#YesAllWomen Put Up With This Shit – Elliot Rodger, Misogyny, and Rape Culture

elliotrodgerElliot Rodger

 

On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, CA, resulting in murdering six innocent people, wounding 13 more, and taking away his own life.

You’ve probably already heard of this story whether  you saw it on the news, on your newsfeed on Facebook, or on other blogs, but I wanted to take this opportunity and contribute to the conversation.

What most national news outlets don’t really mention or address is the fact that Elliot Rodger is a disturbing misogynistic, entitled asshole with a gun. Oh, I’m sorry, is that too insensitive of a title for you? Most media coverage of this event seriously write him off as a “madman” a “psycho” or a “lonely virgin.”

Um, excuse me, but when was it okay to dismiss this boy’s actions as insane? Whether or not he’s mentally ill is still left up for discussion, but THIS whole song and dance of “boy killing girl because girl refuses his sexual advances” is NOT new. In fact, it’s like one of those overdone pop songs on the radio that you hear at least every hour in one day. Everyone’s fucking tired of this shit.

According to thinkprogress.org, more than one in three women will experience rape, violence, and/or stalking at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Eighty-five percent of intimate partner violence victims are women. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE! This is our culture trying to tell us that there is some SERIOUS issues we need to work out.

Elliot Rodger is the by product of our patriarchal society that normalizes rape culture. Now, what is rape culture?

“Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture.  Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety,” (Marshall, 2013).

So because we live in a society that pretty much deems it OK to objectify women and treat them like some reward that men are entitled to have, we get people like Elliot Rodger who grow up with this toxic way of thinking. I viewed two of his videos that he uploaded on his YouTube channel before he went apeshit on this massacre, and I honestly couldn’t even finish a minute of them. This boy is seriously just fucked up in the head. And who do we blame? His parents? His roommates? His friends, if he had any?

We should ALL take part in the blame. Because like I said, he is the by product of our twisted misogynistic rape culture.

If this isn’t a wake up call to action, I don’t know what the fuck is. How many daughters, sisters, girlfriends, wives, friends, PEOPLE have to die in order for our society to realize that misogyny exists? Why is it so hard for people to admit that misogyny kills?

I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people that don’t understand that gender is a social construct. WE have the power to change our attitudes about this world and how we see it. No one’s forcing you to follow some imaginary manifesto of how to live your life. YOU decide how to live your life. YOU have the power to change how you view things. And that means that these useless ideas of “what it means to be a boy” or “what it means to be a girl” is GARBAGE! Throw that shit away and write your own story. A story where everyone is deserving of love, happiness, and respect.

The only good thing that has risen from this terrible situation is the fact that women everywhere took to their social media outlets, outraged at all the injustice, and told their stories using the hashtag “#YesAllWomen.” I, myself, participated in this trend and DAMN – that felt so liberating. I highly encourage you to add your own Facebook status or tweet to the discussion. Trust me, this is a long battle that we have yet to win.

And if you’re a man, you can TOTALLY take part in that conversation! This isn’t some Girls Only Club and you can’t sit with us. You can add to the discussion too… as long as you’re an ally. If you’re wondering how you can become one, just stop and think. Think about how you would want your daughter to be treated. Think about how you want your mother to be treated. Think about how YOU want to be treated. Then read these stories and realize this is a reality that every woman endures. We don’t want to put up with this shit anymore than you don’t want to hear it.

Ignorance is not cute. Apathy is so not cool anymore. If you remain passive, you become part of the problem. You want to be strong? Then call that shit out when you see it and become part of the movement.

We get that #NotAllMen are like Elliot Rodger, but you know what? There’s too many of you who are.

A friend of mine once said, “You shouldn’t have to convince people that everyone is deserving of equality. That should be a basic fundamental right.”

I totally agree. So let’s keep that movement growing.

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Why it’s Cool to be a Feminist

Let’s be real – when you hear the word “feminist,” people like to run as far away as possible.

