Friday reblog coincides with a Friday event.

ShoutOut! JMU

Today, March 6th is #BlackOutDay. The campaign aims to celebrate black beauty and fight against negative and damaging stereotypes that are often perpetrated by the media.

“We’re asking black people to share pictures, videos and GIFs of themselves to celebrate our people coming from all different walks of life. It’s a celebration of black beauty and our individuality.

Unfortunately, in most popular media talking about black people and our bodies, it’s mostly of us breaking the law, being killed or mistreated, so it’s nice to combat these negative images and stereotypes with positive representations of ourselves.”

It is important to engage with this social media campaign no matter what your race to help fight the negative portrayal of black people in our media. I encourage to post pictures and tag #BlackOutDay or be an ally by liking, sharing, and retweeting the pictures!

Trending #BlackOutDay pictures on Twitter Trending #BlackOutDay pictures on Twitter

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Was Anne Frank Bisexual?

I had an argument on the internet the other day that ended with someone saying I had a lot of “internalized anti-semitism” because I believed that it was wrong to cut out parts of Anne Frank’s diary and wrong to disable conversation about parts of her diary having been removed.

It was about Anne Frank and whether it is okay or not okay to discuss whether she could have maybe been bisexual. It was not about whether Anne Frank was bisexual. It was about whether people in general should even be allowed to discuss that she could have been, that bits about thinking girls were beautiful were left out of her journal.

But first, a bit about me, as for some people, it’s a necessary part of my argument.

I’m Jewish and am very educated about Judaism – I have vastly more knowledge about Judaism than most Jews. I am less educated about Judaism than many other Jews. But nevertheless, I am Jewish and my family, for as many generations as we know about on both sides, were Jewish.

I am also a secular person. I write stories, go to movies and theater productions, and sometimes even buy specialty coffees at Starbucks. I blend in with the non-Jewish population – I wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, look the same as anyone else.*

I am also bisexual. In high school I would have considered myself straight. In college I considered myself heteroflexible. Only in the past couple years have I thought that I might be bisexual instead of all of those things, and still, I realize that my sexual identity might change in the future.

Ten years ago I was still in high school. I considered myself a writer and wanted to be a novelist when I grew up. I loved working with pottery and taking dance lessons. I had daydreams about girls as well as guys, but more often it was guys, so I considered myself straight. I would not label myself as bi, because I didn’t consider myself to be bi. At most I would have labeled myself as not really or not quite straight.

And that affects my argument now. Because the original question was not “should Anne Frank be listed among historical figures we didn’t know were bisexual;” the question was “should we even talk about the fact that she was maybe bi, and that the possibility of her being bi was erased from her diaries, while still focusing on her as a Holocaust victim due to being Jewish.”

To answer the first question I would say no. We do not know that Anne Frank was bisexual – we do not know how she would have labeled herself. Co-opting her as a bisexual figurehead is wrong since she was not one. It’s possibly even creepy since she was a child, barely even a teenager, when she was writing her diary and when she died.

But should we discuss that bits of her diary were removed in order to be more “appropriate” for the masses to read? And that those bits were things that might have implied her sexuality? Hell yes.

We’re reading her diary. We’re reading something that was never meant to be shared. And we’re reading it as required reading in high schools across the country and possibly even around the world. Think of that. Her most personal thoughts and feelings are being read in an English/Literature class near you.

And if we’re going to do that, we better damn well read her story. Not the story that someone else wanted told, but the story that she told. The story that includes things that may imply that she wasn’t quite straight. If we’re going to invade her privacy – for whatever reason – then we better not lie when we do it.

Because once we start cutting things out, where are we going to stop? The best way we can remember the Holocaust is to remember the human stories that happened during the Holocaust. And changing those stories from the original version is wrong.

Why do we read her diary? Why do we read such a personal story? I believe that we read it to remember that she was a person who was murdered because she was Jewish. That she was murdered because she was seen as a stereotype and not a person. And hopefully when people read her story they remember that Jews are people, not stereotypes. Don’t eliminate the bits that make her story personal, that make her a real, complicated, teenage girl.

*I utterly reject the notion that Jews have a stereotypical look that makes them stand out from other people.

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Friday Reblog – Yes, Squirting is Real (And it’s not pee.)

This Friday reblog isn’t from WordPress, so it’s not the automatic reblog link, instead I’m linking the title below.  I’m posting it as a contrasting opinion to my last Friday reblog (which wasn’t actually last week, but I’m busy, oh well).  The most important thing from the last reblog, which I want to reiterate here is, “What happens during sex doesn’t really matter as long as you are having fun. However, this study is important because many women feel inadequate because they don’t “squirt.” In fact, I am asked about this a couple of times a month.”

