Tag Archives: Sexism

Creepy Cell Phone Pics

creepI have a feeling that in this day and age we’ve all done it, taken a picture in public of someone without their knowledge or consent. Even before the cell phone camera age, I know I used to troll around Seattle with my mom’s manual Minolta, snapping shots of scenes and people I deemed interesting. Truly, some of the most fascinating photographs are candids. I’ll not deny that fact. I can remember in a high school photography class a kid raising her hand and asking our teacher if it was ethical to take candids of strangers, or whether we needed to confirm consent first. Our teacher paused, clearly having never posed the question to herself and decreed there to be no rules.  Continue reading

The Doll Evolves

evolvesSo what do you guys think of the new Barbie Mattel has rolled out this week? That’s right, after about, oh, thirty or so years of pressure from feminist groups, Mattel has designed three new dolls to better and more accurately represent women. Joining the classically, completely unrealistically-proportioned original are tall, curvy and petite models. It’s almost good, except that tall and petite retain the mini-waist, massive thigh gap, and big tits. Only curvy has an (unnaturally) pointed toe dipped in reality. Are we getting somewhere, though?  Continue reading

The Interview Series: The Shame Game


“When it went down originally, people wanted to push it under the rug. I lost a lot of friends,” she told me, as we began our conversation about her experience of being raped during her junior year of college. She had been describing the reaction of a recent long-term boyfriend, and how his response wasn’t unlike that of her social circle at the time of the trauma. After dating for over a year, she had finally worked up the nerve to disclose to him that she had been raped, an important step for relationships with men that appeared to have long term potential. “It’s a pretty defining moment from my life. It creates trust issues for me. If you want to know me, you need to know this.” They were on a ski trip together, and one night after they had some drinks, she ventured into her past. No sooner had she spoken the words than he became angry, visibly upset and uncomfortable. She dropped the subject for the time being, bringing it up again the next day. He became defensive, informing her in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want to hear about it, or talk about it. He wasn’t the one who had raped her, so why should he have to confront her truth?

As she and I spoke we returned to the theme of silence, again and again, brought on by forces internal, social and cultural. Continue reading

Overheard On Top Of Camelback Mountain

cfiles27764I went hiking for the first time since I was twelve years old with two friends a couple weekends ago. My dad, the avid outdoorsman used to coerce me into hiking and camping (by offering carefully meted out sweets, which were usually forbidden in our house) from the time I was a young child, which I resented as I transitioned into a makeup loving, phone-glued-to-my-ear preteen. I’m an indoor girl, and that’s just how it is. My dad eventually let it go, and I promised myself I’d never hike again as an adult.

And there I was, humping it up Camelback because a dear friend had asked me to for her birthday–ten months earlier. With each heave and grab and stretch forward up the mountain, I thought about how worth it the strain would be–a 360 view of the Valley. Yet when I reached the top, something even better was presented in the form of three twenty-something women having a conversation about creepersContinue reading

Fashion Citation, or Adult Mean Girls Strike Again

20141106_220018A colleague handed me a sheet of paper on which she’d scribbled notes to herself, turning it over to expose a “fashion citation” card. She suggested I blog about it and I’ve accepted her challenge. It’s a checklist of potential fashion faux pas, which would be funny if it didn’t sit under the heading “Did You Dress In The Dark?” followed by a short paragraph about how fashion infractions are a crime, “remember that the rest of us have to look at you.” I am so over this lookist, women-on-women social violence, that I’m entirely unwilling to have a sense of humor or irony about this small slip of paper. It’s emblematic of the ills facing our society in the current moment, and I want this adult mean girl phenomenon (see: you can’t sit with us) to stop immediately. Women need to be putting other women up, treating each other as teammates, and looking deeper than the surface. Our survival and quality of life depend on it.

Let’s take this negative, filthy little piece of paper line by line and blast it to bits, shall we? Not interested? Pick up an US Weekly or head directly to gofugyourself.com. Continue reading

Overheard on Mill Avenue

MillSome night last fall when the college kids had come back to campus, I walked around the university district, using the scene as my own personal voyeuristic fishbowl. At one point a jacked-up, enormous, gleaming white truck came cruising by at a glacial pace. Horn blaring at a decibel level fit for a cargo ship, a twenty-something man perched halfway out the passenger window yelling come-ons at every group he saw. The hormone and douche levels were so high, I was revolted and steered my male companion to a quieter street, but not before I heard a woman behind me remark, he’s a scrub! A brilliant and apt TLC reference, as the guy met the criteria: hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, he was certainly trying to holler at women. What we heard off the beaten path however, was a similarly vivid illustration of male sexuality at its worst, and most naive.   Continue reading

Good Karma & Faith: How Women Earn Pay Raises

snLast night Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presented at  a “Celebration of Women in Computing” conference, urging women during the Q&A not to ask for raises. When the question was posed him, he replied, “It’s not really about asking for the raise but…having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.” Apparently he added that not asking builds good karma, silence being a special superpower of women in the workplace. Let’s add this item to the long, long list of things no one would ever say to a man.

I’m fired up.  Continue reading

No Comment…On What Other Women Are Eating or Their Bodies

commentAn issue that seems to be running rampant these days is food and body image shaming among women, in the guise of backhanded compliments, self-deprecating remarks and passing observations. It’s happening at work, it’s happening at happy hour, it’s happening at family dinners. Perfect strangers are doing it to each other. A friend who works as a receptionist told me the other day that she was eating a carrot at her desk when a candidate  waiting for an interview idly remarked, “you’re lucky you can eat like that and look like you do.” This woman was interviewing to be her new boss. Food and body commentary is a form of women-on-women violence and it needs to stop. Immediately. Continue reading

Confidence Requires Apology (If You’re a Woman)

confidence apologySexism is alive and well in this country, don’t try to deny it. In the context of society at large women and girls are required to play by a different set of rules, lest they be labeled and cast out. It takes guts to stand alone, and it’s terrifying, so a lot of the time we adhere to tradition, bending and twisting ourselves to meet the requirements. On my mind for some time is women expressing confidence and the reactions from an individual and societal level. A couple of years ago I lost two very important friendships, or rather was cast out of two important friends’ lives. I came to understand that the root issue was my attempt to exhibit a confident approach to life, and the feelings of competition and anger that ensued around me. I have never seen a man apologize for listing his accomplishments, or defending his opinion, or expressing his personal goals. I’ve never seen other men roll their eyes or whisper behind their hands or glare at another man who walks tall with his chest puffed out. I’ve heard the words cocky and arrogant used to describe a man, but never the type of character tear-down a woman acting in the very same manner receives. What the fuck is all this about? Continue reading

I Think I’m F*cked Up

FuckedLast night I went to a revival screening of 1990’s “Pump Up The Volume”, starring the timelessly, agelessly cool Christian Slater. He plays a sixteen year-old pirate radio jock spreading a “hey, it’s ok” message to his peers. In response to a listener’s letter he says, “feeling screwed up at a screwed up time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up”. I knew I needed to take this line further and explore its meaning with you, cult 90’s movie notwithstanding. In my own life I’ve found this to be true–that internalizing the environment and culture is natural, and can lead us to believe we’re the problem in our own lives, when often we’re simply acting out external influences. Thus we put ourselves in danger of challenging the wrong system. Continue reading