Monthly Archives: March 2011

Body Insanity

Ok well, I can be silent about this no longer. This commercial has been making me livid.

Ok well here’s the thing. Peddling ass to sell clothes is nothing new, but good lord. This is just so over the top. It can’t even see the top. Kim is gorgeous. Seriously, I think she is mindblowingly beautiful. And I mean, her body is sick. Just, wow. So I get it, great choice.

BUT. First of all, you don’t get that body by wearing shoes. Same with Brooke Burke. That kind of body takes hard work and self control. And it takes a lot of time and brain space. Kim’s body is her product, and it must be the focus of her day to look that good. For women who have 40 hour work weeks, homework and classes, kids and life-partners, this kind of attention isn’t always possible. But instead of admitting that, we search and search for the quickest way to the perfect body, and now these shoes promise that. It’s a big fat lie they tell us, trying to convince us that just one more purchase will help us look like Kim.

Now I haven’t really even mentioned my issue with Kim K, the fact that her fame sprang from a (bad) sex tape, the fact that this commercial exploits her hyper-sexualized status, the racial issues in her and her family’s exoticism, or her overall success based on nothing but extreme physical beauty. It must be exhausting to be her, although getting paid to tweet would be kinda baller. But even with all of that, my main issue with the commercial is still how it attempts to trick all of us into thinking that shoes can replace working out and give us a great ass. Without a combo of genetics and hard work, Kim’s ass is out of reach. Our obsession with getting it is just another way to limit our thoughts, control our mobility, and contain our freedom.

And so furthermore, it’s imperative to stop thinking that we need Kim’s ass, when we all have so much else to offer. If having a great body is a priority in your life, I’m all for it. If working out and eating well is fulfilling, then you deserve it. But if you can’t take that time, if you don’t have it or it isn’t fun, then just don’t take it. Do things that make you happy. But don’t make this outrageous purchase, that for sure won’t sculpt your ass. Especially if you aren’t walking. (But then if you’re walking, thats already being active which will burn calories with or without fancy shoes. God, these people really suck.) The only way to get a great body is hard work and self control. And if you don’t wanna work hard and embrace moderation, it doesn’t make you a big fat failure. It makes you a person with realistic priorities and varied interests. And you’re probably also beautiful already. They don’t want you to believe that, but don’t be fooled. Kim is extraordinary, but your beauty lies in everything you have that she doesn’t. Like you’re real, you exist without cameras and makeup, you’re smart and accessible and not famous and interesting. She looks great sweaty, but so would we all with professional makeup and lighting. The shoes don’t even factor into the equation, they’re just a useless prop designed to make us feel inadequate. And why would we trust Kim on this? What has she ever done that screams honorable, reliable, trustworthy or honest? The only thing being a sex goddess requires is that she be beautiful and stay still long enough to get the shot. (And those are her limitations. Different but just as powerful, and just as restrictive.)

OMG I VIBE w/ this Woman! (On Sex Positivity)

So here is this very interesting article, and interview with a woman I’ve never heard before. Go ahead and read the whole thing, I’ll wait….

First of all, note that part where she says she hates the term casual sex. I HAVE BEEN SAYING JUST THAT THIS WHOLE TIME! I got so excited, she articulated it all so well. How it’s intimate and vulnerable, how you can’t be detached and have an orgasm. Perfect.

Now I should say that I totally don’t know anything about Susie Bright beyond this article, so I can’t speak to her whole career or ideology. I do want to read her book after reading this interview, but overall I can’t say 100% that I am into her. But I am into this article. It hits on some key issues I have.

I think that promiscuity gets a bad rap. A lot of problems get blamed on it, and also its assumed that there is an underlying issues like abuse or insecurity. I think that, at the core of it, what we really mean is that all women should want one man. Because we all need one. And not only is there the monogamy issue, but our sexual imaginations are very limited. I personally think that 98% of porn is pretty anti-woman, but that doesn’t mean that I find none of those images erotic or appealing. Porn, honestly, is frustrating to me. I have to work really hard to ignore how anti-woman most of the images I have access to are. However, railing against all porn and criticizing women for having sexual imaginations is not the right way to go, because we do have sexual imaginations and those imaginations deserve space to fantasize. If the feminist movement itself is limiting female sexuality, I mean who can we look to? I know that women’s sexuality is a powerful thing. It’s strong and inclusive and connected to our power of motherhood (connected but not chained to) and the reason it’s been suppressed is precisely because of how overwhelming and amazing it is.

