On 5 Moments in the Life of a Black Mother

I just read this breath stopping poem by Danez Smith called "Dinosaurs in the Hood": http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/249154

This essay and that poem are breaking my heart open.

"There should be a scene where a little black boy is playing
with a toy dinosaur on the bus, then looks out the window
& sees the T. Rex, ...

"No bullets in the heroes. & no one kills the black boy. & no one kills
the black boy. & no one kills the black boy. Besides, the only reason
I want to make this is for that first scene anyway: the little black boy
on the bus with a toy dinosaur, his eyes wide & endless..."

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm 0

On Classic Poems, Updated For the Internet Age

I Carry Your Dick Pic, is really really working for me as a poem.

Posted on December 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm 0

On :D

Dear internet, if you can hear me, I would appreciate a cheese emjoi. I promise I will use it regularly and faithfully. A wedge of swiss would be the most recognizable option.

Secondly, if you are ever set your iphone to read texts outloud to you- say when you are driving, then recieving an emoji becomes extra delightful: "Can't wait to see you soon, watch at nine o clock, arrow pointing left, blue car, dancing women. Its how I learned the red circle with wavy lines is a hot spring!

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm 0

On Like A Fox

@grinnning "as careful when generalizing...as they are in writing about other groups" sets a very low bar...a verrrrry low and terrible bar.

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm 0

On The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense

The other part about this is that... I think a rapist should live in fear of consequences. This isn't to say that there should be an obligation of the part of the assaulted to solve the problem of the assault, but the whole idea that the person who is attacked is easy prey is a big part of the whole thing. If you think outward to other ways that sexual and romantic relationships suffer from abuses and exploitation, in pick-up "artists" the whole concept of negging is about finding someone who, when insulted, doesn't get offended and walk away, but works harder to get approval. In domestic violence cases, the abuse escalates up, testing always if the victim will resist, gradually heating up the water so the victim loses a sense of normal, etc. Bullies are often cowardly, they're looking to find unguarded spots and exploit them. Which I want to emphasize again, doesn't mean they can't get really scary or explosive when thwarted, but that people who prey on other people are looking for people they feel like they can get away with hurting.

And women are that group of people that it seems easier to hurt. Along with children and elderly people and disabled people and minorities, basically anyone who has some disadvantage in being taken seriously.

If it were a well known fact that up to 10% of all women can dislocate their jaws during assaults and eat their attacker I'm guessing rape would be less common because every rapist would be like, hmm, "what if she's one of the 10 preying mantis women? Hmm.." I think rape would still happen, but less.

The Hollaback movement is a resistance to street harassment movement. It includes talking about all kinds of things that you can do, starting with sharing stories and supporting people who you see getting harassed, etc. But also once or twice, when I felt it was mostly safe to do so (AKA I could get away quickly or was somewhere where there were a lot of people around), I have yelled back at a street harasser or flipped them off, or gone mean, and they have responded with COMPLETE SHOCK. Sometimes then anger, but usually I'm out of there before they even recover from the total shock of being treated with clear, LOUD resistance. When I get that reaction, I think there's a guy who never NOT ONCE had an experience where his sleezy way was met with an equal negative reaction.I have once been mugged after yelling at someone, but also, I think they would have mugged us anyway. Harassers are enjoying the sensation of power when they manage to get the person they go after to shut down and try to get away. Disrupting that really fucks them up. My friend once laughed and pointed at a flasher and it really destroyed him. She said it was a total shock, weird response, but when you think about how he was going to enjoy her disgust, it turned the tables around completely when she was so dismissive of him.

It's not that it's an obligation for someone who is assaulted to fight back, but the idea that it's somehow wrong to maybe make rapists worry that the thing they think is lamb is actually a wolf is NUTS. For me, being able to think, "ok this bad thing happened to me, but next time, I'll maybe be able to react with more information, and maybe even scare the shit out of that guy if I can?" is healing. I know that if I can make even one out of 10 guys feel uncomfortable when he's making me uncomfortable, it's going to make me feel better about the other 9 times I just pretend to be reading my book/didn't hear him.

