You’re Just a Regular Horn Dog; #truth

I’ve got a new column in the RedEye today about the myth of porn addiction. I also plan on blowing the lid on the Easter bunny, the virgin birth and orgasm through penetration later on this week. I’m the new myth buster, folks. 

Porn use is normal in today’s world, even among women. People are sexual creatures; they want to bone and are excited to watch other people bone. But you have a choice of when and where to watch porn and how to balance your personal sexy time with the rest of your life. So make smart choices, people. And hide your dirty links under better bookmarks, ’cause you can’t use the “honey, I’m addicted to porn” line anymore.

Read more at http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/porn-addiction-study-20130922,0,3840111.story#QYMZD6vyiKHIEZso.99

Being a Stupid Silly Girl

I’ve never felt quite as stupid as I’ve felt the past month. Since grad school started, every day seems to present a unique WTF moment. What is the differentiation principle? Is Cronbach alpha some sort of fraternity? Was Kuhn drunk when he wrote about shifting paradigms? Is there a goddamn truth? How the heck am I supposed to drink a beer out of a 34 oz mug?!

At least that last one I solved. (A straw may look ridiculous but it is extremely useful in drinking mass quantities of Upland IPA.) But usually I’m left scrambling, attempting to look things up in my dictionary app or doing that awkward nodding yes shaking no head bobbing thing.

I’ve taken to calling myself stupid or poking fun of my own flailings and failings. Since I decided to throw myself into this crazy town of grad school, I thought I’d just embrace the stupid girl identity that felt like it went along with this academic journey. Self-deprecation has always kind of been my thang anyway.

But this week I found myself kind of believing I actually was stupid, like perhaps this whole academia thing had been one big mistake. I was becoming this silly girl persona I created for myself.

Which was flipping whack cause I’m a pretty smart lady.

I’m a smart lady who happens to have a lot to learn about communication theory and method.  As my adviser reminded me, it’s only week 3. I’ve got some time before I really know something, and still more time before I know anything, and even more time before I know everything.

The thing is, as a woman, I often have to fight off the impulse to accept these convenient nicely packaged social scripts that the media has created for me. Women are usually depicted as less authoritative, less knowledgeable, less intelligent, and weaker than male characters in the media. This kind of messes with all of us.  Did you know studies have shown girls actually perform worse on math exams if they are asked to identify their gender? They aren’t just stereotypes, they are societal norms that start to limit who you think you can be.

I’m particularly susceptible to the manic pixie dream girl type of prototype. You know Zooey Deschanel in every single role she’s ever played. How easy is it to just be that kind of quirky, nonthreatening, vaguely artistic girl?

But even if you are just “acting” a little Zooey, even if you are just joking about your inability to comprehend a full sentence of Kuhn, even if you just kid about being the slow one of the class, this act eventually defines you. You stop seeing the line between yourself and the persona. You become a silly girl. I became a silly girl. And when you are a silly girl you don’t even take yourself seriously.

And if there is one thing I think is absolutely essential about grad school it is that you take your fucking self as serious as James Franco in that 127 hour movie. Because if you don’t believe that you are smart enough to be here, then you aren’t, you silly, silly girl.

#stoked: Playboy’s College Edition focuses on consent

#superstoked to see my college representing some awesome consent wear here! Go Badgers!

Playboy’s 2013 Review of Campus Sex Life focused on consent! Pretty rad to see consent made sexy. I may not be a fan of a lot of the bull shit Playboy pulls, but they are a force to be sure. I’m happy any time the powers make a decision to promote something that can make Americans sexually healthier! Read the HuffPost article here. 

Update: IT WAS AN AWESOME HOAX. Glady be fooled by these awesome feminists any day!

Little Feminist in the Ivory Towers

I feel like I have swapped one quasi-idyllic self-sustaining bubble for another; the pink and purple I-am woman-hear-me-roar feminist world for the pristinely pale and erudite world of academia.

A month ago, as the PR Chair for the Chicago National Organization for Women, I spent my weekends writing feministy column for local papers and destroying early Brittany Spears songs during karaoke as an act of third wave rebellion.

Living in the feminist bubble there are things you just assume other people know, words you assume other people define the same way, values you assume other people share. You rarely have to explain why you have that “keep abortion legal” bumper sticker on your car or why the song “Blurred Lines” is so hideously offensive. People get you, you get them, you don’t have to explain yourself, or rarely even question the superiority of your clearly righteous ideals.

Now, as a MA student in the Telecommunications Department at IU, I go to classes where pretend I know the importance of the t-test and refer to porn as either sexually explicit images or visual sexual stimuli. WTF. There are totally different rules in this bubble!

Which is basically to say: this shit is hard guys. Not in the whiny #firstworldproblems type of way – okay well maybe a little bit in that type of way -but also in that I feel my brain growing and my world expanding type of way. It’s a little painful but in the #worthit type of way. And hopefully someday it will be in the #benefittingsociety type of way.

As my Philosophy of Inquiry class is teaching me, I was living in a pretty comfy worldview of feminism. And it was lovely. But now after my abrupt move to IU, I’ve got to learn to exist within this new worldview of quantitative variables, crazy acronyms and a very different value set.

Good News: at least in this paradigm they also have copious amounts of wine. Cheers!

If it’s good enough for Kristen Wiig, it’s good enough for me