Amazing Response to the Ray Rice Scandal

I love the internet. Not only can you watch endless hours of cats running into stuff, binge on 20 seasons of your favorite tv show, and look up useless facts about the history of jean jackets, but you can speak out about current events and social issues in a way that is far more public than scribbling away in your journal. And if you are really creative, you can make videos like this one, leaving strangers all over the world like:

Please enjoy!!

I once heard that the only way to respond to a horrible situation with humor is at the expense of the perpetrator, not the victim. I completely agree and I think that this youtuber totally crushed it.

Be sure to check out some of Megan Mackay’s other satirical videos including “How to Hunt for a Husband” and “Hobby Lobby Makeup Tutorial”


All About Those Beauty Standards

I was out at the bars with my friends this past weekend when this song, “All About That Bass”, caught my attention. I’m usually an Indie/Pop-Punk/Alt Rock type of girl, but when I’m out on the town, my brain switches to “club music mode” so I can enjoy my evening without getting caught up in an oh-my-god-this-music-is-all-terrible mood. This song caught my attention because of it’s bumping groove and the fact that I heard something about not being a barbie doll. Ok! I’m liking the sound of that! Later, I went to look it up in a setting where I’d actually be able to hear the words, I was a little disappointed in what I heard.

The overall message of Meghan Trainor’s song appears to be about loving your body and not caring about what other people think of it “cause every inch of you is perfect, from the bottom to the top.” She also goes on to call out the unrealistic images of women that we see all the time: “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop. We know that shit ain’t real. Come on now, make it stop.” In general, I’m a pretty big fan! I mean, especially as a heavier-than-ideal woman, whom society rarely tells is beautiful, it’s refreshing to hear another heavier-than-ideal woman come forward and declare that she loves her body, and so should you.


I have a few bones to pick.

While I am happy that she says to be proud of your body, I’m really not a fan of the WHY you should be proud of your body. The underlying idea sprinkled in the song isn’t that all bodies are equal and deserve equal respect. It seems to be that the reason you should be okay with your body is because men find it attractive.

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”

I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase,
And all the right junk in all the right places.

So don’t worry, dear, if people call you fat. You should like that big butt because GUYS like big butts! Isn’t it great? Guys’ interests have switched from the skinny girls to the big girls! We finally have a chance! Nevermind if you like the way you look. That’s irrelevant. We’re just here for the aesthetic pleasure of men!

Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but you can see my point. The whole song screams “love your body because guys love your body!” There is nothing that points out how healthy self love is intrinsic and must start from within. Even the mom, the female role model that most young girls look up to, tells her daughter not to worry because boys like the way she looks. The words may have changed from “alter yourself to please men” to “don’t change! you already please men!”, but the message is still the same.

I also have a problem with the way she criticizes skinny women and women without a lot of “bass”.

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll.

I’m bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.

This seems to be a really big theme within the supposed “Body Positive” movement. They pump up the body types that are typically seen as being not beautiful (good!), but they do it by tearing down the bodies of women who meet the beauty standard (bad!). We see it all the time with those pictures on Tumblr and Facebook praising Marylin Monroe’s curvy body and proclaiming how much sexier she is than very skinny actresses like Keira Knightley and Heidi Montag. And on fitspo blogs that explain how skinny girls are lazy because their bodies come naturally thin.

In the music video, there is a traditionally beautiful woman who has been wrapped in plastic wrap, seemingly to represent the “silicone Barbie doll.” I don’t understand why people think it is acceptable to make fun of women who fit the beauty standard when they have about the same control over how their body looks as anyone does. It’s not a naturally skinny girl’s fault if she is born naturally skinny. And even if she did purposely alter her body to fit the mold (by either diet, exercise, or plastic surgery), what business is it of yours? As long as an adult is making consensual decisions that aren’t causing harm to themselves or others, it is no one’s place to judge them.

I understand that it’s an attempt to infiltrate an environment that has been saturated with a fairly narrow beauty ideal with other options, but putting down those bodies that fit is not the way to do it. I imagine a young girl who is maybe on the heavier side hearing this song and feeling inspired, which is great! But I also imagine a young girl who is on the thin side without much curve hearing this song and feeling inadequate, which is horrible. I’m chubby. I’ve spent my whole life growing up hearing that my body isn’t beautiful, never seeing women who looked like me on tv, being told that I should try to lose weight, not out of concern for my health, but in order to look more attractive. It sucks. It sucks being told that how people look is the most important thing, and what you look like isn’t good enough. The fat girls shouldn’t have to hear that anymore. But that doesn’t mean that the skinny girls should.

We should definitely be giving recognition to body types that break the standard of beauty, but why do we have to flip the script and dismiss or put down body types that fit it? Why does it have to be skinny good, fat bad OR fat good, skinny bad? Why does it always have to be one or the other?

