Take mixed signals as a no.
I’m reading this ongoing story about a female teacher whose topless photo (shared privately multiple years ago with her ex, another teacher in the district) has been shared by her students, and who has now been fired. Amazing that instead of pursuing the obvious avenue of revenge porn, now rightfully outlawed by places like New York, she has to pursue a gender parity lawsuit because she and her attorneys know that going after the exposure itself will lose–that in this day and age a judge still believes it’s not the fault of the ex who distributes the photo (and to minors, no less! A felony itself that isn’t even on the table), but the fault of the woman who takes it in good faith for a partner. We’re in this sad reality where if a woman takes a single sexy photo in the privacy of a relationship, she can never expect to reasonably live her life without it coming back to haunt her because men can’t be trusted to honor a goddamned thing.
Meanwhile, men take dick pics ad nauseum. The dick:accountability ratio is hella low. Dudes share dick pics with women they don’t even know; with women who don’t even want them! You’d think with this precedent that sharing salacious photos–an act so pervasive and ubiquitous by men in modern culture– that it can’t be THAT risky. Hell, Anthony Weiner KEPT dick pic’ing strange women even after the first scandal, and he wasn’t even punished until he was finally caught doing it to a minor. But a woman trusts a partner who goes on to betray that trust years later, and it’s “stupid bitch should have known better”.
You REALLY think this is equivalent?
No spouse, no second job, no overtime, no travel, and no school obligations. Not anymore. Now the only person standing in my way is myself. So, here’s to my 90 Day Hot Yoga Challenge, where I go to the studio every single day for three months in search of a full-body and lifestyle transformation.
Benefits and goals throughout the 90 day challenge and beyond:
- Weight loss in belly, waist, arms, and neck
- Toned arms, legs, and gluts
- Stronger back, shoulders, and core
- Reduce the impact of aging — eliminate these new shoulder, neck, and lower back pinches by developing stronger and more limber muscles
- Stress relief; stillness of mind
- Development of routine, balancing the rest of my day and disincentivizing distractions
- Endorphins; a blossoming of self-worth. Taking 2 hours every day for my own betterment, and reaping the mental rewards of doing so
- Support healthier eating — the classes require fruits and veggies to perform well, so going full yogi forces the issue. I can see a stark difference in my grocery cart; it’s changed my entire shopping praxis
- Improved breathing; mastering slow, steady breaths during physical strain fights my asthma
- Greater physical endurance to improve walking, lifting, and other regular tasks
- Improve posture; reduce concavity of the lower spine
- Reduced overall alcohol consumption (because I literally can’t drink, or it ruins the next day’s practice. This will also tie into weight loss.)
- Fitting my cutest clothes again
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy and blood flow
- Longer, more restful sleep
- Becoming less physically dependent on sugars that come from carbs
- A practice so entrenched in my psyche and body that I can continue it past the 90 days with no burden
Religious people’s tenants are so callously hurtful to each other, and they don’t even acknowledge it. To push that god answers prayers and you have to believe in him for great things to happen is so vicious towards those who have prayed and lost loved ones anyway. God picking winners and losers based on an invisible set of standards we just don’t understand means that putting in the work to worship such a god is a complete lottery. And what a slap in the face to the people whose hands you shake “in peace” across pews: that your victories are miracles/blessings from god while their suffering is just “shit happens” that he didn’t see fit to ease. Misery, famine, rape, brutality of all kinds… allowed to happen through some plan that requires you to sit back and say Thank You while a handful are divinely rescued from it. Yeah, the christian god sounds like a complete dick. Cosmic lawlessness (e.g. atheism) is leaps and bounds more principled (and in fact, ethical) since it cuts out the concept of a power who discriminates on grounds other than moral ones–a concept that can only be described as evil.
Paul was an unequivocal asshole, and so was nearly every male character who held power in the old testament. That shouldn’t matter, though, because the Christian tenants supposedly stem from Jesus’ teachings and examples, not Paul’s or Abraham’s or Joshua’s or Solomon’s. Jesus makes up a shockingly small proportion of the christian bible, and his lessons stand out from and regularly disagree with those of the other books. Christianity at its core, the faith of the followers of Christ, is really just the four gospels. So, why is it that most Christians ignore every principle of those gospels and instead proudly play the role of the Pharisees?
