Transformation days are the worst. Even your own body hates you. Every emotion and nerve ending is amplified nearly beyond bearable. Not only are you a mass of overwhelming emotion, but a roiling tumultuous ball of pain as your body is warped and maneuvered to fit the mold you designated. Even thinking about transformation days make my stomach heave, but that is life here in the Veranda; fix all the flaws, make yourself into perfection, choose the right mold and live ‘happily’. Happiness is an act. The Verandans fool themselves with jewels and food, parties and intrigue, but they don’t understand happiness like those who have lived in the fringe. Still, we put on this facade; it looks like we have it made, and every day there are more and more Fringers that try to sneak into the city. Maybe if they knew just how much pain we put ourselves through for a fake happiness they wouldn’t try so hard to get in… I know I would have stayed in my hovel in the forests of the Fringe.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
But tears keep leaking from my eyes
Just like the little child who hides
Those nightmares that I feared before
Always lurked behind a door
But now I’m grown enough to see
The monsters lie inside of me
There’s no escape, no way to run
Just let the monsters have their fun
Soon they’ll leave, the sun will shine
And then pretend that all is fine
But soon enough, back they’ll be
Never even warning me
So here I lie, curled in a ball
And hope they fade back in the wall
But free from them I’ll never be
For they are inside of me
Within the creases of my brain
The monsters come, and with them pain
I wish that I could end this curse
But wishing only makes it worse
So don’t be mad or sad for me
Help fight the monsters I can’t see
This article is taken from
As I have nothing to add to it, please enjoy and continue to spread the message.
In her famous 1996 commencement address, writer Nora Ephron warned the new graduates of Wellesley college that they were entering a world that was hostile to women’s achievements and begged them to “take it personally.”
“Understand,” she said, “every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you.” We must all take such attacks personally, she argued: “Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: Get back, get back to where you once belonged.”
On September 21, actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson stood up at the UN Headquarters in New York City and delivered a powerful speech condemning the harm that gender discrimination causes to both men and women, and inviting men to become active participants in the global struggle for equality. The next day, anonymous individuals set up a website targeting Watson with sexual threats, counting down the five days until, we were meant to presume, her private nude images would be made public. The threats against Watson are an attack on me — and I take them personally. We all need to.
Users on the 4chan message board took credit for creating the site, which featured the 4chan logo. However, it now appears that the threat site was created by a group calling themselves “Rantic marketing,” which is apparently a fake company run by an internet collective that has been behind several other false countdown sites in the past. Rantic said that it is trying to shut down #4chan.
Although some are calling this a “hoax,” that misses the point. Threats still cause harm and still have a chilling effect, whether the countdown was set up by Rantic or by 4chan users, and the harm from those threats persists even if no photos are released. The site reminded every woman that this is something that could be done to them by hackers, if the hackers so chose.
The site threatening Watson was greeted with glee on 4chan and Reddit, where commenters explicitly stated their hope that the threats would force her to abandon her feminist campaigning. “If only her nudes got leaked and she had the load on her face. Her feminism kick would be over,” a commenter wrote. “If this is true her recent feminism rally is going to be shutdown hard,” wrote another. “Feminism,” one 4chan user opined, “is a growing cancer.”
WATSON IS IN THE COMPANY OF MANY OTHER WOMEN, ALL OVER THE WORLD, WHO HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC LIFE AND SUFFERED THE CONSEQUENCES.
Watson is not the only one being told to “get back” by misogynists who wield sexual terror as a weapon. She is in the company of many other women, all over the world, who have made the decision to participate in public life and suffered the consequences. Writers on feminist issues, deluged with rape threats: get back. Activists from Syria, to Sudan, to the Congo, raped in prison: get back. South African lesbians, raped to “correct” their sexuality: get back.
Those threats and attacks are especially powerful, because they are aided by the pervasive, deeply-held idea that women have a responsibility to alter their behavior in order to avoid sexual violence. When CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was assaulted in Tahrir Square, a barrage of comments and tweets asserted that she should have known better than report from Egypt, which surely wasn’t safe for a woman. (Get back.) When online pundits heard that rapes of college women are horrifyingly pervasive, they warned female students to stop drinking. (Get back.) When aseries of rapes were reported in Haryana, India, local politicians urged that the solution was for girls to be married off as young teens. (Get back.) Even when the impulse is protective, the demand that women be the ones to change is, essentially, a demand that we shape our lives around the whims of sexual predators, not our own needs or ambitions, or the contributions we can make to the world.
