Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: feminism

Mom, Are You a Feminist?

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I’m eating some chicken soup my mother made (yes, true!) while reading an article online, when I decide to ask my mother the big question that will finally decide the course of Western history.

Me:  Mom, are you a feminist?

Mom:  Uh, what do you mean?

Me:   Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Mom:    Well, I always worked as a woman.

Me:   That doesn’t mean you are a feminist. Do you believe in equal pay for men and women?

Mom:    Yes.

Me:   And do you believe that both a man and a woman can be the boss?

Mom:    Of course. I was an office manager.

Me:   Will you vote for a woman president?

Mom:    Sure. Like Hillary Clinton. But it’s not like I’m going to vote for that Kardashian woman just because she’s a woman.

Me:  Do you think a feminist should look a certain way?  Like not wear lipstick or shave her legs?

Mom:  She could do what she wants.   I mean, eventually, she’ll probably have to shave her legs at least once.  If she wants to date.  Or before her wedding.

Me:   And what do you think about the different roles of mothers and fathers?

Mom:    Well, I do believe that a parent should stay at home with a young child.

Me:   Aha!  Gotcha!  So, you think a mother should stay at home?

Mom:    No, it could be the father.

Me:  Interesting.   So it doesn’t matter?

Mom:  I think women tend to have a better touch with young kids, but if the woman makes more money than her husband, what’s the difference?  As long as one of them stays home.

Me:   Hmm… so, isn’t it a bit hypocritical considering that you didn’t follow your own rule.  You and dad both worked.  You weren’t always home for me.   Is this why I’m in therapy?

Mom:    No, you’re in therapy because you’re crazy. I DID stayed at home until you went to first grade. Don’t you remember?

Me:   Not really.

Mom:  And then when I worked in the city, you always had your Grandma Annette to go to after school in case I had to work late.

Me:   Still sounds like I was a latch-key child without a home.   I’m blaming feminism for giving me social anxiety.

Mom:    Maybe, but remember this, with both of us working, at least we were able to afford to send you to an expensive college.  Where you ended up studying poetry.

Me:   OK, well, thank you for that.   And talking about college.  Here’s a big issue today.  Do you think both men and women are equipped to study in fields such as math, science, and engineering?

Mom:    I wish YOU had studied in math, science, and engineering rather than being an English major who spends time taking photos on his iPhone.  Maybe that’s why you’re in therapy!

Me:   So you believe women belong in technology?

Mom:   Mrs. Kubota’s daughter, Grace, works in Silicon Valley and sends her mother on a cruise every year. So, yes, women can work in match, science, and engineering.

My mother goes into the kitchen.

Mom:  Would you like some more soup?

Me:   No, thanks.

Mom:    Are you sure? There’s only a little left.

Me:   Mom, we are talking feminism here.

Mom:    So, you can’t be a Jewish mother and a feminist?

Me:   OK, I’ll have some more soup.

My mother pours me some more soup.

Me:  And while we’re at it, let’s discuss cooking at home? Do you think that is more a job for a wife than a husband?

Mom:   Ha Ha, no.

Me:   So why didn’t Dad ever cook? You did all the cooking. That wasn’t fair.

Mom:    Well, that’s me marrying wrong. Or the fault of Grandma Annette for never showing your father how to make anything other than a peanut butter sandwich. That’s how it was back then. But today, men love to cook. When you watch Top Chef, half of the best chefs are men, so I sure hope they are also making dinner at home for their wives.  In fact, this weekend, I’m showing you how to make a brisket.

Me:   What about cleaning? Why do women do more of the cleaning at home? That’s also not fair.

Mom:    Now THAT has to change. The biggest scam ever created.  By men.

Me:   So you ARE a feminist?

Mom:    Yes. And I think cleaning the house equally should be the top priority.

Case Closed.   My mother is a feminist.

