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Category Archives: Strictly Personal

Though all of my blog posts are personal, these are usually rants or raves.

More to Come!

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Hello everyone,

I started MediaFem in February for a final project for my minor is New Media. I am happy to say that I have completed my course, and got an A! Too bad grades do not matter in the real world. Regardless, I graduate on Friday, and could not be happier.

I have been super busy wrapping up my semester and moving back home, so I apologize for not being absent. The good news is that I have decided to keep blogging and build my social media prowess. Maybe if my wonderful readers help me get some views, I can show potential employers how truly awesome I am! (Kidding.) I will try to post twice a week if my searching for a job and crying over my degree aren’t too time consuming.

Until then, what do you think I should be blogging more about? Politics? Television critiques? Real-life jerks who make feminism important? Let me know in the comments.

Personal Before and After Picture

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After the Reddit Rant I posted the other day, I decided that it was time that I finally posted my Before & After post. (It didn’t hurt that I was still annoyed that someone beat me to the idea.) Anyway, here it is. Aren’t I lovely/silly looking?

As I mentioned in my Reddit Rant, this idea started off as the vague notion that being a feminist doesn’t mean that you can’t be feminine. After thinking about it some more, I realized that the picture can mean so much more than I had originally anticipated.

The concept really speaks of the expectation for women to wear makeup. Moreover, it speaks of the need women feel to wear makeup. A Facebook friend posted this, and though it’s funny, it says a lot about our culture. I’m sure many women have dealt with this:

It’s sick how often women are photoshopped and adjusted. We get tricked into thinking that these perfected women define beauty. It’s a shallow, manipulated beauty, but after having these images inundate our media and everywhere we turn, there aren’t many other options.

I challenge you all to do as I did, even if you don’t want it available to the world. I do not wear makeup every day. To be honest, I don’t wear makeup all the time because I don’t want people getting used to it, and thinking I am ugly when I don’t have the energy to spend ten minutes on my eyeshadow.

However, if my readers wear makeup every day, try to make yourself up half way, and look at the difference. It’s shocking, even though you may not look that much different without it. I questioned my decision to post it online. It’s worth it. I wanted an honest picture of myself, untouched and natural, linked with my Friday Night Fierceness makeup.

What are your opinions of the media, and how beauty is perceived? Can we overcome this airbrushed ideal and just feel beautiful with a bare face and an honest smile? Comment and let me know! (Don’t leave me hanging. My picture makes me feel pretty vulnerable.)

Why I Love Kate Nash

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Good afternoon, readers!

If you have never heard of Kate Nash, please go here! She is tremendous. Her wit and voice make me wish I had some type of musical talent, but alas, I am stuck here writing and crying over the lack of job opportunities for me.

But enough about me, Kate Nash is an English singer-songwriter whose album “Made of Bricks” completely blew me away. After doing my star struck research, I discovered the little gem that she is an outspoken feminist!

Thanks to Spinner.com, I’d like to share some great quotes from one of my favorite current artists.

“When I was young I was listening to the Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child. I was singing ‘Independent Woman’ and ‘Survivor’, and it was all about Girl Power and being with your friends. I don’t think I was singing, ‘Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me [Pussycat Dolls lyric]?’”

“It’s really important to be a strong role model. It’s one of my main things because I feel I’ve been exposed in such an extreme way to a lot of sexism. I’ve become aware of being in a very male-dominated industry where a door opens and it’s like, ‘Oh hello, it’s 12 men and me. Again.'”

AND the kicker from Jezebel

“Yes, I’m a feminist. I think everybody should be, because feminism is about equality of the sexes, which we all believe in, don’t we?”

So perfectly summed up, Ms. Nash. It’s refreshing to find such free-thinking, independent talented women ‘making it’ in the business. I just wanted to bring Kate Nash to light, as I tire of only hearing about Alanis Morrisette and Sarah McLachlan (though they are noteworthy as well!)

Who are some of your favorite outspoken feminists, musicians or not?

P.S. For Kate Nash virgins, I suggest “Merry Happy,” “Foundations,” and “The Nicest Thing.” You’re welcome!

Denim Day

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So, if my lovely readers have been involved in feminism and unbelievable rape culture for a while, I’m sure you have heard this story, as it is a bit dated. Nevertheless, it will always be relevant as long as these types of injustices remain.

A quick introduction, thanks to The New York Times, 1999

In the case on which the court ruled, an 18-year-old woman brought an accusation of rape in 1992 against her 45-year-old driving instructor in the small town of Muro Lucano, 60 miles from Naples. She said that during a driving lesson, he drove her to an isolated spot, forced her to get out, and raped her. He contended that they had consensual sex in the car.

A woman accused a man of rape in Italy. When it went to trial, it was decided that she could not have been raped, because she was wearing tight jeans. It was decided in a court of law that the woman must have assisted the man in taking off her pants. Therefore, it was not rape.

Ugh. Even if this shred of “defense” is true, does taking one’s pants off to avoid violence or death make it okay to penetrate someone without consent?

I bring this up because, in order to silently speak out against this atrocity, women are asked to wear jeans on April 27th. Though many of these clothing requests always seemed a bit arbitrary to me, I figured I would share the information. I wear jeans almost every day, but hey, for April 27th, I will be standing up against the rape culture in the world. If anyone will be standing with me, comment and let me know!

Before & After Reddit/ Feminist Makeup Rant

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Last week, this photo on Reddit became the buzz of the Internet, at least in the crevices of the web that I frequent. It was posted by user “munner83” about three months ago. Though the photo had been available for a while, it resurfaced thanks to Reddit’s ability to vote up certain posts into relevance.

