- if you ever want to wear mommy’s make-up, just make sure you don’t eat it. when it’s time to go to bed, I will help you wash it off.
- when school starts and you want to jump rope instead of play kickball, be careful not to trip and hurt your knees.
- if you grow up and a boy makes your heart hurt, you do not have to be ashamed.
- if you fall in love with a girl
who wears the same clothes
as you, it will be easy for me to buy you both presents.
- if I teach you anything, I will teach you to be gentle.
- you are not Atlas and the world
is not a burden for you to carry.
- if you do not like your body, if you feel like you were put inside the wrong one, I will stand by and watch you become again.
- because we are human beings and we do not always have to
take what we are given.
- I will love you constantly, fervently, always.
- I will teach you the value of
the word “no” so that, when you hear it, you do not question it.
- when the war comes
and you want to fight, I will
sleep with clenched fists until you come home to me.
- when the war comes and you don’t want to go, I will sleep soundly.
- you are allowed to be soft. you are allowed to break and bend. you do not have to be strong. you do not have to be a soldier.
a letter to my future son | Caitlyn S. (via l0vebuzz)
No. 10 x 1000000000
There’s a lot to unlearn around this stuff, and it hides in the language we use. Sex workers don’t ‘sell their bodies’; they sell an experience to lonely guys that need it. Their bodies remain their own. We have this received notion that because a sex worker has sex with their clients, they’re somehow ‘spent’ – unavailable to a boyfriend in some crucial and irredeemable way. It’s not true, any more than it’s true that kindergarten teachers ignore their own children.
— From “How to Date A Sex Worker,” by Anon on Christian Vega’s blog.
If you respect a woman less because you’ve seen her naked or were lucky enough to have sex with her, you deseve to tread on only lego for the rest of your stupid life.
And occasionally a Duplo block just for variety
…The tool of ‘making up an imaginary boyfriend to get a guy to back off’ works because men respect other men, and the idea of ‘not taking something that belongs to someone else’, more than they respect women and their right to say no.
We have found that there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are other interesting findings: even later abortion is safer than childbirth and women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.
Lots of really important truth bombs in this piece.
Sex work in itself is not inherently anti-feminist. What is sexist about strip clubs, pornography and other commercial avenues of sex is the fact that our society has normalized the open expression of men’s sexual desire and not that of women.
YEP #australia #auspol #marriage equality #short course on gender and sexuality #short course on gender and equality #democracy #cory bernardi #coalition #labor
auspol #australian politics #julia gillard #kevin rudd #marriage equality #short course on gender and equality #short course on gender and sexuality #tony abbott #wayne swan
Today, the Australian government voted against a marriage equality bill which would have opened the possibility of same-sex couples being married.
Penny Wong made an inspiring speech, addressing so many arguments of those against marriage equality, and brings unique and beautiful personal experience to the fore.
“I do believe marriage is unique. I believe that marriage is special, and that it is a bedrock institution of society. I believe that marriage should be valued.
But marriage does not need to be ‘walled off’ from some Australians in order to preserve its worth. The heart of marriage is the love of and commitment to another.
This promise, the vow of marriage, does not discriminate – and nor should our laws.”
I’ve felt all the things you have: that electric jolt that runs up one’s spine making eye contact with someone across the room; the delicious warmth of seeing the slightest trace of a smile begin to play across their face as they lean in for the kiss; the feeling of fingers on fingers, skin against skin; the intimacy, security, and heat of being held tightly against someone else. There’s that wonderful sense of anticipation that comes with getting to know someone new; the sense of endless possibility, a whole new world opening up. I’ve felt at home in someone else, and known what it is to want to put someone else’s wellbeing first. And I’ve felt the bitterness, isolation, and hollowness that accompanies heartbreak; the frustration of trying to pick up the pieces and start again. I have felt all these things. And I hope to one day meet someone to spend the rest of my days with, to get old and dotty with; the two of us contra mundum.
So I defy anyone to say that my love is less than anyone else’s, simply because I’m attracted to members of my own sex.
And I defy any one of the ninety-eight MPs who voted against legalising same-sex marriage to tell me my love is somehow “bestial” or beneath their own.
Look me in the eye and say it to my face.
I dare you.
One thing that I have been unable to tell people about is my profound sense of betrayal. For years, I was largely defined by academic achievement. My parents told me, punctuating drives to school and conversation at home, to study to become financially independent.
Don’t depend on any man to support you, they urged me. Study hard, get a job that pays a lot and then you can do what you like as hobbies. Write, read, do it in all that spare time you’ll have furnished by all of that spare cash. What if your husband dies, or you divorce? You have to prepare yourself.
