… So, uh, hi.

So, I’ve been MIA.  Welcome to college.  You wanted to do something other than go to class, go to work, and do your homework? Well, bub, you chose the wrong thing to do after high school, didn’t you?

Anywho.

Update on my life, I had to, for a couple of reasons, drop my German minor.  That isn’t to say that German is no longer part of my life, I just am not getting academic credit for it anymore.  C’est la vie.  Uhh, I dunno how much of my personal life I shared before, but since I’ve last posted I have broken up with my then-boyfriend and now have a new one.  This one’s long-distance.  It sucks.  Don’t do it.  Kidding, he’s totally worth it, I just miss him constantly.  And now we’ve gotten mushy.  Uhh, I sorta inadvertently came out as an atheist to my family, so that’s a thing.  Kinda awkward.  And I think I’m gonna try to write a novel, which should be interesting.

Anyway, for this post, I have a rant.  What else is new?

Below lies proof that it is possible to be a devout feminist and also defy so many of the stereotypes of feminism that people wonder whether you’re actually a serious feminist.

DISCLAIMER: Below also lies some unpopular opinions which very well may offend some people.  Know that my intention is not to offend, but rather to present my point of view.  I may come across as abrasive and rude while writing about other points of view, which is not really my intention, and know that I do respect others’ rights to feel differently than I do, but that doesn’t mean that I will shy away from expressing my thoughts on those views.  Nothing is stopping you from expressing your thoughts on my views as well.  Equality and whatnot.

Hi. I’m a serious, legitimate, strong feminist. I think a lot of our social norms are really stupid. I think it’s dumb that I’ve literally heard a man say that he feels emasculated when a woman holds the door for him (oh, get over yourself).  If you look back in my blog a bit, I talk about rape and how it’s a huge societal issue. And I think many, if not most, rape jokes and such things are in poor taste.  I want equal pay for men and women for equal work.  I want equality of the sexes, genders, races, etc.  I am feminist, hear me roar.

 

However.

 

The stereotype that feminists can’t take a joke is a bit ridiculous.  I’m a student manager at one of the dining services locations on my university’s campus.  I make “woman in the kitchen” jokes about myself all the damn time.  That is an industrial kitchen where we prepare massive amounts of food at once, and things get heavy. No, I don’t want one of my male coworkers to assume that I can’t handle carrying things on my own, but I am not opposed to asking for help and joking about being of the “weaker sex”.  Yeah, sure, I’m speaking from a privileged platform on the racial side of things, but I say this with the approval of many of my more ethnically underprivileged friends, racial jokes can be funny.

 

My stance, and the stance of many others with whom I’ve spoken, is this: as long as I know you’re joking, as long as I know there’s not a hint of belief behind the joke that you’re telling me, I’ll probably find it funny.  I used to joke that I was a failure as a woman, because I didn’t know how to cook, clean, sew, raise children, I don’t wear skirts and dresses much, I don’t wear makeup all that often… I’m not opposed to laughing at myself.  I’m not opposed to laughing at society through jokes about me.  I joked with my current boyfriend, because he was not my first, that he didn’t get to “deflower” me, and that society had already labeled me as a slut.

 

When I was younger and just getting into the feminist movement, my way of thinking very closely mirrored the way of thinking of feminists who have the idea that no jokes about potentially offensive topics should be told ever under any circumstances.  Pretty much everything that could be construed as offensive would offend me.  Since I’ve sort of grown up, I’ve been able to distinguish the subtleties of offensive jokes between what is okay and what crosses the line.  Of course the line is different for everyone and it differs according to the situation as well, but there are basic guidelines.  With rape jokes, it’s always best to joke about the rapist rather than the victim.  With sexist jokes, the line is a bit more vague, but for me it’s all about who’s telling the joke.  If I don’t know you at all and/or I can’t read whether you’re kidding or not, don’t tell it.  When I’m in a bad mood, air on the side of caution and don’t say it.  There’s also always the option, which I even use a lot, of saying something like “I’m trying so hard not to make the obvious offensive joke here,” and waiting for the other person to give you the go-ahead to tell it.  The deal here is that, like all comedians, you have to know your audience.  Personally, I think censorship is stupid, especially when laughter and happiness can be had.  Also, satire has been known throughout history to help bring about change.  Take Jonathan Swift, for example.  Gulliver’s Travels, a novel about the way that Irish society, specifically economics, was run.  Believe me, that’s not the only thing that brought about reform, but it certainly helped bring awareness to the issue.


