Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I know I talk a lot about how much of a disadvantage it is to be a girl in today's world, but today I want to make it known that I realize that I am privileged. I realize that because I am not a person of color I will never have to worry about the police brutality faced by POC across the country every day. I cannot truly understand just how awful Ferguson is, and I don't believe many white people can, because what happened to Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Sean Bell, Amadour Diallo, Oscar Grant, Kendrec McDade, and countless others simply would not happen to us. I will never be shot by a police officer because of my skin color. A cop will never pull me over if he sees me driving a nice car. I will never be treated as a thief if I go into a nice store. I will never in my life be racially profiled and so while I stand by the family of Mike Brown, and the city of Ferguson, I say that while I know the facts, I do not understand and can feel nothing but disgust over the fact that there are people in this world who still have to be afraid of cops, and with good reason.

I am disgusted by the handling of this case and the fact that Darren Wilson not only has seemingly gotten away with shooting an unarmed Black teenager in the head, but that people are siding with him. People are siding with a murderer because racial prejudice has gotten in the way of them seeing that Mike Brown did nothing wrong. Let me say that one more time. It is 2014 and people still believe that a black man has the right to die simply because he is black and also that his murderer should get away with it.

Darren Wilson was sent away on paid leave, during which time he got married. He feels no remorse for what he has done. Even men who go to war feel remorse when they take a life. If the rest of the world can see how wrong this is, why can't the courts in Ferguson? Why has nothing been done so that Mike Brown's murderer is brought to justice? Why are militarized police forces being sent in to shut down riots in Ferguson, Seattle, LA, NYC, and DC? You know who issued a statement about how awful the handling of this case was and how bad it looked for the United States? North Korea. North Korea is telling us that we are bad at being a country.

Wake up, racist America! Your way is obviously not the right way for our country!

I stand by those rioting to bring about justice for Mike Brown, and I support his mother in her endeavor to get the UN to do something about this horrible situation in which human rights have been blatantly ignored.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

18 Things Mark Saunders Needs to Understand (Because, Male Privilege)

The other day my friend Alexa tagged me in a post linking to this article titled 18 Things Females Seem to Not Understand (Because, Female Privilege). After reading the completely one sided and disgusting article, obviously written by someone who has no mother or sisters or female friends (yes, I think the author might be a mythical creature, that's the only way I justify such idiocy), I angrily crocheted a few dozen pairs of boot cuffs and worked up a response in my head.

1. Male Privilege is being able to walk down the street at night without having to have keys between your fingers because you're not afraid someone is going to rape you. No, not all men are rapists, but women cross the street just to be sure, because every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted and 80% of the victims are under 30. Yes, I'm going to cross the street when I see you coming, sir, I do not know your intent and I would rather not find out.

2. Male Privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out again and again and again and again and only be called creepy, when if a woman did the same thing she would be called crazy, obsessive, a stalker, and treated like she was mentally unstable. Remember, people can live with creepy, but they shun crazy. Male Privilege is not having to worry about the fact that people think they have a right to your body. 

3. Male Privilege is being able to get drunk and not have to worry about being sexually assaulted. Male Privilege is being able to engage in sex at a party that you most likely want. You're not a rapist if you don't rape a girl. You are a rapist if you don't obtain legitimate consent. And the reason the girl is deemed innocent by default? Because of incidences like Steubenville, where a 16 year old girl went to a party, blacked out, was raped and then urinated on, then blamed for ruining three high school boys football careers when she pressed charges. 

4. Male Privilege is being able to turn on the TV and see yourself as something other than the butt of jokes in Sitcoms, the prize to be won in action movies, the scantily clad vixen in any male-centered film. Male Privilege is shows like King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond where a average looking slob of a man has a high-achieving wife that he still dumps on. Male Privilege is shows like Family Guy where women are openly mocked and exploited for the purposes of "comedy". It's the song "We Saw Your Boobs" that Seth McFarlane sang at the Oscars, its every gratuitous stripping scene in a movie that devalues the accomplishments of the female in the film and places her primarily as a sex object. Male Privilege is being able to see any movie and picture yourself in it as a main character, not a side-kick or comic relief. 

