Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Yes, Then I'm No

Attention Internet! I have something very important to write about: Katy Perry's cleavage. Specifically, Katy Perry's cleavage on Sesame Street.

Katy Perry was scheduled to be on Sesame Street in a skit with Elmo doing a kid friendly version of her song "Hot N Cold." It has already been taped and the clip can be viewed online at YouTube, but Sesame Street has decided not to air it on the show due to complaints about the singer's outfit and cleavage.

A Sesame Street spokesperson issued a statement:

Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres, including athletes, actors, musicians and artists. Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult. We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver. We also value our viewer's opinions and particularly those of parents. In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers.

I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, I think this is being blown way out of proportion. Think about it, Miss Piggy shows cleavage! (granted, not a sesame street character). Ariel, anyone?? Seriously, is cleavage really that bad?

It's so hard for me to say because I do defend the idea that young girls are being sexualized way too young and the media is a big part of that. But, I don't think young women should be ashamed of their bodies either. I don't think a young woman should be told (directly or indirectly) that she's a bad person for showing cleavage, or shoulder for that matter! (ah, memories) You could have the same dress on one girl with a B cup and another girl with a D cup and the girl with a D cup is going to be showing more cleavage. Does this make the girl with the larger breasts "slutty" or a "bad influence?" I tend to think behavior is more indicative of whether or not a person is a good or bad influence than clothing choice.

I don't totally blame parents for getting worked up about it considering the numerous things they have to worry about when it comes to their children. But I would argue that in this particular video I don't think her body is being put on display in the same way that it might be in, say, one of her music videos. So much depends on context. I think the skit with Elmo is cute and Katy Perry the singer/celebrity is dressed like Katy Perry the singer/celebrity. That's who Sesame Street invited on their show and that's what they got. They clearly didn't have a problem with her outfit until parents started complaining. They obviously told her beforehand, "hey we need to change your lyrics so they're appropriate for the show." They didn't say a word about her outfit though, so I kind of think that's their fault. They should know their audience, and maybe should've seen the backlash coming.

It's when we put forth the idea that you have to be "sexy" to be valued, that it's cause for alarm. I think Sesame Street is safe on that front. But I also think healthy body image is important too. It's hard because there's no set "line" when it comes to what women should look like in order to avoid being labeled as "too sexy." But I'm glad there isn't. I'm sure it would be a lot easier if we could say "well if there was 2 more inches of fabric on the bust and 1 more inch longer on the hemline it would be acceptable. But as it stands, she's a total skank." I'm glad I don't live in a world where women are either "whores" or "prudes." Oh wait, sometimes I do live in that world... but the point is that it shouldn't be like that!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mike Huckabee is Right...

... it DOESN'T make sense for insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions - from a business standpoint. Mike Huckabee was quoted as saying the following at the Value Voters Summit:

“It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition,” Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. “Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.”

I'm not against capitalism, I'm not a communist, I'm not a socialist (ok maybe a little bit of a socialist) but I don't believe healthcare for human beings should be a for profit business. That is why I believe in universal healthcare. Because human beings aren't houses or cars. That's just what I believe.

I got the Huckabee quote from an Alternet article and then read the same thing in Media Matters and a couple other liberal publications. I did a couple searches to see if I could find a more right leaning publication explaining why all the liberals are taking it out of context. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. And I'm not just going to take one quote from Media Matters and use it to say "this guy's a douchebag!" But, it's a whole paragraph, so not exactly a soundbite. And I really can't find anything from Fox or Wallstreet Journal on it. Closest thing might be Forbes blog, and it's not good for Huckabee.

It's unfortunate, because Mike Huckabee really does seem like a nice guy, smart too, and he doesn't SEEM like total crazy person. I even met him once and took a picture with him! So I do really find it disappointing that he's such a douchebag and is so callous as to not believe that someone born with an illness should be able to get medical treatment for it. Oh, and also he'd rather have kids in state run foster homes than be adopted by a gay family. Also, he supports banning birth control. Because if we make hormonal birth control illegal, it will totally reduce the number of abortions. I really just don't understand these types of positions. Maybe gay rights used to be considered a fringe issue but it's not anymore. And healthcare and birth control/reproductive rights are DEFINITELY not fringe issues considering they affect just about everyone! I really hope constituents start demanding common sense and decency from their representatives. I know I will be.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life

I hate when life gets in the way...basically I feel stupid, like a failure, sad, disappointed, etc.

