Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dear Best Friend (and other skeptics)

You are a feminist. As much as you try to hide it, deny it, or fight against are definitely a feminist. You may be someone who thinks that all feminists are angry, man-hating, ball-breaking, bra-burning, flannel-wearing, granola-eating, idealist complaining lesbians. Well you're wrong. Sure there are some feminists that any number of things I listed, but not all, not that any of those things are all that bad.

You want to meet a different kind of feminist, look in the mirror.

Don't believe me, here's a checklist for you:

You think all people should be given equal rights
You think racism is wrong
You think women should have the right to make their own decisions
You love the gays (like lady gaga loves the gays)
You love lady gaga
You think all people have the right to vote
You think the government is in need of a serious overhaul so that it actually works
You think birth control is awesome
You think condoms are super useful
You believe women have the right to freedom of speech too
You don't want to be stuck doing all of the cleaning, cooking, and child rearing
You know that women have the right to say no to sex
You like wearing pants every once in a while
You are upset when women starve themselves to fit an unrealistic standard of thin
You get pissed when people assume you can't drive just because you have a vagina
You have a vagina!
You think women should be able to choose to wait or not wait for marriage to have sex
You enjoy sex (and you're not afraid to tell people that)
You think women can be great chefs, doctors, or fashion designers...especially considering traditionally in the home women did the cooking, the bandaging, and the sewing!
You think women should have the choice to wear pink or blue (or rainbow)
You think a woman should be president one day
You think people should never go through domestic violence
You don't enjoy being stereotyped because of your appearance, religion, class, race, ethnicity, age, ability...etc.
If you believe in equality of the sexes instead of one above the others
cough...(your name is Jenn)...cough
You are a feminist if you believe everyone has the right to make their own choices!

Wear flannel or an apron...Wear a pink dress or blue jeans...identify as a feminist or continue to claim you could never be one of "those bitches"...

But you can bet your bottom dollar you owe all of these choices, these choices that seem like no-brainers today, to the work of some feminist from the past. So at the very least, say thanks!

Monday, December 21, 2009


"Your woman"...please...she is her own woman, with her own mind, and the capability to make her own decisions about her own health.

Good health is great...but come on...this is just freaking creepy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hey, look what I found...

Some more racist/violent/highly offensive Obama protest signs. Are you surprised?...Sadly, I'm not surprised at all.

One sign that I didn't include on here read
"No matter what this sign reads, you're going to call it racist."
Can these possibly be interpreted any other way? Please enlighten me if you see them as anything but hateful filth.

"Fun times in Cleveland today....Still Cleveland"
(inside joke for my coworkers, please disregard)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Holidays...

This post is really intended to just extend a happy holiday to everyone! Being a feminist, I thought I would take this opportunity to just deconstruct a classic Christmas song. I'm not sure if you have taken the time to actually listen to the lyrics of "Baby, it's Cold Outside," but you should...

Dear Dean Martin,

She said NO! Have you ever heard of a little thing called consent?
No? Well, getting a woman drunk and then bombarding her with tons of pressure to stay the night is NOT CONSENT. One of my favorite quotes is "The opposite of no is not yes, it's enthusiasm." People should not have to beg and plead with their partners until they finally just "give in." "Maybe" means no, silence means no, "yes" while intoxicated means no, and no doesn't mean "just ask me until I finally say yes."

In case you missed any of the are just a few of the realllly bad ones

Well, maybe just a half a drink more (Put some music on while I pour)

The neighbors might think (Baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I oughtta say no, no, no sir (You mind if I move in closer)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (And what’s the sense in hurting my pride)
I really can’t stay (Oh baby, don’t hold out)

I simply must go (It’s cold outside)
The answer is no (Baby, it’s cold outside)

My sister will be suspicious (Your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (I ain’t worried about you brother)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (That ol’ biddy, she ain’t gonna bother me)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (You don’t need no cigarette, it’s smokin’ plenty up in here)

I’ve got to get home (Baby, you’ll freeze out there)
Say, lend me a comb (It’s up to your knees out there)
You’ve really been grand (I thrill when you touch my hand)
Oh, but don’t you see (How can you do this thing to me)

Happy holidays!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


While I appreciate the real beauty campaign of Dove, I think they need to be called out on their hypocrisy. The following video is an example of how great Dove can be:

However Axe and Dove are owned by the same company...

