What Would Frat Boy Brad Do?

 

Every college student knows a Frat Boy Brad. Or maybe yours is named Josh, Zach, or Hunter. He’s straight, white, and upper class. He’s probably a business or engineering major. He probably isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. He votes Republican, insists that the American Dream is possible for everyone if only they work hard, and whines about affirmative action giving unfair advantages when he got into this school on a legacy. And don’t you dare call him privileged because he works REALLY HARD, bro!

He is conventionally decent looking and thinks literally every girl is attracted to him. He owns two kinds of outfits. One includes khakis, a button-up shirt, and boat shoes. All name brand of course. The other includes cargo shorts, a mesh tank top that probably says “suns out guns out”, Adidas sandals, athletic socks, and a backwards hat. Yet he thinks he can make fun of girls who don’t dress to his liking.

When he rides on the back of his bro’s moped, he actively does not hold onto him because he would rather risk his own safety than do something that might “look gay”. But hey, nothing could ever happen to him, right?

Despite all Brad’s flaws, there is one area where he’s got it figured out. What’s that, you ask? He never lets anything make him think himself any less awesome. Fails a test? He still thinks he’s a genius and does better next time. Girl turns him down? He still thinks he’s hot shit and tries again with someone else. Gets drunk and makes an ass of himself? He finds a way to turn it into a funny story for later. His sense of self-worth is impossible to bruise.

For we non-Brads of the world, it’s easy to let our failures bring us down. Some of us equate that failed test with not being smart anymore. That girl who turned us down with not being likable. That embarrassing drunken night with never being taken seriously again. But most of the time that’s not the case at all. And this post serves as much as a note to myself as it does an anecdote for all of you. Next time you think you royally fucked up, ask yourself, “What would Brad do?” “Would he think himself any less awesome over a thing like this?” No? Then neither should you. Just because you weren’t born thinking yourself to be a master of the universe doesn’t mean you have no right to think you’re pretty great even when things aren’t going so well.

A Few Gems From the Hellfire Preacher on Campus I Heckled Today

Warning: sexist, homophobic, cissexist, islamophobic, and ableist language.

So today on my college campus we had another visit from a group of bible thumpers. They spent several hours in the diag spewing misinformation and hellfire. When I had a break between classes, I decided to watch the train wreck, along with a growing crowd of students. The man who spoke for the majority of the time I was there put on a lab coat and claimed that he was a “sex therapist” and spread sexism and misinformation about sex while many of us protested.

  • To a woman who spoke to him: “Get back in your place!”
  • “Ladies, on your honeymoon make sure to lie on your back so your husband doesn’t get your vagina confused with your anus.”
  • “I described the penis as banana-like, but remember that it is not a banana. It is not something you eat. It is not something you suck on like a lollipop either.”
  • “Many of you are probably diagnosed with clinical depression. You have been told that there is a chemical imbalance in your brain. That is a lie. You don’t have to be depressed, you need to cheer up.”
  • “Feminism has succeeded in emasculating men and making you SENSITIVE and in touch with your FEELINGS.”
  • “We men make a lot of sacrifices so you women can have babies. Like when the baby cries and the mother has to go feed it, it interrupts the father’s sleep.”
  • “Here is a list of Islamic countries that value love and freedom.” *holds up blank white board.* Student:
  • *uses a power strip to demonstrate that penis-vagina sex “works better” than same-genital sex.*
  • “Before you are married, your penis should be used only for urination. But after you’re married your penis becomes an organ of reproduction.”
  • “Ladies, I can’t help but notice that some of you are a bit flat-chested. God is working on your personalities. I also notice that those of you with larger breasts seem a bit dizzier than those with smaller breasts.”
  • “Now, most men aren’t like Obama. Most men are like Bill Clinton. He’s married to the so-called most intelligent woman in the world, but he preferred Monica Lewinsky and her large breasts. Most men are like that.”
  • Student: So if God’s ‘working on my personality because I have small tits, is he working on yours because you clearly have a dick the size of a jelly bean? Him: This young lady was probably fantasizing about me last night!
  • Student: You’re saying that women are made for men? Him: Yes. Women were made for men.
  • When the sperm goes up the fallopian tubes, the ovary releases an egg.
  • Right before you have sex your penis becomes more like a cucumber than a banana.
  • *Gives long talk about anatomy* Student: what about the clitoris? Him: We have more important things to talk about. Me: but the clitoris is very important!

