Thursday, August 29, 2013

Intellectual Fog



            Intellectual Fog 
A section from My Dilemma. 


“You’re out of your mind, Mags,” Newby chuckled.
My burly bear of a friend playfully hung his fuzzy arm over my shoulders to gesture the lightheartedness of his warnings. 
            “You’re know it’s cold as balls up there, right?”
            “No shit, Newby,” I laughed. “It’s fucking Alaska.”
            This was the reaction of every one of my classmates when I dished on my post grad plans. Most of them, including Newby, were children of southern California. The 6-hour crossover from So-Cal to Nor-Cal was their definition of a culture shock. 
            By my twenties, I’d become quite adaptable. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee I knew chilly winters, blistering heat, and downpours that erupted a clear day suddenly enough to convince the most practical person that Mother Nature was off her Bipolar meds.  In San Diego post high school and Long Beach post Navy enlistment, I never lost sight of the So-Cal climate’s freakish perfection.
            “We’re so spoiled,” I’d tell my mom, Annie, in Chattanooga. “There was literally a flash flood warning for one inch of rain!”
            My friends and I poked fun at the way southern Californians grocery and bottle water stocked for the very occasional showers the way others would for blizzards and hurricanes. It only took a blanket of fog or a frigid 60-degree morning to smother UC Berkeley’s So-Cal natives in leggings under jeans, parkas, trendy fingerless gloves, wildly patterned rain boots, and colorful ruffled scarves.
            With graduation approaching, the pressures for adulthood game plans were on. Most would scurry south to Los Angeles or take an 8-mile hop west to San Francisco.  Unless we were tightly niched with family connections, the jobs weren’t throwing themselves at us. But we kept cool.
            “We’re Berkeley graduates,” we said out loud, more to ourselves than each other. “Did you know that we ranked third in the world?” we’d boast. “Right under Harvard and Stanford.”
            “Fuck Stanford and their shitty tree mascot,” Newby, a college football junkie, would usually snort at our long time rival. “The highlight of my education was pissing on their campus lawn.”
            Stanford and Berkeley were always competing in sports and reputations as the west coast’s academic elite.  
“But we’re still above Yale, Princeton, and MIT. I mean, third in the world. That’s huge,” we’d banter.
I still remember reading my acceptance letter with my heart nearly exploding from glorious triumph. I thought I’d truly made it.  
“I’ll never have to do this shit again,” I thought, as I wiped Famous Dave’s maple saturated Sweet n Sassy sauce from my t-shirt on my last waitressing shift.
Although I thought the same thing 5 years earlier on my last waitressing shift before boot camp, I believed that my prestigious university was my true mark of accomplishment.  Everyone else did too.
“I can’t believe I know someone who is going to Berkeley!” my friends and relatives back home exclaimed at my news.
“The day you set foot on that campus,” administrators announced during our introductory meetings, “Your social status escalates. No matter your race, income, age, ethnicity or background, you have all climbed a level of society’s ladder. Congratulations!”
During our years safely nestled in academia, that was easy to believe.
The UC Berkeley class of 2011 was an eclectic bundle of Asian, Latino, black, white, French, Middle Eastern, Indian, southern, northern, Californian, suburban, middle, lower class, veteran, reasonably rich, obscenely rich, sheltered, traveled, young, and old. A few were the heirs of international billionaires pursuing a pretty named degree to support the illusion that they somehow earned the hefty funds they would be handed. Others were the determined offspring of absent fathers and coupon cutting, food stamping single mothers, trading prom for the 4.4 GPA’s they’d leave high school with. Some were lazy geniuses, accepted after a fluke sprint of motivation. Others were like me, with slightly above average intelligence levels but with determined work ethic, wit, and writing talents. At times, I secretly believed I bull shitted my way to the Berkeley name I’d only known though movies and hearsay of a friend’s third cousin’s Einstein brother attending.
Tucked in the middle of San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, and Walnut Creek, entering Berkeley grounds feels like a stumble into an alternate universe. Just east of pricey, urban professional, north of the impoverished remnants of the Black Panther party, and south east of middle class suburbia, the college town strongly maintains its role as the progressive, furiously youthful attention whore saturated with its fight for individuality.
Berkeley is a well-read rebel. The campus itself is a vision of classic, European modeled architecture atop a lush, green hill that faces a wide-ranged view of the San Francisco skyline and glistening bay that folds in front of it like a welcome mat. Its pathways are shaded by enormous, bellowing redwoods and shrubbery that leads to fountains, a library that emulates Ancient Rome’s prime, a 307 foot tall 1914 Campanile that chimes daily, and grassy fields littered with students recovering from the brain molestations of their morning classes. 
