Consent, Hope

The James Deen Rape Allegations

So this happened apparently.

Which hurts. No matter how much it hurts though, one has to side with anyone who is brave enough to come forward about being a victim.

Whether it’s Ke$ha (even people who choose weird stage names deserve to have their bodies respected) who is facing a potentially career-ending decision and is being incredibly brave anyway.

Or Cosby’s victims who have had their reputations dragged through the mud by people who conflate the character the man plays with the actor himself.

Or friends who have their own reasons to fear retribution, slander and other untold consequences.

But sometimes it’s difficult.

Because we think we know something about the accused. Because the allegations go against our preconceived notions of what that person is like. A friend, a star we’ve seen interviewed, someone we thought spoke our language. And how disappointing is it to be wrong, to be challenged in our belief in goodness?

And yet “James Deen held me down and f—ed me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I can’t just nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.”

I used the safeword we agreed on and he ignored it. What more should ever need to be said?

I’ve broken up with people for more innocuous forms of treachery.

But it does break my heart. To see someone I trusted fall from grace.

I don’t believe that the pedestal was too tall. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for, a kinky, beautiful Jew who cares about pleasure and respects you at the same time.

I guess we’ll all just have to keep searching for him, and hope that some good and healing can come from this. Perhaps it’ll be the rest of the world learning how to take sexual abuse allegations seriously and swiftly.

My heart bleeds for the people who have been assaulted, whether that be by someone who violated a scenario based on trust, or violated a scenario based on trust, or violated a scenario based on trust.

But we need to remember,

I can regret holding Deen up as a paragon of what a sex partner should be, but I won’t regret my hope that he could have been.

Feelings, Hope

Life is Skittles and Life is Beer

I’m not one much for video games. The only one I’ve ever really liked is Bubble Shooter. You know, this one.

It’s actually the only game I have on my phone and I love it.

I’ve actually been stuck on one level for a few months now. And I stopped playing it a while ago out of frustration.

And then today, on the train home from an exhausting week, I beat the level. Just like that.

And what’s more, this song was playing on my iPod at the time.


And I realized; it’s been a long, hard winter, but spring is coming and it will get better soon.

A barony of ivy in the trees
Expanding out its empire by degrees
And all the branches burst to bloom
In the boom

Gender, Hope, Rights

A Time Of Hope And Baking

Sometimes I find things that give me hope. They aren’t particularly connected to the normal FemaleGazing material but they make me feel things, and in a way that is the entire point of FemaleGazing.

Usually I just hold on to them and try to share them with my friends but I’m going to share this one with you. Just because.

Andrew Solomon

Einstein and his therapist. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” -Hemingway

And, completely unrelated, here is another story, a favorite for a friend and me. The second story is such a keeper. Are you a baker too?

Erin Barker

Hope, Politics

How Obama Kept His Promise

In the wake of the election I keep hearing and saying the following: “It’s not that I’m excited Obama won, it’s that I’m relieved.”

In 2008 Barack Obama ran on the promise of Hope and Change.  And while he got the ball rolling on health insurance he hasn’t been able to keep all his promises.

In Anne Helen Petersen’s hilarious recounting of Reagan’s acting career she says this about the President.

Obama rode the energy of his star machine into office, but failed to manifest the central tenant of that image — hope — on a daily basis. He concerned himself with governing: with the long-term, thoroughly unsexy reforms that would engender hope as opposed to simply paying lip service to it. It’s been a disappointment to a lot of people — many of whom got off the Bush Star Train to hop on Obama’s. Obama may always be a mediocre star, but he might yet be a great president.

When Obama won in 2008 I was excited, but excitement wears off.  This time around I’m not excited.  This time around all I can think of is “Good, maybe I won’t have to live in the most embarrassing country on earth.  Good, maybe I won’t be ashamed.  Good, there might still be hope.”

I don’t think this is how he expected to come through on that promise but when you tally up his promises fulfilled and promises broken today we can check that one off.

Friendship, Hope, Sisterhood

I Just Called To Say I Love You

Today was hard.  I found out that some things I was excited about (jobs, apartments) fell through.  And so I called my best friend.

Because sometimes it feels like the worst thing about life is the fact that it goes on.And you know that the biggest blockade in your path is yourself.

But then maybe it’s a good thing I feel this lost.

And yet today I couldn’t help but feel like the personification of this.

Thank goodness for best friends.

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

– Muhammad Ali

Confidence, Hope, Queer, Sexuality

It Gets Better

Hello world!  Yesterday I took a day off from posting because I did two the day before and I must admit to feeling a little guilty.

Last night I was catching up on my favorite weekly advice columns and came across something really great in Dan Savage’s Column that I wanted to share with you.

So basically A trans-lady wrote in.  She was asked out by a guy at a sandwich shop and didn’t know whether or not to trust the guy doing the asking.  Was Mr. Sandwich a creep who wanted to take out some trans-hate on our dear reader or did he have honorable romantic intentions?  Our new trans friend here was lacking a little confidence.  And, as usual, Dan said something universally insightful.

My inbox sags under the weight of e-mails from straight/straight-identified guys who are desperate to meet transwomen/trans- somethings, and not all of them prefer passables. So it’s possible that this guy saw trans- something, unpassable you and decided to go for it because you’re everything he’s ever wanted.

Followed shortly by

if he begins to treat you like you’re stuck with him because no one else will ever want you (not true—remember my inbox!), dump the motherfucker. It’s better to be alone than to be with an asshole who preys on your insecurities to keep you coming back for more abuse.

Next time you’re feeling down just remember that someone out there is writing to an advice columnist, moaning on about how they can’t find that wonderful person that is you.

And I’m so excited to stick around and hear about them.