Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How I feel about Crossfit

[Since I've probably already lost a bunch of readers on account of my previous post, what's a few more?]

Me: Whenever I see pictures of people doing heavy squats at Crossfit, all I can think of is their asshole literally falling out of their body. Do you know what I mean?
Friend: Yes, I know what you mean. But also, I think Crossfit is a cult.
Me: Probably because once everyone's asshole falls out, no one else will be friends with them.

Gone Girl (Warning: Contains only spoilers)

When Gone Girl came out in theaters, multiple people reached out to me to see if I had seen or read it because they thought that, as a feminist I'd hate it, or as a feminist I'd love it. I had not seen nor read it, but this conflict in opinions intrigued me and I love reading things that could lead to a hearty feminist rant. Luckily for you, Gone Girl did just that.

SPOILER ALERT: Everything I'm about to say is a spoiler. 

Gone Girl capitalizes on the age old tale of girl accuses boy of rape (and/or murder) because he hurt her and women are irrational and vindictive. I'm sure that this has happened before, but certainly not as often as rape culture would have you believe. What I hated most about this book was that it exploited this myth about sexual assault. This is a story about a mentally unstable individual. The problem is that this story has been projected onto too many victims of sexual assault, minimizing their experiences and disregarding their claims.

We're living in an age where every asshole on the internet thinks it's their responsibility to write critical analysis of every piece of entertainment (present!). They (we) can find a problem with everything. They (we) focus only on these negative aspects until everyone is exhausted and annoyed and no one wants to listen to them (us) anymore. So, is it just dramatic of me to criticize Gone Girl like this? Maybe. But you know why I am?  Because a woman sitting next to me on the plane looked over at me, noticed I was reading Gone Girl, and immediately said, "Everyone should read that book before they get married. Women are crazy." 

Blanket statement: Women are crazy. Now I don't know this person. She could be dumb idiot. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a large portion of people had the same reaction when they read this book because "women are crazy" is a cultural message we receive all the time. It's a message that perpetuates rape culture - it makes victims afraid to speak up and it allows perpetrators to get away with sexual assault. It makes people believe that 13 women would only accuse Bill Cosby of rape because they want to get something out of him. Because no one that nice would do such a thing to 13 different people. Because women are crazy.

Let me be clear, Gone Girl is not about women being crazy. It's about one specific woman with mental illness. But that's not the message we get. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Things I learned this weekend

  • Who run the world? Knowles'.

  • You might be so busy while you're at a conference about student loans that you forget to pay your student loans.
  • My colleague reminded me that he follows me on snapchat, which makes me wonder if he's enjoying all the videos of my singing to my cat.
  • I give really helpful clues during Heads Up such as, "Daenerys has these, but they're real!" (Answer: dragonflies), and "I want to be one in my next life!" (Answer: seagull).
  • While I think all birds are despicably heinous, I also think it would be pretty cool to fly and eat fresh shellfish and french fries all day.
  • Sometimes I get so into games, I accidentally throw a glass against the floor.

  • I think I would do well in Japan on account of its cuisine and also its affinity for cats.
  • Did you know that in Japan there are pictures of cats on everything, even construction signs?
  • Cats are very important to the Japanese.
  • Japanese girls can get away with wearing cat accessories while I am explicitly SHUNNED if I do so.
  • This weekend I not only purchased a cat hat but also a little skirt with hearts all over it because fuck the man, am I right?

  • You can get a haircut at The Hair Cuttery for less than $20.
  • You can also listen to the hair dresser talk about her boyfriend who has never told her his real name or occupation and who may or may not be sleeping with her coworker because he messaged her on tinder.
  • He has hundreds of Gucci bags under his bed, you guys. HUNDREDS.
  • The hair dresser is dating a drug-dealer. 
  • I really, really love my friends. They are the best, and I am so lucky to have them. It's important to me to tell the world that every so often.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Things I learned this weekend

1. If the woman sitting next to you on the plane won't get up so you can go to the bathroom, you'll have to climb over her, but at least she'll USE HER HANDS TO GUIDE YOU.
2. I've never heard more Michael Bolton in my life than during my three day stay at a Sandals resort.

