Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This. Cannot. Be Happening.

I can't possibly say anything about this without wanting to throw up. Cara's posted about it. So has Lauredhel. Go see if you haven't already. Warning- this is triggering.
...How the hell is this possible? Whatthefuck is wrong with these people? This judge... I can't get any further than, in all seriousness, "Die in a fire, you utter waste of life".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Because I Just Had To Say It

Here at Things That Piss Me Off dot com, we have another enraging thing to share with you: Some jerk with an uninformed opinion. This was brought up by my anger at a dudely acquaintance of mine, let us call him F. And in this case the F-word in question isn't Feminist. I can't be friends with him anymore because he constantly argues politics with me, which normally is great- for some reason I can't get anyone to talk politics, religion, or anything serious with me to save my life. (I love Buffy as much as the next fingers-in-her-ears-blocking-out-the-issues-with-it feminist, but come on, people! Apathy, much?) But this guy always seems to argue the opposite side of whatever issue we're on. Which gets tiring, but not so tiring as the fact that F's arguing with me about stuff he knows nothing about!

He's a straight, white, able-bodied cisgendered male who knows a lot less about feminist and queer theory than I do, and I admit to being maybe one step up from a novice. How, then, does he get to talk about racism, sexism, misogyny, abortion, rape statistics, and socio-cultural influences on rape culture? I'll give you a hint: it ain't by starting out "I know I'm privileged and have never experienced these things, but I've done some research and I thought maybe..."
No, that would be far too intelligent. He's another dude who benefits from the Patriarchy and his privilege, all the while denying either of those things exist. Wanna hear some of the things he does say? Well, I didn't want to hear 'em either.
-"Feminism is just reverse sexism. If you really wanted everyone to be equal, you'd call yourself a humanist."

-"False rape accusations are common, and I can prove it!" (He then sent me an article stating that 20-25% rape accusations are proven to be false. It was written as an opinion piece for Fox News by WendyMcElroy, editor of ifeminist .com, which I know nothing about. Anybody familiar with her or that site? And anyone who wants to see the article and can't find it, I'll email it to you.)

And variations on this exchange come up all the time. Yay for libertarians [snark].
-F: "Abortions aren't that hard to get. I had a friend who had one once; I went with her and she just did it."
Me: "Yeah, well, luckily we have a PP nearby. What about those women in rural areas? Or scary religious-type areas? Or hey, how about all the women who don't have the money to pay out of pocket, can't use Medicaid and don't have insurance? They're screwed."
F: "Then they shouldn't have had sex. Nobody should have sex who isn't prepared for any consequences that might come up."

Yeah. I can't talk to this dude without being angry for days. The thing is, he's not the only person like this. And I know anyone who's been in the blogosphere for longer than 10 minutes knows it, but I still don't fucking get it, as observed by my comments in
this excellent post over at Questioning Transphobia, and Lisa's reply.

  1. Screaming Lemur Says:
    August 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Great post; it really made me think. And honestly, I still don’t get wherein people don’t understand this simple rule: if you’re not part of the group under discussion, you do not get to define it, tell that group what it ’should’ do, or otherwise make sweeping generalizations about it. I wouldn’t dream of trying to define a trans person’s gender/sex or a POC’s experience with racism, because that experience isn’t mine. Not that I’m saying “I’m so perfect! I deserve cookies”; it’s a simple idea. It just stuns me how many people I talk to daily don’t seem to grasp it.
But thank you for writing this.

  1. Harney Says:
    August 25, 2008 at 5:02 pm
    Because people will do everything they can to ward off the knowledge that the benefits society accords them simply for being believed to be part of the “norm” are unearned and harm people who don’t fit into that same assumed norm... And I think that this knowledge makes people deeply uncomfortable, not that most people are actively invested in hiding the fact that they benefit from any kind of privilege. But this attitude, this reaction is what fuels racist and homophobic ideologies like white supremacist movements or Westboro Baptist Church. And there are people who are actively invested in refuting the idea that privilege exists.

I <3> PhysioProf writes about feminist issues even though he's a dude; there were IIRC other cisgendered commenters over at Questioning Transphobia; and I like Renegade Evolution even though I don't identify as a sex-positive feminist or a sex worker. Being supportive is totally okay, don't misunderstand me!

But the coworker who tried to tell me what gay folks shouldn't be offended by, the commenters who contested Ren's observation about how people describe sex workers, and oh by the way, F who isn't ever going to need an abortion and probably won't ever be raped: This isn't about you. You're coming from a position of privilege and serious ignorance. You don't get to have a dissenting opinion because you don't know what it's like, and therefore don't know what you're talking about, and therefore you sound like an ass.
Shut up for 5 minutes, listen, and accept that the person living the reality has way more right to define it than you ever will.
Gods, people are such jerks and they piss me off!

