America’s Aftermath

Without looking at my history of posts and additions to this blog, I already know that the last time anything was shared on this site was well before the presidential debates, the election, and the inauguration of our 45th President of the United States of America. Donald J. Trump is now the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world.

I am not going to afford anyone the opportunity to chastise, scold, or harass my political opinions and personal beliefs about POTUS#45 and his VP, Mike Pence. It is one of the more circular forms of despair that I feel when presented with the relentless frustration and discouragement felt by many people at this point on either sides of this bipartisan rift.

Rather than feel consumed by social media (and lose the attention of many with a long long long post), this is one of the more coherent formulations of my thoughts, observations, and what has happened in this country since the election of our current president.

  • In the few days that President Trump has been in office, the Affordable Care Act has come under intense scrutiny and will be repealed (and replaced with something else, as is required by law). Many of the stipulations which have allowed me to stay on my parent’s insurance and pay for very affordable medication may be compromised, and I cannot even imagine how this will change the lives of individuals who depend on government assistance to literally survive and afford their medical treatments. I would much rather contribute some of my tax dollars to make sure that a family can afford insulin for their grandparents, or subsidize dental care or prenatal care for young children and families, than watch their healthcare disappear to save me some money.
  • Speaking of healthcare, women’s health is taking an awesome beating. President Trump, surrounded by a room full of white men, signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City policy, which prevents organizations funded by the federal government from performing abortion services internationally. With the repeal of the ACA, it is unclear whether or not effective contraception will be affordable for women, which can lead to higher probability of unplanned pregnancies. Unplanned pregnancies that, if they have occurred, these women will have to carry to term if Congress can have its way and stipulate what is considered human life.
  • There is a very small minority of President Trump’s Cabinet that appears to have the educational and professional credentials to run the divisions of state that they have been appointed by the president (See the congressional hearings). Those who are currently working in some capacity have already attacked the media and reported absolute falsehoods. Falsehoods regarding the attendance of the inauguration. I have to be honest, that is such small potatoes in the grand scheme of world news that I am confused as to why they felt it was necessary to lie in the first place. The overwhelming attendance of the Women’s March in D.C. (and other marches in solidarity around the country/world) was more than enough to get the message of displeasure from the masses across, and the official White House response could have been….better.
  • The Spanish translation of the White House website has been removed. So has any mention of their stance on the belief in climate change. And also the portion of the site that discussed LGBT rights. The first decision is unthinking and unreasonable, the second is factually incoherent, and the third is baffling and alarming. Instead of relying on the government as a bastion of hope for people of all creeds and nations (as well as the scientific method), there is a curtain being drawn around America, systematically removing peoples from its sphere of inclusion that have already faced systematic oppression. And climate change, well, that area of science may not have always faced oppression, but one would think that a country with so much global influence would attempt to prolong the life of Mother Earth herself.

I am calling my representative in the House as soon as I can to make sure that they are aware of what their voters support, and act accordingly. I want to work and advocate for the rights of this country as an informed citizen, and not fly blindly into a glass wall or ceiling. This is what I see. It is not everything that is impacting the American people — it barely scratches the surface. We are a diverse community, a country of immigrants, a history fraught with mistakes and a legacy of mishaps. Please do not forget where you stand, who is beside you, and who will be following in your footsteps.

 

Ever Yours,

Political as F–k

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Regarding Mr. Kaepernick

As a white, heterosexual female citizen of the United States of America, I live in a society that gives me many privileges. I have never felt threatened by others for the color of my skin or the way that I talk, and have been solidly middle-class my entire life. I never wanted for food, clothes, or games as a child, and my parents both attended college and established successful careers. I have never felt threatened by others because of my sexual orientation, and have never had an issue voicing my opinions and asserting my authority in social and academic settings.

I happened to come across this video while tooling around Facebook, and came to dead halt to watch the minute-and-fourteen-second attack on 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick for choosing not to stand for the playing of the national anthem. The video was not exceptional to me in any way other than making me angry. Because it claimed that America was “exceptional, not racist”. In addition, it mentioned that racism did not prevent him from being successful in football, nor did it stop him from signing a multi-million dollar contract to play the game he loves.