You said it, Old El Paso girl. Why don’t we have both? How about we stop tearing each other down to try and make us feel better about ourselves? How about we stop trying to live up to whatever standard of beauty society currently tells us is “in”? How about we stop trying to change the beauty standard? How about instead we say fuck beauty standards and embrace ourselves and everyone else just as we are?

Let’s be all about that bass AND that treble. And everything in between.

Suited Up, Pushed Up, and Fed Up

Ah, summer. The season of cuffed jorts, bonfires, and rollerblading. Honestly, does life get any better than floating in a pool with a margarita?

It’s about this time of year that people go on the hunt for new swimsuits, and this year I’ve started dealing with one of my biggest struggles when it comes to body image: wearing a bikini. Growing up a chubby girl, I’ve been wearing tankinis since I was 12, and while people wear tankinis for many different reasons, I knew that I wore mine because I was embarrassed about my stomach. Finally, last month, I decided to no longer waste any more of my precious fucks on peoples’ opinions of me and my body, and I set out to Target to buy my first bikini in 10 years.

Now, seeing as how I’m super picky when it comes to my clothing (and that the variety of cute tankinis in stores is always very limited), I typically just avoid the swimwear section, and I’d been wearing the same suit for at least 3 summers. Safe to say, I’ve been out of the bathing suit buying game for a while. But I was happy to find that while the horribly unsupportive triangle bikinis are still living it up, bra-like tops with underwire have come back into fashion.

Hallelujah! Busty girls of the world rejoice! Our savior has come to tame our wild ta-tas!

Except…it hasn’t.

Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the powder blue top I’d been eyeing only to find 2 inches of thick padding on the inside. It was more of a throw pillow than swimsuit. “Well that’s an awful lot of padding,” I thought to myself. “I guess some girls just want a little bit of lift.” Imagine my bigger surprise when I slowly realized that every single underwire bikini had this padding. Every. Single. One.

Facing the looming threat of being stuck with my old suit for yet another summer, I took a couple of the bikinis with the least amount of padding I could find and headed to the fitting room. I mean, really. How bad could it be? It was laughable. Like, I actually laughed (and snorted) out loud. My chest sat about three inches higher than it normally did and my cleavage almost reached my collar bone, creating a smushed crevice that would give a claustrophobe chills. I leaned forward to test the containment capabilities, and, as I suspected, the reflection I saw would have made Janet Jackson blush. I tried one more of the four remaining tops I had chosen before concluding that there was no way any of these options would give me ample coverage while trying to sunbath, let alone doing a cannonball. I changed, snorted again, and left good ole Tarjay.

After spending another hour at the mall, searching high and low from Forever 21 to Victoria Secret and finding nothing but stuffing, I headed home, boobs below my chin, empty handed.

I don’t understand this. I have a large chest. I need support for that chest. Therefore I need underwire. I have a large chest. I don’t need any help making that chest look large. Therefore I don’t need extra padding. Why, then, are the only options that have the support I need stuffed to the brim with padding that pushes my boobs up to my eyeballs?

Maybe my problem is that these suits are marketed towards pre-teen and teenaged girls, and I, as a fully developed 22-year old spinster, don’t fit that demographic. But even if that were true, that begs the question: why are these stores selling bathing suits designed to increase your bust size by two cups to teenaged and pre-teen girls?


Gotta love watching the old “being beautiful means having big boobs” ideology being forced down the throat of the next generation of girls.

Ok. Here’s the deal: If a woman wants to wear five layers of padding in her suit to make her boobs look bigger, she should go for it. If a woman wants to completely cover up with a t-shirt, she should go for it. A woman can wear whatever it is that she wants to wear.

However, when the only options out there are the ones to make a woman look “sexy”, it starts becoming less of a choice and more of a default.

I don’t personally go for the sexy look, at least when it comes to bathing suits. I already have a decent sized chest so whenever I wear any suit that tries to “enhance” cup size, I feel overly exposed, like I’m on display. It’s just not something that I’m comfortable with in a beach/pool environment. I also don’t find it conducive for swimming, which is, I do recall, one of the main purposes of a bathing suit. (Wait, women actually like to go swimming instead of just sunbathing???) So when I can’t find a swimsuit that doesn’t squish my boobs together, I either have to settle for a suit that I don’t particularly like, or I don’t get one at all. It’s very frustrating. And that’s just the busty girls’ problems. If I had a “small” chest, I think I’d been even more pissed. Most of the smalls have so much padding that there isn’t even a pocket for your boobs to go!

This is bullshit.

I’m so sick of being smacked in the face with society’s standard of beauty. We get it: “Women should be attractive. Boobs = attractive. Don’t have boobs? Fix it! Already have boobs? Make them even bigger!” It’s objectifying and dehumanizing, and I could spend a good hour chatting about how harmful these messages are to adolescent girls and women in general. But right now, I’m just gonna be selfish and focus on my shopping problems.

