Sep 21 2008

Spinster aunt still AWOL

I admit it. I am a blogger in name only, at least for a while longer. The move to the Faster country seat is taking longer than previously anticipated, and further complications have complicated things. I dislike complication, and am not taking it well. At this juncture, no tub of Cool Whip is safe from me.

I did watch a few minutes of an old movie on TCM last night, though, and was repelled enough by its Yay Patriarchyness to embark on a series of contemplations on how Western literature would scarcely exist if plots did not so consistently revolve around the purity of the female lead’s vagina, puritanical conceits concerning marriage and divorce, and whose-baby-is-it. Seriously, if you take away bastards, fallen women, and dominion-over-the-uterus as plot devices, nearly the whole canon instantly evaporates. I honestly don’t know how TCM broadcasts this crap with a straight face. “The story of a man who lived a man’s life, the story of a woman who believed in one man.” It amounts, in large part, to hate speech.

Then, while in line at Whole Foods, I espied the current copy of Vanity Fair, and was repelled by a cover featuring, in full drag, the most famous dude-fantasy cipher of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe. The cover story, which I haven’t read, purportedly contains vital new information on the “mystery” of her death. Pah. I’ll tell you what killed Marilyn Monroe. Femininity. It kills thousands of women every day.

Why was I at Whole Foods? I’d run out of an absurd thing. Chardonnay Oak-Smoked Fleur de Sel. I put this wacky salt on everything, including watermelon and peanut butter toast. You may opine that sodium chloride is sodium chloride, but until you do a side-by-side taste test with this Chardonay Oak-Smoked Fleur de Sel and Morton’s Iodized I have nothing to say to you.

Meanwhile, Stingray’s out in Napa lurking in some wine cellar, and she’s got a wine cellar blog. It’s got great photos of incomprehensible winemaking equipage, as well as of the porta-potties that dot Napa’s picturesque vinyards like the plastic turquoise flowers of spring. Before she biffed out there and began reporting back about the full-blown sexism, classism, and racism attending viticultural culture, I used to think that wineries were pleasant, sun-drenched agrarian paradises. Now I realize that I will have to give up oenophilia on principle and start brewing my own feminist hooch in the bathtub.


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  1. larkspur

    Hey, you. Too bad about the complications.

    One thing to be said for teh wine: wine itself doesn’t care, it only wants to be imbibed. It loves us. It wants to be admired for the way it swirls in the glass, how it glints when sunlight or moonlight hits it. It only wants to fulfill its destiny, which is to be imbibed. By us.

    I’m confident that your bathtub feminist hooch will be just like that, only more so.

  2. atheist woman

    “Yay Patriarchyness to embark on a series of contemplations on how Western literature would scarcely exist if plots did not so consistently revolve around the purity of the female lead’s vagina, puritanical conceits concerning marriage and divorce, and whose-baby-is-it. Seriously, if you take away bastards, fallen women, and dominion-over-the-uterus as plot devices, nearly the whole canon instantly evaporates”

    Yup, but you forgot religion. Tisk tisk.

  3. panoptical

    We showed “On the Waterfront” and “West Side Story” a few weeks ago at my theatre to commemorate Leonard Bernstein. I thought I might take in some culture by watching these old movies but I just couldn’t stand to watch such rampant and blatant sexism. Does every Marlon Brando movie consist of Brando being a sleazy, evil “protagonist” who forces himself on women, or is it just Waterfront and Streetcar? Actually, I think I’d prefer not to know.

  4. sonia

    Stingray’s picture is killa!

    Good luck with the move.

  5. TwissB

    So take a refreshing break from those madness-inducing flicks and watch the video of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women’s noontime protest against HBO’s “Cat House” series staged last spring in front of the big HBO headquarters building in NYC. They’re doing it again this coming Tuesday the 23rd, so if you are in NYC that day, turn up for the action at 1100 Sixth Ave. between W. 42nd and 43rd from 12 – 2:30 PM and BLAME.

    If this link fails to transmit, search for Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) on You Tube.



  6. slade

    Before hitting the sack, I thought I would see if you had some words for us. Thank you so much for taking my mind off the $700 billion cost of fascism.

    I love salt. Good salt, that is. I will have to go to Whole Foods and check out this particular brand.

    I am rather pissed at Whole Foods for buying my Wild Oats…that is where I bought my Stevia. Whole Foods has ruined my Stevia….adding 11% alcohol to what was once pure extract. And of course they raised the price. The dewd who owns Whole Foods…I don’t think he’s what he appears to be. I think he’s a Repugnant ripping off Progressives.

    Then again, I am known to buy ‘No-Salt’ at Meijers. It is filled with potassium that counteracts all that sodium that pumps up the size of my cells to such an enormity that I feel I could be floating high up in the air at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. I have a difficult time eating out….so much sodium and so little potassium.

    When I was younger, I used to say, ‘So much freedom and so little time…’

    I got my passport pictures last week…I sure look mean.

  7. Rainbow Girl

    I think I’m going to have to substitute “feminist hooch” for “kool-aid” every time I say I’m drinking the kool-aid at IBTP.

  8. MissPrism

    As soon as you get a license to export Twisty’s Bathtub Feminist Hooch to the EU, I’d like to order a case.

  9. Helen

    Porta-potties in the vineyards? you know what that means, don’t you? … Blokes picking grapes after having shat and not washed their hands…

    I think I”m a bit turned off the vino this minute myself. (It’ll last about a minute, too, knowing me.)

    You know what else, though, the people who like to describe “liberals” by their foodstuffs and beverages – you know, the arugula-latte, Chardonnay-sipping, etc crowd – will have an absolute field day with the Chardonnay Oak-Smoked Fleur de Sel.

  10. speedbudget

    Kinda OT, as far as the thread, but I had a thought while reading the post. Okay, a couple thoughts.

    A. Glad to see you back, Twisty. I’m glad you didn’t get blown away into the straosphere and end up in Kansas.

    B. Would Marilyn Monroe be a sex symbol if she showed up today? I mean, by today’s standards, she would be villified for being a pig. Size 12! HA! And if that’s true, why does she get a pass today? Why is she still held up as this standard, but that standard doesn’t count for real, live women? I dunno guys, it just kinda popped in my head.

  11. stekatz

    I think Marilyn would be right up there today simply because she still had the requisite big boobs and vulnerability. Dudes like that combo.

    Further proof that femininity is such a delusion. It’s the ultimate delusion. The sad fact is that it works for enough women to perpetuate it. Some women are lucky enough to have had their femininity reel in a man who actually does dishes, says nice things to his wife, remains faithful, looks after the children, etc. These exceptions get held up as a rule. Thus, women get socialized to believe that femininity does work as a hedge against patriarchy’s system of dominance.

    This is why so many women are losing their shit over Sarah Palin. The Oh-My-God-She’s-A-Hockey-Mom-And-She’s-Running-For-Vice-President excitement fails to recognize that Sarah Palin will be quietly kicked to the curb once they’re done using her. Just as Marilyn was kicked to the curb when the dominant men in her life got tired of her.

    But for most women (eg. Marilyn Monroe), femininity will turn around and bite you in the ass. In spite of the great marketing by the heteronormativity advocates, buying into marriage and actually having it work out for you is highly uncommon. Across the world, most women, despite securing a marriage, experience as the fruits of their femininity labors continued abuse, degradation, criticism, devaluation, humiliation, poverty and death.

    Compounding this is the fact that even the most dyed in the wool feminist has to occasionally engage in femininity just to survive. We can be ourselves in our own homes, in safe spaces. Out in the community, generally patriarchy wins the day. You find these odd ways of safely moving through the gauntlet.

    I just think maybe it’s a hundredth monkey thing, and if more feminists reveal that living on your own terms does not make you a sad and lonely old woman, some re-socialization can occur. This is why Twisty should rename the ranch The Faster Center Of Feminist Excellence. It will be feminism’s answer to the Hoover Institute.

  12. Twisty

    “Does every Marlon Brando movie consist of Brando being a sleazy, evil “protagonist” who forces himself on women, or is it just Waterfront and Streetcar?”

    Actually, if a documentary I watched recently is true, he was like that in real life, too.

  13. saltyC

    Isn’t the term “forcing himself” a tad quaint? Isn’t there another word for that?

  14. Karen

    Actually size 12 then was smaller than size 12 now. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_sizing

    I figure that if Marilyn Monroe had been born in 1976 instead of 1926, she would have eaten less, exercised more, and looked just like Charlize Theron.

    According to Snopes, she was 5′ 5 1/2″ tall, her weight peaked at 140, and her waist peaked at 23″ (don’t know if any of those measurements includes any of the time she was pregnant).

  15. saltyC

    Just from a visual guesstimation of Monroe, 140 was not her highest weight

    Not that it matters, just saying she would definitely have dieted severely if she were in hollywood today.

    Also just to add randomly, she was an extremely gifted comic actor.

  16. delphyne

    Monroe was one of the first artists to demand creative control in her films. She has been very underestimated. Charlie Chaplin wasn’t assumed to be the winsome tramp of his films but somehow Monroe’s acting made people believe she really was a dumb blonde.

    More interesting than her body size IMO.

  17. Natalia

    Well, fancy this! I agree with Delphyne! On Marilyn Monroe, of all people! Lace up those ice skates, Prince of Air!

  18. Joel

    “Western literature would scarcely exist if plots did not so consistently revolve around the purity of the female lead’s vagina, puritanical conceits concerning marriage and divorce, and whose-baby-is-it. Seriously, if you take away bastards, fallen women, and dominion-over-the-uterus as plot devices, nearly the whole canon instantly evaporates”


    Although I’ve of course realized how awfully sexist most movies are (if I wasn’t convinced already, applying the Bechdel test exposes a near-universal sexism), I hadn’t really thought of how stereotyped the plot devices were as well as the characters. I’ll mentally subtract any such “plots” from all fiction I’ll read or watch from now on, just to see how often there’s anything left. =)

    Oh yeah, and since this is the first time I’ve actually posted here, I just want to say I really like your blog. Great to see some anger on the web that is actually called for.

