Monday, December 13, 2010

Come on, guys.



I thought Beyonce was supposed to be a feminist.
The trailer alone is objectionable on 100 different levels.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hello there

My art herstory professor mentioned to a friend and I (we are both feminists, Hello Kitty enthusiasts, and devoted students of this professor) that Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth. "Think about that," she said, "it's very interesting."



She was suggesting, I suppose, that Hello Kitty (as a very aggressively girly character) embodies the whole silenced, "be seen and not heard" aspect of traditional femininity.
Rather than choosing between her love of Hello Kitty and her hatred of oppressive patriarchal stereotypes, this friend "fixed" Hello Kitty.


Because really, what's cuter than feminism?

I said, THOUGHTS?????

Because now I am actually writing this thing. And failing at writing this thing. And spending repeated amounts of time wearing false glasses and listening to "pump up" music in an attempt to distract myself from writing this thing.

Me main thesis so fair is: "EDUCATION, YOU RUBES!!!!!" Thoughts on that?

Twenty-five of you wrote papers on question #1 concerning the effect of women’s invisibility on world affairs. Each of you had sentences that were like these: “The only way to institute change on a cultural level is to ensure that women are represented in the power structures of the countries where they are marginalized in society. The invisibility of women is ensured because of their lack of political influence.” Here’s another: “Women must become more capable of participating in all world affairs.” Or, “With so few women in the field (of academia), these issues are not brought up and change is stunted.” Or, “Some form of economic independence must be available to women so that their children will flourish.” Or, “The equal dominion of Heaven must find a place in politics . . . women ought to interfere in political matters if only to keep themselves visible to their governments.” Or, “We need to address women’s invisibility in world affairs by increasing the number of women in leadership positions in order to give equal weight to the uniquely feminine viewpoint that women bring to the world. . . . the inclusion of women in governmental and other problem-solving organizations would allow those organizations to use the full potential of both sexes . . . Men and women need each other in order to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.” I could go on and on. Every last paper insisted women must come out of the shadows in order to heal families, communities, and nations, and take their place alongside men in the decision-making councils at all these levels. And some of you felt strongly that LDS women especially needed to heard in these councils.
Here is the question‹it is not meant to be subversive, it is meant to get you to use your very best thinking and creativity: given that LDS culture rightly stresses mother-child togetherness, how exactly are women to do what you have urged? The boards of directors of large corporations are not in the habit of adding members who have “nothing” on their resumes; voters are not in the habit of voting for politicians who have “nothing” on their resumes; universities are not in the habit of hiring professors or researchers who have “nothing” on their resumes. And by the time one’s children leave the home, a mother is hopelessly behind all others in qualifying herself for such positions. And, let’s face it, being active in the blogosphere isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in terms of real influence on the major institutions of society. Women, how are you going to make the contribution of your talents and gifts to this troubled world if you become a mother? (And no, you cannot say "through my children," for your sons, being men, cannot give the gifts a woman could give, and your daughters will face the same issue of voicelessness as you.) Men, how are you going to facilitate your wife’s contribution to the world of her talents and gifts if she becomes a mother? Similarly, women and men, how will you be able to stand as real equals with real voice in your marriage and in society if the wife is completely economically dependent upon the husband, and if we say the wife is “not working,” but the husband “is working”‹if he operates in the public sphere, but she does not? This question asks you to interrogate the cultural assumptions of the world in which you have been socialized--how far are you willing to acquiesce to those, and how willing are you to forge a new path, perhaps heretofore never attempted, that allows you to be both true to your religious beliefs and true to the values you espoused in your papers?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My final paper prompt for ValHud's Ladytimes class. Thoughts?

Twenty-five of you wrote papers on question #1 concerning the effect of women’s invisibility on world affairs. Each of you had sentences that were like these: “The only way to institute change on a cultural level is to ensure that women are represented in the power structures of the countries where they are marginalized in society. The invisibility of women is ensured because of their lack of political influence.” Here’s another: “Women must become more capable of participating in all world affairs.” Or, “With so few women in the field (of academia), these issues are not brought up and change is stunted.” Or, “Some form of economic independence must be available to women so that their children will flourish.” Or, “The equal dominion of Heaven must find a place in politics . . . women ought to interfere in political matters if only to keep themselves visible to their governments.” Or, “We need to address women’s invisibility in world affairs by increasing the number of women in leadership positions in order to give equal weight to the uniquely feminine viewpoint that women bring to the world. . . . the inclusion of women in governmental and other problem-solving organizations would allow those organizations to use the full potential of both sexes . . . Men and women need each other in order to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.” I could go on and on. Every last paper insisted women must come out of the shadows in order to heal families, communities, and nations, and take their place alongside men in the decision-making councils at all these levels. And some of you felt strongly that LDS women especially needed to heard in these councils.
Here is the question‹it is not meant to be subversive, it is meant to get you to use your very best thinking and creativity: given that LDS culture rightly stresses mother-child togetherness, how exactly are women to do what you have urged? The boards of directors of large corporations are not in the habit of adding members who have “nothing” on their resumes; voters are not in the habit of voting for politicians who have “nothing” on their resumes; universities are not in the habit of hiring professors or researchers who have “nothing” on their resumes. And by the time one’s children leave the home, a mother is hopelessly behind all others in qualifying herself for such positions. And, let’s face it, being active in the blogosphere isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in terms of real influence on the major institutions of society. Women, how are you going to make the contribution of your talents and gifts to this troubled world if you become a mother? (And no, you cannot say "through my children," for your sons, being men, cannot give the gifts a woman could give, and your daughters will face the same issue of voicelessness as you.) Men, how are you going to facilitate your wife’s contribution to the world of her talents and gifts if she becomes a mother? Similarly, women and men, how will you be able to stand as real equals with real voice in your marriage and in society if the wife is completely economically dependent upon the husband, and if we say the wife is “not working,” but the husband “is working”‹if he operates in the public sphere, but she does not? This question asks you to interrogate the cultural assumptions of the world in which you have been socialized--how far are you willing to acquiesce to those, and how willing are you to forge a new path, perhaps heretofore never attempted, that allows you to be both true to your religious beliefs and true to the values you espoused in your papers?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rhyming



ScarJo = Venus. Why am I not surprised?

Sheila Na Gig



Thanks Emily for pointing me to this. Why have I never heard of her?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheela_na_Gig

Anxious masculinity

http://artofmanliness.com

What do you ladies think?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

A-freakin'-men.

The Social Network

I must see this movie.
I am in love with Aaron Sorkin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mimi Times

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Uh

Where to begin with this? The portrayal of women as self-centered and shallow? The way every man in this video is the woman's superior, yet is a victim to her? And, um, excuse me, what the hell is going on with the prostitute thing? Oh right, pimps are always sooooo longsuffering with their ladies that they own, prostitutes just hang out all day and chat with each other instead of getting their jobs done, those poor poor pimps have to do all the work. Also, I hate it when dudes act like victims of ladies being appearance-obsessed when the grills-only appearance obsession is actually most definitely a symptom of patriarchy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

'Nuff Said Ladies

My Free-Will Astrology for the week:

Explorers found a 30,000-year-old carved stone artifact in a German cave and brought it to the University of Tubingen for study. Experts there determined that it had a dual purpose for the ancient humans who made it. Phallic-shaped with rings around one end, it was obviously a sex toy. But other markings indicated it was also used to start fires by striking it against flints. I'd like to make this power object your symbol of the week, Aquarius. You're in a phase when you should be alert for ways to mix business with pleasure and practicality with adventure.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Werner, the English language is full of a preference of semen to ovaries!"

