In Celebration of Women

Hello, I am still alive. Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Now that the world is falling apart in a new and exciting way every single day, I’ve returned to write about my feelings.

Recently, I got broken up with in the kindest and gentlest way anyone has ever been broken up with. There was rosé involved. But despite the care used to deliver the final blow, or maybe because of it, I was devastated. I am devastated. So I find myself in a world where men in suits are working hard everyday to ignorantly or spitefully take away rights from women and minorities, struggling with the feelings I have for one man. The worst storyline in a dystopian novel.

The best storyline of course, is the women. The women I know, who I have angrily and tearfully turned to so many times in my life but especially since November 9, have kept me together this month. Each one urging me to take my time, feel my feelings, offering curses and ire that weren’t necessary except in their offering. Day drinking with me and reminding me that grief is human and normal and that even though I loathe being human and normal, it’s ok. They enveloped me in an estrogen-bound coven until I was ready to be a human on my own again.

There have of course been wonderful men too, but as someone very wise once told me, it’s ok for things to just be in celebration of women. A march can just be about reproductive rights and equal pay and the anger of men living their lives after committing atrocities against bodies they don’t value as human. A benefit can just be for women. We share a quiet rage that we struggle to express for fear of being called irrational or laughed at. We are bonded because we are not believed. But we believe each other. And today I am humbled and grateful for that belief and validation.

Being a Man in America

My entire life has been populated by gay men. When I was eleven, I started taking voice lessons from a man who I will not name here. He ran the music program at my church and may be running a different program at a different church now. He pushed me forward for a solo in our Easter pageant and he told my parents that when I was ready, he wanted to give me voice lessons. I was born ready, so I went to his house with a little binder and a check from my mom. During our lesson, a man pulled up in the driveway and came around the back of the house. I asked my teacher who that was and he said, “That’s my roommate.”

I studied with my teacher for six years. He taught me to sing but he also taught me that people wanted to hear my voice. He was not alone, as it takes a village to raise the self-confidence of an awkward, chubby musical theater nerd, who seemed to run her straight male peers off just by being herself. This village was my sanctuary, the place where I felt safe. It wasn’t until long after the six years that I studied with this man that he ever introduced his roommate as his partner.

I am sad that the people who gave me refuge from a world that didn’t understand me did not and do not enjoy that same sense of safety. This fact was violently reaffirmed on Saturday night, June 11 at Pulse Night Club in Orlando. It was “Upscale Latin Saturday” and (mostly) Latino gay men came together to have fun in a space where they could feel protected. Omar Mateen walked in and opened fire on ninety-two of these men, fifty of whom are now dead.

Omar Mateen, who was on the FBI’s radar. Omar Mateen, who was so physically and mentally abusive to his wife that her parents flew to Florida to take her across the country after a year of marriage. Omar Mateen, who was a security guard and dreamed of being a police officer. Omar Mateen, who spoke openly of his hatred for gay people, black people, women, and Jews. Omar Mateen, who was allowed to purchase a long gun and a pistol “in the last week or two.”

Politicians and the media will paint Omar Mateen as a tool of ISIS and a Muslim extremist. He probably was. But please understand, Omar Mateen was distinctly American.

Here in America, we teach our men that they take what they want, if they are “real men.” We teach them that violence and guns are cool ways to solve problems. We teach them that women’s bodies and black bodies and really any bodies they don’t immediately identify with, are not as important as their own. We teach everyone that gay people and transgender people don’t deserve the same rights as the rest of us with our bathroom laws and our constant haranguing against marriage equality. We are a country built on the hatred of others and founded on violently destroying them. Even now, our leaders teach us that this violent person was an outsider because he was Muslim and that if we could eliminate Muslims from our country, this violence against American bodies would end. That if we can just get rid of one more kind of people, we will have peace.

Dylan Roof is not a Muslim. Robert Lewis Dear was not a Muslim. Aaron Alexis was not a Muslim. Brock Turner is not a Muslim. Daniel Pantaleo and Justin Damico, the police officers who suffocated Eric Garner, are not Muslims. George Zimmerman, Adam Lanza, Radcliffe Haughton, Wade Michael Page, James Holmes, Jared Lee Loughner are not Muslims. These are people who believed their bodies, their rage, their power was more important than the bodies and the safety of their victims. They are not isolated incidents. They are so common, their names leave us numb.

