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 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


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.



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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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"?


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!


Sunday, February 7, 2010


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