Misogynist Soup

Too Pretty for Homework, Domestic Violence is A-OK and "Finally, a Beer Just for Women"

To make this week’s Misogynist Soup, you will need the following ingredients:

  • J.C. Penney. Crossing my fingers that fashion is this cutting-edge whenever I give birth.
  • Fluid Salon and Chris Brown. If we live in such a post-domestic violence world, then why is it still happening?
  • Chick Beer. Now you can witness the chickness one stereotype at a time!

    Justin Bieber or Jane Austen? FACT: Biebs wins every time!
    Image via a screen cap from Washington Post.

    Last week, J.C. Penney pulled a shirt sized and designed for girls ages 7 to 16. The shirt in question read: “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Witty!

    While it was correct of J.C. Penney to remove the shirt from sale following a slew of online complaints, it doesn’t change the fact that not only was this shirt at one point designed, but it was approved for sale. It was originally hailed as a good idea.

    (Message aside, is that shirt heinous or what?)

    Not only does it relay the belief that men as a whole are smarter than women are on the basis of just being men, God’s perfect creature (note that the brother has to do the homework), but it teaches young women that if they are “pretty”, they shouldn’t have to — and shouldn’t want to — be “smart”.

    I would say that it was relaying the “prehistoric belief”, but the shirt was created for girls going back-to-school shopping in 2011. This is not the work of people about to kick the bucket mumbling standards from their childhoods that they can’t seem to quit — this is a message that was essentially created today for the girls who are women of the future.

    That’s almost more terrifying than the thought of Rick Perry being the next President of the United States, a truly horrific idea that I never thought anything would ever come close to touching. Kudos, J.C. Penney!

    Source: Washington Post.


    Important question: Where can I find those lamps?
    Image via Toronto Sun

    As women, we no doubt recognize the unique societal pressure upon us to look “good”, so this advertisement for a Canadian salon initially looks like nothing new — a model with immaculate hair and a presumably expensive outfit sits unnaturally on a couch below the words “Look good in all you do”. Been there, done that.

    But this model also has another accessory — a black eye. Next time you’re on the receiving end of battery, make sure you curl every last hair extension before you step foot outside (or sit on your couch), the ad seems to say. Nothing should ever get in the way of your desire to look good.

    Salon owner Sarah Cameron said, “It might strike a chord but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive.”

    Are we getting “so sensitive”? Certainly we’re not too sensitive to select R&B singer Chris Brown as a performer for the MTV Video Music Awards last week.

    In an innocent white suit, invisible wires sent him soaring above the crowd like a God amongst men while male and female audience members alike cheered, screamed and danced in unanimous approval. For a few minutes, the celebration of Chris Brown — a man who physically assaulted his girlfriend in 2008 — became the most widely televised event of the year, with 12.4 million total viewers. While Chris Brown was originally shunned for his crime, it appears as though we are more than ready to embrace him once more.

    One in every four women experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, and four out of four women exist in a society where perpetrators of domestic violence are glorified for the world to see. This is apparently how society feels about battered women and those who have hurt them: Sad for a moment, but an acceptable topic to exploit for salon advertising. Sad for a moment, but forgivable and celebrated.

    Sources: Toronto Sun, Feministing.


    Finally, a beer for people who appreciate bad typography.
    Image via Chick Beer

    According to Chick Beer, “Chick Beer finally gives women a beer choice that suits their tastes and their style.”

    While I’m inclined to embrace what appears to be concern for women, the implication of such a product is rooted in a sexist stereotype. One of Chick Beer’s primary selling points is that its flavor is “soft and smooth, and less bitter”. The suggestion that women need a dainty drink isn’t empowering but instead enforces the belief that beer as a general product is just for men and that women need a “special” version.

    That’s why Chick Beer’s bottles are super-reflective to “bling you up” — as we all know, women just can’t get enough jewelry! — and are “designed to reflect the beautiful shape of a woman in a little black dress”. It’s like, why look like you’re drinking a beer when it can look like you’re drinking a shiny woman’s body? Revolutionary! As if that isn’t enough, the six-pack is intended to make it look like you’re carrying a “hip, stylish purse”, so no one will ever catch you with one of those embarrassing six-pack holders from other brands.

    I hope that Chick Beer expands their vision to include other items — perhaps a pick-up truck that looks like a princess carriage? A baseball bat that looks like a blush brush? Maybe even a hammer that looks like a hair straightener? Just some ideas, no credit necessary!

    Anyway, is it too early to start working on my Christmas wishlist?

    Source: Chick Beer.


    Combine all ingredients and bring them to a boil, much like my blood pressure is at the moment. You’ll know it’s done when it tastes like misogyny with a hint of “please tell me this isn’t real life.” Enjoy!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001483973958 Leelee Ngwenya

      Love this article! Thanks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mae.zeineldeen Mae Zein ElDeen

      SO GOOD.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000424656906 Jessica McKelvin

      All of these are very much so head-desk moments. I thought we were past the “I’m too pretty (for something intellectual or necessary)” after the talking Barbie incident. This new trend of models with black eyes I just don’t get, there is a photo shoot with a Glee cast member, she’s supposed to be “empowered,” I’m sure this one is too. Nothing says empowerment like a black eye and a man looming in the background.
      As for the beer, I don’t care if you dress it up in a tutu it’s still beer, I still don’t like the smell and it still reminds me of my mother. I will stick to whiskey and vodka… even though they don’t match my purse.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1431480257 Stephanie Smith

      I completely agree with your stance on all of these issues. The Chris Brown situation is the perfect example of society so quickly forgetting such terrible wrongs against it. I would never watch, support, or give my dollar-vote to Chris Brown. And the marketers behind the products/ads in this article should be ashamed of themselves!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kendratreece Kendra Treece

      I think I would probably be first in line to buy a princess carriage pick up truck. Not kidding.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thelonelytourist Jonna Isaac

      I love this column, but man, it is just depressing sometimes that this stuff is actually real, and actually happening!

