I love looking at the things people type into search engines that bring them to this blog. It makes you wonder what they were actually looking for. Yesterday, someone searched for “submissive wife.” Ha.
Last night we were watching “The Voice” . It was actually a really good show…and I usually can’t stand these types of shows. I can’t get through five minutes of American Idol or Dancing With The Stars, but I thought the concept of The Voice was interesting and we were actually hooked after just a couple of minutes.
The artists are singing to impress the judges, one by one, and about halfway through, an attractive, young, married couple (Josh and Nicole) who call themselves Elenowen started singing. They were great, and some of the judges turned their chairs around to try and get the singers on their team (they have to listen to the artists without looking at them) for the rest of the contest. When it came time for the couple to choose which judge they wanted to work with, Nicole deferred to Josh to make the decision. He said something like, “oh no, you can’t leave me to make this decision!” And here’s where the truly cringeworthy part comes in: she smiled and said “baby, you’re the leader!” Shudder. My husband immediately burst out laughing, as he knew what effect this would have on me.
I thought surely one of the judges (Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton) would say something or roll their eyes or do something to show that the whole submissive wife act didn’t work for them … but nothing. Just amused chuckles all around. Ugh.
Now, I’m not saying having one partner in a marriage make a decision is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it just works that way. But this couple is a singing duo and choosing which of the show’s judges should coach them through the rest of the competition is a big decision for both of them. And she didn’t act like she just didn’t want to make the decision so she was leaving it up to him…it was a definite case of deferring to him because he is “the man”. Doling out important decision making based on gender does not an equal partnership make. But if you must protect your delicate feminine brain from making big scary decisions, please don’t do it on national television.
A new bill was introduced in Congress last month — HR 3 — that seeks to prohibit federal funding of abortion. Whether or not you are in favor of it, there is one word that is extremely troubling. The sponsor, Chris Smith, R-NJ, added the word “forcible” in front of rape, meaning that he wants the law to state that only when forcibly raped can a woman use federal funds to obtain an abortion. This could possibly eliminate incest, date rape, being drugged and raped, and a host of other scenarios. House Republicans have said they are removing the word “forcible” from the bill, but to date the text remains. Please call your Congress representative today to advocate removal of that word from the bill!
For more information, click here.
Last week I bought a car. The week before that I visited five to six dealers and drove at least nine cars before I found the one I wanted. Of four salesmen who went on test drives with me (something I noticed did not happen when my husband bought a car the week before), three of them expressed total shock that I could drive a stick shift well. Here’s how one conversation went:
Salesman: “Have you driven a stick shift before?”
Me: “Yes, for about ten years.”
Salesman: “I was wondering how on Earth you were so good at it!”
When I got to salesman number four, the car I test drove was an automatic. I apologized for my crappy driving, which was a result of my being used to a standard. He just laughed and said that his wife hated driving an automatic and missed her last car, which was a standard. I ended up buying this car and felt pretty good that I didn’t have to do business with anyone who would openly express such a sexist sentiment as “women can’t drive standards”.
(If you’re interested, there is even a Web site specifically for women who drive a stick shift..Stick Shift Sisters. )
This was the first time I had bought a car without the help and negotiation tactics of my parents, and I thought that sexist car salesman thing was kind of a myth or wives’ tale. But apparently it is not…there is even research on how buying a car is a completely different experience for a woman then it is for a man. There are dozens of online tipsheets specifically for women buying cars, like this one. And this one. And while most of the tips seem like pretty common sense information, I will admit that it was hard for me to negotiate and to press for answers on questons that were being answered vaguely (for example: when were the tires last replaced?). But I’ll also admit to a little bit of bad feminism here and part of the process where the sexism helped me out a bit…when I was being relentlessly pressured by one salesman (“what can I do to earn your business today?”), the “my husband has to see it” card was easy to pull and worked well (and got me out of there). But it was bittersweet when he told me to tell my husband to call him with any questions. Ugh. Anyone else have an experience like this at a car dealer?
