Monday, October 23, 2006

El Guapo in DC

El Guapo in DC:

"Bush: No pullout until mission complete.'

Yes, I know. I learned that in the 8th grade."

Oh. my gawd. I can't stop laughing.

Sartorial Sundays: the ‘Slut-o-ween’ Report at I Blame The Patriarchy

Sartorial Sundays: the ‘Slut-o-ween’ Report at I Blame The Patriarchy

I saw this article on the Times and knew Twisty would handle it for us. She always does. I however am motivated to pontificate about Halloween costumes a bit more than is really necessary on someone else's blog. So here you have it:

Non-slutty costume recommendations that I have had success with in the past:

mongol horde.
pirate (not slutty pirate).
cleopatra (with date as Anubis).
Autumn personified.
my inner child.
Once my date and I went as Steve & Terry Irwin.

Primary considerations for a Halloween costume:

can you drink in it? without a straw? (full-head monster masks are RIGHT OUT)
can you go to the bathroom in it without assistance?
will you be able to use the bathroom alone once you are drunk?
are the shoes comfortable and safe? because, seriously, if you drink, you don't want to be wearing 4" platform mary janes.

These answers should all be YES. You can get to your cocktail, you can pee all on your own (like a big girl!), and you won't fall over and bust your ass because you are wearing ludicrous shoes.

The most important piece of Halloween advice, however, is this:

whatever else happens, don't drink whiskey through a straw.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the second shift

New stats on housework, childcare, and paid work in the New York Times here , for example:

"Over all, the researchers said, employed mothers have less free time and “far greater total workloads than stay-at-home mothers.” The workweek for an employed mother averages 71 hours, almost equally divided between paid and unpaid work, compared with a workweek averaging 52 hours for mothers who are not employed outside the home."

I also note that, while the first paragraph refers to a sharp increase in the time fathers spend doing housework and childcare, they're still only doing about half the work of women, on average.

Housework: Men, 7 hours. Women: 13
Childcare: Men, 10 hours. Women: 19.

No wonder women who can afford to are doing less paid work: they end up working almost a whole other job on top of their 40/week when they have children.

I do like this bit:

"But, the researchers say, the conventional wisdom is not borne out by the data they collected from families asked to account for their time. The researchers found, to their surprise, that married and single parents spent more time teaching, playing with and caring for their children than parents did 40 years ago."

Which suggests to me that people who think women who work outside the home are bad, evil mommies should put a sock in it.

Now, I'm no sociologist, but I do recall from Soc 101 that sample size & makeup, not to mention data-gathering techniques are important for understanding surveys. I guess the book has all of that but there's no mention in the article of who was surveyed, how many were surveyed, etc. It does say it uses self-reported data, which can be pretty unreliable.

when silly movies attack

Tuesday: movie night chez the poet. He picks out two movies, assuming they are mindless entertainment.

One is Over the Hedge which is indeed cute animated fun with cartoon villains and a happy ending.

The other, alas, was The Break-Up which was marketed as a cute, funny, relationship comedy. No. Wrong. It was the worst year of my life, compressed into two hours. When I wasn't about to burst into tears, I was like a deer in headlights. There were two really funny moments, involving Jennifer Aniston's brother, but everything else was just not-funny. To add insult to injury, the ending was totally Hollywood bullshit.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm so proud....

my Saints are 5-1. They're a REAL grown-up football team now, with an offense AND a defense! They've got game! They've got more than one weapon in their arsenal! They don't give up and turn tail when they get into trouble. They keep at it and damn! DAMN! My boys are kicking ass.

I love that Joe Horn. Maybe not so much as I loved me some Sammy Knight, though. Joe's a trooper, a team player, a go-to guy, and I dig those little dances he does when he scores a touch down.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Politics of Housework

The Politics of Housework

This link goes to one of the best essays ever on how the political and the personal really do go hand-in-hand. It lays out the dynamics involved in the push-pull of getting a man to actually do more than give lip-service to gender equality.

It was written THIRTY SIX YEARS AGO and yet it is still as relevant today as it ever was. For example: My last relationship got mired in an endless battle over his lazy ass expecting me to do all the nasty housework, and re-reading this just raises my blood pressure, I swear. I once even printed this essay out for him and he FREAKED OUT.

Now I live alone, and I still hate housework, but at least it piles up at the one-human-per-household rate, instead of twice that. And I'm certain, very certain, that I'll never live with a man again unless we agree in advance that he cleans up after himself AND we hire a maid for the shitwork AND I get my own bathroom. And that there will be no whining on his part, and no need for reminders or complaints on mine. This is an entirely bourgeois solution, as it costs money to have an extra bathroom and a housekeeper, but I cannot come up with any other solution that doesn't involve CONSTANT VIGILANCE, which is work in itself.

My mother would say, when I was fighting with the ex over housework, "well, you just need to get over this," and I'd say, HOW? I see two solutions: 1. become the maid and clean up after him 24/7, or 2. live in filth. Neither of these was an acceptable solution, and I certainly couldn't afford to pay a housekeeper.

I constantly hear women around me complaining that they can't get their husbands to pick up their socks, or put away their dishes, or what-have-you. My marital advice, at every wedding shower I go to, comes from my mother and is highly valuable. I doubt many people follow it, but here it is:

"Never do anything for a man once if you don't want to do it for him for the rest of his life."

In other words: pick up his socks once, he will forget how to, assuming that you "don't mind," or "it's more important to you," or perhaps he doesn't think about it at all. He'll just quit doing it himself. So just don't start.

I just never understood how anyone who's met me would assume I'd turn into Betty Fucking Crocker the minute he gave me my own keys to the front door. I've had this happen more than once, and I just don't get it. The question, "Have you met me?" comes to mind.

