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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Question: What's big, hairy and wears high heels?

By R.M. Monk

February 27, 2009 | Question: What's big, hairy and wears high heels? Answer: Me in drag.

Last semester for a gender and media class I dolled up my 200-pound, 6-foot-4 (6'7" in heels) body for a presentation on "Sex and the City."

I was Samantha.

On Tuesday, March 3, 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. on the TSC patio, the Women and Gender Studies program is hosting a retro bake sale to raise money for student-planned, campus-wide activities, such as the "Reinventing Barbie Bash". I'll be attending the sale, this time as June Cleaver.

Hopefully, there'll be a better public reaction than the last time I put on the ritz in public.

A week before the class presentation, a friend and I shopped at the only place we could think to find a cheap dress that could fit me: Deseret Industries The experience was rather uneventful, I must say. The staff was surprisingly helpful, by staying clear out of the way. The only bad thing to happen was for when I found out I'm a size eighteen—the same size as my mother!

The real turmoil started when we went shoe shopping.

You see, the D.I. didn't carry women's shoes for a size thirteen foot—who knew? So, the closest place to find something that would fit was the Payless shoe store… in the Provo Town Mall.

Leaving the blouse and pencil skirt in the car, we marched right into Payless and asked the cashier where they keep the doublewide pumps. The selection came down to between boring-looking but well-fitting dull heels and an alluring shiny black pair that was too small but available in an extra-wide, which helped a little. In the middle of this, two moms came in with their young daughters. The kids, who were no more than 5-years old, were fascinated that a boy was wearing heels and kept staring at me. So I asked them which pair they thought was the better look. Their moms said sexier was the way to go so I dumped the dull pumps, rolled up my jeans to Capri-level and wore my new kicks out. The new shoes clicked against the tile with resounding confidence, and for the first time, I was taller than my friend, also 6'4".

Now, it's one thing for little kids to stare at something they've never seen before. It's quite another when mature adults do it. I expected the occasional giggle form passers-by. After all, a longhaired, bearded man in heels is a little silly. What I didn't expect were the hateful glares.

At first, the only people to notice were young women, who would abruptly tug on their boyfriends' arms and point in my direction and smile. Then it started getting weird. When I got on the escalator, people started whipping out their cell phones to take pictures of the freak in heels, and every old Hispanic women I passed gave me the evil eye, as if I were somehow offending their female machismo by walking in heels just as well as they. One person walked right up to me, stared as if I were dressed as a Klan member, and walked away in contempt. Hey, I wasn't hurting anybody. What should they care?

My friend and I walked past two old short hicks wearing cowboy hats. One of them uttered "faggot" as I passed.

I was too shocked to realize I should have confronted them. I mean, really? A mere dude in heels (who is straight btw) gets this kind slur nowadays? I took solace in the fact the rednecks had to whisper their hate. Maybe they didn't want to start a scene, or maybe they didn't want to risk getting a public beating from the 6'7" man in heels. Either way, it was then I was grateful to be in a group and not alone on the street.

I know I shouldn't be too surprised at the thought, but Utah Valley has long way to go.


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