I’m A Pussy & So Are You

105You’re a pussy.

Wow, it just got super hostile up in here. I can feel the rage boiling over, kittens. Did Grace just call me weak? Is she using female genitalia slang as an insult? My mason jar of whoop ass, it beckons! That anger is legit. The use of female genitalia, or the feminine in general, as an insult is both pervasive and shitty. Hands down, the worst thing a teenage boy can be called is something feminine. “Pussy” and “douchebag” flow as easily from the lips of youths as “Of course, I wasn’t drinking, Ma.” Being designated as feminine is to be weak and small—a nightmare in an adolescent world that values athleticism and aggression above all else.

Except, here’s the thing…pussies are badass. Vaginas are the physical embodiment of strength and resilience. Just think about it! An opening no wider than a couple of fingers is expected to push a living, squalling, life form out of itself. Hell, forget babies. Those cats get all the vaginal concern. Did you know that a penis needs two pounds of force to push into a vagina? That’s the same required to push through a swinging door.* Y’all, male members have engorge themselves with blood and become hard as steel, just to attempt breaching our forces. Your vagina is a baller, shot caller.

Perhaps you should examine your insults a bit closer, society. The next time someone calls their friend a “pussy” in my presence, they’re going to get an extremely vivid lecture about vaginal resilience. Being a “pussy” in the true sense of the word is something to be celebrated. This is what should be going down on basketball courts across America:

Youth 1: Don’t be such a pussy, Bryce! Get up!

Youth 2: Did you just call me a pussy, Aiden?

Youth 1: Yeah. What are you going to do about it?

Youth 2: Dude, I’m going to hug the shit out of you. Thanks so much! Did you know that your mom’s vagina expanded to ten times its normal width just to push your big head out of it? I didn’t realize you thought I was such a baller. That’s really sweet, man.

Dear reader, you’re a pussy and a cunt and a twat, but only in the very best sense of the words. You are strong, capable, and resemble an orchid in full bloom. If you wanted to, you could totally push a metaphorical baby out of your heart. Go pussies!

– Grace

Note: Special thanks to my friend and very favorite sailor, Admiral Nelson, for his insights into male humans and the awesomeness of vaginas.

*Source: Bonk by Mary Roach, which you should read immediately.

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Don’t Be An Asshole

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Here is a rule that I think everyone should abide by all the time: “Don’t be an asshole”.

Simple, no? And yet it seems like every person with an internet connection and the comfort of anonymity feels like they have a right to be an asshole and they make good use of that right by commenting on well-meaning blogs everywhere and BEING AN ASSHOLE.

You disagree with something a blogger has written? So be it. That’s totally cool and hell, I welcome it, but there should be just a shred of human decency in your response. (Unless you’re just a spam bot, in which case, sorry to point out that you’re incapable of human emotion). As bloggers, we don’t expect to be agreed with all the time, we write because we have something to say, and it’s ok if you don’t agree and have something to say yourself in response to what we said (you follow?), it’s why we have comments enabled on our blog, to allow discussion.

I like discussion. What I don’t like and what I absolutely won’t tolerate is someone acting like an asshole in response to something a blogger has written. First of all, you don’t know them. You can’t ever be clear on what motivates them or what circumstances have driven them to post what they post. Second of all, you don’t have to read their blog. Ever. YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ IT. No one is forcing you. If you see something you don’t like, move along. IT’S SO SIMPLE. And thirdly, WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH BY BEING AN ASSHOLE???

Maybe you were hoping to get a reaction. Congratulations! Mission accomplished! This is my reaction to you being an asshole. It can be summed up by saying DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Let’s be kind to one another. Please.

– Mae

You’re Not My Sister, Sister

20523 - The Dolly SistersReaders, I have a sister. She’s sixteen, snarky as hell, and utterly delightful. Henrietta is excellent at Harry Potter trivia and understands the vital importance of pretty tea cups. I wouldn’t trade her for all the Turkish delight in Harrod’s! While that may not seem like a meaningful sacrifice, the lemon variety should really be renamed Gelatinous Grace Crack. Having a lifetime supply of it on hand is one of my fondest dreams. Moral: Wee sister, I love you.

What I don’t love is when the world throws around the word sister like it’s just another noun. As soon as a group of women is put together, we’re encouraged to call ourselves a sisterhood. Last year, I was lucky enough to final in one of the most prestigious writing contests in my genre. Not only was it a huge resume bonus, but it put me in contact with a group of extraordinary women: smart, helpful, and imminently talented down to a one. However, within a week, I started getting twitchy.

“We’re sisters,” they declared!

“I didn’t know you last Tuesday!” I thought, but wisely did not point out. (It’s mind-boggling, I know, but away from this blog I’m praised for my tact. Crazy, no?)

It wasn’t that I didn’t like them or that they weren’t lovely women, it’s just…I have a sister. Not only have I known her for sixteen years, but we’ve been through a lot together. We’ve cried through movies (Well, I’ve cried. She’s pointed and laughed at me.), I’ve given her countless Talks-with-a-capital-T, and we have both endured the embarrassment that is our father talking to strangers on vacation. Kittens, I changed her poop-filled diapers. There aren’t many people I’d still love, after their feces wound up under my fingernails. Sisterhood is a big damned deal. It takes love and trust and time.  It doesn’t magically happen, just because two people have vaginas.

