Thursday, November 29, 2012

A common misconception with Feminism

When I first started getting into Feminism, I was very excited to share it with my brother. He's a few years older than me, also an English major, and he loves critical theory. I thought he'd be very interested.

He wasn't.

It'd be pretty easy to write that off as another man who doesn't want to call himself a feminist because he feels threatened by them, or because it would bruise his ego to align himself with them.

But his explanation was that he felt the feminist movement would dominate women just as much as patriarchy does. That it would just replace the current patriarchy with matriarchy, with women telling women what to do instead of men telling women what to do.

Now this is not true. The first thing anyone ever needs to understand about feminism is that there are many different facets of it. Like any movement, countless people have put in their two cents, creating Lipstick Feminism, Stiletto Feminism, etc. Part of feminism is constantly asking questions. Is being a sex worker a feminist act? A stripper? A wife? A stay-at-home mom? Different feminists have different answers to these questions.

The main thing that every one of them would agree upon, however, is the feminism means equality. More specifically, it means everyone has the same opportunities. What they decide to do with those opportunities is up to them, but feminists do not want anyone making that choice for them either (such as the media, men, anyone).

So in a feminist's ideal world, even if she disagreed with another woman's decision, she would support her. Because in that ideal world, there would be no entertainment, advertising, media, politics, and other powers that be to try to make that decision for her.

Here are some awesome quotes I found by Bell Hooks, author of Feminism is for Everybody. They weren't the quote I was looking for, but that's okay. I still like them.

“As all advocates of feminist politics know most people do not understand sexism or if they do they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.” ― Bell Hooks
“Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and preactice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.” ― Bell Hooks 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blogger Highlights

Here are a few blogs that I LOVE. They're all Feminist, so ... they're awesome! This blog critiques magazine advertisements, like so:

Brilliant, right?
And this one: Written by a high school student in a feminism class, I gather. Which is pretty impressive. Why didn't my high school offer classes in feminism? Where is this super progressive high school?

But my favorite blog of all-time (at least for the past few months) has been The Pervocracy. Cliff Pervocracy is a wonderfully elegant, intelligent, and hilarious blogger. She also likes to point out the rampant objectification and ridiculousity in Cosmopolitan, but she also shares some very personal stories about her experiences with sex and the BDSM community. Although I'm not into BDSM myself, I feel like she's taught me a lot about being open and communicating fully about sex.

In fact, her viewpoint on communicating about sex has made me realize how ridiculous I've been in all of my relationships in the past. I think we all get this idea about sex that your partner should just be able to guess what you want, and that it's embarrassing to explicitly tell them. I'm not sure if that's just the Hollywoodization of sex, or because our society isn't into saying words like "penis" and "vagina," but I feel like it definitely exists. 

I also think that I've been doing that in situations that aren't about sex. When I'm angry/sad/insecure, I've expected exes to just figure it out themselves. I'm sure that frustrated them, and, on top of me being disappointed in them for falling short in an expectation I shouldn't have had of them, that caused problems. 

So, since reading Pervocracy's blog and being inspired by her openness, I've made habit of becoming more open with my current partner. Things have definitely worked out for the better in every situation.

This post became oddly personal ... oh well. Check out these blogs!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Angry Women

What bugged me - and a lot of other feminists - this week was this article written by Suzanne Venker for Fox News:

Jezebel, one of my favoritest sites ever, already posted two amazing and hilarious replies. (Here: and here:

Even though they put it wonderfully, I still have a few things to say about this piece.

First of all, one statistic about how women want to marry more than men do does not give you the authority to claim that this is because women are fighting a war on men and men are pissed off about it. There's very little that you can speculate about it. You could maybe say that it's evolutionary, because women feel the biological need to have a man help support their offspring. You could say it is societal because women are spoon-fed this idea of fairy tale endings and that it is shameful to be an older woman who is not married. Or that men are given this idea of marriage being a form of slavery, and so they are afraid of commitment.

Other than that, Venker has absolutely no substantial evidence for her wild claims.