Feminists Ruin Everything

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It’s one thing to have a woman run for President, or become a CEO, but enough is enough.  It’s not fair.  You keep on infringing on our territory, without giving us anywhere to go.  You can wear a dress.  You can wear pants.  We can wear pants.  Can we wear a dress?   Of course not!   We would be mocked by you!   You don’t even like us to cry.

It used to be that our penis made us unique.  But like Delilah, you feminists will do anything to further your cause in destroying the men you hate so much, slowly pushing us towards the end of the cliff.   First you start using all these exotic vibrators, making us irrelevant in the bedroom.  Seriously, how can we compete with an electrical object made in Japan?  They are like a Sony TV or a Honda Civic — they never break!

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And seriously, how many men do you know with a nine inch erect penis?    We see the disappointment on your face when we undress.  We do.

Next, you infiltrated one of our special male clubs — the “peeing” standing up club.   What evil feminist invented the P-Mate, Female Freedom?  God should strike you down.

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I’m sure some of you have sons.  Do you remember that look on your son’s face the first time he held his dick in his hand and pissed on your flowers in the backyard.  Pure glee.  Power!  The greatest day of his life.  I remember that day better than my bar mitzvah and wedding.  That’s when I really became a man.   Peeing standing up is for MEN!  Some things should not change.  I believe in equal rights.  I believe gay men should be married.  But c’mon, women, we STAND when we pee.  You don’t.

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Yesterday, events took a turn for the worse.  I was beginning to accept these new gender roles.  I am a liberal thinker, and secure in my manliness.  I can live in a world with a woman president who uses a vibrator at night and pees standing up.   But this —

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The Smart Memory Bra by Lisca lingerie senses a woman’s arousal through her body’s heat, then squeezes her boobs together accordingly.  The integrated memory foam bra reshapes under the influence of heat to enhance cleavage, so when she becomes excited, her larger breasts will indicate to others that she is horny.

What is this?  It is a publicly visible female hard-on!  Is this really necessary?   We enjoy your mystery.   We don’t want to see your breasts tell us that you are horny.   Stop it women.  This is the one male thing left to us that you should not steal — our overtly visual sign of arousal.

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A Critical Look at this Porno Clip

OK, I’m not going to lie.  I read about this website today that is called “a YouTube for pornography,” so I took a little “peek” to see what it was all about.  Believe it or not, I try to avoid pornography, not out of prudishness, but from a belief in feminism.  I was educated by intelligent teachers who taught me that pornography was anti-women, a patriarchal tool that turned capable women into mere sex objects.

I was sitting at my laptop watching Big Boob Woman and Muscle Chest Guy go at it on a kitchen table, doing it every way possible, including positions hat would require me to do a lot more exercise than the hula hoop on the wii-fit. The woman in the video was making so much noise that I turned down the speakers.  I didn’t want my Orthodox Jewish neighbors to think I was a freak.

During this bland sex scene, I had thoughts.  Not sexy thoughts.  Not thoughts about feminism and how women are objectified.  No.   I felt that the video was anti-MALE.

Let’s look at the female character.  It was only a clip, so I don’t really know how she met the guy, but – for argument’s sake — let’s go with the old story that he is a plumber coming over to fix her sink.  One thing leads to another and soon they are f**king on the kitchen counter.  Typical.   We’ve all seen it.   I’m sure this exact situation has happened to most of the mommybloggers who read this blog.

If you look at the woman during the sex, she is having the time of her life.  She is yelling at him to “do it harder,” throwing her head back and forth, and rolling around like an Energizer bunny. She is as demanding of him and his time, like a wife who wants to spend all Sunday shopping at the mall and buying shoes.

The guy seems unhappy, as if he isn’t even present.  He is a robotic Terminator of sex.

You can almost hear him say, “I must pound her.  I must pound her.  I must show no emotion.  I must pound her.  Harder.”

At some point during the sex, he turns her over, face down like a fried egg in the skillet.  I thought that during this brief intermission, their might be some conversation, or a joke told.  Nope.  The woman doesn’t even give the guy a “nice going” or some kind encouragement.  She just wants MORE!

