when the status quo frustrates.

Sluts and Mothers

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Generally, two things only women can be.

I’ve seldom been a slut–I was never able to say that before, or anything else on the topic of how much of a slut I was or wasn’t, because I never had a definition before that I felt satisfied any kind of consistency (internal or external). However, I have finally lucked out and stumbled across the bestest definition of s-l-u-t evar:

as the awesome Kelly Huegel pointed out, is a female person who has had sex with more people than any one person calling them a slut considers acceptable

Actually, by that definition I may never have been a slut, since as far as I know nobody has ever called me one. However, since the strong possibility always exists for any woman that at some point in time somebody somewhere has called her a slut outside of her hearing, I may have periodically been a slut. The closest I ever came to this face-to-face was the one-and-only-boyfriend-who-ever-asked-me-what-my-number-was, and appeared to be either deeply shocked or deeply impressed by said digit once it was delivered to him. (I returned the favor and asked him for his, and thence learned that his was, oh dear, lower than mine, which likely had some influence on the rather odd number-asking behavior and response to my response.)

I am mostly indifferent to the social construct that is a slut, but given my lack of personal dealings with the meme, I suspect a lot of my indifference stems from my privileged status as generally not being considered one. I have instead spent most of my sexual life married, which has resulted in more frequent accusations of codependency (not true–yes, I have checked with a psychologist on the possibility of that or any other quirks in my cortex–there are quirks, but not that one). I will say I have managed to spend the past five years only married for less than one of them, though I somewhat spoil that by having to admit that I have cohabitated for three.

Which is why I did really enjoy this piece from Jezebel, which has generated (unsuprisingly) all kind of bloggy feedback, both positive and negative. Not because I ever experienced the joys of “sluthood” myself, though I considered the idea on several occasions throughout the years, but because I know what it is to find well into my adult life that I was not only a serial monogamist but that I was a completely unintentional one, with unpleasant psychological results at the ending of the last foray into committed relationshiphood. I also found myself completely burnt out on the emotional roller-coaster ride, though my personal centering solution to this wasn’t to embrace casual sexual encounters. I figured out long ago that I am by nature monogamous, and in spite of the bewildering (to me, anyway–why does anyone care what someone else’s personal consensual sexual preferences are, really..? but oh, silly question–if that were the case, this wouldn’t be the behemoth it is) attempts by some to portray monogamy as unnatural and damaging for everyone. I have to admit, though, that my lack of interest in casual sexual encounters when monogamy is not an issue as everyone involved is totally single has eroded a little over the years. (Why this is, and why I feel I am naturally monogamous in general, is totally worth exploring further and I am gonna do it. Soon. Really!) But it still isn’t much of an interest.

But it’s really old news that only women can be sluts. I have periodically heard in passing, some man or other playfully labeled a “slut,” but it’s pretty meaningless in that context. For women, it can clearly become life-dominating. For Jaclyn Friedman, author of the Jezebel piece that prompted this train of musing, it clearly was as well. Frankly, I find the thought of it exhausting, the burden I and every other woman is supposed to shoulder at puberty (or even before, sometimes) based upon the fact that heterosexual men (the dominant variety) want to have sexual intercourse with us. Besides my history of not having to deal with it much personally, I suspect this exhaustion is the other main reason I am mostly indifferent to the slut meme–I don’t want to think about it. It’s not my problem, dammit! But you know, it is, by virtue of the fact that I am a woman. This is deeply irritating.

So I was already irritated when I continued my perusal of Feministe’s front page and got to this gem:

Diets all around!

Well, here’s some research that can’t possibly be misconstrued: a new study published in The Lancet has documented an association between the amount of weight a mother gains during her pregnancy and the birth weight of her infant. Since birth weight can be used to predict adult BMI, cue the ZOMG! Obesity! commentary. “For babies, studies are just now beginning to show that the effects of tipping the scales at birth may linger throughout life. Many experts suggest that excessive nutrition in pregnancy creates an abnormal uterine environment that permanently changes the baby’s brain, pancreas, fat tissue and other biological systems, said a co-author of the study, Dr. David Ludwig.”

