Saturday, August 1, 2015

Umm, Umm, Feminism

Welp, here it is. That inevitable post from a girl on her bliggity-blog about feminism. We made it this far, but it just couldn't be helped. Really, I'm sorry, but it's gone far enough.

So, yes, hi, my name is Alexis. I'm a girl who works in contractor sales in a major hardware/big-box store. I have been playing guitar for eight years now. I enjoy cooking, organizing, and the very occasional scrap-booking stint. I drink beer. I wear exclusively Victoria's Secret underwear. I enjoy playing Minecraft (like a lot). I like puppies and kitties and don't hesitate to pet them. I really enjoy stand-up comedy. And I'm a feminist.

Now, here's where I feel I have to justify to you people. I shouldn't have to, but if I'm going to write this, I'm going to hash this shit out fully so I don't need to come back to it next August.

To me, feminism isn't a cult. It isn't a group of women who use rape culture to instill fear into women and to shame men into simply agreeing to ease the tension. Feminism may have brought out that kind of thinking for some women (okay, a lot of women), but inherently, feminism is a movement brought about by oppression. It isn't the women or the men who support the idea. As Christianity is inherently about the salvation of the people through the death of some dude named Jesus, feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

Christianity has a bad reputation. Because of some of the particularly loud voices of ignorant folks and the teachings muddled by time and creative story-telling, the message has been skewed. I'm not a Christian by any means, but that doesn't mean I think that Christianity shouldn't exist and that people out there don't need it to get on with their day-to-day lives. To me, an ideology is not about me. It's not about the people, but the message it carries, and the way people treat that message says a lot about the character of a person.

When you see a message like that of feminism's fundamental idea, where the whole idea is that women have, in the past and present, been treated as lesser than that of their male counterparts, and you immediately turn to a woman who believes in the idea, and you say, "I don't need that, and nobody else does either. That is a stupid idea," you are grabbing that idea out of the hands of people who need it, and saying to them, "No. You don't need feminism because I don't need it. You are not as important as me. Also, feminism shouldn't even exist in Western society because it's worse somewhere else, and anyone that has it better than someone else should just be grateful they aren't like those who are worse off."

So, say a child grew up with his parents in a a two-bedroom house in a very poor neighborhood in the city that they rent from the father's boss. The child shares a bedroom with his older sister and sometimes, his mother sleeps with them in their bed. The father is a serious drug addict and alcoholic, and he often gets wasted and beats the child's mother in a fit of rage. He works as a painter and constantly brings home junk from the work-sites that he deems valuable, and leaves it piled to the ceiling in what used to be the dining room. The child has two family dogs, both of whom live in fear of a master that beats them irregularly.

When his parents fight, his sister takes him outside and keeps him busy until things quiet down. Now, his sister is only six, and he is only four, so they don't have any control over the situation. The boy might not even remember any of this. But he is alive, and the school they go to gives them two full meals a day, which is a lot more than they get at home.

This child grows up, not remembering anything that happens to him, filled with hate and rage that he can't understand. He threatens his mother and punches holes in the walls.

But, wait. This child doesn't work in a sweat shop. He isn't part of a child army. So he should be grateful he had two awful parents that, at the end of the day, didn't really care about his well-being enough to figure out a solution to the fights or the poverty. He shouldn't complain, because he had a roof over his head and a warm bed to sleep in, and wet when he slept because of the things he witnessed when he was awake.

Doesn't it make sense that more than one thing can be wrong? Just because one situation is worse than another doesn't make it any less relevant. Do we not want to improve in all aspects of our lives? Or should I just accept my fate as a woman who is spoken to as if I were an object? Am I just supposed to lay there and take it, just because someone else has it worse? No. We can fight for something better.

You can be a feminist and not be someone who cries rape when someone hands her a menu at a cafe. You can be a Christian and not be someone who crucifies a person who heals someone's wounds in a way deemed miraculous. You can be someone who believes in something, and not believe everything that someone else believes who takes claim to a cause.

Feminism is not leveling the playing field between men and women.
Feminism is not crying rape to every side-glance at a baseball game.
Feminism is not making all men take responsibility for all the bad things done to all women in the past.

Feminism is making sure that men and women are both considered as humans.
Feminism is letting women know that they can do what they want and feel okay with it.
Feminism is giving everyone equal ground. It;s giving everyone the same pile of dirt to stand on, and giving everyone the same rules for being allowed to stand on that pile of dirt and say their piece. Now, feminism gives you the right to say something. It doesn't make you right. You make you right. Feminism allows you the ability to say what you want to say and what you want to do. It's up to you to make your voice right.

