6 comments | July 12th, 2012


(FMB rewind)

This Jay-Z quote sums up pretty succinctly what we think every one of us should believe we have the right to feel (and say).  If they don't feel you...it's their loss.  You Be You.  Here's Jay:

“He who does not feel me is not real to me, therefore he does not exist. So, poof... vamoose, son of a bitch.”

#thecumulativeeffectRewriting Fairytales

8 comments | July 10th, 2012


(by Kristen, a Chestist)

I found out I'm having a baby girl over the weekend. To be honest, I was disappointed. Life as a woman in this country is difficult. Beautiful women get a lot more without trying as hard and the rest of us are inundated with media telling us why we're not right for not being those beautiful women.

I didn't want that for my daughter, so I wanted a son. I looked at the ultrasound screen; I saw the difficult life she would have---that I've had---and I cried. And then I realized why it matters more for me to have a girl. It matters because it's time to change my attitude. It's time to make this world understand that beauty isn't as important as what she can do. It's time for me to step up and teach her that she is incredible, smart, talented (no matter what those talents are). And it's time for me to use my own talents to help her understand.

I'm a writer and thanks to my unborn daughter, I have a new project in mind. When she's born, I won't ...

#lifestagesWatch What You Say

4 comments | July 9th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(by seth)

I used to squint a lot when I was little and out in the sun.  When I squinted, my mouth curled up like I was smiling.  Who knew that would be a bad thing?

One day at camp (no, not band camp) this boy, who was no more than 8 or 9, came up to me and with this wildly accusing snear asked "why are you always smiling so much?"  I wasn't smiling that much, I was just squinting, but all of a sudden I felt like maybe I shouldn't smile at all.  Maybe smiling was bad?  Maybe being happy wasn't "cool"?  Why was I being judged for smiling, when I wasn't even smiling?  7 or 8 year-old me was in turmoil.  Now, I don't smile that much, and it's a lot of years later.

Sometimes I wonder if it's because of that boy and that one instance, neither of which I should really remember but both of which I still do.  And while I doubt that moment's actually robbed me of any legitimate smiling since, (well, maybe it has) the memory reminds me ...

#thecumulativeeffectHBO’s “Girls” & Self-Entitlement: Do I Know How Lucky I Am?

4 comments | June 24th, 2012

chestist soup

(story submitted by Erin, a Chestist)

We don’t have HBO, or cable for that matter, so I’m a teeny bit behind the ball when it comes to television culture. But thanks to the bounty of blog posts and attention given to Girls, I feel like I know enough about the show that’s taken the media world by storm. Everywhere I click boasts the show’s success or criticizes its lack of diversity, which in turn allows me to offer my ten cents on a show I’ve never even seen. And thank God because when the happy hour/cocktail party/dinner conversations steer away from politics, engagements or graduations I feel a great sense of relief. I can contribute something to the conversation even if it’s about make-believe, overindulged, self-entitled, motivationally-challenged white women.

As it turns out, I have more in common with them than I would have guessed.  I shamefully caught a glimpse of former self while reading the exchange between one of the Girls characters and her parents, “I could be a drug addict. Do you realize how lucky you are? I mean, it doesn’t have to be heroin. It ...

#thecumulativeeffectMore Sexual Double Standards

6 comments | June 21st, 2012


(story submitted by Kara, a 17 yo Chestist)

My friend decided to fool around with a guy friend of hers. He told everyone about it and her reputation is down the toilet. His, on the other hand, has never been better. It's unfair how girls are condemned for the same things that guys are praised for.  {end story}

We shared another sexual double standard story earlier this week.  There's no denying the double standard exists, but let's spend more time on why it's so.  Why does her reputation suffer while his is enhanced ~ all for doing the same thing?  Penises and vaginas, let's discuss.  

#thecumulativeeffectSexual Double Standards

6 comments | June 17th, 2012

double standard

(story submitted by DS, a Chestist)

My best guy friend had a threesome and ever since he told me about it the first time I've had a fantasy about having one (not with him). 

I love sex.   2 guys and me -- twice as many hands, tongues, lips, arms, legs and bodies doing all the things bodies do.  I mean, come on.

I don't think it's ever going to happen.  The perceptions of a guy who has a threesome is so different than if a girl does.  As archaic as I think that is I don't know if I can deal with it.  It's not like a lot of people would know but there's such a double standard.  Some fantasies are meant to stay fantasies I guess. {end story}

DS' story reminds us of Kevin Smith's movie Chasing Amy (with Ben Affleck).  You think there's a sexual double standard for women and men?  What can we do to change it?

Love & SexFinding Myself

7 comments | June 13th, 2012

chestist enthralled

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Within the last few months I’ve fallen for a wonderful guy: there’s mutual respect, trust, attraction, the works—and though we’ve not yet gone much beyond the ‘making out’ stage I have, yes, fantasized on occasion about taking things further. But. While the fantasies where I was topping were great, the one with positions reversed flooded me with sudden panic. (Editor's NOTE: some of you may immediately know what "topping" is, we didn't.  So we looked it up.  Topping refers to the dominant role in a dominant/submissive relationship.  Thought this would help provide some context.) And when I looked back, and tried to figure why something so – not exactly innocent, but normal – had reduced me to this, this 'edge-of-tears' state, all I could think about was an incident last October, where a relatively new acquaintance violated the boundaries I had laid out as conditions for any activity. When this acquaintance seemed troubled about it some days later, I committed the mistake of saying, without thinking, that it was – okay? Not so bad? Didn’t need to be thought about ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhy Can’t A Girl?

9 comments | June 11th, 2012

double standard

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I've been living with my boyfriend for 3 years and together with him for almost 5.  We're in love and everything is so good with us.  We've talked a lot about marriage but he hasn't asked me yet.  I feel like I should just ask him; like I should just get a ring and ask him to marry me.  Why can't a girl do that?  Why am I "supposed" to wait for him to ask me?

