Food stamps, credit cards, and public vs. private poverty

I just got food stamps for the first time in my life. I struggled with the decision as a white grad student in my thirties: I’m supposed to be a sort of respectable middle class poor, not food stamps poor. I’m supposed to boot strap my way through grad school, eat ramen, get an extra […]

Femmytomboy by Jera Brown

I’ve always been a little femme and a little tomboy – a princess and a jedi, comfortable with mascara and power tools. Both terms, femme and tomboy, have visual components: they’re tied to certain fashion choices, as well as mannerisms, even one’s presence. But to me, they’re also tied to how I relate to men […]

Style Icon: Shani Akilah Robin

Name:Shani Akilah Robin Your age: 29 years old.  It gets better each year! Your location:  Bloomington, Indiana What do you do, in your own words, and how long have you been doing it? I am an anti-oppression advocate/activist.  My area of focus 9 to 5 pm and beyond is anti sexual assault/domestic violence work.  I […]

Author Interview: Janet Hardy on being a Girlfag

Name: Janet W. Hardy Age: 57 Location: Eugene, OR Who are you, and what do you do, in your own words? I’m a publishing generalist, I guess. I’ve run a couple of small publishing companies and done all the kinds of work that entails – writing, editing, design, production, marketing, bookkeeping, you name it. These days, […]

Book Excerpt: Girlfag: A Life Told in Sex and Musicals by Janet Hardy

In 2005, I came out (publicly, I’d been out to myself for years) as a Girl Fag. What the heck is a Girl Fag you ask? It’s not easy to define, but in a nutshell it’s a mostly female-aligned person who is attracted to men but feels more in step with gay male sexuality than […]

Is Marriage Prom for Grown-ups? by Anonymous

I swear to god all my friends are getting married this year. Well, not all of them. A bunch of them got married last year. But there’s something nerve-wracking about the girls I used to bitch about being single with getting hitched while I’m….still single. I think it’s awesome that they met people they considered […]

Ms. Behaved Book Excerpt: Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities

Ms. Behaved is proud to feature this excerpt from Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams’ new book “Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities” (Greenery Press, 2012). BDSM has become a hot button topic in the mainstream following the popularity of the 50 Shades of […]

Dear MsBehaved: Jonna Ivin Answers It For You

Dear Ms. Behaved, Almost every day after school my friends and I go to Chick-fil-a to hang out, get something to eat and do homework before going home. Lately, because of all the controversy surrounding that company I would rather not go. I have a cousin that I’m really close to who is gay and […]

Turning the Tables: Would it Still be “Hilarious” if Somebody Raped Daniel Tosh?

I was having a tough time finding inspiration for my weekly post here at Ms. Behaved.  I started a column about how I recently shaved my legs for the first time in over a decade, getting about 100 words in before I gave up, and then I did the same with another installment of Sex […]

Drama Driven Profit and Other Sad Realities of the Feminist Blogosphere

My gentleman friend recently sent me this article from Salon about creepy depictions of rape in video games, that also touched on the kerfuffle around Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency (her videos are a must-watch if you haven’t seen them yet) and her Kickstarter to fund a series of videos entitled “Tropes vs. Women in Video […]

In Defense of the Sexually Prudent Feminist

Recently a really good friend told me that I’m a jealous, sex-negative prude because I chided them for not telling me when they took off to bang a stranger.  I was told that I “need to get laid” or at the very least “be in a monogamous relationship” so that I don’t focus on her […]

Health at Every Size and the Important Difference Between Thin and Healthy

I started out intending to write an article about Fathleticism (a term I coined to  describe my love of exercise as a fat person), but I got side tracked by writing about Health At Every Size, and the importance of healthy lifestyle for all people . So think of this as an introductory piece for the […]

In Search of Lady Bears: The Challenges of Dyke Dating in Southern Cities

Preface by Bianca: When Rashaun sent me this piece, I initially thought it was just about challenges related to lesbian dating, but after reading it, I realized that this essay is just as much as what it’s like to participate in the gay scene in the South, and how divergent her experiences are from my […]

Kinky Fashion Report: IML Weekend Chicago, 2012 (NSFW)

Hello Darlings, Hope you all had a wonderful three day weekend! Memorial Day weekend is a very special thing in Chicago, because we host the INTERNATIONAL MR. LEATHER pageant (aka IML), which is SRS BIZNIS!!! What is International Mr. Leather, you ask? It’s an annual competition where (mostly) gay leathermen compete for the title of […]

Evolution of the Female Gaze: Live Nude Dudes

Read the first installment of Evolution of the Female Gaze here.  I’ll freely admit it- I had a thing for strip clubs in my twenties. The kind that cater to straight men, feature a pole,  sequinned pasties, and overpriced drinks . I even went to Jumbo’s Clown Room in Hollywood with Michelle Tea when I was 21 […]

Work It! Femmily: Youth Worker, Consent Activist, Fashionista!

I first met Femmily at Clarisse Thorn’s SEX+++  documentary series, and again at Slut Walk Chicago last summer. She is a truly inspiring human being who works with at-risk youth as a full time career, is an activist promoting consent education as a means of ending rape, and still has time to throw body-positive dance parties, […]

Black Ass Sabbath: Punk, Metal and Racial Politics

One of my earliest memories is lying in bed with my sister with the TV on, no older than 5 or 6, and watching Def Leppard and Poison videos on MTV.  As little Black girls in the south, we didn’t have much exposure to rock music, and I remember being mesmerized by the big blond […]

The Crystals, Carole King, and the Golden Age of Abuse Pop

This post originally appeared at School for Scandal blog. 1960s Girl Group music was basically dominated by songs about falling for emotionally unavailable, criminal, and possibly abusive men, and people dying. (I blame creepy Phil Spector’s involvement, at least partially.) Which is of course, part of why I enjoy this music, even though it makes […]

The Evolution of the Female Gaze: an Introduction

Note: This first post focuses on the concept of the “female gaze” as it primarily applies to cisgendered, heterosexual women and men. Future posts will delve into the female gaze in queer and non-gender-conforming contexts. I am aware that the concept of the female gaze is problematic for some folks, but please be respectful and […]

Why I Drink: First-Hand Experiences Dealing With Victim-Blaming and Rape Culture

Trigger warning: This post contains descriptions of sexual abuse and may not be suitable for everyone. Commenting has been disabled on this piece by the author’s request. I will be the first one to admit this openly and freely. At one point in my life, I subscribed to a version of victim-blaming that suited my […]