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a few notes on a scandal

May 19th, 2009

We did think that there might be a little article coming out soon, featuring an interview with us and some of our thoughts on the recent Four Corners story, on Matthew Johns being stood down from Channel Nine and the Storm, and on the issues of sexual politics, sexual violence and rugby league that the story raised.

But as always, ya can’t control the media, right? We have no idea if or when it will be published, so we wanted to explain why we haven’t said something about it here as yet.

We try not to talk about league scandals too much on Errol, not because we don’t care – that’s definitely not the case. Rugby League is very dear to our hearts and any hint of a scandal kills us in the soul. Kiki has talked about bad behaviour in general in league before (and it’s worth a read). We are certainly opinionated, sometimes really confused, about these issues.

The main reason we avoid discussing them is simply that Errol is so lighthearted. One of the commenters on Cricket Australia called our columns ‘joywork’ (one of the best compliments of our lives so far).

We would be mortified if anyone came onto our site and thought we were discussing any of this without the seriousness and the respect that it deserves. And let’s be honest, wouldn’t you think that if you saw a discussion of sexual violence next to Intern John-John photoshopped in a cowboy hat?

Anyone who saw ‘Clare’ on Four Corners or Phil Gould speaking on the Footy Show knows that these cases are hard enough on everyone involved without feeling like people are taking the piss out of them.

What we’re saying is there’s really place for every discussion. And sometimes context is really important. But if you do want to know what we think, or if you have a suggestion of where it might be appropriate – please let us know. Maybe it’s the arts student in all of us, but we think the more discourse, the better.

We can’t comment on the sexual side of footy culture. But from our first-hand experience – despite a few jibes from footy fans – our interactions with players, ex-players, coaches and administrators have been nothing but positive. They have been respectful and extremely encouraging of what we do on Errol.

Whether we have just been lucky, we can’t say, but those kind of examples will be a massive part of any changes being made in the game’s culture. Since the introduction of the Playing by the Rules program in 2004, a lot of changes already have been made at some clubs.

In the meantime, we’re gonna keep doing what we do, because we have seen first-hand all the positive impacts league can have – especially in country areas - in creating community, supporting young people, and just giving a bit of entertainment. We are 100% committed to supporting, promoting and adoring the goodness in footy. Because trust us, it’s there.

Meanwhile, please leave us a comment with any of your suggestions or to tell us what you think! (nothing that violates libel laws pls. Deleting offensive comments is tiiiring).

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46 

kiki does serious times

September 16th, 2008

Let me start this post off by saying … DEAR GOD WHAT A DEPRESSING WEEKEND. Not only am I literally suffering some sort of haemorrhagic disease, but my Dragons lost terribly AND there’s another sex scandal to deal with. I MEAN REALLY.

I am seriously in the grips of some sort of crazy Outbreak shit. There has been actual blood vomiting and I’m positive only 35% of it was caused by tequila. Is it Ebola? Crimean-Congo Fever? IS IT DENGUE? So many questions. If I caught something from that pet monkey Lachie had in here last week I am deadset going to throttle him.

haojodf
the scene outside the Errol office disturbed the neighbours

I’ve been feeling like the walking dead since Thursday and I am very very proud of myself for not vomming all over Stephen Ferris during our appearance on Fire Up. Mostly because no one would ever believe I was vomiting for a legitmate non-alcohol related reason. Because I am basically a man I have been in total SHE’LL BE RIGHT mode but this afternoon Intern John-John is driving me to the doctors to see what’s up. He’s even promised to put pants on! Usually Intern Brownie looks after the serious adulty things, but he’s still dosed up on Xanax after the Dragons loss and isn’t allowed to drive.

klfjf

Now you all have a comprehensive update on my health, let’s talk about the bloody Broncos. Another day, another scandal. Has this deadset been the Worst Year Ever or what? Here we are, supposed to be celebrating the centenary of our illustrious game and instead it’s been all international manhunts, glassing people in the face and yucky times in nightclub toilets. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could detail all of 2008′s dramaz … but I would be here so long my ass might fuse to the chair like those fatties that can’t move off their lounge coz of said fatness.

And ain’t that a pretty mental image?

To be honest, this year has been bloody exhausting. I am so emotionally drained from constantly having to defend the game I love. And yes, as a woman I am constantly called upon to not only defend the game of rugby league, but my dedication to it. I find it intensely annoying but I understand why people ask Those Sort of Questions.

I just wish it wasn’t an issue.  I resent that this sorta stuff even exists.

I truly hate being serious and addressing issues that aren’t the changing lengths of Hot Bitch Cooper’s rats tail (btw he totally trimmed it during the week). I have managed to get through all of 2008 skilfully avoiding the heavy stuff but now I feel like I have to say something.

okjfkfj

So take notes children, because this is my Definitive Manifesto. Next time someone asks me the dreaded ‘but but…you’re a league fan AND a woman….how do you feel about…??’ I am directing them here.

1) As far as most rugby league scandals that crop up, like drinking, (legal) shagging, pissing in public and being obnoxious, I honestly don’t believe footy players are any worse behaved than alot of guys their own age. If my mates had the stuff they did on the weekends reported in the papers, they would be in the same position. Young Australian men do stupid shit. It’s a fact of life. I mean who hasn’t peed in an alley when drunk?

