Comrade Revolution has made us aware of his great affliction. People continue to marry… Comrade Revolution thought that people’s morals and spirit had improved somewhat, but he realizes that the spirit and morals of people are not susceptible to…
Writers and painters and stand-up comics and other creative types where solitude is so critical—these folks often think that the pair phenomenon is for others. But creative intimacy is so much more than “collaboration.” In writing especially, the problem of the hidden partner is rife. Most good editors don’t talk about what they do. It’s often indiscrete, or even disrespectful. I just heard the story of a magazine editor who lost his job because he’d lost the confidence of his writers by talking so promiscuously about how he rescued their work. Michael Pietsch, who edited David Foster Wallace, said that “The editor works in disappearing ink. If a writer takes a suggestion, it becomes part of her creation. If not, it never happened. The editor’s work is and always should be invisible.”
And some writers don’t even have an editor yet, or an agent, but many of the same functions of muse, critic, sounding board—these get played by members of writing workshops, spouses, special readers. (John McPhee calls them his “listeners.”)
“As a child I was taught that to tell the truth was often painful. As an adult I have learned that not to tell the truth is more painful, and that the fear of telling the truth — whatever the truth may be — that fear is the most painful sensation of a moral life.”—June Jordan (via ethiopienne)
“For years, I kept a Post-It note above my desk. WORK, NOT LOVE! was what it said. It seemed a sturdier kind of happiness.”—Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation (a brilliant, beautiful novel forthcoming from Knopf in January 2014)
The founders of Mujeres Libres argued that women had to organize independently of men, both to overcome their own subordination and to struggle against male resistance to women’s emancipation. The founders based their program in the same commitments to direct action and preparation that informed the broader Spanish anarchist movement, and insisted that women’s preparation to engage in revolutionary activity must develop out of their own particular life experiences. The process required both that women overcome their specific subordination as women, and that they develop the knowledge and self-confidence necessary to participate in revolutionary struggle and to challenge the male domination of those organizations that failed to take them and their experiences seriously.
The women’s concern for independence was so great that it affected even the choice of name for the organization. Despite the fact that most of its founders had come to political awareness through the anarcho-syndicalist movement and considered themselves “libertarians,” they did not take the name Mujeres Libertarias (libertarian women). Instead, they chose Mujeres Libres (free women), to make clear that they were free of all institutional and organization involvements, even of an involvement with the CNT.
I love it when younger girls look up to older girls as role models and heroes. I love it when older girls enthusiastically support and protect younger girls. I love it when girls are psyched about the skills and accomplishments of other girls, I love it when girls compliment each other, take care of each other, encourage each other. I love it when girls realize how awesome and important they are. I love it when girls are fuckin’ pumped about girls.
“A woman who says “No thanks, I’ll sleep on the floor”; a woman who freezes up and tenses at your touch; a woman who says “I really don’t want to” and “We really shouldn’t” and “We can’t” and “Please at least wear a condom” is not saying yes to you, and if you would like to pretend that that is unclear, you are a liar, you are being disingenuous, you are lying and you know it.”—Mallory Ortberg, "What counts?" (via dolorimeter)
“As a society, we’re not serious about ending violence against women. We pay great lip service to the idea, but we aren’t willing to interrogate the ways in which we have accepted gendered violence in our everyday lives.
We teach boys this general message about how they’re supposed to “respect women” while writing off all behavior that is blatantly disrespectful (and dangerous) toward women as “boys being boys.” It starts young, when every hair pull, pinch, slap, push, and shove boys exact on girls is written off because “boys will be boys” and that’s how they flirt. No, that’s how they hit girls. Any message to the contrary only further perpetuates the idea that all of this is OK.
Then they get older and any time they get into a physical altercation with a girl, we spend more time asking about how they were “provoked” than what they should have done instead of putting their hands on a girl.
Then they become adults and the police and lawyers and judges downplay the seriousness of their offenses. And they get to say “that’s not the person I am” or “I take full responsibility” and voila, they’re completely absolved.
It should be pretty obvious why this fails, right? If the reason you shouldn’t hurt people is because you should “respect” them, then the moment someone loses your respect, they become vulnerable to violence from you. Some losses of respect are legitimate (i.e. the person did something very bad and now you don’t respect them), some are not (i.e. the person violated gender norms and now you don’t respect them), but regardless of what they did, they don’t deserve violence.
And some people are never considered “respectable” at all, because we don’t consciously include them when we say things like “respect women”.
After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.
Even when I was explicitly trying, I still failed to have the discussion participants fairly represent the population of the students in my classroom.
This is a well-studied phenomena and it’s called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are ‘hogging the floor’ even when men are dominating.
Implicit bias is a thing, just like privilege. Calling it out isn’t meant to shame anyone, but to alert us to step it up and improve ourselves so everyone can have a voice. Be conscious of what you and others are saying, and know when not to speak.
“We never say that all men deserve to feel beautiful. We never say that each man is beautiful in his own way. We don’t have huge campaigns aimed at young boys trying to convince them that they’re attractive, probably because we very rarely correlate a man’s worth with his appearance. The problem is that a woman’s value in this world is still very much attached to her appearance, and telling her that she should or deserves to feel beautiful does more to promote that than negate it. Telling women that they “deserve” to feel pretty plays right in to the idea that prettiness should be important to them. And having books and movies aimed at young women where every female protagonist turns out to be beautiful (whereas many of the antagonists are described in much less flattering terms) reinforces the message that beauty has some kind of morality attached to it, and that all heroines are somehow pretty.”—You Don’t Have To Be Pretty – On YA Fiction And Beauty As A Priority | The Belle Jar (via brutereason)
[Virginia] Woolf demonstrated to my 16-year-old self how through history woman had been under-educated, denied legal and economic independence, while the round of pregnancy and child-rearing had consumed her creative life.
What I loved about Woolf’s polemic was the sense of a great intellect at work, and yet righteous anger burned below the unruffled surface.
Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons. I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after “semicolons,” and another one after “now.”
And another thing. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than get old. And he did. He shot himself. A short sentence. Anything rather than a long sentence, a life sentence. Death sentences are short and very, very manly. Life sentences aren’t. They go on and on, all full of syntax and qualifying clauses and confusing references and getting old. And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man.
Ursula K. Le Guinon being a man – the finest, sharpest thing I’ve read in ages