Thoughts on the book Sleeping Beauties

15 02 2018

sleeping_beauties

Concepts from the book Sleeping Beauties reviewed

*Spoilers Ahead*
I spent the last ten days of my life reading Steven King and Owen King’s co-authored book Sleeping Beauties, all 700 pages. As someone who has read all 700 pages I’ll let you know right now that you could skip from about 530 to 650 and be just fine.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. Women fall asleep and as they sleep a cocoon wraps around them, if any dude tries to cut the cocoon off, the women violently attack them. Men freak out. Basically fuck up the planet even more. While the women sleep, they’re transported to a different world where they can start the whole thing over from scratch.

The men battle over the one woman who has all these magic powers and can wake back up after falling asleep. If they choose the right course of action, the women in the other world have the chance to vote on whether or not they want to come back to the world of men or start anew.

Okay, maybe the premise isn’t that simple.

But I must say I was quite disappointed by the end of the book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe because I have no husband or sons but I found it rather odd that every woman chose to go back to the land of men. There wasn’t one woman in the entire new world that wanted to argue to stay, wanted to make a new world that had less violence and pain in it. I get that the authors were trying to show that women as a whole have more empathy, patience, strength. I get that a child-less woman would understand why another woman would want to go back to a world where her male children were.

Yet, women are also known to make sacrifices for the greater good. One could argue that the greater good of the planet would be to start over fresh. It was strange that not one woman would at least bring up the option. It was almost as if the authors got tired by the end of it and gave up.

What if women had to start over without men?

Would new patterns of behavior emerge? Would old ones quickly return? Is this a nature v. nurture debate? This was almost a Herland in reverse, where there once was an island of only women, then men came along and ruined everything.

It’s mostly annoying though, that there is still so much of a divide. Like, do we really need to pit women against men? Can’t traits like empathy, confidence, assertiveness, be traits on their own without assuming they’re gendered? Can we imagine a future where people are generally decent regardless of their sex? I know that’s a hard one.

It was an interesting concept for these authors to take on, considering. Of course it’s a trendy topic, but at least it’s finally trending. It’s good to get people thinking about these ideas who maybe have never before, though admittedly, 700 pages was a bit much, particularly for such an anti-climatic ending.

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If I Was Born With a Penis

12 02 2018

buck

What would you look like as the opposite sex?….An app that seems to be the newest Facebook craze going around has got me thinking about not only what would I look like (which according to the app is closer to aging white trash serial killer with terrible facial hair and a possible meth problem than any man I’d want to look like) but what would I BE like if I had been born with a penis instead?

According to my parents my name would be Bryan Buck, which I believe would not have been the best start for a boy born in rural Kansas. Or maybe it would have been the best start, who can really know for sure.

I do know that when an asshole male classmate was cheating off of my math test in 5th grade that my teacher wouldn’t have said to me, “There’s no way he’d cheat off of a dumb girl like you.”

I know that I wouldn’t have been told by my English teacher in 9th grade that Shakespeare was “above my comprehension.”

Or in 7th grade algebra, I wouldn’t have been forced to sit in the corner with the girls so they could “chat,” while the boys learned math because girls were “too dumb to get it.” I would have at least been taught something, whether I did anything with it, who would know.

I know I wouldn’t have been forced to put on a shirt in the heat of summer when I was five years old because a group of my dad’s friends had pulled into the driveway… because boys can go around without shirts on whenever they want no matter how old they are, not just at Burning Man or nudist colonies or in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

I probably would have become a hunter, like my dad. Worked in the oil wells, like my dad. Or maybe a mechanic or a factory worker. I’d probably still be living in Kansas and have a wife and three kids. Or I would have become a pothead like my cousin. Ended up in jail. I most likely would know how to crush a 30 pack of natty light in one night, that’s pretty much a given.

