feminism, Uncategorized

Destroying the Anti-porn Argument

The word feminist is so impossibly loaded for me because it comes with a list of restrictions I cannot possibly meet.

Here’s a few of the things I’ve run into:A good feminist has a career instead of a family or a good feminist stays home with her children or a good feminist nurses in public or a good feminist doesn’t shave or wear make up or have too much sex. She certainly doesn’t watch porn or read romance novels because they emphasize “strong” men and “weak” women and promote “gender norms”. Woman who write such things must then be the ultimate betrayers of our gender.

Oh and lest I forget, she always opens her own doors, doesn’t ask for help, she has to study instead of party, “slay the dragon” instead of aspiring to be “a pretty princess” because she couldn’t possibly do/be both.

I call Bullshit!

There is no good feminist or bad feminist. There’s only feminists and a feminist does whatever the FUCK she wants. Because choice is freedom and it’s not up to me or you to decide how a person should express their freedom.

As a writer of both “pornography” and romantic themes am I harming the movement? It’s a question that haunts me constantly and holds me back from sharing what I’ve crafted. How much sex is too much for the page? When do I cross the boundaries of what is acceptable to remain a “good” feminist? It stalls out my creative process and leaves me stuck holding imaginary conversations where I defend my lifestyle and my work and my motivations.

I shave my legs. Does that mean I don’t really believe in equality? How does my choice to shave or not impact the movement as a whole? Short answer: it doesn’t. The fact that I am making my own choice in the matter after weighing how I feel about the process and the result is extremely important. Literally I do it when I feel like it. My partner doesn’t demand it and I give zero fucks whether my legs meet any standard set by some unscrupulous retailer pedaling wares. I buy men’s razors because they’re cheaper and better and that is that and I really don’t need to be defending it here either but such is life.

I have found over time and experimentation that I care about my appearance even though I’ve been on a beauty media fast for nearly a decade. Putting time into my hair and sometimes makeup makes me feel like I care about myself. It’s the time invested and not so much the result that matters to me. For me that is respecting myself. For someone else the conclusion could be different and that’s also extremely important. Putting time into your appearance does not determine your self worth but I have learned that I personally need to put in that effort to demonstrate to myself by looking at myself in the mirror and embellishing my strong points that I am worthy of looking good.

Allow me some shameless soapboxing here.

This will of course vary from woman to woman because regardless of gender no two people are alike. This variance, just like all diversity of thought, intent etc is what enriches our sex as a whole. In living out our truths, whatever they may be and accepting everyone else’s right to do so, we validate shall I say, even elevate each other.

I know this. I believe this so why is it so different when it comes to pornography?

I would dare to theorize that our attitude toward porn is driven by feelings of jealousy, inadaquacy and therefore sex shaming of other women.

This is why I feel it is waspish and outdated.

The assumption I think, is that all sex work must be exploitation because it boggles the minds of many that such an activity would be entered into willingly. Well that’s just rude. Is there exploitation? Do some women turn to prostitution, porn and stripping for lack of other options? Certainly but in my book that gives us even less right to judge them. If we were willing to listen to sex workers and there are many that are vocal on the subject, their reasons for entering the profession are varied.

Furthermore whether mainstream “good” feminists want to admit it our not exhibitionists exist. That is to say for some people sexual performance comes naturally and may even be a dream come true. We all find fulfillment in different ways and some people are natural born performers in one way or another. Some women genuinely love it. Obviously not everyone does but I’m always shocked when people in my profession love being bank tellers. I find that to be unfathomable madness but I can’t deny it’s true and more power to them.

Why is it different if a woman chooses to put on heels and get down on her knees and suck cock in front of a camera. By saying that the only way for her to get there is force is to undermine her power to choose. It also reinforces the archaic notion that some very basic vanilla sex acts are taboo. I must meet this the way I do all things I find utterly preposterous, with a hearty “Are you fucking kidding me?” followed quickly by a “what fucking year is this anyway?”

Another factor lurking behind all this is the assumption that “good girls” don’t really enjoy sex or watching sex or have any sort of lust at all. Clearly we haven’t come that far from the attitude that a woman should “lie back and think of England.” I suppose a hundred or so years is a blink of an eye in terms of evolution but for those of us ahead of the curve it feels like an age.

