Love

“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

Stress

Taking over my mind, body, soul is stress. I don’t have to let it but yet there it is an I have yet to do something to change this fact.
I’m back in school after completing my bachelors 4 years ago. I’m getting certified in Digital Graphic Design, which means I’m learning the Adobe programs and a crapload of nonsense, I mean, information about computers.
Eventually I’d like to design websites.. or maybe my direction will change.
Right now all I can think about is all this stress in my neck and lower back. It’s finals week and I’m at work right now. I have A LOT to do and I’m avoiding it at the moment.

I want to get inspired.
I want to do things and be around people that make me feel good.
I want to regenerate my life and I’m excited for a new leaf to turn once I finish my schooling in July 2012.
Hopefully I will be able to move to a city (Portland, San Francisco?) so I can feel like I’m more alive. This whole small town thang is crampin’ my style. I love Ashland, I love the beauty, but there is beauty everywhere and I will find it.

So stress.
It is here and it will be here, but how I manage it must change and fast.

I’m thinking after finals I will take Frankie (my dad’s lil Pug) on some long walks through Lithia Park. I will cook some delicious food. Drink a lot of tea. Go to the gym with lady friends. Do some yoga. Watch some Dexter. And just relax for while.

Feminist vinyl decals for sale – made by moi :)

Hey y’all. I made these HOT PINK radical feminist/love and empowerment (the female symbol with a rise-up fist and a heart) vinyl decal stickers and they’re waiting to be shipped out to you!!

radical feminism and love


They go onto any flat surface (windows, furniture, etc) and dont leave a gooey residue.

Check ’em out on my shop on etsy.com!!

Miss Mary Black’s Masterpiece: GRAWR!!!

My good friend Mary Black recently graduated from Graphic Design school in Prague, Czech Republic. She created this RAD feminist magazine called GRAWR and I LOVE it! You can view the magazine here: http://grawrmagazine.blogspot.com/

I wrote an article for the magazine, along with three other self-proclaimed feminists, we all wrote about what it’s like to be a feminist in our country (mine being the USA). Here’s a copy of my article:

American Feminists Under Attack

I am an American. I am a feminist. I am and must consciously choose to be a strong woman. Some may call me a bitch or a slut. I have reclaimed these words to empower myself, to give myself an identity formed by my life experiences. On the same token, these words can be turned and used against me as a weapon in an instant flash.
BITCH.
She is strong, opinionated, independent and powerful. She can have what she wants. She manifests and creates her own future and her world. Men are intimidated by her goddess powers. She stands up for herself and her beliefs. She refuses to be walked all over.
SLUT.
She likes to have sex and isn’t ashamed by this fact. For centuries women’s sexuality has been repressed. Now we have more power over our bodies and have the freedom to sexually liberate ourselves if we so choose. We possess amazing sexual energy, men can’t resist our magnetic charms.

When these words are used to hurt us, they carry negative connotations that we then may internalize to be true. If I choose to be frank with my thoughts, and someone doesn’t like how assertive I’m being, they call me a bitch. If I choose to have more than one lover or I act confidently and flirtatious then I’m a slut.

In the 1970s women in the U.S. started to take back the power, along with people of color, homosexuals, and many other groups of otherwise oppressed people. As a girl growing up on the Westcoast of the U.S. in the 1990s, I was brought up to believe I could have everything a man can. However, this doesn’t mean that I get treated the same way that men do. I experience sexism in my daily life in many different ways.

In this society, I get called a bitch when I act tough (like a “man”) or a slut when I am sexually open. On the flip-side, a man will be commended for this same behavior. He is a “real” man for being strong and confident, he is a pimp or a stud for getting laid often. I don’t like the fact that I have to fight to convince people in this country that it’s okay for women to behave this way. I hope that someday women and men will truly be treated as equals, instead of this false sense of equality that America claims to possess. I love this country, but I hate sexism, and until I can act in the same behavior as a man and be treated the same as him, I will not be satisfied. That is why I’m a feminist in this country, because I believe that we must keep educating and fighting for justice for all.

Rasta Trent: Epitome of Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Appropriation: The unhealthy aspect of multiculti, where a more powerful culture raids a less powerful neighboring culture … and appropriates aspects of that culture without proper acknowledgment of the “home culture” or understanding the cultural context from which these aspects spring. Examples: yoga, Buddhism, hip hop and ebonics-derived slang, Asian and Tribal tattoos, etc.

To many, the term implies that culture can actually be “stolen” through cultural diffusion.

So this brings us toRasta Trent“, an amazing audiovisual clip from Saturday Night Live. Trent is a white boy from the suburbs, going to University, singing and posing as a Rastafarian. It is satire, yet the irony of it is that the cultural appropriation of a black culture by white people is so extremely prevalent and normalized in this society.