I’ve realized lately that ever since I’ve come out as a feminist blogger, guys don’t really hit me up anymore. Straight guys, to be specific. For the past week, I kept thinking why no guys would talk to me. I’m single, I’m not terribly ugly, and I’m a fun person with good vibes. What’s not to love?!

Then it hit me. I plaster the word “feminist” on all my social media outlets. And that’s my Achilles’ heel.

This compelled me to write a piece explaining myself and all the other feminists out there. We get a bad rep because people truly just don’t know what we do and why we do it. People just see the crazy, irrational, angry personas and think, “Oh hell naw, I ain’t getting near that.” Well, you SHOULD want to get near us. We’re compassionate, loving people who believe in equality for all.

Feminism means believing in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. (Straight up quoted that from Beyonce’s album. See, even Queen Bey knows what’s up!) That’s ALL it is. It means recognizing the power structures that exist in our society and challenging them to create structures that support everyone of all backgrounds. It means believing that anyone regardless of sex, gender, religion, and ethnicity deserve an equal chance to pursue happiness and liberty.

So, if YOU believe that, then voila! You’re a feminist! Yay, welcome to the club! And don’t be scared; you should be fucking proud to say you believe in equality.

I hear often from people that they don’t like the word “feminist” and prefer to be called “humanist” or “equalist.” Here’s why that’s toxic in itself. Humanism is rooted from the European Enlightenment. That is, privileged white European men sought to remake humans of the New World in their own image. (Messina-Dysert, 2013). Basically, it’s founded on patriarchal values that ignore all other gender and ethnic based injustices. Equalists, or egalitarianism, is rooted from the French and means that everyone should be of equal status. It means all humans should be treated equally and have equal opportunities. While that sounds fantastic and it is ultimately what we feminists want, it really dances around the belief that there IS gender inequality in the world. What that says to me is you don’t understand how patriarchy works. Egalitarianism and feminism go hand and hand, but feminism addresses that there IS an inequality that needs to be fixed. By saying you’re egalitarian, you deny that there’s any injustice going on. And real talk, that’s bullshit.

Feminism isn’t about hating men and stripping them of every ounce of power they have. It’s about allowing everyone else who isn’t a White male a chance at being treated with respect and equality. So yes, feminism does have the bias of women’s rights, but look at the history of this country – of this WORLD. Really, really look at it. If you still don’t see anything wrong, then I suggest you slap yourself. Because that’s some fucked up shit.

The fact that people don’t even want to be called “feminine” is toxic. It perpetuates this notion that displaying any sort of feminine characteristic is degrading and you should be ashamed of it. Are you starting to catch my drift? It’s not about “ermahgerd, women just want to be dominant and powerful! Onoz, what about teh mens!?” Well, what about them? They’ve had their story told over and over again. They’ve had their story told in history books, in literature, in movies,  in comic books, in politics, and in the media.

So again, I ask you, what about them?

It’s an unfair advantage they have and it has to stop. These existing power structures need to be dismantled in order to obtain an egalitarian culture.  It’s a long battle, but we can’t just give up. If we give up, we let all the strong women who dedicated their whole lives to advocating change die in vain. Their efforts can’t go unnoticed.

And if you’re a White male reading this and thinking, “Well, how the hell does this effect me? I’m totally on the winning side here.”

Indeed you are. This. my friends, is what we call White Privilege. It’s been debated a lot in the academic and media forums because of Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang’s essay that Time republished. If you’re white, you benefit from these existing power structures. That’s it. It’s a fact. No one would want to make this up. Trust me, we have better things to do with our time than sit here and make up concepts that put us colored people at a disadvantage.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that being a feminist means you’re a lovely human being that truly has good morals and beliefs. And I think that’s fucking awesome and cool.

It’s cool to be a feminist. I think women who are empowered by their knowledge of the world is so amazing. Guys, don’t be afraid of that. As Iggy Azalea said, “You should want a bad bitch like this.”

