FFFF: Your First Black Girlfriend

Funny Feminist Friday Film square logo

New York-based writer and comedian Akilah Hughes was inspired by challenges in her own interracial relationship to create this funny and pointed video about how to treat black women as human. Hughes told the Huffington Post:

I think Black women are exoticized in interracial relationships because the media only portrays Black women in a few ways, while other races tend to get more options. The media mold for a young Black woman is very limited–must be extremely aggressive, commandeering, unintelligent, etc.–while that has not been the case with the overwhelming majority of Black women I’ve met from all different backgrounds. Truthfully, I think more Black women would feel comfortable dating outside of their race if that wasn’t the case, because it’s one thing to have a TV show or movie that doesn’t know you see you in that negative light–it’s quite another to find out that your significant other does as well. When media starts to reflect the actual world we inhabit instead of aiming to create it, I’m sure there will be greater understanding in interracial relationships.

Transcript (after the jump):

Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in FFFF, Racism 1 Comment

A Feminist Filmmaker’s Dilemma

still from "Sex On Wheels" showing Amanda on a bike racing her friendsby Amanda Feder

At 24, I found myself faced with a strange and alienating reality, particularly after having just finished the cliché college experience: I found myself having to put effort into finding a date. And then soon after, I found myself making a film about it.

Of course, the short I made, “Sex on Wheels”, is actually about a lot more than that. The film was meant to be a portrait of the bike community in Toronto, as seen through the eyes of an outsider (at 24, I didn’t know how to ride a bike). A running joke I had at the time was how not knowing to ride my bike was killing my dating life, and a series of random/wonderful events turned that idea into a film project.

I’ll spare you the semi-pretentious director’s statement that perhaps no filmmaker can avoid, highlighting all the themes and hidden messages and triumphs that they find in their work, even in something as light as “Sex on Wheels.”

At the end of the day, I found myself, a feminist, to be the director of a film that follows me trying to find a man. And it made me feel weird. Read more

Posted on by Amanda Feder in Can-Con, Feminism Leave a comment

FFFF: My Self-Esteem’s Not Low Enough to Date You

Funny Feminist Friday Film square logoGarfunkel and Oates (aka Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome) sing about women’s self-esteem.

Full lyrics: (after the jump) Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in FFFF Leave a comment

My Reality: Interviewing for the Position of Wife

1950s housewife picture from adby Lisa Lo Paro

“I love your confidence,” he said, “One of the features I like best about you.” Thus I began a text relationship with a guy my friends and I met at a bar. He didn’t seem like the pushy type when he introduced himself with a boyish grin and confident charm. In fact, he seemed like the opposite of the guys my friends and I were used to encountering at the dive: he was playful, respectful, humble.

We made a fivesome, myself and my two friends and his friend. There were no “Hey, how you doin’s?” or “Can I buy you a drink, girl?” or pickup lines of any variety. We talked and laughed and even pulled a light prank on someone we knew from high school. The guy, let’s call him Simon, suggested we hang out again when he got back from Boston on vacation,  in three months. He seemed like a pal, so I gave him my number and the number of my friend so that he could call either of us. It seemed totally casual, completely platonic.

At four-thirty in the morning, when I was tucked into bed awaiting sleep, he texted me with the statement above. He loved my confidence, and he had added me on Facebook. He openly “stalked” my profile pictures and told me which three he liked best. “Delete the others,” he quipped. It was past 4:45 a.m. when he told me he was leaving for Boston in two days and asked me what I was doing “later today.” I told him I was working, that I didn’t think I was available afterward. I was surprised that he was so insistent so fast, but he seemed like a nice guy so I gave him a “maybe” and said goodnight.

The next day, the bluster began. While I was at work (I am a part-time waitress), he pestered me via text about what time I would finish. He asked me to tell him how much “better he is” than other guys. He described himself as “very persistent” but only with “those worthy.” He told me to be prepared “for me to keep trying to hang out until you wear out and say yes.” By this time I was turned off and planned to cancel our tentative plans, regardless of closing time. He just seemed so arrogant.

