I’m almost done with my first two years of school, and so I’ve gotten the *pleasure* of dealing with a select few of the scary species of the college misogynist. They manage to disguise themselves as some activists and some just normal people. Also, they come in way too many shapes and sizes (including young women). The ones that I’d have to deal with aren’t great at covering it up. They speak about women like objects to have sex with, or someone to have on their arm. A woman to many of these people is a thing to buys drinks for. They speak up in classes about their opinions of women, some of which might not seem so twisted, but that’s the way they get to you.
I’ve managed to run into one specific one, that in front of a classroom full of majority women, decided it would be appropriate to talk about how rape culture is a myth. He droned on about how women didn't know how to take a compliment. He said that he wished more women would pay him more mind. His rhetoric was basically saying that any girl is lucky to even have him say anything to them, so the women should feel flattered or something. I didn't even know how to talk to him to the point that he’d understand: YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO MY ATTENTION. ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE GOING TO OBJECTIFY ME.
If you are unfortunate and have to encounter any of these people, there are a few things I recommend. For one, for your own sanity, you could probably ignore him. If you’re like me, and sort of getting bothered by the very fact that he would even consider bringing this up in front of a group of mostly women, you could say something.
Fact is, that rape culture on college campuses is far from gone, but attitudes like this are something that makes rape culture rampant, to begin with. In a world where one in six women will be a victim to attempted or completed rape, and college being a place to learn first and foremost, we need to start talking to young misogynists to help change their attitudes, and hopefully, change college campuses, and soon enough the world.
Hey guys! So since I haven’t been posting lately, I thought my first post of the new year and my first post back would be a reintroduction, and also sort of how I was (properly and improperly) managing my stress this past semester.
Let me preface this with the fact that this past semester was the hardest one yet. I was taking many classes, one of which felt like a part time job. Not only that, but I also had an actual part time job. Keeping up with the schoolwork I had as well as my own personal work was kind of a hard decision, only because it came down to giving up something I loved doing, blogging.
So what could I possibly do this semester to help?
For one, I think getting back to journaling will help. I started a thirty day journaling challenge, mostly because I realized I wasn’t writing, and I love writing, so making space for myself to do so is good for me. My notebook is that space right now. Being able to reflect, even if it’s only a few sentences a day, is important to ground myself in the day to day.
Another journaling thing is the fact that I love taking the time to do it at all. It’s a time to step away and sort of just work on yourself for a bit. With the chaos of school and work, sometimes self care isn’t the easiest thing to fit in, but I feel like the few minutes a day of reflection is a good place to start.
For the coming semester, I can promise myself that I will aim to have less stress and aim to handle the stress I do have in a healthy, effective way. What do you do for management of stress, whether or not it's college involved or not?
If you have been on the internet anytime recently, it would be likely to think that you have seen the #metoo hashtag gain popularity. If you haven’t, to summarize, it’s a hashtag that was started ten years ago by a woman named Tarana Burke, but gained international traction a few weeks ago. It is a way to show how many people have been sexually assaulted in hopes that the sheer number of people can make an impact.
Much of the problem of this trend comes when people shut down certain people from telling their stories. Not only that, but many people don't feel safe enough to come forward with any part of their story, or tell people they have a story at all. Many people have the courage and the safety to come forward about their experiences, but what about the ones who don’t? Overall, I think this movement is a step in the right direction of recognizing and encouraging women who have been through these kinds of traumatic experience, as well as starting a conversation about how to end the epidemic of sexual assault all over the world.
With Halloween coming up, much of what is on all of our social feeds is Halloween-related. Many people go out and have fun on Halloween, as whatever they want. Some of these costumes might be showing some skin, and some not at all. But with the ones that do show skin comes something very haunting. DUN DUN DUN! Slut shaming!
I’m never going to understand why slut shaming is a thing. For one, it shouldn’t matter what someone wears as a costume. The night is for fun, and no one’s costume should get in the way of them having fun. Instead of looking at young women’s costume and wondering where the other part of it is, look at her, and notice that she’s probably trying to have the time of her life in that costume.
If you see the girl at the party whose outfit might be judged, look out for her. People often make advances that she doesn't want or need, and she often doesn't feel safe. This holiday is supposed to be fun, and everyone should be able to be safe and comfortable, however they decide to dress. Don't be the monster this Halloween and let people do what they want!
Technology is doing anything but going backwards. With every idea under the sun for an app or a website, it can often be hard to find the ones that work for you, or that are even worth looking at. Here are some of my favorites.
When I asked my audience about video content, a lot of you said you would enjoy it, and would watch it. This is part of something I did for school, but let me know if this (or something like this) would be something you would like!
For years, I struggled with self confidence. Now, there are probably many reasons behind this, but one thing that I can attribute it to is not knowing what I liked style-wise. I went through a period where I was dressing what some would call “emo”. I have, up until recently, struggled to know what I like to wear and what looks good on my body.
