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Mar 10 2013

Spleenvent Monday

We were members of the Buddy Holly Glasses tribe.

We were members of the Buddy Holly Glasses tribe.

Omigod, the week I’ve had. You know the week I mean. Sick horses, sick horse-girls, daylight savings time, 80-year-old mom gets a new computer, yadda yadda. So I almost forgot about Spleenvent. I know! I suck! But please enlarge, with all speed, on whatever theme weighs upon your spleen, even though it’s Monday.

Here’s my spleenvent: I found this picture under my desk this morning. It’s me and my girlfriend Lori Blue, the night our all-girl punk band played at the St Louis Music Awards in, I think, 1998. Lori wore her famous naugahyde Nehru suit. I remember my silver-sparkle Les Paul wouldn’t stay in tune no matter what I did so I sucked even worse than usual.

Lori was an awesome drummer and all-around good egg. Drugs and booze and a gun killed her about a year after this photo was taken. I still think, maybe every day: if only I’d been able to get her out here to the country in time. To the fucking simple life, you know? Where the air isn’t heavy with closing-time desperation, and leaning against a fence with a cup of coffee in the morning, listening to horses chewing hay, would have been a pretty good reason not to kill herself.

I know, I know. But fuck, you know?

Morning-after edit to late-nite wine-drinking post: During fits of maudlin regret and bathetic nostalgia, I always forget to remember that old Lori was as dirt-averse a girl as ever whacked a snare. She wouldn’t have lasted five minutes out here in Manure Pile, Texas. Also, she never drank coffee.

57 comments

  1. Rapunzel

    Didn’t know Lori, don’t know you (other than some columns in the free local rag that, once upon a time, lightened my grad school-era lunchtimes), but that photo-and-denouement is making me wanna cry. Details are nunna my bitness, but I’m sure there’s plenty of goddamn P to blame in there somewhere. And oh, do I ever.

  2. Falkland

    Fuck, indeed.

    I went through an ugly, painful, patriarchy-induced battle with depression. It lasted 25 years.

    Hard to know what the difference maker might have been for Lori. For me, I managed to escape with my life by reaching out for help. I had (and still have) wonderful, caring feminist folk in my corner.

    I think that every day I wake up is a thumb in the eye of the Man. Keeps me going.

  3. Saurs

    My spleen isn’t venting so much as weeping. Fuuuuuck.

  4. speedbudget

    Damn. I’m sorry about Lori.

  5. tinfoil hattie

    I’m so sorry, Jill. Double-fuck. Indeed

    I am just feeling patriarchy-induced malaise these days, y’know? Sigh.

  6. Twisty

    Whoa, sorry for the maudlin blogular interlude; usually I confine myself, after a bot of cheap Portuguese wine late at night, to playing Led Zeppelin IV too loud.

  7. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I’m sorry about your friend. I wish I could take the pain of her untimely passing away from you.

    I’m sorry for all of us who struggle with the Big Black Monster that settles on our chest and makes us so sad and tired we can’t get up. That causes us to do stuff that is harmful to ourselves. That chokes us with self-loathing. That never, ever goes away.

    I’m sorry for all the people in our lives who think it’s a flaw in our character. I’m sorry for all the generations of women who have gone before us afflicted.

  8. Pinko Punko

    The photo is wonderful but extra context makes it incredibly sad. I like “meeting” Lori in this frozen moment, but I know that doesn’t mean anything. All of our friends that are gone I wish we had just these perfect images to help us hold on to them.

  9. Root

    Sorry, but having been suicidal myself I tend to get a bit angry about people’s overly-effusive sympathy for survivors. Especially on a platform like this. ew.

  10. TotallyDorkin

    Fuck indeed. That is an awesome suit.

    Anyone else notice how people love to pull out rehabilitative justice whenever some dude kills his girlfriend. All of a sudden academics are writing articles about how terrible it is for young men to go to jail for the rest of their lives when they could change and become contributing members of society. Drunken bros explain to you with tears in their eyes about the times that they drove drunk and could have hurt someone totally by mistake and ruin their whole lives and how much they feel for people who make mistakes.

    MISTAKES THAT KILL PEOPLE I want to yell.

