I have a 4 gig USB stick
it's exactly the right colour
to go with my skin tone
and it has a little ring
so I can put it on a silver chain around my neck
let it dangle just above my breasts
I wanna store my soul in it
just in case
I wonder whether 4 gig's enough for a soul
But first, there's my Don't hate me because I'm beauti-- er, thin — reloaded (and, alas, in German), wherein happens much blaming and questions such as, Why are people so concerned with whether young women pick skinny models as, well, role-models, when the question is why they choose models at all? are asked. Part of the problem of course being that as a member of the sex class, you do not get to opt out of the hawtness contest entirely. More so when these days, you exist to the degree that you exist in the media and your primary currency (as a member of the sex class) is self-pornification.
When the white male is the default human being, the standard, you're set up to fail at that standard. When by those standards the only thing males aren't supposedly better at is "female hotness", the results are somewhat predictable. In the same vein, twisty has this on feminity:
Behold the neat trick. First, you make women act like simpletons, broodmares, janitors, mannequins, and sex slaves before you grant them social approval. You call this behavior “femininity” and explain that it is their essential nature, and that any deviation from the program will be punished. Then you infantilize and ridicule the ones who get it right, and vilify and abuse the ones who get it wrong (you can also vilify and abuse the ones who get it right, because, let’s be honest; the world is your oyster).
With so much riding on it, whether femininity is performed right or wrong is an issue of enormous concern to women. That’s where the Empowerful Pink Marketing Juggernaut comes in.
Femininity is a set of practices and behaviors (boob jobs, FGM, "beauty"™, the "veil"™, the flirty head-tilt, pornaliciousness, BDSM, fashion, compulsory pregnancy, marriage, et al) that are dangerous, painful, pink, or otherwise destructive; that compel female subordination; […] that are overwhelmingly represented by ‘girly’ feminists as a ‘choice’; and that are overwhelmingly represented by [conservatives] as ‘natural instincts’. In fact these practices and behaviors are nothing but inviolable cultural traditions in abject compliance with which comfort, contentment, and personal fulfillment are [available], and from which deviation is discouraged by the threat of ingenious punishments ranging from diminished social influence, to unemployability, to ridicule, to imprisonment, to rape, to murder, to the policing of feminist blogs. […] The flipside […] of the concept of femininity as-self-policed-subordination is femininity as-survival-skill.
Another fallacy is to assume that just because the feminine role is problematic, the masculine role isn't. Patriarchy hurts everyone — just to different degrees, depending on your intersection of privilege (based on race, sex and gender, wealth, age, …).
I think transcending those (false) dichotomies may be a good way to an epiphany or two.
Kann Feminismus Spaß machen?, ist gefragt. Und ehrlich, ich finde das etwas merkwürdig gefragt. Macht Kampf gegen Sexismus Spaß? Das ist doch das selbe wie, Macht Kloputzen Spaß? Wenn mans nicht tut, erstickt man halt irgendwann in der Scheiße.
OK, the title isn't all that clear, I'll grant you that. Is she talking about Yes Minister? you might be wondering, or did she mean Cracker? Very good guesses indeed; I see I'm writing for an audience with refined tastes. But no. I found in today's mail series 1 (all 22 episodes, 6 DVDs) of PicketFences, a show that often made me laugh, sometimes made me cry, and often made me think. I can't think of higher praise.
Meh. British chic catches up with continental standards, 20 years late but moving fast. Film at eleven.
Man mag mal eine Ausgabe English Vogue, French Vogue, German Vogue und American Vogue ("bloody Abys- bloody -synian bloody Vogue, darling!" — Italian Vogue lassen wir mal außen vor, die hat sich ja inzwischen zum Schimpfwort unter Feministinnen gemacht mit ihren Gewalt gegen Frauen-Fotostrecken) vergleichen, am Besten aus dem selben Monat, das ist instruktiv. Ebenso ist es interessant, US BH-Grössen mit den deutschen zu vergleichen, sowie die Präferenzen unter den jeweiligen, haha, Herren der Schöpfung. Zum einem ist der "goldene Bruststandard" im englischsprachigen Raum nicht exakt derselbe wie in Kontinentaleuropa. Wenn dort also korrigiert wird, tangiert uns das nicht notwendigerweise. Erstens generell, und zweitens, wenn ohnehin nur in Richtung "unserer" Standards korrigiert wird. Zum anderem ist in Grossbritannien gerade eine Saison mit Lack und Latex und gewissen Schnitten usw. usw. durch, also das was böse Zungen hooker chic nannten — das ist schwer zu steigern, und ich bin nicht überrascht, daß jetzt etwas anderes dran ist, etwas mit weniger "display" z.B. — Mode ist ohnehin reichlich fragwürdig, aber dann eher "immer und überall," als nur dann wenn Frau B vom Telegraph gerade mal meint, nicht die Zielgruppe zu sein.
