Remember how at the beginning of last week I mentioned that I wanted to address an article I read recently? Well brace yourselves kids, because here it is. My mom found this article in this magazine called Artful Blogging and thought I would find it interesting and after reading it I thought it was one of those things that’s really worth discussing. The article is titled “Women in the Blogosphere Creating: a New Femininity of Individuality” and is written by Elizabeth Morrow of delightfully-tacky.com. Right off the bat the title alerted me to the fact that this article was definitely something I’d find interesting; I’ve just finished up my first year at a women’s college and it has definitely raised my awareness of women’s issues and I actually wrote a final research paper for my women’s studies course regarding the ideal of femininity and how it impacts women, so I was interested to see what the issue was and what Elizabeth Morrow had to say that had to do with women in the blogosphere. I encourage you all to read this article if you can somehow get your hands on it, but just so we’re all on the same page, the gist of it was that this woman was responding to an article written by another woman who was trying to make the point that blogging culture today is “filled with women who infantilize themselves by liking ‘girly’ things such as cupcakes, wearing things like miniskirts and converse sneakers, and enjoying a more traditionally feminine aesthetic”. This woman also apparently even went so far as to say that the female bloggers who do this are basically just trying to make themselves less intimidating to men. The author of this article then goes on to discuss how this woman is making a huge generalization here, but also touches on the fact that it should be okay for women to be “girly” and cute if they want and that this shouldn’t diminish them in the eyes of others and in no way means that they are just trying to please men.
This hits pretty close to home for me and I would imagine that it would for a lot of women because we aren’t simple creatures who can just be put into one category or neatly fit just one stereotype. I’ve often thought that as a society, we tend to stereotype just because it’s easier and it feels safer because then people become more predictable in our minds and we make assumptions based on who we think they are rather than just letting them be. I also am aware of the fact that I blatantly do not fit just one stereotype, which seems to throw people off a bit sometimes. For example, I attend a women’s college and like to think of myself as a strong, intelligent woman and I am gaining a larger understanding of women’s issues and taking on a more feminist perspective in my life. I’ve never been content to accept less from people just because I am a woman, in fact I can remember back to elementary school when I was “that girl” who spoke up and told the boys that they were wrong if they thought they were better at something just because they were boys and we were girls. I’ve always rejected that thinking right from the get go and if that intimidates men or makes them look at me unfavorably then fine, they aren’t the kind of people I want to associate with anyways. Having said that, I also embody the woman who supposedly infantilizes herself by daring to be cute. Yes, I am a girly girl sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with that. Liking things like glitter and cupcakes is fun and I love miniskirts and converse sneakers, I think they’re damn cute and I have no problem with that. I also dye my hair fun colors and oh, did I mention that I love unicorns? I in no way enjoy cuteness in order to make myself less threatening to men, I do it because it’s fun and just part of who I am. So far we’ve got a strong, intelligent feminist who happens to also love cute stuff. But wait, there’s more! I also have a less soft side, one that despises romantic movies like The Notebook and listens to music like Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, and Seether, among others. Then there’s the part of me that’s the artsy fartsy type, content to lose myself in drawing for hours, losing track of the passage of time, lost in the process of creating, a bit of a hippy too with the “why buy something you could make” mentality. I’m not sure where my love of classic rock like Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith fits in exactly, but let’s not get into my musical taste because that’s kind of all over the place. My point here is that just by telling you guys these tiny snippets of information about myself, I’ve shown very distinctly different parts of my personality that one might not think could exist in harmony. I guess to just wrap this up and end the suffering of anyone who’s actually had the patience to deal with this rant, I just think it’s kind of ridiculous for a woman to judge other women for being girly and “feminine” and feel that she can pass judgement on them for supposedly trying to please men with this behavior when she knows absolutely nothing about these women. Everyone has a story and there’s usually so much more than meets the eye but even if that’s not the case, if a someone -man or woman- wants to hang out in the kitchen baking cupcakes and possibly even wearing a glittery pink apron while doing so (yes, I totally have a glittery pink apron that I made and I totally wear when sometimes when I bake. It’s awesome) then that person should be able to do that without having others pass judgement on that.
Moving on now, it’s time for my Sunday night catch-up and I’ve got an interesting weekend to share with you guys. Saturday was mostly spent being productive; I worked on the quilt some more and then made cupcakes. A lot of cupcakes. The deacon at our church is getting two puppies and my mom made the offhand comment that we should throw her a puppy shower and before she knew it, the idea had taken off and that’s how I ended up frosting cupcakes for an inordinate amount of time on Saturday afternoon. Honestly I didn’t mind though, I like frosting and decorating cupcakes and it was totally worth it, our deacon loved it so it was nice to see her so touched by the whole thing. Saturday’s cupcakes were vanilla chai cupcakes, which got really good reviews and my friend even said they reminded her of a Starbucks vanilla chai, which is pretty awesome in my mind, so I was really happy with how those came out. Here’s the recipe http://www.jennalaughs.com/2012/03/vanilla-chai-cupcakes.html and here’s a close-up of a couple of the vanilla chai cupcakes (I arranged both of the cupcakes on trays together, so I took a picture of the overall impression and then did some close-ups of the different types of cupcakes).
Today’s cupcakes then were the chocolate toffee cupcakes I also made for the shower and I wasn’t really a fan of the actual cake, but here’s the recipe I used anyways so you guys can make them and judge for yourselves if you like http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/toffee-crunch-cupcake/. I mean it wasn’t bad, I’ve just made better chocolate cupcakes, so these weren’t quite as good as some of the other recipes I’ve found. The frosting however was pretty awesome if we’re being perfectly honest here. I didn’t really use a recipe for that, I just made a basic butter cream but substituted cocoa powder for a large portion of the powdered sugar and added a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee to make it a nice rich, chocolate-y butter cream that was just really a solid frosting.
So pretty too! Of course I only got two cupcakes frosted this nicely before the ziploc bag I’d been using for my piping tip totally popped and I just used a knife to frost the rest of the cupcakes, but they still looked nice. Now for a picture of all of the cupcakes together…
I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of proud of myself on this one, I think I put together a couple of nice trays of cupcakes and people seemed to like them so that was cool.
In other random news, one of my camisoles started falling apart in the wash or something, but other than that it’s in fine condition so rather than throwing it out I figured I would try to repurpose it and maybe do a little t-shirt surgery for something else wearable. My original plan didn’t work out so I’m still not sure what I’m actually going to do with it but I played around with Sharpie dying because I’d seen it before and wanted to try messing around with that and I got some interesting results.
I think I might go back in and add to the pink and orange one and expand the circle pattern to the whole piece it’s on, but I’m kind of digging how the purple blue and green turned out, it’s pretty interesting. Now I just need to figure out what to actually do with these scraps … I’m open to suggestions