After years of seeing this standard plastered on every billboard, magazine, television channel, and feature film, I’ve pretty much got my exasperated sigh and eye-roll combo down pat. While I would be lying if I said that I am unaffected by these messages, I can identify them and make a conscious effort to, once again, save my fucks and throw up a finger. But when the only bathing suits in stores are designed to alter my chest, when modest versions are not nearly as readily accessible, when the way I want to dress my body isn’t even a tangible possibility, that’s when my fucks start flying.

Note to American retail stores catering to 14-26 year olds: Not every woman wants to look like she has big boobs. Not every woman wants to put her boobs on display. Not every woman prioritizes sexiness in a suit.

Sell those double-stuffed bathing suits. Give me, and other women, the option to flaunt our amazing sexuality. Just give us the option not to, as well. It won’t hurt, I promise. In fact, it’ll probably be easier, given that you can skip the extra materials and the time it takes to add them.

Think about it and get back to me.






For Those Who Still Believe Gender Inequality Doesn’t Exist

So, last night I did something stupid. Something that modern day parents warn their children about. Something I know I should never do. I got into a debate in the comment section of Youtube. In the midst of reading some responses to a video by one of my favorite Youtubers, I decided to reply to a man who was attempting to counter argue every single reason that the speaker gave, line by line, as to why she supported feminism. Needless to say, it spiraled into an argument about gender (in)equality, the term “feminism”, and how feminists want to kill all men and rule the world. Tempers flared, caps locks were activated, and it ended with him threatening me with violence. I know, I know, don’t feed the trolls. I never learn. I read ignorant crap on the internet, and I’m convinced that once I calmly explain why this person is dead wrong, they will have a dramatic epiphany, and I will console them as they ashamedly apologize for their misinformed ramblings.¬† Ha, right.

In light of the Elliot Rodgers shooting, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in conversations about gender inequality on social media: friends (mostly women, but some men) linking articles about misogyny, writing statuses about personal experiences with sexism, sharing videos that highlight discrepancies between men and women in both everyday life and in society as a whole. I believe that if there is one positive (if that is even the right word) thing that came out of this horrifying act of misogyny, it is that it has opened the flow of communication about our culture and how we treat and view women in our society, not just on feminist blogs and forums, but via Twitter, Facebook and dinner-time discussions.

However, the conversation, like most, is not one sided. (I mean, if every single person in the world thought that gender inequality was a serious issue in our society…well, we’d be living in a society without gender inequality, so that’s kind of a paradox). When you start calling attention to negative behaviors of a specific group of people, individuals who are a part of that group are going to feel personally attacked, so all this talk of male entitlement and female oppression has put many men on the defense, prompting popular responses such as “not all men do that”, “you’re being over dramatic”, and, my favorite, “whoa, what about all of the ways that men are marginalized and oppressed in our society?”

The majority of these guys aren’t rapists. They’ve never hit a woman. They’ve had female bosses whom they respected. They don’t mind lending a hand with dinner or pitching in cleaning the house. They support their wives who have chosen to have a career and raise a family. And they’ve certainly never shot anybody because they couldn’t get laid and felt rejected by all women.

But even though the data has shown us time and time again that we do indeed still live in a patriarchal society, there are still those who refuse to see it, and they are the most dangerous. They are far more dangerous than the misogynists who purposefully act in ways to keep women down, who truly and bluntly believe that men are dominate and that women should be meek and submissive. Most men when asked if they believe that men and women should be treated equally will answer yes. It’s easy to point out the crazy man who wants to keep women on leashes, but when it comes down to it, many men don’t notice the subtle micro-agressions that women face on a daily basis.

And that makes them part of the problem. If your initial response to a woman discussing her experience with catcalling is to point out the obvious fact that no, not every guy does this, then you are part of the problem. If you view feminists as a threat, as power hungry bitches who are trying to dominate all men, then you are part of the problem. If you think that all statistics about sexual assault or workplace discrimination have been skewed and blown out of proportion, then you are part of the problem.

