wildfeministappears

A feminist perspective about the feminist perspective

Month: July, 2012

Unite Women

I feel like I should have done this awhile ago.  I’d like to talk to you today about a great organization that I work with!

Unitewomen.org started with the mission of rallying people together in support against anti-equality legislation.  We had rallies across America on April 28th, and it was a huge success.  Rain or shine, we all took to our streets and let people know that we were tired of having our rights trampled.

Today, Unitewomen.org is working to bring more people together.  We’ve created groups in each state urging people to vote out of office those who would attack our rights.  We have campus groups, state groups, blogging groups, meetings via google, twitter accounts, and basically a huge amount of amazing people working non-stop to make America a more equal place to live.  I’m grateful everyday that I get to work with the people that I do.  They’re funny, intelligent, politically and socially aware, and committed to the cause.

Unfortunately, many people have dropped off since the rally, and we are regrouping so that we can have groups on campuses.  Naturally, we can’t start a group on a campus without being a student there, so we need volunteers to take up the cause.  It’s really a lot of fun.  I can express myself however I want in a non-judgmental environment, and there is always something to do!  And even if you aren’t on a campus, you can take up the role of state director, and help people stay aware of what is going on in their state.  After all, stories slip through the cracks all the time, and then we don’t notice when our rights have been subtly chipped away.

I’m not trying to pressure anyone here; I just really believe in this group and I want to see it succeed.  We’ve already done so much in the way of awareness, and we need to make sure that everyone gets out and votes this November!  I’m sure everyone is well aware of the rapidly changing tone of the political system.  It’s important that we stand together against the onslaught that is anti-women legislation.

Okay, so I’ve ranted enough.  I hope you’ll all take this into consideration!  Let me leave you with a few links so that you know where to go from here.

Find your state

Register and Vote

Volunteer

Legislation Map

Videos

An Empty Phrase

I wanted to start this post by apologizing for what I’m about to say, but I should really stop that.  I have every right to my opinion, as do you.  So… This is my opinion, and if you don’t like it, then that’s cool by me.

Anyway, I realized today that I get really pissed off when people say that things happen for a reason.  They’re taking responsibility out of their hands and saying that the universe has some ultimate plan.

Stop that.  It takes power away from you and gives credence to evil in the world.

I’m not saying, “It happened for a reason” is a bad phrase.  I’m saying the way people use the phrase is bullshit.

When someone is raped, it did happen for a reason.  And that reason is that someone else was cruel enough to rape that person.  Don’t blame supernatural forces, because whatever you believe, we all know that we have free will.  We are born with free will.  And everything that happens on this planet that is due to a person is due to free will.

It happened for a reason.  A horrible reason that can be prevented if we just work together.  Ultimate plans are based on our actions, and this is no test.  You are not being tested for fortitude or faith when another person with free will strips you of your power and does violence against you.

We create the reasons.  We are the force behind our actions.

And another thing, oh everything-happens-for-a-reason people!  I’m tired of hearing that phrase when natural disasters happen.  “God is punishing those people for something!  It’s their fault!”

That’s bullshit too.  God didn’t just decide to hate on everyone living on the coast.  And what kind of human decency are you showing?  Would you go up to your friend after their house burned down and say, “Well, it’s your own damn fault.  You’re a horrible fucking person”?  No, you would not!  No one deserves to be told they’re bad, especially after their livelihood is taken away from them.  Who are you to judge an entire population because a natural disaster happened?  How are you any better than them?  Just because you didn’t live next to the water doesn’t make you a fucking saint!

Anyway… *deep breath* I think the world would be a lot better off if we stopped judging each other and took responsibility for our world.  We live here with our free will, and have every ability to make it better, even in hard times.  So get up off your ass and help someone.

 

PS: Thank you, Nataliuh, for helping spark this blog!  I hope this is basically where your anger comes from!

Shout!

Coming in under the wire, it’s the Tuesday post!

I didn’t used to be a very opinionated person.  I spent most conversations sitting at the end of the couch, watching others while they discussed their feelings and argued about who was right.  I didn’t care who was right.  I just knew that whatever I was thinking wasn’t right.  The issues might have been too complex, too emotional, but either way I knew that what I wanted to say wasn’t going to go well.

