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3:33 p.m. - 2010-08-06
Beyond the 'B' word.

I certainly couldn't leave that previous entry up there for the weekend. Okay, I could but why would I when there's so much other stuff I could fill this space with?

Yesterday's book purchase was 'The 19th Wife' by David Ebershoff. A whimsy purchase as most of my book buys are, but this is by a male author as most of my books purchases are not. I don't think it's a conscious sexism that drives my buying female writers' work, it's the voice of the Storyteller. Cover blurbs are all well and good, but my preference is to read the first 5 pages. If those 5 pages take me away then I buy. And in print it is almost always a woman's voice that delights me.

A stark contrast to my musical preferences. With music a male voice seduces far more often than a female's. I could go into a whole sociological yadda about how I've been brainwashed into preferring a man's voice because of their overwhelming presence in every auditory and visual media. (Who gave me the news most of my life? Uncle Walter. Who stars in 90% of movies? Who, until very recently, stood at the podiums of power and wielded the gavels of bench and state? Who extols the virtues of my car, toothpaste, life insurance? Who, btw, gets the vast majority of air time on the radio? Yeah, I get it.)

I don't truly think I need to defend my choices, I'm just saying aside from Stephen King my library is pretty much a sorority house and if tenors and baritones dominate my iPod fare, so what? If it's got a good beat and I can dance to it be it a song or a story I'll go with what does me.

Though I will say that yesterday's foray at B&N ticked me off because of the disgusting overuse of the word 'bitch'. Good gravy, it was 'bitch' this and 'bitch' that. Enough already with the bitches. I'm all for co-opting slurs and the usual tools of degradation meant to shame women and turning them into owned power. Madonna is forever on my goddess list for her brilliant reverse power play that turned a chick in her underwear into an empire. ("You want a bimbo? I got your bimbo right here! Watch as this bimbo makes an ass out of you and laughs all the way to the bank and to the top of the charts, mofo.") But at B&N it seemed like every third book was a 'Bitch's' guide to something. A 'Bitch in the Breadbox'. 'Bitches United'. 'Born to Bitch'. 'Bitchy-Poo and the Seven Little Bitches'. Surely a woman can direct her own destiny without having to call herself a bitch to get permission. Or to be heard and published. I have declared a moratorium on buying anything with the word 'bitch' in the title, I don't care how well it's written.

Ditto tuning into any of the horrible plethora of TV shows about women behaving badly. This 'real' housewife has a few choice words for all you bad girls, status and attention whores, bachelorettes, Flava Flav's flav of the moment, and yes, you bitches who masquerade as housewives, "Cut the crap."

Seriously. Stop. Stop buying into the smirking condescending patriarchal ideal that you're only worth something by how far you're willing to degrade yourself. Stop sacrificing your brains, looks, and dignity for the bill of goods that calls itself 'reality show fame'. All you are is a pathetically eager cadre of older 'Girls Gone Wild'. Desperate to give yourselves away for the approval of men who use you, leer at you, and set you up as fricken jokes. Archetypes of the very worst women can be. Trout-lipped, starved hipped, botoxed, imbecilic twats who demand nothing more from yourselves than a fake tan, fake tits, and fake 'friendships' that you happily destroy by shrieking, sniping and snatching each other to bits for the amusement of contemptuous marketers and an audience as degraded as you are.

Is this really why Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat? Why Christiane Armanpour risks her life to get the story? Why Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor gave up so many of life's usual pleasures like husbands and kids to build the careers necessary to ascend to the Supreme Court? Is this why Angela Merkel furiously shrugged off Bush's nasty little neck rub? Is this why Bibi Aisha after the husband she was sold to as a child cut off her ears and her nose made herself get up, seek medical help and agree to have her butchered face on the cover of 'Time'? So you jerks can slap and squabble and feud over acrylic nails?

We, all of us, yes including you fake 'real' ones, are worth so much more. Can do so much more. Of course there's room for pleasure and frivol, not everything has to be deadly serious and morally sanctified, but it would be nice if some of it were. If some of that reality were actually real. Real women with real skin and real boobs and real brains and real souls put some effort into something beyond being bitches.

Just a thought for your consideration, ~LA

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