Thursday, February 24, 2005

A New Name

It has been called to my attention that 'redneck' is a rather unappealing word. However, I've become quite fond of the name 'Red'. So now you see my blog has a new name: Red's Rants.

However, the new name was selected in haste. Perhaps the word 'rant' implies that I'm a whiner/complainer. That's not what I'm going for either. So if any creative minds out there have a better idea for my new name, please leave it in the comments section. If I choose your name, I will be sure to give you full credit!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Disney to Parents: Girls Should Be Praise-Addicted Gold-Diggers!

Does anyone else want to ::barf:: with all this princess mentality going on? Sure, it's cute to watch little girls get dressed up and act all pristine. Well, sometimes it's cute. But is it good for them? And is it good for male-female relationships?

A lot of parents want to raise their girl to have high self-esteem. They erroneously equate this with encouraging her to think she is a beautiful (and entitled) princess. Why is that a bad thing? Well, first and foremost, it turns her into a praise junkie. She becomes addicted to praise and needy of constant approval and attention. That does not promote esteem. Rather, it just sets her up for disappointment and failure.

Second, princess culture teaches girls that the road to happiness is through acquiring "things". Talk about gold-diggers in training! Take, for example, the board game Pretty Pretty Princess. Here's a review from Amazon:
There's a charming simplicity in this game for little ones who dream of being a princess. Players move their pieces around the game board collecting plastic costume jewelry, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The winner of the game is the one who collects the crown and all the jewels that match their playing color. That player is the princess who now turns over the spinner to reveal a mirror into which she can gaze at her royal self. Game play includes the dreaded black ring, which no one wants but someone might get. Sticky jewels are included to decorate the jewelry box and the crown. For young children with royal fantasies, Pretty Pretty Princess is pretty pretty good.
Ugh. More like pretty pretty shallow! The object of the game is to acquire jewelry. According to the product description, "the first one to get a full set of princess jewelry and the crown wins." This isn't just promoting shallow consumer ideology. It's also promoting competition among girls to see who has the most stuff. I'm all for competition in business, sports, and academics. But competition based on who has the most jewelry is another story.

Take a look at adult women. A lot of them compete with other women on this basis. I know this because other women try to sucker me into it! They want to brag about who got the most expensive gift for Valentine's Day, or who has the biggest diamond ring. If you're the kind of woman who isn't into that stuff, they'll say, "Well, I guess your man doesn't love you as much as my man loves me." (Yeah. And your man just slipped me his phone number.) This competition of whose-man-spends-the-most-money-on-me is just an extension of princess culture. Who is the most spoiled princess of them all?

Which brings me to my third point: where there's a princess, there's always a prince. Isn't there? Boys are not raised to be princes. But girls are raised to think that they should be. Does anyone else not see how this is causing gender wars? Boys want to have fun (as do many anti-princess girls). Sure, the boys may grow up to think all these princess-wannabes are hot. But they're not going to want to be her constant praise-giver. They're not going to want to spend time with someone who doesn't do anything. And they're definitely not going to want to spend three months salary on a diamond (let alone a blood diamond) for someone who thinks life is a fashion show.

Very often in princess culture, the theme is marriage. Or more precisely, the wedding. It is never too soon to start dreaming about it. What could be a more perfect setting for a princess? Her highness, in a flowing white ball gown, wearing an enormous diamond ring. She looks so beautiful that all stand and turn to admire the goddess in white. Her prince is waiting at the alter, his breath taken away by the beauty that is before him.

Okay, let's cut the crap. I almost ::barfed:: again just writing that.

What kind of life is this fairy tale wedding leading up to? Certainly the expectation is to continue the fantasy. A princess-wannabe does not have realistic expectations of men and marriage. She thinks her husband should put her on a pedestal and adore her every second of the day. After all, she is the princess! She deserves it! Damn it, she's entitled to it! Any man who thinks otherwise is not the prince she always dreamed of. And she's been dreaming of him ever since she was a little girl.

