America’s Next Bill Clinton!


If I were a woman …

I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter if I had fuller breasts and long, golden hair that ran out my head, I wouldn’t make a very nice woman.

It doesn’t matter if you give me a uterus, or different sets of chromosomes, or even if you made me smell nicer, or stay cleaner, I wouldn’t make a nice woman.

Hell, give me my own vagina, with its own well-built system of reproduction and centers of pleasure, and I’d still wouldn’t make a very nice woman.

I know this because I know that by the time I am 12 or 13, I will hate men.

I wouldn’t hate them for their biology; I’d hate them for their ways to looking at me.

I’d hate them for their leery eyes and roaming hands – and the way they refer to me, not by my name, but as “hottie,” “sexy,” “babe,” or a myriad of other nicknames used to objectify me.

I would hate them for blaming my anger and attitude on my being “on the rag,” when in fact it is their ways of treating me that makes me angry.

I would hate that they holler at me as I walk down the street. What, should I come over there, drop my pants and jump their bone?

I would hate that if I bring up anything that makes me upset about them, I am being a whiny bitch.

I would hate them for treating me like a princess, but instantly call me a bitch if I were to turn down their sexual advances.

I would hate them for looking at me at a vehicle for their pleasure, and not as my own complete person.

Even in their compliments, I’d hate them for pre-supposing that just because I am a smart girl, that I am unique.

I’d most definitely have trouble trusting them – for I would never knew if one was genuine, or came from a long line of those trying to get in my pants

I would hate them for not knowing what the word “no” means. It doesn’t mean continuing to pursuit me. It doesn’t mean I am playing coy. It means you’re probably a dumbass and I am not interested in you.

I would hate them for roaming at bars, even when I am talking to my friends, trying to break in to our conversations. Leave me alone! I am here with friends!

I would hate the drinks they offer as a way to “break the ice,” as if somehow I am a prostitute and they are buying my time with drinks

I hate them because they control the media and images of me are distorted to be the way THEY see it

I would hate them because images of my body are spread everywhere – some of which are mutilated, as a way to promote their products

I would hate the porn industry. I would hate the pressure they put on me to act “accordingly.”

I would hate that I cannot be myself, but have to compare myself to unrealistic standards.

I would hate the make-up, the shoes and everything else that I need for a job interview just to be successful.

I would hate that I must always be perfect, but perfection is not good enough. I am encouraged to diet more, look better, lose more weight.

I would hate that I am robbed of all that is me – that I am made out to be what the patriarchy wants me to be. I would hate not being my own person.

But, thankfully, I am not a woman. I am a man, full of privileges and free to live my life as I see fit. I am still raging mad.

I am mad that my friends, sisters, loved ones, potential lovers and future daughters are subjected to shit they’d never think of doing to a man.

I am piss-hot the people I love are viewed as objects and not people.

I am upset that most people don’t empathize with the people I love.

But thankfully, I am a man. If a were a woman, I wouldn’t make a very nice one. By 14, I think I’d be in jail for murder.



Feminist relationships.

Over at feministing.com, Jessiva Valenti posted the results of a study that suggested feminists, more often than not, are in more meaningful and satisfying relationships. My first reaction was: no shit – for us, the political is personal, and so our empathy, compassion and love in the political sense can translate into a person sense, thus we often treat our partners with with those traits.

But allow me to bring up another point. Sometimes, in a relationship in which we are both feminists, things can also be extremely frustrating, because we are aware of the political oppressions all around us. As feminists, we thrive to take personal actions that are consistent with our political beliefs, and as such, it can be frustrating sometimes. Because the personal is political and our world is still extremely gendered and patriarchy, and are based on gender roles and sexuality, most of our personal struggles are about relationships and sexuality.

But by no way am I bitching. The personal struggles we face and the questions we ask ourselves are nothing compared to the political struggles many have – especially the women of the Global South.

The following, then, are a list of question I’ve come up with when it comes to relationships and feminism; please feel free to add yours.
1) Is it for me to feel a sexual desire for a woman at the moment of meeting her, without first knowing her as a person? I actually thought of this last night while meeting with a woman at a bar and talking a lot about — nothing. I still felt strangely sexually attracted to her, caught myself and scolded myself.

2) Is it okay for me to buy flowers for a woman-of-interest, knowing the kinds of message flowers might send, and the reinforcement of gender roles and chivalry that it carries? Also – is it really the romantic and genuine gesture, knowing the plights of flower growers in South America (mostly women) where these flowers are shipped? Am I wrong for buying flowers?

