Closure

I didn’t want to write this. For as long as this has been going on, I’ve avoided discussing it, but I don’t think I can safely move on without it. And I do wish so much to move on. Last year the longest chapter of my adult life came to a close; longer than college, longer than grad school, longer than any professional project. My relationship with Matt ended.

We were an It couple; a reliable duo always in tandem. Presidential campaigns came and went, a few nations were rearranged on atlases, and a rover landed on Mars, and through it all Mary and Matt were a unit of measurement. We were together long enough to acquire holiday traditions, accumulate years of running gags, and to travel the country. We survived three moves, nightmare roommates, two schools, unemployment, crippling debt, multiple health crises, a family intervention, and even one breakup. You could say that I had faith in us for better or worse, in sickness or in health. I may sound clinical below as I dissect its closure, but don’t let that minimize your perception of the impact that the devastating reality of losing my rock had on me.

It’s easy to understand why we came together at first. There we were at 24 & 25, two single-and-ready-to-mingle musicians brought together by chance on an obscure project. We met twice a week to make art (already an intimate endeavor). Sharing little in common with our families, colleagues, and even most of our friends (at the time), we bonded hard and fast. We found each other attractive, sure, but we also shared similar intellect, nerdy interests, political leanings, brooding outlooks, and short term goals. It’s easy for twenty-somethings with this much in common to fall in love. So few logistics and long-term planning come into play. It’s not until later in a relationship–long after most tie the knot–that the hot burn of new love fizzles out and things like long-term compatibility and partnership become real questions… And a testament to my faith in us: that it took so long for my commitment fog to dissipate enough to ask these real questions.

What constitutes long-term compatibility? At 30 I can’t say for sure. I can only relay what I understand in contrast to where mine failed. We looked good on paper. Our interests were similar. But, they were tangentially so; they never intersected. We would like the same music but never the same bands. We liked the same film genres but never the same movies or tv shows. We liked videogames but never wanted to play the same ones. We liked to travel but not to the same places. We liked to go out, but not to do the same things when we got there. We had strong attention to detail, but never on the things we each felt mattered. Most critical of all, I think: we had similar goals but never the same priorities.

With each passing year it should have become easier to fit into each other’s lives, not increasingly difficult. Time together was forced and bored. It was a duty of schedule that we fulfilled before returning to our preferred passions and pursuits. It was a costume that we wore to events when we could hardly participate in the same conversations for want of differing company. Everything was routine, and dates were exciting things that you did Platonically with other people. My desire to make us work again felt like throwing a pebble into a well and listening for it to hit the bottom, but I wanted to keep trying to rescue us because I loved us. He may even have tried too, in his own invisible way. I’ll never know. I don’t want to know because it doesn’t matter now.

What made the breakup difficult to understand and cope with at first was that ultimately there weren’t any “he did this” or “she did this” to tip the blame. We were incompatible in the long-term through no faults of our own (although we worked long and hard on each other to find ways in which it was our fault). The fact of the matter is that sometimes two good people with good chemistry falling in love isn’t enough to sustain a lifetime together. Commitment alone does not get you over the finish line, and sometimes quitting the race before you hate each other is the right choice, as difficult as that choice may be to hear.


A Brief Reflection on Self Esteem

Do you ever get the “self respect” comments from people with regard to your looks? Has anyone lambasted you for going to the store, the gas station, the coffee shop, class, or any other errand not “looking your best”? Well, people mostly leave me alone now, but I used to get this in college. I remember one conversation in particular when a friend [male, of course] professed his hatred of sweatpants (I was the daily sweatpants queen). He dressed dapper (shirt, vest, tie, slacks) for class every day and proclaimed to me one morning that students dressing down for class don’t respect themselves or their peers. I didn’t have the words to decry this at the time. Truly, I think I just snorted and rolled my eyes and let it go. Yet, sometimes–even today, ten years later–I think about this scene. It pops into my head in full detail.