A Few More Things Not to Say to a Bisexual Girl

Since I have become a lot more open about my sexual orientation and encountered many more comments about it that I think should not be said since I wrote “Things You Might Want to Avoid Saying to a Bisexual Girl” I think it’s time for a sequel.

1. “Everyone’s a little bit bi. Sexuality is a spectrum.”

Funny enough, the vast majority of people who I’ve heard say this consider themselves to be straight. You know what else is a spectrum? Visible light. But nobody goes around calling everything they see a little bit green.

2. Suggest that a different label might suit us better

It is not your job to police other people’s identities. Having a preference of one gender over others that one is attracted to does not make a person any less bisexual if they say they are. If I tell you that I’m bisexual, don’t suggest that I might actually be pansexual. Pansexaul is also a cool identity, I just don’t think it applies to me. I use the word bisexual because I think it accurately describes me and I am the only person who is qualified to make that assessment. Similarly, don’t tell your friend who has said that she’s a lesbian that she’s actually bi because she had a boyfriend in high school or your pansexual friend that they would make it easier on everyone if they referred to themselves as bisexual. They are also the only people qualified to decide what terms describe them.

3. “Men find bisexual women appealing. You don’t have it that bad.”

Yes, that is something an actual human said to me. Guess what, men, our lives do not revolve around you. And the reasons why a lot men think that we as a group are “hot” is because they think we are into threesomes or have extra high sex drives. Yeah, forgive me for not jumping for joy over my objectification.

4. “I’m not like those other guys, I’d date a bisexual girl.”

Do you want a trophy or something? That is quite literally the bare minimum standard for not being an asshole.

5. “I dated a bisexual girl once and she cheated on me.”

Oh, you’re a straight guy? I dated a straight guy once and he decided he didn’t want to see me anymore after he got what he wanted.

6. “Bisexual people have straight privilege.”

The only people who have straight privilege are straight people.

7. “Okay, but you have straight-passing privilege.”

Heteronormativity is a pain in the ass for many reasons, but perhaps one of the shittiest aspects of it is whether or not you “pass” as straight there is no way to win. When you don’t pass it’s easy for people to hurt you on purpose, but if you do it’s easy for people to hurt you without even trying.

8. You’re just doing it for attention.”

Yeah because I just love having a difficult life. It’s the best.

9. “Being bi is trendy now.”

We have always existed. And even if more of us have started coming out recently, that is none of your concern. If anything more people being comfortable enough to come out as bisexual shows that we are making progress, slowly but surely.

10. “But you seem straight.”

I know that might have sounded like a compliment, but it’s not. How exactly does one seem straight anyway?

11. “There is no reason for you to be single all the time.”

Woody Allen is full of shit. Bisexuality does not “automatically double your chances of getting a date on Saturday night.” More often than not, it just doubles the number of people to awkwardly try to flirt with and not be successful. Woody Allen is full of shit for a lot of other reasons too, but that’s a discussion for another time.

12. “Oh, so do you watch Orange is the New Black?”

Yes, yes I do. For the most part it’s a great show. But you know what would make it even better? IF THEY ACTUALLY REFERRED TO PIPER AS BISEXUAL AND NOT A “FORMER LESBIAN” OR “CURIOUS STRAIGHT GIRL.”

13. “You’re not gay enough to be here.” (here referring to any LGBTQ+ space)

The B is in the acronym for a reason. I have talked pretty extensively about my experiences with biphobia and bisexual erasure and if my accounts aren’t enough to make you believe that we are oppressed enough to go to pride parades and gay bars, then there are plenty of other bisexual people who have been around longer than I have and endured much worse shit who can probably change your mind.

13 Things You Can do to Make Your Allyhood With the LGBTQ+ Community More Meaningful

Congratulations on meeting the basic standards of human decency. Now here are a few things you can do to make your allyhood more meaningful. I’m sure I’m far from the first person to say these things, but there are plenty of people who haven’t heard them yet, so I will go ahead and explain them in my words.

1. Don’t expect praise for being an “ally” 

Calling yourself an ally is not enough to make a difference, so members of our community probably won’t shower you with friendship simply for not hating us. 

