In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

The feminist naturist. A.k.a. the “naked grandmas” post!

This is one of those guest-posts I’ve been promising to write for many an age now. I hope you enjoy…?

I became a naturist in a totally feminist fashion – all due to a man.

When he told me that he believed that genuine nude beaches were the best, my initial reaction was, “Um, hell no. Wtf?!”

Roughly 24 hours later, I was standing on a nude beach, having been dragged there. I was really tired, due to the dragging and whatnot. We were camped out near a group of naked strangers, most of whom were middle-aged Ukrainian men. They were busy roasting something over an open fire. A couple of little boys, also naked, really wanted to be part of the roasting experience. “Alright, who farted?!” One of the naked men yelled. “If you little bastards are going to cook, you’ll need better manners!”

It was at that point I decided that I had absolutely nothing to lose in this situation. “Can you untie these?” I asked my guy, and offered him the strings at the back of my bikini top. He untied them for me, and then I slid out of my bikini bottoms as well, and walked into the sea, naked as a jaybird. After I was done floating and watching the seagulls and clouds and marveling at how much better my body felt without the bikini on, I sat on my towel and stared at the waves. People on their way through to a different beach, people who totally had their clothes on, kept glancing at me as they passed, but not in any way that made me feel uncomfortable.

“Hm, wow, this is kind of awesome, actually” I thought to myself at the time. And so I became a naturist.

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Things I Have Never Done That I Would Like To Do Before the World Ends

illustration of god's giant hand

So, the bad news is that we’re all going to die. The good news is that we know when we’re going to die, so we can blow our life savings this week to do all the things we’ve always wanted to do.

Unfortunately, my life savings is somewhere in the low four figures (and my debts hover in the six figures), so, no trips to Antarctica for me. But! There are free and relatively (relative to my impending death) cheap things that I have never done, but which can be done in the next few days before the world ends. My top seven apocalypse-is-nigh to-do list:

1. Heroin.

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Great Things

Whiskey = GREAT.
Whiskey = GREAT.

So apparently my sentiment that “sex is great” is controversial, because folks have taken it to mean “EVERYONE MUST LOVE SEX ALL OF THE TIME NOT MATTER WHAT.” Which is a silly way to take it, but hey, this would not be a feminist blog if we didn’t have a huge argument in the comment section over a relatively benign statement, right? Right.

So today I give you a list of other things that I think are indisputably Great. Great:

Exposed brick.
Tin ceilings.
Sea urchin.
Seltzer (especially pamplemousse-rose-flavored Perrier from the one deli in my neighborhood that carries it).
Spicy red wine.
Puke yellow.
Red nail polish.
Red lipstick.
Edison bulbs.
Tiny mammals that are not rodents.
Pie that involves fruit not cream.
Babies in bear outfits.
Hot peppers.
Isabel Marant bodysuits.
Antique stores.
Stretch denim.
Enormous gold jewelry.
Tacos made by people who actually know how to make tacos.
The fact that there is a taco renaissance happening in New York right now FINALLY.
This song.

Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Five Things You Should Know

About living in New York. This is all true, and is genius. Especially “when you don’t see someone for a few weeks it usually means they just didn’t feel like going outside. We get everything delivered. We are a social bunch, but we also retreat and isolate when need be. You’ll get used to the rhythm eventually.”

Yeah, basically. Also the complaining, yes. My allergies are killing me right now, ugh, but I am so glad it is spring because winter is seriously the worst.

Chally’s been doing an awesome “Where are you from?” series, which everyone should be reading. Riffing off of that, sort of, what are the five things anyone should know about living in ______?

Remember that time I received multiple emails from someone telling me to quit killing dogs babies?

from [redacted]
to [me]
date Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 4:53 PM
subject Heard on Medved. How many?

Greetings Ms. Filipovic,

I just heard you on the Michael Medved show. I ask, in all seriousness:

How many abortions have you committed; that is, how many times have you hired someone to kill the ultimate underdog, the most vulnerable person in the world, the defenseless infant growing in your womb?

Again, I ask in all seriousness, as I’m convinced that your radically disordered Weltanschauung is fundamentally related to your commissioning the slaughter of at least one of your pre-born children (along with your use of abortifacients like “the pill” etc.).

By the way, do me a favor. No matter how ridiculous, how absurd, how repulsive it seems to you at the moment, overcome any resistance and say this, right now, three times:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

You did it. Thank you. Now, please continue to say it three times after you wake up every morning and three times every night before you go to sleep. It’ll be hard at first, I know. No matter. Continue…. At some point, you may wish to read this great work by a great Saint:


Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum,

Jackson K. Eskew, Esq.

“”It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

-Mother Teresa

“A country that legalizes the murder of its own children is doomed.”

-Dietrich von Hildebrand


from [redacted]
to [me]
date Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM
subject Corrections

Hello again, I need to correct two things from my first message I sent to you. Say this:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

I forgot that last word.

And here’s the correct link:



from [redacted]
to [me]
date Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM
subject Last correction!

