Second video is up! WOOOOO!
Second video is up! WOOOOO!
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!
Oh, Valentine’s Day. Aside from Christmas, this is the number one holiday fraught with crazy expectations. You can hardly go into the grocery store or drugstore without being bombarded with cutesy heart-themed items, oversized stuffed animals, and reminders that if you don’t make dinner reservations and spend a lot of money, you don’t REALLY love your significant other. It’s exhausting. Not everyone has the money to get a dozen red roses, a card, and reservations at that really cute restaurant with the overpriced prix fixe menu; or to spend a bunch of money on makeup, a new dress with accessories, and a cute hairstyle at the salon. So, as a service to you, dear readers, I have scoured the internet for some of the cutest date ideas that don’t cost a ton of money, or ideas to spend the day with other single friends.
If You’re Single And Hanging Out With Other Single Friends:
If You’re Attached And Don’t Want To Spend A Lot Of Money:
Am I missing anything? What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness. I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online. I’ve decided to share them with you here.
First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.
I teared up at the end. Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy. I love playing video games. Love it. But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized. Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?
And then there’s this picture.
That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state. I wept like a baby. I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.
Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.
I am so very excited for this film. Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!). I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11. I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.
Has anything touched your heart today? Maybe made you squee a little? Share your excitement with me in the comments below!
There is a lot of misinformation about Plan B, also known as the Morning After pill. I’ve found that a lot of this is spewed by the same people who fail at basic chemistry (I’m looking at you, people who believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!), and this video does a pretty fantastic job at explaining exactly how Plan B works. Contrary to what those protesting Planned Parenthood would have you believe, Plan B is not an abortifacient, in fact, if the fertilized egg has already implanted, it cannot harm the zygote. I know so many people who actually believe that Plan B is the same as RU486, the abortion pill. This is patently untrue. Plan B prevents unintended pregnancies, and RU486 aborts unintended pregnancies.
Another cool video from AsapSCIENCE explains some of the biological responses that men and women experience during orgasm. I’m sure that little in that video will be surprising to readers of this blog (savvy smart people that you are). I did find it both interesting and slightly vindicating that there is actual research to prove what many men and women in the BDSM scene have been saying for ages: that pain and pleasure are linked.
I’m really looking forward to more videos explaining the science behind sex. What did you think of these videos?
Because I am a terrible procrastinator, and I am desperately trying to stop doing so many “This thing makes me so ANGRY! HULKSMASH!” kind of posts, I was browsing Tumblr earlier for some post ideas. I found a few really awesome things, like the Hawkeye Initiative, where a talented artist has taken to re-drawing the poses of female comic book characters as Hawkeye. If you need to giggle a bit, and then weep when you realize how ridiculous female comic book characters are drawn, take a look. But that wasn’t enough for a whole blog post.
But this? This is seriously cool.
DrinkSavvy is the brainchild of Mike Abramson, and his invention could save lives. How many times have you heard to “never leave a drink unattended”, or “watch your drink, you might get drugged”? I know that I have definitely had my drink spiked by someone that I trusted, while I was dating him. Normally, this sort of advice is directed towards young women, but the creator was inspired after being drugged himself.
DrinkSavvy is a series of products (cups, glasses, straws and stirrers) that actually change color in the presence of GHB, a common “date rape” drug. Although it has a slightly salty taste, GHB is colorless and odorless, and can be difficult to detect in a flavored drink. Here’s what GHB can do to a person, according to Wikipedia:
Its effects have been described anecdotally as comparable with alcohol and ecstasy use, such as euphoria, disinhibition, enhanced sensuality and empathogenic states. At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia, unconsciousness, and death. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or even longer if large doses have been consumed. Consuming GHB with alcohol is dangerous as it can lead to vomiting in combination with unrouseable sleep, a potentially lethal combination.
If these products become widespread, then we can effectively eliminate one tool in the date rapist’s arsenal. Do me a favor, share this indiegogo campaign on every social media platform you currently use. I want to see these used in every bar in the US.
I donated to the campaign, will you?
Jezebel’s new sex advice columnist is still absolute crap at giving advice. Here’s my responses to the questions directed at “Slutever”.
Dear Slutever, I do not engage in any sexual activity unless my prospective partner and I both get full STD testing. In the past five years, not one woman that I dated agreed to this. Why are so many women against getting tested prior to sex?
While I agree with Slutever’s assertion that you should probably start presenting this in a different light to your dates (and using condoms!), I’m more concerned with your reasons behind this request. Would you stop seeing someone if they tested positive for an STI?
As someone who has struggled with germ phobias, I would suggest that you engage the services of a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy so that you can get past this particular quirk. Condoms and dental dams, when used correctly, are extremely effective at preventing transmission of most STIs, and I suspect that you know this already. So, before jumping into the sack with someone, even if they’ve shown you a clean bill of health, take care of yourself first and talk with a trained professional about your concerns.
