We’re moving

If you’re reading this, I’m probably already gone…

To a new domain.

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thatcrackedblack grew into hookahsandhoes and most of you read through all of my bullshit.  You watched me grow [I don’t know if I really did, I’d like to think so though] and many of you grew  with me.

You’ll never know how much I appreciate it, and you.

With that out of the way, a while ago someone approached me to turn this tiny little space of mine into a Big Bad Website. I  of course thought it was a sick joke, I can’t say I was really thinking about taking the leap, but someone close to me encouraged the union and so it was done.

In the past month or so we’ve worked hard to bring you hookahsxhoes.com.

I hope you come with me on this journey, I promise I’ll still be filthy and introspective and shit.

It’s been lovely so far.

Absolutely amazing.

And I hope it continues to be so.

Thank you for the love.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you.

In Hindsight

Sometimes I find myself wondering if I’m a good person. I used to wonder if I was a good woman because that’s all I thought was important, as a girl: Who I was to other people and what I meant to/did for them, but then I learned that there’s more to me than my gender and what people expect of me because of it.

I am a lot of things at the same time, but above all else, at the forefront of my experience on this Earth, I am a Black female writer.

That I am, all the time.

I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t.

I used to love reading. God, how I adored books! No one ever needed to force me to read something, by the time they got around to recommending it I was probably already done. I was so into reading that I would read the labels on things in the bathroom to calm down and release when I was constipated.

They soothed me. They taught me. They raised me.

As for being a writer… I can’t say whether or not I’ve always been a writer. I have always written, but with no urgency. It was a hobby, a habit, just a thing.

It wasn’t until my early teen years that I found myself gravitating towards it as a form of expression. I had a tiny journal I used to try make my best friend a la American High School movies. I even did the whole “Dear Diary” thing and everything.

I stopped that for a while after my mother found [Well, not really.. It wasn’t hidden or anything but you know] and read it. She wasn’t too impressed with the one part where I called her a bitch for asking me to do my homework so I thought it best to keep my thoughts to myself. In my defense I was a shitty teenager [those two words together are redundant, I’ve come to learn] doing what shitty teenagers do.

But whatever.

So I stopped actually writing and went about my life: Going to school, hanging out,flashing my bra and learning how to handle alcohol. Learning the habits of legends like drinking and pondering the meaning of life and stuff.

A year later I found myself “in love” with a boy and absolutely infatuated with a bunch of others. I thought “This is my first real romantic dilemma” and documented this time in a series of cryptic poems I find myself unable to decipher now.

They’re terrible by the way, as only teenage poems can be.

Anyway, I grew, and wrote, and fucked up, and repeated that process.

I sometimes sit and think about my relationship with words and the trials we’ve faced, both at my hand and due to other people.  The many times we’ve been apart and how I always somehow end up writing, reading and loving: Immersed in them.

When I was in Grade 6 I checked this beautiful book out from the library. Something about Witchcraft in Louis the something’s court [The Affair of the Poisons, I looked it up]. It wasn’t about the content of the book, although I’ve always had a fascination with the ghoulish, I just really liked the cover. The shade of purple on it tickled me to no end.

But see, that wasn’t a good enough reason to have such a book in my parents’ house, according to them.

“You’re bringing the Devil into our house!” I recall my father bellowing. My mother was equally unimpressed, but quiet. He went on for an hour or so, contemplating sending me to church “for deliverance”, then left me to my own devices, but not before telling me that I was to stop reading anything that wasn’t on the curriculum.

It was ridiculous, but I began hiding books, lying about them being recommended to me by teachers because I was so far ahead of everyone else [I sort of was though] and the whole thing was just really dumb.

That was then.

I grew and learned what I could leave lying around and what needed to be hidden, but I don’t think I’ve really forced down and accepted that that happened. That my parents at some point tried to get me to stop reading all books for an indefinite period of time.

There’s still resentment there, no matter how many times I try to rationalize their reaction to myself.

Then I became a teenager, as I said, and stopped myself from writing. It was uncool, it was time consuming for someone who just wanted to lay about and it was too fucking honest.

I didn’t want to bother with it.

