Monthly Archives: December 2009

Pimpin’ as a Term of Endearment

There are a few things that surprise me. One is that Boston seems to lack a WalMart. Another is that the WalMart in Spokane, WA offers ear piercing. Another is that mothers now call their sons “pimpin'” as a term of endearment.

My little sister and I were checking out WalMart watches this afternoon, near the newly created ear piercing station. A little boy, who couldn’t have been older than 9, jumped off the piercing stool with his new stud. His admiring mother checked out his ear and declared, “You are so pimpin’!” The 50-yr old woman who had just pierced the boy’s ear laughed along.

I have to admit that I was engrossed in trying on some bling and didn’t think twice when I heard the declaration. Luckily, my sister leaned in and whispered, true to form, “That’s appalling!” And actually, yes, it is.

According to the online slang dictionary (a very helpful tool), pimpin’ has several definitions, one of which is “when a guy is flirting with several girls,  also when something is extremely cool” and another which reads “very cool…hooked up”. Apparently, pimpin’ is now a synonym for cool. But how is it okay to use a word pertaining to using women as sexual objects as “cool”?
The definition of pimp:
1. a man who solicits for a prostitute or brothel and lives off the earnings
2. a man who procures sexual gratification for another; procurer; pander
The definition of pimpin’ (technically “pimping”):
To serve as a procurer of prostitutes
This word’s integration into everyday vocabulary is indicative of a creeping trend to conflate sexual meanings with the most innocuous adjectives. Conflating “pimp” with “cool,” the English language loses its dignity. Pimping is the epitome of the derogatory, criminal, and offensive, not the epitome of cool. We may expect this from rap music, but we certainly shouldn’t hear it used colloquially in WalMart, especially from a mother. This is diction that begs a reaction – and not the most easy reaction, which is laughing along.
Honestly, in what kind of world is it okay to call your 9-year-old son pimpin’?
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Wear the Pants, commands Dockers

New Docker’s ad calls on men to “Wear the Pants”:

“Once upon a time, Men Wore the Pants. And Wore them Well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never had to cross the street alone. And Men took charge because that’s what they did. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed Men…

Men were stripped of their khaki’s and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, and cities misbehave and little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need Heroes. We need Grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It’s time to get your hands dirty. It’s time to answer the call of manhood. It’s time to WEAR THE PANTS.”

Dockers endorses traditional values? How much can we read into this?

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The Evolution of Divorce

For those interested in the effects of divorce, check out University of Virginia’s W. Bradford Wilcox’s The Evolution of Divorce.

“In 1969, Governor Ronald Reagan of California made what he later admitted was one of the biggest mistakes of his political life. Seeking to eliminate the strife and deception often associated with the legal regime of fault-based divorce, Reagan signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill. The new law eliminated the need for couples to fabricate spousal wrongdoing in pursuit of a divorce; indeed, one likely reason for Reagan’s decision to sign the bill was that his first wife, Jane Wyman, had unfairly accused him of “mental cruelty” to obtain a divorce in 1948. But no-fault divorce also gutted marriage of its legal power to bind husband and wife, allowing one spouse to dissolve a marriage for any reason — or for no reason at all…” (Read on)

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New York Preserves Marriage

The Heritage Foundation blogged about the New York State Senate rejection of a bill that would have redefined traditional marriage last Wednesday, calling into question the constant propaganda that gay marriage is the inevitable future of American “marriage.” The State Senate voted 38-24, with 8 Democrats joining the 30 Republicans.

Unfortunately, the New York House did indeed vote in favor of gay marriage 89-52. But the Senate voted to reject the bill

after a personal and emotional debate in which Martin Luther King and the history of civil rights were invoked on both sides. In the end, Senator Ruben Diaz of the Bronx rose to counter suggestions that traditional marriage enjoyed the support of only a handful of New Yorkers. “Not only the evangelicals, not only the Jews, not only the Muslims, not only the Catholics, but also the people oppose it,” Diaz stated as the roll call went forward.

Election Day 2009 undoubtedly played a role in the wide margin of defeat for the New York measure, as voters in Maine blocked a legislatively approved bill to redefine marriage, and pro-traditional marriage governors were elected in Virginia and New Jersey. Perhaps just as significantly and closer to home, this past Monday Tom Suozzi, described as a rising star in New York Democratic politics, officially lost his re-election bid to Republican Edward Mangano. This past summer Suozzi had drawn public attention for his embrace of marriage redefinition in the Empire State.

Suozzi cited high property taxes as the reason for his defeat, but clearly recent events have reinforced the evidence that the politics of the marriage issue are not following some Hegelian axis.

Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue. It cannot be compared to the interracial marriage debate of the mid-20th century. That debate focused on racial discrimination; this debate focuses on the nature of marriage itself between one man and one woman. The definition of marriage is pre-political and pre-religious. It is not up for reevaluation. See New York and Maine for details.

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Why New Moon is good (or at least not terrible) for girls – and boys

Q: Why did the Twilight series second movie “New Moon” gross $140.7 million over its opening weekend, more than any other movie with a fall release date in history?

A: Abstinence, and its concentration on “matters of the heart and spirit,” says the director, before adding, “and I think that’s lovely.”

Teenagers are jaded by the flesh-filled movies, shows, and magazines marketed to their generation, and New Moon’s riotous success indicates that teenage girls want something more.

Sure, Werewolf character Jacob rips off his shirt in an especially lauded scene, revealing his ripped bod. But I think  girls in the audience swoon not only out of deep infatuation for his abs but for his chivalry – he takes off his shirt to blot away the dripping blood from main character Bella’s injured head. Pre-teen romance-seekers can only fantasize about their male peers jumping to their aid and displaying deep, romantic concern for their lives.

While fan site chat rooms host girls who wish they could have a blood-sucking vampire or werewolf of their own, their underlying reasons are stellar. They wanted to be loved, they wanted to be treated right, they want boys who are brave, and they don’t want to be reduced to their bodies. I think ultimately the Twilight series is good for girls. And for boys.

Girls will place a greater value on the heart, chivalry, and meaningful love, and hopefully, they will hold themselves to higher standards.

Boys are going to have to up their game to get a twilight fan. Sexual gratification and a ride to school ain’t going to do the relationship trick anymore. In a funny twist (after all, the Twilight heroes are monsters), perhaps the Twilight series will force lusty boys to be  courageous, respectful, and noble men.

As Elizabeth Morowitz, Communications Professor at the University of Missouri and author of “Bitten By Twilight,” puts it:

“A lot of people ask ‘what’s so appealing about the Twilight and why is it popular now?’ and we think it’s because of the relationships and the messages about love in Twilight. In a more conservative environment we’ve had this push for abstinence education, so we now have a media message that’s more congruent with that. So perhaps some teens relate to it in that way,” Morowitz told CNN’s Katie Walmsley.

“New Moon” Director Chris Weitz says that sexual abstinence is central to the film’s appeal.

“It’s not that they can’t have sex, they choose not to and I think there’s so much popular culture that’s saying to young people: ‘you’ll be cool if you have sex’ or ‘it’s important to be sexy’ whereas this series really concentrates on matters of the heart and spirit and I think that’s lovely,” Weitz told CNN.

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