metaphortunate: (Default)
Fic authors I have all the time in the world for: the ones who take your standard rigidly gendered canon and subvert the shit out of it.

Fic authors who can get in the fucking sea: the ones who keep the eighty-five male characters from their male-dominated canon male and turn the one and only female character genderqueer.

Oh, speaking of fic, not especially queered but wonderful anyway: I'll write you harmony in c by magneticwave. Because Mary Bennet was a woman tragically born out of her right time.
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
http://uncannymagazine.com/article/masculinity-is-an-anxiety-disorder-breaking-down-the-nerd-box/

I read this stuff and feel like a cow listening to someone complain that beef is so bad for your cholesterol.

Like, in a way, we're on the same side. We both have the same goal, to get people to eat less beef.

And yet, and yet I have to react with I DON'T FUCKING CARE, YOU MURDEROUS SHITWEASEL. Maybe there's a way in which it would be more effective to respond with "That's true! Eating me is awfully bad for you! As it happens, I have this lovely tofu recipe..."

But at the point at which I can respond to a conversation about how unhealthy it is to kill me with genuine concern about the effects on my killer's health... he might as well kill me. He's already stolen my life, whether or not I'm still breathing. I've lost it.

But luckily, y'all stopped reading like 2 paragraphs ago.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Building on my last post, one thing I'm not sure that the Junebug realizes is that he actually gets more physical liberty than a lot of kids. And I swear I'm not judging. I know that other parents know their kids, just like I do. And I have seen the kids that never stop running and that will fling themselves off any heights whatsoever. I would attach a kid like that firmly to me at all times with handholding or a leash or possibly a clamp. But that's not the kids I have. I have kids that want to climb everything, but carefully, and testing their weight on each step before moving on. The Junebug wants to run and run and run, but he is reliable about stopping at the end of each block before the curb cut! And because he is reliable, I trust him to run down the street by himself. And climb on things. And other things that not all other kids get to do. And we've had some conversations about contexts in which he has to wait for me; not because he's not okay, but because it's scaring adults to see a kid by himself when I've yet to turn the corner, etc.

And we've also had talks about how different families have different rules, mostly around things he's not allowed to do, such as when the school has asked us to hold hands while walking through some areas and some other kids don't do it anyway but we do. Other families make their own decisions; we don't make decisions for them, but we don't have to do what they do, either.

Which is fine as far as it goes. But then something happens like Rocket and the Junebug walking on top of a waist-high wall next to the sidewalk, and his little classmate friend and her sister walking next to him on the sidewalk with their mom, who does not allow them to walk on that wall, and his friend saying sadly, "We're not allowed to do that because we're girls."

AAAARGH WHAT DO YOU DO. :(((((((

I will not criticize other people's parenting!

I will not.

It doesn't help. It never does.

But……………
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
[personal profile] brainwane premiered a new vid at Wiscon 2015!

It's called "Pipeline".

Because the tech industry's got a blank space, baby. And it'll write your name.
metaphortunate: (Default)
Hordes of people are freaking out about Tempest's suggestion not to read any books by straight cis white men for a whole year.

So, like; none of them ever had a year where they didn't read a single book by a Latina lesbian, and a trans black woman, and a Malaysian man, and so on, did they? They read something by every single combination of ethnicity and sexuality every single year?

Wait, they didn't? There was a year they didn't read anything by a gay Latina? THEN WHY THE FUCK IS IT A BIG DEAL IF THERE IS A YEAR IN WHICH SOMEONE DOESN'T READ ANYTHING BY A WHITE MAN.

Incidentally, I did this. One year right after college, I decided I was going to only read books by women, for one whole year. I highly recommend it. I read books I wouldn't ordinarily have read, that didn't at first appeal to me, simply because I had arbitrarily placed more familiar books temporarily off limits. I picked up books by authors who were labeled by their marketing as not FOR me; same reason, and it was great.

But more importantly, it reprogrammed my brain. It took white men out of their Center Of The Universe, Authority, Source And Validator Of Information status in my internal map of the world in a way that they have never fully recovered from; though I should do a refresher year sometime. You really, really, really cannot tell what the water you are swimming in is like till you step onto dry land sometime. Yes, there are tons of great books by white guys. I read them now! But it did me no harm and great good to spend a year leaving them to one side.
metaphortunate: (Default)
As you probably know, the 50 Shades of Grey movie came out recently.

