Thursday, December 31, 2009
As I reflect on my feminist year, I find my own TMJ flaring up. Despite the outpouring of support from all (twelve?) of my readers, Minnesota NOW remains in serious financial trouble. This puts us in good company, however, as T-Paw won't rest until he guts every last social service offered to Minnesota citizens (including nutrition programs for impoverished pregnant women, which reinforces the truism that pro-lifers only care about your body when you're in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. If you're in the vegetable aisle at SuperTarget, you're shit outta luck. Ohhh, how I hate them). We don't even offer services; we're the ones writing letters and/or making phone calls, pestering those in office to provide the services that have just been cut. Sigh.
But all is not lost! This summer I met two women who just happen to be among the escorts who will support you as you run the "pro"-"life" gauntlet from parking lot to clinic doorway. Kriss and Barbra are among the funniest, toughest, warmest, craziest bitches I have ever had the pleasure to meet. We met at a planning meeting for the MN CAFE (Minnesota Constitutional Amendment for Equality) Coalition, and through that group I met even more ball-breaking, bra-burning, stereotype smashing superwomen! How lucky am I?
To brush up a bit on my women's history, I checked out my library's copy of the new Seal Studies book A History of U.S. Feminisms by Rory Dicker. I'm all up in the Third Wave now, and it's striking how much this feminism is defined by the individual, and not the collective. I know, I know, the Second Wave blundered all over the place when it failed to unite the many different faces of feminism (particularly those of color, including lavender). But these days it's exhausting to have to explain your feminism. Once upon a time you could declare it and be done. No more.
Me, I'm an at-home parent, but not an "opt-outer"; heterosexual but a butch dresser; college educated but still working-class identified (once a garbageman's daughter, always a garbageman's daughter); sex-positive but fake shaved bodies averse; lily-white Midwestern but (mostly, working on always) aware of my pale privilege; leg-shaver but makeup-shunner; would rather listen to Diamond Dave singing with Van Halen than Ani DiFranco singing with well, anyone....
I contain multitudes. The women I've met this year certainly do. To them I dedicate 2010, to ourselves AND our sisters, as we work collectively AND individually in the pursuit of happiness and freedom.
As Dave himself would say: "AHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAYEAHHHHHHHH!!!"
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
...is it glamorous Gloria Steinem, perhaps? Betty Friedan? Andrea Dworkin or Catherine MacKinnon?
Or should we go way back to the suffragettes? A liberal feminist like Susan B. Anthony, so likeable she got her face on a coin nobody used? Her partner in crime Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Would you prefer a radical, like hunger-striker Alice Paul?
Speaking of Alice, what about Alice Walker? Her estranged daughter Rebecca Walker? Or other well-known feminist writers: Robin Morgan? Susan Faludi? Naomi Wolf?
Did I forget Margaret Sanger? I did. Sorry.
Would you choose Congressional ground-breakers like Shirley Chisholm and Carol Moseley Braun? Or judicial sheroes like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor?
We could choose a Third Wave hipstress like Kathleen Hanna or Diablo Cody, both former strippers who make Ms. Dworkin’s blood boil. Madonna’s never called herself a feminist, but Courtney Love has. The latter also made the memorable remark: “Gloria Steinem never helped me, but Larry Flynt did.” Moving along, then...
Third Wavers, make yourself heard. Debbie Stoller, founder of Bust? Andi Zeisler and Lisa Jervis, founders of Bitch? Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing.com? Carrie Bradshaw, founder of...Manolos?
YOU SAY YOU'RE PRO-CHOICE, SO PROVE IT! WHO WILL IT BE?
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Be true to yourself. Be peace. Speak truth. Be grateful. Show love.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It was bad enough to hear that Frances and Courtney were, erm, having trouble. But this?
Courtney Love blasts Frances Bean on Facebook after losing custody: singer writes that daughter is "clearly deluded" but quickly deletes post
Courtney Love blasts daughter Frances Bean again: "I'd prefer she not become Jamie L Spears" writes on Facebook
All so familiar, all so devastatingly sad. What do we talk about when we DON'T talk about the deep pain of a family tortured by mental illness? We point at the crazy lady and laugh, never taking a moment to look at her with compassion or understanding. Unfortunately, Courtney is not making is easy for anyone to sympathize with her. Dammit!