5. Male Privilege is being able to complain that women and children get saved first. The Birkenhead Drill is from the turn of the century and was A. made up in a book, and B. intended to mean that the most vulnerable members got help first. Is that still women? No. I know a few women who would probably have to save you in an emergency, even if you don't deserve it.

6. Male Privilege is not having to deal with the ramifications of abortion. Male Privilege is being able to do whatever you want with your body in terms of reproductive rights without it being a hot-button issue. You can get condoms for free, my birth control is so expensive that I couldn't afford it without insurance.

7. Male Privilege is being able to abandon a child and have society be okay with it because a man's place isn't in the home, its out working. Or because sometimes men just need to "sow their wild oats".  Male Privilege is not being expected to take care of a child you don't want for 18 plus years, and only having to pay child support, but not experiencing any serious consequences if you don't.

8. Male Privilege is not seeing 5,000 ads a day where at least 75% of them are related to women's beauty products. Male Privilege is not being expected to wear make-up and being labeled as "unkempt" or a "slob" if you don't. Male Privilege is being accepted at any size. Male Privilege is the reason the "average looking guy scores super model girlfriend" trope exists.

9. Male Privilege is the biggest contributor to rape culture that I know of. Male Privilege is "what were you wearing" its "you could just close your mouth and not give him a blow job" (google Don Lemon), its "she was asking for it". Male Privilege is "that test raped me", or rape jokes over Xbox Live, or in casual conversation. Men make more rape jokes than women do, because rape isn't a joke to us, it is a terrifying reality. Male Privilege is I don't know, NOT GETTING RAPED?

10. I'm not supposed to do anything in life except dream of marriage. Men get to be players and do whatever the hell they want. Male Privilege is the societal embrace of the bachelor lifestyle, and the overall shunning of the bachelorette lifestyle. 

11. Male Privilege is not going to prison for defending yourself against an abusive spouse. Male Privilege is being able to have charges pressed against you and saying it was self defense because your partner is "hysterical". Male Privilege presents itself in the 97% of rapists who never serve time, in the majority of domestic violence cases that are never reported because a woman is afraid of what will happen if she does report, in the 1 in 4 women who will become an abuse victim each year. 

12. Male Privilege is not being expected to be caring or empathetic. It is not being labeled as "cold" or "bitchy" when you don't display emotions as often as people think you should. Male Privilege is the lack of Resting Bitch Face as a label for men. 

13. Male Privilege is not being expected to get married and become a stay at home mother. Male Privilege is being able to be focused on your career and not your family and not be seen as a horrible spouse or parent. Male Privilege is being allowed to expect dinner to be ready when you get home, and having other men justify your anger when that doesn't happen. Male Privilege is being on the winning end of the pay gap.

14. Male Privilege is not being afraid that the cop is going to insinuate that a sexual favor will get you out of a ticket. Male Privilege is being able to get frisked without getting sexually violated. Male Privilege is not having to watch out for impostors posing as cops (yes it does happen) who are only out to become serial rapists. 

15. Male Privilege is not being targeted by administration when the school dress code in enforced. Male Privilege is being told that excelling in math or science is an innate ability rather than "the result of hard work". Female Privilege is not to blame for more men dropping out of high school or not getting accepted to college. Sexism does not come into play in situations where an individual is doing something for themselves. I cannot blame Male Privilege for dropping out of college. I am to blame. Sorry, Mark. If you didn't graduate you have no one to blame but yourself.

16. Male Privilege is having everyone listen to your opinion and just accept it, whereas women have to struggle and protest and literally fight for any chance to get their opinion heard or noticed and taken seriously on a national scale where politics and lawmaking is concerned. Male Privilege is being allowed to vote by default because men were seen as competent and for some reason, women weren't. I'm sorry, but did women shut down the government? No. Male Privilege is being able to have an opinion about what a woman does with her life and body. Male Privilege is being able to be taken seriously and not being seen as a silly, airheaded, bimbo whenever you try to speak up.

17. Male Privilege is being able to blame someone else for their sexist actions. Men can say that they are backwards and misogynistic because they were "raised that way". Women don't get the same luxury. Male Privilege is not being labeled as a crazed radical just because you want equal rights for your gender. 

