Yeah, let’s focus on the family.

October 29, 2008 - One Response

Well, thank God James Dobson and his friends at Focus on the Family are considerate enough to mail out state voter guides. Now I can know how all the candidates really feel about the  really pressing issues: human cloning, abstinence only education, English as a national language, and undermining hate-crimes legislation.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

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You saw this one coming…

October 27, 2008 - One Response

Sarah Palin.

Being a WS major, I feel that I get asked about Sarah Palin every single day. It’s usually asked with a smirk as if to say,” this is what you feminists wanted, right?”  And often I try to respond with the appropriate annoyance and intellect but so many times the words don’t come out of my mouth as eloquently or as intelligently as I would prefer.

And i think this is the case because Sarah Palin is absolutely baffling.

I remember voting for Hillary in the primaries and nearly crying. The thought of having a woman in the most powerful office in the world is so inspiring and in an interesting way, rewarding, especially for those people who have spent their lives fighting and marching and praying for women.

A dismissal of Sarah Palin’s competence and ability is not sexist because it is a thoroughly appropriate dismissal rooted in evidence and inexperience and has nothing to do with her gender whatsoever.

Sarah Palin is so insulting to those women who work everyday to thwart gender stereotypes, to women who are fighting to be seen as an equals in their homes, workplaces, and churches, and to women who feel their success has been rendered to mere tokenism.

Sarah Palin dons the feminist label while simultaneously promising to undermine any feminist achievement of the last 75 years.

“But having a woman, no matter what her party affiliation, is a step in the right direction, right?” I hear this a lot. How could a woman who makes rape victims pay $1200 for their rape kits so their rapists can be convicted, a step in the right direction?

How could a woman who denies that bodily autonomy and integrity are rights for all women, and who proudly touts that “I’d oppose (abortion) even if my own daughter was raped” be a step in the right direction?

How could a woman who parades her special needs child around as a trophy against choice and then refers to her child as an “opportunity to be walking the walk, and not just talking the talk” be a step in the right direction?

How could a woman who called Title IX, legislation that illegalized discriminatory practice in the public school system, “empty rhetoric” be a step in the right direction?

This woman candidate is by no mean a women’s candidate.

Disruptin’ the Flow

July 22, 2008 - One Response

Someone answer me this:

Conservative activists and legislators go to great lengths to make birth control nearly impossible for women to obtain, and yet the male condom is not mentioned? Are we forgetting that it takes two people to get pregnant and that condoms are essentially “disrupting God’s creative flow” as well?

“The Bush administration is up to its old tricks again, quietly putting ideology before science and women’s health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them “abortion.” These proposed regulations set to be released next week will allow healthcare providers to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it. ” The Huffington Post 7/21/08

Fuckin’ faaantastic.

And it could get even worse:

Reporter: “There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won’t cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice,”

John McCain:–with a nervous laugh-“I certainly do not want to discuss that issue.”

Reporter: “But apparently you’ve voted against–”

John McCain: “I don’t know what I voted”

Here’s how he voted:

  • Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s campaign officials boast he has “consistently voted against taxpayer-funded contraception programs.”
  • “I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”
  • Voted for the domestic gag rule, which would have prohibited federally funded family-planning clinics from providing women with access to full information about their reproductive-health options

You think homeboy would vote against legislation that banned condom distribution?

…yeah, me neither.

 

>>and this is my final question:

If men can freely have sex and women cannot (for fear that they disrupt God’s creative flow, of course) who are these men having sex with?

Those big things.

July 21, 2008 - Leave a Response

This summer has blown by with lightening speed. I came home from college, began working, had a birthday, and now I find myself at the one month countdown till school starts back up again.

Now, as I begin to condense  and comprehend the events of this crazy summer I realize that I am a completely different person than I was 3 months ago. 

I left school a complete disaster- a C in Arabic, a bewildered heart, spiritually bankrupt, and physically exhausted. I hobbled home and collapsed in the embrace of my family. I slept for days, dreaming of nothing. It had been a semester full of “big things”, those big life events you never forget, those things that change you and mold you and give you character.

I’ve never been really good at “big things.” I’m not good at accepting the curves and changes of life- I fight them with all I have and then ignore them till they disappear. I’m terrible at saying goodbye. I’m horrible at apologizing. I really struggle with vulnerability- and as a result I don’t let anyone come too close to my heart.

Youssef is probably the “big(gest) things” that has ever happened to me. And it is through him that I learned just how beautiful and important those “big things” are.

He was so new to me. He was like no one I have ever known, and he loved me like no one ever has before. Everything about him was so foreign (literally, he’s from Morocco.) He was so generous with his heart. He was my role model for how to show love. He was so good at it. He found me when my soul was searching-hell, I didn’t even know what it was searching for, and yet he found me and filled me with love and kindness and kisses.

It goes completely against my feminist ideology to say this but, yes, he did rescue me. Not because he was  male and I was some “damsel in distress”. But because I was a lost soul and he was my politically incorrect, soulful salvation.

 

 

Youssef moved back to France on July 11th, my 20th birthday.

Birthdays have never meaned that much to me. I never feel older or wiser or more eqipped to handle the world. But on this birthday I finally felt older.  I had years of life experiences and “big things” all thrown into six crazy months of my life. I had come out alive and stronger and older.

This has been a soulful summer. One where I cleansed myself and observed myself carefully. A summer when I allowed myself to succomb to things and forces much bigger than myself. I learned to love generously and completely. And most significantly, I learned to love those glorious “big things” that make us the people we are.

I was screwed by Disney.

June 19, 2008 - 2 Responses

Is the never-failing happy ending just too happy? Why do I automatically dislike movies that stray from that typical perfect romance?

