Tag Archives: women

Balking Heads: Why Being on Television Does Not Make You an Expert

john stosselIt could be residual shame from repeatedly forcing my mom to call me out sick at Stop and Shop when I was fifteen until I eventually stopped showing up, but I can no longer miss work without a swelling wave of guilt and unrealized goals washing over me like a scene from The Endless Summer. Except this wave is called anxiety and i’m not hanging ten, man. I just can’t do it. It’s something about my self-deprecating self-obsession that sweetly allows me to believe I don’t deserve to take a sick day when I’m sick while maintaining the assumption that things will fall apart if I’m gone. However, if I am sick then you are not sick. It’s just that simple, have some empathy people.

With this in mind, you can imagine my infuriation when John Stossel’s mustache recently spoke out about health insurance on Fox & Friends, claiming that women use the service more because they are hypochondriacs. Wrong again, you mustachioed blockhead. Sure, maybe women are more responsible and more proactive about their health but since when did that become a bad thing? Oh, right, when our communist President took office and passed a comprehensive health care bill is when.

First off, preventative health care is less expensive then reactive and there’s also that thing, what’s it called, oh yeah! Childbirth! To which host Steve Doocy replies, “And as a number of Republicans have made the argument, why should I pay for — I’m in my 60s, why should I pay for your maternity coverage?”

Click is you can't see --Their expertise is astounding.

Their expertise is astounding.

I’m sorry, Mr. Doocy and sixty-year-old or over republicans who don’t want to pay for my maternity coverage, has your penis stopped producing semen? Is there a rule I’m unaware of that disallows men over 60 to screw young women and get them pregnant? Hugh Hefner, anyone? Did the women you’re speaking of get pregnant on their own? Did all those man-hating liberal feelings just knock them right up? Am I also allowed to stop paying for your Medicare and Social Security because I’m 24, in debt from student loans you told me to take, working full time and can barely afford my rent?

The fact that a woman’s insurance shoulders the financial burden of childbirth is in of itself offensive and telling of the unequal nature of our society as a whole. Stossel, who would’ve been better as a professional Freddie Mercury lookalike claims, “if it’s insurance, you ought to be able to charge people who use the services more, more.” Or, how about if you’re a douchey Libertarian who thinks he has any authority over women’s healthcare costs, you should have to spend one day as a pregnant or menstruating women to determine whether you’re man enough to be a woman. Then we’ll talk about who has to pick up the bill.

Stossell-Organs

Because what could go wrong with selling your own organs?

After reading that article and many like it, a rage of pent up aggression from a lifetime of “are you on your period?” jokes came over me like that time an old man corrected my skating at Roller World — those “men” that stick their fingers in their ears and sprint away at the hint of the word period like I’m about to open an envelope of Anthrax only transmittable through the ear canal. And then I realized a main reason I’m resentful toward those men that react with such ignorance is because they’ll never have to deal with curses of the female body, never have to suffer through a horrible bout of irritable bowels just as their period is starting — when this situation occurs angels look down and weep at the poor helpless female souls who are on on toilets wondering how in the world anyone will ever find them attractive after such an atrocious act.

Sure, it’s the miracle of life, sort of. It’s the poisonous snake. It’s why I will ALWAYS keep talking about my period even when your penis-holding self tries to embarrass me in front of everyone on our sophomore dorm floor by saying, “Ewwwww, no one wants to hear that,” or “go watch The Notebook or call your mom or something.” Because yes, the douchebag in this story is not only sexist and immature but also really bad at comebacks and no, I don’t feel one ounce of sympathy for you having to pay part of my health costs or having to hear about the evil miracle happening inside of me because that’s ALL you have to do is HEAR about it. And I’m SO SURE that you’ve never sent disgusting pictures of your shit to your roommate in a bragging way. My shit’s probably so much bigger than yours, bro. (And I can say this because an upright and successful young man has already formulated a proper marriage proposal, the dowry is all lined up, etc.)

*I’ve been away a while and the rambling nature of this post may speak volumes to that but to those who have stayed to read my insanity unfold, I am very grateful and as a reward, I’ll wait a couple of days before mentioning my period again. Stay tuned for my next post, where I realize I’m turning a quarter-century old and get nostalgic about nostalgia and Gilmore Girls.

FAQ: Are You Wearing a Bra?

