Art, Deviant/Default, Media, Rape

New York’s Girls, Baby Feet and The Perils of Female Self-Esteem

Last week a friend sent me a link to this article which pretty accurately called out the uselessness of this NYC ad campaign.

To be fair, when I saw the ads on the subway my first thought was, “Cool, way to prove you’re actually throwing money at the problem of low female self-esteem.” quickly followed by “to what extent?”

The ad’s are sort of meh. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that a group of people decided that NYC girls were a smart use of resources but what exactly are we telling them. A big old dose of “You’re a girl and you’re beautiful the way you are.” Doesn’t that just taste like a full packet of Sweet-N-Low dumped in a can of Coke Zero? Overly saccharine and fake as hell?

What about something interesting? Something different.

What if instead of telling girls “You’re a girl and you’re beautiful. You’re welcome for me saying it.” we just allowed them to feel wonderful.

What if instead of trying to boost girls self esteem by telling them why they’re “Beautiful” (maybe they don’t want to be “beautiful,” it’s a really heavy word in our culture) we just remind them of a time when they felt incredible about themselves, all on their own.

We could run these images with facts like:

  • By 1990 the average age that a girl began dieting had dropped to eight from fourteen in 1970.
  • Roughly one half of girls in 4th grade are on diets.
  • According to a study from the University of Central Florida, nearly 50% of girls aged three to six were already concerned about their weight.
  • A study showed that women experience an average of 13 negative thoughts about their body each day, while 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment each day.
  • Four out of five women in the U.S. are unhappy with their appearance.
  • 81% of ten-year-old girls experience a fear of being fat.
  • 42% of 1st through 3rd grade girls say they wish they were thinner.
  • Every year, the average adolescent sees over 5,000 advertisements mentioning attractiveness.
  • A People magazine survey showed that 80% of female respondents felt that women in movies and television programs made them feel insecure about their bodies. [x]

“Remember, your body is magic.”

Or maybe just, “Deflate rapist’s boners, inspire confidence in your daughter.” (more on that when the smoke stops coming out of my ears).

In short, this quote might be the best description I’ve found yet.

“Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet.”
– Mary Lambert

Why did your mother love your baby feet? Because they contained all the potential of you. She loved imagining how they would carry you to all the places you would want to go. They didn’t define you but she loved them for just being part of the magnificence that was you.

Your body is just a part of you that takes you where you need to go and brings you back and that can be loved just for doing that job as well as it can.

Bodies, Confidence

A Skinny Girl On Fat Phobia

Today I lift a post completely from somewhere else because it’s already perfect.

From One Skinny Girl To Others: A Few Words on Fat Phobia

July 5, 2012

I have often made the argument that white folks ought to talk to other white folks about racism and white privilege. As people of color, we get tired of having to always be the ones to talk about these things, always having to be responsible for other people’s education and understanding, when these issues are not our issues, but the issues of a whole country and a whole world. It is important for white people to educate themselves about race, racism, white privilege, and white supremacy. It is necessary. In the same way, it is necessary, and in fact ideal, for men to talk to other men about misogyny and rape-culture. That should not always be the job of women. These things are everyone’s problems.

Yesterday I watched this great video

by Meghan Tonjes and was reminded how little I have been talking to other skinny (or just not fat) women about fat phobia lately. And I thought it was time to write a lil blog about it.

I have often had the experience of hanging with women who are thin like myself, or bigger than me, but not fat, and hearing fat-phobic comments. Once, I was chatting with a co-worker who was flipping through an entertainment magazine, and she was going on and on about how good all these thin women looked, from their bodies to their hair and their clothes. Then she got to a photo of a fat woman. And her face got all twisted up. “Ugh. She needs to lose some weight,” she said.

I was like, “Dude. That’s not cool. You’re being fat phobic.”

And she was like, “No, I’m not! I just think it’s bad to be that fat. I mean, it’s just so UNHEALTHY!”

