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Shorter K-Lo: The good woman is the dead woman

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 18:04 EDT

From Hugo, I found this absolutely repugnant post from K-Lo defining the “good girl” and the ideal trajectory through life you need to take to achieve feminine perfection. It’s a sad story, of course, because a woman’s lot is fundamentally sad in the eyes of the patriarchy that defines the “good girl”. It’s the story of Agata Mroz, a volleyball champion (therefore thin, tall, and of course blonde and beautiful—wouldn’t be a tragic story of How You Should Be if the heroine wasn’t blonde and beautiful) who got cancer, but got married and made her husband a baby anyway, dying in the process at the age of 26.

In other words, the ideal woman is young and beautiful, and has the good sense to check out of life before her beauty fades, but of course taking the time to make a man a baby before she goes. Women, like houseguests and fish, don’t last too long without stinking, and really we should all get the hint.

By shaking my fist in fury at the world’s biggest dip, K-Lo, I’m not judging the actual human being Mroz. From her story, I get the impression that Mroz didn’t really think she had a good chance of surviving in any direction and thought that having a baby before she died was something she had to do, probably for the same reasons most people have children—to leave their mark, to say, “I was here.” I will grant someone dying young more right to do this than someone who has a good chance of long life ahead of them, a long life where the dramatic impact of producing a child fades as the child becomes less about her parents being here and a unique person herself. Going out on a high moment has much to recommend it. But K-Lo didn’t single out this story as an instructive story on how to keep on living even when you’re dying.

No, the idea that the best woman, the “good girl”, the ideal woman is someone who dies young is profoundly misogynist. And not just for the obvious reasons. The fantasy is that of women not as human beings, like men are, but as flowers. I’ve talking about this fantasy that lurks behind anti-choice proclamations on feminine purity before. A good woman is not a messy, bleeding, aging, thinking, desiring creature. A good woman is a flower who blooms, then turns to fruit, and then has the good sense to disappear after performing the single function they’ve set aside for women.

Mroz was a real human being, with athletic accomplishments and everything, not a flower that performs a reproductive function and then disappears. I’m sure that she’d have preferred not to be the role model of self-sacrificing, flower-femininity, but would have preferred, as most women do, to have the sun on her face in the mornings rather than be an example of the “good girl”, who molders in her grave after her body bears the requisite fruit. Reading something like this really drives home how the anti-choice philosophy really is about how you can’t win, if you’re a woman. Not if you’re walking around, that is.

Honestly, I’m tapped for useful words on this. Like Hugo says, it’s a dig at women who would dare have an abortion to save their own physical lives, much less those who would swallow a pill or get an early term D&C to save the lives we’ve chosen for ourselves. But more than that, it’s a dig at the very right of women to live our lives as if we were human beings that have purposes other than being young, beautiful, and fertile.

NJ: GOP web site – ‘Obama loves America like OJ loved Nicole?’

By pams

Ho-ly sh*t. Thank goodness for the folks at Blue Jersey, who did a screen cap of this bit of good taste in race relations before someone at the Pemberton and Burlington County GOP decided to do a little scrubbing of its web site. Jason Springer of Blue Jersey: Ah, what a tasteful municipal party message. Do you notice the creative graphic, “Obama loves America like OJ loved Nicole?” Now they can’t say they just put…


Decidedly Not Fascism

By Jesse Taylor

Dick Cheney, our fourth branch of government (it’s true – it’s in the Constitution right after Taco Bar Tuesday), does something which is in no way deserving of criticism or rebuke as a step towards fascism. Members of Vice President Cheney’s staff censored congressional testimony by a top federal official…


Thoughts That Have Never Been Thought

By Jesse Taylor

I don’t know what’s more impressive: that it took two of David Brooks’ newer, awesomer conservatives to write this Weekly Standard piece about McCain selling his agenda of tax cuts and nothing but as putting money in the pockets of average Americans, or the fact that they managed to stumble…



By Jesse Taylor

Hullabaloo on Maverick McMaverick being held accountable for the fact that his campaign is an M.C. Escher painting: Obama being of by a dollar will equal McCain being off by ten trillion, and the pundits will excoriate both – while always reminding everyone that McCain is a hero who served…


Who could have predicted?

By auguste

That paying $1.6 billion for a business with essentially no revenue stream might lead to difficulties? It’s not like we’ve ever seen anything like that before – especially not involving the internet. Update: Okay, “essentially no” is probably too strong a descriptor. “Tenuous and difficult to expand” is more like…


Just the kind of coverage the GOP doesn’t want for its convention

By pams

Can you get it any better than this? The headline in the Chicago Sun-Times – Airport stall may return to spotlight: Sen. Craig’s hook-up site on view for GOP convention-goers. Thousands of members of the international media will have to walk past it when they land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul…


The big 4-5

By pams

   I turned 45 today. I’m long in the tooth for this blogging stuff, eh? All those young whippersnapper bloggers out there…hey, at least I use a computer and know what “the Google” is, unlike a certain someone running for president. Anyway — aren’t those pictures embarrassing? What was my…


Fine, I’ll write about the Jezebel video

By Amanda Marcotte

Because I’ve been doing D.C. stuff all day and thus have only had time to follow this blow-up. I’ll admit; when I first read the quotes Lizz put up at HuffPo, I was appalled at Moe and Tracie. But then I actually got some decent wi-fi speed and watched the…


Things That Will Win Over Regular White People

By Jesse Taylor
Tuesday, July 8, 2008 21:07 EDT

John McCain has two turtles named Cuff and Link. I take it this means that nobody will mind my two rabbits, Port and Folio. UPDATE: Banking on the continued relevance of hippies is never, ever a mistake.…