At the root of it the attitudes are based on the flawed idea that there is a right way and a wrong way to be a woman and whether you’re a professed feminist or a total misogynist limiting woman’s behavior based on a standard of appropriateness has the same ugly result, shame for the woman in one category and smugness for the woman in the other. I just want to mention that even the woman who fit the “good” category are harmed because they can see how easy it is to fall from grace and are less likely to exercise choices that would banish them from that little box.

All of it sets us at each other’s throats and thus is not helpful to say the least. You could even say that it serves the purposes of people who want to oppress woman, so maybe we should cut it out just out of spite for them. I mean whatever get’s you out of bed in the morning right?

I used to think porn, masturbation etc who wrong and it has taken me a long time to earn my mental freedom and I will goddamned if anyone is going to put me back in the prison. I am not saying that you must enjoy porn or masturbate furiously or make porn in order to be a liberated woman, only that it must be an option for those who want it. I’m not simply satisfied that woman are no longer “treated for the vapours” or lobotomized for having sexuality. I believe we need to remove the sanctimonious puritanism that unknowingly poisons our every action.

In my book “You can suck all the dick you want and still be a feminist, Mary” and enjoy it and be filmed doing and get paid for it etc etc.

Give me orgasm or give me death!

Chanson de Tempête 24/09/2016

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Uncategorized

Dream Logic

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This is what happens when I wake up in the morning, drop the ferret off for surgery and go back to sleep. gotta love dreams that are so mundane they could be real life but are also completely bizarre and frustrating at the same time.

“sorry I was late back from lunch everything got lost and I was fighting with someone over text, I think. Hey where is my monitor?” ( I really should have asked why the teller line was suddenly on the outside deck of an ice ream parlor from Whitehorse circa 1991.)

“Someone smashed it against the outside wall.”

BrokenMonitor

“seriously?! I was gone for 30 minutes and someone committed an act of violent vandalism. WTF? And where are the cops and why does no one seem to care?” ( I should maybe have also asked my co-worker why she was wearing my c-pap mask or at least remarked on us being twins.)

Whatever. I guess I need to spend a bunch of time searching this creepy building for a new monitor.”

antique-radio-shop-kunming

comes back empty-handed after an eternity of searching dusty interconnected rooms with radios that literally turn themselves on when you get within two feet of them.

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well that’s a no go. All I found was this dog that won’t leave me alone. I’m sure he’s nice but he keeps using his claws on my arm. Can you take him? Thanks.”

Oh and am I the only one who’s noticed that the floor boards in the front entry way are falling in? Seriously there are holes that could swallow entire children and I thought I’d better mention it because there seem to be swarms of children everywhere for some unknown reason.”
Literally no one cares.

you know what? I don’t care either. I need to find my purse and this other purse that somehow ended up here and this other random thing that I just can’t live without that is buried in this maze of dusty rooms full of antique furniture. What the hell is with these radios? Is that news from the 1930’s because that other one was definitely playing music from the 1940’s.”

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“I am going to have to ask someone about this. Holy shit!!! where did this vacuum cleaner come from and why is it attacking me? How come it is upright and also has a long hose connected to a bag thingy?”

“Wait-Why does this feel like one of those dreams where you get lost trying to retrace your steps and constantly get lost? Finally a room that looks familiar and has a clear exit to the outside. Oh and there’s Dad maybe he can explain that radio phenomenon.”

A long conversation with my father and a woman from Ireland who I’ve never seen before but is clearly an old friend of the family. While we can talk in-depth about changes in technology and radio programming and TV cable packages neither of them seem to know or care about radios being motion activated in this possibly haunted hell hole. In fact they seem to think I’m weird for even posing the question. Maybe this shit doesn’t happen to everyone.

That’s it I’m just going home but oh shit I can’t leave without putting my cash drawer away. Ummm if the entire counter is gone does that mean someone already put my drawer away? They would have had to be in dual control and that must have been a pain. Should I find someone and apologize? Seriously the whole thing is gone? Time to GTFO. Just as soon as I go back to that place where I stashed all my stuff and grab it because why they hell would I put it down in the first place?!”

bag-heap

Frustrating search through piles of lost and found crap and more getting lost and losing things I just had a second ago.Forget the radios. Why are random kids from my high school playing the weirdest game of hide and seek ever? Who makes ghost noises during hide and seek? Is that Draco Malfoy?”

and we’re back. 