2. Realize that you don’t have to be a raging homophobe to perpetuate homophobia 

Here’s the thing about cisheteronormativity (the assumption that everyone agrees with the gender they were assigned at birth and will always be exclusively attracted to the “opposite sex”): it’s really fucking stealthy so even the littlest things that reflect that sentiment can be harmful to people who do not fit the “norms”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a straight person say “but I’m an ALLY, “But I have gay friends”, “but I would NEVER judge someone because of their sexual orientation”, or any variation thereupon when called out for saying something ‘phobic I would not have had to spend the last three months working long hours at an amusement park to save up for my semester abroad. THOSE THINGS DO NOT MAKE WHAT YOU SAID ANY LESS HARMFUL. If someone tells you that you said or did something harmful, just try your best not to do it again. Don’t try to justify it by claiming what a good person you are.

3. If You Have Kids or Ever Plan on Having Them, do not Push Gender Roles and Heterosexuality on Them

And most straight people do it more than they think they do. If you “have no problem with gay people but would be upset if your son was gay” guess what, you DO have a problem with gay people. If you jokingly tell your relatives that your 6 month old baby is going to be a “real ladies’ man when he grows up,” you are broadcasting your assumptions when it is far too early to tell if your child will like ladies or even grow up to be a man. Hell, even saying things like “I can’t wait to dress up my daughter in pretty dresses and take her to ballet class,” or “sweetie, when you’re older and start to like boys…” is forcing roles on them. Compared to a lot of my friends, I got lucky in the parents department. My parents made it very clear that they supported gay rights since I was a little kid, but because they also assumed that I would be straight I was afraid to come out to them. Don’t give your kids any reason to be afraid to come out to you.

4. Remember That the A Doesn’t Stand for Allies

A lot of times you might see an A in the big alphabet soup and people might have told you that it stands for allies. It doesn’t. Your support does not make you an honorary member of the community. The A stands for asexual, sometimes called “ace” for short. If your new to this whole allying thing, those are people who experience little to no sexual attraction to anyone. They are a group of people who get thrown under the bus pretty often by allies and people who fall under the other letters alike so please also keep their issues in mind.

5. Don’t Forget the Intersex People Either

Not everyone can even have a binary gender accurately assigned to them at birth because of abnormalities in their X and Y chromosomes that lead to ambiguous genitalia. People with these conditions are collectively known as intersex and are also often forgotten about because the gender binary is so rigidly enforced.  

6. Think Intersectionally

It’s easy to picture Kurt and Blaine from Glee or Neil Patrick Harris’ family as the main image of our community, but that can be damaging to members who are not upper class, cisgender (that’s if you agree with the gender you were assigned at birth, as in not transgender), good-looking, white men who have conventional relationships. We come from all genders, races, social classes, family structures, countries, and subcultures and we all experience oppression differently and all deserve your acknowledgement. 

7. Don’t Talk Like Gay Marriage is the Be-All, End-All of our Rights

Yeah, it’s great, but consider the following. “Corrective rape” is still a common act of violence done to control lesbian women. Gay and gender non conforming teenagers are made to feel unsafe at school. Bisexual women suffer the often violent consequences of the stereotype that we will literally have sex with anyone. LGBTQ youth are living on the streets because their parents kicked them out of their houses. Black trans women are arrested for simply walking down the street because police officers often assume that they are sex workers. Asexual people are thought to simply not exist. In several countries simply existing as an openly LGBTQ person in punishable by death. Gender non-binary people can’t even mark their genders on most types of paperwork. People die from in violent attacks by people who perceive them as anything but cisgender and heterosexual. The people who we are supposed to trust with our health are often surprisingly clueless about us. All of these issues and the myriad of others will not magically go away if we are granted the right to marry our partners if we want to.

8. Don’t Expect us to Always be Willing to Educate You

That is not our job. It’s exhausting and there are plenty of resources available to do your own research. 

9. Support LGBT+ Artists and Media that Positively Represents us

Listen to a gay music artist. Read a book by a lesbian author. Go see a movie with a transgender character who is played by a transgender actress. Watch a TV show with a sexually/gender identity diverse cast. Read a book with a genderqueer character. Read a comic with a bisexual character. Recommend all of these works that present the characters without harmful stereotypes to your friends. Representation matters and we need to prove to the people in charge of what media is brought to the mainstream that there is a demand for it.

