“Love is as love does, and it is our responsibility to give children love. When we love children we acknowledge by our every action that they are not property, that they have rights—that we respect and uphold their rights.”—bell hooks, All About Love, 30
For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give names to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
As they become known to and accepted by us, our feelings and the honest exploration of them become sanctuaries and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas. They become a safe-house for that difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but a disciplined attention to the true meaning of “it feels right to me.”
”—from “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde (via commovente)
A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.
“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”
Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.
My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.
“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”
Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.
“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.
What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.
Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.
And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?
I try to do this every day I go to nursery and gosh it makes me so happy to see it done elsewhere.
The dichotomy of feminine Sansa and her tomboy little sister, Arya, coupled with the modern tendency to champion a misunderstanding of feminism in the form of “strong women” only, erroneously causes many readers and viewers to assume that Sansa is somehow in the wrong from the very beginning. They view her through the misconception-colored glasses of “femininity=weakness”, and assume she is weak, soft, and shallow.
Despite the wishes of fanboys everywhere, Sansa Stark is here to stay, and may be one of the most important characters in political-fantasy to date. The young girl, trained in courtesy and domestic arts, began coming of age, gaining political awareness, and fighting for her own survival before many other characters in this series, and has the potential to become the most powerful player of “the game of thrones” in Westeros.
“In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.”—Guillermo Del Toro (via iwearthecheeseyo)
once upon a time, i read a version of the haunted mirror horror story that prevails in multivarious forms in our horror canon. in that version, curated by a queer femme, there were knives and flesh carved off and cold hands. once upon a time, i who had not been scared of the dark in so many years, slept with the light on and began to avoid my bathroom mirror, especially at night, especially by candlelight. last night i realized that functionally these stories make women and children afraid of mirrors, dissuade us from facing ourselves, from taking in our own glory. femmes, i am writing for you a fairytale. i am writing for you a fairytale where this horror story once stood.
“As an experience, madness is terrific I can assure you, and not to be sniffed at; and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about. It shoots out of one everything shaped, final, not in mere dribblets, as sanity does. And the six months…that I lay in bed taught me a good deal about what is called oneself.”—Virginia Woolf, from a letter to Ethel Smyth (via violentwavesofemotion)
If your form of oppression involves the inherent belief that everyone else just “fucks indiscriminately” and you’re the one special snowflake who has all these particular conditions to meaningful sex or a “higher existence” then you have a fucked up slut-shame-y view of humanity and I don’t want to talk to you.
do you ever feel like there’s just so many pretty girls but most dudes are just subpar like there are radiant goddesses everywhere and just piles and piles of guys in backwards baseball caps and sandals
i love leatherdykes. i love canadian leatherdykes with my entire soul and being and am watching the calmest, least awful discussion of gender policy and transfemininity i have ever seen unfold in a fucking FACEBOOK THREAD right now.
my boyyyy is moving in upstairs from me all summer double-decker barbecue forever.
(as andy pointed out last night, there is like no way felix won’t totally become the kind of barbecue bro whose summer catchphrase is “yeah why don’t we just do this on the grill yeah”.)
my family is closing for the knife. closing for THE FUCKING KNIFE yes really oh my god.
i only have two months left of work. this means i keep referring to it as school because i’m about to be on summer vacation.
my bedroom is sort of functional again sort of
last night andy BIKED to my house and then fancy came and then we cover letter bootcamped them and ate delicious food with my roommate and their date
i eavesdropped on a sub-rosa and sub-rosa-with-a-different-last-name chat last night and i love the sub-rosas they are so similar to my besties from high school and now sub-rosa’s sub-rosa is mocking my sub-rosa because anarchy and love and the combination of the two and it’s amazing
pretty sure i’m going to california for three weeks this summer
pretty sure i’m gonna do sewing boot camp with my namesake aunt and oma
maybe andy will come for sewing boot camp toooooo and it’ll be the cutest intergenerational queer famjam
i’m lying in bed listening to the score with the window and back door open. you aren’t? what are you even doing with your life?
AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): Your know-it-all tendencies could unfortunately get the best of you, Aquarius, if you’re pointlessly insistent on furthering an agenda when one needn’t be imposed, ironing out inconsistencies in someone else’s off-the-cuff wonderings, and/or pushing for a final answer when minds haven’t yet been made up. In your corner of this grand ‘making-sense-of-the-world’ enterprise, the possibilities are more open-ended, random and discontinuous than they’ve been in a long long time… and any efforts you take toward ‘pinning things down’ are both ill-timed and unproductively restraining. Leave the unordered fragments to flap in the wind. Otherwise, you’re just indulging your compulsion to perpetuate the illusion that your exquisite intellect is a device sufficient for actually warding off impending loss. But being smart doesn’t make you God, any more than convincing others you’re ‘right’ will neutralize the strains in their ways-of-thinking which suggest you’re simultaneously ’wrong’. (Confused yet? Good.) That said, you’ve still got your altruistic beliefs and some good ideas for how they might be expressed… which is more than enough, in the resource-department, to spur your continuing exchanges with the other cast-members about how the next scene should move the narrative along. This production is best conceived of as an improv workshop, not some rehearsed presentation of a pre-scripted classic.