I laugh now remembering that in college I tried to work as close to 30 hours a week as I could, overloaded on credits to have two majors and a minor (e.g., 5 classes per semester), play a sport, sing twice a week in chamber choir plus concerts & trips, exercise regularly, and have a social life all while being constantly ill due to a sickly constitution. I think one of the very last things I thought about at night was whether my peers liked the way I dressed or wore my makeup and hair. I didn’t attend college to be looked at, and I certainly didn’t feel the need to seek the superficial approval of my peers in order to coexist and learn beside them or to work as their manager. I feel bad for my accuser now, looking back and realizing that it wasn’t pride he spoke from but deep, raw insecurity. He wasn’t offended at my looks. He was offended that I didn’t need to manicure them. He was upset that I was regularly happy without the outward appearance of trying while he tried so very, very much.

Comparing that person with some similar folks I know in modern time, it seems to me that the people who require validation the most are so often the first to snap at a vague, easily misconstrued comment, the most easily offended, the “high maintenance” friends with whom you must always walk on eggshells. They’re the ones who say “I look awful, and I don’t even care today!” while in nicely pressed clothes, a full 30 minutes’ worth of makeup (if applicable), and hair done.

As a fun aside, I used to go camping with someone who would slink off to the restrooms and do her makeup every morning. On a camping trip. I shit you not. “Roughing it!” her selfies would say, to the pregnant pause of the audience.

giphy

My typical reaction to camping girl

Anyway, I have never thought I needed to present a dashing front at the grocery store, and I still don’t. That level of “no fucks” feels amazing, and I highly recommend it.


Atheist Monday

I definitely see the appeal of astrology. It’s kind of like Christianity, except instead of “the devil made me do it” it’s “the planet made me do it.” Mercury and the devil, in cahoots since the dark ages. Unfortunately, being an atheist means I can’t give myself any outs. If I’m an asshole, it’s because I am actually an asshole.

Some think of atheism as a weakness, but I see it as strength: the strength to rely on your own abilities and convictions and acknowledge that they’re enough; that they stand on their own.


Catholic Education – A Look Back

For years I have wondered…. How much better at math would I be had I spent those average 2 hours each school day in lecture instead of religious activities? You could say I excelled in some areas and didn’t in others (like most children). However, I find several thousand dollars per child per year for a “better education” to be a suspect expense for a struggling family when that child then tests into remedial math with the mentally challenged and the drug-addled tweens at the start of high school.

Because there’s no such thing as a gap year for math curriculum, getting behind in math is a handicap that plagues you for the rest of your life. I started high school effectively two years behind my peers who came from public or other private/charter schools. Therefore, I never had time to take advanced trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, or physics. This meant I tested low for PSAT and SAT, and by extension meant I began college in remedial math theory. To stay on schedule, I pushed through an Economics Bachelors without a background in calculus (there was no such thing as remedial calculus at my college, but a 17 year old can’t plan for what she doesn’t know she needs). After college, I then–naturally–tested low in math for the GRE.

“But maybe you’re a poor math student. Lots of kids are. It’s unfair to blame Catholic education.” I considered that. Believe me, I spent years debating the question of culpability. It’s next to impossible to evaluate my Catholic K-8 education having no control group, never attending a public school. However, I ended up in the statistics field by choice. That’s not exactly what you expect of a literature-hungry arts kid who’s simply “bad at math”.

I’ve spent the last decade working in public school education research. I’ve visited countless public schools across the country to perform observations, and I’ve studied their curriculum and that of the Common Core. Now I work on the national assessments. As I delved into standards and reporting, it seemed horrific to discover that there are  no required  curricula for private schools. The curriculum is mostly up to their discretion, and parents must somehow make an informed decision from schools’ recruitment materials. What defense do parents of prospective students have against the well-produced propaganda? They’re victims, too, in a way. Society promises that private education is better, but this claim is based solely on aggregate national data and some anecdotes, all of which are correlated with the fact that wealthier families’ kids perform better no matter the school. Put wealthy kids in the same building, and that school will perform better than public schools regardless of the curriculum (for reasons that are discussed at length by numerous books and articles that are superfluous to repeat here). Busy parents with little to no institutional knowledge of private schools can’t be expected to know this, or to parse the propaganda effectively, and their kids can’t be expected to bring home critical reports of the education they’re receiving. For working parents, the education their children receive at private schools is a black hole, and there’s no easy way to fix the knowledge gap if media doesn’t care enough to develop the kind of investigative reporting crusade necessary to break through the private school lobbies that require that black hole to operate. My K-8 school has finally been shuttered, but ultimately not for any of the reasons it should have been.

