This past week, it was big(ish) news that the Pope let down his guard on the absolute, across-the-board Catholic ban on contraception (but only in theory, and only if you’re a male prostitute):
In the book, Benedict said condoms were not “a real or moral solution” to the AIDS epidemic, adding, “that can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.” But he also said that “there may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”
Well, this opened the floodgates. If the Pope can flip-flop, in rare instances at least, anyone can, right? An outpouring of hypothetical opinions, which seem counter to the strongly held beliefs of a plethora of powerful and outspoken leaders, businesspeople, and celebrities of both the past and present have been leaked by many different sources in order to jump on the wagon (or Pope Mobile, if you will) before the Pope’s window of acceptably divulging small concessions closes like a time vortex in an action/adventure movie.
The recently embattled Four Loko’s creators admitted this week, that in certain rare circumstances, say if you’re in your 7th month of pregnancy, Four Loko might not be the most healthy option, and although their studies were conclusive, the immediate premature labor that follows drinking a can is not necessarily a boon.
After forceful questioning and upon further reflection (and an Oscar), Al Gore admitted that perhaps in the rarest instances, his Truth wasn’t all that personally Inconvenient.
Historians who interviewed the leaders of the Global Medieval Society report that major headway is being made in their research and development committee–they have some very encouraging data on the theory that perhaps, just perhaps, the world is not flat, or even rectangular.
Gandhi devotees, upon visiting his final resting place last week, discovered that if you look at the bottom of Gandhi’s grave with a very strong magnifying glass, backwards and cross-eyed, it says, “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…But sometimes, in rare cases, you just need to slap a bitch.”
A lost recipe book recently recovered from of Julia Child’s archives contains a recipe for a rather bland, gluten-free, lactose-free dessert, and explains in her handwriting that sometimes, in the rarest cases, “the French and their food are just so fucking rich and flamboyant it’s disgusting.”
The Scarecrow, of The Wizard of Oz fame, said that if he really sat down and pondered it for a while, well, golly, maybe he does have some neurological function after all.
Fidel Castro, not wanting to miss out on the fun, reports that communism is great and all, but in some rare instances, after a good public march with comrades, he just wants a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but in the end can’t bring himself to bring himself to Guantanamo.
Snooki reports that sometimes, on rare instances, the best way to party is with a nice spot of tea, an afternoon of watching BBC America reruns, and sleeping with a Tolstoy novel. But only while tanning.
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin have nothing to report.
The good folks at The Rumpus actually found me funny. A Funny Woman, to be more accurate. Thanks to the skillful editing of Elissa Bassist, you can go and (hopefully) enjoy my short piece of writing here. And please leave a comment–you know I’m going to be checking them obsessively, so I might as well read one from you!
This blog touts itself as having a 4th Wave Femiladyist bent. So what, exactly, is that? Well, we can’t take the credit for creating this term. A friend, colleague, novelist, and fellow blogger came up with it, while trying to describe exactly what msnowe was doing here. She thought it was apt, because, well, it means everything and nothing all at once.
A few points of reference on what a 4th Wave Femiladyist is (and isn’t):
–A combination of waves 1-3, yet none of them (if wave 4 is defined as a movement, msnowe will have to change her number)
–Proud to be a lady
–Hates the media’s portrayal of what they think it means to be a lady
–Pro-straight (but Anti-fervent imposition of “family values”)
–Anti-Anti-Abortion (i.e. Pro choice)
–Reads way too many late 18th Century novels
–Thinks humor is as good a way to bridge the gender gap as any
–Won’t vote for a politician lady just ‘cuz she’s a lady, but sure wants more of them
–Was accused of being a “feminazi” in highschool and wonders if that word is still being said in common parlance, and whether other suffixed “-nazi” forms exist for other pro-equality groups (“homonazi,” immigrantnazi”?)
The definition is endless and always changing.
Approximate conversation from this weekend (while watching World Series Game 4):
Dude Friend: “You girls claim not to, but you sure do talk a lot about the appearance and attractiveness of sports players.”
Other Dude friend: “Yeah.”
Me: “But, that’s because we’re of the opposite sex. If we were watching women play sports, I bet–”
Dude friend: “Ha, ‘women playing sports.’ The only sports I watch with women in them are mud wrestling and gymnastics. ”
Which brings us to this new online magazine for high-school aged kids, created by ESPN. Oh, and don’t forget, they have a “girl” version too.
The regular ESPN Rise magazine has a lot of content–but most of the stories center around sports profiles of athletes (high school up to pro), conditioning best practices, training, recruitment tips, and other items of that ilk. The girl’s website has some of that, targeted at girls, but it also has stories like this one:
“The Choice Is Yours: Mope or Motivate”
“Battling it all: taking on a former teammate can be tricky, especially when she happens to be your friend. You can keep the tension to a minimum by staying focused on your side of the net.”
No where that msnowe could find on the “regular” Rise site was a story about staying besties with opposing team members. Are girls so uninformed and catty that they need this kind of advice? Apparently. msnowe played a shit ton of sports in high school, and not once did she worry about “friends” on the opposing team. You play fair, but hard, and there’s nothing to worry about –they aren’t your friend on the field. Duh.
But this story is just a sliver of the root of the problem with these websites. Like my friends and I watching “sports” on Sunday, men and women gather to watch professional sports, say the World Series. But, of course, we are watching men play. Although sports channels assume mostly men are watching, women watch, are knowledgable, and care about the games too. Largely, this is accepted (though made fun of through jokes about how women do not truly appreciate sports). Most women who love sports have learned to ignore this somewhat stereotypical chiding, and have risen above it (we even have some announcers now, and SportsCenter has some blond chick!).
BUT, women’s sports? If any of them are even professional, men aren’t supposed to want to watch them. They aren’t “for” them. They’re for other women, and perhaps effeminate men (which is the worst possible kind of man to homophobic sportsjerks). And so women are given their own space, but one notably devoid of men. msnowe isn’t saying that a male audience would legitimize female sports (they’re already legitimate), but it only seems fair that if women watch and consume male sports, males should be willing to support female sports (and not just the ones where they’re in bikinis or covered in mud). Women, to some extent, are nobler than men in this respect–they view sports (male and female) as such, and although they may comment on a man in terms of his viability as a sexual partner, they see these men first and foremost as athletes. Men, on the other hand, if made to watch, for example, softball or soccer, would (most likely) immediately sexualize the players, and any athletic talent would be a side comment to their jocular comments on bra size.
Which leads msnowe’s rant back to these two “separate but equal” web magazines. Fuck that, they’re not equal. And we can see that even by their very names. ESPN Rise, verses ESPN Rise GIRL. Basically, what that tells me and my fellow lady sports fans is–hey, you could read either, but this one is more for the fluffy stuff you care about that aren’t real sports topics; and it’s telling boys that they need not concern themselves with female sports. The fact that msnowe has to type “female” before sports pisses her off. We’re happy that ESPN recognizes there are girls playing and caring about sports out there–we just think they’re using Title IX the wrong way.