10 New Year's Resolutions for a Feminist Man From Texas

2013 was... an interesting year as far as the rights of women were concerned. Especially if you live here in Texas where we considered unsupervised uteruses to be slightly less dangerous than illegal immigrants, but slightly more dangerous than homosexuals having the same rights as others. On the sliding Yee Haw scale of Texas dumbfuckery, women's rights sits at least in the top 30 percent.

I spend a fair amount of time being pissed off at the ignorance, lack of empathy, and just obliviousness of many of my peers and brethren, but I can't do much to change sow's ears into silk purses. So I've decided to work on myself instead in order to raise the average level of understanding between the sexes a degree or two.

10. I will be more vigilant about the right of consent to enter personal space. I'm a hugger by nature, but I've noticed that when I meet many women in person that I've previously known only through social media my physical affection tendencies can be off-putting. In the future I will try very hard to definitively ask first if I can touch them.

9. I will stop using the word "cunt" no matter how cool I think it sounds in British crime dramas. It just doesn't translate the same as my other Anglophelic affectations. I make no promises, though for when an opportunity to make a pun on "country" or "contrary" arises. I'm only human after all.

8. When the opportunity presents itself in a video game or other media to assume a female avatar or main character I will do so. In single player it allows me to experience trials and tribulations through point of view I am less able to directly ascribe to my own. In multiplayer, it will allow me to experience anonymous interactions with others as women do.

7. I was raised to open the door for her, pull out her chair, help her with her coat, and offer to carry heavy loads for her. I will still do these things, but I will also start doing them for men as well in order to avoid treating women as incapable or as objects to be serviced. Plus, it's a nice thing to do and the world can always use more of that.

6. I will stand up when I hear misogyny and other anti-women rhetoric espoused in my presence. At the very least I will politely make it known that I don't agree with such thoughts just because I happen to be a man. Most of the troubles in the world could be done away with if we'd just remind people that the views they hold are cruel and not at all popular.

5. I will actively seek out things which are not pink for my daughter. Pink's a fine color, of course, but the constant one-sided color coding of everything to designate what belongs to her sex and what belongs to mine is starting to get irritating. When people get color-coded throughout history, it rarely turns onto an ice-cream-and-cake party.

4. Though I think that Sweden's employment of the Bechdel Test in film (In which to pass two named female characters must talk to each other about something other than a man) in their ratings system is a bit much. I'm going to be more aware of the test when watching movies and judge them accordingly. For instance, I loved American Hustle, but as far as I am aware of it utterly failed that test. You have to wonder why that is.

3. When I talk about women in articles I will try very hard to not mention what I think of their physical appearance unless it directly relates to their art or music. Sometimes it does of course, but for the most part it's just mindless objectifying filler at best. Especially since most articles come with pictures anyway so why do it at all?

2. I will stop suggesting that girls kiss each other for drinks... that shit is really juvenile.

1. Finally, I will do whatever my time and pocketbook will allow to help Wendy Davis get elected governor of the state of Texas. It's not just because I believe in her message, though I very much do. It's also that I'm tired of people reading articles like this one and sending me emails expressing surprise that a viewpoint like mine exists in the Lone Star State. It's well past time we cleaned up this backwards media image we show the rest of the country. If there is an anti-Rick Perry, it's Wendy Davis.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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