The only reason I'm not doing it now is because I don't know how he'll react.  What if he's planning something?  I don't want to emasculate him, I just want to marry him.  {end story}

Ah, ye olde double standard rears its head again.  What do you think...of course a girl can ask a guy anything, but why does it still feel like a girl can't (or maybe shouldn't) do this (what with it being the 21c and all)?  Would you ever ask your BF (or GF) to marry you?

#thecumulativeeffectSpanx on My Mind

8 comments | June 7th, 2012

50s chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Did you read that Adele wore 4 pairs of Spanx to the Grammy's?  A week ago I read that the woman who invented Spanx is the first self-made female billionaire. 

Isn't it just fucking ironic that the first female billionaire is one because she invented a way to change how we look and help us pretend our bodies are different than they are?  I can't decide if it's a genius invention or so sad.  I've worn them before and I'll wear them again. Still, I think it's one thing to want to look differently and another when we pretend that we actually do.  Wouldn't we make fun of a guy who wore lifts?  Why is that any different?  {end story}

Ok everyone, what do you think?  Ever worn Spanx or some equivalent?  Would you?


#thecumulativeeffectWhich Came First, The Dis or the Delicate Flower?

39 comments | June 4th, 2012

exploding flowers

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda.com) Consider the following scenario: X, Y, and Z are all friends. One day X tells Y something rather personal, and Y is supportive about it, but X asks Y not to mention it to Z, because sometimes Z isn't all that empathetic. Well, Y ends up telling Z and not only does Z totally make fun of X's situation, Z convinced Y that X is being ridiculous, too, and before you know it, Y and Z are still friends, but X is left out in the cold. Now. Are X, Y, and Z women or men? My unscientific research (consisting of... being female and talking to other people) shows that nearly everyone who hears that little scenario will assume that X, Y, and Z are all women. Do you know why? Because men don't do that kind of stuff. If all three of them were men, the story would go like this: X, Y, and Z are all friends. One day X tells Y something rather personal. Y never mentions it to Z. X, Y, ...

Love & SexI’m Bored with Sex

15 comments | May 24th, 2012


(By Ozy Frantz.  This story originally appeared on Role/Reboot.org)

Ozy Frantz has had a lot of sex. But right now, watching cartoons and eating Cheerios on the couch sounds more appealing. So what?

I’ve proudly identified as a slut since I lost my virginity in a one-night stand. My sexual identity is the stuff of porn films and horrified columns about The Kids Hooking Up These Days. I’m attracted to people of all genders, my sex quite often results in red marks and bruises the next day, and I have multiple partners who all know about each other and occasionally play Dungeons & Dragons together. I’ve wandered naked through a party with hundreds of attendees, flirted with men nearly twice my age, and had sex with someone three hours after meeting him. I am in every way a perfect libertine.

And sex bores me.

Oh, sex is fine while I’m having it. It’s still a pleasant activity often resulting in orgasm. As activities go it ranks as somewhat more enjoyable than doing the dishes and somewhat less enjoyable than eating frosting directly ...

#lifestagesPropose Already

4 comments | May 22nd, 2012

roy chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a chestist)

I wish my boyfriend would propose to me already. We bought a house together.

Aren't people supposed to do that after they marry? {end story}

Are there things in your life you think are supposed to have happened already?  What are they?


#bodiesTime Magazine and Breastfeeding

12 comments | May 17th, 2012


(story submitted by Renea, a Chestist)

One of the things we've found so interesting about the Time cover is (and we have a sneaking suspicion those crafty editors knew this) it sure does create conversation and opinion.  Us?  We looked at it and were all, wow, that's weird.  Then we got past the visual and were like all, that's how they do it, and who are we to judge or hate on their happy?  So we stopped judging.  We didn;t start agreeing we just stopped judging.  You know, live and let live and all that. 

This is  Renea's story.  She's pretty funny: In light of the recent SHOCKING Time magazine cover, with the toddler breastfeeding while standing on a STEP STOOL in front of a CAMERA CREW... I thought I would share my personal story from my blog www.thinkandponder.com My story is called:  Breastfeeding... FOREVER. I knew before my child was born that I would breast feed.  I didn’t even take the free formula home with me from the hospital.  I took a breastfeeding class, read books, and watched You Tube videos.  I was ready....

#thecumulativeeffectPretty Is As Pretty… Dresses?

19 comments | May 7th, 2012

seriously pretty

(Story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

I decided to conduct a little experiment, just for the heck of it.

We've all heard the phrase, "Dress for the job you want," right?  When it comes to my "professional self," I've always adhered to that old adage. When I meet clients, go to conferences, or am otherwise representing myself as a business entity, I dress professionally. (Let's not get into the irony of this, given that most writers are believed to work in their pajamas 24/7.) And there are differing understandings of what dressing professionally means, too, but let's just say that when I'm "on" in the business sense, I'm generally wearing a nice dress, or a skirt and blouse, or nice slacks, etc. I don't go meet a client in jeans. I probably don't give a lecture in a t-shirt. I clean up pretty good and know when to do it, is my point.

Now: I've always known that dressing accordingly boosts my confidence in those situations, too. It's a win/win because I look like someone a client can depend on, plus I feel capable and ...

#thecumulativeeffectI Want to Be a Housewife.

12 comments | May 1st, 2012

double standard

(story sub,itted anonymously, by a Chetsist. An OOC rewind)

There are times when what makes us happy conflicts with expectations about what we're "supposed" to want and do.  Here's her story:

"Sometimes I really don't want to be a successful career woman...I want to be a housewife."  [end story.]

Can you relate?  Any like examples in your world?