WARNING: This post contains graphic language and links contain imagery.
“Trigger Warning for sexual violence" is not a sentence I though I’d ever write in a blog post here on tumblr because while I often reblog what others have written, I’ve never personally touched that subject here for variety of reasons. For some substance please read this and then read this article by Andy Khouri and this article by Dr. Nerdlove
I think I thought it would go away but it’s not… in fact recently it feels like it’s gotten a lot worse.
About 3 weeks ago I tweeted a congratulations to Anita Sarkeesian on being the first woman to receive GDC Ambassador Award for her work on Feminist Frequency. Within an hour some troll tweeted at her and I about her being a fraud. From two separate accounts on Twitter. For me, I hit block and it’s no big deal… but for women in Anita and Janelle’s position… this shit is happening constantly. My encounter is .00000000000001% of the total bullshit a women in “geek culture” has to deal with.
For being a women in geek culture and offering a critique of stuff you LOVE. The troll and other idiots on YouTube have been trying to discredit Anita because she once said “I’m not a fan of games.” Funny if you asked me if I was a fan of comics in college I would have said “No” We all have strange relationships with stuff we love, but if a woman offers a split second of indecision they’re deemed “fake.”
So this little post is a teardrop in the ocean that is the internet, but I don’t care… I’m adding my voice to the men who are standing up and saying “enough is enough.” If you’re a fan of my work, Hamster Rage, or just came across this post on tumblr and you’re rolling your eyes at me and ready to call me a “white knight”… you’re part of the problem and please block me, unfriend me, whatever, because you’re a dying breed and you need to be extinct. If on the other hand you agree with me that enough is enough… add your voice.
These women who are raising these very serious issues are our sisters, daughters, friends, cousins, girlfriends, moms, aunts, wives, grandmothers, etc and we need to be thanking them for raising the red flag on OUR crisis. Not sending them rape threats.
Alright but there’s some good news to end this…
I think we may be at the tipping point. I think men are starting to wake up and realize this shit is over. Women deserve equal rights, equal pay and to never be threatened with rape or violence. Our comic cons are increasing the number of women each year. Locally at our Drink N’ Draw here in Chicago our membership has reached to 40% female some weeks. Women aren’t leaving, they’re continuing entrance into our culture. And so are gays, black people, lesbians, hispanics, trans, etc… and we quite like it that way.
have you ever been following someone for a while but they’ve changed their url, icon, and theme so many times that you literally have no idea who they are anymore but you’ve been in mutual follow with them so long that it’s unacceptable to ask
Today, upon walking into the gym, a trainer jokingly called out to me, “Man, we’re gonna make you take a vacation from coming here!”
I shot back, “Nah dude, I pay my dues here and I’m gonna make it worth my while!”
He kicked back in his chair, looked at me and said, “Now there’s motivation. Why isn’t everyone motivated like that? You’re in here every day, kicking ass.”
I said, “It’s actually my rest day. On my rest days all I do is paddle around in the pool and sit in the sauna until my DOMS are gone.”
He laughed and leaned forward. “It’s your rest day? And you’re still here! You’re fucking serious. Man, I wish my girl was motivated like that. I wish my girl would come work out with me every day. Why isn’t my girl like that?” I forced a grimacing smile and walked away.
I thought about his words through my entire swim and for the rest of my day. It’s true. As a whole, he’s right - the average girl doesn’t show a consistent, deep motivation to kick ass in the gym day after day, month after month, year after year. Apparently that makes him sad. And he doesn’t understand that he’s a tiny individual part of a huge problem.
On a cultural level, women are taught that the only reasons to work out, get in shape, etc. are to “look good” and/or impress others. Women are not taught to prize ability and athletic performance. Women are encouraged to hit the gym to change something they don’t like, but rarely are they encouraged to improve on something they already (should) like. If a woman complains that her thighs are big, she’s told to hit the endless cardio and slim them down, but never to lift weights or run sprints and put those amazing thighs to use!
Women are not urged to set ability-oriented goals. Women are raised to judge “progress” on appearance. Women are systematically taught to “work out and get hot”, but not to train to become healthy and powerful! Therefore, real progress is never truly gained and motivation withers. Body-hate and external motivation does not last. Teaching a woman that she is nothing more than an imperfection to be changed for the viewing pleasure of others is not the way to make her beautiful, healthy, and happy. Help her learn to become strong, fast, and proud - for herself! - and the motivation will last a lifetime.
