Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"I don't usually agree with feminism, but..."

So, a lot of people have been writing about Emma Watson's (awesome) speech about HeForShe, and starting with the preface “I don't usually agree with feminism, but...”

Why don't you agree with feminism? As Emma pointed out, the definition (says Merriam-Webster) of feminism is “The theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” It's hard for me to understand why anyone would be against the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

Some people distance themselves from the word “feminism” because they mistakenly believe it originated with the radicals we often associate with second-wave feminism. I reject the idea that feminism derives from and is inherently tied to its radicals.

The words “feminism” and “feminist” first appeared in Europe in the late 1800s, and in the United States in 1910. First-wave feminism was mainly about official discrimination, and the largest achievement of first-wave feminism was women's suffrage.

During World War II, women took over many roles that had traditionally been filled by men. As the war ended, there was a huge push for women to return to the home and to traditional feminine roles, in order to make room in the job market for men. Second-wave feminism emerged as a delayed reaction to this renewed push toward the traditional roles breadwinning head of home vs. subservient and domestic little wife. Second-wave feminism became more about unofficial discrimination. Yes, feminism has had its radicals. Like any group, the radical minority is always the loudest. That doesn't mean that the word “feminism” should be associated with its loudest members. Second-wave feminism accomplished many goals for which I as a woman am very grateful, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more widely available and accepted birth control, “no fault” divorce laws, and Title IX.

I am a feminist. I am not a Bible-thumper, I am a Feminine Mystique-thumper. I believe women should have control over their own bodies and I support women's access to affordable birth control. I am against indoctrinating children to believe they should conform to traditional gender roles and stereotypes (or nontraditional gender roles and stereotypes. Anti-indoctrination is the key here). I chose to marry a man who doesn't fit traditionally masculine stereotypes, because I knew I wouldn't be happy with a man who was stereotypically masculine and expected me to conform to stereotypically feminine roles. I don't believe that all women should be stay-at-home moms just by virtue of their possessing a uterus, and I don't believe that all men should be the breadwinners. It was important to me, in choosing a husband, to marry a man who would be open to a nontraditional division of family roles if that's what we felt was best for us and our family. I personally do not feel that in my own life I could be fulfilled and satisfied by being a stay-at-home mom; I want a career. I am open to having children but do not intend to have them before I am ready. If and when my husband and I decide to have children, I intend to keep working and I don't believe that would make me a bad mother. I dye my hair and I wear makeup. I sometimes go for weeks (or even months) without shaving my legs. I love to cook and bake and do crafts. I hate housekeeping. I don't like kids indiscriminately. I have a large collection of high heels, even though I know they do terrible things to my ankles. I am outspoken and opinionated. None of those things makes me a bad feminist or a bad woman.

This is how I choose to live my life. Just because I feel strongly that this is the right choice for me, it doesn't mean this is the right choice for you. If you are a woman and, being aware of your options, of your own free will, feel that you will be happiest and most fulfilled by being a stay-at-home mom, that's great! If you feel you will be happiest by being a working mom, that's great! And if you are a man and, being aware of your options, by your own free will, feel you will be happiest and most fulfilled by being the breadwinner, that's great! If you feel you will be happiest by being a stay-at-home dad, that's great!

If I have children, I want them to know that they can be whatever they want to be and are willing to work to be. I want them to know that they can be as strong and as sensitive as they want. I want them to know that their value is not based on how they are perceived by the opposite sex. I both my sons and my daughters to have the same opportunities and the same freedoms. I want them to treat all others, male and female, with respect, compassion, and dignity.


Live and let live. It's really none of your business what other people choose to do with their lives. Our place is not to judge or make assumptions. Our job is not to lump people into categories and roles based on the contents of their pants. Our place is not to try to force everyone to make the same life choices we have made. Our place is to respect and help each other as we all work toward a common goal: happiness. That's what feminism, to me, is all about.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An open letter to the random guy at HEB yesterday who encouraged me to make lifestyle changes, for my health

Dear Sir,

I am so sorry for having the gall to flaunt my fat body in public. Granted, I was wearing a floor-length skirt and fairly modest shirt so I'm not sure whether “flaunt” is the right word, but given your tone the sight of me in a burka would still have probably been an assault on your eyes. I'm sorry the neckline of my shirt was betraying a hint of cleavage. Rest assured, sir, that I was not “trying to be sexy” nor do I think that that “makes up for my fat ass.” To be perfectly honest with you, it is sometimes difficult to make sure that 100% of my chest is 100% covered all the time. Rather a lot of surface area, you see, but I do make an effort.