And second of all, none of it is true. All of her remarks are disgustingly sexist as Jezebel points out (and mocks), but they're also so unrealistic.

Men who are pissed off because they have to "compete" with women are not worth having or being around at all. Men who are upset because they are no longer the primary bread-winner, or the only bread-winner, are giant whiney babies who do not deserve to be married to a decent woman. None of those men that Venker is talking about are real men at all (if I could be hypocritical for a moment and claim that there is such as thing as "real" men).

No woman should want to be around those men, and I, personally, do not. I don't want to be all braggy or look-how-perfect-my-husband-is, but he seriously thought this article was bullshit, and most other guys probably do too.

So maybe the problem with our society is that women are taught that they need men, emotionally, financially, to kill the spiders, etc., so they settle for men that are obviously beneath them.

Although that is also wild speculation based on narrow, personal observation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Swearing like a fucking sailor

I checked my Twitter today and found this:

And I don't have to blur out the names because it's already public!

So Retta is an amazing actress from the TV show Parks and Recreation, which I love for so many amazing reasons. Her character is also an awesome feminist character whose virtues also include just being different from every other fucking character in sitcoms and being funny.

Not that she needs any defending, seeing how she clearly does not give a fuck, but I'm still on the side of the ladies below. And not just in this instance, but in all of my life.

Because in case you didn't know, Mormons, and well, just people in general, are super against swearing. They, like the man in this feed, seem to think that it is a moral code that needs to be followed by everyone in every part of their lives, instead of realizing that some people do not feel the same.

I've heard it all before. Swearing is a sign of unintelligence. Of the swearer not having enough creativity or a wide enough lexicon of vocabulary to come up with some better word.

 I just want to point out that those people are using replacements like "flip" and "fetch." Wow, way creative, way different from "fuck." I mean, they're obviously not coming up with things like "dinosaur poops!" or something that would actually impress me. And make me laugh.

But seriously. I'm an English major. I've probably read more than the average person times five. I can pull out Shakespearean insults (not enough to win a competition, but enough). This isn't a matter of me being uncreative or unintelligent.

This is a matter of me just liking to swear. Same goes for people like Retta. And while I will respect your wishes to try not to swear if you politely ask me to while we are together, I'm not going to stop cussing in my spaces.

Besides which, it has been scientifically proven that swear words actually register in a different part of your brain than other words, and are given a much different meaning cognitively. That's why when old people get Alzheimer's disease or whatever, they're still swearing while they're forgetting other things.

So really, there is no replacement for swear words. FUCK YEAH!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My awkward engagment

I've mentioned before that I am engaged. It's been this really weird thing for me this entire time.

Even when I was deep in the throes of active Mormonism, I had never wanted to get married as young as 21. When I was less active and before Colby and I started dating, I hadn't wanted to get married at all. But I've also always believed that when you have found the right person, then why should you wait?

Of course, all of this is deeply influenced by Mormonism because of the whole no pre-marital sex thing. People who are having pre-marital sex wouldn't feel the same rush to get married, and so the answer for them would be different. Obviously.

But either way, Colby and I had known each other for 11 years, and it had just finally clicked for us. I'm not going to explain any further because I'm being anonymous here, but also because I really don't need to validate my relationship to anyone. I know it is right, and I'm being very logical and practical about this, so that should be enough for everyone. (In case you couldn't tell, it isn't enough for some of my skeptical friends.)

I am very confident in my decision. However, I still feel very weird about being engaged. I've never been engaged before. It felt weird to go ring shopping when I had never worn a ring before. It feels weird to tell people that I'm getting married, and I generally don't. My coworkers didn't know I was engaged until we had been working together for over 3 months. I just don't really feel like being all "HEY, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT MY RING, MARRIAGE MARRIAGE MARRIAGE!"

Basically, I feel like I'm not fitting in anywhere. I'm not getting married in the temple because I don't want to. Because of that, and because I'm not very active or very squealing romantic ahhhhh! about this, I don't feel like I'm anything like the traditional Mormon engagements I'm seeing. Or what these Mormon moms in my parents' ward are expecting of me. I mean, I'm not taking his last name. I don't think many of them would understand that.

