Thursday, March 31, 2005

Let's Ban Boxing!

Well, Thursday is my blog day, but since I'm posting from school, this will be brief. I also have band practice tonight and a mid-term Monday, so I doubt there will be any more posts today.

So what's got my thong in a wad this week? The Bitch Magazine blog--appropriately named (S)HITLIST-- has an entry about Parade Magazine's support of a ban on women's boxing. Take a look at this response to a reader's question.
Q. Doesn’t Hilary Swank’s depiction of a boxer in Million Dollar Baby promote the defeminization of women?
—Mia Spengler, New York, N.Y.

A. Yes—but that’s not the main reason we’re against women’s boxing. In our opinion, no matter how hard women train, their bodies are not made to withstand the brutal punishment meted out in the ring, and they are more susceptible to irreversible injuries than men. We disagree with USA Boxing’s decision to lift its ban on women in the sport in 1993.
A ban? Are they serious? In the land of the free?

In the United States, we "allow" women to do many things that may harm their bodies: get boob jobs, wear high heels, smoke cigarettes, eat Oreos, and have babies. Those are choices that women make. Why should boxing be any different? Do we really need to be protected from making our own decisions?

Furthermore, why do only women need protection? Parade claims that women are more susceptible to irreversible injuries. However, they provide no evidence to support such a claim. And even if it were true, it would only be true for women in general--which has nothing to do with individual women. I guess Parade thinks women should be protected, but the men in our society are disposable. Hey, way to slap both genders in the face, Parade!

I'd also like to add that female boxing injuries are not exactly an epidemic in our society. Obesity, however, is. It wouldn't hurt to encourage people to participate a little more in sports or other physical activities. And that includes women!

Yeah, I've blogged about Million Dollar Baby before. Perhaps I shouldn't dwell, but it sure seems like society is having a hard getting over what women do on their own time. Dear Haters: why is it your concern what *other people* do? Butt out!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Must-Read From Aunt B!

Feminists and country folks alike will appreciate this piece from Aunt B.'s Tiny Cat Pants blog. It's entitled What Should Happen for Women's History Month. It is a must-read indeed!

Forget what you know about "urban feminism". This piece is told from a good ol' country gal's perspective. Of course, I love to read stuff from the city folks too. But sometimes my life experiences make it hard for me to relate to what they're talking about.

Here's one snippet from the post:
We white Midwesterners really do segregate by gender--women in the kitchen, men on the couch in front of the TV. In the kitchen, crowded around sinks or hunched over luke-warm coffee, you learn more about the ways that men do women wrong than you can bear. As we're talking around things, in our typical way, you learn which silences mean rape, which mean abuse, which mean infidelity, and which mean the marriage is over. You learn the quiet ways women warn each other about which coaches must be watched and which Sunday School teachers need "help" with their classes. You learn a lot about sucking it up and taking it. You learn a lot about being trapped. You learn to feel lucky with your limited options.

Critics of feminism act like women were content with their lives until the women's libbers ruined it. But I'm here to tell you that in places where feminists are casually dismissed as angry dykes, women are quietly seething.
Yep. So far, that sounds like my household growing up!

But don't mistake Aunt B. for someone playing victim politics here. Rather, she calls on women and girls to take control of their own destinies.
But, nieces, here we are, chance culminations of the history of the universe until now. Put down some real roots, in good, fertile soil. Let yourself grow to your rightful shape. Take up the space that's due you. Read and write and dance and play, because you can. Laugh because it unsettles the powerful. Do you want a lover who is good to you? Stop rewarding jackasses with the gift of your holy heart. Do you get what I'm saying to you? This is all we have, this is all the time we have, and you, who are as blessed and sacred as anyone, are wasting time hesitating.

Here's what I know: no one will give you the life you deserve. You have to just start living it. You have no obligations to any person or institution who wastes your time with nonsense that kills your soul.
Well said, Aunt B! Bless your heart!

Folks, these excerpts here don't do it justice. You really must read the whole thing.

More Right-Wing Political Correctness

In February, I blogged about the trend of right-wing victim politics. More recently, Ampersand has weighed in on the issue too, with a piece asking Why do right-wingers think criticism is censorship? Good stuff. Check it out!

Price Discrimination Not a Human Rights Violations

Via Sunni and the Conspirators, I found this brief article about gender-based price discrimination in Canada. It refers to charging women higher prices for things such as clothes, shoes, haircuts, and dry cleaning services. A bill that would make this practice illegal and brand it a human rights violation has been introduced to the Ontario legislature.
"The bill would ... amend the human rights code in Ontario to make gender pricing discriminatory and it would also allow for penalties to be levied from C$2,000 to C$5,000," [Lorenzo Berardinetti] said.