3) At a pick-up joint, is it okay to feel like “the man” in having won the attention and affection of a beautiful woman, knowing that she is highly sought after, but is with me? I feel like it’s almost a trophy pick-up – and that is wrong.

4) Is it okay to fall deeply and dangerously in love with someone, knowing the implications of gender roles we might have to give in to, being so in love?

5) Just how adventuous and kinky can we afford to be in our sexual practices? What of roleplaying? Is it wrong to be turned on or to participate in consentual sexual practices, if said practices, in real life, are oppressive to women?

6) Whose names shall we take after the wedding? How do we go about doing this without appearing abnormal to families and friends? How do we remain true to our feminist values, yet remain “real” to the world at the same time?

7) Of diamonds, shall we even consider it for our wedding? Blood diamonds?

8) How do we juggle how much to fall in love, yet remain true to the feminist cause? How do we balance our devotion to each other and feminism at the same time?

9) How do we show our love and affection to each other, yet at the same, show the world that we are equals – and be the shining examples of what healthy relationships should be all about?

A book that doesn’t have all the answers – but rather highlights the struggles between the personal and the political of feminism is called, “To Be Real,” by Rebecca Walker. I highly recommend it to all feminists!



Chivalry is not dead, but it should be!
August 16, 2007, 12:57 pm
Filed under: chivalry, dates, dating, Feminism, feminists, gender roles, love, men, misogyny, relationships, women

Sitting in traffic this morning (sounds like an idea for a real good Fountains of Wayne song, huh?) I was browsing through the morning paper and saw a quite interesting story on “what women want.” Apparently, the number one desired goal out of their dates is, according to this writer who just crawled out from under a rock (think Encino Man), is chivalry.

You know exactly what chivalry means – it’s that crap of treating women like they’re fragile and princesses, as though they’re soft and nimble, and that without a man there to protect them, they would just fall of the face of the earth (because it is flat, you know) and die.

It is my assertion that while chivalry is not dead, it should be. In the end, for me, chivalry is nothing more than a means of treating women a certain way, to highlight the myth that they’re “different,” just to keep them down. Maybe that sounds a bit, oh, I don’t know, radical feministic of me, but it’s true.

To be sure, there are certain things that we ought to do for people, simply because we’re kind and cordial. But when those nice and cordial things are done for a person based on that person’s gender, I have a problem with it.

When we treat someone differently, based of their perceived abilities, it also makes sense that we make a statement of value to say that they lack the ability to do certain things, and that their “natural” environment is where they’d be most comfortable. In that, we also exclude them from certain environments in which they don’t traditionally belong. In this case, by treating women as soft and fragile, or as princesses and unable to “survive” in the public sphere without our “protective arms,” we downgrade their true human abilities to accomplish things.

Besides, it’s just freaking creepy. Why the hell would anyone want to kiss a woman’s hand as a way of greeting them? Why should I have to open a car door for a woman as if she’s not able to do it on her own?

The other day here at work, we had a big ceremony thing, and I was in charge of shaking hands and meeting people. A colonel ran up to me a few minutes into the ceremony, and said, “Sergeant, we need you to escort a young lady …” I was thinking, “What, she needs to go to the bathroom? How did you know I like …”

The next thing I knew, she was grabbing on to my arm and dragging me down the aisle to her seat. What the hell? Unless you’re missing three toes and can’t balance yourself to walk 30 feet, why the hell would you want to grab on to me just to get escorted?  Doesn’t it just show that you’re relying on me for the smallest of things? Why would you want to exemplify this in public? If you aren’t intimately involved with me, please do not grab on to my arms and drag me anywhere.

A few months ago, at the Young Feminist Leadership Conference in DC, I heard something amazing that stuck with me until this day. In addressing the women at the conference (who out numbered me by about 100 folds), Ellie Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation said this: “Never accept favors and privilege based on your gender. It might seem like you’re gaining from it at first, but in the end, scratch the surface, and you realize that it’s used as a way to, at a later time, keep you down.” I agree with her.

My point is this: chivalry is not dead, but it should be. If I had it in my power, I’d cut it off at the knees.

On the same note: what about paying when you’re out with the opposite sex? That’s the one bit of “chivalry” stuck in me that I still need to get rid of. While I love to pay, and always do, I feel guilty doing so, because I don’t want to send the message that perhaps such lady owes me something simply because I paid for dinner. She does not owe me anything.

In the end, besides physical interaction, we should be treating females as we would males. If a man is doing something for a woman that he wouldn’t otherwise do for another man, it’s chivalry, and it sucks.