So, I’m now working, like…three? Four? Four ridiculously flexible part-time jobs, which require, like, an hour of schedule-wrangling for every hour I work. So I’m busy. But the money’s flowing in, so that’s good.
I was buying myself some pick-me-up candy (Laffy Taffy!) at the gas station the other day, and when I drove up to the building I saw this in the window:
(I went inside to take the picture.)
Anyway, the transcripts:
Sign 1: BITCH PARKING (but that’s Ms. Bitch to you) – All other will be Nagged beyond belief
Sign 2: PRINCESS PARKING ONLY – ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED
Who needs a madonna/whore dichotomy when you can have a bitch/princess dichotomy instead? With pepto-bismol pink for all!
Also, really, Ms. Bitch? It’s, um, not the 80s anymore. “Ms” isn’t some weird new crazy-bitchy-feminist thing. Almost all the women I know go either by “Ms” or by “Dr.” But I suppose a princess would never insist on being called Ms — no, she’s either Miss Princess or, even better!, Mrs. Prince Charming.
The invocation of Nagging would be annoying even if they didn’t use the Totally Random Capitalization to emphasize it. A woman, even a Ms. Bitch, can’t threaten anything serious; the most power she has is the power to Nag. Truly, to be a Bitch is a terrible thing.
But wait, what’s this?
Sign 3: Got Bitches? – PIMP (emblazoned on a shiny, shiny goblet)
But now it seems like men want Bitches! Or at least, the PIMPs do. Do Bitches turn into something nice when a PIMP acquires them? Actually, I’m not even sure about the part where the PIMPS have “got” their Bitches. Did they get them at the store, or something? Is that why we can compare them to milk? Do they go in the cups? The shiny, shiny cups. With rhinestones. And hot pink leopard print.
I’d make a joke, like, “Are we sure this isn’t the PRINCESS cup?” except that, by implying that these PIMPs are deserving of ridicule because they are feminine, I would be cheapening my main point, which is that they deserve ridicule for wishing to own Bitches, as if Bitches were something to purchase or consume, like milk. Also, it would make me a big ol’ hypocrite. So instead I’m going to ask, why would the sort of man who wants to declare his own PIMPitude and ownership of Bitches nevertheless choose to declare this aspect of his personality with something that is, well, pink? Is the femininity supposed to somehow neutralize the misogyny of the rest, to make the whole thing “satire” or “a joke” so that it can reasonably be displayed in public? Misogyny and femininity, going together like matter and antimatter to make nothing. (Except don’t those explode?)
Or is there some other subtext that I’m missing?
I’m not sure. I am, however, sure about this one:
Sign 4: NOTICE: Sexual harassment in this area will not be reported. However, it will be “graded.”
Yeah, this shit is 100% reprehensible. The idea of a “safe zone” for harassers is absolutely terrifying to me. Sexual harassment is almost never reported as is– propagating the idea that it shouldn’t be reported at all only makes people’s lives less safe. Also, making sexual harassment into a joke, like it’s no big deal and never scary or hurtful for its victim, is, uh, bad. When the joke is that sexual harassment shouldn’t be avoided, but rather, scored, and presumably practised for improvement? That’s… worse.
Words fail me.
But no worries, everyone, these signmakers are totally not sexist or anything! (Like, where did you get that idea?!) I mean, look: GURLZ RULE!
By… humorously decapitating a Generic Dude stick figure. By slapping him? Because the world is a zero-sum game, and for a “girl” to “rule” she has to violently attack men. While wearing a skirt, to mark her as the Other kind of person, you know, the sex class, whatchamacallits, girls.
….That’s almost like saying that women are human!
Also note that this sign is on the lowest rack of the stand, and was turned toward the wall until I rotated it for a picture. Whereas the first two were aimed out the window at incoming customers…
I think I’m going to stick to my current form of slightly-cheesy wall-adornment:
Yeeeah. That’s the ticket.
I’ve got one of these on my closet wall. Jealous? Damn right you are! I have a tin Rosie the Riveter lunchbox too, and I used it to bring my lunch to school through all of high school. I should bust it out again; my life should have more Rosie in it.
Because these days, it takes a Ms. Bitch like Rosie to convince me that We Can Do It, and to give me any hope at all. The rest of the world seems to hold a dissenting opinion.