"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." Virginia Woolf

Friday, March 30, 2007

Springtime means kittens

So, yeah spring is in the air. And it's really starting to become obvious:
a) Baby animals are starting to peek out
b) Plants, flowers, trees are blooming
c) My allergies are going freakin' nuts
d) Everybody seems to be hooking up, or at least, expressing a desire to do so

Enter Single Girl.

So I've been single for.. almost a year now (give or take a week). I haven't really expressed any sort of desire to be in a relationship since I've moved to Birmingham. The freedom is actually pretty refreshing. I'm not responsible for anyone's emotional well being. I never feel obligated to go out or stay in based on someone else's preferences. I can spend time with whomever I want, whenever I want, and don't feel awkward or wonder if someone else is comfortable with it. All in all, not a bad time.

And ok, I love Spring. Really: the moderate climate, the longer days, the breezy Sunday afternoons, crisp evenings.

But! For gods' sakes! It's (temporarily) making me reconsider my relationship status. Companionship, security, holding hands, knowing glances, cuddling on couches, meaningful sex. Starting to sound pretty good. Argh! But these are terrible reasons to get into a relationship, just for the purpose of fulfilling some subconscious biological desire. It'd be great for a month, but then what? It's like living at the beach. Oh man, being so close to the water and the sand and the sun.. oh, and then a frickin' hurricane comes and it doesn't sound so good to be near the water, the sand, and impending disaster. Ok, maybe that's a bit of a hyperbole, but still...

It's so peaceful being single. So uncomplicated. Why would I want to mess that up? Why indeed.

If only I was so easily convinced.

Warning: Feminist ranting ensues

Okay, feminist ranting may ensue.

It's Been Said: "You don't look like a feminist"?

It has been my experience that most men (no woman has ever questioned it) feel I do not look like a feminist. Or I don't talk like "one of those women." And I like men, right? Oh, then I'm definitely not like those lesbian feminazis.

Well guess what. Yeah, yeah, I kind'a am. And to my knowledge, the majority of feminists are hetereosexual women, though I cannot put my hands on the statistics to prove it. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to prove that I am (as a 5'3" fair complexioned, blonde, blue-eyed middle class graduate student) in anyway dissimilar from the demographics of feminists in the United States. In fact, first and second wave feminism had been criticized (by some third wave feminists) as being too white, too middle class, etc.

And then, because (though it's fairly representative of Third Wave Feminism) I wear bras, skirts, and sometimes make up, I don't refuse it when men open doors for men, and I am not afraid to speak frankly about sexuality, it is apparently hard for men to take me seriously as a feminist.

I'm not usually a ball-buster. I'm usually not, what I would even call for fun, a feminazi. I don't hate men. But I will bust your balls, I will strip you of your chauvinism and shove it down your throat, and I will educate you on your misconception if you laugh at my feminism and think the size of my breasts or the shape of my hips give you any right to disrespect me or disregard me. And I will look damn pretty doing it.

Note: The above only refers to chauvinist pigs who try to patronize and dictate scenarios without paying attention to whom they are disrespecting.

It's Been Said: "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." This is apparently misquoted from being in a speech given at the 1992 GOP convention. It is actually from a letter Pat Robertson wrote that was published in the Washington Post, opposing the Iowa Equal Rights Amendment. (See Post 23 August 1992).

Ok! I have no problem with women leaving their husbands (their monkey, not mine), practicing witcraft (ok, I'm Heathen, do you really think I would?), or becoming lesbians (I like men, but I'm cool with chicks that don't).

Destroying capitalism? I do not believe feminism as a philosophy or a movement seeks to do that. Amend capitalism, reform capitalism, etc., perhaps, but it's nothing social reformers haven't been doing for over a hundred years now.

Kill their children? I believe this is a ploy by Pat Robertson to connect abortion with murdering live human beings. I am completely opposed to murder, rape, the abuse/neglect of children, etc. Susan Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Smith), Andrea Yates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Yates), and Darlie Routier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlie_Routier) are mentally ill, co-dependant, etc. and hardly feminists. Abortion, however, is not murder. I can discuss, and given about 15 minutes of research, present accurate data about the types of abortive procedures usually performed and the misconceptions usually held by anti-choice activists (I refuse to use the term pro-life, as many of them use the term "pro-abortion", both of which are misleading terms, and this will probably appear in a later blog).

It's Been Said: Some chicks have a problem with being called feminists, because of the "connotations" it has.

Connotations? Well, when it all comes down to it, I'm sick of some of the connotations the word "woman" has. Or "liberal." Or… "democracy" even these days.

Though there are several feminist sub-cultures running around these days, there does seem to be a basic philosophy of, at least: truly equal protection under the law (hello 14th amendment), social, economic, and legal equality, fighting discrimination and double standards. You don't like the connotation of equality? Of being seen as something more than a vagina with legs? Go fuck yourself, you insult your species.

Go ahead, argue with me about this. I take no responsibility for your brain bleeding.

Coming Soon: My stances on corn subsidies, illegal immigration, American corporations, and fuel efficiency.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Were Vietnam vets really spit on as much as is commonly believed?

This came up in a recent conversation. I've tried to include articles from both sides of the argument.

Myth Making and Spitting Images from Vietnam

Vietnam déjà vu (Revisionists deny spitting on troops)

The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam

Spitting on Soldiers

The Myth of the Spat-Upon Veteran By Gabrielle Bernard, Winsted
(Article is no longer available, but google has it cached.)
Resolving The Spitting Debate