And you know I had to call bullshit. You just sat here worshiping ten different women who probably barely weigh a hundred pounds apiece soaking wet with a million dollars worth of jewelry on, and now all of a sudden you are worried about women’s health? I’m not buying it.

As a skinny woman, and at times an under-weight woman, I can say there is nothing automatically healthy about being thin. Being underweight is a health risk. Not eating properly, not getting enough fat, is a serious problem. Some of the risks of not being fat enough:

  • weakened immune system
  • fragile bones
  • infertility
  • vitamin-deficient anemia
  • osteoporosis
  • amenorrhea

I rarely hear anyone talking about these health risks. Skinny women are plastered everywhere, held up as an ideal, and nobody ever says, “Oh my God, Reese Witherspoon probably has a seriously weakened immune system!” Yet when talking about a fat person, everyone assumes they know everything about that person’s health, just because they are fat.

Can you be thin and be healthy? Sure. Of course. I am thin and I think I am pretty healthy. I have friends who are not thin, and friends who are fat, who are as healthy as I am. I have friends who are fat who are much healthier than I am. Our weight does not automatically determine how healthy we are.

And, really, let’s be honest, little of this is about health anyway. Talking about it in terms of health is just a convenient way to make fat people, especially fat women, wrong. We live in a society that takes great pains to control women’s bodies, to make sure that women have as little say over their own bodies as possible, and this is no different. If a woman is fat, and God-forbid, happy with her fat self, we are deeply offended. How dare she not let us control her?? Who the hell does this fat bitch think she is??

Maybe she thinks she is a human being with a brain and a soul and myriad experiences that make up a three-dimensional life. Maybe that’s who the hell she thinks she is.

Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She just finished a novel and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. Her work has been published at, and recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.

Dear Readers,

If you are reading this blog for the first time, or if you have read it many times before, please consider supporting it and the writers whose voices it seeks to amplify. The Black Girl Dangerous Writing Workshop for queer, trans*, and gender-non-conforming writers of color needs your help to make radical writing workshops possible. There are only 2 days left! Thousands of people read this blog, and if everyone who reads it and enjoys it today makes a contribution, we will meet our goal. Watch the video and read about the project here. Thanks!

Guest post, Rape

Guest Post – Got it Master Chief?

A dear lady-friend of mine has been feeling very frustrated at a very close guy friend of hers who forced himself on a girl at a party recently.  I think she needs to read her words aloud to him but then again, what do I know?

Without further ado, an open letter from Ophelia Cumberbatch.

Dear Beautiful, Powerful, Well-Meaning Best Man Friend:

Listen up, because I’m only going to say this once: If you think for just an inkling of a moment that you raped her, you probably did. If she said that you raped her, you probably did. If you find your self making excuses about how she said “no” but kept going you raped her. You definitely did.

I say her because the anecdotal person here is a she but that she could be he or zie or ne or ve or xe, whatever that person’s chosen pronoun may be. (If you grumble about the pronouns we will have to have another conversation like this, about your position with kyriarchy and how sometimes I want to choke you because you don’t. Fucking. Understand.)

I am sick of having conversations with you about how things “weren’t clear,” and that she said no but her voice said yes and that she had been flirting with you all night. I want to be your understanding cool lady friend who watches baseball with you, who ties your tie, kicks your ass at Halo, and loves you like a brother, but I can’t do that after you tell me that “she said no but then I tried again and she said yes.” I love you, man, but really? You think it wasn’t rape because you’d been making out? Because you knew each other? Because you’d hooked up once before? Because you crossed the “she’s into me, she’s into it” threshold and now there’s no going back? Ever?

The hierarchy of rape (“forcible” or stranger rape vs. the much more common “date rape” or “acquaintance rape,” i.e. being raped by someone you know, or even love) is a completely unfair standard that cheapens the experience of one set of victims over another, favoring the black and white scenarios that allow for a ghostly masked rapist to absorb the ire of a community while keeping us from thinking about the attitudes of our friends, our family, and (most terrifyingly) our lovers.

