Musings: Clothing sizes and who buys them

I have long been jealous of how men’s clothing is sized. Specifically, men’s pants – waist and length. Women’s clothing is NOTHING like that. It’s an arbitrary letter (S, M, L) or number (8, 14, 20) – which really has no external verification for “accuracy.” So I am sometimes a Large shirt. Sometimes Extra-Large. In some brands I am an XXL. And even then, it might be huge around my stomach/shoulders and tight around my breasts. Despite being a “woman’s cut.” Have they MET any women??? It’s why I’m such a huge fan of eShakti (see my review here) – they acknowledge and market that women are different sizes and shapes and make the customization more affordable. Looking at other women, I know I’m not that weird in shape and size. But somehow clothing manufacturers – even relatively “high end” brands (ok, I’m not talking Prada here or anything, but even Calvin Klein) can have the weirdest sizes and shapes

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Life Memories: Systemic Sexism

So this entire post comes with history. A LOT of history.  There are stories within stories here and I can’t fully explore them in a single post.  So, I’ll skip some bits here and jump straight into the pieces you need (well, I’ll try, it’s hard to unpack all the inter-tangled pieces). All the best stories are complicated. I started playing tabletop RPGs around end-of-middle-school when my older brother wanted to try this new book GURPS.  Yes, I learned on GURPS.  It has made me a weird gamer ever since because I don’t particularly like D&D or Pathfinder… classes frustrate me.  When I was in high school I started gaming with his guy-friends (most of them in college) with a Wheel of Time game.  When my brother “disappeared” into the military, I kept going. We met every first Saturday of the month about noon and gamed until 5-7pm, went to dinner and hung out.  So from the time I was 16/17 until

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Manners: NotAllMen

I can’t believe this is still a thing. I can’t believe there are still so damn many men who can’t get why #NotAllMen IS a problem. Here’s the thing, women know not every man is dangerous. Women know that not every man is a rapist (intentionally or not is different post). Women know that there are some men who are our supporters, friends, advocates, and sometimes – yes we sometimes want this – our defenders.  I know I’ve explained what I call the Goethe spectrum when we meet strangers; but I think it’s really even easier to understand. So a man sees a woman walking down the street and smiles at her and says hello. The woman must make an instantaneous decision whether she is safe or not (Seriously, go read the Goethe link if you haven’t yet).  She might get it wrong. She might just be feeling anxious and this poor guy pings higher on the scale than he should.

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Feminism: Single-Income Households

I’ve been jokingly saying for a few years now that everyone who works 40-hours-a-week needs a wife. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to ease the frustration that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to work a full time job and take care of a family. Well, I think I am ready to declare that I think this is true.  Well, mostly true.  It really is a case of “the American dream is to have a single-income household.” Whether that is a stay-at-home Mom or Dad; or both parents working and they can afford in-home help (has anyone else noticed that the mom in Brady Bunch was stay-at-home and they had a housekeeper?!?!?). We just can’t do it.  There a bazillion articles and discussions about the emotional burden of maintaining a home (cleaning, cooking, shopping for toilet paper) – much less adding in kids. Kids are a full-time job. Period. Do-Not-Pass-Go-Do-Not-Collect-$200.  Pretending that both parents should work and somehow kids magically get

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Memories: Elevator Experience

I had the best experience in an elevator I can remember. It started as I approached my work building from the outside. There was someone a bit behind me (I could see the shadow on the sidewalk) and a man walking towards me.  I reached the door first – barely.  So I held the door. The man walking towards me was a little older and I somewhat expected him to balk.  Nope. He smiled and sailed through.  The young man (probably about 5 years my junior) balked.  Stopped and said “No, I was trying to get here. I can’t.” “Yes you can.” “Oh no, it isn’t courteous.” “I promise, if a woman makes the offer to hold the door it is not rude to go through.” He went through and all three of us got on the elevator. The doors closed and the young man said, “I just want to say. I did not want to be rude, I would have held the

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Commentary: Trigger Warnings Debate

I’ve been trying to avoid “reactive” blog posts. There is a lot going on in the news and I was beginning to feel like my blog was just the place I went to react to those things. That said… I need to get this off my chest! I was incredibly blessed in the college I went to. I had amazing peers and incredible professors.  Of course, my largest class also had like 25 people in it (maybe 30). Small classes meant we knew each other. Sometimes more about each other than we wanted to. I can’t imagine not being able to go to  even the most boorish of the professors I had and saying, “Hey, you said we are going to talk about [Z], could you give me a head’s up when this is going to be covered so I can sit by the door? That way if the topic just gets to be too much, I’ll slip out for a

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Religion: Learning from Lent

Easter has just passed. Every year, Lent reminds me of the one year I gave something up. I was a sophomore in high school and I gave up wearing pants. Not that I went naked, but I wore skirts and dresses during lent. I know, weird right? I remember that I knew it was what I was supposed to give up well before lent started, like two or three months. I talked to my parents and arranged with school to allow me to wear skirts in gym class. It taught me several things. First, it taught me that wearing a skirt doesn’t have to stop me, prevent me, or even slow me down. I could be as feminine as I wanted and still be a feminist. Secondly, it taught me some humility. I only had a handful of skirts and dresses, so I had to repeat my clothes a lot more than I had before. Something I think every consumer-driven-Christian should make

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Feminism: The Goethe Spectrum

This morning on the elevator there was a man who was giving me the total hibbie-jibbies. I can’t tell you why, there was something that made me want to cringe away from him. My stance shifted so I could keep him in the corner of my eye without facing him. He was dressed nice, rolled a briefcase (looked like a sample case really). But there was definitely a piece of my brain running through the reactions I could take if he addressed me/threatened me – because if he addressed me it would be a threat. Even I was wondering what was wrong with me – the level of reaction is pretty unusual to a normal looking dude.  My tension evaporated when the elevator doors closed and he was on the other side of them. A few years ago, this idea of “Schrödinger’s Rapist” started to circulate the internet. At first I lauded it, it does help to explain when a woman might be

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Writing: #WeNeedDiverseBooks Debate

As a writer, I do feel some draw to put my two cents into the debate which has arisen around “Spend 12 months not reading cis white male authors” (CWM) or not.  In case you’ve missed it (somehow), K.T. Bradford challenged readers to take the next 12 months and either focus on a group of writers you normally don’t read (women, LBGT, race, etc.) or at least cut out the CWM authors who dominate the market. To me, this challenge would be both easy and difficult. Many of my favorite authors are women. But many of them are white cis women… so I still have room to expand my repertoire myself.  I do think it is an excellent concept for people to expand their reading exposure. Get a new view of the world. Get into the head and heart of someone alien to yourself. It is one of the things I miss about school.  My high school had amazing English teachers who introduced

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