please leave my pasty white thighs in peace

Yesterday I listened a (sober) drunk talk about his drinking for a bit. At one point he said: “It used to be fun… then it was fun and consequences… then it was just Consequences.” I started laughing in that kind of way I do where there is nothing past the moment of my laughter, a big belly laugh really that feels good. GOOD LORD do I remember the days – brief in my drinking career, as drinking careers go – of “just Consequences”. Those consequences I can enumerate if you like but the main point is they got to a place beyond what I could endure. I am here to tell you there are people who can Endure a great deal and today I have nothing but awe for this. They’re no weaker or stronger, more or less spiritual than I – it’s just a Thing.

Anyway I’m here one hundred percent for someone who wants to get sober. They can text or call day or night and I am one hundred percent. You don’t even need to think you can do it (I sure didn’t think I could!), you just have to want it in this way that is deep in your bowels, even if only a little bit, if that wanting is a little twinge right now while you’re reading. If you’re already thinking about it why not join those of us doing it? It’s like sitting at the top of the biggest awesomest water slide that everyone tells you is SO FUN and you know they’re right but you’re messing about and thinking of just walking down the stairs with sad Charlie Brown music. No! GO for it because you’ll be tortured until you do!

So, enough of that. When I write about alcoholism and addiction it’s generally to crickets, or at least a dearth of comments (don’t think I don’t notice!). Odd since it touches so many lives – it tells me stigma is very real. I still do it though, write about it, because perhaps there are those out there reading who find any kind of strength and hope or even amusement or even, “She’s crazy, how can she stand herself?”

And oh, I was slut-shamed today. I walked into a room and a woman yelled out, “Where’s the rest of your outfit?” I was taken aback and took my seat and thought about it and quietly asked myself why I was disturbed. A crystal-clear moment came to me: there’s no way this woman would have shouted that “joke” without an audience – she never would have confronted me in any way had it been just she and I. Sad thing is she (probably both victim and perpetrator) makes it hard as a woman to love my body and just be in my body and not feel it’s on display or that people have the right to size me up and put me down; she doesn’t know how difficult it is to give myself permission to dress a way where I’m not overheated. She doesn’t know I hardly have anything in my closet and I’d actually thought my on-Sale Target short-sleeved black dress was cute until she Jezebel’d my ass. Her shouting at me is just one bit of that endemic ladyhate out there that we don’t realize we’re breathing until we choke on it. It’s boring yeah but it’s also oppressively sad. I don’t have anything I learned from that except Yes, when people try to humiliate me it can actually work sometimes.

And finally: one of our two missing kitties came home, Harris. He was oddly starved – as in he’d lost a lot of weight, but he was so grateful and tender to be home. He has been like a new cat, all friendly and sweet and not biting us with his huge shark teeth. I do not know what is up but I hope the personality stays even if his weight comes back. Hutch continues to improve, which is wonderful. Hamilton, alas, is still missing.

The kind words, texts, and emails during our recent difficulties – financial, health, and pet troubles – have been so lovely. I can tell you it is never a waste of time to reach out and give some love. That kind of kindness has no endpoint.

Thank you.

friday linky love!

As always, if you have long commentary please leave it at the source article; let me know if you’d like me to link to your post or comment.

First: I’m hustling for money for my kids’ fall/winter coats. You can look top right ——> if you’d like to help. You can also volunteer to receive the coats when my kids grow out (post here in the comments). I’ll post tutorials as I create them, to help any future stitchers.

 This song – makes me cry. Every time.

SQUAT! Birth Journal. Awesome shit. They accept submissions. DO it. DO IT.

I reviewed a sewing pattern/class. I can recommend the pattern and especially the class for anyone who’d like the finished garment (the romper and pant combo… okay that’s just cozy as hell!).

I’ve been asked to flesh out my Twitter’d, “Ten Things That Make #Parenting Easier” list. Here are #1, #2, and #3. I’ll keep updating this post to include all ten. $4 debuts later today.

We are making a keyhole garden (or a variation of one). I don’t know what to do or plant in the bed once it’s done, given how late we are in the year. Maybe some PNw’er friends of mine can help! (Donate one – they’re awesome)

Grays Harbor Down – my absolute favorite local news source.

