Bodies, Confidence, Deviant/Default, Media

Reasons Not To Be Pretty

Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.
~Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (via kosdetermination)

There’s something I’ve been trying to write for a long time but every time I try it comes out sounding like “OMG, being pretty is just so hard!” and that’s very much not what I want it to be.

In this, her fantastic slap in the face of the media, Judd calls out how criticizing other women based on appearances is an act of violence against ourselves and each other which the patriarchy has taught us is ‘normal’.

We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others…

Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. [x]

While being punished for our aesthetic shortcomings may sting more, Judd makes it clear that being praised for good looks is an equally invalidating.  Prettiness is an equal sacrifice of power.

One thing that this fool did get right is that men are taught that they are owed prettiness from the women around them.   Women have two options; be fodder for his wank-bank or be loathed.

You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.

~dressaday

The longer we allow ourselves to be ruled by this guiding principle, that we must be pretty, we are giving our autonomy to others.  When we think that prettiness will buy the things we want we give others the power to say we aren’t pretty enough and use it as a reason to not give us the things we deserve.

Never underestimate the huge middle finger you are giving to the world when you make peace with your body.

~Frances Lockie

Judd was pretty.  Is it making her happier than the rest of us cretins or is she just as miserably scrutinized as the entire rest of the female population?  I rest my case.

Friendship, Intimacy

Frankly Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn

A lot of my friends are confused, and all too often, concerned by my…frankness.

I like to love people out loud.  I hug, I give out kisses like gelt.  When I miss my friends I drop them a text, a cat GIF or a silly quote to let them know.

Loving someone and hoarding that knowledge cheapens the feeling.  A diamond kept in a dusty closet for 100 years may not decrease in value but it certainly isn’t more beautiful for all it’s time away from appreciative eyes.

“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.
“Augustus,” I said.
“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.

I miss my friends.

Confidence, Relationships

Be Kind

Hand out your chuckles while you can.

Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?

 Sai Baba (via earth-beat) (via subhanallah)

Your words have power.  Use them for good.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I strive every day to be not only nice, but kind as described in Marcia Sirota’s Huffington Post article.

The way I understand it, kindness emerges from someone who’s confident, compassionate and comfortable with themselves. A kind person is loving and giving out of the goodness of their heart.

At the root of extreme niceness, however, are feelings of inadequacy and the need to get approval and validation from others. Overly-nice people try to please so that they can feel good about themselves.

Being nice is a learned skill while kindness comes from an air of self love.

Advice, Sex

The Oral Report

A very good friend of mine wrote this up and called it in to a favorite podcast of ours.  If you’re very close to me you might know who she is.  Enjoy.

Hi Dan

I’m a straight girl and I just listened to episode 266 where a woman called in because she doesn’t like going down on her boyfriend.  She was a little unclear about the reasons she doesn’t like giving head and you and Lucy came up with ideas for her if the issue was just the amount of time until reciprocation.

I’ve recently been having a lot of conversations with women who don’t like giving head and I’ve come up with a few rules that help.  Most of my rules are inspired by you anyway so here goes.

1)   Say to your partner out loud “If I do something you like, tell me so I can keep doing it and if I do something you don’t like then tell me so I can stop doing it.”  This reduces anxiety and opens a dialogue while still sounding incredibly hot.

2)   A blowjob is a mouth assisted hand job.  You don’t have to shove the thing down your throat in order for it to be awesome.  You’re not Sasha Grey, don’t pretend that you are.  Also, not just your hands, but his too.

3)    90% trial and error, 10% porn.  You asked him to tell you when you do something right and when you do something wrong, so try things.  Touch things, pull things, bite things, stroke things.  Use your fingertips, tongue, teeth, cheek, palm, get creative.  If he doesn’t like it he’ll tell you and you’ll move on.  If you need more inspiration than just the plethora of types of skin on his junk watch some porn.

I hope that helps!

Thanks,

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.

Bodies, Confidence, Deviant/Default, Female Slavery, Gender, Hope, Obedience, Politics, Sisterhood

Holy Shit Watson, I Think I’ve Got It!

One of the blogs that I like to keep tabs on for potential source material is called My Views on Gender and Art.  It’s a sweet blog with lots of fun media to check out.  Recently she posted an article called Short Skirts Magically Turn Women Into Bitches and I think this article may have unlocked the secret to the universe so bear with me.

The article is written by a male gender studies professor (tangentially related but awesome) and right away he offers us a truism to chew on.

“sisterhood is easier in winter.”

when the weather is cold… and my students are in sweaters and jeans, there’s considerably less intra-female hostility in my classrooms than when the weather turns warm.

Every woman knows exactly what he’s talking about.  When your boyfriend drops by your house after class you want him to find you on the couch with Brittany Murphy from Clueless and thanking his lucky stars for you.

