Newt In A Tea Cup

{November 21, 2007}   Miss… Landmine?

Is a beauty competition ever feminist? That’s a valid question. Well, here’s a bit of subversion.

It’s Miss Landmine!

Not only are all the women survivors of a landmine explosion but they clearly wouldn’t be even considered as beauty pageant candidates even without the accidents. One candidate is heavily pregnant. Most have several children. Most aren’t the “ideal” weight. Few of them have jobs and those that do are working for, what is obviously, a pittance. Note the number of them that cite “anything” as their dream job. That’s quite humbling and a rather important statement on our privilege.

Kudos to them all.

The most interesting and moving thing I found was the description. First of the clothes with their prices, then the jewellery and then the mine; it’s country of origin, type and method of detonation.

This raises a few questions in my mind about the nature of conflict and femininity. All of these women have to raise a family and provide; in fact it’s only the privilege of the rich to not work regardless of gender. All these women are trying to eke out an existence and rock this world best they can. War and the effects thereof affect everyone in a community. Front lines are entire cities and countries so it’s rather silly to view it as a soldiers matter only. It seems to me that war affects everyone in it’s path for years afterwards and it’s unjust how much the lucky few dictate the fates of others by their carelessness.

What’s the point of saying women should be protected (by a patriarch of course and all kinds of chivalry) when the shit gets dumped on them anyway? We talk about a women’s power as being her looks but what good is that against a landmine? More than that, what does this say about the bestial nature of conflict that all nations engage in again and again like a heroin addict promising it’ll be the last hit for good this time? Our world is absolutely ravaged and pockmarked by this violence.

The problem with conflict is that, despite all seemingly valid justifications, it’s never the people making the justifications that deal with the consequences.

Just some thoughts.

{November 20, 2007}   Vagina Dentata on Film!

I dislike Freud. The man’s theory’s were a mixture of the obvious the so ridiculously stupid and short-sighted it’s actually offensive. Please don’t even mention the absolute preposterousness of the penis-envy concept. Now there is some debate on whether he is or isn’t responsible for the vagina dentata fiasco but he’s a good place to start in examining free associations. Vagina Dentata is the ultimate in fear of symbolic castration (of the penis? of male privilege? male status?) and of female sexuality which must be literally broken before being of use as per one myth relayed by Erich Neumann. But then there’s something so bad it’s hilarious about it. And Queen of Wands hardly hurts the general image. Fact is, I think it’d be kind of cool to have one. So this really could swing wildly towards a hilarious montage or towards misogyny incarnate.

And just because I feel like it, here’s some more classic genital related humour.

{November 15, 2007}   pirates of the seven seas

Now my aim is to take this whole debate outside the high ground of morality because it doesn’t have anything to do with morality. Many women who I have helped have said they are generally against abortion but that their situation is ‘different’.

“Even if you are against abortion you might face a moment where your situation is ‘different’. My work is about ensuring there is a fundamental respect that a woman can make that decision for herself at that point in her life.”

Exactly. Rebecca Gomperts is right on the money and deserves our respect and support for, not only her insight, but her courage to put that into action.

Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to terms against their will is in direct contradiction of bodily autonomy and even of it wasn’t it’s a dangerous pragmatic in a world where thousands die of botched unsafe, secret abortions. But beyond that, and I’m falling into the moral trap I’m trying to avoid, everyone draws the line somewhere else and to put a thick line down is near impossible. This is a grey, grey world and when dealing with someone’s uterus and contents thereof it’s best to take a policy of discretion.

And if abortion was illegal rich, priviledge people would still find ways out of it. In fact there are plenty of rumours of women in the anti-choice movement that have their own abortions and then go straight back to picketing and regarding all the other women in the clinic as whores- because their situation is “different”. It’s known as “the only moral abortion is my abortion” syndrome.

{November 10, 2007}   Amanda to his Marc

It turns out that one of my friends has been using me as his fake girlfriend when he goes to spend time at his boyfriends…I’m flattered.

We finally had a nice talk and I expressed a few concerns I’d had about his recent behaviour. One thing about coming out is that there’s got to be a fear of rejection and so some people reject their friends and family pre-emptively. And then you’re liable to go ridiculously on the defensive – not because it isn’t necessary- which can alienate people who are being supportive. Things like “Are you sure about being with that guy there?” is taken as “are you sure about liking guys?” So how does one go about this? In my mind, nothing has changed about him. He’s exactly the same person he has always been. But for him? It’s a big, BIG thing. So I need to affirm that nothing has changed. And then he probably does think he’s a bit alone in the friendship group and that we can’t possibly understand. Which is kind of true but then I myself have barely stuck a toe out my Narnia-style closet. And then some other things have happened which have made me think of that stuff so I may well blog about it. But then maybe not. Quite frankly I can’t be bothered to explain it when no one will believe me anyway.

et cetera