Further To The Underwear Debate…

… I bring you…

lemons

I love my Paint graphics. They are fantabulous.

Also, I want it to be known that I would definitely buy this underwear. This is in complete contrast to lemon yellow underwear, which I would never, ever buy. Mainly because I associate it with a date-rape scene in a book by Lisa Jewell. That, and it’s ugly. Whereas the image I have created is a vision of wonder and joy.

This is what happens when you have a relapse of the lurgy. Anything seems funny. Even drawing pants in paint.


The Orgasm Gap

Through Fourth Wave Feminism, I found this article, which leads with the question, “why are men still twice as likely to climax as women?”


Well, there are several things I could say.

I could say something insufferably smug, because I’m a feminist, and we all know that feminists have better sex.

I could point out that, as long as women masturbating is seen as somehow dirty or wrong, and men masturbating is seen as normal and healthy, it would not be surprising to discover that the number of women who don’t know how to have orgasms by themselves is less than the number of men who don’t know, and that, as a corollary, it would also not be surprising if those women did not orgasm through sex.

I could say something about the way porn has invaded every aspect of daily life, and go on to say something about the complete lack of any realistic female sexual pleasure within mainstream porn.

I could say that sex education, at least as I knew it, had fuck all to say on the subject of female orgasm. Male, yes, because how else would you make babiez?!11!!eleventy!1!! But female orgasms? Well, they don’t have an obvious procreative function, so clearly they don’t matter.


I could say all of that in a longer and perhaps more coherent way.

But the thing that I want most to say is this: that I could not read past the first few comments on that article, because they were just that fucking stupid. The third comment down says – in all seriousness – “who wants fair sex? Boring, repressed people.”

I’m not even going to start ripping into that. On a level of total stupidity, it rivals that guy I found out about via Crimitism, who wanted to Be A MAN!!! and move to Siberia from America to show the Brilliant Not Feminst At All, Knowing Their Place Type Ladiez just how much of a Big Manly Man he was. He failed, because his parents wouldn’t let him.

(I’m not linking to that guy’s site, on the grounds that he’s an idiot, but Richie – 4th in comments – gives the address.)

In other news, the student bar is hosting a traffic-light themed Valentines’ Day evening. Wear red, you’re “taken” (and oh, how I hate that phrase), yellow and you’re terminally non-commital, green and you fancy a fuck. Charming. As you might expect, I’m giving that one a miss. Still, on the plus side, they’re not making anybody wear pink for any reason.


Comment Moderation

It’s not something I do often, mainly because I’m not famous enough online to attract A-grade nutters.

However, I came back from my Christmas break to find a couple of comments waiting for me. To this commenter (since it does seem to be a real person), I’d like to say a few things.


1) What the fuck makes you think I’m remotely interested in your sexual preferences?

2) If I thought feminism was about prescribing who I could or could not have a sexual relationship with, for what length of time I could have said relationship, or what I chose to call it, I would never, never identify as feminist.

3) I was not aware that a “feminist dream” existed. Is that like the American Dream, only less capitalist? And how do you have this dream? Is it something to do with the Feminist Hive Mind (TM) ?

4) If you want your comments published, I suggest you read the comments policy. If you just want to get some hatred out of your system, I reccomend swearing at the mirror for a while.


News From Sheffield

1) I mainly like my new doctors’ surgery.
For one thing, they’ve moved with the times and you can book an appointment at any time of day or night online or on their automated phone system, unlike my old surgery, who would only give appointments to people who rang on the day, at 8:40 AM, and kept ringing until they got an answer.
The new people have lots of nice leaflets, a pharmacy right next door and are generally shiny and wonderful. Even the doctor I saw was a very nice woman. And she gave me my pills with no fuss at all.
On the other hand, she also looked me up and down before saying “and it looks like you’re taking good care of yourself”. I slightly let her off because she was checking my blood pressure at the time so she might possibly have been referring to that. But then again she might have been referring to the fact that, due to my genes, I’ve escaped the Obesity Crisis TM. So I’m a little cross about that, because as we all know, there is no known way to make slim people fat.
(Thanks to Shapely Prose, by the way.)

