Normally I stay away from the news because I find it depressing to be thinking negative things all the time. It’s not the murders and the tragedies in the world or even in my community that impact me most. What depresses me about the news is more what people deem newsworthy. It’s depressing to read and hear about what people are concerning themselves with in this day and age. Instead of focusing in on relevant issues I find myself responding to most “news” with “who cares about this?”.
OSD – Over Sensitive Disorder is a choice. People who choose to suffer from this disease often find conflict where there is none.
This week I have found that Sexism is a big newsworthy item among those suffering from OSD. Apparently sexism is still a big problem in our society and (without even looking) I found 3 examples this week to illustrate my point. The first is the offensive poster that was removed from “The Pint” here in Winnipeg. The second was a posting on Facebook of a man in jeans with chiseled abs. The third offensive thing found most rationally sexist this week was a set of toddler pajamas in Target. Hopefully this last one has nothing to do with Target pulling out of Canada but once again I read this and thought…”who gives a shit?”.
It wasn’t the beer that put a bad taste in Ben Wickstrom‘s mouth at “The Pint” here in Winnipeg. It was the offensive poster on the wall of a scantily clad female reaching for a beer. The ad reads “Why guys always keep their beer on the bottom shelf”. Ben was so offended, and got so much support on Twitter that the Pint made an apology and removed the poster.
Now I’m not going to hate on Ben because of his OSD but I certainly don’t see anything offensive here. For one, the girl depicted here is wearing more clothes than most women you see at the beach. The hard nipples are not a stereotype created by men for men – it’s just a natural human reaction to the cold.
Secondly Ben’s argument is also based solely on his interpretation and assumption of the poster. Ben said…
“When you see that on the wall, what does it say to women? It says to them, ‘You’re a sex object. That’s your purpose in our society. You’re there to go fetch beer for men.”
No, that’s what it says to YOU Ben. I look at the same poster and see a woman getting herself a beer. Is it not sexist to think that a woman can’t come home from hard day at work, strip down to her undies, and enjoy cold beer? The poster doesn’t suggest in any way that beer is for her man? It suggests he may have bought the beer and knows his girls daily routine. Good for them. Cause I don’t know any guys who walk around the house in their underwear. It would be stereotypical of me think that I wasn’t the only one. I’m in my gitch right now.
This doesn’t mean I agree with The Pint either. The poster is insulting to men which I assume is 70-80% of their customer base. Another sexist opinion I am throwing out there. It’s based on people I know who are men who go out and drink beer at the pub compared to women I know who do the same. My life experience programs me to think that way and I hope it’s not hurtful to hear that. Regardless, I also envision some marketing executive (male or female) sitting down to create this ad with the mindset that men are stupid animals. That their penis antennae will pick up the signal this poster is throwing and seek out this beer like hypnotized cattle.
I’m appalled. But I also don’t think of myself as one of those cattle. In fact I could visit “The Pint” 100 times and never even see that poster. Maybe it’s because I’m more focused on the people I am there with or even distracted enough by my phone. Or maybe it’s because I don’t look for stupid things to get offended about. Ben Wickstrom is wiping Winnipeg clean of sexism one brand at a time, because he has time. He is also getting so much female attention on his Twitter as a result that I think he should change his aspirations from law to marketing.
Which brings me to the argument I read on Facebook calling out Hooters. Why is there no place like that where women can go and be served by shirtless modern day cowboys with chiseled abs? The sexist answer might be that women are smarter than men. The politically correct answer might be that MOST women are smarter than MOST men. The scientific reasoning behind this is that the biological and genetic makeup of the female genome will not allow them to tip a sexy man like a man needs to tip a sexy woman. The female libido just doesn’t sustain the same economic principles required for an establishment such as this to remain viable. Therefore less male strip clubs, less male prostitutes, and ultimately less male servers. This is not a gender stereotype, it’s scientific reasoning.
Once again it’s all about perception. If a place called Pythons existed where men made the kind of tips Hooters girls make I would quit my job today and go out and buy that Jeep I’ve been wanting. The sexist thing is that they wouldn’t have me. My abs are hiding under layers of marriage, Slurpees, Five Guys, and other such happiness. I know this about myself enough not to hate on my other Python brothers who work on their bodies all in the name of better health, and healthier tips. No such thing as a dumb Hooters girl.
Now the pajamas. Aimee Morrison was shopping at Target posted a picture on Twitter of these toddler pajamas. The blue pair has the Superman logo and reads “Future Man Of Steel” and the pink pair with the same logo reads “I Only Date Heroes”.
Aimee feels like the pajamas are sexist and sexualize baby girls. We caught up to few toddlers on location and asked for their thoughts on this – “Potato!” one girl said, and “Chica Chica Boom Boom!” went the other.
Since we are gender stereotyping here, who says that pink pajamas are for girls and blue pajamas are for boys? If the pajamas had no writing and just the logos would they not be just as stereotypical? Is it maybe because over the years when humans were more distracted with things like survival these colors adhered themselves and now carry some gender specific connotation? Is it hard to fathom that in this day and age, after all the progress we have made with human rights, that some people still hold enough hate in their hearts to outwardly state that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? These people are in our schools, our communities, and our bedrooms. Some of them even make pajamas.
The point is simple…who gives a shit. You want your daughter to walk around in pajamas that say “I only date the homeless” that is your call. You like her in periwinkle blue? Cool buy those ones! Not buying into all that Disney Princess propaganda? Then hide her under a rock! Don’t like it, don’t buy it! When Shan and I found out we were having girls we said out loud, “no pink”. It didn’t stop everyone who knew us from buying something pink and dropping it off. I didn’t think to Tweet “more shitty pink stuff came to the house today…”. My daughter likes “Monster High” right now and I would much rather she was dating a Superhero. Does it mean she’s going to grow up with green skin thinking that stitches on her face are attractive? Not likely, but I give her extra hugs at night just to make sure.
I have a painting in my basement of Carrie Fisher in an R2D2 bathing suit. It’s occurred to me that someone coming into my basement for the first time (who has never seen Star Wars) might perceive it as sexist or racy. Someone who knows me better (who has never seen Star Wars) might still find the picture racy but see my wife’s tolerance of it as progressive. Now someone who has seen Star Wars might see this as art that depicts arguably (depending on your perception) the most influential female character in science fiction history. What I am trying to illustrate here is that any opinions you have coming into my house are based on your own life perceptions. We can both be looking at the same poster and derive completely different opinions of it’s worth. One might describe this poster as “sexist” and another would describe it as “powerful”.
It’s all about perception and each person chooses to perceive things a certain way. Positive or negative. Our perception of the world is ours to sculpt and sometimes our perceptions need a little reinforcement to add strength and security. Twitter and Social Media are the glue that moulds that perception into an opinion and that is the danger. Nothing strengthens a perception more than unloading it on Twitter and watching the skyscrapers rise.
The good news is there is treatment for people suffering from OSD. It’s called CTFO (chill the fuck out). There are real problems in the world that could benefit from your attention to detail.
Now please excuse me while I Tweet this…