The Hidden Feminism of Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum Feminist

I don’t know that much about Channing Tatum. I know he used to be a male stripper and that he’s pretty funny. The only movies I’ve ever seen him were the wrestling one with Steve Carell and one I had to Google search just now. “end of the world movie james franco.” It was This Is The End.

I specifically remember thinking he was cool in This Is The End because of one particular scene. He was in a gimp suit and got down submissively on all fours at one point. I’m pretty sure he acted like a dog and was wearing a leash. It was funny, and something I’m not sure a lot of male actors are secure enough to do on screen for a few laughs, or accustomed to doing thanks to the lopsided “artistic” sexual portrayals/exploitations of male vs. female actors in Hollywood.

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It reminded me of when I lived in Chile post-undergrad and my boyfriend at the time was trying yoga with me for the first time ever. We were watching a Yogamazing video podcast and, like at the beginning of many yoga sessions, we started by doing cat cow pose. That’s the one where you’re on all fours and arch your back to stretch your core muscles like a cow, then make a cat back to stretch out your back. Then you repeat for a couple of breaths and move on with your life.

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For some reason, after one try of these cat cow stretches, my ex became really angry. “I’m not doing this anymore! I HATE IT!!” When I asked him why, if something hurt, etc., he wouldn’t give me a clear answer, which angered me even more because whatever I’m thinking is wrong always leads to a 100% worse scenario. Is it because he has some cartilage stretching deep inside his body that doesn’t allow him to move well, and if he snaps it he’ll die? Is he jonesin’ to do a #2? Is he about to lay down a huge cheesy blaster? Is it because that’s what I look like when we do doggy style?

And that was it. I couldn’t stop thinking about that last one. I became convinced–and still am to this day–that that’s the reason he threw a literal fit about doing those yoga stretches. I’ll never know for sure if that was actually the reason because he strangely wouldn’t tell me–but I can’t let go that it isn’t.

I’m not really the type to start blaming myself for other people’s problems with sexism and the patriarchy. It’s honestly really sad to think about some man hypothetically believing a stretch is too feminine for him. But it does make me livid that he might have felt ashamed or less than doing a pose I do for exercise AND sometimes when we’re doin’ it. Well then, why the fuck are you asking me to bend over in the bedroom if you can’t even do it during yoga? If it’s that embarrassing for you, maybe it should be that embarrassing for me. *And so on until we all die from starvation and being lame af.*

That’s why I’m amazed every time I see Channing Tatum move his body. He is an incredible dancer who doesn’t, according to Sexist Stereotypes for Men, look like he would be. I haven’t seen any of the Magic Mike movies, but I have seen clips and am shocked at how confident and free he looks doing dance moves that most men would probably not attempt. Even more recently his incredible Lip Sync Battle where he dressed in drag as Beyoncé and fucking killed it dancing–and dressing–like her.

 

It’s honestly a breath of fresh air to see him not only pull off her moves, but look truly free and happy doing it–without the burden of cultural patterns of oppression weighing down upon his incredibly sculpted male physique.

Not that white straight dudes need a ton of attention right now in this country, but I could have used this Channing Tatum dance moment to show my ex that men can move their bodies in lots of different ways–and that doesn’t make them less of a person, a man, or whatever you want to call yourself. It’s also pretty insulting to be ashamed of being feminine.

The cultural importance of a straight cisgender dude dancing in drag, lip syncing with Beyoncé, on cable television, to a song called “Run the World (Girls)” is one huge point for feminism in 2016. Let us celebrate Channing Tatum for helping tear down the sexist patriarchy one hair flip, hip shake and back bend at a time. Just remember, boys: love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like nobody’s listening, and dance like Channing Tatum is watching. Feminism 2016™.

