April 9th, 2004

restless [moobytooby]

forgotten yesterday

from Anne Sexton’s “Rapunzel”:

A woman
who loves a woman
is forever young.
The mentor
and the student
feed off each other.
Many a girl
has an old aunt
who locked her in the study
to keep the boys away.
They would play rummy
or lie on the couch
and touch and touch.
Old breast against young breast . . .


Put your pale arms around my neck.
Let me hold your heart like a flower
lest it bloom and collapse.
Give me your skin
as sheer as a cobweb,
let me open it up
and listen in and scoop out the dark.
Give me your nether lips
and I will give you angel fire in return.


What is this beast, she thought,
with muscles on his arms
like a bag of snakes?
What is this moss on his legs?
What prickly plant grows on his cheeks?
What is this voice as deep as a dog?
Yet he dazzled her with his answers.
Yet he dazzled her with his dancing stick.
They lay together upon the yellow threads,
swimming through the,
like minnows through kelp
and they sang out benedictions like the Pope.

“You okay? You look spacey.”
“I’m just thinking about lesbian sex.”
“Ah, I’ll let you get back to that then. Apologies for interrupting.”
“It’s okay. I have to go read about Rwandan genocide now.”

In Tuesday’s UMass class, we watched part of a movie about Hans Christian Andersen (which, shock, was deeply inaccurate) and it has Andersen as this storyteller with a bunch of kids and he has a doll that’s going to be a queen but he doesn’t have a dress for it so he decides to make it a king instead and just draw a moustache on it. One of the little boys says it isn’t a king, is a queen with a moustache, and Andersen replies, “You’d be surprised how many kings are just a queen with a moustache.”

In a reading for Thursday, Jack Zipes quotes an 1838 letter from Andersen to his adopted brother Eduard Collin:
I’m longing for you, indeed, I’m longing for you as if you were a lovely Calabrian girl with dark blue eyes and a glance of passionate flames. I’ve never had a brother, but if I had I could not have loved him the way I love you, and yet – you do not reciprocate my feelings! This affects me painfully or maybe this is in fact what binds me even more firmly to you. My soul is proud, the soul of a prince cannot be prouder. [...] Oh, I wish to God that you were poor and I rich, distinguished, a nobleman. In that case I should initiate you into the mysteries, and you would appreciate me more than you do now. Oh! If there is an eternal life, as indeed there must be, then we shall truly understand and appreciate one another. Then I shall no longer be the poor person in need of kind interest and friends, then we shall be equal.

Michael says they’re learning gonna play at the English Department end of semester picnic, so i’m hoping this means said picnic is happening for sure.

"Video games have long allowed players to experiment with new and often taboo identities."
i fight fire with words

(no subject)

Last night’s talk wasn’t much i hadn’t heard before, (i read her book while i was in high school, after all) but yay energy and community and such. I was also reminded just how fucking scary (and madly dangerous and unhealthy) weight-loss surgeries are. The consent form? Intense.

Marilyn Wann said “A nicer, more polite way of saying something that’s offensive” was the best definition she had heard for “euphemism,” so i became the English major for the night.

She told her “Space Alien Billboard” story. In San Francisco there was a billboard for a gym that had space aliens hovering over a city and it said “When they come, they’ll eat the fat ones first.” Angry, she rallied a whole lot of people to demonstrate outside the gym with signs that said “Eat Me!”

She had us do this interactive exercise where she wrote “FAT” and “THIN” on the white board with a line drawn down the middle between the two and had us brainstorm words and phrases we associate with each of those. Afterward she said “It’s not fat people against thing people, it’s all of us against that line. No one feels comfortable in relation to that line.” I thought that was interesting.

Math-major-Emily gave me a ride home, and i learned that Bard was worse than Smith for stuff like everyone talking about their “feelings” in class. This frightens me.

The only thing that really made me twitch during the talk was near the end when people started talking about capitalism. I decided not to come out as a capitalist in the car ride home, but we did talk about how talking about big abstractions (capitalism, society) often becomes a defense mechanism so you don’t actually do anything.

We also talked about those people in classes who never shut up and how it’s great to feel empowered, but the next step should be feeling confident enough that you don’t need to make everyone listen to you about everything, that you can actually shut up at times. (And then tonight Emma and i talked about privilege and guilt and "oppression" and so on. Whee.)

bullet list of issues i think i want to be involved with next year:
  • body image
  • transgender
  • self-injury (mental health)
  • political diversity
Part of me feels like we Smithies know it all, or we think we do, about resisting the unrealistic media portrayals and stuff, and that the nutrition workshops are more important, that the Bodywise workshops are far too introductory, but part of me thinks i’m wrong. I’m gonna make a copy of the workshop outline and mail it to Maura since it’s been so difficult for us to manage to get together and this way she can look it over and have thoughts and then we can talk via e-mail or in person. I’m definitely interested in what other people think, so lemme know if you wanna see a copy or just tell me what you think a workshop should contain.

It would be really cool to do a fat-positive workshop (i definitely need to do more research over the summer to reground myself in all this) and i need to e-mail Hampshire-Toby about what Flaunt It is doing and i’m refusing to use the word “coalition” but yeah, i’m interested in working together with other people, other groups, other campuses.

I definitely want to educate myself on more trans stuff over the summer, to better ground myself if nothing else. And i really do wanna be more involved in education and stuff next year, feel bad that i really haven’t done much this year.

Self-injury and the broader issue of mental health issues is something i really should be more educated on, and hopefully next year i will actually have the time to get involved with stuff. Should e-mail CV to see who’s taking over next year since she’s an ‘04.

I have a feeling i won’t really wanna deal with politics, but i am interested in more dialogue about issues, that isn’t attacking but is actual dialogue. And i’m interested if Anna Rule’s group managed anything this year and if i wanna be involved next year.

In other not really unrelated news, Shawn running for SGA President. Smithies are talking about how it’s deeply important to them that here one can always say “she” when referring to the SGA President (unlike everywhere else, yanno, where the big bad men run everything) and apparently alums are spamming the Jolt and threatening to withdraw donations. Shit like this makes me wish i had gone co-ed. (Hmm. Am bookmarking this for reference for my future magnum opus.)

This is not to say i don’t love Smith, of course. I heart upsidown’s response to this survey:
The average Smithie waffles between being too PC and being too blunt, whines about homework but loves the challenge, is way too over-committed, has at least one "pet" issue, is loyal to one and only one acapella group, has an Irish-level of warmth and hospitality (especially towards prospectives and confused first years), is addicted to ethernet, has been told by public safety at least once to put clothes on, worships at least one professor unconditionally, gets very emotional and worked up about something on a regular basis, lives for 11pm and the Daily Show, watches TLC with one eye out for anti-feminist sentiment and the other for cool styles, does nutty things for "the house," has taken at least one course completely unrelated to the major, has whined about getting a B, goes to Drag Ball in full glory, and could succesfully organize and run the entire world and be home in time for Friday tea.