Feminism doesn't make you right. It just allows you to say so.

And that's all.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jerbs and Jorbs

Work is hard. Working in retail is really hard. It's so hard you can't even button your pants unless you use your belt to keep it from escaping like a leather jail cell. Now you have a big roll of quarters coming out of your pocket and your shirt's not long enough to cover it up. Retail is realizing you hate people more than anything else, yet forcing yourself to come back to it because you get a little more money each time you quell your anger for another day.

Now, I might be okay with being in retail if I had any desire for attention from the opposite sex. Every day, you get some dude (multiple times every day) who thinks his penis is going to be the answer to all your problems. "Hey, sexy, cheer up!" "Smile, you look cuter that way!" "What's wrong, darling? I'm here now."

I'm not saying that it's the lady's fault for doing what I'm about to discuss, so before you get your pissy feminist panties in a bunch, just hear me out.

What happens when dudes hit on you while you're working? You laugh. You let out a nervous giggle and that smile gives that guy validation. Now he thinks you liked it. Even if you were only laughing because you didn't know what else to do, because you are literally trapped at that register and he isn't being violent, and you are afraid to ask him to stop for fear that he will become angry.

When someone says, "Hey, sexy," he is breaking the unspoken professional atmosphere of the workplace because he doesn't think he needs to be professional with you. That is something that, if you do not want it, you should feel comfortable in saying, "Sir, I would really appreciate it if you didn't call me sexy." And he will get mad. I've been there, and I have made that guy angry. I also made his more polite friend embarrassed, and he gave me an apology on his friend's behalf for his behavior after I asked him not to call me 'sexy.'

Note, that when I ask someone not to call me a derogative name, I am not immediately upset with the person. Now, if they act like I am a bitch after I politely ask them to stop, I get angry. I have a right, just the same as anyone else, to expect a certain level of professionalism at my job. My rule of thumb goes like this: if you wouldn't say it to a male salesman (cashier, manager, whomever), don't say it to a female. I am not less of a person, and I will not tolerate being treated like a subhuman.

Being a woman anywhere near a cash register is dangerous territory. Even if you have never operated a register before, you are automatically a cashier to people. I am a twenty-something year old lady, and that is the traditional cashier person. So I get it, I guess. I get paid to design decks and order products that other folks in the store do not know how to get access to, but when I am near a register, people slap their shit down on that counter with such self-loving smug smiles that I want to run away and never work again. But I try to help out when I can, so I run register occasionally.

But when I am taking my vest off, and I am not even at the register with the gun in my hand, and the light isn't even on, you shouldn't just assume I'm going to throw my vest back on and serve you. Especially if I am not a cashier. I am not a "little asshole" for not catering to you, Mr. Man, when I am not even a cashier, and I am trying to go home after receiving an especially frustrating barrage of sexual comments all day long. I'm tired of people, and I am not going to serve you, sir. Just get in the cashier's line and go home, please. Do us all a favor.

I can't go a day without someone trying to hit on me when I am running register. I just don't get that when I am not behind the counter. People treat me differently when I am on the sales floor. I want respect, and if that means asking you to stop calling me baby or sexy, then I will continue to make people angry, I suppose. I am the bitch for wanting the same treatment that men get.

I guess I have to be the bitch if things are ever going to change.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Failure McFailsalot (and It Works)

Nah, it's cool. Nobody even reads this thing, so I didn't fail at all! So, it's next year. Didn't realize I avoided this thing for a year, but here we are and I am doing jack shit with my life. I'm thinking of cool things I could do, but then I come home and play Minecraft until I go to sleep, and another day is lost.

Even now that I've got a normal-dude nine-to-five job (still in retail god damn it), and I don't even work the fucking weekends, I'm still blowing all my opportunities to success. I don't have any motivation and I am lame and lazy and whatever. But hey, here I am writing a blog post, trying to busy myself while my beer defrosts.

So, I didn't actually have a purpose when I started writing this, but when I looked through my pointless photo library (mostly screenshots of scary creepy stuff that has no context), I saw Mr. Doctor Don over here with his wacky bullshit and marketing scams and pyramid schemes and I knew I had my man.

