May 11, 2010

My introduction to slut-shaming

Posted in Feminism, Musings, Personal at 1:54 pm by The Lizard Queen

From Feministing, on the subject of a conference panel titled, “Debunking the Virginity Myth: Feminist Responses to Slut Shaming”:

The panel opened with a discussion of what slut-shaming is, and Sady, who was the first to offer a definition, was careful to note that being labeled a slut can happen to anyone, even to people who have never had any sexual contact of any kind.

Ha! That brought back a memory I haven’t revisited in a very long time indeed. Just before or just after my 13th birthday (I have a vague feeling like it might have been on my 13th birthday itself), a sort-of friend of mine called me a two-timing slut, and I was absolutely devastated. Here’s more or less how it went down, with names changed to protect the young and foolish: Read the rest of this entry »


January 21, 2010

On being a woman who cries

Posted in Feminism, Gender issues, Personal at 1:57 pm by The Lizard Queen

I am a crier.  I cry when I’m sad; I cry when I’m happy.  I cry when I’m angry, or frustrated, or feeling shame, or just plain overwhelmed.  Movies make me cry.  Books make me cry.  I cry at things that are touching; I have to leave the room when those freaking ASPCA commercials come on TV.  I cry when someone I care about cries.  Catch me on the right day and I might cry if I’m good and startled, the way an infant will.  It’s what I do.

I have also been accused on numerous occasions, primarily by men, that my tears are manipulative, like I’m crying in front of them just to get my way, or to make them feel bad, to get attention, or… I don’t even know, really.  At any rate, I’ve been accused of being manipulative for crying.  Which, honestly, is almost funny to me—or would be if it weren’t so bloody irritating, if it didn’t reflect such an apparent profound misunderstanding of who I am and what I do—because believe you me, if I could make it so that I only cried in private, by myself, I would make that change in a heartbeat.  In addition to the accusations of manipulation, there’s the social narrative that tears = weakness, so apparently these folks are willing to believe that I (and other criers) are thinking, “Hey, so I get to appear manipulative and weak and puffy-faced?  Awesome!  Sign me up!”

All that said, then, I really, really appreciated Amanda’s take-down of this article by Spencer Morgan in the New York Observer.  A sampling:

Of course, one thing that makes the whole “crying is nothing but manipulation” nonsense have even more traction is that women undeniably cry a lot more than men.  That makes it easier for ungenerous men, and some women, to chalk crying up to female inferiority—either women are manipulative bitches who are only pretending to be that sad, or they’re hormonal messes who can’t be trusted to handle the grown-up world.  That a lot more men are likely to blow up in rage and scream and yell to the point where everyone’s uncomfortable isn’t taken as evidence that men are inferior or overly emotional, I’ll note.  But I have special hate for the notion that crying is something that women can and should have more control over.  When people take nasty swipes like Morgan’s, I want to ask them if they can drop and start crying right now, to prove to me how much it’s a matter of will and not reflex.

The whole thing is very much worth the read.  And furthermore, I think the comments thread is well worth reading, as well, especially if your reaction to what I am or Amanda is saying here is something along the lines of, “But, but—bitchez be crazy!”  (Though you can maybe stop after the first hundred or so; somewhere around 125 a dude—apparently a relatively regular commenter, from what I gathered—comes in to try to mansplain things in earnest with the argument that crying is basically just not something Grown Ups do unless they have a properly Grown Up reason for doing so, and it’s pretty painful to watch.)

August 11, 2009

Musings on motets and writing without acquiring encyclopedic knowledge on a subject

Posted in Blogging, Music, Musings, Personal at 4:15 pm by The Lizard Queen

Gye Nyame recently requested a post about songs I like, which I’m going to interpret relatively loosely, because on his blog he recently mentioned motets (or rather, I see as I click over to the post in question, a particular motet), and I thought, ooh!  Motets!  I know about motets.

When I was a junior in high school I got it into my head that I should audition for choir.  I’m not sure where the idea came from (I was… okay, and really still am, when given half a chance… a dedicated band geek), maybe from successful experiences in various musicals, but I do distinctly remember my boyfriend at the time pooh-poohing the idea.  (Harrumph.)  At any rate, I have a good ear, which got me into the chamber choir for my senior year.  In the chamber choir we focused largely on motets, about which I went over to Wikipedia to brush up my knowledge/memories.

Whereupon I discovered that I pretty much don’t know anything about motets.  Read the rest of this entry »

August 10, 2009

Musings on writing and blogging and taking risks

Posted in Blogging, Movies, Musings, Personal at 12:10 pm by The Lizard Queen

I want to blog more—indeed, I want to write more in general.  Part of the problem with doing so, of course, is that it involves… blogging/writing more.  My major problem is feeling like I don’t have anything interesting to say.  Perpetually.  I’m a quiet person to begin with; lately it seems like waiting until I have something I feel is worthwhile to say leads to my saying nothing at all.  The problem, of course, is that little phrase I feel, the inclination to self-censor my thoughts, observations, and creative impulses, because who could possibly find them interesting?  Read the rest of this entry »

