athenaltena: (kurama)
I think I've mentioned that I've been growing my hair out, so now it's about shoulder length. As such I'm re-learning what it's like to have long hair since I haven't had it since before I got my driver's license, just over six years. So I've forgotten some things.

Mainly, that it's on the curly side and thick, thicker than I remember. Case in point: I was just combing it out when my comb snapped in half. Good God. Luckily I have another, but that was surprising. And loud. Startled the cat loud.

I actually have a coupon for a haircut that I might or might not use before the Cape, but I might just get the ends trimmed, since they're probably going to start splitting if they haven't already.
athenaltena: (Nataku)
So I realized something a little while ago. Mainly that, for the first time since I got tossed headlong into adolescence by early puberty I'm actually pretty happy with my body. It's not 100% (though find me someone in our society who is 100% happy with theirs given all the negative messages we're always receiving and I'll sell you a bridge) but for me it's higher than it's been for a long time.

I'm also more comfortable being a bit more feminine. I still think my gender identity is more towards the androgynous, but I wear skirts and dresses more often these days and (gasp!) actually put on some makeup, though it's just foundation and powder that make me look a little less tired all the time and is part of taking better care of myself in general. I think it's not so much that I wasn't feminine as that what I was told was the "correct" way to do it by society at large didn't gel with me, so I had to find my own version, which is less about lace and ruffles and more about subdued and saturated colors like blues and purples. Not to mention my newfound love of knee-high boots and leggings, since I don't particularly like having my legs uncovered, since I seem to always scratch the hell out of them and it's just more comfortable for me to have something over them.

I saw my therapist today and mentioned that to him, as well as the fact that I know some of this comes from when I first started developing and that made me a target, for instance the Bully Girls making the (stupid) assumption that any girl with boobs is a slut, which of course has its own issues since it's slut-shaming. It's a totally bullshit idea, but it's so ingrained in our culture that of course they did it. So for a long time I associated my own body with shame and negative things.

I've also been trying to train myself out of using the same sort of language that got thrown at me about other people and their bodies and dress styles, even if it's only internally. I'm definitely getting better at upper-cutting the negative voice in my head that says stuff like that and telling it to shut up (and yes that is how I picture it). One great thing about the queer community is that you can find a lot of body-positive people in it, and while there are issues in the community there's at least awareness of these issues.
athenaltena: (relaxed)
Right now we're reading Paradise Lost in my English class, and I am again reminded of how many problems I have with the Adam and Eve story.

Even when I was a little kid (and admittedly a little smartass) certain parts of that story always just bothered me. For one thing, the "God made Eve out of Adam's rib" thing made no sense to me since women are the ones who create life and give birth, and when I mentioned that to my professor he said that it could be read as men being jealous of women for being able to do that when they can't, so for this story they appropriated it.

Also the whole bit with the woman being the one responsible for the Fall didn't make sense to me either. No offense to men, but considering that over 90% of Darwin Award winners are men and that a man is far more likely to die in an accident caused by a lapse of judgment I think you can make a pretty good case that men tend to be more impulsive. Not to mention how the entire story, especially Milton's version, is extremely misogynistic and basically has the message that women should never be left alone to make any decisions without a man nearby (hah), and a couple passages actually have early feminist ideas coming out of Eve's mouth with the express intent of mocking those thinkers. I should also add that being raised Unitarian means that the whole idea of Original Sin is something that I've never accepted either (if you want to use D&D terms I think that everyone starts as True Neutral and has the potential to go either way on the alignment scale).

I also have a bias against Adam and Eve because when I first came out multiple kids in my grade would cleverly (or so they thought) point out that it was "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" as part of their homophobic douchebaggery. I wish I had read enough at that point to counter that Adam and Eve didn't do such a great job since in the story they get humanity thrown out of heaven! Or there's always the retort I've unfortunately never had occasion to actually use, which is "If God had wanted us to be naked we would have been born that way."

But mostly the problem I have with this story is how it's been used to keep half ot he population down and justify treating them like crap. There are some other creation stories from different parts of the world that have a similar theme about the first two humans, but most of those don't make women out to be the villains as much as this one does.

What now?

Apr. 1st, 2011 07:50 pm
athenaltena: (ಠ_ಠ)
I have an FM receiver in my MP3 player, and as I was walking home an ad came up for a weight loss thing. But here's the thing: It was for men, but it was marketed to the guys' women, something to the effect of "get your man back in healthy shape by making this call for him!"

My face was D: the entire time. Just no.

