This week the sexual assault conversation leaped from the realm of entertainment to the political, and liberal men are getting dragged along side conservative ones. Because OF COURSE THEY ARE.
Sexual assault and rape culture is not a partisan issue. If you insist on punishing abusers in other tribes, you must insist on punishing them in your own, otherwise, you’re just another trader in women’s bodies. And I remain convinced the solution for abuses of men in power is to reduce their monopoly on power. In Hollywood that means more female (and other gendered!) professionals from crew members up to producers. In politics, that means we need to elect more women to office.
Of course, as thrilled as I am that these conversations and confrontations are happening, I fear a backlash. I fear that tribalism will prove more powerful and that in the current state of culture and the body politic, people will grit their teeth and embrace what should be smacked down because a guy happens to be their monster rather than the other side’s. Every single one of us loses in that instance.
And with that happy thought, I’m off to enjoy the rest of this gray and rainy Saturday. I have friends coming into town this weekend for Thanksgiving and there is much to do to prepare!
RadioWest was my favorite local radio program when we lived in Utah, and I still listen to the podcast in the UK. They have always dabbled in video but have been doing more and more of it lately. This short film about an unusual love story is a sucker punch to the gut.
As with many of the good things in my life, X alerted me to this hilarious new YouTuber. You need her in your life, and you need to listen to her contouring tips and advice for getting a man. “If the men find out we can shape shift, they are going to tell the church!”
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” ― Edward R. Murrow
Happy weekend, ducklings! It’s a gray weekend and I had to bring some work home with me, so the intro is short but the links list is extra long this week to make up for it. Tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments.
There is an old an abiding stigma against female anger and a pressure to swallow it down and stay silent. In the current cultural moment, for whatever reasons you want to attribute to, it feels like women are getting angry again, in a way that I haven’t yet seen in my own lifetime but I imagine many of you might remember from past decades. We’re angry. Out loud. In public. And it is glorious.
“Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.”
Have you been following the news out of Saudi Arabia? It’s complicated. The Atlantic had a later piece that analyzes what might be happening and what the risks are for a regime ostensibly trying to modernize through might.
There was another mass shooting this week and to all those sending “thoughts and prayers,” these victims were In. A. Church. Save the platitudes, send sensible and consistent policies. Because the president calling this shooting the product of mental unwellness, months after signing a bill that lifts restrictions on those with dangerous mental health backgrounds from buying guys while simultaneous trying rolling back health coverage for mental conditions seems the height of hideousness.
A number of allegations came out against Roy Moore this week. Some people then came to his defense. This is by far the worst version of that. Any justification of sexual conduct between an adult and a child is hideous and I am disgusted to see how many people are doing mental gymnastics to justify their political preferences. If you would rather vote for an alleged child abuser over a person of a different political party (as if there isn’t a VAST spectrum of options between the two), you never get to call yourself a “values voter” again.
Editor’s note: I would be remiss not to say that a single accusation brought down Kevin Spacey but there are at least four accounts in this case. Spare me the hand wringing and take women at their word.
The Baroness was always kind of a badass to me. This make me spit-take with laughter.
“November–with uncanny witchery in its changed trees.” – L.M. Montgomery
Howdy pumpkins, it’s November! This whole year truly has gone by in a blur, before you know it Christmas will be here. Yikes!
This weekend I’ve had to bring a few pieces of work home with me, but a rainy Saturday morning is making want to stay indoors for now anyway so I don’t resent it too much. It’s been a busy few months with this contract of mine but very rewarding ones.
The great and good Christine of Temptalia–the venerated beauty review site that’s more than extensive enough for its writer to qualify as a beauty editor in my eyes–has written a comprehensive post on how to reduce your beauty consumption with a “no buy” or “low buy” challenge. Inspiration for the intelligent beauty consumer, particularly as we move into the season of holiday releases and bombardment style marketing.
