Hey, White Women – We DID Vote For Trump!

Like many others, this past weekend I went to the Women’s March on Washington. During the two months of Facebook discussion leading up to the march, I watched as white feminists were introduced to intersectional feminism for the first time. I wasn’t sure how white feminism and intersectionality were going to mesh, but I think that the now viral “White Women Voted for Trump” sign carried around by Angela Peoples was perfect.

In an interview with The Root, Peoples described the response to her sign: “Most [people] were saying ‘Not this white woman,’ or ‘No one I know!'” And it was at that point anger and frustration bubbled up inside me, to the point that I had to take a break from reading for a minute.

“Not this white woman” and “no one I know” are such bullshit things to say. People were bussed in from all over the country to come this event! I live in the blue af DC metro area, and I know dozens of white women that voted for Trump. If no one you know voted for Trump, either people are afraid to be honest with you, or you live in a ridiculously homogenous bubble.

There’s no one weird sect of my white friends that chose Trump; they range from people I went to a small private elementary school with to former University of Maryland classmates. Almost my entire fucking family voted for him! I’m also one of the most vocally pro-BLM white people that I personally know, and I have been flooding my newsfeed with “hands up, don’t shoot” since Ferguson’s unrest, and a countdown to Trump’s reign starting from “Mexicans are rapists.” I’ve written for Cop Block, I write for liberal immigration lawyers, I have ripped apart both criticism of Baltimore’s uprising and praise of O’Malley on local and national platforms. I have lost work contracts and friends over my militantly pro-black, pro-woman opinions. And even with all of this, people still casually tell me they voted for Trump. Not only would it never cross my mind to give a negative response to a sign someone on my side is holding, but come on. If people tell me they voted for Trump, then I know they told other people. “Yup we sure did, and I know a fuck ton of them that I’m trying to work on,” is the most truthful response.

After Freddie Gray died, I gave up a travel heavy contract I had to write a book about the social, racial, and economic history of Baltimore and how these things culminated in the death of Freddie Gray. Because here is the thing: plenty of people who look like me would rather listen to me tell the history of the black experience in Baltimore instead of listening to, you know, black people. I am a white woman, and consequently I still benefit from white privilege.

So white women! Don’t step on people’s toes or put words in their mouth or act like you understand another’s struggle as though you’ve lived, but DO acknowledge that we benefit from the color of our skin. Take time to learn, and then act as a facilitator to help bridge communication between your fellow white feminists and the vast array of other types of feminists that exist. Don’t get distracted or bitter about signs pointing out that white women don’t show up to protest when black women are shot by the police, or by signs that show the actual statistics of who vote for Trump. Those things are accurate, and you don’t get to be salty with someone for delivering an accurate message.

I am here to share facts and data to help people begin to grasp the challenges faced by those who are less privileged than they are. I am NOT here to defend my fellow whites to communities already marginalized by white people. So what if someone thinks I might be a Trump voter because I’m white? Boo. Hoo. Hey, I’m gonna guess it fucking sucks more to have cops think you’re an armed threat just because you’re black.

Let’s not make #NotAllWhiteWomen the new #NotAllMen. White women benefit from white supremacy, and we need to acknowledge that. Otherwise we are just like the guys who think that sexism and the patriarchy are real, but THEY aren’t sexist so they aren’t part of the problem.

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I’ll Have Belle for my Wife, Make No Mistake About That!

With the sucess of 50 Shades, I’ve been questioning the messages behind other popular movies. Unfortunately, it has led me to one of the Disney films I remember really liking as a child. This may or may not be well discussed by others, but I don’t know; in general I’m not one of those people that enjoys Disney movies as an adult. It wasn’t until very recently that I started wondering if Beauty and the Beast was just a story about a bunch of abusive assholes and terrible people.

Beauty was my favorite Disney movie because I always related to Belle. As a child I was so shy I’d cry if people (not strangers. Just anyone) talked to me. I would rather read a book than talk to people or look where I was going. As an adult, I’m super excited for every movie Emma Watson makes. What I’m saying is, re-watching this movie made the past 90 minutes of my life suck.