Delightful: the explosion of men impotently railing "This isn't sexy! Why would anyone think this was sexy! It's awful! It's terrible! Stop finding it sexy!"

I will fucking increase the fucking thing
(drawn by floccinaucinihilipilificationa; thanks, [personal profile] kate_nepveu!)

Incidentally, have you noticed? Sometimes things that are just not that well written become hugely popular among men, or majority men. Star Wars, for example. Then there is an enormous collective effort to figure out what's appealing about it: explosions, special effects, the Hero's Journey, etc. And sometimes things that are just not that well written become hugely popular among women. Then there is an enormous collective effort to explain what's wrong with women for liking it.

Irritating as all fuck: all the earnest BDSMers finger-wagging about how dangerous it is that this story has fallen into the hands of women who Know Not The Truth About BDSM.

Y'all. It is a fantasy. Fan. Ta. Sy. I've got a copy of The Topping Book and Dossie Easton cheerfully writes about helping a guy figure out how to play out his fantasy of literally skinning his lover. You've read Doc and Fluff - you know, groundbreaking BDSM classic? About healthy safe and sane relationships, is it? Fuck's sake, stop freaking out because women are doing some homosocial bonding over fantasizing about a hot toppy billionaire.

(The famous tampon scene? The "ewww, why would anyone want to read that?" scene? Yes. In a world where girls don't want to let guys go down on them because they think they're "gross", let us wonder what on earth women might find appealing about a book with a scene in which a man is so comfortable with and completely not grossed out at all by a woman's normal bodily functions that it doesn't kill the mood for him to take out her tampon. It may remain forever a mystery.)
metaphortunate: (Junebug)
I know this is one of those things. Everyone who lets their kids take more risks than mine is negligent. Everyone who makes their kids take fewer risks is smothering and overprotective.

Nonetheless. It breaks my heart to see all the little girls who see the Junebug doing a slightly adventurous thing, and copy him, only to bring their parents swooping down all "No, no, honey! We don't do that! That's dangerous!" Then they sadly watch the Junebug climb or swing or jump and I sadly watch them learning that adventure is for boys. They start binding our spirits so early.
metaphortunate: (Default)
I now live and work in such a way that I have little to no professional contact with men; I can go entire days without having to consider what a man — any man — thinks of my work.
See, that's what kills me about this The Toast/The Butter thing. Mallory Ortberg wrote that but it's not true. Nick Pavich is the guy running the money behind the site. She's hasn't escaped working for The Man.

That's why Roxane Gay has to post these humiliating tweets about how she's doing what she can.

Oh Mallory, you told us you were the Queen of Misandry but you were sitting on a throne of lies. ;___;

ETA: thanks [personal profile] kate_nepveu for pointing out that Ms. Ortberg is not working for Mr. Pavich: they are co-founders, with equal ownership in the company.

Still. When you're a business owner but you can't alter your contracts without a man's buy-in, it is not true that you've substantially escaped having to care about a man thinks of your work.

to-do list

Feb. 3rd, 2014 09:35 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
No doubt you've seen that article going around about Why Mom's Time is Different From Dad's Time. I was thinking about that, and about why it is that, like, almost every goddamn woman I know is in therapy. And the men, by and large, aren't.

And then a friend of mine posted that link on FB, and commented,
"I'm here to tell you, though, that, despite my husband's *excellent* attentiveness and support, day and night, I don't think he could do any more to offset my emotional load.

...

What I do is all I can, and it will never be as much as my children, my husband, my friends and my clients deserve."


And I'm thinking:

When her husband does all he can, that's all he can do. That's just the way it is.
When she does all she can, it will never be as much as the people in her life deserve, she will always be letting someone down.

Is this why we're all in fucking therapy? Because I have to say: fuck that, fuck that, fuck it fuck it fuck it I am putting that idea down like the filth it is. FUCK. IT.

From that article:
Being compelled to divide and subdivide your time doesn't just compromise your productivity and lead to garden-variety discombobulation. It also creates a feeling of urgency—a sense that no matter how tranquil the moment, no matter how unpressured the circumstances, there's always a pot somewhere that's about to boil over.