    And then someone else starts talking about do we identify the true evil people from the ones that just made a mistake and I just want to be like “You mean you wonder who to dehumanize and who to recognize as a person? Well the people in power are going to dehumanize people based on historically marginalized identities and they will empathize with the people who are privileged like them and build a system that fucks over everyone else because the people at the top are boohoo over the white dude who shot his girlfriend in the face and wondering how society can save him because they’re just worried about assuring themselves of their own essential goodness and couldn’t give a rats ass about the people who aren’t exactly like them and it’s so self-involved and myopic and terrible.”

  11. Twisty

    Root, no doubt in the light of day this post looks pretty emotionally manipulative. I’d probably take it down if we weren’t already 10 comments in. Because to tell you the truth, sympathy makes me uncomfortable. But that’s just me. People just want to be kind, you know?

    To address generally the issue — if that’s what it should be called — of suicide and survivors: it’s pretty traumatizing when somebody you love dies, right in the middle of their life. That is all.

    Next topic!

  12. procrastinatrix

    Hi, Twisty and Blamers,

    So nice to have you back, Twisty, with the added bonus of Dreadful Acres too! I recall you mentioning Lori and her untimely demise on this blog before, and I’m sorry for your loss.

    Not spleen venting, but whining and requesting ideas. I’m tired and tired of being tired. Sad and tired of being sad. Stuck and tired of being stuck. IBTP mostly.

    Blamers and Twisty, could you please recommend some music that helps get your ass up and moving (literally or metaphorically)? Something not too overtly dude centric, can be angry, but in a witty way, not only in a yelling way (sort of like our blog-host). Energy is what I’m looking for.

    Thanks for any suggestions,
    procrastinatrix

  13. quixote

    Next topic? Well, totally trivial, but I’ve been waiting for Spleenvent to spleen vent. SXSW. Stands for South by Southwest, the too-cool-for-school, super-hip techie conference. But you just know that they chose the acronym to sound like, um, like what? Sexswuh? SexSouthwest? Sexswee? And the whole time I’m fighting anger they’ve found yet one more way to push P-induced sex hot buttons.

    Have I gone right round the bend into allergic over-reaction? Or does it strike anyone else the same way?

  14. Pandechion

    In the middle of refinancing my apartment in order to save money and get my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s name off the mortgage. When we bought it, I put in 50% of the down payment. He put in 2%. I qualified for the original mortgage as a single borrower until they found out I was on maternity leave for six months. (The baby being the reason for the bigger apartment.) Even though I was going back to work in two months, and had a letter from the HR department of the federal agency where I work stating so, I no longer qualified for the loan alone. So his name was added to the mortgage. On the line above mine.

    For the refinancing, I just signed a pack of papers from the bank to my co-op board, that had the salutation “Gentlemen.” (Our board co-op president is a woman.) The co-op refinancing application has a line for “Husband’s Salary,” and below that “Salary of other occupant.” And although he’d promised to “allow” me to stay in my apartment, my soon-to-be-ex-husband is now asking for his 2% back when my daughter turns 21, plus every payment he made towards the mortgage.

  15. Judi

    Falkland, thanks for this:

    I think that every day I wake up is a thumb in the eye of the Man. Keeps me going.

    Every day, I’m grateful that I was born into one of the rare times and places in human history where it has been possible for me to get all the education I wanted, have a fun job (for a while), choose to live without a man and choose to not have any children. I’ve been sick a long time and I’m getting close to getting old. I can’t do most of the things I’d like to do anymore, and if I look at my life from a certain angle it can look pretty pathetic. BUT, every day I roll out of bed is another thumb in the Man’s eye. Looks like triumph to me.

  16. the t's knees

    I’ve been strugglin with depression and anxiety and all the other muck that hitches a ride in on that crap.
    I’m doing much better.

    On another subject: 13 month old baby. I do my best to ask her permission and get her approval before messing with her. Her older siblings do not listen, her father does sometimes, grandparents rarely do, and acquaintances never do. We have a few close friends that are awesome at listening to her.