I’m going to assume you have some idea of the plot of Beauty and the Beast. Belle is pretty but a bookworm, and everyone thinks she’s weird — including Gaston, the asshole handsome guy who declares he will marry her, despite her disinterest. Meanwhile, there’s the Beast, a formerly handsome prince turned into a beast for being an asshole. When Belle’s dad gets locked away by the Beast, Belle offers up herself as the Beast’s prisoner (or guest) instead. The Beast obliges, Belle’s dad is too weird for the townspeople to believe his story, hijinks ensue. In order to break the Beast’s curse, he needs someone to love him while being a beast.

From the first moment the Beast’s house supplies talk to him about Belle, he says of course it has crossed his mind she will be the one to break the spell. That means he’s thinking about her falling in love with him when he does things like lock her away and refuse to feed her.

Of course, the Beast grows in the movie, and both the Beast and Belle are outcasts of society. But she is a prisoner during the Beast’s transition. If that could have been expressed in any other way, then this could have been a charming story of watching the Beast struggle to understand politness and how to get over his anger at being shunned by the world around him.

Pro tip: if you’re close with your dad and he calls your boyfriend that “horrible fella,” you should run away. Fast. Same thing if your boyfriend prohibits you from seeing your father.

What do you guys think? Is my mind just 50 Shades-ed out, or does this rub anyone else the wrong way as an adult?

50 Shades Shittier

I promised a round two of why I hate 50 Shades, so here we go. After I wrote about the books last month, I had a bunch of people explain to me how it isn’t abuse and Christian becomes an amazing guy in the end. Thankfully, I actually read the last book instead of listening to the Champions of Grey; no, no he does not stop being a terrible piece of shit. One passage stands out to me more than any other, and I’ll get to it in a moment. 

First, has anyone else ever listen to a friend bitch about a guy and not know what to tactfully say in response? You know, a nice way to say things like he doesn’t call you because he isn’t interested? Or it probably isn’t that he hates relationships, he just hates the idea of one with you, and nagging won’t change that? Or his decision to fight with you whenever you go out without him is a controlling and damaging tactic, and not something you should just get over? Because I find so many women (and I’ve been guilty of this, too!) brush off these actions by making excuses — he’s mysterious, he’s a bad boy, he needs changing, he’s just like Christian Grey, whatever. For people who felt the need to school me on my stance, that right there is the problem. 50 Shades encourage the idea that asshole men can be changed, that manipulative behavior is endearing, and that it’s fine to emotionally manipulate women into being in relationships they repeatedly say they aren’t comfortable with. If someone is doing these things to you, reading it depicted as great and romantic can make you feel like you’re overreacting.

My worst nightmare is being forced to have a child. In order to help avoid that, I do things like not date men who want children. Apparently it’s Christian’s nightmare, too — except he doesn’t run for the hills when Ana expresses her desire to have children. In one of the scenes I personally found most uncomfortable, Christian forces hormonal birth control on her — motherfucker, how about you get snipped if you never want kids? When Ana, who is depicted as being the dumbest person alive (despite her college degree), inevitably forgets her demanded Depo appointments, she gets knocked up. Over and over she worries about how angry Christian will be. When she tells him…well, there’s nothing I can do but show you. Keep in mind they are married and her father just almost died.

“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing, one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”
Stupid! I gasp. Shit. I want to tell him that the shot was ineffective, but words fail me. I gaze down at my fingers. “I’m sorry,” I whisper. “Sorry? Fuck!” he says again.
“I know the timing’s not very good.”
“Not very good!” he shouts. “We’ve known each other five fucking minutes. I wanted to show you the fucking world and now … Fuck. Diapers and vomit and shit!” He closes his eyes. I think he’s trying to contain his temper and losing the battle. “Did you forget? Tell me. Or did you do this on purpose ?” His eyes blaze and anger emanates off him like a force field.
“No,” I whisper. I can’t tell him about Hannah— he’d fire her.
“I thought we’d agreed on this!” he shouts.
“I know. We had. I’m sorry.”
He ignores me. “This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn’t come along and fuck everything up.”
No … Little Blip. “Christian, please don’t shout at me.” Tears start to slip down my face. “Don’t start with waterworks now,” he snaps. “Fuck.”