An initial glance at UC Berkeley would categorize its historic beauty with fellow fancy universities like Princeton and Notre Dame. Then, biblical propaganda and predictions of the world’s end booming from the throat of a scruff man resembling Santa Clause after a 500-mile hitchhike would interrupt its serenity. Disheveled Vietnam veterans, barefoot vagabonds, and tattered outsiders preaching every angle of the world’s corruptions trickle on school grounds as a reminder that Berkeley is merely an island in a pool of Bezerkeley.
The steps off campus transport pedestrians to a chaotic mix of corporate retailers like Urban Outfitters, Yogurtland, American Apparel and independent record shops, markets, and eateries of every ethnicity smothered in flee-market style tables neck-to-neck along the sidewalk. The streets buzz with skinny jeaned hipsters, tweed wearing faculty, a series of Navy blue Cal Bear hoodies covering 20-year-olds of every size, shape, and shade, and homeless drifters as diverse as the students lounging on every corner. Sorority girls wearing pattered tights under shorts meander towards school, grazing their fingers along the various feathered earrings, tie-dyed blankets, and home made wind chimes hustled by vendors.
Emerging from palaces, gutters, local, or far away lands, UC Berkeley leveled all of us to one flat foundation. For a period in time, the debt the poor would graduate with would be forgotten. The hefty salaried figurehead gigs the trust fund babies would inherit were shoveled into a mental, “I’ll think about it later” compartment. Together, we were all cramped inside our dorms and box studios, sweating out our daily brain dissections. We were equals inside the Bezerkeley galaxy. Our strongest bond was our hope.  
We’d worked hard to get in. With about a 25% admission rate, we were there because we’d wanted it badly. We’d wanted it badly because a college education was our path to success. A college education from one of the best universities in the world guaranteed it.
“America is the land of opportunity.”
We’d heard the term so often from our grandparents, parents, presidential speeches, and movies of poor immigrants building empires with blood, sweat, and tears that the term was cliché.  But knowing the hoops jumped for admission, I’m pretty sure my peers bought into it as much as I did.
“Work hard,” we were advised by all authoritative figures. “Study. Go to college- a good one. Get your education. Get your work experience. That is how you become somebody. This isn’t Mexico, Ethiopia, or Iraq,” they said. “You didn’t grow up barefoot on the streets eating from a garbage can. You’re blessed. You’re lucky. You’re American. Be grateful. Love your country. You can do anything you set your mind to.”
I can’t decide whether we were sheltered or exposed. Our professors did not hide the flaws of America. They lectured them.
I learned about the world at Berkeley. I studied the rise and fall of societies and how my country profited through war mongering, enslaving, and exploiting. I was trained in spotting the racism and sexism in the media, writing essays on commercial clips and breaking down how each one catered to the white male perspective that still dominated my world.  
“This is how we know that racism exists,” Professor Goldblum, one of my favorites, explained.
He was young, in his mid thirties with messy brown hair, a goatee, and dark rimmed glasses around the hazel eyes that always seemed on fire when he lectured. I’d harbored a mild crush on him and always sat on the edge of my seat, in awe of his public speaking charisma.
“How many drug busts do we hear about in Oakland?” he scowled. “Plenty, right? But are the police ever rummaging through those fraternity houses a few blocks away? Because God knows they’re laced with gobs of cocaine. Oddly enough crack has a minimum 5-year jail sentence for possession,” he continued. “Which is strange because it’s basically a watered down version of cocaine. But who’s usually snorting cocaine?” he asked the class.
“The rich,” a heavyset woman with an Afro and beaded necklace answered.
“And who smokes crack?”
“The poor,” we all answered in unison.
We didn’t have to attend class to hear about the world’s ugliness.
            It seemed like Berkeley was always buzzing with protests and demonstrations. One day, a few dozen students would be lined at the gates dressed in black with their face painted to match. A few leaders with a megaphone would rant on racism with crime, rape, or poverty statistics to support their points. The next day would be rainbows, glittered, bikini clad boys in rollerblades, and same sex couples sucking tongues for Facebook photo opts to document their bold stand. Other demonstrations screamed louder, with nearly every student and faculty member packed tightly around Sproul Hall with signs on budget cuts, unfair pay, greed, and corrupt leadership.