The product is probably snake oil anyway since it claims the guy can lose weight while not changing his habits or diet (hahahahahaha... no) but still. There is just so much wrong with the entire way that was presented. That was offensive to both men and women.
athenaltena: (Defensive. determined)
Why these girls go to school without makeup

I'm not sure I can quite articulate my reaction to this, since my reaction was pretty inarticulate and mostly consisted "So they... and people care... what?!"

Yeah, the story is that these high school girls have a club where they "daringly" decide not to wear makeup for one day of the week.

*twitch twitch*

I cannot even begin to articulate just how wrong this entire premise is, but I'll spell it out: A girl choosing not to wear makeup should not have to be seen as an act of rebellion. HONESTLY. People are really so invested in these rigid, unforgiving gender roles that this is actually seen as being notable?

Bullshit. I applaud the girls, but really, the fact that this even has to exist is completely and utter BULLSHIT.

It also puts in perspective just how little stock I put in this version of "doing the feminine" (which, by the way, is a valid sociological term but always makes me snicker since I picture some sort of disco dance) since I've basically never cared about makeup and the like. Seriously, the person who's taught me the most about it is a drag queen.
athenaltena: (Rider)
Right now, I'm actually wearing a skirt. And no, nobody forced me to do it.

I have no idea what came over me, but the other day I decided that I wanted one. So I went over to Filene's Basement and found a nice black one that comes to just above my knees and bought some tights, and here I am. Now if only I could find some knee high boots that fit around my calves since I love that look.

Part of it was that I was thinking earlier that some people would be surprised, then I remembered that I'm in a city where no one really knows me. In other words, all that high school garbage doesn't apply here and no one will give me any grief about it. It's rather refreshing to know that you can basically remake yourself.

Earlier in my life I had a period of time where I basically shunned feminine stuff, but now that I'm older I think I'm starting to embrace it a little more. The trick is to do it on my terms, which is to say avoid frills and pastels. These days I consider myself fairly androgynous a lot of the time, but that doesn't mean I have to shun one side completely.

It was kind of embarassing that I had basically forgotten how to wear tights and put them on backwards (quite uncomfortable, I assure you), but I got some help from Angelo's girlfriend. She also helped me add belt loops to this skirt since it sits a little too low on my waist (I was basically right between two sizes and went for the slightly larger one since I could do this), but with a belt it sits right.

I think it also once again makes me look older than I really am. I look like a 20 something grad student now.

Icky shirts

Aug. 8th, 2010 08:32 pm
athenaltena: (adjust glases)
I've seen two icky t-shirts as I was walking around Boston in the last few days.

One was "FBI: Female Body Inspector" worn by a guy at my gym.

The other was "Rub for Luck" worn by a woman walking past me on the street with the text, you guessed it, over the chest.

I thought about it for a bit, and I think both are equally icky, or at the very least they both inspired the same mental "Ew" reaction from me in more or less exactly the same tone.

Now I get it, both are trying to be funny. But still... really? Are people really going to wear those in public? And I know, free speech, don't censor other people's self expression, I just need to lighten up yada yada yada... but there's still a question of taste. I don't think there's a double standard for me since they both more or less inspired the same reaction, but they both seem to play into the same thing, mainly playing for laughs the invasion of another person's personal space and body, which makes me very uncomfortable. The one the woman had was maybe slightly better, but still, I think they were both pretty icky, at least by my standards. For the record if I saw a woman in a "Male Body Inspector" shirt I'd think it was equally icky as the "Female Body Inspector" one worn by that guy.

I will concede that both of those would be far, far worse if they were being worn by kids who had not picked them out themselves and were put into them by their parents. I can acknowledge that if you're an adult you have a right to wear what you want in public within reason (shoes, shirt, etc.) but making a kid wear those when they don't even know what they mean? That's not cool.
athenaltena: (glasses)
I wasn't going to take these tonight, but one benefit of the crappy quality of the webcam is that it hides the big bags under my eyes from a week off too little sleep, too much stress and allergies. D:

These new ones actually aren't that different from my old ones in terms of shape, but I like the effect they have on my face (balancing out my wide forehead and jawline while emphasizing the arch of my eyebrows and shape of my eyes, yes I thought far too much about this), and it always bugged me the way the old ones ticked up slightly at the temples:

Getting photos of these without the glare of the screen interfering is harder than it looks:
Photobucket

Side view, to give a better sense of their shape:
Photobucket

And another. Also visible are my "hair antennae" in the front:
Photobucket

Also, these are technically men's glasses since they were in the "men's" section of the display, not that I care. Amusingly enough (or not) as I was browsing the frames in the women's section of the eye doctor's office they were called things like "Fun" "Flirty" and "Passion"... while the men's were things like "Legacy" "Boardroom" and "Confidence" among others.

