‘Ugly girls don’t sell burgers’- the trickle-down effect of Team Trump

8 days ago

Fast food boss Andrew Puzder is the new administrations labor secretary nominee despite his endorsement of adverts that objectify women

New research has suggested that female employees at fast food restaurants operated by Andrew Puzder, Donald Trumps nomination for labor secretary, face far higher levels of workplace sexual harassment than the industry average. According to the research conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center( ROC) United, around 66% of female workers reported sexual harassment at brands owned by CKE restaurants, run by Puzder, compared with the average of 40% across the fast food industry.

The man at the top of this particular food chain has repeatedly attained sexist statements and expressed his backing for the infamous adverts that have objectified and sexualised womens bodies to sell hamburgers for CKE restaurants chains including Carls Jr. We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones dont sell burgers, Puzder told, in a 2009 press release. Last year he proudly endorsed the adverts, and stated: I like beautiful women feeing burgers in bikinis I used to hear that brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take over my personality.

Fifty six per cent of the 564 female CKE restaurant employees surveyed reported sexual harassment from clients, including sexual statements, being asked to have intercourse, being asked to uncover their breasts and being followed outside the store. Significantly, some reported that perpetrators immediately referenced the adverts. Client have asked why I dont dress like the women in the commercials, one Tennessee-based Hardees employee told researchers.( Elizabeth Johnson, a spokesperson for Trumps transition team, called the report fake news that was paid for by unions and special interests opposed to Andy Puzders nomination .)

When the person at the top of a company normalises objectification, it builds it much more socially acceptable for others to treat women in a similar way. This is one of the clearest illustrations yet of the trickle-down effect we see when people who themselves exhibit prejudiced views are put in positions of great power. It is a phenomenon we must prepare ourselves to find a great deal more of after Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States.

The electoral campaign clearly emboldened prejudice. By December last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center had catalogued more than 1,000 bias-related incidents that had resulted since the election, including anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT abuse. A local Republican politician in Connecticut was arrested for allegedly pinching a female employees genitals, after saying: I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct. A Georgia high-school teacher observed a note on her desk telling her that her Muslim headscarf isnt let any more. The note continued: Why dont you tie it around your neck& hang yourself with it? It was signed: America.

Trump and Puzder are not the only members of the incoming administration to have been associated with prejudiced opinions. They join a proposed draft cabinet of largely white humen including figures such as Stephen Bannon, formerly executive chair of a far-right website that has been described as an online haven for white nationalists, and which hosted articles with titles such as: Birth control constructs women unattractive and crazy and Heres why there ought to be a cap on women analyse science.

When powerful role model condone bigotry and discrimination, they make it much easier for hate-fuelled incidents, already so often dismissed or ignored, to be brushed under the carpet in wider society. And when men in power seem to be able to speak and act with impunity, it is much easier for others to excuse similar behaviour.

The lawyer of the Connecticut politician arrested for allegedly grabbing a womans genitals denied any sexual assault and said there had only been a a playful gesture. When a group of male diners at a New York steak house shouted grab them by the pussies at a group of women, restaurant staff reportedly told the women to calm down because these were good guys.

Such leadership also emboldens those who would like to walk back the civil rights and equality gains of the past few decades. Self-styled pickup artist Daryush Roosh V Valizadeh( who has called to make rape legal on private property) wrote on his website, in the consequences of the Trumps victory:

Im in a state of exuberance that we now have a President who rates women on a 1-10 scale in the same route that we do and evaluates girls by their appearance and feminine attitude

This is our moment, he claimed.[ Trumps] presence automatically legitimises masculine behaviours that were previously labelled sexist and misogynist.

The only way to combat this legitimacy and normalisation is for everyday citizens to redouble their efforts to oppose such bigotry. Each one of us has the opportunity, in our actions and reactions, our choices as bystanders and our daily conversations, to speak out against prejudice. When hate-fuelled abuse is gushed on a public bus; when a biased remark is stimulated in the workplace; when bigoted bullying happens on colleges and universities campus; the most important behaviour isnt that of perpetrator or victim, but of the bystanders who have a vital choice to make. Would you put your head down, walk on by and say nothing? Would you mutely send the message that this is the new normal? Or could you be members of the public who dares to stand up and make it clear that this is neither accepted nor acceptable, regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office.

Thousands of people around the world will start by taking a stand this week, joining the Womens March on Washington( and others around the world) on 21 st January, to send the message that rhetoric and division like that espoused by Donald Trump wont be quietly accepted or ignored.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘A part of daily life’: South Korea tackles its voyeurism epidemic

15 days ago

Demand grows for tougher penalties for molka the secret filming of images of a sexual nature

Han Jin-young was working for a trading company in Seoul when a visit to the office bathroom exposed the ugly truth about one of her male colleagues.

As she was about to leave, she spotted a pit in the toilet-seat covering, a recent “gift” for female employees from the firm’s vice president. She lifted up the cover to find a tiny camera. It had been recording her every move.

As the UK prepares to introduce legislation banning upskirting, South Korea has been forced to confront its own outbreak of secretly filmed images of a sexual nature, known as molka .

According to police, the number of molka apprehends soared from 1,110 in 2010 to more than 6,600 in 2014, although the real number of cases is thought to be many times higher.

Of the 16,201 people apprehended between 2012 and 2017 for attaining illegal recordings, 98% were men; 84% of the 26,000 recorded victims over that period were women.

The country’s president, Moon Jae-in, recently acknowledged that illegal spycam images had become “a part of daily life” and called for tougher penalties for perpetrators.

Offenders face a fine of up to 10 m won( PS6, 800) or a maximum prison sentence of up to five years, but campaigners tell few feel the full force of the law. Many offenders are ordered to pay modest penalties and in most cases the crime runs unpunished.

‘A deep-seated sexism’

More than 400,000 people recently signed a petition calling on the presidential Blue House to force police to properly investigate all molka allegations. And last month, an estimated 22,000 females took to the streets of Seoul in what local media reported as the biggest women’s rights demo in South Korea’s history.

The protest was called after a woman was quickly arrested and paraded in front of the media- albeit wearing a mask- after she was found to have secretly filmed a nude male model during a university drawing class and posted the video online.

The speed of her arrest led to accusations from an anonymous collective that organised the Right to be Uncomfortable march in June that a double standard was at work when the victims were men.

” A deep-seated sexism lies behind the incredibly unbalanced numbers between men and women regarding this crime ,” one of the organisers, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian.” The problem is aggravated by the uncooperative posture of the police and the light penalties given out by the courts .”

South Korea‘s ubiquitous smartphones and miniature spycams aside, offenders can turn to an array of seemingly everyday items- including pens, watches and shoes- equipped with spycams. The filming is not confined to public toilet: websites carrying spycam footage reveal women being filmed without their knowledge having sexuality, relaxing at home and walking along the street.

South
South Korean women protest against gender inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace. Photo: Jean Chung/ Getty Images

‘The police believed everything he said’

Han, whose name has been changed at her petition, said she” freeze in terror” when she realised she had been secretly filmed.

She confronted the suspect, who admitted he had installed the device but denied watching any of the footage as the camera had only been switched on the previous day. A sceptical Han persevered, and uncovered hundreds of video clips and photographs he had kept of her and other women.

What happened next was typical of the response experienced by South Korean women who attempt to take legal action. Han complained to the police, who initially tried to dismiss her concerns. The vice-president, a colleague of five years, told them he was in love with her and complained that he was no longer intimate with his heavily pregnant wife.

” The police believed everything he told ,” told Han, who discontinued the firm while the vice-president, who still works for the company, was penalty just 500,000 won( PS340 ).

In response to the protest in June, the South Korean government said it would take preventative measures, including checks on thousands and thousands of public toilet and inspections of public buildings.

Police have denied accusations that they fail to take women’s complaints severely, quoting the difficulty of verifying accusations based on footage that often does not show the victim’s face. When they are prosecuted, most perpetrators are told to pay a modest fine.

Wee Eun-jin, head of the women’s rights committee at Lawyers for a Democratic Society, said the current law did little to help victims.

” There have been cases in which no action was taken against a suspect because the recordings were of the victim’s legs or covered buttocks, and the judges believed that this would not have caused impressions of humiliation ,” told Wee, who represents molka victims.

