East and West

A Modern Tupperware Tale

The modern woman prefers hi-tech weaponry to cute plastic food containers.
A Modern Tupperware Tale
In my mother’s day it was tupperware. She would come home – tipsy and smelling vaguely of cigarettes – her arms full of stackable plastic kitchen ware. I watched transfixed as she unloaded the tiny green containers into which she planned to pack snacks for my lunch, the day-glo orange Jell-O mold, the translucent ice tray that she said would be perfect for making little apple juice popsicles. Each time one of her friends threw a party, I waited for her in the kitchen – anxious to see what new shapes and colors she would pull from the box. A few years ago, my mother told me she never actually gave a shit about Tupperware. She just wanted to drink some wine, smoke a cigarette and be away from her family for a while. In those days, she said with a trace of bitterness, it was inconceivable that a woman might want a little time for herself.

Someone had given me the invitation at work. ‘This ain’t yo’ momma’s Tupperware Party!,’ it read above a stylized drawing of a woman wearing a red bandana, arms crossed and lips pursed with attitude. "You’ve heard about these taser parties, right?" said my co-worker, peering over the top of my cubicle. "They’re all the rage. You’re coming, right? Everybody’s going to be there."

I thought about my mother as I sat on the couch – wondering if my fellow party-goers were merely feigning bloodlust so as to have an excuse to get out of the house for a while. "Take that, fucker," said the middle age brunette as she pulled the trigger, stomping a high heel for emphasis. The others made high pitched hooting sounds as two electric probes sank into the target at the end of the hall. "Whoooo!" yelled the brunette before turning to mug for the crowd, wittily striking a Charlie’s Angels pose. No, they weren’t feigning anything. This was for real. "My turn! I want to go!" The blonde woman next to me sprang from her seat and bounded over to the table where the tasers were displayed. As she deliberated over the variety of available colors and patterns (Hot Pink, Fierce Leopard…), I tentatively raised my hand. The company spokesperson, an impossibly tanned woman with the word ‘Tasergirl’ emblazoned across her chest in sequins, pointed at me and smiled. "Why all the different colors?" I asked. "I mean, if the point is to protect yourself, who cares what the thing looks like?" I could feel the eyes of the party’s hostess boring into the side of my skull from across the room. "No, its alright – it’s a fair question," said Tasergirl convivially before placing her hands on her hips and turning to address the entire room. "At Tasergirl International," she began, "your personal safety is our number one concern. Making sure you look fabulous? Well, that’s a close second!" The women cackled their appreciation.

As I walked out alone into the night, unprotected and unfabulous, I thought about my mother again. I thought about how I would’ve seen the world if, instead of storage containers, she’d come home from parties with the newest in allegedly non-lethal personal security technology. And as the sounds of the women’s hoots and laughter grew fainter in the distance, I wondered who was at home waiting for them.

22 comments on the article “A Modern Tupperware Tale”

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Anonymous

Did they give any sort of body count? People have been killed with these things. Did they tell you anything about the legal consequences of using a weapon.

I once took a self-defense handgun class because I had violent drug dealers living next door. The instructor told us that if you shoot someone and even if the court determines you were within your right to defend yourself you could still plan on being out $50,000 in attorney fees.

There are other problems with using a handgun/taser: they are notoriously inaccurate, and especially so, when the shooter's adrenaline is pumping. You may miss your target and harm a bystander.

BTW- I didn't get a handgun. I bought a shotgun and a cell phone to place beside it. My plan was to call the cops and only shoot if someone came through my door. After the bad guys moved away I sold the shotgun.

Anonymous

Did they give any sort of body count? People have been killed with these things. Did they tell you anything about the legal consequences of using a weapon.

I once took a self-defense handgun class because I had violent drug dealers living next door. The instructor told us that if you shoot someone and even if the court determines you were within your right to defend yourself you could still plan on being out $50,000 in attorney fees.

There are other problems with using a handgun/taser: they are notoriously inaccurate, and especially so, when the shooter's adrenaline is pumping. You may miss your target and harm a bystander.

BTW- I didn't get a handgun. I bought a shotgun and a cell phone to place beside it. My plan was to call the cops and only shoot if someone came through my door. After the bad guys moved away I sold the shotgun.

DAV78

Why are these women pretending they're somebody on TV and why are they so afraid that someone's going to attack them? Is this what american men do to women? Is that why american women are always trying to arm themselves and fight back against their people in their own communities? Is it because they're raised by abusive fathers? Date and marry abusive men and hang out at bars filled with drunk, abusive men? Maybe if upper, middle and working-class men stopped assaulting their girlfriends, wive, daughters, and coworkers, maybe if men were taught they are no better, no stronger, no smarter and no more capable of anything than any woman is, and maybe if girls were taught that they are every bit as strong, as smart and as capable as any man, maybe then these poor girls wouldn't have to pretend that they were a super-hero TV crime fighter to feel a moment of safety, comfort and the illusion of empowerment. Maybe if these women had been brought up to value themselves as more than objects, maybe if they were taught that their minds were more important and more powerful than their fashion 'sense,' maybe if they were taught that they didn't need a man or a weapon to get along in life, maybe if they were taught that they should never, ever have to stand for mistreatment at the hands of any man, ever, and maybe if they were taught they every day, any day that they feel someone has talked down, insulted, condescended or intimidated her that she should, right there, without hesitation point to this person and let everyone within earshot know who and what he is, maybe then these women wouldn't be confusing fear with strength or violence with empowerment. Maybe then these women would be empowered. Maybe then everyone in that room would have been wondering, "Why all the different colors?

DAV78

Why are these women pretending they're somebody on TV and why are they so afraid that someone's going to attack them? Is this what american men do to women? Is that why american women are always trying to arm themselves and fight back against their people in their own communities? Is it because they're raised by abusive fathers? Date and marry abusive men and hang out at bars filled with drunk, abusive men? Maybe if upper, middle and working-class men stopped assaulting their girlfriends, wive, daughters, and coworkers, maybe if men were taught they are no better, no stronger, no smarter and no more capable of anything than any woman is, and maybe if girls were taught that they are every bit as strong, as smart and as capable as any man, maybe then these poor girls wouldn't have to pretend that they were a super-hero TV crime fighter to feel a moment of safety, comfort and the illusion of empowerment. Maybe if these women had been brought up to value themselves as more than objects, maybe if they were taught that their minds were more important and more powerful than their fashion 'sense,' maybe if they were taught that they didn't need a man or a weapon to get along in life, maybe if they were taught that they should never, ever have to stand for mistreatment at the hands of any man, ever, and maybe if they were taught they every day, any day that they feel someone has talked down, insulted, condescended or intimidated her that she should, right there, without hesitation point to this person and let everyone within earshot know who and what he is, maybe then these women wouldn't be confusing fear with strength or violence with empowerment. Maybe then these women would be empowered. Maybe then everyone in that room would have been wondering, "Why all the different colors?

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