Black Girl In Maine writes a great post about divisive, “us vs. them” language.

STRAW FEMINISTS IN THE CLOSET – I cried real tears at how perfect this was.

LLL makes a big gaffe on leadership issues. I hope they reconsider. Like PhD in Parenting sums up, I too have always held them in good faith… But.

Two years ago today: tetanus meadow.

Tetanus Meadow, Assured

this friday night / do it all again

FRIDAY LINKS! AW YEAH (if you’re new, please read my Comment Policy before posting)

The definitive response, or at least an incredibly good one, to the TIME magazine assery.

What the world eats, a week’s worth of groceries. h/t Jen G. who reminded me of this article.

From the archives: “Craft pr0n and how it’s killing America” at Underbellie. This two-year old post was recently brought to my attention as a few of my tweeps were diggin’ on it. By the way, only a few months ago I finally found the “affordable and well-made, probably used” dining room table I write about here.

Sea and Land by J. W. Buel, 1889. Do you even know how much this is my thing? Or how much I want this book, and to embroider plates from it? A LOT. My favorite was probably the Japanese spider crab, which turns out has recently been fascinating my brother as well. Oh, and it’s very real.

The Japanese, or spider crab.

Obama blows it, big time:

And yes. I laughed so hard I cried.

Ashely Judd on her “puffy” face, at The Daily Beast. (Did I post this already? I don’t think so. Anyway. Here it is. She rocks!)

SCIENCE figures out what really causes ice cream headaches. In the comments, admit it if you’ve had one in the last half year even though you’re a grownup.

Literally the Best Thing Ever: Fictional Rich People of the 1980s at RookieMag.

Hey, I missed James Brown’s birthday! Here, have some dancing lessons. Just be careful on what life lessons you take from the man.

Girls Gone Wild: Female Sex Addiction and the Internet at The Fix.
Readers looking for titillation will instead find a thoughtful piece written by a sex addict (yes, that’s a real thing). I’m not a huge fan of The Fix being as its for-profit motives mean well, what you might think. But this was a good article.

“The greater your shame, the more you do the thing that gives you shame. You feel bad about yourself, you’re lonely, you feel low self-worth, you don’t have enough endorphins to make yourself feel good, so you go back to the addiction because it pleases you and punishes you at the same time.”

This awesome dad takes awesome pictures of his awesome daughters, plus with extra awesome.

“I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” – Iggy Pop

“Talking About Independent Learning” at Natural Life Magazine: a schooled and non-schooled young adult discuss the differences in their learning environments. What a beautiful interview. “Maybe self confidence is something that doesn’t need to be built as much as it needs to be protected.” I’d say the same for critical/”free” thinking, compassion, and work ethic… you know, those things people are often saying need to be drilled into kids.

My favorite tweet of the week.

“I’m sorry the information is so scanty but I’ll send you up more as I get it. Blake out.” First, he is acting the hell out of this cut-rate scene in a Z-grade film. Second, his looks and mannerisms are uncannily that of my brother! Third – SCANTY. The information is SO SCANTY.

Speaking of my brother! A picture of him from 2005. Adorable.

do you like horses

ridikkulous

A letter from Mohandas Ghandi to Hitler. I do not joke. Hey, those without Google+, can you see this link, or do I need to correct it?

Film review: excellence, excellence at Tiger Beatdown re: American Psycho (the book and film); also, some “Crazy Bitches” from seminal films of my childhood, offered up at Bitch Media. Finally: Tropes vs. Women: The Mystical Pregnancy from Feminist Frequency. #w00t

This Is Not an Onion Parody of How Fox News Would Cover Obama’s Birthday

Weight Stigma – Why it hurts… by Janet Zimmerman

I submit this piece in rebuttal to the many who think self-shaming (and other-shaming) are necessary or productive forces with regard to “health” (meaning, weight/size). The science is in (and has been and continues to support the fact that): weight/size stigma leads to more weight fluctuation, long-term weight gain, disordered eating, and low self-esteem. As a parent and someone who works with and sees a lot of kids on a daily basis – and loves these children deeply (“fat shaming for four year olds”, just the most recent piece in the blogosphere), I – frankly – want the cycle to end.