Here we have Trent, an all-American, blue-eyed, blonde-haired white kid, attempting to act like he’s a black Rastafarian from Jamaica.

It hits the spot for me, I can laugh at it because it is absolutely ridiculous. It is the epitome of offensive theft of an oppressed culture. Exposing how white boys want to be cool by acting like they belong to or can understand what it’s like to be apart of a black culture. All I see is blonde dreads, complete white/middle class privilege, and a total lack of awareness. The best part is when Rasta Trent is singing and he walks by a group of black Rastafarians, and suddenly gets really nervous and mumbles his words, then picks up again once he’s passed them. Talk about white guilt to bring you some self-awareness. Oh and WTF is Nayabingi!?!?

Watch the video of Ras Trent!!!

Check Yo’ Male Privilege

I love this.

It’s a male privilege checklist for heteronormative males (straight men) but has valid points for all. The checklist is to bring awareness to men, how sexist behavior can freak out the women that they are attempting to hit on, and how they can act respectfully instead of  acting like a total creeper.

I found this on a livejournal post I came across on the web.

For Teh Menz
An unfortunate aspect of the patriarchy is that men are brought up to view sexual harassment as natural and acceptable. Well, it’s not. And female feminists know and male feminists know it. But…male feminists may need some help. Just what does “Check your male privilege!” mean? After all, an unfortunate aspect of privilege is that the privileged are blind to it.

A Feminist Man’s Guide To Interacting With Women in Public

You – general you – are in a public sphere. You spot a women you view as attractive.

Male Privilege Check #1 – The Blatantly Unacceptable: Do not holler. Do not catcall nor honk. Do not gawk or leer and stare. It’s creepy and unnerving. Be discrete. When speaking to her, look her in the eyes. No, not the breasts. The eyes! The eyes!

Male Privilege Check #2 – Your Sense of Entitlement: There are things that you need to be considering internally. Is she already in a monogamous relationship with someone? Does she even like men? Is she looking to have someone flirt with her?

Male Privilege Check #3 – Be Aware of Your Environment: Is it twilight? Night? Are you in the city? The suburbs? Was there any kind of gendered crime committed in the area recently? Is she with friends? Alone?

Male Privilege Check #4 – Greetings: Begin with a “Hello!” or “Hi!” Introduce yourself. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” and “I like your shirt.” are acceptable comments. “Nice tits!” is not.

Male Privilege Check #5 – Her Reaction: Be particularly aware of how she responds. Does she smile nervously? Begin looking around to see if there are other people in the vicinity? Start mentally plotting her escape? Glare at you? Curse you out? Reach for her cell phone? Her can of mace? A big stick?

Male Privilege Check #6 – Exit Strategy: If she exhibits any of the above, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Do not attempt to guilt her into continuing the conversation. Women are socialized not to create a scene. Do not call her a “bitch”, “slut”, nor “whore”. Do not chase after her. Do not laugh. Politely smile, wish her a nice day, and LEAVE.

Male Privilege Check #7 – Male Guilt: Most importantly, keep in mind what is important. You may be a perfectly decent guy, a feminist, and intended no harm. She may curse you out or go home and rant about you to friends. Deal with it. It is more important for her to be as non-threatened as possible than for her to understand that you have good intentions. It’s not about you. Women are also socialized to give you the benefit of the doubt. There’s no need to plead your case.

All snark is snark between friends and fellow feminists. Hope this helps someone.

Fat America & Sizism

Here in America, we are obsessed with looks and beauty. In America, being fat is normal. People in other countries stereotype Americans as fat and unhealthy (for a good reason). Nearly 34 percent of American adults are obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago.

Even though one third of American adults are considered to be fat, we still are a heavily sizist country, which in turn fuels the fire to a hurtful cycle of oppression based on size. Not to mention this prevalent sizism aids in the rapidly increasing amount of people (mostly young women) with eating disorders.

In the United States:

7 million girls and women struggle with eating disorders.
1 million boys and men struggle with eating disorders.


Overweight people are targets of hatred and discrimination. Obese women are subjected to more social pressure than obese men. Hatred and disrespect towards fat people are seen in multiple places, including media outlets, where fat people are often ridiculed. Discrimination comes in the form of lack of equal accessibility to transportation and employment. Anti-fat stigma and aggressive diet promotion have led to an increase in psychological and physiological problems among fat people. and or held up as objects of pity.

An article in U.S. Today. Sizism is as prevalent as racism:

Weight discrimination, especially against women, is increasing in U.S. society and is almost as common as racial discrimination, two studies suggest.

