Here in Australia, we’re not that big on differences. Those differences often become the punchline. Sarah has an unconventional look, which by Aussie standard means she deserves some “good-humoured” ribbing. I admit my first thought upon seeing her visage was “Holy eyebrows, who told her that was okay?” But this post is not about that, It’s not here to body snark on her cosmetic tattoos, nor the fact that she loves heels so much she’s trying to patent the “Hunner” (that’s a Heel + runner in one). Part of me wants to, but I know that it’s mean and it’s also unnecessary, especially when I know nothing about her but a few clips on TV (this is what being a grown up is about, I think). No, I’m here to discuss the name she’s been tagged with, “The Cougar”. I kind of get the feeling from the explanation of James and Sarah’s relationship on the Amazing Race’s webpage and this advertisement, they’re a little obsessed with their ages. “JAMES IS 23” it says, “Sarah is…. (dun dun dunnn) 32” *gasp* *pearl clutch* THAT’S 9 WHOLE YEARS. However, we don’t just go ahead and say we think it’s wrong or it’s odd. So we do what’s considered socially acceptable in our society, we laugh at her and label her a Cougar. Secretly thinking that the younger man, who admitted to being friends with Sarah before the relationship, is caught up in her matronly clutches. What else can Sarah do but laugh along like a “good sport” as we shame her. So what’s our problem? If it was an older man/younger woman situation would it be as much of a joke? often in that case, the man often evades target while the woman gets labeled a gold-digger. He may get the more widely accepted ‘Sugar daddy’ and a pat on the back for being such a stud. What of a relationship with 2 men? I believe ‘Twink’ and ‘Daddy’ may have been bandied around at one time or another but it seems to be far less of an issue in the queer community.
Why do we find it so uncomfortable that a woman might appreciate the company of a younger man? Does Sarah deserve to be the butt of our jokes because of that? or because her looks are unconventional? Not from what I’ve seen but must be missing something. Maybe I just don’t get the ‘joke’.
(sources: The Amazing Race – James and Sarah, Youtube)
Just finished watching ‘Utopia Girls“! It could be considered a simplified view of the Australian Suffragettes (at times I felt I was watching a school video) however, it was packed to the gills with information that most have limited knowledge of.
In case you don’t know, Australia was the second nation in the world, after New Zealand, to enable women to vote. The first state to acquiesce was South Australia in 1894!! It was 1908 when Victoria, one of the last hold outs, finally enabled women to place their opinions in the political fray. It would be a full 12 years before the US would do the same and another 8 before the UK would concede.
It’s something that this country in all it’s modern day problems should hold onto and be proud of (have you heard? we’re drunk, dumb and racist) . Poor Vita, one of the heroes of this movement, sadly had little fanfare upon her death. Australia had already forgotten all the work these women (and some men) had done for us. Though I feel that had Vida Goldstein passed now, the information vacuum that is the Internet would have reversed and spat out to endless essays on the valuable work done and achieved by Goldstein and her compatriots. I’m not sure whether that’s any better, over-saturation = low comprehension in a lot of cases.
Utopia Girls can be screened on ABC’s Iview within Australia. Outside of Australia you may have to find illegal means to acquire it but it’s worth a watch if just to inspire us all to read more about them. My next step is to read about New Zealand’s fight, I bet there’s a brilliant story there.
Sometimes I delight in my fat rolls. I didn’t always have them. I grew up a very skinny kid, the kind that could barely put on weight. If I didn’t like what people gave me, I wouldn’t eat it. Then I’d proceeded to eat whatever my body would want.
As I grew I got jabs about how small and skinny I was, “put some weight on you.” “You’re skin and bones.” “eat more”, I realised that where others had breasts where I had barely nubbins. I felt asexual, not that you should be ashamed of asexuality, but at that time you think “what’s wrong with me?” After my first boyfriend, I realised what I was isn’t asexual. I was threatened by men, who I hardly understood but I was slowly realising that my body as it was can be a powerful thing. At 22 I started putting on weight, I developed stretch marks of which I was ashamed. I was loved but I felt I did not deserve it. So much was caught up in this idea of perfection, I would not let him touch my little stomach although he delighted in it. I lost the bit of extra weight, I gained again. I lost love, I gained love. I lost again.
