Week Four, December 2013 ~ A Numbered List for Everything…Except Substance

HPW Rants

My rant this week will be somewhat brief, mainly because I think my point will be understood fairly quickly. What is with the barrage of numbered lists? Seriously, you are making lists for everything. Is it something requested from someone in charge of the blog site? I was under the impression (especially with the way that the various parts of HuffPo seem to have no idea what the rest of the site is doing) that there isn’t any sort of website meeting that happens on a regular basis, like you see in the movies. You know, even Clark Kent had to sit in on a staff meeting where writers and photographers got assigned stories to cover and then they were quickly shuffled out the door to pursue the lead. That seldom happens any more, at least not with the blog sites. However, there is an epidemic of posts lately titled with something along the lines of “23 Things You Could be Eating for Dinner” or “17 Lives that are More Explosive than Your Diarrhea”. Okay, perhaps that last one is a bit much, but you get my point. HuffPo Women is jumping on this bandwagon with all the enthusiasm of a group of cheerleaders. Here is a sampling of their latest groupings of things that women are supposed find interesting:

~ 19 Stages of New Year’s Eve Planning Anxiety – What the fuck is the point of this one? Oh, right. Lets add another to the ever-growing list of anxieties women already have about the holidays. This time we are going to offer it in the form of flashy animated .gifs (because women only pay attention to things with movement or that sparkle). What isn’t going to be shown is suggestions about how men and women can be safe during the holidays. No reminders about designated drivers or taxis, nothing about not leaving your drinks unattended while in crowded clubs, not a peep about traveling in groups and using the buddy system during what the blogger refers to as “most overhyped ‘party night’ of the year.” No instead, within the only small paragraph of text used in this selection is this: “just staying in is, apparently, not an option.” Really? I beg to differ.
Having been a bar owner I have experienced the “scene” from various angles. I got to rake in thousands of dollars in a single night from the mass-consumption of alcohol. I have been the customer, both the intoxicated and the sober “designated driver” keeping people safe. I have also seen the tragedies and the arrests from too many people not using precautions. It is absolutely an option to stay home, and you shouldn’t feel bad or embarrassed for choosing that route. More and more places are offering events on New Year’s Day. I used to remain open all night (it’s the one day of the year that some states allow it), having a band and then a DJ for the Eve celebration and then the next day offering more live music and served free food for both days. Check your options. If you want to stay home during the craziness of the last day of the year and spend the first day of the new year out celebrating instead, by all means do it. The odds are in your favour that it will be safer, at the very least.

~ 10 Things you Feel When You’re Single for the Holidays – Admittedly, this blogger is single. She mentions it in the first sentence. Even if she hadn’t, however you would have figured it out pretty quickly. Reading this post, you also figure out that her life seems to come to a depressing end and has no meaning without a partner to help her feel complete. I got news for you, if you are unhappy alone, you are only going to be miserable (and, as a result make your partner miserable) if you end up finding someone who is willing to buy that “life-sized bear made out of chocolate” that you feel is necessary to get you through Valentine’s Day. Not only that, but if life “bothers” you so much that you need the distraction of being with someone else, you probably have some serious soul-searching to do so it’s probably a good thing you aren’t involved right now. Also, I was married for over a decade and still alone for most of it. “Single” does not mean “alone” anymore than being with someone guarantees that you will no longer feel alone. Finally, how uncreative are you that three of the ten is a different variation of the word “alone”? You are a published writer. Open a thesaurus, for fuck’s sake.

