I have been pretty consumed with the now infamous Steubenville rape case, as I think most people across the country who spend time on the internet have been. Every time I read about a rape it has an emotional impact on me, as a sensitive lady who has experienced some sexual assault, but this particular case has haunted me in a way that others usually don’t. I have felt so physically sickened thinking about the horrors that the victim experienced that night, and the disgusting reactions that the case has spawned.

I think the reason that I have been so affected by the rape is that it hits close to home for me. I didn’t go to a high school with a legendary football team, but I did go to school with boys who were capable of such acts. They were my friends, and largely still are my friends. I look back at the things that these kids said to me about their interactions with girls and am disgusted with myself for not seeing how deplorable it was. I just chuckled and kept my head down, so blinded by the rape culture all around me that I couldn’t identify that feeling in the pit of my stomach that something about this all wasn’t right. Those boys were rapists. I didn’t know it though. How messed up is it that it took me so many years to be able to grasp what consent is? Why wasn’t this taught to us between chemistry and theology lessons?

I hate to think about it, but I fear that even someone as committed to smashing the patriarchy as me could have been a bystander to that. I could have been one of the Stuebenville victim’s female classmates calling her a whore on twitter. I could have been one of the people at the party, laughing at the drunk girl. I knew that there were some things going on at my high school that made me feel weird, but I didn’t yet have the tools to articulate what was going on. We need to give young people those tools and the information they need to grow into healthy, respectful, ethical sexualities. So many weekends in high school I got drunk to the point of near unconsciousness and let smelly boys on sports teams finger me behind bushes, because that was the only model of sexuality I had seen. That’s what people did. I was taken advantage of but was far luckier than the victim of the Stuebenville rapists. Things need to change but I feel helpless as to how to change them.


This week I experienced some classic sexism in my everyday life JUST LIKE IN EVERY OTHER WEEK. Like all women, I barely notice it anymore. Everyday is a barrage of cat calls and inappropriate uses of pet names and people looking down on me like I’m a little tiny girl with no opinions or knowledge.


In certain ways I feel  like complaining about these microaggressions is pointless, because what’s it gonna do? There are countless blogs out there with the exact same complaints, peppered amongst pictures of cake-pops and grosgrain ribbon pillows. It’s happening everywhere! To everyone! I’m still going to complain though because I deserve it.

Today a man sitting on a stoop (where he belongs!) gave me a vitriolic “Hey Pretty” as I walked by on my way to the library on my lunch break. This gave me a major gross out, obviously. What made it even more repugnant, however, was the timing. This stoopman waited until I was just barely past him to shout his pathetic proclamation. Why? Because he’s a coward who was too afraid to deal with seeing my reaction. He knew he was doing something wrong, and he was ashamed. Though he couldn’t say it to my face, he still insisted on saying it and did it with impunity. He will do it again.

What did that stupid idiot get out of his sad “hey pretty”? He knew I wasn’t going to backtrack and start making out with him. He probably even knew I wasn’t going to even smile his way. He did it to exert a small power over me. He was Adam in the fucking Garden of Eden, naming all of the animals. Except I’m not an animal. Okay, so he probably has a sad life and feels like he has no power and has been screwed over by the system, hence his stoop status, but it is still so exploitative to debase another human just to feel that split second of superiority.

I will add that I was wearing a flood length cape (jealous?) during this encounter and looked vaguely like Quasimodo. (Not to imply that only hot-hotties get cat called. It happens to ugly freaks and total babes all the same BECAUSE WE ARE ALL JUST A WARM HOLE FOR THESE DERELICTS.

Okay, whatever, I’m over it.


Female Friendship On Display On Display On Display

I figured since I spend most of my off hours perusing blogs I might as well do something semi-productive with the time spent sprawled on my bed and actually WRITE a blog. I’m doing it guys! I’m putting my fingers to the keys to fill the whole wide world in on my very important thoughts on very important issues. Namely, REALITY TV. The greatest thing to come out of my our generation (other than twitter, duh.)

My first reality TV subject is the ever present and revolutionary Real Housewives franchise. I feel like I’ve grown up with these shellacked biddies, and though I will always have a special place in my heart for the antics of Vicky and the rest of the original Orange County crew, currently my heart resides in New Jersey, where the hair, the houses, and the drama are all bigger and more fabulous. 