2) I’ve found the Sheffield Fems!!!
This is a good thing and means I might get to meet Laura Woodhouse, who to me (being a baby blogger and all) seems almost like a celebrity. Except cooler.
Also, they meet in an old-man pub. I’m not sure why I like this, other than the fact that I might actually be able to hear them.

3) I’m feeling generally rather more aware of being feminist.
Partly because of (2) and partly because I keep getting flyers for things like “Sk00l Disco!!!“.


This is not a good thing as it means I then stomp around the flat, muttering darkly about flashing my breasts for free drinks.
Oh, and the boys on the ground floor have put up a “hot or not” wall. I was not impressed.
And people keep refering to female students as “girls”. We’re all over 18, dammit! Call us ladies if you have to refer to us like that, or otherwise STFU.

4) During Fresher’s Fair, I got a few bazillion leaflets about Teh Sex. I even got a couple of condoms. But despite talking to the lovely people at the LGBT stall, I have found no dental dams.
In fact, the only place I’ve even found them for sale (in real life) is Amora in London.
Maybe it’s because they’re seen as a thing that only lesbians need use, or maybe they’re just not seen at all. But really, even if you’re in a heterosexual relationship, you might feel the need for them. Perhaps we all need to be better educated?
On a somewhat related note, in one of the many packets of freebies, I was presented with a condom and a packet of ketchup. I am now hoping like crazy that nobody gets drunk and mistakes the ketchup for lube. Because that could be painful.

Anyway, but in general I’m settling in and am fairly cheerful. And I’m actually quite enjoying the challenge of cooking with one small saucepan and a wok. My flatmates are getting used to me chatting about feminist things, and have taken my crazy metal side in their stride (there’s an indie/ metal night on every Thursday, and they were initially a bit surprised to see me demonstrate the finer points of Gothic Dancing. My personal favourite is the move called Kick The Evil Hobbit, which involves holding both arms out at about waist-level, the better to hold on to the Hobbit’s ears, and kicking!)

Oh, and I’ve found a new saying. Sheffield being so hilly, I’ve heard many, many variations of
“I walked 5 miles to school and back, uphill both ways“!


Bloke Coke

As though my early-morning commute isn’t frustating enough as it is, I found myself this morning confronted with a scene designed to fry the brain of any feminist. Especially this feminist, who had not yet had her tea.

Remember the not-quite-there advertising campaign by Coca Cola for their genius scheme, Coke Zero? The way that even though there didn’t seem to be much hype, suddenly it was there and everybody knew they were meant to call it “Bloke Coke”. Because real men wouldn’t be seen dead holding a bottle of diet coke (which is for girls, because only girls would diet!), but nevertheless need a brand of coke that has no calories. For body-building purposes, naturally.

Well, this morning the not-quite-there advertising suddenly turned in-your-face.

A big cool-bin full of bottles of Coke Zero. A big, burly, masculine black man in promotional uniform. And….

A young, tall, slim, big-breasted blonde woman wearing a tight, form-fitting promotional T-shirt, tight black hotpants and, as the icing on the cake, knee high white socks.

What. The. Fuck?

At quarter to eight in the fucking morning? I don’t want to have to think about all the ways in which that kind of advertising is wrong, not before eight in the morning and especially not before I’ve had my breakfast!

I’m guessing the not-so-subtle message behind it is that, by drinking Bloke Coke, you too could become a big, burly, masculine black man, with a hot blonde woman as your sidekick. Not that there’s a whole heap of pornographic stereotypes about “blacks on blondes” or anything. Not that there’s that lovely racial stereotype about black men having huge cocks. No, I bet the good people at Coca-Cola never had those thoughts cross their minds, as they sent out that particular team.
Oh, and the thought about how a hot, big-breasted blonde woman in hotpants would look as she bent over a conveniently sized bin to get more free samples…. yeah, I bet that never crossed their minds either.
It must’ve just been my filthy mind that leapt to those kinds of conclusions.

