Category Archives: vagina

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**

[feminist] your next coloring book! The Yoni Coloring Book

Your next coloring book! You know that you or a friend definitely needs this, and it was drawn by one of our CFFs! (also, if you purchase through this Amazon link, I’ll get a commission. this is totally a win-win-win situation) Remember, every vulva is unique, wonderful, and special. Every vagina is incredible and has the potential to be a canal of life. Now you can color 22 of them however you’d like!

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for womb or sacred passage—and what better way to consider this most sacred part of a woman’s body than in this goddess-like aspect? With 22 different hand-drawn designs by artist H.L. Brooks, this coloring book celebrates the yoni both as a symbol of womanhood and also as a highly individual form—unique to every woman and each beautiful in her own way.

The Yoni Coloring Book: For Your Inner and Outer Goddess

yoni -oloring-book-crankyfatfeminist-vagina-vulva

Learn more and check out surprise pages from inside the book!

**disclaimer! I may receive a commission from items purchased through the above link!

 

Reflection: The Business of Being Born

The first startling statistic of childbirth in America is that less than 8% of births are attended by a midwife. In Europe and Japan, midwives attend an average of 70% of births.

Startling stats, part two. The USA has the number one worst maternal death rate and the second worst infant mortality rate in the developed world.

Perhaps this makes more sense when we realize that in other countries midwives deliver babies, not doctors. Obstetricians are always available or on call in case of delivery emergencies. Obstetricians don’t do the majority of baby delivery in any country except the USA.

What’s the big difference?

Capitalism.

Hospitals in the USA are businesses, and businesses are all about increased traffic and turnover. Pregnant women in — baby out — minimum recovery time — goodbye. Any time additions lose money.

In an effort to keep turnover high and profits higher, many women are nearly immediately administered pitocin to induce stronger contractions. This is painful, so women are then offered and encouraged to have an epidural for pain relief. But epidurals slow contractions. Therefore she needs more pitocin to keep up the rate of contractions (and then needs another epidural…) The fluctuation between pitocin-induced contractions and epidural slowing contractions takes oxygen away from the baby, and too often results in “emergency” c-sections.

Since 1996 there has been a 46% increase in c-sections, s that by 2005 one in three births were c-sections. Additionally, it has been documented that c-sections peak at 4pm and 10pm — when doctors are ready to go home before shift changes. The surgery is relatively simple on the part of the obstetrician, meaning that they’re less likely to be sued than in a traditional birth.

Why the lack of midwives? Answer one is that there is a lack of understanding what women in labor need (in the USA). The biggest reason though is that hospitals don’t like the competition — therefore many insurance companies don’t like to want to pay midwives. This means midwives have to fight insurance companies for what is owed to them, and many go bankrupt. Midwives average $4 thousand for their services, while a hospital bill is often around $13 thousand.

preggo dress

Food for thought —

Natural birth releases a huge cocktail of hormones and “love drugs,” helping a new mother to truly bond with her newborn. A c-section bypasses this, and no love hormone cocktail is released into the mother’s body. Does this screw up one in three kids later?

Also, do labor and delivery drugs fuck with infants? In previous studies with formerly used drugs there were side effects later in life for these babies. For now, and this round of drugs, there are no conclusive answers yet.

Links:
 
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[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] periods and porta potties, and bullshit at work, oh, and cleavage

A month ago, four hours from home, I arrive at this new work site, 6:45am, bleary-eyed and desperately clutching my nearly empty coffee cup. Turns out we were called in early just for the sake of being early and sorting paperwork, which really only took 20 minutes. By 7:45 my bladder is full of coffee and I have to ask where the restrooms are… only to find out that we had access to porta potties. Perhaps if I walked half a mile up the road to this fancy arena people would be there and let me in to use a real restroom. But that was perhaps. After tucking a just in case tampon into the shorts I’m wearing (which are really my new boyfriend’s extra pair of work shorts) I hand my helmet to one of my female coworkers and head to the row of porta potties. My hands have already touched the gross “community box” of hard hats, borrowed someone’s pen to sign paperwork, and had just touched the door of the porta potty. While trying to keep the bottoms of my shorts from touching the pool of water around my boots, I discover that I have indeed started my period. And I have no where to wash my hands before I use the tampon. Surely comical if anyone had been watching, I managed to keep the shorts out of the puddle and put in the tampon. About to walk out I remember, I still have no where to wash my hands. I clean my hands to the best of my ability with the one-ply, but have no choice but to walk out, grab my hard hat, and get ready to work.
dont dumb yourself down

It’s a male-dominated field and we’re in the south. Essentially, if you aren’t a badass feminist with a point to prove you won’t last more than a few months. As a general trend around here, the women have a larger skill set and a better work ethic. The men can get by as long as they’re very muscular or tall, or if they’re funny and love to kiss boss-ass. A large number of the guys will flat out tell you that they would rather have only guys working with them. More and more are getting smart enough to keep their mouths shut and just look down on you. As long as they don’t grope and don’t name call, they can’t be called out for being sexist, so they can’t get in any trouble.

If the work community doesn’t want women around, all they have to do is keep providing porta potties– no one wants to feel dehumanized, which is exactly how I felt using dirty hands to put in a tampon while making sure my shorts didn’t get wet. Maybe if cargo shorts were made for women and not nearly-exclusively for men I wouldn’t have had to worry about the bottom two inches of fabric getting pee on them. Maybe if there was just a jug of water nearby for hand washing I would have felt much cleaner.

Besides the panties and bra, my clothes were asexual. No, actually, that’s not true. Asexual would be fine. I was wearing men’s shorts, and men’s steel toed boots (what? women wear steel toes? never. hope they made a small enough men’s pair for you). I was wearing a t-shirt that I got after a show, which meant that others there had the same shirt too. And because of my big boobs, I can’t get away with a tank top or a cut-neck t-shirt to provide the twin heaters with some ventilation. The fastest way to be sent home is to have any sort of cleavage. (The fastest way to be sent home SHOULD be not wearing steel toes, or not wearing your hard hat.)

cleavage-12

Indecent and distracting, boobs are definitely evil and always dangerous for men. Before and after every show the lights are on. During the show, the lights are off. When the lights are off the men can stare at anything and anyone without being caught– they can watch dancers change backstage, they can watch singers strip down and redress with so few seconds that modesty has no time. We are all human, and the understanding is that no one is watching because no one cares, because we are all people, with variations on the same parts. But the problem is that some of these guys are watching. And their bosses know, and don’t care. Some of these guys are watching the private dance studio 14 year olds change clothes, they’re staring at the bouncing boobs of a 19 year old college dance major. But it’s dark, and no one can see where they stare. Until the lights come on, and then suddenly they’re in deep shit for staring at the tiny bit of a coworker’s cleavage. So in an effort to save the good old boys from any embarrassment, cleavage goes home immediately so that guys don’t have to be reprimanded.