    Is anyone else bothered by this? Does anyone else notice this? I’m curious whether this is a “baby” thing or a “girl baby” thing. And other than constantly lecturing others about how to pay attention to what the kid is okay with, how can I encourage her to stick up for her boundaries? Am I giving this way too much thought?,

  17. the t's knees

    procrastinatrix-

    Jessica – The Allman Brothers (cheerful music)

    Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill (because, of course)

    Tori Amos – Silent All These Years (when I’m all exhausted by fighting)

    Parov Stelar – Chambermaid Swing (when I want to hoop)

    Would love some new suggestions, myself.

  18. phio gistic

    procrastinatrix, some music that gets me going:

    tUnE-yArDs genius looping, some yelling, great videos, lovely live
    Leslie & The LYs funny funny lady business
    Janelle Monáe R&B soul ultra danceable pop perfection scifi opera
    Grace Jones 2008 album Hurricane is very good, along with her older catalog
    Missy Elliott always comes through for me
    Laurie Anderson & Kate Bush might be acquired tastes but for me always feel fresh

  19. procrastinatrix

    Thanks, phio gistic! The first two I’ve never heard of, the last four haven’t listened to much of. I’ll give them a try.

  20. Falkland

    Judi, you are most welcome.

    Here is something that pisses me off about the menfolks: Even supposedly feminist-friendly ones do not understand that misogyny goes beyond mere offence. We aren’t speaking out just because we’re offended by the hatred of women.

    This shit is actually killing us. And even where it doesn’t kill us, it stunts our potential and sucks the colour out of our lives.

    The same can be said for racism, homophobia, etc.

  21. ew_nc

    My spleen-vent:

    I am so freakin’ sick of turning on the TV and radio the past couple of weeks and hearing about the search for that oh-so obsolete of offices, the Pope. Having to listen to talking heads pretending like it’s a big deal who the next director of institutionalized abuse and oppression will be is enough to blow both spleen and lobe. It really doesn’t matter who they choose, because whoever it is will be the ultimate tool of the patriarchy.

    As far as I’m concerned, The Pope=Mafia Don.

  22. polarcontrol

    Well I just read the earlier post. Depressing as fuck. Commodification it is. What’s in a bar. Like fucking ham sandwiches. “Kept women”, like keeping dogs. Just put a collar on “it”. Oh sorry someone might like that thing. If the dating game is an economic one, isn’t it a fucking fair one when, what’s the statistics again.. women earn 10% of income and own 1% of property.

    After that reminder of the reality of the P, this Lori story just seemed so beautiful.

  23. Nimravid

    Procrastinatrix- for angry in a witty way, I like Nina Simone singing “Pirate Jenny.”

  24. pregnant pause

    I will go along with the new topic plan, although I send love and drum fills to Lori.

    I want to vent about something that would be seen as a privilege. I am a musician. I am pregnant, and I am hating it. Yes, I got pregnant on purpose, yes I have a great partner who came home from work with groceries and is currently cleaning the kitchen in order to make me dinner as I type this from the couch. But I feel so flattened and nauseated and not-like-myself. I am almost 42 so this is the last try, I’ve already had a miscarriage, so this is round 2 of trimester 1 for me. Don’t get me wrong, if I have another miscarriage I’ll be really sad.

    What I also hate is how terrified in am now that I have fully set myself up to disappear as myself from now on. I don’t have enough good examples of feminist motherhood (in a het couple, no less) to look up to. I have lived until now as “gender neutral in my head” as possible, but being pregnant really doesn’t let you ignore your gender. If all goes well, I will birth a tiny human and be its primary food source for at least a year. Being a mother in this world has always looked to me like a one-way ticket to chump town, where you do all the work and you body and energy and ambitions are sacrificed. Isn’t that what most of our parents’ set-ups looked like? Isn’t that what most of my female friends lives look like? My partner and I have talked about this for literally years, and finally we thought “hey, maybe we could do it differently”. But now, just based on how shitty I already feel physically, I am scared that I was just naive.

    I wish being a mother in our culture was more respected, supported and understood, and not so wrapped in idealizing, fluffy and neutering sexist BS. I am holding on for dear life to examples of women who are good parents and practicing artists or musicians. I need to know how to do this without falling into the well-worn tracks of the patriarchy as much as possible.

  25. Sarah

    Post as many maudlin blogular interludes as you like, Twisty. That was a very beautiful paragraph. You are and continue to be, my internet hero of blaming and maudlining alike. Keep on being awesome in every which way.

