don’t trump us women, again

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A silver lining of Trump as the republican nominee was that he boasted and embodied the inky underbelly of our United States: bigotry, lies, racism, homophobia and sexism.

With the latter, he exposed what is often invisible to men (and some women, too): a deep hatred of women. Leading up to the election, many male friends (in life and on FB) registered how often they’ve heard or witnessed similar Trump-like sentiments usually when women aren’t present. Many sympathized. Some even admitted to long ago participation, and apologized. Apologized for things they hadn’t quite recognized because it’s so prevalent and praised in how we raise males, and: they’re not on the other side of it—unless they’re gay, that is. Homophobia has everything to do with not being ‘manly.’ It has everything to do with misogyny. What’s the primary painful pejorative for boys/men? You pussy! Fighting words!

Some of us (both genders) did vote for Hillary because she has a vagina even if she was not our valentine. Why? Because the world has been sorely out of balance since the Neolithic Era in terms of male/female energies. It’s long past time. White males have had infinity to do it ‘right’ and yet…

We just wanted a turn. We weren’t even asking for 50/50, more like a slight tip toward the feminine at—hopefully—30/70.

I knew that ANY male who ran against Clinton would beat her. ANY male. This piece I wrote in 2011 discusses race vs. gender in politics:  in the USA, black men got the vote before white women. Sexism always surpasses racism because of its insidious invisible ubiquity eclipsing all nations/races; women live everywhere.

So I believed that any man could win EXCEPT Trump. Because he didn’t just admit to his venom—fill in his dirty laundry list of intolerance and his conclusion that women’s only value is sexual—he bragged about it! He bombasted the shit out of it. He said he could shoot somebody ! and not lose any voters. And he was right.

Yet…none of us are going away, to whatever imagined place ‘away’ would be. Not happening. Sorry/not sorry! The right-wingers may have helped divide us with the Bernie/Hillary/third-party click-bait but I believe we have each others’ backs now no matter who we voted for. Divisiveness won’t win today.

But…less than three days after the election, I again see and hear commentary from defensive white dudes: “not ALL men” and “could we ease up on blaming white males.”

We can’t change any issue—within or without—unless we can identify and name the cause. [see: men can ‘hate’ patriarchy, too] Both women and men are naming it:

  • The world is in this state due to the imbalance of female to male energies.
  • White men are the primary drivers of this lopsidedness.
  • It’s not a criticism; it’s an accurate observation, and a fact.

So men—a plea. We could use your help like you’ve had and still have ours for: labor movements, civil rights demonstrations, LGBT rights, DAPL pipeline. [men have rarely worked for ‘women’s’ causes: ERA, abortion rights, equal pay for equal work on par to us women supporting other social justice issues]

Don’t make us do it without you. We like you and want you as allies. We may be mad at the global mess y’all have made—and keep making—but in most cases it’s not personal. It is however essential to safeguard the earth, to save ourselves.

If you’re not doing “it,” then don’t take it personally; take ACTION. Please stand with us and don’t retreat, returning to the white male whine of “not ALL men” as an excuse not to show up for us. We need the rest & best of you—now—like never before.

catcalling 101

cartoonAll around the planet, females have to fend off catcalling from when we’re toddlers, topsy-turvy teenagers, ‘hot moms,’ middle aged, finally slowing at matron until we’re almost invisible at ‘peri-crone.’

If we’re smirked at, whistled to, insulted, kissed at, patted, pinched, grabbed, sang to, leered at, winked at, had lewd gestures performed in front of us, yelled at, scolded or called names even once a week—after 20 years of that—it’d be overwhelming. For some of us who regularly walk in cities, it’s outside of 10 times a day. Check out this comic strip by Ursa Eyer and especially this 2-minute video of a woman who walked around the NYC for 10 hours (in jeans and a tee-shirt) and was catcalled 10.8 times an hour!! plus, creepily, had one guy silently walk next to her for five minutes!! (exclamation points extremely necessary here)

Besides the obvious intrusions written above, this stuff starts with saying ‘cute’ comments to children, like: S/he’ll be a heart-breaker or You’ll have to beat them off with a stick, are despiritingly objectifying. Kids don’t like it and they feel uncomfortable.

