Hold me closer, tiny dancer! Or: I’m sick of being nice.

So here’s a delightful story that has made my afternoon: in Ohio, strippers are protesting outside a church because they are sick of the church protesting outside of the club.

Fuck yes.

Look, I don’t have anything against religion. Hell, I myself grew up in a Christian family and am confirmed (I gave a speech about pie). Christians really aren’t bad people or jerks or anything. It’s just that there’s this little bundle of them who give the rest a bad name (this stands, in fact, for all religions. For the most part, they’re just nice folk and then there’s that small clique of asshats that goes and fucks it up for everyone else).

I am so delighted to see the tables being turned. Fuck turning the other cheek. Fuck being nice. Fuck being shamed into being silent through bullshit just because if you speak up, you’re somehow validating the other party’s bullshit claim.

Having a spine and defending yourself is good. But somehow, we constantly get shamed into apologizing when we try to defend ourselves, shamed into keeping quiet instead of “making a big deal” or making mountains out of molehills.

But if mountains are being made, they are not our mountains. They weren’t our molehills to begin with.

I’m sick of being nice and tolerating bullshit just to keep other people from getting uncomfortable. I am too busy and stressed out and strung out to deal with flagrant, narrow-minded jackassery.

I was at a friend’s birthday party Saturday night when a dude laid down the claim that women can’t drive. I rolled my eyes and said “Oh please. You have got to be kidding.” He insisted no, he was serious. He asked another couple guys standing nearby to back him up; they wisely dodged the question. I asked him what weight of oil his car takes. He said he has no idea; that’s what mechanics are for. I went on my oil rant. I asked him what double clutching is and why it’s relevant. I asked him what it means to turn into a spin and why. He had no answers. I walked out of the room.

Later, he came into the room and tried to explain that he is the way he is because WAAAAHHHH. He took a women’s studies course in college and he was one of three guys in the room of fifteen women. Two of the guys were dating girls in the class. He felt like his ideas and input weren’t valued and it was really hard for him. So he turned misogynistic; it’s not his fault, that class made him that way.

OH GOLLY WHAT ABOUT THE MENS.

Motherfucker, if I have to listen to another fucking sob story of when some dude took a women’s studies class and wasn’t celebrated for it, I am going to turn all misandrist.

It’s not my fault; your idiocy made me that way.

Seriously, if I were to walk around saying that I had a really hard time when I took a computer science class because I was one of three women in a class of fifteen guys and the other two girls were dating guys in the class so I felt invalidated and shunned, PEOPLE WOULD FUCKING LAUGH. They would tell me to stop being so sensitive and irrational and that maybe I was ignored and invalidated because I didn’t have anything to contribute because I wasn’t smart enough and what was I doing in a computer science class anyways?

I managed to resist whining, “Oh waaaaaahhhh the poor mens! It is tough being an upper middle class white dude in college!” but only just barely. I held back because I didn’t want to be THAT BITCH that makes the room uncomfortable. That crazy feminist.

You know, the honest person.

The dancers and club owner out in Ohio? Fucking fuck yeah to them for not letting themselves get silenced by not wanting to be the person that makes things uncomfortable.

They have absolutely pushed some boundaries and made people uncomfortable. It takes a lot of bravery to be in a line of work that carries as much social stigma as stripping does and to then turn the tables on people trying to kick sand in your eyes.

That’s fucking awesome. Those ladies rock.

08/09/2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Paradigm Your Paradigm Could Be Subverted Like

I… I just really wanted to use that subject. Forgive me, internets, for I have sinned.

The other night, as I was waiting for my delicious vegan bagel pizza to bake (you guys have no idea how delicious this is; I am eating one for lunch at this very second and my mouth is having spasms of happiness), I stumbled upon the Old Spice Twitter account and the real-time marketing campaign they’ve been doing with the guy in the shower in the towel (mmm, abs) responding to people’s tweets and facebook posts. Some of them are seriously hilarious (when he responds to Anonymous? Guys, I love it!).

I kind of love these Old Spice commercials because there’s a lot of mockery of the “manliness” ideal, a lot of tongue-in-cheek silliness, and overt mockery of the Axe commercials (which mostly make me want to stab myself or someone else). I find them to be pleasantly self-aware, plus I always encourage the shameless objectification of men–since the objectification of women is never going to go away, let’s at least level the playing field! I enjoy the idea of applying the “sex sells” concept to male bodies as well; it concedes that women have libidos and can also enjoy sexuality on a purely physical level.