Over the next four years or so of High School I’d randomly scribble when I felt overwhelmed, of course, but it was really inconsistent and usually just trash about boys.

Who though about hobbies beyond the school curriculum then? Not I, nor my friends, we were D cups, dammit. Who the fuck cared about all that other mess? Not we.

High School ended and we straightened our backs and prepared to enter Varsity.  IGCSE certificates in hand, Bad Bitch aspirations in mind, we soldiered on.

And ran straight into brick walls, individually. Everyone ended up in their own personal Hell.

For the first time in my life I was indecisive, feeling stupid, lost and trapped. This would be when my issues with depression began, in all honesty.

They say you “find yourself” as you grow, and maybe some people do but I think a lot of us do more losing than anything else and at some point find ourselves far from anything recognizable and lacking the energy plot a way back.

In a space of three years or so I was involved in and left an abusive relationship, dropped out of school twice and drank enough vodka to shame a few old Russian alcoholics. Everything was shitty. I didn’t know if my life had meaning, no less if I wanted to go back to school, and I was hanging onto… actually, fuck if I know.. Probably more drinking, to be honest.

And that’s when I started this blog.

I was just trying to figure some shit out. I needed to talk and couldn’t find the words, nor the people to listen, so I did what came naturally.

These posts have kept me alive, sometimes literally. I have broken down while writing and after, due to certain things I simply couldn’t address, certain truths revealed.

Words have comforted and nurtured me at my lowest.

I have told many truths here and said a lot of things I cannot express sometimes because of the environment[s] I find myself in.

This place, my job, what started out as a hobby has been my life, in more ways than one.

While going through the terrible poems I used to write a few years ago [I will probably say the same thing of this post, one day] I read one that stated “I don’t know who I am, what’s going on or why I’m even alive..” A part of me hurt, to know that I used to feel that way, but a bigger part of me wanted to text the old me and tell her we turned out just fine.

That we figured it out.

No it’s not a fucking glamorous job, it’s never easy when people want to dismiss what you do as a hobby, ask anyone in the arts, but man, I love two things in my life: This here, and my brother.

Everything else is just extra.

Writing gives me peace of mind. It hurts sometimes, other times I feel like I shouldn’t even bother, to be honest, but I do it anyway.

And few things feel as good as knowing it touched somebody’s life, because I know what it’s like to not be able to articulate what I need to get out. To feel like no one relates. To be stuck, in a vacuum.

I get more support from strangers on the net than I do from many people in my life. I will probably never meet many of my readers, but I appreciate a lot of you, on all platforms.

You help me do what I do when I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t.

You help me heal, sometimes.

I have a difficult time doing what I do when I think about what those who didn’t get/chose not to create the lives they wanted have to say about it, so I rarely do, but sometimes it gets on my mind and stays there for too long, an unwanted Sunday visitor.

This has been one of those weeks.

But if I’ve learned anything it’s that you love what you love, even when it hurts and when you’re ridiculed for it. [This only applies for things that can’t speak, as far as I’m concerned.]

 

I appreciated this.

I appreciate you.

And that’s all that matters.

 

Is society really the Black girls’ ally?

“A group of young African girls going missing will not be more than a hashtag to many people because they do not feel affected. To a girl in Joburg, this injustice means nothing to her because “they aren’t here” and she cannot fathom the occurrence of such a thing, therefore she will feel no specific way about it. To a man in Gaborone, who wants to throw in his 2 cents yet lacks empathy, his biggest concern is just how to crack the right joke that will incorporate the “hot topic” yet still have his signature humour to go with it. There’s someone in Zimbabwe who’ll retweet it to a follower in Ghana who’ll Favourite it then DM the tweet to a friend in Lagos and so it goes.”

Read More

How I Ended Up As An Extra On A Seedy Amateur Porn Set

When I venture out into the world I usually find myself [mildly inebriated and] shocked by human behaviour. See, I honestly believe I end up in the weirdest places witnessing the most heinous things. I am partly to blame for the evil I witness, in all fairness.  In a bid to attempt to not be the party pooper once in a while, I go against my gut feeling [Not the one that tells me to prove my dominance to every living thing, the one that tells me to go home. Now] and follow my friends to events I’d really rather not attend to see people I would rather avoid.  It’s my one good deed for the month, every month.

