Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Disney Princes

Image from sociological images
That Disney princesses and all the glamour and hype surrounding them can beharmful for girls has been much discussed and much debated. What I haven't heard a lot about, though, are the disney princes.
Maybe that's because the princess movies aren't really targeted to boys, and if a boy was watching them he would mosty likely idenify with the princess anyway, since she's the protagonist.
But, if you take a look at the  Disnet prince's characters, well, they're even more empty than the Princesses. Except thay save instead of baing saved.
Have a look:

P.S. Don't forget to enter the ranting contests a couple of posts down here!

Daisy blogging

Today I'm taking a break from ranting...enjoy this photo of Daisy, my cat!

She's protecting the toys. It bothers her if somebody takes something.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the ranting contests! See two posts below.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

6 Great Essays You Should Read (From Echidne of the Snakes)

Echidne of the Snakes, my all time favourite blogger, once wrote a series of great essays about the need for feminism today.
They were my first introduction to feminism, and I admit they convinced me quiet well.

1.The right to go out
2.The planet of the guys
3.Our father who art in heaven
4.The invisible women
5.The female body as property
6.The longet revolution

These really touch all the points I think should be touched, and in a simple un-academic way.
Go echidne!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Announcing The First Ranting Competition!

After having read somewhere that putting up competitions raises traffic, I have decided to host one on this very blog! (Even though I know it won't improve traffic)

So, here are the rules:

1.Anyone, anywhere, may partecipate by sending me an email ( at )about what it is that they have the tendency to rant the most about. It can be anything. Never mind about silliness!
2.I will choose two winners: one by chance in a hat and one for most creative ranting subject.

All prizes are books, you may choose one from the list below:
-The poison that fascinates by Jennifer Clement
-Warriors of Alavna by N.M.Browne
-The Wild Children by Felice Holman
-The Adoption by Dave Hill
-The Zahir by Paolo Coelho
-Teen Idol by Meg Cabot
-The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edward

None of these books will change your life or transform your way of thinking, but they're an enjoyable get-away.

4.Deadline on 15-12-2009 (My birthday!)

5.I will contact the winners by email, and of course they will be posted on the blog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

On Rape Culture (Or why I’m not able to go out wearing a skirt at 4 a.m.)

Today I heard my sister singing an Arabic song. It’s lyrics go something like this:

The girl who wears a short skirt,

The girl who wears a short skirt,

Boys’ eyes follow he-e-er!

And she’s so full of herself,

She’s so full of herself

…(don’t remember anymore)…

So…what I get from this song is that girls who wear short skirts are vain sluts who want boys’ attention.

Well, you could say, it’s just a song. Who cares what a song says? Problem is, the song says just what everybody seems to think.

I’m not saying there aren’t girls who wear minis for guys, but what if I just like the feeling of it? What if I’d really like to wear one, but can’t because, in everyone’s eyes, it has a different meaning? What if I’m not heterosexual and am wearing it for another girl’s eyes?

Personally I don’t like to wear any kind of skirt because I find them uncomfortable, but when there’s a soft breeze I love the feeling of it on my bare legs. And say the breezy day on which I was wearing this short skirt I happened to get raped- who’s fault would it be? Well, mine of course! For my silly carelessness...if I wear such provocative clothes I should expect these results. Because boys will be boys, and you have to be careful whatever you do (see full list of thing not to do here) in order not to trigger their natural instincts, which of course they can do nothing about. Otherwise, you are just a stupid slut, bitch, whore, (insert other derogative terms related to women.)

Why, though, is a shirt that shows my legs so damn provocative? I don’t think boys in shorts are considered sexy much, and it surely isn’t expected for girls’ eyes to follow them.

But, you know, women’s bodies are just sexual objects. Everything about them has to be sexualized: legs, breasts, stomach, waist, feet, eyes, hair…everything.

Women are sexual beings, but of course not sexual for their own enjoyment…just the keepers of sex, the bearers of a fruit that it’s up to men to pick and enjoy.

This continuous, normalized objectification of women is perpetuated by culture as a whole. TV shows (an example here), commercials (too many for me to link to), movies, traditions, songs …everything. And all of this makes both men and women think that female bodies are objects to be used as one pleases. Of course, there is a “correct” use, but boys will be boys and rules are made to be broken.

Western people usually think that the treatment of women as objects is characteristic of so said “uncivilized” countries…these barbaric people over there…when really the only difference between a woman in, say, Saudi Arabia and one in America is that in the first her body is property of her father/husband, while in the second it’s public property.

So practically, a woman who doesn’t take proper precautions to protect her body is very much comparable to a man who hangs his credit card on his front door.

"Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
                                                                                                Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Sadly, true.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fairytale remake: The Princess and The Frog

Once upon a time there was a little princess who liked playing with a golden ball. One day she was throwing it up and catching it (sounds fun!) when, tragically, it fell into a nearby pond! The princess tried to get it with a stick, and not succeeding in this, contemplated the idea of having a swim in the pond. Just as she was going to get in, an ugly frog jumped in front of her: “I am a frog.” It said, “ Take me with you, let me to eat from your plate (it’s not like you need food anyway) and let me sleep in your room (even if I’ll stink it up). Then kiss me. If you do that, I’ll give you your ball back”

The princess was fascinated by the talking frog, and she observed it trying to figure out how it managed to talk. She remembered reading something about the need for particular vocal chords in order to speak. She wondered what kind of surgery the frog had done to its brain and vocal chords.

She took the frog with her without taking seriously what it had said. Of course she had completely forgotten her ball.

The real princess who is happy to kiss the frog/

When she was eating it demanded obnoxiously to eat from her plate. The princess, who was hungry, put some tape on its mouth and ate her plate by herself. Then she took the tape off to let the frog eat flies.

But the frog seemed to have no intention to eat. It said again,” I am a frog. Take me with you, let me eat from your plate (it’s not like you need food anyway) and let me sleep in your room (even if I’ll stink it up). Then kiss me. If you do that, I’ll give you your ball back”

“Why do you keep saying the same things?” Asked the princess.

“Because you are not listening to me.” Answered the frog.

“Oh, ok” Said the princess, thinking about it, “But why should I do what a frog tells me to do?”

“Because,” Said the frog with a knowing air, ”If you do, I’ll turn into a handsome prince. Then we will marry and you will be able to bear my kids and clean my house.”

The princess stared at the frog, “I found you while playing with a ball. Does that make you think I’m old enough to marry?”

The frog didn’t know what to say. The little princess was getting bored of it anyway. She put it in a box and went to play Monopoly with her sister.

Then she decided to put on a show with the talking frog, and everyone was fascinated and actually paid her for the show. The princess was very happy.

Then a circus owner asked the princess to sell him the frog. Since she didn’t want to play with it anymore, she did, and with the money she had now she bought lots and lots of sweets and some toys.

P.S. Did you notice that in the first Disney movie with a black princess she becomes a frog for most of the movie? I wonder why...