This weekend I had a surprise visit from one of my most beloved long distance friendships.
And while we were brunching he said one of my favorite things.
One of the things I hate about being a black man writing about race is knowing that somewhere out there is some white dude who is going to take my opinion (as of this moment, knowing only what I know and feel as of today) and use it as gospel with which to abuse some other black person who happens to have a different opinion from me.
And if he doesn’t exist yet then just by writing it I’ll have popped him into existence.
But you get the gist.
By being a part of this group I get to have an opinion based on my experiences. But that doesn’t mean that you get to take that opinion and run with it, ‘splaining it to everyone who might disagree with me. And worst, using it to abuse them and call them wrong, invalidate their experiences. You get to think a little deeper about the topic. You get to fold it into yourself and make more considerate decisions.
He meta’s even my metas.
Raise a glass to freedom.
I just read this article about Donald Trump treating Megyn Kelly like shit at the debate and I’m fuming. Unfortunately I have absolutely nothing to add to the article, it’s perfect just the way it is.
I know nothing about Megyn Kelly, I heard her name for the first time after the debate had already aired. But are we really surprised that Trump decided he had an issue with the one woman in the room that was, god forbid, questioning him? Did no one else see that coming when they turned on the TV?
The article breaks down Trump’s answer into 5 main components, each designed to dismiss the true nature of the question.
Step 1: Claim that the complaint is an exaggeration in order to imply that the complainant can’t be trusted
Step 2: Dismiss demands for respect and equality as mere “political correctness”
Step 3: Insist that this complaint is too minor to bother with when there are more important things to worry about
Step 4: Say it was just “fun”
Step 5: Pretend the complaint is really just about personal animosity [x]
This is a perfect recipe for dismissing valid claims and it works perfectly all across the country every day.
All I can say is be vigilant. Now that you know how the opposition plays you can have a more secure defense.
Yesterday I watched a biography of Susan Sontag. I’m a bit embarrassed to say I haven’t read (or watched) any of her work before and her name kept coming up in articles, musicals, I was ready to see what the fuss was about and HboGo had a documentary.
I’m glad I watched it in general, she was certainly a fascinating woman.
But to me, the most important moment in the movie wasn’t about feminism or sexuality, it was about being a Jew.
I get asked a lot what it means to me to be Jewish and I never have a good answer. Well, now I know what my answer is.
Interviewer: Being Jewish—does it matter to you?
Sontag: It matters in the sense that I would always stand up and be counted any time that it mattered for other people. I’m Jewish because other people say I am and because that’s what I am sociologically or historically. I come from a family which generations ago belonged to a religious culture. [x]
I’m a Jew when it matters to other people, when it has mattered and when it matters again.
And that’s what makes Anti-semetic attacks scary, they’re on just that kind of Jew, which is to say all of them.
To be a Jew you don’t have to believe in G-d, only in being Jewish.
I love this trend of political statement ‘makeup tutorials.’
Megan MacKay has a few really good ones like this one about cultural appropriator extraordinaire Urban Outfitters.
This one about the slut shaming Hobby Lobby decision.
I want to be her friend.
Michelle Fan has also been doing great ones for a while, like this one about religious insanitist Michele Bachmann.
And this one about abuse ignoring Joe Paterno.
And of course, one of my favorites, Anna Akana’s ‘daily’ routine.
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.
Alright, woman against feminism, lets take a look at your argument here.
First off, I’m going to do you a favor and excuse your grammar, because that would be a low blow. Maybe you are multiple people. Maybe you have a split personality disorder. I don’t know your life, I don’t know your choices. You (plural) love to cook for your men (plural) in your singular house. That sounds like a lot of dishes to me but hey, it’s your ruined manicure, not mine.
You believe that you don’t need feminism because you’d rather be a homemaker. Ok, I see your logic.
The current status quo is more than happy to let you continue languishing at the stove and sink, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
But I must ask, do you have any interest in voting? It’s great that you’ve found something you like to do (cooking and cleaning for all your men) but what if one day you get fired from that job and have to find a new one. Or perhaps there isn’t enough money coming in and you are forced to find employment outside your home. Perhaps you’d like, say, the ability to be hired at a job you’d enjoy only slightly less. Perhaps feminism could help you out there by ensuring you’re not unfairly discriminated against, so you can land a job. Or by ensuring that you’ll be paid as much as your male counterparts. Or simply by elevating the social status of your housekeeping (yes, that is a part of feminism) so that when you do have to get this hypothetical job the potential employer sees your past at home as valuable.
So really your placard should read “I need feminism because my society sees me as a second class citizen for making life choices based on my desires while having a vagina.”
Point number two: Enjoying cooking and cleaning makes you more of a #TrueWomen than me? You consider yourself a woman and I consider myself a woman. That’s all it takes to be a woman. I do not see your leap in logic there.
When I was a kid my mom had a friend that always wanted “Better”. His microwave broke? Time to get the next size up. More features, more perks, more digital, more fancy. You know; “Better.”
At my house our oven broke and we got one the same size because a bigger one is actually an inconvenience. The iron broke and we got a smaller one because it was better at sleeves. But we had specific priorities. The oven had to be a specific height so dad didn’t have to lean over. We didn’t need the newest model, just the one that was wall mountable and the right width.
We got one that fit our lives. We were setting our own standards. What is important to me? What am I looking for from this? What are my priorities? Self-cleaning? Portable? Wireless?
It’s like how you don’t just go to the store and buy the biggest vibrator you can find. You figure out if what you want first. Is it a vibrator or a dildo? then you figure out what you’re looking for from it; intense rumbles or a big enough handle to rock it back and forth? Does the handle need to be comfortable from your vantage point or your partners? That’s why there are so freaking many options.
When I tell people I write a feminist blog sometimes they tell me something crazy; that some women just want to be mothers and I’m a big meanie for trying to dissuade them.
Hilarious. Quite the contrary. I don’t want everyone to run out and try to get the same life I want. That would be entirely too much competition. I want people to use their own standards and figure out their priorities and then go after the things they want. If that’s kids then great, if it’s presidency then great.
My feminism is about all people having access to the careers and options that make them happy regardless of their sex, gender, race, class, etc.
That’s why mandatory maternity leave for CEO’s is just as important as respecting the rights of caregivers.
I believe in a feminism that encourages all people to make the decisions and chase the dreams they find within themselves. We need to remember that housework is just as important as bread winning. As long as we consider child rearing petty ‘women’s work’, the patriarchy is winning. And we can’t have that now can we?