Then there’s the ‘nice harassments’ women endure: You pretty Baby, Don’t you wanna talk? Niiiiicce or the ubiquitous, Smile. This is still harassment. Feeling uneasy while out walking, riding the bus/subway or getting into a store or work makes it that much easier to decide to drive, but if you live in big cities, you often don’t have that choice. Frankly, I’ve even gotten this obnoxious bedeviling while biking.

Hearing the dictum, Smile, arouses anger in me and others. I used to call my regular face “neutral mad face” because if I walked along any street, some wanker would tell me to smile. Why must I smile when I’m out? Lots of men don’t smile while walking and us women don’t command them to show their teeth. There’s a 2 1/2 minute faux public service announcement that gently ‘advises’ us how to view women wearing a “resting bitch face.”

Contrary to media driven messages, my life purpose is NOT to make men happy. None of us are here for your entertainment. I didn’t wear my skirt/shorts/top/yoga pants/jeans/swimsuit for you. I don’t have to smile if I’m not feeling it no matter how much “prettier” I’ll look to you. If you’re male, I’M NOT HERE FOR YOU; it’s not about you. Please leave us be. Say hello to us as you’d talk to a child, a grandmother, a dude, a nun. Wouldn’t talk to them? Then don’t talk to us.

Erin McKean succintly said:

“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.'”

And neither is smiling.

orgasm smorgasm

three-bacchante

You who regularly read this blog know that the Rant-ress is a longtime, happy-to-be-one feminist which is often mistaken for a person who hates men—mostly by men—instead of someone who yearns for justice & parity. Yet—somehow, amazingly—she manages to write critiques about women as well. See: i like a woman who takes “care” of herself or spandex with a side of breasts or you stink!

That said, could we speak about female orgasm* for a few minutes without the specter of “porn-orgasm” that informs many women’s sex lives and fabricates dramatic moments of moaning and panting that are rarely real?

About 10% of females experience Anorgasmia, the inability to ever reach orgasm, but many women who can orgasm only climax about 50 – 70%  of the time, so says the Mayo Clinic, often choosing not to. Or they would choose that if they felt it wouldn’t create insecurity or cognitively disturb their partners.

A recent study illuminated the main reasons women lie:

1. Altruistic deceit (faking out of concern for a partner’s feelings)
2. Fear and insecurity (faking to avoid negative emotions associated with the sexual experience)
3. Elevated arousal (attempting increase one’s own arousal)
4. Sexual adjournment (faking orgasm to end sex)

Women’s sexuality often feels like a barren wasteland of lasciviousness with little sensual delights. Mainly because our erotic life is primarily defined by male sexual tastes, male psychology. And why wouldn’t it be? Until very recently, 97% of ALL MEDIA was male written, produced, directed so most female parts didn’t come from female brains.

Not everyone likes asparagus, wine or even dark chocolate, nor should they, so why should we expect every sexual encounter to be as sumptuous and exceptional as a holiday dinner? Must every meal have a decadent dessert?

Once again, allow things, experiences, people, animals be what they are without enhancement, expectation or disappointment.

So, ladies. It’s crucial that you stop faking and start requesting. If your man can’t/won’t hear you in something as lovely and fun as  lovemaking, he’s not going to listen to you anywhere else. Vacate now. And besides, you’re ruining sex for the rest of us, not just yourself.

You’re inadvertently creating a bunch of clueless men who are already overly indoctrinated by movies, internet and porn into thinking their selfish lovemaking is effective, that all women cum in two minutes, that we moan and writhe and call them “King.” The truth? Some of us like it like this and not that. Some want it smooth or fast or both, take longer or prefer to take longer, and most of us like what we like. One “size” does NOT fit all.

So, you men? Don’t be dimwitted. Admit you don’t know and ask; each women is unique. There’s no ONE technique and no matter who you are, none of you are “King.” Women? Speak. Please! Most of us would like to get our sexual needs met without having to do it ourselves later in the bathroom, and men won’t learn unless we teach them. Stop lying and start laying it out.

