The Daily Beast: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

We (male) nerds grow up force-fed this script. Lusting after women “out of our league” was what we did. And those unattainable hot girls would always inevitably reject us because they didn’t understand our intellectual interest in science fiction and comic books and would instead date asshole jocks. This was inevitable, and our only hope was to be unyieldingly persistent until we “earned” a chance with these women by “being there” for them until they saw the error of their ways. (The thought of just looking for women who shared our interests was a foreign one, since it took a while for the media to decide female geeks existed. The Big Bang Theory didn’t add Amy and Bernadette to its main cast until Season 4, in 2010.)

This is, to put it mildly, a problematic attitude to grow up with. Fixating on a woman from afar and then refusing to give up when she acts like she’s not interested is, generally, something that ends badly for everyone involved. But it’s a narrative that nerds and nerd media kept repeating.

I’m genuinely glad a male nerd recognizes this problem. 

Jezebel: American Sniper and Seth Rogen

Following comments associating Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with a Nazi propaganda film featured within Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, actor Seth Rogen has been forced to clarify that, no, he was not comparing the U.S. troops to Nazis. Isn’t it great thatAmerican Sniper is advancing such intelligent discourse?

There is some serious irony here. 

A soldier goes to war to protect us and our freedoms.

A man uses that freedom to express his discontent with what might be called “the celebration of a man’s strong skill at killing, and lack of remorse after doing so”–yes, I know I just revealed my distaste for this film and what it represents–and then is promptly bashed for doing so. 

Does anyone else see a problem, here?

We celebrate our right to kill others because we’re “defending our freedoms,” but cry “foul” when someone freely expresses in mere words that they take issue with this?

Look, I hate war. But, I do think that it’s sometimes necessary.

I hate guns. But, I do understand how they might sometimes be necessary.

I know, I’m a contradiction.

However, I don’t care if you feel the kill was “justified,” you should feel some remorse, because no matter how terrible that person was, it was a person. A human. You took a human’s life. That warrants some sadness and regret. 

And I am free to say so.

 

 

KXAN News: Austin’s Gender Neutral Bathrooms

“The city’s adoption of these new regulations are the result of a national campaign by the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) organization to bring attention to gendered restroom facilities which can present uncomfortable and dangerous situations for the gender non-conforming community,” the city said in a statement.

Texas and I have our differences. I was born and raised here, in a now-dying Texas tradition of genuine Western ranchers, cowboys, and cattlemen. God knows I’ve struggled, as I’m not anything like what I was raised to be. 

But I’m rooting for you Texas! I know Austin is very different from the rest of Texas, but I hope you, as a whole, will progress and become part of a diverse world, rather than separate from it. 

BuzzFeed: Thoughts Introverts Have At Parties

“So…when can I go back home?”

“Alright, let’s find the most isolated couch here.”

“Time to do the conversation!”

“OK…this is starting to get draining.”

They missed something, though. When we introverts finally make contact and find a way to engage with others, many of us have moment at which we realize that we have been oversharing as a result of intense social anxiety and the exhaustion it causes. Sometimes it’s immediate, and other times it happens much later. 

It never ceases to amaze me how difficult it is for some people to understand introversion. I am constantly encountering people who assume that because I can generally function socially, I must not be very introverted. 

Of course, I also struggle with being a very specific sort of person whom many people find “weird.” I can’t change who and what I am, though, so introversion serves as some protection from awkwardness and straightforward bullying, of which I have experienced more than my fair share. 

I like to see these little “articles.” It’s good to have ways of explaining these things to others that are simple and non-judgmental, as well as humorous. It’s better that we find ways to laugh at ourselves and not feel as though we’re being made fun of; it leads to understanding and acceptance. 

MTV News: Girls and Leggings

High school dress code policies have been making national headlines for a few years now, and the latest bewildering news item gets extra points for weirdness. Devil’s Lake High School in North Dakota has reportedly bannedleggings, jeggings, and tight jeans, citing—and I am not making this up—the 1990 Julia Roberts film Pretty Woman as supposed proof that tight pants are the devil’s playground.

This news is from last Fall, but it’s still relevant.