Mister Doctor Don is the man behind the annoying woman on your Facebook or at your place of employment who constantly pimps out her "side business" and asks you if you've got any problem areas you'd like to address. *Wink wink nudge nudge* *Honey we all see those love handles in those Abercrombies* *Your arms swing like elephant ears when you scan my chocolate bar*

If you haven't heard of the It Works product line, aren't you lucky? I think I'm up to three ladies on Facebook alone that sell this glorified plastic wrap. Every day they try to sell me and their friends products. Free product advertising, and people all over the place doing Mister Doctor Don's work. All he has to do is come to the occasional meeting. "Yep, those are charts! Keep selling! God loves ya!"

The It Works system is basically this: put this wrap on your body, wait, and take it off. Get immediate results (usually. And if you don't, you're doing it wrong), but you have to keep doing it to keep the results. It, from what I can understand, not being in the industry and all, basically sucks out water weight. Your bloat is usually something that can go down on its own if you didn't eat like a piece of garbage, but you're lazy and miracle products are just so easy.

So you've got like three more friends that joined the cult since I started writing this post three days ago because I can't concentrate enough to write something in a day. They post the same thing every day. "I love my job!" In hash tags, of course. They love their jobs because they haven't had a job outside of running a fucking cash register and being told when they're allowed to pee.

It seems that Mister Doctor Don has found a wonderfully stupid grift in the system and he's exploiting the hell out of it. And that's fine. Stupid people are the easiest kind of people to get money from. Take note: they're not making Hardee's (Carl's Jr, you liberal west coast fucks) commercials for Mister Lab Coat. Tits and ass and big, wet burgers are not necessarily the appeal to NASA. But bum-fuck rednecks polishing their guns at their kitchen table with the TV turned on are going to look up when they hear a sex-fueled guitar riff in the middle of their NCIS. "Hey, Sharon! Let's get some Hardee's!"

If you were offended by this article please send me a comment and start it out with "Listen here, bitch. It Works is TOTALLY not a pyramid scheme." You got people above you making money when you sell something? You make money when someone below you sells something? Pyramid scheme.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Progressing and Procrastination

Don't fret; I'm still working on the last thing I said I was going to do. Uhh, yeah, the Video Dame thing? That's the one. It's got an intro, which I accidentally titled "into.avi," leaving me a little stressed when I couldn't find the saved file yesterday. Stupid VideoPad doesn't automatically save its video files in the video library on my computer. Shouldn't it be a little more intuitive? Bah. Oh, well.

Star Trek! That's the first video film review I'll be doing. Well, I'll really just be throwing my card into the stack of others who have taken it upon themselves to join the Star Wars and Star Trek debate. But my opinions are from a new generation of viewers, and I've got some things to say that need to be said. As you can see, I lean to the ST side, but I can see the merit in SW as well. Mostly I just want to talk about how they aren't even comparable, and well, you'll see.

I'll be laying the ground work today for the show, and by tomorrow, I'm hoping to have some major points pieced together to start production.

If I can get my ass together.

Right now, I'm obviously stalling, trying to come up with the best way to make points without sounding like I'm brow-beating the audience for caring when I do. I don't want to just copy other people's review styles, though. I really enjoy RedLetterMedia's style, which is the perfect mix of comedy, "nomedy," and stage sets that create a real sense that you're with the characters they portray instead of just being told how things are. It's as if they bring you into their world and give you a beer.

Another dude who speaks to me is the Angry Video Game Nerd, and not just because he's some angry guy about shitty video games, but because he understands that there is a limit to how much anger is needed in his videos to get his point across.

I honestly like any reviewer who gets that you don't need to yell at the camera for five minutes to be funny. If I can not be like that, I think I'll be okay.

I guess I'll get back to work now, but my procrastination always ends up leading me here, so if you see me making blog posts, it means I'm at least thinking about trying to make something, so it's a step in the right direction. So without further ado, I shall be on my way.

Thanks for sticking around with me and always coming back to read my junk. Much love.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mock-Ups and Mayhem

What am I doing now?! Starting a new project, of course. But this time, it's serious! I'm still working on my video game, but with my newfound discovery of how easy Photoshop can be, I begin creating mock-ups for my potential channel on YouTube. Kill me! Why am I doing this?

Because I can, and I've always wanted to make content videos, but I was too scared before, and also, pretty much in the dark ages as far as video equipment goes. With my shotgun mic coming in the post today and my DSLR, I can finally make things without it sounding or looking like a giant mass of gross, uneditable crap.