But, I always have to laugh about studies on social justice issues – because people will continue to believe their bias in the face of any evidence, and I know this. If science doesn’t convince my dear reader, I’d ask you to look deep into your heart and ask if shame and guilt and fighting with ourselves (and others) has ever brought you true, lasting, happy, healthy change – while keeping you present for, caring of, and compassionate towards others.

I’ll wait.

Meanwhile! Make: Indestructible Capri Sun Wallets

Fake logos from the movies! This? Is so incredibly cool. Your favorite?

Reviewed at Bantam Street: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962). Classic! And one of my first exposures to “MST3K”; I’d love to see “Elvira’s Movie Macabre” version.

Pretty: “Auntie Peggy Has Departed”, an art installation

I was asked what “snorgling” means. Here’s a definition. And here is a tutorial:

 
The table of contents for the next Life Learning Magazine. I seriously cannot wait, especially for Couture and Swindler’s pieces.

Finally: last night Amber, Jasmine & I were tasked with coming up with band names for Ralph & co, re: his latest music project. Here are some he rejected (probably representing about …. 25% of our silly assery):

Assquatch (also, sadly, already taken and… all kinds of horrible)
Muffintops
Vulva
Grassbacks
Marble Smugglers
Summer’s Eve
Angeltits
Vagzilla
Shit On A Shingle
Pap Schmear
Duck Lips
Snakelight (these latter three were from our gynecological-exam inspirations)
Shart Week*
Showboat Pork N Beans

do you like horses

* Ralph later corrected me: It’s Shart Weak.

sewing curtains

so who doesn’t have a party to go to?

Well our party spirit is a little dampened. This morning we found out someone got ahold of Ralph’s account/credit info and cleaned us out. I mean CLEANED us out. So that was kind of fun! Ralph had to stop work early and make all these phone calls and stuff and I have no idea if we’ll get our monies back and get food and stuff! Wheee!

But nothing shall stop me from Friday’ing your ass up! Pull up a cup of joe and check the linkage!

***

Androcentrism: It’s Okay to Be a Boy, But Being a Girl… at SocImages makes valid points, plus I didn’t recognize who that was in drag at first. Pretty cool.

While we’re on the above-mentioned quote, please watch this Madonna video. MY FAVORITE PART of the video culminates at 02:49. P.S. So interesting this video got banned after the other violent shit male artists have pulled.

Tracy Morgan: If My Son Was Gay, I’d Stab Him To Death; HA HA HA that Tracy Morgan! So funny! Hm, there’s not an emoticon I can think of to type how I really feel about this. … Anyway, here’s Wanda Sykes response to Chris Rock’s defense of Morgan, via Racialicious. Thank you Ms. Sykes.

Okay, moving on. Look, I totally enjoy FYeahSeamstressTiger on a lot of levels (for instance, as I believe I’ve made my position clear long ago [#7]):

sewing curtains

 
But the aggregate effect of the occasional snooty I-can-sew-so-well-and-you-totally-don’t-get-it leaves me cold.

h/t friend Dawn for this Cute little flash animation about how we’re gonna fuck things up. IS it flash? I don’t know. I just call everything that has that look, flash.

Bullying (30): How to stop parent bullying at ronitbaras.com. The “I need to think about it” technique? Kelly-Goddamned-Hogaboom needs to practice this one.

When Homeschooling is Blamed for Child Abuse by Laurie A. Couture. Sometimes I’ve wanted to write out what’s behind the many distinct eyerolls I experience when I hear child abuse blamed on homeschooling – because it’s just laughable. Ms. Couture’s article stands on it’s own merit, however. And the last bit:

“The vast majority of parents who allow their children to learn at home are passionate about their children, love them deeply and put them, their needs and their interests first. Child abuse is a tragedy that will continue as long as this culture supports power-over, punitive, subordinating ways of treating children. Unschooling and relaxed homeschooling are part of the solution!”

Yeah, that gives me the chills.

The Link between Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders by Kendra Sebelius (also known as @VoiceinRecovery on Twitter). Absolutely bleeding edge on progressive treatment for comorbidities more common than many people realize.

