Monday, August 12, 2013

Cosmocking: August '13!

I know I start too many posts with excuses, so I'll just say: major family crisis which is still ongoing and will probably end badly.  (Oh god, I hate speaking in vague-ese.  Basically what I mean is my grandmother had a heart attack and is having major health and psychological crises on a daily basis, which I'm being repeatedly sucked into.)  Also I have various mental hangups about posting on this blog which are matched only by my mental hangups about not posting on it.  I'm working on those.

Anyway. Cosmocking is very overdue, so, without further ado...


Blue cover!  They didn't tag this "the HOT issue," because Cosmo is getting all serious these days, but they haven't totally lost touch with their roots because they still snuck in a "SUPERHOT!" on the cover.  Demi Lovato!  I feel so old when I have no idea who the cover people are!  "Best. Sex. Ever. 42 New Tips!" The tips turn out to be things like talking dirty and using a blindfold and there's nothing wrong with that but wow that is some chutzpah calling them new! "The Real Reason He Never Texted!"  Generally I assume it's because he missed the message or procrastinated answering it and if I remind him he'll get in touch!  Because if it's anything else then I'd say I dodged a bullet!
FAIL: A U.N. report suggest we eat more bugs in order to fight world hunger. Blech.
Because I am a pedant (and I've eaten a few bugs in my day), I found the report they're talking about. It goes into depth about all the different ways people eat insects right now: caterpillars are popular in central Africa, crickets and beetles are snacks in Thailand, witchetty grub is a traditional food in Australia, ant larvae are a delicacy in Mexico... the question the UN is posing isn't "what if people ate insects?" but "why doesn't everyone eat insects?"

The answer, is, in part: because Westerners think it's icky and suppress insect-based culinary traditions, even when doing so leads to widespread malnutrition (PDF link).  Turns out that going "ewww FAIL" at important protein sources is not, in fact, sound global food policy.
Sexy vs. Skanky
For all that Cosmo is supposed to be totally feminist now, you guys, they still have this section, and they still use it to say "women wearing revealing clothing - sexy; women wearing incrementally more revealing clothing - skanky."

See, if guys see part of your breasts, they'll want to have sex with you, and that's great; but if guys see a slightly larger part of your breasts, they'll think you want to have sex with them, and that's terrible.
So You Want To Be A Princess: Grown, professional women are sporting glass slippers, spending thousands on a Cinderella wedding, and holding out for Prince Charming. What the frock is going on?
This is a really weird trend piece.  It's almost up to New York Times levels of "taking a trend that basically no one is involved in, acting like it's sweeping the country, than judging all the people who are supposedly involved."  I'm just going to give you some amazing quotes from this piece and let them stand on their own merits here.
The professional princess doesn't claw her way up the ladder. She ascends through the ranks by employing kindness, courtesy, and charm, leaving everyone with whom she has worked sinking her praises. 
Driving around in her pink car, texting on her pink iPhone, and still planning her Little Mermaid wedding, she waits for the man who will open doors for her, buy her flowers every day, and know her favorite song--"not because he has to but because he wants to." 
"It's a form of insanity," Orenstein says. "Why can't they emulate queens?" 
Not having to be in charge is the point of princess culture, adds Rebecca Hains, Ph.D, author of Confronting Cinderella. "These women are saying they want it all but in a way that doesn't involve the work and does involve the sparkle and glamour. [...] Women are being joyously duped."
Their definitions of what a princess is have become intensely personal. 
For her at least, being a princess is not about being self-absorbed, materialistic, or rescued by a man. "I know it's silly," she says. "But there was such female bonding and empowerment out there. The women weren't like, 'Hey, move, you're in my way.' They were like 'Hey, I like your tutu."
At least it's not "hookup culture."