  19. blondie

    Glad to hear you weren’t blown to Oz or some such place. I also share your taboo passion for Cool Whip. I’m so tired of the whole U.S. election/economy/health care/war/everything sucks combo that’s flying around, that I’ll spill more of my trashy American child of the 70s and 80s taste and reveal that when you’re out of cheese, cheetios go really well with cheap red wine.

    Stand in awe of my palate.

  20. Buffy

    I was born and raised in Denver, CO and also put salt on my watermelon. People around here think it is strange and unheard of. I learned it from my Mom, who was a military brat and lived everywhere, but mainly in southern states. I believe salt on watermelon is a southern tradition, people here in the faux west certainly don’t get it. Can anyone shed any light on this?

  21. saltyC

    I agree, Monroe was a cinematic force and many in Hollywood hated how powerful she could become.

  22. Fred

    I doubt you could find another American actress as adept at sending out signals of abject submission as Marilyn. Her shtick was instrumental in embiggening male need for privilege in the 1950s.

  23. virago

    “Charlie Chaplin wasn’t assumed to be the winsome tramp of his films but somehow Monroe’s acting made people believe she really was a dumb blonde”

    Yeah, that was really creative control. She wasn’t a natural blonde, but she made the “dumb blond stereotype” seem real. The same is true with women like Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, and a lot of other Hollywood starlets. None of these women are “real blondes” yet, they promote a stereotype of blonds in order to pander to the patriarchy. In the meantime, real blondes like myself have to put up with a steeotype that we’re stupid based on a haircolor. How unscientific is that? In the meantime, brunettes are seen as brainy. At least until they do something that is perceived by the patriarchy as “stupid”, than it’s because she’s a woman. If I say or do something that is perceived as stupid by the patriarchs, than it’s because I’m a woman who is a dumb blond. Yeah, thanks Marilyn and all you other faux blonds in Hollywood, it’s been empowering. IBTP.

  24. Fred

    Blonde hair is only truly blonde when it is brown hair bleached blonde. Then it becomes a symbol that signals a desire to advertise yourself as sexually available. This is how I see it anyway, since I’m wallowing in a barely sublimated sea of presumptive supremacy. I should probably say that this is what most men see. But who do I think I’m kidding.

  25. slade

    I remember the exact moment when I learned of Marilyn’s death….actually it was a stronger memory than when I learned of JFK’s death.

    Some background: My mom took me to see ‘Some Like it Hot.’ And after that, I was a fan of Marilyn. I loved her camp in that movie. And I loved the men in drag…I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I went around for weeks saying, ‘ooh poopy doop.’

    While having breakfast at a local diner with my father and his friend, my dad read in the paper then told me that Marilyn had killed herself. I told him that in no uncertain terms that she would never have killed herself. We started to argue until he finally capitulated and said, ‘Well, that is what the newspaper says.’

    I remember thinking that I wish I could have protected her. I miss her.

    She is always on my list of ‘Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party.’ IBTP.

  26. RollerGreen

    Yeah, this election and the stock market is definitely going to drive this blamer into making her own “hooch.” Hoochy goochy :-)

    Love this article. A good fall piece that is plain sanity in times like this. We really need this blog just to get through the next two weeks!!! Hooch goochy :-)

  27. speedbudget

    I wasn’t talking about back then. I’m talking about now, today. She is still held up as a sex symbol, and I find that interesting, given that, yes, she would have to starve herself today to be marketable in Hollywood. I’m just wondering why she still gets a pass, which I assume I must blame the patriarchy for. But I don’t understand why some women get a pass, and the rest of us get judged horribly for the same things. Vanity sizing or no, if you look at her, she’s much larger than the average starlet today, and even stars who have made their way and earned their stripes in Hollywood, if they put on a few pounds, it’s trumpeted all over as a sign of their downfall and how horrible a person they are.

    I’m just saying.

    Anyway, I think women are much more attractive when they are a more human size. I just wish more women were given the pass.

  28. tinfoil hattie

    I’m just wondering why she still gets a pass,

    Because the patriarchy depends heavily on our never knowing what the rules are, why they are what they are and/or when the rules change.

  29. Twisty

    Marilyn Monroe is still famous because she is dead. That is, she died at the peak of her unprecedented success at femininity, and, as watching 10 minutes of TV on any channel will illustrate, dudes in this day and age can’t get enough of hot dead chicks.

  30. mustelid

    I’ve read somewhere that in today’s sizing, Marilyn Monroe would be a size 6/8. This was based off her measurements at various points in her career. As for why she’s still considered sexy today, it’s most likely a combination of the ‘submissive female’ act, and of her being ‘grandfathered in’, so to speak. Certainly, a woman in Hollywood w/ the same measurements today wouldn’t be able to turn around w/o someone shoving ten different diet plans in her face.

  31. Ron Sullivan

    Porta-potties in the vineyards? you know what that means, don’t you? … Blokes picking grapes after having shat and not washed their hands…

    Oh, Helen, it’s worse than you think. Porta-Potties are a major improvement in field and vineyard work standards, and farmworkers and their allies had to raise some hell to get them brought in.

    Twisty, I found myself filling the salt cellars-plural the other day and had one of those What-have-we-come-to moments. In this household it all started with Spanish smoked paprika and we’ve since been sliding rapidly into Multicondimentional Hell.

    It’s good tho’.

    Rent yaself a copy of The Triplets of Belleville even if you’ve seen it before. Great braincleaning fun unless you’re a frog.

  32. Linda Atkins

    Stingray’s in Napa? OK, I’m persuaded that she is. Is she coming back?

  33. larkspur

    “Marilyn Monroe is still famous because she is dead.”

    Yup. Alas. And she died young, while she was still usable. She didn’t make it to a wonderfully loud-mouthed old age, she was an angel who needed rescuing, and at the same time a slut with a heart of gold who could not end up any other way than dead. And it had to be a certain kind of dead, too. No unpleasantly distorted features from hanging, no shattered face from a gunshot. And not, apparently, an overt homicide, either, so no pesky fleeting twinges of collective guilt. And I suspect the imagery is pretty consistent: beautiful naked dead blonde draped forlornly over the satin sheets, Sleeping Beauty, available to be dressed up and posed and made to carry all sorts of cultural stuff, depending on what you need her for, a vehicle suitable for any occasion. (That she probably vomited and voided and other stuff that Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t dare commit is an image the mythology ignores.)

    I wish she wasn’t dead. I wish she’d lived and gotten the hell out of Hollywood, and opened a dudette ranch somewhere and got to be a happy loud-mouthed old lady.

    I think that I am not bright-eyed and cheerful today. Sorry.

  34. Pontiste

    I first discovered salt on fruit whilst in Southeast Asia. Even better: a mixture of salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper on fruit, any fruit, but especially pomelo (or grapefruit if you have no pomelos) or guava (or green apples as per above). Is tasty on tomato slices, too. You can thank me later! (Sorry to be joining in on the discussion only when it takes a more frivolous turn, but I think we could all use a little frivolity right about now. I know I could.)

  35. rainie

    Porta Potties. Ugh.
    Our neighborhood has been dug up in what appears to me to be a rather haphazard way. Sanitary sewers are being installed. Perhaps I just don’t understand the mysteries that underlie laying down lengths of pipe one after another. But, I digress. Porta Potties. Along with the giant earth moving machines that block my driveway, a Porta Pottie has appeared at the edge of a lawn down the street. I assume that it is for the workers who are installing the sewers. But, yesterday morning, as I was driving my spawn to school, the car ahead of us stopped and a man got out and went into the Porta Pottie.

    It would never occur to me, driving down the street, to say, “Omigosh, how fortunate! There’s a Porta Pottie! Now I don’t have to wait till I get home.” I mean, how badly do you need to go to stop and use a Porta Pottie by the side of the road?

  36. jezebella

    I now feel slightly better about my obsession with rosemary-flavored sea salt.

  37. speedbudget

    Oh gawd, Rainie. I will hold it until the cows come home so I won’t have to use the evil Porta Pottie. Yet another invention of the patriarchy used to humiliate us wimminz. Cause, you know, we have to actually sit (or squat, although I just can’t go while half squatting. I have to get all the way down, as per woods. But I digress) and the men can just stand there and use the friggin urinal which is nowhere near the slop so I imagine they don’t have to hear it heading down there and worry about splashes.

    None of my guy friends understand why I would rather be miserable and stand with crossed legs rather than go into one of those evil things, and I blame the patriarchy. I also blame it for allowing men to find some corner to pee in and everyone looks the other way, but god forbid if I decide to find somewhere to squat.

  38. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I put salt on green apples. It seems to sharpen their sweetness.

    I hate the cutesiness of the name “Porta Pottie”. Pleh.

    And I am most sorely jealous of Stingray’s vineyard-stompin’ boots.

  39. monika

    rainie, I too had a porta pottie on my lawn. It was there for months, presumably for construction workers although they left months before the porta pottie was removed.

    The porta pottie reminded me of the importance of public bathrooms. A lot of the local homeless people and sex workers finally had a place to go to the bathroom in my neighbourhood. (Just try using a business washroom if you look like the stereotype of a homeless person or sex worker). The only thing missing was running water to wash one’s hands etc.

    A lot of my neighbours complained because they said the porta pottie “brought” the so-called undesirables to the neighbourhood. You see, you are only welcome here if you are white and middle class. If you are a woman who has to sell her money because of racist, patriarchal capitalism, this isn’t your neighbourhood, no longer how long you have lived here.

  40. FM

    Wow, you used “oenophilia”, “feminist” and “hooch” in the same sentence!

    I need to move out of John Kerry country and spend some time in Texas so that I can learn how to write.

