The secret is to make a resolution that involves not having a job. I should have realized all along, that if I just made a resolution to be a kick-ass housewife, something would happen to keep me from fulfilling it.
Fortunately, that something is a new job. I start Tuesday, and I’m both ridiculously excited and nervous. I’ve been out of the work force for awhile, so I’m basically worried I’ll be terrible at it (hello, impostor effect! This young lady is QUITE more familiar with you than I need to be!). I am thrilled, though, because it is a social justice oriented job, and I will be helping people out on a daily basis.
I don’t know why I’m so worried about fucking up at it. I may not know a lot about how to do the job now, but in theory, neither do most new hires. I’m inexperienced, but everyone has to start somewhere, and I’m a dedicated and hard worker.
Interesting. I’m a lady, and a feminist, and not a radical feminist according to the accepted meaning of radical feminist within the community, though I may be radical in some ways. And… it actually annoys me when men who hold feminists beliefs refuse to call themselves feminists. I think I understand your reasons for doing so, but in general, when I see a man calling himself a feminist ally instead of a feminist, it makes me think that he is trying to separate himself from feminism and from being too identified with women and womanly things. By assigning himself a different label, it seems like he is saying he isn’t on board with what feminism is– that he must differentiate himself from using a term that normally denotes female, which reflects on the normal trend of men dissociating themselves from the stereotypically or superficially feminine.
I do think the word feminist loses something when people use it incorrectly, but I don’t think that one’s sex or gender automatically causes them to be using it incorrectly. Rather, it’s the Sarah Palins of the world who are calling themselves feminists when they ought not be.
I wish more people who believed in women and women’s rights, in equality, and in an end to a patriarchal system of government and enforced societal codes of patriarchal living would call themselves feminists. Maybe then women who haven’t learned much about feminism wouldn’t be scared away from learning more.
One of the big problems a lot of women run into in dating, friending, hanging out with guys is that a surprisingly large number of men think that, in exchange for gifting women with their scintillating wit and presence, the woman must then owe them sex. This is, obviously, a Bad Thing. And its very badness leads to a lot of people stating that people feeling entitled to sex is always bad. That, I can’t get on board with.
I think that feeling entitled to sex is actually pretty ok when the condition of having regular sex has been pretty much established as an important part of the ongoing relationship– like an entitlement to knowing about a partner’s debt or illnesses, or an entitlement to wearing your holey tshirts to bed when you feel sick instead of cute lingerie, or an entitlement to conversational time, or an entitlement to honesty and good night kisses and stealing sips from each other’s water glasses. It’s and important part of most long term romantic relationships, and if the relationship was established and maintained with an even implicit understanding that sex is an important part of it, I think it is perfectly understandable, maybe even healthy, for a partner to feel pissed off, confused, or resentful if hir partner stops wanting to have sex.
I think this holds true even when it isn’t the partner’s fault they can’t have sex or have no libido! Sex wanting partner can feel grumpy all ze wants as long as ze doesn’t take it out on the other partner! Hell, even when sex-not-having-partner is somehow at fault for a dry spell, sex-wanting shouldn’t take it out on them. Because you should also be entitled to some fucking civility in a romantic relationship, regardless of what reality tv and the movies might want people to think.
But being entitled to sex– in this way, at least– doesn’t mean you get to force your partner to have sex. It isn’t an excuse for rape– not for rape by physical force, not for rape by coercion, not for any sort of rape or sexual assault. Because you can’t force someone to do something ze doesn’t want to do, that’s just not right.
So… if I’m saying it’s not ok to force hir to have sex, how is it that it’s ok to feel entitled to sex? Because you’re being denied what is, for most people, an essential part of that sort of partnership. And it means that, because it is a thing you are entitled to and it’s off the menu, that it’s time for you to do some thinking, possibly reevaluating the relationship and its boundaries, possibility reevaluating the role sex plays in the relationship, possibly even leaving the relationship. Because, while sex isn’t as important as communication, taking it away still fundamentally changes the nature and tone of the relationship.
Coming up: thoughts on why entitlement to sex outside of such an established relationship is stupid, arrogant, and harmful.
I saw on Tumblr a meme where people are reblogging their bra sizes.
Well, I wear a 36 C. Or a 34 DD. Or a 32 F. Or a 34 D. Or a 32 E. I mostly wear two bras, a 36C by Wacoal and a 32 DDD by Chantelle.
They basically fit the same. They offer the same support, but one is a flesh toned smooth bra, and one is black and pink lace. And they have wildly different sizes.
I actually hate bra shopping a lot, because it is so freaking hard to find anything that fits well, regardless of size. I can go to Victoria’s Secret or Macy’s and walk out equally frustrated when nothing seems to fit– and I try a lot of styles when I go bra shopping. I make it a damned production. And yet, I still have so much trouble and usually walk out empty-handed. It would be easy if sizes were even really standardized within a company but due to the mind boggling array of cuts/styles/fits/materials bras come in, it just… doesn’t happen. And regular stores really only carry bras in a relatively narrow range of styles and sizes. You want a longform bra for a strapless dress? Fuck you! You want a small band size paired with a large cup size? Fuck you! You want a longform bra with a small band size and large cup size? Fuck you A LOT! And fuck you if your boobs aren’t quite the same size, if your band size is large and your cup size small, if your tits are wider or narrower apart than the current trend, if your nipples tend to point to the sides rather than straight forward, if your boob-flow is more horizontal than vertical, or… gosh, any number of things.
