Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Posted this on the Hello Kitty of Blogging…which is where I tend to go when I’m interested in “harvesting” some sentiments and opinions out of the not-like-minded, to try and figure out what’s going on. That situation certainly applies to this. But, maybe the blog is a better place for it after all.
So let’s say you have a young son and a young daughter who both like to watch cartoons. If the daughter watches anything besides PowerPuff girls, of course she’ll get an eyefull of this “unrealistic body image” which will give her a raging case of bulimia along with low self-esteem.
Your son, meanwhile, will see Superman strutting around with shoulders & arms the size of small cars, and think nothing of it. Not until he gets older and his own arms thicken out a little bit, his reaction to which will be “Whoah! Hey! Cool!”
First rational question: Why does your daughter not think of unrealistic body images, in the same positive and productive way that your son does?
Second rational question: How come parents who really do have young sons & daughters, don’t ask themselves that first rational question?
Third rational question: How come feminists don’t…oh…wait, I already know the answer to this one. That would involve admitting something male is doing something positive and right. And we know they aren’t capable of that.
I have a son who’s dwelling a bit too long in the “too fussy to eat my veggies and starches” phase, as a result of which his arms are too skinny and his chest is too flat. The very last thing I would do about this, and by that I mean, wouldn’t dream of it in a million years…is what parents of daughters, along with the militant feminists, seem to be doing all the time. “Oh no! That cartoon figure is unrealistic! Remove it from view, it might make the delicate flower feel bad!”
Now, one thing I do pick up right away in terms of flaws with the comparison, is: A good male body bulks up and becomes more capable, and a good female body is thin. So, the boy who wants to look like Superman, isn’t likely to do too much damage to himself…whereas the girl who’s trying to look like Barbie, has to do all kinds of unhealthy things. Okay, so there’s that. But that by itself does not explain the difference. After all, the boy could hurt himself lifting weights. And I’m picking up, even this late in the game, a rather Victorian-England type of feeling that it is unladylike to try certain things. Looks like Disney/Pixar have put out another movie that’s reigniting an old debate about female roles, this on the heels of Hunger Games…so we have females on screen doing things that require some strength and skill, from what I hear of these movies they’re pretty good and enjoyable, and the feminists are being placated. Those are all good things. But a lazy mindset is taking form that girls use pointy weapons and are particularly fond of archery. Today’s smug satisfied feminist is always tomorrow’s screeching and highly offended/indignant one, so trouble looms on the horizon. How come chicks can’t have guns?
All right…I think we all know why that is.
Here is the paradox. Our society is offended, right down to the quick, by any notion anywhere that someone female should not be allowed to do…whatever. We’re offended by anyone trying to stop it from happening, we’re offended by the implication that she might not be able to do it. And the “whatever” can be anything at all. Fill in the blank with the most masculine exercise you would care to entertain. Yeah, that stuff too, the things that have something to do with peeing…it becomes obligatory for all sorts of strangers to engage in these mad daydreams about women somehow managing to get it done. Better than a man, too. But come up with a super-heroine who exists for that very purpose…well, how do people react to Wonder Woman, for example? Oh, horrors, she’s wearing little blue-and-white hot pants and showing her legs. So offensive. Must do something. A thought straight out of London, England, 1884 or so…they forget, Wonder Woman is supposed to be able to throw javelins and shoot arrows and swordfight and shoot a gun if she has to and leap over walls and and and and and… So here she is, antedating the supposedly so-oppressive 1950′s by a good stretch, and now we’ve been through the sexual revolution and we’re just so tolerant and mature, but we can’t handle her. Girls are supposed to be covered up so you can’t see what kind of body type they have. Gee, just like the Taliban, huh? And then for tacticals, they should be limited to just crossbows, arrows and Xena’s spinny choppy thing.
