Thursday, May 28, 2015

Barbie has some Pretty big shoes to fill with those Pretty big Feet

What has happened to Barbie’s feet? They are humungous. Everything else about her seems pretty much the same, maybe a little more hippy and slightly less busty, but those differences are barely perceptible. Her feet though?

Barbie's old school generation feet before the gender wage gap was considered an issue.  

Barbie's millennial generation feet kicking in doors, closing wage gaps and breaking glass.

With all the feminist concern and speculation over the years regarding Barbie’s possible negative influence on the burgeoning self-image and cultural status of little girls, this is the result? Bigger, flatter feet?

Is this going to be a thing now? Girls will start stuffing their shoes so their feet look a few sizes bigger than they actually are and then flop around, tripping over their own flipper-like feet in a futile attempt to be just like Barbie?

Social commenters and experts of various persuasions will blame pop culture in general and Barbie in particular for an epidemic of clumsiness seen in female preadolescents, as well as an alarming trend towards risky calcaneal implants and phalangeal fillers amongst young women old enough to give surgical consent.

People will reminisce with a sense of loss and nostalgia over the good old days, when girls had normal sized feet and could walk without twisting an ankle or doing a face plant in the pavement. There will be an explosion in the number of ER visits related to fractured bones and bloody noses. Barbie will thus be implicated in an overburdened health care system, resulting in a public outcry that Mattel resize its Barbie molds yet again.

Even more troubling, some investigative journalist will uncover a new and up-until-then little spoken of foot fetish spreading throughout the male population, whereby a significant number of men can no longer be aroused by small to average footed females.

The word “paw” transforms into a crude misogynist slur and eventually a grassroots movement is born to reclaim the “P word”.

There will be a surge in feminist outrage and a long overdue rise in masculine shame, leading to a rash of 12-step groups popping up near orthotic centres and shoe stores everywhere.

Podophillia becomes a crime and police put out an alert to be on the lookout for online predators posing as podiatrists with an unusually intrusive interest in toe jam and plantar warts.

More disturbing than that, foot rape also becomes a crime and females are warned against enhancing the size of their feet, the implication being that if a girl makes her foot too out-of-proportionally appealing then she’s “asking for it”.

There will be much debate regarding what constitutes consent. If an abnormally lengthened second phalanx unintentionally extends beyond the confines of an open-toed sandal and accidentally brushes against a nearby male foot while commuting on a bus, for example, is that akin to consent? There are, after all, A LOT of easily excitable nerves in a human foot, especially when said foot has not been permanently numbed by botulism and the unsteady hand of a second rate plastic surgeon with a drinking problem.

Is it reasonable then that a foot rapist overcome by the overwhelming physical sensations of involuntary pedal spasms be held criminally responsible? To what extent, if any, should a victim, conditioned by societal foot norms and fashion trends, be blamed for the assaults on her augmented feet?

These polarizing questions will elicit angry responses from all sides with the less intellectually evolved factions arguing if a girl is going to traipse about town with swollen, heaving feet ballooning out all over the place then she must be begging for, and thus deserve, an assaultive foot massage from some random perpetrator covered in facial hair and wielding a pair of menacing nail clippers.

In retaliation, loosely organized Paw Walks and flash mobs will spontaneously sprout up in cities across the country with women baring naked feet, fungus and all, and holding signs that read: “These Paws Were Made for Walking and Walking is What they’ll do. These Paws are gonna Walk all over You!”

On the bright side, Barbie and her pretty little head always did have some pretty big shoes to fill. Maybe now she can actually fill them.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dumb Politicians and Female Bodies

I thought I was listening to CBC’s Rewind when I got in my car, turned on the radio and heard this retro-trope:

"They can't get on any more skin tight, it looks like sausage casings. Their belly button is pushing through the material and I kinda look at that and I go, 'I get it, you're pregnant, all right.' Now why, why, why such a desire to push that out in front of everyone?"