The bill -- "An Act to Prohibit Price Discrimination on the Basis of Gender" -- will be debated in the legislature in April in the second phase of a four-stage process toward a bill making its way into law. If it passes a final third reading, royal assent then sees it written into law.
Translation: the helpless women of Ontario need the big protective governement-daddy to protect them from their consumerism. Never mind the fact that they are completely empowered to handle the situation themselves, if they so choose.

I'm a feminist, but I just can't get my thong in a wad over this type of "unfairness". It's just an example of third-degree price discrimination, which is a business' right to implement. Another example would be senior citizen discounts. It's generally not a big deal.

Businesses don't price discriminate because they hate women. Rather, their goal is to charge each customer his/her maximum willingness to pay. Since it is impossible to know this information on an individual level, businesses then try to charge different prices to different segments of the population. Perhaps women in general will pay more for a particular good or service. Those women who won't pay more will have cheaper options in a free market system. (Hey, that's why I shop at Target! It's cheap, and it's an alternative to the evil Wal-Mart.)

It all comes down to the idea of consumer surplus vs. producer surplus. It is reasonable that both will try to get as much of the surplus as possible. When we, as consumers, purchase something for a price much lower than our willingness to pay, we receive all or most of the surplus. So let's assume that the average woman receives greater utility from a pair of shoes than the average man. Now, let's assume the shoes have the same retail price. Who gets the greater surplus? The average woman, of course! Producers know this, and that's why they charge women more money-- to get some of that surplus for themselves.

Sometimes the actual cost of a good or service is higher for a producer to provide for women. Take haircuts, for example. If a woman wants a "woman's" haircut, it's a lot more work and understandably more expensive. If she wants a "man's" cut, she can go to a barber and get a man's price. The two services are not similar enough for it to be unfair to charge different prices.

The specific dry cleaning example from the article does seem unfair. However, state action is hardly called for! In a free market system (or close), women can choose to patron another dry cleaner that doesn't charge them higher prices than men. They can also write a letters of complaint to the business. That is usually effective. Remember, producers will respond to consumer demand.

Why, oh why do some people want the state to solve any problem that may exist? Do we really want to give the state that power, when we are completely empowered to handle the situation ourselves? Many women before me have fought for the right to be independent. But I'm afraid that government has become the new husband.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Choice 4 Men?

Amy Alkon and Hugo Schwyzer are going to be debating "Choice 4 Men" this Sunday on Glenn Sacks' radio talk show, His Side. (If Alkon's name sounds familiar, it may be because of my classic bratty response to her Victims Gone Wild piece. I did end up liking Alkon, even though I don't always agree with her.)

Anyway, Choice 4 Men is the argument that unmarried men should be able to opt-out of fatherhood, including financial responsibilities. Here is the show's promo, which I found via Schwyzer's blog (where there's also a good discussion going on):
Nationally syndicated advice columnist Amy Alkon believes that men, like women, should have reproductive rights. Condemning women who get pregnant intentionally and "turn casual sex into cash flow sex," she notes:

"In no other arena is a swindler rewarded with a court-ordered monthly cash settlement paid to them by the person they bilked...Penelope Leach, in her book Children First, poses an essential question: 'Why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be so?'...the law, as written, encourages unscrupulous women to lure sex-dumbed men into checkbook daddyhood."

The "Choice for Men" movement seeks to give unmarried fathers the right to relinquish their parental rights and responsibilities within a month of learning of a pregnancy, just as mothers do when they choose to give their children up for adoption.

Feminist Gender Studies professor Dr. Hugo Schwyzer, Ph.D calls Choice for Men "profoundly offensive," noting that it "seeks to give men the right to evade responsibility for the children they help to conceive."
Both Alkon and Schwyzer make good points. Just like choice for women, choice for men is complicated. There's no easy answer. But for lack of a perfect solution, I would support choice for men. There must be a cost attached, though-- an incentive to not impregnate women.

There are already incentives for women not to get pregnant. Abortion is expensive and painful, not to mention it is not a real choice for those personally opposed to it. I'm not going to go down that road in this post.

Adoption has its costs as well. Think of all the time, money, and bureaucracy a woman must go through to get her kid adopted. Plus, she has to endure the pregnancy. Others are going to notice she's pregnant, and they'll be sure shake their fingers at her. And then they're going to want to know what the heck happened to her baby! Yes, there are stigmas attached to giving a baby up for adoption. People will say, "How could you do that?"