The irony here, though, is: We are being subtly oppressive, in a way we don’t want to be, by insisting on exerting this artificial limitation over young female ambition. We’re very big on saying “she should grow up to do whatever she wants to do”…we don’t even say that about our sons, certainly not with the same gusto. Discourage a boy from doing something, that’s probably for the best, you’re the grown-up after all so you must know what you’re talking about. Discourage a girl, and you should be publicly flogged. But when the rubber actually meets the road, things get all turned around in the opposite direction. Male underwear model with a perfect body — oh, that picture can go anywhere. Certainly it isn’t going to hurt anyone. What if a smaller boy sees it and thinks “something is wrong with me I should be looking like that”…no prob. Might even help out our obesity epidemic, if that happens.
Of course, a swimsuit babe with a flat belly and big tits, that’s completely different. All of a sudden, it’s all about feel, feel, feel. How is your wife going to feel about it. How is your daughter going to feel. So that has to be removed from public view, and stigmatized constantly.
Let’s remember why this is: There is something harmful about revealing, to a female, the possibility that a personal metric of any kind could be improved. It has very little to do with physical body attributes, or the sexual aspects. A man or boy, inspired by some external messages to find a way to improve personally — we think of that as a good thing. If a girl or woman is similarly inspired, we think of it as good only if we are reassured that there is a genuine desire coming out to meet it, from within. “Is this what she really wants to do?” seems to be the test. Without that, we suspect the worst. The girls aren’t allowed to be pragmatic about it, they can’t say “Whoa, a new standard, I’ll have to up my game.” In our zeal to make sure the little princesses are never pressured, we end up subjecting them to constant pressure to chase their dreams all of the time.
And we want to censor those dreams. This is understandable, of course. If your daughter’s dream is to dance on a pole, most parents would see a necessity for some kind of intervention. Now, the same is true for the boys, and it is in fact quite fashionable to encourage girls to become more and more enthusiastic about things they find they can do particularly well. But as far as the ideas they are given, we’ve allowed the militant feminists to shape and mold our culture into a place where we’re very restrictive about it. Katniss and Merida, with all their archery talents, are in; Wonder Woman is out, and who can possibly list what else is. Not just the overly sexualized stuff, there’s much, much more. Far easier to define the white list than the black list, there isn’t too much that won’t piss off someone, somewhere.
And why are grown-ups passing judgment on other grown-ups, about what messages & lessons can be received by their female children? Where do they get off thinking it’s any of their business?
They aren’t even allowed to be genuinely pretty anymore. Recall the unprecedented intensity of hatred directed at Sarah Palin. And, you aren’t allowed to notice they aren’t allowed to be pretty; last week I had a supposedly conservative housewife completely twist off on me, through the social media, insisting that the anger directed at Palin was all about carrying Trig to term. Yeah, that was the hill she wanted to die on, and she’s not alone.
It seems to have come down to this: Women who are at the age where they’re defining themselves, what they are and what they do, have to adhere to a very restrictive social code — put in place by the feminist movement. They can dare to dream, and they can dare to dream of purely individual achievements. Being the first woman President, curing Cancer someday, those are high on the list. But there’s a lot of resistance involved if there’s anything sexual about it, or even if it’s something just tenuously connected to sexuality…like, just being attractive to men. Healthy men, I mean, men who are interested in meeting women who are pretty.
It seems the social code we’ve been trying to prop up for a few years now, and we show no signs of slowing down at all, is one of: Shopping around for good genes in a mate, looking for a carrier of decent genetic stock to pass on to the children, is a privilege to be reserved exclusively for the women. They’re inclined to window-shop, you know; men don’t have the same instinct, or if they do, they darn well shouldn’t. That, and: It’s okay for a woman to seek to distinguish herself, as long as she only does it in the expected ways.
This hurts the women, because it restricts their dreams. In a very subtle way, it does. It isn’t commonplace for a girl to actually be told “no” when she dreams outside of the box, in fact we do have a very thick social stigma against exactly that. But it conditions the younger girls, who are still trying to figure out what those dreams should be, to point them only in certain directions that will limit options later on. Must not be pretty, must not shoot guns, must not show skin, must not do any of the things Sarah Palin has done…like haul fish into a boat, run for office as a Republican, carry a Downs Syndrome child to term, et cetera et cetera. The thicket of “musts” runs fairly thick, while the boys — relatively neglected — can do as they like.
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