It wasn’t until later in the day that I came to understand the above was not some archival soundbite dredged up from patriarchal antiquity. It was one David Chesney, White Rock council member, currently expressing the opinion of not only his fine pasty self, but that of others who have made their revulsion of the pregnant form known via email and social media regarding a meteorologist named Kristi Gordon, who had the audacity to get herself pregnant and not go into hiding.

In reality, the only thing that should go into hiding is not the visual evidence of human reproduction, but the ignorant opinions of old, doughy-brained politicians and like-minded individuals regarding the various states of the female body, opinions such as this:

"The fact is that the styling was much different through the '50s, '60s, '70s — even in the '80s women wore a little bit more loose-fitting clothes. But as I say, nowadays, how they can yank on those Lululemon sweatpants and body dance skins, and go out in public at eight months pregnant ... I don't find it repulsive (obviously he’s lying) I just really have to question, why that?"

“It’s a touchy point, but that’s just my opinion and by golly I’m entitled to it”.

With the world’s population projected to reach 10 billion by 2050 at a rate of something like two babies born every second, witnessing a reasonably dressed pregnant woman out in public or on TV should be one of the least shocking, most natural sights any citizen on the planet comes across.

If you’re going to question “why that?” then, you might as well jump into the existential rabbit hole and question why the human race exists to begin with? Why does it persist? Why is there something instead of nothing? And the most perplexing question of all: Why all the cognitive dissonance when it comes to the female human? It’s this weird mix of fear, hatred, lust, obsession, revulsion and worship. When will it stop because it is getting really, really boring. We’re here, you’re here. Deal with it. Master your testosterone.

Master your testosterone, ESPECIALLY if you have a problem with pregnant women. It seems counterintuitive and dumb otherwise.

And while you’re at it, show some respect for your mothers, mothers-to-be and potential mothers (in other words, WOMEN), for god’s sake.

The David Chesneys of the world with their “by golly” entitlement would not be here at all, sharing oxygen and pompously spouting their confused, outdated opinions if not for a mother, who through much mental anguish, physical discomfort and pain, first prepared the way for them.

Don’t stand on the backs, hard work, sacrifice and suffering of those who came before you, who made your quality of life – nay, your very existence – possible, and disregard, minimize or act contemptuous of what was done for you, that you could never have done on your own, and that enables you to enjoy whatever freedoms you exercise.

Honour your mothers, "repulsive" pregnancies and all.

And if you still want to question “why that?”, how about the epidemic of unnatural, pregnant-looking, large-breasted men lumbering around like Neanderthals, not in Lululemon sweatpants but in stained, saggy, grey sweatpants that although loose-fitting, STILL leave nothing to the nightmares of imagination. I have the misfortune of witnessing these sausages without casings, these abominations of nature, every day, often getting out of vehicles with bumper-stickers indicating their admiration for the yoga pant and child brides.

This double standard of objectifying the female form and then abhorring it when it doesn’t fit into the sexualized ideal, while simultaneously humoring, even celebrating an overtly disgusting version of the male form has been eating me alive since I was young enough to notice such gross injustices. It’s turned me into a pissed off human being, not because I was born bitter, but because the world has made me this way. No one likes to have a cabbage-roll stuffed down her throat while she gags and told she likes it. Gag reflexes don’t lie, and oppression will either kill the spirit or ignite it into a raging fire of revolt.

If society in general doesn’t want to deal with outraged feminine energy, then stop with the degradation. It’s not difficult. Just don’t do it. There is nothing easier in this world than not doing something. For example, David Chesney could have easily not said this: “When you become a public figure as Kristi Gordon chose to do, you are put to a higher standard”.

I won't mention pots and kettles because a womb evidencing the miracle of life is hardly the hypocritical equivalent of a culturally irrelevant politician from White Rock with probable karmic erectile dysfunction regurgitating the same tired misogyny, but the only person in this equation displaying dismal conduct, poor judgment and stupidity is David Chesney. Kristi Gordon has conducted herself with nothing but grace and beauty. Pregnancy will do that to a girl.

She definitely deserves a professionally done belly-cast for having to deal with this bullshit when she is pregnant. David Chesney? Buck up buddy boy.