He quickly goes back into robot mode. 

“I must pound her from the rear.  I must pound her from this rear.  It does not matter what side she is.  I must pound her again and again.”

While the woman seems in heaven from all the thrusting, the guy looks like he is stuck on a hot subway in August.  His face is as sour as a dill pickle. 

As I watched the video, I felt bad for the dude.  While he didn’t look very bright, he obviously spends a great deal of time at the gym, making his body buff.  He is proud of his body, but when he jumps out of his clothes in one quick swoop, she hardly looks at him.   If anything, she goes straight for his penis, the one muscle he didn’t work on in the gym.  Is that what we are to women?  A penis?

“I must pound her.  I must pound her.”

I wanted to reach into my laptop and comfort the fellow. 

“Relax, big guy.  It is noble of you to want to give this nice lady several orgasms before you finish fixing the water pipes, but why not enjoy it yourself?  I know what it is like to be a people pleaser, but sometimes you have to be a little selfish — to take care of yourself, too.  Who knows?  Maybe she might even enjoy seeing you having a little fun. It’s not all about her, you know?”

“Pound.   Pound.   Pound.’

My advice would fall on deaf ears.   The filmmakers want him to be a robot.  And the woman, despite being an educated woman (she wore glasses that she takes off early in the scene), is presented as self-absorbed and uncaring about the man’s pleasure.  She WANTS him to be a machine.  How else can you explain the constant cry for “Harder! Harder!” like she is a drill sergeant at Fort Bragg.

Men, let’s talk privately for a second.  Seriously, how many of us can make love to a woman for three hours straight, in fifteen different positions, without… you know… having to come…

Is it any wonder this guy looks like he is constipated.  He’s been pounding her for three hours, still waiting for her to have her fifth orgasm.  He is a SAINT!

Ladies, is this fair?  I have no idea why women complain about these types of pornographic films. The female character gets all the attention and has all the fun!  The man is practically her love slave.  He is expected to act like a soldier in combat, refusing to enjoy himself – just so he can bring the woman to sexual ecstasy and have her nearly pass out!

Sure, at the end, the guy comes too, but by then, he is so exhausted, numb, and out of it, I bet you he doesn’t know what is going on. 

“Uh, wait a minute.  Did I just come OR was that my foot falling asleep?”

And even after his orgasm, he still isn’t smiling.  Of course not.  He’s thinking, “Holy shit, tomorrow morning I have to f*ck this woman for another three hours!”

These movies do more harm to men than women.  These ridiculous lovemaking scenes screw up the minds of men.  Think about the messages being sent to your own sons, brothers, and husbands:

1)  You have to keep it up for three hours and never orgasm until the woman faints from intense pleasure.

2)  Every time you make love, you are expected to do it in several complicated standing positions which can give you knee problems later in life.

3)  Sex is not really sex without giving her oral sex for an hour, no matter how uncomfortable it is for those with weaker jaws.

4)  Lovemaking is all about getting the woman to come.  The man must never enjoy himself or smile.  The man’s role is to be a human sledgehammer and repeatedly hitting her in the correct spot, like those Whack-a-Mole games.

5)  And the most pathetic thing, is after all this work — and I mean hard, physical labor — the man isn’t even allowed to have his orgasm INSIDE the woman.  No, he has to quickly pull himself out, so he comes all over the place, ruining the good sheets he just bought at Target.   What the hell is that all about? Men like to have clean sheets too!

Seeing these porno films has made me lose interest in sex.  I  can understand why women want sex, but what man really wants to go through all that effort, especially when he has HBO? 

And god forbid, a guy has sex and doesn’t make it all the way through the three hour/twenty position love-fest!  He feels all guilty and inadequate.

“Oh, you were fine,” the woman says. 

Yeah, sure.  We know the truth.  You really want the robotic guy in the porno film.

Pee Like a Man!