I’ve been at war for the past three years but I’m coming back next week, and I really need to take my mind off things and want to lose myself in some self-love. I’m in a small town with little access to sex shops, so I was wondering if you had any unique ideas for sex toys I could fashion out of household items, or any tips that would help achieve a great orgasm experience. I really need something to get excited about!
First of all, congratulations on finishing your tour of duty! I really wouldn’t recommend fashioning your own sex toys or using things from your kitchen. There are intricacies of the human anatomy that are better left to the experts. Fortunately, although you live in a small town, you can easily order masturbatory aids online that will be shipped to you in discreet packaging. Smitten Kitten comes to mind immediately! As for interesting sex toys, there are a plethora that you can choose from! If you are interested in penatrative objects, there are items like the NJoy butt plugs, or vibrating butt plugs/perenium massagers. If it tickles your fancy, you could also experiment a bit with sounding, though I can’t find any online retailers that I would wholeheartedly recommend. For other masturbatory aids, there’s the ever popular fleshlight, and along the same lines, you can purchase a Tenga egg masturbation sleeve, or the slightly more elaborate Tenga 3D masturbation sleeves.
Just make sure you eat and drink plenty of fluids, use lubrication, and go out of the house every once in awhile during your “me time”. It would be tragic to see a headline like “Soldier Starves to Death During Marathon Masturbation Session.”
I am a 31-year-old woman who has been married for 5 years. We still have frequent and awesome sex, but I have an issue that (oddly) seems to be getting worse with age. I orgasm way too quickly! And then I’m basically over sex. I’ve never had multiple orgasms, ever. I have one gigantic, eye-popping orgasm after about 3-5 minutes of intercourse and then I’m ready for sex to be over. I’m constantly telling my husband to slow down or stop totally during sex so I can prolong it enough for him to get off too, but it’s getting to the point where he’s a little hurt that I can’t “hang on.”
Much like last week’s column, I would recommend that you spend a lot more time on foreplay, concentrating on getting your husband close to orgasm. It would also help if you talked about this outside of the bedroom, and make sure that he knows you are asking him to slow down or stop because you want him to enjoy sex too! The numbing agents that Slutever recommended can help, but you also might have an adverse reaction to them. I know a lot of women, personally, who find that creams or lubricants that are supposed to numb their genitals give them a burning sensation instead.
It is uncommon for a woman to orgasm that quickly, especially if there isn’t some sort of direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse! A little more communication between you and your husband can really go a long way here.
I think this is going to be a regular post for Nice Girls, at least until Jezebel hires a better sex advice columnist. Some of Slutever’s recommendations are downright dangerous or unhealthy, and I hope my responses provide a needed balance. Let me know what you think in the comments!
It looks like medical professionals are getting on the sex-positive bandwagon, and it’s about time.
Yesterday, the American Association of Pediatrics recommended that pediatricians give their young female patients advance prescriptions for Plan B. For those of you outside the US, if you are under 18, you cannot get Plan B over the counter, and need a prescription. Plan B has been available over the counter for those 18 and over for about a year now.
The FDA originally decided that it should be available over the counter to everyone, regardless of age, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s decision because of her doubts that young women under 18 would use it properly. This is despite Plan B being safer to use than aspirin or ibuprofen, especially since it is impossible to overdose on Plan B.
This comes one week after the American College of OB/GYNs has recommended that hormonal birth control pills be available for everyone over the counter, just like condoms. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. It is so important that young women have access to things like this, so they can engage in healthy sexual activity without fear of parental judgement, pregnancy, or the heartbreaking choice of abortion.
With studies showing that teenagers in the US have less sex than teenagers in other first world countries, but are getting pregnant more often, access to emergency birth control in conjunction with comprehensive sex education could help that pregnancy rate continue to decline.
Jezebel introduced a new columnist yesterday. Karley Sciortino, aka “slutever” has published her first column, and honestly, I can’t tell if this is satire or not (if it is, it is poorly done), so I’m going to go ahead and write my own answers to the questions posted.
I’m a 26-year-old European exchange student currently studying in the US for five months. I have a (relatively new) boyfriend back home who I’m totally into, and before I left we agreed to be monogamous. But now I have a dilemma: I love Chatroulette, and I usually skip over the random masturbating men, but recently I’ve been fantasizing about not skipping over the dicks and engaging in some hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex. Would that be cheating? I want to think not, but I also realize it’s different than porn — it’s an actual sexual interaction with another human being. My boyfriend and I Skype sometimes, but it hasn’t turned into Skype-sex. And besides, the fantasy is more about the anonymity of it. So: cheating or not-cheating?
