Category Archives: penis

gift guide for cranky fat feminists!

Gift ideas for the holidays, for all of the cranky feminists in your life (fat or slim)! This is a gift guide in progress, so don’t forget to check back for more great finds!

books I recommend!

Fatropolis will take you away to an alternate world where big is beautiful. Hiding your body is unnecessary. Shopping for clothes is easy. Eating your fill isn’t embarrassing. If you’re a fat woman (or man!) this is a book you don’t want to miss! (age appropriate for high schoolers as well)

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a book to not read lightly. It’s important work, it’s an important read, but it comes with a giant trigger warning. Amazon says “…a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. One chapter at a time, this is an important read.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a graphic novel depicting Alison Bechdel’s childhood, adolescence, and discovery of her sexuality. She shows us her vulnerabilities, her family problems, and her journey to adulthood. I’ve read this several times, and highly recommend!

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a graphic novel depicting Marjane Satrapi’s coming of age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Don’t miss this! (also age appropriate for high schoolers)

buying books instead of drinks

my wishlist!

On my personal wishlist is Sex Object: a Memoir, by Jessica Valenti. Amazon says “Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women’s lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City.”

Fresh off the press, Feminist Fight Club: an Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace, by Jessica Bennett is also on my wishlist. Here’s why: “Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women… Hard-hitting and entertaining, Feminist Fight Club blends personal stories with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t expert advice. Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist workplace archetypes women encounter everyday.”

Fight Like a Girl introduces readers to the history of feminist activism in the U.S. in an effort to celebrate those who paved the way and draw attention to those who are working hard to further the feminist cause today.” How could this not be on my list of books to read and give?!

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History features 40 women from 31 countries around the world. There’s also a list of 250 additional rad women to check out on your own. Get inspired, or inspire others with this awesome collection!

strong women

 

coloring books on my wishlist!

The Yoni Coloring Book is an awesome gift for anyone you know that loves to color, or would enjoy creating crazy colored vulvas! The illustrator is part of our CFF community.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg Coloring Book: A Tribute to the Always Colorful and Often Inspiring Life of the Supreme Court Justice Known as RBG. Need I say more than “notorious RBG coloring book!”? <3

 

 

**disclaimer! I may receive a commission from purchases made via these links**

[cranky] the boy’s club that is my job




I’ve worked in the theatre production business since before I could legally be paid to be there. I started in community theatre, worked on every middle and high school production I could get my hands on, and created my own major in college to continue this work. Primarily, I’m a theatre electrician and lighting designer. Occasionally I work as a production manager, and previously as a stage manager. Since it’s been over ten years I can do a little bit of everything, and I’ve even taught professional development classes for middle and high school teachers. I’ve done lighting design for local professional dance companies, symphonies, musicals, and graduations, as well as college musicals. Six years ago the minimum I was ever paid was $15 an hour. Right now I’m thrilled to get any gig working for less pay.

There is an international theatre union, IATSE (declining to share my local’s number and rat myself out…). While I live in a right to work state, we follow most union rules and are all treated the same. Except that I’ve discovered that the “girls get less work calls” rumor is actually the truth. Guys with years less experience than me are getting more work offers than I am. Guys with a much smaller knowledge base are getting more work than I am. Therefore, they do make more money than me.

one asshole is enough

Recently I found out that there was a huge work call at my local arena for a famous rapper on tour. A friend of mine that I helped get into my city’s theatres was asked to do the show, so he dropped a previous commitment I helped him get so he could go do the union-run concert with “his boys” (his words). So not only was I embarrassed, I found out that the union preference is having a penis over having the most experience or hardest work ethic. What other evenings am I at home, bored, ready and eager to work, and not getting a call because I have a vagina and can’t grow a caveman beard?

And written months later… 

In about a month my boss man at the theatre (not the aforementioned arena) will begin texting me, looking to schedule my currently freelance self for work. I will almost certainly be in the top dozen people getting the first offers. I do appreciate that my boss appreciates me and knows how knowledgeable I am in my one sliver of the world. My boss knows how miserably unhappy I am with him and his lame employees. (and his boss knows too) The end of the season promise to “do better” “communicate more” “look into it” and do better to “respect me” is likely 95% bullshit. Optimists might say only 80% bullshit, but those are only the ones that haven’t met him.

you can fuck off

Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Why fix inefficiency if it will still always all work out? Because it makes you someone WE can rely on, right? Well, if you’re in the top half dozen of his favorites, you’re a guy. And in this field guys work better in an all-guy environment. No deodorant, very few shirts, often beer drinking while working, and copious sexist, racist, rape-culture jokes. When girls are around — and all it takes is one — the party’s over. Beer away, Mary Jane away, shirts on. Jokes forbidden. Telling raunchy sexist jokes will get you in trouble — to the tune of “don’t come back for two weeks” or in extreme cases he might drop from dozen A to dozen B, or dozen B to dozen C, and receive about 20% less work in that venue. A girl complains without solid proof and a super credible witness, and she loses about 50% of her work there.

smash the patriarchy

Thank you, back ass southern right to work state.

