Cranky Fat Feminist Speaks

liberal feminist from the south who ran away to college in the mid-west, and quickly retreated back after my four years were up. trying to save the world one picture book at a time; attempting to live healthier to lose weight, but without giving up beer. challenging the idea that “big is beautiful” as well as what I’ve learned and experienced about women, gender, and feminism from my time in college as well as my time in West Africa. pissed about the apathy of the world, ready to create change one mind at a time.

I'd love any comments you'd like to share! And as always, I'd love for you to click on an ad when you're done reading, it's a simple free way for you to give money towards my student loans!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

[cranky] dear ex, I feel like damaged goods

Dear LD,
I'm trying to forget you. I'm trying not to be childish. I'm trying to move forward. To move on.

You told me you loved me, and that I had re-awoken you to the world. You provided the sincerest illusion of true lasting love, friendship, and companionship.

Looking back, I never told you my secrets, and I never fully opened up to you. Perhaps I thought I had years to do that. Perhaps I was afraid that you'd comment using your judgemental tone of voice. That same judgemental and condescending tone of voice you've used every time you've spoken to me since you dumped me.

And yes, you dumped me. It was no mutual split. Your best friend even agrees to that. "Nothing lasts forever so it might as well end now" is the most truthful excuse you've given me since you sent that text message calling it off.

Clearly we cannot be friends. You look down on me and talk down to me. I am unworthy because I work freelance while looking for salaried work. You made pizzas for the man until you were 40 and decided you should grow up. But I'm unworthy.

The last few times we've run into each other you look right through me. I suppose it's better than you trying to give me unwanted life advice. Still, I'm desperate for your friendship. But when I've tried to reach out as a friend, you claim I'm booty calling you. Don't worry, you said you never wanted to sleep with me again. I'm not going to booty call the only man who's ever told me that.

I don't know why it took me three months to finally lose my shit, sobbing in a heap of snot next to my dirty laundry, punching the floor. I finally needed you to be there holding me, only to realize that I was truly completely alone, that you were never going to be standing in my bedroom again. I was a shrieking terrifying mess, finally.

And I hate you for it.

I don't know how to forgive, forget, move on, be friends. Part of my heart is scarred and dead, and you did that. It will be years before I can trust a man and love him, because I know he could be capable of running away tomorrow. If you, of all people, could run away and not look back then anyone could. And I'm not sure my heart can take that again.

Monday, August 11, 2014

[cranky] ebola, and why scared US residents need to get over themselves

When I woke up a week ago over a third of the stories on CNN's mobile news app were about Ebola. I've been following this outbreak since April, because I studied abroad in West Africa and have friends there. I also contracted Typhoid Fever while I was there, despite getting my mandatory vaccine. The people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and now some in Nigeria (the country to do business in) who have come forward for Ebola treatment usually know how they got sick -- lack of safe water, or caring for a sick family member. I got sick from a lack of safe drinking and cooking water. Adding to the ease of which it can be contracted is the severe lack of flushing toilets. Without running water infected feces are not safely disposed of. When toilet paper is a luxury you clean yourself with your left hand, and hope there is some wash water nearby.

Ebola, like Typhoid and Malaria (from mosquitoes), can take up to three weeks to present any symptoms. The early symptoms are also consistent with Meningitis and the plague. (yes, THE plague) When I got sick, I had been sad for two or three days -- supposedly letting my immune system down -- but went to bed feeling fine. In the dead middle of the breeze-less night I woke up drenched in sweat with a migraine, and every muscle and joint in my body aching beyond what I knew was humanly possible. I managed to find my flashlight (we didn't have electricity then, a recent heavy rain had knocked us off grid for the last few days) and I found my class notes in a stack on the floor. "Day 1: visit from a doctor to talk about Malaria, Typhoid, Cholera. Symptoms of Malaria and Typhoid are identical: worst flu of your life. Stay hydrated, wash hands often, go to hospital ASAP." I took my temperature, and dry swallowed Advil since I was out of water, and collapsed my fevered body back into the bed.

I alternated which side of the double bed I laid on -- I would drench one side and then roll over and have the chills on the dry side until I sweated through the sheets, and rolled back over to the mostly dried out side. At sun up I called my translator and told him that I thought I had Malaria and needed his help. When he finally arrived about 3 hours later (he could have walked over in ten minutes) he was entirely unconcerned. He went out and bought me drinking water, and when I asked if he had ever had Malaria he said "I don't know." Apparently whenever he's had symptoms he "goes into the bush to collect the herb to fix it." I remember begging him to go get this herb for me, because it was Sunday, the power had been out for at least three days, and no pharmacies were open nearby.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

[cranky] let me work

I've worked in the theatre production business since before I could legally be paid to be there. I started in community theatre, worked on every middle and high school production I could get my hands on, and created my own major in college to continue this work. Primarily, I'm a theatre electrician and lighting designer. Occassionally I work as a production manager, and previously as a stage manager. Since it's been over ten years I can do a little bit of everything, and I've even taught professional development classes for middle and high school teachers. I've done lighting design for local professional dance companies, symphonies, musicals, and graduations. Six years ago the minimum I was ever paid was $15 an hour. Right now I'm thrilled to get any gig working for less pay.

There is a local theatre union in my city, IATSE. While I live in a right to work state, we follow most union rules and are all treated the same. Except that I've discovered that the "girls get less work calls" rumor is actually the truth. Guys with years less experience than me are getting more work offers than I am. Guys with a much smaller knowledge base are getting more work than I am. Therefore, they do make more money than I do.

Recently I found out that there was a huge work call for a famous rapper on tour. A friend of mine that I helped get into my city's theatres was asked to do the show, so he dropped a previous commitment I helped him get so he could go do the union-run concert with "his boys" (his words). So not only was I embarassed, I found out that the union preference is having a penis over having the most experience or hardest work ethic. What other evenings am I at home, bored, ready and eager to work, and not getting a call because I have a vagina and can't grow a caveman beard?