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The best place to date on the internet

Aside from making a joke Christian Mingle dating profile my freshman year of college, I have never tried online dating. Sort of. If we’re talking specific dating websites like Okcupid, Tinder, eHarmony, then fuck no. I still can’t wrap my head around making a digital poster trying to sell yourself in under 30 seconds to a bunch of people who are superficially judging the SHIT out of you. It’s the digital dating equivalent of the poorly dressed guy with gross teeth and whiskey breath trying to chat you up in the bar after you just spent 2 exciting hours picking out your outfit, curling your hair and applying liquid eyeliner, just to find an anal fissure rain on your pretty parade. No thank you, sir. Why put so much effort into a dating profile filled with hungry rats when there’s a way more effective place to date online?

Are you ready for this shit?

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It’s TWITTER.

For about a year, I gave out my Twitter handle instead of my phone number or Facebook or email. And actually my current bf, who before was a really, really light acquaintance, thought I was hilarious on Twitter and it eventually led to us hanging out, dating and gettin’ all lovey and shit. All of those other mediums are WAY too personal to give out to someone you’ve just met or a cute acquaintance. Here’s why:

  • Texting is never casual and always stressful with new people.
  • Facebook is like inviting a new person into your family dinner, high school reunion and a digital record of your life for the past decade simultaneously
  • Email is like you’re ready to give up and share bills already

Why Twitter is the best place to date

On Twitter, you don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want. I think there is a deep meaning in adopting a user name, because it frees you from the confines of societal norms that your government name ties to you. You can express yourself more freely, which is the kind of communication you should get out there right away when it comes to meeting new people. None of this “so, where’d you go to school?” bullshit and straight to the “corn dogs are fucking AWESOME” jam. Twitter lets people read you and your thoughts as you go about your normal, daily life, (and lets you read them too), which I think is a WAY better dating tool than constructing a profile of your Best And Most Interesting Qualities to lure dates. Dating profile fluff isn’t getting anybody anywhere. Showing who you are on Twitter will get you somewhere (unless you totally suck and in that case ain’t nobody can help you but God herself).

This is you on every OkCupid date you've ever been on
This is you on every OkCupid date you’ve ever been on

Your Twitter handle is also low commitment contact information to give to cute guys or girls in the bar. You both can follow each other, casually fav, retweet (!!!) or reply to tweets, without there being a ton of intimate pressure to text or endure a fucking awkward and outdated facebook chat *shudders*. Plus, there’s already a bunch of random people following you on Twitter anyways, so adding one more isn’t weird like being immediate Facebook friends would be.

And if you’re reluctant to hand out your Twitter handle, get theirs. That way you can see what kinds of things they write about or retweet before you decide to follow them. If it’s a ton of sports stats and inspirational quotes, then you just sidestepped adding a bunch of a “your” vs. “you’re” tweets in your feed. If it’s a bunch of funny complaints, jokes and relevant cultural references? Cool, new material to steal and use on your coworkers.

What’s best is that in the off chance that your prospective date doesn’t have a Twitter handle, you’ll know they suck and can avoid a week of annoying favs and @ replies. It’s a win win. Yes, the argument could be made that there are cool and interesting people without a social media presence. Lemme know when you find one who isn’t also worried about the fluoride in the water controlling our thoughts. It’s 2014, yo.

So next time you think a guy/girl is cute, think about sending over your twitter handle on a cocktail napkin. You never know if it could turn into a brief and fun romance, new jokes to retweet/steal or a lifetime of LUUUUUVVVVVV.

 

Your holiday guide to meeting the family and not being an idiot

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Tis the season to be jolly az fuck, homies.

It’s also the season for traveling with your new boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend to their hometown for the holidays. It’s stressful meeting other people’s parents and family because all families are pretty weird and have their own fucked up origin stories. It’s like stepping into a new little country where you have to learn the rules quick and not piss off the dictator–or else you’re eating at the kids table with little Damien who pees on shoes and cuts hair when you’re not looking. Here are some tips to avoid being peed on completely ostracized that will hopefully ease your holiday travel nerves.