Sometimes, if she is truly lucky, a woman will have friends who become like sisters. It’s imminently possible. In my experience, however, these are rare and precious relationships. In my life, I have two: Kate and Mae.  They are the women I’d help creatively dispose of a body (The swamp! The answer is always the swamp!) and whom I’ve called for every dilemma, from dating problems to the breed-appropriate naming of small dogs. They are also the ones who will stand up next to me, as my maid and matron of honor, when I marry Professor McGregor later this year. Pardon the cheese, but they are the sisters of my fucking heart. I love them and I wouldn’t be who I am without them. They’re family.

Maybe I’m too reserved with my emotions.  It’s possible, perhaps, that I’m a stone cold ice queen who needs to work on letting people in. Honestly, though, I don’t think so. I think that people are entirely too cavalier about relationships, in general. If someone is your sister, you take a bullet for them. Telling someone they’re like family comes with a vow: If it ever comes down to it, I will change your diapers. That’s, pun unintentional-but-hilarious, some heavy shit. I love meeting new people and try to always ease life for those around me, but sister is reserved language.

Matching reproductive organs don’t make us family. Common experience doesn’t make us family. I believe in supporting other women, as a rule, but The Sisterhood makes me uneasy. I am a feminist. I am a citizen of the world. I am not, however, a sister to all.

Unless, of course, you have a pair of magic traveling pants. If that’s the case, welcome to the family, home slice.

– Grace

This Extravaganza Needs More Exorcisms

IMG_5551I’ve seen Hell. It’s swathed in buttercream, wearing a tiara of evil. Call it not Beelzebub, dear ones, but its proper name: The Austin Bridal Extravaganza.

You think I’m exaggerating. It’s that word “extravaganza,” isn’t it? Nothing truly perilous ends in -aganza. Why, the sound alone suggests silk and tiny caviar hotdogs and all that is fancy! That’s what I thought, too. The setup was thus: a hundred of Austin’s most popular wedding vendors would be under one roof, handing out discounts and free samples. Free cake and less time spent Googling “Austin wedding gnomes?” Sign me up! Girl on the Contrary and I planned to eat delicious things, do some vendor reconnaissance, and cackle our way through the day. How harrowing could it be?

Two words: bridal dildo. You see, it’s not just florists and photographers who take stalls at bridal expositions. Any vendor ever-so-tangentially related to weddings has a booth. Festooned with blinking lights and polyester satin, they line the convention center. As you walk by, pamphlets and samples are thrust into your hands. Questions fire from vendors armed with wide, manic smiles.

Do you have a photographer!? Do you need super soft sheets for your marriage bed!? Do you want an angelic chorus of angelic angels singing you down the aisle angelically?

Would you like to touch my plague rat!?

Okay. That last one was wishful thinking. Instead it was: Would you like us to come into your home and sell dildos? For real. There was not one, but three companies there to hawk lube and not-for-that-digit rings. A “pleasure expert” would arrange to come into your home—ostensibly for a bachelorette party, but perhaps just because you want to know what color rabbit your sister-in-law owns—and sell sex toys. It’s like a Tupperware party, but with more vital cleaning instructions! Woohoo! Or, you know, not.

Attendees went wild for these booths. As they did the seven booths promising to make you beautiful for your big day, with just a little chemical peel. And the four booths promoting their bridal boot-camp exercise programs, because people can only love skinny brides. No one looked askance. Women with hot pink V.I.P. Bride stickers (in this case, Very Important denoting their ability to buy tickets online) cooed over tiny sausage skewers and his-and-hers personalized napkin rings.

That’s when it hit me. Brides will buy into anything. Whole posses of women, all wearing matching Candy/Brandy/Sandy’s Wedding EXTRAVAGANZAGASM t-shirts, roamed around assuring their very important friends that this was all normal. Of course, you need a lighting company to hang chandeliers from trees, darling! It’s not a bachelorette party, if you’re not saying “Pass me those anal beads, Nana.” Slap the word bridal on it and someone will think it adorable and necessary.

If I ever need another career, I’m choosing the wedding industry. Only, instead of a photographer or a pleasure purveyor, I have an altogether different plan. Just call me Grace O’Kelly, Bridal Exorcist. Because the only reason I can think of that a woman would feel the need to chemically peel off her top layer of skin, exchange vibrator tips with her future grandmother-in-law, and custom order a puce silk suit for her beloved is because she’s possessed. The wedding industry is spiking young women’s coffee with chevrom-and-mason-jar obsessed wedding spirits. It’s the only explanation!

Or, perhaps, it’s our materialistic modern sensibilities at work again. Either way, I’m thinking Ghostbusters III: With This (Cock) Ring, I Thee Wed would be a big hit.

As for GotC and I, we gorged ourselves on cake samples and left in a hurry. We may not have brought home any new ideas, but we did get some pretty sweet photo booth jazz hands. I’m totally cool being that bride who just doesn’t get the rest of it.

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Everybody who hates this extravaganza do jazz hands!

– Grace