I think this is important to reiterate because, while I agree with the tone and the information in this week’s reblog, I think that squirting can be used as a “you’re not getting good enough orgasms if you’re not doing this” or “you’re not as cool as porn if you’re not doing this” thing for women, and I completely disagree with that.

Yes, Squirting is Real (And it’s not pee.)

I want to start by saying that I do not know everything there is to now about squirting/female ejaculation. I am not a doctor, a scientist, or a researcher. What I am, however, is an expert at my own body. And I know that I ejaculate, and that is is most definitely not the same as peeing. I am not opposed to further study of the chemical makeup and process of squirting–I’m all for more research, and that is not what upsets me.

What upsets and angers me is when the media takes a very small (and arguably poorly designed) study of squirting and proclaims it the truth and the be-all end-all on the matter. I’m not going to link to the media outlets that wrote about it because I don’t want to send traffic to their crappy, patronizing articles, but I’ve read at least three that sensationalize this small, inconclusive study, declaring SQUIRTING IS REALLY JUST PEE all too gleefully.

I don’t care if my ejaculate is chemically similar to pee (and I don’t think there’s evidence that it is), but regardless, my experience of squirting during sex is NOT that of peeing and is tied to my pleasure and to call it “essentially adult bed wetting” is incredibly insulting, condescending, and damaging…

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“Squirting” during sex is urine – new study

Dr. Jen Gunter

squirtingThere has long been a controversy about female ejaculation and by this I mean large amounts of fluid or “squirting” during sexual stimulation/orgasm.

Some women lubricate very well and there are secretions from the small glands at the vaginal opening so a few milliliters of fluid is very common. But what about those videos that you see or people who report that they “squirt?” (more than 15 ml but often volumes of 100-150 ml are described).

The pro “squirting” camp believes the fluid is a form of female ejaculation and that it likely comes from the Skene’s glands, a pair of glands on either side of the urethra (the tube that drains the bladder). The Skene’s glands are referred to by some as the “female prostate.”

This idea of “squirting” being ejaculate from the Skene’s glands or other lower genital tract glands has long bothered me as the Skene’s glands are…

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Period Tracking Apps – A Review

I have had a number of period tracker apps downloaded onto my tablet for about a month now. I started with the idea that I wanted to track not just my period but other things such as vaginal discharge, symptoms like cramps, and life occurrences such as stress.

As such, I decided to download all the period trackers in the Google Play store that were free and had more than 4 stars. That ended up being more trackers than I originally thought – and there also ended up being more crappy trackers than I thought. I then organized them all in order of “is this even worth downloading” to “awesome” and will share mini reviews of my favorites.

Winner and runner up:

This app wins overall, though there are some things that I wish were better. The best part about the app is how easy it is to use. It’s color coded for the things you might want to track, so it’s fairly easy to look at your history at a glance, and tracks almost everything I’m looking for. (For instance, it tracks, period, discharge, and cramps, but I have to track stress in the notes section.) I wish it had more options under some of the tracking sections, and that some of the options were clearer (for instance – what does “PMS” mean as a mood?). But as the app seems to have opted for simplicity and easy-to-use over more categories, I see the limitations as a rational choice. In addition, Clue is a prediction app, so it tries to tell you in advance, based on the information you have previously tracked, when you will get your period. (However, it only uses “light” bleeding and up as being your period, spotting doesn’t count – which doesn’t always worked for me.)

Which is why I’ve been using a second tracking app in tandem with Clue:

Glow has opted for being able to track almost everything you can think of. They also have a community chat section and run daily polls. This is interesting but it means that the app loads a lot slower, which is really annoying. However, I love that I can track everything on a sliding scale. Unlike Clue, I can track how bad my cramps are, and how much discharge I have – this is more realistic and something I do want to know about. (This also means, though, that not every category has consistent tracking. For instance, sometimes I track my moods and sometimes I don’t, so really I’m only tracking unusual moods that I normally wouldn’t notice.) And I also love how I can track my stress levels – and it’s not even listed under moods, it’s completely separate and easy to remember to track. However, I wish that there was a better way to visually see what I’ve tracked. Glow does come with charts, but only for temperature and weight, two things I am not tracking. Customizing the charts would be ideal, but currently the only way to look at information over time is to export a pdf to your email.

The third runner up was:

My Days X
I didn’t like the interface on this one but I did like the calendar view. However, it doesn’t track as many things as Glow, and it’s more complicated to use than Clue, so I eventually stopped using it. However, I really did like the calendar view since it shows symbols on each day of the things you’ve tracked instead of colors. Also, it tracks all of the things I was looking for, which include menstruation, discharge, and stress (although it lumps it in with anxiety, which I didn’t like). However, it also has ads, which can get annoying.


