Saturday, October 23, 2010

feminism- you probably won't read this as it's too long

This was submitted to my school magazine, it's since been edited and combed through for mistakes, but I wanted to post the original, rambling version here on the blog. Enjoy. Hopefully.

Ani DiFranco once said, “Either you are a feminist or you are a sexist/misogynist. There is no box marked ‘other’.”
That’s my favourite feminist quote of all time, because in such a simple and straightforward way it forces you to make a choice. Are you a sexist/misogynist or a feminist? Most people, if asked, would probably deny vehemently that they were in any way sexist or misogynist, but then again, I don’t know many people who would identify as feminist either.  The unwillingness of so many people to call themselves feminist is astounding, because, in essence, what’s feminism? It’s equality between the two sexes. If you don’t agree with equality then you must be a sexist or misogynist, right?
Even presented with this logic, many think of feminism as outdated and useless in today’s world, they view feminists as man-hating, bitter caricatures and even the ones who understand feminism are reluctant to call themselves feminist because “there’s no point now”.
Look, if you think that equality of the sexes is, well, a good thing, then you’re a feminist. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl or a man or a woman (or womyn, for some people). You can wear makeup, watch America’s Next Top Model and let people open doors for you, and still be a feminist. It’s ridiculous how many people say, “Oh, you can’t be a feminist because you watch *insert tv show*” Oh, I can’t? Thank you for clarifying that. I’ll be sure to completely ignore what you just said.

My generation seems to think that they don’t need to be feminists, and most boys would never call themselves a feminist, probably because it’s seen as a “girl thing”.
Even if women have more rights now than they did fifty years ago, that’s no reason to think that there will be no more battles to fight.
What about the way boys still talk about girl’s bodies, as if they’re nothing more than a nice pair of legs or a great chest? What about the way boys still feel that there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I feel like I’m in Hooters!” when a girl hands lamb sticks out to them, because simply being female invites people to make sexual remarks about your body without any provocation? What about the double standard between boys and girls, where if a girl/women enjoys sex and has a lot of it, she’s called a slut and a whore, but if it’s a boy/man does then he’s congratulated on his ‘conquests’ and called a stud.
Why is it not acceptable for women and girls to enjoy sex, oral sex, kissing, basically anything even vaguely sexual? Why are men allowed to do and enjoy all of these things without any ramifications, but women live in fear of getting a ‘reputation’?
Society expects girls to be ‘pure’ as evidenced by the growing popularity of Purity balls in America. Fathers and daughters go to these events together, and the girls pledge to remain ‘pure’ until marriage, while the fathers pledge to help and protect their daughter’s supposed purity. Rings are sometimes given, like the ones that some Disney stars wear. In my opinion, Purity balls are wrong in many ways.
Pledging to your father that you will remain abstinent until marriage takes away your own rights, it means that your father essentially owns your sexuality. Not to mention the fact that the mere existence of Purity balls raises the question: Why do fathers not trust their daughters to be able to preserve their own virginity without pledges and rings and keys?
It’s as if they’re saying that teenage girls are unable to make good, rational decisions in life and without pledges and their fathers help they would be lost.
Teenage girls are perfectly capable of making their own life choices, amazingly enough, although the fathers who go to purity balls don’t seem to think so.

Recognizing my father has special insight as a man himself, and that God protects me through his leadership, I will listen carefully to his advice about my relationships with men, and respond to his leadership until I am under the leadership of my husband.

Above is a snippet from the virginity pledge every girl takes. This illustrates perfectly how purity balls take away a girl’s control over her life. This shows that by taking this pledge, you effectively sign over all your freedom for your entire life to the male figure in your life, be it your father or your husband or your ‘mentor’ (the person who takes you there if your father is not available/deceased, god forbid your mother takes you to a purity ball). Can we not lead ourselves? I understand that parents are parents and thus until we’re adults they do have control over us, but when we get married, we’re still not capable of running our own lives without the “special insight” of a man?

A girl having sex before marriage is not the end of the world, but purity balls seem to say, “If you have sex, you become dirty and impure.” What kind of a message is that to send to young girls? Another question is, why is that message not sent to boys? Oh, because apparently a boys purity doesn’t need to be protected. There are, in fact, mother-son balls but they don’t focus on preserving the virginity of young boys’, instead it tells them to “refrain from soiling girls’ virginities”. That is the ridiculous double standard that every girl lives with in action. It’s saying that a girl’s virginity is to be protected vigilantly by both her and her father, but nobody cares about a boy’s purity. It means that, to these girls, sex will forever be associated with impurity and being ‘dirty’. It’s saying that a girl needs a man to protect her because she can’t protect herself adequately.
Purity balls help promote the notion that promiscuous women/girls are ‘sluts’, while promiscuous men are players or studs. I can’t actually think of a male equivalent for the word ‘slut’, mainly because there has never been a need for one.
Think of this scenario: a group of girls give a group of boys oral sex, the media finds out, their school finds out and has to deal out appropriate punishments.
Who do you think should be punished? The girls, the boys, or both?
This actually happened at a school in America and of course, the boys got away scot free, because “boys will be boys”, while the girls had to attend a teen sex education class and were labeled as promiscuous by the media.
Even adults exercise this double standard by assuming the girls need more education while the boys were simply being boys.
Now imagine a boy performs oral sex on a girl, do you think he would face any sort of backlash from his peers? Or would the girl once again be blamed, insulted, and gain a ‘reputation’?
Look at your school/university/workplace. You've probably seen the double standard in action there, you may even have helped perpetuate it by calling the girls sluts and whores and leaving the boys untouched because they’re just being boys. Wherever you are in the world,  sexism is rampant.

Now tell me we don’t need feminism anymore.

Monday, October 18, 2010

did anybody else...

...look at this picture and think, "Eva Mendes!"?


Terrible filler post, I'm sorry.

Hannah

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Great Firewall Of China...wins again.

So, me and Hannah went to the ever-populous The Village, ostensibly to shop. 

This is mostly a picture post, so captions, in no particular order. See if you can figure them out for yourself.


My outfit. head thing which i was forced to wear from malaysia, star wars shirt from FOS in malaysia, floral culottes from bershka. hah. you know they did a survey with these great britain guys on fashion terms and, like, 90% of them thought culottes meant either a disease or a village in france.


Hannah's outfit (throughout the day she became increasingly, scarily grandma-like in posture and memory). -black tank top, black skirt for grandma(?), blue top thing from this random little place in the bar district,,,um what shoes? um um primark. just guessing here.


We went for the first time to the Village North, just opened, (designed by Frank Gehry, no less!) full of shops like Balmain, Lanvin, agnes b, Commes des Garcons, Balenciaga, etc. 

We also found a really cool bookstore with ENGLISH BOOKS, which had a lot of art books and foreign magazines and overpriced drinks. Bought Vogue Italia in 3-D for TOO MUCH MONEY *glare*.


We also stopped at the Fisheye cafe (cool place with imported coffee and lomography cameras). And Starbucks. And Watsons.


At Uniqlo, a nice fur hat and an even nicer facial expression.


Sorry for lack of pictures, for the few who have bothered reading up to here :) i originally had loads but i've had to shear them all away like...like sheep, you know? yeah, great simile. so now the only pics are our outfits cos blogging with the great firewall of china in your way is hard. so it wins this battle...BUT NOT THE WAR. woo. 


Naomi

Friday, October 8, 2010

oh darling



This bracelet and ring come all the way from Japan, a country that I've never been to, but have always wanted to go to. They were a gift from my amazing boyfriend and unlike most rings, which attach themselves to my fingers like limpets and refuse to come off without twisting and tugging and near dislocation of finger joints all aided with copious amounts of liquid soap, it slides on beautifully and slides off with only a slight pull. I enjoy paragraph-long sentences, as you can probably tell.

And here's the ring itself. Ain't it pretty? That phrase sounds so much better in my head.

Here's the bracelet. No witty commentary from me. *cough* as usual.


