Monday, February 24, 2014

It’s time to bury Bones

plastic stripper by dave at morgueFile
Because plastic women are the best women!
(image by Dave at morgueFile)

Not real bones, mind you.  But the TV show Bones.  It began broadcasting back in 2005, and, as per the write-up on IMDB, is about “a forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent build a team to investigate death causes.”  It’s in season 9 already.  I’ve seen almost all the episodes.  I say almost all because I have no idea if there were any episodes after episode 14 in season 9: The Master in the Slop.  The end of that show convinced me that I should never ever watch it again.

Why?  Well, if you saw it, you might know why.

The plot was interesting, someone being set up for a murder they didn’t commit, chess, pigs.  What more do you want in an episode?  Well, perhaps you might want a lack of rampant sexism.

In this lovely episode, Dr. Brennan (Bones) is upset that Dr. Camille Saroyan is receiving an award.  The award is for “Outstanding Women of Science,” and it’s from “Science Monthly.”  But Dr. Saroyan is concerned because she knows that Dr. Brennan expects the award.  To try to mitigate the situation, Dr. Saroyan contacts the institution offering the award and asks if it can be shared between herself, Brennan, and their artist/computer whiz Angela Montenegro.

The women hear back.  The publication has chosen to “honor” all three of the women…actually, they’ve chosen to “honor” 12 women!  You see, they’ve decided to have the “12 Outstanding Women of Science.”

So far, this doesn’t sound so bad, right?  And then they produce the “humorous” twist...the “honor” being bestowed upon 12 brilliant women is that they get to wear bikinis (with pictures of male scientists on the breasts!) and have a photo shoot “showing a lot of skin.” 

Well, who the hell would agree to that?  According to Brennan, all the “brilliant” women.

When Saroyan points out that, “We’ll be hanging in labs all across the country,” Brennan argues that it will simply show that at the Smithsonian, “….pulchritude is as abundant as brilliance…I never thought I would be honored in this way.”  

Wait.  What the fuck?

It’s an honor to pose in a bikini for men to look at you?  Really?  Being ogled and turned into a sex object shows pulchritude?  And this is an important thing to show?  Because Brennan, Saroyan, and Montenegro all think that this is a huge honor that they’re being allowed to help the publication stay solvent by turning into Playboy Bunnies?

I mean, they’re only a lap dance away from really earning some money for the magazine…and think about how much extra the Smithsonian could pull in if they went full monty!

What makes this even worse, I think, is that when I looked up the episode and read user reviews on, most of them make no mention of the sexism.  They focus on lack of realism, stereotypes, and failed gags.  No one thought it was horrific that being a scientist and a woman meant that the woman would need to prostitute herself for the sake of a publication.  No one seemed to find it painful that three intelligent women would throw themselves into bikinis so that men across the country could ogle them.  No one mentioned that it was sending a horrible, horrible message – that being smart isn’t enough.  You also have to be willing to show some skin to get anywhere.  Brennan even mentions that if they don’t do it, the “honor” will go to three other women, and she can’t possibly let that happen.

I say again: what the fuck?

I am willing to put up with a lot of stupid shit in TV shows.  It’s TV after all.  Most of the time, I’m not watching it for high quality, but for amusement and perhaps some mystery.  But when it’s personally offensive, the amusement is gone. 

So what time is it?  It’s time to bury Bones.  Let the ratings go to hell.  It’s going to get put to rest after season 10 anyway, but maybe we can encourage them to end it a bit sooner than that…

Monday, February 17, 2014

Big old rant on what’s wrong with the world so far this week!

This is just one of those weeks – only one day in! – when it seems like I just can’t get away from the world and its insanity.

For those who are not following all the news that’s popping up in weird places, this week has just been painful for anyone who cares about women.

On Sunday, the Missoula County Attorney’s Office (Montana) turned into a whiney douchebag when they complained that the DOJ served them with a report about their deficiencies in handling sexual assault cases on a Friday at 5 p.m.  That didn’t give them any time to respond! How unfair!  But it seems that, according to their office, it was totally cool that they told the mother of a five-year-old rape victim that the teenage boy who committed the crime was only sentenced to two years of community service because “boys will be boys.”  And apparently it was totally fine that they told the DOJ that their office “investigates sexual assault in its spare time.”  Yeah, you know, when they have a few minutes not surfing Facebook or downloading midget porn or whatever.  Seriously.  Seriously!  How do we live in a world where this is happening??

Of course, that’s not the only bit of outrage out there.  In Syria, a “young girl” (age not listed) was stoned to death for…wait for it…opening a Facebook account.  According to the Sharia court that judged her, the account “demonstrated immoral behavior,” and so they imposed the punishment for adultery.  Yes.  Seriously.  Seriously!  Your outrage building yet?

