Friday, May 31, 2002

To Know Know Know You, Is To Love Love Love You

I was trying to explain the two French words "savoir" and "connaitre" to someone the other day. Both of them mean "to know" but if you speak any French, you are aware that these two words come at knowledge from completely different directions. The verb "savoir" to know, shares the same root as words like savant and scientist and could be called the "knowing" of scientific knowledge. The French "Je ne sais pas" which means "I don't know" is from savoir. The verb "connaitre" gives us the word "connaisseur" and the notion of an "acquaintance" and has a sense of bodily knowing, or knowing through love or appreciation. If I asked in French if you knew Jean-Jacques, I would use the verb, "connaitre," The wine connaisseur is not a "just give me the facts, m'am" kindof guy, but rather someone who can appreciate and gain knowledge by sensual connection. How the heck the English language lost this richness, which romance languages take for granted, is a mystery. Or maybe not.

I was also trying to describe once to a man how it felt to be in my house, in my kitchen, washing dishes and simultaneously "knowing" the mood of my busy toddler on the floor — very happy — the tenseness of my husband upstairs rummaging around his office looking for something he'd misplaced — his abrupt stops and starts and heavy foot fall indicating his frustration — the weather on the cusp of spring and all the anticipation in budding trees and eager animals losing their winter coats, birds renesting — the feeling of the running water beginning to lose heat because I'd been standing there too long and the watertank couldn't handle it, the thought that pasta with asparagus was a perfect thing for dinner and the slight tug at my womb knowing my period was a little late and what the hell this might mean for the current family scene, and last but not least recalling we needed to deposit a check to avoid getting overdrawn, experiencing all of this knowledge in the blink of an eye — on a regular basis. Feeling/Knowing/Intuiting all of this at once — thy name is woman.

Back in the saddle again...

Uh oh, looks like Miss Silvas has reverted to her bag of tricks again. You remember her, she was the young mother who was a nude dancer for her daughter's tuition? Obviously, her new job at a local radio station just wasn't paying the other bills as well. To cover the rest of her expenses as well as indulge in her hidden career goals, she has just posed for Playboy's web site (no need to link, right?)

"I have the utmost respect for the entire company, and I believe posing for Playboy is the American dream for a woman."

I'd like to say that wouldn't be part of my American dream. To each their own but we'll see what happens when her daughter grows up and comes home telling her mommy that she wants to pose nude for anyone.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Hi, all! I just signed on to post to Blog Sisters for the first time (I've been reading it since it went live), because I wanted to share something funny with all of you related to the post I made yesterday. And what do I find? Elaine, describing the piece in her post below. Coincidence? Hm...

Some reader out there illustrates the point made in my post beautifully. At the end of the day yesterday I get an e-mail from someone I don't recognize, but which I can tell by the subject line was sent directly to me. In it, a simple--and, to be honest, not all that surprising--message:

"hi where can i find some more nakkkid pictures of you?" (sic)

It then goes on to ask if I'm a "Webcam girl." No comments on the content of the post, positive or negative. Just the one-track message from a one-track mind belonging to some reader whose brain is obviously below the belt. Point proven.
You can bet on Balderama
Jennifer Balderama is a well-respected writer in blog circles and as copy chief at CNET News. Check out her very timely and very articulate post on her own weblog that begins "Let's talk about sex."
Hello sisters. Just joined. Am jeneane's bestest friend from college. You should have read her then! Actually, much the same, just more experienced now, so the pain and joy are from different places. Anyway, loved the letter below. Between this and, here in San Francisco, having streets lined with homeless but the local gov spending millions on never-used-but-lining-the-pockets-of-many Oracle software to keep brother Larry flying over my house every day to work, what in hell are we supposed to do??? Looking forward to membership, love from SweetieP
Claire Braz-Valentine reponds:
Here is her response to my email to her, and I'm glad she responded because there's no indication anywhere I saw that this is a poem.

Thought you might want to post the poem with proper line breaks. Many versions are going around the internet. This is the correct format.
If you access the homepage below you can hear me read it.
Thanks,
claire

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN ASCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

On January 28, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft, announced that he spent $8000 of taxpayer’s money for drapes to cover up the exposed breast of The Spirit of Justice, an 18ft aluminum statue of a woman that stands in the Hall of Justice.

John, John, John,
you’ve got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers,
dive bomb the pentagon,
while they stick explosives into their shoes,
and then book a seat right next to us,
while they hide knives in their luggage,
steal kids on school buses,
take little girls from their beds at night
drive trucks into our state capital buildings,
while our president calls dangerous men all over the world
evildoers and devils,
while we live in the threat of biological warfare
nuclear destruction,
annihilation,
you are out buying yardage
to save Americans
from the appalling
alarming, abominable
aluminum alloy of evil,
that terrible ten foot tin tittie.
You might not be able to find Bin Laden
But you sure as hell found the hooter in the hall of justice.

It’s not that we aren’t grateful
But while we were begging the women of Afghanistan
To not cover up their faces
You are begging your staff members to
Just cover up that nipple
To save the American people
From that monstrous metal mammary
How can we ever thank you?

