Hey, people -- slut-shaming a woman for liking catcalls isn't feminism. Deal with it.

Doree Lewak of the New York Post wrote this article which has been making the rounds on social media alongside a wide variety of insulting fanfare. The accompanying insults (slut, dumbass, bimbo, attention-whore, idiot, etc. etc. etc.) are far more offensive than the article itself. 

What's worse is that oh so many of these insults are uttered (erm...written) in the name of none other than feminism itself. Because didn't you know... if a woman does not prescribe to your exact beliefs on those hot-button feminist issues, it's totally ok to insult and name call her. Yup. That's what feminism wants. #Feminism ! 

It's odd how the very people supposedly defending a woman's right to not be cat-called, are turning to name-calling in order to make that point. Such strange irony when you consider that name-calling is categorized as abuse

Erm, ok so...let me see if I got this straight... it's not ok to cat-call you, but you're allowed to verbally abuse someone with insults. Oh ok, cool, that's not a double standard at all.  (<--- SARCASM)

Let me make something very clear. I'm not writing this because I like cat-calling or think it's something that should keep happening. Personally, it makes me uncomfortable, but I'm also not going to pretend I've never been flattered either. A few months ago I was incredibly offended and said so when some guy told me to smile on the subway platform. I had my headphones in, walking with purpose, in a great mood making my transfer to the F train when dude to my right is mouthing something so I stop, take my headphones out thinking he needs directions because I'm helpful like that. But instead, he says: "Hey pretty lady, you should smile more." And that was literally the absolute most offended I've ever been by unsolicited male attention. Some people will agree, some people won't, but to me it was blood-boiling. You wanna call me pretty, fine whatever, but don't tell me what to do. I don't even know you, don't tell me what you want from me. I should walk around with some vapid smile-for-no-specific-purpose plastered to my face like a goddamn barbie? Am I here to adorn your world like some sort of prop? Must I smile lest my lack of whimsical, toothy grin upset your delicate male ego? Yeah, he was in for it. "Don't tell women to smile. Never. Don't ever do that. That is so offensive." And off I walked, taking to twitter to vent my frustration. If someone cat-calls you, or says anything to you in a way that you feel is offensive, say something. That's how you battle this kind of harassment, by speaking up when it matters. Not by taking to the comment-boards and social media and calling someone an idiot and a slut because she likes compliments from strangers.  

On the flip side, I've also had days where someone said something flattering in the form of what would be categorized as a cat-call and I wasn't offended at all. I was flattered. OH MY GOD -- female admits to being flattered by a compliment... get the slut-shame crew at the ready, people!

Sure, when I first saw the headline "Hey, ladies -- catcalls are flattering! Deal with it" -- I was all charged up to get offended. I don't like people telling me what to do, in headline form or otherwise. And I especially don't like being told to deal with something that I don't like nor should have to deal with. But headlines are written to be sensationalist or controversial. That's why the article exists, to explain. It's not a tweet. But in our "headline-only-reading-society" it's enough for people to just read that and skim the first paragraphs to know that they unequivocally disagree with every single word in the article. 

Sure, I don't exactly agree with it either. I had a hard time deciphering whether it was meant to be partially satirical, in fact.
But if you actually read the article... not skim, but read... you will find certain points that don't make you cringe. In fact, they make a lot of sense:

  • "Enjoying male attention doesn’t make you a traitor to your gender."
  • "Most of the time, we women can't shake a hurtful insult hurled 15 years ago -- but can barely recall a compliment from yesterday. My drive-by dose of confidence is the 10-second antidote to all that negative feedback in the real world, where reverberations stick."

Hmmm, interesting. Woman admits that there's a lot of hurtful, insulting, negative feedback in the world and that sometimes, it's nice to get a compliment instead, even if it is in the form of a cat-call. LET'S BASH HER WITH INSULTS TIL SHE CRIES! #FEMINISM!

This isn't an isolated situation. The onslaught of harassing comments written on the internet in regards to women, their opinions, their bodies, their feelings, their actions is sickening. Do you have any idea how much more damage that does to women, to feminism, to the human race as a whole? We live in a world where people jump on the insult, cyber-bully bandwagon without any regard to the person their insulting. The most harassed I've ever felt in my life was on the internet after winning the competition when some of my competitors and their very rude fans took to writing the nastiest things about me. Everything from stupid bitch to talentless slut... it was all in there. 

I'm not saying that any of this should turn you into a gung-ho, cat-call-seeking advocate. But that perspective is out there. There are women who do get off on it and it's not because they have low self-esteem, oh ye self-proclaimed internet psychologists. How fascinating that you can so quickly decipher the intricacies of another person's entire psychological and emotional existence based off their perspective on cat-calling. It's that easy!