  26. tinfoil hattie

    Warning: boring mom-talk ahead.

    pregnant pause! Congratulations! I hope all goes well with your pregnancy.

    I COMPLETELY relate to your fears and feelings. There are a couple of good blogs for feminist motherhood – bluemilk is my favorite. She just wrote a review of a great-sounding book called, What I Didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting), by Monica Dux.

    Several of the mothers who comment there are in their 20s and 30s, but I find I still relate to their experiences (if not their energy levels!). The commenters are thoughtful, kind, and non-judgmental, for the most part. My boys are 12 and 16, great Blamers-in-Training, and I really enjoy them. So there is hope!

    The only suggestions I feel comfortable passing on are: 1) Do NOT “protect” your husband from fatherhood. Early in our parenthood, my husband called me after work to let me know he had given a friend a ride home from work, and was staying to have a beer. I told him no, not as long as I was unable to just “stop off and have a beer” with complete freedom. I drew that line in the sand and held FIRM. I also insisted on getting one night per week out by MYSELF. The first night, I sat alone in a restaurant crying (Hey, I was postpartum!), but after that I loved my nights out. I kept as much of “myself” intact as I could. When necessary, I sought therapy, meds, anything to keep me stable.

    Suggestion 2) is: Never take your children personally. They are autonomous little shits, and they act how they act because of who they are, not bcause of who YOU are.

    Hang in there! And feel free to e-mail me – tinfoilhattie at Gmail.

  27. Kristine

    Pregnant Pause, I can’t think of a better example of feminist, musical motherhood than my own mother. She has a master’s in music, and is easily the best pianist in all of Wilson, Pitt, and Nash counties. She views perfection in her craft as a non-negotiable minimum, and she passed on her love of music to me, my brother, and both my cousins. I don’t know what your level of fame is, but she began working as a choir director in church when I was 2, and she has never stopped since, although she has occasionally taken on the job of teaching music in grade school (like she currently is now.) She has jumped from church to church (and school to school), mostly because whenever she gets any sort of notoriety fro being the best choir director ever, someone in the church gets angry and passive-aggressively makes her life miserable, by say, lowering her pay to the poverty level when the church is not suffering from money troubles. This has happened on more than one occasion.

    My mom has always handled this by fighting like a fucking bulldog. Everyone who knows her, especially close friends and family, knows her for destroying everything in her path when she (or her children) are being mistreated. She never stays in any workplace that doesn’t give her what she deserves. When I was fifteen, she wrote and directed a musical, and everyone in Wilson came to see it, because she had already become famous for directing the best Easter and Christmas shows in Wilson.

    I know it sounds like I’m extremely biased, and I am. But my point is, she has achieved musical success and modeled feminism for me by never compromising, never apologizing for being awesome, and most importantly, demanding full commitment to the music from herself and everyone she leads. And if she can do it, so can you.

  28. Kristine

    Oh, by the way, this is her: http://www.orgsites.com/nc/wilsonchorale.org/

  29. Shelby

    Beautiful.

  30. chocolatepie

    Spleenventing about the bullshit bit Conan O’Brien did where he ogled Lara Crofts pixelated body for twenty minutes on national television, and nobody gave a fucking shit. The video has a bazillion youtube views and google wont even give a single result for “Conan is a fucking misogynist asshole.”

    I also made the mistake of seeing Silver Linings Playbook, where apparently thr moral was that mental illness in a woman is only acceptable if its nymphomania.

    And fucking hell, am i sorry for your loss. What a goddamn fuck of a situation.

  31. Shelby

    procrastinatrix this is some serious retro shit but as a fledgling feminist I screamed me a bit of Robyn Archer – “The Ladies Choice” all over d house when I was alone.

  32. Helen

    Procrastinatrix, Beaches Eternal Sphere will get your ass moving like no other. I think Twisty would like them too.

    http://www.myspace.com/theskywaswhite

  33. incognotter

    I am also a survivor of suicide. It has been my experience that there is little to say which doesn’t come off assy, so I won’t say anything except I am sorry you were dealing with it again last night. I could spleenvent about people and their taboos and opinions and projected issues and the dumb shit they say, but then I’d be one of them. (I hate it when that happens.)

