Monday, November 27, 2006

Waist of space

Hello again! I'm happy to say that I'm fully recovered from my bout with food poisoning, and managed to have a nice Thanksgiving after a week of intermittent bouts of queasiness. To those of you who offered me your get well wishes, I'd like to say thank you. To those of you who offered me a cork, I'd like to say, wrong end, but considerate nonetheless. Thanks all around!

I hope you all had a very lovely holiday. Back to business; this blog is dying for a new story! So, without further ado:

A couple of weeks ago, I took my friend Liz to the premiere of "Love and Suicide," a new indie that's been touring the festival circuit. It is a gorgeous film, and is the first movie that's been shot in Cuba by Americans since the revolution, which is fascinating in and of itself. If it's being shown where you live, you should definitely check it out. Afterwards, we had a chance to talk with director Lisa France, who's actually the cousin of a friend of mine back in Massachusetts. Small world! After congratulating her, we headed over to the Cabana Club in Hollywood for the cast party.

Liz and I found a settee in a corner where we could people-watch and catch up. After downing a couple of very potent mojitos, we decided to hit the dance floor. Liz wanted to grab another drink before venturing forth to shake what her momma gave her; I was done drinking for the night, but hung at the bar with her while she ordered.

As were waiting, I felt a pair of hands grab my waist from behind. That was bad enough, but they also moved down my body to my hips, lingered there and squeezed. Oh, hell no. I smacked the offending mitts off me and spun around to face the leer of a very sweaty, very drunk frat boy.

I must have had quite the glare on my face, because his expression quickly turned sheepish. "Oh, huh, I just needed to get by you."

"So?" I spat. "Get by me, then. Just keep your hands off me."

"Whoa." Grope-A-Saurus Rex didn't like my attitude. He threw his shoulders back, drew himself up to his full height of 5'6", and attempted to stare me down with his severely dilated pupils. "What's your problem?"

My problem? Readers, I don't have one, unless you count being groped by strange men in bars. I do have a problem with that. I have no problem whatsoever being touchy-feely with loved ones, and if you're the man in my life, lots of touching will be part of our daily repertoire - that's certain. However, I have issues with being touched by strangers. If it's an accident, okay - but G-Rex didn't bump into me innocently; he was doing the old Drunken Bar Grope. Hey, it's crowded, she's a small girl and I can probably get away with it. I've seen it a million times. It brought me back to my own college days, and not in a good way. I understand that bars are crowded, particularly if you're fighting a cluster of other patrons for the bartender's attention. But if you need to get by me, try the novel tactic of saying "Excuse me." Do not run your hands down my body. Why do so many men have trouble keeping their hands to themselves? Look all you want, but don't touch, Gropealicious. Respect 101 - Keep Thy Hands To Thyself, Fool.

"My problem?" I leaned in as close as I could so that he could hear me in the packed bar, but far enough away that I didn't have to breathe in the mixture of sweat and B.O. seeping out of G-Rex's every pore. "My problem is you touching me. Who are you? I don't know you. Back off!"

G-Rex was incredulous, and launched into a tirade. "Yo! What-EVAH!" he yelled, throwing his hands up and nearly spilling his beer on the dude behind him. He then turned to verbally attack poor Liz, who was just not getting her damned mojito fast enough. "Is she your friend??" he pointed, wild eyed. "Is she always this bad?" he yelled, gesturing towards me. Liz rolled her eyes and grabbed her drink. She pushed herself between G-Rex and Yours Truly as we walked away. What a gal.

No, babe, I'm not always that bad - but I do tend to get snippy when some loser who's four sheets to the wind tries to cop a feel when I'm out with a friend, minding my own business.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned, or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you come from, or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your siginificance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter or circumstance, but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
– Anonymous

At the end of the game, the king and the pawn wind up in the same box.
Give thanks today.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bad Tuna

No, that is not a euphemism for a woman who forgets to bathe; it's the reason that I didn't put a new post up this weekend. I had a bad tuna sandwich on Friday afternoon, and readers, the past 48 hours have been decidedly unpleasant.

I will regale you with more freak magnet stories when my GI tract stops doing the samba.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Call for submissions

Readers, I am absolutely tickled to announce that I will be hosting the 28th edition of the Carnival of the Feminists! Here are the categories that Yours Truly would like to see addressed:

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally (feminist ideals in practice, affecting change)
Parts is Parts (ways in which the female body is picked apart and judged)
Dissing the Sisterhood (how and why women will turn on each other for personal gain)
The Y Factor (male participation in the feminist movement, then and now)
'Tis the Season (facing the relatives during the holidays, and dealing with their probing questions about your personal life)
Funny Feminism (disarming the patriarchy with laughter! If you don't know what I mean, check out these posts.)
The Next Generation (how will feminism evolve throughout the 21st century?)

