Posts Tagged Mean girls
As noted over the weekend, I had a pleasant experience at this year’s CPAC, which gave me the opportunity to listen to top presidential contenders shed light on the state of our country and catch up with old friends. Though some might argue that I shouldn’t use a political event as an occasion to meet up with friends, I’m glad to have shared the experience with people I care about.
According to several conservative bloggers, people like me should be set straight for having fun at the three-day conference. Keeping with the Valentine’s Day tone, Erick Erickson writes of his concerns with the way many young CPACers carry themselves during the annual GOP gathering:
“Being the good, intrepid blogger, I ran across the street to a CVS to buy a notepad, having left mine in my office back in Macon, GA. There in line were a half dozen young men, each with CPAC credentials around their necks and each buying condoms.”
And what is the problem with protected sex? Better the men come prepared than use unsafe methods, impregnate women, or spread disease. Nevertheless, Erickson continues:
“That is part of life on the college circuit. Young men, regardless of political persuasion or ideology, are intent on having sex, being boys, getting drunk — doing what young men in college often do. All to often there are also a few young ladies willing to shame their parents if their parents only knew.”
Who cares if the “18 to 21 year old set” Erickson describes is going all the way? They’re adults, and if this bothers their parents, their families need a reality check. These aren’t kids here, but “emerging” grown-ups, as the New York Times puts it.
Erickson goes on to criticize the post-graduate men-children of CPAC for behaving as if they are still college boys and have an excuse to be irresponsible:
“[T]he twenty and thirty somethings who just can’t seem to grow up. It’s like they started out at CPAC this way in college and each year at their CPAC reunion descend back to their freshman year rush week…Unfortunately, too many treat CPAC like spring break. More than a few of the twenty and thirty somethings who go to CPAC seem to treat it like an extension of their college days doing their best to hook up before passing out. It’s not the majority to be sure, but it is a noticeable minority.”
Having witnessed a large number of young folks burn out before reaching age 30, I see nothing wrong with a three-day reunion with friends. It’s not as if they’re taking a 6-week trip to Cancun or quitting their jobs to booze it up in Prague. They take a few days off work to attend a political conference and be part of history. Sure they have fun in the process, but some of the monotonous, dry speeches warrant a little extra excitement and stimulation in the evenings.
Though I disagree with much of the article, which suggests future CPACs aren’t far from turning into giant fraternity parties, I applaud Erickson for noting the importance of maintaining chivalry:
“Eat, drink, smoke, be merry, but be chivalrous too. There really is, regardless of your age, no need to play the cad at CPAC to score points with conservative ladies…We should accept that duty as the opportunity to do what is right, not as license to behave like fools.”
I like Erickson and feel he articulates himself well in this piece, much more so than another blog post that likens CPACers to the cast of “Jersey Shore.” The writer, a female named Melissa, gripes about the apparel choice of CPAC ladies:
“Women will be future leaders, too, and I was dismayed to see how many of them either looked frumpish or like two-bit whores.”
First of all, what’s so wrong with dressing frumpy? Unless you’re superhuman, you should know that the east coast is freezing right now. It snowed in D.C. this weekend. It’s also February, one of the coldest months of the year. We’re entitled to some frumpiness. I thought I escaped the New York City fashion police during my CPAC trip, but I guess I can’t even avoid shallow style criticism in D.C., which I thought was considered “Hollywood for the ugly.” Too bad that’s no longer the case.
Really though, why label CPAC females as “whores”? When did it become acceptable for women to talk about each other like this? I’ve always found Tina Fey to be a bit overrated, but she’s spot on in “Mean Girls” when she tells her catty female students, “You have got to stop calling each other ‘whores’ and ‘sluts’…It just makes it okay for guys to call you ‘whores’ and ‘sluts’.” Let’s not send that kind of message into the world, Regina George.
Here’s another unfair, mean-spirited swipe that I find offensive:
“[H]ave women so internalized feminist dogma that they see themselves in only two ways? Butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts who empower themselves by screwing every available horndog man?”
Again with the name-calling. Not cool. Her instructions for proper CPAC grooming, however, floor me:
“Skirts no more than three finger-widths above the knee. Why do I even have to write this? Well, because someone is allowing these girls out of the house with mini-skirts that reveal too much.”
Is this Catholic school?
The article becomes more and more malicious as you scroll down the page, and does nothing more than preach to women about why they’re failures and damaged goods:
“Young women, you degrade your own value by dressing and then acting the ho.
I cannot even tell you how many girls have told me that all they want is to get married and have babies. They do not seem to make the connection that a young man is not interested in getting married and making babies with a girl who is so easy as to have a one-night stand over a CPAC weekend (or any other weekend.)
You know what a guy thinks when you slut-it-up? He thinks: If she’ll do that with me, she’ll do that with anyone.”
It disappoints me to see women tear each other down over something as petty as clothing. Take it easy, ladies, no one showed up to CPAC naked. Of course, Melissa isn’t the only woman to blast fellow CPAC gals. Other female bloggers were quick to slutshame. LonelyConservative writes:
“In case any of you dear readers were wondering – no – I was not among the scantily clad ladies at CPAC. I’m a happily married woman, and even when I was single I always tried to dress in a way that would not embarrass myself or my parents. Here’s a passing thought that’s probably unrelated – when Red State ran the bloggers lounge I was granted access. If I were to dress up like a ho and post photos of myself prior to the next CPAC will I be allowed in?”
