#bodiesI’d rather my daughter smoke weed than read Seventeen

56 comments | April 2nd, 2013


(submitted by seth@OOC) We originally posted this in May of 2011.  While the specificity of Ann's hypocricy has since passed, we think the breadth of Seventeen's hypocrisy continues.  Be who you are - but don't pretend to be something else. Our daughter's a year older...but nothing has changed enough to cause us to change our title, premise, nor belief. (5.3.12. and again on 4.2.13) This is Ann Shoket, Seventeen magazine's editor.  I hear she's very nice. But I also think this picture, which is (note: it was) her twitter profile pic, is a ridunkulous display of hypocrisy and moral convenience.  I don't think you get to bitchslap the pressure to be perfect in a profile pic AT THE SAME TIME you're yelling "PERFECT HAIR all summer" on your magazine's cover, and promoting a "bonus mag" that screams: "BODY", "Makeover"; Flat Abs!  A great butt!  Amazing legs! Yummy Recipes!".  That's.  Just.  Not.  Cool. Maybe it's just me, but you just shouldn't get to position yourself as part of the solution when you're still an on-going part of the problem. And Seventeen's a part of the problem.  In my opinion, they're a big part of ...

#thecumulativeeffectDoes Arianna Huffington Hate Women?

2 comments | March 14th, 2013


(by Feel More Better) She probably doesn't.  And maybe it's just us, but we think if, as Arianna does, you champion women's rights on the one-hand maybe you shouldn't oversee a business that objectifies, sexualizes and stereotypes women routinely on the other. Whether doing so is moral convenience, straight-up hypocrisy, or a business-decision that ignores its social consequences...at a minimum it's inconsistent and talking out of both sides of your mouth. And so we started this petition to ask Arianna Huffington to consider the disconnect between what she says and what her eponymous media empire does. We figured that a leader like Arianna must not realize how routine and rampant the denigration is.  She's busy, after all and maybe she doesn't have time to read the Huffington Post. Surely, we thought, being made aware of the problem she'd see it as an opportunity to do right, and to lead.  The evidence of the objectification is so clear, so obvious, so plain to see over and over so many times each day...how could she do nothing? But we didn't just start a petition, we emailed her.  And you know what, she emailed back in about ...

#thecumulativeeffectThe Hypocrisy of Arianna Huffington

1 response | March 7th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 9.56.08 AM

Here are 10 headlines (and a screen shot on the left) from the front page of Huffington Post as I type. You decide if 1 by 1 or as a whole they objectify women. Or, maybe you think they help move women forward in a society that still keeps them back (whether by design or default).  We have our opinion here, and it's that Arianna is being wildly hypocritical, championing women's issues and social justice on the one hand, and overseeing a business that uses objectification and sexualization as page-bait, as regularly and consistently and in as much quantity as The Huffington Post does. Obviously we can all do and think whatever we want.  Arianna has a business to run.  But it seems to us it's nothing short of wildly hypocritical to hold yourself up as a fighter against wrongs when you keep-on perpetuating the wrongs you say you're fighting against. Here are those 10: Sweaty Selena PHOTO: Tina Fey's Swimsuit Nightmare Kate For Playboy Dita's 3D Dress "Teen Mom" Sex Tape Allison's Hot Workout Pants Renee Looks Different Naomi Watts Nearly Flashes All What Liking Boobs Could Mean LOOK: Katniss Everdeen Dons Jaw-Dropping Gown For 50 more ...

#lifestagesSix and Sexy

2 comments | October 8th, 2012

6 and sexy

(by Kate Gould)

Last Tuesday I decided I'd count the number of times I saw pictures of women doing sexy wherever I happened to see them. Wandering round the supermarket trying to find something for dinner that my pet rats would like, standing at the bus stop, flicking through magazines at the dentist, buying stuff online I don't need with money I don't have, walking to the pet shop to buy rat treats, and sitting in the bath reading the pile of Sunday supplements stacked by the loo, I counted 102 such images, each barely distinguishable from the next but all pouting and posing. Admittedly, waiting over an hour at the dentist and topping up the bath water to stop it going cold for two hours, I spent more time than I usually would looking through magazines in a day, but still, all those women are out there along with the products they're selling.

