Maybe, since this is my fucking playhouse, a little self-indulgence is warranted.
This blog is three years old.
Starting this blog was a really big step for my mental health. It was an expression of confidence in myself, in my right to have strong opinions and speak my mind, in my ability to write things that maybe one or two people might like to read.
It still wasn’t that easy. After the first big scary step there was a regression, an attack of nerves, a clear case of Impostor Syndrome, a constant second-guessing. All those things still happen, especially when terrifying moustachioed dinosaurs launch an attack or several hundred comments on a guest post are dedicated to telling me I’m stupid and wrong and evil and ruining everyone’s good leftwing time.
This blog has been a three-year process of learning to not give a shit.
Not give a shit that the influential old men of the left don’t like my style. Not to give a shit that the kids at Newlands College think I’m a dumb cow. Not to give a shit that Ian Wishart wants to play spot-the-real-argument in my comments.
And above all, not to give a shit that I am angry, that I am foul-mouthed, that I am a woman unafraid to stand up, metaphorically speaking, and tell the world and its fucked-up gender expectations that I am not fucking modifying my soul for its fucking convenience, and I am not fucking holding people’s hands as their brains try to process basic fucking concepts like “mansplaining is bad” and “privilege is unearned” and “expecting women to “watch their language” is basically the definition of patriarchal restrictions on women’s lives”.
I don’t give a shit about those things because I simply will not waste any more of my life wondering if people aren’t going to like me because I say I’m a feminist, or aren’t going to take me seriously unless I talk a certain way* or aren’t going to pay attention to what I’m saying unless I couch it in terms they’re comfortable with.
This isn’t strength, really. It’s self-defence. It’s the only way I’ve found to protect my mental health and not go into a self-recriminating death-spiral of doubt and second-guessing inevitably ending in the conclusion that I’m wrong, wrong, wrong, and should just stop, and shut up, and quit making such a fuss because obviously I have no fucking clue what I’m talking about.
And you can fucking decide that means I can’t play well with others, I can’t work together even with other feminists, I shouldn’t talk in “safe spaces”** because I’ll just scare people, I’m everything that’s wrong with feminism, I’m the reason the movement will fail.
But I. Don’t. Give. A. Shit.
*And what’s fucking hilarious about that is that I’m a university-educated white girl who’s pedantic about grammar and often gets mistaken for an Englishwoman thanks to an upper-class Auckland education. And *I* fucking have to worry about people discounting me because I swear, because I’m loud, because I snort when I laugh?
**Spot the fucking irony.
Another three guys-who-often-write-stuff-I-agree-with pretty much have it covered on the most recent outbreak of “Labour is low in the polls, let’s keep on trying to be National 2.0” fever.
Pagani’s strategy – which Labour appears to be following – is to keep almost all of the members of the unpopular government the public was glad to get rid of, endorse National’s policies which are mostly horrible failures, and promote no substantial policy of their own. This has worked about as well as you’d expect it to.
When did the party of Savage, Kirk and Clark become such a pack of lambs?
Comrade Trotter of course attempts to blame Labour’s woes on it not being racist, sexist, and homophobic enough – which I think tells us more about Trotter’s prejudices than it does about Labour.
With a bonus I/S on Greg Thugface O’Connor:
And if O’Connor is truly representing his members on this, then I think we have a real problem in our police force.
Fear not, tiny readers, there shall be bona fide cuss-filled ranting aplenty coming at you over this approaching Easter break! But after weekend on weekend of weddings, houseguests, and getting really drunk with awesome feminists I’m a wee bit spent …
in the mean time, you could always check out The Stroppery! /shamelessplug
… uttered by moi this evening at the supermarket. It might have been just another “QoT is vocally inappropriate while shopping” incident if my partner and I hadn’t apparently inspired two other couples to actually stand in front of the shelves containing lube and other Naughty Things as though there was nothing wrong with discussing basic sex-life considerations in public.
Because there isn’t.
But don’t let our momentary paradigm-challenging unashamed display of maturity fool you, for in the same aisle Partner then found a men’s deodorant fragrance called “Dry Impact” and couldn’t steer the trolley for giggling.
Post at The Standard with updates and major media links.
Thoughts with and good vibes to everyone down there.
On this fine Wellington afternoon a terrifying convergence of awesomely stroppy women (and a few lads) descended upon The Apartment bar and proceeded to talk all things from (least-) favourite trolls to great ways to explain breaking your bed to the manufacturer to how much we all need to attend the Wellingtonista awards.
Marvellous good fun, blog-comrades!
In a study published in the 2005 issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law,Abigail Saguy and Brian Riley found that many overweight people decide not to get help for medical conditions that are more treatable and more risky than obesity because they don’t want to deal with their doctor’s harassment about their weight. (For instance, a study from the University of North Carolina found that obese women are less likely to receive cervical exams than their thinner counterparts, in part because they worry about being embarrassed or belittled by the doctor because of their weight.)
And of course, when those women drop dead of preventable cancer, it all gets ascribed to “ZOMG obesity epidemic fatties are UNHEALTHY why didn’t they put down the baby-flavoured donuts” and the cycle keeps going, dumbasses.
The reason this jumped out at me is that it’s only been in the last year (i.e. two six-monthly appointments) that I’ve started to just not like going to the doctor.
It was great when I was at uni. The doctors were generally so head-over-heels with getting to deal with a patient who didn’t smoke, used two forms of contraception and knew exactly when her last smear had been that the dreaded BMI calculation often didn’t even make an appearance.
These last two? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeah, different story.
So my posting record has been totally abysmal for the beginning of the year. The only big thing in the news is Israel/Palestine, and … oh boy do I not want to go there. I recommend No Right Turn’s posts on the matter.
And then there’s that university work I’m meant to be finishing off … but *after* I get the first good night’s sleep of the year.
Probably not going to be posting much over the Christmas period, due to travel/lack of speedy internet/lack of real news, anyway/partying hard and dancing the night away.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Looking at the entries linked from the “roundup,” i have to wonder what the international blog against racism week does apart from covering up a lot of the decent writing about racism with a stinking white effluvia of blind privilege and overt racism under the guise of anti-racism–for this week anyway, and then they can go back to not ever even bothering to think about racism.
Even by the mongrel standards of New Zealand, I am bloody white. English/Irish/Scots/Norwegian. My peer group is almost entirely white, barring a few awfully stereotypical “tokens”.* I am not and have never been a victim of racism – being called “palagi” once or twice at a Maori/Polynesian-majority Intermediate school does not in any way count.
I don’t know what to say about racism without it basically being about me. And that is just so not cool.
So go read The Angry Black Woman. Or Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua. Or BlackAmazon. Check out the dozens of posts, written throughout the year, at the Erase Racism Carnival. ETA: Or the awesome writings of Brownfemipower.
Racism: it’s not just a week for whiteys to self-flagellate.**
*And I ain’t listing them, because that would entirely miss the point.
**And seriously, the parallels between this and the Kyle Payne excuse-for-an-explanation? Just wrong.
First off, AUSA, thanks for brightening an otherwise dull and mucus-filled day.* With $5000 going to any Auckland Uni student gutsy enough to perform a citizen’s arrest on Condoleezza Rice, I expect hilarity and/or impassioned debate on the powers given to police under our “anti-terrorism” legislation.
But from that to something rather more annoying: the current mongoosefight** between various feminists/”feminists”/avowed-non-feminists over that most high-school of topics, personal fucking appearance.