women’s issues

www. Wednesday

It’s back, it’s back! Link party below:

– – –

+ Can I get an amen on this EliteDaily article about how you assholes keep calling us crazy, but really, you’re just dicks? K, thx.

+ You have to be deaf if you don’t like Ariana Grande. Proof in the Whitney Houston-cover pudding found HERE.

+ Because I’ve been sick (read: FATIGUED!) for so long, here’s a Buzzfeed article of all my eternally exhausted faces……. as told through DOG PHOTOS!

+ This perfectly describes how people who don’t vaccinate themselves or children sound to me… brava, Girl Pants!

+ i-D magazine compiled a perf vid of slang terms you need to know. You may think you’re above slang, but all us teachers will tell you: YA NEED. TA KNOW!

+ Since I’m in a slump right now, I figured we could all use this kid-approved list of 22 acts of kindness we can all easily pull off.

+ Also, if you’re feeling slump-ish, let’s all read Amazon’s 100 must-read books to escape, eh?

+ Realizing late in life I’m probably in this slump because I fall under 95% of these 11 traits of an Indigo child

+ A simple, yet comprehensive, list of traits all of us should have in a partner!

+ Overall, I think Iggy Azaela is problematic, but I think it she would focus more of her time acting like this–open and honest about plastic surgery aka WHY DON’T ALL CELEBS DO THIS?!–she could gain some respect and maybe start forging her own (non-problematic) path.

 

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Retaliation

Retaliation is not my style, but when someone keeps lobbing bombs on you, eventually you’re going to declare war.

For a long time, there’s been a behind-the-scenes battle against me. And not only me, but other people like me. I–we–shouldn’t care what these people think; after all, that’s what they want. But you know what? It’s time for some pay-back via fact-straightening and blunt truths.

Women are hardwired to apologize. We make a mistake, we say sorry. We accidentally bump someone, we say we’re sorry. We do anything out of norm, no matter how small, and we say we’re sorry. Why? I’ve made it an effort in the past and in the present to say sorry way, way less. It’s a term that should only be used when you’re truly remorseful for something you’ve done that is grossly shameful, not because you didn’t hear someone the first time they said something. These are not equal offenses, and shouldn’t be treated as such.

That being said, I am sorry for some of the things I’ve done, both small and large scale. But as a whole, I’m really, really… not sorry. I’m not sorry for being who I am. I’m not sorry if you take offense to my jokes. I’m really not sorry if you are offended by the truth, which is what I do my best to speak at all times. I’m not sorry if you are misunderstand me and what I’m about, what I’ve experienced. I’m not sorry if I didn’t sugarcoat things.

This doesn’t beget natural, moral order and/or manners; this is just when some action supersedes that basic level of decency, the decency I will 100% of the time extend to you. This is about when we’ve moved beyond that base level of decency into the “should I or shouldn’t I apologize” world. This is the stage when the offenders in question also move into their next and other stage: butthurt.

If you get butthurt-eth by something I say, I would have said sorry in the past. No longer. If you don’t understand hyperbole, sarcasm, and other basic literary devices, get educated. If you don’t get my humor, don’t read it. If you don’t grasp that I’m trying to stay true to myself and help others through BRUTAL honesty, no one is forcing you to stay around and hear it. I’m not going to apologize anymore when you get butthurt by shit that is humorous or true.

The funny thing is, there will be people who will read this and feel that ever-so-permating tingle in their bones and swell up into their cheeks as the butthurt hits. This is where I’d normally apologize, but no. NO! That’s really not fair. I have observed some people say and do and write and be so many worse things than myself. These are the people who have the audacity to demand apology, to point a finger at me, to tell me I am an ass. I let you say and be this way without comment. Prior to today, I let it slide by without judgement, too. But with your actions come retribution, and I say no more. No more leeway for you if there is none for me. No more apologies if you can’t suck it up and be an adult. No more room in my life for people who can’t understand that we’re all human, and we express ourselves in so many different ways; one is not better than the other. I only want people in my life who are understanding and compassionate of that fact.

Yes, I will make off-color jokes.

Indeed, I will say things without filter.

Of course, I will say things that offend some and humor others.

