The Rebel Alliance

I have a problem with the term “ally”, meaning one who supports LGBTQ people and is not a bigoted jerkwad homophobe/heterosexist/cissexist/whatever kind of assholery one may choose to indulge in. If you want to know why, read this. It covers most of the points I could talk about, but I have a few more ideas.

The point of being an LGBTQ activist or ally is working to make the world a place that isn’t homophobic/heterosexist/cissexist (I’m just going to write homophobic from now on for speed but I mean all those good things). By world, we don’t mean, “whatever people decide to think that. We’ll just let those homophobic nutjobs do whatever they want”. By world, we mean everyone. We want to make the world a safe, fair and equal place for everyone, and have a world where, ideally, no one is homophobic. The term “ally” separates out straight and cisgender people who are not homophobic from those who are.

Fighting homophobia– ur doin it wrong.

Let’s get this straight. Actually, let’s get this queer. Being an ally and calling yourself an ally does not make you a bad person in my book. I appreciate you. I appreciate that you are not a brainwashed psycho clone who thinks the gays cause earthquakes by getting married (“I now pronounce you wife and w–AHHH!”). So “allies”, don’t take this the wrong way when I say that being straight and O.K. with gay people shouldn’t be special.

If a straight/cis person is working extremely actively to create awareness among straight/cis communities, raise visibility and make safe places for everyone, that is flipping fantastic. You deserve a big hug. Also, I will take you out to ice cream as soon as I’m not broke. But being, like, totally cool with gays! And having gay friends! Really isn’t that special.

We are working towards a world where that is the norm. Sadly, right now that is not always the norm. But being straight/cis and an “ally” (translation: You acknowledge that we’re both human beings even though you haven’t hopped on the Rainbow Train to GayVille yet) doesn’t really mean you’re… doing much. Sure, you don’t cross yourself whenever your trans pal comes around but that isn’t really an accomplishment in and of itself. You are just being a decent human being. Do you see what I’m saying?

Another point brought up in the article I linked to is that it just seems downright appropriative to make oppression you don’t feel a part of your identity. Everyone likes a revolution! And feeling righteous! (I know I do) And revolution+righteousness+rainbow flags=explosion of gay unicorn-dolphin epicness. But the thing about LGBTQ pride is that it’s needed because if someone doesn’t tell all the babygays like me it’s O.K., no one will.* Every single day is freaking straight pride day. Every single day the world (except giraffes! Giraffes are totally gay.**) is bombarded with images of straight/cis people with a few exceptions, most of them stereotypical and flat representations. Every single day there is someone who would tell me that I’m an abomination and that I should die.

It’s not fun, but that’s oppression for ya! *sarcastic grin and thumbs up* And yes, most people have some kind of privilege, whether it be white, male, straight, class, etc. A lot of people have some kind of oppression. But you can never completely understand someone else’s oppression– I, for instance, may be gay, and I may believe in/try to work towards social justice for everyone but I’ll never know exactly what it’s like to have someone look at me differently because of my skin color. Just as straight people will never know exactly what it’s like to feel awkward when you can’t say you don’t want to watch the freaking rom-com because you are SO SICK OF STRAIGHT ROMANCES IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY JAKE GYLLENHAAL ISN’T EVEN THAT CUTE. Sorry. I get touchy about rom-coms. But even if you’re straight/cis and want to help LGBTQ people out? You’re still not oppressed. You are not an asshole, but there is no oppression there. How can you make an identity out of something that isn’t there?

Let me know what you think. This post might not be that coherent, I’m writing this late at night and I’ve been running on little to no sleep this week.

*That was a stupid sentence. “If someone doesn’t do it, no one will!” No shit, Sherlock.

**80% of giraffe sex is gaaaaaayyyy. Tell that to the next person who tells you gayness is unnatural and God did not create us that way. “So, why did he make the giraffes that way?”

Look how cute we are! And we're both girls! In love! How cute!

I Don’t

Bonjour, cool cats!

I just started reading The Meaning of Wife by Anne Kingston. It is pretty awesome. And, like all good books should, it started me thinking. Even if I were allowed to, I don’t plan on getting married. There’s just too much stigma attached to it for my taste. Marriage was conceived as a way to use women as currency, disguised as a religious commandment. Even with the religious background, though, in its early days, marriage’s ownership overtones wasn’t disguised that heavily.

