Primitive

I thought i’d humor myself this semester by enrolling in a “Marriage as an Internal Process” course. The entire focus of the class is to stress the importance and benefits of the institution of marriage, and to help all of us suckers figure out what we can and cannot demand from a spouse. It’s been fun, for lack of a better word.

My class has quite the diversity of students. One girl is a single mom, we have three newly-wedded hubbies in the house, a handful of us single people hoping to learn how to change that via this course, and a handful of married women. On the first day of class, we were assigned to break up into small groups and discuss why we thought divorce happens, and why people  choose not to get married. Some of the responses that were given literally caused my head to explode across the four walls of the classroom.

My favorite response? A perhaps twenty-five-year-old wife raised her wedding-banded hand and said in a negative tone, “I think that the cause of divorce can in large part be due to women’s rights.” *Clank!* That was my jaw hitting the floor. Psycho say what?

Let’s dissect this bone-headed comment for a moment. This woman blames the accumulation of human rights for a specific gender as being the culprit for tearing a marriage apart. May I remind everyone that there has to be a cause for a woman to want a divorce, and that there was a time when if a woman was being abused by her husband, she just had to shut up and deal with it and make sure she had dinner ready on time tomorrow to avoid another abuse?

I refuse to see women’s rights as the cause for ANY negative outcomes. Women should have had the right from the beginning of whenever marriage became a thing to back out of it for any time and for any reason, ESPECIALLY if that reason is due to abuse or unfair treatment by her spouse. End of story.

Today in class, we watched a documentary on mail-order brides. Don’t even get me started. Well okay, i’ve already started. Mail-order brides are a perfect example of objectification. And it makes me sick. The featured “couple” was a British dentist who had mail-ordered a bride from Thailand (I’d estimate she was approximately a third of his age). He seemed like the happiest camper alive-his arm flab draped over her shoulder as he told the story of how they came about as a couple. She said nothing, she couldn’t speak English. He was the most gluttonous, repugnant man I’d ever seen, and she was a dainty, lovely, submissive Asian woman.

He talked about their relationship, and she sat in total oblivion. She spoke no English, but he told us not to worry, he didn’t mind so long as she had food on the table for him when he came home. He told us how he allowed her to visit her friend who lived down the street so long as she called and asked for permission. I’m not sure how she did so, due to their language barrier. She bore him three children, and she looked like the saddest, most disappointed woman I’d ever seen. But we’ll never know how she felt, she wasn’t given the opportunity to express herself.

This crap i’ve described for you goes on TODAY. It’s trafficking. It’s wrong, and it’s dehumanizing. Any old rich guy can hop online and pick himself out the prettiest, naive, foreign woman, and take her to wife. Granted, these women go into it willingly, falsely believing that these rich, old Western men will respect and love them. I cussin’ hate the patriarchy.

I’ve been angry about this all day. Mostly because there isn’t a damn thing I can do to change it.

On a lighter note, I learned that the reason i’m attracted to Brad Pitt is his exceptional facial symmetry. So do with that information what you will.

M.

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Why Chivalry Is Dead From A Woman’s Perspective

I follow a shit ton of Feminist groups on Facebook (Surprise!), which is probably not the best idea on my part, because my news feed trends posts predominately pointing out instances in which the patriarchy effs up situations.

I was scrolling through my news feed during church today, and stumbled upon a post that linked me to this article: Why Chivalry Is Dead, From a Man’s Perspective. I’ve provided a link, for your convenience. Feel free to follow along with me as I dissect one fatuous author’s theory for the death of Chivalry.

The article begins innocently enough. The author opens his article by identifying the oh-so-modern “hook-up” culture that we singles are all too familiar with as a contributing factor to chivalry’s termination. I found myself nodding my head as I read this, as the author does make some good points.

I concur with his notion that PEOPLE (not just men), are really slacking when it comes to chivalrous acts, and that nowadays, single people tend to be more interested in a short-term hookup than an actual courtship. And the reason for that is technology. (i.e. TINDER) The author states, “Where did we lose the chivalrous touch? When did it become acceptable to just text a girl, inviting her to come bang? Well said, old chap.

The article continues, but his sound logic does not. This dunce wraps up his article by blaming women for the modern man’s unchivalrous behavior. He says that it’s the woman’s fault because our gender has become complacent with the “bare minimum” and that we’ve stopped demanding what we deserve. Scoff!

