Today In “Let’s Make No Fucking Sense”…

Once again, MSN has done itself proud:

“Is size 14 the perfect body shape for women?”*

I have only one thing to say to this.


“Join me again next week on this episode of ‘let’s make no fucking sense’, when I’ll be waxing an owl…”

*link here, but it’ll eat your sanity points.

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Today In I Can’t Believe You Just Said That

Don’t read this opinion piece if you like doctors who “specialise in obesity care” to, well, care.

Especially don’t read it if you take exception to the idea that some people are more equal than others. (Spoiler: guess who Dr. David Haslam thinks is more deserving of weight loss surgery: an old woman who’s immobile, or a middle-aged man with erectile dysfunction?)

Let’s hope the dear doctor is too busy pontificating to see any patients, as clearly, they’ll fare better without his “help”.


What The Fuck?

This article I present with almost no comment, because… WTF?! Pertinent quotes below:

“The Lancet said mothers-to-be should not be able to opt for [home births] if they put their babies at risk – under UK law women can override medical advice…

The editorial was written following the publication of a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology….

The relevance of the US study to the UK was questioned by medical bodies as midwives in the NHS are said to have better training in resuscitating babies in home birth situations.

The Lancet said: “Women have the right to chose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk.””

Except… we do, actually. It’s not illegal to drink, smoke or take drugs during pregnancy. Not that I’d be surprised if it became illegal in the near future. Anyway, I leave you with the last paragraph of the article, a quote from Mary Newburn from the National Childbirth Trust:

“Pregnant women have the same rights as other adults.”

You wouldn’t think so, sometimes, would you?


The Exquisite Irony Is Not Lost On Me

The problem with having a hotmail account is, simply put, MSN. Usually it makes me angry; today I just rolled my eyes so hard I fear I may have lost an eyeball.

Screenshot of MSN main site, which has a link entitled "why do women hate their bodies?" next to another link, "how to avoid gaining weight on holiday"

Description: Picture shows part of a screen shot of MSN’s uk website from Tuesday 27th July 2010. A picture of a racially ambiguous woman with brown eyes and straight brown hair fills most of the screen. She is shown from the shoulders up, wearing a white strappy top (I assume) and a white headband, using a hair straightener. To the right is a headline: “Look slimmer instantly” with the tagline “2o ways to look like you’ve lost weight – without diet or exercise“. Underneath are two links, in this order:

  • Why do women hate their bodies?
  • How to avoid gaining weight on holiday

Oh, MSN. You’re practically a bingo card all by yourself.

(Incidentally, I clicked on the link, so that you didn’t have to go looking for it, and it turns out that the dude who wrote the opinion piece – there go my eyes again! – has begun to see where the problem might lie, which kind of makes it worse:

Marketers tell men to be fit and strong. They tell women to be beautiful. And when the essence of beauty is an unhealthily skinny supermodel whose wrinkles have been airbrushed away, that’s an impossible ask.

So my advice – and I know it’s easy for me to say – is to ignore them.

Why, thank you, Captain Obvious. Now, moving on: why do smokers hate their lungs? 870 words later, I have concluded that smokers should just pack in the smoking! Because it’s just that simple!)


This Second Thought Was Dim

I was making pie this evening. This is relevant to my story only because it’s a lot of effort, and then you shove it in the oven and ignore it for half an hour.
For the record – and this is not relevant, but oh well! – I make bloody good pie.

Anyway, the point is, I was tired and had a cup of tea and half an hour in the kitchen to kill.
So I thought I’d indulge in a little light masochism, and flick through this month’s Cosmopolitan.
Yeah, and then I started playing Bingo again. It’s been a common occurrence this week, and with that in mind, I just lost The Game. Damn.

So, my second thought was this:

Perhaps I should conduct a statistical analysis of the ways in which reading Cosmopolitan requires playing Anti-Feminist / Fat-Hatred / Homophobic Bingo.
Or, put more sensibly, some kind of analysis of the messages contained within Cosmopolitan.

Clearly I am being foolish. Because it then occurred to me that one edition is a fucking terrible sample to take. (My statistics lecturer would be so proud.)
But… this means that I will have to both find and read back issues of Cosmopolitan.

Now, I’m all for pointless studies that prove [nothing] / [nothing we don’t already know] (delete as appropriate!) because they mean that I have something to gnash my teeth about.
But, you know, I don’t think that even I have the strenth of character to drag myself through the Bingo-playing ordeal of back issues of Cosmopolitan to produce a sensible study on it.

I would love to just be a terrible statistician and take a sample of one, but the problem is that this will actually give me nothing to analyse. I mean, I doubt it, but technically this month’s issue could be an aberration from a feminist-friendly norm. I can but hope.
There might be trends that I miss through not documenting statistics for older issues.
Or it might completely justify all of my biases and knee-jerk assumptions. Who knows?

Still, at least I don’t claim to be objective.

(As I write this, I can’t help but remember the time when I used to buy Cosmopolitan because I actually enjoyed reading it. I have to wonder what the hell was wrong with me, because I got so angry with the magazine this evening that I had to put it away and go to “check” the potatoes I was cooking [for “check” read “stab with a big knife”].)


Coffee Table

The coffee table in my flat looks a little strange.

There is a houseplant (Evil Flatmate’s).
There is a tea-stained mug (mine).
There is an issue of Cosmopolitan (EF’s).
There is a copy of The Vagina Monologues (mine).

I’m not sure what this shows, but it must show something.

Also, I have decided that I really hate women’s magazines. I shall add them to my list of drivel-purveyors, if I haven’t already.

I used to merely get annoyed with them, but now I can’t actually touch the damned things. Which is probably because there was a Big! Scary! True! Story! about how the only man that you ever have to worry about is the rich one, you know, that you’d normally think was really Hot! because he’s rich (duh! what was I thinking?). Secretly, Rich Hot Man is a Date-Rapist in disguise.

Now, I’m not saying that’s not true, but how about you make use of the fucking statistics, Cosmo? How about you don’t scare women with the less-likely option, when all of your articles about how to please “your man” in bed – even when you’re not in the mood yourself – are just another symptom of the fucked-up rape culture we live in? How about you tell women that yes, their husbands can rape them, their boyfriends or ex-husbands or ex-boyfriends can, and that actually, they’re far, far more likely to know their attacker?

Also, how about you remember that not every woman fancies men?
Fuck you, Cosmopolitan. You do not live up to your name.


Strange Thoughts

Is it bad to be really intrigued by the way your skin heals?

I ripped the skin off the palm of my hand when I was playing Stuck In The Mud on Sunday. I was giggling like a fool at the time, so I didn’t actually notice that my hand was hurt until we had to stretch and do press ups and things.
And then I fell over because if you put weight through a part of your hand that’s all raw, it hurts. Shocking, I know!

Anyway, but I’ve spent most of today watching it for signs of infection and/ or healing. I’m not entirely sure that this is a good thing to be doing.

But it beats getting into arguments with your flatmate because she can’t see how being a walking, talking Daily Mail might be offensive.