I don't really know if this article is my favorite. I mean, I feel like we can abstain from praising male genitalia openly for another few years, you know, to balance things out. As a condom advocate, I really didn't like the way it discourages condom use and I felt like it even hints at certain antifeminist or homophobic (more specifically anti lesbian) ideals-- the overarching theme of the article, after all, is that women need men.
I guess it's not the article I'm criticizing, though-- more the research I have a problem with. I mean, I have absolutely no problem with research and it's not like I'm going to disregard legitimate scientific evidence just because I don't like it. Mainly it's annoying when researchers' motives are so blatant. The reader almost imagines a group of science dudes sitting around trying to think of experiments they could conduct that would make women more apt to sleep with them. Male scientists, I'm sorry you can't get any. Please try talking to women with your words, that might work.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New job!

So I've already talked everyone's ears off about my new job, but just to make it official I thought I should say a little something about it here. Aside from the fact that this is where all my main ladies are with whommmmmm (sorry, mom) I want to share all the good news I ever get, I also thought the new job merited a posting here on account of my boss is a bad-a lady computer scientist.
She is completely brilliant (exhibited by her 1 hour lecture during which she basically explained machine learning to me, and then introduced me to an algorithm she developed that increases accuracy of a commonly used (I think) other algorithm by a ridic amount), and we are still in the honeymoon phase of the job during which she thinks that I am equally brilliant (exhibited by her suggestion that I just brush up on linear algebra just after I'd told her I'd never taken a class on it, and then lending me a copy of her fave text book for the week.) Even though I'm completely overwhelmed in every single class/area of life right now the only thing I want to do is learn more about the project/machine learning so as to impress her when she gets back from presenting a paper next week. Excellent managerial technique? I'd say so.

OH ALSO, I'm going to be a coauthor of a paper in the Machine Learning journal coming out this December!

AND here's a link:

http://www1.ccls.columbia.edu/~cmontel/ci.html

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Girl Effect

I've been reading Three Cups of Tea (a little late to the game--sorry), and also looking at the Girl Effect website, and reading about things that Bryn Mawr is doing to try to make the world better for all women and I just thought of something rather obvious:  what are we here at the Lady Times doing about making the world better for women?  I mean, every single one of us does stuff every day to that effect, each in our own small and large spheres, but it seems we could do something more, collectively.  

C'mon ladies.  We've got a lot of brains, power, good looks, creativity and educational privilege amongst us.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to you.

President McJane is the coolest, and Bryn Mawr's 125th birthday could not have come at a better time for me.

Lady school for some, miniature American flags for others!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The second sex?

I was reading about Halloween costumes online (because I am absolutely obsessed with Halloween, duh), and I stumbled upon this suggestion for a couples costume:

His and Hers Hershey's Bars:

Use large garbage bags and white contact paper to reproduce Hershey's bars. The woman is Hershey's Bar Plain, and the man is Hershey's Bar with nuts!


So, a man is just a woman with nuts? Or a woman is a man without nuts?
I don't know. This wasn't significant or enraging per se, I just thought it was funny.
Also, Halloween! What are you going to be?

Not a sexy clownfish, I hope.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a look into the lives of the campbell clan

"i've got varmints in my garments!"
-marni campbell
(discussing the phrase "ants in my pants")

I'm ashamed of my driver's license photo.

Why am I ashamed of my driver's license photo? Well, let me tell you why I'm ashamed of my driver's license photo. First of all, it was taken on a Saturday morning in the roaring gray Seattle spring of 2007, when Obama was as of yet a young upstart on the cover of Newsweek looking cheeky and all was chaos. That is, my facial expression is something like apathetic. Passionless. Sleepy. My hair also looks bad, because I hadn't been able to shower and my bangs were in their 'fight the power' stage of insanity, having been awakened far earlier than they were prepared that morning.

But mostly, I'm ashamed because at the time I didn't contemplate what it actually meant to be a licensed driver. Yes, I had seen the horrifying 'I never meant to kill anyone...' videos about drunk driving in my driver's ed class. But come on! Social economic political implications!! Deeper levels!!

As my friend the Somalian immigrant told me, driving is power in America. That's why he was forced to make an illegal unlicensed trek across the country to Wyoming to get an out-of-state license in order to apply for employment in his home state of far-away-from-Wyoming. Driving is jobs. Driving is tiny differences in time that add up to school or not school. Driving is dignity. Driving is money. And we all know that some countries, most famously Saudi Arabia, one of the ways that women are kept from having normal and decent lives is by being legally forbidden to drive or travel in public without a male relative.

But apparently, the country is slowly kind of changing, with help from the Internet? This presents an interesting counterpoint to Lara's earlier discussion about technology and the way women and men interact. According to an article published this week in the Moshe Dayan Center, Saudi Arabia is a society in transition:

"Saudi attitudes are slowly changing, with King Abdallah’s encouragement. Even though Saudi Arabia filters the Internet, determined people can surf the sites they wish. And the Internet, dominated by young people, is a new arena for public expression where Saudi men and women are giving vent to their feelings. But Abdallah is still performing a certain balancing act. Much of Saudi Arabia's approach to reform is of the “two steps forward, one step back” variety." (Read more about it here.)
So, driving and the Internet. Good or bad for ladies?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Old Geezer Monogamy

I fear I'm having a backlash day, for I just read this article from Modern Love in the Times and got all depressed.

How to separate out issues like monogamy and marriage from patriarchy and sexism is beyond me.  I know this is old hat (and maybe we've even discussed this very article?  It seems familiar. . . . .) , and we've talked about it a lot on this blog already, but it hit me today that maybe it has nothing at all to do with gender and everything to do with technology.  

Or maybe the technology element of this story is inherently gendered.  After all, much (most?  almost all?) of it was invented by men.

Eva and Ingrid and I have talked about how easy it is to not follow through with social commitments because of cell phones--easy to "be late", "get lost" or "not be able to make it" when some one is en route to a planned rendezvous, or even has already arrived.  

Maybe the commitment thing is just an outcropping of the way technology now enables us to not be definite.  

I miss the days of seeing my Grandmother all ready on her couch with her attendant handbag 10 minutes ahead of time waiting for a friend to pick her up for a lunch date.  Her friend would never, ever cancel on her. She used to be able to talk doctors into discharging her from her frequent hospital stays early in order to make a bridge party.  I helped her prepare for and serve at bridge parties when she was hosting, and she always had a full house, unless someone was on a cruise, someone's husband had died, or someone had herself died in the interval between the extended invitation and the party date.

So, any recent thoughts on the decline of duty, decorum, decent social behavior as it relates to monogamy and marriage?  I would like to see a return of the above alliterative list, in a more feminist, enlightened,  less classist and more progressive way, of course.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Times

Tubing on the Provo River. Perfect weather . . . icy water . . . skinned knees . . . fly fishers . . . summer tropes.



Giant pickle at a Montana rest stop.



River ladies.



Christian, Mark, and Mom at the Great Falls in Montana.



The ladies at the Painted Temple in Provo, listening to Taiko drums.



The Painted Temple. Nathan's art exhibit. Taiko drums.



River Lady.



Jane and Michael Stern's favorite restaurant in Great Falls.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Girl's Camp!


