Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Being a Whore for Hallowe'en or Just Dressing Like One

Hmm....this article got me thinking. An excerpt:

Meet the sexy-costume backlash: teen and tween girls who, bucking the marketing hype and peer pressure, are resisting the ever-growing tide of provocative wares.

This year, there are more risqué costume options for girls than in previous years, retailers say. In addition to the "classic" sexy genre of French maid, nurse and cop, trashy "Paris in Jail" costumes and even a naughty schoolgirl version of Harry Potter's Hermione are competing for favour.

Manufacturers are accommodating the new reality, says costume retailer Stephane Abbat of Toronto's It's My Party store: Hence the wide availability of "extra-small" sizes in eye-popping styles that are seeing the light of day in high-school hallways.

But with the trend even more pronounced at Halloween, some girls such as Ms. Ali are saying enough is enough, and are even getting together to shop and create costumes of a different nature.

Now, I have to say that I have been guilty of this, but it was not when I was in elementary or high school. In high school, I remember going as a Ginger Spice, or Cyndi Lauper. My most "provocative" costume was in my first year of University, dressed as a cop, but according to a friend who saw pictures, it really wasn't that riské, and I would agree. This year, I was choosing between Ariel (Little Mermaid ) and Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), both provocative character. I chose Jessica Rabbit because I wasn't comfortable wearing only seashells. But why am I choosing these, arguably, provocative, trashy characters? Truthfully, there is a limited number of redheaded characters out there to portray.

I see the concern that many have over this observation that 14-25 year old women seem to want to slut it up every Halloween. On one hand, I sympathize in that if you dress conservatively 364 days a year, just one time, you want to let loose and try it on for size. On the other hand, I try to understand the need to want to dress trashy even one day a year.

It reinforces my belief that women actually lost the sexual revolution. While we are no longer "enslaved" into having sex with our "male-head-of-household" within the "chains" of a monogamous marriage. What does being "empowered" actually mean?

Does it mean having Orgasm Workshops?

I am not always able to catch my favourite television show (and I hate commercials) so I often download them (illegally). I use a torrent searchwebsite (Not Safe For Work...or School Library Computer either....) suggested to me.

This is NOT sexual empowerment.

Encouraging the audience to chanting the word "c*nt" at a Vagina Monologue show, is not empowerment. I say these things not from an ignorant anti-feminist perspective. I have been to two VM shows and for one of them I was an actor!

Is it a good thing that women now do insist on condom use and do exercise their right to say "no". ABSOLUTELY! But are the sexually empowered ladies/characters from shows like Sex and the City of Desperate Housewives just promotes the sexualization of women.

The mixed messages from "virgins" (at least they were, when I was a teenager) of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson (who are married and divorced before 30) also don't send the right message.

So what did sexual liberty gives us?

I invite a positive and negative list in the comments section. For men/boys and women/girls

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Important Lessons From Kids

1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even when there's not a prize in the bottom of the box.

2. Sometimes it's best to be completely blunt with people, as you used to be with relatives who wanted you to do something embarrassing or tedious for a shiny quarter.

3. Asking questions is how you figure things out. Lots and lots of questions.

4. An older, wiser Gordie Lachance says in Stand By Me, "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12." Lachance is right. The trick is to try to be the friend you were when you were 12: fun-loving and loyal, with no strings attached.

5. Playing is work. Approach your downtime with all the seriousness of a 5-year-old with a secret treasure map.

6. Real guys don't dip their toes in the water. They jump right in.

7. Girls have cooties. Well, the ones you meet in certain bars do, anyway.

8. You hated it when a grown-up told you, "We'll see." It's still unacceptable. Don't say it yourself.

9. The only way to know how something works is to completely disassemble it. (This is still good advice when tackling a complex problem. Your plasma TV? Not so much).

Click here to read the rest

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wait times for surgery in Canada at all-time high

The most enfuriating part of the Ontario election outcome is that there was not enough discussion about health care.

Dalton likes to fancy himself being the Education Premier, but what will four more years of an aging population do to our failing health care system?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Ultimate Test for Parents

Are you a proud parent? Think you've done a good job with your kids? Do you know what they would say or how they would act if they were out on their own without you around? Would they chew with their mouth open? Would they have you idiosyncracies? How would they talk about religion? What would they say about having a service with children of other faiths?

I starting watching this show called Kid Nation this week.

Normally I don't like Reality TV, but my experience with Sociology made me really intersted and intrigued with the show, just from a sociological perspective. It's a show with 40 kids aged 8-15 put in a ghost town in New Mexico for 40 days without modern luxuries (like flush toilets and iPods) and no adults either. Well, at least that's how it was supposed to be. There is the adult (assumingly) camera crew, as well as a host that shows up to the town hall meeting and challenge games.

The kids were divided into four colours and each colour competed for their status in the community. One group were the upper class and have no jobs but get 'paid' $1.00, the Merchants, who runs stores, get $0.50, the Cooks get $0.25 and the Labourers (who do water runs and clean the outhouses etc...) get $0.10.

What I found most interesting was last week's episode when the topic of religion was brought up. What some of these kids had to say about religion was really interesting and shocking. Many said that religion is no good and just causes wars. Other kids ganged up and said "Jew Crew" or "Christians Rule" and then others, when asked about starting up a religious service for their town were against it because they didn't want to be with other people that didn't believe what they believed in. But in the end, when they got to choose their reward for their challenge, the kids chose a set of religious holy books over a miniture golf course. Very interesting.

Overall the show tells us a lot of us as a society. I mean the kids can go to the saloon with their 'paycheck' and buy bottles of (root) beer and shots of soda to drown out their sorrows. While some folks are very critical of the show because of showing stuff like that, it tells you a lot about their lives in their generation. Where else 8-15 year olds learn this behaviour if it wasn't from home or the media?

No matter what you're feeling is about this controversial show, it's a very telling wake up call to parents and community leaders to see what our kids believe in. I really wonder what the parents of the kids on the show are thinking when they watch the show. Are they proud of their kid? Embarrased? Are they angry with the editors in how their child was edited? Are they happy with what this one-of-a-kind experience did to their children in terms of being a better person?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What I Learned About Air Travel This Weekend

What did we learn by traveling this weekend?

Attention ladies! If you’re trying to pack light so that you don’t have to have any checked luggage for a short trip home for the weekend, make sure you check that hygiene bag! I thought I was being smart by leaving shampoo and conditioner at home (I could always borrow where I was, right?) Well, you might as well smell for the entire weekend as you probably shouldn’t pack your face wash (118ml) or toothpaste (120ml) either! If it’s over 100ml—and most normally-sized personal hygiene items are—you can either throw it out or go get your bag checked.

I also learned that my hair straightener—which heats to 300ºC—does not pose any harm or risk to any other passengers, but my toothpaste has got to go! You can imagine my frustration when the woman sitting across the aisle from me on the plane had knitting needles!!!!!

I also learned that Air Canada will give you a 59$ seat sale ticket, but if you arrive at the gate three hours early, you will be so fortunate not only to be subject to a random search of all your nicely packed luggage, but you also will not be allowed to fly standby even though there was a flight to Ottawa leaving every hour, there were empty seats, and I had no checked luggage.

Oh yes, what a weekend of learning indeed!