Despite how many we see in a day, these sexualised and sexist images of women are almost socially invisible. Adverts that depict women as dislocated body parts, corpses, objects, drug addicts, victims of gang ...

#bodiesI Am Not My Stereotype

1 response | September 6th, 2012

50s chestist

(story submmitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We're probably all guilty of having judged a book or two by its cover.  Feels a lot different when we're the book though.  Here's how she feels:

I have bleach blonde hair, big boobs, and apparently a decent ass. That doesn't make me stupid or shallow. It doesn't mean my life is perfect or that I am happier than anyone else. I have interest and issues too. I'm so sick of people taking one look at me and deciding I'm some sort of Barbie doll. {end story}

You ever been a victim of stereotyping?  When, how, why?  You ever been a stereotyper (most of us have)?  When, how, why?   Here's the thing about stereoptypes, they suck.  You can quote us on that.

A Woman Should…

19 comments | August 29th, 2012


(Submitted by Shelby, a 22 yo Chestist)

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > a youth she's content to leave behind.... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... > eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her ...

#thecumulativeeffectThanks for the Rape Epiphany, Rep. Akin

46 comments | August 20th, 2012


(by Mir from WouldaShoulda)

Unless you're living under a rock (or without Internet; same thing), you likely know that yesterday Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) managed to stick his foot pretty far down his own throat. So far, in fact, that he asserted that when a woman is a victim of a "legitimate rape," she can't get pregnant because her body can "shut things down." (If you somehow missed the kerfluffle, you can read about it here.)

This spawned an entire day of alternating political jokes and outrage... blogs, Facebook, and Twitter all lit up with commentary as people of all political persuasions were able to unite behind a single idea, for once. Sure, that idea was pretty much "this Akin guy is a moron," but still. My friends were cracking jokes about their "magical vaginas" and lists of "other things my body can shut down" and such were popping up more quickly than I could neglect my work and read them all. My favorite resultant article was this one on Jezebel, just in case you're interested in figuring out what sort of rape you may be facing.

I have ...

#lifestagesTTYL, BFF

21 comments | August 13th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(by Mir from WouldaShoulda)

As a child---and perhaps even more so, as a teenager---I was jealous of my friends who lived in neighborhoods where they could walk to other friends' houses. We lived kind of out in the sticks, and if I was to hang out in proximity to another kid my own age, I would need a ride. And it's not that I never got to go to other people's houses, but it wasn't nearly as frequent as I wished. Basically I wanted to be able to access my friends any time I felt like it, a.k.a., always.

The result of this sad state of affairs was twofold: First, during school (and classes where talking was prohibited, or the desired friends were in different classes) I wrote notes. Lots and lots of notes. The beauty of a note was that if you did it right, it looked like you were hard at work on whatever you were supposed to be doing, and then you could either chuck it at your intended recipient when the teacher's back was turned (if she was in your class) or pass it ...


59 comments | August 6th, 2012


(by Mir)

Pardon me while I settle myself down on my porch and shake my cane at passersby. All young whippersnappers should probably steer clear of me for their own safety. It's not that I mean to be cranky, it's that I'm suddenly feeling quite old and fed up with today's award-based messages to our kids.

There's no shortage of stories about the travesty that is the American need for everyone to be a winner. Participate in a sport? Get a trophy! Participate in a contest? Get a ribbon! Participate in some other random thing? Here's your certificate of participation! No one is special when everyone is. We've spoon-fed our kids the need to "get" something every single time they bother to get out of bed. And then we wonder why they feel unfulfilled, unmotivated, or generally directionless.

None of this is news, of course. And I have tried, with my own kids, to do the "right" things: praise their efforts, but not too much; reward for actual accomplishments, but not feel the need to reward everything; extoll the virtues of intangibles like teamwork and creativity and persistence rather than whether ...

