Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
when you're lying in bed
when you promise to stay
you have my heart
all pricked with pins
you stick and i twist
when a new one goes in
you've got me lovesick
and falling apart
you're eyes are on mine
but your knife's in my heart
this voodoo love is killing me
even standing up, i'm still on my knees
this voodoo heart will do me in
everytime you say you love me
i feel the prick of a pin
*this is not meant to connote anything negative about the voodoo religion. i'm just using a recognizable (and unfortunately misrepresented) concept to convey my idea...hope no one's offended and if you are please let me know...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Question 1: Do you know who you are going to vote for in the primaries? (5 points)
Question 2: Who? (10 points)
Extra Credit: Why? (5 points)
Friday, December 7, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Sensing and perception or
Some other deep connection
I look out the window three stories down
To the concrete ground and
see some guy look around
check the line of sight
drop his pants to the cold night
and take a shit
Behind a car
I am paying all this money to reach inside
Into the wilderness of my own terrain
Encounter my own pain
While people are outside
No warmth, No place to hide
Forced to make private public
Praying for toilet paper saviors
Can I justify this- maybe bury myself in my own body bliss?
Or maybe convince myself that
it matters as we tiptoe over shatters
of broken glass and broken lives and
broken people, scattered
maybe though this knowledge now of how to hold
All of the broken parts- what’s traded bought and sold
The mind and the body and the soul
and this broken heart and this beaten down ground
Its somehow gonna matter in this upsidedown world
Where a shit is public property
And we cant be who our souls can see
And the street sweeps suck it up
In the morning for minimum wage fee
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
"Grey's Anatomy" doc Katherine Heigl had a huge hit with the movie "Knocked Up," but the Emmy-winning actress now knocks the movie as "a little sexist," Vanity Fair reports.
"It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys," she says. "It was hard for me to love the movie.
Somehow I still haven't seen the damn movie, but I just thought this was interesting.
Check out Feministing for an active commentary on this - everything from yes the movie was all misogyny to hell no I identified with that woman!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Chapped lips in falling snow,
Jim Croce on the radio,
I'll be for you here and forever
your Best in Show.
Rhythm's on and timing's wrong,
Sweetest wild oats are slow,
I've chains of silver for you to sew,
We move like his words are for us,
Curry leaves and olive oil,
Hot bellies in careless sleep,
A nick of promise burns to keep,
Your breath is heavy and lovely
and dark and deep.
Coffee drips and eyes are wiped,
The sky yawns as dreams weep
of two fish in a sea of sheep.
I see you with my curtains drawn,
reveled in me.
Cigarrettes and candlelight,
Nights we couldn't say goodbye,
Thick skin and bodies cry,
Is that why we loved those songs?
*The newest by our always lovely, Jennifer Lee*
There are a few references- one to a Jim Croce song called "Photographs and Memories", one to the Dire Straights' song "Romeo and Juliet", and one to Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening".
Saturday, November 24, 2007
How do you deal with the negative effects of voicing your opinion? I know that it's right to speak up and say what's on my mind and so I do it regularly. I gave up keeping quiet a long time ago and have dealt with the consequences for years. Lately however it's been weighing on me. Men think I'm a bitch for not laughing at a misogynistic comment or even worse for calling them out on it. It's strange too because I am rarely anything but polite and never go straight on the attack; I might just ask a question about it or begin a discussion in a rational tone. Yet I am stereotyped quickly and misunderstood by whole groups of men just for being opinionated and assertive. I mean shit, without even saying a word I have been harassed for what I am assumed to be thinking (of course this only happens with men who don't know me at all).
Any thoughts about this? Does this happen to anyone else? If so, how do you deal with it?
I have to speak my mind and be myself but I also want to be understood and even liked. Maybe that's the problem.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Birth control costs have risen dramatically (up to 10 times!) since the Deficit Reduction Act took effect this year, leaving students and low-income women out in the cold. The act effectively ended the discounted rates that college health centers and safety-net providers like Planned Parenthood had available to them to provide wide access to birth control. As a result, affordable birth control has become out of reach for many college women. For example, the cost of a pack of birth control on some campuses has risen from $5 to nearly $50 a month!The only piece that I'm confused about is whether it is only college women who are affected or if it is all women who get their birth control from Planned Parenthood? I would love to research this right now but am still sick (the news of the month really) and must get to sleep. Feel free to post a comment if you get any info on this.
Featuring Special Guest Speakers, U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Meena Shah from NYU Voices for Choice, and others! Join NYU: Voices for Choice, NOW-NYU,
and NYU Law Students for Reproductive Justice in sending Congress a message to restore affordable access! Meet at Washington Square Park.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
During some very serious procrastination this afternoon I stumbled upon Violet Blue, who may very well be my new favorite person. How to explain her? She is so many things really, but in two-ish words: Sex-positive superwoman! She is a best-selling author of lotsa awesome books!, blogger, vlogger, burlesque babe, and of course the sex columnist for the SF Chronicle (why not?).
