by jessica jones


I had the great pleasure of riding Metro North from Grand Central Station to New Haven, CT yesterday.  No, I'm not being sarcastic, it really was a joy.  Reason #1: I was getting the bloody hell out of NYC for a long weekend to visit a dear friend and attend a fantastic music festival.  Reason #2: I wound up sitting next to a group of three 16 year old girls who reminded me what this blog is really about.  These kids embodied what all girls are taught to lose as they enter and embrace womanhood.

I fell in love with these three hooligans from the moment they boarded the train with their harried mothers. They flopped down next to me with their bulging overnight bags, huge supplies of candy, messy hair and exuberantly unselfconscious "I don't give a shit" attitudes. These best friends were excited, tired, crazy about each other and appropriately unhappy that their mothers were chaperoning them.  After admonishing the girls to behave themselves, the moms left them to their own chaotic devices. "Behave" lingered in the maternal wake as the undefined entity it always is to anyone with high spirits and giddy self-abandon.

Once they were sure that parental guidance was a thing of the past, out came packages of twizzlers, cupcakes, and what might have been Sour Patch Kids or Gummi Somethings.  Already mildly crazed with excitement about whatever the previous night had brought them, as well as their continued adventure, the girls' sugar high brought them to a new level of hilarity.  Which is when I started listening and laughing.  

Let's get this unfortunate fact out on the table: I am old enough to be any one of their moms. I'm sure that's what made my laughter (okay, spit takes) and outfit of converse sneakers, ratty t-shirt and shorts from high school a bit bewildering to the rowdy teenage coven. It was clear that they expected an adult to shush them and shift huffily in her seat.  Instead, I asked them what they had done the night before.  In a tumble of thrilling glee, each girl delivered a monologue about the life-changing qualities of seeing Jake Miller (22 year old Jewish hip hop sensation from Florida....go figure) perform.  They made it clear that they all love him soooooooo much.  

Then the sugar high came to a crashing halt and the love-fest died a fast and cranky death.  This is when the good stuff came out.  The audacious bitchiness to one another (and the unspoken total unimportance of that bitchiness) started rolling out of their mouths.


"Oh my god, I don't feel well. I only got 2 hours of sleep last night"

"That's because you wouldn't shut the fuck up."


"No one wants to hear you rap."

"Who does that song anyway?"

"Drake something"

"Then let HIM sing it!"


"Stop hitting me"





"I'm over this friendship"

"Seriously. You're hurting me."

"Your feelings?"

"No. My bruises. Stop touching me!"


I was cracking up and very obviously writing what they were saying.  Rather than be annoyed at my eavesdropping, the girls insisted on knowing what I was doing and why.  When I told them they might wind up on my blog (which they immediately searched for on their phones) they were beside themselves.  No embarrassment, no fears about looking cool, uncool or otherwise, the three friends were psyched that their voices were respected, valued and would be published somewhere.

Eventually the moms returned, apologized to me for their daughters' rambunctiousness (the exhausted women looked skeptical when I told them I loved sitting next to their kids) and told the girls to pull it together.  They had to behave more politely and with regard for the people around them. With all due respect to parents everywhere, I disagree.  If anyone had behaved on that trip, it wouldn't have been what I'm sure will be a great memory.  If they had been polite, they wouldn't have made each other laugh and reinforced their friendships.  If they had been more demure, they'd be acting like grownups, which most grownups know is nowhere near as fun as being 16. And it should be.  Why not?  We're the same people we once were underneath the layers of rules and veneers of respectability we carry along with our laptops, diaper bags or tote bags filled with work that wasn't finished at the office.  

All of this led to my mantra of the week: Letting go of the sheer audacity of being 16 is a choice, not a requirement. 

