21 March 2006

Last night I was stupidly watching some jerk on CBN (that's Christian Broadcasting Network) talk about celibacy and chastity for women. Of course, this asshole was male, and he was wearing a bunch of really annoying rings, including a wedding ring, which he kept neurotically twisting as he spoke. But the thing that was truly intriguing about what he was saying was that his views about celibacy and chastity until marriage were very apparently appropriating the language of feminism in order to bolster his ideology.

He was very specifically promoting the idea that women and men should wait to have sex (meaning heterosexual intercourse) until marriage. He also believes that any form of birth control is against God's will, or something, since it interrupts the very godly purpose of hetero intercourse which is of course to procreate. So--his idea is that each and every act of intercourse should have the intention to create life--in other words, sex for pleasure or intimacy is wrong and bad. No surprise. Yet, the very fashion in which this jerk was promoting this oppressive ideology is by using the language of liberation, power and female strength.

He kept saying things like "Chastity provides a way for young women to be in control of their lives" and "If girls realize that not having sex because a guy wants you to will make you more powerful . . ." and so on. His basic policy is that women should not have sex just because some guy wants to have it. Duh!!! Feminism has for years, decades even, been promoting the idea that women and men should be able to determine when and how they engage in sex. Of course a woman should not have sex just because some dude wants her to. What intrigues me so much about this nonsense is how he twists the idea of self-determination and self-respect so that it only includes chastity and virginity. There is no room whatsoever for true and real female agency that may or may not include sexual pleasure. His view is that sex is only for breeding. But by making it sound like he has young women's interests at heart he is wildly misusing the language of female empowerment to advance a very repressive agenda. And please--birth control is wrong because it interrupts God's plan? Birth control was one of the most important inventions in the history of the world, as far as I am concerned, since it made it possible for heterosexual women to have sex and experience sexual pleasure without the constant fear of pregnancy. Of course, this ring-twisting asshole knows this, and thus his repressive, woman-hating, heteronormative agenda. This guy made me so mad I wanted to immediately find out who he was and send him an email, but 24 was coming on and I had to get my Jack Bauer fix.

18 March 2006

I have been vegetarian for a really long time. Lately, and actually for several years, I have been thinking about the next step. Yes--I mean veganism. It is the logical progression from vegetarianism. Just as the logical step of letting go of my attachment to my long hair was shaving my head, the next step in extending my philosophy about animals is to become vegan.

I had a moment of epiphany a year or so ago when I was eating in this amazing japanese restaurant called Kyoto with my sister and her husband. They live in Humboldt County in Northern California, a place that is accustomed to vegetarianism, and the server asked me if I was vegetarian or vegan. I answered that I was an "aspiring" vegan. At the time, I hadn't really thought that much about it. But later that evening I realized that I had no excuse to continue to consume dairy products and eggs.

So this month of March 2006 is my transition month from vegetarianism to veganism. I will no longer consume animal products of any kind. I will no longer purchase shoes made from leather. I will no longer eat ice cream, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, sour cream, whipped cream, cottage cheese or yogurt. No more butter. Yikes.