2) But let me be clear, I do not, nor does anyone at Errol condone illegal or anti-social behaviour. We are not apologists. There is absolutely no excuse for violence, sexual assault or drink driving.

3) We do however take objection to people inferring that this sort of stuff is representative of rugby league. Because it isn’t. These are social problems, not footy problems.

4) Being a league fan certainly does not mean we approve of any of this behaviour. Stop assuming it is. We don’t particularly like having our morals or our commitment to feminism being questioned coz coz … omgz how can you be a woman and like league and omg omg WHAT ABOUT THE SISTERHOOD? Being a dedicated league fan doesn’t make me less of a woman, and being a woman doesn’t make me any less of a league fan.

We believe men and women have every right to their choices and to respect from their own and the opposite sex.  Watching men throw a football around doesn’t change that in any way, so please do shut up. Thankyou kindly.

5) Stop asking me if I think league is disrespectful to women. For the record, my answer is no. I don’t think league as a game, or its fans, are deliberately or inherently disrespectful to women.  Is there sexism or discrimination?  We’re sure there is, just as – sadly – there is in every walk of life.

Is there ignorance? You bet your ass there is. I think this is for a couple of reasons -

a) League is almost entirely male dominated. If anyone is disrespectful to women it’s probably because they don’t SEE any women in an everyday context. Sure there might be a receptionist and a physio here and there, but basically its men men men all the time.  Most players join clubs from a very young age and they basically grow up in this manufactured environment. If some of them end up having slightly skewed views on women, it’s hardly a suprise.

b) Without this every day interaction with women, the boys are left with very little to go on. To be frank, if I was 20 year old guy and offered sex on a platter every time I went out, I would probably come to think that the only way men and women interact is sexual, too.

Thankfully, we think the NRL is trying to change things. I think they really do want to involve women, but they are just at a bit of a loss as how to do it. 

God knows there are enough women who are rugby league fans.  Even though the boys who play footy might live in a bubble of testosterone, one look around the field at any footy game will show you that there are plennnty of women in league.

So we would like to help you out with a simple step-by-step guide to diversifying league: Step 1 – hire us.  Step 2 to 100 – watch our awesome ideas flourish.

One more thing. Because people ask us this all the time:

No, we are not trying to shag footy players. We are NOT footy groupies. Although we may sexually objectify them alot on Errol (it’s fun okay?) that doesn’t mean we want them to put their penis in us. We love the boys and we love the game … but that’s as far as it goes.

The next person that asks The Sex Question … well … do so at your own peril. You have been Warned.

And that’s it really. God, being serious is GROSS, I feel a bit dirty.

If you want to discuss serious times any further, leave us a comment.

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40 

… ten bundys and she's anyone's!

August 26th, 2008

So the story goes like this: A guy who drinks a Certain Drink walks into a party, and to the chagrin of all his mates, manages to pick up the hottest girls there.  Four of them, in fact.

Good for you, Heterosexual Advertising Guy! Way to score!

That’s kind of every ad ever made, yes? So why, all of a sudden, is the lucky guy picking up those lovely ladies, no longer a guy?


helloooo lover

Why is the Bundy Bear rocking up to parties and having women fawn all over him and his dyed-pink fur?  Wouldn’t he much rather be off picking up lady Polar Bears? 

And why is some bloke’s kelpie refusing to bring back his stick because he’s too busy frolicking in a hot tub with four hot XXXX girls?

Why, all of a sudden, are penguins pullin ladies by looking cool as they drive around in their hummer?

Because first of all that last one is biologically inaccurate, and OFFENDS me as a ZOOLOGIST because penguins are serial monogamists and male penguins spend most of their time when they’re not with their partner sitting on eggs and looking after their bbs. I know this because Morgan Freeman told me so in his narration of ‘March of the Penguins’.

See?

And secondly … really? REALLY? I could not be more baffled. Who exactly is the target audience for these ads? I know it can’t be me, because I am totally creeped out by them.

They also clearly don’t work on me, regardless, because I can’t even remember what the stupid penguins in the car are meant to be promoting.

I’ve seen my share of ads that objectify and sexualise women before (after all, I watch football, hoooooome of the sexist advert!), but when did advertisers decide the new way to hook customers was by implying animals have sexual tension with women?

It’s almost as unnerving as that cereal ad where the little boy makes brekkie for his mum and tucks her in bed and basically all-but-implies that he’s become some kind of reverse-gender oedipal substitute for his father.  Shudder.

For one thing, implied bestiality is Just Plain Creepy, kthanks.  But doesn’t this also represent a whole new level of the “sexual availability” undercurrent in all the previous ads that used women and sexuality as selling tools?

I know part of the objection to this kind of advertising, and the way it feeds into a raunch culture, is that it ingrains the idea that for women there is no higher value to aspire to than sexiness.

The purpose or pinnacle for women becomes nothing more than to be vessels to gratify others, to be available, to be sexually attractive, to be lusted after, and in doing so they rob themselves of their ownsexuality under the guise of being liberated. Eventually no one bothers to think anymore about who or what a woman might want, only whether she’s wantable.

So what does it say when what we are being shown in primetime includes women who are so ready to Be Sexy and to be seen as sexy that they’re not even discerning about species anymore?