In our current PC days, though, that would like, so not fly with those feminists. You know, the angry ones with hairy armpits from the 70s? They would be pissed. So how to convince generations of women to keep getting married? Tell them that marriage is the ultimate form of love, because every wants to be loved! And even I have to admit that the idea of getting dressed up in pretty clothes and swearing you’ll love each other until the end of time is honestly sweet. Don’t get me wrong; there are lots (hopefully most!) of married couples that adore each other. And I think commitment is important, especially if you want to have children (nothing against divorce; my mom has been divorced twice and it hasn’t killed me yet). But marriage in and of itself is not the ultimate form of love. And I don’t see the point in continuing a tradition that originally, had nothing to do with love, in the name of love. Does anyone else see why I think this is odd?

In addition to the tradition of wife-as-property, the wedding industry is eeeeviiilllll. *spooky voice* Consumerism is one of the main ways society subverts women. The obsession with having the “perfect wedding” leads to a year-long shopping spree, often with purchases of items that cost exponentially more because they have the word “wedding” tacked to the front. (Wedding Port-a-Potties!) Not to mention the completely exploitative shows like “Bridezilla”.* And (blarrrgggh) the belief that every little girl dreams about her wedding? When I was a little girl, I was fantasizing about having a pet dragon and riding it to school and all the other kids would be soooo jealous. The only thought I ever gave to marriage was being really sad that I’d have to give up my last name, which I was apparently extremely attached to, because I just assumed I was going to get married one day.**

And there is something about “wife” that connotes a certain personality. Type-A, tidy, with it, probably nagging, if not speed freak cheerful frighteningly cheerful about something. For something that is supposed to be able to include all women, that sounds pretty narrow (and unrealistic). In The Meaning of Wife, they mention that women actually try to change to seem more wifely. Er. As in, acting more demure, doing more dishes, etc. etc. Maybe taking some time to purchase a pink frilly apron. Guess what? Their husbands didn’t like this. Yeah, maybe because they married a human being who suddenly MORPHS INTO WIFE-BOT! Transformers, sexists in disguise! While I disdain the genre of humor consisting of middle-aged dudes complaining about how they married some hot lady who is now UGH! Letting herself go! Nagging! Wearing granny panties! Maybe there is a tiny kernel of truth to it. (That sentence hurt to write) If wives feel so much pressure to conform to this 50s, Feminine Mystique-esque stereotype that they’re actually trying to become that, they’re probably losing themselves. And the men who married them probably miss that old self, because you can’t love a stereotype. You can’t love the stress that comes with trying to be someone you’re not. You can love a partner who lives with you and shares chores with you and maybe raises kids with you and keeps house with you and sleeps and cuddles with you. But after all the problems that “husband and wife” have had in the past, it seems that “wife” is having a damn hard time adjusting to being a person who just happens to do all those things with their significant other as well.

And for Pete’s sake, keep your name or hyphenate. Please?

*I have never even seen this show. I would probably puke.

**No, little Rabbit! You don’t have to give up your last name! You can keep it! Or hyphenate! Or even not get up-and-marriaged at all!

Yo, Sluts

Hello! Today’s edition of Rabbit the Feminist is brought to you by the letter S, for “slut” and also “shaming”. Let’s talk about slut-shaming, shall we? We can begin with a simple definition.

Slut-shaming is calling someone a slut, skank, whore, etc. because of how they act, dress, or whom they sleep with. Slut-shaming is when you assume someone is trashy, trampy, “low-class”, stupid, boy/girl-crazy, etc. etc. because they have a lot of sex. Not necessarily with the same person. Slut-shaming is when you say someone was “asking for it” because they were wearing a low-cut dress, or had had a few drinks, or are a stripper. Slut-shaming is the dehumanization of sex workers. Slut-shaming is attributing a set of negative traits to someone who happens to like sex. Slut-shaming is applauding virgins for keepin’ their legs closed. Slut-shaming is abstinence-only education, claims that birth control rarely works and that masturbation isn’t a viable alternative to sex/total abstinence. Slut-shaming is assuming that guys jack off but that girls have less knowledge of their nether regions than I have of the history of the lumber industry in Tibet. Slut-shaming is the belief that open marriages/relationships are devoid of real love and that being poly is just for greedy people. Slut-shaming is all this and a hell of a lot of other things as well, all bad.

Guess who slut-shaming happens to? Women. Because when men sleep around, they get high-fives. Guess what? I like high fives too, and I’m a girl.