And maybe, sometimes, I will say I’m sorry… but only if the situation really calls for it.

Only if I really mean it.

Only if you really deserve it.

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How many of you have ever felt like you couldn’t be true (to others or to yourself) due to the reactions of those in your life? Let me know!

HOW TO BE A WOMAN!

Hey, so, I’m not one to berate other women, but when you’re putting the feminist cause back, like, 50 years, I’m gonna need ya to pipe down.

So when I found this intensely infuriating Thought Catalog entry titled “50 Ways to Be a Woman,” I wanted to scream “HAVE A VAGINA?!?! OR NOT?! IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER BECAUSE IF YOU IDENTIFY AS A WOMAN, YOU ARE ONE!!!!!!!!!”

But instead, I thought I should give public, livid, and perhaps humorous retaliations to all 50 pieces of advice on how to be a rEAl WomAn!*~ You will actually have to read the prior-mentioned demeaning piece of journalism to understand my responses, but if you don’t have the time, that’s cool.

1. Practice good personal grooming habits because we are all humans with noses, and it’s kinda nice to not make other humans vomit because you smell like toe cheese. Also, “take care of your body ’cause you only get one” is probably the best reason to wear sunscreen and bathe.

2. Dress however the shit you want.

3. Fashion staples are a basic thing in life if you care about style… but not having them doesn’t make you less of a woman or a man or an alien with 25 purple heads.

4. Say thank you all the time because that’s how the world works. You don’t have to go through some elaborate song-and-dance to do so. Do whatever shows appreciation for the person at hand.

5. Don’t sit on your ass and let shit happen that sucks.

6. Don’t spend your money like a child whose just won the lottery would.

7. Don’t talk about things you don’t know about aka get an education, and don’t let anyone tell you one type of education is less than another.

8. Hold your ground when assfaces try to sway you from yourself.

9. For some reason, there’s more about education here. I think the best way to be educated is to be in-the-know about what’s offensive as fuck to women of all types if you’re going to write an article about them.

10. Apparently women can’t handle their liquor so they should either be cool drinkers or non-drinkers. NO MIDDLE-GROUND HERE, LADIES. WE’RE EITHER LUSHES OR WE’RE SAINTS!!!! Jk, drink what you want, how you want as long as you’re being healthy and if you need help, ask for it.

11. High heels make you sexy so walk in them or something. Or don’t or something. How about you wear whatever you want to wear, okay girl? I don’t care if you can’t walk in them. Whoever does is a dick.

12. ALERT, ALERT: THE ONLY WAY FOR A MAN TO TREAT YOU LIKE A HUMAN SHOULD TREAT A HUMAN IS TO ACT LADYLIKE! …… except that if a human doesn’t treat you like a human, that’s on them, not you. And even though I am far from always being on my June Cleaver, my boyfriend is still doing things like opening the doors for me and respecting me and treating me to dinner, soooo… theory of gentleman-hood disproven, Catilin?

13. Yeah, you should keep your business to yourself, especially if you have weird opinions about what “being a woman” is. You’ll have a happier life that way. But what does that have to do with being a “real” woman? NOTHING, BABY; NOTHING.

14. No, you won’t agree with everyone. Yes, you should avoid conflict. But when someone is an asshole, spreading their gospel like it’s fact, you should definitely say something to them. Or, if you don’t know them, you should write a blog to say “HEY CAITLIN, I HAVE AN ISSUE WITH YOUR PATRIARCHAL-INDOCTRINATED VIEW OF WHAT WOMANHOOD IS!” Don’t be a doormat just to look “lady-like.”

15. Share whatever the hell you want on social media. You’re smart enough to figure out what will fly and what won’t with the people in your circle. Some of us don’t really care if it flies or not; that’s no mark of femininity.

16. Yeah, ask for help…. from anyone, of any sex, gender, non-gender, race, orientation, religion, etc. That’s, uh, how humans survive?

17. Answer your phone how you want. Answer your phone at work differently. If you hate the phone, don’t answer it. Glad we got that one handled.