I’m a feminist because I believe in living in a world where my hard work and efforts will grant me the same success that a man’s would. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where terrorists won’t kidnap a bunch of girls and threaten them because they don’t believe women should have the right to an education. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where my daughters won’t be accused of being a slut if she expresses her sexuality in a way that doesn’t fit in a conventional mold.

It’s 2014. It’s time we make some changes around here.

Preach that Self Love


Everytime I hear a friend say they wish they were skinnier so they can feel beautiful, a part of me dies on the inside.

I get it.

It’s hard to harness self love from within when we live in a world that constantly tells us we’re imperfect and that we will never achieve happiness in our current state. It’s always easier said than done. I’m still learning how to love myself too, so I’m facing that same struggle.

As a person who deals in communities that unfortunately do focus on image, I see it all the time. A lot of my peers are always dieting and even if they DO look amazing and lose weight, they’re still unhappy. They feel they constantly need approval from others in order to feel a sense of acceptance. It’s a toxic situation and it can easily be stopped if we just took back the power that was stripped away from us.

Now I’m not saying the blame is entirely on media companies who make these sad advertisements. It’s a cycle. Media companies put out these messages, we internalize them, and as a result, we act out how we THINK we’re supposed to. News flash, my friends – we’re not SUPPOSED to do anything we don’t want to. Especially if it’s dictated by these media corporations when a majority of the executive board are rich white males.

Self love comes from within. It comes from a belief that YOU are good enough, no matter what happens in your life. It’s faith. Faith that what you look like on the outside doesn’t define how you are on the inside. I’ve heard of “self love” being a narcissistic trait. It CAN be… if you let it. But loving and accepting yourself is a human necessity. It’s just as important as breathing, drinking, and eating. You have to love yourself in order to feel complete in this life.

You can’t help others if  you can’t help yourself. You can’t love another person if you don’t know how to love yourself. It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t apply this concept to their lives.

So I say, FUCK IT! I’m tired of the world telling me I’m not good enough. I’m tired of being told my curves are a bad thing. I’m tired of letting other people dictate my happiness.

So I won’t. I’m in charge of my happiness. I’m the one in control. I love me just the way I am.

You can do it too! I believe in you!

 

Because Being “Kawaii” is so in Right Now

Oh Avril… please do us all a favor and just go back to singing about skater boys.

Avril Lavigne is back and released a new single titled “Hello Kitty.” If that doesn’t already make you somewhat cringe, just listen to the first four seconds of the song where she totally butchers the Japanese language and made people worldwide unanimously go “SMH.”

This sadly isn’t anything new in the land of pop music. Katy Perry donned a full geisha outfit during the American Music Awards last year and flashback 10 years before that Gwen Stefani donned her whole Harajuku girl posse everywhere she went. Can we all just take a moment and say “WTF WHITE PEOPLE? WTF.”

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group. This is a phenomenon that’s been happening for years, but has recently been pushed to the forefront of any pop culture discussion thanks to people like Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani. Miley Cyrus doin’ that whole “thug lyfe, I’m a bad ass bitch that can twerk” is yet another example of how one culture appropriates another. This can be a hard concept to understand by some because some people interpret this adopting as a positive thing. Like, we’re all sharing ideas and we like how this culture does this, so therefore, this is something that should be celebrated, right?

Well… no. Not exactly.

It’s one thing to exchange ideas and celebrate diversity in a RESPECTFUL manner. (Notice how I capitalized the word RESPECTFUL.) It’s another thing to do a modern day version of colonizing a culture and its people and use their ideas as your own. People are not accessories to your identity. People are people. Appropriating cultures in this manner dehumanizes people and belittles years and years of rich history from these cultures.

So let me sound off here. It’s really fucking annoying to see yet another pop star take this aspect of Japanese culture and wear it like a cute pair of shoes. I mean, can you see those robotic, emotionless Asian back up dancers?! That’s all INTENTIONAL. That was choreographed that way. This song and video is absolutely terrible in every sense of the word. It’s pretty much just like that Chinese food video that the other White girl sang about on Youtube.

