Being an aunt is the best birth control

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Yes I’m gonna talk about kids. Mostly about how I’m not gonna have kids until I’m at least thirty. Why? Because I’m an aunt. I have to beautiful nieces and an adorable nephew whom I adore, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve put me off even entertaining the idea of having kids for a long time.

How? Well obviously you’ve never met any small children.

First, there’s the small detail of how for the first couple years of their lives (give or take a year), they poop in their pants. And guess who the responsibility of cleaning that up falls to when their parents aren’t around? Yep, their auntie and uncle. I’ve seen enough poop (in every color of the rainbow, mind you) to last three lifetimes.

Then there’s the fact that kids do not shut up. Again, I love my brother’s children dearly, but I find myself dreaming of a place I can go to that is just silence. I hated screaming children even when I was a screaming child myself, and adding 20 years to my life has only made that hatred more pronounced. Little high pitched peals of laughter aren’t much better either.

Another detail I’ve yet to mention is that their parents yell as much as they do. It doesn’t matter who their yelling at and why either. They yell at their oldest for smearing peanut butter on the walls, they’ll yell at the middle child for copying her sister’s peanut butter art, and they’ll at the youngest because he just figured out how to get out of his high chair (and he’s so proud he won’t stop showing them).  They’ll yell at each other for various reasons, mostly about the kids. But still, they yell.

Of course there’s the good as well. The parts of the kids that make me want to have some of my own. There’s the way they say good morning to me no matter how late in the day I come out of my room. There’s them asking me to play a game with them, and how happy they are when I say yes. There’s how much I’m learning from them, and how much they’re learning from me. And the most important one of all, that my middle niece is like my twin, she even has my eyebrows.

So yes I’m planning on having children of my own someday, I love children, and they respond well to me. But that “Someday” is years from now.

 

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#YesAllWomen

This is all so true. When I saw the thing about the keys I didn’t know whether to smile with recognition or shake my head.

in transit

#YesAllWomen

Because all women have walked to their car in the dark, keys clutched tight in hand, one poking out between two fingers.

Because when I go out to bars or clubs, I have to think about whether what I’m wearing is too suggestive, instead of putting on whatever I please.

Because I feel the need to apologize when I’m not wearing makeup or my hair hasn’t been washed, or when I’m generally looking anything other than flawless.

Because there was nothing I could do about the man who touched me inappropriately in the middle of Gillette Stadium as I waited for my then-boyfriend to come out of the bathroom. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STADIUM.

Because there was also nothing I could do when a man touched me inappropriately in the middle of a crowded street, his arm around his girlfriend. Because retaliating in the way I wanted to…

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Feminism and men’s rights

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I recently read an article which contained only one paragraph about feminism, yes only one. I’m not criticizing the article for that fact, because it wasn’t about feminists, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the comment section.

Yes, I know the old saying (well as old as it can be in this internet age) “Don’t read the comments” But on this particular website I always read the comments. Mostly because a lot of them, if not most, can be rather intelligent and funny. Of course if that was the case for this particular article, I wouldn’t be typing this right now.

Most of the comments were from angry MRAs (Men’s rights Activists). Now I  fully agree with a lot of the issues these men bring up. Mainly the way the family court system gives a lot of loving and good fathers the short end of the stick when it comes to custody. But this particular argument was about rape.

Rape, needless to say, is a very touchy subject. Men and women are both victims of rape, this is a fact I cannot deny. But I also cannot deny the fact that women are taught to actively avoid rape.

As a young teen, I sat in my middle school gym with my other female classmates, and we were taught ways to avoid rape. We were told to always travel in groups, to wear clothes that were harder to remove by force, and to not kick a man in the crotch (this would only anger him) but to go for the eyes. I think it’s safe to say that the boys were not taught this information. But they also aren’t taught healthy attitudes about sex.

In our society we teach men that sex is a prize to be won. That it’s something you can get out of a woman if you are nice enough to her or give her enough things. As a man, if you’re not having sex, you’re losing. What about that makes people think that men won’t use sex as a power play, or that some of them, if self deluded enough, won’t go after it at all costs?

How is putting sex on a pedestal for men any different than making it something to fear for women?

We teach our boys that no means no, while at the same time telling girls that being assertive isn’t “ladylike”. We teach men that skirts and dresses mean “easy access”, and encourage women to wear them, then scold those same women for wearing “skimpy” clothes after they are raped. We imply that all men think about is sex, and that they can’t control themselves around a skirt and a pair of long legs.

If you deny that this is true, then you didn’t grow up in the same society I did.

