Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day

I was a gold star girl to
no one, really,
least of all you.
My parents have let me go
like some people abandon pets.
There is other family
– my father says –
better pedigree,
sits and stays.
I’m left a collection of
frail genes,
a little wild,
mostly afraid.
If you offered me your hand I’d snap;
if you cornered me
I’d cave.
Insist that I don’t look down, tell me
fear won’t weave me a net;
though sometimes I think
only a fall
will be my most lovable act yet.
There’s nothing like blood and bone
to stir a little fond

I remember the error.
I fell asleep when you found me,
wormy belly, rheumy eyes,
nothing disarms
like a home.
The boys with sticks and pricks,
and I really should have known.
Claws retracted, teeth unbarred,
I took down the hackles,
stood undressed:
though we both know
I can’t be tame enough,
I’m only good

for being left.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I have recently joined a new boutique international law firm.  We need to drum up business.  One of the ways to do this is to write an article and get published.

So here's my sad question: if I write about how Israel's policies against Palestinians and Africans are in violation of the international law prohibiting racial discrimination and apartheid, will I gain us business, or lose it?

The sad part is that I have to worry about that.  Like forced sterilization and war crimes can ever be fucking justified.

UPDATE:  Not allowed to write on this, as per boss.  Will scare away business. I don't even have enough curses.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dinner party

I'm struggling tonight, and I'm hoping getting this down will help.

I went to a dinner party last night, and it was the first time I was going to meet the Boyfriend's high school and college friends.  He's never introduced them to one of his partners before, mostly because he's never had another partner for long enough.  I was thrilled to meet them; the Boyfriend's life and memories and formative years are all wrapped up in these 3 other men.

The dinner party was straight as the day is long.  Two of the friends were married to women, the other was bringing his girlfriend that he met at the Republican National Convention (they are not Republicans, just lobbyists.  Take of that what you will.  I did, however, like them the most).  All the men were wearing loafers and khakis and pastel-colors.  The women were nicely turned out.  It was intensely white and privileged and Virginian and everyone had been in a frat or sorority but me, and definitely no one else went to college to study.  It was privileged enough, and also Christian enough (so much talk about church!) that I with my working class background and Jewish blood and queer sexuality (did one of the women mention that she would be really upset if her daughter turned out to be gay?  Yup.) was very aware of not quite fitting in.  If you've been Other, you know what I mean.  It's not judgmental, just being hyper-aware.  Because people from higher rungs on the power hierarchy can fuck you over in ways that you can never do to them.  That's just how shit works.

Also?  Apparently the three other women either made or paid an obscene amount of money for customized needlepointed belts for their men.  I do not joke.  I mean, go look here and try not to get stabby.  The only way it could only have gotten preppier is if there were polo horses stabled in the backyard.

I told the Boyfriend not to expect a belt from me.

Anyway.  It was fine, and I was having a lovely time, and I liked people.  They weren't MY people, because my people are the mad ones, but I liked them just the same.  Then two of the men decided they were going to relive some of their glory days together and get as shit-faced as possible.  This was less lovely, because as everyone knows, no one is fun drunk if you are not also drunk.  The Boyfriend is a recovered alcoholic, my body has long since vetoed drinking like that, and the lobbyists drank like normal, social people, possibly because they had to go back home into the city, or maybe just because they only drink like normal, social people.  Also, the two wives did not drink themselves into oblivion, because they are not idiots.

It was somewhere in this journey to being disgustingly drunk that one of the Boyfriend's friends, without me knowing, took a picture on his phone of my breasts, and only my breasts, my head cut out of the picture.  Then he showed the Boyfriend and me the picture, doodled some nipples on to it, and then snap chatted it to a bunch of people I do not know, all without my consent.   He then attempted to take a picture of the lobbyist girlfriend's breasts.  She knew it was coming and attempted to cover up.  I don't know that he was ever successful in getting that picture.  Then this man went on to drink more, and we went home.

Did you catch that?  At a dinner party, a man I did not really know and had just met took a picture of just my breasts, made it more obscene, and then sent it to an unknown number of unknown people.  All of this without my consent.  And I didn't know what to do, because WHAT THE FUCK.

Women have to deal with the constant, dehumanizing fact that in our culture, and in rape culture specifically, women's bodies are considered men's property, and those bodies exist only for their consumption.  That women, especially once they walk out the door, are objects on which male desire can be mapped and demands to meet male desire can be made.  Consent and desire on the part of the woman is moot; we're not considered people anyway.  We're just tits and asses and vaginas, always with our heads cut out of the camera shot.  So we can be catcalled, or raped, or have pictures of our breasts taken and sent out to strangers at a dinner party.  By one of my Boyfriends's friends.  While my Boyfriend is sitting right there.

Have I ever mentioned before that rape victims have control issues around their bodies?  Specifically, we'd especially like to be in control of them.  And I was not prepared to lose control like this around so much goddamn pastel and so many needlepointed belts.

So.  I didn't do anything when this happened, because I was in shock, and then kind of shut down.  The Boyfriend made a less than half-hearted attempt at the time to make it stop, texted the man who did this after we left the house last night to tell him to erase the picture, and says that he will have a talk with this douchebag, because this is Not Ok.  The Boyfriend is a genuinely good person and a reliably good ally, and I am going back and forth about whether I should be mad at him for not being outraged about this, or for not being more proactive at the time and making clear that this was completely unacceptable, or for just putting me in this situation at all by being friends with this motherfucker.  At the moment I am mad.  But in about half an hour I may just go back to being anxious and triggery and wish he was here to distract me from that.  There isn't really a manual for how to feel about these things.  I spent up until maybe 4 hours ago pretending I was fine, but I couldn't keep that up.

There's no ending to this post.  It's just going to be a bad night.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Funny how I ended up back here.

Maybe because I just saw how this motherfucker right here moved back to town.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When folks should shut up

I just read Thers' post here, and it was spot-on, and I started writing a comment, but then it got too long.  So now my comment is here.

I had the great privilege to spend this past weekend with OWS just before it was raided.  And I don't usually wax poetic about touchy-feely stuff, nor can I join a drumming circle.

But what amazes me is how people (academics, bloggers, pundits, people who have never been to an Occupy encampment) erase one of the most important messages of OWS: that every single individual is valuable, and deserves to be treated humanely.  They talk about the Movement and miss that at that camp, everyone tried in their way to take the best care they could of each other.  That is a tragic thing to lose.

There were problems.  There were outsiders who just wanted a piece of the thing, and like any movement, people bring their shit with them.  But people also tried to talk and listen and be kind and good to each other.  They did this because you cannot change the world without it - large-scale justice cannot be achieved without justice amongst each other, between friends, fellow activists, tent-neighbors, lifemates.  And this is hard and it takes patience and empathy and time and all your fucking energy sometimes.  You can't do it from your office chair.  It's messy and you have to get down in the dirt.  So while there was a Movement, yes, to miss the movement in the park itself, between the people, is to miss something important.

It made people feel powerful, some said for the first time in their lives.  Scary stuff, to the 1%. Revolutionary, even. 

So the bloggers and academics and pundits mouthing off about this in terms of what is best for policy and affecting legislation and blah blah blah are really just being lazy.  They want the Occupy movement to do things they can write about from their office chairs and desks and pontificate about, so they don't have to get up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Photos from Occupy DC / Stop the Machine, Oct. 6, 2011

Dick Gregory spoke, and of course it was awesome:

I gave this woman a hug before leaving.  Everyone was just taking her picture.  I thought she should get some love back.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We are the 99%

Go.  Read.  Add yours.