Not painting your toenails with Vanessa Hudgens.

But why?  Why do we, the women, spend so much energy policing what other women are wearing?  Starring and murmuring as Vanexxxa walks in “Who does she think she is?” “What a slut.” Or my favorite, “This is school, not a nightclub.”

We suspect that women who appear sexually available are not perceived as ‘‘safe” friends — they are expected to be mate poachers and they likely devalue a person’s mate value (guilty by association).

The researchers deduct:

 women are threatened by, disapprove of, and punish women who appear and/or act promiscuous.

Did everybody catch that?  We prefer modest girls as friends because we’re concerned that the mini-skirt wearers are boyfriend-stealers.

This is the point in the article where Hugo Schayzer (the professor) becomes sexier than Ryan Gosling.

This “myth of male weakness” outsources men’s sexual self-control to women. For decades now, junk science has foisted the “caveman mystique” onto us, insisting that testosterone, Y chromosomes, and evolution trump the willpower and empathy of even the most well-intentioned dude. We’re hardwired to be promiscuous, hardwired to stare at nubile young women, and hardwired to cheat if given half a chance. Ignoring the reality that women have their own libidos (and their own demonstrable propensity to stray), the male myth advises women to accept men for the perpetual adolescents we are. So women need to control those whom the myth promises are within their power to influence: other women. Women learn to slut-shame and ostracize the miniskirt-wearers whom they see as sexual rivals; men get let off the proverbial hook.

For a long time it has been convenient for the patriarchy to feed the public drivel about  how men are incapable of self-control, zombies in the face of possible boobies.  Convenient because it meant that we would not expect better from them, but rather police, judge and punish the sirens who tried to pry them away from us.

Bitchiness (at least as defined by this study) is rooted in the same set of beliefs as the requirement in other parts of the world where women wear burqas. We demand that women cover up to protect men from temptation because we don’t believe that men are capable of self-control.

That competitive ‘bitchiness’ towards other women is what fosters in women so much discord, so much body-anxiety, low self-confidence and isolation.  Thanks to Hugo now we know better.  And maybe, just maybe, we can start holding men accountable for their actions, having trust for other women regardless of what they’re wearing, and start to see some actual change.

Media

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’?

Confidence

He Dropped His Phone In A Toilet

Sometimes you don’t get the phone call you want.

You’re sitting there waiting for someone to call but know he wont.

So sometimes I play this game.

Why isn’t he calling?

Well he wanted to call but when he tried he dropped the phone in the toilet.

And then he wanted to call so badly that he reached in and got electrocuted.

And then screaming about how badly he needed to get to a phone he ran across the street and got in an accident.

And so on and so forth until he’s in Australia getting chased by koalas and you’re laughing so hard that you’re not upset about the lack of ringing anymore.

It’s not so much about imagining him getting hurt.  It’s more about imaging the most ridiculous of situations.  Sending him to the far corners of the earth in his quest to contact you.

Added benefit: it explains why he hasn’t called, while still letting him be a good guy.  Letting you lie to yourself that he likes you.

And then you’re laughing with your friend instead of waiting by the phone.

I’m not saying it’s the healthiest game ever.  But there are far worse.

Greg Behrendt is much smarter.  No games, no lying to yourself.  Just forward motion.

“If the guy you’re dating doesn’t seem to be completely into you, or you feel the need to start ‘figuring him out,’ please consider the glorious thought that he might just not be that into you. And then free yourself to go find someone that is.”
~ He’s Just Not That Into You
Bodies, Confidence, Sisterhood

A Nun Or A Dishrag

I enjoy Taylor Swift perhaps more than I should.  She just makes me want to jump on my bed in PJ’s that I don’t actually wear with my long flowing blonde curls (which I also absolutely don’t have) bouncing beautifully.  But I’m also aware of all the pro-abstinence language and symbolism in her music and more importantly in her public image.

Now this young lady is more than welcome to make her image into whatever she wants.  But we all need to be careful about demonizing other people and the choices they make with their bodies and their sexuality.  Especially because a lot of your sexuality you don’t get to decide.

I had a guest lecturer the other day who was talking about how different directors find different aesthetics to be elegant.  Different people find different things elegant or beautiful or sexy.  Different women can consider themselves different kinds of sexy.  If dressing like “Trashy” Taylor makes you feel hot then do it.  If dressing like a boy makes you feel sexy then do it.  If dressing like a pretty pretty princess makes you feel beautiful then do it.

Just don’t judge others for picking a different one.  As long as you stick to that rule then you’re golden.  Then we’ll all be golden. Have sisterhood.  Believe in yourself and in other women.  Assume she’s awesome until proven wrong.