Do you know what’s funny to me?  When animals act like people!  Do you know what’s not funny to me?  When apparently women like shagging animals.

Even the animators of Jessica Rabbit had the decency to make her a woman instead of an actual rabbit.

If I’m assuming that all these booze and car ads are in some large part targeted at men, what’s the kicker?  Tell me, as a woman, why do these ads make you happy?  Why do they make you want to buy things?

PENGUINS CAN’T EVEN DRIVE CARS, YOU KNOW. THEIR FEET WOULDN’T REACH THE PEDALS. GOD.

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10 

when political correctness retards us all

August 23rd, 2008

So aside from my drunken excursions to unnerve NRL players last week I’ve pretty much been busy smoking my crackpipe and watching the Olympics, which means I almost missed out on the fact that people are protesting against Tropic Thunder.  

Not against seeing my filmcrush Robert Downey Jr playing a character who wears blackface, but against the fact that it uses the word ‘retard’.

 

Protesters, led by Special Olympics chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver, marched outside the world premiere of the Hollywood satire Tropic Thunder on Monday night.

Chanting and waving placards that read “Ban the movie, ban the word” and “Call me by my name, not my label,” several dozen people tried to get the message across that the word “retard” and making fun of the mentally challenged is not comedy material.

In Thunder, Ben Stiller’s character is an actor who previously attempted to go for Oscar gold by playing a character called “Simple Jack.”

 

I AM DEAD. Truly, I am dead.  Speechless and dead.  Dead and speechless.

It’s probs pretty obvious by now that I am crap at being politically correct – almost as crap as I am at keeping my mouth shut – but I like to think I have some kind of heart and some kind of conscience.  I know enough to know that there are Some Words you just don’t say, because no matter how much you might mean no harm, the wounds of the word run really deep and it’s simply cruel and lazy and selfish to tap into those old hurts.  We are clever enough to find other words to express ourselves and to do otherwise is just careless.

But surely we all know by now the context in which the movie uses the word retard, don’t we?  

 

Downey: Everybody knows you never do a full retard.

Stiller: What do you mean?

Downey:  Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rainman, look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic. Sure. Not retarded.

You know Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and he won a ping-pong competition? That ain’t retarded.

You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

 

I know you’ve all watched the Oscars and noticed the exact same thing that they’re making fun of.   Retard wins oscars.  At the very least it wins nominations.  But not Full Retard.  

For Sean Penn in I Am Sam, for Leonardo di Caprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, for Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, for Dustin Hoffman in Rainman.  Retards are gold, people, if you want to be a credible actor.  

And this is surely what Ben Stiller wants you to think about – why is it so much more impressive to convincingly play someone with a mental disability or a condition like autism than it is to play someone who is equally distant from the actor in any other way?  Someone with a different culture?  A completely different life?  Someone extremely clever?

I think it’s a symptom, to be honest, of a society where political correctness is powerful enough an influence that We Don’t Say Those Words – words like spastic, or retard, or Special – but underneath, the people who were once labelled with any of those words are still just as marginalised.  Taking away the vocabulary of marginalisation hasn’t magically changed people’s attitudes.  All it’s done is blanket them.  Because we’re all politically correct, didn’t you know?

But whether we say the R-word or not, Westerners, and particularly Americans, still live in a culture where anyone differently abled, mentally or physically, is still characterised as the Other. The way Hollywood loves to gleefully reward a “normal person” for playing retard is just an institutionalised way of reinforcing the idea that they are making a sacrifice by doing it, that they are somehow slumming, giving up the privilege of being normal or looking normal, certainly looking desirable by deigning to portray someone ‘less than normal’ on film.  A nomination for an award is a recognition of the massive effort the actor has made in playing their part.

How utterly demeaning.  How surreptitiously discriminatory.  And worst of all is the sense throughout the whole process that Hollywood is patting itself on the back for its open-mindedness and compassion in recognising the disadvantaged or the disenfranchised.  

I see exactly the same system at work in the way that Hollywood fixates on straight actors playing gay. Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain, James Franco and Sean Penn in Milk.  It’s obvious in the way that they are lauded at awards ceremonies and the way that every interview sees the actors discussing their reservations in playing gay.

Because in our heteronormative culture, what could be more of a sacrifice than having to act as a homosexual?  (Except, perhaps acting as a retard).  How utterly awful!  What a sacrifice they make!  How they must fight back the bile when they have to kiss someone of the same sex.  Apparently it is all too easy to kiss a stranger, or someone you don’t find attractive, but only provided they are of the opposite sex.

It’s no different to the most obvious of all Hollywood prejudices: beauty.  If it’s not someone winning an oscar for playing a retard, or a paraplegic, or a fag, it’s someone being deemed SO BRAVE and SO TALENTED for putting on a fake nose and playing an ugly person.  

But as much as Hollywood loves showering praise on the Normals who play these Challenging roles, the one thing no one wants to talk about, let alone see on the big screen, is the real thing.  They don’t want to see ‘real retards’ just like they don’t want to see ‘real ugly’ or ‘real gays’.  What they really want is a watered-down Hollywood prettied-up version of the real thing.  So what we get is hot people playing ugly (not too ugly though!  A fake nose or a few extra kilos will do), straight people playing gay (with all the gay sex censored out, of course) and ‘normal’ people playing mildly retarded (with all the actual retards whitewashed out).