So men should have choice too, but it shouldn't be as simple as just signing a piece of paper. There should be a fee of some sort-- one that is large enough to be a deterrent. And since the state would be involved, I'm sure there would be a fee, plus a lot of bureaucracy to go through.

As far as "dupes" go, that is fraud and those people should be punished under the law. Birth control failure is not fraud. It's only fraud if someone lies about being on birth control. In a court of law, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff (which, in this case, would be the male.) But if more male birth control options are developed (and I hope they are), men too could be guilty of fraud according to this philosophy. If a guy lies about taking the male pill and the woman gets pregnant, she should be able to sue him.

Obviously, prevention is the best action to take. We need to push for the development of more male birth control options. In addition, emergency contraception for women needs to be available over-the-counter. (Note that emergency contraception does not cause abortion; it works in the same way that traditional birth control pills do.)

I'd like to hear others' thoughts on the choice issue. I'm not set in my ways by any means. I haven't been able to come up with a perfect solution, but it seems to me that there should be some alternatives for men.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Due to the fact that Red is now in two (possibly three!) bands, and preparing for job interviews, I need to get away from the computer. Therefore I will only update my blog about once a week. More specifically, this blog will be updated every Thursday. Sometimes sooner, but usually not.

So if you're still interested in visiting Big Red, a safe bet will be to stop by every Thursday. Thanks!

Got Any Cool Band Names?

Okay, so I need you to help me come up with some cool band names. One band I'm in is metal. No, not hair metal... just metal. This project is just in the preliminary stages right now, so I have a long time to come up with a name.

Another band I'm in is straight up jailbait rock n' roll mixed with some old school punk and rockabilly. The current name is The Pistils, something I thought of. But I guess when people hear that, they say, "You mean like The Sex Pistols?" Gosh, I never thought of that. I was thinking of flowers or something. I don't listen to much punk, so the similarity didn't occur to me. This band is mostly female (the bass player is the exception) so a play on the gender thing is okay, as long as there are no dumb references to periods or something like that.

Anyway, if you've got a cool name, please leave it in the comments section. Your prize will be a link to your blog (or to whatever you want) on the band's website. That is... once we get a website.

Added to Red's Roll

I've added Mouse Words (feminist--and soooo funny) and Tom's Rants (libertarian/individualist) to the blogroll. Enjoy!

P.S. I tried to leave comments on some of your blogs last week, but Blogger was being a little dick and lost most of them. I heard others have had the same problem. Arrrgh.

UPDATE: Hey, it looks like Robert has a blog now! He's a faithful commenter here, and I very much enjoy his views. Check out Libertopia. The name says it all!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Dude, You're Getting a Delta

I am in love with Enlightened Caveman's Appearance Delta and Gimmick Theory!

We all know that we shouldn't judge others based on looks. But let's face it, we still do (but to varying degrees). Even if we are enlightened enough to catch ourselves when we are being judgmental, we still have no control over how enlightened other people are toward us.

It would be nice if we could not care about people who judge us by our looks. But, as Enlightened Caveman points out, sometimes we need things from these people!
I need to get one of them to like me enough to hire me for a job, for example. I assume that this person will form an instant impression of me simply by how I look, and that depending upon what he or she comes up with, I may or may not have an easy time in the interview. Just to venture into absurdity for a moment, suppose there's a scoring system that is used by the interviewer to determine if I get a thumbs up or thumbs down, say from 1 to 10. It takes a 9 or better to get the job. If my appearance impresses him or her, I may start with a 6 or a 7. That means I only have to come up with a couple of points to ensure success. It may be my intelligence or my personality or my experience, but whatever it is, it will not be about my appearance. But suppose another applicant comes in and the interviewer is dazzled by his appearance. He may start with a nine, meaning that if he doesn't do anything to cost himself points, the job is his. What I'm getting at here is the notion of an appearance delta. [emphasis added]

I would define this as the difference between my appearance and the appearance that would grant me instant acceptance in any given social situation.

Okay, so looks matter. But wait! Don't get Botoxed just yet. The Enlightened Caveman has a better suggestion.
The key to the usefulness of the appearance delta is in the notion that it can be overcome by non-physical attributes. All it takes is a gimmick, and there are all kinds. Being smart can be a gimmick, as can being funny or empathetic. Being an artist, such as musician or painter, can also serve as a gimmick, and being rich and/or powerful works, too. The point is that knowing your delta tells you how much gimmick you need in any given situation if acceptance is what you're looking for. Harsh as it is to say, if you're short, fat, and bald, you're gonna need a lot more gimmick than the guy who's tall, lean, and well coiffed. Now, you can object and refuse to participate in this ever-so-shallow game of human interaction, but you should do so at your peril.
Alright, so this isn't utopia. But it's reality, and we're all living in it. Does that mean we should all turn into shallow nitwits? Nope. We just have to learn how to live with those who are.