I’m hooked on the Jersey Housewives, from no-nonsense Caroline, to mild-mannered Kathy to glamazonian-chanteuse Melissa to sweet-yet-sassy Jaqueline to the grand pubah of them all, gizmo’s hairier, louder, less-educated cousin Theresa Giudice. The sounds of her trying to pronounce the word “cumin” is music to my ears. We have a lot in common. We both love glitz. We both appreciate Italian cuisine but hate fatties. We both love a one shoulder, asymmetrical dress from the ever-elegant Cache. We both believe that blood is thicker than water, but know that alcohol consumption thins the blood to the point of dizziness and baptism throw-downs. We both blatantly favor Milania even though she’s an insufferable little leopard-clad demon-child.

Seriously though, I could go on and mock these women for their ridiculous tastes and delusional lifestyles, but that’s reality TV amateur hour, and I, ladies and ghouls, am certainly no amateur. The real reason I love this show, beyond the superficial spectacle of it all, is because it focuses on female friendships in a context never before seen on mainstream TV. Most reality shows focus on romance, reenforcing stereotypes that the ultimate thing a woman can hope for is love, sweet love (that is, if she is a thin blonde with ridiculous veneers.) We see it on the uninspired mess that is the Bachelor and other love-centered shows, but it has also become the major plot point of shows less obviously focused on coupling. When was the last time a plot-line of The Real World focused on two women’s platonic friendship? It’s all about the hook-up, the boyz, omg the sexxxxxxx. Just about every reality show out there is obsessed with premeditating these hetero-hook-ups and then their unraveling. (I will give a special exception to this rule to Snooki and J-Woww, who actually continue to inspire me with what seems like a genuine care for one another that transcends nights at Karma and does not get nearly enough air-time.) (Though I have admittedly not seen their weird little spin-off.)

The Housewives have already gotten the prince charming (and oh, what a prince Joe Giudice is…) and tend to totally ignore their husbands to drink wine with their girls and start the drama. The show is almost exclusively centered around how the women feel about each other. It’s like the real life Golden Girls but everyone has a weave. It’s a peak into the messy, beautiful world of girlfriends. They love each other, then they hate each other, then they unite again in shared hate of another woman, then they hate each other, then they drink enough wine that they like each other again. 

Okay, okay— it might not be the best representation of the power of female friendship, but it’s still a representation. Most of the friendships presented are extremely toxic and somewhat disturbing, especially since Theresa started selling stories about her “friends” to the tabloids to pay off the huge debts incurred from buying so many fur vests (classic Theresa.) I don’t care if the relationships shown make women look catty and self-centered, it at least makes women look something other than one half of the hetero-dream-couple. Though the title of the show implies that these women’s role as “wives” are essential to their character, the opposite proves to be true. The cameras barely show the dopey paunched husbands (save for Theresa’s brother, who is featured prominently in the drawn out plot line of their sibling feud.) The Real Housewives of New Jersey show that romantic relationships can take a backseat to friendship, and a hell of a lot of people want to watch this small exploration of the lesbian continuum.


Letter from a Freshman

Dear Friend from Home,

I’m all moved in! My room looks great- that leopard print bedding looks fab. Good call. I don’t know what I would have done without your suggestion of utilizing the Target back-to-school collection. I absolutely love being a freshman! I already love all my new girlfriends, especially my roommate, Maria. Last night was wild! They made me take like four shots of raspberry flavored vodka (it was just like prom, remember? LOL) then we went to a weird place called “the TH’s” where all the seniors live in poorly designed hovels. It was okay, I guess. All the senior girls were wearing sweatpants and glaring at us as they gorged themselves on organic quinoa. Like, put on some heels! There’s a reason all your male friends are leaving you for us younger women! Anyway, I got shwasted and then Maria told me I was fat and that she wished she had gotten to room with Rachel and then I vommed everywhere.