Eliza and I went up to Girl's Camp tonight. I spoke at the devotional. Eliza did yoga on an anty log. I actually got ants in my pants. It was sublime. Hated leaving Amelia behind . . .

Friday, July 23, 2010

M'Ladies @ Jalisco's on Roosevelt

The ladies scored a table on the "patio" (aka busy sidewalk) for enchiladas, fajitas, and fish tacos (tacos were sadly disappointing).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"pain pals": a brief internet play staged by e/e

Hey, Eva, so what should we do about the world of dudes who are idiotz about stuff?

Your Pain Pal,
Eliza

Well, Pain, personally I typically refuse to "dialogue with" those who refuse to read all of the millions of things that other more informed and articulate ladies than myself have put out on this subject. I will point them towards that, if I can muster it, or, in the case of the terrible facebook abortion wars of '10, write extremely long-winded comments to someone named "Scuba Chad" and then be depressed for days.

Why do I refuse? Well, I wouldn't very much expect a sky diver to want to have an open dialogue with me, a person who has spent all of her life sittin on the hard ground, about whether or not gravity pulls us towards the earth. If you catch my drift. I experience this shit. Some people don't.

This is all, of course, assuming you mean dude in the gendered sense, and not dude as in any member of the human species.

I know you have a more open-door policy, and I give you hella respeck for that. Tell me, how do you have the fortitude to hear all of the idiocy and still have patience and good will and "the ability to do things other than just be extremely depressed all the time", as they call it?

Much love from your pain pal,

Eva


I guess being an expert sky diver, to me, is not something that happens to everyone. I mean, ideally it should. Wait, should it? But what I'm saying is, there are factors in peoples' lives that make them less apt than us to understand the Common Sense of Sociale Responsibilitye. And not that we should apologize for these factors or anything, but I think we're more likely to do positive work for the cause of Ladies by helping people understand rather than making them angry and resent understanding.

Hey, how do you feel about yoga in this context?

In solidarity,
Elza

Yes, yes, the oooooooold yoga parallel. I suppose we are all at our own places in our practices. But then again, in order to reap benefits, we have to be practicing at all, if ya know what I'm sayin.
You are right, of course, about spreading understanding. I will make a sincere effort to press down upon the backs of those who are in the child's pose of feminism. But it is difficult, you know? And some people, intentionally or not, will just get up and slap you in the balls in rage when really you were just trying to give them a soothing adjustment.

Care to further the metaphor? Care to tell me, for real, though, what your coping strategy is? And also, why I seem to be dependent on extended metaphors these days?

Metaphors be with you,

(GETIT?!)

Eva

Yoga, like feminism, can sometimes seem exceedingly intimidating/confusing/alienating to the outside observer. Similarly, there are many hurtful stereotypes which can be made about either practice, and which are often made in American Pie-like movies, as well as country music. However, I like country music. We should invite people into our warm, sweaty yoga studio of feminism, rather than shunning them for not having aluminum water bottles or knowing what "Namasde" means.

Here is my coping mechanism number one:
my ladies.
And my Lady Times.

Pain Pal 4 Life,

Eliza

This has been a brief Internetual performance piece. The artists do not wish to be photographed. The artists were childhood pen pals, and now find themselves "pain pals" in a harsh and disturbing world of sexism. The artists will be going on their laptops now, to try to find answers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Joy

So happy that Eliza's here. On Friday I helped move some classroom equipment--mini-trampolines and therapy mats and bouncy ball chairs--to another school for a summer school classroom. It was a long day. Special Ed. Summer School (aka Extended School Year) was supposed to have been planned by a now former employee who has what I like to call the "Sadim" touch (opposite of Midas, see). It was actually less ready to go than if I had just left it alone. So we pulled it together last week. There were angry and frustrated teachers, teaching assistants, and parents because the planning and messaging had been so contradictory and chaotic.

So I offered to move equipment with my mini-van.

As I was making a trip into the new school with arms full of legos and an area rug printed with cars and trains I saw a sign in the school garden: Let nature be your teacher. William Wordsworth. I stopped in my tracks.

Wordsworth. Nature. In the back lot of an elementary school on Aurora Boulevard in downtown Seattle. Hot hazy sun--me in heels and a skirt, arms full of grubby classroom props. Twenty four years ago I went to the Lake District to a Wordsworth retreat, where I climbed Mount Helvellyn and swam in Grasmere Lake and listened to academic papers about Wordsworth and Coleridge and Keats and all of British Romanticism.

And here I am with a broke-down mini-van in a hot, damp city, so far from Grasmere Lake but nature, oh nature, she is teaching me. Babies are born and we love and hope for all the gifts of the world for them, but they don't talk by the time they should. Maybe they never will. Or they have no optic nerves. Or limbs. Or they can't stand the touch of their mother's hand.

But we build schools and teach them to play and touch and perhaps talk. We plant sad city gardens with tile mosaics, small clay hand prints, lazy bees buzz and carry life from lavender to beets and wild blackberries. Wordsworth said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion recollected in tranquility, or the memory of golden daffodils that flashes upon the inward eye. Nature is the garden on Aurora, the grubby therapy ball, the tired teacher, the summer session of school.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

behold

oh that I were an angel,

(bizarre light in the window
stops her hand on the way
to its destination

and the light pulses in a smile.

o that I were lil wayne
o that I hadn't forgotten that night
and o that I could remember!

a wavering pulse of pink and blue color
in the darkest night-
jingling softly, the sound of bells
or the sifting sun over Timpanogos.
o that I were these things
or could hold them in the palm of my hand

in my dream I am a strange sound,
perhaps the sound of lil wayne weeping
and that sound makes her draw quick breath on the way to her
destination)


but I do sin in my wish.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

i like this lady

This article (post? whatever) on Perez Hilton's fashion blog made me really happy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

very interesting philosophical look at lady gaga, hook-up culture, stuff like that in this article.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

really, what fresh hell is this?

CW producers, this is NOT okay.

For some unfathomable reason, possibly to enforce the idea that to make a boy like you, you have to completely change your personality, the CW has decided to make a REALITY show about a girl who likes a boy but is too "frumpy" and "doesn't know how to flirt".

REALLY?

Why is it a reality show? This is a real person, who is allowing some British beeyatch to a)probably make her anorexic, b)make her wear lots of makeup, and c)have her spend all her money on "NICE" clothes. All for a stupid guy.

This reminds me of when I was six and watched Grease for the first time. I asked my sister what it was about and she said, "it's a musical about a girl who completely changes herself for a guy." Exactly.

I don't understand why the media seems to think it's a good idea to make girls think this. Do we want to destroy their self-esteem? Boys are stupid anyway. This is just stupid.

I'm sorry if this lacks the eloquence of usual Lady Times posts. This is my first time here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm just sayin...

Look, y'all love me right? So which one of you is going to make sure I get one of these for my upcoming birthday?

xoxo

Saturday, June 12, 2010

early sexualization; yucky sexualization

one thing i like about canada is that, in general, there is less overt sexualization of girls and women. there's a sort of feeling that dressing in an obviously sexually provocative way is only for very specific occasions and is the province of grown women. this little article about young girls acting "sexy" is very interesting. it's true that when someone is 12 or 14 or sometimes (in my case certainly) even 20, certain kinds of behaviors are essentially a performance because you don't know what they simulate, and i tend to agree that when young girls feel pressure to act out those behaviors it could prevent their actually learning what their bodies can do and feel. what do you think?

have you guys seen the sex and the city movie? i loooove this review of it. she says something about the movie being like gay men playing with life-sized barbies and an unlimited budget. it's strange how much this cultural phenomenon really affects, or maybe it reflects, women's ideas about their sexuality--the way they dress, their availability for sex, stuff like that. and it does seem...influenced by gay culture. is this a problem?

one more thing. i'm sooooooo furious about this.



men never think this stuff is dangerous, because it's not for them. this guy clearly just thinks the whole thing is funny; he's not even pretending to use good arguments. there's nothing at stake for him. i can imagine tina fey sort of letting this slide off her back after coming up with a great one-line roast for him, but i can't do either of those things.

speaking of tine fey, check this out:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Doonesbury

Is anyone else out there loving this Doonesbury thread? It is so touching and beautiful.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

????????

