Monday, October 5, 2009

Woman v. Union Square: verdict upholds seperate but equal

I'm literally seeing red.

Today it's a beautiful day, probably one of the last before it starts getting cold. The sun is shining, it's not too windy and perfectly enough, my class was cancelled. So I thought, hmm why not spend this lovely afternoon enjoying the sun in Union Square. That's not asking too much, just a little moment of peace to enjoy the sunshine- a modest mission, right?

I scruntch up my jacket put it under my head and lie back. "How freeing it is to feel the sun on my face," I thought. A minute later, I hear a  old womens voice blaring in my ear: "You are lying in a very immodest position... and you probably wonder why men follow you home." Now, I might have pointed out that she looked like she'd probably die tomorrow of natural causes and I bet she had a really shitty life because she let other people run it, but I was distracted by the man sitting next to me who called out, "you know, she's right."

"She's right, you shouldn't lie like that"
"If I was a man you wouldn't give a damn how I sat."
"That's right, but you're not, you're a woman."
"And I'm supposed to accomodate that?"
"Well that's WRONG so I'm gonna lie however the fuck I want"
"I mean you CAN lie however you want you just shouldn't if you don't want men to do something to."

Now, racism is a touchy subject so I'm probably about to piss some people off, but this man was black and he was probably alive during the Jim Crow laws. Doesn't he know social injustice? Shouldn't he at least have studied how fucked up "seperate but equal" is? He LITERALLY told me if I sit a certain way, I'll face reprecussions SOLELY because of the way I was born and he LITEARLLY told me men have the freedom to the persuit of happiness (lying in the SAME position in the SAME spot) without consequences and without fear while I do not because of my gender.
He thinks I'm lesser.
Yes maybe the law says I can sit that way, but I have to worry for my physical safety if I chose to do so? And if someone does decide to infringe upon by BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS it's MY fault because I didn't sit in "my section of of the bus," metaphorically speaking.

This example of sexism is no different than any other kind of "ism." In the 1890s blacks were told, "well legally you can do that, but you probably shouldn't cause you might get lynched." Today I was told, "well legally you can do that but you probably shouldn't cause you might get raped." Notice how the later statement is INFINITELY more socially acceptable than the former? But is it any less wrong?

Gay people can have civil unions but God help us if it's called a marriage.
Women can sit in the same spot as men but God help us of they sit in the same position. 

THIS IS SO WRONG. I am a citizen of this country, I should be able to sit wherever I want, in any position. I should be able to sit in a fucking diamond G-string with my legs over my head if I wanted to. I should NOT have to worry about my physical saftety because I want to rest my legs on a beautiful fall day. Fuck you, little old woman, and fuck you, offensive man.

Y'all can lick my ovaries.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hello, my name is...[Gay/Straight/Bi: Circle ONE]

The more I read about female sexuality in other cultures the more I begin to question own our own culture's views. In the Westerner's view of female sexuality, you are either straight, lesbian, or bi. If you're a lesbian it means you can't want men, and if you're straight it means you can't want women. Those are some pretty rigid rules.

The term bisexual is a little more flexible, but even that word has some boundaries. It implies that you're attracted to both genders equally and that at any given moment you could ditch one for the other.

The problem with this mindset is that it totally constricts us- forcing us to block thoughts from our heads even before we've had them. As a "straight" woman, I wonder how many lesbionic inclinations I might have had before now had I not been raised to think I could only be gay straight  or bi. I say "inclinations" because they are not full blown female-on-female eroticisms, they're just inclinations. For example, today I was watching the Ellen Degeneres and noticed (after over-coming my social censor) that I was attracted to her in this particular episode. Her pants-suit and masculine haircut made her appear very androgynous and it was... kind of hot.

Now does this make me a full-fledged lesbian? Absolutely not. Love me some men. Does this make me bisexual? It's pretty safe to say no. I highly doubt I would be attracted enough towards a woman to partake in some good ol' fashioned lady sex. 
However when I overlook society's rigid categories and am extremely honest with myself, I can acknowledge that there are plenty of times when I feel a certain attraction towards a woman. I'm not sayin I want their face between my legs, but maybe I wouldn't mind kissing one. And sometimes the attraction isn't physical at all, sometimes, it's simply romantic. Someitimes I don't even want to be kissed, just nurtured in a way most men aren't comfortable with.

Even as I type this it feels taboo. Part of me is even a little tentative to post this because I don't want people to categorize me as bi. Not because there's anything wrong with being bi, just because I really don't think I am.

Despite my previous efforts, I am sexually attracted to men. And even when I find myself unexpectedly attracted to women it is nowhwere near the level to which I can be physically attracted to a man. But to ignore that feeling, however slight, might mean ignoring a beautiful part of my humanity, just because Western society has told me to. And as a twenty-year-old woman living in a rough city, I should probably take every chance I can get to connect with humanity.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fathers, Be Good to Your Daughters

Because I consider myself to be a loud and proud feminist, many are surprised to learn that I have a beautiful relationship with my father. He is the wisest man I know and I am constantly learning from him. However, as I reach my adulthood, I am beginning to realize that there is one aspect of my life he does not yet understand:

What it feels like to be a woman in a patriarchal society.
What it feels like to be a member of a subordinate group in a a country founded on equality.
What it feels like to be a decedent of "the weaker sex."

He does not understand what it feels like to be followed three blocks by a group of people spewing physical threats at you. He does not understand what it feels like to have a stranger grip your waist when all you want to do is go home. He does not understand the fear his own flesh and blood feels walking anywhere at night, or the verbal attacks I face at any hour of the day, regardless of what I wear. 

And speaking of what I wear, consider this: If a biological male feels most comfortable walking down the street in a dress, this person should be able to do so in peace without obscene vulgar language being spewed at  them, true?
Therefore, if a woman feels most comfortable walking down the street in a tight, short, low-cut top, she  should be able to do so in peace without obscene vulgar language being spewed at her. No, men might not be able to control their eyeballs, but they can control their tongues. 

Instead, we must walk home at night the with that horrible feeling we never seem to tell our fathers about. That feeling of clenched fist, tight jaw, quickened steps; that pit in your stomach that says, please, just leave me. Please, just let me get to my destination. Please, just don't touch me.

And so, I have recently made it my mission to make my him understand.
I think that it is important for a father to understand his daughter's experience, and I can't help but wonder:

If every father truly knew how hurt and damaged their daughters were by the behavior of certain men, and how frequently their "little girls" were afflicted with this pain, wouldn't they be angry too? Wouldn't they want change?

We have tried to seek change through our own anger, and anger is indeed a very powerful force. But I feel it isn't enough. We need something greater.
And the only force more powerful than hate is empathy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fight the media, Feminist!

With shows like Drop Dead Diva and Tool Academy blazing through the media, I think we could all use a bit of a reality check.

Women. Women, women, women. 

1) You are beautiful. You boobs aren't too small, your thighs are not thunderous, your hair is not out of control, your arms are not too saggy, and yes, you can leave the house without makeup. I'm not bullshitting you. I really believe that.

2) Skinny does NOT equal Love. We as a nation seem to have this convoluted idea that being fat is worse than being dead. Just look at that god awful "overweight bachelor" show. All these poor women talk about is how lucky they feel to finally get a chance at love because this wonderful man is willing to overlook they're fatal flaw of not fitting into a size 2. Come ON America. This is ridiculous. These women are not only intelligent, caring, and funny, but they're also REALLY PRETTY! They don't need him!

 Oh, and let's talk about Drop Dead Diva. Ok, So a model dies and her soul is put in the body of (god forbid!) a larger brunette. And so now she has to... what deal with being large and brunette? That is the conflict?! 
That shouldn't even be an issue. It's really NOT that big a deal. It's not a curse. It's just a different body. Love it and be glad ya not dead.

3) You deserve loving, loyal boyfriends.  You should know how wonderful you are, and you should demand that anyone who is lucky enough to be wanted by you knows that too. If he doesn't, you don't need him; you can do so much better. He should think your beautiful, he should think your body is perfect as it is, and if he says he's committed to you then he better be committed to you. If this is not the case, don't try to change and BY GOD do not accept the situation. I'm not sayin great guys are everywhere (I haven't met a whole shit ton of them) but I will say, you're WAY better by yourself than you are with the next contestant of Tool Academy.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, with all of this media bullshit invading our homes it's difficult to remember how important is is to love ourselves. Now, I'm no authority, but I happen to think the curves of a woman are beautiful. I happen to think that our capacity to communicate is truly special. I feel so lucky to have my breasts and my hips and to be able to communicate with both sides of my brain. I am a woman who truly loves being a woman. That's what being a feminist means to me: A woman who truly loves being a woman. 

