Tuesday, October 18, 2005

tbt* 3 – Feminism 0

TBM grew up as a baby journalist at a time when if you said “girl” at a staff meeting, you’d be chastised; if you opened a door for a woman, you’d hear something like, “Do think I’m crippled,” and mere mention of the word “Ms.” could provoke a discussion that would disrupt an entire j-class at USF.

So, it was with an odd combination of horror and humor that TBM scanned the Oct. 12-18 issue of *Tampa Bay Times (affectionately known as tbt*) and pondered how things have changed in three decades.

To wit:

Page 9

HEADLINE:
We Shouldn’t Care About Her Looks (But We Do)

This un-bylined Associated Press article about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Meirs contains the following nugget from Christina Kelly, editor of ELLEgirl:

“You can be smart, accomplished and successful, but if your appearance is deemed less than perfect, you’re basically worthless in the eyes of the public.”

Huh?

Somebody want to toss that quote over to Pulitzer-Prize winner Lucy Ware Morgan (St. Pete Times) and watch her pop it out of the park?

But that’s not the most “shallow” tbt* tid-bit. No, that would be found on:

Page 29

HEADLINE:
Why treat beauty as something ugly?

“Glamor (do’s and don’ts)” columnist Carol Brundage writes:

“My life is all about beauty. I write about it, I think about it and, like most women, I work at it. Shallow? Some people may think so, and frankly, I take offense. After all, beauty is serious business.”

No comment . . . except to share the article’s punch-line:

“Beauty really is more than skin deep. That said, grab a martini and meet me in the closet, ladies. We’ve got some primping to do.”

But wait, there’s more . . .

Page 54

HEADLINE:
Gloria Steinem just keeled over

This Associated Press piece is an article written by a woman who works at a men’s magazine. She is searching for just the right “fresh words” to use in an article titled “And God Created Woman.”

The lead graf:

“Sultry eyes? Good. Southern sexpot? Really good. And what about mamacita?”

Our unnamed heroine (why she is not named, I do not know) is wrestling with “writing scintillatingly short and sweet bios for each goddess” – you know, the usual suspects: Angelina, Jennifer, Sophie, et al.

Ms. Un-Named admits she’s hung up on the word “hot” but wants to push the literary envelop. (That’s the one with all the words on it.)

She comes up with: “Sultry. Smoldering. Stunning. Exotic. Gorgeous. Bombshell. Temptress. Doe-eyed.”

And, later, “bee-stung” (?), then “naughty, arousing and ingénue, saucy and senorita.”

After-which, our word-weary writer begins synthesizing, rhetorically: “Smoldering temptress? Sultry senorita? Bee-stung bombshell?”

There’s more . . . but it is too painful to re-count, for, as our editorial adventurer admits, first, “I started to think like a man” and then “I began to view women as commodities.”

“Commodities”? Oh, the womanity!

Susan B. Anthony, we hardly knew ya.

But, what does TBM know, anyways. He’s a guy, and an old one at that, whose “appearance is deemed less than perfect,” and, therefore, “basically worthless in the eyes of the public.”

However, here’s a thought: Feminism isn’t dead; it’s just in the closet havin’ a martini – and possibly “primping.” In case it comes back before quittin’ time, here’s a link it might want to check out:

Feminist Majority Foundation

PS-1: Jay Cridlin can thank me later for not mentioning the “scintillatingly” semi-sexist Victoria’s Secret? She’s no dummy on Page 8. (Talk about viewing women as “commodities” – or should I say, “window-dressing.”)

PS-2: Tampa NOW meets at 6:15 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, located at 408 East Bearrs Avenue, Tampa. Maybe someone from tbt* should pay them a visit.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an entertainment tab. Lighten up, Frances.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Frances?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger AdjReality said...

If I believed in government conspiracies, I'd say it's all part of Bush's agenda to push us back to 1952. Cause don't all good little women want to live at home cooking and cleaning?

Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:35:00 AM  
Blogger Lynx said...

Hey, I really appreciated this post! It's nice to have someone remind us that being a human being is more important than being an image!

Sunday, October 30, 2005 10:08:00 AM  

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