fatmanatee
Horrifyingly, many girls said they believed that men cannot keep themselves from harassing or grabbing women, describing men as ‘unable to control their sexual desires.’ According to the report, ‘they perceived everyday harassment and abuse as normal male behavior, and as something to endure, ignore, or maneuver around.’

I’m really glad Jenny Slate left SNL to make this movie, where they say the word abortion out loud several times (fuck you forever, Knocked Up), so that I can see it by myself and cry into a large popcorn at the back of the theater, because during THAT TIME IN MY LIFE, I listened almost exclusively to “The Obvious Child.” And also "More Adventurous" and "Lovesong" by Jean Grae, but you know, a lot of “The Obvious Child,” like is that a universal abortion-prep song, or what? I’m not trying to say that this is obviously a movie about my life, but it’s cool to relate to a movie, you know? Really, I just wish this movie would have come out that summer instead of Juno, because that one was kind of a bummer, except for the Maker’s Mark scene

The real issue here is that as soon as a beauty trend or trait becomes popular in the mainstream, women of color are instantly eliminated from the equation–be it as the originators or idols. Jesse Williams (boo 4everz) perfectly articulated this on his Tumblr:

“The bodies of women of color are in a precarious situation: they are either at odds with the standard of beauty or become that standard without being credited.

All this is is some Christopher Columbus shit: White people thinking that simply because they just discovered something, it must be new. Which in and of itself wouldn’t be all the way terrible if they didn’t insist on completely erasing women of color from depictions of beauty.

YUP.  Honestly, reading articles like that Vanity Fair profile, whether they’re about Jen Salter’s ass or basic bitches at Starbucks or white girls listening to Odd Future or people talking about Beyonce’s hair is just like nails on a chalkboard. It’s not revelatory to realize that minority communities like and champion the same forms of beauty and pop culture and art that you do, white people. Like seriously, just stop doing it. Please please please let’s attempt to find a balance between liking and celebrating things that are different from what we know and fetishizing them. I don’t know what a happy medium looks like here, I guess, and I’m admitting that. But media coverage of so many things that white people have apparently just “discovered” has made me feel so queasy lately that I’ve definitely been trying to stop and double-check my own responses.

I will always go to bat as hard as I can for Broad City (and to a lesser extent, Pretty Little Liars, Girls and Parks & Recreation), and for unlikable female characters generally, because it is so incredibly rare to see a realistic depiction of a female friendship whose entire purpose is not to help each other figure out which dudes to fuck.

Because I hope maybe we’re on the cusp of a generation of women who won’t ever roll up the corners of their lips and dismissively sneer, “Most of my good friends are guys.” Who won’t follow that up with some bullshit qualifier like, “I just can’t relate to other girls, I don’t get along with other girls, other girls are stupid.”  Women suffer because of that mentality, because of people who don’t feel like it’s worth the time or effort to invest in female friendships.

I don’t know what it is that makes so many women feel the need to say that. In many cases I’m sure they think it will make men think they’re “cooler,” and probably sometimes, if you’re looking to scrape out the bottom of the barrel of a bro bar at 2 am, that’s probably true. Or if you’re looking to fuck a bunch of losers who can’t stand the fact that women might come with an individual set of life experiences and strong relationships that have nothing to do with getting a dick stuck in them later, then yeah, that’s probably a pretty good dating strategy. But I don’t think it’s a very good life strategy. And here’s why. 

Exhibiting very real imperfections and vulnerabilities in front of another human without fear of judgment (other than like, be healthy please) or ramification is what’s powerful about being able to be fully yourself in front of someone. And those kinds of powerful female friendships are possible because, I don’t know, they come with the assurance that there’s no need to fear that anything you do is going to make them want to stop fucking you. 

Yo, here’s another big thing about that show, in a sentence from the Guardian article: “They are truly casual about sex, not just feigning detachment for the sake of empowerment.” Honestly, I’ve found that many of the women I know who are comfortable admitting the importance of their girlfriends and who value the importance of those relationships still enjoy having sex and looking attractive to men, but it’s never their driving force. That kind of accidental empowerment is portrayed much less frequently than the Samantha cliché of the liberated woman.

And really, learning how to build strong female friendships has made me more powerful in relationships with men. Knowing they’ll be someone there when you’re hurt is huge, sure. It’s made me give less of a fuck, because I know I have other people who love me. But also, seeing that the things you do are okay to do in front of someone else, that it’s fine and even important to always be who you are and demand what you want and say how you feel in front of people who purport to care about you is a valuable skill to bring to any relationship, whether or not it’s one structured around getting naked together.