Or how about...

Dove easily filled the missing niche of a positive body image company, but that doesn't mean they stay true to their own message...Unilever is also the company that markets skin bleaching cream, "fair and lovely," to women of color. We are very easily impressed when a company speaks out against the practices of mainstream media, but if they're only doing it to garner more customers, they are no better than the messages they fight against.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Homo...a deeper look

So this video has been circulating on the blogosphere and its overall message is very positive. Please take the time to watch the video before continuing to read the rest of this post.

I love most of this video..."No Homo" is an awful statement originating in a specific genre of music but that has spread way beyond the world of hip-hop. This post isn't at all trying to justify the use of this deplorable phrase.

That being said...go back to the beginning of the video and re-watch it. Notice anything peculiar? Why does he deem it appropriate to change his "style" of speech and dress? I posed this question to my coworkers, and they guessed it was to make a dig at hip-hop culture. Well I agree with them...but isn't the rest of the video a big enough dig? When he changes his language and dress, he is taking a MUCH deeper dig at the entire culture. Using "No Homo" is ridiculous...but he also used the same implications for the way people talk/dress who are apart of hip-hop culture.

It brings me to the point of language. How often do we hear jokes about "blackccents" or "white people talk," and having to change the way you speak based on the ethnicity of the people around you. We saw it in "Flavor of Love" with Buckwild...or in "Crash" where Tony Danza's character asks a black actor to stop "sounding white" because it would come off as "untrue" to his character. Using terms like "hommies" or wearing popped collars with baggie pants isn't ridiculous, it's part of a culture. "No Homo" is offensive across lines of diversity, and therefore shouldn't be apart of any culture. I can't make the same argument for "hommies." People who use slang and ebonics (side note ebony-phonics as in 'black' words) have been demoralized and written off as unintelligent. They are NOT unintelligent, they have just been raised in a community that uses this style of speech. We should be thinking of it as a dialect rather than as a measure of intelligence. One of my coworkers said "well words like hommies or beasting are ridiculous." Well, it's the way A LOT of people talk in this country.

This video really goes to show why there are so many divides in the LGBT community, all activists communities for that matter. He immediately defended the queer community by putting down a community composed of mostly people of color. Imagine the queer person of color who listens to hip-hop and uses slang and then watches that video. I always get really angry when LGBT people divide based on color...but I'm slowly starting to realize why they feel left out...

We still don't get it...uhhhhh

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I had to share this..

National Equality March is this weekend...get pumped!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is just terrible...

John Derbyshire thinks that women shouldn't be allowed to vote... didn't misunderstand...Derbyshire of the National Review recently argued against women's suffrage in his new tome We are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.

Here's what he said about his "scholarly work" on the radio

"[Women] want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren't inclined to do it -- and in the present days, they're not -- then they'd like the state to do it for them."

He then continued to spew his vile with...

"Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I'll say this - if it were to be, I wouldn't lose a minute's sleep."

GROSS. And people say there isn't a need for feminism..tsk tsk.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can we stop pretending...

that much, but not all, of the backlash against President Obama is fueled by his ethnicity. I mentioned this a little in my last post, but what were those schools in the South thinking? In case you didn't hear about this, a few districts refused to broadcast Obama's address to students a few weeks ago. They claimed it was because Obama would secretly spread the liberal agenda. Since when is "stay in school" a secret liberal plot against the right? When did it become ok for senators to call the president a liar in the middle of television broadcast? Finally, when did it become ok to raise protest signs like these...