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Knowing my weakness for beer after a grueling writing session [Or whenever I’m awake, really] a friend, Vuyo, asked me to go to our favourite bar together.  I am not one to turn down a drink, nor an opportunity to tell Vuyo of the tragedies that constantly befall me, so I got ready and trudged to the spot, bank card in hand just in case I didn’t know when to stop. As I was about to enter the establishment he called to inform me that we would in fact be heading to another location, and since I was already there, and there was beer where we were going, I begrudgingly got into Vuyo’s friend’s car along with Vuyo’s latest Person Of Interest and some girl.

Off we went. First to get more liquor then to drop off Vuyo’s Person Of Interest who said she wasn’t “mentally prepared” for company. And then to the location we raced.

We arrived to find approximately 7 people sitting outside the house, drinking.  Two Black girls, two Portuguese guys and three other Black guys. So all in all there were 10 of us.  One of the girls, Pearl, a hefty, loud woman [The Ad companies would love her] was absolutely lovely. Although far from attractive,you could tell she was the life of the party. We smoked together as she perved over one of the Portuguese guys, Sean.  Sean was possibly the most striking man there, although he looked like a teenager and was dressed like one he had a gorgeous face. When we asked him his age he replied “24” to which Pearl said “Yes, baby. I could give you 25 strokes!” to my amusement.

As the sun began to set the two other girls left with some of the guys.  They got in the car and in the midst of all the farewells Sean started lip locking with one of the girls who’d previously claimed she had no interest in any sort of male, at all.  As we all turned to stare in disbelief some guy pulled out his phone and recorded the whole sordid thing. It felt like I’d stepped into a time machine and gone back to house parties we had when we were in High School, drunk off cheap liquor, the taste of freedom and arousal.  Except she wasn’t drunk and seemed to love the camera’s attention.  What purpose the footage will serve is still unknown.

So it was Pearl, Vuyo, Sean, Sean’s older brother Gordon and some guy they called Manxane. Gordon was absolutely shitfaced. I had a feeling he was drinking to forget something, really that was the only viable reason for anyone to purposefully get that drunk. He could hardly stand, one of his eyes was half shut, he had blood on his right hand and yet he still kept on asking for more liquor. Pearl kept on drinking and making sexual advances towards the Sean. Sean, who initially wasn’t interested, seemed to have decided that he would be an idiot to pass up on Pearl, and so he started encouraging her. [It turns out him and his brother had made a bet that one could pick up more girls than the other, and Sean was kinda sorta winning as Gordon was knocking on Heaven’s door.]

It got dark and the lights went on as we still sat outside. Pearl was swaying [read: rubbing crotches] with Sean, Vuyo and I were smoking and Gordon struggled to keep his good eye open.  At some point Gordon stumbled towards Sean and tried to get his attention, but Sean was obviously preoccupied and I don’t know how, but when we turned back around we stumbled onto what looked like an opening scene from a bad interracial porno.

Pearl was sandwiched between the two brothers, one nuzzling her neck and the other marveling at the size of her ass.  She was gyrating in between them  and giggling, beer in hand. See it wasn’t the scene that made my nipples shrink, it was the dialogue.

Pearl alternated between doing her best drunk Marilyn Monroe impersonation and imitating a drunk Colored woman a la Trevor Noah.  Sean and Gordon, although as far as I can tell not Colored, ran with it and kept on saying things like “We’re gonna goe you this here” while grabbing their crotches.

I was shocked.

This really happens!

It looked liked some crass combination of race play and depravity.

You weren’t sure if it was going to turn into a threesome or if they were going to make her serve them beer on a tray placed on her behind. It looked like either would have made her ecstatic. For a good half hour or more all you could hear was “I’ve got two Portuguese boys here! Do you want to handle all this? Do you want to get all this Big Mama loving?” and “This one is a nice puta, heh? She’s ready! She’s a ripe puta. Look at how much she wants it!”

I don’t understand how I can avoid such things on the internet then be accosted by them in real life. It felt like a sick joke.