The other problem with feminists and other activist groups getting upset by words is that it makes the entire movement seem weak.  It makes us look like we’re just out to yell at people for every single word they say.  It makes us look like we have soft skin and can’t focus on actual issues.  If you can’t handle yourself around an offensive joke, grow some thicker skin.  I’m being blunt here, but seriously.  If every time someone makes a joke, you have to stop in your tracks and chew them out for saying such a thing, you need to re-evaluate yourself.  Get mad about the fact that there are women for whom it is illegal for them to get an education.  Get mad about the fact that there are women who are forced into Female Genital Mutilation.  Get mad about the fact that there are women who aren’t even recognized as such because they have male genitalia.  Get mad about the fact that there are men, who knows how many, who haven’t reported their rape because of the shame.  Get mad about the fact that male rape victims aren’t taken seriously.  Get mad about abuse.  Don’t get mad about a silly joke.  You don’t have to find it funny.  You don’t have to laugh.  But please.  Even if you were able to stop people from saying things like that, it’s still a societal attitude.  Why? Because women and men are still treated differently in society.  When we get women and men to be treated equally, I’m guessing that sexist jokes will decrease in frequency.  When we actually get the races to be treated equally, I’m sure racist jokes will decrease in frequency.  Or, at the very least, the jokes will honestly be just taken as jokes.  Humor is a valid way of dealing with things.  Please don’t invalidate it with your social justice warrioring.

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Amanda Bynes, Robin Williams, and the Spectacle of Mental Illness

Mental illness is not funny when it happens to your sister, your friend, your parents; why the french toast is it funny when it happens to celebrities?! Robin Williams was and is probably still being mourned, but Amanda Bynes? Well, for one thing we don’t know that she legitimately has been diagnosed with anything, and for two she’s not dead yet, so it’s funny, right? No. Wrong.

Let's Queer Things Up!

Internet, we need to have a talk.

I’ve had a number of readers ask why I’ve neglected to write about Amanda Bynes this last year. It’s simple, really. I don’t believe that celebrities are “fair game,” and that, when they have very human and very difficult struggles, I should capitalize on those things by writing an article, however well-intentioned. I believe they are deserving of privacy and respect, by virtue of their being people.

However, I’m making an exception here, because in the midst of the negative and callous press that Bynes has received, I think it’s time we had a chat about it from a different perspective. And then, after we’re done, I think it’s time we stop speculating about it altogether. Deal?

First and foremost, there is no way for us to know what, if anything, Bynes has been diagnosed with. The family has denied schizophrenia and bipolar…

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OMG, Time Magazine- You’re So Cray Cray

Beautifully said.

Drifting Through

I can't believe...

“Done, done, on to the next one

Done I’m done and I’m on to the next one”

-Foo Fighers, All My Life

Oh, Time Mag. You’re like, literally, so smart. I read your annual word banishment poll yesterday and I can’t even…

I love your witty and oh so patronizing list you publish every year. You’re so hip and cutting edge. I wait with bated breath every year to hear what the bastion of cool-ness has to say about words that no respectable Chick Fil A manager would ever utter again. Like, ever.

‘Cept this year you kinda ‘effed up. This year you (spoiler alert) added FEMINIST to the list.

And every intelligent equality-loving non-hater was like “Whaaat???”

I mean, for seriously, WTF Time Magazine.

Lemme clue you in. Equality. Bam. ‘Nuff said.

Imma quote you here “Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like…

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Broken Crayons Still Color

A thing I needed to hear this semester.

A thing I needed to hear in elementary school, in junior high, in high school. And now, in college.

Broken crayons still color.