We started classes! Intro to Women’s Studies is really blowing my mind. I had no idea I was so oppressed! This guy in the class Jerome and I made out three nights in a row so it was basically like we were dating. He’s really cute. He’s from Idaho and his parents are white supremacists but he ran away from home at the age of eleven and joined a group of migrant soy bean farmers and became an anarchist. Then we were doing our reading for class together to get ourselves in the mood when I was like, wait, this heterosexuality is totes compulsory so he’s out of my life. Except he’s in my fellow group so i still have to see him every time I pluck my nipple hairs in the communal bathroom.

Being here does kind of make me miss home though. The other night I was just craving my mom’s casserole. :-( She’s the only person I know who can really master her secret ingredient: love. Everyone here is really nice and it’s been great to get to start with a blank slate and reinvent myself as a non-consumer vegan who listens to tribal drum music and likes modern art, but you guys at home are the only people who know the real me. The me who did a dance routine to Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” in sixth grade for my report on communism. The me who totally started the Crocs fad. The me who accidently lost my virginity on our senior class white water rafting trip. I still think about Hans and those burly German hands caressing me as we rode the waves and each other in front of our entire graduating class.

I’m ready to start a new phase though. Gotta cut this letter short, Maria just told me if I don’t go sleep on the bathroom floor she’ll sell all of my stuffed animals to buy coke. Miss you girly! See ya at Thanksgiving!!


From Vassar with Love,


A Freshman


My Date with a Republican

Every feminist comes to the point in her life when she can no longer afford the organic cotton t-shirts and vintage loafers necessary to sustain her image. In this situation there are two options: start shopping at stores that use sweatshop labor, or begin dating a republican. I did the latter. Let’s face it, the George Bush’s of the world have the money, and they are willing to spend it on you at fancy steak houses. Most guys I date think chivalry is allowing me to flush their toilet after merely a number-one, so I figured maybe it was time for a change. It was time for me to officially abandon my Women’s Studies major and sell out to all that I know to be evil. It was time to date a republican. I swallowed my pride and two shots of Crystal Palace Gin and started prepping for my date. For a girl who doesn’t shave her legs I clean up nice: I threw on the pearls my dad gave me for my eighth grade graduation and put on my best virgin face. People are supposed to be open right? Maybe this guy would be really nice and smart and would change his mind about Roe v. Wade if I wore the right pair of shoes and laughed at his jokes. After some awkward small talk outside of my dorm room we drove to the restaurant. This place was old money. I smelt Vanderbilt with floral undertones of old lady perfume. It was the kind of place where old men wear “sportscoats” and use “handkerchiefs.” I tried to trick myself into forgetting that I’m half Jewish. I saw not one vegetarian item on the menu but I wasn’t about to complain because usually I subsist on macaroni and cheese and Triscuits so I figured I’d ignore the inherent similarities between the commercial meat industry and the oppression of women and dig into a half-duck. This place served half of a duck. And I ordered it. Sitting with a republican in a polo shirt. Next came conversation time. Oy. In between bites of my [succulent] [well seasoned] [I’m never eating fucking tofu again] duck, we discussed the big issues: gay marriage, the economy, Sperry Topsiders. While I tried to argue that marriage is an oppressive institution that should be banned outright, he argued that gay marriage is chill, because country clubs will make more money off the union of rich Westchester homosexuals. While I talked about how we should tax the rich he talked about how that would be a major bummer for his grandfather, who invented the mall. We both agreed that boat shoes are really cute with the right outfit. In short, this guy was gross and I never saw him again- keeping the Ray-Bans he left in my room as a prize for dealing with his Fox News speeches for two hours of my precious life. How did the admission’s office let this goon in? I thought they had a strict liberals only policy. Must be that darn affirmative action. The experience taught me a lot though. It taught me that your soul isn’t worth half of a duck. I’ll stick to the smelly dudes in my Renaissance Poetry class who drink that creepy raw milk out of mason jars.


What your Halloween Costume Says About You

Halloween is a very important time for a Vassar student. You have a free pass to dress however you want, eat high caloric candy and grind on that hottie in your a cappella group in your Villard Room. The identity that you choose to assume on Halloween shows the deep inner workings of your mind and how you want others to perceive you. I’ve compiled a list of popular Halloween choices and consulted with all of the Psychology professors as well as a board of certified psychics to see what these costume choices mean for their wearers.