#thecumulativeeffectHannah Montana on Body Image

4 comments | July 29th, 2012


 (by Abbie, a 17 yo Chestist)

"Nobody's perfect." - Hannah Montana


Nobody (no body) is perfect...that's a radical thought. You may "know" it already, but do you really KNOW it? And if not, it's time to ask yourself the following: In what universe does Hannah Montana know something I don't??? {end story}



#thecumulativeeffect1 Reason We Shouldn’t Compare

14 comments | July 18th, 2012

compared to what

(OOC via CNN)

Keeping up with the Joneses has been part of the American way since at least the 50s.  We compare oursleves to what they havem he, has, she has almost incessantly and certainly inextricably.  There was less to compare ourselves to, fewer data points and inputs and our social circles were limited to who we knew in the physical world, pre facebook et al.  But now, oh girl.  from the CNN report:

"Because of social networks, though, the field of competition has expanded dramatically. Now you're competing with the best pictures and the ebullient status updates of every girl you know. 'It's as if somewhere along the line, Facebook became the encyclopedia of beauty and status and comparisons.'"

If we've got a minute to spare we might just check out what's up on FB (or tw, or whatever).  And BANG BOOM ZIP, all of a sudden we're confronted with what she did, he did, she has, the party we missed and weren't invited to, the dinner that those guys had together, the fun, the laughter, the the the the...everything we weren;t ...

#thecumulativeeffectSix and Sexy?

7 comments | July 16th, 2012

WTF Burst

(via MSNBC)

Are we ~ as a culture ~ ready to admit we've got a problem, are creating a problem, and need to address a whole mess of problems?  From the article below,  Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects."  "Most."  "as young as six".  "Sex objects."  Come on, really?  WTF? 

By Jennifer Abbas LiveScience

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also ...

#thecumulativeeffectMs. President

5 comments | July 15th, 2012


When she was born, a friend gave our daughter a little pink tee-shirt reading "future president".  It was ironic, I suppose.  6 and a half years later, I'm not 100% sure why this is among the realtively few things from then that we chose to save...but we did.

I am pretty sure we don't want ER to grow up to be Preident, at least if it were our choice.  Seems a pretty thankless job and one that's hard to do well under any circumstances.  That aside, the bigger question in this moment is whether we think she ~ by virture of being a she ~ could grow up to become president in her life time, or will the oval office remain a sausage-fest?

Our daughter's also black (we're not), and even in retrospect it's stunning and telling to consider that a before a woman did, a black-man made it to the Presidency of a nation whose morality and values can still be doled out with a degree of convenience and arbitariness belying our stated principles.  But that's another story for somebody else's website.

(by Seth from FMB)


#thecumulativeeffectMean Girls Mean Business

1 response | July 14th, 2012


(by Kimberly Wolf, M.Ed.)

It’s a story you’ve heard. It’s a story I can tell from my own experience and those of my female friends, many of them established and many in their twenties at the relative beginnings of their professional lives: women are too often each other’s biggest obstacles when it comes to achieving career success.

From what I can see after watching a few sneak peak video clips of USA Network’s soon-to-air Political Animals (note: premiers tonight, Sunday, July 15), the relationship between former First Lady Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver) and reporter Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) exposes this dynamic. Berg is a reporter there to write the story of the former First Lady’s impending run for President. But, it only takes seconds to see the clash between a young, go-getting, stop-at-nothing reporter wanting to break the story of a lifetime and a political leader who doesn’t want to give her the satisfaction.

Berg broaches the subject of Barrish’s adulterating husband, and Barrish, on the defensive, replies by asking, “What is it like launching your career by stepping on the throat of someone else’s marriage?” In another ...

#bodiesSelf-Loathing, Just Like Mama Taught Me

10 comments | July 12th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted as a comment, by Lana a Chestist, and reposted here, now)

The writer first posted this as a comment to our story on Mothers, and what they teach us about ourselves - for good and ill.  Here's her story:

When I was 14, my mom told me that, for her, 130 lbs was "big." At that time, I weighed about 165 lbs. In that moment, I wanted to kill myself.

She wasn't telling me to lose weight, she was expressing her own dissatisfaction with her body. My mom has a curvy hourglass figure - she's wears a 32DD Bra and size 12 pants. Her waist is tiny but she has our family's hips bodacious booty. My whole life, my mother talked about food, and she still does. She decides to "hate" foods that have "too much fat," like cheesecake, which, I recently found out, she actually loves but told me that she hated it my whole life. She won't even drink a latte because it has "too much milk." She has been on Weight Watchers my entire life and when we went around the table ...