Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 30

Come to the Feminist Side, Kaley Cuoco

If you’re sick of my feminist rants, this post isn’t for you. But, then again, I am not the friend for you. So go away.

Today, the Internet is atwitter with an Interview with Kaley Cuoco, the actress who plays Penny in The Big Bang Theory. In this interview, Cuoco explains why she’s not a feminist, and it essentially boils down to “but sexism doesn’t hurt me!”

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she's attratctive

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she’s attratctive

It’s not difficult to understand how Kaley Cuoco might not feel discriminated against. After all, she is young, talented and attractive. On the surface, misogyny keeps her afloat rather than pulling her under. But if she weren’t so thin? If she wasn’t a bubbly blond? Chances are that the effects of sexism would be more noticeable for her.

And in the year 2014, the issues that women face are different than they were 50 or 100 years ago. We can vote and own property. We can keep our last names when we marry, and we can work outside the house if we want. There’s a lot of progress, but this just means that we have to focus on those little subversive ways that sexism and misogyny still exist in our everyday lives, even if we as women don’t notice them. If we don’t always pick up on them as women, who are being antagonized, how would a man who is unaffected? Many times, they don’t.

When you look more closely at Kaley, you can see how she’s been a victim of misogyny. The thing we have to remember is that people revere her not because they respect her but because they want to own her. Men want to possess her. Indeed, that’s the entirety of a multiple-season plot arc between Cuoco’s character Penny, a “slutty, dumb blond”, on The Big Bang Theory and the nerdy guy to whom the character is now her fiancee. Penny might not be the brightest bulb, but at least she’s cute.

And as long as sexism exist, we’re going to keep hearing “at least she’s cute,” as if a woman cannot possibly be attractive and intelligent or talented. As if a woman’s talents mean less than her naturally or hard-earned beauty. As if a woman who isn’t attractive will never, could never, be enough. Even though she has benefited from sexism in this way, I am sure that Cuoco has been on the other side, especially in Hollywood. Sleazy producers and directors? Being judged more harshly for her looks than male actors? Making less money than her peers? Kaley has had to deal with all of those, even if sexism provides her some minuscule perks in comparison.

Kaley seems to understand that maybe she’s “because I’ve never really faced inequality,” but I’d love to her show more depth when she thinks about these things, and perhaps an interview with People mag isn’t the place to be deep, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if it were?

I hope that Kaley Cuoco surrounds herself with women who aren’t afraid to tell her just how they have been discriminated against, and how sexism still occurs, albeit sometimes in a more subtle way than can be difficult for people like Kaley to understand when they’re not constantly barraged by the waves of misogyny. Perhaps with people close to her pointing out their experiences, she will listen, and she will want to take up the feminist mantle because, at the very least, she wants to help other women.


Dec 17

I haven’t blogged in over a month

At least, here. I’ve been blogging in all the other places though. Oops.

This last month has been measured in broken heartbeats, if I’m honest.

It’s also been measured in doors opened to the UPS and FedEx men. The shopping. I’m having such a good financial month, after the annual frustration with the state. I’ve spent a bit of money, purchased some awesome gifts, and yet I have a bit of money left. I am considering a tattoo. A sugar-skull inspired motif on my left thigh. What do you think?

These last few days have consisted of me binging on TED talks about psychology, sex and technology, among other things. This was inspired, in part, by starting and finishing Best Sex Writing 2012 in a course of hours. I forgot how much I like to be educated!

Goliath and his box under the tree

Goliath and his box under the tree

Much of my time has been spent with my sister, who likes to escape her home and invade mine. Her latest thing is asking for homework help that could easily be done over the phone just so she can come over and play video games. She did “help” me put up my Christmas tree, though. It’s blue and silver this year. I didn’t think about how dark blue lights are in comparison to white ones, however. It’s nearly impossible to take a decenter picture!

I’ll end this with a rant. About “Merry Christmas.” And how a million of my Facebook friends — just kidding, I don’t have that many — have posted about how that’s the correct thing to say. And how it’s stupid to be offended by saying it. And they’ll say it regardless.

Yes, I will smile and say “You, too” to anyone who takes the time to wish me a Merry this or a Happy that, even if I’ve never heard of it. Have a good freakin’ Festivus, y’all. But, seriously. There’s a perfectly easy-to-understand reason why Merry Christmas might offend some people.

