Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Remember Girls, Modest is Hottest!

As we move into warmer days I find myself longing for my shorts and tank tops, but also preparing myself for the stares and judgments that will accompany them.  Living in Utah with no religious ties and there for with out the stigmas of dressing "modest" is sadly, rather lonely.

Now don't get me wrong I have my friends and we have a blast, but I mean lonely in the dating field.  The moment you decided to dress against the modest norm you brand yourself a skank and unworthy. The "licked cupcake" if you will.  When it comes to dating in Utah, being considered any of those things is like driving the nail into your coffin.  No boy's mother wants him dating THAT kind of a girl.

The way I dress would be considered rather conservative in most parts of the country, but the mass majority in this state are far too fundamental. Their idea of what is modest is soooo extreme that girls who are not their brand of modest are just trying to tempt their boys away from god! But modesty is just a word used to put the responsibility of men's behavior on women's shoulders. Now why is that fair?  Why should my worth be based upon what I wear and what others assume my purity status is? It's partially because of things like this I'm looking at going out of state for college where they are a lot more open minded.

Don't get me wrong wear what you want to wear, but don't do it because you have people telling you "When you dress to gain other's attention, you lose God's." Wear what you want because its comfortable and you feel good in it!!! A cupcake I may be... with all its delicious and voluptuous frosting exposed, but I have never been licked. Even if I have been doesn't mean I'm less palatable or worthy of the opposite sex! (Or that it is any of your business).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Body. My Choice!

In light of the recent bill to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood because of abortion, I have decided I'm going to put my opinion out there! 

First of all Planned Parenthood is a great tool in getting basic health care. They provided services like STD testing, cancer screenings and affordable contraception. Their website provides all the information you need on birth control, body image, men and women's sexual health, sexuality, pregnancy, the morning after pill and yes, abortion. 

I wanted to know what exactly they say about abortion because that's what seems to me is the reason everyone's panties are in a twist. Here is what is on their website. 

"There are two kinds of abortion in the U.S. in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill.
Abortions are very common. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
If you are pregnant, you have options. If you are trying to decide if abortion is the right choice for you, you probably have many things to think about. Learning the facts about abortion may help you in making your decision. You may also want to learn more about parenting and adoption.
If you are under 18, your state may require one or both of your parents to give permission for your abortion or be told of your decision prior to the abortion. However, in most states you can ask a judge to excuse you from these requirements. Learn more about parental consent for abortion.
Only you can decide what is best for you. But we are here to help. A staff member at your local Planned Parenthood health center can discuss abortion and all of your options with you and help you find the services you need."
Hmmm doesn't sound so evil to me. In that paragraph they provide links so you can get more information on what ever it is you are going to decide. Even links on parenting and adoption. They are not telling you to go out and get an abortion they are giving you facts so you can make the best decision for you as a woman. They also make sure you know the laws in your state about parental consent.  

Now lets talk about abortion. I believe it is a woman's choice to do with her body as she pleases.  And nothing makes me crazier than a room full of men deciding a woman's future! Men don't have to carry the child, their bodies don't blow up like a balloon and they sure as hell don't have to stick around once the baby is born. (Not that all women stick around, it's just the most common scenario.) The point is men will never have to deal with getting pregnant and having to face this choice. So why should they get to decided what I choose if the situation ever presents it's self to me? I'm a capable person who can think for herself and I DO NOT need someone to decide for me! With that said for me personally I don't think I would get an abortion, but that doesn't mean I would ever stop or think ill of someone who does!

I was talking to my grandma on the phone and she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was writing this blog post and she told me "Good for you! Back when I was younger abortion was illegal and so girls had closet hanger abortions and a lot of them died. People are going to do what they want no matter what!". Good point grandma!!! It's better to have the facts and get a safe abortion rather than the shady alley way abortion that will most likely lead to your death! and Planned Parenthood provides you with that information!

I want to make it very clear that I don't think the choice of abortion should be taken lightly and that you need to look at all your options, but I also believe that it NEEDS to be one of your options! The only thing Planned Parenthood is guilty of is letting you know you have options and to take their federal funding away for that is ridiculous! A doctor could do the exact same thing, just for more money!

 Planned Parenthood is a place where people go when they need help and need information! And to take that away would be devastating. How many people would go around not know they had an STD? How many people would go around not knowing they had cancer? They help millions every year and if they loose federal funding the possibility of STD, pregnancy and abortions rates climbing significantly will increase! So lets think about this. Have a place where people can get affordable healthcare or take that away and leave them to fend for themselves? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who wears short shorts?

Two nights ago I had a few friends over and one of my friends started talking about how she went over to her cousins house and found her cousin wearing a pair of short shorts. She went up to her cousin and yanked at her shorts asking "WHERE are your pants!?!"  She then proceeded to tell me that she reprimanded her cousin for dressing like a slut and ever since her cousin hasn't dressed like a "slut".  