So, in your office every morning
in your secret prayer meeting.
while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6 seconds
while anthrax floats around the post office
and settles in the chest of senior citizens,
you’ve got another chest on your mind.
While American sons arrive home in body bags
and heat seeking missiles
fly around a foreign country
looking for any warm body
you think of another body.
And you pray for the biggest bra in the world John
because you see that breast on the spirit of justice
in the spirit of your
own inhibited sexuality.
And when we women see
our grandmothers, our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters,
our sisters, ourselves,
when we women see that
statue the spirit of justice
we see the spirit of strength
the spirit of survival.
While every day
we view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble
and women and children laid out
like thin limp dolls
and baptized into death as collateral damage
and the hollow eyed Afghani mother’s milk has dried
up underneath her burka
in famine in shame
and her children are dead at her breast.

While you look at that breast John
that jug on the spirit of justice
and deal with your thoughts of lust
and sex and nakedness
we see it as a testimony motherhood
And you see it as a tit.

It’s not the money it cost.
It’s the message you send.
We’ve got the right to live in freedom.
We got the right to cheat Americans out
of millions of dollars and then
just not want to tell congress about it.
We’ve got the right
to drop bombs night and day
on a small country that has no army,
no navy, no military at all,
because we’ve got the right to bear arms
but we just better not even think
about not the right to bare breasts.
So now John you can be photographed
while you stand there and talk about
guns and bombs and poisons
without the breast appearing over your right shoulder
without that bodacious bosom bothering you
and we just wanted to tell you
in the spirit of justice
in the spirit of truth
John
there is still one very big boob left standing there in that picture.

Claire Braz-Valentine

http://homepage.mac.com/clairebraz/

open letter to Ashcroft

Hello all, and happy belated anniversary. I wanted to share a wonderful open letter to John Ashcroft (written by Claire Braz-Valentine) that I just read. Does anyone know if this is true? Did he really commission a drape for The Spirit of Justice?

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Three Months Young and We Are Kicking Some Ass

Can I just stop here for a minute. Okay. good. You know what? Blog Sisters just passed its three-month anniversary May 24, and that means I get to take a second to say holy cow. Look at the ground we've covered as a collective group of women's voices. Look at what this place has become. I am so thrilled and honored to be among the voices who have made this blog their second home.

Elaine and I must have received four requests from women looking to join over the last week--it's like that most weeks. We're growing and learning and reading and talking, and it is just the most wonderous thing to me. I can't believe I actually woke up with an idea in the middle of the night that WORKED! And, dear President Elaine, I couldn't do it without ya. Anyone who hasn't read Frank Paynter's interview with Elaine (details two posts down), should get over there and see what makes this Lady tick.

So that's all. I just had a little tear in my eye (that wasn't related to my sinus infection) and had to share. Kiss kiss ladies!

-jeneane
Interesting, long life

Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote the Nancy Drew books under the pen name Carolyn Keene, has died at age 96. Here is the New York Times story.

My sister & I loved our well-worn copies of those books!

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

I'm either very brave or very stupid.
Last week, over a series of e-mails, Frank Paynter interviewed me, and everything I told him is now out there for the whole world to read. (Or at least the whole world who read his weblog.) He asked me, and I told him. The truth. Just about all of it. I hope that I won't be sorry. (I told my kids that they can disown me if they want to.)

It's a woman's world.

This shooting in southern Italy sounds like that bad (I liked it!) made for TV movie Bella Mafia. I cannot imagine my grandmother or mother (well, wait. my mother??!!) with a rosary in one hand and a gun in another. I think I'd end up to be the getaway driver since I have such a lead foot.

Monday, May 27, 2002

the google referrers

There is no end to the fun of checking the site meter at the bottom of this blog to see what people "search up" on google that brings them here. Today's favorite:

pictures of women shrinking men and eating them


heh.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

ERA revival?

Hello, everyone... I've been reading here for a while, and finally joined. Full moon...

Here's a link from a women's news blog, New We Can Use. I missed this when it was published May 21:
Justice Ginsburg Laments ERA Failure - AP
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday that America missed a chance to guarantee women's rights, but she suggested it might not be too late. An effort to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was abandoned in 1982. Ginsburg, asked about the future prospects of the ERA during a forum on gender rights, said, "Every constitution in the world that was written after World War II says ... men and women are persons of equal stature or words to that effect. "The United States Constitution is now among the minority of constitutions in the world that does not make that clarion statement," she said. "I have three granddaughters I'd like them, when they whip out their pocket Constitution, to see that."

Sarah Fisher Finishes At Indy!

She's a serious contender in the IRL. She's been blogging for ABC. And today she's some quarter-million dollars richer after crossing the finish line for the first time at the Indy 500. Congratulations, Sarah! If you're interested in women speed demons and other tidbits about today's race, Bag and Baggage has more.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Here's my Porn is Fake graphic:


I also have this merch, which I'm not charging a profit one. Just the base manufacture price. Already got a BBQ apron for my SO :D

admin

Hey ladies. A couple of administrative notes. First, I added a site meter to the bottom of this blog. Thanks to Halley for telling me how! Also, Elaine and I were throwing around a couple of ideas about burning issues for June. But nothing has bubbled to the top. Any ideas? Please leave a post or comment. Have a relaxing weekend!

jeneane

Friday, May 24, 2002

I really dig Dervala
So does Tom Shurgart, who cited a very revealing "guide for male supervisors adapting to the influx of women workers during World War II" that Dervala discovered. Well, some things have changed, I guess. These days, Dervala is awfully busy, so there's no time to jump into our gangblog. But check her out anyway. And Tom's a good guy. You might want to take a peek at his blog too and read his current post on "Passion and Envy" -- about his appreciation of the passion that his wife feels for her therapist vocation.