I found this picture intriguing, primarily because I had planned to do something similar. I don’t often wear make-up, but I would have done the following:

Half of my face would have been made up with mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and lip stick. The hair on this side of my head, my unruly curls, would be straightened and polished. Basically, my main point was going to be that being a feminist doesn’t discount femininity.

Now, on the subject, I’m not sure if this woman is a feminist or not but the truth is that this was a cool move on her part, even if I am only saying that because I wanted to do it too… Some people say that makeup is used to hide who you are. Others say makeup is to accentuate your qualities. Whatever way you may see it, make up is a HUGE business being pushed onto women. Sure, I wear my makeup sometimes, and I feel great. Most of the time, I can barely gel my frizzy hair down before leaving the house.

From the title of the post on Reddit, “The Power of Makeup,” I’d imagine that the subject of the picture (who may not be the poster) wanted the world to see what a shocking transformation makeup can have, and how deceptive it may be. (Not as deceptive as Photoshop, amiright?)

This post is a bit jumbled, as I am stuck between my original intention of femininity and feminism mixing, and the fact that I am SO impressed that there aren’t many negative posts on the picture. TBH, I think the woman is lovely either way.

Before I get further lost in my jumbled head, makeup does not define a person. Makeup is used as a tool to allow women to feel prettier, whether it be because of the beauty industry shooting its expensive products at us, or perhaps because we truly enjoy the look that makeup gives us.

As a feminist, I see nothing wrong with wearing makeup, and will wear it when I feel the time is right, or I want to cover the dark circles under my eyes after a night of partying. I think the problem is the amount of advertising and pressure put on women, saying that without makeup, we aren’t pretty, or aren’t pretty enough. I don’t like when companies, or entire industries, tell people what to look like or how to act. At all.

The advertising fools me all the time, and I have been purchasing makeup, if not experimenting with it, since I was about seven years old. I used to buy brown and orange lipsticks, and I would try to look SEXY at age seven. That sums up my feelings about the makeup industry. I was seven years old, caking on blush and lipstick, trying to look sexy.

HBO’s Girls

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Property of HBO

Last Sunday, HBO premiered the series, Girls, which chronicles the lives of four twenty-somethings trying to find lives for themselves in New York City. Though the show itself doesn’t necessarily parade its feminist features, I have to say that I am in love with this show. There has been some discussion about the diversity, or lack thereof, of the four white privileged characters.

Phoebe Robinson, author of Blaria.com (Black Daria), writes about her opinion of the show :

Girls doesn’t represent me nor the women I know who have matured in NYC. And I’m not stating that it doesn’t represent me because of race. Although, the complete lack of diversity on this show, while not surprising, is terrible given that it’s 2012.

However, Executive Producer Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad) states that it really isn’t supposed to be representative of New York City life.

Instead, it follows one group of friends who are having a hard time coping with the pressures of post-grad life, and finding a career, or at least a job to pay their rent after their parents, namely Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) cut her off financially.

Lena Dunham is the director, creator and producer of Girls, as well as Hannah Horvath on the show. Now, it should be known that I am a young woman, white, but not what I would call privileged. I have tens of thousands of dollars in loans, and you better believe that I will not be able to work as an intern, like Hannah did, for two years.

Regardless, I was able to accept the characters for what they are:  real. Maybe not likable or relatable to every young woman terrified of the future, but real. The dialogue is wonderful. It captures the youthful nature of the girls, while not going to lengths of utter nonsense as Diablo Cody’s Juno did. Dunham, only twenty-five, is able to capture the embarrassing moments of young adulthood perfectly, while balancing them with honest terror as the main characters must find their place in the “Real World.”

Episode Two, Vagina Panic, captures raw emotion and nervous energy during Hannah’s STI screening. For example, she overwhelms herself by mumbling about her fear of HIV/AIDS and when the nurse has nothing to add, she blabs on even more, in order to keep herself at ease.

The great thing about this show is the characters. Each character is not really meant to be a protagonist. In fact, the show is not set up with truly likable characters. Each girl is flawed or lost in her own way, which made the series truly enjoyable to me.

In this episode especially, I found the situations and opportunities unlike my own. If you are comfortable with suggestive language and situations, and are not easily offended by HBO programming, give Girls a chance. For a limited time, HBO is streaming the pilot episode for free here!

Disassemble The Derogatory Four-Letter Words

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I was reading a fellow feminist blogger’s post about her questioning the effectiveness of “reclaiming” words, and it sparked my interest.

Bitch. Cunt. Whore. Slut.—What do all of these derogatory words really mean?

Let’s consult the dictionary for a second. I will be weeding out the true definitions in order to get to the good stuff. (Special thanks to Dictionary.com)

Bitch- a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.

Cunt– a woman; a contemptible person

Whore– a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.

Slut– a dirty, slovenly woman.

Now, do we really want to reclaim these words? Feminist Law Prof questions the efficacy of reclaiming these words by saying “if were actually to reappropriate the term, I might want to take out the negative connotation.” [PS: Check out her blog. Smart and modern woman.]

My suggestion is to forget reclaiming there words. Instead, I propose to take the sting out of them. Words only have the power that you give them. If someone is spouting four letter words at me, undermining my character, I will ignore it. Try saying the words out loud.  Cunt, for example, is just another word, just another way to try to insult a woman. It’s empowering to be able to say cunt.

If people are not put off by your aloof attitude, take the advice of Gym Class Heroes, and “put of your peace sign [and] put your index down.” No one had the right to make you feel bad. Blatent attempts to bring your self-esteem down WILL NOT be effective if you realize that words and just words. Laugh it off, and never let intangible words demean you.

Feminists have been surrounded by negativity, including a slew of words just like bitch and cunt. I know who I am, and what I know. Also, I have a larger vernacular that far surpass these four-letter words.