America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Hillary Clinton’s “break down” and an asshole …

I want to focus on Clinton’s so-called “melt down” last night and how assertions from the media – and mostly the conservatives, are that she set feminism back about 20 years.

But first, look at this video and tell me it doesn’t piss you off. If I were there, I’d kick him in the chest: http://www.breitbart.tv/html/25784.html

For those who don’t know, at a recent roundtable discussion, Senator Clinton showed emotions in talking about her visions for America, and what are, to be sure, the struggles her campaign has faced.

“This is very personal for me,” she said. “It’s not just political. It’s not just public. I see what’s happening and we have to reverse it.

“Some people think that elections are a game, it’s about who’s up or who’s down. It’s about our country and it’s about our kids’ future.

Because she somewhat teared-up during that discussion, some critics are now labelling her as “weak,” and making women seem emotional and unable to control their feelings.

She wasn’t being a “woman.” She was being a human being. She was showing the side that matters and what guys like Edwards have advocated and asked for in politics – genuine feelings. Isn’t it time we get away from corporate politics and get back to what really matters – truly loving and caring for our fellow Americans as well as our nation?

It’s funny, because I know that if Obama or Edwards broke down, there would be no talk of them being a “woman.” They would look like they’re sensitive and are in touch with their feelings – and critics would say that is the exact change America needs. But because this is Hillary Clinton, people are viewing her as a woman and not a politician. I can’t help but get a little ticked off.

I am sorry that Clinton didn’t act like “one of the boys.” I am sorry that she showed she had feelings. She is not supposed to be a man. She doesn’t want to be a man. She is a human being with emotions and with a geniune love for America – as the majority of politicians – Republicans or Democrats – do.

The bottom line is Clinton has no obligation to act “accordingly.” She is an accomplished woman who has many things to offer America – and if in the course of her campaign, she happens to show her human side, what’s wrong with that?

Furthermore – why do people write off her emotions as fake? Why not give Clinton the benefit of the doubt? Why not TRUST women? Sure, Edwards can talk about his personal life and growing up poor, and Obama can talk about his journey to finding faith, and no one finds it to be fake, but Clinton does it and they do? Why? Because she’s a woman.

I also heard something yesterday that made me frown. Someone told me that he questioned Clinton’s motives. Well, I’ll tell you her motives: she wants to make America a better place. She wants to see progress. She wants to ensure the American Dream is securely fastened in the hands of every man, woman and child.

How and why else would a person run for political office? Why else would someone have political aspiration? The majority of politicians have paid their debt to society to get where they are, while they could have taken the easy way out. Public life is not fun. Travelling to campaign is not a walk in the park – but they’re committed to doing it because they’re committed to America. Let’s give them, and in this case, Clinton, some credit, huh?

I could crawl in a hole – I could be taking the easy life at school, I could have a damn easy school schedule, and I could just turn a blind eye, but I don’t. Why? Because I care about America and believe with the right education, I have what it takes to change America. I am busting my ass to build a political future, and when I do run for office, I’ll be damned if anyone questions my “motive.”



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 am not a flirt! I am just a (3rd wave) feminist!

Recently, I’ve been told – by more than just one woman – that the actions I take when around them tend to me misleading – and that I tend to be, according to some, a “flirt.”

I find this problematic and interesting because I am a pro-feminist male, and as such, I tend to treat everyone equality without regard to gender, but I cannot help but think somehow, because of my behavior, I am ending up confusing the shit out of some people, and in a sense, “leading them on.”

Because of my activism on and off campus in the feminist as well as progressive politics movements, I often dine with a lot of women – and have a lot of what I call “friendly outings” with them.

That’s certainly not the problem. The problem comes in when, in our interaction, I may say things that – in a gendered society as we know it, be considered flirting.

A touch on the shoulder here, a brush on the lap there, a “you’re amazing here,” a “you’ve got a beautiful mind,” there. Just compliments – and just friendly touching – all of which are welcomed. But then I’ve been accused that, because of this, women are taking it as a sign of a come on, and that I somehow don’t “follow through” with my actions, because I then go on and gloat about Emily and how wonderful she is and how much she means.

Perhaps that’s what bothers me the most about the gendered world as we know it – people can’t appreciate and show affection for one another – albeit a very platonic and friendly one, without having to feel as though they are somehow showing signs of romantic interests.

It’s not that I feel bad for myself – I live in a world with male privilege and have absolutely no rights to bitch or complain. I just feel bad that I may be leaving people with the wrong impression.

Really, in the end, is a brush on the lap, stroking someone’s face, or a compliment about how much you like them as a person, really a sign of a come on?