I read it somewhere on Facebook (Look, Facebook has its merits) today, and I was baffled by how beautifully simple– and true– it was.  And now I keep thinking about it, hours later, and I’m still amazed.  Maybe it’s just been that kind of day/week/semester, but it just keeps muddling around my mind like a mantra.  And it’s beautiful, and the truth in the words is comforting.

Broken crayons– and broken people– can still function.  They can still serve a purpose.  They still have value… They’re still just as bright, just as beautiful, just as useful, helpful, worthy of love.  Do you love your crayons? I love my crayons.

Because maybe John Green is wrong– maybe we can be irreparably broken, but why the hell should that mean that we’re hopeless?

Maybe my grade in German this semester is going to suck. Maybe your significant other left you. Maybe you lost a loved one recently. Maybe you lost your job, your pet, your home, the approval of someone you care about deeply.  And of course, those things are liable to break a person. My GPA is rather important to me.  The fact that it’s not going to be the best this semester is breaking me.  I’m a grade snob.  I don’t fail.  I don’t do C’s, for the love of goodness.  That doesn’t mean I’m worthless, valueless, hopeless.  It means shit hit the fan this semester. It means let’s try to never get bronchitis and sleep all the time ever again.  Because that throws everything off. But it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless.  I am a beautiful, albeit broken, crayon, and I still color.

Tampon Commercials Offend Me

Ugh. Tampon commercials. I AM NEVER EVER THAT HAPPY WHEN MY LADY AREA IS BLEEDING. NEVER EVER. SHUT UP. I AM BLEEDING. AND CRAMPING. THIS ISN’T THE TIME FOR HAPPINESS. This has been a PSA. Thank you for your attention.

Girl on the Contrary

Warning: This post talks about tampons and menstruation. I hope it’s funny. If you’re not interested in taking a chance on a maybe funny post about periods then I will give you another topic to discuss in the comments section: Reality TV is it hilarious or horrific? 

vintage tampon ad

Guess what? I’m a young woman and that means I menstruate. Shocker! It’s really not that big of a deal except it means I’m capable of bringing new life into the world and that’s pretty freaking awesome. Unfortunately, when it comes to periods (and I’m not talking punctuation) people tend to focus on the monthly hemorrhaging that takes places. And yes, that aspect of it is unpleasant. Luckily for women today, we have an entire artillery of products to help make those periods just the slightest bit less unpleasant. One of those products is tampons. Yay tampons! If you’re a woman you know…

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To the Male Population: Don’t like seeing my knickers? Don’t look up my skirt!

“Ain’t I a woman?” is such a fantastic speech. Honestly, I can’t believe that women are still, to this day, in 2014, being treated like sex objects. I am a woman, yes, but I can hear, and work, and take a freaking beating if I have to. For the love of goodness, I have horrible cramps and bleeding every month, and still go about my day. If that isn’t strength more than a man has to show, I don’t know what y’all want from women.

Abstractions of Life

Image Me in Bruges, on discussed day, in discussed outfit.

Last week I was in Bruges, Belgium. As one does in Bruges, I knew I wanted to go up the Belfrey Tower. The Belfrey is one of the oldest attractions in Bruges, and there is fantastic view from the top. To get to the top there are steps. A lot of steps.

As myself and my cousin, my travelling partner, had arrived in Bruges from Paris, we had already climbed quite a few stairs. Numerous attractions, not to mention the metro, run off of steps in Paris, (which is fine for my escalator-phobia). My cousin was therefore lacking the physical motivation to climb up yet more; deciding instead to enjoy the view of the tower from beneath it, tucking in to some tasty Belgian waffles.

Result? I was going it alone.

Which was fine. For me, this was fine.

That morning I had…

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Deutsch Deutsch Deutsch

This is my whole life in German right now. Why does German grammar have to be so difficult?!?!

Addicted to All Things Foreign

My love for the German language is powerful, and there’s no better feeling than spending my evening drinking tea and learning new German words and phrases. But sometimes, I just want to rip my hair out and cry when I don’t understand situations around me. When conversations are too fast paced, and detailed for my attention span or vocabulary I can’t seem to escape the feeling of stupidity and aggravation.

 

At the same time, nothing pushes me harder to learn more, than this feeling. 

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