Friday, July 27, 2007

T-G-I...well, you get the gist...

so it's friday! dirty americans are playing downtown, which is always exciting, and i wanna post something fun. if i could only figure out what i want that to be...hmm...
okay. how's this: i've been kinda down for the last week, and hunting for reasons to be happy. (though seeing chrissy hynde rockin' with the pretenders WAS pretty rad...) i can feel the blanket of depression about to swoop over me, and i'm really not looking forward to it. (duh!) so i've been trying to console myself in non-destructive ways for once. this blog is one of them *grin*
so i'm gonna insert something that makes me laugh, something for which i'm grateful:
my dog in a ponytail. it makes me laugh, every time. so smile everyone, at my pink mulleted phineas with his summer hairdo:

this is when he was rockin' a 'hawk... we were bored.

and this is my phinney when i first got him... what he normally looks like, shiny long mullet and all :) for him, i am grateful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

let's go shoe shopping... um, i think i'll take the ones with the dismembered body parts?

women's fashion mags don't exactly have the best track record, but this ad in v magazine, has GOT to be the oddest, most disturbing one i've seen in a while. boobs and butts in a shoe? i mean, come on! let's cut up some women's body parts and shove them in giant shoes. maybe some women will buy them!

who took these objectifying images? bela borsodi. so i went to his site, hoping to find some justification within his other work. i was disappointed, to say the least. images such as this, this, and even this flooded his portfolio. perhaps even more appalling is the fact that these images are bundled together with seemingly tame photos of accessories with everyday objects, such as this. it's as if he's trying even harder to emphasize the fact that women are nothing more than handbags or shoes. they were simply groped bodies, breasts to be ogled, silhouettes (note the belt that covers her mouth), submissive paintings, or painful-looking drawings.

now, that i'm trying to say there's anything wrong with sexuality in art. i actually prefer and even take part in such artwork myself. there is, however, a definite implied sexism within borsodi's work. there were, in fact, so many offensive pics i stopped looking about 3/4 of the way down the list... what a creep. and he's obviously extremely successful, due to his worldwide listing in all the top mags. i'll leave you with this one lovely image, typical of borsodi's work.

now i wanna pop his misogynistic balloon.

***EDIT*** just wanted to add that i scooted my booty over to feministing, and what's on their most recent post list? mmhmm. said ad. maybe we can all get together and start a boycott?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

pride & prejudice, sans jane austen, pt 2

so i'll continue the saga...

after telling the uk court story, i ask bob if he can see the correllation between the two situations. he responds that the poor foster girl is a victim, and that the judge was wrong, but that the reason he was wrong is merely because she's a child. to him, the two dads that had begun our discussion are adults, and therefore cannot be victims. they have the ability to choose their license plate, and to him, shouldn't, because they're asking for trouble.

yep, those women and gays, they're just asking for it, by doing crazy things like buying vanity plates and wearing frilly underwear. they're just tempting those innocent hate-mongers to do something horrid to them. how dare they?!?

from there, the discussion quickly spiralled drainwards. i ask him how he can say that gays are asking for trouble by being themselves? he responds with a comment to which i must first add a little backstory.

a few years ago, joe & dan, aforementioned couple, came out to a party with a group of girls in our neighborhood. said party was fairly lame, so we all decided to trek the two blocks back to my apartment to hang out on our own. while walking back, an SUV stopped in the middle of the street and two large men jumped out, yelled they were 'looking for' joe & dan, and proceeded to assault them, unprovoked, on the sidewalk. it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and i can't even begin to understand how much more difficult it was for them. neither of them had ever even been in a fight before, let alone the victims of violent gay bashing. discrimination prevailed every step they took, from the attitude of the police, who insisted joe & dan must've done something to provoke the attack, to the hours in the er, where we were shoved into a private holding room (we were told the blood was scaring the other people in the waiting area), to the fact that my witness statement was the only one counted as testimony, and later the reduction of sentencing to probation by the judge due to an incompetent public defender. never mind the fact that dan's mother is a lawyer and refused to help, and my (former) girlfriend's father asked us what they were doing to incite an attack ('were they holding hands?' he asked before proceeding to tell us to let that be a lesson to us to be careful and discreet in public.) not that it matters, but they weren't even walking next to one another. their only 'crime' was being gay on the sidewalk at 1 or so in the morning.

so this event is obviously one which had a great impact on my life, as well as mary's, as she was one of the people out with the crowd that evening, and has been friends with the two of them even longer than me. bob, having only known us for a short time, dares to respond to my statement about gays asking for trouble by saying

well, look what happened to . they got attacked for nothing. it just proves my point that gays need to watch out.
this was too much for me. i really felt he overstepped boundaries. i mean, how dare he blame two innocent people for getting beaten by some homophobic neanderthals? joe's nose was broken, and dan just missed going blind from a hit and cut right above his eye! and the whole time, mary just sat there, completely refusing to stick up for people she calls her best friends, all in the name of a steady piece of ass. i hit my limit. i excused myself, apologized for not being able to discuss it anymore, and walked out of the restaurant.
i haven't talked to bob since, and when i called mary a week later, she dared to tell me i should apologize to him because i left the restaurant! i told her i left because i was so hurt, and i didn't want them to see me cry. (which i did.) then i added that i couldn't believe she didn't at least stand up for joe & dan, because what bob was saying was wrong, and his thinking was total watercooler discrimination & homophobia. to which she promptly hung up on me.