And don’t even get me started on the way she was offering all the men the coke by shifting her posture to look up at them, calling them all “sir” whilst in knee-highs….

Yep, sex sells. Especially thin, female, big-breasted, blonde, submissive sex.

That woman? I don’t know how she felt about what she was doing, and I’m not going to speculate. I could see that she was making the effort, though. Making an impression. Fair enough; it’s a job, it must pay. There’s always the satisfaction of doing a job well.

I just wish it wasn’t this way. Wish that it wasn’t all about Teh Sex. And worse, that it’s so…. male-orientated. That sounds daft, but what I mean is – that Coke Zero was being linked inextricably to sex. The kind of sex that’s advertised as good sex – for men. Really good sex. But only for men.
And it’s always that way.
If food is advertised for men, it’s packaged in a way that links it to good, male-dominant, heterosexual sex. Socially approved hunger, both for food and sex. All tied up in a fizzy drink, or a beer, or whatever.
Whereas, if food is advertised for women, it’s packaged in a way that links it to the fall of Eve*. It’s always, always about the sin of it all. Chocolate. Sweets. Naughtiness. Knowing you shouldn’t. Knowing you will. It’s about submitting. About surrendering control. About not being able to help yourself.

It’s no wonder we’ve got so many hang-ups about food. And sex. The two just link. All the time. And that’s not what I wanted to think about before I’d even started my day.

Of course, I wasn’t the demographic that Coke was targetting. So I was safe from being accosted, and walked past, unnoticed, and bought a chocolate croissant instead. And I didn’t link it to sex, not even a little bit. The crumbs would get everywhere.

*Also, I object to the phrase “the fall”. I rather think she jumped.


So Many Thoughts

I want to blog about so many things right now that I can’t settle to blog about any of them. Which is annoying.

I want to talk about the way that there’s an evil child terrorising my brother, and the way that I simultaneously blame the parents and the patriarchy.

I want to talk about the utter relief that I don’t have to deal with the Evil Porter that J rather uncharitably christened Nobby Nobbs. J is of the opinion that Evil Porter, like Nobby, should be “disqualified from the human race” – more because Evil Porter annoyed me than because he “shoved”, though, it has to be said.

I want to talk about the way I am continuously getting away with calmly telling people that actually, I’m a clever person, and how happy that makes me. Especially since it happens to be true.

I want to talk about sexuality again. I know that I once said that surely there must be other things to talk about, but hey, if there’s only seven types of story to be told, I think I can be forgiven for returning to sexuality as a topic to rant about.

I want to talk about the forthcoming London Mayoral Elections, and the way I get to vote for the first time. And I want to mention the discussion over dinner, which culminated in my sister saying in frustration, “women didn’t chain themselves to railings to give me the vote. They did it to give me the choice!“.

And I want to talk about the way I’m going to university, and what that might mean for me.

Right now, though, I’m going to read.


Three things, encompassing leopards

The first is a quick feminist grumble. Because it turns out that being known as Teh Feminist is just as annoying as any other label.
It’s still a stereotype – and it’s like all of the general “female” stereotypes, plus a few more for good luck.
I mean, really. There is only one man in the world who gets close enough to my legs to know whether I shave them. So what exactly is the point in asking me that question?
Besides, by the time you’re that close to my bare legs, back away and you a) look like a bloody small-minded cowardy-custard and b) don’t get any. Which are two really bad things if you’re the kind of man that hears the word “feminist” and feels compelled to ask me if I shave my legs.

Funny, I was going to write something profound – but, as usual, it came out sarcastic. Ah, well, I’ll stick with it – it’s easier that way.

