Bodies, Gender, Sexism

Melania Trump And The Temptation Of Slut Shaming

I just saw the pictures of Melania Trump. All of Melania Trump.

And I was immediately struck with a conundrum. I wanted to point to it, “This is the face you want on the white house? This is how you define Republican, family first values?”

Followed immediately by Dan Savage’s voice in my head about Anthony Weiner. Most young people today are taking pictures of themselves, the technology is just too accessible. Most people try pot. If you want to have leaders who aren’t amish then you need to be ok with the fact that they’re human and have pasts.

And then I hated myself for slut shaming her.

And then I decided that if throwing this in the face of the right wing sways one vote then posting it will have been worth it.

So I did. I put it on Facebook. And immediately felt guilty. Within a few hours I took it down.

I don’t want to use slut shaming just because it actually works in my favor this time around. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not human enough to have thought about it. A lot.

Kyriarchy, Media, Sexism

The Bechdel Test In Numbers

When I left home for college I met the first person in my life who was all “feminism is bullshit, we don’t need it.” I had no idea how to respond. I’d never met someone like that before. My blood boiled, feminism was duh. Why you gotta be so dumb? And (worst of all) also have a pretty face I want to talk to? Argh! Conflict.

But here we have. Science, facts. The backup for that conversation that I was looking for then.

The charts are amazing.

The silence is brutal.

Sexism

How Do You Solve A Problem Like A Handshake?

I was working with a bunch of women the other day (gasp) when one of them said to me “I’ve been so feminist-y lately. Everything has been setting me off!”

I found the statement a little funny but asked to hear more.

“Maybe I’ve just been too lucky, that lately I work with only the best guys but now whenever I work with someone else and they treat me differently it sticks out like a sore thumb.”

So what did someone do lately that upset you?

“So I worked this gig and I was the only woman, which is fine, I’m used to that. But at the end of the day he shook everyone’s hand but hugged me.”

Why do you think this upset you?

“It was different. It made me feel weird, different. Like he assumed I would want to hug instead just because I’m a woman. Or something, I didn’t even really know why he did it.”

Since this conversation I’ve told the story a few times and have gotten a random grab bag of reactions. I’ve been there‘s and I always don’t really know what to do‘s mostly.

The question it stirred in me was this.

We know what to make of the guy who hires her with no questions asked, “She’s the best at this work, so glad she was available.” Good guy, good feminist guy.

We know what to make of the guy who doesn’t hire her because of some visible prejudice of his, “Why do I have to hire her? Is this a quota thing?”

But what do we make of the guys who just make a weird mistake. Who hug you because they assume you’d rather hug. The ones who ask you about what you’re wearing instead of about what new program you’re coding because it just doesn’t leap to mind.

The ones who have been swimming in the patriarchal stream for so long that it’s just how they’ve learned to breathe. The ones that mean no harm. The ones who can relearn, who want to be better.

How do we communicate with them?

Politics, Sexism

Emma Watson For Heforshe

When I woke up this morning this was blasted across all of social media.

It’s a great speech, you should give it a listen.

And I keep thinking about her fitness for this appointment. Emma Watson isn’t my favorite person to watch act, but she might be one of my favorite actresses. I don’t enjoy watching her pretend to be another person but I do enjoy watching her be herself.

However, she is very popular, among men and women.

And if every guy who has ever jerked it with her in mind watched this video, then that would be a lot of views.

People talk about the power that beautiful women hold over men. I should hope so, and I hope we get to see it here.

Update: Instead of men responding positively to a woman they claim to have positive feelings towards asking for their help and participation, they threaten to sexually violate her.

Sometimes optimism is hard.

Gender, Self-Care, Sexism

Heed My Words

The other day I got mad at a friend/co-worker of mine. I was so exasperated that I just walked away, I just had to leave the conversation before I broke his nose. And when I came back to get some equipment he opened his mouth to apologize.

“Don’t talk to me right now. Don’t look at me right now. Walk away right now.”

“Oh, come on.”

“What is so confusing to you about ‘Don’t talk to me right now’? Shall I break it down for you further?”

We went on like this for a few more minutes until I managed to get away from him again. You know what would have been in his better interest? HEEDING MY WORDS.

God forbid he had walked away from me when I asked him to do so I would have gotten over my anger almost immediately. Instead I went into a spiral because he disregarded my explicitly stated needs over and over again.