Yes, I put my name on the bone marrow donor registry but I kinda want to pee in fear thinking how awful it would be to donate. I’ve given plasma before so know the whole, suck the blood out and put it back in routine (COLD blood going back into one’s body, ugh!), but the needle in the pelvis bit sounds like the real picnic. ANYWAY, truly, if I can help in this way I hope to!

Make (or at least, read about the deliciousness): red currant jam from David Lebovitz’s blog. I am new to having him in my feed reader and I’m liking what I read. His points on complaining about red currant prices are pretty rad.

This week: I watched Norwegian indie film Troubled Water, and started Canadian television series “Due South” (spoilers in both links, obv). The former is elegantly-rendered grief porn, & I say give it a miss (despite a few merits). The latter is a lot of fun, altho’ it’s so unselfconsciously mid-nineties it actually might bog me down and I might not finish. But I can’t get enough Paul Gross, he’s like Cheez-It’s to me.

Quote of the Day
Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Tweet of the Week
Kevin Murphy, participating in a Twitter hashtag game that many others were rather vile with. But in this case – MUCH LULZ

relax, don’t do it – it’s friday!

Friday links, and I’m giving you a small portion of nice, soft, digestible pudding-like fare. This week’s prescription: take ‘er easy.

First, from the annals (eh) of unintentional comedy and American overconsumption:

Or, as Lizz Winstead says, “YOU: I like to poop, but would enjoy it more if it was more complicated. ME: No problem.”

Then: Wave At The Bus – 170 days of dadly awesomeness. Truly.

Fascinating: A Worldwide Day’s Worth of Food: “In their new book, What I Eat, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio present thought-provoking portraits of individuals around the globe and the food that fuels them over the course of a single day.” P.S. “calories for this day” – SUCH a victory over typical conversations!

Children have not always dressed, or been dressed, differently than adults. Here’s just one example. Quite relevant to a submission we have for our upcoming Fiber & Textile show.

h/t Flo for posting this on FB:

You know the only thing funnier than this seven-odd minutes is the fact that as I watched I realized: I don’t think I’ve ever used, nor heard someone use, that phrase IRL. But then –

You probably just don’t get it. Do you.*

(What movies did we see here? Check out the curator’s blog post.)

And finally: thanks, Jasmine. This is kick-ass:

* I should note: besides being a great montage, at about 0:56 we’re seeing KARATE KID III which was riffed most excellently by Mike, Bill, & Kevin.

a walk with paradise


Moss On Sidewalk

“Why do people claim all boys like the color blue, and all girls like the color pink? It isn’t true.”

My daughter is asking me. She’s holding my hand; her other is engaged in walking my mother’s dog, whom we have for the next week while his owner buries her toes in a Mexican beach somewhere. The three of us are on a walk. Kind of a long one.

I tell my daughter, now: “Well, I have an answer. It’s kind of long. Do you still want to hear it?” She tells me Yes.

I tell her, you know basically, historically, people have a tendency to oppress one another. I ask her if she knows what this means. She says Yes. We talk about this for a bit. I tell her one way people can feel justified in their worldview is to believe those oppressed are less human, or categorically separate. I say it comforts some people to make up reasons one group of human beings is innately different than the other. I tell her some more of what I’ve seen. I make sure to qualify it is not all people who do this in every regard, but that most of us have learned to do it unconsciously. She brings up her father. She tells me he is someone who does not oppress women. I tell her Yes, and No… sometimes he makes mistakes. I remember aloud when she was little(r) and he began to refuse to help her clean her body in the bath because she had a female body, even though he continued to help his son. She nods, not necessarily remembering this, but getting my point.

I tell her anyone can make mistakes.

She’s thinking about her body, and her brother’s. She says, “But we’re not that different. Just a little bit. Like how our fingerprints are unique. Like tiger stripes.”

Enlightenment. Incredible! “Do tigers have unique stripe patterns?” I ask. Miracles.

“Oh yes!” she says, brightening with the typical enthusiasm she feels for the world of fauna.

We walk for a while.

I continue, because I feel her expectation. “So, when people believe men and women are socially different in ways irrefutably tied to biology, that’s called oppositional sexism. And when people decide the traits associated with men are superior to those associated with women, that’s called androcentrism.”

