Category: Culture

Feminist Friday: This Time Will Be the Last Time

You guys, I’ve missed you!! I’ve missed writing – life has been a giant can o’ crazy this year and PYDPO has been a casualty. I apologize. I’m hoping that things will be settling and I can get back to sharing way too much personal information with strangers on the internet very soon. There have been so many things I’ve wanted to discuss with y’all recently! But every time I’ve started to write about MRAs or #NotAllMen or Rihanna’s ass, the rage has overwhelmed me and I’ve had to stop. So today I’m going to ignore all of that shit and talk about something much more important: all of my gray hair.

I turned 33 this year. I’m in the middle age zone – I’m all settled with a partner and kids, I have a career, I long for home ownership, I worry about retirement and life insurance. While all of that makes me feel like an adult, what makes me feel old is my hair. Years of slathering on Water Babies to avoid sun poisoning coupled with lots of extra collagen has left me fairly wrinkle free so far, but my roots show my age. And what used to be one here or there has turned into the fact that I’m definitely, totally going gray.
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A Seriously Random List of Things on My Mind Today

  • I can’t stop listening to Lana Del Ray. She makes me feel like I am in a movie in the best possible way. Haters gonna hate, and I don’t particularly give a flying fuck what anyone else has to say about her.
  • If you find yourself constantly apologizing for your shitty behavior, maybe you should quit behaving so shittily (is too a word, I just said so.)
  • My son used letters from his new Matchbox license plates to spell HAM GUY. That is not his name.
  • In related news, I am now referring to my son as HAM GUY.
  • My friend volunteered me to help out with my kid’s school’s annual fundraiser and I actually like it. Not feeling useless is pretty cool.
  • My other friend and I have serious plans to start a band. I don’t know when or where we’re going to practice, and it might just be her and me, but I’m totally into it.
  • Man, that Superbowl was fucking awful, right?
  • Unpopular opinion: Despite his charming dance moves and resemblance to a leprechaun, I cannot stand Bruno Mars. I’m not debating this with you. I get why you like him. That goddamn Locked Out of Heaven song is nails on a chalkboard to these ears.
  • I wish I could sit down with Ryan Murphy and talk to him about how to improve future seasons of American Horror Story. Coven was so close this season, but dropped the ball in SO MANY WAYS. (Clearly, Stevie Nicks was not the issue for me.)
  • That said, I LOVED THIS SEASON SO HARD. Myrtle Snow is my new spirit animal.
  • I really hate when I tell dudes I don’t like something, like a band, and they brush it off and tell me to try it again. Then I reiterate my researched opinion and my opinion is still ignored.
  • I want my son to listen to Beyonce’s Flawless. It is important for boys to start learning to get on the feminist level.
  • I got this amazing Maybelline Color Show glitter nail polish and I love it, except 2 days ago I painted them and it’s already coming off in huge chunks, littering my office carpet with disco ball nail polish flakes.
  • Last Wednesday I went out on a whim and had great conversation with lovely ladies who reminded me that I need to create more. Since the extent of my artistic abilities are stick figures and macaroni necklaces, I am making a commitment to writing more. And baking.
  • Related: My city is overflowing with amazing women. Now ya heard.
  • This quote right here, from another dear friend: “Patriarchy is exhausting.”
  • I love winter. Cold gets me motivated, and makes me love snuggling in my bed with books, tea, Netflix, and iTunes. It has also made me seriously consider getting a cat, which goes against both things I believe in. (Yeah, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Deal with it.) I’m not going to get a cat. But a fluffy gray or black one named Myrtle Snow exists in my dreams.
  • Spring is just ahead which means fucking yardwork. I fucking hate yardwork. That’s it. No witticisms.
  • The next post I make won’t be so disjointed. Probably. But maybe it will. I don’t know. But I am going to make an effort to post more. The end!

