Tag Archives: sexism

Put on your red dress, and slip on your high heels…*

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

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BHurt On: Hip Hop. Manhood. Anti-Sexism.

Y’all know Byron Hurt? I’m late on homeboy, but he’s a filmmaker and an anti-sexist activist speaking out on gender violence prevention and helping to examine our ideas surrounding manhood – particularly Black manhood.

If you read my blog regularly, you probably know that I have an interest in this type of stuff (gender roles, gender violence, yadda yadda). Peep these clips from Hurt’s documentaries. The first one is pretty straight forward, an intro to Beyond Beats and Rhymes. The second is interesting because it “contrast[s] styles of manhood exhibited by Barack Obama and Rapper/Mogul Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent.”

I don’t really know how I feel about 50 being used as an example of how Black manhood is commonly viewed. I mean, I can see it, but it’s hard since a lot of my friends generally take 50 for a joke. However, I’m sure a lot of people out there do see him as the kind of guy who would run up in your crib and steal all your credit cards. *shrug*

Click for more info on Byron Hurt

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Oh, let me be clear: Palin

I do not condone any disrespect or straight up bashing of Sarah Palin as a woman, a person, a human being, a mass of cells and energy, whatever.

Her politics, hair and clothing choices, however, are totally up for criticism, hateration and straight up comedy.

I’m being a bit silly but also serious. I think the race to become Democratic Party nominee was dirty enough with the attacks on Barack Obama and rHillary R. Clinton which had nothing to do with their politics or ability to lead, but with racist, sexist and classist arguments based in ignorance.

I found it terribly disgusting and I want to just sound off on that now. It has already begun with Palin and I’m cringing at it even though I think she’s an anti-feminist, shoddy choice for VP.

Things Bourgie says are okay for which to clown Sarah Palin:

1. She attended Wasilla High School where she played point guard on the state champion basketball team. Her nickname was “Sarah Barracuda.” Man, is that a lame nickname or what?

2. Palin graduated in 1987 from the University of Idaho with a degree in journalism. She worked briefly as a sports reporter in Anchorage. Well, that’s no UNC. 2 Points deducted.

3. She refers to her husband, Todd, as the “First Dude.” Who is she? Michelle Tanner?

4. Palin and her husband have five children, Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig. I hope Trig’s name has nothing to do with #6.

5. Her favorite meal is moose stew.

6. She’s a lifetime NRA member.

7. She admits she has “inhaled” marijuana. However, she says that she won’t legalize the drug.

8. Palin filed suit against the US Government for putting polar bears on the endangered species list. What kind of cold-hearted person wants cute cuddly Coca-Cola drinking polar bears OFF of an endangered list? A lifetime NRA member and hunting enthusiast, I guess.

9. She’s all for teacher-led prayer in public schools. As if that Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t enough!?! We do separate church and state, right (well, that’s debatable)?

Feel free to add on.

Source: US News

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16 @ War

Karina Pasian

It’s hard out here being a woman. Especially a young woman. As I was listening to this song by Karina Pasian and it put me in mind of this recent study about teenage girls feeling harassed. This is nothing new, hell I could’ve written that song AND conducted this entire study just from the personal experiences of my own and those of my friends. I think any woman could.

90% of teenage girls report experiencing sexual harassment.

Ninety percent of girls reported experiencing sexual harassment at least once. Specifically, 67 percent of girls reported receiving unwanted romantic attention, 62 percent were exposed to demeaning gender-related comments, 58 percent were teased because of their appearance, 52 percent received unwanted physical contact and 25 percent were bullied or threatened with harm by a male. 52 percent of girls also reported receiving discouraging gender-based comments on the math, science and computer abilities, usually from male peers, and 76 percent of girls reported sexist comments on their athletic abilities, again predominantly from male peers.

[…] Older girls and those from a lower socioeconomic background reported more sexism than did their peers. Latin and Asian American girls reported less sexual harassment than did girls of other ethnic groups. Girls who had been exposed to feminist ideas, either through the media or an adult such as a mother or teacher, were more likely to identify and report sexist behavior than were girls who had no information about feminism.

… Frequent sexual harassment may lead girls to expect and accept demeaning behaviors in heterosexual romantic relationships, and sexist remarks.

Just a little food for thought. Chew on that.

– 26 @ War.

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