Women’s Jobs Are Always More Flexible Than Men’s

I have always been very interested in the dynamics of marriage, as someone who is unsure if she will ever marry, and even more interested in the dynamics of child-rearing, as someone who is positive that she will never have children (if this seems backward to you, just remember that as an early twenties female, I must constantly defend myself in choosing to be childfree–I must always have an argument on hand as to why I don’t want kids when everyone knows all a woman can possibly want is to be a mother).

This article in the New York Times on shared parenting is very interesting. It covers a lot of the general gender inequities that can be found in parenting and marriage–the way women, regardless of whether or not they work the same number of hours as men, will do twice as much house work and up to four or five times as much childcare–as well as some of the more subtle ingrained perceptions.

For example, when two working people choose to have a child, it is generally the woman who scales back her career involvement. This is partially, of course, because of the social expectation that the mother should be the main caregiver, but also because there is a perception that it is the women who have the more flexible career. However, the article observes that

the perception of flexibility is itself a matter of perception. In her study, she was struck by how often the wife’s job was seen by both spouses as being more flexible than the husband’s. By way of example she describes two actual couples, one in which he is a college professor and she is a physician and one in which she is a college professor and he is a physician. In either case, Deutsch says “both the husband and wife claimed the man’s job was less flexible.”

Two jobs. Flip which gender is working it, and the woman is still the more flexible one.
The article goes on to cover the misconceptions about the idea of “differing standards” between men and women in regards to childcare and housekeeping, the idea of conscientious division of labor, and more.

Over all, I highly recommend the article, as it is some very interesting food for thought on marriage, parenting, division of labor, and general social and personal dynamics. Well-written and thought-provoking. I would love to hear some other peoples’ thoughts on this!

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06/12/2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Women In Bed Are “Just Asking” To Be Videotaped

There have been some interesting discussions of privacy in the public sphere lately. For example, debates about the legality of stores with mirrors on the ground at the entrance so that men can see up women’s skirts–but this is not illegal because once in public, women do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy? (I’m sorry I can’t find a link at the moment; I will keep searching and come back.)

And now there is this.

Two students videotaped naked women in the neighboring dorm without the women’s knowledge or consent. They then put the video online.

But the best part is that Roxbury District Court will not be pressing charges, at least not until Wentworth finishes its investigation (fine, yes, investigate–but not pressing charges?).

The boys were in their dorm room when across the street in a neighboring dorm, two women got into bed together without closing the blinds. Sure, that was silly of them, and as disgusting as it is, it is not surprising that two college juniors would then watch. What is surprising and disgusting is that they not only videotaped it, but then uploaded it onto the internet. That is absolutely dehumanizing to those two women and utterly indicative of a sense of ownership over bodies that the two men in question were in no way related to.

One of the two Wentworth students doing the filming tried to cover his tracks by saying, “This all would have never happened if their windows were closed.”

This reeks of victim-blaming, not unlike rape courts saying that a woman’s clothing is to blame for her rape.

Forgetting to close the blinds does not mean that the girls were asking to be videotaped and uploaded onto the internet. End of story.

[Read the Boston Globe article here]

06/12/2008. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Abstinence: Stop Doing It For Yourself, Do It For Daddy Instead!

So, we have yet another beauty of an abstinence article. I think a lot of us have heard of purity balls, but I just can’t stop being horrified by them. First off, there’s something a little Electra-complex-ish about pledging your virginity to your father (“I swear, Daddy, I will love no other man until on my wedding day you give me to my husband, who will then own me in your place!”). Also, why must the girl pledge to her father? Why can’t she pledge to remain a virgin for herself, for her own reasons? This is once again requiring some sort of male presence and guidance, whatever you want to call it. Also particularly great are some of the examples of these shining role models:

“It’s also good for me,” said Terry Lee, 54, who attended the ball for a second year, this time with his youngest daughter, Rachel, 16. “It inspires me to be spiritual and moral in turn. If I’m holding them to such high standards, you can be sure I won’t be cheating on their mother.”

I can only hope to one day have a marriage that healthy and fulfilling! I mean, if it requires your daughter’s virginity being at stake to keep you from cheating on your wife, you must have a really great marriage!

Recent studies have suggested that close relationships between fathers and daughters can reduce the risk of early sexual activity among girls and teenage pregnancy.