I still think that she is too important and smart to be just another OD. Hang in there, Kookoo Bananas.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I just got word from Kerlin Richter, editor of the HipMama print zine, that I'll have an essay in the upcoming Humor issue, #45 for those keeping score. Remember when I asked you to purchase your own copy of #43, the one that had my piece "On Choosing Water"? You are REALLY going to want to have a copy of this new essay. No soul-searching journeys deep into the nature of family or the lack thereof: this baby is a knee-slapper called "Should Shy People Have Children?" If you want the answer you'll have to look for it on newsstands soon.
(if you want to revisit my lecture on why zines like HipMama need your financial support, go to this blog post, appropriately entitled "pay up!")
Those in the icebox that is Minneapolis can jumpstart their frozen cars and get it at Amazon/True Colors or the Seward Co-op. Or you could make things very easy for yourself and order a subscription RIGHT NOW that will commence with the Humor issue! Won't that be something nice to look forward to after the holiday madness is over?
And really, does your mom need a leopard-print Snuggie? Does your best friend really want that Hello Kitty Sandwich Maker? Wouldn't they both appreciate the gift of smart, funny writing about alt-parenting? Wouldn't they be touched by the fact that you are choosing to support independent media?
Perhaps I could interest you in a new membership to Minnesota NOW?
How much money do you have, anyway? Because I want it all.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Reclusive Leftist: Infuriated mama gives Democratic Party free clue
PUMA PAC: Puma wakefulness
I am hugely relieved that my senator, the one and only Al Franken, delivered a strong speech against the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, and the whole business got voted down as it so richly deserved. But I'm still mighty annoyed. Where was my other senator, the one with the uterus? The personal is political, isn't it? Sure, she's not up for re-election until 2012, but wouldn't a few calm words in her carefully measured Midwestern accent have helped smooth things over with the angry activists in her state?
I guess she voted against Nelson-Hatch, but in these troubled times, a vote is not enough. Post-Stupak, women need to know exactly where our representatives stand on women's civil rights (Fun Fact! When you Google "Klobuchar" and "feminist" together, my blog comes up first. Discuss).
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh with Sen. Klobuchar, but you can never be too sure about an Amy. Amys are some of the most competitive, egomaniacal ladies you will ever meet. They wouldn't hesitate to toss a sister under the bus if it meant they'd gain political traction. A-Klo needs to work to prove me wrong.
Thanks to Franken, there may be life left in my party yet. But as a certified PUMA, I'm not holding my breath.
Monday, December 7, 2009
....or not. She gets very shy in the clutch, as I did when I was her age. These days I have too much righteous fury to let a little thing like introversion keep me from speaking out against Stupak-Pitts-Nelson-Whatever. The photo above was taken by Bonnie Watkins of the Minnesota Women's Consortium, who also wrote up the event at their blog, EqualityQuilt.
I'm currently of the opinion that the Affordable Health Care for All Act, in its current form, is an embarrassment and ought to be death paneled immediately. At the very event pictured above, Minnesota state senator (and '10 gubernatorial candidate) John Marty told me of an essay he just wrote in which he admonished progressives for being stupid enough to put up with this crap. As he puts it:
If 21st Century Progressives led the 19th Century Abolition Movement, we'd still have slavery, but we'd have limited it to 40 hour work weeks, and we'd be so proud of the progress we'd made.
"RIGHT ON!!!" Cathy (of Cathy & the PUMAs fame) and I raved. I am OVER compromise. I am DONE with bipartisanship. I will NO LONGER be told I have to take my health care medicine like a good little girl. Barackistan Obombya will NOT get my vote in 2012 unless he has the sense to pull this Titanic away from the iceberg--nor will Amy Klobuchar if she doesn't show some loyalty to the women who worked so hard to make her Minnesota's first woman Senator.
My shy daughter will not not NOT be an adult in a society with fewer rights than on the day she was born.
You would be unwise to mess with an infuriated mama.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Growing up is no rainbow, or: Childhoodphobia!
by Shannon Drury
November 30, 2009