But on the other hand, I'm also not fitting in with the super liberal crowd that I usually feel more akin to. They're all out exploring their sexuality and looking down on cheesy, sappy relationships, of which weddings are just naturally a part of (yuck). I feel weird wearing my ring, and I feel like I have to explain to them. HEY! I'M STILL SUPER LIBERAL. I'M STILL NON-TRADITIONAL. DON'T BE FOOLED JUST BECAUSE I'M 21 AND GETTING MARRIED IN UTAH.

I guess I just have to be like, FUCK YOU GUYS. MY LIFE, MY AWESOME HUSBAND, GO AWAY.

I'll work on that. Maybe more in my attitude and less in actual yelling.

Friday, November 16, 2012

When Republicans make sense

Every once in a while, I see a Republican argument that actually makes sense to me. Like as in logical sense, a good argument, not as in now-I-believe-that-too sense. I don't see many of those, and I see a lot more liberal arguments that are both logical and in line with my beliefs, which is why I'm a hardcore scary Democrat. Mwhahahaha.

But believe it or not, I'm actually very pleasantly surprised when I see this. I mean, I'm young and just barely caring about politics (within the last year or so), so I'm also at the point where I sometimes feel like my friends and family who are siding with "the bad guys" are either ignorant or also bad guys. Either way, it's really nice to understand more why people believe a certain thing, instead of just being presented with constant evidence that they are either ignorant or backwards in their thinking.

Sorry, Republicans. But you know you're thinking the same thing about Democrats. Or you're not and you're a better person than I am right now.

So here's what I discovered on Pinterest:

And you know what? I really don't have much of a response for that.

Except that insurance that doesn't want to cover birth control does cover Viagra, and that's ridiculously sexist.

Plus, it's better for the entire economy of the country, and the welfare of the country, that we have a smaller population. And it's been shown that in countries where women have more access to birth control, the entire economy/country does better.

So, I'm not changing my beliefs on this one.

But touche, random conservative pinner.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Annoying Facebook Things

Now, I live in Utah - and even if I didn't, I was raised LDS - so as a young women in her early 20s, a lot of girls the same age as me are getting married. For a lot of reasons, I'm uncomfortable with that, but there's too many to go into right now. Also, I'm getting married in 36 days ... so I don't really have a leg to stand on ...


Like I said in a previous post about how unhappy I was with these newly-wedded wives being super ecstatic over her husband "letting" her buy a dishwasher, I completely understand how excited these girls are to start this new, different, happy chapter of their lives. I do! I've been getting Bed, Bath, and Beyond packages in the mail for weeks now! (Which has caused an intense vendetta with the UPS guy, but I digress ...)


This bothers me for two reasons:

  1. Everybody eats dinner. It's really not a big deal. Nobody cares what you ate, or if you did a good job making it. Nobody wants you to take a picture of it, either. 
  2. I only ever see girls post this. Girls who tag their husbands in the status, or write statuses that say "made this for hubby!" Stuff like this really enforces back-ass-wards, 1950s gender roles, and is harmful to both members in your marriage. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

People who dislike Mormons

We all know that I'm crazy, right? Okay then.

So, there are a lot of Mormons I hate. Not because they are Mormon, but because a lot of Mormon culture is stupid and backwards.

But this post is about how I hate people who hate Mormons. (Or really, people who hate anyone based off of stupid stuff like their religion, race, gender, sexuality, abilities, etc.)

For people who are living in Utah but have not lived here their whole lives, it is very easy to see that a dichotomy exists between the Mormons (who have become more intense Mormons than anywhere else) and the non-Mormons (who have also become more intensely non-Mormon because they live here). And while Utah Mormons can always be annoying, it seems like the non-Mormons are more belligerent and stupidly angry about dumb things. They also try a lot harder to be not Mormon.