Porn's Fake -- Girls are Real

Make your own fake pornography pages!
These women aren't necessarily anti-porn, but are definitely dismayed by the sheer proliferation of it on the internet. What I appreciate is their plan of action. Just wish they wouldn't call women "girls". O vell.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Re: the Rapist Blogger

There are pretty clear guidelines listed in the Blog*Spot terms of service, and I think, Elaine, what you brought up clearly violates this one:

You agree to not use the Service to:
(a) upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;


Violations can be reported to admin@pyra.com, so Elaine, report that jerk! Unfortunately, we can't completely silence the bastard, but at least we can make it a little bit harder to display his disgusting, inhuman vitriol.

Something else we can do, in a bigger way, is encourage young women to educate themselves about ways to prevent being victimized like this. Date rape is the most common kind of rape, but there are ways to avoid it if a woman is sensible and knows how to protect herself. My dad has a background in law enforcement, and when I got to a certain age, he made sure to teach me a few things, like how to get your arm back if someone grabs you by the wrist, no matter how hard or what way they grip it, or what to do if someone tries to force a kiss (bite down hard, on their lip, until you've bitten all the way through-- grim, but effective).
Is there anything we can do?
A non-Blog Sister blogger asked me if there's anything that can be done to get a misogynist asshole banned from Blogspot. (I had linked to him, but then took Shelley's advice and took the link out.) As this woman emailed me, The article - GUIDE TO RAPE DRUGS FOR POTENTIAL RAPISTS is absolutely disgusting and I'd like to see this guy lose his account at the very least.

I understand the First Amendment, but can we band together and contact Ev about what hateful and dangerous stuff this guy is putting on his blogspot site? Are there guidelines for Blogger and Blogspot? Please, comment here. What can we do? Anything?

Here's how the article starts:
The internet is a wonderful thing. The hype is true...we are creating a global community here. I am proud of this and I am aware that to ignore the advantages of the information age would be socially irresponsible. I know there are many of you out there who could be rapists, but are not brash enough to get a rape kit together and grab a woman off the streets. Some of you are too timid to even commit the most enjoyable kind of rape: Date Rape. I am sure RAPE DRUGS are for you. If this post results in just ONE woman getting raped, than my work is done. Without further ado, here is my guide to rape drugs.

And then he goes on to give just the information he promised -- in detail. *Retch* Isn't there some way we cut off his virtual balls?

Speaking of husbands....

Adding a new dimension to the husband posted by Anita Bora, what's this husband's excuse? The old amnesia trick?! Or was it post traumatic stress syndrome after getting hitched?

Whatever the injury that caused the groom's amnesia, let's hope the bride doesn't repeat it!
Frank Paynter resurrects my AHA!
(This is a double post; it's on my site as well. Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss it!)

Back in the early feminist seventies, we were all having AHAs! -- that was how one women writer back then (who, of course, I can't remember where or when) described the moment when we realized what had been holding us back, what had been making us angry. In the course of his e-mail interviews with me, Frank Paynter unearths the Ms. Magazine article that changed my life. My AHA! Read it here.

I had a chance to actually meet Lilly Rivlin, who wrote the article, several years ago when some of us who had contributed to Which Lilith: Feminists Writers Re-Create the First Woman -- including the editors -- gathered in a theater in Kinderhook, NY to read our pieces. What a phenomenal woman! We hugged a lot, cried a little, she gave me her card and then we each went off in our own direction to follow our chosen paths. But I've never forgotten her or how her words changed my life.
Why men behave badly
According to this very interesting study (what would we do without them?), women who want to know if their men will stray, should check out their testosterone levels.

Imagine this conversation:
    Wife: Are you cheating on me?

    Man: Of course, not darling, I don't even look at other women any more.

    Wife: I feel you've lost interest these days...

    Man: Oh darling, it's just that there's so much on my mind these days... And then there's the kids, paying the bills, bringing home the bacon, blah..blah..blah...
This could actually be a valid excuse!

"Scientists at Harvard University have discovered that married men who spend time with their family have lower testosterone levels than bachelors." - Read it here.

So if the husband feigns a headache and looks tired and uninterested, you know what to blame - marriage and the kids! Don't say we didn't warn you now!

Monday, May 20, 2002

There is a Goddess

Seems like the new book "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children" -- which warns women that having a career first could leave them childless and miserable in middle age -- the book just isn't selling. Which is remarkable, considering it was hyped on Oprah, Time magazine, GMA, 60 Minutes ... Are women rejecting this tripe once and for all? It;'s only #430 on the Amazon top-sellers list; nowhere on the NYT bestseller list.

