A Little Bit of Everything

Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

Abortion in the Media

Occasionally, when there’s nothing else on, I’ll watch ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ and there’s one thing about it that really bugs me.

That thing is how abortion is depicted.

Throughout the whole series, abortion is treated like this horrible act that people should be ashamed for even thinking about.  One of the characters in the show did everything right; she was on birth control, her partner wore a condom, etc. It just so happened that some things went wrong; the condom broke and because she was on a new birth control pill, it wasn’t yet effective.

Things happened that were totally out of her control and she didn’t want a baby…so why shouldn’t it be okay for her to have an abortion?

Well, she was planning to but there was suddenly a shitstorm from all around her.  Her friends, family, and partner were all adamantly against her having an abortion and they made her feel like a horrible person for wanting to do what she wanted to do.  She is a teenager, extremely susceptible to social pressure, so of course she felt like she had to have the baby.

What pisses me off so much is that the whole show treats that like the opinion all people should have of abortion, not like the individual opinion of one person.

What the hell?!

Thousands of teenage girls are probably watching this show.  Like it or not, a lot of people (especially young people) interpret television as a reflection of the real world so television shows have a responsibility to provide a balanced outlook on life, not propaganda.  Yes, I realise that science fiction and fantasy shows do not reflect real life but they make it pretty clear that they don’t.  Shows that don’t feature superpowers, robots, or anything else that cannot be found in modern civilisation, are automatically assumed to reflect real life.

People should just learn to get a grip and stop trying to control other people’s lives.  If you don’t want an abortion, fine!  We’re not making you have one.  But let us make our own damn decisions about how we want to live our lives!

– Daine

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I’m up against the world and wondering if it’s worth it

By that, I mean the views of the world.  And by that, I am specifically referring to the view that it is mandatory that all women shave their legs and armpits.

I rarely shave my armpits, have never shaved my legs, and honestly think it’s kind of silly to do so.  The only reason I have shaved my armpits is because I know I will be in a situation (bathing suit, etc.) where my armpits will show and I don’t want to draw any unnecessary attention.  This will be discussed in further detail below.

The reason I think it’s silly?  I’m a biologist.  Biologists know about evolution and the fact that an organism’s body does not waste time and energy forming something that is not necessary for survival.  A very plausible explanation for the purpose of the hair is; protecting us from disease.  The skin of your armpits is very porous, which is why a lot of your sweat comes out that area.  This could make it a lot easier for a disease to get into your body.  Women only started shaving their armpits less than century ago (see footnote about origin of shaving) which means that it is very possible that the disease disappeared before then.  As we have seen in the past decade or so, diseases can resurface.  So what if that particular disease does and catches the majority of the female population without hair protecting their armpits?

Even if you don’t accept that as a possibility, why take the chance?  Like I mentioned when I was talking about evolution, I doubt the hair we have serves no purpose.  This is why I think it is silly to remove the hair for appearance purposes.  It’s kind of like a person who has never had to fight for their lives going ‘Hmm…these fingernails are unsightly and don’t seem to serve much of a purpose so I’m going to just remove them’.

As I mentioned before, I don’t much like attention so this is where I’m in a bit of a bind.  On one hand, I believe in my views very strongly and don’t want to ever have to forsake them but on the other, I really don’t want people to look at me strangely and stuff if I am in a situation where my armpits are showing.

This is how I feel I am up against the world.  Is it worth it to have to forsake my views to be able to avoid unwanted attention?

-Daine

Footnote:  Around 1912, a company for men’s shaving products decided they weren’t getting enough profit and they needed a new market.  They then created probably the most effective marketing campaign in history and now almost every woman shaves bother her armpits, and legs.  Freaky, huh? How easy it is to manipulate women when the appearance is brought into the equation?