America’s Next Bill Clinton!


A new take on violence …

It certainly took a lot of time to deconstruct, but I think I can safely say that I’ve come up with the conclusion that violence – no matter how justified, is not a trait belonging to the feminist movement – and that just as we speak out against domestic violence, we must also speak out against all other forms of violence.

I write this because my journey to feminism hasn’t been an easy one – it’s been filled with trials and tribulations – particularly dealing with my tendencies to display violent toward those who I deem misogynistic.

But said thoughts and actions, no matter how well intentioned, still reeked of the patriarchy. As feminism asks males to give up our privileges, we too, must also give up the things that we hold closest to. For me, it was the ability to prove to others that I can overpower them, and can render them powerless.

This idea of masculinity, then, is also a social construct. Just as we are socially constructed to believe men and women ought to behave a certain way, we are also socially constructed to believe that violence is a part of masculinity – that somehow, if one walks away from a fight, or shows a desire for peace, that one isn’t “man” enough.

I was ready to give up other privileges, but somehow, I was still reluctant to give up violence. Somehow, for me, to give up violence meant to give up a part of me – that to give up violence, I would no longer be a man, but rather, an “other.”

To truly give up privileges means we should give up the privileges we are uncomfortable with giving up – not just those we feel like giving up. For me, violence was one of those privileges I did not want to give up. I’ve come to realize that feminism is not meant to make us comfortable. It’s meant to challenge us – the way we think and the way we behave.

Consider this: in speaking out against misogynistic actions and the objectifications of women, we are speaking out against social constructs of what it means to be men. To be consistent with ourselves, we must, too, give up violence.

We have to acknowlege that we are affected by the Hollywood version of what it means to be a human being – what it means to be tough – and what it means to be a man. For most, this means embracing violence.

Just as social constructs have affected women negatively in others ways, they also affect women through violence. By my mere actions of embracing violence, I am sending the message to others that, indeed, violence is acceptable. While all of the violent actions I embraced were gears toward those I believed deserved such violence, through their anti-feminist actions, what I did not realize is those violent actions in themselves, were anti-feminists.

After all, the violent actions I take will only uphold violence – by embracing violence, I only reinforced the idea of what it meant to be a man – and while I won’t be affected, such actions have a domino effect, as it further fuels the violence cycles, and the recipients of said violent actions are women and teenagers, whose minds are still impressionable, and thus the cycle of violence continues.

Being a feminist does not mean we get to pick which forms of violence to reject. The truth is all violence is bad – and by picking and choosing, not only are we being incosistent with our feminist beliefs, it also means we are upholding the very things we are fighting against.

For those who have been so patient with me in my walk closer toward feminism, thank you.



Can I still be “masculine” and be a feminist?

My apogogies for the lack of posting. I’ve been extremely busy, and extremely sick. I am still kind of walking around in a haze, not having eaten since Tuesday because of this really bad flu … 

Can I be a feminist and still, at the same time, hold on to my masculinity? I mean, if a female feminist can still cling on to her “womanhood” and be a feminist, why can’t I be the same? If a woman can still wear make-up and high heels and be a feminist, why can’t I be masculine and still be a feminist?

I bring this up because lately, I’ve been charged with not being a feminist because I still enjoy male privilege.

The most serious charge is that I still want power – that in having political ambitions, rather than giving up power, I am clinging on and going after power.

But if I am using such power for something good – feminism, why is it so wrong?

So what if I enjoy a good fight? So what if, upon hearing a Navy guy make an anti-women, anti-feminist comment at the bar, and acting like a misogynist objectifying jackass, I challenge him to a fight? Sure, it’s violence; but it’s violence for feminism?

So what if I enjoy the sense of women (sexually or otherwise) or the taste of beer, or that on Sundays, I am watching football? So what if I love the feeling of being able to shoot my M-16 so accurately that i can hit a target 500 meters away? I am still a feminist.

I can still be tender, loving, caring, and I can still stick by my values and convictions.

To be sure, those who accused me of such are 2nd Wavers, those who live in their own worlds, reject what is reality, and just are “radical.”

I like sex, I like beers, I like violence, I like football, and I still speak out on behalf of human and women’s rights.

I still fall in love I still enjoy wooing women, I still enjoy wearing my heart on my sleeve.

I love being the center of attention. I love power. I love being in control.

But I would never harm, objectifying, hurt, or deny women of their humanly rights.

Why am I not a feminist?

A girl I just spoke to told me one can still be masculine and “manly” and be a good person and a feminist and that I am an example of such.

I shouldn’t give a fuck what the 2nd Wave thinks. But I still need to give up male privilege, as it is how we pro-feminist males are supposed to act.