And it gets even worse. How often have we seen a woman’s sexual history used not only to shame and discredit her, but as a justification for not protecting her from harm? We saw it in the response to the leaks of other stolen celebrity photos earlier this month, when, as Kelsey McKinney wrote for Vox, hashtags like #Ifmyphonewerehacked blamed victims for criminals’ violation of their privacy. We saw it when a Montana judge sentenced a male teacher to only 30 days in prison for raping his 14-year-old student, on the basis that their “relationship” suggested that she was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the 49-year-old perpetrator.
HOW OFTEN HAVE WE SEEN A WOMAN’S SEXUAL HISTORY BE USED AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT PROTECTING HER FROM HARM?
Those three problems — women being threatened, women being pressured to change their own behavior to avoid sexual assault, and women being told that they don’t deserve protection unless they stay pure and ladylike — are all individually terrible. But together, they add up to something even worse: a vicious cycle that pressures women out of public life. When we tell women that the threats and attacks they experience are their own fault, for failing to be sufficiently chaste or failing to take “responsible” precautions, we are telling them that they are on their own: that they cannot rely on society’s protection against those crimes. How many women hear that message and decide that they have no choice but to give up that activist campaign or to turn down that higher-profile job or to hold off on writing that article? How hard will it be for UN Women to recruit its next Goodwill Ambassador?
Emma Watson makes a wonderful UN Goodwill Ambassador. If the campaign she champions is successful, she will have done tremendous good in the world. There is nothing about her private, consensual sexual life that has any bearing on the value of her work, the validity of her feminist views, or her integrity as a person. Hopefully the fact that “Rantic” seems to be taking responsibility for the site means that Watson’s nude photos are not going be leaked on the internet in retaliation for her work. But if they are, that will not mean that she was irresponsible or reckless, it will mean that she is brave.
Regardless of whether any photos are released, the threats against Watson are already an attack on all of us. And we should all take it personally.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the news that “Rantic” now appears to be taking responsibility for creating the Watson site.
I am a feminist, there, I said it; that dreadful word that everyone seems to willfully discern incorrect definitions from. To clarify for any haters on feminism that may chance upon this blog. Feminism: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities (Merriam Webster online dictionary) Feminism is not misandry, nor is it the belief that women should rule over men. It is quite simply the movement to promote equality based upon gender.
So, as a feminist, and specifically hailing from a -mainly- christian theistic worldview, it pains me greatly to see articles such as the ones listed here:
Now, I discovered the first article whilst browsing through my Facebook feed, you know, bored on a Sunday, avoiding schoolwork kind of browse. As I read I am fairly certain my eyes widened considerably, my pulse increased, and my curly hair sprouted new levels of frizz due to stress… ok so the last one is metaphorical, but I seriously could not fathom the ignorance that led Dr. Stephen Kim to lace what could have been a perfectly innocent faith based article with misogynistic ideas that send shudders through me even in recollection. Of course, after reading the first listed article I felt compelled to investigate Dr. Kim’s conclusions on the opposing spectrum. Though demeaning towards men in its own right, the second article seemed to me more common sense based especially when laid out in bullet point format.
Listed below are the things Dr. Kim states that Christian men and women should avoid in their respective spouses
10 Women that Christian Men should not marry:
1. The Unbeliever
2. The Divorcee
3. The Older Woman
4. The Feminist
5. The Sexy-Dresser
6. The Loud-Mouth
7. The Child-Hater
8. The Wander-Luster
9. The Career Woman
10. The Devotion-less Woman
10 Men that Christian Women should not marry:
1. The Unbeliever
2. The Younger Man
3. The Spiritually Younger Man
4. The Divorced Man
5. The Angry Man
6. The Narcissist
7. The Liar
8. The Addict
9. The Idle
10. The Un-Evangelist
What I see here are two things; firstly, a specifically delineated list of innately hurtful ideas (particularly 4-9) that a patriarchal society tends to harbor towards women in contrast to the more generalized list against men, and secondly, a complete lack of sentience that these lists are simultaneously insulting to both genders but extremely insulting towards women, portraying the author as a misogynist. Whether or not misogyny was his intent is negligible.
