Jul. 15th, 09 · 10:04 pm
I feel as though I need to begin with a disclaimer of sorts. I am not perfect. Sometimes I hold opposing ideas and views in my mind at the same time, perhaps prompting some to call me a hypocrite. I prefer to quote Walt Whitman, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” Whatever you call it, it’s what makes me condemn misogyny & violence yet sweat it out to raunchy hip hop music. It’s what makes me speak of feminism and support positive images of women while thinking I like my flight attendants svelte and pretty. Huh? Yeah…
In 2005, Delta Airlines decided to go upscale and hire designer Richard Tyler to create a signature piece to add to their flight attendant [FA] uniform choices. Now, in addition to the slacks, blouses, skirts and blue dresses, female FAs can don a fierce red dress that almost looks too fab for the aisles of a 747. The dress makes a bit more sense when you hear the inspiration behind the design was a time when air travel was a classy affair, not a tiring inconvenience that we show up for in our pajama pants & hoodies (I see yall).
Not everyone was pleased with the new, attention-grabbing red dresses. Recently, the Association of Flight Attendants at Northwest (which includes Delta employees after the merger) filed a compkaint requesting that the red dress be made available in sizes larger than the current max, which is 18, up to a size 28. According to Patricia Reller, vice chairwoman of the grievance committee, “Red is a color that attracts attention and someone, somewhere has made a decision that they don’t want to attract attention to someone in a dress that’s larger than a size 18 … I’m very offended by it.” Reller and crew also have beef with the requirement that FAs who want to wear orthopedic shoes aren’t allowed to wear the skirt or dress uniform of any kind but must wear pants.
Here’s where my opposing thoughts come in. In defense of Reller and the union, the airline is improperly making a judgment call on what’s attractive and/or appropriate without regard to what it actually takes to perform the job. Under the law, there’s the term “bonafide occupational qualification” or BFOQ. A BFOQ basically refers to an employer’s right to discriminate if the criteria upon which the discrimination is based is directly related to the performance of the job. For instance, airlines may institute height requirements for the comfort and safety of the cabin crew and passengers. FAs must be able to reach certain above-head compartments or function appropriately in a small, low-clearance cabin. A size 28 woman in a red dress, however, is no different from a size 28 woman in a blue dress when it comes to pouring Sprite and demonstrating how a seatbelt works.
Could this be another message from society that only “beautiful” women should be seen (and by beautiful we mean size 18 or less)? Is Delta saying that women in skirts/dresses belong in heels because we want to see those shapely calves? God forbid that they’d rather be comfortable on a 6 hour flight and skip the pu Continue reading →
Filed under I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Legal Pad, Routine Ramblings, travel, What kind of fuckery?
Tagged as body image, Delta Airlines, feminism, flight attendant, Red dress, Richard Tyler, sexism, Title VII, weight
Dec. 8th, 08 · 12:28 pm
Continued from Pt. I
I am an adult. I know other adults. I know adult women who are still afraid to talk about their periods. O RLY? I always say that if someone doesn’t realize that you, a grown ass, pre-menopausal woman, sheds her uterine lining every 28 days, well then there’s something wrong with THEM. What is the big freaking deal?
Of course when I was younger I tried to hide the fact that I was on my period. As mentioned in Part I, I didn’t really have anyone sit down and talk to me about my period. I certainly didn’t have any empowering messages related to me. Everything we saw and heard told us that it was imperative we conceal our menses or else risk alienating every man around us and opening ourselves up to ridicule. You can’t deny that women (including young girls) are expected to uphold a sexualized ideal for men, which includes hiding the most boring, ordinary and non-sexual facts of life, i.e. using the bathroom, farting, body hair removal, applying or removing make-up. On top of all of that, you’ve got to conceal your period because since many folks do not have sex when a woman is menstruating, that time directly contradicts a sexualized ideal for men. Oh boy, not only has the feminine products industry done a number on us, but we’ve got the overarching patriarchal society imposing shame on women. Great! Continue reading →
Dec. 7th, 08 · 7:30 pm
“We bleed blue” is a common sentiment espoused by Tar Heel fans. If you check this blog with any regularity, you know that I bleed bluer than a chainsaw massacre at Smurf Village. Other than that (and the occasional reference to nobility), “blue blood” just makes me think of those silly feminine hygiene commercials that use the thin blue liquid to compare absorbencies. As thoughts in my head tend to jump from one to the next rather quickly, I started to think about my disdain for the feminine hygiene industry.
The so-called feminine hygiene industry is so freaking insulting to me. The whole business is predicated on society’s belief that women are nasty, dirty beings who need to be secreted away and disinfected. So much could be said about this. People write their theses on the subject. Books sit in libraries and on Barnes & Noble shelves on the issue. There’s a documented history of how the industry contributes to the warping of the female mind, particularly the impressionable minds of young girls. I can’t and will not go into all of that here. Instead, I’ll just focus on a couple of points relating to one’s period: Cleanliness (part I) and Secrecy (part II). Continue reading →
Filed under Health & Wellness, My Life, Pay Attention!, Routine Ramblings, Tarheel Bred
Tagged as body image, Carolina, Health & Wellness, Martin Lawrence, menstruation, sex education, Tarheel, women, You So Crazy
Oct. 9th, 08 · 8:17 pm
This photo says it all:
This comes from a UK survey (a la Fabulous Mag) of men and women. The sizes in the picture are UK sizes. The US equivalents are as follows: Anna, Size 10, Tillie, Size 6 and Caroline, Size 14. Do you think this is reflective of men’s and women’s ideals in the US as well? If men are the ones who have traditionally controlled the media (which idealizes Tillie’s size), but their true ideal body type is more like Anna’s, where are the wires getting crossed? Aside: I don’t like how Anna is photographed. That post somehow makes her look bigger than Caroline. I’m curious as to why Tillie seems most prominently featured too.
On a separate but sort of related note: I made an observation today and I want to know if others have noticed this too… The higher a man’s stature in society (based on his education, career, accomplishments, etc), the thinner he likes his women. Go the other way on the spectrum of “success” and “status” and men date thicker women all the way to downright portly. If this is true, this means I need to drop a couple of sizes to climb the dating ladder, right? Aw fooey!
Swiped: Weapons of Mass Seduction