Monday, August 25, 2008

PSA. Also, Random Fact!

Because I'm move-demented, I'm posting random things as they occur to me. This shit will probably happen til I'm re-homed and settled. And maybe even after that, if I feel like it. Deal with it.

PSA for today:

EVERY FEMALE WHO IS SEXUALLY ACTIVE SHOULD VISIT THE OB-GYN AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR. Every female who isn't sexually active should still go at least once a year after you start your period, or at least when you hit your mid-teens. This came up because I know some women in their mid-20's who've gone like, once. Or never. And they're sexually active. Look, I get that you may have had a bad experience with a doctor. Or that it's scary. And I totally get it if you're poor as hell and don't have money for a doctor unless you're actively bleeding from the eyeballs. Those of us (privileged, I know) who have money for a co-pay or deductible or the few who're solvent yet uninsured, however, have no excuse that I can see.

*Yes, I can say vagina, vulva, uterus and ovaries. I think 'lady-parts' is amusing, and use it to mean all those things in general.*
We only get one set of lady-parts! And I know most of us want them to be functional for at least one of two purposes, if not both. Reproductive health (whether you want kids, don't want 'em, or don't know) and sexual pleasure are a BIG part of what I consider feminism to be about, and they're important. Also, if you're gettin' it on, it's good to be checked to make sure you're STD-free. And hell, if something's wrong and you don't know it til too late, it's not like they hand out spares.
This is not to shame anyone or suggest that some people don't have valid reasons for putting off a doctor visit. It's mostly to inform those women who think it's less important, or don't see a reason to visit the vag-doctor on the regular. It's also to reassure those who think that going to a Gyn. says something about their sexuality, one way or the other. (Yes, I do know someone like this.) It's okay, it doesn't, and nobody will judge you. I promise.

So seriously, if you haven't, or even if you haven't for awhile, go get your ladyparts checked. Your vulva will thank you for it (after it's done bitching about that freezing speculum).

And now,
Random Fact for today:

FERRETS ARE NOT RODENTS. I know, I know, they look kind of rodent-y. They aren't. They're mustelids, which are related to otters, badgers, skunks and wolverines. Their Latin name translates to "stinky mouse-killing thief". I haven't seen Loki hunt mice, but the rest is definitely accurate.
So don't call a ferret a rat. It's untrue and rather insulting to ferrets, who're (in my admittedly biased opinion) a damn sight cooler than rats.
Also, just so you know: they don't bite any more than dogs or cats do, and for the same reasons. I know those pointy teeth can look scary, but I promise the most dangerous thing most ferrets will do is sniff you with disturbing intensity. They're funny, affectionate, about as smart as a two year old child, and occasionally a pain in the ass, and they aren't rodents.
Show some love for the ferrets!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Because Not Everything Sucks

This week's Target Women is made of win. As per usual. Go watch it. I'm too lazy too upload and embed it, but I'm nice enough to provide a link.
And uh, I do count Sarah Haskins as one of the women on my list of "Kick-Ass Women I Have a Huge Girl-Crush On".
Although I am planning to see that third one. Dear Goddess, I can't help myself.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Keeping It In The Family (When It Sucks)

One of the reasons I don't share this blog with people IRL is that I dislike constantly arguing with people I see on a day-to-day basis. And constant confrontation gets both tiring and disheartening, especially with people you love or are otherwise fond of. I've had to hear "but she shouldn't wear..." rape-apologist crap from my partner, really awful racist jokes from my dad, annoying gay stereotypes from my brother, it goes on. And I usually express my dislike, but it's usually dismissed... I love my family, but the phrase "check your privelege" has never crossed their minds.

One of the most discouraging things is my mom, whom I love and who taught me the first things about being progressive and judging people around me by what they do and how they act, not what color or religion or orientation they are. The thing is, she was also my first example of "women don't talk about religion or politics" and "women shouldn't/don't speak up about ideas that are important to them, because it might creat a scene". She also showed me my first example of "women don't leave men who are verbally abusive to them (because it's not 'real' abuse)". That, however, is another long, bitter post.
My mom has a history of excusing the behavior of my brother and father and scolding me for actively calling them on their racism/sexism/chauvinism/whateverism.

