Social Justice, Stigma, & Gender

Petty Cause of the Week

You know what pisses me off? In light of my typical political ramblings, this week’s post is about a different tragedy. I’m declaring war on the rent-a-cops at my local courthouse.

I visit the courthouse twice a week for work, and over the past six months, the security personnel have gone from merely having us walk through an archaic metal detector to requiring us to remove our shoes. Requiring!

At first, flip flips and sneakers were fine. Then, sneakers were banned but flip flops were fine. Now, we’re forced to bare all as we trudge across a filthy, fifteen-foot carpet. Shoes are the enemy, and — apparently — so are we.

I live within an hour of the museums at our nation’s capital. Those museums house priceless treasures yet do not request shoe removal to enter. What does my courthouse house? Paperwork… hundreds of thousands of pieces of paperwork. That’s it.

What does shoe removal accomplish? I should not have to strip bare below the ankles to enter a courthouse. It’s arbitrary, barbaric, degrading, and unhygienic. The lawyers merely show their bar ID badges and whiz past the line, so why should the rest of us have to subject ourselves to spreading fungal foot infections? Smells like class warfare to me. If anyone knows a quick way to stink up a shoe — and I mean really stink up a shoe — please share.

Simplifying Your Nine-to-Five: Meet the Work Uniform, Ladies.

My friends know that my ideal daily uniform would be absolutely nothing, followed by nothing but my favorite sweatpants, followed by nothing but my favorite sweatpants and my favorite flip flops. But alas, I’m not rich enough (read: at all) to be able to afford to not work, so the next best thing is making my daily outfits as comfortable as possible. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look these days, because I do, but I care much, much less than when I was younger. Why? … because have learned to value myself as both a person and a woman even when I’m not my most conventionally attractive, despite my years of relentless social programming. Go figure that I’m the only one not self-fat-shaming at the office happy hour. SHOCKER.

In my office, the women dress quite differently from one another, based on their roles. Everyone wears makeup, but the non-attorney staff wear pants, sweaters, and general business-casual comfort-wear. The attorneys, however, wear dresses, pencil skirts, and high heels every single day — the stale, trite essence of professional hyperfemininity branded many decades ago.  (more…)

Maybe Baby? Maybe Not.

When I was twenty, I met a woman who remarked that she wanted to have a baby someday because that child would love her unconditionally. “HAH!!” I rudely retorted. “Relationships require constant maintenance. In the end, it is your child’s choice of what kind of relationship to have with you, if any. If you want unconditional love, get a dog.”

Since girlhood, I have always assumed I would have my own children someday because I love kids, and that’s what grown-ups do — reproduce. Recently, however, I have begun to question that assumption for the first time. Why make babies?  (more…)

(Borrowed from Elsewhere) If You Get Married, Will You Take His Last Name?

This post hit especially close to home for me, as this is an emotionally-charged topic which I have discussed at length with numerous romantic partners, friends, and family members. Goodness forbid that some of us value our individual identities as well as our familial ones. I say it’s high-time to ditch the name-change-for-women expectation.

ShoutOut! James Madison University

Marriage. As a 21-year-old college senior, that’s something that feels incredibly far away. But realistically, if I end up getting married (which is something that I want to do), it will probably be sometime in the next ten years, especially if I want to start having kids in my early thirties. Of course, many people my age are already married or engaged, which is not in my immediate plans, but to each their own. Whenever I see someone new who gets engaged or married on social media, I see dozens of posts that say “Proud Mrs. [insert his full name here]!”, “Can’t wait to be a [insert his last name here]!”, or other exclamations. This got me thinking: Will I change my last name when I get married?

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Quick note: I’m going to be speaking in a heterosexual context because I am heterosexual so that’s what I’m most familiar with and because…

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Rapists on a Bathroom Wall

Columbia University has been facing some heat lately for the way its authorities have been handling reports of rape and other sexual assaults — or, rather, their lack of handling them. This is, depressingly, nothing new in the land of undergraduate education.

What got my attention on the news a few nights back was the report of graffiti and flyers which have been found in at least one Columbia University bathroom. Apparently, some female students have taken the lack of formal punishment into their own hands, specifically naming rapists and sexual assailants on their campus. Check out this article on Jezebel for photographs of the lists and background information. (more…)

Hindsight Bias, Victim Blaming… and a Goat!

This little number helped me survive finals week during my senior year of college, helped me celebrate graduation with a beloved roommate while driving to get slurpees, and captures the essence of how I used to feel about TSwift’s music in general.

I hope you’ll get a smirk out of it. (more…)

I Conform, You Conform, He and She and We Conform

Gilly Hicks had a sale recently, and as usual, I deliberately ordered enough stuff from their website to get free shipping, with the intention of returning most of the lot. This morning, while searching for their return policy to see how many days I can hem and haw before the sales are final, I wound up on a couple of Abercrombie & Fitch (their parent company) and Hollister-inspired Tumblr blogs. Apparently, it’s customary in the group interviews with these stores to be asked a make-or-break-you question about “what diversity means to you.”

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Diversity? At Abercrombie & Fitch? Bwahahahaha

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How Picking A Bra Is Like Picking A Paycheck

Madison Kimrey is my newest tweenage hero.

In the feminist community (i.e., life), Phyllis Schlafly has been a bit of a jerk over the years, particularly in regards to her view that equal pay for equal work discourages working men from marrying working women, leaving those women unwed and therefore unfulfilled as human beings.

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Apparently, non-discriminatory compensation is major bonerkill in the Schlafly household. Flash forward out of the Victorias ages to the recent work of Madison Kimrey, a pre-teen activist — age 12! — who reached out to Schlafly in an open letter:

“…it’s been kind of hard to find something I have in common with you. Then, it came to me. I bet you wear a bra.”

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Kitestring: An App For Those Late Walks Home

The title of this article (“This New App Could’ve Prevented My Friend’s Rape”) is bull because an app won’t keep a person dead-set on raping from raping, but the app itself is brilliant. It works a bit like an alarm clock, where a user sets a time limit and custom emergency messages to be sent out to preselected contacts if there is no activity on the phone after the timer runs out.  (more…)

Healthy Masculinity

Mysterious strangers of Tumblr, you’ve done it again. Say HELLO to my new favorite Tumblr tag: #healthymasculinity. Join the movement at http://healthymasculinity.tumblr.com! (more…)