girls masturbate girls grow body hair girls have stretch marks girls get acne girls poop girls burp girls have all normal body functions that men do stop stigmatising all of it im so mad

guys get sad guys can bake guys break down guys want to be held guys cry guys scream into their pillow guys can have a hard time being manly so if you want us to see what you physically do as acceptable don’t mock us for being emotional

I love this

Orphan Black also makes room for strong, if feminine men. I’m not only referring to the gay co-lead Felix, played brilliantly by Jordan Gavaris. But in the maternal Cal and the emasculated Donnie, the show not only allows men to play traditionally feminine roles, but also allows them to have extraordinary strength within those roles.
—  Vanity Fair on Orphan Black and fighting the gender war (x)
Honestly, though, this idea that DA2 fans are a tiny minority is a misnomer. I did some Googling and if you look at sales figures and critical acclaim, DA2 actually performed better than DA:O. The game had a wider audience and it appealed to older (i.e. more intellectually inclined) players, but DA2 is a ‘queer’ game. The story doesn’t fit the traditional romance model for a male or female lead and that’s why it’s considered ‘divisive.’ Also, sexual orientations aside, it showed a man as a victim of sexual abuse, it had a white guy as a terrorist, it showed women in ‘traditionally masculine’ positions of authority, Hawke got ‘friendzoned’ by Aveline etc, etc, etc. The complaints literally boil down to ‘it was too real and it forced me to look at life beyond my cozy bubble.’ The reason behind DA2’s perceived failure is simply that there were enough morons that felt so threatened by it, that they’re STILL attacking fans of the game 4 years down the line. If anything, it’s THESE guys who are the true minority, but they make so much noise that ppl don’t seem to realise it. fact is, doesn’t even help to call people like this on their myriad of homophobias, because they honestly don’t care.
—  lingering-nomad, telling it like it is

Here’s to all the trans or non-binary or agender folk with large breasts. Here’s to the ones that even when they bind they can’t get completely flat without injuring themselves. Here’s to the people who struggle to find clothes that suit them because no matter what they wear it still looks like they have breasts. Here’s to the kids with the DD cups and spend their days tugging at their shirts to try and make it flat. Your gender does not depend on whether or not your chest is flat, your breasts do not define your gender. You are beautiful, no matter what.

Shame, Virginity, MRAs and the UC Santa Barbara Shooting

I have a lot of thoughts on the UCSB shooting right now. I’m going to write them up for the site for Monday, but there’s a lot I want to get down now while they’re still raw and fresh.

Friday night, Elliot Roger got behind the wheel of his BMW and proceeded to murder seven people and injured seven others. He did this because he was a virgin.

This isn’t speculation. In a blood-chilling video entitled “Elliot Roger’s Retribution”, the 22 year old delivered a long rant about being a virgin, about how since he hit puberty he has been afflicted with unfulfilled desires. 

He wanted sex, but women refused to be attracted to him. He complained that it wasn’t “fair” that everybody else got to experience “sex, fun and pleasure” and he was left out.

And so he murdered seven people, and attempted to murder many more.

He claimed that he couldn’t understand why women didn’t find him attractive “the supreme gentleman” and “true alpha” while throwing themselves at the “obnoxious brutes”. And for this, they deserved to die. For, in his words, “the crime of living a better life than me”. 

Because they “denied him” what he wanted. Because they “would have” - a critical phrase - snubbed him if he made a sexual advance. 

From his Twitter: “Why are girls sexually attracted to obnoxious, brutish men instead of sophisticated gentlemen such as myself? #girls #perverted #sex #unfair,”

His YouTube channel is full of videos complaining about women. He was a regular participant on PUAHate, nominally an anti-PUA site but more often a site for complaining about being “incel” and the cruelty of women for not being attracted to him. He followed many MRA video bloggers 

Right now there are a lot of people who are going out of their way to paint Roger as “sick”, “unhinged” or “mentally ill”. They want to make it a story about how he had a head full of bad wiring. They want it to be simple: he was a nut. He snapped. 

