Monday, March 31, 2008

blast

the more i hang around you the more i realize you're pretty damn smart
it's more the way you see things, your reactions to stuff, the things you say, rather than the words you use or anything like that
you rarely seem out of your element


The irony is that the person doesn't speak to me anymore.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reading List

I'm so enamored of the all so elusive internet time that while I haven't been bothered to post much of my life, I have spent too late nights catching up on the reading of blogs. After being out of the loop so long, I'm invigorated and thus will continue to share what I find until what I find is time to write a personal post.

This is from Katha Pollit:

What bothers Allen about this picture is that these women reject, with every fiber of their latte-loving beings, the abstinence-only, father-knows-best, slut-shaming crabbed misogyny of the Republican right.

Why I have trouble with sex

The evangelical pro-life guide to sexy feminism


These remarks from reader Liz conveniently summarize, more or less, my own views on sexy feminism. She begins with quoted text from another commenter.

“Sexy feminism (aka sex-positivism) isn’t about appealing to men and thus perpetuation [sic] the patriarchy through internalized sexism. It’s about claiming our own sexual pleasure and our own bodies. It’s about doing what we want despite the patriarchy. It’s about using our bodies for our own pleasure or to express our own thoughts, despite how you or anyone else interprets our bodies. We’re saying, ‘It’s my body and I get to decide how to use it.’” [Context]

It’s interesting that [Twisty] mention[s] Clinton and fun feminism in the same post, because people criticize Clinton as “more of the same,” and that’s exactly how I feel whenever a feminist tries to convince me that “sexy feminism” is about having control over your own sexuality. You know what would make me feel like I had control over my own sexuality? Having the same rights as guys to walk around topless on the beach without feeling afraid or ogled as some kind of sex object, or being able to breast feed my baby in public without that being offensive or risque or any kind of issue at all, or being able to walk home at night alone without being groped by some drunk asshole.

Instead, “sex positive” feminists focus on is the ability to accept themselves as sexual, which they only attain by presenting a version of themselves that others readily find acceptable and have since way before I was born. Would you feel so empowered by your sexuality if you didn’t have a receptive audience? Nothing new here. Nothing challenging.

I think our desire to gain control over our own sexuality is important (and hopefully possible), but this whole “sexy feminist” movement completely misunderstands what that means. I’m “sex positive,” (stupid term) by the way, and I think that this label is completely misused by practically everyone as a way of insinuating that those who disagree with their self-exploitation are somehow anti-sex.

We already have the ability to use our bodies to turn ourselves on and others on. What we don’t have is the control over showing our bodies in a non-sexual way, because whenever the clothes come off, we’re sexualized. Being able to control that distinction is central to having true control over your body, yet “sexy feminists” never talk about that, and they just present us with more lame burlesque acts and sad porn sites.

As long as Liz brought it up, let me just say this one last thing about sexy feminism. It’s a too-too-tool of the patriarkay. It’s an expedient justification, a way to rebrand what everybody does when they’re in their twenties, which is to drink too much and screw a lot, as a cool 21st-century-activist political activity.

This would just be kind of funny, you know, youthful hi-jinx and whatnot, except that, since it is entirely devoid of philosophic value, sexy feminism has sort of caught on. It’s had the untoward effect of diluting the message of actual feminism. And the even more untoward effect of vilifying radical feminism. And the even more untoward effect of strengthening patriarchal oppression.

What do I mean by “sexy feminism”? Suicide Girls. Bust magazine. BDSM. The “position” that women should be free to “choose” femininity if that’s what bangs their box. The idea that embracing sexploitation is “empowering.” The notion that women “can do what we want despite patriarchy.”

What I don’t mean is: the effort to liberate women’s sexuality from the clutches of its traditional, misogynist, male-defined constraints, i.e. the effort to define women’s sexuality in terms of women, as opposed to men defining women in terms of sex. These are issues of ongoing concern to serious feminists and committed spinster aunts, but, as it turns out, have nothing to do with the preservation of feminine submission as a lifestyle choice.