The willing participants in my eavesdropping swore they would look for themselves on this site every day.  In the event that you're reading this, Kate and co., here's to you. As I said on the train, and this goes for every woman and girl no matter how young or old, please stay weird.




by jessica jones


I've been dabbling in online dating lately and am admittedly WAY behind the curve.  Which sites to join, how to make the most of them, how to determine if someone is an axe murderer by the way he punctuates his profile essay....all mysteries to me.  Until recently.  I've learned a lot in a very short period of time.

I've learned, among other things, that no one reports their age properly, they use photos that are twenty years old, everyone is a captain of his or her respective industry and no one has a vulnerable underbelly.  If a profile does make mention of an underbelly, it's usual in a less than chaste context. Basically, I've learned that no one is as they claim to be.

What would it be like if we represented ourselves as we really are?  What would happen if we let our freak flags fly?  What would it be like to let your real personality loose on an unsuspecting public?

I pondered this question for a while. I considered the usual tropes found in dating profiles. I considered the personalities of some of the women I've run across in my time in NYC and made a composite of them in my mind.  Let's call her Rhoda.  I've grown to love Rhoda and hope she finds her bliss. If Rhoda were honest with herself and others, this would be her online profile. 



Hi all you guys on!  I’m so psyched you’re checking me out.  Welcome to my world! 

The most important thing to know about me is that I have finally gotten to a really good place in my life and know exactly what I want.  If you are a sociopath, liar, thief, pervert or grifter, I have to admit you may be my kind of guy.  Keep reading! Ha Ha!

Let's get this straight first: I don't need anyone to take care of me.  My father does that.  Yes, I am an adult person but will always be Daddy's little girl.  What a relief for you, right? Also, I'm NOT looking for someone to complete me.  I complete MYSELF thanks to Dr. Diamond (love those line fillers!), Dr. Levine (such judicious use of pharmaceuticals), and Ling Soong, best aesthetician on the Upper East Side.  After Ling's light peel, her patented dermabrasion and three weeks of recovery out of sunlight, I'm truly my best self!  If you're paying attention, you'll also see that I'm a devotee of the Oxford comma.  If that's a deal breaker for you, I can't fault you for it.  It is definitely a deal breaker for me.

I know a lot of people say that they're at home under all kinds of conditions, but I really mean it.  I'm just as happy in my custom made leather restraints and zipper hood as I am hanging around with friends at a bar.  When I'm out with my crowd I usually sport my hand-crafted hemp overalls and Ikat turban I wove during Recreational Therapy at The Mirago Spa (the good one in Arizona). 

I love to laugh and have a good time.  It's so important to me.  I adore attending fashion week, always in my front row seat next to whoever Posh Spice sold her seat to that year.  Poor thing must be strapped for cash these days.  Happens to the best of people.  Not MY people, but people.  Right?  I also really enjoy hosting wheat grass juice tastings for my friends and encouraging them to do rigorous cleanses under my strict tutelage.  If they want to fit into my old couture, they have to do the work.  That's all I'm saying.  I've learned to deflect their occasional petty jealousies by hanging up whenever they question my choices or decide to talk about themselves.  I mean, really. Dr. Levine keeps me focused on number one!  "Self care" is my mantra.  Other people will suck the life out of you if you let them, are you with me?

Hobbies are important if you want to be a well rounded person, and I play as hard as I work. I'm not working right now but if I did, that's how hard I'd work. Lately I've been using my spare time to make artisanal cottage cheese (it's the only thing I eat right now) in my bathtub (microbreweries are so last year).  Ling Soong always tells me to keep the excess whey in the tub so I can have a good softening soak in it before bedtime. She really knows what she's talking about, trust me.

As for you, beyond what I said up at the top of this description, there really isn't much more to say.  All I need in my unique guy is a payday upwards of $750k per annum (before bonus), substantial equipment, a face like Ryan Gosling's and the good sense to know when to shut up.  That's all that ANY woman wants and I'm just your average girl. 

 Thanks for taking the time to read about meeeeeee!!!!


by jessica jones


I know the title to this post is a double negative, but bear with me.