Slutty Cop/ Firefighter/ Nurse:

You should transfer to a vocational school in the local area, where far more people will understand your passion for the classic occupations that keep our nation running. Also more people will understand your passion for giving guys blow jobs behind dumpsters in exchange for Mardi Gras beads and/or mini Almond Joys.


Sheet Ghost:

You’re not the brightest guy in your Basic Drawing class, but you’re the most resourceful. That time your professor told you to draw something that inspired you you drew your syllabus and a can of Sunkist orange soda. You can’t wait to be a studio art major so you can put your tracing paper skills to work. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you a plain white sheet, you cut two holes in it and wear it over your head.

Disney Princess:

Sure, you lack creativity and any form of intellect, but you look great in pink. When you were just a little girl your mother told you that if you put your mind to it you could be anything that you wanted to be. She and her female sisters fought for women’s rights so that you could obtain all your dreams. They chained themselves to trees and burned their bras so that you could be a Princess, goddamnit, and you’re sure as heck going to make them proud! A sweet baseball bro dressed as a sweet baseball bro will take you back to his TH, take your virginity, then never speak to you again. It’s okay though; you’re prince charming is out there.

Virginia Wolf:

We get it, you’re a Women’s Studies major and haven’t shaved your legs since last December when you constructed a teepee in the woods with your bare hands and read Emily Dickinson poetry for the entirety of winter break in order to get yourself more attuned to your own femininity. You own lots of floral prints and write sonnets about the patriarchy and being sexually attracted to your mother. You’ll someday marry a man who owns a medical supply company, have three kids and develop a drinking problem. No one understands you. Except for maybe Jewel. 


The Spice Girls:

You have four best girl friends in the world who are *omigod* so fun. You’re the fab five, the fierce five, the five that no one else can tolerate. At least one of you is a lesbian and at least one of you will be impregnated by Eddie Murphy.


You and your 27 best friends go as an entire mouth full of teeth:

You’re a comedic genius.


Vegan Witch Cooperative House Meeting Agenda

Hello everyone and welcome to the house meeting of the Vegan Witch Cooperative TH. I am so excited to be living with all of you in this shared space! However, we have been having some minor issues to discuss as a coven. We have a lot of business to go over, so let’s get started.


Piece of Business I: Weekly charm circle will be lead by Helena this week in the Wimphenheimer playground in order to channel the innocence of youth. I know last week it was a bit of a debacle that we didn’t bring enough candles to fully complete our pentagram. We will be implementing a strict BYOCandle rule from now on to avoid the unfortunate situation that Allison got into last week…


Piece of Business II: Tabitha has brought it to our attention that someone has been using her mortar and pestle without asking. She’d be happy to share- just let her know. Also someone has been stealing her Midol. This is not the Wican way sisters, and you know it. Please return the pills to Tabitha before we all start our shared monthly bleed next Tuesday, thank you.


Piece of Business III: Meat House has kindly invited us to a Co-op party on Saturday night. We are in charge of providing drinks. I think it would be a perfect opportunity for Belinda to cook up some of that synthetic frog’s foot brew she’s been working on. Yum! However, Meat House is apparently making chili. I plan on slipping in some ratsbane to teach them the lesson that MEAT IS MURDER.


Piece of Business IV: I was communing with the trees yesterday and they told me that we were a little loud last weekend. If you could all kindly keep it down, our neighbors would greatly appreciate it.


Piece of Business V: As we all know there have been several incidences of hate speech on campus this semester. It’s a very serious issue that needs to be addressed. The other day I found graffiti in the library bathroom that read as follows: “Cappy is a witch.” I know, I know. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe Cappy and her politics, but witch would never be one of them. No self respecting witch would wear pleated front khakis. This is a direct attack against us as a minority group. We need to start a campaign to destigmatize witches- take the poison out of the word. Hilda and I have been working on a poster series to normalize witches on campus. They will feature pictures of each of us with the words “This Witch is my Bitch,” to let everyone know that witches can be great friends. We’ll be tabling in the College Center next week.


Piece of Business VI: Finally, our Meet Me in Poughkeepsie got approved! Oh my goddess, am I excited. We will be leading a group of adventurous students to a quarry in New Paltz to search for healing stones and crystals. Afterwards we’ll have a group chant and enjoy a picnic of homemade hummus and vegetables from local farms. THEN WE’RE GOING BOWLING. What fun! Tell all of your friends to sign up. 