Let’s face it, girls. We’re living in a war zone and orgasms are a dime a dozen. The performance of pornulated, dude-appeasing sex moves just isn’t important enough to form the basis of an entire political ideology. Particularly when that ideology presumes to co opt and dilute a movement which was formerly of some use to women. Seeing as how feminism was originally founded on sound philosophical principles thought up by thinkers, and had the potential to liberate millions of women from an endless cycle of violence, persecution, and poverty.

Sexy feminism creates two groups of women, but, oddly enough, neither group is for women. I allude to the “sex-positive” group and the “anti-sex” group. The first benefits the status quo. It reassures women who fear the burden of true liberation that femininity is a legitimate identity. The second is the fictitious enemy of the first — a stand-in for the real oppressor — and functions as the dark, hairy background against which the glowing orgasmic accomplishments of the sexy feminists may glitter in the light of life’s dudely disco ball. Of course there is no real group of anti-sexites; this is a fabrication that allows sexy feminists to indulge in patriarchy-appeasing misogyny on feminist blogs.

I propose third, easy-breezy alternative to the suffocating conformity demanded by this tiresome positive vs. negative binary thought system: sex-neutralism. Get busy, don’t get busy, whatever! While recognizing that penis placement has enormous political, social, and economic ramifications, particularly for members of the sex caste, the sex-neutral feminist — and I may be the only one alive — puts the act itself on a par with sneezing. Pleasant enough when it happens, but hardly worth elevating to the pinnacle of human acheivement, or devoting 98% of an internet to.

“Thoughts,” as our first commenter suggests, may well be “expressed” through boinking, but whether such thoughts differ substantially in philosophic value from sneezal effluents is dubitable.

By the way, you can’t “do what you want despite patriarchy.” Patriarchy declines to offer you full agency, even if — particularly if — you try to take it. That’s why patriarchy is bad.

From Twisty

Monday, March 24, 2008

it’s like getting hit with a piss balloon from a frat house window

Twisty takes on a "rich white het cis privilegebunny" (PS I know that girl- they were all over NU!)

In other words, even if you’re a rich white heterosexual American “privilegebunny” who luxuriates in what you imagine is an oppression-free bubble, feminism matters.

<3 Ellen



New generation repo rights

Labor of Love

Some thoughts in bullet format with no particular transitions:

Sounds like this baby will have it way better than most of the kids in families that I work with every day.

WTF is everyone's problem? A happy, healthy fetus is no body's damn business, nor will it be when it's a happy healthy child. Unless you have something supportive and helpful to say STFU*. I say congrats and let me know if you need a babysitter.

What if that couple accidentally got pregnant (swinging, sharing, poly, however), would you asshole** nay-sayers prefer abortion or a baby with loving trans parents?

When did we all decide we're so much better than everyone else?

I think it would be incredible to be in a relationship with a man willing enough to share in parenting to the point of carrying, especially considering the medical procedures and processes to prepare for it, and the social implications he has been willing to face. All children should be so wanted and all partners so invested.

*IDK...I spent my day with high schoolers.

**my blog; I get to define asshole and, for the purpose of this post, it's anyone who fancies themselves entitled enough to narrowly define family excluding that of the article.

Friday, March 21, 2008

lines of snow and popping corks

I'm wondering what I would have been like in a different decade.

Also missing Christina and JJ.

Amen

"Sexism isn’t just the denigration and devaluation of women; it’s the myriad ways the system is set up to benefit men over women. It takes no hateful behavior on my part to reap the rewards given to men at the expense of women. But to choose not to work for the full equality of women in this culture is to be sexist." Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson

Monday, March 17, 2008

Channeling Christina


Friday Kristan was rushing me to go home because she wanted a beer before meeting her B/F and wanted to have it at my house. My car and my dog were at work and Rusty needed a walk, so to multi-task I left the car and walked Rusty home to meet Kristan, already mid-beer.

Fast forward the weekend, some cooking (amazing pizza and risotto!), some beer, some Salt Hill...the usual.

