Modern with an Em

Chirp. January 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — modernwithanem @ 11:57 am

I just got back from a class I’m taking at a local university and I am so confused and taken aback that I don’t even know where to begin.

The class is called The Sociology of Gender, and we had a midterm exam scheduled for this morning. As I was sitting in the lecture hall, waiting for the exam to commence, the teaching advisor for the course announced that there would be no more talking and began handing out the exam materials. After all of this was said and done, a few more students filtered into the room. The TA then announced that anyone arriving late would have to come to the front and pick up a copy of the test, and then find a seat. Immediately following this, two young male students behind me commented, “Whoa, PMS,” and began to laugh to themselves.

Are you kidding me???

To clarify, the TA did not have a mean or even stern tone. She was firm, and spoke loudly and clearly enough for everyone in the room to hear. Since when has assertiveness been a premenstrual symptom?

The professor — who is also a woman — then wrote the current time in large numbers on the blackboard, in case anyone couldn’t see the clock, and clearly intended to update it during the course of the exam. Upon seeing this, the same ignorant young men behind me said, “Does she think we’re stupid? What a bird!” followed by more laughter.

Needless to say, I was (and still am) incredibly offended by these comments. For starters, you’re enrolled in a Sociology of Gender course. It is not a requirement for any program; you are choosing to be there. The class is 98% women, and the teaching assistant and professor are both women. One of the focuses of the course is to open people’s eyes to the ideas of tolerance and acceptance of various types of sex, gender, sexuality, and other related roles within our social world. How brazen, brash, and disrespectful do you have to be to even dare to make comments like those in that type of environment? It was all I could do to keep myself from turning around and letting them know how offensive and ignorant I felt they were. I think that the only reason why I didn’t was fear of being reprimanded for speaking when we had specifically been instructed not to, because I obviously wouldn’t have used a hushed voice for my comments as they had.

It just made me wonder how far we have actually come in terms of gender equality. Apparently, we are still in a position wherein if a woman displays assertive behaviours or takes charge of a situation, even if she’s in a position of power, she is not taken seriously. She is presumed to be experiencing PMS, or she is just labeled a bitch. If the TA or the professor today had been a man, it is undeniable that any kinds of comments would not have been made. A man in that situation would not be called a prick or a bastard or be laughed at; he would be respected and listened to. In this modern age, Western society is consumed with political-correctness, equality, and human rights; yet, it is somehow still acceptable for a boy in his late teens to put down and assert his power as a male over his older female superiors.  The problem is that we let it slide, just as I did in class today.  We don’t confront these men on their actions.  We don’t call them on their inappropriate and disrespectful behaviour.  We sit back and sigh with frustration and shake our heads in disbelief, and then we never approach the subject again.  We let them get away with it, and as a result, we are holding ourselves back as women and as equal members of society.  We are allowing them to keep us in our “place.”

Then again, when a woman does speak out against comments and actions such as the ones described above, she is labeled as a “bitch,” or worse.  How many dissenting voices will it take before we are seen as being valid individuals with feelings and opinions that are just as important as any man’s?  Can we ever win the war?


Rant 2.0 October 16, 2008

Filed under: The Modern Home — modernwithanem @ 12:28 pm
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I need a new job. I really hate mine. Problem is, I hate job hunting just as much. Especially when it comes to finding one that works around the rest of my life. Ah well.

Also, my boyfriend and I have recently been doing business with a company that shall remain unnamed for the time being, and we are becoming increasingly frustrated with their business practices. We are spending a good chunk of money on products being supplied by them, and I feel as though they aren’t entirely appreciative of that. Either that, or they really just don’t know what they are doing. One minute, they have the products in stock. Then they’re backordered. Then they’ll arrive on one date, and then another date, and then another date. Three months later, we still don’t have everything we ordered. Some days, they have no idea where these products are. Other days, they blame the delays on the manufacturer. Every time, they promise to call or e-mail us back with updates, and that only happens about 10 per cent of the time. Multiple times, they have told us to expect our order to be shipped in the very near future, and then fail to notify us when that changes and the order is unable to be shipped again for whatever reason. Every time I call, I have to speak to a different person. It’s ridiculous that I even have to call them as often as I do. And their excuses are just as unacceptable. If someone tells me that they have what I ordered and will ship it out immediately, and then 2 weeks later, I call and am told, “Oh, [she] must have been mistaken, or it was someone else’s order or something…”, I should not be expected to accept that explanation. I highly doubt that someone else ordered the exact same number of items in the exact same style and pattern in the same timeframe as we did. Based on the facts, it’s not overly likely.