We'll start off with this Facebook interaction. One of my friends posted this lovely picture of a street in Downtown Salt Lake City:

This picture isn't mine, but telling you whose it really is would destroy all anonymity ... 

In case you can't read it, one of the comments is "See how there is almost no one on the sidewalk, no cars in the VERY wide streets ... SLC is not as much a city as it is a township with a lot of Mormon money."

What the hell?!

Well, okay, the very wide streets are the fault of a Mormon. When Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS church, first started to lay out plans for SLC, he did require that the streets be big enough so that a horse-drawn carriage could make a 360 in the middle of the road, or something like that.

But seriously, even if Mormons did, in fact, fund this modern-day street (they probably didn't, unless you're counting regular taxes) - how is that a bad thing?! Why are you even complaining about a street in the middle of a busy city being wide and not very crowded?

Similar to that is a comment made on this random list of top 100 sci-fi and fantasy books, or something like that:

We have to add that this person tried to sound intelligent, but still made grammatical errors. :(

Okay, more ridiculousness. While it is totally fine that this guy dislikes Ender's Game (I happen to like it, but I can see why other people don't), his other comments are baffling. I sincerely doubt that most Mormons even know who Orson Scott Card is, or what Ender's Game is. Maybe a few of the older ones do, or a few who read a lot. But like any religion, or really any group of people that are brought together by something in common other than intelligence, what percentage of them do you think actually enjoy reading novels?

Sure, it was a stupid list. But I can tell you all now, as someone who grew up LDS, there is no conspiracy. Ever.

Except maybe with Desseret Book publishing novels just because their authors were LDS. Like Leven Thumps and Fablehaven. Those books suck.

Ender's Game was not published by Desseret Book, or by any publisher that would care that the other is sometimes Mormon (he grew up in Utah, but I've heard that he isn't always active). Ender's Game has also won a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, two of the most prestigious awards for the science fiction genre, as well as other awards and nominations.

And to tell you the truth, out of the people I know who have read the book, only one didn't like it, and he was Mormon. He disliked it because he didn't like little children swearing so much.


Monday, November 12, 2012

"The Day Lady Died" by Frank O'Hara

I love this poem for all the reasons.

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton   
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don’t know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun   
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets   
in Ghana are doing these days
                                           I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)   
doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life   
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine   
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do   
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or   
Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and   
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue   
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and   
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Star Wars Episode VII

I'm pretty torn about the news of Disney buying Star Wars. For one, George Lucas has been doing a terrible job with them lately. (Did anyone else notice how FUCKING TERRIBLE the acting was in Episode III? I hate to say that because I love Ewan McGregor, but still. If you don't remember, here it is:

It's kind of long, so only watch like, 4 minutes of it.)

But at the same time, we don't know if Disney is going to fuck it up either. There are some definite perks, like more Star Wars themed rides and stuff like that. More merchandise.

The newest news is that a screen writer has already been hired. Details here:

And the fact that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are open to the idea of acting in the next trilogy is definitely very exciting. But how will that happen now that they are in their 60s and 70s?

I mean, they all look so different (pics from here):

Mark Hamill / Luke Skywalker

Harrison Ford / Han Solo

Carrie Fisher / Princess Leia Organa

Billy Dee / Lando Calrissian
I added Billy / Lando in because I figured he's also a character that could show up, if we end up following the story chronologically. Although, I haven't really read the novels or played the video games, so I have only a basic knowledge of what happens next.

What I'm most excited for is Mara Jade. Mara Jade is my favorite character in the extended universe (my other favorite characters are Padme and Leia though, so I obviously have a thing for the kickass female characters of this franchise). Mara Jade's story is all here:

This is my favorite picture of her from The Ultimate Guide to Characters or whatever the encyclopedic thing is called. I mean, look at her. She's a badass redhead Jedi, formerly a Sith, who wears the typical sci-fi women tight jumpsuit. So my favorite. My dream would be to have a Mara Jade costume.