10. Don’t ‘Splain

Do not EVER tell someone of a minority group that you aren’t part of that it “can’t be that bad” if they’re talking about their lived experiences. Sure, you may never have heard about that certain thing happening to anyone else, but that does not mean that the person is exaggerating. Undermining the significance of a problem only makes it worse. Also, do not equate it with something that happened to you. I highly doubt that it’s the same thing and taking someone’s problem and making it all about you is probably one of the most selfish things you can do.

11. Strike Anything that Sounds like “Hate Just Breeds More Hate” From Your Lexicon

We have every right to be angry about our oppression. Most of us know damn well that changing ourselves to be more palatable to straight people hurts us more than it helps. And yes, our anger might make you uncomfortable sometimes, but that just alerts you that you are part of the problem and need to fix that. “Straight people need to stop _____” is more powerful than “Homophobes need to stop _____” because the latter makes it easy for people who ____ but do not think of themselves as homophobic to not acknowledge that they ______ and need to stop _____ing. If you are straight and you haven’t ever ______ed then don’t worry about it. And remember that our criticisms are not just as bad as the oppression we face because homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, asexual erasure, non-binary erasure, pansexual erasure, et cetera all of the part of a system that is rigged against us. Heterophobia and cisphobia are not real and if you use those terms unironically you are just embarrassing yourself. 

12. Call out Your Friends on Their Shit

Friends don’t let friends perpetuate heteronormativity.

13. Know That This List is not all Inclusive

There is no formula to being the perfect ally. In fact, being an ally is about always being willing to learn more things you can do to help. This is also where I invite any LGBTQ+ individuals who have read this list to add their own suggestions. 

Now go forth and be a meaningful ally

Why I’m Up in Your Face About my Bisexuality on Social Media

Like most of my rants on similar subjects, the stuff you’re about to read in this post needed to be said for a while but I’m just now finding the right words to express it all. It’s no secret that I talk about my sexuality quite a bit. Between blog posts like this one, frequent stream-of-consciousness tweeting about the struggle, Facebook statuses about the struggle, my Bi Pride board on Pinterest, another Pinterest board called “Babely” that features aesthetically pleasing humans from more than one gender, and…well…my tumblr it does take up quite a bit of my social media presence. In fact, some people have brought it to my attention that they think I talk about it too much. I would tell these people to kindly fuck off and continue on my merry way, but since most of them are otherwise pretty cool I thought I’d take a little time to explain why talking openly about my bisexuality is important to me.

First off, bisexual erasure is a bitch. Straight people have used whether or not we actually exist as legitimate research question for studies. Because they can’t just take our word for it. Our existence needs validation from someone from the outside. Obviously. According to the average monosexual human girls like me are confused, just scared to come out as gay, actually straight but just doing it for attention, just doing it to turn straight guys on, greedy, liars, et cetera. People pigeonhole us as either gay or straight without even considering bisexuality as a possibility. More examples of this: Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga are both bisexual music artists. However, it is commonly accepted as fact that Freddie was gay and Gaga is straight because EVERYONE KNOWS that bisexual men are actually gay and bisexual women are actually straight because the world revolves around dudes. My internalization of this bullshit was a huge factor in the fact that I didn’t come to terms with my interest in women until last year. Hearing the world invalidate the existence of my people day after day is exhausting. What you see as me being a drama queen I see as refusal to be invisible.

Though I consider January 2nd to be the day I came out, I will probably never be done with the process. One of the first things I think about when I meet a new potential friend is if and when it is necessary to have That Conversation with them. Sure, I can drop hints all over the place but for the most part people don’t come to the right conclusions. Man, if I had a dollar for every time I told someone about all the LGBT groups I’m in and they still thought I was straight I’d buy some pretty cool shit with all that money. If said new person sees my various posts about bisexuality soon after I meet them, it eliminates those awkward situations.

Similarly, bisexuals who are involved in LGBTQ+ activism are regularly accused of not being ‘gay enough’ to speak up about our issues and I say fuck that shit. The B exists in the acronym for a reason and that reason is that we are, in fact, an oppressed group that has many common causes with other minority sexual orientations and gender identities. In case you don’t believe that the world isn’t kind to us, take a look at the CDC’s report on sexual orientation and health, particularly the stats about mental illness and suicide. Then there’s also the fact that bisexual women are much more likely to get raped than straight and lesbian women. That shit is scary, y’all and you’re probably questioning the legitimacy of it because a lot of biphobic people who do acknowledge that we exist are convinced that we have straight privilege. Which, hello, we’re not straight so how does that even make sense?

