Better shopping = better YOU.

September 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm (Uncategorized)

A few days ago, I was looking for a magazine in Shopper’s Drug Mart.  Every magazine that was targeted towards men (i.e. Mens Health, GQ, Maxim, Tech magazines, Young Entrepreneur, Life, Fortune, etc) had messages of positivity.  How to eat right, be FIT and healthy, how to save money and invest, how to get promoted and make more money, the latest inventions, buying your first home, travel, how to nail the chick you want, etc.  Wow!  Pretty nice.  How to be successful and healthy and wealthy and happy.  And all the guys on the cover’s of these magazines were smiling (not pouting or looking like they want to suck a dick), and they were healthy, successful SOMEBODYS. 

I took a look at the ladies section.  About 80% of the covers had pictures of women in bikinis, lingerie, aprons, or wedding gowns.  Why don’t men have wedding magazines? Dumb question.  Because marriage is still considered to be the happy end of the little lady’s “career”, and now she can pop out some kids (it’s her duty!) and forget about being self-sufficient.  Every fucking magazine had either the “how to get great cleavage and lose weight by eating 200 calories a day!” article, or the “how to give the best blow job ever!”, or the “ice cream feels good when you’ve just been dumped” article advertised on the front, or all 3.   No wonder eating disorders and low-self esteem are more common in women than men.  No wonder women spend time running around finding “mr. right”, instead of making themselves “miss upright and alright”.  From 5 minutes of looking at this bullshit, I decided I will NEVER buy another female-targeted magazine ever again.  I will not be told that I am only worth what I look like.  I will NOT be told that I am not worth anything without a man.  I will NOT be told that it would be useful to get some girlfriends together for a “good blowjobber” workshop, complete with bananas and jaw-unhinging.

{—Why do I see this……

So much more often than I see this? 

Why do more women look up to Megan Fox than Princess Diana, or Anita Roddick? Or Amy Biehl, or Barbara McClintock?

That afternoon, I bought the special edition of Life magazine: The Most Notorious Crimes in American History.  It cost me $15.  And it was pretty damn interesting – short and sweet articles divided into a few categories (passion, politics, etc) with some amazing photos – worth every penny.  I hope that one day I will look at the magazine wall in a store and see more magazines with financially and politically successful women on the cover.  I hope that there will be more female CEO’s and CFO’s featured in articles.  I hope there will be a female President of the U.S.A, and another (more successful) female Prime Minister of Canada. 

I read a few newspaper articles this week stating that reported sexual assault has risen about 20% since 2008.  Only about 6-10% of sexual assaults/harassments are even reported… so maybe that just means that more women are standing up for themselves and reporting these incidences.  Or maybe there are more incidences of sexual assault taking place.

Look at the world around you.  Women are constantly being treated as second-class citizens (media, workplace, at home, etc) and this is a global issue.  Women everywhere are a minority.  We need to start at home and treat women equally.  All around the world, we are depriving our society of the talent, intelligence, and creativity of HALF of our population by treating and seeing women as second-class citizens.  Religious or cultural reasons are not good excuses for this – but in my opinion, any country that mixes politics and religion is doomed from the start.  Accountability and reality starts with our world in our present time.  We need to become responsible for our actions globally.

Guys, it’s not so bad on your end.  The workplace is more competitive, sure.  And maybe your wife or girlfriend makes more money than you and you do her laundry or take care of the kids.  But can’t you see how wonderful it is to have an equal partner? Both of you contribute financially and at home.  You share everything. You take care of each other.  She opens the door and picks up the cheque about 50% of the time.  And she’s free and happy, and most of all, she has the freedom to be happy with you: she has a choice. 

As for you ladies: I don’t understand why sometimes you PUT yourself in a position to be treated poorly.  By downplaying your assets other than your looks, you aren’t doing yourself or a man any favours.  Please stop speaking about yourself in such a self-deprecating way.  Be proud to be intelligent.  Be proud to have a great career with a fat pay cheque.  Be proud of your hard work, your laugh lines, your ability to run fast and lift heavy. And when you are angry or upset, please don’t resort to telling yourself that you have problems because you are “fat” and “ugly”.  Everyone goes through hard times.  This all seems so obvious, but when I see my friend crying about how stressed out she is regarding school, work, family, or a man, and she tells me she is just having a “fat day”?  I take a step back and try to think about how far we have come since the Suffragist movement, and wonder just how far we have really moved…

It is up to us to make a change.  You can rant all you want, but if you do not take action, your voice may not always be heard.  Continue to speak up and stand up for yourself.  You can start with… the next swipe of your Visa.  It’s a small change that can make a huge difference in how you see yourself…and that’s only the beginning.  You can influence others through how you feel and what you buy.  Stop buying Cosmopolitan, Chatelaine , and the sexist fitness magazines, and let these people know that you are interested in yourself as a human being, and not as a cute blow-up doll.  Take care of your finances, and even if you have Mr.Right and he has a great job – make sure that you can always take care of yourself.  You should WANT to be self-sufficient, financially and – more importantly – emotionally.  Read newspapers – from Vancouver and across the world.  Buy Maclean’s and Life and National Geographic, and fill your head with knowledge, and positive images and thoughts.  Don’t buy female-specific weight loss products unless they motivate you in only the most positive way.  Don’t buy into the guilt of not being the perfect arm-candy, because there is a lot of money to be made from your lack of self-worth.  

Let’s redesign our place in the world.  And the next time you tell a younger woman or little girl that she is beautiful/pretty/hot, make sure to remind her of her other gifts, too.

(images from eng.feministblogs.org/tag/sex-sexism/ and www.jaunted.com/…/diana_with_survivors.jpg)

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