kitchen table

from the book I’m currently reading
December 2, 2006, 1:16 pm
Filed under: books, Gender, Literature

It was all very well to insist that art was art and had no sex, but the fact was that the days of men were not in the same way fragmented, atomized by indefinite small tasks. There was such a thing as woman’s work and it consisted chiefly, Hilary sometimes thought, in being able to stand constant interruption and keep your temper. Each single day she fought a war to get to her desk before her little bundle of energy had dissipated, to push aside or cut through an intricate web of slight threads pulling her in a thousand directions–that unanswered letter, that telephone call…

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing


love the hair
November 28, 2006, 11:58 am
Filed under: Feminism, Gender

I feel like all I’ve done lately is post photographs but I couldn’t let this one slide because it’s just, well, great. For years my mother half-joked about shaving my armpits while I slept so as soon as Anke gets a poster-sized version, guess what’s going up above my bed?

Originally uploaded by Miss Linotte 

there’s a new nancy in town
November 8, 2006, 5:40 pm
Filed under: America, conservative craziness, Gender

“In my first act of bipartisan outreach since the election, I shared with her [Pelosi] the names of some Republican interior decorators who can help her pick out the the new drapes for her new offices.”

Do you think Bush was talking about this Nancy when he said that?

Mrs. Reagan might of said, “I don’t talk about political matters. That’s not my department,” but this Nancy ain’t gonna sit pretty and decorate, George.

Proof that once a sexist frat boy always a sexist fratboy?

ripple effect: the saga of contraception denial continues

For those of you following the Biting Beaver’s emergency contraception saga, you will be interested to know that she has, in fact, become pregnant. So because a pharmacist wouldn’t prescribe her EC, she now has to have an abortion. Again, are these “I’ve got a moral objection to sex” pharmacists completely bat-shit or what?

BB has got a frank and honest post up about her feelings on the matter. Part of her rage is the continuous message she receives about the apparent worthiness of the fetus inside her compared to her own existence and the well-being of her three children.

How often can one person hear that a fetus is more important than their own life? Than the lives of their children? How many times can you be reminded that you are, to them at least, a sack of shit and not worthy of even living?

Am I cold hearted about this? You bet your ass I am. I’m angry that my life is apparently worth so little because I had sex. I’m angry that people would literally try to fucking murder me by sending me a list of fatal herbs via a ‘helpful’ email. And that is to say nothing about the picket lines I will most likely have to cross. That speaks nothing to the shame that this society will attempt to thrust upon me for this situation. It speaks nothing to the anger and rage I feel that the penis which was actually attached to the condom apparently becomes utterly invisible.

Read the whole thing here.

people’s power: anorexics & the merits of tabloid coverage
October 3, 2006, 11:15 pm
Filed under: America, Feminism, friends, Gender

This whole skinny model, Hollywood’s skeleton chic thing has been all over the blogs, tabloids, and mainstream press lately. Still, I feel inclined to comment.

As I said to Brynn this weekend, if I was 16 and had an eating disorder, I would see the most recent cover of People magazine and buy it not as a resource for getting help, for a mine of inspiration. I know this because at 16 I did exactly that. The more photographs I saw of disgustingly skinny women, the more determined I was to get there myself. “It shows you that someone else is doing it so therefore it’s possible,” Brynn said.

One of the sidebar stories-within-a-story to the cover article featured a then & now of actress Portia de Rossi. I actually didn’t know she suffered from anorexia–must’ve been during college when I disappeared from the land of television–and wow, she was really sick. Included in the text next to her photos are quotes from de Rossi about how she did it and how she recovered.

“See,” I said to Brynn, “I would’ve read the ‘I ate 300 calories–a lot of jello’ part and told myself that from now on 300 calories and jello is my goal.” I would have copied her method to improve my own. Fucked up, I know, but probably not that uncommon among women with eating disorders.