” They live in constant fear. I often advise them not to take their objection to court as I know it will not lead to the result they want. I often end up being their counsellor , not their lawyer. It is heartbreaking. There have just been been a handful of instances where wrongdoers who uploaded such materials were prosecuted and punished ,” said the marching organiser, adding that more protests were planned.

” The victims have to look through countless websites searching for videos that demonstrate their genitals, then capture the image so they can show it to the police. It is humiliating .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘Shrouded in shame’: the young women on either side of Ireland’s abortion debate

21 days ago

Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists are gearing up for a hard-fought referendum in which the youth vote could prove key

The women who won’t marching: ‘silenced’ conservatives vow to stay home

1 month, 9 days ago

Conservative girls are sticking to their beliefs ahead of the inauguration and that means skipping the Womens March, where they dont feel welcome

For Mindy Finn, Saturdays are cherished hours to be with their own families. The Republican political operative and founder of Empowered Women, a not-for-profit group focused on inspiring women in civic life, enjoys the slower pace after a long workweek. This Saturday will be just like any other: shell eat breakfast with her husband and two young boys, perhaps take her kids to the park, and definitely sneak in some shuteye during their naptime.

Carrie Lukas also plans to spend Saturday with their own families. Lukas, the managing director of the conservative policy group the Independent Womens Forum, will take her daughter to a write contest, and then take the rest of her kids five in all to visit their grandparents.

And Sarah Isgur Flores, who served as deputy campaign administrator to the Republican presidential nominee Carly Fiorina, will expend the day clothed in cozy pajamas, snuggling up with her cat and catching up on Sherlock episodes.

One thing they all know for sure? Though they all live in or near Washington, they wont join the thousands of women descending on the capital for the Womens March on Washington.

The marchs organizers are planning for some 200,000 people: women of all races, credoes and sexual orientations, their partners, their children.

But conservative females though divided during the campaign on their support for Donald Trump wont procession. Theyll be on the sidelines, praying that their unexpected criterion bearer will actually deliver on their long policy wishlist.

The march isnt called the Leftwing Womens March on Washington, or the Democratic Womens March. Its billed as simply the Womens March on Washington. But despite its intersectional, all-inclusive mission, prominent conservative women say the event doesnt represent all women particularly, well, themselves.

Its going to be a whole bunch of people standing up and saying, Youre not a real female if you dont agree with us, says Flores, who works as the spokeswoman for Jeff Sessions, Donald Trumps pick for us attorney general. But the great component about being a conservative woman is that we know who we are, we know what our notions are, and we know how many women agree with us.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has flouted long-held GOP positions on healthcare, taxation and more. In response, the individuals who disagree with Trump have had to differentiate themselves as conservatives rather than Republican. Were not a Republican organization, Lukas tells me of IWF. Were a conservative organization that stands for certain principles. Not for people , nor for a party.

As Trump continues to change his intellect on core policy positions, conservative females are sticking to their own notions more than ever. Those notions are at odds with the unmistakably liberal platform of the Womens March, which advocates for gender equality, reproductive freedom, paid family leave, an objective to police brutality, among other stances.

Conservative women, meanwhile, have more modest purposes: theyre hoping for another rightwing justice to fill Antonin Scalias long-vacant supreme court seat, one who is unabashedly opposed to abortion rights. They wholly embrace the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Obamas signature healthcare law. And their policy goals arent confined to stereotypical womens issues.

Pro-life
Anti-abortion activists on the steps of the supreme court. Photograph: Pete Marovich/ Getty Images

I find it condescending, insulting and a little demeaning, Tomi Lahren, the 24 -year-old firebrand host of Tomi on The Blaze TV, tells of that buzzy term. To think that women only care about abortion, and birth control, and paid maternity benefits, I think, does a disservice to a lot of conservative women that care about immigration and national security, and Common Core, and the other things that are facing our nation and facing our families.

Trumps spotty record as a conservative, along with his seeming disregard for democratic norms, hasnt assured conservative girls that hell be their champion far from it. And his open boasts of sexual assault dont induce him an easy person to unite behind. But, after eight years of a chairperson who challenged their core beliefs, Trump at least claims the Republican party mantle. And in Washington, institutional power is the key to passing any serious policy agenda.

Im sure that there may be women who are just secretly and behind closed- door shaking their heads, and thinking, I cant believe this guy actually just said that, please dont hold any more press conferences, tells Ronnee Schreiber, a professor at San Diego State University and author of Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics, referring to Trumps bizarre tangle with the media last week.

But national conservative organisations, she predicts, will look past that. What theyre going to do is say, Hey, lets celebrate the fact that, for example, were a pro-life organization and we have a chairman who claims to be pro-life. Now, we have a chance to actually get an appointment to the supreme court whos pro-life.

Trumps position on abortion rights, like most of his beliefs, is far from set in stone. But until he demonstrates his mettle in office or fails spectacularly, the conservative females I spoke with told me that even if they didnt support him during the campaign, they were hoping for the best.

I think its horrible when the president-elect says something thats offensive about females, says Lukas, who, though she would have preferred many of the other 16 GOP candidates who initially entered the primaries, objective up voting for Trump. But then I look at things like the possibility for healthcare reform, and Im super aroused about that. For tax reform. Tax reform and the problems with starting businesses and job creation, thats a huge womens issue. And I feel very optimistic about that.

Mr Trump is not a conservative, she continues. He doesnt come from the conservative movement, the policy movement that Ive always been a part of. But Ive got hope.

A bunch of sore losers throwing a tantrum

Mindy
Mindy Finn, who was the running mate of the US independent presidential nominee Evan McMullin. Photograph: George Frey/ Getty Images

Just after the election, in the Final Thoughts segment of her eponymous TV reveal, Tomi Lahren went on a tear against anti-Trump protesters. Or, as she called them, a bunch of sore losers throwing a tantrum.

President-elect Donald Trump has opened his arms to all Americans, Lahren chided. No one is asking you to bow at his feet. But your protests and tantrums arent doing anything for this country. You have every right to do it. But youre simply kind of making fools of yourselves at this point.

This Saturday, Lahren will be in Washington she will travel from Dallas to attend the inauguration of Trump, whose campaign she advised on social media starting late last summer.

I dont wake up every day and remind myself that Im a woman. I know that Im a woman, she says, charging that theres been a concerted effort by Democrat to silence and quiet conservative girls, or to diminish conservative girls, or to repeal the woman card of conservative females.

For a moment last week, it seemed that the Womens March organizers had reached across the yawning political abys to include a major plank of conservatism. On Friday, the March announced that one of its hundreds of organizational partners would be the New Wave Feminists, an anti-abortion group based in Texas. Intersectional feminism is the future of feminism and of this movement, one of the events co-chairs told the Atlantic. We must not just talk about feminism as one issue, like access to reproductive care.

Backlash was swift. The feminist novelist Roxane Gay tweeted her outrage: Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. Thats not how it runs! The right to opt is an essential part of feminism. By Monday, the organizers had backtracked, releasing a statement clarifying that the Marchs platform is pro-choice, and that has been our stance from day one.

When I talked to Lukas before the flap, she said the exclusion of conservative women was par for the course for progressives. Im looking at their little website now, she said, reading the marchs stated mission: Recognise that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Well, perhaps. She giggled hollowly. Perhaps they think that. But they sure dont think that diversity of gues is of any interest. They sure arent interested in people who dont support their political agenda.

Flores agrees. This leftwing playbook is down to one page, she tells, get into feminazi character: If you dont vote our way, we will call you a racist, we will call you a misogynist, we will call you anti-woman. And if you are a woman, then were going to call you a traitor, and were going to say youre not a real girl. Youre not the right type of woman. Those charges, she adds, can be thwart. But she takes heart that this cycle despite the overwhelming pressure to support Hillary Clinton based on the results of shared gender it didnt succeed.

That weaponized feminism, she says, is losing its force.

Its time for all women to identify what is truly important

The first time Mindy Finn go for office, it made national news. In October, she jumped into the race for vice-president on a long-shot independent ticket with the former CIA counterterrorism officer Evan McMullin, hoping to serve as a conservative foil to Trumps distinct brand of erratic Republican ideals. The pair didnt get far, failing to even attain the ballot in many states.