I can’t say enough that I think all women need to figure out how to give themselves an orgasm, and now I want to add that we should all be expanding our fantasy life. Sex can be expansive, it can be a lot of things and you have every right to figure out exactly what you want it to be. And when you do, well we live in an era where you should be able, fairly easily, to find someone who wants those same things. Fantasies don’t make you dirty, hell look at all the depraved and weird stuff men get to fantasize about (for the record I don’t necessarily think its depraved but by mainstream cultural standards shit is raunchy.) We need to talk to each other about what we want, and also seek out sex positive environments where explorations is condemned and labeled as ‘slutty’. Now, I’ve said before how important it is to have safe sex (not just one post, but two). How much safer can you get, than in a room with just you and you?

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor died this morning, of congestive heart failure. She was 79.

It’s kind of a rainy day here in New York, and I have a lot of work to do, but for some reason this news is really hitting me hard. They keep showing clips and photos of her, and I am fascinated by her beauty and by her talent. Violet eyes, perfect brows and lashes, creamy skin and a perfect body; She was once hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world.

I’m always saddened by women who are this beautiful, especially in this time. She was a child star, then a celebrated actress. She was a two time academy award winner. Elizabeth was married a total of eight times. Eight. She was a mother of four, grandmother to nine. In her later life she was an aggressive and outspoken HIV/AIDS activist, when the issue was not popular. She was a survivor, living through more than her share of health issues and heart ache. And yet, I feel like most of us (myself included) are mourning her eyes.

Beauty, especially in cases like her’s where it is truly remarkable, is dangerous. Women in Hollywood’s golden era were over worked, used and abused, handled. It was the men who had all the fun and the power, though it was performances like Elizabeth’s in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that we all remember. The Hollywood contract system kept its actors shackled, and of course women were especially powerless. Especially objectified. In later years Elizabeth was treated for alcohol abuse. I suspect that, like Marilyn, she was on the roller coaster of uppers and downers that beautiful women looking for love in all the wrong places used to get through busy days and lonely nights. With beauty and talent like hers, she was surely a commodity. A valuable, cashable commodity. And more often than not, the people around you see dollar signs and don’t have your best interest at heart. It’s a cliche, and an tragedy we’ve all heard before.

Beauty is fascinating. But I think, maybe, part of the reason it’s so fascinating is because of what it masks. Her violet, one of a kind eyes, were concealing secrets of what I suspect was an oft-broken heart. That is, at least, one reason why she was so captivating on screen. I am thankful for her talent, her legacy of caring, and for her beauty. It was a gift we all took without asking, a gift we feel entitled to. But we aren’t. I’m glad that she was surrounded by family, I hope they are comforted by the collective grief I’ve seen pour out. I hope we all remember the woman behind the classic face, and the heart hidden behind the eyes.

Les Bisous

Guys, this is gonna be a pretty simple, straight forward post. It’s about kissing.

(Takin’ it back!) OK, so I love kissing. It’s my absolute favorite. Really, I like it better than sex. And now you’re saying “Lex, come on, seriously?!” Yea dude, seriously.

Here is why: The first reason is because kissing is what starts it all off. There is so much possibility in a kiss. And, honestly, it makes or breaks it. If you can’t get the kiss right then the rest of it is off. Not to mention that kissing is infinite, whereas sex is very finite. As in, it ends. And orgasms are great (GREAT), but they don’t last forever, and I can give them to myself. But I can’t make out with just me.

First kisses: So great! Surprising, stomach butterfly-ing, romantic. A good make-out partner is like a good dance partner. Everyone has to have good rhythm, and you have to trust the other person. Oh! And I love old movie kisses, so abrupt and black and white and tortured.

