Category: Feminism

All the World is Waiting for You

Dyed my hair blueblack today. I may be a little excited about Wonder Woman.

Brian says:  Did you dye it with the tears of men?

Romie: Sort of? I made my husband apply it and he was very stressed out by the fear he might (1) fail to dye my hair (2) accidentally dye several other surfaces (3) or both.

Brian: I’m just referring to the guys who are getting very upset about the all-women screenings of Wonder Woman.

Romie: I have been following the strategy of screening messages from those guys. I throw up blocks like they’re missle-deflecting gold bracelets.

Nic says: I used to do blue-black – kind of miss it.

Romie: It is one of very few colors my hair hasn’t previously been! I’m liking it.

Carrie says: Hoo boy just found out BDS Lebanon is boycotting, so my outfit is changing (adding my purple kafia). I realize this is not enough but my ticket is bought already and I do want to go.

Romie: When you’re a member of (or ally of) mutiple sometimes-overlapping oppressed populations, I suspect it’s somewhat revolutionary to be joyful when there is an opportunity to feel delight—to find hope in the community of other imperfect strivers.

I like the kafia idea.

Acevedo: [tosses back long dark locks] you were saying….?

Angie says: GREAT excuse for a selfie, tbh!!


wonderwoman hair


Summer: Your clothes match. I’m agog.

Romie: Mine isn’t clothes; it’s a blanket. We match on many levels but “comfortable ambient temperature” is not one of them.

Angela says: My purple turned red; am considering spinning in place until am brunette and in satin tights myself.

Andrea: Totally thought about doing this, too!!! Solidarity cloaked in midnight blues!!!

Angela and Hillary, Sitting in a Tree

Normally, I say “look beyond the personalities; look at the issues,” but given Trump’s instinctual style, this newly invented feud with Germany looks an awful lot like an attempt to go after Angela Merkel—an experienced female political centrist with a global outlook who sometimes wears a familiar-looking blue pantsuit. I think there’s some misogynist transferrence going on, and I don’t think it’s mine.

Would not be surprised if Trump starts saying “crooked Germany” out of nostalgia.

By the way, you’ve probably missed this (well done, you), but the idea that Hillary and Angela are lesbian lovers running a sinister liberal conspiracy has been much explored by both Breitbart and Russian propaganda mills (explicit propaganda, not state-run news) over the last few years, so I’m guessing that will turn up again, too. Because women can’t be friends, or admire each other, apparently. Women and men can’t be friends, but also women can’t be friends. Too catty. Lock them in towers is what I say.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

Maria says: For reals. He’s got a beef with women in power. Let’s not forget his bizarre reception of Merkel after his inauguration. Nevermind that she’s held her tongue about him for four months. He’s made it clear that our U.S. allies are his enemies.

Rebecca says: Jesus Howard Christ. The same Breitbart that claimed Colbert was being homophobic? You don’t get to have it both ways.

Rosi says: Yep, and powerful women are always lesbians… *eye roll*

Maria: I’d tap that.

Romie: Yeah, it is kind of a lovely idea. I hate Breitbart both for sexualizing something that’s not sexual, AND for assuming I’d be upset by such a couple, when holy cow. I dream of being an Angela Merkel in a romantic relationship with a Hillary Clinton.

Jeff says: Angela Merkel earned a doctorate in physical chemistry, one of the most difficult subjects to understand. She’s brilliant, and insecure men sadly often have a problem with brilliant women.

To the Teen Girl Targeted on the Portland Train

Teen Targeted On Portland Train Thanks Strangers (CNN)

Oh, hon. I know I’m talking to my TV and you can’t hear me, but I am talking anyway. Sad girl, it breaks my heart to hear you say, “They lost their lives because of me and my friend.” They lost their lives because a violent, angry, confused man wanted to kill them. Their last wish, their dying wish, was that you and your friend feel welcome and safe and valued. I want that too. I hope somebody nearer by can tell you. I hope everybody can tell you, over and over, until you have been told enough times that you are able to believe it.

Angela says: It’d be cool if the president said it, or in any way acknowledged it, instead of amplifying the message that she’s a problem.

