Remembering Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride the right way

Amelia Earhart the feminist pilot

Amelia’s Earhart legacy goes beyond her final flight. She set numerous records in aviation, wrote best selling books, taught women how to reach for more and was an avid supporter of women’s rights.

As Google has doubtlessly already informed you, today is the 115 anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s birth. You also probably know that yesterday America’s first female astronaut, Sally Ride, passed away at age 61. If you were hoping that the combination of these significant days in history would have the nation abuzz with sentiment and pride about these brave pioneers and how far women have come in the last few centuries then, like me, you were probably disappointed. Instead, the hype over the treasure hunt for the remains of Earhart’s plane is eclipsing the recognition of her accomplishments and, OMG, did you hear Ride was a lesbian?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as curious as anyone about what the heck happened to Earhart, and would love for that mystery to be solved in my lifetime. It’s also pretty interesting that Ride was gay, and I’m sure the fact that she didn’t feel comfortable coming out before her death says a lot about our society and yadda yadda yadda. But weren’t these woman so much more than a wrecked airplane and a sexual preference?

Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was a best selling author. She was a feminist who tutored young female pilots, helped women with their career goals and participated in the National Women’s Party, and she was an avid supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Ride also took the to skies, and she became the first American woman to enter space. That is huge. She participated in research about the Earth. She founded a company that specialized in educating young girls about science, helping them to realize that they didn’t have to be housewives or mothers or school teachers if they didn’t want to be.

Earhart and Ride were remarkable and brave women. Their names are the ones that our

Sally Ride astronaut and feminist

Sally Ride, the first American woman to enter space, passionately believed in the education of women. She wanted to teach young girls that science belonged to them, too.

young girls should know, not Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton. They were and will always be role models, and yet we let our children ignore them in favor of women who degrade themselves, bend to patriarchy and have no true accomplishments. When we do acknowledge these amazing women, it’s in the spirit if sensationalism. Would we remember Earhart if she wasn’t such a mystery? Would the media care half as much about Ride if she wasn’t gay?

Today, the social networks are clogged with people who hope Earhart will be honored by the discovery of her beloved plane, and people either admiring or condemning Ride for loving another woman. Personally, I don’t believe those women would appreciate this style of memorial. They were women of action, and though they are dead, everything they stood for is still alive. Both of them were passionate about educating women and showing them that the world can be theirs, if they’d just reach out and grab it. So, for those of you who truly want to honor Earhart and Ride, these two incredible pioneers for the human race, science and the female gender, I urge you to forget about lost planes and romantic preferences. Instead, honor what these women believed in my continuing it. There are still women to be educated. There are still children to be told that little girls can love science, too. The Equal Rights Amendment still hasn’t passed; I bet if Amelia Earhart could send us a message, it would be to forget about the rusted, tired remains of her plane, and finish her work for equality. That’s what it means to honor someone.

Fifty Shades of Wrong part four: the not so sexy sex scenes

Many readers have protested that I’m reading too much into this book and have suggested that I just sit back and enjoy the sexiness. Not being a particularly unreasonable person, I took the week off posting and dedicated a couple evenings to dimming the lights and reading just the sex scenes (only the ones I’ve already gotten to of course, as I didn’t want to spoil the riveting plot). Okay, Christian Grey, I challenged, seduce me. I attempted to free my mind of everything save for romance and lust, and read the scenes over and over.

Sex in the world of E L James

Christian Grey's penis is basically a mutant salami

Oh baby.

What if I told you that the key to Goddess-level sexual fulfillment is laying completely still while someone rams a salami in and out of your vagina? Easy, you’d call me a messed up freak with a grotesque perversion. Yet, when that messed up freak is E L James and that salami is Christian Grey, the grotesque perversion becomes a sexual phenomenon. Think I’m exaggerating? Let’s dissect these sex scenes and see how unsexy they really are.

Christian Grey’s penis is an abomination against nature

Christian Grey's junk is like the monster from Tremors

This is what I pictured when Christian Grey’s penis emerged from the depths of the bathtub.

Fifty Shades of Grey is erotica, so of course it’s to be expected that the leading man is well hung. However, there’s a distinct line between a sexy hunk of man meat and a crime against nature, and Grey’s junk has definitely crossed it. There is a scene in which Ana and Grey take a bath together and Ana turns around only to see Grey’s erection sticking up out of the water and still growing. At that point all I could think about were the giant earthworms from the movie Tremors exploding from the earth to devour Reba McEntire; needless to say, the mood was killed. So what? you say, It’s fiction; Grey’s penis can defy the laws of human anatomy if it wants to. And I agree with you. In fact, the tale of a rich sociopath with a python penis would make an excellent horror novel; I’ll send Stephen King the memo. However, it does not make for good erotica. Do you have any idea how excruciating that would be, ladies? I won’t pretend to be an expert on sex, but I do know that there’s nothing sexy about being repeatedly punched in the cervix by a fire hydrant. You wouldn’t orgasm “again and again and again,” you’d probably throw up. And possibly need to get some spendy vaginal reconstruction surgery. Considering the alarming size of Grey’s junk and the fact that he always seems to have an erection, I’d say Grey needs to lay off the Viagra and pay his doctor a visit.

Ana Steele is basically a sex doll

Actress who will be playing Ana Steele

This lovely lady will be playing the part of Ana Steele in the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Unless it’s to perform oral sex, Ana isn’t actually allowed to be active during her sexy-time with Christian Grey. He orders her to hold completely still as he humps her like a poorly trained dog, and she isn’t allowed to touch his hair, let alone his torso. I fail to see how Ana is able to even get fully aroused without making actual human contact, kissing, groping, etc.; women need all of that pawing as much as men do, that’s kind of the point of the whole sex thing. Miss Steele is credited wit releasing the “inner goddesses”of hundreds of women, yet there is nothing goddess-like about her behavior. She is not liberated through sex, she doesn’t even participate in it. She just lays there while a control freak boinks her. Despite what James would have you believe, becoming a flesh light with legs is not the epitome of sexual fulfillment.

