Mona Lisa on a motorcycle gang. esther dot es dot em at gmail dot com

On Bi Identification, Moving Out, and the Rhinestone-Encrusted Manicure

"Stop making queer people in hetero relationships feel uncomfortable in queer spaces. Stop contributing to bi invisibility by insisting that queer girls who date boys are “straight now.” Stop acting like the person someone dates today negates the entire rest of their sexual and romantic history. Stop pressuring bisexual people back into the closet by ignoring the reality of their identities. Stop treating sexual orientation as an either/or. Stop policing other people's sexuality. Stop being just as bad as the conservatives who ostracize people for being gay. We're supposed to be the good guys, remember?"

...I want it on a t-shirt. No, I want it as a tattoo. So that every time I feel ashamed and exiled, as a bi woman in a relationship with a man, I can remember to be proud. SO PROUD! Thanks much, QC, I needed to hear this today.

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm 20

On Friday Open Thread

@Briony Fields Ooh, I do not. That sounds incredibly not-fun. I am sorry.

Although, since we are whining about uteruses, I would like to whine about mine (even though I have not commented here in months and months, because who does not love some TMI) because, since I went off birth control, I have the disgusting break-outy skin of an especially ugly teenager before my period starts. Not fair! And I don't know what to do about it! I want my hopped-up-on-hormones skin back, without the panic attacks and depression that went with it. The fuck.

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm 1

On Light-ish, Hippie-ish, Side Dish Ish/Help

At Thanksgiving, someone in my boyfriend's family made a red grape-fennel-celery salad with some sort of light, lovely vinegary dressing; it sounds weird? But add some feta and walnuts, and I would eat at every meal forever. It went beautifully with heavier, more traditional roasted vegetables, and also made a nice break from meat and turkey and stuffing and starch. I don't have a recipe, but wing it? It was amazing.

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm 0

On Toy Guns, Barbies, Open Pill Bottles...

Oh, man. I have mentioned here before that I was raised Orthodox Jewish, so as you might imagine, pretty much everything was forbidden. But apart from candy with gelatin, cheeseburgers, Christmas, Palestine, and turning on the lights between sundown on Friday and nightfall on Saturday, we were also not permitted:
- Almost anything on television, but especially MTV in any form, "The Simpsons," "My So-Called Life," "Married with Children," "Full House," and "South Park";
- Popular radio, which at the time meant my mother had it in for Alanis Morissette, Green Day, and Nirvana, especially; I got grounded for listening to Cypress Hill's "Throw Your Hands in the Air";
- Hip-hop;
- Guns, swords, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, video games;
- This one book I desperately wanted to read, called "A Promise to Keep," which, if I remember correctly, was about a girl with a crush on a boy in the Hitler youth (I don't know why we had that);
- Any clothing my mother thought too "skimpy"---this is probably the worst; I grew up to blame a lot of my body image malfunctions on the fact that my mother bought most of my clothes a size or two up, not so that I could grow into them, but so that they would obscure my body as much as possible. I grew up thinking I was always the most gigantic person in any room.

We were, however, allowed frequent access to appalling sugary cereals, and pretty much no one monitored what books we read, which was very, very nice. And I watched lots of soap operas with my grandmother, and my grandfather gave me M&Ms before they were kosher, so I turned out okay.

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm 1

On Scientology and Me, Part Two: What Scientologists Actually Believe

@bluebears @Lisa Frank It's not just Kabbalah, in Judaism. There's also a traditional belief that prevails to this day in many Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox sects that women cannot study the Talmud (because their brains are weak and prone to silliness, which is unbefitting to the study of Jewish law). Talmud is not esoteric or mystical or dangerous; it's the compendium of halakhah as it was interpreted and codified by sages and meant to be practiced for posterity. Women are not supposed to read this, it is supposed to be distilled for them into the barest directives for maintaining a ritually-proper Jewish home by men, and if they have questions, they should take them to their husbands, who can take then go to their rabbis if they are stumped.

As people have pointed out re: Xenu and so on, this knowledge exists in the world, and can be accessed if one looks for it, but it is difficult---most of the Talmud is written in Aramaic, and a woman raised in an Ultra-Orthodox community and educational system will not have been taught to read or understand it. And of course, women in more liberal denominations study Talmud all the time. But for a significant population of Jews, not allowing women to study the laws they practice definitely contributes to keeping them under the control of the male community leadership---it comes into play a lot with issues of modesty, in my opinion, because extremist rabbis are constatnly coming out with new rules about what women are and are not allowed to wear and do, and if women are not permitted or able to look up the sources themselves, and be like, "Dude, that's a load of crap"...well, you end up with terrible problems.

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm 9

On Friday Open Thread < ):^/

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Seriously, this week. What the eff. I am quite glad it is over. Although: Frankencaine. I was supposed to give a tour of my thesis cemetery on Sunday, and we've preemptively cancelled out of fear. Bah.

Although! This reminds me that we never had thesis-exchange! And I might have two days off work to read about historic gas stations. I have an Internet link to my thesis; can we still swap somehow?

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread < ):^/

@Hellcat Aww! My little fella is actually very into playing with toys on his own, or bringing me things to throw for him. I just don't run around with the string toy very much, or have another cat to keep him company, and feel all the guilt. Oh, my god, this hurricane. The BF is only like 10 blocks away, but last summer, when we were supposed to get Hurricane Irene, I asked if I (and my cat! who loves BF's cats) could stay with him, and he was not into it. Admittedly, we hadn't been dating long then, but I don't even want to bring it up for fear he'd get that closed-up freaked-out face he gets when a normal thing I have asked is Not Okay, and I will have to be like, "Okay, I see that you don't like that, so let's just shelve it, it's fine," even though it is NOT fine, I do not want to be alone for days and days of Biblically-disastrous storms. Bah.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread < ):^/

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Internet hugs to you! That is balls, yo. I am sorry.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread < ):^/

@olivebee This is pretty quick and dirty, and also comes attached to helpful links to the story about the nanny who killed her two little charges. New York is all kinds fun right now. http://gothamist.com/2012/10/25/photos_cannibal_cop_called_himself.php#photo-1

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread < ):^/

@BadWolf I forgot to mention my persistent fear that Mitt Romney is going to win this election and take away my civil rights and turn the country into Gilead, but I think checking the weather repeatedly has kind of pushed my addiction to TalkingPointsMemo to the back of my mind. So there is that.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm 3