Next up, some awesome attacks on feminists and feminism with some victim-blaming thrown in for good measure!  A bunch of SFF members who forgot that things they put in a public forum were, well, public, went ahead and blasted women, attacking one woman in particular.  Perhaps my favorite post was from Sean P. Fodera who stated that the woman in question was not allowed to complain about sexism because she had – GASP! – appeared in a photo that had her “legs exposed” and because she is “fond of wearing tight-fitting gowns and plunging necklines…”  I’d say stone her, but it isn’t funny in light of the fact that those judgment calls are *exactly* what get woman and girls stoned every day!  These statements are also exactly what people say after a woman gets raped – hey, she deserved it, she asked for it, she actually expected to be treated as a human being who is allowed to control her own body! The gall! The nerve!  The next thing you know, women will be expected to be treated as well as animals!
Save the dolphins! But rape and kill the women!
(Image by KFJMiller via morgueFile)
Except…the final bit of news I have to share tells us exactly what some countries think about their women and their animals.  In India, the Minister of the Environment and the Forests determined that cetaceans (which includes dolphins and whales) “should be seen as non-human persons and as such should have their own specific rights.”  What this means is that no one may “capture or confine” any of the species because the animals are “highly intelligent and sensitive.”  Wait.  Let that irony sink all the way in.  Yes, you can’t confine a dolphin, but forcing a woman (or a girl) into marriage, keeping them locked up, raping them, killing them for honor or dowry…hey, don’t bother looking at those violations!  After all, they aren’t cetaceans!  They aren’t highly intelligent and sensitive! 


If I haven’t managed to get you pissed off, you’re reading the wrong damn blog. 

Now go out there and get other people pissed off about what’s wrong with the world!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

All for one and one for all – fuck just being a feminist!

Just Married Flip Flops
"Just Married" Flip Flops.  They belong on anyone's feet...
Image by Mensatic via morgueFile

I always call myself a feminist, and this is my crazy ass feminist blog, but sometimes we need to realize that there is more than just feminism.  Yes, there are problems that exist just for women, but there are plenty of other groups out there who suffer assumptions and assholes.  And apparently, Kansas has just enough assumptions and assholes to make it on my list of things that need a blog.

In Kansas, the House just passed HB2453, which “explicitly protects religious individuals, groups, and business that refuse service to same-sex couples, particularly those trying to tie the knot.”  (The bill now moves to the Senate…)

What the fuck, Kansas?  And what the fuck, America in general?

Where and when are we that we find it okay to make laws that specifically allow you to discriminate?  Jim Crow laws were wrong, and this is just a rehash of those!  What’s going to happen next?  I can say it’s just a slippery slope when I suggest that if this passes, next up will be laws required separate but equal drinking fountains, bathrooms, and schools, but we’ve done it before in our history, and while we claim to have learned from it, we sure aren’t treating everyone equally yet, so maybe it’s not that far-fetched.  Are we really living in a world that thinks it’s okay to take away rights from individuals?

To counter my own argument – people can and should have the right to refuse service to anyone.  If someone is rude, if someone is violent, if someone is just…well, you don’t like them! shouldn’t be forced to do business with them.  You can always take a job or not, based on your feelings.  Don’t agree with animal testing – that’s cool, don’t work for them.  Don’t like companies that use GMO – fine, don’t work for them either.  And feel free to refuse to purchase goods from those companies, too.  But when it comes down to stripping someone of their rights because you have passed judgment on them…that’s different.

You can’t refuse to serve someone in a wheelchair. You can’t refuse to serve someone who is a different race than you.  You can’t refuse to serve a women.  At least, you can’t refuse to serve them because of who they are.  That person in a wheelchair a total dick?  Don’t do business with him.  The person of another race calls you insulting names?  Fine, don’t do business with them, either.  The women throws something at you? Well, call the cops and then refuse to do business with her.  But you can’t say, “You’re a woman – no business for you!”

Why, then, is it okay to do that to a same-sex couple? 

Time for a radical thought.  Are you ready?

We’re all equals when it comes to protection under the law.

Notice I didn’t say we’re all the same or all equal in every way. Because, let’s face it, we’re not.  I can’t play basketball, no matter how much I’d like to.  I will probably never be a race car driver.  I may not turn out to be a bouncer at a bar.  Chances are good that I won’t make a new scientific discovery.  But that’s okay.  I don’t have to do or be any of those things to still be me and to still be considered a full individual who is protected by, instead of restricted by, laws. 

If this bill passes the Senate in Kansas, I think I may have to just go open up a business and then try to pass a new law – one that allows me to refuse service to all the assholes who voted for this one.