Here’s the thing about this video, though. America is both exceptional and racist. Heck, one could argue that it is still, in many ways, upholding exceptionally racist perspectives and expectations. And please, if you think that America is “post-racial”, do yourself a favor and read the remarks that have been made about the Obama family during his presidency, the  opinions from supporters for Donald Trump, the statistics of police violence and brutality against minorities, racist and sexist coverage of the Rio Olympics, etc etc. America is about as tangibly post-racial as it is tangibly post-sexist. (Looking at you, wage gap and hypersexualization of women in media.)

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You cannot use one person of color’s success to ignore the systemic racism that plagues our nation’s history and current political and social climate. THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS, PEOPLE.

Please, please, please read a history textbook and acquaint yourself with the history of oppression in America. Why do you think there are high rates of incarceration, unemployment, and poverty for minority populations, because they choose to “not work hard enough” and thought that all of those things sounded spectacular? Fun fact: you’ve heard of the War on Drugs? Sentencing for crack cocaine (which was usually found on African Americans) was 100 times harsher than the sentencing for the same amount of powder cocaine (which was usually found on white Americans). The only difference between the two drugs is that one is crushed, and one is not, yet the sentences were typically much harsher for members of the African American community. Yup.

Colin Kaepernick exercised his right to make a statement by saying nothing and letting his actions speak for him. Everyone who has an opinion on his actions is entitled to them, and I would never deny you the right to say them, because that’s why we have a constitution with the freedom of speech. And yet, when did Kaepernick’s comments about his protest become anti-American in toto? He even said that he has “great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country”. He is not the first celebrity or athlete to use his position of fame to advocate for a public agenda, and he was very clear about what his concerns were. Why are so many people hell-bent on making him an enemy of the state, when his concerns are for the American public and a culture of violence that endangers many citizens today?

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Kaepernick is not alone anymore — U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe kneeled for the National Anthem this past Sunday, and she is also getting flak for her show of solidarity. Athletes around the country are kneeling in solidarity with Kaepernick’s cause, and I do not believe that this is a sign of disrespect. They are using their public figure to nonviolently protest a fundamental flaw in the American experience for millions. At least their nonviolent protest has not led to more harmful repercussions for these people and their families.

Ever you lady,

American as F–k

 

 

The Make-or-Break Post, or Why I’m Pro-choice

This is the post in which the viewing public decides whether they will continue to read what I write or shake their heads at my misinformed, naïve and “you’ve never been a mother, you don’t understand” perspective on the subjects of abortion and contraception. Frankly, one could argue that those things are true. However, I’m not going to make that argument, because debating with myself is like riding the Gravitron from the county fair. Not only do I know exactly how it is going to end (peeling myself off the wall, feeling nauseated), but the velocity at which I’m traveling defies most laws of physics and only reminds me that I shouldn’t have considered it in the first place.

Extended metaphors notwithstanding, my inner monologue regarding contraceptive practices and abortion has had many incarnations since I started thinking about it as a young adult. I grew up in a Roman Catholic household and attended a church that chose not to address fairly controversial topics like gay marriage and sexual practices. My first foray into learning about sexual intercourse was freshman year of high school, where my gym teacher taught us that it’s very easy to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and that the safest way to avoid pregnancy and disease is abstinence. This was a public high school, too. That was the sexual education of my formative years — abstinence, STDs, and viewing Greco-Roman statues and Renaissance artwork at the museum as an excuse to see any interpretation of the male and female genitalia. I was terrified that my parents would see my search history on the computer for things like “masturbation” and “female condoms”, so I relied on ancient art pieces instead. #shelteredandscared

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Thanks, Michelangelo^^

Something tells me that I don’t need to explain any more of this journey to you all. Attending college away from home did wonders for my sexual education, and forced me to develop things like opinions and perform things like research for said opinions. Mind = blown (hehe).