... Really, eyeglass manufacturers? Really?

(Incidentally mine didn't have a name, just a model number, and are from a company called Tempo that makes them for both genders)

(And as a bonus the new curtains are visible in the background, though they're not actually that puke-green and are in fact more olive, once again it's the picture quality or lack thereof doing that)
athenaltena: (Kurama)
So they have these vitamin supplement ads targeted at men that have examples of "all the things meant just for men" that include football player bobble heads (stupid) boxers (also stupid since I know girls who wear them) and duct tape.

Really commercial, really? Clearly they've never had to tape their boobs down to serve as an impromptu bra or do drag, since duct tape is your best friend in that situation. See Kari's series of tricks.

And you know, because women totally never fix things. Fuck you, advertising department, I have a roll of it in my toolbox.
athenaltena: (-_o)
Have a random commercial that I saw last night. It made my jaw drop.



Sadly enough, the thing that struck me most is that the guy's headphones are turned up way too loud. As in, if they're that loud you're probably giving yourself hearing loss. I do the "if you can hear anything when you hold them at arm's length it's too loud" rule with mine, but too many times a day someone walks by me with their music turned up loud enough for me to hear, sometimes to the point that I can make out the lyrics. No no no no no. It's obnoxious to everyone else and it's going to make you go deaf, so in 20 years I'll be interested in the rates of hearing loss among my generation. Commercials like this Do. Not. Help. since it normalizes the behavior.

Oh yeah, and the booty shaking and objectification. But unfortunately I'm used to seeing stuff like that so the headphone thing is actually more shocking. Yeah.

*facepalm*

Oct. 30th, 2009 12:28 pm
athenaltena: (facepalm)
Watchdog groups object to special that discusses breast self exams

Nudity =/= Sex. Seriously, what is so taboo about showing breasts? I just don't get it. And it's about checking for breast cancer, not stripping or being provocative.

Incidentally I remember watching the Super Bowl during that whole "wardrobe malfunction" thing years ago with my parents. We saw that happen, wondered what it was, and then forgot about it. Big effin deal.

Half the population has them and we all have exposure to them at some point, seeing them is not going to cause brain damage or make kids grow up messed up. If we were less uptight about this as a society I think it would solve a lot of problems we have when it comes to how we view our bodies.

Ick

Oct. 28th, 2009 01:47 pm
athenaltena: (Jerks)
Seventeen slammed for transphobic article

The November issue of the teen glossy includes an article called “True Life Drama: My Boyfriend Turned Out to Be a Girl,” written by a young woman named Sheri, as told to editor Jessica Press. In the article Sheri recounts her experience with Derek, who is ultimately revealed to be a young trans man.

“It felt like my whole first love was a lie,” Sheri writes, in a piece that equates Derek with men who lie about being fathers or those who have a drug problem.


And there goes the last iota of respect I had for teen magazines. Sure, because being trans is totally like being a drug addict. And yeah, it's so easy for people to come out as trans these days, seeing as people are so understanding. (The sarcasm of the last two sentence should be obvious)

And in a case of extreme irony guess who's going to be a man tonight! ME! Suck it, Seventeen.
athenaltena: (Juri)
Subject line is sarcastic in case you couldn't tell.

We had our usual family shindig today at my grandmother's house. I came down at 10:30 to help my aunt and grandmother set the things up and do the sort of manual labor that's hard for them, and they paid me at the end of the day. Overall it was enjoyable though I still can't keep the cousins straight (and trust me, there are many) but I nearly flipped my shit at one point.

So this little 6 or so year old girl who is somehow distantly related to me (third cousin or somesuch) comes up to me, and the first thing she says is "Why are you dressed like a boy?" This made me do a bit of a double take, since I don't think I was dressed especially masculine today (brown short-sleeved blouse, jeans and my black heeled boots) but trying to be gentle I said that it's how I prefer to dress. She then started on this thing about how girls are supposed to wear skirts and dresses and pink and blah blah blah the usual gendered crap, but I just tuned it out. Amusingly only one woman at this party was wearing a skirt, and that was my mom.

But then it got worse. This girl picks up her little iPod with its speakers and starts playing that godawful "I Kissed A Girl" song. But then, then she turns to me, starts giggling, and says "She kissed another girl, isn't that weird?"

So let me recap. She not only insulted my gender identity and started playing a song that I abhor, but she then went and insulted my orientation when just last week I locked lips with Sara. It was the perfect storm of things to piss me off. At that point I reminded myself that strangling a 6 year old girl is not a wise course of action and retreated.

I know that at that age they just parrot what other people have said, but UGH!