[cranky] let me work

I’ve worked in the theatre production business since before I could legally be paid to be there. I started in community theatre, worked on every middle and high school production I could get my hands on, and created my own major in college to continue this work. Primarily, I’m a theatre electrician and lighting designer. Occasionally I work as a production manager, and previously as a stage manager. Since it’s been over ten years I can do a little bit of everything, and I’ve even taught professional development classes for middle and high school teachers. I’ve done lighting design for local professional dance companies, symphonies, musicals, and graduations. Six years ago the minimum I was ever paid was $15 an hour. Right now I’m thrilled to get any gig working for less pay.

There is a local theatre union in my city, IATSE. While I live in a right to work state, we follow most union rules and are all treated the same. Except that I’ve discovered that the “girls get less work calls” rumor is actually the truth. Guys with years less experience than me are getting more work offers than I am. Guys with a much smaller knowledge base are getting more work than I am. Therefore, they do make more money than I do.

Recently I found out that there was a huge work call for a famous rapper on tour. A friend of mine that I helped get into my city’s theatres was asked to do the show, so he dropped a previous commitment I helped him get so he could go do the union-run concert with “his boys” (his words). So not only was I embarrassed, I found out that the union preference is having a penis over having the most experience or hardest work ethic. What other evenings am I at home, bored, ready and eager to work, and not getting a call because I have a vagina and can’t grow a caveman beard?

[feminist] confession, why I started CFF

Question: Why are you so passionate about women’s rights, sexual victim’s rights, and reproductive rights? You’ve never been raped or assaulted, you’ve never had an abortion, you’ve never been abused.

I have three best girlfriends from grade school. Among the three there have been (pre-marriage) two abortions, and two miscarriages. Today, two are married, one has four children and the other has two cutie pies. Both, after marriage, have had a miscarriage of a much-wanted child. The third is now happily single. I was the secret-keeper, the advice-giver, the voice and body of control and compassion. I’ve waited impatiently for pregnancy test results to show up in the tiny ambiguous window, I’ve seen how heart-wrenching the choice to have an abortion can be, I’ve seen how painful, sad, and confusing a miscarriage is.

My little sister was fourteen (I was nearly seventeen) when she was suddenly delivered home one Sunday afternoon by her then-best friend and her mother– they pulled up in front of our house after calling to say she was sick, they opened the sliding side door of the mini-van, and my father and I pulled out a limp, wet, stinking child in a bikini. My father and I carried her up the stairs into the front yard as my mother called doctors to see why she was foaming at the mouth. I held my sister as she half-consciously rested against a tree, making sure she vomited to the side and not on herself, as my father went back down to the van to find out what had happened. The only answer they could give was that the bff and my sister had been at a guy’s house, my sister had been drinking, and all of a sudden when they left she began puking. We live in a corner house, so we moved my sister around to the backyard, trying not to be seen as her breasts hung out of the bikini and she slipped in and out of consciousness. Eventually we laid her in a reclining pool chair that we had found a few weeks before on the side of the road, and hosed her down. She rambled on and on incoherently while smelling like a distillery.

Sometimes its really hard for me to forgive her stupidity, her choice of friends, her bad decisions. But she never in a million years deserved to have her drink spiked, her best friend turn her back on her, and to be drug up a flight of stairs and locked in a boy’s bedroom while she was in and out of consciousness, and then to be slid back down the stairs and drug down the street to another house where my parents were called. What a sick power play, that this same boy has done many times over in our city since then– his family has a great lawyer, and he has never even been brought into the courthouse for questioning, much less prosecution.

The evening after, my parents sat my sister down in the living room for a talk, and I was sent into the backyard. A bit later one of them came out and announced they were going to the ER and I couldn’t come. They were gone about six hours, during which my sister had an incredibly painful and invasive rape kit that was never analyzed. She was questioned by several police officers who talked down to her. The doctors said that she definitely had something fucked up in her drink (how else could you foam at the mouth like a rabid dog?), but that it had already left her system and there was nothing they could do.

 

 

 

 

 

Since there was no stray hair, no sperm, no sexual evidence, there was no “proof” that she had been raped.

Since we didn’t realize she had been raped when she arrived home that afternoon, and she was incapable of telling us, we didn’t get her tested for drugs in time for there to be “proof” of that either.

When my father was five his father died of a heart attack. His older brother began sexually abusing him as a form of power… by the age of ten my father was able to fight back, and he turned on their little sister. When my sister was raped, my father nearly lost his mind.