What am I to do? What’s a guy supposed to do? If I give up masculinity, all that’s in me will be gone. I’d be left with no passion, no drive, no ambition. This is not because it’s what defined me as a man, but it’s because it’s who I am.

I want to be a man, but I still want to be a feminist.

Thoughts?



I just occured to me that the blog is being talked about over at another feminist board related to I Blame the Patriarchy – and negatively. I think it’s a wonderful things because while positive things makes us believe in what we say even stronger, the negative things force us to examine our beliefs.

Rather than addressing all the issues at the moment, I wanted to take time out to simply say that, perhaps, I was wrong all along and that i am sorry. Perhaps all the patients and teachings and devotion my WMST professors showed to me have gone to waste – and that rather than truly understanding the issues and seeing things from a true feminist view, I am still looking at the world from a very patriarchal view full of male privilege and the lack of true understanding.

I could (but wouldn’t) say that this is MY brand of feminism and no one has the right to critique it. But that would be the wrong thing to do. My intent is to become a better person in life, not to always be “right.”

Perhaps I ought to take more time to listen to the veterans of feminism – and those who come before me. Perhaps starting fights in bars for feminism isn’t such a great thing. Perhaps I only see it as effective because it’s a showing of my musculinity.

In any regard, I will be examining my personal life in the next weeks (and beyond), and perhaps with the patience and teachings of those who have truly understood why we fight, I can become a better person, and thereby affecting those around me to move to action as well.

Know that my intentions are good. It’s just that sometimes, caught in the passions of what I feel is right, I wear my heart on my sleeve and do not take enough time to examine the complexities of what it truly means to be a feminist.

I hope to learn, hear and be critiqued by you.



My disenchantment with the military

It’s a one-percent chance, but I could get out of the Army as early as next week. It was a decision made in the heat of emotions – and it’s a decision, if the paperwork goes through, is one of the best decisions in my life.

This morning at work, I was asked again, about my re-enlistment and whether or not I planned on signing it. In short, I told them that the Army was no longer my passion – that there are changes I’d like to see in the world, and that I found the military to be useless in my vision for the world.

A co-worker shot up and said that that I wasn’t honoring my commitment and that if it wasn’t for the military, I wouldn’t be able to be able to do the activism for the “stupid feminism and gay rights shit” that I do.

It turned into a screaming match, me telling the Army people to go fuck themselves and them telling me that I am cutting and running, and that I don’t truly believe in America or freedom.

I’d argued that I spent the past six years of my life wasting it away in the military, when I could have done so much more for the world. They shot back in saying that the military is an honorable profession and that they were the true defenders of freedom. I told them they were stupid and hypocrites, for getting angry over the flag being trampled upon, but do nothing when the Constitution gets trampled upon.

To make a long story short, I was asked if I could get out of the Army right now, whether I’d agree to it. I did.

It was supposed to be a challenge to me – I was supposed to say it was only my emotions. But it’s not. It’s truly how I feel.

The easy way in life would be for me to spend the rest of my career in the Army. The money would be good. I am good at what I do – I am well known and respected – and I can get a job anywhere I want. In fact, I was once offered a job as the press secretary to the Secretary of the Army. So, yes, I know I’ve got the skills.

But in the end, it’s not about me. It’s about changing the world. It’s about making other people’s lives better. Too often, people get caught up in their American Dream that they forget about others. My America dream is to ensure that others get theirs.

So, yes, the Army can take its God and country and values and religion and go fuck themselves with it.

I doubt the paperwork will go through, but if it does, then good. If not, then by January or February, I’d be a civilian anyway.

Too often, people make the safe decisions in life. Decisions that benefit them and their lives.

A girl once told that I need to think of myself more – and not to be so selfless. What she didn’t understand – and what very few people understand – is that in working for human rights and social justice, I AM thinking of myself – because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself or be emotionally satisfied if I did anything else.

Besides, I am talented. I’ve got jobs lined up. An ambassador today said to give him a call if I needed help with looking for a job, too. I don’t fucking need the military. It can go fuck itself.



I am not a feminist, but …

Really, why are some young women so reluctant to identify themselves as feminists?

We met in a women’s bathroom at a gay club. A few friends and I had gone to an AIDS fundraiser earlier that night, and decided to drop by the Wave for drinks. Having to go to the bathroom and a bit sloshed, I announced that I had to pee. Someone suggested that I used the women bathroom instead, because I was considered “fresh meat” for one reason or another in the men’s bathroom.

A friend was nice enough to walk me into the women’s bathroom, and there I met and shook hands (after we both washed of course) with a nice young woman from VCU. After about an hour of meeting and talking to her in the bathroom, I ran into her again. She was extremely attractive, so I continued our conversation.

Upon minding out I am a women’s studies major and feminist, she said, “I am not a feminist, but …” and started listing a long list of reasons for women’s rights.