Coincidentally, I had actually noticed that precise thing in myself the weekend before that article came out. I had pointed it out to Mr. E: that I am having a hard time enjoying the moments when things are good, because I am constantly feeling that they are about to blow up. Rocket is about to start crying. The Junebug is about to hit him with a spoon. It seems like a quiet afternoon, but Christ we'd better do like 15 loads of laundry if we want the kids to have clean clothes for Monday and if we want that to happen in time for a decent bedtime we have to start now.

Which is true….and it isn't. The thing about the laundry? Totally true. The thing about the Junebug hitting Rocket with a spoon? Not true at all. He never has. Never even tried. The thing about Rocket being about to start crying? Well, probably - I mean, babies cry, yes! But is it worth stressing about before it happens? Probably not, because babies cry, and we will deal with it when it happens! So, I think I am stressing too much!

So I am trying something different. I am trying to deliberately let go of that constant fight-or-flight vigilance that doesn't seem to help at all because I shouldn't be doing either. I am trying to notice and relax into the times when things are actually fine. I figure there are a few options:

1) It turns out that constant heightened stressed awareness is not necessary in order to maintain my mental tally of what needs to get done. If I let it go, there is no downside. Win!

2) It turns out that constant heightened stressed awareness really is necessary in order to maintain my mental tally of what needs to get done. If I let it go, things don't get done. They turn out to be relatively unimportant things. The house and our lives may get more disorganized, but we'll probably be happier overall. Qualified win!

3) It turns out that constant heightened stressed awareness really is necessary in order to maintain my mental tally of what needs to get done. If I let it go, things don't get done. They turn out to be important things. The kids suffer for it. Mr. E and I explicitly acknowledge that someone has to take on this constant heightened stressed awareness in order for these important things to get done, and it shouldn't be just me. We figure out how to share it. Win, at a cost, but win!

4) It turns out that constant heightened stressed awareness really is necessary in order to maintain my mental tally of what needs to get done. If I let it go, things don't get done. They turn out to be important things. The kids suffer for it. Mr. E and I explicitly acknowledge that someone has to take on this constant heightened stressed awareness in order for these important things to get done. We try to share it, but it turns out that it works best for just one person to maintain that tally. Whoever doesn't do it starts taking on more of other different tasks, so that the workload is more equal. Win!

I'll try to remember to let you know how it goes.

what indeed

Jan. 8th, 2014 06:15 am
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
A female name online means taking 25x as much abuse as a man + real names policy + forced identity integration + Google ubiquity that forces me to have a G+ account to comment on Youtube, comment on apps, or SEE MY WORK CALENDAR = Google to women: "Get off the internet!"

but whyyyyyy are there no female Mark Zuckerbergs I FUCKING WONDER. "God knows what you would do to get 13 year old girls interested in computers", indeed.

learning

Jan. 7th, 2014 09:26 am
metaphortunate: (Junebug)
Driving home last night, stuck in traffic. Some asshole behind me starts helpfully leaning on his horn.

Suddenly a tiny voice pipes up from the backseat, "Somebody a jerk!"

So okay, I guess he's got a head srtart on learning to drive...

You've seen this, right? What kills me is I was at the hardware store last night and I bought the Junebug a broom because I saw they had little brooms and he loves brooms. If he sees me sweeping he wants to help. He wants to run the vacuum. He wants me to hold the dustpan for him. Fuck a world that'll teach him that's "girl stuff ".
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] lovepeaceohana asks:
Predictable, possibly, but - what has been the most surprising thing about parenthood?


For me, personally, the absolute most surprising thing was the way I shifted my gender presentation identity way, way the hell over to femme.

I used to do most of my clothes shopping in the men's section. Before the Junebug was born, I hadn't carried a purse for maybe 17, 18 years. I had no interest in wearing makeup outside of Halloween; I had one tube of lipstick, grudgingly bought basically at random, which I would maybe wear on Valentine's Day, I'm not really sure why. Superstition, maybe. And now I wear dresses, and read beauty blogs for fun.

That's part of it; there's also the way that I've become way more invested in the house being tidy, which has coincided disastrously with having babies, which means that I started getting more upset that the place is a mess at the same time as I produced two tiny, yet incredibly powerful, MEGAMESS-O-TRONs.

