All the world’s a stage

Someone who sees 5 a.m. as a regular thing shouldn’t have to set an alarm.

Yeah, I replied, but it’s been a long time since I woke up at 5 a.m….

And so I cursed myself. Hello, 5 a.m. You’re as grey and quiet as I remember.

Leaving the house today before my brother even gets out of bed. Have to be downtown at my rheumatology appointment by 8:45. Ho-hum. Go there, wait, see my doctor, get a new prescription for my meds, leave. Figure I’ll nap this afternoon.

Tonight’s the first audition. Don’t really expect many people; they called it quick and their advertising leaves loads to be desired. Had a message from the director. He’d like to meet early, to discuss the roles and go over things. Cool; I was thinking the same thing. And, thanks, because he assured me he really wants to do this by saying if we don’t get enough people with the first two auditions, he’ll call a third. My plan is to print up some notices and get them around to the libraries for the second audition. Been scouring the web for some sort of theatre call site. Found stuff for films, stuff for Dutch productions – all in Amsterdam. Nothing I felt was appropriate for putting out an English notice for a non-paid role. Haven’t heard from my film buddies, other than getting a thumbs up on the post. So far: two people have said on FB that they’re coming tonight. Two. I expect more to show, but…two. It might be a very early evening.

Well, I’m used to working hard on productions. Can’t quite figure out why the group doesn’t have certain things in place, like automatic notifications about auditions. But maybe they’ve been waiting for someone like me. Someone with the drive and the interest, someone who just does it. And I get it! I wasn’t willing to do this last year, for someone else’s script. But mine? Oh, honey! I’ll walk over hot coals to get this done – or close enough. Besides, it’s a labor of love.

Began working on a LinkedIn page. I don’t really expect to get anything from it. LinkedIn is for computer programmers and shit, not playwrights. Still. It’s my legit social page. Got stumped on the ‘summary’ section. Summary? I’ve only been at this for…what, a year and a half? Two years, max. As far as the theatre industry is concerned, I’m a bloody virgin. Not sure what to say yet. Hey, yeah, I’ve got loads of stuff the industry has rejected. Finally getting a production done; look at me! Ugh.

I’ll figure it out.

Meanwhile, I’m just happy. Happy to know my words are appreciated. Happy to say I’m a real playwright. Gotta keep reminding myself of it.

*sigh* Thinking I might have to go and get my eyes checked. Told my bro I think it might be time for bifocals. Not happy about the idea of spending more money – again. But these headaches are a bitch, and I can tell eye strain is part of it.

…My bro made a comment the other day about me hating men. Didn’t know what to say to that. My first impulse was to defend myself. But I just stopped, and thought about that. Thought about what my feminists rants sound like from the outside. I can see why someone might think that. I am very angry at men as a whole. I am very upset over the way women are treated like second class citizens (if even that well). And I am vocal about it because, baby, there’s plenty to be vocal about. But if push comes to shove I’ll choose men over women almost every time. I’m more comfortable in the company of men. I can just be me – the scruffy tomboy. The woman who’s ‘not like any other woman’. I feel more judged in the company of women. I see them look at my clothes, or my hair, or my lack of make-up or hangnails, and I feel it. It’s a combination of pity and disgust. If only she’d take some time with herself, try a little harder. She could be so pretty. Men, on the whole, don’t care. If you’re in a place with lots of people, men might care. They might want you to be attractive so other men get jealous of what they’ve “got”. But I have never met a man who confessed to liking to kiss a face full of make-up. Most men I’ve known (friends and lovers) have professed to preferring a woman in no make-up. It’s the women who think I should be doing my eyes, wearing lipstick, high heels, whatever. That’s where the real judgement comes from. Underneath it all: compete. Compete with me for men’s attention. Try and get the most desirable mate. Dude, I don’t want to compete with you. And I don’t think women have to be that way.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Show us the way. Be the model for it. Don’t think about it; just do it. No problem. This is my nature. It’s the prejudice and judgment I don’t like. So I keep pointing those things out. That’s sexist because… or Gee, they’re acting like that’s something new just because it’s a man saying it… All of it true. All of it building this reputation for me as a man-hater. Problem is, I do have a lot of anger over this. I am frustrated that so many people don’t see the same things I do. That comes out, over and over, in my statements.