And now I have a small problem. The story: While looking through my brother's digital camera to check the pics he took before he went away, we came across a video file. Shown is a girl friend of my brother's, let's call her E whom he's grown up with; we've both known her for ages. She's now 18. In the video, she's kissing another girl. Now, other than my not being comfy with my mom sitting there watching this also, this would not be a problem. Except.
1. Neither girl seems aware that my brother's filming them, although they know he's in the room.
2. Both girls seem quite drunk, which might be why they don't notice the camera. In terms of theoretical consent to film them, this is problematic. Underage drinking goes withouth saying. (I happen to know my brother was not drunk- he doesn't drink.)
3. (This is more philosophical on my part:) E identifies as straight. Since she did this in front of him, this video, to me, falls under the heading of "performative bisexuality" or "Hey dudez, watch this! Isn't it hawt when I make out with other girls in front of you??!?" See: Katy Perry.
-This has nothing to do with the wrongness of my brother making (and keeping) this video, it's just a pet peeve on my part.

No, the real problem is that my darling brother just filmed two (probably) drunk girls making out, in all likelihood without their permission. How is that ok? And can I use the word "exploited" to describe this, or is it too melodramatic?
...And my mom's reaction was bascially "Oh, isn't it amusing, he filmed the girls being stupid while drunk, drunk people are funny when you're sober". Also it was "Oh of course you have a problem with it, Lemur, you have a problem with everything."

And now, I'm faced with a problem. What I want to do is delete that video file. However, it's not my property, nor am I in it. Therefore it's not my decision to make, and I feel like to do so, however much that video bothers me, would be pretty friggin' arrogant.
So, do I leave it alone? Do I ask my brother? Do I ask E if she wants it, wants it deleted, doesn't care? Maybe she doesn't care. Maybe she knew she was being filmed. Maybe I'm overreacting.
But the fact is, none of that changes the fact that someone I know and love (not that I like him that much) is capable of this behavior, and the person who raised me is seemingly incapable of seeing how wrong it is.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Consistently Inconsistent

Posts may be infrequent for the next week or two, due to me finally getting off my ass to pack and move. Also I need extra time to panic re: packing and moving. (What? Did I ever give you the impression I was the mellow type? Because, uh, no. So: panic.) Also due to having to clean ferret ears twice a day and get her to swallow medicine. Have you ever tried to give medicine to a damn ferret?!
*Ahem* Now that I'm done digressing, I meant to say: I've got some posts planned- about the word 'Feminazi', about 'gay panic', about how I identify as femme (cause I love to talk about me, you know), about other stuff I can't remember and have forgotten to write down.
I may post again tomorrow. I may not. I have no idea.
And if anyone has anything they want me to write or just bitch about, feel free to let me know! It's not like I'd refuse the help.

Author edit: Hey, I remembered the other thing! I also wanted to blog on the right to have sex! I'll do that... soon... look, I'm thrilled I remembered at all, okay? I've been known to forget what I was talking about in the middle of a sentence. Anyway, more blogging soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

funny: ur doin it wrong

I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget last night. Honestly, why do I bother? Something like 10 comedians spoke. 2 were female. The only funny one was Cloris Leachman (honestly, I didn't know she was still around). For being like, 80, she was terrific and did better than any of them at getting a laugh from me. The rest of them had shtick that boiled down to "OMG GAY/RAPE/PEDOPHILE/SLUT/UGLY/FAT JOKE LOL!" No really. Jon Lovitz had about 5 minutes of "Bob Saget is gay and he takes it up the ass" jokes. Comedy gold!
I shit you not. Is our society so fucked up that that's all we've got for humor?
I don't know if it would've been better if Saget was actually gay, but it pisses me off that it's still put in the category of "things that are insulting". I'm sorry your collective masculinity is so fucking fragile that any intimation that you don't stick your big manly peen in as many vaginae as possible- hell, 2 or 3 at once!- is a huge insult. I have never seen a gay comedian insult another gay comedian by joking about him/her liking hetero sex.

Also, the 2 ladies up there were either a) slut-shamed, b) declared not worth male attention, or c) both at once! The guys got some "you're sexually unappealing/promiscuous" jokes, but not as many.
Norm MacDonald, by the way, used to be vaguely funny...? But his stuff was so terrible I wasn't sure if he was doing some experimental comedy wherein he's so awful he comes full circle to funny again. If so, it didn't work. The only response he got was [insert cricket sound]. The other female comedian was, if better than MacDonald, just as bad as everyone else.