*the post is only discussing heterosexual sexuality

love, sad, love, sad, love, sad, sad love

Banksy

Valentines Day can be such a pain.

Not because I don’t have a sweetheart (I do), not because I dislike marketing holidays (gawd, I do) and not because I have an aversion to the pudgy winged moppet with a weapon as it’s mascot (yup). It’s because this holiday causes such angst, agony and loneliness—maybe more than being homeless on Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. During those holidays, others compassionately invite the forsaken in, churches & charities prepare turkey dinners and gift giving trees for the indigent and the lonely. Everyone—if they want it—has somewhere to go.

On Valentine’s day? Niente, nada, nothing. No Valentine’s philanthropy for the loveless, no support groups for the lost-to-love crowd. Maybe a therapist?

When I teach creative writing in middle or high school, I watch how this lack of a bf creates such distress. The days leading up to Valentine’s, it’s what most girls are discussing and there’s a covert, schizoid scramble to get coupled before the dreaded day hits so you’re not shamefully solo. But it doesn’t end there. Afterwards, the competition is fierce as to who’s boyfriend was better, what he gave, said, sacrificed.

This sends those poor boys who are ofttimes are out of practice when it comes to gifts and shopping running a deranged, commonly last minute dash to get the ‘perfect’ present, do the ideal over the top thing.

Doesn’t differ that much in adults. If I had a nickel for the times I’ve heard men and women feel satisfied about how this holiday panned out—I’m in my 50s—I’d have about 70 cents.

Before this was a marketing holiday, its power to seriously wound was small. Indeed, it was fun, especially as a child. Even if Mary got seven valentines and I got three, it wasn’t sheer devastation though we all knew who the class cootie was. Most of us constructed simple hearts adorned with doilies, glitter and a glued-on desiccated candy hearts professing, “Be Mine” and bestowed them to best friends, family, teachers.

Now, it’s often a contest of size, swank, hip, yuppie-mom-made, dollar store duds or Disney given-equally-to-all. Merchandised ‘love’ is force fed to us continuously from every conceivable outlet weeks ahead. Adults steal every holiday and ruin it. Sigh.

When my kids were little, we’d all make valentine’s for each other—some with poems, some not—all customized. As a kid, my parents did small things, if any, for each other but my mamma would compose a personalized poem for each of my brothers and me, paste them onto red hearts she’d cut out of construction paper and doilies and place them on our plates at the breakfast table before school.

That felt like real love…because it was.

There’s more to loving than just the smitten sort. See help me, I think I’m falling…in “distraction” again for further discussion of the disruption that romantic love causes when elevated above the other three loves.

Maybe cherishing yourself, along with honoring all manner of intimacy might be a better way to venerate love than filling a ‘slot’ with just any person, or turning affection into a competition.

men can ‘hate’ patriarchy, too

batman-robin-not-all-woman

Over dinner one night, a (male) friend teasingly said, “But you hate men.”

I laughed and said, “No, not men—patriarchy, and entitlement which harms both genders.” I paused then continued, “It’s not my fault that the most entitled group in the U.S. happens to be white males.” He nodded.

Not counting my jesting friend, I’ve found it amazing that when I point out the evident, others inject an assumptive opinion about what I mean or think, often trying to discount me personally for noticing and speaking up.

This is especially true if I verbalize anything to do with patriarchy. In my experience, the tetchiest people in the world are men. I’m old-ish now and I’ve been talking about the damage patriarchy has had on women, men, children, fauna, flora, dirt and the galaxies since I was a teenager, yet I can count on three fingers the times a man wasn’t defensive about this. You know, the tired (and dismissive) trope, “Not all men.” This is especially true as income level rises.

First, no one is talking about You unless You identify with what is being seen/said.

Secondly, if something is obvious, it’s still not personal. It’s just obvious.

Thirdly, I’m not the only person who can identify this as a problem [see: testosterone: the most lethal substance on earth (george carlin)]. Observing something—female or male—doesn’t mean anyone’s choosing sides. Just because I see it and I’m female doesn’t mean I fabricated it or that it’s erroneous.

I’m on the side of ‘truth,’ not gender, the side of repeated empirical and anecdotal evidence. I just want “it” to get better, people—not to be right, which, BTW, tends to be more of a male concern.