And speaking of kisses in the rain…

Ok, that was gratuitous. But seriously, does it get any better? I love realizing that someone is looking at me like they are about to kiss me. And only a kiss has the power to transform a room into the falling starlight fantasy dance scene from West Side Story. I couldn’t rank the best orgasms or one time sexual experiences I’ve had, but I can damn sure tell you my top 5 kisses of all time. In great detail.

Plus, kissing has all sorts of health benefits. A new one I just found, thanks to theĀ Babeland Blog is that kissing can relieve your allergy symptoms. SCORE! I am gonna do my best to be a makeout whore all spring, for the hayfever relief ov šŸ˜‰

Ultimately guys, kissing is the most innocent of pleasures. It’s how it all starts, but it’s also usually where it all ends. I like being kissed without explanation and without expectation. I like being kissed when I don’t feel like its a means to an end. I like being kissed out of the blue. I like a dynamic kiss, with crescendos and rests. I like kisses on rooftops at night, I love kissing on the subway, I love hello kisses and goodbye kisses and good morning starshine kisses.

I don’t have a lesson or a point, I just wanted to say that kissing is great and we should all do more of it and if you wanna make out, well me too. With a thousand sweet kisses, I’ll cover you…

I’m Not a Player I Just Crush a Lot

I’ve been in Brooklyn for approximately 24 hours hangin’ with a friend. We’ll call her Gem. Gem and I are both outgoing, vivacious young ladies, and we have lots of crushes and flirtations. We both have our share of sob stories and fun times. We were talking tonight about what happens when the romance ends and you try to be friends. We both noticed how, in this scenario, boys seem to be more emotional than girls. Or at least less mature.

My theory is that boys get into a pattern, and its not a nice one. It’s been my experience that boys use a variety of excuses to play off their own bad behavior. The most popular that I’ve heard is “Oh she’s just crazy.” Now, before we move on, I should point out that calling women crazy is part of a tradition. Freud is the most famous asshole, blaming everything on our uterus and overall weak constitutions. Of course, it’s easy to call patients crazy when you are abusing your power and having sexual relations with them and/or doing a lot of coke. And obviously, the uterus is not the issue (usually.) But the point is that calling girls crazy is not a new tactic, and its pretty smart considering once you’ve labeled a person crazy its hard for them to defend themselves.

Ok so, why do boys think girls are crazy? Because, YOU DRIVE US CRAZY!!! I think it’s because boys are worse at communicating when it comes to feelings, which isn’t entirely their fault. But I know plenty of perfectly sane, smart girls who get twisted into crazy behavior when boys engage in typical boy behavior: flip flopping, saying one thing but acting otherwise, playing hot and cold, stretching the truth/omitting details/outright lying. Now, obviously, girls play games also. It’s important to remember, however, that girls are always on the bottom of the totem pole in the power structure. I think it’s also fair to say that adolescent girls are much more vulnerable than their male peers, and this is the age when most kids start dating and getting physical. Patterns and behavior are learned early, and girls learn soon enough that they need to protect themselves, which can mean playing games ect. However, in general, bad behavior is more accepted in boys (cowboys and casanovas) than in girls. I know that everyone has the capacity to be mean and lie and mess up relationships, and I’m not trying to say that boys are always the villians (DUH see previous posts) but I do think this pattern exists, and that boys in general get away with more because of cultural narratives and assumptions (which make girls out to be obsessed with commitment and boys out to be crazy sex fiends.)

And ultimately this stuff does make us crazy. Everyone does dumb things, can’t sleep, goes out on a limb or shuts off. That’s why it’s so hard. But don’t let yourself get smeared. If you feel like you are acting crazy as a result of any boy’s behavior, call him out! And the other important thing to remember is that we all have baggage, and just because you have a broken heart or can still feel the scars doesn’t mean you have a free pass to mistreat anybody. If you aren’t ready to treat people with respect and consideration, hibernate longer. Ultimately, no one should be able to just excuse away bad behavior. Baggage is an explanation, not an excuse. Just own your feelings, own your patterns, and try to be as honest as possible. No one is without responsibility when relationships end, just like everyone is responsible when things go right. It’s a team effort people, and we have to start acting like we play for the same squad.