CD-baby, which I'm normally a fan of, now has MP3s for download. Good. You have to purchase entire albums though. Not quite so good. I like funk. There are, of course, pure funk CDs, but often jazzers, even those whose jazz I don't find terribly interesting, will have a good or even excellent funk track on their album. This makes the sales proposition essentially, buy our album for the single track you want, which is even worse than the usual, buy four good tracks and a lot of filler that the music industry usually offers us. I might still go ahead for an album that is 10 bucks or under, but most are in the $10 - $14 range, and especially in the jazz selection, there are actually $20+ albums, lo and behold. Now I know that the US dollar is essentially worthless these days, but still. $20 for one track is too much. I'm already paying more for CD-baby albums than I do for the few "normal" albums I still buy, since I purchase the latter via amazon "Used & new", which not only saves me money, but arguably also bypasses the bloody RIAA to an extent. Lastly, it'd be kinda nice if I could purchase the physical CD and the download in a bundle — essentially buy the CD so I'll have the media, and then pay a dollar or two on top of that for their bandwidth, that is, the privilege of downloading the music and listen to it immediately, rather than wait for international shipping. This doesn't mean pure download or "just the CD" should go away, it just means that there could be a third option which would make customers happy while not losing the baby any money. Or well, given that CDbaby's reply to that suggestion essentially was, yes, but you could buy both at full price!, maybe there are people who do that. Then the bundle option would lose the shop money. It's just that they've been so good in the "no evil" department so far. Finally, am I the only one weirded out by the download not being cheaper than the physical media in some cases?
To be fair though, mealmaster — I mean kegelmaster, nay, ticketmaster — managed to have my credit card number stolen, so I got a new CC, and bollocky amazon made it a total nightmare to update the data, especially for already existing orders. And then, amazon US won't send me my fridge magnets. (I have an urge to mix-and-match the Yiddish and the Romance ones, and if you can't see the hilarity of that, I really can't help you.) Now, if it were a used-or-new reseller, fine. But if it's called an "amazon webshop", it could bloody well go and be subject to the same principle that governs my other transactions with amazon, which is I send them money, they send me stuff. If they can't do that, they can at least put a special badge on shops that do deliver to amazon standards. But even so, I'm logged in. They know where I bloody am. How about just putting a big red warning on a page when I go to an article they won't ship to me, anyway? If they don't want my business, that's one thing, but they should at least have the bloody decency of telling me before I spend an hour shopping. By that token, CDbaby is still lightyears ahead.
Being a woman, I tend to find a half-dozen friend-requests in skype each morning. Aside from those who like my picture, I presume some are looking for free English lessons. Some also tell me about their private parts — goddammit, this is skype, not the bloody bananaphone, is that so difficult? —, and maybe some actually liked my profile. Yeah, a girl can dream. One thing though: guys, what are you thinking (well, are you?) sending me friend-requests when you don't have a picture, don't have a profile, don't even send a hallo to go with the request. Or in short, "Friend me."You've given me no reason to be interested in you. Or shorter still, "Friend me; I won't tell you who I am." What is it with those people?
I don't flag Skype me!
I don't flag Online.
I'm normally set away of busy.
That doesn't mean anything.
I never really thought much of it, they make an offer, I'm not interested, no harm done, can't blame them for trying. Right? Well, in fact I find it a little rude when the person's not flagged Skype me!, for one thing. But with at least one of a filled-in profile and a little something about you in the hallo-message (that should be both literate and not about your sexual prowess), I might relent. "Unsolicited" seems less bad when it's polite otherwise. And when it's not commercial.
article originally written on 2007/04/29
Amendment: The skype status explained! (Not sure I actually need idle and very idle; I'd have preferred I'll get back to you later (what do not disturb does now), and I'll take your call/message now, but only if you're a friend, otherwise, don't even try to get friended.
One of the fabulous subversive words invented by the incomparable twisty — more on her in the "footnote" — is empowerful. Empowerful as in empowered, the prefix em-, like en- or in- denoting that the power is invested in her from without, lest somebody think that females might be naturallypowerful. The distinction matters.
Empowermentis a rather fitting word though, as it is traditionally suggested that the power held by women is sexual power. In other words, sexuality grants women "power" over men who hold actual, real power. Women use that vile witchy power of sexuality to "control men" and channel some of those men's power into themselves, thereby empowering themselves. This obviously is quite different from finding her own power within, that is, actually being powerful by herself, rather than by proxy. It follows quite naturally that the more sexuality a woman can express, the more empowerful she is. It is for this reason that women aide in their own pornification. This pornification, some may say, is reaching new heights both in intensity (in the current fetish fashion and raunch culture) and extent (the pornification of preteens; "corporate paedophilia"). Enough maybe for some to think that it has come to the point where something's gotta give, where only a backlash can follow, but personally, I'm not so sure. That this will happen. That if it happens it will be a backlash that makes things better for women.