It’s true that many cases of date and acquaintance rape and similar “confused consent” incidents are cases of misunderstanding, but they are also issues of disrespect and a failure to communicate, not in terms of talking but in terms of listening. Being a good sexual partner means noticing your partner’s physical cues. Being a good person means noticing their emotional state. That means knowing the person well enough to know when she’s scared or hiding something. If you don’t know them very well (which happens), you have to be even more vigilant.

Dearest bro friend, dearest unbelievably gorgeous bro friend, this is your girl talking to you, you intellectual fuck buddy, your mama and your little sister all rolled into one. I am asking, begging, no, demanding that you fetishize consent, dear. Fetishize it. It’s easy if you try. “Yes” is the most beautiful word in the world.  “Yes” is what you want your partner to say all the time every time. “Yes” is the only thing that revs your engine. When you know the person, when you’ve talked about it beforehand, you can go through rape role play. You can go hardcore with the toys and the ropes and strange wrestling moves you learned in middle school. Have fun. (You big slut good for you!) but please, please, please, make “YES” in big huge, sunny yellow letters your big goal. “Do you want to _____ ?” “YES” “Are you sure?” “YES!”





“No” is not a turn-on. “No” is a huge boner-kill. It is not a negotiation. It is a huge red flag. Other things that are no include “Not right now,” “I’m not feeling well” and the physical moving of hands away from her or an area of her body. Your partner doesn’t have to “be clear” with you. If you’re making out and you try to move to another phase of lovemaking and s/he says no, that’s off the menu for tonight. End of story. The kitchen is closed. Don’t try again in twenty minutes. Don’t try again in three hours. Talk about it with your clothes on, after you’ve finished your meal. If you do your job right, you’ll be invited in again. (See what I did there?)

Yeah, I know. Sex is complicated. Love is complicated. You had to chase her for a while before she agreed to a date. Somewhere along the line, someone told you that you had to fight for your girl, that jealousy can be sexy, that protectiveness can be sexy, that control can be sexy. You were just giving her what she said she wanted. She said yes before. She was a little tipsy. More importantly, you were too. You can’t be held responsible for what happened. You had chemistry, there’s no denying that. Misunderstandings happen all the time.

Honey, baby, bear, kindly shut the fuck up. Unlike many misunderstandings, these mistakes have catastrophic costs to everyone touched by the incident. The person you raped or sexually assaulted is sitting at home feeling like they suddenly don’t know what they want. She’s trying to decide whether the helplessness, the emotional and physical pain she just went through was her fault. After a lot of self torture (probably days, usually weeks or even years), she might get up the courage to tell someone what happened: a friend, a parent, or a mentor. That person is going to feel just as helpless as your lover did. They’re going to feel angry and hurt and unbelievably frustrated because they don’t know how to fix it. They don’t know how to make it better. They’re going to wish they had been at the party. If they know both of you, they’re going to wish they had explained to you what it’s like to be a confused, scared rape victim, to try to make “no” sound like a nice, nonthreatening, nonjudgemental statement because nice girls don’t shut men down, because girls who say no don’t get asked back. They’re going to wish they had told you about how they were raped, and how it changed them.

That’s if that first witness believed her, but only if. That person might ask, “Well, what were you wearing? Had you been drinking? Did you flirt? Hadn’t you said you like him?” And so she disappears into herself, shackled in a subjectivity that society forced on her. She has no right to be mad or hurt. She should have said something other than “come hither.”

You may genuinely feel bad. Because I know and love you, I’m pretty sure you will. You’ll wonder how you could have let this happen. You’ll think of all the ways that she could have been more clear about saying no, trying to distract yourself from the multiplying ways in which you decided that she said yes.