Right.

I ate like a pig during both my pregnancies, once I was able to keep food down at all (in other words, not the first trimester or the first half of the second trimester). Though I may actually be insulting pigs by comparing my gestating eating habits to their usual ones. I gained about fifty pounds both times–I kid you not; when I stood on the scale in the delivery room while in the middle of labor with Offspring No. 2, I weighed in at 197 pounds. Not only did I consume vast quantities of food, it was whatever type of food I madly craved at the moment, which was quite the bewildering variety. (Yes, I drank pickle juice straight out of the jar, among other things. Pregnancy is weird. Avoid it until you are 100% sure it and its lifelong semi-autonomous consequences are what you really, really want.) Some of this food was great stuff for anyone, like the cucumber-and-tangerines kick I went on in the eighth month of pregnancy with one kid. Some of this food was not so great, like the french toast obsession I developed in month six or seven with the other kid.

So I starved myself (involuntarily, I assure you, not to mention dehydrated myself badly) for half of both my pregnancies and gorged like food was going to be gone tomorrow for the other half. I gained probably about as much weight as was recommended for the Octomom to put on (nope, neither of my pregnancies were even with twins). And yet–and yet–

Baby no. 1: male, full-term, 7 lbs 15 oz and 21 in. long
Baby no. 2: male, full-term, 7 lbs 15 1/2 oz and 21 in. long

According to kidshealth.org:

Most full-term babies weigh somewhere between 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 9 pounds, 2 ounces. Their average length ranges from 19 to 21 inches.

Hmm. Does the fact that at 5 feet 8 inches, I’m the shortest person in my family, and the only person shorter than me in the kids’ dad’s family is my sister-in-law at 5 feet 7 inches, and that in neither family is there an adult male below 6 feet in height, have anything to do with anything..? But even taking that into account, the kids weren’t outside the average range in length and were comfortably within the average weight.

Well, how about now though…? Maybe my goatlike approach to ingestion during pregnancy had a delayed response–

Baby no. 1: still male, 18 years old. 6 feet 4 inches tall. 160 pounds. (Actually a bit of a problem, as he is only 4 pounds over the underweight limit for an Air Force enlistee of his height. He has been advised by his recruiter to start scarfing down protein and hitting the gym for some weight training.)

Baby no. 2: still male, 13 years old. 5 feet 4 inches tall. 97 pounds. (According to standard charts for the US, this puts him at about the 80th percentile in height and 45th percentile in weight for a boy his age.)

…maybe I’ve starved them since birth, to hide my grotesque fetal abuse?

I know, I know, one piece of anecdata does not a refutation make…but it does make it hard for me personally to really take this seriously. It makes it very easy for me to see it as yet more womanshaming, safely targeting a role that only, indeed, women can and do take–there’s no way at all to slither out of gender-specific blame here, baby!

Let’s give the ladies a rest for a day, folks. Okay?

Okay, This Is Ridiculous

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I have kept my mouth shut about this…til now. But this is really the outside of enough, folks. I mean, come ON!

Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars

(CNN) — If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year,

Let me note now that I breastfed both my children til each one was a year old and breastfed exclusively through the first four months, so my absolute disgust with this article is in no way some kinda guilt-fueled defensive huffiness. I was a good little Mommie! I saved nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year! (I could use some of that money right now too, thanks–drop me an email, whoever is holding onto that?)

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Don’t do it, don’t look, don’t do it, don’t look–!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

…well, I couldn’t help myself. I heard about this on the radio today:

George Sodini finally got the attention he wanted. After years of hoping women would take notice of him, Sodini allegedly entered a Pennsylvania health club Tuesday night and murdered three women in cold blood before turning a gun on himself.

Investigators need not puzzle over the motives for Sodini’s rampage; the 48-year-old suspected killer spelled them out in blood-chilling detail in an online diary.

“These are the rambling messages of a likely psychotic” and display characteristics of a man who has been “severely depressed for a long time,” forensic psychologist Naftali Berrill said of Sodini’s writing.