I support a woman’s choice to have an abortion. I am also an advocate for healthy sexual education and teaching methods for safer sex to all sexually active individuals.

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Don’t worry, Maria knows there are more than 5 forms of contraception

There was a time in my life when my parents had the last word on what I could or couldn’t do, and typically it was for my own good. I wanted to stop playing flute, and also stop practicing martial arts. They said no. I am now good at flute and can break a board with my hand. I am glad that they made those decisions for me, because I didn’t have the most well-formed brain as a 12-year-old.

As an adult with more education under my belt and now capable of providing consent, I am now realizing that, short of committing a crime, there is little that I want people to monitor and control, like my body. I’m very much not comfortable with someone telling me that I “should have the child” and “you can’t have sex unless you are willing to bear the responsibility of having children”. Newsflash, people: condoms have been assembled from the intestines of animals since the 17th century, proving again and again that people made the distinction between sex for pleasure and sex for babytimes, like, 300 years agoThe Pill was created by at least one practicing Roman Catholic. The same women who fought for the right to vote in the United States of America also went to jail because they were arrested for teaching birth control practices to women who seemed to be birthing an entire village on the regs and who did not want to expand their village, if you get my meaning.

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Here’s a thought: I think that puppies are cute, but literally don’t have the time or resources to get a puppy. Does that mean that I should go to the store and get a puppy the next time I pet a dog? No. Because at this stage in my life, I’m responsible enough to know that I don’t want a puppy, and that I couldn’t provide the love and care that it deserves for a wholesome life with me right now. Am I going to stop playing with dogs and watching animal videos online? Hell no! There are some things in life that are not going to hurt the ones I love and are also not going to unduly harm myself. Cat videos are also on this list.

Why can’t women be responsible enough to know that they don’t want to have children AND also have access to the resources that can ensure that reality? Why are Americans so comfortable with violence in the media, which is a manifestation of destruction, and so uncomfortable with sex, which at it’s very core is an act of creation, whether it is the creation of another human or the creation of intimacy and pleasure between consenting individuals?

This post doesn’t exactly have a formal ending, but perhaps that is because this conversation hasn’t had a formal ending, either, at least not in my lifetime. I’m almost certain that at this conversation will not have a formal ending, and it is actually okay with me. Because having a society that refuses to find tacit agreement on a subject encourages its members to keep thinking about it, keep debating it, and keep reevaluating their perspective and values on the issue.

Ever your Lady,

       Pro-Choice as F–k

P.S. For more information about the future of contraceptives, check out this nifty website.

P.P.S. Also, John Oliver did a very informative episode of his show about America’s sex education system and also about US abortion laws.

Z is for Zika/ Alliteration is Difficult when you are scared

Earlier this month, Miami health officials confirmed that 14 people have contracted the Zika virus from local mosquito populations in the Florida area. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel warning within the United States for pregnant women considering the Miami area as their next biggest getaway. In addition, the Pentagon confirmed that at least 33 American service members have contracted Zika virus while overseas. And, right, one of the countries hardest hit by Zika is Brazil, which just finished as host of the Summer Olympics. Zika can be transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito and also between people during sex, blood transfusions, and from mother to child in pregnancy. So here is a chance for anyone to brush up on their knowledge of Zika virus while the summer is still upon us.

Zika scares the bejeezus out of me, even if I do not plan to have children in the near future. I am worried for the fate of these women and their children, and also for the women who might unknowingly contract the disease and become pregnant. I was fortunate to take a class in college where we investigated the history of Zika as one of our units. It turns out that Zika was first discovered on the African continent in 1947 and was named after the forest in which it was originally identified. I could get into the fascinating and disappointingly nonexistent research and publicity that it garnered before the 21st century, but let’s leave that as a good coffee-table chat about the Western-centric tendencies of medicine.

The cherry on top of this ice-cream-sundae of a disease epidemic is that scientists are seeing negative effects of Zika for children that show no immediate effects at birth. That means that children born to these mothers may not exhibit microcephaly, but will develop problems as they get older in regions of the brain that are still growing. Depending upon a woman’s socioeconomic status and the area of the world in which she resides, seeking additional resources for their children as they develop becomes increasingly expensive and challenging.