I think at this point in my life, it’s safe to call it. I’ve made as informed a decision as would be possible for someone in my situation: my Catholic K-8 education was not worth the cost, and I am [scholastically] worse off having attended. I use the qualifier “scholastically” because there’s still the bias (earned or unearned) of college guidance counselors that expensive schools are better, and so my attendance may have bolstered my acceptance into my first choice college. It’s unfortunate that my parents’ expenditures met such unpredictable outcomes when their intentions were so good. School data was not so easily come by in the 80s and 90s as it is now, so I can hardly hold that against them. And, unless you work in the field or have the time and interest to keep up with the field, our U.S. society does not make these things easy to know. And, of course, who can really fathom what a pamphlet means by vague phrases about religious nurturing? Why would a parent suspect that an expensive school that claims to value education so much would then regularly remove their children from classes for noneducational activities? That is simply unknowable at the time of enrollment (in B.I.E., Before Internet Era).

Of course, then there’s the other part of my brain that balks at being so forgiving and understanding. Certainly, I’d expect intelligent, rational, working adults to be a little suspicious of the ability of an impressionable young girl to achieve career-oriented education at a facility that openly believed a woman’s greatest life achievement was leaving society. The figureheads of the school prayed full-time and lived off the charity of working people–an idea that would seem to be in direct contrast with my parents’ Republican mantra of welfare recipients are lazy leeches who don’t deserve help. But then again, our nuns were white and Catholic, so….. leeches were OK if they look and sound like you? Or perhaps it was that being poor, non-working, and homeless was OK as long as you threw in the qualifier “But they do it for God” at the end. I don’t suppose these are the kinds of insights Catholic schools expect children to absorb, but they are. What I heard was that girls can do anything, but what I saw was that they shouldn’t if they know what’s good for them. Outspoken girls were told to be quiet. Girls with interest in non-conformist arts (rock/metal music, fantasy/scifi literature) were told their interests were unfaithful and evil. Girls were told their very character was definable by their dress, face, and presence of vaginal blockage. Girls were told that physical activities were useless and that prayer and their eventual wifely service to a man and children were the ultimate expressions of goodness. Girls were told their husbands would be the heads of their household and that the bible commands they obey him in all matters…. In short, I can’t in good conscious give any parent a pass on sending a girl to a convent and then expecting her to come out the other side both empowered and devout. Because of the millennia of gendered repression and baggage that comes hand-in-hand with most religions, it is one or the other. So, with one hand I forgive my parents for their ignorance, and with the other I blame them for it. Ignorance that is so willful is by its nature unworthy of forgiveness.

I’m not just imagining that my Catholic K-8 valued the bible over my scholastic potential. This isn’t hindsight blowing specific moments out of proportion. Unlike many girls who might feel similarly about their experiences at private school and have no proof to back up their sentiments, I have the rare advantage of evidence. Many administrations sugarcoat religious indulgences in order to avoid parental backlash; my school (which has since closed its doors for financial hardship) laid it all out on the table. One day around the Easter season when mass, stations of the cross, benediction, feast day, May Procession rehearsal, & other ceremony schedules were more hectic than usual (consequently, Easter season is also testing season, if anyone cares…. *crickets*), our priest gave a homily that I will never forget as long as I live. In an effort to respond to criticisms about missing so much class for religious activities, he said “When you’re on your death bed, you won’t need math or the sciences. The only thing that will have mattered in your life is your religious education. We give you what you need to get to heaven. Other schools can teach you math and science.” As a seventh grader sitting in that pew, the words shocked me, although I didn’t know why. I felt like someone was revealing something to me, but I didn’t have the objectivity or the worldly knowledge yet to know exactly what. But we aren’t at other schools, and we’re not going to be, I thought to myself, experiencing the first seeds of doubt. Even as a devout 7th grader, the priest’s words upset me. I began to grow very wary of the school I loved, the staff I respected, and the lifestyles it venerated.

