This Sunday, Patrick and I will celebrate our first anniversary as married people. I would love to tell you the last twelve months have comprised a life-changing, soul-altering period of self-discovery and exploration of what it means to be in love. That this column will be full of witty and insightful paragraphs full of meaningful revelations.
“Would you marry me again?” I asked Patrick over beers at our local dive. Sure, he said, “But I wouldn’t plan another wedding.”
On that point, we’re agreed. And we’re also agreed on this point: the main thing that the last year of nuptial bliss — and it really has been bliss — has taught us is that being married isn’t significantly different than being everything but married.
In fact, the most significant difference between my pre-marriage life with Patrick and my post-marriage life with Patrick? Twenty dollars. Keep reading »
If Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Edgar Allen Poe and Vincent D’Onofrio’s ex-wife can do it … I don’t know. Never mind. I can’t say I endorse first cousin marriages. But lots of people are fine with it. You can learn all about it in this Mental Floss video, “31 Kissing Cousins.” Also, remind me sometime to tell you about my super weird crush on Vincent D’Onofrio. This video just reminded me of it. [Laughing Squid]
I hate both giving and receiving dating advice, mostly because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. But when a younger lady, wet behind the ears on the dating scene, comes to me and asks questions, I feel obligated to share my hard-learned relationship truthisms. Even if they’re harsh. I’m not going to make it all fluffy unicorns. Dating is more like an unpredictable mastodon. Yes, I know she’ll probably ignore me, the young, irreverent laddess that she is, and go do exactly what the hell she wants to do just like I did when I was 19. And she’ll learn on her own, the hard way, the way all of us did, by getting kicked out of the guy-you-think-you’re-in-love-with’s birthday party and then vomiting in a gutter at 5 a.m. Or was that just me? But ohhh, if I can spare her the unnecessary heartache, the unnecessary vomit, the time spent composing unnecessary revenge emails, then dammit, I will give my most valiant effort! If someone had told me these things back then– when I had no idea how shit worked — I would have plugged my ears. So here goes, the things I know are true about dating, even though I wish they weren’t. Take heed. Or feel free to ignore and enjoy the GIFs. You’re going to do what you want to anyone. That’s the truth. Keep reading »
Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the message “seriously, though, you’re beautiful.” And I agree with the viral clip, so many of us get distracted by all of our perceived flaws. We get caught up in criticizing our appearances and miss out on our own beauty. We are often more generous toward strangers than we are toward ourselves.
I like that the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign is pointing all of this out. I hope it starts a bunch of conversations. And I hope that my reaction is interpreted as a continuation of the conversation, rather than nitpicking criticism. Because I really don’t want to nitpick, I just want to point out some things I noticed as I was watching.
In the clip, some lovely, thin, mostly white women who are all pretty young describe their appearances to a forensic artist, who sketches them without looking at them. And then other people describe these women, and the artist starts all over again, based on the new description. At the end, the women are shown the two portraits of themselves, and they can see how differently the sketched faces turned out, based on the descriptions. They realize that they’ve been unnecessarily critical of their appearances. Keep reading »
Louis C.K. fans like myself groaned after the whole Daniel Tosh rape joke incident so we’re relieved it was a misunderstanding and that C.K. is at least slightly more feminist-minded. In an article at Slate, David Haglund writes about Louis C.K.’s new HBO special, which includes what some people are calling C.K.’s “feminist rape joke“:
Halfway through the new special, C.K. starts talking about how dating is an act of bravery for all involved. “The male courage, traditionally speaking, is that he decided to ask” a woman out. (Note the careful caveat, “traditionally speaking.”) And if the woman says yes, “that’s her courage.” That kind of courage, he says, is beyond his imagining. “How do women still go out with guys, when you consider that there is no greater threat to women than men? We’re the number one threat to women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women.” A moment later he adds, speaking for all men, “You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease.”
Keep reading »
Well, of course, someone had to take some photos of me at a party, wearing my favorite dress (should I just stop wearing the clothes I love to events where there might photos taken?), bulky, lopsided, unfortunately proportioned, and my pregnant beauty bubble, so to awkwardly speak, was popped.
