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.

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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.

Single Girl Thoughts #1 – Yes, I Have Standards

Photo from angrylittlegirls.com

Photo from angrylittlegirls.com

The only person I’ve been kissing lately is my dog. And I guess that technically doesn’t count because it’s not a person.

So let me be clear on one thing – I AM happy. I’m not writing these series of posts to prove that I’m happy to anyone. If you are somehow involved in my life right now, you’ll just know. My life is on a positive path and I’m working hard to achieve my goals. Yes, I’m happy.

And surprise, surprise. I’m happy even if I’m NOT dating! (Say whaaat?!)

So I was inspired to write about this topic because I just got into a little squabble with a dear friend of mine. I was asking him for help to try to decode this text message I got from a guy and we got into conversation about dating. Specifically, he was asking me why I wouldn’t give this guy a chance and that I should start casually dating again. I, on the other hand, have a different viewpoint on all that.

Yes, I have standards. They’re not unbelievably high or anything, but I have standards. I say this a lot, but I guess people don’t really get it: I know what I want. So if I know what I want, why should I go on dates with people that I don’t want to know on that intimate level? I’m not saying I don’t want to be friends with them. Of course we can be friends! But why would I go on a date with someone who’s interested in me if I’m not interested back? Wouldn’t that be what we call, “a pity date?” I’m pretty damn sure no guy would be delighted to know that the only reason a girl is going out with him is out of pity.

Also, I’m not saying I absolutely don’t care about what this guy has to say. Like I said, I’m totally down with being friends! FRIENDS. Meaning, yeah we can hang out in a group setting with OTHER FRIENDS. But don’t expect me to hang out with you in a one-on-one setting anytime soon.

Here’s what makes me mad. Why is it when a girl has standards she’s considered a bitch, but when she has virtually no standards she’s considered easy?

UGH! It just doesn’t make sense! So if I didn’t have any standards and just went out with every guy who was interested, you can’t fcking tell me that you and everyone else wouldn’t look at that and go “Damn, homegirl’s thirsty!” But lo and behold, the moment I’m just trying to play it cool and just not date around because I really, truly just wanna do me right now, people are like “Why you got a stick up your ass?!”

It’s just not fair. It’s like girls can’t ever win this stupid, imaginary debate. And if you’re wondering if I’m implying there’s a double standard… HELL YEAH I’m implying that! You can’t tell me that if you saw a happy, single guy who was busy doing his own shit and chasing his dreams, you would find that attractive. Everyone would be all over him. And then when he’s trying to talk to multiple girls at once, everyone’s like “Damn homie! Look at you playing the field!”

Why can’t I fucking play the field? Why can’t I just do my own thing and if I happen to meet someone that I’m interested in, I’ll date him then? Why do I have to be dating around right now just to be accepted in society as “happy?” Why can’t people believe me when I say I’m fine just doing me right now?

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On a personal note – SORRY I went on hiatus without letting you guys know! 😦 Life just got busy and I didn’t really have time to sit down and blog. But I’m back and I’ll be blogging more often (I PROMISE!) In case you guys miss my shenanigans, please follow me on all my social networks! I’m on everything – Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, even Google+! (Even though no one knows what the fck that is, haha.)

Thanks for all your support! I’ll see you guys soon!

-Ally