18. Be kind to humans because the struggle is real. All humans. Of all creeds. Not just women.

19. Find faith or don’t, brah, just don’t push it in anyone’s face.

20. HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHA. Ah, sorry. This is the one I found funniest. It was about not confining yourself to gender stereotypes but not “defying them for sport.” I dunno about you, but this is extremely offensive, and I refuse to acknowledge it as a thing that a human would actually say.

21. Don’t be a sore loser, like when you write an article that is an epic fail.

22. Be who you want to be so you find yourself fun. Fuck anyone who thinks you’re uninteresting; your life is about YOU.

23. BE THE HERO THAT GOTHAM DESERVES! Wait, what? I got confused.

24. This is another thing about not being a doormat. I’m reiterating it because it’s good to not be a doormat, especially if you’re being told you’re not a “real woman” because you don’t fit some arbitrary, bullshit list of criteria.

25. Leave your legs wide open. Cross them so tight you can’t uncross them. Shape them into a pretzel. Lift them above your head. Do whatever you want with your own god damn legs.

26. Another repeat–this is the third pair–about not lowering your standards. You shouldn’t, but remember: to be a woman, there are no standards!

27. Do what you love. Don’t waste your life doing stuff you hate.

28. Follow the rules or don’t, just don’t hurt other people.

29. Oh. My. God. DON’T talk about Becky’s butt. That’s mean body-shaming and no one likes you. But if you do, that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a bearded dragon instead of a female.

30. Don’t let your sig other define you, but also don’t assume that everyone is straight and has a “boyfriend” or “husband.” Open your eyes to the beautiful spectrum of people in this world who love each other.

31. I don’t think a woman has gone to college actively seeking a mate and a mate only in a solid number of decades, so for this one I will say: don’t repeat old adages (that aren’t technically adages anymore) as fact.

32. *See #20 for my reaction to basically the same offensive statement.

33. There IS a time and place for everything… like not EVER telling the whole Internet that you only view women who do {insert weird, outdated list here} as women

34. Laugh. Most importantly at this woman’s awful advice.

35. Find beauty in every day by finding the beauty in all types of women, not just women who wear pearls and cross their legs.

36. Be happy if you can. If you’re not, that’s okay, too. Some of us are depressed and need drugs to help us feel happy which is apparently “unattractive,” but it’s okay. We all know by now that this list is the biggest pile of malarky since Joe Biden called Paul Ryan on all of his in 2012.

37. Yes, please do put yourself (and whatever version of a woman you are) first.

38. Ah, the old stay-at-home versus career-woman debate. I knew it was coming. Either one is fine. In-betweens are fine. Completely different things are fine. What you do does not a woman make.

39. She actually caught herself on #38 and tried to remedy it on #39. Yay?

40. YES, RESPECT YOUR FELLOW WOMEN, EVEN IF THEY DO NOT FIT YOUR PICTURE-PERFECT DEFINITION OF WOMANHOOD. RESPECT WOMEN OF ALL RACES, ORIENTATIONS, RELIGIONS, CREEDS, ETC. RESPECT WOMEN ENOUGH TO NOT PUT THEM IN BOXES (or binders, as Romney would say). RESPECT YOUR FELLOW WOMEN ENOUGH TO CALL THEM ON THEIR SEXIST BULLSHIT SO THEY CAN BECOME MORE ENLIGHTENED HUMANS.

41. No, you shouldn’t be afraid of being a woman or wearing pink, but I fucking hate pink. So I will still embrace my femininity by wearing whatever I want. I will also embrace the chosen level of femininity my fellow women do or do not feel comfortable with, whether that has jackshit to do with the color PINK.

42. Uh, yeah, I think we all know by now all the women who independent throw your hands up at ‘Yonce. But there’s not a specific thing that makes someone more independent, really. For some, independence is just being able to walk on their own, so check yo’ privilege. (Also, WHO ARE YOU THAT SOMEONE IS TRYING TO PUMP GAS FOR YOU SO LATE IN YOUR LIFE? WHERE IS THIS PLACE? PLEASANTVILLE? WHERE ARE YOU? DO YOU NEED HELP?!?!)

