Monday, September 19, 2016

Giveaway! Vagenda of Manocide Pen!

***UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Joanna S. for winning her very own Vagenda of Manocide pen! Stay tuned for at least one more giveaway (not necessarily of a pen) before the end of the year.

Last week I brought you a review of the Vagenda of Manocide pens, designed for the feminist presidential candidate in all of us.

Well, the pens come in sets of six. After I wrote the review I put one of the pens in my purse, one on my nightstand, and one in my binder full of women, but then I wondered: How many pens does a modern girl really need?

Answer: A lot, really. But I'd also like to spread the love a bit, so I've decided to give my readers a chance to win one of these emasculating writing implements.

There are several ways to enter, and you can use any or all of them! (Some can be done more than once, too!) If you don't win the contest and still want some pens, you can order them from the shop at

Here is the not-so-fine print:
  1. The contest runs from 12:00 a.m. EST September 20, 2016, through 12:00 a.m. EST September 27, 2016. 
  2. There will be one winner, selected at random. The winner will receive one Vagenda of Manocide pen from the set that was sent to me for review.
  3. People who live in my household are ineligible, as are immediate blood relatives (I'm looking at you, Mom and Dad!).
  4. The winner must have a US shipping address and must be 18 or older.
  5. I will contact the winner within 72 hours of the contest closing. The prize will be sent via US mail. I am not responsible for the prize once it has left my possession.
  6. No purchase necessary.
  7. I will display the winner's first name and last initial on my blog and/or Facebook and/or Twitter unless you specify otherwise. 

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Hillary's Feminist Pens: A Review

A few years ago a Maine gun store displayed a sign that read, "Beware the Beast Hildabeast Clinton and its Vagenda of Manocide."

The store owner (I'm going out on a limb and assuming it's a man) must be even more fearful for his threatened, fragile manhood now that a woman is this much closer to becoming president. I'm sure her first act as president will be to emasculate everything in sight.

My friend Rachel, a Political Science professor at Pitzer College, alerted me that a website called has come out with a new line of pens for all of the evil feminists hell-bent on world domination. Behold the "Vagenda of Manocide" pens.

If you've ever thought to yourself, "I'm having fun in this meeting, but I wish there were some way I could subtly declare my intention to topple the establishment," these pens might be for you.

The see-through pens have silvery sparkles, with "Vagenda of Manocide" emblazoned in pink (of course), and they contain black ink. That's right: Pink, sparkly exterior and black on the inside, just like the heart of a every feminist seeking the death of the patriarchy.

How did the pens work? Great! Just like a mainstream pen. Did you think the female pen would somehow be inferior? If so, you're part of the problem.

I can't say whether or not these pens fit my dainty lady-hands as well as a Bic for Her (because I haven't tried the latter), but they get the job done.

"Vagenda of Manocide" pens are perfect for all your important feminine tasks, like making shopping lists, writing a manifesto, or tattooing Andrew Jackson.

You can buy a six-pack of pens at GetBullish's shop for $8.95. (Through October, they're donating profits to Clinton's campaign, so keep that in mind if you were looking to donate anyway.)

Thank you to GetBullish for sending me a set of pens to review. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions stated are my own.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ida McKinley's Slippers

Today is the anniversary of William McKinley being fatally shot, so I'm taking this opportunity to talk about his wife's slippers.

Ida McKinley was a troubled woman, and for good reason. She lost her mother and her baby daughter within months of each other. Three years later, her only other child died at the age of 4. Somewhere in that time, she suffered trauma to her head which led to her developing epilepsy.

She never recovered from these emotional and physical wounds. Not a lot was known about epilepsy back then, so it took a lot of trial and error to find solutions. One of the first cures they tried was having her rest in isolation since her problems were likely caused by her inferior lady-brain being too troubled by the man-problems of the big, modern world. Needless to say, that didn't work.

Ida went through phases of being very active (in life and in her husband's career) and other phases where she had less mobility and a decreased ability to socialize. At times she was very dependent on William. During her White House years, she often avoided social situations, sometimes leaving the duties of the First Lady to Jennie Tuttle Hobart, wife of VP Garret Hobart. Seating arrangements at dinner were changed so she could sit next to, rather than across from, her husband. At times Ida would have seizures, and William became adept at holding a handkerchief in front of her face until the seizure ended, then carrying on as though nothing had happened.

Of course, the tragedies that would strike Ida's life weren't yet complete. In September of 1901 the McKinleys were in Buffalo so William could make an appearance at the Pan-American Exposition. Ida wasn't at the Expo with her husband, which is probably a good thing because she was able to avoid witnessing Leon Czolgosz shoot her husband. After William was shot, he ordered people to go easy on his assassin, and also instructed his aide to be careful in breaking the news to Ida. He would die a week later.

Ida lived only a few more years after her husband was killed. But through her troubles, she kept busy crocheting thousands of pairs of slippers. She wasn't often able to attend charity events, so she would send slippers to war veterans and orphans. She would send slippers to charities to sell or raffle off to raise money.

I, too, crochet, so a while back I decided to see if I could find the pattern she used. Sure enough, someone had recreated the pattern, so I bought it immediately and set out making pairs for myself and a few loved ones. They're not the most stylish slippers by today's standards, but they're historic and that's what's important. I found that jazzing them up with fun colors helped.

Last summer I visited a couple important sites in Canton, Ohio: The McKinley Monument and tomb, and the National First Ladies' Library. The Monument is right next to a science and history museum that has a room dedicated to the McKinleys. Among the items on display is a pair of slippers that Ida had crocheted.

The First Ladies' Library is located less than a block away from a house Ida's family had owned, and a visit to the library includes a tour of the house as well. On the top floor is a very small museum, and I was pleased to find another pair of slippers there. In addition, there was a newspaper column (possibly an advertorial) about an Ohio company that provided leather soles that Ida would sew onto the slippers. My slippers don't have leather soles, but I loved stumbling upon that extra tidbit of information about how Ida made hers.

I told the docent about how I had found the pattern for Ida's slippers and had made several pairs. She seemed surprisingly underwhelmed to hear that. Oh well. I guess that's why I have a blog.

A couple other Ida McKinley slipper-fun-facts:
  • She kept a photo of William in her yarn basket. For inspiration while I made my slippers, I stuck a William McKinley Pez Dispenser in my yarn bag. 
  • When Ida learned that former president Rutherford B. Hayes was ill, she sent him a pair of slippers that he wore until he died. Because of that, I have started referring to these slippers as "The Rutherford B. Hayes Slippers of Death."

Now...don't get too excited...but if there's enough interest, I might consider doing a giveaway for a pair of custom slippers. I'd probably run this in time for the holidays, so if you win you could avoid scouring stores for the perfect gift for the person in your life who loves history and wears women's slippers. If this is something you'd like to see, be sure to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.