God, I’m so glad that Christian is reformed. Maybe people get that impression because we learn that Christian is into BDSM because his mother was a crackhead. I can’t even.

Out of some sick curiosity, I tried to watch the movie…but it wasn’t available on Time for Popcorn, so never mind.

50 Shades of Shit, Part One: Ana Wrecks Your Life

I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve decided I can’t not write about 50 Shades of Grey. I feel like everything that needs to be said has been discussed, yet this book is now a record setting film. So I guess I’m wrong, which is unfortunate since this is one of the few books I’ve read that causes me to hate every single character and the author. If you haven’t read the books, here’s a very brief rundown: Shy, virginal Ana meets hunky BDSM-loving billionaire Christian Grey. He takes her V-card, shows her his torture chamber of love, beats her, gets dumped, gets back together, wacky hi jinx ensue. They get married and go on a miserable sounding honeymoon where he leaves bruises over her body because she was topless tanning in the south of France.  Meanwhile, he used to be raped by his mom’s friend and now owns a hair salon with her, his old Sub tries to kill Ana, and Christian’s brother dates Ana’s best friend, Kate. Sound stupid? Yes, because it is. There is no real plot.

Actual book quote: "Oh my. My whole body tightens at the thought. Piano. Wow."
Actual book quote: “Oh my. My whole body tightens at the thought. Piano. Wow.”

There are many problems with the 50 Shades series: shitty writing, an abusive hero (Christian Grey), a heroine (Ana Steele Grey) that seems like a huge bitch, characters named after eating disorders, closeted racism and homophobia, and not so closeted classism. I’m going to focus on the abuse. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: my argument is not that consensual BDSM is abusive. My argument is that Christian Grey is a temperamental, emotional, and manipulative asshole with a violent past. You can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not the virginal Ana is able to make a free of mind choice to participate in something she repeatedly says she doesn’t like.


Ana wrecks your life!

I feel like most people know a guy that’s like Christian Grey. You can sometimes identify a Christian by the crying girl that is often with him — the girl you probably call crazy, the one who seems to not have any friends (since she isn’t allowed).  Guys like Christian do their damnedest to be the best and worst thing to ever happen to a girl, creating an emotional roller coaster (if roller coasters are portals to hell). Throughout all 3 books, Christian repeatedly pushes Ana to her limits, then gives her a peek of the “nice guy” within, or his tortured soul, making her feel like she’s responsible for his outbursts. Over and over she expresses sentiments like, “I didn’t ask him to come get me. Somehow I’ve been made to feel the villain in this piece,” and “Why am I feeling guilty? Why is he so mad?” If you often find yourself wondering these things in your relationship, please seek help. You might feel crazy, but you aren’t — he is.

Ah, not creepy at all
Ah, not creepy at all

Not only does Christian fuck with Ana’s mind and make her feel responsible for anything in the world  that could irritate Christian, he also makes sure to drive giant wedges between her and her friends and family. She’s not allowed to be around boys, because obviously she cannot be trusted. Her best friend, Kate,  is a bad influence because she has the audacity to question Christian’s intentions (even though in the first book, almost every time Kate sees Ana after Ana has been around Christian, she is crying). When Ana doesn’t want Christian to come to her graduation, he shows up and meets her stepdad. And, most disturbingly (to me), when Ana tells Christian she needs some space and flies to Georgia to visit her mother…Christian flies out and stays at the same hotel and gives her exactly zero space or time to spend alone with her mother. In the second book, Christian flies back from halfway around the world because Ana and her best female friend go out for a drink together and he forbid her from leaving the house. By book three (the book the champions of the series claim show Ana as “taking the power back”), Christian is selecting Ana’s friends (spoiler alert: no boys) by surprising her with group vacations and picking the guest list himself. Hey, guess what! If you have a friend you used to be close with, but now she dates this guy and she cries a lot and never hangs out with you because of him, she’s probably in an abusive relationship.