In my extremely fogged up mind, I recalled an article I’d read as a freshman in my women’s studies class called, “Feminism: Why Young Women Get the Willies.”

If I can recall correctly, the reason for it is that young women are afraid of the stigma that comes with feminism – the image of bra-burning, man-hating, armpit-non-shaving, head-shaving, dyke. They were, as the article said, also afraid that they had to give up their sexuality for feminism – that, somehow, calling oneself a feminist means that one could no longer love a member of the opposite sex.

So, why is it, I still wonder, that so many young college women are afraid of being labelled as feminists? I contend that it’s because of the above false image of feminists – that somehow feminists are strange creatures; we hate sex; we hate men (I do, anyway); and we hate anything that’s normal.

While I hold these beliefs to be false, my question is this: even if they were true, so what?

Take away those actions and behaviors and feminism is left with love, compassion, empathy, equality and a sense of responsibility, in making the world a better place. What’s so bad about it?

Yet, time and time again, I run across women (and men) who take feminist positions, but never want to describe themselves as feminists for fear of shame.

The truth is you should never be ashamed of your work in trying to make the world a better place. You should never have to apologize for the desire to work toward equality and social justice. In fact, you ought to be very proud of it. I am proud of you for it.

The next time the conversation comes up, proudly and emphatically claim yourself as a feminist – and answer with a loud and resounding “Yes,” if anyone ever asked you whether you are a feminist.

Bill Clinton was right when he said, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what’s right with America.” You are everything that’s right with America.

On that note – I want a “This Is What A I-Am-Not-A-Feminist But looks like” t-shirt. 😀



I got a job offer from a pro-choice organization.

Bam! There you have it, baby! Forgive me for gloating, but I think I just shut some doubters up about my ability to sustain myself after I get out of the Army.

My parents, the Army and conservative “friends” have been worried – how will I survive after the Army? Here’s how: you get a job offer without even having to submit a resume. People remember me and see my work and ability and skills and drive and passion and intelligence!

To be sure, I’d already had a low-paying intership offer up in DC. But today, after a few days of being in contact with a prominent pro-choice organization to volunteer for them, and after conversations with them, I’ve been offered a job in the public relations/strategic communications department for this organization …this pays well enough, and it allows to continue my passion, stay in the DC/NoVA area and still finish school. That’s how you build a political career!

A few months ago, the Army offered me $25,000 to re-enlist …and pushed me to sign the paperwork as the “window was closing” on that bonus. I declined. Although I’ve not officially accepted this job, as I am exploring other possibilities, I can officially tell the Army to take their $25,000 and shove it.

This should shut my parents the hell up, too. Although I am sure someone is going to come along and tell me that I will be making my living killing babies. :0)

I get to work in an area of interest, something I am passionate about and I get paid for it? This is not work – it’s pure pleasure – with a condom, of course – as one of my jobs will be to promote contraception vs. abstinence!



40 days of anti-choice protest

Since Sept. 26, anti-choicers, in an effort to bring to light the “tragic” facts of abortion, have protested at abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood everywhere, with the intentions of changing the minds of those who have reached the decision to terminate a pregnancy. As well, they intend on making their voices known – as a way to influence politicians hoping to get elected, to climb on their bandwagon.

See: http://www.40daysforlife.com/about.cfm

Where are we as pro-choicers? We’re silent. We’re sitting there and staring back, as if the right to choose is something that’s secured for every woman, everywhere.

Although their protests are built-up as silent vigils, any of you who’ve escorted patients to an abortion clinic know it’s not true. Often times, it’s loud, obnoxious and in violation of a woman’s right to choose. Their tactics are uncanny, extreme and can be very upsetting.

I don’t mind dialogue, and I don’t have a problem with people who share different ideologies than ours. But when the revert to name calling and carrying signs with pictures of aborted fetuses, the dialogue is gone, and there’s nothing left but pure passion – that kind of passion that tears America apart, rather than heals us as a nation.

So, I am asking you – the pro-choicers whom I’ve grown to know and love, to volunteer your time at various clinics, acting as a cushion between the religious wrong, and the women who need our compassion and love – not judgment and insults.

Pro-lifers often want to be vocal about their ideals – yet they don’t want to take actions. They want to raise signs and call names, and pray for everyone, but they would never take the time to adopt. Only if they’d stop for one second and think about it – they’d know that Planned Parenthood is more than just about abortions – it’s about responsible parenting.

Let’s show them we can take a higher road. Let’s volunteer at these places, not as counter-demonstrators, but as those who are there to love and support – as those might not ever understand the decision of an abortion, but have chosen to honor the sacredness the decision between a woman, her family and her God.

Let’s be the shining of examples of what it means to love and accept. Let’s volunteer at a Planned Parenthood today.