~ 10 Ways to Hide the Fact that You are a Secret Slob – Okay, despite the fact that I have a form of OCD it most definitely is NOT of the cleaning variety. I have the joy of obsessing over numbers instead (is the volume on the TV set at an even number or one that’s divisible nicely like 5; why did I have to buy 3 of some things and 2 of others). However, if I knew that there was even the remotest possibility of someone showing up at my house for an event that happens every year at the same fucking time I would perhaps plan ahead a little bit. Okay, most years I am still shopping for someone on xmas eve, so obviously procrastination really is my bag. What I do not do however is put off things that people will see.
First, why the fuck can you not find time to switch on a dishwasher? Isn’t the point in having one so that (in addition to cutting back on having to physically wash some of your dishes) you never have to have a load of dirty dishes hanging about? How lazy are you than you can’t squirt some liquid in the cup, close the door and set the cycle? No one is that busy. It’s seriously like 10 seconds. Even if you are somehow too busy to put them away at least the load is clean.
Second, do not use garbage bags for storage. Ever. Nothing says “I’m a hoarder” more than big black garbage bags stashed around the house. The same goes for bins. Seriously. seeing a bunch of random shit tossed into bins isn’t gonna make me think you are organised. It’s gonna look like you are trying to cover up that you are a slob. Also, if you have a dishwasher, the odds are good you have a washer and a dryer. Use them. It takes a few moments to load the washer or switch from washer to dryer. Me hearing the dryer running when I come by for dinner is going to impress me more than the stash of garbage bags or over-sized Tupperware filled with random shit. Also, you won’t have to worry about stashing it all on the back deck or in the trunk of your car. Honestly, if you are such a slob that you need to read about how to fake it, you likely don’t have empty closets either. Oh, and for the record, burning candles only masks odors briefly. If your place smells like a locker room or a laboratory, masking that isn’t going to work for long.
Finally, why is this on the section for women? Once again placing housekeeping on the shoulders of women. Obviously the person who wrote it never had teenage boys, never went to a single guy’s house and assumes that only women should have to bear the responsibility for keeping a house clean, or would actually have a guest over for the holidays. Seriously, couldn’t this have been in the main section of HuffPost just as easily, if it had to be posted at all?

Granted, they did post a list of “24 Pieces that Should be Required Reading for Women for 2013” but there wasn’t much there that wasn’t about emotional strength. I’m not saying that isn’t important, but where is the positive articles about women breaking glass ceilings? Why was there no mention of Wendy Davis, or anyone who took a political risk on behalf of women? There are plenty of organisations geared toward helping women get ahead that have nothing to do with adding to the stereotype that we are only emotional beings, but none of them were mentioned either.

The lists are endless and they are non-stop. It’s like they assume that unless the information is numbered and [often] accompanied with flashy or glittery .gifs or photos that women won’t want to read about it. While there is bound to be some that fit that category what about giving us substance? What is happening there is only feeding into the assumption that women only care about “pretty” and “feels”. Fuck that. Women want to know that we are making a difference and leaving our mark on the world, and it’s not always pretty when it happens.

Week Three, December 2013 ~ Swiss Cheese is Awesome!

HPW Rants

Okay, I know this one is not actually from the third week in December but I just want to give a quick “FUCK YOU, Swiss cheese is awesome” to HuffPo Women. Seriously. Who the hell are you to call me a liar? More importantly who are you to judge people based on the freakin’ cheese they eat anyway. What a stupid blog. Anywhoo, moving on…

Why HuffPo Women’s interpretation of Pantene’s gender inequality ad is total bullshit: Okay, so obviously the person who wrote this feels that the message doesn’t really apply to her. Does that mean that every woman on the planet should be offended by the message it is handing out? No. I will grant her that it’s probably not the best way to let women know that, as a company Pantene is sympathetic to the plight of inequality (especially in a male-dominated corporate world). That being said, has it been effective? Yes, it certainly has. After all, it made it to the Facebook page of an angry blogger who also owns a page called “Witty + Pretty” ~ a website that thought that while Pantene’s sympathy to the inequality of women was bad but the now viral commercial showing men in their underwear jingling a popular holiday tune isn’t at all sexualising men. I wonder if she would have been so thrilled with that commercial if it displayed women with bells hanging from sparkly bikini tops jiggling to the same holiday tune? My suggestion? Ease off Pantene. When it comes to issues like equality, I would almost guarantee they were at the very least advised by a woman during the production of that commercial. In the meantime, if you want to cry about equality then you should pay more attention to what’s posted on your own website. Right now you kind of look like a hypocrite. The best part of it all? HuffPost Women already posted a blog applauding the damn commercial!