And even if she did have low self-esteem, is that really the way to respond? Our society creates a slew of women who crave attention over their physical appearance because our society constantly rewards and heralds women (and people in general) for their physical appearance, but the moment someone admits to enjoying unsolicited comments about their physical appearance, they deserve to be criticized? Yikes. Our collective lack of thought and consideration about how we treat people is alarming. 

But the psycho-diagnostic genius of the average blog commenter, tweeter and Facebook-poster aside, Doree Lewak posting her opinion, as unpopular as she most likely knew it would be (and whether she meant it to be partially satirical or not), actually shows a lot of confidence and courage, which certainly does not signify "low self-esteem." 

I'd be willing to bet substantial amounts of cash that many women do like certain cat-calls but are too afraid to admit it. And that's the perspective that Lewak is trying to champion in her own way. From her description of how she goes about getting catcalls, it doesn't even seem to be unsolicited because she's actually admitting to seeking out that attention and "strutting" in a way so as to get it. In fact, she says that it's not even about what you wear or how you look, it's about your attitude. AND she states there's difference between an innocuous and offensive cat-call (so please, don't liken it to rape. Not the same thing. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Not ok to say. Jeez people, c'mon)

Name-calling automatically negates any wise point you might have been able to make had you taken the time to calmly and logically explain your perspective instead of resorting to the cheap and easy insult. Lewak didn't name-call you. And she didn't force you to read her article either. She didn't solicit you in any way. You willingly "read" her article on your own, probably aching to get offended so you could find some clever (aka not clever at all) ways of insulting her for thinking differently than you. 

That most certainly is not feminism. Even if it's a hot-button feminist topic we're talking about. Even if you hash-tagged feminism. In fact, it's the exact thing feminism is attempting to fight against. 

Feminism wants women to be able to exercise their rights just like anyone else - without fear of severe, heinous and unwarranted backlash. Insulting them for exercising those rights and expressing their personal opinions is a form of attempting to take those rights away. So this is the situation we have here right now: a woman named Doree Lewak wrote an article exercising her right to free speech (and her right to just, you know, exist), and in it she states her opinion about a topic. In response, thousands of people wrote nasty, abusive, hate-filled comments in the name of feminism.

Now, which of these people do you think are really exhibiting feminism? 

embracing change and the way of the tao aka why i stopped blogging and other life lessons

beware of anything that ever calls itself a dream job. if jobs were dreams then they wouldn't be jobs. 

About a year and a half ago I apparently stopped blogging. It wasn't some big, momentous decision. It was more like a fizzle and a constant string of self-deluding promises that I was about to get back to it. Until one day I just stopped caring.

That's when things really started to happen.

I started a blog to have a space where I could share my own unique take on lifestyle, fashion, and art.

It turned into a job, quite literally, where I was sneakily advertising things in a forum that was meant for honest sharing. I know a lot of bloggers do that and I'm not criticizing it across the board. It's just not for me. A lifestyle blog should champion a specific way of life -- your way. Winning that competition forced me to live a life that wasn't something I would have chosen for myself. And that's where the disconnect happened.

Have you ever had to lead a lifestyle that you didn't agree with? You constantly feel like an impostor.

I'm not about overconsumption. I'm not about owning lots of stuff just cause you want stuff all the time, like you're trying to fill some void inside which can't be filled with stuff but you think maybe if you get more stuff it'll somehow give you substance. This blog is not about low spending or high spending. It's not about luxury or brand names. It's not about never repeating the same outfit or having a different pair of sunglasses for every outfit. It was never meant to be about any of that.

Winning a competition that championed the lifestyle of excess and supposed luxury was powerful enough to distract me from the things I really wanted to be doing. It brought me a bunch of fake friends who liked me for my sparkly new plastic lifestyle and it made prior fake friends expose themselves because my seemingly "good fortune" at the time wasn't something they could handle. And by judging me harshly in order to make themselves feel better for not getting that "good fortune" instead of me, they ended up acting like asses. It also brought out a few crazies... yikes.

I guess in the end it all balanced out. And happily, I no longer have any of those people in my life.

There were some fun times, don't get me wrong. I guess that's part of the reason it was so distracting. The entire time I thought that I was doing something I ought to. A necessary stepping stone on the path of progress. And sure, I was doing it in my own personal way with my own personal flare. But in reality, I was losing sight of my own ideals and desires. For some people, fashion parties might be the end all be all of everything awesome. To me, they are tedious and I have trouble conversing with most of the people there. At the majority of events I went to, I ended up chatting with the photographers, bartenders, website programmers and artists rather than my fellow bloggers or the occasional celebrities who popped up. But that's not what I was supposed to be doing. I was supposed to be chasing the celebrities. But to me that was so uninteresting. Why would anyone want to be doing that?