At some point Gordon stumbled away from the duo, obviously not getting as much attention as he’d hoped, slouched next to one of the parked cars and blacked out. After trying to keep his erection at bay for an hour or so Sean finally decided he was gonna take the plunge.  He adjusted his pants and turned away from Pearl [who had now become Big Mama, said in a Cape Colored accent] and asked Vuyo for a condom. After acquiring it he half ran to Pearl and showed her the condom, “Let’s go baby, it’s time,” he said, trying to pull her towards the house and into the bedroom.

But Pearl refused.

Not so much in a stern “No” way, but it was an evident objection. She came up with excuse after excuse as to why she didn’t want to go to bed with him. “I want a cigarette,” she’d exclaim then run about looking for one. After the cigarette was smoked “Don’t you wanna drink more? Let’s drink.” I recognized all the excuses a girl clings to in order to avoid sex with someone she decided she actually doesn’t want to sleep with but then what confused me was the fact that she was more than willing to let him fondle her in front of us. I decided that maybe she was an exhibitionist or something.

“Come here, little boy. Come make mommy feel nice and then we’ll go. Come,” she’d coo and he’d come running, erection leading him on. He pushed her up against the car she was leaning on and started dry humping her in full view of everyone, next to his brother’s unconscious body. You could feel the tension and hear his heavy breathing over the conversations we were trying to carry on.

At some point a window opened but we thought nothing of it as we all tried to pretend the situation wasn’t as awkward and gross as it was. Sean got up off of Pearl, slithered between the car and her body and started stroking her body from behind her. Her ecstatic squeals permeated our conversations when she tried to contribute to them. Sean tried to pull her towards the room again but she insisted on another cigarette and as she smoked, he pulled up her t-shirt and started stroking her belly and breasts, while she giggled and called him a “naughty boy”.

There was a giggle from behind us and we turned to see a little girl at the window, box of milk in hand staring at the pair intently. She wasn’t confused, nor was she amused, really she was simply intrigued. Turns out she was Manxane’s younger sister and when he complained that his sister was watching  and they should get a room Sean yelled to the child “Ei, go to fucking sleep,” then laughed and turned to Manxane and said “Why isn’t she going to sleep? Doesn’t she know she should listen to a White man?” then went back to kissing Pearl.

I was stunned.

Is this how the world is or did I just go to the wrong place at the wrong time?

At this point I was still fairly inebriated yet completely aware of my surroundings. [I live this life so you guys don’t have to, really.] Vuyo, to whom I’d been complaining the whole evening about the human rights violations I was sure were happening around us told me that I should simply “adapt” to the situation and everything within my Soul said “No.”

I prayed.  I didn’t know  what else to do and I appealed to all the known deities and ancestors to guide me and keep my Soul from being tarnished by all that I’d witnessed. At some point the little girl ran out into the little circle that we’d made outside, stared at the pair that was still recreating soft core porn in front of us, then the passed out Portuguese guy on the floor and at each of us individually.

All I could come up with when her eyes landed on me was “This is not how life really is, little girl. Don’t let this happen,” as her brother scooped her up and rescued her from Sodom and Gomorrah and took her into the safety of their home.

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The People’s Definition of Beauty

“The Dark “Natural” Black woman has long been a fetish, even, I’m sad to say, to our own race. She’s the one who “dares” to exist as she was born in a world that encourages her to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards, and therefore, from the get go, she is viewed as a hostile/stubborn/strong individual; someone to be forced into submission through self-hatred. She is reminded of her colour, her ethnicity, every time someone mentions it and makes it seem like a handicap.

I find it interesting to note though, that people who measure beauty by aforementioned Eurocentric standards, people who look to Pop Culture to inform them what’s hot or not, still refuse to embrace Lupita as an icon. I find myself wondering whether it’s to do with the fact that embracing her beauty would have to mean actually facing the fact that through the mainstream media we have been told and shown that we’re not considered desirable, something many deny, or whether the self-hatred runs so deep that women who look like her will not be deemed worthy to such people, no matter who says so.

