Monday, June 28, 2010

Feminism Under the Knife

Does plastic surgery automatically exclude one from the circle of (feminist) trust? That's what some are asking now that major news outlets are covering the story of the so-called Too-Hot Banker.

Her real name is Debrahlee Lorenzana, and she was fired from Citibank, according to Lorenzana, for being too hot. The photos online depict a long-legged brunette who is, well, hot. So what's a pretty girl to do? Citibank says she was fired for not doing a very good job; Lorenzana says she was fired because of her looks.

She also says that she has gone under the knife several times in an effort to look like a Playboy model.

This admission has garnered just as much attention as the lawsuit Lorenzana is bringing against her former employer. Her comment problematizes an otherwise fairly straightforward case of sexual harassment: Does her decision to augment her body through plastic surgery (the goal of her fourth breast enlargement is a 32-DD) make any claim of sexual harassment null and void? Or is this question akin to saying a provocatively dressed rape victim "asked for it"?

It's also worth noting that Lorenzana has sparked a related debate regarding feminism and self-image. What happens when a woman is so concerned with her ability to be attractive to the opposite sex that she is willing to have several surgeries in order to change her appearance, but then she objects to being objectified?

I don't know where I stand on this one. What say you?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Palin's Muliebrity

I had no idea that Sarah Palin was reading our blog!Palin has joined our discussion of muliebrity and declared herself a feminist. Oh yes, she dropped the "f" bomb. You can click on the title of this post to read npr's discussion with Meghan Daum and hear what some callers had to say.

I think Daum has a very interesting point of view on Palin's use of the word. Daum defines feminism as someone who believes in equal rights for men and women and who wants to call themselves a feminist, and I agree. I also think that Palin is being an "opportunist" and simply trying to get more media attention. But, I think that Daum is correct in saying, "that we cant just in a very reactionary way sort of disallow Sarah Palin from using certain vocabulary."

Most importantly, I think that this may stir all of us into a meaningful discussion of what feminism means. (And I thought nothing good would ever come of Palin!)

What say all of you?