womens rights

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

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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.

Keep It To Yourself

by the fabulous KateorDie (click here for full comic)

There’s a consent problem in this world. And no, I’m not jumping on the let’s-look-into-a-song-more-than-we-should-instead-of-using-that-energy-to-address-more-time-sensitive-feminist-issues-like-supporting-and-caring-for-actual-rape-survivors train. I’m talking about the thing that proceeds rape, or stalking, or sexual harassment, or invasion of privacy and self in other ways. I’m talking about the cat-call, and even more threatening, the stare down (sometimes accompanied with the even more scary moving-in-close).

There is something incredibly grating about getting cat-called, but more than that, it is the first step in a violent trifecta of behavior men (and some women) in general think is okay. That last part is what blows my mind. Men do it because they think it’s just fine to yell whatever crass and moronic shit they can at a woman in close proximity.

Twice today, I was cat-called while I was in my car. I was listening to a podcast featuring Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. I had just gotten off work. It was Friday, and I was in my personal space. I was looking straight ahead at the stoplight, laughing at my radio, and minding my own fucking business because it’s my right to decompress after work. Unfortunately, some nongentleman beside me started yelling at me through my open window.

I ignored him. It was not my job to respond to this asshole, though many women often feel pressured to do so due to the acceptance of this bullshit in our country and our female guilt complex. Despite my efforts to deny him access to my life, he only got louder until he seriously screamed at me, jarring me out of Podcast Land, and straight into Bitchmode Land. I looked at him as unruffled as I could, saying nothing.

“Hey, anybody tell you you were cute?”
Insert my pissed off, know-it-all, Leslie Knope-angry face.
“Uh, yeah. They do. What the hell?”
“WELL YOU ARE! YOU ARE!”
Without exaggeration, he started laughing maniacally.

Luckily, my light had changed so I could leave, but I was instantly rage-crying. (DON’T ACT LIKE YOU DON’T KNOW!) Just as I was back in my happy place of podcast, it happened again closer to home. I ignored the unwanted suitor until he HONKED AT ME. I just shrugged and pulled off as the light (luckily) changed again.

What right did these strangers have to interject themselves into my life? What right did they have to use their “physical male dominance” to scare me into responding? None. The answer is none.

I’ve dealt with this most of my life, and learned early on to ignore it and keep a vigilant eye and ear open, but when does it become not my problem anymore? When does it become the problem of the violent, rude, sexually abusive men who do these unacceptable acts? The answer should be now, but it’s not. It never is.

Stop staring us down like you want to eat us. Stop yelling at us like we owe you something. Stop borderline running towards our cars when you ask us for a ride, but we ignore you, looking for an exit ASAP. Stop calling us bitches when we DO respond and tell you no and/or to fuck off. Stop using your self-percieved strength to threaten us. Stop “giving us compliments” we don’t want or need.*

We don’t owe you a single iota of anything. Keep it, all of it, to yourself.

*unfortunately, all true incidents i have encountered

YOU FAT S.O.B.

Believe it or not, this is a REAL quote from Rush Limbaugh:
“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”

The fucking nerve of this guy. Rush, how about I pose a proposition for you? Since you have access to condoms at nearly every store in America, why don’t you put on a frilly little number and hop on camera for us ladies, eh?

Oh, excuse me, I just vomited in my hand.

Your logic is like a god damn slice of swiss cheese. You don’t want to pay for birth control, but you don’t want abortions to be like… a thing, ya know?! You don’t want to offer women reproductive control, but you’re not really down with giving money to mothers who have to raise these children they never said they were ready for. It’s all math, and apparently you fail that shit, New Coke style.

Perhaps us feeble gals should be chained to our ovens, released only for primping and sex – for procreation only, of course! Perhaps we should shut the fuck up while obese pricks like you ruin our country some more. Yeah, it would be okay watching the world burn as long as my lipstick were perfect.

This whole infringement on freedom of religion argument is bullshit. I don’t even need to address it because it has even more fallacies than your convoluted, sexist rhetoric.

The next time you try to stick your penis in some unfortunate woman, remember, Rush: she surely must be a sex-taping slut because it’s not like you’re trying to get your rocks off or anything.

Oh, fuck it, you know what?! You’re right. I’m a giant slutbag. Being in a loving, committed relationship, yet being smart enough to know we’re not ready for kids is a sham. I really just want the birth control I eat by the handful to be free because I’m having SO MUCH SEX THAT I CAN’T AFFORD THE CONTRACEPTION!!!! Because you know, that’s how prescriptions work…

You’re right, ya old son-of-a-bitch. Couldn’t possibly be that women want to have control over their bodies in the same way men do. That would just be foolish!

Ya dick.