The thing is, I would've laughed at this crap a couple years ago. I still laughed at a couple jokes that I intellectually knew were not cool. Hey, I'm working on it.
I'm given to telling people who ask me "Can't you take a joke?", "No, I had to turn in my sense of humor when they gave me my Feminist Membership Card." It usually gets them to shut up (after a parting shot of "yeah, I guess you did.") But it pisses me off that I have to say it, make excuses or justifications for why I can't "lighten up". You know what? Screw that. I have a great sense of humor. I love to laugh. I'm just not the type of douchebag who thinks rape jokes are funny. Finding this kind of stuff funny does not make you edgy or mean you have a sense of humor. It's like laughing at racist jokes- on some level, you think it's true. Which makes you a douche.
Dude comedians, fail. 1 chick comedian who was trying for 'honorary dude' and only managing 'stupid', you fail too.
Comedy Central: learn to comedian.

Monday, August 18, 2008

You Guys Win The Douchebag Award

Here at Things That Piss Me Off dot com (where we'll be inserting LOLCat/Interwebz speak because it amuses us), we have example A-1 of TTPMO: Dudez That Just Suck. We'll be looking at two different examples of men who are so awful, they've won a prize. So let's have a look, shall we?

Fail #1: To the guy who approached my friend D and I as we were slightly un-sober at a gas station at 2 am, and proceeded to address my friend as "Shorty", tell her he "likes big girls", offer her weed, stand there rolling a blunt at her car window, and then badger her til she put his number in her phone: You. Fail. If you require an analysis:

1. It's not cool to hit on people at a gas station. Lameness points for that. It's highly uncool to approach two girls, at night, who do not know you.

2. I have never met a single female who thinks it's cute to be called "Shorty". While there may be some who do, don't assume this is an acceptable form of address to use to anyone with breasts. (For extra stupid points, it may be noted that my friend is in fact almost 6 feet tall. 'Shorty'=WTF?)

3. "I like big girls", or "fat chicks" or any variant... do I have to say it? Automatic fail.

4. Don't do stupid shit with weed. I have no problem with it (though it helps if you follow the same rules that apply to alcohol use, IMO). But if you have half a brain, you don't bring it out in front of random strangers, nor do you accept it from them. It's still illegal, remember? He could've been a cop. We could've been cops. BIG stupid points for that. Also, rude.

5. If you ask a girl if she'd like your number and she doesn't seem thrilled, don't repeatedly urge her to do it and stand over her til she puts it in her phone. I guarantee you she will delete it immediately, she will never "hit [you] up sometime", and you have proven that you are made of asshole. He did offer his number rather than bug her for hers, which is good, but it's just a pickle on a shit sandwich. FTL I tell you.

For the second, I was wandering the Interweb as usual when while browsing the archives at PunkAssBlog, I came upon this post, about some creepy lady who thinks all women should be, um, churning butter. Yes, you prurient people, there are links in the post to these disturbing people if you're a web-masochist.
Far more disturbing than she, believe it or not, were some of the quotes she had on her site from other wackaloons who have web sites. Guys who are very, very, threatened by the idea that women are people, let alone that they might be equal to dudes, in charge of dudes, or not want to be servants/sex objects for dudes. It's disheartening to think that people like this still exist.

Fail #2 Like the guy who runs a site called called jesus-is-savior, which has a section called, with no irony, "Feminists Are Evil", who said "Perhaps you ask, 'Don’t I have any rights as a wife? Am I just to be a plain old slave all my days?' Listen carefully now….You don’t have any rights, no rights at all."
Wow, can you say "Bible-Thumping Nutjob"? (I knew that you could.) He also uses the term "Feminazi" rather gratuitously. And no I will not link to his site, it's in the damn PAB post.

And I will warn you, on one hand it's so ludicrous it's funny, on the other hand I couldn't read the damn page because it triggered my upchuck reflex in a hardcore way. A whole page of how women who won't "submit to their husbands" aren't real women, and that's what we should all be doing: submitting to the all-powerful husbands (no, you can't refuse to marry. It's mandatory!). Not having jobs or lives, because the Bible says so. Women just aren't equal to men, darnit.

Also he had a bit about his definition of abuse; apparently a man restricting his wife's movements or relationships totally isn't abusive. Good news for all the ladies in relationships with controlling bastards- your mistake, it's actually perfectly ok for him to tell you where and when to go and who to see and how often and what you can do and maybe even when you're allowed to piss! That's a trigger of mine and I did NOT have a good reaction to that part. Also I'm guessing the guy's a big believer in marital rape. Fuckstick.
That guy chilled me and I never want to meet him IRL. Creepy, bunker-living, stalker kind of guy. Gah.