April 10, 2009

Technology, community, and genuine experience

Posted in Musings, Personal at 11:58 am by The Lizard Queen

A friend of mine recently wrote something that I just had to respond to, so this is another of those started-out-as-a-comment-but-got-too-long posts. His post may well have been a sort of rhetorical exercise, and I know I probably took it too personally and made it All About Me, but this is an argument that crops up fairly often in various places, from folks as disparate as conservative Christians and back-to-the-Earth liberal hippy-types, and while I appreciate some of the argument, for the most part it rubs me the wrong way. (In this case, of course, it’s “I disagree and would like to debate this point with you,” rather than “ZOMG I’m so offended!” Just so Luaphacim knows. 🙂 ) Anyway, here goes:

While I suspect that final question (and indeed, perhaps much of this post) is meant to be rhetorical, I can’t help but feel like you’re creating a false dilemma here. In what way does my appreciation of my refrigerator and my climate-controlled house prevent me from appreciating the sound of the wind in the trees, birds chirping, and porch swings? Is not suffering from food poisoning due to a lack of refrigeration truly “missing out on the ‘genuine’”?  Read the rest of this entry »

May 1, 2008

My teacher hat elbows my blogger hat out of the way

Posted in Blogging, Personal, Poetry at 10:33 am by The Lizard Queen

Hi lovelies!  I’m sorry I missed the last few days of poetry month; grading papers came between me and my internet.  The good news, though, is that I picked up the Emanuel Litvinoff book I ordered through Interlibrary Loan yesterday (it came all the way from Maine!), so I managed to complete my quest for the month (more or less).  I’m very pleased.  I’ll post “To T.S. Eliot” in a bit, and perhaps other poems later on.

A story from class yesterday, first, though: I teach Wednesday evenings.  Class time rolled around, and one of my students, heavily pregnant, lumbered into the room, looking overheated and out of breath.  Another student asked when the first was due, and the first responded that she was already in labor — “Hence the red face,” she said, gesturing.

Folks, I nearly had a heart attack.  The irony was that every other woman in the room had had a baby before, and so they were all totally chill.  “Oh, how far are you dialated?” one asked.  Me, I was ready to start boiling some water and ripping up some sheets (as is my understanding of what people do in these situations).  “Um, is this something I need to be worried about?” I managed to squeak out.  This being the woman’s fourth child, she seemed to know exactly what she was doing, and she replied, “Nope, it’s going to be a while — labor lasts, like, 40 hours.”  Another woman — the one who’d asked about dialation — chipped in: “It’s not like you see in the movies, where it all happens really fast.”  I made a joke about my panic, and a third woman smiled at me with knowing amusement.

I always enjoy these moments: moments where it’s clear that there’s a facet of life or a subject about which my students know so much more than I do, moments in which I get to learn from them.  (That said, though, I don’t think I’ll be any less panicky the next time a student is in labor in my class!)

December 15, 2007

It’s mah burfday! (plus open thread)

Posted in Apropos of nothing, Personal at 12:13 pm by The Lizard Queen

The Lizard Queen at one or so:


Happy Lizzie is happy.  🙂

Open thread: what’s on your mind?

December 12, 2007

The Ice Storm

Posted in Blogging, Personal at 9:25 am by The Lizard Queen

We are one of the thousands of households in Middle America currently without power.  We’re approaching the 36-hour mark, and I have no idea when to expect it to come back on.

Evil Bender just informed me that our power company’s present slogan is “doing what it takes to keep the lights on.”  *sigh*  I’d be okay if it were just the lights — it’s the lack of heat that’s the problem.

Anyway, we’re at the library now, but I don’t know when I’ll next have internet access, so until then, expect radio silence.

November 10, 2007

I’m on my way, don’t know where I’m goin’…

Posted in Blogging, Personal at 2:49 pm by The Lizard Queen

Well, that line may be true of my life as a whole, but at present I know exactly where I’m going: back to New Mexico for a brief visit and, perhaps more importantly, to defend my dissertation on Monday. (Meep!) I’ll be back Tuesday night; I’ll set up some poetry posts to keep you all company in the meantime. Enjoy!

About last night…

Posted in Music, Personal, Wingnuts at 1:56 pm by The Lizard Queen

Moving from New Mexico to Kansas, pro: in just over three months I’ve gotten to see two musicians I’ve been wanting to see play live for years, and the opportunities for live music keep coming. (There’s live music in Albuquerque, but the nationally touring artists I want to see have a tendency to skip over NM.)

Moving from New Mexico to Kansas, con: Westboro Baptist Church (the Fred Phelps clan). They were out in front of the concert venue last night, and I suppose it was naive of me to think that they wouldn’t be there, but in fact it simply didn’t even occur to me. We rounded a bend and saw those signature fluorescent signs, and I stopped in the middle of the story I was telling to say simply “Are you serious? Are you serious?”, my voice growing squeaky with indignation. There weren’t many of them, less than a dozen, probably, and there was a good group of people going toe-to-toe (not literally, though, of course) — and, of course, Tori fans are anything but easily cowed. I was especially irritated because I wasn’t prepared; I’d hoped to be able to do something significant (significant to me, anyway) during my first face-to-face with the WBC, but without having prepared there was little I could do aside from splutter furiously (or, you know, squeak indignantly). The good news, of course, is that there were plenty of other people more articulate than I in that moment to challenge the Phelps’s rhetoric of hate.

And the concert was, of course, fabulous. Oh, so fabulous. I don’t currently have enough time to do a review justice (and I’m not sure I’d be able to do much more than gush anyway), but the set list (which I did from memory, so there might be a couple of mistakes) is below the fold: Read the rest of this entry »

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