Dear God,

Make it all stop.

Sincerely,
one of the many pissed off Asian girls that can’t take off this skin.

 

I Got 99 Problems, but Being a Bitch Ain’t One

Tina-Fey

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a minute since I last posted, but I’m here. Just been takin’ care of things. I think it’s called life. Oh life… sometimes you just kick my ass a little too hard.

But as usual, I’ve been sitting here thinking a lot about a little bit of everything and I’ve recently discovered yet a new perspective of myself that I haven’t given much thought to.

I’m a bitch. And I’m totally ok with that.

Obviously it’s taken me a while to accept and embrace this fact about myself. You might be sitting here wondering how the hell a commonly degrading word can be empowering, but it can. You just have to change your attitude and control the power dynamic.

Women are generally taught to be submissive, polite, and quiet. It’s never really encouraged to speak up, especially against a man. We’re usually taught to just walk away from things that make us uncomfortable instead of facing it head on. We’re basically being programmed at birth to aspire to marry and start a family.

But what happens when a woman doesn’t follow this formula? As a society, we tend to shun her. We reprimand her for being too vocal and assertive. We make her feel guilty of her sexual choices. We become disappointed in her if she’s spending too much time at work and not enough time with her family, but criticize her work ethic when she chooses her family over work.

Don’t believe me? We see it ALL the time in the media. The recent controversy with Duke freshmen Belle Knox is one example. The unfortunate incident in Steubenville is another example. Or how about how the government is up in arms about giving women access to birth control? The list goes on and on. And that’s fucking sad.

I’m a bitch because I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of people looking at me like some dainty little flower that can’t handle anything by herself. I’m tired of people looking at me and judging my life choices, yet if a man were to make the same choices, no one would question him. I’m tired of people thinking the reason I’m single is because I’m so damn picky and I should just lower my standards in order to find someone. No bitch.. I shouldn’t lower my standards. People should be aspiring to meet my standards if they want to get with me. I’m an educated woman of color that doesn’t have time to play with little boys. What happened to all the men?

If knowing what I want to aspire in life makes me a bitch, then so be it. If being picky about a potential partner makes me a bitch, then so be it. If calling sexist and racist bullshit out when I see it makes me a bitch, then So. Be. It. If you don’t want to get called out, then don’t say sexist and racist bullshit. It’s as easy as that.

But hey, I’m human too. I’m not always this strong-willed, assertive boss ass bitch all the time. I get caught up in my insecurities too.  I find that surrounding yourself with loving and supportive people really helps. Also, listening to dope ass music that encourages you to be a boss ass bitch also really helps.

So moral of the story… ladies, it’s ok to be a bitch. Because a wise woman named Tina Fey once said, “Bitches get stuff done.”

Stop Slut-Shaming!

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday!

Today I wanted to discuss something that’s been plaguing my mind for a while and I knew I’ve been wanting to write about it. Just in the two weeks alone, I’ve heard pretty questionable comments come from my straight male friends that have made me cringe and ask myself, “Why?”

A couple weeks ago, I was at a bar with two of my guy friends and we were talking about this girl that I’m not personally fond of. My one guy friend asked me to show me her picture and my response was pure confusion. I asked him, “Why does her physical appearance have anything to do with this? It’s not going to change the fact that she’s a mean person.” When I showed him her picture, he then responded with, “Oh, she looks like a nice girl! Are you sure you’re not just overreacting?”

Um… wut? Yeah. Ok.

Last weekend, I was hanging out with another male friend of mine and he told me about how he went to lunch with a girl who has a “slutty” reputation among her peers. His friends didn’t waste anytime to let him know that he shouldn’t have hung out with her.

And this my friends… is what we call slut shaming.

Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.

You may or may not have heard of this term before, but EVERYONE regardless of their gender or sexuality should know it and understand it. Why? Because at the core of this problem is that people are not receiving the respect they deserve. And everyone deserves respect. Everyone.

