Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stop Hating Women.

Dear Leada Gore-
Your attack appears to be on sorority women, but when one rereads the article the attack is actually on all women younger than you. It is an ageist sentiment packaged in false feminism, with a passive aggressive misogynist slant. You seem to believe that a woman cannot wear a swimsuit and be intelligent. If a young woman makes a video with her friends, it somehow makes her unable to be a steward for equality. Your letter isn’t an apology, it is a hate filled missive that judges women and their self-worth based on appearance. I thought that was the message second wave feminists tried to stop. 

I am here to let you know that the only thing you need to apologize to me for is not truly being part of the revolution for gender equality. I don’t want or need your misogynist view of what I am allowed to do with my body. I do not give you consent to judge how I celebrate my femininity, my body, my self-worth or my sexuality. Did you really try to equate my gender expression to your unfortunate snakeskin miniskirt?Female empowerment is about Madonna being like a virgin, a stay at home mom, a sex worker or a college professor. When you judge my character based on the length of my skirt rather than the good I do in the world, you aren’t being a helpful part of the gender revolution. When you judge me solely on what I wear, you are sexist and perpetuate rape culture. You appear to be angrier at the woman in the bikini than the pig who said, “I’ll take that one.” Perhaps you should take your feminist flag down, because that sounds a lot like, “She was asking for it.”

The idea that a feminist banner and a recruitment banner cannot hang simultaneously is an outdated view on sorority women. The first women admitted to universities in this country were discriminated against and made to feel inferior. They created fraternal societies as safe spaces to discuss issues like equality and the right to vote. They made a safe space for themselves to share their thoughts and fears and talk about how they were treated by classmates and professors. The word sorority didn’t even exist when the first women’s fraternities were created because the idea of women running their own organizations seemed impossible. 

If you want to apologize to anyone, you should apologize to the feminists who paved the way for the rest of us. Apologize for not carrying their banner for justice and equality and, rather, perpetuating the belief that a woman can have a brain or beauty, but never both. Apologize for not having faith that the women in that video are dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service. Apologize for believing that matching Ugg boots and not the values of loyalty and character development are what create their sisterhood. Apologize if you have ever called yourself a feminist because, when misogynist feminists use the word, the word itself becomes less powerful. 

If you truly want gender equality in our country, then you need to stop degrading other women. We cannot deny any female-identified individual a space in our movement.I want to use your sentence with a different word in place and see if it still feels like a super powerful second wave anthem. I’ll use self-identifiers as not to paint with the wide brush. 

  • Women- even fat women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however. 
  • Women- even queer women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however. 
  • Women- even tattooed women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however. 

I would be happy to hold a feminist banner from a prior generation. I just wish the banner you handed down to me said, “All women have the right to display their bodies as they see fit.” I will not hold a banner that promotes beauty standards over beauty. I will not hold a message that only allows some members to decide what other members are worth. I will proudly hold your banner if it allows every woman to live her best life and celebrate her truth. I will work to create a new banner for the women that come after me. I will continue to celebrate my body with short skirts because I like them. I will celebrate being queer and fight for equality anywhere that oppression is present. I will give the generations after me room to evolve and celebrate the work of their elders. I will continue to volunteer and be a steward of the values created for me long ago. I will be a mentor for the women that come after me. I will always be proud to be an Alpha Phi.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get it together

I didn't write a post yesterday. I had a really rough day at work and just didn't have the capacity to be creative. So I'll tell you what happened. At least once a day I find myself saying, sometimes audibly "what the fuck was (insert name here) thinking?" Yesterday a customer decided to throw their poop covered toilet paper on the floor next to the toilet rather than in the toilet. I cannot understand why that happened. What on earth would make someone want to expose the world to their poo. the person that will then be creating their lovely hand crafted beverage had to pick up their poopaper. I deal with a lot of wretched behaviors at my job but this really was a cake topper. so instead of blogging I drank wine and tried to forget that I have to go back again today. Get it together people!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Lil' Miss. Muffet was not being rude...

There are a number of ways that the Internet has “ruined” my life. I used to be an avid letter writer and haven’t written one in years, I pretty much know what everyone is doing all the time #football. I used to love making bets with friends about song lyrics or the name of the offbeat actor in a movie and waiting a long while to find out the answer. No mystery or anticipation anymore, we have the answer in our hand in a second. The number one way that the Internet has ruined my life however is the knowledge that spiders are everyfuckingplaceIgo.
I suppose there hasn't been an influx in spider population more today than existed in my general surroundings for the last 34 years but goddamn. Every day there is some new story solidifying why spiders have earned their creeptastic reputation. I’m not someone who has ever been particularly terrified of spiders, though I also didn’t run out to see Arachnophobia. I try to let the little ones do their thing and get rid of the bugs that annoy me endlessly like mosquitoes and house flies. I have friends who hate them with a passion and hate me a little bit for not killing every eight legged beast I’ve come across.
Today one of my friends posted an article about a Giassgantic Spider City and it ruined my life. 