WHAT DO WE WANT?
FAIR PAY!
WHAT DO WE WANT?
FREE EDUCATION!
WHAT DO WE WANT?
EQUAL RIGHTS!
WANT TO WE WANT!
OUR VOICES HEARD!

            My ears were buzzing with student so much activism that I eventually drowned out the noise.  
            “Are you going to the protest tomorrow?” I’d ask one of my classmates.
            “Na. Last month’s protest took up way too much of my time. Are you?”
            “No. I mean, I support what they’re doing, but if I put my energy into every protest we had, I’d flunk out of all of my classes.”
            I admired my bold, freethinking peers, but there were times that I saw hypocrisy in it all. Were they really speaking out against corruption or had it just become cool to speak out against corruption? Were they breaking grounds or following trends? Protest was Berkeley’s greatest legacy. By senior year I was rolling my eyes at the sight of a megaphone and got angry when break-ins, vandalism, and arrests occurred.
            “I can see the reason for the riots in the 60s,” I’d bitch to my friends.
            A good bit of them shared my mentality. 
            “Yeah, like I get the Vietnam, Civil Rights and Free Speech riots- all of that,” we’d chatter. “But sometimes I think that they just want something to protest about.”
             
Our downfall wasn’t isolation. Berkeley wasn’t a barricaded fortress of fluff, lies, and brainwash. We knew our economy was hurting, but didn’t brace for the pain. As we spent our days analyzing the racism and sexism of advertising and the social construct of gender, we floated in a fog of intellectual arrogance. Our educators did not tell us that America’s work industry had flip-flopped. We didn’t know that so many once promising career paths had become dead ends, while the blue-collar positions we once considered ourselves superior to were suddenly the safer routes. 
 We still believed that our precious Berkeley brand was the stamp on our passport to prosperity. Sure, we would sip sangria out of red solo cups in togas and banter about politics between keg stands. But we expected to remain in the cozy spot above the world falling apart. We’d read, write, and talk about it. But we’d never be its victims. After all, we’d gone to Berkeley.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why do nice girls chase asshole guys?



                        "Why do the good girls always want the bad boys?" No Doubt, Bathwater


Nice girls always wonder why they pursue assholes..

Nice guys always wonder why nice girls pursue assholes..

This is why.

When a guy is mean to a girl, he makes her feel bad about herself.  So, she feels this desperation to win his affection to prove to herself that she is not the piece of garbage he treated her like in the first place.
She assumes that if he treats her like garbage, she is garbage. So, if she can somehow beg, plead, manipulate, and charm her way into him not treating her like garbage, she won't be garbage.

That's pretty fucked up, right?

Here's the thing.

The asshole is not treating the girl like garbage because she's garbage.
The asshole is treating the girl like garbage because he is an asshole.

I reiterate this so much that, if you know me at all, it gets pretty fucking redundant, but.....

QUIT ALLOWING MEN TO VALIDATE YOUR WORTH.

Don't let some asshole decided if you're garbage. It's YOUR job to decide what you are.

If you think you're garbage, don't date until you've improved your life, self-esteem, mind, accomplishments, etc. enough to where you truly believe you are awesome.

Then, when some asshole treats you like garbage, tell him to fuck off because you're awesome and he's an asshole.

Then tell him, "Sorry, asshole. We could have had fun, but you decided to be an asshole. Have fun being an asshole and spreading hatred and misery throughout the world. I'll be hanging out here.. being awesome."

Case closed.
The end! Yaaaaay!!




Friday, August 23, 2013

No Hope for the Human Race Slays the Three-Headed Feminist Dragon








What happened: This is Kelly Martin Broderick. Last Spring,  Kelly participated in a feminist campaign for her university. The photo was simply herself holding up a sign that said, "This is what a feminist looks like."

Then: Around August 19, 2013 somebody took this photo and created the meme you see above.