The way it is now, a woman is taught to love the idea of marriage. It is the one thing she always dreamed of; the one thing that will make her happy. A diamond is her best friend, and her wedding is the happiest day of her life. Where exactly does the guy fit into all of this? Is he just the provider of all things princess? With all these unrealistic expectations, it's easy to see why there is such a high divorce rate (and perhaps such a high marriage rate, too).

Here's a thought: how about encouraging a girl to develop herself as a person, rather than as a princess. Let's not feed her illusions of fairy tale weddings until she is old enough to understand, at least a little, what a marriage really is. If she can accept herself as a person-- that is, a human with both talents and flaws-- perhaps she will find someone with whom she can share her happiness with. Confidence is appealing; expecting someone else to make you happy is not.

I am not an anti-marriage feminist. I'm actually engaged to my boyfriend of over four years. I'm not the princess. I don't have a diamond. And I won't have a fairy tale wedding. But what I do have is something I suspect a princess could only dream of. I have someone who loves me for the person I am. I have someone to go to Cubs games with, to go camping with, and to write music with. I have someone with whom I can discuss politics and share ideas. I am "spoiled" with dignity, not gifts. My partner does not put me on a pedestal. That is fine by me, because I surely would fall off sooner or later.

UPDATE 2/24: I can see how my anti-princess attitude can come across as being misogynist. That is not my intent. My intent is to hold women accountable for their own destiny, which, in my opinion, is women's rights in action! We're not going to get anywhere, ladies, unless we give up the pedestal. Sure, it can bring us short-term gain. But in the long-run, it will only hurt us.

Of course, we are all individuals and do not have to all behave in the same manner. I'm just trying to bring a different perspective to the table. Your choices are yours-- not mine.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The *Right* Victims

My favorite article today is Save the Coeds! Gen Y finds a victim it can get behind by Kerry Howley over at Reason.

Meet the put-upon conservative coed, the prototype pushed by conservative feminists to demonstrate liberal bias on college campuses. We'll call her Claire. Claire doesn't want any part of this vulgar spectacle known as The Vagina Monologues, but her Feminine Mystique-touting, Germaine Greer-quoting friends are tying her to a chair and making her watch. She desperately wants to be chaste, but condom-peddling feminists are driving her to her knees at the frathouse next door. She really just wants to be a mom, but her mentors in the gender studies department say that's just not acceptable.

Claire may or may not exist, but there is a whole movement dedicated to setting her free. I recently watched Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, give a speech on Eve Ensler's Monologues to like-minded women. The play is performed on hundreds of campuses around Valentine's Day ever year, and Sommers is annually appalled, most deeply by what she calls "a four-letter-word that begins in c, ends in t, and is not coat."

Despite its gleefully gratuitous vulgarity, Ensler's play is a horrendous piece of theater. It's a reactionary message (women are reducible to their genitalia) wrapped in trite palaver ("My vagina is a shell, a tulip, and a destiny"). But every Valentine's Day, women like Sommers, National Review's Dawn Eden, and the Independent Women's Forum crowd vastly inflate its importance. It's dangerous, they tell us, and it's stifling young Michelle Malkins in the making.

Valentine's scaremongering is easy to dismiss, but the hype that posits the oppressively liberal campus against the victimized conservative college student is not going away. It's the subtext to the right's take on the Ward Churchill controversy, the Larry Summers flap and the Hoppe hysteria. And it's being harnessed to force change into curriculums through schemes like David Horowitz's Academic Bill of Rights. Horowitz stands ready to christen the new P.C.: Intellectual Diversity.

A prominent would-be victim is Benjamin Shapiro, a former UCLA student and a conservative who has been oppressed right into Harvard Law School. His book, Brainwashed, spawned a fury of woe-is-me editorials in college newspapers, but also helped to change a discussion about difference to one about repression. Every prominent school has its articulate, active conservative groups, but now they're "captives" on hostile territory.

No one seriously doubts that the average campus is a liberal enclave or believes diversity on elite campuses extends past skin color. But is it really so poisonous? The words "brainwashing" and "indoctrination" cannot possibly be less applicable to media savvy American students, and the idea that an 18-year-old is an empty receptacle waiting to be pumped full of Marxism is its own brand of absurdity. Harvard Yard is not a totalitarian state, and after a required helping of queer lit, a student can always switch to C-Span and watch a gay escort throw softballs to President Bush for a heady dose of conservative ideology.