I hope that I would not have been like most of the guys in my high school class who thought it was okay to grab women’s breasts during gym class, during lunch, in the hallways. Guys who would get blackout drunk and piss themselves at parties. Or puke in woods and then come back and try to make out with girls who were not quite as drunk. Or if the woman was quite drunk, I hope I wouldn’t have been one of those guys who thought it was okay to have sex with her while she was passed out. Or thought that a woman “owed” me because she was my girlfriend and had sex with her even though she said no. I hope I would not have been one of those guys who slut-shamed women who didn’t like me back. I hope I would not have been like a typical guy.

Yet, I was not born with a penis. And of course, like any curious person, I have wondered what it would be like to pee standing up, but I don’t necessarily have envy for one. Maybe white male-privilege envy but if that means being like a typical guy from my neck of the woods I’m very grateful I was born Krystal Fawn and not Bryan Buck.

Plus, I would not have been a very cute dude.

me_opposite_sex

(I really didn’t want to show this to anyone, but there you have it.)





I’m Too Sexy for My Yoga?

7 02 2018

The Rise of Vanity Yoga

vanity_yoga1
Though it’s a common occurrence amongst most people in the digital age to fall into what’s known as an ‘internet hole,’ generally the hole is something like cute animal videos or makeup tutorials, which sure, I’ve tripped over those holes a few times myself; I never thought I’d fall into a sexy-person-doing-yoga-at-home-in-a-leotard hole.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened to me the other day. I ended up on Instagram where I watched video after video of these model-looking women do all sorts of inversions: handstands, headstands, forearm stands, with their flexy legs going up and down and around, every single one with their butt hanging out of their outfit, all with this bronzy golden skin, long hair flowing like a waterfall, all seemingly having dancer-esque bodies.

And to be honest, I’ve been confused ever since.

Perhaps, the better word is conflicted.

On the one hand, these women have worked really hard to be strong and flexible. It’s probably been a challenge to become confident in their own bodies, confident in who they are as people, and it takes courage to reveal one’s nearly naked self on the internet. I also understand that many of them probably think it’s the best way to prove they are in proper form. And sure, when I see them I might feel a tinge of envy that they can do some of these power poses better than me.

They are indeed badass, and at times it can feel motivating in an “I want to do that someday” type of way.

But then, on the other hand, something feels icky about the whole thing. I’m going to call the whole scene Vanity Yoga. Because I don’t see how scissoring your legs back and forth while upside down wearing a shiny thong leotard has much in common with actual yoga besides the person’s ability to get in the pose. I mean, a person can make a basketball shot and not be a basketball player.

vanity_yoga2

Maybe I just don’t get it. I’m curious as to what the underlying motivation of this Vanity Yoga scene is all about. Is it to actually motivate other people? Is it to show off their butts? Is it to prove that they’re better than everyone else? Is it to try to get more people to do yoga because beautiful people clearly do yoga? Is it just for fun? Is it to prove to themselves and others that they can get into these poses? Is it to boost their self-esteem by getting a bunch of ‘likes’ from friends and strangers?

I’m sure it’s some sort of combination of the above (and other factors I haven’t thought of).

I mean, I myself put up a pic when I finally was able to get into full lotus after 20+ years of trying because I was excited (and maybe sort of stuck like that for longer than I wanted to be), so I get it, in a way.

Admittedly the issue might be the near nudity. I’m not puritanical, I like to think of myself as sex-positive and yet it’s weird to sexualize yoga. And maybe that’s not the intention, perhaps it’s just because they’re women and women are almost always automatically sexualized, yet, most women know they’re almost always automatically sexualized… so how can women reveal their progression or show off their accomplishments without objectifying themselves? Maybe they can’t? Maybe that’s what they want to do and who am I to judge?

Yet, the word yoga derives from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to yoke or bind, and many practitioners interpret as ‘union.’ That union is the union of breath with the mind, body, and spirit.

So, does Vanity Yoga create this union?

Or is it really just vanity for vanity’s sake?

I’m still trying to figure it all out, but for now, I’ll return back to the internet and try to fall down a different hole.