He wrote me, “Although I do think I’d be the best waiter in town. You’d probably get laid off if I applied at your restaurant”. Arrogant, and strangely attached to me.

“We would make such a cute couple,” he wrote. And I knew he had to be joking. It’s just…it seemed like he meant it. It was like he was using humor to mask his sincerity. I felt like I was being interviewed for something, and it got more personal as the days progressed. Personal perhaps isn’t the right word. Prying would be more appropriate.

Unexpectedly, during one particularly inane text exchange, he sent me this message: “I knew you’d be dating material the night we met.” Interested in what his definition of “dating material” was, I inquired how he knew such a thing. He replied, “There are certain qualities to be watchful of, such as kindness, attractiveness, intelligence, humor.” For example, he told me, “Sluts cannot be kind. Kindness implies they don’t sleep around. And they’re not smart. If they were smart they wouldn’t be sleeping around.” My enraged reply did nothing to stem his flow of antagonism against perceived “sluts.” I changed the subject but he quickly informed me he was able to guess how many men I had slept with. Simon was convinced my number was less than five and was satisfied that I was not, as he put it, “a whore.”

Simon then proudly told me his number of sexual partners. “Keep in mind,” he wrote, “that I am a 23-year old gorgeous male.” I told him he would think his number were high if it were a woman’s and he agreed. “That’s because there’s a double standard,” he wrote and I wanted to yell, “You’re guilty of it!” But I didn’t.

I gathered from his messages that he was comfortable sleeping around but not comfortable with women doing the same, since it apparently rendered them incapable of kindness, intelligence, even humor. He wanted a girlfriend but, and I quote verbatim, “no one is worthy.” Since he wanted a girlfriend, his solution was to connect with a girl he’s met once at a bar, form an opinion of her even though he doesn’t know her and she also happens to live four hours away. Read more

Posted on by Lisa Lo Paro in Feminism, My Reality 7 Comments

The Girlfriend Experience? Yeah, We Offer That Here

dating isby Alicia Costa

“I think that dating is awful. I just don’t understand people that can go out with someone and be so relaxed about it.” –Natalia, Girls

I’ve been dating for about a year and a half. This was after a substantial hiatus of over five years where I did a lot of work on myself. All the while I silently snickered at the articles I’d read about women in their 20s and 30s online dating and having a terrible go of it. Oh the horror stories! I’d sit there behind my computer screen stroking my cat on my lap and smirk away. I’d think to myself, “That won’t be me! I am a catch! I have my shit together! When I am ready to dabble in online dating I will pick good and sensible men and not get jerked around!” No really. I really thought I’d sign up for a online dating site, meet like three guys, and one of those guys would fall for my adorable good looks and charm and that would be it. Bam. Consider me off the market boys.


I’ve met a handful of men (I’m picky and you have to weed through A LOT of crap to find any decent guys. LIKE A LOT) and overall I’ve been pleased. They have been charming, good looking, educated, have jobs, have dreams, don’t live with their parents, and are genuinely nice humans. And they love their mothers and sisters (my mother always told me to judge a man based on how he treats his mother and sisters). But they all seemed to enjoy, what I have dubbed “The Girlfriend Experience”, in that they want to skip over the actually dating part right to the sweatpants and sex.

I am not a fancy gal. I’m not interested in being wined and dined by someone I barely know. All of these men I’ve met for a quick coffee and let it progress from there. Which usually brought us to my apartment. And I’ve had a really nice time entertaining a few of these gentlemen.

The evenings usually consisted of sharing a bottle of wine on the couch, some good conversation, and heavy petting. And while I am not one to shy away from casual sex it really isn’t what I am looking for at this point in my life. I need something more. Don’t get me wrong: I love comfy pants, wine, and sex. But didn’t we skip a part? Like the part where we get kicked out a poetry reading for making out and groping each other? Or having sushi and going for a walk along the ocean? Or exchanging dirty texts at 3 a.m. on Saturday night?

And after this happened to me a few times with a few different guys I named this behavior “The Girlfriend Experience.” After a while you start to feel like the girlfriend they have been with for a couple of years who they come home to, unload their day on, drink beer with, and give a quick bang to. Then you don’t hear from them for a week or more until they are lonely and want something comfortable to slip back into.