Since the first “the man your man could smell like” commercial came out, there have been tons of parodies circulating around. I think this has to be my favorite, though, and since I currently have exciting and glamorous plans for this weekend of doing a lot of homework and studying, it rang a bit true:

Lovely.

I love geek culture adjustment. We are legion!

Happy weekend, all. I’m absurdly burnt out from a weekend that had suck that went up to 11. Here’s hoping for a great weekend and a better week next week! Maybe I’ll even catch up on my poor overloaded Google Reader.

07/16/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Actually, I like my term better.

THIS JUST IN. Ladies can get sexually frustrated, too.

Guys, while I have been completely out of touch with the world (I hope that this weekend I have an opportunity to write about some of the “educational theory” I am learning about, because dear god it is lulz), I am delighted to see that science has been marching on.

But “pink balls”? Really?

I much prefer the term “blue boxed.”

07/09/2010. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Moar vagina gaming

Oh my god, it is for real and there is a trailer and it is HILARIOUS.

Condom-hatted marines! In vaginas and “bottoms!”

I AM SO EXCITED.

06/24/2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Vagina: The Videogame!

Good morning, my sweet muffins of delight. I know I usually don’t post until the afternoon, but today has already been so majestic. I realized that if I wrap a pashmina around my waist while biking to work I don’t get cold lower back (sure, I could just not wear low-rise jeans, but where’s the fun in that?), I had fresh strawberries for breakfast, and when I got to work, I got to write a nice long how-to for a girl who wants to put her boyfriend in handcuffs for the first time. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.

But wait! It gets better!

There is now a videogame that takes place INSIDE A VAGINA.

You guys, I need to play this. You get to be a Marine wearing a condom hat while you travel through vaginas and destroy STDs and infections and stuff. Hell, you even get to do anal! I hope in the future they’ll release a version 2.0 where you get to repel down the shaft of a penis into the pubic hair jungle where you hunt crabs with sniper rifles. Or perhaps the next mission is the dangerous Operation: vasectomy!

I’m holding out hope that this will actually contain some information about the infections and bacteria you’re destroying–cause it sounds like hell of fun (if admittedly immature and silly fun), but you could actually teach some information under the surface.

They gave the Marines condom hats. They’re onto at least a little bit of something.

Also, I look forward to the coming glut of condom hats on Etsy. Please don’t disappoint me, universe.

05/13/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

In Which I Answer The Internet’s Burning Question

Fine people of the internet, it has been a busy day. I haven’t gone grocery shopping in a month (a month!) nor have I been going to the gym or keeping my apartment terribly clean. Today I went running (it was embarrassing, to say the least), tidied my apartment, went to Trader Joe’s, and bought the next volume of Empowered (best comic book EVAR you are hereby commanded to read it NOW NOW NOW) and visited with friends. So I am kicking back with a glass of wine and my hot pink knee socks with the mustaches on them and a comfy nightie and I am finally working on my fiction writing.

By which I mean I am browsing the internet while I try to work up the courage/brains/blood alcohol content to get to that writing part.

Seen on Facebook: “______ likes ‘Why are women like parking spaces?'”

And so, because I think it is important that the tubes have this question answered, I am going to go ahead and answer it for you, oh interwebs of my heart.

Women are like parking spaces because:

  • Enormously useful!
  • Your ridiculously over-sized SUV-ego cannot be accommodated by many
  • No matter how many times you get in one, it’s still satisfying every time
  • No matter how many other people have been in one, it still works exactly the same
  • Some people are stupid enough to get into fistfights about them
  • Not everyone can handle some of the more complex maneuvers required to get into some of them, but learning tricks like parallel parking can broaden your horizons and bring all kinds of satisfaction to your life
  • If you try to mark one as “yours” for when you aren’t around, you will be laughed at, and possibly face legal consequences
  • Of course, you can enter into a binding legal contract with a parking space, but that usually costs money and requires a notary public

Okay, I think that’s enough. Anyways, I didn’t bother to click on the group to find out why women are REALLY like parking spaces, but I can almost guarantee that my answers are better.