But Finn, a veteran GOP spy who has worked for George W Bush and Mitt Romney, isnt backing down from defending her conservative, #NeverTrump values. Along with her former operate mate, Finn plans to launch an advocacy effort that will catalyze a new conservative motion to defend the constitution against Trump.

Its time for all women and I can say this as a conservative to identify what is truly important, and to guard those principles and those values, and proponent for them regardless of who is president, or what party is in power, she tells. Its a country over party moment.

Finn hopes Trump puts the publics interest ahead of his own. But after a long campaign of quite the contrary, she says shes skeptical of his capacity to respect democratic norms. Under Trump, conservative girls may be pleased with cabinet appointments, supreme court justices, executive actions. But theres also an underlying fear that America as we know it will cease to exist.

President Bush, you could disagree with him on a series of things, she says. But I think people would say he respects human rights and has a strong moral compass. And thats not something that I am confident that we can say about Donald Trump.

Ultimately, Trumps ever-shifting policy whims dont dictate what conservative females believe. And despite the identity crisis, Lahren tells now is a pivotal period for right-of-center women.

Now, our first female chairwoman can be someone thats not scandal-ridden. Can be someone that didnt have a rap sheet a mile long. Can be someone that was not investigated by the FBI, she says. So I think its actually an exciting moment for women.

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Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘ All my friends had some nightmare experience trying to get pregnant. My story took the cake’

1 month, 11 days ago

At five months pregnant, Ariel Levy lost her newborn. After four more years of IVF, had she left motherhood too late?

I first fulfilled Ariel Levy in 2009, soon after moving from London to New York, but I had been a fan for more than a decade. Her frank articles about pop culture and sex, which she wrote in her first task at New York magazine from the late 1990 s, the template of what I wanted to write one day. Her 2005 book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, a blister look at how young woman were being sold the lie that emulating pole dancers and Paris Hilton was empowering, became one of the defining feminist statements of that decade. At the New Yorker, where she has been a personnel writer since 2008, she breaks up the publications occasional aridity with vivid articles about sexuality and gender.( She got her job when she told editor David Remnick that, If foreigners had only the New Yorker to go by, they would conclude that human beings didnt care that much about sexuality, which they actually do .)

Heroes rarely live up to your fictions, but Levy outstripped them. Usually marriage used to go for drinkings cocktails that knocked me sideways, but scarcely seemed to touch her sides and from the start she struck me as being just like her penning: laid-back, wise, curious, kind. Sometimes Levys wife, Lucy, would join us. Isnt she hilarious? Levy would say after Lucy had said something that wasnt, actually, all that funny, but I jealousy them their mutual love after almost a decade together. I, by contrast, was lonely and, like generations of single women in their mid-3 0s before me, starting to panic. But like a lot of women of my particular generation, I felt ashamed of this. Panicking about not having a newborn? How retrograde. So I never admitted any of it to Levy, who seemed more likely to eat her own hair than indulge in such uncool, unfeminist thoughts.

I left New York in 2012 and, despite my doomy fears, had twins when I was 37. Levy and I stayed in touch by email, and although her messages became shorter and more distant, I presumed everything was fine, because she was Ari. But in 2013, I opened the New Yorker and learned that it was not.

***

When we meet for brunch on a cold Saturday in February, it has been five years since we last comprehend each other. Its a typical New York scene: weary and winter-pale mothers eating scrambled eggs in a trendy restaurant while their sugar-rushed toddlers play on iPads. Levy, by contrast, looks calm, happy and healthy, and not only because she has a tan from a recent five-week stay in South Africa.

If we had this conversation five months ago, I would have been in a bad way, she says, in a lilting voice that are typically sets an unspoken Oh my God! and Can you believe it? behind her terms. But Im so much less miserable Im not even miserable at all. So what the frack are we going to eat?

We are just around the corner from Levys flat, where she has expended the past year writing a memoir. This in itself is something of a surprise, because she is not usually a first-person novelist. But Levy, after negotiating her order with the waiter( Ooh, the cheddar scramble is that good? But do we have to have the creme fraiche with it? I mean, lets not ), shrugs off any concerns about self-exposure: Im pretty open book-y, you know? I never understood what the big deal is about privacy. The hardest part was realising that Id better entail what I say. The whole schtick of the book is acceptance and surrender. So after I finished writing it, I believed, Wow, I guess Id better follow my own advice now.

In 2012, Levy conceived a newborn with sperm from a friend, having overcome the reservations shed long had about parenthood. She was about to turn 38: It felt like attaining it on to a plane the moment before the gate shuts you cant help but thrill, she wrote in her 2013 New Yorker article, Thanksgiving In Mongolia.

When she was five months pregnant, she flew to Ulaanbaatar for run. Her friends were concerned but, she wrote, I liked the idea of being the kind of woman whod go to the Gobi desert pregnant. After two days of abdominal discomfort, she ran into the hotel bathroom, squatted on the floor and blacked out from the ache. When she came to, her newborn was on the floor next to her. I heard myself say out loud, This cant is all very well. But it looked good. My newborn was as fairly as a seashell, she wrote. She gazed in awe at his mouth, opening and closing, opening and closing, swallowing the new world.

She had suffered a severe placental abruption, a rare complication in which the placenta detaches from the uterus. In shock, Levy held the 19 -week foetus while blood spread across the tiles. She eventually called for help, taking a photograph of her son before the ambulance turned up. She was taken to a clinic where a kind South African doctor tended to her while she hemorrhaged and sobbed. And I knew, as surely as I now knew that I wanted small children, that this change in fortune was my fault. I had boarded a plane out of vanity and selfishness, and the dark Mongolian sky had punished me, she wrote.

Levy flew back to New York and, within two weeks, her relationship with Lucy came to an objective. For months afterwards, Levy continued to bleed and lactate: It seemed to me sorrow was leaking out of me through every orifice. She appeared obsessively at the photograph of her newborn, and tried to make others appear, too, so they could see what “shes seen” and they did not: that she was a mother who had lost her child.

Her article, which won a National Magazine Award in 2014, aims at that point, and I assumed that the end of Lucy and Levys marriage was tied to the loss of their child. In fact, that was a whole other shitshow, Levy tells now. When she returned from Mongolia, she realised through her cloud of grief that Lucy, who had struggled with alcoholism before, needed to go to rehab, poorly. The girls, still in love but too broken to support one another, separated. Today, they are in touch, but, Levy tells, There are times when one of us says, I gotta stop talking to you for a while because this is too painful. Because we are get divorced, you dont magically stop caring about each other.

The breakup is one of merely several shitshows recounted in Levys memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, which looks, in self-lacerating detail, at events in her life before she went to Mongolia, and hints at some that came as. It is not the book that many expected would follow Female Chauvinist Pigs , not least because it could be spun as a warning to women about the perils of waiting too long to have a newborn. Placental abruption, Levy writes, usually befalls women who are heavy cocaine users or who have high blood pressure. But sometimes it only happens because youre old. She doesnt go into this in the book, but Levy, who is now 42, has not been able to conceive again, despite having undergone a ridiculous amount of IVF over the past four years.

The alternative way of looking at Levys memoir is that she is dealing with a subject that feminism has never been able to resolve: the immovable boulder of fertility, butting up against female progress. Levy says she had always wanted to be a writer, so I construct my life with that as my priority; by the time she realised she also wanted to be a mom, she was in her late 30 s. She writes that she and her generation were given the lavish gift of agency by feminism, coupled with a middle-class, western sense of entitlement that resulted them to believe that anything seemed possible if you had ingenuity, money and persistence. But the body doesnt play by those rules.

Of course, this is partly about class, she says now. I dont hear women who are less privileged supposing theyre entitled to everything, whenever they want it. Thats a privilege phenomenon, but it is a phenomenon. It constructs me laugh when people say, Why dont you simply do surrogacy, or merely adopt? Believe me, there is no just about them. Surrogacy expenses $100,000 – $150,000 in the US, while adoption expenses are on average between $ 20,000 and $45,000( costs in the UK are much lower ). After the money Levy spent on IVF( A plenty. A plenty, a lot, a lot ), those options are less possible than ever.

Doomy warnings that women need to stop shillyshallying and sprog up are published in the Daily Mail every day. They are far less common from prominent feminist novelists, and Levy concurs there is no point in lecturing young lady, because it doesnt do anything, and they know it already. Theyre like, Eff you: Im busy trying to earn money and figure myself out. Its just a design flaw that, at the exact moment so many of us ultimately feel mature enough to take care of someone beside ourselves, the bodys like: Im out.

Writer
At home in New York: I was a mess for a very long time. Read an excerpt from her new memoir below. Photo: Annabel Clark for the Guardian

In the UK and US, the average age of first-time mothers has climbed consistently for the past 40 years, partly because of the decline in teen pregnancies, but also because feminism has given women alternatives beyond marriage and motherhood in their 20 s. This, Levy tells, is a seismic rejiggering, and the cost can be epic. While not all women want children, many do eventually, and it doesnt matter how many articles you read about women who are childfree and fabulous when the desire makes, it grabs by the root. That much has not changed, even if the age at which it comes has.

It feels virtually treacherous to say this, I say, devoted how hard our moms fought to give us more alternatives than they had.

I was never any good at maintaining secrets, Levy says. I entail, we ensure their own problems all around us. All of my friends had some nightmare experience trying to get pregnant. My story took the cake, but it wasnt fairly for anyone.

In the book, Levy indicates it was being a writer that encouraged her to believe she could prefer motherhood when she wanted:[ Writers] are accustomed to the power of authorship you control how the narrative unfolds. But I tell her I ensure the writer side of her more in her self-recrimination, the idea that she was to blame for the loss of her child because she waited too long to conceive. Although it is above the average age for first-time motherhood( in the US, this is 26; in the UK, 29 ), 37 is not insanely old to get pregnant. According to the NHS, 82 % of women aged between 35 and 39 will conceive within a year if they are having regular unprotected sex. Levy was in a different situation, because she was relying on IVF. Is it easier to ascribe self-blame, or even societal blame, than say she simply suffered terrible luck in tricky circumstances?

Well, its not just bad luck, because you are more likely to suffer from bad luck if youre older, she tells. But who knows? This might have happened to me if Id got pregnant when I was younger. I just would have had more hour afterwards to get pregnant again.

***

Levy grew up think the rules existed to be defied. As a child in pretty Larchmont, New York country, her mothers special friend, a large African-American named Marcus, would frequently come to stay with Levy and her mothers, a pair of diminutive Jews. Sometimes Levys mother would go to visit him. Marcus had the power to change my mother from a stern regulator of all food containing sugar into a giggling nymph pouring giant glasses of 7Up, as carefree as if it were carrot juice. It was frightening to watch her so happy, Levy writes. Eventually, her parents divorced.

They came out of the 60 s, where people were experimenting with all kinds of things, she tells. And they were going to reinvent marriage, and everything that was established was bullshit. So my mom was like, Im going to have everything. Ill have this thing and Ill have my domestic life, and neither will affect the other. She feels really bad about it. You know, it destroyed their own families. But its not like I think, Therefore convention is great and traditional families are perfect.

Because neither the traditional nor the less conventional approach insures happiness?

Exactly.

As she grew up, Levy occasionally experimented with women, but it wasnt until she was 26 and fell in love with her first girlfriend, Debs, that she realised this was, in her words, a definite thing. The narrative around[ came to see you] is that everything that preceded it was a lie. But thats not true for me I actually dug my boyfriends. But when I was with Debs, I believed, Oh, Im wholly a lesbian. Then I thought, Oh, wait. You dont have to choose no ones going to make you sign anything.

She satisfied Lucy when she was 28 and Lucy 41, at a friends party, and fell for her instantaneously. They had a wedding in 2006 and were legally married the following year in San Francisco. A few years after, Levy, then 35, embarked on an affair.

Even as affairs go, this one truly broke the rules. Levy had got back in touch with an ex-girlfriend, Jen, only to find that she had since transitioned and was now a trans man named Jim. The sexuality was as good as Levy recollected, but on a personal level Jim infuriated her: he indicated the two of them have a baby together employing his eggs and Levys uterus, a theory she found repellent in its blithe presumption: It was his sense of entitlement his belief that you could just keep choosing whatever you wanted in life, without ever sacrificing a single thing, Levy writes.

But this was really a kind of self-reproach: she wanted to be married, but also to have an affair; she had tried to forge her own path, but objective up replaying her childhood; she wanted to delay motherhood, but not reject it entirely.

Levy eventually cut Jim off, and she and Lucy repaired their relationship. Soon after, Lucys alcoholism overwhelmed her, and she attempted suicide. But the two of them went through it; I satisfied them soon after, when they couldnt have seemed more together. They decided to have a newborn. This, Levy believed, would be their happy story.

But happy tales come in unexpected shapes. Soon after Levy returned to New York from Mongolia, suddenly with neither a spouse nor a newborn, she got an email from John Gasson, the South African doctor who had looked after her in Ulaanbaatar. He sent her her medical report, which stated unequivocally that flying to Mongolia had played no part in the loss of the baby, just in case you have any lingering doubt or feelings of remorse, which she did. The two began to coincide, and that was a lifesaver, because he was the only one who saw me with the newborn, and that was the only thing that felt real to me then, Levy tells. Emailing turned into visits. Visits turned into something more, and they are getting married next year. This relationship feels less conventional than my relationship with Lucy: we dont live in the same country, we have different lives. My straight relationship is a lot less straight-out than my gay one was, she says.

Levy only hints at this relationship in her book, and I tell her I was astonished that she defied concluding with this better-than-Hollywood happy aiming. Well, I didnt want the books message to be, Someday, my prince will come, because it wasnt like that. I was a mess for a long time. Theres no such thing as a happy aiming. And this isnt an ending I mean, Im not dead.

The real lesson of Levys story isnt that women are having children subsequently and that this is a problem, but that womens lives are now an entirely different shape, with happiness no longer dependent on the old markers. A female can marriage other women in her 30 s, and then a human in her 40 s; a woman can run for president in her 60 s. And even if they dont get the original intended prize the baby, the presidency the forging of that new route still feels in itself like a victory. But I suspect it will be some time before Levy will be able to tell that story.

She has always loved to garden; her roof terrace was always bordered by shrubbery, and these days she has vegetable and flower beds. If I had my way, its the only thing Id ever do, she tells. In South Africa, she has learned to pony ride along the beach: I like how it feels like flying. When we satisfy, she is just finishing up a New Yorker profile of the artist Catherine Opie, whom Levy describes as a feminist and visual poet on gender.

As for herself, Levy remains first and foremost a feminist, but one who has moved on from Female Chauvinist Pigs: I still agree with myself that reducing females to tits and ass isnt this liberating thing. But Im just not that interested in talking about porn and whatnot at this moment in time. I dont know if its because Im older, or because the world has changed and were in a genuine crisis about womens rights with Trump.

Last summer, Levy chose, after four long years, to stop the fertility therapies. I merely need my life not to be about what I dont have, or consistently failing to get it in the most painful style. And its great. I mean, you cant spend the month of January in South Africa riding horses on a beach and is just like, my life sucks. All options entail not choice something else, and if the kid thing doesnt work up, John and I can travel when we like, and that has its charms.

I feel like were not supposed to admit to regret about our lives, but I do have unhappiness, and thats fine. That doesnt entail I cant live with them, or that somethings wrong. And its pretty great when I can hand my friends children back when they start having a tantrum. Simply as you wont lie to me and say theres nothing fulfilling about motherhood.

A decade ago, Levy profiled the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, and asked her if she regretted not having had children. Everybody doesnt get everything, Dowd replied.

That sounded so depressing to me at the time, Levy tells. Now it just seems like a relief to know I dont have control over everything. Its a part of growing up.

Another part is learning that the rules are mutable: you can be divorced and still love your former spouse; sadness is part of a happy life; and feminism doesnt entail getting everything. It entails giving women choices and thats a good thing even if sometimes those options are taken away.

Dr John wished to know how I am feeling. I tell him that I am in hell: an exclusive extract from Ariel Levys new book

An email arrives from Dr John Gasson, medical director, SOS International Clinic, Ulaanbaatar. As promised, he has sent my medical report, which I need to submit to my insurance company. He has also attached a study on preterm birth that he mentioned when we were in the clinic.

I ask him if it is normal that Im lactating. He explains that the oxytocin that brings on contractions also signals the body to lactate. He adds that the milk letdown reflex after a miscarriage is one of natures less kind tricks, which I think is an elegant and apt style of putting it.