Summer Jobs Wanted

The school year is coming to a close, this mother will probably be glad when it is finally finished. I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this issue, but I'm glad at least the school gave her (and her poor daughter) a chance to redeem the situation.
Double standards?
When men are unfaithful or lust after other women (even while they are in a steady or satisfactory relationship) it is just an extension of their sexuality.
    "While they can control themselves through social and emotional restraints, it is considered "normal" for men to desire a number of women."
On the other hand, when women are unfaithful, then they need a good reason - like an unfulfilling marriage or a bad relationship.
    "The feminist solution has been to argue that women simply cheat for the "right" reasons -- be it sexual or emotional freedom. This in turn implies that the most widely acknowledged cause for male adultery -- the desire for variety -- is simply "wrong"... When we claim women cheat for "better" reasons, we are being unfair, though less to men than to women. Beneath this celebratory rhetoric is an archaic and repressive vision of female sexuality. Implicit in this type of reasoning is the idea that married women have to provide worthy motives for straying -- be it emancipation or love."
Read the whole feature here.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Getting Girls Behind the Wheel

For some reason, I was watching WE (I don't normally watch "women's" networks, because I'm too eclectic and I just need a good dose of the Man Show or something every now and then), and they have this program called "Cool Women." This particular episode struck close to home as they featured Dawn Riley, a woman to participate in the first co-ed America's Cup team (for non-sailing people, the America's Cup is a big deal sailing race). Definitely a cool woman, who really loves sailing (after my own heart!).

Even cooler, I notice that a foundation she runs, called America True, has a program for girls to teach them about sailing tall ships. Oooh! I drool in envy. I'm definitely going to have to find something to sail this summer. It's been too long.

Lovely Paintings

NancyCentral | The Paintings and Drawings of Nancy Spoelhof
I ran into an exhibition of this woman's work at the Momi Toby cafe in Hayes Valley, SF, CA.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Plagiarism

My first post!

I have been doing some reflecting on plagiarism in my journal. It is a subject that has been in The Chronicle of Higher Education a lot recently, with articles about both students and faculty. It has even received some attention in other places, because of the allegations about the works of "popular" scholars (Stephen Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, Joseph Ellis, etc.)

I have always found it very disturbing, and now it has become personal. At the end of the week, just before grades were due, I discovered five current students, teamed with five former students (all graduating seniors) cheating in my class. I won't duplicate my many thoughts on this difficult episode here, but there is one thing about it that might concern gender.

First, a little background is needed: the five current students handed in term papers that were identical to papers submitted by students last semester, and two of the students also handed in midterms and final exams that were identical to former students' work.

Four of the five current students are male, and four of the five former students are female. That might be completely unrelated (this ordeal was so painful that I am sure of nothing right now, plus I am so very tired), or it may say something about power, relationships, manipulation, roles...?

Friday, May 17, 2002

Is this a f***ing joke or what???

Backward view of the role of women
Hey, Tooley! Bridget Jones's mom was just as neurotic as Bridget AND she was a Stay-at-Home Mom!
Making the Right Connection
I found the post on Anita Bora's blog about how to choose the right mate very relevant to my feelings about the relationship between my daughter and son-in-law and prior posts here about boyfriends. Anita links to an article in the Christian Science Monitor that makes some points that should be obvious but, unfortunately, rarely are. For example:
This choice has more to do with the eventual success of your marriage than everything else combined that you do after you get married," says this voice of experience. "If you choose someone who is highly compatible, it feels almost effortless; if you are mismatched, it's all hard work and good intentions."

Duh. It took me 14 years of hard word and good intentions before I figured out that we were mismatched.

Check out the CS article to learn the 29 dimensions [that relationship counselor Neil Clark Warren says] must be "matched and managed" for a relationship to succeed

Kindergartner Expelled Because Mom's a Stripper

This just infuriates me. A Christian school finds out a 5 year old's mother is an exotic dancer (not illegal, by the way) and expels the child. The logic: the other children should not be exposed to such immorality. But the kid isn't being immoral -- she didn't even know what her mom did for a living. I have tangled with Capitol Christian Center before -- I was defending women's health clinics from their violent attacks. When they wanted press, they would make a scene by giving their children posters of dismembered fetuses (always good to expose children to that) and put them in the street in front of moving cars to disrupt traffic. Talk about abusing children in the name of God.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

As Usual, He's Right-on
It's more Chris Locke than RageBoy, but it's still THE "voice" that we all know and love speaking the truth of the web. And you can even hear his actual mellow tones as he talks to Tess Vigeland on NPR's Morning Marketplace about the marvels of weblogging. According to Chris, the program's editors cut out a lot of his references to specific webloggers, but what they left in is his right-on take on what's really important about weblogging, and that's what matters most. It's worth the listen

More on Manufacturing Post-Feminism

As an addendum to brooke's link to that incredible and succinct article, Manufacturing Postfeminism, by the fabulous Susan J. Douglas...

Everybody who received this article from me was justly blown away. Even those of us (yes, myself included) who might have, at one time or another, denied the existence of a backlash. For further reading enjoyment from the same writer, Where the Girls Are : Growing Up Female With the Mass Media, was very highly recommended to me.
TBIO
There are some sites "out there" that are NOT turning beauty inside out, but rather upside down. Being sexual at an earlier age, and being comfortable talking about sex at an earlier age is not necessarily wrong. It seems that everything moves much faster than when I was growing up. What's my point here? There are things far worse, and worth fighting against than people magazine's top beauties of the year. Check out what Wired, MSNBC, and NOW have to say about Lil Amber, the "new media" and preteen model web sites. Find out what "legal child porn" is. And how does one survive the Mommy from hell? I was especially struck by the mother after reading Elaine's post on her site, in which she describes her visit with her daughter who is expecting. Who your parents are is the first roll of the dice in the crapshoot, but you don't even get to be the roller!