What I really see in the second list is a list that (from 5-9) is really applicable to both genders even in non-faith based relationships. It is not a particularly good idea to commit yourself to another who is irrationally angry, obsessed solely with themselves, a liar, addicted to something that draws them away from you, or cannot support his/herself independently. These, to me, seem perfectly logical things for both men and women to avoid in their chosen spouse. Please correct me if I am wrong on that account. What I find incredibly difficult to swallow is the injustice aimed at women in general but also the men in the 3 overlapping categories which I shall discuss lastly.
In the category of women that Christian men should avoid, however there is a deep seated notion that there has been and will always be one place for a woman, the home. A woman should be a loyal, devoted, kind, nurturing housewife who gives up all her dreams and wishes to serve her husband and raise a family. And it is on that idea that I put my foot down and refuse to be silent, the Patriarchy and its ideals be damned, I accept the consequences of my opinion.
A good Christian man should not marry a feminist.
How can I word this delicately… To insinuate that feminism is against God’s will “demonstrates a level of ineptitude that borders on the imbecilic! And I mean that in a very caring way.” (Thank you Captain Amelia for your excellently quotable words) What one must take into account is that the bible, and all its contents therein, are filtered through a patriarchal worldview that contains multiple other aspects that society does not accept today (slavery for example). Therefore, and again I quote Captain Amelia, “Let me make this as… monosyllabic as possible. I… don’t much care for this..” opinion you hold good sir. I believe it to be quite flawed and incongruent with the ideas of Christianity. Christianity is a worldview that should be seeking to equip and promote all people, not segregate and belittle based on sex, race, age, or social-economic standing; yet consistently I see the exact opposite from the people of my worldview.
A good Christian man should not marry a sexy-dresser
Might I just pose a query? What exactly does being a “sexy-dresser” entail? A woman can be sexy in many different outfits. sexy-dressing does not equal a stripper’s wardrobe, and even if it did, the beautiful thing is a woman may dress however she pleases. Perhaps a “sexy-dresser” is not correct for a christian man, but just because she dresses “sexy” does not automatically eliminate her. There are many more things to consider than someone’s dress.
A good Christian man should not marry a loud-mouth
Well, that eliminates a lot of women I know who simply have an opinion. I believe Dr. Kim should instead call this section “The Gossiper” which seems more closely related to his point. A big mouth does not equal a gossiper. It implies that someone speaks before thinking or is overbearing in their vocalized opinions, but this is not the same as gossiping, nor does it create a problem within a relationship if the other party understands and accepts it.
A good Christian man should not marry a child-hater
I’m sorry, but when did not wanting to have children mean that someone is a child hater? Did I miss the memo? was there a mass email/Facebook post/twitter update that I should have read? Not only Dr. Kim are you equivocating child-hating with the desire to be married without children, but you are actually stating that it is unbiblical to be married as a Christian and not have children. No. No! I cannot overlook that erroneous statement. The ability to have children is not a reason to have children. Are children a blessing? Yes! However, there are many MANY reasons for a couple to decide against having children, genetic disease, insufficient income, dedication to careers that would put undue stress on a child. Aside from all of these perfectly logical reasons, there is one that matters most: some people do not want to be parents. That’s it, they simply don’t want to be parents, and I challenge someone to convince me that it is actually beneficial for a child to be born to parents that don’t want a child. Just because one possesses the biological tools to be a parent does not mean that someone SHOULD be a parent.
A good Christian man should not marry a Wander-Luster
So then, who will be our missionaries to the world? Because obviously the desire to travel, see new places, seek new experiences, those desires are clearly not proper. Again we see Dr. Kim circling back to a woman’s proper place in the home. (why I think he’s a misogynist I have no idea because he is clearly not discriminating against women in any way…) All I can say to this complete lack of understanding–and the implications this though has toward the missionary–is shame. There are people who risk their lives everyday to spread the gospel that they heartily believe in to the people they have come to love and care for through their travels and yet Dr. Kim has the audacity to condemn their wanderlust, their desire to understand other cultures, other humans, other lands than that of their birth. The spirit of wanderlust is a beautiful tool in the spread of the gospel; without people who possess this desire, the mission field would die at the hands of the contented.