Then: The meme was featured many places, including Tumblr and the Facebook page, "No Hope for the Human Race." According to her blog (or "rant" as No Hope calls it), by the time she discovered it, it had over 2,000 shares, almost 10,000 likes, and almost 1,000 comments. Here are some of the things people said:

"I'd like a show of hands from the feminazi types here. How many of you think that the really fat feminazi wench in the picture though that when she posed for the pic, that she would gain this much attention? This is great huh? I meanw, how about these guys here ladies.....how about a round of applause for all if these guys who took some serious time out of their evening, which we didn't have to, in order to pay a little homage to that obese salamage? Iv love this country." -Brian Shaune


"Fat, old, angry and single. If they still have a sex drive they find another angry lesbian feminist and make each other and the people around them miserable."-Brent Finnigan 
  "You women want everything equal good lol when you get a divorce or have kids get a job and support without child support and alimony. Equal my ass.. i see more females getting a free ride just because they married or got the dick from some dude that works hard." -Skyler Valdez

"How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? None, because feminists won't change anything." -Brad Beringer 

"And in come the feminazi's."-Connor Ross


  
"And this is what a fish jammed inside a chicken's neck smoking a cigarette looks like... guess which one I'd rather have around?" -Josh Wylie

 "Feminism killed chivalry.."-Lauren Combs

"Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a feminist to fish and she will accuse you of patronising her, claim she knew how to do it anyway and that even if she didn't, she could easily work it out without the help of a man."-Peter Jepic

"Never understood feminism!! I like my doors opened, drinks bought, ect!! The feminists are too stupid to see we actually have it pretty good! Hell, most men share their earnings, too!! I would be a feminist, why???!! Lmao " -Deborah Lashley 

"I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science." -Matthew Read




But many defended her: 

"I think she's beautiful. I am a feminist as well. Human beings come in all shapes and sizes. Get the fuck over it."

"So if you are not the society definition of beauty, it invalidates you as a person? is this what we have become? i guess that goes with the name of this page."

"No one here seems to even know what "feminism" is. A bunch of sad, uneducated morons. Im unfollowing this retarded page."

"This thread proves we still need feminism. Fuck off mysonginists."

"Jesus fucking Christ. I'm unfollowing this bullshit page too. All the men laughing about this--enjoy your chauvinism. For all you women laughing about this, fuck you. All of the people who fought for your right to vote and have equal pay, access to birth control--you just pissed in their faces."
  
 Feel free to check out the post.


Her first move: Kelly and several supporters asked Facebook to remove the meme.

Facebook said NO: Because it did not violate their "community standards."

Kelly.... *get ready*.... DEFENDED HERSELF... *gasp*.....: Peacefully. In fact, the only glimmer of ridicule she unleashed was imply the immaturity of one of the thousands of lashings inflicted on her.





 Kelly continued her revenge by starting a Tumblr page called "We Are What Feminists Look Like" so that several believers in gender equality could submit their photos and show that feminists are not just overweight women shamed by those who are threatened by them.




No Hope for the Human Race decided that Kelly was out of line. They decided to fight back on her blatant "attack."


No Hope for the Human Race's Response: 


So it appears that the feminist movement is now waging a war on our wall because of this post.


Her rant can be found here: http://www.xojane.com/issues/my-picture-was-stolen-and-turned-into-a-fat-shaming-anti-feminist-meme

It features every step she took to report the image and facebook telling her that is wasn't in violation of anything.
Our response:

I think I speak on behalf of all no hope fans when I say that we come here to laugh at the expense of all people. No exceptions!
When you post an image of yourself on facebook you are giving your images to the internet. Just like you can express your opinion on your feminist movement, the internet can respond back with their opinion. The problem with feminism is that you are getting carried away and have been for some time. When a funny picture on the internet becomes a reason for you to want to take away someone else's right to an opinion, that is a real problem. If people in our comments refer to feminists as "an army of lesbians who need the cock," that is not OUR opinion. It is the opinion of the one who commented. Which in this case, would offend lesbians. Someone might say that feminists look like uptight ugly fat chicks who are pissed off that hotter chicks get more dick. Once again, that is not OUR opinion. That is the opinion of the fan who commented and they have a right to express it. The meme that was created merely stated that you look like how most individuals (including attractive women who can get laid) would commonly imagine feminists to look. You stating that you were being slammed for being fat is your own insecurity. The irony, is that you are now using this as a way to promote your bullshit movement and lame tumblr page. Which I am feeding into by addressing this. Though I fear not, our fans would never entertain your wack site.