And yet bras are one of the most essential parts of the wardrobe for non-flat ladies. I have to wear one to walk comfortably. I have to wear one to look professional at work. And I have to try the damned things on to make sure they fit. But no one these days is really interested in selling bras that fit– we’re instead supposed to smash ourselves into bras made to fit an ideal figure that very few women have, and as a result we don’t look or feel our best. There’s some statistic out there about around 80% of women wearing the wrong sized bra– well, no shit. Unless you live in a major city with one of those Intimacy stores, you’re screwed.
Pretty lingerie is one of the things I’d love to buy as an indulgence that I wouldn’t even feel guilty about. But I’m not even given the option, and that’s annoying as hell.
It may seem like an odd idea coming from an angry feminist like myself, but my main resolution for 2012 is to be a better housewife. Actually, it’s to be a fucking amazing housewife. My main goal for 2012 is to get a job, but until I do, I want to feel like I’m useful and like I’m contributing to my household– so I’m going to go old fashioned and clean, cook, and organize like no one’s business. My husband will still manage the bills, as he currently does, but I’m planning to step it up in the domestic sphere, both in general and in a few specific ways… and honestly, the idea of the overarching housewife resolution came out of a number of smaller ones I’d been thinking of.
1. Empty the sink at the end of the day! Clean all the dishes in it, and give it its own little swish of cleanliness.
2. Menu plan in advance. I’m not a bad cook, but I find actual menu planning to be difficult. We’re a little spontaneous, and Henry likes to eat out, so I’ve bought things in advance before only to have them go bad after we eat out for a few nights in a row. I also want to expand my cooking skills and try new recipes– I have all these gorgeous cookbooks, and i might as well use them, right? So it’s a way to do something I enjoy, practice a skill, and contribute.
3. Create a budget. I don’t know where all of our money is going, so I’m going to try to track expenses for a month or two and find out, and them maybe try to think of a way to save a little. Right now, we tend to run very close to the line.
4. Clean and tidy the home. Laundry whenever there’s a large enough load, instead of waiting until we run out of clothes.
5. After budgetting is taken care of, I want to buy another set of sheets and a better duvet for the bed. Part of the joy of home is in its comfort, right?
6. Dress nicely on a daily basis. Its truly tragic right now– if I don’t wear home, I generally wear a tank top, jeans, no makeup, and let my hair air dry. It’s practical, but it isn’t super pretty.
Any other ideas on how to be a better housewife or advice on good, free budgeting programs is much appreciated!
Modest fashion just seems like an oxymoron to me. The idea behind modesty seems to be making yourself unappealing– or at least sexually unappealing– but the fashion blogs seem to stress dressing in a feminine, attractive way. Which… if you’re looking “feminine” and “attractive”, it seems like you’re still cultivating sexual appeal, just a different type of sexual appeal. It seems to invoke a spirity of coyness, rather than blatantness, and to still be courting male attention, but trying to shift responsibility off the self by saying that it’s modest.
A lot of “modest fashion” is rather similar to what I wear on a daily basis when I’m making an effort to look nice, if I subbed out jeans for a knee length skirt. And yet, that effort to look nice isn’t just an effort to look dressed– it’s an effort to look attractive to my husband, while being context appropriate. Meaning, I might slut it up for a late night date, but for an afternoon at the coffee shop, I need to have my boobs covered, but I still want to get him thinking of me as a sexual being. I just want to minimize strange men staring at me, while enticing my husband to. So it’s a coyness– All my naughty bits are covered up, and I’m not wearing anything skin tight, but the hint is still there and it’s still sexy. and… it looks just like some of the modest fashion I’ve seen. Hell, some modest fashion style manages to draw even more attention to the breasts than what I normally wear– outfits with cinched lowcut vests over white dress shirts or tops with ruffles may not be revealing, but they aren’t exactly turning the mind away from breasts, you know?
It bothers me for a couple of reasons. The first is that the idea that women should dress modest is insulting to men. The second is that it practically asks people to be judgemental of those who don’t fit their idea of “modesty”. And the one that’s most relevant to the idea of modest fashion is that it’s hypocritical. If you want to truly be modest, why are you spending so much time on trying to look attractive? You’re just a different side of the coin that you claim you’re trying to not be.
If I had to pick one word to define me…. well, there are a lot of words I’d pick, and so I wouldn’t.
But hesitancy would be one of the top choices. It’s a flaw, and a weakness, and I hate it so, so much, but I am HESITANT. I don’t want to offend, I don’t want to mess up, I don’t want to make a bad impression, and so I wait, and I hesitate. It doesn’t really matter how important or serious or involved it is, it’s just the fact that it involves another person and action and that makes me second guess every word I write, and makes me delay starting and finishing, and I’ll edit an email then wait to send it till the next morning when I can check it over and make sure I didn’t leave anything important out–
And then, I send it, and it ends up being so simple, and so much later than anything of its sort needs to be, and I’ve lost the face I was so desperately trying to save.
So this blog is an exercise in unhesitancy. In writing, and not worrying about perfect, or even about having all my research and thoughts linked and documented and backed it. It’s an exercise in unfiltered expression, brutal honesty, and confronting myself and my fears. I’m sure it will mostly be ramblings about the life of a housewife, or about sex, or gossip, but still. A lack of hesitancy. A lack of putting things off. An embracing of short drafts, and telling people to go google the research their own damn selves,