As Featured on News Cult: Should Women Change Their Name When They Get Married? Let’s Discuss

I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of marriage-induced name changes. Especially as a feminist (not the self-professed kind who will vote for a war criminal just because she has a vagina, but an actual feminist). To me, taking your husband’s name seems a mere tenet of The Patriarchy. So it’s hard for me to justify. But maybe it’s not that simple. Let’s discuss.

To start, what are names for? Identification purposes, mainly. If we didn’t have names, people wouldn’t know how to address us, and communication might break down. Names categorize us—they indicate what family we belong to, oftentimes where we come from, our gender, etc. But more than just logistical purposes, I think names serve to construct the subjective parts of our identity. Like, when a mom and dad decide to name their girl “Cash,” it’s because they want her to be different from the average “Rachel.” They want her to live up to the name she’s given, and I guarantee you that as she grows up, her name will help shape her. There’s no female “Cash” walking around who isn’t tragically hip, effortlessly attractive, and mysteriously unattainable. Rachel, on the other hand, wears lots of predictably solid-colored cotton shirts, has no layers in her hair, and her favorite flower is a red rose (with some white baby’s breath thrown in if she’s feeling frisky).

Names mold our identity so much so that some of us even change the ones we were given. If people feel like their names don’t represent who they are—whether because they’re gendered (or, in my case, androgynous), have some negative societal connotation (“Dick”), or everyone who shares them seems to be a massive tool (like, why is literally every individual named “Emma” a complete narcissist?)—they’ll re-brand themselves. And while I’ve always found this to be a foreign concept, (although to be fair, if my parents had named me Mark Sinclair, I would’ve changed it to Vin Diesel, too—mainly because Mark Sinclair sounds like a stuffy accountant and I don’t think Vin Diesel can do math), I at least respect the autonomy of it.

But when someone changes their last name to their spouse’s, that seems like anything but autonomy. Why basically label yourself as belonging to someone else? And of course the burden to change the name befalls women—but even in the rare cases where the man takes it on (please see: Marco Saldana), I would still argue that it’s wack. Because it signifies possession. And last I checked, humano a humano ownership isn’t considered cool (anyone remember a little thing called slavery?). But seriously. Taking someone’s name is in essence taking on their identity as your own. Why is that necessary?

And back to the gendered nature of it, because it’s impossible to ignore—it’s not that name-changing is problematic just because it’s a way to mark territory, but it is even more so because it is expected of women and not men—and thus just one more way the patriarchy reigns. It signifies that a husband possesses his wife; that she concedes to his ownership by way of his identity. I realize this sounds like some crazy conspiracy theory shit, and that’s because it is! On its face, women changing their last names to match their husbands’ is precisely a methodology of imprisoning them in their gender roles—the docile, subservient, agreeable wives.

I call bullshit.  Why is this antiquated tradition continually practiced in our society? I, for one, won’t be changing my last name when I never get married. And I salute all who’ve kept theirs—way to be strong, independent women who don’t need no man’s name. It is principled stands like this, aimed at establishing equality, that define feminism. (That said, if you were born with the last name “Hitler,” “Bieber,” or “Seaman,”  then by all means, change that shit.)

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/should-women-change-their-name-when-they-get-married-lets-discuss/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Deal with PDA

FUCK PDA. But seriously—fuck PDA. We don’t want to see your disgusting bodies rubbing up against each other in ways that even zoo animals would consider unnatural. If you’re a PDA person, stop. If you’re with a PDA person, cut that dead weight. But if you can’t avoid it, because we live in a terrible world, here’s how to deal with it.

1. Splash water at it

Just hose the PDAers down.

2. Yell “FIRE”

Wherever you are/it is. You need to vacate the premises.

3. Join in

Try to get in on that action. Just start licking one of the people—their cheek is a 7-Eleven Slurpee® and your tongue is the straw (..?). They’re a child and you’re Puck from Glee (too much? too soon? too much too soon? ).They’re a chipotle burrito; (that we can fuck with). Just like get your juices on/in/around/about their juices. #givingjuicingawholenewmeaning #andprepositions #fulldisclosurehadtoGoogle”preposition” #couldonlyrememberthesquirrel/treeexample #alotoffuckinggoodthatdidme

4. Stare

Most people will get uncomfortable and try to get away from you if you stare at them. So ideally they’ll either stop the PDA or just leave when they notice your eyes locked on theirs. Unless they’re a voyeuristic freak, which now that I think of it most PDA people are, so this is a fucking pointless tactic. #ughhh #IDEFYYOU,PDA!