I just wish there were more of us. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

4am and i'm still awake writing a song

Alright men, it's 4:23 am, i'm drunk, and i've got some beef.

I've tried saying it every modern way i can so maybe i should try some old english.


You know exactly what I'm talking about. Just when we're in a divine place, once we've finally centered ourselves, entered healthy relationships and felt good about the paths we've chosen you come in like a fucking tornado and jumble shit up. i mean i may be short, but this ain't Oz. Chill out. Maybe leave us alone? We may not want you to because we're confused and involuntarily open-hearted, but he-who-plays-mind-games causes damage. He-who-fucks-with-heads fucks people up. And we've worked SO hard not to be bitter. We've done SO much soul searching not to be cynical. And just when we can feel the eastern religious views of meditation and mindfulness flowing through our veins, one or two, or multiple people in my unique case barge in and fuck shit up. Making our back muscles tense and our jaws tighten. Making our eyebrows furrow and our hearts "crust," as good ol' Siddhartha would say.  And usually it's the people who know we're a little fucked up who like to kick us when we happy. Usually it's the people who know our prior confusion who like to confuse us when we've finally got our shit together. They swoop in like flying monkeys, invading our brains and shaking our very new foundations. Isn't that a form of evil-- to dissolve newfound solidity? Isn't that some branch of horrid? 

And if that's the case, then when you're in a drunken state of honesty at 4:23 am, how can you not be bitter?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is She Really Dating Horse Shit?

This morning, as I ate my toast, I made the horrible mistake of choosing MTV over Bravo.  I was enticed by a series I had never seen before "Is She Really Going Out With Him." The description reads "Beautiful, sweet young women date obnoxious guys."

A recipe for obscenity. 

Ok, so I typed that on a commercial break and the show just ended. I want to throw up. I literally want to vomit.

SO. This girl michelle is a beautiful soft-spoken blonde who works full time as a nurse. She is intelligent kind and articulate.

Blake is her live-in boyfriend. He is a piece of shit. 

Blake has been unemployed for months and isn't looking for a job because he thinks he's too good for it (really, fucktard? because I'm pretty sure sitting of your fat ass watching Japanese  action films with subtitles you probably can't even read doesn't exactly market you as a highly competitive member of the workforce. Ya dickwad.) 

So naive and "optimistic" Michelle gets this trashbag a job interview and buys him a 300$ suit. In true trashbag style, Blake gets all dressed up in the suit until Michelle leaves for work, ditches the interview and has a BBQ with his redneck friends, using Michelle's money to pay for the food. She calls him on the phone she bought him to wish him luck on the interview and he ignores her calls. She's so paranoid that she leaves work to go home and check up on him. She finds him in the height of his festivities and tells everyone to leave in an offensively calm and collected manner. His white trash friends don't leave until Blake tells them to leave. On his way out, Red Neck Friend #1 looks at Michelle and retorts, "you gonna clean this stuff up?" 

I gripped the arm chair.

The naive, "optimistic," and apparently self-loathing Michelle does manage to kick him out for a few days, but she takes him back, thinking everything will be different because he managed to land a sales job in the days he was gone.  "He's proven to me he really cares."

I felt my nails dig deeper into the cushion. 
I bit my lip.

HE CARES?! HE REALLY CARES?! Well done, Blake, you got a job. You're a member of society. You're doing what everyone else has been doing since they were 15. Well done, you pathetic mound of horse shit.

And you, Michelle! I'm sure you're a nice person, so I hate to be as harsh as I'd like to be, but you're kind of ruining our movement here. By appeasing pathetic mounds of horse shit, you're excusing behavior that is SO beyond inexcusable and your allowing yourself to be degraded and made a fool. In front of all the middle schoolers and myself watching MTV. 

I know the reality of all reality shows is questionable, but these people exist. These people live in THIS country. Women in THIS COUNTRY date men like Blake, who promise to take their long time girlfriends out to dinner and leave them with a $250.00 check.

I'm embarrassed to sing the same National Anthem as them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sex and Nacho Bell Grandes

When I've abandoned my blog for weeks there is always one thing that gets my fingers slamming on the key pad:

Sex And The City.

Tonight I indulged in one of the first episodes, in which Carrie is researching how to "have sex like a man." For those of you who didn't spend your high school years with your eyes glued to HBO on Demand, this entails "having sex and then feeling nothing." Carrie tries and walks out feeling like a million bucks, but when she runs into him again, he hardly felt fucked over. Figuratively, anyway. He was thrilled that she finally understood what he'd wanted all along.
"So any time I want to have sex, I'll call you," she half-heartedly stated with a sudden loss of confidence. 

Alright. If you live in New York and you're as busy as the next novel-reader on the subway, chances are you've got that acquaintance you call when you need a little... echem... stress release. And you actually really do care more about your orgasm than his lack of feelings for you.
I know what it's like to be stressed. No worries. 

But is that really the goal? It seems more like a rest-stop, a taco supreme on your 6 hour road trip to visit your cousin in Maine. Who's a chef. 

For better or worse, when I was 15 Sex and The City was my bible. When I inhaled I smelled their Cosmopolitans and when I exhaled I imagined their orgasms.

And I wasn't even sexually active yet. 

At the time, their characters seemed so real and their dilemmas  so oddly relatable. At 15, I was as bitter as Miranda and as over-analytical as Carrie. For the first time in my youth I felt like something was acknowledging feelings I had as a female and validating them.

Why then, at twenty years old, am I suddenly so turned off by it?
To "have sex like a man, you know, feel nothing" now bothers me in so many ways. Allow me to list them:
1) Despite prior beliefs, men do fall in love. So maybe they feel nothing with you, but they're gonna feel something with someone else. You're taco bell. If you're cool with that and they just so happen to be Mickey Ds, than go right ahead. Do yo thang. As long as you know. 

2) There are certainly times when women have sex and feel nothing-- just ask their casual acquaintances. It's not exclusive to men. Women do it all the time, they just don't make a big stink about it because honestly, who brags about downing a taco supreme. It feels great, but it's not exactly newsworthy. 

3) Alright Carrie, here me out: at the end of the episode you were bummed. You were bummed because this guy was just as cool with it as you were. AKA you were pissed because he didn't feel used and degraded like you did all the other times you hooked up with him. Revenge can never be a goal of meaningless sex. After all what could possibly be more chock full of meaning than revenge? You don't down a Nacho Bell Grande cause your pissed your taco supreme wasn't good enough. 

Well now that I've spent my night analyzing the life choices of a fictional character through a fast-food metaphor I should probably be off. 

But I'm sure I'll be back after my next Big Mac.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Peace With Penis

In New York it is hot. Oppressively hot-- sun pouring down your back with no hope of a breeze and the odor of rotting garbage potent in the hazy air. 
I think back to San Francisco, the way the fog would engulf the city at dusk and the wind rippled your clothes after dark. 
I think back to San Francisco, and I can't help but contrast it with New York, in so many ways more than the weather.

Like so many New Yorkers, my personal life was a jumble of hard liquor, friendly-fucks, and feminist angst-- usually in that order. And it had been that way, or some variation of that way for... well for as long as I can remember.

So why is it that within the first week of my trip to California, I stumble upon some kind of relationship?

It was exciting when he asked me out on a dinner date and I didn't panic.
It was surprising when I continued to see him after the dinner date.
And it was utterly shocking when he suggested we be exclusive.

Utterly. Shocking. I began to think the drugs smoked by hippies had accumulated in the fog, transcending me to an alter universe where I was more chill, and the men were neither gay nor assholes. 

But why was I so shocked by basic consideration? I certainly didn't expect that. 
But maybe I should have.

I am still surprised when he says he'll call and then does. And part of me hates that. Part of me is so frustrated with myself that I can preach female empowerment and still expect to be treated like shit.
But I think another part of me has recently learned to be a little kinder to myself. I've had a pretty bloody war with the male gender, and maybe I had some battle wounds that were unaccounted for.

