Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year, Same Old Patriarchy

With the beginning of a new year upon us (hello, 2010!) I always have a fleeting sense of optimism to start fresh, try something new, or pick up a neglected hobby. I consider trying new recipes or writing to long lost friends.

For others (read: tools of patriarchy) a new year means new opportunities to put women in their place. Dating services are running specials to find your perfect match and every other commercial on TV is for a diet system to help us start the year off right with a "new you in the new year." Does that mean something was wrong with the old me?

Apparently. As the hilarious Sarah Haskins points out in "Lessons 2009" the ladies of 2009 had a LOT of problems.

And it seems that 2010 is off to a roaring start.

It's no secret that the winter season and its many occasions to celebrate with food can stretch the waistband and lead to a vow to get in shape in the new year. However, for the elite (and beauty panel approved) members of the online dating service, Beautiful People, tipping the scales will now get you the boot. Since the new year, 5,000 once "beautiful" people have been rejected from the dating service due to weight gain.

"Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded, " said founder, Robert Hintze. Indeed, your principles must be upheld. The outrage! The horror!!

Mind you, it's pretty tough to defend anyone that would actually join a website that "kindly" allows ugly people to browse the pictures of the bold and the beautiful. You can look but don't touch with those pudgy fingers, chubby!

I suppose the once gorgeous and now rejected members of Beautiful People will have to join the rest of us in front of the TV to watch our dating options roll by on a conveyor belt. In a one time special (hallelujah) to kick off the new year, ABC gave us the gem "Conveyor Belt of Love" this week to help us find love in the new year. In what has to be one of the worst plugs ever, "5 women, 30 men...One Conveyor Belt," viewers watched in horror at what can only be described as speed dating gone horribly, horribly wrong with all the required stereotypes and headdesk behavior one can stomach.

Out with the old, in with the new? Not really. We're still being told just how much improvement we need to our bodies, our lives, and our love life. And are pigeon holed into the only thing that can truly make us happy: a man. Perhaps in the new year we can all strive to silence some of the critics and chatter, especially coming from our boobs and butt, and set our own rules for the new year.

So here's to 2010! To turning off the TV and tuning into ourselves, to casting votes that protect our rights, not destroy our lives, and to thinking about only one kind of belt: a karate belt as we kick some patriarchy butt!

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