I walk a very fine line between wanting everyone to be aware of my sexual orientation and being afraid that people will think less of me because of it. One of the first people I came out to was pretty awful about it so that set me up to be scared that others would do the same. My openness about it is just as much over-compensation for my fear as it is an unapologetic act of rebellion. I hope that if I keep being brave in the face of oppressive bullshit I won’t be afraid anymore someday. It’s a classic case of faking it until I make it. You lot can help me with that process by paying attention when I talk about issues that affect me as a bisexual woman and actively avoiding perpetuating biphobia/bisexual erasure yourselves.

 

How to Make Your Barrista Hate You Without Really Trying

Change your order after you already paid

This is something I have dealt with a surprising number of times. I’d think it would be pretty obvious that no, I can’t make a caramel frappucino instead of the iced tea that you ordered BECAUSE FRAPPUCINOS COST MORE! 

Ask if we can make your drink before everyone else’s

Since the Starbucks that I work at is in an amusement park, this is a pretty common occurrence when there are kids on a field trip who want to get something for the ride home and it’s not until they wait in line for about twenty minutes, order, and see that there are approximately ten thousand drinks ahead of theirs in the process that they realize “oh shit, my bus is leaving” and then beg us to make theirs first. Sweeties, you should have thought of that before you came in.

 Ask us to re-make your entire cold drink because you didn’t want whipped cream

Usually we can manage to scrape it off pretty cleanly, but even if there is a minuscule bit left on the top, it is not going to kill you or ruin your diet.

Order something off the Secret Menu TM without knowing what goes in it, get pissed at us for not knowing it

A lot of kids seem to be under the impression that the Secret Menu TM is like some crazy inside thing that we all know as well as the other drinks instead of just the suggestions for fun customizations that it is. If you have the recipe then yes, we will gladly make it for you. But if not we kinda can’t.

Say “but all the OTHER Starbucks do it!” when you’re in a licensed store

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that complaint I wouldn’t even need this job. Trust me, it would be GREAT if we could do all the things your local Starbucks could. But as it happens, we are not owned by the franchise, but by Cedar Point so some of the rules are different.

Mosey the fuck around when we call out your drink

We want to move on to the next one without wondering where the fuck you are.

Ask for a cup of water when we are clearly in the middle of making a drink

The number of drinks I’m trying to wrangle and the likelihood of someone asking for a cup of water have strong positive correlation and this is frustrating.

Ask us to re-make your drink without saying what was wrong with it

How the fuck else are we supposed to fix it?

Mumble when you’re ordering something complicated

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hard to hear in here. If you can, please speak up.

Ask dumb questions

The straws and sleeves are right in front of your face. Yes we HAVE napkins. They are on the condiment bar. No we do not have low-fat whipped cream.

Ask for “just regular hot tea”

“Just plain coffee” we can do. We have medium roast coffee all brewed up and ready. But there is no similar default for tea.

Eagerly ask what it’s like to work here

Oh honey, you don’t wanna know.

Put innuendos that might upset someone as your name on your cup

I’m looking at you, “Pussy,” “Penis,” and “Black Jesus.” Just don’t.

Act like our sole purpose of existing is to make you fuckers happy

Though yes, it is what we are paid to do, that does not give you an excuse to be an asshole. I know this can be hard to believe, but we have feelings, just like any person. In many other cultures it is completely acceptable for customer service employees to be rude right back to rude customers. But in most cases in our “the customer is always right” and “have it your way” culture we are obligated to be nice to you no matter what. Day after day that takes a toll on employees so please show a little bit of respect for us.

The Biggest Fictional Punk-ass Bitches

It’s funny how no one knows the qualifications that make someone a punk-ass bitch but it seems that whenever I point out that someone is one, people know exactly why. Everyone knows their share of punk-ass bitches

Marius- Les Misérables. His antics in the musical make it fairly clear that this guy is a punk-ass bitch, even if they are new to the story. However, most of his true punk-ass bitchery lies in the things from the book that were eliminated from the only adaptation that the mainstream acknowledges. For example, the way he creeps on Cosette for at least a solid month before finally speaking to her. This is why I like to call him “Creepyus”

Percy Weasley- Harry Potter series. Do I even have to explain why?