  41. Spiders

    I think Marilyn also symbolises an era that some men have fond memories of, when uppity women weren’t demanding divorces and equal pay and such.

  42. TwissB

    As noted above, Marilyn was assigned to the “dumb blonde” class of submissiveness-radiating female movie stars always described as “vulnerable” – cherished, I believe, for the fond belief that bruises would show up especially well on their soft white skin. There is another class that is superficially similar as to exagggerated secondary sex characteristics including tight clothes, extremely high heels, big hair-dos, and heavy makeup. They, however, project an up-for-anything sexy energy and are described, after due attention is paid to their pneumatic bodies – as “smart” – think Mae West, Jayne Mansfield, and Dolly Parton. What smart means is that they know enough to flaunt the bondage gear and not make a man feel outsmarted despite their business success.

    But the dumb blonde is still the preferred object. Tennessee Williams’s story “Twenty-Seven Wagons Full of Cotton,” is frequently performed as a play or movie. Here is one summary of the key female character: “Flora Meighan, the young wife of Jake Meighan. Blonde, buxom, seductive, and mindless, Flora is childish and childlike, behaving like a petulant, demanding, spoiled child while exuding a vulnerability and dependence that make her a stereotypical female victim. Flora enjoys her husband’s physical abuse and willingly accepts the role of baby to Jake’s “big daddy” role; theirs is clearly a sadomasochistic relationship.” The story shows her as an easy conquest on a hot summer afternoon by a man doing business with her husband. He gets her by flicking at flies on her body with a stinging little switch. Now wouldn’t any real woman find that simply irresistable??

  43. larkspur

    TwissB, it is to weep.

    I was trying to think of a nice alternate ending to the whole “blonde, buxom, seductive, mindless” nightmare, and all of a sudden I recalled on old New Yorker cartoon that I love. (Here it is, approximately.)

    It shows a small cabin near the water, with a man sitting at his typewriter on the front porch, looking disheveled, with wadded-up sheets of paper everywhere. A woman is standing in the doorway, holding a tray, wearing an apron. She is saying, “Hey, I have a great idea for a story. Hank and Sally move to a remote cabin on Long Island so he can work on his novel every day. Sally brings him sandwiches and coffee, and they never go anywhere or see anyone, and in the end, she becomes a nympho-lesbo-killer-whore”.

    I always thought it would make a cool t-shirt. NymphoLesboKillerWhore. I’d kind of like to see the blonde, buxom, seductive, mindless woman when she gets really pissed off.

  44. TwissB

    Oh, I am covered with rue. Why doesn’t this blog have spell-check? Of course I meant exaggerated and irresistible.

    Which nevertheless allows a postscript to mention Andrea Dworkin’s comments on Monroe for which someone else can perhaps cite the location, and (British) Observer columnist Joan Smith’s commentary “Gentlemen Prefer Dead Blondes” in her “Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice.” Smith is a great Blamer.

  45. larkspur

    That Joan Smith article is interesting and challenging. I wish I could link things properly, but I tend to screw it up, so cut ‘n’ paste if you’re interested. (And I think “exagggggerated” is a pretty good exaggeration done for specific effect.)


  46. delphyne

    Joan Smith isn’t that great a blamer, she implied that Andrea Dworkin was lying when she talked about her rape and said that she was making up aspects of it that in Joan Smith’s opinion she couldn’t have possibly known. Joan Smith is certainly entitled to her view, but publishing it in both newspapers and magazines was going too far and a stab in Dworkin’s back, not a step towards sisterhood.

    Also this Marilyn is only famous because she’s dead and blonde thing is pretty insulting to Monroe. Monroe is still famous and popular because as well as filling out the dumb vulnerable blonde role she was also a wonderful comic actress as SaltyC said, and compelling to watch on screen. There have been other platinum blonde actresses who died tragically, Jayne Mansfield springs to mind, but they haven’t kept their place in the public consciousness, because their films and their performances weren’t so good.

    Talented famous people who die too young maintain a hold on people’s consciousness. Elvis, James Dean and Jim Morrison certainly did but nobody says about them “oh they’re only popular because they’re dead”. They are all allowed credit for their work in a way that Marilyn Monroe almost never is.

  47. monika

    Smith suggested a woman lied about a sexual assault in a publication? christ on a bike! Definitely not a step towards sisterhood.

  48. Vibrating Liz

    That New Yorker cartoon that larkspur described is a George Booth classic.

  49. larkspur

    George Booth! Thank you, Liz. And howdy. That’s some cute grandbaby you have. And give some tummy scritches to Superman and the two zucchini dogs for me, k?

  50. TwissB

    Delphyne–Thank you for that important reminder about Joan Smith’s failure to allow Andrea Dworkin the truth of her own experience, one that was devastating to her. She is unfortunately not the only feminist writer to trash Andrea to reassure their edtors and audiences that they know where to draw the line between feminism and fanaticism. Ariel Levy sticks it to both Dworkin and MacKinnon in her otherwise excellent “Female Chauvinist Pigs.” Obituaries for Andrea Dorkin are a strange mixture of heartbreak and cowardly barbs.

  51. Natalia

    Also this Marilyn is only famous because she’s dead and blonde thing is pretty insulting to Monroe. Monroe is still famous and popular because as well as filling out the dumb vulnerable blonde role she was also a wonderful comic actress as SaltyC said, and compelling to watch on screen. There have been other platinum blonde actresses who died tragically, Jayne Mansfield springs to mind, but they haven’t kept their place in the public consciousness, because their films and their performances weren’t so good.

    Talented famous people who die too young maintain a hold on people’s consciousness. Elvis, James Dean and Jim Morrison certainly did but nobody says about them “oh they’re only popular because they’re dead”. They are all allowed credit for their work in a way that Marilyn Monroe almost never is.


    Add Buddy Holly to that list. Add Jimi Hendrix. Jeff Buckley (Janis Joplin usually does get credit, but then again, she was so different from Monroe; people always find Monroe deceptively easy to pin down, and I think looks play a great part in that).

    And something seriously rubbed me the wrong way about Joan Smith’s piece too.

    There’s a strong hint of personal dislike in there. It’s like “oh Monroe couldn’t possibly have redeemed herself had she lived.” Like she needed to anyway – to be forgiven by Joan Smith by not living up to whatever feminist ideal.

  52. Spiders

    I don’t think it’s insulting to acknowledge the way Marilyn was treated by the patriarchy; that is after all what we do on this blog. Other topics such as acting talent tend to be tertiary here. Not that I’d argue she wasn’t talented because I’m a huge fan of Marilyn myself. One thing that’s never mentioned is her charisma.

    Also I don’t think people are unaware that dead male actors/artists maybe weren’t as talented as they are remembered to be. There is a saying in the music industry; best thing you can do for your career is die. So people do recognise that.
    I’ve personally been involved in several arguments about the likes of James Dean and Jim Morrison because I don’t think they were the geniuses people want to remember them as.

  53. TwissB

    Ok. So Joan Smith needs a more critical reading. See what you think of Carolyn Gage’s comments on the influence of Marilyn Monroe’s childhood experiences on her adult self. Gage talks about Monroe at the end of her review of Xaviera Hollander’s autobiography “Child No More.” Here is the link which, if lost, can be recovered at the top of the “What’s New” page on http://www.prostitutionresearch.com :


    Larkspur – I love George Booth’s cartoons with their distinctive POV and cast of characters – the cats, dogs, rumpled rugs, garage guys, wiry old ladies, etc. etc. and enjoyed the one you described. Sadly, the sensible New Yorker Cartoon Bank no longer permits its copyright-stamped cartoons to be copied from the display page to be pasted in one’s computer.

  54. larkspur

    You know, I got the impression more that Joan Smith was disturbed by the never-ending post-mortem use of Marilyn Monroe. The fact is that she did die, that she was sad, depressed, and tormented by abuse she’d had to endure. Smith is pointing out that Marilyn iconography ranges from the creepy (she names Norman Mailer, although I have not read his Marilyn stuff) to the wistfulness of feminist “rescue” scenarios. I engaged in one myself upthread, when I imagined her as a happy, earthy, loud-mouthed old lady. So I’m not sure Smith’s point is that Marilyn was doomed even if she had survived that awful night, and that therefore her talent or her possibilities, or even her accomplishments are irrelevant. It’s more that she’s dead and we can’t leave her alone, for a whole spectrum of motivations.

    And yes, we can’t leave Elvis alone, or James Dean, or Jim Morrison. But Marilyn Monroe is fetishized to a vastly greater extent, and none of those men have had their memories used to quite the extent that Marilyn has been used. They’re not blank screens onto which a highly personalized iconography can be cast. Marilyn Monroe was no blank screen or tabula rasa: she was a real live human woman who lived and died. It’s Dead Marilyn Monroe, the perceived malleability of Dead Marilyn Monroe, and the various presentations of that image that’s so haunting and unsettling.

    Dead Janis Joplin has been fetishized to a far lesser extent, but she’s often portrayed as sad, tormented, tragically unblessed with physical beauty, and child-like in her drugged and alcohol-infused existence. But Dead Marilyn is a whole ‘nother subject, and in the end, Dead Marilyn says stuff about us.

    I encourage anyone and everyone to demolish my observations, ’cause they might in fact suck.

    Now I must go rescue my laundry from the downstairs dryer before another tenant gets annoyed.

  55. Natalia

    Well, I don’t think you’re off base with Dead Marilyn at all, and I prefer your words to Smith’s.

    I would argue that Elvis in particular is very much a blank as is James Dean (Morrison to a much lesser extent, or so I have observed).

    I think you’re right about Janis Joplin too. I do think her talent gets acknowledged much more so than Monroe’s talent.

    I was recently watching Monroe, with a Russian dubbing of all things, and I just liked her so much, even when dubbed, she stuns you. She’s absolutely hilarious and intense in this mad-cap way. She steals every scene she’s in.