Assuming that most of you are sane, kind people with half of a brain open-minded folks who don’t believe in calling gay people “fag”, “dyke” etc. etc. in a derogatory manner, let’s use this example. If you aren’t one of these people, either suck it up or leave, thankyoubye.

Calling someone a slut/skank/whore/etc. is like calling someone a faggot/dyke/other anti-gay slur. You are shaming them for their sexuality. It is none of your business who they get it on with/how they get it on/how many people they get it on with unless they really want to share with you. These are basic manners, peeps. Wast thou raised by wolves?

Also, guys rarely get slut-shamed. Sometimes they get called man-whore, but that’s more of a joke than anything else. Slut, skank, whore, etc. just don’t apply to men. Like I said, boys just get high-fives from their pals.

Gimme my high fives, dammit.

Men Do Feminism

Read this article and then tell me it doesn’t do your little heart good. Quick summary: it is about why gender stereotypes suck for men as well as women. Well-written, intelligent, right on the target. Honestly, feminism is good for guys too. Because if I were a guy, I know I’d find the beer-drinking football-watching, slobbish stereotype really insulting. Who wants to be a stereotypical asshole? Not me. Anyway, the article is awesome, please read it and scream with joy.

because no post about gender is complete w/o David Bowie

Women: The New Slabs of Meat

Hey, chum-buddy hoo-hoos! So, I was wondering… how sexist do you think it is to compare a woman to a hunk of meat?

Pretty bad, huh? Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being neutral and 10 being a dress outlining a lady’s sexy-bits in a way that compares her to a chunk of dead cow meat? Because I was thinking this is pretty sexist.

Oh look! It has a huge sign saying “Rack”! How very clever and not at all creepy. But, seriously? What self-respecting lady WEARS this? What self-respecting lady has the burning desire to compare herself and her sexuality with a dead animal’s flesh for sale? Yeesh. I think this one kind of speaks for itself.

And is it just me, or does this seem sort of serial-killer-y? I feel like a serial killer who has a girlfriend who has no idea he is actually a murderer (“He always seemed so normal!”. Yeah, honey. That’s what they all say) would want his ladyfriend to wear this during their sexytime. And then he fantasizes about chopping her up into itty-bitty pieces, starting with her “RACK”, maybe moving along to her “SHANKS” then carving out a nice “RIB”. Shiver.

Sexism for the Kiddies

All women need to be taught from an early age that staying fit, freakishly skinny and perky is pretty much our goal in life. Oh wait– we shouldn’t be taught that? Whoops, Skechers made a boo-boo. Because for some reason that is beyond my comprehension, Skechers has decided to market their “shape-ups” to little girls, letting them know that it’s never O.K. to be anything other than twig-thin! YAY for corporate America!

Speaking of corporate America, the haters amongst thou might be wondering why this is such a big frugging deal. After all, it IS corporate America. I shouldn’t be surprised that the fat men in tuxedoes wearing top hats and smoking cigars are trying to sell as many of a product as possible, even if that means marketing it at kids. But I can be pissed off that they decided to market it to only little girls. Because, children, boy’s bodies are generally just fine the way they are, but girls need to undergo heavy modification from the time they are born! If Skechers was just trying to make a profit they’d be selling these shoes they’d be selling them to boys too, but NOOOOO. No, they insist that paying $50-$75 to give your sweet lil’ princess body image issues is the logical way to go.

So how is Skechers trying to remedy this? By sending out a spokesperson to claim that they’re just trying to cure childhood obesity! Which is a huge epidemic in case you hadn’t noticed! See! We’re just like Michelle Obama! Remember? She did that “Let’s Move” thing to try to help childhood obesity? So now that’s what WE’RE doing!

Ah-hem. Well, for one thing, Mobama isn’t aiming for little girls. She is aiming at the entire demographic of rugrats. And Michelle was more about actually getting healthy, which, for your information, Skecher’s Shape-Ups don’t help you do. In fact, they will fuck. You. Up. Buttloads of people have complained about hurting themselves in various, unfortunate ways, like having stress fractures in your hips, rolled ankles and other miscellaneous problems with your little tootsies (by that I mean feet). So, the moral of today’s story is… no matter what age you are, if you’re a woman you’re never skinny enough and GETTING skinny enough is worth cracking your hips? I shalt pass on this one, kthnxbai.