I'm sorry I disgust you. I appreciate your concern over my romantic life, but allow me to reassure you that I'm doing okay in that regard. Even though in general, as you so eloquently put it, “no man wants to get up on a whale like you,” my husband appears to be the exception to that rule.

Yes, I was buying a Hershey Symphony bar. Terribly unhealthy, I know. Usually I wouldn't share such details with you, but I am on my period and, as a caricature of a woman, I was craving chocolate. I certainly won't try to justify it or in any way claim it to be a healthy choice. It isn't. My reasons for buying it were purely emotional and a matter of habit; I buy myself a bar (or two) of chocolate once a month around this time.

I certainly agree with you that eating McDonalds all the time is unhealthy, but to be frank I'm not sure where you get off assuming that I eat McDonalds. I haven't set foot in a McDonalds in a year and a half. In fact, the only times I have eaten fast food in the past year and a half have been the occasional baked potato from Wendy's, when on road trips and such. You see, I have celiac disease and couldn't “stuff my face with hamburgers” even if I wanted to. You also said that I should stop being lazy and learn to cook a home-cooked meal. Well, you will be pleased to learn that in fact I do know how to cook a home-cooked meal! I would be happy to challenge you to a cook-off anytime. I am not confident in certain of my abilities, but as far as my cooking goes I am fairly sure of myself. I cook dinner for myself and my husband 29 days out of 30. I will admit, however, that we do make room in our budget to go out to eat once a month at one of three local restaurants with options that are safe for me to eat. You know, with the celiac disease and all. Now, my home-cooked meals aren't always as full of lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables as I wish they were. Regrettably, such ingredients are quite expensive and we do try to be frugal. I do, however, do my best to make sure that the meals I prepare are nutritious and balanced, even if I do have to use canned and frozen vegetables from time to time.

You also suggested that I should “put down the potato chips, get off the couch, and exercise.” Well again, sir, allow me to assure you that I rarely if ever buy potato chips and I do make an effort to exercise regularly. I don't manage it every day, but I do exercise for an hour three or four times a week. Now, I don't do this exercising at the gym. I exercise behind closed doors, with my hand weights and Jillian Michaels videos, or I go for long walks. When I go for walks, though, I have to be careful to make sure that I don't look like I'm doing it for exercise. Slightly ridiculous, I know, but in my experience when I exercise in public I am bombarded by insults from people like you. It's a shame, because I really would like to get into heavier strength training than what I do now and wish I could join a gym so as to have access to the necessary equipment. However, I am given to understand that unless I am already in good shape when I join a gym, the experience will not be a good one. I went to a local gym a few months ago, because I was considering risking it and joining one anyway. Regrettably, I was promptly accosted by a personal trainer who asked whether I was looking for a personal trainer and, when I answered that for financial reasons I was not at that time, said I was just a lazy cow who just wanted a gym membership to feel good about herself but would never do anything to lose weight. Needless to say, I did not return.

Here's the thing, random guy at HEB. I know I'm fat. I certainly don't need you to tell me that. I am not making excuses or blaming genetics. I am actively making an effort to become healthier—not to become thin and not to make myself more attractive to men (and believe me, I use the word lightly in your case), but to improve my quality of life and strengthen my body. You do not know me, and you do not know my background. It is not your place to go up to random strangers at the supermarket, fat-shame them, and claim it's out of genuine concern for their health, much like it is not my place to comment on the fact that you reek of tobacco, your cart is full of beer, and you have a belly to match (even though you are increasing your risk for liver disease and lung cancer, and are also a disgusting hypocrite). You are fatter than me, yet because I am a woman you think it is okay to hold me to a different standard than the one to which you apparently hold yourself. This is not okay, and this will never be okay.

So I propose the following: You will mind your own damn business, and I will mind mine.