The second is a general woman’s grumble. I don’t think you’d have to be a feminist to think this way (much in the way that those mugs say “you don’t have to be mad to work here – but it helps!”).
One of the porters asked me out a few days ago. He’s not exactly a regular member of staff, but he’s a temporary worker and the porters that he is covering for haven’t been in to work for at least a month, so he’s somewhere in between, really.
I thought he was asking me for a pen at first, because that’s all that the porters ever ask me for. Don’t ask me why, because I ordered a box of 50 from our stationary department and within a couple of weeks they’d all gone. They must eat them or something.
Anyway, it turned out he wanted my number. And my response, without really thinking about it, was “I don’t think my husband would like that”.
Which irritated me anyway, because I dislike implying that I’m somehow at the beck and call of the big strong Alpha Male in my life.
But, regardless of my feminist sensibilities, it made him back off pretty effectively.

And then, today, as I was sorting the laundry (pretty good feminist I’m making today, huh?!), we had the following conversation:
Him [almost inaudibly]: why did you lie to me?
Me [briskly]: hmmm? What?
Him [louder]: I think you lied to me [pointing to ring] – I’m not convinced
Me [more brusque than brisk now!]: Good for you. Whether you believe me or not is your choice. As it happens, I was telling the truth. But I’m not going to argue. And you’ll never get a date if you accuse women of lying.
Him [sullenly]: I’m not really a porter. I’m a student.
Me [cheerfully]: That’s nice. I hope to be a student myself soon. But I already have a man in my life, and I don’t need another one. It would take up far too much of my time, and neither of them would like it.
Him:….. [preparing to leave]
Me: Good night. Have a nice evening.

Now, I know that legally I’m not in fact married. I’m engaged, and an engagement in legal terms – well, I’m not sure, but I don’t think it counts for much. But you know, in my head, I may as well be married. And he annoyed me by the accusation of lying.
So, what he was hoping for? I mean, if he thinks I’m making up a husband, there’s only one reason for that, and it’s because I don’t want to go out with him.
Calling me a liar after that is not going to get a grovelling apology, and nor is it going to make me spread my legs. Funny that.
Perhaps he hadn’t thought it through, or just wanted my attention, or got off on arguments, or something. Goodness knows. Please, though, if anybody can explain that kind of behavior – let me know. I’d be fascinated!


And lastly, continuing the work theme:

Today I was asked to look for some invoices. The task itself seemed pretty damned stupid to me, but not nearly as stupid as it got when I tried to carry it out.

I went to see our finance man, S. He had some, but not all, because I needed them dating back to the start of 2006. So he told me I’d have to look in the archived forms. They live in the basement. I have never been to the basement. He called a guy, P, to show me where they were kept. P reminded him that you need a key to get into that particular store. S phoned A – one of the managers – to ask for the key. It was lunchtime, so A was in the staff restaurant (there has to be a visible management presence at lunch, in case anything happens). I went to the staff restaurant to find A. He could not find the key, but told me he didn’t think it needed a key anyway. So I went back and P and S took me down to the store, which was locked. S called A to inform him that it did indeed need a key. A realised that he’d been thinking about a different store and had had the key all along. P and S went back upstairs – S to do the work he actually needed to do, P to get the key. P returned, and we battled boxes of plastic glasses, pinatas, an old ice cream freezer and the Irish flag to get to the archive boxes. We searched through all 24 and found…. nothing that I needed.
I gave up, went back to my work, and at half past two was finally able to tell my chef that I couldn’t find the information. He called S to ask him to help me search. S promised to find me. He didn’t. At four o’clock, I was finally told not to worry, and that it didn’t matter that much anyway.

Aaaaaaaaaaargh!

It was made worse by the fact that nobody knew what I meant when I talked about a sign that said “beware of the leopard”. For the uninitiated, this is a reference to The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide To The Galaxy, and for the sake of humour, and because I don’t want to end my post with “aaaaaaargh”, I’m repeating it here:

* Arthur Dent has woken up to find that his house is about to be demolished. He is now lying in the mud in front of his house to prevent this, and arguing with the head of the demolition squad*

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.