Saturday, June 9, 2007

I'm just a voice in your earpiece...

...telling you no, it's not alright.
You know, you could have it so much better.
Franz Ferdinand

Now, switch bands from the UK with heavy accents.

The lyrics to "Eleanor Rigby" have stood out to me with a certain personal significance that I'm positive has nothing to do with Paul McCartney's intention. "Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name -- nobody came." Perhaps it came from the combination of having the Beatles singing in my head while the congregation was singing "None of Self, All of Thee." It always seemed to me to be describing the fate that the church I was at back in high school seemed to be pushing me towards. I was supposed to lose myself in the search for a husband, spend my time now becoming the perfect godly woman, eventually change my name to fit his, have babies, raise them in a church, devote my life to them, and (this wasn't in the plan I added it) probably wind up in a mid-life crisis resenting my hypothetical children and then doing more damage to them than if I had just kept up a career and life outside the home. Well, actually, I wasn't supposed to do that last bit. You see, if I lost enough of myself, if I died and in the church and was buried with my name in marriage, there wouldn't be anything bit of a self left to do the resenting. That might not be the intention, but that's what I experienced as the message, the goal of the socialization. Any other goals or aspirations were suspect, considered grounds for comments from other girls about whether I was a lesbian or not (oh, how I wish I could go back in time, kiss them on the cheek and tell them: sorry, sweetie, you're just not my type!) or perhaps whether or not I actually possessed a heart. Or from the teachers -- well-intentioned women, neither of whom I would describe as underdeveloped, unfullfilled or even particularly silent -- comments that I just need to calm down, that I probably will in five years. (FYI, It's been four and half, and I'm still as weird as ever, if not stranger.)

Anyway all of that leads to today's commentary on Focus on the Family, simple my mostest favoritest organization in all the Republic of Gilead. It's been a while sense I let my trainwreck fascination loose, and I'm bored today. But Fate, one visage of that Eternal Feminine, smiles down upon me, and I stumble over an article directed at my stunning demographic (the female undergrad) with the title: Faith For the Man He'll Become. Oh, it's too sweet. More! More! More! *breaks into Rocky Horror*

First, an Aristoltilean gem on dating:
He found he had a pattern of presuming upon his interest in a specific
woman (before courtship), instead of preparing himself to lead and serve a

Beacuse, that's right, folks, the female, being inert matter requires a male logos principle to give shape to it's substance. Women don't really exist independently of a man. You don't take interest in a woman, you prepare to find some formless woman-matter and shape it with your reason and your rationality.

But, see, now days, young (and older) members of the class of female are less likely to see themselves as woman-matter in need of a male sculptor. So, there's a learning curve for wives:
So here's what I want to impart to you: There is a learning curve to a man's
leadership as a husband and father. The qualities you can see in a 50-year-old man's life were developed over 50 years. There are 25 more years of growth ahead for the 25-year-old man before it's fair to compare them. While you are called to be discerning about the characters of the men you befriend or court/date, you also have a part in encouraging these men to grow. In fact, that's part of your learning curve as you prepare for being a wife.

Oh, oh, teacher, I forgot, I don't actually have qualities of my own, any qualities I have must first be filtered through a relationship with a properly masculine entity. I don't actually serve, I encourage masculine friends to serve the Bride of Christ. I don't actually grow in my relationship with God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit because I want to be closer to him, him, or it (because find me the hardcore evangelical who will personify the Holy Spirit as specifically feminine), silly me -- there is no me. I cultivate that so I can encourage a hypothetical future husband to be more Godly, that way I (oops! there I go again with first person subjectivity) won't feel so bad about destroying the last vestiges of myself in order for him to be fulfilled as a husband in his God defined role of Biblical masculinity (despite the fact that Paul explicitly states it is better to remain unmarried). I love being a tool. Use me, please!

Yes, I do realize that most marriages don't actually work like that, and no, this isn't a condemnation of guys looking to be godly, or of young women who do want to marry a godly man. There's nothing wrong with either goal. This is a mock of rhetoric that intentionally or not posits that females don't actually exist, or shouldn't actually exist, independentally of a male.