Showstoppin’

I was watching some really trashy TV yesterday. Aubrey O’day has a new show on the oxygen network. This is the chick that basically split up Danity Kane of Making the Band/Diddy fame. Home girl is a hot mess. Check out her scandalous Playboy cover:

Oh Hugh...

Now, I won’t get into all of the issues I have with the show (her ‘weight gain’, her fake eyelashes, her dating habits ect) but I will say that Aubrey is indicative of a lot of girls I see when I go out. Girls I want to yell at. I’ll explain.

If you wear short, shiny, really tight dresses with stripper-high gladiator heels, you are going to look like a hooker. It’s not cute. Also, if things don’t fit your body, like if they pull across your hips and bunch or if your boobies hang out, then you look silly and out of control, not sexy. For the life of me I can’t figure out what the hell girls are thinking. Especially girls on college campuses. I was at the University of Delaware this past weekend and I saw some truly heinous outfits. And, worse, girls running around late at night teetering on heels and tipsy and without a coat. Now, seriously, is wearing appropriate winter attire really gonna keep you from getting laid/finding the boy of your dreams?

Listen, I’m all about goin’ out lookin fly feelin sexy. Stamp that. But hoe’in it up is not doing anything for you, and it sure as shit isn’t helping the rest of us either. If you leave nothing to the imagination, no one will fantasize about you. Plus, if you dress like trash you give people permission to treat you like trash. And, if you simultaneously can’t handle your liquor, well it’s all downhill from there. And I get it, we’ve all had our moments (which is why you make sure you go out with your girls and take care of each other). But if its a constant pattern, you may wanna take a step back and reevaluate your wardrobe and your drinking habits. To quote Stacey and Clinton: if you aren’t attracting the caliber of man you’d like, take a look in the mirror and see if you are projecting the image said man would want. Desperation isn’t cute, its easy. That kind of attire screams desperation, insecurity, easy mark, and those qualities are only attractive to predators and low-lifes. High heels are hot, just don’t pair them with crotch length satin minis. Cleavage is sexy, as long as the girls are properly secured and your whole ass isn’t also out and about. If you look put together you just might get taken a teeny bit more seriously. Personally, no matter what degree of commitment or love goes into a sexual encounter, I never want to feel cheap or trashy or easy. You want to feel sexy, not objectified or used and abused.

And trust me, if your goal is just quick and dirty one night stand sex, you can accomplish that without looking like you are gonna charge for it. I promise.

It is Forbidden to Forbid

Alright, it’s time to talk specifically about feminism. I can tell because the other night I was talking to a stranger, just dumb getting to know you ish small talk, and after I’d already mentioned my school work I mentioned this little blog and described it as fun because “It’s feminist assertions, but supported with Disney video clips.” I know, I’m hilarious. This guy was like “Wait, would you call yourself a feminist?” I said, “Um yea of course, very. Abso-fuckin-lutely.” And this guy was like “Really? You seem so nice…” (that’s a paraphrase because I was annoyed and had kinda tuned out.)

Now, what even is that about? First of all, have you seem my haircut? Is it that shocking that I’d identify as a feminist? And secondly, where did this guy learn that feminists were mean or unapproachable?

Oh, wait. He learned that from pop culture like everyone else. Crap.

Ok so, the second wave of feminism was angry. The most well remembered image of this movement is of bra-burning at the Miss America pagent, and these women were portrayed as man hating, unshaven, in-your-face girls who were whiny and discontent. Of course there were problems with this feminism, such as it’s lack of understanding/acknowledgment that women’s problems needed to also be deconstructed along the lines of race and class. And maybe anger was also a problem. But listen, it was the 60’s, freakin everyone was angry. It’s just that anger is not a quality that is attractive in women, so those pioneers got painted red in the media. They got painted as unappealing, as over there.

