America’s Next Bill Clinton!


“Need to get laid, go to a political rally

I found this article extremely amusing http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2007/09/27/2007-09-27_singles_will_check_out_eligible_candidat-2.html

Essentially, political campaigns that are aimed at a younger demographic (think Barrack Obama) are aiming at a younger crowd with promise of getting laid or finding a like-minded date.I have two really jumbled up thoughts of it. One: it doesn’t work. Traditionally, the 18-29 demographic is great for straw polls, but it doesn’t always translate into a political victory. Like it or not, our crowd is pretty fickled.While our mindsets are in the right place, we don’t actually go to the poll. Then there are those who are truly committed in that age bracket who doesn’t need to go to a political function to get laid. They are actually doing this for the right reasons and are committed to voting for a certain candidate anyway, so it’s pointless and a fiscal waste to spend money on them. You can see it now, election day comes around, two people are in bed cuddling after their fuck fest at around 7 p.m.

“You know, I had a feeling we were supposed to do something today?”
“We did — each other.”
“No, something else — something important.”
“Oh, shit! We’re supposed to vote for Barrack Obama. Hurry! Precincts close in an hour!”
They throw on their clothes, speed down the road only to find a traffic jam. Barrack Obama comes in third.

My second thought is this: there might be some truths to the article. In my experiences, as a liberal, Democrat and feminist, the women whom I’ve met and fallen for (and those who’ve fallen for me), been out with and dated and whatnot, are always a much better experience at political/feminist events, than drunk and throwing up under a bar.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that deep down inside, rather than a quick lay, we all want someone with whom we share values and convictions, and a desire to see the world the way we want it.

In the end, for me (and I would say “liberals,” but I don’t claim to speak for all liberals), love isn’t about what the person can do for us, but rather, what that person does (and potentially can do) for the world. Maybe it’s just the little hippie in me (without the long hair and drugs) talking. I don’t know.

Thirdly, (I know I promised two thoughts, but I lied), I was kind of offended by the article and the “liberal chicks are easy” line in the article. It’s not that they’re easy, it’s perhaps that they’re more comfortable with their sexuality.

It also offends me because it gives the idea that we’re supposed to stand up for a cause just to get laid. It offends me even more that the person quoted is seeing women, once again, not for their character and values and beliefs (in this case, as liberals and feminists), but as a piece of meat, there for his pleasure.

Sex is greatly appreciated and awesome, but it ought to come with respect and equality – and there is no respect and equality in a statement like, “liberal chicks are easy.”



Misogyny at its best.

Browsing through the news this morning, I ran across this story http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/09/man-urinates-on.html

It’s extremely sad that in the patriarchy, entertainment to men seems to take priority over the life of a woman. This goes to further show that women aren’t seen as people – but rather objects. Their lives are valued less than that of man. So long as someone is entertained, all is good. So long as someone is satisfied with entertainment, no one gives a damn about women’s lives. After all, in the patriarchy, women are seen as the objects of pleasure (and not just sexually) to men.

More upsetting? The fact that some posters to the story aren’t outrage. “There are bigger things going on in the world,” one poster writes.

Only if that poster can see the connection between misogyny and its abundance in our culture.

Watersports can be hot – depending on how kinky you are, but this is assault. I hope the guy gets his ass kicked in jail.

 Marc



A pro-feminist male in love (with a feminist!)

I am very sorry for a most cheesy post! 

So, I think I’ve met the woman I would like – the person who is going to be the Hillary Clinton to my Bill Clinton. Some of you  have heard about her before – but I’d like to say this one more time – she is amazing. In the words of my favorite poet, “I don’t know if love conquers all, but I know it’s conquering me at an alarming rate.”

We met at a feminist conference; she interned this summer for a women’s rights organization; she’s spent time overseas to help poor people; she is not religious; she is active in progressive politics both on and off campus; she has a beautiful mind; and her greatest ambition is to one day win the Nobel Peace Prize. What more can a person ask for in a mate, right?

To be sure, we are not a couple – and I like it that way. But I feel this affinity and longing for her. Yet, the funny thing is that I am very much interested in women, in general, and I do go out with a lot of women – most of whom are feminists.

Some people have told me that doing so is inconsistent with my values, because I am “playing the field.” They’ve said that if I truly do feel good-and-love for her, that I should just try to be with her, and not go out to dinners and dates with any other women.

Here, the word “date” becomes one that needs to be defined: is going to dinner with a woman considered a date? Is it a date if you two are the only ones at the table at dinner and drinks? I certainly don’t think so, but others seem to. The thing is I am interested in the way women think – their minds, their thoughts, their experiences and the way they see things. That’s why I go out with women to dinners and cocktail bars. I like finding out about them. I expect nothing in return, and mean nothing by going out to dinner with them. Yet, some people don’t seem to understand that.