5. Wage a PDA war

Grab who(m?)ever’s nearest you, whether you know them or not, and start macking all over them. #twocanplaythisgame #wewillPDAyouintotheGROUND

6. Narrate

If these people are going to put on a show, it’s only right that you get to be the announcer. E.g.:

“And here we have Caitlin pouting and purring like an underfed cat while Nathan exudes his patriarchal, overcompensational gropes and groans in the most unflattering of light.”

Or: “Johnny’s going in for the win, folks—straight down the pants. Annnd we have CROTCH CONTACT. I repeat: crotch contact has been made. Are his hands clean? I’d wager not, but it’s impossible to tell until he resurfaces. Do you think they’ll stop when it’s their turn to order? Or will I have to explain the painfully obvious irony of us being in line at a taco stand?”

Or: “It appears we are bearing witness to a heavy petting session. There’s a lot of tongue happening—if you’re watching at home, you may not be able to appreciate the sheer level of moisture that’s occurring, but rest assured, it’s wetter than Bill Clinton’s dick on a good night.”

7. Protest

Exercise your civic duties and mount a protest so that they can’t escape you until they meet your demands or forcibly extract you. If this means you have to lie down in  a puddle of melted Dippin’ Dots and stage a sit-in in the middle of the roller coaster line, so be it. If it means you have to filibuster the movie theater all the way through the end credits, do what you have to do. If it means you’re forced to occupy the bar until the couple adjacent to you learns the meaning of GTFO, be a FUCKING PATRIOT AND DO YOUR JOB, AMERICAN.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/7-ways-deal-annoying-pda/

When you’re not sure if you’re on a date

(are you ever?) and you get into a debate with the guy about the part of the Bible that says to sell your daughter into slavery

#I’msorry…whatistheretodebate?

And you see the way a little bit of his soul dies when he asks you if you’re pro-choice and you answer with a resounding “YES.” Followed up by “ABSOLUTELY.” And then “100%.”

And then he invites you to go to church with him

As Featured on News Cult: How to Give No Fucks

The art of giving no fucks can only be mastered through experiencing the utter shit hole that is life. At a certain point, you realize that everything is meaningless. And it’s unfortunate, because by the time you’re ready to fully embrace zero fucks given, you’re too old to enjoy it. So let me help speed up the process so you can get a little more mileage out of not caring. Here’s how you do it.

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Focus on death

Spend at least 5 minutes every day reminding yourself that you’re going to die. Which is great news, by the way—because it means none of this matters. None of it. So you can let it go. You messed up at work? Whatever—one day you’ll be gone, and with any luck your boss will go soon first, so who’s gonna care then? You failed a test? Psht—you know who test results don’t matter to? YOUR DEAD BODY. Your thighs are getting a little cottage cheesy? Eh, soon enough they’ll be rotting in the ground, so who gives a shit. #byeeeeeeee

Put things in perspective

Things only have meaning if you assign it to them. So whip out your relativity skills and play the comparison game: weigh whatever’s got you riled up against something else in order to put it in perspective. E.g. if your tire gets slashed, just think about all the women who’ve slept with Charlie Sheen. Or if you get fucked by your insurance company, revel in the fact that everyone who works there must go home at night to their TV dinners, shag carpets, and oak furniture, and have to reconcile their receding hairlines, egg-shaped bodies, and ill-fitting pantsuits while somehow managing to not put a bullet through their heads. Or if your school’s douchey registrar (is there any other kind?) doesn’t let you sign up for the one class you might actually like, take comfort in the fact that she recently found out she’s allergic to gluten. #ifyoucan’thavebreadyoumightaswellbedead #atleastIcaneatadonut,bitch

Live it

It’s not enough to try to act like you give no fucks. You have to live it. You have to go through life actually giving none. This means that the next time someone tries to embarrass you, you don’t try to save face in the moment but then go cry to your mom when you get home. Instead, you stick .it. to. them. in real time—I find it helps to say something like, “COME FOR ME, motherfucker—I fucking DARE you. BLOW ME and the horse you rode in on, you worthless piece of shit” whilst yielding a baseball bat—and move on, with your head held high. It means that when you make a mistake, you don’t spend forever obsessing with guilt about it—you realize it, maybe try to learn something from it maybe, and then proceed to fucking your next thing up. It means that you don’t try to meet someone else’s standard of beauty or success, but you burn that motherfucker DOWN and follow your own path, misguided and aimless as it may be.