Sunday morning I was supposed to have boiled dinner at my mom's. I was responsible and went to the gym first, took Rusty out, took a shower, was ready to go by just after 11am. Gathered together my laundry, my recycling, my dog and headed to the parking lot and had a heart attack to discover my car was MISSING!

Oh yes, I left it at work and forgot about it for the entire weekend.

Options: go back up the hill into my apt, drop off the laundry, the recycling, the dog, get the car, then load back the laundry, recycling, dog. Well forget that so I hiked my loaded self to work laundry, recycling and dog in tow.

Lovely day, Old Navy had $6 sweaters of which I bought many, along with $4 shoes. Awesome.

Was supposed to watch a movie at Chris' when I got home (Into the Wild - great film) but needed food so stopped at home, grabbed a frozen pizza and a bottle of wine and, feeling guilty driving 2 blocks, started walking. Hiking along, bottle of wine and frozen pizza, lookin classy. Just before Chris' house there's a pair of undies on the sidewalk. "eww, how does underwear even get in the street?? WTF???...those actually look really familiar....OMG! Those are MINE!!!!"

Picture me, quick scan of the street, no one looking, grasp wine and pizza in one hand, snatch up the undies in the other and stuff them in my pocket. I'm litterally walking down the street on a Sunday night with pizza, wine and panties in my pocket.

The entire movie someone's phone was buzzing, finally everyone's irritated, I suggest to check mine, Jacob reaches in the pocket and goes "Did you put the panties in this pocket???"

Mindy said I must be channeling Christina - I think it's because we're kindred. Although I think stuff like this only happens to me...

I Love NH!

Four bills on abortion voted down

By LAUREN R. DORGAN
Monitor staff

Mar 14, 2008

The House yesterday quashed four bills that would regulate abortions for minor girls, with Democratic leaders saying the proposals don't do enough to ensure the rights and privacy of teenagers in desperate situations.

Two of the bills would mandate that parents be informed before a minor daughter's abortion, while another would require that parents consent to the procedure. A fourth would require abortion providers to check the residency of teens before performing the procedure to be sure their clients aren't evading laws of their home states. All four bills failed by wide margins.

The parental notification debate has become a perennial one in New Hampshire. In 2003, the state passed a parental notification law that never took effect due to court challenges. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law must contain a health exception; last year, the Legislature repealed the law rather than rewrite it.

This year, Rep. Fran Wendelboe returned with a parental notification bill that contains an explicit health exception. She called hers a "constitutional bill, a fresh start."

Republicans said they had worked in good faith to craft a bill that would pass constitutional muster. "We operated under the assumption that if we made the appropriate adjustments . . . that this House would do the right thing," said D.J. Bettencourt, a Salem Republican. "I hope we were not wrong."

But Democrats countered that the exception provided in the bill for girls who can't talk to their parents - they could appear before a judge - didn't do enough to ensure girls' privacy. Moreover, opponents argued, the state shouldn't intervene in private family matters and can't pass a law that would make all family relationships healthy.
"Mandating parental notification for all young women seeking an abortion will not protect the teens who live in family situations that are troubled at best," said Bette Lasky, a Nashua Democrat.

The parental notification bill failed, 190-128. A broader bill that would require medical professionals to notify parents when treating a minor fell 207-111. The parental consent bill also failed, 211-109.

Out-of-state minors were the focus of another bill, which would have required abortion providers to look up and follow the laws of the girls' home states.

Most other states have either parental notification or parental consent laws - by Wendelboe's tally, 82 percent do - and Republicans argued that New Hampshire should honor those. "New Hampshire is in danger of becoming an abortion destination state," said Rep. Gregory Sorg, an Easton Republican.

But Democrats argued that the bill would force abortion providers to have encyclopedic knowledge of other states' laws and that the law could affect the rights of college students, among others. The bill failed, 210-106.

Yesterday's bills aren't the last word on abortions for minors this session. A Democratic-backed bill that would require minors to have a counseling session with a licensed professional before getting an abortion is advancing in the Senate. That bill, which has split pro-choice groups, cleared a Senate committee this week and will go to the Senate floor next week.

