Being a Bitch is a Timeless Occupation

I apologize for this past month or so of radio silence. Belén was attending wedding after wedding. I was in the process of a break up and moving. Now we’re back though! And we don’t even want to go out anymore because Portland winter has begun, meaning it’s time for constant drizzle and hot toddies.

Being a Bitch is a Timeless Occupation FinalThe above comic derived from a joke I made to a friend about how a woman can be a bitch forever, and it’s true. We’re a bit more conscious as a society of how calling a woman a bitch is essentially writing them off as a variety of things, but always, always someone who does not deserve our time or attention. I appreciate attempts to reappropriate the term bitch, Bitch magazine coming quickly to mind because it is usually a quick and cutting insult. The word may be used as an intended barb, but to transform it to mean a fiercely opinionated person who doesn’t take shit from anyone, well then, I wouldn’t mind being called a bitch forever.

Ultra by Shannon Curtin

While waiting for weeks to find out if my unborn child would be declared a son or daughter, I scoured the internet for insider information. Pouring over potty shots on various baby websites, I learned from other genital-obsessed, with-child women that sonogram technology has advanced in recent years; identifying a fetus as female no longer rests on the absence of a penis, but now includes the detection of definitive labia. This is nothing short of a victory.

I like to point out to my I’m not a feminist, but acquaintances that until relatively recently men could legally rape their wives in the United States and that workplace sexual harassment was made unlawful in my lifetime. Earlier this year, a sexually assaulted student at one of our country’s most prestigious universities gave up her fight to have her attacker relocated out of her residence hall. After months of pleading, the university told her that she, the victim, was free to move if she wished and washed their hands of any responsibility.

Even in utero females have historically found their identity in absence, they are categorized as not male, the second half of an if/then statement, the other. They are marked as lacking before they take their first breath. We tell ourselves things have changed, that women are no longer second class. Women, we say, are out-performing men in schools. They are capable, respected, and present in every possible industry. They say we have come so far.

But in darkened rooms we still look at screens with images that tell us when there is something damaged, something suspect, something missing; the result is often girl.

Shannon J. Curtin is a displaced Yankee currently residing in Portsmouth, Virginia with her husband and dog. Her poetry has been featured in various publications including Short, Fast, and Deadly, Vox Poetica, y’all’d’ve, and The Camel Saloon. Her first chapbook, File Cabinet Heart, is forthcoming from Emerge Literary Publications. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. She would probably like you.

Fuck you, Veet.

fuck you, veet

This is my response to Veet’s sexist, homophobic, and transphobic ad campaign. Sometimes I shave parts of my body, sometimes I don’t, and my choice in the matter doesn’t change my gender. I decide my gender.

I’m Black by Stephanie Stuckey

Loving versus Virginia, Warren said God didn’t choose to separate us for kicks.
He said, “The fact that He separated the races shows that He never intended for us to mix.”
Don’t suppress it, address it.
Don’t ignore it, explore it.
You can go ahead and roll yours eyes because you think this story is old news,
but there are still people in this world who have yet to walk these shoes.
“You don’t need to take things so personally”…actually, I do.
Because if I don’t, imagine what things could escalate to.
Oh, wait… actually, we already have examples for this.
The school systems have embraced the motto “ignorance is bliss”.
They don’t like to share the stories of cruelty but will clog us with the history of royalty.

There’s that point in every history class that gets real awkward for that one Black kid.
The teacher says slavery and then talks like they’re walking on glass.
Trying to not offend by their choice of words
and not even realizing they’re making it far more worse.
Or the curriculum calls for that one book that has the ‘n’ word in it
and they decide to eliminate it, but for whose benefit?
“I hear Black people use that word all the time… who cares?”
This word is poisonous and has been warped to be “in”
but what it represents is an entire era of sin.

I didn’t grow up in a place where people looked like me.
But I didn’t realize I was different until someone made me see.
“Hey, go sit in the back of the bus.”
AKA you don’t belong because you look different than us.
Then I wasn’t sure if people liked me for me at all
or if they picked me just to fill a protocol.

Then all of my white friends got dates to Prom
and I was on my own wondering what I did wrong.
And from there was a tumbling of self-hate and complete self destruction.
I hated everything I was and everything that I wasn’t.

“It’s 2014, Civil Rights happened a long time ago.”
…actually there are still people that don’t like me solely for the color of my skin, I think I would know.
Because of this, Black women bleach their skin and burn their brown locks.
They eliminate any trait that links them back to where prior generations walked.

“You don’t look like Barbie so you should get a weave.”
My natural hair symbolizes my push away from what society has told me to believe.
My natural hair symbolizes my acceptance of M-E me;
my acceptance of the beautiful young woman that God has made me to be.

I refuse to let history repeat
and I will stand firmly on my two feet.
This subject is not the only thing that I fight for
but this is also something that should not be ignored.

How dare you nit-pick and judge so confidently?
Your lack of love is a sign of incompetency.
Don’t feel bad for me.
I want to help you because being Black is not a problem to be fixed
but a heart full of hate is.
We are all beautifully and imperfectly made
and my belief in that will forever remain unswayed.

Stephanie grew up in the Seattle, Washington area and has been enrolled in mostly white schools her entire life. She realized around age 10 that she was being picked for certain things or rather not getting picked for things because of the color of her skin. That was when Stephanie realized how little people really knew about the life that she lived and since then, strives to speak up and spread the truth.