Keep in mind that (the unfortunately labeled) Gen Y is the antithesis of political radicalism. Like their parents, a majority of 18-29 year olds supported the war in Iraq in its early stages. These are the organization kids, not the Weathermen. Their professors may be using the classroom as an anti-capitalist soapbox (isn't that what professors are for?), but it's hard to hear when you've got an iPod permanently affixed to your head.

The urge to infantalize turns a shade darker when the focus is on women. In an L.A. Times opinion piece last Sunday, Charlotte Allen theorized that there are no female intellectuals worthy of following Susan Sontag. Every one, it seems, has been swallowed by the excesses of feminism. This is the frustrating irony of conservative feminism: As the movement rightly condemns modern feminism for being a paralyzing ideology of victimization, it leaves a bloody trail of victimhood in its wake. Whether they be Yale freshmen or Princeton professors, the weaker sex is apparently unable to withstand the excesses of Naomi Wolf. Claire doesn't stand a chance.

At the close of Sommers' dire warning about Ensler's play, a concerned mother had a question: "Where can I send my child so she's not exposed to this?" The audience obliged with suggestions of Ensler-banning, second-rate colleges; Sommers nodded gravely. When women who call themselves feminists see censorship as the way forward, we have bigger problems than bad playwriting.

Howley couldn't be more correct. The right is employing the same victim politics that they've long accused the left of using. What about personal responsibility? What about the unfettered marketplace of ideas? Are conservative student actually arrested for not being liberals? Or do they just feel bad if they don't fit in? I am so sick of hearing conservatives whine that they can't express a viewpoint without getting a dirty look from a peer. Oh no, not a dirty look! Sorry, tootse. You don't have the right to never be offended.

Furthermore, young people aren't stupid. Being exposed to a particular way of thinking isn't going to brainwash them. I could just as easily say that the College of Business is brainwashing me to be a capitalist. But that just isn't true. I can be a Marxist on my own time if I want. But while I'm in class, I better be able to explain Smith, Friedman, and Hayek. No one is forcing me to believe those ideas. I just have to know what they are and use them to solve problems (even if I think it's the wrong approach-- which I don't).

And you know, I used to really hate The Vagina Monologues. I'm one of those macho kind of feminists who thinks that talking about the coochie in an emotional way is lame. But I, being the ultimate businesswoman, thought it would be profitable to sell feminist t-shirts outside the auditorium last year during the VM. (I made a killing!) I couldn't believe all the flower-feminist types who showed up to this thing. You know, the kind who listen to sensitive folkish coffeeshop music.

After the intermission, I was invited to sit in on the second half of the play. I didn't want to be rude, so I accepted the offer. I figured it would also give me something to make fun of to all my alpha-male buddies.

You know what? I laughed my ass off. One of the actors (a medical student) demonstrated all these different kinds of orgasms. I know, it doesn't sound funny. But this woman made such hilarious-yet-realistic noises and faces, that my bad machissmo attitude soon wore off. I couldn't believe it. I, of all people, fell for the coochie.

When I left the play, I was even inspired to purchase a huge chocolate coochie candy. I was blushing the entire time. The next day I gave it to one of my buddies. First time I ever saw him blush! He broke off a piece, gave it to me, and finished the rest. I joked to my fiancee that it was my first time eating pussy. Of course, he said I was doing it WRONG.

UPDATE: I am confused as to why so-called conservatives who watch Desperate Housewives and other trash TV (as many of them do) would be offended by a play like The Vagina Monologues. Don't they think the "immorality" of DH is brainwashing us impressionable young women? Or does just feminism have the power to brainwash? Hmmm...

Lighten up, righties! You're getting all P.C. on me!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My Identity

I have had a couple jabs implying that I'm not really a chick. Well, I'm not going to give my full name over the internet! If I was going to do that, I probably wouldn't be so mouthy (and would probably use real arguments more often).