05/11/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Boys And Girls And All Our Silly Problems

Today, I want to discuss something important: how positively difficult it is to be a boy.

You guys, it’s hard. Really hard. (Ed. Note: we here at van der Cake HQ are doing our best not to giggle right now. Heh. “Hard.” Heh.) Cause dudes have all this pressure. They gotta be manly. They gotta lift heavy things onto high shelves. They gotta have GIANT, THROBBING PENISES. They gotta SPARKLE. They gotta smell like motor oil and Irish Spring and a musk ox. All at once.

So, y’know, hug a dude in your life. After all, he is really really hurting about his average sized penis. Fortunately for him, most male fashion isn’t designed to highlight the curvature of his junk, or to give it a little extra oomph. He doesn’t need to spend upward of $70 just to find a pair of underpants that will actually hold his bits. In order for dates to push him aside because they are unsatisfied by his johnson, they have to have gotten him naked. Of course, I’ll bet he puts out on the first date, that hussy.

But anyways, if a dude successfully manages to convince a lady that his poker stick is worth takin’ a ride on, he then must spend most of his time worrying that it is insufficiently of a DISCO stick, what with the non-sparklin’. Turns out it’s a poker face and a disco stick and YOU GUYS I CANNOT KEEP YOUR BODY PARTS STRAIGHT. Men are so complicated! They are like an entirely different species or something, I mean, you guys, GENDER DIVIDE LOL. The Grand Canyon ain’t got nothin’ on this shit! So ladies, do your part to bridge the enormous chasm between male and female by always looking at your boyfriend through a kaleidoscope.

Because at the end of the day, your boyfriend is really distraught about hygiene. It is tough, having to simultaneously be clean and dirty, rugged and soft. You guys, he’s still not king. So if he’s going to set down Narsil for just a few seconds to get clean, you best bet he’s worrying about the manhood implications of being all wet and lathered up and without a sword in his hands (Ed. Note: Heh. Sword. In his hands. Heh heh.).

The point is, no matter what gender your physical body is, your mind is, or any other part of you is, we can all enjoy a good bit of immature humor and what the shit guys, I’m really sleepy and my tea keeps getting cold.

I’ll be back for something a little more serious tomorrow. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just talk more about sex and feminism. Mmm. Sex and feminism. Yeah!

Subvert my dominant paradigm, baby! Harder!

05/10/2010. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

There is so much stuff on the internet!

It’s been quite a week. There was a holiday (I spent it mostly in bed), there was a busy day at work, and then there was a day where the network was down basically all day. Now we’re here. To say that I’ve missed a lot in my Google reader would be a huge understatement. To say that there’s a lot that I want to blog about, but really don’t have the time or energy right now would also be a huge understatement. So here’s some stuff that I think merits looking at:

It was Secretary’s Day. (no, I don’t give a fuck about being PC. “Administrative professionals,” my ass!) SocImages has a great write-up on why this is basically bullshit. Pro-tip: you know what us secretaries like better than flowers once a year and being told how very special and important and valuable we are? A living wage. Yeah. Hallmark cards don’t make up for that, guys.

BikeSnob (one of my newest internet crushes) talks about sharing the road and the Cyclist Essentialist Conundrum: in short, check it out! There’s a bunch of us out there that ride bikes as our primary method of transportation (or even just as a hobby sometimes). We also do lots of other things. Some of these things might include owning a car. Let’s stop essentializing cyclists. Just because you have a 4,000 lb 800hp Death Ramming Machine doesn’t mean you’re always right. Just because we are riding bikes which means we are sexy (or maybe just an obnoxious hipster) doesn’t mean we’re always right. But dang guys, your cars are really big and hurt a lot, so could you like dial back the rage for just a second?

I totally missed Equal Pay Day, which is funny, because I was mostly worrying about how I’m ever going to continue supporting myself and paying my bills. Man, if we could close the pay gap, I’d be able to cover the difference between my annual grad school tuition and my scholarship.

Dating is still totally weird. Although reading this brief sampling from a pick-up artist message board totally clarifies for me what the crap has been going on in the past when I’ve tried to NOT date. Pro-tip: when I tell you to fuck off and die in a fire, I’m not playing hard to get.