Because I grew up in a society which thinks that women are something to be objectified while simultaneously scolding women who are sexually open. A society which paints men with bulging muscles as the ideal, and covers its mouth in shock when athletes are discovered using steroids.

Yes there are “Faminazis” and misogynists out there. but yelling at them and not taking action doesn’t solve the problems that created them in the first place. It’s treating the symptom and not the disease. We need to address the problems themselves.

And yes, we need to prepare for the consequences, because the people who are deluded into believing that sexism isn’t a problem for both sexes and want the world to stay as it is will fight back. These people don’t want change, because they directly benefit from everything staying the same. The only way for anyone to change the world is to realize that sometimes, they want the same thing that their “opponents” do. They’re just not listening.

 

Sacramento Pride

I will be volunteering at Sacramento Pride on Saturday, June 14th. This will be my third time attending and second time volunteering. It’s always a great time. There are vendors, food trucks, a dance floor, and a bar.There will also be tons of entertainment. I’ll be updateing in the coming weeks with more info as it comes. 

The festival is located at the Capital Mall in downtown Sacramento, and the parade starts at 11:00. The parade route starts on 3rd and N and ends on 10th and N.

i had a boy

This is heartbreaking.

C is for Crocodile

Today, as I engaged in the otherwise mundane chore of putting away clean dishes, I discovered in a drawer containing lids and other plastic items one of those landmines I have talked about: sitting in the back of the drawer was a sippy-topped water bottle. It was something Jodi had gotten for Caemon in his last days because his throat was hurting, and the only thing that soothed it was his orange tea. We got him the bottle so that he could keep the tea in his bed. He woke up a lot in the night in discomfort, so he would take little sips all night, declaring after so many of them, “Mmm. That’s good. That feels good on my throat.” He was so grateful for this, a comfort from his previous life, the life before leukemia.

I have obviously come across this bottle before, but today, I was organizing the…

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Women are women, but men are people

Of Means and Ends

photo via businessweek.com photo via businessweek.com

“I am not sure it’s wise. You want a ticket that represents men and women.”

Who said that about running two women on a presidential ticket? Mitt Romney? Mitch McConnell?

Oddly enough, it was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of two Democratic female senators from California. Feinstein didn’t explain if she felt like women had been unrepresented by almost every major party presidential ticket in history, but Ann Friedman nails the core issue:

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Dress Coded: An Education on (unnecessary) Sexualization

Sophieologie

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When one Illinois middle school cluelessly decided to ban leggings & yoga pants because they were “distracting to the boys”, they probably didn’t have any idea it would be the catalyst to a national conversation about dress codes in school.

I mean, dress codes are like, so un-controversial. Until now.

Now, all sorts of interesting stories are surfacing. Girls wearing the same regulation gym outfits, but the curvier ones are getting dress-coded. Tall girls getting dress-coded for short garments, even though they’re finger-tip length, while short girls seem to not draw the same leg-bearing ire. One girl getting sent home from prom for wearing pants. Another girl was sent home from her homeschool prom because male chaperons said her dress was “causing impure thoughts”…for the teenage boys, of course.

So… Many interesting stories indeed.

The leggings ban irked me immediately for two reasons. The first…

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Anxiety

I’m gonna try something different today, so bear with me. This is a poem I’m calling Anxiety. I didn’t write this before today, every word is coming from my state of mind at this moment. Here goes.

I feel like I’m falling,
I have to remember to take a breath,
I tell myself “breathe in”
I force the breath out.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was dying.
It’s a struggle to have rational thought.
“Breathe in”

My head is tight,
My heart is heavy,
My hands tingle and tremble
I Force the breath out

I’m sweating now,
My hands are clammy,
I feel parched
“Breathe in”

I isolate myself so no one worries,
The attention makes it worse.
The truth is, I feel like I’m dying and I have no lifeline.
I Force the breath out

The calm is starting, slow but steady
Now the seconds feel less like hours
This anxiety is losing its grip on me
But I know it will be back.

And when it comes I’ll tell myself again
“Breathe in.”
And I’ll force the breath out.

In defense of Hancock

Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned

Yes, I’m aware that Hancock came out a while ago, just don’t think about that for a second. Instead think about the fact that seemingly everyone had the same thing to say about it. “I liked the first half, but the second half sucked!”.

Before you shush me, yes, that’s basically what every negative review boils own to. That really says something about the originality of people, doesn’t it? 

But let’s get on to the real topic: How I felt about it.

Well I liked it, a lot.

Okay, fine, I’ll elaborate. Why did I like Hancock?