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(Manneken Pis in Brussels)

Men, let’s be honest.  Women online are selfish. We  care about their issues — body image, fashion, mommyblogging, etc., but when it comes to OUR issues, they are strangely silent. How else do you explain the lack of outcry on this story from Norway?

The head of The Democrats Party, a splinter group of former Progress Party hardliners, Vidar Kleppe, is outraged that boys at Dvergsnes School in Kristiansand have to sit and pee.

Kleppe accuses the school of fiddling with God’s work, and wants the matter discussed at the executive committee level of the local council, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

“When boys are not allowed to pee in the natural way, the way boys have done for generations, it is meddling with God’s work,” Kleppe told the newspaper.

… [School Principal Anne Lise] Gjul told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) that the young boys are simply not good enough at aiming, and the point was to have a pleasant toilet that could be used by both boys and girls.

Can you imagine the humiliation that boys in Norway are going through? Why do we send troops to Iraq and not Norway? Is there anything more central to being a man than the joy of standing there, taking aim, and peeing? What boy wants to sit like a girl?

No wonder why Europeans are turning into a bunch of wusses.

I believe this is another step towards world domination by feminists. Does it surprise you that it it is School Principal ANNE Lise Gjul who is destroying the manliness of Norwegian men, a country once so famous for it’s virile men that a song was written about them — Norwegian Wood?

Pretty soon, I fear that men will be put into metal cages and President Hillary Clinton will sign a bill enabling women to marry their vibrators.

“Do you, Susan, take this pink vibrator…”

Things are especially bad in Europe.   Did you notice the statue of Manniken Pis (little boy peeing) that I showed at the top of the post?   Apparently, he isn’t good enough being Brussel’s long-time city’s trademark.

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In 1987 this statue of a girl urinating (Jeanneke Pis) was erected on the east side of the Impasse de la Fidélité / Getrouwheidsgang (Faith Alley), a narrow dead-end street some 100 metres long leading northwards off the restaurant-packed Rue des Bouchers / Beenhouwersstraat (Butchers’ Street). Now parents tell little boys that they have a “choice” over which method is more appropriate, but usually add that only “Americans” and “bad men” pee standing up and “peace-lovers” sit like a woman.”

I say, enough is enough.  It isn’t our fault that we can’t aim very well.

Years ago, when men were really men, we used to shoot animals with bows and arrows and guns. We achieved our aiming skills through ACTION. Now “feminists” have decided that “hunting” and “killing” are bad for society. Is it any wonder we piss on the seat? Mothers teach their daughters about having their first period.  Fathers DO NOT teach their sons how to pee.

Men, I say it is time to turn back the clock against the feminizing of society. I want you, whether you or at home or at work, to STAND UP — Yes, right NOW, stand up, proudly walk to the bathroom, pull down your zipper with a sense of purpose, and take a PISS! Take that PISS standing up! Feel the cool Fall air. Listen to the sound the water, so much like the mighty Colorado River. Feel a bond with men throughout history — Abraham Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Douglas MacArthur — all men who urinated standing up. Yes, even Adam peed standing up in the Garden of Eden. Shout it out loud, “I am a man and I take a PISS standing up!”

You’re a man, for god sakes. Pee like one!

Yes, I am Wearing Women’s Panties!

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Rachel Kramer Bussel writes a popular sex column for the Village Voice called “Lusty Lady.”  A couple of weeks ago, she wrote an article titled “F***ing and Feminism”.   In the article, Ms. Bussel criticized feminists for their ideological views on sex, one which pooh-poohs women doing anything “submissive” to men, such as giving them oral sex, getting bikini waxes, or enjoying being “spanked.”

“I may like to get spanked until I scream, but I still deserve to be treated as an intelligent human being. Submitting sexually doesn’t equal becoming a doormat outside the bedroom.”

I agree.  If a woman wants to be spanked, why not?  That doesn’t mean she can’t be a nuclear scientist or get equal pay for equal work.   Of course, if ALL she wanted to do all night was get spanked, I might wonder about some of her “personal issues,” but I would still recommend her to friends if she was a good neurologist.