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1. Take a gift. It is always good manners to present your host, especially around the holidays, with a small gift. Wine is a really safe and classy bet because what kind of total grinch doesn’t love wine? (Alcoholics, that’s who. Find out if the family drinks, and if they don’t, a nice apple cider is perfect.) This Chilean wine from Concha y Toro called Casillero del Diablo is relatively inexpensive for how good it is. I believe it is around 8-10 dollars a bottle. If you have even less money to spend, baking brownies or cookies is a really great, super cheap and very sweet alternative.

casillero-del-diablo

2. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. There is absolutely no excuse for being a rude piece of shit and sitting on  your phone during a holiday trip, ESPECIALLY if you are meeting your friend’s or new lover’s parents and family for the first time. Nothing says “you’re boring and I think you suck” more than a set of eyes glued to a smartphone screen during any kind of party, dinner or hang out. There’s no way around it. Rude. As. Hell. In the eternal words of Uncle Joey, “Cut. It. Out.”

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3. Keep the conversation light. Unless your gf/bf/bff’s parents are Serious Intellectuals who openly welcome thoughtful debate on controversial topics, keep your opinions about abortion and gun control to your Twitter feed. Nothing sours a first impression quite like a heated political debate, amirite? To detract from a conversation in dangerous territories, say a series of vague statements like “Life is so complex! Can you pass me the rolls? I LOVE your shirt!”

Don't be this awkward. Image via the age.com.au
This is what you look like during awkward conversations and probably also during sex. Image via the age.com.au

4. Don’t shy away from conversation. I am extremely social and conversational so I have no idea what it’s like to be “awkward” or “shy”. But I do know this: most people really don’t care if you’re shy or a little strange as long as you’re also nice/not a huge asshole. You can ask people questions about themselves. You can tell people things about yourself, even if you think it’s sorta weird. Just don’t casually bring up how you like to eat paper or the fact that you save your toenails cuz that shit is definitely weird as fuck.

5. Offer to help with anything. Normally there are too many cooks in the kitchen, but offer to help chop, set the table or pour the drinks anyways because it shows that you’re not a completely useless human guest. If you don’t help in the preparation or setup of dinner, the least you can do is offer to help clean up afterwards. Large holiday dinners are stressful to prepare, and the last thing your gf/bf/bff’s family probably want is to clean up after your freeloading meal. In other words, get a job, hippie!

This is a rendering of what René Magritte's childhood hand turkey might have looked like. Image via blouinartonfi.com
René Magritte’s imagined childhood hand turkey. Image via blouinartonfi.com

6. Err on the side of being really gracious. It is better to come off as overly enthusiastic about the generosity bestowed upon you by your bf/gf/bff’s family than to come off as ungrateful. Really. At least they’ll be left with a positive impression of you rather than “that guy sucks.” Don’t be that guy, man. You’re better than that. So even if it sucked, be gracious, be kind and you’ll be fine.

7. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t be an idiot.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM 20POORANDFABULOUS

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The real Minneapolis dating scene: Don’t talk to me unless I know you already

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This New York Times article chronicling the dating habits of Minneapolis residents is missing a few key elements of our *wonderful* dating scene. Here are my thoughts on the article and what they left out:

  1. Minnesota nice? People are jerks here just like everywhere else – except when your car gets stuck in the snow. Then they come out of the woodwork like a beautiful termite infestation of goodwill and camaraderie.
  2. The Minneapolis dating scene consists of going out with your friends and not talking to anyone else except your group of friends. That’s seriously it. Maybe it’s because on some level we all know that everyone else will be just as shitty of a human being as our horrible friends, so why bother meeting anyone new? It’s either smart or incredibly lazy with a side of depressing as hell. But hey, that’s us!
  3. My boss once said something really great about Minnesotans and why our dating scene sucks: if you start talking to someone in an elevator, some light chat about the afternoon or the weather, they get so nervous that you’re gonna follow them to their car or ask for their personal home address that they become extremely paranoid and ruin the entire light-hearted experience all because they think you’re gonna murder them. I don’t know what it is or why it exists, but it is very real.
  4. It’s nearly impossible to have a nice conversation with another person in Minneapolis, possibly the entire state, without it being extremely awkward and feeling like a gigantic waste of time. There’s just something about the look in everyone’s eyes that screams “I don’t want to be talking to you. I have enough friends and I’m probably sleeping with one of them when I get black out drunk/horny/sad enough to make a move.”

