makeup.

There are a lot of celebrity women who are suddenly promoting going makeup-free and living a bare-faced life. All in all this isn’t a bad lesson and is something that needs to be said over and over again to people who are growing up in our filtered, photoshopped, face-tuned world. But I want to talk about it from the perspective of someone who loves makeup, and chooses to do a full face each morning… okay, most mornings.  Whether it means to or not, this movement misrepresents women who do wear makeup on the daily. Promoting a makeup-free lifestyle says more than just “love the skin you’re in,” it also implies that women who put on makeup each day do it for any reason other than just… because they like it. I have yet to meet a woman who hates makeup, yet still takes the time and money to invest in it. If a woman doesn’t want to wear makeup, she won’t – period.

Society make the mistake of thinking women wear makeup because we’re insecure. Boys make the mistake of thinking women wear makeup because we want them to think we’re pretty. Truth is, some of us just like putting stuff on our faces. As a woman who wears her paycheck in the form of matte lipsticks and winged eyeliner, here are some thoughts:

  • Some people do yoga or exercise in the mornings, but I really like taking that time to drink a cup of coffee and put on my makeup. It’s relaxing, it’s not something I have to use too much brain power to accomplish and taking that time to take care of myself sets me up to have a really good morning.
  • It’s my favourite way to express creativity. I’m not an artsy person – I can’t draw, paint, or design anything. I write sometimes but that’s not something I find the time to do a lot. So I take my creative energy out on my face. I like experimenting with different colours, textures and shapes. I like figuring out how to enhance my already usually good skin and bright eyes. It’s important to me that I have this outlet to express different parts of my personality with differently styled makeup looks – it’s fun for me.
  • I very rarely leave my house without at least a little makeup on – BB cream and brow gel for sure – but that’s not an insecurity thing. I don’t have great skin all the time, my eyebrows are funny shapes and I have a really round face that makes me look about 6 years younger than I am. These are all things that I can (and do) change with makeup but I know that there’s nothing wrong with any of it – I accept the fact that my face is not flawless. I have no problem being bare-faced in public but I’ve never been the type of person who likes to feel sloppy. I’m not a sweatpants person, I don’t own any stained t-shirts, and I do not wear running shoes outside of the gym. To me, taking 5 minutes to put on a little bit of makeup goes hand in hand with putting on a pair of jeans instead of wearing your pajama pants to run errands.
  • For the most part, the makeup industry does not pander to the preferences of men anymore. We’re seeing this a lot more with unnatural coloured lipsticks, bold highlights and extreme contour becoming popular. If we wore makeup only because boys liked it, we wouldn’t wear half of what is trendy right now. In my experience, boys don’t like blue lipstick or neon eyeshadow or huge falsies. I own all of those things, I like all of those things and if a man is going to go out of his way to tell me I’d look better without them – byeeeee. This isn’t to please you honey, it’s for me. It’s a small way for me to express who I am to the rest of the world and if who I am that day wants to wear black lipstick and bold eyebrows, well dammit I’m gonna. Sorry, not sorry.

It’s important to be comfortable with who you are, and with what you look like. It’s absolutely wonderful to have total confidence in yourself and be okay facing the word without a good foundation and concealer combination to protect you, and I would never try to discredit that message. But a solid contour game and overdrawn lipstick does not mean I am insecure with who I am. So no, I will not participate in #NoMakeupMonday. I will not post a bare-faced selfie for your natural beauty initiative on Facebook. I will not consider going makeup-free for 1 week. I like wearing makeup; I don’t find it daunting or difficult. I don’t feel pressured to look a certain way, and I don’t find your ,”look at me, I’m not wearing makeup because I’m super brave!” attitude to be at all revolutionary. You’re no different than me, except my eyelids are gold and sparkly, and my lashes hit my glasses when I blink.

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Can I Be A Feminist If…?

…I wear makeup?
…I like Nicki Minaj and Beyonce?
…I come home and make dinner for my husband/boyfriend/father/whatever man I have in my life?
…I am not angry all the time?
…I really want to get married and raise a family?
…I don’t work?
…I let men help me with my car and plumbing?
…I like to impress men?
…I’m submissive in bed?
…I’m a man?

Yes.

It has come to my attention that I might be a feminist. I’ve always avoided using that term to describe myself, not because I don’t agree with the general terms and conditions it holds, but because I didn’t want to get lumped in with the crazies that the culture of Internet-feminists has brought forward.

