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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: feminist

I Am Buying Tits: Feminism and Breast Augmentation

jasmine banks

Monday afternoon I sat in the exam room. I shifted back and forth trying to figure out how to get comfortable in the stiff white disposable underwear  the nurse gave me. She knocked, "Jasmine are you ready?"  I answered reluctantly. "Just follow me this way," she instructed. The nurse led me to a room with a photography backdrop and tape on the floor.

"Turn to the side." She snapped a photograph. "Lift your arms up." She snapped another photograph. These would inevitably be the "before" pictures that would serve as the example of the no good horrible body that was in need of transformation. It would be these same pictures held in juxtaposition to the "after" photos that would help countless women decide on implanting their muscles with a silicon sphere. After the nurse finished taking photos to her satisfaction we went back to exam room where I put on the stiff white disposable underwear. The doctor entered shortly after us and sat matter-of-factly on the stool. "Let me take a look at you," he said while pushing open the medical gown. He informed me of all the ways he could change my body to make it look better. His prescription:

  • A breast lift
  • Augmentation
  • Lower body life and tummy tuck

My body has been through several phases of transformation. The most recent transformations (extreme weight loss and breastfeeding for 7 years) has left my breasts in some kind of shape. I've wrestled with this before in this writing space: ideals about boobs, breasts, tits. What I know is that I really like mine and I want them back. I've lived life as DD and I have a B cup because of the weight loss.

I cried at the surgeon's office. Anchor scars and feminism. Self acceptance and self empowerment. It all feels so heavy and hard to navigate. I conceptualize the surgery as a form of restoration. Then I feel conflicted about foreign objects in my body. All of my ambivalence is part of the struggle with feminism and being educated on the state of being in the world. Do I want my bigger breasts back because Patriarchy and messages about "The Feminine"?

JustJasmineBlog

Can a feminist get breast implants? Do feminists get breast augmentations?

There is too much narrative around these questions. Some much, in fact, that I believe you have to reduce the conversation down to your personal reflections. We all have to analyze the context in which our choices occur and take responsibility for them.  I think we stray from the path of empowerment when we are comparing our body against the body of an ideal woman and pushing ourselves to achieve that ideal. Does a woman who has had her breast disfigured for various reasons stand against Patriarchy and refuse to get implants in order to make a statement about her body and it how it is okay no matter what? Some feminists should. Other feminists should. I'll bear the weight of my decisions, but not anyone else's. SO the answer is:  Yes. This feminist can get breast implants. I'll still be a feminist... just a feminist with really expensive tits.

International Women's Day Is About Raising Boys

jasmine banks

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Huzzah! International Women's Day. What are we celebrating? All things vagina! Woohoo!... which as it turns out are INTERNAL. I know we call the "down there area" vagina, but it isn't.  Your goods, va jay jay,  lady garden, tender flower, and all other euphemism (ad nauseum) is called VULVA. IF there is one day to get this right, it is today, International Women's Day. Which brings me to why International Women's Day, for me, is *actually* about raising my sons. "Yeah, yeah yeah," you think, "yet ANOTHER day that is supposed to be about women, and here we are talking phallus." Well. IF you are a MOTHER of a SON sit down and lets have a chat.

International Women's Day, of course, is a day for me to reflect on motherhood, womanhood, the women who helped raise me, and what my life is like with my lady plumbing. It is  ALSO about me raising my sons, because they can grown up shaped by the world OR by me to be several different kinds of men.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who ignore the rights of women and attempt to legislate women's bodies.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who call women whores based on their desire to be responsible for their bodies.

They could grow up to be the kind of men who say it was the woman's fault. She was dressed in a short skirt. She was basically asking for it.

They could grow up saying that unwanted pregnancies of ANY kind are good lessons to teach women that what they are doing (read: HAVING SEX) is wrong.

They could grow up to be the kind of man who is convinced that a woman doesn't have a whole sense of self apart from her "spiritual leader". 

They could grow up  be the kind of man who hates women so much, who is so buried in misogyny, that even another man who could  be portrayed as "feminine" elicits violent responses. 

SO on International Women's Day I am embracing one of the most POWERFUL positions I have as a woman. I am a mother to BOYS who will grow up to be MEN. I am exercising my power to teach my sons, Isaiah and Tobias, to  be feminists.

I vow to teach them that women are beautiful and complicated PEOPLE who have the same power and ability as men.  I vow to teach my sons that they are in charge of their bodies, thoughts, and actions as women should have the right to be in charge of their bodies, thoughts, and actions. I vow to teach Isaiah and Tobias that "feminine" and "masculine" is a wide range of things and are all acceptable definitions. I will teach my sons about what a vulva is, where the clitoris is, and why making love is more important than making porn.  I vow to edify my sons and help them understand that their masculinity or femininity (because YES men have femininity in them as well) is not defined by the stereotypes and gross exaggerations, but are as unique as the finger prints on the people who bear them.. There are no "girl colors" or "boy colors". These, dear boy, are just colors. We all have equal rights to them. I vow to teach them to be respectful and honest husbands and partners who know how to say "I'm sorry."

I will teach my sons that love is love. People are people. NO  matter what.

And.

Grace and Love (love for everyone) are the most important things.

I am raising sons to be good people, and it is the most feminist expression of power that I have ever exercised.

Happy International Women's Day!