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Uncategorized

It’s playoffs

so I gotta root for someone.

Note: this has been edited, rather sloppily to reflect series that have wrapped up since I started writing this.

This is the time of year when the hockey allegiance flow chart comes out. My team, the Colorado Avalanche did not make the playoffs this year, again, oh well. In case of such an emergency I turn to my local team, the Boston Bruins. Whoops. That’s a no go this year too. No worries there’s always the Jagr factor as long as he keeps coming back for more. The Panthers are playing great hockey and are very fun to watch but that’s only one series. There’s a lot more hockey and I need to find a way to care about it before it’s all over for the very brief off season.

Who else really needs a cup? Ovi of course! The Capitals have a lot of talent or rather a lot of unsung heros. Backstrom is a bang up play maker and Braden Holtby is a beast between the posts, so I’ll gladly throw some love Washington’s way.

Look’s like Ben Bishop and the Lightning have already wrapped up those pesky octopus throwing Detroit Red Wings. Well done there. It’s always fun to watch an old rival go down in flames so thank you very much, Tampa Bay. Any team with fans disgusting enough to sneak decaying sea creatures into a public event needs to clean up their “brand”. Happy 25 consecutive years of making the play offs, Detroit. You’re outta here! No. Do not feel sorry for them. They have a lot of talent and I’m sure they’ll be back for the first round next year and every year until the sun burns out. Ooh and she get’s him with the back hand.

I cannot force myself to choose who I like less the Rangers or the Penguins. Crosby is the golden child that I am sick of hearing about. He’s like the Tom Brady of the NHL and I’m so over all the conversation of what his place is in history and general felating of his ego. He already has a couple rings so whatever. On the flip side Lundgvist is the new Mike Richter and I loathe his smarmy neatly trimmed bearded face. He’s so fast he snatches particles of light out of the air. He’s got the longevity of Broduer, blah blah.So I’m just waiting to see who get’s wrecked in the next round. Well looks like it’s going to be the Penguins.

Now moving to the Western Conference all my picks are based on hatred because they’re all rivals. Let’s start at the bottom of the hate chart and move up. The Ducks don’t have Selanne anymore so fuck em. Go Nashville, you bucktoothed horribly named mother fuckers. Seriously were all the good cat names taken? You might as well have called yourselves the Pedos. But despite all that they have some really talented young guys who’ve performed well on my fantasy team, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg etc and I’m sick to death of Bruce Boudrea’s gloating about the Ducks always winning their division. They haven’t made it past the second round in all those years of of taking down the division so I guess their elimination will just be “business as usual” eh Bruce?

LA and San Jose can beat up on each other as much as they want as far as I’m concerned. Half of San Jose has been rocking play off beards since last year and they look like crazed mountain men on ice but LA wins too much so whatever. Whoever comes out alive will just get plowed over in the next round anyway. May the least boring team win. Well damn San Jose. I guess you’re it.

Dallas is on the brink of eliminating the Minnesota Wild and I am stoked as hell. The Wild are the Av’s biggest rival now that the conferences have been redrawn to leave Detroit in the east and the hostility between the two fan bases is as bitter as that of Montreal and Boston. Minnesota nice, my ass! Some particularly unprincipaled of their lot proved last spring that they didn’t have limits to their scumbaggery by dragging children from an Av’s charity event into the bickering. Twitter can be an ugly place my friends. Elimination at the hands of the Dallas Stars who used to be the Minesota North Stars would be especially sweet, for me and not really anyone else. Suck it Minnie!

