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Archive for November, 2007

on Legally Blonde

Posted by pocochina on November 29, 2007

So I love Legally Blonde.  I’ve seen it a hundred times, I think they did their research on law school life,* and it passes the Mo Movie Measure, and it’s endearing and funny, just the thing to clear away six weeks of 1L stress.

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Posted in feminism, law school | Leave a Comment »

spouses on the trail

Posted by pocochina on November 28, 2007

This article about Michelle Obama made me gasp with sadness.

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Posted in classism, clinton, feminism, obama, politics, race | Leave a Comment »

on bra-burning

Posted by pocochina on November 27, 2007

I’m truly intrigued by the “bra buring” stereotype.  On face, it’s just amusing.  I thought we were too busy undermining the American family, becoming communists, killing children and practicing Dark Magic.  Maybe we, like, use the bra-fire to burn the runes for our ball-busting spells.*  I must not be invited to the Cool Feminist Rituals.

And on another level, it’s like the hairy/lesbian/ugly/old/whatever insult – something that’s not inherently bad, but marks us as women who don’t present in a feminine manner.  It’s my party, and I’ll burn my lingerie if I want to!  (While I’m on the subject, I know I should be pissed about the homophobic patriarchial paradigm, but mostly I can’t keep myself from laughing when someone uses “lesbian” as an insult.  Seriously?  That’s supposed to hurt my feelings?  Then I get mad, ‘cuz nobody talks about my friends like that.)

But on another level, it doesn’t matter how many times we say – all together now! – that the actual bra burning never happened.  The protest at the Miss America pagent was enough.  “Bra burner” symbolizes, to those who would insult and demean feminists, a woman who makes deliberate anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist choices.

It means that instead of shamefully hiding your ending compliance with the beauty performance, you are asserting your right to stand in the public space to reject it.  Bralessness, in this case, has come to describe someone who publicly, unabashedly, chooses to present as herself, on her own terms.

And burning them!  This rejection doesn’t just hurt people’s feelings!  It’s in a visible, destructive fire, which crackles with energy.  It’s no longer about taking up public space in your Failure to be Feminine, now, it’s about changing the public landscape.  Maybe, the anti-feminist is afraid, some other women will walk by and want to warm their hands by our trash can, and stay for the ‘smores.  It’s a recognition how feminism changes our landscape.

And we’re not just chopping off our hair and burning it, oh, no.  It’s an active rejection of something women are expected to go out and purchase in order to correctly present as “women.”  It’s explicitly anti-capitalist.

Then there’s the sexuality of it.  It’s one less constraint on the female form; one less marker that we are ashamed.

No, bra-burning never actually happened.  But the epithet refers to good things that did happen; things that are happening.  So come warm your hands by our fire.  You’ll pry my royal purple lace 36DD out of my cold, dead hands, but you’ll find me by the ‘smores.  And the Chardonnay.  But mostly the ‘smores.

*I realize this is as far from Wicca and witchcraft as I could get.  Intentionally, because I mean absolutely no disrespect to the religion itself.

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in which our heroine drops the self-silencing

Posted by pocochina on November 14, 2007

I mentioned in an earlier post that talking about pregnancy in class makes me uncomfortable, and then I waffled and abdicated and apologized on the why.  Then I realized that I was silencing my own opinion on a pseudonymous livejournal that almost nobody reads, so it was stupid on a lot of levels.

I am uncomfortable talking about pregnancy and abortion in class because it is a fundamentally unequal disruption of the imperfect but generally stable power dynamics in a law school classroom.  (There.  That wasn’t so hard.)

Posted in abortion, feminism, law school | Leave a Comment »

on strikes

Posted by pocochina on November 8, 2007

Before  I start, I want to get right on the table that I support the WGA strike unequivocally.  I find the solidarity coming out of Hollywood to be inspiring.  And my hero, Jon Stewart, is finding some way to pay his writers (I believe out of Busboy Productions’ pocket, not technically his own, but that’s a distinction without a difference if ever I heard one.  And I’m in law school.  Distinctions without differences are what we do.)

Speaking of Stewart, I think that the insinuations about how the Stewbert team should “get a pass” are kind of upsetting.  Yes, it’s a teachable moment for those of us who are young enough to think we won’t have or need unions, and gullible enough to drink the “free market will take care of you” Kool-Aid.  But it’s still asking an unapologetically pro-labor liberal to cross a picket line.  You don’t cross a picket line, and if you do, you lose a hell of a lot of credibility, and though the fellas deny they have that at every turn, well, everyone thinks that’s a joke, too.  I can’t help but wonder if it’s part of a not-so-subtle-as-you-think, NYTimes MSM effort to eventually discredit them. (Those kids shouldn’t just get off the NYT’s lawn, apparantly, they should publicly renounce Freeze Tag too.)

What makes me so deeply upset is that this should be available to everyone.  No, writers don’t make a lot of money; yes, this will have effects on them for a long time.  But writing is a relatively middle-class profession, with lots of people who have some sort of safety net, including a college degree.