Romie: I don’t think of us as having a president right now, since the guy elected to the office doesn’t seem to want to take the role on. We’re going to have to fill in as best we can. For instance, although I don’t have the statutory powers, I’m going to do what I can to be president, and to represent all of us and the best of our hopes. Please join me in also being president.

Hillary and Me

I’ve always had trouble talking about how much I love Hillary Clinton, because it’s uncomplicated. To me, her greatness is totally obvious, and has been for the 25 years I’ve known about her. But I mostly keep quiet about it, because my admiration doesn’t seem to persuade anyone who doesn’t already like her.

That’s a strange thing, by the way. People who usually trust me to know what I’m talking about go into sudden berserker mode, like I’ve said the magic words to summon Beetlejuice. I concluded some time ago that one of the best ways for me to support Hillary Clinton was to rarely speak about her directly.

I don’t brag on myself very much either, you may have noticed.

I like this quote from communications director Jess McIntosh, one of Hillary’s campaign strategists:

“Should she have showed more emotion? I don’t know. We don’t know whether women who show less emotion get to be the president. Should she have been less hawkish? I don’t know. We don’t know if we can elect a pacifist woman president. We can’t point to where she diverges from a path that other women have taken because she was charting that path, and that might fuck with your analytics a bit, as it turns out.”

—”Hillary Clinton Is Furious. And Resigned. And Funny. And Worried.” (Rebecca Traister, The Cut)

I have been glad to have somebody to copy from for the last couple decades. Because I know, even if some other people can’t seem to make the connection, that a lot of the likeable things about me are cribbed from somebody else who I saw act that way.

Bathroom Transphobia

Please excuse the indelicate language, but it’s strange for me to hear arguments in favor of restricting bathroom access, because I can’t escape that they’re hallowing a room people shit in. A shit room. A room to contain and manage poop, so we don’t have to step in poop on the street or on the floor and get poop on our shoes.

People go into a bathroom, and they poop there. Sure, there are emergent properties, like “oh, I can collect myself, reapply makeup” (I like bathrooms), but fundamentally…poop.

I always thought keep-out private clubhouses were supposed to be cool. Now, I’m supposed to pass a rigorous initiation, come recommended as “our sort of person,” and my grand prize is being able to approach a mound of human feces? This is not the kind of exclusive access I dream about.

Underemployment in the Good Old Days

When people reminisce about the old days when everything worked well, it’s partly because when women and non-white people can’t advance into high-level jobs no matter how smart they are, you wind up with really smart people doing underpaid or unpaid work. Which they do extremely well! It should make you a little sad when somebody does a low-skill job with exceptional skill. (Job, not hobby.) It means something systemic is broken.

Katie says: My 95-yr-old grandmother remarked to my mother once that Black people seemed to be getting smarter. My mom said something about how they’ve always been smart but didn’t always have access to education. My grandmother thought about this for a minute and then wept, saying “what a waste…”

When Responding to a Book Review

Hopefully, nobody on my friends list needs to hear this, but just in case:

If you are a man, and you read a book review by a woman that says “this book’s treatment of female characters really bothered me,” and the first three comments are by people with female names and female-presenting photos, agreeing they similarly had trouble finishing the book for the same reasons, and you settle in to write the fourth comment and it starts “we must have been reading totally different books, because…” —you can stop right there.

Your because is because you are a man and you are not sensitive to the presentation of female characters, and so it didn’t bother you. Your lack of irritation doesn’t reflect the reviewer “having a chip on her shoulder.” This is a woman telling other women they’ll be uncomfortable, and she is likely correct. Your opinion doesn’t matter to those women because you were indeed reading a totally different book. Which you enjoyed. Which they will not, because they are not you.

You can substitue this woman/man dialectic for queer/straight, [ethnic identity]/[other ethnic identity], [class background]/[other class background], [ability level]/[other ability level].

You’re not the default. You’re only your own default. And you have no idea how sensitively a character was portrayed who has nothing in common with you. You can say “huh, I really liked it,” and then stop. You can talk about the things you enjoyed. But we all know – YOU KNOW – “we must have been reading totally different books, because” is code for “you read it wrong; you were meant to read it with my identity, even though the character shares your identity.” It’s bullshit. Cut it out.