You may feel so bad that you’re suicidal. I’m sorry, but I don’t care. This isn’t about you. This is about her. This is about us. You and me. Me and you. This wonderful sexual tension filled tornado of awesome that we’ve had going on since we were both scared and lonely so very long ago. Because you’ve scared me to my core. Maybe scarred as well. This word fills my head whenever I see you. When you hug me (RAPE), when you tease me (RAPE), when you put your hands over my eyes and make me guess (RAPE. YOU’RE A RAPIST DON’T TOUCH ME.) Because if you hurt her you could hurt me. And here’s our little secret: There was a time when I wanted you to hurt me. Just not like that.

You make me question every instinct I have, every deep dark turn on I’ve had, every man I’ve ever felt safe with. You make me afraid of the night. I used to be that girl who loved empty streets and broken street lamps, the girl who sought out adventure because I was immortal and safe and strong. I trusted my instincts, I kept my keys sticking out between my fingers. I thought that I knew how to say no, but it catches in my throat when you look at me, my eyes screaming it but my tongue saying nothing.

You’ve damaged somebody. Hopefully not permanently, but you may have. You drove drunk and you hit someone. That person didn’t have to say “Don’t hit me with a car.” You hit them. You have to live with that.

You don’t get to dismiss that guilt, that reality, so you can sleep through the night. Guilt makes you a better person. It keeps you from being a sociopath and a psychopath and all the other paths that I don’t want to walk down. I was pretty sure I wasn’t friends with a sociopath but hey, I’m a lady and I don’t know what I want, so who knows?

The sooner you admit that what you did was wrong the sooner everyone will heal, and the easier it will be for me to be your lady friend again, if at all. But if you ever say “She should have said no more clearly,” to me ever again, I will strangle you with your own tie. Got it, Master Chief?

Bodies, Confidence, Deviant/Default, Friendship

Friend Zone Believers Are Not My Friends

One of my lady friends recently sent me a great blog to follow and it’s been making me so happy that I want it to make you happy too! Enter Captain Awkward who answers any of those pesky questions you’ve been having about anything potentially awkward or social.

The good Cap’n wrote something I’d like to look at for a bit.

First, I’d like to signal-boost this post which perfectly sums up everything I hate about the idea of the Friend Zone. We all get crushes, right? And sometimes those crushes are on our friends, or we get crushes that turn into friendships. If your friends are awesome, and you’re with me on the “don’t date people who aren’t as cool as your friends” train, it’s bound to happen to you sooner or later. Describing that as “The Friend Zone” implies that you feel a sense of entitlement towards that person and think they owed you something different. If it’s not a friendship that sustains itself once the possibility of getting laid/loved is off the table? Simple. Don’t be friends with people you don’t value for their own sake. [x]

This is what made me fall in love with the Captain and it relates to something else I read recently, something related but taking a different perspective, in my humble opinion, the wrong one.  This article has some VERY problematic stuff in it but it makes one point that is true.  One of the ways in which patriarchy has propagated misogyny is by promising every media-consuming little boy a hot girlfriend just for breathing regardless of if she’s really interested in him.

When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE … and so on.

Hell, at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the dry cleaner. [x]

What I find so very problematic about the article that this originates from is that the writer later reveals himself to be the kind of guy who uses the term ‘friend-zone’ in earnest.

Believing in the existence of friend-zoning means that you think women (who you deserve to sleep with by nature of the existence of their vaginas) choose not to sleep with you only to be cruel and not because they have autonomy/desires/a lack of attraction to you or one of a whole slew of other good reasons to choose not to sleep with you.

Between his tone and his #3 rule about his penis having a brain of its own that is bigger than the one in his head, he once again shoots all women in the foot by bringing it back to how men really are the victim.  As he puts it:

Science doesn’t seem to totally understand why the “base urges” part of the brain reacts differently in men. Maybe it’s just a matter of having 10 times as much testosterone in their system, or maybe society has trained us to be like this, or maybe we’re all spoiled children. My theory is that evolution needs males who will stay horny even in times of crisis or distress, and thus cuts off the brain’s ability to tamp down those urges. Whatever — nailing down the cause isn’t the point.