Now here is the biggest kicker of them all. Chicago versus St. Louis. Talk about the enemy of my enemy. I’ve hated the Blues since the 90’s for some dumb reason. I think it has something to do with them kicking Toronto’s ass once and most certainly my irrational dislike for Brett Hull. I was more happy about Jagr bumping him down the all time goals list than anything else that happened this season. I’ll always remember where I was the night that all important goal was scored, at a metal show checking my phone like an asshole! Now as much as I hate the Blues, for serious reals. I mean I would actively root for Montreal against them, I hate rapists more. No don’t talk deneyers. Just shut yo’ mouth. This is my platform. Needless to say I’m pulling for St. Louis all the way. Also Chicago wins too much if you need a less personal reason and dynasties are boring so fuck em.

All the while I’m watching the teams shape up for the World Championships in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Avalanche boys Mat DUUUUchene and Calvin ‘Picks!’ Pickard have been named to team Canada but honestly I got bored with our domination internationally so I defected a long time ago. I’m not being bitchy. I spreading the looove. This year I’d like to see Slovakia win because fuck Yeah Chara. Need I say more? Granted I’m not 100% sure he’s playing but it’s likely. Then running down from there my perrenial pick, Czech Republic, then Finland. Rinne is busy in the playoffs so it would be nice if Tuukka Tuuka would come out and play although Finland does have a nice amount of depth in goal. Then I guess I pick Canada and finally ANY team that can beat the US. Yes that includes Russia cause, come on, they missed the podium at their own olympics and it would suck to do the same at Worlds. Although a total upset from Latvia or Belarus would be amazing. Internationally I can find a way to be happy for pretty much anyone, except the US. Seriously you can’t sit with us.

PS Pickard’s nickname must be squealed with both fists raised. “PICKS!”

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feminism, Uncategorized

Are ya scared? I mean really. Are ya?

So apparently there are still people who have a problem with trans women using the same bathroom as cis women as if a trans woman touching up her make up at the next mirror over from you is a signal of the coming apocalypse or something. I think you can guess what side of the argument I’m on. From all I can tell it’s just a platform for reaffirming hateful stereotypes in the name of fear. It seems to me, parts of the cis population are using it as an opportunity to perpetuate hate while cowering behind their ignorance and claiming victimhood.

Since gender neutral bathrooms have been a thing for at least a decade in other more civilized areas of the globe, I think this so called debate is just another indicator of how backward and ignorant we are but it does provide an excellent excuse to explore something that I’ve turned over and over in my head for a while, the use of the term phobia.

To me a phobia is a fear and I don’t think the things we label as social phobias, ie transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia are really fears at all. I think there must be a different suffix or Latin root that deals with the real feeling behind this king of thinking, so let’s break it down and see.

A little research shows that phobia is an intense often irrational fear, just like I thought. Examples of this include acrophobia, the fear of heights; agoraphobia, the fear of open spaces; and claustrophobia, the fear of small spaces. These are fears. I am so petrified of heights that a two foot stepladder has me convinced I will fall and smash my head open. I’m not afraid of flying so much as I am intensely aware that my ass is suspended tens of thousands of feet in the air. The plane might as well be an illusion for all the comfort it gives me. You know this picture of a  rubiks cube falling away painted on a bathroom floor? Yeah it terrifies me. I’m not sure I could walk into that room even though I know the floor is there and it’s only paint.

Here’s a better example. Think of the Boo Box from the movie Hook. You are crammed into a tiny box into which scorpions are dropped onto your face. Now imaging that the box is suspended a hundred feet in the air and I think it’s probable that most people will identify with at least one of the phobias involved. These are true phobias meaning they stem from a fear and no other emotion but fear.

Now let’s see if my other suspicion is correct and there is a difference between the roots for fear and hate. I have to admit that I did not take Latin in school but this being the internet era it wasn’t hard to find the Latin roots for fear and hate and guess what? They’re different.

Miso is not just a delicious soup. Miso, mis, misa is the root that translates to hate or disgust. An example of this is logomisia, the hatred for specific words. Miso is also where we get words like misanthrope, a person who harbours an intense hatred or mistrust of people. Don’t forget misandry, the hatred of men and misogyny, the hatred of women.

Now let us examine what I consider to be misnomers in common use, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia. Ask yourself does a true fear of homosexuals really exist? Does a homophobe shit his pants in fear when he sees two men kissing? No really does he? or is he filled with disgust? I think if we’re honest we will admit it is the latter.