Compared to other disease outbreaks around the world, Zika virus has a fairly innocuous impact on the life of the infected. At most, they will experience flu-like symptoms for a week, including rash, fever, and joint pain. Unlike polio or Ebola or HIV, Zika virus will not kill the infected person. Because of this, some of the cases of pregnant women contracting Zika are not discovered until their child is checked for developmental issues, and by then it is too late. Abortion laws around the world are not equal, and in Brazil abortion is illegal with very few exceptions.

I am no expert on this subject, but there is one thing that I feel should be recognized about the potential of Zika virus. What if the next public health crisis in America is that Zika extends its reaches to other regions of the United States and there is a significant increase in children born with microcephaly? Is our healthcare system prepared for that possibility? What kind of infrastructure does America have for assistance to these families, and how would this be navigated on a national scale? How would this change the national opinion on contraception and abortion laws?

Perhaps I sound overly concerned about this, but I’m pretty sure that a year ago I was told that “Zika virus mosquitos won’t be in the U.S.”, and look where we are now. For more information on Zika, visit the CDC website.

 

Your Lady,

Attempting-to-be-informed as F–k

This One Time, At Therapy…

Spoiler: I am in therapy.

After returning from an entire day dedicated to graduate student orientation and a therapy session, I drove to the grocery store and then drove home to make dinner with  such wild abandon that I accidentally doubled the amount of garlic in my stir fry, causing my house to smell like Van Helsing’s stronghold.

I can guess what you are thinking — what anticlimactic event of my day led to this flurry of activity and, eventually, me passing out in my room with the lights on? Discovering that your eyeliner melted onto the top crease of my eyelid? Wearing dress pants for the vast majority of the day? Learning how to navigate an online grading system that I already knew about because I was an undergraduate student here? Nope, nope and nope.

My therapist told me that I had to drive and listen to music, by myself, for ten minutes and with no other purpose.

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To provide a visual of my therapists, here are the Romanian legends

Let me back up a little here. I have been meeting with my therapists since January of this year — I’m going to call them Béla and Márta, because I was watching a documentary about the Károlyi’s on NBC at the gym. I was formally diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in December of this past year, and it took a lot for me to admit that 1) I needed long-term therapy and 2) that needing medication to manage my symptoms was necessary and good. Mental illness is not a part of many conversations in my life, but it is becoming increasingly relevant and I do not feel that it should negatively impact my experience with other people. Is it inherently relevant to my advisor in graduate school? Not currently. Is it relevant to my general interpretation of the world around me? Yes. I challenge anyone to tell me that this disclosure of my mental illness is any different from admitting a different chronic illness like Crohn’s disease or seasonal allergies.

Yesterday, only Márta was at my session. (I’m assuming Béla was in Brazil or something, being a mustachioed vision of Olympic glory or something.) After catching up with her about my current state of being, I informed her about my activities of the day before, which consisted of not leaving the house at all. Instead of going to the gym, I started making an incredibly thoughtful gift for my boyfriend, completed online CPR/AED and First Aid training, and watched an entire season of Teen Titans. That’s right, I’m starting graduate school in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t stop myself from camping out on the couch to find out if Cyborg was going to stay with the Titans.

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Márta looked at me with her usual inquisitive face, thoughtfully absorbing my general feelings of disappointment that I didn’t exercise or leave the house. To make a long story short, she helped me realize that I have serious hang ups about doing things that have no other purpose than being a relaxing activity just for me. If I can justify my leisure as serving some other meaning in my life, then it is fine — reading to learn more, watching TV to spend time with other people, working out at the gym to fight the anxiety that I feel about my body, it is all motivated by my need to provide purpose to everything that I do. And then, like any good Romanian gymnastics coach (my therapist is not Romanian), Márta challenged me to identify an activity that I find relaxing for no other reason than that it makes me feel good. Anything involving other people was out the window, and anything that ultimately had a justification other than personal entertainment did not count.