I will never stop fighting for women.
But maybe in order to successfully fight for women, we have to stop fighting against men. Maybe fighting against men is what's defeating us. Perhaps in my effort to belittle men I've belittled myself. I was so focused on spiting their wants and needs that I forgot to listen to my own. 

So maybe it's just the heat making me a tad delirious, but I'd like to offer up a peace treaty.

Men, from now on I will expect more from you.

But y'all betta bring it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Giant Penises, Museums, and Drag Queens

I write to you today from a San Francisco hostel.
For those of you I haven't told, I've decided to take a trip.
I spent the night in San Francisco and today I'll be taking 2 buses and probably hitchhiking 4 miles to get to a Freegan Farm. It's like vegan but you get your veggies second hand or out of a dumpster instead of from Whole Foods in Union Square.
This farm is a self-proclaimed hippie commune with a group of farming vegans who don't believe in "god, government, or relationships." So what do they believe in, you ask? Well, I'm not really sure, so that's why I figured I'd check it out.

Even my one night in San Francisco gave me a touch of new insight. I stayed in a hostile on Mission Street, described by a kind stranger as a "Latina China Town" before giving me her number and address and telling me if I ever found myself in trouble I could call her.
At the hostile I had 5 roomates: 4 men from England, France, Sweden, and Atlanta, and 1 girl from Australia. They were all so incrediblely friendly and the English one decided to take me around San Francisco and show me the hotspots.
It's PRIDE WEEK so there were giant penises, museum exhibits, and drag queens galor. So basically it was heaven. We left Castro where I insisted on going to the Harvey Milk exhibit and went Haight Nashbury. I don't know if that's acutally how you spell it. But It was total hippie-ville. I thought Brooklyn was hardcore but I was in for a rude awakening. Let me tell you, my fellow American Apparel V-Neck wearers, we ain't got nothin on these people. I ate bangin vegan food in a pretentious attempt to fit in, and ended the day in Golden Gate Park under a tree planted by Janice Joplin.
Despite my attempts my Englilsh roomate wouldn't let me pay for anything but the cabride home which I forced on him, and surprised me with sunflowers. When we returned to the hostile he made a comment about how adamently I protested his kind gestures and the one female quickly retorted, "American girls aren't used to be treated nicely."

Is that true? Here I was thinking I was being independent. Maybe it wasn't about independence. Maybe it was just about someone else wanting to treat me because it would be a nice thing to do for another person.
When that kind older stranger gave me her number in case I need help, she told me, "I don't do this very often, but I think it's time we all start be a lot kinder to one another in this country."

And I couldn't have agreed more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Tao of Jew

One of the many symbols the Yin-Yang holds is a balance between male and female. The meld into one another, complimenting each other, and within each is a bit of the other. When all is well the dark mixes with the light in perfect harmony, melting, pushing towards the top, releasing towards the bottom and vice versa. They live in a state of peace. Meldy, melty, complimentary peace.

I like that model. I like that idea. And despite my salty rough edges, I think it's true.

Recently, a slightly more optimistic friend did me the service of listing all the good traits of the masculine that is typically less common in the feminine. As she rattled them off one by one I felt a surge of hope. I agreed. Things were going well. I almost felt ready to embrace the masculine, as a friend and not a foe-- Eve's companion, instead of the the dumbass who got caught with the apple.
And so my newfound Yin-Yang mentality was going well, until an ugly thought pushed its way horn first into my head:
In every almost- perfect model there is the potential for exploitation.

I mean twenty-first century capitalism does pretty well, but Bernie Madoffs still show up every now and then to steal grandpa's money.

What happens when the nearly-utopian model of the yin-yang gets exploited? What if one pushes the other a little too hard and instead of pushing back it retracts? And suddenly, like the mental state of a bi-polar teenager, it splits in two.

So now, without the model that's served others so well, you're kind of wandering in female zone. Falsifying your truths, shitting on your instincts, and if we're being real honest, missing the gentle push of the Yang. It takes a whole lot of energy to be angry. And it's a lot trickier to keep your Yiney shape without that resistance to balance you out.

And then you start to wonder what the Yin is made out of. If the separation has occurred, will it hold its shape, anxiously awaiting its reunion with the Yang? Or will it just puff out into a circle and become it's own entity?

Some wounds heal flawlessly while others leave scars that undeniably change what was.
I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Feminist Falters

A catalyst is rarely intended to stir up the cacophony that soon follows. A mother scowling at her overweight twelve-year-old as she grabs a potato chip doubtfully means to give her bulimia and the assassin of Franz Ferdinand couldn't have possibly planned on turning the whole world into a battlefield.

And that is why, when an acquaintance told me that a community in which people don't believe in relationships was the perfect place for me, I doubt he meant anything by it.

But behind the strained smile I had managed, a bomb exploded.

There comes a moment in a strong woman's life when she starts to wonder why exactly she's so strong. Well, she begins, she has a strong mind and even stronger ambition. Nothing wrong there. She has overcome obstacles. I'd say that's objectively viewed as admirable. So if all is well and good, then why does her strength feel like her greatest weakness of all?

It's pretty commonly known that when many women hit thirty and have no prospects of marriage they begin to panic. After all, most of their friends are married and it's an experience many other women have had that they haven't.

But what about when a woman hits twenty and she's never been called a girlfriend? It's not really covered in the media, but, um, it happens. And she obviously doesn't need a boyfriend to be happy, it's nothing like that, it's just... it's an experience that many other women have had that she hasn't.

She isn't ugly, or boring, or dim-witted, or clingy. She's actually quite the catch if she does say so herself. But she's beginning to wonder if she has a fucking tattoo on her forehead that says Do Not Date. And it's starting to get to her, to gnaw away at her because what in God's fucking name is the problem and WHY if she's so fucking strong does she even care at all?! And maybe, just maybe, it isn't that men only use the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain to communicate while women use both (because they do!) maybe it isn't the genes or the chromosomes or the hormones, maybe it's just that by being so fucking strong, by being so God damn sure she could stand on her own two feet, that nobody thought she needed a hand to hold when she started to fall. And so she fell. Down a spiral of science textbooks, friendly fucks, and questions that don't have answers.

It doesn't make her research less valid.
It just makes her wonder why she has such a passion to research in the first place.

But what is she supposed to do? Pretend that she doesn't have a thirst for answers? Make believe that just because there may not be an answer, the questions don't persist to rain in her head?

And so she continues to put on her armor of red lipstick and carry Darwin's text as a shield, all the while wondering if her hubris will ever bring her happiness.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

O Didn't Always Stand for Oprah

OK, I have been a REAL slacker lately and for that I apologize. In the past 24 hours I have purchased a plane ticket to a freegan farm, run through the streets of Brooklyn in a bikini (it was raining), and probably ruined my liver. Not necessarily in that order. But although I am quite busy being irresponsible and spending money I don't have, I managed to find the time to do some research. I've been reading a lot about gender differences in the work force, politics, and even in learning disabilities. All of which is very valuable information.

But I'd rather talk about sex.

The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that craves food, power, and sex. It is the lowermost part of your brain and is involved in hormone production.
Oh, and here's the best part:
It's connected to your clitoris.

So if you're feeling beautiful, in control of your life, and powerful in every which way, hop in the sack, baby, cause that little ball of nerves is gonna sing like a tea kettle.

But the problem is, most of us don't feel that way all the time. And unlike men, our orgasms are EXTREMELY moody.

When we have sex we are constantly thinking about our partner- what our relationship is to him, what he mean to us, and how much we care. Now don't get me wrong, there is certainly something to be said for that.

But it's kind of a buzz kill. Literally.

Perhaps the trick to a truly orgasmic union is to not think about the union at all. Maybe some sex isn't about a bond. Maybe some sex is more about your relationship to your body than your relationship to your man. Perhaps if we thought less about who was touching us and more about the touch itself, we'd be more likely to put on that infamous O face so many women have yet to make.

I'm not saying that's the only way to have an orgasm, and I'm not saying there isn't beauty in a connection. I'm merely implying that maybe there's beauty in having "just sex" too.