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Whew!
Well, it's still before midnight on the East Coast, and I managed to post about TBIOD on my site before it's the next day. There's so much more we could and should all say, and Andrea's new site makes it possible to share more of our personal perspectives on that issue, so thanks, Andrea. Meanwhile, good night all you beautiful BlogSisters.

Get Up Early, Stay Up Late

Or whatever you have to do. But be sure to catch Chris Locke tomorrow morning on Marketplace Morning Report with Tess Vigeland.

Rumor has it Locke gets deep into blogging in his talk with Tess, and also gives his take on the exciting stuff women are doing within the blogging medium--including blogsisters, among others. Tess found the subject pretty fascinating and has extended the segment to several minutes. Sisters, what we're doing IS fascinating. Check here to find out if your local radio station carries the show. It should also be linked off the site sometime tomorrow morning.

When Chris does an interview, it's worth the listen, even if we end up on the cutting room floor.

6:50 a.m. here in Atlanta on WABE-FM 90.1. See you there.

Pant....pant....
Wow, I go away for an overnight to visit my daughter in Boston, and I'm missing all kinds of chances to Comment on all of these great posts from the Sisters. And I've got all kinds of stuff I want to blog about the notion of beauty, and I will as soon as I feed the cat, check on my mom, unpack, eat something.......

It will probably be midnight before I get to it all, but it is TBIO day, and I don't want to miss putting something on my blog about that and reading everyone else's. So, I'd better get to it all....... Stay tuned.

Women Wearing Wool

Willa blogged this and I thought it fit into the TBIOD theme.

happy tbiod

I've written something in honor of TBIOD (not as involved as I'd like, but it's a start -- Andrea, yours is wonderful) and have decided that it shouldn't just be a one-day affair. Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this event to fruition.

TBIOD Effort

Well, here is mine. I'll be publicizing it on my own blog/site as well. It's a little less than I wanted to do, but I ran short on time. I also created a CafePress store, the proceeds of which I'm planning to donate to New Moon Press. Feedback is welcome.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Post Script

Raging Hormones Menopausal Prozac Barbie sold for a grand total of $823.46.

Perhaps I should start pondering other interesting ways to mutila-- er, I mean, "dress up" Barbie and sell them on eBay...

okay, so i've been a little cranky too.

Ladies, I'm sorry for my crankiness of late and my outloud wonderings about how and why women bother to live without men, when I know full well that this is a choice and a reality of many women. Being alone and happy with it. I on the other hand am married, but am alone for three months (maybe more), a kind of unique predicament, except for military wives, which my cellular phone carrier assumed I was the other day when I called and suspended service on my husband's phone until sometime in July.

Which brings us to the present. I am, pure and simple, a bundle of pent up female energy with no place to go. I think I could twist like a tornado through my neighborhood taking down every house and tree in my path. And this clearly is not good. Which brings me to my rather unusual question.

Does anyone know where I can buy a waterproof cordless phone to bring into the shower with me? (Blog sisters are itching their collective heads, followed by Ah ha!) Today I called my love on my regular cordless phone and I'm quite sure the water did some damage. This cannot go on. The cordless phone is my life line in more ways than one. And when I mentioned it to my husband, he said, "Ask the Blog Sisters--They'll know."

You can laugh. You can call me a helpless, useless lonely soul. Or, you can give me a link. The choice is yours.

Manufacturing 'Post-Feminism'


"Post-feminism" is a conservative construct to help women feel better about not giving a shit about the fact that there is still not equality between gender at the most basic level -- like, say, the paycheck. First, they turned "feminism" into a dirty word by convincing women that feminists are angry childless lesbians who hate men, then shoved the knife in farther with studies about how women in the workforce are neglectful of their children and susceptible to heart disease and stroke. Now, we have a new mantle for those who have bought this line (often while enjoying the fruits of the feminist movement): "post-feminist." And the corporate media are the No. 1 promoters of the idea.

Monday, May 13, 2002

I don't know about esrogen but...

Did I see this here already? If so, I apologize for being redundant. But I thought it was interesting in light of Jeneane’s posting about women in the work place. It would seem that Phyllis Chestler has written a book about Women’s Inhumanity to Women.
Chestler begins with a run-through of the scientific and historical evidence on female violence. Among primates, evolutionary psychologists have found, females often bid for “alpha” status by trying to sabotage the reproductive cycles of their sisters. Mother lemurs and chimps have been known to kill and even cannibalize their competitors’ babies.”
She has a psychodynamic/mythic theory.
Some of this behavior, Chesler believes, can be explained by psychoanalytical theory. She speculates that women’s penchant for indirect aggression results from the frustrated romance of the mother-daughter bond. Longing for intimacy, girls may be enraged to find that their mothers reserve most of their affection for their husbands. To this Chesler adds a portrait of the “Demetrian” mother—named for the goddess Demeter, who kept her grown daughter Persephone in tow six months a year—who feels betrayed when her child shows signs of independence.”
And as for the work place…
This is not to suggest, Chesler hastens to add, that women alone are to blame for women’s inhumanity. Another culprit (needless to say) is the “patriarchy,” especially in today’s male-dominated workplace. She cites a study showing that female economists were more likely than their male counterparts to reject the proposals of women for National Science Foundation funding—a result, Chesler asserts, of women having to compete among themselves for a few token positions. Nor are things any better in office settings, where women obey the dictates of various dysfunctional “gender standards.” Thus, some female managers pretend to be caring mother figures in order to suppress dissent and demands for money, while others act, as one of Chesler’s subjects put it, like “male-impersonators.
More here.