Even now I hesitate before I speak my mind.  I wonder what others are thinking, how they’ll react, how I’ll backtrack if they react badly.  None of those options involve standing my ground.  I’m too frightened of hurting other people, or making them dislike me.  Even when a feminist topic comes up in conversation, I stay quiet!

“How do you feel about the Personhood amendment, Alyssa?”

“I don’t know.  I know it isn’t working out.”

Of course I know how I feel about it.  I could write a freaking thesis on how I feel about it and what it’s about.  But I don’t want to say.  I don’t want to end up having a controversial opinion.

This is one of my greatest faults.  My mouth is shut and I am losing opportunities to solve problems because I refuse to speak my mind.

Don’t be like me.  Don’t be afraid of yourself and your opinion, because that opinion could change the ideas of another person.  They could go on to change another person’s mind.  How are others to know how harmful the Personhood amendment is if we don’t tell them?  Why should they change their ideas about feminism if no one tells them what it’s really about?  I know you have opinions, and I  know they are strong opinions.  I know you mean to help the world in your own way, but you can’t do that if you don’t stand up and let others know what the hell you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.

Join me in removing the duct tape from our mouths.  Silence doesn’t cause the problem, but it makes it impossible to fix it.

Smile for Those Looking Up to You!

Hi, everybody!  I made it to the other side of my illness, so today I’m going to be positive.

And by positive I mean I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers.

As you all know, I’m a big fan of feminism, but I’m also one of those people who likes to point out the flaws in the movement.  I don’t like the way that we handle some situations.  We tend to get bogged down in our own mess.  And we especially forget about the positive aspects of feminism and how great it is for us.

So, when I couldn’t disagree with this, I decided that it was time for me to take the appropriate actions and perk up.

There are a lot of bad things in this world, and feminists have a lot of work to do.  But I refuse to see us beaten by our own sadness and anger.  We become our own worst enemies many times by believing that we’re just going to be destroyed.  I, for one, am not surprised when we lose a fight.  I expect it.  And that should make me angrier than anything else.  It should put more fire into me than hearing the opponents spewing hate at us.  Because if I’m giving up on my own movement, why should I expect better from them?

The odds may be against us, but we’re still making huge strides toward equality and self-esteem.  Photoshopping is being cut back in magazines, girls are being giving summer camps like Girls Rock! to help them learn to love themselves, and everyday people are fighting to make equal rights available to all.  More and more women are being put into places of power!  How are we not winning?

So, stop giving up before the battle is over.  It gets us nowhere.  And stop ignoring the light in our lives.  We have a vivid, wonderful community that is working for all the right reasons.  We’re friends, sisters and brothers, and you constantly uplift me to continue in the fight.  Feminists need to become positive role models who refuse to back down, and who climb every ladder to become better.  We need to show the world that we aren’t hate mongers who just lost their joy in life.  I love my life, and I know a lot of feminists who are happy in their lives too.  Lets prove once again that we can be whoever we want to be, and accomplish what needs to be done.

I have some sort of stomach virus today, so please forgive me if my writing gets questionable.

I got 93 views yesterday!  A new record!

It’s Tuesday!  I’m writing something!

I have 31 followers!  Woo!  I love you all!

I gotta lay down now.

The Gender Riddle

A father and son are in a car accident.  The father dies instantly, but the son is taken to a hospital.  The doctor comes in and says, “I can’t operate on this boy.”

“Why?” asks the nurse

“Because he’s my son.”

How is this possible?

 

I couldn’t answer this riddle when I was younger.  The fact that it’s a riddle means that we would have to break past our preconceived notions to solve it.  When we hear the word “doctor”, we are to immediately assume that it is a man, because that is predominantly a man’s field.

And even though when I was a child I used my tea tray as an operating table for my teddy bears, I still couldn’t answer the riddle.  And I realize now why that is.  I knew it was okay to pretend to be a doctor, but I also knew that I would never be one.  In fact, there was no way for me to be a doctor, because that was a man’s job.  I was never convinced otherwise.

I always wanted to be a boy for these sorts of reasons.  It was never that I didn’t feel right in my body; it was that I wanted the freedom of choice that boys had.  I hated being handed a softball instead of a baseball.  I despised the high heels of my barbie dolls.  Where were my choices?  Where was Barbie’s choice to wear some frigging jeans?  Why were the girls in the Babysitter’s Club so constantly nice and all knowing?  Didn’t they get angry and kick someone?

