Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wage Gap in the Woodlands

Found some interesting stats on employment in The Woodlands, TX...

Median salary for all males working full-time $80,905
Median salary for all females working full-time $42,116

AWESOME. (Also, where are these $80,000 jobs and why the hell does Greg not have one??)


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kim's Fantasy Land in which Beer Commercials are Actually Marketed to Women

Women account for 25 percent of the beer market, and probably more than that for lighter beers and ales. Women between the ages of 21 and 30 are drinking more beer than women in any other age group. So wouldn’t it make sense for advertisers to cater to this market?

When I think of Dos XX, I of course think of “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” He is suave, cool, and sophisticated. He can do or be anything. Police often question him, just because they find him interesting. His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. You get the idea.

Dos XX in particular is a perfect beer to bring in a larger female market. Its lager brand is very popular and is in some ways a more “female” beer because it’s lighter and often “fruited” (you order one at a bar and it almost always comes with a lime). Yet it’s not some lame 27 calorie light beer that tastes like water. It actually tastes good, and I know of a few women my age who like it. But I also know lots of guys who like it too, which puts it in a perfect marketing position to gain more females in the market share without losing the males. A lot of times if a beer gets a reputation as a “chick” beer, guys will stay away. It’s why you don’t see too many guys drinking Michelob Ultra or Smirnoff.

I had a conversation with my coworkers about creating a “Most Interesting Woman in the World.” I was kind of joking, but I think maybe it could work. That being said, it would need to be done very carefully. This potential character should in no way replace The Most Interesting Man in the World but rather complement him. (I’m not a fan of this line of thinking in real life, i.e. women are meant to complement men, but this is purely from a marketing perspective)

I think the Most Interesting Woman in the World would need to be slightly older than the 21-30 age group, but not too old. Ideally, she’d be around 40 but look 32. (Again, looking at this from a marketing perspective, not saying this is what the “ideal” woman is in real life). She would be hot, yes. But she would also be sophisticated. Definitely not slutty. She would probably wear a short classic black cocktail dress, showing some cleavage but not too much. She would probably be a brunette with long hair (sorry but blond tends to equal dumb in ordinary beer commercials, and Dos XX is no ordinary beer).

If I was doing the commercial to introduce The Most Interesting Woman in the World, I’d probably start with the Most Interesting Man in the World, so you think it’s a normal Dos XX commercial. Maybe one of his lines would include how he gets all the ladies, and he would be in a bar surrounded by blonds in revealing outfits (none of them would be wearing black). But then she would walk in. And her line would have to be really good. Can’t be something super girly or overly feminine. We don’t want to hear “she gets weekly mani pedis daily.” No. The narration would be something like “when she gets pulled over, police officers write themselves a ticket.”

She would lock eyes with The Most Interesting Man. He would be slightly annoyed, but very intrigued. She would keep her eyes on him and simply say, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos XX.” This would prompt a devilish grin from the Most Interesting Man stepping away from the posse of dumb girls and taking a step forward towards the Most Interesting Woman while the other girls look on in disgust. END SCENE.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Miss USA

I watched the Miss USA pageant last night....(chalk it up to taking a break from feminism?) The winner ended up being from Michigan. Rima Fakih is a Lebanese immigrant and is only the second Arab American to ever win the Miss USA pageant.

Not even 24 hours after being crowned, controversy is stirring. There are the usual suspects (naughty pictures, risque behavior a la a stripping contest for a radio show)and some not so usual controversy such as having ties to terrorist organizations

But that's not really what I want to talk about. I'm more interested in two other things.

1. Why do we still have beauty pageants in the first place? It's freakin' 2010!
2. Why are these women allowed to give dumb or incomplete answers to the "interview portion" in these pageants?

There were 3 portions of the competition in this show - swimwear, evening gown, and "interview" (which should really just be called "question"). Two out of the three of these involve nothing more than walking down the stage in something pretty and/or revealing.

As I was watching the swimsuit competition, I realized that right after the girl would walk down and do her stances or whatever, an average score would pop on the screen. So I would watch this girl walk down in a bikini, do a little twirl, smile at the judges, and then...8.65, and again, 9.12, and again, 8.46. And I thought, what exactly is being judged here?