Many dismiss her as “average”. “I can find a woman who looks like her just walking to the store,” they say, insinuating that the average woman to them isn’t in the least bit attractive or worthy of attention, no less admiration. To understand why Lupita is not a Goddess to many, why her triumphs are insignificant, we will need to understand that the bar has been contorted to fit only a specific mould and her acceptance will see her not only altering it, but possibly maiming it and proving it redundant and unrealistic. And during this process she will obviously face resistance, as we’re currently bearing witness to.”

 

My first piece for C Hub Magazine. Read more here.

This Chastity Belt Makes My Ass Feel Good

I used to be one of those people who felt that sex was as much of a necessity as wine for one’s mental well-being and overall joy, and if you know me you’ll know, I’m a firm believer in wine’s healing powers. Nights where one found both wine and sex were divine, if only for two hours, before you began to miss your own bed and got tired of the stench of whiskey coming from the body next to you and if you’re really unlucky, the repeated “I swear this never happens, I’m just tired,” from said body. I recall having a conversation with a friend and me pointing out that I hadn’t had sex that week and I wasn’t sure how I was functioning. [It was a Tuesday, that day, mind you.]

I don’t think myself a nymphomaniac, not even close, I just had a certain love for the act that made me want to indulge, often. Whether out of boredom, desire or a suppressed feeling of necessity. I was a younger, sexier version of Dr Eve, if I do say so myself, and I oozed sensuality.

A little sexpot, if you will.

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When I saw someone I liked

Something absolutely wondrous happened then though: I got too busy, too distracted, to maintain a sex life. Please note that as I type this there’s a certain level of horror I would like to get across. I’ll need you to clutch your pearls and throw your hands up in disbelief. Think Marilyn Monroe turning into Hilary Clinton.

For the first few weeks I simply forgot to desire sexual gratification from another human being. Honestly, when I got down to crunching numbers, the effort time and effort it would take to set up liaisons, prepare and travel just didn’t seem worth it. Now here you might say “Well, honey, maybe you jut didn’t have anything worth travelling to,” and I can’t dispute that, really. That’s a possibility.

Or “Well, maybe you’re just lazy now,” and that too, might ring true. I might know why and simply refuse to dig it out of my subconscious.

I can tell you this however; Too much bad sex will make you too lazy to seek out sex, period.

Bottom line, a fortnight turned into a month and that turned into way longer than I would have been able to accept could be true, a while ago. I became [voluntarily?] celibate.

The most shocking bit being: I was okay with that.

My sex drive simply went away. She started visiting less and less and one day, just stopped cumming at all, and I was fine with that.

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She came and left

It’s weird when you thought you based most of your character on your sex[ual] experiences/life, or when you’ve been told that, and one day you’re simply okay with not getting any.  I went from thinking sex was like water to considering it flavored water that comes in a 1.5l bottle, I mean, I can get it if I wanna but I don’t need it. And on I went, uninvolved, unfucked and uninterested.

 

Yesterday I felt good. I had on a long, beautiful red dress and an equally bright outlook on things.  A girl I encountered asked me why I was happy “You’re like.. glowing, dude,” she said and when I told her I was simply happy, for no reason, she said “You’re lying, you got some.”

Two things irritated me about that statement.

1. I’ve never been known to lie about sex, because I don’t.

2. Why would she think one could only be ecstatic when one is sexually satisfied?

Of course I then informed her that I in actual fact haven’t been touched by another in ages and simply have no desire for the act and her response again ticked me off: “What? Oh man, what a shame!” See, here, I desperately wanted to address the fact that I felt she might have been bothered because I used to have an “overly familiar” relationship with her ex which might have interfered with their relationship but I tried to avoid the issue. No use starting something you don’t want to be a part of. 

Being on the receiving end, however, of comments I later realized I’ve made countless times over the past couple of years made me realize what an annoying twat I must have sounded like. While I marveled at the insurmountable number or times I’ve sounded like a douche I said the words I never would have dreamed I would: “On the contrary, it’s actually quite comfortable. Once you realize that sex really isn’t as huge a deal to you as it once was, you act accordingly and adjust your lifestyle to it. It’s simply not a necessity to me and there’s nothing sad about that. What would be sad would be for me to keep fucking if I didn’t want to.”