Overall, the three apps I mention above are good and functional. They do everything I want them to do, just in slightly different ways. I have my favorites for different reasons, but I would recommend any of them. In addition, none of them are cutesy pink or purple or any other type of cutesy design. They’re built to be functional and work, and even if they look pretty, they’re not trying.  What they’re trying to do is be functional.

The next app on the list tracked everything I wanted to track, but had an annoying interface and a cutesy design. I didn’t even bother using it after playing around to see how it worked:

The interface on this app wasn’t very good, either. The calendar view was pretty good, but not as good as My Days X, and inputting information was annoying and not always self-explanatory. But it did track all the things I wanted to track. It also was more annoying in the “let’s have pink and a cutesy design” arena.


The following apps didn’t even track everything I wanted to track. Namely, they didn’t track discharge, which I think is incredibly stupid, as that’s something that almost every woman has and most of the time it changes based on her menstruation cycle. Tellingly, most of them also had cutesy designs.

This one was slightly better than the others. The design was cutesy, but in a hand-drawn kind of way that I liked, and the interface wasn’t any worse than my top three picks. However, its downfall was a lack of tracking discharge.

The “not even worth it” apps:
The interfaces weren’t great, the calendar views weren’t good, or they had a ton of ads – or all of the above.

P Tracker
Pink Pad

Then there were the apps that I don’t know how that got that high of a review because they basically didn’t even exist. One of them kept crashing and another was literally a period tracker and that’s it. You opened it up and it said, “add period.” You put in the first day and last day of your period, had a space to add notes, and that’s it. I do believe it had a prediction algorithm in it, because there are three lines on the main page of the app that say “likely start of next period,” “likely next ovulation,” and “likely dates of highest fertility,” but that’s it. There is no calendar view, no area to track anything else. It’s the most minimal period tracker app ever. (Besides, Clue tracks all of that too, but it has an easier and better-looking interface.)

Kept crashing:

Only tracked periods, nothing else:
Woman’s Diary
P and O Tracker (this one at least seemed to be predictive)


Now that I’ve finally written this review, I can delete all those unused tracker apps off my tablet. I hope this review has been useful to someone out there, and let me know if you have any further questions about any of the apps I’ve reviewed. (Though if it’s one I’ll be deleting, it might be best just to download it yourself and try it out.)

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You Are Not Entitled to Friendship.

Having been absent for this week otherwise, here’s a Friday reblog.

Despite being an allosexual alloromantic person, I agree with this completely. I’ve been doing reading about poly relationships lately, and more than just my sexual/romantic relationships, it’s made me reconsider my friendships — especially my friendships with my awesome best friends. Because not all my friends turn into “best friends” and sometimes even those don’t always stick around, though it’s usually due to long distance friendship being just as difficult as a long distance relationship, though in other ways. And it’s really too bad that our society doesn’t currently have a term for extremely strong friendships, and doesn’t consider friendships to be as “good” as romantic/sexual relationships. But I’m glad that I can see that changing, even if it’s a slow change.

The Thinking Aro

I’ve seen some romantic-sexual people, both in my own personal life and online, complain about aromantic and/or asexual friends of theirs withdrawing from, diminishing, or ending the friendship(s) they share, seemingly without reason or cause. Most recently, someone was complaining in an aromantic/asexual space–a person self-identified as alloromantic allosexual–about their aro-ace friends dropping them completely after behaving in a particularly needy or clingy fashion and getting upset about the alloromantic allosexual person spending more time with a romantic/sexual partner or even another friend. I agree that expectations, boundaries, needs, and relationship status should be clearly communicated and agreed upon between any two people, and no one has the right to get upset over disappointed desires if those desires were never communicated or agreed upon with their friend. But I think the incompatibility between romantic-sexual people and aromantic asexuals, in friendship, usually goes deeper than miscommunication.

I just have to get…

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We Need More Women in High Tech, Dammit!

Double Friday reblog because this was just that good. (Well, really really early Saturday if you want to be picky.)

Random Blather

Jordan from “Real Genius”, who I adored
(Image courtesy of the Cult Film Club)

Note: This is longer than my usual blog-post.  It’s on a topic that is both complicated, and one I think is really important, but it may strike you as tl;dr.  I’m okay with that.  For the rest of y’all, read on:

Despite the fact that it is a trite observation that “women and men are different”, and bearing in mind that gender is both more fluid and less binary than we are taught growing up, these differences–which permeate basically every facet of our lives–have been and continue to be an important area of study for psychologists, sociologists, and even relatively unimportant schlubs like me. (One of the best books on this topic that I’ve read is Deborah Tannen’s “You Just Don’t Understand”, which I highly recommend.

Now, the reasons behind this are up for…

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