The image that emerges from his blog is that of a loner — a psychopath, routinely rejected by women who spent a year casing the gym and plotting his revenge on the “the young girls here [that] look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible.”

–and I really couldn’t help it–I thought to myself, I wonder what the good old Men’s Rights Activists think about that, hmm? I bet I can guess! But No, surely not!–not even those guys would excuse someone like this. So, after some internal squabbling, I gritted my teeth and nipped over to the foremost of MRAs, whose site I have not visited in a good seven months at least–Mr. Sacks.

Happily, neither Glenn nor the other dude who has apparently taken over much of his blogging activities seems to want to touch this one with a ten-foot pole. That was a genuine relief, and inclined me to think I was perhaps being overly hasty and judgmental in my assumptions regarding any general MRA opinion on the matter. With a somewhat lighter heart I typed in “George Sodini MRA” into Google and hit Search!–

Yeah, that wide-eyed optimism didn’t last too long. Very first hit?

George Sodini is an MRA hero!

Amanda already talked about the blog this was culled from, so I won’t reinvent her wheel. I did scroll down the comments, though, and plucked out the following gems for your indigestion:

George Sodini is an MRA hero as much a reason to learn game. Finally a mass murderer writes a relatively coherent manifesto. Could be better, but at least it is implied that feminism is to blame and he is taking a last stand. I had been waiting for this (almost thinking I had to do it myself) and I am impressed. Kudos.

Arpagus, whose own blog links to the Men’s Activism News Network, among other things

One thing that might help prevent future incidents of this sort is repealing IMBRA, the federal law that essentially put the mail order bride industry out of business.

–Peter, who is probably too stupid to have a blog

I think every man DOES deserve to get laid.

For every nerdy, smelly, fat, or otherwise socially undesirable man out there, there is an equally unattractive woman walking around. (more than one actually because there are more women than men on the planet)

The problem is, our feminized society has given every woman the power to hold out for higher quality men than they deserve.

This creates an imbalance that leads to tragedies like the one in PA.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (Newton’s 3rd Law)

If empowered women keep applying pressure, they will create an explosion.

A.J. Travis, whose entire blog consists of (a) how to finely tune a woman’s 1-10 hotness rating to suit your personal life goals before you decide which one to like, devour or whatever and (b) a detailed dwelling on the flaws of the “9″ woman versus the flaws of the “6″ woman

Every man knows they have to EARN respect.

They DESERVE to get laid.

A decent looking man who earns a good living and does not abuse women DESERVES to get laid. Period.

The fact that so many do not, is a crime.

And in a just society, all crimes are eventually punished.

–More A.J. Travis, who I’m starting to really hope lives nowhere near me, especially since there is one non-woman post on his blog and it’s about guns

Have you guys noticed a trend in fat women? Some of the ones I have spoken to actually believe they can get alpha cock. They don’t want to hook up with beta men either. This is a troubling development.

–Game in BK, and nope, no clue what this has to remotely do with the thread, but I just had to reproduce his comment here ’cause can you believe that someone’s really that moronic..? LOL!

…and it goes on, and on, and on…there are a few dissenting voices in there, but mostly they’re drowned out by the angry horde.

Note to anyone who feels e-n-t-i-t-l-e-d to any type of use of my body for any reason whatsoever: No, You Aren’t. Get Over It. And if violence committed against my person of any description based upon this feeling of entitlement seems even remotely justifiable to you, you had probably better commit it like George Sodini did, with a distance weapon and without warning and resulting in me getting killed dead. ‘Cause otherwise, you’ll find out that I have an equally enthusiastic belief in and comfort level with extreme violence in cases of self-defense, and I do tend to hold a grudge.

‘Nuff said.

Sex 2.0! Part Four: You Can Run But You Can’t Hide, Feminists!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

(Parts One, Two and Three are linked.)

See, this is one of the biggest reasons I don’t listen to Ann Coulter.