Because it was an original story. This is something we’re clearly lacking in Hollywood productions lately. Right now it’s “reboot this. Write a sequel to that. Make a reboot of that reboot” and so on. And to me, Hancock presented an original story. Sure there were elements of Batman and Superman and other heroes, but they were just superficial. The personality of the character and the story, however, were original.

And honestly, it worked for me. I loved having Hancock be a drunken misanthrope in the beginning. But, and here’s where I’m disagreeing with a lot of people, the film would have never worked if he stayed that way. If he’d never met Ray (and, yes, Ray’s wife) the film would have seriously suffered for it. We’d have an utterly unlikable protagonist, and no one would have seen it. 

And as for the Element of Ray’s wife being a superhero as well, I didn’t mind that at all. Was it slightly convoluted? Yes. But there were definitely worse ways to work in the backstory. And I feel like it was necessary for the character to find someone who was like him. Much of his unpleasantness comes from feeling he’s the last of his kind, and him finding out he isn’t is crucial to his character development, even if it comes in a not so pleasant package.

So yes Hancock has it’s flaws, but to say it’s a bad movie because of those flaws is just doing it a disservice. Overall, I think it was a good concept with a not so great execution. So, it wasn’t great, but it was good. And I’ll take good over mediocre any day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What my “label” means to me

This is a warning to the people who don’t care about this sort of thing, or simply don’t want to read it. This post is about being bisexual. Feel free to turn away, or just ignore this if you absolutely have to.

 

So I can’t sleep, as usual, and I’ve recently been looking at some bisexual blogs (okay, just one) and it sort of inspired me to write another post about being bisexual.

I feel like this is something I don’t write about enough. It’s such a big part of my life, and part of what defines me as a person. So I’m gonna tell you about what this “label” has meant for me, and how embracing it has affected my life.

When I was barely a teenager, I was sort of confused about who I was attracted to. one day I would like a boy, and the next I would like a girl, and some days I would like both. It started in middle school (as these things usually do), when I saw Coyote Ugly for the first time. I was about ten years old when it came out, and it was PG 13, which meant I couldn’t watch it at home. My best friend (who is amazing) got it on tape when we were in sixth grade. 

We watched it over and over, and to this day I’ll watch it when I go and visit her. I found myself fascinated by the way the women danced, while at the same time I was attracted to the male lead. Of course, at the time I only talked about the boyfriend character to save face “He’s Australian. He’s such a bad boy. He likes comic books!”. But the way the women danced gave me butterflies in my stomach.

I had never even heard the word bisexual at the time, and I’d only just figured out what being gay meant (and only in the negative). So, I buried the feelings, I ignored the butterflies I’d get when I hear certain women sing, or saw the cheerleaders in Bring it on. For all that I knew at that time, I was gay, and that was just not something I wanted to be.

And for a while, it seemed to work. Throughout the rest of middle school, I only had crushes on boys. And then high school came along.

I’m not going to say any names, but I fell hard for a girl in my freshmen year of high school, let’s call her G (and no, that’s not her real first initial). She was smart, pretty, and very nice. But, she was also very straight. I tried as hard as I could to bury my feelings but it didn’t work too well, and I found myself agonizing emotionally over her. It was also around this time that certain girls in my school were calling themselves bisexual and kissing girls to get attention from boys. I had a few gay friends at the time who would roll their eyes at the girls, and call them out on whoring themselves out for attention.

So I decided to look into the whole bisexual thing. I did serious research. I pored over books in the libraries, I looked online, I even asked a few friends about it. And I found out pretty soon that some of the things in my research applied to me. I found myself identifying with stories on forums, and I saw that other people who were my age were posting there too. After years of confusion, I found clarity.

And then came the backlash.

It took me a couple years to tell a few people that I was bi, and I got the usual responses.

“You’re just on the fence.”

“Make up your mind.”

“It’s one or the other, not both.”

“Does that mean you’ll do a threeway?”

The “On the fence” responses were from my gay friends, and it was something that shocked me. As people who constantly spoke of inclusion, they were actively excluding me. It didn’t make any sense to me. I even had a lesbian girl say she could “turn” me. It made me want to start shutting everyone out all over again.

Eventually I got into a relationship with a friend of mine. It was tumultuous, to say the least, and toward the end of it we were hardly speaking anymore. I will say this of it, I’ll never date two people at once again. But, it didn’t turn me off dating someone of the same sex. I just know that I have to tread carefully.

So, what does my label mean to me?

It means I have something I can stand for, I have a community where I can feel like I belong. I have options. But it doesn’t mean I’m indecisive, slutty, or confused. I know what I want, I know who I want, and I know I will be judged for that. It’s up to me whether I let people judge me or not, and if I don’t like the way someone treats me because of some “label”, I will make sure they know about it.