My Republican friend, of course, suggests that having kids has brought out the innate gendered-ness of me & Mr. E's characters. I think this is bullshit. I think what it is, is a couple of things. First, I have a longer maternity leave: that means that I am home right now while Mr. E is not. It is way easier to not give a shit that the place is a mess if you spend an hour a day there, versus if you spend all your waking hours there. But also, we were not raised by wolves in the forest: I think that we will never know what is innate, but having kids has stripped away some of our veneer of civility. Leaving our deep programming. And having kids is way easier if things are clean and put away. You don't have to pick the old garlic pieces out of the crawling baby's mouth if there's no old garlic pieces on the floor for him to find. When one of us is chasing the naked toddler, we are equally likely to angrily say "Is he entirely out of clean pants?" But in me that translates to a mental note to fold the fucking laundry so we can find the clean pants when we need them, and to go by the local baby consignment store sometime and buy more pants. Because we've both been trained that that's my job.

The difference is that, with kids, the stakes are higher. I long ago made the decision that some lady of the house jobs are not my job. I will not do thank you cards for Mr. E's side of the family/friends. It is not my job just because I am the girl. This mostly means that they don't get done, and Mr. E's side of the family probably thinks that I'm an asshole, because I doubt they would blame him, because he's a guy and it's not his job. And y'know what? I can live with that. I would rather have that than taking on yet another job.

However. If I don't buy the Junebug pants as he grows out of them, he doesn't get new pants. And I can't live with that. So I take that on.

About the makeup and clothes and so on: that, I suspect, is to do with how unattractive I started to feel after having the Junebug. And pretty is a skill: I don't have the time/freedom to exercise much, (although I will more as Rocket gets older and more on a schedule and strong enough to go in a jogging stroller) but I can go by the Walgreens and buy some red lip balm. And I know they say pretty isn't the rent you pay to exist in the world as female. I do think that's true….as long as you're not existing in the traditional, i.e. dependent, female role. If you're paying for yourself, be as ugly as you want, I say. But now that my kids are living in a neighborhood, going to a daycare, that I could never, ever, ever afford except for Mr. E's money, I guess I feel like I had better up my appearance game. Because we know what happens to kids' standard of living when their parents get divorced, you know?

(I know that Mr. E loves his kids deeply and would never let them go wanting, no matter what happened with us. I am also pretty sure that everyone who ever had kids with someone they were in love with at the time thought that exact same thing.)

I should make it clear that I didn't really make a clear-eyed analysis and decide to care about lipstick because it might affect my kids' financial future. I just found myself becoming interested. This is an attempt to figure out what might be going on in my head. The results, however, are a matter of record.
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane asks:
What was your younger self TOTALLY RIGHT about? Like, people, maybe even you, thought you'd change your mind or behavior, but it was spot-on.


Dudes should do housework. Men should do all the shit work of raising kids, as well as the fun weekends and special trips. My brother should have been forced to do chores around the house just like me. He should have been taught to sew. My dad should have cooked. Having a dick does not make you too good to scrub the toilet.

There's probably more, but that was the first thing that sprung to mind.
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
Posted without comment:
By the time Diana Vreeland joined Harper's Bazaar in 1937 as a junior editor, handbags had become an integral and important part of the fashion business, as she would quickly learn. Shortly after she arrived at the august glossy, Vreeland had what she described in her memoir, D.V., as a "brainwave!"

"We're going to eliminate all handbags," she told a colleague.

"You're going to what?" he responded.

"Eliminate all handbags," she repeated. "Now look. What have I got here? I've got cigarettes, I've got my lipstick, I've got my comb, I've got my powder, I've got my rouge, I've got my money. But what do I want with a bloody old handbag that one leaves in taxis and so on? It should all go into pockets. Real pockets, like a man has, for goodness sake."

Then Vreeland explained how she wanted to devote an entire issue of the venerable fashion magazine to "showing what you can do with pockets and how the silhouette is improved and so on."

Her colleague ran from her office - "the way you run for the police!" she recalled - straight to Harper's Bazaar editor Carmel Snow.

"Diana's going crazy!" he cried. "Get hold of her."

Snow went to see Vreeland.

