My Blog List

Monday, August 24, 2009

periods and privileges

So the following are two standard conversation / situations I’ve lucked out on, in terms of finding suitable responses. These strategies are, however, fairly idiosyncratic and not to be universally recommended.
The first occurred in one of those tedious conversations with a cis agenda that runs along the lines that you can’t be a real/full woman because you don’t share such near universal female experiences like periods. After granting the point, I asked the last speaker about how she assessed different slip liners in terms of absorbency. Receiving a puzzled look, I explained that blood coagulation problems meant that I had haemorrhoidal bleeding every day and therefore always wore always. I don’t really know how this came across, but the ensuing silence was satisfying.
The second is more to do with male conversation privilege. Whilst I’ve usually got no problems in modifying my conversational role to normal female, it’s a little different if you’re running your own sort of salon. And I am something of a femme queen ( in terms of strength and style, definitely not looks ). So one evening when I was being particularly marginalized I made a point of loudly thanking one longstanding friend for his growing acceptance of me as a woman. At his nonplussed look, I explained that by talking past me and ignoring my efforts to join the conversation he’d helped me a bit more in understanding how a true woman should be. Things got easier after that.

Friday, August 14, 2009

15 books that had some sort of effect on me

with thanks to stephanie’s pillowbook.

‘The Thackery T. Lambshead pocket guide to eccentric and discredited diseases’( complete with illuminating illustrations )
Jeff VanderMeer’s delightful anthology details such illnesses as the malady of ghostly cities. More important, it’s a book that excites real envy in those permitted to glimpse its pages.The ultimate in loo books.

‘The Good Soldier’ by Ford Madox Ford is the saddest story ever told, and one of the great transatlantic novels.

‘Independent People’ by Halldor Laxness because sheep matter, and because here the nobel went to a deserving author.

‘Empire of the senseless’, by Kathy Acker. I am a member of the facebook group that wants to be Kathy Acker’s incestuous lovechild. Please do not make mock of a t-grrl’s innocent desires.

‘Dhalgren’ by Samuel R. Delany because it’s the best description of the real nature of the catastrophe.

‘Levana’ is de Quincey’s prose Xanadu.

‘Mirror to the sky’ by Mark Geston as an antidote to the shallow optimism of Dostoevsky.

‘Lud-in-the-mist’ by Hope Mirrlees is the finest fantasy ever to come out of the Bloomsbury group.

‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann and the rush of the accelerating fall of the illusions of post 1848 Europe.

‘Queen of the states’ by Josephine Saxton for her intelligence, empathy, feminism and abundant merriment.

‘Engine Summer’ by John Crowley and a well of feeling before he got lost in the intricacies of Little Big.

’60 stories’ by Donald Barthelme, if only for ‘the great hug’. America’s premier fabulist.

‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. Before reading this as a child I was lucky enough to have read most of Jane Austen, some Thackeray, Kipling, Trollope et al, so I was not permanently put off the 19th century novel by this vomit inducing mix of offensive caricature and sentimental verbiage. Both as child and teacher, I have found nothing to match it for the destruction of the desire to read.

‘Alice through the looking glass’ by Lewis Carroll in memory of mirrors unsuccessfully attempted.

‘The devils of Loudun’ by Aldous Huxley for an enlightening historical work, whether thesis or novel.

I calculated recently that, since birth, I’ve averaged about 1.75 books and 2.5 newpapers, or magazines, every day. I have a library with over 20,000 books and far too much time on my hands. Maybe next time 15 non-fiction.