Luckily I had expert crypt keeper and crypt keeper jr.* to explain it to me. They were judging "confidence" and "poise." OH. OF COURSE. No doubt these girls were confident and no doubt they had poise. But there are plenty of women out there willing to confidently strut their stuff and can do so with "poise" (not me, I'd probably make a retarded face and fall on my ass). But you know, no one is inviting the 5'4" 135 pound woman (perfectly healthy by BMI standards) to compete in this thing. There's obviously something else at play here. Just admit you're judging them based on their looks. The judges aren't even real judges. I'm not saying you need a PhD. to judge beauty pageants, but lets see... Oscar from the Office, Paula Dean, Johnny Weir the figure skater... these are just random celebrities judging the perceived hotness of the girls. If we're being honest, that's what it is.

I guess in the evening gown portion you can give some originality points because the girls choose their own gowns and then you hear a brief clip of them describing how their particular gown makes them feel like a mermaid and/or princess. It's kinda boring, actually.

And then there is the question portion. We all know what happened last year in the question and answer portion (see Carrie Prejean). This year we were treated to answers that were just as dumb. I actually thought Michigan had the dumbest answer to the easiest question. She was asked "Do you think health insurance should cover birth control and why" She answered, "I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it’s a controlled substance." At one point in her answer she said "birth control is expensive" and then at another point she said "you can get them for free in your OBGYN office." She was just all over the place.

Miss Oklahoma, the runner up didn't do much better in my opinion though all the right wing news sites are saying she's this year's Carrie Prejean who got robbed because of her conservative opinion. She was asked about the Arizona immigration law and said "I'm a firm believer in states rights (ok, fine) so I think it's perfectly fine for Arizona to do this. I'm against illegal immigration but I'm also against racial profiling so I can see both sides of this issue." WHO ISN'T? You could do that with any question. "well I can see both sides" Yes, intelligent people look at both sides of an issue, but at some point you have to take a stand. And supposedly Miss USA is about taking a stand for something, right? Maybe her answer wasn't terrible, and if I'm being honest her answer was better than the girl from Michigan (maybe Michigan had bigger boobs, I can't remember) BUT STILL. A twelve year old could've given that answer.

So it's 2010 and we still have beauty pageants where women are paraded around in swimsuits. Oh also lingerie photos were taken of each contestant before the show, which were described by everyone involved in the competition as "classy" and "beautiful" And then said pictures were posted all over the internet. I THOUGHT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ENCOURAGING YOUNG GIRLS TO NOT POST HALF NAKED PICTURES OF THEMSELVES ALL OVER THE F***ING INTERNET. I guess I was wrong. I guess that's a super awesome message for young women today.

I don't have a problem with swimsuits or lingerie, or even with acknowledging conventional beauty (though I think unconventional beauty should also be acknowledged) but I have a problem with this whole facade of competitions like these being about self esteem, and confidence, and poise, and intelligence when it's clearly not. And yes, I know... I watched it. And I probably shouldn't have because shows like this wouldn't exist if people didn't watch (ratings have been slipping, probably why they did the lingerie shoot beforehand) but what can I say, I'm a pop culture enthusiast and it was good blog fodder. :)

*That would be Joan and Melissa Rivers for you non pop culture enthusiasts.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Switching Gears

I think I need a break from feminism. I just saw on ad on my Facebook that said "IT Project Man" and thought, "geez that's kinda sexist. Like only men can do IT Projects... oh wait, that's short for IT Project Management..." Yeah.

So maybe it's time to switch gears and do some reading on some non controversial subjects, like religion :)

I've been meaning to read Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity so I can become even more of a heathen in the eyes of my in-laws. Also I want to try out my Kindle that I got for free (woot).

It's time like these where I sometimes wish I was a "normal" girl and liked Nicholas Sparks books and Twilight...but that would be boring :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ah, Technology...

...we can get information with the click of a button! We can take pictures with our phones! We can eliminate commercials with our DVRs! And now... we can hook up our vibrators to our iPods. Yep!

LOL - For the record, I did not do a Google search for "vibrating panties - iPod" The article, Fox on Sex: The Allure of Vibrating Panties was on the FRONT PAGE of Google NEWS. From FOX NEWS. I mean, I've made fun of Fox News in my day... but wow. Maybe it wouldn't surprise me if I was reading this in Cosmo or something, but society is in a pretty sad state if this is considered news.

Well, I guess being able to hook a vibrator up to an iPod IS pretty impressive. I had to read the line twice, to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong. But there it was in black and white:

First I tried the pulse mode, which responds to whatever ambient noise it “hears.” Let’s just say you can have some very interesting experiences in a loud club or a busy city street! I also hooked the thing up to my iPod

Man, I gotta get me one of those! An iPod, I mean! I'm way behind the times.