    I’m one of those people who liiiikes my handsome Hollywood leading men, but when men are sharing a scene with Marilyn, they’re practically invisible. I don’t care about watching them when she’s up there.

    And I find it sad that it’s rare for this talent of hers to be remarked upon. Smith was right to comment on the creepiness of the Monroe phenomenon, but her take-down of it made me feel as though she was missing a great part of Monroe’s appeal.

    I think part of the reason has to do with the fact that we just don’t think of comedy as art. It’s entertaining, sure, but it’s Worthy, you know?

  56. Natalia

    And by “Worthy” I mean “Not Worthy.” D’oh.

    (I’m referencing my own comment in moderation, in case you’re wondering)

  57. sonia

    I agree. I always thought Janis got a bad rap because she didn’t blow-dry. My friend said when he was younger he gave her a ride on the back of his bike and she was very nice, happy, and carefree. she certainly didn’t do any more substances or have any more issues than Jim Morrison etc.

    I think the extent to which a woman is successful at femininity determines how troubling her fate is/how she is remembered.

  58. speedbudget

    I just want to say:

    Jeff Buckley! My god, in the list we’ve put together here, he is more worthy of adoration than the rest of the musicians in my opinion. The man could write and play and his singing….

    I’m just saying. I found him last year, and I am still reeling.

  59. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Speedbudget, this is for you:


  60. TP

    One clue to how Marilyn may have lived out her years is the life of her sister in sex objectification, 1920s-style, Clara Bow. Her biography is a series of horrific scenes of abuse and exploitation, from her childhood of being sexually and physically abused by her alcoholic dad to the pornographic sex scandals they invented for her.

    After a short stab at the talkies she married a cowboy – something she never wanted to do when she was at her height – and retired to the desert. She was always mentally unstable, and that didn’t work out, so she quietly moved back to a tiny house in LA and lived out her last decades in absolute seclusion. I hope she found peace.

    Both actresses had incredible skills; bringing the experience of being a woman to the screen that could be read as man-pleasing while at the same time revealing the pain such exploitation creates.

    Marilyn had hurt in her eyes, and Clara looked like a fun-loving puppy who was always being remonstrated for just being alive. Marilyn was more low key, almost completely defeated by sexism, while Clara acted like the party would never end, waiting for the axe to fall, almost hysterical. I’ve felt both moods, bittersweet and with an inner strength from resisting despair.

  61. speedbudget


    Thankees! Lovely wakeup.

    You know, Leonard Cohen is a great songwriter. I just can’t stand it when he sings his own stuff. Hehe.

    This song makes me yearn, horribly. I’m not sure what for, though.


  62. tinfoil hattie

    You know, Leonard Cohen is a great songwriter. I just can’t stand it when he sings his own stuff. Hehe.

    Yes! Once Nigel and I, flipping channels, came across this weird guy “singing,” and we thought it was some kind of parody. Took me years to figure it all out.

  63. Delurker

    Oh, Jeff’s daddy Tim had the voice, surely.
    As well as a pretty destructive habit.

    And whatall does a person do with Cool Whip to alleviate complication phobia?
    Surely not ingest it? On its own?
    I read the ingredient list. I am not a US dweller so please enlighten me gently.

  64. daisy

    If you brew feminist hooch in your bathtub I’m starting a feminist speakeasy. Can I get ten cases for our grand opening?

  65. VinaigretteGirl

    Portable loos without a foot-powered pump for a wash-hand basin? Does. Not. Compute. Even here in the plumbing-challenged UK this is standard.

  66. kirsty


    my days are bleak and dull without you……come baaaaaack!

    oh dear, have we become so darn dependant on you?!

  67. Vermonter

    Oooh, Twisty, I miss you! I think I’ll have to go get my own tub of Cool Whip & see if it makes the sad go away.

  68. atheist woman

    VinaigretteGirl those have only just made it to my area of the US. I first saw one a few months ago when I was at a farmer’s market in New England and I thought, dear maud how clever, why haven’t they thought of this before? I guess they had and people in NE just had not received the memo.

  69. speedbudget

    I’m still shocked and gladdened when I find a sink in the portapottie.

    It’s not just New England.

  70. Ser

    First: Speedbudget, the “Size 12” thing about Monroe is an urban legend.

    Moving on, something that advocates heterosexuality is not “hate speech”. Unless you think we’re all lesbians, and any of us that are straight are really being brainwashed.

    Which, if you DO think that, then you aren’t feminist, because there’s nothing feminist about *telling women what to do*, or insulting our personal ways of life. (Side note: Being straight is not being a “tool of the patriarchy” or whatever you might label it, and every time you even hint that that is the case, you’re being a misogynist, and most definitely anti-feminist)

    Finally, “femininity” did not kill Marilyn Monroe. Acute barbiturate poisoning did.

    To assume only men like her is insulting to not only her, but her fans. *I* like Marilyn.

    I’m sure you’d tell me I shouldn’t, but again, there’s nothing feminist in telling women what to do, what to think, or how to act.

    Frankly, I feel insulted just reading what you write. The friend who linked me here is getting an earful, because you’re as misogynist as those you speak against. Your pseudo-intellectualism and thinly veiled misogyny make me think you’re actually a parody of radical feminism, written by a man.

  71. sonia


    don’t be awol! we miss you..

  72. Shira

    Please come back, Twisty! Or at least give us the message board back. I’ve been so desperate for intelligent feminist discussion that I made the mistake of commenting on a Pandagon thread tonight. I was immediately informed by the menz that I (and the other woman who dared to comment) am a humorless, irrational person prone to overreaction, and that I want to stifle and censor all dialogue and humor (and analogies!) about race and sex on the internet. Yes, my plan to end dialogue about racism and sexism on the internet was to start a dialogue about it online. I’m an evil genius. I also learned that by not biting my tongue like a good girl about a joke involving a threesome between the author of the post, a Jew and a Muslim, I put the entire project of Dismantling Racism Forever in jeopardy. I try so hard, but I just can’t manage to be as good a person as supposedly liberal dudes.

    Sorry for the navel-gazing rant, but damn, I miss you, Twisty. You are an action potential on an anencephalic day. Oh, wait, I mean, you’re like an action potential. It has to be similes only for me from now on.

    It was a very enlightening evening, I must say. I almost got an anti-feminist bingo out of it.

  73. atheist woman

    Shira, I just read that whole thread, and I am a tad confused. Did you ever get to explain what was so offensive about the joke? And the ‘you’ that Jesse was using as in joke was not referring to himself, it was ‘you, the general public.’

  74. Shira

    What bothered me about it was that it collapsed religion, ethnicity, and nationality, since being a “Jew” or a “Muslim” is not synonymous with being “foreign,” the way that actually being from Brazil would be (the McCain joke was awful for reasons I am sure don’t need explaining here). Also it was at least the second time in recent memory that he’d gone out of his way to make “Jew” the punchline of a joke. Of course his response bothered me a hundred times more than anything he’d said up to that point! I brought it up because I naively thought a feminist, anti-racist blog would care about that kind of thing.

    Point taken re: “you.”

  75. tinfoil hattie

    Eh, it won’t do any good, but I went over there & commented too, Shira. The hell with them. That entire thread is an absolute perfect study in male and white privilege, as well as women who gang up on other women to gain approval from men.

    Let’s try to consider it an object lesson on patriarchy. A little experiment.

    Hang in there, and avoid Pandagaon. I’ve stopped reading ever since the book cover fiasco. I am sorry to talk negatively about another blog here. But Pandagon used to claim it was a feminist blog, and now that it clearly is not, I think it’s not unfair to discuss it in that context.

  76. another voice

    yeah, i don’t go there anymore either. original joke by jesse (racist but not sexist)

  77. atheist woman

    Sweet maud, tinfoil hattie, I can’t believe you sacrificed yourself to the holy snark machine. One day that place will implode under the weight of its own self-regard*. I liked the anything goes zeitgeisty thing back when it was still feminist oriented and mostly Pam and Amanda. Now it’s just scary.

    *I’m predicting the male commentariat will cannibalize each other.

  78. masaccio

    What’s true of Westerns is also true of operas. I’m just watching La Traviata, the most beautiful example of the genre of self-sacrificing women. By the way, Jose Carreras and Renata Scotto. Or, think of Rigoletto, another horrible example, so awful that it’s impossible to suspend disbelief.

  79. tinfoil hattie

    Well, atheist woman, what can I say? I did it for Shira. And for the good of all womankind, of course. I’m noble that way.

    I like the idea of the cannibalizing commentariat. One can only hope!

  80. fidele

    Hey blamers —

    Anybody else get the MoveOn Obama tshirt? American Apparel? Good, antisweatshop company you think? Too bad. It looks like they’ve traded the sewing sweatshop for the porno sweatshop. Check out their main page at americanapparel.net

    for the porn show of young women selling clothing mostly to those in charge of large orders.

    Please bombard both MoveOn and American Apparel with protests and assurances that smart women do have some influence over purchases, both personal and organizational and that we won’t put up with this crap. MoveOn has to be a big customer of theirs. Tell MoveOn that human rights matter.


  81. lawbitch

    I keep dropping by because I am anxiously awaiting a glimpse of Twisty’s awesomeness. Good speed on the move, Twisty!

  82. Jezebella

    Hey, tinfoil hattie, did you know you were a feminist parody troll? I read it on Pandagon, so it must be true.

  83. Chihiro

    Yes shira I miss the message board too, I want to relive past feminist disscusions I once shared with other women on twisty’s board. Sadly I was unable to find another board to repalce it , I do hope she brings it back one day, I have so much blaming to do and need a place to off load all my rants and stories since my friends and family can’t quite handle it ^_^>

  84. Cathy

    I read the Pandagon thread, also. It’s safe to say that is not a radical feminist blog, but it may be somewhat feminist (compared to others). It makes me so sad that the only place my views are accepted are on a radical (as in fringe, way out there) feminist blog.

