ACCIO Neil Patrick Harris

Have y’all seen the State Farm commercials? You know, the ones that sing? Here, let me try and post one… let’s see if this works… cross your fingers….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWuiguLBLbc

Ha! It worked! … Sort of.

Well, obviously it isn’t as spectacular for you because you could already see there was a video link, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. Okay, maybe not a huge accomplishment. It’s not like I won the Olympics or defeated a whole legion of dementors. Those would be huge accomplishments. This is more like…. snail sex. (What? Did I really just say snail sex? Why would I write that? I could’ve said it’s like after 20 years finally figuring out how to play hopscotch. That would’ve been much better. Oh well, can’t change it now.) Alright, fine, it’s not an accomplishment at all. Happy?

Anyways, we’ve gotten off point. So you know how the commercial works. You sing the jingle, add something you want like a hot tub or a sandwich, and bippity-boppity-boo, it appears.

I was hanging in the lounge of my building with some friends when this subject came up. We all took turns singing the jingle and then asking for something. When my turn came around, I asked for Neil Patrick Harris (of course).

Another girl, who was also in the lounge, turned to me and said “Yeah, good one. Except he’s gay, so that kind of ruins it.”

Kind of ruins it…. Kind of ruins what? I don’t understand. What was she expecting to do with a magically acquired man that she couldn’t do with a gay one? I wanted Neil so we could hang out and talk… and so he could sing me songs from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. What if I had said Tom Felton or Johnny Depp? What deplorable, perverted things were you planning on doing to my man, lady??

But let’s be honest, nothing could ruin NPH. Not even snail sex. True story.

You would think that after 20+ years on this Earth, of 20+ years being around people, that would be enough time to stop being shocked or surprised by what came out of people’s mouths. It’s not. We all know it’s not nearly enough time. You could double that number, probably even triple it, maybe even quadruple it, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Sometimes, and this is only rarely, I wish I was Edward Cullen. Wait, hear me out. Because he was able to read people’s minds. Because behind every statement is the thought that lies beneath. Behind every question is the real question begging to be asked. Sometimes I wish I knew what people were actually thinking. And then I realize that I probably really, really don’t, because how terrifying would that be? I mean, sparkling in the sun? Not my idea of a good time.

Edward discovered that most people were thinking about sex or money. And sometimes cats. Which leads me back to Neil (the sex, not the cats). Why are we always thinking about sex? I’m not just talking about horny teenagers here, I mean throughout human history, dating all the way back to cave drawings and stick figure memes, sex has been an integral part of our lives, and it still is today. Tabloids and gossip magazines are always He cheated on her, or My mother’s having my baby, plus Guess who got caught, not to mention Their breaking up, and every once in a while Their getting back together, married, pregnant, divorced, and now she’s gay! on and on and on.

We, as a species, as a culture, are obsessed. Obsessed I say! Asking for a man with the State Farm song was only valid if I got a heterosexual man.

So here’s my two cents. Sex is not that important, not in the grand scheme of things, and not at the expense of other people. It seems like so much drama, whether real life or television life, stems from this. Don’t look at people as gateways to sex or salvation. Treat them as if they were human beings, because, baring any unforeseen pod people invasions, chances are they are.

Image.

We Will Never Forget

I remember exactly where I was eleven years ago today. I was in fourth grade making some sort of collage out of pictures I cut out of magazines. The teacher got a call, rushed out for a little while, then came back in. Her eyes were red and her cheeks were wet. She told us what happened. I didn’t understand. She brought a television in and we watched it replay on the news. I remember standing at my little desk, the blue safety scissors in one hand, a picture of a golden retriever puppy in the other. I remember staring at the screen, watching the building fall, the plume of dirt and concrete and smoke growing, expanding, consuming. People running. Yelling. I was crying. I remember not fully understanding what had just happened, or what it all meant, but I knew it was sad, so I cried.

To all those families who suffered, all the people who lost their lives, the civilians, the firefighters, the police, the mothers and fathers, the sisters and husbands… I will always remember you. We will never forget.

Here’s to you.

We are Made into Men and Women

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

–Simone de Beauvoir

In my Sociology of Gender class, we talked about how gender is not something that we are, that we are born into, but it is something we learn and then perform. People “do” gender. And this performance changes whether you are with your friends, with a lover, with your mother, at the store, in class. We act out gender according to circumstances.

I know I act differently when I’m with a group of my girlfriends then when I’m with a group of guys. And I assume guys don’t swear/hit on girls/drink when with their grandmother like they would if they were with their buds (not that all guys swear/hit on girls/drink). A business man or a politician would look very out of place hanging out with Lil Wayne or Arnold Schwarzenegger on the street. Both the politician and the Terminator are “masculine”, but in very different ways under very different circumstances.