Don’t get me wrong, I do a killer When Harry Met Sally-style fake orgasm (I really, really like sushi), but I’ve only ever faked when the spark was going out of the relationship and I was just not interested in working at it anymore. I guess this just goes to show that I am not a caring girlfriend. Thanks, science! I always knew I was a jerk, but it’s nice to have your backing.

Speaking of sex, MY VAGINA IS TIGHT ENOUGH ALREADY, GODDAMMIT. I mean, if I could get my hair elastics to do Kegels so that I wouldn’t have to keep buying new elastics cause the old ones are all stretched out, you guys, I would so do it. I hate it when my elastics get all stretched out. But my vagina… she is not a hair scrunchy. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: these products are WEIRD.

Anyways, it’s the end of the semester, so I’ve been working my ass off on school work. I’ve written a doozy of a lesson plan (I think) for Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, which includes one of my favorite accidental feminist heroines, Lady Brett Ashley. We’ll see if I write about that or not. I’m writing a research proposal on utilizing creative writing in high school classrooms, and I may or may not talk about that. I might talk about biking. I might talk about sex.

You know what is so exciting about reading my blog, you guys? YOU NEVER KNOW. I might just post a recipe for brownies. Excitement and living on the edge, that is what I like to provide to you.

04/22/2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

“It’s Just What I Find Attractive, Okay?”

It’s true that we can’t necessarily control what we find attractive–this goes back to my bit about fantasies and how we all have ’em. However, some people have unreasonable standards about what they find to be attractive. Where they draw the line on what they’ll admire.

What I’m talking about is the idea of “leagues,” as Holly covered at Pervocracy this weekend. (She also covers the issue of not being too touchy-feely, something I suffer from regularly. To put it bluntly, I’m a bit of an abrasive asshole, and I’ve never been big on being overly sensitive. I think being a bit MORE sensitive is something I could benefit from, but I’m never going to be the poster-child for the bleeding heart. I’m just not. So I rather enjoyed what she had to say. Anyways, tangent over.)

So, yeah, it’s not your fault that there’s certain physical things that do it for you. It’s okay to prefer certain physical attributes. However, it’s important to get a grasp on reality–is it that you genuinely just prefer 20 year old blondes with double-D chests, or are you wrapped up in all the social stuff that comes with that?

Last summer, I almost cried tears of joy when one of my guy friends confessed to me that he had realized that he was attracted to a certain kind of girl not because that’s necessarily what he found to be most attractive, but because his ego enjoyed the respect and value he was given by people because he could “catch” that kind of girl–that he must have some great social standing, inherent value, etc, if he could “own” that girl. It wasn’t that he wanted her as a girlfriend, it’s that he wanted the status that came with having her as a girlfriend.

See also: “trophy wife.”

This is feeding into the idea that women are prizes or achievements. That you have to date a “catch,” or it’s not worth it. Women as status symbols, not unlike watches or cars.

My underthings rebel and try to throw themselves at boys with tattoos and glasses and dark wash jeans. That will even override the specific physical type that I find most attractive. It’s partially an aesthetics thing, but there’s also other forces at work–I associate glasses with the nerdy, bookish type, and tattoos with a bit of the rocker/tough side, and visible tattoos with a bit of willingness to go against social norms. These are attributes I find attractive. I am actively disinterested in the bro-dude look (popped collars, “frosted” hair, faux tan, khakis, etc) because I am not attracted to the social associations that go with that.

What I’m trying to say is that what we’re attracted to isn’t just our physical programming; it’s actually rather often a socialized construct. When guys say that a girl is out of their league, they are very rarely referring to her personality. Even when women say that a guy is out of their league, they’re often referring to a discrepancy in looks (as measured by social norms) than anything else.

So I have a problem with this justification of the narrow, generic social determination of beauty because it turns women (and, in some cases, men) into trophies or prizes, where we put people on a hierarchy based on superficial characteristics that, when you get right down to it, often don’t even have to do with what we genuinely find attractive. When you really get into it with people, and you really start talking about what gets their motor running, it often turns out that what they find attractive is very different than the “normal” standards. What gets everyone’s heart going thump-thump is, like all aspects of our sexualities, a huge spectrum with enormous diversity.