On another different note, I’ve been on two dates and a friendly dinner this week, and all of them were feminists. It’s funny because the two dates and the dinner friend broke gender roles, and paid for my dinner and drinks. I am a feminist,  but somehow, I felt uncomfortable with it – as if I owe them something for paying for my dinner and drinks. I don’t know how to take it when a woman pays for my dinner. The feminist in me tells me that it’s good for reversal of gender roles. The person in me tells me that I don’t want to burden them.

[one more note on the feminist I am interested in] She’s not ready for a relationship, and I understand that. And, in fact, I do appreciate her just as her – a person. I appreciate that she is in my life. If, in the end, nothing happens, she’d still be a great person for whom I am thankful to be in my life. I’d like to love her as America’s Next Hillary Clinton, but I already feel the world for her as just a person. I don’t need romance to appreciate her for who she is.

Thoughts?

 Also, I am driving up to DC for her birthday, which means I need to take a day off from work and drive up there at night. This song below popped into my mind. It’s called I-95, by Fountains of Wayne.

They sell posters of girls washing cars
And unicorns and stars
And Guns N’ Roses album covers
They’ve got most of the Barney DVDs
Coffe mugs and tees
That say Virginia is For Lovers
But it’s not
Round here it’s just for truckers who forgot
To fill up on gasoline
Back up near Aberdeen

It’s a (four) hour drive
From me to you
(North) on I-95
And I’ll do it til the day that I die
If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you

Hip-hop stations are fading in and out
All I’m receiving now
Is a kick drum mixed with static
Constellations are blinking in the sky
The road is open wide
And it feels so cinematic
‘Til a van
Driven by an elder gentleman
Cuts right in front of me
From then on that’s all I see

It’s a (four) hour drive
From me to you
(North) on I-95
And I’ll do it til the day that I die
If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you



Feminism, strip bars, and an exotic dancer.

For the last few days, I’ve wanted to write about my experience at the strip club, but I am glad I didn’t, because tonight, I actually got to talk to a stripper about feminism, so it made me think a bit deeper on the issue.

Please don’t kill me – but a few nights ago, my old friends took me to a strip bar, despite my protest. They didn’t put a gun to my head, but I reluctantly went anyway, seeing it as a way for us to spend time together. In that, I feel guilty because I felt as though I was contributing to the objectification and commodification of women by being a patron there. Further, I have to admit that I was somewhat turned on by the visuals of it all. But I am, after all, only human.

 As one of my buddies offered to buy me a lap dance, I refused, out of me feministic values. “Real men don’t have to pay to see a woman naked,” I told him as a way to politely refuse, yet still adhere to my feministic values. But at the same time, even said statement, for me, is problematic, as it defines what a “real man” is supposed to be.

But I felt extremely bad that I was at the club, and that I was physically enjoying the sight of a woman’s body, who was only there because of an imbalance of power. There I was – the male with privilege and money to see her dance naked …I was just like the rest of them, contributing to the misogynistic view of women.

 What was even more upsetting for me, I think, was I saw the cocktail servers walking around in tight little bikinis. While I love the woman’s body, I don’t feel as though I have to part-take in sexism to appreciate it. Although there is always a “no-touch” policy at any strip club, the regulars were actually slapping one of the servers’ butt. I wanted to say something, but realized it was neither my place nor the time. I let it go, and continued talking to my friends. I am sorry!

 Tonight, while sitting at a coffee shop near my house, I was next to a couple a table over. Lost in my new book, “Giving,” by Bill Clinton, as well as texting people, I looked up to the girl asking me if the Ms. Magazine sitting on the table was mine. I offered it to her, and the guy she was with told me she is new to feminism. So, a conversation ensued.

It turns out she’s an exotic dancer, and came to feminism after reading Jessica Valenti’s “Full Frontal Feminism,” and now wants to go to college majoring in women’s studies.

I asked her how she dealt with the political and personal of her life, being both a feminist and a dancer. Her reply was something to this extend:

“It depends on why people dance. For some girls, they dance because they feel they need the approval of men to feel pretty. Some can’t dance unless they’ve got alcohol in their system. I dance because I make a lot money doing so, and I am my own person. I don’t need men’s approval to feel pretty, but I am empowered by it. In the end, it’s about what I do for my own life and not have to feel ashamed by it. I do it because I make my own schedule and report to no one.”

I thought about her answer and wondered: what if stripping truly does make some women happy because they are in control? What if stripping made them happy because they are empowered by the money? What if they are doing it out of their own choice?

Driving home, I think I’ve come up with the answer for it all, and perhaps said answer is still muddled by my experience as a male with male privilege, but I think that feminism shouldn’t be about what we can get out of it, but how we can make the world a better place.

In the end, what we do shouldn’t be motivated by what we can get out of it, but rather, whether it will positively affect woman?

Does seeing women naked make me happy? Sure. But am I contributing to the comodification of women? Yes. So should I do it in the future? No.

The same thing, I think, goes for this woman. This is not a judgement. It’s merely what I think. But as was brought up in my conversation with her, our views on feminism change everyday, as we learn more, and experience more. Perhaps that’s just the case with me.