So time goes by, women get out of the house, hell one even gets close to a presidential ticket, and everyone relaxs. It worked, we all think. But the stats show a different picture. Women are still earning 76 cents to every one male-earned dollar. Women are still overwhelmingly the victims of domestic and sexual violence. Women are still doing the majority of housework including childcare, 51% on an average day versus only 20% of men. (stats as of 2009 http://www.bls.gov) If the stats don’t convince you, watching TV should. Television commercials are an excellent place to observe how seriously we all take gender roles. Need an example?

Maybe even a man or two? Seriously? Someone actually wrote that line?

But really, what better evidence do you need than in your own personal life? I feel all the time how gendered power is, how sexual roles and rules are alarmingly different, how a lot of guys are immediately disinterested when they find out that I’m smart and into my own autonomy. And that might sound shocking, but I promise you, it happens everyday. And I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t tried to change something about herself to acquiesce someone they like.

So what is my self-perception as a feminist? The bottom line is that I believe that women are just as capable as men in doing almost anything. And in some cases, some really important and miraculous cases, we are better equipped for the job. I think that gender roles are bullshit and I think that everything about our culture, our language, our laws and our values upholds these differences. I want to dismantle things. Marriage for one, the one couple family system for another, and mostly the language we use that so insidiously undermines our progress towards equality. And yes, there are days that I’m angry. I certainly feel no need to apologize for my anger, and I feel that its justified. And furthermore, I’m not always angry. Far from it. And I don’t hate men. First of all, they can be fun, and believe it or not they make great friends. And ultimately they are just as caught up in the system as us girls are. They have restricting roles as well (though they are less restricting and usually more fun, but I digress…)

As usual, I could go on, but that feels good for now. Next time, before you answer ‘no’ to that question of are you or aren’t you, consider claiming this controversial label. After all, controversy is cool, women are cool, equal rights are cool. And the movement has moved on from its cultural stigma. It’s broader now, and (at least I believe) more optimistic and inclusive (though I draw the line at Sarah Palin…)

Here are some fun feminist images. Come on over to the dark side y’all, we won’t bite (unless you ask nicely.)

its a classic
see, lighthearted! LOL-ing!
I mean, enough said.

It’s Just Emotions Takin’ Me Away

This is not the first time I’ve talked about casual sex, or grey area relationships. As you’ll recall, I hate the term casual when applied to sex. It’s a dumb word. Here is a definition from Merrium Webster dot com:

(1) : feeling or showing little concernĀ : nonchalant <acasual approach to cooking>Ā (2) : lacking a high degree of interest or devotionĀ <casual sports fans>Ā <casual readers>(3) : done without serious intent or commitment

Now, clearly, when people talk about casual sex, they are using the term in the third sense. But even then, I think its not right. I mean, you shouldn’t be having littler concern for the person you’re sexing. That’s rude. And you should have some degree or interest and devotion, at least to their bodies. I don’t like the word ‘serious’ either, cause that seems like something quiet and not fun, two things which sex should definitely not be. But you should have intent and commitment to creating that one singular experience. Right? Ok well I guess I made my point about the word casual, so just an FYI from now on I’ll be calling sex that isn’t occurring in a monogamous relationship uncommitted.

Ok, so onto the actual subject, which is that this past Friday I rode a bus off the island, through the gross state of Jersey and into my home state of Delaware (Diamond State, First State, no sales tax). I rode the bus home with a friend, we’ll call him Mr Busy. Mr Busy and I covered a lot of topics, as the ride ended up being three hours. Mostly we were discussing love and sex because, well, obviously those are everyone’s favorite topic. Mr Busy, like myself, is into grey area relationships. Which, I asserted and he agreed, are harder to navigate than traditional boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Mr Busy has broken a few hearts in the past and is now trying to be honest with girls that he sees (quote unquote). Furthermore, he thinks that being honest is all you can do, and after that the other person is on their own. This is where I, politely, disagree.