I would describe my personal style now as bohemian, but also hipster and artsy. I like flowy, and high-waisted stuff. (I know that doesn’t mean anything specific, but I’m not very sure of how else to explain it).
Over the past few years, I’ve changed my style a lot, but I think it’s been a good thing for me. By finding a style that I like and that looks good on me. This has ultimately allowed me to gain confidence in myself, and carry myself differently than I did years ago. Overall, I think finding my own style made a huge difference in my confidence growth
If you have had the pleasure of being on the feminist-y part of the internet lately, you have probably noticed the two sides. One that is entirely supportive of feminism, and the other side that makes fun of the feminist movement by using words like “feminazi” and “social justice warrior”. My question to the world will be focused on the latter.
When using the word “social justice warrior” as an insult towards the activist and feminist communities, I wonder where that insult came from. When did fighting for human rights become a bad thing? I also wonder if this word is just used towards the feminist community, or if it is used towards many different activist groups.
I wonder why people feel that safe spaces and trigger words make someone weak? People seem to be so insensitive when it comes to mental illness. If someone were allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t question why they didn’t want you to eat peanut butter near them. I don't understand why trigger words and safe spaces are any different.
Overall, I don’t see the problem with being a social justice warrior, or calling yourself one. I think the people using it as a negative thing don't quite understand that being a social justice warrior can be a good, rewarding thing, because we are working towards a better, more equal world.
1. Name - Aaron Tsuru
2. Age - 44 (yikes, when did that happen?)
3. Instagram handle @tsurufoto
4. Where are you from? Originally from Tampa, FL currently live in Brooklyn, NY
5. What inspires you? So much! I'm literally inspired everyday by things I see, read, and experience, but in my work, I'm mostly inspired by people's selfies, specifically nude selfies. For cis women, transgender men & women, and non-binary peeps, I can't think of much more bold and empowering than claiming ownership of your body in all wonderful shapes, sizes, colors, bumps, and lumps, being proud and confident, and having a little fun with something as normal yet taboo as being naked. Instead of being presented nude from the male gaze or from someone else's point of view, it is you presenting yourself how you want. I love that. And the more natural and real and, therefore, brave after all the years of conditioning about what beauty is "supposed to" look like from tv, magazines, movies, and the attitudes from people surrounding us, the better. <3
6. Why did you choose women's' bodies as your subject? See #5. It's not just cisgender women though, it's transgender & non-binary people as well.
7. Describe how you think your art can make a change. I think we, as a society, have built up some pretty fucked up and extremely narrow views of what is considered normal and/or beautiful. Especially when you consider most all the things society looks to for guidance is faked out through photoshopping, meaning what society thinks we should be looking like isn't even real. I want to show people that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and with all kinds of flesh globules in all kinds of shapes, it truly comes from within. I think we need to normalize reality again, normalize it and embrace it and cherish it and love it. Love what makes us unique and let's stop striving for some social construct. How many of us hide ourselves out of fear of rejection. I know I do. But dammit, my body is a wonderland unique to itself, I should love it, my partner should love it, and we should love each other and have fun with our silly bodies!
8. By displaying the naked woman, you put something out there that can sometimes be taboo. Do you get a lot of hate for that? Not hate in the way you see in politics or anything. The most I get is a lot of ew and gross, but oddly, that's almost always on the work with body hair, quite possibly the most natural thing of all. Look, when it comes to body hair, you should do what you want to do for yourself that makes you feel good. Shave, trim, go natural, arms, legs, pits, bushes, whatever. You do you and everyone else can go fuck themselves.
9. Do you consider yourself a feminist and/or an activist? How does your art affect your activism? Yes I do. It's very important to me. It affects everything because it's part of everything. It baffles me that in 2017 that not only do we still have to fight this, but it's actually become worse.
If you are someone able to get pregnant between the ages of 16-30, you've probably partially considered getting birth control. But if you are working part time, a student, or someone who plain just can't afford birth control (who wants it and can't afford it), it's probably hard to live day to day.
Now, some people might argue that birth control is a privilege, not a right. I see where this is coming from, but as a woman, I see how it should be considered a right. For one, no one should be able to control your body except for you. That includes whether or not you want to be on birth control.
For women that do want to be on birth control, it can be hard to access it. Not only can it be pricey, but it also might be hard to find a doctor or clinic to prescribe it. But something to think about is that the women who can't afford birth control or other services like it, can often be the ones to have many babies, which can be even more expensive. In situations like this, it's hard to not see the cycle.
So, what do we do about it? Well first, I think it is so important to work towards opening more Planned Parenthood’s, not closing them. Clinics like Planned Parenthood provide all kinds of people with comprehensive health care, and can help close the gap of the cost of birth control and contraception for many people.