    I’ve been reading Twisty’s archives, in her absence, and hope to get around to the now defunct message board some day. You all may be caught up with everything; if so, you may get something comparable at the sites of other blamers.

  85. tinfoil hattie

    Hey, tinfoil hattie, did you know you were a feminist parody troll?

    I’m so proud. At Pandagon, a feminist parody troll. At digby, a cunt.

    Just how many awards can one feminist garner?

  86. Gayle

    “At Pandagon, a feminist parody troll. At digby, a cunt.”

    You should start your own blog and make that your slogan.

    High praise, indeed.

  87. tinfoil hattie

    Gayle, I am laughing heartily at your suggestion. Maybe I will do just that! Would you contribute some posts?

  88. another voice

    They called you a cunt? Really? Where do these people get off thinking they can say shit like that?

  89. tinfoil hattie

    another voice, it was on a thread a couple of weeks ago, wherein I defended another commmenter who was defending Sarah Palin against sexist attacks. That commenter was called a cunt, and I took the boyz to task for their misogyny.

    Most precious comment to me: “What the hell does calling someone a cunt have to do with women’s rights, you cunt?”

    And they think they can say shit like that, because they can.

    More than once digby has had to close down her comment section because of abuse being heaped upon her and others. Usually, though, I think it’s been from right-leaning commenters. Not this time, though, of course. It was my best buddies, liberal doodz, who get a pass from everybody for every fucking thing they say.

  90. speedbudget

    Did you see the thread over at Pandagon where some poor soul asked for a link (a link, for dog’s sake) to the transcript of videos that were posted since s/he is deaf and so is cut out from the comments and discussion, not having a way to know what anybody is talking about?

    S/he was completely piled on, threatened, harassed, treated with disdain, told to suck it up. I couldn’t believe people on a progressive blog were treating him/her like that. What is going on over there? It used to be that Pandagon and I Blame were pretty similar in substance. What am I going to do now that my backup to Twisty is gone?

  91. lawbitch

    Over at Shakesville they post transcripts, for which I am very grateful.

    I haven’t been to Pandagon since the whole book thing.

  92. Shira

    speedbudget, I want to ask for a link to that thread, but I don’t want to tempt fate over here, too! That sounds, sadly, like the Pandagon I now know and abhor. When did Pandagon become Daily Kos?

    I don’t know what happened to Pandagon, but when commenters flip shit over such a feminism 101 concept as unexamined privilege or male entitlement, AND all the authors join in, whether it’s to accuse me of saying Jews hate sex or to condescendingly suggest I’m just uncomfortable with discussions of race (?!), it’s time to go. You really can judge a person by the company they keep, and the company over at Pandagon has become Supposedly Liberal Dude Obamabots who don’t see anything sexist about attacking female commenters for being so many irrational overreacting censorious humorless bitches.

  93. Cathy

    tinfoil hattie, the liberal doodz get a pass because they are attacking The Enemy. Not only is she female (which is always OK to attack), but she’s GOP. They figure the end justifies the means, and her gender just makes her that much easier to attack (although I noticed Biden was careful to avoid that during the debate – good for him).

    I wonder how those doodz would react if someone asked, “What does calling Obama the n-word have to do with civil rights?” (I wouldn’t dare.) Sexism gets a pass, racism does not. I’ll be thrilled if we can get rid of racism, and I guarantee that there is no way to get rid of sexism before the demise of racism.

  94. tinfoil hattie

    Shakesville is pretty good, and they tolerate respectful disagreement, and they examine their privilege when challenged to do so. I use that as my Twisty backup, and I’ve never been disgusted — although Petulant pushes things sometimes, I think.

    Catherine, I agree 100% with your assessment.

    Okay, so there are about 100 of us who see things as they are, and we all hang out at Twisty’s!

  95. Claire

    Tinfoil, make that 101. ;)

    Missing you Twisty, hoping all is well.


  96. tinfoil hattie

    Ha, I was counting you in the 100, Claire!

  97. speedbudget


    I wouldn’t bother if I were you. I left a comment and skedaddled. I didn’t want to stay around and see what they were going to say about me. Thank goodness my screen name is kind of asexual. Maybe they will take me a bit more seriously?

    Who knows. Who cares? That website has fallen into oblivion. I am going to take Tinfoil’s advice.

  98. tinfoil hattie

    Women of Twistydom, take heart! There exists a board in the spirit of Twisty’s old one! It’s called “Something Radfem Here.” I have asked for and received permission from the board’s creators to post the URL here — change the first “x” to an “h” if you cut and past this:


  99. Ermingarde

    Thanks, Tinfoil Hattie,for recommending Something Radfem Here. You beat me to it. It has been a great comfort and support to me, as well as a lot of fun, but lately it seems there’s not that many people posting. I’d love to see some more blamers there. Come back to the five and dime, Twisty Twisty! Hope a twister didn’t get you!

  100. another voice

    Damn, and even Berube chimed in. I used to have great respect for him. I wonder if he would pull out his snark so quickly if he perceived that they were mocking a child w/ down’s syndrome.

    And yes, Shakesville is a safe space in my experience.

  101. speedbudget

    Hey, that link isn’t working for me, and when I tried to manually type it in, that didn’t work either (yes, I used http :P).

    I use Firefox. I don’t know if that means anything.

  102. CassieC

    So that thread on pandagon was my last, because of the nasty but not-so-clever commenters. This leaves me with shakesville and twisty – and twisty’s gone ranching. Lordy. I guess I’ll go work now.

  103. narya

    I go back & forth with Pandagon. (Incidentally, I believe that it was originally Jesse’s site, WAY back in the day, and he shared it with Auguste. No clue what the connection between Jesse & Amanda is, or how she came to take over for awhile.) I tend to not get terribly invested in very many blogs, though, despite the number I read regularly, because sooner or later, someone’s gonna piss me off. Not getting invested =/= not reading, however, in part because I like to see what flavors are out there. Well, mostly; I do avoid the right-wing sites completely, for the sake of my mental & physical health.

  104. L

    Hey speedbudget,

    I’m the admin over there at Something Radfem Here. Try typing in, clicking on, or copying these addresses to get there:




    I’m okay with a direct link to the boards since this is a friendly site and registration is moderated anyway.

    Hope that helps.

    ~Laceyfish @ SRH

  105. tinfoil hattie

    speedbudget, I’m not sure why the link didn’t work — try googling “something radfem here” and see if you can get to the site that way.

  106. Claire

    Tinfoil –

    I love being included. :)

    Actually have an account at Something Radfem Here…should probably get to posting!

    Much love blamers!


  107. zooeyibz

    May I just say, IBTP for letting this achingly trenchent blog take over my life? If it weren’t for it, I wouldn’t be spending hours here, reading the archives, checking with painfully high hopes to see if Twisty is back yet…

    Hope all is well with the Spinster Aunt, wherever she may be, and here’s wishing for her swift return.

  108. Rachael

    I love your blog. I have been cheered up many a day just by reading a few pages from here.

    I will have to try this “Chardonnay Oak-Smoked Fleur de Sel,” because I love salt–although I’m not sure if any place where I am (Alaska) carries it.

  109. Shelby


  110. HazelStone

    Apropos of nothing, I really miss the IBTP forum. I FINALLY got my copy of Dialectic of Sex via BookMooch and am in the middle of reading it. I am DYING to discuss it with someone.

  111. viejachingona

    What i would not give for a bathtubfull of feminist hooch

  112. Eibhear

    What Shelby said!

  113. Jezebella

    @Hazelstone: Dialectic of Sex showed up on Bookmooch? DANG! I broke down and paid cash dollars for mine. I have a wish list there of feminist classics about a mile long and none of ’em are showing up. Hey, email me at my blog, would ya?

  114. TwissB

    Jezebella – I went to your blog, got distracted by the Abigail Adams quote and wrote a response only to discover that I’d have to register at Google so I came back here to offer it as follows:

    About the perky quote from Abigail Adams, that stuff about fomenting a rebellion that male historians love to quote, along with that sweet head-tilted-to-one side appeal to “remember the ladies,” was just a demonstration that Abigail knew how to jolly her husband along.

    To see what she seriously said and how scornfully John struck back, see http://www.equality4women.org. “18th C. views” It’s worth looking up her correspondence for April, 1776 to see how this exchange got her so riled up that, in the absence of Twisty’s blog, she had to let off steam by repeating the whole thing in a letter to her friend Mercy Otis Warren. Note also the pathetic closer where she repeats a rhyme about most having our way when we obey, a lie that women have told themselves forever.

    In his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCollough coyly misinterprets Abigail’s demand that the new Constitution guarantee women’s right to equal protection of the law by suggesting that “she was joking, perhaps.” She was not and we are still waiting for her demand to be honored.

  115. Jezebella

    TwissB, it showed up as an anonymous comment. Thanks for the tip and the link. I’d like to tell John Adams where he can stuff his “be patient” advice. Goes to show you that patience gets us NOWHERE. 232 years later, and the U.S. Constitution STILL doesn’t recognize women as human beings and citizens.

  116. SoJo

    My life is incomplete without Twisstopia.

    Miss you Twisty!

  117. Azundris

    re “Something radfem here”, I’d love to, but I’ll admit that I find being greeted by all those “fucking” boards somewhat off-putting, seeing how it seems to re-iterate language that casts fucking as an aggressive act, one with a fucker and a fuckee, etc. What’s up with that?

  118. segnitia

    Let’s while away the time until Twisty returns by jawing about Rachel Maddow’s meteoric rise and how it’s much more meaningful for lesbains than the legalizing of same sex marriage. Even in Connecticut, that tiny, adorable state.

    You go first.

  119. segnitia

    Oops, I meant les-beans!