...Okay, five bucks to anyone who finds me a trend piece on "princess hookup culture."
"Our life feels like it's turned into one errand after another, so we've started assigning sex acts to errands. His going down on me equals grocery store, so now I love our trips to Whole Foods."
"Hey, honey, want to [eyebrow waggle] take the paint cans to the hazardous waste center?"
Q: Sometimes my boyfriend takes too long to finish, and I'm lying there, uncomfortable, wondering, "How much longer?" Is there anything I can do to help him get there faster?
A: Yes! But let's start with the basics: A survey of sex therapists in The Journal of Sex Medicine found that intercourse lasting from 7 to 13 minutes is the most desirable.
Well, that's great to know, but a survey of me in the journal of my vagina came up with different results, so maybe having sex for the objectively correct amount of time shouldn't be the goal here?
[How to talk to your boyfriend when he's unemployed]: It's best to put the emphasis on you. Say, "I just don't get why you're not trying harder to get a job--you're so talented! What's going on?" Complimenting him instead of insulting him will help him open up. See what we did there?
...You told him that he's deciding to be unemployed and demanded an explanation for why he made that decision?  Yeah, I see what you did there.
Q: A guy asked me out to see a movie. He picked me up, so I offered to pay for the movie tickets, saying it was like reimbursing him for gas money. I didn't think he would let me, but he did. Shouldn't he have tried to pay?A: He shouldn't have tried to pay for the tickets--he should have insisted on paying for them.
Okay, seriously?  I am so fucking sick of people who think "they should have known I meant the exact opposite of what I said" is acceptable adult communication.  If you say you're going to pay for the tickets, and you are after all a grown woman with money of her own, then the reasonable assumption a person would make is that you're going to pay for the tickets.

In LARPing (shit... this post is revealing I've both eaten bugs and LARPed, god I'm a sexy beast), when someone holds their hand up with their fingers crossed, it means they're speaking out of character.  It's a safety hatch for unambiguously saying "no, I literally mean this," so that if you say "hold up, I twisted my ankle," it's clear that you the player are hurt, not merely playing a character who's hurt.

Cosmo relationships need an "out of character" gesture, is what I'm saying.

55 comments:

  1. "'It's a form of insanity,' Orenstein says. 'Why can't they emulate queens?'"

    I think this is the absolute best quote. Because when people are emulating something improbable, the answer is to emulate something EQUALLY IMPROBABLE THAT SOUNDS MORE EMPOWERING.

    Also I would desperately love tips to get over bug eating squick. I've had one too many home infestations to want to put a bug in my mouth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why can't they emulate female prime ministers?

      Why can't they emulate female participants in a classless society with fully democratic governance?

      I don't know if bug-grossout is something anyone has to personally get over; just make your peace with "I won't force you to eat bugs, and you won't force me to not eat bugs."

      Delete
    2. I'm going to emulate a member of the Avengers.

      Delete
    3. Re bug eating squick:

      Depending on how squeamish you are this might not work, but try insect lollipops. Just pretend the bug inside is plastic, you don't have to actually eat it at first. But after a while you get used to the idea of having dead bugs near your mouth. Alternatively, cook them in a way that disguises the appearance (chocolate coated?) and try not to think too hard.

      Delete
    4. I find that your suggestions represent a steep drop both in agency and in romanticism. Female participants in a fully democratic, classless society would actually have less agency and be less empowered than you, Genderqueer of the West.

      Delete
  2. Now getting out of my little lurkbox. Cosmo requires mocking and tough, sexy LARPer girl here thinks your powers of blogging are awesome. I'm Swedish, so this isn't really my edition of Cosmo, but it's nonetheless hilarious to read about.

    Hope your life sorts itself, eventually. Personal stuff is always rough.

    Also: female participants in a classless society with fully democratic governance? That sounds like... wow. You've got some imagination there.

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  3. The journal of My Vagina! Now I want to publish this!

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    Replies
    1. Is it peer reviewed?

      Delete
    2. Better than continual 'notes from my cock'.