So tell me, what is it that we should be spending our precious time protesting against exactly? Which is more dangerous?  A movie that – shock, horror – uses the word retard, or the system that it’s satirising?  A system where every word is closely monitored and sanitised in the interest of political correctness, but every action more deeply ingrains the very prejudice those words used to embody.

And more importantly, tell me what better word is there to use to try and illustrate the kind of insidious prejudice we’re talking about?  

It’s just one more way that the veil of pc language has paralysed us, left us unable to discuss actual issues. Not even in a comedy film.

[promo stills via DreamWorks]

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19 

isn't it romantic?

August 5th, 2008

This post should actually probably be called ‘more stuff about all men are liars‘ or something, but … there just isn’t a song called that, okay? Also it’s my blog post I can call it whatever I want.

You only have to click on the ‘wouldn’t cry if they died’ tag on this blog to see that I Do Not have a ladyboner for Sam de Brito’s column on www.smh.com.au, but I only realised today that BITCH DOESN’T LIKE US EITHER.

I feel … oddly validated. Kind of like the time I walked past a girl in chenille hotpants and she made a face at my outfit.

In response to his blog on men being more romantic than women, our girl Jessica left a comment stating what I can only describe as the blindingly obvious, especially when the topic was romance outside of long-term relationships.

Men don’t want us to be romantic. They interpret that kind of behaviour as clingy, needy, suffocating. It freaks them out.

Tell me boys, do you really wish that a random girl would:

“… send some footy tickets to the cute boy in marketing or ask that tasty tradie does he have dinner plans? Terrifying, huh?”

And no, you can’t lie when you answer this question. It would be terrifying. Only not just for the lady risking her heart. More like terrifying for the poor bastard getting the tickets and feeling that inevitable lurch in the guts as he has nightmarish visions of family station wagons and mothers-in-law and thinks (as most men would in this situation) that she’s trying to get her talons into him. Because women who pursue men are either man eaters or desperately looking to trap a husband, right?

I’m not saying that thought is accurate. It could well be alarmist and ridiculous (it is in my case at least). But I know you’d be thinking it.

And in fairness, I should also post the reply to her comment:

Jessica, relax. It’s just a blog post, which was just a column. I know sometimes my writing can be taken as fractious, but it all springs from a desire for greater understanding and communication between the sexes. Do I achieve that all the time? No, but this is the 357th post I’ve written in two years, so forgive me if my tone wanders outside those parameters at times. – Sam

Wow. Perhaps we have found a worthy adversary, ladies. Look at how he uses her first name (even though she didn’t leave a full name in her comment) to imply a sense of omniscience and control. Observe the brilliant use of “it’s just a blog column”, which I believe can also be translated as “being patronising”, or even “calm down you hysterical woman”.

But best of all, I enjoy “this is the 357th post I’ve written in two years”. DING-DING-DING we have a winner! It’s such a compact and efficient way to say to a commenter I HAVE A REAL COLUMN ON A NEWSPAPER WEBSITE AND YOU DON’T. Aaaah dear. Amazing.

WE LOVE YOU DE BRITO. KEEP ON STOPPING BY!

But this blog isn’t going to be about That Other Column and why I mock it so often (let’s just say everyone needs a hobby and leave it at that).

I want to talk about romance. That Other Column asked women “when was the last time you did something spontaneously romantic?” What I would like to know is when has anyone done anything spontaneously romantic?

Surely the very idea is a contradiction in terms. What could be less immediate or spontaneous than what we call romance? Love can be unexpected and sudden when it appears. And when you look at a person the rush of love that you feel in your guts can make you do unexpected things on sudden whims, like pressing the top of your forehead under their jaw just to feel how warm their skin is, flinging your arms around them so the whole length of you is touching, or offering them the last party pie.

(Greg Bird suggested that last one. He’s so sweet)

But romance? Spontaneous? Never.

Romance is the product of thought, planning, and – possibly most of all – cultural conditioning. Everything that we brand as romance has an air of calculation about it, including picking the right restaurant in advance, or planning a trip to Paris. It’s not fresh in the sense of being spontaneous, just as it’s not fresh in the sense that these are learned behaviours, the same gestures that thousands of men have made before because That’s What You Have To Do.

Surely romance is nothing if not the descendent of that most artificial and mannered expression of love in western culture, Courtly Love, where love was made a pursuit or a discipline. Men sought to win a woman, so they created forms of writing and speaking and addressing a woman to flatter her, and deeds to demonstrate their worthiness. It was inevitable then that the ideals of Chivalry (that most Masculine of codes) became bound up with Courtly Love and proving yourself as a Knight became yet another way to win a woman.

Only now, Courtly Love has been renamed Romance, and times have changed the words and the deeds the way they change everything. Rather than deeds on horseback to show bravery, or addressing sonnets to a noblewoman, the rules of romance have men writing notes to send with flowers to demonstrate devotion, or booking French restaurants to show their prosperity and savoir faire. Rather than being taught Chivalric tenets, men are raised to know that they should open doors, or at the very least that they must never hit a woman.

I think CS Lewis was more insightful than anyone when he called it “love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love”.

Romance is a religion, of sorts, with its own particular acts of penance and devotion. We are born alone – solitude our original sin – but with effort and with ritual (a christening, or three expensive dates) we can be washed clean of it.

