Earth-friendly menstrual products for your duderus

Ever since Tina said “duderuses” on Bob’s Burgers I decided to use it all the time.

I won’t tell you what time of the month it is because this is the internet but I’m eating a lot of chocolate and I feel fat and I’m turning into a monster, as all duderus-containing people are wont to do. We are all chocolate-eating fat-pants-wearing weepy messes for a whole week. RIGHT?! JKJK.

But seriously this chocolate is great. And I’m not wearing my fat pants but I’m wearing a big fuzzy hoodie. And I’m NOT TURNING INTO A MONSTER OKAY!?!

But seriously. I’m not eating chocolate. Even though it is great.

You know what else is great? The environment. In an effort to protect it, I use a bunch of hippie things. I used to have a Diva Cup, but it didn’t ever work quite right for me, and when I couldn’t get the stem clean (it’s a hollow tube thing) I wound up tossing it because I’d been using it for 5 years and that is approximately a LOT in tampon years, so it did its part. So now I have the Lunette. It’s a bluish color, no hollow stem, and it fits my anatomy pretty well. And it came in a blue bag instead of a magenta floral one… although when it comes to menstrual cups I don’t care if the marketing is cutesy as long as it makes them un-scary enough for more women to want to use them.

I recently discovered this weirdo cup called the Femmycycle that I want to share. It looks like an alien condom slash mini terrarium slash itty bitty gold fish bowl. Has anyone used one of these? Curious! When I’m thru with the Lunette I’m thinking of trying this. Technological innovation in the menstrual cup department makes me SUPER EXCITED because it means people with brains talent money and resources are not afraid of our scary dudterus-having bodies.

Even though I don’t mind frilly marketing if it gets people excited about using reusable menstrual products, I hate pink and white and swirly reusable pads because I have to look at that every time I have to pee. So I found a few for you duderus-having people who want something more gender-neutral, mostly on Etsy, like this navy blue set.

Or Johnny Depp:

Anime fan? Cupcake fan? Cartoony clouds and paper airplanes? The Wings of Love Etsy shop has so many designs that are NOT pink and floral.

And I can’t resist linking to this one, because everyone loves penguins. Everyone.

That shop also has themed ones, which I think is going a little too far: I’m having a period, I don’t need to go all Martha Stewart and match my tablecloths to my pads. But maybe YOU want to express your love for thanksgiving or halloween.

Or maybe you hate your duderus and you want it to stop bleeding so to get back at the damn thing, you just want to let loose a bunch of spiders on it! Or spiderMAN! Or skulls and crossbones because everything is the worst!!

Wait. Wait. This… right here… has to be my favorite: a bloodspatter print reusable cloth pad!! I hope they bought the fabric that way…

Anyways these are just some of the ones I like for myself. There are artsy ones, comic ones, cutesy ones, patterned ones. Nothing particularly butch (except for this dapper gingham and this argyle number), but still… Etsy is way better for this stuff than anywhere else I’ve looked.

I wonder how many people will find this post by looking up “duderus”.

“Where the bois are” in NYMagazine evokes conflicting feelings, leaves much unanswered

This article about boi culture in NYMagazine is a really interesting read. Although this article covers a subculture that’s filling an important niche in the queer world, this article seems very dismissive and negative to me. Let’s see what lovely truth-nuggets this reporter has uncovered for us!

First off it’s funny when reporters delve into a subculture.

Secondly, the ageism here is really interesting, as is the rejection of queer politics while at the same time embodying the very same gender-defiance that was made possible by a previous generation of gender-rule-breaking women/womyn.

Boihood has nothing to do with earth mothers or sisterhood or herbal tea, and everything to do with being young, hip, “sex positive,” a little masculine, and ready to rock.

Also note how “sex positive” is in quotes: it’s not political sex positivity; it’s sex positivity in a perpetual-teenager sense.

Some hypothetical questions off the top of my head: Is it a positive thing to have this culture where you no longer have to be militantly political 24/7, this sense that most enemies of LGBT society are vanquished? Or is it an excuse to act like kids even into adulthood because growing up is just too hard? Does it come from a positive environment surrounding LGBT acceptance, or is it a result of a negative youth-oriented age-ist culture? Is it a redefinition of female masculinity in the same way effeminate men redefine masculinity? Or is it brattiness?

As one butch interviewed for the article said:

What’s new is seeing these kids who really seem to be striving for a certain kind of juvenilia, not just masculinity. They really want to be kids. This hit me when I saw this girl—this boi, I guess—barreling out of a store in Chelsea in huge, oversize jeans, a backpack, and a baseball cap pulled down low. And she was running as if she were late for the school bus . . . Her whole aura was so completely rough-and-tumble 8-year-old that I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had a slingshot in one pocket and a frog in the other.

Whether or not it’s necessarily a bad thing to reject “adult” queer culture is debatable. There does seem to be a flexibility in gender roles that is refreshing: some bois date butches, some date femmes, some date other bois, some transition and use male pronouns, some remain female-identified. It’s become non-political in terms of feminism and homosexuality, but in terms of gender they seem to be filling the spectrum from male to female and bridging the gender gap.

The article seems to have found “one of each” bois with douchey views: one that uses misogynistic rhetoric like “bros before hos”, one that is against transgender bois, one that thinks boi-on-boi or butch-on-butch is gross and that likewise femme-on-femme is “air”, one that thinks “butch-femme” is stupid. They also found a femme who is fed up with bois because of her perception that they represent the feminization of butch women.

Maybe this is a product of too many conflicting expectations put on people within the LGBT community, and a young generation even less concerned with rules and politics than their predecessors. The biggest take-away from this article for me was this subculture is about subverting the binary, generally: masculine-of-center dykes don’t have to be macho butch anymore, and male-identified people don’t have to medically transition anymore. But the other take-away is that this culture is associated with exclusion, artsiness, youth, insolence, and lack of respect for others, which seems to do a disservice to non-binary people who are older, more political, more butch, more femme, more traditional, less traditional, less promiscuous.