She’s with me. All the way.

I say, “You know how some people value physical strength over emotional strength?”

She says Yeah.

Then she adds, “One time in the mine in the backyard, P. couldn’t pull something out of the pit, so I did it. I was strong enough to do it. After I did it he said, ‘Thanks for doing that. I tricked you, and now you’re my slave.'”

A beat. Then, I say, “That’s one hundred percent bullshit.”

“Yeah,” my daughter agrees.

My eyes sting behind my sunglasses. She is so incredible. I often can’t remember our conversations verbatim enough to log them, to write them all out just how good they are. I tell myself it is wonderful enough just to have this time with her, the real experience is now, in the moment, not later, although I am always so pleased to continue journalling.

We walk together for a while.

At her request, we stop at a nursery. While observing koi in a pond, she hears frogs in one of the greenhouses.

She catches frogs, so carefully, so swiftly. She speaks to them and when she releases them she says, “I’ll see you soon.”

Tree Frog On Taro Leaf

Phoenix Handles A Tree Frog

After the first frog she’s figured out some way to handle them where they sit, placid, in her hand.

Trust

She encourages me to hold one. I am terrified. They seem so fragile, yet so startling in their jump! She finally convinces me to hold one. It turns and regards her while I take a picture.

My Frog Experiment

The proprietor of the business joins us eventually and shares lots of helpful and interesting facts about native frogs. Then he demonstrates the grownup-typical chastisement of my daughter for being a human being while small – don’t catch the frogs, don’t step there, blah blah.

My daughter doesn’t seem to mind. So I figure I shouldn’t either.

We continue on our way, stopping at the Farmer’s Market to buy a bunch of daffodils for a sad friend, and a bird of prey coloring book for my daughter.

Then along the wet and angry river and to home.

Secret Frog

Herpetology

It’s finally Friday, I’m free again

The More You Know
Homographs, homophones, heteronyms, polysemes, and capitonyms – do you know the difference?

Debbie Drake’s Easy Way to a Perfect Figure and Glowing Health (Drake, 1961). You know. Before I do my scissor kicks, I fix the hell out of my hair and makeup, then put on my perkiest bullet bra.

“OTL: Dark History” at ESPN.go. A very brief glimpse into the Santa Anita racetrack and our human capacity for cruelty.

A Clinical, Searing Memoir Of Abuse in Tiger, Tiger at NPR. Library hold, placed.

“Male-Centric Plots and the Oscars” at SocImages (and then, “There Are More Sites Of Oppression Than Gender”, Womanist Musing’s response)

Amelia Earhart’s plane found? (Answer: no)

I got into Noisettes this week. It’s only a matter of time before Ralph does. Oh, and I totally know which album he’ll like.

“Talking to Your Daughter About Beauty” at The Good Men Project. Not so much a fathering article as one anyone identifying as male should consider. This is a good 101 article; sadly, there is a dearth of them, and more in-depth stuff is nary to be found. I’d love to hear a male author weigh in on this topic; men are usually so silent at speaking out against beauty performance, instead of being powerful allies.

At NPN, photos of natural birth. How fucking awesome is this? Including the following sentence: “Acknowledging that many parents cannot or choose not to have this kind of birth, next week’s photos will show other birthing experiences.”. NPN, that is rock-tastic.

Society
“Dear Brian McFadden: I was damaged after being taken advantage of”. Brian McFadden’s song “Just as you are (Drunk at the Bar”) – and every pro-date rape song out there – suuuucks. This piece illustrates why, rather well. Particularly good is Nina Funnell’s answer to “Anonymous”. Kind of stunningly good.

“Ensuring the Male Gaze” at PostBourgie. Someone wrote something pretty damn smart on the potrayal of “reverse sexism”.

“Suicide” by Jeff Sabo. This piece and the commentariat is so far an incredibly illustrative discussion of youth depression and suicide (given it is written by a non-youth). The “It Gets Better” campaign irritates me for a few reasons, one of which the tone often seems to be: don’t kill yourself, your life hasn’t even started, just wait to grow up, we won’t help you NOW.

Parenting
“Taming the Tiger Mother” by Naomi Aldort at Life Learning Magazine. Nuanced article about the balance of control vs. neglect.