E L James apparently doesn’t know what an orgasm is

E L James doesn't know what an orgasm is

“An orgasm? I’d have to say it’s that tingly feeling you get when your cervix finally starts to go numb.”

Considering she has children, it’s safe to assume that E L James has participated in sexual activity at least a couple times, but it must not have been very good. Otherwise, she might know a little bit more about an orgasm and what causes it. As is, Ana blows her gasket over such things as:

  • Grey groping her breasts
  • Grey beginning to insert his penis into her (I mean literally at the moment of contact)
  • Repeated cervix punching

This nonsense is unrealistic to the point of not even being sexy. A woman’s orgasm takes a little work, and that’s fine, that’s sexy. It’s hot to read about all the little tweaks and movements that lead to a lady’s climax, so why is James so determined to pretend that all it takes is a nipple twitch and few strokes from a lead pipe? Sex is more than a matter of insert tab A into slot B. I will, however, give James a little credit for acknowledging the existence of the clitoris. That being said, she still portrays a version of sex that would not be satisfying to the female participant.

The scenes themselves are dull and repetitive

On top of everything else, these scenes aren’t even well written. Every single sex scene is pretty much the same: Grey tells Ana to hold completely still, repeated use of the word “slamming,” Ana “collapses from the inside” two or three times, and then Grey “finds his release.” Finds his release. How unsexy is that? It makes me think of someone recovering from a bad headache, or locating their misplaced sunglasses.

Sexual revelation? I think not

There is nothing new or liberating about James’s novel. It’s just another example of women being sex objects rather than sexual beings; in this book women don’t have sex, sex is something that is done to them. This book is like the Queen’s message that ladies should lay back and think of England while their husbands have sex with them, only now it is also part of a woman’s duty to let her man hit her with horse whips.

Oh, relish the revolution.

Five reasons not to get married young

Holy Matrimony has a hefty price tag

1. Weddings are expensive. Fun fact: the average American wedding costs $25631. That’s a number that’s going to make your savings account want to drive a jacked up Ford, just so it can cope with its glaring inadequacy. That is, assuming that account hasn’t already been drained by college tuition, down payments, rent and all of those other little necessities like say… food and electricity. Do you really want to tack the price of a wedding onto all of that? And let’s face it, if you’re in your twenties–or, God forbid, even younger– and considering marriage, it’s probably because you’re going for the fairytale, which means you won’t be running off to elope. You want the whole shabang: ugly bridesmaids dresses, tuxedos, a gown you’ll never wear again and possibly even lice-ridden doves you can release at the “I dos.” You have your whole life to sink into inescapable debt.Pace yourself.

This clock is no longer your master, rejoice!

2. This is 2012; you don’t have to race the biological clock. Back in the day, if you wanted kids you had to have them before your fertility ran out, and you better have them early because you would probably die by your mid forties and you didn’t want to leave an orphan. But hey, this is the year 2012; unless you believe in the Mayan-predicted doom, you can rest easy knowing that you can have kids at age 35 and still have the energy to jump for joy when they finally move out. And with all the fertility treatment options, we’re not even restricted by our own bodies anymore. There’s no need to rush into marriage for the sake of having kids anymore; we’ve overcome our need to marry young and are all the better for it.

3. You don’t have to get married to have sex. Let’s not kid ourselves; the other reason folks used to get married young is because premarital sex was either a legal or social crime, so by age 20 they couldn’t take it anymore. But now, you don’t have to be in a relationship anymore, so do yourself a favor and don’t confuse sex with love, or love with the need to be immediately married, for that matter. There is no special privilege to be unlocked by holy matrimony, so why rush into it?

As you grow up, you may grow apart, and that’s fine. It’s better to find that out before getting married.

4. You need time to grow. Just because you’re grown up physically doesn’t mean the rest of you has caught up to your height yet. By your early twenties, your brain is not yet even fully developed. You’re just now squirming your way out from under you parents’ protective wing and beginning to discover who you are as an adult. In short, who you are now is not necessarily who you’ll be five or ten years down the line… so is it really fair to promise yourself to someone when the current “you” had an expiration date? Perhaps you and your partner will grow in the same direction, but perhaps not. Why risk it?

5. Divorce is also expensive. What happens if all that debt, stress and growing in separate directions happens to drive a wedge between you and your beloved? Then it’s time to get a divorce. Which is also expensive. And probably painful for both parties. While needing a divorce is never something you should be ashamed of, the ultimate goal when you get marries is to not have to get one. So why not give your marriage the fighting chance it deserves and wait until you’re older, until you can be certain your lives are really compatible? A breakup is a lot less hassle than a divorce.

On Marriage (a poem)

As I was cleaning my bookshelf, I came across a poem I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school. Since it’s relevant, I thought I’d share it here.  I was so cute and spunky, was I not?

On Marriage
By Cedar Goslin

You can keep your bridal gown
Your snow white veil, too
They only make me frown
Keep your rings
Your wedding bands
And other fancy things
I will not catch your bouquet
Nor will I throw it
Unless to throw it away
do you hear that wedding bell?
It sounds like a death toll
Calling you to hell
No groom could ever suffice
Prince Charming is a bore
And castles aren’t so nice
While others mate for life
This bird flies solo
And can never be called “wife”
Mock me, I’ll only smile
It’s good to know there’s more to life
Than walking down the aisle