I mean – as a straight male, I do that to male friends, too. It’s a sign of affection. It’s a sign of closeness.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just be a robot, sit there and show no signs of emotions or affection whatsoever. Maybe then, no one would accuse me of being “well on [my] way to be America’s Next Bill Clinton – in behavior.”



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



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.



On your period? Ewww, you sick

Sorry if the paragraphs aren’t broken up. For some reason, it’s not doing that, and I’ve tried to fix it, but it doesn’t work. So I gave up. 

Are you on your period? Do you naturally bleed each month? Are you a woman? What shame! My God – you should be hiding the fact that your body naturally secretes blood every month because, like, it just grosses us out, hmmmkay? 

This is the message you’d be getting if you buy into this shit http://www.simplydiscrete.com/ 

It’s essentially a little box thing that women can put their tampons in so that they’d hide the fact their on their periods, so that, according to the vendor, if they’re over at their in-laws house, they can change their tampons discretely.

I actually first spotted this product a few weeks ago at the NOW conference in Detroit and it kind of ticked me off. So I played football with the box, which many fellow feminists thought was kind of amusing.

Here’s the thing: I’ve never had a period, I don’t plan on having one anytime soon – and up until last week, I didn’t even know the mechanics of tampons and pads, and the difference between the two.

But I know this: I am not comfortable with the idea that they’re selling a product and making money off women by encouraging them to “hide” what is most natural.

So they bleed every month. So what? They’re supposed to hide this, why? Why are we still taking steps to make women feel ashamed of what’s natural to their bodies?

And this idiot had the bright idea to sell them at the feminist conference!

Secondly, over at a feminist blog, there is talk of new scented underwear that’s coming out. Apparently, the idea behind this all is that women are supposed to smell like flowers (and melons!) because any other would be unnatural.

In fact, I’ve learned that such a product doesn’t provide for much comfort, either, and can create more infections and Urinary Tract Infections.

So, again, why are we shaming women into buying things to make their bodies unnatural and into what we want? This is consumerism and sexism at its best.

And not to be crude – but goddamn, if a vagina looks and tastes like 1800flowers.com just delivered it to my door, I ain’t touching it. Sorry.



Male privilege check-list.

I tend to save the more lighthearted posts for Fridays, but given the recent developments of the blog, and because I’ve not had any Red Bull and have spent the last few nights thinking about the whole love thing instead of sleeping, I am feeling a little slow. So here’s just a post that lists male privileges. I am sure you can come up with more than I can, as I am privileged, and often don’t see these. These privileges can be both physical and social perceptions.

 1) Career wise, I can do almost anything I want, without having to fear that I can’t make it because of my gender.

2) When I do have children, I can still continue with my career, and won’t seem like a “bad dad.”

3) No one would ever use my gender as a way of insulting someone, as in “You throw like a girl” or “don’t be such a pussy.”

4) I can almost always walk down the street at night without fear of being attacked.

5) I can go to a bar and drink to my heart’s content, without having to fear I might get sexually assaulted.

6) I almost never have to worry about being sexually harrassed by my boss.

7) My ability to do a certain job will never come into question because of my gender

8) My gender will never be an issue when I run for political office

9) I can marry someone based on looks like it will actually empower me more.

10) There are no laws made pertaining to MY body.

11) I can go out in public wearing almost anything without being harrassed or judged.

12) If I so happen to meet someone at a party, and decide to have sex, I would be viewed as being “the man,” whereas it doesn’t apply for women. They’re seen as sluts.

13) My sexual/dating history is not the discussion of the town

14) I can pee standing up!

15) I don’t have to worry as much about pregnancy when it comes to sex

16) I am less likely to get an STD than a woman would, because of how our sex organs are built

17) I can date more than one woman at the same time, and society would not look down upon me for it.

18) As a child, no matter what I wanted to do, I had some sort of a role-model with whom I could identify

19) I am judged more for my actions, rather than what I wear and how I look.

20) No childbirth!

21) I am guarantee to orgasm each and every time I have sex

22) No pharmacist can claim the right to deny me any medicines I ask for at a drug store

23) Even when I am acting within my gender role, I am GAINING from it, rather than being oppressed.

24) If I go to church, I can attend knowing that I’ll hear someone of my gender speaking about a god of my gender.

25) I don’t have to live up to expectations of how thin I am supposed to be.

26) No monthly menstrual cycles!

Anything else you’d want to add? I am running out of things. But I am sure you can think of more.



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.



Want to be president? Sorry, you’re not a black or woman enough!

