Monday, November 24, 2014

Debunking the Feminist Ideal

I've been seeing an upswing in the amount of feminist posts recently. And while I usually do not get involved in this type of thing, I would like to finally share my views.
I have seen countless articles entitled (paraphrased of course) "I am a Mother, not a Feminist," "I'm not a feminist, but that equal rights thing is genius" and many more of the like. These articles address how these women (and yes, its usually women) do not see themselves as feminists because they do not believe that men should stop being "gentlemanly" and should continue holding doors for women and the like. They are conforming to what has come to be called "the new age definition of feminism."
I am here to debunk this ridiculous ideal, should you so let me.
The "new age definition of feminism" comes from people's inability to understand the actual definition of feminism. This new definition says that instead of having men as the dominant social power, it should be women. This ideal is what causes misinformed men and women to reference feminists as "feminazis;" a vile, destructive, rude, and anti-sematic term.
The literal, dictionary definition of feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men." I can see, whilst one is reading this definition, why people jump to the conclusion that this is advocating for the dominance of women. After all, as men are the dominant power now, this definition could seem, at a glance, to be defining how the power roles should switch from a patriarchy to a matriarchy. However, I ask that you read this a bit closer and with a more open mind. Forget everything the media, your parents, your daughters, your sons, your siblings, those people who have an influence on your thoughts and ideals: forget what they have told you and read that definition again.
"The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."
This definition tells you that feminism is the ongoing battle for equal rights between the sexes. Nothing more and nothing less. So all those articles in which people are mothers, not feminists, and fathers, not feminists, and do not believe in feminism but are advocates for equal rights, are complete and utter bullshit. Because if you feel that you should be treated with equal respect and rights as your friends and peers regardless of their sex, you are a feminist. Hands down, no arguing. Don't you tell me you're not. Because you can believe in equal rights and want people to hold doors open for each other: that's called being a decent human being. Wanting equal rights for all is being a decent being. I.e., being a feminist is being a decent human being. Saying you're not a feminist because you don't fit the "new" definition is ridiculous. The "new" definition is what misinformed people have come to interpret feminism as and it is wrong.
Feminism is the advocacy for equal rights between the sexes. I guarantee you if you tell someone you're not a feminist but you believe people deserve equal rights, you're going to get some weird looks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

confession, kind of

i read other people's blogs and they have these enormous long entries and then i reread mine and look at my pitifully small entries. i don't know why, but it makes me feel like i'm not a real writer. like, i should be able to write ridiculously long posts. i'm a writer, right? at this point, i don't feel like one. for some reason this is affecting me way too much but i can't seem to get it out of my head. all I want is to be a good writer but i've never felt less like one. i'm such a freak.

the hidden part

My right hand is clenched at my hip, palm facing up, thumb wrapped tightly around the first three fingers. She presents the board to me at arms length, stomach level. "Short punch." I nod. "Yes'm." My fist shoots forward. Rotates ninety degrees. It hits the board with a sickening crack. I wince internally. Outwardly, I do nothing but blink. "Again. All the way through." I nod. "Yes'm." I throw my shoulders into it this time, twisting slightly at the waist. My fist travels all of six inches and connects again. The crack is even louder than before. It snaps. We bow as the class claps and I walk to sit by the window with Alex. I look down. My knuckles are bleeding.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


the leaves shiver in the bright sunlight as i hold my right hand out, palm facing away from me. my nails are an electric blue and still wet. they shine up at me, hypnotic somehow.

the old, battered door creaks behind me, subtly announcing the fact that i am no longer alone on the front porch. my brother drops to the ground with an immense sigh, book in hand. my bottle of polish starts to tip, and i catch it with my foot. no one saw.

successful talent scout

OMG so I just discovered that Abby (who I already knew is a good writer) is a freakin beastly poetry spoken word writer. Thus she will be in slam club with us next year yay!

Anyways this is what she wrote at my house at 11 last night:

"Love is a wonderful thing, something to be written about and revered. Love is what happens to those willing to let life direct them into the paths of those who need them to continue on their journey and remember what they carry on for. Love is permanent, written on your soul to bleed through and color your heart the hue of happiness. Love is when the knowledge of who you want in your life is concrete, as is who you want to remember and assist you in your expedition of learning, and you are utterly wiling to look past the insignificant flaws and accept their quirks in order to preserve them in your life. Love is something to stumble upon or build, with stones of recognition of the efforts they apply to life, with mortar of emotion and rawness, and using tools of communication and forgiveness. Love is a home, in which to house the few that take the time to build it. "


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is a spoken word I wrote the first draft of awhile ago and this one is drastically different. But I like it.

