Tag Archives: kittens

EVERYONE PLUG YOUR EARS > Feminism!

18 Jul

He said:

that girl has a chip on her shoulder–

a goddamn brick on her shoulder.

She’s a with-holder, she roll

like a boulder,

a freight train,

a bed stain .

It’s like she got caught in the rain

or acid. We can see she’s rancid.

She’s unchecked.

She’s a list. She’s in a mother fucking tryst

with power. She’ll devour

your metaphysical, your reciprocal

heart beat. She’ll start beatin’

you at your own game, has been

for too long—you mad bro? You

gonna slap a hoe? Get a hold on.

Yeah get a grip. She’s not a bitch.

She’s a mother fucking

feminist.

PHEW: You mad, bro?

Well, you shouldn’t be. As a feminist woman I’m not trying to usurp your power. I’m not trying to say I’m better than you. I don’t want your pants. Keep em. I hate Levi’s. But, what I do want is equality. I want recognition if I work equally as hard for a job I am just as qualified for. I’m not asking you to slam doors in my face, rather than hold them open and trample my dignity. I’m asking you to hold open a door for yourself, for your dude friends, for the crazy cat aunt we’ve all got. And, while you’re busy doing that. I’ll hold the door for your brother, you dad, your mother. I’ll walk your grandma across the street. I see feminism as equal opportunity kindness. I see it as feet free of the ratty slippers called gender. I see it as asking questions. I see it as engendering more questions. I see it as exploration. I don’t see it as defamation.

I don’t want to de-masculinize you. So stop crying about it on the internet.

The other day, I was at a bar with my friend, Zorn, and our other friend’s mom. The stomping grounds were quiet, so we birthed bloody into the night a raging debate about gender. Only, it took us a while to realize we were on the same side. Zorn—a pretty unique dude, rat prince, runaway, the wiser the better—was trying to explain that mine and Bea’s (the mom) examples of “anti-feminist” behaviors were essentialist and conversely anti-masculine. Initially, I didn’t understand. I was all bent out of shape because I dig that boy and I thought he was trying to tell me that my experiences weren’t legitimate. Also: he’s a fighter, yeller, etc. We had to slow down and learn the rules of listening—all of us. Eventually, once I realized what Z-baby was trying to say, I broke it down like this:

Bea and I both have worked jobs in which we were approached as men typically approach attractive women. IE: Heya baybay…lookin good in that uniform. etc. Yet, when we began to out perform the dudes/demonstrate our personalities—both of us being quite silly, fun-loving, yet take charge ladies—they denigrated us. They maybe called us bitches. And, they made us feel as though unless we are capable of acting like beautiful objects rather than real, hard-working people, then we weren’t fit to be women.

Can you see how Zorn would have interpreted that? He’s right in saying that our sample of men was small, that we might have made it sound as though all men are bad/denigrate women. But, here’s how I rationalize mine and Bea’s experience:

We live in a house. And, in the house, there are some things ok for women to do, and some things ok for men to do. Because we’ve been living in the house so long, it’s a little engrained in us to just naturally do these things. That’s called gender. While some people are perfectly okay performing the tasks assigned to them, others don’t understand the house. Others don’t see the reason for the house. There’s such a beautiful sky out tonight. When women (and men) cross the gender line, no one knows how to react to them. Women doing what was traditionally men’s work have to be framed by men in the only way they have ever learned to interact with women. Thus they are often sexualized. But if they can’t dig that, men don’t know what to do—especially if the woman does the job better. In this way, women (and men crossing lines) get compartmentalized and labeled bitches (or fags.)

So, how do we change that?

The fact of the matter is, a lot of people don’t care. Even women. It’s easier to make something from a box. To use a stencil. It’s less time consuming.

But, for those with qualms, those made uneasy in the shadowy recesses of the house, I suggest certainty. I mean, if you’re off put by gender expectations, then you have to seriously commit to living your life outside the box. Make yourself an example. I’m not saying you can’t be a mama. I’m not saying you can’t be the toughest, hairiest, Paul Bunyonesque dude ever. It’s more about support. Don’t laugh at jokes about women, or sexy queers, or racism. Be prepared to address supervisors who are not acting appropriately. Be prepared to start a million small fires.

That’s how you burn a house to the ground.

