Women + Tattoos = Empowerment

2012 marked the first year that more women than men were tattooed in this country.

That’s right: 23% of women compared with 19% of men are now tattooed in the U.S.

You’re welcome, founding fathers.

And really, what better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the modern feminist movement and the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique than with the rampant proliferation of tramp stamps on the lower backs of aging cocktail waitresses? Because apparently plenty of women other than diabetic Slipknot fans are now flocking to tattoo parlors in order to tell the world that they had an abusive stepfather and aren’t too particular about whom they’ll go to bed with.

Photo: Maria Lokke

Photo: Maria Lokke

Because that’s what men hear when they see your tattoos, ladies.

Seriously, tattoos were once the sole domain of guys’ inability to express themselves. They had monopolized the market on dragging a needle across their skin in order to advertise their insecurities and sexual inadequacies.

And then at some point, women got the idea that they could become equally obnoxious energy-drink slamming, beer- guzzling douchebags by getting images of butterflies, hearts, and tribal patterns tattooed on their lower backs, ostensibly in order to dispel any uncertainty as to whether or not they are comfortable being videotaped having sex for commercial purposes.

Somehow I don’t think that this is exactly the sort of triumph of women’s lib that Betty Friedan had in mind.

Hillary Clinton and her 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling? Yes. Tattooed star just above your shaven pussy? Not so much.

In truth, the path of today’s feminism now mirrors that of the Oxygen Channel.

You of course recall Oxygen Channel in its earliest inception? It was billed as the first-ever network catering exclusively to women and women’s issues. And after audiences quickly discovered that that was, well, boring as all fuck, what did Oxygen become?

That’s right: The World According to Paris Hilton, All About Aubrey O’Day and Bad Girls Club. Nothing but a chronicle of alcoholic sociopaths acting out their childhood sexual abuse issues by drowning themselves in alcohol and fucking random club douchebags clad in hand-me-down Ed Hardy and Affliction t-shirts.

Photo: Randy Johnson

Photo: Randy Johnson

Again, probably not representative of the sort of liberation from the bonds of 1950’s era domesticity that Betty Friedan had in mind.

Really, Oxygen Channel is like if Mothers Against Drunk Driving opened a nightclub in Miami Beach and started their own vodka line.

Oxygen Channel is like if child protective services commissioned Casey Anthony to be their spokesperson.

Oxygen Channel is like if PETA started manufacturing whaling ships.

My point: The Oxygen channel has done about as much for the feminist movement and women’s lib as Vladamir Putin has done for gay rights. That is, apart from all those shirtless pics of him riding bareback, fly fishing, and wrestling black bears. If Vladimir Putin really wants to distance himself and Russia from gay-friendly policies, he might consider adopting a less homoerotic media imprint.

The only question we all have is not whether he harbors secret homosexual tendencies but whether he exhibits the qualities of a Marlboro Man or a Muffin Bear when trolling for strange in highway rest stop restrooms.

And that is why tattoos on women are the equivalent of pimples on my ass—they only tell people information they would otherwise rather not know. In the latter case, the nature of my infrequent bathing habits.

Yours,

Juke Joint

P.S. I have two tattoos, so fuck you too, sweetheart, if you’re upset. This is BannedCast.

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