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

New American Cool Girl Finale

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

I, more often than not, start things with no idea how I’m going to finish them.

Bravery and stupidity definitely look the same from 10000 feet.

Case in point: the beginning was parts 1 and 2. The ending is this.

New America Cool Girl: Finale

If you didn’t read those first two parts, the gist is that women pretend to be different than they are in order to catch men, because quite a bit of a normal woman’s life has been defined as gross or crazy or a thing women should keep to themselves and not bother the menfolk with.

GROUNDBREAKING. This is not the New York Times, guys, so just blllllllppppprrrrr (<- raspberry noise).

My pool of men who talk to me about how they date is a lot smaller than my pool of girlfriends. I’ve never been a woman who makes a lot of dude friends (see classic not-like-most-girls NACG move: ‘most of my friends are guys’-hair toss-cute giggle except the opposite, boys have cooties and don’t belong in my life). However, I can’t imagine that the reaction to the NACG moves is easy on the dudes involved, right? Because #spoiler, dudes are also people, cooties notwithstanding. They might like her/love her/want to see her, and not feel like they can tell her because that’s not an action that society supports for them either. They might feel like a woman who expresses a desire to be together needs to be shut down because the men around them will mock them. I don’t really know, honestly, but it seems like a possibility, right?

Some male blogger, jump in with the 21st Century American Cool Guy?

This is where I get myself into trouble. I have no solutions except to suggest every individual be more honest when they interact with someone they wanna smoosh their parts against. God knows most of us can’t do that. We lie to ourselves so much we could do it for a living, there’s no way we can become more honest with other people.

Alternately, we could put the four self actualized people who were raised in totally gender free environments in charge of all media. Well, two of them in charge of media, two of them on call at all times to answer a help line for us all to call?

Bad ending, I’m sorry. I am. I wish the answer to why shouldn’t I be a NACG and how can I stop was: because it’s not you and just do, but it’s not. The whole thing is exhausting, right? I’m going to take a 8-12 hours nap and maybe tomorrow I’ll have something? Or maybe I’ll write a review of You’re the Worst. Maybe I’ll review GPaltrow’s Goop gift recommendations like last year. We’ll find out together. (When I walked into yoga this afternoon my teacher asked how I was, then I asked how she was, and she said “in the flow of the day”. Tomorrow we’ll be in the flow of the blog. Namaste, guys.)

New American Cool Girl (part 2)

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Part 1.

Part 2: The things a NACG does (again, even though she knows better). (Btw: I’m going to belatedly acknowledge that this is totally heterosexually based. I’m not familiar enough with the ins and outs of queer dating to speak to where this may or not apply there.)

There’s at least a few categories here, so bear with me.

Pretending to want less
We all know what this looks like. The NACGs truth might be: I like him, I love him, I want to call him, I want to text him, I want to see him more than once every two weeks, I want to be monogamous, I want I want I want. She tells him: ‘oh hey, sorry, I was busy’ (turned off read notifications and waited four hours to answer), ‘oh, hey, yeah, Sat should be ok’ (she kept it free for him), ‘hi, can you remind me about that brewery/song/book you told me about’ (and lbh if she likes those things she probably already knew), ‘can’t friday, have plans’ (no plans, just doesn’t want to seem to available), etc. This seems normal and actually kind of expected, right?

Hiding physical femininity
Every woman in a sitcom whose husband opened the door while she was bleaching her mustache. Every woman who goes through a crisis when a hot date and her period coincide. The girls who are mortified when they drop a tampon in a high school hallway, and the menopausal women who carry frozen water bottles through the office to keep the evidence of their hot flashes on the dl. Insert your own story here, we’ve all done it.

‘Not like other girls’
Ugh. You guys.
This is the most egregious and the most insidious.
This is something boys say to girls, and sometimes something men say to women. What they inevitably mean is ‘there is a flag of womanhood that I find irritating/boring/scary and you’re not waving it at me’. Or, more succinctly, ‘you’re like a dude, but I’m attracted to you’. (This phrase is a close cousin to ‘oh my ex was crazy’.)
I’m not going to address the dude part yet. (Part 3?) The problem here is when woman start using this phrase to describe themselves. (I’m a retread, as usual.) But women do say this, and what is usually means is ‘hey baby, I’m a New American Cool Girl – anything about other girls that you haven’t liked ain’t what I’ll do, promise’. It can mean I won’t be like your mom, I won’t be like your ex, I won’t be like your best friend’s bitchy wife. It always, always means that the woman who says it feels the need to separate herself from a half the population to be attractive.