While I respect the authors of these blog posts, I resent the default labeling. So what if women want to reject the Hillary Clinton pantsuit look? Let’s not kid ourselves: Business attire is unflattering, uncomfortable, and dull, so I support the women who want to have some fun with their appearance. As long as they’re comfortable and not revealing any cleavage, I don’t see the issue with ditching the soul-crushing corporate look.
As earlier stated, I respect these bloggers and am sure that they intend to look out for today’s youth, but talking down to CPACers won’t make them listen to you. You can start connecting with them by refraining from hurling derogatory words their way and disparaging them for being young at heart.
This weekend, it boiled my blood when a former intern told me that an old man who identified himself as a Tea Party member pulled her out of a crowd to tell her she looked like trash. He said she did not know herself and that she needed more class. Then he had the audacity to claim that his daughter would never dress like my friend. For all he knows, his sweet high schooler was smoking opium at that very moment. I’ve seen plenty of blissfully ignorant parents hop on the “not my little girl” high horse until she gets into serious trouble. Besides, my intern looked fine. She was wearing a long black dress and tights. God forbid women break away from loose-fitting blouses, oversized slacks, and blazers. Could she have gone for a more professional look? Yes, but she was neither skimpy nor revealing, and it should be known that unsolicited remarks like that creepy man’s are inappropriate and could even be categorized as sexual harassment.
So, rather than slam CPAC women’s wardrobe or tell twenty-somethings to tone it down, take note of the hostility and unwarranted judgment in the above posts. It’s much more disturbing to watch women smear each other over clothing than to bump into a college girl whose skirt is above her knee. Let’s quit with the cyber attacks and instead present each other with constructive criticism.
I don’t really have elephantitis/elaphantiasis, but from the looks of one of my toes, you’d think otherwise (and probably run for the hills).
The other day, I tripped in my new sandals and managed to sprain my foot. I feel great but can’t walk, and my only regret is that I don’t have an awesome story about how I acquired this injury. This past month, I’ve damaged the same leg, which will probably fall off by the end of 2011. Several weeks ago, I tripped over my computer cord, dropped my laptop, and landed on my hallway rug with a thud. I had a knee rugburn for a while and explained over and over again to my goofy male friends that there was no scandalous story behind my ugly cut. I’m just clumsy
Anyway, my newest mishap has left me with a purple and blue foot. My roommate forbade me from leaving our apartment yesterday, so I’m feeling a lot like the cute old man in “Rear Window.”
The worst part of hurting oneself is not being able to partake in physical activity. I didn’t attend yoga yesterday for obvious reasons, and I won’t be jogging for a while. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal within a week. My mother, ever the worrier, wants me to see a doctor, but there are fewer people I’m more terrified of than doctors (except my buddy Crystal, who is going to be an optometrist!). I get so worked up I faint when visiting medical folks (or at least the eye doctor). Plus, hospital visits are always expensive and time consuming, so if I can heal on my own, I’ll do that.
I’d like to spend this Father’s Day by remembering some of the hilarious things my own dad said and did. I can only hope to be half as hardcore as he was!
During his days at Fordham University, my father drove taxis in New York City. He attended classes in the afternoon and took on his cabbie role by night. Though he never told me about most of the dangerous situations he encountered, he often talked about the time when someone threw a bloody human into the backseat of his car. The person was about to die, so my dad rushed him to the hospital. Soon after that, my dad left the cab business.
When I was a high school freshman, I carpooled with a young man named Johnny who held a two-year grudge against me. He was mad about something I’d said in seventh grade and simply could not move on from the past. He was a guy version of Regina George and his punk rock friends were his minions. They were the “Mean Girls” of the male community. The boys wore chains and dog collars in place of jewelry, substituted tight-fitting tank tops for “Social Distortion” t-shirts, and roamed the school stomping grounds in white Converse flats instead of stilettos. These guys were cattier gossips than the “Mean Girls” Plastics.
When the “Mean Girls” dudes told the entire ninth grade that they were planning to toilet paper my house, I begged the boys to leave my parents alone. The male Plastics didn’t listen, so I consulted my dad, who got back at Johnny one morning before school. My father placed a new roll of toilet paper that read, “DON’T DO IT” in the backseat of our SUV, right where Johnny would plop down.
“Oh, Johnny? Did you see my toilet paper back there?” asked my dad.
Johnny nodded and leaped out of the car, dashing off to tell his friends what had just happened. I assumed he’d complain about my father, but Johnny altered details of the story to his friends and said I’d been the one to put the TP in the backseat.
During recess, one of Johnny’s buddies approached me and said, “Just do you know, Johnny is incredibly angry at you right now for handing him that roll of toilet paper. He says you crossed the line. Forget TP, we’re going to graffiti your house. Just you wait.”
But they never did anything of the sort. I’d like to think my dad has something to do with that. Anyone with an ounce of sanity knows it’s best not to enrage a big redheaded Irish man.
Ever the pacifist, my mom wasn’t as eager to get even with people as my dad. Even as a young kid, he had tons of disputes with people. In elementary school, he got into a fist fight with Dave Barry over politics. My dad was conservative and Dave was liberal, and sadly Dave won the brawl. Though I wasn’t alive for the altercation, I can imagine it would have been hilarious to witness. Who wouldn’t love to see two nerds duking it out?