I think I’m a stegosaurus.

I just can’t get over this great article on Jezebel (via Feministing) on “dressing for your shape.”

Dressing for your shape has always struck me as a little bit silly in that, as Hortense points out in her article, people don’t fall into just one shape category. I guess if I were going to be a specific shape, I’d be “boyish”–but that’s just because I’m a little skinny and a lot flat-chested, and what with not having giant knockers, I’m basically a boy. The funny thing is that I always thought it was my ovaries (and other such hardware) that made me a female, not my cup size. Then again, few people will ever have personal contact with my womanly hardware, so I guess I can’t fault them for considering me basically a man without concrete evidence to the contrary.

No, wait, I can. I definitely can.

Hortense sums it up beautifully:

Also, as someone who generally falls into the “oh, dear, puberty forgot to deliver your boobs” category, I think it would be nice if fashion magazines could stop referring to thin women without many curves as “boyish.” Femininity comes in many shapes and sizes, thanks, and Glamour’s advice only reinforces the fact that they feel that flat-chested women need to blow up their bust lines to achieve sexiness: “Don’t have voluptuous curves? Fake ‘em!” Ah yes, because nothing makes me feel more confident than putting in my fake temporary boobs in order to wear a dress.

So we shouldn’t be propping up Victoria’s Secret and our local boob job surgeon during this burgeoning recession? Huh.

Oh well. Regardless, Hortense is here to help, providing a useful guide to dressing for your REAL shape at the end of the article. I’m glad that someone is thinking of all us stegosauri and our need to find the best look possible.

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03/31/2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Well, I guess that’s ONE way to prevent STDs…

But you know what works even better than circumcision at preventing STDs?

Wearing a goddamn condom.

I know, I know… I’m so old fashioned, with my ideas about wearing condoms until you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship and all members have been tested for STDs. But what can I say? I just don’t trust the disease-preventing powers of foreskin removal, never mind the baby-preventing powers.

Then again, perhaps we should suggest this to Feminists for Life–since they are not only against abortion, but against birth control as well, perhaps they will be interested in this wonderful new method of safe sex.

03/30/2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

When “no” actually DOES mean “yes”…

Aahh singlehood. Both a blessing and a curse, but currently I’m feeling the blessing. Because I can now hope, deep in my heart of hearts, that the next guy I date pulls out some of these beauties when things start to get hot and heavy.

I might fall in love. At the very least, I’ll most certainly jump him. 😉 Those suckers are just begging to be used!

03/28/2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What I’m Reading

I’m currently hard at work on trying to read through everything on my “to read” shelf. This means I’ve recently cruised through some excellent sci-fi (Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan and Foundation by Isaac Asimov) as well as started making a big dent in my non-fiction, specifically my academic pursuits. Here’s what I’m reading right now:

Sex and War, Malcolm Potts & Thomas Hayden
Against Our Will, Susan Brownmiller. A great classic that I have never read.
Transforming a Rape Culture, Buchwald, Fletcher, Roth (eds). I have read almost every essay in this book, and I have found one or two egregious oversights. This will be covered in my upcoming post on the military and sexual violence.
Sexual Politics, Kate Millett. I say “the personal is political” all the damn time, and yet I’ve never actually read this book. I’m well into it now, though, and loving it.
Feminist Perspectives on Social Research, Hesse-Biber & Yaiser. I read a few excerpts from this for a class in college; it seemed time to really get a grasp on it, as I enter the world of social research.

I’ve also been aggressively pursuing journal articles in assorted databases; having access to academic databases is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. If you can get access to academic databases, either through being a student, working at a school, or having a friend who has access, I cannot stress enough how much you can gain from utilizing them. You can simply search databases on keywords that interest you and you will come up with enormous amounts of knowledge. Read the abstracts to cull through to the articles that are most worthwhile, but this is seriously a goldmine of opportunity to expand the depth and breadth of your knowledge and lend weight to any argument you might make through having sources to cite. I never get tired of perusing scholarly articles; there is always something more out there to learn!

I’ve also recently started keyword searching the NPR archives and coming up with some fascinating material. A lot of this will come into some coming posts, particularly the one about the military and sexual violence.

Information is everywhere! Let’s break free of Wikipedia and he-said-she-said; let’s take the dialog to the next level–and fucking change the world.

03/27/2009. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Once again, sex–with a condom, with a magic vagina, with a fatty, or just not at all.