My personal theory is that a woman's sex drive is the natural activity of her hypothalamus combined with her emotional past- especially with men. So if she's had healthy sexual experiences and an overall positive outlook on male figures her hypothalamus gains some points. But if she hasn't had the best of luck, that's gonna intercept those signals. So even if she naturally had a hyper-active hypothalamus, a negative experience can totally prevent a grand finale. After journaling and a few therapy sessions she can reclaim her power emotionally, but how can she reclaim it physically?

Perhaps having "just sex" can be healing. Perhaps, if done safely and with a trustworthy person, it can make her learn new things about her body, its different patterns, and its incredible potential.
Maybe "just sex" can be the best sex of all. Because realizing the touch feels good makes her hungry. And realizing it's safe to be hungry makes her powerful. And realizing she's powerful makes her tilt her head back and...

well, you know the rest.

Oh and P.S.- Many women aren't exactly sure what an orgasm is. It's extremely common to think you've had one if you haven't. Trust me, I've been there. So I'm just gonna clarify without the fluff: You kind of feel like you have to pee and then fluid comes out. And it's not pee. So if you feel it coming and you're not sure what it is, don't stop and say you have to go to bathroom like your good ol' friend, A. Woman over here.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

An American Oedipus

In the early 20th century there was some form of a “lesbian” movement. Women partook in intense friendships with one another that developed into some form of physical relations and before long they were living a happy men-less life together. Very Kissing Jessica Stein.

These intense homogeneous friendships have been documented throughout history as lesbian relationships. And while I have very little (O.K, zero,) experience in a lesbian relationship, I can’t help but question if that was in fact was these women were experiencing. Two people (women in this case) clearly bonded very strongly on an emotional level. And this emotional level was so intense, that they were looking for another way to express it, to further develop it. To have some kind of tangible evidence of the bond they share.

But is that sex? If sex is about expressing a friendship, then why is the term “friendship” literally interchangeable with the word “platonic?” Isn’t sex about expressing the tangible, the physical, and not trying to personify a platonic bond?

Since then, Americans have experienced the black and white “I’m-wearing-his-pin” relationships of the Eisenhower era, the spontaneous free love of the hippies and the “fuck-whoever’s-at-the-club” attitude of the sexual revolution.

Many feminists say we’re regressing back to the gender roles of the fifties, and I do see some truth in that. But I think a younger generation of feminists can see that we’ve gone back even further.

We are fucking our friends.

There, I said it.

We are fucking our friends because they’re there, we trust them, and we care about them. But does that mean we should have sex with them? I mean we trust and care about our family too, but even Oedipus didn’t mean to screw his mama. So what makes us think this is a good idea? What makes us think this is any less taboo?

I don’t know if it has a historical name yet, but we’re in a sexual movement. We are in a cluster-fuck of fuck-buddies.

Maybe we should just poke our eyes out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Are Friends-With-Benefits Female Friendly?

Living in New York, I have found that along with bubble tea, relationships are quickly becoming a craze of the past. They have since been replaced with the "fuck buddy", or the slightly classier "friend-with-benefits." Right under my nose I see that endearing pink-wearing relationship-lover spend a saturday night under the covers with an old friend. I see a hand-holding, flower-buying boyfriend-type suddenly keeping tally of how many girls he can get to pull down his pants in a week. 

But here's the thing.
For some women, this is nothing new.
For some ladies of New York, this is not a change in tide. It's more like a lazy river. Still flowin' after all these years.

She never had an actual relationship with a boy. But most of her friends from high school were boys. And most of her friends from high school had bumped lips with her at some point. 

But what about when that sixteen year old grows up, moves out, and suddenly it's not just about bumping lips anymore. Suddenly it's about bumping other things. She doesn't know what a relationship is so she sticks to what she does know. Only this time the terrain is a little rockier and the stakes are a little higher. A lot higher. 

She wants to believe that men can be good and that they care. So who better to turn to then a male friend? The closer the friend, the more you care about each other, right?

But maybe it isn't that simple. Maybe there is something special about a platonic hetero-male-female relationship that could get lost. That can't be regained once the eh...bumping occurs. After all, once it happens it's out there. Like riding a bike- you never forget. And no matter how much time you take off, there's always that silent option of jumping back on to ride it again. 

Don't get me wrong, you can gain something from the experience. It can certainly have its perks. And at the of the day, it isn't even the fear of what may have been lost that gets to you.  It's the principle of it- the "why" factor. Did you do it because you needed some kind of proof that someone could actually be physical with you and care about you as a person at the same time? And if he ends up proving that to be possible, then why do you still feel lost? Like even if you wanted to search for something more... stable? traditional? you wouldn't even know where to start. You wear hemp shoes, you eat gluten-free food, but when it comes to men, you're still not sure what the healthy choice is. After all, you hardly have the resume. 

Well look at the bright side: 
Those vile tapioca balls are on their way out, and you're suddenly very much in style. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Darwin Be Damned

Hello, there! It's been a little hectic with finals so I decided to peace out and go to Boston for absolutely no reason. My friend sitting next to me defined it as "New York for midgets." She is currently telling me a "bed time story" about Care Bears and an imaginary friend we named Fez, after the delightful character on That 70s Show. But sadly, I am not particularly listening, because...well, honestly because I'm giant loser and I'm thinking about genetic variation.

Shit, they've fallen asleep. Will my typing wake them? I'll have to be brief.

OK, here's the deal.
If you took 9th grade bio, you probably know that women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y. If you took 9th grade bio, you also probably have seen a picture of the X and Y chromosomes, but if you were busy daydreaming about how cute Benny looks without his braces that day then I'll remind you that the Y chromosome was smaller than the X. Literally smaller. And say what will about the bedroom, but in this case, size does matter. Turns out, because that second X chromosome is longer it literally has more room for genetic variation. So when men say women are complicated, they're actually right on target. We are more complicated- genetically. And all the while, women are complaining that men can't express themselves. Well, our aim's not so bad either given they physically have less room for gene expression.

And while I'm on the topic of genetic variation let me just clear something up about the common notion that men are more likely to cheat. Some men are. But not all men. According to my research, whether or not a man will cheat has more to do with Darwin than you. In order to assure the survival of the species (a funny notion now, given the overpopulation of our planet) some men are programmed to be monogamous and some men aren't. So when your best friend tells you "if he cheated with you, he'll cheat on you" she's probably onto something. Except now it's not just common sense- it's genetic variation. 

Alright shit, they're totally passed out and I haven't even changed my tampon. brilliant. 
But if you're a giant nerd like me and you want to read more about this, just shoot me an email ( or a comment and I can totally lend you my sources.

But finally, before I go, I'd like to say one more thing. If I believe this, then I have to believe that every nasty cheating-induced break up is the result of evolution. Well hats off to you, Darwin you've done it again. Thank you. I'm so utterly ecstatic evolution is part of my life. We may stumble upon that monogamy-man, but if you're anything like me, you'll pick the monkey with the cheat-gene out of the barrel any day of the week.

Maybe we're better off with apes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ps and Vs

Alright, I've had a rough day and I need to lighten the mood, so I'm gonna go with a really shallow topic that just happened to come up in conversation over drinks last night:

When it comes to words exchanged during sex, I have made it my policy not to judge. You can talk about Barney the Dinosaur for all I care- if that's what gets you going- that's your private business. 
But... Ah... I just... can't help but notice...

If you're having sex with someone and they make a comment about your vagina, how do you react? 

Male: "Your ___ is so_____  ."
Female: "    "
Female's thoughts: "...?"

I mean, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't do anything for us. It might do something for them and that's great! By all means! But here is what totally fascinates me:

If you're having sex with someone and you make a comment about their penis, they freak out. They love it. I mean I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on inside their heads so I won't make a cute little hypothetical conversation. But I think it's pretty safe to say it turns them on.

But why?! My vagina is a part of my body. So making a comment on its size, shape, or texture doesn't really excite me. It's like saying, "your eyes are brown." I know. And you can totally say it, I really don't mind at all. But I know they're brown. They're my eyes. 

So why is it so different for men? How can they be sexually stimulated by their own body part? It's almost like the penis is its own person; it has feelings and needs positive reinforcement to grow up big and strong. 

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. I don't judge them for it. In fact, I almost feel bad that they have that extra person to deal with. But every time I notice a difference between men and women I just have to point it out. I can't help it- it's like staring at someone's pimple when you know they see you. 