43. This is a reminder (uh-hum… repetition) that you shouldn’t spend your money like a dickweed.

44. HELL YEAH, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY NO! There you go, gal. Now you’re getting somewhere. Say no to things you don’t want to do as furiously as you would say no to unwanted sexual advances from another human. You have every right as a woman to say no to AN. Y. THING.

45. I think #44 is where this girl starts realizing the entirety of what she just wrote was incredibly horrible, because this is about being a fortress against manipulation. Then again, this implies that we are easily manipulated, sooooo…..

46. “BE AN ADVOCATE FOR OTHER WOMEN. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.” Now Caitlin’s talking. We are in this together, which is why I felt so incredibly cut by this article. I thought of my friends who had never felt good enough before thanks to men or other women or non-gendered folks, and it made me furious that a woman would… AGAIN… be shooting other women down with her impossible (and not truly applicable) standards. So Caitlin, I’m sorry if this bites and stings, but you have to know that what you wrote is the OPPOSITE of this, THE most important number on your “real woman” list.

47. I think the best thing to say here is never let a human make you feel inferior, and never let other humans make others feel inferior as well.

48. YAS, BITCH, YAS! Be a role model for other women. Be a role model for men. Be a role model for every different kind of gender and sex and all the in-betweens we have. Start by not being a douche, then take it from there.

49. Ugh, Caitlin, NO! You had made so much progress. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be a mom or a Sunday school teacher or the first female pope or a dinosaur on Mars, you have no one to answer to but yourself about how you live. Yes, care about what your choices will do to you and the people around you you give two shits about, but other than that, if you look too far down the road, what stories will you have to tell your kids or students or the Martians when you’re old? Be you, and don’t worry about your mistakes. Everyone, even women, makes mistakes. Don’t let them rule you or your decisions.

50. RESPECT YOURSELF……. but also respect others and the way they live their life. Respect the life they were born into and the lives they have created. Respect women from all walks of life. Respect women who are transitioning. Respect women who are struggling. Respect women with vaginas. Respect women without vaginas. Respect women enough to never, ever, ever tell them they are not good enough.

You’re welcome for my sage advice. Also, you’re a woman if you feel you are, end of story! You don’t need 50 rules from me or anyone else. Now go on girl. Do yo’ thang. xo, Reyonce

www. Wednesday

+ Reading this time management blog entry made me have a SERIOUS panic attack. After I breathed into my paper bag and chugged a soda, I realized that if I could even utilize a third of it, I would be a crazy efficient human being, so here goes nothing!

+ The Washington Post has some brilliant scientists writing about how we could all stopped getting raped and/or beaten if we just got married already! OF COURSE!!!! (vom.)

+ A list of 10 things you should make yourself instead of buy by the folks at Apartment Therapy. I’ve only done one out of nine so far this year — better get ta’ steppin…

+ With a random numbered list like this, you know only BuzzFeed can be involved: 33 Jokes Only Game of Thrones Fans Will Understand.

+ I normally scoff at “love advice” posts, but this Distractify list of habits actual couples keep up is genuine and something ALL of us can do with our partners!

+ Anyone else one of those people who adores being scared? Just me? This probably says something about my psyche, but in the meantime, why don’t you check out this post of the world’s SCARIEST places! 😀

+ Just bought a huge bag of fresh asparagus to try my hand at making these delish looking asparagus fries, minus the aioli because it’s really just mayonnaise, and mayonnaise is the devil.

+ With my first How-To coming up later this week dealing with clothing (WINK, WINK; NUDGE, NUDGE), I feel it only appropriate to link up to Into Mind’s colour theory post. It’s incredibly helpful when you’re feeling like you don’t have any good outfits or clothing in general, as well as for when you’re buying and need help making the new item useful.

Good night and good luck; I leave you in the hands of the incomparable BatDad.

If I Were

If I were a man, I could say things about how awfully overworked I am as an educator without getting labeled a “whiny princess.”

I wouldn’t have to put up with idiotic jokes about making sandwiches or “how crazy bitches are all the time, maaaaaan.”

I wouldn’t have to watch videos like this and look on, puzzled and infuriated, as these two privileged-ass men mock a perfectly capable woman for a perfectly valid (NOT STUPID) opinion.