…Why is all this coming out this morning?

Maybe it all has to do with the roles we play. The roles I’ve written, the roles I’ve played myself – and yes, I’ll admit to (in my 20s) playing the damsel in distress in order to get some guy to do something for me, like change a flat tyre.

I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. But he did get some things right.

All the world’s a stage.

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Transformation

I am old. Old enough to bitch about current trends, and bemoan my lack of understanding over the newest app on the market. I’m okay with that. But I’ll give the internet one thing that’s superior over the time before the internet: it makes bitching at people a hell of a lot easier.

Just off a scathing email to Heineken beer. This is a Dutch company, so I feel particularly watchful over it and more than qualified to speak the hell up. Complaint: the use of “Heineken Girls”. This sexist marketing must stop. Ah! Now that’s what the internet is good for: fast anger, fast action. Popped over to Heineken’s site, used the contact page, told them how terrible their marketing campaign is. Poured it out in English because it’s an international company and someone there should be proficient in it. Besides, even Roald Dahl doesn’t use the words I needed for that email, and I didn’t want my comments to be tossed aside because of poor grammar.

And yes, I’m very aware I’m becoming that stereotypical older person, shooting off angry letters to companies, bitching about the noise from kids, ignoring most current trends because they’re all just so damned silly to me. You know what? It’s comfortable.

I have decided to remain silent on auditions. If I’m truly giving up control, then give up control. Auditions are called by the director and the board. That’s what they do. That’s what they’ve always done. They do not need me needling at them to do it. I’ll continue to work on getting back to a routine for my health. I’ll continue to peck away at the tech notes. And if mid-May comes and there’s still no auditions called, I’ll ask about them. But not yet.

Got up yesterday and took a shower. Yea! The Universe was with me on that: hot water aplenty in the building. And standing under it -! I felt all the days of inaction slide off me. It was more than refreshing; it was rejuvenating. Got downtown for my errands. I contemplated wandering around, looking at stuff. Two things stopped me: lack of money, and the crowds. So I came back home. Did some internet searches to expand my mind. Chilled. Paced and talked aloud.

And did four full drying rack’s worth of dishes all by myself.

Finished Esio Trot (or ‘Ieorg Idur’ in Dutch). Only took two sittings. It was short and had lots of pictures, but I’m proud of myself. That was a fast read with really high comprehension. That makes nine Dutch books I’ve read so far this school year. Some of my classmates, btw, are still on their first book. I’m impatient for my head to finish making all the connections. I like the sparks I get – the sudden comprehension, catching new words, whatever. It’s too slow for me, tho everyone says I’m making great progress. But I know now that I’m reading so much, I’ll get there. Eventually.

Oh! For the first time in a very long time – maybe truly for the first time in my life – I had a positive reaction to my reflection in the mirror. The lift in our building has a mirror, one of the best I’ve got for seeing my full body. We’ve had really hot weather, so I dressed in cool clothes: a pair of dark grey harem pants and a T I haven’t wore in a while. It was more form fitting than I generally wear, and I was pleased with my appearance. I admired my ass. I liked the curve of my hips. In the 5 seconds it took to go from the top floor to the ground floor, I experienced a body revolution. I found myself attractive. It was…more powerful than I can put into words. I’m hanging onto that memory, that feeling. I like it.

Finding myself taking more time with me. Brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, even trying on one or two different tops to see what I look like before I leave the house. It’s been years since I’ve cared about doing any of that. Been taking care of my cuticles and nails. Thinking about purchasing a bit of make-up for special evenings out. Keeping in mind that in future when I shop, I should pick clothing a size smaller than I generally do. I’m tired of wearing bags for clothes. Tired of looking extra fat because everything is so large. I don’t have to look like that.