Summer Lessons: Had Me A Blast?

Summertime: the sun is out, the birds are chirping, the air is thick with humidity and opportunity for adventure. I’ve always found that summer is one of the best times to learn lessons and discover one’s self, as it is such a free and open chunk of time. Inward reflection comes naturally for me while I float in my pool chair with celeb gossip magazines, soaking up the sun a la Sheryl Crow circa 2002. For me this summer led to some pretty interesting life lessons, which I’m sure will enlighten you, as well.
Never trust a thirteen year old, especially when it comes to bathroom etiquette
I work for two weeks at an all girls camp in the woods of northern New Hampshire. Anyone who knows me will understand that this is not the place for me, a hater of children, nature, and deficit of cosmetic products and reality tv. The only reason I sign on year after year is to assure I will have well trained troops ready when I start my radical lesbian feminist uprising. I lived with fourteen tweens in a small decrepit cabin with bad plumbing and a family of chipmunks. The girls taught me many lessons, mostly about Justin Bieber (he is SO not cool anymore, Ke$ha rules way more, and Katy Perry is okay, too.) I also learned the hard way that thirteen year olds DO NOT understand how to live with a delicate plumbing system. I don’t know what these girls were eating (oh wait, yes I do, low quality mass produced grilled cheeses injected with lard,) but they clogged the toilets daily, and it was up to me to remedy the situation. I learned how to use a plunger. I accidently called the girls bitches a few times. I learned that it’s okay to call a thirteen year old a bitch, because they usually are, and are too afraid to call you any names back.
Dildos are more popular with senior citizens than one might suspect.
Another job I took this summer was an unpaid internship at The Center For Sexual Pleasure and Health, an adult education center. I learned more than I’ll ever need to know about anal fisting. I also learned that old people love sex toys. Little old ladies coming in to check out vibrators and chat about the hot gossip at their nursing homes entertained me daily. I can’t wait to be old, apparently they are having more fun than ever. Way cooler than those thirteen year old bitches.
Tourists will buy anything.
My third job (ew, I’m like a single mom, gross,) was working at a jewelry and accessory store that catered to the wealthy tourists who flock to Newport, Rhode Island to hang out and be rich and work on their tans and stuff. I learned that people with money will buy the most useless crud ever, because they can. I also learned that I someday want to be rich, so I can buy wallets shaped like sandwiches, huge sun hats, overpriced and sized turquoise necklaces and earring racks that can hold over one hundred pairs of gaudy doo-dads, and then send the adorable local shopgirl looking to finance her academic career to package it all up and deliver it to the nail salon across the street while I get my French Manicure on. I won’t be needing a receipt, thanks.
All stars fade, and will be eventually out-shined by their 17 year old brother.
I was way cool in high school. I totally went out to parties with older boys and drank beer and went to football games and wore T-shirts with witty little phrases on them. Also I got boobs pretty early in the game, so I was naturally popular. Coming back home this summer though made me realize that I am not cool anymore. I’m a big weird loser who spends her saturday nights watching Say Yes to the Dress in a bikini eating leftover clam cakes. My little brother has eclipsed my star. He has bulked up, started smoking ridiculous amounts of weed, has hot chicks over, and is good at video games. His current facebook status is “Bluntsandbroads.” He is too cool to use spaces even. He and his lax bro friends put me to shame every weekend, going to parties with kids my age and returning drunk for me to make them bacon. I’ve learned that I’m okay with this, because they will probably all get herpes and always be looking back on their glory days as high school studs. I know my glory days are still ahead, as a pervy old woman who is seeking informational pamphlets on how to incorporate bondage into your sex life.