There's also the fact that I can only take so may people at one time, and near the end there I was reaching my limit. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got out and a bit punchy, but I usually don't have to deal with so many people at once.

But to paraphrase something my dad would say, family are the only people who have to let you in when you knock on the door at 1 in the morning.
athenaltena: (sociology)
One of the sociology blogs I follow mentioned an article in The Wall Street Journal about how "women have a new body part to worry about", mainly their ankles. I saw this same article headline a few days ago and rolled my eyes. I remember snorting when people on the news were criticizing Hilary Clinton for supposedly having this when they could have, y'know, been talking about her political experience and things that actually matter for a presidential candidate.

Women have a new body part to worry about

I'm just glad I can walk on my right ankle considering how many times I've twisted it over the years and had it crushed under the hooves of horses (that last part has happened twice). And we wonder why lots of girls get eating disorders and are otherwise insecure about themselves (including me at times, I admit). And of course that article says only women have to worry about it, men are supposedly immune to this sort of insecurity. Bullshit. Just ask my friend Krys, who Sara has threatened to throw him like a javelin since he's maybe 120 pounds soaking wet and skinny as a rail but complains that he's too fat.

And yes that is my comment in there saying that this is a load of crap. I'll repeat that as many times as I need to! For some reason this sort of thing in particular sets me off.

Though props to one commenter who replied with the following:

I have fat ankles because I have bursitis.

Luckily for me I don’t give a sh*t.
athenaltena: (chibi aus)
I've been looking for a bedframe over the summer for the new apartment, and as I looked online I quickly found they were really damn expensive. As in, $100 for the crappy ones. Yowch. Luckily Mom knew of a place called The Trading Post down by my aunt's house that sells cheap older stuff, and we found a nice twin headboard for $20. Let it never be said I'm not a cheapskate, because I am. I'll probably go back at some point to get some other good quality cheap crap and add that place to my list of good buys around here.

Our friends Ted and Elizabeth have a twin mattress and boxspring on a metal hollywood/hotel frame they're willing to give us, so all we need to do is attach this baby:



8 happens to be my favorite number. It needs a little TLC, but Mom has some stuff that you can just rub on that'll get the finish back in a presentable state.

I also looked at JC Penny online to see what they have in terms of sheets since I'll probably need some of them, and relating to a discussion I was linked to about how there's no way a guy would buy nice lavender sheets (I hope the sarcasm in that sentence comes through) I saw the JC Penny also subscribes to that bullshit with "girls'" and "guys'" bedding. Naturally the image for the girls' is a pink glittery thing while the guys' it's some sports team's colors. Screw you, JC Penny. This is why I hate gendered products that don't need to be gendered. Would it kill them to just make them in neutral colors and not do the "these are only for girls" stuff that reinforces stupid stereotypes (not to mention the fact that I hate pink)? It's a bullshit category in the first place since they contain a lot of the same stuff. Plus in my opinion a lot of it is pretty ugly. To quote my friend Krys, if your bedding glows in the dark and you're over the age of 8 you're probably overdoing it. (Hey, there's the number 8 again!)
athenaltena: (Possessive)
Oh wow, some people going against gay marriage in New Hampshire are stuck in the 19th century in more ways than one:

Ronald Goodwin, of Alexandria, called the [gay marriage] legislation "morally corrupt."

"Some of the women have been wearing their pants so long that some of the men have forgotten their identity. It's time the men put their pants back on," he said.


Let's see, homophobia and sexism in one sentence. How far we have come! Seriously, though, they're panicking because they've lost four states, but the sky hasn't fallen yet.

Oh yeah, and I seriously doubt that guy got the double meaning of what he was saying. Yes, please put your pants back on. You're scaring the children.
athenaltena: (Ash'Waren)
Oh yeah, I was tapped by some people from a media production class at the university who want to interview me about gender neutral bathrooms. Apparently someone from Diversity Services said that I would probably have an opinion on that issue since I put on the Transgender Day of Remembrance event last November. I agreed to do it.

Now I just have to have a position and be able to articulate it succinctly. Hmm. *research time* Just a quick Google search shows that Emerson (a college right down the street from us) and a few other campuses like the University of Vermont have enacted policies that make some bathrooms gender neutral, and I remember hearing that a (thankfully failed) anti-discrimination repeal in Gainesville Florida used scare tactics around the issue of mixed-gender bathrooms to gain enough signatures to get on the ballot. So it's definitely an issue that people are taking on.