No matter how many times I tell myself patiently, firmly, “NO. Don’t pay attention, the photo is lying!” there’s that part of my mind that goes “But this is the truth! THE TERRIBLE TRUTH IN A RANDOM, IMPERSONAL UNIVERSE WITHOUT A GOD.” My new tactic is better, I think. I tell myself, “So what? So what if I’m ugly?” And that is always more helpful. But at that particular moment there had been much talk of beautiful women, much instant evaluation around me of women as either pretty or dismissible, and it seemed as though it did matter, at least enough. Because even if it’s out of sheer laziness or habit or nothing important or just in passing, people seem to talk about the way women look first, and constantly, and always. Keep reading »
This post contains spoilers!
Sunday nights are no longer full of Monday dread. I have something to look forward to at the very end of the weekend: a mind-bending episode of “Mad Men.” The show you love, full of characters you hate, and issues you hope to only deal with through barrier of your TV screen: infidelity, corporate hell, violence, and mortality.
For an office drama centered around a 1960s advertising agency, “Mad Men” has tackled very nuanced issues that remain relevant topics in our day and age. Anyone who watches the show knows the terrible way that women are treated: sexual harassment, rape, sexism, domestic violence, infidelity. And as of Sunday, all of the major female characters have experienced pregnancy. Keep reading »
Okay, so this story is a little old, but I’m posting because it’s still utterly charming: a little boy wanted the “Sofia The First” DVD, a random douchebag in line piped up to say the kid shouldn’t watch “girl movies,” the boy’s dad defended his son’s right to watch princess flicks, and then some lady in line offered to buy the kid “Sofia The First” because seeing a dad stick up for his kid’s girly interests made her day. Yay, there are good people in the world! [Her.ie]
“Excuse me, why do you have the sour bug?”
That’s what a guy once said to me in a bar. I know, I know; you’re totally swooning. If you’re a woman and you’re alive, chances are you’ve been hit on by a Pickup Artist (commonly known as PUAs), by this method known as “negging.”
I always thought of PUAs as nightclub prowlers, dressed like they rummaged through a clown’s closet, decked out in Ed Hardy, looking like a cross between Steven Tyler and The Situation from “Jersey Shore.” I often wondered, Who are these supposed women who found men donning sparkly scarves, multiple rings, and fingerless, leather gloves attractive? I imagine they are the same types of women who still think George Michael is straight. I thought of PUAs as full of canned come-ons, the smell of desperation wafting off of them like bad cologne. Their core problem, I analyzed, was lack of confidence. Common sense would dictate that secure men don’t need a script to approach women. Can you imagine Bill Clinton or Don Draper using PUA methods? I don’t think so.
As you may have deduced from my tone, I always looked down on PUAs and their slimy methods. Which is why I couldn’t stop myself from signing up for a class entitled “Pickup a 10 in the Streets of NYC.” At first I was just curious; I wanted to know what makes these guys tick. I imagined myself as a spy on a reconnaissance mission, collecting information from the enemy. Or like Sigourney Weaver in “Gorillas in the Mist,” studying the species’ every move. Keep reading »
This past weekend, I spoke on two panels at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy’s reproductive rights conference. One of my panels, “Bringing Social Justice to the Family Table,” tackled how to combine an activist lifestyle with family life. Along with three other panelists/mothers, I spoke about how to foster awareness of the world around us and how to engage our children in social justice issues from an early age. We spoke about our pre-kid lives as activists and how we wove it all in when we became parents. For many on the panel, including myself, that involved work in the reproductive rights movement.
I’ve written before about how becoming a mother has only strengthened my pro-choice beliefs, and I made sure to reiterate that stance while on the panel. I think there is a fear surrounding motherhood, that the moment you pop out a baby, all other aspects of your identity cease to exist and you become solely “mommy.” While there was certainly a period of transition while I figured out how to connect this new aspect of my identity with what was already there, I eventually found ways to make it all work harmoniously together.
When my son was only a few months old, I placed him snug against my chest in a baby carrier and manned a table for Planned Parenthood during a sidewalk sale event in my town. I handed out condoms and pamphlets on birth control and STI prevention while discreetly nursing my son in his sling. I spoke with people about the best ways to schedule appointments while my gurgling baby babbled happily away. Nobody seemed to bat an eye at the fact that my son was with me as I volunteered. Keep reading »