I shall return in a timely fashion

Our performance lies in how we get ready every morning. I brush my hair, put on clothes that may or may not match, maybe put on make up, put on my Vans before I go out to school. Oh yeah, and I grab my homework and stuff. Can’t forget about that. Except right now we can. I present myself to the world in a very different way then my sister does.

My sister spends an hour or more every morning doing her make up, putting on foundation and… and… and I don’t even know what she does. She straightens her already straight hair for reasons I can’t begin to fathom, and her foundation consists of like three layers. Its like in The Uglies where the Pretties get new skin! She has an eyelash curler. For curly eyelashes. (What?) She has a very specific and coordinated set of clothing designated explicitly for public purpose, such as school or hanging out with friends, and when she gets home she changes into a tee shirt and shorts.

I ask her, “why do you change clothes?”

She says “because these are more comfortable.”

“Why not just wear the comfy clothes to school?”

She laughs. Apparently it doesn’t work that way.

My make up is usually just eyeliner; maybe a little mascara; and maybe, if I’m feeling extra fancy-pants, I wear lip gloss. Sometimes I wear guy clothes. Most the time I wear guy shoes. The way I present myself to the world is very different from the way my sister presents herself. Her public presentation is much different from her private one. She feels the very real need, perhaps even a pressure, to “act” feminine when in public.

This is a social pressure that’s acting upon her. It’s something she’s internalized that society has fed her. My question is: where has this come from? Why can’t my sister go out to see a movie at the dollar theater without dressing up? Why do I not feel the same pressure? and Do you do this?

Learn from the Giant Hamster Ball

Today, I was in a giant inflatable ball, rather like a hamster wheel. Here, let me show you a picture of one: Image

The Biological Engineering club had one on campus today. My friend somehow talked me into going inside of it. I can’t remember how she did it, I remember explicitly saying ‘no’ about a thousand times, and yet, somehow, I ended up in that giant hamster wheel. She must be a level twenty-seven word wizard!

My friend and I got in it together. It was exactly how I pictured it: my friend deviously throwing herself against the transparent walls, and me oh-so-gracefully flopping around inside. We acquired quite an audience, I’m told. I wouldn’t know, I was on my back most of the time. The rest of the time I was on my front, and just a few times I was on my face.

What does this have to do with anything? Good question. I will tell you. Always take opportunities. Even though I really, really wanted not to run around in the giant hamster wheel, I did. And even though it was humiliating, exhausting, confusing, topsy-turvy, backwards, strange, and slightly painful, it was the most fun I had in the past two weeks and something I will definitely never forget.

It seems as though in today’s world, whether it be business or home, women tend not to take all the opportunities they could. Women think “I’m not ready”, “I need more experience”, or “I don’t have enough education”. Whereas men tend to not worry so much about those kinds of things, and jump into opportunities like they jump into the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.

I didn’t feel I was coordinated enough for that ball. I figured I’d look the fool, the awkward, the weirdo. As soon as I stepped into that sphere though, it didn’t matter. I had to learn on the spot. I had to make sure my friend didn’t jump on my head (which she almost did. She must have Force-jumped over me or something, Good Lord!). Who cares if you’re not ready? Is anyone really “ready”? No. Life happens. Opportunities present themselves like fireflies in the night. You have to catch them when you see them, or you may never see them again.

Best Wishes,

thenerdfightingfeminist

I am a Feminist

Image I am a feminist. Yes, a feminist. Scary huh? And it probably came as a huge surprise.

What was the first image that sprung into your head? Hairy legs? Butch haircuts? Bra-burning and meetings of enraged housewives throwing down the man-hate? Maybe. Maybe not. Hopefully not.

Feminists get a bad rap. You tell girls you are one, and they give you a funny look. You tell the guys that, and they look at you horrified, like you’re about to kick them in the nads. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Well, I’m here to tell you that feminism is none of that. It’s about equality for everyone.

 

The other day I was reading a book called Powerful Women in History (okay, this isn’t the exact title, but it’s pretty close). As I was reading it, a guy walked past me, glanced at my book, did a double take, and stopped in his tracks. He backed up.

“Powerful Women in History?” he asked, head cocked to one side. “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”

I was stunned. Floored, even. I didn’t know what to say. The guy shrugged and went on his merry way thinking nothing of it.

That’s why I’m here. This is what I’m doing. Feminism is the “radical” notion that women are people, not women riding on the shoulders of men with an Indiana Jones’ whip yelling “YAH! FASTER, MY BITCH, FASTER!”

No. Not here. Not ever. Here, everyone has a voice. Here, everyone is equal. I am a student, a feminist, a nerd, and now, a blogger. I am here for you.