feminism

The Politics of My “Lady” Handshake

It started with a business meeting between three men and me. Our law firm is contracting the services of a local accounting firm to assist on a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and the time arose to talk details with the accountant for the first time. After the meeting, we all shook hands. No big deal, right? Then, my attorney and I helped ourselves to the delicious pastries the accountant had furnished upon our conference room and began retreating back to our firm’s office. My attorney held the door for me, as he tends to do, and as I passed through, the accountant made an odd remark.

Bluntly, he exclaimed, “You have an excellent handshake for a woman!” (more…)

Borrowed from Elsewhere: Everything I Wish I’d Known During a Decade of Painful Sex

Painful sex — when you’re not into pain — is a devastating reality about which far too few of us are talking. Ladies, we need to start speaking up to each other, our partners, and ourselves.

“It’s sure as hell not getting any better, is it? You’ve slept with four men now — three of them long-term boyfriends — and it’s hurt every time. Every single time. With condoms, without condoms, with lube, without lube. It doesn’t matter how turned on you are, how badly you want them, or how badly you want it to just please, for the love of God, work. It hurts every time. When he puts it in, when he thrusts, when he pulls it out, and for a half hour afterward. Sometimes it feels like your body just won’t let him in; the muscles that should be soft and giving, that shouldn’t feel like muscles, are tight and tense. You want to give him sex. You have no give. It’s like trying to dig change out of firm and tightly packed couch cushions, getting him in, and when you push him through the tension, you’d swear he’s tearing a hole in you.”

https://medium.com/@chloeangyal/what-s-the-worst-sex-you-ever-had-101c6eeb0404

(Also shared on The Huffington Post)

My First Fuck

I don’t have any secrets, at least not my own. I prefer to live my life as an open book, with relatively few exceptions (looking at you, current employer). I do, however, consider myself a collector of the secrets of others, which is especially fun when I can partake in those secrets.

Most of my friends don’t know what I’m about to share with the world. Tonight’s juice is about the first time I had penetrative sex. It was during my college years with a trusted partner, and despite the college norm, my first time was actually anal sex, not vaginal. If you want to get technical, the more common name for what I transacted is pegging. (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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(Borrowed from Elsewhere) Cleaning is NOT the New Cardio: Women, Housework and Not Working Out

The “second shift” is alive and well, unfortunately. This post hits the nail on the head about common in-home gender dynamics for chore-splitting and about marketing for these burdens falling exclusively around the necks of women.

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Tammy Wynette had it right: Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Especially when it comes to domestic labor. Tons has been written about how women, after coming home from paid work outside the home, commence “the second shift” in which they cook, clean, do childcare, and manage household needs. And despite the fact that the women’s movement is easily more than 40 years old, this situation is still pervasive. In the New Republic, Jessica Grose tells her own rather typical story:

“When it comes to housecleaning, my basically modern, egalitarian marriage starts looking more like the backdrop to an Updike short story. My husband and I both work. We split midnight baby feedings. My husband would tell you that he does his fair share of the housework, but if pressed, he will admit that he’s never cleaned the bathroom, that I do the dishes nine times out of ten…

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(Borrowed from Elsewhere) Put A Ring On It: The Tradition of Engagement Rings

Another spot-on post from ShoutOut!

ShoutOut! James Madison University

I’ve thought (read: fantasized) a lot about my engagement, from the location to the surprise to the magazine-worthy pictures that will be posted on Facebook the next day. And in this fantasy, the proposal always includes an engagement ring (vintage, with a unique stone in the middle surrounded by diamonds. I haven’t thought about it too much though…). I’ve always considered an engagement ring to be a promise of a future life-long commitment, as well as a really pretty piece of jewelry. But where did this tradition even come from? And is a ring a commitment statement or something a little more misogynistic?

Flickr.com, CC

The tradition of diamond engagement rings actually began as a marketing scheme launched by the De Beers diamond company in the 1930s. Because De Beers diamond sales had been dropping throughout the 1920s, the company hired the advertising firm N.W. Ayer to create a promotional…

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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.”

(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…)

Still Not Asking For It: Get Used To The Meat Suits, Sharks

“You are not entitled to someone else’s body just because it’s exposed.” Amen! See the full commentary at http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/still-asking-photo-stfus-response-gmp/

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Borrowed from Elsewhere: Mermaids and Whales: Which should we choose??

Love it!! What a glorious response to a blatant attempt at body shaming for profit.

ShoutOut! James Madison University

Would you rather be a whale or a mermaid? When searching through my Facebook newsfeed I saw a post of a naked woman that asked that question. I never thought this question would have been used to try and “motivate” women to work out, but sure enough, a gym posted this sign that had a picture of a beautiful woman on it and asked “This Summer, Would you rather be a mermaid or a whale?” If we are getting technical, I would rather be a human but take a look at what this one woman had to say in response…
mermaid or whale

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