I can't believe how afraid people are. Obama is not going to turn the white people in this country into slaves!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to use trite fear tactics. It's the same argument people use for feminist. "If feminist had their way, men would be the oppressed ones, and we can't have that." you admit that women are's just you don't want to be oppressed in the same way. This means that you acknowledge that fact there is an injustice, but as long as it doesn't affect you, it's fine. Similarly, many of these protest signs by simply having phrases like "white slavery" admit that people of color have been and still are discriminated against, and now they are afraid it will be reversed. These fears are unjustified, pathetic, and sad.

Let's mask the public's eyes so they can't see that Obama only wishes to bring change to this country. Let's ignore the fact that 3% of the population holds over 90% of the wealth. Let's continue to pretend that Obama's skin color has nothing to do with some of the public's discontent.

America voted...the conservative right is clearly no longer the majority no matter how much Fox news pretends that you are "most of America."

Obama is our president for the next four with it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's talk Language

I've been thinking a lot about language lately, especially concerning pronouns. The gender/sex dichotomy lingual system we operate under is something activist try to deconstruct. I could blog about this forever, and I probably will eventually, but another word I want to talk about it "race."

At first, I really wanted to find a new word for racism, and that's because of the root's origin. "Race" was a scientific term was once a heavily "researched" concept. Race implies that there is a genetic difference between those of a different skin color, and hence that there is a "pure blood" that is superior to the rest. And this concept does NOT limit itself to black vs. white like we so often think. Plenty of groups were "impure" including the Irish and Italian. We can use the word ethnicity, even though we very often are still asked to identify our "race." So I went on a mini-campaign to find a new word for racism as well. If race doesn't exist and is actually a social construct, kind of like gender, why is it that we still use the word racism? People don't discriminate based on genetic differences, they make judgments based on skin tone, among other factors.

I was told by a few people that it wasn't worth it to try to put a new word out there for racism. That this word was never going to change.

I got frustrated, and took a nap, and then had some thoughts. I think the word racism is actually ok, because it's definition is not flawed. Racism is the discrimination or assumptions based on the notion that there is a genetic difference between people of different colors. Well yeah. There is a good chance that racist people still actually believe that. Racism is alive and well, just ask those principles who wouldn't allow President Obama's message to be broadcasted in their school. "Staying in school" is totally a liberal agenda.

I just think that instead of asking people what their "race" is or saying they made a decision based on your "race..." we should utilize the word ethnicity. Whether the perpetrator of the assumption knows it or not, ethnicity (among other factors including class and dress) is the real reason why we make "racial" assumptions in the first place.

So what's my "race"...human.
What's my ethnicity...Jamaican, Italian, German, Irish, Dutch, and Cherokee Native American.
Why is the word racism still relevant...because people are ignorant enough to believe that there is a genetic difference between humans with beautiful differences.

But I still want to try really hard to begin using queerphobic! Homophobia is based on homosexuality which is based on that gender/sex dichotomy. We do use transphobia to more inclusive, but what about those who are intersexed? Just like the word queer has become an all encompassing, unifying term for the LGBTTIQA community, I hope we realize that the word "homophobia" leaves out a lot of people!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Protecting" Love and the Human Race...

New Jersey based anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage (NOM), held a Celebrate Marriage and Family Day in Rhode Island last week. NOM boasted that they were one of the largest financial contributors to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign in California. Their mission: to “protect” Rhode Island from allowing same sex unions of any kind. That’s right, no recognition in the government or religious institutions. Gross. So basically you just want us to exist then…thanks.

Rhode Island queer activists proudly protested outside of NOM’s event.