This is different from the women who used to follow The Rules, btw. The NACG will 100% ask a guy on a date and be willing to pay for things. She will, potentially, burp when she and a dude are doing a beer tasting. She might send nudes to a Tinder match. She’s not a lady, is what I’m saying. She’s just…

well, let’s return to my thesis.

She’s unconsciously sublimating her femininity because we’re all taught women are inferior to men.

Part 3: who the hell knows. Seat of my pants nablopomo here, guys.

new american cool girl (part 1)

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Full credit for all of this, of course, goes to Gillian Flynn, yeah? You remember, from Gone Girl (book or movie):

Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding…Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl.

The full monologue covers a lot more, but holy shit did this resonate with my general cohort when we caught wind of it. Because, yes. This expectation is not nearly as much of a joke as it probably sounds like if you’re either dating or friends with daters.

I talk to my friend J- about this a lot. I may, in fact, have angrily accused her of being the New American Cool Girl more than once and over text, she thinks I’m complimenting her.

Here’s the problem. The heroine of Gone Girl is a fucking psychopath, and she thinks that all women are like her. In her monologue, the underlying (and stated) assumption is that Cool Girls are pretending to be what men want. Why? For some … unknown reason. She herself pretended to be the cool girl when she met the guy she’s married to in the books, but she’s very iffy on why. To get him to love her, obviously, but what was the end game? In her case it was a long con that involved faking her own death, but in the case of a normal woman what does buying into the cool girl mythology actually earn us? Is it a sitcom marriage where we’re mad at our husbands for thinking they were marrying the cool girl? Super.

The expectation is so accurate (overstated, but accurate) that the problem of motive has gone largely unaddressed.

Here’s my version, so cleverly titled.

New American Cool Girl

The difference between the Gone Girl Cool Girl and the NACG? NACGs FUCKING KNOW BETTER.

For the NACG it’s not about seeing what a man wants and molding herself to fit that, for some future potential payoff (in the form of a diamond and/or a faked murder?) It’s about the unconscious and unavoidable sublimation of the feminine due to the misogynistic training we all, men and women alike, receive our entire lives.

Yeah.

I see it all the time, and every time I see it I get meaner about it. It’s amazing any of my single girlfriends still talk to me. Especially since if you asked Crockett, I probably did plenty of it myself.

I admit, I’m have perhaps swung further in the opposite direction than most women want or need to go. Example: last night, I was at a beer+yoga event in Denver. With yetis. Life is strange. After the class, there were contests, and a woman won the first (which happened to be headstands). The dude who was on the mat next to her, and got beat by her, walked by J- and I afterwards and said to a friend ‘I can’t believe a female won’. J- literally straightarmed me like we were in a crashing car and said NO, because the woman I am now may or may not lecture that dude on a whooooole variety of things. Starting with how dehumanizing it is to refer to a woman as a female.

But my personal crank levels aside, there are behaviors that smart women who know better still engage in because we just. cannot. help. ourselves. We’re the NACGs and we know better, and yet.

That should, hopefully, be part 2.

 

exes and oh’s

Monday, November 6th, 2017

I was talking to Star a little bit ago about… something. Something I wanted to bake? Possibly how I wanted to make apple cake during Rosh Hashanah but it seemed disingenuous, somehow? And she said, and I quote (loosely because it was at least a month ago and what do you want from me, a perfect memory or the willingness to check my gchat logs?):

Pinterest has made that irrelevant anyway.

*Quickquick, before you accuse Star of cultural appropriation, she is actually Jewish. Not Seinfeld’s dentist Jewish, either. And Mexican. She calls herself a JewJewBean and is obviously a hilarious person.*

But.

Is Pinterest just a secret bastion of cultural appropriation for Christian white girls? (Hellllo hyperbole.)

Look, I like Pinterest. I do. I’m not great at returning to my own pins, but I love the ease of marking something. I have boards called ‘want to wear’, ‘STEM fashion’, ‘mmmmmmm’, ‘purdy places’, ‘stuff and nonsense’, ‘BANGS BANGS BANGS’, and more, and I pin new things a few times a week at least.

But.

