Monday, May 25

In Motion

So much more overtly feminine, so much more interactive, and, in the end, so much easier to sync with twitter.

Follow me!

Friday, May 22

As If They Needed Kudos

Ah, has written an article full of lovely advice for college grads. 

I don't think I needed more reason to love the organization or anything along those lines, but I did have quite an affinity for the honest advice for young women out there hoping to really leave a mark on the working world. Turns out telling it like it is works for every audience, and works well.

(Loving #1. Trust me, other young women facing their parents' fears, doing what you love is the only way to make sure you're doing it well. And #9 is never going to be false, so save it, frame it, and live it.)

I Don't Know Why, But...

I went for it.

Thursday, May 21

Victoria's Real Secret

Via Wikipedia: Victoria's Secret was started in San Francisco, California, in 1977 by Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Roy Raymond, who felt embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in a public and awkward department store environment. [...] The stores were meant to create a comfortable environment for men, with wood-paneled walls, Victorian details and helpful sales staff. [...] Men could browse for sexy styles for their girlfriends and sales staff would help estimate the appropriate size, pulling from inventory in the back.

I am extremely relieved I wasn't imaging things the entire time I thought Vicky was working for someone else. A store selling sexual liberation to women in the form of heteronormative expectations of what it means to be attractive- pushed up, stick-thin, and okay baring it all (for their lucky guy). "Feminism," a la Cosmo, the magazine re-invented so women could make themselves desirable to men at the hands of Helen Gurley Brown:

"Cosmo is feminist in that we believe women are just as smart and capable as men and can achieve anything they want. But it also acknowledges that while work is important, men are, too. The Cosmo girl absolutely loves men!

Consider these purchases I'm proud not to make.

Wednesday, May 20

Sex, Gender, and Shoes

Well, clearly we shouldn't be asking because it's obvious. Take a look at any of the comments made at the above link to find out the truth(!) about Uggs- that they're "meant for girls, not guys," and that, more importantly, guys who wear said boots are gay and, therefore, not "real men."

One contributor asks, "honestly, what kind of man wears Uggs?" while another comfortably takes stabs at men who wear them by reminding us that "if you are a guy and you wear uggs, you are forever gay. There is no turning back. Not that I hate gay's or anything, but, yeah, you're a faggot if you do, plain and simple. Sorry for putting it so bluntly." (Note to poster: if it's so offensive you need to damage control within the same post, reconsider.)

Wearing Uggs counts as "fagging it up." Who would dare to disagree? According to this group, we have found an easy way to classify others and discover four important things about gender in our society.

1. Men who don't wear shoes designated strictly as "men's shoes" (Ugg Boots does market to men, mind you) or men who wear shoes women can also wear are (a) gay, (b) not real men, (c) faggots, and (d) probably a mix of all of the above. The difference? Gay is his sexuality, faggot is his identity, and his masculinity will never be recovered because he has done something other men, who pride themselves on their own masculinity, don't do. Their standards, which they perceive as society's standards, are ones they will unabashedly use to label any and all men who do not fit (read: conform) to their mold of masculinity. Any man who strays, in the tiniest bit, from the American, commercial, capitalist, and disgustingly sexist mold of men is not qualified at all to fit in this category.

2. Being one, two, or all of the things above renders you undeserving of dignity, respect, and common decency. If you are willing to break from masculinity, you do not deserve the fellowship of other men and should be ready to face the consequences of assault and attack for doing so.

3. Masculinity is defined rigidly and the mold leaves no room for variances. All men must fulfill every element of masculinity to be considered "real men."

4. The gender dichotomy is found in the realm of shoes and is not to be disturbed. Shoes cannot be for everyone, they can only be for females or males, or, in the case, "girls" or "guys" (coincidentally, a twelve year old cannot share shoes with an adult male, but I think nobody here studied journalism).

The internet is a microcosm of the world, and this is a disturbing reminder.

The (Recurring) American Dream

Warning: Thoughtful Day Ahead.