Dr John asks how I am feeling. I tell him that I am in hell. But the very fact of him asking, of is available on communication with the person who was there that night, is a balm beyond any other.

I thank him for being so kind to me at the clinic. I ask if its gets even colder in UB. He says that it has, but that the real problem is the pollution: the colder it gets, the more garbage and coal people burn in the street for warmth, and the harder it becomes to breathe.

He explains that for six months of the year, he lives on the other side of the world, in South Africa, in a bungalow he constructed himself. There is a stable there that he put up for his ponies, and next door, his two adolescents live with their mom and her second spouse. I do miss my children and horses when I am away, and that can be difficult, he writes. The kids will be leaving school soon and off to university. Then I will only have the ponies to miss.

I tell him about the time I spent in Cape Town. I describe my meeting with the track squad out in the wind in Limpopo, my encounter in Pretoria with Caster Semenya.

Actually, he knows that story: he has been reading some of my articles online. He says he likes the way I write.

I like the route he writes, too: One of my fathers better narratives involved being woken up in the early hours of the morning and leaving in some haste as the house was burning. He remembers himself and his younger friend peering through the back window of the motorcar, still in their Victorian nightdress, as the night sky lit up over the rapidly receding town of Barberton. The veracity of his account is suspect, but what is fact is that some very incriminating documents conveniently disappeared in the fire. His sentences are so jaunty! And so foreign. They sound like the latter are written in not just another place, but another time. His narratives transport me.

Dr John tells me about his childhood in Zambia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia, to him, at the time. Growing up, he didnt question why, if the latter are Englishmen, as the person or persons they socialised with considered themselves to be, they lived in a country where everyone else spoke Shona and Ndebele. He did not really contemplate what it meant that his father also a doctor and his grandpa before him were colonialists, until many years later when he began to question everything hed been taught about blackness, whiteness and where he belonged.

His brother, Greg, was his best friend; they were only two years apart in age. Their mother died when they were toddlers. Greg died, too, in a motorcycle accident when he was 21. I can feel how haunted Dr John Gasson was is by that loss from 6,000 miles away. His mom, two brothers, his father, his country no longer exist, are part of the past.

When we converse in writing, everything feelings complete, discrete. I dont have to explain what just happened; he was there. Within the confines of our epistolary friendship, I am not missing pieces of my life except the one that came from my own body, the one that Dr John alone has ensure. Not a picture of the piece, the person.

I wonder sometimes if my grief is disproportionate, inappropriate. I insured my father fall apart after my brother got killed, Dr John tells me. But he had the consolation of knowing the adult that my brother briefly became. You dont even know what your son would have been like as a little boy. I feel desperately sorry for you.

Only Dr John insured him, and merely Dr John insured me with him. Merely Dr John insured what feels so violently true to me, I cant stand that it is invisible to everybody else on Earth: here is a mother with her newborn who has died.

And so, in one style, our friendship is a kind of fiction.

We are two people on opposite objectives of the Earth, who do not know each other, who write one another emails as if we are aware.( At first, we just exchange a few, here and there. But soon we are writing regularly. And the first thing I do when I wake up after I stop crying is check to see if he has sent me an email full of narratives about places I have never seen, in a voice that is swashbuckling but somehow intimate .) In another way, these emails and that picture are the only things that are real to me.

This is an edited extract from The Rules Do Not Apply, by Ariel Levy, published under 16 March by Little, Brown at 16.99. To order a copy for 12.74, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Woke models: how activism became fashion’s latest must-have

2 months, 1 day ago

Its no longer enough to have a look. Adwoa Aboah and Leomie Andersons socially aware voices have induced them the stars of the new catwalk generation

You can tell a great deal about an epoch by its fashion models. In the 60 s, the spirit of the youthquake was personified by the wide-eyed, Bambi-limbed Twiggy. In the early 90 s , nothing said sod the recession like a glamazon who wouldnt get out of bed for less than $10,000. In the ensuing two decades, Kate Moss represented not just a waifish appearance but a sphinx-like position, espousing the motto: Never complain, never explain.

But in the social media era, something new is happening. In persons under the age of protest and fourth-wave feminism, it is no longer enough for models to slink down a catwalk anonymously: stillnes is starting to look severely dclass. The hot thing in modelling is not a look, but a viewpoint. It is having a voice and not being afraid to use it. It is TED talks and open letters. It is Instagramming images from protest marches and hosting debates about intersectionality. It is campaigning for charities and founding NGOs. It is outspoken. It is woke.

Socially conscious models are popping up everywhere. On the current coverings of i-D and Love magazines is Adwoa Aboah, a woman whose relatively small stature( 5ft 8in) has done nothing to thwart her towering success. As well as appearing on catwalks and campaigns for Dior and Versus Versace, Aboah operates an initiative called Gurlstalk; her Instagram page intersperses backstage way present photograph with moving posts on her struggle with depression.

Many of Aboahs contemporaries equally refuse to conform to the archetype of the taciturn model. In both Love and i-D, Aboah seems with Slick Woods, a spliff-smoking 20 -year-old based in New York who said in a recent interview: Im definitely an out-of-pocket pick for a model. I say what I want and do what I want.

With
With social media, we all have voices and opinions Leomie Anderson, modelling one of her hoodies Photograph: PR company handout

British model Leomie Anderson runs a website that publishes articles by women( a recent one was titled: What does Brexit mean for women and marginalised communities ?) and sells clothing with empowering slogans. One of her hoodies, with This p *** y grabs back on it, was worn by Rihanna on the New York Womens March in January. Last month, during a Q& A at a Mayfair-based pop-up womens space to mark International Womens Day, Anderson argued that outspoken models are helping change the fashion industry from the inside out: When I was younger I was told, Modelling is going to be harder for you because youre black, and I simply accepted it, she said. Now, with social media, we all have voices and sentiments. Before, if it wasnt on the news, who was talking about it?

Of course, this is not the first time that models have taken a stance in the 90 s, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford said they would rather run naked than wear fur but back then merely a handful of models spoke out, and only once they were famous. Now, speaking out can bolster your career.

Many pinpoint the genesis of this trend to a 2013 TED talk by Cameron Russell, in which the Prada and Victorias Secret model skewered the fashion industry for its lack of diversity and argued that her success was part of a legacy of gender and racial oppression. If Russell had made a similar commentary backstage at a manner prove where a models traditional task is to quietly bend to the will of designers and stylists you wonder if she would have worked again. Instead, she has prospered: the TED talk has been viewed more than 17 m days, and Russell has become a Vogue cover star and a campaigner for sustainability in fashion. Her website has a page devoted to recruiting other models to become activists.

It could be said that the rise of the socially conscious model reflects a very 2017 archetype: the awake young lady, who appears set to define femininity this decade in the same style that the lager-swilling ladette did in the 90 s. It is also symptomatic of a broader cultural awokening that has reached the stuffiest organizations; even the royal family has recently relaxed its upper lip.

Adwoa
Adwoa Aboah at the Burberry show during London fashion week, February 2017. Photograph: Mike Marsland/ WireImage

If models represent a fantasised ideal of women, it is telling that until recently most have been seen and not heard. In the mid-1 9th century, when they first appeared, they were known as dummies and were professionally silent, according to Caroline Evans, prof of manner history at Central Saint Martins. They were haughty and glassy-eyed right from the beginning, she tells, recalling a 1920 anecdote where the designer Paul Poiret told an interviewer, while surrounded by models: Do not talk to the girls, madame, they do not exist.

Since then, dozens of models have found notoriety, but few for their opinions. Beverly Johnson, the first African American woman to appear on the cover-up of US Vogue in 1974, was a proto-model activist. Not by choice but by circumstance, she tells. I was 22 years old and I wasnt looking for such a serious responsibility, but it was placed on me and I had to respect and honour it. I was interviewed by the New York Times and Time magazine and I had a platform, she tells. Ive seen both sides of the industry. When I look back on it, there were horrible days. Days when guys were hitting on you, you would go to the agency for protection and realise you were alone, as well as the race thing.

Beverly
Beverly Johnson on the covering of US Vogue, August 1974. Photograph: Conde Nast

However, Johnson feels that the representation of women in fashion has not assured a linear improvement, and that in some ways modelling was more progressive in her day than now. The late 80 s and early 90 s find peak model power, when a supermodels fee was as central to her brand as her waist-hip ratio and the most famous quote to be attributed to a model Linda Evangelistas I dont get out of bed for less than $10,000 was coined.

What followed in the mid-9 0s can be seen as the industrys reaction to the power the supermodels held over it: Prada ushered in a trend for very thin, white models( the influential Italian megabrand famously did not have a single model of colour on its catwalks for 15 years ), often scouting very young women from the previously untapped eastern Europe. Few became famous and rates fell drastically. The paucity of models of colour has been described as a visual neo-colonialism, part of a shift inside the industry that veteran casting agent James Scully attributes to a cabal of stylists and casting directors who, he tells, dont like women and go out of their way to prove it on a daily basis.

According to Scully, the rise of the fashion industrys most damaging impulses can be causally related to the lack of models power. Models have got thinner, for example, he tells, partially because in the 1980 s and 1990 s, daughters were bigger, and decorators would remake the dress if they gained a few pounds. Now, they would just get rid of her.

Social media has given models a voice just when they need it most. On decide, Ive spoken up for myself, when a hair stylist has not been equipped to work with my texture of hair, tells Calvin Klein model Ebonee Davis, and got a backlash. Theres an assumption that Im a diva, an angry black girl. Davis is one of many models who has taken the conversation online. Last summer, she wrote the industry an open letter. Way, the gatekeeper of cool, chooses and dictates what is beautiful and acceptable, she wrote. And let me say to you, it is no longer acceptable for us to revel in black culture with no consider for the fight facing the black community. She later delivered a passionate TED talk arguing that the lack of value for black lives in the fashion industry is the same lack of value that leads to black people being gunned down in the street.

The fear of losing work did cross my intellect, she says, but I felt that it was my obligation, my responsibility, to tell the truth. That far overshadowed any doubts, because what I have to say is valuable. There are so many young black women who have experienced absence of self-esteem and feeling inadequate. As someone with a platform and with a voice, I have to stand up and use it.

Ebonee
Ebonee Davis giving a TED talk. Photo: TED

Daviss Instagram feed combinations shots of her bathing in waterfalls in a bikini with videos of her interviewing homeless war veterans; she is comfortable with the idea that being outspoken is part of her personal brand. The same is true of many of todays burgeoning models, who have come of age in a climate in which the most successful celebrities Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian are multi-faceted one-woman businesses. Scully says that some models have changed from muse to marketing machine. The models at the top of the tree such as Gigi Hadid, who has 31.7 million Instagram followers dont simply model; brands fall over themselves to find novel ways to reach her adherents , commissioning her to design clothes and photo campaigns.

It constructs sense that being outspoken would be aspirational in 2017, when writing a thinky Instagram post can be a route to free media coverage. Hadid is frequently celebrated as a truth-teller, even though a clear-eyed appraisal of her interviews and Instagram posts was proposed that she plays it fairly safe. She did march against Trumps Muslim ban, and she has briefly alluded to her Palestinian heritage, but most of the activity that helped propel her to fame has not been genuinely contentious. She was much praised for writing open letters in response to online body dishonor on social media, a topic that postures her as the underdog while enabling the media to run many pictures of her much-discussed imperfections, which, it must be said, are incredibly difficult to see with the naked eye.

There is nothing simple about being a successful outspoken model; the road to enlightenment is paved with discarded cans of Pepsi, as Kendall Jenner knows. Jenner is one of the few Insta-models who has retained an almost Moss-like silence for most of her career, despite growing up in front of the cameras as one of the stars of Maintaining Up With the Kardashians. Her recent debacle of a Pepsi advert an attempt to sell fizzies pop by aping a symbolic moment from the Black Lives Matter movement is a clear instance of the pitfalls of a brand trying, and failing, to be awake. Jenner has so far kept shtum about the damaging media blizzard that followed, as well as further dispute after she appeared on a recent cover of Indian Vogue. The jury is out on whether her reticence on the matter has done her brand more damage than good.

Halima
Halima Aden models for Max Mara at Milan fashion week, February 2017. Photograph: Pietro D’aprano/ Getty Images

Just weeks before the Pepsi furore, Karlie Kloss a top model whose Instagram feed is peppered with concern about coral reefs went similarly unstuck after dressing as a geisha for a photoshoot that operated, ironically enough, in US Vogues diversity issue. Andersons defence of Kloss suggests that a models influence can only go so far: People assault Karlie Kloss, but as a model she had no say in what the editorial would be, she says. Thats the incorrect person. You dont always see a moodboard beforehand. You need to find out who the editor was, who commissioned it. Attacking the incorrect people is never going to affect change.

Still, Scully believes the power balance is changing and that social media has helped to extend the careers of some models that the industry was ready to toss away. Models have campaigned for better treatment in the industry, and have won media coverage that could persuade brands to take more care of them; Donald Trumps modelling agency closed after model Maggie Rizer and others publicly denounced the boss. Models speaking out about racism and ageism and body fascism has piled pressure on the industry to become more all-inclusive. From Halima Aden seeming at Milan fashion week as the first hijab-wearing top model to the use of septuagenarian starrings in underwear campaigns, societys interpreting of what constitutes beauty is starting to look only a bit more inclusive.

Beyond these small victories, however, you have to wonder if model-activism has a purpose beyond personal brand-building, and if the glut of photographs of models reading Simone de Beauvoir in the bath currently clogging the internet is doing much to further the feminist cause. Clearly, it is dispiriting that while young people contribute to an atmosphere in which protest and activism are fashionable, it was the over-6 5s who put Trump in the White House and won the Brexit vote. Still, for those of us who lived through the ladette years, and the time of Female Chauvinist Pigs, there is a little jolt of elation to be found in the fact that, right now, most models wouldnt get out of bed for less than the empowerment of marginalised groups.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

39 Men Answer’ What Induces A Girl Crazy ?’

2 months, 4 days ago

1. Forever secretary ?~ ATAGEND

I know one daughter who still checked her ex boyfriend’s email four years after they is broken. I guess he never changed his password.

2. They should’ve started a religion !~ ATAGEND

My friend was dating a girl for a couple of months when she told him that she was pregnant and he was the father. He broke up with her after that because…they had never had sex.

3. Hardcore stalker

Went on a date with her, she was a super nice girl and …. okay …. in the looks department. I entail, I had fun on the date, but wasn’t attracted to her. Didn’t plan on a second.

One day she calls, and I answer because, what the hell. She asked what I was doing tonight, and the” She wants to know if we can go on a second date ,” buzzer starts running off. I told her I had schemes, which I legitimately did.” Plans doing what ?”

” Uhhh … having dinner with my family and close friends .”

Long story short, she just depicted up. And when she depicted up, she didn’t say hi. Merely stood behind my chair and gazed. I had no idea she was there because my back was to the door. When dinner objective, she asked what I was doing then. I flat out told her that was going home. She followed me home. Told her to leave, and never spoke to her again.

Creepiest goddamn thing in dating yet.

4. Intense “tattoo” art ?~ ATAGEND

My roommate in college was dating a guy and he would often spend nights at our place. All of a sudden he stopped coming around. I asked her what happened to him and she said that she found out he had a crush on me. I asked how she knew and she informed me that he had engraved MY name into his arm.

5. Not the best gift giver ?~ ATAGEND

Showing up at a Donut Shop two months after the breakup to give you an anniversary gift, and it’s a gun rack.

6. Casting spells, or just crazy ?~ ATAGEND

Waiting until everyone’s asleep, and then talking to herself in multiple voices, giggling sporadically.

Freaked my friend right the hell out.

7. Just having the eyes, man

Crazy eyes. I’m talking about you can see her entire iris and it looks like she’s trying to keep her eyes open as wide as is practicable. Something about it just induces them seem dead inside…

8. How are you able turn this down ?~ ATAGEND

I had a girl come up to me once at a party and tell me she hadn’t changed her panties in a week and would let me” do anal on her .”

Never spoke to her in my life before. She was a friend of a friend. I kindly turned down her offer.

9. Plz plz no

Talking about kid names at week 2.

NOPE….

10. Comparing sizes

Taking about the size of the dicks of the guys they’ve been with. As if thats somehow going to impress me or construct me competitive .. Has happened to me twice

11. More dick-related stuff

I once had a girl go into great detail, while at dinner on our first date, about how her last two ex’s had huge penises and while she liked it she was always very sore for a few days after. She then told me she was happy she was out with a “normal” guy.

The thing is, she had never seen or felt mine and had no information about it at all. She hadn’t even asked me how big it was. She was just assuming, by looking at me, that I had a small penis.

12. Talking about ex’s is weird

For me when they mention any ex at all. Once or twice is fine. If it’s a funny story, go for it, I have a good sense of humour. But when it’s” don’t do that, my ex never did that” or,” my ex does this so you should do it like that .” Yeah go back to him cheating and verbally abusing you then.

13. WTF is wrong with people

I remember a goth chick style back in jr high who used to try devoting herself tattoos in class. She’d dip a sewing needle into ink and stab along her arm all through class. Tried talking to her asking if she was alright, but she kept going on about how cool it was and I really didn’t want her to try stabbing me with it( she asked if I wanted one when I ensure her doing it ).

Later on she used the same needle and would sew thread throughout her hand and limb. Watching this actually made me pretty nauseous and thankfully our educator finally noticed. I also noticed corpuscles of blood on her desk afterwards and the janitor wiped it down with water and a newspaper towel.

14. This is just stupid

Girls that look to add you to their collection

” Oh, I’ve never been with a tall guy/ black guy/ uber driver before “.

I had someone try to sleep with me strictly because she had slept with my twin friend, and” wanted to complete the situated .” Gross, Jill. Gross

15. Speaking in tongues

I met a girl at a bar one night and she gave me her number. I called the next day and we stimulated plans for the weekend. We went to dinner and had a few drinks while listening to the band. The night was getting on and we decided to head back to her place.

Things get quiet during the car ride when out of nowhere she turned to me and said in a deep voice,” Your mother’s name is Dorothy and you are the antichrist .” I immediately asked, “what?” Her reply was,” oh sometimes I just say weird things .” My mommies name is Dorothy. Tldr ; I may be the antichrist.

16. R u even human ?~ ATAGEND

Randomly meowing like a cat. Had a girl do this all the time and I never knew how to respond.

17. Separation is okay !~ ATAGEND

if she maintains texting you every five minutes since you didn’t answer.

18. S-E-P–AR–AT-I-O-N

I was dating a cheerleader in college, and then I transferred and we kept dating. I would always complain about her, and when she visited, she was super nice and friendly to my whole social circle. So all my friends liked her and believed I was just being mean.

When were in a group, she called, and I didn’t answer. And I told them to pay attention to my phone. She called 15 times in a row( which was common ). We were drinking, so we kinda made an impromptu drinking game out of it, my friends eventually saw where I was coming from.

19. Interesting decorations

Horse posters. Stay away from the ones with pony posters.

20. Knives for teeth ?~ ATAGEND

Once made out with one at a party and somehow cut my cheek. She didn’t have braces and she sliced my cheek from the inside.

21. Just f* cking nuts

Her stalking the guy all the way to the mall where he was having lunch with his mother and friends after she simply threatened to tell his entire household that he” raped her” if he ever tried to break up with her. This was only one of the many stunts she pulled. That daughter was absolutely nuts.

Man, with friends like these, I don’t need to bother with watching daytime television. I got all the drama I require right here.

22. STOP

When she tells,” I went through your phone last night…who’s mama ?”

23. She be creepin ‘~ ATAGEND

Creeping through your telephone/ FB inbox. With my spouse, I’m an open book; she knows my passwords and has access to all of that stuff. But she never goes through it because she’s not an insecure mess.

My ex OTOH, I never dedicated her any of my passwords because I didn’t trust her. She creeped through my computer a few times when I was asleep. There’s no need for that even though I have nothing to hide. Just let me have some privacy, and trust me.

24. C-R–AZ-Y

When I caught her in the bathroom after a bj rubbing my wad into her pussy. I presumed she was just spewing it out in the sink and cleaning up. Nope. She was 35 and really wanted a baby before “it was too late”

25. Weird quotes

If they use that quote” if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best”, I can guarantee you they’re a fucking whack job.

26. Getting in our business

Getting too touchy or even trying to kiss you when you’re not interested. I mean, what the fuck, if a dude did that they’d be accused of sexual assault, but some females simply don’t see it as wrong.

27. Breaking and entering

Crazy girl I dated once broke into my pad when I wasn’t there and touched a bunch of my shit and went through things. She tried to make-up some excuse about forgetting her key, but she failed to acknowledge I had locked the doors.

Turns out she stole my housekey, made a transcript of her own, then came around when I wasn’t there to chill. I merely went out with her a couple times, but since I tapped it she somehow figured my shit was now her’s!

28. More animal stuff

One of my exes( God, that feels awkward saying) would hide under her bed when emotionally distressed( she was also a cutter to make things worse) and one time the police had to pull her out. She was reported hissing and growling at the officers like a cat during the event.

She had also concealed a vial filled with her blood and her ex’s( she had some very serious problems) under the bed as well. She apparently had a lot of stuff from her ex( and myself after we is broken) that she stashed throughout her room for safe keeping.

29. Wowowowowow

I had a buddy, his ex tried to poison him by putting windshield wiper liquid in his ice cubes. He was a day laborer and drank tons of water. He started to set it together when the water savoured funny all the time and he kept getting bad headaches.

30. Watching me from her auto

I was seeing a girl for a little bit … Nothing exclusive … A month or two in, she gives me the we should be exclusive talk. I don’t think I can see someone who insures other women. I told her that I liked her, but I wasn’t really looking for anything monogamous. Same story that I’ve given her from the beginning. So she leaves my house in tears. Objectives things. So I was frustrated because she was nice, but I understood her position too, but I didn’t want to budge on mine either. Fast forward the next day and I haven’t answered her text. I get a text that says, I left something at your doorway … So I’m like WTF? She left a card, and a periodical since I write music. Super sweet gift. I messaged her back, asking hey? why didn’t you ring the door buzzer and come in? And she’s like well I didn’t think you’d want to see me or talk to me anymore … bla bla bla…

So we spend the next two hours re-hashing the few months we spent together. I decide to go jump in the pond for an hour and shivering. Come back out, and my phone is filled with text. But now it’s filled with pictures of my house! I’m like WTF is this? I was in the pool, whats going on? And she was like, I never went home after I dropped off the gift. I’m parked across the street.

Creeped me the fuck out. I invited her in. She gave me the I don’t care if you see other people and I objective it there. It was super creepy. For a few hours she was parked outside my house, talking to me, rather than coming in and having a talk … That sealed it for me…

31. Goodbye, then .~ ATAGEND

Had a girl talk to herself in the bathroom mirror at 2 in the morning about her day because” I didn’t dedicate her enough attention .”

32. That’s awkward

Smearing menstrual blood on her face.

33. A little too horny

There’s this girl in my alumnu classesgod damnit. She will send me texts in the middle of our 4 our class telling me how much she needs to masturbate. Or maybe sometimes simply describing the erotic fan fiction she is reading. Or asking me to tell her a dirty joke late at night. Or randomly sending me emojis about drinking cum( eggplants and the like ). Or making a face like she just wanted suck my dick EVERY TIME she leave my apartment. Jesus, just stop already, I’m not into it.

34. Jesus …~ ATAGEND

writing you a letter in their period blood telling you they want your newborn. bar seems to be set a bit high for women than men but that did it for me

35. Please let this be fake .~ ATAGEND

I currently run( occasionally) with this really socially awkward girl. Being socially awkward isn’t a big deal. But when we’re in the office together, she sits in a corner on the ground in fetal position, lies on the ground all huddled up, and other odd things. She has strolled to a define of draperies and wrapped it around herself like a cocoon in front of around 14 people who were in the room with us at the same hour, told a colleague that he should cut off half his face because it would be cool, told the same colleague that she wants to jump off the building and stab herself in the belly( but she doesn’t want to die ), asked multiple people what they would do if she punched them in the face( she couldn’t hurt a fly because she is so damn scrawny ).

