Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sarah Kershaw: Manning the It's-Not-1954-Anymore Beat

Intrigued by Sarah Kershaw's "idiot-ass stupid-dumbfuck-balls article" about teen hugging (which we featured earlier today), Women Do! reader Jenna Scherer hit the NYT vault to see what else Kershaw had perpetrated lately. Looks like she's an expert in the field of People Defying Garbage Gender Stereotypes In Irritating Ways.

Somehow I missed her April 23 feature, "Mr. Moms (by Way of Fortune 500)." Is it as bad as I think it is, you ask? No! It's worse!

Even for the Times, this is pretty rich stuff. Dads who used to make more money than you now have to go to PTA meetings! Where they are hailed as saviors, apparently. Because everybody knows women can't do math. And who do you turn to when you can't do math? The guys who just got laid off from their fantastically highly-paid Wall Street finance jobs for DESTROYING THE KNOWN UNIVERSE.

The new prevalence of fathers around town is bittersweet for mothers, teachers and others. On the one hand, the PTA can use all the help it can get from men with financial expertise at a time when the proposed school budget is under enormous pressure. And women are happy to see stay-at-home husbands building closer relationships with their children. But one little-spoken effect is an uneasy feeling that these highly successful men are facing the pain and potential shame of being out of work.

Oh, the shaaaaaaaaaaame! Who knew being a regular person was so dirty?

Sarah Kershaw, we're onto you.

Deviled Egg-Off!

A few months ago, you may recall, we got our knickers in a twist over a really thickheaded Globe story claiming that women do not eat deviled eggs. "How could they?" we quoth. We swore. We shook our fists at the sky. And we vowed to have a party. A great big egg party.

Well, grab your paprika bottle and shake it like a Polaroid picture, because it's time for the Inaugural Deviled Egg-Off. In the spirit of women and men doing things, both kinds of people, in addition to everybody else, are hereby invited to whip up your deviledest eggs and bring them to PA's Lounge on Monday for an epic showdown of eggy goodness.

Where: P.A.'s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave., Somerville.
When: Monday, June 1, 7:30pm
What: Deviled eggs! Chicken celebrities! Foodie judges! Mayhem! Free admission!
Why: To show that there Globe what for, but mostly to have a good time and eat a lot of deviled eggs.
How: As zestily as possible.

Here is our Facebook invitation! By all means invite your friends.

Also, no one can eat fifty eggs, except Paul Newman. (Hot!) But we will try.

The Youth Of Today: They Hug One Another With Abandon

Hot off the presses of our nation's paper of record: teenagers hug each other. Even the boy kind! No! It cannot beeeeeeeeee!

Our intrepid reporter Sarah Kershaw ventures boldly into the halls of Pascack Hills High in Montvale, New Jersey, where she is informed by junior Danny Schneider that gender as we know it has ceased to exist.

“We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,” said Danny Schneider, a junior at the school, where hallway hugging began shortly after 7 a.m. on a recent morning as students arrived. “The guy friends, we don’t care. You just get right in there and jump in.”

And it's not just in New Jersey. All across the nation, the flower of manhood are bravely flinging their arms around one another, risking the ire of school administrators.

[S]chools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching — or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class — have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule.

Youth vs. authority! Shifting social norms! My God, it's a trend! We have here the elements of a newspaper story. But it's not really meaty enough for the New York Times. To make it worthy of the Grey Lady, we have to know: Will somebody make some sciencey noises for us? Is there a pop-culture buzzword? Can we make an incredibly awkward reference to hip-hop culture? And can we blame it on the Facebook?

But Amy L. Best, a sociologist at George Mason University, said


The prevalence of boys’ nonromantic hugging (especially of other boys) is most striking to adults. Experts say that over the last generation, boys have become more comfortable expressing emotion, as embodied by the MTV show “Bromance,” which is now a widely used term for affection between straight male friends.


But some sociologists pointed out that African-American boys and men have been hugging as part of their greeting for decades, using the word “dap” to describe a ritual involving handshakes, slaps on the shoulders and, more recently, a hug, also sometimes called the gangsta hug among urban youth.