Golden Showers

By a show of hands, I’d like to see how many of you think peeing on women is hilarious, clever, and not hateful towards women IN THE SLIGHTEST. I am going to go ahead and assume that none of you raised your hands, because I’m assuming that as you are intelligent enough to be reading this, you are intelligent enough to realize peeing on women is neither hilarious, nor clever, and it is certainly hateful.

So why is it there are so many freaking urinals shaped like women? What kind of assbag frat-boy thought this up? Women are turned into urinals and peed on objectified all. The. Time. And if you don’t believe it, I have proof. Warning: pictures are NSFW.

Oh, I see what you did there! Ha! See, it’s funny because you’re peeing into what looks like an old whore’s vagina. Totally not hateful or misogynistic at all, because sluts aren’t people anyway, so it’s O.K. to pee on them. Well, unless you have a soul, or a heart, or a conscience, but you’ve probably sold all those on the black market by now anyway. But sometimes you aren’t out to indulge in disgusting rape/pee fantasies. Sometimes you just need an ego-boosting. You know what the best way to boost your ego is, men? Have a pretty lady tell you your dick is nice. That’s what I do when I’m feeling a little down on myself, anyway.

So isn’t this convenient? A wide array of passive (cuz, you know, they’re pictures, not real women), conventionally pretty, white ladies to ogle, measure, eye seductively and snap a shot of (to show the grandkids!) your dick. All while you pee on them.

Ah, gee! Y chromosome carriers sure are thoughtful. For these, they’ve helpfully removed any part of the female body not totally pornified by society (so, that leaves only the boobs, ass, and legs, charmingly clad in thongs and garters) so that men don’t have to deal with women as human beings. Because treating people like people is so hard! Why, it’s much simpler to subvert an entire gender and treat them as inanimate sex toys! You know, like dildos and stuff. Woman, vibrator, it’s all pretty much the same, doncha think?

Sometimes, though, you need something classier. Something that doesn’t scream “we chopped some stripper’s heads off and Krazy-Glued them to the wall”. And there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, that doesn’t scream class like peeing in someone’s mouth. I mean, check out that expertly applied lipstick! This level of class doesn’t come easily. I mean, we’re talking Audrey Hepburn-, Fred Astaire-level shit here, guys.

Honestly, this pisses me off, pun not intended. Don’t say it’s meant to be a joke. Well, obviously it’s meant to be a joke. And it’s funny– you know, in the same way that Holocaust jokes, or racist jokes, or rape jokes are funny. Funny in the kind of way that maybe you laugh at, but if (in this case) you’re a woman, they make you feel a little sick or a little uncomfortable and maybe you’re not sure why.

Until you realize that, “Oh hell. That’s me they’re joking about pissing on.” Because all of the “women” represented (well, they’re fake but you get my drift) are anonymous. They are not specific (not that that would be any better). They are supposed to represent something– someone. Who are they representing?

Women. The joke is merely that pissing on women is funny, and not to be taken seriously, despite the utter disrespect it shows. If you are a woman, all of the above urinals are jokes about peeing you, all of the above urinals are a show that you are, in fact, lesser. That you are something less than human, and because of that, disrespecting you is A-O.K. happy-fun-times.

I am so tempted to glue Lorena Bobbitt’s face over the women in the second picture’s faces. Also, super-glue knives into their hands. That sounds funny to me!

Why?

Today one of my friends told me she didn’t really agree with feminism. I tried to restrain myself from launching into a short verbal essay and/or roundhouse kicking her. I think I answered tactfully. I said something along the lines of, “Feminism is just the belief that women are human beings.” which is really pretty weak and certainly isn’t changing anyone’s minds anytime soon. But it’s hard to defend something you believe in so strongly to someone you care about. Especially because– well, how does one explain feminism?

Of course, pretty much everyone and their cousin knows sort-of what feminism is. But it seems like so many people have such a screwed-up idea of feminists. We’re man-haters, we have no sense of humor, we’re all lesbians (O.K. I’m queer but I don’t speak for all feminists), and we should just get over ourselves because the battle is over. And in a situation like that, you need a quick comeback. Not necessarily something clever that will leave them speechless with pure awe and shame, but have you ever tried to explain double-standards, the beauty myth, the virgin/whore complex, rape apologism, the rift society creates between women, and why yes, heels are actually a symbol of oppression, regardless of how adorable they are*? It’s impossible to sum up how women are oppressed in 140 characters or less. And you have to admit “feminism is just the belief that women are human beings” isn’t going to make a radical feminist out of anyone, let alone inspire them to read the books and figure out what is really is.