I finally started to put a picture together of what I wanted to do with my life and it's never going to happen.

I guess I'll have to resign myself to the fact that I will spend my life, or at least 1/3rd of my life, staring at Excel spreadsheets, answering phones and doing other random bitch work around an office type setting. And I probably shouldn't complain about it either because I'm sure half the country would gladly do what I'm doing for a halfway decent salary. Or, at least 9.6 percent of the country, right?

I feel like I was lied to. Not by any one person but by multiple people and society in general. Maybe not intentionally. But still, we tell kids to go for their dreams, to do what they're passionate about and everything will be all right. Well guess what, that's not true. I probably shouldn't have kids because I will probably crush their dreams because I'm a realist, or at least I am now.

But hey, at least I tried right? Just like I tried grad school. For one whole semester. At least I finished one class though. I tried this for, oh, about 12 hours. I guess I should cut the vague crap... I've been volunteering at a women's center for the last year, just at their retail store. And then for reasons I won't go into, I got tired of doing that so I called up the volunteer coordinator and asked if there were other areas I could volunteer in. My options were either answer the hotline at the shelter or childcare at the shelter. Guess which one I chose... hotline, obviously. After doing that for a few hours once a week, I basically got offered a job there. I did have to interview for it, but it was pretty obvious I would get the job if I wanted it even before I walked into the interview.

Now, I should probably explain that this wasn't a full time position. It was a part time position and here's the kicker - they needed people for Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights. Obviously Thursday was out since I work on Friday and every other weekday. Friday was a maybe, but I didn't want to work 8 hours and then go work another 12 hours. Yes, I said 12 hours. The shift they were offering me was a 12 hour overnight shift.

When I heard this, I clearly should've said something along the lines of "well I'm flattered you thought of me, but working a 12 hour overnight shift in addition to my 40 hour workweek plus 10 hours of commuting to Houston probably isn't going to work out."

Did I say that? No. I said, "12 hour overnight shift? SURE!! I can do Saturday nights! Sounds Awesome." Or something along those lines... basically I told myself it would be no problem because I was so excited to maybe get some experience doing something actually meaningful. My thought process was something like "yeah, this will be great. I'll do it part time for a year, save up all that extra money. Then they'll probably offer me a full time position, and then I can do I job I love!!"

And after working one of these super awesome 12 hour overnight shifts my thought process shifted to "what the fuck was I thinking?!" and "why didn't someone (like my husband!) stop me!" Because he didn't want to crush my dreams, that's why. And, if he had tried that probably would've made me want to do it even more. That's just how I roll.

I am so stupid. First of all, I didn't stop to think how working 8pm Saturday - 8am Sunday would effect my WHOLE WEEKEND. Basically it was stay up super late Friday, sleep all day Saturday, go to work, sleep some on Sunday during the day, sleep Sunday night... and weekend's over. Second - not that money is the most important thing but money is kind of important to you know, pay bills. Definitely got a reality check when I found out full time people there make about $11.00/ hr. Can't pay my mortgage, car payment, and utilities on that! Which sucks because the people who do work there obviously work super hard. Just from what little I've observed it's nonstop and there's always some sort of crisis going on (you can imagine). Which brings me to my third point which is that even if scheduling and money were non factors, I don't even know if I can do this job!! I'd be responsible for up to 60 women and children and would have to handle any type of emergency, fight, conflict you name it. The people who work there are so underpaid it's not even funny.

Again, what was I thinking? So today I had to quit. After one shift. I feel like such a loser. I'm know it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself, and I am. But I'm really not trying to get pity, I swear (no one reads this anyway). I'm writing this because all these thoughts are jumbled up in my head and it's cathartic for me to put them down in a somewhat coherent fashion. But just in case someone is reading, I'm turning off comments. Again, I'm just basically writing this for me.

So that's my story of how I get super excited about things and don't think them through and have no idea what the fuck I want to do with my life.