Er, check.

“Maybe it’s because all these kids do is text and go on Facebook so they don’t even have human contact anymore,” said Dona Eichner, the mother of freshman and junior girls at the high school in Montvale.

Okay, we're done here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Words Of Wisdom

Here's a riddle for you: What is strong enough to ruin an entire generation of American men, yet so weak that I could cripple it simply by choosing to wear the wrong sort of shoes? The answer, of course, is feminism. If you believe what you read in the papers, that is.

This post, a savage takedown of Ad Age/Details writer Simon Dumenco's irritating how-can-I-be-a-man-when-you-keep-making-me-empty-the-diaper-pail schtick, is six months old (quelle horreur!), but the sagacity therein is as fresh as a pail of new milk. My favorite bit:

Here's the deal: men and women are dicks, men and women cheat and otherwise do the wrong thing, men and women succumb to everyday selfishness and resentment and feminism doesn't have a good goddamn to do with it.

What she said.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Traffic Jam On Madison Avenue

Seventy years ago, marketers hit upon the novel idea that men should eat soup.

Fast-forward to 2009. Things are so different now! It's pretty radical, but get this: women use computers. Not only that, but men drink soda.

What is this, Tehran?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Women Occasionally Mean, Unsupportive Of One Another

Breaking news: Women in the workforce, despite being generally regarded as frail and timid, are in fact too aggressive. Especially to other women. Sometimes.

Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core.

Oh, feminism, how frail thou (seemingly) art. A gentle spring breeze might blow you away. Only last week, I failed to give a pregnant lady my seat on the T, and God killed a radical lesbian-separatist kitten. So much for sisterhood being powerful.

According to a story in yesterday's New York Times, women are not as prone to bullying their subordinates as men, which fits nicely with received notions of women being altruistic. But when they do go rogue, they pick on other women, which is nasty, and hurts feminism. Also, they are stone cold bitches. (And here we thought putting women in charge was going to magically reform our corporate culture and fix the recession and stuff.)

It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.

What is this "nationally representative" study, you may well ask? Was it peer-reviewed? Did it appear in some fancy science journal thing? And where on earth did they get those lovely round numbers?

Actually, it's by a bunch of seminar-peddling consultants, who can be found here, here and here. Or if you like, you can help them make the world a nicer place by getting lawyers involved. And if you're really into this anti-bullying stuff, this June, you can spend three days with them in the glorious environs of Bellingham, Washington, learning to be an anti-bullying lobbyist just like Doctors Gary and Ruth Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute. Only not as good.

No one else in North America can train you on this topic like Gary and Ruth Namie can! You will learn to customize the components for your personal needs and upon completion of this course you will be certified to deliver a presentation introducing Workplace Bullying to a variety of audiences — public or business groups.

See? You, too can be certified to give other people a PowerPoint presentation on Workplace Bullying! And, since the Workplace Bullying Institute is a nonprofit, Gary and Ruth Namie are doing this for the poor downtrodden American worker. Out of the goodness of their hearts.

Fee: $3,600 (USD) per person

Oh. Right then.

Friday, May 8, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons, Enjoy Your Banker PMS

There are a lot of things to love about being in the middle of a ruinous economic meltdown. Hobo chic, which is hilarious. Backwoods Home magazine getting fatter and fatter. Laughing at soulless twits who bought condos at the Natick Collection. And my favorite: the Banker PMS Story.

It used to be that 99%* of stories about people rendered insane by the cocktail of hormones coursing through their veins were about women. No more. Now, when you crack your morning paper and read about somebody losing their God-given marbles to an endocrine secretion, it's just as likely to be a banker-man.

It's a little bit of schadenfreude, to be sure. But having long been vexed by newspapers yammering about how irrational we women are when on the rag/pre-rag/pregnant/postpartum/lactating/adolescent/menopausal/postmenopausal/etc., I am enjoying watching the deposed Masters of the Universe marinate in their own humiliating stew of pop evolutionary theory and specious psychobabble.

*Not a number validated by any kind of science whatsoever.