So my question is: is it worth it to try to explain? Do you have any fallback replies to things like this? How do you explain to someone your perception of feminism? Please leave a reply in the comments. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Lady Gaga from the “Judas” video (which, by the way, I have watched at least a million times).

P.S.: DO NOT say “women and men are just different”. Having a vagina vs. a dick doesn’t have anything to do with whether your hair is long or short, you wear skirts, you like to shop, your friends are men or women, etc. etc. Plus, “women and men are different” can justify anything. “Women should stay home! They’re different! They have babies, and men don’t, and babies stay at home!”, “Men and women are just different. THAT’S why women are weak”, “Men and women are different! Men are BUILT to be in positions of power over women!”

*I have nothing against heels in general, besides the fact that they often hurt like hell. But why is it that painful and restricting shoes/garments are relegated to women? Oh yeah the world hates us and wants us to be unable to run away from rapists ha ha I forgot about that for a moment.

Women: They’re Just Too Sexy

Fun Fact of the Day: Women are just too sexy for the public. It’s true. That seems to be the super-Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung’s point of view, anyway. Violating guidelines explicitly stated on the official White House flickr page, they decided to go ahead and photoshop the only two women (Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason) out of an image of a counterterrorism conference.

Whuh?

Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s yawn or cough or whatever was just too “sexually suggestive” to be seen by the public. Seriously, have you ever seen a picture more pornographic than this? I mean, this is the kind of stuff teenage boys hide under their mattresses. But… what was poor Audrey Tomason doing? Just standing there, looking… like a woman. Come on! You can’t even see their boobs!

The Original Picture

The newspaper eventually printed this crock of shit photoshopped picture instead.

According to the magazine, they don’t believe that pictures of women should ever be printed. I, obviously, have a problem with this.

I understand that many religions have a focus on chastity and modesty. O.K, that’s one thing. But Hillary wasn’t dancing in her skivvies on the table to “Sexyback”. She was not sucking a lollipop and winking seductively at the journalist. NO! She was yawning, or coughing, or something. The fact that merely having women in the picture was too sexually provocative asserts that men are the target demographic (I’m assuming the readers are straight for convenience’s sake. Also, if lesbians ran the world, this would never happen). Out of a group of straight readers, who are the ones who might find Hillary and Audrey provocative? Men. Nobody is complaining that women might get lady-boners from Prez Obama’s intense stare. Because women can’t read! Women aren’t interested in politics! Hahahahaha! What a silly idea. There is a constant double standard in our society; there is one accepted way to be a woman, and myriad different accepted ways to be a man. And guess what? The one way to be a woman? It’s impossible, guys. Nobody can be that thin– but not anorexic. Nobody can be that giggly and sweet– and mean it. Nobody can have perfect hair, or perfect boobs, or always be in a good mood, and nobody WANTS to always defer to men (I hope). And Hillary and Audrey have strayed off that perfect path just by being powerful women in the same room as powerful men. They are just as much a part of history as any of the men in that room. They have just as much of a right to be in that picture. It is the constant portrayal of women as “other” that means people can see a woman as merely a sex symbol, instead of a respected professional. Because if women were truly seen as human beings, then people would see them as politicians, not as constantly sexual.

And there is just something about the whole idea that reeks of rape apologism. The idea that women, just by existing in a room, can incite lust? Can make men lose control? Like I said, Hillary and Audrey weren’t exactly doing a burlesque routine. They were appropriately dressed and behaving just like all the men in the room. But because they are women, they are too sexual. This kind of mindset just furthers that if men are turned on, they lose control of themselves, they aren’t responsible. The newspaper is just perpetuating the myth that it is the woman’s fault for inciting lust, and that she deserves punishment; in this case, being photoshopped out. In a real life situation, being raped. Not only does this hurt women, it just seems downright insulting to men. It seems a little insulting to say that men are all beasts who have no self control. We are all human– women are not sex symbols, but people. Men are not sex-machines, but people.

Can we all start thinking that?

Oh, and by the way– even if Hillary were to come to work in a cardboard box with eye holes she would get bad P.R. If she’s not sexy enough, they say she’s frumpy and letting herself go. If she’s too sexy, they say she’s inappropriate for a politician. Such is the life of a powerful woman. Hey, even if Hillary was in sweatpants and a sweatshirt she’d look better than that guy right behind Obama, and no one’s yelling at him for letting himself go.