Are you truly afraid of a trans woman using the same bathroom as you? Remember the bar I’ve set for phobia. Does it send you into a wave of panic so intense that it will leave you cowering under the sink or are you covering your disgust at someone else with the guise of fear because that is socially acceptable? Again, if we are honest I think we will admit it is disgust and not fear.

If you truly shit a brick when you see someone who does not conform to your understanding of the gender binary then you do have a true phobia and I feel sorry for you. Personally I don’t make a habit of scrutinizing the gender presentation of the people around me or even really acknowledging strangers in general. Maybe this is an area where my social anxiety gives me an edge??

I believe what homophobes, xenophobes, transphobes are actually suffering from is misia, an intense hate born of disgust. Can you be afraid of these things? I suppose so. You can be afraid of strangers, homosexuals and trans individuals but I still think behind that fear is hate.

When you act or speak violently on that fear it is definitely motivated by hate.  We call them hate crimes and there’s a reason for that. If I suddenly went from fearing tight spaces to setting fire to every cupboard I saw, I think we could easily conclude that I had switched from claustrophobia to claustromisia, or how ever that word would be correctly formed based on the rules of Latin.

Changing what we call these attitudes switches them from socially acceptable to contemptible. It also acknowledges that it is an attitude and not some uncontrollable mental condition. An attitude can be controlled and changed. A phobia makes you a victim. You are not a victim of how someone presents their gender or who someone else shows affection to in public. In fact they are more likely to be victimized by your overwhelming misia but that’s another subject for another day.

Being homomisic or transmisic is not a medical condition born of irrational fear. It is an irrational hatred for things you do not understand and the language we use on the subject is important because it strips away the victim role that people with privilege love to hide behind when they feel threatened by the prospect of equality.

My point is that we should call things what they are and stop giving haters the benefit of the doubt. Face it you’re not afraid for your life when you see two men kissing. You are revolted and it’s not appropriate to call it a fear. Calling these things phobias lets people off the hook, making them out to be terrified little innocents in a world of scary people who are out to get them by exercising their right to live on this planet. How very dare they! Let’s not actively give these assholes comfortable language to hide behind.

I would like to advocate calling people out not as phobes but as misians.

“Hey sounds like you’ve got a bad case of irrational hatred there. You might want to examine your misia. Also take a two looks at your privilege and call me when you’re interested in being a decent human being.”

PS I have attempted to make this as sensitive as possible while making a point. If you feel there are areas that could be improved to handle the subject matter more tactfully I would welcome your feedback. My privilege as a cis woman and my ability to pass in the heterosexual world should not and will not be used as excuses for insensitive language choices or other missteps.

PPS Advice on how to properly replace these phobias with misias would be appreciated. Conjugation isn’t my strong suit in my own language.

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feminism, Uncategorized

Sisterhood Part II: I promise this is the last

******Disclaimer ******

I took so much pleasure in printing this out highlighting it in pink and scribbling “girly”, “immature”, internet babble on it that I can’t even deal right now! If I could have written this all in emogi I would have.

This is a line by line reaction to an article. It is long.

I have copied and pasted Camille Paglia’s article into this document and have attempted to differentiate my comments so they are obvious. This was made difficult by the constant embedded links back to the article. You can check my work by comparing it to the original.

Let’s read and react together. I found it was more fun to do this while listening to a Taylor Swift google play station.

Begin Article

“Girl squads were a hashtag summer craze that may have staying power. Blogs and magazines featured intricate star charts of the constellations of celebrity gal pals clustering around Taylor Swift, Cameron Diaz, Lena Dunham or Tina Fey. [ok if you’re gonna have problem with the feminism bomb that is Tina Fey this isn’t going to go well.]

Names appearing on the shifting roster of girl squads include Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, Willow Smith, Kendall Jenner, Sofia Richie, Chloe Sevigny and Karlie Kloss. Hot models Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne bob and weave through several groups. Adele joined the club in November when she dined out in New York with Emma Stone and varsity squad player Jennifer Lawrence. [Please tell me you’re not going to find fault with, Jennifer Lawrence, the woman who busted wide open the unequal pay in hollywood issue.]

