"After eating the music box, I spread jam on the rug for a great dessert. Take the window, Papa, and draw me some pictures."
@Mary Beth Ostlund-Wood@facebook I think art can be a political act, or at least have a political effect -- how many pro-torture people have you heard cite "24"? I have heard a lot. (I'm not saying "24" is good art, but it is art.) But it's not usually a *direct* political act, not in this country. The metaphor I was thinking of was something like... suppose that the aim is to disassemble a structure. There are people with sledge hammers and screw guns. Maybe you don't have a sledge hammer or a screw gun, but you go home and you cut up some oranges and you bring them out to the people with the tools when they have a break. It's not a meaningless act, or a private one. You're acting in support of a cause. But you're not directly advancing the cause. Eve Ensler is taking the paring knife and stabbing it into the wall of the structure. It's basically ineffective and it doesn't do the paring knife any favors.
@Brooke Shelby Biggs@facebook Bread and roses by all means, but the problem, I would say, is that Eve Ensler is stuffing rose plants into the oven and claiming they make bread. They don't, and they don't make good roses, either.
@MarianTheLibrarian In the unlikely event that I breed, if I do it with a Christian, I am going to lobby so hard for this name.
@tofuswalkman I'm afraid I wasn't alive to actually work on the production, but I worked at Cherry Lane in its current, unfortunately kind of depressing form and I got to write some press releases about what a great part of theater history it was and how important it is to make space for work that revolutionary. (Also I got to read the file with all the original publicity materials, which was amazing. They were prepared for the press to freak the fuck out, which the press duly did.) Sorry to have phrased that in such a confusing way!
@tofuswalkman For real -- Baraka was misogynist and antisemitic, but so is Philip Roth* and when he dies, there's going to be a hell of a lot more hagiography.
*I say Roth is antisemitic; I think he is in a way that goes hand-in-hand with his misogyny. I don't think I've ever, as a Jewish woman, read a book that seemed to hate me, personally more than Portnoy's Complaint. (Not to make this about Roth. RIP, Baraka. I was proud to work for the first theater to produce Dutchman.)
Yeah -- I guess you just have to train yourself to think, "I chose not to hurt the person who hurt me," not "I chose to let the person hurt me," which can feel like a pretty fine distinction. I move to open all self-defense courses with a brief crash course in ethical philosophy, I guess!
I think the part about stressing that the blame doesn't fall on you *regardless of whether or not you defend yourself and regardless of whether you could*, and that self-defense involves an ethical choice is a really, really important part of teaching self-defense responsibly. In my high school, we were given the old "yell or gouge his eyes out" thing, and those were the only two options, and I wasn't sure I would be ready to blind somebody, even in self-defense. And years later I found myself in a position where my choice seemed to be between enduring a sexual assault without fighting, and pushing a man I didn't know out of a moving vehicle and into heavy traffic. I didn't defend myself, because I didn't want to be responsible if he died, or was hurt, and it's really hard for me not to think that I "tolerated" it, that I allowed it, that I'm a bad feminist for not hurting him when I could have.
I'm not even sure what exactly I'm trying to say, but I guess, yes, it is good to have the choice to be able to fight back, and it would be good to recognize it as a choice which is morally independent from the choice someone else made to assault you.
@Kimberly McColl@facebook re: bros who want to throw their weight around and feel noble while doing it -- "A desire to have all the fun is nine tenths of the law of chivalry."
On Susan Faludi on Facebook Feminism & the Danger of "Individual Women Empowering Themselves by Deserting Other Women"
There was a piece in the Washington Post a while back I really liked -- "There’s simply no way for women to lean in without leaning on the backs of other women." http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-25/opinions/37281698_1_sheryl-sandberg-feminist-ideals-movement
And then people come back at you accusing you of being anti-feminist for "tearing down" other women, and asking you what harm it can do. Sigh.
My mother has been a programmer since the 1970s; she didn't invent anything but I would just like to note that she is fantastic. She worked alongside my father, and people consistently took him more seriously -- he had been in the field longer, in fairness, but I think even he said it was unfair. I remember her working in a down jacket and a fluffy hat back when computer rooms had to be kept ultra-cold.