We are taught to honour the sacred days: St Valentine’s Day, the name days of our Patron Saints, our anniversaries. We learn that the right kind of penance(ten hail marys, twelve long-stemmed roses) is sufficient to atone for misdeeds.

And even though women fall in love every day, this isn’t love we’re talking about. This is romance. If women were called fools when they first dreamed they could be priests in the Catholic Church, they are greater fools if they think they have any role to play in romance.

Just as women did not write sonnets of courtly love, they do not perform the rites of romance. They are not its subjects, but its objects.

And if women making romantic gestures troubles men or makes them uncomfortable, should we be surprised? For straight men and straight women at least, the roles of romance have developed over hundreds of years with man as actor and woman as prize.

Reversing those roles as a woman, sending tickets, buying romantic gifts, planning expensive trips, is still culturally shocking.

And if women like me already find romance cloying and confining, is it really likely that we’ll start buying disgusting stuffed toys and empowering ourselves through romance anytime soon? There’s no incentive to turn the tables and participate in something you’d rather didn’t exist at all.

I’ll ask again. When is the last time you did something spontaneously romantic?

When was the last time romance was spontaneous at all?

Would you like the last party pie Greg Bird?

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single girls: find out why your apartment smells like arse

August 3rd, 2008

Oh my GOD. I actually don’t even know where to start with this one. My head is spinning. And no that is not a result of booze – I stayed home last night thank you very much. Unfortunately this article has taken vodka’s place and caused me to vomit uncontrollably of a Sunday morn.

Right, let’s get into it:

That’s the truth about being single; it can be horrendous, only I’m not allowed to admit it. For a few months I have been leading what most anthropologists would describe as a highly unusual existence in my one-person flat, and yet prevailing 21st-century thought – the publishing industry, marketing bods keen to get their grubby paws on what’s left of my disposable income – are trying to convince me that being single is the best thing in the world that can happen to a person.

Well she got one thing right. Being single CAN be horrendous. You know what else CAN be horrendous? BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP. Surely if someone’s going to write about single life being a myth and not in fact ‘the best thing in the world that can happen to a person’, they’d try to avoid romanticising the alternative? Am I asking too much? Good grief.

Let’s move on:

Likewise, there’s a myth being perpetuated that being single is great! The loneliness, the effort, that musty smell in your flat because you spend far too much time in it, the fact that children think you’re weird – that’s all in your mind. A fabrication. You’re not bored, you just think you’re bored because being single is fabulous! There are more than 3 million single people living in Britain today – everyone’s at it, why not join in the fun? You can drink cocktails like they did in Sex and the City! You can play Nintendo into the dead of night! Absolutely nobody in the world gives a toss about you, but, never mind, you’ve won the lottery of life.

SO THAT’S WHAT THAT SMELL IS. The musty aroma of my failure as a human being. Honey, if it’s true that nobody in the world gives a toss about you (I sure hope her family don’t read her column. Talk about a slap in the face), perhaps it’s because YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE? Also why does she care that children think she’s weird? Damn those 5 year olds and their opinions! They really know how to put tears on my pillow.

Connected to this syndrome is another unacknowledged truth: that a lot of single people are mad. Some of them are single because they are mad. They tack uplifting quotes to their bedroom walls; they try to lure the attached away from their beloved with promises of a fabulous new life in which no one ever need share a tube of toothpaste again. They begin to excel in those activities that are traditionally dominated by the singleton culture, stalking and conspiracy theorising. But most of them are mad because they’re being driven insane by the pressure to be ecstatic about being single. Under the cover of normality they’re sectionable, trying to justify why they want to be alone so much. To this end they forensically inspect the relationships of their friends. “A lot of people are with the wrong people for the wrong reasons,” is their mantra and sincere hope. They gullibly fall for the claims of their friends with children who tell them how lucky they are to have nothing to do at the weekends. “How I envy you!” new mothers will tell their single friends. It’s an exercise in self-pity, of course. If in doubt, ask them to swap your life with theirs and watch them clutch their children.

A;klsjd;flaksjfd;laskjfd;askl CANNOT COMPUTE. SYSTEM FAILURE. ABORT ABORT ABORT.

Thank god for Intern Brownie and his smelling salts. At ease dear Brownie, I’m fine now.

Oh those silly single girls (because not once does she mention single men. Being a single woman is pathetic but apparently being a single man doesn’t even warrant discussion, it’s THAT AWESOME) and their inspirational quotes! Once I’m mazzed up with grubby offspring pulling at my skirt I’ll have no use for any of that nonsense. I’ll look back on my Tumblr and oh how I’ll laaaarf.

The entire article is just another way of putting all women in neat little boxes where we all want the same thing, feel the same way, are stupid and gullible and constantly lying to ourselves. I’m sure the writer’s feelings are genuine and I don’t at all think it’s wrong or weak to long for a relationship, but why does saying that have to mean that being single is inherently shit? Anyone who is seriously sitting at home wallowing in self-pity, belittling and shaking their head at single women who choose to oh you know, have FUN, might just have some issues that won’t be solved by finding The One.