A good Christian man should not marry a career woman
If being a good christian man entails being intimidated by a woman’s career and her desire to continue in that career even when she has a family, then I pray that God sends me an atheist who respects my worldview and encourages my career. I apologize if I seem abrupt but I am not going tens of thousands of dollars in debt to finish college and build myself a career just to give it all up because my husband wants me to stay at home and play house. That being said, I definitely do not condemn those women who want to be stay at home mothers, Ladies, you do your thing! Everyone is different and there should be no set mold of a “good little Christian wife”… no sorry, wife implies that there is some sort of equality, I believe homemaker would be more applicable to Dr. Kim’s ideal.
The remaining sections of Dr. Kim’s articles that I wish to analyze are applicable to both men and women in his opinion. And though I know I have already written much, I humbly request my dear readers that you continue with me just a bit longer in this journey.
A good Christian man or woman should not marry an unbeliever
If I could make an amendment to the statement it would read as follows “Any man or woman should not choose a spouse that cannot accept and support them in their worldview.” For some couples, being of opposing worldviews is not feasible. It can create tension and hurt when mutual respect is not present. However, when two people can respect each other’s worldview and encourage them in it despite their own beliefs to the contrary, that exhibits a healthy, growing relationship that promotes mutual respect. Being a believer does not mean you cannot be with an unbeliever but that you must choose your partner wisely-as they should with you-and in doing so choose a partner who respects both you and your belief system.
A good Christian man or woman should not marry a divorcee
Well according to Dr. Kim’s article (specifically the second listed), my father and mother should be immediately getting a divorce. Sorry Mum and Dad, looks like your loving relationship that has lasted 25 years with two kids is over…. We live in a different time from that of the bible, divorce has sadly become a part of our society. Still, to insist that marrying a divorcee unless the marriage ended due to their spouse’s infidelity death, or faith conversion is wrong… it is incorrect. Divorce happens for many reasons, domestic abuse, infidelity, the money runs out, mental illness, the list can continue for ages. To mark another human being for past actions instead of discerning their intensions from the present creates a level of bigotry and hatred that serves to drive the wounded from the church doors instead of welcoming them in. May I please remind any Christian who condemns others for divorce of the atrocities committed by King David, a man whom the bible says was after God’s own heart. He was not only an adulterer, but a liar, and a murderer. Consider that in your calculations.
A good Christian man should not marry an older woman/A good christian woman should not marry a younger man
Regardless of the quoted study that says “If you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.” (Source: Rebecca Kippen, Bruce Chapman and Peng Yu, “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Homogamy and Dyadic Approaches to Understanding Marital Instability,” Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2009.) Age is not the only factor to base a decision of a life partner on. We can just as easily throw around the statistic that “If you’re a married American, your marriage is between 40 and 50 percent likely to end in divorce.” (Source: David Popenoe, “The Future of Marriage in America,” University of Virginia/National Marriage Project/The State of Our Unions, 2007). Does it then follow, Dr. Kim, that no one should marry if they are American? I am quite sure your opinion on procreation as children are the survival of the church would contend with that. Also the assertion that a man should be older because he is the ‘head of the household’ is in my opinion bollocks. Just because a women is older than her husband does not mean she would not respect him, the argumentation for an elder male simply propagates the idea of male dominion over a woman. This along with the idea that the man must be spiritually older than the woman is weak in argumentation and relies heavily on the traditional patriarchy that fuels WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) feelings of Entitlement and authority.
In summation. I encourage everyone to read the two articles I included. I hope that by reading my thoughts on the subject you, dear reader, will understand the plight of the feminist, in a world dripping with male chauvinism. Above all else, I truly hope you do not misconstrue my words as misandry or hatred towards my brothers, but that you will read them as they are intended, a plea for a better tomorrow where we do not have to teach our daughters to fear men but a tomorrow where we teach our sons to respect women and each value the other as human entities deserving of respect.