That activity turned out to be driving and listening to my music. I’m a dedicated sing & dance & drive enthusiast, and it’s a very fun and private time for me. And then, Márta told me that I need to try to do it for 20 minutes, without running errands, traveling anywhere, or anything else other than enjoying my time to myself.

I tried to negotiate with her — “What about driving to the library? I like the library?”

“No. Just drive. If you remember that you need tampons from CVS, you have to keep driving.”

*At this point, I have wrapped myself around a pillow and am sitting sideways in my armchair. Márta cannot see my face, and I am contorted and twisted physically as much as I feel mentally.*

Just drive? What about when I drive to see my boyfriend? Does that count?”

“Nope.”

*Realizing that I am not going to win this one, I unwind myself from my intestine-shaped ball and literally slide out of my chair and onto the floor. Márta is laughing, because this is pretty funny, and the chair almost falls onto me because I am obviously a professional comedian. I am now sitting on the floor, practically writhing with the difficulty of this assignment. Don’t worry, I’m fine. This is a funny sort of event; I’m not actually in a state of panic.*

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I agreed to Márta’s terms, and promised to attempt this once before our session next week. She also got me to admit what was really at the heart of all of this for me: I fundamentally believe that if I am not busy or doing something valuable with my time, I also lack value.  My accomplishments are very important to me, and losing time to accomplish things is terrifying to me. I’ve spent so much of my life motivated by many incarnations of my anxiety that I don’t really remember what it is like to do things for the sole purpose of wanting to do them for myself. Even writing this blog, while it is for me, helps me attain a certain amount of value with my time.

I will only say this: I’m learning that not everything I think about myself is true. I have watched myself change in the past eight months of therapy, and it has convinced me that I can jump this next hurdle of mine. And even if my therapists expose these new hurdles for me, at least I am seeing them for what they are.

 

Ever your Lady,

Challenged as F–k

 

P.S. If you are dealing with mental illness or have dealt with it in any capacity, I’m with you. Plain and simple. Your value lies in your being, past, present and future.

 

 

 

Boob or Bust(ier): The D-cup edition

(*Disclaimer* In no way do my experiences as a woman wearing bras represent even a fraction of the opinions, beliefs and applications of this specific undergarment.)

My relationship with my breasts is rather tumultuous. Ever since they first started budding in middle school, my thoughts and feelings about them have vacillated between blissfully admiring the way they fill out a dress and internally seething when my highbeams are impossibly lively at the gym. It took me some time to transition from “elastic bralette thing” to ” actual bra”, but by my thirteenth birthday, my chest was strapped in and I had to start buying sports bras as well.

Over time, the bigger problem in my life was exactly that — my breasts had no concept of decency or consideration for my personal wishes and kept. Getting. Bigger.  Contrary to popular belief, not every person yearns for breasts that grow to such proportions that a journey downstairs requires literally (and unpoetically) clasping your bosom tight to prevent tenderizing yourself with gravity. For a school drama production, I had to wear a push-up bra, and it was so effective that hardly any makeup was applied to enhance the artificial cleavage (that’s a big deal in theater, trust me).

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The biggest problem that accompanied my “bigger problem” was having to buy a new set of bras every time I grew a cup size, and then having to graduate to more supportive (and expensive) options. In case anyone was wondering, this meant that, at minimum, I needed at least three or four bras in the rotation for nice occasions and daily wear. This was also the maximum number for me for a long time, because I had to accept the fact that my breasts were not going to stay the same size, and would need to buy new bras in a year or two anyhow. When the Soma clerk sized me and told me that I was a D-Cup, I almost started crying. She was very confused and concerned.

But then if your breasts STOP growing, you have to deal with maintenance. This means buying new bras at least every year (my ladies make those things WORK) and also supplementing with sports bras that might actually cover my nipples when I squat. I have done the math, and in the time that I have been in college, the minimum that has been spent on general female chest maintenance is $742.00. That’s minimum, folks.