Who gets to dictate what is rape, who gets to dictate when and why women have abortions? Why is this a political topic of discussion? These are lifelong traumas, lifelong decisions– these are personal traumas, personal decisions. I chose to run away from the south to go to school in the mid-west. But you can’t run away from your past. So I am fighting for my future– to keep my personal decisions, my personal traumas, personal. So that it can be my decision to press charges, my decision to have an abortion, and not someone else’s. You should be able to make your own choices, and include whomever you want in those decisions. No one should be forced into including politicians or bullshit laws into their personal decisions. Ever.

[feminist] mass produced bras and my breast reduction surgery

In response to:
Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. “Breast Buds and the ‘Training’ Bra.” 1977. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 4th edition. 249-254.
Before reading this I had no idea that the first bra was created in 1913, “designed simply to flatten,” and that the more current/modern bra came about in the 1930’s (Brumberg 250). The concept of the bra is so new yet so universal now. Mass production and mass media are so influential in society, and the bra is a prime example. With mass production came sizing—A, B, C, D, the infamous DD, and the realm of un-tamed breasts even larger. (As a person who once wore the “more than a DD,” I know firsthand the impossibility of buying a bra in a department store that will be the correct size.) I was still in middle school when I made the transition to “larger than my mother” and up to DD, and had to face the realization that I wasn’t just larger than normal, larger than my peers, but I was freakishly, abnormally larger than society as a whole. For years I wore two minimizer bras at a time in an effort to “tame” my breasts even more, as they continued to grow. I was known as “jugs” for years in high school before I had breast reduction surgery, after which I spent my final year in baggy shirts so that no one would I know that I had “gotten my tits cut off.”  (which to this day people perceive as a “tragedy” despite the fact that it was practically a medical necessity)
The physical pain I had from wearing underwire bras aimed at “taming” my breasts has always led me to wonder why anyone would wear a AAA or AA (or even an A) bra when to me they so obviously don’t need one. But with stores and brands like Victoria’s Secret a AAA girl can wear a bra that makes her look like she has real B-size breasts. (I’ve always wondered how disappointed the boyfriend is once the bra comes off?) 

The concept of “teenage breast management” developed in the 1950’s by male doctors (I would also like to call them pedophiles) is absolutely sick and totally bullshit (Brumberg 251). The medical world has been cutting people open and examining them for hundreds of years, and obviously know that breasts are held up by more than skin, and are going to sag no matter how great your bra is, and how often you wear it. These doctors were either funded by the bra-industry or had lots of sons looking for perky-breasted women to marry. And the “boob check” sounds horrifying. No one’s breasts are perfectly symmetrical , proportional, with mirror-image nipples. No one should chart your “breast development” to promote the idea that you need huge boobs to breast feed the children you make with your perfect husband. (Were they doing “penis development checkups”? NOPE. I’d personally be a bit more concerned with whether or not my son was becoming a man than if my daughter had the perfectly-growing boobs to go with her period.)
Junior figure control? (Brumberg 251) Great, if you want to wear spanx at the age of 40, I’m all for it. If you want your 14 year old daughter to wear some spanx to make her look slimmer, you’ve clearly not questioned your daughter’s pediatrician properly. Through the mass-marketing of spanx (and knock off spanx) I’ve managed to buy a few pairs myself in my efforts to look slimmer and “fit in” better. (PS- fail.)Through the media and my own lovely mother I managed to spend middle and high school larger than most of my peers and desperate to find solutions to fit in to the stereotypical  image of the ideal high schooler. In the 1950’s junior figure control companies provided “free purse-size booklets on calorie counting”—way to go making the world feel fat by the age of twelve (253). 
In the back of magazines there are always sketchy ads for dating sites, making your long hair more beautiful (you know, the white girl hair that you can flip), and making your tiny boobs bigger. There were never any creams or exercising for making your breasts smaller. The song “I must, I must, I must develop my bust” (Brumberg 253) I learned in 5th grade, as the song “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.” Way to make the mosquito-bite girls feel like crap about themselves. 
I did not wear a B bra until after my surgery—my mother refused to let me wear more than a tank top until I was clearly, desperately in need of something more to cover my breasts in order to fit in at school… she waited until I was a full C. This was how she grew up (a conservative Southern Baptist). This also meant that I was not allowed to have colored, polka dotted, or lacy bras. Not that they made those in 36DD, 36DDD, 38DDD, 38-“hm. Big…” The very first bra that I bought for myself was light blue with a tiny peephole between my breasts. It cost me $20, and had no underwire and held my breasts perfectly. It didn’t cost me $50, squish me until I couldn’t breathe, and come in an ugly nude grandma style. (I know, I’m perpetuating age-ism, but that’s the only way I can put it…) FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE AGE OF NINE I FELT LIKE I FIT IN; I WORE A BRA THAT DIDN’T RESTRICT MY BREATHING; AND I WORE A BRA THAT I FELT BEAUTIFUL IN.