Even now, I don’t entirely relate to girls who are girls to the hilt.  I’m not upset with them for it; I just don’t understand.  I want to do boy things in predominantly boy settings.  I want to LARP, play Dungeons and Dragons and video games, and I always want listen to raunchy jokes.  I enjoy doing these activities everyday!  (And I cannot wait to start playing Warhammer 40K.  Necrons!)

And yet, the choice that I made, the same choice that many boys made, has created a situation where I’m told that I’m just looking for attention.  That I’m just pretending to like these activities so that boys will like me.

Screw that.  I want my decisions to be based on the same criteria as any male.  Sure, I’m a huge nerd.  But I’m proud to be a huge nerd, and I shouldn’t have to justify that!  Reach outside your preconceived notions.  Break the stereotypes of my gender.  Solve the riddle.

 

Stop Using the Enemy’s Tools

Well, this has been bugging me for awhile, and I’m not sure if I’m going to offend someone.  Either way, I have to get it off my chest.  I’m never pleased when rape culture crops up.  I was furious about what Daniel Tosh said, and Justin Bieber’s comments made me grimace.

Although, I have to agree with this woman.  Justin, I think, was fourteen when he said this, and I don’t think it’s right to criticize a boy who’s probably just repeating what his parents said.

But that isn’t what this post is about.  It’s about how people react to these comments.  We want to stop perpetuating rape culture, and yet when someone is angry about a comment made, they hope that the person making the comment gets raped themselves.

How is this fixing the problem?  How are we helping the situation when we hope the worst on another human being because they offended us?  No one, and let me make myself absolutely clear, no one deserves to be raped.  If we want to stop rape from happening, then we have to stop using it as a weapon.  Fire does not, in fact, fight fire; it makes it worse.  And those of us offended should be the last to stoop to the level of hoping rape on another person.  If the people who want to stop rape culture are the ones perpetuating it, then we have no chance of eliminating it.

So, I’m pleading with you.  The next time you are upset with someone for saying horrible things, don’t use the same words.  We have a plethora of other words to use to fight against cruel comments.  I want this world to be better, and I know we dream of a world where rape doesn’t even come up, so take the first step, and don’t use the enemy’s tools.

I Have No Uniform for my Sexuality

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way that I present myself to the world.  I’ve never been conservative in my dress, but I’ve always made sure that it had nothing to do with just being blatantly sexual.  Some of my clothes choices might be considered sexual by some people, but I’m not sure how they can justify their judgements.  I wear clothes because I love the way that I look!  My personality is on my sleeve, so to speak.

Anyway, this quote angered me.  What is a “whore uniform”?  A little ankle, as in the old days?  A calf, a knee, a wrist, an elbow?  Not having these body parts covered used to be considered scandalous, and it took us a long time to allow ourselves and others to dress the way they wanted.  Unless we want to go back to being entirely covered, there is no justification in calling what someone wears a “whore uniform”, and there is certainly no reason to change how you treat them based on what they wear.

If I wear a tie, does that mean that I’m imitating a man?  Should people come up to me and address me as “sir”?  No, because that would be ridiculous.  I think we are putting too much emphasis on what clothes are relegated to.  Maybe we’re wearing shorts and skirts because it’s damn hot outside.  I know I am.  I also love twirling in my skirts.  It’s fun to dance, to mix and match, to be bright and colorful.  My mind isn’t on whether or not I’m wearing a “uniform” when I put on my clothes.  There is no woman who has a uniform that forces her into a single mindset or a character trait.

PS:  No one should be treated like a whore.  That’s just wrong.

 

Stay Passionate, Feminists!

Admittedly, I’ve only called myself a feminist since the fall of 2011, but I’ve quickly become desensitized to America’s anti-women rhetoric.  I suppose it doesn’t take long to lose faith in the system you were brought up in, especially when you immerse yourself in it.  Which is why when Rush Limbaugh said recently that women voting was the point things started going downhill, I simply shrugged it off and went about my day.  Of course he would say that.  Of course Ann Coulter said it first.  I don’t have it in me to be angry at every comment made by misogynists.