In Utah, after a pregnant 17-year-old paid a man $150 to beat her in an effort to induce a miscarriage, legislators passed a law that would allow a woman in such circumstances to be charged with homicide. Ms. Balch of the National Right to Life Committee said her organization did not support that law because it penalized the woman, “and we don’t support that at all.” Similar legislation was introduced in two other states.

From this article in the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

money ladies


Oh, you thought it was Summatime? No, it's not. I have pushed the official launch of Summatime forward a little bit, and you all have to wait patiently with me for said Summa to actually arrive, because I'm still taking ECONOMICS 110. What the dude?

Economics is probably one of the bro-iest, sweatiest, male-iest fields I can think of. Maybe this is a judgment that ignorantly ignores the great work of someone named like, Martha Fry Beardlyred who did great work in the area of indifference curves or whatever, but generally, I think Econ can be considered to be pretty masculine in character, both in and outside universities. In fact, according to an Article I Read by Ann L. Owen and Elizabeth Jensen, the overrepresentation of men in the field is "undisputed", and has been most coherently explained not by "vague psychological factors" but by pedagogical and behavioral biases on the part of professors and TAs (article on Jstor).

What that means to me is this: the class is designed to make the dudes laugh more than me. The secret about college is, you can gauge your level of domination over a particular class, subject, etc. by the degree to which you are able to understand and laugh at jokes in the class material. Humor is essential for forming real understanding and confidence when engaging with course materials. When I was a TA for a Comparative Government class, I was made painfully aware of that fact. One of my primary responsibilities among the other TAs was to type up jokes on the large overhead screen about whatever hilarious country we happened to be studying at the time, and it was expected and required that I do so. ("Russian federalism? More like Russian NEVER-alism!!" Etc.)

Whenever my daily econ class engages in a hearty chortle at the expense of something hilarious like elasticity (yeah, that is how bleak it is), the laughter is clearly in a male octave. And the jokes are clearly oriented towards a certain perspective. This was made again painfully clear to me last night as I entered Hour Three of a midterm and encountered some kind of sports joke on a question about Nash Equilibria. Some sort of joke of about Steve Nash? I guess? Who plays basketball? I guess? SPORTS!!

The point is, that joke relieved the tension of whoever was lucky enough to find it humorous (dudes), eliminated an answer from the choices available, and generally improved, by some degree, understanding and success of dudes taking the test. The same professor who had me make up jokes about Russia in the poli sci class also wants me to work on his lectures for the next time he teaches it - updating jokes, among other things. He has also asked me to look for places where certain jokes might be too male-oriented for a general class, and how those might be adjusted. Which is a notable but small movement towards equalizing a general disparity in all the institutions where we Learn Stuff.

So I guess the question is: why is humor so important in dominatin'? Why is humor so male-oriented all the time? Who will pay me to do horrible dry political jokes on a cruise ship someday, and will I be allowed to eat all the free shrimp I want?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hudson Response

A long, long time ago I wrote an essay for Sunstone about women and the priesthood. Nobody really liked it. I mean seriously--people hated it. But whatever. I wrote it when I was in the midst of having kids and teaching and I was really pretty young, but my hunch was that in terms of running a church, in terms of reaching zion, in terms of advancing the civilization, as it were, of the LDS community, the children of God, women didn't necessarily need more priesthood--men needed more womanhood. What I saw in the church that was contrary to the spirit of God was what Valerie Hudson describes as masculine--self-centered power-seeking, self-aggrandizement, lack of concern for the safety and security of the flock.

I wrote about a woman in my ward in Cambridge in testimony meeting who had been with a friend in labor the night before and just felt like she had to talk about it--but then stopped herself suddenly, said "I don't know why I'm telling you this," and then gave a hasty amen. Why, I wondered, was it perfectly acceptable week after week to use football analogies but not okay to compare our spiritual lives to giving birth?

So Valerie's ideas are interesting--but also kind of obvious, no? I guess this is more of a popular magazine than a scholarly one. So there must needs be opposition in all things--Tieresias had to become both male and female in order to achieve true wisdom.

I'm also thinking of the powerful passage in D&C 121: Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hudson Article

I posted this article by Valerie Hudson (isn't she one of the world's hundred most influential people, you Ladies who study with her at the BYU?) on facebook, but would love a more in-depth discussion of it than a like or dislike on FB.

Did she really say that it's good that Ladies have less confidence than men?  I heard her present some of this material as it relates to the ratio of men to women in the Political Science dept. and was fascinated by it.  

Tell me what the Ladies are thinkin'.

xo

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Androgyny Playlist: Saturday AM

Just went for a little run, and the first song that came up in shuffle mode was Beyonce's "Irreplacable," that anthem of feminine independence and power. She'll call her cheating guy a cab and wave him goodbye, but he'd better not take the Jag she bought him--and he'd better remember that everything he owns can fit in a "box to the left," that he'd better not for a second get to thinking that he's anything but irreplaceable.

Which made me think of this song, "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child. The rocks I'm wearin'? I bought them. House I live in? I bought it. I remember listening to this on my way to teach at Lakeside, and thinking, okay, cool, so I can work hard and pay my share of the bills. Thanks Beyonce for making that feel heroic rather than, can I say it, shameful? Sinful?

Next came, I kid you not, "Grace Kelly," by Mika, the beautiful British man who chooses to emulate Grace Kelly and Freddie Mercury, two icons of style and beauty. Mika doesn't care who's a guy and who's a girl--they're both fierce.

Finally, no joking, "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas. Fergie touts the power of her lovely lady lumps, boobs and butt.

So what about gender is significant? The ability to earn and spend money? A particular type of talent? The erotic appeal of curvy flesh?

On my mission there was a point when I prayed to have my femininity diluted. I was trying very hard to be a good missionary, and to me that meant being intensely connected to all I encountered. I made eye contact. I expressed love. I smiled with at everyone in my range of sight. And it led to some disastrous moments. My desire to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ was interpreted by several men, one a married (unhappily, evidently) ward mission leader, one a manipulative, predatory married investigator, and several missionaries, as the desire for a hook up. I was reprimanded by a Bishop for being too flirtatious.

So am I more or less female because I have a job and largely support my family? I need to be careful, evidently, to not make the man in my life feel replaceable. I emulate Grace Kelly AND Freddie Mercury--and Mika. Strive for elegance in all its forms. Even my lumps.


Emily and I have often talked about the fact that I grew up surrounded by three brothers, and learned how to compete with them, or at least defend myself from their physical and verbal attacks. I think this has given me a measure of comfort in the world of men. More significantly I grew up during the seventies listening to Free to Be You and Me, and I really believed that gender was a superficial construct. My best friend's mother was an artist who created famous politicized feminist prints in her basement studio. It seemed more simple in the seventies. Today's teenage girls face a much more treacherous landscape of identity.

