If you check out one thing today, make it {my lingerie play}

By: Kara Mendez

Feminism. One four-syllable word can represent an over one hundred year movement of women and men fighting for equality; a fight we are still fighting today.

Diana Oh, a new york based actor, singer, songwriter, performance artist, and feminist has comprised a collection of visual and performance installations called {my lingerie play}. If you have yet to guess, Diana performed/will perform all 10 installations in her lingerie. What originally began as a script for a solo show turned into an amazing, head turning, emotional, eye opening experience right in the heart of NYC. Diana- and later a group of women and men alongside her- stand on soapboxes in different NYC locations with cardboard signs explaining their mission.

1

Photo credit: Hye Yun Park

As seen on {my lingerie play}’s Facebook group, Diana Oh is standing on a soapbox holding a sign that says “I’m standing here in my lingerie because I’m a woman who enjoys wearing lingerie but does not enjoy: being catcalled, being trafficked, being sold, being owned, being told to be unhealthily thin, being told to age unnaturally, being street harassed and followed home by a car full of men at 2 in the morning (1), being asked to f-ck you like a b-tich or to suck on these n-ts and lick the d-ick (2), being called a hoe (3), a tramp (3), a stupid girl (3), or a little Asian friend (3), and being told that you love my lack of self respect (3), and that you got these b-tches all tipsy trying to sex you (3). I’m standing here in my lingerie because I’m a woman who enjoys wearing lingerie and many MANY other things (4). HAVE AN AWESOME DAY!
(1) actually happened. (2) actual lyrics (3) actual lyrics that aren’t from hip hop songs (4) see you next time!” (Installation 1/10. Times Square, New York). 

When asked about {my lingerie play} Diana released this manifesto: “The solution is not to tell women to cover up. The solution is not to tell women to keep chaste. The solution is not to tell women to stop being sexual beings. We are not asking to be harassed, abused, talked down to, or violated no matter what we are wearing. The solution is to change the way we are talked about for being a sexualized woman does not strip us of our humanity. The problem isn’t sexualization, the problem is the DEGRADATION that comes along with women expressing it. #mylingerieplay

2

Left to Right: Diana Oh, Kana Hatakeyama, Kim Gee, Mariah MacCarthy, Colleen O’Connor, Parker Leventer, Lillian Meredith, Melissa Lusk, Hye Yun Park (not pictured). Photo credit: Kacey Stamats.

Anyone in the NYC area should try to catch an installation before it’s over. Support and show love to Diana and her entire crew of people and performances who- through art and performance- are taking steps towards equality. Spread the word. Show your friends. Stop the catcalls, slut shaming, and harassments alongside Diana as she stands on her soapbox in her lingerie.

LEARN MORE:
To find the project, more footage, & photos: www.facebook.com/mylingerplay 

To find Diana and to get involved: www.facebook.com/DianaOhisGOINGROGUE
#mylingerieplay

VIDEOS: http://wifey.tv/video/my-lingerie-play/
Filmed and edited by,  Hye Yun Park

Advertisements

5 Types of Shaming That Women Need to Stop Doing to Each Other

by: Kara Mendez

1. Slut Shaming

It isn’t your job to shame a fellow woman because she choses not to take the same attitude regarding sex. To some women, sex is just sex. It doesn’t matter how many people she’s had/having sex with it. It doesn’t matter if she enjoys having sex with multiple men, different men, often, casually, kinky, etc. It doesn’t matter. No one should care how many people a woman is having sex with. Women slut shaming other women on5821994449_2ee727e3b0_oly makes it okay for men to slut shame women. Let’s make one thing clear. Sex is awesome. Sex is natural. Women desire sex. Sex does not define you. Sex does not lessen your worth. Sex is fucking great. Sex is freeing. Sex is calming. Sex is therapeutic. Sex has many great benefits. What we should be worried about is the safety our fellow women. “Hello there friend, I see you enjoy having sex with multiple partners, I just want to make sure your protecting yourself against STDS and pregnancy.” We should be making sure our fellow women have birth control, access to condoms, medical coverage for birth control and other contraceptives, medical coverage for yearly gynecologist visits. We should not be worried about the number of partners our fellow women have had but if they are happy, healthy, and safe.