Interpret those as you will - I give bonus points for creativity. I will also have a "Miscellaneous" section. If you submit a postitively fabulous post that I can't categorize, you can still represent!

I'm honored and excited to be hosting. The Carnival will be posted on December 6, so please get your entries to me by December 3. Submit your entries by using the carnival submission form, or email me directly. I look forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, check out the current Carnival at The Body Impolitic.

*The above image is called Young Woman Writing a Letter (detail), Encre Marquet, 1892. Image courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday funny

Check this out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hunger pains

Jill at Feministe wrote this post, which very deftly takes apart Salon writer Cary Tennis' latest column. A woman wrote in, asking whether her friend's boyfriend was being too possessive by telling his girlfriend to cover up in public, so as to avoid unwanted attention.

Readers, I've been told more than once that I've got some mad advice giving skills, so indulge me for a minute. Yes, the boyfriend was being controlling - and unrealistic, too. The implication that only attractive, scantily clad women get targeted for molestation is patently false, and disproven by every sexual abuse statistic known to humanity - but for some reason, it will. not. DIE.


A few years back, when I was living in Boston, I went to find an ATM during my lunchbreak. I was wearing a brown turtleneck and black wool pants; my hair was up in a french twist. After getting some cash, I was walking back to my office when a man approached me and said with a leer, "Excuse me, miss? I'd like to have you for lunch."

Smooth, right? I turned back to him and said, "Thanks to you, I feel like I'm going to lose mine. Eat elsewhere." Want it your way, loser? Get your lame ass to Burger King. My point, dear readers, is that I couldn't have been more covered - which matters not a whit to the neighborhood asshat.

So what was Cary Tennis' reply to this woman's query? Surely he would advise her to have a talk with her boyfriend about the reality of sexual violence in our society. Surely he would tell her that, while one might like to consider selecting attire that is appropriate to one's social setting, no outfit, however risqué, is responsible for inciting inappropriate behavior in men. No, indeed; sexual violence in our culture is directly tied to the antiquated, sexist idea that women are responsible for policing the male libido. Women are responsible for Original Sin, possess filthy vagina dentata and must pay for their sins by suffering the pains of childbirth and sexual harrassment. Women are SEX, men must get SEX, but women must not let them have the SEX. Every man wants the SEX from every woman he sees, but women must not want the SEX! Women who enjoy the SEX are dirty whores! But men cannot be whores, because they are hardwired to need the SEX!

Wheee! Outdated Gender Relations 101 is F-U-N! Granted, it turns women into sluts and guys into apes, instead of sexually healthy adults who can freely enjoy the BIG BAD SEX with whomever they choose. Well, I guess that's the way it is, so who are we to question it? The fear of What Men Might Do is at the root of the "cover up" campaign, and it gives no credit to either gender for acting respectful and human. The cure for this fear, dear readers, is simple, and was taught to all of us by the time we were in preschool - "Keep your hands to yourself."

The adult version of this adage is, "Don't be an asshole."

Unfortunately for the woman who wrote to Salon, Mr. Tennis doesn't agree. Long story short, Cary boy implicates women - and their personal style - in their own gropings and sexual assaults. Here's a snippet:

There is something to be said for being invisible...How do we pick our victims? We pick the ones who catch our eye, the ones whose bright colors enrage us, whose sexual attractiveness fills us with resentment and anger. Who will be the victim? That pretty one there.

Big sigh.

Let's get something straight here. Women who wear the burqua in the Middle East are raped. Young children - babies, even, are raped and molested every day, most often by family members. Are scantily clad toddlers in diapers Teh Hawt? No? I didn't think so. The elderly and disabled are also targeted for sexual abuse. Their vulnerability makes them easier targets, not their appearance. As a lady once said, "You can't keep men chaste by keeping women out of sight."

Covering up is all about making women invisible, isn't it? But from whom? Why, from other men, of course. Check it:

perhaps her boyfriend is not really thinking about crime per se, but about something a little more subtle. Perhaps it is his own discomfort at knowing what men think when they look at his girlfriend in her party clothes. He knows because he is a man and thinks certain thoughts, and knows from talking with other men that they think these thoughts too, when they look at women whom they do not know. He knows that on the subway men who do not know his girlfriend will look at her in a certain way and think these thoughts. He does not like these thoughts. They are an outrage.

