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emmanation

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Archive for the ‘turns out I'm a feminist’ Category

as it should be

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

There’s a website that I love, that I’ve always been a little embarrassed to love. I primarily read it at night when I’m trying to fall asleep. There’s something about the list format that I find soporific - maybe because it’s easy to quit? Complete little mental bites and then move right along to either the next one or sleepiness.

That website is Cracked, and it has recently, sneakily, become pretty fucking feminist.

I’m not embarrassed to read it anymore. (Please note that I am talking specifically about the articles and quick fixes (essentially shorter articles). The videos and stuff might be terrible, I don’t know, I basically don’t watch videos on the internet. Get off my damn lawn.)

Oh, you want examples? Let’s do it.

Old Cracked: The 6 Most Inappropriate Porn-Character Occupations
S
ample line:

CHARLES MANSON
She who believes in hell, must believe in me!
WOMAN
Do you believe that I’m sexy?


New Cracked: 4 Ways Gamers Still Suck at Dealing with Women
Sample line: There’s a baffling disconnect where gamers want to be taken seriously, but they also want to be able to call Quinn (or Anita Sarkeesian, or Brianna Wu, or Jennifer Hepler, or the woman who just chainsawed them in half in Gears of War) insults that the average convicted sex offender would consider over the line. They want to have their asshole cake and eat it too.

Do you think that’s cheating? Because the old article was not intentionally anti-woman while the new article was clearly pro-woman? WRT the old article, I’m not saying they used to be anti-woman, I’m just saying they used to casually write whole articles that were jokes about female porn stars. For the new article I could have gone further and used the fact that they published an article by Zoe Quinn. (Quick summary: Zoe Quinn is a gamer/game designer/game maker who had parts of her sexual past revealed online and then was … I still don’t really understand. She was one of the various women who has been attacked lately for daring to be a gamer with a vagina out loud.) I could have gone straight for the anonymous, true story of being a sex slave in modern America. The gamers article seems kind of tame in comparison, but let’s go for a more innocuous example.

Old Cracked: 14 Valentine’s Day Gifts Guaranteed to Not Get You Laid
Sample line: The other problem is that even if a guy appeared in a real wedding magazine, he’d go to the ends of the earth to make sure his friends never found out.

New Cracked: 5 Classic Movies You Didn’t Notice Were Completely Insane
Sample line: It’s parody so I can’t really quote it but they call out the statutory rape in Indiana Jones.

I know, it’s not groundbreaking. The old one illustrates the ‘men don’t like girl things’ attitude that was prevalent in a lot of articles as well as anything I could find, and the new one takes beloved pop culture to task for an adult man sleeping with a sixteen year old. One more.

Old Cracked: Wives: A Users Guide
Sample line: Wives do not have an off switch. They talk constantly. To check that you are listening, they will drop something intelligent amongst the usual inane shit. Respond to that. Or else.

New Cracked: What We Really Mean When We Talk About Leaked Pics
S
ample line: And, yes, this is an issue specific to women; there likely won’t be a public-shaming of men who take naked selfies, because those aren’t the pictures that hackers are going to track down and share publicly. 

Right? RIGHT?

I’m just pleased that a funny website that isn’t specifically (or even superficially) geared towards women is starting to read this way. To be clear, they’ve always had some reasonable content. They used to have a specific writer named Christina H who nailed a lot of body shaming stuff, and most everything else was pretty neutral and also pretty funny (which is why I’ve been reading off and on for years).

I guess it’s just nice that instead of being surprised by a random ‘those ladies be cray amirite’, I’m now more often surprised by content that treats women as people who are both worth reading about and respecting as readers.

It’s sad that I’m so pleased by a website being as it should be that I’m actually writing about it, but, you know. Steps.

band WAGGIN’

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it and and we’re all shocked by its origins, right?

should-you-catcall-her

via Playboy – click on the image to visit the original site but be aware it is a playboy url, so use discretion if at work

Playboy knocking it out of the park.

It’s still objectifying. I could definitely live without the silhouettes at the top, for example, and some of the statements could have been worded differently. (For the ‘banging booty’ one, insert ‘are there parts of her body that you find are of a shape that traditionally appeals to the male gaze …’ ok, yeah, not catchy). And for the sexually frustrated one, the answers give the two choices as ‘no because am having sex’ or ‘yes am a harasser’, when there is in fact a perfectly good third option which is no I am not currently having sex but I will still not be aiming my sex wants at strangers.

Small complaints.

My absolute favorite part, though, is the verging-on confusion that comes across in the answers in the respectful, appropriate path. In the ‘is she dressed up real nice’ box, the font implies a greasy guy saying ‘reeeeeel nice’ and possibly making hand gestures at the same time (to me at least), and the appropriate guy is like um I guess? She’s probably got a meeting or something? Cracks me up.