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The joyful gait of Rich Uncle Pennybags, who has saved his money primarily by not buying bras

Even if you think that isn’t a very significant sum, let’s just rewind and think about what exactly could have been purchased with $742.00:

At least two or three textbooks.

A 55-inch LED TV.

A one-way ticket to Paris, France from JFK.

A Playstation 4 + an Xbox One.

6 years of Netflix on a basic package.

A rescue pupper.

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Come ON, look at it!

So you see, my breasts have singlehandedly prevented me from traveling abroad, paying for books, AND GETTING A DOG. VILLAINY, THY NAME IS MAMMARY TISSUE. To clarify, I know that money is not everything, and neither are my girls wholly to blame for these lost opportunities. But as far as I am concerned, this is an unfortunate reality for many women in my life, and my family has four women who have competed for clothing money for years on end.

That $742.00 is also a conservative estimate. If you factor in other things that have been deemed necessary for my existence (like menstrual pads, tampons, cute underwear, and about five hundred different types of formal wear),  I could probably have emancipated  myself at 16 and paid for a few semesters of college by myself.  Or my mother (bless her soul) could have saved herself thousands of dollars and instead used it to pursue a career in the culinary arts, or retrofitting old cars so that they have a cookie and hot chocolate dispenser à la The Santa Clause.

I appreciate my breasts for what they are and the potential that they hold for feeding babies and becoming delightfully droopy when I inevitably become an aged beauty. We get along quite well for now, because they have decided to stay the same size for a little more than two years and I have not neglected their care and upkeep. However, I would appreciate them much more if they were also equipped to secrete quarters and dollar coins every now and then to make up for lost time.

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Forget the pink tax — women are struggling with the equivalent of a pink interest rate on the mortgage that is their bodies.

Ever and always,

Chesty as F**k

(Want to donate your bras to homeless women? Visit this organization’s site to learn more!)

Set this Load to Menstrual Cycle

(I had originally promised myself that I would wait until I finished reading the book to talk about it, but have since been overruled by what feels like a thousand unhappy gremlins using chopsticks to lacerate my reproductive system.)

Real question for the general public: in any instance of official comic book publication, do superheroes ever have to navigate crime fighting, world saving, and monthly bleeding at the same time?

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I am reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, and although we (read: Lepore and I) have yet to discuss anything related to Wonder Woman as a character, my current state of being gives me no choice in the matter. Does Princess Diana have some sort of Herculean hold on her uterine tubes, or is she literally too Amazonian to feel that kind of pain? Or, alternatively, could we assume that like the person, her menstrual cycle is also super and as a result a terrible enemy to Amazonians everywhere? Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here, because I haven’t quite forged ahead in this book, but there has to be something somewhere that provides this kind of information for the DC universe.

Not everyone who reads this experiences a menstrual cycle, and even those who do experience a menstrual cycle will feel it differently from the person next to them. It does make me wonder (*heh*) how our experiences with this cycle of natural proportions would have been influenced if more historical role models provided a form of commentary on it? Wonder Woman first appeared in print in January of 1942, following American entry into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. American women took the place of men in factories and industry to contribute to the war effort, gaining a new sense of independence and purpose beyond the conventional housewifery of the early 20th century. Why, then, couldn’t Wonder Woman have tackled the menstrual cycle in popular culture? 

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The simple answer is a surprise to no one, I think: although our Amazonian champion was a woman by design, her creator, William Moulton Marston, was not. He was a staunch supporter of suffragists, and their history inspired his creation of Wonder Woman. Marston’s professional life and private life were also a touch unconventional — the inventor of the lie detector test also definitely had a poly-amorous relationship with his wife and Olive Byrne. Despite that, there remains a distinct gap in Diana’s daily (or monthly) life.

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Dr. Marston, administering a lie detector test. His wife is to the left.

Perhaps the assumption is that periods are a normal part of life, and drawing attention to it takes away from other areas of personal fulfillment. Then again, when someone has to deal with a constant headache during the day or a racking cough, it has the potential of being included into their personal narrative of the day. All’s I’m saying is that when the only way to describe my pain to someone is by sending images of an alien hosting a WWE wrestling match in my uterus, it makes me think WWWWD: What Would Wonder Woman Do?

