Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hmm...something's wrong here

Not that I read or follow Maxim, but I just happened to hear that they came out with their “Hot 100”, so I decided to check it out. The list was the typical smattering of regularly attractive women, who we are told are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, because they’re popular at the moment. One funny side note, Stephen Colbert was included in the Maxim Hot 100 (all women), so at least it lets us know that Maxim has a little bit of a sense of humor.
But what stood out to me most, above the fact that almost every single woman was a super-skinny model-type that has been included on these “hot” lists for the last 40 years, was the fact that of the 99 women on this list, only about 5 were black. I mean, certainly beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but isn’t it a little odd that the number of black women on this list don’t even come close to representing the proportion of black people in society as a whole? Maybe Maxim readers simply don’t find black women attractive, but it seems strange that the number would be so low, considering the fact that I’m sure the proportions of beautiful women per population are fairly consistent across racial lines.
I think there is a bigger issue at play here; the issues being that black men and women are underrepresented in media and entertainment, and black women specifically are not recognized as beautiful in our society in the same way as white women. The same black women appear over and over on these “hot” lists, while we continually see new, young white faces on the covers of magazines and on these “hot” lists. Maybe this isn’t the biggest issue facing our country today, but I for one think that it important to make all people feel valued (speaking of non-beautiful people, as well), even if they’re proportionally underrepresented in media, entertainment, and “hot” lists.

P.S. JWoww...seriously...JWoww?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The night is darkest...

I’m fearful for this country. I worry that we’re headed in the wrong direction. It seems as though many are bent on reshaping this country into some sort of theocratic dictatorship. And while Republicans say that they espouse freedom and liberty – and even attach Democrats and the president over the issue – there is always a place for exceptions to their rules…basically, whenever it suits their political or social ends.
Social conservatives hate abortions. Right, we get it, you’re “pro-life”. Well, guess what, most liberals don’t like abortions, either, but don’t frame the issue in that way. In fact, liberals are much more likely to teach women and men about the realities of sex and the use and availability of birth control, as well as educating women on their options if they do become pregnant by accident. Social conservatives, on the other hand, want to continue pushing abstinence-only education, limit the access to birth control, and tell women they absolutely must have the child, even though these policies have actually increased the number of abortions that women have received.
In addition, Republicans throughout the country are on the attack to limit women’s rights as a whole. They’re trying to limit women’s access to birth control, they’re trying to close down Planned Parenthood, they’re trying to tie a woman’s healthcare to whatever her boss wants to provide; it’s a mess.
But, the old saying that “the night is darkest before the dawn” seems apropos. Why are conservatives so vehement about pushing this anti-woman agenda of late? Because they see the male-only dominant power structure in this country slipping away. Their idea of “traditional” roles are being turned on their heads (since they’re still living in the 1950s), and they’re having a hard time dealing with it. This issue encompasses the idea of same-sex marriage, as well. Their idea of traditional (male/female) relationships reinforces their concept of an ideal partnership, and gay couples not only change their concepts of “traditional” relationships, but disrupt their ideas of sex/gender roles, as well.
So what am I saying? I think our night is at its darkest, and even though things seem awful right now, we’re going to soon reach the dawn, where the forces of good will truly win out.