Have a nice day, asshole.

Sincerely,

The fat chick in the candy aisle

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm a Mormon, and I nonetheless don't understand why gay marriage is even an issue.

As the Supreme Court hears a challenge to DOMA, there has been significant debate, in the media and in general, regarding the topic of gay marriage. What I don't understand, however, is why the debate even exists. I do not understand at all how allowing two people of the same gender to get married could possibly have any impact whatsoever on anyone else. It doesn't, and I have yet to hear a reasonable fact-based answer to the question: Why shouldn't gay people be allowed to get married? The answers I do hear are the following:

1) The Bible forbids homosexuality.

My thoughts:

The Bible also forbids:
  • The Beatles' bowl cuts (Leviticus 19:27)
  • Cotton/Polyester blends (Leviticus 19:19)
  • Your gold wedding band (1 Timothy 2:9)
  • Braiding your hair (also 1 Timothy 2:9)
  • The ham dinner you had for Easter dinner (Leviticus 11:8)
I get that most Christians, including members of the LDS church, believe that when Christ came, he replaced the law of Moses with a higher Christian law. The thing is, he never actually said anything against homosexuality.

Taking the Bible out of the picture, though, we come to the point that modern church leaders teach that homosexuality is wrong and that as a result, so is gay marriage. That's fine. But since when is it right to impose the religious views of one body onto the whole country? Would you like it if we had a similar government system to Saudi Arabia, and if you as a non-Muslim was forced to wear a burka? The fact is, not everyone has the same religious beliefs and unless religious beliefs correspond directly to the prevention of individuals being wronged in a manner that should be controlled by law (i.e. thou shalt not kill), these religious beliefs should not enforced by law. Whether you believe that your religion is different from others because yours is the true word of God is irrelevant. Every religion believes that theirs is correct, and this does not give them a right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.

What does this mean for you if you believe that homosexuality and gay marriage are wrong for religious reasons? Don't marry someone of the same sex, and mind your own business. If you are that concerned about what other people are doing in the bedroom, that's more than a little weird. I recommend starting a new hobby, such as making small clay figurines of woodland creatures or constructing a model of your home out of toothpicks.

2) Civil unions are sufficient. Why do gay people want my marriage status? Why should we change the definition of marriage for them?

My thoughts:

One common thing I have heard as an argument from those who oppose gay marriage (often with a few references to the "gay agenda" thrown in for good measure) is that gay people are the ones who want to change the norm, and that they are the ones who get defensive about their positions, which therefore must be wrong.

Not to call those who follow this line of "logic" bigots, but these sort of arguments are really reminiscent of the arguments against miscegenation. The fact of the matter is, marriage is currently defined in an archaic and homophobic way, much as in the last century it was defined in an archaic and racist way. This needs to be overcome, but it shouldn't have to be. What gives straight people the right to define marriage?

As long as it is controlled by the government, marriage is simply a contract. However, society also contributes to the definition of marriage. This is why civil unions aren't sufficient. It's not just about healthcare or inheritance. It's about the fact that society has created a hierarchy that defines relationships. Why do gay people want to get married when they can just live together with a civil union? Well, why did you (if you are married) want to get married when you could have just lived together with a civil union? Some marry for religious reasons, others for financial reasons, but I would argue that the main reason people get married is because marriage symbolizes a lifelong commitment to the person you love. Gay people are just as capable of falling in love and being in a stable, committed, lifelong monogamous relationship as straight people (although given the current divorce rates that may not be saying much). On what basis, then, should they be excluded from the symbolic expression of that commitment?

Social definitions of marriage aside, as long as the government controls and defines marriage there should be no restrictions based on sexual orientation. Really, what I think would be the ideal situation is to stop the government's controlling and defining marriage. If I weren't religious, I would be completely anti-marriage for the simple reason that I don't see what right the government has to define my relationships for me. The government should control the property rights and such that are associated with marriage, but not the relationship itself. In an ideal scenario, marriage would only have personal or religious meaning, but no meaning in terms of legislation. If you wanted, you could apply to the government for the set of benefits associated with marriage, but these benefits would no longer have anything to do with marriage. Two siblings who lived together and shared resources could get these benefits, a couple who had partaken in a religious ceremony that to them constituted a "marriage" could get these benefits, a group of friends who owned a home together could get these benefits.