Representatives from NOM stated that the event was not meant to be political or religious, just celebration with multiple renewed vows. Ahem…

Yeah, that wasn’t political or religious at all…

In a nut shell, she’s saying that if the government allows same-sex unions, the human race is bound to end because of the lack of child production. Who fills her mind with these crazy ideas? Clearly, queer couples have alternative routes to creating a family. What would she say to orphaned children or those in the foster care system? "Oh sorry dear…we could have placed you in a warm home filled with unconditional love and parents able and willing to provide you with anything you’ll ever need…but they were the same sex. Have fun in the (too often) corrupt child care system."

NOM says they want to protect family and love…but what kind of love are they showing? If anything, they are destroying the basic fundamental concept of love, and that is to end hate. Their “love” is centered on the idea of hatred and discrimination. I’m from New Jersey and I shutter to think that headquarters for NOM is located in Princeton. With a vote for equal marriage coming up soon in New Jersey, we need to be stronger, more devoted, and more organized than the hateful groups.


If you’re in the area, the Women’s Center of Ramapo College will be hosting an equal marriage demonstration on Saturday, October 3rd from 12pm-3pm. It will consist of a letter writing station, phone bank, postcard station, as well as a large-scale symbolic wedding ceremony open to all!

And please don’t forget about the National March for Marriage Equality on October 10th-11th in DC.

Cross-posted here and here!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gone too far? The Joan Rivers Roast...

Did anyone else catch the roast of Joan Rivers? I’m usually prepared for some of the most tasteless jokes out there, but I did NOT prepare enough. In my opinion, the best/smartest comedians don’t need to resort to easy/cheap laughs, but every year the roasts get worse and worse. It has almost become the vulgarity Olympics.

The line of jokes I felt most strongly against were the comments made by Gilbert Gottfried, Joan Rivers, and Bob Garrett regarding Howard Stern host Robin Quivers. Garrett came out with a slew of racist jokes, all in poor taste. And apparently, Robin has spoken very openly about being molested by her father as a child. Rivers and Gottfried decided to exploit that situation.


It was vile, but she laughed at them. I’m not sure if she really was ok with the jokes, or if it was a front in order to avoid looking like a poor sport. The entire premise of a roast is to offend and insult. And I know some might just say I need to lighten up, but I can’t nor do I think I should have to. Garrett is supposed to be a household name, a familiar face. What a great image to put out there, even if was just in “good fun”. I’ve noticed a lot of “rape jokes” posts lately. If those in the public eye can make them without visible repercussions, then of course they are going to filter their way to more common usage.

And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t EVER find molestation “jokes” funny in any sense.

At what point can we STOP laughing, and say they’ve gone too far?

cross posted at

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Surf and Sexism...bottoms up?

Cross posted at
I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed but some surfing magazines are truly appalling. I found this advertisement, if you would even call it that, in Transworld Surf Magazine.
It’s for the Reed Surf Sandals Company and their Miss Reef Bikini Contest. (These are the online versions but the magazine featured these on a double sided pull-out poster) Their motto: “Celebration 25 years of Taking the Focus off our Team Riders.” Yeah…but only by objectifying women in one the most overtly dehumanizing campaigns I’ve ever seen. One side features males with their faces showing, their names in each box, or in some amazing surfing stunt. On the other side is a series of faceless women doing, well you know, what they do best, wearing thong bikinis while playing in the sand. The magazine wants its audience to judge women solely on their “bottoms.”
It’s not just this ad either. How often do surf videos feature the surfing parties? They usually consist of “dudes” catching some waves during the day and then catching some “chicks” later that night. Very rarely, with the exception of the end of the movie Blue Crush, do you see female surfers being taken seriously. Because women could never hope to rise to the ranks of men, right? So just stand their so those men have something to look at after a long, hard day of surfing. Great message.
What Can You Do?
Send your thoughts or concerns to the magazine's advertisement manager or contact the Reef Company directly.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why "Classy" is classist...

How often do we hear/use the phrase “show some class?”