However, I have been known in other forums as drumgurl, drumgurrl, DrummerGrrl, and other variations for about 5 years now. I often use the same pic in my profiles. So if I'm not really a chick, I've been a fraud for quite some time.

I'm most established on a local Iowa forum for hardcore music called the 515 Crew. As of today, I'm the 6th most frequent poster. (Damn you, Storkus! When did you pull ahead of me?) Feel free to view my profile, which has a pic and a link to all my posts. By searching through my posts, you'll find that I am indeed a feminist and a free-market advocate, and that my favorite word is "douchebag". (I'm also fond of "choad mower"-- made it up myself. Not choad, that's an old word. I believe I'm the first to match it with mower.) Anyway, you'll also find that I'm an econ student (honors!) and a drummer. That is, if you choose to read all 276 posts of mine. I won't give you my email address, but if you send me a private message through the 515 forum, I guarantee that Red will reply.

If you really want to stalk me, I have profiles on other forums like ifeminists, Kittie, and American Musical Supply. Shit, I even have one on Makeupalley. (That was really hard for a feminist to admit, but the real stalkers would have found it sooner or later.) I'm not gonna give you the links. I'm going to make you work at stalking me.

The only lie you'll catch me in is that I once claimed to be married, when I am actually just engaged. I lied because this guy was harassing me on the forum, and I wrote the comment in an attempt to get him to leave me alone. Experiences like that are one reason I don't put my real name on the internet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Me, Soulfly, and Morbid Angel

Yep, I'm going to the Soulfly and Morbid Angel concert this Sunday in Wisconsin. That's what we do here in the Midwest; we drive 5 hours to see a concert in another state. Then we drive 5 hours back rather than stay at a hotel. Do other folks do that too?

Once my man and I drove to Memphis to see a concert. That's a 10 hour drive each way. We did stay in a hotel that time, though. I also had the best damn cheeseburger ever. Seriously, in Memphis! How odd, considering I live in Iowa where the beef is supposed to be good.

Anyway, this will be my first time seeing Max Cavalera in concert. He's the guy who started Sepultura, in case you didn't know.

Markets Can Be Liberal, Too!

Check out Craic Pipe's What's Gone Wrong With Liberalism? It's a great piece for those who agree with some lefty goals, but disagree with the means in which to achieve them.

If you're a real free market geek, you might also enjoy Friedrich Hayek's Why I am Not a Conservative.

Do Feminists Like Sex?

Pseudo-Adrienne has an excellent post entitled SEX!!!...oh and uh, Third Wave Feminism and Second Wave Feminism on the issue. I highly recommend visiting the blog of this young and witty feminist.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Douchebag Gone Wild

The so-called advice goddess, Amy Alkon, has written an essay entitled Victims Gone Wild: How Feminism Has Messed Up Relationships. Here's an excerpt:

Unfortunately, in the late '70s and early '80s, feminism got hijacked by a small but vocal gang of Victims Gone Wild. Leading the band with Dworkin was anti-porn harpy and law professor Catherine MacKinnon....

Dworkin, MacKinnon and their hairy-armpitted underbosses gave the order to the "victimized"—women, largely privileged and white, on campuses across America—to crawl out from under the boot of "male oppression." In reality, what they were fighting wasn't male oppression, but maleness of any kind—based on the erroneous feminist notion that equality means sameness.

In their eyes, male sexuality isn't just different. It's WRONG. Penetration is a form of rape, don'tcha know? Ultimately, these femi-fascists sought to re-create men in their own image and to reshape sexual expression into something kinder, gentler and more "egalitarian." (Personally, I have no idea what more "egalitarian" sex is—and I hope I never find out.)

According to their Stalinist-feminist party line, every man is a criminal—a rapist until proven otherwise. In 1992, a small mob of "wymyn" bullied Antioch College into passing the "Antioch Rules," a written code mandating that one obtain "clear verbal consent" from one's partner in any sexual act. At Antioch, from then on, raging desire was expected to play out as if accompanied by the small print on an airline ticket: "Pardon me, but would you mind giving me your unqualified verbal permission to tongue your left nipple?"

