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femmo bites

Femmo Bites: Fragile Masculinity

September 22, 2015
Cara Rage, disappointment tuesday, Feminism, femmo bites


Hi everyone! Today I am going to teach you about the meaning of the term “fragile masculinity”. It’s become quite a popular term lately, and I for one love it because it sums up so much sexist, unnecessarily gendered bullshit so succinctly.

But what does it mean? Well, basically the term is usually used when referencing products that have been labeled as “manly” or “for men” which really don’t need to be. Typically these products will have dark colours, bold text, larger sizing and imagery that supports that harmful notion that men must be hyper-masculine at all times. These products which can range from such ordinary items as tissues, body wash/loofahs, food and as above, lip balm are typically not gendered at all but there’s apparently money to be made from men who are so panicked by the thought of someone not thinking they’re a MANLY MAN at all time they need pretty much everything to look more masculine. I mean god forbid a man be caught applying classic Chapstick in public, I mean it’s mostly black but WOMEN use Chapstick and that’s embarrassing!

I find the idea of gendering food particularly hilarious. Like the time Donut King came up with the Bronut:

bronut

What genius thought this up? Eating one donut at a time (especially those awful, wussy pink ones) is too feminine so how about two lumps of lard covered in sugar together to really re-assert your masculinity!

The problem is two-fold though, because they’re unnecessarily gendering products towards women too, and have been for a long time. Things that absolutely do not need to be male or female because they’re just things all humans use. Some of the things I have seen in real life are ear plugs, pens, shavers, lollies, tools, soft drinks, disposable shavers etc. The extra shit thing is, often these hyper-feminised products come with a higher price tag. Often the product that’s geared towards men is the default while the one in pink packaging with flowy fonts, floral prints and “for her” scrawled across the packaging is the more expensive alternative. It stinks. It’s some sort of ridiculous marketing plot to make more money that society was sucked into far too easily. God knows I’ve bought products that have been labeled as “for her” when I could have gotten virtually the same product for less money. Sometimes the lure of pink is too strong, I guess.

So what the heck can we do about it? I guess the most simple thing to do is to stop buying unnecessarily gendered products. Not just for you, for everyone. Is there a child in your life, be it your own or a friends or family members? Try to buy something gender neutral for their next birthday and help break the cycle before that little boy thinks he needs matte-lip balm or the little girl thinks it’s OK for shaver companies to charge and extra dollar for a product whose only actual difference is that it’s pink instead of blue. Need new body wash? Go for brands that aren’t affiliated with shitty corporations like Unilever (they own brands such as Dove and Axe/Lynx which both target women/men in really crappy ways), I highly recommend Original Source as their packaging isn’t targeted at any gender and its natural, vegan and smells divine. If you need to buy moisturiser or shampoo for a male, get him whatever is on special, not this crap. Basically, just be aware of how products are marketed to you and opt for the gender-neutral options where possible. It’s sometimes hard for me because I fucking LOVE the colour pink, but when it comes to saving a bit of money and smashing the bullshit, patriarchal notion of what women and men are meant to like, I suck it up!

And if you see some ridiculous product being marketed to men that uses matte black packaging, bold text and obnoxious things like guns or naked women as set dressing, please make sure to mock it mercilessly and discourage everyone you know from ever, ever buying it. Because that shit is seriously whack. #fragilemasculinity

ruby_sig_2012

Femmo Bites – There’s no such thing as misandry

June 19, 2015
Cara Rage, Feminism, femmo bites, In the News, Pissed Off, Random Thoughts, Rants

I wrote this post this morning on Facebook after being totally bummed out by the horrendous comments left on a post by a prominent Australian feminist writer who criticised the culture of shaming women for sending nude photos and not the men who violate the woman’s trust by sharing them with others:

ruby_sig_2012

Femmo Bites – #notallmen

February 6, 2015
Feminism, femmo bites, My Advice, Random Thoughts, Ruby Kawaii

notallmen
source

I have decided I’m going to start blogging my random feminist thoughts here.  I have a lot of them all day every day but I’ve been finding it hard to do regular posts about feminism because I tend to put too much thought in them which means I often don’t get around to posting them or I think it’s not interesting/engaging enough. So instead I will post smaller “femmo-bites” about something I happen to be thinking about right now.

Today’s one stems from a facebook post I was commenting on. The OP shared a link where a girl in India confronts the man who tries to touch her inappropriately and without her consent on a plane. Almost immediately she was swamped with guys saying NOT ALL MEN in a variety of colourful ways. A number of people clarified that she did not mean ALL men at all but these dudebro’s kept going and on and on about it, even suggesting women should specify “some men” in future posts/conversations to avoid confusion in the future (ugh). This was my response (slightly edited for this post) which is my stance on why #notallmen is a harmful derailment tactic:

The fact is, a lot of men do things like this. Not all, not even most, but a lot. There are also a lot of men who mightn’t actually do this sort of thing themselves but think about doing it or don’t see why there’ such a fuss about the men who do do it. The reason for this is because many men have it deeply ingrained in them that women are objects rather than people. They feel like they, as men, have the right to touch these objects that they find desirable. For a long time, the vast majority of women put up with it because it was deeply ingrained in us too that this was how it was and we had to accept it. It’s only been in very recent history that women have found themselves able to stand up and say NO, that is NOT appropriate, and even more recently that laws have be adjusted to reflect this.

Feminism is still crucial these days, even though at a glance it might seem like women and men are pretty much equal. The wage gap and the glass ceiling both still exist, for example. But very importantly, too many men are still finding themselves unable to view women as people rather than objects and so they touch, abuse, harm and kill them in abundance. Sometimes women find themselves unable to yell at a man for touching her inappropriately because there is the very real risk that he will harm her for daring to stand up to him. The woman in this video found herself in a position where she could safely confront the man trying to touch her without her consent and did so. But if she had been in a different scenario it possibly would have been safer for her to be quiet, ignore him and leave the situation as quickly as possible. That is not equality between genders, that we cannot stop something horrible happening to us because we might get hurt or killed for saying no.

We have a very long way to go, because there are still too many men who are like this and when women try to talk about it, a bunch of other men get upset because they feel unfairly targeted despite the fact that wasn’t actually the case. That harms these conversations because it means women have to then double back and clarify that they didn’t mean ALL men at all and the original conversation has been derailed and brought back to focus on men. That is counter productive. So PLEASE understand, when women are talking about this sort of thing, we do NOT mean ALL men do these things. We are referring to those men that do. If you don’t do these things, GREAT. Keep not doing those things and maybe have a go at listening to what women are saying instead of wondering if we’re indirectly referring you and bringing the conversation back to your hurt feelings!

ruby_sig_2012