A Broad Abroad

While I usually sit on my couch and miss my dead dog during school breaks, this year I decided to be a little more adventurous with my October furlough. I went over to jolly old London to visit my friends who are studying abroad there. Boy, what a culture shock! I had visions of myself reenacting the Brit montage scene from Mary Kate and Ashley’s “Winning London,” except with cute foreign boys older than 13, trying on funky 60’s outfits, walking across Abbey Road, grinding up on a British guard with one of those furry hats. I did none of those things. Mostly I was berated for being a loud obnoxious American tourist.
I wore cowboy boots everyday and kept imitating everyone’s hilarious accents. So what? Does that mean I deserve judgements from people who think that all Americans love Sarah Palin and buy assault rifles at Wal Mart? The worst was when I sidled up next to some tall red head in a cable knit sweater and bad teeth at the bar, just my type. I start working my magic: lots of hair flipping, a seductive shoulder shake, and a witty comment about God saving the queen. Said ginger got saucy with me, and not in a good way, saying that I must be American because I don’t understand subtlety, which the Brits invented. Of course I don’t understand subtlety, it is too hard of a word to spell for me to ever understand. I retorted wittily “Well, we invented the internet. Beat that.” I then proceeded to sneak off to the restroom to hide my shame. I asked a girl politely where they were located, to which she responded “DO YOU MEAN THE TOILETS?” Ok. Vulgar. I just wanted a room to rest, not to do anything gross that cute girls like myself don’t do. But I went to these “toilets” only to find that there was no toilet paper. When I asked the girl in the stall next to me for some she responded “DO YOU MEAN LOO ROLL?” I couldn’t handle it. My Londy Londy Bridge wanted to go down at this point, if you know what I mean.
This interaction led me to one conclusion, other than the obvious one that I should not wear midriff bearing tops to the pub. The Brits are just jealous. We started out as one of their forays into imperialism, and ended up kicking their butts and telling King George to Suck It because we didn’t want to pay taxes. I’m sure the British citizens are mad they didn’t think of that plan first. They are also probably jealous that we don’t have stupid accents, and that we invented beer pong. Who cares if the pound is stronger than the American dollar? Who cares if they technically invented American Idol? Who cares if they have buildings from the middle ages? We have the Jersey Shore, and we have MacDonalds, and we have class. Also, we all remember Jack the Ripper, and the crusades, and Bridget Jones Diary 2: The Edge of Reason. Don’t pretend you’re better than us.


How to Date a Women’s Studies Major

I spend most days scoping out the fine ladies of the Women’s Studies department, and I am never disappointed with what I see. Sometimes I wonder why there is such a stigma around dating a Women’s Studies major. Feminism has enabled the existence of some of the hottest hotties around, and I think that the male population should show their appreciation for the movement that brought us mini-skirts, birth-control, and Hillary Clinton. Showing love for a feminist is not as scary as it sounds, just follow these helpful hints and you could take home a radicallesbian of your very own!

Obviously. If you’re a women’s studies major, it’s because you like women. A lot. Most think that men are the scum of the earth and would move to a lesbian commune in Vermont given the opportunity. Chances are she will be getting down with the other women in her Women in Antiquity class, because only other women will ever understand a women’s struggles. Sorry buddy.

If you are lucky enough to find the rare women’s studies major who would rather worship your phallus than explore the lesbian continuum, congrats. You have found a girl who will put out with frequency, because we have the right to be just as promiscuous as men. There is a double standard and we’re not going to take it, right ladies? Plus, you know that bitch is on the pill, so you’re good to go.

Because ladies can open doors too, okay? Unless they’re those really heavy wooden doors that can sometimes be a struggle. When entering the (vegan friendly) restaurant for your first date, open the door, enter, then proceed to slam it in her face, so she knows that you aren’t a sexist.

Women love talking emotions. Bring up your Oedipal complex. Discuss how you cried when you saw Titanic, not because of the hopeless romance or the thousands of people who died, but because the film objectified the female body. Allow yourself to reveal your most inward insecurities. She won’t think you’re gay, because she doesn’t believe in binary sexuality.

A razor. A bra. A vacuum cleaner. Going Rogue the autobiography of Sarah Palin. Diamonds. Fur coats. A novel by Jack Kerouac. A sweater set from the Ann Taylor Loft. Actually, just don’t buy her anything. You would only be supporting the capitalist agenda which is inherently devaluing to women and their labor. Or get her a gift card to Chili’s. Everyone loves Chili’s.

Your relationship is doomed to shortly end when she catches you secretly watching “Entourage” in your room with the lights out and the blinds drawn. Sorry.