Oh hai internets. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, I’m back. And, as ever, I’m talking about sex.

Specifically, how we need to get our heads out of our collective asses and be a little smarter about it.

It seems like lately I’ve been embroiled in a lot of discussion about sex. First there was that really special comment from the pope about how condoms won’t help solve the AIDS problem in Africa (o rly? plz to be sharing with me your brilliant answer, Mister Popeman–and don’t you dare say Jesus!). I think what made that extra special is that when I commented on that in my personal LiveJournal, people responded to it with the idea that I should be used to this, that I should just shrug it off because it will never change and that I really ought to expect it of the pope by now.

Just because I expect it and I am used to it doesn’t make it any less infuriating or any less important of a public health issue. Condoms save lives in very real and important ways. When people claim that condoms should not be promoted because it promotes having sex, I have to call bullshit. My response: “The problem is that saying condoms promote sex is a fallacy, no more than wearing seat belts promotes reckless driving or purchasing homeowners insurance promotes leaving your doors and windows open and unlocked when you leave.” Condoms are not flawlessly reliable, they are not some magical panacea for all the ills of the developing world. However, to say that because they allow people to get it on now and again with less risk means that we are promoting sex and that AIDS will spread? That is bullshit. And anyways, sex promotes itself just fine. Biology took care of that one. We don’t need latex to help out.

Next there was the Manic Pixie Dream Girl article. Let’s steer clear of what films were selected for the article because I do not agree with many of them. The premise of the article, however, is very valid: in an absurd number of films (particularly self-reflective indie flicks as of late) the protagonist is a homely, awkward, depressed and stifled young man. He finds his salvation between the thighs of a beautiful, quirky, free-spirited woman who liberates him through her magical vagina and all of its live-giving powers.

I don’t even know what to say to that. I mean, vaginas are pretty cool, don’t get me wrong. But it seems that sex–usually with a woman who would be classed “way out of his league” by stereotypical measures–is all it takes to solve the problems of these “complex” men. The girls are caricatures at best, tropes exacerbated into the worst state of two-dimensional utility. They exist as vessels that carry their vaginas through the world to deliver salvation-via-splooge to the protagonist. She is the quintessential example of Simone de Beauvoir’s analysis of the female as other, serving as a mirror into which the male may gaze and discover himself. It is through his interactions with her that he achieves agency and self-realization; my god, movies, could you get anymore 1950s?

I dunno. I liked the article because the MPDG trope is one that I’ve been subconsciously noticing and wincing about for a while now–I’m glad someone could put it into words better than I could.

Moving on, following hot on the heels of that was the truly glorious article on what to do if your girlfriend starts getting love handles. I think I’ve pretty much blown my load (LOL GUYS!!!1!) on this one already, and really, it speaks for itself.

For those of you who have read this far, here’s the reward for you to reap: two Princeton professors bemoan the horrors of collegiate sex. Thank god professors at a top notch school are so open-minded and rational about something that should be such a non-issue. …Oh, wait. Crap.
Basically, these guys are pretty horrified by late teens/early twenties students getting it on. Therefore, Princeton ought to have a “Purity Center” for students who want to live “honorably.” Because everyone knows that if you aren’t a virgin, you’re a goddamn filthy horrifying disgusting tainted and worthless whore. A WHORE, I say! Do you hear me? Do I need to shake my fist at you? Don’t think I won’t wave this Bible!

…Ah, yes, a nurturing environment for over-stressed college kids. I can see it already.
Never mind referring to a women’s center or an LGBT center as “ideological groups” (cause being a woman ain’t just my biology, baby, it’s my philosophy!) or claiming that Princeton should provide a paid full-time staff… The over all attitude of shaming, and particularly finger-pointing at women, is ridiculous. I don’t feel that surprised when I see things like this coming out of Bob Jones U or Deep South Religious Right R Us, but this is Princeton. This is supposed to be a bastion of education, reflection, and reason. Mostly, I’m just saddened and disappointed.

Coming soon: rape–myth or reality? (You’d be surprised who thinks the former!), sexual violence and the military from a handful of different perspectives, and up-skirt photography–because you didn’t need another reason to feel sketched out by that dude in the checkout line who just keeps getting a bit too close and tying his shoes.
Till next time (and may it be a sooner next time than last time).

03/27/2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.