So much of who I was, was tied up in this idea that I was not good enough. My figure it’s boyish but carries some weight. My thighs, my love handles, my stomach created a strange undulating silhouette but it was definitely not an hourglass, more like a jelly baby. As I get older and in my 32 year I revel in my fat rolls. they are part of me. The only time they cause me pain is when my clothes don’t fit right, when I see my bottom from behind it’s a little saggy. When I see that gorgeous girl with the larger figure, her stomach is still as flat as a pancake and her breast are a force to be reckoned with, I’m jealous.
It’s others who shame me with their well-meaning words, It’s for others that I go to my most hated place, The Gym. I want to stop listening to others because sometimes I delight in my fat rolls, they’re part of me.
Awesome podcast from the CBC on the way science and society has shaped the supposed Gender Gap.
“For the past 20 years we’ve been hearing the claims from pop psychology to neuroscience: men and women, boys and girls, have different brains. The books are plentiful: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,The Female Brain, The Essential Difference. The idea that males and females are hard-wired to learn differently, making them better suited for specific professions, has taken hold. Yet some neuroscientists and psychologists believe this leads to unhealthy gender stereotyping. IDEAS producer Mary O’Connell explores the debate.”
The Gender Gap, CBC
You may have heard by now that Jessica Simpson finally popped out a lil one after the longest pregnancy in history (probably not but lets not pretend we weren’t thinking it.) The second tidbit is that she named her little girl Maxwell Drew. The comments have been going off a bit at this info. “but that’s 2 boys names?” I will not lie a few comments tickled me a bit and made me think she really does have a good sense of humour, but the former was honestly my first thought. Luckily my developed brain then skipped straight into, What right do I have to judge what gender a name is? I expect the first girl or boy to be called Sydney would not appreciate it.
About.com has a list of 121 Unisex names and I’m sure there is more added to this list everyday including Maxwell. It’s universally accepted that Bailey can be either a girl or a boy. An let’s face it, everybody knows that you can’t look at a baby and be able to tell it’s a boy or girl. However, people get so worked up about it like the downfall of the world came with the non-gender specific onesie/romper or, baby jeebus help us, if you happen to dress a boy in pink. Just stop confusing people, you hippies!
Moral here is, it’s not my place or yours to judge what gender a name is. Save your pity and confusion for the sadly misspelled phonetic ones like Shy-anne, DestyNeigh, Madisyn.
Pictures courtesy of TheAge & AP, Funny Photos, Missworld.tumblr.com
Honestly every time I see Solange Knowles these days she’s rockin some awesome outfit and got the natural ‘fro going. This year is totally Solange’s year! I’m calling it!
Click the photo to check out more of the magic seen at the 2012 Tribeca Ball… What the hell is that anyway?
Sat down to read an article about Pixar’s new movie ‘Brave’ in Time Magazine proved to be an experience I won’t forget too soon. The film involves their first female lead character and the title of the piece ‘Pixar’s Girl Story‘. The character is a princess but a tough, bear-fighting scottish princess. Read Braveheart rewritten as girl with a more entertaining story attached (I hope.) It was on the third page I came across a statement that left me breathless,
“There’s guts in marketing a princess movie to boys, but it’s just bad business not to give your princess a tiara, wand or frilly pink dress, since that’s what little girls buy.” (Joel Stein, ‘Pixars Girl Story’, Time, March 5 2012)
He goes on to quote that ‘Disney Princesses make up the top selling toys in the US’ which I’m sure is true but has Joel Stein walked down an aisle in the Toy Store lately? Particularly that pink aisle which is so pervasive you can’t really escape it. Does he have daughters himself? Speaking from personal experience, when I was a small child in the 80’s & 90’s, I may have had some pink frilly things hoisted upon me but my favourite dress up was a cape. My barbies and She-ra played side by side with transformers and He-man. I may have played teacher to menagerie of toys, not one of them was particularly frilly, pink or wore a tiara.
We are taught from an early age that we must like pink, baby-dolls and other such “girly” things, Trucks are for the boys. However, at school, my girlfriends and I would play tag in the playground and make up wild stories about being on a ship. In one story I’m pretty sure Cinderella married Vanilla Ice (it was the early 90’s). We did what we wanted to do because it was play; there’s no distinct rules, certainly not in Gender.
Noone told us that we had to play one way or another, except for when we were confronted with messages in media that said ‘This’ is what girls play with. Like the Riley on Youtube I’m driven to question, Why do little girls have to buy pink & princesses? The only answer I can come up with, noone bothered to ask what we really wanted.