Monday, February 25, 2008

Small Victory for Art

Sadly, this clip of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova accepting their Oscar was taken down from YouTube. It was a beautiful moment.

I cried when I saw this:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cute, Nice Girls

I'm fed up with being cute: I want to be taken seriously.

I was telling Kevin (my boy of significance, though not quite my boyfriend yet) that it seems that young women, especially attractive, polite ones, are viewed as "nice, cute girls" and therefore not taken seriously. It's as if we (yes, "we" because I very much fit into the category of females mentioned above) waiver between status as a passive doormat or an overly aggressive bitch.

I want to be somewhere in between. i want to be seen as a human being and sometimes, I want to be legitimately angry and assertive in order to fix a wrong. I will not apologize if that makes me a bitch.

It can be more subtle, though. In my professional experience, I saw the spectrum. Some people in my office would take me very seriously, even with my embroidered owl skirts and large, ethnic-looking earrings. It would be too simplistic to say it was only men who viewed me as "some nice, cute girl" and therefore didn't treat me as a professional equal. Sometimes, older women were the worst at patronizing younger women in a professional setting.

Honestly, though, I felt I was treated well by co-workers. My work was valued, I was respected. I have good references now to prove it.

It's unfortunate that wardrobe and appearance can dictate the way people treat you, especially if you're a "nice, cute girl." I tried to dress modestly in the office and wore a lot of Ann Taylor clothes. This helped, I think. But I've mentioned the large earrings and the owl skirt. I wonder if clothing will always have such an impact on the way women are respected and treated.

I have nothing against being a polite, genuinely kind person. Emphasis on the word "person." Not "girl." I try to treat people with dignity, respect, and kindness. That's all I want in return. So often young women don't receive all three and settle for latter: kindness, or it's shallow sister, niceness.

But I'm done with it: I'm done being "cute" and "nice." If it makes me a bitch, fine. I'd rather have more genuine relationships built on honesty and respect.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Morally ambiguous coffee

Most days, I'm happy to be a 21st century American woman, thanks to my relative freedom and equal status. Then I come across shit like this, and I wonder if feminism has accomplished anything. Maybe we should burn our bras again. At least we'll get some attention.

What further disgusts me about Latte Dolls is that it advertises as having certified fair trade coffee. I guess any business around here can be legitimized by appealing to progressive yuppy politics. I hate to see fair trade used merely as a pawn to get people who don't regard themselves as consumers to become just that - consumers (of both coffee and degrading raunch).

Just because the farmers are paid fairly (and I suppose the 'dolls' who work there are compensated well, too) doesn't mean this is okay. But there are plenty of coffee alternative about town, and I won't waste my time staging a boycott. I just wish women would say no to such jobs and people would take their business to places that are truly progressive - places that treat women as people rather than sex objects.

In the mean time, I'll continue to get my fair trade coffee where the barristas are fully clothed.