Hercules: Uh, so how’d you get stuck with the…

Meg: Pinhead with hooves? Well, you know how men are. They think “No” means “Yes” and “Get lost” means “Take me, I’m yours.”  [x]

He assumed that when I said “Go away” I really meant “Grovel.” If I’d wanted him to grovel I would have said “Grovel.” I like to say what I mean and mean what I say.

Women get a reputation for being confusing but more often than not we’re telling you exactly what we want and the men around us are just assuming we couldn’t possibly be smart enough to know what is in our own best interest. Don’t be that guy.

Listen to my words. I pick them out carefully.

Sexism

True, #NotAllMen But #YesAllWomen

One of the sweaty gladiator lookalikes at work was surfing the web on his phone the other day (I love my job) and told me he was reading about the #YesAllWomen campaign. We started talking about it and he seemed to know what he was talking about. He told me about the blowback from the MRA #NotAllMen.

The tone in his voice told me for the first time that I should be concerned, where he’s concerned, and I told him “That’s the thing. Not all men are harassers but all women have been harassed by men.”

Which is when he told me my new favorite Schrodingers-rapist-ism “You have a bowl of M&M’s and only 10% of them are poisonous. Go ahead, take a handful.”

Winning my affection every day that one is.

And if #YesAllWomen isn’t enough for you, today I found When Women Refuse, a tumblr of stories about attacks made on women who left or rejected men. You can even add your own here because I’m sure you have a story of your own or your friends.

Media, Sexism, Street Harassment

Nobody Cares

My friend sent me this video yesterday with the following message: “Song about cat calling. It makes me twitch.”

I’m going to give Austin (who just turned 18 this month! Yes, I looked it up, we were all wondering) the benefit of the doubt here. The one thing I can really say for this song is that he is clearly writing directly from his (and if Mahone didn’t write the song himself I’m sure another ‘him’ wrote it on his behalf) perspective. There are admirably a lot of I statements. He describes a personal experience.

When I saw her
Walking down the street
She looked so fine
I just had to speak

I ask her name
But she turned away
As she walked
All that I can say was

Mmm mmm yeah yeah

Turning the other cheek on his failure to pick a tense and stick with it.

Personal. This is what I did, what I saw, what I said. And all I can think is (I’m a medium, if you were wondering)

This ‘experience’ he’s having is one of entitlement and privilege and is a perfect example of how boys are taught that everything that pops into their minds is worth sharing while women are taught to apologize for having an opinion. Nobody cares about your stupid boner. Shut up and go finish your homework.

We don’t care what you think. If we did, we would ask. So keep your equally stupid penis and opinions to yourself. No one asked you.

Art, Media, Sexism

A Very Bad Day Of Gender Swapping

From Wifey.tv comes a story of role reversal and abuse.

The part that rings truest to me is the scene in the police station. How resistant the cops are to caring about his story. Making him listen to the statement as though he weren’t still immediately upset by it and treating him like the problem, like obviously he was doing something wrong to deserve such an attack.

Bodies, Deviant/Default, Sexism

But You’re so Beautiful Without Makeup

This showed up on my dashboard today.

For a great (and quick) comment thread on it click here)

Last week I went out for drinks with a friend and a guy she had been (/has been?) seeing and he asked us why we were wearing make up because we’re just so naturally beautiful.

Wearing make-up is a choice I make every day. Don’t presume that you can meet me and tell me I’m so beautiful that I shouldn’t do it.

I resent your assertion that 1) your opinion on my body is the right one and 2) your opinion on my body is even remotely important to me.

If you’re the kind of guy who feels the need to make his opinions on such things (my choices regarding my body and appearance) known then spoiler alert: I’m not attracted to you and don’t want you to be attracted to me.

I’ve been watching a lot of Secret Diary of a Call Girl lately and in it the titled Call Girl dates a few guys. And they all get to see her in various states of make-up. And they never try to tell her to change it. She’s wearing no make-up and sweat pants? Ok. She’s wearing black glitter false eyelashes and a dress cut up to here and down to there? Ok.

That’s what I want.

Because we all contain multitudes. We all get to be a few different people between breakfast and dinner. And sometimes my outside needs to reflect that. And that is no one’s choice but my own.