Before I identified as a feminist, I never really thought about the meaning of this defines classy as “of high class, rank, or grade; stylish; admirably smart; elegant.” Personally, I wasn’t aware that people of a lower socioeconomic status, or class if you will, couldn’t be stylish, admirably smart, or elegant. We attempt to raise awareness of inequalities and the distribution of wealth in a capitalist system.

At the same time, we constantly preach about loving who you are and where you come from, yet in the back of our minds we know that there is a default group. So when we tell someone to “show a little class” we are actually telling them to emulate people with more privilege and resources. Because who we are and what we’ve grown up around just aren’t good enough, even for ourselves. How do we show that we can emulate people of a higher class? Material status symbols like high-end hand bags, luxury cars, over-sized houses, and expensive name-brand clothes. When you buy a coach purse, are you really paying for a better made bag or just that coach label? And yet we wonder why debt is such an issue in this country? The counterfeit market, which very often uses virtual slave labor, is booming because people crave these status symbols. How can we actually expect people to save money? Especially families of a very low socioeconomic status with youth feeling especially pressured to match the class of those around them.

We can certainly teach ourselves and our children to put a priority on respectful behavior and schooling, but we need to be more careful about being content with what we’re able to own. Who are we to say that’s not good enough? Achievement is self-defined and, unfortunately, often limited to the circumstances we were born into. So think about what you’re really saying the next time you tell someone to “show some class.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Historical Turn Out in Australia Equal Marriage Rally

8,000 Australians participated in a giant rally for marriage equality this past Saturday after the Australian government failed to pass equal marriage legislation. They instead voted to recognize same-sex couples as civil unions.

Here is a video of the amazing turnout:

This video has fueled my excitement for the National March for Equality that will be held in Washington DC on October 10th and 11th.

I hope these grassroot efforts will be enough to gain the full rights/federal protection we have been promised. I feel as though the issue of marriage equality has almost disappeared from the news recently due to all the media coverage of the economy: cash for clunkers, healthcare, the war.

One story I did see recently was on Fox news. A round table was discussing if people "should even care" about GLAAD's ratings of TV networks for the inclusivity of Queer characters, as though it wasn't "real news." What I found the most ironic about this disrespectful line of questioning is that as the story was airing, the scrolling news banner included the Tel Aviv shootings. THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO CARE. Simply put, we need more positive queer visibility. Why? Because both institutionalized and personal hatred still exists, and far too often it leads to violence.

So many times I've heard people state that they simply "disagree" with the gay lifestyle but that they're "glad we live in a country where people have the right to choose." Well, we don't choose to be queer, so what choices are they referring to exactly. The fact of the matter is, the hateful choices/opinions of others have taken away the queer community's right to choose for themselves. And the last time I checked, we are still people .


Choose love and I hope to see everyone in October.

Cross posted at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What would MLK say?

Cross posted at
Reverend Eric Lee, leader of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality. During the Prop 8 campaigns in California, he attended numerous No on 8 rallies while working especially close with the Courage Campaign.
During an interview with the the New York Times, he reported being apart of the minority at a convention of the SCLC'sleaders even though the organization has a publically neutral stance on the issue.
Now he is in danger of possibly losing his position.
Mr. Lee said, he was surprised to receive a call from the National Board of Directors summoning him immediately to Atlanta to explain why he had taken a position on same-sex marriage without the authority of the national board.Explaining that he was unable to come to Atlanta on such short notice, Mr. Lee then received two letters from the organization’s lawyer, Dexter M. Wimbish, threatening him with suspension or removal as president of the Los Angeles chapter if he did not come soon to explain himself.
I think this is just sad, but I don't want this to become an issue of finger pointing. We all know that after Prop 8 passed the media did a really good job of making it seem like the black vote was the main reason. And while 70% of the black voting population did pass Prop 8, they don't even come close to representing the 52% of votes it took to pass the hateful legislation. The article really doesn't do much to combat this misconception either.
All of this just seems like dividing and conquering. The media likes to pit one oppressed group against the other based on stereotypes and over-generalizations. There is no one "enemy" to blame for the passing of Prop 8, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner the queer community and its allies can unite. Queer reaches across lines of race, religion, ethnicity, ability, age, class, gender, and expression. We can only succeed when we begin to realize that queer rights, or for that matter the rights of all oppressed people, are civil rights. They keep us divided because divided we fall.
This quote comes from Reverend Lee...
"...any time you deny one group of people the same right that other groups have, that is a clear violation of civil rights and I have to speak up on that.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

The "Real" World...