Men, as a group, were expected to feel ashamed—although the individual man was generally unclear as to what, he, personally, had done wrong, just by virtue of being born with a penis. Relations between men and women got very confusing. Opening the door for a girl didn't mean you were polite; it meant you found her inferior.
Um... who is this douchebag?

I don't remember the 70's or early 80's. But, according to this goddess, this is the state of the modern workplace:

Whatever you do, don't compliment that female co-worker on her hair—a compliment is no longer just a compliment but a full-on patriarchal assault, surely intended to send a woman running, screaming, out of a "hostile workplace." It got to the point, in many quarters, where just about anything a guy could say or do, short of silently rolling over like a stuffed pink bunny, was seen as a capital offense upon the Sisterhood.
Really? Where is the evidence to back that up? Even if she can find a few isolated cases, I seriously doubt this is the norm. I have yet to witness, or even hear about, a work environment like the one she describes. Every place I have worked, men have had no problem feeling free to comment on my hair, clothes, tits, and ass. I've even had guys proposition me. (No, I never once complained to the company. I just politely offered to introduce those crass idiots to my AK-47, up close and personal.) I'll believe Ms. Alkon's story when I see it.

And in college, it's exactly the opposite. It's more like you better be looking at a woman, or she'll bend over and lift her skirt in front of your face. If you still don't look, she'll run back to her dorm bawling because she thinks she's fat or ugly. Hell, why not blame the feminists for all these insecure weenie-girl princess wannabe's who pass for college students these days?

But Alkon gets even better here:

Just look around at young women and what they wear. Sure, there is that subset of preteen streetwalker chic. But, there are also a lot of lonely women in their 30s and 40s who dress like men trying to attract work picking lettuce. Refusing to pander to "the male gaze" is what it used to be called.
Yep, absolutely. Women everywhere are refusing to wear mini-skirts and tube tops. Oh wait... never mind.

These women can't, for the life of them, figure out why they're unable to get a date. After all, men "shouldn't" care about what's on the outside, right? They "should" only lust after that beautiful person within ... right? Yes, perhaps they "should." But they don't, and they won't, and the sooner women admit that, the sooner they'll have a date with more than their cat on Saturday nights...
Is she sure that's what these make believe women are thinking? Because I can't find anywhere on her website where it says she's telepathic.

I will say, though, that people generally have preferences based on looks. I mean, I would prefer not to sleep with some fattie with a tuna-can penis. But there are times when young hottie boys are in short supply. Of course, I don't have this problem now, since I'm engaged. But have I dated a few slobs with back hair? You bet. But this woman doesn't seem to acknowledge that women might actually have preferences too. If the hotties are in short supply, we go for the inferior goods (or remain happily alone).

Okay, this one takes the cake:

It's time all women junked the big ugly boots, shelved the perpetually dour faces and worked up a seductive smile or two. Maybe, once they do, they'll inspire a guy to glue a little hair on his chest and ask them for a date...
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's time for "all women" to do anything. Why does this douchebag think we all have to be the same? Even if we did want our lives to revolve around men, does she think men all have the same preferences? Believe it or not, Ms. Telepathic Goddess, there is actually a "market" for women who wear big ugly boots. There's also a market for guys with purple hawks. Perhaps people who purposely look "different" are trying to attract a similarly-different mate (if that makes sense).

UPDATE: I used to have some more nasty comments here, but my guilty conscience made me delete them. That's because I ended up liking the Advice Goddess after all! It happened over at her blog.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Nice Set

Don'tcha think?
My cymbal collection has grown since this picture. But I look like such a badass that this is still my favortie pic. I'm not usually a fan of Pearl, but I fell in love with this custom set. It's my opinion that size does matter.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

No Racism Allowed

I'm just getting started with this blog. I'm not sure when I'll get around to posting. I just wanted to let people know that this blog is not a forum for racism. "Redneck" is just my way of making fun of myself for being poor, living in a rural area, listening to metal, and owning guns. That's all. Do not post your hatred here; I'll just delete it. You can do that on your own blog, but not mine.

If you are racist, you are a weenie. The end.

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