I don’t have to be that.

…Wow. I guess 10 mg does the trick. Or, let me rephrase that because I’m dissing my own action in that: 10 mg is enough to help me make that connection in my brain and see my own worth. I know finding my body attractive is a small step. I still don’t feel worthy of help. Or money. Or love, really. But…not repeating those old phrases to myself about how unattractive I am, how fat my ass is, how totally nothing I am in every way… That’s good. I’m told most people don’t do the things I do. They don’t wake up crying, they don’t obsess over their mistakes or the world, they don’t continually beat themselves up. No wonder you can hold jobs and have families and do a hundred extra curricular activities! You’ve got so much time on your hands when you’re not whipping yourself! Things are so much easier! You think: okay, I’m gonna go do this and you do it without interrupting yourself or getting caught up in some web of logic or paranoia.

I’ve still a long way to go, but…those things that I was bitching about last week, the take care of yourself shit that just seemed too big to tackle…I’m just doing it. Slowly picking it up. Doing it because I want to. Doing it because it’s easy.

The time has come for transformation.

Am I alone out here?

I told you so.

Today’s kicker: an article on a study showing that the DNA of women who have babies is on average 11 years “older” than women who don’t have babies. Wow. Can I say that’s like finally coming out and admitting menstruation causes pain in the female body? Duh-uh. I noticed that very early on: women who have children grow old fast. And why shouldn’t they? Having a living thing tapping into your body for nine months, sucking off your reserves, eating up the vitamins and minerals a person needs…no great surprise to me to find mothers age quicker than normal women [I am using ‘normal women’ here to reassure myself and the rest of the bleeding world that choosing to NOT have children is normal, not some freak accident of nature]. I’ve watched it again and again, through people I’ve known and strangers.

So happy you men finally caught on. Maybe now you’ll begin to recognize why I consider the ‘keep ’em in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant’ is such an indignity. You not only use women like baby factories and slaves, you endanger and shorten women’s lives every time you do it.

Will this open up lawsuits against states and countries that force women to have children? I sure as fuck hope so. Endangering the lives – purposely shortening the lives – of women should be a criminal offense. I hope they hang you fuckers up by your balls.

But no. Some man will probably invent some way for men to have babies. And then we’ll hear it. Then we’ll have story after story of these “courageous” men. We’ll have detailed descriptions and graphic pictures of their pain. We will be told how they’ve never felt anything like it, and no one could ever know how painful it is until they go through it themselves. Then, the men will be lauded. Oh, good on you, old boy, for breaking that pregnancy barrier. By jove, if we’d known it was that painful we’d have given you more powerful drugs. Here! We’ll make something new that will take all the pain out of childbirth because no man should ever have to go through that again. You are a pioneer! And then the book will come out, followed up by the film.

Think it won’t happen? Do you remember how I began this post?

I like men individually. But as a group, you’re assholes I’d rather the world did without. Justice to me looks like several thousand years with men tied up in some holding cell and milked for their semen. They can never see the light of day without a woman’s permission. They can never vote, can never change their circumstances, and will get ridiculed, belittled, and abused every time they dare speak up for this “equality”. Do that for three or five thousand years and we’ll be even. Maybe.

Like any good little girl, I know my anger at men begins at home. Let’s talk about Dad.

Dad, I knew, loved me. Individually, as me. He did not see me as a second class remake of my sister, like my mother did. I need to say that up front.

However…

Continually saying things like ‘women should never be president because they’ll have a mood swing and hit the button killing us all’ did not build up my self-esteem. Telling me I was pretty as a consolation when I was in tears didn’t convince me I was attractive (just the opposite, and I’ve a clear memory of my mother telling me how SHOCKED my father was by a comment from a colleague who said I was beautiful). Lecturing me to hide my intelligence from the world because if men knew how smart I was no one would ever marry me did nothing other than add to my complexes.

I was raised by a Neanderthal. A loving Neanderthal, but a Neanderthal nonetheless.