During the entire time I had this job I was artistically stunted. I didn't make a single thing when all my life I've taken extreme pleasure in letting my creativity surge.

But thanks to that extremity with which the pendulum swung in one direction, it swung back just as hard in a direction that has brought me to where I am today. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Maybe it's a journey I simply had to take so I could share the experience and remind people that living simply and according to your own ideals feels way better than chasing fame or the little flecks of fame that you can gather from being around other, more famous people. Because everyone is clamoring about trying desperately to gather up all the little flecks of fame they can find. And it's pretty sad when you think about it.

Recalibration is a blissful thing when you let it happen and stop fighting it. If you're feeling muddled or confused at all, I highly recommend slowing down for a minute and finding where you lost your way. The constant, frenzied onward push can be a very successful distraction that can keep you from personal growth.

Stop and ask yourself the hard questions in life -- who are YOU and what do YOU want?

Once I did that, I realized why blogging made me so unhappy when at first it brought me so much joy. Free blogger swag, overconsumption and excess, sneaky advertising, giving a crap about what celebrities wear -- all this stuff makes me feel like I'm just helping stuff landfills with poorly made garbage so that some CEO of some shitty corporation can take home a few extra million. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going full throttle in the other direction. I'm not saying that we should all stop showering, grow out our leg hair and live solely off the earth all hippy dippy either.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that). But me -- I'm still a consumer. I still enjoy plumbing, shaving and curating my life into something that makes me happy.

But that's just it. Curation means tailoring down. Not owning as much as possible. This is not a critique of people who choose that lifestyle (well maybe a little it is), but mostly it's just about doing things differently.

So if you're about travel and exploration, self-reflection, owning things that you cherish vs. owning so much you don't even know what you have, leading life according to your own ideas and not society's... then Welcome!

Let's play.

advent coat

Full disclosure: I hate shopping. I know, I know... fashion blogger that doesn't like shopping, how weird. But it's pretty much the worst outside of important things that are actually the worst. This ritual of going store to store in hopes of finding something that doesn't suck on endless racks of things that are awful in quality, design and fit is terribly unappealing. However -- vintage shopping is the one time I'm sort of ok with this ritual. Maybe it's because vintage shopping feels more like a quest through past treasures that yields some extraordinary finds. So when I saw this coat in my local Bushwick vintage store, Urban Jungle, I knew immediately it had to be mine. It's got this Kate Hudson in Almost Famous thing going on (her coat was the only good part of that movie) and it was a grand total of $30. Yes, vintage shopping does nicely. oh and the pendant necklaces were hand-made by me.  。◕‿◕。

vintage coat . zara leatherette pants . kurisuti pendant necklaces . tom ford sunglasses

lovin' blogs with bloglovin'

This is just a guesstimate but I'm pretty sure there are, approximately, 3.5 gajillion blogs in the world. I didn't do an official study, but I'd say that's accurate. I have no idea how I'd stay up to speed with any of them without Bloglovin'

For Blog READERS...

Bloglovin's network is incredible. Since so many blogs now have Bloglovin', you can follow all your favorites plus find new ones that appeal to your interests and aesthetic that you wouldn't have had the chance to discover otherwise.

Signing up is as easy as this:

and following blogs is an easy click of a follow button:

after that, all the blogs you follow get consolidated in a handy list where you can click through and find the posts that are most interesting and relevant to you. Here's an example of my Bloglovin' list of followed blogs:

you can keep track of all your favorite posts by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post:

every post you "like" will be consolidated under the "liked posts" tab so you can go back to them for future reference:

If you happen to be a BLOGGER in addition to a Blog READER, Bloglovin' is a must for you! Bloglovin' drives massive amounts of traffic to blogs each and every day because it keeps your followers updated when you post. Most blogs get more traffic from Bloglovin' alone than from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest COMBINED. 

In addition, it's a great platform for readers to discover your blog and interact with your posts. Since Bloglovin' users are there specifically for the purpose of reading blogs, the quality of the traffic you receive is much higher than that which comes from other referrals. Traffic from Bloglovin' has a tendency to stay longer and interact with more pages on your blog than traffic that comes from any other site. If you're a blogger not yet on Bloglovin', my question is "what are you waiting for?!" Signing up and connecting your blog is incredibly easy! Do it now!!

I simply had to share my love for this fantastic site and I hope you've found this information helpful! If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Ask below in the comments and be sure to leave an email address or twitter handle where I can respond to you.

- Kristy