I know if she were to stumble across this post she’d be all “zomg see, we’re not allowed to say anything bad about being single! brainwashed!”. No. Being single is awful and lonely sometimes, that’s true. My problem is with not acknowledging that it can also be great and insinuating that it’s impossible to genuinely enjoy life without a partner, and if you are you’re just kidding yourself. It’s all such a limited and negative way of thinking about women (and as I said earlier, her arguments revolve solely around women and the various cliches attached to having a vagina) and relationships, and only reinforces those ideas that we’re all just crazy potential stalkers until we’re rescued by The One. Bitch please.

Edit: I think Sassy’s thoughtz from the comments deserve to be included here:

all those nights I went out and MET boys, when the single rules say I should have been sitting home wallowing in my own stink and making creepy cross-stitch love letters to send to the guy who lives in the flat opposite.

because THAT’S WHAT SINGLE PEOPLE DO.

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36 

do white knights really drink pure blonde?

July 30th, 2008

[Note: Obviously if anyone from Fairfax or any of its regional and international affiliates comes across this blog I would point out that I LOVE de Brito's fine work for your upstanding online and print publications and could think of nothing more satisfying than a job in the same publishing institution for which he crafts his insightful and informative prose. Feel free to bear than in mind. Love and kisses, Sassy]

Lozzy reminded me a little while ago that there has been a sad lack of feminist ranting on this blog lately. And it’s true. I have completely dropped the ball.  It’s pretty much a tragedy.

Also, I like to look after the mysterious person who found our site by googling “Sam de Brito wanker”. Because that was AMAZING.

So today I give you a little vintage Sam de Brito. On one of his favourite topics too: women being delusional and demanding. Women! They’re crazy!

But I’m feeling nice today, so let’s start with the most amazing part of the whole column.  The part I agree with: 

Several Tasmanian forests have been pulped to produce the newsprint expended on Australia’s so-called “man-drought” …

The use of the word “drought” suggests there is an alarming absence of men on our shores, but to dispel that myth you need only visit a pub, TAB or the line-up in the surf at Narrabeen and you’ll find there’s plenty of us about.

What seems the essence of this complaint is that there is a “suitable” man-drought: a dearth of blokes who fail to fit some new set of criteria born of women’s magazines, Sex and the City and Diet Coke commercials.


It’s true! It’s not necessarily a general lack of mans that worries us.

(Although it is statistically true *cough*doyourrsearchdebrito*cough*)

It’s whether a lot of the mans out there are … kinda shit, to be frank. But here’s where we differ, and not just in the sense that I say stuff that is funny and he says stuff like:

So let me ask you this: if you were to order a pizza with 15 exotic toppings (extra couscous, please) and was told by the waiter, “sorry, we just have ham, pineapple, olives, pepperoni and capsicum” does the pizza fail to exist? …

Oh god.*

From experience I can tell you most single men just want a woman they can be themselves around, who doesn’t nag them to death and enjoys oral sex and ballsports as much as they do.

Many single women, however, have a laundry list of virtues that cover everything from how much their ideal partner should earn, to how they look, dress, dance and the correct apportioning of body hair.

They might say “I just want a nice normal guy who makes me laugh” but when said specimen approaches clutching a schooner of VB, he’ll be dismissed because of his Holden Dealer Racing Team t-shirt and she’ll continue to moon over the property developer in the Calibre suit sipping Pure Blonde.

This is what I call the “player conundrum” – because if a guy has got it going on, is in shape, well-presented, earns a respectable salary and has a cool job, he’s not looking to settle down ladies, he’s shagging for Australia with gals ten years his junior.

Not only did he manage to remind us in this paragraph one more time that men are relaxed, lovable and reasonable creatures tortured by the ridiculous demands of hysterical women, he also made me a bit nauseous.

Are we serious? Is the ideal man now a property developer in a Calibre suit sipping Pure Blonde? Low-carb beer, awful suits and a mercenary job? Kill me now if it is.

I would like to counter that perhaps these men are shagging women ten years younger because they are the only women wide-eyed and optimistic enough to find them attractive. Maybe women who’ve been alive for more than 19 years can see that they have no souls?  Because these are exactly the kind of horrific examples of manhood who make me worry about whether the men of Australia might be completely undateable.

More importantly – has it occurred to anyone that this “player conundrum” is massively one-sided and inherently sexist? If you are the kind of man whom De Brito seems to think is a ‘good catch’ – and excuse me if I gag a little when I say that – it’s completely acceptable for you to set specific guidelines for the women you are going to be involved with. You are completely justified in saying that from now on you will ONLY fuck women who are a decade younger than you.  And you’ll be applauded for it.

(Also cheers for reminding me De Brito that the only attractive quality for a woman is youth. Back on the shelf you old boilers!)

But if you are a woman, no matter how attractive or clever or hilarious or successful you may be, you better take what you can get, bitches. You certainly won’t be getting any attention from men with money because their ‘laundry list’ is a woman a decade younger with no interest in a relationship.  It’s nice that De Brito thinks men with BO problems deserve a chance from a hot woman, and maybe even love too, but women over 25 don’t deserve the equivalent from a man.

On the other hand I am alllll over the idea of the man with the schooner of VB. Truthfully, my favourite is a hot man with a schooner in each hand who comes up to me in a pub. Coordinated and a drunk. Sweeet. Thankfully that also happens more than you would expect. If there are any reading right now, comment me, bitches. Let’s go out for exotic pizza.