(wtf? How did Ann Coulter get involved in this? you might ask. Well–)

Ann has made a career out of, among other things, trashing feminism. The last time I paid any attention to much of anything she had to say was one of the first times I ever paid any attention to her at all–basically I got to the point where she was saying that women needed to get out of public discourse, particularly political public discourse, because they weren’t suited to it and had been screwing everything up in it for decades. Once I heard her say that, I translated it to mean that there was no point in listening to her discourse publicly anymore, particularly politically–I mean, she’s a woman herself. And I never argue with other people who tell me not to listen to themselves, eh?

Generally I am underwhelmed by women who globally trash feminism. Not that being a self-identified feminist has a hell of a lot of meaning these days–given that Sarah Palin, Maureen Dowd, Catherine MacKinnon and Wendy McElroy all insist that they are feminists, I’m not sure exactly what assumptions about them we’re supposed to be making based on that. So, when women state that they have a problem with specific so-called feminists or specific schools of self-identified feminist thought, THAT I have no problem empathizing with. However–

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Nice guy(tm) Randolph Schmid has a bit of a one-track mind

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

So, let’s say you’re an Associated Press writer and you hear about a tribe of people in Ecuador. And let’s say this tribe had the highest homicide rate ever recorded by anthropologists. And let’s say that researchers discovered, among other things, that the most murderous of the tribe members didn’t always get the most wives and stuff.

Is this how you would write your opening paragraph?

Apparently the bad boy doesn’t always get the girl. At least in a South American tribe with the highest known murder rate, it turns out that the most aggressive guys end up with fewer wives and children than milder men, according to a report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Randy’s article suggests that the report discussing the lives of these people covers a lot more than who got laid the most. Thus, proving the “bad boys” wrong seems like an odd thing to fixate on… almost as bizarre as equating our American conception of a “bad boy” with an Ecuadorian tribesman who murders a lot.

Hey Randy, I’m really sorry some 19 year old with a camaro and an almost-mustache was dating the girl you liked in Social Studies class, but trying to tell that person today that he’s going to have less sex than you by pointing to a tribe of people who have absolutely no shared context with our lives in the developed world is an enormous fucking stretch. And ethnocentric. And rooted in sexism. And soaked in weak sauce.


He can’t hurt you anymore, dude.

Why I’m Really Sorry To Hear You’re Having a Girl

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Seriously, I do not understand these type of women. It’s like they were never girls themselves, they have such a horror of them–I would really understand a man writing some crap like this much better, because at least one could stretch one’s imagination to encompass the idea that females might seem like a dreaded alien species to a man. It’s really hard to understand why a female might seem like one to another female.

Let the pukefest begin!

Why I didn’t want a girl
by some twit named Amy Wilson

In an elevator, in line at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, it always goes like this: Strangers’ eyes zero in on my belly first. Then they dart furtively to my face, as if to make sure I’m not a mutant, just visibly pregnant.

After this, they ask, “Is this your first?”

“My third,” I answer. “I have two boys at home.”

And for the kicker, they unfailingly give me a sideways grin, and say: “Going for your girl?”

“Nooo, just going for a baby,” I reply, gritting my teeth a little. “Another boy would be fine with us.”

I know these people are just making conversation. But this constant assumption leaves me a little offended. What’s wrong with boys? Why wouldn’t I want another one? It bothers me that people assume I feel incomplete without a daughter, let alone that it’s my motivation for being pregnant with a third child in the first place.

In spite of the ick-inspiring title, you see that the article itself didn’t start out too badly. I have two boys myself, and I’m quite happy with them–as I’ve told them several times in the past, if I could have gone back in time and picked my two babies out of a designer baby catalogue, I’d have picked exactly them, down to the last little detail. (It’s true, I swear. They’re so awesome. Excuse me while I go goo over their pictures for a sec–okay, back on task!) I would be annoyed if people harassed me about one of ‘em not being a girl. (It hasn’t happened, to be honest. But it would be annoying if it ever did.)

But yeah, anybody that whipped up that title can’t possibly continue down such a reasonable path.

To these people, I say, “I actually hope it’s another boy. I like boys better.”