Whoever’s idea this was, love it. Still not going to the all new and improved (not a playboy link) playboy.com, but, you know, good job, guys. Language of the playboy reader, message of a woman walking down the street just trying to live her life.

compatibility

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I met Crockett for delicious wine and a tasty lobster roll at The Empire after work today, because that’s kind of how we roll on Tuesdays post breakup. (Minus the lobster roll, because that’s a short term thing, per the head chef/owner (I asked)).

(I love lobster rolls.)

I wonder, now, what I would think of Crockett if we were going on a first date. When we met we were younger. (Duh, dummy, whatever.) I was coming out of a long period of time of being alone punctuated by really really terrible decisions. I dated that guy who was a friend’s younger brother, for example, that I barely exchanged words with and yet somehow we became boyfriend and girlfriend and then I kept canceling things and he got mad. Or those other guys. Whatever.  This is not that post. This is a post about me making new friends or failing to do so.

I started to make a new friend recently, but it didn’t go very well. In this case, I made some serious comments about the implications of men calling women they date crazy (actual mental issues are serious business and not to be made light of. ‘Crazy’ as usually used by men in that context means that a woman has wants and needs that aren’t in line with his needs or aren’t within the boundaries of what a woman traditionally expresses on a date) and the difference between that and women calling men creepy (also not particularly fair, but when a dude presents as putting his desire to be near you above your own desire to be not-near him, that can turn non-safe faster than most men would believe possible, so early labeling is to a large extent a safety issue for us) and it wasn’t received openly. My prospective new friend thought I was lecturing/yelling/something something and said that I would be more convincing if I WAS QUIETER ABOUT IT.

The thing is, I was totally lecturing/something something. (I was not yelling). These are things that I care strongly about, and things that I will never talk about the way that I’ll talk about TV or that tick that turns people into vegetarian zombies or whatever. There’s not a place in my future where I’ll stop lecturing/something something when I talk about that stuff.

I was a grown up when I met Crockett, but I became the person I am now while I was with him. (Most of that is documented here, actually.) I wonder, if I met him now, if we would even be friends. I think we would, but I also think he would say some things that would make me mad. And I would say some things that he would think were stupid. And I would make him mad. But I would see that he is smart and funny and currently underutilized in his whole life. And he might see that I’m …. whatever I am.

My work friend, Coastie (see the recent post where he laughed at my dumb joke and no one else did), is sort of an exercise in opposites when compared to the friend who thought I was a yeller. He’s not aware that women calling men creepy and men calling women crazy is even a thing. He doesn’t know what reddit is. I could explain the crazy/creepy phenomenon to him and he would agree, because he wouldn’t understand that there was a subset of people who think that doesn’t make sense. My across-the-hallway-coworker, who has been online dating a lot, would think I was making a big deal out of something that doesn’t really exist. We are not going to be real friends. My friend Chewbacca would not necessarily agree with me, but would engage in honest discussion and would never accuse me of taking it too seriously. Most of my other friends (girlfriends) just let me say things and nod and smile and sometimes ask me to intervene when some dumbass is saying things like ‘yo that girl I met last week was crazy’. I don’t know what Crockett would have done if he hadn’t grown into this version of me with me.

I’ve been watching too much Sex and the City. But the question is: when you’re a fully formed adult person (in as much as that’s a real thing which come on, we’re talking 50% fully formed for the best of us), how much compatibility can you expect from the people you love? How much are they expected to agree with you, how much to humor you, and how much can you disagree on?

 

post about actual Emma sex

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

I was going to say ‘golly that title isn’t that interesting sorry but I was going for honesty so you can move right along if you don’t wanna hear about it’ but who am I kidding.

It’s also kind of a lie, because no. I’m not going to talk about actual sex that I’ve had.

What I am going to talk about is an article that was recently shared by a facebook friend of mine and liked by several others.

Five Reasons You Should Have Sex With Your Husband Every Night

I’m not even sure why I clicked on it. It wasn’t shared by feministing (as if) or even Jezebel. Or even xoJane, my favorite hate read. It’s HuffPo. Love ‘em but not exactly a bastion of clear feminist thinking.

Brief unpacking.

Reason 1: Being a mom is unsexy and exhausting.
Issue: Too easy. OH THE ASSUMPTIONS. The article never said ‘your child’s father’. So your number one reason has to do with procreation. Those of us without kids are still having regular sex? (Here’s where the title comes in.) That’s not a terrible assumption. I certainly had more regular sex than my child having compatriots. However, what about adoptions? Or fathers who are primary caregivers? Or men with husbands who clicked on this?

