Category Archives: She’s A Politician

My “political” writing.

Our Post-Vanity World

Do I want to be a pinup model? That’s what some random stranger asked me a few months ago. He stopped me on a campus sidewalk, not far from my office. At first I thought he was a student. Maybe he was: youngish, early twenties, wandering around as if lost. The guy introduced himself as a photographer-slash-artist who was looking for models. “No thanks,” I said and fondled my phone in my pocket, pretending to amble away. Instead, I ducked behind a pillar and watched him until he left. You never know about some people. Maybe he was a serial killer.

From the safety of my office, I tweeted some joke about it being the upteenth time some creep had asked me to pose for them. I mean, if he was a killer then this might be my last chance to go viral on the Internet. That’s me, master of the humble brag. I’m humble bragging right now, in fact.

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A Bad, Privileged Girl

I’ve been a bad girl. A very bad girl. And yet somehow I’ve managed to stay out of the slammer. I’ve only paid a couple hundred bucks in fines my whole life. Others haven’t fared as well. Racial profiling shouldn’t make anyone laugh. But when I look back at my teens and 20s, there’s no way I can deny my privilege.

Let’s start with my first traffic ticket. On Halloween night, I left work and sped downtown in my Harley Quinn outfit. There was a guy I wanted to make out with. Faced with a red light, I chose to fuck it. After cruising through the intersection, a pair of blue lights appeared behind me. Shit. I pulled to the curb.

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Don’t Tell Me How to Feminist

Yes, I intend to verbalize feminist. I’m sure some people will complain. I don’t care. Comedians and satirists have a different take on feminism. A feminist without a sense of humor probably won’t like me. Because I make jokes, and I’m pretty promiscuous when it comes to grammar. I’ll do sex jokes with comma splices. Blond jokes. Stripper jokes. I’ll make jokes about anything. The art of humor is all about poking fun at stereotypes and making people loosen the fuck up about things like injustice, death, and even rape. That’s a tricky one, but you can make it work if you mock the rapist, or rape culture, and not the victim. (Never the victim.) Our goal is to say offensive things in a friendly way. Breaking taboo clears the brush away for real conversations.

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Are You a Phony Feminist?

Instagram / Taylor SwiftTaylor, where are you? Are you okay?! Are you hurt? Legs broken? Vocal chord surgery? Brain transplant?! Where could you possibly be that you weren’t marching with your fellow women on Saturday? Taylor, you have a voice and platform. You have millions of followers on social media— everything you do or say…

via Dear Taylor Swift, When Will You Stop Being A Phony Feminist? — Thought Catalog

Last Saturday, I “marched” on my state capitol. I think Trump will suck as a president for lots of reasons, including his stance toward reproductive rights. I showed my support at our local protest, then went about my day. Pizza, bloody mary, sex, gym. Taylor Swift wasn’t even on my radar screen, but this post caught my attention for calling out the singer on her absence from the protests. My thoughts about feminism have shifted over the past few months. I don’t quite know what it means to be a feminist right now.

Do celebrities like Swift appropriate feminism for self gain? I’m not sure. If Taylor never said a word about women’s rights, I suspect she’d sell just as many albums. She’s talented. I don’t feel comfortable ridiculing an artist, telling her what to do. Isn’t that the opposite of feminism? On the other hand, the writer of this piece makes some fair points. If nothing else, I agree that celebrities need to think carefully about the influence the exert on people.

Taylor Swift has thought carefully, it seems to me. She’s explained before why she’s less politically active than other celebrities. She told Time Magazine in 2012, “I don’t talk about politics because it might influence other people. And I don’t think that I know enough yet in life to be telling people who to vote for.”

And you know what? I respect that. In fact, I respect it a lot. Taylor Swift knows her fans. So do I. Some of them would follow her into a burning building. So she wants people to make up their own minds. That sounds pretty feminist to me. Just like we want reproductive and marriage rights, Taylor wants the right to do and say what she wants. Her status obligates her to nothing, especially if she has reasons.

I’ve never been one to demonstrate. I see it as valuable, but I think I’m more suited to activism in the classroom. I’ve already devoted my life to educating people about the world and showing them the importance of knowledge, facts, and level-headed discourse. As a teacher, I appreciate Taylor’s point about influence. I’m not even really allowed to share my political views with my students. It’s unethical, because I have power over them through the grade book. I might even have more sway with teenagers than Taylor Swift herself. Gasp.

On Twitter, I’m more vocal about what I think. If nothing else, I know one thing–lots of people other have a passionate opinion about what Taylor Swift should or shouldn’t be doing on a Saturday.

You’re So White

What do white people do on Saturday night? They drink alone in front of Netflix and DM each other on Twitter. That’s how #youresowhite got started. We were teasing each other, making white jokes, then we decided it could be a fun impromptu late night tag. Before we knew it, the tag was trending high on Twitter. To be fair, the tag has trended before. But we revived it for a comedy hashtag game. Exciting stuff. I love when humor trends big.

A diverse group of tweeps, including lots of white people, got this tag rolling. It’s still trending, and of course some people have gotten upset. Hundreds of white people are now accusing liberals of launching a divisive tag, when in fact it’s uptight white cry babies who turned a light-hearted game sour. I’ll be talking about politics later, but first I want to share some of the funniest tweets:

Nothing ever goes long on social media before attracting the trolls. By trolls, I mean people with no sense of humor who get offended easily. Alt-right ogres have come out to condemn people for joking about whiteness. They say it’s a racist tag, and hypocritical. Here’s what I think: As an educator, I know we have to talk about race. When you don’t attend to difference, the status quo prevails. We’ve seen it throughout history. People on the margins have to protest to be heard. Those who enjoy the status quo should learn to take themselves less seriously.

I’ll admit, I knew this would happen. Racial tension is high now. States like Arizona are pushing bills through the pipes that will ban ethnic and racial studies, and punish schools for even mentioning race. This is a mistake. That’s one reason why, when I had a moment of doubt, I decided to go ahead and tweet this tag. We should lighten up about race sometimes. White people need to learn how to poke fun of themselves. If we ignore race, the problems will get worse.

How to Talk Politics at Christmas

There’s no use in avoiding politics this holiday season. You’ll try hard, but current events will slide into your conversation when you least expect, probably when people run out of things to brag about. Relax, the alternatives include awkward silence and recipe swaps. In a pinch, you can shame that cousin who got married at seventeen. Faced with those choices, though, I’d rather see someone lose an eye over foreign policy.

My advice: Pretend you’re a Trump supporter. Sure, the idea’s funny, but I’m not kidding.

Buy a flask, and steel yourself. I acquired a holiday bedazzled one especially for my trip home.

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