“So You Want to Unschool Your Child or Teen? Yes, you CAN do it!” by Laurie Couture. What can I say, today’s all about some 101!

Make/Craft
Salted Caramels & Homemade Cadbury Eggs, both from Instructables. My friend Sophiea and I made these caramels Monday and they were delicious!

“Building Cookies is Not SEW Easy!” at Sweet Sugar Belle

“Celebrate Women’s History Month by Picking Up a Needle and Thread” at CRAFT

The Incredible Edible Abacus at The Hokey Pokey Kitchen

“Home”, a French knot masterpiece.

Hilarity
Cat vs. Internet, a comic

“Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes How Much Life He’s Wasted Listening To Bullshit” at The Onion

Herpetology, close to our hearts:
Herpetology

only in my dreams, as real as it may seem

I love running but I hate getting sized up, which is what any woman is subjected to the moment she goes outside. And if you go outside dressed femme or sexy or working out or pregnant or discernibly Lady with a Body, it happens all the more. Guess what, fellows, I do not exist for your Boner-Scale of Awesome (or Fail)â„¢. After a near-lifetime of getting speculated on and checked over I’m about sick of it. Sure, you do it without thinking much. After all, why not?  That’s what ladies are for, your once-over (and perhaps verbal speculation although that is not necessary every time), the quick way you decide Yes or No without regard to my personhood or my agency or my say in the matter (which is Nope).

The breathtaking scope and variance of the doodz who haven’t trained out of this culturally-assigned legacy is almost impressive in its nuance and the ways I’ve been evaluated and skewered or “approved”. Maybe some of these men see a buxom lady-jogger and it gets them going and they check out the bounce before off to get their shake and fries at the diner. Maybe some of them see a fat little potato-shaped matron trudging along valiantly but somewhat pathetically. Maybe my thighs are just right for their taste; but maybe my waist is too thick. Maybe my ass isn’t quite big enough although in general my proportions, yum. Maybe they like the lipstick and earrings or take offense at the dowdy sweatshirt.

I do not much care except to say you don’t have the right, and if there’s any part of you that thinks you do you are wrong, and I sympathize you were given this socially-prescribed birthright but as long as you employ it you’re seriously part of The Problem which is Vast and Boring at the same time. And I’m sure like me you want our daughters to grow up free to be people with agency who live in safety, not reduced to fantasy for whatever assholes come their way (nor scorned repeatedly and over and over again if she doesn’t make the grade, well wait a minute, none of us really can anyway), and I’m sure like me you want our sons to grow up respecting all people and sticking up for the women and children and otherwise-marginalized in their lives and showing integrity instead of being carbon-copy Apatowvian dickweeds who think men are center stage in their own comedy/dramady (either Alpha Male or Slacker Alpha Male) and ladies’ feelings are mostly just kind of jokes or Craziness or They Really Like Shopping Har Har!

And ladies. Seriously. If you think I’m running to pursue weight loss or fit into size X jeans or make sure to look good for my boyfriend/husband/coworkers? Nope. If you’re feeling shame when you drive by because my bodywork reminds you you’re “lazy” and “bad” (ZOMG you totally ate two slices of cheesecake last night!) that is seriously your call yet I wish you freedom from self-loathing (often disguised as weight-loss “empowerment”); I once bought this rhetoric, more or less, and I’ve left it behind (or continue to work to do so, rather) and Good Riddance. If you’re driving by and look me up and down and assess me as fat or slow and maybe not a threat, well, you’re certainly right about all that. Some day you’ll probably be fat and slow too, and about 80% of people breed so maybe you’ll be a Mama or step-Mama and get to find out what it’s like to carve out some Self-time in a culture that hardly allows for female imperfections or humanity, and maybe after a few years of exposure to that kind of thing when you see me you’ll stick your fist in the air and pump a Yes! because:

For me running is like every bit a visceral love, from the glittering water in the bay that looks so inviting but is cold and hostile, to the building 1324 long abandoned and faded to a pristinely-aged pink-grey of plywood bleached by sun and wind, to the sour-glue smell of the lumbermill and the attendant log trucks that blast by, to the intersection of Adams and Airport Way that today I have all of a sudden and immediate memory of the first time I saw the place, over 25 years ago, a memory called up; past the shiny, large Ford pickup trucks of the Latino workers with their Catholic church programs stuffed in the front windshield, past the glittering pelicans that dive and float in the treatment pond