*screams of horror at my stumpy little fingers*

I'm very tired. Stayed up all last night alternating between watching Scrubs and lying on my bed listening to Hole. 
Therefore, goodbye.

Hannah

*falls asleep at keyboard*

Sunday, October 3, 2010

for you blue

 German hazelnut chocolate wafers are taking over my life. I just ate an entire pack. Anyway, this is actually an outfit post! This is not going to be a post in which I talk about solely food (and believe me, I could).


When I woke up this morning, I looked in my closet while half asleep and pulled out this floral print shift dress from Gap that I've worn twice on the blog, I think, already. It's kind of  blue-themed, and..wait, I need to tell you the outfit details, right? Okay, here goes:
-floral print shift dress from Gap
-thigh high cotton socks from my mother
-t-strap wedges from Steve Madden
-sheer blue and white striped cardigan from Monto (found in Wudaokou)
-blue and white ceramic bead necklace from a lamastery (like a monastery, but with lamas)



I believe I can fly.. I believe I can touch the sky..dun dun dun dun dun dun DUN DUN DUN...something away.

It was quite a windy day, resulting in glorious facial expressions such as the one above. Oh yes. Either that or I was in the midst of sneezing as the timer went off, but I have a feeling its the first one. I'm suffering from severe German-hazelnut-chocolate-wafer withdrawal, which is probably why (at least to my untrained eyes) this post feels kind of stiff. HEADACHE. NO. GIVE ME PILLS.

*sigh* I'm just going to stop writing now because I feel like I'm digging my own grave in terms of not having any energy, life, vibrance, etc. and you should probably go read Naomi's posts if you feel a touch lethargic after reading this one. Oh no. I just realised there are many other pictures underneath this one. Well, you're stuck with me for a little longer, readers!

See those multicoloured flecks in the blue knit-ness? They're cool. I'm inarticulate right now. And I just said cool.
Okay, so MAYBE "many other pictures" was an exaggeration. Let's be accurate. There's two. Here comes the second one!

Isn't it pretty? Every single person who has seen me wear that necklace has said, "But your clothes don't really match it.". Granted, I was wearing an Indiana Jones t-shirt for most of that time, but my philosophy is, throw a necklace onto it and go with the flow. Okay, I just made that up on the spot. 
And anyway, I have to go now, to attempt to wrap my tired brain around my thirteen pages of Chinese homework.

May the force be with you, my young padawans,

Hannah

P.S I like Star Wars. Don't judge.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

so i found my camera usb cable after approximately three minutes of desperate searching. also, un confession.

yes, i am wearing that coat. yes, the pockets are shaped like huge mittens. yes, i bought it in a chinese store with the eloquent name of 'T-Tribe'. and yes, i love it.
'T-tribe' is quite a revelation, actually. they have a wide range of plain t-shirts, and folders stuffed with pictures of things that they will plaster on of you. sort of like plastered t-shirts, another beijing brand. i got a black shirt with huge cat eyes and whiskers pasted on. it does not look at bad as it might sound.
i suppose all this is just me finally succumbing to the dreaded Quirky Beijing Fashion. especially since right after purchasing from 'T-tribe', i...wait for it...i bought a SWEET POTATO from the SWEET POTATO DUDE. today is a chinese day.

Naomi

I'M BACK....crickets chirp...

hello. i, too, am back from the land of freezing yurts and cheap jewellery, inner mongolia. i have many pictures waiting, BEGGING, pleading, to be uploaded, but  sadly i have lost the magical device that connects my camera to the computer. well, not lost so much as misplaced so much as i can't be bothered to look for it under the massive pile of debris that is my room. yes.
but the best news of the day is...*drumroll please*...i finally, after months of waiting, have MARC JACOBS LOLA. WOO. i now have TWO (!) whole real marc jacobs things. this makes me happy. hannah can complain all she wants but she has in fact withheld some vital information.
that information would be that she has a louis vuitton purse! still in its box after YEARS!
and here we have the much-seen ad of karlie kloss and lola. i took many loving pictures of my own bottle but they would be..on my camera. yes.

ciao (i am deciding to be one of those really annoying people who say ciao all the time),
naomi