Achieve the Four Modernizations.

Dec 10, 2014 Jina commented on Savage Love.
I'm always puzzled by people whose first reaction to learning something new is to run to an advice columnist to verify it. Is it somehow more difficult, time-consuming, and less anonymous than simply doing a Google search? Or is it only true if an advice columnist tells you so? So many questions!

I remember a woman who wrote in to Dear Abby or something because she overheard her tween son and friends talking about "twerking" and she was in a panic that it might be some new sex game. You'd think it would be easier and less nerve-wracking to simply Google "twerking," rather than waiting for your letter to appear in an advice column.
Apr 3, 2014 Jina commented on Savage Love.
Wow, LW1 could've been me ten years ago, when I was in college. I had a long-distance relationship with someone who turned out to be trans. After the initial HUGE feeling of betrayal, all the attraction instantly died. It wasn't even the fact that he was trans that did it - it was the fact that those months of deception-by-omission meant that the person I thought he was (honest, trustworthy, caring, etc) didn't really exist, and it made me wonder what else he had been hiding. I tried to let him down gently and even tried to be friends again, but in the end it didn't work out because he thought "friendship" meant he had license to try to convince me that my sexual preferences didn't matter and isolate me from any potential rivals in the mean time.

I am not sexually attracted to the female body in any way, so I can see why the LW is so upset about this. The thought of myself being intimate with a woman is, frankly, kind of icky, in the same way the thought of being intimate with a close family member is icky (disclaimer: I don't think lesbians are icky or equate homosexuality with incest, I'm just not into either of those). I had the same worries as LW1 ("am I a bigot for this? Does this mean I somehow love my gay friends less?"), but eventually came to the conclusion that advocating for gay rights doesn't mean that I'm obligated to suppress my own desires and stay with someone I was no longer attracted to and didn't trust. From my point of view, it seems a lot like telling a gay person that he/she must stay in the closet and have a heterosexual life for the sake of appearances.

To the people who think Marcus did nothing wrong, how would you feel if you found out that the person you just had sex with is actually your long-lost brother/sister? And on top of that, he/she knew and didn't tell you, because, hey, you never know, you might be into it, right?

(please, no strawman arguments about "homosexuality/transgenderism isn't the same as incest, how dare you compare them you bigot," because that's not what I believe, nor is it my point)
Oct 23, 2013 Jina commented on Asexuality Conquers Japan!.
I've never lived in Japan, but I did grow up in South Korea for six years (fourth grade through 10th grade) which has a pretty similar culture, and I can totally see why women would be turned off of dating and marriage. Women really are expected to defer and cater to their husbands in (from an American standpoint) ridiculous amounts. I worked for a Korean company in the US for about a year when I was younger, and it just reinforced the notion that I could never go back and live in Korea again, though it's a lovely place to visit. Except for me, everyone who worked there had immigrated to the US as an adult, so the environment was very similar to workplaces in Korea. When we had to stay late, the women would actually go home to make dinner for their husbands and then come back. If they couldn't, they would talk to them at length on the phone, apologizing that they couldn't come home and asking their husbands if they would be okay. If we had a potluck lunch or dinner, the women were expected to set out all the food and clean up afterwards, although some of the women told me that that usually didn't happen in Korea any more.

I suspect this is the reason many Asian women in the US date or marry non-Asian men - Asians often raise their sons to be catered to by women. At family gatherings, it's traditional for women to gather in the kitchen and prepare food or wash dishes while the men watch TV or play board games. My father told me once that this is because "women LIKE working in the kitchen and gossiping" in complete seriousness, but then that side of the family is quite conservative even by Korean standards. He was also pleased to discover a few years ago that I actually knew how to cook decently, because it meant any potential future in-laws would not be angry with my lack of domestic skills and kick me out of the house (he was less than thrilled a couple of years later when I started dating my non-Asian husband). These kinds of expectations made me less than enthusiastic about dating Asians or Asian-Americans, especially considering one of the women I worked with was married to a Korean guy who had moved to the US as a boy, worked in an American company, and still maintained some of those Korean attitudes.

But by living in America, at least I had a choice. In Korea and Japan, when your choices are limited to sticking to the cultural norm (not sticking to the cultural norm means you will most likely be stigmatized) and celibacy, I can see celibacy being an attractive choice.
Sep 18, 2013 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@51 and 57 - Yes, I know, I went through art classes and acting classes where, some days, all we would do is sit around and critique each other's work or performances. :) But that doesn't mean that, once you leave school, you are automatically a pro and should shun all feedback and constructive criticism. Like I said, I hung around with plenty of professional artists, many of who stressed the importance of continuing to receive feedback to learn new techniques or a different way of doing things or looking at things. I personally don't think it's possible to improve in a complete vacuum, and that it's rather arrogant to think that one is so good, one is above others' advice or opinions.

I could relate my own personal experience (I have almost ten years' experience in graphic design myself, thanks), but that would make this post ridiculously long and boring (if it's not already), so let's just say that I think it's important to have people tell you when something is not working the way you think it's working. No one is so perfect that they don't make mistakes - Neil Gaiman was a NY Times bestselling author when he wrote Anansi Boys, and even he admits that, if he could go back, he would have done it differently. I also just think it's good to never stop learning or improving, even though I'm considered to be at a "professional" level, because there's always something new or different out there that I know nothing about, and won't hurt me to look into.