* I say that in the sense of ‘oh god what kind of joke is this?’ as well as ‘oh god, what kind of budget shithole pizza place is this?’

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Who's a sexy girl, then?

May 13th, 2008

I read this article on star.com today. I actually hadn’t realised that the FHM ‘sexiest women’ list was out, clearly I’m kinda behind the times on this stuff. Forgive me?

Let me present the sexiest woman of 2008, Megan Fox:

By any chance does the styling and the pose remind you of anything?

In some ways I do agree with Stephen Marche who wrote the opinion piece:

For Him Magazine, and the other lad mags like Maxim and Umm, occupy a strange, liminal place in the territory of contemporary male desire. They exist to allow men to look at women’s bodies sexually but not pornographically. With the emphasis on suggestion rather than revelation, the women in their pages are slick materialistic ideals, as current in their smooth plastic forms as the Prius or iPhone.

The downside to such manufactured people is that they’re all the same. If you were mugged by any one of the women in the top 10, you couldn’t pick the perpetrator out of a lineup. They’re all white. They all have long hair and they’re almost all blonde. They all have the same high cheekbones. They all have the same nose. Each woman is allowed exactly one deviation from the norm, and the deviation is immediately remarked on – her tattoos or her extra-dark eye makeup or her curves. The girls of FHM are obviously products of a fundamentally icky consumerist objectification, but their engineered homogeneity also reveals an incredibly limited imagination.

But I think what troubles me is this – Marche clearly has more faith in men than I do. Or more faith in humans I guess, because what we’re talking about is people’s ability to ‘stay true to themselves’ or be individuals and resist the influences of socialisation and peer pressure than tell us to Be A Certain Way and Like A Certain Kind of Woman.

He says:

FHM is not a men’s magazine like GQ or Esquire. It’s a magazine for lads – for 15-year-olds. It serves adolescent boys with the fantasy that there is something or someone out there who is the “sexiest,” a comforting norm of male desire which does not exist and has never existed.

If only it were so simple. Men (as opposed to boys) know that male desire doesn’t fit any pattern; it changes unpredictably, sometimes over years, sometimes over an afternoon. Male desire is particular – some men like women in tutus, others like women who are morbidly obese. Who can say what men are attracted to? It could be the second joint of the middle toe, or green eyes, or a certain ineffable way of walking.

To me, that is completely and utterly untrue. You can’t write off this ranking of samey lifeless women as ‘just for lads’, however much you might like to. I think in reality, for most men, it’s the opposite. ‘Lads’ and teenagers are so flush with hormones, and at the age when sexuality is so new and exciting that it colours absolutely everything they see.

To a teenager everything is sexy. Womanhood is just plain sexy. You lust after any number of people – your friend’s mum, your teacher who wears retro glasses but has a great rack, cartoon Princess Jasmine, the girl next door. All the different forms of woman are sexy because the drive (for heterosexual boys) towards women is so overwhelming.

But with time and media saturation and socialisation our culture teaches men(and women to an extent) that this is not sexy. Because it’s not socially acceptable to find different women with small boobs and no brazilian wax sexy. What is sexy is this list of shiny, groomed, FHM babes. What is sexy is Megan Fox. And that’s why all the other desires – like chubby women, or a dominatrix, or freckles and glasses – begin to seem weird and dark and unnatural, and have to be hidden away or admitted with embarassment.

It takes a really strong man to resist that tide of persuasion. I know far too many men who have been swept up in it – no ‘real’ woman can compare to their vision of the sexually desirable woman unless she too is groomed and shiny and plastic and hairless.

And the saddest part is that this feeds into the way that women are socialising themselves – we will soon all be convinced that women are for looking at and lusting after. They are not for lusting or being sexual so much as being sexualised. Their value lies in their outsides only, and those outsides must meet this one universal standard if they ever want to be wanted.

So Marche wants to know what will happen -

How this ranking of the parade of gleaming pneumatic women will affect young men isn’t clear. Will it terminally limit their budding libidos or only provide a kind of temporary simple-minded refuge from the gathering deluge of sexual complications they’re about to face? As with everything when it comes to male desire, nobody knows.

The great Victorian art critic John Ruskin, a man who spent half his life among pictures and sculptures of naked women, was nonetheless shocked to discover on his wedding night that his bride Effie had pubic hair. On coming into contact with a real woman, the poor man actually went into spasms. We can only hope there’s a better fate for the lads whose first image of womanhood is Megan Fox with one x.

I think I already know.

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Women we do not love; Magazines we DO NOT LOVE.

May 9th, 2008

I was in the mood for some outrage this afternoon, and Jezebel led me right to it. Thanks, gals.

Scarlett Johansson was interviewed by Paste Magazine on “her five dads”. Apparently, “this is a story about dads and daughters who share something more profoundly connective than blood”.

Ooh, profound. A bold claim! Let’s dive in.

On Bill Murray:

Even though the actors’ personal relationship didn’t stretch far beyond the word “cut” (“I don’t even remember what I did off screen, I was so jetlagged,” Johansson sighs), sometimes your coworkers can teach you about life simply by example. Johansson learned the importance of vulnerability in the acting process, and about finding the nerve to pour something intimate into each character.