And we shouldn’t let them. Not because we know or don’t know that he was suffering from any sort of mental illness. Maybe he was dealing with some sort of mental health issue. We don’t know. We may never know. But that is just a way of compartmentalizing him, separating him out from the rest of the male population. A systematic “Not All Men”, as it were.

Because whether any theoretical mental illness had anything to do with his rampage, it doesn't negate the fact that he grew up believing in a toxic form of masculinity. That he believed he was entitled to women’s affections and to women’s bodies - and that being deniedwhat he thought was his due meant that the best thing he could do is go murder as many people as he could to punish them. Because that was exactly what he was doing: punishing people for the crime of not fucking him. Of forcing him to be a virgin, of making him less than a man.

Because that is exactly what the cultural narrative of masculinity says. A woman who is a virgin is a prize, holding her "special gift” for a “special person”. A male (not a man, a male) is a failure. He is a boy, not a man. He is a failure, because masculinity is rated in two axis’ - in our capacity for sex and our capacity for violence. These are the two ways that men establish our masculine credentials: by being a stud or being a bad-ass. 

And - critically - men cannot show weakness. To show weakness or emotion makes you less of a man; it makes you a pussy. Not even a woman, just a part of a woman, something to be fucked by “real men”. 

There’s no question that Roger was in deep, emotional pain. But our culture tells men that they keep that shit inside. You don’t let that out. You don’t let it show. You hide that shit. Because real men don’t hurt. Real men don’t cry and they sure as shit don't ask for help.

The MRA community that Rogers was attracted to talks about how they’re trying to “help” men. But that “help” consists of berating and insulting women and talking about how women “manipulate” men and how women are men’s “natural enemy”. They’re obsessed with being “alpha”, with being “real men”, not “manginas”. They’re all about asserting manhood by force, “showing” women and punishing them. Manhood by violence. Manhood by force. 

Manhood by sex. 

This is the world that Roger was drowning himself in.

Let’s just imagine a world where Roger could have gone to somebody - his father, a therapist, a priest, somebody and said “Help me. Please. I’m hurting. I’m scared. I need someone to help me right now” without fearing that this made him weak. Without believing that this made him less.

Without believing that the answer to feeling weak was to try to reassert himself through violence and pain.

Maybe seven people would still be alive right now. Maybe seven more wouldn’t be in the hospital.

It’s on us to make this world a reality.

More on Monday.

Virginity, Experience and Shame: This is where the MRA Movement Comes From.

We need to fundamentally change, on a mass level, how we, as a culture, discuss virginity. Because this has to stop.

Like basically anybody with a heart and a brain, I was disgusted this morning to discover that Elliott Rodger, aged 22, shot and killed seven people because he was still a virgin. This isn’t conjecture; it’s a direct confession from the shooter in the form of everyone’s favorite insane manifesto propagation tool, YouTube.

The gist of it is this: Rodger was 22 years old and felt angry and shut-out due to having not had sex yet. This led him to a mental state of not just vilifying but outright dehumanizing women to the point where he was capable of driving down a Santa Barbara street and gunning down people eating in front of a deli mart.

It’s so easy, so simple, to wash your hands and say “well, Rodger was unhinged and crazy.” What a weird one-off incident, right? Let’s get mad for a morning and then get back to our lives as if nothing happened, because there’s nothing we can do.

But these situations don’t happen in a vacuum. They never do. And trying to search beyond the immediate symptom doesn’t equate with taking blame off of this self-entitled piece of shit. But I refuse to stick my head in the sand and pretend that this isn’t the product of a long societal process that started centuries ago and in which everyone is complicit. Why do men treat losing their virginity as a necessary rite of passage into adulthood and an inconceivable cerulean letter of shame the longer it’s kept into what’s traditionally considered the ages thereof? Because they’re taught to, from day one, by other men. And because we live in an patriarchal society, that’s an attitude that’s infested itself in every aspect of culture, soaked up like a sponge.

The “coming-of-age” story. The narrative in which a boy becomes a man – learns how to accept responsibility, be true to himself, begins to become a part of the community as a provider rather than a consumer. Very few of these don’t contain the essential loss-of-innocence section – intensifying and codifying the idea that a man can’t be a man unless they’ve successfully courted and slept with a woman. They need to complete their first hunt.

