DEEP THOUGHTS just kidding

I'm thinking I would like to broaden the scope of this blog even further, so that I will actually, you know. Write in it occasionally. I have lots of thoughts bubbling in my brain, but it so happens that few of them are feminist sound bytes. So maybe I will just talk about my life, in which there is feminism but it isn't so often neatly packaged.

Here is a simple fact it has taken me about ten years to realize: I am sick sick sick of being around people who hate themselves. This is something you learn to ignore when you have a pointless desk job. I'm so desensitized to self-hatred that sometimes it even creeps into my own brain when I'm not looking. Which is a real fucker, lemme tell you. Self-hatred is harder to get rid of than bedbugs, and it will suck the energy straight out of your bones so you can't even launch a decent extermination campaign.

I'm filling up sketchbooks lately. I throw them away when they're full, because nothing will kill a person's desire to make something like the weighty expectations of a dyed-in-the-wool perfectionist. I don't have a final product in mind. Someone asked me recently, "what do you draw?" Anything. Nothing. Patterns. Whatever makes my brain feel awesome. I'm not afraid of seeming simple. I like exercising my ability to ignore potential criticism, and potential praise as well for that matter. It is an exercise in believing that I am enough. Even if I am not a great artist. Even if I never have An Important Career. Even if my face never launches so much as a single ship. Even if every word I write is trite. Here's to Doing Shit Anyway. If we're just going to listen to every person who says we can't possibly do what we want, why'd we bother to grow up?




Mary also said she is happier now than she's ever been, and she's working on "15-18 poems" at a time, and each one she works on becomes her new favorite.

75 years old. What an awesome lady.


holidays are all the same.


This really resonates with me.

As I've noted before vis-à-vis thin privilege, it's easier in many ways to be an ally than to act as an advocate for oneself. In particular, being an ally means having the privilege of opting out, of keeping a safe distance from the subject at hand. I can't explain how deeply exhausted I feel navigating the casual misogyny of everyday life as a woman. I often feel I am navigating it alone, too, thanks to the fact that women are socialized to hate themselves and each other, to compete against one another instead of working together. Establishing a supportive community is hard fucking work, and we are generally stretched too thin as it is.

There are so many things I want to talk about, but it is all so fucking complicated when abstract theory collides with your own private life. Particularly so when your inner life is the only thing you own. For me, integral to the experience of being female is the sense that I don't have meaningful ownership of my body. I know I'm not alone in this. Our bodies are subject to the whims of others. They are legislated and appraised and used against us and used against other women and generally disconnected from our humanness. I don't feel like I live in my body, and my relationship to it could only be described as 'combative.' I don't recall every feeling any other way. Behind everything I do there is a sense of permanent displacement.

The result is that I often fall short of being an 'ideal' activist. It isn't that I'm not angry, really; it's more that I don't always have the resources to constructively use that anger, because I'm often angry about things that affect me in a deeply personal and inescapable way. They're not abstractions to me. If any woman has ever struck you as being reactionary or unreasonably defensive when discussing feminist issues, reflect on this, please. If you had no choice but to think about these things every waking moment of every day, perhaps you'd be equally defensive.


search for what's not lost

Continuing the trend of writing when upset. Ha.

I've lost some weight recently. It sucks, to be perfectly blunt. I'm trying to learn how to deal with depression and anxiety without slipping back into old toxic patterns, but I'm a work in progress. Right now, progress is slow. And I guess it's becoming sort of obvious.

I work a desk job, so I am no stranger to weird office culture as it intersects with food and body issues. I doubt I need to elaborate, right? Diets and weight change and food morality are constant topics of conversation. Women bond over body hatred, as we're socialized to do. It's a nightmare for anyone who has ever had an eating disorder (it's a nightmare anyway, I would imagine, but I can only speak to my own experience).

Today has been especially rough. A former coworker came in for a visit and made a few weird comments to me, ending by jovially asking me if I quit eating, wink wink nudge nudge. I wish I could say I rebuffed her in a calm but firm fashion, but I didn't. I froze up. I shut down. I'm still thinking about the million things I could have said, but didn't.

A few minutes ago, three coworkers sitting near me started to talk about how thin I am, and what must I be eating, and aren't I so LUCKY. Even after explaining that I owe this weight loss to depression and anxiety, and that being thin does not make me happy, they continues with a barrage of back-handed "compliments" and judgments ("That's true, you never seem upset when you get really heavy!!" hey cool that's not a mindfuck. Thanks.) One woman actually said, "Trade places with me, I'd LOVE to be skinny and depressed!"

I'd love to be skinny and depressed. Marinate on that for a second.

I have to stress that this is not unusual. These conversations take place all the time. It's just that much more difficult to deal with them at your place of employment. I tend to get defensive, and my default retort is something along the eloquent lines of "Fuck off!" Which is obviously not an appropriate response in this context.

So I freeze up. I shut down.

It's SO tricky, and it evokes in me such a complex and overwhelming internal response. I feel weird and embarrassed about the fact that I didn't come up with an effective way of shutting down that toxic conversation. I feel scrutinized and exposed, because this intensely personal, private struggle of mine manifests itself in a highly visible, public way. I feel betrayed by my own perceptions, because I really can't tell what I look like; though I know logically that I have lost a significant amount of weight, that isn't what I see when I look at myself in the mirror. Hearing other people assess my body like this is startling. Perhaps worst of all, I feel really frustrated and angry that so many women have internalized the belief that their health is worth less than conforming to an arbitrary impossible standard. I'll get better, my weight will stabilize, and I'll be ok, and I'll...still be living with the knowledge that people thought I was lucky that my mental health issues were once severe enough to impact my physical health.

That is fucking gutting.

And we get to live with it every fucking day.

I don't think I have an insightful spin to put on this one.


full of your regrets

The difficult and painful truth is that the body and the brain aren't separate. I like to pretend as though there is a divide. Things are neat, like a TV dinner. Your peas don't have to touch your mashed potatoes, ever.

I think this illusion is very comfortable for a person whose borders are daily invaded, or who has suffered an occupation of her internal landscape. If brain and body are separate, there is always something to keep safe for yourself in every interaction. Which means that in every interaction, you must believe that people are out to overwhelm and conquer you. Me. I should say me. This is my illusion.

The difficult and painful truth is that boundaries have to be established without relying on a stark, polarized interpretation of reality. Grey area is terrifying, but it is also real. It makes for hard work. Navigating it involves risk and vulnerability and, inevitably, fucking up. A willingness to be brave and whole, and to believe that there might be other brave and whole people out there, too.


what it's like feeling occupied

Obama sez:

“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” he said. “But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.


so I guess, if you're a queer who cares about getting married, it actually DOESN'T get better! Imagine. Thanks a lot for your thoughts, you fucking asshole.


slightly cheaper rate

Hey guys, It Gets Better. Totally. Every young queer person is gonna rise above and have a fancy job and a stable income and a family that loves and accepts them, because no one in the adult world is bigoted or violent or ignorant and queers definitely don't face routine discrimination, a stunning paucity of cultural representation, limited access to resources, or the burden of living with damaging effects of growing up as a target of hatred, which often includes a heaping dose of self-hatred. It Gets Better. We're all gonna be rich white guys who escape to France on ski trips when we simply can't stand the pressure of glamorous life in the Castro for one more moment. It's especially true now that Obama said so! I mean, he'd know, right?!!?!