Feminist Rant #138

So here’s the thing – and this is admittedly a bit of another feminist rant.  While I’m not sure that I agree that the lingerie football is bad and evil and a clear cause of violence against women (http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/09/turn_a_cold_shoulder_to_linger.html), I do wonder where/when the line is crossed sometimes.

Yesterday, in two “unrelated” news stories, I couldn’t help but see a connection.  The first was that Harris County (the one that Houston, Texas, is in, for y’all of those out of state…) has “the highest number of women killed in Texas in 2010.”  (http://www.khou.com/news/Report-shows-Harris-Co-has-highest-number-of-women-killed-in-Texas-in-2010-131471818.html)  Yup, the Texas Council on Family Violence let us know that 142 women in Harris County were killed by their “intimate partners” in 2010.  Scary, right?

But then what about Dr. Pepper?  Dr. Pepper is introducing their new product – Dr. Pepper Ten – whose tag line seems to be “it’s not for women” (http://www.khou.com/news/Dr-Pepper-Ten-No-women-allowed–131459003.html).  Really?  Not for women?  Why not?

I’ll tell you why not.  Because, when we break it down, as a society, it’s always better to be a man.  Think about the term “manly.”  Manly is good.  Positive.  Tough.  Rough.  Competent.

But girls?  We don’t want to be like girls!  Throwing like a girl.  Crying like a girl.  How “girly” you are!  We don’t want to be girls.  But being manly – what a compliment!

Now, admittedly, I can see the appeal to being manly.  Hell, being a woman is no good, especially in the Houston area where it can get you killed!  But is this really what we want?

When an advertisement appeared to claim that being black was bad – Nivea really got it when they implied they could “re-civilize a black man” (http://www.good.is/post/nivea-s-racist-ad-re-civilizes-a-black-man/), there was protest and Nivea pulled it and apologized.  But when it comes to Dr. Pepper trash-talking women, we all sit back because that’s okay.  Hey, we’re just women, we say.  It’s okay.  I’d rather you keep a drink from me than kill me.

But where does that line cross over from disrespect to dissection of a dead body being tossed in an oil drum?  When do we bother to stand up and let people know that being a woman isn’t something to be avoided?

At least, as long as you aren’t in Kansas (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird/Cash-Strapped-Topeka-Stops-Prosecuting-Domestic-Violence-131468933.html) …but that’s another blog for another day…