She also states that she can’t eat meat because before her dietary selection of only feeing potatoes( no meat, fish, processed food, soy, legumes, grains or bread) after feeing meat, 2-3 weeks later, she would feel sick.( I’m pretty sure her body would have processed the meat long before she would feel ill, but she” knows things” about her body ). Though she says she doesn’t eat processed foods, she buys these food bars off the internet and eat them. Bars of food do not grow on goddamn trees in perfectly rectangular prisms you daft girl!

We live in the same building and I was came back home in the late evening, and find her sitting on the ground in the dark. All I insured was her pasty white face in the darkness like some ghost. Apparently the neighbours watched her there too. She had procured a stray cat and named it and was just sitting there in the dark petting it.( I like cats too, but I don’t act as creepy as she does .) She took the cat in despite the building not allowing pets. It’s a running gag among colleagues that everyone should make sure they lock their doorways because she’d likely kill you in your sleep if she had the chance and her explanation/ defense would be” But the cat told me to do it .”

She shows up to social gatherings like movie nights and brings cat hair covered cookies for her potluck contribution. Then she proceeds to wrap herself in a blanket she brings with her and sleeps in her cocoon nation. We’ve been hoping that she just stops coming to events we invite her to out of obligation. Also the hope of her coming out of her blanket cocoon as normal person after a metamorphosis would be nice.

36. lowkey

I had a girl collect my hair once.

37. Imaginary sex tension

When she comes up to you at a party and starts talking about the( non-existent)” undeniable sex tension” between us, and how this party was a great place for everyone to relieve their sex tension. I noped the fuck out of that conversation in record time.

It’s probably worth noting that I had only really talked to her once before when we were both in a group on 10 or so people playing drinking games at college. She was fairly flirty and made a couple of advances which I did not reciprocate, because I was seeing someone at the time, and induced that quite clear.

38. Weird small talk

When you jokingly say you like spoonfuls and she follows you around campus for four years, almost never talking to you or acknowledging your wavesexcept occasionally to ask if you” remember that we both like spoonfuls a lot .”

39. hello, it’s me .~ ATAGEND

When I was in college, a girl in one of my art seminar classes had a crush on me. Somehow she found out where I lived on campus and one day when I looked out my window, she was standing outside staring at me.

Read more:

How Brazilian women avoid sexism at work: by working for themselves

2 months, 8 days ago

Saleswomen at companies such as Tupperware take out micro-loans and sell products immediately, becoming financially independent on their own time

Tupperware, the brand long associated in the US with 1950 s homemakers and a time of limited economic prospects for women, has find a successful market in another place with troubling gender dynamics: modern-day Brazil.

Even with the recent economic collapse and political instability in Brazil, sales are up 22% in US dollars in the second quarter, says Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware. Brazil, which has the worlds fifth largest population, has become a major source of revenue growth for a company that generates 92% of its business outside the US. And the method Tupperware uses to make sure its success in Brazil stays on track? Keeping its marketers husbands happy.

Tupperwares sales strategy depends on direct selling. The company devotes women micro-loans to purchase their food storage and other kitchen-related products, which the women then demonstrate and sell to their social networks. If they are successful, they move up to become unit managers, supervising other saleswomen and eventually, if they continue to do well, they become distributors who oversee several unit managers. While turnover in the first rank of the salesforce is very high, Goings acknowledges, turnover for distributors is merely around 10%.

The direct sales model can be particularly attractive to Brazilian girls. Sexual harassment in the workplace and domestic abuse are rampant in Brazil, tells Brodwyn Fischer, prof of Latin American history and director of the Center for Latin American Examines at the University of Chicago. While there is an idealized image for the poor and lower middle class in Brazil that men run and take care of their wives, women who are in those class have always had to work in order to make ends meet, Fischer tells. Direct selling, especially at the initial levels, is seen as womens fund and not an official undertaking that would threaten a mans position, Fischer explains. It can allow women to become financially independent and help the household but in a way that does not require them to keep regular business hours or leave the house all the time.

Tupperware has worked to be sensitive to that gender dynamic, with the company stimulating sure to find a role for the spouses of women who have climbed the ladder to become major distributors. For a company whose pitch is the empowerment of women Goings himself is part of the UN Womens HeForShe initiative the CEO spends a lot of time focusing on the needs of men.

Agatha
Agatha Kaneda demonstrating Tupperware in Brazil. Photo: Courtesy of Tupperware

Tupperware fosters the spouses of women who become successful distributors for the company to take on roles in the administration and operations of their spouses distributor networks. As the women become more financially successful and their confidence grows, Tupperware expends a lot of period trying to teach them how to carry it well, to be sensitive to the dynamic of the husband, Goings explains. When the top distributors go on a company-sponsored trip-up, the husbands come with them, the company will include photos of both the husband and wife on promotional materials, and when the women are invited on stage at company events, the spouses are on stage with them, Goings tells. Reversing an old saying, Goings says that behind these dynamic, successful women is a man. Most men adjust to their wifes success, tells Goings, as their own quality of life improves, and he credits the womens new financial independence with lowering instances of domestic violence.

Tupperware, and fellow American direct selling company Avon, are not the only ones determining success by tapping into the motivated female population of the country who are looking for other ways to earn money. Direct selling is actually not new in Brazil. In fact, a local company, Natura, that attains soaps, fragrances and other natural products, already counts an astounding 1.9 million Brazilians among its direct selling workforce. Entrepreneurship of any kind is attractive to women in Brazil, tells Fischer, in part because it entails females dont have to deal with workplace sexism, which is prevalent, and also entails girls can run their business the route they see fit and pay themselves, eliminating any wage gap. The informality of a direct selling task that does not depend on either the government or a company immediately for regular employment also fits into Brazilian history of stringing together work to set food on the table, Fischer says.

While Brazil is currently in the throes of an economic recession as well as political unrest, and just in August impeached President Dilma Rousseff, Tupperware continues to see sales growth. Goings credits Brazilians culture of optimism, their lack of confidence in their government, and their big population of young people is accessible to entrepreneurship as part of the reason for Tupperwares success. Brazilians, Goings tells, dont sit on their hands waiting for the government to come up with programs.

Goings is a huge believer in the entrepreneurial spirit of the young. He can cite statistics on millennial entrepreneurial behaviors and get excited talking about self-reliance. It all goes back to his theories of work and government. Goings believes that the lack of confidence in the government and faith in entrepreneurship as the way to economic freedom that he insures in Brazil is something you are going to see repeated over and over in the world. I believe that Brazil could be a vanguard of what a new template could look like for individuals taking responsibility for improvement for life in their hands, Goings explains.

When it comes to governments in Europe, you are dealing with governments that are going infringe, he says, and the current political climate in the US is an indicator of things gone wrong, he explains, adding: I hope what comes together is more people that get an attitude that we have to figure out these answers ourselves as individuals.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

I have cancer. Don’t tell me you’re sorry | Elizabeth Wurtzel

2 months, 13 days ago

Everyone else can dislike cancer. I dont. Everyone else can be afraid of cancer. I am not, writes Elizabeth Wurtzel

Girls Describe Themselves As Male Author Would, And’ Stranger Things’ Star Has The Best Response

2 months, 20 days ago

Creative writing is challenging. As well as crafting an engaging, well researched and consistent tale, one must also create interesting and believable characters that readers can find an emotional connection with.

If this viral Twitter thread is anything to go by, it seems that many male writers are struggling to create female characters that women can empathize with. This particular discussion began after writer Gwen C. Katz tweeted:

“A male author is insisting that he is living proof that it’s possible for a male writer to write an authentic female protagonist.”

She then proceeded to present his cringeworthy, boob-heavy instance, which only served to reinforce her phase. Although it absolutely is possible for men to write realistic female narrators, this is definitely not a good example.

The tweet kicked off a challenge: “Describe yourself like a male author would.” People jumped on board with glee, writing brilliantly creative and funny offerings that are as eye-opening because this is entertaining.

Because while the thread is perfectly hilarious for its comedy portrayals, the committee is also highlights the frustration that many girls feel about the way they are viewed by humen. Women are people first of all, and the overly sexualized lens that many guys view them through is both unrealistic and unwelcome. Male authors like Katz’s unnamed instance, who project their physically-focused ideals onto their female characters are deserving of this kind of mock. That told, men need not be afraid to write from a female view. They just need to do it well!

Scroll down below to read some of our favorite examples from the thread, and let us know what you think in the comments!

This discussion began after author Gwen C. Katz tweet:

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