Yes, this tragedy might never have happened if we had anything resembling gun control laws in this country. Please write to your elected representatives and let them know that you are tired of reading about American civilians executing each other in cold blood. Let them know that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean an assault rifle in every cabinet and a handgun in every pot. Here’s how:

But this tragedy is also about hate. If you’ve ever so much as said, “I don’t mind ‘em, but…” about a group of people based on sex, race, religion, or creed you are part of the problem. Sorry if that’s heavy-handed, it is true. If you’ve ever told your child about “certain types of girls” or said, “Gross” at two people of the same sex holding hands, you are part of the problem. If you’ve heard of a man who did not resist dying at the hands of two police officers and scoffed that they wouldn’t have done that if he weren’t “doing something wrong,” you are a part of the problem. Until we address the hate and fear in our country of everyone who is different than us, our sons will keep turning on each other as did our fathers before them.

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

What a day in the love life of me. He was cute, tall, a little older than I’d usually go for, but I’m open. It was the Internet. The cruelest part about dating in your thirties is staying “open”. I’ve spent thirty-one years honing my spidey sense to tingle at the first sign of asshole, but at the behest of well-meaning friends and a newfound fear of dying alone, I have to squelch my one super power at every turn.

We exchanged a couple of hilarious messages. I obviously slayed. He was making some pretty hip dick jokes but then he dropped the tiniest red flag*. I’m paraphrasing but the gist of what he said is, “OkCupid is fine, but I have to deal with a lot of old stalkers.”

Old stalkers?


Bro, you are forty-four years old. Unless there are great g-mas creaking around your apartment sniffing your sheets when you’re gone, I doubt that very much. But I’m giving chances. So, to give this guy a chance to not sound like a prolapsed asshole, I said, again paraphrasing, “LOL, old stalkers? You must be a celebrity, how do you deal? I’m cool and fun so don’t worry about offending me!” He replied that OkCupid’s match algorithms were off. So I checked that profile. This dude is forty-four. The age range of his ideal lady? Twenty-two to forty-two.

Surprisingly in the age of outrage, we don’t talk about this obnoxious but common situation. There are so, so many men on dating sites who will date women twenty years younger then they are but WON’T DATE WOMEN THEIR OWN AGE. In my experience, without fail, they turn out to be assholes. Never in my many years of dating on the Internet have I met one who turned out to really like and respect women but just had too much energy for a women in her forties. That’s not a real thing.

Usually I would just ghost at this point. But tonight, for the first time, I dyed my hair to cover my grays. It’s not the time to quietly ignore a little misogynistic ageism. So I told this guy, who really I should be nice to since he’s dealing with so much dry old puss being flung at him, that because of his age issues and the way he talks about women, we do not share the same values. He wrote back and told me that I really am funny, maybe being nice but also maybe turning my most sought after compliment into a patronizing put down.

I don’t have a cool ending to this story, simply the fact that everyone is the worst but if you give them a chance, at least you might get re-inspired to visit your blog.

*That is how football works right? Progressively larger red flags? Soccer? I know it’s in the rules of one of the sports.

A Baker’s Dozen

This past Thursday, as I walk through my local gym from the elliptical to the showers, I spot a friend who was talking to her gym classes friend, let’s call him “Vance”. Vance is a man in his mid to late thirties. He goes to a gym in midtown Manhattan, sometimes has drinks in SoHo, and lives in Brooklyn. We are similar people. He casts aspersions on the G train; I defend the G train. This is pleasant chat.

All of a sudden, Vance says “I love [Italian Name] Pizza Place, but it’s a pain in the buns to get there.”

Pain in the buns.






If that phrase doesn’t make you feel like a tiny doll’s hand is fingering your spinal chord, you are made of stone. Bad as it would be from a grandmother or small child, from the mouth of a peer, it is the most upsetting thing I’ve ever heard. If you say “pain in the buns”, I assume you have a murder room, are your own mother, and fondle other people’s delicates if they leave them unattended at the laundromat (washer or dryer, probably). I assume you also say “no-no place” and use “moist” to describe too many things.

Why, WHY would anyone use this phrase? Why? If you don’t like swearing, “butt”, “head”, “neck”, and “rear” are all at your disposal. If you like to be whimsical and fun, why not “derrière”? “Glutes” is not bad. The combination of lasciviousness and impotence makes “buns” the worst possible thing you could ever say. Even Ned Flanders would not say “Pain in the buns” because Ned Flanders knows the line a man must not cross. “Pain in the buns” is the verbal incarnation of accidentally walking in on an acquaintance jerking off and having that person give you a slow, shy smile.