Translation: "This my Wo-Man! You no look! I cover up so you no touch! Mine! MINE!!"

Wow-ee. If this is professional advice, then I must be the fucking Dalai Lama. Readers, I have run out of sighs. A woman is not an extension of her man. She is not a possession for him to hide from other potential suitors. If a relationship is healthy, other men won't be a problem. Listen, men lust after women. This is natural. Women lust after men. This is also natural. Some women lust after women and some men lust after men and this is also natural, no matter what the wingnuts say.

I digress. Lots of women, when they see an attractive man, will think "I'd like to tap that." Most of us are not alarmed that men think these things too. If we didn't, the human race would die out. You just don't translate those thoughts into action without an invitation. No excuses! This should be a given in the 21st century. Why do people even have to be reminded?

Almost as an afterthought, Tennis goes on to say that it's never ok to attack a woman, but reminds us that women are often blamed anyway. This may sometimes be true, but covering women up isn't the solution. Teaching respect, and eradicating sexism, is.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

For boobs who like to look at boobs...

One of my readers, who calls himself "firefall" in the blogosphere, got a chuckle out of this post, in which I recounted my verbal bitchslap of a coworker who felt the need to point out the existence of my breasts. 'Cause, you know, I tend to forget that they're there, unless a vigilant, male Good Samaritan reminds me. Now, I can appreciate that men appreciate breasts, but click the link if you don't understand why such "admiration" can sometimes be a turnoff.

Anyhow, firefall came up with an interesting product idea:

Is this hysterical?? It's not the original graphic that firefall sent me (it wouldn't upload for some reason), so I used my artistic powers to recreate his vision. The results are...disturbing, to say the very least. It reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit where Kirstie Alley was the leader of an advanced all-female race of aliens whose had evolved to have their eyes on their breasts. The male astronauts who landed on their planet couldn't believe their luck at having found a group of women that had to be addressed by looking at their tits.

Some would say that it's funny and functional, but women won't be buying them anytime soon. We already know that the American male needs no extra "encouragement" to check out the breasticles.

Election Day!

Hello readers! The photo displayed is Yours Truly, proudly wearing my "I Voted" sticker. I hope that all of you will take time to contribute to the democratic process today. I made a post a while back in anticipation of this election...I'm biting my nails as I wait for the results. Change doesn't happen while you're sitting at home eating Doritos and watching Wife Swap...and change is sorely needed. So get out there!

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE if you don't know where your polling place is.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

But I don't even READ Playboy!

I'm supposed to consider dating one now?! Not a chance.
Random Brutal Sex Dreamer (RBSDf)

    Fiery. Hungry. Blatant. Sexual. Christ. You are Half-Cocked.

    There's a lot of wild lust inside you, banging around, that much is obvious. There's also a lot of untamed emotion. When either escapes, look out. One minute you're completely together, the next you're a howling gale of hormones and opinions.

    Outside relationships, your intense, mercurial personality makes you a charmer. You can be fiercely devoted, and it's likely that many of your friends will be friends-for-life. Of course, your enemies are likewise certain and zealous, especially your exes and their therapists.

Your exact opposite:
The Maid of Honor

Deliberate Gentle Love Master
    You will find the right person. In the short term, he's someone virile who won't sweat your imperfections. In the long term, he will be someone mature and caring who will grow to love them.

ALWAYS AVOID: The Slow Dancer

CONSIDER: The Playboy, The Billy Goat

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Pygmalion complex

So I'm sitting here, eating my lunch, watching Dr. 90210. It's trash TV, I know, but I've had a tough week and need to decompress. One of the surgeons, Dr. Motykie, is single and just starting out in the profession. He was talking about dating in Los Angeles - how it's "strange" (tell me about it.)

Anyway, I was sympathizing with this dude for a second. I was surprised when he said, "For a plastic surgeon who's dating, personality is the most important thing to look for." Hey, I was impressed. Then again, if you're surrounded by people who are obsessed with their own reflections all day long (Botox parties are very popular here), I imagine that it would make you rather philosophical about beauty.

But then, he added, "We look for personality, because we can change anything else we want."


I guess when you're a plastic surgeon, every potential wife is a Stepford wife - a fixer-upper that walks and talks.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Should have known better than to eat while watching this show.



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