And it’s not because you celebrate it. It’s because you celebrate it and you assume everyone else also celebrates it. But they don’t. Some of them celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Yule or something else altogether. Some people celebrate no winter holidays, believe it or not.

Despite the fact that so many people proclaim the separation of church and state, the United States is a Christian nation. Winter break includes Christmas but not typically any of the days of Hanukkah, let alone all eight of them. Easter is another holiday that closes down the government and schools. People who are not Christian understand the significance of these holidays. You probably know little about Hanukkah or any other Jewish holiday.

Your normal isn’t everyone else’s default. It’s dangerous and limiting to think that. It’s wonderful to learn what you don’t know — and then to make that something you do know, however.

If you celebrate Christmas, then I hope it’s a good one. If you don’t, I hope other people do not offend you. Either way, I hope you’re not a dick.


Nov 13

Facebook App’s New Internal Browser Sucks!

Facebook's App Settings for external browser

Facebook’s App Settings for external browser

Over the past several days, I updated Facebook on my phone. One of the biggest changes — yet one that I heard little about beforehand — is that Facebook now opens links in the app rather than in your browser. I suspect the idea behind this is to protect users from malicious files and perhaps even scams. However, it also prevents us from using all the features we expect in a modern browser.

This includes private browsing mode and all the options available with a long-click, such as opening a link in a new tab. Although you can readily share any link back to a Facebook post or even a message, opening a link in the app “browser” doesn’t work with a smartphone’s native sharing menu, so sending via text, Bluetooth or email takes a few more clicks.

Plus, links to the Google Play store and YouTube ignore the default settings in my phone. Thanks, Facebook! You can “Save” things to Facebook, but it would be much nicer to access our favorites, especially if you sync browser data across multiple devices.

Perhaps what frustrates me the most is that you’re not able to browse history. I don’t even use favorites all that much because I use the browser on my phone — and tablet — for casual surfing. This morning, I clicked a link in Facebook, wanted to visit it later and promptly lost it because I didn’t “Save” it and there’s no history or any way to return to pages viewed in the internal browser. Arrgh!

Fortunately, you can disable this “feature,” and it’s not difficult. In your App Settings for Facebook, you’ll see an option to open links in an “External” browser. That is, Safari, Firefox, Chrome or whatever browser you prefer on your smartphone or tablet.

I’d love to remove this feature entirely. I’m sure it’s using up precious space on my phone, and it’s definitely causing lag!


Nov 06

Breaking the (Fashion) Laws

Over the past few years, I’ve expanded my wardrobe. I was once a (black) t-shirts and jeans girl all the way, but I met someone who dressed rather nicely, and this impressed upon me a desire to do the same. So I began to add things to my closet:

  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • Skater skirts
  • Leggings
  • Colors
  • Patterns and stripes
  • Fashion boots
  • Fashion scarves

Now, maybe this sounds silly, but I’ve made a conscious decision to try new styles over the past few years. I’m not really following trends; although, new trends provide me with more opportunities to try new things.

This process hasn’t necessarily been easy, of course. I’m a rather finicky person to begin with, but I feel like there’s something more to be discussed. I am not thin. Call me curvy. Plus sized. Overweight. Fat, even. It’s okay. These are just descriptors that I’m fine with. I am generally proportionate; although, I carry some extra weight in my tummy. I know this.

I also know that there seem to be fashion rules imposed on women who aren’t thin specifically. There’s this idea that a skinny person can wear whatever they want, but a person who’s not-so-skinny has to dress in every way to hide the fact. Therefore, we’re allow — nay, required — to wear certain things, including dark colors and vertical stripes. And the ever-so-present empire waist top!

Plus sized? Let me introduce you to the one color you're allowed to wear!

Plus sized? Let me introduce you to the one color you’re allowed to wear!

And we’d best stay away from horizontal stripes, bold colors, busy patterns, form-fitting clothing and a whole host of other things. Why? Because they’ll made us look wide, at least, wider than all-black outfits consisting solely of vertical stripes. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with emphasizing or de-emphasizing your favorite and least favored body parts. But, and this is a but that’s bigger than my own butt, it’s bullshit to say that someone shouldn’t wear something just because it makes them look “wide.”

I mean..