So if you wanna know about anything sex, she's your gal.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
But seriously, I am so impressed with and inspired by Rowling for using her talent and subsequent fame to promote social justice and equality. Hopefully this won't hurt book or video sales. These crazies are already writing up their nutty, hate-filled responses.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The summary from NPR is this: " In light of the resurgence of nooses appearing in places like Jena, La., and Columbia University's Teacher's College, here's a modest proposal: The next time somebody plants a noose, let's just ignore it. Perhaps paying less attention to these acts will take away their racist power. "
As I listened to it, I felt myself agree with the power shift that ignoring racist acts would have, but I also became very fearful of it as well. The problem with ignoring such things is that they won't go away because you ignore them, which Mr. McWhorter said, there will always be someone doing something racist. However, if we don't show our outrage to something as "harmless" as a noose on a tree, don't you think that these perpetrators will go to the next level? I agree that large media organizations do have a responsibility to the public in how they sensationalize and report these minor infractions, however the grass roots response should not disappear. I fear the lack of response would fuel those hate-filled individuals to take further action. I whole-heartedly believe that if a small town in Kentucky or Louisiana has an incidence of hate, there should be a community response. When that story is picked up by CNN and the Post, I agree that we should take a step back.
I also don't feel that asking the viewers of hate to restrain ourselves in these instances is a fair proposal. I do believe that there is an infallible nature that we all have to compare and judge, but I don't believe we should tolerate it when that nature seeks to hurt/harm others.
I do respect Mr. McWhorter for his proposal as it was very interesting. A few hours later I'm still thinking about it, so that says something...
I am curious about what others think as well. Let me know!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
here is the link: Imagining Ourselves
Sunday, October 7, 2007
A poster reminding us all to keep in mind how our struggles as women are so connected to men's struggles.
Click here to add to a discussion about this.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Oh and I was shocked to hear some ultra ignorant comments in class regarding these readings: "If men are a privileged group then women are a privileged group too." Seriously.
Friday, September 28, 2007
the two worst things we can think of
might as well kill yourself, unworthy bitch
love and money make us turn
for the love of money we'll do anything
thanks for doing the dishes, baby
now come here and let me suck you til your eyes roll back
but i have a job
not broke, just in debt
and nobody owes me shit
if you cum
but now he's too tired and my cunt feels raw
fuck it, let's just smoke a cigarette
will you pay me if i promise to help kill you slowly over the next few decades?
all you have to do is suck smoke through this little stick as often as you want to
believe me, you'll want to
getting fucked on the regular
i smell like marlboro ultra-light super-deadly cancer smoke
but he doesn't care cuz he does too
and the sheets stink of sweat and precum and whatever women excrete when they want it
if you don't feel empty afterwards
he's a keeper
and you won't have to walk down the street alone anymore
slut in your cutoffs and red heels
musta dressed like that so men would change direction
call you baby and follow you to the store to buy more death in a box
7 bux a pack and can i get your number?
has anyone ever told you you're gorgeous?
yeah my mother and i didn't believe her either
men fuck women
men listen to men
so it'll take another man to tell you to lay off his shit i.e. me
leave her alone she's taken
stop sniffing around trying to piss on her leg
i already did
guess i'm claimed
at work i smell like him
and people will like me better cuz i have his picture on my cell phone
the old ones say don't make our mistakes
but we don't know which ones are the mistakes yet
showing up late and hungover
buying shoes instead of food
and the old ones send us to war
narrow their eyes at people who look different than they do
laugh at us when we try to hope
iraq is the mistake
nafta is the mistake
10 years for half as many rocks is the mistake
we are all the mistakes
just follow the plan
follow the man
stay strong go long be wrong
if he'll give you the right things
so i sit at work
count my change and wonder if he'll be there to complete me when i get home
might as well kill yourself, unworthy bitch
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The demands of starting grad school have made it very difficult to justify spending time on posts, but this one is a must-see. Jerry Sanders, the Republican mayor of my home-city of San Diego, is passing a resolution in support of same sex marriage. He was expected to veto the resolution, but announced in this emotional speech that he had to do what he knows is right, "The concept of a 'separate but equal' institution is not something that I can support."
In case you are not familiar with San Diego politics, being gay in San Diego is no fun. Like I have already had to explain to so many here in Boston, San Diego is not just like San Francisco. They are far apart in both location and culture. Co-starting the first GSA at my high school was shitty. The group was publicly ridiculed by both students and faculty. I hope that the people of San Diego have watched this speech and that some can internalize its meaning. I also hope that Sanders will be re-elected next year but as a gay rights supporting Republican, I doubt it.
Taking Feministing's lead, I hope you all will send Sanders a message showing your gratitude and support. That took some kind of bravery.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
that's 20 days this month, of blood flowing from my vagina, and I have NO CLUE what is going on
can anyone relate? is this a national crisis? anyone else having freakish menstruation?
I took the morning after pill two months ago. Could my body be super unbalanced from that life saving little package? I've taken that pill many times before and this has never happened. FUCK.
can I get some sympathy?
love, crazy and bloated in queens ny
the doctor says "it's probably hormonal"
no fucking shit it's hormonal
there's a problem here
and i'm not pregnant
i wait in the "waiting room" for two hours
maybe i'm dying
they tell me nothing
except "you're twenty pounds overweight"
thanks a fucking lot
i love to booze it up
but i think it's making me fatter
now i need a sonagram and AA
and a can't fuck as much
because i bleed through my sheets
where will i find a release...
only hairs on my chin
and love handles
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
If IKEA had their Swedish designers make vibrators, they'd make this one. The Cone is a new vibrator for a new time. Alright so I haven't tried it but I stumbled upon it at Smitten Kitten and was intrigued.
I checked out The Cone website and it was actually kinda fun. They have a crazy virtual 3-D Cone that you can unpack, turn on, and play with the settings (check out orgasm mode!). You can also watch their advertisement and browse pictures, which reveal that The Cone is the biggest freakin' vibrator you've ever seen. Plus, the critics are pleased. It even won Best Adult Product at the 2007 Adult Industry Awards. Nice. It's a little pricey ($129 at Smitten Kitten), but sounds worth it for anyone with the cash.
Friday, September 7, 2007
You are Kathleen Hanna! Poster child of the riot grrls, you've grown up a little in the last few years. You've brought rape, feminism, sexuality, and wymyn surviving hard shit into the mainstream through art, music, and spokenword. You're PUNKROCK! But, like, for real.
Take this quiz!
Just a moment ago I was browsing YouTube for an interesting video for LG&PS (read: procrastinating) and I stumbled upon this. I had searched "gender queer" and a few videos came up, I scrolled down, and oddly freakin enough this was the first video I played. I watched it for a bit and then all of a sudden it hit me. I know these people. These are Santa Cruz people!
So for all of you Santa Cruz folks, check this shit out. You know these women!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
After a full 23 years as a pure Californian beach town gal, I am currently on my way to being an East Coaster. Well, physically anyway. Just over the wing and with Cactus at my feet, my window view boasts the fertile tapestry that is the middle of this country. Yeah I know, shut up. To accompany me on this journey I brought along my must-read-before-school-starts non-fiction, Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism. Subtitled “A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters,” FFF is clearly targeted toward 13 to 17-year-old should-be feminists. As an avid reader of Feministing.com, however, it was a mandatory read for me as well.
First, I have to address the infamous cover. If you do not frequent the feminist corner of the blogosphere (outside of LG&PS, of course), you may have missed the Great FFF Cover Debate of 2006. When Jessica posted the cover of her new book on Feministing, all kinds of hell broke loose. A skinny, white woman’s flawless torso serves as the cover’s background image, with a perfect hand on her perfect hip and “Full Frontal Feminism” splayed across her in thick lettering. This was, of course, very controversial and everyone within reach of a keyboard had something to say about it. I didn’t participate much in the discussion because my feelings about it were continuously fluctuating. From the moment I saw it posted online to when I finally began reading the damn thing my feelings changed tremendously. My initial reaction was surprise and confusion; why would Jessica choose such a picture? Finally though, once I opened it up, it made perfect sense. This book is about feminism today and if feminism is not completely tied up with images of skinny-ass white women’s torsos, I don’t know what is. Of course I never believed, as many said or implied at the time, that Jessica was participating in the objectification of women’s bodies in a racist, fatphobic way. I have more faith in Jessica than that. Now I realize that the photo makes sense in the context of the content so before the cover turns you off, open it up and check out the text.
If it hasn’t become glaringly obvious, I love Jessica. She has a Master’s in Gender Studies but, being a 20-something herself, she is very connected to her audience. This is unlike pseudo-feminist writers like Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked (this year’s other non-fiction for young women), who discusses young women’s sexuality from a judgmental outsider’s perspective. The only real bone I have to pick with FFF is Jessica’s choice to use slang and expletives in every other sentence. I mean, yeah I talk like that, and no I don’t think it should read like a textbook, but I wonder if it was wise to go so far in the slang direction. I think it’s great that Jessica felt confident to use her voice, but I hope that young women perceive it as genuine. I worry that young women, especially those unfamiliar with Feministing.com, might read the slang as condescension or a fake, superficial tactic to create a sense of sameness and equality. I am confident that Jessica was simply speaking in her language about her ideas on her terms and I totally respect that. I just hope others recognize it as such.
Besides the possible misunderstanding of her loose use of language, I have very little other criticism of Jessica’s work. She covers all of the biggest topics, from birth control to pop culture to intersectional oppressions, and she doesn’t shy away from the personal or the political. Even for a seasoned feminist, the book is a great review. I recommend picking it up and passing it on to that favorite (or least favorite) young woman in your life. Bravo Jessica!
FYI: I refer to Ms. Valenti by her first name throughout the post as she has created such a warm, down-to-Earth identity through her website and her book that I feel like I know her. It’s one of those weird Internet celebrity things I guess.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
is it time to leave so soon?
putting caps on empty bottles
i can't find my sweater
and i'm not ready to go home
the shortest season
of the most delicious freedom
rolled past hot and slow.
on the stairs blowing smoke into the night
i feel inflated with the emptiness
of saying goodbye
so long sad summer
i know you're gonna miss me
your naked heat invites my vices
and i wish we could stay here
making promises to the dark
no more melting alone
in my breathless cage
together or apart
summer you have flung me
and i don't know where i'll land
so here's to you
queen of all seasons
to short hot months
and long hot nights
popsicles, martinis, sunburns and heels
and the green seed of yearning we'll carry through the cold
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Creates and documents contemporary feminist culture and action by publishing journalism, critical analysis, and visual and text art. Made by an editorial collective committed to antiracist, transnational, and queer perspectives, make/shift embraces the multiple and shifting identities of feminist communities.Hot. I couldn't help subscribing.
The first issue came out Spring/Summer 2007, the second issue is due out on September 18, and they are accepting submissions for the third issue. Any investigative journalism; photojournalism; critical essays; personal essays; profiles of feminists activists, artists, projects, and thinkers; fiction and poetry; art and photography; book, maga/zine, film, art, and event reviews; and hybrid pieces. And make/shift pays. Hurry up though because submissions received before September 1 receive priority.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
It’s hard to write
As my hands still shake
With unusual rage.
Like yours did last night,
Longing for booze.
Maybe it was graphic,
I mean, she was raped.
And you, you had to hear about it.
That must have been difficult,
Men shouldn’t be put through that.
She’s making herself a victim you say,
Of a violent rape.
Not working through it your way,
Her problem, her fault,
She deserved it anyway.
One presidential candidate
Does not prove our equality
When I can’t get Plan B
At my local pharmacy.
You Hate Feminists
You told me you hate feminists.
My beer in your hand,
Make yourself at home.
You told me you hate feminists.
Getting raped and murdered.
You told me you hate feminists.
How dare they teach classes,
Tell stories, be activists.
You told me you hate feminists.
Drink up, get out,
Go fuck yourself.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
unfortunately, what could have been a sweet and raunchy movie about endearingly self-deprecating losers trying to get laid was completely overshadowed by the gratuitous use of the word faggot. am i only one who finds this disturbing and not in the least funny? apparentally i was the only one in the theatre, because the audience was ROARING everytime the main character called his dorky friend fogell "faggle" in a fit of hetero rage.
seth rogen (co-writer) and judd apatow (producer) are the current golden boys of geek humor. we have given them the green light to go ahead and give us the underdog hero. We're tired of the hot guy who cheats, or doesn't call--bring on the dork who listens and puts the pussy on a pedestal. but instead of the thinking person's american pie, superbad is a testimony to the hegemony of homophobia-it's like air. imagine if a movie came out today in which the main characters used the n word at least once in every scene. right, that wouldn't happen. even though we still tie gay people to the backs of trucks and drag them until they die, it's okay to have a movie for kids that shows the heroes using the word faggot.
in light of the country's (and the world's) attitude towards gay people, i found the insidiousness of the homophobia in this het-fest chilling. it's just too small a leap from hate language to hate violence-what if at the end of the movie fogell had told his best friends that he was a fag? it might've turned into a high school version of boys don't cry.
when isaiah washington said the word faggot to his gay co-worker, he had to go to rehab. when chunky disheveled teenager seth says it to his well-groomed effeminate friend, we laugh. what kind of a fucked up message are we sending?
Mr. Rogen and Mr. Apatow, you seem like intelligent men. Your humor can be edgy, vicious, and hysterically funny. You do not need to rely on faggot jokes, fat jokes, retard jokes and ethnic jokes, like some of the less talented in the industry. these only detract from the quality of your work and perpetuate hate.
to sum it all up, this movie is only worth seeing if you rent it and can fast forward through any part where michael cera isn't speaking, or if you really hate gay people.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Priscilla Huang: Policy & Programs Director with the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), which connects and empowers Asian American women by providing them a venue to bond and share their experiences with one another
Susan Berke Fogel with the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), which seeks to improve health care for America's working and unemployed poor, minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities
Miriam Perez: Advocacy Associate with the National Latina Institute, which ensures the fundamental human right to reproductive health for Latinas, their families, and their communities through public education, policy advocacy, and community mobilization.
These amazing women are sure to offer some interesting perspectives so be sure to check them out!
Monday, August 20, 2007
we went to see avenue q this weekend and it was fabulous. as nick put it: it was like sesame street for adults.
it had music, puppets and "real" people and conveyed a few messages amidst comedy and catchy songs.
i assumed, like many others, that it was going to be mostly about being queer. that avenue q stands for queer. actually, i think its just a fictional place (like sesame street) based off of alphabet city in new york.
it's not mostly about being queer. the lead puppets are straight and it has a very minor sub plot about coming out. it's mostly about life and finding your purpose.
i asked numerous friends (not for lack of company, we went with a huge group) to come and see the show with us that declined and i felt that it stemmed from their homophobia or just their general disinterest in something that doesn't encompass their perspective.
it's so frustrating! most of them were straight white men, but also straight women and straight men of color. their automatic assumption was that it would have nothing to do with them and therefore why engage/support/attend a performance that does not encompass their perspective.
why not? why is it so hard to do something every once in awhile that is outside of yourself.
god, why do i even care!? i feel like i'm always looking for a new and challenging experience and it shocks me that so many people around me don't share that...
or maybe its just that i really loved avenue q and i feel so sad that its perception as a gay theater piece causes people who would love it not to go at all.
i guess it's just their loss, but it still makes me sad.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I haven't quite gotten to this point myself, but here is a video that reflects how I'm feeling. I imagine that most of you can relate.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
just wanted to document this momentous occasion...23 years ago today, kristin jane conover entered the world. a shining star even from infancy, she glows ever brighter with each passing year. as she created this space for us to share ourselves with ourselves, i thought it was only appropriate that i pay tribute here.
kristin, happy birthday! you are a wonderful woman and i'm so glad we have you.
i wish you an absolutely fabulous day, and many many many happy returns.
much love from the other half of the show
*WE DO WHAT WE WANT*
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Now maybe this doesn’t raise your blood pressure, but even recalling these righteous sports fans, mine goes through the roof. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, however, I considered that maybe the chants had become more offensive since I was on the diamond. Of course this thought quickly faded as the cameras turned on the young chanting boys and I was hit with my own recognition of their cheers. Not only were they no more offensive than my mid-nineties softball chants, they were the exact same ones!
My anger was short-lived however when I was struck by my own familiarity with the game. I played softball for ten years, where were the girls’ teams on this program? Our games were overrun with chatter and chanting, how could they have completely forgotten about young female players? As I continued to watch, I became increasingly frustrated. If the footage had been only girls instead of boys, there is no way it would have gone by without comment. On the other hand, this segment became just another example of how males are not only the prototypical ball players, but also the prototypical human beings. Baseball aside, females make up the majority of the world’s population, but still we are deemed a deviation from the male norm. Maybe most folks assume that ESPN isn’t the most equality-minded station on the planet, but it’s still sad that their audience is being subjected to this kind of implicit sexism.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
while we shared a blunt on the roof
burned in a hot sleep
woke on opposite sides of the bed
...and my heart lays like a crushed soda can
2 in the morning
we sat solemn like mourners
smoking cigarettes in the dark and
pillaging what the dead had left
...new plates to replace the ones he broke; no stand-ins for broken people
rats run the kitchen
the walls stink and sweat and
i cross my fingers for just a piece of him
at the top of the stairs
...yet i have no concept of your loss
a fossil of what was
what will never be again
we evolved too fast between these sheets
between these streets
...and even garbage looks fresh in the morning
today we can't pretend anymore
i said goodbye and i meant it
walked away wondering who those bullets were meant for
I can't imagine that any of you pro-choicers were planning on going GOP next year, but just in case here's a friendly reminder of what these men think of your rights.
This video was sent out this morning in the NARAL Pro-Choice e-newsletter. Thanks Meg for the heads up!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I came into this read with both my previous feelings and my desire to learn more, but came out even more conflicted. With countless personal stories and quotations from the women, they become people who you grow to know, understand, and respect. Now, don’t get me wrong, my problem with legalizing prostitution was never that I thought the women who chose it were immoral people. It was more along the lines of: is prostitution ever really a choice in the first place? Isn’t it just a dehumanizing result of patriarchy, where men assert power and control over women’s bodies? Isn’t it psychologically damaging to the coerced women who suffer from being used by these men? I never considered how the women themselves think of their work or what it is really like to work in a legalized brothel in this country. I see now that the women were not subjects even in my mind and I did not give them agency.
Although I have laid out the questions, I still don’t have the answers. I don’t know if sex work is really a choice, if it would exist without patriarchy, or if it causes mental harm to the prostitute. I do know, however, that it is more complicated than I thought. Many women in legalized prostitution in Nevada love their job, their friends, and their life in and outside of the brothel. From the accounts in Brothel, the women take great pride in their work, discussing more required skills and techniques than I had imagined. Many see themselves as performing necessary social work like any other helping profession, some even considering themselves therapists of sort. They give their customers more than an orgasm; they give them the physical contact and closeness that many lack in their lives. And they make bank for it. They also make close friends in the business and, although there can be cliques and competition, they ultimately form a tight-nit family. I do have gripes about the reasons some women enter the business, such as pressure from men in their lives who then reap the financial benefits; the way the brothels are run, of course women-owned and operated, unionized, co-ops would be preferable; and the restrictions on the women who work and live there, having limited contact with the outside. Yet despite these current problems, I have begun to see the possibility of a legitimate profession. I have gained insight into the other side, not only the other side of the argument, but also the other side of the closed brothel gates.
So now I have the pros as well as the cons down. However, I am still left mostly unsatisfied without concrete answers. Always the social scientist, and tired of the opinion pieces littering the net, I jumped on PsychInfo to research scientific studies regarding pros and cons of legalized prostitution (you can search Google Scholar if you do not have access to a university library database search engine). I had read Melissa Farley’s work in the past, but wondered if that is all that is out there about the effects of legalized prostitution on the women involved. From my browsing I concluded that the researchers are as divided as the feminists. Some studies showed that legalization helped to decrease violence and the spread of STIs without lowering the women’s self-esteem or increasing their drug use. Other studies, such as those by Melissa Farley, disagreed. (You can find lots of general stats here.) So now with apologies, I leave you in the same place I started and the place most psychological research papers end, with a recommendation for further research.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner.
All of this talk about personal art on the blog, especially feminist art, and I forgot about my own. For the last six months I have run a store on CafePress, a website where you can upload your own designs onto their products, people buy them, Cafe Press makes and ships them, and you get commission (at a price you set). It's a great way for artists with little start-up capital to get their stuff out there. Now, I'm no artist, I'm just a computer nerd that has spent too much time downloading free fonts and messing with Photoshop.
Our friend Nidhi, who turned me onto the site and trained me in its operation, has been making some serious cash with her awesome designs.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Transformers: Army of One
So, I admit it. I watched transformers when I was a young girl, sitting beside my brother on a Saturday morning, watching one gloriously 80's cartoon after another. I had heard good things about this live action tribute to the cartoon that started as an advertising campaign for shape-shifting toys. Turns out, it took the team that worked on the giant robots 38 hours to complete ONE frame. Who's got high hopes now?
Excited, buttocks pressed against the edge of the seat, I watched a killer first few scenes where something big is being built up and eerie space invasions whisper promises of an action-filled, self-aware film about relationships between man and technology, good and evil, a boy and....his camaro?
I was almost won over when the two heroines of the film surfaced with sharp wit and amazing abilities (cracking computer signals, hot-wiring cars, explaining an advanced fuel-injection system) that almost hinged on some sort of female empowerment. They had so much potential, they could have done so much....but alas, they are only female.
At the core you have two “hot” women, whose make-up never gets smudged, in tight clothes and existing solely for wet dreams. Their character development and awesome talents begin and end with their usefulness, while the men – useful or not – gain the protection of giant robots and, by default, save the day. The heroine ends up on the hood of the car in her hero's arms (whose only dream throughout the movie, as far as I can tell, is to get the car to get the girl) and the other female hero, the brilliant computer hacker, has to go a man's house in order to get the code cracked.
Which leads me to another human rights flub the movie is guilty of – racism! You have a bunch of white guys parading around, saving the day, and in the midst you have the comic relief in the form of big black men yelling at their mothers, break-dancing, and eating too much. On the outskirts, there is a Spanish speaker who can't seem to forget his Spanish heritage no matter how often the other soldiers remind him to speak English. (Oh that silly Latino!)
At the end of the day, it is one long parade of awesome looking vehicles, bad scripting and bad editing. Nothing pays off, nothing satisfies, and all the issues that could have been dealt with in this movie are over-ran by a whimsical Optimus Prime saying “I see good in humans.” And, if you watch closely enough, you might see some advertisements for the military. Just a few. Just a few that look like hot guys knowing exactly what to do (lead the monsters toward the city! That way we can avoid civilian deaths!(WTF?)) and a level headed secretary of defense. Just a few that look like entrusting the bad-guy's evil weapon to the military is a better idea than giving it to the giant fucking robots that came from outer space to destroy it!
In short, it's really bad.
- Korin Lykam
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"Females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine. But they may get less benefit from the vaccine since they may have already acquired one or more HPV type(s) covered by the vaccine." Source: CDC
What do people think? What have people done?
Monday, July 16, 2007
Bi-sex-u-al [bahy-sek-shoo-uhl]: A person who has the capacity to engage in sexual and/or romantic relationships with other people regardless of gender as long as they are never monogamous or date less than two people (of different genders) at once.
The bisexual male does not exist as he is actually just about to call you and tell you that he's gay.
The bisexual female does exist, but can be difficult to find in a sea of heterosexual female liars. I mean, I love women, just not the fake bisexual ones. You know those girls, you sleep with her for a while, maybe even have a relationship, but then after that's done, she dates a guy. Liars.
At least lesbians are honest, when they leave you, they go and date another girl. Unless they're a lesbian who dates guys sometimes, but I digress.
The bisexual female can be defined by her previous and current sexual and romantic partners. In order to be a real bisexual a woman must have reached orgasm with or been a girlfriend to 60-100% female and 0-40% male partners. Any fewer female and any greater male means she is a heterosexual liar and cannot be trusted. Any bisexual female who is currently in a committed relationship with a male is a heterosexual liar.
Of course all gender is an illusion and no one should have to pick or be defined by their gender.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
it was good before you
could it be good after you,
wish i could say
i recognized you better from the back
so you walking away wouldn't be so strange
but i still remember the first time i saw your eyes
the first time they saw me
two months in and you've got me twisted around your little finger
loving red brick
wrought-iron garbage cages
24s of malt liquor
and the born and bred motherfuckers that decorate
every one of your stoops
i come from a land of cool and wide
slow and sexy
clean and green
to brooklyn brooklyn
hot fast dirty
where you gotta search for the soft spots:
on the roof at midnight finding shapes in the clouds
smooth brown liquor in dixie cups
a "good morning neighbor"
you know you already got me
but i labor you like the last cigarette
suck your sweet smoke
to the butt
let you fill me before i breathe out
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Raising awareness of HIV & AIDS prevention has never looked so hot. These dresses, by Brazilian artist and activist Adriana Bertini, are made entirely out of expired or defective condoms. Her dresses sell for big bucks and all proceeds go to organizations working to fight against AIDS. Pretty inspiring.
Thanks Rebecca for the tip.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
This June the Newark Public Schools superintendent, Marion A. Bolden, distributed yearbooks with a conspicuous black blob over this photo on Andre Jackson's personal senior page. Jackson took this photo of him and his boyfriend which is very similar to many photos of hetero couples deemed appropriate to publish. I mean shit, there is even a picture "of a young man and a young woman kiss[ing] on a couch, his hand on her leg as she sits on his lap" on the page across from Jackson's. But you've got it all wrong, this is not about them being gay. Clearly.
And I was hoping we were getting somewhere in American schools.
Thanks Feministing for the link.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
So if you have a Mac you won't be impressed but I just got one today(!), and this is my lame excuse for art.
Speaking of amazing female artists, yesterday I made an appointment with Idexa at Black & Blue Tattoo. Black & Blue Tattoo is a woman owned and operated tattoo parlor in the Haight that I totally can't wait to support. If you're in the SF area and looking to get inked, I recommend checking them out. If you want to work with Idexa though, be prepared to wait. I took her next available appointment which isn't for over a month and also happens to be my birthday. I'm stoked.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
On a personal note, I just decided that I will in fact be going to grad school at Boston College in the fall! Ilya and I will be moving there on September 1st. I hope I can catch some time with all you West Coasters before then and I'll see all you East Coasters soon! Oh and check out this awesome group I already joined!
I'm having kind of a video day, so please excuse me. First I'm just going to explain, because it is confusing, that this video is actually two segments spliced together. After Brzezinski says, "To the news now," the second segment begins.
On June 26th Mika Brzezinki of MSNBC's Morning Joe made a stand against the news' obsession with Paris Hilton. Brzezinki has received lots of praise via the Internet for her one-woman, on-air protest. I agree that Brzezinki is awesome and what she did was fabulous. Her co-anchors, however, are fucking assholes. Brzezinki is trying to make a rational point about how sick it is that this trivial story is the lead instead of more important news. What is so fucked up is that her co-anchors do not take her seriously whatsoever. When she initially says she has to do the Paris story one anchor teases her (rather harshly) with, "She's not a journalist anymore". Then when she says she doesn't want to do the story and that she didn't choose it he says, "You make your own lead, that's a cop out...Take control of your life alright." The disdain and disrespect in those comments alone is clear. Then they purposely disrespect and frustrate her further by playing Paris video clips in the middle of her protest. I totally understand when she says, "I'm about to snap," I wouldn't have been able to keep it together being tormented by those guys on the air, it's humiliating. Despite her childish co-anchors, her actions are commendable and inspiring. I hope more anchors take her lead and stand up for their dignity and ours.
Thanks Rebecca for the link.
"Big girls, you are beautiful" is a great sentiment, but something seems off about this. Maybe it's that it still poses women's bodies as objects to be judged (and either approved or rejected) by men. Maybe it's that the women don't have the agency or voice in the video to say, "I know I am beautiful". Or maybe it's just the odd lyrical references to diet coke and pizza. Either way, I am not convinced that this is a step forward, even for pop music.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Images of road deaths have not curbed speeding, says the RTA
The series of TV ads shows women shaking their little finger - a gesture used to symbolise a small penis - as speeding male motorists race past.
The $A1.9m (£805,400, US$1.6m) campaign aims to make speeding socially unacceptable among young drivers.
The "Speeding. No-one Thinks Big of You" campaign will run on TV, in cinemas, at bus shelters and online.
The shock tactics of previous adverts that showed disturbing images of death and injury in road crashes have not worked, says the New South Wales state government authority behind the ads, the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA).
Exposure to "computer games, modern media ... and horror films" had desensitised many young males to the violent images of those campaigns, RTA spokesman John Whelan told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
The new ads include one young driver revving his engine and rushing through traffic lights in front of two young women and another racing past a female pedestrian.
After both incidents the women wave their little fingers in slow motion with knowing glances.
"We will do what we feel we have to, to get the message through," Mr Whelan said.
Speeding is a factor in about 40% of road deaths in NSW each year, according to RTA figures.The ad campaign coincides with the introduction of new restrictions on learner drivers, including a ban on all mobile phone use, limits on the number of young passengers allowed and tougher speeding penalties.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Maybe to punish sinful light-skinned dykes? Yesterday’s San Francisco Dyke March became quite the display of God’s wrath on those with light dyke skin. Well, of course he’s angry, those bitches were rallying for healthcare for all and we all know God only provides healthcare to the deserving.
But seriously, the scene in Dolores Park was pretty amazing. I don’t know the exact numbers, but there had to have been a couple thousand drunk, exuberant, tattooed queer women gathered for the festivities. These festivities included ignoring the stage show, seeing & being seen, avoiding ex-girlfriends, consuming delicious food & drink, peeing in the bushes, and obtaining free breast exams. (Most of which were provided by licensed professionals!)
And here is where I admit that I did not stick around for the actual marching. All of the excitement in combination with two previous late nights out, six hours of sun, and of course the booze just did me in. But it really was a fantastic time. Wonderful folks I hadn’t seen in forever, lots of new friends I can’t wait to see again, and then the array of interesting strangers that I won’t soon forget. Back in my quiet Santa Cruz apartment, they are all missed. All I have now is a couple photos, a free breast exam t-shirt, and of course my sunburn.
Click on the picture for larger image.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Nuns are not usually hardcore. They don't tend to frequent Bare Chest Calendar kick-off parties, they definitely don't make inappropriate puns regarding current events (i.e. Weapons of Ass Destruction), and they never combine fund-raising with fetishes.
Obviously The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. are not your average clergy.
Now I've noticed this habit-sportin' group at a myriad of San Francisco events since moving up to the almost-Bay Area in 2002 (they're hard to miss). Today, however, I stumbled upon their website and found out that they are awesome. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. is actually a non-profit organization with "orders" all over the world. Ever since the San Francisco Order was founded in 1979, these queer nuns have been working hard, "to promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt, and serve the community". And serve the community they do. They provide grants to small non-profit organizations that serve the queer and sex positive community, do tons of safe sex education, and even throw in some entertainment work to boot. I thought they were just a group of religious make-up artists roaming aimlessly through protests and Castro street events, boy was I wrong.
Well I'm definitely going to throw down a couple bucks when I see them at SF Pride this weekend. Into their donation buckets, that is.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
What does that mean, my female friends? It means we are being turned away from college due to our pussies. Yep. My feelings on affirmative action are mixed in, of course, because I do feel that it is historically necessary to admit qualified "minorities" into college ahead of qualified white students.
The study reports that women take more interest in their school work, do more extracurricular activities and excel more in general from an early age onwards. Shouldn't we be rewarded because of that?
Affirmative action legislation has been split for some time. I don't feel that this new development would stand well in court, especially when it's not a race issue. We're talking about more than half the population here, doesn't it make sense that we would be a larger presence in colleges?
Monday, June 18, 2007
Here is where it gets freaky. Hill sounds like a fringe lunatic and a terrorist, but he is not alone. He was part of the Army of God. This is a pro-life organization which promotes the use of violence to end the lives of those that provide women with safe, legal abortions. But what is even freakier is that they are not alone in these acts. To further the disgust factor these acts are not only being defended, but people are actually celebrating them.
Hence Paul Hill Days. Come on out and partake in the spring festivities celebrating the life and murders of Paul Hill. That's right, this is a four-day event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which includes reenactments of the murders. Classy. Three organizations are sponsoring this event: Children Need Heroes, StreetPreach, and Paul Hill Memorial.
If you would like to tell them what you think, please feel very welcome to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (920) 918-4550.
“The kind of woman you would see on television is usually very eager to please and well-groomed, and may or may not have very much personality. I really think there’s something radical about showing women who are not approval-seeking, but on the contrary, disapproval-seeking. It turns [things] on their head that women should be perfectly sexy or seen and not heard, or trying to be models. Some people would argue that it’s a strained feminist argument, but I feel that there’s something quite feminist about doing what you want.” -RamonaEspecially when what you want to do is fart in someone's mouth. Ramona, Munchie, Clementine meet the world. World meet the Rad Girls. Three Santa Cruz locals take television's gross-boy humor scene by storm, showing television watchers a different kind of "girl". Filmed in LA (although they wanted to shoot it in the SC), Rad Girls is Fuse TV's latest new show. So if you thought women couldn't pull off those disgusting Johnny Knoxville stunts, you were wrong. These girls are farting, puking, and being otherwise obnoxious with the best of them. This may not be my usual style of humor, but I will admit that the smell-elevator definitely got me laughing.
“I’m making a point that I don’t have to be pretty or act like Miss Manners wants me to act in order to be successful, to be happy, to find love.” - ClementineEtiquette is definitely the furthest thing on the minds of these three and being pretty is not what they are about. The fact that they are stereotypically attractive will not, however, escape the viewers. To me, though, it is quite clear that their fashion and make-up is just part of who they are and is not something that they are doing (or would give up) to win an audience. The show was an idea Ramona and some friends had on a surfing trip and it was her baby from the start. This was not something handed down from above with auditions for the cutest and wildest male-fantasy types. These were some girls with an idea and they made it happen.
“We’re not promoting any kind of behaviors, but we’re promoting women to be themselves and don’t feel you need to be inhibited in any way because of how society says you need to be…We’re so pro-women.” - MunchieNow you might say, isn't feminism is about being empowered females, not pseudo-males? But I really don't think that is what's going on here (whatever it even means really). What makes them awesome is that they are proud to be female, all about being themselves, and are making noise and taking up space! I for one, am glad to announce this particular glass ceiling officially broken.