 

I’ve been thinking it over.  There’s no fun in doing what you don’t want to do. There’s no joy in forced interactions. Whether it be because you simply feel overworked, insecure or simply uninterested, if you don’t want to, you don’t.  And as much as we live in a society fixated on one’s appeal and ability to turn somebody else on and satisfy them, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you don’t want to do it.

Sometimes you have better things to do than fuck.

Sometimes you simply don’t want to. And that’s perfectly alright.

 

It’s not about them, it’s about you. Always. 

African Time: Late To Recognizing Our Greatness

“Here’s the thing, nobody wants to face the fact that we focus on everything BUT what we need to focus on.  For a long time Africa has been seen through everybody else’s eyes but our own, such that now, we find ourselves at a point where those who tell our truth, and are of our Land, are either revered or shunned.   Case in point, Chimamanda Adichie.  As celebrated as she may be worldwide now due to the spotlight being shown on her after her feature on Beyonce, a lot of the people back home view her as a stubborn woman, a sell out, one who doesn’t know her place and basically, a problem.

We need to see ourselves as we are in order to start going where we should be.

Let’s be honest with ourselves.

Africa has a long history of feeling like the ugly step sister.  Whether due to our spirit of Ubuntu that saw us sharing ourselves with those who had unsavory intentions or the aftermath of aforementioned intentions being carried out being the root cause of it, we’ve come to believe we’re weak and insignificant. We seem to be worthless to only ourselves, however, with the entire Western and Eastern world clamoring to get SOMETHING out of us, you’d think by now, we’d realize our worth.

Africa is like the pretty girl with the abusive boyfriend she keeps around because she knows no better and he says she’s worthless.  She believes everything she’s told, and disregards what she herself sees; That she is worthy, capable and deserving.”

Something I wrote for AHHB.

Shinka: How Anime’s Helping Along Evolution

The anime world is one that provides solace, entertainment, and enjoyment to millions of people around the globe.  To many, it’s a weird subculture that reveals just how committed humans can be to fictional realms and characters. What they tend to overlook however, is that like literature, sitcoms, movies, etc., it provides yet another escape from reality, if only for half an hour (the average length of most anime episodes). You get to see just about anything in anime (and hentai: anime porn), and as a person that has seen about 400 anime series/movies (I know, my life is awesome), I much prefer it to the largely depressing, discriminatory, and all around unsavory reality that we live in.

 

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Now I could go on about how amazing anime is, and how everyone on Earth should watch it, but a particular notion about anime viewers was drawn to my attention: we are hardly ever sexist, homophobic, trans-phobic, or really discriminatory at all. I say this based upon the members of the anime community that I interact with, and while I have interacted with quite a lot, I can hardly speak for every anime watcher out there. What I will say is that if you do watch heavy amounts of anime, your chances of remaining averse to people that society loves to deem “abnormal” is going to be drastically reduced.

 

Why?

 

The first word that comes to mind is ‘androgyny’. The Japanese, and by extension, anime, is very androgynous in not just their dressing, but their character aesthetic design as well, and the behaviors of said characters.

 

 Shinka 2

This is Haku. He’s a guy. He’s hot. Admit it. 

 

We become attracted to the characters we admire on television, and anime is no different in that regard. I remember the first time I saw some of my friends drooling over anime girls, I was so confused. Like, the fuck? Next thing I know I find myself in love with Haruko Haruhara from Fooly Cooly. It just kind of hits you. But I digress.

 

It’s immensely difficult to maintain sexist views when you find yourself drawn to males/females that you initially thought were the opposite gender. You start subconsciously breaking down those barriers you had put up against them. If you find yourself attracted to an anime guy that you thought looked like a girl, you’re really just one step away from being attracted to males in real life that have the same attributes. Can you really be homophobic then?

