Friday, June 29, 2012

Myth Bustin'

I was reading a thread on the Ravelry forums about a YouTuber who got seriously offended when someone corrected him on the statement that "No girls of this generation knit".  The YT comments were hard to follow, but I also noticed that some people were under the assumption that if a man knits, he must be gay, and they were very confident in that assumption.

Some people just hate to be told they're wrong, I guess.  But as I've said before, I hate letting people keep going in their wrongness.

So I think it's time to bust some knitting myths.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't Screw With Me, Queen!!

So it turns out I'm a member of a powerful order.  This group has been able to use their numbers and influence to demand respect from even the toughest organizations, and few dare question the order's right to practice their rituals in public, even in places where so many other activities are restricted.

I'm speaking, of course, about knitters.

What?  Knitters?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Medusa and Victim Blaming

TRIGGER WARNING: Discussions of rape and victim-blaming

The other day, I was watching this show on History Channel called Clash of the Gods, which while not at all like how it sounds, is pretty awesome.  Essentially, they look at a story from classic mythology (such as the Minotaur, or the life of Thor) and while telling the story, look into what elements came from the fears, practices and dreams of the real-life culture from which the myth came.

One episode of this show looked at the story of Perseus and Medusa.  It didn't start with Perseus, though; it started with where Medusa came from.  And her story made me profoundly uncomfortable, because of how familiar it sounded to some issues we still have today.

So this is Ovid's version of the origins of Medusa, the one told by the show: She was once a young woman, serving as a priestess of Athena.  As part of her duties, she had sworn to forever remain a virgin.  However, Medusa was incredibly beautiful; many were attracted to her, including the Lord of the Sea, Poseidon.  One night, Poseidon found Medusa in Athena's temple, and raped her.  Athena, to punish Medusa for no longer being a virgin, transformed her into the hideous corpse-like gorgon* with snakes for hair, boar tusks, and tight scaly skin.  Athena also cursed her so that anyone who looked directly upon her would be instantly turned to stone, dooming Medusa to being alone forever.  Medusa's only relief comes when Perseus, sneaking up on her by watching for her in his shield, beheads her.

Friday, June 22, 2012

An Interest in Vaginas

Every morning at 10 AM, the TV in my family's apartment broadcasts The View to no one in particular.  I don't normally pay attention to the show, because they mostly talk about pop culture I know nothing about and interview celebrities I've never heard of.  But the other morning it came on, and they opened the show discussing the Michigan House of Representatives banning a female legislator from speaking on the House floor because, in a debate about aboriton legislation, she dared say "I'm flattered you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Fire in My Belly, and My Growing Addiction to Knitting

I have two things I wanted to address today, so let's get to it!


"Spirit" by IMustBeDead
There are a lot of times when I'll see something irritating on the Internet.  Someone trolling on an anti-domestic violence video; religious folks saying that, while it's important to affirm the inherent dignity of gay people, we must always remember that gay people are sinning and abominations before God; Tea Partiers.

And during those times, it's tempting to engage, because someone is WRONG ON THE INTERNET.  It's so easy to feel like it's my personal responsibility to correct every single person and save them from their wrongness so that we can all live happily ever after, but then I realize that 1.) There's a chance I'm the one who's wrong, or 2.) I don't have the energy as a human being on this planet to do that for everyone.  There are just too many people who think that religion is poison or that gay people are sinful for being gay; I can't address all of them!

Monday, June 18, 2012

On Art Appreciation

Before I get into anything else, allow me to have a fangirl moment over the fact that my best friend went to the Philadelphia Trans* Health Conference in early June, bought a shirt from Legalize Trans*, and got the guys from one of my favorite trans*-related blogs (Art of Transliness) to sign it:

Anyway.  To what I wanted to write about.

Yesterday, I went to an exhibit in San Francisco called The Cult of Beauty, showcasing the Victorian Aesthetic movement in the arts, interior design, and fashion.  In a rebellion against all convention, the Aesthetes celebrated art for its own sake, incorporated both Greco-Roman and Japanese culture, and the beauty of the natural female form*.

As I wandered through the exhibition, I was genuinely overwhelmed at times.  There was so much beauty in that space that I felt like I would have a seizure and collapse, foaming at the mouth. (Upon telling my mom this, she said "I hope that doesn't happen.  You'd hit your head.")

Friday, June 15, 2012

God is Not a Man

Many people don't know this, but I internally cringe when I hear people refer to God as "He" without a second thought.

After all, many of these same people would likely say that they don't believe God has any gender; they just use "He" because of habit or "it's as good as gender-neutral" or whatever.

Setting aside the fact that the queer community has been using a wide variety of truly gender-neutral pronouns for a while, we need to ask why "male" is considered "gender-neutral".

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Prayer for Jack

My cousin Kari and her husband are expecting their first child soon.  Because I love family and babies, I decided to celebrate by knitting a small hat for baby Jack.

You'll be getting the hat with another present from my mom in the mail, Kari. <3
I knew that I didn't want to go with blue or pink for this hat.  Not because I hate masculine things or gendering babies (I'm annoyed by the gendering of all things Baby but that's something for another time).  No, I chose green because I didn't want to make any assumptions on who Jack would turn out to be.  And as I knit, I kept thinking about this life that's about to be born.  And (brace yourselves, non-religious friends)... I prayed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Menstrual Cup

This is a re-post from something I'd put up on my Facebook last month (with a fair bit of editing).  Because my life is rather chaotic right now (and this topic is *coughcough* gonna be relevant tomorrow), I'm just gonna leave this here.

I wanted to talk to you today about something wonderful, something magical, something life-changing...

...something gross, something weird...

...something that a lot of people don't know about and will make judgments about unless they get the facts.

I'm talking about... THE MENSTRUAL CUP.

*dun dun duuuuun*

Seriously now.  Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about, some of you are already lost, some of you have heard me talk about it a little and dismissed it as "gross" or something like that, and some of you are men who never got over fear of a woman's period and had a minor heart attack at seeing the word "menstrual".  I know all kinds.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"I'm Not a Feminist, But..." is BS: A Book Reaction

I read.  A lot.  I love books.  It's something I picked up before I could even talk- my parents love to tell about how, when I was still a baby, I'd go to the bookshelf, take down a book I wanted read to me, and crawl (I assume) over to whichever parent was nearby and literally hit their leg with the book till they read it to me.  Then I'd rinse and repeat.  Several times.

To this day, I have no qualms about re-reading books if I really like them.  Sometimes they're so good that right then and there I'll start from the beginning again.

The latest book to get this treatment is the amazing Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti.  It's required reading for the Intro to Women's Studies class at my university, and since I'm taking the class next semester and Girlfriend (I WILL FIND A WAY TO MENTION YOU IN EVERY POST. :P) had already taken it, I borrowed the book to get a headstart over the summer.

This book.  Oh my God.  This book.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reality: The Problem with Complementarianism

Being a Christian, I have to support my positions on certain issues not just with logic and data, but ensure that there's a religious basis for those positions, as well.  I remember struggling with the church's stance on homosexuality because I saw the beauty of my friends' same-gender relationships as equal to that of my straight friends.  After a long time of careful study, I reached the position that modern gay life is not automatically condemned in Scripture (which was lucky, because a few months later I realized that I was queer).

So it was cool seeing a well-thought out, Scripturally sound analysis of the Bible with regards to the position of women in the home and the church, "Supporting Women in All Levels of Leadership" by Eugene Cho.  Because that frees me up to talk about this issue from a place in which I'm more secure- pure %&?ing logic.

Monday, June 4, 2012

God with Needles

I've had a fair amount of experience recently with finishing projects.  Stress about my family moving to the Bay Area has led to me spending many hours in my room, watching the Green brothers on YouTube and hammering out projects, taking frequent breaks to shake out my hands and relax my wrists. (Remember this, knitters: to avoid carpal tunnel, take a break every half hour!!)

Something that my mom can roll her eyes and tell you is that, every time I finish something, my fingers start itching to pick up the next project.  I get so used to having needles and yarn moving through my hands that suddenly not having that makes me so.  Very.  ANTSY.  (It gets pretty bad.)

I can't always decide whether I like the process or the finished product more.  I know that knitting takes a $#!#-ton of time, so I try to carefully choose my projects so that I know I'll like--and more importantly, wear--whatever it is I make.  There are things that I've sewn (because the process is so fun) that I haven't worn more than once or twice, and just hang in my closet hating me for my refusal to wear them.  I've learned my lesson, and now I'm very careful to pick things I *know* I will wear.  The satisfaction of finishing a fun project becomes bittersweet with the realization  that while I like the look on its own, I don't particularly want to wear it a lot.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blushing with Shame

There was a time when I was uncomfortable with makeup.  I saw it as little more than a ploy to convince women to feel bad about themselves, that they were ugly without makeup and only close friends, family and long-term partners should be allowed to see them without makeup on.  Then and now, I like the look of my naked face.  Even when I had really low self-esteem, it was about the rest of my body, not that much about my face.

But in my senior year of high school, I realized that studying acting in Southern California meant I would have to  get used to wearing makeup not just for stage (something I openly enjoyed, because of the transformation factor in stage makeup), but every day.  I knew the Professional Theatre World wouldn't take me seriously without it.  So, Mom and I went to a drugstore and I picked up some stuff.

Little did I let myself realize, but I actually enjoyed applying makeup.  It was the transformation aspect that I loved in stage makeup but on a smaller scale.  I loved seeing how a bit of liner, mascara and foundation could subtly (or not-so-subtly) alter my appearance and enhance certain features.  I started enjoying the compliments I was getting for my improving skills, and eventually became enthusiastic about messing around with colors to create different looks.