Slut shaming is used to describe the act of making people feel guilty or inferior for expressing their sexuality in a way that isn’t orthodox or “normal.” Slut shaming has been so ingrained in our culture that it is now a SOCIETY-wide issue; as in, all genders play a part in sharing the blame. It can happen in many ways. For example, it can simply be when a man looks at a woman who’s getting sexually harassed at a bar and says, “Well she deserves it. Her skirt is short and her boobs are hanging out.” Or it can be when a woman looks at another woman and says, “She’s fucked so many guys… that little slut.” And be honest with yourself. You can’t tell me you’ve NEVER heard anyone say those things, or you’ve never thought them yourself.

Here’s some historical background on it – once upon a time, women didn’t have any rights and the only person they were allowed to fuck was their husband, a.k.a. the person who had legal ownership over her. Through time, we’ve opened our minds to allow women to have sex before marriage, but she has to be sure she LOVES him. Otherwise, you’re a slut for opening up your legs for some random dude. This is where we’re currently at and quite frankly, that’s sad.
ladylike_sexist

One of my male friends reposted this on his Facebook and I couldn’t help but cringe at it. You see, THIS is another example of slut shaming. Are you seeing a trend here? Basically, if a woman is labeled as a slut or whore, she gives up all her rights as a human being and we as a society have the right to treat her like the trash she is. IT’S RIDICULOUS, and I’m so tired of being bombarded with these messages on a daily basis. Just because someone expresses their sexuality in a way that isn’t the way you express yours, doesn’t mean they’re any less of a person. These women are exercising their right to have sex whenever they want with whoever they want. And what’s wrong with that? Men do it all the time.

It’s because of this notion that our precious va-jay-jay is this pure, untouched temple of heaven and if too many people have gone there, then this place has become a filthy, nasty, trashed up place. To achieve gender equality, we have to stop looking at it like that because it holds everyone to a different standard. And what happens when people don’t hold up to these standards? Then they become fucking failures that are slutty and stupid.

Listen up, y’all. Everyone has the right to express themselves however they see fit. It is their body, and it is their personal choice on what they want to do with it. It’s a pretty arrogant mentality if you feel like you have the right to tell someone what to wear, when to wear it, if they should have access to birth control, if they should be drinking that much, and so forth. So what I’m trying to say is… stop fucking telling people what to do! Stop treating women like they need to act in an appropriate way that YOU see fit in order to gain your respect. They deserve that respect from the beginning. We all do.

meangirlsslutwhore

It really comes down to a power dynamic. Women who behave in a way that is deemed appropriate by men are higher up the totem pole than women who behave in “bad” ways that men don’t approve of. Here’s a thought – why don’t we stop trying to please everyone else and why don’t we focus on what the fuck makes US happy? Who gives a fuck if someone doesn’t approve of how you behave? It’s your life – do what you want with it. Another person’s personal choices don’t affect yours. Stop being fixated on shit that doesn’t play any relevance to you in your life.

Stop controlling other people’s choices. You don’t have that right.

Men and Women Can’t Be Friends?!


So the other day when I was on Tumblr (which is like… everyday), I found this gif set and reblogged it. I did it for two reasons; 1) I absolutely love Hayao Miyazaki films. That man is brilliant. And 2) I completely agree with this statement. I’m really hoping this is an actual quote from him, but even if it’s not, I definitely agree with it. I’m really getting sick and tired of the generic “Hollywood” formula for male-female relationship portrayals on screen.

I’m sure you have an idea of what message I’m talking about, right? The message that “men and women can’t be friends.” If you observe any of your favorite television shows, sitcoms, cartoons, movies, etc., you’ll find that this Hollywood formula is repeated and regurgitated again and again. So it’s no surprise that we as consumers have internalized that message and now some people truly believe men and women CAN’T ever be just friends. I mean, really? How sad is this world we’re living in?

Men and women CAN be friends and it is definitely possible for them to just inspire each other to live without having romantic feelings involved. So call me optimistic or whatever, but I’m a firm believe in changing your attitude can really change a movement. If we all just started to believe in something and make it the norm, then it would become the norm. It’s really not that hard of a concept to swallow.