Every single time I get asked this question (quite a few times, actually) I wish I could say no because I am in a constant state of wanting to be braless. Whenever I can be, I am without a bra. It just makes sense; It’s just natural. I mean, it’s not like we’re making wire supported boxer briefs for the balls and penis–and those things are a lot floppier. Also, last time I checked, man boobs do not require men to wear bras in public.

The dress code at my work states that I must wear “professional, appropriate” attire and even has specifics when it comes to what I wear UNDER my clothes: “Undergarments must be worn at all times, must be covered by appropriate clothing, and color and/or design must not be visible through clothing.” I’ve accepted that I work with kids at an Elementary school and sometimes people can lose sight of that–I’ve had a substitute teacher come in wearing, legitimately, the same stained grey sweatpants two days in a row. Those sweatpants were a crime and this oaf was just being lazy. But undergarments are a whole different thing and I’d almost prefer if I didn’t have someone telling me I needed to always wear them. 

I should probably say that for most of my childhood I refused to wear socks or underwear because of how uncomfortable I found them. I just didn’t want to have to worry about the seam of the sock moving out of place and sticking into my toe–it was a super big deal. Underwear was bad too because of the waist band. It felt to me like a cage around my privates, holding me in so tight and so uncomfortably it had to be wrong. I felt like I couldn’t BREATHE. But then my mom discovered those smooth, thicker waist bands that don’t feel like you have rubber bands wrapped around your stomach. She also forced me into skirts and dresses so I’d be too embarrassed to not wear underwear. That plan often backfired on her. At five, as a little girl, not wearing underwear made more sense than the inevitable trauma of your skirt blowing up on the playground, exposing your little girl parts. Exposing your private parts at five was almost the cool thing to do. It was like talking back to your teacher in high school, inciting laughter but inevitable punishment.

Either way, at some point, I accepted wearing underwear and socks. (Wearing underwear definitely comes in handy when you laugh so hard you pee yourself just a little bit, just enough for it to show if you DIDN’T have underwear on.)

But I didn’t sign up for the whole bra thing. As I’ve mentioned before, I developed my bossom quite early. To be specific, it happened in the Galvin Middle School cafeteria because that was the microcosm of sexual realization and maturing. It wasn’t until I saw a picture of me in profile from the year before that I realized I had already been developing and that not having a bra on for a side profile picture was a really bad idea; it looked almost like those Nat Geo specials except I had on a shirt.

So I started wearing bras around seventh grade and it was okay until the initial excitement of having breasts wore off. These days, at work I see third grade girls wearing bras and I have to actively stop myself from retching. It’s like, what the fuck? Training bras and shit. What does that even mean? That you need to train your boobs to be inside of a bra? Shouldn’t THAT right there tell you that bras are an awful oppressive piece of clothing. (Unless you really like the feeling which is then OKAY with me).

As it stands, I am forever grateful to the bandeau as a fashion trend because it made it possible for me achieve some middle ground: minimal physical discomfort as possible for the whole day without showcasing my nipples to schoolchildren. Now, I am LUCKY: In the morning, I nanny for the most adorably genius two-and-a-half-year-old boy that never graced youtube or reality television and I am able to get ready for my day during his nap time. It’s perfection because he doesn’t care if I’m wearing a bra so I don’t have to till my next job. And it’s an easy transition from no bra to bandeau. Minimal digging into your side.

The one reason though, that I have endured such bra wearing for so long was because of the promise of its’ benefit: perkier bossoms! My boobs had been a source of great pride to me over the years; not that they aren’t still it’s just a bit different. They don’t control me anymore, let’s say. But now, the myth has been shattered and “I’ve never been happier”(was literally the text I sent my boyfriend when he, like a badass feminist, sent me this link because he didn’t want to do it publicly and maybe embarrass me which was amazing in a different way).

In a fifteen year study, French professor Jean-Denis Rouillon found that “medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity…On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” IN YOUR FACE.

A recent conversation with my best friend from college, closet connection to Hollywood, and only person I know who enjoys the constriction of bras, Mackenzie:

Me: I’m writing right now about that new study that shows wearing a bra makes your boobs saggier and you’re in it obviously

Mackenzie: A writer came in a few days ago…

Me:  Yes! I need to hear more about your glamorous life!

Mackenzie:  ..and I greeted her and I was like do you want coffee or water? And she goes “wearing a bra doesnt make your boobs less saggy.”
Mackenzie:  “I’m telling you because you’re young. There’s still time for you” and I was like great! Thanks.
SO, for all you ladies out there: There’s stil time! Let those sweet chariots swing low! Be free young ones!