      The Chick beer is SO stupid. Curlz is as offensive as Papyrus or Comic Sans. Douche bags. “Witness the Chickness”?! Congratulations to them on the dumbest tagline of all time!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001319090583 Victor Saltykov


    • http://www.facebook.com/worrble JessandCasey Worrall

      Well written and awesome. I’m sharing. Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=22017136 Jen Aguilar


    • http://www.facebook.com/heidilynnhess Heidi Hess

      That Chick beer annoys me about as much as those tool sets that are “designed for women” (by being pink). I was looking for an example and found this gem:


      I love that the one review has one star; the set was worthless because the screwdrivers are “itty bitty things.” Why make screwdrivers that actually work? Women need pink, dainty screwdrivers. ARRGHHH!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002663130638 Kerry Alsheimer

      I’m going to vomit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anna.bergin Anna Bergin

      I would just like to point out that if celebrities who had committed crimes were shunned forever, there wouldn’t be many of them left. Chris Brown was tried for what he did, and although I’m not going to be his fan I don’t think we can consider it a crime against womanhood if someone is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/juliagazdag Julia Gazdag

        . . . and that’s ok HOW?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kaushiki.chowdhury Kaushiki Chowdhury

      This is my problem with the Chris Brown boycott. He did something wrong. Terrible. I don’t know the guy personally, and fair to say no one does in this blog, but I’m guessing he has issues with anger management, women, etc. He could be a part of a cycle of violence, he could not. But I think everyone, including Chris Brown, has acknowledged he’s made a mistake. A terrible one. However, like the above poster commented – he was tried for what he did and he did the required punishment. But he’s trying to get back to positive parts of his life (music, dancing) – better ways to channel his anger and manage it. I don’t think we should shun people, regardless of what they’ve done in their past. The people who commit crimes and do unlawful things, we send them to jail, but we hope they’ve been rehabilitated and that they join society as productive members. If the guy is trying to come back & use his energy to better himself and inspire people to follow their dreams, then let the guy. He’s made mistakes. Probably bigger mistakes than some people but not enough to write him off forever and stunt any chance he has to grow and learn from his mistakes. If you ostracize people, it will only make it worse. My 2 cents.

      • http://www.facebook.com/NefariousNewt Nefarious Newt

        Lovely sentiment, and normally I would applaud it, but Chris Brown has done nothing to repent for his sins. How many battered women’s shelters has opened up, donated to, worked at? Where is his TV campaign, imploring men his age to avoid violence against women? Where is the song, taking responsibility for actions and entreating his listeners not to follow his example? Where are the public acts of contrition? Answer: there are none. He isn’t “getting on with his life” — he’s going right back to work and hoping no one will remember what he did. And apparently, if the VMAs are any indication, they don’t.

      • http://www.facebook.com/juliagazdag Julia Gazdag

        While I think that’s a nice thought, being a public figure comes with responsibility, and our reactions to public figures speak volumes about our values as a society. So when someone like Chris Brown is put in a position where he’s celebrated, it inevitably also trivializes his negative actions, such as BEATING HIS GIRLFRIEND. He’s in a position to use his fame for something good, but he has not chosen to. Until he does, he has no place being thrust into the spotlight in an even remotely positive light, and by choosing to focus on him as an individual and trying to be nice to him, you’re only shutting out the countless battered women who continue not to be heard or helped.

      • http://www.facebook.com/juliagazdag Julia Gazdag

        Just please, take a second and think about whether any of this occurred to you during the VMAs, or if you just enjoyed his performance. Because that’s really what this comes down to: all these people, watching at home enjoying his music, forgetting what he did. The forgetting part is what hurts women.

    • http://www.facebook.com/charles.c.constantine Charles Constantine

      I am pretty sure we could find celebrities to replace the ones who act like that. I am pretty sure there are people twice as talented waiting in the wings. Got to love what marketing does to people. What I can’t understand is why there are so many people who still find Chris Brown hot. I am all about forgiveness but really, I think he has proven that he is quite the violent sob.

    • http://www.facebook.com/NefariousNewt Nefarious Newt

      I haven’t met a woman yet who needed to drink beer out of a pretty pink package, and I know a couple who can drink most men under the table.
      If by “sensitive,” you mean “f**king pissed off when someone uses misogyny and violence against women to sell something,” then yes, call me sensitive.
      The only slogan it would be acceptable for a girl to wear on a shirt to school is: Girls Rule, Boys Drool. Past that, maybe we should start teaching girls that they are, in fact, smarter than boys on average.

    • http://www.facebook.com/acabeyta Angela Abeyta

      Am I the only one who thinks the chick beer packaging is cute? Maybe instead of seeing it as offensive, we should be glad that alcohol companies recognize that women are indeed a part of the market? Sure, plenty of girls love the taste of regular beer, but for those of us who don’t…?

      Anyway, totally agree with the rest of the article. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jena.pasko Jena Pasko

        I agree with you. I kinda want to try it now! And if they had the “homework” shirt in my size, I’d totally wear it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/annemari Anne Mari Donato

      A+ article again, Cici! And I seem to say this everywhere since the beer issue came up but, I think I’m more offended by the fact that they used CURLZ MT for the font. It drives me nuts. I can never take any business seriously if it’s written in that font. Perhaps a different marketing strategy by existing beer companies would *attract* the female drinkers they are so yearning for. Chick Beer is just condescending.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lquaid0720 Lauren Quaid

      but a 30 pack of coors light is silver and sparkly.. I thought I’ve been drinking chick beer all along? no?

    Need more Giggles?
    Like us on Facebook!