I disagree, I think the cause is very important.  This is not biology, this is far away from Darwin.  Meanwhile in the post which the Captain was signal-boosting:

Women are told almost constantly—by the media, the government, and the overall attitude of society—that our bodies don’t fu*king belong to us. The mythical friendzone is just another way for misogynists to enforce that idea while getting to play the victim. [x]

Don’t get me wrong, I can go on about why patriarchy is bad for men but that’s not what this guy bemoaning his ‘love/hate relationship’ with his penis talking about.  What he means is that because he was born with a Y chromosome he is always going to want and think about sex and so women should cover up so he won’t get an embarrassing (boo freaking hoo) boner in public.

At this point I’d like to say that the next time someone tells you that ‘men are just hornier than women’ you should direct them to me so I can tell them about my female friends.  My female friends who knock very loudly on each others doors and shout ‘are you masturbating?’ before entering.  My friends who use OKCupid to solicit very scandalous things.  My friends who are good buddies with Chrome’s Incognito feature.  My housemates who, when the internet was slow, would say ‘it’s all that James Deen I’m downloading upstairs.’  Men are NOT just naturally hornier than women.

Men are told that they are allowed to be who they are including their perfectly natural sexual desires on top of the message that wanting more sex makes you more manly while women are told that they should be ‘pure’ sexless beings regardless of their actual desires on top of the message that wanting sex will make them (dare I say it) less feminine/desirable/marriageable.  Combine these things and what do you get?  A lot of men with a varied sexual libidos acting like they want sex all the time and a lot of women with varied sexual libidos acting like they don’t want sex all the time.

This is not biology.  This is the cultural kool-aid you’re drinking and brewing and bathing your children in.

People (worthwhile, mature people at the very least) do not reject other people out of spite, they reject people because they are not attracted to them for one reason or another.  Believers in the friend zone, get over it, someone isn’t attracted to you.  How fortunate that there are other human beings in this world for you to flirt with.

Bodies, Deviant/Default, Gender, Obedience, Queer, Sisterhood

I Am Not My Dress

The other day I ate at a Chili’s and the woman behind the counter was pretty clearly trans.  It made me so happy and got me thinking.

My recently acquired friends tease me for dressing most days like a tomboy.  The other day a friend tried to compliment me, telling me that heads turn when I walk and my roommate teased me ‘she’s a feminist.  She hates that.’

Yesterday I wore a dress.  I’m not going to show you a picture of the dress but I can tell you that any man who saw me in this dress immediately imagined much closer to this:

It’s a great dress but I woke up in the morning feeling like a fraud.  Like I put on Kate Moss Drag last night and had anyone woken up next to me they would have been realized that I was not the Kate Upton character I’d tricked them into going home with the night before.  Like Rita Hayworth said: “They go to bed with Gilda; they wake up with me.” 

Then I read this:

“The fact is that transgender people—in particular, transgender people of color—have simply not experienced the same strides forward as their lesbian, gay and bisexual brothers and sisters. A landmark new report, ‘Injustice at Every Turn,’ presents undeniable proof. This report, released on Friday, is based on a comprehensive survey of over 6,000 transgender people and the findings are too shocking to ignore, especially when it comes to African-American transgender people.

Our transgender brothers and sisters are far more likely to lack proper medical care, to be unemployed, to live in extreme poverty, and to be HIV-positive—and that’s when compared to their white transgender counterparts, not just the general population. The survey’s respondents were four times more likely than the general population to live in extreme poverty. One in five reported having been refused a home or apartment, another one in five report having been refused health care. More than one in five, 22 percent, reported having been harassed by law enforcement, and nearly half reported fear of seeking assistance from police. African American respondents reported all of this in even higher numbers.”