But Daddy liked his little girl. For all that negativity, he was the one who encouraged my verbal skills, my debate and logic skills. Even when I grew old enough that my logic caught him out and triggered his anger, I felt he was proud of the fact I could do that in the first place. It was as if he wanted me to be one way in private, and another way in public.

Again: secrets. Keep the silence. Don’t let them know. Hide it.

There’s always a second message when secrets are involved. The implied message that you’re somehow wrong if you can’t keep the secret. You talk too much, you don’t care about the other person, you’re self-centered…pick one. They’re all implied, and you can latch onto whichever one your programming set you up to accept.

I have never been accused of talking too much. Saying too much, yes. But not talking too much. My only assumption all these years (and that’s been backed up by the actions and reactions of others) is that I’m different. Somehow. I don’t have certain filters in place. I just say things. I talk about subjects that people don’t discuss. I reveal “secrets” about myself that others think they can use against me. That, of course, is their perception problem. I say those things so I take my power back. If I’m up front about my body issues, no one can shame me by pointing a finger at me and calling me fat. Yeah, I’ve already told you I think I am; you’re just pointing out the obvious to me and that makes YOU look like an idiot. So I talk about my uncomfortable self. I reveal my anxieties – not crying, nor wringing my hands, just stated. I have panic attacks. I have body issues. I have self-esteem issues. My mother abused me.

To me, this is just truth. This is honesty and communication. But the looks I get -!

Perhaps it is too much honesty. Too deep of a truth to reveal to some people. Does everyone hide that much?

Am I alone out here?

Dick Driven

BOOM!

The fireworks have begun, despite (boom!) the many neighborhood bans on them. Seems the more bans pop up, the more (boom!) stores sell ’em. So now it’s the pissing contest, with each and every yahoo (boom!) countering someone else’s fireworks as if to say: Yeah, mine’s the biggest.

This is gonna go on for awhile.

My writer’s email account is under maintenance. Mm. Means something might be there and not showing up. Can’t say anything for sure until I hear. Doing my best to not haunt it, but…it ain’t easy.

No word from friends, either. I expect they’re all out having fun. I hope.

Took the morphine down to 2 a day. The pain recedes a bit more each morning. That’s encouraging.

Still manic. Seeing but not seeing, hearing but not hearing. Problematic when my brother tells me something, then leaves, and I can’t remember where he went or when he’s returning.

Bored out of my fucking skull with tv. Nothing new, so we’ve been watching from our collection. Last night’s selection was Hobo with a Shotgun. I enjoyed it for its splat element, its over the top chroma push and panto acting. I didn’t enjoy the blatant dick story: the only women in the film were non-descript mothers who stood protesting violence, or hookers. Nothing else. And only one woman – no, check that, two; the nurse was female – had dialogue. It was dick-story city, testosterone driven drivel that was really repulsive. Could not get past it during last night’s viewing. Made me doubly proud of my own work: solid stories in which the main characters happen to be women. They could be male, as well. It makes no difference to the basic story. It’s not about women’s problems with men, or pregnant women, or women bitching about relationships. It’s just a story. No women’s issues undercurrents, although they’re present in a light degree because they’re always present in women’s lives.

Similarly, I’ve been having issues with reading the Dune series. Good Goddess! Always the male lead, the male who ‘can see where women can’t’, the male who drives the entire fucking thing. Women are victims of time and space, their own frailties and the men who enforce the law. *vomit* Same shit made me stop reading CS Lewis.

And every time a man writes a woman’s story, it ends up like Ultraviolet. I want to like that film. But it’s based on what every man assumes is the ultimate pinnacle for every woman: motherhood. What. the. fuck? You spend all that money and time making a film and THAT’S your fucking message? That motherhood is the saving grace of every female? That’s as bad as Grease.

I will jump all over ANYONE’S ass who calls me ‘the mistress of suspense’ or makes any other reference to me being a female. Screw you; I’m a writer. Sexless. It makes no fucking difference! Let’s throw out the bullshit: words like actress. Why? Why aren’t we all just actors? Why the sex difference? It shows up a lot in Dutch, and I find it irritating. Different words for female teachers, female this, female that – it’s a not-so-subtle enforced distance from men.