HuffPo Women Hates Weddings…which is odd, considering there is a section of HuffPost that’s specifically for weddings. Don’t even get me started on the section offering advice about divorce. I’ll leave that to fellow HuffPost hater, Kate Surthwaite who spares no fuel when igniting her opinion of the bloggers and their “advice” for people coming out of ending marriages (follow link here and here). However, for all you ladies dreaming about having your families gather together on what is supposed to be your happiest day to help you celebrate and look on as you give your vows HuffPost Women blogger says “screw you”. While we are at it, no more baby showers especially you teen mothers who need to know that you won’t be alone in this monstrous event. You were foolish enough to get knocked up, you don’t deserve to have your friends and family gather to celebrate one of the biggest events in your life either. Also, since you are a wealthy teen you can buy your own shit. I will concede that forcing your friends to fly to Hawaii to don a tacky taffeta gown that they will only ever get to put on again for Halloween or a fancy dress party (that’s a costume party if you are in the states) is fairly crass. However, there isn’t a guarantee that any marriage will last, so asking (even in jest) for said friend to reimburse you for the money you willingly spent to go to Hawaii (be honest, you wanted to fly to the islands anyway) is even tackier.

At least this one doesn’t hide that it’s written by a guy. I’m of the opinion that a lot of the blogs written for/posted by HuffPo Women are actually written my somewhat misogynistic dudes who have no freaking clue what women actually want to hear about. Seriously, I often expect to see a post some day with nothing but pics of college girls in lingerie having pillow fights and making out, or some “advice” post describing a scene best fit for the mail section of a certain nudie magazine. However, I shall digress. In this case, the guy in question is talking about Lulu, an ap for women to rate guys that they have dated. Now, the issue with this is that if an ap like this were to be created for guys (there IS probably one for all I know) to rate the women that they have dated, HuffPo would likely be within the first in line to lead the charge against every guy who had even scoped out the site, let alone actually used it. So why is a page geared at women promoting it’s use? I suppose we are supposed to accept that, since a guy is using it and actually learned that he was being a doofus in public and changed his behaviour that it’s okay to reduce people to a numbered scale. Sorry, I don’t care. Not that I don’t care about him learning a lesson, I’m thrilled for whomever is lucky enough to end up dating him after he stopped swearing during a fancy meal. I just can’t believe that no woman ever said, “hey, do you think you  could leave the sailor-speak for a more appropriate time…like when there isn’t a violin accompanying our meal?”

HuffPo Women learns the wrong lesson…again. First off, let me say that I really hate the term “selfie” so this will likely be the only time you see me use it. This week, the world came to a screeching halt because POTUS Obama was caught posing for a “selfie” with the English Prime Minister  and the Danish Prime Minister (who happens to be a white, blond woman…gasp!). Now the photo shows the three of them preparing to take a photo on the Danish PM’s mobile phone during a memorial celebration of Nelson Mandella. That’s right, celebration (as opposed to funeral). Now, well before HuffPo’s wretched blog shaming Obama for his “antics”, the actual photographer was quoted saying that the initial response to the photo was wrong. Michelle Obama wasn’t angry about her husband’s actions. Quite the contrary, she had been laughing and conversing with everyone just before the camera captured  the now infamous shot. However, this didn’t stop the blogger from attempting to send a cyber-high five to Mrs. Obama for “letting the world know her feelings MATTER”…except that the blogger has no real idea what her feelings actually are. Hooray for HuffPo Woman for making assumptions about another person’s feelings and ignoring evidence. The tactful thing to do would be to tack on an update to your assumption, accepting that you were wrong and offering an apology for attempting to interfere in another woman’s marriage. I won’t hold my breath though