Specially Formulated Diet

This is a specially formulated diet designed to help women cope with the
stress that builds during the day.
BREAKFAST
1 grapefruit
1 slice whole-wheat toast
1 cup skim milk

LUNCH
1 small portion lean, steamed chicken with a cup of spinach
1 cup herbal tea
1 Hershey's Kiss

AFTERNOON TEA
The rest of the Hershey Kisses in the bag
1 tub of Hagen-Daaz ice cream with chocolate-chip topping

DINNER
4 bottles of wine (red or white)
2 loaves garlic bread
1 family-size Supreme pizza
3 Snickers bars

LATE NIGHT SNACK
1 whole Sarah Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)

REMEMBER: "Stressed" spelled backward is "desserts".

More on women-only/majority workplaces

Interesting discussion on Burning Bird here where who should rush to my defense? Gentlemen. Thanks guys.

I particularly find what Tom Graves says there interesting:

"Dysfunctional behaviours in so-called 'male-dominated' environments have been much-studied, and have been the source of much finger-pointing by blame-oriented (nominal) 'feminists' and others. Dysfunctional behaviours in 'female-dominated' environments have rather noticeably not been studied - or rather, when they have, the results have often been either passively or actively suppressed, because they're not pretty, and don't _at all_ conform to those merry stereotypes about "sugar and spice and all things nice"... (cf. the US National Family Violence Survey, which for thirty years has consistently shown women as _more_ violent than men, in physical violence - let alone non-physical, at which women have always 'excelled')."

Fascinating. I'd like to think that Shelley's account is truth:

"To be honest, I've not really noticed that much of a difference, good or bad, in overall behavior of a group based on the sex of the upper management. Regardless of the preferred expression -- tears or words or actions -- excessive emotionalism at work occurs in both sexes. Sex of the boss, number of men or women in the group, sex of your co-workers -- none of these purely sex-based characteristics play into this one."

But I still say, after having survived two work environments of primarily women, from leadership on down, it's different. In my experience, not good different. You'd think, wouldn't you, that the woman president and CEO at one of these companies, a mother herself, would have somehow been a little more understanding when I nearly died after giving birth to my child and needed a second surgery--meaning I was out two sets of 8 weeks (instead of one) on disability. Oh, don't think they were paying me during that time. Silly. No paid maternity leave there. And isn't it interesting that when push came to shove, she was able to lay off this star performer of the company with a five-week-old-baby at home. What did the rest of the girls do on layoff day? Had a pizza lunch together. Mmmmm. Warm and fuzzy, isn't it?

I learned my lesson. I look for diversity in a workplace, not assuming I'm "safe" because I'm with a group of women. I like ethnic diversity, diversity of the genders, and whatever the hell other diversity I can find. It tends to dilute the psycho factor when we unrelated humans gather to complete tasks for money.

And you may say, what about Blog Sisters? We're all women? And Iove talking with everyone here, and hearing the amazing opinions, and learning from you. But I'm not sure it would be the same if we were showing up to work together every day instead of hanging out here talking about life.




Sunday, May 12, 2002

estrogen heavy workplaces and homes

Elaine and I have a discussion going on over at my place that might be better discussed here. It's about the overwhelming femaleness I'm feeling in my house mothering my girl child with my husband gone for three months. The shrillness of energy (not always positive, sometimes positive) I feel in my home without him here, and the way my daughter is fighting to change into a four-year-old woman with him away, has me dismayed.

I compared this feeling to the women-majority (close to woman only at some points) company I worked for here in Atlanta that was one step away from a looney bin. Elaine had a wonderful experience at the almost-women-only business she worked for. She attributes that experience in part to the femaleness of the place. In the same way, I attribute the hysterical nature (and it was--most days someone was crying or storming out) of the place I worked for to the absence of the other half of our species, whose mere presence I think would have perhaps kept our highs from going so manic and our lows from going so depressive. Maybe with the right woman in charge a workplace can emulate the best of women? And maybe with the wrong woman in charge, you get what I got at that psych ward that was my job for 4 years.

Am I insane? Probably just missing my man. What a woman. ;-)

Elaine, you're still my hero.

Mothers Day

As another mother's day is here I think of all the crappy things that I have put my mother through in the past year. I am never going to be able to thank her for what she has done for me. When I was sick and in the hospital and when I got out, she is the one who was always there for me...and what have I done in return? Given her crap, I put my mother through Hell. I dropped out of school. Before anyone starts to think ill of me, I did it because there was no way I could have passed, and I had to save my GPA. I am going to go back next year and finish the last three classes that I need to graduate and will graduate in the fall and start college in the spring. I will be only one semester behing my class. Its not that big of a deal to me....but it is to her. She thinks that she is the one that put me into the situation that I am in, and its not her. Between my knee and doctors visits, and being in the hospital, and all the pail killers the doctors had me on there was no way that I could have passed my classes. I don't know what I really mean by this blog. I guess I need to talk to my own mother about all of this, and not just vent about what I have done to all of my fellow sisters and others. Mother's day always brings out this side of me. I will never know why.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Happy Mother's Day!
To all of you mothers out there.