If you're concerned about being perceived as a "nice girl", we've got a lot to talk about.  Women and girls embrace or reject that label for myriad reasons; some of them make sense to me and some don't.  What NEVER makes sense to me is the notion that "nice girls" aren't feminists.  How did this happen?  What are women afraid of?  That the world will find out they're not really all Sandys and are in fact a bunch of Rizzos at heart?  (If you don't get that reference, look it'll have a lot of fun playing around on YouTube.)

I know the "I Am Not A Feminist" meme has been around for a while and this post may seem like a late arrival at the party.  Not quite.  I've been quietly waiting to see what will happen to this inane (I can't believe I'm going to dignify it with this word) movement.  To my surprise, while there are many, many women (and thanks, Beyoncé for moving the discussion along) who proudly identify as feminists, there are innumerable women who don't.

I find this baffling.  I find this saddening.  Mostly, I find it nauseating.

What the "I Am Not A Feminist" babbling, Instagramming and Tumblr-ing has shown is NOT that women and girls understand what feminism is and have rejected it.  It shows that they have no clue what feminism is.  It is SHOCKING that women who are the daughters of the generations who did so much work on the front lines of women's equality have willfully forgotten or ignored what came before them.  Complete ignorance or teen-style rebellion is the only justification I can come up with for claptrap like this:


For the record, feminism IS:

a) Not about claiming victim status to get ahead

b) Acknowledging that there is a war going on against your paycheck and your reproductive rights.  I'm sticking with two agenda items only so as not to confuse anyone who joined the class a little late.

c) Not about asking for special consideration due to your gender, but asking for equal treatment in all ways REGARDLESS of gender

d) Not about hating men.  That is a facile, outdated and red herring argument based on a splinter group of separatist feminists from the late 60's and early 70s.  Separatism didn't survive.  Neither should any justification to reject feminism that is based on it.

e) About being however you want to be. Being sexy is awesome.  Be it for your man, your woman, yourself or anyone who has the good fortune to lay eyes on you on any given day.

f) Not about rejecting any tasks, chores or hobbies that are stereotypically female.  You like to cook? Great!  You like to repair the roof of your house? Also great. You get a kick out of knitting baby booties?  Good for you!  You want to smoke cigars, play poker and curse like a sailor?  Have fun!  The only person who can make you feel lesser for enjoying, or not enjoying, conventionally female activities is you.  That's your hangup, no one else's.  I'm quite sure that Gloria Steinem, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Bella Abzug, all the Riot Grrls, the Suicide Girls, Madonna, Lady GaGa, Beyoncé,  and Caitlin Moran all had or have a few go-to recipes they enjoy making and sharing.  Enough said.

My favorite definition of feminism, that I feel clears up so many issues, comes from Caitlin Moran's Book HOW TO BE A WOMAN:

"But, of course, you might be asking yourself, 'Am I a feminist? I might not be. I don't know! I still don't know what it is! I'm too knackered and confused to work it out. That curtain pole really still isn't up! I don't have time to work out if I am a women's libber! There seems to be a lot to it. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?'
I understand. 
So here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.

a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.”

And if even more clarity is required, here's a fabulous statement by a young woman who, let's just say it straight, gets it.

"There is a basic lack of understanding of what the feminist movement is amongst many women today," said Julie Zeilinger, 19, author of "A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word" and founder of feminist youth community The Fbomb.  Feminists today work to preserve women's rights and "to make legal victories lived realities rather than just words on paper," Zeilinger said. (from


In summation, dear readers, being a feminist doesn't mean being a sniveling, entitled, man hating, uninformed, scared disseminator of garbage masquerading as thought, theory or conviction.  On the other hand, if you decide to vehemently represent yourself as anti-feminist and are looking for a few adjectives to sum up your point of view, feel free to choose from any of the above.  It'll give you a nice head start.