2. Body Shaming

This goes for all kinds of bodies. Stop calling girls fat to make sure yourself feel better. Stop calling girls “bags of bones” to make sure yourself feel better. Stop telling girls they aren’t allowed to have insecurities because they have “the perfect body”. Stop telling plus size women they aren’t beautiful. Just Stop. Tell your fellow women that EVERYONE is beautiful. EVERYONE deserves respect, love, support, and a feeling of acceptance. Educate yourself on different body types– just because someone is heavier than deemed acceptable by society does not mean they are unhealthy, just because someone is thinner than society deemed acceptable doesn’t mean they have an eating disorder. Not everyone can look like “society’s perfect body” even with proper diet and exercise. We are meant to look different. We are meant to be different. That’s what makes human beings so beautiful and complex and wonderful.

3. Food Shaming

If the words “do you know how many calories is in that?” have ever come out of your mouth then you should slap yourself once in the face. There was a pretty big difference between encouraging your fellow women to live a healthy life and shaming them because they chose to eat something with a high caloric/ fat/ carbohydrate value. Sometimes, regardless of your diet, you just really need that chocolate frappuccino with extra whipped cream and chocolate chips on top. HOWEVER, this also goes the other way. Stop shaming her healthy food to make you feel better about your own. I cannot tell you the number of times while eating a kale salad, seaweed, some vegan/gluten-free snack, I’ve heard, “OMG! How can you eat that?”, “That cannot taste good”, “That’s not real food”, “How is that even healthy, like ew”, “Don’t you want some of my pizza?”. 1) I eat junk food often, probably too often, however to combat my sweet tooth and love of pizza, I eat a very healthy diet. I like everything I eat. That doesn’t mean you have too. I think the worst one is “You don’t need to diet, you’re already thin.” Thank you, but stop.

4. Feelings Shaming

This is important and never ever discussed. Stop shaming your fellow women for having feelings. Stop. Just Stop. Stop telling them to not be so sensitive, stop telling them to not fall in love so easy, stop telling them to stop being so guarded, stop telling them they can’t feel bad, sad, angry, annoyed, happy, etc. Again, just stop. Every time you tell your fellow woman she isn’t allowed to feel, or her emotions are stupid, you are making it okay for guys to say the same thing. How many times have you had a guy negate your feelings or say you’re being stupid by feeling the way you feel? How about we support everyone and get them the help they deserve. Having a bad day? Here’s a piece of chocolate. Upset? You can cry on this lovely shoulder of mine. Happy? Let’s celebrate, where’s the tequila? Angry? Let’s go punch the shit out of my pillows. Depressed, anxious, suicidal? Let’s talk about it, let’s go see a therapist, let me hold your hand; let me tell you it’s going to be okay. If you feel the need to shame someone else’s emotions because it’s not “valid” to you, then you need to shut your mouth and walk away because you are not worthy of that persons friendship. Feelings do not need logical validations. If we only felt logically validated things, life would be boring.

 5. Childbearing Shaming

This is also important. It is never okay to tell a woman she is making the wrong decision regarding her childbearing future. It is not okay to tell a single mother that she’s “ruined her life”. It is never okay to tell a young/teen mother that she’s “wasting her life” “that she’s fucked up”. It is never okay to tell a stay at home she “doesn’t have a real job”. It is never okay to tell a childless-by-choice woman that she is “selfish for not wanting to procreate”. It is never okay to tell a childless-by-choice women that she will “regret her decision”. Unless we are talking about your uterus, your eggs, your child, your life, your decision, then your opinion is invalid. If we showed support for young/teen/single mothers, then maybe we could make their situations so much easier. If we showed support for stay at home moms, then maybe children would have so much more respect for their mothers. If we showed respect for women who chose not to have children, maybe society would understand that a woman’s purpose in life is not to grow and push out a life. If we all respected each others choices and gave each other love, support, and respect, our children would grow up in a world where they feel love, support, and respect.

If we stopped being fucking assholes to each other all the time our young women would grow up empowered, confident, and ready to take on this world we are leaving them.

Stop Calling Me “Entitled”

by: Kara Mendez

6179186448_e02e3033ea_o

It seems like the generation that raised us are so desperate to prove we are a problem. We constantly see articles about young people not being educated, being dependent on electronics, or being a generation of hoodlums. Shaming about teen pregnancy or female promiscuity is all over the internet. Shaming young people about being on social media too much or texting too much or not being able to have a conversation because we have too much internet time. Everywhere I look there’s a journalist in his/her 50s telling me that my generation is fucked.

