Hello, Feministe!

My name is Mahlena-Rae Johnson. I’ll be guest-blogging here for the next two weeks, and I’m very excited. Thank you, Jill!

Some of you may be familiar with the site I run at SteveThePenguin.com, where I blog about pop culture and politics. This year I self-published my first novel, Steve the Penguin. It’s about a young Hollywood assistant named Bianca who goes home to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, for her ten-year high school reunion. I’m currently working on the first sequel, Hot Penguin Action, as well as the YA spin-off series about Bianca’s multiracial Mormon niece, Sage Dempsey.

Here are six random fun facts about me:

1. I have seen every episode of The Golden Girls, some more than five times.

2. I own the complete Sex and the City series on DVD, but I hated the movie.

3. I heart Al Gore.

4. I have traveled to at least 30 US cities, and 22 different countries, including Barbados, Canada, France, Greece, Jamaica, Martinique, Spain and Venezuela.

5. My big goal in life is to create a broadband television network for young women, so they don’t have to feel bad about themselves anymore. Not every teenager wants to be a Pussycat Doll.

6. I’ve called myself a feminist since I was 14, but I have actually been a feminist all my life.

What are some fun facts about you readers?


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16 comments for “Hello, Feministe!

  1. June 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Yay, I love Golden Girls too! What’s your favorite episode??

    Fun facts about me:

    I didn’t call myself a feminist until I was 19.

    I have crazy sensitive skin — if I get a tiny scratch, it’ll swell up into a huge welt. So if I itch my legs when I’m wearing shorts, all the nail marks will raise up and turn red and look like huge scars. Pretty gross.

    I bite my nails horribly — like, until they bleed. I get a manicure one a week to try and stop, and last summer I actually grew them all out, but now that I’m studying for the Bar I’ve taken to chewing the polish off and then tearing off the nails themselves. Also gross.

  2. June 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I just checked out your blog – I like! I will read more.

    Fun fact about me: I am a professional historian of early colonial America, but I blog, obsessively, about Battlestar Galactica fanfiction.

  3. Fatemeh
    June 30, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    YAY Golden Girls! I

  4. June 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Oooo this sounds fun! My fun facts:

    I’m exactly the same with your sixth fact; I realized I was a feminist after I read Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism last year.

    My mom and I have a dream of creating a hotline for women to talk to other women when they have car trouble, because when women try to talk to male mechanics, they usually don’t get the help they need.

    I’m addicted to PostSecret, and I just realized that I haven’t checked it yet this week.

  5. June 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Brenna, just a head’s up – Post Secret this week has two NSFW secrets.

  6. Lea
    June 30, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Oh, how I love these things :)

    1. I love cats so much that despite being severely allergic from birth, I’ve pretty much always had at least one feline companion. That’s what immunotherapy shots and Benadryl are for!

    2. At about 20 I became a vegetarian, which was not difficult for me at all, but now when I ponder going vegan it seems like the hardest damn thing ever. GIVE UP MILK CHOCOLATE??? ACCCK!

    3. I love apples, apple juice, apple cinnamon muffins, sour apple candy…but I cannot stand applesauce.

    4. I got in trouble in the fourth grade for asking my teacher why we celebrate Columbus Day when “he killed all the Indians and took their land”. I assume I must have picked that up from my parents, who did not get upset with me at all when they found out about it :)

    5. I absolutely love to organize little things. Give me a gallon jug of M&Ms and seven jars and tell me to separate all the colors, and I’m a happy camper for hours!

    6. I love the Marquis de Sade. Torture is horrible, rape is horrible, murder is horrible…but I still love his books. Split personality much?

  7. June 30, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    My name is AG and I shall share my fun facts:

    I own the entire Sex and the City DVD set and loved the movie.
    There are a ton of Seinfelds I have never seen. And yet I love them all.
    I have a ton of female friends, most of whom that after I spend more than 4 hours with, I generally disklike.
    I have been to all but 8 US states and that does not include HI or AK in those I have never been to!
    I date only Jewish men, but I yearn for another goyish boyfriend.
    I have been a feminist since the day my auntie accused me of being “…one of those people who believe in abortion.” My mama laid smack down on her for that one. AG at age 14:1, Auntie: 0
    I have yet to meet a french fry or hamburger I did not like.

  8. Isabel
    June 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    1) I’ve also been a feminist all my life, and can’t remember when I started calling myself one–probably as soon as I knew what the word was, which I probably learned from my mom.