I recommend to her, “To Be Real,” by Rebecca Walker. I suggest it to all of you, too. 🙂

Thoughts?



“Coming out” to my parents

I am on vacation, but I still want to write, simply because I’ve ran across a lot of issues worth talking about, to include a fake “abortion” clinic that I called to find out what they’re about (I’ll blog that later). I also went to a strip club with old friends last night, and hated it. I’ll blog that later, too. For now, this one is about my “coming out.”

Almost two-and-a-half years ago, I came out to my parents. No, it wasn’t the type where at Thanksgiving dinner, I announced that I liked penises now, as my dad choked on the turkey breast (what else would he be eating, right?) and my mon slowly fainted, her face in the bowl of gravy.

My coming was a different sort. I announced to them that I had declared myself a women’s studies major, and now a feminist.

I think they took it quite well. In fact, they probably saw it as a phase, one that would pass. My dad, in his sense of humor, would introduce me to the neighbors as “Marc, our daughter.”

Coming home and seeing them now, though, it’s a little different. They’re beginning to realize that I am in this movement for good.

When I told them that I would be getting out of the Army, finishing up my degree and then going to law school to be an attorney in women’s and human rights issues before trying to go into politics, their first question was how I would make money.

“Why don’t you stay in the Army for 20 years and retire to collect paycheck? You’ll only be 37 by then,” my mom pressed.

“Mom, because women’s rights can’t wait. I want to make a difference,” I replied.

They still don’t get it. They worry about money and how I’d make a living, even after I’d told them that so long as I have a roof over my head and a few nice suits to go to work in, I’d be happy. They don’t get it.

I love my parents, but they want me to do things that don’t matter to me. My calling is feminism and progressive politics. My parents envisioned I’d be a doctor or a hot-shot attorney. This time, they’d even offer to start a business for me.

“What change in the world would I make?” I asked them.

“What girl would marry a man with no money, working for a non-profit as an attorney?” my mom asked.

“Mom, women aren’t gold-diggers, and they’re capable of making money on their own. Besides, I’ve got plenty of admirers who’d want to date me. It’s okay, I don’t need money to get laid.”

They’re unhappy, but I am not going to change my life and my passion around for them. I love my parents, but I love my country more. I want to make my parents happy, but there are millions of my fellow human beings who are still being marginalized based on the sex into which they were born. They take priority.

They gave me life and I am thankful for that. But now, I will use my life to change lives. I am not going to sit around doing my best to make them happy. After all, life is a gift. When you give someone a gift, you shouldn’t expect them to do with it what you want. It’s THEIR gift.



Porn is rape/degrading.

 Sorry. I don’t know why the picture didn’t come up. But you can click on the link  I’ll save the discussion of why porn is rape for when I get back from vacation. In fact, I’ve been visiting a lot of porn stores to research the issue of women and the image thereof in porn, examining the intersectionality between sex, gender, power, economic status, race and class – and what it has to do with porn (don’t forget age, too). But for now, here’s a picture I took a few days ago of a porn DVD cover. The sticker was bought at a feminist conference. What I’ll do is, from now on, I’ll go ahead and bring the stickers everywhere I go. If you want some, let me know. I hope everyone is doing well. I also have quite an interesting story on how I had to give my mom a speech on why when I get married, we (although I don’t know who will be my wife yet) are not going to involve diamonds. Because diamonds are also oppressive and not romantic.



Unisex baby showers!
September 7, 2007, 3:57 pm
Filed under: baby showers, Feminism, feminists, gender roles, military, misogyny, patriarchy, sexism, unisex

So, sitting here at work, a co-worker just came in all shocked, screaming “God, do you know what I just found out? They do unisex baby showers now!”

He seemed shocked. “Oh, baby showers as I’ve been taught, are for women. They’d come around and play women games and talk about baby stuff. That stuff’s not for men.”

I really don’t know what to think. Do I confront this guy and ask what “women games” are, or do I let it go, or do I talk to him about gender and social construct? This is the same guy who, a few weeks ago, told another co-worker she could come over and cook for him so she can “practice cooking for [her] husband.”

I confronted him, and he said, “You and your feminist crap. It’s just tradition, Marc.”

It’s funny, because in the military, I see a lot of sexism, but most of it is underlined. Then, I hear these people speak and I want to pull out my hair. It’s too bad I am bald.

 One day, I was outside talking to a few people and when we talked about women, and I made the point: “Isn’t it funny what we do for love when we were in our teens?”

A guy said, “Yeah, they say money is the root of all evils. It’s not money, it’s women.” I nearly smacked him.

 Sometimes, I am glad I am leaving the military. I don’t really know how much of it I can really take really bite my tongue on.

 On a different note, I am leaving for California soon. So, it’s a little vacation. This blog takes a vacation, too – unless I run across something really sexist or misogynistic, then I’ll try to find a computer.

I am wearing my “I (heart) pro-choice girls” shirt on the plane. I just want to see how many dirty looks I get.