3. When you go to a couples resort alone, every single male employee will hit on you.
4. Everyone else will say, "You're here alone? Just asking because this is a couples resort."
5. The ocean is really cool. Way cooler than space. There, I said it.
6. Sometimes you drink as much as everyone else and they are totally drunk, but you are totally fine, so you're like WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
7. I spent the majority of my sister's wedding reception hiding behind a table while everyone fed this huge ass M-F peacock. But, like, why would you do that, though?


8. Gone Girl is dumb. Stay tuned for more of my thoughts (and spoilers) on this topic.
9. Some people who get English Teaching degrees become professors and work at schools that send them to conferences in Jamaica.
10. I am going to a conference in Lowell this week, so.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Beauty Tips

Hahaha, I'm laughing out loud at the idea of my writing this, since you know:

But, apparently, readers like to know where bloggers get their clothes and make-up and how they do their hair. I'm assuming this really only applies to bloggers who care about what they look like and also post pictures of themselves standing in front of a mirror in their office's bathroom with the caption #OOTD, but I need something to write about, too, you guys! So let me tell you about what I use to accomplish that look above.

Soap: I recently made the switch from body wash to bar soap and I am not turning back. I know you're judging me a little bit. Who uses bar soap other than your grandparents and inmates, right? But listen, it's great. I used body wash for the greater part of my life because that is what women do, but I also always felt a little disgusted by loofahs, as everyone should. Think about it -they just sit in your damp, warm shower all day growing fungus and then you pour some scented chemicals on it and rub that shit all over your body. That's fucking gross, you guys. Admit it. Now, I actually feel clean when I get out the shower. This is a feeling I actually never really knew before because I was washing myself with fungus for so long.

Lotion: I'm obsessed with lotioning. One of the best things about living alone is that I can casually walk around my apartment naked after applying lotion and just let it really sink in. Lotioning is very important, ladies. Lotion daily. Lotion always. And this is where you can make up for not using body wash because lotion smells good and makes your skin soft but you're still actually clean underneath.

Make-up: I buy all of my make up at CVS because I am middle-class and reasonable. What are you guys doing spending all that money on MAC? No one can fucking tell what you're wearing.  My eye liner costs literally $3. I'll probably get some kind of eye disease later in life from using it, but it's $3!  Worth it. I do splurge on lip-stick, however, mostly because I like to get it from stores that let you try it on first, which you absolutely cannot do at CVS - trust me on that one, I've been reprimanded by CVS employees more than once.

Nails: The other day, multiple people commented on how great my nails looked, and I was like "$1.99, son". Or something along those lines. I started doing my own nails in January when I finally recognized what a M-F waste of money it is to get manicures (which I used to get, nearly weekly, for many many years).  I confess that I have to paint my nails 2-3 times a week in order to keep them looking good, but I have a lot of time on my hands these days. There is a pun in there somewhere.

Hair: The secret to my hair is not giving a fuck. I wash it and condition it and sometimes maybe I'll even brush it, too. Sometimes. I operate under the belief that not brushing my hair makes it look better, but perhaps it's just that laziness prevails over all. I will say the downside of this method is that I'll probably never experience the romance of someone running his fingers through my hair since they would just get trapped in there.

Clothing: Almost every day, I wear some combination of a t-shirt and blazer look. That t-shirt could be an actual t-shirt, or it could be a dress, but whatever it is it probably cost less than $15. Here's my fashion tip: everything I've purchased from "nicer" stores like Banana Republic, for example, has fallen apart in less than a year, so why not just buy something cheaper that will also fall apart in less than a year? Pure economics.

Business cat-ual.

Accessories: None of my ensembles are complete without cat fur (or a cat hat).  But seriously, that shit is relentless. All the money I save on make-up goes toward lint rollers and, still, I'm covered in fur. Consider it endearing.

The bottom line here is that I'm cheap. But also:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Things I learned this weekend

1. I appreciate my job a lot more when it involves wine and pizza and 3:30 p.m.
2. The texts from your ex instagram account is addicting.

3. I think "I hope you explode" might be the best comeback of all time.
4. You might think a talk about sexuality in young adult literature would be interesting, but it's not.
5. Tupelo in Inman Square has some bomb ass fried chicken.