I have logic and reasoning on my side as an atheist, but even without it, regular Christians would be all the fuel I’d need to shun the faith. Religious dogma are like mirrors, and much like philosophy or poli sci classes, you get out of it exactly what you put into it. So, if Christian zealots find bigotry in their texts, it says more about them than it does their texts.
“What’s in the cave?”, Luke asked.
Fewer than 70 years ago, the bible justified Jim Crow too. These laws were in complete disagreement with Jesus’ words, and it didn’t matter; those feelings didn’t come from the bible but from its followers. Fear has been preachers’ consistent sales tool; fear of the ‘Wrath of God,’ fear of burning in Hell, fear of cruel church tactics (as in the Spanish inquisition), fear of witches, fear of chastisement–all tools of an elite used against the purposefully uneducated masses. It is becoming an ineffective tool, as demonstrated by the growth of the group labeled ‘nones.’
Apparently it’s cis-het feminist catharsis day in one of my facebook groups. We’re discussing this egregiously common trait in cis-het relationships:
Men will swear this isn’t a thing, and yet the women of the group are in unanimous agreement that this is not only a thing but is a rampant, life-ruining dumpster fire of a thing that plagues their lives.
And it’s certainly not limited to homemakers, as detractors like to dismiss. For me, I was the primary breadwinner 50-60 hours a week as well as a grad student by night, with homework on top of all that. As I learned, however, adopting the persona of a tortured artist means you can rely on others to take care of you, have zero self-crit about it, and then gaslight your partner for taking you to task for it. The crux of why many of the relationships described in the group crumbled was this: Just because your spouse is Wonderwoman doesn’t mean she wants to be or that she is enjoying it. Ask yourselves if you’re purposefully pushing her into that role.
This really rang true for me. And the big picture is that it affected so much else–it wasn’t just the lack of chores…. the narcissism and lack of accountability behind that behavior bled into every other aspect of our lives together. For example, my ex-partner complained that I didn’t pursue my interests as aggressively as he did his own. Being separated for a few years now & actively enjoying hobbies I never had time for, I know now that this isn’t the case for me as person. If given the wiggle room and financial safety net of a reliable partner (or even a partner who didn’t hem and haw at the idea of going out unless it was 100% related to his interests), I might have delved into more hobbies of my own. We’ll never know; I wasn’t afforded that chance because my partner put his own hobbies above my interests and left me to be the safety net for both of us. I could never fail. It wasn’t an option, or we would both drown. It was a unidirectional siphon of a relationship; his needs and wants were always first, with never a thought for all the money and time I’d waste and the resentment that would build up because of it. And because I leaned into my character flaw of people-pleaser/giver, I let it happen. Another example, I’d buy our tickets to a convention, festival, or other event–and he would purposefully not go to bed early enough for us to arrive on time. We’d miss half the event because he “must get 9 hours of sleep” and yet would take no special steps to ensure he got it without us being late. One time I purchased a table for our joint venture at a comic con…. he wouldn’t go to bed early the night before despite my begging, and we missed half of the prime sales day because he also refused to get up before 10. And he could not figure out why I was irritable all afternoon and moving quickly. I never made that investment back.
Occasionally I’d get brave and stand up for myself, but every fight about equity and consideration turned into a gaslighting trip down “You don’t love me”/”you’re crazy”/”you don’t respect my emotional problems” Lane. Even at the end, it was my fault somehow because we had “grown apart”. Golly, I wonder how that happened. Typically, women are not pedophiles, so it’s a wonder why women don’t want to have sex with children. What a great segue into another common theme from the group today that resonated with me:
A third observation in the group today (and one I’ve been making for years) is that a woman does household duties every day and thinks or says nothing of it, but a man might perform one such duty and proudly proclaims it –even in so far as being equivalent to the woman’s contributions. This grinds my gears because it’s such a textbook overcompensation move, so clearly the guy knows deep down his contributions are unequal, or else he’d just silently do them and move on. And yet, here we are as a society where a man needs a reward for contributing.