      Delete
    3. I totally want to publish in "Journal of Assdata" with the paper title "Arctic Assplay: Cis Man's Introspection on His Physical And Psychological Limits In Anal Stimulation And Humiliation Play".

      Delete
  4. Comradde PhysioProffeAugust 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    For her at least, being a princess is not about being self-absorbed, materialistic, or rescued by a man. "I know it's silly," she says. "But there was such female bonding and empowerment out there. The women weren't like, 'Hey, move, you're in my way.' They were like 'Hey, I like your tutu."

    This looks like a proper English paragraph, but I keep reading it over and over and each time, I have even less idea what the fucke it is supposed to be about.

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    Replies
    1. I'm having the same problem.

      Delete
    2. Makes sense to me. She's saying that it's a culture in which women are supportive and respectful of each other--rather than trying to one-up and outdo each other, they were being friendly and complimenting each other's choices.

      Delete
  5. I love that their formula is basically:

    1. Shit
    2. Throw shit on ground
    3. Write down and publish whatever it happens to spell out
    4. ????
    5. Profit!

    I wish I could write for cosmo.

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  6. I googled Demi Lovato and apparently she's a singer-actress who seems like a nice person and has a symmetrical, somewhat roundish face and is 20 years old. What I'm saying is this month's photoshop job looks fuckin' weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was a bad photoshop of Jennifer Lawrence. But then I've given up expecting to actually recognize people on Cosmo covers.

      Delete
  7. In my dating life, I've encountered two very different responses to the statement "I would like to pay for the movie tickets this time":

    1. "Okay, cool. Should I get us some popcorn?"
    2. Physically picking me up and pushing me out of the way so that I can't put my money in the ticket-vending machine.

    Why do I get the sense that Cosmo thinks #2 is the preferred way for a heterosexual guy to behave?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gahhhh. The logic process behind #2.

      "She said she wants to pay for the tickets. But women hate men who make them pay for dates. This must be a test. Wait, she's getting in front of the vending machine and getting her wallet out. ...This must be an advanced test."

      I don't know why you'd even want to date someone who lies to you about her intentions and makes you fight to spend money on her. I guess if you think there's no other options out there.

      Delete
    2. The Cosmo lifestyle seems like so much damn work. Like, you constantly have to be on your guard. It's like being a *spy*, without any of the badassery.

      Delete
    3. "It's like being a spy without any of the badassery". QFTW!

      Delete
    4. It sounds like the dissemblances of pick-up artists. For all that I find the sex-positive insistence on bluntness frustrating, ultimately things should be transparent.

      Delete
    5. Anyone who did the "No, I insist" thing in regards to paying would be sending up a red flag. Someone pushing me out of the way to pay would not get a second date.

      First of all, there are still guys out there who think that the more things they pay for on dates, the more a woman owes them sex. Second, guys who insist on paying are more likely to have unfortunate notions about "traditional" gender roles.

      So yeah, my offering to pay for something on a date would be a test... but I'd be hoping for the opposite result Cosmo does.

      Delete
  8. Basically what I mean is my grandmother had a heart attack and is having major health and psychological crises on a daily basis, which I'm being repeatedly sucked into.

    Best wishes for your and your family's mental and physical health.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's... complicated, because there's a lot of pre-existing dysfunctional family dynamics being overlaid on the crisis. This is the side of my family that can be reduced to screaming "you've never cared about me, not once" because people are having trouble picking a restaurant, so the way that they're dealing with actually painful and difficult decisions is... epic.

      Delete
    2. Oh no. All the Jedi hugs if you want them. I cannot even fathom how stressful and harrowing that must be.

      Delete
    3. Echoing the best wishes and the Jedi hugs. I love your Cosmockings, but please take care of yourself!

      Delete
    4. Awww man, dysfunctional family dynamics + legitimately stressful circumstances = epically awful. *jedi hugs*

      Delete
    5. Adding my good wishes as well - and some asbestos undies if you need them. :P

      -Fishgoat

      Delete
    6. Asbestos undies. I'd pay real money for them. Sending jedi hugs for the family stuff and the grief too.