Teagan- Doctor Who. This punk-ass bitch traveled with Peter Davison’s incarnation of the Doctor in the 80s, along with two lesser punk-ass bitches, Adric and Nyssa. I haven’t seen very many episodes with her but from the looks of it all she does is whine about wanting to go home. Whichever writer thought that was a good decision for the plot should have been fired.

Pippin- Pippin (the musical). This punk-ass bitch basically spends the entire musical singing about how he’s too good for any job he gets on his search for fulfillment. He’s a typical overgrown spoiled brat who was told that he was special by default his whole life without doing much of anything to earn that praise. And the show was written in the 70s so he’s not even from my “entitled” generation.

Eric Night- House of Night Series. Every person who is attracted to guys has probably had a crush on a punk-ass bitch like him but grew to regret it.

Nick Carraway- The Great Gatsby. It’s only fitting that this punk-ass bitch was played by Tobey Maguire, king of the real-life punk-ass bitches, in the most recent film adaptation.

Phoebus-Notre Dame de Paris. The characterization of this punk-ass bitch is one of the few things that Disney didn’t completely bastardize when they got the brilliant idea to adapt this Hugo classic into a motherfucking cartoon. I guess it’s not hard to make unadulterated egotism palatable to young audiences.

Rosemary-How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The way this punk-ass bitch is written is one of many blatantly sexist aspects of the show. Her solo number is called “I’d be Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm” and I think that says everything you need to know about her.

Raoul: Phantom of the Opera. Poor Christine, caught in a love triangle between scary abusive Erik and the punk-ass bitch who knew her when she was a kid but didn’t like her that way until she became a successful opera singer. This dude is almost on par with Marius.

Mike-Twilight Saga. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I read the entire series when I was in middle school and found myself enjoying it at the time before I realized that it basically condones intimate partner abuse and other fucked up shit. Let’s be real though, every character in it is a punk-ass bitch, but this annoying self-proclaimed nice guy takes the cake

Things I Wish I Could Tell My 11-year-old Self

A few days ago at work I saw a girl who reminded me of myself at 11 years old. Then I got to thinking about some things I wish I could tell that awkward middle school girl who I buried deep inside of me.

1. You are not bad at math. I’m not really sure when you started thinking that you are, but this happens to a lot of girls because they are told in subtle ways every day that boys are naturally better at it than they are. That is sexism. And it doesn’t help that the math teacher you have this year is a really tough grader and probably would have been better off teaching at a higher level than fifth grade.

2. You are not a bad person for being curious about sex. Even though the video they showed in home ec make it sound icky, most of the adults in your family have told you that having it before marriage is wrong, and a lot of people suggest that only guys are allowed to think about it, you want to know what it’s like. Contrary to what all these people think, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Since at this point the only object of your fantasies is Daniel Radcliffe you don’t really have to worry about the consequences of actually doing it yet. But when you’re older and it becomes more of a possibility there is this cool thing called birth control. But still, wait until you’re older and you’re absolutely sure you want to do it. And remember that only you can make the decision about when that happens.

3. You already know that some girls like girls and some guys like guys and that that’s cool, but if my memory serves me correctly you’re not yet aware that there are some people like both and that is also cool. These people are not confused, not afraid to come out as gay, are not going through a phase, and are not “just slutty.” They just date guys and girls. Just like how you can like pizza and ice cream. There are also a lot of other cool new bits of information that you’ll learn someday about the wide range of people who occupy this planet and are still cool. I’m telling you this bit of information because if I knew it when I was your age I would have spent a lot less time in denial about who and what I like.

4. Don’t worry so much about not having a boyfriend. People vastly underestimate how mature they need to be in order to maintain a healthy romantic relationship. You’re not there yet and frankly most of your friends aren’t either but it’s best to let them learn from their own mistakes.

5. On a similar note, you are going to meet a lot of people who you are interested in dating who are not interested in dating you. Yes, it will hurt but remember that it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. It also does not take away your right to turn down people who are interested in dating you.