Lastly, 90% of your family and friends who supported you through this "make believe crisis" are probably fans of our page in secret. They probably laughed behind your back and now message you with sorrow. Hypocrisy at it's finest. After all, we are the page that so many won't admit they like because their uptight friends may judge them. This proves the point of our page.

You want to talk about Feminism? Think of the young girl being stalked on facebook by a sexual predator who didn't receive the help she needed, because facebook admins were inundated with you and your feminazi friends reporting this stupid ass image.

The next time you want to throw a fit about something on the internet, take your own advice.
Remember this article you posted?

You know...maybe her site should take their own advice. they had this article on there. http://www.xojane.com/issues/internet-is-not-real

Carry on with your feminism. We'll carry on making fun of it along with making fun of everything else. People's right to an opinion doesn't stop where your feelings begin.
I'll admit: 
-Yes, everything we post on the Internet is subject to be stolen and used in any form (which is why I kept the names of Kelly's haters.. muahahaha).
-No Hope for the Human Race is correct. They are not responsible for the comments their fans post, no matter how idiotic or cruel they may be. 
-I "like" No Hope for the Human Race and share a good deal of their photos. But I've decided, in support of Kelly, to change that. Not because I have no sense of humor, but because I've felt the pain Kelly is feeling right now. I get it and it's shitty.
-In the past, I have shared photos that ridicule people. 
But you know what? I don't think I ever will again. 
Kelly's experience really shed light on the meme's we laugh at on a daily basis. And, sure, a good bit of them are cute. Like this... 


and this... 

but then there's this...




and this...







and...




These people are strangers. We're removed from who they are and therefore, have objectified them for our own amusement. But Kelly reminds us that these memes are human beings with lives, loved ones, and feelings. No Hope for the Human Race is right. I have laughed at memes that probably felt like a knife in the gut to the people whose images we verbally brutalized. 


I'm an author and writer of some pretty controversial material. As I state on the home page of my website, I am well aware that I am practically requesting hatred. That comes with the territory.  Even though I know that the end result is worth it, it always hurts. 
However, Kelly was just a college student participating in an activity. 
She wasn't asking for international attention.  She was simply a woman who believes in gender equality, happens to be overweight, and dared to not hide in a cave all of her life.
Obviously, I am a feminist. 
I do not hate men. I do not fantasize about castrating every male who doesn't want me.  I like it when a man buys my drink just as much as I like wearing makeup, pushup bras, and dresses. I have fun with those traditional roles to an extent.
Why am I a feminist? 
I believe in gender equality. That is the definition of feminism. If I was not a feminist, I would either wish to be inferior to males or superior to males. That would either make me a self-loather or a man-hater. 

But what made me fight for feminism? You know, become that loud mouthed  feminazi cunt taking feminism"way too far?"
I went on my first diet at age 11. I was anorexic by 12 and bulimic by 14. By 18, I was coughing up blood. I'm pretty sure that I would be dead if I had not joined the Navy. Boot camp and my lack of privacy in ship's quarters forced me to quit. 
This was me when I first kicked bulimia.


This was me a few months later..... 


This is me 8 years later... 



And you know what, Kelly? I still get called "fat" every now and then, even though I work about about 5 days a week.  That's typically the first insult men unleash when they hit on me and I turn them down. I'm sure if I were a size 0, they'd find another insult. 

Naturally, Kelly's fat shaming hits home.


My bulimia triggered Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition that is the leading cause of infertility in America. I know some women who have had this and packed on 200 lbs within months, even on a diet of kale and cardboard. Women with PCOS come in all shapes and sizes. The one commonality of this condition is that it is incredibly difficult to lose weight. You can do it, but it takes significantly longer.
The Navy was my rehab. Bulimics have two choices. They have to either quit or die. I didn't want to die at 18, so I was forced to take on an active and healthy lifestyle. The weight came off, but what would take the average person a year to lose took me about 6 years. 

Until then, I was a woman in the military living a size 4 lifestyle in a size 16 body. From puberty until high school graduation, I was considered a reasonably pretty girl. It's astonishing how different the world treated me with a bit of weight on my body.  I was stationed on a ship of about 300 men and 30 women. The women were subject to a lot of scrutiny. They were well aware that my body image was my vulnerable spot. And no, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was treated like absolute garbage.
You know what always triggered their insults? My confidence- when I dared to have any.   

Fat girls are supposed to be meek. 
Fat girls are supposed to be submissive. 
Fat girls are supposed to know their place. 
Fat girls are supposed to hate themselves.