I have so many questions about my private education to which I’ll never have answers. Chief among them is, would I have turned out “Exceptional” instead of just “OK” had I not always been so behind my peers as I got older…. had an institution of higher learning not abused its power to convince me that my education didn’t matter as it systematically scraped away at it? Might I have been more successful than I am today had I not been made to carry this angry chip on my shoulder about my life at the convent? Or is the contrary true? Am I actually exceptional because I fought these battles at a critical age? Were these events actually the catalysts for my success? Were these intellectual and emotional battlegrounds I traversed in youth the reasons I took education, atheism, and feminism (the very pillars of my adult identity) so seriously? And is it true that not being challenged in such ways leads to uncritical, under-stimulated minds and selfish, untested perspectives?


I Watched Those Divergent Movies

All right, all right, everyone knows I love trash scifi movies. When the supernatural and/or dystopian scifi young adult trend exploded, I lost my shit. Twilight, Hunger Games, Teen Wolf, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, you name it.

I grew up on Tolkien, Shelley, and Anne Rice, which bourgeois adults consider to be “more cerebral” than the current YA media scene. The language, characters, and history were certainly more intellectually elevating; however, in response to that argument I offer a resounding “so what”. If these dumbed-down books help teens become interested in reading, I think it’s short-sighted to scoff and demean the fans of these literature stepping stones. Additionally, a love for trash media can coexist with an appreciation for Dickens and Dostoevsky, and the publishing industry is not worse off for it.

It’s big news right now that the final Divergent Series film has been bounced from the big screen. The lackluster ticket sales appeared to be due to the lower quality final book, the studio’s slicing said book across two films, and the overall lover interest in this series compared to other YA hits like Twilight and The Hunger Games (which had its own struggle stretching the final book across two films). Curious and hungry for high-production value, low-brow YA scifi-fantasy, I finally got around to watching these (thanks to a combination of Amazon Video Streaming rentals and HBO Now). I found myself in total disagreement with the buzz. Here’s my breakdown:

  • Divergent was the most enjoyable
  • Insurgent was the most suspenseful
  • and Allegiant was the most interesting

Theo James perfectly plays the sulky, alpha male hunk, and Shailene wins at the fierce, confident wunderkind. Kate Winslet wins at being Kate Winslet *shrug* My particular issue with the casting team was the collection of generic, babyfaced white boys with scraggly dark hair that I was somehow supposed to keep straight. It was a struggle, and I had to rewind the cliff scene and then IMDB the character when Tris said the culprit’s name. OK, it was Al….. Good. ….Which one was Al? Luckily, it got easier because the series killed off these guys systematically until only two remained. This series suffered from a severe lack of Nicholas Cage or Jeff Goldblum types, but whaddya gonna do.

dauntless

We run to class! We run home! Tank tops and cargo pants! You can’t control us, mom!

maru

Me at home, watching these kids run everywhere

As predictable as it was, I was still annoyed that Tori–the only interesting adult character–was killed the moment she began to do stuff again.  However, she surprised me by surviving Divergent, so that tells you how low the bar was in the first place. You know what the scifi bible says: Thou shalt not suffer the cool asians to live. Meanwhile, walking wastebaskets of cells, Miles Teller & her brother, were allowed to live over and over again. Sometimes forgiveness isn’t a virtue, kids; it’s a weakness. Let those toxic people out of your life! You do not need to surround yourself with people actively working against your interests & who constantly betray you just because they “feel bad” or have nowhere better to go or they’re “really really sorry”. That’s called emotional manipulation and is a favored tactic of abusers. Maybe she excises them from her life in part 2 of Allegiant, but I doubt it. They’re far more likely to be #redeemed because #secondchances (#thirdchances, #fourthchances….)

In summary, they were fine, and I’m disappointed the fourth one’s been cancelled. Here’s to bloated budgets for young adult scifi-fantasy dystopias! And may they never stop coming.


She doesn’t hear it

“Why would anyone pick that ugly girl over me?!” she publically decries from beneath the crushing weight of a thousand carefully staged selfies and no career.

How indeed, you beautiful, empty sack. How indeed. 🤗


Men define “plus size” for us every time they look at us

I was part of a veritable row of can-can dancers on Elliptical Lane tonight at the gym. Like breathing cycles in a camping tent, we all began to sync and fall into each other’s rhythm. To add to the oddity, we all had the same body types. I suppose the elliptical speaks to us on a particular frequency.

