I’m crying so hard right now guys, it’s taking a lot of effort to type properly, my vision’s all blurry from the tears and not wearing my glasses
This is my arm, covered in butterflies as part of The Butterfly Project. All are in various states of fading, except for that shiny new one, with the polka dots, which is why I’m crying.
I just got back from walking to Cosmo’s, a cafe near my house that I go to often. While I was sitting there, waiting for my drink, a man (who seemed maybe in his mid to late thirties, like 36 at the most) tapped my shoulder. I was already on-edge because I was by myself, something I don’t do often, so a strange man talking to me made me jumpy.
He had a serious look on his face, and he pointed to my arm. “Those butterflies on your arm. Are they for The Butterfly Project?”
Still flustered, and now embarrassed, I told him yes they were. “For yourself, or did you do them for your friend?” he asked. I told him that they were for myself.
“Can I sit?” he asked, and I said something like “Yeah, sure.” cause I was still all nervous and stuff
He then pulls a black Sharpie out of his pocket. “Would you please let me draw a butterfly on your arm?”
I almost started crying right there. A complete stranger wanted to give me a butterfly. I told him yes and gave him my arm, and he drew that beautiful polka-dotted butterfly right there.
I asked him how he knew of The Butterfly Project, and he told me this:
“I found out about it last year. My… My son committed suicide, because some kids at his school were bullying him because they found out he was gay. After that, I looked up as many suicide prevention and self-harm help things I could. I don’t want anyone to commit suicide or harm themselves for any reason.”
I didn’t know what to say- I’m not very god with words. I told him I was sorry that he had to lose his son like that, and I thanked him profusely for the butterfly.
We talked for a while about things; self-harm, homosexuality, bullying. When I had to go, I stood and he hugged me and said “I love you. Please, don’t ever harm yourself again. I know it’s hard, resisting the urge, but please stay strong for me.”
I had to bite my tongue to hold back the tears. I said I’d try my hardest, and he smiled and left.
I never asked his name. I wish I would have, because that man is one of the kindest, most beautiful souls I have ever met. I wish I could thank him again.
Oh my god, that is so beautiful…
This is the reason projects like this exist.
literally started crying ;;
Today is when we earn 30% more than our male peers and say something assertive or get angry without anyone assuming you’re on your period, right?
And we can have a talk show where the overwhelming majority of the panelists are women but no-one gets upset because the guys are just lucky to be up there, amirite?? And those men are all either very attractive or very frumpy because, ya know, it’s difficult for me to pay attention to ugly people, but hard for me to take attractive people seriously. Let the frumpfest talk while the camera stays on the Adonis!
And I get to interpret that attractive guy in the office who wears those alluring button-downs and walks around in a tailored vest like he owns the place as a tease because—hel-lo!—he’s asking for it but doesn’t want it?! What does your girlfriend think about you going around, turning heads like that, sweetcheeks? And how am I supposed to take you seriously when you’re wearing such a cute little tie?
And I get to interrupt my male colleagues to say exactly what they said but—ya know—lend some gravity to it and be more assertive while receiving credit for his idea? (Like anyone can listen to anything said in that crazy baritone of his, anyway.)
And I get to comment on guy friends’ beer bellies and ill-fitting, cheap clothes—but it’s all in good fun!? (But seriously—take some pride in yourself, man. People judge you by your appearance. Hey—it’s not me—it’s society.)
And we’ll turn science around and say that men’s brains are wired for primitive activities like hunting (irrelevant in today’s world) and are only supposed to live brief lives which usually ended violently, thus outliving their usefulness by age 30 when their physiques take a big downturn. These are just the facts, bro. I mean, how can man ever be powerful if his biggest weakness is right there, dangling from his crotch? One little tap and he’s down! No tolerance for pain, those men. Oh, biology! (I bet they’ll get really angry about this one—they’re slaves to that testosterone coursing around their bodies.)
And we get to have a senate comprised of 83% ladies who
wastespend their time polling each-other about whether Viagra should be covered by insurance (but what does that get us? A bunch of old guys slutting around? EW!) While we’re at it, let’s cut testicular exams. All guys do is fondle their own balls, anyway, right?? What a waste of tax-payer dollars.
And there a plethora of movies where the slacker girl gets the hot guy? He’s smart and sexy and has a high-powered job but still finds time to volunteer and shit; she lounges around in stained tee-shirts with her slob roommates and plays video games and works part-time at a Dunkin Donuts… but—for some unknown reason—they like each-other and their physical and personality differences are never questioned.
And women’s sporting events are well-attended and highly-funded? Cheerleaders are bearded men with immaculate hair in fitted tees dancing for our pleasure and excitement? But of course the fellas have their own league! And they are all very talented. *snerk*
A note to my fellow ladies: just be sure to enjoy all these benefits before midnight!
Fabulous, fabulous satire.
Reblog for truth.
As women, we need to stop looking at other women and assuming they are dressing a certain way for male attention. Every time I go out and there is a woman there dressed in a tight dress, or whatever, shaming starts immediately. Not always to her face. But it’s there.