But I still don't know how to man up my style. Being a boss means being strong, firm, not crying, not leading with my heart. But my heart is one of the best parts of me. I alternately wish to eradicate my gender in my work life, and draw on what I know as a woman about nurture.

Monday, April 12, 2010

androgyny and such

Today in my "Girl Power" class, which Eva told me was sort of suspect and retrograde when I was designing it over the holiday, we talked about androgyny--Mary Pipher says that androgynous persons can change a tire or a diaper, fix a meal or a washing machine, and that "studies have shown" that androgynous people report greater life satisfaction.  This is in the first chapter of Reviving Ophelia where she discusses the pressures girls feel to become object rather than subject, to gain our power, as Simone de Beauvoir asserts, from the ability to get men to do what we want, from being acted upon rather than acting.

I'm curious to hear from y'all how adolescence affected your sense of self, your feeling about where the locus of your power lies--within or without?

And talk to me about androgyny.

xo

Saturday, April 3, 2010

suitie love!

So, I've been waiting a little while to introduce you all to my main lady Anna. She just posted a few photos of some meals we've made recently, so now seemed as good a time as any.

Here she is!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

evolutionary psych

is there anything more annoying?

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d98/sabotabby/evopsychbingo.jpg

Monday, March 29, 2010

Life decisions!

First of all I would like to note that almost all of you ladies are residing together in Utah together, and to soothe my jealousy I expect a short report (blog or email) on the whole affair from each and every one of you! Not kidding.

Okay, here's the thing. I thought I wanted to minor in Women's Studies, but the classes I would want to take for it next semester, with the exception of Black Women in America, are all either during other classes I need to take or not offered until Spring.
I need you ladies (especially the college grads) to give me some input. Here are my thoughts:
I want to minor in Women's Studies because a) it'll force me to focus on some non-computer things and therefore possibly prevent me from going insane, b) it's the only way I can get into the Feminist Text seminars, c) it's not that many requirements and might look good on my resume, and d) I think lady times are important.
BUT, my major is pretty intense, and I was hoping to be able to continue taking Hindi, and at the very least a class called Intro to Indian Civ that I've heard really good things about from several people. If I do those things, I definitely won't be able to finish a Women's Studies minor by the end of my four years.
So what do you think? And what are your thoughts generally on majors/minors/how to effectively use and structure your undergraduate college years?

(note--I'm going to see if Barnard will let me design my own MEALAC (Middle Eastern and Asian Language and Cultures) minor in South Asian studies. Am I too obsessed with minoring in something?)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

cute!

Here's what I think is feminism: Eva and I. Texting/communicating/emailing/calling/inter-coasting by all meejums possible to help each other Through The Night. I even sang a song for her.

It Can Be Viewed Here, But Only By Feminists

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Carrie

Will this music video/song ever get old?
I think not.
I love her TJ Maxx outfits, and how her bra straps are showing as she walks down the street exploding windows with her rage.

Also, does Carrie remind anyone else of little Lula Asplund a little bit? Except obviously Lu would never wreck someone's car, probably. But when she was younger, she might've.

OK, sleep.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lady Educators and Students

I need your take on this article before I rip off my angry comment to her comments section.

Marni, is she accurately parsing Ted Sizer at the end of the article?

Doesn't her analogy of sharecropping as equivalent to school garden seem terribly fallacious?

I mean, I see some of her points, but could she be right that these school gardens are responsible for the achievement gap between white students and Hispanic or African American students?

Discuss.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Briefly

Ok, Anna and I have resolved to work for the next 2 hours before wandering out onto the steps by Low Library to eat our dessert, but I just had to quickly let you all know how the new grocery scheme is working out so far.
Pulled pork was a great success, although I ate almost half of it while waiting for it to be done crock-potting (just because I'd never used this crock pot before and I had to make sure it wasn't, like, a high-tech, super-speedy slow cooker!)
Pasta with mushroom white wine reduction (what exactly classifies a reduction, actually? I just sauteed the mushrooms with garlic and a generous portion of butter, added the wine, and then let it all simmer down until it was a more reasonable consistency and tasted good.)
Made stuffed mushrooms on a whim--stuffing consisted of mushroom stems, bacon (of course), garlic, red onions, parmesan, and lotso Stilton. Divine. Stuffed mushrooms don't really last as long as they should, though, in the sense of you can eat seven of them before you even realize you've begun eating.
And last but not least blueberry syrup--simmered blueberries with water, sugar, and a little bit of cinnamon to eat on Friendly's vanilla ice cream (very corn syrupy, sorry Anna! You all can testify how wary I am of vanilla ice cream, though.) In a stroke of genius we impulsively decided to add a splash of Rose and let it boil down a little more (sounds glamorous, right? It totally was.)
Anyway, now that I've used up a good fifteen minutes of our two hours work time I'll leave you all. I'm excited to read the article Emmy posted and her account of her travels in Tunisia just as soon as I get back from the steps!

xoxo

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

question

Is it wrong or right that I sometimes feel like I'm striking a blow for women everywhere when I'm slightly immodest at BYU?

Here's the thing. I go to BYU. There's a dress code, which I generally respect and see the purpose of. The dress code is also a little bit more difficult for women to negotiate than men, because since when did a boy have to worry about 'extremeness' in his appearance? What, like, extremely high Converse? Short shorts that society wants him to wear? Is this a basketball game in 1973? Exactly.

So women usually operate on a little different of a scale. There is Type A, the badly-dressed very modest girl. She wears things like flowered knee-to-calf length skirts and straightens her hair with fierce determination. She isn't 'cool.' Hipsters look down upon her.

On the other side of things we have Type B, the well-dressed trendy girl. She probably has good hair that is slightly relaxed/cut in a hipster-lookin' way. As with people who follow the Style of the Time, there is sometimes a need for her to wear skirts that might distance themselves above the knee. She walks flagrantly through campus in this manner, hoping that other people are only listening to the Arcade Fire.

So I guess I'm saying, why do we use things like this to divide groups of women from each other? Does the dress code help bridge gaps between women who wear different clothes and who might see each other with different labels, or does it separate people even further? When will the hipsters stop their judgin'? Isn't it slightly justifiable for someone who is 5'1 like me to not wear the skirts of the 'Nun or Dead' length?

I unno.

Friday, March 12, 2010

grocs

Just bought some groceries I'm kind of excited about--I've been stress eating a lot lately and so the theory behind my shopping this week was that I would buy nicer groceries but fewer--same price, less food, but possibly (hopefully) same amount of satisfaction. Maybe people will be shocked at the amount of groceries that is "less than usual" for me. I eat and cook a ton, I pretty much never eat out except that there's this 2 dollar hot and sour soup from the chinese place downstairs that I'm really addicted to.
So here's what I got:

Pork roast and mesquite bbq sauce (Stubbs. I love Stubbs.) for pulled pork (I've been waiting for like three weeks until I had the time to make pulled pork. Now that I'm on SB '10 and not going anywhere or celebrating in any other way, I figure--how can I not?!)
Stilton cheese (actually not that expensive--does that mean it's not good?)
Sourdough bread from bougie market
Bananas (not a luxury or anything, I know, but I usually don't buy fruit.)
Cucumbers and red onions (for salads, to eat with the hummous I made last night, etc.)
Mushrooms and white wine and new garlic for pasta sauce.
Bacon.

