My life as an internal life social reformer

Stevie Nicks was the first woman I ever heard say she had chosen not to have children because she cared more about her career. The first that ever warned me men might not like it if there are things more important to me than they are. The first that ever said that that was fine: sometimes, you have to leave them behind. Wherever she goes, she surrounds herself with girls. “I can’t imagine you in a bathing suit,” someone says in an interview for Rolling Stone, when Stevie says she likes to play in the pool in her backyard. “Yeah, well, you never will,” Stevie says. “There is never - ever - a man in the backyard. If there is, he is banished to the front of the house.” Men don’t get to look at Stevie Nicks unless Stevie Nicks wants men to look at Stevie Nicks. In her songs, even when she’s talking about how she has to change, she proclaims her power, her ability, her worth. She is a queen, she is a witch, she is a dragon, she is in control. She isn’t polite. She’s competitive. She’s bossy. She claimed all the things the men around her claimed — she spent as much money as they spent, had as much sex as they had, was as reckless as they were, stood at the front of the same stage — and never questioned that that was her right. The world tells us women are there for men, but despite all the boyfriends and the jokes about how she’s so easy and the sex-symbol status, she isn’t there for men at all. She does it without ever giving in to the men that dismiss her. She’s emotional. She’s dramatic. She raises her voice as much as she can. She thinks she’s pretty, she thinks she’s a star, and when her fans crowd up to the edge of the stage, crazy, she welcomes them, with open arms. She revels in it. She’s too much of a girl for you? She revels in it.

slowartday:

Mary March

"Identity Tapestry" – Each participant chooses a color of yarn they feel represents them from the shelf to the left.

No two colors are the same, and each ball of yarn holds a stone in the center.

They unravel it, wrapping statements on the wall that they feel show something about who they are… [read more]

(via playtheantagonist)

I recently read a Facebook status update from an acquaintance that stated, “I don’t understand why lesbians date women who look like men. If you’re into chicks that look like dudes, just get with a dude.” I was not only surprised that this status post was written by a self-identified lesbian, but also that most of the comments under the status lauded her assertion that lesbians should only date women who are feminine. My acquaintance’s sentiment is shared by many and, as a feminine lesbian whose fiancé falls more on the androgynous side of the feminine-masculine spectrum, I’m often asked point blank why I just don’t date men. However, I’ve only been asked about my preference for androgynous women by heterosexuals and gay men, never by another lesbian. It’s not that I think that lesbians are immune to adopting such archaic views, but I usually hear the opposite from them: that they think femme/femme and butch/butch relationships are “unnatural.” Irrespective of who holds these views, both of these perspectives tend to be casually stated as matter-of-fact without giving any thought to how they might be rooted in the misogynous, gender-normative, and heterosexist values so deeply ingrained in our society.

The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (NPR)

(Source: try-so-to-live, via agendermulder)

As a child I never heard one woman say to me, “I love my body.” Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, “I am so proud of my body.” So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.

—Kate Winslet (via littlefoxpaws)

(Source: wrists, via ribbonspooncat)

If men’s kindnesses toward women were really only kindnesses, a man would be pleased if another man or woman offered these kindnesses to him. He would be pleased if another man or woman lit his cigarette or pulled out his chair for him. He would be pleased to derive his income, prestige, power and even his identity from his partner. He would take pride in another man’s or woman’s offer to walk him to his car at night. But in fact, “one of the very nasty things that can happen to a man is his being treated or seen as a woman, or womanlike.

(Frye 1983, p. 136).”

Dee L.R. Graham (1995), Loving to Survive

(via quoilecanard)

Yeah!  This reality hit me a few months ago when a teenage boy at work said to another teenage boy, “ladies first!” in order to insult him.  Chivalry is not about respect or kindness.

(via my-sundown)

(Source: radfeminist, via agendermulder)

You are 12. You’re at the library looking for some generic young adult fiction novel about a girl who falls for her best friend. Your dad makes a disgusted face. “This is about lesbians,” he says. The word falls out of his mouth as though it pains him. You check out a different book and cry when you get home, but you aren’t sure why. You learn that this is not a story about you, and if it is, you are disgusting.

You are 15. Your relatives are fawning over your cousin’s new boyfriend. “When will you have a boyfriend?” they ask. You shrug. “Maybe she’s one of those lesbians,” your grandpa says. You don’t say anything. You learn that to find love and acceptance from your family, you need a boyfriend who thinks you are worthy of love and acceptance.

You are 18. Your first boyfriend demands to know why you never want to have sex with him. He tells you that sex is normal and healthy. You learn that something is wrong with you.

You are 13. You’re at a pool party with a relative’s friend’s daughter. “There’s this lesbian in my gym class. It’s so gross,” she says. “Ugh, that’s disgusting,” another girl adds. They ask you, “do you have any lesbians at your school?” You tell them no and they say you are lucky. You learn to stay away from people.

You are 20. You have coffee with a girl and you can’t stop thinking about her for days afterwards. You learn the difference between a new friendship and new feelings for a person.

You are 13. Your mom is watching a movie. You see two girls kiss on screen. You feel butterflies and this sense that you identify with the girls on the screen. Your mom gets up and covers the screen. You learn that if you are like those girls, no one wants to see it.

You are 20. You and your friends are drunk and your ex-boyfriend dares you to make out with your friend. You both agree. You touch her face. It feels soft and warm. Her lips are small and her hands feel soft on your back. You learn the difference between being attracted to someone and recognizing that someone you care about is attractive.

You are 16. You find lesbian porn online. Their eyes look dead and their bodies are positioned in a way that you had never imagined. You learn that liking girls is acceptable if straight men can decide the terms.

You are 20. You are lying next to a beautiful girl and talking about everything. You tell her things that you don’t usually tell anyone. You learn how it feels not to want to go to sleep because you don’t want to miss out on any time with someone.

You are 15. Your parents are talking about a celebrity. Your dad has a grin on his face and says, “her girlfriend says that she’s having the best sex of her life with her!” You learn that being a lesbian is about the kind of sex you have and not how you love.

You are 18. You are in intro to women’s and gender studies. “Not all feminists are lesbians- I love my husband! Most of the feminists on our leadership team are straight! It’s just a stereotype,” the professor exclaims. You learn that lesbianism is something to separate yourself from.

You are 21 and you are kissing a beautiful girl and she’s your girlfriend and you understand why people write songs and make movies and stupid facebook statuses about this and time around you just seems to stop and you could spend forever like this and you learn that there is nothing wrong with you and you are falling in love.

You are 21. And you are okay.

—a thing I wrote after arguing with an insensitive dude on facebook all day or Things Other People Taught me about Liking Girls (via samanticshift)

(Source: thesefirstfewdesperatehours, via caleb-denecour)