She seriously likes some people better than others based solely on gender, without having any other information about them. She specifically applies this to her own children. Gahhh!

And lest you think she’s exaggerating a wee trifle–oh, no. She’s not, and she’s quite happy to tell you why.

I love what I have, and I have what I love: boys. I understand them. I understand the clothes, the toys, and the Matchbox-car skids on my wallpaper.

Not that having two boys is easy — their physical interaction can be, shall we say, overwhelming. But I love even that, because when I say I am the mother of two boys less than two years apart, I get a respectful nod or even a big thumbs-up for having that much testosterone in my daily life.

The night we found out I was pregnant again, my husband, David, said, “Odds are it’s another boy. How do you feel about that?”

I thought for a moment, and answered honestly, “I feel good about that.” He patted my hand. “That’s how I feel, too,” he replied, and we both drifted off to sleep. It was more than good; we were relieved.

Girls’ clothes–ugh! Clearly wildly different from boys’ clothes, so different that it would take seriously thought and practice to even get the little bitch dressed at all that first time. Girls’ toys–ugh! SO different from boys’ toys that never the twain shall meet, much less overlap in the slightest, especially in babyhood–doesn’t everyone know that’s the case, huh? And baby girls don’t destroy wallpaper and she loves her destroyed wallpap–yeah, I know, at this point I was so weirded out I almost quit reading any further. The question begins to arise…has the author ever been around, on the most casual basis, anything other than a male child? Was the author herself actually a male child…? Given that she is pregnant as an adult, it seems unlikely, but it would help explain her bizarre, fantastic ideas about female children.

Then, two weeks later, I called to schedule my next appointment. “Hi, Amy! Your amnio looked great, and it’s a girl! How nice for you,” the receptionist blurted.

For a moment I didn’t know what she was talking about. Then I realized what she had just revealed and I almost dropped the phone. “Wha-what? ” I said. The receptionist heard the bewilderment in my voice. “You knew, right?” she said. “The doctor told me you knew.”

“I didn’t know,” I said, my head spinning. “I’m sorry…I’ll have to call back.”

I sat there in a daze. This child I was just starting to feel stir inside me was a girl? I waited for the excitement to wash over me. It didn’t come. Not only was I not thrilled — I was disappointed.

Mostly, I just hope her daughter never stumbles across this, and wow, do I already feel sorry for that poor kid. And I only got sorrier–

I could handle boys, with their cut-and-dried needs, but girls were so much more complicated. Girls have elaborate hairstyling requirements. They whine and mope, manipulate and triangulate. How was I going to deal with that?

Girls don’t have hairstyle requirements any more than boys do, not for more than a decade really, unless you deliberately choose to inject them into your girl’s life and you don’t even get the option to do that til they’ve actually grown some hair to style, which takes a couple of years after birth. And I’m sorry, I can’t swallow the notion that her sons did not regularly whine, mope, and manipulate as babies, toddlers and small children. Whining, moping and manipulating are what babies and kids do, regardless of gender. Let me repeat–I am the mother of two of that glorious Y-marked gender–and I had a sister who was younger than me–and I’ve babysat enough kids to fill up a small school–yes, all kids, even the Sacred Male brand! whine. And mope. And manipulate. All the time. Is she even raising her own current kids..? Are they drugged to the gills or something?

My sons sneer at all things princess, and so do I. We love to pore over the Birthday Express catalog so the boys can plan the themes of their parties through 2013. My role in this is to gasp, “Oh, I think you should have a pink-poodle party!” “YUCK!! That’s for GIRLS!!” they shriek, and I laugh along with them. What will I do when I have someone who wants a pink-poodle party?

…having already had two children, I’ve learned that you can’t control their hardwiring. If she wants to be a princess, that’s what she’ll be.

Was your misogyny hardwired, lady? Was your sons’ misogyny hardwired, or have you spent years gleefully teaching it to them? What a way to bond with your sons–to put down your own gender! Or have you made it clear that MAMA is special, not like all those other disgusting, creepy females? And yes, I agree–what will you do when your daughter is born, since you’ve taught your sons so thoroughly to despise girls..? God, your poor, poor, poor daughter.