Well, I have a problem with this. I am a woman in her early 20s who attends college, who is an activist, a vegetarian, a reader, a writer, a theatrical professional, and I don’t appreciate anyone telling me that I am the downfall. I go on job interviews all the time- and more often than not, I am offered the job. I am a junior in college and already working in my field. I am a feminist. I am an animal rights activist. I am a functioning member of society. I work two different part-time jobs and I intern part-time. (All in my chosen field, might I add). I have wonderful pets who are more spoiled more than most children. I pay for most of my own things- my parents help with transportation costs, some clothing, and food. So please tell me again that I am a waste to society.

Most people in my age bracket are exactly like me. They are going to school and working extremely hard at their craft. They are most likely receiving help from their parents. However, if you chose to bring a child into this world then you are signing up for all of this. I had no choice about whether I wanted to be born. That was out of my hands. My parents understand that in 2014 you cannot graduate from high school and be okay. You cannot get a job that pays enough to live. You cannot work full time and attend school full time and do all your extracurriculars unless you plan on not sleeping and having a mental breakdown by age 22. Even if you are working full-time, most jobs you get right out of high school are not going to pay you enough to cover tuition. My parents understand that they chose to bring me into this world, so they are going to do all they can to make sure I succeed. There is nothing wrong with receiving any kind of help from your parents.

Okay, so now I’ve proved that I am a hardworking, functioning, important member of society who isn’t mooching off her parents and just getting by. This is where the “social media” dependent argument comes in. Yes, I have a facebook, an instagram, and a twitter. Yes I use them daily. Facebook allows me to keep in touch with tons of old friends and family members who do not live close. It allows me to upload pictures of things I am doing, of my pets, of my boyfriend, etc. and my family members who I haven’t seen in two years can feel connected to my life. It allows me to promote tons of awesome things in my life. My upcoming productions, causes I’m serious about, etc. It allows me to get my opinion out there. It’s my space. Twitter is more for fun, at least for me- and contrary to the popular belief we are allowed to have fun. Finally, instagram is awesome. I have gotten so many food recipes, clothing suggestions, and confidence boosters from instagram. And guess what? I do love uploading pictures of my food. I eat a gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian diet and I love sharing great food with people. It’s not exactly easy to find restaurants that cater to people like me so when I do and it tastes good, you better believe I’m going to share it. Same with food I made myself. I’m proud of what I’ve made and what I’m putting into my body. I am allowed to share that with people.

Finally, cellphones/computers are great inventions. The internet allows me to learn so much more than I ever could without it. In seconds I can know all about theater all over the world. I can find job listings and send out my resume. I can find a restaurant in the area of NY that I will be working in tomorrow. For my last term paper I found a book from 1906 that I never would have found in the public library. I found books that I could only find in museums. I have read so many ebooks that I would never have read without it. Yes, the internet can be used for terrible things. However, terrible things happened before the internet. Terrible things will happen whether the internet exists or not. I love my cellphone. I can quickly text my father and let him know I am safe when I’m working late. If I make a wrong turn, my phone tells me in a matter of seconds where I need to go to get to my destination. If I am hungry, I have apps on my phone that tell me the closest gluten-free/dairy-free safe restaurant. I have an app that tells me when trains come, so I never miss my train or end up waiting at the station for an hour. My cellphone makes me safer. I can call the police if I am trouble. I can let my parents know where I am. I can use my maps application to get me to my destination and assure I never get lost. I can call my mom and talk to her while I’m walking to the train station at midnight in the dark streets of Chelsea. I can feel safer and have access to programs that make me safer.

Making a broad generalized stereotype about my generation, IE: The Entitlement Generation, is the same thing as making a broad generalized stereotype about anything. If I wrote an article about black people being lazy, white people being snobby and rude, asian people being smart, old people being annoying/rude/hard to handle then I would get nothing but hate and bad criticism. So why is it okay for anyone to write an article stereotyping my generation? Especially since you’re the ones who raised us.

Tell me again that I a mooching 20 year old who doesn’t understand the importance of hard work or education and is just glued to an over priced piece of electronic crap. 

I dare you. 

 

Photo Credit: Difei Li via creative commons.