However, at it’s core, feminism is about equality of the genders. All of them, however many you think there are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines feminism as, and I quote, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Equality to men, not “gaining world domination by killing all the men.” A feminist is someone who believes in the general equality of the sexes. You can absolutely agree with those things while baking an apple pie for your loving husband who works so hard to provide a good life for you. That doesn’t make you any less of a woman, or a feminist.

Feminism is not synonymous with man-hating, burning bras, or general crazy people. If someone hates men and wants to let their nips fly around, that’s their own prerogative. You can believe that women are intelligent, hard working, and appreciate everything that they contribute to the world while still respecting men and their amazing accomplishments.

2014 was a huge year for feminism; we couldn’t go a week without seeing news stories and Twitter hashtags, and Facebook posts on the subject of women’s rights. Between #yesallwomen, heforshe, and a general uprising of sorts, specifically in the digital world, “feminism” became one of the biggest topics of the year. That’s like, 70%* awesome and totally something that needs to be happening, but it’s also 30% really destructive. Feminists have always had a reputation for being “crazy”, or had their anger at being considered second-rate blamed on hormones and PMS. It’s actually a huge part of the feminist movement itself; women don’t want to be seen as overemotional children who can’t handle real-world pressures, because they’re not. They’re angry because they only make $0.76 for every dollar a man makes, or because their opinions on politics are never taken seriously, or because certain men are constantly shitting out their condescension upon women’s heads. It’s frustrating. Women want to be taken seriously, feel safe to live their lives, and to be treated equal to men in the workplace, at home, sexually, and just… in general.

But with every good intention comes a downfall – this “fourth wave of feminism” that we’re experiencing right now is quite frightening.  In a lot of cases, the Internet can be an amazing tool but 80% of the people on it* don’t understand how to be a normal human person behind a screen. They take their platform and go bananas – please refer to my post entitled “Do You Even Understand Logic” for reference (and entertainment, because I’m hilarious).

Internet feminism has become so far removed from actual feminism that I’m honestly not even sure what their goals are. Because of the majority of SJW’s calling for the downfall and destruction of men, “the ultimate enemy”, a lot of people don’t want to touch the crazy. This is something that I’ve said often, but I need to scream it from the top of every building as loudly and as often as I can:

MEN ARE NOT THE ENEMY.

Men can and will be our allies. Personally, I know more men who believe in equality than I do women. That’s an amazing thing to see, and I don’t want insane people on the Internet to take that away. There will always be men who don’t side with feminism, who don’t understand what we’re “whining about”, but know that they are a minority. Hell, there’s women with those thought patterns too.

And that brings me to anti-feminism. I’ve seen a lot of feminists mocking women who say they “don’t need feminism”. They hold up signs saying that they don’t need feminism because they don’t feel threatened by the men in their life, or because they make enough money to support themselves, etc. I was like these women – I saw the SJW posts on Tumblr and it freaked me out. I didn’t want to be associated with a group of people that wanted to “break men” or who thought that all men had to offer to the world was sperm. That’s insane, offensive, disrespectful and frankly not something that any competent person would agree with. So I, along with these women, decided that feminism wasn’t for me. I believed in the equality of the genders, and that men and women both have amazing things to contribute to the world, so I called myself an “equalist”. As time went on, and I did more research, I realized that what I believed in was, in fact, this little thing called “feminism”. Ever heard of it? What SJW’s on the Internet believe in is… something else entirely.

So now that I’ve ranted all over the place for a while, all I really have left to say is this:

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a feminist. After I’m done kicking butt at work today, I’m going to go home and make some soup for my boyfriend because he’s cute and I goshdarn feel like it.

* Why yes, I did pull these stats out of my ass. Thank you for noticing. Did you know that 64% of the worlds statistics are made up on the spot?**
** I made that one up too.  The troll is strong with this one.
[originally published 28 days ago on stephaniefaye.sbvtle.com]

Do You Even Understand Logic?