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I GRADUATE COLLEGE IN 15 DAYS AND THAT’S TOO SCARY TO THINK ABOUT, SO LET’S TALK ABOUT CHILDREN’S BOOKS INSTEAD

22 Apr

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

-Madeleine L’Engle

            I saw this quote earlier this week, and it made me happy. One of my summer goals is to start writing a children’s book series. It’s going to be about a little boy who finds a stray cat under a dumpster and brings him home to join the other two cats he adopted. It will be about family and finding a place where you belong, which sounds silly, but it will be cute I PROMISE. Mostly because the illustrations will be based off of this sweet baby:

LOOK AT THOSE YELLOW EYES. SWOON.

Continue reading

BITCHES LOVE STORIES

16 Dec

Lora’s right.
Ball State is full of women. I mean, it’s stuffed to the frills.

Figure 1.0
In my English 250, there are 22 students, dramatically split: 17 women. 5 men.

That’s pretty typical here in the English Department, and I’m not complaining. Rah Rah, shish-cum-bah! We’re the future! Gettin’ educated! Wymin power yeah!

Ohold up.
Look closer. Go to a poetry reading, where the shit ain’t too hot for the ladies.
Men. Reading. Aloud. All men.
I mean seriously, is this a joke? Sometimes there’s a woman, and she looks weird, even to me.

Maybe I’m about to make a leap and maybe I lack empirical data (I don’t), but I’m going to guess that this means FEMALE and RECOGNITION aren’t going to the same ugly sweater party this year. AMIRIGHT?

You know that. I mean, yeah yeah, we all kind of know that. It happens. It’s happening. I want to say here: It isn’t Ball State’s fault. (They weren’t making fun of Andy Griffith. This cannot be stressed enough.)
I’ve never felt like my gender held me back in the classroom; my professors treat me equally, and with respect. (thank you)

But, I’ve read once. At a reading. And yeah, I was the only girl. and maybe surprisingly, I was treated well (read: normally), and with respect. No one said NO GURLZ ALLOWED or pulled my pigtails. I read well; I had fun.

SO WHAT THE FUCK AM I BITCHING ABOUT?

I am a senior. The first time I was invited to read (ALOUD) was the second semester of my freshman year. Clearly, I didn’t. And clearly, I refused other invitations.
Why?
I don’t know.

But I think it’s important. I think this is where sexism is raging. You guys, it’s in me.
No one ever said I’d suck at reading because I was a giiiiiiiirl.
Seriously, no one ever said it. But I thought it. Why? I don’t even have bad self-esteem. So seriously, why? What was my problem?

I guess I thought I couldn’t. Or shouldn’t. It was just this thing that I felt. From somewhere. Like, middle school dances kind of somewhere. Like, good grief. I mean, boo-hoo.
And I want to say it like that. Like it’s no big deal, and suck it up, kid.
But, I can’t.
There’s something that happens to women growing up, that sounds like shhhh, and feels like FUCK YOU, and leaves us thinking we shouldn’t. Not that we can’t, not that we aren’t allowed, but that it just really isn’t us. It’s not what we do.

Go find your own tree.

So we end up writing books about family and Jesus and hand-holding and giving head behind a dumpster, but everyone hears it like Lifetime, singing Disney songs. And why not? Sometimes that’s what I hear from my own voice. Because I hear woman and I hear inferior, so I’m just as guilty as anyone. Maybe more. You guys, I think more.

BUT ALSO I AM A WOMAN OF LUST

Meaning, I wanna write goddamnit. And publish things. And read those things, aloud.
I want to win all the prizes SLASH glory SLASH recognition.
I want small, bookish freak children to read my name in anthologies from now until Norton stops being a thing and human life slips under a rock and just. Stops. Being.

I don’t know why I want that, and I don’t much care. I’m petite, and gay, and crazy, and already so much other that WOMAN is just one more thing on top of the pile of things. Most days I hardly feel it.

Or maybe that’s bullshit like me kidding myself, and maybe I feel it every day. Maybe a lot of women do. We feel woman and feel weighed down, and I’m sorry. It blows. I don’t know what to say other than IT BLOWS.
Maybe this: Write more. Speak up. Tell your stories. Aloud. I mean, bitches love stories.
And if a handful of us do that, then other women will be like, yeahok. Maybe.
and then later, maybe they’ll be like, fuck yeah.
And I know I sound like hope and that hope’s woman-hope, and everyone’s thinking ‘gag me’. And I’m even thinking gag-me. Because. Because. I mean, can you see it?

So what I’m trying to say is: MYGOD, I’m sick of feeling small.