The thing is, sex isn’t really ever without emotions. Just because you are a person who can have sex without being head over heels or monogamous doesn’t mean that their aren’t emotions flying around the room. When two people get naked together, what happens next can be surprising, out of the blue, over the top, out of control or just plain bizarre. I think (slash have learned from personal experience) that one conversation about limitations and perimeters isn’t enough. Because if you keep getting naked with a person that you even kind of like, shit is gonna go down. People are complicated, changing moment to moment, and if you keep putting yourself in that vulnerable situation then you assume at least a little responsibility for your partner’s emotions and well being. It’s not enough to just say ‘I’m too busy/hurt/sad/over it to be in a relationship, so this is just gonna stay casual‘. A one time scenario is different (though I still argue not emotionless), but a repeated encounter does mean that you agree to be considerate of the other person and their feelings. And sex does tend to lead to at least some kind of emotional situation, especially if you enjoy the other person even a little.

But I think it’s totally not even that big of a deal people! I mean, if you don’t wanna be in monogamous relationships that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you have to be a robot. It doesn’t mean there aren’t shades of grey. So why not take responsibility for your partner, have repeated conversations, and acknowledge that even in an uncommitted relationship there is always a possibility that someone can get hurt. Even a stranger has the opportunity to hurt you. I think its not emotions we need to avoid, but rather dishonesty with our partners, and even more with ourselves. Denial is not just a river in Egypt (boom boom, chang!) but it’s also the quickest way to cut off something that may be promising. Sex doesn’t require commitment or monogamy or promises or even a first name if thats how you roll. But it doesn’t mean that situations can’t evolve. It doesn’t mean people won’t surprise you. And no matter where in grey-land you and your lover currently reside, I believe very seriously that sex does require, above all else, consideration and responsibility.

Here’s a song that speaks my heart a little bit, about grey areas, by a dope chick and it’s a dope video.

Cunt-y Culture

Ever notice how many bitches you have to deal with on a day to day basis? Or how about on TV, how many shows there are about cat fights and trash talking. Examples, you ask?

The original OC Housewives. Epic trashtalking
Literally the only thing this show is about is bitch slapping. Tragic
These bitches have to fight AND take a fierce photo. Damn

That’s just a few. I didn’t even mention all the heinous programming that pit women against one another in a contest to win a man. Gross. (This post isn’t about competing for guys, but a quick digression: If a boy is playing you against another girl, he sucks. And it’s not a competition based on personal merit. If you have your eye on a boy and he goes home with another girl, it’s not a personal reflection on you or on her. That’s just how the night goes. When the right person shows up, you won’t have to compete. This should probably be a whole separate post…)

With all of these examples, is it any wonder how much girl on girl crime there is? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I find myself judging other women just as harshly as our culture does, all the time. Like, ‘Wow that it a really unflattering outfit’ or ‘Boy, you really need to learn to walk in those heels’ or ‘Gross, what a Jersey skank’ ect. And, to be fair, usually these judgments are pretty on point. But why do I feel it necessary to be mean, even in my head, to complete strangers? Who the fuck am I to judge someone, to make a statement about their body? It’s just mean spirited, and cunty, and totally anti-feminist.

Story time!: Today, whilst I was serving coffee on Orchard Street, I found myself eavesdropping on a conversation two women were having. One was pregnant (decaf latte) and one was just obnoxious (large coffee with soy milk). They were talking about how many of their friends were single, and how sad and pathetic they were. As I listened further, they talked more specifically about a certain group of unmarried women over 40, and they suggested that maybe they were all lesbians. They were being nasty, in their expensive boots and boring sweaters and bling. I thought to myself “Wow, I guess everyone who is single is automatically unhappy. And I guess if you are still not married by 40 you must be a dyke. And these are these women’s friends, supposedly. Damn.” I listened as they fixed up their drinks with hazelnut agave, dropped their smart water into oversized purses and left, shaking my head quietly. It was some serious behind the back trash talking, especially for 11am.