I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life eschewing poop talk, but that seems like child’s play now. What is a little poop talk compared to staring into the void and only seeing angry clowns? What is a little bathroom humor when you’ve been buried alive in a coffin filled with earthworms? What’s a joke about d***** when you’ve woken up with a ghost made entirely of maggots sitting at the foot of your bed? I mean, still please don’t make poop jokes to me, but mostly now because of what I’ve been through.

And Then They Came For Britney

This blog has declined to take a side in the Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry feud. We weren’t ready to face the world’s ugliness, head-on. As punishment for our negligence, we’ve paid an unimaginable price.

Katy Perry is on the cover of Elle‘s March issue. Elle is apparently interviewing and featuring all kinds of people these days. When asked about the being a pop “star”, Katy Perry replied:

“It is a hundred times harder a dream than the dream that I dreamt when I was nine…You think you signed up for one thing, but you automatically sign up for a hundred others. And that is why you see people shaving their fucking heads.”

Katy, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your job be harder than you imagined it would be when you were nine. I’m sure that’s awful and you have my sympathies. But Katy, you don’t need to worry about why people shave their fucking heads. I understand fame. I’ve performed in three professional melodramas in a small gambling town in Colorado. I’ve had my chicken fingers bought for me in a casino, unsolicited. But you don’t hear me telling Elle “that is why you see people marrying David fucking Gest.” Because you see, Katy, people like us can’t understand the motivations of superstars.

No one but the greats can understand why some things happen.

This was bigger than you or I could comprehend.

People  who shave their fucking heads were the most memorable part of a Superbowl performance that also included Aerosmith and N’Sync at a time when people still wanted to have sex with all the members of both bands*. People who shave their fucking heads danced their goddamn faces off and were more compelling than a million silver tiger/lion puppet things**. People who shave their fucking heads are known as the “Princess of Pop” not the “Gallagher of Pop.”

Learn from his subtlety.

Learn from his subtlety.

Because, for real Katy, you and Taylor Swift can fight through songs and Twitter and left shark attacks all day long. Go nuts. Have John Mayer throw shade and complain about how you’ve been cast as the mean girl while lesser DJs fight your battles for you. But leave Britney Spears out of it. She is a national goddamn treasure and we’ll be listening to “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” long after people can’t remember that “Firework” and “White Horse” existed. Hell, we’ll be listening to “Mmmm Papi” that long. Don’t worry about why people shave their heads. That’s never going to be your concern.

Britney Superbowl



**Seriously great to see the War Horse people working though.

A Functional but Ornamental Race

We all know that women aren’t people, right guys? Like, people’s rights are very important and people should be believed when they say a crime has been committed against them and people shouldn’t have to worry so much about their looks. And then there are women.

Christian blogger Veronica Partridge’s post about yoga pants recently went viral when she admitted that the good Lord, in the middle of a conversation she had with fellow Christians about yoga pants, changed her heart. One, real nice that God is spending so much time working on Veronica Partridge’s yoga pants conundrum instead of focusing on gun violence or pediatric AIDS or victims of Boko Haram. Two, this lady is being lauded and celebrated for making a choice about her body as seen by men for another man. She is not asking her husband not to wear those khakis that are too thin but also too loose so that when he sits in them I can see the outline of his entire package on the train. Because she and we don’t think of men as objects. That’s what women are for. And she and we don’t think of men’s bodies as possessions. That’s also what women are for.

As a New Yorker, this next point disappoints me the most. Likely presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, spent six and a half years working at Fox News here in New York City and I swear to God if I find out which women did this, I will speak with them personally. Huckabee breaks his traumatized silence on Mickelson in the Morning, an Iowa-based radio show, to say that people were dropping the F bomb in professional business meetings. Including women. Huckabee mentions that this is typical locker room talk, so I guess fine when it’s all men, but when a woman swears, a Southerner would call that trashy. Mike Huckabee, Southerner, is not calling these foul-mouthed women trashy. But in the South, someone might. Super Pacs Support groups are forming for former Arkansas Governor Huckabee to massage his hands out of their claw-like shape when he recovers enough to unclutch his pearls. Governor Huckabee, never let those awful cunts who think they can act the same as men change you.

Lastly, The Nightly Show premiered last Monday. This show is great. The writing is insightful. Larry Wilmore is funny and likeable. Breaking with the Daily Show / Colbert Report model of having one guest star, Wilmore joins a four guest panel on every show. The panels are full of funny, interesting people. And they have included exactly one woman per panel in the five episodes that have aired so far. Larry, I appreciate your longtime readership of this blog and as a feminist, I am so into how you called Cosby to the carpet. But come on. You make a point of highlighting minorities and yet over 50% of the population is only allowed 20% representation on your show every night? This show gives a voice to a lot of people, but not a lot of women.