The guy who thinks jeans are the Lesbian Feminazi Uniform is just kind of funny, though. I mean, funny in a disgusting, annoying, wants all women to exist for his pleasure kind of way. So, I guess not funny at all, but so out-there it just kind of made me go "What, really??! Ye gods!"
Apparently someone somewhere takes him seriously (he invented something? again with the lazy), but his wackaloonery was just kind of "I've lived in a basement for years and haven't interacted with real people in all that time, oh noez evil reptile people!" No, really, he's got something about evil reptilian overlords and feminists and the Rockefellers. I love a good conspiracy theory, but this guy might need some medication to make the voices go away. His tripe was posted over at Feministing for the general amusement of all; the comments do make me smile. It's been hat-tipped at/from a few other places which I'm too lazy to link to just now. But no fear, they're in the post.

So... yeah. Gas Station Guy and Bible-Thumping Nutjob Guy? You boys win the Fail Award of the Week here at Things That Piss Me Off. Please take yourselves and your penises back to the Stone Age until you all learn how to play nicely.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One (Hopefully) Giant Leap For Womankind

It's probably been posted all over the feminist blogosphere, but I had had HAD to put it up here. Thanks to Cara over at the Curvature for bringing it to my attention, apparently via Feministing. It's also been cross-posted over at Feministe.

The Democratic Party Platform is looking pretty woman-friendly. Holy shit, maybe someone doesn't hate us after all? It's not everything, it's not perfect, but it's a damn good start- or rather, an improvement on what was started with Roe v. Wade.
I suggest- strongly- that you head over to the Curvature and check out Cara's post. It will make your day better!

I want to hope that things can get better. If this becomes a reality, things will. I promise, America, society will not fail, democracy will not fall. Not any more than they have already, anyway. Women will be safer and more secure in themselves and their lives, and how can that be a bad thing?

I Obsess About Butch-Femme Politics

So I was thinking about this whole butch-femme thing. Is it really as rare as I've heard, is it something more or less than I think it is, do I even know what the hell I think it is?
And I was thinking about the difficulties my Ferret and I have occasionally when it comes to gender roles. And it's all very incoherent and very personal.
I'm a feminist. She's never dated one of those before, apparently. She's a traditionalist. I've never dated one of those, as far as I know. So we have differences in viewpoint when it comes to the things we do, the roles we play in the relationship, and we're still working it out.

One of the most memorable discussions we've had about how our experiences are signified was an argument, actually. I like to argue, sometimes. But this one was frustrating, with me constantly saying things like "I don't want you to pay for my dinner, because I can take care of myself!" "I don't need you to carry my groceries; you do realize I can I carry you around the damn Publix parking lot, right?" What I was saying to her is I'm not helpless, please don't treat me like glass. I work hard to be tough and independent, and I want you to respect me as an equal, not patronize me as though I can't do things for myself. And finally, she said to me: "Look, I know you're my equal. I love that you can take care of yourself. But this is how I was raised. This is how I show you that I love you, it's the only way I know how. It makes me feel good to take care of you, and it makes me happy that you trust me to do these things for you. If you really hate it, tell me what you want me to do instead. Don't just yell at me for telling you that I love you."

And with that, I fell silent. There was nothing I could say. I had never thought of it like that. So now, I take her gestures the way she means them, and don't reject them. It would have been nice if I could have stumbled onto this article before this argument. Sometimes, just like the way she shakes her head and says "Chicks are weird" when my thought processes elude her, I want to say the same thing about her: the butch brain continues to mystify me. As much as I adore her, sometimes the wish to know what she's really thinking makes me pace and jitter and sigh. Why didn't she tell me this before? So now I get it, I think.

On one hand, part of me still wants to argue, wants to say, what if I don't want to be "precious"? Don't want to feel like a lovely, cherished, adored possession? Isn't that what that means? On the other hand, when my partner holds me tight and growls "you're mine", I melt. I am a warm puddle of femme and I feel like I'm in my own private universe with her, which I'm thinking is part of the experience of being femme in the first place.

So, isn't that what subversive gender roles are all about? Femme power being different from, but still equal to, that of our butch counterparts? Very much like BDSM- wherein the Dom has the obvious power- s/he holds the whip, ties the knots, gives the orders. The sub, however, has the unseen and most important power- the power to say, 'stop'. The safeword is an automatic end to the scene, and without a sub, who will the Dom play with? We subs have a great deal of subtle power, and so, I guess, do we femmes.

