I’ve got my feminist hat on

March 17, 2009

First and foremost today, I am wearing my feminist hat. Now that I’ve said it twice I might have to get a real hat. Quote of the day: 

“Masculinity is what phallotarians do to keep women feminized. Femininity is what women do to keep from being pathologized, criminalized, ostracized, jailed, raped, and butchered”

 – curtesy of Twisty at http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com

This quote puts into words something I think I have long had an intuition about. Knowing that if I don’t display an appropriate level of culturally sanctioned feminity when out and about people could stare or make comments. If that sounds daft or extreme I agree, but that doesn’t stop it happening. And I’m lucky that that’s only one end of the scale that leads ultimately to violence.

Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to reaching an age where I will no longer be considered fuckable so that I will no longer be subject (object) of the public gaze?

In other news: I have been a total slacker with my writing. I wonder if I should start writing something else; another major project or something that exists only for me. The short stories I wrote last year were what I thought a short story should be. I want to be absurd, ridiculous, but when I sit down to do it I get blank page anxiety. I bought a book called “Gasoline” by Dame Darcy, a visually pleasing work with lots of illustrations. This is the kind of thing I love, so why am I not writing it? Because silliness is inappropriate? Because it won’t win any prizes?

I have not been wasting my time though. It has been gorgeously sunny ( I can scarcely believe winter is over, I’m sure it only snowed last week and christmas was the week before). I spent half the weekend reading in the garden amongst my swaying laundry and cats who like to poke their faces through the back of the bench.


Woe (times are changing)

March 10, 2009

I’m in a deep, dark, emo funk. It’s bad. It’s a blend of recession blues, personal dissatisfaction and general disgust for humanity.

The recession may see me joining the ranks of the boomerang generation I fought so hard to avoid (oh who am I kidding? I sat pretty and was glad of my lucky escape) and moving back to my parents house. This would only be tolerable if I could keep my job and work online.

I am personally dissatisfied with my person. The blues have been killing the delicate orchid of my motivation and every act is becoming a chore. If left to my own devices, with no watchers or responsibilities, I am certain I would be living in a pile of fetid blankets, reading book after book, eating from a can and refusing to shower so I didn’t have to go outside.

This is actually a pretty good mentality for me to start my novel redrafting. A little drop of self-loathing is good for my creative process; stops me getting too distracted.

General disgust for humanity is not something I like to feel but it’s almost always there. There always seems to be something: like the latest reports on the insanely high level of domestic violence, or overhearing people talk about the criteria they simply must have for their second car. Or their beach holiday (hmm, Mauritius or Dubai?).  And that thing about the Brazilian girl (age 9) who really shouldn’t have had an abortion (of twins) because now God won’t love her.

Anyway…

I went to see Watchmen at the weekend. My favourite part was the opening montage, soundtracked by “the Times, They are a-Changing” where they all started so young and happy and full of pride, optimism and self-belief and gradually got torn apart. Despite having read the comic and knowing all their fates I still had a tear in my eye when I saw Silhouette and her girlfriend murdered. That montage was a high-calorie viewing experience in itself.

Sometimes I look at people and think they’re hurting. It’s not true though; they’re just waiting for someone to talk to.


Queer Musings

February 22, 2009

Me and that guy were talking the other day about queer people on TV. I was explaining to him how falsely constructed the super-camp gay male presenter stereotype was and we hit on something: where are all the lesbians? Not just TV presenters – anywhere on UK television? 

We even spent some time googling to see if anyone we recognised came up. The winner: Sue Perkins.


Birmingham Book Festival

October 16, 2008

Yes, we the birminghamese have learned our words and there is now so much interest in books that we have our own library. And the library is giving us a festival!

http://www.birminghambookfestival.org/

It’s now halfway through so I doubt I’m going to do them any advertising favours here – though do look out for next year’s. I took partner to see Mark Thomas speak about his new book Belching out the Devil about Coca Cola and how many evil things they do in so many different countries.