I should really stop that.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Commodity of Romance

When it comes to dating, I find I often miss the beat by one quarter note.  On those rare days on which I long for someone to share my meal with, I find my list of contacts useless, yet when I decide to "focus on myself" I find my inbox flooded with prospects. 

It is a unique and special day when I discover exactly what I want, so I suppose today deserves some recognition. As I reflected back on my recent flings with all their perks, peaks, and pitfalls, I defined my ideal relationship:

A strong friendship with he whom I can sleep with whenever I want.

And through that definition, I realized why I have a sudden anxiety towards dating:
Dating Is Romance.
Romance Is A Commodity. 

I hate the idea that in order for someone to show their interest they have to spend money on me. If I had a boyfriend, I would truly appreciate him spending money on me and I would be more than happy to spend mine on him. But this courtship thing rubs me the wrong way. Aside from the hipster fuck-consumerism aspect, I just find it uncomfortable. Forced. Like laughing at your boss's joke.

And then there's that whole, "I'm not your average girl" element. We sickos are so damn quick to inform these dinner-seeking men that a romantic evening is really not our style. We don't look for relationships, we go with the flow, and we'd much rather chill on a park bench with our shoes off. We freak out because if they already want a traditional date, than they probably want a traditional relationship, and we're not a traditional girl, so maybe we should just quit while they still categorize us as normal. 

And we wonder why we fall for the head-cases.

But what if there's some validity in this twisted emotional guard? I really would rather sit on a park bench with my shoes off and exchange Michael Scott impressions than have a candlelit dinner in Tribecca. I really am just seeking a friend I am sexually attracted to who is ready to go at any given time. And if it develops into something exclusive than that's great.
In my head, that's not settling. That's just what I want. That, to me, is a relationship. A friendship with mutual care and support and exclusive physical activity. 

It sounds so simple, yet it's shockingly hard to come by. Perhaps because in wanting the simplest things, I've made myself unattractive. Apparently in order to get what you want you have to want the world. 

I would be more than happy for a platonic relationship to turn into a hookup and then have that hookup turn into something more. But by starting as friends, I can't be seen in terms of a relationship. Because I lacked the dinner, the movie, the upstate vacation, I lacked being seen in a romantic light. 

Last night I ran into a smart, cute, funny guy I'd ran into a few times before. When he asked me if I was available tomorrow I tried suggesting a couple of casual day-lit activities in which we could just hang out and chat. 

Needless to say, tonight at 7:00pm you can find me a beautiful expensive dim-lit dinner in Tribecca, knowing that all I really want is bare feet perched on a park bench and a long talk on the phone.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Wish Freud Were Female

Let me preface this by saying I should be sleeping right now. I should definitely be sleeping right now because I'm so tired, I'm watching lost (which i've never seen before and am more interested in why all the women have blue eyes than the plot) so I'm a little distracted, and i have a show tomorrow afternoon. 

But I'm not just physically tired.

I feel like every interaction I've ever had with a male, in any shape or form, involved accommodating his ego. That fucking male ego, that precious jewel that needs shining, that delicate pup that needs stroking.
He needs to know he's a good person. Fine. You're a good person.
He needs to know he's doing well in bed.  Fine. You're doing well in bed. 
He needs to know his jokes are funny. Fine. Hahahahaha.
He needs to know you can be civil after a break up. Fine. Hi, how are you?

But my God what about our egos? Would it be so much to ask for a little validation here and there, you know, maybe one encouraging comment for every 4 we give you? and here's what I don't get: when we call them upset seeking comfort, we are viewed as emotional, needy, or fragile. But what could be more emotional, needy or fragile than a CONSTANT need for validation like that of the male ego? 
I have calluses on my fingers from petting it. 
The hypocrisy of the whole thing has boggled my brains and I'm wiped. 

I'm going to bed.
I'd like to think that tomorrow some guy will massage my ego, and after all, tomorrow's only a day away...
But I'm pretty sure Ginger over here had to chill on the streets for more than 24 hours till before the baldy took her in.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

4x7=28 and here's how to end a hookup

Hello, men. I think we need to have a chat. 

Your last hookup may have been a serious girlfriend, someone you were casually dating, a friend-with-benefits, or someone you found on Craigslist. Whatever it was, it ended. You know that much.
Here's what you don't know:

If it was faltering, we were aware. If it ended, it's because it needed to. Something obviously wasn't right, or it would still be occurring. 

Now. here's something else you don't know. 

When a woman gets upset with you after it's over it is NOT because she still wants to be with you. It is NOT because she can't handle the fact that the flame has petered out. She is upset with you because you are denying her the most basic, most simplistic, one and only thing she wants:


That's right. R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me respect. An acknowledgment that it happened and just a LITTLE BIT of validation that it existed- that there was ANY positivity in it at all. Which there was! There must have been! Or it wouldn't have happened more then once! (ok, twice if you were really fucked up. both times).

Y'all have this little habit of thinking the only way to handle the situation is to ignore the girl until she...what, takes a hint? Is that it? If you were friends, tell her what's up. Doesn't your friend deserve to know? And try this: if she meant something to you, at any point be it physical or even platonic. Let her know. Maybe it was the best sex you've ever had. Maybe it wasn't, but you like the way she listened when you spoke. Maybe you just like her tits. But if you just liked her tits, would you really have taken her out for breakfast in the morning? Would you really have called her on the phone just to talk? 

Maybe you would have. But you can STILL acknowledge the fact that it happened because you wanted it to. Most of us don't practice voodoo. Most of us are not dangling grapes before your lips, and the great majority of us are not slipping you roofies. Your penis did not fall into anyone's vagina. YOU PUT IT THERE. So you're not really foolin' anyone. 

It has been said before that there is a correct way to break up with someone. But a) that statement was apparently not very widespread and b) I'd like to make an addition:

There is a correct way to stop hooking up with someone. No matter how casual it was, it happened. Acknowledge that. Validate the experience. Honor it for what it was. You will come out the good guy. And isn't that what you're all so damn worried about to begin with?

This has happened to all of us way too many times for me to just accept it. I don't know how to reach them. I don't know how to make them understand. I don't know how to drill this into their brains.

All I can think of is flash-cards.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SEX. Yeah, I said it.

Here is a letter I sent to CosmoGirl back in my teenage years (ok, that was like not even a year ago, but the ONLY perk of being 20 is pretending you're above being a teenager so I'm gonna milk it)

Dear Editor,

I have a new and fresh idea that I believe would make an excellent contribution to your magazine.

Like countless others, I have spent the majority of my teen years comparing my love life to those of the adored characters on Sex and the City. However, when I tried to apply Carrie’s advice, I often came up short. I recently realized why: they are in their thirties!

            And then it hit me: there is absolutely nothing in the media for teens and young women who are sexually active, but not sexually experienced. I can find plenty of articles for virgins about how to avoid being pressured into sex. And my latest Cosmo gives a “how to” of tricks like “having sex against a wall.” But where do I look if I’m having sex, but I’m still learning the ropes? Who can I relate to if I have a problem like, “How do I get over the guy I lost my virginity to?” Carrie Bradshaw has been having sex for longer than I’ve been alive; so I don’t think her advice is truly geared towards my problems.

            Here, then, is my proposition: A column or a web blog about relationships and sex for those who are new to it- written by someone who is also new to it- that someone preferably being me. Now, I am no sexpert- but that is exactly the point. I could write about my experiences as I live them, and finally give the millions of girls in my shoes someone in the media to relate to.

            I know sex is a tricky subject, but my columns would be tasteful, truthful, and relevant. I am not trying to promote promiscuity or advocate sex amongst teens. I am merely trying to acknowledge that sex is out there, and provide helpful information for those who are already doing it or thinking about it. It may spark some controversy, but hey, Gossip Girl would not be such a hit if those explicit billboards were not hovering over Time Square.

            Speaking of Gossip Girl, teens having sex is already portrayed in the media- just not accurately. When Blaire loses her virginity the scenario is hot, steamy, and utterly romanticized. For the non-fictional teen, a first attempt at sex is not about champagne and rose petals. It’s actually more like a science project. Isn’t it about time we stop expecting teens to go from the innocent virgins of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to the sex kittens of American Pie overnight? I’d like to guide them through the in between phase as I experience it myself.