I'm also looking forward to the Solo children, Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo. (

Anakin Solo, the baby
Jaina Solo, Jacen's twin

Jacen Solo, who eventually becomes a Sith
See? There stories are chalked full of awesome and dark drama.

Except now Colby, who is more of an expert on Star Wars than me, is telling me that they aren't planning on using any story that has ever been told before. Nothing from any of the novels or video games or extended universe.

But they could still use these characters, right? I hope so.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Angry about photography stuff

I'm getting married in about six weeks, which is a pretty stressful process. Sure, it's wonderful and stuff, but I can talk about that later.

One thing I noticed when looking for a photographer is how many different types of photo shoots they all offer. And I know, since Pinterest is teaching everyone how to be an amateur photographer and everyone's phones can take pictures, we're all very picture happy. I do happen to love Instagram.

But when you're paying hundreds of dollars for these types of services, doesn't it seem a little ridiculous?

As far as weddings go, you have:

  • Engagements - you and your fiancee pose in semi-casual clothing in a way that is supposed to emphasize your personality. They're also frequently very artsy (or at least attempting to be).
  • Bridals - these do not always take place on your wedding day. They're just of you in your wedding dress looking super bridal.
  • Boudoir - this is supposed to be the sexy photo shoot that you do as a gift for your fiancee. Suffice it to say, I get this one least of all.
  • The Wedding Itself
  • Trash the Dress - this is the one where you dive into the ocean after your wedding, completely ruining the wedding dress that you spent thousands of dollars on it. Now, this one can also be artistic, and even though I have no idea why anyone would spend hundreds of dollars to take pictures of them ruining a very expensive dress, the finished product can be quite impressive.

See? That's really cool. Scary for the subject, but what an awesome product. 

Those are all the wedding photo shoots I can think of at the moment. If you can think of any more, please comment and share!

Then there are the more baby-centered photo shoots. 
I apologize to everyone to whom I linked to if they didn't want to be linked to. You can yell at me if you want to. Also, I apologize if I put you under a service I wasn't a fan of ... but hey, it's just my opinion.

So basically, the conclusion is that the wedding industry is trying to get as much money out of you as possible (because they know they can) and photographers have to participate in that, even if they don't want to. And sometimes, their clients come up with some really weird ideas. 

Don't fall for it! Do not pay for all of these pictures just because you think you're supposed to! You do not need all of them! 

Ally out.

Friday, November 9, 2012

YouTube(r) Highlight

One of my favorite things is this YouTube channel called "Feminist Frequency," by Anita Sarkeesian.

Feminist Frequency YouTube Channel

I think Anita is absolutely brilliant. She describes/teaches feminist principles in a succinct, clear, approachable, yet entertaining way. And then she does something that I've discovered I love since watching her videos: analyzes popular culture through a feminist lens.

She has definitely made me realize the importance of female stories, and how to treat female characters.

She inspires me.

So please, check it out some time.

Thoughts on First Presidency response to election results

It's here:

Anyway, I don't really have a problem with this. The Church generally has bishops read a letter to their congregations a couple times a year about how they (the General Authority) are completely neutral when it comes to political candidates (but not California propositions), but members should vote and be informed and stuff.

The Church is very diplomatic. And with a Mormon presidencial candidate, it was probably good that they said something. (The Church - as a whole, not the individual members - LOVES the fact that Romney ran, even though he didn't win, because it means more people across the world are learning what Mormons even are.)

It's just this line right here:

"We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times."

I can just picture Mormons everywhere being convinced this is some sort of prophecy of things to come, like in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" where the Sorting Hat warns all the students that they need to band together.

But really, the General Authority has been going on and on for years about how awful things are in our modern day.

Really, I just think it's a bunch of old guys who are still shocked to death that porn is now available on the internet.

And there ends my very blasphemous thoughts.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat

My new favorite thing is Tard (short for Tardar Sauce) the Grumpy Cat. Like all cats, she is an internet sensation. But she's different, because he was born with a face that always looks grumpy. And for some reason, that makes her a million times more adorable and hilarious.