I was hoping that my husband’s reaction to the news would make me feel better about all of this. When I got him alone, I told him that the receptionist had screwed up, and that I knew. He hid his face in his hands. “Well, don’t tell me!” he said. “I don’t want to know!”

That was four months ago. I’ve got three weeks left, and two of my closest friends know I’m having a girl, but my husband still doesn’t.

“Will you be happy either way?” I ask David. “Of course, honey,” he says, and I can tell by his voice he thinks I’m carrying the third boy he wants more anyway. “Three sons would be amazing.”

It’s enough to make you want to cry for that poor little girl. That poor, despised, unwanted little girl–already.

My best friend took her father out to dinner for Father’s Day a few years ago. She’s the fourth of four girls, and of five children–her parents had her brother about five years after she was born. Her father was reminiscing about the past with her, and mentioned in passing that he and my friend’s mother had never really intended to have five children–they had originally meant to only have two. My friend knew this already–it was a long-standing family joke. However, she wasn’t too prepared for what followed:

“Yeah, but we didn’t,” her father commented. “If I could go back and only pick two of you–well, I’d pick my son, of course–I don’t know which of you girls I’d choose.”

My friend was in her early thirties when she got to hear this, but it still made her cry after she got home. But who cares–? She was probably just using her tears to whine, mope and manipulate–! Or at least practice those feminine techniques, since her father wasn’t around to see her tears.

One of my friends who knows the secret thinks a girl will be great for me. “You deserve a girl!” she said, after watching me separate my two fighting boys. “Just think, she’ll be quiet. Calm. Easy.” It’s true: Even inside me, she’s different. When my boys would kick, I’d press against their little feet, and they’d kick back, harder. This baby? If she kicks and I press back, she goes completely still.

Oh, well, that’s all there is to it then! The fact that my older son, as a fetus, was quiet and lazy in utero must have meant that he was really a female fetus. And when my sister and I used to regularly duke it out? Clearly we were really boys! That goes double for my best friend and her three sisters, who spent a large portion of their childhood in intersibling brawls complete with screaming, limbs and handy objects flying. How we all magically managed to change gender once these behaviors ended has got to be the medical mystery of the century.

Maybe this broad is just so stupid that her daughter won’t take her mother’s inanity and senseless cruelty to heart, realizing early on that one must always consider the source. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually how it works out with kids. I wish she’d been sterilized after kid no. 2, and I’m really sorry that she’s even raising the boys she has–they’re either going to grow up to be flaming sexist assholes or they’re going to have a rough row to hoe weeding that bullshit out of themselves as adults. Most of all, I’m sorry I ever stumbled across this article at all.

Uh, yeah, thanks for thinking of me.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Way back during the presidential election frenzy, I signed up on the Maryland Democratic Party website and (I now regret) checked the box for “YES! Please keep spamming my e-mail long after the election is over send me important announcements from the MDP!”

Today’s offering (they send out at least one e-mail every other day) unfortunately caught my eye:

Women’s Histroy in the Making!

(sigh) Yes, let us celebrate the last day of Women’s History month…by showing we care so much that we leave a huge, honkin’ typo in the subject header of the e-mail we are sending out to the majority of all the registered Democrats in the state of Maryland.

My feelings of gender specialness are now complete.

I Haz Tiny Little Gurlz Feet

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Photobucket

My new job is at a construction site, and my old steel-toed non-slip workboots had finally given up the ghost after seven years of hard use. Now, I got those old boots via my first company out of college, which simply passed around a mail-order catalogue to its new hires with the allowed makes and models circled; we just picked out our own size in our preferred color or style and voila! two weeks later–workboots. The set of workboots I owned prior to that had been issued to me by the Army…you see a trend here..? In short, I did not realize what an ordeal buying my own steel-toed, non-slip workboots was going to be.

