Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This Is It

The patriarchy I blame isn’t people, it’s a system. It is a hierarchical system of dominance at the gilded pinnacle of which pink-faced male captains of industry luxuriate, and at the rat-infested bottom of which poor brown women die screaming in filth and penury. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Random Nonsense from a Tipsy Lady

The end of a crazy busy work period is nigh, (after the 21st), and maybe I will blog blog blog again.

In the meantime I am busy busy and when I finally finish for the day I am relaxing with a gin and tonic made with locally brewed (as in up the road) gin.  I am not a big drinker but holy moly is this gin smoooooooth.  (We both bought lemons for election night and then fell asleep way too early, so we have to use those lemons!)

In other news, I took some (lovely) students to a filming of a political chat show the other night and wow was I lucky because GERMAINE GREER was a guest.  Actually, being in a tv audience was kind of lame (but on my Things To Do in Life list; also, I clearly would have made a better guest than one of the guests!), but still I got to be thisclose to Germaine Greer and though I am generally highly, obnoxiously disdainful of fangirl/boy crap, I totally wanted to run up to her and say "Please come have a drink with me, Germaine!!".  But I didn't.  Because I am shy sometimes.  And lame.

I should go eat now.  But really I wanted another one of these gin and tonics!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night.....

7pm London time.  Work finally put aside for the evening, gin and tonics mixed by my lovely partner, and now waiting for the election returns coverage to begin. (Note: I support Jill Stein, but still want to see Obama over Romney DUH).

I'll be copying and pasting any racist/hateful status updates I see posted on fb tonight by my family members or distant "friends" (I know, I should delete them, right?).

First up, from a woman who used to be a close friend but hasn't been for some time:

"My guess is that Obama will take an early lead today, until the republican's get off work."

Because Obama supporters are lazy black people who don't work, obvs. (RAGE)

Punctuation and capitalization errors her own. Or those of the person from whom she stole this racist, hateful status update.

This fb friend used to be a police officer (of course) but now she is a stay-at-home mom.  Which, you know, if she lived in a truly progressive nation, she would be remunerated for....or as my BFF put it in our im conversation about this,

"Stay at home Mom because daycare is too expensive, thanks to Republican party"

More to follow, I'm guessing.....

 UPDATE: I fell asleep after my second gin and tonic.  That's 5 of 6 lemons left this morning!  I was out at 2am London time.  I fell asleep sure that things looked good, and woke up to find that the Paul Ryan bullet was dodged.  And that many progressive things have happened in blue states!  YAY marriage equality and legal weed and our first lesbian senator and more, so much more!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hello, Hello!

Can other people see ads when they visit my blog?  I just visited poor old Junkland for the first time in ages and I've got ads running down the side.  I certainly did not put them there, so I'm wondering if they are targeted to me or if everyone can see them?

In other news, I know, I'm the lousiest blogger in all of the progressive feminist blogosphere.

I continue to be insanely busy (but I LOVE my work), and over the last hour that I have actually had to myself, I've created a mirror of Stuff Women Don't Like over at Tumblr 'cause I heard that's where all the cool kids are.  Instead of, you know, blogging for real.

So now I have, like, three blogs to regularly neglect!

Things I would write about it I had time include the Savile child sexual abuse scandal, the upcoming elections, and some other stuff scribbled on a list on the bulletin board above my desk.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Blog

Won't you join me over at my new blog, Stuff Women Don't Like?

I'm not exactly abandoning this one (and much of my feminist-related 'Best of' material is simply being reproduced over there), but I haven't had a lot of time and/or motivation for some time now, and I thought a fresh project might improve things....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On the Difference Between Appreciation and Objectification

Consider these scenarios:

Scenario 1

I'm reading an article in the news and Eric Stoltz is mentioned.  "Oh Eric Stoltz!", I think.  "Man, I used to think he was so hot!  And he almost always made such interesting films!  God, remember how sizzling he and Gillian Anderson were in The House of Mirth?  I wonder if he's still gooood-looking?"  *Google images Eric Stoltz*.