Another thing, regarding lady times:

I just spent a few hours REALLY cleaning the kitchen and our common room, and it was SO SATISFYING. (Stop with the caps lock, Eva!!! Your writing is surely suffering!) And I was thinking about guys I've known well enough to be in their kitchens, and some stuff I was reading in Cosmo (Ok, I know it's a horrible magazine--somehow extremely smutty and elitist at the same time, a tool of oppression, etc. But I've got a yearly subscription. And I like reading it. And, for whatever this is worth, I DO think it's a fairly accurate barometer on current white upper middle class attitudes on "feminism" or at least lady times. And if there is one biddy on this website who is completely immersed in white upper middle class dudes at the moment, it's me.)(Is everyone losing all of their respect for me right now?) Anyway, I wish that our society valued "women's work" more, and I wish that everyone (male and female) had the opportunity to be taught by their mothers the way I was the value and even the pleasure in doing these tasks. Which is not to say I don't find these chores annoying and that I don't really hate the way washing too many dishes makes my fingernails get all gross and my hands dry and smelly.
It's more just the idea that you are making a good environment for yourself, and for everyone you live with. That's something that can give one a lot of satisfaction, and if you get good at it it's useful and can save a butt load of money. But I think a lot of people miss out on the pleasure of cooking and cleaning and working with children, since it's been "women's work" in the past, and so as a society we've been taught to think of it as less valuable, as something to be avoided, done grudgingly, and then abandoned as soon as we have made enough money to pay someone (poor woman of color) to do it for us.
Is this too much of a generalization? I feel like there might be something slightly wrong with what I've said--if anyone disagrees please let me know.
Also, maybe I sounded a little bit like my grandma just then... But, hey. She's a pretty freakin wise lady.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Releap

So I went to my Manhattan singles ward today for the first time since freshman year. I went with Kasey, an awesome Columbia freshmen who waited for me in the subway station for like 20 minutes because when she said to meet at 8:25 my brain turned that into 8:45, probably because being anywhere outside of my apartment by that time is inconceivable. Man, Mormons are so nice. I know, I know, generalizations and everything. But there you have it.
Okay, but here are some thoughts:

We had a relief society lesson about the fall today. The woman teaching apparently hadn't really been given advanced notice, so it was sort of just like a fun discussion of the general topic, and it's such a weird topic to discuss. I don't think anyone really gets it. And so some people try desperately to make everything work with whatever their view of the gospel/the plan is, and other people just throw up their hands, and others just read that scripture in 2 Nephi (I think--the one about how if they hadn't transgressed they could have never known joy because they would not have known misery, and never done good because they would not know sin, and then the one about men are, that they might have joy.) and skip over the rest.
Anyway, so then somebody read Alma 42:29--"...only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance."
How awesome is that?
Anyway, it all just makes me think that maybe the gospel is more flexible than I've ever been willing to believe.
Except, am I the only one who gets really really annoyed when people say things like, "Eve was created the very last, so in a way women are the very PINNACLE of God's creations.", or the Institute teacher classic, "God loves his daughters better than he loves his sons." (jokingly, I guess.)

I dunno, what does anyone think about this stuff? I certainly have no idea what's going on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

more lady mormon blogs

Here's a list of a few more cool-looking mormon lady blogs:

http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2010/02/5-things-to-do-while-waiting-for-feminist-mormon-housewives-to-return/

Does anyone read feminist mormon housewives?  I used to a few years ago, and then kinda forgot.

xo

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yes, I know this is on my other blog. I is trying 2 rite more.

I'm sitting at a table by the window in the in-store Gandalfo's of a Chevron station. How I got here is irrelevant. Either way, the sun is shining murky outside for the first time in a long time, and traffic in and out of the gas pumps reminds me that Friday morning is the same Friday morning for everyone. We've all got stuff to do. We all wish it were done faster. We all wait as long as we can until it's time to come inside, refill, maybe look at sandwiches. I sip my drink.

A table away from me: two little girls. A slender Hispanic woman wearing business clothes and solid black high heels is wrangling herself and her two daughters in this in between period of eating and traveling with startling balance, accuracy and double vision. She speaks Spanish to the two girls. She stands at the counter, below the multicolored board of "Real, New York-Style!!" But she is also standing next to the two-year-old, who somehow manages to balance on a chair without falling, her dark curls held back with dignified pink clips. And while this mother stands there she is also standing next to the four-year-old, who is trying to lift wooden high-chairs to bring them to the table next to me, all the time calling out, "Mom! Mom! We have to have seats for us!" with the voice of a self-assured teenager. While the mother is in these three places, she is also looking outside at her car, looking at her planner, checking the time, ordering a meal, counting her spoonfuls.

The two-year-old looks at me, and I smile, raise my eyebrows, make her laugh. Her older sister glances at me with a knowing look, and goes back to her job. She has pulled two wooden high chairs to the table, and now the mother comes with a small cardboard bowl of potato salad, three forks, and two plastic bottles of orange juice with two straws.

But the two girls want to get out of their chairs, they don't like the food, they sip their juice and drop their straws, and I can tell from the mother's glances that she's on the move again. She looks out the door, eats quickly what the two girls ignore - "Mom! Mom! We want to get out of our chairs now!" Yo lo se, yo lo se, nos vamos, she says. And they're gone. Double vision.

Every mother is a single mother. I can remember seeing my mom and a thousand other moms here - a single simple meal, quick fortification, no time to rest, no gas in the car. Children that are more complicated than men can ever know, children that speak different English. When I'm pulling out of the Chevron station, my needs taken care of, I see the mother facing the other way at a pay phone. Her hands are full, her car is old and she glances to the right long enough for me to see her freshly-applied lipstick.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Advanced Technology


Thought this was funny. 
This is Ingrid, btw. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now

Now we must write poetry.

In the past two days I have had two very difficult, intimidating meetings. So scary and intimidating that I have missed two nights of sleep. When I was a little girl I would often lie awake and a) listen to the blood in my ears, b) imagine conversations with people.

My heart would beat. My stomach would clench with fear or excitement. Many nights I lost sleep to these conversations.

Now I don't listen to the blood in my ears because I'm no longer afraid of witches. (the whooshing sound was a witch breathing somewhere nearby). I lie in bed and imagine over and over the conversation I will have or the one I just had. I will turn and turn over the phrases that will make my point, or the ones that failed miserably.

In this way I prepare for meetings where I have to teach and exhort and soothe and support.

My face gets very flushed. I talk quickly. I gesture extravagantly with my hands in these meetings. I often read passages of text for emphasis. They are over, however.

How is my ladyness expressed in these meetings where I take charge, where I direct and dictate? My voice becomes deeper, but I talk more quickly. I take a firm, wide stance but make shapes with my hands. My cheeks become pink but my hair is firmly clipped.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

French Feminist

I'm studying like mad for a midterm tomorrow, so I don't have much time for an introduction, but I know some of you ladies know a little French (and some of you know more than a little French), so maybe you can appreciate my BFF/Suitie Anna's "declaration feministe".
Here it is!

