Friday, June 08, 2007

One doesn't know what to say, part eleventy-zillionth

Fortunately, Kim, expert in ponies both real and collectible, does.

The what: some genius in Bitch's latest issue who has determined, apparently, that My Little Pony is such a sinist0r tool of the sexbotarchy that they should all be "pitched into the nearest recycling bin." Props for that nod to environmentalism, at least. Mm. Quoth the author, something Rutherford:

Just take off the pony's tail and add hands to the front legs, and what you have is a human doll that could be used in a stop-animation pedophililic porn flick."

"But doc, you're the one showing me all the dirty ponies!!"

Seriously, a -who?- Stop-animation pe--oh, god, never mind. I'm with Kim: dude, if people are getting paid for -this-...

well, Kim definitely ought to send this in, I agree:

Nothing these poor Ponies do is right for Rutherford. She frowns on their très girly accessories of tea sets, castles and hairbrushes. Image the Hasbro employee who suggests selling Rainbow Dash and Razzaroo with grease guns, jackhammers and a boat for catching lobster in below-zero weather. Boyfriend be cleanin' out his desk before nightfall.

When Rutherford moves on to pointing out that the Ponies have names similar to porn stars, at this point I really feel like yelling "Get your mind out of the gutter!" Pony names like Swirlypop, Minty, and Rainbow Dash could be porny names. I guess. But so could Strawberry Shortcake, Double D, T-Bone, Holly Hobbie (that's some hobby she's got!), Big Bird (they don't call him big for nothing, heh heh) or Blueberry Buttocks (okay, I made that last one up.)

go read the rest and laugh your ass off.

And then go read something that will remind you why feminism still, believe it or not, actually fucking matters.

Many argue that Friedan’s book sparked the American second-wave feminist movement. The Feminine Mystique urged middle-class white women to get out of the house, to find fulfillment the way that their husbands do. Instead of critiquing a culture that has devalued traditional women’s work,” Friedan put all the value on men’s work, outside of the home and in an office, where training and skill is required and where the boundary between work life and personal life is clearly drawn. I realize I am being harsh on Friedan, but go with me for a second. Perhaps these women felt unfulfilled by their work because our culture is fraught with sexism and does not have the tools with which to understand the importance and weight of domestic work in both our day-to-day lives and in the long-term.

Fast-forward 30 years. Where are we now? The 1970’s into the 80’s saw a dramatic shift in the professional world. Middle-class women were leaving home to work in offices; feminism has won out! But who inherited the burden of the domestic work these women left behind? Children were still being born; homes still needed to be cleaned; dinner still needed to be cooked. And while second-wave feminism certainly left its mark, we continue to have a second-shift phenomenon. Families struggle with day care, cleaning on the weekends, etc. 200,000 households in the New York-metro area rely on outside help from nannies, housecleaners, and elderly care givers. The domestic burden did not disappear after the 1970’s. It merely shifted from middle-class white women to working-class immigrant women of color. And as Americans, we continue to not understand how to value and respect domestic work.

...The Domestic Worker Bill of Rights is the only sensible next step in teaching ourselves and each other how to value traditional women’s work. The “problem that has no name” is not bored housewives. It is the continued devaluation of work essential to the functioning and success of New York City and everyone who works here.

Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights:


Domestic workers are a crucial part of New York State’s economy, yet labor law does not protect them the way it does other workers. Domestic workers often work under harsh, exploitative conditions, but they are barred by federal law from collective organizing into unions. Additionally, they face unique barriers to organizing because they are isolated in the homes of their employers and have difficulty negotiating with powerful employers.

The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights addresses the longstanding, unfair exclusion of domestic workers from labor protections, reflects the unique conditions and demands of the industry in which they work, and clarifies employers’ obligations.

1. A living wage, phased in from $12.00 to $14.00 per hour by 2010.
2. Employer choice to provide health care coverage or a wage supplement.
3. Other basic work standards:
-Time-and-a-half at the regular rate for every hour over 40 hours per week;
-One day off per 7-day calendar week;
-Up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave;
-Paid time off for vacations and holidays;
-Paid sick days;
-Advance notice of termination;
-Severance pay in accordance with number of years worked.

4. A method for domestic workers to enforce these work standards in court.



KH said...