Men who support that shit…You can all go suck your own dicks. I sure as fuck won’t.

…Yeah, yeah. I’m on a rant. And I’m becoming an entrenched feminist. The times make the woman…

*sigh* It doesn’t help that lately I’ve been reading a story from my friend J. It’s…female strong. Female strong from a homosexual male’s perspective. It doesn’t ring true. In some ways it’s as clunky and offensive as a heterosexual male’s take on women. And I don’t know how to tell him that. Plus, well…all the intensive writing and editing I’ve done has made me sensitive to certain problems. Passive writing. Inclusion of all the senses. Truth is, I’m not even half way through the story and I’ve already a long page of notes for him. He’s a good writer. Excellent when it comes to stuff like film reviews. But he’s too cerebral for novel writing – at least, to my tastes. And while I understand he’s writing fantasy, his narrative continues in the same pondering sort of tense as his dialogue, and it becomes too much. I think his stuff could be real good, and break out of his cult fan base, but only if he addresses some of this. I just don’t know how to say it…

And doesn’t that make me sound arrogant? …On the other hand, if I notice it and really do want to help (which I do), shouldn’t I say something? This is stuff I had pointed out to me. Not nicely. If I can convey the info without hurting people the way I was hurt, well, that’s good, right? I mean, I’ve run into writers to whom I’ve had to say: run your stuff through spell check first. And they don’t. You can’t help people like that. They do what they do. But J’s my friend. He’s promising as a writer. …Fuck. Let’s face it: I don’t want to risk losing him as a friend. I don’t want to hurt him.

Honesty again, huh? Oh, Universe. I woulda thought you might give me a few days off from that. It IS a holiday, after all.

BOOM!

…Yeah, it is. And as long as that’s going on, I’m hibernating. Napping while it’s quiet. Chillin’. Making no decisions more pressing than what’s for dinner.

And finding something (boom!) that isn’t dick driven (boom!) to watch.

Broken Levee

C’mon…who didn’t think of this when they saw the headlines? How could you not? Most of the headlines quoted the chorus. Bet I’m not the only one posting the song today.

On the heels of one of the worst natural disasters pampered America has had to deal with, my uncle sent me a link to an article discussing the melting of the arctic permafrost level, with a note saying in HIS opinion, this was being caused by a change in the inner most core of the earth, the magma center – even though he’s not a scientist, and probably (from his comment) hasn’t opened a scientific book since he was in school.

Goddess, save us from idiots!

How did I come from such inbred, backwards-thinking stock?

Took the day off yesterday, as the temp soared above 30 degrees. Watched a rather non-thrilling thriller out of Sweden. Interesting to see Swedish landscapes, but other than that, I couldn’t recommend it. Far too slow. In fact, my attention kept popping in and out of the story – as it did all day long. My brain is cooking up part three in The Terror Trilogy.

In between the master dish being prepped somewhere in the back kitchen of my head, I’ve also been aware (somewhat) of the shit that’s been dished up before my eyes. Caught a line last night about an older woman – ‘She’s held up well’. Held up well? You couldn’t actually spit out that a woman over 40 was still sexy and attractive? “Held up well”! Like we’re a bridge or a building. Gee, those supports have held up pretty well over the years… Ugh.

Can’t seem to finish Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. Can’t get beyond a sentence before I interject (often aloud) ‘Because he’s a man!’. So many male dominated religious overtones I just can’t take it.

And you know what? That shit’s got under my skin, too.

I’ve been writing my trilogy with all female characters taking the forefront. Why not? So many stories are all about men, and have men as central characters. They don’t need to be male characters, it’s just a sign of the culture. But the thought occurred to me that my work will get dissed because I used all female characters. That the idea that I’m representing the effect on ALL humans through using female characters will somehow get twisted into it ONLY affecting women, and that’s not the case. I’m just using women to convey the story.

I’ll bet my bottom dollar some man gets the issue confused.

