Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bad Week for Women

Are you as flabbergasted as I am by last week's medical task force recommendations that women need far fewer mammograms and pap smears?

Do you believe, as my just-short-of-paranoid liberal friend does, that these ridiculous suggestions are part of a grand plan to make people fearful that if Congress finally passes health care reform, the government will deny people live-saving tests? I'm not sure, but I do find it curious that we haven't yet heard any recommendations to reduce the number of medical tests for men.

Whatever's going on, it seems like just one more assault against women and it makes me angry --- so much so that I couldn't even get in the mood to write a Thanksgiving-themed blog. OK, here it is: I'm thankful I don't have daughters because it seems to me that women not only haven't progressed very far in this country, now people are suggesting they're not even worth the medical tests that have been known to save their lives.

So I've got some female rage going, which is probably why I nearly flipped out when flipped open (yes, I wrote that on purpose to break the tension) the "What on Earth" catalogue and saw the "Hillary Nutcracker." It offends me as a woman to see someone trying to make a profit off something so demeaning to all women -- and something that also implies a female in power is a "ball-breaker"-- and I'm not even a big fan of the Secretary of State.

I found the item so disgusting that I called the catalogue's customer service (you can make your opinion known by clicking here if you want) and promised to tell everyone I know about the low standards of this catalogue by offering it for sale. (The catalogue photo does not show the nut, but the image to the right gives you a clear picture of the item's purpose.) When I finished my diatribe, the woman at the other end told me that yes, they had received a number of complaints but there also were people buying this item. My response: "People buy child pornography, too. Are you going to sell that next?" Silence.

Then there's the Newsweek cover featuring Sarah Palin. My lack of admiration for this woman is no secret BUT it appalls me to see an allegedly reputable news magazine use a photo showing her legs to illustrate a report on her new book. It's another attempt to trivialize a woman based on appearance instead of substance, or lack thereof.

The picture was taken as part of a photo shoot for an article in a running magazine. There, a candidate in running clothes seems appropriate. But of all the photos taken of Ms. Palin since she was thrust onto the national scene, why did Newsweek choose this one? Would a similar photo have been selected if the subject were male? I believe we all know the answer.

Some days it just seems like women are being trivialized wherever you turn -- and I wonder when, or if, it will ever end. It never will until more women -- and more men -- stand up for the dignity and wellbeing of females everywhere. That would be something to be thankful for.


MaxWriter said...

Yes, Pat! I hadn't heard about the Hillary doll. Your retort was perfect, and thank you for taking the extra step to call them at all.


PatRemick said...

Not sure making the call made a difference but I feel better. I was livid. I suppose it's better to be angry and take action than to feel powerless and discouraged, which would be easy to do given what's been happening lately.

ALittleGuitar said...

w/out addressing the testing and palin issues, i would like to point out there is equal sexual objectifcation in regard to the nutcracker:

but maybe there is still some discrimination. on the hillary item goes for $17.99 and this one is $18.49 (or $36.49 for the set).

Jungle Red Writers said...

my conservative friends are all sure it was a conspiracy to see if we'd put up with lower standards to support universal health care... which just goes to prove, those conspiracy people are EVERYWHERE.

But yes, you are right to be mad. Although frankly, I respect Hilary for being a nutcracker!!!

Jan Brogan said...

Ooops, while posting previous comment i was still signed in as JRW. Better clarify. I'm sure I'm the only JWR who even has conservative friends.....

PatRemick said...

Now we've got conservatives and liberals all talking about conspiracy...
Must be something going on!