But there should be this kind of debate, attention, and solidarity every time people are not paid for their work.

There should be this kind of uproar when teachers want their salaries to keep up with inflation.

There should have been bullhorns in the street the day the Supreme Court decided that pay discrimination was A-OK as long as your employer doesn’t get caught right away.

I want Martin Sheen and America Ferrara in the picket line when corporations won’t even allow unions to form; when people are losing their health care, when working conditions are unsafe.

I want the most vulnerable workers among us to have unions that work for them, who can organize picket lines that nobody will cross.

This is why free market capitalism is a blatant lie, but a useful one for the wealthiest among us.  Because when you assume money is the only way to measure and orgainze human behavior, you give people with huge amounts of money the unimaginable power to deprive everyone else of just compensation for work.  The free market is anything but free.

Posted in labor | Leave a Comment »

fuck you

Posted by pocochina on November 5, 2007

Fuck you, Kate Michelman.  Seriously?  We know you have major cognitive dissonance issues (see:  NARAL endorsing anti-choice legislation, supporting Republican incumbents, overall sucking).  But shut the fuck up.

You?  Are exactly the reason why  SO MANY women will vote for Senator Clinton even if they disagree with her on critical issues.  (By they, I mean WE.  I’ve thrown my lot behind Hillary simply because I am sick and tired of this crap being used to discredit women, including myself, and so I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt because it has to go to someone.)  SHE DID NOT PLAY “THE GENDER CARD,” AND EVEN IF SHE HAD, YOU HAVE JUST SHOWN THE WHOLE WORLD WHY SHE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IF SHE DID.  She will never, ever be given a fair chance in the minds of those who irrationally despise her, but for anyone who wasn’t quite sure, you just gave us one more reason to give her the benefit of the doubt.  She didn’t say a cotton-pickin’ WORD about it, she put out an ad saying “hey look, nobody can stop talking about me!  I must be doing well!”  And you went OMG SHE HAS GIRL PARTS!  DOESN’T SHE KNOW???  YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO PRETEND YOU DON’T!  Nice talk, from the fucking head of an abortion rights organization.  Especially one whose candidate ranks lower on the repro rights scale than Senator Clinton.  (Last I checked, anyway.)

You disagree with her on the merits?  Fine, engage her on the merits.  Be my fucking guest.  Convince me.  Sell me.  I’m a registered Democrat from a swing state, and I vote, dammit.  But don’t play this crap.  This just makes me think your candidate is sitting around hoping American Democrats are so fucking sexist we’ll give up our best shot at a victory next year.  I want better for my country and my party and you, apparantly, don’t.

You?  Are the reason women don’t trust other women.  You are those girls in the locker room saying she’s a slut/prude who stuffs her bra/doesn’t match.  You’re that student who says she’d take women’s studies if only the other girls would be nicer.  You are a woman who sees an opportunity to score tiny points off of another woman by bowing and scraping to the patriarchy, only it’s not just wrong, but the height of hypocrisy when you know better.  And you know better.

I can’t help but think this is just an extended “I’m not a feminist but….” sort of situation.  Except it’s, “oh, gee whiz, I’m a feminist, I just want to pretend that nothing I know applies in this situation, because if it does, I’ve made a huge mistake!”*

I hate being angry at other feminists because, hello, George Bush is the president, there’s plenty of anger to go around anyway.  But this shit just makes my blood boil.

*You have.  Deal.

Posted in clinton, feminism, politics | Leave a Comment »

yes, dammit, i’m angry

Posted by pocochina on November 2, 2007

Do not tell me not to be angry.

Do not dismiss my concerns as PMS.

Do not try to discredit me with my own body.

Do not tell me I lose my humanity and citizenship should I become pregnant

….whether I stay pregnant or not.

Do not tell me I cannot drive.  Driving means freedom, which is why we are so terrified that women do it.

Do not tell me I am a slut.

Do not tell me I am frigid.

Do not expect me to read your mind and then conform with your expectations.

Do not come into my space and tell me what is wrong with me.

There is nothing wrong with me.

Do not act as if I, and everyone with a body sorta-like mine, do not belong in a classroom, work space, or voting booth.  I do.  We do.  You are just a jerk.

Do not place the blame on me.

Do not say I just have no sense of humor.  I have a great sense of humor.  You are just not funny.

Do not blame me because you are not funny.

When I say you are not funny, and are in fact seriously disturbing not just me, but other people who, because of the way you behave, do not speak up, don’t tell another hateful, not-funny “joke.”  You’re still not funny.  You’re still just a jerk.

Do not try to discredit me because I am angry.  I don’t want to be angry.  But when I see something to get angry about, I get angry and you enjoy that it hurts people.

Do not expect me to constantly give you the benefit of the doubt.  I don’t owe you the benefit of the doubt.

In fact, I don’t owe you anything.  Stop expecting me to think that I do.

Do not tell me not to be angry.

Posted in feminism | Leave a Comment »