Your girl Bao Bao doing it for her damn self.

Your girl Bao Bao doing it for her damn self.

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

My parents’ cats, Bernie and Nigel, are rescue kitties. They came from a shelter to live in a nice house with food and literally more snuggles than they know what to do with. These cats have more advantages than most cats in the world and yet I’ll tell you that neither of them gives a shit about animal rights.

Not one fuck to give between them.

Not one fuck to give between them.

Even though they benefitted from being rescued by a no-kill shelter. Even though since their adoption, my dad has officially become a “cat person”. Even though they are the first cats in my family to be allowed to sleep on the dining room table. You might say that not being activists in the face of all that privilege makes them horrible monsters. But you’d be wrong, because they are cats. Nigel sometimes thinks his reflection is a second cat. Bernie is afraid of the crinkle of tin foil. They aren’t capable of nuanced discussion about how to make life better for other cats and dogs who haven’t had as many advantages as they have.

Bernie in bed

Bernie in the lap of luxury.

The female protagonist on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory”, Kaley Cuoco, is the highest paid actress in television. She netted $11 million in 2013 from her role on “Big Bang” and the approximately one million times a day it airs in syndication and from playing William Shatner’s daughter on Priceline commercials and shilling for Toyota. This woman has more autonomy than most women in the world and yet I’ll tell you that Kaley Cuoco is not a feminist. Even though she has the ability to work and be a wife. Even though she has free agency over her own body including the right to get breast implants and cut and dye her hair whenever she wants. Even though she played a witch on “Charmed” and wasn’t burned at the stake.

You might say that not officially taking a stand that women deserve to be treated equally in the face of all that privilege makes Kaley Cuoco a horrible monster. But guys, Kaley Cuoco can’t grasp that her right to choose to make dinner for her husband every night and feel that that’s a special thing is part of feminism. Kaley Cuoco can’t understand that having parents who prioritized her career and education even though she is an XX chromosome-haver is an incredibly lucky life. Kaley Cuoco doesn’t understand what the word “context” means. So let’s not jump all over Kaley Cuoco. No one is abandoning feminism because she crinkles her nose adorably at it any more than animal rights activists are abandoning the cause because Bernie and Nigel would rather chase a laser on the floor than go to one goddamn rally, even if you ask them really nicely.


Everything’s Coming Up Santorum!

You guys, Christmas has come early this year. Rick Santorum is running for President in 2016. It’s truly a time for America and the baby Jesus to celebrate.

Making this my cell phone wall paper for six months is really paying off now.

Making this my cell phone wall paper for six months has really paid off.

What bounteous riches will Santorum cover us in during this 2016 campaign year? So far, the traditionally tightly-wound candidate has assured the Daily Caller that he’ll appeal to young people by letting them know he has “…seven kids, so obviously sex isn’t a real problem for me.” The idea of Santorum asking his wife if she’d like to “procreate with him tonight” is sure to get these young people’s attention.

And getting his head out of the gutter for one second, Santorum has a message for immigrants: we need to pause immigration for now because we haven’t indoctrinated the ones we have. “That’s not anti-immigration, that pro-immigration, because it says we want folks to come here to experience the American experience, to learn what it means to be an American, to assimilate into our culture.”

Y’all, Rick Santorum is really into you but as long as you insist on hanging onto your own culture, you’re ruining things for everyone.

Wipe it clean

Black people, Rick Santorum will probably have something to offer you soon, if history tells us anything. Remember the good old days of the presidential race of 2012, when Santorum told a mostly-white group of Iowa voters, referring to welfare programs, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn money.” Santorum must have quickly realized his faux pas in not promising job opportunities for Iowa’s underprivileged white population (9% of food stamp recipients in Iowa are black, and 84% are white) if the movie posters for his Christian film company Echolight are any indication.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 12.06.59 PM

Ladies, Santorum didn’t have time to whip himself into a froth over us in his most recent Daily Caller interview either, but I think we can all be pretty confident that he’ll continue to work to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest:

“I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you…..we have to make the best out of a bad situation.”

We can only hope that Rick Santorum will continue his press tour and that America doesn’t forget his past genius ideas for single mothers (get married!), Palestine (∄),gay marriage’s equivalence to dog marriage and 9/11, condoms (unnatural), porn (Ban it. No, like actually take the time and money to pass a law to ban porn.), and bowling ball colors (pink is for girls only). Instead, let’s look to the future as Kirk Cameron’s political equivalent promises that after all the campaign fumbling and pushing and the final release when the election’s over, he always comes out in the end.