And then we’ll have to have the discussion, and I’ll get accused of being a this or that lesbian, feminist, and/or left wing radical.

But there’s nothing like telling me no to get me to do it. My determination is ramping up, and right now I kind of regret ever writing a story with a male lead in it. I don’t want to go THAT far. I don’t want to write men out my stories entirely. After all, they still dominate this planet. Can’t really write a story without including them. Oh, they seem to be perfectly able to write stories about themselves without including women. Yes. Yes, indeed. But I flatter myself that I’m a broader thinker than those closed minded individuals. I don’t think any story can truly be told without all sides being presented. Women have to deal with the fallout of men’s actions all the bleeding time. We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time, when they started to blame us for being ‘evil’, ‘weak’, and ‘subservient’.

…One more thing. I am so sick of seeing/reading/hearing stories about women written by men. They never get it right. It’s true; they really don’t understand women. They can write about what they see, what they hear from us – but they don’t understand the inner workings. They don’t understand that continual pressure, that continual diss in every aspect of society.

Sick. of. it.

Oh, I’m angry. I know. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a real issue underneath my rants that SHOULD anger people.

And once that wall breaks, that bit of peer pressure or societal pressure that we’re subjected to every second of our lives…Well, everything just comes pouring out. The built-up resentment. The anger, and the frustration. At least; that’s the way it is for me.

‘Cause, baby…It’s been raining a long time now, and my levee’s broken…

This doesn’t bode well

I’m 51. Almost 52. Yet, just like any kid, I couldn’t help but feel that rush of excitement yesterday as my very last language class drew to a close. Six glorious weeks of holiday. I know I’m bound to flip, and at some point complain how could I ever have thought this much time off was a good idea? But that ain’t today. Today I’m still a kid, off of school, no more homework or doing things I don’t want to do.

Yippee!

Had the treat of finding another online comment from (yep, you guessed it) my uncle, who seems to yank my chain an awful lot. Props to him; he did it again. I’d posted an article from a German news source that discussed a study of sexual aggression in male apes. It suggested that sexual aggression and intimidation runs in the species; similar behaviors were noted in various monkeys, orangutans, and apes. It also suggested that, humans being closely related to our ape cousins, this trait was present in male humans – which led us down the merry path of ‘rape is just something men do’. Sugar-coated, I’ll give you. But it lay there in the midst of this article’s words, splayed legged for the world to see and jerk off to. Naturally, my comment while posting said article was rather scathing. And how did my right-wing, privileged uncle respond? “This picture isn’t of an ape.” Yes. A stupid comment on the accompanying picture of said article. Nothing on the content. Nothing on my thoughts. Apparently, this was his only way to discount what was being said. You’ve got the wrong picture on top of the article. If that’s wrong, I’m not even gonna bother reading it. Maybe that wasn’t his intention. But it read that way.

The only reason I see for him doing any of this is to needle at me. I just can’t figure out why he feels the need to needle me. I don’t even live on his continent. His life never need intersect mine. And how many times do I need to say thanks for the money loan? It was paid back, with interest. Doesn’t mean I have to shut up with my opinions.

You didn’t buy me, uncle.

I replied, and told him I didn’t write the article and perhaps his comment should be directed towards the news agency that published it.

Play rehearsals went well. Learned we’re booking five performances. Two locally, two in Amsterdam, one in Leiden. That’s so far. Hope there aren’t too many more. If I have to cough up for money towards a venue, plus travel costs, plus perform – well, that’s asking a lot, isn’t it? At the same time I’m glad. Glad I’ll have these opportunities to shine. Glad it won’t be a lot of work for just two nights and then sitting around doing nothing for the rest of the year. I’m puzzled as well. These people think they can do local plus out of town gigs? What’s the draw? Or are there just so many theatre goers in the Netherlands that we’re guaranteed a certain amount of people? It’s not even like they’re active online. Their sites – both the dot com and their FB page – rarely changes. I saw them struggle to draw more than 40 people last year, and that was locally. Well, I’ve not been invited into the inner circle yet. The Grand Poo-Pah has not granted me access. So I don’t know who’s doing what, or why they’re not doing some things that seem obvious to me.