“Squad” as a pop term emerged from 1990s hip-hop (Hit Squad, Def Squad). It once had a hard, combative street edge, but today it’s gone girly and a bit bourgeois. [Is is bad that it is now more feminine?] Social media are its primary engine. Perhaps the first star to use stylish Instagrams to advertise her tight female alliances was Rihanna, with moody snaps of herself and bestie Melissa Forde out and about in Los Angeles or lolling seaside on Barbados. [is this a bad thing?]

Do girl squads signal the blossoming of an idealistic new feminism, where empowering solidarity will replace mean-girl competitiveness? [foreshadowing?] Hollywood has always shrewdly known that catfighting makes great box office. In classic films such as The Women, All About Eve, The Group and Valley of the Dolls, all-star female casts romped in claws-out bitchfests. That flamboyant, fur-flying formula remains vital today in Bravo TV’s boffo Real Housewives series, with its avid global following. [I agree that this is not a good thing.]

A warmer model of female friendship was embodied in Aaron Spelling’s blockbuster Charlie’s Angels TV show, which was denounced by feminists as a “tits-and-ass” parade but was in fact an effervescent action-adventure showing smart, bold women working side by side in fruitful collaboration. A similar dynamic of affectionate intimacy animated HBO’s Sex and the City, whose four feisty, mutually supportive professional women prefigured today’s fun-loving but rawly ambitious girl squads. [This bodes well. Sex & the City also examined women’s sexuality in new and interesting ways.]

The entertainment industry has seen feminist spurts come and go. Helen Reddy’s 1972 smash hit “I Am Woman” became the worldwide anthem of second-wave feminism. In 1985, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox did the slamming duet “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.” The Spice Girls encapsulated sex-positive third-wave feminism with their 1997 manifesto Girl Power! Performing at the 2014 Video Music Awards, Beyonce flashed “FEMINIST” in giant letters behind her, but questions were raised about the appropriation of that word by a superstar whose career has always been managed by others, first her parents and now her domineering husband, Jay Z. [ok so her word isn’t good enough for us?]

With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys. [So things were better when we were more under the thumb of male run studios? I’m confused.]

Young women performers are now at the mercy of a swarming, intrusive paparazzi culture, intensified by the hypersexualization of our flesh-baring fashions. The girl squad phenomenon has certainly been magnified by how isolated and exposed young women feel in negotiating the piranha shoals of the industry. A dramatic example of their vulnerability was the long-lens pap photo of Swift sitting painfully sad and prim on a Virgin Islands taxi boat after her tumultuous 2013 holiday breakup with pop star Harry Styles. [I sure hope we’re not also going to prey on women already encountering people judging their every move.]

Given the professional stakes, girl squads must not slide into a cozy, cliquish retreat from romantic fiascoes or communication problems with men, whom feminist rhetoric too often rashly stereotypes as oafish pigs. [uh oh. We’re not about to engage in feminist rhetoric ourselves are we?] If many women feel lonely or overwhelmed these days, it’s not due to male malice. [really? Not at all? Not ever?] Women have lost the natural solidarity and companionship they enjoyed for thousands of years in the preindustrial agrarian world, where multiple generations chatted through the day as they shared chores, cooking and child care. [ok even if I buy the idea that we were better off so far back in time that it’s impossible to fact check I’m concerned. we’re not going to further damage our solidarity, right?]

In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse.[oh shit here we go.] Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video “Please Welcome to the Stage.” [Yep sex shaming at it’s best. Thanks for that.]

Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects. [ok. so women can only form groups if they are going to use them the way you find productive or relevant to the cause.] Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women. [woah!! what? WTF? WHAT? Stop being a woman and start being a man? What? The male experience has something to teach us about being a better more productive woman? I can’t…]

If women in Hollywood seek a broad audience, they must aim higher and transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance. Girl squads are only an early learning stage of female development. For women to leave a lasting mark on culture, they need to cut down on the socializing and focus like a laser on their own creative gifts. [Translation: if you want to be good feminists do it the way I say to do it. Forget being yourselves, forget having fun. You don’t get to have fun. You’re a woman. In case you forgot for a second let’s just remind you that you exist only to please other people.]