And

I raise my hand and wave at every car or on-foot soul I see while I run. I can’t tell if people wave back as usually I have to get my eyes right back on the gravel-laden, treacherous sidewalks. In my ears screech the discordant disasters of Radiohead’s violence followed by their sublime, depressing, self-consciously drink-and-Robitussin-dose yourself on the couch at some party Friday night songs, the sweat is pouring off me and the sun feels better than just about anything.

Some links.

Feminazi Propaganda:
Lesley writes on the all-important boner with “The Suffering Ween: An Important Social Essay” (satire alert).

Do not click on “Sexy and Pregnant: It Is Possible” (from womanist-musings.com) unless you can stomach the good ol’-fashioned lady-hate, which of course is amped up in these particularly specific and nasty little ways the minute a woman takes the step to become a baby incubator. Personally, never in my life has my body been more commented upon and groped by strangers.

Parenting:
Mamapoekie published two pieces having resonance for me today: “Respond With Sensitivity – Why Yelling Is Wrong And How You Can Avoid It” and “Out With The Negative… In With The Positive”.

Activism:
The I-75 project by Norm Magnusson

Celebrate Bisexuality Day; I’m celebrating the same way I do every day: big a big ol’ bisexual. Did you know bisexuals are much-maligned, even within the LGBT community? Often portrayed as “confused”, unfaithful, or “greedy” (yes, greedy!) or my favorite, the sociopathic freak. Last night I watched an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” where our lead criminal was a comely bisexual lady was also a mass-murdering, ex-prostitute, deeply-damaged-by-horrific-abuse (because all bisexuals are weirdos who had something terrible happen to them as kiddos!), manipulative and high-level identity-chameleon (now that I think about it the first episode of the entire series had a diamond-stealing, you guessed it, cold-blooded killing bisexual; then there was “The Enemy Within” about a murderous nurse who, uh, was a bisexual sociopath. This is that show’s sum-total bisexual treatment in one season plus change.). Or you know, most bisexuals are kind of like everyone else. People.

Incidentally the bisexual I thought of first thing when I learned it was Celebrate Bisexuality Day was Jeremy Brett, probably the best Sherlock Holmes ever, and you know I’m a huge Holmes-geek.

Et Cetera:
At Attack From Planet B we have a recap of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. This film has serious merits and holds a special place in the Hogaclan esteem. First of all you have Deborah Gibson (yeah, that one) and Lorenzo Lamas (yup, that guy, and by the way, all my pregnancy ultrasounds were done by his brother – no lie); you also have an Asian male love interest for Ms. Gibson’s character (no – really!) and of course some wonderful implausibilities (warning: clicking results in spoilers). By the way please, please tell me Mega Python vs. Gataroid is real, and we will be seeing more B movies pitting 80s pop stars against the monsters.

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s; I want to get this so bad for Phoenix. She is an exemplary artist and loves creepy horror comics. I have not been able to find a lot of good examples. Contemporary ones usually have over-the-top rape and violence narratives, besides, much like me, I think the girl appreciates vintage.

I just ordered this pattern to sew my brother up some underwear (as per his request); today some stellar elastic arrived via eBay. Fabric choices: a lovely bamboo/cotton. I can’t wait to get started!

Finally: I am going to open up a homesewn shop here at the blog. Slow-sewing. What kinds of pieces would you like to see? (note: any feedback is not considered a commitment to purchase!)

sexism hurts men too (oh, and women)

Today on the internetz (readers who want my fluffy-family posts just skip this one; I’ll be in full bucolic-family-life effect in a few hours):

On Free Range Kids a discussion emerges about “stranger danger” being unfairly leveled at all men (which it is). I posted to the effect that yeah, it sucks, but in a blog that is primarily about actively rejecting the harmful effects of mainstream fear culture, perhaps we should support more men committing to proactive action, not just complaining about paranoid women – otherwise they continue in the larger cultural abdication of responsibility for children and child-rearing (deemed: women-only).