  120. TwissB

    Azundris – What’s up with that is that you have pefectly defined what the F word means, if I may quote: “language that casts fucking as an aggressive act, one with a fucker and a fuckee, etc.”

    Or perhaps you were being ironic. Never mind.

  121. Karen

    Hi all, anyone bored and want to offer suggestions of good, non-sexist movies that my son and I could watch together? He’s 4 1/2. I’m thinking something like _The Princess Bride_ or _Splash_, except with three-dimensional female characters.

    I guess “non-sexist” is a higher bar than “with three-dimensional female characters.” Still, I’ll settle for the latter.


  122. L

    Hey, Azundris, thanks for the note about the “fucking” language on the SRH forum. A lot of that is left over from the day I created the forum, and in all the work, it was one of the lower things on the priority list to deal with. I’ve revised a few of the names of the boards, but I’ll admit: fucking up the patriarchy is what I wanna do. I’ll blame it all day long, sure, but sometimes I do feel more aggressive and that’s the sort of language I use. I, for one, recognize that the word is steeped in patriarchal bullshit, but it’s still a word I have come to claim for my own. Certainly not all of the members who participate on the forum would take the same stance as I do with regard to that word, but I think the same argument could be made about much of the language we use every day, whether it’s in feminist discourse or not. My use of that word in creating the forums doesn’t represent the level or sort of conversation that happens inside the forum. That’d actually be a good post/thread to start there. I think I’ll go ahead and do that. Thanks again for the critique — we’d love to have you over there, Azundris, and everyone else! Join if you’d like!

  123. L

    Oh, by the way, I’m Laceyfish and I’m the admin at SRH. I posted a comment about a week ago which is still stuck in moderation but which explains that — I didn’t think my last comment would get through moderation either. So, yeah. Sorry for the confusion there.

  124. Rebecca

    more blaming pls kthx

  125. Lesley

    come back twisty, i miss your blaming updates

  126. kristin

    Karen, have you watched Kiki’s Delivery Service and/or My Neighbor Totoro? Gorgeous films with lively female leads who explore and overcome challenges. Kid’s films, yes, but I can’t resist plopping down in front of either of them when my kids watch ’em.

    Spirited Away is a little more intense and maybe not appropriate for a 4 1/2 y.o. but in much the same mold.


  127. Anastasia B.

    Karen, Whale Rider is one of my favorites.

  128. speedbudget

    I don’t know what they did to her when they made a movie, but I really loved reading the Harriet the Spy books when I was younger. She was such a brat about getting what she needed when she was on a job.

  129. Spiders

    Karen,can I suggest watching movies with your son and using them to highlight sexism?
    You can reframe the narratives for him, for example:

    In beauty and the beast a young woman is sold into sex slavery and locked in a room by her new owner who threatens to starve her if she won’t comply with his expectations of er “romance”.
    Eventually he wears her down and is rewarded for his abuse and tyranny.

    You can teach him to question and challenge the themes and messages in that type of media because they are designed to teach kids their gender roles.
    You can point that what is actually controling and dominant behaviour is often framed as romantic and what all women really want.

    Sorry, but I can’t think of any children’s media that isn’t overtly sexist. There might be older movies and series such as Madeleine with strong female characters but it’s so long since I’ve watched anything for kids of that age group I wouldn’t feel confident recommending them.

  130. Shaina

    Come baaaack to us! We’re withering away out here.

    Oh, and re: the Harriet the Spy conversation; Word. I still like to read that book to this day.

  131. Moo

    Hi Blamers!

    Since we are at a lull in the conversation, I’d like to ask everyone’s advice and input.

    My daughter is 14 and is a budding Blamer. First, let me tell you a little story. We were sitting in a pizza parlor waiting for our order. DD had long chunks of her hair flopping down in her face, as she often does. This drives me crazy, since I think it is bad for your eyesight (yes, really I think that). So, I start mimicking pushing my hair behind my eyes, hoping that will make her do the same by contagion. She clocks what I am doing and says forget it Mom, not gonna happen. So I say to her, but how can you see properly, and anyway you look like a prisoner behind bars, how sad is that? So, she says to me, with a little grin, “But, I AM a prisoner. I’m a prisoner of the Patriarchy!” Well, I burst out laughing, and give up on harassing her about her hair. She wins! I am so proud.

    Anyway, here is where I need you advice. I’m also just a beginning Blamer. I took some feminism classes in college, and then put it all away for 20 years. I thought I could make the nuclear family work, and still live a life of dignity and fulfillment. I was wrong. So, now I’m back, and learning as much as I can (right now I’m reading Backlash, which is tough going for me because I am so very angry already). However, I am no Twisty. I am really just a beginner.

    I talk with DD about feminism, and I try to point out Patriarchy whenever I can. What thrilled me about her joke in the pizza parlor was that she had clearly taken it on board. But, I would really like to find other resources for her to learn about the system she is a “prisoner” in. I don’t think it should just come from me, especially since I am so angry, and still trying to make sense of it myself.

    Any resources would be appreciated: books, magazines, online groups, real world groups (we are Boston area), anything at all that would support a young teen in navigating and understanding the system she was born into.

    Thank you all for your sharp and insightful blaming!

  132. Moo

    Oops! I meant “miming pushing my hair behind my EARS” (not eyes!).

  133. slade

    Where is Twisty???

    I got so angry the other day when I stopped at a red light behind a vehicle with a bumper sticker that had the pink ribbon with the words: ‘Save the Tatas.’ I was halfway out of my car when the light changed.

    Save the Tatas? I ranted all the way to work…so nice to be able to do this nowadays w/o other drivers thinking I’m nuts…they simply assume I’m screaming at someone via cell phone.

    Another subject of anger: the candidates getting around to finally discussing abortion. Watching 2 males discuss abortion is just too infuriating. Maybe I need to get a bumper sticker that reads: ‘Anti abortion? Be Pro-castration!’

    And Moo…it sounds like you have one cool daughter! I remember writing a paper in college entitled: ‘The Nuclear Family: Who Needs It?’ If someone wrote an article about that today, it would either never be published or one would end up on ‘The List.’

    Twisty….Check in! Please. Thx.

  134. Tigs

    Hey Moo,
    I started learning real feminist-y stuff when I was 14 because my big sister was taking Women’s Studies classes. It’s a great age because so much is so relevant to one’s emerging womanly consciousness.
    I would recommend some books that speak to the experience of being a teenage girl, perhaps things like [i]Reviving Ophelia: Sacing the Lives of Teenage Girls[/i]by Mary Pipher or [i]Little Girls in Pretty Boxes[/i] by Joan Ryan.
    If I recall, these books aren’t necessarily explicitly feminist, but really place girls’ experiences in the context of a really complex world.

    I don’t remember what I thought about [i]Queen Bees and Wannabes[/i] but I think I liked it (maybe other blamers remember?). I’ve also heard decent things about [i]Odd Girl Out[/i]. Again, not necessarily explicitly feminist, but speaks to the contradictory and unreal expectations of living female.

    Good luck!

  135. speedbudget

    OMG Slade, if you make that bumper sticker, I WANTZ IT! I have never put a bumper sticker on a car of mine, but I would plaster that one all over it.

    As far as that ridiculous tatas sticker, I hear you on that. It simultaneously objectifies and belittles us, turns us into sexual object children, which is disturbing in and of itself.

    I think it’s a good idea to give your daughter some books, Moo, but I also think you should discuss your classes with her, maybe invite her to pick up your reading list. 1) She will get some good info from the reading list and have a sounding board for an interesting philosophical discussion (Oh, how I miss college) 2) You will be modeling some good stuff for her, i.e. education is important, women are smart, women aren’t afraid to be smart. 3) You will be jump-starting her own interest in college.

    Go DD! Blame, blame blame! And don’t fall into the trap of thinking boys are the end-all, be-all! Boys, they come and they go. You will have to live with yourself forever.

  136. Karen

    Moo, why not encourage her to read I Blame the Patriarchy?

  137. Lauredhel

    Gah, the “Save the Ta-Tas” and “Save Second Base” paraphernalia are infuriating. I’ve just been posting on the bepinkribboned Jingle Jugs dancing boobies and the nipple-festooned Mount Franklin “Every Mouthful Helps” campaign. Bleagh.

  138. sonia


    the earpiece is the best legitimizer of car outbursts ever and will always hold a place in my heart..


  139. sonia

    p.s. what is “the list”?

  140. slade

    I have read that our gov’t has a ‘list’ of people to ‘watch.’ I’m sure all gov’ts have such lists…so I’m not too concerned…yet. Naomi Wolf talked about this and said if editors or other writers were harassed, she would stop speaking out…that was her Fear Level.

    Speedbudget…glad you liked the bumper sticker! I wonder how drivers would react to it??? I’d like to cover up all of those anti-choice stickers with this new one!!

  141. TwissB

    Every February, Washingtonians are treated to the sight of those red stop signs with white letters that scream: STOP ABORTION! The bumper sticker answer to that is STOP ABORTION? FIX MEN!!

    I have to modestly mention that http://www.equality4women.org has under the bumper sticker title, a sharp-tongued explanation of why RvW is a joke on women by guess who(m) – the Patriarchy – and was not designed to do anything but convenience the impregnators and let the woman-bashing go on.

    Moo. In the Basics section of that site, there’s a piece titled Notes for National Forensics League Debaters that might be of interest to DD. Have you read Atiel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs? It may be too strong stuff for DD, but try it out on yourself, especially the chapter “Pigs in Training.” Just don’t believe anything she says about Andrea Dworkin.

    As for the tatas b.s., on one occasion in Texas, I found myself stopped behind a pickup bearing the b.s. “Don’t Argue With Your Wife – Dicker!.” I happened to have a broad nib black Magic Marker with me and messing that sticker up good was the work of but a moment before we all drove on. My that felt good.

  142. speedbudget

    TwissB for the win!

