Friday, November 11, 2011

Mobile Schmobile

Ok. So I just added the blogger ap to my iPhone. Now that there is no longer a reason for me to be too busy or too off the grid to post my adventures in everyday feminism, expect there to be more regular posts from yours truly. For reals.
Friday, September 16, 2011

Name Changes

You know. Since I changed my own name over the summer, it seemed fitting that I change the name of my blog. The new name ties into my Twitter feed (@snnyjm) and has a more "4th Wave" flare-- my androgynous name and all that.

I'll be posting more feminist witticisms soon.

Till then, hang tight folks!
Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mata Hari: Friend of Foe?

I have been thinking about Mata Hari, the WWI spy (and Low-lander) who used her feminine wiles to help her get information. Can we make a case for her being a feminist, though she was absent from the Wiki-list? Is she an icon worth claiming? Do we (should we) have agency, or assert agency, over her as a complicated icon to female sexual power, sex work, and political power? Can we embrace Mata Hari without a caveat? Should we embrace Mata Hari? Can we take Fassbinder's co-option of Mata Hari (in almost verb like fashion) for the heroines of his BDR Trilogy as a path to Mata?

Talk amongst yourselves and enjoy my favorite song from Fassbinder's Lola.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Feminist Berfday Wishes

Big feministy berfday wishes to Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Franz Kafka!
Friday, July 1, 2011

Dutch Feminist Fun Facts

I'm still working on my "where are all the feminists in de Nederlands" internets project and I came across an interesting factoid. DID YOU KNOW that Vincet van Gogh's youngest sister, Wilemina (aka Wil), was a profession nurse and was part of the committee for the national exhibit of women's work, raising over 20,000 Guilders for the project? Her life went pear shaped afterward, but it's an interesting fact none the less. Right?
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On Indexing and Dutch Feminism

Can someone please explain to me why, under the catagory Dutch feminists, Wikipedia has only 15 pages indexed, besides pointing to the obvious dubiousness of the portal? What does that say about the state of gendered(s) political discourse in de Nederlands? Why, at least in terms of its Wiki-profile, are such discursive voices scanty? Me thinks I have some librarian-ing to do on the subject!

In the meantime, watch this Anouk video.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden: Globalization and Soaps

At appears as though the soap opera death throws have already begun-- at least in America. If, like me, you enjoy trashy televsion from continental Europe, might I introduce you to the longest running soap on Dutch television Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (that would be Good Times, Bad Times). It's trashy, it's foreign, and it's amazing. Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden in all of its campy contiental glory is freely available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure-- an episode from last week is linked below. I know, I know: you're welcome.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

For Elizaveta Voronyanskaya: Agency,Reclamation, and Surnames

About a month and a half ago I started the process of changing my last name. Like many children of single-parent families, I was given my mother’s last name at birth. Later I was given my father’s last name which has been my legal surname since.

But, as Shakespeare’s Juliet wisely—and rhetorically—asked, what is a name? Better yet, what is a name change? Well, it’s a hell of a lot, actually.

Long story short, my relationship with my father has always been troubled when we’ve had one; we no longer do. His loathing for me—for my existence, really—was always readily apparent to me, even as a small child. As you can well imagine, these experiences affected me deeply. Were it not for my dotting mother and loving maternal family (my grandfather in particular) I don’t think I would still be alive today, let alone be the relatively happy and well adjusted lady I am today. Thank goodness for Mommy!

For the past several years I have felt as though my legal surname was an albatross hanging around my neck. Even saying it became difficult for me, my tongue caught in my jaw, unable to work itself around the first syllable. In May, after much deliberation, I filed court papers to have my birth-name restored; in two weeks it will be official.

Going into the name change process, I had thought that the hardest part of the procedure would be the court filings, that the process was just about reclaiming what was once mine and honoring the person who raised me—my lovely mother. In retrospect, I realize that I was na├»ve. Changing my name has been just as much about processing my past as it has been an act of reclamation. Especially within the last month I have had to sort out a lot of unsettling memories and emotional baggage that I either hadn’t wanted to remember or had purposely forgotten. Though it has been difficult for me, I finally feel as though I can tell me own story, as though I finally have agency over my own narrative—even the unpleasant parts—which is truly liberating. My sleep has suffered, but unsurprisingly my soul has never felt lighter.

Last names, this experience has taught me, can’t be claimed, reclaimed, or abandoned easily; rather, our names are deeply entrenched in personal meaning that doesn’t cease being just because a judge says so. The court can only make a name legal, it cannot remove or attribute meaning.
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Street Harassment, Pixie Cuts, Fighting Hate, and Joan of Arc

Growing up, I always had long hair. Like, super long. Like, down to my baby-ass long. It was something of a trademark, my hair: trailing behind me melodramatically as I threw a hissy fit; what I gnawed on nervously while filling out a long-division worksheet; the bane of my existence. Until I reached high school, when I somehow talked a Supercuts stylist into hacking it into a respectable bob, I always had long hair. Even as an adult, I have, for the most part, kept my hair relatively long. That is, until two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I hacked off more than fourteen inches of hair—which I donated to locks of love—and had my mane snipped into a flattering pixie cut. My new cut is cute. It’s feminine. It has allowed me to become reacquainted with the Goody barrettes I’ve not used since the mid-eighties. Long story long, I loves it.