An exiting Twitter employee decided to deactivate the President’s twitter account and we had 11 minutes of questions as a result. I’m not giving this story too much attention. I find it a source of near-constant anxiety that in any normal presidency, if a tape of a conversation was leaked about a president sicking the FYI or DOJ on their enemies it would be a constitutional-crisis provoking scandal. Somehow this man is allowed to tweet it publicly and this is somehow fine.
“Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors, God knows.” ― Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Letters
I don’t always do a good job of remembering resolutions, but I have to say, picking a “theme” for this year has been a remarkable success. My mindset around a lot of life elements has taken a turn for the healthier and I’m in a more balanced place than I’ve been in years. I really believe that this has come from some purposeful editing of my life. I’ve gotten much better at saying no, worked hard to remove or improve things that contributed to my stress and anxiety problems, and become a lot more intentional about my money and consumption choices. It’s been a very successful project, and I’m already thinking towards how I want to frame 2018.
“Less but better” doesn’t have a uniform definition for me. For instance, we are currently living in our largest and most expensive home to date, but on the other hand, after 10 years of marriage and most of those spent in cheap digs, the decision to rent a nice apartment was a considered one. We are also furnishing it ourselves, meaning we are spending money, but we are taking that process slowly and very judiciously. Our home is still far less furnished than I would like…but we have chosen every piece in it together because we loved it, and not because it was the cheapest option on Craigslist. I love the idea of editing a home, carefully selecting what I put in it and not rushing to fill empty space just because I have it.
Meanwhile, on the work front, I’m actually working more but in a better way. Going back to freelance and contracting has been a great decision. I have not only opened a lot of doors and opportunities, but I have finally discovered a balance between work and identity: what I do vs. who I am. This has not always been the case with me, as I tend to throw myself into things like causes, projects, and roles wholeheartedly, allowing the lines between them and myself to blur. Surprisingly, given the nature of freelance and contract work and how it can divide your attention, I’ve found that because I’ve been able to choose my work, I’ve therefore been able to choose (i.e. edit) how I direct my energy. This has also helped me train my brain to better separate work from my personal life and I’m more aggressive about holidays and an overall work/life balance. In other words, I may be working more, but my stress levels are lower than they’ve been in years.
Let’s talk stuff, generally. I had a whole month long blog project dedicated to my closet and bathroom shelf this year, and I continue to be really happy with where it’s at. I’ve actually shopped and bought less this year than I have probably since my early 20s. Granted what I have bought has tended to be more expensive, but I’ve been fascinated to physically feel the urgency and desire to buy things fade as the year has gone on. There’s plenty of reporting out there to suggest that brain chemistry can be affected by purchasing, and I wonder if I’ve been able to ween myself off an internal drug I didn’t realize I was on. I’ve been slowly editing my closet down and I now think I own less clothing than I did when we first moved to London on an item-for-item basis. What I do own, I wear more and I love more. The same goes with beauty; I’ve been focused on using what I already own instead of craving new makeup and skincare items. I’m actually in the midst of a shopping freeze (my second this year) in an effort to actually use up cosmetics and potions before I allow myself even to replace beloved items. I’ve done a few edits of my shelf throughout the year and donated or gifted a few items that I didn’t use enough to justify keeping. Maybe it’s a welcome byproduct of getting older and more self-confident, but I’ve never been more pleased with the woman in the mirror.
When it comes to food and overall health, I haven’t done as well as I would have wished. We are eating out less (yay, us!) but ordering in more (kind of defeats the purpose, C….). We have periods of focus on health, but other periods of intense laziness. One thing I’ve realized is how much I require a routine in order to stay committed to food, exercise, and wellbeing goals. I am not a natural health bunny, I do no default to healthiness–I default to deep friend potatoes and Netflix and am self-aware enough to acknowledge this. It turns out that once I’m in a routine, I am pretty good at maintaining it but if something knocks me off course (two straight weeks of houseguests for instance, or a particularly uneven month at work), I fall well and truly off the wagon and it takes herculean effort to climb back aboard. I haven’t figured out quite how to overcome this yet, but I suspect the solution will lie in editing out things that I use as excuses or distractions.