So: who’s packin’ their bags for good ol’ MPLS?!

Certainly there are very different realities among the different types of people who reside in Minneapolis. Some may be more romantic; others even more bleak than the sad outline I provided above. bad-first-date

And maybe it’s just my age group. I represent the 20-something U of M grad who is still friends with mostly all her college friends, friends of those friends, and friends from work. If you’re not a constant, forced upon presence in somebody’s life here, there ain’t gonna be no out-of-the-blue phone calls happening to hang out or “get a juicy lucy.” (Which, ew.)

Winter also plays a huge part in our disjointed dating scene. For over 6 months of the year, you are confined to the walls of your home, the numbers in your telephone and your Facebook chat list. Making friends in the winter is nearly impossible. Why would you dig your car out of 2 feet of hardened snow to meet up with someone who you don’t even know if you’ll like? That’s why we tend to stick to our group of tried and true friends and don’t bother to branch out unless we absolutely have to. Because chances are, we’ve already got one of you in our circle of friends:

Gay and love dancing? I’ve got two of those already. Going through a never-ending existential crisis with a side of seasonal depression? Yup. See him once a week. In a band? SO AM I AND EVERYONE I KNOW. (Thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!) And if you work at Target Corporate, you better keep movin’ pal cuz nobody wants that Stepford/hipster hybrid cramping their heroin chic apartment.

Furthermore, maybe our dating scene really isn’t any shittier than any other city in the US. In fact, I’d be even MORE skeptical if a city was REALLY good at dating. So what, does that mean you’re all a bunch of honestly nice people who like to go out and have fun with each other? Sickening.

These are the dates I went on this year:

Love.
Dating.
  • A shorter-than-me bartender who believed strongly in gender roles. I’m 5’7″ and he wouldn’t stop mentioning our height difference or being really intense about how a woman and a man should act in a relationship.
  • A fun guy I ran into randomly 3 times who I met downtown MPLS and a thrift store in St. Paul. He picked me up the night gay marriage was legalized in MN, we shared a PBR tallboy and celebrated at the Townhouse, and then drank beers on a bridge by the train tracks until it was time to go home. It was the most fun and exhilarating date I’ve had all year, but he was also living in his car at the time. I mean, I’m down for whatever, but it’s pretty hard to date someone who’s living in their car. In the words of Liz Lemon, that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.
  • A guy I met at work where I dj who wouldn’t stop bothering me until he finally broke me down and got my twitter handle, then my snapchat name, and then my number. We had a really awesome date and then he bailed on the second date citing “baseball” as the reason.
  • A brief snapchat romance with a guy I grew up with as a kid. Snapchats turned sexy, sexy turned into hour long phone convos, amazing phone convos turned into an invitation to his hometown for a 4th of July IRL hangout. Not surprisingly, Snapchat had not wielded a magical forum for love through timed photos, and we were set to self destruct from the beginning, just like the photos themselves.

You see, folks? Those weird romances could have happened to anyone in any city across the country, even the world. So maybe we should stop thinking that every time the NYT comes in to town to chronicle our weird dating scene that we’re special or especially fucked up when it comes to finding a mate. I mean, isn’t one of the most common human denominators the fact that dating sucks? Why else would Sex and the City be such a big hit, or How I Met Your Mother? The real truth is that dating sucks no matter where you live; we’re all just uniquely bad at it. WE ARE THE WORLD (of bad daters). Let it bring us together. Hallelujah.

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F me on Facebook punkssss

Dating: Defining the lukewarm lover

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“Lukewarm Date with Rosa” by shellegg Image via deviantart.com

Telling someone you don’t like them romantically is not fun. And it doesn’t even have to be that you dislike them per se, but even saying you “don’t feel a romantic connection but still think they might be a cool friend” is a really strange boundary to set up when you’ve had maybe one or two dates with anyone. It’s like asking someone to define Yeezus having only heard the opening track. That’s just insane.