[originally published 8 months ago on stephaniefaye.sbvtle.com]

Today, my afternoon consists of sitting in an office with nothing to do, because our deadline was yesterday due to the long weekend, therefore Friday is kind of a write-off. And what do I do in with this spare time? Well I’m glad you asked – I’m a little masochistic in some of my internet browsing choices, so obviously I click over to Buzzfeed and sit down to enjoy myself some strange, misguided thoughts by women who are apparently embarrassed to be women. Let’s break some of these down, shall we?:

shave
Oh, I don’t know, maybe because preference is a thing? And it’s allowed? If you don’t want to to shave, okay, cool – don’t. No one is telling you that you have to. But before you go and challenge someone on their own personal turn offs, you better make damn sure that you’ve never rejected someone because they have acne or because they pee in the shower. You have absolutely no right to dismiss anyone for what they think is attractive, just because it makes you uncomfortable. I’m 100% positive that you have the same kind of preferences up there in your entitled head.

tampons
Do you want to know when I stopped being embarrassed to buy tampons? When I was about fourteen and realized that exactly 0% of the other people in Walmart cared if I had my period. If you’re embarrassed because of something that your own body is supposed to do, this might be about your own insecurities rather than the judgmental and mocking looks you’re imagining from the grown adults in the pharmacy section. No one cares that you need tampons except you. So put on your big girl panties (but not the nice ones, because …well, you know) and go get some tampons. Is my use of the word tampon making you uncomfortable? I hope it is because I think maybe you need to grow the f*ck up.

sex
First off, I can’t even articulate how incredibly disrespectful it is to assume that the man you’re with will actually get upset with you for saying no to sex (assuming you have a healthy sex life in the first place). If you’re with that kind of man, maybe you should respect yourself enough to walk away. Or if you’re often saying no because you don’t want to have sex with him anymore, respect the both of you enough to walk away.

last
If you’re asking ‘yeah Stephanie, what IS wrong with other girls?’, please start at the beginning of this post.

It’s Not About Blame

[originally published on stephaniefaye.sbvtle.com]

I am a woman, and I have experienced a large amount of harassment, condescension, abuse and unfairness based on nothing but my gender. I’ve had legitimate reasons to fear walking home alone at night, I’ve had men feel like they were entitled to my body, and I’ve been made to feel like a lesser person because I’m a pretty girl. Worst of all, I’ve been made to feel ashamed of my own body, the clothes I chose to wear, the tone of my personality, and my intelligence because of how other people would react to me. And I don’t blame anyone for it.

I am not a man hater. I don’t blame men for the snap judgements and obstacles that have been placed in my life. Placing blame is not a productive approach to the very real struggles that women face on a daily bases.

#YesAllPeople
I don’t consider myself a feminist – if you need to put a label on it, you could call me an equalist. Part of that is because of the negative connotation that that word carries as of late, but mostly it’s because a lot of feminists I’ve met, whose blogs I’ve read, whose YouTube videos I’ve watched – I don’t agree with the way that they speak. They preach that the only way for women to achieve anything is to destroy men, and their contributions to the world we live in. I want to refrain from calling anyone’s opinions ‘incorrect’ or saying that anyone is wrong, but this is blatantly wrong. As a gender, we cannot step on men to rise above. We have to rise together, as people. We cannot empower one gender by tearing down another in the name of equality. That is counter-productive and hypocritical. Equality, by it’s very definition, is for every single person. It’s everyone’s fight. While it’s absolutely true that men will not understand everything that we go through as women, the feelings of shame, and the fear of harassment and rape are not experiences that are exclusive to us. Men too, are subject to body-shaming, and they understand the dread of walking downtown after dark. They get that it’s a healthy, necessary fear. Men are not our enemies. In fact, they could be our allies. They can help us combat the need to hold our keys as a weapon, we just need to let them.

#NotAllMen
An article put out by globeandmail.com recently suggested that the #notallmen movement was a “too-common tactic used to dismiss misogyny”. What we have to understand is that men are tired of having their gender berated for something that isn’t true of every single one of them. If the roles were reversed and men were angry, saying that women as a group are terrible, we would be objecting and saying the same thing, “not all women!”.
Men, instead of being quick to come to a defense, perhaps take a step back and look at the problem that lead you here. Take the energy you were going to use as a defense, and put it into finding a solution, instead of writing off a women’s concerns as an extremist feminist agenda. Individually, you might not be a part of the problem but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the solution.
Women, it is too easy to generalize when looking for someone to blame. I repeat, men are not our enemies. We are not fighting this battle against every single man. In fact, we’re not even fighting this battle against men exclusively. Saying “not all men are pigs” isn’t about trivializing anything. It means exactly what it says – not all men are pigs, and that’s the truth.

Being a woman, I understand the struggle, and some days this truly is a terrifying world to live in, and be a female. I even understand the want to find someone to blame. It’s easier than trying to fix the issue. But the problem does not lie exclusively within one gender versus the other.  The problem is in all genders’ attitudes toward the issue, and while there is no way to change every person’s mind, we can all do our parts to find a solution – to find a way to make our world a safe and equal environment for every single person, because that’s what we are – we are all people.