Category Archives: Newspapers

Feminism and the RedEye

I’ve filled quite a bit of blogosphere space (7 entries to be exact) criticizing the RedEye for its seemingly total cluelessness when it comes to women’s issues. From “reclaiming” virginity to lingerie football to referring to women as girls, the RedEye had the ability to make me see red and spew anger is black and white pixels.

And, although I still think the RedEye is still relatively clueless with mountains of room for growth, I also understand that so am I. As human beings we have the amazing ability to be desperately imperfect as well as the magnificent capacity to grow. Publications, as a product of human beings, are the same.

But we can only grow if we admit our imperfection and try to grow, if we face our fears and change despite the discomfort change imposes.

I realized in February that I was so critical of the RedEye because I desperately wanted to be a part of it. I wanted 100,000 people to read my words and see my truth. I wanted my voice heard. I wanted to add my story to the mix.

So I wrote to the editor of the RedEye’s opinion column -not for the first time I may note, perhaps for the fifth time- and I made my case. And he was intrigued. We chatted, I pitched and a month after I first faced my fear of rejection by the RedEye, I had a column on Page Four.

It is not a column to change the world, or Chicago, or even a few of the haters. It is a column to write this is Niki Fritz and this is what I believe. My only wish for change is that this column encourages others to be themselves more wholly, to contribute to the RedEye, to write their representatives, to voice their opinions, to not step away when they fear they authentic self may not be socially tolerable.

If we can all be our true selves a little louder, a little bolder, and with a little less concern for the status quo, then perhaps we can change for the better. I mean if the RedEye can print a column about feminism anything is possible.

Feminism is Your Friend

By: Niki Fritz

“Earmuffs! There is a new F-word in town, and it is dirtier than Rick Santorum’s name, more loaded than Mitt Romney’s wallet and more vile than the inside of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth.

Yes, “feminist” has taken over as the year’s most foul word.”

Read more 

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Filed under Low Brow, Newspapers, Uncategorized, WTF RedEye?

Not Another Virginity Article

It is that time of year again; time for the RedEye to print its annual obligatory “virginity” story. 364 days out of the year the RedEye is happy to fill its pages with lingerie football, Playboy bunny updates and fucksaws; but once a year the RedEye swings its horny pendulum in the other directions to talk about the “trend” of abstinence.  This year’s holier-than-thou treat goes by the name of “Power Virgins” and features Tebow on the cover.

The story is the basically the same as last year’s “No Sex in the City” article, some people choose to wait until marriage to have sex mainly for religious reasons. Cool. That is a choice they are free to make and a choice many have been making for centuries. This is not news folks. This is not a trend. Just because Tebow wants to wave his V card around and pastors are writing “freaky” sex books , doesn’t make abstinence news worthy.

The more interesting topic is why the fuck do we care who has fucked or who has not? It is a question the article posed in the beginning of the story but then never really got into, choosing instead to skirt along the surface of a topic that is oh-so-sensitive still in the “hard news” community. To dive into this question would be to ask why do we care so very much if someone has put their penis in someone else or had a penis in them and then to dive further would to question whether or not the location of said penis is important (oral, anal, squished between two breasts) and then to dive further would be to question the pleasure derived from said penis not to mention wondering where all the scissoring lesbians fit into this whole mess.

Look I’m all for keeping whatever virginity you want as long as you want. I know I kept my V card longer than the good lord probably intended. But posing virginity as the only alternative to the Playboy lifestyle is just messed up. It makes the conversation of sex too simple to be useful. In the end it just continues the cycle of fuck, shame, confusion, fuck, shame, confusion that permeates through the majority of young adults. Instead of swinging their shame-laden pendulum back and forth, wouldn’t it be nice if the RedEye actually facilitated an actual conversation about sex beyond the bustier and chasity belt?

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Filed under Low Brow, Newspapers, Sex, WTF RedEye?

Women can run the world but to the RedEye, they are still just girls

Forbes released its list of the world’s most powerful women. I know, we were all waiting with baited breath. The list may not mean much but how the media chooses to report on it does.

For example the RedEye chose this doozy of a headliner “Run the world (girls)”.

The header is a play off of Beyone’s newest hit but it also is widely ridiculous. These women have not been considered “girls” for years and decades in some cases. Actually the RedEye conveniently put all of their ages so you can determine for yourself just how many years these powerful women have been just that women and not girls.

The article was also kind enough to note that 22 of the women are single. You know in case you are looking to hook up that single friend of yours.

Obviously the RedEye was not trying to be malicious. It was probably attempting to be humorous or at least catchy and kitschy. But in the end it just fell into the trap of attempting to minimize the most powerful women in the world by associating them with prepubescent children and Beyonce (no offense to Beyonce).

I think a good lesson for us all to learn on this one is let’s not lose what little integrity we have left with attempts at cute headlines.

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The RedEye’s advice to beer-bellied men: girdles and lipo

The title of today’s RedEye cover story is “get waisted;” a clever little pun on men cutting down on belly fat (get it… waisted/wasted). Their advice, in addition to the common sense diet knowledge of eat less and exercise more, was buy a girdle and consider liposuction. (read the story here)

I have to admit that for a minute while I was reading it, I thought, sweet, put that in your beer bong and suck it you beer-bellied men of Chicago. Time to end the Double Standard! Down with Machismo! Long Live Betty Friedan!