What has come as a shock, in addition to feeling the wind on my scalp, have been some of the anonymous—and offensive—remarks made by some men folk around town. Shouts of “Lesbian!” “Lesbo!” “Queer!” and “Faggot!” to be specific; ugly words when used in the pejorative; hateful when not uttered as part of discursive reclamation. Granted, I don’t live amongst society’s cream of the crop—heck, I don’t live among the cream of the crop of NASCAR fans—so it is hard to take any “slight” from these Rhodes Scholars to heart. None the less I was annoyed for a few of reasons.

First: I was annoyed that in the twenty-first century, some moronic fools still feel as though it is acceptable to use homophobic slurs against someone. Homophobia is as bad as racism, which is bad as sexism, which is as bad as able-ism. You’re not making this straight-lady ally feel bad about herself when you say things like that—you’re just proving yourself to be heinously ignorant.

Second: I was annoyed that by virtue of being a woman, on a public sidewalk, with a hairstyle, I was somehow open to verbal assault. Unless I know you or I kicked your grandmother in the throat, there really isn’t a reason to shout at me in the street; if you want to yell at me, do it to my face so I can pepper spray you.

Third: Having short hair does not make me a lesbian, just as having a tan doesn’t make me a Latina. Only ignorant, pathetic cowards believe they can make snap judgments about you whilst speeding forty miles an hour in the opposite direction.

So, in summation: Street harassment and homophobic slurs are muy no bueno. Just because someone is on a public street with a funky hairstyle doesn’t mean that they are asking to be yelled at, nor is it an invitation to show others how close-minded, ignorant, and cowardly you are. Snap judgments, in addition to being ill-informed, are best kept to one’s lame-ass self.

Final thought: Not unlike Joan of Arc, with short hair, I, too can kick some ass.
Sunday, June 5, 2011

Smoothie Move

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons that Third Wave feminism taught us—among many lessons vital to ethical twenty-first century living—was that embracing and reclaiming traditionally “feminine” activities are radical acts in and of themselves. Truly, the feminist movement (now writ even larger in the fourth wave—that’s us, btw) isn’t furthered by diminishing the work of our foremothers. Rather, in sharing our love of crafting, cooking, and creating in general, we are simultaneously honoring the work of our ancestresses and making a radical gesture. Politics are fun, yummy, and totally legit.

In honor of my grandmother, herself a domestic ninja, and the as yet theoretical summer season, here is my recipe for a healthy [and uber delish] strawberry banana smoothie.

Strrrawberry Banana Smoothie!
These directions yield one 12 oz smoothie; for a larger smoothie, or a smoothie for several people, double the proportions!

You’ll Need:
6 oz pot non-fat vanilla yoghurt
8 oz apple juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana

2 teaspoons flavorless fiber powder
2 teaspoons flavorless protein powder
1 teaspoon clover honey

Before Your Smoothie Directions:
1. Spoon dollops of yoghurt into the wells of a clean, dry ice tray. Depending on how much you fill the wells, one 6 oz pot of yoghurt should yield between 6-8 cubes (enough for 3-4 smoothies). Allow to freeze overnight.

2. To remove yoghurt cubes from their tray, fill a sink approximately one inch deep with warm water. Allow cubes to slightly loosen and use a dull butter knife to help pop them from the tray. Place your cubes into a zip-tight freezer bag and store until use.
3. Unpeel one banana and cut into quarter inch chunks. Place banana chunks into a zip-tight freezer bag and allow to freeze over night.

To Make Your Smoothie:
1. In a blender combine two yoghurt cube, apple juice, strawberries, and 1/3 of your banana chunks. You may also add fiber or protein powder as desired (do not exceed 2 teaspoons of supplemental powders total!) or a teaspoon of clover honey for a sweeter smoothie.

2. Pulse mixture until fully combined. If using an emersion blender, make sure to pulse the machine throughout the smoothie in order to insure that it is fully combined.
3. If your smoothie is too thick, add one ounce (about a half jigger) of apple juice until the beverage achieves the consistency of your choice!
4. Serve and enjoy!

Being strong and healthy physically is just as important as being strong and healthy mentally. This smoothie is a great, yummy way to get your 6-8 servings of fruit and veg in. Also, since you are only using small pots of yoghurt and frozen fruit, it's much cheaper, too! Yummy, healthy, AND thrifty!-- you can't shake a stick at that!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To Begin

Even as a little girl, I knew that gender equity was important.

Even as a little girl, I understood the importance of social justice.

Even as a little girl, watching older girls shout and empowering themselves, I knew that having a voice and make it heard was important.

Did I mention that I have a blog?