WHO CARES?

There are worse things. Like getting ebola or whatever the current health scare is at the time that you read this.

What if I fucking like stripes? (I do!) Or patterns? (Not so much). What if I feel great in leggings? (Hallelujah!) or want to show off my ass? (Yes, please). What if my favorite color doesn’t look all that great with my skin tone or makes me look like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka? (Oops?)

What if I give zero fucks about whether or not my ankles and boobs and hips are balanced? And what if I just want to leave the house in an oversized sweater because I just want to be comfortable and not constrained?

And if I don’t want to wear heels because we have snow for six months during the year or it’s okay to admit that I’m short and curvy? Oh freakin’ well!

Seriously.

It’s a little ridiculous when the “rules” start saying that someone shouldn’t wear something because of their size or shape. And it’s silly for people to police themselves and relegate themselves to a boring wardrobe because of what the media is trying to sell them — which will change with the seasons, by the way!

I am so sick of hearing women tell me how they can’t wear horizontal stripes. I’ve got at least four tops that feature stripes, and you know what? I love them. They’re comfortable. They make me feel good, and that sort of confidence does a lot more than looking a specific way because the magazines or some silly blog tells you to.

Ladies, put on your favorite bra! Wear the hell out of those stripes! Don those fleece leggings that feel like Heaven and strut your stuff.

That is all.


Oct 05

In Which Cole Writes about Minimum Wage, Fast Food and Military Benefits

Every time I see this ridiculous meme floating around on Facebook in the response that we might possibly consider raising the minimum to $15 per hour for fast food workers or, you know, anyone who works hard, I just seethe. Here is it in all its glory:

Okay, rant – For those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, let’s do some math. At $15 an hour Johnny Fry-Boy would make $31,200 annually. An E1 in the military makes $18,378. An E5 with 8 years of service only makes $35,067 annually. Hmmmmmm….. So you’re telling me, Sally McBurgerflipper, that you deserve as much as those kids getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments, and putting their collective asses on the line every day protecting your unskilled butt!

I spent a few years as a military wife, and while the base pay might not compare at first glance with the annual salary that, but there are a lot of perks that are awarded to service members and, by extension, their families. Here’s just a short list of perks I experienced as a military wife. Military.com has a whole list of benefits, too.

military benefits

This list doesn’t included bonuses for signing up, hazard pay during deployments and tons of other perks that I personally didn’t experience or am not familiar with.

What does this mean? That the $18,000 per year made by an E3 in any branch of the military is basically for non-essentials. There will never be a case in which a military member/family living on base will be without a home or utilities. Every public building on base has a phone for public use, which means you may not even need your own phone!

The salary will certainly go to some bills, including a vehicle, gas and insurance (which service members will likely get a discount on as a thanks for service). You’ll pay out of pocket for clothing and household items, which you can purchase on base without sales poker and blackjack online tax, but this comes nowhere near $18,000 per year. You could send your child to private school, waste hundreds on video games â?? Gamestop should consider building stores directly outside base gates! â?? or always purchase a brand-new vehicle.

Am I saying that military members shouldn’t make more than someone who works at McDonalds? Not really. The problem with the type of thinking that has motivated this post is the idea that fast food workers shouldn’t make $15 an hour because that’s the type of pay someone who works harder earns. The â??harderâ? job might be military or factory work or something such as being a doctor, which required years of expensive schooling. These things might all require more diligence or risk or education or experience. I’m not arguing that.

But if you’re only making $15 hourly at a risky or difficult job, you should also be paid more!

You are being fucked over just as much as the person flipping your burgers or delivering your pizzas. You are also suffering at the hands of a system that hasn’t ensured the minimum wage, and by extension, all other wages keep up with the cost of living. You’re just being fucked over a little less, which makes it manageable.

It might suddenly become more obvious if you’re making the same — or even less — as someone whom you deem has an easier job. But you should be fighting along with people who want to raise the minimum wage. It’s the right thing to do as a compassionate human being, and it will only help you in the long run, too.

There’s only one reason to oppose fair wages: because it hurts those who are wealthy and powerful. Those people are wealthy and powerful enough. Chances are, you’re not one of those people if you’re reading this. So stop acting like one of them. You have nothing in common. They will do nothing for you while continuing to take from you. You are better than that.