There seem to be people who…
1. ^ Read this. 2. Slut-shaming one of the most nerve-grating things that exists in global culture these days. Correction: The multiple levels of slut-shaming including slut-shaming by women and most especially slut-shaming by women who describe themselves as feminists, and subsequent hypocrisy are some of the most nerve-grating things in global culture these days.
Jessica lays it out pretty well, so I’m not going to retread. What I’m going to add is the simple analysis that everybody’s avoiding: Oppression, from any direction, is still oppression. Most women, (and a lot of men, too) struggle hard enough to figure out where their confidence and identities lie while navigating the morass of our culture.
There are issues of gender and not only how we identify, but within those identities, what kind of gender performance do we identify with. The macho man and girly-girls are the simplest for other people to identify, but they aren’t necessarily uncomplicated even if that’s how you identify. I often feel it necessary to either explain that I really love the color pink, even as I’m objecting to the pinkifying of things like Legos. Or, I feel it necessary to apologize for loving the color pink. There’s a lot more to gender identity and performance, even within the cis/het binary, and if anyone would like to add to the spectrum, please do so. I think we need more voices along the the gender/orientation/performance axes to join in the discussion.
People talk about the middle east and the chador, hijab, burqa, as though they’re only symbols of oppression. Feminists will object to a woman choosing to wear garb that they personally view as oppressive, whether or not the person choosing to wear it views it as such. Yes, there is hijab-shaming, too. The fact that France has outlawed garments that play a central role in the expression of some women’s faith as Muslims, is paternalistic, misogynistic, and racist. In France, if you’re wearing the niqab or burqa, you can be fined approximately $250 US.
Whether or not you have chosen to wear it means nothing. You are punished for wearing it, and if it’s not by choice you’ll probably be punished for not wearing it by your family or spouse. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t, codified in law.
“Female sexual self-objectification,” is another specious argument. The argument’s main flaw is that in judging that someone is, “Self-objectifying,” the observer is in fact fully objectifying them and thus removing any agency and choice the person being observed has exercised in their choice of dress, manner, and behavior.
One can make an argument that “Girls Gone Wild,” in filming for the male gaze, by men, and particularly in the use of alcohol or compensation to gain consent of participants, is a bad example of what modern Western female sexual agency looks like. They have a vested interest in inducing behavior that may or may not have occurred if they didn’t have a vested interest, and therefore: objectification occurs independent of the participants choices.
For a woman (and I don’t distinguish between woman/transwoman in this discussion, so take it as read) to choose to use cosmetics, hair products, to wear a bikini or push-up bra, is perhaps informed by centuries of beauty standards.
We can’t say that it’s not a valid choice because of what goes into our cultural DNA. We can’t make that judgment for the simplest of reasons: it’s not our right to make it. Empowerment has nothing to do with what someone else thinks is happening. It has everything to do with how the person who is doing something feels about it.
Example: Toddlers and Tiaras. Those little girls are not, and cannot be empowered by their participation in pageants because they are, until otherwise taught by adults, unaware of the ego-value of winning. The kids are playing dress-up, the adults are (imo, ymmv) exploiting and abusing their children in order to gain vicarious ego-gratification through victory. A pageant that was based on actual child-centered talent and appearance wouldn’t have 3 y.o.’s dressed up as Dolly Parton with fake boobs and butt.
An adolescent or adult woman can easily be empowered by participating in a beauty pageant, because they are choosing to exercise their appearance and skills in the pursuit of an outcome they desire: winning, and/or scholarships, prizes, etc.
Sex workers are another example. Someone who is performing sex work in order to feed themselves because they don’t have other options, is being objectified and exploited. If that same person, when presented with other reasonable options, still wishes to do sex work, then they are being empowered by the choice they make. Empowerment comes from being able to choose. Objectification occurs when there are no choices.
Self-objectification is a term that has no place in discussion of empowerment. It is demeaning and harmful. It demands that someone who may otherwise be a happy, successful, and healthy individual, deconstruct themselves and defend their choices in order to satisfy someone else’s ego or moral belief system.
That’s not freedom. That’s oppression. Framing it as a, “But it’s for your own good,” speciously constructed argument is nothing more than playing a mind-screw on someone whose choices you don’t like or approve of.
tl;dr: if someone catcalls me on the street, that’s objectification. If I choose to take off my clothes for money because it pays really well and I like taking off my clothes for money, that’s empowerment. If someone else doesn’t like my choices and seeks to deprive me of the right to make them through manipulation, law, or cloaking it in a, “You just don’t know any better,” argument, that’s oppression.
Slut-shaming, hijab-shaming, fat-shaming… no shaming on my watch.
The pads of Chrome’s fingers brushed against Explorer’s making him/her shudder with anticipation.
It had been so long since anyone had touched him/her so intimately. Explorer had been alone for far too long—he/she could barely remember the days before Mozilla and Safari. The days before his/her exile.
But there was something about Chrome, whose gentle touch refreshed Explorer’s very being.
“I am going to fuck the Bing out of you,” whispered Chrome, as he/she inserted the Google add on.
OMG I CAN’T
BREATHING. IT IS HARD.
This is from merlinconfessions. This image is a good segue into something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while.
Fandom is easy to make fun of. It’s easy to write off. And it’s easy for people to feel ashamed of. But it’s incredibly important.
Fanfiction is a revolt against the entertainment industry. It attacks the