This is really interesting…I knew bottled water isn’t good for the environment but I didn’t know just how much damage it does.
How lovely. Fort Worth has made the national news yet again for something sexist…Arlington Heights High School senior Mackenzie McCollum was first kicked off of the volleyball team and then allowed back on but with playing time cut for being pregnant. She was required three times to provide doctors’ notes in order to be reinstated. The coach even announced her pregnancy (unauthorized) to the team. This raises a lot of issues, but the one I’m most concerned with is the treating of pregnancy as a disability. Why on earth would someone need to stop playing volleyball because they are pregnant? If anything, most doctors will tell you, they should keep up the previous level of activity as much as possible. Read more here.
So it’s definitely been awhile since I’ve posted anything and to all five of my readers I am sorry! My excuse is that I’ve been embroiled in a housing situation nightmare–which has zapped my will to live…not to mention my will to blog. After the sale of our condo in June, the loan process to get our new home was pretty horrible. But what has happened since then has been ten times worse…after applying and receiving a 203K Home Renovation (FHA) loan, part of a government program to enable people to fix up older homes rather than buying or building new ones, chaos ensued.
Basically, the company that originally held the 203K portion of our loan folded and Bank of America bought all the loans they had. Well, this swamped Bank of America and it took 60 days from closing for our contractors to get a check (meanwhile we ended up crashing at my in-laws house for a total of four months). Every step of the way with the bank has been a huge hassle and we have even been scared at times that they would never give us our money…and of course at one point the contractor stopped working and what was supposed to be a week and a half project has been going on for 2 and 1/2 months and is still not finished.
So, basically, we would not be able to have stayed in a central part of the city in a home as nice as the one we were able to buy as a result of this loan without it. But the loan was SO HARD TO GET and has been SO HARD TO USE that I wonder if everyone who could benefit from these types of loans is able to get access to them?
This may not seem like it goes along with this blog’s feminist theme, but part of feminism is about speaking up so that people have equal access to programs that are beneficial for them and the cities they live in (which the 203K program could be if handled better). If two people with fairly decent incomes and credit take nearly 60 days to close on a loan (almost not getting qualified) and then can’t navigate the system to pay their contractors in a timely manner, what would happen to someone in a slightly less fortunate situation do? What would have happened if we didn’t have the luxury of having family in town to stay with? I can tell you right now an apartment on top of a mortgage would have been completely out of our financial bounds. If we had made just a tiny bit less each month, we would not have qualified for the loan. If the house had appraised for just a tiny bit less, we woul not have qualified. It makes me wonder how many hard working, honest, bill-paying people get turned down for loans of this type and if that is part of why so many people in our age group (late 20s) end up fleeing to suburbs like Keller to get “more house for the money.”
I wonder what can be done to make access to home renovation loans better? Any ideas?
If you’d like more details on what a nightmare working with Bank of America has been, read here.
This: http://awomanisnotapreexistingcondition.com/# is completely awesome. If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that being pregnant, having a c-section, being treated for issues stemming from rape, domestic violence and other things that women go through regularly are being treated like pre-existing conditions by health insurance companies–which essentially allows them to not cover a large group of women. This is clearly wrong. Check out the Web site above — it’s awesome and I hope it helps women get what they need when healthcare reform is finally settled.
A sobering statistic: in 2008, 136 women that we know of were killed by an intimate partner. TCFV has the full report. Take a few minutes to read it…it gives the names, counties, and circumstances surrounding the deaths, which really puts it into perspective.
I am a day late but wanted to commemorate that yesterday, August 26, is the anniversary of the day in 1920 that the 19th Amendment went into effect. It gave women the right to vote in the United States. I named the post after an antique sign my mother gave me when I was in high school. It has hung in a prominent place in all of my dorm rooms and apartments since then as a reminder of how lucky I am not to be born back then, because, let’s face it, I would have been in jail on a hunger strike at some point in my life if I were.