I have this theory that may be brilliant or really fucking obvious. It’s that we already know what we think of each other, but we don’t like not having the insurance of a lukewarm lover on the back burner. They’re always there, pretty eager and ALWAYS complimenting your hair. (Plus, it’s always fun to be liked.) But where do we draw the line between leading someone on and keeping them in your cell under “IDK, MAYBZ”?

Reasons lukewarm lovers are still in your cell phone, life

  1. It’s easy to get lonely. Even if the love is lukewarm, it’s something.
  2. Nothing better has come along. It sounds harsh, but you’d be lying to yourself if you say you have never been on a few too many dates with someone because at least it was something to do/entertaining. Of course it’s best to be honest to your lukewarm lover about your intentions. I really like hanging out with you but I’m not sure I see a future together is something I’ve totally said before, and it worked out fine. It feels awkward coming out of your mouth, but people respect honesty a lot more than you’d think. And it’s not like they’re gonna die cuz they can’t have you. People are stronger than you think, too.
  3. What if you need a quick date to a wedding/bar mitzvah/your ex’s engagement party. lukewarm-faucet Of course it’s cool to fly solo, but sometimes that doesn’t feel good and you need someone there with you who’s not your gay BFF or your roommate.
  4. You have no idea what you want. Is there a deeper reason you still have this person in your life? Maybe it’s just a friendship you’d like to continue, or maybe there’s room for romantical shit. Don’t put too much pressure on defining it. Maybe what you need is to NOT define it at all and see where it goes, while still trying to be honest about your intentions. Leading people on sucks, but at least if you’re honest about your uncertainty, they can decide if they can deal with uncertainty or wanna GTFO. Options, yo.
  5. Ego. You want to think that a ton of lukewarm loves are TOTALLY fantasizing about your genitals and sick style, when they are probably not thinking about you at all, or thinking that you’re a huge turd. Nobody likes a turd. Don’t be a turd.

Basically, even though it sucks to talk about uncomfortable shit (hey, adulthood!), it’s best to be open and honest with your lukewarm lover. They can probs handle it, just don’t be a huge asshole because you’re not the first person they’ve ever liked and you won’t be the last. And even if they can’t handle your lukewarm definitions, remember it’s for the best. They’ll move on to find what they’re looking for and so will you. No need to waste your time AND another person’s. Stick to my life mantra which also applies to dating and you should be mostly okay: let’s try not to ruin anyone’s day here, and don’t be a fuckhead.

On the fence: Justin Bieber

Whoa. Image via fanpop.com
Whoa. Image via fanpop.com

Justin Bieber.

Yes, growing up in the spotlight is difficult. He was supposed to be the modern-day Canadian equivalent to the humble, funny and talented Justin Timberlake. However, in recent months, Bieber has shown us just how fussy and annying a super-famous-mega-star baby of 18 years old can really be. Let’s examine what’s going on in the Bieberverse. (Is that a thing? I hate myself for writing that)

The Evidence

He accepted an award for Favorite Pop/Male Artist at the 2012 American Music Awards and dedicated it to”all the haters” which is SO LAME. Come on dude. No. -2

His music is fun. Don’t lie to yourself! Beauty and a Beat is a hella jam (Max Martin produced, so obvi!) Plus, he directed the video which is a really fun and well directed video. +5

ugh, teens. Image via idolator.com
ugh, teens. Image via idolator.com

He met the Canadian Prime Minister in an outfit best described as farm-douche chic. It’s not like their should be some fascist regime when it comes to style and meeting any head of state. It’s just super annoying. Eye roll! -2

He got mad at James Franco (who gets mad at James Franco? WTF?) for making a parody video of his song “Boyfriend”. The parody vid wasn’t even rude or anything, it was hilarious. Not having a sense of humor about your boy-toy status in the pop music industry? Self-awareness goes a long in H-wood Biebs. Get some. -3

Usher likes him. That’s cool, I guess? 0

Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift probably talk SO much shit about him. It would be scary to have those two against you, especially T-Swift. +2

His back story is amazing. I never finished his documentary, but watching him drum as a little kid proves that he was born with a natural talent for music. And his mom got it on tape! +5