Men and Self Help

Has anyone else wondered about the self help industry? I see a large number of wealthy white guys selling programs for us to improve our lives. I see a lot of wealthy white guys running off to the Cayman Islands to deposit large checks hidden behind corporate "bodies." I mean really, who is going to put "Enron" in jail, or "Global Crossing," or "Arthur Anderson?"
Who pays? We do. Oh yes, I do admit my jealousy. Like Mrs. Lay, I too would like to have so much that when I want to get rid of a few things I would have to do as she and open my own store. I would love for a man to buy me a white Caddilac SUV with Blue velor interior, "Here honey," as he hands me the keys, "I got this for you as a token of my love." To the Devil with the Diamonds!. But no, I get stuck doing data entry and having my ideas dismissed. My 1987 Ford Taurus Wagon works and so I must assume it is the perfect car for me.
At one time I came to a point in my life where I had to join a recovery group. I was a sloshed sister. The recovery literature was he/him focused. God was a man (no more! Thank you Starhawk). Some recovery and new age types will tell me that I am perfect just the way I am. Then why is it necessary to go out and buy Spiritual self help programs? I am perfect just the way I am.
Yet sometimes I am caught in the youth worship thing. I mean I do not have that "Victoria's Secrets" body (are stretch marks art?) and I am always getting caught up in worrying over my weight. Scientists say diets cause muscle loss, and the weight comes right back. Exercise works but with three jobs and trying to improve myself for those golden jingles of coinage that make greater privilege possible, there is precious little time for exercise. But then am I not perfect just the way I am? Yes!
Okay so I am getting older. Divorce cleared away the dead wood, but left precious little intimacy (if there ever was any). My boys are grown and doing their things, I am proud of them, even though they inherited the family disease. Older doesn't make for a "Secrets" Girl anymore either. And still, I am perfect just the way I am.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I don't have to go out in public in a sack from head to toe. If we love and cooperate we are told we will eventually win out over sepratism, hatred, and evil, because we are perfect just the way we are.
How do I know? The Goddess told me so.
Robin

Thursday, May 09, 2002

This is fun.

Hey…I just figured out how to use the key to the kingdom, so this is my first post. Thanks Elaine and Jeneane! I though you all might like to see Jennifer Portnick’s page. She’s pretty amazing.

RIP Kevyn Aucoin.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

As a matter of fact, diamonds are not my best friend.

Tonight's 60 Minutes II features an ecstatic report on "clean" (vs. "conflict") diamonds coming out of Canada.

It's estimated that approximately 4% of all diamonds are mined out of war torn parts of Africa. Sales of these diamonds fuel fighting in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Congo. There is almost no way of assuring whether a rock is clean. There are no brands and no way of telling where a diamond originated. That said, I have never wanted a diamond. As a matter of fact, if I were ever presented with a rock that is clean with 100% certainty, I still would refuse it. Diamonds hardly represent glamour to me. Au contraire, when I see rocks, I see malnourished and amputee children. I see blood. Lots of blood.

Consider me like you would an anti-fur person who won't even wear fantasy fur.

That said, I did a little Google search on this topic and wouldn'tcha know... Those Canadian diamonds ain't so clean.

Trim And Fit, Not The Same

In keeping with TBIOD, here's a story about a San Francisco exercise instructor who won a weight bias proceeding against Jazzercize, under a city ordinance that barred the company's "fit appearance" criteria. [link via Heather at Held In Contempt] More evidence: RHMP Barbie isn't looking exactly healthy... (great find, Andrea!)
Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
Interesting post below from Anita, given my recent blog about my attraction to Tin Men and Fallen Angels. So, I went and read the first chapter of the Nice Guy book, which you can get online. It seems to me that Glover is advocating that men go the same route toward self-actualization that we women (some of us) have been trying to go. He tells men to:
-learn effective ways to get your needs met
-begin to feel more powerful and confident
-cereat the kind of intimate relationship yo really want
-learn to express your feelings and emotions
-have a fulfilling and exciting sex life
-embrace your masculinity and build meaningful relaionships with men
-live up to your potential and become truly creative and productive
-accept yourself just as you are.

If we read this advice with any reference to "men" being replaced by "women," we'd be saying Right On! What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

And actually, I think that, perhaps, Glover is trying to help men become self-actualized, but couching it all in a marketing approach that might actually get men to read the book.
Where are the nice guys?
They are a disappearing breed and now we know why!

This site promises you (if you are a nice guy, of course) to help you break free from this syndrome.

"No More Mr. Nice Guy! presents a proven plan to help passively pleasing men stop seeking approval and start getting what they want in love and life," is the promise on this page.

And who qualifies as a nice guy? Some of the characteristics:
  • Nice guys seek the approval of others.
  • Nice guys try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.
  • Nice guys put other people's needs and wants before their own.
  • Nice guys sacrifice their personal power and often play the role of a victim.
  • Nice guys tend to be disconnected from other men and from their own masculine energy.
  • Nice guys co-create relationships that are less than satisfying.
  • Nice guys create situations in which they do not have very much good sex.
  • Nice guys frequently fail to live up their full potential.

Dr Robert Glover is the not very nice man behind all the mischief!

