Posted by: fireweaver | August 18, 2009

foolishness is free

i find myself with a few hours to kill waiting for my connecting flight at the detroit airport, and a decided need to feel calm and cultured.  thankfully, they have a vino volo in here (small plates & a lovely wine list) so i can wash away the foolishness with this glass of oregon brut.

my puddle jumper out of the podunky airport earlier today was filled in the rear with a passel of over/under dressed (depending on how you look at such things – let’s just say i didn’t see a disco ball or a dj in the cockpit, though it was just after 5) giggly girls.  the gregarious man across the aisle couldn’t help himself and had to strike up conversation with this set, asking where they were off to.  “oh, it’s a long story,” one said significantly.  “we have the time,” he laughed, “tell us!”

it turns out the child was 3 weeks past her sweet 16, and way back when she was 15 she’d dated a man 10 years her senior.  “and then he choked me to death!” she wailed, looking quite hale with her tan lines shown in stark relief above the edge of her tube top.  her intrepid and similarly-dressed sister had sensed an opportunity and called to alert the steve-from-jerry-springer tv show, and so they were all off to new york city!!! to confront the dastardly perpetrator on national tv.  “everything is free!” they gleefully announced, “our flights, our stay, our entertainment,” this last with an arch raise to the eyebrow.  “i don’t know how i raised such girls,” their mother said with her 4-ciggies-before-needing-a-voice-box throat under her grams-weight of blue eyeshadow and bleached hair.  “good luck,” i told her kindly and pointedly.  “it’s funny how everyone tells me that and not her,” she replied.

wayward kids have had ill-planned misadventures to the horror of peers & parents for as long as there have been mores to shatter, so i can’t rant about ‘the kids these days’ with a straight face.  i do, however, find myself feeling uncomfortably un-feminist about it all right now, though.  i’m sure i’m supposed to see a victim seduced by a predator, but her savage tan and eyelash extensions would have told me that wasn’t necessarily it, even if her declaration of, “i know they’re going to try something crazy on the show, but i just don’t care!  it’s all free!” hadn’t.  i’m sure i’m supposed to see a victim of our culture that makes women underaged and oversexualized, but i just heard a fool.  this kid clearly didn’t care that she’d been doing something stupid in the first place by getting tangled up with the older man, but was only indignant about being attacked by him.  i know several women who have been actual victims of domestic violence, and i’m just pissed off that she’s going to go flaunt their horror on cheap daytime tv.  way to trivialize what’s important, you little shit.

but hey, it’s free!



  1. OMG!!! WTF!!! And whatever other teen-y webspeak exclamations of “holy hell in a handbasket”! Thanks for the birth control reminder! 😉

  2. And if he wouldn’t have physically assaulted her… it would have been okay, what… if he gave her lots of free stuff?

    I think your take is a very feminist one. What has this girl learned of herself, as a woman, and what is valuable and good about men and women? Commodification of her body, for the purpose of snagging men, is what it sounds like you saw… and this is okay to her and all others involved just so long as the he doesn’t attempt physical harm?

    Very good post for thought!

  3. […] at Laboratory Tested with: Foolishness is Free Contributors to this month’s roundtable: Alejna Mad Emily Holly Painted Maypole Filed […]

  4. […] Fireweaver at Laboratory Tested with: Foolishness is Free […]

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