I remember one guy in particular. The second I said something witty, sarcastic, or showed an ounce of self-esteem, he'd snap something like, "Shut your fat face!" He was always making cracks, like how I looked like a cow jumping over a fence when I leaped off a few steps. 
Even after I dropped the weight, I relapsed back to anorexia a few times. I was never satisfied. At least not until I figured out the root of my illness and their ridicule.
What bothers me the most about those memories isn't the insults of others, but that I let them affect me to the point of bordering suicide. 


Why did I feel the need to diet at age 11? 
I grew up in a culture where beauty was a woman's greatest attribute. I could call out the whole gamut, like the Disney movies were the only happy ending I knew was for a beautiful princess to be loved and rescued by a prince or the Barbie's I played with from potty training age.
 
Women are taught to validate themselves through men.  I felt obligated to be beautiful because that was supposed to make men love me. A man loving me was the ultimate accomplishment. Because of the pressure I felt to be attractive, I ruined my chances of having children. Because of the pressure I felt to be aesthetically pleasing to men,  I almost killed myself. My eating disorders are just a fraction of the shit I got myself into for the sake of male approval. 

I truly became a feminist when I realized that I was broken inside. My emotional dependency on men was the root of the struggle and self loathing that haunted me most of my life. After a lot of self discovery, I learned to not need men. It's not that I don't like them. The key word is need.
Now, I live my life for myself. I do hope do hope to fall in love with someone someday, but I don't prioritize it. I suppose I had to be alone for a while so that I could grow into someone I truly approved of. That way, if I felt rejection in any relationship, I would not degrade myself because of it. 

Kelly,  I am so terribly sorry for all of the pain you've experienced from this fiasco, but I want to point out the silver lining in all of this. 
This disaster, which unfortunately happened at Kelly's expense, calls attention to what's broken within all of us.
 
The person who created that meme targeted her looks. In fact he or she didn't even have to clarify that. Here is a comment from someone I know. 
 
"The comment just says that's what I expected. Not much harm till you the reader judges her by her image that it actually takes flight." 

But when people degrade a woman, they instantly target her looks. Here's another example of all too many mentalities. 



“If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” -
Hillary Rodham Clinton 





  The fact is, both men and women are still trapped inside of their prescribed gender roles. While a woman is degraded for being strong, bold, and outspoken, men are ridiculed for showing vulnerability, compassion, and emotion. While a woman is pressured to be thin, busty, and feminine males are pressured to be tall, muscular, and strong. When a man wants to insult a woman, he calls her fat. When a woman wants to insult a man, she tells him his dick is small. 


"Men weren't really the enemy- the were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate where there were no bears to kill." -Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique 
  
We use those angles are our go-to assault weapons because they work. Men are still validating themselves by their masculinity while women their beauty. Those insults affect us because we have allowed ourselves to put something so shallow on a pedestal.

And we have to ask ourselves why we are so mean to each other? Why do we deliver such petty, but potent crucifixion to the innocent and unsolicited? 

Perhaps they are not completely unsolicited. Without realization or intention, most likely our victims threaten us.

I reflect on every person I've said cruel things about. And trust me, I've been a horrible, irrational bitch plenty of times, especially in the height of my insecurity. I have been that woman ranting about a man's microscopic dick. Most of the time it was because I felt some form of rejection, which made me feel badly about myself. I felt that degrading him or objectifying him would emotionally remove me or escalate my worth.  I've picked apart other women, and every negative word stemmed from my own internal damage that I did not want to own up to. 

I've always wondered what the big threat of feminism was. So much of American society treats feminists like three-headed-dragons. They're blatantly terrified. They don't know whether to stare with their mouths gaped open or slay them. 
What caught my attention about the Kelly vs. No Hope battle wasn't the meme generated in the first place. It was the reactions to her defending herself. They present their action for posting the photo in an innocent, "What did you expect? This is a website that insults everyone equally," tone. But what did they and all the people who shamed her for fighting back expect her to do? 


"I hate what women like her have turned feminism into. What a crock." -Sam Janney 


When Kelly reacted, she did so in a peaceful way. She didn't unleash insults degrading men, as many of her critics defined feminism. She didn't utter a hateful word, but simply carried an attitude that said, "I'm not ashamed of who I am. I'm feminist and am proud of my views. You're being mean by not removing the photo that humiliated me, so I'm going to take your negativity and turn it into something positive."