One of the main reasons people feel like men and women can’t be friends is that we can’t look at each other in a non-sexual way. So you know those arguments you would have with your significant other about “that girl he was texting from class” or “that boy that wanted to meet up with her for coffee?” Yeah, that’s US internalizing those messages about men and woman not being able to be friends. Because if we truly believed we can all just be friends, then there would be no fcking issue. BUT THERE IS ONE! And it’s not anyone’s fault necessarily, so stop getting angry at your significant other. It’s no surprise that a society that conditions people to think this way will result in people applying these concepts to their own lives.

The two shows in my childhood that really pissed me off about this concept were two Disney channel shows: Lizzie McGuire and Kim Possible. In both shows, the protagonist is a female and they’re both dealing with adolescence, growing up, and finding love. Their supporting characters, Ron and Gordo, are the best friends. Both characters have been childhood friends with the protagonists and harbored romantic feelings for the girls. And just as you’ve guessed it, they all end happily ever after at the end of both series.

Let me be real here. This really bothered me. Like, seriously bothered me and I was only 12 or 13 when these shows were playing. The way I can tell if a pairing in a show is a true OTP of mine (one true pairing) is if at the end when they’re finally together, I’m genuinely very happy. With Lizzie/Gordo and Kim/Ron, I totally felt like that shit was forced on. As if the producers of both shows were like, “Ok! Time to end the series. They need to do a big kiss scene and we need to order some fireworks and shit to go off in the background.” How ridiculous can this get?! Not only were both pairings not really developed throughout the series enough, but it just goes back to what I was saying from the beginning – the Hollywood formula for male-female relationships.

Honestly, both series would have been fine if it ended without both pairings ending up together. In fact, it would have been BETTER! Because that would show two strong, young females continue to grow and learn about themselves without having a romantic love interest. This is why kids nowadays think they need to be in relationships! This is why ANYONE thinks they need to be in a relationship! Because this notion that solitude = forever alone, scary, sad, and depressing, emphasizes that we should all be looking for our soul mate at any cost. Whatever happened to the messages that we can thrive in this lifetime as an individual being? Hm? Where’s that Hollywood formula? Oh wait… yeah that doesn’t exist because this whole society is driven by the biblical teachings that we are put on this planet to procreate so procreate we shall do!

And just for the record, I’m not trying to be Anti-(insert religion here). I’m just challenging the ways that we’ve always been taught to think. Because who’s to say your way is wrong and my way is right? Or vice versa? We’re all alive and living our lives, we might as well live it the way we want to, right?

So let’s start writing our own stories about friendship and growing up. Let’s start teaching the youth about respecting all types of friendship. And most importantly, let’s stop fcking sexualizing everything.

Now go forth and preach that shit.

Disney Channel Introduces its First LGBTQ Couple

Good Morning, loves! Happy Monday.

This weekend was sure an eventful one in the Pop Culture world. Yesterday night was the 56th Grammy Music Awards and although I don’t have the patience to sit through an entire award show, the performances were nothing short of amazing. Besides, thanks to my Twitter feed, I found out who won, who lost, and all the cute little gossip in between.

But I wanted to shed light on another phenomenon that was happening the same night. If you turn your attention to cable television, the Disney channel show “Good Luck Charlie” made a great stride toward gender equality by introducing an LGBTQ couple on the show. Basically the premise of the show focuses on the Duncan family and their shenanigans growing up as a middle class, White, American family. Charlie, the youngest of the kids, has a play date with one of her classmates Taylor. Charlie’s parents, Amy and Bob, talk about how Taylor’s parents are also coming over to hang out and they grow confused as to who Taylor’s mom is because they were introduced to two different people. When Taylor and her parents come over, lo and behold, they discover Taylor has two moms.