And since the internet doesn't like blogs anymore (at least not the mass majority), why not switch to video format? It's not like anyone is really awaiting my posts here since they tend to be on the sporadic side. I just need to spend some time making content that won't make me look like an idiot in front of the camera, which is a real possibility because I am awkward as fuck.

If you're at all interested in what the content will be, I'll give you some details. Mostly, it'll be reviews on movies and video games, as well as me playing 'retro' games for the first time. But it's not completely planned out. I'll need to do some testing on the equipment when it gets here, and then some test runs of me talking to the camera so I can find some kind of groove with it.

So, if you're still reading and you have any opinions on this junk, just let me know in the comments. Tips, comments, put-downs, or otherwise.

I'll still keep the blog up. Who knows when I'll want to update Pill Collins? Maybe I'll add some progress pictures of Cool Naked Jim as well. Who am I kidding? I need this blog. :)
Okay, well, signing off, 
the Video Dame.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


What am I doing?

Yeah, I know I'm a complete failure at blogging. But hey, it made my Google+ views go way up without ever creating a Google+ account. And today, when I finally did, holy shit. Dem views. I'm, like, popular? No, not really. In reality, I'm an awkward, tiny-handed girl who works in a field in which questions like "Is there a man that could help me with this?" get asked every day.

I'm a girl. I'm a shitty designer. I take pictures and I start hobbies I can't finish. Is there a point at which someone like me finally buckles down and picks a hobby to get really good at, or am I doomed to roam the earth forever, spouting jokes and learning the bare minimum needed to talk about a hobby?

Lately, I've been thinking (oh, surprise, surprise). What should I be doing with my life? Working retail and thinking about what I want to do with my life? Watching videos of other people succeeding and sucking up their happiness like a sponge at the bottom of a draining sink? No, man! I wanna be hip to it! I want the good stuff and I want to be really good at something.

But what? I like designing this video game I'm working on.

Cool Naked Jim is too cool to go into right now.

I like photography, and I can do it while I do other stuff. Like traveling and hiking, which is also really cool. Or should I make a movie? I have an idea. Just like my millions of book ideas, or my many drawings, or singer/songwriting stint in which I called myself "The Seduction of Alien Tears" like I was a one-man band. Lots of potential, and lots of ambition, but with less than half the motivation required for me to keep at it.

Help? How do I do things like a real adult? How does one finish a project? I don't think I ever have.

There is a motivation inside of me, but it's fueled by competition. I like to be better than others at things. It fills me with weird accomplishment. But then there are those better than me. And they take away that motivation without ever knowing I even tried to beat them at something.

Maybe I should just take up knitting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Wise words from some guy everyone likes to quote on the internet, often set to a beach or forest background, are the words that have come to shape my life. I have nearly always been a drifter in some manor, whether it be through friends, career ideas, or even my long-winded scheme to move everyone I knew across the country because other places sounded a million times better than my home town.

Actually, the phrase is from a poem for Lord of the Rings by J.R.Tolkien. In case you were wondering. Not Abraham Lincoln or Drake or some other popular internet meme guy who has little to do with the words strewn across his face.
Photo Source 
These words seem to appeal to many whose lives have been pretty lackluster, mostly as a future they picture themselves becoming a part of. Some never seem to get out of a rut they put themselves into, but some never seem to consider anything else but this current life as all they'll become.

Stop it.

You can't wait for this kind of life. You have to breathe it. You sometimes must be awakened at 3am by the urge to drive out of state and the passion to do so. The drive to your destination must be nearly as important to you as the place you're going. The little rest stops along the way are going to fill up your memories the same way the beaches of Tampa Bay, FL, will, so don't treat them as necessary evils. Treat each moment as something you'll want to remember when you can't drive away so easily.

If you want to be a traveler, you've just got to do it. Pack up some clothes, throw them in the back of your car, and don't worry about whether or not they'll look okay when you get there. Don't let anything hold you back. If you let it hold you back, it probably will.

Traveling is a passion. It's like painting. Sometimes you start out with the intention to paint fruit, but end up with something only you can interpret as an apple. You might set out on a hike, but end up finding a really awesome meadow to take a picture of. You set out for the hills, but instead you find a valley. You still went somewhere, but just because you didn't plan to go there, it didn't mean you didn't like it any less.

Don't just want to travel. Be a traveler. And be happy.