This has been a much better year than 2016 for me, and I’m feeling pretty positive about 2018 at the moment. It’s a good place to be.
“You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe ‘Daylight Saving Time.'”
— Dave Barry
Another week flown past, another batch of links to read! This week I said goodbye to one of the junior team members I’ve been working with on a contract. She’s off to new challenges and while I’m professionally horrified (she will be difficult to replace), I’m personally thrilled for her new opportunities–I love to see my chicks soar! Meanwhile I’m waiting to hear back on a freelance proposal, and working on a few other projects.
This weekend I’m planning on doing very little, and looking forward to it immensely. Binge watching Stranger Things is on the list, as finishing at least one audiobook, doing laundry, and catching up on some reading. Jeff is already well immersed into his Saturday video games. Let the middle age wild rumpus start!
This piece from The Cut is hard to read but I think is on to something about the stalled progress of female empowerment, and the dangers of putting all ones emotional eggs in one basket–work as much as relationships. One of my great personal revelations of the past couple of years has been my tendency to do this very thing (particularly with work) and neglect other aspects of my emotional and creative life. We women (speaking broadly and acknowledging privilege) need to diversify both happiness and our sense of accomplishment, in my opinion.
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” ― A.A. Milne
Happy weekend, kittens! This week I think I cracked a freelance challenge and think I’ve made major progress on a number of items on my main contract To Do list. This weekend we are on the hunt for a vintage jacket for Jeff, the house is a ruin which must be set to rights, and a great deal of food shopping must be done. We are currently making at home brunch and preparing ourselves for some major adulting!
Let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments, and enjoy the early fall day (for you northern hemisphere dwellers).
Glossier launched in the UK and of course I put in an order. Skincare is life. However I got an unexpected treat in a sample of their upcoming fragrance which, you will probably not be surprised to hear, I really like. Get thee to the website if you want to try it out.
I teared up reading this story, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Sali Hughes unleashes and I cheered aloud to read her thoughts. Because a bunch of middle school boys once surrounded me, the only middle school girl on the bus, and told me to “shut [my] mouth and spread [my] legs” when I asked them to cut out the explicit talk. Because a middle school teacher, praising my work ended the conversation with, “If only you were five years older!” Because the last time I had to complain about inappropriate speech in the workplace was last month. Because I was aggressively catcalled walking home from work yesterday. I have two decades worth of these stories, and almost every women I know does too. #MeToo
“Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.” ― Joseph Conrad, Chance
Hi kittens, it’s been a while since we had a links post dedicated almost entirely to lady-rage, so let’s do that. It’s a bit exhausting to be living in an age of real-time…everything. It feels as if we don’t get breaks between scandals or bombshells anymore and that can wear us down (or me at least), but the one bright spot is that a lot of things can also be confronted in real time now. Behaviors and trends that have been allowed to percolate in the shadows are now seeing sunlight. It’s ugly to witness what has been tolerated or protected for far too long, sometimes, but necessary to go through.
Let me know what you are doing this weekend in the comments! I’m working on a freelance assignment and lounging. I may do some laundry and talk Jeff into helping me clean the bathrooms if I’m feeling really frisky!
Fuck this noise! Whenever friends or family members ask me when I’m moving back to the states, my default answer has become, “You do know I have healthcare, birth control, and maternity cover options here, right?”
David Frum sums up my worst ideological fears. A horrible president is bad. If military figures circumvent a president’s constitutional authority, a historically bad precedent is set for future generals to do the same–perhaps for less altruistic reasons. We have a civilian commander in chief for a reason…I have not yet grappled with what that means for someone like me who is certain that the current incumbent is doing harm to both the office and national prestige and safety. Where do I draw a line if I believe that, in wanting perhaps to do the right thing, military leadership permanently damages the powers of the presidency now in a way that may come back to bite us all?