Thursday, September 14, 2006

Missing Miss

Okay, so before I get going, I have to make a confession. I am strangely obsessed with America's Next Top Model (which come to think of it, I might have mentioned before.) The hubs and I have also recently found Hell's Kitchen and are fascinated by it. We'll spend a really silly amount of time after the show analyzing who was eliminated and why, and how Gordon Ramsey is so damn funny or whatever.

So I'm watching an ANTM recap show. Season 2. They have the obligatory-in-the-first-couple-of-seasons "girl who cries and refuses to pose nude, and is sent home" episode. The Girl Being Sent Home in this episode is married and a mother, and "can't imagine anyone but [her] husband seeing that." She also used the word "cootchie" which, you know, is just tacky, especially in anyone over the age of about 22. Anyway. So she won't do the nudie rudie and is sent home, like all prudish cowards.

I turned to the hubby, planning to give him a little speech about how if I had been in that situation, I would hope he would have been okay with the nakedness because this is My Dream (modeling isn't, but you get the analogy, I hope) and I Will Not Be Denied! "I would have done it," I say, warming up for the speech.

Hubby looked at me. "That's because you're a whore," he said.

That's why I love him. He's so darn funny. It was a joke, of course. No, really, it was.

Yes it was!

Hey, some of us did what we had to do to survive, okay?

(NB-That's a joke too.)

So now someone's apparently calling Miss Snark some kind of anti-feminist or something for wanting to be called Miss, and Isabella blogged about this a while ago anyway, so I'll go ahead and mention it quickly. I don't really care if there are ladies out there who want to be called Ms. There's nothing wrong with Ms., and it is nicely all-purpose and always correct (unless you know the lady in question has a different preference, of course.)

But I am so tired of Ms./Miss/Mrs. being frigging "feminist issues". I'm so tired of women who claim to be all for other women being catty and shitty about the terms of address they prefer.

Me, I prefer "Mrs." Neither of the others bother me. Usually reviewers call me Ms. Quinn and that's just fine. Socially I prefer Mrs. I'm a married woman. I didn't go through a wedding and putting up with a man to be called the same thing I could be called anyway. (And by the way, my husband is my husband. He's not my "partner" or "significant other". That's probably a rant for another time, but oooh that makes me mad, especially since "partner" is all the rage here in the UK. If I wanted a partner I would have gone out and found somebody with more money.)

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that bugs me. It's nitpicking, nitpicking by bitter, angry women with nothing better to do than to ridicule the choices and preferences of other women. As a stay-home Mom I've been dealing with this kind of crap for a few years now. It's all well and good for women to have choices, as long as they make the choices NOW wants them to make, or whatever.

I'm not anti-feminist. I'm just very tired of the hypocrisy.

Perhaps part of this rant comes from having just read the exrable I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. Anybody remember the big stir this book made a couple of years ago? And there's all these reviews on Amazon from women saying how much they identify with the protagonist, Kate, and how much like her they are. Gods, I really hope not. Kate is an awful person. She whines about not being treated equally at work while simultaneously complaining that the men she works with are not sensitive to her needs, carrying on an internet affair with one of her firm's biggest clients, spending hours every day emailing her friends, skipping work to get her hair done, and wearing see-through tops. She spends the whole book moaning about missing her kids and being a bad mother. Fair enough, since she clearly cannot stand being in the same room with them and honestly, the reader can't figure out why on earth this woman actually had children at all. Every character aside from Kate is a cardboard cut-out person, and Kate is so loathesome and self-obsessed we wish we knew less about her.

Is this the woman all women are supposed to identify with? Is this horrible, selfish, whiny creature supposed to repesent modern woman?

I hope not. Kate's the kind of woman who would get in another woman's face about preferring to be called "Miss".

All of my heroines are called "Miss" by the way. You know why? Because all of my heroes, roguish as they may be, are gentlemen.


Jenn on the Island said...

A feminist is nothing more than a chauvanist with tits.

I hate them. And no I don't wish to qualify, or soften that statement in any way.

I have worked in both oil & gas and the forestry industries, old boys clubs from way back, and I absolutely refuse to play the "it's because I'm a woman" card. I'm educated and capable and I've shown it to everyone possible. I don't care if the guys have nudie pics in their lockers. I comment on the boobs and they end up embarassed. Every man who's ever called me "young lady" or "miss" while on the job has from then on been referred to as "old man" and told why. When asked if I will fix the photocopier, I reply, I'm not the secretary and if you see her don't tell her I broke it.

I now own my own business. There are a ton of organizations dedicated to helping women manage and promote their companies. And not a single one to do the same solely for men. Talk about sexual discrimination. Women are worse than men for it. My husband is a nurse. I've seen it first hand.

I absolutely refuse to participate in any of the women's business groups and I've told them exactly why to their faces. They are the same crabby bitches who insist Miss Snark be addressed differently. Bitter old hags who wanted everything handed to them and when they discovered they had to work for it, decided someone was refusing to help them because they were, um had, cunts.

The only ones holding them back from success are themselves.

Next time maybe I'll tell you how i really feel.....


Andrew said...

I understand what you were saying when you insisted your husband was joking. He understands your hot buttons well enough to know THIS ISN'T ONE FOR YOU! I wrote a post about that called Hot & Cold Buttons. I know exactly what you mean :o)

December Quinn said...

You're braver than me, Jenn.

What gets me, and what got me about the (not at all atypical) tone of the book, is the "I'm entitled to all of this/I can do it all but you have to change to accomodate me" tone of it all. Not unusual, I know.

December Quinn said...

Nice blog, Andrew, thanks for stopping by!

Bernita said...

My sentiments, only better said.
I feel some feminists are exactly what Jenn said..."chauvenists with tits."
With some of them, it's simply they want to be the ones controlling attitudes and reactions, the sexual politics, not men.
Simply a case of a different dictator.

Robyn said...

I am perfectly capable of opening my own doors. My husband still opens them for me. When we're on the sidewalk, he walks nearest the street so if a car splashes, he gets dirty. He also keeps his hand on the small of my back when we're making our way through a crowd. Not because I'm helpless; because he's a gentleman.

phsymom said...

My philosophy runs right along with Jenn's. I worked in an industrial plant for six years and was one of only 6 women there. It didn't take the guys long to realize that I was not one of those whiny females. If they put up half nekkid women pictures in the maintenance shop, then I put up the Houston Firefighter's calendar. Give and take, with a healthy dose of respect.

I will tell you though that I hated ... HATED those "sensitivity" training classes. The instructors would always use me in their scenarios to make a point. What I would do to resolve the "situation" never coincided with the supposedly appropriate response. lol!

December Quinn said...

Absolutely, Bernita. I don't like being told what to think and/or do, no matter what sex is doing the ordering.

Hear, hear, Robyn! When did being respectful become patronizing? And now people are trying to create laws to force people to be polite, after telling them to stop a few years ago. Grrr.

Anonymous said...

That's so true, jenn. And funny.

Anyway. I've been called a lot of things, but never Miss, Ms, or Mrs. ;~) -JTC

December Quinn said...

Hey, Physmom, welcome! I couldn't agree more. People will respect you if you prove yourself worthy of respect. (I actually did the same thing once at a small company where my boss had a nude calendar in the office. I bought a copy of Playgirl, cut out a picture, and stuck the pic next to the calendar. He thought it was hilarious. Both of them disappeared within a few days. Point made, and everybody's still friends.

Some of us just don't work inside their little boxes--and we're the better for it!

December Quinn said...

Which would you prefer, JTC? :->