Archive | Feminist Matters

A Word from the Siren in Charge

1970s Alice Walker taking up plenty of space like the good womanist she is.

I’ve been really struck that, even now, I’m seeing a number of women couch their indignation about the Kavanaugh hearings with phrases like “of course not ALL men…” and “there are really good guys.” Obviously not all guys are awful but I’m tired of tiptoeing around male feelings.

Witness how, even as CBF was serving her civic duty at great personal cost, she was in a million palpable ways laboring to “make nice”–to apologize for taking up any space. It is vital that we women stop people-pleasing no matter what our conditioning. I get that those of us who sleep with anyone identifying as a man are deeply conflicted in a way that is still unacknowledged. That we may unconsciously fear wilting dicks even as we wave our flags. But the bottom line is we need to stop being cool girls and instead stand as grown-ass women.

Everyone bold enough to identify as a women in this misogynistic culture needs to speak in declarative sentences rather than upticks that beg for permission. We need to stop playing along or picking our battles when micro- or macro-aggression appears. We need to call out BS as it happens in real time. Even if it means we seem like “man haters,” we need to stop apologizing for ourselves and stop trying to pretty up our righteous fury. And can we stop patting “good guys” on the back like they deserve a medal for achieving a baseline of decency in the face of profound human rights violations? I honestly expect any man I electively know to use their male privilege to fight misogyny and gender inequality at every turn. Life is short but the legacy we leave is long.

In other news, Mrs. Lincoln, Grace is really digging on the cooler weather. She’s all, mom, I like to snuggle in your knee pit! and, mom, isn’t it fun to play with jangly balls at 3 am? So cuddly I can hardly begrudge her transgressions, she’s keeping me company as I roast acorn squash, brussels sprouts, and pork loin tonight with concord grapes, thyme, and chopped apples. I also am opening a bottle of red from the Sierra Foothills that I’d been saving for a special occasion. Because, you know, Sunday blues, mean reds, permakittens, and patriarchy. NYC balance, y’all.

Enraged and Awake (Born in Flames)

Yesterday’s senate hearings were like September 11. I was talking to people I hadn’t heard from in decades just to make sure we were all okay. A lot of us weren’t. I tried to focus on sending love and light to everyone as traumatized as I was.

To everyone who been hindered professionally by sexist men and preyed upon by male sexual predators. To everyone who had been manterrupted or mansplained. Who had been sexually assaulted or harassed. To everyone on whom the burden of proof had landed on us when they were already experiencing PTSD.

We were watching all this happen to a woman in real time and we wanted her to be ok–to achieve her goals not only because of what’s at stake in the Supreme Court, the body of law that dictates what happens to female bodies, but because our related wounds remain so profoundly unhealed.

How systemic is male privilege? How deeply is sexual assault built into our dating culture? How much denial are men in when they are perpetrators? Enough so that my most serious abuser was posting pious, good-liberal pablum about believing CBF as if he himself did not exhibit this sort of violence. And, of course, getting lots of atta-boys for his efforts. Continue Reading →

Talking ‘All About Nina’

Tonight I’m moderating a chat with Mary Elizabeth Winstead about All About Nina, a woman-directed indie that couldn’t be more culturally relevant if Rachel Mitchell were grilling it at a senate hearing. Starring the brilliant Winstead, it focuses on a sexually traumatized female comedian who is as searingly funny as she is self-destructive. Women like this don’t get put on big screens, and they should. Because, as we were painfully reminded this week, that’s how most of us move through life— afraid we’ll never heal but too strong to fall apart completely. We’ll be discussing all this at a 7:30pm screening at 42nd Street’s AMC25 theater and would be so grateful if you joined us. Honestly? Everyone could use the support right now.
Tickets are still available; join us!

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy