Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Open Letter to Activists of All Sorts

Bill Ayers, Obama's pal, spoke at Knox this afternoon. While his talk acknowledged the election "controversy," it focused more on the purposes of activism and how an individual can balance activism with individualism.
Ayers is a dynamic speaker, and one of the most important moments for me came when Mr. Ayers spoke about connecting activist movements. He is most famous (or infamous) for his work within the anti-war movement, but he also talked about his experiences protesting after Prop 8. Mr. Ayers noted how the feminist movement and the environmental movement can connect to the anti-war movement to broaden support for all causes.
I think this is absolutely important, and something both feminists and other groups don't do often enough.
I think of myself as a Marxist, pacifist, feminist, with an emphasis on feminist. I also feel passionately about ending global warming, expanding gay rights, and emphasising immigrant concerns. However, I blog, almost solely about feminism.
The post I wrote about the Texas sheriff was linked in many places in the blogsphere, but one aspect I failed to address was the victim's supposed crime, drug possession. While I feel that drugs should be legalized I didn't go there; I don't think I even remarked upon it. I should have. Drug legalization and the prison industrial complex and feminism are intimately linked, as are feminism and environmentalism, feminism and food, feminism and pacifism, feminism and LGBTQ rights, and feminism and [insert your cause here].
However, another issue within the feminist community is the ostracism we may feel after identifying as feminists. Some groups do not want their causes associated with us. There is still a huge stigma on feminism. Many of my progressive friends still shy away from the label or refuse the association. I urge these causes, whether it be the movement for universal health care in the United States or organizations against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to accept feminism as an important cornerstone of your organizations. The agenda of your group will not be diminished or over taken by feminist concerns, instead your participants and concerns will be broadened to make them more comprehensive and important.
And my sisters and brothers in feminism, we must also expand our agendas beyond the typical women's rights checklist. Fair pay has to do with more than sexist discrimination; it deals with economics, socialism, and the further discrimination suffered by sisters of color. Abortion is tied to racism and environmentalism and radical religion. What a beautiful web we could weave.
Historian activist Howard Zinn addressed specialization within social movements:
"To work on a real problem (such as how to eliminate poverty in a nation
producing $800 billion worth of wealth each year), one would have to follow that
problem across many disciplinary lines without qualm, dealing with historical
materials, economic theories, political problems. Specialization insures that one
cannot follow a problem through from start to finish."
I didn't address the charges levied against survivor of the Texas sheriff's assault because I didn't want to complicate the issue within a short blog post, so I categorized it as rape, a man's power over a woman. While it was rape, it was also about drug legalization, and the threatening power of the prison industrial complex. The woman's problem was not accurately addressed, and a prescription for her mistreatment will not come out of a misdiagnoses.
Please, my feminists and fellow activists we need to begin a dialogue between each other. I promise to do better as a blogger. I will ask the more complex questions and explore the deeper power dynamics. I will not be afraid to ask other causes for support or help and be quick to answer their calls for assistance. I urge you to do the same. Feminist blogs need to address other environmental issues. Environmental blogs need to address immigrant issues. Immigrant rights blogs need to address feminism. Ect. Ect. Ect. It will make us each stronger. We have the power.
Si se puede.
Yes we can.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Amelia!

Woo-hoo! Today is Amelia's 20th birthday! There she is blogging admist all the paint inspired birthday hoopla. Isn't she smart/awesome/wonderful/talented?
Yay. Happy Birthday, roomie.

Why isn't violence against women a hate crime?

I was reading a book and came across stats on hate crimes in the United States, and began thinking about the various signifiers we consider protected under hate crime legislation. It led me to this thought:

Why isn't violence against women on the basis of their gender considered a hate crime?*

I don't necessarily have an answer to this and I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. However, gender (along with race, sexual orientation, disability, etc) is protected under the equal protection clause, so it's notable that it's not included. Protecting gender under hate crimes laws would change how street harassment, sexual violence and rape cases are viewed, in my opinion.

I can certainly think of many acts of violence done specifically against women and girls because they are women and girls.

*Edit - added "on the basis of their gender" added 2/26 at 11:30 EST for clarification reasons.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Know It's the Apocalypse, but Can't It Wait 'Til I Kiss Your Lips?

This week Time Magazine had "A Brief History of Abstinence" following Bristol Palin's interview.
It does a decent job of explaining the history of abstinence from its biblical roots, noting most of the burden fell (and continues to fall) on the bride. The article also mentions that movements like True Love Waits claim that abstinence is the only way to prevent HIV infections.
The article, however, does not mention the shame many groups and religions place on those who have had sex.

I think the Black Kids said it best:

"If true love waits, its a big mistake
No need to feel ashamed."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In Memory of Imette

To the person who came to the blog by searching "Are females fearful of violence?":

Please watch this video, In Memory of Imette, from A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Combating Facebook status sexism

I was on Facebook this morning when I saw the status of one of my friends from high school as him being "completely fed up with females and their mind games." This person isn't someone I talk to on a regular basis, but I felt compelled to comment on his status.

I was not the first person to comment. Other people had said things in response. One girl said, "stop hanging out with nasty bitches then!" while others voiced their agreement with the status. I said that it was a lame generalization because not all women play mind games, so he must have really meant that a few women he had talked to recently seemed to be playing games with him. Implying that everyone of the female gender plays mind games was sexist and inaccurate.

I was surprised when a few minutes later he changed his status to say that he was "sick of talking to the wrong girls." He then started a Facebook chat with me, saying he didn't mean to imply anything about all women, just the ones he had been talking to lately. I assured him that I didn't mean to offend him, but pointed out that the way he had worded his status made him seem kind of sexist, and I didn't believe he was a bad guy. The chat ended cordially and made me feel rather relieved.

Sometimes, when I am confronted with sexism and I call it out, I forget that it is easy to slip into those stereotypes and generalizations, and that even if you say something sexist, it doesn't necessarily make you a full-blown misogynist. But it is something that needs to be called out because when we slip into those generalizations it means that somehow, they have been absorbed by us. It's nice to know that when people are made aware of their actions, often times they know how and are willing to change them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lutheran statement on human sexuality released - good news!

There was a buzz around div school this week as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) released a proposed statement on Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust and recommendations for ministry policies, to be voted on at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly in August. If you're interested, there's more in the statement regarding human sexuality than just same-sex ordination issues, so take a look.

There's no official statement on sexuality, but right now in the ELCA, single ordained ministers are supposed to be chaste; straight married ordained ministers must be monogomous and faithful to one another; queer ordained ministers are supposed to abstain from same-sex relationships.

Generally, however, one cannot be out while seeking ordination within the Lutheran church. One of my friends told me about a conversation he had with his ordination committee; the conversation started with the question "Are you gay?" and when he said no, they said good and continued on. I don't think that's the most pertinent question in considering someone's candidacy for ordination. I'm also in a GLBTQ Pastoral Care class this semester; the official name of the class had to be "Identity and Communities" because some denominations would not approve of a "GLBTQ" class name on a transcript.

In the proposal released this week, the Committee on Human Sexuality recommends a four step process, moving towards allowing congregations to have people in same-sex relationships on the offical ELCA rosters. However, if one resolution isn't approved, then the whole process stops. It's pretty much contingent on the approval of all of them.
Step One
Step one asks the assembly whether, in principle, it is committed to finding ways to allow congregations and synods that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.

Step Two
Step two asks the assembly whether, in principle, this church is committed to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church.

Step Three
Step three asks this church whether, in the future implementation of these commitments, it will make decisions so that all in this church bear the burdens of the other, and respect the bound consciences of all. This means that any solution that serves only the conscience-bound positions of one or another part of this church will not be acceptable.

Step Four
Step four proposes how this church can move toward change in a way that respects the bound consciences of all. It recognizes that such respect will lead to diversity of practice. However, the majority of the task force believes that the conscience-bound lack of consensus will be respected most faithfully by providing some structured flexibility in decision-making so that congregations and synods may choose whether or not to approve or call people in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve on ELCA rosters.

In reaching this conclusion, the task force acknowledges that the existing policies and practices of this church give responsibility for decisions related to the approval or disapproval of candidates for rostered service or for a specific call to synodical call committees, bishops, and congregations. That is, individuals and groups are trusted to make these decisions. The task force also acknowledges that such decision-making takes place within a carefully determined process of mutual discernment by those seeking call and the representatives of this church.
Personally, I think sexual orientation has little to do with how a person leads a church congregation. This is good news for out and closeted GLBTQ people serving in positions of faithful leadership in the ELCA. Let's hope the recommendations by the task force end up getting approved this summer, and that some ELCA churches will stop using sexual orientation as a litmus test for ordination.

I wonder if Jesus made his disciples swear they were straight before asking them to join his posse. Aren't faithful Christians trying to be more like Jesus? Show me a verse where Jesus says we should deny church leadership based on a person's sexual orientation and I'll stop arguing for ordination for all.

Note: I'm not Lutheran so I could be getting some of the particulars wrong - leave a comment if I'm misreading this.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Expanding "Beautiful"

Last weekend our campus feminist group (SASS) held a "Love Your Body" weekend. Last night at our group meeting, we reflected a bit on how the weekend had gone and how we might be able to address some of the problems people had, especially with the photo shoot, in the future.

When I first expressed my unsatisfactory experience with an event that I had helped plan for two years, an anonymous commenter wrote, "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" and that really stuck with me. Then last night at our meeting, it was brought up that although our "Love Your Body" weekend was a good way to expand the definition of physical beauty, the way we set things up we (inadvertently) gave physical beauty a priority. And that, to me, was exactly why I was not completely satisfied with my experience. I was using the master's tools to try to dismantle the master's house.

In this society, women are expected to be beautiful according to standards set up by those with the power (white males). These standards are not only narrow and unrealistic, but they are meant to be the only standards for what makes a woman (or person) beautiful. I realized that this is why I am not completely happy with this past weekend that was supposed to be an empowering experience.

As long as I continue to think only within the confines of the male-dominated ideals of female beauty, which are strictly physical, I will never be happy with myself because these ideals were not made in my best interest.

Beauty, I finally, truly realized, is not only a physical concept.

I am beautiful because I can express myself with words.
I am beautiful because I have my own, unique thoughts.
I am beautiful because I am not easily intimidated by other who disagree with me.
I am beautiful because, for the first time, I am shedding the chains of a system that was maintained because I did not feel beautiful.

It was such an epiphany I had last night. I know this is only the first step in a long process of overcoming the deeply embedded idea that beauty is physical and that only one kind of physicality is beautiful, but it feels so good to finally be there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sex + Texting = Sexting

Newsweek had an interesting column this week about "sexting" the semi-clever name for sending naked pictures via text message. A study claims that 1 in 5 teenagers have "sexted." (The study specifies that 22% of girls and 18% of boys have admitted to "sexting.") The column talks about how many of these teenagers are being legally prosecuted for their actions. Both the senders and recipients are being charged: the senders with "production and distribution of child pornography" and the recipients with "possession."

The column focuses on the absurdity of punishing children:

"The argument for hammering every such case seems to be that sending naked pictures might have serious consequences, so let's charge these kids with felonies, which will surely have serious consequences."

I agree completely.

When I was a senior in high school, a freshman girl texted another student a naked picture of herself. The boy forwarded it to his best friend, who then sent it to most of the school. The principal became aware of the situation and ended up kicking the girl off of her sports team. The girl later transferred. The boys who had forwarded the photo weren't punished.

Parents are outraged at this trend, of course. They should be. The Internet's memory is infinite, and text messages are easy to forward. So why are thirteen year olds taking naked pictures of themselves? Teens are not stupid. They know that these phone photos will be forwarded and likely end up on the Internet. I am willing to bet many of these young people do it hoping most of the school will see it. Teens know that nudity is a type of capital. They see failing musicians pose for Playboy and then hear their music on the radio. Or they watch Tila Tequila, a woman with little talent and few clothes, get a television show. Popularity and being a known as "sexy" in high school is the equivalent of an MTV show, and one photo can be all it takes to become "someone" in high school. Everyone at my school knew about the girl whose photo was forwarded. Some boys even put the picture up in their locker, next to Pam Anderson or Adriana Lima.