But then I realized this was really the opposite way we want the double standard to go. It is not that we want everyone held to the ripped, sweat drenched stereotype of bod man cologne commercials.   We want those ridiculous stereotypes removed for everyone, men and women alike. We want to start focusing on healthy bodies and not the anatomically incorrect, Ken and Barbie stereotypes were have been fed our whole lives.

And besides, skinny jeans already add a hurdle to the dressing and undressing of the fine young men ofChicago, I can’t imagine dealing with the extra burden of girdles.

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Rahm’s new Chief of Staff a woman without children who hosts dinner parties

Accodording to the Sun Times, Rahm’s new chief of staff is the “smart and thick skinned” Theresa Mintle. In addition to the flattering descriptions as  a “well-organized workaholic” Sun Times felt the need to further delve into Mintle’s personal life by voicing an opinion on her personal decision to not have children.

“She is married to architect Mike Toolis, chairman and CEO of VOA Associates. The couple have no children, which is probably a good thing, given the 24/7 job that Mintle is inheriting.”

The article also commented on her ability to host dinner parties and give her girlfriends the “tough love” advice they need.

In addition to being patronizing, the Sun Times article is completely irrelevant to Mintle’s new position. The article is just another piece of evidence showing how the media needs to catch up and realize women in leadership positions have more of a story than their children and dinner parties.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Low Brow, Newspapers, The Politics

Superfluous Sexy: RedEye’s quasi porn cover

The RedEye is like a worn ad lib, insert unnecessary sexy photo here

The article was about the now infamous Northwestern professor whose human sexuality class has been canceled after the “fuck saw scandal.” Apparently the RedEye will use any excuse to put some quasi porn on their cover and barely scrape the surface of an issue.

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Filed under Low Brow, Newspapers, Sex, WTF RedEye?

90%, fact vs. political jargon

see stephen colbert video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EaB69vv-iY

Sentator Jon Kyl will hopefully always be remembered for his claim that 90% of  Planned Parenthood services are abortion as well as his staff’s follow up comment that this claim was not meant to be “factual.”

I sincerely hope that this political misstep will be remembered for its sheer insanity as well as the fact it illustrates, the GOPs reliance on people not checking facts but accepting political jargon.

The fact is abortions are 3% of Planned Parenthoods services and none of those abortions are paid for with federal money. That is the fact.

As Gail Collin’s points our in her Sunday column, this fight over Planned Parenthood is not about facts or even abortion, it is about rallying the base against reproductive rights.

Collin’s writes “For eons now, people have been wondering why the two sides can’t just join hands and agree to work together to reduce the number of abortions by expanding the availability of family-planning services and contraception.The answer is that a large part of the anti-abortion community is also anti-contraception.”

Read Collin’s full article here.

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New “factual” argument against promiscuity

Ross Douthat’s had a lovely little tidbit in the New York Times last week about the cost of promiscuity…on women. As Dothart says less sexual partners “increases the odds that [women’s] adult sexual lives will be a source of joy rather than sorrow.” His argument is notably reserved for women.

The facts come from a study showing women with increased sexual partners are decreasingly unhappy. However this fact doesn’t say if the connection is causation or correlation aka do women sleep with more people because they are unhappy or does sleeping with more people make one unhappy. Or ignoring both of these suggestions is there something about behind the sex such as finding a stable partner that increases happiness.

According to a professor intereviewed by Salon’s Tracy Clark Flory “There is no compelling reason to think that larger numbers of sexual partners are truly ‘causing’ less happiness…It’s more likely that the reverse is true. I find Ms. Right; she makes me happy; I then don’t need to look for any other sexual partners.” In other words, actually having sex with more people isn’t making women unhappy but rather the frustrating fact that they haven’t found Mr. Right.

Arguments like Douthat’s which twist stats to prove a personal moral issue, do nothing but reinforce negative societal stereotypes. The truth is finding Mr/Ms. Right is a frustrating and difficult process; the unluckier you are in your pursuit often the unhappier you can appear to be in the time being. However in the end, when Mr/Ms Right is found Mr/Ms Wrong, whether that number is 2 or 200, really doesn’t matter.

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Filed under Feminist Rant, Low Brow, Magazine, Newspapers, Sex

RedEye celebrates International Women’s Day by writing about men

RedEye’s back cover today: “Dude looks like a lady.”

It is an article, or really just a collection of photos,  about celebrity men dressing up like women.

Really RedEye? Even on Women’s Day you focus is men. Nice.

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Gail Collin’s describes Republican’s War on Women

Gail Collin’s is a personal hero of mine. Her recent op ed piece about Republican’s War on Women describes the current illogical political jargon so perfectly I have nothing to do but copy and paste:

“Our legislative slogan for 2011: Let Them Use Leeches.

“What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?” demanded Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the chief sponsor of a bill to bar the government from directing any money to any organization that provides abortion services.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t use government money to provide abortions; Congress already prohibits that, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. (Another anti-abortion bill that’s coming up for hearing originally proposed changing the wording to “forcible rape,” presumably under the theory that there was a problem with volunteer rape victims. On that matter at least, cooler heads prevailed.)”

Read the full article here

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Filed under Low Brow, Newspapers, Reproductive Rights, The Politics