When Humanities Majors Take Science Courses

This, a direct quote from my physics textbook:

“If neon tubes appeal to you for illumination, you probably march to your own drummer. Most people opt for a somewhat better simulation of sunlight in their discharge lamps. As an energy-efficient source of artificial sunlignt, it’s hard to beat fluorescent lamps.”

The previous section talks about how neon tubes work, while the subsequent section talks about how fluorescent lights work. For some reason, the editors of this textbook decided to insert their own opinions into a compilation of facts. Come on, guys. You’re scientists, you know you’re supposed to avoid bias and insulting readers. This is unprofessionalism at it’s best, or worst, as the case may be.

On Feminism and Date Rape

I used to be a rape apologist, as some would call it. I never really bought into the argument that “just because I’m wearing a mini-skirt and grinding with you doesn’t mean I don’t want any from you”. I agreed with this person’s view on date rape. Read the article, but if you don’t, this quote just about sums it up:

Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

I recently went to an event at my college about sexual assault. There was a poster there which said, ” ‘yes, yes, yes, oh God, yes!’ means yes. Prevent rape by waiting for enthusiastic consent”. I’m still not sure whether I agree with that one. I mean, there’s been movies that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see that my boyfriend convinced me to see. Does that me he coerced me into seeing it? Did he “rape” my movie-choosing? No, he convinced me to see it. Same with sex. Sometimes one partner is unsure of how much they want. Simple, non-forceful convincing is part of the give and take of a relationship.

At the event, a girl spoke about her rape and made me think about it in a totally different way. She said she was raped at a frat party, after going back with a guy whom she’d been dancing with the whole night. She said to the crowd “Maybe I was looking for SOMETHING, but not EVERYTHING. My dress does not excuse his behavior.”

Right. I sometimes forget about limits. The hard part is being able to communicate what the limits are, often because I myself don’t know what I want. Did this girl at the party have limits? Apparently. Did she communicate her limits to the guy she was with? Possibly. Should potential sex partners have to wait until their partner is begging them to have sex? Probably not. Where is the limit. Should one have to sign a consent form for sex? The lawyer in me wants to say yes, but the realist in me says no way.

Additionally, feminists will probably shun me for saying this, but I have certainly fallen privy to the game of saying “I’m fine” when in reality I mean “I’m not fine, but I don’t want to just come right out and say it, because I want you to press me to tell you whats really going on”. I like this. I like the fact that he begs me to open up to him. I like the fact that he reinforces how much he wants to know what I’m thinking and feeling. I don’t WANT to tell him straight away.

If men aren’t allowed to claim yes means no with regards to sex, can women claim that yes means no in regards to emotions? Can we really allow ourselves to force our boyfriends to press us to tell them why we’re upset, if they can’t then press us into having sex with them? Frankly, I’m not ready to give up the cat-and-mouse game of emotional jenga. And if that means playing cat-and-mouse sex, okay.

I Enjoy Being a Girl, but…

Here are some reasons why being a man is so much easier:

-If you don’t wear makeup, no one’s gonna say anything or look at you strangely or think of you as unprofessional. Same thing with hair styling. Seriously, I want just ONE wake up and go day that I don’t end up regretting later. Just one, please!!

-You don’t end up crying for hours for no explainable reason except that, well, your internal hormones are just doing their thing.

-2 outfits. That’s all you ever really need. Maybe 3 or 4 if you’re super stylish. Think of all that saved closet space.

-If you wear tight, uncomfortable, constricting clothing and shoes that result in long term joint and muscle pain, you’re crazy, not fashionable.

-Pockets in every garment.

-You don’t get pints of blood pouring out of you monthly, potentially ruining both clothing and a sexy evening.

-Less work, more money. Also, less money spent on styling products and clothing.

Tearing Up Myself

There are some aspects about my relationship which I keep private. I do this in order to maintain the trust between my boyfriend and I. If something is shared between the two of us, we both need to know that it will stay only between the two of us.

I failed last Saturday night. Friends and I had gone out for a friend’s birthday, and got pretty drunk (almost every bar we went to gave us a free round. It was epic). We were all joking and laughing and talking about relationships, and I let one of his secrets slip. I feel absolutely terrible about it. I tried to quickly cover it up, and turn the conversation in another direction, but it was still too late. My friends had all heard what I said.

I can’t go into too much detail about the incident on this blog, obviously, but suffice it to say that the drunken secret spilling has been tearing at me since it happened. I won’t tell him I told them, since that would just make things worse. I can’t talk to my friends about it, since I don’t want to remind them of what I said. So, world, I am telling you:


Internal Contradictions

Imagine this scenario:

You are person that keeps kosher, strictly. You join a volunteer organization which ships you out to various developing countries to help build up their community. When you get to the particular village that you will be living and working in, you are greeted by the entire village. They have thrown you a welcome party, complete with a roasted goat. This goat is one of only 10 goats they have in the village, but the slaughtered it to honor your arrival. They give you a plate, and ask that you take the first bite. What do you do?

My first reaction was that I would have to give up my kashrut standards for the sake of cultural sensitivity.

My friend, who is joining the Peace Corps and was asked this question on her interview, responded by saying she would first thank them for hosting the party, say how honored she was by all this, thank them for their generosity, and explain to them that just as they have things they do as part of their worship of God, she too has things she does for God, one of which is not eating goats, and to ask the village to please enjoy the goat for her.

I was ashamed that I didn’t react that way. I WISH that religion was more important to me. I wish I could be more steadfast in my attachment to observance. But then, there’s this post, which I still agree with. I would not, and would not WANT to, sacrifice my child if God told me to. I would not commit murder, rape, or assault simply for the sake of religious fervor.

I have always felt that my external moral beliefs (which may very well have been shaped by my religious beliefs) will always trump my religious beliefs. I don’t WANT that to change.

And now I am confused. Why do I feel bad that I would put my cultural sensitivity in front of my religious behavior if that is, after all, how I want to live my life? Is kashrut an external moral belief? I don’t think so. Why, then, is it so important to me?