      Delete
  9. There is nothing sexier than a LARPer. Just saying.

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  10. Another larper here. Hell, I've even run the damn things! <3

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  11. My whole family loves you and you are our entire means of understanding the "Cosmo" view of reality.

    ...I mean, no pressure or anything. Just saying. We like when you post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The Real Reason He Never Texted!"

    Because he found out that you read Cosmo and actually take it seriously as a guide to your life, whereupon he was all like "Well, fuck this."

    ReplyDelete
  13. 42 new tips? 42 exactly? Cosmo, have you been reading The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy? Because I'm pretty sure your "new" sex tips are not the ultimate answer...

    ReplyDelete
  14. "See, if guys see part of your breasts, they'll want to have sex with you, and that's great; but if guys see a slightly larger part of your breasts, they'll think you want to have sex with them, and that's terrible."

    OMG. That is the best, pithiest way to sum up that particular awful double standard/societally imposed balancing act that I have ever seen. I shall have to quote it errrywhere (with proper credit given, of course).

    Also, inquiring minds want to know:

    1) What is the verdict on sex on the first date?

    2) Just how homophobic is that "My Fiance Was Gay" article?

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    Replies
    1. 1) The verdict is that it's okay, actually. Neither forbidden nor compulsory. Cosmo did okay with that article.

      2) A little bit. "I empathize with Jason and support him. But at the same time, I remain deeply hurt by him. I wish he could have been honest with me years ago. I feel like there are two Jasons now--the man I fell in love with and the man I'm trying so hard to understand. He's being hailed as a pioneer, but I believe true heroism is a result of being honest with yourself and with those you love."

      I do get that she's hurt and all, and overall the article isn't bad in a really blatant way, but I don't think I'm down with "it's dishonest to fail to come out the instant you discover you're gay" and "if a person comes out as gay they become an entirely different person who's impossible to comprehend."

      Delete
    2. I sort of felt like she was implying that he was undeserving of the respect he got for being the first man to come out as gay in a homophobic profession, because he was dishonest (by not coming out earlier.) Which I think is pretty f'ed up, given the potential personal consequences of coming out for a male professional athlete - especially 7-10 years ago, when the mainstream discourse on gay rights was much less friendly than it is now.

      So yeah, there was nothing super blatantly icky about it, but it's like...really, you think he's not heroic because he didn't come out FAST ENOUGH?

      Delete
  15. Hey, I've been compulsively clicking through to this blog to check for this post for the last week or so because I love your cosmocking posts so very much.

    But if you don't want to or can't post here for whatever reasons, you have my total support in that as well. It's only fun for me if it's fun for you too!

    ...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Say, "I just don't get why you're not trying harder to get a job--you're so talented! What's going on?" -wrote the Cosmo writer with their nice magazine job. ^^; I know what's going on, a shit job market is going on! And trying to 'make it about you' seems like the worst advice in the world to me. Can't your boyfriend's job search be about him? Though what in that thing they suggest to say makes it about you is a mystery to me. That whole section is annoying to my semi-employed, job-hunting-without-success self. >:|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best part is, they didn't even successfully use I-statements! Throwing "I don't understand" in front of "WHY AREN'T YOU TRYING HARDER??!1?1!" does not an I-statement make.

      The scripts they're looking for are:
      A) Silence. They already know they're unemployed.

      B) (ONLY If they have been complaining, especially in a fishing-for-help kind of way) "Is there anything I can help you with? I'm good at resumes, and I can tell people you're looking." [Possibly also: "Honey, Blizzard isn't going to hire you. You have to widen your parameters."]

      C) (If your financial situation is tied up with their financial situation) "I'm not going to pay for [these things] anymore after [this date]." Then discuss what that means for your lives.

      D) "We are breaking up now. I'm sorry you're hurt. Why? I don't want to be together anymore. I'm sorry you're hurt. No, there's nothing you can say to change my mind." (Once you hit the breaking-up stage, the talking-about-why stage has usually passed.)

