"Let's say there are two kids in an ad- a boy and a girl, let's say. Have you noticed that the boy is almost always taller?"
- Robin H.
I don't dress up for church.
When I was really really little, like four or five, my dad would have us all get dressed and put into stuffy, uncomfortable clothes and dresses, despite the fact that we'd be going to the preschoolers room where there was much tussling and running around going on and out clothes would only hinder us.
Those were the last "nice" clothes I ever had and once I hit first grade, we just wore regular clothes like all the other kids. When I got older, I stopped because I was there so much that it didn't matter to me. It would be like dressing up to go visit the library.
I usually wear brightly colored Woot Shirts and jeans, like always. Most people dress pretty casually there, though there are a few specific families who ALWAYS doll themselves up (and frankly they fucking pull it off. If I wore some of the stuff the ladies of the family wore, I'd look like I was playing dress up in mommy's clothes). Nobody's ever bothered me about the way I dress.
She's a volunteer, usually a teacher, but if Angie's out, she'll help me in kiosk. She's really nice, don't get me wrong, but that just makes it worse because she's so nice.
"How come you never dress nice?" "You'd be pretty if you tried a little harder." "You'd look better in a real blouse." "You don't wear makeup, do you?"
And so on.
Just little things. She doesn't say them often, mind you, it's not like I get this all the time, but the times I do, it sticks out. She really is nice. I know she's nice. It's just that this is beginning to grate on me.
This is what happened last week.
Her: So Zeph, why don't you dress in girlier clothes? You know, something flattering.
Zeph: (shrug smile) Because these are comfortable. I'm comfortable.
Which is the acceptable answer. It's the answer that gets a few nods from the few other people in the room. It's the answer she can identify with. The conversation quickly turns to something else.
On the inside, I'm screaming.
Because I don't want to conform to your fucking standards of what is and isn't pretty. Because believe it or not, I kinda like the way I look and don't need your validation, despite your hints as to how I can win it. Because these arecomfortable clothes and I refuse to give up an ounce of my own self image to make someone- probably a man, since they're the ones who typically have a more vested interest in these things- want to look at me more. Because this is a church and we should all have our thoughts on higher things than whether or not the girl behind the kiosk has a nicely flattered rack or not. Because this shirt has a cuddly kraken on it and is therefore better than all the shirts you have combined.
"Unless the boy is black, then. Usually the girl'll be taller then."
- Robin H.
Why am I talking about this?
Today me and my mom went out Christmas shopping for stocking stuffers for my brother and sister. We passed by the toy aisle and she noticed a bunch of brightly colored My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic toys.
Ma: Hey, do you know if Arreter would like a pony toy?
Zeph: Yeah, probably.
Ma: Do you know which one?
Zeph, taking out cell phone: No, but ZephBro probably will. Hang on.
So I text ZephBro and ask which are his and Arreter's favorite MLPs are, probably ruining any surprise he'll have on Christmas Eve when we open stockings, but what the hey. See, he's a Bronie, a young-adult guy who likes My Little Pony. He responds almost immediately.
Zeph: She likes Fluttershy.
Ma: Okay then.
(She pulls Fluttershy off the shelf and makes like to leave)
Zeph: We can't get her one without getting him one.
Ma: . . . Fine. Just not a pink one-
Zeph: His favorite's Pinkie Pie.
Ma: (winces. Groans. Pulls one off the shelf).
Zeph: That one. No, the one behind it-
Ma: He likes girls, right?
Ma: Just makin' sure. . .
Zeph: Yeah, he likes girls. Jeez. Do you even know how many negative stereotypes you're reinforcing right now? Do you know what kind of societal gender roles and constrictions you're allowing to exist right now?
Ma: (Already halfway down the aisle) Don't use big words. Come on, I think Arreter said she wanted headphones. . .
And I've been thinking about it since. The blind reinforcement to societally approved slots where everyone has to fit in or else they're considered weird. I'm not even talking about something as silly as fashion or androgeny or any of those other things people do to try and either conform to the box of break out of it. I'm thinking of the shit that lies on a deeper level.
For instance, to get into an incredibly controversial topic that'll probably have all- what, five people who read daylogs?- downvoting this sucka, abortion.
Most people who aren't all out NONE FOR YOU or ALL THE TIME about it , most of those middle-grounders, usually say that it should be legal in cases of rape, incest, or if the mom is most likely going to die.
Okay then. But why? If you think that the fetus counts as an actual baby, then why is it okay in cases of rape and incest? Disregarding that last one (because that's going WAY too deep), by your own logic, it's still a baby, despite it's messy origins. You've already discredited every other woman's opinion on the matter and placed that baby before them, so why are these one's special?
Well, because it's the socially approved one. Because if you think about if for too long, it's not about saving the baby at all, it's about punishing the mom. You were raped? Fine. You didn't go out and have sex for fun, you weren't looking for it, and it was all very traumatic for you. You're excused. You don't have to have your nine month badge of shame. But God forbid you go out and get drunk and have a wild night of your own accord. God forbid you happen to be financially/emotionally unable to actually take care of a child.
The Good Girl gets a pass, but the Bad Girl does not. Anyone who says it's about the baby, but then makes excuses like that is fooling themselves.
Then there's rape.
If a girl walks down a dark street in the middle of the night wearing a revealing shirt, a short skirt, and high heels, in a neighborhood that's known for trouble, and she gets raped, how much blame do you put on her? She was just asking for it, wasn't she?
Well actually no, fucktards. You can think her extraordinarily stupid if you like, but that doesn't change the fact that he was the one who raped her.
You leave your front door and all your windows unlocked while you go to work, and come back to find your place broken into. Was it stupid of you? Probably. But that doesn't change the fact that the great predatory They had no fucking right to break in.
Then there's the exact opposite of me. Girls who dress skimpy are slunts, are they? Fuck off. If a girl wants to dress in a way that shows off, and this is coming from her and not all those TV shows and ads and every other tool of media that's been shoved down her throat- if she really wants to dress that way because she wants too, then fine.
And why is it that girls who sleep around are sluts, though men are 'players'? One to be ostracized, and the other to get hearty slaps on the back?
Why is it acceptable that I've been using the word 'girl 'all this time instead of 'young women' or even 'women' in general?
It's weird because I can't explain this to people in real life. I shut my mouth and give the socially acceptable answer that will make them leave me alone, and then after they're gone I realize that's the problem right there. Socially acceptable.
I don't know if I'm a feminist not- actually, let me rephrase that. I want to be a feminist. The third wave, equality for all kinds, but I'm not sure if I'm any good at it as I am apparently full of unbridled rage when it comes to this topic. This log was just supposed to be some mild musings about the pony thing. Where the hell did abortion and rape come into it? Yeesh.
But anyway, if I were to actually start telling people I was a feminist, they'd immediately write me off. "Feminists are those crazy bra burners in the 70's, right? Pfft. Feminazi, more like!"
I dunno, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. 'Cause I'm not above all the things I've talked about. I've thought to myself how slutty some girl is because of the way she dressed and acted. Then I realize that holy shit they're turning us women against each other! Like on those daytime TV shows where a guy cheats on two different women, but they go for eachother's throats instead of his own. Then I try to see what else my head has been warped to believe, and it's hard because I won't know until a week later, if I ever catch it at all. It's like standing in San Jose and complaining that you can't see California.
But this is all just brain vomit on my part. It probably doesn't mean anything. Carry on. As you were.