What I found most interesting about the article was when Ms. Bussel talked about men’s sexuality:

“Men are also unfairly judged—as brutish horndogs selfishly out to get as much sex as they can. The truth is, they’re confused and constrained by the “macho” role too.”

She went on to talk about the desires of men that “aren’t sanctioned by popular culture,” such as wearing women’s panties, getting tied up, and other kinky stuff.  These men are frustrated, because they are afraid of opening up to their women.  What if their girlfriends/wives laugh at them?

The great irony to it all was — as I was reading this — I was wearing women’s panties.

Yes, I did just say that.   I was wearing women’s panties.

You expect complete candor and honesty when you come to Citizen of the Month, and damn it — you’re going to get it!  If you want to take me off your blogroll right now, let it be so.  I will not hide behind this facade anymore.

I will come “out” as a panty-wearing man as a public service to all men who want to express themselves in new and exciting ways.

This might come as a surprise to you, since I  normally seem pretty white bread.

“Neilochka, why WERE you wearing women’s panties?” you might ask.

Well, there is actually a story behind it.

Saturday night, Sophia and I went to a wedding.  It was a nice ceremony and romantic to see a couple so much in love.  During the ceremony, Sophia and I had a little discussion.  We decided that if we ever divorce and remarry, we’ll be each others’ best man/maid of honor.  Isn’t that cute?

The wedding had an “Italian” theme and the programs were all shaped like wine bottles.  The only glitch in the wedding was that the specialty wedding cake was decorated to look exactly like a large wheel of Italian cheese.  Unfortunately, people started slicing it up when they walked in, thinking it was an appetizer of real cheese.

Sophia and I danced for a large part of the evening.  It was a lot of fun.  We even re-danced the “first dance” from our own wedding — a swing dance to the Andrew Sisters’ Bir Mir Bis Du Shein.  Later that evening, we met a single woman who was by herself, so we invited her to dance with us.  Let me tell you — dancing with two women — that was as close to a threesome as I’m probably ever going to get!

The next day, I got up early because the radio station was calling me at 7:45 AM for my radio “interview” with Washington Post radio about Mel Gibson.  After the interview, I was wired.  I suggested to Sophia that we go have some breakfast..   She agreed.

Now, remember — Sophia and I are separated and live in two different homes.   As I started to get dressed to go out, I realized I only had my underwear from last night.  After all my dancing, I was all sweaty, and I certainly didn’t want to put on the same pair of underwear.

“Sophia, do you have any of my underwear around?”  I yelled.

“No, I think you took them all to New York.”

This was the trip we took to New York and the Berkshires several weeks back.  Which meant that most of my underwear were still in my luggage, sitting in my living room at the other apartment.

“I have no underwear!” I sobbed.

Now, in our past discussions on underwear, I learned that many of you like to go “commando,” which is an expression I had never encountered until I started blogging.   Let me just say, in the strongest terms possible, that I find going “commando” completely uncomfortable and unsafe.  God would not have created underwear if he meant man to be freely flopping all around like that — especially when there are dangerous zippers nearby, ready to snare their prey.

No, I would not go “commando.”

Instead, I went into Sophia’s underwear drawer.  I pushed aside the thongs (how do women wear those things?) and the granny underwear (hey, I’m fashionable!), and tried to find something that was as close to a male brief as possible.  My closest choice was a cotton yellow brief with red trim, and “I Love Curious George” written across the ass.  It didn’t fit perfectly; it looked like a small Speedo with Curious George’s face in front, but it would do until later.

And yes, I am still at Sophia’s right now  — and I am still wearing her panties!

I hope you realize how brave I am for telling you all this.  I hope this enables men all over the blogosphere to explore their own sexuality and not be afraid to experiment.   Men love to tell stories about getting into the panties of some woman.  But how many are confident enough to tell a story about getting into the panties of some woman — and I mean literally wearing them?!

