Category Archives: WTF RedEye?

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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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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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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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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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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Increased Body Issues in Men does not equal a Merry-ever-after Christmas for all

It seems that the RedEye’s columnists are in the need of a little Christmas spirit. In today’s paper there was a lovely reminder of all that is lacking in this modern yuletide season: some compassion and a little bit of common sense.

Contributing editor Katie Donbavand wrote a scathing if not shallow response to the increased focus on male body image titled: “Guys, Welcome to our world.” In the commentary, Katie rejoices in the new found equality of both genders now having to acquire eating disorders to fit today’s rigourous body standards.

“It all seems to me like a little bit of payback. Yes, it’s a bitter pill to swallow but it’s one that we ladies have been coking down for decades,” Katie writes of the increase in male body image issues. And her proof for this sudden dramatic increase? A BBC report that found more men than woman are likely to touch up their facebook profile pictures.

Beyond the fact that this report is just silly, the fact is this is an issue that has been facing men for years. And in no way has the increase in male physical perfection decreased the impossible standards for women.

What Katie seems to have forgotten in this Christmas season is that society is not playing a win-lose game. If anything it is a lose-lose game. Men grow breasts from too many steroids and women lose bone density thanks to aneorexia.

Instead of sticking our tongues out at “the boys” for having to now deal with “our world,” let’s cut the boys and ourselves some slack this holiday season. Those impossible body standards are just that: impossible. We are not in Hollywood and honestly, no one who is worth writing about cares if don’t have a 6 pack or 34D breasts. So go ahead, eat another cookies and remember plastic surgery is getting cheaper every day.

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A new spin on sensationalism journalism: The Red Eye’s attempt to make chastity news

Chicagoans were greeted this morning by this blaring headline on the RedEye: “No Sex in the City for these Chicagoans. Let’s cut to the chaste: Some Chicagoans are reclaiming their virginity.” (see the article here: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/redeye/2010/03/no-sex-in-the-city-for-these-chicagoans.html ) Although the RedEye gets half a point for managing to use chaste as a pun, they lose 10 heavy points of credibility for trying to pass off this article as “news.”

Just because Bristol Palin and a “real” Jersey housewife have recently vowed to stay sex-free till marriage, does not mean an abstinence trend is locking up the chastity belts of men and women across the U.S.  Let’s not forget a time with Brittany Spears and Jessica Simpson were both also going to stay chaste till the chapel.  Now Brittany is the half-naked mother of two and Jessica is “sexual napalm.”  The fact is (as printed in the RedEye) a whopping 78% of young Americas have gotten their sexy on this year, and no one should be claiming Americans are brining chastity back.

Although the RedEye attempted to abide by journalistic standards of “fair and balanced “by including both a male and female sexless single, from the front cover of the pouty-lipped Susan Anthony to the gender-defined quotes throughout, it is clear they were as successful as Fox News.

Anthony is quoted as saying, “Don’t get me wrong — I used to enjoy sex and I’m looking forward to experiencing that with my future husband.” Although her choice is respectable, when this quote is put next to a sexy head shot photo of Anthony in a fur coat, hair whipping in the wind, it becomes less plausible. Her statement seems to be saying women should be most sexy by not having sex; a double standard that should have been burnt with the bras in the 70s.

As for the male perspective, George Souri claims he was just sick of manipulating girls into sleeping with him. Now he basically wants to “respect IT [my emphasis, Souri was referring to a woman’s body] in the right way.” He continues to say a woman’s body is sacred and not just a set of parts to use or take for granted. To say this is to take away a woman’s own control and determination of her body and to deny the connection between a woman’s body and her being. It is also puts the emphasis on a woman’s purity and on a man’s responsibility to keep her pure.  But perhaps if society stopped looking at IT or a woman’s body as a thing that needed to be either honored (or manipulated) and started seeing women as entire beings of mind, heart and body, we would not need to restrict a woman’s sexuality.

Finally, this focus on chastity, abstinence or the sexless single life, however one chooses to look at it, is not beneficial to society especially those choosing to have sex. The Guttmacher Institute(http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_sexEd2006.html)  has proven that abstinence-only sex ed programs directly increased the number of unplanned teen pregnancies. The reality is not everyone chooses to withstand from sex; for many reason men and women chose to enjoy sex, experiment with sex and make sex part of their lives.

Pardon the blatant feminist rant, but perhaps we need another sexual revolution. This time instead of woman’s body being something to be separated and honored on the altar of purity or something that can just be purely enjoyed; it should be a part of the woman just as her mind and soul is part of her. Perhaps in our revolution we can learn to love each other and fuck each other equally with a kind of respect that demands no one to stay pure in order to find sexual satisfaction, intimacy or love.

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