But even more importantly, being a woman in this world is tough. Sure, so is being a person, but as a society, we throw a very unique set of challenges at young women and expect them to shrug them off in a way that’s both effortless and very exacting at the same time. It means that as they grow up, young women find themselves in more and more situations where they’re expected to have fewer and fewer people to whom they can relate, because they’re supposed to keep quiet about their pain, about their struggles, about their rage.

Recent depictions of women in comedy have come a long way toward reassuring us that even if we can’t have it all, we should at least have a really good partner in crime. I’ve heard some women argue that their boyfriends are their partners in crime, and that’s great. But their boyfriends have never given protesters the finger on the way into Planned Parenthood. They’ve never met the pharmacist’s judging glare with a smile while they’re buying the morning after pill with alcohol breath. They’ve never sat in a meeting and listened to someone question their abilities because they’re “a girl.” They’ve probably never even ordered a large pizza and had the deliveryman ask them if this is “all for you.” The more you grow up, the more you realize that there’s some stuff that will very quietly and routinely happen to you that your dude friends, no matter how awesome and fun and chill they are, won’t be able to relate to.

What I’m trying to say is that even in 2014, stakes for girls can be pretty high, even in everyday life. And it makes it a lot easier, a lot less painful, to be able to look across the room and raise your eyebrows at someone else who gets it. All of it. Abbi and Illana showcase that kind of very real, very mundane friendship. They presumably do all those things and then go get stoned and forget about it.

When your life is falling short in every way you never expected, girlfriends are a rock to rely on. They’re the ones making 73 cents to every dollar with you. They’re the ones gaping in horror at the disgusting men hitting on you at bars. They’re the ones swapping similar war stories of horrible sex and embarrassing experiences and sitting with you while you wait for your STD test results. They’re the ones helping you attempt to assemble age-appropriate work outfits at discount teen stores to stretch your clothing budget. They’re the ones telling you if what you’re doing and thinking and feeling is okay. They’re the ones getting really drunk with you in the face of the fear that it’s not. Because at a time when everyone’s self-confidence is constantly eroded and tested, having to gauge the approval of another human being who you’re trying to start banging is sometimes a daunting prospect, and just, like, too much. Because it’s much more fun to watch a show about two people trying to figure that stuff out together, with the abstract goal of becoming a cool person, rather than the tangible, finite goal of becoming the kind of polished person who can secure a husband.

If these shows and movies tell us anything, it’s that maybe there’s no such thing as the female fuck-up. It’s that maybe instead of becoming fuck-ups, women just fuck up. They make mistakes, just like all people, while they’re on a convoluted path to figure out what they need to do to make their lives make sense. And when they do, they rely on the support of people whose approval they never feel like they’ll have to earn to assure them that even if it’s not going to get better, it’s normal, whatever that means.

ponytailtime
ponytailtime:

dismissivejerkoffmotion:

mixtapeconversation:


annfriedman: In the past few years we’ve seen more shows and movies featuring female fuckups, from Young Adult to Girls to Bachelorette. But usually, these women are embarrassed by their failure to get it together, and their insecurities spill over to poison their friendships and romantic relationships alike. By contrast, the women of Broad City exhibit very real imperfections without the self-loathing. This strikes me as a huge step forward. Abbi and Ilana don’t just reject the exacting standards most women feel they have to live up to, they still feel great about themselves. And their self-esteem is probably directly attributable to their unflinching support of each other and the pleasure they take in each other’s company. (read more: The genius of Broad City - The Guardian)

Y E S.

Going to read this and cry.

I care so deeply about this show.

ponytailtime:

dismissivejerkoffmotion:

mixtapeconversation:

annfriedman: In the past few years we’ve seen more shows and movies featuring female fuckups, from Young Adult to Girls to Bachelorette. But usually, these women are embarrassed by their failure to get it together, and their insecurities spill over to poison their friendships and romantic relationships alike. By contrast, the women of Broad City exhibit very real imperfections without the self-loathing. This strikes me as a huge step forward. Abbi and Ilana don’t just reject the exacting standards most women feel they have to live up to, they still feel great about themselves. And their self-esteem is probably directly attributable to their unflinching support of each other and the pleasure they take in each other’s company. (read more: The genius of Broad City - The Guardian)

Y E S.

Going to read this and cry.

I care so deeply about this show.

I’m not going to shout about this, because it’s not about me anyway, and that’s the point, but here are a couple things that are making me pretty uncomfortable lately.