Believe in karma

Or what white people have appropriated and mislabeled as karma: the idea that what goes around comes around. If you take this to heart, then righting all the wrongs no longer falls on your shoulders. It’s a lot easier to not care about something if you believe it will take care of itself. Sure, it’s hard to embrace this belief, because it takes some blind faith—which is why it helps to remember times you’ve seen karma in action. (Or be a naïve, delusional devout follower of any religion). Like that time your bitchass coworker got audited by the IRS. Or how the incompetent, sassy receptionist at your doctor’s office (is there any other kind?) got fired. Or the time that guy treated you like you were an Iraqi and he was Hillary Clinton, and you definitely gave him HPV. #who’sthelosernow? #yournextgirlfriend’scervix,that’swho

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/important-lesson-life-give-no-fucks/

As Featured on News Cult: Suggested Taglines for the “Real Housewives”

If it was my job to come up with the taglines The Real Housewives recite at the opening of each episode, here’s what I’d contribute.

•”I’m not anorexic, I’m just better than you.”

•”I don’t need to stay relevant, I never was.”

•”If you want a prenup, I don’t want you.”

•”Don’t get jealous, get Botox.”

•”People may think I’m dumb, and they’re right.”

•”I didn’t marry for money, I married for millions.”

•”You might recognize me from daytime TV, but I’m Rated-R.”

•”You’d be obsessed with me too if you had these calves.”

•”I’m single and ready to file bankruptcy.”

•”I thank God every day for white privilege.”

•”Third husband’s a charm!”

•”If Charlize Theron thinks it’s hard being pretty, she should see me.”

•”I’m not a princess, I’m just a self-important asshole.”

•”Money can’t buy me—it does.”

•”People think they know me, but this nut is tough to crack.”

•”Bad nose jobs are a girl’s best friend.”

•”This gold digger went to the School of Mines.”

•”If you think I’m a piece of work, you should see my boobs.”

•”I may have a horse-mouth, but that doesn’t mean I’ll spill my secrets.”

•”I don’t gossip—I’ll call you an ‘alcoholic whore’ straight to your face.”

•”Lip injections may be temporary, but chin implants are forever.”

•”You, too, can marry for money if you work hard enough.”

•”I may be a hot mess, but at least I’m hot. And you’re not.”

•”If you don’t constantly look alarmed, you’re not doing it right!”

•”How can I be shallow, if my pockets are so deep?”

•”People think my husband is controlling, but he’s just a sexist pig.”

•”Money isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

•”People try to put me in a box, but I’ll only go if it’s cubic zirconia-encrusted.”

•”Don’t cry because it’s over—you’ll get wrinkles!”

•”Your name doesn’t have to be Felicia for me to say ‘BYE.'”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/suggested-taglines-real-housewives/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Boost Your Mood

Our mood is perpetually bad. We hate everything, and with good reason. But, we’re stuck here, so we may as well try not to be miserable 24/7. Enter: mood boosting. A technique we use to delude ourselves into feeling a little less bad for a little while. Here’s how to do it.

Sleep

I find that sleep is the solution to every problem. Got too much to do? Sleep. Sick? Sleep. You’re unlovable? Sleep. Throw. in. the. to. wel. You’ll be less cranky the more you sleep. Mostly because you’ll have to spend less minutes in the day facing the sad pathetic reality that is your life and the terrible people who surround you. #here’stobeingunconscious

Change up your routine

You know what puts you in a bad mood? The same old bullshit drudgery of the day-to-day. So do something different. I don’t care if that means buying a different scent of deodorant (“powder” is only “fresh” for so long you feel me?), taking off on an unplanned road trip in the middle of your workday, or telling your company’s receptionist to blow you—just give yourself a jolt of newness. Something to upset the status quo and pointlessness that you live alldayeveryday.