A good friend of mine calls this the “Comfy Sweat Pant” (where a guy treats you like a old pair of sweatpants they can throw on and veg out in). So how did we skip all the fun and get right to the part where you text me daily updates about your car repair and hectic work schedule after we’ve hung out twice? Or tell me you have “mild managed depression” yet have a bathroom full of anti-psychotics and only call me when you need someone to listen to your disturbed ramblings?

Now I am not trying to make this sound unpleasant. Like I said I’ve had nice experience with a few guys where the wine/couch/conversation/hot making out was a very enjoyable experience. However, this would lead any lady to the place where she also feels comfortable to expose herself to him by telling him how she constantly gets herself stuck in/between things because she often misjudges just how much room her voluptuousness actually requires.

Now if a lady is telling you one of the their secret shames then she is comfortable with you. Comfortable enough to text you something like, “Hey man I think you’re rad, I like spending time with you, and let’s get naked again soon.”

To which I believe the guy reacts like this:



Whoa now, crazy lady. What did you think was going on here?
Read more

Posted on by Alicia Costa in Feminism, My Reality 2 Comments

Cuddling Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does… Apparently

by Jasmine Peterson

Dating – it’s exhausting.

At first I thought it was fun (being new to the dating scene, and never having really done the dating thing in my younger years), but as time has gone on, I’ve discovered that it can be really, really exhausting.

I’m a pretty open and honest person. I’ve put a lot of myself out into the ether of the internet (from discovering myself to be polyamorous to the health repercussions of my breakup and consequent brief personal meltdown). So when I’m dating, I’ve got no qualms about being honest about my intentions, my feelings, and my desires. And because I’m such an honest person, an open book really, I often expect that others will be the same. I’ve discovered that this is just me projecting my own qualities onto others; they are not always coming from the same place of transparency as I am.

How much easier would dating be if we could all just be honest about our intentions? I’ve met a few men who were pretty upfront about exactly what they were looking for – whether it was to settle down into a relationship or strictly a relationship of a sexual nature – and it made knowing how to proceed so much easier. What I want keeps changing, it seems, but I articulate it as I go to ensure that any man I am seeing knows that. I’m a work in progress, and I can understand that what someone else wants might also change, so I like to keep the conversation open and evolving to accommodate that.

But what I’ve found to most often be the case is that men are reticent to admit to wanting to have sexual relations, as though admitting that is somehow going to result in some catastrophic implosion of the dating universe. At first, I found this baffling.

“Do you want to cuddle?” a guy would say.

And if I didn’t, I would say no. But some nights, I really did want to cuddle and would accept the offer. Little did I know, “cuddle” is apparently a code word for sex. Because every single time a guy would come over to “cuddle”, he would start making sexual advances. Read more

Posted on by Jasmine Peterson in Feminism 36 Comments

Don’t Blame Science if Your Women Friends Don’t Want You

by Christopher Lewarne

An Article published in Scientific American this week demystified a commonly held colloquialism – Rachel and Ross knew it, Monica and Chandler certainly knew it (ok, Phoebe and Joey didn’t know it, but they were kinda clueless): men and women can’t be “just F•R•I•E•N•D•S“.

The article, according prolific feminist blogger Elizabeth Plank, was “hilariously accurate.” She quotes the study:

“Men were more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends. Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual. As a result, men consistently overestimated the level of attraction felt by their female friends and women consistently underestimated the level of attraction felt by their male friends.”

While the merits of the study have been questioned because of its small sample size, what’s interesting is what motivated the study in the first place – the need to ask the question at all. I think most of us intuitively feel that we can maintain platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex, even – gasp! – the attractive ones. But the need to ask if men and women can be “Just Friends” comes from a particular heteronormative discourse about male vs. female sexuality. It’s a discourse that’s conjured (or maybe revealed) by the reactions elicited by the study. What followed the Scientic American article initially were the suspected remarks by the usual suspects: men making evolutionary and biological arguments to justify their skewed sexual egoism. Read more

Posted on by Christopher Lewarne in Feminism 1 Comment