"Listen, Diana," Snow told Vreeland, "I think you've lost your mind. Do you realize that our income from handbag advertising is God knows how many millions a year?!"
- Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster, by Dana Thomas

"Thanks. It has pockets!" - every girl ever responding to a compliment on a skirt/dress that has pockets
- Tumblr/Twitter, attribution unknown
metaphortunate: (Default)
People ask me if the Junebug knows what's going to happen. Y'all, I didn't know what was going to happen before I had the Junebug, and I had been to birth classes and read books and stuff. I think people are expecting a little too much of the understanding of a two-year-old. We tell him there's a baby in Mama's tummy, and the baby will come out soon, but we tell him a lot of things.

You know, if the Junebug had been born a girl, we wouldn't be having another baby now. Which sounds like I really want a girl, but that's not what it is. What it is, is that I am unreasonably terrified of recreating the dynamics of my birth family, and the possibility of living with an older sister-younger brother duo again is not one I could have faced.

And of course, yes there is the possibility that the Junebug may turn out to be trans, but if so, whatever that turns out to be like, at least it won't be like how I grew up.

Thinking a lot about gender, because of not knowing what Hypo will be. (Still no one believes us. Not my mom, not the people at the daycare. "You're still not telling?") I'm going to be sad no matter what, I think half-facetiously. I don't want Hypo to be a girl, another tiny little scrap of human vulnerability in a world that hates girls. But I don't want Hypo to be a boy and then know for a fact that I'll never see a child of mine carry a child of her own*. And I must admit that I think girl and boy are the soft options and if Hypo turns out to be neither/or then they'll have it even tougher. I think I'd just like Hypo to continue existing in this blessedly gender-free state for as long as possible. Poor little one. Why on earth would I ultrasound Schroedinger's junk and end that state sooner than I had to?

Me, I'm still being unprecedentedly femme for me. Last pregnancy I would never have worn dresses, or leggings; this time around I am taking 100% advantage of my presentation gender's permission to basically wear pyjamas all day, i.e. leggings and tunics. Shit yes. Although I still have weird feelings about enjoying wearing makeup and such. D'you know, though, the Junebug is making me feel better about it? Because he gets such giggling joy out of wearing his Cars shirt or his doggie shirt or his trousers with the airplanes on them or his shoes with the fire trucks on them. Caring about what the things we wear look like seems surprisingly innate somehow.

-------
*Yes, I know maybe neither kid nor proto-kid will choose to have a kid at all, and that will genuinely be fine. But it will be weird to have half the options closed off already. And also, yes, a little sad. Having made the decision to reproduce, it's easy to emotionally go all the way and think that it would be nice for it to go on into the future.

hi guys

Jul. 16th, 2013 09:59 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
Hey! What have y'all been up to?



siblings

Last night I got to hear the story of Mr. E's friend's older son meeting his newborn brother for the very first time. They had a homebirth, so toddler boy got whisked away early in the morning and came back to find a very tired mama nursing a very small baby. Well, mama was happy to see him of course, and he got to climb up on her lap, and since he was still nursing at that point too, he started nursing on the other side. Latched on. Looked over at his newborn baby brother.

Reached out and just straight-armed him right off the boob.

Oh, this bodes well. (The Junebug isn't nursing anymore, though. Maybe that will make things easier? No idea.)



toilet training

Toilet training is…a thing. We're still going. I have been tempted to give up many times. It is definitely a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of process. Things will be going so well that I'll think it's time to try taking the underwear out on a trip. (What we're doing is, he wears underwear at home when he's awake, and then he wears diapers for outside the house, naps, and bedtime.) And then he'll have a day with five accidents. :(

Things that have helped:

We haven't tried M&Ms yet, although I have been considering it. Instead, we have presented flushing as an exciting treat that you only get to do if you actually use the potty. It involves cheering, waving bye-bye, and talking about how the poop is going off on its poop adventure through the sewer system to the ocean.

We got underwear with dogs on it, which he enjoys wearing and requests; and also, we talk about how the doggies HATE being dirty or wet, and every time we pull down his trousers and his underwear is dry, the doggies bark for joy, which the Junebug really likes.

What has been a HUGE help is the Aqueduck faucet extender. It was getting really hard for me to lift him up so that he could wash his hands, and he hated it, so it was trauma every time, which is something we were trying not to associate with using the potty. We put this on the faucet and now he can reach the water from the stepstool without any help - it's changed everything.

