Saturday, October 25, 2008
I went and wandered around my future bedroom last night. Oh my god it's giant. After smushing in with the Kid for the last two months (dear gawd spare me from the smell of teenage boy funk and dirty feet!) The idea of having a space i can close off and hide in is sooooooooooo happy making you can't even understand.
Here's how I see it.
Women are considered "the weaker sex" (which I never understood, but wevs). If we are doing something that is viewed as beyond our strength and we are hurt by men while doing it, then we carry the blame for being hurt. If we walk alone at night, if we take a masculine job(see rape rates in the military for that one), if we allow ourselves to forget for one single second that we are one the edge of perpetual victimhood, then when we become victims, it is our own fault. (Mind you this is not my opinion, this is what I am observing). If you are a mouthy woman, your husband will hit you. If you don't wear enough clothing to act as a shield between you and the rapists of the world, then you have committed a giant act of hubris.
But on the other hand, we value weakness in women. Look at the bobble heads. We expect women to starve themselves into tininess. We give them attributes that are soft and yielding. And plenty of us girls don't fit that mold of femininity. I sure don't. And plenty of boys prefer that, but society tells them they are wrong.
Right now, there is a sweet boy who has been on my radar. But I am continually thrown for a loop by his masculine posturing. He wants to be the big strong man, which is fine. Except that in his head I have to be the weaker woman for him to be that. There are lots of references to the fact that I am shorter than him or that he outweighs me. After a few years of dating men who I either outweigh or am taller than (and if you've never gotten the thrill of getting to tower over a boy- seriously you should try it) , it's a weird feeling for me to be thrown back into a traditional "little woman" role.
And I am trying to figure out how you could possibly form a solid partnership in a relationship where one person is always supposed to be stronger than the other. How is that valuable? But it is what we see as the ideal. We see men as the big strong protectors. And again, I can't see how I fit into this world. I have always been the protector. Of myself, my family, my friends. I am that crazy stranger who jumps into domestic violence situations to diffuse the problem.
But women like me aren't valued (and truth is I think all women have it in them to be the strong ones, we just swallow down our courage and are forced to play the part of waif).
(Bah-- There was a whole point to this post that I lost in the typing. Consider it stream of consciousness blogging for now. )
Friday, October 24, 2008
Are Americans last to realize the financial structure destruction means the US Economy does not enter a recession, but rather a bizarre unprecedented disintegration? It seems so. The liquidation of speculative positions, the massive de-leveraging, the payout's of defaulted bonds, these events are the opposite of developments toward revival or resuscitation, like business investment!! Liquidation is the exact opposite of investment, and precedes job cuts, not job creation.
There is much much more. Read the whole thing and pray that Obama gets a sense of Rooseveltian ingenuity between now and January.
The Sex Map- How well traveled are you?
Let's just say that my passport is well stamped.
And since I can abuse a transition like no one else....
Last weekend I went and played Urban Golf with some friends. We used nerf balls around Capitol Hill and each bar was a hole. One of my team mates is a brilliant girl, who I like a lot. But in the past she has been more than a wee bit judgmental towards me re the fact that I am a mom who (gasp! shock! horror!) likes sex and doesn't hide that fact with copious amounts of shame.
I got a drunken, unasked for and unexpected apology. I didn't need it. Again - I don't think the fact that a grown woman knows what she likes and asks for it is a problem, but it does mean that sex talks won't have to be quiet so tedious in the future.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
And all I can think of is how much easier I have it. Sure the Kid and I have been without a place to collect mail for the last few months. We've had to tread lightly to avoid annoying our generous friends in any way that might make them reconsider their generosity. We've had to share a small room and lost all our furniture. We've had to master cooking on a hot plate and keeping the kid from having asthma attacks while staying in damp basements.
But we are inside, warm, safe, and surrounded by people who love us. We are not targets for derision or scorn or violence from the public and the police. We do not have to fight everyday to prove that homeless does not equal worthless. We are so close to being like the tent people, but even in poverty there is a hierarchy. We are at the lucky top.
One of my problems is that I have enough eduction to see the systemic nature of the challenges (blockages) that have kept me in poverty. I know the trap of pink collar work that looks respectable on the outside but never pays enough to bring actual respectability. I know that drugs and alcohol are just ways of masking the sad perpetual hopelessness of life lived on the edges. What I don't have is enough education (the on paper, can put it on a resume kind) to be able to fix it, for me or anyone else.
But this week has taught me that since I cannot do it alone, I am the luckiest girl in the world because people, awesome, faceless people, will help me.
And the truth is that all human advancement has been because of those kind of actions. We think that it is competition that pushed us to the top of the food chain, or the independent nature of a few lone geniuses through time who have launched us into our present state. But the most radical human advancement ever, more radical even than opposable thumbs and upright walking, is language.
And language is a cooperative, social thing. Language only works when people agree that certain sounds or symbols mean the same thing. It only works when there is a mutual cooperation to understand something outside of either party.
Because of language I can sit here in a basement in Seattle and bunch of people who I have never met are helping me to get one of the most basic human requirements.