    2) I like to try to pass myself off as all foul-mouthed (which I am) and glib, but I’m a huge softie on the inside. Things I have cried at include Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt (wept for the last five pages straight), the fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, the musical Carousel, the last Harry Potter book (like four separate times), multiple episodes of Veronica Mars, the episode of My So-Called Life where Rayanne sleeps with Jordan (the speech from Our Town at the end? WEEP), the “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” number in Dreamgirls, and the season finale this year of House (BAWLED LIKE A BABY. I still choke up thinking about it).

    3) I cut my own hair a year ago for fun and liked the result so much I haven’t been to a pro since! It probably helps that my hair is somewhat curly, very bushy, and generally nuts, so that inconsistencies are pretty unnoticeable when it’s dry.

    4) I never had a fighting problem as a kid, never started fights or got hit. The one time I indulged in violence was in sixth grade, when a mean fifth grader was threatening a fourth grade buddy of mine. I came home that night and told my mom I didn’t care if I got expelled, he had it coming.

    5) I’m currently reading a book about the history of algebra for fun. Yup, I’m a dork.

  9. UnFit
    June 30, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I’m an aspiring pro soapmaker, and I have serious sleeping problems.
    And I’ve seen Fight Club at least 5 times.

  10. DAS
    June 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Another Golden Girls fan here!

  11. Mr. J
    June 30, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Jill, my favorite episode is Season 7, Episode 2, “The Case of the Libertine Belle“, where the Girls go to a murder mystery weekend. This is a common theme for me since the murder mystery episodes of Saved by the Bell and Just Shoot Me and Daria are my favorites. And my favorite movie is Clue. And I love Murder, She Wrote.

    Adorable, I like french fries, too, but I do have discriminating taste. McDonald’s has the best.

    Isabel, the fourth Sisterhood book? My favorite is the second one. I have the third and fourth ones on my shelf as well, but I like to pretend they don’t exist. :)

  12. June 30, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    1. I’m a HUGE “Twilight” fan. I will be attending the midnight release party of “Breaking Dawn” and I will also attend the midnight release of “Twilight” the adapted movie in December. Team Edward.

    2. I sniff blankets. That is, I like the blankets with the ribbon and right when they come out of the dryer they smell SO good! I just can’t help but sniff them all night.

    3. I’ve been a feminist since I can remember. I remember my first clearly feminist thought being at age 5…when apon watching a rerun of some black & white 50’s show, I refused to be afraid of a frog in my desk just b/c I’m a girl. I promptly went to the back yard and proceeded to dig up earth worms

    4. When I was in 6th grade my dad & I were in a local television commercial PSA about encouraging your kids to save money. Several classmates refused to believe it was me.–related, I auditioned for “fried green onions”

    5. I just recently discovered I really enjoy oranges and I find tomato soup tasty.

    6. I am addicted to Sweddish Fish and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. I just spent $40 on the latter.

  13. DAS
    June 30, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    2. I sniff blankets. That is, I like the blankets with the ribbon and right when they come out of the dryer they smell SO good! I just can’t help but sniff them all night. – Roxie

    I’m happy to know I’m not alone — I sniff blankets, shirts, etc. — anything soft and smelling fresh from the dryer.

  14. June 30, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Hi! Interesting about me?
    1. I was raised Mormon, but I don’t consider myself Mormon. I stopped participating because of the women’s rights and GLBTQ rights and I couldn’t resolve the racist past. Still, I don’t feel anger towards Mormons at all–I get along with most very well.
    2. Although I’m completely different from my family, I get along with them so well you would never guess.
    3. I hate confrontation, but I’ll get over it and stand up for what I believe if you push me. I also can’t hand seeing people treated badly and I’ll step in.
    4. I mentally edit songs for grammar.
    5. I collect anything Simpsons themed.

  15. June 30, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Oh lord…”fried green ONIONS”? I mean “fried green tomatoes”.
    DAS, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone! I got some really strange looks for it…and was sort of surprised like, “what? you mean you DON’T do this?”

  16. riotgrrl
    June 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I’ve been a life-long feminist but didn’t really get into activism until I was 19.

    I hate the sound of metal on metal. Any metal clanking/scraping makes my skin crawl. Also hate mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise more than anything in the world. The smell of it makes me noxious.

    Trying to go totally veg (currently eat some fish/seafood) but I have a hard time with the idea I wouldn’t be able to eat scallops. I love them and I don’t believe they suffer. The same could be said for clams.

    I’m considering a phd in women’s studies. Actually I will be applying to programs this fall. I’m just fearful of being in academics for so long and then not being able to find work. In general I’m scared of failure.

    I love animals. I have one cat but I want tons more pets. I especially want a chinchilla. My husband is the only thing getting in the way of the apartment being overrun with animals. Him and the rental policy.

    Sixth fact, I love horror flicks.

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