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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “May 5, 2011”

>What Is It About Justin Bieber?

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I’m way too old to have any knowledge about Justin Bieber other than that he is some kid from Canada (right?) who is famous because he sings, or acts, or dances. I’ve noticed, however, that many men have some sort of a serious issue with this guy. There is this man who makes YouTube videos of himself shooting at a huge poster of Justin Bieber. He gets millions of views for those videos.
My sister went to a bachelorette party last weekend. The prospective bride walked around with a huge cardboard cut-out of Justin Bieber for fun. My sister tells me that several men stopped to hit or slap the cardboard version of Justin Bieber. 
Then, today my students were writing their final exam in the Spanish Intermediate course. Part of the exam consisted in listening to a text about Pedro and his friend Elena and their activities and answering questions about them. Obviously, there was nothing even remotely connected to Justin Bieber in the exam. However, I have already graded two exams by male students who used this opportunity to express their intense dislike of Justin Bieber.
What is it about this kid that bugs men so much? Is it that he is so popular with young women in spite of his non-traditional masculinity? Any other explanations?
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>Good News for Fat Chicks!

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Don’t you just love it when people condescend to us, poor, miserable women who have the misfortune of not being stick-thin? The most well-meaning of them will go to huge lengths trying to persuade us that there might be somebody out there who will be noble enough to put up with our fatness and find us attractive.

Hugo Scvhwyzer, an otherwise progressive blogger, loves consoling the fat chicks (who never really asked him to do it) that not all is lost to them romantically. If a larger-sized woman tries to tell him that neither his pity nor his reassurance are needed since her size never had any adverse effect on her personal life, he gets testy and starts persuading her that she is wrong and men ridicule those losers who agreed to date her fat ass. A couple of days ago, Hugo returned to this favorite topic of his:

Men who are sexually attracted to heavy women are more numerous than we’re led to believe, Camile Dodero writes, and that has important implications both for our understanding of male sexuality and for our ongoing conversation about weight and desire.

Actually, the only source that ever tried to suggest to me that my size 14 is anything other than extremely desirable is Hugo’s blog. Hugo needs to believe that

Many heavy women do have painful stories of men who were quite happy to fuck them in private but refuse to date them in public.

In order to convince himself and everybody else around that a woman’s weight actually influences her personal life (and what a silly idea that is!), this progressive blogger keeps coming up with weird stories from his own dating life to prove that, since he used to try to gain acceptance from other men through his dating choices, the rest of men on this planet share this unhealthy way of dealing with their own sexuality.

There is good news, though. If we, the God-forsaken and lonely fat women, manage to demonstrate that we are “charming, funny, great in bed, and whip-smart” we can hope to have the great fortune of getting someone like Hugo to condescend to date us for a short while. Yippee!

>Now Who’s Sensitive?

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We keep hearing that it’s difficult for women to get hired for responsible positions or get people to vote for them because everybody is afraid that poor little ladies might get too emotional on the job. And then we read something like this and realize that being a churlish, overly sensitive, tantrum-prone individual has nothing to do with gender:

George W. Bush won’t be at Ground Zero with President Obama Thursday in part because he feels his team is getting short shrift in the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. “[Bush] viewed this as an Obama victory lap,” a highly-placed source told the Daily News Wednesday.Obama gave no credit whatsoever to the intelligence infrastructure the Bush administration set up that is being hailed from the left and right as setting in motion the operation that got Bin Laden. It rubbed Bush the wrong way.”

Mwaaa, mwaaa, Mommy, he took my toy! Mwaaaaa!

>A Gambling Story

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As I was putting on this beautiful cat’s-eye necklace today, I remembered that I bought it with the fruits of my single gambling experience and decided to share my gambling story with my readers.
On one of my trips to the Dominican Republic, a resort where we stayed offered all guests a promotional visit to a casino and a five-dollar coupon for the casino tokens. Since it was free and I’d never been to a casino in my entire life, I decided to use this opportunity to check it out. When I entered the casino and saw all the flashy, loud machines, I realized that I had no idea how one went about gambling. I chose one of the slot machines, put in a token and pressed a handle. Suddenly, the machine started flashing and making weird noises. Hundreds of token started falling out of it. Immediately, casino workers and patrons gathered around me and started clapping. I realized that I’d somehow broken the machine and felt completely mortified.
“I’m so sorry, I really am,” I said to the casino workers. “I have no idea why it broke down. I didn’t do anything to it, I think.”
“No, this is good,” a casino employee replied, looking at me with the kind of pity only reserved for especially dumb tourists. “You won, you just hit the jackpot on this machine. You can now exchange these tokens for money.”
In order to make myself as scarce as possible, I moved to a corner where a penny-stake slot machine was hidden and started playing. In a little while, I was approached by an extremely drunk Spanish man.
“Say a number,” he said while trying not to fall down.
“Eleven,” I responded.
The guy left but soon came back again.
“Say a number,” he said.
“Nineteen,” I answered.
In a few minutes, he returned even drunker than before and reiterated his request for a number.
“Why are you asking me to say a number?” I inquired.
“I’m betting on the roulette over there,” the guy explained as he was swaying wildly. “I already lost 1,500 euros on your numbers but I still have a lot of money.” He got out a thick wad of euros and waved it around. “Say a number.”
“I don’t want to say a number and get you to lose even more money,” I replied. “Where are your friends? Maybe we should go find them, huh?”
“I’m here with my girlfriend. She’s asleep so I snuck out. She’ll kill me when she finds out how much money I lost. Say a number.”
“Three,” I said in desperation and left the casino.
On the next morning, I was lying on the beach reading a book when the Spanish guy approached me.
“Hey,” he said. “That was fun last night. I lost 3,200 euros. Let’s do it again tonight. I’m planning to start betting big and I need you to give me the numbers.”
“Why?” I asked. “Why do you want my numbers if you keep losing on them?”
Three thousand euros always seemed like a huge sum to me and I felt very guilty to have helped the guy to lose it so easily.
“Oh, I don’t care about winning or losing,” the guy responded. “I just enjoy the process.”
I haven’t been back to a casino since then but I bought this beautiful necklace with the money I won.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

