I love it when my husband cooks breakfast on the weekend! And this was partially leftover from our delicious vegetarian fajitas last night – he cooks most of our dinners too. And most of those are great. With only a few misses.
We actually ate green eggs from a local farm. Look at these eggs! Green, blue, and dark brown.
Huevos Rancheros with leftover seitan fajitas and homemade, roasted chile and grape tomato salsa.
I am one lucky lady!
(P.S. The eggs look normal once you crack them open. Once in a while when there’s a few to many crazy colored eggs, I almost lose my appetite, but the bottom line is – whatever their color – fresh, local eggs really do taste better!)
Tuesday it the day the babysitter relieves me of my precious one-year-old for a few hours so I can catch up on me. On my way home from doing some work in a reserved work-room at the library, I was all excited to deposit the federal tax return check (yeah, we filed late, don’t worry about it) so I could have money in my account without having to worry about transferring money from my husband’s account for awhile. We don’t have joint checking accounts, but with online banking and knowing my husband’s password, I’m free to transfer money from his account to mine any time I wish.
I pull into the drive-through and tell the lady I want to make a deposit. She sends a slip through the shoot and I send back the signed check, my ID, and my debit card.
She then informs me that she is very sorry but she can’t cash the check.
“Okay.” I answer smoothly. “Do I need his signature too?” That seems plausible and I can live with that (despite the fact that he just deposited our state tax refund in his account the other day when we went out to lunch and I didn’t sign it.)
“Well, it’s not that. It’s that he’s not on your account, so we need him to physically be with you. He needs to actually come in and get put on your account. You should call ahead to make sure he brings everything you need for him to get put on your account.”
So I tell her, that’s funny, because he just deposited our other check no problem. Nobody needed me for that even though my name was on that check too.
(And furthermore, we came in and sat down and signed up for these accounts together. How was it not noted that we are somehow connected by marriage then?)
It was just one of those whatever, ridiculous things and I didn’t make a big deal about it, it’s not the bank teller’s fault.
But really. As I was driving away it just kept niggling at me. This didn’t happen when Tim deposited the other check.
And it hit me forcefully upside the head.
I’m as powerless with our finances as a 1950s housewife. Even though I have no qualms about the fact that his money is our money, (I spent a pretty penny of my own savings on our wedding and when he was in med-school. Our money is our money) and I transfer it to myself as I need it, I do find it very upsetting that there is this unbalance in our access to the money we share as perceived by our bank.
My name is on that check. I would have understood if they just need both of our signatures on the back.
But apparently I need to prove that it’s okay with my husband if that check goes in my account.
It’s not a big thing, but ick! The whole thing just rubs me the wrong way.
Previous books I’ve read, such as Promiscuities and Dilemmas of Desire, were on female teen sexuality and double standards, often focusing on the dangers girls face in a culture that expects boys to “be boys” and girls to “say no.” A cultural pattern that assumes it’s normal for boys to have sex on their minds 24/7, and that girls themselves do not have desires, but must bear the sole responsibility for keeping sex from happening too soon. Read: girls have the sole responsibility for defending their all important virginity from being defiled. For, as we all know, a slutty girl is a bad thing, but there is no such thing as a slutty boy. Not to mention the new cultural phenomena of of girls performing fellatio on boys at “rainbow parties,” etc, which you’ve probably heard about on Oprah. In this new cultural pattern, girls are emulating the raunch culture of Girls Gone Wild and “performing” sex acts at parties. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culturewas about this raunch culture and the exaltation of sexiness above all other qualities and the emulation sex professionals as a source of “girl power.”
These books were informative, and gave me some insight into why Girls Gone Wildcommercials made me so sick to my stomach, but they didn’t offer any solutions and they were missing an important piece that I just couldn’t put my finger on.
It turns out that the missing piece is media and advertising, and the realization that they don’t just affect teens and college women, but also girls and boys starting as young as preschool!
At this point, I’m going to advise you take a deep breath before going on, because it’s a big, and disturbing topic. The book begins with many scary stories about girls as young as four years old crying because they are not skinny and sexy and feel they must go on a diet, the majority of elementary school boys encountering pornography on the Internet, and several elementary school kids in Boston being suspended for playing “the rape game” on the school bus. It talks about gender polarization in advertising that has resulted from corporate research proving that you can hook little girls into being consumers at a young age by teaching them to be sexy at all costs, while selling violence to boys. There is a phenomenon called age compression in which girls are not only getting their periods earlier, but quitting play with dolls at much younger ages, and having fits of pre-adolescent rebellion in Kindergarten!
And the worst part – which I had unconsciously realized every time I turned on the radio and was appalled by the explicit sexual lyrics on rap songs, or even pop songs, in the middle of the afternoon! - is that the media which surrounds us doesn’t just affect its “intended” audience of teens and adults, but children are exposed to more of it than we can even begin to control on a daily basis.
See?! I told you it was disturbing, and many of you would probably rather not think about it for the rest of your lives. But, while it’s terrifying and overwhelming it’s extremely important to face it, because there are things that we can to to combat it.
The book does an excellent job of giving strategies for building closer bonds with your children at whatever age they are, in which you can foster a policy of open communication with them about these media images and how they feel affected by them. It gives advice for raising media-literate children, who by questioning the media, will not be such slaves to it. And finally, it gives a multitude of resources for coalitions that you can get involved in to make changes in media portrayals of girls and to the advertising directed at children in general.
Phew!!!! I’ve said quite a mouthful, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. I expect my blog is going to be high-jacked by this subject for quite some time. I’ll try to break it up with pics of the delicious dinners my husband has been making!
Meanwhile, here are just a few of the websites you can explore to get involved in fighting the effects of corporate advertising on children:
Yeah, I said it: “period!” “Menstruation!” Apparently you can’t say vagina in a feminine hygiene commercial. Nor can you say, “down there.”
I also think this is crazy:
“During an interview with Dr. Oz, he started off the show (Sirius radio) by saying he’s not allowed to talk frankly about menstruation on TV, networks won’t allow it.”
“But, it’s ok to run spots that subtly assure women they smell bad, that hawk a pill a day for menstrual suppression, that have Mother Nature chasing down women who are trying to avoid her at all costs because of the “present” she’s carrying. Advertisers can sell us whatever they want as long as they don’t come out and matter-of-factly say what they’re selling.”
Don’t you get sick of having woman’s advertising portraying us the way that they do? Every time a “femcare” commercial comes on, I start moaning and pulling out my hair and bitching to my husband about it. I figure it’s my duty to let him know that I’m not like those awkwardly feminine women on TV.
Up until now, commercials for tampons have infuriated me.
So, I was surprisingly thrilled when I saw this commercial for the first time yesterday: