Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hey! Ho!

Some great advice for all of us from The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence website. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Australian Fear Factor

Australian drivers hit below belt
Australia anti-speeding campaign
Images of road deaths have not curbed speeding, says the RTA

A new Australian ad campaign is seeking to reduce road deaths by questioning the manhood of speeding drivers.

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).

We will do what we feel we have to, to get the message through
John Whelan

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

Women are Dirty

I could use this to launch a larger discussion about pornography or sexual harassment in the workplace, but I think the moral of this video is clear: women are dirty.

Why Did God Make Sunburns?

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.

a softer world, comic. can I post copyrighted stuff? is this even copyrighted?

Click on the picture for larger image.
Check out

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sisterly Love

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

College Bound Women, Beware!

I listened to this story on NPR. The gist of it is that women are applying in larger numbers to small liberal colleges (where the research came from) and the administrators are working to keep a gender balance by not admitting as many women.

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

Paul Hill Days

On July 29, 1994 Paul Hill (the hero of the story) loaded his gun and set out for the local abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. He waited outside until clinic physician, John Britton, and his unfortunate escort, James Barrett, arrived. Hill quickly ended the lives of these two people in the name of God. On September 3, 2003 Hill died by lethal injection at Florida State Prison shortly after announcing he felt no remorse and would receive "a great reward in heaven".

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: or call (920) 918-4550.

Santa Cruz Girls: Officially Rad

“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.” -Ramona

Especially 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.” - Clementine

Etiquette 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.” - Munchie

Now 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.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

El Macho Mexicano

I learned the other night what my boyfriend´s father, Audel, thinks of machismo.

I met Audel in Durham, North Carolina, and we got along fine. He was fairly quiet, and when the three of us went out he gave Ale and I our space. He never told me what to do, and always offered me food or drink at his apartment. But since we´ve arrived in Mexico, I´ve seen another side of him. A side I believe is more macho.

Maybe it´s because we´ve arrived here, or maybe it´s a side I never say with him in Durham because there plain weren´t any woman around.

The meaning of machismo finally came up over a delicious meal that Ale´s mother, Alicia, cooked for us. I would have brought it up earlier, but seeing as I am living in their house, and they are feeding me everyday, it didn´t seem appropriate.

Machismo in Mexico, in Audel´s words more or less, has improved. The macho man in his words is a man who doesn´t care about his wife. He doesn´t care that she becomes pregnant, doesn´t provide for her, keeps his money for himself, and he leaves his children for whoever ends up caring for them. And he beats his wife and cheats on her. Pretty horribly macho.

According to Audel, this is the macho Mexican. Most men aren´t like this anymore, but there are still some Mexicans who are this extreme macho. Traditionally in Mexico the man of the family works, and the woman stays home and cleans, cooks, and takes care of the children. To Audel, men and women have their roles in life, and this is not machismo. Now many more woman than before enter schools and finish their education, and he thinks this is good. Now many young men like Alejandro consider themselves bisexual. Many men wear pink and purple, one of Ale´s friends offered me hand cream and chapstick. I asked Audel if it would it be acceptable if the woman worked and the man stayed at home, and he said yes. He also said it would be acceptable if both parents worked that both parents would share the cleaning and cooking and caring.

Later I asked Alicia if Audel has ever done the laundry out of his own will. He never has.
I believe an unmacho man would. He would also cook a meal when he could, or wash the dishes. Audel´s mannerisms are macho. He talks to me as if I don´t know anything, as if I´m a little girl. I feel like I have to prove that I am a knowledgeable person because he thinks I know nothing. But he also asks me questions and is interested in what I say.

El Hombre Mexicano is macho by default, unconsciously. In my opinion, on the day that Audel does the laundry without anyone asking him he will overrull the macho identification that he expels from his very self. But I´m not going to ask him to do the laundry, and I doubt Alicia will


my plan a: don't get pregnant

i just wanted to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that i live in a city where i can get the morning after pill at the fucking drug store. in this world that george w and other wack-jobs are fast destroying, rarely do i take a minute to think about the shit we've gained in the last few decades. granted, they're trying to take that shit away from us every day, but today no one can take away the joy it gives me to walk into the duane reade and say, i'd like the morning after pill, please. what a privelege! what a delight!

it took three long years for nonprescription sales to be allowed*, but today is a new day. today it's okay that the condom broke, as long as i have photo id and 45 dollars.

thanks to a long and arduous struggle by activists, the makers of plan b, and politicians, i won't spend a tense three weeks waiting for my period, wondering if i'm about to be faced with a life-altering decision because i had sex the other night. mmmm freedom and little white pills taste sweet.

we've got a long way to go, but right now i'm staying positive. ladies, let's go forth and exercise our right to fuck up a little.

*to those 18 and over

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the anti-feminist cartoon

i'm baking in my 90 degree apartment. i received yet another announcement from the u.s. post office about something with a cathy cartoon.

for all the progress women have made, none of that is apparent in the comic section of the newspaper. i know that cathy was one of the first comic strips to appeal to single women and what they were going through, but god was it ever funny?

i feel like every strip i accidentally read (i never intentionally read cathy) has to deal with weight or some other insecurity. the series is stuck in a time and place that doesn't make sense for women anymore. it's boring.

as a cartoonist (why does that sound arrogant? fuck it if it does, because that's what i am, i'm not going to apologize for it!) it pisses me off to see such a small number of female cartoonist in national syndication. i try to get my comic about being an indian girl in america syndicated, and it's really difficult. people want something unique, something made jut for them, and they want it for fucking free.

it takes time, and skill to create a cartoon. not to mention creating an entire series of them that are all entertaining or funny. cathy is not funny. cathy is not entertaining. its just one of those things that has been happening for ever and no one has bothered to re-evaluate. it's like white walls or a lamp shade. no one notices.

i refuse to believe that there aren't better, funnier, female-penned comics out there. why aren't they in the newspaper? it may not be as important as equal pay or hillary running for president, but it's important to me.

i'm so tired of the doors being opened for us as an after thought. it's not just women, but women of color, queer women, or god forbid, queer women of color.

i don't want to read it on a blog. i don't want to buy a book. i want it in the fucking paper.

it's not too much to ask.

another rant from your favorite outraged indian art critic, ha.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good Old-Fashioned Sex Work

A recent post on Unapologetically Female, one of my new favorite blogs, has inspired me to bring up one of my all-time favorite discussions. Sex work. Feminists are divided about whether sex work can be empowering or is a harmful, misogynistic tool of the patriarchy. Okay, so maybe it's not that dramatic, but folks do get quite passionate about it.

One example of where lines get blurry is the Lusty Lady. For all of you non-Bay Area readers, the Lusty Lady is a peep show in San Francisco whose workers fought hard to unionize, making it "the world's only unionized, worker-owned peep show co-op". Pretty sweet, I must say. Although my general view (however unpopular) is that sex work is not empowering, this place definitely changes my "is not" to "usually is not". The documentary Live Nude Girls Unite, about this very club, shows brave, empowered, role-model type strippers taking control of their workplace. The film's behind-the-scenes look into how the women feel about their job and about themselves definitely opened my eyes to some sex-positive stripping possibilities. But does this really transfer to the majority of strip clubs that treat their workers poorly (the whole reason they unionized in the first place)? I've heard first-hand horror stories of mental and physical abuse by club managers, not to mention patrons.

And then the empowering argument seems to fall right apart when it comes to prostitution. To be fair, I have not specifically sought out pro-prostitution literature or research (and welcome any comments or links of this opinion), but the scientific research I have read paints a pretty nasty picture for the women in this work. Melissa Farley at the San Francisco non-profit Prostitution Research & Education is one of the foremost researchers on the effects of prostitution on these workers. Her research shows that even when legalized, workers in prostitution face all forms of abuse. She believes that prostitution is (or has the potential to be) sexual harassment, rape, battering, verbal abuse, domestic violence, a racist practice, a violation of human rights, childhood sexual abuse, a consequence of male domination of women, and a means of maintaining male domination of women.

I want to believe that legalized prostitution can be okay for women, but it seems that the negatives outweigh the positives. I think that one good answer is to legalize prostitution for the workers, but make it illegal for the johns. Although I do not think prostitution is positive for workers, they should be provided support instead of punished for their work. Any level of support however will not eradicate the stigma that women in prostitution face.

