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By cordovan sofa on Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children

I also call bull on the "safety" justification. Letter writer never said it was unsafe; just annoying to her personally. I think we justify a lot of oppression by convincing ourselves we are doing it for the protection of the person we're restricting. I think of the number of times, as a woman, I have been told I should follow some kind of curfew or dress code "for my own safety," at times when my safety was not in question but someone else's prudery was. It's great to want to protect other people, but I have to give it the side eye when it's conveniently self-serving, and asks the supposedly protected person to give something up (or take something on) instead of the self-appointed protector.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm 1

By Don'tcallmeJenny on 26 Abortion Stories

@H.E. Ladypants I respectfully disagree. Abortion is not always a "very serious decision" and as mollpants pointed out when pro-choicers talk about it in only those terms it actually does damage us. I've seen people who say that abortion is OK as long as the woman regrets it afterwards or that will not believe me no matter how many times I tell them that I do not regret my abortion, was not emotional or upset at the time and had zero qualms ever.

Part of the process of de-stigmatizing the conversation around abortions involves acknowledging that for some women abortion is not this big giant decision that they will always sort of regret or that will make them sad or emotional or whatever. I appreciate that there are women who are not like this; but it pisses me off that a lot of people vilify those of us who don't feel sad or regretful.

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm 5

By WorldofSass on bell hooks on Sheryl Sandberg's "Faux Feminism"

Sweet baby deity (where my Carolyn Hax fans at?) this is tiresome. I'll never stop calling myself a feminist, but it's this kind of schoolyard-fight prose -- aggressively dismissive, broadly generalized, not at all sisterly or generous -- that makes me want to opt out of feminist discourse entirely. (Though not so much as to prevent me from commenting here, of course.) "Sandberg’s definition of feminism begins and ends with the notion that it’s all about gender equality within the existing social system. From this perspective, the structures of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy need not be challenged." Uh, no, that's not what Sandberg's definition of feminism is...at all. That's just the point A Hooks needed to get to your point B, which is all she's interested in talking about anyway -- her own, preexisting ideas.

Sandberg's copious research -- taken from actual scientific studies rather than feminist theorists, which Hooks complains about -- forces her to acknowledge that certain gender biases aren't going away anytime soon, such as the fact that both men and women respond negatively to a woman who doesn't "act nice." What she does with that information, which is to basically tell readers, 'Sorry, that's the research, so female workers still kind of need to play nice until they get enough power to not have to,' is the opposite of what Hooks seems to predicate her entire argument on. I'm not saying I agreed with everything in Lean In or that Sandberg doesn't deserve some criticism, but this is just beyond the pale. This is not constructive. Maybe I'm not understanding Hooks' brilliance because I'm unworthy of calling myself a real feminist, but seriously, who enjoys this?? Who out there gets anything from the spectacle of prominent feminists bitch-slapping each other in an endless cycle? Who comes away feeling inspired or proactive from this?

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 11:20 am 8

By cee on Hairpin Travel Serial, Part Five: Real City

@Nicole Cliffe they won't let me use the time machine anymore, not since the Incident :(

Did you know there has been of late a concerted business effort to rebrand the holborn/bloomsbury area as "midtown"? it's so maddening, especially when there is already a perfectly adequate traditional name for it, what's wrong with "St Giles Cripplegate" anyway.

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 4:33 am 1

By aardvark on Nice to Meet You, Internet

Steve: There are times I worry about the way you see women.
Jeff: I see women as people in their own right.
Patrick: In many ways, they are.

(I'm into oversleeping, computers, fancy blazers, and apparently early 00s British sitcoms as this is the second Coupling reference I've made today)

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 12:31 am 5

By glitterary on Behind the Scenes at Camp Gyno, the "Best Tampon Ad in the History of the World"

@Llllauren When I was 11, I got asked to be on the CD to go with an English language textbook (I think they picked me because I had an English accent--there was an American girl there too, and an Australian boy and another English one). I was super excited and convinced it would make me famous (I was not a bright child). Then, the morning of the recording, the floodgates opened. I always get really bad cramps, but the very first ones were completely agonising. And my mum only used tampons, so she had to go next door to ask our neighbour if she had any pads, which she did, but they were huge--I suspect they were incontinence pads. And I had to go to this recording, so my mum gave me some aspirin (which did NOTHING--it's taken me fifteen years to discover the only thing that puts a dent in cramps for me is naproxen) and I spent most of the day faint, bleeding, aching and miserable on the floor of a recording studio with what felt like a pillow stuffed in my knickers, with sound techs occasionally prodding me and making me sing "The Wheels on the Bus".

Bonus lols: The textbook/CD was called "Let's Do It!" and when I listened to it later they'd edited me out of the whole thing.

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 5:42 am 3

By MCakes on "Don’t worry, it’s no 'Sex and the City,' they say. As if that were a good thing."

I was such a fan of the first season of this show, this flawed, fun and redic character showed how fun it could be to be single, and the other experiences out there besides marriage babies suburbs. But what really sold me on the show was the positive representation of female friendship that was less catty and backstabbing and more brunches and support and laughter. This is really what its like to have a close group of girlfriends and I miss seeing that on TV so much.

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm 4

By leonstj on The Best Time I Accidentally Attended a Teenage Orgy

Oh man I expected a funny joke or weird pun or something and decided to click through at work, and was surprised to find this. This is really fantastic, and kept getting better and better as it went.

(Although the part with the internet radio at the end made me feel a little weird, because at first I was like "wait, there's no mathematical way people are both young enough to have lost their virginity to streaming music & old enough to reflect on it, then realized that that's precisely the kind of thing that makes me older than I think I am.)

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm 7

By EpWs on Up Go the Feet

@fondue with cheddar I think they call that setup (longer lunch, shorter hours, more vacation) "France"

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm 3

By burner on What Are the Consequences of Being Turned Away?

I had an abortion when I was 18. I got pregnant in the summer I graduated from high school, but my hometown was so remote and rural that I had no access to a clinic without telling my parents what was up (they would have been supportive but I was desperate to protect my standing as a Good Smart Kid). I had to wait until I moved to college. The first weekend I lived in the dorm I gathered *all* of my cash and I was still $200 short so I visited the kid on the first floor who was rumored to sell weed. I asked him for a loan and he gave it to me, no questions asked. Then, alone, I took my first taxi to a clinic, was escorted in past the protestors and their signs, and endured an ultrasound during which the nurse pointed out the heartbeat. That forced encounter was agonizing but it didn't change the reality of my situtation; it just made me feel like a selfish fuckup. After the procedure I took another taxi back to campus and I didn't know what else to do so I went to Calculus. No one knew apart from my long-distance boyfriend. I was miserable and lonesome and so, so, so relieved.

Without the black market campus economy and the kindness of that kid, I would have been turned away, too.

I am a grown ass feminist and I still keep my abortion secret from most of the people in my life. I don't believe abortion is anything about which anyone should feel ashamed, ever. But I still don't want my family to know that I got one, and I made an anon account just to tell the story here (the internet's most supportive sleepover!). This secrecy is a conflict between my principles and my behavior that makes me feel cowardly- especially because I do not regret ending that pregnancy, and I love the life that I've built which would not have been possible if I'd had a kid at that age. So, y'know, sigh.

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 11:20 am 35