I champion the fact that I am in this pursuit to kill all those media-fueled patriarchal ideologies that are so deeply embedded in my brain, and yet I remain absolutely devoted to Carrie and Big’s horrible relationship and their impending nuptials.  Man, Disney screwed me big time.

 Ariel grew legs and changed ecosysyems to be with some dude who “fell in love with her” when she couldn’t even talk. Homegirl had no voice and yet she makes this undeniable connection with this man she has nothing in common with (he has fucking legs.) And this amazing transcending love inspires her to leave her best friends ( the lobster and the fish) and her family (homeboys with no legs) to live with him on land.

 But you know what is really disgusting? I would have been upset if she hadn’t been braindead and decided to throw her life away for some dude with legs and a really big dog.

The power of the Disney fairytale romance is so persuasive that I couldn’t even begin to repel it. It penetrated my 5 year old mind, and is still lingering there today.

And even as a grown up, am I surrounded with fairytale ideology. And the most salient reference is also one of the most troubling to me: The Sex and the City Movie.  I saw it and really enjoyed it alot. It was fun and colorful and had great clothes and music. Basically, it was all those cheesy things you look for in a summer blockbuster.

And then I got home and actually began to think about it. As a Sex and the City fan, who has probably seen every episode, the movie just didn’t add up. Carrie and Big have a horrible relationship. They have broken up tens of times. Carrie admitted to be being exhausted around him because she feels like she has to “pose” in front of him. She is mortified and he is grossed out when she farts in bed. He doesn’t let their relationship grow and he is a commitment-phobe to the Nth degree. And yet we want them to be together desperately. Basically the moral of this story is wait for the guy who has repeatedly fucked you over and over to”come around” because even though he is  an emotionally stunted asshole, it’s better than dying alone.

And I’m not saying that heterosexuality is anti-feminist. But this pseudo- normal depiction of heterosexual romance of a woman searching for a man, just waiting to throw her identity away and dissolve herself into him is decidedly anti-woman.

Ohh the woes of a potentially conscious mind in a media-driven unconscious world. I mean, how easy is to to succomb to the patriarchal influences around us? Pretty damn easy. This notion that women will be “complete” when they find their true love has been the most common story arch in pop culture history, and it almost seems wrong or off-putting when movies deprive us of that pseudo-normal, perfect ending.

 

edit::: I read this post a month later, and feel like I need to leave my own comment.

I have had a fairytale romance, and it was beautiful and perfect, and yet nearly nothing like Little Mermaid or Sex and the City.  Fairytales are completely possible and don’t have to come at a price. My fairytale romance was empowering and strengthened my ideas about feminism and relationships.

I guess what I’m saying is that, I had to realize that the cookie-cutter fairytale ending just does not fit me. And I guess what makes a fairytale is whatever is the perfect fit for us, not whatever is the perfect fit for Carrie or Ariel.

Musings on cat-hating and being.

June 19, 2008 - Leave a Response

I really hate cats. I think they actually are a tiny bit evil.

I’m working as a receptionist the Synagogue for the afternoon, and this lady’s desk is covered in what only can be described as useless cat propagandizing shit.

There are mini cat books (sidenote:: what the fuck is up with those mini “gift” books that are always at the checkout counter at Barnes and Noble? Are they going to sell me some mini “gift” glasses so I can read that microscopic shit? And it’s always the dumbest books too, like, “Great Quotes for the Golfin’ Dad!” or ” Cool New Ways to Tie Your Shoelaces!”::: end sidenote), there is a fake cat that’s stomach moves up and down as if it were breathing! Fucking BREATHING. There are framed drawings of cats, kitty beany babies, and this horrendous cat mug with icky neon coral lipstick on it.

I am thoroughly uncomfortable sitting amidst this gaudy sewage.

And this has bothered my so much that I worked up enough energy and frustration to create a blog. (aaaaand segue)

(hopefully this inner dialogue will transfer?…)

Anyway, I’m Caitlyn and along with being and avid cat-hater, I am many other things.

I’m a passionate Feminist- not because I think women are better than men, but because our world can no longer affor the luxury of treating 51% of the global population as lesser humans.

I’m a sister- there are no words to articulate the bond I have with Carolina. She is the greatest. She has this crazy ability to drive me crazy yet rescue my sanity at the same time.

I’m a nerd- Friday nights with a great book and coffee in a cozy chair? Yes, please. I’m a student and absolutely love it. I’m double majoring with degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies with a Minor in Arabic. I’m basically paying an assload for an education that will provide no steady career path whatsoever… cool. My current academic obsession is with the study of sexuality and gender ideologies throughout American history. Approaching history through the eyes of it’s people instead of it’s textbooks, jammed with numbers and dates and turning points, has made learning so much more fulfilling.

I’m a lover- I love loving.

I’m a Soul-Searcher/Christian- Defining myself in terms of institutional religion is difficult because of the horrible “Christians” who have hijacked my faith and replaced it with a conservative political action group. But I do love me some Jesus and have undying faith in the beauty and goodness of my God. The goodness I see in my sister and the children all teach leave me with no choice BUT to believe in God

I’m a teacher and a learner- The past 3 summers I have been a preschool teacher. I can say with no reservation that I have learned more teaching 3 year olds than I have as a professional student (whose job it is to learn.) Everyday I learn bright and wonderful things from these babies. They teach me to laugh uncontrollably, slow down, and never take myself too seriously.

 

Anyway, that was the “Caitlyn 101” portion of this show which automatically deems itself neccesary.

Hopefully future posts will be more interesting/intelligent, but I make no guarantees.

peace love

caitlyn

 

Hello world!

June 18, 2008 - One Response

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