hy-po-ma-nic

I am crazy–
crazy, crazy
Filled with the light, and I can shoot stars from my fingertips. The night, it fills me with its dark energy, I am overflowing.
I have it! I want to do it, do it, do everything, I want to fuck you, fuck you up, kiss you, bite you, punch you in the mouth.
Everything, I can do it. Everything–the world. I can drive around, I can talk to people, to everyone. I can dance, I can sing, the songs are flowing through me, the drums. I am sexy, I am sex.
I am breathing life.
I can’t sit still. I have to call someone, to text the one I want (but I’ll regret it later, I know–I can’t do it)
I can’t sleep. I was tired, but not anymore. I can stay awake forever.
I can do everything faster. Look at me type! I can type five thousand words a minute! I can take over the world. I can do it.
I can– I can’t text her. I can’t, because I’ll regret it. I’ll regret it, I can’t do it.
So what do I do? Run in circles at home? Play with the cats? Jump on my bed? I can’t, I can. What? How do I keep this going? How can I always be this way? I want it to be forever.
I can, I can’t.
I can, I can’t.
What do I do? What can I do? I want to drive away, to get in my car, to drive across the country, to meet new people and seduce them all with my magic sexy powers. I can do it, i can’t, I can’t.
I’ll wait. I’ll wait it out, I’ll wait here, I’ll hide my cell phone. I don’t want to regret it tomorrow, again. I can’t do it again.

i am the queen of eggshells

I don’t mean to be a mean bitch (most of the time), really. I’m a nice person, on the inside (sometimes). I love my family and I would never do anything to hurt them, except that I do.

It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m on fire. The nice person inside me is still there, and wants to tell you it’s alright, I love you and I’m not mad at you and I don’t want to hurt you. It’s just that it’s hard to stay nice and sweet and calm when I am burning.

Sometimes it feels like everything and everyone around me is a giant disgusting cockroach– not that they look that way, or that I really feel that they are, but that’s the closest I can get to describing how it feels when you get too close to me or start talking to me about your day.

With the gross cockroachness and the conflagration, it is very very very difficult to say something as simple as “I’m sorry, I’m not in a good mood right now. Could you give me some space?”

Sometimes it takes all the strength that is in me to turn around and walk away in the middle of your sentence so that I don’t start screaming at you.

So I’m sorry, I really am, and I wish it was different. But telling me to try to be a little nicer will not prevent the flames or keep you from turning into a disgusting cockroach.

When I run away or say something maybe a little rude, it’s only because I’ve burst into flames and I’m trying my best to protect you from getting burned. I’m sorry I can’t do better right now.

Changing your name to your husband’s name celebrates an evil history of oppression

The practice of women changing their surnames to their husbands’ surnames after marriage is sexist and evil and should be stopped. Before you tell me it is up to personal choice, let’s learn a little bit about the history of the practice.

The myth of the natural inferiority of women greatly influenced the status of women in law. Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract, or sue and be sued. But a married woman, defined as being one with her husband, gave up her name, and virtually all her property came under her husband’s control.

During the early history of the United States, a man virtually owned his wife and children as he did his material possessions. If a poor man chose to send his children to the poorhouse, the mother was legally defenseless to object.

WIC – Women’s History in America

The purpose of a woman changing her surname upon marriage was to signify that she no longer belonged to her father – now she belonged to her husband, along with all her property. Women lost all their rights when they married. A man could beat and rape his wife every day, and it was okay, because she was his property. There was nothing she could do. Any property she owned became his. All her belongings, even down to her clothing, was his. So if she decided to run away, she would be accused of stealing even if she took nothing but the clothes on her back.

“But,” you may say, “those things don’t happen anymore! So if a woman wants to change her name to her husband’s, it’s her own choice and it has nothing to do with that.” (For now I’ll put aside the issue of the near-impossibility of a man being convicted of marital rape even in our “enlightened” modern times.)

Well, let’s say, hypothetically, there is a holiday every year called Linchday. No one really knows when or why this holiday started. All they know is, it’s a fun day that everyone has off from work and school, when children play fun games with ropes. Maybe they jump-rope, or play some variation on tag, or give each other colored ropes as gifts, sort of like valentines. One day a historian says to you, “Hey, did you know people from a small town in the US back in the 1700s started this holiday to celebrate the yearly hanging of black slaves?” After learning that, how would you feel about playing those rope games?

Hopefully, after learning its history, celebrating that holiday would be out of the question for you.

A woman changing her surname to her husband’s after marriage is a tradition that comes directly from the idea that a man owned his wife as his property. Do we really still want to be following this tradition, knowing where it came from?

“But, but,” someone (not you, surely) may say, grasping at straws, “it does not mean that to me. I just want to show the world that I love my husband!” Then why don’t you trade names? Doesn’t he love you, too?

Ignoring me, this (surely fictional) person says, “Moreover, it is most definitely MY choice. I am not required nor pressured in the slightest to change my name!” Perhaps if you had decided to keep your name, you would have experienced what most women do: wedding checks, letters, junk mail made out to “Mr. & Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname.” Friends and family calling you “Mrs. Hisname,” refusing to remember your repeated corrections.