Now, I am not an unusually small woman. I am five feet eight inches tall, with a medium build and average bone structure. My feet are a very generic women’s standard width American size 8. I rarely to never have real trouble finding shoes I want or need that fit my feet, regardless of whether we are talking athletic shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes–you name it. The picture captioning this blog? I had no trouble at all finding a pair of those kind of boots that fit, as you can see.

After having spent the afternoon shopping for a new pair of steel-toed non-slip workboots, I am being forced to come to one of the following conclusions:

1. Women do not work on construction sites.
2. Men are vetted for construction jobs based on shoe size.
3. Gender stereotyping by the retail industry is alive and well.

I found exactly one line of steel-toed non-slip footgear for women, charmingly referred to as the “Amy” line; however, they are not boots. They are what is known as “factory shoes,” which are fine for manufacturing floors but not for construction sites–essentially, they’re not boots; they look like running shoes.

So, I was finally forced to buy the absolute smallest size workboot I could find, which is a men’s size 7. Whatever my foot size is in men’s boots, it is shorter by at least an inch than a men’s size 7–but I can keep the damn things on, at least, and that’s clearly the best I am going to be able to do on short notice. I’ve put in an e-mail to a friend of mine who works in the safety department of a previous job, who will hopefully provide me with some links to online ordering companies specializing in steel-toed non-slip workboots like whatever company it was that provided the boots for my first job out of college. But since I need these boots next week, for now, I am stuck with boots that do not fit and will probably rub my feet raw and fail to contribute to my gracefulness in navigating trip hazards on the construction site.

<—-pissed OFF!

Disgust Wins.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

So Douchebag Prager wrote “Part 2.” Hard as I’m trying not to contemplate him in even the remotest sexual fashion, I can’t help but wonder: is he really as terrible in the sack as this article makes him sound..? (Can anyone be? And if someone was, should he really be making it so publicly clear as this..?) Jesse’s blog on this is hilarious and definitely hits all the fine points, happily saving me from having to generate a detailed analysis of something that is genuinely grossing me out. Yep, it’s even worse than “Part 1″ was.

When Pity Is Warring With Disgust

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

First of all, I would like to say that I don’t read Townhall. The only reason I even knew this article existed was because Jesse at Pandagon blogged about it. I may even leave a nastygram on his Facebook page in revenge, because this is about the most pathetic, icky article disguised as a holiday concern ooze that I have read all month.

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So What Do You Get Your Wife If She’s Butt-Ugly?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

An Assortment of Holiday Gifts for Your Lovely Wife
By Esquire

Nope, not making this up! I was visiting Yahoo.com for some other, entirely unrelated reason such as looking up old ’80s rock videos or trying to find a Chinese restaurant within twenty miles of my house, and this article popped up instead. It’s hard to resist a headline like that, though it does give rise to immediate musings like the title of this post. “A paper bag for her head” comes to mind, or maybe in that case you just use this list to shop for your lovely mistress! Fascinatingly enough, there are no holiday gift shopping recommendations that I could find entitled, “An Assortment of Gifts for Your Handsome Husband.” Apparently there is no cultural need to tack a hawwtness rating to the male spouse; you should probably just be thanking your lucky stars that you have one at all.

After reading through the, er, assortment, it becomes clear that this particular gift guide is actually only useful to those men who are married to a cliche. For the rest of you guys, I strongly suggest you simply ask her what she wants. Because it’s probably not any of the ridiculous shit on this list. The winners, in my opinion:

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Horrors. I’ve Been Going About It Wrong The WHOLE TIME!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Well, I couldn’t resist this:

Our mission: To find out exactly what men are looking for in a good girlfriend. Impossible? Not exactly. We simply turned to Lisa Daily, syndicated relationship columnist and author of Stop Getting Dumped, who promises to help readers find and marry “the one” in three years or less. Daily followed her own advice and married her dream man, who proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower after a six-month courtship. Now, she is determined to help other single gals do the same.

