Look! You can see my face now! My voice sounds weird.
Look! You can see my face now! My voice sounds weird.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “traditional” femininity, and I’ve come to one conclusion: I really suck at a lot of the things girls are “supposed” to do, and that’s kind of awesome.
I have more colors of eyeshadow and nail polish than anyone really should, but I am hopeless with things like makeup or doing my nails. I keep thinking “oh, well, maybe if I have the right things, I will magically be able to look all pretty and feminine and girly!” I subscribe to multiple versions of makeup grab bags, and I have at least 50 different makeup brushes. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with most of them. I can’t do those cool smoky eye looks (or anything that goes beyond wearing one shade of eyeshadow, really, and even then it ends up looking uneven), I end up looking like a clown when I attempt to use powdered blush, and my at-home mani-pedis generally look like a 5 year old went crazy with the nail polish.
I also can’t do anything with my hair that goes beyond a ponytail, half ponytail, braid, or messy bun. I am adept at washing and drying it, and my at-home touch ups on my hair color are passable. I have been known to use Pinterest to find cute hairstyles, and then I spend two hours trying to get my thick, straight-as-a-pin hair into a cascading braid, or some other adorable up-do, before I ragequit in utter frustration. Attempting to curl my hair is just a way for me to completely waste time. Within 15 minutes that perfect curl is flat again, no matter if I use a curling iron, styling products, or hot rollers.
I am, however, a professional at walking in high heels without looking like I’m about to fall over.
As an adolescent, when I imagine most girls were figuring these things out, I was more interested in figuring out a cure for the profuse sweat that would pour out of my armpits whenever I was talking to a cute boy. Thank god I was in middle school and high school when it was still acceptable to wear a flannel over your t-shirt, because I would stand there, horrified, as I felt the growing patch of wetness travel down my torso to my waist. It was like my deodorant would magically evaporate in the presence of a cute boy. It still does, sometimes. Now I just carry a spare stick of deodorant in my purse and reapply as needed.
I hate cleaning and doing the laundry. Right now, there are at least twelve coffee cups in my room, and I can’t be bothered to take them to the kitchen and wash them (sorry, housemates!). I never make my bed. I actually hate doing the laundry SO MUCH that I take it all to a wash-and-fold, and pay at least $40 once a month for someone else to do it for me. Even then, I forget to put it away at least every other month. I love to cook and bake, but I am terrifically lazy about purchasing ingredients for dinner before the local grocery stores close.
I have realized that the time I could spend on learning these things is better spent doing things like writing my blog or working on my book, reading, or spending time with friends (who could probably teach me about the makeup/nail/hair stuff).
I am fortunate that I live in a place and a forward-thinking culture where I am encouraged to better myself, instead of just looking pretty. I am so thankful that Fiance doesn’t think my worth as a woman is directly tied to how clean I keep our living space, or having dinner on the table when he comes home from work. My brain matters more than how I live up to the cultural standards of femininity. And that’s pretty awesome.
Thanks, feminism, for creating that culture!
I found this video of one of my absolute favorite Jezebel writers, Lindy West, through the Skepchick blog. Lindy speaks to a lot of the experiences of female bloggers, especially feminist bloggers. The amount of hate and vitriol that is directed towards female bloggers is absolutely nauseating, and it seems to be increasing in intensity. Offhand, I can think of two bloggers I love who have been the target of some particularly nasty stalking and abuse lately, Laci Green and Surly Amy. My dear friend, Nixie Pixel, has also been a target at times.
I attracted the attention of the MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) subreddit a few months back, due to my Dark Side of Geek Feminism post. I had some pretty severely conflicting emotions about the fact that, by and large, they all agreed with the post. Until that time, my only experience with the Men’s Rights movement was through some grumblings on a few of the feminist websites I had been frequenting.
I spent a lot of time on the subreddit, and read a lot. I cringed every time I read something that was clearly sexist, whether biased towards men or women (a few instances of the posters referring to women that they perceived as acting entitled as “cupcake” really irritated me). Overall, though, I was surprised to find myself in agreement with a lot of the threads.
I believe it is a tragedy that men who are raped are not taken seriously, and have a harder time getting access to necessary mental health treatment. I find it infuriating that there are women who actually use rape accusations as a form of bullying, extortion, or to smear a man’s name. I think that the courts should stop being automatically biased towards women in custody hearings. These were the main points I read about, and I no longer think of the MRAs (as a whole) as a bad movement.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this shift in my views. I honestly believe that both sides could use a little more positive PR. It is my understanding that both sides are trying to draw attention to injustices and attempt to rectify those injustices. Feminists and MRAs just want to be treated with respect and as though their gender doesn’t determine how they should be treated in everyday life, in the workplace, and by the justice system. Both sides have their trolls, and their radical elements, but in the end, we all want to be treated equally. In order to do this, we have to stop vilifying each others movements. We have to stop accusing entire genders of being culpable for the actions of those few who behave badly. Yes, making that mental shift is difficult, but it has to happen if we are actually wanting equality for all. Otherwise, we are undermining our own movements, and creating an Animal Farm mentality, where some are “more equal” than others.
I still think the PUA (Pick Up Artist) community is full of crap though. Sorry, Lindy, I don’t foresee my thoughts on that group changing anytime soon.
Hey everyone, I apologize for not updating at all in the past few days. I caught some sort of stomach bug from Fiance’s little sister, and have been feverish and nauseated for several days now.
I am so glad that Fiance made me get out of bed early on Saturday morning so that I could attend the SF Slutwalk. You see, I’ve been feeling some pretty serious internet burnout for a few weeks now, and it seemed like every time I found something to write about, it was an issue that made me angry. It is exhausting to be angry for hours every day. I had reached a point where I dreaded sitting down with my laptop, because I knew that by the end of my posts, I would be emotionally exhausted.
SF Slutwalk rejuvenated me. It made me realize that I needed to get back to doing more sex-positive stuff in general, not just finding something to be angry about. Hopefully in the next few days, I will have the energy to go through the 350 pictures I took at Slutwalk (thank you, to those of you who let me take your picture!), and post a write up. For now, I would like to say thank you to the organizers and attendees for giving me some much-needed encouragement.
I’d also like to say thank you to Fiance, for helping me create a schedule and to find topics that still fall under sex-positivity, but won’t leave me feeling disgusted with the world.
I’d also like to thank you, dear readers. I’ll still be posting on feminist issues here, but I’m going to re-focus on sex-positive information, including reviews on toys, books, and yes, even some pornography. Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you’ll enjoy the new content.