Saturday, August 8, 2009

Postcard of a painting...

One test down, one to go.

At the exam site, I saw a man wearing a "Write Bloody" hoodie. I was rather surprised- didn't even know that company made hoodies. Of course, I didn't think to look. If I had, I probably would've seen a merchandising section or something. It was an awkward conversation, and he certainly didn't feel like helping matters any, so I bailed as the "line" (more like unorganized herd) moved forward.

The test itself was easy- easier than the practice tests I had been taking for the last two weeks. The essays had my wrist and forearm cramping... I thought after all this, after the surgery, it would heal itself. That I'd be able to write again.

And I can write. For somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes, with some pain. Which is better than the "I can barely hold a pencil for ten seconds" situation I was in. My arm was in mild agony when I was done. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had spent the extra $20-40 dollars for the "privilege" of using a computer to take the test. That's bullshit. I wasn't going to spend money on such a thing, something that we should be doing anyhow, something that makes the entire process more efficient for everyone involved.

The test administrator was a rather rotund woman who could not seem to stop talking ang joking. It seemed a little odd and awkward to me, but I dismissed it. However, when a girl came in late (and lied about it), the admin switched to total "Oh no you di'n't!" crazy bitch mode. And tossed out that, "I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare" line after the girl had left.

Really? Sounds like a loon to me, behavior such as that allowed because of her sex. I never catch guys doing that.

But then again, I was reading a bit from Mary Wollstonecraft's (side note: mother of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein) feminist writings a few days ago and, if I remember correctly, she said women are kept in a state of high emotion... ah, fuck it. I'm going to go down to my car and get the book because I can't remember it right.

Here we go.

From Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women:

(on women)"Their senses are inflamed, and their understandings neglected, consequently they become the prey of their senses, delicated termed sensibility, and are blown about by every momentary gust of feeling. Civilized women are, therefore, so weakened by false refinement that, respecting morals, their condition is much below what it would be in were they in a state nearer to nature. Ever restless and anxious, their over exercised sensibility not only renders them uncomfortable themselves, but troublesome, to use a soft phrase, to others. All their thoughts turn on things calculated to excite emotion; and feeling, when they should reason, their conduct is unstable, and their opinions are wavering- not the wavering produced by deliberation or progressive views, but by contradictory emotions..."

How freaking brilliant is that? I read that and just... stopped. Read again. Read again and again. Because I find it still accurate. How amusing that one of the pioneer writers for feminism, with all the work she's done and progress that has been made, wrote a piece in the 1700s that can still accurately describe so many women in the early 2000s.

I find my amusement compounded because the most feminine women I know are exactly like this. Being feminine, which is so desired, apparently has the side effect of being a dramatic idiot. I suppose I'll just keep my masculine personality as is. I do love how being "feminine" excuses this flighty, easily alarmed, behavior.

Reminds me of a time in high school, in the locker room. The lights went out temporarily. Pitch black. The frightened girlish screams that echoed around me because the lights went out. Yes, the lights going out was cause for massive alarm and panic. I continued to get dressed, feeling my clothes, my backpack, and books, for the items I needed, and left the locker room.

My female coworkers are constantly shrieking at bugs, at messes left about, at "disgusting" stories. One of my male coworkers found a dead mouse in the trash when he was dumping it, and relayed it, long after the fact, to one of my officemates, who relayed it to the rest. The sheer panic that one dead mouse induced was ridiculous. Rules were laid down about trash storage, once the hysteria died down. Lectures were given, with the two girls who sit nearest to me going, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!" over and over again, groaning delicately and covering their mouths whenever they were reminded of the existence of the mouse.

I hate that this behavior is excusable because of our sex.

I hate that this is accepted, even expected, because we are female.

And that if we do not engage in this behavior, we are considered masculine and not quite so desirable as our more feminine counterparts.

To go back to the test administrator, flipping her proverbial "bitch switch" like that, tossing out her dramatic and cliched line... no man would ever get away with that. He'd be thought gay because the behavior is so very feminine.

I was not amused, not pleased, not delighted that yet another example of womankind was exercising her "feminine power" in such a way.

Anyhow, I think I'll cut that ramble short.

Going to go meet some friends in Culver City fairly soon, at this cute Italian bistro. Quite hip, and all the servers are gorgeous. Afterward, one of the promoters for a club set I used to go to all the time when I was younger got together with a few other promoters and are doing what looks to be a fairly large club. So I'm going to go check that out. Probably run into one of my exes there, Darkeyes. I don't mind- he still won't be able to dance.

And that makes me absurdly happy.

Yes, I know. I shouldn't be so happy over a little thing. But it just reminds me of all the times I took him clubbing, all the videos he watched, all the videos on youtube he sent my way so I could approve them as the "proper style", the instruction I would give him, how unable he was to take polite critism, how he would freak out on the dance floor when I told him to get away from me if he wasn't going to keep his eyes open while he danced because I didn't want to get hit by his flailing arms.

He learned next to nothing with me. His style is atrocious in an obvious way. And now I don't have to be associated with that when I go out.

That thrills me entirely too much. Just thinking about it makes me grin and -almost- giggle. Not quite, though. I'm containing myself... barely.

So, early dinner, maybe catch GI Joe (explosions and women in leather, yeah, I'm in), and then hit the club. Dance my brains out, scope the meat market, and head home. Maybe a nap in there somewhere. Maybe now.

Yeah, now sounds good.


  1. what surgery? not permanently serious, i hope?

    don't knock femininity too much. you need both polarities, both sides of the yin and yang, to balance out most things in life. especially relationships. vive le difference, and all that. also, that kind of emotional and flighy female behavior both attracts us and makes us feel superior most of the time. one of the pillars, perhaps, for the natural male dominance that both sexes tend to crave. food for thought...

  2. this is a very interesting post. i love your critical attitude.

    by the way, my friend and i did check out the beauty bar in LA, and had a good time and ended up with two cool girls in my room at the w reading to each other from the great (though challenging) novel "pimp" by iceberg slim.

  3. I think some of the behaviors you mention are not so much cultural as innate as they cross cultural boundaries and exist even in very egalitarian societies.

    I also find it interesting that you automatically assume the "masculine" way is the superior one.

  4. Maurice,

    Surgery on my wrist. Makes for a mildly interesting scar, thought it's really not noticable unless I point it out. I'll email you a link to the generic surgery info because I don't have time to write it out right now.

    Yes, flighty behavior does attract men and make them feel superior. But a)why do they need to feel superior and b)it's really not hard to be superior to such behavior. You don't even have to try. And not all males are dominant. I know that one entirely too well.


    I was wondering if you'd made it out to the Beauty Bar. I'm glad it worked well for you. I've never heard of that book, though. Google, here I come.

    I agree and disagree. I think that, perhaps, in cultures where it is okay to have half the population be unstable and flighty, it is more supported. But in harsh environments, or environments where the whole population must work together for the good of the tribe/society/small town, it is less likely to find such behaviors accepted.

    And, yes, I will admit, I am a bit of a misogynist. I have been for the majority of my life. It's something I'm working on. I do believe that, especially in this case, that if one sex is allowed a certain behavior, then both sexes should be allowed that behavior. In general, I admire ability to survive and to take care of oneself. Independence. I do not see this type of woman being able to do so unless she uses this behavior to attract a mate to care for her. Yes, it's a way of survival, and one that should be admired in its own way, but it isn't for me. If someone is going to take care of me, I want to know I can take care of myself first. Make sense?