The thing is, this sounds a lot like the argument many folks make when the subject of male/female equality comes up. "Women have a lot of power- they run the house, they influence the men, they hold the cards sexually." Now completely leaving aside the matter of rape, in which all the so-called 'cards' are yanked out of a woman's hands and shredded, doesn't this sound kind of like "We gave you bitches the vote, what more do you want?"
They're basically calling women- and if we follow the binary gender dynamic to its logical correlation, the femmes- the power behind the throne. We have influence, emotional power, power through or men or butches. And that can be awesome, and scary, and subversive. But it can also be very, very tiresome. I get sick of the indirect route sometimes. I don't want power through someone else! I don't want emotional power- I want tangible power! I wanna wear the pants and make the laws and earn the money and make the decisions! I want the mechanic to talk to me as though I matter and sometimes, I even wanna pay for dinner and carry the groceries.

And sometimes, I want to be protected and have doors opened for me and let someone else take care of me. Yes, honey, you make the decisions today. You deal with the mechanic, he's an asshole anyway. Compliment me on my heels, I wore them because you like them. Will you take the garbage out? And then you can rest your head in my lap and we can tell each other about our day. I want to wear perfume and be enticing; when I take my butch's arm, I want her to look at me with desire and feel proud and amazed that this woman is with her.

So what's a femme-inist to do? Is it possible to let someone else lead, sometimes? Is it possible that trusting her to take care of me isn't an automatic admission of weakness? Is it possible to subvert gender roles by just being who we are, or is playing the butch/femme game a betrayal of everything I try to do and stand for? I'd welcome another femme feminist's point of view on this. Am I making a bigger deal out of this than it has to be? Gah, too many questions, too many question marks. I guess I'll just put it out there and see if anyone has any answers for me, because with this one, I don't think I can find the answer for myself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Once, Dammit!

Just once I'd like to see a commercial for a cleaning, household or cooking product that doesn't involve a woman (with perfectly manicured nails). Just once I'd like to see an ad that shows a man taking care of kids, or cooking dinner, or even *gasp* cleaning like it's a perfectly normal thing instead of some amazing occurrence that will shock his dutiful wife. Seriously, tell me where there's an ad that shows a guy cooking dinner for the family, or worrying about "household odors", or cleaning the bathroom.

The only ads featuring men that I ever see are "Look, this is so simple even a man can do it! (Cause we all know men never cook or clean ever.) And then you'll get brownie points with the wife, guys!" *nudge nudge* Oh, cause all men are hetero and married.
Cause Goddess forbid a man should want to clean because HE doesn't like to see the house looking messy. Or cook cause he/his family is hungry. Oh dearie me, no. That's what wives are for!
Obviously men don't lower themselves to things like housework; it's feminizing. It's like eating, say, quiche, or salad. You'll immediately grow boobs and cry at sad movies.
But if women clean up spills (while the menz just stand there and stare at the spreading liquid like it's a fucking Hypno-Toad or something), well, that's just what women do. Either that, or men are displayed as idiots who can't work a fucking dishwasher without disaster. Yeah-huh. You're masters of the fucking Western World, but can't sort your own socks. I find these commercials kind of insulting to dudes, too.

When it comes to my personal stand? Ferret and I plan to split the chores when we cohabitate. I don't know what the butch/femme etiquette is on this one, and I don't care. I'm not cleaning up after a dude, and I'm not doing it for her. There are some things I'll accept that she doesn't 'get'- IE, never having owned lingerie or dry clean only items in her life, I don't want her to attempt to sort and do my laundry. But vacuuming? That, at least, I think she can handle. And if she doesn't want to or can't spend the time to clean, I plan to use her money to hire a maid to do her share.

(Also can I just say that that fucking refrigerator ad with the whole family expecting the mom to know where everything is like she's a GPS for lost objects- I hate that ad with a fiery fucking passion. Is everyone in that house an idiot? I lose my shit all the time but don't expect my mother or girlfriend to magically know where it is. Dudez, in case you haven't been told this before now: your wife or girlfriend is not a combination of mommy, maid, secretary and sexbot.)

Men don't do housework because they think it is beneath them, and get confused when The Cleaning Fairy puts her fucking foot down.
But of course, in Commercial-Land this will never happen. The women will worry obsessively about soap scum, and the men will wear ties.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oh, Before I Forget

I found this nifty thing over at Wordle. Go play if you haven't already. It took some doing to figure out how to make it a jpeg. I'm a n00b. Wheeeee, it's pretty. And if I don't post it now, I might forget. So I have. Enjoy. It's 5 am.
"Things that I say are very baffling!"

Damn You, Google Blogger!