So not only is it my fault if a guy rapes me, (because, well, my skirt was a little short) but I am also to blame for his lack of desire to court me properly. Damn my gender’s “complacency.”

I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose a good place to start would be the 21st century definition of Chivalry. According to some dude from ChivalryToday.com (seems legit), Chivalry can be defined as “the choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times.” I like this definition because it completely takes gender out of the equation.

I am incapable of forcing a suitor to be a good guy for the sake of being a good guy. Complacent or not, I do not possess the power to alter one’s intentions and personal values. I have no influence on whether or not a guy wants to be chivalrous.

Not only does chivalry mean doing the right things, but doing them for the right reasons. If a person is chivalrous, it’s because he/she has made the conscious decision to do so, not because the person they are courting is demanding chivalry from them. Besides, if I suddenly start demanding that every boy I romantically encounter behave in a chivalrous manner, I’ll be labeled “high maintenance.”

Our little idiot closes his article by calling all women to “wise up and start asking for the things they deserve” (meaning have boys open doors and pull out chairs for us because apparently these behaviors are chivalrous even though they insult my ability to use my own limbs?)

His conclusion? “Until then, men are going to get away with putting in the bare minimum and receiving what we ultimately want anyway – sex. It’s pretty obvious that women own the cards, and when they start acting like it, they’ll finally start getting dinner from places that don’t deliver.”

And here, we face yet another double-standard. Ladies, you heard the guy. Let’s start demanding the things we deserve, dammit! And once we’ve done that, let’s see how high our chances are of earning date #2!

In all honesty, though, let’s face it. Chivalry is dead because people don’t care about anyone but themselves.

The end.

M.

Misapprehension

Last week, I decided it was time for me to move out. So I did. (Well, sort of.) I decided to pack up my Camry with my seasonal belongings and make the 12 minute drive to Oma’s* house and become her brand-new, live-in best friend. Now, i’ve only been here a week, but this week has been the bomb-diggity. (Excuse my informal language.)

Living with her has been awesome because I have this sense of independence that I don’t get at my parents’ house, but also there is always somebody here to help me with my laundry or make Crepes even on a Thursday morning. And also, my favorite aunt lives right next door now, and enjoys taking me to Applebee’s for half-priced appetizers after 9 PM. It’s like the half-step between paternal dependence and complete independence. And that works for me.

However, regardless of the happiness this move has brought me, not all affected by this move walked away without their toes being stepped on. I think I hurt my parents in doing this, and that tears me apart. My dad, and probably one of my closest friends lately, was a little wounded by my choosing to live elsewhere. He told my mom that he felt like he was not a good father for not providing me with an environment that I can flourish in.

My mom is also not exactly happy by this choice of mine. She feels as though I am pushing her away. Geographically, this holds true, but you know what they say- “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” (Or something like that.)

I have an overwhelming burden of guilt for making my parents feel this way. I am more than frustrated that a decision that can make me so happy (or at least, less unhappy) could be seen as a ding to my folks’ parenting skills. My intentions have been entirely misunderstood.

Even though I can’t seem to clear up my reasons for leaving the nest to mom and dad, I am going to clarify them here.

Reason #1: No Curfew. 

My Oma works late a lot, and our schedules make it so that we are rarely home at the same time. Since she is so busy working and also being the best Oma in the history of forever, she rarely asks me interrogating questions. Which means I am free to go out and do teenager stuff with the abundance of friends I don’t have at 2 AM. It’s the principle of the thing.

Reason #2: New Environment=removal of temptation to be a girl with an eating disorder.

As silly as it sounds, living in a new house with a different kitchen has helped me start to mend my skewed relationship with food. I haven’t binged yet, and even my thoughts toward myself have improved. I am starting to lose the rigidity of my routines and rituals. This, on its own, is reason enough for me to not live in my house, as it saves me a significant amount of time, grief, and self-loathing.

Reason #3: No more Condescending, Contentious Little Sister

Woah, that was a rather bold and hurtful statement for a Monday morning, eh? Before you start grabbing your virtual pitchforks and picket signs that say “M deserves the ‘Worst Big Sister In The World’ award,” allow me to explain.

