27 February 2010


i turned out looking delightfully butch this morning. i'm pleased. on the flipside of this, i'm wearing a beater and it's making me want to do some upper-body work :\

i had a series of moments earlier this week where i realized i'm sick of living in drag. i've spent entirely too much time this academic year looking like a girl because i feel like i have to. [note: I LIKE MY VAGINA.] so thursday night i rocked the flannel and ratty jeans because y'know what? i can pull it off, and i felt better that way, especially after so many days/weeks of skinny jeans and "conservative hair." i basically dressed as myself from four years ago, with better hair and an awareness of makeup.

don't get me wrong. i know i can pull off skinny jeans too, and i frequently enjoy doing it. we've all just been seeing way too much of my femme side recently. although she's interesting/pretty/fun for a little while, i landed firmly in the realm of genderqueer somewhere along this journey. it's the first concept of my own gender that's ever really made me feel comfortable. everyone who identifies as genderqueer has their own understanding of what it means, and for me, it means the freedom to express any gender in/on/with my person. i love the fluidity, the possibility of being anywhere along the gender spectrum at any given moment. i guess i just hate stagnation everywhere, and it's time to move again.

in closing, to quote the esteemed gender theorist RuPaul: "you're born naked. everything else is drag."

24 February 2010

Let's add masturbation, menstruation, & SIDS

this may be the stupidest thing i've ever heard.

Measure on illegal abortions heads to governor

Utah just secured its spot at #2 on my list of Places Never to Go. (#1, for those of you keeping track, is still Texas.) They're outlawing miscarriage.

The Salt Lake Tribune article linked above makes a good effort to including both the language of the bill and some of its (unintended?) implications in a limited number of inches. I think the blogosphere (see Jezebel, Feministe, RH Reality Check, and even Dan Savage) has done a better job of exposing the actual meaning of this legislation.

Utah wants to prosecute women who "intentionally, knowingly, [or] recklessly" cause the death of their unborn children. It started with the case of a 17-year-old woman who paid a man $150 to beat her up when she was seven months pregnant in the hopes that she would lose her baby. Ok--that was probably a stupid decision on her part. I tend to think it would do more good to examine the societal structures that made this poor girl feel it was better to pay someone to injure her than to carry a baby to term, which I suspect are the same structures that led an unmarried 17-year-old to become pregnant in the first place (abstinence-only sex education, limited access to contraception, the devaluation of everything about a women except her sexuality....you get the idea).

Even if you're not going to examine the underlying structures (and work to fix them), you at least have to admit the fact that miscarriage is a natural phenomenon. As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, for any number of reasons. To criminalize "reckless" behavior that results in a miscarriage could be to criminalize drinking alcohol, playing contact sports, walking down stairs without holding onto a railing, and staying in a domestic violence situation with an abusive partner because you are unable to leave. To criminalize "reckless" behavior that results in a miscarriage could also be to criminalize any of these actions, and others, in which a woman engages when she doesn't even know she's pregnant. The majority of miscarriages take place in the first trimester, and the majority of women are well into that period before they find out they are pregnant.

How will Utah determine whether a woman engaged in criminal behavior without investigating every miscarriage in the state? Any woman who loses her baby could potentially become the target of a criminal investigation, and that while she is going through what is already an emotionally devastating experience.

I get that the main intention of the bill is to punish women for procuring illegal abortions, which are an outrageous enough attack on the autonomy of women in themselves. (If legal abortions were more readily available and less violently contested--and if the underlying societal structures that make so many women feel the need to obtain them were not in place--this wouldn't even be an issue.) But inherent to that sentence, and as Jill from Feministe points out, the main intention of the bill is really to punish women.

My favorite part might be how the bill's sponsor, Margaret Dayton, actually said while arguing against lifting the "reckless" specification from the bill, "
I don't think we want to go down the road of carefully defining the behavior of a woman."

22 February 2010

not remotely interested in my textbooks.

Real Life has this way of catching up with you
at the most inconvenient moments
and when you least expect it.
all at once,
and relationships
and chest colds.

(not being content
knowing that everyone else
is also weighing the benefits of dropping out of school.

at least i have my independence.
at least i have my life.

i am still so spoiled
that these are the worst things
i can complain about.