Want to get in some rehearsal time today while my bro is at the comic book shop. Not that I need much. I almost got my lines memorized from last night’s three run-throughs. Then it’s dishes, per usual. My bro did a bunch of dishes yesterday while I was busy, but then he dirtied as many dishes as there were earlier by making dinner. So I’m left with a large sink full of dishes to do all by myself. Again. Hoo-rah. Then it’s off to the gym, for an extended-extended work out. What I’ll extend, I don’t know. I just know I want to burn, burn a lot, and burn hard. After that, if I can lift my arms and keep my eyes open, I’ll see about puttering with my outline.

*sigh* And the festivals are beginning. The endless outdoor music and all sorts of fun festivals. No money for entrance fees, so I have to wait for the freebies. But I hear the fireworks at night, celebrations with thousands of people. It’s kind of lonely, hearing that as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep. Gee, listen to that. All those people out there having a good time. All that fun and life and music and activity. Usually I’m too tired to worry about it for long, but in those brief moments before sleep takes me I can feel very alone.

Diving into writing will only reinforce that aloneness. I know that. Going to do my best to get out every day, no matter how hot the writing is going. I don’t want the next six weeks of posts to be about feeling like a ghost, or having no friends, or being disconnected. And I do want to get my work done. So a strict half schedule must be adhered to. Half a day, every day, get the fuck out of the house. Go to the gym. If I have to do the gym every day because it’s the only thing I can afford that’ll get me out for a couple of hours, alright. Then I’ll super push. Go to rehearsals. Take a walk. Look through the charity shops for cheap clothes. Try to meet up with acquaintances. Say hello. Chill. Ask them how they are, what they’re doing.

Anything.

Hm. Two hours officially into my holiday and I’m already finding ways to keep myself occupied.

This doesn’t bode well.

Yes Women

Ah! The words every back pain sufferer wants to hear from her physiotherapist were uttered to me yesterday – your back is in really good condition. Yippee! It’s been 5 weeks since my last appointment and I feel I’ve been a good girl with exercising and all that, so no real big surprise. After all, I wasn’t screaming with pain while he was gone. Still, always good to hear it from an expert.

A really, really cute expert.

Honestly, I’m once again left wondering about this man. He went on holiday to Thailand for three weeks. An observer might have assumed an entirely different relationship than the one we have; sure, he showed me into the examination room (as usual), but then it was almost ten minutes of showing me pictures and video from his trip, telling me about the people he met and the scuba diving he did. We had that fast exchange two people who’ve been apart for a while but really like each other do: rapid speech, lots of laughs, and an excitement to share everything the other’s missed in our absence.

Gods, and his eyes! I swear they twinkle.

*lovesick sigh*

Been having trouble finding the information I want/need for my script. Amazing (not) how completely censored the internet is. All I can find is repeated info; the same blurbs a thousand times over, masquerading as new articles and stories while offering the same pat. Wondering if I should even consider contacting the Russian embassy to ask for information. In these days and times, just the act of asking could be construed as ‘wrong’.

Determined to get to the gym today despite the forecast high temp and humidity. I’m strong enough to have doubled my speed on the cross trainer. Still not that fast, mind you. I only cover slightly over 2 miles in half an hour. I hope to increase that speed a bit more before turning up the resistance again. And the only way to increase my speed is to keep doing it. This day on, day off timing is working exceptionally well for me. I don’t get into a two day endorphin roll, then jones out on my off days. My workouts still drain me, and every time I think I’ll do a double day I wake up on the second day sore, stiff, and bone tired. So I’ll stick with the day on, day off thing. I AM over 50, after all.