My relationship with my darling ‘little’ sister (quotes have been inserted around ‘little’ because my 16-year-old sis has probably 6 inches and 20 pounds on my short, non-athletic frame) is very unstable. We go through brief phases of alliance followed by extended periods of complete and utter hatred and/or avoidance. When we fight, homegirl gets pretty damn condescending and rude, radiating too many negative vibes for my already too negative self to cope with.

I haven’t spoken to her in a month. Not a word, nor an acknowledgement. And she doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest. In fact, I’m not even sure she noticed I even moved out, and that stings. Granted, she’s a self-absorbed Junior whose entire world revolves around herself and her friends, but I just thought that I had a little higher ranking of priority in her life. But you know, it is what it is, and if moving out removes the possibility of yet another heated, estrogen-slathered quarrel, then so be it.

Reason #4: Java

I’m allowed to have a coffee maker here.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Still not making anybody happy with my life choices. Still trying to please everybody. Probably about to move back home to relieve myself of this overwhelming feeling of guilt for hurting the parents. Still on the quest to find the path to lifelong happiness. Still no where close.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to breakfast over crepes with my Oma and gossip about our wacko family.

*Oma: German for Grandma. No, I will not refer to her as my grandma, for she is not. She is my Oma.

Forbearance

I had my personality professionally dissected and labeled today, (Don’t ask-long story) and I learned some very valuable nuggets of information about the way I’m “wired.”

First of all, aforementioned professional diagnosed me with an “avoidant” personality type, in regards to my relationships to other people. This means that I am the type of person who prefers minimal contact with my few loved ones. A human with an avoidant personality doesn’t necessarily want to be around people in which they have relations to on a frequent basis. They like their space. They feel overwhelmed when people try to get close to them too fast and are frequent ignorers when reached out to.

My, my, my, this professional really knows her stuff. This personality type just so happens to describe me to a tee. I hate being around other people. Alone time is BLISS. I typically end up pissed off or frustrated after interactions with my fellow human beings.

And that most likely explains why I spend the majority of my evenings wrapped up in a burrito of blankets, cradling my Mac, and producing pointless blog posts about my uneventful existence with my faithful sidekick, Fred the Abnormally Large Cat, by my side.

Also, it means i’m probably gonna die alone.

In other news… Gay marriage is finally legal in Utah! Wahoo! Reddest state in the nation for the win.

Oh, and also, apparently seasonal squashes are gendered now, according to the asshat in my Creative Writing class who asked “what is it with you females and your obsession with pumpkin spice during the month of October?”

M.

Ingress

I absolutely DESPISE when people say, “don’t let it get to ya, champ!” after someone else tells you something hurtful or offensive. Trust me, sir, if I had a choice in the matter, I would not “let it get to me.” But there’s this cute little thing called emotions, and when people are insensitive, it makes me hypersensitive. 

I have noticed recently that it is mostly when a select few males give their oh-so-entitled and completely unwarranted opinions that I get the most upset.  

“I liked your hair better blonde.” 

“Are you gonna eat that whole thing? You’ll get fat!” 

“You should start running, or go to the gym!” 

“You’re skin is pasty.” 

Not to generalize, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I verbalized my verdict on a man’s appearance without him asking for my opinion.  

But for some odd reason, many men I’ve encountered in my life seem to feel that their opinion is always welcome because I am always in pursuit of their approval. 

As a girl in this world, I have plenty of societal pressure for acceptance without added remarks on a personal level, thank you. I already know that I’ll never be beautiful until I look like Kate Hudson or J-Lo (which is literally impossible unless you ironed and stretched me out like Play-Doh, removed each of my zillion upon zillions of freckles, gave me a spray tan and cheek bones, breast implants, hair extensions, and lipo.) 

But aside from being a girl, I am also a human. A flawed one. I’m short. I have zero muscle definition. My skin is comparable to an albino’s. Seven times out of ten, my hair is a frizzy mess. I don’t have an airbrushed complexion, or eyes as big as the moon. 

Y’know what I do have, though? A brain. And a personality. 

So how about instead of pointing out and re-pointing out all of my visual shortcomings why don’t you try commenting on my personality? 

Instead of, “you look good in that blouse,” why don’t you try, “you are so funny, you crack me up!”

I, for one, would MUCH rather be complimented on my personality, thoughts, accomplishments, and creative humor than my hair, legs, or outfit choice.  

To be frank, I don’t care if you like what you see. Because I like it. 

In the words of my idol, Tina Fey, “do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” 

This is my new motto, folks. 

M.