"Yep, still gooood-looking!":

"Heck, he's hardly even changed!":
"Hmm, I never did dig long-haired men":
"Hey, isn't that Michael J. Fox?  What's he doing in here?":

"Ho hum, yeah, so anyway, Eric Stoltz! Still cute!  What is he up to these days anyway? Probably making good films, let's see..."  Googles Eric Stoltz wikipedia article.  "Oh, hmm, some kind of sci fi tv show that got cancelled.  Yawn.  Oh look, he's been a vegetarian for 25 years.  Impressive.  Wow, he dated like every quality actress of his era, how about that?" (Hot.)  "Remember when he did Mask?  He was good in Mask!  Wasn't that with Cher?  She was good in Mask!"  Googles Eric Stoltz Mask.  Finds interview with Eric Stoltz.  Spends five minutes skimming it.  "Wow, he actually comes across as intelligent.  And he lives in New Mexico!  Good-looking, smart, talented, private, long history of making great choices in his artistic work....sounds like my cup of tea!"  Hmm, tea.  "You know, I'm kind of thirsty and I need to finish that fantastic book."  Closes laptop, wanders off to the kitchen for some ice water, picks up copy of "In the Time of the Butterflies", starts reading.

Scenario 2

 A dude is reading a sports article on a news website.  It's about the Olympics.  He notices the women on a sports team are attractive.  He finds a name for one of the players.  Google images it.  


(Not even the same athlete)

(Not even an athlete)
 Click, click, click, click, click, click.

Click, click, click, click, click, click.

Click, click, click, click, click, click.

And that, my friends, is the difference between appreciation and objectification.

I bet you can guess which one harms women/turns me off.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Music & Me: A Breakup Story

So I want to write a little bit about music.  That is, my relationship with music.  It's a curious thing, but the truth is, my relationship with music has changed pretty dramatically since about the time that I shacked up with a cellist.  Maybe a little before.

I hardly ever listen to music anymore.  And when I do, I don't feel the things music used to make me feel.  Not even my old favorites draw out much feeling in me.

For many, many years- decades- of my life, music was the soundtrack of my longing.  All of my dreams and hopes, my hunger, my lust for life, for knowledge, for space, adventure, experience, and yes, for men too, all of it was bound up in music.  My defeats and loneliness and aches and heartbreaks, too.  All of it.  Everything.  Whatever my need, there was some song that could touch me, by melody or lyric or simply the timbre of a voice.

And then a few years ago many things I wanted or had worked toward suddenly came true.  My move to London, years and years in the making, came to be.  I unexpectedly met someone grand, as far as men go (though I didn't think I wanted that anymore), and I got my PhD, which for whatever it is not, is still an accomplishment.  And of course, I was traveling, which always makes me happy.

And suddenly, music quietly disappeared from my life.  Well, it didn't exactly disappear- after all, my partner practices at home.  And I still tune in to my old favorites from time to time.  But my need for music disappeared.  And all the longing and emotion that I felt when listening to music most certainly disappeared.

It's a curious thing.  When I think about it, part of the answer to the riddle of why music doesn't touch me much anymore is that I don't really long for much anymore.  The truth is, over the last couple of years, I've been as happy as I think I can be in this rotten, rotten world.  I've knocked out my 'big goals', I'm content.  It's not that I don't have dreams- I still want to write/publish a book, I want to see more places on this desecrated planet; but I've accepted that all the things I really want most in the world will never, ever be.  And so I don't long anymore, some dreams I don't dream anymore.  I've run up against the limitations of my hunger.

But the other part of the answer, I think, is age.  Maybe in some ways music truly is for the young.  When you are too naive to know better.  I'm just not capable of feeling things as deeply as I did when I had no experience of the world.  I can remember, but I can no longer ache.

I can put on 'Wrecking Ball' (Emmylou version) and I can smile wryly, or maybe a little wistfully, as I picture my overwrought, early 20s self, lying on the floor of my apartment, a bottle of beer by my hand, in the dark, on a heavy, humid summer night, positively crawling out of my skin with desire and despair.  But I can't feel the slightest bit of what she felt, that Girl I Used To Be.

I can put on Wilco and remember the late 20s girl speeding down the road, hot summer day, singing her guts out, "I have no idea how this happens, all of my maps have been overthrown, happenstance has changed my plans so many times my heart has been outgrown."  But her passion is a stranger to me.

I can put on Nirvana Unplugged and go way, way back to a girl so far gone that she is entirely a stranger to me.

It would kind of make me sad, if I could quite muster up enough to feel sad.

And so its gone, my love affair with music, with Joni and Jeff and Neil and Leonard and Gillian, and the memories fade as quickly as those of my lovers past, and I don't really think its coming back.

It would kind of make me sad, if I could quite muster up enough to feel sad.