>20 Ways to Become Known as a Male Chauvinist (Plus Bonus Points)

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I’ve read this great post titled “25 ways to tokenize or alienate a non-white person around you” and was inspired to make a similar list for male chauvinists. (To read the entire post, press the Read More button.)
1. If a female colleague mentions that she likes to cook, praise her for that exuberantly and tell her how nice it is to see that some women still know how to do that. For extra points, ask her to cook something for you since your girlfriend wouldn’t be able to boil an egg if she tried.
2. Inform every woman you meet that women only like men who treat them horribly while nice guys like you cannot get laid no matter how hard they try. For extra points, ask her to prove you wrong by having sex with you.
3. Ask every woman you meet if she has a baby, and if she says she doesn’t, ask her when she is planning to have one. Then inform her that her biological clock is ticking and she might miss her chance. For extra points, make tick-tock sounds whenever you meet her.

4. When you meet a woman in a professional setting, immediately ask her if she is married or if she has a boyfriend. If she answers in the negative, show surprise and ask her why not. For extra points, tell her you will set her up with one of your friends.
5. Whenever you see a female co-worker eat, ask her whether she is on a diet and if she says she isn’t, tell her you heard that WeightWatchers produced really amazing results. For extra points, start leaving WeightWatchers flyers on her desk.
6. If you know a woman who has children, ask her who stays with her babies while she spends her entire day at work. For extra points, offer to bring her statistics about high depression rates among children of working mothers.
7. Ask your female co-worker whether she thinks she would have been hired for this job if she was male. For extra points, give her a little speech about reverse discrimination.

8. If you hear that somebody has been sexually assaulted, immediately inquire what the victim was wearing and whether she had been drinking prior to being assaulted. For extra points, tell everybody about this article you read that suggested that women who dressed provocatively and went out alone attracted rapists.

9. If a woman says she is a feminist, tell her that she doesn’t look like a lesbian. For extra points, ask her what made her hate men so much.

10. Refer to your female colleagues as “girls.” For extra points, address them as “sweetie” or “honey.”

11. If  your female co-worker disagrees with you about anything, ask her if it’s her time of the month. For extra points, inform everybody around that she is sensitive today and shouldn’t be approached.

12. Tell women that you are afraid to express yourself honestly because they might get emotional. For extra points, always bring a pack of Kleenex into meetings and distribute them to your female colleagues.

13. If a woman begins to say something, interrupt her and finish her thought. For extra points, tell her that you are just trying to help.

14. Inform everybody that as a result of evolution, women are monogamous because they need to snag and retain a provider and men are polygamous because they need to spread the seed. For extra points, distribute articles and blog posts on the subject to everybody you know.

15. Keep telling everybody you meet that you are a real gentleman, which is why you always open doors for women and offer them the best seat. For extra points, make a big show of rushing to open a door for a woman.

16. Tell everybody that women are the better half of humanity, which is why they need to be sheltered and protected from life’s troubles by men. For extra points, give examples from your personal life demonstrating your credentials as a savior of damsels in distress.

17. If a female co-worker tells you she is pregnant, roll your eyes and tell everybody that you know this would happen. For extra points, walk around looking all dejected and share with everybody how worried you are about the pregnant colleague’s incapacity to perform her duties correctly.

18. If a woman you know is planning to give birth, ask her about the method of delivery she chose. Criticize her choice and explain to her how she is wrong and how her method is dangerous to her and the baby. For extra points, send her information on other delivery options.

19. If you see a pregnant woman, stop her and give her advice as to what she should or shouldn’t eat or drink during her pregnancy. For extra points, berate her for not taking good care of her unborn baby.

20. If a woman gets promoted, is awarded tenure or finds a great job, say “Well, we all know why that happened.” For extra points, tell everybody how you will never get a similar promotion or find such a good job because nowadays men get passed over in favor of women because everybody is afraid of the PC police.

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