Dissecting the trivial

Quick fact about women in the news: apparently, women feature in only about a fifth of the world’s news headlines and just ten percent of all news stories. (My guess is that if you took celebrities out of the media monitoring survey you could probably halve that number again for how often women make the news).

And when women finally make the news in what capacity do we make it? Well sometimes they like to report on what colour bras we are wearing. I know, we get to be so influential. Because speaking of trivial, remember the Facebook ‘bra colour’ status update meme? Supposedly here is this year’s version and the irony, oh it boggles my mind. (Grammar Ninjas look away now):

.. we, GIRLS, did something special in Facebook to help gain consiousness of Breast Cancer. Its so easy that I’d like you to join us to make it spread! Last year it was about writing the colour of the bra you were wearing in your FB status… and it left men wondering for days why did the girls have colours (apparently random) in our status. This year it has to do with our love relationships, in other words, for the moment you are going through with your relationships. What do you drink?

an array of drinks on a bartequila: I’m a single woman
rum: I’m a touch and go woman
champagne: I’m an engaged woman
redbull: I’m a woman in a relationship
beer: I’m a married woman
vodka: I’m the “other one”
sprite: I’m a woman that can’t find the right man
whiskey: I’m a single woman but with friends that won’t stop partying
liquor: I’m a woman that wishes she was single.
gin: I’m a woman that wants to get married

Now all you need to do is write down the answer for your situation in your FB status (don’t reply this email, just put it in your status). Also, cut and paste this message and send it to all your girl- friends as a message. The Bra game reached the news. Lets make this one make it too and see how powerful women are .

You, too, can show how powerful women are by using a coded message to define yourself with a patriarchal relationship descriptor in a Facebook status update. (Daring. Controversial. Formidable. Empowering.) (And I thought we already had wedding rings and marital titles as coded messages for all this girl stuff?). The Facebook GIRL clique is as short-sighted as the average Census survey because once again I am forced to ask, what about us defacto couples? I demand a drink category.

Relatively harmless fun except.. I am assuming the “other one” is the ‘other woman’ – as in a woman having a relationship with someone who is in a relationship with someone else – rather than a group for all those ‘other-ed’ by heteronormativity. Kudos for having as many descriptors for the unattached woman as there are for the attached woman but alas, almost all the categories are used to describe a longing to be in the attached category.

What can I say? Girls, “gain consciousness”.

(Cross-posted at blue milk).



Categories: gender & feminism, media, relationships

Tags: , ,

6 replies

  1. What if I don’t drink? My friends would be a little bemused to see ‘beer’ suddenly pop up in my profile. But yeah, apparently defacto, lesbian, asexual and transwomen need not apply. Some days I really dislike facebook.

  2. Lucky that I’m both a teetotaller AND a lesbian – it’s telling me to just ignore it entirely!

  3. bluemilk, I nominate the Jägerbomb for you. Polyfolk are left with some horrible combos I have to say: vodka and beer, vodka and champagne. Yum.
    One of these has already done the rounds this year I think: “I like it in the [location]”, where location was where you put your handbag. I hate the co-opting of “awareness” (problematic already, but more so in this context of legitimising games into something that replaces meaningful action) and strength language.

  4. Mary, I completely agree with your point about the co-opting of activist language in these ridiculous memes. Although I rather like the erroneous use of “gain consciousness” in the meme discussed here. Kind of perfect.
    lilacsigil – you could be ‘sprite with a twist of lemon’? Kidding.

  5. I wonder how many “news” stories or headlines pertain to women in their role as mother or wife? Or worse, how to lose weight after having a baby? Women are rarely profiled or taken seriously for the important things. I guess we’re just uninteresting unless we’re wearing a colored bra or showing some serious skin.

  6. I don’t wear a bra, don’t use a handbag, don’t drink alcohol, and I’m no longer a girl. But I do get sent the memos. *sigh*

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