NOW here’s the correct link:

Sorry. This email program is really annoying.


Wile E. Coyote holding a "HELP" sign

Like many of the folks over at NY Mag (and, I suspect, most New York City residents), I also wildly fear being pushed onto the subway tracks, being murdered in the back of a cab, being doored by a parked car, and finding rats in my cupboards. It has also crossed my mind that I may be smooshed by a falling air conditioner unit, because no one installs those things properly. And, what do you know, that happened:

There were no brackets on the unit that plummeted from the sixth floor of 65 Second Avenue yesterday. It fell from the window of Bruce Fuller’s apartment and, after smashing through the awning of WineBar, landed on the head of 67-year-old Vietnam vet Anthony Franzese. But there is a silver lining to this tale: Franzese did not die, and in fact, was found only to have minor injuries after being taken to Bellevue Hospital. And since he and Fuller, the AC unit’s owner, are friends, Fuller is taking care of Franzese’s Shih Tzu while he is incapacitated.


I was particularly afraid of the AC-on-the-head thing when I lived in the East Village — my apartment was across the street from Wine Bar, actually — and I knew that half the neighborhood was young kids like me who were generally inept at anything involving tools or physical labor, and lived in tenement buildings owned by absentee landlorders and maintained by generally stoned or otherwise not-the-sharpest supers. My own super (who was both regularly stoned and not the sharpest) installed our showerhead upside down and could not for the life of him figure out a Plan B when I pointed out this mishap (I ended up duct taping a hand-held shower head to the upside-down holder, and showered like that for a year before finally just buying and installing a new fixture myself). Anyway, point being, I suspect that most AC units in those old East Village buildings are installed by total yahoos who stick them in the window and hope that they stay put. I know mine sure was. So I always avoided walking too close to the walls of those buildings in the summer time (also because AC units are drippy, and I’m kind of convinced that the drips are pure freon and are going to burn my skin off or at least give me cancer).

It’s pretty terrifying to realize that my fear of getting Wile E. Coyote’ed by an air conditioner came true for someone. And at a bar that I once went to, even though it’s a terrible bar with terrible over-priced wine and douchey clientele (I was being passive-aggressive towards a then-boyfriend who I knew would hate it. I probably deserved to get smashed by a falling AC unit for that!). And yes, I am aware that I am doing the thing where something bad happens somewhere and some annoying person goes, “Oh my God, I was there once!” as if that puts them in Very Close Proximity To Tragedy — see, e.g., “I once went to the World Trade Center!”

Regardless, I will never walk or sit under an air conditioner again.

My other big-city fears: Falling through those metal doors on the street that lead to restaurant basements (which never seem to be securely closed); falling through the sidewalk grates; being killed by an exploding manhole; being killed by scaffolding; being killed by someone who is hiding out within an elaborate maze of scaffolding and blue-painted wood walls; being killed by a falling window-washer or a window-washer’s supplies; being killed by someone who breaks into my apartment; bedbugs; having a rat run over my feet while I’m waiting for the subway; contracting some sort of horrific disease from touching the subway poles; being attacked by pigeons; and contracting some sort of horrific disease from being attacked by pigeons.

I cannot be the only one. What do you irrationally fear about where you live?

The Things We Carry

About four months ago I decided to move from my sunny apartment in San Francisco back to my seaside Maine homeland.

Over the course of a month I packed up a life I’d created for myself and shipped it to the other side of the continent. During the packing process I went through a major cleanse. I donated 12 bags of clothes to Goodwill, I sold furniture and I left furniture on the street (fun fact: If you put anything on the street in San Francisco it will disappear before you turn around. It’s like magic).

The end result was 18 medium sized boxes of items I thought I could not live without. 18 boxes of clothes and dishes and memories that seemed essentially to me being me; my life in 18 boxes.

In the three months since, I’ve left those boxes packed. I’ve lived out of two suitcases and it’s been fine. Are my clothing choices slightly more limited? Yes. Does it really matter? No.

Next week, when I move into my new apartment, I’ll be reunited with those 18 boxes. In the time that’s passed, I’ve forgotten what they contain (except for my ruby red Kitchen Aid and my tea cups. I have vivid dreams about being reunited with my tea cups and food processor).

Part of me wants to leave those boxes locked away in my parents’ garage for a little bit longer. I’m tempted to start over with fewer things and just see what happens. I want to leave those 18 boxes tucked away and go back to them in a few years and review what they contain (this would also satisfy my childhood dreams of becoming an archeologist). I probably won’t end up doing this (mainly because my dad is pretty eager to get his garage back) and next week I may write you a post all about how wonderful it is to be reunited with what you’ve (temporarily) lost.

I know I should use this time with you gorgeous feministe readers to talk about gender and sexuality and, well, feminism. But today my contribution is a question about stuff. And what we think we need versus what are just items we’ve collected. Perhaps we all need to be prompted to get rid of the things that don’t actually matter and just see what happens.

Except your ruby red Kitchen Aids. Never part with those.