Observed: Power Dynamics

This is apropos of nothing, except that Notorious, Ph.D. demanded requested that I actually write something.

I went to Commercial Coffee Venue today, and chose a comfy chair to occupy with my drink and my knitting, which was in a loose grouping of three such chairs, but was more removed from the other two. While I was enjoying that bit of free mindspace, a couple of people, a young man and a young woman, came into the room, looking for a place to park themselves. The young woman took the further comfy chair, and the young man balked at the selection, and then made an attempt to sit down anyway. What followed was done in a language I didn’t understand, but body language told it: he didn’t seem to have a strong preference (not having immediately taken one of the many open tables), but seemed to disagree with her choice. She acted apologetic, got up and went to a table he indicated several times during the quiet exchange.

I don’t know what their story is. I couldn’t have said what was actually going on, whether either one had reasons beyond simple preference (comfort, for instance) that informed their differing choices. All I can say is that he was not the least bit deferential, and she was almost entirely so. It was to me a pantomime of power dynamics, power which he wielded, and to which she yielded.

The travesty that is CPSIA

Yes, keeping lead out of kids’ toys == good.
Making testing requirements the same for big corporations and single people working out of their homes == horribly misguided.

Here’s the lowdown.

I was in the process of putting together two Etsy sites, one geek-product related (Fanknitics) and one baby-product related (Jo’s Crafts). Obviously, the latter is on hold until CPSIA is amended/struck down.

With any luck, it will be.

Updated: Caveat (FAQ)

Made a few edits to the FAQ, minor adjustments for the most part, but I did add one link, to John Scalzi’s take-down of trolls who try to invoke First Amendment rights to justify hate speech and other violations of comment policy on other people’s blogs.

Go ahead and read it, if you haven’t come across it already. It’s pretty much all there.

Courage: Part 2, The Fantasy of Being Thin

I am beautiful. Right now.

Theriomorph has broken my heart, because every word is true. In the estimation of myself, as influenced by the porntastic patriarchal diatribes traveling on waves from screen and speaker and mouth to ear, I’ve been too-thin, too-fat, too-everything, never right. And at the root of it all is this pernicious pervasive thought: You are the only one. You are the only one who doesn’t fit it, who isn’t right, who needs fixing.

That is the great lie.

Women are set up to fail at being beautiful, at being sexy, at being everything we are ‘supposed’ to be in order to be of value. If we fail at conforming, we supposedly fail at being human beings. And non-humans are fit for only consumption. Indeed, fi, cannibalism is alive and well.

I refuse to be fit only for consumption, although my opinion in the matter counts for little in much of the world’s estimation.

I had this thought last night: Thank god I’m fat, so I can be a feminist.

This is also a lie of sorts. I am only sort of fat. I am only sort of willing to call myself that. I am only sort of sure that weighing more than I ‘ought’ to and being classified as sort of obese is protecting me at all from the false visibility of the patriarchy-conforming. I am still have the approved facial structure, the approved height, the approved legginess, and I still practice some of the approved femininity. I do not conform to size, and I purposefully neglect makeup and gym workouts, ultra-sexy clothing, push-up bras and hobbling crippling footwear. I am still white and blue-eyed. I still appear relatively young.

It takes all my ferocity some days to carve out a space for myself, in which I am both around people and beautiful. Beautiful because I’m strong. Beautiful because I am smart. Beautiful because I care about myself. Beautiful because I am and do all these things in defiance of the dominant culture that says I must be deferent, polite, not take up too much mental emotional spiritual physical space. The culture that says because I do certain things like eat, I don’t care about how I look.

What I am struggling daily not to care about is the expectations of how I should look in order to be deemed human, and the opinions of those who require me to display fuckability and play into my own oppression.

I guarantee you, I am beautiful right now.

Once I have other women to compare myself to, the struggle will begin. Divide and conquer, the winningest strategy.

Fillyjonk, bang on, FTW.

Yes, absolutely. I’ve never seen the fear-dominated conservative fundamentalist Christian culture nutshelled quite so succinctly. I can’t possibly add anything to fillyjonk’s lovely analysis, except perhaps some gleeful cheering.

Note to fundies: I’m not near as fearful and repressed as you, and am not interested in torturing myself, thanks, so quit coming to my house to ask me if I’ve found Jesus.