See? Grumpy and adorable forever!
Seeing Grumpy Cat makes everything better and more happy for me.


I have a terrible weakness for cats. My sister and I laughed forever at his meow. 

On a more serious note, I've seen people complain that her name being "Tard" as in "retard" when she was obviously born with some deformities. Don't be ignorant, people. Her name is Tardar Sauce, which is just as adorable as she is.

For more, visit her website:

They're going to sell 2013 calendars of Grumpy Cat!!! I will be purchasing one of those!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-election things I hate

Now, I'm not going to lie - I'm super happy that Obama won the election and that Romney lost. I have lots of reasons for it, but I'm not going to tell you that now. Maybe later.

I understand that a lot of people are upset with the outcome of the election. For me, living in Utah and kind of being a Mormon, a lot of those people are extremely LDS. Some of them are saying things like,  "There's still lots to be grateful for," and "Let's just all pray for our president to be inspired to make the right choices," and I see those as very gracious, albeit sickeningly religious, responses. I don't know if I could be as gracious if things had gone the other way around.

But people posting this is something I hate:

Don't get me wrong - I love Gordon B. Hinckley (and for those of you who aren't LDS, I'll explain later why we feel a grandfatherly sort of love towards our presidents) and think he's very wise. 

But I really hate this idea that a lot of Mormons have that the President of the United States is basically a political prophet. I firmly believe in the idea of separation of church and state, and although it is okay for people to vote based off of their religious beliefs, why do they expect the entire country to be swayed by religion?

I don't know if this is what President Hinckley meant above, but I also really hate that a lot of Mormons tend to see the Founding Fathers as also sort of religious prophets. Mormon doctrine teaches that pilgrims settling America, the American Revolution, and the Constitution were all divinely inspired by God so that there could be a land of religious freedom so that all of the Joseph Smith story could happen. Which isn't a bad belief in my mind. To me, that just means that God influenced some events so that others that He really wanted to happen could occur.

To other LDS members, what that means is that the Constitution is unyielding scripture that cannot be touched and that the Founding Fathers are infallible.

Which is ridiculous and the cause of a lot of problems in our country.  

There was also this comment made on a picture of Obama that the Salt Lake Tribune (love them) had posted: 

I can't take someone seriously if they don't even know how to use punctuation marks correctly.
Now I also believe in the Book of Mormon (from which this scripture comes). But I do not believe that this scripture has anything to do with Obama winning the election.

And I really don't believe in the Old Testament superstitions that, if we do not all repent as a country, we will all be punished. Maybe that did or did not happen in Old Testament times. But I certainly do not believe that God will punish us as a country because we aren't repenting (and definitely not because we voted for the "wrong" person). 

The really frustrating thing about all of this, besides the crazies revealing themselves and the abundance of religion on my Facebook (where I sincerely believe it does not belong), is that you just know, based on all of this, that there are people out there who voted for Romney because of his religion and because they believed that him being LDS would make him more divinely inspired while running the country.

I guess the bottom line for me is, people really need to separate political stuff from religious stuff. Maybe not completely, but definitely with their gloom and doom prophecies. 

Artist Highlight

So Colby and I recently went to a museum that was displaying a small amount of work by Takashi Murakami, an awesome modern artist from Japan. 

I don't know anything about art, by the way, so if calling him "modern" is wrong, I apologize. I just mean that he's still alive. 

A lot of his stuff is really weird and surreal, and it's heavily inspired by Japanese anime styles. You can tell just from looking at it. 

Anyway, we really liked this piece:

Pretty cool, huh?
Colby decided that the reason why he liked it is because it was the only piece in there that acknowledged the oddity of the world Murakami had created. He's a pretty wise man, that Colby. (I think I probably agree with him, though. While I appreciated a lot of what the artist was "saying" about commercialism, consumerism, and marketing, a lot of it was probably just too much for my aesthetic taste.)

I also apologize because I don't know the names of any of these pieces and Google isn't being very helpful ...