So, how can this culture even begin to unpack and combat a widespread disparity of perspective? The issue can’t be solved by devising lists and demanding a man complete it on some kind of schedule; the issue is the overwhelmingly cis-het male perspective of not needing to complete the tasks in the first place and that lists are required at all. It’s so easy to see where the nagging wife stereotype comes from when the dynamics are so skewed–when asking a man to literally co-maintain his living space with you is seen as a condescending “chore” instead of a requirement of existing in a partnership.
Culturally entrenched misogyny takes many generations to fix, and this generation is obviously not the one at the finish line (although men will swear up and down that it is….). With that in mind, I refuse to date seriously again until I meet my match. I’m too fucking okay to be impressed by men who live in cesspools, take the trash out once a month as “a favor” to their housemates, and cook ramen noodles because they’re too busy “being real” and “pursuing their dream”. You were on facebook for three hours today, I know you could have done ten minutes’ of dishes.
“Feminism has gone too far,” he types from his gaming PC, sipping pilsner as he works from home in his pajamas for the 70k job his buddy networked him into straight out of community college. “The woman-card works for everything now,” he comments on a post he didn’t read but which pictures newly elected congresswomen with impeccable degrees and resumes who bring female reps in Congress from 20% up to a record-breaking 23% this year. “Feminism is a cancer,” he mumbles into his headset. The doorbell rings. His buddy came over to play fortnite. Time for an early lunch.
✔️ 2016: Finished my M.S. and graduated; fixed my teeth (Invisalign, babyyyyy)
✔️ 2017: Moved out (womp womp got dumped); fixed my personal life kinda; started going to more concerts, accidentally rebounded with a woman (??????)
2018: Start fixing debt structure; lose 30 lbs
Fuck, I’ve been busy being awesome. This year’s improvements were particularly challenging due to the longevity of their dark cloud. Debt AND fat? Can she tackle both, ladies and gentlemen?
Here’s something I drafted when I was in the midst of keto in the spring to commemorate the struggle:
Every day I have the same meticulously crafted fantasy. It all takes place in my kitchen. First, I pull high end pre-cut french fries out of the freezer and lay them out on a cookie sheet. I season them with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. I put them in the oven while I move on to prepping the toppings. I fry the bacon until juicy (with just a hint of crispy edge) and then finely chop it. I clean the cutting board and then chop fresh green onions. Ding, the fries are done. I pull the sheet out of the oven and slowly dip my head over the fries to smell them. Into a large, oven-safe serving bowl they go. Now, I grate a block of extra sharp Vermont cheddar over the bowl. Keep grating. Keep grating. Not. Yet. I bite my lip. After the entire block is grated and my wrists ache, I sprinkle the bacon bits and green onion. The bowl goes in the oven for 5 minutes. I take it out and dollop sour cream and chives over the display and reach into the fridge for the finishing touch: the honey mustard. I gorge. And gorge. And gorge. I look up and smile. I fall asleep satisfied. You know, when I was a kid we called this anorexia. Glad to see that in adulthood we can rebrand with a more friendly, scientific name and swap ketosis tips over a juice brunch.
Ugh, gag me. The reason why Trump will win re-election isn’t because progressives lobby society too fervently for equality or disagree internally about the degree to which microaggressions are in fact aggressive. It will be because a majority of independent voters think that title makes them sexy; that it makes them look intellectual and professorial to wax poetically about centrism and falsely equivocate human rights that are on the line at the Supreme Court with being held accountable for asshole statements on Twitter. Well, I’m sorry to say that it’s not brave or elite or intellectual to cowardly back into the bushes while singing your chorus, “both sides are equally bad”. We will not rejoin the global stage until the majority of Americans cede their identity of disinterested narcissists or, worse, conscientious objectors to taking stands.
