Studying feminist criticism for the past ten years has made me aware of an absent dialogue: fucking hurts women.
I don't believe in the sexually free woman anymore. I think it's a feminist myth. The women I have known have been sexually active not as some sort of act of liberation, but as an act of enslavement to men. Almost everyone has regretted their first time. Almost everyone can't usually have an orgasm. Almost everyone has been in a situation where someone who is "sexually empowered" can navigate a storm safely, and has been sunk. Most women have been raped: not in the knife to the throat way, but in the manipulative, excessive male pressure way, or in the date rape situation way.
Women who have one night stands are generally emotionally empty or self-medicating using the joyful chemicals the brain releases during illicit, exciting sexual encounters. And no one is cool with their body or celebrates their vagina.
The Vagina Monologues is old-school feminist fantasy.
Feminists told us we could have as much sex as we wished, even wrote books on the mechanics. But no one told us of the emotional dangers.
Fucking is like ancient Roman make-up. It accentuated a woman's face in a gorgeous way, but it was all made with lead.
The most effective way for us to sympathize and feel horrified with 9/11 is to individualize loss. We feel empathy and compassion for the little girl who lost her father.
But do we really notice the odd thousand of people gone? Are we afraid to feel grateful that there are less people crowding the streets, or standing in line for coffee or a movie? Perhaps built into our primitive impulses is a lack of empathy (or evil) for the loss of a great multitude because we know, deep down, we will have easier lives.
Some days I have less patience than others when I work. Tonight, I had a stinging impatience with customers and their orders.
One customer ordered two venti Peppermint Mochas. I thought, "Are you proud of yourself for ordering that?"
I've been working at Starbucks or this cafe for over six years. I've made thousands of drinks. At first, I felt disgusted by the enormous caffeine intake customers have. I felt culpable, my hands bloody as I steamed milk and pumped syrup.
Now I feel culpable about sugar intake. Venti Peppermint Mochas have a total of ten pumps of syrup. This takes up half the cup. It's sickeningly sweet and hardly possible to taste the coffee. They're the most popular of the holiday beverages.
What has helped my own disgust was a recent article I read in Mother Jones. I include the link so you may become as revolted as I am.
I understand that everyone is responsible for their own health and well-being. But I still feel like one of the gunmen in a firing squad.
We should be glad we can't ever eat Twinkies again.
I carry around the Bain action figure in my pocket at work. It's a symbol of revolution and change. That I'm not trapped in the system. That there is a way out.
Not one that needs include a nuclear bomb, but the metaphor is appropriate.
Change can happen. This country was born from a bloody, violent revolution. We needn't discard this idea; perhaps we need embrace its metaphor.
Maybe we all need to read Karl Marx. When I first read Marx for a history theory class, I told my professor that his writing really excited me. I felt inspired run out and buy a gun. He stared at me blankly.
This has nothing to do with Batman.