Camille Paglia, 68, remains one of the world’s leading cultural critics and is a frequent contributor to THR, where she has written about the intersection of pop culture, politics and religion. “Writing about Taylor Swift is a horrific ordeal for me because her twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth,” she says of analyzing the pop star and her entourage.”

End article.

OK so here is where I can no longer keep my hair on! This entire build up of asking probing questions on whether women behaving as “feminine” women and enjoying themselves is good for the movement is answered with “No you need to be more like men”?

Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? I am filled with so much rage I haven’t been able to think about much else since I read this.

Again I would like to ask “Highly Educated Feminist Lady are you really saying women need to learn how to be better at being women from MEN?” *thumps forehead in manner learned from her father* Are you for real? Is this a cruel joke?

This woman is an educator and this article is making me glad I never took classes on this subject.

Tell me this isn’t so. Someone please make me cup of tea and rock me gently and make it all go away.

This is something I will not accept. ONLY I GET TO DECIDE HOW TO BE A WOMAN. You are not the boss of my underpants. You are not the boss of Taylor Swift’s underpants. Only she gets to decide in what way she contributes to the movement. Call me whatever label you want, I believe we contribute as best we can based on our gifts and talents and god forbid our needs as a person.

Further, as someone who has been involved with theater let me explain the excellent bonding experience of putting on a show with people. All the weeks of work and the pressure of performing perfectly the lines, notes etc that you have learned pay off with a huge euphoria when everything goes right.

That final bow is an amazing feeling. For just one moment even if you have had beefs with a member of the cast, all is forgotten in the thrill of communal and individual achievement.

Theater can transcend gender. The post show high was just as great with male cast members as it was without. Team work is paramount and for just a few moments you’re all part of something special and exciting.

If Taylor Swift wants to share her performance euphoria with her friends that is completely natural. I think bringing her friends up on stage proves she knows all she needs to about bonding.

No only does this article ultimately peddle in the catty female competitiveness the author herself references but I believe at its climax this piece amounts to tone policing. Taylor Swift and co. are not being “the right kind of feminist” for Paglia and she feels they must be corrected.

Let me make this very clear. Tone policing is the same regardless of the source and still hurts “the movement” whether it is said by a man or a woman. Repression is repression.

We need to elevate women who are brave enough to put themselves out in the spotlight, not tear them down. As Camille points out there is plenty of that already.

In summation thank you Camille for pointing out how ugly our internal opinions of other women can be. I have so much work to do myself in this area. I am revitalized and committed to being a more empowering influence on my sisters.

Taylor Swift:

Thank you for being you. We need more of that.

I haven’t always been your biggest fan but I’ve always secretly loved “I knew you were trouble”.

Thank you for writing songs that girls who don’t fit in can relate to.

Thank you for putting your feelings out there for us all to experience with you.

Now I’m gonna go attempt to “shake it off”.

PS And while we’re on the subject why is she the only one who takes shit for writing break up songs when half of songs written fit that mold?

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A Hockey Happy Marriage

I saw a t-shirt design today that got me thinking. It said “the secret to a happy marriage is watching Avalanche Hockey together”. While that is a little too specific, although it happens to apply to me, it holds a certain kernel of truth. The secret to a successful relationship, in my experience, is shared interests. It might even be what brought you together in the first place but interests are not static and people continue to evolve. With this in mind can you still be “that happy couple” if your D&D group falls apart or your job doesn’t allow room for square dancing anymore? What happens if you fall out of love with an activity you once loved?

Well a transformation like this has taken place in our house and it has been more positive than negative. Our D&D group has suffered the fate that is all too frequent, the critical hit of scheduling difficulties. Our fantasy football league fell apart for lack of interest and distance. Neither one of us likes to party. His idea of a great Friday night is Friday Night Magic at our local game store. At that point in the week I’m so fed up with dealing with the public and standing on my feet that I want to be sequestered in my office with Netflix, Pinterest and hours of bad pop music and if I’m really lucky a creative spark. I’m peopled out. He’s feeling competitive and eager to be out in the MTG community.