Wow, going back through blog drafts is rough. I have so many drafts that I never published. This one from March 2017 is especially gruesome to review, and it gets nostalgic in a way that doesn’t feel awesome on the cusp of 2019. But, I feel like I should finally publish it. I don’t even live there anymore because it was ultimately too expensive to be on my own, but I do look back on that apartment with fondness. It was exactly what I needed at a bad time, and back then I didn’t realize that one of my best friends had already started sleeping with him in secret, and that another was about to start. The modern twist is that I can look back and say that ignorance was bliss even while I was miserable, compared to knowing now and hating everyone I ever trusted.
2017 draft: Living alone is a critical boomerang to my previous living situation. While living with friends is a wonderful, fun, and meaningful experience, it also has many risks. When you let quirks and certain selfish personality traits of your friends overwhelm you on a day to day basis, it can hurt your relationships with them. I feel for even that one reason, leaving after three otherwise wonderful years at the house was the right call. There is such a thing as overstaying, and I think I was just on the cusp of doing so, but escaped before the little things stacked up and threatened to hurt my interpersonal relationships. An additional concern was my own growing antisocial nature. There is a certain expectation of friendliness when you live with your friends; one that my up-and-down financial crisis, frequent late night work hours, constant weekend trips away, and avoidance of the literal ex-in-the-basement make impossible to live up to. It is simpler to live alone when you anticipate being consistently away.
Finally, after living with family or friends for my entire life–and particularly in the same room with a partner for many years–my personal zen requires the space, peace, and quiet only a private apartment can provide. Endless granite counters, perfect living room, balcony over the community garden and lagoon-style pool deck, personal herb garden on the porch, harmonious bedroom and decor/accents…. and all for me. Privacy.
- Painting in the living room without taking up group space
- baking pies at 3am
- laundry at all hours
- loud, overnight guests on a whim
- candle-lit baths without thought for hogging the restroom
The possibilities are endless and carefree. I can’t wait to cook more with my own kitchen. No more fridge and cabinet Tetris, no more washing other people’s dishes and counter messes, and no more juggling stove usage across four people every night.
But most of all, I’m looking forward to losing “the cloud” of my daily surroundings. Even though we retained all our friends, even though we parted as amicably as possible (all things considered), and even though I’ve moved on emotionally (as much as can be expected), the breakup still tainted the home. While I was out of town visiting someone on weekends, my ex would often go on the same kind of outtings with our friends I used to enjoy. I’d see the pictures trickle in on saturday and sunday afternoons and give a soft sigh, wondering why he or no one else thought to ask me. Every weeknight was interrupted with the logistical struggles of sharing an in-room bathroom with him and the forced conversation that ensued. Our breakup loomed over everything about the house like a fog. Even the house’s farewell party was tainted: we were the unspoken reason for the diaspora. I didn’t even want to attend. I fought about it at length with him the day before. It was all so forced. Everything there reminded me of our failure: my bedroom that’s too-big-for-one, my closet still filled with his clothes, his furniture and equipment in the corner, the second sink that never gets used, the front door of the house that took me past the basement every day…. I’m ready to be free of it.
Update on the red text: HAHAHA it’s because they were fucking! [stares in Morgoth] 😒
“I’m against government interference in terms of education, healthcare, and anti-discrimination terms, but we need an absurdly large military and should blindly support the police, but I also need military style weapons to fight the police in case they take my freedom.”
In a nutshell.
Parents who pay men to teach their young girls to be sex objects are shocked when those men treat the young girls like sex objects. *shrug*
Imagine spending your whole life with someone who, in the back of their mind, doesn’t think about moving forward with you. Imagine spending your whole life with someone who wanted to leave you–who feels like they should have left you. Remember: even at your best you’ll never be right for the wrong person. – Jay Shetty
Every now and then I need to hear this so that I stop feeling sorry for myself. I need to continually remind myself that he found a thousand ways over the years to describe why I wasn’t right for him which, with his next girlfriend, didn’t seem to be issues anymore. Remember: if someone doesn’t want to be with you, they will find reasons, as inauthentic as they might be. Listen. Leave.