The problem, of course, is that women aren’t chattel, and the entire necessary implication of this mindset is the idea that women are, by and large, targets. A society has successfully been built in which a necessary gate to pass through to adulthood is the loss of virginity, and at least within the cis, heterosexual space in which this myth has the most traction, that gate’s keepers are, by logical necessity, women. So half of the population gets born with a target on their back in a fucked-up worldwide game of dick tag, and the other half grows up being told they can’t graduate to adulthood until they win it.

This isn’t about me, but I’m familiar with the shame of a late virginity; I was 27 when I lost mine. No matter how much your brain knows that this is just a circumstantial event you shouldn’t be ashamed of, your emotions never really process it that way. It’s an isolating experience, where you feel left out of a quarter of life’s jokes and the butt of another quarter. It becomes common practice to lie, to fabricate, to deny the situation; it’s so easy to fall into the trap that you’re worthless because you haven’t gotten to have an awkward night in bed with someone yet, and you’re so desperate to prevent anyone from finding out. The situation compounds, with interest – the longer you stay a virgin, the more you’re afraid that’s going to be a gigantic red flag that prevents the situation from ever correcting itself. You look at movie posters of Steve Carell in 40 Year Old Virgin and sigh, scared shitless that might one day be you, completely unsure of why that’s so frightening other than that society’s told you to be scared of it. Sure, there’s the biological drive, but that’s not the main reason I wanted to lose my virginity. I just wanted to stop being the butt of jokes. I wanted to stop feeling less than human.

Elliot Rodger was clearly sick in the first place to even get to this point. But we can’t deny the fact that we, as men, and as a society, are all complicit in the culture that nurtured his hatred. Every time Apatow puts out another puerile movie, every time David Goyer makes a joke about how people who know Martian Manhunter don’t get laid, every time we decide to use someone’s sexual experience as a barometer of their intellectual and emotional worthiness, we create another needle to stab the hornet’s nest with.

A bunch of outcasts who are taught from birth to believe that sexual activity is a God-given right, that engaging in sex work is “cheating” that will shame you forever if a partner or your friends find out, that the only way to finally become a complete human being is to “seal the deal” and “punch in your V-card” like it’s removing the plastic membrane from a battery contact or taking the protective wrapping off of a new TV screen – is it any wonder that, left in an echo chamber, they first turn to the manipulations, lies, and attempts at social hacking of the PUA movement? Or, failing that, that they turn to the MRA “movement” and sites like PUAHate, which happily incubate this kind of hatred and loathing and isolation to the point where someone feels justified and backed up shooting women on a public Santa Barbara street at 9:30 PM?

This is on all of us.

It’s not as simple as just teaching our sons to respect women. This is a problem – one conceived and nurtured in the heart of the patriarchy – that can only be solved by a complete culturewide reinvestigation and recalculation of how we think about, talk about, and deal with sexual experience and/or the lack thereof. We don’t need to just shame and shit on MRAs; we need to cancel the celebration of toxic masculinity that leads people to this mindset, and these communities, in the first fucking place.

This is not a small problem. It’s only going to get worse. And until we stop teaching our children that sexual activity is a necessary gateway to adulthood and that the only way through that gate is to “capture” or “catch” a woman – and that this is a natural part of the maturation experience to which you’re entitled – we’re not going to stop this frustration building into hatred and, eventually, tragic violence.

Maybe if it weren’t for the MRA community, Rodger would have found another excuse to engage in mass murder. Maybe he wouldn’t have. I don’t know. I can’t extrapolate that far. But it would have at least cut off this social sieve funnelling the angry, disillusioned and frustrated into a breeding ground of hate and violence. Maybe we wouldn’t have a Men’s Rights Activism “community” anymore. Maybe it’d all funnel to other outlets. But we’d at least cut off this one.

Men aren’t entitled to women. They never have been, and never will be. It’s one thing to tell them that. But maybe, just maybe, we should stop telling them that they’re losers for not having something they’re not entitled to, too.

We Heart: Ruby Rose on Gender Fluidity

There’s been a ton of media attention paid to Rose’s sudden stardom: BuzzFeed has seemingly endless listicles devoted to the actor, and The Huffington Post has written about Rose’s “universal sex appeal,” remarking on how “self-identified straight women” are swooning for the “androgynous” actor.