Shinka

 

What’s even more fascinating is how these characters behave. Gender roles still exist in anime, but to a far lesser degree than in other forms of entertainment. Men cook, women are frequently breadwinners (it’s REALLY interesting to note that fatherless homes are a lot more frequent in anime than motherless ones, but that’s another discussion entirely), male friends are very openly comfortable with each other… it’s really ideal. So when you watch a lot of this happen, one has to wonder why on earth we so strictly adhere to those roles in reality, when they seem so easily negligible in anime.

 

Women are stronger than men.

 

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Scenario: You’re a sixteen year old boy, living a boring life, and nothing exciting ever happens in your town

 

PLOT TWIST: a magical girl bursts through your ceiling, fighting a creature from a different dimension which she obliterates with ease, and you fall in love at first sight with this super strong girl that’s going to change your life forever and make you her bitch.

 

I just described the introductions of probably hundreds of different anime.

 

To be fair, I’m not entirely sure that the roots of female power in anime are righteously rooted. It seems to be more of a fetishizing of the powerful girl, but it’s one that has worked out positively, in my opinion. If you’re an archaic misogynist you do not have a place in anime. Female characters are just as, if not more, popular than their male counterparts. We fucking love them. They wreck shit. They make men do dumb shit for them. They become student council presidents and take control of their entire school (I’m looking at you, Kill la Kill). There is just such an overwhelming amount of anime focusing on female empowerment, from the magical girl variants to the bad ass action ones that you’re just better off learning to love them as much as you should.

 

Cross Dressing/Futanari

 

There is a ton of anime content centralizing around cross dressing and transgender characters. Unfortunately, the latter is still purely restricted to hentai, which leads me to believe there is a large amount of aforementioned fetishizing involved, but I do hope it turns out useful in destroying the very negative stigmas usually associated with trans people. I’m waiting for an anime to actually feature an openly transgender main character, so I can advertise the hell out of it.

 

Cross dressing, however, has been very frequent in anime for many years now. As if the androgynous dressing wasn’t enough already, many anime feature plots where a man/woman is in a scenario where they are either forced to dress as the opposing gender, or they simply enjoy doing so. Now in these anime the initial reaction is always one of disgust, which mirrors society quite aptly. But the beautiful thing is, that these anime use their plot devices to make the cross dresser just as accepted as any other member of the anime.

 

 Shinka 4

Ranma 1/2, one of the most popular comedy/action anime ever released, features a protagonist that changes between a male and a female.

The majority of these anime take place in school settings, where, say, a boy/girl “accidentally” gets into an all-boys/girls school, and is ergo forced to dress as a boy/girl to not get caught (it wouldn’t be anime if they did the sensible thing and just transferred schools, now would it?) They almost always play out the same way: guy/girl starts cross dressing, and is exposed to the various stigmas members of that gender face, which changes their opinion of said gender, and they slowly start enjoying the cross dressing. The climax occurs when the class/school find out about the cross dresser, and they are usually subjected to initial bullying. In the resolution though, the classmates/school members eventually realize they were all changed by the cross dresser(s), and accept that they are just as normal as anyone else.

 

I think that the effect that anime has on breaking down these discriminatory notions is much needed. The messages conveyed of acceptable differential norms are ones that needs to be widespread in our world, in our cultures, and become rooted in our humanity. We cannot continue being so wary of change and difference, and continue to subject the people that are different to negative labels.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is, go watch some anime and become a better person.

 

-Charles

 

**Charles says “Coming up with bios is difficult” so there’s that.

Find him on Twitter or read his work here.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Orgasms* (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Thought Catalog

Son:  Mommy, what’s an orgasm?
Mother:  I don’t know, dear. Ask your father.

Most of us know more about math than we know about orgasms. This is likely due to the fact our climaxes are so uniquely personal. Your orgasm is not my orgasm. Yet, we both agree, there are few bodily pleasures that give you such a rush of cascading sensations as a real live orgasm. Chocolate and cheeseburgers come close (together they’re as powerful as an orgasm, but only as a tag team.)

Despite our general agreement that orgasms are wicked fun, most of us know so very little about them. How silly is that? Imagine having a money tree in your backyard and never watering it. Hell, I’d say it’s worse than that. Orgasms beat money since your health is your true wealth.

Electric flesh-arrows … traversing the body. A rainbow of color strikes the eyelids. A…

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