 

Your Lady,

Menstrual as F–k

 

The Accidental Forest

It has been more than a week since I had my lime mishap (which is the delicate way of describing my incurable tendency for idiocy in the kitchen while wielding knives) and I am ten days into what I would describe as an unanticipated shaving fast. This is the longest I have ever gone without shaving my armpits or legs since I started shaving when I was thirteen years old. And let me tell you, the absence of concern about this has made me quite cheerful, and I’m shocked that I can say this.

Rapunzel - before the make-over.

 

Of course, this could happen only if I decided to learn how to braid hair…

 

To clarify:

As a child I realized, with immense horror, that I had abnormally long arm hair compared to my seven-year-old peers. Children can be little sacks of awful, and I remember being tormented by a few of the walking suckbags because of this “enormous ugly” growing on my arms. My mom had to convince me that shaving my forearms was a bad idea and remind me that it would grow back darker and pointier. So I was spared from the premature plunge into depilation for at least five more years. When puberty finally hit in middle school, I begged for my mom’s blessing to shave my armpits and legs  — because clearly everyone could see my  blonde hairs everywhere — and fell into the habit with much gusto.

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GAH. THIS WAS MY FUTURE AS A SEVEN YEAR OLD. THANK YOU MOM.

My recent moment of clarity occurred about two days ago, when I took a quick look into the mirror and realized that I didn’t give a single crap about the presence or absence of hair under my arms or on my legs.c76d5631d56b2873f68d5c8d2a3f989435ffd1a29e5866cae6701e5d8432cbf9

This is not exactly new to people, am I right? In the past few years, celebrities have proudly showed off their natural look, with mixed responses from the mainstream media and public. No, this is a big deal for me because I have always given at least two or three craps about my appearance. Call it independence, call it “ooky” (thanks, mom), or call it female empowerment, but I’m more interested it in calling it as I see it: the freedom to not care is a beautiful thing.

You can’t ignore the historical social norms that dictate a woman’s “morally superiority” over men, and are therefore expected to be cleaner, proper, and unoffensive in all situations, regardless of context. How curious that we still believe the Victorian Era covered all the truths of a woman’s identity, including her propensity toward passivity, inability to fight temptation, and distinct displeasure in things like the right to vote.

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My reaction when someone assumes I’m just fighting the patriarchy with my pits

The bigger question is, where does comfort fall into all of this? Is a woman allowed to choose her comfort over what is expected of her from her cultural upbringing? And why does someone have to be apologetic about not shaving their armpits, else they are accused of returning to the roots of Second Wave feminism?

 

Your Lady,

Hairy as F–k

 

P.S. For some BuzzFeed clickbait on shaving other lady things, see below:

 

 

Coordinated, but by no means Graceful

Hi there.

We haven’t met yet. That’s okay. This is my blog, a digital lexicon nestled in the depths of the internet, and you have found it, one way or another. I consider this a win, even if you may or may not have tripped onto this link because of a typo of some sort.

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This isn’t my first time on the “blogosphere” (just threw up a little in my mouth for using that). The first time I wrote a blog, it was for college, and the project surrounded the way that women are portrayed in the media and how this portrayal influences a woman’s body image and feelings of self-worth. The second time was also for a class in college, specifically a study abroad trip to New Zealand about sport and the global market.

This time around, my writing is not a means to an end of your usual academic achievement. No grades will come of this, nor will it be presented as a project. I still plan to learn quite a bit, and spread what I have learned to others. I am also not expecting this to be a cake walk, either. It was a properly Sisyphean labor to construct this operation, and between the time that it took for me to come up with the idea and execute it, I needed 2 stitches in my finger from a culinary accident and stubbed my sad little toes on the doorjamb of my bathroom. You can expect a lot of me, I welcome the challenge. But if you are looking for charm, poise, and a reasonable understanding of modern fashion, you will be sorely disappointed. Here, we are Lady as F–k, and it’s time to turn some heads.

Care to join?