That experience brought back a whole slew of memories; one in particular that makes me laugh and cringe…  For some reason I felt strongly about penning it in the blog for posterity. Allow me to set the scene:

I was much younger and thinner. I was dating an egregiously unsound individual who needed help and who was looking for it in the wrong places (to be fair, I was in a similar boat). He always talked about his ex by whom he was recently dumped (before meeting me online). Obviously, he was grieving, and I liked him enough that I wanted to help and support that process. At the time, I was a good samaritan type of girl who saw red flags and rallied instead of running. Anyway, he painted her as a “big girl”. It always seemed important to him that I know she was a “big girl”. I wouldn’t see that as a relevant detail when regaling someone with tales of heartbreak, but he thought so (again, red flags. Whoooosh, and over my head they went).

One day while at his apartment he laid out a dress of hers that he still had. He planned to mail it back. He might even have joked about giving it to me & that I wouldn’t fit it because, again, she was a big girl. I agreed he should send it back. It was still pressed and clean from the dry cleaners, and it was laid on the bed at such an angle that I could clearly see the label.

Me: I thought you said she was a “big girl”.

Him: Yeah?
Me: ……This is an 8.
Him: …
Me: -_-
Him: Yeah?
Me: …
Him: …
Me: I’m an 8.

I still laugh about this awkward exchange…. all of his absurd concepts of feminine beauty came crashing in at once as I put it all together. THIS, from a man so thin and Gollum-esque I was barely sexually attracted to him at all (but I thought he had a wonderful face and personality *snort*). It reminds me of the controversy over Amy Schumer’s being labeled “plus size” in Glamour last month even though she is a 6. A SIX!

Christ, this is why women have eating disorders, are constantly obsessive and upset about their appearance, and in many cases are pushing a body positivity movement. But that movement is difficult to get traction when so many women (and men like the one in the anecdote who reinforce these thoughts) think the quintessential feminine body is 90’s Kate Moss.


Keeping Track of the Scandal 2016 Primary

Do you watch Scandal on ABC?

In the midst of seemingly constant breaks between small episode chunks, do you find yourself losing track of the primary?

I feel you. I made an infographic to help us keep track of the field as it currently stands. Who is running, against whom, and which characters support the candidates?

(click to enlarge)

Scandal

 

Brought to you by Jake eating fried chicken.

chicken

 


No chill

For every ten successful, kind, loyal women there is one psychotic narcissist OK with emptying a man’s pocket and soul for years while she cheats on him with literally any guy who pays her a compliment, and she ruins it for the rest of us.


A Day in My Elective Course: Bros Who Might Identify As “Post-Feminist”

Sociology classes are just as interesting for the people-watching as they are for the substantive learning. A woman put forward her research topic today drilling into previous research done on the orgasm gap. This topic asks, for what quantifiable reasons could women orgasm less and in what circumstances (self-reported ratings of pleasure received, physical acts, situational circumstances, relationship status, etc….). This research comes from thousands of interviews and multiple studies on the topic. She was interested in some of the results in particular and doing some further analysis.

However, at the end of her presentation when asked why the content didn’t include any info on mens orgasms, the presenter had to explain, “Well, the understanding is that men do or expect to orgasm every time, and women as a group experience what’s called the orgasm gap where they do not orgasm every time there’s intercourse–not even close, statistically, ….. which is topic of this research, so….” The facepalming was so hardcore, and she was a champ for attempting.

But I’m not shitting you: He continued. The only guy in the class went on to suggest that men’s reports on these topics should be included in the research, you guys. Because whether a guy orgasms 98% of the time or 100% of the time could somehow make a statistical difference in women’s outcomes.

Even in a sociology class women cannot discuss women’s issues without a Koolaid Man breaking through the drywall and suggesting the problem is we’re not considering the men’z data. Broseph….. You should be studying these tables the most! Learn a thing or two for your girl!

// Cue the #notallgradstudents//


Notes from 17-year old me, the blossoming atheist

I once populated my office with any piece of office supplies I had at home. This included leftover materials from the college years, which in turn was made up of leftover high school materials. So there I am, assembling training binders when I stumble upon a paper-and-pen journal entry from eons ago. My guess (from the grandiose language and the slight flourish of philosophical-induced misery) is age 17. I’ve reproduced it here for posterity and for my own reference some day, for teen-Mary’s livejournal is a thing that should never, ever be opened. No, really.