-Mandy Carter, Still No Freedom Rainbow for Transgender People of Color 

If you haven’t already, I recommend taking a look at that report. The race statistics are sobering, and too important to ignore. [x]

Why do I like wearing mens clothes and huge shirts?  Why do I ‘hate’ looking at a man’s face and knowing he’s imagining me in my underthings?  Why do I resent compliments on my physical appearance?

lady: I don’t want to go to Hooters. I’ve only been there once and on the way out they gave me a job application.
gentleman: Well you do have huge breasts.
lady: Yes?
gentleman: Isn’t that a compliment?
lady: No. That’s a fact.
gentleman: Oh. They’re very nice too.
lady: Thank you. [x]

Because I think it’s complete bull that due to my ability to conform to the fantasies of thousands of rich white men I’m treated any better than the contestants on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

It sickens me that its so accepted that the answer among women is to add make up and victorias secret products to make themselves more perfect, more acceptable, more smooth and ‘female’ rather than reject the notion that More-Marilyn-Monroe-Like must be better than less.

It sickens me that we add makeup and cinching belts to prove ourselves better at this masquerade we call ‘feminine’ rather than pointing out it’s inherent flaws.

I’m not a fleshlight

I’m not a child

I do not live for your attention or your approval.

I am simply as much of a person with as much right to my life and my choices as you, no matter what genitalia I’m born with, what I wear or how I decide to look.

Why is that such a hard concept?

It’s not feminism, it’s humanism.

Abuse, Media, Relationships

Chris Brown-No Witty Remarks

Today Perez Hilton released the court documents describing Chris Brown’s violent attack against Rihanna.  I am lost for words and will now attempt to cobble together a post it.  First the transcript.  Huge trigger warning.

“Brown was driving a vehicle with Robyn F. as the front passenger on an unknown street in Los Angeles. Robyn F. picked up Brown’s cellular phone and observed a three-page text message from a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with.

A verbal argument ensued and Brown pulled the vehicle over on an unknown street, reached over Robyn F. with his right hand, opened the car door and attempted to force her out. Brown was unable to force Robyn F. out of the vehicle because she was wearing a seat belt. When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against he passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion.

Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.’s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.

Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated, ‘I’m going to beat the sh– out of you when we get home! You wait and see!’

The detective said “Robyn F.” then used her cell phone to call her personal assistant Jennifer Rosales, who did not answer.

Robyn F. pretended to talk to her and stated, ‘I’m on my way home. Make sure the police are there when I get there.’ After Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated, ‘You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I’m really going to kill you!’

Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in [an] attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.

Brown continued to punch Robyn F. on her left arm and hand, causing her to suffer a contusion on her left triceps (sic) that was approximately two inches in diameter and numerous contusions on her left hand.

Robyn F. then attempted to send a text message to her other personal assistant, Melissa Ford. Brown snatched the cellular telephone out of her hand and threw it out of the window onto an unknown street.

Brown continued driving and Robyn F. observed his cellular telephone sitting in his lap. She picked up the cellular telephone with her left hand and before she could make a call he placed her in a head lock with his right hand and continued to drive the vehicle with his left hand.

Brown pulled Robyn F. close to him and bit her on her left ear. She was able to feel the vehicle swerving from right to left as Brown sped away. He stopped the vehicle in front of 333 North June Street and Robyn F. turned off the car, removed the key from the ignition and sat on it.

Brown did not know what she did with the key and began punching her in the face and arms. He then placed her in a head lock positioning the front of her throat between his bicep and forearm. Brown began applying pressure to Robyn F.’s left and right carotid arteries, causing her to be unable to breathe and she began to lose consciousness.

She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her. While Brown continued to punch her, she turned around and placed her back against the passenger door. She brought her knees to her chest, placed her feet against Brown’s body and began pushing him away. Brown continued to punch her on the legs and feet, causing several contusions.

Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away. A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.’s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response. An investigation was conducted and Robyn F. was issued a Domestic Violence Emergency Protective Order. [x]

This week the music industry welcomed Chris Brown back with open arms like the prodigal son himself and when the media dared to mention that which should not be forgotten he fired off at them:

HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That's the ultimate F*** OFF!


DEAR MEDIA.. Ur plan is not working. I’m not going anywhere so get used to me [x]

Thank you Perez Hilton for once again keeping it classy:

Fine … but he has to get used to the fact that there is no media conspiracy to keep him down. In fact, if you took a poll, we’re sure EVERYONE would agree that they would love to stop talking about it all together.

But as soon as it stops, as soon as one person just lets what he did slide, then it’s like telling the world what he did was alright. And it wasn’t. It isn’t. It NEVER WILL BE. [x]

This is the problem with people who say ‘Yes, but I really like his music.’

When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it trivializes misogyny.

When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it conveys the message that whatever men want to talk about is more important than misogyny.

When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject to something that’s about them, it conveys the message that men are the ones who really matter, and that any harm done to men is always more important than misogyny.

And when the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it comes across as excusing misogyny. It doesn’t matter how many times you say, “Yes, of course, misogyny is terrible.” When you follow that with a “Yes, but…”, it comes across as an excuse. In many cases, it is an excuse. And it contributes to a culture that makes excuses for misogyny.

– Greta Christina at freethoughtblogs on excusing misogyny and derailing (via she-hulk-smash)

Then the report came out of Brown’s ‘pick-up line’

‘Can I get your number? I promise I won’t beat you!’

He and his friends laughed, then one yelled, ‘That’s his new line!’ [x]

Chris Brown, it is a big deal that you are coming back into my world because I don’t want you here.  You do not deserve it.

And of course we all know that Rihanna and Brown are talking/seeing each other/recording together again .

It wouldn’t be surprising if Rihanna got back together with Chris Brown. Most women return to their abusers, repeatedly. What’s wrong with this scenario is that it is so public and has so many young impressionable eyes watching and unfortunately taking note. Furthermore, the conversation around domestic violence in the wake of the 2009 beating will surely be shut down for the most part because many will say, “well Rihanna got over it, why can’t you?” [x]

 All of this is happening during a week where my brain is also processing XXL’s decision to run a video starring Too $hort teaching middle school boys how to commit sexual assaultChris Brown being welcomed back to the Grammys as if Rihanna did this [to] her face all by herself, Virginia literally trying to pass a bill that rapes women with a foreign object, the assertion that women in the military should “expect” to be raped, and the Republican party voting against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

It has been a triggering week to say the least. TGIF. [x]

Deviant/Default, Friendship, Gender, Media, Obedience, Rape, Sex, Sisterhood

Because They Are Not Human And They Are Not The Same As You

An article ran in Jezebel recently that upset a lot of people.  It was called

Can You Tell The Difference Between A Men’s Magazine And A Rapist?

Researchers collected quotes from nudie mags and rapists, mixed them up and asked people which were from magazines and which from rapists.  And people got it wrong.  Here are some examples.

1. There’s a certain way you can tell that a girl wants to have sex . . . The way they dress, they flaunt themselves.

2. Some girls walk around in short-shorts . . . showing their body off . . . It just starts a man thinking that if he gets something like that, what can he do with it?

3. A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy.

4. Mascara running down the cheeks means they’ve just been crying, and it was probably your fault . . . but you can cheer up the miserable beauty with a bit of the old in and out.

5. What burns me up sometimes about girls is dick-teasers. They lead a man on and then shut him off right there.

6. Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won’t do any harm either . . . ‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore’ . . .

7. You know girls in general are all right. But some of them are bitches . . . The bitches are the type that . . . need to have it stuffed to them hard and heavy.

8. Escorts . . . they know exactly how to turn a man on. I’ve given up on girlfriends. They don’t know how to satisfy me, but escorts do.

