heteronormativity

Valentine’s Day: Yet Another Way for Men to Fail

Last Thursday morning, as I was surfing my usual radio station medleys on my drive to work, I stumbled across a humorous Valentine’s Day promotion. Hot 99.5 was offering men who had not yet made Valentine’s Day dinner reservations the chance to win pre-made reservations at popular local restaurants. In exchange for the gift, the men had to imitate how mad their female significant others would be if they found out that the men had nothing planned for the big day. While male impressions of female nagging can be hit or miss, two of the three I heard were hilarious. (more…)

Limp Dicks and Bare Faces: A Female Perspective on Impotence

There is an episode of Sex and the City where the protagonist is dating a short story writer who, ironically, prematurely ejaculates. When I watch that episode in the company of male friends, they burst out laughing during the scene where we first witness Mr. Man’s sexual difficulty. Immediately thereafter, that hearty laughter turns to thinly veiled nervous laughter. Female friends, however, have never laughed. In contrast, they have tended to sympathize with the protagonist’s frustration with her partner — not so much over his sexual difficulty, but over his disinterest in discussing it with her. (more…)

That Time I Had a Crush on a Girl

In college, I was once in a class of mostly women and found myself inexplicably drawn to one classmate. She had a feminine name by birth, but her friends called her by a masculine nickname, which I thought was awesomely badass. While I didn’t know enough about her to be attracted to her personality, she was visually captivating. Something about her harmonic voice, sweet smile, svelte figure, and soft, highlighted blonde curls regularly captured my attention. I used to feel myself blushing when we would occasionally make eye contact. (more…)

What Makes a Man Pathetic?

Recently, someone remarked that I date pathetic men. To my ex-partners who may be reading this, I certainly don’t think any of you are pathetic, and I apologize that this person has perceived you as such. While I bear a strong preference for sexually-inexperienced men who prefer to play an exclusively submissive role in intimate relationships and have ample emotional baggage, I would like to clarify to onlookers that fewer than half of the men I’ve dated meet these qualifiers.

My feelings aside, that comment got me thinking — what does it mean to be a pathetic man in our society? (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?

120178579 gettyimages.com

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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I Love My Gays, Just Not When I Can See Them

My alma mater has a week every April set aside to celebrate our LGBTQ students and raise awareness to the fact that, yes, they do exist. The event is widely celebrated, particularly for the day when hundreds of free “Gay? Fine by Me.” shirts are given out. I had to wait two years to get my hands on one; that’s how high the demand is. They’re a treasured commodity. After all, what’s college without a few politically active t-shirts? (more…)