Cross posted at
Has anyone else been keeping up with The Real World this season? It's only three episodes in and already it's wearing thin on my feminist nerves. There is just SO much to pick apart this season, but what I have found the most interesting is the relationship between the men and women of the house. Just in case you haven't been keeping up, there are four self-identified women and four self-identified men. Three women have been very close in the house while the fourth,Jonna, has bonded more with the men. This, by her own definition, is because she is not a crazy bitch like the rest of the girls in the house.
The men all seem to agree with her analysis of the situation. One cast member in particular, Joey, is extremely vocal about his dislike for "stupid girls." After his blow out with the three girls in the second episode, his anti-woman persona rang loud.
Now there is a very interesting situation going on where two women out of the three are trying to distance themselves from the third, Ayiiia. I find it very interesting how the two women are buying into the "stupid girl" label that the men have given them. It seems like they are now just trying to prove to the men that they are less "girl-like" than Ayiiia.
Basically it comes down to the group of men being the "default." The sane and normal ones trying to stay above those "crazy girls."
As I watch the show, I think to myself that none of this happens in real life. We shouldn't buy into gender stereotypes because personalities are not determined by anatomy or gender identity. Sometimes personalities clash. There are bound to be instigators in a new roommate situation, but that doesn't mean it's always going to be a woman. There are 3 types of agitators in the Real World. The "bitchy" woman, the caddy gay man, or the ultra-aggressive alpha male. These three archetypes surface in almost every season and it's incredibly irritating.
Of course I think this, but the majority of Real World watchers probably don't. Many just buy into the's sad.
Hey Real World...get real.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's not always Black and White

So, I'm Jamaican, Italian, and Cherokee Native American. (I know, it's a mouthful) Visibly, I've been mistaken for Asian, Hawaiian, Filipina, and Latina. That being said, the whole debate about being in an interracial relationship really throws me for a loop. I'm incredibly proud of all my heritage, and I don't put one above the other. I would never identify as solely Italian, or solely Jamaican, or solely Native American. I choose rather to identify as a person of color, mostly because there aren't a lot of options for me out there. I feel like when people place me into the box of being black or white, it really takes away a part of my identity and my personhood as a whole.
I feel like I should elaborate on the being placed in the "white" box. All my life, I have been told I'm not black because of various ignorant stereotypes. My friends in school, black and white alike, used to call me white because I received good grades, graduated as the salutatorian, was the president of the student body, and spoke like a "white girl." What the hell does that even mean? Were they saying that in order to be a person of color, you had to be unintelligent? I often heard the word bougie thrown my way. God I hate that word. My actions and achievements are characteristic to a person of color because I am a person of color. They should never be stereotypically categorized as "white-girl" or "black-girl." This only enforces the idea that one could never surmount to the other.
Anyway, back to being in an interracial relationship. Not saying that more of people just like me don't exist, but it's kind of rare to be Jamaican, Italian, and Cherokee. My mother's definition of me being in an interracial relationship is dating a white woman, but isn't me dating a black woman the equivolent. I know this brings up the whole debate of how multi-ethnic people identify or, perhaps more importantly, are identified by others. I've already told you what I consider my identity, and that really doesn't fit into the racial-binary of black or white. I exist as a whole, not in neat little boxes. We need to realize that self-definition has more to do with who we are as individuals and not the color of our skin. We need define ourselves. It's not always black and white.