While we're talking about Murakami, I'm going to show you this picture I found online of an exhibit he did in Versailles, France: 

This is one of the characters he's created, "Kiki"
How weird is that? The clash of cultures is SO AWESOME, and so surreal. Just bizarre. Loving it. Just kind of geeking out right now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Things that bother me on Pinterest

Hello, Readers!

For today's edition of Things Angry Ally is Angry About, we are going to talk about one of the things that bother me on Pinterest. This particular "cute" post was pinned by someone I follow:

Now, the issue I have with this, besides the fact that I hate these "misunderstood quirky girl" posts, is that it promotes rape culture.

(I hate to go all serious on you and use the "R" word, but really, I don't. If you knew me, you'd know that I like to angrily use the phrase "rape culture" a lot.)

What is Rape Culture? I'll save you the trip to Wikipedia:

Rape culture is a concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalentattitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone sexual violence.
Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape. 

Now you know.

So a post like this one, which says "She'll scream and fight you, but secretly, she'll love it," promotes the Scarlett O'Hara rape myth that victims like to be raped.

Scarlett O'Hara and her husband in Gone With the Wind.

This is not true. Victims NEVER like to be raped. 

And, as a Feminist and a frequent victim of tickling, I also hate "Tickle her, even when she says stop." Okay, well, that's just horrible. All the years of health teachers and PSAs trying to teach men that "no means no" just completely undone by this post.

Now, you're all going to ask me what tickling and throwing girls into pools has to do with rape. You probably see it as one of these: 

But teaching young boys that it is okay to physically overpower girls in a playful situation can easily escalate (ha) into other situations. It is never okay to teach boys to ignore girls when they scream or say "no."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Social Media Language

I am a frequenter (read: addict) of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I mean, what else am I supposed to do in class when the grad student who is our teacher drones on and on about the folds (the folds!) in the clothing in the particular painting we are looking at?

(Self Portrait by Artemisia Genteleschi. See? Folds. Which can be kind of cool. But not when you talk about it over and over and over.)

Back to the social media platforms. See, something about them have been bothering me of late.

It's the wording that people use.

On Facebook, I see status updates like this: "Hubby just bought me a new stand mixer! So excited!" or "Hubby finally let me buy a dishwasher! Yay!"

First of all, I have many problems with the word "hubby," but that is a matter of opinion and you shouldn't listen to me if you like it. The real problem I have with a post like that is how sexist it is. Readers might not think its sexist because it was posted by a female, but it still is.

What I'd rather see is something like this: "Hubby and I finally bought a stand mixer! This will make cooking so much easier for the both of us!" or "Hubby and I made a huge, grown-up financial decision and bought a dishwasher!"

Your husband may have been the individual who made the purchase, but (if you share your finances in a traditional way), he did not buy you that stand mixer. If you have all of your finances combined and share a bank account, then you both bought that stand mixer. He also never "lets" you buy anything, because this is not the 1950s, and you do not have an allowance that he gives you. The two of you may have decided on a budget together that you choose to adhere to, but you are also an adult who is allowed to make whatever decisions you want regarding money.

Readers, I'm really sorry for using the word "hubby" so much.

The moral of the story is that I really just feel bad for these young women. All of the ones I'm thinking of are under the age of 23. They're all really excited about their new marriages and starting a life and a home of their own, which is understandable (and, I think, a pretty awesome phase of life). The problem comes when these girls adopt retrograde family, marriage, and domesticity models, for which I blame their mothers, the false, idyllic images they have in their heads, and, often, a misuse of common religious values.

It probably means next to nothing at this phase of their lives. They're excited to try out new ideas that they get from Pinterest and to use all of the kitchen gifts they were given from their wedding registry. I doubt that most of their husbands are trying to push them into old-fashioned and demeaning roles (although, I could be wrong). But if wives start their relationships out a certain way, down the line, years from now when they finally decide that they are sick of being stuck in that role, it'll be so much harder to get out of. They're starting an unfortunate, downhill precedent.

So, yeah. Hope that's some food for thought.