            I would be more than happy to send you a sample of my writing if this idea interests you at all, and am fully available to meet in person in the NYC area. Please let me know what you think.

Thank you for your time!

Needless to say, said editor did not respond. And as I continue to grow older and more experienced, I can see my brilliant plan of being a teenaged sex columnist slipping away. But even if I can't write it then, my God, someone needs to. Sex plays too big a role in the lives of humans for it to go unexplained for so long. I am twenty and I STILL feel too young to relate to anything truthful pertaining sex in the media. So how must that high schooler feel who just lost her virginity?

Ok, here's my plan. Like I said I am no expert, and this blog probably reaches like 2 people, BUT if you have any questions/comments/stories deemed to awkward to discuss, I'd be happy to listen without judgement and respond with a personal story that would probably make your awkward encounter seem like a candlelit dinner. And if it's something technical, I can totally research it and get back to you. I don't know if that would do anyone any good, but I figured its worth a shot. So here's my email:

When it comes to the topic of young people having sex everyone just freezes up. I think it's about time we break the ice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Metrolover's Lament

Let me start by saying that the electricity has been cut off in my apartment and I am literally writing to you by the light of my computer. How incredibly Medieval. 

Today I'd like to address a highly controversial topic (now there's a shocker). But I feel it must be discussed  because my lady friends and I have experienced it far too many times in our environment.

We are theater majors, in New York City. 
I think you may know where I'm going with this.
But if you don't, I will be discussing the The Closet Case vs. The Metrosexual.

Now this,  my friends, is a tricky one.
With the continual blur of the gender roles, men have taken on more and more "feminine" characteristics. They get their eyebrows threaded at the same salon as I do. They highlight their hair with a frequency I can only admire. They wax the majority of their bodies and put together well thought out ensembles for a night on the town. 
And often times... they're hot. 

From my observation its nearly impossible to be in theater in New York and not be sexually attracted to metrosexuals. Now I'm sure there are exceptions, and a lot of the guys I think are hot are not metrosexuals. But these metroloving girls are prevalent enough that I feel they need a name. I am totally open to suggestions, but for now, I'm gonna go with Metrolover
Metrolover: n' A woman is sexually attracted to the commercial metro sexual. 

With being a Metrolover comes an inevitable struggle that lies in the underlying fear of every hookup and relationship: What if he's gay. Oh my God, What. If. He's. Gay. 
Because, not all of the time, but sometimes... he is. Sometimes he comes out of the closet. Other times he doesn't. But when it happens, we know. We always know. 

Which brings me to our next vocab word:
The Pro-Mo-Sexual: n' A female who is sexually attracted to gay men, or, Pro hoMo Sexuals. 
(not bad for being put on the spot, eh?)
These women have it rough. They see a guy on the street and think "wow, he's so hot," and 9 times out of 10, the hot guy's on his way to meet another hot guy for a good romp in the sack. But it's so not their fault. After all, they can't help it if the streets of New York are flooded with handsome men who are uninterested in our anatomy.

There's one more kind and then I'm done. The woman who is a magnet for the closeted gay men. They just flock to her like them 5th Avenue pigeons to a bagel. 
The Bearded Lady. Harsh, I know, but since I've had plenty of practice being her, I feel somewhat entitled. A wise professor told me recently that Bearded Ladies are often strong women who straight guys may be afraid to approach. Great. Another benefit of being outspoken. Fantastic. 

So who has it worse? The Metrolover, the ProMoSexual or the Bearded Lady? They've all got it pretty rough. And trust me. It is possible to be all of them. I would know. 

Now to all my men (yeah, because so many of them are reading the women's files but whatever, it's worth a shot):
Metrosexual or not, if you are straight- and I mean really and truly no doubt in your mind straight, PLEASE let us know. Wave it like a proud banner. Get a little sticker that says "Hello, my name is: I'M STRAIGHT" 
And if you're still figuring things out that's TOTALLY cool. Take all the time you need. Just don't involve me. A Bearded Lady's got feelings too.
I think both parties will benefit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Librarians Are Sexy by Daylight Too

"What's a four letter word spelling Phi Beta Kappa? That's me! I'm as bright as a girl can be. So bright someone else who can not tell a fig from a frigate is off with my Hecky at sea!"
-Richard Maltby Jr. (Starting Here, Starting Now)

In middle school, the smartest girls in the class can be the prettiest. But they can rarely be the most popular. The popular girls are busy seeing movies with their friends and having premature sexual experiences while the smart girls are home studying. But when the smart girls try to talk to the popular boys, they're smart enough to know to play dumb. When asked to hang out they quickly reply "I can't I... have a date" and conveniently leave out that they have a giant test to study for. 

How do they know?
How do they know at so young an age that it's not sexy to be smart? That when you talk to boys you dumb yourself down so as not to frighten them away? You want to be cool- you shut your mouth. And you open it when you have something to say about lip gloss.

I wish I can say it's changed much since those days of disney channel and spin the bottle in basements. But every now and then I find myself using an innate filter when sit across my date over dinner. Not if it's someone I'm comfortable with, but if it's its a second date I don't want to frighten him away. No, it's not just that. I don't want to intimidate him. If I sit there and start talking about chemical differences between men and women and how it affects society what would he think? He might think it's sexy. 
But I highly doubt it. 

Even I, clearly opinionated and outspoken, shut my mouth. And open it when I have something to say about lip gloss. 
It's tricky because both men and women censor themselves to appear attractive. That seems to be something more human that gender assigned. But why is it the what makes a woman attractive is a closed mouth? If a man is brilliant it's a plus. I nabbed a winner. If a woman is brilliant it's threatening and lacking femininity. 

A big problem I have with our generation is that it seems that the average girl is trained to be dull. Her potential is not cultivated because that would interfere with her sex appeal.
People, not just women, will always put sex first. They want to be attractive to other human beings. That's not my issue. My issue is that smart does not equate sexy. 

So here's the plan: If we're all smart, then they'll have to pick a smart girl cause that's the only option they've got. And they'll will pick her because men will always pick sex over no sex. Unless you're married. 
We can have the brains and the boo. 

So crack open those books ladies. Let's stop being afraid to be smart. We're SO much better than that. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

All My Single Ladies

There is a breed of woman who are single. Not single at the moment, just single. Previously, continuously, perpetually single. These women were the 16 year old girls who were told by 24 year old men that they're a tease. That they lead men on. These women were the 20 year old girls who come home from college to a mother's nagging about why they never have anyone special to discuss. These women do not lack experience. They date. They have sex. They even get attached. They wear short spandex dresses with stilettos and often find themselves the recipient of the kindness of strangers. Male strangers. 

They are masters of the first date. They can be charming, mysterious, innocent or devilish, adorably quirky or entirely generic. But when these nice men who buy them drinks begin to request a little more sincerity they panic. They tell the man it was lovely getting to know him, but "believe me, you don't want to deal with me. You're such a nice guy and I don't think I'm the right girl for..." For what? For a nice guy.
Because the guys they want to pin down are the ones running so fast they can't see. The guys they want are unreasonable, irrational, emotionally unavailable, and utterly unresponsive.  They're complicated, vulnerable, angry, and incredibly intriguing. They're totally un-fulfilling yet entirely delicious. So basically, they're Chinese food. 

It is commonly said by nice men that women want an ass hole.
While there seems to be an undeniable pattern of great girls liking unworthy narcissists, I don't think its because that's what they want. 
Maybe, just maybe they can't accept the nice guy because they don't feel nice. They're trouble and they know it.  They're dark and cynical and emotional.  They're never going to say their sibling is their best friend. They're never going to hold your hand before they've slept with you. They're never going to be a nice girl. And they're sorry for that. 

But where does that leave them? Somewhere in between a sweet, genuine hand holder and a mysterious, flaky tool bag. They're neither here nor there. And so, they return home for spring break, reluctantly telling their mothers, that no, they do not have a boyfriend and no, they are not a lesbian. Maybe it would console these mothers to know that they're trying. They just haven't found a sweet asshole yet.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Changing is for Animorphs

I was walking down the street yesterday when I passed a restaurant window cluttered with homemade ads and flyers. Being uninterested in 14 year old babysitters and apartments I can't afford, I continued to walk without taking much notice. But one sign caught my eye:
(it read)
getting your man to communicate and stay faithful: a seminar in behavior

To be honest, I kind of thought we were beyond this. But the more I talk to people, the more I leave stunned. Somewhere in the city there's a girl who was cheated on who wonders if she did something wrong. There's a girl who wonders if she needs to be better in bed when her friend-with-benefits stops calling. Even the great Carrie Bradshaw dedicated 80% of her hypothetical life to trying to change Big. And even after her "you can't change a man" episode, she still went back to him. Only this time, she wasn't trying to change him- she was trying to change herself. 