    Procrastinatrix, I actually listen to contra dance music because it is fast instrumental celtic-style folk music that won’t let you sit still. Also, I seem to have a surfeit of procrastination myself this week. Could you maybe take some of it off my hands? I’ve got (well, had) a deadline.

  34. Pandechion

    Pregnant Pause, quickly because I’m facing down a mound of paperwork, but: I had my one and only kid at 40. I put it off as long as I could, and I don’t have to tell you why. My daughter has made every feminist bone in my body stronger. She proves things I’ve always intuited about the ways the system is rigged. The relationship I have with her is the least tainted one I’ve ever had in my life. Also, motherhood made me realize on a whole new scale how much men hate women. And I give radically less of a fuck about that than ever before.

  35. procrastinatrix

    Thanks, Nimravid, Shelby, and incognotter! Incognotter, I’d take it off your hands if I could! Working on two passed deadlines for work projects myself–One was end of January, the other end of February. Whee!

    pregnant pause–I’m the mom of an 8 year old lovely girl, married to her father, and I hear you. It’s been a mixed bag for me, being a mom and keeping me–working on making me better and continuing to fight some of the effects of the p in the world at large with my small gifts at work. Last 2 trimesters and the first year were great for me–being part of a dyad physically, I seemed to have fewer worries and fears and more satisfaction. After that though it was a struggle. Cliche as it is, having her future in my hands (in the wider context of the p) is a motivator–though not always enough to overcome depression and my procrastinatrix nature. I’ve been lucky and every mom experiences motherhood differently. I didn’t have great role models either and trusted/trust my gut much of the time, thinking “How would I have wanted to be mothered?”

    Wishing you health, good energy, and fulfillment, FWIW.

  36. Helen Huntingdon

    Spleenventing over the number of people having a cow that Jill of Feministe made the case that changing your name to your husband’s is not a feminist choice.

    I’m baffled by how many people have trouble grasping that we all make anti-feminist choices to survive, because that’s how our society is. It doesn’t make us bad, it’s just the reality on the ground.

  37. awhirlinlondon

    Jill!!!!!!!! Moped over here for old times’ sake and O! O! The joy! Here’s a resurrection in which I can fully rejoice. Frabjous day!

  38. tinfoil hattie

    Procrastinatrix: My faves often run to geezer pop (e.g., 70s and 80s), with some bluegrass & other obscure artists thrown in. Here are a few that work for me: Stereo MCs (dudely but not too offensive – very motivational for when we have to clean house), 10,000 Maniacs, Carly Simon, Carole King,Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Heart, k.d. lang, Lynn Morris, Martha Scanlan, Mary J Blige, Patsy Cline, Jean Knight, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Chaka Khan, Phoebe Snow, Dolly Parton, Abigail Washburn, Aoife O’Donovan, Ricki Lee Jones, Norah Jones, Patty Griffin, Peter Rowan (a dude, but AWESOME), Renaissance, Alison Kraus, The Roches, Sara Mclachlan, Samite, Ayub Ogada, Bobby McFerrin (the previous three are all dudes, but awesome), Toubab Krewe (dudes, but no words, which helps), Tina Weymouth, Tuck & Patt … i

    Oh my god i am so fucking old.

    Helen Huntingdon: Spleenventing over Jill at Feministe and Kate Harding blaming women for changing their names, and holding us responsible for the bullshit property terms foisted upon us by patriarchy, while nary a feminist sees fit to scold men for NOT changing their names. If we all do non-feminist things to survive, why go after one of the most partiarchally-entrenched systems and tell women to get cracking and CHANGE IT YOU WEAK NON FEMINISTS! And oh by the way I shave my legs and wear makeup but that’s because I choose to do it to survive in patriarchy! And not doing those things is much, much harder than bucking centuries of naming traditions – so YOU WOMEN GET MOVING AND CHANGE THIS!

    They can kiss my unbleached anus.

  39. Helen Huntingdon

    TFH: LOL at “geezer pop”.

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of blaming women for making the choices they need to in order to get by. I am a fan of admitting when they’re not feminist choices, but definitely not a fan of blaming anyone for making them. Especially when the repercussions are as scary as one lawyer brought up in that thread — women unable to get access to their children in hospitals, because they don’t have the same last name, and other horrors.