As the current government definitions of marriage stand, however, it is unfair to deny a government-instituted contract to people because of their sexual orientation. I feel strongly that in fifty years, this issue will be looked on in the same way as the Civil Rights movement, and it makes me sad that a lot of people I love, who I know mean well, will be on the wrong side of history.

3) It's a slippery slope--allowing gay marriage would open the doors for condoning deviant behavior like pedophilia, bestiality, and polygamy.

My thoughts:

My absolute pet peeve as far as the gay marriage debate goes is the argument that "if you allow gay people to get married, what's to prevent prevent people from wanting to marry their pets, or marrying children?" I don't mean to seem condescending, but do you see that cat over there? It is a cat. It is not a human. It does not have legal status. It cannot give consent. It cannot sign a marriage contract. Do you see that child over there? She is eleven years old. She is below the age of consent. She can't sign a contract, period.

It's not that complicated. Marriage would be between consenting adults.

As far as other deviant behaviors go, polygamy is a bit more complicated, seeing as how it would be between consenting adults. Personally, I find the idea of polygamy to be nothing more than institutionalized infidelity and that makes me nauseous. It is, however, still a completely different issue from gay marriage, and not one that would be too difficult to control: simply define marriage as being beween two consenting adults.

(Of course, the other solution would be, again, to take marriage completely off the books as far as government is concerned--see above--while still maintaining anti-pedophilia and anti-bestiality laws).

4) Gay marriage will not produce children. As a subset, 4b), gay people who adopt children will corrupt said children. Children need both a male and female influence in the home. 4c) Children who are raised by gay people will turn out to be gay themselves.

My thoughts:

4) If you're going to use this argument, take it all the way. Forbid the infertile from marrying, and ban birth control. If you want, you can even take it as far as implementing similar policies to those of CeauČ™escu's regime in Soviet Romania and employ fertility police to make sure women are popping out babies as fast and as often as possible. If you don't want these things to happen, don't use this argument.

4b) Again, if you're going to use this argument, take it all the way. Take children away from single parents and put them up for adoption. Of course, not all of them will get adopted, and many will grow up in orphanages and the foster system. Would that be better? Would it really be better to throw children into instability rather than allow them to have a stable home with one parent or parents of only one gender?

4c) Right, because children of straight people always turn out to be straight themselves.

5) Homosexuality is unnatural.

My thoughts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

That is all.

Does this mean I hate religion and Mormons and the Bible?

No. I don't see why being Mormon and supporting gay marriage have to be mutually exclusive. I go to church every Sunday. I do my visiting teaching. My husband and I aim to go to the temple twice a month. I read the scriptures every night. I pray many times a day.

The thing is, I believe that the best way to be a disciple of Christ isn't to be judgmental or intolerant. The best way to truly follow Christ and to truly be religious is to be kind, to serve others, to be accepting and to be understanding.

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."--Luke 6:35-37



Other interesting, funny, and/or thought-provoking information related to gay marriage:

The Huffington Post Blog: "Gay Marriage: I Just Don't Get It" by Joe Peacock

The Most Hilariously Effective Signs Supporting Gay Marriage

"The gay marriage debate in 50 years" by The Oatmeal

"Gay Marriage - Yes or No?" by Dean Leysen

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If you do this at a restaurant, I hate you.