Additional Note: Still craving more appearance theory? Then Red recommends reading Changing Your Cover - Appearances - Part 2 and The Lobby and The Appearance of Dignity.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm Still Alive, Really

Sorry, Red has been busy! I finally responded to some of the comments from my Thursday posts. Thanks to everyone who weighed in.

I'm working on a homework assignment right now, but I hope to post something new tonight! (Probably after midnight, actually.)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A New Name: The Final Chapter (unless there's a sequal)

The decision to return to the name Redneck Feminist is one I've given much thought. The previous change to Red's Rants was not due to pressures of political correctness, but rather due to respect. It's a fine line, but there is a difference. I still want to show respect for others (except for those I've dubbed 'douche'), but believe I can still do that using the RF name.

There were three main factors that went into the decision.

1) My traffic is much greater with the RF name. Brad was right on that.

2) I believed I could clarify my opposition to bigotry by including a blurb on every page. DevP seemed to agree. This is why you see the new description under the blog title.

3) I felt alternative-minded feminists needed a voice. This was by far the most influential factor. I kept thinking about how janekeeler said she could identify with the name Redneck Feminist, even though she (like myself) is hardly a 'real' redneck. I was genuinely surprised by the overall positive response to the name.

I have hunch there are more down home gals out there who hold similar views. We might live in red states or swing states. We may have a distrust of government and oppose some Democratic or Green Party policies. But we are not weak women. We are not religious fundamentalists. And we certainly are not complacent to right-wing attacks on personal liberty.

The idea of the 'urban feminist elite' is just as much a stereotype as the redneck one. But this inaccuracy has still managed to alienate some people from feminism. I hope I can offer a different kind of feminism that is still... feminism.

UPDATE: It is not necessary to edit my name if I'm on your blogroll. I plan to let Red's Rants have it's own section on my blog. You know, once I get around to actually implementing all those grand ideas I have...

And a Couple More for the Roll

I decided to add a couple more blogs to my roll. They are greengabbro and feministe. Both bloggers appear to be feminists, and in my opinion, bring unique perspectives. That's really what I want my blogroll to be-- one that has a variety of perspectives which are not always predictable. In other words, I don't have to agree with a blogger on every issue, but I have to at least be stimulated by what he or she has to say. (Although I prefer to share at least some common ground!)

I'm also fond of humor. I even like really dumb humor. So in case anyone was wondering, Electronic Bubba is a complete joke. I have a feeling the guy is really a leftist.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New to Red's Roll

Okay, here's some recent additions to the blogroll: The Unrepentant Individual, Janekeeler, and Stone Court. Visit them, damn it! Don't make me get out my firearms.

Eventually, I will have a categorized blogroll. But until I get this done, ya just have to click on 'em to see what they're about.

Also, if you want to be added to the roll, just mention it in the comments.

Million Dollar Douchebaggery

Because I'm a libertarian, a lot of people assume I agree with the ladies at the Dependent Independent Women's Forum (IWF). Occasionally, these Bush cheerleaders really do say something I agree with. And I especially appreciate the link to me in their Inkwell blog. But most of the time, IWF's elementary economic analysis and condescension of domestically-challenged women makes Red say 'no thanks' to these uppity, conformist ladies.

A fine example of this would be Top Douche Dog Charlotte Allen's critique of the movie Million Dollar Baby.
...we predicted, quite accurately, that the cinema elite would find irresistible this oh-so-serious Clint Eastwooder with its doubly politically correct whammy of female boxing and plug for euthanasia. [emphasis added]
Translation: Women who choose non-traditional careers or hobbies are just tokens of a PC-conspiracy. Their choices are clearly substandard to those made by traditional women. In fact, they are so substandard that there ought not ever be movies made about them. After all, it's just the majority that counts. No one wants to see a movie about someone who steps outside a narrowly-prescribed role. You know... it's the conforming, predictable people who are the most interesting.

And women boxers don't really want to box. They just endure getting the crap beat out of them in order to make a feminist statement. Hey, it's all for The Sisterhood.

Plus, it's not like there are any movies made about male boxers. PC whammy, indeed.

Come to think of it, I have been duped! All along I thought I really liked playing music. Now I see that feminists have brainwashed me into having such interests so I can serve their agenda. Shit, I hope Hollywood never makes a movie about a chick drummer.