First of all I hate the word slut, its just an awful word, but what really irked me about this whole situation was my 11 year old sister was in the room wearing short shorts. Now her shorts were not indecent at all (my sister is a twig and the shorts were very flattering on her), maybe weather inappropriate, but not scandalous in any way shape or form.  But, as my friend was going on about her cousin I noticed my sister tugging at her shorts while asking if her shorts were too short. Sadly I was not able to interject at that point to tell her that her shorts were fine, I really wish that I had. I did, however pull her aside later and told her my friend is full of crap and not to listen to a word she said.

About three years ago I went bowling with my friend for her young womens and young mens combined activity. I was having a great time with a lot of my friends and was feeling really cute because I had just bought a new shirt and decided to wear it that day.  Now I'm a female of ample breast size, so really anything I wear I have a little cleavage going on.  Apparently I had, for one lady, too much showing and she asked my friend to tell me I needed to pull up my shirt because I was "indecent".  She didn't even ask me, she asked my friend to tell me. What. The. Hell, right?  It made me feel so bad about myself that I never wore the shirt again.  How damaging to the self esteem of a 17 year old girl!!!

One of my favorite feminist writers, Jessica Valenti, has a chapter in her book He's a Stud, She's a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, called He's a Hipster, She's a Ho. In this chapter She discusses how a woman is judged based upon how she looks. "Women are never, ever supposed to dress shlumpy or seem unkempt-but on the other hand,we're chastised if we dress too "sexy"." That is my favorite line from that chapter.  There is this idea that no matter what we do we can't win when it comes to what we are wearing. If we go out in sweat pants people will most likely cringe at the site of us, but if we go out with a little too much cleavage showing we are told we look indecent and will most likely be called a slut.

Remember how I said I strongly dislike the word slut? Well here is why, the word slut is a way to control women.  You call a girl a slut to control what she wears and how she acts. It supports the whole idea that her body is not her own, its everyone else's.  This idea is more apparent in religious cultures. She has no right to dress how she wants because if she is too scantily clad a young man might look at her and want to, in my dad's words, "do the wild thing".  At this point you are putting the fault on her and not on the young man's actions. So many rapes are blamed on the woman because she was wearing a mini skirt and it makes me crazy! Because, you know wearing a mini skirt is asking for it! By wearing something like that she obviously wanted to have sex, never mind the fact she said NO!

The whole idea of modesty is very damaging. It makes you feel ashamed of your body, like there is something wrong with it.  And that is truly a tragedy! At the end of the each chapter in Jessica Valenti's previously mentioned book, she gives advice about how to change theses double standards.  She says that as women we have the right to wear what ever we want, be it ripped jeans and a t-shirt or a sexy mini skirt and a cute top. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about what you like to wear and if you hear someone commenting on how another girl is dressed speak up! In the book's title chapter she says that we need to stop calling each other sluts and don't let the men in your lives do it either. Take back control of your body and don't feel ashamed of it, embrace it and love it. I seriously wish I had this book when I was 17, so I could have told the lady where to stick her modesty!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Once in a Generation a Musical Comes Along...

I got the privilege of seeing Spring Awakening about two weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing!!!  If you read my dad's blog you will know he has already talked about Spring Awakening.  Well as he is 25 years older than I am, the message spoke to me a little differently.  He saw it as a great reason why parents need to teach their children about sex and what is going on inside their bodies.  While I whole heartedly agree with that,  I saw it more as an anthem for my generation.  The story  does on a whole deals with what happens when teens are uneducated about sex and the shame society puts on them for any and all sexual desires.

My favorite character in the show is Moritz.  He tries his hardest to succeed in school, but he starts having dreams of a sexual nature and it completely disrupts his life.  He doesn't know why these dreams are occurring, yet he somehow knows how all the adults will react and because of this he becomes completely racked with shame and guilt.  

On the other hand you have Wendla.  In the show she ends up having sex and becomes pregnant. (She is completely ignorant about where babies come from so she has no idea that sex is a "sin")  When she finds out she is pregnant her mother freaks out on her.  Wendla's reaction is very different than Moritz's.  While Moritz is ashamed and lets his sexual desire dismantle his life to the point he can't handle it and thinks his only escape is to take his own life, Wendla takes the news that she is pregnant and decides that she is happy because she loves her baby and the father of the baby. She doesn't let the shame get to her even though her mother is VERY disappointed.  Her mother however, is so driven by that shame that she forces Wendla to have a botched abortion, leading to her death. Which the family covers up blaming her death on anemia. 

The sad thing is that it's been more than 100 years since the original play was written and nothing has changed.  There is still the shame that comes with having sex before you are married.  I have had plenty of friends feel that they are horrible people and they aren't worth anything just because they had premarital sex.  And it's not because what they did was wrong, but because they have been told over and over that they have sinned. And when you are told over and over that you are no longer chaste and pure and that you are now tainted and no man will want you, you start to believe it.  One of the many messages in Spring Awakening and possibly my favorite, is that sex is OKAY!!!  And if you choose to have it or not that is your choice, but don't feel like less of a person because of what you have chosen.  In short the point I'm getting at is that Spring Awakening is a great show with wonderful music and great characters!  It has something everyone can learn and or relate to!!! 