Blind Snakes
Dear you, I have discovered the recipe for true friendship.
Three liters of laughs, a pound of powdered summers, a teaspoon of telling secrets. A pinch of jealousy and a teaspoon of trouble. A cup of fights. An ever-adjustable amount of smiles.
Mixing instructions; there are six subsections.
1.       You bake cookies with her – though only half the amount you meant to cause you ate all that batter
2.       There’s no such thing as bailing each other out hell, it’s every man for himself unless of course you broke that window together in which case you share the holding cell and tell each other “shit, we screwed up. But that was awesome.”
3.       You love her and hate her at the same time because the two of you are so similar it’s like being friends with yourself but without the flaws. She’s good at everything you’re bad at except for bowling. You both suck at that.
4.       She laughs when you tell her stupid trig jokes about how the guy in your history class is tangent because he chose the girl opposite him over the girl adjacent to him and you don’t feel like a geek cause it’s a good type of laughter.
5.       You tease each other about the guys you like; the tall the sweet and the nerdy or the girls if that’s how you roll
6.       She’s so perfect its infuriating so half the time you want to kill her, another quarter maim her and that last bit? You want to be with her every second because she brings out the best in you and you like the way you around her and how she makes you feel.
Bake for 4 years at 50 degrees.
So now I have to ask you why you don’t follow this recipe, why you’re not that perfect blend of light and dark. Because I never want to tell you anything, cause who knows what you’ll do? Or what you’ll say? I can feel the absence of every one of my closely guarded secrets when I watch them make their way from my mouth to your ears but you don’t even notice the extra weight.
Friends are supposed to accept and forget but obviously your mental dictionary is different than mine because last time I checked “accept” doesn’t mean “degrade” or “point out every flaw you see” and “forget” definitely doesn’t mean “regularly bring up the time I made you cry for the first time in years” especially because the only reason you cried was because I stood up for myself and you didn’t like it.
Nothing is safe around you, not my beliefs, my reservations, the way I view the world. Everything is subject to ridicule when you’re around. From what I’ve heard, friendship is supposed to make you happy but unless happiness is the sinking, hollow feeling I get in my stomach whenever I see you this is not friendship.
Cause there is a difference between being truthful and being honest even though the words mean the same thing. I know you mean the things you say about me even though you end each volley of insults with “I’m just kidding, you know,” Some of the things I don’t deny but you don’t need to say anything. In the end, there’s just no reason for you to talk.
People tell me I need to ignore the poisonous snakes that slither coolly from your mouth but it’s too late for that because they’ve bitten me, and the gaping holes in my heart are in plain view of everyone but the girl who put them there. Blind snakes are the worst and that’s what you are because you don’t see how anything you do could possibly be wrong. I don’t know how you managed to slide your way into my life nor do I know how to get rid of you because I sure as hell don’t want to sic you on somebody else.
 I don’t know what I did to deserve this, who I pissed off in a past life but I promise I’ll never do it again. I just want my own opinions back, along with my self-confidence, my good judgment and the sense of purpose that used to dominate my life. Because when you befriended me I lost all of those things to that locked box you call a heart.
Here. You might want to try this recipe.

Spoken word

Good poems don’t need titles to explain what they’re about. The message should be clear.
                Most kids need an invisibility cloak to disappear, but I’ve never had to bother. It seems I have to do nothing but walk down the halls or into a room and I’m instantly a jellyfish in a bunch of barnacles – see through and vulnerable.
                But no matter how opaque I evidently am, I’m not unknown and in my mind, that’s a bad thing. People don’t know me because of the things I do. Oh, no.
                I am “that girl that skipped eighth grade, oh yeah, that one chick. I hate her. You don’t wanna know her. Don’t talk to her, no one likes her.” People don’t talk to me because they want to hear what I have to say, but because they don’t have a choice.  A teacher told the class to split into partners and they didn’t find a friend fast enough. When a group project comes around, I’m in high demand. No, no. People don’t like me. I know all the answers.
                I have no real use – I’m simply the girl whose tests you cheat off, whose homework you ask to copy. I am the arrogant girl, the snobby girl, the girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else. All because my IQ is triple theirs.
                I told myself I didn’t care what they thought, that I didn’t need friends. That if they were stupid enough to be prejudiced against me, I didn’t need them. But it’s harder than you think, going it alone. Humans are meant to be social, to be loved.
                And then sophomore year I saw people I’d gone to middle school with and they didn’t recognize me. Looking in the mirror, I saw why. I’d been kicked one too many times in soccer and had discarded my glasses. My hair’d grown out and I’d begun to wear it down. I was in good shape. I thought I could start over.
                But I was too innocent. I’d never experienced open hostility. I didn’t know I was hated, that people who’d never spoken to me had already decided they never would. This year I saw it all and came to a realization: people, as a general rule, are ugly. Not physically. In here.
                Most teenagers don’t have filter and they hide it when they’re in front of adults. But I am not an adult, and when they have opinions about me they think it’s their right to make those opinions known. If I want to know why you don’t like me I’ll ask you myself. I don’t need to feel the slices your sharp words make on my back. I don’t want the scars.
                It’s not understood that in the real world, having an intelligence level above that of a brick is a good thing. That looks are not the deciding factor for college admission. Somehow, varsity soccer placement doesn’t even get through to these people, this generation of physical prowess and attractiveness. Of course, I’m a nerd and thus I’m weak. Computer obsessed. Unathletic. Ugly.
                But the real me, the one who sings alone to Wicked showtunes and the Lion King and Mulan, and every other freaking Disney song ever,  the one who makes cookies every Sunday and gets up at hours no teenager should be awake at on Saturdays to coach the soccer games of the sweetest girls in the world? That’s the me that will shine through if you’d halt the creation of the one that’s slowly going mute because she doesn’t want to talk anymore cause it’s just not worth it. It’s your loss, but I’m alone. And there’s nothing worse to be.