This was extra fun for me because partner enjoys coke frequently. Ha. He may still go for it, it’s just not as easy when you know they pay workers less than a living wage in Turkey, they drain and pollute the water supplies of Indian villages, they use child labour in their sugar cane fields and turn a blind eye to their trade-unionist staff being shot in their bottling plants in Columbia. I can’t wait to read the book. I’ll let you know how it is. (we also got his previous book “As used on the famous Nelson Mandela”)

The great thing about Mark Thomas is how ordinary and approachable he is. He’s enthusiastic and good humoured with his blokey London accent and attitude – the opposite of the activist stereotype. (who does fit the activist stereotype? if you know, please share). I think it helps ordinary folk to put a person they can relate to to serious issues; it shows that you don’t have to be snobby or a hippy to boycott things, and you don’t have to be a raving loon to care about what goes on in the world. Good stuff.

When I first set this blog up I thought “gosh, why ever would I want to create a load of pages? I can’t even think of one” and now I’m getting overrun as I think I should add one for things worthy of boycott….


Icon of Last Week

October 6, 2008

I do somewhat suck for not posting this at the weekend like I said I would. It’s typical of my disordered function. And also my home computer isn’t ready yet so it’s still hard to get online at home.

Drumroll please: tstststststststststststststststststsah!

Bisexual icon: Amanda Palmer

taken by Beth Hommel

taken by Beth Hommel

In the full glory of her performance outfit, taken when she was still intact. When I saw her she was a bit damaged with her foot in plaster. And freezing her ass off. She looked so small at the signing table after the show, huddled over her pen with her foot on a stool. On stage she was fucking amazing. The woman has presence like I’ve never seen, she’s a born performer, and the show she’s put together with her friends raises the bar for live performance.

She shared the stage with Zoe Keating, supercellist, and Jason Webley accordion-hobo. They were equally engaging and completely contrasting in style and execution – she looped phrases through her laptop, he brought a maraca made of a plastic bottle full of coins. Between us me and partner bought their CDs and got them signed, took their pictures and joined their mailing lists. Taking little bits of them to keep for ourselves.

My favourite souvenir is the stem of flowers Amanda threw into the crowd that I caught. I’m going to press one of the flowers under my book mountain. I’ll probably forget about it for 2 years then rediscover it and relive some Amanda-based joy. At the moment I’m looking up lyrics as it’s the way she writes about things and the choice of subject matter that gives her punk caberet style the extra layer of depth missing from a lot of music.


I’m so excited – that friday feeling

October 3, 2008

Explicit joy of anticipation. Except only on the inside. Oh I’ve mentioned it to a few people over the last week but I’m afraid to acknowledge how excited I might actually be about going to see Amanda Palmer tonight. Amanda Fucking Palmer. Phenomenal woman. Musician. Performer. Artist. Icon.

Yes I said Icon. Tomorrow (unless I am unable to claw my way to the interwebs) I will post about the show and add AFP to the icons list. rar.


~*New Feature*~

September 26, 2008

I’m sure you are amazed by my misuse of random characters. What could it be, this new feature that requires such juvenile decor? It is:

Virginia’s Bisexual Icon of the Week!ta da!

In light of one of my recent posts about how I missed out on a significant event in my life because I didn’t know bisexual was an option, I have decided to start compiling a list of prominent bisexual people. How dull monosexualism will seem in comparison!

First up: Virginia Woolf

As a woman so awesome I named my blog after her Virginia Woolf has to come first. She was an intelligent and sensitive woman and born into the privilege of literary high society. It was a natural progression that surrounded by creative people on all sides she should become a novelist herself, pioneering modernist styles with strong psychological development of her characters.

Virginia was a feminist and advocated that women have the potential to be equal to men in creativity given the time, space and freedom from financial worry to do so. In her upper class Bloomsbury group and creative circles it was common to take a lover in addition to marriage, so although she was devoted to her husband Leonard she simultaneously had another long term partner, Vita Sackville-West.

It is thought that childhood abuse from her half brothers and deaths of many significant family members in her youth triggered fragile mental health for the rest of Virginia’s life. She had multiple breakdowns and it has been theorised that she may have been bipolar. At the age of 59 she drowned herself.

I think Virginia Woolf means something to me because I empathise with the way she writes about things. I know what it feels like to dissociate from the world because I’m so tangled in a web of my own thoughts (albeit less well constructed thoughts than hers). I understand how emotion can be there beneath the surface without being acknowledged, and what it feels like to be torn by something you refuse to admit exists. Virginia speaks to a side of my character that very few people do.