Inside the Break

Today is Thanksgiving, and aside from the really awesome time we are having staying in a haunted room at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park (SO AWESOME. We keep accidentally interrupting various tours as they stop outside our room to tell about the guy who evidently wants to steal my wedding ring and push Brandus out of bed, and we’ve heard a whole host of weird noises – bells and knocking and drawers opening and the closet door that does it’s own thing..), I’m having an even more awesome time having an ENTIRE WEEK OFF.

It’s sad, in all honesty. I like my job in a general sort of way (if you’ve been reading any length of time at all, teaching and I have a very turbulent relationship. We’ve broken up several times and I’m constantly considering divorce), and in all honesty and with no humility whatsoever, I’m pretty damn good at it.

But.

I’m so much happier and more relaxed when I’m not teaching. I manage to quilt and cook and can things. I write and I clean and I run errands. I’m not exhausted all the time – during teaching weeks and weekends, it’s all I can do to read through tumblr and drown myself in fanfiction after Voldemort goes to bed. The house is constantly a disaster and the cooking is generally massively subpar and involves little time and much stress. Those other things (quilting, canning, etc) sometimes happen, but with much less focus and sometimes involve going upstairs to the office and staring blankly at whatever I want to be working on until I finally just go back downstairs and eat toasted freezer waffles and nutella.

I can’t quit. I’m currently the sole bread-winner, and even though we live just fine on my salary alone, we can’t exactly go without ANY salary.

But I dream about it.

The time to be at home. To make stuff. To work on things that interest me. To actually be able to go to the grocery store by myself and cook the things I’d like to have the energy to cook. Voldemort is seven and in school all day, so it’s not like I’d be doing the whole kid-raising thing all week long.

Would I start going stir crazy after a few months? Probably. But I’d really love the chance to find out.

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Feminism Friday: Only Fifteen

Ah, Taylor Swift. Pretty much all of her music ends up somewhere on the “problematic to feminism” list, but this one, imo, takes the absolute cake.

“Fifteen” starts off ok: all about starting high school and being naive, making a new best friend named Abigail, going on a first date and getting a first kiss, which is fine so far. It isn’t until about half way through that the whole thing goes sideways.

See, Taylor, or whoever the narrator – she has bigger dreams. But Abigail?

Poor Abigail. See, she gives “everything she has to a boy who changed his mind.” Because you know, when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you he loves you, you’re going to believe him.

Where do I even start with this?

For one, “everything she has,” regarding Abigail, ain’t talking about her savings account. It’s talking about her VIRGINITY. See, that’s all she has. So now she has nothing now that she’s had SEX!

However, I’m going to give Taylor Swift some credit here. Because of this:

So, finally:

Pros: At least she’s figured out what feminism is now.

Cons: Abigail is now worth NOTHING.

Final Grade: D (bonus points given for Taylor’s current acceptance of what feminism is, otherwise I would have failed it automatically based on that one line)

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Feminism Friday: You and I and Beautiful

John Legend’s video of You and I (Nobody in the World) is freaking gorgeous. If you watched it and didn’t get at least a little teary, I’m pretty sure you are lying. It features a whole variety of women of every shape and color and age, which is AMAZING. I could watch the video so many times in a row and still notice something new or find a new woman to swoon over.

Women who box! Women who are butch! Women who are pregnant! Women who were assigned male at birth! Women who survived breast cancer! Women who have Down Syndrome! Women with braces! Women with birthmarks!

I COULD GO ON ALL DAY.

And the very best part of this is the entire time, he’s singing about how amazing she is, so the message is totally 100% that women of every possible presentation are amazing and wonderful.

But. There is one tiny line at the very beginning that just makes me twitch.

“You fix your make up just so. Guess you don’t know you’re beautiful.”

Which sort of takes the idea that she’s perfect and beautiful and turns it so that she’s only beautiful when she isn’t wearing makeup – or maybe that she’s only beautiful if she caters to what he finds attractive.

Interestingly to this conversation, I don’t wear make up. I don’t wear it because I don’t like it. I’m super self conscious when I am wearing it and it’s stressful because I’m freaked out about touching my face or getting it on my clothes or whatever. So I don’t wear make up.

But that has jack shit to do with what other people think about how I look with or without it.

I do not know ONE SINGLE WOMAN who wears make up so that people will find her beautiful. I know plenty of women who wear make up because it makes them feel more confident, or because they like color, or even because they like how they look with it on.

Pros: Amazing amazing AMAZING video.

Cons: My make up has nothing to do with what you find attractive, dude.

Feminism Grade: A-

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Feminism Friday: My Anaconda Don’t

Nicki Minaj shocked a lot of people with her Anaconda video. It has women writhing and very barely dressed, and the whole entire video predominantly features her ass. It features lot of other women’s asses, too, but Nicki’s gets star billing.

I find it..interesting.

Because sure, you have writhing, mostly naked women, which I would normally be against due to objectification, but in Anaconda, it comes across less as objectification of those women and more a power play. Less like, “I shake this to turn you on,” and more like, “YOU ARE HELPLESS AGAINST THE POWER OF MY ASS.”

Most of the video, Nicki looks contemptuous, not seductive – she’s got an awesome body, she knows it, and she owns you with it, and she knows that, too.

My personal favorite part is when she starts to seductively eat a banana – then instead, breaks it in two, hacks it with a knife, and then tosses it away with a disgusted look. Also worth mentioning is when the dude she’s grinding on in the end tries to lay a hand on her ass, she swats it away and walks off without looking back as he stares after her helplessly.

On the down side, Nicki falls back into body shaming OTHER women with about five or six repetitions in a row of “Fuck those skinny bitches”, and this is not how we do feminism, people. We do not build ourselves up by knocking other women down. Boo.

Pros: Nicki owns the world with her ass and doesn’t give a shit if it turns you on or not.

Cons: Fuck those skinny bitches.

Feminism grade: B

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Feminism Friday: Girls and Country Songs

This one hasn’t had nearly enough air time, so I’m sharing because not only is it awesome and feminist, it’s also feminism and COUNTRY MUSIC, which is kind of a big deal.

Maddie and Tae wrote “Girl in a Country Song” in reaction to several country songs by male singers over the past few years – all of which feature girls in daisy dukes and bikini tops shaking their asses for the male singers.

And, to be honest, the video starts with girls in daisy dukes and bikini tops walking down a dirt road, and three dudes whistling at them from the tailgate of a truck.

But then either Maddie or Tae hits a switch that says Role Reversal, and the first time I watched the video I laughed so hard I cried.

My personal favorite bit of the video is a brief 5 second look at the girls in daisy dukes and bikini tops trying to adjust what they’re wearing into any semblance of something comfortable – they aren’t quite trying to dislodge a wedgie, but it’s close.

Pros: Hilarious. And again, FEMINISM IN COUNTRY MUSIC.

Cons: Some people would say that the con is that it’s country music, but shut up, I love country music.

Feminism Grade: A+

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