Guys don't start shit with other guys a lot of the time I think because they know that a fight is potentially in the cards and they're wary. When you watch two male strangers piss each other off they usually give each other a lot of outs unless they both really want to fight. Like, they keep yelling at each other but also they are walking away, or letting their friends talk them down. I've seen a lot of situations where I think, "ok they're going to fight maybe?" and then they don't. I think that comes from a basic uncertainty on each person's part of, "will I win this? Will I lose? maybe just yelling is enough", and that comes out of seeing another guy as an equal opponent.

Attackers think about women they assault as, "I'm going to win this, it will be easy". Anything that disrupts that is a net good to my mind. If self defense is something all women learned, if rapists and pre rapists were like, "oh no there's a 15 year old with big boobs, I bet she's got bass knuckles and goes for the eyes, and look her boots look like they can give a good kicking", we'll that would help. If negging didn't work, then that would help. If everytime some guy sidled up to a woman and said, "I just want you to know you are so beautiful" she said, "ok if we're talking about what we think of each other, I think you must be a real creep to come bother me with your opinions"....it would help. It wouldn't stop everything, and in some cases, yes, that act of resistance might get met with violence, but it's not that we aren't met with violence anyway, so it's not like you are going from a place of complete safety to a place of complete risk. You are in a place of risk now.

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm 3

On Interview with Filmmaker Izzy Chan: "Have we adjusted our expectations of what a man needs to bring to the table?"

@City_Dater I keep trying to write this reply and timing out because I'm not expressing it well. I think women do sometimes need to adjust expectations, and I'm as feminist as they come. Precisely because women are socialized to take so much responsibility for the state of relationships, houses and children, I think it can also turn into a need to be in control and setting a high bar, and that isn't inherently bad or good.

The women I know, and I'm including myself here, we extrapolate. A sock on the floor isn't just a sock on the floor. It's a whole symptom to diagnose a problem with. And I know good guys who are my friends and whose wives are my friend and the wives are really hard on them about chores, and I don't feel bad that they need to do the chores, but I do feel bad when one gets called out in a way that's mean or unfair.

Knowing that the world is out to screw you and that your partner never even has to worry about it, it messes with you and if you take it out on the partner in unwritten expectations as house manager it can be bad.

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm 2

On "Two Things Guys Don't Like Hearing About"

@dham The other one they don't tell you about is the mid to late 20s haywire phase, when a period that was predictable from age 14-25 suddenly goes NUTS and does some crazy stuff and changes dates and behavior. No one told me that would happen and then when I talked about it a lot of friends suddenly said, "oh yeah, me too!" Is it a thing? I don't know, no one ever told me it might be a thing, but anecdotally, at least several close friends have had some kind of disruption around age 26 or so.

Posted on September 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm 2

On Louis C.K. on Conan: "Life is tremendously sad, and that's why 100% of people who are driving are texting"

There's something about the ouroboros of Louis C.K. talking about the failures of modern technology in short soundbites that are pulled up on iphones and then eagerly shared with people during a time when we could all just be mellowing out over pre-dinner wine and music... I don't know if there's a word to express how he is created and destroyed endlessly by the soundbite sharing technology and crabby modern people from whence come his keen observations.

But basically I think it boils down to Louis, just make a quilt or whittle something and you will feel better. Same for everyone who feels compelled to email or facebook this link to me.

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm 0

On Today's Bleak Read

Jesus, ""This is a bad analogy, but it's sort of like selling a used car," Gary Barnes says of why he and his wife weren't told more. "If you tell someone it breaks down every day, nobody's going to buy it.""


Posted on September 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm 7

On Today's Bleak Read

AUGH! People who DUMP THEIR CHILDREN like they are unwanted puppies should be on the same kind of registry as sex offenders. "Oh ma'am I see you left your adopted child at a rest stop with a mentally unwell woman who collects children, and you found her online through a yahoo chat group? Oh well then, I'm afraid I can't rent this house/give you this job/let you volunteer here. Also shame on you ma'am."

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm 8