Is this what its come to then? You can't change a man so change yourself? It hardly seems modern, yet it exists in all the subtleties of our culture. It exists in self-help books, it exists in the subway ads, and lord knows it exists in every. single. romantic comedy from Grease to Legally Blonde. Yes Elle ditched the dick in the end, but girlfriend would NOT be a lawyer if he hadn't brought her there. 
And yes I do love both those movies. And no, I have not seen a more recent romantic comedy than Legally Blonde. But maybe if they stopped aiming to give little girls a complex, I would start funding them with my 11 dollars. 

If we try to change ourselves, we are accepting the label we have been given throughout history. We our kneeling before our king and bowing our heads and saying "as you wish, Sire." And worst of all, we are beating down the strength and beauty we have to offer the world. 
But what happens if we don't change? Do we end up alone, untouched and unwanted? I realize a relationship takes work and requires compromise. But I'll be damned if I'm left with the whole burden on my shoulders, I have enough knots in my rhomboid as it is, thankyouverymuch. 

However I do have to wonder, out of mere curiosity, exactly what we're supposed to be changing into. I guess I'll have to call the number I took off the flyer. 

Just Kidding.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Moon-Fire and Tasseled Bras

Happy St. Patrick's day, one and all!

My roommate and I celebrated for a solid 24 hours which is a real testament to the Irish given I'm an Italian Jew and he's Japanese and Black. However after a full day of liver damage you actually reach a point where you can keep consuming without any noticeable impact so I feel I can post with an undeserved level of coherency. 

Our final stop of the evening was a certain bar I frequent that hires burlesque dancers to perform. The bar has a small closet-like stage whose walls are clad with silver streamers and lights. A few days a week, a scantily clad (sometimes wigged) woman comes in to dance seductively on the stage and occasionally remove an article of her already limited clothing. I can't count the amount of times I've gaped in admiration at these dancers in their tasseled bras and cut-off boy shorts. Throughout my visits, my fascination with the job had become more and more obvious and my conversations with the dancers had gotten longer and longer. Soon enough, I was actually thinking about it. I learned what dance school I'd need to study with, who I'd have to contact, and what a good stage name for me would be. One of them even invited me to the Burlesque Brunch. And the more I saw, the more intrigued I was. The more I watched, the more I felt I could be up there. I could do that. 

I've always had a fascination with sexual women- dancers, strippers, porn stars, even prostitutes. It's been there for as long as I can remember. I was that weird kid that stuffed her training bra at 8 and watched inappropriate HBO shows behind her mother's back. I new from a disturbingly young age that women held this weird sexual power that men didn't seem to have. As if their lust for the female body overwhelmed them in such away that they lost control over their rational. It was... well there was no name for it. But I knew what it was. It was those sexual rays, that fire- but not a warm fire like that from the sun. It was a darker, more irresistible fire. A moon-fire. 

Many of my friends are surprised when I tell them I love a porn star or that I want to be a Burlesque dancer-even if I may never get the guts to go through with it. It appears to go against everything I stand for- it's degrading, it's viewing women as sex objects and only taking interest their bodies. Well part of me wonders if they have a point. But consider this: a woman, hell, a person, is both mind and body. The goal shouldn't be to totally distract from the body, because that is a beautiful thing a woman has to offer. And if that woman can feel beautiful and sexy enough in her own body to share it with others then why is that bad? Why should we be ashamed of our breasts if we have them? They're not a device made for men by men. They were made for us by who knows what, so is it wrong to display them?

And then there's always that moon-fire. To be up there on that Burlesque stage with flick of a leg and a come hither glance is so powerful. To have that kind of confidence, that understanding of your own moon-fire that you can just harness it and dance must be so liberating. We aren't just bodies, but we aren't just minds either. It's almost taboo to discuss, but there is an undeniable power in our sexuality, and there's nothing degrading about that. Maybe that's why Burlesque was originally invented by a woman.  

***Added note: I also believe that one reason men have subordinated women is because they are intimidated by the sexual power women hold. They probably figured (and accurately so) that if they could create an environment that restricts the woman to such extent that she is totally unaware of her own moon-fire, they could control her. It's worked for centuries, but if you ask me, the jig is up. So ladies, do us all a favor and spend some time standing naked before a mirror. Really look at what you've got. After all, it's pretty fantastic.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Musings On International Women's Day

Happy International Women's day!

No, I'm not making that up- it's actually been around since 1911, but I haven't heard of it until... well about 5 minutes ago, honestly.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in our culture I forget what goes on outside this little bubble of technology, hipster moms, and tranny bars. There are billions of women whose culture is a mystery to me, whose struggles I'll never understand. There are 8 year olds having their clitoris cut off, there are 12 year olds bearing children. Jesus, I'm 20 and I can't even bear a relationship. In comparison my trials seem so trivial and my complaints frivolous. But I guess that isn't fair. We can't blame ourselves for the circumstances of others. I guess all we can do is educate ourselves and try to gain a little perspective. And maybe, with enough knowledge and drive we can build up the courage to act.

So here are some interesting statistics about women internationally:

While it's important to reflect, I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer. There's no reason why we shouldn't celebrate this holiday. So now that you have an excuse, cut off a slice of that chocolate cake you bought when you were PMSing and pour yourself some bubbly. 

A toast: to women everywhere.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Isn't It Ironic

If all the women of the world decided to line up and parade through the streets, I believe the leader of that line would be Alanis Morisette. I mean her Jagged Little Pill album was positively flawless and I felt liberated just from watching her in the "Thank You" video. And don't get me started on "Uninvited"- it just always feels right.

Now I would say, all good music aside, that Alanis is a pretty good-looking lady. But if you can find a single straight guy to make that statement, then hell, I'll buy you a Magnolia cupcake. You've earned it.

None of them find her attractive because she's angry and bitter and loud. And yet that's why women love her. And not just the angry bitter and loud women. In fact, I find the quiet ones tend to like her even more.

A certain individual read my blog, and for inexplicable reasons felt a strong sense of hostility towards me, and all of the sudden had very strong opinions on the downside of feminism. Now I have wonder what brought on this reaction. Is it because I'm now viewed as angry bitter and loud, and therefore no longer attractive? Or did he feel personally attacked or degraded in my written attempt to empower women?

What I tried to explain to him (before our phone call was so rudely interrupted by angry deer) was that just because we can be angry bitter and loud doesn't mean that's all we are. I am not a Man-Hater. I may get angry because I see a sexist commercial , I may get bitter because I meet a hot guy and find out he's gay, and I may get loud because... well, because sometimes I fall into a character called Kelly-the-Clinger and that requires some chops.
But I also get really excited to see a guy again after a successful first date. I get nurturing when someone I'm involved with is sick. I think it'd be really nice to cook a guy dinner for no reason, and I think it'd be really nice if he did the same.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm not an ice queen. I have feelings softer than resentment, I have colors brighter than grey. My goal isn't to create a battle of the sexes, its to establish a union that suits us both. I still consider myself a feminist. I still notice sharp differences in the genders. But I'm not saying men are dispensable. I think in the past women have needed men too much. But I still think we need them, just not in the same way. I think the genders need each other.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll be going off on an angry rant about our oppression before long, and I'll mean everything I say. But maybe keep in mind that underneath all that anger, I'm still a person who smiles at the prospect of love and sighs at the thought of a perfect kiss.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ride It Like Rosa

The deed is done!

I had class in the morning so I packed my props into a bag and prepared to head out. However, my sign was bigger than my body (not much of a feat) so I had to carry it separately. As I left my apartment I got one of those delightful cat calls we all know and love, except this time I was prepared. I held the sign over my ass in response to him so the conversation more or less went as follows:
"Hey baby, mmm those are some tasty legs"
It was pretty liberating.
But it only got better.

