Catcalling

It’s been forever since I blogged – mostly because the school year started and so I have 24 hours of internship per week, 20 hours of job, and 10+ hours of class depending on how long it takes me to do my homework and study. So I don’t have much time for breathing, let alone writing.

It was my birthday a few days ago and something interesting happened to me: I got catcalled.

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Now I don’t take that as a good thing, it’s just a surprising thing, considering my weight and my general issues with self-esteem and appearance. I barely got catcalled when I was skinny, let alone now. How messed up is it that part of my self worth is driven by the erotic approval of random men on the street? I mean, it’s not, not really. I don’t like being catcalled, it freaks me out. But like, the fact that someone thought I was attractive enough to catcall makes me feel a little bit better, but also weirded out.

Like, how can I think like that? It’s toxic, and it’s patriarchal. I hate that I think like that. But It makes sense in some way based on the way our society is. “Take it as a compliment!” they say. But it’s always creepy, and always scary when it happens, even if it is meant as a genuine compliment. But “Hey sexy, how you doing?” is not generally a compliment.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. It’s sort of just a life report and a little rant. Everyone who follows me knows I have self-image issues, and those are just getting worse. But regardless of that I don’t want to be catcalled – even when there’s part of me that insists that I do.

We are constantly bombarded with sexual imagery and the idea is pushed into our heads over and over again that our bodies are commodities for male consumption. But men don’t like fat girls like me. So I’m never catcalled. Hooray for that! But also because society has taught me I must be desirable, the fact that no one desires me really hurts. It’s not just the catcalling. It’s the fear that because of my body, no one will ever love me and I’ll be alone forever. And that’s a depression spiral I sink into often – when I don’t get responses on my online dating apps, when I feel like I can’t talk to someone at the bar or the club, when I see just how good my ex looks, and know how terrible I look, and knowing that even he, who once loved me, wouldn’t want me now. It’s terrible. It’s a self-esteem issue. But regardless catcalling does not solve that issue!

The only type of catcalling I want to hear is when a literal cat calls me on the phone. And since that rarely happens, well…no catcalling!

 

 

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Not Good Enough – Thoughts on what I can do to combat facism and white supremacy in the United States – based on the Charlottesville march that occurred this past week

I’m outraged. I’m not surprised. And I’m scared.  But here’s the thing – I don’t know what to do, or what I can do.

With the exception of the occasional post on this blog, I don’t share news articles or anything to my other social media sites because I like them to be safe spaces for me. And yes I know it’s a privilege to ignore things that upset me and make me uncomfortable. But I also find that in some ways, simply sharing and doing nothing else is “slacktivism” and I know I’m preaching to the choir of my Facebook friends (I have carefully cultivated my friends list as such), I have only friends as followers on Twitter, and I guess I don’t know anything about my followers on Tumblr, but I still don’t have a large enough platform to make a difference there.

I would donate money if I had any I could spare – but I barely make enough to live on without support from my parents and I’m personally fighting a shopping addiction and hypomania-induced impulse control issues that leave me with less than I need, let alone any disposable income.

I would go to rallies – and I’ve gone to one or two – but the big ones in my city this week are all happening during the first couple of trainings for my new internship at the suicide prevention hotline – which I can’t miss.

So I have all these things and all that’s running through my mind is EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES.

I’m queer and Jewish and have a mental illness. I am a woman. I am not the pinnacle of white European-ness or whatever these Nazis and white supremacists want me to be. But I am white. And for all intents and purposes, regardless of the intersection of my other identities, that gives me a great deal of privilege. But I don’t know how to use it.

And I can’t deny that I’m scared. Even as a bisexual female Jew, I haven’t been personally discriminated against in my own life, nor have I ever been in any danger. And I’m really afraid to put myself into danger. But I am sub-human to these fucks, even if my general whiteness allows me to “pass”

I saw a post this morning that said something like, “If you ever wondered what you would do during slavery, the Holocaust, or apartheid, STOP. Because you’re doing it right now.” And that made me wonder what I was doing.

In practice I am doing nothing. And that’s not what I want to do. I want to do something, but I want to do something meaningful. I don’t want to be a “slacktivist”.

What I’m doing now is Not Good Enough. It’s not good period because I’m essentially doing nothing except trying to start conversations with friends and family members who mostly agree with me already, but are also not doing anything.

So I’m looking for advice, here. What can I do?

Doctor WHO? An Opinion on the Announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

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Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor

Yesterday it was announced that the 13th Doctor in the popular British television show Doctor Who would be Jodie Whittaker. Up until now, the 12 ½ Doctors, including Steven Moffat’s controversial War Doctor regeneration (that’s the ½), have been arguably straight, cisgender, white men. I say arguably straight because all of actual romances, primarily from New Who, have been with women, though the New Who Doctors have occasionally flirted with men – that could easily have been joking or queer baiting. As for Classic Who, I don’t know much about it, but the First Doctor had a granddaughter (implying a son or daughter of some kind), and wasn’t involved in much romance as far as I know. So for all intents and purposes, he was likely assumed straight, though he may have been asexual as well, from what I’ve heard. But again – I don’t know much about Classic Who.