  • The mainstream media’s obsession with Lupita. Like, we pick one dark-skinned black girl and not only is she okay, she is the most beautiful, she’s flawless, she’s perfect, she’s like the archetype of the beautiful, intelligent black woman. And there’s something about it to me that feels like what they’re really saying is, to the exclusion of everyone else. Like, she’s okay with us because she’s perfect. For instance, the Lupitathequeen hashtag really makes me feel weird. To me, it says, this one is the only one. There’s something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth about the way everyone seems to be patting themselves on the back over how much they love her. Of course, hers is not my victory to celebrate, nor is it my duty to protect her from a kind of fetishistic fame, and of course the face of a beautiful, dark-skinned, outspoken black woman in mainstream cosmetic commercials and paparazzi photos is never a bad thing. But I wish people (especially media outlets) would examine the way they talk about her and her accomplishments and think about how exclusionary it seems. This is discussed way more intelligently and sensibly than I ever could here, so read that instead.
  • This Basic Bitches video. I mean, this is the shit everybody got on Kraeyshawn for, right? Isn’t this, in a way, just white girls taking something they heard about in hip-hop and making it about them? Like, isn’t this kind of just talking about all white girls? (I mean, I kind of think all white girls are basic, just by the definition we’re using here, which seems to mean, pretty boring and gullible). Isn’t this, in a way, just a way for white ladies to kind of keep feeling superior to other white ladies? Isn’t it a way of taking a term that’s not really about you in any way other than a general way, white ladies, and making it about the kind of white ladies, specifically, that it’s always okay to hate? Like, I mean, I think it’s funny too, but first of all, it could be way funnier, and second of all, everything. (Edited to add: Madeline Davies must secret follow me on Tumblr or something, because she figured it out a day later, too. White people ruin everything.)

I mean, I’m sure I’m part of the problem. I know in both cases, I’ve probably said (and done) stuff that’s super suspect and not okay when talking about this stuff. But I guess I just wish, as white people, we were thinking about how we talked about these things just a bit more than not at all.

wildruled
rachelfershleiser:

She plastered a poster with her own face floating above the words, “Stop Telling Women to Smile” on a vacant storefront here, across from a federal courthouse. Then Ms. Fazlalizadeh and her helpers brushed on two dozen more posters she had created. Images of young faces stared back with wary, defiant and no-nonsense gazes above statements such as “My Outfit Is Not an Invitation,” or “Women Do Not Owe You Their Time or Conversation.”
(via Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Takes Her Public Art Project to Georgia - NYTimes.com)
I am such a huge fan of this artist/project.

rachelfershleiser:

She plastered a poster with her own face floating above the words, “Stop Telling Women to Smile” on a vacant storefront here, across from a federal courthouse. Then Ms. Fazlalizadeh and her helpers brushed on two dozen more posters she had created. Images of young faces stared back with wary, defiant and no-nonsense gazes above statements such as “My Outfit Is Not an Invitation,” or “Women Do Not Owe You Their Time or Conversation.”

(via Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Takes Her Public Art Project to Georgia - NYTimes.com)

I am such a huge fan of this artist/project.

It would have been cool if I could have been bothered to care about anything enough to stand up for myself even half as much as this girl is. It’s great to see a middle school student with the kind of self confidence that won’t be eroded by a world telling her to feel ashamed and guilty for being an adolescent girl.

therumpus
The idea of being pregnant for twenty years is a nightmare. Holding it and holding it can’t be good. You don’t want to fetishize your own pain. You don’t want to fall in love with your own story of tragedy. I think I definitely did that for a while. My identity was about that story. And it was very comfortable, in a way. But it was also really tedious and draining, and not helpful for me in terms of the life that I wanted to live and manifest.
Rebecca Walker on being “pregnant” with the story of your own pain - Conversations with Writers Braver Than Me #16 - Sari Botton for The Rumpus (via cilantro-green)
This was the double blade of how I felt about anything that hurt: I wanted someone else to feel it with me, and also I wanted it entirely for myself.

Leslie Jamison - Effort Is Not the Enemy of Compassion

Sometimes I read things and feel like I’ve written them. It’s true, that learning to experience your own pain helps you understand how other people experience theirs. How when you have to struggle to figure out how you feel about something, it almost feels as if you’re watching someone else. How in that way, you learn about what other people might think, when confronted with your pain. How watching other people experience your pain in the way that you show it to them is when you realize that unless you tell people, they will never understand. Sure, there were times when outwardly, I wasn’t sad because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be. Sometimes, to wait for the only one other person whose reaction could have influenced mine to let me know they got it was more painful than anything I felt at first. I needed to see how he felt about it so I could learn how I felt about it. It wasn’t loneliness. It was absence of feeling. I did it too - I exaggerated how I felt to get the reaction I wanted, to trigger some sort of feeling toward the event and consequently, twisted up in my mind, toward me. And I think that’s how you learn that to truly understand the way other people feel, you have to take yourself out of it completely.