AMAZING! They hardly saw each other except for during filming, and she doesn’t even really remember the time they spent together that wasn’t captured on film for her to watch again later. That is profound, indeed. I’m kind of holding back a tear, to be honest. I wish only for that sort of deep and enriching emotional bond in my own life.

On Woody Allen:

“I don’t know why relationships between men and women are always pigeon-holed into being some kind of push-and-pull for sexual power. I’m always kind of weirded out when I’m interviewed by people who say, ‘Gosh! Woody must be in love with you.’ It’s like, ‘fucking expand your mind.’ We have a great friendship between us and I have such a fondness for him as a person. I can appreciate his quirks.”

Well it is insane, isn’t it, how the public have to turn all male-female relationships into smut? Those sex-crazed plebs. I’m sure all you and Woody do together is play chess and quote Kafka. Which is why he comes out with quotes like this:

Allen, 71, in turn describes Johansson as “criminally sexy,” telling the magazine: “While she is a much stronger actress in every way, there is a tiny bit of Marilyn Monroe in her zaftig humidity.”

Humid? Sorry, I just retched a little.

Word to the wise: It may also help people to stop sexualising you if you don’t participate in stunts like this, posing for five months in a series of shots where your head is obscured and all that is visible is your almost-undressed body.

To be truthful, this whole “five dads” schtick is just a really poor excuse to get someone young and big-boobed and lusted-after to talk about older men for the space of a whole article. It means that men of baby-boomer age and older can read it and imagine that Scarlett joneses for older men and might in a million years fuck them while at the same time pretending they don’t actually lust after a woman young enough to be their daughter. It’s pathetic, the moreso because Scarlett has made herself complicit in it to futher her career. But whatevs. Back to the snark.

More on Woody:

“He’s not precious about stuff, which I think is important, especially when you’re working with such a large group of people, and actors that are going to come in with their own ideas. You can’t be too nit-picky precious about phrasing. You’ll tell him, ‘This phrasing isn’t coming out the right way,’ and he’ll be like, ‘As long as you have the same idea, just put it into your own words.’ I think it’s important to give an actor that kind of flexibility.

“For instance, in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, there’s this line where I say, ‘You went through my suitcase,’ but the original line was ‘You went through my valise.’ Nobody would say ‘You went through my valise,” but Woody would say that! I told him, ‘You can’t say “valise” because nobody knows what that means.’ And Woody was like, ‘Really? What do you call it?’ And I was like, ‘It’s a suitcase!’”

Did you hear that, guys? Scarlett changed the word VALISE to SUITCASE. Bitch is an artist. I’m almost as impressed as when I found out Christina Aguilera added the ‘… come, come, come on and let me out’ to ‘Genie in a Bottle’ all by herself.

On Tom Waits:

Her new record isn’t the vanity project of someone who feels entitled to a record deal after achieving widespread notoriety. God gave her a wonderfully unexpected voice, and—emboldened by Mr. Waits’ example—she intends to have some fun with it.

EMBOLDENED BY MR. WAITS’ EXAMPLE? You’re telling me listening to a guy’s albums makes him your surrogate dad? In that case, Waits is also my dad. As are Elton, Neil, Marc, Gram, John, Paul, Michael, Jimmy, Johnny and Iva. Kthanks.

on Bob Dylan:

“I’ve been fortunate enough to never be the biggest media sensation,” she says. “I’ll do anything to avoid it. It’s so gross—that whole tabloid shit is disgusting and awful.”

Disgusting enough for you to appear in Entourage as yourself?
There is nothing I hate more than a deluded celebrity, except maybe transparent pandering and pointless nonjournalism like this article. Paste Magazine, you fail at life. Scar Jo, you lose at self-awareness.

And now, just because it’s worth a repeat:

“FUCKING EXPAND YOUR MIND”

- Scarlett Johansson.

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Lumpy Undies

May 7th, 2008

Chris Noth has slammed the marketing experts at lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret, claiming the company’s models look “gaudy”…“I’m not into Victoria’s Secret so much. I find it over the top. I like subtlety and I like elegance. I think their things are gaudy and they are really trying too hard. If I could make a fashion statement, I think that Victoria’s Secret looks to me like somebody who is putting on too much make-up. It’s too gaudy, man. I mean, come on take it easy, you don’t have to have a f***in’ bouquet of flowers on your underwear. Sorry Victoria’s Secret; I hope they’re not one of our sponsors!”

Starpulse

Right on Chris, I say. It’s ridic how over the top underwear can be when, for most people anyway, only you and whoever you’re fucking are going to see it. I get buying lingerie and wanting The Girls to look good for sexing, or even just to feel good about yourself regardless of whether you’ll be stripping off for someone or not – what I don’t get is this notion that we should be wearing gorgeous, expensive dacks all the time. I absoutely love frilly undies – to look at. Because there’s really not much clothing you can wear over frilly underwear that doesn’t make it look like you shit your pants or are wearing an adult nappy (possibly a result of an earlier shitting-of-pants incident?). Same goes for frilly, lacy bras too. Under even a remotely clingy top it just looks like you have some lumpy boob disease. Not Hot. And don’t even get me started on men who think all women should wear matching underwear. Bitch please, consider yourself lucky you’re getting the gift of what’s inside the underwear at all.

Also, lolz at him hoping they’re not one of the sponsors. I love a celeb who puts their foot in it, especially with use of the word fuck.

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