So, you say you’re an ally (thoughtful meanderings)

Good Monday to you. This morning the New Yorker is reporting that the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh ordered on Friday is looking like a sham given the ridiculous limits the White House has placed upon it. The self I worked to rebuild all weekend is feeling like garbage again, and so I’m writing this post. Continue reading So, you say you’re an ally (thoughtful meanderings)

New Normal?

I am trying to wrap my head around what has gone down today.

I did not watch all of the hearings. I was in class most of the time.

I am assuming that despite all of this, the GOP will fall in line and Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the supreme court.

That his abuse of women is a feature, not a bug, of him and many men like him.

That even if most Americans disagree, it doesn’t matter. But do most Americans disagree that misogyny is a problem? I don’t know.

I’m struggling with having spent my career advocating for women and teaching about working in and around systems to help women achieve change, and seeing so much of what’s happening now as a big fuck you to all of that.

I believe that this response–the visceral hatred, the rage of thwarted entitlement shown by Kavanaugh and his supporters like Grassley and Graham–is an angry tantrum by men who see their way of living (misogynist and racist capitalist ways of being) are threatened for realsy real. but I don’t know that we survive the tantrum enough as a political system to go back to fighting it.

I’ve seen so many women on social media talking about how tired they are. I am, too. I am exhausted to my marrow. The mere existence of this week’s events has left me drained of all energy, in part because it’s exhausting to feel invisible and irrelevant all the time.

I’m tired of having to be a warrior for obvious fucking shit.

Even if there’s a wave of democratic victories in November–women, too, in office in bigger numbers than in a long time–he’ll still be there, his sneering, contemptuous face a blight on the judicial system that, while flawed, has served the nation fairly well (barring exceptions) a long time.

My god I’m exhausted. I can turn it off and be someone else for a while–I can watch tv, dawdle the internet, grade papers–but it comes back, the realization that I am purely a sex and housekeeping object for a host of our population, and that they’d grind me up if they could, for fun, particularly if I threatened them.

I don’t know how we bounce back if, when, this man is confirmed.

If you want more posts like this one, consider becoming a TF sponsor!
Become a Patron!

“Why didn’t she say anything when it happened?”

  1. She could not even process what happened to her at the time.
  2. She feared retaliation.
  3. She knew no one would believe her.
  4. There wasn’t a culture of reporting assault.
  5. She didn’t want to relive the memory.
  6. She knew no one would believe her.
  7. She wasn’t sure what happened even *was*assault, given the messages she’d heard over the years.
  8. She thought she must have done something to deserve it.
  9. She knew no one would believe her.
  10. The psychological after-effects were terrifying.
  11. She was just grateful it wasn’t worse.
  12. She knew no one would believe her.
  13. If she did, her reputation would be in tatters, not his.
  14. She’d absorbed the culture that said women were men’s property.
  15. She knew no one would believe her.
  16. She just wanted it to go away.
  17. She feared the agony of police, paperwork, and trauma without assurance anything would be done.
  18. She knew no one would believe her.

 

If you want more posts like this one, consider becoming a TF sponsor!
Become a Patron!

Let’s Talk Financial Feminism

I’m a big fan of The Fairer Cents, a podcast hosted by Tanja Hester and Kara Perez and dedicated to all things women and money. A recent episode titled “Financial Feminism” got me thinking. Tanja and Kara talk about all kinds of elements they’d consider under that header and much of the episode concerns things like wage gaps, the illusion many have that those who don’t get certain salaries simply aren’t working as hard as themselves, and the child penalty. But I think we should think even broader about financial feminism: let’s talk about “pink collar” work. Continue reading Let’s Talk Financial Feminism

Fill-the-Bucket List

Maggie Banks over at Northern Expenditure (who gets points already for naming her blog after one of my favorite shows while growing up) had a great idea when she turned 30 in 2016: a fill-the-bucket list. As she put it, 

“Life is full of opportunities, changes, and unpredictability and it’s all about experiences and filling your bucket so that by the end of your life, your bucket is full. Instead of making a list of things you would like to see happen in your life, a fill-the-bucket list focuses on the opportunities you have had and the things you’ve taken a chance and done.”

Genius. While I think I’ll still work on drafting a list of the changes I’d like to work on as I enter my 4th decade, Maggie’s idea shifts the focus and promotes gratitude for what is and has been. Here’s a first few bucket-filling things

I got a PhD.

As you know, this wasn’t an easy process, but few things showed me how tenacious I am or could be like finishing that sucker when about half of my cohort decided it wasn’t for them and left altogether.

I biked down a volcano in Hawaii.

We started by watching the sun rise at the top, and then rode the switchbacks down. Sure, I took a header as we came to a stop, but as someone who’s only sort of physically adventurous, this was both exciting, terrifying, and ultimately beyond amazing.

