things I’ve observed recently that have bothered me
1. Two young girls at the pool – I’m in the water, listening to them. One of them is in the water, the other sitting on the edge with her legs hanging in. The one in the water looks at the other’s legs and says “you need to shave your legs!”
I wanted to say something, but I was halfway across the pool (I have good hearing).
The girls looked about 8-9. The one whose body had just been shamed seemed uncomfortable.
Reminds me of how it was when I found out that girls shaving their leg hair was a thing. It’s not introduced as an option. It’s not introduced as something shaving industries have invented. It’s not introduced as something that only started happening relatively recently.
It’s introduced as an expectation. An expectation made more imperative by the assertion that your body is disgusting the way it is. I hope that girl hears alternative explanations.
2. I recently watched most of “Kingsman” (movies go in quotation marks, right? whatever, like I give a fuck). I had no intention of watching it in the first place, but it was on and I was bored. So, yeah, spy reminiscent blah blah blah, some guy’s plot to destroy most of humanity by sending out signals from cell phones that make people uncontrollably aggressive and start killing each other…fate of humanity rests in the hands of some spy agency that’s currently training a bunch of young adults in a sort of competition to see who gets to be the new “Kingsman” (k). I missed most of the beginning. The woman who protected the villain and had weapon attachments instead of feet (and maybe hands?) was the most interesting character, even without any backstory (if they wrote her one, I missed that part – I missed most of the beginning). The limited info I got for the main younger guy character was that his dad probably died, and his mom gets abused by some guy. From the beginning to the end, he doesn’t seem to learn much of anything except some basic fighting skills. He’s cocky and gets to put in some witty comments. Seems to be taking things as a joke most of the time, so realistically I don’t know why he was able to make it into the final 2, but he’s the story’s boy savior, so of course he has to do it. Everything in the movie seems to take a turn from mildly interesting at times (if only through the introduction of new characters) to EVERYTHING HINGES ON THE ACTIONS OF THIS BLONDE BOY HERO. His female ‘friend’ and competitor in the “Kingsman” contest is his obvious superior as far as determination and loyalty to the program goes, and she WINS the contest. But instead of then focusing on her story, and the already constructed opportunity to recognize the indesputible value of this female “KingsMAN”, the climax sees very little action for her and once again recenters around this guy whose every move apparently needs to be followed. The movie creates the illusion that he earned the prominent role in the final mission, even though most of the true Kingsman’s actions up to this point have shown that she possesses superior reasoning ability, superior ability to follow instructions, and superior ability to work with the strengths and weaknesses of both herself and the people around her. This other guy, who was also marketed as the face of the film, jumps into this final battle scene and manages to make it through dozens of armed and armoured guards AND take out the woman who has clearly been the best in combat throughout the film (the villain’s main bodyguard) in a way that makes absolutely no sense. It’s some sort of miracle feat with a highly improbable number of bullets dodges and some knife-throwing and combat skills on his part which we have hereforeto not seen. But apparently whatever needs to happen for him to arrive timingly the movie’s final moment “hero” has to happen Then we get the icing on this misogynistic cake when some princess who was locked up earlier in the movie, who he stumbles upon during his big climactic ending, just flat out offers him sex if he can “save the world” and rescue her from her cell. The hell with subtlety. I guess if the writers wanted to recycle the disgusting “women-rewarding-male-protagonist-heroes-with-affection” trope, they had to at least try to regain your attention with it by just flat out SAYING it and then showing a close up of a woman’s ass. So, yeah – for the love of Satan, that movie was terrible.
3. While hanging out in the pool, on numerous occasions I heard the men of one family discuss a task or problem at length amongst themselves (often involving checking on somebody’s kid)…and then tell the only woman present that she should go do it. While in the water, some of the men in this same group had one of the younger boys with them, and they told him to tell one of the women sitting in a chair that he was “hanging with the guys”. How early people demonstrate association based on gender to kids…
4. While at an outdoor shopping area, I saw two parents with their 3-4 year old child. The mom had her phone out (or maybe a camera, I can’t remember) and the dad was trying to get the boy to make muscle poses in front of a Batman statue. He looked uncomfortable and like he didn’t want to, but his parents kept pushing him to do it.
5. How often white people and other priveleged groups think they get to just ignore the context provided to them about someone else’s knowledge or lived experiences (and instead take on an “I believe and/or care about only what I have experienced myself” attitude)…
6. Listening to exploding fireworks and imagining animals whipped into a frenzy, fleeing, and getting lost from their families…
Also, remembering when I was a child and hated fireworks, and everyone told me to unplug my ears and watch – but with my sensitivite hearing + anxiety, each pop was painful and made my body shake.
7. The fact that I could send or pass out gold star stickers for people on a ridiculously frequent basis with phrases on them such as “I perpetuated rape culture”, “I said something sexist”, “I said something racist”, “I passed White Supremacist US History”, “I body shamed someone”, “I blamed a victim”, “I missed the point”, “I tried to rationalize racism/sexism”…etc.