I find it interesting that a woman who did not follow the guidelines of the beauty ideal and dared to have a spine seemed to enrage so many people.

The fact that that No Hope for the Human Race considered her taking a bit of action, "throwing a fit" really demonstrates their expectation of placing her into a corner, zip lipped and beating her if she dared attempt to step out of line. 

This is my theory on the feminist shaming broken down in the simplest terms: 

-Men who hate feminism feel so because gender equality threatens their masculinity. Ironically, this pressure to be masculine suppresses them just as the pressure to be feminine suppresses women. 
-The women who hate feminism feel so because they believe that equality to men will compromise the male approval they are petrified of losing. 
-Those who lashed out at Kelly did so because they were disturbed that the threat of cruelty, ridicule, and societal pressures to be and act a certain way did not control her the way it controls them. 

Although I've never met Kelly, the No Hope for the Human Race admins,  or the thousands of social media users who attacked her, maybe every one of us participating in this conflict sees that Kelly has been forced to break free from the glorification and worship of the physical appearances that will inevitably fade in all of us.
What the fucked up mind frame have we shackled ourselves to and what monster has it created?  
Speech and opinions may be free, but that doesn't mean that they are not evil. 
Hey, Kelly, thanks for not letting them put you in your place. We still need feminism.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My guy is in the military. Will he cheat on me?


I got this email recently and wanted to blog my response. I know how I present military men in my writing, so I wanted to clarify things for all of the significant others out there who may be paranoid. Here's the deal: YES. Most military members cheat. Most military spouses also cheat. Also, don't take any infidelity statistics to heart because.. believe it or not PEOPLE LIE. People that are cheaters are typically liars too. There is probably a lot more cheating that happens. In fact, almost every military person I knew cheated at least once. Their partners at home cheated also. 

This is why: The military makes marriage insanely tempting. As I said in Just Another Number and Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife, it almost doubles your pay. It provides couples housing. It also allows couples to get stationed together when orders would likely be split if a couple remained "dating." So you have a lot of premature marriages happening out of convenience. Deployments have a "make or break" relationship tendency. Most people coupled up before deployment break up after due to the strain on the time apart. People get together very quickly after deployment because they crave comfort, intimacy, and stability after a chaotic 6 months to a year of chaos. 
(Look at the baby boomer period after WWII. That's a more exaggerated, but accurate example). 

Foreign ports are just as wild as I described in Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife. That description was NOT slightly amplified at all. Sailors party hard. Sailors make fraternities look like monasteries. 

But YES, there are indeed loyal, faithful spouses in the military. There aren't many, but I can think of about a handful that I knew off the top of my head. (That is out of hundreds.. ouch). 

BUT WAIT! Before I seem like a cynical, bitter bitch, here's the thing: THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR PARTNER IS A CHEATER. Or that you are a cheater. Or that your relationship is doomed due to the military. 

Anyone who takes on a partnership with the military knows that challenges await them. But there are hardships in every relationship. Although I can't speak from real experience, I have no doubt that intimate long term relationships are incredibly difficult. But if you are truly in love with someone, don't anticipate things going wrong before they do. 

This is how it should be: Love yourself before you commit to anyone. This should be the case in any romantic circumstance. Make sure that you can happily stand alone if shit hits the fan. Then, go into the relationship optimistically. If you don't trust the person you are with, you shouldn't be with them in the first place. If you do trust them, then relax. If you love them, then enjoy being in love! 
There are risks to EVERY relationship. People cheat, like, and steal. They grow apart. They fall out of love. They die. Shit happens. There is risk in everything. But sometimes, it works out. And even if it doesn't, as long as you had fun along the way.. that is all that matters. 

Walking away from a love because you're afraid of it ending is like committing suicide because you're going to die someday anyway. 

Don't stress yourself worrying about your partner doing something that he/she hasn't done yet. You'll drive yourself crazy. And if they cheat, you'll find out. Trust me. You'll know. The truth always reveals itself. That's why I never lie.

And, let me just put my heart on  my sleeve because.. I do that a lot anyway... I miss being in love. Seriously. I date all the time and feel absolutely nothing. I have no feelings. haha. If you feel something, don't walk away from that. Sometimes people are so busy being skeptical that they forget to be happy. 

Buckle up and enjoy the ride. ;)