Take a bath

Baths are such refuge—a place to escape physical & mental distress. Baths are like safe zones, where nothing exists—everything just vanishes and you become weightless. It’s really too bad you ever have to get out. I hate to make the womb reference, but I’m gonna go there—we can fuck with the womb. It’s when we leave it that everything goes south. #it’salldownhillfromthere #oruphill? #becausedownhilliseasy #uphilliswhattakeseffort #eventhoughupisgenerallythedirectionassociatedwithpositivity #butlikeforrealcansomebodyclarifythatsaying

Listen to music, watch TV or a movie

Good music is king. Or watch a funny TV show. Live in someone else’s world for a while. #areyounoticingapattern #ifyou’renotgoingtoletusdoheroinwe’regoingtoneedothermeansofescape

….. Exercise?

I mean…. because.. science? Ugh it’s so hard to try to act like I believe in exercise. Frankly I don’t care if it produces good end results. Like, the journey isn’t worth it for real. Fuck endorphins, man, all you need is Skittles and chocolate milk.

Do something just purely for fun

Do something that’s not stressful, but just plain hedonistic. Whether that’s riding a roller coaster, coloring with your BAMF metallic colored pencils, playing Cards Against Humanity, having not-terrible sex (#istheresuchathing), eating something delicious, skydiving, looking at pictures of tween Drake for 3 hours, starting a Twitter war with Deborah Messing, or reading Hillary Clinton’s emails, just revel in it.

Medication

I’m not a pill-pusher, but life is hard enough—add to that serious mood swings or depression, and then it’s just like BYE. If medication actually helps you, go for it. Plus, you’ll become BFFs with your pharmacist—NO ONE will experience your ups and downs quite like him. #andnoonewillknowhowmanyyeastinfectionsyougetquitelikehim #that’struefriendship

Volunteer

Doing good makes you feel good. Also being around those less fortunate than you snaps you out of your privileged malaise. Or, if you want to do bourg-y volunteering, then hang with some puppies. If puppies don’t boost your mood then you should probably just kill yourself.

Go outside

Get some fresh air, or, if you’re in a place like LA, inhale the disgustingly polluted and toxic smog that surrounds you! Rain or shine, just soak it in, take some deep breaths, and remember that you can always leave wherever or whatever is putting you in a bad mood and get back to nature. That is, until climate change destroys it, the sun explodes and engulfs us, and we all burn to a crisp.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/9-things-will-really-boost-mood/

As Featured on News Cult: Questions I Would Ask the “Real Housewives” If I Ever Had the Chance to Interview Them

You’d think the infinity “reunion specials” for each season of each Real Housewives franchise would be enough to answer any questions I have for them, but nope—I’ve got more. So here’s what I would ask the “Real Housewives” if I was ever graced with the chance to interview them.

1. Are you ever confronted with the utter meaninglessness of your existence and everything you hold dear?

2. Studies show you’ve singlehandedly kept the taffeta industry in business. Why?

Part b) Why?

3. Have you ever eaten bread?

Part b) And kept it down?

4. How many Chinese children did it take to bedazzle everything you own?

5. What’s up with your face?

6. How many homeless people have you hit & run with your Bentley?

A) At least 3

B) Approx 10

C) Def in the teens and Suge Knight’ed at least 4 of them too

7. Who will get to keep the offshore accounts when your marriage falls apart on national television—you or your husband?

8. Do you ever worry that your children will take after you?

9. How much do you pay your Mexican nanny/maid/personal assistant/cook/gardener/parent to your kids?

10. Are you jealous that your husband has more Botox than you?

11. Marry Fuck, marry, or marry kill: Donald Sterling, Donald Trump, and Hugh Hefner?

12. How much money did you spend last year on throwing “charity events” and how much money did you actually raise for charity?

13. Is tax evasion an acquired skill, or are you just born with it?

14. Can you really be considered human if the majority of your body is composed of synthetic materials?

15. Which of the choices below would you use to describe your skin color?

A) Tang

B) Hi-C

C) Pyridium

16. It’s fair to say your marriage is a form of prostitution, correct?

17. But seriously your face though

18. Which of the below would you say best describes your fashion mantra?

A) Every day is prom night!”

B) “If it’s not chunky, it’s not jewelry. #likevomit #asincannedbeefstew #see:myassbeforeIhaditreplaced

C) “Your clothing should always be more expensive than the cost of clean water for any given impoverished country. Otherwise, how can you be sure you’re better than all those brown people?”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/questions-ask-real-housewives-ever-chance-interview/