Olga Wolstenholme's picture

The Dark Room

Thoughts trigger other thoughts and so on like a marigo round. That’s just how the mind works when you give it free reign. You start off thinking about your dire need for clean laundry and you end up remembering the day you lost your two front teeth. I was lying in bed the other night, trying to fall asleep while simultaneously trying to find a title for a new blog I want to start. Not the best way to fall asleep mind you, but hell, that’s when I do some of my best thinking: in bed…and in the shower. Interpret that as you like.

The new blog I want to start is about crafts and other creative endeavours, so I was brainstorming about the origin of ideas. How they spark, how they develop, which led me to think about dark rooms and the time I was groped in one. You see, my grade nine biology teacher was an amateur photographer and he had transformed a small room at school into a dark room. A few miscellaneous students got together and put together an unofficial photo club. This endeavour didn’t last very long, since none of us were really that organized and our bio teacher was a bit of a boozer, but for a short time we misfits had free access to a dark room.

There was this guy in school who most people wouldn’t look twice at and he had this huge crush on one of the “cool” girls. Unabashed by his lack of social skills and all around dorkiness he pursued this girl all through grade eight. She wouldn’t have it, but by the time we entered grade nine he had transformed himself into this totally hot cool dude, and suddenly the girl in question finally gave into his advances and they became one of the “it” couples.

The guy was cuuuute and many a girl fancied him, but as I’ve already told you he was taken. I hadn’t dated much up until grade nine, I hadn’t gone further than first base (first base is kissing right?), but my budding sexuality was all a fire at the time and I had cravings like any other typical teenager. You’ll see how all this information fits together in a second.

The couple I mentioned where in this photo club of ours and one day the three of us found ourselves sharing the dark room. Dark rooms are magical places. Full of shadows, toxic liquids, and red lights: a true place of mystery and possibilities. I have to admit that I had been flirting with the male half of this “it” couple while in the dark room. “Accidentally” brushing against him in the small dark space, lingering touches, etc. Now, remember that his girlfriend was in there with us, but he didn’t seem to mind and neither did I.

I was just having a little fun (I was a real menace at that age)!

At some point in the developing process its necessary for the room to be completely dark, and in those few moments, the guy I was flirting with copped a feel. It happened so fast, but there was no mistaking it. He had “accidentally” felt me up. This was the first time my breast had ever been touched by anyone else but myself and possibly my doctor. I’m sure there’s a feminist somewhere who’s ready to call me a traitor, but the whole thing was thrilling. I might not react the same way today, if some strange dude tried to feel me up in a dark room. Then again, I suppose it all depends on the context. The fact that his girlfriend was standing right next to us added to the thrill. What can I say?  I’m bad, I know.

(Posted at Cuntlove)

James Turnbull's picture

Korean Sociological Image #51: Male Objectification & Double Standards


What would be your reaction if this flashed on your TV screen?

Mine was thinking that abs aren’t exactly the best analogy for airbags. But my mistake: they’re not supposed to be. Rather, Hyundai needed something to signify the number of airbags as the voiceover went through various specs of the car.

Which to be fair, is much clearer in the full commercial.

How about if a proper airbag analogy had been used instead, like BMW did back in 2006?

( Source )

If you found that objectification distasteful however, then consider the following from Renault/Samsung in 2008 below also:

Which uses the same analogy, but is clearly quite a contrast to BMW’s puerile effort. Nevertheless, some commenters on this earlier post did still have some issues with it, whereas nobody on this blog at least has had any with all of the men’s 6-packs that suddenly started appearing in Korean commercials from last year.

But I’m sure you’re already well-aware of that double-standard, so the purpose of this post is not just to draw your attention to it. Nor is it to simply pass on that juxtaposition of advertisements, however interesting. In combination with a recent development in the Korean media though, what that juxtaposition did serve to do was make me realize both the rapid mainstreaming and dogmatic nature of that double-standard here, and which is a combination that I think is pretty unique to Korea too.

Let me explain.

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

My Cleavage Strikes Again

My cleavage struck again. I swear, it’s like a Pink Panther movie. I was wearing a red t-shirt over a turquoise tank top and I suppose the front of my tee  had slipped down a little and boom, my boss told me I wasn’t dressed appropriately. I pulled my t-shirt up, and still it wasn’t enough. I had to put a sweatshirt on and zip the motherfucker up to my neck.

Shit, I don’t want to be a danger to society or poke anyone’s eyes out with my tits, but for the love of god my cleavage and I just want to live our lives with a little piece and quiet. The only time someone should feel free to comment on my cleavage is if I’m fucking them and it better be in the positive.

But nope, this new development has my mom and one of my good friends shooting each other jokes left and right about the status of my clev. Bah, humbug. Broad picture, when people think of sexual harassment they think of some dude boss using his rank to fuck his secretary or something very much along those lines. Sexual harassment laws were put into effects to protect people from unwelcomed leers and jeers and whatnot, but from what I understand they extend to protecting people from unwanted sexually charged environments. Well, when someone brings attention to my breasts by commenting on what I wear, even if it’s to tell me I’m showing too much cleavage, it creates a sexually charged atmosphere that I am uncomfortable with.

Sexually charged, because I am  made to feel uncomfortable about my own sexuality, and body. Bull crap, I say. Bull crap.

(Posted at Cuntlove)

exposing body image issues's picture

Female body image; the search for REAL visuals

by Colette Coughlin

This is one of my less-flattering self-portraits; not only could I not stand the sight of myself that day, I was also in a nasty mood. I took pictures anyways and later turned this one into a drawing.  By the time I'd finishing sketching my scowl, I'd forgotten the disgust I felt about the picture. Everybody has rotten days, feels ugly, wishes things were different sometimes. So what? This too, passes... yet the visual models (as in examples) most of us feel we need to live up to are rarely less than super-models. Super made-up, super-fixed-up, super dressed-up people with ideal figures who we see on every magazine cover, poster, publicity, movie, and TV show we come across. It's become so pervasive that we've forgotten it's not real life!

I share my scowling self with you hoping it might make you feel better about how you look... but how often do we really see people, regular people, at their less-than-best, particularly when it comes to nudity?

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