1. Come in at five minutes to closing.
2. Come in at five minutes to closing and order to stay, not to go.
3. Come in at five minutes to closing, order to stay, and stay for half an hour past closing.
4. Come in at five minutes to closing, order to stay, stay for half an hour past closing, finish eating, throw your trash away, and then return to your booth for another twenty minutes.
5. Come in at five minutes to closing, order to stay, stay for half an hour past closing, finish eating, throw your trash away, and then return to your booth for another twenty minutes to make out.
6. Make out in the restaurant, period. I would be happy to direct you to the nearest hotel.
7. Come in at five minutes to closing, order to stay, stay for half an hour past closing, finish eating, throw your trash away, and then return to your booth for another twenty minutes and hold a cub scouts meeting.
8. Come in at five minutes to closing, order to stay, stay for half an hour past closing, spill your food all over the universe, then leave all your trash on the table, and not leave a tip.
9. Spill your food all over the universe, then leave all your trash on the table, and not leave a tip (regardless of time of day).
10. Change your baby's diaper on the table.
11. Special-order something really complicated, and then change your mind once your food is already halfway made.
12. Change your mind about what you ordered once your food is already completely made.
13. Argue about the no American Express policy.
14. Demand a refund for food you've already eaten.
15. Require a verbal walkthrough of every single item on the menu, rather than just looking at it.
16. Allow your children to run screaming around the restaurant.
17. Allow your children to vandalize the Coke machine.
18. Complain about the wait when the restaurant is clearly swamped and there are about six orders ahead of yours.
19. Rearrange tables and then leave them there when you leave.
20. Be 40 and creepy and hit on the employees.

I just love my job.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Life Lessons.

Sometimes, first impressions can be completely and utterly wrong.

The amount of precipitation on any given day is directly proportional to the amount of time you spent on your hair that morning.

If someone suggests that songs be sung when doing a particular activity, and the first song that pops into your head is Tom Lehrer's "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park," you should probably keep that to yourself.

It is very difficult to write decent songs that are relevant to your life if you haven't had your heart broken lately and also aren't head-over-heels in love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today, I'm going to pretend this is a cooking blog like all of the cooking blogs I am constantly pinning on Pinterest.

I am not a master chef.  I am merely a nineteen-year-old college student who desperately wishes she were a master chef, but whose ingredient price range is more likely to facilitate "101 Things to Make with Ramen" than blanquette de veau.  However, not to toot my own horn, but the dinner I made tonight was pretty much delicious.

And so I'm going to pretend that every meal I make is a culinary masterpiece, not just once or twice every couple weeks, and that this is a culinary blog, and basically just try to be pretentious for the next few paragraphs.




Red Pepper-Sauteed Chicken and Vegetables with Brown Rice


This isn't the dish from which I ate for dinner; rather, I ate my dinner, decided it was delicious, arranged it artfully on a plate, had my roommate take a picture, and then put the plate's contents in a tupperware for dinner tomorrow


Serves 2, give or take.  This picture shows half of what I made, and that seems a little excessive for one person. 

I'm not going to lie, I don't know the exact amounts of ingredients.  I shall instead write basically what I did.

I used a cup of instant brown rice, and prepared it according to the directions on the box.  However, to the boiling water I added a tablespoon full of pesto and a heaping tablespoonful of this stuff:


This stuff is made out of magic and my saint of a mother sent me some in her last care package.

While the rice was cooking, I minced two cloves of garlic and sauteed them in olive oil. 

When they were close to getting tender, I added about a third of a red onion, chopped into 1 square inch pieces, and a tablespoon each of pesto and red pepper spread. 

When the onions were tender, I added a little over a cup of sliced mushrooms and, once they were browned, added one poached chicken breast, thinly sliced (To poach chicken breasts: cook 3 chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan in chicken broth--I usually use a ramen flavoring packet--at 375 for an hour, or until cooked thoroughly) and tossed the slices with the vegetables until they were warmed and coated with the red pepper sauce mixture, about two minutes. 

Finally, I added a handful of baby spinach and continued to sautee the mixture until the spinach leaves were just tender, still maintaining their bright green color.
 
I then arranged the rice and chicken/vegetables on the plates and garnished with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar. 

[Side note on sea salt and freshly ground black pepper: they seriously make anything seem delicious. "Tonight, for dinner, I will be having ramen... with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper." Ooh, fancy.]


This post was terrible. That's why this is not, in fact, a cooking blog.

Bon appetit. Or whatever.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rant of the Day

"I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."    --Rebecca West



It happens every few months.

Somehow, something sets me off.  It may be a book, it may be something I heard someone say, it may be a picture.  I never know when it will strike, but when it does I transform from Calm and Unassuming Student to Angry and Homicidal Feminist.