Before this episode aired, I remember distinctly seeing some articles floating around the internet about Disney introducing a gay couple and I remember thinking, “Wow. It’s about time!” Because most of the pop culture world tuned in to the Grammys last night, I felt like this event got lost in translation. We need to show Disney channel some love too! (Wow… didn’t think I’d ever catch myself saying that.)

Disney channel has always had a reputation for introducing squeaky clean child stars that for some reason turn into the hot messes of Hollywood, therefore becoming a questionable role model for today’s youth. However, I feel this important leap into gender equality just goes to show that Disney has still got it in them. I personally hope a lot of children and teenagers watch this episode because it’s about time we start introducing these archetypes into mainstream television. Especially mainstream television that KIDS watch because as we all know, they’re the most susceptible to internalizing the information they see in the media at this age.

Although I would have LOVED to see a colored family and actors that weren’t all stick skinny, I give Disney channel props for taking a step in the right direction. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the fight against injustice is a long, winding road and we’re battling against centuries of oppression that has become normalized in our society. Any step counts and that’s all that matters.

I also find it ridiculously adorable that during the Grammys, hundreds of couples, whether they were gay, straight, bi, or whatever they identify with, got married during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” with Queen Latifah officiating and Madonna making a guest appearance. My heart cannot handle all these feels, guys. I definitely cried during their performance and I am just so happy that people like them use their platforms to promote equality and change.

As one of my favorite Youtubers tweeted last night, “It was a great night to be gay.”

Click here to watch Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” at the Grammys.

Happiness is Here

balloonHappy 2014! I’M BACK!

As much as I’m excited for this brand new year, I have to be honest with you guys: I hate New Years Resolutions. The concept behind them is pretty nice; you make a promise to yourself that you will improve in some aspect that will result in you being a happier person. Sounds legit, right? But here’s the thing… why do we put so much emphasis on making these promises at the start of each year? We can make these promises ANYTIME throughout the entire year. And why do we make these promises to ourselves that don’t correspond to who we are? I mean, you’re really gonna go to the gym five times a week when you haven’t done any rigorous physical activity since high school? Whose goals are you making… yours or society’s? And to that I say – fuck that.

I’ve been in a funk for the past month. I was on cloud nine in my last blog post and now I’m telling you upfront that I’ve been in this stupid, depressed clusterfuck since then. I’ve tried everything from mindless distractions to consistently writing in my journal. I have to constantly remind myself that a broken heart doesn’t heal overnight… especially if you’re like me and constantly think about shit too often.

But I realized something. Happiness is here. It’s always been here, but I’m just refusing to accept it. When I think about my life, I can’t help but be proud and grateful for all the accomplishments I’ve made, friends I’ve kept around, and places I’ve been to. Just because one aspect in your life isn’t up to par with what you envision it to be doesn’t mean the rest of your life has failed. That should just give you motivation to really kick your ass into high gear. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “What’s important to me? What do I WANT and what do I NEED?” Once you can answer those questions honestly for yourself, that’s when you can get your shit together and turn those ideas into actions.

And don’t ever feel like you need to justify yourself as to why you feel the way you feel. No one can tell you how to feel. Only YOU can internalize that for yourself.

So here’s my New Years Resolution from now til… ever. I want it ALL. *cue High School Musical number right here* Anyone? No? Damn you people for not understanding my love for Disney movies. (I’m mentally shaking my fist at you.)

But in all seriousness, I want to work on every aspect of myself. I want to grow as a dancer, I want to grow as a leader, I want to become more independent, I want to start vlogging again, I want to grow as a writer, and I want a kick-ass supportive partner that wants to share this crazy journey with me. I want to be a fucking modern day Renaissance Woman.

I know what you’re thinking – “Whoa, slow down girl! One thing at a time!” But who’s to say your methods are what’s going to work for me? Or that my methods are going to work for you? Maybe my crazy, spontaneous, impulsive way of living makes you uncomfortable. Or maybe it intrigues you. Whatever it does, it makes ME happy. And that’s all that matters. No one can take that away from me. No government, no institution, no workplace, no friend, no family, and especially no BOY… can take my right to be happy.