6. I do not know how to pronounce Tupelo.
7. Or spell clothespins.
8. I swear I'm really very intelligent most of the time.
9. There are some wise slam poets from Berklee who say things like, "Judgment is pointless when we have the ability to ask and understand."
10. Beyonce is coming out with a new line of active wear. I can't wait to look so fierce on the elliptical.
11. Diwali might now be my favorite holiday.

12. Whatever those donuts-covered-in-honey things are -- I need them in my mouth at all times, basically.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Day in the Life

This is a thing bloggers do, so I'm doing it. Here is a day in the life of Katie Que, specifically, Thursday, October 23, 2014:

  • Wake up circa 7 am, put on music, sing in the shower. Wonder if my neighbors hear me and consequently hate me for it. 
  • Actually I don't care at all. No one is friendly here and I'm still harboring resentment against the entire building because of that one person who STOLE my book.
  • Song choice:
  • Man at the bus-stop tries to talk to me. I wish I wasn't such an asshole, but seriously, stop, thanks.
  • Get to work and eat breakfast. I finally figured out a way to peel a hard-boiled egg that doesn't take 15 minutes. I consider this a victory.
  • Sit in my office for a while and do work-related things but definitely also spend a lot of time on Twitter.
  • One of my programs isn't working but I don't understand why. I try to explain this to my IT person but he's never even heard of this program because literally no one here knows what I do.
  • Become visibly overwhelmed because I don't like talking about computers with IT people because I don't know how they work. I swear I am only 28.
  • IT man reassures me, "Don't worry. You are a really smart person."
  • The program is magically fixed. I go back on Twitter.
  • Take a quick break and go to the gym. All the towels are "in the dryer". All the towels are always in the dryer.
  • There is no hot water in the locker room, yet again. I huddle in the corner of the shower and stick one body part into the water at a time.
  • The appeal of my free gym is fading rapidly.
  • My colleague and I decide to take our afternoon meeting out of the office to a cafe. I decide that all meetings should be held at cafes from here on out. 
  • The fire alarm goes off and we are required to evacuate. I decide that all meetings should abruptly end like this as well.
  • It's 5 pm! I more or less run out of my office.
  • There is a man on my bus who looks like a husky version of Jon Snow. I begin hyperventilating.
  • He gets off the bus. I am already over it.
  • I did a terrible job grocery shopping this week and have nothing at home to make for dinner. I go to CVS and buy overpriced tortilla chips, guacamole, and kit-kats. Only god can judge me.
  • I also really want wine, but it's like Noah's Ark outside right now, so I can't bring myself to go to the liquor store TWO blocks from my apartment. 
  • There is one lone beer in my fridge. This will do.
  • My nightly 1-3 hours of snacking period commences. 
  • I break shortly to take selfies with my cat.
  • Fuck! I missed Jeopardy! because of Thursday Night Football. Thursday Night Football is dumb. It's bad for everyone. It's bad for the world.
  • Start reading Gone Girl. Amy describes what it is like to be 32 and single. I think to myself, FML.
  • That's it. Time for bed. ✌️

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Essential Feminism

In her book, Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay writes:
"Essential feminism suggests anger, humorlessness, militancy, unwavering principles, and a prescribed set of rules for how to be a proper feminist woman, or at least a proper white, heterosexual feminist woman -- hate pornography, unilaterally decry the objectification of women, don't cater to the male gaze, hate men, hate sex, focus on career, don't shave. I kid, mostly, with that last one. This is nowhere near an accurate description of feminism, but the movement has been warped by misperception for so long that even people who should know better have bought into this essential image of feminism."
For the most part, I think that the term feminist is becoming more widely accepted, more palatable (thanks, Beyonce!), but it no doubt still carries this stigma.  Just a few months ago, I was showing some of my straight male friends my dating profile (since deactivated), and one of them said, "Are you sure you want the first thing guys to know about you is that you're a feminist?" And I said, yes. Yes of course I want the men I go out with to understand that I'm a feminist. If that is something that bothers them, then I don't want to go out with them.

Remember when I casually mentioned that I went on the worst date ever not too long ago? Well, it was the worst date ever because this person clearly didn't understand (or respect) who I am.