This trend is going to continue because the reason kids "sext" is not going anywhere. When students value popularity and a label above anything else, they will do anything to get it. The consequences, like the permanence of the Internet, don't matter. We need to give these girls something more to strive for.

North Dakota's Human Beings

North Dakota's House passed a bill today giving a fertilized human egg the same rights as a human being. If it passes through North Dakota's House and Senate, the bill will essentially ban abortion in the state.

An egg is not a human being.

Why do North Dakota's lawmakers get to decide what a human is and when it is granted human rights? Especially when many (actual) humans aren't even allowed to exercise their own human rights, such as the right of marriage.

So, I think North Dakota's potential new law begs the question: if one girl egg wants to marry another girl egg, can it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Klobuchar proves women politicans can be funny

Remember how women can't be funny? Well, Senator Amy Klobuchar's (D-MN) got something to say about that.

Writing her own jokes, she stole the evening at a Washington Press Club Foundation event a few weeks back. The whole thing is pretty funny - lots of cracks at the Democratic Party, but here's a few of the best ones:
I set an all-time US Senate record, and this is true, I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. Speaker Pelosi, I may have the all-time record in the Senate, but I know in the House, that record is held by Barney Frank.

When I got here I made all kind of committee requests: finance or appropriations, commerce, foreign relations.

So somehow I got placed on the subcommittee on Oceans. I’m from Minnesota and I was placed on the subcommittee on Oceans!

It’s like being from Illinois, Rahm Emmanuel and being placed on Ethics.

I finally figured it out why Harry put me on Oceans for one reason: I can see Lake Superior from my porch.

But I love [Minnesota's] lakes. And it was great to take Barack Obama to campaign in Minnesota. Because with 10,000 lakes he had plenty of water to walk on.
So good... SO good. Read the whole thing here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

MN school board changes policy on GLBTQ discussions!

I've been out of it for awhile (a cold and a broken laptop, but both are better now), but I want to share a bit of good news. Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota's largest school district, has revised their official policy on homosexuality. Prior to this change, teachers and school staff were required to say that homosexuality was not a normal or valid lifestyle. It originally was restricted to health classes, but eventually became the policy for students and teachers. For example, a student couldn't talk about her two fathers and their family unless describing them as invalid or abnormal.

Now, GLBTQ topics are addressed “in a respectful manner that is age-appropriate, factual, and pertinent to the relevant curriculum.” No longer are same-sex parents and their families considered abnormal within school contexts! The policy change was worked on by the school board and several GLBTQ organizations in the Twin Cities - OutFront Minnesota and Rainbow Families are quoted in the piece.

Hoorah for the Anoka-Hennepin school district!

Shuffle (feminist) Songs: Neko Case

I adore the New Pornographers. All three times I've seen them, though, they've played without their wonderful singer, Neko Case.

Neko Case is awesome, as you will discover when you read this NYT article about her.

Along with being a quietly beautiful songwriter, she is also an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights. She was born to two young parents who had difficulty taking care of her, and she left at fifteen. She got her GED, enrolled in school, and music took her from there.
After she was voted "hottest indie rocker" by Playboy (who knew hipsters read playboy, anyway?), the magazine asked her to pose for them. She said no and later elaborated, "I didn't want to be the girl who posed in Playboy and then—by the way—made some music. I would be really fucking irritated if after a show somebody came up to me and handed me some naked picture of myself and wanted me to sign it instead of my CD."

My favorite Neko Case song is "Margaret vs Pauline" which ends with these haunting lines:

Two girls ride the blue line
Two girls walk down the same street
One left her sweater sittin' on the train
The other lost three fingers at the cannery
Everything's so easy for Pauline
So, basically, read the article and go listen to this amazing (feminist) artist. Also, I can guarantee Amelia and I will be play her on our radio show tonight at 8pm central time!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Can't Believe I Actually Have To Say This...

Women are not trash.

Seriously, why is depicting a woman thrown upside down into a trash can okay?

Hm. I guess because women are disposable.
Maybe because we're not actually humans, just objects to be dumped when the maintenance becomes too expensive (like in these trying economic times).
Or maybe because its been done before.

I'll say it one more time. I, a woman, am not an object. You can't throw me away or ignore me away when I become annoying, abrasive, inconvenient, argumentative, opinionated, or actualized.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Law Doesn't Apply to You (if you a white, male Texas Sheriff)

Apparently rape isn't that bad as long as your a Texas Sheriff.
Bill Keating, a 62 year old man, is accused of raping a woman repeatedly, telling her,
"...she would be required to “assist” him. Keating admitted that the assistance he referred to included oral sex with him on multiple occasions and an agreement to act as an informant for the Montague County Sheriff’s Office. Keating told L.M. that if she complied with his request, that he would help her get a job, a place to live and that she wouldn’t be criminally charged with possessing any drugs or drug-making equipment that was found in the home. Keating also told her that if she didn’t comply, she would go straight to jail."
Now, Mr. Keating has been released until his sentencing in May. Why? Because he is in "stable marriage" and "this crime and other alleged misdeeds happened when he was acting as the sheriff (he's since been replaced)."

This is outrageous. Period. Mr. Keating may not been a flight risk, but he is a threat to all women. A "stable" marriage and a (former) job title do not bring exemption from the law.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Since I had a really great weekend, here's an awesome clip from Angus. His great speech is about 3 minutes in.

Angus: I'm still here, *asshole*! I'll *always* be here!
[begins to violently push Rick across the dance floor]
Angus: You push me down and I'll get right back up again, and again, and *again*, and *again* and * again*!
[Rick falls, hitting his head on the steps to the stage]
Angus: I could beat you *right* here, *right* now! But *I don’t want* to be better than you, Rick! *I don’t want* to be better than *anybody*! I want to be who I *am*: a *fat* kid, who's good at science, and fair at football. That's who I *am*! I can *live* with it. Why can't you?
Rick: Because it's not normal. *You’re* not normal.
Angus: And who is? You?
Rick: You bet your ass.
Angus: And so what? to be normal, we all have to be like YOU? There are 400 people in this room that are *nothing* like you! Some of them are fat, some of them are skinny. Some of them are tall, some of them are short. Some of them have braces, some of them have birth marks, or scars, or frizzy hair, or *ears that stick out*! But most of them probably walk through these halls *every day*, never telling anybody the truth about what they really want, or need, or believe, because people like you, *normal* people like *you*, have them *terrified* of being who they are. I mean, if *you’re* normal, what does that make them? So which is it, Rick? Are you normal? Or are you just one of us?
Rick: Whatever I am, it's something you're never gonna be.
Angus: Thank God.

Also, the opening sequence with Love Spit Love's "Am I Wrong" with a marching band is just good music.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lindsay!

Happy birthday to Lindsay!

She has been such an important part of this blog, always keeping up with writing when the rest of us can't seem to make time for it. Her contributions here are so greatly appreciated, and I am thrilled to have her as part of the team. I chose the above Someecard because I have never actually met Lindsay in person (I know her birthday through other ways I keep in touch with her). I did talk to her this week when she called in during Kate and my feminist radio show, however, and let me tell you, I was super excited.

Lindsay, I'm a big fan of yours.
Happy birthday. Hope you have fun. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Pregnant women get the crazy all up inside them"

One of my good friends pointed out to me the completely ridiculousness of the media coverage surrounding the recent delivery of octuplets. When she first delivered, it was "MIRACLE! BABIES ARE CUTE!" talk, but once the media found out she already has six children, then it became an "ethical dilemma." Apparently women, once pregnant, aren't emotionally stable enough to make rational decisions for themselves.

The title of this post comes from the chat where my friend sent me the link to a CNN article. I think I'll let CNN speak for itself:

Rosenthal, on the other hand, questions the woman's capacity to make a good decision under the circumstances. Some neonatologists believe that when pregnant women are told about dangers of prematurity or have great expectations about giving birth, their judgment can be impaired, she said.

The situation raises the issue of whether a doctor ought to override a patient's wishes for the sake of saving lives, she said. Although the health care system in America gives patients autonomy in making decisions about their own bodies, when emotionally distraught, some people decide poorly, she said.

You know, once the pregnancy gets all up inside someone, everything they do is crazy emotional and irrational. My friend pointed out that these ethicists don't trust the what pregnancy does to women; although if they don't trust women in the first place, it's an easy jump to blaming it on pregnancy hormones. They don't trust the emotional state of pregnancy enough to suggest that it's worth stripping a woman of the right to physical autonomy.