Reason 2: “If you want your husband to act like a man, you need to treat him like a man.”
Issue: COME ON. The second line is ‘Hold the eye rolls’, but come on. Fuck you. The paragraph that follows is a summary of all of the things you always hear paired with this statement. He’s more loving when he’s having regular sex. He works hard all day and wants to see you naked. Essentially, you don’t have to be into it, he deserves it.

Reason 3: Connect.
Issue: Eh. None. In a typical heterosexual relationship I do think sex helps you connect unless you are intentionally working around it for any or all reasons.

Reason 4: “Sex relieves stress.”
Issue: If you’re not having sex, it’s likely not going to stress you out LESS to force it into your schedule or what have you. Counterpoint, masturbation.

Reason 5: “Sex is fun.”
Issue: Counterpoint, masturbation.

Look, I think regular sex between two people who are into it is one of the best, most funnest things. The problem here is that this (I KNOW, not written by a professional or whatever) article puts the onus on us havers of uteruses, and I think that happens too frequently. The assumption is that our dudes are always ready for it, and so any time we’re not having sex it’s because we, the ladies, are choosing not to. (See spreadsheet guy for a sense of the expectations around hetero cohab sex.)

‘We’re not having sex because’. I don’t feel sexy. My toddler is taking up my time. I’m just not feeling it.

YES. Then say those things and don’t have sex. And reasonably expect that your partner will, at some point, tell you he’s just not feeling it either. The idea that women can get laid whenever they want and men always want it isn’t good for any of us, y’all. Articles that encourage women to have sex for any reason other than ‘I felt like it’ consistently undermine our right to do just that – have sex where and when we want to and at no other time. And they make men feel unjustified in EVER not feeling like it.

And if you are able to have sex and think it might be kind of fun even though you might take some warming up and part of this article speaks to you, then by all means, have sex with your husband. Whether he feels like a goddamn man afterwards or not.

 

literal money literal mouth

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The company that gave me the great mortgage that is allowing me to buy my new house is one of the 100 companies that are currently suing the government about the contraception mandate.  The family that owns the company said “the mandate, which would require them to provide employees with coverage for birth control, would violate their religious beliefs.”

I am very very unhappy about that for several reasons, the first of which is that WOMEN ARE GODDAMN PEOPLE who have SEX and don’t need to be allowed to do so, they just can. Without worrying about having babies. I don’t care of it’s monthly or morning after.

The second of which is that this is going to suck for me.

First, let’s be clear: I’m being a tiny bit dramatic about how much the broker choice affects me. The builder of my new house lets me choose whatever broker I want, but they offered a bonus thing if I chose one of the two they parter with. A five thousand dollar bonus. I don’t NEED that five thousand dollars in that I literally can’t buy the house without it, but I do kind of need in in that it doesn’t make as much (*cough* little – because let’s be honest this is an unreasonable purchase all around) financial sense for me to buy the house without it.

So I originally had the choice between two mortgage companies that would allow for the bonus thing. I called them both and one guy seemed sleezy and kind of disinterested and sent me two quotes and was like ok let’s do this. The other asked what was important to me and whether I wanted to focus on a lower down payment or lower monthly payment and suggested a way to use the bonus money to sort of pre-buy some of my debt in a way that’s not quite a down payment and made a huge difference, so I went with that guy, obviously.

That guy is the guy that works for the anti-woman company.

I want my mortgage from the nice guy. He’s not an owner or a shareholder or anything. I don’t want to email him and tell him that he’s not in fact going to make any money off of me because I don’t agree with his company’s social policy.

I don’t want to email the nice guy’s boss to tell her or him why I left.

I don’t want to email my builder to tell them that one of their partner companies is problematic. I don’t even know if I should, but if several people do maybe they’ll say something to the mortgage company.

I want to just shut up and acknowledge that none of these things are going to make a difference. I want to take my nice mortgage and keep thinking about and getting angry about and sometimes writing about feminist things.

OBVIOUSLY I am going to do all of the things I said I don’t want to do, because I hate feeling guilty and I love feeling righteous. I already emailed the crappy guy to say hey this is what the nice guy did (not in those exact words) can you possibly do the exact same thing? He was crappy about it (shocker) and said (not in these exact words) that he already wrote me off and would need to reactivate my something something and get back to me.

I think that none of these things make me a good feminist, and I feel awful about them before I’ve even done them! But not as awful as I’d feel if I didn’t do them.

I can’t even tell where I am with this. I can’t tell if I’m doing the right thing or if I should be canceling my contract for the house and holding a sign outside the mortgage office. It’s a mess.

I’m really mad at my mortgage company.