November 5th, 2012

Sea dragon

"Schaffhausen: made for cavemen"

I don't spend a lot of time identifying as a feminist any more than I spend a lot of time identifying as, I don't know, a member of the 21st century. But last night I got pretty pissed off watching the ads before Skyfall. You don't expect a Bond movie to have entirely moved into the present (is that much drinking appropriate?), but you don't expect the ADS to be offensive. And yet there, about the third in, was one for a brand of watches (Schaffhausen), accompanied by all of these pictures of people doing fun outdoor activities and mentioning, as I recall, Jacques Cousteau (a hero of mine). Then at the end came the tagline; "Schaffhausen: made for men."

I was shocked. How were any of these things they showed people doing "for men?" I wrote their name down (in an angry tweet) and then decided, today, to follow up with a letter to them. I'd like to encourage others of you, that may be interested, in introducing Schaffhausen to the concept of the 21st century. Seriously, women are not just here to wear bikinis and mix martinis anymore than we were 5 years ago much less 50. Here's my letter.

"I am quite offended by your advertising campaign before the movie Skyfall here in the UK. You showed a variety of activities I have participated in with great success and yet ended by saying your watches were "made for men." I found this quite insulting especially given that on a recent kayaking expedition I outperformed the rest of the men I was kayaking with, both in terms of endurance and in terms of ability to plan on the water. I suggest you come up with a better tag line for you product, one that suggests you are no longer living in the 20th, or perhaps the 19th, century. How about "Schaffhausen: made for adventure?" It's much less sexist. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, your brand is "Schaffhausen: made for cave men."

You know what hacks me off

I hate people being sentimental about shit when they've got solid opportunities in the here and now to make the shit they're sentimental about real and better.

My dad does this all the time. He talks about how he is so sorry he didn't get to spend more time with his little girl and how busy he was back then. Well, I am not dead. I am still here and I'm still his one and only little girl. And he's not busy. But what he is is full of nostalgia for a time he didn't lift a finger to make different back in the past and won't lift a finger to make different in the future.

I used to believe him. But I've learned.

Oddly, I seem to hear this from other people. I wish I'd done more of this or I miss that. But in so many cases in their here and now they could do thing to be fixing the sadness and making a future that gives them less regrets, but that involves making changes and taking deliberate actions and doing things differently. But they just won't fucking do it because making an effort is too difficult. Change is hard so why try when you can whine instead, and let yourself keep making the same fucking regrettable mistakes your entire life?

Me, when I look at my life, the number of regrets I have are pretty much zero, because at every point I have tried to look at what I knew and make the best decision possible, and to CHOOSE something that I thought would make things better. I am not about nostalgia and regret. I am about making a better tomorrow. When I do things wrong, I apologize. If I hurt people, it's rarely my intent, and if it wasn't, I apologize. (When it is, I don't. I own up to it.)

Life. It's a choice, every single day. Don't be a victim: get out their and live. And if you won't take the responsibility for your choices, then for God's sake shut up and stop whining about "the hand you were dealt" when every single day you could have tossed the cards out the window and taking up juggling instead.