Like equine Tinky Winkies, they are.

Alon Levy said...

I don't know if blaming Friedan for this is in order - The Feminine Mystique struck me as being more about education than about work and more about long-term psychological damage than about boredom - but I really can't argue with the domestic workers' bill of rights. I'm actually surprised that existing labor protections don't already apply to domestic workers.

Trinity said...


The criticism of Friedan is a good one, IMO. Since she was only talking to white women well-off enough to live in single-income households, the idea that for some women, NOT WORKING would have been a luxury didn't even occur to her. So a lot of other well to do white women adopted this idea of work as liberatory for all women -- which meant never having things like this bill of rights show up on the greater feminist agenda.

Now, whether fullscale "Friedan ruined the movement" blaming is in order is a different question, I think -- Friedan's observations and writing came from a certain context within feminist history and in many ways were helpful.

But we still, I think, can claim that a lot of white feminists who were around long after the writing of that book should have wised up and didn't. And THAT sucks.

belledame222 said...

Yeh, I think it's more, "Friedan's observation that 'womens' work' is considered unworthy of recompense" (as well as her still-useful -for a certain demographic- that the "lady of the house" ideal was oppressive when presented as the -only- option) was a good starting point, but not sufficient, and we need to move on to understand all the other ramifications of that:

1) someone -still- has to do that "domestic" work, and "someone" IS, and it's still a concern for feminism as well as yep it's tied up with racism, immigration, the greater socioeconomic framework, and so on and so forth. and yeah, that has old roots, too, but it's past time that middle class + white feminists started understanding its import

2) there's a feminist critique to be made on top of the should-be-obvious observations that hi, everyone deserves a living wage and who takes care of the caretakers?: namely, that, as with other things generally disdained by second wave feminism, very probably out of reaction formation (no one wants to embrace something that's been crammed down your throat), i.e. "femininity," certain forms of serxuality, etc. etc.: there's nothing INHERENTLY degrading about the work known as "domestic." (for men OR women). Cooking? "House beautiful?" Raising kids, for heaven's sake? Those are not only vital functions, they are, yep, possible avenues for creativity and even satisfaction.

What ISN'T cool is saying "that's your role in life, so get to it," even if you have absolutely no affinity for this and would prefer to be playing the piano or welding or running a business. What ISN'T cool is patting people on the head and suggesting that the "creative" function ought to be ENOUGH, when gee golly -you're- working a job that suits you -and- you get material recompense, and maybe even don't have to do it 60-80 hours a week with no relief or help. What ISN'T cool is shunting the "dirty work" off to another group of women so that you can go off and be a world-beater; meanwhile, not only are they in the position you rejected and THEN some, they're not even doing it for their -own family,- but -yours.- That is, your needs, your kids, your house come FIRST, because otherwise she can't put food on the table at all. That's...not so hot, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Sorry not on topic, but I need your help.

BTW, congrats on all your Koufax Nominations! I'm working on them now and would like to get in touch with Quare Dewd, but can't find an email address or post a comment on his site. Could you please ask him to email me at mart smithback at yahoo dot com?


belledame222 said...

hey, thanks! QD's a her, btw. can i say what it's about? is it the Koufaxes?

belledame222 said...

this idea of work as liberatory for all women

you mean, OTHER work.

'cuz that's the bottom line here, i theenk.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, QD her. Truly, I must be blissful ... so ignorant.

Yes, @006 Koufax Awards. (

You've been nominated in many areas as has QD. (Just now I'm working on "Most Deserving of Wider Recognition" []) and want to know how she'd like the link.

They're for 2006, later this time than in the past, and since her address has changed there are some considerations that have to be worked out. So if she can contact me, I'd appreciate it.


belledame222 said...

Thanks!! passed it on.

KH said...

The matter of domestic workers was an aspect of the Linda Hirshman business last year.

belledame222 said...

yeah, remind me. i mean, i know she was assy about it, or class/economics in general, but what'd she say?

Kim said...

Thanks for the link, Belle and congrats on the nomination!

Your comment @ my place was the last thing I read before shutting of my computer at work & leaving my office for the day:

"-falls on the floor laughing-
oh. my. god..."

I actually LOLed at that and left with a grin. Thanks for that :)