The bottom line: A man cannot be 'nice' and have what he wants in love, life and sex!

Unbelievable, but true! Check it out and tell us what you think.


Tuesday, May 07, 2002

FORTUNE - How to &#$@ Manage Like Sharon Osbourne
Somehow I've found myself in deep admiration of this woman.

Even Barbie can learn that looks aren't everything

Yes, in "honor" of TBIOD, it's:

RAGING HORMONES MENOPAUSAL PROZAC BARBIE


Raging Hormones Menopausal Prozac Barbie


It defies all logic and sense, and it can be yours if you win this eBay auction.

Sunday, May 05, 2002

Boy, do those boys have a long way to go!
Two links via Sister Esta’s blog that show what dangerous dumbasses some members of that other gender still insist on being:
-- one reporting that officials estimate that more than 200,000 women and girls — one-quarter of all women trafficked globally — are smuggled out of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics each year, the bulk of whom end up working as enslaved prostitutes. Almost half are transported to Western Europe. Roughly a quarter end up in the United States. Human rights activists say the numbers do not tell the full story, because most women remain silent rather than turn to frequently corrupt authorities for help.

-- the other explaining how The Saudi government is cracking down on factories producing versions of women's cloaks that violate religious rules.... a Saudi religious ruling requires a "decent woman's" cloak to be thick and non-revealing, not body hugging, and devoid of decorations or markings that would attract public attention, the newspaper said.

HOWEVER, I think Blog Sisters should give a “One of the Really Good Guys” award to Tom Shugart, who decided to give his "Huh?..Lemme See If I Got That Straight" Award to Newsweek’s Kenneth L Woodward, who gives his opinion of the clerical mess in the Catholic Church. Shugart lifts the following two quotes from Woodward’s piece:

My main concern is that ordaining women would fatally feminize a religion that already appeals far more to women than to men.

As I see it, the last bastion of male presence in the church is the altar and the pulpit. I would hate to see the priesthood turn into an essentially female calling.

I think that Blog Sisters needs to institute a "Woeful Weeny" award to bestow on guys like Woodward.

All of these antiquated attitutes, designed to keep women relegated only to those positions where men can control them, make me want to puke -- preferably all over those stupid Neanderthals.

All the more reason to TURN BEAUTY INSIDE OUT. Get with it Sisters. Some of us already have the mini-poster on our own blogs. What about the rest of us????

Saturday, May 04, 2002

Heartless Bitches International
Divine Secrets
If you haven't yet read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, do it. And before the movie comes out because no movie can capture the way that the book reveals the poignancy and complexity of relationships among these "lifelong friends who stage a rather unorthodox intervention to help a young playwright unravel the truth about her complicated, eccentric mother, find forgiveness and acceptance, and let go of her painful past." I think that even Helene Cixous would approve of the novel.

But even if you don't have time to read the book, go see the movie anyway. I can't wait!!

Cixous says...

Before I go off to distract myself further, this, from Helene Cixous, the dreamweaver that woke me up one night with the idea for Blogsisters.

"The origin of the gesture of writing is linked to the experience of a disappearance, to the feeling of having lost the key to the world, to have been thrown outside. To have acquired all of a sudden the feeling of something precious, rare, mortal. To have to find again, urgently, an entrance, breath, to keep the trace. We have to make the apprenticeship of Mortality."

If I had a day all to myself

I think I would do a blog-a-thon, a marathon blogging session to see how much could come spilling out of my head in a 24 hour writing frenzy. But I don't. Have a day to myself, that is. And that's okay. Because having a darling 4 year old is much more important and rewarding. Still. So much sitting back in my spinal chord that needs to freeflow to the front of my ever-shrinking brain. I got a headache with it sitting where it is. But that's how it is. Personality split three ways, maybe more. The job of mother.

Off to see E.T now.

'kay. bye.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

More and more TBIO
Check out the new "Blog Sisters News" item that the Jeneane has posted and get involved in our first-ever monthly Burning Issue. See Andrea's post, below, on ways to do that. Copy the Blogsisters TBIO graphic and put in on your own blog, along with whatever else you're moved to add to the conversation. And start looking for and suggesting specific Burning Issues for future months. Let's use our collective voice to make some loud far-reaching, and meaningful sounds.

TBIO continued

Elaine, your idea is excellent, and I like the way the graphic is going. I'm definitely in on this too! I have an idea related to one of my first "poetry collections" that I made, wherein much of the poetry dealt with self-image. I hope to draw something together and post it on my own blog on the fifteenth. I would like to add my encouragement to the Sisters to not just make a simple post, but to really use their talents to speak eloquently in their own unique ways about dealing with body image and self image, whether through art, poetry, personal stories, crafts (as suggested in the comments), whatever. This deserves more time than simply one day. It's a worthy campaign. :-)

I remember when I was twelve or thirteen, and my peers were helping to make me miserable every school day (and I was helping make myself miserable right along with them). In a burst of tears I told my mom, "I feel like everyone else is a butterfly and I'm just a moth." What I didn't know then is some moths look like this, and I was judging myself by an unrealistic (and untrue!) standard.

Body image issues are certainly getting to a disturbing state when people who have starved their own child think the kid is starting to get "chubby" after being taken away and put on a normal diet. Newsflash to the clueless: all healthy one-year-olds look a little chubby. It's called baby fat and it's normal.