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

Things I would like to do, that I probably could do, but never will do.

Man with bees for a beard

Be an urban bee-keeper.
-Make my own ricotta.
-Grow tomato plants on my roof.
-Can, jar and pickle various things.
-Raise chickens.
-Keep an orchid alive for more than two weeks.
-Be an early-morning runner.
-Host dinner parties that involve food I actually cook myself. Barbecues don’t count.
-Pot plants.
-Prepare food more than 20 minutes in advance of actually eating it. Prepare food for tomorrow, even.

What’s on your list?

Dating While Feminist

Oh I relate to this interview with Jaclyn Friedman so, so much. She talks about the difficulties of dating while feminist, and how hard it can be to negoatiate your beliefs with your lovelife. I mostly date dudes, and let me tell you: That shit is not easy. Outing oneself as a Feminist Blogger does help to immediately weed out particularly undesireable men, but it also creates a lot of expectations and problems. One of those is certainly what Jaclyn calls Hellcat Dream Girl:

What happens to me that drives me up a tree is this: The guys who respond to me and are like, ‘You’re awesome. You’re kind of a hellcat.” They think it’s cool and kind of bad-ass that I’m outspoken and passionate about things. They think that’s really hot. They’re into it. But then when that outspokenness gets applied back to them, it’s suddenly game-over. You know the idea of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl? She’s light, and quirky, and she has no inner life of her own, and just there to serve our hero’s development and erotic interests. I sort of feel that I get cast in these dudes’ narratives as the Hellcat Dream Girl, there to prove how bad-ass they are because they’re dating such a bad-ass woman. They think it’s cute or sexy. But when I use that smart, outspoken bad-assery to challenge their own perspectives, it’s suddenly not sexy at all. It happens when they say something that I disagree with, and I act like a person and not someone that is playing out their particular fantasies.

It’s happened to me a million times . . . they want it as a trophy. “Hey, look at my bad-ass girl.” They don’t want to deal with me as a person. It follows this pattern where it usually comes from a person who seeks me out. They try to seduce me. They think I would be an accomplishment to conquer or something. They seek me out and try to get me interested in them, and then I am, and then they flee. . . . I feel like the same thing happened with the guy I dated for two years. He liked the idea of being a guy who would be with someone like me, but ultimately it turned out that he wanted someone who wouldn’t challenge him as much, a person who was easier and quicker to sweep away. I got evidence of that when, within three months of breaking up with me, he was dating a 23 year old who lists her political views on Facebook as “moderate.”

Oh darlin’ I’ve been there.

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Jill vs. Delta Air Lines, The Novel

Here is a video that sums up how I feel today:

I realize that most people read Feministe for the political and feminist content, and not for the Feministe authors’ personal grievances and/or self-indulgences and/or bitchings. However! Why have a blog if you can’t occasionally use it to indulge your narcissism and turn it into a platform for your personal complaints? Behold, Feministe readers, what is possibly the Worst Travel Story of All Time, brought to you courtesy of Delta Airlines and yours truly.

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Jon and Kate. And Me.

I’ve never seen an episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, but I’m completely obsessed with the tabloid coverage of their divorce and custody proceedings.


Yes Means Yes at Colgate University

Awesome news: Yes Means Yes, an anthology that Cara and I both contributed to, is being used as the basis for a sex education class at Colgate University.

Colgate University has introduced an official sexual education class on campus. “Yes Means Yes” is a series of five non-credit classes held on Wednesday evenings over dinner from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The topic of discussion will be Colgate’s “hook-up culture,” what one wants in a relationship, how to navigate one’s own sexuality better and how to help others with these areas. Facilitators will focus on the formative novel, Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape.

Berger selected Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape, written by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, to emphasize positive sexuality and consensual sex. An individual chapter is assigned for each week’s discussion in order to have a strong foundation for conversation and plenty of participation.

Pretty cool.

Shocking news of the day: Cats are useless.

It’s true. I am a notorious cat-hater who also happens to be a cat owner, and I think I can confirm that they have no actual utility beyond sleeping and pooping twice their body weight. Luckily, Percival is half puppy — he follows me around and always wants to cuddle — so I enjoy his company. I don’t think I’ve put up pictures since he was a wee kitten, so re-meet him:

Percy’s spot, originally uploaded by JillNic83.

As you can see from the picture, he has bigger boobs than me. Ah, they grow up so fast!

When he isn’t sleeping on the stairs, he also enjoys sending me into hysterics by poisoning himself with lilies, incurring potential kidney damage, nearly averting death and leaving me with a $1,300 vet bill.

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On GRITtv with Laura Flanders

The lovely Laura Flanders graciously had me on her show today, along with Mario Murillo and Russ Baker. In small-world strangeness, Mario was my first journalism professor at NYU. It was a great panel, and even though I say “you know” too much, I think it’s worth checking out, if only for the very insightful commentary from Laura, Mario and Russ. We discuss Dr. Tiller, Obama’s Middle East trip, GM, and Sotomayor:

So when does Laura get her own cable news show?

A Feministe Bloggers Meet Up

Okay, so as you’ll notice we’re missing quite a few (read: a majority) of us, so sadly WAM! was far from a full meet up of Feministe bloggers — oh, how I wish!  But, all the same, after nearly a year of blogging here, it was totally awesome getting to finally meet both Jill and Jack in person.  They are, I must say, just as great and fun in “real life” as they are online, if not more so.  Seriously.  I absolutely adored them.

WAM! was a chance for me to meet all kinds of awesome feminist bloggers and activists in person for the first time.  I got to hang out with one of my best Twitter pals, Sally.  I got to finally meet my co-panelists from the conference, Marcella Chester, Ashley Burczak, and Ashwini Hardikar.  I got a hug from Latoya Peterson, discussed favorite Beatles albums with Julia Serano (!), sat next to Samhita Mukhopadhyay in a panel, and met Miriam Perez, Veronica Arreola, (my YMY editor!) Jaclyn Friedman, Deanna Zandt, and so many others who I’m sure I’m horribly forgetting.

I wish I had gotten to spend more time with all of them, but really, who can ask for more than that?  Thanks to everyone who attended for a truly great time.  And an even bigger thanks to WAM! and the blog readers who donated to the fund that made it possible for me to go!

Sarah Haskins Blow Out

In case you’ve missed them, below are two new Target Women videos for your viewing pleasure.

First up, Lifetime!

(Click here if you can’t view the embedded video.)

You know, I’m sure that the dogs reenacting scenes from famous movies is actually supposed to be a joke on the part of Lifetime (Right? Someone please tell me they’re not serious), but I really do have to agree with Sarah that it ought to be illegal, nonetheless. Somewhere. Soft-core dog porn = so not cool.

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Miami Travel Tips?

I’m leaving for a long weekend in Miami on Thursday. I’ve never been, so I’m looking for some travel advice. Basically, I’m not looking for the stereotypical Miami weekend. I just want to lay on a pretty beach and eat some good food. My only plan so far entails getting to the beach by 7am for early-morning yoga. So I don’t need advice for which clubs to go to, and I tend to dislike really scene-y bars and restaurants. High-quality food and drink in laid-back locales is more my style.

Any tips? Anything in particular I must see or do? Which beaches are the nicest? And most importantly, where do I eat?