Yes, single gals, you’ve come to the right place. Her name is Lisa; my name is Lisa. (Okay, her last name’s most commonly an adjective while mine’s always a proper noun, but the congruence is still uncanny, right?) She got married to her “dream man;” hell, me too! All you jealous, bitter, cat-feeding spinsters on the wrong side of thirty, you know you all want to know–what’s our secret?

Lisa Adjective says, “about the 10 traits every man is looking for in a serious girlfriend:”

1. She has a life of her own — and it’s pretty good to boot.

That sounded reasonable to me at first. You do want somebody who isn’t massively codependent either on you or his or her parents, right? Someone’s who is interested and engaged in life, has dreams and ambitions, etc?

…er, apparently that’s not what that means.

Ladies, this means that you take care of yourself, pay attention to your personal style and find time to hang with your fabulous friends and family.

Oh, okay. A good life of your own means you need to obsess over your appearance and make the people in your life your number one priority. Looks first, service second, anything else about you or your life that you might possibly value or want a distant third!

2. She never makes the first move. …Daily says that she strongly believes women should never, ever pursue a man. Instead, she suggests waiting for the man to initiate and plan dates. Her reasoning: If the woman is always the one calling, she will never know if he is really interested in her or if it’s just convenient for him…Men simply aren’t programmed to think like that and therefore are better suited to the chase, Daily says.

I agree; shy men should be forced to lead lives of quiet and celibate desperation, because clearly their programming got botched at some point and they may not even really be men in the first place. Women who aren’t obsessing every second over whether or not the man they’re with is REALLY that into them obviously have botched programming too. I think we all need to find this programming person and set him or her straight about “quality control.”

3. She is sexy without being trampy. This means something different at the beginning of the relationship than it does down the road, Daily says. In the beginning of courtship, a woman should refrain from making any comments that are overtly sexual. She also flirts by using nonsexual touch like placing her hand on his forearm or even the knee but only briefly. When the relationship gets more serious, and presumably more intimate, sexual touch and public displays of affection are more appropriate. At this point, it’s okay to play footsie under the table.

This must be where I really blow things. I always forget to pretend I am a sweet, shy virgin who nonetheless is so overwhelmed by these strange, new feelings that I periodically cannot stop my hand from every so briefly and hesitantly fluttering towards that bronzed, muscled forearm before I snatch it away with a blush and downcast eyes. Once he’s managed to plead you into bed, though, then you can brush his foot with yours under the table where nobody can see you do it, on purpose. That is sexy! and not trampy! hear that, you sluts?!

4. She waits to have sex.

I said, did you hear that, you sluts?!

…when women have sex, they release a hormone called oxytocin (also referred to as “the cuddle hormone”), which some scientific researchers believe makes women feel extra warm and fuzzy for their sex partners. Daily warns that if women do the deed too soon, they might make too much of a relationship that barely ever existed outside of the bedroom. When you inflate the significance of a relationship, the man often bolts. Daily’s advice is to wait at least one month into the relationship before having sex with your new man.

I recommend using your pill pack to track the days–oops, I guess it’s not very virginal to have a pill pack, huh? So much for that idea!

Just a brief segue–people, if you have no science background or knowledge, please do not attempt to use impressive-sounding chemical words and/or phrases to make your bizarre bullshit sound remotely scientifically-based. Unless you can draw out the structural model for oxytocin for me right now, on demand, and demonstrate the receptor mechanism (preferably with diagrams using all standard chemistry notation and conventions) that occurs in the brain during uptake, just…please, shut up!

Relationship-wise, I’ve already botched the whole thing so badly that there probably isn’t a point in me reading any more. I hide from my family; I have routinely asked a man if he wanted to go out and called or emailed him whenever I had the urge; I have always had sex whenever it was we both felt like having it, both the first time and every subsequent time thereafter; if I have a “personal style,” that would be news to me unless “whatever I feel like wearing to whatever level of grooming I’m in the mood to engage in” is a personal style.

Nobody ever proposed to me atop the Eiffel Tower, though–if you want that experience, maybe you’d better go the Lisa Adjective route. All the Lisa Noun route’ll get you is a cheap trip to the nearest county courthouse. :)