But then I started to reconsider my path in feminism.  This kind of passivity is the reason that America has moved further and further away from equality.  We allow comments like this to slide because we’ve heard them time and again.  But if these comments aren’t stamped out each time we hear them, we give the wrong people the opportunity to grow in their hatred, and bring other people to their point of view.  It may not be the first time someone has degraded women’s sensibilities, but we should be concerned every time.  Rush Limbaugh is so close to losing his base.  His show is being dropped in certain areas, and many sponsors are afraid to funnel money to his time slot.  Women have the same right to capitalism as men, and we can use it to our advantage.  We can make advertisers consider who they are supporting, even passively, and companies will change their minds.  They will realize that they are giving money to the wrong kind of voices, and simultaneously give money to positive voices that will make real change in this world.

So take advantage of every opportunity you have to be passionate.  Even if you only have the chance to change one idea, stick with it, because change is happening everyday, and we need to make sure it’s in our favor.

What Gender are You?

Gender has always been a confusing topic for me.  It’s not so much that one could be male or female.  I understand the biological forces behind being treated a certain gender.  It’s when someone isn’t mentally that gender.  I want to use the right words, treat them the right way, relate to them in the way they want to be related to.  The terms confuse me the most, and I’m not afraid of admitting that sometimes I just don’t get it.  So, for those who are confused with me, allow me to learn along with you.

Transgender:  Okay, so this is the first word I learned about not identifying with one’s original gender.  You feel you are the other gender, and are trapped inside your body.  It has to be a frightening experience.  Why can’t people understand that we don’t have to fit into certain gender roles?  And I know a lot of the times it isn’t just that.  It’s… feeling like your skin doesn’t fit.  Like someone stole the body you were meant to have, and the only way to get it is through expensive surgery.  It has to suck.

This has nothing to do with sex.  If a women feels she should have been a man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is attracted to other women.

Transgender according to the internet (Wikipedia, if that’s okay with you guys):

  • “Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these.”[2]
  • “People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves.”[3]
  • “Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth.”[4]

Cisgender:  I don’t know.  I really don’t.  I’ve tried to understand, and I wish someone could explain it to me.  As far as I know, it’s being satisfied with the gender that you were assigned at birth and all the baggage that comes with it.  Are you the epitome of the girly girl and the manly man?  Is it being irritated with being slightly like the other gender?  I know I’m not cisgender, because I love being a boyish girl, even if sometimes I also like to be girly.

Cisgender according to the internet (Wiktionary!):

  1. (LGBT, of a person) Identifying with or experiencing a gender the same as one’s biological sex or that is affirmed by society, e.g. being both male-gendered & male-sexed.

Pangender/Bigender: This I hadn’t heard of until tonight.  The general idea is that you don’t identify as either male or female, but a conglomeration of both.  I like the idea behind it.  I don’t see why we have to conform to gender roles, or even need to feel male or female on any particular day.  Just be and let be!

Pangender/Bigender according to the internet (Wikipedia): a term used to describe people who feel that they cannot be labeled as male or female in gender. As such it has a great deal of overlap with genderqueer. Pangender people feel that they do not fit into binary genders, instead identifying as mixed gender (both male and female) or as a third gender.

Third gender: This is clearly a recognized gender in other areas of the world.  The western world is rather limited in its view of gender, and it’s probably part of the reason that I can’t understand other genders.  I think maybe this is about the same as pangender.  I know it doesn’t have anything to do with being a hermaphrodite.

Third gender according to the internet (Wikipedia): The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized (by their will or by social consensus) as neither man nor woman, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders.

Androgynous: As I understand it, being androgynous is having both female and male characteristics.  It’s difficult to know if they are male and female, especially when they dress in a way that doesn’t define their gender, such as in dresses.  I also know there is a lot of discrimination that comes from this, because you are constantly degraded for not fitting into one form.  Of course, that could happen with any gender type, but I’ve seen it happen with this.  I think that’s ridiculous.  Why do we always have to fit into forms and roles?

I know.  I’ve said it several times.  I don’t mean to repeat myself, but it is bothering me that we don’t distinguish in our culture.

Androgynous according to the internet (Bing dictionary):

blending masculine and feminine: neither male nor female in appearance but having both conventional masculine and feminine traits and giving an impression of ambiguous sexual identity

“androgynous looks”
physiology hermaphrodite: having both male and female physical characteristics
Well, anyway, I hope I haven’t insulted anybody.  I really just want to understand.  I hate when I’m insensitive to someone anytime, but especially out of ignorance.  Discrimination should be diminished, and we have to start by learning the terms.
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