And so, this was the refrain. The extreme, strict emphasis on grades and being the best turned my dreams into nightmares. Hours and hours flew past in worry, sweating through teacher conferences and dreading unfavourable grades. Surviving arguments and bickering and countless comparisons and hoping for snatches of occasional praise that rarely came because it was all expected of me—this is all time that I will never get back. It has shaped me in some ways—I am jumpy, nervous, suspicious of goodness and insecure. It cut my childhood short.
And now that I am moving through my twenties I am confronted by the falsity of all of this. This is because, apparently, I should focus on a husband. Apparently a lot of the freedoms I have ever longed for are denied a girl who is unmarried. And most importantly, I should find one before I am old and crusty and nobody wants me. Which is imminent, and I should be singleminded in this, and promptly give myself over to producing offspring, as dumbly as a breeding mare.
Never mind the years of education and toil that have coloured so many of my waking moments. I’m old enough to bleed and old enough to breed, as they say, so why the fuck aren’t I doing it? And this pains me and nettles me so, and in a strangely productive whirl. It makes me more determined to do what I want to, and stubbornly affixes me to my ambitions. Never in the narrative is the boy told to hurry up before his insides curdle impotently, or to search far and wide because he never may find her, or to put any of those goals on hold and surrender to biological fate. No, the onus is always on the girl to paint herself appealingly as well as learn the arts of hoodwink and man trapping, whilst somehow being filled with virtue but also enough book learnin’ to get her through life and into a job that she will throw over or juggle with the demands of home & hearth, and keep up a conversation and learn how to be a sex goddess but also be earthy enough to balance the household budget and scrub the toilet.
I will never be this supercomputer in the pretty but soon to be past her sell by date shell of woman, and I don’t want to try. I don’t like children, so I don’t want to wrestle them into this world on a wave of painkillers and dissatisfaction. I can’t cook, I can barely clean and I don’t tolerate shit or being bored.
The other day at a dinner I was so close to standing up and screaming because our side of the table, populated by ladies, was full of soft talk while on the other side, the men got on with the real, interesting conversations, that I longed to be part of, to spark off into debate.
I’m not abnormal, or a strange unkind witch for disliking children and not feeling willing to accept every thing expected of a woman. Somewhere in there, a hokey side of me wants to get married one day, but on my own terms, because a man is not going to fill every deep dreamy part of me, skewed by ambition and desire and years of eroded self confidence. There’s a lewd joke in there, but I won’t make it. I want an equal, to be an icing on the cake of life and not the cake itself. I won’t always cook, or keep quiet because I’m told to, and I want a companion to talk and laugh and push through this strange tangible adventure with. I will fight and spit and love my freedom before anyone else. I accept no less, and I barely care for anything approximating—save your words of love and leery compliments, and don’t even bother trying to pick me up.
For ultimately I am alone, and happy. I am angry at the treachery that underlines a woman’s life, but I can also read Greer and Friedan and co and feel every word like a ringing—questioning, unrelenting and true that now a woman can do mostly everything a man can, and better.
And so I am almost thankful for the creeping deceit because it makes me hungrier for what I want, rather than cowing me. Women go to space, run countries, fix cars and sit on boards. They don’t need permission slips or husbands or a box of tissues in case the world is overwhelming. And there are ways to go yet because still there are things holding equality back—grindingly rude pop videos and the rape culture and pay gaps and Caroline Wilson’s head on a dummy and jokes about kitchens and complaints about moody cows and PMT, and women who can’t drive and those who can’t exercise because it encourages immorality, and read.
And god have mercy, the yummy mummies and the vacuous magazine aliens trying to transform you into a sexy underfed Venus flytrap that can do the downward facing dog that will show off your arse in the latest couture at the same time as please a man all night long, because that’s YOUR job, you silly bint. So, (I) haven’t come (that much) of a long way, baby. But at least now my thoughts are clarified in myself, if not simplified somewhat in print.
Marriage #Marriage equality #Gay marriage #Short course on gender and equality #Short course on gender and sexuality
Advice for young feminists? Do something else besides feminism. I’m serious. The feminist blogosphere is oversaturated in my opinion. Please, find something else you love and take feminist theory there. It gets lonely over here in tech and video games – I have a great crew of other feminists but we are a little island in a vast sea. We need more feminist minded business bloggers, feminist theory wielding finance bloggers. Labor organizers with a feminist lens blogging. Can you imagine what Deadspin (the sports blog) would look like with a feminist on staff? Restructure writes about science, tech and feminism – join her! Publish a blog doing literary criticism with a feminist lens! Take on the NYT! Talk about class issues and feminism. Whatever it is, apply your feminism in a different space.