Amidst all the attention paid to her looks, it’s important to note that Rose has spoken out numerous time about important gender issues, most recently in an interview with Elle. Rose describes herself as “gender fluid” and explained what that means to her, saying:

Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you’re at one end of the spectrum or the other. For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender. I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which—in my perfect imagination—is like having the best of both sexes.

She goes on to explain how she can make the choice every day and not have to “succumb to whatever society—whether it’s work or family or friends or whoever—makes you feel like you’re supposed to be because of how you were born.”

This isn’t the first time Rose has touched on gender fluidity. A year ago, she wrote, produced and starred in “a short film about gender roles, trans and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo.” The eloquent short film captures what it’s like to transition from being uncomfortable in your own skin to freely embracing a physicality that feels authentic.

So while it’s great that viewers are embracing Rose (both on- and off-screen), perhaps they should contemplate whether continually praising her as “hot,” or commenting on how surprised they are to be attracted to her, is a tad offensive. Rose’s whole message is that she doesn’t fall into one category or another, and by focusing only on her level of attractiveness, people aren’t listening to her, they’re objectifying her.”

Read the full piece here

Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Last night I took my daughters to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, & they were dressed as Captain America and Director Fury. After the film my husband and I were discussing how, of the 6 main “good guys” in the film, only one was a Caucasian male (Captain America), and the remaining 5 were 2 African American men (Nick Fury, Falcon), and 3 women (Black Widow, Maria Hill, and Sharon/Agent 13 - who were, granted, all Caucasian).

My youngest daughter (dressed as Director Fury) turned to me and said “Come on, Mom, why are you always noticing stuff like that? It’s ok, everything is OK. We don’t have to worry about stuff like that anymore.” (by “stuff like that” she meant diversity & representation in media, the workplace, and society in general).

I just smiled at her, feeling both happy and sad at the same time.

I was happy because my daughter, who, until she was 9, grew up in a society in Mozambique that taught her that men rule, and a woman’s only value/purpose in life was to produce and care for children. The fact that she now, at the age of 14 thinks that women and men have equal footing & representation in this world truly speaks to all the wonderful women AND men in her life. From my husband/ her father, (who runs a publishing company from home so that he can also be a SAHD for her & treats me as not just an equal, but a partner in absolutely everything & supports me wholeheartedly in my chosen career path of United States Marine officer), to my close friends/her “aunties” who are all intelligent, sucessful, amazing women (among them a scientist, artist/expert costume designer, astronomer, SAHM, engineer, and so many others - some single, some married, some with kids, some without, but all living their lives to the fullest) who all take the time to be there for her & mentor her.

But I was sad because, as I told her in answer to her original question “why do I always notice ‘stuff like that’?” - well, once you see it, you can’t UN-SEE it. “It” being subersive gender and race discrimination (subversive because it’s generally not purposeful - it just is “generally accepted” - ie, with Divergent being so popular everyone’s calling it the “New Hunger Games” and how Shailene Woodley is going to be the new “it girl” because heaven forbid both she & Jennifer Lawrence are BOTH “it women.” Apparently there’s only room for ONE of them in Hollywood).

Does that mean I can’t enjoy my life or something as simple as a movie? Not at all! I adored Captain America. Do I think it would be nice to maybe see some more POC in leading roles in film? YES! So, that brings me back to my first point, I loved that among 6 leading good guys, 3 of them were women, BUT next time it would be pretty awesome if maybe one or two of those women were Hispanic, or Asian, or some other race. “But Sharon Carter is white in the comics!” Yeah, so was Nick Fury.

A few minutes after this conversation my girls were discussing how awesome Black Widow was, and I told them “They’re making a Black Widow movie!” Again, my youngest looked at me in askanse “What?! I thought there already was one!”

I shook my head. “No, not yet. The film industry apparently doesn’t think a film led by a woman will do well.”

Given that the last 3 films she saw in the theatre were Catching Fire, Frozen, and Divergent, this threw my daughter for a loop. “Well that’s just dumb.”

Yes, yes it is.