Monday, May 26, 2008

Feministing: Fuck You, Perverts!

Every Friday, the amazing women at post a "Fuck You" to any anti-feminist assholes who deserve it.

This one by Feministing-founder Jessica Valenti is about public perverts, like those who skeezily ask girls out more for a power trip than for an actual personal connection.

FYI, the first time I ever saw a penis, I was in third grade on the DART train with my family. We were on the way to the aquarium when I turned around and saw a man slowly rubbing his exposed penis and staring at me. I was so shocked and scared that I only told my mother after he got off the train. Outrageous.

Look, I know this behavior only exists in a tiny fraction of men. But when we live in a world where women are judged by their breast-size first and their intellect last, we create a culture that includes men like this. Perverts are not an anomaly - they're a symptom.

So help us fix the problem.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A One-sided Conversation

Sometimes, when I go to a bar to order a drink, a man will insist on buying it for me. I really hate that. Don’t get me wrong, I like free stuff as much as the next person. But I don’t like feeling obligated to “pay the guy back” by talking to him or giving him my number.

To prevent this awkward situation, I try to respectfully refuse free drinks from strangers. It has never worked. Not once. I have NEVER told a man, “No, no thank you, I’ll get it myself,” and had him back off the way I want him to. Instead of feeling flattered, I feel ignored.

So here is my voice. This is my half of a conversation held Friday at a bar in St. Louis.If I can't be heard in person, I'll be heard here. (The stuff in parenthesis is what I’m really thinking.):

(Oh, shit.)
Ya, I like this band, too. They’re pretty cool.
My name? Lindsay. You?
(Maybe I should have told him a fake name?)
Hi Randy, nice to meet you.
(Hi, 45-year-old man sitting alone at a bar. I’m not sure why you’ve chosen to hit on me, but I can’t see this going well for you.)
Um, I think I’m gunna order a Coffee Stout. I’ve never had it, but I thought I’d...
(Shit, that was a mistake. He thinks that was an invitation. I was just trying to make conversation!)
Wait, oh, no, you don’t have to order it for me.
(What the fuck, you just turned your back on me to “do me a favor.” Get out of my god-damned way, sir, and I’ll get my drink myself. I’ve done this before!)
No, if you’ll just let me by, I’ll order it myself.
Oh, they ran out?
(Thank god. I’ll move up now and get something myself.)
Oh. OK, well, I’ve been drinking Wheach beer tonight, I’ll see if they…
Wait, no, I can get it.
(Oi! Loser! Move!)
No really, I’ll order.
Oh, thanks.
(Fuck. Now I have to awkwardly talk to you till my drink comes.)

My boyfriend?
(Really? You wanna ask about my boyfriend? I have a feeling you’re hoping I don’t have one. Why are you pretending to be interested in me?)
Oh, he’s down at the end of the bar. Our friends are playing tonight, so…
What? I’m very beautiful?
(Of course I’m beautiful. It’s dark, you’re drunk, and I’m half your age. It’d be hard for you to NOT find me beautiful in these conditions.)
Oh, um, thank you. That’s really nice. Oh, look here’s my drink, I’ll just…
(If I pull out money, he’ll back off.)
No. Here I’ll get it.
(He’s not backing off. Maybe if I shout.)
NO! Hey, no, no thanks man I can…
(What is this idiot deaf? Does it sound like I want this, dude?)
Um, thanks. Well.
(OK, there’s no way he’d go to all the trouble to get me a drink while I’m shouting at him unless he wanted something. So now what? Do I owe him something? Would it be rude to walk away, the way I want to? After all, I didn’t choose to interact with him this way. This isn’t what I wanted.)
Ya, ya gotta get back to the boyfriend. Um, thanks for the drink.
(Thanks fo’ nuthin, sucker.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A story from the war

In honor of the 5th anniversary of the war, check out this must-read blog-post from a female naval officer in Iraq and the sexual harrassment she recieves from fellow-Americans.
I have a hard time believing in a war to "liberate" the Iraqi people when our male military personel are oppressing our women.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Exciting news!
This blog has been added to Bust Magazines list of links.
Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Two quick hits

-I walked into a gas station the other day to hear a man yell: "Git yo'self a white girl! I'm telling you. They're easier!" Shocked, I stopped and turned toward the counter to see two men staring at me. We were the only people in the store. I tried to decide whether I should turn and leave or go about getting my soda. Before I could decide, the other guy replied to his friend: "Nah, I got me a white girl. And she's still trouble."

-Went to an amazing concert in St. Louis this weekend. There was one guy, though, who kept spilling beer on me and stepping on my feet. I tried to avoid him, but about half-way through the concert, he walked towards me, took of his shirt to reveal his tattoos (one says "Creep", the other "Antisocial") and stared at me. Just stared at me. Up and down. Down and up. Eyes all over my body. Stared. I closed my sweater, hoping he'd go away, but it made no difference. I wasn't even wearing anything revealing. But he just stared.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Look out for this guy!

I got a horrifying email from a sorority sister today.
“Not to scare you,” she writes, but a man in a red truck started parking down the street from our sorority house. He picked a spot in front of a small house where two girls live, and he pulls up every night around 8:30.
One night, the girls looked up and saw the guy standing in their window. When this creeper saw that they had a guy inside, he ran away and put a large object in his truck.
The girls called the police. They said the man is from Butler and has been driving into town to watch them. Cops told them to call next time they see him.
(Question: Wouldn’t it be better to just send a cop car in that vicinity around 8 pm to prevent an attack? Apparantly not. Just wondering.)
Last night, one of the girls drove home to find his truck parked out front. Again.
This chick is a bad-ass. She blocked the guy in and called the cops, demanding that they come take him away.
A different cop showed up this time.
He let the guy go. After all, the guy didn’t do anything, the cop said.
“He just got in a fight with his wife and needed to think,” he said.
In the words of my sorority sister: “Conveniently outside of two cute girls’ house? Weird.”
People roll their eyes when I say that women are treated as lessser humans compared to men. But think for a minute. This police officer had testimony from two people:
A) A man who drove from Butler and parked in front of the house of some random college girls, and
B) Two young women with police reports and eye-witnesses proving the suspect was a potential threat.
And this cop chose A. In a world where women are attacked and sexually assaulted and abused, where men make up an overwhelming proportion of perpetrators of violent crime, especially gendered violence – this cop chose A.
One more day of fear for a potential victim. One more day of privilege for a potential perpetrator.
You have to ask why.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spittin' game

Z.A.P. played a killer show last night at the Blue Fugue. It ended late, and as I headed to my car, I heard a group of guys behind me.
I was alone. I got a bit worried and crossed the street. Then, I heard it.
"Yo, dudes, check out this chick!"
"Hey, momma, whatch'u doin?"
"Girl, get over here, lemme holla atch'ya"
Imagine dealing with this every single time you go out. As a woman, I live in a world where walking alone at night means potential danger on every corner. When I walk to my car after a fun night out, I can't just relax and enjoy. I have to brace myself for assholes like these who could, potentially, mean harm to me.
The group followed me until I ditched them. But not before they got in one last pick-up line, my personal favorite:
"Watch out, girl."
When people tell me to watch out, it's because something bad is about to happen. It's because, somehow, my safety or well-being is threatened.
Therefore, I find "watch out" to be a very appropriate pick up line.

Dear "playa" spittin' your "game",
What you are saying to me (and what you may want to do to me) is inappropriate and potentially violent. So yes, thank you, I will watch out. Now, please, leave me alone.