 

The age-old Catholic theory of the afterlife is a peaceful, sacred heaven where all are united in love for and worship of the god figure. But if people strive so much for this precious sense of humanity and individuality while in this “trial world” only to abandon it to be part of a utopian collective, then this earthly quest loses all purpose. What meaning could we seek here if our only goals must be eternal pain or eternal subservience? (To conveniently snuff out this line of questioning, the Church simply had Lucifer be the one to ask it.) In this cooperative heaven, how would our creative and industrial characteristics be suppressed while still retaining the earthly identities we toiled so hard to build? And what of our inherent ego-centrism? Our cliquish minds which cannot comprehend more than some finite number of relationships? Man cannot simply worship a god and rejoice for beauty and then begin the next day the same. A being so cultural and philosophically diverse as man….how could the ultimate reward be anonymous communal worship? And if such piety in humans were attainable for enough people so as to make god’s plan even remotely reasonable, why do essentially none ever reach it? It’s apparent that even the most devout, whose piety splinters when their closet of skeletons and inner demons break loose in public scandal, won’t be eternally happy with such an outcome after life, nor happy for even one week.

If the Catholic god truly is the all-knowledgeable and loving figure of which the stories tell, then the age-old vision of heaven is not comprehensive nor can it be considered credible by the standards of the modern thinker. It wreaks of the “perfect world” fallacy, heaven being some holy tyranny where a god is surrounded by adoring creations who proved themselves “worthy” to be in his presence. If the god figure were a loving god, he would not build such a narcissistic echo chamber populated by what are essentially slave creations who only worshiped in life out of fear of punishment if they pursued contrary goals. Such sadistic torture dungeons are the things of crime novels and horror films from which we recoil 6 days a week, yet Catholics discuss it openly and proudly on Sunday without any sense of irony or cognitive dissonance.

While we each may have a different idea of what the afterlife will be, it would take quite a god to create one place that everyone could call utopia and yet maintain and exercise their individuality. Such a feat is impossible in light of our (allegedly purposeful) design to have interests and personalities contrary to each other. Consequently, the same principle would hold true for marriage. Exact matches would be misery for the caged intellectual. With no sparring partner or otherwise inspirational force in one’s life to divert from the routine, how could a marriage fight an onslaught of immediate and utter boredom? What can they express except affection, for the narcissist has married him or herself. What kind of paradise is a marriage with an organic copy? The conceptions of a perfect world, perfect love, perfect marriage, perfect heaven have no credence. “Perfection” is ideological tyranny. How can anyone beyond the age of 10 sit in a pew listening to elementary-level drivel about god, love, heaven, hell, and any other philosophical notions oversimplified for the dullards of humanity and not be repulsed? Offended? Condescended to? A celibate and single priest giving relationship advice to married couples? A man commenting on women’s place and rights because desert fables thousands of years’ old make him feel obliged to do so? Please explain the mass appeal of this faith beyond “people are stupid en masse”, because my youthful optimism begs for an alternate explanation.


The Bandwagon-like Rise of the “I’m anti-bandwagon” Punditry

Widely known internet fact: It is nearly impossible to talk about something topical without getting hit by some soapboxing idiot’s scepter, dubbing you disingenuous, attention-seeking, or (my personal favorite) a fake geek.

Welp, don’t you fucking try to “fake geek girl” me about Alan Rickman today, Internet. I will combust into the Phoenix and take you down with me into hell. You’re seriously going to suggest women are fake geek girls for fandom(s) primarily made up of women?!? You want to play gatekeeper for our own fandoms too? Fucking christ, patriarchy. You are on fleek today.

alan2

 


Let’s play “Bible or Quran?”

What do you think? Can you distinguish between the so-titled sharia laws of the Quran and those of the Christian Bible?

 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days….if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks….The priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

Now kill all the boys and kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

If [a woman] vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void.

Women should remain silent in congregations. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. ….Women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

When you go out to war against your enemies…and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire to take her to be your wife and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.

If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. ….Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given a virgin a bad name. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

A holy man should only take a virgin of his own people to wife.

 

Surprise, they’re all from the Christian Bible! But please, America, cherry pick away and continue proposing bills using this misogynistic, racist, inane drivel as your source of infinite wisdom.


