ishyface: (Default)
Day 01 → Your favorite song
Day 02 → Your favorite movie
Day 03 → Your favorite television programme
Day 04 → Your favorite book
Day 05 → Your favorite quote

Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 → A photo you took
Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 → A fictional book
Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Day 15 → A fanfic
Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 → A talent of yours
Day 20 → A hobby of yours
Day 21 → A recipe
Day 22 → A website
Day 23 → A YouTube video
Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
Day 27 → This month, in great detail
Day 28 → This year, in great detail
Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy

When I was in eighth grade I went through an embarrassing Wiccan phase. This was at least partially because I'd seen The Craft and thought that Fairuza Balk was really cool. It was also because I wanted to piss off my dad. I spent a lot of time haunting Halifax's single New Age store (where everything smells like patchouli and a single crystal costs twenty million dollars), reading Tarot cards (badly), and attempting to cast spells in my bedroom using a stick and some garlic powder.* For about a year I basically embodied every teenage Wiccan cliche in the book (Wicca is the world's OLDEST RELIGION! Christians are all oppressing me by being Christian! My devotion to the Goddess is best expressed by reading epic fantasy novels and drawing pentagrams at the top of all of my homework assignments! Etc, etc) and whined and pretended to hex people and was basically a blight on the face of the earth.**

Then, the summer after eighth grade, I read this book.


Whether or not The Great Cosmic Mother can actually be classed as nonfiction is maybe a little iffy- you have to take a helluva lot of leaps of faith when you read it- but at the time at which I discovered it it was the most crazy mind-bending thing I'd ever read that wasn't a novel. At that point I was just starting to identify, pretty tentatively, as a feminist; this book tipped me over the edge and into full-on radical territory. It also helped me develop a much deeper, richer understanding of the Divine than the one I'd had before, not just because it was so adamant about God being a woman*** but because it addressed the ways in which "woman" as a thing didn't have to be limited to what I'd been taught to see as "feminine." (Ex: this book was the first I'd ever read that said anything about the Sacred Androgyne or the third gender, which, since I was also starting to question my own gender and gender as a social construct, was a Big Fucking Deal.) The type of "woman-centric" religions I'd been exposed to up to that point were all about duality- the God is the sky, the Goddess is the earth, the God is active, the Goddess is passive, the God is masculine, the Goddess is feminine, blah blah blah sacred polarities balancing energies blabitty blabitty blah****- and this book helped me get beyond that without having to give up on the whole thing altogether. And it was just fucking cool.

My Wiccan phase pretty much ended that year, a little while after reading this book, and I've forgotten most of the other things that ~blew my mind at that time. But this one is still important to me.

* I figured if you can substitute powdered herbs for fresh ones in cooking you can do it during rituals as well. Turns out it doesn't actually work like that!

** Not all Wiccans are like this, obviously. Not even all teenage Wiccans are like this. But I was a dumbass teenage Wiccan.

*** Which, for whatever reason(s), is still an important part of my own piecemeal wishy-washy spirituality today. Probably it has to do with my relationship with my mother, or something.

**** Please note: if the idea of two very separate, distinctly gendered deities is a big part of your personal faith, that is fine. But man, it is so very, very Not My Thing. Also, my understanding of Wicca was a religion at that point was formed mostly by the websites I found on the subject (all terrible!) and the few books I could hunt down in the public library (even worse!), plus the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (oh my God what WAS that bullshit!). So there was probably a lot about it that just did not properly register with me. Hear you me, kids: if you want to convert to a new religion, READ THE RIGHT BOOKS.
ishyface: (*beam*)
20 Websites From Before The Internet Was Invented. #9 is my favourite. Oh, Oliver Cromwell, you were such a dick.

Lyn-Z and that nerd she married. ♥

(Also, Ellen DeGeneres and that nerd she married. ♥♥♥♥♥)

Man Called Zombie While Ordering Food, Punched Twice. There will never be a greater headline than that. Ever. Read it over a few times and savour its AWESOME.

'Skirt boys' make waves in wild world of Tokyo street fashion. I was going to make an anime joke here but then I decided it'd be a little too obvious.

The Kindest Cut: In Colorado, a surgeon helps restore feeling—and so much more—to victims of female genital mutilation. This whole article made me tear up a little. Especially this bit:

A California nurse, Ngozi, who was circumcised as a newborn in Nigeria and also had her labia entirely cut away, came to Bowers in August. She is already feeling results, she tells NEWSWEEK. "Before, I would look at my textbook and look at myself and they were two different things. I wasn't even human." Bowers performed not only the clitoral operation but also plastic surgery to create labia for Ngozi, 34. "Now when I look at myself I feel like a woman," says Ngozi, who says she has even experienced orgasms for the first time in her life. "It's beautiful, I just love it, it feels like you're melting. Before it irritated me when my husband tried to touch me, now I reach out to him."

