Inhibition

October 13, 2009 § 1 Comment

I sat down at the circular table for dinner on the second night of Fall Conference ’09, delighted to see that every placemat had a generous piece of chocolate cake — my favorite food [Beijing roast duck comes in at a close second]. While giving my baked potato to PN, I noticed a vacant seat at the table, which meant an extra piece of cake. After looking around to check that nobody else was eying it, I asked PN to hand it to me.

Later, it became apparent that one of the people at our table did not have a piece of cake, so I conceded my extra one to her, though not without playful jeers from our fellow male diners. [I don’t care if they judge; I will stay faithful to my gustatory love!]

SL, who sat to my left, kindly offered me his own piece of cake, claiming that he did not really enjoy sweet foods. I gladly accepted it, finishing both pieces and sitting in bloated satisfaction. I’m not exactly sure in how the subsequent events happened, but suddenly, a piece of cake arrived from across the table, followed by three more.

“Eat all of them!” JG urged.
“Yeah, JG and I have money on it!” JP yelled.
“You want me to eat a total of six pieces of cake?!” I responded incredulously.

The guys at the table goaded me while the women looked on in mild amusement. Full as I was, I could’ve done it — my stomach stretches to enormous proportions when I consume sugary foods — but I adamantly refused. The reason I gave was that I didn’t want to throw up my entire dinner, but in actuality I didn’t want to appear cheap. Sacrificing my dignity for a mere $15? Just the notion of it is embarrassing.

However, I couldn’t shake the thought that if I were a guy, I totally would have accepted the challenge.

Competitive eating is mostly a men’s world. At other camps and buffets that I’ve been to, only guys would attempt to out-eat each other in some ridiculous manner. The activity is rather barbaric to me; even though I am against gender stereotypes and all that, I am still at time subject to wanting to fit into the dainty mold into which women are supposed to conform. A guy would get lauded for finishing a huge amount of food, but I can’t imagine myself receiving the same level of accolades from my peers — especially the female ones. I’ve simply never seen it happen.

Don’t Look Twice

October 4, 2009 § 5 Comments

On Wednesday I had a frank discussion with a good friend of mine about how women’s wardrobe choices can affect men. We hit on some interesting points, but I wouldn’t even bring it up now if it weren’t for what my sociology class talked about today.

In our class discussion on women and sports, a girl in my class who is a gymnast told us that in the weight room at the MU athletic training complex, sections of time are usually blocked off so that each sport can have personal time using the equipment. Female athletes, however, are not allowed to wear tank tops and must wear shorts of a certain length or longer — “because it’s too distracting for the male athletes and they can’t focus.” She went on to say that football players sometimes come back from practice with cut-off shirts and their bellies hanging out, which is apparently just fine.

At youth group, we received annual Valentine’s Day talks. One year in either late middle school or early high school, the boys and girls were separated so as to foster a more open and honest environment. It was then that we learned that boys and girls are simply “wired” differently — girls are enticed by emotional porn [ie. The Notebook] and boys cannot resist staring at girls’ bodies. My friend also used the word “wired” to describe how men just naturally want to stare at attractive women.

How much do women think about what men think about their clothing? It does seem utterly stupid to choose outfits based on men’s opinions, yet that’s what he was basically proposing. I think that to some extent, many women probably think about what a guy will think of their garments when they are dressing to impress, but I certainly do not comprehend what he described as a crippling inability to look beyond a hot woman’s cleavage.

Of course, my friend noted that such a thing should be done out of love for one’s brothers in Christ so that they are not stumbled and so they are able to adequately respect their sisters. I can understand that we as women should mercifully wield this “power” [his word, not mine] that we have over men, but that’s not enough.

This argument brings to mind the victim-blaming that is so rampant in many cases of sexual assault. Is a scantily-dressed woman ever asking to get groped or raped? No. It is under nobody’s power to take away the freedom that women have to choose what they wear in public. Am I asking for a man to stare at my chest when I wear a low-cut shirt [as I am wont to do since my bosom is not particularly ample]? No. What takes place in his mind is his problem.

I think the whole “men and women are wired differently” is a weak excuse to simply accept sexual objectification as “just the way things are.” We have all been socialized to view women as decorations — just because it’s true of the society we live in doesn’t make it any less of a lie. Once you are able to critically question why you think the way you do, you have the power to change your mindset and think at least a little more independently.

Men are also demeaned when people argue that they are helpless before the charms of a beautiful woman. Do they really have such feeble control over their brains/eyes/wieners? I believe in the possibility of freeing oneself from those bonds. So let’s make it happen.

Overdone

June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

On Thursday, I changed my Facebook status to this:

FB M.Fox

It has the potential to be misinterpreted, so I would like to explain my thoughts.

I don’t have anything against Megan Fox. She is a…unique person who says some unusual things, but she has done nothing to make me dislike her. What annoys me is the attitude that she brings out in boys & men [and some women] of all ages, who semi-joke about going to see the Transformers sequel in IMAX just because of her. Okay, she’s a very attractive woman, now get your hand out of your pants and MOVE ON.

This movie is not even close to being about Ms. Fox, yet she evokes more daily conversation than the entire rest of the film. This isn’t about me being jealous about her beauty, so don’t even go there; it’s about me being frustrated and tired of the insipidity with which males react to her relatively minor onscreen role. Talking about how hot she is in the movie is like beating a dead horse with another dead horse that you killed with the first dead horse.

As a side note, I would really like to see Megan Fox doing some acting outside of standing around looking pretty. I think she could at least make a pretty kickass action heroine along the lines of Shoot ‘Em Up or Wanted, assuming she can actually act. Speaking of which, I noticed while watching Transformers 2 that she speaks in a voice that is very reminiscent of Paris Hilton’s fake baby voice. I hope that’s not her real voice, because it’s very grating [then again, if it’s not her real voice, why the heck would she talk like that??].

The Early Days

June 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

From what I can tell, this looks like a woman with a tiny head and huge breasts:

It is, according to Economist.com, “probably the oldest human statue yet discovered,” carved from a mammoth tusk.

An interesting discovery, yes. The short blurb ends with this: “[…] this discovery adds to the evidence that human thinking—or male thinking, at least—has hardly changed since the species evolved.” I just glanced over these words and exited the page, but something caught my eye and I backtracked. “Male thinking,” really? Who’s to say that this wasn’t carved by a woman? It may be easy to wrap this statuette in a stereotype, and I know that comment was meant to be light-hearted, but I refuse to be taken in with such an easy joke.

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