Une Déclaration Remaniée Des Droits De La Femme Et De La Citoyenne Moderne


Préambule

Femmes, oh femmes, écoutez-moi ! Vous croyez que vous êtes vraiment libres dans notre société moderne, regardez au tour de vous, ne voyez-vous pas images de notre emprisonnement ? Les médias nous bombardent de caricatures d’une femme idéale. La société moderne nous impose des normes contradictoires. Nous ne pouvons jamais nous évader de cette oppression parce qu’elle est un élément fondamental dans les liens patriarcaux, les liens patriarcaux qui sont la fondation de la civilisation occidentale. Comment améliorer nos vies et atteindre la liberté vraie ? On doit transformer notre société elle-même. Notre quête ne sera pas du tout simple ni facile. Elle rencontrera de l’opposition, mais on doit se souvenir que nos sacrifices mèneront à la liberté vraie pour les générations futures.

Articles

I.

Les femmes sont égales dans tous les aspects de leurs vies. Elles sont nées égales et elles seront toujours égales tant qu’elles vivent.

II.

Les citoyennes ont droit à la liberté de presse ; la liberté de parole et d’expression ; la liberté sexuelle ; la liberté de protestation non violente et de présenter une pétition ; enfin, la liberté de culte et de religion.



III.

Le gouvernement ne peut jamais maîtriser le corps d’une femme. La femme seule est souveraine de son corps. Elle a le droit à l’avortement.

IV.

Vous êtes égales aux yeux de la loi, avez doit à procès rapide avec un jury impartial.

V.

Les femmes, les citoyennes se protègent contre des partenaires abusifs. La loi protège les victimes et garantit que les auteurs soient traduis en justice.

VI.

Les médias ne possèdent pas le droit de glorifier ou de faire des commentaires sur le corps des femmes.

VII.

La prostitution est légale et les prostituées, comme toutes autres citoyennes protégées par la loi. L’industrie est régie par le gouvernement. Leur corps, santé, et sécurité sont protégés par la loi aussi.

VIII.

La guerre est une création de l’homme. Mais aujourd’hui, l’homme ne règne plus en maître sur nous. Sa création destructrice résultant seulement en tragédie et morte, est, par la présente, illégale.

Postambule

Femmes, mes chères femmes, vous êtes mères de toute vie ! Si vous possédez le pouvoir de donner cadeau de la vie, possédez le pouvoir de changer et améliorer notre vie. Prenez position sur ma déclaration et ensemble, mais seulement ensemble, transformons notre vie, notre société, et notre monde.

Middle Ages Ladies

Not middle aged--although I am now officially at that point in my life (44! I totally remember when my dad turned 44! Christian and I wrote a song for him for his b-day present) but middle ages.

For my next Medieval Women's Choir concert we are singing some MWC greatest hits.

We're singing a contemporary setting of the "song of the creatures" by St. Francis of Assisi (I'm sure "song of the creatures" sounds and feels less, um, creepy in Latin) and I just cry every time we sing about "frate sole" and "sora luna," brother sun and sister moon. I love St. Francis' spirit, his rapture, his deep and sensual love for the earth and all her creatures, and the tender personification of sun and moon as sister and brother to each other and to us as well. St. Francis knows how to love without restraint, without fear, without hesitation.

We're also singing Hildegard's Ave Generosa, which is an unusual poem for her because it's a bit of a catalog of metaphors for Mary (she is the pupil of God's eye--a bright lily). They build up until finally she says that we celebrate Mary because she bore the son of God. She writes about Mary's flesh holding joy, like grass holds dew, bending with its weight. Life weighs me down most days in flesh and in spirit, but it is a weight that makes me feel alive and purposeful, like grass in the morning or after the rain.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

RIP Lucille Clifton

All you ladies better read this poem asap.  

Also, remember when Eva and Eliza called ladies "Laties"?

Balentimes

So. I really like Valentine's day. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who does, or at the very least the only single lady. I think I like it mostly because my wonderful family members and friends supply me with enough cards, candy, and love that for me it was never a day when I could, even for a second, doubt that I had enough love in my life.
I've always tried to make the V-day case to people around me, but I never really had a blurby way of refuting the "but, corporate America and shame-times!" argument. UNTIL Friday, when I was walking the kids I babysit to school. I was talking to the precocious little lady I babysit about how Valentine's day was one of our favorite holidays. I said, "I like Thanksgiving the best because I love eating, and then I like Valentine's day next." She said, "I like Thanksgiving, too, but Christmas and Valentine's are my favorite. Christmas because we get presents, and Valentine's because we get to show how much we love each other."
That's a direct quote, too. From a four year old.
It's so simple and obvious, and yet so moving. Or maybe I just think that because I'm nothing if not a giant ball of corn.
I don't know, maybe we should just reject the notion that there should be one day of the year, sponsored by America, Inc. (actually, there's probably a real company called that...), in which we are supposed to show our love through consumerism and feel shameful if we aren't in committed relationships.
But when Liz Lemon tried to do that, she ended up hallucinating in a dentist office and making out with a tree.
I'm choosing to embrace the opportunity to show some love to my sistahs.
So, shout outs too:

My mom, who is always there for me, and who defies the limits of feminists and of the patriarchy by having it all--a big, wonderful family, an important place in our religious community, a productive career as an artist, an amazing education, a job, great sense of style. And who is constantly questioning her roles in all of these capacities, and changing them as she sees necessary.
My sister, Ing, who is truly lives the "chicks before dicks" (pardon my language) philosophy. Ingrid is always faithful to herself and inspires me and everyone who meets her to do the same. She manages to pull this off while never judging those of us who are not faithful to her, or even our own, ideals. She is one of the most Christ-like individual I have ever met, and probably will ever meet.
My cuz, Eliza, who has been with me for every transition and every important decision I've made since we met at like 4 years old. She's been my family member, best friend, and hero for like 15 years now. I have no doubt that when we grow up and have our own families, she will continue to be one of the most solid and dependable pillars of strength in my life.
My aunt Emily, with whom I could go on millions of nature hikes and never run out of things to talk about, or fresh perspectives and pearls of wisdom to gain from her on life and love and family.
My aunt Marni, who is such a powerful and interesting woman, and is also the number two person (after mommy) who I would want to rub my back and sing me a lullaby when I'm sick or sad.
My cuz Mimi, who Liza and I fought over when she was a baby ("You get to live with her!" was my classic line. Personally, I think that's a pretty good argument.) But who is now a hilarious, graceful, beautiful teenager.
My BFF Anna, who takes care of me, and who can make conversation with anyone, be they dumb jock, hipster singer-songwriter, professor of Spanish Literature, or foxy Law and Order detective.
My BFF Tay, who also takes care of me, and who probably reads this blog even though I'm not sure she entirely approves of blogging in general.
My friend Julie, whose hand-me-downs make up the better (and I do mean in quality) half of my wardrobe, and whose blog and blogging style was, in large part, my inspiration for wanting to start this one.

I also want to mention my dad, even though he's not a sistah (in the feminist way, not because you're black... Did you guys see that episode of 30 Rock? If not, Hulu it immediately). Although we sometimes disagree on certain matters relating to feminism, he has always been there quietly doing his part to support me, my mom, and many other women in his family and his field. I have also never for a second, pretty much since I started talking, doubted that he valued my thoughts and prioritized my education.

I want to also mention something very important about all of you ladies (and dude)--You all make me laugh more than my bladder can necessarily always handle. And that, my friends, is the most important thing of all.

So, if anyone wants to take this opportunity to show some love on Valentine's day (or shortly thereafter), leave a comment!
If not, that's cool, too! Screw the man, after all!

XOXO

Sunday, February 7, 2010

aha!

i'm interested to hear your comments about this article.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mormon Women Project

First of all, this whole website is pretty cool, and I've only just begun perusing it.  I love how she focuses on the different choices Mormon women make and how there are so many good choices available to us now.  I think that kind of sums up feminism for ladies today.  We don't need to be hating on anyone for making a choice we wouldn't have made.  