I don’t buy it. My dad is one of my best friends, and has been for just about as long as I can remember. We’ve always had a great, close relationship, but that didn’t stop me from getting involved in “early sexual activity”–looking back, holy crap was I young! All that happened was that I went to my dad to help me get a gyno appointment, get on the pill, etc. So via the theory of that article, there is no good reason that I should’ve started having sex so young, except that maybe I didn’t pledge my hymen to my father. 😛 However, I’ve turned out pretty much okay–this is probably because my dad, although he wanted to strangle my then boyfriend, did the right thing. He got me the care I needed, thanked me for coming to him rather than doing nothing, and gave me as much advice as he could.

Can any of the girls who went through those purity ball experiences feel confident that their fathers would do the same for them? Or do you think they are now even more terrified to broach the subject with their dads?

((Originally written 5/20/2008 for my LiveJournal and reposted here))

06/06/2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Cake: Who knew it could make me so angry?

See, sex is like cake, right? And everyone likes cake! So therefore rape can’t actually be a bad thing!


“Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible ordeal.
“To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence.
“A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched.”


Thank you, BNP. No, I’m not SURPRISED at things like that coming out of the BNP. But that doesn’t make it any less atrocious, or any less the kind of thing that I see all too often in this culture, particularly in the way rape trials are conducted. Well, she shouldn’t have been wearing that short skirt. But, come ON! Look at how many previous partners she’s had–you know she wanted it. OH PLEASE. Like it is so amazingly astonishing to men that there are times when a woman doesn’t want to have a penis put in her. Don’t get me wrong–sex is great. But there’s a lot to it. Women are quite literally letting someone else inside of them. (I once had a conversation about this with a guy. He got very uncomfortable, and I felt bad, but it was actually a really fantastic conversation.) But how can we NOT want to just give all-access passes to our bodies? I mean, it’s just cake, right?

Yet, at the same time, the virgin/whore dichotomy rages on. If you’re not a virgin, what does it matter if you’re raped? If you are, it really only matters if you were saving it for marriage. If you were just some shy or homely girl, it doesn’t matter. Also, husbands can’t rape wives, boyfriends can’t rape girlfriends, women of color almost never get raped, and queers are downright unrapeable.

Some days I want to scream and pull my hair out. We can’t all be virgins or whores; rape DOES happen and it IS awful. Patriarchy, sexism, wage gaps, glass ceilings, lookism, ageism, etc, IT IS ALL STILL HAPPENING. I would appreciate it, world, if you would stop trying to convince me otherwise, because I’m not buying it.

I think one of the things that particularly bothers me with that is the way the dude also assumes that a woman would ENJOY being force fed chocolate cake. Because hey, you know us silly girls, we can’t get enough of that cake. Why, without our husbands around to pinch our tummies and make jokes about our burgeoning asses and thighs, we’d all be morbidly obese and STILL just munching on bonbons 24/7!

((Originally written 4/9/2008 in my LiveJournal and reposted here.))

06/06/2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

TBA

This blog is coming soon, pending lay-out and final drafts of first essays. Watch this space!
In the meantime, here are some Fun Facts!

Who is Cuppy van der Cake?

Cuppy van der Cake is the superhero alter-ego of a “young urban professional” operating out of a top-secret base in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She owns and wears a pair of sensible pumps, but can actually run at a reasonable pace in them. She also owns many books, ranging in topic from science fiction to pretentious literature to assorted varieties of non-fiction. She has a tattoo on her left foot.

What’s this about snarking?

Touchy-feely overly PC analysis is not what will be happening here. There is a difference between being conscientious and being sensitive to the point of being stupid (like the old adage of being open-minded, but not so much that one’s brain falls out). This blog will aim for conscientious, but will most likely land in “mildly offensive.” Cuppy van der Cake, on top of being the things listed above, is also kind of rude. The blog is called “Bitches Get Stuff Done” for a reason.

But does she get stuff done?

Oh hell yes! The occasional thing that has been gotten done might even get mentioned here now and again. Gasp!

Presidential candidate?

Good question! The crazy ridiculous Democratic primary snafu will be one of the first issues covered by this blog, actually. However, Cuppy has supported Obama for a while now. Details to come.

…Vegetarian cooking? What?

Politics and pop culture are sometimes too serious and/or depressing. Everyone needs to lighten up a little now and again, and food is arguably one of the best things in the world. Eating is awesome.

Recommended reads?

Feministing
The New York Times
Bostonist

Will there be a way better “about” page?

Yes, sweet pea, there will be.

06/05/2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.