This is going on longer than I thought, so I’m going to break it up into parts. Maybe for Part 2 I can include a mix of quotes from serial killers  and Christian Grey, and we can play a game where you guess who said what!

Let me know if you saw the movie and if you think I should see it too! Also, please check out my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can subscribe to my blog here

The Case for Banning Yoga Pants

Hi friends! I think I’ve been doing something terribly wrong, and I wanted to reach out and see if you could help me. Here is how my days usually go: when I decide I’m done with pajamas, I either lazily put on leggings (because it’s a day of working out or not giving a fuck how I look) or I shave my legs, blow dry my hair, do my make up, and put on something cute (like a body con dress or a short flare skirt, because I like to look as trampy as possible and I hate all “real” pants).

But apparently, my lazy as fuck, figure skating, crossfitting, errand running outfit is about the sluttiest outfit I could wear (except my birthday suit. Ew. Women’s bodies are icky).  I actually have everything backwards — I need to rock a nice Herve Leger to the gym and grocery store, and save the leggings for when I’m trying to seduce men at the bar or on a date.

Casual outfit for grabbing some groceries
Casual outfit for grabbing some groceries

I mean, what else would be the reason for Montana wanting to make leggings illegal?!  Not because the Representative Moore is a crazy asshole who wants to boss everyone around like tyrannical dictator!

In Soviet Russia, legging wear you. Also, look at the Olympic medal winning legging-slut.
Look at the Olympic medal winning legging wearing slut. Doesn’t she know children are watching?!

Walt Hill, who helped draft the bill, says “I want Montana to be known as a decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices.” Me, too!! Degrading and indecent practices of the government not making me get dolled up to go to the fucking grocery store.

Standard club attire in Montana
Standard club attire in Montana

So is everyone else using leggings as a way to seduce men and ruin children? Why am I always the last to know what’s going on? Can I run a black market legging shop if this goes through? And more importantly, can someone make a Butte, Montana pun out of this?

Drive a Camel, Evade a Rapist. Drive a Car, Rape Free For All.

Hello, ladies. Do you drive? Well, you better trade that Buick in for a camel!! According to Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon, while women used to ride camels, women can’t drive cars because the cars break down and then the women are raped. If you live outside of Saudi Arabia, you don’t care about being raped — the only thing that getting raped does to you is bring down your morale a bit. You know, like when you expect it to be sunny and it rains? Or when you want that special edition Red Bull in the yellow can, but 7-11 only has the regular kind? And your day just kind of sucks for a little bit.

Are you confused? Don’t worry, he goes on to tell us to listen to him “and get used to what society thinks, if [you] are really so out of touch with it.”

“But Manda,” you say, “what if the women are raped by the men who drive them around?!” Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but obviously there is a solution for this: importing women drivers. “But wouldn’t this be a rapist’s dream?! Two women stuck in a broken down car, AKA a rape machine on useless wheels?!” Look, shut up — their rapists probably don’t do that. Also, sign me up. Sounds like a dream job.

This sums it up
This sums it up

“Marriage: The Best Way to Solve Your Relationship Problems” – GOD, According to Columnist Mike Adams

Do you want to save yourself from being beaten by your boyfriend? Do you want to increase your chances of being beaten by your girlfriend? Just get married! At least, that’s what I learned today from the Town Hall article, The Ring Makes All the Difference by one Mike Adams. 

I know I’m just a radical feminist who wants to destroy the idea of marriage and family (because God definitely thinks it is important you register your commitment with the state, y’all!), so my opinion probably doesn’t matter…but what a bunch of idiotic bullshit. Adams doesn’t really making any of his own points (outside of labeling feminists as life destroyers), but highlights some of his favorite facts from a book called (wait for it!) The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage.