Biblio-Files: Gothic Mysteries

One of my absolute favorite genres is the Gothic mystery. These books tend to be about crumbling mansions in the country, family secrets, ghosts and murder most foul. There’s usually a heroine of impeccable virtue who has had horrible luck and finds herself in an unpleasant situation. There’s a mother/aunt/caretaker who’s abused the poor heroine in some way, a dashing gentleman with a dark side, a mysterious benefactor, a trusted confidante, a doomed lover. There are journals and dying confessions and lies the heroine must sift through to discover the truth using her rational mind and courage cultivated from years of abuse or neglect. The novels are generally set in Victorian England, and if they aren’t, feel like they should be. These are the books you curl up with on a chilly, rainy day, a cup of tea (or coffee if you’re like me and can’t stand tea) next to you that goes cold because you’re too wrapped up in the mystery to remember to drink it. They are, simply, the best.
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Guest Post: I Won’t Apologize For Being Assaulted

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault discussed frankly

Today’s guest post comes from the awesome Beth –  “a recovering scenster 30something stay at home wife and mom. I listen to the Descendents from the comfort of my suburban home while cooking barefoot and pregnant to Bikini Kills Rebel Girl. I may not have it all figured out but im constsntly searching for a balance.”

According to sexual assault statistics, “One in four college-age women report surviving rape or attempted rape since their fourteenth birthday.” This is a pretty well known fact and probably won’t come to any surprise as I’m sure you, a girlfriend/boyfriend, ex, sibling, parent, child, teacher, babysitter, or neighbor in your life has been a victim. What might surprise you is how sexual assault can really inconvenience other people. No, seriously. I mean, what a total bummer to have to know that a friend of yours was manhandled by someone else – it just makes you feel bad, ya know? Or what a total drag to be friends with that certain someone who has been accused of this, I mean… jeez. Give you a break right? It’s not like they did it to you. You weren’t even there and I could totally be lying.

Wait. What? Let me go back…

I totally bum people out because I happened to have been sexually assaulted by the singer of a band they like. Like REALLY like. I know, I know. I should have tried harder for a band just begging to be rejected and ridiculed so it wouldn’t ruin your iPod rotation but hey, then again, it really wasn’t my choice. But man, what a total inconvenience to poor you to know something bad about a band you love. Just ignore the facts, I mean it WAS a long time ago. It’s not like I can still remember I was wearing cargo camo shorts and a v-neck white Hanes t-shirt… an outfit TOTALLY putting off do-me vibes with my freshly shaved head and not shaved legs and…wait. Hmmm.

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A different college education

I am a fanatical college football fan.  I have had a subscription to Sports Illustrated since I was in high school.  I LOVE to read about the human interested or behind the player/coach stories, but this last week there was one article that made me want to vomit.  Or go into a rage black out.  It is the 5 part story of Oklahoma State and how it’s recruiting is, to put it mildly,  less than ethical.  Of all of the parts to this story,  the one that angered me the most was the “sex” portion of the investigation. Which you can read here.  If you don’t know what I am talking about here is a little background.  There are past players and coaches that have anonymously said that when being recruited by Oklahoma State that they had sex with girls from the Orange Pride.  Continue reading

Guest Post: Funny.

Here’s another guest post from David! Do yourself a favor and actually click through and watch the videos. Maybe put on some of those fancy new Depends that are advertised on MSNBC all the damn time first. 

I’ve been thinking about comedy a lot lately. And yes, as one of the few non-parents posting here, I know exactly what kind of asshole I sound like by saying that. With all my luxurious free time, why don’t I just sit and have a nice think about comedy? Bear with me here.

I’ve had, at times, a combative relationship with comedy. In my formative, ‘I’m a storyteller, damn it!’ years, I think I saw comedy as a relatively simple thing. A trifle. A nice diversion, but certainly not a form of expression. Then I hit my adult years and actually had real adult shit happen – those situations for which no one can tell you what to do and the best support you get is a shrug and a, “That sucks.” If you’re lucky. And I found that comedy was beyond a comfort; it was a way of understanding that we all experience these things. And it was a way to commiserate with others.

There’s a connection that can be found in two people finding the same thing funny. It indicates a shared experience and outlook on the world. I wish there was the equivalent of a comedy mix tape. Remember how you’d make new friends a mix tape of the music you felt best represented you? “Listen to this Smith’s song and you’ll totally get where I am with dating right now.” I wish we had that for comedy. I feel like that would be much better indicator of who we are and what we’ve been through.
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We Aren’t All as Amazing and Dreamy as Ryan Gosling