  40. gwyllion

    YAY for Twisty!
    YAY for TFH (i have got to be at LEAST as fucking old as YOU!)
    YAY for all here
    did i say YAY for TWISTY!!!!!!!!! SHE’s back back back!!!!!!!

  41. Scott

    The whole world is fucked up. Males, Females, Gays, Straight, Trans, everyone. I am sick of people being driven off cliffs by human cruelty. I blame the patriarchy for this. It is a disease that must be met full-in-the-face, and fucked with. Twisty, you are a national treasure of clarity. Keep your hands on the throttle, Twisty. So glad you are back at this.

  42. tinfoil hattie

    AND, Helen H, I fully acknowledge and own that I DID keep my name for feminist reasons, when I got married. Then, I KNUCKLED UNDER to pressure from my in-laws. I don’t even blame the patriarchy, in that instance. I blame ME for being a big chicken!

    And, since I found out it’s so easy to do in my state, I AM GOING TO CHANGE IT BACK.

    In a weird quirk of timing, my house deed and my mortgage are in my original last name. Hooray for laziness on my part, and never getting them changed!

  43. shopstewardess

    Spleenvent Wednesday here. The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service has just released a report on rape allegations, saying how rare false allegations are, and that putting too much emphasis on the possibility of a false allegation leads to genuine allegations of rape being treated too cautiously and victims’ stories not getting the serious attention they deserve. It even includes a bit about increasing sexual violence against children and young women.

    In specific response to this story the BBC then puts out on its website, on a news channel aimed at children and young people, a story about how devastating it is for a man to be falsely accused of rape. As of now, it’s on the bbc “Newsbeat” site.

    I have complained, and will carry on complaining loudly and often until the story is down and an apology made. I am furious.

    The weird thing is that the same organisation in other outlets (I have heard the Radio 4 news version too) has the story right: how rare false allegations are.

  44. procrastinatrix

    Hi, TFH! I knew you’d come through for me–thanks! What a great list. And geezer pop rocks! (see what I did there, 80′s people?)

    In the interest of being more analytical and not all me, me, me, in the p there is no right way to be a mom, whatever choices moms make (even the choice to be or not to be a mom–when someone has a choice) will be criticized by people who matter to you or random strangers, or both. The p can never let women feel competent or at ease for long, and policing motherhood is an effective mechanism for constant harassment.

    It really helps to have islands of sanity online, such as Savage Death Island, and equally to have islands of sanity with real people IRL–but those are tougher to identify/establish and maintain, I’ve noticed.

  45. sally

    My lobe almost went today, watching CNN briefly. First, there was another in the endless parade of priests and cardinals, with this whole Pope-watch thing. All I can think when I see another old guy in a collar is “Child abuser? Alcoholic? Both? Probably.”

    THEN, this Ohio rape trial. Two high school football players accused of raping an unconscious girl and leaving evidence on Twitter. (Wow! Football players and rape! So surprised!) Seriously, the only thing I am a little surprised about is some orgs like Anonymous got on board and called foul that police were being too easy on the rapists.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/13/justice/ohio-steubenville-case/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    Thank you for letting me vent. My lobe is saved, for now!

  46. Barracuda

    Sorry for your loss. My cousin killed herself when she was 19 after she was raped. I was 8-years-old at the time, still haven’t really gotten over it. My condolences.

    Seriously appreciative of an opportunity for a rant – my 22nd birthday was the 10th, and my father, for the second year now, has neglected to wish me a happy birthday, let alone send a present. After I was raped he told me that sluts can’t be raped, and obviously I was asking for it. We haven’t spoken since.

    My sister is 13 and still desperately loves him, despite his dead-beat half-assed lame and occasional attempts at parenting. She’s beginning to blame me for the distance, and thinks that I have mistreated him, and haven’t been fair. How does one explain the patriarchy without traumatizing? The patriarchy is traumatic – honesty, therefore, is traumatic. Lying about the patriarchy is even more traumatic, though, because you have a few beer at a party and wake up abused and degraded… a little warning might be useful.

    Any advice on how to talk to a 13-year-old about the abstract evils of gender, the real political struggle of women that involves life and death, and our shitty asshat father? Anything at all would be appreciated. Thanks to anyone who read this – this blog is a serious comfort in an uncomfortable world.