Why would a man be attracted to a feminist woman with a strong personality, a lively intellect, and an active social & intellectual life, and think that this very same person would be totally satisfied and fulfilled by hours of drudging, nasty, thankless housework? If I don't want to do it for myself, why in hell would I want to do it for someone else? And, conversely, if a man loves and respects his partner, why would he want her to be his maid? I find it degrading and disrespectful. I went to college so I wouldn't have to clean up after other people. I'll never understand why a healthy, fully functioning grown man thinks it is some other person's job to follow around cleaning up after him, unless of course he has hired that person and is paying them to do so.

School Shooters Target Girls, Point to Larger Problem of Violence Against Women

School Shooters Target Girls, Point to Larger Problem of Violence Against Women

Here's Kim Gandy's much more articulate and well-researched response to the girl-killing school shootings I blogged about last week. Still, she's saying what I'm saying, which is why is the media ignoring the fact that these "school shootings" are really about killing girls, not about schools?

"For the most part, reporting on these two recent killings has glossed over the fact that girls were the chosen victims. Had students from a specific racial or religious group been targeted for murder, it seems likely that the killings would have been deemed hate crimes immediately and vigorously. Not so when gender is the target."

Friday, October 06, 2006

media check

listening to:
Oxford American Southern Sampler 2006
Gnarls Barkley
Radio Paradise

Bust Magazine - which I have some issues with. Beginning with their apparent position that feminism is mostly about shopping and orgasms. Which it isn't. However, it's better than the New Jane (see the archives for the reasons I'm breaking up with Jane). I think I'll give Bitch a try soon. I never much liked their online content, but I hear the paper version is good.

worrying about:
a colleague who just started chemotherapy
the poet whose arm is still hurting
a deadline - next Thursday - for a paper I haven't started

thinking about applying for jobs in:
West Palm Beach, Florida
Crawfordsville, Indiana
Portland, Oregon

why bullies are the way they are, because fuck, a bully can ruin your whole goddam day.
why I sometimes still want to call my ex and tell him all the things he did wrong, five years later.
what I'm going to have for lunch.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A pattern in rural school shootings: girls as targets |

A pattern in rural school shootings: girls as targets |

I've been thinking about this all day: what the fuck are we going to do about this sick sad world turning girls into the sacrificial victims on the altar of male insanity?

These guys are molesters, so they kill little girls. They have sexual ideas about little girls, so they kill them. Little girls. Die. Because men blame them for their perversion? Because they are unattainable? Why?

addendum: I'm tired of the media acting like this is a "school shooting" story, because I don't think it is. It's a girl-shooting story.

Once upon a time on teh intertubes...

Way back in the early 90s, I had a 1200 baud modem and a 2-meg hard drive, and a boyfriend whose BBS alias was Cogitor. He taught me how to dial up a BBS, which for you young folks out there, was sorta like a website at the end of a telephone line. One user at a time could dial in, as it was basically hosted on one computer in somebody's house. (some BBS's certainly were bigger and more complex, but this was the basic configuration).

I named myself Jezebel on account of we spent a lot of time debating fundy christians on 504-area-code WWIV boards and a name like Jezebel just put them right out of sorts from the git-go. The Guild was my home away from home, and I still miss it. But also there was the Ugly Truth and Cat's Cradle and a bunch of other boards I used to call all the time. I was never a hacker, never into code, so my visits to a BBS were social and political in nature. I never got long distance codes and dialed long-distance boards for free, but a lot of my BBS's had networked discussions, so you could find yourself in long debates with users from all over the country. Topics ranged from politics to education to book clubs and music, you name it. There were flame subs, poetic war subs, pagan subs, wiccan subs, recipe subs, and I'm sure a zillion others I've forgotten because I didn't fool around with them. Lots of tech/code oriented subs, I'm sure.

Every christmas newbies with new modems would flood into the boards and make a nuisance of themselves by acting a fool and TYPING IN ALL CAPS and all the other crap that newbies do. One christmas I got a 2400 baud modem and I tell you whut: I was ROCKIN the BANDWIDTH. Woot. So I made friends with people online: Cerridwen, HappyDogPotatohead, Steveo and Minx, Dee, and Shinobi and Slasher and more. The Ugly Truth started hosting crawfish boils/barbecues/beerfests in City Park and a lot of these friends crossed over from BBS friends to real-time friends or at least acquaintances. The Ugly Truth in particular was a sort of tattooed scruffy alternative bunch of geeks.

I'm still Jezebel(la) but once the internet - AOL and Prodigy and Compuserve - got more widespread, the BBS community got smaller and smaller. Eventually the sysops gave into the inevitable and took their boards down. WWIV wasn't the only BBS platform, there was at least one other I can't remember the name of, but I stuck to those. Most WWIV boards had lists of numbers for other BBS's - I guess like today's blogroll, yeah?

Now I find the occasional online community on a blog somewhere, where there will be a thriving community of regular posters, but these tend to be cults of personality. One person rules the roost, and determines and directs the topic of conversation. A good BBS sysop was truly a moderator, teaching newbies, banning fools, and directing conversation while keeping subs maintained. Chrysalis at the Guild was in my view the perfect sysop. I bet she's still got an email address somewhere with the name chrysalis in it. There are people who still call me "Jez," after all.

So here it is, over fifteen years after I first dialed up the Cat's Cradle & the Guild & the Ugly Truth, and I'm finding blogs and livejournals written by people I met online back then. One BBS friend, Cerridwen, recently became real-time friends through LiveJournal with a mutual friend I went to high school with. She's Zeldakitty now, but when I read her posts I was sure it was Cerridwen. Sure enough. Cerridwen was the final sysop of the Ugly Truth, which was so beloved that it was passed from one sysop to another (Naked Jester, Steveo, then Cerridwen).

It's a strange little world these days.