*I like to call this the common sense state :)*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beer on my dog

Did I forget to mention that my BURNINGMAN ticket arrived and even came with candy!? It did. Let's pause




The cake did indeed grow mold. Which we found out midbite...

Kate-a-polooza was smashing, Denmark a gass.

Monday, March 10, 2008

You never know what you're gonna get

npurmort: these are scary: Your grandfather's condom
me: did you ever see that video of some old guy talking about his old condom that they used to wash out and reuse
npurmort: yeah! I did
that was even scarier (obvi.)
me: and kinda funny
more frightening than ancient prophylactics are ancient chastity tools
me: google some, i'm sure you can find something that will make your skin crawl
npurmort: I think I have a few in mind
clitoris removal...labia sewing...am I on the right track?
me: oh, i wasn't even thinking mutilation
me: i was thinking like the devices they had to keep from masturbating or like chastity spikes etc
npurmort: mutilation is the worst...I feel sick thinking about it
me:how do you feel about circumcision then?
npurmort: it's interesting to put those in the same light
the motivations are different, right?
isn't circumcision about sanitation?
me: no, its about jewish law
me: neither have very convincing (if any) health justifications
both are cultural
npurmort: interesting
me: i don't think i could do that to my baby
npurmort: yeah - having never thought about it before....and now doing so, I don't think I could either
it's so culturally-accepted that people don't even really think about it
me: you poor boy, do you sometimes dread getting in conversations with me?
npurmort: no - I have awesome conversations with you! but it's a good thing we don't have internet censors at work
or else they'd wonder why I'm looking up circumcision (and the inevatible pictures of penises), female chastity
etc..

to be fair - he kinda started that one...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Eating Cake

A downfall of living alone is that there is an entire cake at my house which I cannot possibly finish. Such a shame.

The Beatles birthday song (They say it's your birthday....it's my birthday too) played yesterday in step class. Coincidence? I think not.

Finally, can anyone make me this cd:
1. Suddenly I See (song from Devil Wears Prada)
2. Dancing Queen (ABBA! guiltly pleasure)
3. Red Blooded Woman (Kylie Monogue - love her!)
4. Blazing Arrow (Blacko-freak-licious!
5. Stronger (B Spears before the meltdown. how tragic)
6. Sand in my Shoes (Dido...i know you dont like her, but this song works with the mix, trust me...or skip it, i wont be offended)
7. Never Win (Fischerspooner...playing in Moscow friday. hoping for tix)
8. Ride a White Horse (Goldfrapp...my new obsession)
9. Virtual Insanity (Jamiroqui, hot hot hot hot!)
10. Paper Planes (MIA)
11. La Isla Bonita (Madonna, cone breasts and all! i freakin love the 80s)
12. New York, New York (moby and debbie harry...reminds me of the decomp every time i listen to this song!)
13. I havent yet decided how to round out this cd... im thinking "Let's Dance" by Bowie, cause you cant go wrong with Bowie circa ZXiggy Stardust for a grand finale, though im just not sure at this point...thoughts? suggestions??? Ideas????

please?

Monday, March 3, 2008

I think I'm ok with being 23...

Some recent pictures
Me, Puppy, Apartment



Christmas Igloo

While unpacking I found all my valentines and birthday cards from last year. I know it's cliche and I've said it before but sometimes I can't believe how different my life is in a year. Last year's birthday was probably the best so far, but left sort of a bad taste when all was said and done and in hindsight was a huge catalyst through the fall out. This year's birthday celebration is this coming weekend - I'm really excited about the people coming to hang out, I think it's going to be an incredible mix. And hopefully the worst aftermath will be the hangovers...

I spent last week in Denmark with Siri. It was wonderful. When she was here in August I was still a student in Boston. Now I'm in a new state, new job, new apartment, new friends. Just when she knew who and where I was talking about it's different all over again. I'll post Denmark pictures eventually - my camera broke and can't upload and I don't have internet anyway ;)