Obviously, there is a lot of wrong going on here, but I’d like to start with the very last paragraph: “God is the author of the rules of the game of life. He is also the creator of science. When properly applied, His methods always reveal the truth.” I don’t really know what that has to do with anything, other than maybe saying if bitches get beat by their live in man sinner sluts, it’s because they didn’t listen to God’s rules of the game of life. But maybe we should talk about these rules for the game of life (henceforth abbreviated as GRGOL, because typing it out one more time might make me throw up. How does this guy have a regular column somewhere and I don’t?).

The Bible is full of contradictory information when it comes to marriage. In the book of GRGOL, Paul tells us in Corinthians to not bother getting married, and to only get married if we can’t stop ourselves from having sex (which we also shouldn’t do). On the other hand, plenty of people had multiple wives and that was considered awesome. Something GRGOL doesn’t address? What marriage actually is. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that marriage is a trip to the county courthouse, sharing your bank accounts, and dragging down your SO’s chances for credit approval with your shitty score and student debt.

But let’s say that the American idea of marriage is what GRGOL had in mind. What other evidence do we have to support the idea that marriage is the best?

– In marriages, male-female ratios of violence are roughly equal – with women and men just as likely to initiate violence against their spouses. However, in cohabiting relationships, men are far more likely to initiate violence.

Is your man beating you? Get engaged, it’ll end as soon as you’re legal! Though…maybe that’s not really what’s going on. Turns out, married immigrant women are about 10% more likely to report being abused than unmarried immigrant women living with a partner. Also turns out, women who are married generally don’t like to report their husband as an abuser.  But hey. You want to pretend that marriage stop violence, let’s take a look at the DOJ’s Intimate Partner Violence study:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.50.21 PM

Looks like the safest thing you can do is get married and not have kids, since bearing kids is obviously what makes women become victims of violence.

– Married people typically earn more and save more than their unmarried counterparts – whether cohabiting or single.
– The poverty rate for children living in married households is 6%. It is 31% for children living with a cohabiting father and mother.

Lots of studies have been done to figure out why unmarried people make more than married people. Some theorize that those who are married are looked at by their employer as more responsible, and given raises or promotions that are influenced by that (think: you’re a prick boss that only believes in your version of GRGOL. John is married with kids, Greg lives with his whore girlfriend in sin. Who do you layoff first?). Another idea is that just like more attractive people are better off in the work place, they are also more likely to find a partner. Or, if you come from money and are set up to be in a higher income bracket yourself, your family might be more traditional. Or…tax deductions (because if getting married to end abuse isn’t enough, tax deductions should be). But in the vein of the second point up there, if you’re in a lower income bracket…it often makes sense to not get married as your combined income may cause you to lose benefits. That doesn’t mean that you’re poor because you’re unmarried; it means you’re unmarried because you’re poor. I’m presumably in the minority of people who are looking to permanently cohabit without getting married, but this guy is pretending there is some magic going on. Living together in sin? $12k a year for you! Signed that legal document? Bam!! $65k!

– A married man will spend about eight more hours a week doing household chores than his shacking-up peer.

Assuming that is even true outside of the one study he referenced/that I could find, you’d think it’d be true all of the time. Because marriage = man cleaning, nothing else should matter. Except this study, covering 5 European countries, which found “that cohabiting couples have a more egalitarian division of labour but that there are important country differences.” Maybe there are other things at play here than marriage?

I hate to write about a guy writing about a book I haven’t read, but over and over it’s clearly the same mistakes: thinking marriage is the problem solver. Do you want the real solution to save family life? Find your person, move in together, get married if you want. Make sure they’re the right person, that you’re compatible in your goals and way of life (kids, no kids, city, country, whatever). Enjoy your time together, work hard to make it work, don’t cheat, don’t hit each other, and don’t give a shit who has what jewel on what finger.

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