This Sunday’s gospel was the one about Jesus getting lost in Jerusalem and his parents finding him in the temple. An ordinary, everyday scenario that might be familiar to any family— the anxiety of separation, the relief when finding your child mixed with the desire to backhand the little snot when he cops a ‘tude.
The priest gave this great homily, talking about how most people aren’t destined for grand religious gestures, but rather live out their faith in a more mundane everyday way— by being generous, compassionate, kind, patient, and humble in everyday life. I love that. That’s my Catholicism. The right winger Catholics can take their their abortion-mongering, gay hating, co-opted religion with a political agenda and shove it. I ain’t interested in bending the world to God’s supposed will through political force. I’ll focus my efforts on the small everyday virtues, thank you very much.
Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
Here's what always mystifes me about the new Melrose Place.
The doctor lady’s dad loses his job, so he can’t cover her med school tuition. So, if this happens to you, what do you do? Apply for student loans, right? That, in my opinion, is the next logical step. Failing that, maybe put it on your Amex and hope for the best. That’s the next possible step.
What does our fair doctor do? She starts HOOKING to get the money to pay her tuition. Hmmm. On my list of “schemes concocted to pay my tuition,” this plan comes considerably after various elaborate blackmail schemes, robbing a liquor store, or pulling a scheme like the guy pulled in Soul Man. You know what I’m talking about. First on my list would be APPLY FOR SOME DAMN STUDENT LOANS WTF?
That day, the local newspaper had run a Sears Roebuck ad with a big picture of St. Nick and text that urged, “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct…Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night.”
But the phone number in the ad was off by a digit. Instead of connecting with Santa, callers were dialing in on the line that would ring if the Russians were attacking.
For maybe the past decade or so, little girls have inhabited a universe that is, almost entirely, pink. It is made up not just of pink princesses and fairies and ballerinas and fluffy bunnies, but of books, bikes, lunchboxes, board games, toy cookers, cash registers, even games consoles, all in shades of pink.
This Christmas is no exception. There is a pink globe, specially for girls. Scrabble has been repackaged in pink (the tiles on the front of the box spell FASHION). Monopoly has gone pink, with the dog, thimble and shoe pieces replaced by flip-flops, a handbag and a hairdryer, houses and hotels becoming boutiques and malls, and utilities turned into beauty salons. In at least one major supermarket chain you can now buy slices of bright pink ham, cut into heart shapes and called Fairy Hearts.
Something, plainly, has changed. “There’s been,” says Abi Moore, a 38-year-old freelance television producer, “a wholesale pinkification of girls. It’s everywhere; you can’t escape it. And it needs to change. It sells children a lie – that there’s only one way to be a ‘proper girl’ – and it sets them on a journey, at a very, very early age. It’s a signpost, telling them that beauty is more valued than brains; it limits horizons, and it restricts ambitions.”
I think what’s going on with pinkification is a little more complicated than that. It’s saying to girls that they can be smart (read books, play Scrabble) or successful (Monopoly) or even like sports (as fans: how many pink versions of sports team apparel have you seen?) BUT they must, at the same time, never fail to fit a socially-approved notion of femininity. They have to wear the right color and look pretty.
Patriarchy is trying to compromise here, but it’s not really not a compromise because patriarchy isn’t giving us anything. That girls now have permission to be smart or play sports, to the extent that they do, is because of the struggles of girls and women, not the benevolence or even the grudging agreement of patriarchy.