I'm still not sure exactly where the line is but I think it lies somewhere between the Lusty Lady and the Tenderloin.
There is so much left to say, but I'll leave that up to you.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

An Insightful Piece about Women's Rights

Not that I expect anything more from Fox, but this is some bullshit. I mean I understand why feminazis are so scary. They are clearly angry man-hating, baby-hating, irrational cunts whose only goal in life is to work (how dare they?!?!) and help other women (ACLU-lovin' bitches). It's frightening, I know. Unapologetically Female says it well...
Because according to them, pregnancy discrimination is non-issue. Because their message is apparently that pregnant women should know better than to think they're capable of doing their jobs or that they should be entitled to their state-mandated worker's rights before, during, and after their pregnancies. That pregnant women don't need to make a living. They should just shut up and smile and bask in the glow of the little miracle growing inside their bodies whether or not they are able to financially support it. And that those who actually speak up and demand their rights are loud, strident, baby-hating bitches. This garbage is on national television.
It really is amazing how so many people participated in getting this on the air. And by amazing, I mean disturbing.

#1 Reason to Live in Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Rollergirls

These ladies are totally hardcore. I want to be a rollergirl.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The D Word

Better stock up on dildos now, I might be moving to Texas in the fall. Well, not Texas exactly, Austin.

One thing that Texas did have was the wonderful Molly Ivins, but of course she was from Austin.

(Purity) Balls

Although they are nothing new, Purity Balls are definitely worth posting about. For those of you who were blissfully unaware, a Purity Ball is a father/daughter dance with a disturbing twist. Not only do you have to spend the night acting like your dad is your prom date, he then pledges to protect your virginity "in mind, body, and soul". Ew. And you pledge to stay a virgin until you marry [a man] and the property switches ownership.

As to be expected with things related to men controlling womens' bodies, the religious are behind this one too. Shocking.

global feminisms.

on my recent trip to new york, tania pointed me towards an exhibit at the brooklyn museum entitled "global feminisms" and i was excited and eager to go. i love museums and i miss engaging discussions about topics that are relevant to me and my experience.


the majority of the pieces were violent or about violence inflicted upon women. there were many dark corners where videos and other technological displays were set up. i found it disturbing and overwhelming. some of the videos were clearly over 20 minutes. i believe there was one that was an hour long. i felt that much of the art and media was disconnected and unappealing.

i don't assume that feminists topics, including global feminism, will be without violence. neither do i assume that they will be lovely displays of flowers and women of all races and geographic locations holding hands. all i ask is for something in the middle.

by viewing the pieces where pig skin and barbed wire wrapped around a woman's face, i felt re-victimized. i understand that at times the purpose of art is to work through your own experiences and can be very therapeutic. kristin and i worked on an art show (mostly kristin though!) where that was the purpose. there was a certain sensitivity the artist had to the audience, as the viewers may have been through similar trauma. i feel that sensitivity was completely lacking in this exhibit.

my conclusion about the experience was that global/third world feminism cannot become a platform to educate others. my problem with many -isms is that too often the focus shifts from educating and empowering ourselves to simply educating others. to re-iterate time and time again that violence happens, that rights are needed, and that anger is present is exhausting.

i want another perspective. i want a middle ground between understanding and beauty that doesn't exclude violence or discussion, but doesn't center around it.

we are constantly absorbing images and messages around us. we are here. we are listening. i believe it is time to create what hasn't been created. to question what hasn't been answered.

i want art and beauty. i want it for us. i want it by us. let's talk to each other. let's work on becoming stronger, better, smarter. together.

i want to stop pandering to them.

and start living and learning for us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Gay Pride: Santa Cruz Style

It seems I am finally recovering from mono (no pregnancy guys, just a nasty virus). Sunday was my first big day out after too much bed rest. Luckily for me, it was also Santa Cruz Pride. I walked down to the parade on Pacific Avenue and took some snapshots:

As usual, a heartening mix of music and chanting filled the street and I clapped along. I am so thankful to live in a place where this is not only tolerated or accepted, but appreciated. I overheard a woman next to me, clearly a Santa Cruz native, explaining Pride to a traveler. The man was saying that nothing like this exists where he is from. I was stoked to see him place a gay rights sticker on his shirt.

Unfortunately I missed the Dyke March and subsequent celebrations, but I did manage to get my dance on at the Dakota midday on Sunday. Did you know that there's a skylight above that dance floor? It was like an afternoon at Babylon, let me tell ya.

Yup, the gays were definitely out in full force this weekend, and I'm excited to do it all over again in San Francisco on the 23rd & 24th! Who's with me?

Welcome to Lip Gloss & Pepper Spray!

This blog is a feminist space for me and my friends to post news, events, videos, photos, personal stories, poetry, art, and whatever else we can imagine. If you have something to add, please leave a comment or ten, we would love to hear from you!