In this case, it was a video.

http://www.vimeo.com/28066212

Watch this and tell me that, if you are female, this doesn't make you want to go join some sort of crusade against the media and society and men in general (or if you are male, want to go hide somewhere where your wife/girlfriend/sister/friend/mother who has joined said crusade cannot find you).  My roommate sent me this video today when I was at work, and after taking an eight-minute break to watch it I was angry.  I came home from work, stormed into the bedroom where my roommate was, thanked her for sending me the video, and then I ranted.  I yelled.  I screamed.  I swore.  I cried.  I yelled some more.  I pondered getting a buzz cut and never wearing makeup again, just to make a point.  I laughed hysterically at that mental image.  I continued to yell, fairly incoherently.  And then I faded off into angry muttering.

Four and a half hours have since passed, and I can now look back with humor at my evening rant.  But the fact is, it is an issue I am passionate about it.  With the exception of days like today, I generally don't go off on rants about it, but I am thoroughly a feminist and thoroughly frustrated with the treatment of women by the media.

What is feminism?  Well, according to Rush Limbaugh, "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society."  Fortunately, I choose to put my faith in sources untainted by prescription drug addictions, but this quote points out the biggest problem blocking progression of women's rights: Whenever a woman acts in a manner contrary to the demure, weak, subservient feminine "ideal," the first thing that is criticized is her looks.

What?

Why is it that when a woman is strong and intelligent, the first thing that is questioned isn't her ideas, but rather her figure?  Or her hair?  Or her outfit?  Why is it that those who oppose Hilary Clinton don't criticize her views, but rather her outfits, or her laugh, or her thighs?  Why, when unable to articulate a counterargument to a female politician, do those who oppose them resort to sexually humiliating portrayals?  Why is it that women are expected to spend hours on their hair, their outfits, and their makeup?  Why does society construct an image of the ideal woman that is impossible to attain, and then tear down women who cannot meet that standard?  Why are women sexually objectified, abused, and used for marketing?  Why are the male equivalencies of a slut--a player, a womanizer, a pimp-- not considered a bad thing?  Why is it socially acceptable for an old man to date a young woman, a smart man to date a dumb woman, and a rich man to date a poor woman-- but not the other way around?  Why can men still be considered attractive when they are overweight, or old, or not even necessarily particularly good-looking, but for a woman to be considered attractive she must be size zero and twenty-two years old?  Why is an intelligent woman considered unfeminine?

Why do we as a society pander to fragile male egos?

I don't understand what it is about a strong female that is so intimidating to men.  I don't understand why we as a society have to persistently enforce the norm of the strong man and his little wife.  It's something that makes me wonder if marriage is even worth it.  So many women's husbands get home from work, eat the dinner their wife made, and then shuffle off to the living room to watch football while their wife does the dishes.  It's as though women's efforts mean nothing; men are expected to be the ones with jobs, opinions and personalities, while all women are expected to bring to the relationship is a clean house, meals, good looks, and a uterus.

The pressure on women to fuss over their appearance is astounding.  No matter how smart a woman is, how kind, how funny, how strong, it is not enough: for her to matter, she must be beautiful, as defined by male sexual preferences.  Clothing and cosmetic industries play off female insecurities and make a fortune at it by simultaneously making women feel inadequate and offering a glimmer of false hope that with the right products, they can be as attractive as they want to be.

They can't.  No matter how much time and money they spend, women will never be as beautiful as society tells them to be.  And that shouldn't matter.  But it does.

The problem is that while I can acknowledge these issues, I am at the same time affected by these same pressures and as a result am a part of the problem.  Earlier today, I pondered getting a buzz cut and never wearing makeup again to make a statement.  Will I do it?  Of course not.  I agonize over what I look like just as much as everyone else.  But the fact is, while somehow in my mind I hope that my new hairstyle, or new outfit, or makeup tip I read about will make me pretty, it won't.  I know this, but it doesn't stop me from trying.  And the knowledge that I will never measure up to the beautiful feminine ideal doesn't make me feel empowered, it just makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry over the fact that I haven't been on a date in a really long time.  I acknowledge that it is ridiculous, but so is the whole situation.  It is absolutely ridiculous that women as they are are not enough.

For the record, I don't hate men, or even blame them entirely for the treatment of women.  As long as women allow society to devalue them, they are equally part of the problem.

And yet my long hair remains.