This week I am hopeful because for the first time he has requested to wear underwear to daycare. We told him that when he can use the potty at daycare every day, then he can wear underwear to daycare. If he starts WANTING to wear underwear, the battle will be more than half won.



the dangers of generalizing from your own experience

I'm at the stage in this pregnancy when I see outfits on mannequins in shop windows as I go by, and they go in at the waist, or have belts, and I get all angry, like "who the fuck are they thinking could wear that?" And then I remember, oh yeah - anyone who's not currently six months pregnant or more, which is actually most people, self. (Clothes in shop windows that would never fit me no matter what are a different issue, but I'm not talking about those. Just, totally normal outfits that don't accommodate a whole different person bulging out of your guts.)



accidentally washing your own brain

Mr. E went out of town for three days to his sister's wedding. It was the longest I've ever had to solo parent, because I have been so very lucky. And it is not that long. Three days.

Now, Mr. E is not one of those like 50s detached dads who don't know how anything in the household is run. The way we do things is that he does most of the dealing with the Junebug in the mornings and gets him off to daycare, and I pick him up and do more of the evening stuff. Friday was, I think, the very first time in the Junebug's life that I was the one who packed his lunch in the morning. (And then I forgot it, but that's another story.)

And yet. In just three days of solo parenting. When Monday came around and Mr. E was back and organizing the Junebug's breakfast just like always, I caught myself having the thought, maybe I should stick around in the kitchen instead of going to take my shower, just in case they need help.

Three. Freaking. Days.

I had this conversation with my friend J one time. There are many reasons why women still take on so much more of the childcare burden. J has her own business - but she works from home, while her husband works full time out of the home, and if you've ever worked from home you know how it is almost impossible - for you and others - to think of your time as unavailable in the same way. There are societal pressures as to outcomes (clean house, kid behavior) that bear on women that are much lighter or nonexistent on men. There's lots of things. But one of those things is that as women we are socialized that guys cannot be trusted to take care of their kids and will not do it as well as we will. J openly said, yes the working from home, etc., but another one of the reasons she does most of the child raising is that she wants things done the way she wants them done and she is willing to take on more work in order to make more of those decisions.

Me, I want a more equal division of the work, and I get it - but the tradeoff is, I have to accept more things being done Mr. E's way. And Lord knows you've heard some of the arguments about that. And in three days my brain decided to sneak in some programming about how maybe I should take some of that work off of Mr. E. You know. Just in case he needed some help.

GET OUT OF MY HEAD, PATRIARCHY!
metaphortunate: (Default)
Well, I'm sick. Siiiiick. Missed several days of work. Second day without a voice. I think the Junebug is scared of me now because I look weird (I should probably shower) and I won't talk to him. Finally called a doctor. Doctor says 1) no, I can't have any antibiotics until I've had no voice for two weeks, because since I don't have a fever and my snot isn't really green (I've seen green; what I've got is like, maybe celadon, just right after I wake up in the morning from my fucking awful nights where I can't sleep;) 2) this shit just kind of happens when you're pregnant, because your body is worried about accidentally killing the baby, so the bits of you that are normally an army of critters that patrol your body ruthlessly dispatching anything they find trying to prey on you, are instead all restrained and jittery and asking each other "Is this the baby? Should we eat it? What if it's the baby?" "I don't know, asshole, I'm UNICELLULAR! QUIT ASKING ME!" "Okay, everybody just…be cool. Be cool. Are we dying? If we're dying, we dispatch it." "We're not dying." "Okay, then just…chill. NOBODY DO ANYTHING until we figure out if it's the baby."

So it takes a lot longer to get over anything. And I'm home sick. Being kicked from the inside. Can't really concentrate on anything productive. Let me tell you what's on my mind. Here, have a cut tag to spare your page. )
metaphortunate: (Default)
Three teenagers, on the bus, clearly friends, two boys and a girl, late teens, maybe 17 or 18, animated conversation. Eventually the conversation turns to a friend of theirs whose girlfriend has just had a baby.

Girl expresses the opinion that this is not such a good idea, having a baby at their age. Both boys disagree. Both boys say they'd be up for having a kid, if they met the right girl to have one with.

One boy mentions he'd want to have a girl baby, though.