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More on Dating and Realizations

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I’ve actually internalized recently a realization about my ex and my past relationship. I’ve realized that I don’t want to get back together with him, but I do wish we were still in a relationship. What I mean to say is, I miss what we had, and I wish that was a thing that was still happening, but since it’s not, I don’t want to actually get back together. He hurt me really badly. Really, really badly. But I’m okay with being friends with him for the most part. I still feel jealous and hurt when he’s affectionate with literally everybody else but me. I’m jealous when my friends hang out with him, and not me. (They’re MY friends, my brain tells me. I introduced them to him. Why do they choose him over me?) And I still have a lot of baggage regarding the relationship. But I don’t want it back. I wish it was still happening, but I don’t want it back.

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“The Hate U Give” – More than a book review

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fLet me preface this whole thing by saying: I am white. I am Jewish, and that does mean something in terms of not being “white enough” – but I am white Jewish. I consider myself white. People who aren’t white supremacists consider me white, and I get all the privileges that come with being white and growing up in a white, suburban, middle-to-upper-middle class family. There certainly is anti-Semitism that affects my life, but it is not racism, and the difference does matter.

With all that said, I read a book yesterday called “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. It’s the story of a young black girl named Starr Carter who lives with her family “in the hood” but goes to an elite “bougie” school. Her father is a former gangbanger who went to prison, but now is successful as a grocery store owner. Her mother works in a hospital. Starr is dating a white boy from school. She feels she has two separate personalities – the one at school and the one at home, but neither of them are really her, and both of them are really her. But one night, on her way back from a party, Starr’s friend Khalil is shot by a police officer right in front of her. Starr becomes a key witness in a case much like many we’ve seen in the U.S. all too recently: A white police officer shoots first and asks questions later. Now Starr is caught up in an absolute circus of events, where she has to recount the events of the night over and over to people who don’t believe her, or who believe because Khalil was a drug dealer, that he deserved to die. And SPOILER ALERT – at the end of the day, at the end of it all, the white police officer doesn’t get indicted. Even as we see the story from Starr’s point of view, and know what truly happened, the police officer gets away scot free with killing a young, unarmed black boy. And even though this book is fiction, it closely mirrors real world events. I can’t even name all of the “incidents” like this that have happened in the past year in the US. Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Philando Castile – those are some of the names you may have heard on the news, but it’s not all of them. Not by a longshot.

I think everyone should read this book. First of all, it’s a good book. But it’s a young adult novel, so it’s written as something that’s easy to digest. It’s not inflammatory like a news article might be, but if you truly understand it, you will get angry on behalf of Starr, on behalf of Khalil, and on behalf of all the real world black men and women, boys and girls, who have been mishandled, mistreated, and outright abused by the police. What happens in this book is what happens in life, and it’s something everyone should know, but doesn’t.

As a white person, I can say this and hopefully other white people will listen: All white people say and do racist things. All white people are, to a certain extent, racist. Because of the way our society is built, on the backs of slaves and at the deaths of Native Americans who had their land stolen to create what is today our country, it is impossible to not be racist if you don’t actively work to be anti-racist. It’s hard, and it’s exhausting, and you’re going to fuck up, over and over again. You’re going to put your foot in your mouth over and over again. But the point is to learn from it. And it’s the very least you can do. (I say you – but I also mean me. I also have to work to be anti-racist. And I’m still learning! I fuck up! But I keep going to work to live an anti-racist lifestyle to the best of my ability, and use the privileges I’ve gotten from being white, from being middle-to-upper-middle-class, from being able-bodied if not quite neurotypical, et cetera, to help make the world a better, more equitable and equal place.)

Angie Thomas has done us all a favor by writing an incredible book that can help us, as white people, have a very necessary conversation with our friends and family. Because even though the particular situation she writes is fictional, the story she tells is not. This book should be on summer reading lists. This book should be at the top of bestseller lists. And from there, white people should research. They should take what they learned from this fictional account and go read about the realities of police violence and abuse. It shouldn’t stop there. “The Hate U Give” is where the conversation should begin, not end.

And I’m here to help get the conversation going. Any of my non-white friends and followers, I may not have much influence, or a loud voice, but if you need a platform to speak from, I will do my best to give it to you and step aside. Because this country is racist. But I do have hope that one day it won’t be. But we have a lot, A LOT, of work to do first.

Online Dating, Hooking Up, and Self-Esteem

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So I’ve been doing the online dating thing for a while now but I haven’t really been what you would call “successful.” I’ve been using OKCupid, and I’ve gone on a bunch of dates, but I’d only been on a second (and third) date with one guy. Nobody else even approached a second date.

As for the guy I went on three dates with, I enjoyed his company, and we had fun, but I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to date him for various reasons I don’t feel like getting into. I don’t want to just date anyone, I want to date who I want to date. And that didn’t happen to be this guy.

So I started reevaluating what I wanted. I wanted to date someone, that much was true, but if that was it I could have dated this guy and would have theoretically been happy. But I don’t want to date someone for the sake of dating. I want to feel a spark, a connection – someone I know I could have fun with but also lie together in silence with. Someone I want to get down and dirty with and someone I want to kiss me on the cheek as we walk through a park. I want physical and emotional connection. I am affection starved both physically and emotionally.

But at the same time, I’m feeling more stable emotionally than I have in a long time. I want to date someone, but I don’t need to date anyone. But what I did want is physical affection. So…I turned to tinder.

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