In 2004, I thought I had heard the stupid reason to not vote for a candidate. In the general elections, a woman was asked for whom she voted for by a reporter, and her answer was that she voted for George W. Bush? Why? Was it because she liked George W.’s foreign policies or because she was against John Kerry’s voting records? No. Her answer was that she voted for Bush because she didn’t like the way Kerry’s wife looked. As if, somehow, a politician’s success is depended upon whether his wife is a MILF.

Oh, but it gets better. With the 2008 Primary and General Elections just around the corner, that question that’s being asked, and a silly one at that, is: can Barrak Obama get the black votes, and can Hillary Clinton get the women votes? Excuse me, but I’ve always thought that we’re supposed to vote for candidates based on policies, and not just the color of skin they have, or whether they stand up or sit down to pee. It’s a pretty novel idea, isn’t it? Voting for candidates on issues that matter, but that’s kind of lost for most Americans.

But here’s the shocker, folks: some black voters are refusing to vote for Obama and some women are refusing to vote for Clinton because they are, respectively, neither black nor women enough.

Did I miss the shortbus heading for Partriarchy-ville or Idiotville driven by the Idiot of Seville? Let me get something straight: we’re supposed to be PUNISHING Obama for not being “black enough” or Clinton for not being “woman enough?” First of all, what the hell does that even mean? I am all for common experience, but a politician needn’t live on the “bad side of town” or have to bleed every month in order to share your experiences and plight, and fight for your rights. But, of course, people seem to think different – as if there is a shared common experience for all blacks and all women.

Secondly, why are you bitching about the lack of representation now? Why all the sudden, with actual viable candidate that you’re going to bitch and complain? Surely, for the last 50 years, you’ve not complained about how old, white men aren’t black or women enough, but now that Obama and Clinton are running, you’re bitching about them? If I had any hair, I’d be pulling them all out now (note: since writing that statement, I’ve found a few strings of hair under my armpits.)

Oh, yeah, because Bob Dole was more “black” than Obama, huh? And because guys like, oh, I don’t know, GWB, are more women and concerned about women more than Sen. Clinton, huh?

Go ahead – if you don’t think Obama or Clinton are black or women enough, then vote for Romney – he should be considered woman enough for you. At least you’ll get perspectives from Romney and his 25 wives, which I am sure, will only be officially introduced after he wins the presidency. Or better yet, vote for McCain over Obama – McCain has a black, adopted son. So, yeah, he’ll be more in touch with the experiences of blacks than will Obama, right? Go ahead, do it, and see your civil rights get set back 50 years.

The point is this: when you’re voting, please vote for the positions and the policies, and not just whether a person is not “black” or “woman” enough. Obama may not know what it’s like to grow up in the ghetto, and Clinton doesn’t like to show cleavage (nice attempt, though), but that shouldn’t matter; because I guarantee you, they’re more interested in your rights than McCain and Romney ever will.



What’s in a name? Pro-feminist males or simply feminists?

So, I wanted to write about the misogynistic and patriarchal idea of how some claim two people of different genders can’t “just be friends,” because there’d be too much sexual attractions, but instead, I’ll write about something a poster asked of me last night: why I call myself a pro-feminist male rather than a feminist.

The value of this post is not about activism, but rather, feminist theory. I’d like to know what you think on it.

 So, the following are the reasons I call myself a pro-feminist male.

1) The feminist movement has been and was created for and by women.  For me to call something that was created for the purpose of women’s rights my own is the very definition of patriarchy – and I have a big problem with that. While I can be an ally and a suppoter, I’ll never, ever truly know what the female plight is like. It seems if I were to call myself a feminist, it would trivialize the importance of women’s rights.

 2) To own and have possesion to something is to have power. Thus, the feminist movement empowers women. As pro-feminist males, we’re always encouraged to give up our male privileges (at least birth-right/unjustified privileges anyhow). By taking the feminist movement as our own, all we’re doing is holding on to those privileges, and gaining from them.

3) In the end, all of these are merely semantics, but I believe we must highlight the differences in privilege that we have. Even within the feminist movement, there are differences in class and privilege – often based on race, gender, age and areas of focus. While I might just be able to say that I am simply a feminist, I am not. I get more privilege as a male, no matter  how we slice it. To merely call myself a feminist would mean to reject that fact that I am still privileged for being male.

 Often times, those who are privileged don’t feel the need to recognize or acknowlege such differences, because they aren’t being treated any differently or aren’t losing perks because of the differences. But for me, as a pro-feminist male, to think that we are all one, and are treated the same, is to be irresponsible.

When I look in the mirror, I may see “just a person,” but women are still looked at as women, and with that, comes limitations cast on by society (whether we like it or not and how much we hate it, we are gendered by society because we’ve been trained to be that way.) This is merely a way to highlight and remember that, so we don’t lose sight of what feminism truly is about.
Thoughts?

Marc