1. Visit your high school, Carmen.

Good idea, in theory. I drove in with an old friend, which proved to be exciting, and then traipsed about the campus finding the classes I wanted to stop into. I caught up with professors, young'ns, and administrators before heading out to the city for [part 2].

It was a lovely visit until the incident. I have a few friends who like to tease me, and altogether I have a sense of humor about myself that makes that possible and comfortable. To be honest, this is something I'm fixing, as being perceived as passive, easygoing, and casual has proved to be a source of unfulfilled responses and post-situational reflections of aggression. When the source of the teasing proves to be my appearance and my relationship status, however, it proves to be meaningful in more than one way.

The idea, first of all, that The American Dream has completely infiltrated my way of life was only reinforced by the feedbacks I received today. The teasing centered on how much attention I was (or rather, was not) receiving- not from people, for I've proven social on campus- but from interested, straight, men. My friend, who I really do treasure and know did not mean to activate such a response from me, decided it would be appropriate to devalue me in the form of negative comments, snide remarks, and generally bad attitude about my single lifestyle, one I've maintained since embarking on the collegiate journey. Her other feedbacks dealt with my weight, and how my appearance had varied- and whenever she talked about the changes, she referred to how "hot" I was, how "sexy" I was, etc.- all words insinuating that you are putting yourself out there for objectification and someone else's consumption.

So here I am, trapped again in the patriarchy, and only after the situation did I realize the impact. Why is it that, in our society, it is okay to consider status and value as transmittable through how attractive we are (to men) and how much attention we receive (from men) as women?

2. THE LINE: Coffee Date

I met with Melanie, the other intern for Nancy, and Melissa, the co-leader of THE LINE Campaign, for coffee in Manhattan today. We shacked up at a lovely little cafĂ© and talked for hours about how to execute the marketing and such, and even about the cultures on the West and East Coasts and the issues behind being a sexually liberated woman. 

Working on THE LINE has proven to be an experience that alters the lens I see issues of sexuality and partner violence. My lens, and the way I internalize most feminist and women's issues, is one of finding the root of societal injustices toward women and then looking outward to the surface to see how patriarchy, gender, femininity, etc. all shape life for women and how we're perceived, subconsciously and consciously, by those around us. 

Working on THE LINE, however, has forced me to look from the surface down. The immediate goal of the project is to bring the campaign to colleges during welcome weeks, orientations, and Octobers before women are confronted with boundaries, issues of consent, and sexual violence or aggression; the hope is that the film can begin discussions of respect for partner violence and sexual situations in the lives of viewing students. It is a valuable piece for all people desiring to prove that rape is not always a stranger in the bushes, a film that will make people realize that rape can no longer be left to legislators and others to define and that we must learn respect before challenging the boundaries of others or the validity of their experiences. I am excited for the work we will do, and look forward to being directly and indirectly involved in discussions on campuses nationwide about consent and where "the line" truly lies. 

Unlike rape culture, patriarchy, sexism, and femininity, the concept of THE LINE is much more individual- no theory, no social analysis can ever define an individual's boundaries sexually and romantically, and that is what makes this documentary so much more consumable and interesting. Instead of challenging an establishment or a societal trend, Nancy challenges the viewers to become completely comfortable with where they are sexually, what they want, and where they draw "the line."

Ah, it's looking like a really great summer- even if I'm single and "sexy."

Dissent, a la wikipedia


1. combines anarchism with feminism. 
2. views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary hierarchy. 

Property is the right to use and abuse . . . if goods are property, why should not the proprietors be kings, and despotic kings — kings in proportion to their facultes bonitaires? And if each proprietor is sovereign lord within the sphere of his property, absolute king throughout his own domain, how could a government of proprietors be any thing but chaos and confusion? - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

radical feminism

1. a "current" within feminism that focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships 
2. aims to challenge and to overthrow patriarchy by opposing standard gender roles and what they see as male oppression of women, and calls for a radical reordering of society. 

(The term radical in radical feminism is used as an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the root or going to the root. Radical feminists locate the root cause of women's oppression in patriarchal gender relations.)