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I was recently introduced to the list 101 Everyday Ways for Men to be Allies to Women. This was prompted by my announcement to my younger sister (who is a very intelligent, feminist woman) that I had written a guest post for a “feminist blog”. I was quickly informed that my views were not original or special in any way. This is a perfect demonstration of why many progressive men are not as outspoken about their feminist views as they could be. On the one hand, if we mention our views we are ridiculed for being “whipped” or subservient to women. On the other hand we are marginalized by feminists for “stating the obvious” and for not being feminist enough. To be clear, we are not asking for recognition, however we are asking for affirmation that we are doing the right things. Instead a of reaction “thanks for noticing, now if you could get the rest of you male assholes on board”, maybe it would be more productive to have a reaction of “That’s great! Now, how about thinking about this issue/idea that you may not have thought about before?” It’s amazing to me that feminist women wonder why more men are not allying with women on this issue. What do you expect when we offer support and we are met with negativity and criticism for just being a man?
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Guest Post: Pushers, Perverts and Preferred Pronouns

Today’s guest post comes from Rick – it’s long and completely worth it! These guys are awesome!

I read this blog the other day, written by my friend Maureen, and it made me think of another female friend of mine. She had recently received an e-mail from someone she barely knew.
It was a solicitation for sex.

In it, the sender figures that because my friend is interested in yoga, she must know that “the only yoga that’s not ‘bullshit’ is tantra”…which he is really “good at”, by the way…if only he could find a steady “partner” (because tantric sex is apparently a sport like racquetball). He goes on to illuminate her about why sex is so important to him in his situation at that moment and how, since he recently acquired a new phone, and a bit of money, some sex might just be the final piece of the puzzle that is his fulfilled life. So she should call him…

This was an actual letter. Someone actually sent this.

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FF: Rational Discussions About Feminism

I love our blog. I love our writers and readers and the amazing conversations that can be sparked from a single post. I’m sharing two great ones today, because I can’t stand to write about Weiner’s wiener or Castro’s crazy or anti-abortion nut jobs or anything else that’s happening because it makes me want to cry. So, instead, some back and forth within the community about feminism and it’s many forms and functions. It gives me hope when I remember that for all the assholes out there, we have as many amazing people who believe in equality and rights for all. I think that’s something we all need to remember when the news gets us down.

This is an abridged version of an email conversation I had with Delaney. [This has been changed from the original conversation posted – if you were confused for a minute, you’re not insane!] This is actually a pretty typical exchange for us. Sometimes feminists don’t agree on things!

D: I think he’s been reading my Feminism books when I’m not looking. I told him about Jared’s post, and he writes “How the hell can one be a ‘male feminist’ anyway?” And I’m like, “Uh, well, I guess some men can call themselves that if they are dedicated to eradicating women’s oppression…” So then he comes back and says “Hmm. I feel like the word ‘feminist’ belongs to you guys.” Anyway, we text back and forth for a bit and I kind of expect him to…I don’t know what. What I did NOT expect was this: “We’re the reason sexism and racism exist in the first place. We’ve already taken enough. We don’t get to use cool terms or join cool clubs. We just get to “not an asshole” by NOT continuing to perpetuate this.” AND THEN “Like, the whole fucking reason that any pro-gender or pro-race group or term exists is because WHITE MEN have spent hundreds of years making LITERALLY everyone else feel “less than” and, so, terms like “feminist” come to be and how fucked up is it for us to use that term to DESCRIBE ONE OF US?! Sorry, bro, but again you get to be “Not an Asshole White Guy.” We’ve spent centuries giving ourselves special names and clubs. You don’t get to have theirs.” But yeah. He tapped into what he says is his “inner Louis CK.”

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I Love My Fat Ass

I am fat. I am aware of this. I’m not a “person of size.” I’m not pleasantly plump. I’m not a Big Beautiful Woman and I don’t want the weirdness that goes with the BBW label. I don’t need to be told I’m just big boned, or I have a pretty face, or good hair, or whatever. I’m fat. It’s okay to say it. It’s not a bad word. It’s a fact. I wear plus size clothes and I have rolls and bulges and a double chin. My thighs rub together, my arms are flappity and my feet are wide. I’ve got a lot of body and I don’t hate myself. I’m fat and I’m happy.

I’ve always been big – I was 5’ 8” by the time I was 13, wore a size 8 shoe, and a 10 or 12 in clothes. I’ve always had that lower belly pouch and wide hips and big breasts and a bunch of junk in the trunk. My awkward teenage years were more traumatic because of my height in a family of women who don’t even hit 5 feet than my expanding pant size. And the giant glasses. And almost parallel to the floor buck teeth and subsequent orthodontics. And trying to figure out how to hide my boobs from creepy old dudes. (Still an issue.) Did I wish I was thin? Some, yeah, but I also wished I could marry Scott Bakula.
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