you don't have to be throwing bricks through windows and beating random strangers to have prejudice. you don't have to be screaming nigger, faggot, slut, or kike to be discriminatory or putting others down for being who they are. hatred is not always obvious, in fact, it's usually just the opposite. it's ingrained in the straight, white, classist patriarchy of our society, and it's up to us to fish it out, identify, and eradicate it. is requires us each to look in the mirror and find that ugliness that may be glossed over and buried under layers of polite, politically correct ideals. it isn't nice, pretty, or simple. i'm losing close friends over this, but honestly, it's making me reevaluate my friendships in general. i'm not happy about it, but...

i just can't 'sit nice and be quiet' anymore.

Monday, July 23, 2007

pride and prejudice, sans jane austen, part one

okay, i'll get to it. i've been hella busy these last couple of weeks and haven't updated my blog in practically a millenium (re: two weeks.) but i must be honest and let y'all know i've been avoiding it. avoiding my own emotional turmoil over an incident that happened when i was at dinner the other night with a couple of friends. but it's been long enough now, and i hope i've gathered enough distance to recount the story accurately and without getting too upset by it. so here's what happened:
the three of us are at dinner, discussing our weeks, lives, etc. ~ average friendly dinner convo. now the other two, bob** and maryanne**, are coworkers that have upped the ante from close friends to dating (dangerous, i know, but that's a totally different tale.) they're still in that obnoxious lovey-dovey stage, and it's kinda cute in a nauseating way. so maryanne is talking about her parents and what they do for a living and she mentions that her mother works for an adoption agency. we talk about that a bit, and i ask about whether or not they approve gay adoptions. this obviously leads to a turn in topics, and bob mentions that he'd recently seen a minivan with a vanity plate that read: '2 dads.' i smiled and said that was awesome, and remarked that i was glad people were proud to state such things. the conversation then went (roughly) as such:

bob: i don't know....
me: you don't know what?
bob: it made me uncomfortable.
me: what made you uncomfortable?
bob: i don't know. i mean, i'm okay with gays and all, but i just don't think they should be so obvious.
me: how do you mean, obvious?
bob: well, people get beat up for stuff like that. i just think they should be careful. they're kind of asking to get beat up by being so obvious.
me: so you're saying gay people should hide.
bob: no
me: then what are you saying?
bob: i just think that there are a lot of people out there that don't like gays. someone could come along and see that and get really upset.
me: but if you say things like that, then you're basically saying that gay people should hide and not be who they are. we need people to do things like have pro-gay vanity plates to emphasize that it is okay to be gat parents. in fact, it's GREAT to be gay parents, and there's nothing wrong with that. saying those men shouldn't have those vanity plates is saying that what they're doing is wrong. that who they ARE is wrong. do you not see where that line of thinking progresses? it promotes homophobia and intolerance.
bob: but i'm not homophobic. i'm friends with you and joe** & dan**
me: 'but some of my best friends are black' is NOT a valid argument. society has the problem, not gay folk. you can't blame a victim, and when you say things like that, it's what you're doing.
bob: but society's not gonna change.
me: you really think that civil rights for gays aren't going to progress? blacks and women didn't have the right to vote, but now they do. i believe that in my lifetime we'll see progress and the furthering of gay rights, don't you?
bob: no. i think the country is going in the opposite direction.
me: and you're okay with that?

the conversation escalated from there, with me reiterating the same points over and over again, and him continuing to state that gays will be beat up if they're too obvious.
~~ note that mary is extremely quiet during this whole discussion. mary's bisexual, and has had long term relationships with men and women, and has not piped up once, despite my repeated attempts to bring her into the discussion. she refused to state an opinion either way, because she was too scared to offend her new beau. ~~
i tried to take the entire conversation and put a similar situation into a different context. i began to discuss this court case that cara brought up last month at the curvature that made me cry with rage. i thought that by discussing that what a young girl is wearing and her background is no excuse for rape would resonate as discriminatory. i told him that the asshole judge in the case was blaming the girl for her attack, and that shaming gays into hiding who they are skirts the same thought lines.
i have to leave work now, so i'll publish the rest tomorrow
**not their real names

Thursday, July 5, 2007

since when does being gay equal being easy?

hello all.

i have a problem. (apparently.)

whenever i go out to the bar, or meet a new couple, inevitably, for some reason, i get propositioned. and not just sleazy come-ons from drunken idiots. i'm talking REALLY sleazy come-ons from drunken (and sometimes sober) idiots.

no, really. i can't remember the last time i went out to the bar and WASN'T asked to have sex with a couple.