  47. Maria

    This whole “I can’t keep my name or hairy legs because I’ll get negative feedback” is LAME. I thought you wanted a revolution? It takes courage, people. It can come in a myriad of ways and you don’t need my approval as to what or how you fight. However, the potential negatives of the name and hair thing are really tame in the big scheme of things and hearing women dismiss it as too hard is disheartening to say the least.

  48. Val

    This thread roils up all kinds of emotions in me – some suitable for venting & some not!
    Pregnant Pause, some days I curse my “choice” of motherhood (it really wasn’t a choice; while H1 didn’t issue any ultimatums, after 12 yrs of what I’d perceived as reasonably-happy childlessness, HIS biological alarm clock had rung)… My marriage didn’t survive the 2nd trimester.
    At any rate, motherhood has seriously undercut my career (veterinary medicine): a single mom just CAN’T take emergency calls, or even stay later than normal office hours most days! & forget about postdoctoral studies – ain’t gonna happen till my chickie flies the nest. This has its good and bad points, of course.
    (I used to link to my lowly blog, trolling for fellow patriarchy-blaming readers, but I had to take it private in Dec when suspicions were confirmed that Ex was reading it. Just personal BS, underscored by The Phantom Menace of the P nevertheless)

  49. Falkland

    Barracuda,

    Your sister will find out very soon just how much men hate women, if she isn’t starting to clue in already. I think it would be a kindness to be very honest with her about this fact, as much as it hurts. Also let her know that there are ways for her to fight back.

    One of the things I have had to swallow in recent years is that when I cut ties with an ex-family member, I had to accept that my other family members would continue to have a relationship with that person whether I liked it or not. One thing you can stand your ground on is that your loved ones need to respect your choices also. You are an adult and have every right to define those boundaries.

    Let Sis know that you love her and always will – no matter how either of you feel about your dad.

    I hope this helps.

  50. TwissB

    Dear TF, Now that you have brought back the inimitable IBTP, how about bringing back the pefect logo – the No MRAS lady?

  51. Pandechion

    That’s a big one. All the divorce experts say not to talk about the other parent at all. We’re trying to shout a warning and the other side warns us of poisoning young minds. You walk a tightrope trying to parcel out the heartbreak.

  52. tinfoil hattie

    Ahhhhh, Barracuda! So much in common. Families: The gift that keeps on taking. I have one sibling left whom I love very much. The others? Fuck ‘em.

    And Happy Birthday TO YOU. You deserve good wishes and presents and a father who isn’t a victim-blaming jerk.

    And your sister will find out about the P. Just tell the truth. Always tell the truth. There are consequences, though: telling the truth and refusing to back down is how I eventually jettisoned my siblings. Yet my life is richer and freer for it! One day, your sister may be able to appreciate you for being strong and brave and truthful. My sons are safer, healthier people thanks to my actions, that’s for sure. And so am I.

    And I’m so sorry about your cousin. This shit sucks.

  53. quixote

    How much truth to tell is something I struggle with all the time. I mean, sure, tell the truth, but how much? All of it (that you know)? Some of it? Leave out the unbearable bits? How unbearable is unbearable? Provide only what’s necessary to warn of danger?

    Half the time I don’t say anything because I haven’t even figured out where to start, and that feels like a kind of lie itself.

    I know I’m no help. IBTP.

  54. Eliza

    My spleen vent: Mansplaining. My workplace has it leaking all over the furniture.

  55. pregnant pause

    tinfoil hattie, Kristine, Pandechion, procrastinatrix and val
    Thanks so much for your stories, I am hanging in there. Too nauseated to write more, but I really appreciate your replies.

  56. speedbudget

    I know this is a spinster aunt’s number one jam. Thought you would like it. Made me laugh.
    http://youtu.be/S9F86cAoi3o

  57. roesmoker

    Hugo Schwyzer’s latest bloviating on “girls” not making romance enough of a priority: http://jezebel.com/5990630/hardwired-to-disappoint-the-crushingly-low-expectations-of-men

    Antidote? But don’t read the comments: http://kotaku.com/5990946/she-hacked-the-legend-of-zelda-so-it-now-stars-zelda-saving-link

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