♥______________; GUYSSSSSSSSSS

Going to school in boymode. )

This video about how science is magic.

The world is just awesome. <3

In unrelated news, since it seems I will be in university for a good long while yet (this is because I transferred and dropped a class and also God hates me), I am considering getting a certificate in Library Science as well as a diploma in Creative Writing. That way I will nourish both my lifelong dream of being a ~writer and my need to eventually support myself and any cats I may choose to adopt. Good idea, y/n/you're going to be in school until you die, aren't you?
ishyface: (Default)
I love Sady Doyle for many reasons. One of them is her fantastic Bitch blog about women in the music industry, She Pop, which includes a kind of amazing essay about how female artists are set up to fulfill the virgin/whore dichotomy instead of presenting themselves as well-rounded human beings.

We can talk about [Taylor Swift] as an "alternative" to Katy Perry, but what that misses is that the system is built on dichotomies and alternatives. Wife and mistress; the girl you sleep with and the girl you respect; the hot girl and the girl with substance; the smart girl and the sexy girl. The Media Image of Taylor Swift isn't creating a new alternative to The Media Image of Katy Perry; it's just stepping into the "alternative" role already provided by patriarchy, which has a vested interest in dividing women against each other and against themselves, in keeping them from being whole people, who can be smart and sexy, who can sleep with people and still fully believe that they deserve respect. These two images need each other; they couldn't function without each other. The girl in the white dress is nothing without the girl in red. And vice-versa.

Read the rest of it. You might like it.
ishyface: (oh my god!)
I have made a Very Important Decision.

Since I'll likely never be able to support myself by writing fiction- who reads fiction these days anyway? it's not even real- I have decided to write a self-help book instead! Not just any self-help book, though. Oh, no. My self-help book will be all about the dudes and the ladies, and how they are CRAZY DIFFERENT and need to read books (LIKE MINE) in order to live in the same world and breathe up the same oxygen without trying to stab each other. It will feature handy tips to smooth the rocky road of gender relations, such as "REMEMBER, GIRLS, IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO REPRODUCE" and "DUDES: BELCH IN PUBLIC, THE LADIES TOTALLY DIG THAT." And I will call it... something snappy, I'm leaning towards Men Are From Mars, Women Suck My Penis but I think there might be copyright issues, and I will go on one thousand talk shows to promote it and tell the world all about the dudes and the ladies, and the crazy differences between them. (For example, the dudes are all about the sex and the cars, while the ladies are all about the shopping and the tiny dogs!) IT WILL BE SO ENLIGHTENING, LJ, LET ME TELL YOU. And I will stir up a MEDIA FRENZY wrt: my amazing (NON-FICTION)(THAT MEANS FULL OF FACTS INSTEAD OF LIES LIKE ALL THE OTHER THINGS I WRITE) dude-and-lady book.

And then it will be published at a whopping 500 pages, and the very first page will read:

What the fuck is wrong with you?

No, seriously. Why are you even holding this book? What sad fucking sequence of events led you to conclude that the opposite sex is a cunningly disguised race of space aliens sent to this planet solely to confuse the shit out of you? Why the fuck do you think you have to read a goddamn book in order to carry on a conversation with someone who may or may not look different in the bathing suit area? Like that is such a goddamn astro-fucking-nomical deal, like the genitals are the seat of the personality. "Men are genetically programmed to fuck everything that moves while solving algebraic equations and eating steak. With their dicks." "Did you know evolution means women are naturally inclined to weep over Lifetime movies and covet expensive shoes?" "Oh, but, you know, chromosomes and-" FUCK. OFF. THAT IS NOT THE WAY HUMANITY WORKS. Women are people! Men are people! (Those of us who are neither men nor women: also people!) We're all just goddamn motherfucking people, and none of us really get each other, and maybe if we all put down the fucking wanky "help me understand the opposite sex without actually having to talk to them because ew cooties" books and tried to relate to each other as INDIVIDUALS instead of Mysterious Ambassadors of Testosteronia and Estrogenia everyone would breathe a little easier. We've got to stop putting so much effort into the battle of the sexes, maintaining these stupid boundaries that define who does what, to who, where, why, and how. It's a sham and it's a drain and it takes away precious time and energy that could be spent laughing or singing or falling in love or making something beautiful or, Christ, taking a nap. Go do one of those. Any of them. All of them. Trust me, you'll feel better about everything.

And for fuck's sake, stop reading self-help books.

The remaining 499 pages will be blank.

I am going to make a frillion bazillion dollars.
ishyface: (*beam*)
1) [ profile] redheaded_itch is here! She is currently on a beach taking pictures of ~nature. I am currently inside sitting at my kitchen table because I am a fascist who hates the beach.