I’m going say right now, it works out perfectly. I don’t need to spend my Friday night bitching about work and he sure doesn’t need to hear it. I drop him off at the Complex and go do what I need to refuel. A few years ago I would have been paranoid that we weren’t spending enough time together but after a lot of soul searching for what we really find important and considering what we need in order to have a happy life on a daily basis, we have found a balance of alone and together time. I love symphonic metal, Jeff has no patience for “shotgun drums”. He loves techno and I can’t handle what the treble does to my head. It important for us to both get enough of these things. For me there is value in something I can lose myself in without having to include someone else but you can’t call it a relationship if you never interact. Now is when I’m going to tie this back to hockey, cause you knew that was coming right? 🙂

Two years ago Jeff started making an effort to watch hockey with me, when I decided to finally get back in touch with my roots. A few years before I had put in the time to really learn about football and now he was perfectly happy to return the favor. It’s more interactive than watching a show together because we’re so much less concerned with what the announcers have to say than the dialogue of say Dr. Who. We can talk and joke and still keep track of “that scuttlebutt” on twitter. The experience inspired us to take a romantic getaway to NJ to share our first NHL game together and it turned into a magical time.

Meanwhile football has disappeared from the picture. His choice not mine. Since we’re both nerds and he is specifically a sports nerd, the next thought on our minds was “we can probably play this as a fantasy sport”. Jeff has played a lot of fantasy baseball and football and has a natural inclination to amass and study statistics. So, we jumped into public leagues on Yahoo last year just to test the waters. Any public league in any fantasy sport is going to be pretty easy to do as a beginner but since we’re competitive we decided to find a podcast on fantasy hockey to guide us. We wanted to be kings of the kiddie pool. Jeff found Keeping Karlsson and we quickly developed a routine running up to last season.

We listen to the cast on our morning commute, which isn’t long. One episode sometimes takes us an entire work week to get through when the show is super dense. During the day we use whatever info we gleaned to make free agent moves as needed. We steered our teams by their advice last year and both of us made it to the finals of the play offs. Result! One of us even won our league! 😛 Ahem…that would be me and I’d love to talk your ear off about how putting a priority on drafting solid goal-tending really paid off. We now support the show through Patreon, and are heading into the deep end of fantasy hockey in a patrons only ultimate league with tiers and promotion and relegation. Oh man, it is going to great. I’ve gone from seeming like a genius in a public league to facing off against the “Fantasy Hockey Robot” himself. I’ve never been so stoked to lose in my life.

I’m kidding. I spent a good amount of time tonight picking Jeff’s brain and poaching his research for my draft. This shit it on! My point is this. We now spend most of our free time discussing stats and players and sports headlines and idle conjecture and free agent moves. What we’re not spending much time on is bitching about work or something else just as meaningless to me but that will take over my mind if I let it. Our conversations have purpose. We don’t have time to fight, except about draft strategy and we’re just going to put bets on those differing opinions and let the numbers sort our who’s right.Hockey season returns - Imgur

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Is this maple syrup cruelty free?

The answer is no. No it is not. I can guarantee it is not. The syrup on your pancakes may, in fact be the most heinous crime against nature that you will encounter today. The maple syrup industry is not the mom and pop, operation you think it is, with charming but bloodthirsty woodsman leaving their homes each spring to quietly suck the blood of a few maple trees. No. It is big business. Proven by this severe heist. Here is the horror of which I speak, an entire grove of trees slowly being bled dry for the sake of your Sunday waffles.

No don’t take the easy way out and say you just didn’t know because you did know. The way in which maple sap is harvested is hardly a secret but you just didn’t think it was important. Did you? It isn’t just you. I don’t mean to point fingers. It’s all of us. Do any of us ever stop to consider that perhaps trees have sap for a reason? Maybe that tree needs it’s sap. Maybe it has plans for it. It has leaves to nourish for gods sake! Think of the baby leaves. Yes consider the leaves and buds that will never grow because you had to have a second stack of pancakes. We should be ashamed. The misuse of maple trees is a stain on us all. I don’t just mean Canadians either. You’re part of this too, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

Well I for one am done standing idly by. I will be spending my summer educating the tourist population and picketing out front of the sugar shack. By next spring I hope to not see a single spigot in a single tree.

Happy April First,

😉

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