I visited Baltimore twice while this monstrosity of fear was being constructed. There I was eating at the Cheesecake Factory with a bunch of Girl Scouts and  later a visit to learn about my sorority's best practices having a grand ol’ time. Meanwhile, working hard like Fraggle Rock's Doozers, these wretched monsters were creating webbing so strong that it caused structural damage. My biggest concern, yes even more than the hundreds of thousands of spiders, is how this web was not noticed before it reached the size of three American football fields. I have walked into a web so thin it was basically transparent and after dancing around whilst slapping my face and head vacuumed my entire house and stripped all of the bedding.THREE HUNDRED YARDS OF WEBS! What the actual fuck?

Thank you Internet (and the workers of the Baltimore Wastewater Treatment Plant) you have ruined my life.
I recognize that spiders are everywhere and that they help our Eco systems but thanks to the Internet I now know that there are puppy size spiders that catch and eat birds with ease.

I NEVER would have looked that shit up in Encyclopedia Britannica because it would have grossed me out far too much. Thanks to the Internet though I know I will soon see a video of a spider shuffling into a Starbucks to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte and then eat the barista who created it. Internet +1, Cassie’s nightmares 0. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Click, Click, Click, Click Camera

Are you tired of where you've gone?
And you think you might belong
In a moment when you step out of the rain?
And you've ended up in someone else's frame?
And they're memory now is never quite the same
And they never even thought to ask your name

Take another picture with your click, click, click, click camera

A few weeks ago on the internet there was a post going around to name your top ten live music experiences. I posted mine and almost immediately thought of changes I would have liked to have made. Friends commented on concerts we had seen together and I couldn't believe they didn't make my top ten.  It made me really think about music and how music is sometimes the narration of our memories and sometimes serves as the sound track. Sometimes one live show can change your life or at least your mood for a little while. Music is a wonderful addition to our stories and I know I’m not the only one who has heard a song a completely created a music video montage in their head. When I hear music I feel it. I hold the sadness and celebrate they joy that these musicians have chosen to share with me more deeply than many people I know, I think I get that from my pops. Somewhere along the way I feel out of love with music. I stopped listening to new bands and rarely went to a live show. Listening to music became too hard. Wanting to burst into tears on the bus is not the way that I like to experience music. One of my best friends challenged me to fall back in love with music. She couldn't believe me when I said I rarely listened to music and basically told me to get my shit together and start listening to music again immediately. After getting to Seattle I started looking to music to help me fall in love with music again. Bishop Allen recently put out a new album and came to Seattle for a show and there was no way I was going to miss it.
I was nervous about the hipster douche bag quotient that might be there but was psyched to see the band anyway. It was a great venue and despite some sound issues that were out of the band’s control they rocked through it. I was there dancing alone, sure a few people were rocking back and forth but I was surely the only one really giving it my all. I was full of energy and in those moments when the dark purples and bright oranges were leaping from the stage and into my veins I could not have felt happier or more in love with music. No I was not on drugs when I hear music I see it in color. My friend that went with me said I dance just like Claire, Molly Ringwald’s character in the Breakfast Club without knowing that it was one of the best compliments that I ever could have received.

After the show the folks in the deliberately clashing outfits, big hats and ironic lives scattered and my friend and I went to sit at the bar and finish our drinks. I talked with the bar owner about Snake Whiskey and our various adventures in South East Asia. 
 Slowly the members of the band trickled out. We talked about living in The North Country in New York, immigration and long distance relationships, fracking and what bullshit it is. We drank Rainer and said cheers to shots of Jamieson and I got tell them that they made me fall in love with music again. What an amazing experience I was able to have. Sitting at a bar, in a city I love, shooting the shit with one of my favorite bands. I first heard of Bishop Allen when I saw Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and fell in love with the soundtrack. Bishop Allen was on my first international flight with me. They were the soundtrack to many trips into Seoul including the first one which was when I met the woman who will soon be my wife. They played while I walked for miles and miles clearing my head and I had the opportunity to tell them all of that. I said, “Thank you for helping me fall in love with music again” and one of them said “That is an amazing compliment thank you for listening.” A truly awesome night that I know I will never ever forget to put on my top ten list of best live music experiences. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Challenge accepted

Last night my roommate and I had a Halloween party at our place here in Seattle. It was a pretty small gathering but it we laughed a lot, played my new favorite game Anomia, and had a true Fireball Friday. I made my Ursula costume using only a glue gun and let me tell you it was much heavier than I had anticipated. 
A beautiful Sea Witch

Today is the start of NaBloPoMo National Blog Posting Month. I have accepted the challenge from my roommate to participate and get back to blogging by writing a blog post every day this month. I love writing and I always really love to blog. The unfortunate thing that happened for me is that I let the internet take my power. I stopped sharing my thoughts because my words were used as a weapon against me and it hurt me deeply. What I have discovered with social is that it has ruined many of my relationships. A decade ago it might have taken me years to find out that a sorority sister was a raging racist or that a camp friend would support me to my face and spout homo antagonist rhetoric when I wasn't around. Now thanks to memes and angry status updates I get to discover these sad realities while I check my news feed and drink my morning coffee. So I’m taking back power. I like being open and sharing my life with my friends and family. I am sharing them to let people know they are not alone. I am sharing them to keep folks updated on my life and my adventures. I am sharing them because I need to fall in love with writing again. Happy November let the adventure begin.