Honestly, if it were my business, I would be appalled that it is taking in excess of 3 months to complete an order containing products that are all coming from the same manufacturer. I wouldn’t understand why my employees wouldn’t give someone the courtesy of sending out something as little as an e-mail to say, “I’m sorry, but an error/delay/problem/miscommunication has occured, and your order will not be able to be shipped this week as initially anticipated. We apologize for this inconvenience.” I would drill into them that the number one business practice to remember is to return someone’s calls when you say that you will return them. It’s just a simple matter of respect for the person you are doing business with. And please, do NOT make excuses for someone else, especially when you are just sitting in front of your computer and have no idea what happened outside of your cubicle. The admission of a lack of explanation is better than a false explanation that you pulled out of thin air. It is perfectly fine to admit that you don’t know the answer to something.

I just want what we ordered. Soon.


Mouse. October 7, 2008

Filed under: The Modern Home — modernwithanem @ 1:08 am
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I just saw a mouse.

I am not one of those women who is scared of mice. I know that unless I come into contact with it, its excrements, or something it has contaminated, it cannot harm me. Nonetheless, I do not like the idea of sharing my apartment with a rodent. I had a feeling that I had a mouse here based on noises I’ve heard over the last week or two, but I was okay with the idea of a mouse as long as it didn’t get into my food or clothes and as long as I didn’t have to see it. But now that I have visual confirmation, I’m creeped out. And the idea that it could easily just run up the stairs to my bedroom is disconcerting.

I think that I dislike mice.

I hope that it doesn’t get into the oven.


I love… Love ♥ September 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — modernwithanem @ 12:18 am
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Ok, so this has nothing to do with anything, other than me being bored and fiddling around with graphics programs and not knowing what to do with the finished product. So I decided to post it here and share it with all of you. Keep in mind, I only spent a very limited amount of time on it, and it’s super cheesy, which I love. Enjoy!


Go with the Flo September 11, 2008

Filed under: The Modern Home,The Modern Mom — modernwithanem @ 2:34 pm
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Even if you don’t have kids, I think that this is a wonderful invention.

Boon Inc. — which designs some awesome products for the modern parent — has come up with Flo, a water deflector and protective faucet cover with bubble bath dispenser. Now, I realize that the colour and design may not appeal to absolutely everyone, but I love it.

If you have kids, this is a great alternative to all of those animal-shaped polyester faucet covers that can often be easily pulled off. Flo has a spring-activated grip that easily attaches to all standard faucets (with or without a shower diverter) and many non-standard faucets that are of a similar size and shape to the standard ones.

There is NO assembly or special installation required! Flo is also covered in a soft material around the edges to prevent any bathtime injuries.

The waterfall effect of the spout on Flo is great for washing kids’ hair, and the bubble bath reservoir can be filled up prior to bathtime, allowing for bubbles to be easily dispensed at the push of a button.

And if you’re childless (like myself), think of it this way: Picture yourself relaxing in the tub after a hard day at work or school, surrounded by bubbles and candles, listening to the soothing sound of a luxurious waterfall. Now that sounds pretty darn good to me.

Flo by Boon Inc.


Get a Handle on Outdoor Cooking September 10, 2008

Now this is the perfect example of something seemingly so simple and almost obvious, but so neat.

Brookstone has designed a stylish and portable outdoor grill that looks nothing like your typical camping gear.

Weighing less than 25 lbs (which sounds heavy, but think about how much a typical barbeque weighs!) with a sleek clamshell design and a hot orange colour, this portable grill is sure to stretch out those last precious moments of summer. It is equipped with a 9450 BTU stainless steel burner (this means nothing to me, but my boyfriend assures me that this is a good thing), has a porcelain enamel-coated cast iron grill area, and uses standard 14.1 and 16.4 oz. propane cylinders (no outlets or charcoal required! Yay!). Top that off with a sturdy handle and retractable legs, and you’ve got a grill that will travel well and store away easily, no matter how many bags of “just-in-case” clothes and shoes you decide to pack into the trunk of your car for your weekend camping trip.



Whatever happened to light, sheer, sexy, unpadded bras? Don’t get me wrong — I like a good push-up bra as much as the next girl. But sometimes I get into a mood where I just want an effortlessly sexy bra, without all of the contouring and padding and pushing my girls up to my chin and having them completely change size and shape as soon as the bra comes off. Apparently, I am one of the only women out there who desires this.

I have looked at La Senza, La Vie En Rose, Victoria’s Secret, and Frederick’s of Hollywood — all of the major players in North America, as far as sexy lingerie is concerned. At La Senza and La Vie En Rose, there is ONE unlined, uncontoured, unpadded bra to choose from. At Victoria’s Secret, there is a small handful, but they are all similar, generic, uninspired styles in uninspired colours. And at Frederick’s, there are maybe 2 or 3 bras to choose from, but at least one is full coverage, and the others were a bit… boring.

Is it too much to ask to be able to find affordable, sexy lingerie that is made out of some kind of silk, satin, lace or mesh, that isn’t full coverage, isn’t ugly or boring, comes in more than one or two colours, and is fun and flirty enough to get your heart racing a bit? If anyone has any insight or advice with regards to this, please comment. My sanity is at stake.