His instagram is ridiculous. Body shots, selfies and now buttcrack. He’s like your friend’s gross little brother who farts in his hand and then throws it at you. Why are you showing your fanbase, KIDS AND TEENS AND QUESTIONABLE ADULTS, your buttcrack? Mooning is so 1983. Over! -1

He took his Grammy snubs alright, saying that “It’ll happen one day”. His manager was pissed though, saying on Twitter that “I just plain DISAGREE. The kid deserved it. Grammy board u blew it on this one.” Just be happy you have a job, you jags!!! -1

The Score

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This is all I know about Justin Bieber. I think his music is fun, but his personality could use some growing up. Granted, he is still a teen and there is much needed time and room to grow. If we all had cameras following us and listening to our stupid teen opinions, we’d look like shitheads too. But come on! someone get him a decent PR adviser! It’s BEYOND time for that.

Image via daydreamstars.blogspot.com
Image via daydreamstars.blogspot.com

Taylor Swift is single again, another day has its dawn

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Single again! Oh joy. Image via newnownext.com

Just like the sands of time, Taylor Swift finds herself without an 18-year-old boy to hug at nigh-nigh time. Here are my thoughts:

A) Why is Taylor Swift dating 18-year-olds?

I can barely masturbate to anyone my age, let alone ACTUALLY DATE THEM. And seriously, an 18 year-old? What the fuck does he have going on besides having been world famous for a minute? Sure, he’s got that confusing, side-swept hair ‘n bang combo that makes tweens excited in a really uncomfortable way. And maybe he has some money now, but if my exact and unfaltering recollection of boy band money managements past are any indication, I know that young Harry probably doesn’t have THAT much cash floating around. There’s also charm, but homeless guys on the bus can also be charming so that’s null and void.

B) Why does she always have a boyfriend?

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN T SWIFT Image via graziadaily.co.uk
SLOW THE FUCK DOWN T SWIFT Image via graziadaily.co.uk

Girlfriend needs to take some HER TIME. Stop dating anyone who looks kinda cute and is kinda famous. There are plenty of kinda cute boys to ruin your day when you get older. There’s no need to rush it! Hasn’t she seen every episode of Sex and the City? Love and relationship anguish literally never ends unless you’re lobotomized or in a coma 4ever.

Maybe it’s super lonely being that famous. And sadly it kind of seems like she never had a lot of friends growing up either. But the reason I like being single so much is because I have AMAZING friends. Maybe she should work on forming strong and true friendships this year instead of jumping on every cute celebrity who says they like her Max Martin-produced songs.

C) This may be why she gets dumped a lot

Harry Styles was reported as saying that during their Carribean fight, T-Swift proclaimed “You’re lucky to even be with me.” Whoa, bitch. That is uncalled for. Definitely some ego that NEEDS to be checked. Don’t say that, not to anyone, ever! You are one human being who just happened to become famous by writing songs about failed high school relationships. So what, we’ve all written angsty poems about our high school loves gone wrong. You are successful, but you are not a god. Don’t say shit like that.

I’m not picking sides here and I really don’t even want to defend Harry Styles because I like Taylor Swift’s latest album, but what EXACTLY is lucky about being with Taylor Swift? That once the inevitable break up happens, she’s gonna totally shit on you in an amazing song? Or that everywhere you go, paparazzi are following the both of you? Or maybe it’s the stupid celebrity couple name that need to die in a sick a twisted death that haunts him in his dreams? Haylor. HAYLOR. HUG ME HAYLOR I’M RIGHT HERE BREATHING MOISTLY ON YOUR EYE LID. 

They were cute. RIP suckaz. Image via andpop.com
They were cute. RIP suckaz. Image via andpop.com

Taylor: please, slow down. Be by yourself. It can be beautiful. Being alone is not sad. It’s fucking awesome. Pizza rolls? Anytime baby. Take a look into what you REALLY want in a partner, and not into their celebrity status or what kind of song you’ll get out of holding hands with someone you think doesn’t deserve to be with you. That’s kinda insane, girl. Get it together!