      Delete
  17. @Cliff
    Almost off-topic, but...

    Thank you for posting about your hang-up about writing on the blog, and your matched hang-up about not writing. I have the same problems in so many parts of my life, and it's really hard to overcome. So much anxiety and guilt. It feels good to remember that other awesome people (like you) have to deal with this. Obviously I'm not saying that I'm happy you are suffering. Ok, overexplanation.

    Just thank you. :)

    [P.S.: Wordpress is telling me I don't own 'that identity,' so apparently I can't post as me... grrr.]

    ReplyDelete
  18. First off, I hope your situation improves! Don't feel bad for taking longer when there's a family emergency.

    On topic, I'd totally wanna hook up with a princess and do princess shit. We could frick on a pink bed with those curtains while wearing tiaras and jewelry.

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    Replies
    1. I seem to recall some famous lady who had a woman lover who got scratches all over the inside of her thighs from the dangling earrings... dang, now who was that? She was married to a man and it was in like the 1920s to 1940s or thereabouts.

      Oh, I found it: it was Mary Margaret Garman Campbell (husband Roy Campbell), who had an affair with Vita Sackville-West.

      Delete
  19. Just adding another note of thank-you-for-the-awesome-writing, sympathy-for-the-stressful-family-stuff, and yay-another-person-who-is-anxious-over-whether-or-not-to-write. My partner and I regularly enjoy reading Pervocracy together -- but we haven't finished the archives, so no pressure. (For that matter, even if we had, no pressure. As someone said above, it's only fun if it's fun for both parties.)

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  20. Our signal for "this statement is out-of-character" is placing one hand on top of your head.

    Is it just me, or are the "expert opinions" they cite about this supposed princess trend at odds with their descriptions of the actual behaviour displayed by these women?

    "Oh no, they're pursuing their dreams by being kind and competent rather than pushing others down! They're holding out for the kind of guy they really want instead of settling! How terrible!"

    ReplyDelete
  21. best of luck with family stuff, cliff!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cosmo (&Wanda) Sex tipps! You've probably already find it, but it's so funny :D
    http://imgur.com/gallery/kQpSa

    ReplyDelete
  23. Funny thing about Demi Lovato, her single is actually the perfect "hookup culture" anthem, unintentionally. (Hookup culture is in scare quotes because I'm referring to the media one, not the real one... which isn't a 'culture' at all, really)

    after commenting that she usually plays guys "like a Ken doll" she sings:

    So I'm puttin' my defenses up
    'Cause I don't wanna fall in love
    if I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack

    Disclaimer: fallin' in love rarely causes a myocardial infarction - it's just poetic license.

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  24. "Our life feels like it's turned into one errand after another, so we've started assigning sex acts to errands. His going down on me equals grocery store, so now I love our trips to Whole Foods."

    Let me tell you that nothing destroys a relationship quite like quid pro quo sex.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm late to the party as per usual, but I hope that your grandmother's health is improving. Two details that just made me like you even more:

    1) You have eaten bugs (I assume you mean on purpose)
    2) Not only have you LARPed, but you use OOC gestures as an everyday analogy

    BEST FRIENDS?!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comic, I want to show you it: http://abstrusegoose.com/515

    ReplyDelete
  27. Also late to the party, but about the "how do I get him to finish faster" article: it's ok to tell him you're done and want to stop. If you don't feel like you can ask him to stop, that's a bad sign. If you're looking obviously tired and bored and he keeps on going without checking in, that's a really bad sign.

    He's not going to die if you decide you're done with sex before his orgasm. Hell, isn't that the traditional het relationship script reversed? Dude goes until he comes, then stops, never mind if you really wanted another couple of minutes of thrusting.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh, pervocracy. Now that I know you exist, I can stop wondering if my hatred of Cosmo was just crazy.

    ReplyDelete