6. So this acting thing that you just started getting into? You will have to work twice as hard to get half the reward that some of your peers who are into it get. Why? Because there is this weird phenomenon that even though more girls like to do theatre, there are more parts for boys available in most shows. So a boy can look like a turd and be a mediocre singer but still get a leading role but a girl who looks like you will often get turned down in favor of a “prettier” and “more feminine” girl even if the girl they pick is also a mediocre singer. Yes, it is completely sexist and unfair, but you like performing so much that you’ll find it in you to keeping trying your hardest all the way up through high school and you will enjoy it and several members of your community will enjoy you enjoying it.

7. That whole “If a boy makes fun of you he likes you and if a girl makes fun of you she’s jealous” thing? Completely false. It just encourages girls to accept terrible treatment from boys and to compete with other girls in ways that are completely unnecessary. They are making fun of you because they are mean and see any deviation from what they consider normal to be threatening.

8. Don’t let anyone try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t like and how you should and shouldn’t express your interest in things. Your ability to really enjoy things in a way that few other people can makes life a lot less boring and you do not need to apologize for that.

9. Stop calling other girls sluts. Just stop it.

10. Books, movies, TV shows, and other forms of media do not represent reality. They can send a lot of false messages about relationships, gender roles, beauty standards, consequences of actions, and all kinds of other stuff. Feel free to enjoy them, but make sure to think about what messages they’re sending.

11. Yes, teamwork is important, but so is telling people what your needs are. Don’t be so concerned with taking one for the team that you bite off more than you can chew.

12. In a few years all these people who give you grief will barely even exist in your memories, let alone be a part of your life. Their opinions of you won’t mean a damn thing.

13. I hate to break it to you this way, but we haven’t met Daniel Radcliffe. At least not yet. And if we ever do it will probably not be everything you hope it would be. You’re probably mad at me now, but please forgive me long enough to listen to the rest of this.

14. Start learning how not to hold huge grudges over little things. It’s easier said than done, which is why I wish we had seen earlier that the only person that hurts is you.

15. I go to U of M now. And I love it there. It is not too lofty of an aspiration for you.

16. Trying new things is the best. I think you’re starting to figure that out, but sometimes you may still need a friendly reminder.

18. If I timed this right it’s at the point where kids are just starting to figure out the hilarious pun with our last name. That’s probably never gonna end and people will always act like they were the first person to ever notice it, but you will get used to it.

19. Friends will come and go from your life. They were not intended to stick around forever. Sometimes it’s painful, yes, but it’s a reality that you’ll have to get used to.

20. If it’s any consolation, I consider the time when I was you to be the peak of my awkwardness. Things can only go up from here, so hang in there.

Tell Me One More Time That Male Entitlement Isn’t Real! I Dare You!

In case you missed it, two days ago some sexually frustrated 22-year-old asshole in Isla Vista, California decided to go on a killing spree to “get revenge on women for depriving him of sex” after posting YouTube videos describing his hatred for the female population and his plans for a “day of retribution” in disturbing detail. Yes, you read that correctly. Some women didn’t want to have sex with a dude and he thought that shooting them and several other people would be an appropriate response. Six people died and thirteen people were injured. Every one of them had an identity, a future. and people who loved them who are grieving their loss. This tragedy is the product of a world that produces many others like a boy who stabbed a girl to death for refusing to go to prom with him and women every day around the world getting acid thrown at their faces for refusing marriage proposals. This was clearly not, as many people often theorize after mass killings, just a mentally ill person who didn’t get treatment and suddenly flew off the handle. It was a boiling pot of several different factors (many of which no one can really know) with pure unadulterated misogyny as the main ingredient.