While my personal inclination leans towards “not cheating”, your long-distance boyfriend may have a different opinion. Tell him about your fantasy, G. Who knows, he might also find the idea hot, and he might try to be the person that you have hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex with! A supportive partner should try to help you fulfill your fantasies, especially when you are trying to make a long-distance relationship work.
I would caution you to make sure that your face and any other identifying characteristics are hidden from view if you do engage in anonymous cybersex. Protect yourself, just as you would if you were engaging in real-world sexual activity. Like some STIs, images on the internet are forever, and can come back to haunt you at the most inopportune times.
Ever since I started having sex I’ve always shaved my vagina without even thinking about it. It may look a bit nicer, but it’s a pain in the ass having to plan ahead and make sure you’re pristinely smooth every time there’s the possibility of sex. I don’t know if I’d like it grown out, but I think I want to try it. But I’m terrified the guy I’m sleeping with will freak out! It’s my body so I can do whatever with it, but should I tell/ask him about it before the experiment begins? Where do you stand on the ‘to shave or not to shave’ debate?
Hopefully your partner likes you for more than your pubic hair grooming habits, Reba. Any guy who actually freaks out at the sight of the perfectly natural hair between your legs has probably not had much experience with women, and may have some maturity issues. It’s your hair, and while your partner may offer input about his preference, it is ultimately your decision. Pretty much every partner I’ve had has expressed the opinion that they are fine with pubic hair, but they would like it if I keep the area trimmed. I bought a $10 trimmer from my local big chain drugstore, and have used that ever since.
Dear Slutever, I am a 26-year-old boy, and though I’m not a virgin, I am terribly inexperienced. I’ve recently started seeing a girl (yay!), however I’ve been having a little ejaculation problem. The problem isn’t that I cum too quickly, but rather that I stay hard all night and can’t ejaculate! It’s no problem for me to get hard, and stay hard, but it just requires too much mentally and physically for me to reach the point of orgasm. Am I not emotionally connecting? Is my problem psychological? Should I find some way to ‘sensitize’ myself?
I’m interested to find out your masturbation habits, M. If you are the kind of person who masturbates frequently, you might want to hold off on that until you find that you are able to orgasm more easily. You and your partner should also try doing more foreplay before penetrative sex. Kissing, fondling, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are all ways that you can get your motor revving and ready to go before sex, and you may find that the increase in stimulation will make it easier to orgasm during sex. Just make sure that she also reaches climax!
What do you think, readers? How did I do in comparison to the writer on Jezebel?
While engaging on twitter regarding my post on Tuesday, one of the awesome people I follow re-tweeted some very disturbing images. The original poster’s brother came home from school with a classmate’s paper. This paper is supposed to be a debate piece, and it argues about rape and pregnancy by citing Todd Akin and 12th century British texts. This kid is apparently 15 years old.
I took debate for 3 years in high school. Let’s go point for point here.
Ladies and gentlemen: the topic for today’s speech is that: women who get pregnant after rape were not really raped.
I firmly agree that women who get pregnant after rape were not really raped.
Firstly, this is stated in the book of Fleta published in circa 1290.
In addition, this is a long lived legal argument and is also contained in Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, published in 1814.
In this case, young sir, you are correct. Farr did indeed make this argument, and the Fleta did discuss this very topic. However, Farr also believed that the normal signs of puberty in a young girl were sufficient evidence that she could not be raped (because if she was undergoing puberty, then she probably was having sex), and he also believed that an imbalance of “humours” were the way that someone became sick.
Moreover, this valid medical point is supported by many reputable, well-educated and informed people such as Todd Akin, Senator Steve King, Dr. Fred Mecklenburg and GP John C Wilke to my first argument.
I’m sorry, what? For starters, politicians are never a good source for a medical argument, so we are striking those two right off the bat, especially since they both cite your third and fourth examples of “reputable, well-educated and informed people” for their poorly informed arguments.
This is stated in the book of Fleta, which was the standard legal handbook of Britain in the 13th century.
“For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, she would not become pregnant.”
This paragraph is from book one volume two, although this is an old point, it makes it no less valid and is stated in many other medical journals.
This clearly demonstrates both the value of the book of Fleeta and even in the 13th century that people and Doctors knew the truth about rape and pregnancy.
Yes, the Fleta was the standard legal handbook during the time of Edward IV. You have that correct. But that is most definitely not from the Fleta. In fact, that quote comes directly from your second source. Not the Fleta. Doctors in the 13th centry also believed in trepanning, bloodletting, and that birthmarks were a sign that a child was conceived via witchcraft. 13th century physicians are not reputable sources for your arguments here.