The fitness industry is fully aware how much money there is to be made in selling “solutions” to those who have been taught they are obligated to change themselves. Media, advertising, nutritionists and dietitians, gyms and trainers - they are all guilty of perpetuating the cycle. When a woman visits a personal trainer the first time, she’s asked what her weight goals are and what she wants to “change about herself”. She’s bombarded and broken down under constant insinuation that she’s not good enough yet but maybe she can be good enough if she puts enough time, effort, and money into changing everything that’s wrong with her. A woman cannot enter a fitness setting without it being assumed that she’s there to “get hot” to attract a mate, or to impress someone else. She’s not conceptually allowed to be there just to feel good, get healthier, or get stronger for herself.
If this society wants to see a generation of women who are truly enthusiastic about fitness - help give women a real reason to train. Stop focusing on subjective appearance things that a woman has been conditioned to feel obligated to hide and change, and instead encourage her to find something she loves, something she wants to accomplish. Instead of “helping” a woman lose her “love handles”, ask her if there’s some physical feat she never thought she’d be able do, and help her do it! Bros of the gym, if y’all want your ladies to come work out with you, help show her how powerful and proud she can be, instead of keeping her weak and bored with 3lb handweights while you bench 225.
For the human race to meet our true potential of health, strength, and wellbeing - this cycle needs to change on a cultural level. But first, it needs to change on an individual level. This goes out to everyone, every single one of you. Be all YOU can be, never let anyone tell you otherwise, and help encourage others to do the same.
So does anyone else have stress dreams about kittens? Like there’s always one or two kittens first and I’m like “awww!!” but suddenly there’s actually 5 kittens, 10 kittens, like “where the hell did you come from?” And so on, till there’s probably like 100 kittens and I panic because I can’t keep track of them and they’re all just stumbling and pouncing and mewing and some are getting away and I’ve already probably lost like 12 and I don’t know what to do but more and more are getting away every second…
It (obviously) makes you stronger. Increasing functional strength and lean muscle mass improves your mobility, bone density, and effectiveness just in going about your daily life. It also decreases your risk of injury as you get older, since you have more muscle to control movements.
It gives you better posture. Because weightlifting requires good form and spinal stability, there’s a natural carryover to life outside of the gym. A regular strength training routine will improve your natural posture, which improves your body’s overall performance and decreases risk of injury.
You’ll live longer. Statistically, bodies naturally lose muscle as they age. This is a big contributor to injury, illness, loss of bone tissue/osteoporosis and, consequentially, a sedentary lifestyle. Working to improve and gain lean muscle mass will promote longevity and mobility. No broken hips for you!
It helps you burn excess body fat. Improving your muscle mass helps ensure that your body is burning fat and glycogen instead of muscle tissue during exercise. Cardio can be highly catabolic - meaning it breaks down proteins (muscle tissue) in the body. Lift weights to keep your body from breaking down muscle - you’ll probably want that stuff! Furthermore, the body continues to burn fat and glycogen as it repairs and builds new muscle tissue during the recovery period after a weights session.
Endorphins, baby! Heavy lifting creates a state of high exertion that raises the levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Similar to what’s referred to as a “runner’s high”, weight lifting will quickly trigger a flood of natural chemicals that target the pleasure center of the brain. Regular weight lifting can make you happier and better at coping with stress.
It helps you eat and sleep better. When you use your muscles hard, you create millions of micro-tears in the tissue. Your body then releases growth hormones to help repair the damage and build the muscles back up for next time. Hormones are a way for your body to involuntarily regulate itself, so the act of lifting can release hormones that naturally alter your hunger cues and sleep cycles. You may find yourself craving more nutritious foods, experiencing a more healthy and regulated appetite, and falling into deeper and more refreshing sleep cycles.
It makes you feel more positive about yourself. We all have those days where you look in the mirror in the morning and you don’t feel great about what you see. Lifting might not make you automatically love the heck out of your reflection, but a negative self image often loses power in the perspective of knowing how much weight you moved yesterday. When you feel proud of your body’s ability, it’s easier to be gentle with yourself in terms of appearance.
It improves your mental responsiveness. Weight lifting is as much about mental strength as it is about physical strength. Your body is controlled by your central nervous system (CNS), which is a pathway for neural commands. When you lift something heavy, the command from your brain to your body has to be as strong as your muscles. If you aren’t focused and alert in the weightroom, you aren’t going to be able to lift as much weight. Regular weight lifting trains the nervous system as well as the body. As a result, you may become more cognitively alert and responsive in your daily life. This effect can also help with recovery from depression, anxiety, and other mental/emotional things.
It’s rewarding as hell. There is very little gray area in weight lifting. Either you were able to pick up the thing, or you weren’t. If you weren’t able to pick up the thing, keep picking up smaller things until you are able to pick up the thing. It is possibly the most satisfying thing in the world of fitness to see the numbers on the bar get heavier and heavier. If you train, you will get stronger.
It makes you pretty f**king hot. Round butts. Firm arms. Defined shoulders. Strong, shapely legs. Solid core. JUST SAYING. ;)