So here’s to a good year. 2014, I have a lot of plans for you. I know you’re going to test me, but I’m ready. Let’s kiss and make up. And kiss again. And then you can kiss my ass for testing me. Because I’m ready to run this shit.

What’s in a Name?

Photo from whimquarterly.com

Photo from whimquarterly.com

You know what’s funny? Finding romance in unexpected places. Well, I guess it’s not “funny” per se, but it definitely is ironic.

No, you know what’s funny? If you remember a couple blog posts back, I wrote about being single and how I didn’t want to date around. I titled that post “#1” because I was expecting to make it into a series of posts about why being a single girl in today’s modern age is pretty annoying because everyone expects you to find love. But… now things are different. In a good way of course, but things are different. Because I fell for someone.

So I’ve pretty much put myself out there in all my writing. If you’ve been with me in the beginning, you know I’ll tell you guys pretty much anything you want to know about me. The life of a blogger, ya know? So let’s just gossip for a few minutes because… well, why the hell not.

This came out of nowhere. Well, I guess I can’t really say out of NOWHERE… If I look at it objectively, this definitely has been building up over time. We’re friends. He was always someone I saw as just another friend. But one magical moment, everything changed. We realized there was something between us that we couldn’t ignore, and we just let our feelings steer our course. It’s beautiful, but ridiculously frightening. Not knowing where we’re going and what will become of us is terrifying, but thrilling at the same time. Isn’t it funny what feelings can do to your brain? Forget drugs – I have a natural fcking high.

I’ve been reading a lot lately since I finally graduated from college (YAY!) and I started rereading Romeo and Juliet. It’s literally been almost five years since I picked up that book, but I couldn’t help but want to reread it. I was watching an episode of Daria, and it was the episode where all the teachers go on strike so Daria had to become a substitute teacher for a bit. She subbed a freshmen English class and tested them on Romeo and Juliet. For some reason, based SOLELY on that part of the episode, I felt compelled to pick up the book and reread it.

Shakespeare is a genius. I’m pretty sure you knew that without me having to say it. The fact that his literature is recycled over and over in pop culture is proof that whatever he created was always brilliant. There’s one part of Romeo and Juliet that I’ve always remembered – and it’s this part that gave me so much insight into the current state of my love life.

It’s the famous scene where Romeo is wooing Juliet from her balcony. Juliet basically tells Romeo to abandon his name and run away with her. She says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other word would smell just as sweet.” This line is so simple, yet makes SO much sense. Did anyone else read that part and go “HOLY FUCK. Mindblown. Thanks Shakespeare.” No? Because I just did. Shakespeare pretty much gave me a brain orgasm. A braingasm.

Because it’s TRUE! Relationships nowadays are so different than what they were 50 years ago. There’s so many types of relationships that not everything has a title. You see, me and this boy are dating, but we’re not in a relationship. For a little bit, I was confused as fck about that. I kept thinking, we do everything a normal couple does, so why can’t we have the title? But then everything made sense when I remembered that line from Romeo and Juliet. WHAT’S IN A NAME?!

A title is just a title. We just add weight to it in order to make it significant. There’s plenty of couples nowadays who don’t believe in marriage but they consider themselves as life-long partners. As with the dating scene, there’s plenty of couples out there that date, but not date. It may seem complicated in theory, but to each couple, it makes perfect sense. As long as both people’s needs are being met in the “relationship,” then who the fck cares about a title? Because when it comes down to it, only they know how each other feels. It doesn’t matter if no one else understands… what matters is that they’re happy and they understand.

I’ve always been an advocate for non-traditional… in every sense of the word. But I have to admit, even I got caught up in the black and white of the dating world. I was upset and confused because me and the boy didn’t have a title. But now that I’ve come to realize that because the title carries no meaning (unless we give it one), we don’t need to be constrained by society’s “rules” on how we should act in those specific roles of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.”

Of course we want it to happen someday, but we won’t know until we cross that bridge. So until then, I don’t mind him being “the boy.”