In fact, the National Eating Disorders Association suggests on their website that recovering anorexics or bulimics censor the details of their own stories when talking with a person suffering from an ED:

Don’t provide ‘tips’ or play the numbers game. “I ate only XXX calories a day” or “He took as many as XX laxatives at a time” can turn a well-intentioned story into ‘how-to instructions’ for someone to follow.

All of this makes People‘s attempt at a responsible cover depicting the pressure young women feel to be emaciated–let’s not say “thin” here, it’s beyond that at this point–seem insincere at best. One would think that if People were truly interested in addressing the problem of eating disorders, they’d consider not running photographs of these sick women at all. Wait until they’re healthy. Tell their publicists that until the weight comes back on, only photographs showing them above 105 pounds will be published. I doubt that would jive with People‘s advertisers but if they’re serious about being a semi-serious gossip rag–hey, they write stories about “normal” people too–then they should consider taking on some of the responsibility. That cover doesn’t get them off the hook, it just sinks ’em in deeper.

Denied: feminist blogger plays 20-questions & still comes up short
September 20, 2006, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Blogging, conservative craziness, Feminism, Gender, Reproductive Rights

Biting Beaver has a detailed report up of her recent attempt to get emergency contraception. Not only was she asked questions about her marital status, fidelity, and number of children, she was made to answer personal questions about the sexual act causing her to need EC.

Was it rape? They wanted to know. Did she experience “trauma?”

“No. I have not been raped. The condom broke”. I state, becoming very frustrated at this point and wondering what the hell is going on.

“Ok, well ummm….Are you married?” he mumbles the words so low I can barely hear them.

Suddenly I get this image of the poor nurse standing at the hospital reading from a cue card that was given to him by a doctor.

“No.” I state plainly. “I am not married. I’ve been in a relationship for several years and I have three children, I don’t want a fourth.” I respond tersely.

“Oh, I see.” He says and then he hurries on, “Well, see. *I* understand. I want you to know that I understand what you’re saying. But see, the problem is that we have 4 doctors here right now but only one of them ever writes EC prescriptions. But see, the thing is that he’ll interview you and see if you meet his criteria. Now, I called the pharmacy but I also talked to him and well….*clears throat*….you can come down and try to get it. You know, if you meet his criteria he’ll give you a prescription, I mean, there’s really no harm in trying.” the nurse trails off, his voice falters as I realize what I’m being told.

The whole piece is up at Biting Beaver’s blog. It’s worth the read.

Via Feministing.

dELIAs joins the likes of Abercrombie in exploiting its female customers
September 3, 2006, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Activism, Feminism, Gender

Boyfriend and I were at the mall yesterday during the Ernesto-sponsored rainstorm—a bad decision on many fronts—when a nauseating discovery was made at Delia’s:


He actually pointed it out to me, saying something along the lines of, “What the fuck?” Folks might remember all the buzz last year when a group of girls, otherwise known as Girls as Grantmakers, proposed a girlcott of a slew of Abercrombie & Fitch’s t-shirts. With slogans such as, “Who needs brains when you have these?” strategically printed over the shirt’s front, A&F was joining a long line of product-placers who have caught flack for valuing profit over gender equality. (My personal fave is the “Math is Hard” Barbie.)

Delia’s, which this author remembers more as a must-have catalog from high school days than a store in the mall, has long been cashing in on “alternative” fashion trends and dispatching the lace-up combat boots/fishnet tights/plaid mini-skirts to every dare-to-be-different girl in the country. Unfortunately, this ongoing vintage-logo trend in t-shirts has them stooping as low as their friends over at A&F. The “I’m tight like spandex!” tees are blantantly advertising the wearer’s virginity, sexualizing her innocence as creepily as a kiddie-porn producer. It’s nasty, nasty. Once again, girls are being told that their bodies are the most valuable thing they have to offer. And that’s not tight, I mean, err, cool. Yeah, that doesn’t work there either.

Anyway, here’s an idea: write to or call Delia’s, tell them how unfashionable sexism is, and let’s raise a fuss…

dELIAs, Inc. Executive Offices
435 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 807-9060

UPDATE: Carolyn brought to my attention that we could leave a comment on the website. Go! go!