I do think there are people for whom leggings are not the best choice. But, I also agree that spending time and energy on punishing a young female student for wearing a certain piece of clothing, particularly a piece of clothing which does not actually reveal any flesh, rather than spending that time and energy on teaching her how to think critically, or write an essay, or solve an important problem is just a tiny piece of the massive iceberg that is poor education, patriarchy, and misogyny. 

Even if she had worn something that revealed some flesh, like a tank top, it is not worthy of distracting from the purpose of school to punish her for having a female body and dressing it the way she sees fit. 

It is a type of education; it teaches girls at a young age that others control every aspect of her life, down to her body and the clothing she wears. It teaches her that, in life, she has no autonomy, and no rights. 

And if you’re thinking that ever-frustrating phrase that distracts from the real issue, “But boys, too!”: no. Not, “But boys, too!” Boys can get away with pants that sag below their asses, t-shirts that proclaim offensive, misogynistic bullshit, and, of course, tank tops. Boys can also get away with skinny jeans, which are…wait for it…basically leggings!

I can rant and rave, but it won’t change anything. Just don’t let them get away with it, girls. 

Bus. Insider: Plus-size Target customers angry.

Target is under fire after revealing that plus sizes of its highly-anticipated Lilly Pulitzer clothing line will not be available in stores.

Target does it again!

Not long ago, one of their Web Developers, probably bored out of his or her mind, decided to name the plus-size counterpart of a grey dress “manatee grey,” and forgot to change it before the listing went live

That seems the most likely scenario, anyway.  

Now, Target  won’t be putting the plus-size versions of the newest line in stores, once again forcing big lady customers to shop without being able to try the clothing on. 

It’s frustrating. Target generally appears to be a size-friendly store; it’s one of the few that offers more than your average flowered or black tent for plus-size customers. But, it has fallen into the trap of forcing buyers to shop online, as many companies do. 

I rarely shop offline for that very reason. There are clothiers I love that offer larger sizes, but only online, thereby forcing chubby ol’ me to pay for shipping just to try on clothing. It can be infuriating, which is why I understand the reaction. 

Come on, Target. It’s not like you offer that much plus-size clothing to begin with. Would it kill you to add a few 1, 2, and 3xs to the racks? No. In fact, it would probably boost your sales. 

Huff. Post: Tiffany Ad Features Gay Couple

Tiffany & Co. is engaging new customers.

The venerable jeweler features a gay couple for the first time in an ad, according to Time.

The photogenic men, who are a real couple in New York City, are pictured on a stoop for Tiffany’s “Will You” campaign, next to a picture of two rings.

I don’t see marriage as a necessity for two people who want to spend their lives together.

But, I like the idea. I like knowing that there will be places in which people, like me, could propose, accept a proposal, and marry someone of the same gender. 

One state, one business, one step at a time. 

NPR: New Report Ranks Top Diets Of 2015

And when it comes to paleo, or the caveman diet, the verdict is that eating the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors did is not very realistic.

Aaah, diets.

Let’s see, what diets have I done in my time? Hmmm…

  • Slimfast
  • Low-to-No-Carb
  • 2,000 Calories
  • 1,500 Calories
  • 800 Calories
  • Any of the above calorie limits combined with a minimum of one hour of exercise. 
  • Four Small Meals a Day
  • The Diet Journal
  • Weight Watchers
  • One of those diets in which they deliver food to you. Oh my God, that was the worst. 

What did those diets do for me? 

Well, the food delivery system gave me terrible gas. I was nearly fainting every day during the calorie restrictions. I was exhausted going to the gym for hours every day. The Slimfast diet caused some cholesterol problems, and the doctor told me to “stop, now.” The low carb diet made me dream and obsess about bread of all kinds; I would have killed for a simple slice of bread.

I lost weight during all of them.

I gained even more the moment I stopped them.  

The most important thing was that I was miserable for every single moment of every single diet. No matter how much weight I was losing, no matter how thin I was, I was miserable. If I lost one pound, I wondered why I didn’t lose two. I was obsessed with the ups and downs, with food and when I’d get to eat next. The weight loss was not a joy or an accomplishment as it was supposed to be.

I have no desire to be terribly unhealthy, and I know where my faults lie. But my life with not be about denying myself things; it will be about the opposite.