Also, EricaP, look up Puppetry of the Penis if you're curious. I've never seen one of their shows myself, but I've heard it's awesome and hilarious. :)
Sep 18, 2013 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@44 devinderry - I completely disagree with you, constructive feedback is absolutely necessary for any art field, be it writing, drawing, penis puppetry, whatever. I'm not a professional artist by choice (I do work in the arts field, though), but I used to hang out in an online art community full of professional and amateur artists. My art grew in leaps and bounds from their feedback, regardless of the commenter's skill level, and many others were the same. People who came to the community, having done the same things over and over with little or no constructive criticism, often had a hard time improving their work, because they were so used to doing things their own way and not polishing and refining their work to higher standards. If told they should try this or that to fix technical errors, the response would often be "well, that's just my style and I'm not changing it." And then they would wonder why the online gallery that hosted the community, which was juried and had high standards, would not accept their work.

@PID's letter, I would honestly recommend getting out of that group and joining or starting another, possibly with a few members of the old group, and cutting ALL contact with Mr. Red Sweater. I had a similar type of stalker for a while, where he would see messages in every little thing I said or did after I told him we were just friends. If I mentioned I was listening to a particular song, he would ask if it was because the song lyrics reminded me of him. If I drew a sad picture, he would ask if it was because I was upset at something he said/did. When my friends told him to leave me alone, he saw it as me putting obstacles in his way to prove his devotion to me, and decided that I really meant was for him to overcome all resistance to reach me (he actually told my friends he pictured me as a princess trapped in a tower, and they were the evil guards he had to get past to rescue me. Barf). This continued for almost TWO YEARS after I cut all contact with him. So just cut the cord now and move on as quickly as possible, and hopefully he will eventually go away.
Mar 21, 2013 Jina commented on Savage Love.
Come to think of it, my entire post at #67 could have been summarized by that one song in Pocahontas:
"They're different from us, which means they can't be trusted. WE MUST SOUND THE DRUMS OF WAR!"
Mar 21, 2013 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@54 nocutename - stuff like "gay = rodent mutilation and buttsex" is basic propaganda. It gives the believer a reason to hate [insert whatever here]. Don't like someone? Dehumanize them. Turn others against them. Turn the issue into "they're not like us," which then turns into "us versus them" and "they must be stopped."

The same tactics have been used for centuries to justify one's motives. Manifest Destiny means displacing and killing thousands of Native Americans? Well, they're savages anyways. Clearly God doesn't approve of them and they don't deserve the land. Slavery is wrong, you say? Well, black people are practically subhuman anyways, and hardly intelligent. Why shouldn't they be used as beasts of burden? What's that you say? You don't see anything wrong with feminism? Well, everyone knows that feminists are all bra-burning, man-hating uggos who are trying to kill off all men and establish a women-only utopia. Want a reason to hate Asians? Surely you've heard that they eat dogs and will steal your pets if given half the chance? These are all actual historical examples, by the way. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture.

It's the same thing with "ewww, did you hear that gay people do THAT?" By associating homosexuality with something gross or terrible, be it rodent mutilation, AIDS, rape and pedophilia, or even just common or garden husband seducers, it gives the speaker justification to hate gay people and something to scare the kiddies with ("gay people do THIS; you don't like that, do you? Then don't be gay.").
Nov 21, 2012 Jina commented on Savage Love.
Part of me wonders if WKBFM's employer read a book called American Shaolin, which was written by an American guy who, in the 1990s, went to Shaolin Temple in China to study kung fu and Buddhism. One of the former monks he met practiced Iron Crotch kung fu, and was the star exhibit for public Shaolin martial arts demonstrations. His bit was to come out on stage, and then audience members were invited to come up and kick him in the crotch as hard as they could. His morning routines consisted of whacking his balls with a stick for 30 minutes and then tying heavy weights to his dick and walking around a courtyard. Apparently this style of kung fu made him very popular with the ladies - when the author met him, he had just spent the night with a groupie, and the man had at least five kids with five different women.

I mention all this because, if WKBFM's employer read about this (and if he's a longtime martial arts enthusiast, he well may have), maybe he thinks he will eventually score with WKBFM this way.
Sep 5, 2012 Jina commented on Savage Love.
I disagree mightily with Dan on HBM. As others have pointed out, there's a difference between sharing every nitty gritty and possibly highly personal detail of every fight, and simply mentioning something like "my boyfriend and I went to this awesome Italian place last night and..." every once in a while. I often do the latter when I want to subtly get guys to understand that I'm taken and back off.

@Crinoline (#17) - an emotional affair is when someone who is married or otherwise in a committed relationship is in love with another person, but doesn't actually physically cheat. In other words, it's an affair without the sex or kissing.
Aug 8, 2012 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@7 Crinoline - depending on where you live, 19 year old moms are not that unusual. When I lived in Colorado, girls being married at the age of 16 was not that odd - I worked with at least two girls who were both married and divorced before they were 20 (one was 21 when I met her, and had a 5 year old girl). Another co-worker's mother was 15 when she married, and had her third child (my co-worker) when she was 19.

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