Like, think about the people with the colonial wedding. Or Paula Deen and her plantation wedding. Or Julianne Hough and her blackface Halloween costume.

When I started at my current job, I made hamantaschen around Purim and took them into the office. It was just sort of residual from years of celebrating all the holidays with M- and working at a Jewish owned bakery in Boulder (SO MUCH apple cake, honey cake, challah… ugh, I’m hungry now). Then I chatted with someone in the stairs who saw them and told me about the differences between the recipes his mom and his wife used, and I felt … inappropriate appropriation. In a whole different way than the colonial wedding people, because a) cookies are good and b) there’s no obvious indicators when looking at me that I was borrowing baked goods from the holiday of another culture, but that almost felt worse. I felt like I was misleading this very nice man, somehow, and I haven’t made anything more culturally significant than cupcakes for the office since.

But, Pinterest. The cookie thing was significant for me because I came face to face with someone whose personal history included these cookies. Pinterest is an echo chamber of white women. Mostly with at least some college, mostly of working age. My gut from being actually *on* Pinterest (and the overwhelming dedication to Christmas and Easter) says mostly of Christian backgrounds, although I’m not finding any research to confirm or deny.

So, if someone pins something from outside that world that’s a little iffy (say, a geisha halloween costume), who is going to point out the ways that might be problematic the way they would on Tumblr or Insta? Instead, people are going to pin it to their own boards. Everyone will think ‘other people are pinning it, it’s fine’.

I’ve talked myself into Star’s opinion. In the world of Pinterest, people don’t ask if things are ok – if they’re repinned, they are and can be transferred to the real life suburb in which they originated. If they’re not, they were probably lame anyway.

I didn’t make the apple cake around Rosh Hashanah, but if I make one now, is it just cake? I’ll ask … Reddit. Those white boys love to tell people when they’re doing something wrong.

If Dean Winchester Were Your Boyfriend

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Pouring one out for The Toast.

  1. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his shirts would be your shirts, whether he liked it or not. “Babe, we haven’t hit a laundromat in weeks”, he’d say as you wrapped yourself up in one of his flannels. “You smell great,” you’d tell him and mean it.
  2. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, most of your meals would be eaten on the road. For your health, your brother-in-dating Sam would constantly watch what you ate. If you ordered a burger and milkshake, he’d detour to the kitchen and make sure the shake ended up with a few handfuls of spinach in it. When you found out, he’d ask how you thought Dean made it to 40 while never willingly ingesting a vegetable.
  3. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d teach him the names of older musicians he’d never heard of so he could use them as fake names when he ran out of 80s musicians. He’d pretend to just take the information as handy, but later you’d catch him listening to Dead Man’s Curve on youtube.
  4. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he would tell you that you never had to worry about being attacked by demons or witches. Every time you bought a new purse, though, you’d find almost immediately that a knife had been sewn into the lining and an anti-hex hex bag had been tied to the handle.
  5. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d get the kind of attention in bars that you’d previously thought was a myth. The two of you would walk into anywhere and every server in the room would see him and be available all night for your every need. He’d tell you he thought you were teasing him when you told him most of the world didn’t get that kind of treatment, but then he’d wink at you and do a shimmy to whatever song was playing on the jukebox.
  6. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the first time you got a panic attack because you met an angel he’d bring you a beer and a quarter of Xanax and tell you to play checkers with Cass. “You can’t be scared of angels once you see they have no sense of humor,” he’d tell you, and then he’d punch you in the shoulder and mouth ‘be yourself’ to Cass behind your back.
  7. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d use his hunter network to set up an elaborate birthday surprise for you. Every place you stopped on a road trip would have a booth reserved and a different colored balloon tied to your seat. You’d suspect it was partially Sam’s idea, but that wouldn’t matter because Dean would grin every time he saw your huge smile.
  8. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his mom would try to make you tough and Dean would get mad at her every time. “She doesn’t need to know what it feels like to slice her palm for a blood sigil, Mary,” he’d say. “I’ll always be around.”
  9. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d learn what ‘woke’ and ‘kyriarchy’ mean and you’d sometimes hear him explaining them to other people. Afterwards he’d tell you dejectedly that he wasn’t sure he’d overcome his buddy’s idea that women make less money because they don’t know how to ask, and you’d kiss his neck and take him out for a piece of pie.
  10. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the world probably would have ended by now. If it did, though, he would have been thinking about you while he did something insane to try to save it.