Breast Bikini Ever

I’m sure many people have seen this, but I needed to share it myself. It’s so awesome: The TaTa Top

Also, it was a crappy week for women’s reproductive rights.

The abortion ruling from SCOTUS


The Hobby Lobby ruling from SCOTUS

I enjoyed this post from the Gottman blog on emotional attraction

Any news-y news you want to share?

Life is Short

My heart was racing, my body was trembling. I read though my letter one final, agonizing time, and pressed print. And then send.

And then it felt finished. Mostly finished anyway.

I wrote a letter to the faculty and staff at the school I just withdrew from, explaining my reasons for withdrawing. It took me about two weeks to write it. J edited it a few times, and a friend of ours did as well (thank you both for helping me with the nitty gritty part of making it sound all professional and intelligent).

Here’s my favorite part; it happens to be the concluding paragraph:

“I highly encourage the faculty members to reconsider the process in which they evaluated my experiences, to examine their own personal values and perspectives related to sex work and social justice, and to be more mindful of the messages they give to students regarding sharing personal information and the potential ramifications of sharing that information. I also request that the faculty, on behalf of future and current students, consider how they will include and exclude various populations from this profession for which they are gatekeepers. If sex workers, in the opinion of this institution, cannot become competent and ethical therapists, then perhaps the school should include that piece of information in the application process as well as consider the ethics and legality of such a claim.”

I have mostly felt really good about my decision, with the occasional twinge and shade of regret and questioning that seeps into the back of my brain (are you sure that was the right decision? why couldn’t you just stop dancing and agree with your professor so you could stay? most people would think you’re crazy! what if you were just being idealistic and radical? what if there isn’t a program that will feel right? you should have just stayed!). And then I shake it off when I remember the absurdity of the situation and try to imagine myself staying there given the atmosphere. This has been my mantra lately; I love this quote so much that I got a wall decoration with it:

Life is short break the rules forgive quickly kiss slowly love truly

Life IS short. Why waste it on an institution that clearly is un-supportive of my perspectives and experiences? Especially when I can be me somewhere else?

I am talking to a reporter about my experience at my school. We’re waiting to see if I receive any kind of response from the school before moving forward with a formal story. I’ll keep y’all posted on that one for sure.

Social (In)justice: Who Says?

During the course of talking to my advisor yesterday (who, thankfully, is totally on my side), I was informed that not only are the other faculty members outraged at the ethical violations inherent in being a stripper while also training to become a therapist, they are outraged at how being a stripper contributes to further injustice in the world.

Apparently, stripping supports The Patriarchy, contributes to the objectification and violence against women, and supports trafficking of girls.

Holy $h!t.

Like I discussed earlier about patriarchy and stripping, I think this world is full of “both/and,” and far less of “either/or.” I will not disagree that by participating in stripping I am supporting the “male gaze.” I also think there is more to my story of stripping.

What matters, to me, is the personal intention, awareness, and small-scale action that takes place within oppressive structures.

What about my classmates who work at Target, an anti-LGBTQ company? Or classmates who are all about the bling (one, in fact, owns more than 500 pairs of shoes) and thus pay more attention to their material acquisitions than the fact that their consumerism and materialism contributes to the oppression of the poor? What about classmates who smoke and contribute to second-hand and third-hand smoke? Or, heaven forbid, what about my classmates who go to strip clubs as patrons?

This is about sex and it’s about sex work.

Like another student said to me yesterday: It’s pretty terrible how many times faculty in our program force others to sacrifice personal justice in the name of “social justice.”

Who gets to decide how an individual contributes to social justice or injustice? Especially over something so gray as the work that one does to support oneself?

The professor I met with said: It’s not about the exotic dancing.

But it is. There’s no way around that one.