Trolls! Celebrities! Shout Outs!

ChristmasPug

Hi ho there friends!

So a few things I am excited about/are relevant.

1. My punk pop rock goddess idol Kate Nash, started following me on tumblr AND twitter yesterday!!!!!! I happened to catch her tweet about follow backs and I jumped on that like a cat off a hot tin roof! I am so pleased!

2. I have been getting more than one shout out here on wordpress for my Male Birth Control article on feminspire. Today I got a lovely shout out from earlybirdcatchestheworm ❤ I’m really happy that so many people enjoy it, and found it interesting. Apparently it has something like 22,000 shares on facebook now? lord almighty, I don’t even know how that happened. I’m also on a reddit thread about wanting to remain childless and I think people enjoyed it pretty well there too!

2.5 That being said, I haven’t read the comments, but I know there are a lot of mean and nasty trolls and MRAs commenting on that article and I am trying to not think too much about it. However, I have been googling myself, trying to make sure that my personal information (besides my linked in  and work related articles) are not readily available to anyone who’s looking for me with bad intentions. I’m not gonna back down from my opinions, but I’m not gonna be foolhardy either. 

I will admit, I didn’t think that my male birth control article would be as successful as it was, mainly because it’s a lot more snarky than my usual writing. The article sounds more like me when I’m throwing a fit over the patriarchy with my close friends.  And maybe that’s not a bad thing. I often find myself hiding behind a milder “public” image I’ve created for myself that doesn’t necessarily reveal what I’m like on the inside- maybe this article is the first step to coming out of hiding.

Just Ask Them if He Likes You- Dating Advice and Feminism

I recently assigned an advice article for another website I write for. It was entitled “Is He Into You?” and it was easy to write but hard to read afterwards. It was easy because even though I’m not so great with guys  I have been inundated with stereotypical relationship advice for the entirety of my adolescence and adulthood- I know all the rules by heart. On the other hand it was hard to write because I am not only a feminist who believes that we need to break out of gender roles,but also a very outspoken girl who favors being proactive. The signs I wrote about in my article were all about seeing what a guy does,his body language, his actions and not talking about what it is that you do. I  stole some ideas from there as well as from this hilariously illustrated wikiHow about how to know if a guy likes you.

I thought it was ridiculous and foolish. But the worst part of it was, I didn’t really know an exact place to go for feminist dating advice was except the vague direction of “the internet” or “maybe a book”.   I thought that my favorite relationship advice book “He’s Just Not that Into You”  should still be the gold standard for my views on dating. The book is essentially about  relying on men initiating romantic encounters and constantly gauging their level of interest in order to get your relationship off the ground. Which is basically bullshit the harder you stare at it. So I set out to find better feminist dating advice and I found lots of good stuff. Fear not friends, I will share the wealth: 

Feminist Dating: A wordpress blog with contributions from feminists of all backgrounds. They share their personal dating experiences and ideas. The blog is body positive and LGBTQA positive as well.

The Hairpin: Their column Ask a Queer Chick, Ask a Dude, and other various “asks” are interesting, helpful, and often hilarious. (My favorite quirky Ask column is “Ask a Three-Year-Old”) They have realistic tips on real life relationship problems and are never judgmental. (they also pointed me in the direction of another great advice maven, “Ask a Real Live Lady”‘s Lauren Bans over at GQ)

Captain Awkward: My all time favorite one stop shop advice site. She covers romantic relationships, family problems, mental illness, social anxiety, feminism, and general using your words behavior.

Ms. Blog XOJanefeministe, and bitch magazine all have dating advice that is solid as well.

Oh and this book from the executive editor of feministing.com about dating as a modern feminist young person looks amazing.

And of course, last but not least,  this website, feminspire.com. There are so many cool ladies on here with life experience and  great advice to learn from, it’s incredible.

So go forth and get that good advice!

 Image

Smelling Sexy- Attraction, Scent and the Perfume Industry

Image

1959 Chanel perfume ad

The annual revenue for the perfume industry is 27.5 billion dollars. Yes you read that right, billions. Like many things that the mass media markets to us, perfume and body sprays are mostly about promoting ideal beauty through print ads and commercials sporting sexy women pouting and flaunting while a voice over tells us how our lives can be changed by a smell in a bottle. And since only 17% of American women do not use perfume, it’s pretty important that we have a better understanding of perfume and the science of smelling sexy.

Perfume has existed since ancient times, when royalty used essential oils and plant extracts instead of bathing. Those of low income would not be anointed with perfume unless part of a religious rite or when they were buried.  Perfume as we know it did not exist until the late 1800s when the science of creating  synthetic smells first started. Chanel No. 5 became the first globally famous perfume through these techniques and its high fashion  creator Coco Chanel. Creating perfume in the lab made perfume less of status symbol and more accessible and expected of every woman.  This led to today’s perfume market of over 1,120 brands on the US market alone.  We have perfumes that cover everything from date night, to the office, to out in the club, vacation, beach, etc. If you’re not wearing the right sexy scent, you’re not doing womanhood correctly.  So where exactly does this obsession with smell come from?

Humans sense of smell has been important for as long as we have existed as a species. We have to know if our food is safe to eat, if there are dangerous predators nearby and recognizing the scent of our mothers when we’re born. People with bad body odor are avoided because in prehistoric humans, a bad body scent may signal contagious disease or someone who was not a suitable mate.

The science of scent and human sexual attraction has been explored more and more in the past few years. Scientists have found that our sweat actually carries smells that indicate our genetic code. Certain genes’ code for scents that indicate how distantly related we are to a person- the more distantly related we are, the more healthy our potential offspring will be, and the better that person will smell to us.

They’ve also found that women at different points in their menstrual cycles will be attracted to the scents of different men, depending on where they are at. Women are more attracted to the scent of physically symmetrical men (symmetry is an indicator of health in the animal kingdom- healthy male=healthy babies) when they ovulate (body is ready to make a body), and it’s been found that men prefer the scent of sweat of women who are ovulating- our noses are tuned to when it’s best to get to baby making.

And that’s what perfume is all about- synthetically creating a scent that will attract a suitable mate, with good genes or show that we are healthy, wanted member of a group. Perfume is one area where the patriarchy has capitalized on our innate need to feel included through a sense that is not necessarily under our control.  It’s troubling that the most organic way of bonding with each other, the scent of our sweat, is constantly bad mouthed and substituted. Women must smell the way the group wants them to, and not the way that nature made them. So I say, do what you want! Go with or without perfume, wear organic perfume or the most expensive you can find. Smell how you want to smell. I think you all smell delicious. ❤

Green alternatives to perfume 

Natural perfumes 

Babies Know Mother’s Smell

Birth Control and Sense of Smell