18. Sexism is not an exclusive term. However, it is hard for women to claim that they are being sexist when excluding men from certain things because men make all the rules, call all the shots, and are the major voice in decision making in America. That's why there is a National Women's Day and not a National Men's Day. Men don't need a day to be celebrated and appreciated, they get that every day of the year. 

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something waitress and blogger living in Okanogan County, WA who spends way too much time crocheting, and not enough time onstage. She is currently working on her 15th pair of boot peeps, and planning her next big adventure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Introducing....Sassy Hooks Crochet

Hello, world. I am writing to you after a four day stint of nothing but theatre, work, and crocheting. I have just finished my first scarf, am about to move onto my second scarf, and figured the best way to market my skills and openness to taking orders to the world is by posting about it on my blog!

Sassy Hooks Crochet was born in my basement bedroom here in little old Middle of Nowhere, Washington, when I realized that hey, maybe I was sort of okay at this thing they call crochet. Originally operating under the name "Simply Hooked", I posted photos of my work on Instagram, because hey, free marketing (kind of like this blog post) and people started liking the crap out of what I was doing! Originally I was only making hats and headbands, but suddenly the demand for boot peeps (or boot cuffs) became large. So we (meaning I) expanded to include a whole new product. Then, to add some level of professionalism I started putting labels and care instructions on all of my finished work. I pride myself on being able to finish most orders within a few days, although a scarf I made for my sister took a few weeks, partially because I have never made a scarf before and had to start over.

I originally was resistant to making things I had never made before, but now I see it as a challenge. Part of my secret is that you can find a tutorial for almost anything on YouTube and/or Google, most of the population just doesn't want to make it. However, lucky for all of you extroverts with rich social lives, I enjoy spending my day sitting on a couch watching "America's Next Top Model" and making things for other people. In fact, I thrive on it.

I learned how to crochet at the ripe old age of ten, when my grandma sat me down and taught me how to make my very first chain. After that, I promptly became bored with the craft, lost my crochet hook, and didn't return to it until I was 20. And then I had to teach myself how to do everything else. And honestly, the frustration that comes from learning the slip stitch you thought you just did 55 times was actually a single crochet is worth it. Because now the things I make are actually good. I mean, that scarf on the left took me a week to make, but it is so comfy and pretty that I didn't even mind, plus it was the first thing I made without a pattern! I am now beginning my second scarf that is going to get shipped off to Wyoming, and I couldn't be more excited to experiment with designs more. Then I'm moving on to the rest of my notebook that is filled with orders from excited new customers (who I am proud to call my friends and family).

I am also in the process of setting up an Etsy shop. I know that seems like a fairly easy process, but when you sell handmade items and are primarily a made to order "business" making a lot of things in advance becomes the challenge, especially when you have a long list of people wanting things. So, taking a note from Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Girl and author of "#Girlboss" which I am currently devouring before bed each night, I realized I couldn't do it all alone and added someone to my team. So starting next year, Sassy Hooks will have two lovely ladies spending all their spare time working on fantastical projects just for all of you!

Now to the business side of it all. Below you'll find a price list and photos of projects (underneath my author bio) that have been completed for Sassy Hooks customers! You can find more photos of things I've done by following me on Instagram and/or searching #sassyhooks on Instagram. Customer photos are in that hashtag as well, so you can see people loving my products! Chances are, if I've made something, I've taken a selfie with it before I sent it out. I'm not even joking. I'm really proud of everything I make, because here at Sassy Hooks Crochet we believe in quality homemade items. If you would like to order something you can email me or shoot me a message on facebook, if we're facebook friends. If you don't live close by, no worries! We will ship your product to you, and the shipping and handling cost will be added to your bill, which you can pay for over Paypal.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something blogger, crocheter, and waitress operating out of Okanogan County, Washington. She spends most of her time listening to acoustic covers of pop music and watching "Futurama". She is currently attempting to navigate the 20something dating scene, but to no avail. If you have a son who is a handsome doctor or businessman or someone who can provide a lush lifestyle who I will also fall in love with, or if you are yourself one of those types of people, please email me with a headshot, resume, and list of your favorite things to cook. For more updates on my life and opinions on other things, check back often.