Well, my instincts say that it's a very basic part of being alive to have to use the bathroom, so transgendered people have a lot of anxiety about it, and the fact that there are not gender neutral ones readily available add another stress to their lives. I might also bring up an LGBT event that I went to in Syracuse that had a gender neutral bathroom, and at one point while I was in a stall a guy came in and washed his hands. I didn't find it especially weird, but that guy happened to be gay, so maybe it's not the best example, but at least I can say I've been in a mixed gender bathroom and nothing bad has happened to me.

I am flattered that I got tapped as an expert for this, even though I certainly am not an expert on this particular issue! This must be what punditry feels like.

I know I have people on here who are familiar with stuff of that sort, so is there anything I should bring up or any interesting links?

Paper...

Mar. 1st, 2009 02:12 pm
athenaltena: (writing)
So... *cracks knuckles* I have to do a paper for Philosophy of Race & Gender about identity, where you have the right to define your own identity and where society has legitimate claims on defining you. Eep. I have a rough outline already, I just need to pull things out of the text and expand from them.

I was talking to Sara earlier, but she's gone to choir practice for a few hours, but hopefully by the time she gets back on Skype I'll have made some progress on it. It's not due until Wednesday, but I'll try to do the bulk of it now and leaving the minor tweaking until later.

I skipped church today in part because I needed sleep (seeing as I didn't get much the other night due to having to wake up for the summit) and good thing, too, since I slept until about 12:30. Plus, you know, I needed to do this. So I've got my book, a cup of coffee, Pandora Radio playing, and few distractions. Let's do this.
athenaltena: (Ponderous Haruhi)
In my Philosophy of Race and Gender class we seem to have designated our That Guy, by which I mean the (usually) male member of the class who Just. Doesn't. Get it.

We're still trying to define just what gender is, and That Guy said something to the effect of "Well, it's your chromosomes and your genitalia and your sexual orientation..." at which point I stood up and practically yelled "GENDER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SEXUAL ORIENTATION!" Oy.

I also sit next to a girl who is also in my Sex and Society class, and she's admitted to having difficulty figuring out the whole concept of gender since she thinks in black and white terms. I've tried to help her out with it, but I know it's difficult given that it challenges what we've been taught since the day we were born. It was actually pretty funny when we had to put definitions of gender up on the board, since you could tell which one was mine since it used the word "norm" in it. Yeah, sociology major I am.

I also have to give a nod to Professor Lori Rosenberg, who teaches my Sex and Society class, who when we broke up into discussion groups said "be respectful and don't assume heterosexuality." Thank you Lori! That same discussion brought up something that I've thought about on occasion, which is that LGBT people don't really have the template (or "script") for romantic relationships that heterosexual people do, so a lot of it is making it up as we go along. It produces some interesting results.
athenaltena: (Princess Tomoyo)
I've been doing a bit of New Year's restocking in my music department, since I ended up losing part of the music collection on my laptop after an update moved stuff around and I accidentally deleted the music files. I hate it when the updates do that, especially when they don't load your profile correctly, which basically means that everything is there but in a different place and saved as "read only". Restarting usually fixes it, but in this case the music files were a casualty, so I'm re-ripping the stuff I have on CD at home and re-ripping some stuff from WMA format to MP3 format, which is a lot better as a container and can play in practically anything. I'd actually been meaning to do that last part for a while but hadn't gotten the chance.

And just looking through the folders in the music section now, I'm embarrassed to say that I still have Linkin Park on there! Boy, that brings back (unpleasant) memories. I was such a dweeb when I was 14-15 years old, but at least I can laugh at it.

I also just got off the phone with April, my hairdresser, and we've set up an appointment for tomorrow at 1. I'm thinking of going for something a bit like Natalie Portman with less spiky stuff up top, and it was actually a picture of her that gave me the idea. I can already hear people saying it's "cute", but I'm more concerned about it not being a pain to deal with. And considering how dykish I already look it would fit, and maybe bring out the red in my hair (since generally the shorter my hair is the more obvious it is that there's a bit of red in it).

But despite the above assertion that I'm fairly dykish, I do have a feminine side (which mostly manifests through stuff like cooing over small fuzzy animals). I've made it a habit to paint my nails with a very light, almost transparent pink, mostly to protect them. Most people don't even know I'm wearing any nail polish until I point it out, since basically it just makes them look shiny. And while I don't wear makeup (with the exception of a little powder foundation that I occasionally put on if I feel like it) I do moisturize the skin on my face and legs. I also just threw on some lip balm since it's still very cold outside, and Dad and I are about to go out. On the whole it's more than I used to do, but it's not excessive and it's still easy.

Basically, some changes, some stayed the same. 2009 is looking pretty good so far.

----------------
Now playing: E.S. Posthumus - Tikal
http://foxytunes.com/artist/e.s.+posthumus/track/tikal

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