The article states that "when emotionally distraught, some people decide poorly." Poorly by what standard? Who decides what is and is not a poor decision? I think what they mean to say is that instead of people deciding poorly, it's women deciding poorly, i.e. not what that particular person thinks. People (men) don't decide poorly - it's those hormone driven women.

This just seems like one more reason given by "the powers that be" to justify denying women bodily rights, regardless of the circumstances. If a situation like this sets the precedent that the state of pregnancy causes hormonal imbalances which lead to irrational decision making and this is worthy of denying rights to women, then we're just steps away from stripping women of the right to choose at all.

Stuff like this doesn't exist in a vacuum - taking away women's rights in one place just makes it easier to take away women's rights in another.

mzbitca wonders if the media coverage would be different if there was a man in the relationship, as opposed to a single mother. She writes, "I just can’t help but wonder, if there was a man smiling in the pictures behind Nadya if any of these accusations would even be around?"

However, I'm going to have to go with Melissa at Shakesville's approach: None of our business. Whatever issues are involved, it's not my decision and not my place to judge.

The only way I can be sure* that my own reproductive decisions won't be judged by others is to not judge others. It's a small step, but it's a start.

*I'm not 100% sure that my own decisions won't be judged, but I'm going to trust others that I won't be judged when the time comes and extend a little bit of the golden rule/Kant's catagorical imperative.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Confession: I still don't love my body

I got involved in the feminist group on my college campus (Students Against Sexism in Society, or SASS) fairly quickly after I started school. Last year I was involved in helping planning our Take Back the Night event that also included a nude "Love Your Body" photo shoot.

I wanted to help with the photo shoot because body image issues were one of my main motivations for getting a start in feminist activism, and this photo shoot was meant to help people see their bodies in a positive light and to help them appreciate a diverse range of body shapes.

This year, instead of combining the Love Your Body photo shoot with our Take Back the Night activities, SASS is putting on a separate "Love Your Body Weekend" February 13-15. Friday, we booked a local place to display the photos of over 60 nude models from campus. We will also be having an open mic for anyone who wants to present something relating to body issues, whether its a piece of music/art/prose by someone else, or that they composed. Saturday we will be painting tampon boxes from bathrooms on campus, having a discussion, and Larry Kirkwood will be coming for an exhibit/speech. Sunday we will be having another discussion.

Last year I decided not to participate in the Love Your Body photo shoot. This year, however, I did participate. I went into it thinking that it would be a good opportunity for me to see my body in a new way, and hopefully gain more appreciation for it instead of constantly seeing it so negatively.

My photographer was wonderful. I chose him because I had seen his work before and knew it to be quality. When I arrived for my photo shoot, I was nervous, but he struck up a conversation with me as he set up his equipment, and when it came time for it, I felt comfortable enough to go through with it.

This photo shoot is set up with some guidelines. First, poses, amount of clothing, and what was photographed was all left to the models. Second, all photos included in the display must be in black and white with no faces and only skin showing, even if the model kept some clothes on. Third, the photographers would take the photos, edit them, and then give on a CD to the model so they could choose which photo would be included in the display.

My photographer got my photos to me the day after they were taken. I had decided to leave some of my clothes on for the photo shoot, and I was eager to see them, so when I got the CD, I immediately uploaded the photos to my computer. I quickly realized that I couldn't go through them. I had already finished the shoot, the supposedly difficult part, and now that the pictures were sitting in front of me, I couldn't look at them.

I looked through a few of the first ones, and, to be completely honest, I was disgusted. Not with the photos themselves: they were of very good quality. But the fact that they were of me (and me partially nude!) made me feel sick to my stomach. This feeling broke my heart. After being such a proponent for this photo shoot, I couldn't stomach my own pictures. I knew that wasn't the good feminist reaction I was supposed to have, and it upset me greatly.

It made me think of how deeply embedded my body issues must be, and I can't even pinpoint a source for them. I'm upset because I feel like this opportunity that should have been a positive one, has been ruined because of my intangible issues with my appearance. I'm not giving up, but damn. This sucks.