2) I got a haircut on Friday. It's pretty fab. )

3) Does anyone else on the flist read Tiger Beatdown? Because if you don't you definitely should. It is both hilarious and insightful and, dammit, there aren't enough funny feminist blogs out there. One of my favourite posts: Shut Up, Cunt! The Cultural Logic Of 97th-Wave Feminist Band Millionaires.

4) "What A Catch, Donnie" made me tear up hardcore. ;_______; GET ON THE LIFEBOAT PETER WENTZ YOU ARE NOT EDWARD J. SMITH.

5) I just tried to eat a mini Reese's cup without taking the tinfoil off. Legally I am considered a responsible adult and that scares me more than I can ever say.
ishyface: (fuck you)
From [ profile] apiphile:

Women should say yes, yes, yes more.

Arndt said while giving women the right to say "no" to sex was an undisputed success of the women's movement, "the female libido tends to be a fragile, easily distracted thing that gets buffeted by normal life and a couple can't afford to have their intimacy reliant on that fragility".


Arndt said low-libido partners, which are mostly women, needed to put sex on the "to-do list", even if they didn't feel like doing it.

"The notion that women have to want sex to enjoy it has been a really misguided idea that has caused havoc in relationships over the last 40 years."

With the right approach from a loving partner, if women were willing to be receptive "and allow themselves to relax … they would enjoy it", she said.

Forget about mutual respect and consent, the key to a happy sexual relationship is one person lying back and thinking of England while the other jackhammers away whispering "just relax, baby, you'll love it, I promise." Kinda hoped we'd got past that idea!

Look. If you're with someone and they don't want to have sex with you? YOU DON'T GET TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM. Because their body is theirs, and they do not have to let anyone touch them ever, and having sex you don't want to have, even if you do "relax" (which I assume is code for "stop fighting and give in, you frigid bitch"), will fuck you up but good. Your partner does not belong to you! Consent is important! So if they say no, you fucking stop. I don't give a shit how damaged your poor delicate ego is, YOU FUCKING STOP.

And if you don't... well. There's a word for that and it's spelled r-a-p-e.
ishyface: (Default)
Tonight Little Brother, Little Sister, and I went to see Coraline.

Cut for spoilers. )

In conclusion: Coraline (book) is about feminism, and Coraline (movie) is not.
ishyface: (fuck you)
It is not okay to disregard a girl's thoughts, opinions, or art just because...

... she slept with someone.
... she slept with a lot of someones.
... she slept with someone you want to sleep with and IT'S NOT FAIR.
... she wears "slutty" clothes (what does that word even mean)?
... she likes boys.
... she likes girls.
... she likes boys and girls.
... she looks "girlish."
... she looks "boyish."
... she doesn't look the way you want her to look.
... she doesn't say what you want her to say.
... she's cis.
... she's trans.
... she's not the same race as you.
... she has tattoos.
... she has a handbag and a tiny dog.
... she's thin.
... she's fat.
... she knows someone famous.
... she might have fucked someone famous.
... she has a blog in which she occasionally mentions someone famous.
... she has or has had an eating disorder.
... she's an immigrant.
... she works in an industry you personally consider degrading (the fashion industry, the porn industry, the sex industry, whatever).
... she's a virgin.
... she's not a virgin.
... she's religious.
... she's not religious.
... she had an abortion.
... she has kids.
... she's young.
... she's old.
... she did something at some point in her life that you wouldn't have done, or would have done differently, or would have been smarter about, et cetera ad infinitum.

Can we as a species move the fuck on from this bullshit notion that men are people and women are types? That only the "right" kind of girl (and what's "right" for a girl changes all the time anyway) deserves our time and attention and respect, and all other kinds are disposable? That a girl is only as good as her stereotype, or her reputation, or the length of her skirt, or the colour of her skin, or what her job is, or what she looks like, or how much boys like her, or how closed she keeps her mouth, or how closed she keeps her legs?

Can we fucking evolve, please?
ishyface: (Default)
Because sometimes I read shit. Crazy, I know.

Potential, by Ariel Schrag

I think when people write about high school years after the fact, their memories are all in soft focus. Schrag's comic memoir Potential was written immediately after she graduated and describes her coming out in high school, losing her virginity, and trying to make sense of her first real relationship. Except that makes it sound stupid and Potential is actually good. Schrag's drawings are messy and scritchy and make me itch, and her writing is clumsy in the good way- it makes you realize how young she is, how earnest she is even though she's trying to defend herself with irony. This book reminded me of how awesomely terrible high school was, both the parts of it I miss and the parts of it I never want to think about again.

Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi

What I love about Marjane Satrapi is that she takes one look at the stereotype of Middle Eastern women as long-suffering submissive victims of their culture and laughs it off the face of the fucking planet. The conversations in Embroideries are the kind of conversations people across the world are having ion their living rooms- conversations about love, about sex, about money, and, more than anything, about juicy gossip. Satrapi's minimalist cartoon style scans almost like film noir at times. That combined with her snappy, raunchy dialogue makes Embroideries... hm, how do I say this without sounding like a total douche or someone reviewing a restaurant? Oh, I got it, ROCK AWESOME.

Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, by Ariel Levy


Okay. I am going to put away my distaste for Levy's prose style for just five minutes (but seriously, could she maybe try to sound neutral? just once?), and concentrate on the things I did like about the book. I found her analysis of the "Uncle Tomming" done by women to benefit from raunch culture to be spot on. (How-fucking-ever, using racial analogies and implicitly comparing oppressions? Thank you, Ms. Levy, a truckload of FAIL shall be delivered to your doorstep post-haste.) I also enjoyed her take on the relationship between raunch culture and capitalism, particularly that "[m]aking sexiness into something simple, quantifiable makes it easier to explain and to market. If you remove the human factor from sex and make it about stuff- big fake boobs, bleached blonde hair, long nails, poles, thongs- then you can sell it. Suddenly, sex requires shopping; you need plastic surgery, peroxide, a manicure, a mall. What is really out of commercial control is that you still can't bottle attraction." (184) But throughout the book I found myself flipping to the author's picture on the back flap and scowling at her, because a lot of her writing is fucking sloppy. For example, she writes with the unstated assumption that her readers will agree with her ideological opposition to pornography and sex work; although she claims that pornography will FUCK YOU UP MAN, she does not include statistics.* Instead she quotes Jenna Jameson's autobiography and calls it a day. She criticizes the third wave for its perceived permissiveness and acceptance of marketed sexuality and idealizes the second wave as a totally radical space, ignoring its history of excluding women by their race or sexual practice (lesbians, leatherfolk, too "feminine", whatever). And oh, that charming chapter on those mean mannish lesbians objectifying women by... uh... sleeping with lots of them! And sometimes wearing men's clothing! And even TRANSITIONING, oh noes! (Don't even get me started on her back-asswards attitude towards trans folk. Say it with me, people: If I'm NOT transgendered, I DON'T get to use the word "tranny." I don't. Get. To. Use. It.)

All in all? Glad I read it once, will never read it again.

I've also been reading Runaways, but it is too awesome for me to write a proper review. Telepathic time-traveling raptors! Goth girls leading teams of superheroes! KILLER NAZI SCIENTISTS MADE OF BEES! \o/


* Just for the record: I identify primarily as a pro-sex feminist. I feel very uneasy about many of the images propagated by the porn industry, especially in relation to women and sexual assault, and I think they can be harmful, especially when it's the only way younger people can learn about sexuality; however, I think the solution to that problem is encouraging a society that is more open and honest about sexuality, not by shutting people down and censoring them. End PSA.
ishyface: (feeling wintry)
Okay, putting Ann Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly, and Marabel Morgan* on the "10 Women Who Make Us Cringe" list makes perfect sense (and the last-minute addition of Bratz dolls is beautiful).

But why add Britney Spears?

So she married an asshole and nearly dropped her baby- is that really such a big deal? A lot of women marry assholes, and yeah, it is cringe-inducing, but shouldn't we really be cringing over the asshole husbands, not the women? As for the baby thing- maybe I'm being blase, but what the hell is the big deal? I can't count the number of times my father let us roll off the bed and onto the floor when we were in diapers. (Of course, that possibly says more about his parenting skills than anything.) And my mum used to buckle us two to a seat when we went on long car trips- if the cops came near she'd just yell "DUCK!" and down we'd go. That doesn't make her an irresponsible mother, and frankly, I think Mini K-Fed was in way more danger from the paparazzi chasing his mum than he was from sitting on her lap.

As for all the hullaballoo about her (gasp!) shaving her head and (horror!) getting tattoos... jeezy creezy, people, it's HAIR AND INK. I don't see people going crazy over Justin's velcrohead or tattoos- why is there such a damn double standard? So she's not dancing around in a schoolgirl outfit anymore- so the fuck what? Why does she have to be "pretty" all the time?

(Obligatory disclosure over Stubblegate: I think Britney looks way better with the shaved head. Of course, I am predisposed to drool over bald women- see also V For Vendetta.)

I used to hate Britney Spears a whole lot. I'm still not a big fan. But she doesn't deserve to be villainized just because she's a non-virgin with no hair and no husband.

* Back when my mum was in child care, she mentioned her marital problems to one of her female clients. Said client gave her a copy of The Total Woman. As a serious attempt to help her out.

She still has it in the linen closet. Sometimes we read it out loud when we're drunk.

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