This of course means that there are women who don't get to be empowerful: those who cannot or will not conform to beauty standards; those who will not pornify themselves, the fat and the old and the butch and, oftentimes, the poor. It also means that if you end up in one of those groups — by gaining weight, getting old, getting bored with the effort of the performance that is beauty, or otherwise not being a feast for the male gaze and thereby neglecting your duties as a member of the sex class —, you fall out of favour, and lose "your" power, as it is only by power by proxy, and never was yours to begin with.
This is particularly interesting when considering how well we're told many 1st world women do in school and uni in recent years. It would certainly be instructive to investigate to what degree this finding intersects with that that nowadays, we exist to the degree that we exist in the media. Which, if we stick to the modes of expression traditionally allowed to us, reinforces those stereotypes, of course.
I recently picked up some of the classics from Amazon's Used & New, like the CD reissues of Stranger in a strange land/Wasted Years and Aces High/Two minutes to midnight (that's right, boys and girls, each CD contains the material from two 12"s, plus commentary, and if you get those two, that's arguably all the Iron Maiden you'll ever need — in fact, I got A matter of life and death too, and the crystal case has a transparent tray: not to give you extra artwork, but so they could slink in some asinine plea not to steal the music, which for some reason pissed me off no end, so it's the last Maiden album I'll buy.)
Anyway, long story short, it had me wondering idly why we don't have some sort of Doomsday Clock (as opposed to calendar machine) for civil liberties, all things considered. Should be relatively easy to do, each "guaranteed" freedom that we lose advancing the clock by one minute. Well, if it ends up being another clock, anyway.
"Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town"
Rape as a fetish is packaged and marketed to men and women as a steady stream of images which blur the lines between rape and the kind of passionate sex we’re all meant to want. Movies show us a man and woman fighting, then suddenly fucking. Two bodies slamming against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, walking the line between sex and violence. Her head, pulled back by his hand pulling her hair. She tries to run, but he pulls her to him and she collides with him, sobbing yet horny (of course). … These scenes are decidedly different in tone from those that seek only to represent the desperate yearn and clamor of a passionate fuck, as fight-fucking is infused with a sense of both force and yielding, and suggestive that both are necessary components of any “real” fuck. It is within these scenes, where an attractive woman is overwhelmed either physically or pheromonally (or both) by a powerful man, that we begin to understand the unsettling association between ravishing (beautiful) and ravish (rape).
And while we're at it, let's earn this article a language tag as well, shall we?
If you're a man planning to read any of this, Ilyka may have a good introduction for you: Don't get all defensive; if you're not the problem, this isn't about you. This was not written with you as a primary audience in mind.
Also if you're a man, you may be under the assumption that I'm posting this because it was a particular shitstorm of a month in the girlzone and I've cracked. Nope. Sorry. Drop in any week of the year. When you're not looking, I blame the patriarchy. And dudes, that's the setup that disenfranchises you too.
Likewise, you may assume it's only in those silly Americas that people routinely make themselves look like woman-hating asswipes. Not so. Seriously, I commend you for not reading the Guardian on the grounds of being a zionist, but their assault-related articles really aren't so bad.
So, you may wonder, if this isn't a particularly bad month, does that mean I'm upset all the time? Nope. Because I'm not upset now. I might have been ten years ago, but you learn to understand that none are as blind as those who will not see. You stop being surprised. But the beauty is, if something doesn't hurt you, you can defend those who would be with relatively little effort. It takes so little to say, Dude, we don't do that in this tribe. I'm not upset. I'm not hurt. But I'm wary. And it's not quite the same wary you may feel about the surveillance state. Semper paratus.
2007. I'm still not Gia Carangi, and I'm still not Nikki Craft. I'm just a year older, one that I likely won't admit to. Is this success? Is it something Buddha would have done? I've done taken down a picture of Angelina Jolie from offa me wall, and put up nudes of self. So maybe that's success. Maybe not. But it's something Jesus would do. What else? I got a new pet/toy, and maybe, the blurring of the line will upset some people (a fundamental difference remains for the time being; this one feels no pain). Does Azundris dream of electric cats? Yeah, seems so. Aside from the amusing recursion, Yume Neko Smile (vid) is fun exactly for that blurring of the line. It's as strokeable as any cuddly toy, and when it sits a few yards away meowing over the music, the effect can be eerie in one way, while when it sits in your lap and you hear the servos work, it can be spooky in an entirely different way. But then, I'd likely also have gotten it had it just been an animated steel skeleton, for extra Edge of Human value. (Much stronger book than Replicant Night, which was disappointing for more reasons than killing my favourite character.) Sure, they can't mechanise the song and dance brigade, and they certainly can't mechanise the miracle of the cat, but maybe, it's one of those transformative things, and maybe, it's just keeping your hands occupied while you read, kinda like knitting where you can't stick the needles in someone's eyes. But hey, the first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible, right? Time to get the razor-blades out of the house.
