If you want to treat her as your girlfriend and buy things for her, and do things for her, then just remember, YOU wanted to do those things.  How many times have I seen women treat and call a man their husband?  Most times this man in question is just the man.  He is the BOYFRIEND, he has not proposed to you or married you.  And then you get accused (rightfully so) of crowding.

So why is it not true for men?  Not just that, how many men whine that the women they want is often found in the company of a jerk?  (Those exact words out of a Trinidadian man’s mouth).  The same way that I am often advised to not show up a man’s failings so that I can actually keep a man and because it makes his penis shorter, I also advise a man not to show a woman that she is wrong AT THE PRECISE MOMENT THAT SHE IS WRONG!  It makes a vagina dry, it does.  Not just that: women are attracted to strength, not weak losers who cannot muster up the strength and courage to have their own confidence.

Now there is a difference between confidence and douchebag.  One has the image, the other has the substance.  If you have neither, then you get friendzoned.  Have I been clear enough?

How to Attract Women

To be a little honest, I am using the above title as a gimmick.  This is just what happened to me.  So basically, this is how to gain my attention.

Usually when I am walking past all these men they just look me in the eye and wait till I pass before they speak to my back.  Now to be fair, I do have an amazing back view.  But you are not going to gain any favourable attention when speaking to my back. My ears just aren’t built that way.  Seriously.

So yesterday, this young man walks up to me.  He starts by saying this:

“Good morning ma’am.  I would just like to compliment you on the way you always look.  This dress is particularly beautiful on you.”

SWOON right? Now he wasn’t ugly.  And he also wasn’t eye-catchingly handsome.  You want to know who was handsome? The rather buff construction worker who would make eye contact with my shoulder blades.  So anyhow, he continues:

“Here is my card.  Feel free to call me if you would like to spend some time getting to know me.”

Really? I mean, Steve Harvey came out with this book, see.  And then a movie, right? And apparently, these moves were all in there.  EXCEPT! His name and number was written on the back of someone else’s card. A rather ingenuous move on his part, if a lil cheap. (I appreciate cheap in my current situation.  See previous blog entry for further details.

I AM SERIOUS HERE!  The man made me feel like the absolute lady, that I absolutely am,  by calling me ‘ma’am’ and not ‘princess’ or ’empress’ or ‘reds’ or ‘family’.  I think that last one really gets me upset…family? Are we Alabama now? Is incest the new sexy and I didn’t get the memo? I hope not.  Because ‘Family’ gets you perve-zoned in a red-hot minute.  And that will not be pretty.  Think about the children.

So question: was I really treated like a lady? Or was I just a victim of a movie plot?  I really hope not.  I really hope that I met a young, confident man who treated me like a lady.

So, Brotip checklist from a woman:

  • Approach a woman with respect
  • Be willing to take ‘no’ for an answer, but leave her with the option to change her mind
  • Go with confidence, not cockiness
  • She does not owe you anything if you paid her a compliment
  • If she returns the compliment, act graciously.

Now if only, I had told him how well his jeans fit…

The Independence Conundrum

Moving out is a big step isn’t it!

So great to finally get the time and space to do what you want! Partying til 7:00 am and then grabbing a shower to head out to work for 9:00am! And the best part? No one to wonder why you are not home yet – isn’t single life the GREATEST!

And it really sucks when there is laundry to be done, and cleaning to be done…and housework.

If I had wanted to do housework, I would have gotten MARRIED! Sweet beehive of love, no! I moved out to go out.  Now I am too poor to hang out.  CASE IN POINT: I spent no money on clothes bought a headband, did not lime went cinema ONCE this month, did not eat out…as much.  And I cannot wait for pay-day.  I am literally too scared to go to the grocery.

So where is the line, people? Where is the line? I need more money for sure.  Unfortunately/Fortunately, I love where I work.  So I would be hard-pressed to leave for the sake of just a thousand dollars more…MOMMY!!! I appreciate you!!!! MAMMAY! Anyhow, back to being a grown up – I have learned to cook (a bit).  Therefore, all the liming now takes place at my house.  Where I cook.  If I am lucky, I can get help with the dishes.

Anyhow, the path that you have planned for yourself is never as smooth as you wish it to be.  After all, was it not that esteemed philosopher, Stephen King, that said that dreamers fade faster than dreams? Well, I think that if I keep getting paid to work in a great industry, with a great boss, and keep trying to be cheap economical.  After all, I have recently discovered that Rachel Ray gives awesome cooking advice, and I made my very own pizza crust from scratch, yo! just this week.

Just remember to add oregano.  Life is a little better with oregano.