My giant poster board was soon accompanied by a pregnant belly, a poofy floral dress, red lipstick, and a platinum blonde wig (the contrast with my eyebrows was in fact as frightening you'd expect). I was about to waddle down the steps to the 6 train, but something across the street caught my eye. It was City Hall. I smoothed my wig, held up my sign, and I crossed that street. I know I wasn't protesting a law, but I simply couldn't resist.

Now I was ready for my ultimate mission. I was taking that 6 train all the way up and all the way down. 
Everyone was staring at me from the moment I walked on the subway. There were reactions- a corporate man rolled his eyes, a girl giggled, but for the most part it was a quick glance and then they were over it. So I figured I needed to up my game. 

At the next stop I loudly removed my heels and replaced them with slippers. A man in the corner started laughing and I couldn't help but laugh with him as I was being pretty outrageous- even for me. At the following stop I pulled out a duster and started dusting the seats. That hooked the tourists. They asked if they could take some pictures so I happily obliged and offered them the statement I had typed out to explain my purpose in this MTA excursion.

Now that one person was reading the statement everyone was curious. So before I knew it I was passing it out to the majority of the cart. It was thrilling to see people reading something I wrote and taking an interest in something I'm so passionate about.
I could go into more detail, but I'll just brief you as it's Friday night and you're probably getting ready to go out for drinks. 

-The majority of people who asked me for a statement were gay men (of course thats merely an assumption, if we ever knew for sure our lives would be a lot easier...)
-The age of women who asked for a statement ranged from about 28-55. 
-Most men wearing business suits rolled their eyes and some changed cars
-The only people who rejected my statement when offered were girls on the Upper East Side
-A group of teenagers in Harlem asked me if I was from the Tyra show
-Some people actually thought I was pregnant and were really nice to me. They were just as mean to me when they found out I wasn't. 

But just as I exited the subway after at least 2 hours of riding, I heard a man behind me chuckle and in his thick accent utter, "only in America."

And I think it was that, more than anything else, which made it all worth it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Afternoon, MTA, Can I Fix You a Cucumber Sandwich?

Last year I lived across the street from City Hall. Sometimes I would be awoken in the morning by loud angry protesters. And I would think to myself how nice it would be to stand on those steps and scream for the rights of women. Big signs with bold letters and chants and that burning energy that can only stem from a desperate cry for change. 
But what good could City Hall do? I don't have a law to protest. Because our inequalities are not political they're cultural. Our oppression is not in the constitution, its in the new Burger King commercial with the mini-sliders and the 12 chicks in bikinis. 
I created this blog to attack it culturally.
And now I'm doing something else.

This Thursday (March 5th) at 3:15 you can find me in the front car of the 6 train heading uptown from the first stop.
I will be dressed in a blonde wig as a pregnant housewife.
I will also be carrying a sign that says "WOMEN ARE STILL OPPRESSED"

To be honest, I'm a little nervous about it. It's pretty bold and up front, and maybe a little extreme. I'm a little afraid I'll piss off the wrong man and he'll follow me home or something. But that's exactly why I need to do this. I shouldn't have to live in fear like that. None of us should. We should be able to voice our minds in a strong way without feeling in danger. 

In the past 30 years, feminism has died. No one is angry any more. It seems we've all been struck dumb with apathy. Let's bring it back. Let's share our voices. Let's tell women we can do better.
Let's ride the subway.

I'm expecting to be riding the train alone, but I'd love it if you could come. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Treeless Seed

Disclaimer: This particular post may be highly cryptic 

When a seed is planted in the ground everyone thinks of the tree that will form from it. But that tree will only grow with proper care. With light and water and a nurturing hand to provide it with those things. With out it, there's no tree. But the seed exists regardless. So I would like, if I may, to focus on the reality- the cold hard facts. The seed that's shoved underground and buried alive. 

I try to look at the beauty in the world. I've always thought it was a beautiful place. I never owned a camera because when I took pictures I felt like I was trying to capture something that was too free to pin down. I didn't want to waste any time looking through a lens in fear I might miss something (that being said, thank you to those who aren't lazy bums and own cameras. Were it not for you, I would have no record of my life. Not to mention a dreadful default on facebook). 

But as we grow up we experience new things. And some of them are bad. And some of them make you feel like you've been mistaken. Some of them make you feel like you've been shoved under ground and buried alive. And as you lie in the cold hard Earth, you wonder if maybe you'll never become a tree. That would require a gentle loving hand, and the only hand you know is the one that forced you in the ground. 

We deserve to see the beauty. We've earned that, it's our right. But when you spend your life being stripped of your naiveté layer by layer, when your pushed further and further away from the sunlight, how do you grow?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oxytocin: An Inconvenient Truth

Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. 

It is released by the pituitary gland in the female brain during intercourse.
It's chemical formula is C(43)H(66)N(12)O(12)S(2)
It's purpose is to fuck us over. 

"Us" being the ambitious, confident, self-respecting singles whom are forever on a quiet prowl for  a new mate and a little fun- hopefully in that order. Not that our lives revolve around this quiet prowl. They certainly don't. Its merely a sport, something to do when we're not focused on our career, our reading, and our far more important girl friends. 

We like our sport. It's light and fun, yet requires just enough tact to work our critical thinking skills. And it allows us to feel empowered by our sexuality. And we're not ones for passing up a chance to feel empowered. 

But there's a problem. This pesky little hormone called oxytocin. It's rarely discussed (so infrequently that spellcheck doesn't recognize the word so it's underlined in red every time I type it), but it's affecting gender relations in a major way. 

Oxytocin is believed to be responsible for the woman's desire to form a monogamous bond with her sexual partner. So if you've ever been angry at fuck buddy for saying "I'm just afraid you'll get attached," you might want to consider that he's actually on to something. And if you're anything like me, that'll make you even angrier. 

We don't want to be men. But we do want be equal. So if they can run around sticking it in with no afterthoughts than theoretically so can we. Or have it stuck in. Or something. 
But when we go looking for a new prospect we have an old one on our minds. When our skin touches new skin we're remembering the old. And eventually this new skin may become more important than the last. But we can't take much consolation in that as we're doomed to repeat the cycle soon enough. 
Like it or not, when we let someone into our bodies we're connecting to them mentally. That damn chemical is leaving our brain whether we want it to or not. So maybe even the most detached of us have to brace ourselves. We might miss them. We might care about them. We might get jealous. We might even fall in love with them at some point. But at the very least, we'll want them to call. Even if it's just to say they had a nice night. 

We need to stop blaming ourselves for that.
It's not our fault.
It's science. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Salute to John Locke

I haven't been updating as regularly as I would like to be and its because my miserable mac is sitting in Tekserve on 23rd street. So until they work their magic I'll have to type in haste from this communal Dell in between my classes.

I only have 10 minutes, but a whole lot of thoughts. I've been thinking lately about the nature of people. Now, I've always been a John Locke gal myself- people are born good but are corrupted by society, right to life, libery, property and all that. But it's suddenly taken on a new meaning to me.
As a gender's studies minor, a Sex and the City addict, a woman, and a self-proclaimed feminist, I've spent a whole lot of time contrasting the behaviors and wiring of men and women. We just seem so astonishlingly differnet by nature. Our roles flip-flop, our designs clash, and our efforts at communication rarely translate.
It's so easy for me to harp on that, effortless in fact, because it's what I observe in my daily life.
But here's what's not so easy to see.
We're all people.
We all want the basics.
Friendship, love, sex, kindness, generosity, laughter, a good night's sleep and a bangin' desert.
Or as Mr. John Locke put it, "life, liberty and property."
He was probably just referring to men, but I'm in an optimistic mood so I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume that by "every man" he meant every person. I would normally get pissy about this. But because of my pleasant dispostion I'm going to say that his faulty language is a reflection on his upbringing, not him. And besides, I've essentially had a weird crush on him since 8th grade so I'd like to think he can do no wrong.

Believe me, I know how easy it is to be angry. Not only easy, but important. Anger leads to action which leads to progress. In fact this blog originated from a place of anger and I can't say I regret it.

But maybe the guy whose words made it to our constitution had it right. Maybe its not so complicated, or cocophonous or tragic. Maybe the hardest thing to remember is the simplest of all. I know I'll forget it soon, but at least for today, maybe I can put aside our genetalia and hormone levels to be a little kinder to people and remember that all genders aside, we are one race.