I have a question, though. When did euthanasia for disabled persons become politically correct? It seems like only yesterday that Republicans named disability awareness as part of the PC agenda. If Allen wants to claim that Million Dollar Baby is politically correct, there are a lot of activists for the disabled who would disagree.

Thanks for sharing, Ms. Allen. Too bad you didn't stop there.
There’s the girl-boxing thing--ouch! I’m sorry, but my father was an amateur boxer (and South Bronx champ) in his youth and an air-jabbing aficionado of the "fights" that were practically all there were on Friday night television when I was a young ’un. So I know the Marquis of Queensbury rules fairly well, and the Marquis of Queensbury says that the the entire upper torso is a free-fire zone. I know the gals put a lot of tape over their breasts, but you can’t tell me that it still doesn’t hurt.
Well, there's only one way to find out. I'm game if you are, Charlotte!
And I don’t want to see women pommel each other in the face and wreck each other’s looks.
Baby, I've got a million dollars that says Swank's swollen-eyed face looks a lot better than your naturally asymmetrical one. (Okay, so I don't have the money. But still...)
A guy with an eye swollen to a slit looks like someone you might want to kiss the hurt away on;
Good point. I absolutely cannot watch a movie unless the protagonist is someone I want to kiss.
a gal looks like (and is, in my book) an abuse victim.
Wait a second... did she say victim?

By golly, I think she did!

Yes, yes, that's right! Women are victims! And all along I thought it was the lefties who were revelling in victimhood. (Whoa, I'm feeling some déjà vu.)

Ms. Allen is saying that a female boxer is an abuse victims. It doesn't matter that it is her choice to box. It doesn't matter if she is also throwing punches. She's still an abuse victim, plain and simple.

Are there any men's rights activists who disagree with Ms. Allen here? Is a woman who throws punches a victim? Well, with mentality like this, I can see exactly why society doesn't take violence perpetrated by a woman seriously. Conservative ideologues like Allen paint her the fragile victim every time.

What's worse is that Ms. Allen has a tendency to talk out of both side of her overgrown arse. Check out this quote from the Inkwell.
We at the IWF believe very strongly in equal opportunity for women--in education, in political life, in the job market (pay and promotions), and in the financial marketplace. We don’t believe that a woman’s place is in the home--unless she wants to be a full-time homemaker and mother, and then we support that decision, too.
Aw, that sounds great and everything, Ms. Allen. It's too bad that, in reality, you and the IWF dedicate yourselves to berating women who make choices outside your strict gender code-of-conduct.

Gotta Love Free Market Liberals

Red has to run out of the house before her latest piece is ready. It's still sitting in my drafts. Sorry, folks!

But in the meantime, I'd like to direct you to a good post on Democratic Freedom entitled Free Markets for Underdogs. I've also added Democratic Freedom to my blogroll.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A New Name, Part 2

Well, the results are in! ...But Red is still being an indecisive weenie. I'm going to go ahead and blog-whore for those who weighed in. (If you're named but not linked, it means I don't have your link or your profile isn't available for public viewing. Holla at me if you want me to add a link to your name.)

Karen, PJ, Eric Cowperthwaite, highlonesome, Ron, Brad, Fred Vincy, Chris, and janekeeler all wanted a return to Redneck Feminist.

The following three agreed that RF was a good name, but gave me some suggestions in case I still wanted to change:

DevP offered Rocking Free Market Feminism, or some other play on the rock/drummer thing, such as Drumgurl: A Free Market Feminist Blog.

Sunni suggested Redneck Feminist Rants, and also informed me that the color for classic liberalism (which is basically Libertarian ideology) was orange. How cool, since my blog is orange! Also, I'm a Redneck Dumbass for previously misspelling Sunni's name on my blogroll. So sorry!

Enlightened Caveman thought of Red Scare. Hmm... I like that too.

Only Robert liked the alliteration Red's Rants, although he agreed that I shouldn't care what others think. And ST thought I should change to Red Pants. (Does ST stand for the band Suicidal Tendencies? Cool!) Anonymous said, "To thine own self be true..." Yep, too bad I can't figure that out!

Michael_L graciously pointed out that my idea of Red Feminist: A Free MarketFeminist Blog was an oxymoron, since 'red' implies communism. Oh Mike, I'd say that was an oxyblonde moment for me.

Another Anonymous wanted more posts... tonight, y'all, after my class! I promise! I'll probably decide on the name tonight too. Isn't the suspense killing you?

Red has saved a draft of her latest post, but she is too sleepy to finish it. It's 2:36 a.m.!

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