This article never purported to seek out a representative sample of lesbians, but it never made clear that not all young LGBT people are like this and that this subculture is a luxury in cities such as NYC and San Fran where politics have become so progressive as to render gay rights virtually obsolete, attracting LGBT youth to a scene promising an escape from the gravity of being outsiders in a heteronormative world.

And at the end of the day, having a less-masculine-yet-still-potentially-male-identified subculture is awesome: people female assigned at birth who transition/don’t transition but identify as male don’t have to prove their masculinity? Awesome!! It’ll be interesting to see how this movement evolves with time and becomes more age-inclusive.

What are your thoughts?

LGBT movie review: “Cloudburst”

So I’m going to try therapy again this week because I literally couldn’t get out of bed til 3 today and it just hurt to get dressed and make coffee. I’ve been too stubborn to let therapy work before, but I think I might be dealing with the big D. (not that. you dirty-minded reader you.)

Since I have been working on my thesis proposal all weekend, I decided to let myself have at least half of today to relax and watch “Cloudburst”, one of my favorite lesbian movies. It’s just cute as f***. To feel more productive, I will write you dudes-in-the-gender-neutral-sense a lovely movie review!

Enjoy.


 

Stella and Dot are two elderly lesbians in their ’70s who live together in a small Maine town. Stella, a foul-mouthed stubborn butch, spends much of her time taking care of Dot, her mostly blind partner of 30 years. Dot appears to be the only person with the patience to put up with Stella’s dirty commentary; while Stella seems to be the only one with the patience to describe the world to blind Dot.

Dot: "What shapes are the clouds?"  Stella: "I see a donkey, pulling two nuns and a beagle."

Dot: “What shapes are the clouds?”
Stella: “I see a donkey, pulling two nuns and a beagle.

One night Dot hurts her back after Stella breaks out a vibrating dildo. Nobody taught them about safe sex. Dot’s granddaughter, Molly, wants to put her in a nursing home, fearing any worse injury. Stella chases her out of the house with hot tea and flour.

Dot: The doctor says it will be six weeks before you can slap my ass again.

Molly, who seems to have a lot of denial about her grandma being a lesbian (oh honey…), tricks Dot into signing a contract to put her in a nursing home.

Molly’s boyfriend tries to explain why Stella cares so much that they’re taking Dot away to the Bangor, ME nursing home. Molly remains oblivious.

Tommy: They’re clam smashers!

Molly: They have clams in Bangor!

Molly’s policeman boyfriend is not entirely cooperative, but is completely whipped and so managed to get Dot into the car. He gets this lovely visual, courtesy of Stella:

I’m not your grandmother, Tommy Warkovsky. But I did get to second base with her… in the 7th grade!!

Oh Tommy how will you sleep at night?

Stella proceeds to break Dottie out of the nursing home, and they decide to get married in Nova Scotia so that Stella can get legal custody of Dot.

Stella: "It's like being 9 years old all over again."  Nursing home security guard: "Hey, I don't make the rules." Stella: "That's what Joseph Goebbels said!"

Stella: “It’s like being 9 years old all over again.”
Nursing home security guard: “Hey, I don’t make the rules.”
Stella: “That’s what Joseph Goebbels said!”

Dot and Stella pick up Prentice, a young trampy hitchhiker from New York City; Stella’s foul mouth gets them into trouble repeatedly on their quest to get married. Hilarity, tragedy, tenderness, and cunnilingus jokes ensue.

Stella, talking about going down on K.D. Lang; Dottie rolling her eyes; Prentice taking it all in stride.

Stella, talking about going down on K.D. Lang; Dottie rolling her eyes; Prentice taking it all in stride.

I love the movie because it’s not just about an immature 70 year old lesbian marrying a grandma; it’s not about two women fending off homophobic family. It’s not about a grandma coming out to her granddaughter. It’s about all these things; but it’s also about getting older and the form that life and relationships take when you know yourself inside and out. It gets cheesy, it gets hokey, it tries hard to make heavy moments light; but overall the movie is really uplifting and adds some much-needed diversity to the lesbian movie repertoire.

 

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Stella: Some days you live for the future, the one you imagine, even though you know it’s never gonna happen. If you’re ever lucky enough to have a perfect day, don’t let go of it. Paint a picture of it. If you ever have a perfect day, hold on to it like it’s your dick.

The movie is available on Netflix, and is 93 minutes long.

Trans* individuals reveal sexism in the work place

This article about people who transitioned after years in the workplace, tackles a really important issue: sexism in the workplace that is subtle enough that, even if you’re read as female, you won’t notice it unless something drastic happens… such as transitioning and experiencing being read as male.

Some quotes from the article (emphasis mine):

I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously.

 

When I was a woman, no matter how many facts I had, people were like, ‘Are you sure about that?’ It’s so strange not to have to defend your positions.

 

I used to be considered aggressive… Now I’m considered ‘take charge.’ People say, ‘I love your take-charge attitude.’

 

And from an MTF trans* person:

Men are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise, whereas a woman is assumed to be incompetent until she proves otherwise.

The article considers the increase in confidence a person experiences when going from presenting at the gender assigned at birth to their true gender, and offers a reason as to why this might not be why transmen are treated better after transition:

Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.

 

Aha! We got you, sexism!

The article does note that if an FTM individual is black, being read as a black male is not always a positive change. Racism: the only card that trumps sexism.

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Read the article in its entirety to read about why one transwoman chooses not to speak up, and why these researchers believe this is the last chance to do this kind of research on gender with individuals who transition later in life.