Reported discrimination based on weight has increased 66% in the past decade, up from about 7% to 12% of U.S. adults, says one study, in the journal Obesity. The other study, in the International Journal of Obesity, says such discrimination is common in both institutional and interpersonal situations — and in some cases is even more prevalent than rates of discrimination based on gender and race. (About 17% of men and 9% of women reported race discrimination.)

Among severely obese people, about 28% of men and 45% of women said they have experienced discrimination because of their weight.

The fat acceptance movement, also known as the size acceptance movement, fat liberation movement or fat power, is a grassroots effort to change societal attitudes towards fat people.

http://fatchicksrule.blogs.com/

http://www.bfdblog.com/

Sell Sell Sell! Advertising sells us concepts of who we should be and how we should look.

“Killing us softly” is a documentary talking about the horrific sexual objectification and unrealistic beauty standards that can be viewed in media advertisements everywhere. Images of women being tied up, silenced, beaten. Images of women who are sickly thin. It makes me think about all of the young women who are suffering from eating disorders, and that these advertisements are playing a role to encourage this sort of behavior. All of the ads degrading women. Simplifying us down to an ass and pair of tits. Mindless creatures to be looked upon but never heard. This is truly infuriating.

Yeah, it’s a bit dated but still drives in a good point.

A radical feminist view – how patriarchy hurts us

Radical feminism is a philosophy emphasizing the patriarchal roots of inequality between men and women, or, more specifically, social dominance of women by men. Radical feminism views patriarchy as dividing rights, privileges and power primarily by gender, and as a result oppressing women and privileging men.

Radical feminists tend to be more militant in their approach (radical as “getting to the root”). Radical feminism opposes existing political and social organization in general because it is inherently tied to patriarchy. Thus, radical feminists tend to be skeptical of political action within the current system, and instead support cultural change that undermines patriarchy and associated hierarchical structures.

Radical feminism opposes patriarchy, not men. To equate radical feminism to man-hating is to assume that patriarchy and men are inseparable, philosophically and politically.

Patriarchy is a social system in which the father or eldest male is head of the household, having authority over women and children. Patriarchy also refers to a system of government by males, and to the dominance of men in social or cultural systems. It may also include title being traced through the male line.

Patriarchy is a society where women are dominated by men.

I like to split it into three categories:

Male Domination: Men run the show. They have hierarchical power (and privileges) over women institutionally, socially and on an individual basis. Sexism, in this day, is not gone by any means.

Male Identification: Acting out a gender role as a typical “man”. Masculinity is often viewed as better than or more powerful than femininity. Women are subjugated and therefore identifying as a man, and acting out rigid male gender roles is contributing to patriarchy.

Male-centricity: Society is centered around male needs. It’s all about pleasing men, becoming what they find to be desirable. You can see this just by looking at any Women’s magazine! : “What do men find sexy?” “How to snag your man.” etc. I believe that many women contribute greatly to patriarchy by being very male-centric and also by believing that men should dominate and that sexism is natural or normal. When we see images in the media of how women “should look” according to male desire, those of us who collude with patriarchal ideals will never achieve these unrealistic ideals of female beauty.

Patriarchal relations can be viewed in many different facets: sexuality, the household, male-on-female violence, paid employment, cultural institutions, and the state. These are not mutually exclusive sites of exploitation: historically, the state has tolerated male-on-female violence within the household, for example.

Patriarchy?! Like misogyny and stuff…??

Male domination is the end of female liberation!

So you stumbled upon my blog where I take an in-your-face approach to a wide variety of subjects.  I am prepared to bitch and share the love about my ideas on patriarchy, feminism, beauty ideals, relational/communication issues, sex in the media, ethical sluttery/bitchiness, queer and trans issues, monogamy/polyamory, racism in this society and others, classism and capitalism, consensual sex, sizism and fat-phobia, pornography, sexism, sexual assault, domestic violence and more!

I’m a self-proclaimed feminist. A bitch [in a good way]. I work at a domestic violence shelter. I enjoy making art out of the everyday. My heart is in activism. I believe in DIY culture. I like learning new things. I am anti-oppression. I’m an American Jew with a dream of helping people and promoting good messages. I want to embrace any opportunity to inspire others or become inspired by someone/something.

I love bicycles, punk rock shows, thrift shops, road trips and rainbows. And the sushi train always puts a smile on my face. 🙂

I believe that the personal is political. So I write about politics or “issues” from a personal standpoint. From experience. It’s better to speak for yourself and it’s less dry than say a research paper. This does not mean I wont be taking material from other sources or people. It’s important to engage in dialogue with many people instead of a more limited spectrum of thoughts. I like hearing what other people have to say and I welcome any ideas, criticisms, comments or questions.

Love is in you. Love is in the resistance. Fight the power.