And now to my second point,
Sir Samuel Farr, who was a reputable doctor and medical researcher with over seven published medical journals, stated that:
“If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”
Although this was published in 1814, this was a time of many medical breakthroughs and is still constantly being proven by doctors and medical researchers and has the full support of many people.
Oh! There’s the quotation from the Fleta! Really, young sir, this was poor debating strategy on your part, and indicates that you were not paying much attention to your paper.
I believe that there is an underlying point to both of the original arguments that you are missing. At both of these points in history, doctors actually believed that a woman could not conceive if she did not orgasm during intercourse. In fact, both of these treatises drew from the ideas that a woman’s sexual organs were simply the inverse of a man’s. The vagina was an inverted penis, the ovaries were actually testes, the uterus was a scrotum, etc. I’m sorry, was that too much for your still-developing brain to handle? Of course, “many medical breakthroughs” that are “still constantly being proven by doctors and medical researchers” have shown this to be patently false.
This has the support of many reputable people such as:
- Todd Akin, who is a reputable politician and Republican, he is also a strong Christian and family man.
- Senator Steve king, who is a congressman for Iowa and scored a 100% rating with the National Right to Life Committee
Ohhhhh. I see where you’re going with this. I’m sure that much like these men, you believe that if a woman was raped, she was “asking for it”. Or, conversely, that those sluts who dare to have sex before they are ready to care for a child should just keep their legs closed or suffer the damned consequences, right?
- Doctor Fred Mecklenburg, who has four published medical journals on the subject.
- And GP John C Willke who has a distinguished career as a physician.
Once again, your failure to delve deeper into the subject at hand has failed you, young sir. Mecklenburg and Willke used the one test performed by the Nazis on the very same prisoners who they were starving, beating, raping, and putting to death by the millions to inform their opinions regarding rape and pregnancy.
The Nazis chose women who they believed were ovulating, and put them in a gas chamber, but didn’t turn on the gas. Because, as the Nazi researchers claimed, these women didn’t ovulate, Mecklenburg and Willke then extrapolated that data and spun it to assume that when under extreme stress, like, oh, during rape, that women were incapable of ovulating. Never mind that most of these women were literally starving! Did you know that women who are malnourished won’t ovulate? Of course you didn’t. And I bet that you didn’t know where Mecklenburg and Willke got their information.
In fact, according to research done by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (a peer-reviewed journal, unlike the publications that your illustrious doctors have published) in 1996, at least 5% of women who are raped annually become pregnant. That’s over 30,000 unwanted pregnancies due to rape. A separate study in 2001 showed that the number was closer to 6.5%.
You forgot one other politician in your list of crazies, young scholar. Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind claimed that women have some special secretion that will kill a rapist’s sperm even before it reaches the uterus. I can only imagine that when he was asked how this occurs, he just threw up his hands and said “I dunno, MAGIC!”
You see, your examples have been proven wrong, time and time again. [Hold onto your seats, dear readers, you're not going to believe the next part!]
The bulk of people opposed to this argument are feminists and people wanting to cash in on child support.
Evidence of this is that the mother of a child can receive 10% of the father’s income, which can amount to large amounts of money.
You’ve got to be kidding me. 10% is a large amount of money? According to the US Census Bureau, in 2006, the average wage for a man in the US is $39,403. Do the math, kid. 10% is $3,940.30. The average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is currently estimated to be $295,560. No, that piddly 10% figure that you have quoted does not mean “large amounts of money” to the average person.
[Here's where we veer into the territory of the truly crazy.]
With the issue of Feminists, these people are women, usually with poorly paid jobs with no skill or training who wish to receive more money than men doing the same job and are more often than not balding.
I laughed so hard at this point that I had tears streaming down my face. No, young sir, we are not. More often than not, we are college educated, have high paying jobs, we just want to be paid the same amount as a man doing the exact same job, and we have hair in all colors and styles. Yes, some feminists are bald, but I imagine that’s only because they choose to shave their heads.
I suppose that, being all of 15 years old, you have embraced the popular culture’s idea of what a woman should look like, right? Thin, gorgeous, impeccably dressed, perfectly shaped big breasts, long hair, makeup (but not too much, or she looks like a whore). Well, kid, you’re in for a rude awakening when you learn that not everyone lives up to your impossible standards. I’m a feminist, but I have long hair. I’m a little overweight, and I prefer to wear jeans in my everyday life. Your idea of what a real woman (and a feminist!) looks like is skewed so far that I feel sorry for you, and any girl you date.
So look at the facts, would you trust a balding woman attempting to cash in on child support or many reputable people, including doctors.
I’ll take the bald feminist any day of the week over the men you cited. At least they will research their positions thoroughly, and have credible sources to back up their viewpoints.
I hope your teacher is a feminist.