Bitter feminist.

First, lets start off with the correct definition of feminism. It’s simply wanting equality between men and women. That is all.
Any argument that feminism equals misandry is void. I will not hear it because it is not the same.
And onward.
Lately, I’ve internalized chauvinistic acts and have come to a realization. No, these acts aren’t a new thing for me. I’ve been hooted and hollered at since before my cycle, by grown men (or should I say boys?) A child, yup a kid, getting cat calls every time I walked down the street. Growing up with it I had to learn to push my emotional hurt aside. Like many women, I grew numb to it and would shrug it off like it was expected. It got to the point that when conversing on a walk I wouldn’t even skip a step, in my stride and my speech.
I used to be a feminist that like to view myself as balanced when faced with these encounters. But I can honestly say that I’ve grown extremely bitter. I absolutely hate that I’m bitter. Please ignore the redundancy in that.
An incident last night has left me dumbfounded and enlightened at the same time. My friend (formerly known in a past post as Cigarette Lips, now lets call him Jason Segel) someone I always speak highly of and whom I can say I was in love with at one point in my life, felt it okay to feel me up–in front of people, during conversation. Granted, it was a party setting and drinking was definitely involved. However, never did I think he’d do that, especially because of his awareness of my feminist views.
Long story short, it blew up. We argued through text and probably used attitude and sarcasm we shouldn’t have. In the end, there were a couple things he said that stuck with me.
1. I won’t quote him to spare sharing people’s names, but he compared my reaction to the way a mutual friend of ours might handle a situation. This mutual friend is quite misunderstood, I think. When people ask, “why are you offended by that?” he throws back, “well why aren’t you?” And sure I may have thrown that same question back at Jason in a different way, but this mutual friend also struggles with chronic depression. Him and I do not handle situations the same way, nor are our minds and chemical balances or imbalances the same. Not to mention our personalities. However, what irked me about this remark the most was that this mutual friend of ours is always referred to as too feminine in his emotions, as if that’s a bad thing. Also, why must having and showing them be a strictly male or female characteristic? Because thus far, society has instilled in boys that crying should be left to girls? Because its a sign of weakness and boys should not be weak? I mean this is a common topic nowadays as these norms are constantly being questioned and redefined. I guess I just wanted to point out the underlying reason why his remark bugged the crap out of me. The entire analysis behind his reasoning and the rest of society’s view on it could easily be left for its own post. Onward.
2. I told him it upset me that he “joked” at my expense. He retorted with, “at what expense was it to you? I acted like a fool in front of our friends.” Okay. Deep breath. Okay.
Yeah, no.
At what expense is it to me? Really? How about the fact that my body is just that, my own body. Not some fucking plush toy sitting on a shelf with a sticker on it that says TRY ME. I’m sorry I’m not sorry that you acted a fool and got embarrassed more so by my reaction than the fact that you acted a fool in the first place, in front of our friends. Let me just go ahead and stick something up your ass in front of everyone and see if you think I did it at no expense to you. You know, I bet you’ll be super comfortable with it and feel not at all violated. No, not at all. Then let me turn the attention to myself and play the victim, because I was so hurt by how I, myself, chose to act a fool in the first place.
And this is the underlying mentality in most men that irks me to my core.
What is it that is instilled in young boys that makes them grow up thinking that crossing into our personal space, moreover touching our private areas, shouldn’t make us feel like it was done at our expense? Is it the usual story of little Johnny chasing little Sally around the playground no matter how loud or how many times Sally says to stop? When this story arises in conversation, what do people usually call it? Usually not what it is, which is harassment. “Oh little Johnny is just being a boy, you know how boys are.” Of course I know “how boys are.” I grew up being sexually harassed and cat called, and I was told to ignore it instead of addressing this deep-rooted issue. This misconception that it is pure instinct to fondle a girl at a young age needs to be corrected. No, it is not instinct. What if little Johnny doesn’t “grow out of it?” Treating sexual harassment as a phase in a little boys life is like cutting weeds from the garden instead of tearing them out from the roots. It’s going to come back, and we better hope not with a vengeance. So why not a new tactic? Seems like the one used in society now and in the past hasn’t curbed sexual harassment. How about treating sexual harassment for all ages as a bad thing? Hm. What a concept. And I wish it was that simple. We’re up against the rest of history, one that made it the norm to objectify women, and one that is obviously still in effect today.
I told my friend last night, not Jason, that I thank Mother Nature for bringing me into this world in the decade I was born. That I would have hated the housewife lifestyle of the 50’s and the corsets at the turn of the century. However, the idea behind those mentalities still exists, which makes me wish I was born in year 3013.
Can I please just have my personal space and my private parts respected? Nope, I guess that’s asking too much.

The reality of children gone.

I read once in a roommates most deepest writings that hurricane sandy killed the non believers and saved those that believed.
But what about the children? Innocent, unknowingly mistake-making children whom deserve only the best. How about the children in the Middle East, dyeing horrible deaths from drones sent with a button from the other side of this Mother Earth? She cries, I swear by it. What about the children overworking their developing bodies, working days in and days out to make needless material objects for Walmart bought by this very same roommate, objects used maybe once and left to waste? What about those affected by globalization, a loss of culture, and a never ending identity crisis for the mistakes of Europeans made hundreds of years ago? What about the children forced into slavery of all kinds? And those forced to have children after being raped. Or those that live next door to you, starving while you eat three meals a day, with a small snack of 200 calories or less in between each meal. Or those that wish they could read? How about the children fighting cancer or aids, or those living with sick parents that expect care from them? Children lost and confused with no where to go.
I read her comment about hurricane sandy in her personal journal that she left out on the dining room table. Pages open and full of a false knowledge, the overall ignorance constantly protruding out of this close-minded, Midwestern world. Pages heavy with the scent of frustrated innocent children, asking this supposed god, why?
This morning, 52 dead in Oklahoma, some of them children. A state drenched with self-righteous Christianity. So I ask you, now what?

zebra kids and squirrel kids

Today I saw a board for volunteering in Africa. Together, with the photos of kids playing games, laughing, and having a grand time, were photos of zebras. Now, realize that zebras are animals, and kids in Africa, just like kids elsewhere, are human. This board had me confused. Was this trip to help kids in Africa, or save Zebras from poachers?

It annoys me that the combination of photos of people and animals are so commonly placed next to one another, as if in the same category, when referring to non-western societies. To western societies, the exotic means everything that is not western, including exotic plants, exotic food, exotic animals, and….exotic people? That doesn’t even sound okay to me.

So then I thought, what if this was a board about volunteering in a suburban area outside of, let’s say, Chicago. Along with the photos of the kids, would there be photos of suburban wildlife as well? Sure, lets lump the kids together with the squirrels, raccoons, and occasional roadkill deer. They all live in the same area don’t they?

Quit making a spectacle out of the non-western world.