Sunrise over Haleakala, Maui
Sunrise over Haleakala, Maui
Just recently I started taking kickboxing/self-defense classes.

It’s so much fun. I hate doing cardio in most forms but this? I really like it. I hope I stick with it.

As a 3a of sorts, I once took a bellydancing class. I was in my mid-20s and it was me with a bunch of much older ladies from my Boston neighborhood. It was a hoot and I had no idea until then of the ways one could move their torso muscles.

We spent a week in Italy in 2008.
Italian countryside
The view from where we stayed in Italy.

What was particularly special about this was that a) it was our first trip to Europe and b) my uncle lived there. Not only did that make the trip less pricey but it also meant we got to stay in a village and meet all these people and be part of their community, ever so briefly. That was almost as good as seeing Roman ruins.

I think this is a good start. 40’s now around the corner.
 

If you want more posts like this one, consider becoming a TF sponsor!
Become a Patron!

Oh God I Haven’t Finished My Book


When I was in graduate school, I was miserable a lot of the time and so I started sewing. Pretty soon I started sewing for friends, too, and then I started selling what I sewed. I learned how to code and built a website. I had a nice little online shop. It helped me have a sense of starting and finishing things, which was not a feeling I had about my dissertation.

I’ve been revising that dissertation ever since. For 11 years, with breaks–some deliberate, some unintentional. It took me five years to find an angle on the original research that was new and compelling for the field–and I won an award for the article that came out of it. Since then I’ve been working on it, off and on, in fits in spurts.

Continue reading Oh God I Haven’t Finished My Book

We’ve Long Separated Kids from Parents: We Have to Stop

In the last several weeks, our government here in the U.S. has been separating children from parents at the southern border as a political strategy for discouraging migration but mostly for getting funding for a stupid-ass wall. Many, many Americans are outraged but the refrains “this is not America” and “we’re not like this” feel like platitudes to me that grow from insufficient historical knowledge. It’s my argument–one I made at a weeklong workshop at one of our Fanciest Pantsiest Universities recently–that Americans, particularly white Americans, need to own their history and the ways in which they have (or have not) benefited from it. What you’re seeing today is from a very old playbook that has served America’s white supremacist goals for centuries. Today in Tenacious Feminist’s No BS History Corner we’ll talk about the ways family separation has been used for political and capitalist gains: own that history and we can begin to change the present.

Continue reading We’ve Long Separated Kids from Parents: We Have to Stop

Casual Sex(ism), Part II

We haven’t talked about money here on the blog in some time, mostly because the world has been on fire and/or I was buried under end-of-semester stuff and not talking at all. Today, though, we’re talking about casual sexism in the workplace. Casual sexism is a reflection of misogyny—that is, a culture in which prejudice against women is fine and women as people are unvalued—and workplaces have long been bastions of old boys’ clubs and other sexist practices. The corporate world and tech are particularly bad, but academia, health care and other fields offer no exception. (see part I of this series here). Today we’ll feature stock photos of irritated women for effect. Continue reading Casual Sex(ism), Part II

Casual Sex(ism), I

Sexism, like racism, to many people who either hold privilege or have internalized oppression doesn’t exist unless it’s extraordinarily obvious. These are the people who don’t see racist microaggressions as racist, because someone needs to be wearing a white hood and burning a cross in order for their actions to qualify. Today I’m offering you, dear readers, a lesson in casual sexism: the ways in which actions done sometimes deliberately, sometimes thoughtlessly, sometimes without malice intended and sometimes as a “joke” creates and perpetuates sexism in homes, offices, public spaces, and our culture at large. Whereas rape might be “obvious” sexism, today we’re talking about the stuff that makes up the broader cultural contours that inform women they are not welcome, that their interests and concerns don’t matter, that they are less-than in a host of situations. The stories I’ll share below have been mostly submitted via Twitter and have been anonymized to protect the submitters.

This is part 1: some groundwork, then family and social sexisms. Next week we’ll talk casual sexism in the workplace. Get ready to roll your eyes reaaaaaalllly far back in your head.

Continue reading Casual Sex(ism), I

The Fight Against Chub Rub: The RETURN!

Y’all, we started talking about chub rub about this time last year as the warmer weather came out of hibernation. And I posted twice before forgetting altogether to finish with round three.

In case you’ve forgotten or are new here, I have giant quads in part because I am a strong human and in part because of genetics. Summer can be a nightmare if I wear skirts or shorter shorts.

Part I: I tried deodorant (ha) and slip shorts (HAHAHAHAHAH). No dice.

Part II: Monistat anti-chafe cream–also a no.

The last item I tried was Body Glide and it–largely–works. It goes on kind of like deodorant and generally, as long as I’m not too sweaty, does the job of keeping my thighs from creating their own angry rash. Is it perfect? No. But it’s better than my other options.

Apologies that it took a year, but since it’s going to be in the 80s this week this information felt especially needed.