So yeah, I tend to question people when they have a restricted view of what can be attractive (never mind how loaded it is when it’s a fat, lonely 50 year old dude who only wants waify 18 year olds–what, you genitals couldn’t mature past high school or something?) especially when there is no mention whatsoever of anything being very surface attributes. There’s nothing wrong with liking to look at people that have a certain appearance. That’s normal, that’s human, that’s fine. Just don’t turn dating into shopping for an action figure, or trying to win a prize. We’re people, not big game that you can mount on the wall and point out to all your buddies.

Oh, and memo: Nice Guys(TM), please remember that just because you’re nice, the world doesn’t owe you a hot girlfriend as a reward for your good behavior.

04/12/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I Would Like to Play Videogames With You

Really, I would. I love playing videogames (though I only first picked up a controller about four years ago) and, despite the newness of my gaming geekery, have been some form of geek for basically all my life.

Here’s the thing about being a girl geek–you’re kind of a hot commodity. This is becoming less and less true as girls flock to geek culture in greater numbers (fuck yeah, ladies!) but nonetheless, the fact that in eighth grade my best friend and I wrote a song entitled “Take Back Your Tribble” while writing character sheets on the floor of a hallway at a convention seems to make me a target. Specifically, usually a target of lust.

There is a stereotype that geeky men are all socially awkward and incompetent. As a target of geekboy adulation, I’ve seen this many times, whether it’s being groped while in costume, awkwardly stared at or followed around the game shop (look buddy, if you want to ask me what I’m buying a set of gaming dice for, just do it! I’ll be happy to tell you about my level 12 half-elf rogue, but if you keep standing one row away from wherever I am and breathing heavily, I am going to roll a saving throw to leave), or simply listening to the chortling and exclamations of “huh huh huh, GIIIIRRRRLLL show us yr tits” on xbox Live. But here’s the thing–honest to god, it isn’t all that NORMAL. Geeks can be racist, misogynist, socially awkward, narcissistic, anti-social, jackasses just the same as any other demographic. Just the same as any other demographic, they can be sweet, funny, smart, multi-faceted, generous, caring, and respectful. I’ve seen plenty of each.

The concept of GameCrush just blows my mind.

I think playing videogames together is an AWESOME date (order a pizza and let’s go fragging together; fuck that fancy restaurant and a movie bullshit. I think our ability to succeed in a co-op mission demonstrates our compatibility much better than our ability to sit next to each other in a dark movie theater) but I’m a little weirded out by this concept of paying to play videogames with a girl.

After my remarks the other day about how I don’t actually stand against the sex trade, I know that it seems out of place for me to be creeped out by something that is far tamer and less invasive to a female than the sex trade. But I am a geek just as much as I am a feminist, and the GameCrush concept offends my inner geek.

C’mon people. Must we typecast geeks forever as bumbling basement-dwelling pasty pudgy losers who can’t interact with females on their own? Can we stop just assuming that A) geeks are all boys who are desperate to interface with a real, honest-to-god vagina-owner and B) said geeks are incapable of doing so? Also, why is this a one-way service? Why must guys pay while ladies get paid? Believe me, geek girls can be incredibly shy as well. Some are pasty and pudgy and awkward and live in a basement and can’t talk to boys. It’s true! It’s all true! OH THE HORROR.

Soylent geeks are people!

Seriously. Let’s stop acting like geeks are some fringe part of society, some creepy serial killers, and that they’re just men. Girls don’t need the inducement of money to play videogames, and frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if things like GameCrush actually drive a large number of the shy, self-conscious geek girls away from gaming, or at least away from online gaming. Most geek guys don’t need an online service connected to their xbox to help them talk to girls.

Instead of turning girls into commodities in the gaming and geeking world, let’s make them welcome participants. Gaming isn’t about what you look like or what gender you are or how popular you are. Gaming brings people together and forms communities (whether it’s something as small as friendships formed over the D&D table up to something as huge as the PAX and new PAX East conventions (btw, Tycho and Gabe, thanks for PAX East! :D)). Let’s stop segregating those communities. Cutting the group into men-who-pay and girls-who-get-paid automatically forms a division. It reinforces the stereotype that girls can get a free ride from sucker boys just because we have boobs, that guys deserve a girl’s time and attention because they have money, and that geeks are socially incompetent losers who can only get with the opposite sex when there’s money involved.

Geeks, rise up! We are bigger and better than this!

03/31/2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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