The thing is, obviously, you don’t have to like or get along with everyone. There are going to be individuals that you don’t vibe with. But honestly, don’t we all have it hard enough?! We are all trying to survive in a culture that contains us, dictates our appearance and our goals, marginalizes us and limits the scope of our personal and political power. Why oh why would we add to those difficulties by tearing each other down? These women especially were berating their friends for some seriously gendered life choices. As if it were completely self evident that all women want to be wifed-up, and with child (did I mention how they criticized their friends who didn’t want children as lazy and cynical?) Can’t we celebrate one another, and in fact if we are concerned express that with genuine kindness and not stone cold judgement? I can only say that after witnessing that, I am going to try extra hard to refrain from mean snap judgements, even in my own head. And certainly, where my friends are concerned, I will focus on all the amazing things they have to offer rather than belittling their choices. When we tear each other down, fight over men, all of that shit, it only makes it harder for all of us to break free. The idea of a sisterhood may sound cliche, but it’s better than a bunch of competitive bitches, scratching and biting while the men watch in amusement and continue to run the world (into the ground.) The word bitch is overwhelmingly pervasive in our culture, allowed more than words like asshole or goddamn. Now, why would that be? Could it be because a word that degrades women is more acceptable than other ‘bad’ words? And is it possible that the kind of behavior I’ve described supports/excuses that very idea? “You have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores, it just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores“~ Tina Fey, Mean Girls (if you didn’t know that already, we’re probably not friends.) I’m begging you, think twice before engaging in girl on girl crime. It just distracts us all from the important stuff, like our own lives/autonomy/happiness.

Villains are for Animated Musicals

This is what a villain looks like:

So ignore how Jasmine looks like a hoochie latina hood rat, and how Jafar is probably in the closet, and focus on how snake-like and evil he is. He has deliberately tried to hurt the other characters, thwart their happiness, and even physically harm them. What a prick.

We learn early on how to recognize the bad guy. Usually they have dark features, alluring voices, and unseemly motives. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ films teach us that pretty people are good/can be trusted, and ugly people are bad and will kill you.

Pretty and good w/ a bow
Both really pretty and in love. Precious
A whole army of FUGLIES! AAAAHHHHHHH!

I just realized how nerdy this post is… But I digress.

The thing about villains is, they need victims. I think we get into an unrealistic mindset in our relationships, where we cast ourselves as the pretty do-gooding victims, and the people who hurt us as the villain. Now of course, there are real life villains (bank robbers, rapists, politicians…), and I am not claiming that anyone deserves bad treatment or heartbreak. I do think, however, that trying to see how you yourself contributed to a bad situation can seriously save a lot of hurt and confusion. I myself (being a water sign) feel things really deeply, and sometimes I have trouble sorting out all that emotion. So then I’m having all of these reactions to what someone else says/does, and at first it’s easy to just blame them. “Oh he’s such a jerk” or “God, he just doesn’t get it, so selfish” or “What a prick, how can he say that?!”. But what about my own actions? Didn’t I contribute to the relationship and where it ended up? Aren’t I just as responsible, for whatever isn’t going well, as the other person? Aren’t both of us acting and reacting out of emotional histories/beliefs/desires that may be confusing or in conflict?

I think the answer is a big fat yes. I think that we all expect the people we are in relationships with to be mind readers, and we also expect them to be great. But people aren’t great all the time, we all make mistakes. And if you aren’t clear about your needs then no one will know what you need. Even in unhealthy relationships, it is important to remember that you don’t have to be the victim of someone else’s abuse. You contribute to the relationship, you care and enable, and if you should go you can. You have agency, autonomy, power. We can never control what another person says or thinks or feels, but we do have control over what we contribute and how we feel. I hear a lot of girls whining about how boys are dumb and don’t understand. Sometimes this is true. But sometimes it’s a case of not owning up to the things we all do wrong in relationships. It’s about time we take responsibility for our end, for how we screw up, and for what we want. Ultimately, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, no one else is going to be able to fulfill your needs. There are always two people in a room, two sets of thoughts and feelings, two people acting and reacting. Blaming it entirely on the other party is only going to distort your vision of relationships, and your vision of yourself as a partner. Be clear, don’t settle, be a big girl and stop whining. Seriously, it’s not cute.

(Here is a female villain. We can be bitches after all. Oh, and please try to ignore the political incorrectness/offensive aspects of these disney clips. That’s a convo for another day.)