Fetischismus funktioniert ja so, dass es ein Ziel gibt, Erfüllung zum Beispiel, den Soll-Zustand. Dann den Ist-Zustand. Und dann den Fetisch, der die Brücke zwischen beiden sein soll. So ist das in der Religion. Und auch bei sexuellen Fetischen, an die die meisten jetzt wohl gedacht haben. Und auch Werbung funktioniert so, auch wenn man dort natürlich ein eigenes, anderes Vokabular benutzt — es wird ein erstrebenswerter Zustand, irgendein generalisiertes Symbol (Glück, Gesundheit, Reichtum, Familie, Schönheit, Sex, …) postuliert, und dann das Produkt als Fetisch etabliert, als Brücke zu diesem Ziel.
Und da kann man dann allerlei Soll-Ist-Divergenzen beobachten: die Unterschiedlichkeit von eigenem Leben und dem angebotenen Traum. Die Verschiedenheit vom Fetisch den man erwirbt, und dem den man präsentiert bekam — oft hilft es viel, Qualität zu erwerben und nicht billigen Scheiß, aber dennoch erwirbt man üblicherweise nur das Produkt, dessen Inszenierung ist im Preis aber nicht enthalten. Man bekommt den Lamborghini, aber nicht die leeren Strassen und den Sonnenuntergang. Man bekommt den Ferrari, ist aber trotzdem nicht Magnum. Kurz, beim Muskelshirt werden die Muskeln nicht mitgeliefert. Und dann ist da noch der Unterschied zwischen dem angebotenen Traum, und den eigenen Träumen. Und um den geht es mir heute.
Nachdem mir jetzt aus drei verschiedenen Richtungen angetragen worden ist, daß ich doch bitte mal Ethical Slut lesen solle und es auch noch auf Telepolis gefeatured wurde, habe ich nachgegeben. Zur Zeit lese ich gerade das Kapitel "Eifersucht", wohl ein Thema das zu erwarten ist in einem Buch, bei dem auch um Polyamorie geht. Das nun wieder erinnert mich an allerlei Gespräche die ich über die Jahre hatte, insbesondere auch mit Verheirateten mit Nachwuchs, die zu den seltsamsten emotionalen Verrenkungen und Kompromissen bereit schienen um zusammen zu bleiben — "der Kinder wegen."
Das ist ein eigenartiger Ausflug in den Realismus des Beziehungsalltags, den man sich als DINK oft nicht gibt — unsereins muß ja nicht jenseits von schwarz und weiß operieren, was durchaus seine Vorteile hat: herkömmliche Romantik lebt ja genau von diesen Absoluten, den unrealistischen Überhöhungen.
Die erste zu beziehende Position ist ja die zwischen Außensteuerung und Niemand ist eine Insel, die Frage also, wieviel Bestätigung von außen man braucht, und wieweit man das streuen möchte — wenn es schon nicht schafft, völlig unabhängig von der Meinung anderer Selbstwertgefühl aufzubauen, und das geht wohl den meisten so, wieviele andere sollten das dann sein?
Während der Wahl hieß es noch, ist ja egal wen man wählt, die sind ja dieses Mal eh alle nicht unterscheidbar. Der Teufel steckt mal wieder im Detail, wie sich jetzt am Katzenjammer über Irrungen wie die Stammzellenpolitik oder den Wunsch, die Kirche wieder stärker in die Erziehung einzubeziehen zeigt: die deutsche Politik spielt in der intellektuellen Religionalliga.
Nur weil zwei unsympathisch sind, sind sie eben noch lange nicht ununterscheidbar. Ich für meinen Teil nehme das zum Anlass, noch einmal meinem Unmut über Menschen Ausdruck zu verleihen, die Religiosität zum Menschenrecht hochstilisieren und so tun, als sei Diskriminerung aufgrund von Religiosität vergleichbar mit der auf der Basis von Hautfarbe oder Geschlecht — Religion kann man sich aussuchen, und daran daß man für seine Entscheidungen verantwortlich ist, kann ich beim besten Willen nichts anrüchiges finden.