I want to use the same language skills that have made me so very lucky to help those down the pole. I'm not sure how yet.
(This is a long meandering post which wasn't/isn't very clear in my head. You peeps are getting the raw babbles again- sorry).
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
There is so much anger, so much to be righteously pissed off about, that it is sometimes easy to forget that there are also some incredibly kind and generous people in the world that make society worthwhile. And you peeps are those people.
I'll be dropping thank yous via email and sorting out who needs a Ruby story or whatever else their heart desires in the next few days. But right now I fell like the luckiest girl in the world. And I can't see the keyboard cause my eyes have gone all drippy.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So the Kid and I have found a home, if I can come up with first, last and deposit by November 1st.
Even with my super shitty recent rental history (see the eviction of Summer 08) we have found a safe home that we can share with friends who are willing to cut us some slack on the rent. What they can't do is come up with the cash I need to get into the place.
So my dear friends and readers, you can take direct action to help the homeless in these horrible economic times. I need donations like Bush needs a soul and a clue.
I am not without some means of barter though. Anyone who donates $100 will get a personally hand crafted story featuring themselves and Ruby the Hamster. $200 and I will design a custom blog masthead for you. More than that and I'll donate an egg (seriously, you just have to look at my ovaries hard enough and the eggs start magically dividing).
Got something else you want or need and think I might be able to provide it- just ask and I'll do it!
UPDATE: So the little timer thingy on the donation box seems to not work quite right. Right now I need
Why I blog is simple.
In this world there are lots of rich, white, overeducated men who get their voices heard. Blogging is a way for me as a poor, undereducated woman to get mine heard.
That's it in a nutshell
Monday, October 20, 2008
And I fell off my chair laughing. Because, no offence? This is like the wolf endorsing the shepherd. I guess, as the lovely peeps at Corrente have put it, “Anti Iraq” joins the rest of us under the bus.
But seriously, Colin Powell? Who’s next, Pat Buchanan? Oh wait. He already did.
Fuck me. Backwards.
So the guy who runs for presidency because he gave a speech anti Iraq at a time when he risked nothing by doing so, followed it with no action whatsoever and still has the audacity to claim he was right is now asking and receiving an endorsement from one of the Iraq War’s architects?
Hillary was a bitch because she voted for AUMF, but Biden isn’t. And Obama’s anti war stance goes only as far as saying he’s against it. Who’s next to endorse him? Bush or Condi Rice? Too bad Saddam is dead. And Stalin. Boy, I would have loved to see those endorsements.
The ridiculousness of this is beyond words.
Except for the fact that it fits. Powell’s dirty record started in Vietnam, ad still continues. Maybe it makes sense that one corrupt pol would endorse another. Doesn’t it?
If it would not fuck up the whole world, I would wish nothing worse on the Obama supporters than to have Obama win. Then I would sit comfortably in my democratic country, drink the coffee I can afford in my affordable flat without fear of a heart attack, since, after all, we do have nationalized healthcare, and laugh at them getting what’s coming to them. Loudly.
But it doesn’t work that way. Thus, the problem.
This is who you are, this is who you are associating with, this is what you are endorsing. Don't you fuckign dare turnyour eyes and complain about the violence. If you even for a second consider voting Obama in the generals- you are that guy.
Do you see the pattern?
This lead to the "rape prevention" conversation (note that dude is not an asshole, he's just a victim of the patriarchy, but he's trying so I try to be gentle).
Here's the thing- women CANNOT prevent rape.
Say it again.
Women CANNOT prevent rape.
Women are not raped because they are in the wrong place, or wearing the wrong clothes, or behaving badly. Rape is not a punishment for societal infractions. Rape is a crime committed by a rapist. The only difference between a drunk naked girl passed out at a frat party and a rape victim is the presence of a rapist. Rapists do not spring forth magically from a mixture of beer foam and female pheromones and vulnerability.
Dude and I started talking about how we can stop rape. I am of the adamant opinion that women have done everything they can in that regard. Women cannot prevent rape. Women cannot stop rape from happening. We have spent the last 100,000 years or so trying to prevent it, and yet it still happens.
Because in the end, rape has very little to do with women. We are victims of it. And being raped feels incredibly personal, but it has little to do with us. It is about men and power and we are the objects they destroy to reinforce their place in the universe.
And when we are objects, we have no power to change our status. A toaster or a broom cannot complain when someone uses it against its will.
The only people who can stop rape are men because men are the rapists.
Dude thinks that everyone needs to work to change it, that women need to work just as much as men do to stop rape.
Except, we aren't the rapists. And we have been working on preventing rape since forever. And I for one am tired of tailoring my behavior out of fear that some rapist will see me coming like a bright shiny beacon of potential cum dumpster status.
Dude thinks, however, that women need to quit with the slut shaming (agreed) and victim blaming (doubly agreed. And that is where we come to the chicken or the egg question. Does ending slut shaming/ victim blaming actually end rape?
I think not. I think that ending rape ends rape. If there is no rape, there is no victim blaming. Period.