It's important to note that I met this person at a work-related event, so when he asked me to get a drink to discuss work-related matters, I assumed we would be getting a drink to discuss work-related matters. Foolish of me, I suppose, to think this man would have considered me a professional equal.  Shortly after we sat down, he asked me, "So, what are you looking for in a guy?" To which I responded, "I'm actually not looking for anything. I'm not interested in dating right now." And then he said,
"Let me tell you what I think you're looking for."
He proceeded to explain to me that I was looking for a gentleman. And I said, "I don't think that's what it is, actually." And he asked, "Really? Why?" And I said, "I think there is a fine line between a gentleman and a chauvinist." And he said, "I totally know what you mean."

Shortly thereafter, he asked me what I was going to get, and I told him that I was in between two things, so "I'm going to make a game-time decision." Seconds later, when the waitress came around, he ordered for me.

What I found most interesting about this date-that-wasn't-supposed-to-be-a-date was that this man told me he was attracted to me because I was "so outspoken and smart". And yet, for the entirety of the date, he told me how I felt, what I wanted, and generally didn't listen to a word I said. What's more, he had such a great time that he couldn't wait to hang out again, when I obviously did not feel the same. But despite how appalled I was by his behavior, I know that he is not a bad person, really. In fact, he genuinely believed he was being chivalrous. (After all, his dad taught him "how to treat women".) But that's what sucks about patriarchy: Condescension is mistaken for chivalry, and chivalry is mistaken for respect, and women are angry feminists if they point out the problem with that.

It's never enjoyable, for anyone, to be told what you want or how to feel. For me, feminism is having the freedom to define those things for yourself as an individual. So yes, it's very important for people to know right away that I'm a feminist.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Just Stay Home.

TV has taken over my life, guys. When I lived with roommates and had cable, I rarely watched TV. Now that I live alone and have Netflix, I rarely leave my couch (futon). Most recently, I've become addicted to New Girl.  I can't even decide if I actually like it, but I do know, for sure, that I have fallen madly in love with Jake Johnson.


This is a thing I do - fall in love with actors and/or characters from the comfort of my living room (that is also my bedroom that is also my entire apartment). This, coupled with my general disinterest in going out, should be troubling, but I'm embracing it for now.

What's more concerning is that I haven't read a book in weeks. Maybe months? It's been a while, is what I'm saying. So, I just picked up a copy of Gone Girl, which I plan on reading tonight with the TV off. It should come as no surprise, considering my newfound love for shows that came out 5 years ago, that I'm only jumping on the Gone Girl bandwagon now. I usually show up late to pop culture trends. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews, so I'm curious to find out if I'll actually like the book. Some people have told me that, as a feminist, I'll love it, or that, as a feminist, I'll hate it. So expect a strong, probably dramatic reaction either way. Expect the usual, basically.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I can't believe I'm still writing about birth control.

It's hard to believe that Americans aren't tired of talking about birth control yet. Aren't you all so fucking bored? Like, why are we still arguing about this? So much time is spent debating the morality of birth control and abortion; meanwhile, people all over the world are dying from disease, war, poverty, etc. etc. But whatever. What's most important is that we spend our time deciding what women can do with their own bodies.

I feel like most of my friends/readers are smart enough to understand why birth control needs to be safely accessible, so I'm not going to explain that to you. Unfortunately, though, women everywhere need to constantly justify their use of contraception to politicians, radio hosts, TV anchors - lots of white men, for the most part.

It's interesting to me that birth control is a "women's issue" when it very much benefits men. Perhaps more so. Birth control exists so that women can have sex with men. We don't need it to pleasure ourselves, fellas. Yet, discussions around birth control almost always exclude men. Discussions of its purpose at least. Discussions of its legislation are generally dominated by men, so that makes perfect sense.

My question is: why can't we just accept it for what it is and move the fuck on? Literally.

We are now dealing with a bizarre new morality where a woman cannot simply say, in one way or another, "I'm on the pill because I like dick." - Roxane Gay

Of course, it's not only about sex. It's about controlling birth. It's about delaying children for the sake of your career, or financial preparedness, or general happiness.  It's about having the time to decide, as a couple, that you want a family. Isn't that a good thing for everyone? For women and men? For employers, for the economy, for people against welfare, for individualism? Honestly, I can't think of anything more patriotic than avoiding pregnancy.