So start with this interview.  I particularly like what she says about Eve in the last paragraph.

p.s.--what's up with Mormon women these days?  We're all over the place and becoming more and more visible.  Is it the bloggernacle?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Battered Men's Shelter

Did anybody see this segment on the Daily Show last night? 
Samantha is very much a BAMFF, and we must invite her to blog on The Lady Times. 
I think this is completely spot on-- as one of three remaining feminists in Utah Valley, boys are always complaining to me about how hard it is for them nowadays. I see countless articles about how men don't have their "man caves" anymore or how ladies are invading their boy time-- my eyeballs may or may not start to strain from being rolled so frequently. 
And if I hear one more complaint about affirmative action, I am going to scream. 
Get over it, boys! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lady Poets & Goulash

Here's a lady poet I love--y'all should check her out.  I studied with her at Sarah Lawrence--wish I had been a tiny bit older because I didn't fully appreciate at the time.

Here's the goulash I want to make for Super Bowl Sunday.  When did I become a lady who makes food for a dude while he watches the Super Bowl?  It might just have been the year that Emily introduced Whoopie Pies into my life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Times I am glad that I go to a lady school...

Sometimes I think I am the only person at this institution who chose it BECAUSE it's a lady school and not despite it.
Some things about it bother me. I don't like that sometimes when you first meet someone there has to be the equivalent of the "I'm-not-gay" pat, e.g. mentioning your boyfriend or ex-boyfriend at an inappropriately early point in the conversation. And I don't like that some students here think it's ok to make anti-feminist comments if they preface them with "I go to Barnard, but..."
However, it is really inspiring to me every time I walk around the campus that here is this entire institution built around helping women to be smart and successful. And, even if the people who go here or work here don't subscribe to the same sort of feminism that I do, or even if they don't believe in feminism at all, here they are anyway, spending every day of their lives devoted in some way to the most fundamental element of that cause--helping ladies.

...

Anna made kale and chorizo soup tonight that was amazing--creamy and hearty and so good that I actually ate most of the potatoes in it, even though I believe that putting potatoes in soups and sauces is a sometimes-necessary evil, and eating them in soups and sauces is a sin. Anyhow, I'm having a second go at it now, sitting by the radiator in our common room which is the only spot in the apartment that is not freezing and is the only spot where I can get internet. Lucky coincidence. But the radiator's off right now, so I'm holding the soup on my lap for warmth and it's the perfect thing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bride (Brigit) goddess/saint of fire and childbirth

On a different note--here is Bride (Celtic Goddess) who became Brigit (Catholic Saint), about whom I learned at Medieval choir. She is the goddess/saint of poetry, metal-smithing, and childbirth. I knew the moment I heard about her that she had some special importance to me. I think I felt her fire--seriously. So I looked up her feast day--and it's on February 1st, my birthday.

I am also preparing a lesson for gospel doctrine about Moses 5-7, where not only does Eve prophesy and teach her posterity, but Mother Earth herself speaks as a deity and Enoch must anoint his eyes with clay in order to see the wideness of eternity.

Thanks Ladies of earth, fire, poetry, and birth.

Bride (or Brigid) is a beloved goddess of the Celts known by many names, Bride being the Scots Gaelic variant. Her names mean "the Exalted One". She tends the triple fires of smithcraft (physical fire), healing (the fire of life within), and poetry (the fire of the spirit). In balance to this She also presides over many healing springs. Cattle are sacred to Her, green is Her color, and, perhaps one of the reasons She is so beloved (especially in Ireland)--She is said to have invented beer! Her feast day of February 1st is called Imbolc (the Christian Candlemas), when the predictions for the coming spring's weather were made, a remnant of which is seen in the modern Groundhog Day. She is daughter to the Dagda, and invented the first keening when her son Rúadán was killed.

The Cailleach, Crone-goddess of winter, is said to imprison Bride in a mountain each winter; She is released on the 1st of February, traditionally the first day of Spring in parts of the British Isles.

Bride the goddess proved so popular that when Christianity came by, they converted Her to a saint. Called "Mary of the Gaels" by the Irish, St. Brigid is believed to be the midwife to Mary at the birth of Jesus, and so was thought the patroness of childbirth. Her importance is such that She is one of the three patron saints of Ireland, with St. Patrick and St. Columcille. Her nineteen nuns (a solar number) kept an eternal flame burning at Her monastery at St. Kildare.

Pronunciation: BREE juh (don't forget to rrrroll that R)

Alternate names: Brighid, Brigit, Bridgit



"Feed your fires!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

yet more on rape

this is sort of the sweet/office job/yuppie blog version of similar ideas and arguments. more milquetoast, but safe for manly consumption.

should feminist arguments be made more palatable to men? i used to wonder about that when i taught a brief unit on women's issues in the "ethics and values" course i taught at UVSC to classes full of the kind of sweet but kinda dumb (sorry) mormon bros who really, really don't get it.

is the aim persuasion? dworkin is tired of trying to persuade men that they should stop rape. is cajoling and coddling to try to get an argument across just more of the same submissive, threatened behavior that women want to be free from? or do we go with whatever works? does it even work? maybe we need all three of these ladies and their rhetorical stances

i'm interested to hear what you all think about these three different statements of similar arguments in terms of effectiveness, or maybe what they say about different generations of feminism. (i hope you've read more of i blame the patriarchy. the most rollicking and hilarious feminists ever.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More on Rape

Marni's comment about the Voice campaign at  BYU reminded me of this hilarious post from I Blame the Patriarchy.  You may all have seen it already, but still.

It's from this post.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.

4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogleher.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.

7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.

8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.

10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dworkin Time!

"If you are afraid of the ascendancy of fascism in this country--and you would be very foolish not to be right now--then you had better understand that the root issue here has to do with male supremacy and the control of women; sexual access to women; women as reproductive slaves; private ownership of women. That is the program of the Right. That is the morality they talk about. That is what they mean. That is what they want. And the only opposition to them that matters is an opposition to men owning women."

--Andrea Dworkin (from "I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape"--a talk given in 1983)

I'm expecting a comment from each of you ladies here as well.
My thoughts--First of all, why isn't the Left framing issues in terms of human and civil rights in America? Second, I really think there's something to the idea that if people's "sense of entitlement to humanity has to do with being superior to other people", we will never have a truly democratic, peaceful and productive society.
For me, radical feminism is very much connected to LDS doctrine about Zion--How can there be a people of one heart and one mind while there are still hierarchies of power that exist to divide those people? And, on the other hand, how can we not get closer and closer to fascism as a society if we allow these hierarchies to exist and the divide to grow.
These aren't very developed thoughts. I've also lost the ability to write out well developed anything. But I want to hear how you ladies feel about this quote. And about Zion/feminism.

I would also like to hear how you feel about the baked mac'n I made the other day--I caramelized some onions with a dash of nutmeg, and then I used the onion juices along with some garlic and a little bit of extra butter to make a roux for the sauce. That part, needless to say, was divine. But then I skimped a little bit on cheese for the topping, and tried to overcompensate with bread crumbs. That part was not divine. I just don't understand how one gets that crispy, crumby, buttery topping that you get at soul food restaurants and stuff. Do you mix the crumbs with butter? Do you put the cheese ON TOP of the butter? I don't know.