As if this tragedy weren’t disturbing enough, Friendzone Dudebros of the Internet TM are coming out in droves to defend this fuckwit. They’re taking to public forums to insist that this shooting should “be a lesson to females about how much rejection hurts” and that “this is why girls shouldn’t friendzone nice guys.” I’ve seen self-proclaimed Men’s Rights Activists spew bullshit day after day ever since I started using social media sites, but these reactions are proof that more men than we like to acknowledge think it is not only acceptable but worthy of praise to kill a woman because she doesn’t want your dick. That scares me even more than the “rape insurance” law I ranted about a while ago. I also can’t get over the fact that these fucktrumpets have their heads so far up their asses that they think women never experience unrequited sexual/romantic feelings. Take it from the reigning queen of having crushes on the wrong people at the wrong times: it hurts for us too. Except one thing that I’ve noticed is that when a girl is rejected by a boy, she thinks something is wrong with her, but when a boy is rejected by a girl he thinks something is wrong with the girl or, in some cases, girls as an entire group. However, most human beings, no matter what gender, can grow the fuck up and find ways to deal with their sexual frustration without shooting people! And can we talk about the fact that these dudebros referred to the shooter as a “nice guy”? I thought this was pretty self-evident, but nice guys don’t go on killing sprees and maybe all these women who rejected him did it because they could tell that he was a narcissistic, violent, and revoltingly sexist pile of pond scum shortly after meeting him.

This tragic event not only ended the lives of six people, but served as a cruel reminder to the world that far too many men think that women who don’t want them deserve to die. Tell me one more time that men feeling entitled to women is just something that feminists make up. I dare you! This is just a recent and blatant example of the many occasions when people die from it! I hope with all my heart that some day our world will raise men who see women as human beings who have both the ability and the right to make their own choices. That someday men will not be angry about their own lack of sexual experience and women will not be convinced that they are worthless if they have sexual experience. That violence against women simply for being women will be as unthinkable as eating babies. That the layers upon layers of victim blaming that exist in every aspect of our culture will someday be stripped away. That events like this will never happen again.

The Ideal Food Service Worker if Such a Thing Existed

After having three jobs associated with preparing and serving food for people (including my current one making coffee for amusement park-goers) I have determined a few altered human attributes that would make someone perfect for the job. Because let’s face it, most customers don’t see us as real people anyway.

1. Permanent smile.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard “make sure to smile” during my time in the food service industry I would probably have enough dollars to pay college tuition and for my semester in France that will hopefully happen because I’m not a particularly smiley person unless I have a reason to smile. To combat this problem the ideal food service worker would have a permanent smile in the same vein as one of my favorite literary heroes, Gwynplaine from L’homme Qui Rit. Or like the Joker if you’re not a French lit enthusiast.

2. Wings

Some people may not realize it but there is an awful lot of walking and standing around involved in the food industry. Whether you would rather hover than stand at the cash register or would like to fly from the kitchen to the table you’re waiting on, having a nice set of wings like the characters in that Maximum Ride series I liked when I was a kid would fix that.

3. Self-duplication Ability

One second you could be making a sandwich but then you have to run to the cash register because your co-worker is in the bathroom. For any other human this might be awkward, but the ideal food service worker’s instant self-duplication ability would solve that problem in an instant. When they don’t need the clone anymore, it can simply be ‘re-absorbed and called upon for later use.

4. Scaly hands

Since normal skin can get burned or cut by so many things in the food preparation environment. If you’re clumsy like me, this can become a pretty regular thing. That’s why our creation would have scales on their hands to keep them protected from injury.

5. Feels no Emotions Except Happy to Serve You

Because that’s what it’s supposed to look like. But let’s be honest, there are some days when that just can’t happen. Hell, sometimes the smile isn’t even enough to convince them. That’s why our person designed for the industry would feel like a peppy version of the emotion-less cybermen from Doctor Who.

6. Mind-Reading

Because it’s totally our fault when the guy said he wanted his iced tea sweetened but actually meant unsweetened and we should have known better, dammit. If only we could read people’s minds and know exactly what they want.

7. Self-Washing Hands

We all know that just about anything can contaminate food. Whenever you scratch that awful itch on your face, lick that tiny bit of whipped cream off your hand, move aside that hair that’s been dangling in front of your eyes…yeah you get the picture…it’s another trip to the hand-washing sink. If hands could self-clean whenever they came in contact with certain surfaces it would save a lot of time and make food a lot more sanitary.

8. Fingers That Squirt Condiments

Never run out of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, mayo, ketchup, guacamole, mustard, ranch dressing, peanut butter, melted cheese, or anything else that needs to go on the food you make.

I couldn’t think of any pictures for the last three.

I think we can all come to the conclusion that the perfect person for a food service job would not be a human at all. Customers, this is why you should try your best to not be assholes to your sandwich makers, barristas, waiters, and cashiers. Our jobs are a lot harder than they look from the outside.