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Bad Kitty! or "How I became a rabid feminist and a rabid anti-feminist at the same time" Part I - $blog = int(rand(@thoughts));

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May 30th, 2006

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08:56 pm - Bad Kitty! or "How I became a rabid feminist and a rabid anti-feminist at the same time" Part I
It all started with Hello Kitty, and a feminist blog. Now, for some people, Hello Kitty is a cute and fun affirmation of all that is happy and good in life. She's pink! She's a kitty! She has no mouth! You can get fluffy pink socks knit with shiny eyelash yarn with her face on them! I mean, really, in this crazy, mixed-up world, what could be better than that?

For other people, Hello Kitty is the epitome of evil, and represents all that is wrong with the world. Indeed, as I've mentioned before, Hello Kitty, as with all things, has a dark side.

On this particular day, however, a day like any other, Hello Kitty was suddenly to become one of the most controversial and divisive issues to face the modern world since the 1960's.

The aforementioned blog is maintained by one ginmar. She's an Iraq vet who, among other things, posts long and passionate essays on feminist issues, particularly rape and violence against women. I happened upon her blog not long ago, and while I don't agree with her on some things, and she doesn't agree with me on some things, her viewpoint is very different in many ways from the "feminism" I remember from my childhood and holds a lot of interesting things that have given me much occasion for thought.

Plus, she can be funny as hell, I love her writing, and she's the only other woman vet I've run into for a long time, so this makes for some interesting discussions.

Anyway, she also manages to engender an awful lot of hostility, and possibly the occasional hate, due to her views and her means of presenting them. She pulls absolutely no punches on her blog, and if you don't abide by her stated rules, you're outta there. (Which is only fair, since it is her blog after all.) I mean, she pulls NO punches: she's not a person to say, "Gosh, perhaps there may be a misunderstanding" and work her way up to things. Hell, no! She's going to say, "Did you fucking READ the post?"

I seriously need to learn how to do that. I'm way too nice. (sushirob tells me that all the time.)

But that's a different story.

Anyway, I was wandering by her blog one day where she had written a post that discussed how there is nothing wrong with being a feminist and still wanting to do girly stuff like wear makeup and dresses and so forth. She was basically angry about the fact that people (often anti-feminists) will call women hypocritical if they say they're feminist and then wear eyeshadow or somesuch.

I was in a whimsical mood, as I often am lately, and so I posted the following comment:

Too bad there's not some kind of "Rabid Radical Feminist FAQ" where you can have things like,

"Q: Can I be a feminist and still wear makeup and cute sundresses?"

"A: Honey, nobody cares what the fuck you wear. We care more about what you think, WHETHER you think, and who you ARE and what you do. So wear Birkenstocks, shave your head, or get dressed up like the prom queen. This is all rather superficial, and while it's a reflection of societal expectations of women's value being related to their looks, we won't hold it against you if frilly things make you feel happy in some way.

Oh ...

But no Hello Kitty.

I mean, we have to draw the line somewhere."

'Cause, you know, that would rule.

Now, as I'm sure my long-time readers know, I have nothing against Hello Kitty. In fact, my fluffy, shiny, Hello Kitty ankle socks are some of my most prized possessions. (Shut up, Rob.) Not to mention, how could I possibly have been Glambo for Halloween without my pink-marabou-trimmed tiara?

However, this off-hand comment somehow began a small snowball which plummeted down the hill of of LJ comments, viciously crushing all in its path with the giant headless one-fang vampire of misunderstanding.

Wait, is combining a snowball with a headless vampire mixing metaphors? Damn English language!

Anyway, the point is that somehow, and without ever meaning to, my remark led to over 150 comments on this one post, and the repercussions ... GOD! The repercussions still flow.

[To be continued: Next - "Hello Kitty is a Rapist"]

(14 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 04:24 am (UTC)
Happy Bunny pwns Hello Kitty.
PWNS, I say.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
Gloomy the Bear disembowels all.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, but is Happy Bunny a rapist?
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
Yes, I do pink and princess-like things, but that makes me no less a feminist than the unshaven masses of the sisterhood. I just wanted to chime in with a little Ani DiFranco which I think is on point:

from "Little Plastic Castle"-

people talk about my image
like i come in two dimensions
like lipstick is a sign of my declining mind
like what i happen to be wearing the day
that someone takes my picture
is my new statement for all of womankind

i wish they could see us now
in leather bras and rubber shorts
like some ridiculous team uniform
for some ridiculous new sport
quick someone call the girl police
and file a report

I'm thinking about posting it in ginmar's lj... *ponders*
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC)

ginmar thinks anyone should be able to wear anything they want!!!

It was me! I started the whole thing about Hello Kitty! It was a joke!


[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
I read the post, as well as most of the comments, and I understood the joke. I agree with ginmar, totally - I just think that I didn't make that entirely clear with my post in her journal. :?

Well, if she thinks that I'm a big ol' anti-feminist poopyhead over this, I hold you personally responsible. ;)

I really shouldn't brain today. Someone gave me their share of the dumb. *L*
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)

I'll put in a good word for you.

This whole thing was just like ... yarrgh. You look at her blog and it's like 30 comments, 40 comments, and then the Hello Kitty one is like 150 comments. She's had many more comments on various entries in the past, but geez, who knew this one would be so popular and/or controversial?

Of course, probably 50 or 60 of those comments are me making smartass remarks, so there you go.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
That's a cool damn poem, though.
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC)
It's a really awesome song. It's pretty damned pop-like, as far as Ani goes, but it's deep as well. The complete lyrics are here.

I need to make you a care package at some point, I think. I did have that shirt that I was going to mail to you, but I fell in love with it and kept it myself. *blushes*
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
BWAHAHA! Silly. I have shirts. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
I know that... but I bought this one specifically for you, held on to it for ages, and finally gave into the call of Teh Awesome t-shirt and kept it. *blush*

I'll have to take a picture of it so that you can be properly insulted over my heinous crimes. *L*
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
I got Charlie one that said, "Guns don't kill people: kids who play videogames kill people."

Best. Birthday present. EVAR!
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
Picture of the aforementioned "stolen" t-shirt:
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)

I love it when a conversation spins totally out of control. :)

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