Ok folks-who-currently-read-my-blog, there is a small problem. I have decided I want Trackbacks, which Google Blogger does not support. So I have installed Haloscan, which seems cool, but which didn't tell me I would LOSE my previous comments (because it installed a new comment-y thingy too). So... I don't know what to say. I don't know whether to ask you to re-comment, or stop commenting for now in case, while trying to fix this, I lose them again. I don't even know if I can the ones back that I lost. Crap. This is what happens when you don't read the instructions at 4 am.
Anyone with helpful advice, feel free to comment (hah!) or email me.
Everyone else, whoever you are, be patient plz.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Boys are jerks. Sorry. I know not all of them are, but seriously? This dude commenting in this post gives anybody with a penis a bad name. If you scroll down, there're a couple of trolls, and one of them makes a reference to the writer of the post lying about her experience. He then calls her 'easy', and asks for her number. Hur, hur, hur. Someone tell him "please take your penis back to the Stone Age where it belongs, until both you and it are ready to come back and play nicely”. The thing is...

Easy. I hate that word. I hate what it's come to mean, I hate when guys use it, and this troll reminded me of another jerk. True story time: I had an ex of mine, usually not a total misogynist, say 'easy' when he referred to the first time we got together. Why did he say this? Well, because later on in the evening of our first meeting, I decided: Hey, he's cool, I like him, and I'm single and horny with nothing better to do tonight. So I did something characteristically bold- I walked into the bathroom of my friend's house, removed my undies, walked out, and dropped them in his lap, saying, "So, you wanna?" No, I'm not kidding. Yes, the undies were clean (and lacy if I recall, not that it matters). Yes, he wanted. Yes, I did have (safe) sex with him that night. I wasn't really thinking about anything other than that I wanted this, and so did he. And I was cool with that. And you know something? He decided he liked me and asked me out, and I said no. Eventually I changed my mind, though- we ended up being together for 2 years. Not that that matters, either. What matters is, when we were talking about it months later, he made a comment like "Are you kidding? You were so easy that first night."

I actually got rather pissed about this. Let me explain why to you now, even though I couldn't explain to him then. 'Easy' implies that I am a contest, a conquest, something to challenge his manly skill, something to be won or attained. It feeds right back into that myth that "Women don't really want sex, so men have to persuade/coerce them." It completely leaves out any indication that I might have made a choice in this. In his case, it takes the agency away from me and gives it to him, even though I initiated the sex that night.
So then, 'easy' sounds like he didn't really have to try that hard to get my panties off. Well, technically he didn't. At all. ‘Cause I decided I wanted to have sex with him. And asked him. And had a condom in my purse. And took my own fucking panties off, thank you so fucking much.

I'm not a video game. I'm not a math quiz. I'm not a rape victim, either ('easy' also brings up the shudder-y connotation of some girl you got drunk because you knew it would be, ahem, easier for you to fuck her without all that pesky rational thought in the way). I'm not a box of pudding mix.
I'm not any of these things. I'm not a thing at all. I make decisions, I have autonomy, I want or don't want things, I have sex. I, I, I. Me. And if you're involved it becomes 'we'. We have sex. Me and you.

I like sex. I choose, usually, not to have casual sex because it’s less personal and I like learning what makes my sexual partner happy, and having that favor returned, which usually takes more time than a one-off involves. But if I want to have sex with a willing partner, I will, and I very much resent being slut-shamed for it.

I actually dislike the sentence structure, "X fucked Y". It automatically sets it up so that there's a subject-verb-object structure, very often with a woman as the object; "he fucked her".
(I won't even get into the linguistics wherein "being fucked" means someone has cheated you or done you wrong, or you're in trouble. That says so much about our society.)
And frankly, I hate it! Part of feminism is sexual equality; if you're having sex, do it as equals, as partners, as two people coming together for mutual pleasure. It's not that bad, really! You can do it!

Fucking isn't something you achieve with me as a vehicle or vessel. It's something we do together, if I want it and you want it.
And, dude? If we're having that sentence structure, if anybody's fucking anybody, it's gonna be me fucking you.
By the way, that doesn't make me 'easy'. If anything, it makes me difficult as hell. Deal with it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sex-Positive... So What's Sex-Negative, Then?

Yes, I'm back from vacation. Yes, the ferret survived. It's all good, as they say, in the hood. Except the hood to which I am moving, because I am moving there. *DUN DUN DUN!*
So I've been reading some things, and having thoughts on them as per usual. One of my commenters sent me a link to Renegade Evolution, whose writer is certainly eloquent, passionate, and realistic about the sex industry and the women that work in it. I like it, and it's brought up some good points. I'd like to say that I'm still learning about sex-pos stuff, I'm trying not to sound like an ass, and anybody who wants to bring up good points that I can cover in a later post is welcome to do so.