Predictably a commentor named Stuart decides to engage primarily with my use of the phrase “nut up or shut up” (which was in poor taste altho’ I note it is used with impunity by men). Stuart asks what would happen if he used sexist langauge toward women (Gee, I wonder what would happen – perhaps we can look in this thread itself and see sexist language levelled at laydeez going entirely unchecked) and then tells me I don’t understand gender-based harassment (ha! hahahahaha!) and implies I ignore sexism in women (nope). But of course Stuart does not put one toe in the water of my charge that it is seriously problematic when men soley blame women for their lack of involvement in the child-village, and perform no other action besides the blameinz (note I am not charging a single individual man of doing so – it’s up to him to self-evaluate here).

Anyone reading here knows, of course, how rubber-meets-the-road my husband is in being one of those men that, you know, actually does speak to other people’s children, waves and smiles at them, picks them up, feeds them, takes them to the park or the bathroom  – and doesn’t molest them! (I know! It’s kind of crazy!). So please understand handwringing about how men just can’t do this stuff because of teh wimminz is met with wry cynicism by both of us. For which, here dear reader, I apologize (because truthfully it does suck men get told they’re ALL MOLESTER ASSHOLES). I’ve just heard the lady-blaminz too much and it’s often a smokescreen for a lot of unhelpful action or inaction on the part of a lot of men.  Speaking to exactly WHAT a man can do and HOW MUCH he can help/assist/wave at child? Yeah, Ralph Hogaboom wrote the fucking book, why don’t you ask him how it’s going (I did. He said he gets a lot of “Thank yous” and smiles from mothers, and he’d be happy to give advice to men wanting to step up more).

Incidentally the derisive sexism aimed toward men who perform “traditional” women’s roles (everything from dishes to pushing a kid on a swing at a park) was experienced by us in a very real way the first year of our daughter’s life while Ralph stayed home with her and I worked-for-pay and has continued full-force since Ralph is so family-and-child active. This sexism was/is levied by both men and women and, like many constrictive gender roles containes an underbelly which is not only reductive to men but also perpetrates oppressive attitudes toward women and short-changes children. But perhaps most surprisingly to those who would lie back, shake their head and bemoan men “can’t” do this-or-that because of the Evil Sexism of Paranoid Women, Ralph experienced Sexism more often in his “favor”; that is, he received and continues to receive fawning attention, compliments, and accolades for being “Superdad” (while performing what he calls the “bare minimum standard” of child-care).

Sexism indeed.

Anyone reading here probably also knows how important it is to my husband and I that more men engage in educating themselves on so-called “Women’s Issues” (which are really Human Rights issues), and yes that includes non-rapists and self-proclaimed “I’m not part of the problem!” men. And hint, fellers: the first step is to read, read, read, read more, and listen, avoid mansplaining, and when you’ve read and read and read you might start talking, and – this part is important, expect to get schooled (and yeah, it hurts sometimes, I’ve been there re: straight-privilege, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, etc). If you’re here and give a damn that my husband and I give a damn about this lady-business, go ahead and read and read and read some more

Or just Get Off My Lawn! and by that I mean my blog.

In other happy news, the twelfth Carnival of Feminist Parenting has been put up at Mother’s for Women’s Lib. Knowing Anji, it’s going to be chalk-full of awesomeness. I’ve read about a third of the pieces.  Here are some that spoke to me:

“Is stay at home motherhood a class issue?” (UK blog)
Short answer: Yes.

“Kids: screw ‘Em” at Pandagon
Money quote: “Needless to say, Robert Rector considers himself ‘pro-life’.  You’re precious to him on a cellular level, but once you start breathing and feeling and eating through anything but an umbilical cord, you’re on your own.”

“Yes, I Am a Feminist Housewife” by Natasha at Offbeat Mama
Dont worry, honey, you’ll grow out of wanting to self-apply that label the more you read feminist blogs who tell you how much you suck. Snark aside? She writes a lovely article.

What does feminism have to do with breastfeeding? at Breastfeeding Medicine.
Breastfeeding: a “choice” (which we can then skewer ALL women with, no matter what they choose) or a reproductive right?