I wouldn’t have to deal with being looked at like I’ve sprouted four extra heads when I say, no, I don’t want kids, and if I do end up with them, I don’t want them to come from my own womb.

I wouldn’t have to worry about where the exits are, what I can use for a weapon, what time it is, how much light is outside, where I can hide, where I can run.

I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I’m acting cool enough to be an attractive mate, working hard enough to keep that mate, and/or losing myself enough to be a life-long mate.

I wouldn’t have to worry about if what I’m wearing is inappropriate simply because of the way my body has naturally shaped itself thanks to genetics, and I wouldn’t have to worry about being called a classless slut if my outfit didn’t end up making that acceptable cut.

I wouldn’t have to wonder if I’m getting equal pay, the best deal, screwed over, or rightful treatment simply due to my sex.

I wouldn’t have to kiss ass just because all of my superiors are men that either want me, hate me, or don’t know what to do with me.

I wouldn’t have to have a bigger, more menacing escort to take me places to look at items on Craigslist, a bar late at night, or even just to the garage to get my car fixed.

I wouldn’t have to hear that everything is my fault, that rape is preventable, that we’re all just asking for it.

I wouldn’t have to worry if the words coming out of my mouth are too brash or too honest, too filthy or too loud.

I wouldn’t have to worry if wanting, needing, and loving to be alone is a safe decision due to the ingrained violence against women in our society.

I wouldn’t have to deal with catcallers, entitled “nice guys,” or friends who aren’t really my friends since they always expect more one day.

I wouldn’t have to be labeled as irrational, emotional, weak, and unintelligent.

I wouldn’t have to wonder why a disgusting slang word for my vagina is commensurate to the slur for being a weak man, a lesser person.

I wouldn’t have to worry about my reproductive rights and health, and I wouldn’t have to worry about whether people would look down on me for having sex, or worse, enjoying it.

I wouldn’t have to worry if smiling at that elderly man in the grocery store today as a human courtesy was instead taken as an invitation.

I wouldn’t have to question my choices, identity, and appearance constantly, never quite free from critique, even if I choose not to listen.

I wouldn’t have to worry about backlash for writing something like this, for comments from readers telling me to “get over it,” “grow up,” or “stop overgeneralizing.”

If I were a man, I wouldn’t. I just wouldn’t.

Snow Day Stream

Here in the south, we’ve been blessed with yet another snow day. I’d be happy for the day off if we didn’t have to take the loss on the first day of spring break, a day I desperately need since my current lease is up at the end of March, and for the first time, I’ll be living 100% alone.

Not mostly alone because my roommates ducked out of the lease months early or were never home anyway. Not mostly alone because I was broke or single, and everyone else had money or a man to go out with. No, not this time. This time I will be completely, totally, absolutely alone.

And you know what? For the first time in a long time, that thought brings me a sense of balance and comfort. I used to fear I’d die alone by choking on a ham sandwich, but now I realize I could choke on a ham sandwich anywhere with anyone, so it might as well be in the comfort of my very own room. After all, as Virginia Woolf said, a woman needs a room of one’s own………. as I’m sure a multitude of lady bloggers have also said thousands of times by now. Still, it holds true; we need a place to call our own. I need a place to be my own.

I need a place to feel safe, to feel loved, and to feel in control. Even if that love and safety comes in the size of a furry li’l beast, or even if there’s no one there at all, it’s nice to know that I will have not just a house, but a home at the end of every day.

Over the years, I’ve had good living situations and bad ones. I’ve had utterly blissful homes and horribly distressing prisons I had to keep residing inside. I’ve had great roommates, bad ones, ones who tried to be bad, and ones who tried to be good, but I’ve never had just me, myself, and I to answer to.

Now, whatever way it goes — up, down, sideways, or to hell — all of it will be on me. The outcome will be because of my actions. It’ll be because I did or did not do something. I will no longer hold responsibility for other people’s actions or inactions. Whether I fly high or sink ship, all of it will be what I made happen alone.

And while that might be horrifying to some, it is absolutely freeing to me.

I can’t wait to move in with my new roommate.

xo

Copyright Rachel Noel