19 February 2010


you watch the hours tick by on a clock you're not sure is keeping time any longer. the sound is enough to drive you crazy: tick. tick. tick. tick. you wait for something you're not sure is coming. you wait for something you're not sure you're waiting for.

eventually, the little hand is somewhere between the four and the five, and you've all but given up. you have given up, on sleep at least, but not on the idea that whatever it is will arrive. maybe it will come by the front door. so you rise, put on your coat and hat--maybe it will recognize you by your hat; maybe it will pass you by if it doesn't see your face--and take the notebook from beside your bed.

the streetlight doesn't know what it permits. it doesn't ask. it doesn't care. it casts its cold white light indiscriminately. it can't read. it can't pick up the pages you leave scattered on the sidewalk. it realized this long ago, so it stopped being bothered. now it does all it can do, and it shines. a poor substitute for the sun, it knows, but it also knows it's the only one you've got.

it doesn't much matter what marks you make on the paper in front of you. some are words, some are sentences, some are childlike scribbles that not even your parents could decipher. maybe you are writing the treasure map for it. telling it where to find you. maybe you are lamenting the departure of sleep, in a language only it would understand. maybe you are telling your own story, or maybe you are realizing that you no longer believe you have one to tell. the sidewalk dutifully collects all the pages of your sometime-memoir, binding them loosely with concrete. the streetlight, your studious librarian, knows every page of every book she has seen but never read.

at least the ticking has stopped.

Will Eisner, Frontispiece from
A Contract with God, © 1978 Will Eisner. accessed from the Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/images/eisner1s.jpg on 19 Feb 2010.

16 February 2010

it's been a week

and i hate going a whole week without posting anything. february is a short enough month.

time is a myth. it's something humans made up a story about in the hopes it would make more sense. unfortunately, it's not one of those convenient myths that actually helps anyone. now it's one of those residual undying myths that's so entrenched in the culture it won't go away even though it does more harm than good in most cases.

(subtext: i'm supposed to be way busier than i have been. somehow it's almost midterm already.)

09 February 2010

Dove changes packaging color

Dove certainly has an interesting take on what it means to be a man:

while i appreciate the sentiment that men, too need to grow to be "comfortable in their own skin," this is an incredibly heterosexist, heteronormative interpretation of what that requires. which is apparently what viewers of the Superbowl want, judging by the preponderance of such commercials during the game. way to go, CBS, for running a pro-life ad without its counterpart (sponsored by Focus on the Family, no less), and such heterosexist, misogynistic ads as the above and the Dodge Charger ad that posits nice cars as rewards for obeying the annoying demands of the weaker sex. (although i will hang my head and thank you, as did the other queer woman in the room with me, for those Danica Patrick godaddy.com spots.)

07 February 2010

Snow day

everything here is lovely. i want to post pictures, but they're all on someone else's camera.

i'm not sure how many inches we got, but it doesn't seem important--everything is blanketed with snow; the world is monochrome.

people walking in the streets
where cars could not tread,
bags full of groceries
(you know you're in a college town
when last-minute means
buses cease to run,
the gods of transportation call
Stay Home,

Go Out and Play!

sleds and skis and snowboards
make their way out of closets and into the streets,
relay races up and down a hill,
come back soaking wet
and change into pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt;

is what we've forgotten how to do.

it doesn't matter that there were no classes anyway;
is the true meaning of a snow day.

and sometimes
the most beautiful and important thing to do
is watch someone push snow off a roof.

03 February 2010


she sat, locked in a tower room from which she could easily free herself, pondering whether the nearness of things made them less interesting. the ploughman with his horse--as familiar as a brother, and as distasteful. the lonely shepherd with his sheep--each conversation seemed longer. only the ships in the bay began to seem attractive, with their freedom of movement and unfamiliar culture.

and the sun--the sun on the horizon, tempting the mountains to fall into the sea. she wondered: how many ships have followed it over? how many men have dropped to the depths, all in search of the sun? the sun and the stars in a constant game of chase, one continuously trying to find the other, both always escaping. she was locked beneath a cosmic battle whose participants cared none for collateral damage.

whoever suggested this one thought you were quite clever, didn't you? ;)