Girl is very surprised. Says that's the first time she's ever heard anyone say they'd rather have a girl.

Boy says, "Naw man, you got a boy, you gotta be kissing that n___a n' shit. That's hella gay!"

Boys and girl agree that is hella gay, and further conclude that moms should take care of little boy babies and dads should be the ones to take care of little girl babies.

I die a little inside.

Mr. E, when I relate this conversation, finds the bright side that at least all three kids take it for granted that when you have a baby, you have to be an involved affectionate dad and be kissing that n___a n' shit.

I have got to start wearing headphones more often.
metaphortunate: (Default)
I just finished Red Plenty. I'm honestly not 100% sure why I was reading it; I mean, Soviet Russia isn't a big one of my interests. Not that it's not an interesting subject, but just not something I've been drawn to so far.

On the other hand: 1) it seems to be in the zeitgeist somehow, like Code Name Verity* was six months ago, and it's always kind of appealing to be able to participate in the big fannish conversation; 2) I like to make sure I'm reading some nonfiction or at least semi-nonfiction regularly, because I think it is just as temptingly easy and just as bad for me to feed my mind nothing but junk food as it is to feed my body that; 3) however I am shallow and lazy and the truth is I like spending time with history better if it's squeezed itself into a showy dress and stuffed a couple handfuls of plot into its bra. I know, shameful. Still, one must be honest with oneself, if one doesn't want a bunch of virtuously begun and never finished books lying about cluttering the bedroom or the hard drive.

Red Plenty, however, did not provide enough plot or characters or anything to make me like that aspect of it, and yet is fictional enough that I feel dumb now for having read it to scratch the learning itch. It is one of those books where you read it and then wish you had read the books listed in its bibliography instead. Also I feel dumb about the fact that it's the first book about Russia I've read in years and it was written by an English dude who doesn't speak Russian.

So I was thinking that I have never read any Solzhenitzyn, and maybe I would pick up Cancer Ward. But I have two arguments against that. The first is, as I have maybe mentioned earlier, that my general level of anxiety these days is such that I can't bear to look at cute animal pictures on the internet. They make me think of how animals are mostly treated, and how most of those animals are going extinct. God forbid I see a picture of a baby animal doing something cute because I either can't help thinking of its mother panicking just outside the frame, or else that it's being held by a human because it's been abandoned by its mother, because it's being raised in a zoo because its habitat is gone and all her instincts are all fucked up and the baby has been abandoned, and… yeah, I have to close the tab and compose myself. Can't really deal with cute animal pictures right now. So it seems to me like maybe it's not the right time to read Cancer Ward.

The other reason is that I tend to avoid Famous Important Narratives of Resistance by Oppressed Dudes because in my experience they tend to explore the depths of human nature and the cruelty and resilience and cowardice and anger and nobility in all people except for women, who get dragged in occasionally for real people to have sex with. (Elie Wiesel, Malcolm X, I'm talking to you.)

So now I'm not sure what to read next.

----------

*Have you read Code Name Verity? Go read Code Name Verity right fucking now. If you're local, I can loan it to you. Seriously. So good.
metaphortunate: (Default)
On the bus home after work tonight: me. A little boy sitting next to me. His brother sitting next to him. His sister, a little chubby with glasses, third on the bus, too late to get a seat, standing in front of them, swinging a little on the pole she was holding on to. Sister maybe 7 or 8, one brother older, one younger. Kids talking.

Sister mentions that she's good at soccer.

Older brother says "No you're not. You suck."

Sister tries to meet him halfway. "I'm sort of good. Maybe I sort of suck."

Older brother: "No, you suck."

Sister: "You know [other kid]? I got a goal off him today. I made a goal."

Older brother pauses. "He probably let you."

Older brother: "Boys like to let girls win. They just pretend like you won."

Me, leaning in: "No they don't. Boys hate it when it looks like girls beat them."

Older brother: "Oh yeah….that's true."

Me: [trying not to look too smug]

Kids: silent for a few minutes, while I pull out my phone and ostentatiously perform Not Listening To Your Conversation Anymore, Please Go About Your Business.

Sister: smiling a little.

------


Mr. E says I used sexism against sexism. Like judo or something? Or just another ultimately self-defeating master's tool?

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