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Barbie Effect

From a very early age girls are taught beauty is everything.  From the time we get our first Barbie to our first tube of lipstick and even on our death beds the beauty status quo is instilled in our heads. I like to call it the Barbie effect.  Our obsession with beauty can't be harmful right? Wrong! As a society we are so focused on looking perfect or rather the lack of perfection, that we go to extreme lengths to fix what we deem ugly about ourselves. Its from these insecurities that make-up companies thrive off of.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my make-up and will continue to use it, but that love comes from ads on t.v. telling me that with a little touch of lipstick and I will be more desirable to not only men, but to society on a whole.  As you are waiting in line at the super market beauty is being subliminally shoved down your throat by the way of fashion magazines. "Simple make-up tips to catch his eye!", "Get the perfect beach bod in 2 weeks!", "How to shed those pounds and reduce the appearance cellulite!" Most of the covers feature a super hot babe with a slim and fit body and big boobs.  I mean my hell!  How can we not be completely obsessed with being perfect!?!  But, most of these girls have been digitally enhanced!

Here is a before and after of a magazine cover. She is a beautiful woman to start with, so why do they feel the need to change her? They have slimed down her already slim body, lightened her skin and hair and have gotten ride of her smile lines. By doing this they have set an unrealistic standard of what is beautiful and will ultimately damage a little girls self esteem. The whole cover is one big "Your not perfect just the way you are and we know how to play off your insecurities by telling you what needs to be fixed!" Notice the diet pill advertisement in the top left, "Skinny Pills" is in big bold print with the "Yes they work!" in bold as well, before they state in small print "But, read this first". By having the "Skinny pills, Yes they work!" in bold they subliminally play off of our already low self image and thus make you want to buy their magazine to figure out how you can make yourself skinnier.  I am not immune to this epidemic of skinny. I often find myself looking in the mirror from every which way, poking at my stomach and trying to suck it in. I try to remind myself that I am a healthy looking girl and am not fat, but in the back of my head I still feel that I am inferior to these models and even to my skinnier friends.  But, sadly enough, my skinnier friends have the exact same issues.  One friend in particular is a twig, but will still ask me from time to time if she if fat. Its very upsetting to me that we feel that way.  Now, its not only girls who are plagued with body image issues. Men are equally obsessed, but theirs are a different kind dealing with how to get more muscle and girls wont like you unless you are a stud muffin! But, as I am not a man I can't really speak from personal experience on what their body issues are. It truly makes me sad that we can't feel comfortable in our own skin and that we try so hard to obtain beauty.  In my perfect future these obsessions wouldn't exist and people would be judged based upon the beauty that comes from inside rather than the way they appeared on the outside. And hopefully by doing so we could get rid of things like anorexia and low self esteem!  A future like that would be truly wonderful!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hello blogging world, my name is Kate!

Hello everyone!  I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read my first blog post, I'm pretty excited about it!  I decided to start a blog because I have a lot to say and figured why not share it with all of you.  I guess I will start by telling you a little about myself.  I'm 20 years old and have lived in Utah my whole life.  I am the daughter of an Atheist and a Christian.  As of now I don't know what I believe and honestly I'm in no rush to find out.  Though my parents religious view are vastly different, they were able to see past all that and have been happily married for 24 years.  Which, I think is a great example for us all!  They always want what is best for me and my siblings.  My dad has been telling me since I was a wee little one running through the mud, that I can do anything and everything boys can do and that a man is not needed in order to live a happy life. So it should be no surprise to you that I am indeed a feminist. Now I'm not the "Men suck and are all scum bags!" kind, but rather the "We are all people and should be treated as equals!" kind. It's also impart to my parents (well them and I think there is some part of me that was just born stubborn and independent) that I am so opinionated.  They have taught me to stand up for what I believe is right and to fight what I feel is unjust.  A girl with a mind of her own? Scary, I know! Which funnily enough is where I get my nickname.  When I was little my dad had nicknamed me Kate the Cursed in reference to Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.  In the play Kate is a very independent woman with a mind of her own and refuses to give into anything less than what she wants for herself, but her father tries to impose societies wants on her. Sadly she is broken into submission by the end of the play, but I guarantee you that will not be the end of my story.  If you read the about me section of my blog you would have seen that I am into the arts, mainly theatre.  I believe the arts are a great way to express ones inner thoughts and feelings.  Theatre in particular is a great place for people to free themselves and feel they belong to something.  Every show I'm in or help out with I feel as if my family has grown.  They are like the family you get to choose, don't get me wrong I'm rather fond of the family I was born into, but you know what I mean!  I also feel it is a place where you get to know more about who you are as a person and how far you can push yourself to achieve what you had no idea you could.  I have seen plays move people's lives and change their out looks on the world. I don't think there has ever been a football game that has done that (I'm not a sports hater, I rather enjoy them, but they don't evoke thought).  Now on a more frivolous note, I am really big into clothes! Particularly 1940's and 50's fashion. There is something so amazing about the simplicity and class those decades brought to the world. Oh and the music from those era's can you say AMAZING!  I can't really think of anything more to write about myself...  I hope you will continue to read my posts and maybe we can discuss some things and share ideas. Thanks again for reading!
                        Kate the Cursed