9. You’ll find most girls will be reluctant about going to bed with somebody or crawling in the back seat of a car . . . But you can usually seduce them, and they’ll do it willingly.

10. There’s nothing quite like a woman standing in the dock accused of murder in a sex game gone wrong . . . The possibility of murder does bring a certain frisson to the bedroom.

11. Girls ask for it by wearing these mini-skirts and hotpants . . . they’re just displaying their body . . . Whether they realise it or not they’re saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a beautiful body, and it’s yours if you want it.’

12. You do not want to be caught red-handed . . . go and smash her on a park bench. That used to be my trick.

13. Some women are domineering, but I think it’s more or less the man who should put his foot down. The man is supposed to be the man. If he acts the man, the woman won’t be domineering.

14. I think if a law is passed, there should be a dress code . . . When girls dress in those short skirts and things like that, they’re just asking for it.

15. Girls love being tied up . . . it gives them the chance to be the helpless victim.

16. I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them.

With evidence like this I’m always amazed when men don’t understand that the culture we live in hurts women and that the way it talks about/shows sex with women is inherently violent.

There was a post I did a while back that pointed out how the media and advertising dehumanize women

and how that dehumanization along with sexualized violence

leads to violence against them.

What my male friends who insist that “feminism isn’t necessary anymore” don’t realize is that it isn’t laws that are used to oppress women anymore (outside of the birth control debates), it’s media.

And it’s time we fought back.

Deviant/Default, Man Meat, Politics, Rights

You Should Try

A guy friend of mine reblogged this on tumblr the other day.  I’ve never been so proud of him.

As men, we very rarely, if ever, know what it’s like to face unwelcome comments and jokes from a co-worker and go through a process of deciding, like so many women do, if it’s “worth it” to say or do anything.

We don’t know what it feels like to ask our friends if our arms look fat or to hear comments like “just another ten pounds and you’ll be perfect.” We don’t know what it feels like, because we don’t have to buy Spanx, we don’t have to conform, and we don’t have to combat unhealthy body images coming at us from multiple directions.

We don’t know what it’s like to deal with the burden of birth control. We don’t try to understand what it feels like to remember take a pill every day, to deal with the insurance and associated costs, to confront yearly invasive exams, and to live with possible physical side effects. We don’t seem to realize that birth control is not just an issue for women deal with; it’s an issue that we should also take responsibility for.

We don’t know what it’s like to have our intuition dismissed, especially when we sense danger and feel unsafe. How would we know? We men are perceptive and women are just overreacting.

This is why the sexism we have to combat in this country is the kind we don’t even notice. It’s the sexism that we wave off as, “That’s the way things are.” It’s the kind of sexism we haven’t even started to address in our society at large. And because we refuse to dig deeper to learn about the everyday struggles of women, we persist with behavior that simultaneously hurts women and drives the issue of gender discrimination deeper into a hidden underworld.

Some day men are just unbelievably sexy.

This Is For My Girls All Around The World

I’m not the biggest fan of Christina Aguilera.  She’s no James Taylor.  But I just heard this song today.

And today I love Miss Chris.

This is what ‘Runs the World’ should be.

Just look at the two songs.

First I’d just like to point out how dynamic and interesting the Aguilera song is compared to Beyonce’s.

Aguilera reminds us that if a guy doesn’t respect you, it’s all the more reason to speak your mind.

This is for my girls all around the world
Who have come across a man that don’t respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen not heard
So what do we do, girls, shout louder!

And brings attention to the double standard.

If you look back in history
It’s a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.

While Beyonce reminds us that she’s Helen of Troy and can screw a man into doing what she wants.

My persuasion can build a nation
Endless power, the love we can devour
You’ll do anything for me.

I remember a time when Christina was considered the worst role model for your teenage daughter.  But who do you want influencing your child?  The woman who tells her to fight for her rights or the one who tells her to prostitute herself because it’s the only way to ‘endless power’?