(In a twisted way, Focus on the Family is quite functional for me. All this sarcasm just builds up and builds up. At least they give me a target.)

Who needs the Feds?

Okay, so we do the federal government and the Shrub to get behind environmental initiatives, but it just makes my little heart grin with glee when local governments take action. And some of the steps these cities have come up with are pretty nifty.

From the Washington Post, "Cities Take Lead on the Environment"

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rants of the Day

Номер Один: 93x Memphis Radio
On my way over to the U of Memphis this morning, I briefly listened to the radio in between CDs. So anyway, I heard an advertisment for the station's "Girls of Summer Contest" which apparently involves collecting photos of female listeners (or the girlfriends of male listeners) to, and I quote, "pornify" the stations website. They are looking for the "hottest shots of the baddest bitches in Memphis." I have yet to decide whether they get points for being very blunt in their terminology or not. Yeah, yeah, I know, nobody is really hurt by this. (Although, I am slightly concerned by the fact that there doesn't seem to be any effort on the part of the station to ensure that they actually get the consent of the women in the photos that they are collecting.) It still got the radio an "are you kidding me? radio isn't even a visual medium!" look.

Номер Два: CNN
Dear CNN, please stop running the stories about Paris Hilton's exit from and return to jail, and Mary Winkler's sentencing right next to each other and trying to draw comparisons. Because, guess what, the stories don't compare. Trust me, if Mary Winkler is getting off easy -- which you could make a case for especially if, like CNN, you decide that she must be lying about the alleged abuse -- it is not for the same reasons as Paris Hilton. Completely difference situations. And, yes, I am a bit annoyed by the media taking the stance that Mary Winkler is lying. We really don't have a way to know whether or not her "preacher husband" abused her, but there is no reason for the media to assume that she is making it up, and well, a jury was apparently convinced that there was some mitigating factor. And I hope that someone lets this woman have, at the very least, contact with her children. Because, I bet her sister is right and poor Mary's personality was deconstructed enough by whatever circumstances religious or otherwise (see my prior comments, I'm not feeling coherent) that she isn't complete without her daughters. And I don't see why the girls should completely lose both parents.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Whilst battling back against the insomnia monkeys with a dose and a half of sleeping pills, I note this post from Belledame at Fetch Me My Axe.

Sister Mary Cisgender Explains It All for You

Because if my brain were truly capable of thought at the moment, this would have led it into the thinking labyrinth.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

And now for something else completely different...

It's a virtual Russian keyboard! This makes my life so, so much easier. Now there is no need to haul my-modified-with-bits-of-paper-with-Cyrillic-letters-and-nail-polish keyboard across the state just in case I might need to type in Russian. Mwahahaha!

Это так хорошо! Отлично!

Sir and Ma'am

I grew up in the rural south. I went to a school in a farming area. Heck, I took some shop classes in high school, and after I got into them I loved them. (Oxy-acetylene cutting torch = feelings of empowerment.) I even belonged to the FFA. I was drafted for extemporaneous speech and parliamentary procedure because I could talk a blue mile, or as the shop teacher put it -- he "needed my mouth."

Another thing we were taught, both in shop class and in general 'Shire society, is to say sir and ma'am as a general rule and always to our elders. Not nessecarily every time a phrase exited our little mouths, but reasonably often within a conversation. It's stuck. I say sir and ma'am to anyone who might possibly be five minutes older than I am, and to almost anyone with whom I'm engaged in a formal interaction with. (e.g. Any cashier is a sir or ma'am. Even if he or she is probably younger than I am.) It's just a part of my scripted interaction with the world.

So, recently, I've noticed that folks are starting to react to sir or ma'am with a comment along the lines of -- What? You just called me sir? -- or -- Don't call me ma'am. I'm not that old. -- Not everyone I encounter, but a decent number of people seem to be mildly offended by sir or ma'am. Terms I view as the closest equivalent to the Russian вы or French vous in the English language. I've been informed reactions will grow increasingly hostile if I move up North.

So, sir and ma'am, have they somewhat shifted from a sign of formality and respect in language to something derogatory? It confuses my little shop class brain. Shall adherence to the rules of ma'am and sir go the way of avoidance of "barnyard" terms?