“For some reason, even though it was perfectly legal for me to keep my maiden name upon marriage, everyone expected me to take my husband’s surname.” The Choice and Power of Surnames

“Aftermaking it clear to some of his family members that I kept my name, they still address correspondence to “Mrs. (his name).” I recall at least three occasions when I told his mom, for instance, that I had kept my name. I even mentioned it to his grandmother. Still, our mail says “Mrs. (hisname).” Other family members do the same.” Source

“I just got a holiday card in the mail from MY aunt, who apparently ignored the fact that I did NOT change my name?! My mom said she specifically told my aunt that I hadn’t, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me that the ‘error’ occurred.” Source

“How do you correct people without being a bitch? Am I going to send my aunt a note to say “Just got your Christmas card, by the way I didn’t change my name” – hurting her feelings won’t fix my hurt feelings, you know? With my husband’s family I wonder if the name mix-up isn’t just passive aggressiveness. Does anyone else get that sense?” Source

“this same thing has happened to me with people sending me things addressed to Mr & Mrs. HisFirst HisLast. even people who know i haven’t changed my name. not just aunts, etc but including – get this! – the state when they sent us our marraige license. (and when you open it you can see the document which clearly shows i did not change my name).” Source

white guilt and “colorblindness”

But what is it to acknowledge one’s whiteness? Is it to acknowledge that one is inherently tied to structures of domination and oppression, that one is irrevocably on the wrong side? In other words, can the acknowledgment of whiteness produce only self-criticism, even shame and self-loathing? Is it possible to feel okay about being white?

What Should White People Do? by Linda Martin Alcoff

What is white guilt? “White guilt refers to the concept of individual or collective guilt often said to be felt by some white people for the racist treatment of people of color by whites both historically and presently.” Guilt is not a productive emotion. Guilt is self-blaming, self-pity. When you feel guilty, you focus on obtaining acceptance and forgiveness. Guilt is all about self.

White guilt is often the immediate reaction of a white person when they first realize their whiteness—when they first see their own privilege. It is a childish, reflexive reaction. But many do not learn and grow beyond this first feeling. They are so uncomfortable with their guilt that they are unable to face and discuss racism—and so they keep themselves from learning how to move past their white guilt to a more productive response.

Claiming “colorblindness” is a way of concealing white guilt. “[In] Adrienne Rich’s “Disloyal to Civilization: Feminism, Racism, Gynephobia” (1979) … [s]he argues that “colorblindness,” or the ideal of ignoring racial identities, falls into white solipsism because a racist society has no truly accessible colorblind perspective. The claim to a colorblind perspective by whites works just to conceal the partiality of their perceptions. […] For… Rich, [becoming disloyal to whiteness] clearly cannot mean upholding some form of colorblindness or individualism, which would only conceal white privilege and implicit white perspectives.” (Alcoff) Colorblindness keeps white people safe from their white guilt by denying that racism exists. Colorblind whites close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears. If they don’t see color, it doesn’t exist! Problem solved.

Claiming to be colorblind doesn’t help anyone. It might temporarily distance you from your feelings of white guilt—it might make you feel a little better. But it certainly doesn’t help people of color for you to deny they exist, or that they are living in a racist society. Move beyond your white guilt and colorblindness. Educate yourself, take a stand against racism—be an ally.

When POC experience true racism/bigotry/discrimination and wish to share their experiences, one has to avoid taking it personally. Don’t make it about you. Don’t be offended if somebody talks about an experience you’re unable to relate to. Simply listen and be objective about it. Try to understand the other person’s position. […] There are many white people who wish to see everyone being treated fairly. It should not stem from white guilt, but from a real desire to see positive changes in the way humanity works. Commenter Melinda Bishop on The Do’s and Dont’s of Being a Good Ally

what i’m reading 3/17/10

A police officer in Vermont tasered an elderly homeless woman for standing in front of a store.

Was the woman a coked up drug addict trying to fight off the police officer? Nope, the woman was a 58-year-old senior citizen who happened to be homeless and have a mental illness. She could be someone’s mother or grandmother. Her crime? Keeping her arms folded in front of herself, refusing to move, and then refusing to be arrested.

Unfortunately, not much has change since this Discover article was published in 1992:

The team went on to determine that the sperm tries to pull its getaway act even on the egg itself, but is held down against its struggles by molecules on the surface of the egg that hook together with counterparts on the sperm’s surface, fastening the sperm until the egg can absorb it. Yet even after having revealed the sperm to be an escape artist and the egg to be a chemically active sperm catcher, even after discussing the egg’s role in tethering the sperm, the research team continued for another three years to describe the sperm’s role as actively penetrating the egg. […]

In fact, biologists could have figured out a hundred years ago that sperm are weak forward-propulsion units, but it’s hard for men to accept the idea that sperm are best at escaping. The imagery you employ guides you to ask certain questions and to not ask certain others.

Not sure I agree with this criticism of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but it’s an interesting point of view:

More action means more violence, and Alice was no exception. It’s remarkable that Carroll’s brainy, plotless tale of fanciful wordplay could become a fiesta of bloodshed and mayhem. Violence in kids’ media contributes significantly to violent behavior

And finally, I happened to stumble across this PSA from Fandom Lounge. I was recently contacted by this troll and coincidentally found this post soon after. He seems to be quite active in the feminist blogosphere.

If you have recently received a random message or contact from an unknown person containing text similar to the title [“‘can i talk to you?’ troll”], it may be a troll. His name seems to be Paul Melville Austin, but he uses a variety of pseudonyms […] This behaviour has continued over many years. He may or may not be dangerous.

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