  143. B. Dagger Lee

    Moo, I’ve heard Scarleteen is a good online board for young women (it’s geared towards sex education), and I think a subscription to Ms. Magazine never goes amiss. My mom got me one in the 1970’s.

  144. Moo

    Hi, Tigs! Thanks for the suggestions. I was already planning on giving her Reviving Ophelia (since I’ve already read it, and know the content), but I’m glad for the reinforcement that it would be a good choice. I’ll check out the other books, too.

    Yo, Speedbudget! I’m not in college now. What I meant by “coming back” is that I came back to my senses!

    Hey, Karen! I think that IBTP is a little too advanced for her right now. Twisty is a great writer, but her word choice and sense of irony would probably make the posts a little hard for my daughter to decode yet.

    Hi, TwissB! I’ll check out that website. I really liked Female Chauvinist Pigs, but I think I need to wait a least another year or two to give this to my daughter. It’s just a little too explicit for her, and I’m afraid it would actually turn her off to talking about the underlying ideas.

    It really does seem like there aren’t a lot of resources for kids that age. This is a great opportunity for one of you smart folks to write a primer om patriarchy for pre-teen and young teen girls. The full force of patriarchy is really starting to come down on them right about that age, and they need help in making sense of what is happening to them so that they stand a chance of fighting against it.

  145. Moo

    The message I think that teen girls most need to hear is that the terrible, soul-robbing pressures they are feeling are nothing personal against them, and don’t have anything to do with anything inherent to being female, either.

    They need to understand that as women they are simply a member the designated underclass, and then they need to have it made explicit how the system works. So that, when they encounter crap that tries to make them feel worthless and unsure of themselves they can name what is really going on. That way, instead of hating themselves, they can be angry at the injustice, or, even better, they can be coolly detached from the machinations of the people around them.

    Anyway, this is what I’m looking for in book for my daughter.

  146. speedbudget


    Well, it’s great you’re trying to start her off right. Good on ya.

    I just remembered my favorite magazine of all time, _The Sun_. It’s not exclusively feminist, but it is very progressive. And they always have good poetry and short stories and such in it. I found it when I was in high school, and I just loved it. I always looked forward to each new one coming in the mail. In fact, I’m going to go get a new subscription right now, dang it. I miss my Sun! Anyway, she’ll be made aware of not just feminist issues, but class issues, race issues, economic, political, everything you can think of is in there, and it’s mixed in with photography and art and poetry and good writing.

  147. Erin

    New Moon magazine is really great, although it might be too childish for her.

  148. Noshoes

    Twisty! Where are ya? Snif.

  149. TwissB

    Although it may seem obvious to grownups, it’s always worth mentioning to girls that the whole point of maintaining an underclass is so that the overclass can advantage itself at the expense of the underclass – men over women, whites over non-whites, etc. Sexism doesn’t just happen because men are men and women are women. Men work hard to maintain sexism because it pays off for them.

  150. sonia

    god, and it’s so lame. has any creature been more gloatingly self-centered?


  151. Peridot Ash

    Come back…please…

  152. Val

    Any suggestions for tween BOYS? I really want to counteract a lot of the cultural conditioning my sweet son is being exposed to…
    [Sometimes I am rendered completely inarticulate w/rage over, let’s say, a vignette from Family Guy that I don’t even know where to start!]

  153. dworkinesque

    Put the blame where it belongs, check out the rape crisis scotland campaign ‘this is not an invitation to rape me’ here:


    The comments section needs you!

    Join the facebook group too and spread the word:


    In sisterhood,

  154. Karen

    Anastasia B. and kristin, thanks for the suggestions! He watched part of Kiki (it would be rare for him to watch a whole feature film) and I have Whale Rider for this weekend.

    I have a suggestion. That I’m even making this suggestion–which is, gasp! a parenting tip!!–probably just indicates that the level of blaming during a Twisty hiatus has fallen to new levels of heiniosity, because I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but maybe if it gets terrible enough, Twisty will come back! So here goes: I submit that getting rid of one’s television is a good thing for all people, especially all parents, to do. When your kids whine (as they will do) and ask whyyy (as they will do), you’ll have a perfect opportunity to point out (as you will, over and over and over) that television is a tool of the patriarchy and that kind of sexism, violence, and other patriarchal behaviors are not welcome in your home.

    My parents got rid of our TV when I was about four. It came back seven years later, but the lesson was learned. I’ve never had television broadcasting in my house. I have *a* television, but no cable, and where we live, no cable=no programming. So it’s videos only.

    Of course, once our son learns to find all that crap on the Web, it’ll be all over. I’ve got my head in the sand about that for now.

  155. saltyC

    OK, mom talk in the hopes of a Faster resurrection.

    I haven’t had cable as long as my daughter’s been around, all 3 years. We only watch videos. But we stayed at a hotel recently, and flipping through the channels she saw a cartoon and asked to watch it. It was Family Guy. I thought, well once can’t be bad and anyway she’s only three, she won’t absorb it. Ha! It showed something about the family guy comes home and finds Lindsay Lohan naked saying “Hi, this is how you do a backwards crab walk”.

    next thing I know, my darling child is repeating those very words, in that same pose, naked.

    Maybe poetry makes nothing happen, but shlock sure makes an impression.

  156. speedbudget

    Salty, I think you’ve hit on something I am just…shocked by when I go to my friends’ houses who have kids. People really think that kids at that age, whose brains are just absolute sponges, don’t pick up on what’s going on. It’s shocking what people will let their kids watch.

    My parents never let us watch but two hours of TV and we had to share that among the three. Since we could never agree on what to watch, it never really seemed worth it. So we would find something else to do. We were not able to watch any movies above a G unless our parents had seen it first and decided it was appropriate for us.

    I go to my friends’ houses, and their kids are watching the R-rated film right along with them and one of the parents is saying, “Gee, I didn’t know this was going to be such a harsh movie. Oh well, she doesn’t understand it anyway.” Kids are picking up on everything at that age so that their brains can develop.

    And I’m not even going to touch on the sexist crap that kids get filled up with.

  157. lawbitch

    In defense of cable: this Discovery channel (Mythbusters rocks), the History channel (nerdlove!), Animal Planet (dogs!), Comedy Central (my teen loves the Daily Show), etc. These are the reasons that we have cable.

  158. Karen

    Speedbudget, the sexism is what I’ve been mostly thinking about keeping away from my son. If sexism were considered a reason for a restrictive rating–well! Imagine! The Little Mermaid would lose its G rating for sure! Not to mention The Princess Bride and Splash.

    I mean, how many movies could even have a G rating if indoctrination into sexist, racist, patriarchal thinking were considered something that children should be protected from? Any at all? Winnie-the-Pooh? Maybe, if passive sexism (i.e., no female characters) got a pass. Oh wait, there’s Kanga. The mommy. There goes that idea. Fantasia? Doubt it. Mulan? Maybe; I don’t remember it very well. Maybe Pete’s Dragon, although I bet there’s a “girl-cooties” moment in there somewhere. Maybe just something abstract, like Baraka. March of the Penguins, I suppose, although I think it was already not G because of the predator-prey interactions.

  159. saltyC

    Can we talk about nature shows? YUCK!

    Ever since I realized how staged they are, I can’t watch them. I’m talking about they bring a perfectly healthy, living, sentient animal to a shoot, in a cage, only to be killed, and leave with an empty cage. If the take was bad, they have to bring more. Does anyone for a second believe that they wait for 50 hours to luck upon a predator actually finding a prey on its own to kill? No, it’s a roman circus. It sickens me to my bones. So what if it “happens in nature?” That one death scene happened in front of your drooling camera for entertainment and profit, it’s animal snuff. I mean, seriously how can my vegan friends watch that???

  160. Azundris

    “Probably not” on Mulan. I vaguely remember getting distinct “oh the love interest may be a sexist idiot, but really, he’s not such a bad old stick” vibes from it. It’s been too long to recite the exact scene though, I’m afraid.

  161. slythwolf

    Surely something like, for example, Big Cat Diaries does in fact wait for a predator to find prey in the wild.

  162. SoJo

    I didn’t know that about nature documentaries. Those parks where the big cats are are small enough that you wouldn’t have to wait that long for something to kill something, I would have thought.

  163. Noshoes

    I miss Twisty and her pointy point-of-view, especially in this era of pre-election idiocy. There are literally so many issues and people in the news right now just crying out for a Faster-skewering. Come back and help me make sense of all this crap!

  164. Tomecat

    I miss Twisty terribly, and am checking daily for her return. I discovered this through stumble upon, and fell in love with it immediately. It means so much to know that I’m not alone with these (not so) crazy thoughts in my head, and being able to read about others’ similar beliefs and stories has made me more resolute than ever to stand up to the ugliness we encounter every day.

    That said, I have to stand up for the Princess Bride (at least a tiny bit). Can’t we cut it a little slack for being so darn funny? Of course, not having children, I don’t have to worry about the effect it would have on her/him…

    Thanks for this site Twisty, and hurry back!

  165. speedbudget

    SaltyC, are you sure about that? I keep bees, and I remember finding out, to my shock and horror, that I destroy all my beehives every year.

    PETA put out that particular gem of a lie. They were on a misdirected anti-honey crusade. First they said that beekeepers steal the honey that bees need to survive the winter, which is patently untrue. We take the excess, leaving them ample pounds of honey to get through. And if the winter is particularly harsh, we actually feed them sugar water.

    When that particular lie didn’t get the reaction they needed, they came out and said that beekeepers burn and destroy all beehives at the end of every year, which is just….gah. It takes about two or three years to get a beehive to the point where it is productive, so that just doesn’t wash. But it did work for a while. Honey sales dipped.

    What I’m saying is, that doesn’t even sound plausible. I mean, I’ve watched enough nature shows that I can recognize them replaying the same hunt scenes in each one. Seems like more time and trouble then just A)using the footage that a naturalist or cat specialist/studier is going to have anyway from their research (and yes, they do spend days and days waiting for the footage) or B)recycling older footage.

  166. Lily Underwood

    Has anybody tried hulu.com? It’s got me thinking of cancelling my cable. (Warning: they have commercials & you can’t mute or skip ’em, but somehow they don’t annoy me as much as the ones on regular TV.)

    I miss Twisty Faster.

  167. kristin

    I’m pretty sure that what makes the job of a nature photographer so challenging is that they do in fact have to wait for a predator to find its prey by itself. There’s a reason they travel in a big truck and camp out for days.

  168. Greenconsciousness

    I am going around to all my fav feminist blogs asking this question.

    MSM are quoting a paragraph in BO’s book AOH where he states;

    in order not to be seen as a sell out he (BO) was careful to pick out activists as friends including “structured feminists”. ????

    Does anyone know what is a “structured feminist”?

    What I found in Wikipedia cannot be it.

  169. Kayomi

    … I miss you …

  170. on_the_nickle

    wikipedia’s articles on feminism (and articles on researchers on porn and prostitution) are largely controlled by pro-porn and pro-prostitution dudes. Not a very good source for information.

  171. Mooska

    Hello “moms” (feels all wrong spelling it your way!)

    I’ve also come back yet again in the vain hope of finding a new Twisty-tune to nod along to. But in the meantime, I will admit to being mahoosively broody and simultaneously wondering what the hell, in our patriarchy-sodden culture, I would be happy with any child of mine watching/reading.

    And I have a few suggestions. The first and most obvious is the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. The first one’s been made into a film (The Golden Compass). I’m sure it’s full of holes from a blaming point of view, but it does have – gasp! – a strong, flawed, but excellent female lead. Oh jeebus, I’m thinking of loads of things to criticise about it now, but it also has the benefit of being resolutely anti-godbagging.

    Also, book-wise, have you heard of Pippi Longstocking? Another strong female lead, although I read them as a child so again, my blaming capacity was in its infancy.

    Happy to hear any criticisms of either, though.

  172. phio gistic

    Interesting site about the evolution of patriarchy:

  173. TwissB

    About “structured feminists,” entering the term in Google brings up a welter of references from articles across the arguably feminist spectrum – from a 1970 essay by Jo Freeman on “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” to increasingly arcane women’s studies and post-modernist (ahem) claptrap. Page 1 looks like this:

    9300031 250..253essentialism, equality and difference which have structured feminist theory for. too long. Kimberly Hutchings. Department of Politics,
    o Related articles – All 4 versions
    ‘The Tyranny of Structurelessness’ by Jo FreemanThus, it is often the structured feminist organisations that provide national directions for feminist activities, and this direction is determined by the …

    0 JSTOR: Rethinking Feminist OrganizationsDo relationships among them differ for differently structured feminist organizations (see Rodriguez 1988)? How are members affiliated with the organization: …

    0 Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: A Research Guide”The main aim of the glossary is to identify the concepts that have structured feminist theory in the period of the second wave, from about 1968, …

    0 Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles, 1998-2002: Reviews of … – Google Books Resultby Rebecca Ann Bartlett – 2003 – Language Arts & Disciplines – 642 pages
    The authors seek to identify concepts within contemporary feminism (dating from about 1 968) that have structured feminist theory over the past three …

    0 Reasons to join and/or donate to NOW-NJBy Joining NOW-NJ, you become part of the oldest and last-standing democratic- structured feminist organization. NOW’s members are able to vote in State …

    0 Treatment-seeking decisions of women with acute myocardial infarctionA qualitative, semi-structured, feminist, poststructuralist interview approach was used to explore the treatment-seeking decisions of ten women hospitalized …

    0 Nancy Weiss Hanrahan – The Politics of Gender after Socialism …… choice–key terms that have structured feminist analysis–that advance scholarship not only with respect to East Central Europe but also in the West. …
    muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_social_history/v035/35.3hanrahan.html – Similar pages
    by NW Hanrahan – 2002

    0 Telling Tales: Gender and Narrative Form in Victorian Literature … – Google Books Result by Elizabeth Langland – 2002 – Literary Criticism – 164 pages
    118, who claims that the public/private distinction has structured feminist discourse.

    And so on and on…

  174. Lauredhel

    The first HDM book was great, but it all fell completely apart in the second book, where the female lead’s objectives were expected to be completely subsumed in favour of the Great White Boy. (Along with messy writing, poor scene-setting, and dodgy pacing, making the book tedious and confusing instead of an exciting romp like the first.)

    I’ve barely started the third book, and it’s sorted itself to the bottom of the pile.

  175. Emma

    Re childrens’ books: I’ve always loved the books of Astrid Lindgren (mostly famous for Pippi Longstocking) – my absolute favourite is Ronia the Robber’s Daughter which has a fantastic young female lead (her mother is also great) who is strongs and shows bravery and integrity, especially in comparison to the adult male robbers who form the background cast. I would definitely recommend it!

  176. Karen

    Hooray for Pippi! Except for _Pippi in the South Seas_, unfortunately. Racist stereotyping from one end to the other.

  177. Greenconsciousness

    I LOVED HDM especially the witches—- many images to draw – loved it loved it – and i am old

  178. TwissB

    I’m curious about what triggers the sending of a message to Awaiting Moderation” purgatory, so I’ve stripped the Google examples out of this message just to see if it gets by:

    About “structured feminists,” entering the term in Google brings up a welter of references from articles across the arguably feminist spectrum – from a 1970 essay by Jo Freeman on “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” to increasingly arcane women’s studies and post-modernist (ahem) claptrap. Page 1 looks like this:

    (Examples removed)

  179. slade

    So it’s BO that brings up the term ‘structured feminists.’ Doesn’t sound good. I don’t trust him nor his terms that describe feminists…like he knows what a feminist is.

    I bet he’ll get the opportunity to understand what a feminist is, does, says, feels, and blames.

    Twisty, please let us know how are, doing, saying, feeling and blaming…OK? Or at least tell us to just piss off, OK?

  180. speedbudget

    My comment from a couple days ago is still awaiting moderation. I think because I mentioned the vile animal-rights group that has women pose naked to bring attention to them.

    Come back, Twisty!

  181. Eibhear

    Happy Halloween, everyone! I must confess my complete ignorance on all things blog-related, but could it not be the case that posts are stuck in moderation simply because the moderator has thus far been too busy to check them?

  182. magriff

    Darnit Twisty! Either stop entirely this thing you call a blog, or post more regularly. There. I said it.

  183. Karen

    magriff! No! Better five, even three posts per year than stopping entirely!

  184. Squiggy

    Oh Twisty. If you post only once per year I wouldn’t want to miss your view. I click your site several times a day. I think of it as a zen exercise. Homage to you and your exquisite brain. I trust you to take all the time that you need to charge up for what you do, profoundly, in this ibp world. Thank you.

  185. TwissB

    Here’s a little project to occupy restless Twisty devotees in the (temporary, we trust) absence of our fearless leader.

    A student writes as follows to a major (it hopes) organization for women: “I can’t find any (as in a list of) offensive quotes about women on the web. You’d think the way things are that they would top the list, but what dominates are women’s thoughts on sexism. I’m looking for sexist quotes about women. How would you search for such a thing?”

    I think that the problem may be the pervasivenes of offensive statements that makes such lists supefluous, but I’m sure that Blamers can be counted on to know where the meanest stuff is to be found. Your suggestions will be appreciated.

  186. TwissB

    supeRfluous, that is.

  187. tinfoil hattie

    Google women’s media center. Go from there.

  188. Spigette

    Hey TwissB,

    My mum bought me a book called “The Monstrous Regiment: a Book of Aphorisms” when I was about 18 – it is a collection of aphorisms and quotations about women, by Margaret Blackwood. Enough to open the eyes of any budding young blamer. Amazon has it – have fun!

  189. SuperbWoman

    Obama says “It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America. ”

    Am I the only one disappointed he didn’t mention WOMEN in that statement?

  190. Deanna

    I’m jealous of Twisty because she has Stanley and I’m jealous of Stanley because he has Twisty.

    Never mind magreff. We’ll keep clicking and hoping to find something new.

  191. Mooska

    Gaddamit, I thought the row about Proposition 8 would have got the Twisty knickers in a twist enough to blog about it.

  192. narya

    For young blamers in training (the 4-yr-old), highly recommend “Whale Rider”–let us know what you thought of it!

    For older blamers of both sexes, I recommend “The Gate to Women’s Country” as a place to start thinking about a lot of these things (I’d recommend it regardless of the genitalia of the reader).

  193. Karen

    Narya, We haven’t tried _Whale rider_ yet–the video-watching goes in waves for my little one and we’re in a lull right now. I think it might be over his head, but I am going to try it at some point.

    To answer some earlier suggestions: I hope that my son will read Philip Pullman at some point, but the movie is definitely too much for him right now and I hope he’ll read the book before seeing the movie.

    Regarding Pippi Longstocking, I too adore those stories, and the other day I started telling him about Pippi, emphasizing her strength. His question: Is she stronger than Abiyoyo? (I think I said yes.) Anyway, we are trying to raise him with two languages (English and Russian), and since Pippi has been translated into Russian, and some of Lindgren’s other works (mostly Karlsson) are a huge part of Russian culture, I’m hoping to read Pippi to him in Russian. So, I guess I’d better start filling out some interlibrary loan forms!

    I wonder what Twisty thinks about Pippi? Is she a blamer? She’s kind of in the court jester/candid fool tradition, isn’t she?

  194. bertalou


    No you are not alone. I’ve been simmering about it myself. Perhaps he can change for the better…..

  1. Brooklyntopia: Baked

    […] always have a couple of pounds of Himalayan Pink Bath Salts, but I don’t eat it. By the way, Twisty Faster is hooked on Fumee De Sel, too. Although if she buys it at Whole Foods, it might not be the same […]

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