No, no, NO i will NOT sleep with you and your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, lover, best friend. no, i won't bang your girlfriend while you watch, and no you can't videotape the session to watch later. just because YOU'RE attracted to me does not mean that I'M easy. i've gotten this even from people i know well.

i'm sorry, but fulfilling your fantasy is not my prerogative. if i'm into you, you'll know it. if i wanted to sleep with more than one person at a time, it's certainly not gonna be with a couple. not that i'm opposed to others doing what they want in a healthy, mutually satisfying way, it's just not my thing. to my taste, it just invites drama, especially among friends. i don't sleep with men, and i don't sleep with straight women. period. and buying me shots to get me even more liquored up is not gonna help. i happen to feel that my sexual experiences are mine, and i'm not about to give that to someone else. it's my body, and my business. it doesn't get me hot.

in fact, this comes up so much that i can usually spot it well before it happens, but i really don't know how to go about combatting it. the other night, i'm at my usual watering hole, and of course, the inevitable situation occurs. i'm polite, but firm in my denial, trying my best not to roll my eyes, screaming on the inside. they walk away, and my friend turns to me and asks why this always happens to me. i wish i knew. i rant that i guess i'm just the token male-friendly lesbian. not that this excuses any of it away. i'm not about to feed into some chasing amy scenario. fuck that.

but then, someone on the other side of me says, it's not that i'm some male-friendly lesbian, it's that i'm hot. and that i should just get over it.

um, what?
just because someone thinks i'm hot, that suddenly makes it okay to pester me about having sex? i guess i'm asking to be hit on, because you're attracted to me? makes perfect sense. it's just another attempt for straight males to assert their dominance and enter what is a hands-off zone for them. apparently, i'm some sort of easy conquest or perceived open door to infiltrate, objectify and destroy lesbian structures. i'm sorry, that's not flattering to me.
i guess the real reason i'm typing this entry today, besides the chance to rant a bit, is because i haven't met other lesbians that have this happen to them on a regular basis. do any of you women have to deal with this? how do you view it? i really am just so tired of it all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

let's get this out there!

i was having a less than awesome day when i stumbled across this article at in these times discussing No!, a documentary on rape in the african-american community. i definitely missed the boat, and haven't seen it. has anyone else? it was apparently screened in detroit last week at the allied media conference. i'm really excited about it, and i'd love to order it and set up a small screening in this area? anyone interested, or know where i could get a copy? i know you can order it here. but i'm wondering if any friends know of copies at either eastern michigan university or university of michigan? i'll update if/when i get find or order it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

thank you for being a friend (?)

yesterday, i received some really crappy news. i called my old college roommate, with whom i'm supposed to be moving to chicago at the end of august, just to check in and see how she was doing. we hadn't talked since we each arrived home - she in ohio, me in michigan. anyway, i call her up, and she, in a very roundabout and mealymouthed way, proceeds to tell me that she's now not moving with me. after i've been searching for two bedroom apartments, looking at neighborhoods, networking for jobs, etc... not to mention taking time off work and spending a decent amount of money taking the trip out there. needless to say, i was a little upset. to add to this, i felt this disgusting sense of deja vu dread.

about a year and a half ago, my best friend and i decided we were moving to new york. we made two separate trips out there, met another roommate, hunted for apartments, and i ended up spending a TON of money (because i, of course, paid for his flights out there as well as my own) only to have him back out at the last minute. well, my stubborn ass wasn't having that. i went anyway, found a roommate, and moved. it was a disaster. my new roommate was crazy, the boss i ended up working for was crazier, and i wound up miserable. i moved back to michigan two months later.

i really don't want this to happen again.

i'm beyond tired of flaky friends and indecisiveness. i feel like i continually put myself out there, only to be disappointed repeatedly. and not just in situations like this. i can't help wondering if i'm seeking out these kind of wishy-washy folk, or if it's simply luck of the draw, perhaps age, fear, etc...? it's too damn irritating. when i make a decision, i tend to stubbornly stick with it. not that my bold tenacity is all positive either, but when i know someone is counting on me, i do my best to make things happen. this move is no small step for me, but i'm willing to do it. and i really believed that my friend was ready as well. i'm insulted, and mad at myself for trusting someone yet again. i don't want to be jaded, but i definitely feel myself veering in that direction. it's hard to be upbeat and positive when you're punch drunk from yet another blow.

thank gods i have other really great friends who are willing to go the extra mile and be supportive. nearly every single one of the people i contacted when i was upset either came running to join me, or called/texted me within a day. i really appreciate it, more than i can say. i'm not close with my family, so friends are who i have. thanks again to everyone.

cue the golden girls theme...