You have to realize something. Regardless of which cavemen originally declared that men were the superior sex, we still live a world that perpetuates this idea: a world where women only make up about 20% of the world’s elected officials; where women continue to make less money than men within the same occupation; where basic human characteristics like being caring, dependent, and emotional are attributed to females, and any man who demonstrates these attributes is seen as weak because he is acting like a woman; where the worst insults you can call someone (ie pussy, bitch, douche, cunt) compare the person to a woman; where websites like Return of Kings write articles titled “Women Should Not Be Allowed to Vote” and “Women Are Wimps and That’s Not a Bad Thing”; where young girls are given Barbies and baby dolls and play kitchens that help develop domesticity while young boys are given Legos and G.I. Joes and kiddy power tools that help develop creativity and constructiveness; where women’s bodies are used as advertising space for anything from food, to cars, to clothing, to political ideology; where the female form has become so sexualized that schools feel the need to keep the shoulders and thighs of junior high and high school girls covered up; where a man can have sex with as many women as he likes and be considered a stud, whereas a woman who has many sexual partners is considered a slut; where a male pop star can be convicted of violently assaulting his girlfriend, be sentenced to 5 years probation, and go on to have a top 10 single within two years of the incident; where female journalists and bloggers are subject to threats of rape and violence from men who disagree with their position; where 1 in 5 American women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime; where male victims of rape rarely report the incident because it is viewed as something that happens to women; where a man who killed six people because he was angry at both women for not sleeping with him and men for hogging the women he felt entitled to is met with understanding and empathy.

This is the world we live in.

This is gender inequality.

Look, guys, I get it. Nobody wants to be labeled as the bad guy. Nobody wants to be held accountable for the actions of others. Nobody wants to be blamed for an injustice that has been an integral part of society since thousands of years before your great great great great great grandfather was even conceived; an injustice that you were simply raised to believe was the norm. Nobody wants to talk about the things they, and others of their gender, do in everyday life that contribute to the suffering of women.

But we have to talk about this. We have to acknowledge these inequalities. We have to point out the big things and the little things and the things that are uncomfortable and the things that no one wants to hear about. Because being quiet and avoiding the issues will not make them go away. Ignoring the sexism that is ingrained in our culture and refusing to acknowledge its existence creates an environment for gender inequality to thrive. An environment that locks women and men into structured gender roles. An environment that allows jerks in the comment section to threaten violence against a woman simply because she is a woman. An environment that breeds men like Elliot Rodger.

And we all deserve so much better than that.



A Convicted Rapist Is Getting Off Without Jail Time

Last month, a 52 year old man was found guilty of repeatedly drugging and raping his unconscious wife over the course of three years. He was convicted of one count of rape and five counts of criminal deviant conduct. Last Friday, he received his sentence. He will serve no jail time or receive any court-ordered therapy.

But before you begin to think that he is getting off scott free, Mr. David Wise will spend the next eight years in, wait for it, home confinement.

No. This is not a joke.

Oh, and did I mention that Judge Kurt Eisgruber told the victim, Mandy Boardman, that she should “forgive her attacker and move on”? Because he did.


We are all aware of how fucked up the courts can be when it comes to rape cases; just look at Steubenville or Maryville and we see a sick pattern of victim blaming and questioning whether or not certain acts should be considered rape and blah blah blah.

However, this case might make my stomach churn even more because although the jury found him guilty of all six felony charges (each one typically carrying a 6-20 year jail sentence), he will spend the next eight years of his life drinking beer, watching tv, and jerking off in peace from the comfort and privacy of his own home. I sure hope that during the sentencing the judge remember to include a firm finger wag and a warning that he “better not do it again”.

This case was the textbook definition of rape. It’s the rape scene that comes to everyone’s mind when we use the word: a woman is slipped a drug and a man violates her while she is unconscious. This should have been a textbook sentencing. This is why we have laws and corresponding consequences (you do crime A and you will receive punishment A). And though it is slightly more complicated than that in practice, I see no line of reasoning for this excessive leniency. The prosecution asked for 40 years in prison. 40 years would have been justice. Hell, 20 years would have been justice. What Wise received is not justice. He’s going home with nothing more than a shiny new ankle bracelet. A jury found him guilty and a judge set him free.

This conviction is a complete slap in the face to rape victims and a shining green light to future rapists everywhere. What kind of message do you think is sent out when a man can admit in open court to drugging his victim, (essentially) admit via email to raping her, video record multiple acts of rape on his cell phone, be found¬†guilty, and still be sent home after only 24 days in jail? Because this is the only thing I’m hearing: rape is ok. rape isn’t a big deal. it is ok for a husband to rape his wife. it is ok for a man to rape a woman who is being “snippy”. it is ok to rape because there will be no consequence for your actions. it is ok to rape because nobody actually cares.

This case is just the most recent in a long, sickening series of rape cases that leave the victim without justice and the rapist in the clear. Cases that promote the idea that rape isn’t actually a crime. Cases that perpetuate this fucked up rape culture that we are constantly immersed in in the most blatant ways.

After being interviewed, Boardman told the Los Angeles Times to print her name, instead of protecting it like they usually do with victims. She says that she wants other victims to know that she’s “a normal person fighting for the same thing they’re fighting for”.

Unfortunately, even now in 2014, in this world of slut-shame, legal injustice, and “blurred lines”, it seems that we still have a long fight ahead of us.