The Body Woman

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My most popular post is titled “Too Skinny” – about the too skinny Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie.  Weight and body issues are an important subject for many women, particularly young women who look up to these actresses and feel ashamed of their own bodies.     The average dress size of the American woman is size 14.  Women are beautiful in all sizes.  Luckily, there are advocates who can speak to women about the importance of being comfortable with their own body – someone like Oprah.   Did you know that only three women were on the Discovery Channel’s list of the Top 25 Greatest Americans:  Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and… Oprah Winfrey?!  (TV Guide, June 26, 2005)

I spoke to my friend, Brenda, also known as New York City’s #1 Oprah Fan.  I was surprised to learn that Brenda’s not Oprah’s #1 Fan anymore.

"When Oprah was fat, all she talked about was being happy with who you are.  Once she got thinner, she changed her tune.  Now, she’s like a recovering alcoholic, berating people for being fat.   If only you exercised more, ate less, did everything right.   That, and have a personal trainer and chef at your disposal!"

OK, so maybe Oprah is no longer an advocate for women on this subject.   Surely there are others who take the fashion industry to task for only designing clothes for very skinny women.  Take Cathy Horne, the New York Times fashion critic.  She used to weigh 190 pounds.   Oh, but then she started to feel like a phony.  How could she write about fashion if she was couldn’t — oh my god — fit into the designer clothes she reviewed?

Unlike art or music or other fields that receive critical appraisal, fashion is visually as well physically expressive. It necessarily involves the body. And I had been using only my brain to evaluate clothes. Because I had little personal experience with the physical side of fashion: the fit, the movement, indeed the pleasure that it can give.

What led me to think about this and to question, at least retrospectively, my fitness for the job was that in the last eight months, after a decade of slowly inching downward, I have lost about 30 pounds and now weigh 137. For the first time since my early 20’s, I can wear a size 8. People in the industry have noticed and complimented me on the change. But the picture wouldn’t be clarified until I went to see Andy Port, a friend and editor at The Times Magazine, to ask if she thought there was an article in any of this.

"Oh, definitely," Andy said. "Especially given your job and the way the fashion industry views weight." She added, on the verge of a shriek, "I mean, just think how many times a designer, after getting a bad review from you, said, ‘That big fat bitch!’ "

Now, Cathy Horne is a happy and fulfilled woman.  It was the fat that was holding her back from being the ultimate fashion journalist.   As a writer, I can absolutely relate.    To better write this post about weight and women, I have gained 30 pounds and undergone a sex change operation.  

If there is going to be a strong advocate for women being happy with their own bodies, it must come from the feminist movement.  I remember how my Aunt Tilly used to go on marches with Bella Abzug and complain about the male dominated society.  What I didn’t know was that the Bella Abzug is as old school as Run-DMC. 

The representatives of the “third wave” of American feminism are Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, writers of the well-received Manifesta:  Young Women, Feminism and the Future.  Baumgardner and Richards are popular speakers on college campuses.  They separate themselves from older feminists by saying its OK to dress pretty and flirt with boys.  On their own website, they give another reason for their popularity.

Jennifer and Amy agreed to visit the class. What a night. One student said afterwards, "It was wonderful how they didn’t look like feminists."

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(photo by Ali Price)

I’m sure my Aunt Tilly would be the first to admit that Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan weren’t lookers.  And look how thin Jennifer and Amy are!  They look great!

Amy Richards also has an advice column titled “Ask Amy” on a feminist website.  Finally, we found a person who can help young women overcome their body issues.

Many years ago I used to get so many emails from girls saying: "I’m ugly, I’m fat, I hate my body." and I kind of towed the feminist line for a long time, which was: (saccharine voice) "Oh, that’s not true! It doesn’t matter what you look like! It’s what’s inside! You are a beautiful person!" And then I realized- first of all, when I would write that back to people they would, like, never write me back, ’cause I think they could just see through the phoniness.

In other words, the new answer is  “We’re feminists, but you’re fat.”

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