Zen tenet suggests that misery comes from not accepting “what is.” If you can’t look out at our world and not see that women are often prey, do 70% of the world’s work, bring home 17-30 % less than men (look it up)—just because, have males trying to regulate their wombs with laws and panels to discuss reproductive rights populated only by men, carry the emotional bulk of ‘relationships,’ put in 4-5 more hours per week of domestic-related work than men, and that 95-97% of mainstream media, movies, TV are created by men most of which rarely pass the Bechdel Test, ad infinitum, ad nauseum…then you don’t have senses.

Women don’t cause the majority of the world’s conflict, are rarely terrorists, attackers, molesters, mass shooters nor do they blow the tops off of mountains, clear-cut, create CAFOs or—basically—throw Planet Earth under the bus. No, they don’t. See rabble, rabble, rabble : : women create, men destroy for more rant-ress information.

How about stepping out of denial and step up to acknowledgment. The first course of action in healing anything is to accept “what is,” to name it. If you won’t do that, there are no other moves.

As Schopenhauer said: All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Let’s race for Self-Evident, okay?

haaaawwwkkkk tuuuueeeeeey to you too

We now take a timeout to deliver a public service message aimed at a specificity of men and boys:

For those of you who are entitled enough believe that you have the right to hock a loogie on public sidewalks where the rest of us—women, children, dogs and trained men—walk, dance to avoid, suddenly have to pull our toddlers out of harm’s way, but yet still have to gaze at your repugnant glob of phlegm, how would you feel about, say, pools of pus, morsels of menstrual blood, a soupçon of boogers or meaty drips of diarrhea littering your path through downtown?

If you’re fine with my mini-catalog of repugnance, then carry on, BUT kick those lung cookies to the curb.

If not, keep your mucus to yourself.

testosterone: the most lethal substance on earth (george carlin)

It’s not that I never feel sorry for boys or for men; I do. They live within this patriarchal system just as women and all the rest of the species on the planet have to. But then again, no other species constructed that paradigm, did they?

So—we should grieve for the stagnant boys who don’t strive in school and generate “arousal addiction issues” within themselves?” (Arousal addiction: you want different, not just more). I realize Philip Zimbardo is only trying to illuminate this declining aspect of society but there’s a choice going on here. Should we commiserate with males who don’t try? (girls outperform boys at all levels from elementary to graduate schools) You don’t have the same choices if you’re socially *disadvantaged by being born of the “lesser” gender, one of the “minor” races, deformed, neuro-diverse, etc.

But, if you’re from an entitled group that chooses to move towards Loser-ville, it’s difficult to sympathize as much. Except—what about all the straight females who can’t find decent males to befriend, laugh & talk with, share food, sex, music, children with, marry or just date?

Boys—Zimbardo says—no longer know the language of “face contact” because of “excessive internet use…video gaming/porning.” He says the average boy watches 50 porn clips a week!! Stats weren’t given for hours spent gaming. For every 400 films made in Hollywood there are 11K porn videos made; what number do adult men see? In 2009, a Canadian study wanting to measure the impact of pornography on 20-something men was cancelled. The reason? Researchers couldn’t find a control group of men in their 20s who hadn’t consumed porn.

Last February, Bill Maher discussed this trend: “I’m not anti-porn. I’m just saying masturbation has its place and that place is Plan B, when you can’t get the real thing…now psychologists are telling us that for a sizable percentage of men in America, masturbating to porn is Plan A, and doing it with your wife or girlfriend is more like a fallback option…you literally jack yourself into a corner.”

And lastly, I bring you George Carlin: The Male Disease, where I quote, “All the problems in the world…can be traced to what fathers do to their sons.” (patriarchy in action)

Okay parents, time to step in. Ooops, except some of you parents are male. Well, then time to undo what was chosen by you, learned or given to you. Be ‘tasteful’ role models please: overcome your biology and your upbringing. You owe it to the human race to fulfill the term human. The planet is at stake.

Many of us are waiting, and waiting and waiting and waiting…

*valued from patriarchal paradigm standards