Winter Break

The semester of doom is at an end, and the grades are rolling in. For the maintenance of my mental health and the successful attainment of passing grades during a time of great trial, anxious breathing attacks, and no truly restful sleep, I owe thanks to the following:

  • My rock, the manfriend. He calms me, keeps me grounded with humor, convinces me to sleep, and occasionally cooks me food.
  • The first three seasons of Scandal
  • Cape Cod brand sweet red chili chips
  • The Starbucks holiday spice flat white and the absurd abundance of holiday store hours
  • Cheddar cheese popcorn
  • Master Sword, whose persistent needs remind me to chip away at creative goals and maintain creative outlets, even during times of stress (scholastic duress???)

Thank you and good night.


Star Wars: The Force Awakened the Trolls

You know the types. The ones who have notoriously contrarian taste, and not for unknown gems or under-the-radar breakout talent or film festival hits that we just haven’t heard of yet…. but for things that are commonly thought of—even sometimes universally agreed upon—as bad. The kind of people that think Ben Carson makes some good points actually, Roger Moore was the best James Bond, Kanye West is a superior writer/performer to Freddie Mercury, Gamergate got a bad rap because the feminists complained, McDonalds makes the best burger, the Star Wars prequels are the best Star Wars movies, men just sing rock better than women #notmyfault #itsjustscience, Boondock Saints is so cerebral dude it really makes you think, ….

Yeah, you’ve got one. Everyone’s got one. I bet that dude doesn’t like Rey from The Force Awakens and he can’t really tell you why. If Daisy’s constant Keira Knightley overbite bothered him during her dialogue, I might roll my eyes, but at least that would be a reason (by definition only). Maybe he has an aversion to overbite. Who knows? But he can’t express why Rey upsets him so much; she just does. His growing awareness of women coexisting in all of his most cherished fandoms is upsetting, but he can’t say that because in his mind the feminazis would bear down on him, crush all his dreams with a flurry of tweets, and turn his friends against him. See, all these fake geek girls are participating in what he used to do alone with the guys! (Read: he never noticed them before because they didn’t have strong platforms to represent their interests, they used agender usernames, and/or they never talked about their gender because who cares.)

Nevermind that Star Wars has been an award-winning, multi billion $ franchise for over 40 years! This guy is upset that he liked it when few others did (?) and now others are onboard because the new movie release makes it suddenly topical (??). UGH, the vapors! Look at all these people who grew up watching these films with their parents now expressing delight at a new movie release for the franchise! Only he has liked Star Wars for long enough to justify a heavy level of engagement in Star Wars “subculture”.

Newsflash, bud. The audience for the biggest film of all time does not a subculture make. At that point, it’s just culture.

After all, Rey is a female lead character “taking over” what he and his male friends have exclusively (*snort*) enjoyed all their lives. Yes. By one woman starring in one fucking blockbuster that can still boast a primarily male ensemble, women are “taking over” the genre. It’s like that whole “Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.” It doesn’t matter whether we exist equally with men in film leads or even less than men in the fandom; the fact that women exist in the fandom at all and on screen in the lead role at all is seen as too much by this archetype and his vociferously insular cronies.

So how does he get you to understand that Rey just sucks? Well, let me tell you! He says the same line over and over again. He says it on every friend’s Facebook wall. He says it on every blog. He says it in the comment section of every article. He says some variation of it every day for three months and won’t step down, explain his case, or even introduce variation in the wording:

Rey has no character development or depth.

All I can do is blink a few times and remark, “K.” and make this face into the computer screen ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

We watched her suffer in the desert. We saw her desperation and loneliness. We watched her mourn and finally let go of her hope on Jakku and start a new life. We saw her struggle with abandonment issues throughout the film and make the decision to do good. We saw her slowly give up waiting on phantoms and pick life on her own terms. We saw her make friends, find courage and strength, get lost in self-doubt along the way, and come face to face with her past. We saw her reform her identity as a force user, experiment with her abilities, use her intelligence and wit to escape, and be saddened by the loss of a father figure. We watched her conquer her fears and tap into her inner strength to take on the dangerous Kylo Ren in order save her friend. We laughed with her, cried with her, feared for her, rooted for her, and cheered for her accomplishments for two riveting hours in IMAX 3-D.

So when you say “Rey has no character development”…..

newsroom

Were you asleep? Were you looking around the whole time waiting for the male protagonist to show up? I can’t help you, son.


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