“But how much more offensive is it to have a flag that promises freedom it doesn’t deliver?”-Tim Hucks
I personally may not know exactly in detail what happened in Ferguson, I may not have ‘all the facts’ but damn it all if I won’t stand with my fellow Americans and especially my black brothers and sisters to defend the justice and freedom that I want to see prevail instead of hiding behind my privilege and letting the idea that I am somehow superior to anyone control my idea of ‘justice’. We sure as hell aren’t a perfect country but we should be taking steps in the right direction, not the other way around. The past happened, and we can’t change that but history is for learning from, rebuilding from, changing from, never is history for forgetting.
FERGUSON, MO – AUGUST 17: Tear gas rains down on a woman kneeling in the street with her hands in the air after a demonstration over the killing of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
“I’m just so over that.” I was sitting in the cafeteria at my school and mentioning the discussions I’d been having with people on Facebook about the happenings in Ferguson, MO, and this was my friend’s response. “Ugh, is this about Ferguson? I’m so over it.” A second passed, and flustered, she quickly remembered her company, adding, “I mean, I care about the issue, I’m just sick of all the opinions about it on my FB. The negativity, really…” And that was it. What my friend probably didn’t know is what I heard when she said that. I heard, “Yeah, I care, but I don’t want to hear…
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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so here’s a story for your enjoyment:
The water falls beautifully, cascading hard and fast. Silently, she turns to her horse, his black hide riddled with sweat and brush. With ease she removed his tack and grabbed a bar of soap from the saddle bag. Silently she stripped off her sweaty clothes and moved with her steed through a less dense portion of the waterfall.
The water pounds upon her shoulders, massaging away the knots formed by a journey’s stress, Deftly she scrubs her bare skin, reveling in the rough texture of the soap. The dirt and grime are scoured away. She lathers her hands and combs them through her hair and then turns to her horse, cleaning him and massaging his muscles, singing all the while. Her song flows with the water, weaving in and out of its beating time. She is nearly finished when she sees a shadow on the other side of the waterfall, the shape of a man. Swiftly using Diazen as a living curtain she darts behind him, retrieving solely her long shirt in a desperate attempt to cover herself. It is then that a face appears clearly. She curses, wishing she had grabbed her sword instead.
He leered at her when he saw the majority of her clothes folded on the rock along with her sword. His lusting grin sent chills down her spine and she shivered, wrapping the fabric close to her. How had he found them? He must have followed them from the ship.
“Come here pretty,” he jeered, obviously drunk on his ration of rum, “Come give me a kiss.” One look at those eyes told her that one simple kiss was the last thing on his mind. She backed away, Diazen with her, backing to the wall. He followed, his comments now too crude to repeat.
“Dallin,” she cried, “Go back to the ship now or you are forfeiting your life.” He paid her no heed, moving forward towards her like a madman. With a sharp inhalation of breath she whispered a command to Diazen. With a shriek he reared up, striking with hooves at the offender. She ran, the white shirt billowing behind her, her dark brown hair a mess of wet curls plastered to her brow. Dallin retreated from Diazen’s flashing hooves, chasing after her. In one fluid motion she drew her sword and spun, spun just as Dallin reached her, his momentum was too great to stop and he ran himself onto her sword.
She collapsed, pulling her sword from his body, his blood twirling away int the current, staining the crystal stream red.
She cried, shaking all over as she sat in the water, her tears mingling with the flowing rivulets of the river. Softly Diazen approached her, nuzzling her hair and wuffing in her face. Slowing her breathing and pulling herself together, she hugs his head, allowing him to lift her back to standing. Slowly she washes her sword free of blood, sliding it back into its sheath, Then with a sigh, she drags Dallin’s corpse to the edge of a cliff, rolling him off it to avoid polluting the water. Walking back, she sees her reflection, a frightened girl reminiscent of her tortured childhood staring back at the woman she’d become, their blue eyes rimmed with tears, their brown hair messy and tangled, red blood staining their hands and face, wearing only a long shirt. She dropped to her reflection, calmly washing away the blood. Then, she stood and dressed, leaving what happened in the past. Quickly she tacked Diazen, and with a last pat to his nose and a half an apple for each of them, she mounted, riding off back into the forest, making her way into the heart of the land, departing from the sea and the memories of her past.