I still think the way our society is set up makes sex work a... shall we say, problem career choice for a woman. I think porn is responsible for a LOT of negative ideas about women and sex that become internalized by the men and women that see it. I think strip joints (dude strippers too) are creepy and superflous. I think prostitution would need a lot of organization and regulation- that it will likely never get- before it is a safe, non-stigmatized, legitimate career choice for men or women. And yes, in an ideal world it would be.

There's nothing wrong with sex, or having it, or wanting to get paid for it. The problem is not the women who want (if they choose and haven't been forced) to use their bodies or sexuality to make a living. If that's wrong, then anyone who works in the service industry is as much a whore as they; models, actors, Army folks too- you've sold the use of your body for someone else's purpose. It's not bad, it's just capitalism, I guess. But it makes slut-shaming kind of irrevlevant, yeah? It's only because sex is still seen as this dirty, taboo thing instead of something natural that's a part of the lives of just about everyone at some point (or most points, hell!).

I'm still not sure how I feel about those who would pay for sex. Maybe it's just that they are lonely men or women (for whatever reason). Maybe they've got some weird (but harmless) fetish that they don't want to share with or reveal to a regular partner. Whatever, those guys aren't the problem. The problem is men who are anonymous now, the industry's abuses of its workers, and the society which allows it to abuse these women. The sick bastards who abuse sex workers now would find it much more difficult if it was like, say, going to a doctor, or a caterer, or something else in the service industry that combines physical intimacy with personal tastes, so to speak. They take your name, they take your blood, they have your credit card information, you sign a contract specifying services, they can take you to court for assault or nonpayment. You can't beat your caterer and then deny it, after all. You can't lie to your doctor about having an STD (well you can, but it's fucked up and counter-productive).

The way it is now, though... women are still seen as receptacles when it comes to sex. Porn especially, seems to be very often something done to women rather than with them as equal partners. I've seen some pretty sick shit when it comes to porn, and there's far more scenarios of women being abused, degraded, and used as a set of holes then there are of men being used that way. And really... I wish this wasn't a big market, that we didn't get off on see anyone treated that way. I'm not talking about legitimate, consensual, planned, safeword-using, SSF-motto BDSMers, who're a whole different kettle of fish. I'm talking about that douche who created Girls Gone Wild getting girls drunk and exploiting them, I'm talking about sex videos on YouTube, I'm talking about the sick fucks who gang-raped a woman in front of her young kids and recorded it on their cameraphones.

However, before you start shouting "prude!": I don't blame porn for everything, and I don't claim that women in sex work all hate it, or are abused by it, or have been so brainwashed by dude-culture that they have no agency to make their own choices, even when they think they are. That's totally unfair, I think, and benevolently disrespectful to them. But I can't watch most porn anymore. Why is it sexy to see a woman spit on, raped, beaten, choked by a penis, and used like she's not even human? Even 'mainstream' porn is becoming more hateful toward women (also it's gotten to be pretty silly). I still firmly believe that anything that degrades a woman that way cannot be good for the fate of women as a group.

If there's feminist porn out there, I'd be willing to give it a look. I love sex, and I love talking about it, thinking about it, and exploring and enjoying every aspect of my sexuality. But I know that my right to have sex (as Cara said once, succinctly) ends at someone else's right to not have sex. These 15 year old boys checking out (hell no, I'm not linking it)- do they know that??

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And this is why it's hard to trust men.

Kyle FUCKING Payne. You utter waste of oxygen. You complete bastard. You, the "Oh-I've-done-so-much-for-women's-rights-and-I'm-a-male-feminist" guy- you've now officially done your part to fuck up feminism.

You didn't make a mistake, you made a choice to prey on an unconscious woman who trusted you. You've commited sexual assault. You didn't whoops slip and fall and your hand landed on her somehow magically exposed breast while you accidentally hit the 'film' button on a camera that just happened to be there. You did it on purpose and the only thing you're really sorry about is that you got caught- the only thing most abusers are ever sorry about.

And now? Now, Mr. "But I'm Really A Good Guy"? You've fucked it up for the dudes who actually want to help and be allies. You've fucked it up for the women you counseled who are now possibly re-triggered and probably wondering if you lied to them, made their trauma worse, or got off on their pain. You've fucked it up for women everywhere- including this one- who have trouble trusting men, because you've shown what can happen when we do. You've made feminism that much harder for everyone involved.

Now please, please, go away. Go to jail and stay there. And if you ever get out, which I guess you will, never come back to the women's movement again, you jerk. You're a coward, a hypocrite, and a predator. You are not welcome, your Feminist Cardtm has been revoked, you've been banished and your name will be posted all over the internet with the tag "lying scumbag" attached.