Running the lines for the last half of my scene. Gotta roll my eyes again at the writer: typical male written dialogue, with a lot of support language for the female characters. Oh! Um – yes. That’s it for at least 50% of the play. I like the physical challenge, being asked to stand silent on stage for long, long moments. But don’t ever try to tell me this writer knows anything about women. He doesn’t, and it’s obvious in the dialogue, stage directions, and underlying messages in his work. We’re silly little add ons, desperately clinging to the men in the scene. Fluffy headed reasons to put a joke in somewhere. He’s left every woman in this play stuck in the fifties, which only emphasizes it’s he who’s stuck.

Pitiful.

Yeah, I know what I sound like.

It does make me determined to write better roles for women. I won’t skew something I see as male just to be a feminist. If the story presents itself to me as a male thing, I’ll write it that way. But no female role I ever write will be some side salad, nothing with any meat in it. Even if they’re not central characters, they’ll be interesting. More than yes women.

I so bloody hate yes women roles. Real life, and scripted.

Just a person

Am I the only woman on the face of the planet who thinks running ‘women only’ blogs or competitions ‘in support of female whatevers’ is detrimental to equality? Do we not declare that yes, we are unequal and we need extra help in order to compete in the real world by participating in these things?

By the Goddess, judge me on my work, not on my sex!

What a sad situation. I participate in these things to try and get my work read and noticed. I hope for the best. Yet I grit my teeth as I submit (truly, in every sense of the word) to this male-dominated ‘we are victims’ ideology.

Many a time I’ve submitted as a male, or as an unknown quantity (always the best) by using my initials only. Fallback is to assume I’m a man: again, I view that as a compliment. They don’t see me as a female writer, oh, please! Read my pitiful work and give me a nod because I’m a woman and I need it. No. Straight up addressed to “Mister”.

And what the FUCK is chick lit? Puh-leaze! Another male dominated term used to belittle anything with women or women’s issues as the focus. Suck it up, guys: as women, we’re expected to read and admire many pieces of literature with men as main characters (even the current Harry Potter series chose a boy to focus on, NOT a girl). Tit for tat. Deal.

But, no! Never has there been a more whining minority than that of men. Oh, we can’t read that; it’s for girls. Chick lit. Discount.

I can’t fucking write that. I can’t even fucking deal with the idea of a ‘chick lit’ category.

Managed to take care of all those traditionally female jobs in the household: dishes, laundry, hoovering, dusting, shopping. I do these things despite the stereotype, despite everything in me thinking good Goddess, I’m supporting all the bullshit chauvinists spout because I can’t wrap my head around the idea that keeping your personal space clean is a women’s only thing. It’s not. It’s a health thing. But let’s face it: if you live with anyone else, it’s also a support issue. Helping out people around you by keeping things clean, making their lives easier – that’s just caring and common decency, right? Or am I really fucked in the head?

What’s so difficult about being decent people?

What’s there to belittle or discount?

Do you see me? I’m a person. Can you hear me? I’m human. What’s it matter what set of sexual organs chance saw fit to equip me with?

All this bullshit makes me sick. Makes me wish I was sexless. No sex organs whatsoever. Not male, not female, not stuck somewhere in-between.

Just a person.

Make All Women the Norm

International Women’s Day. So far I’ve seen various articles on it. Most are men talking about how the day should be celebrated, or ‘fun’ little articles on how roses are being handed out to random women in a particular city. Would it kill the media to focus on strong female role models? Or even whisper about our pay inequality?

Apparently so.

And all the women shown to me today are thin, young, wearing fashionable clothes and make-up. Not a one over 40 (much less 50), not a one brave enough to show their true, unpainted face.

It brings to mind the very basic arguments of feminism: what and how can we be and act? Why do we even need to ask these questions? Why is every action or non-action we take scrutinized so fully?

Make-up. When I was young, I was all for it. I felt more attractive and therefore more confident. As I sit here sans make-up and with a lot more experience, I understand that the reaction I had when younger was denial: I denied the fact that I felt invisible and therefore used brightly colored paints to decorate my face in attempt to stand out and be noticed. That’s what truly lay behind my earlier viewpoint, tho I was unable to acknowledge it at the time.

And I believe that mindset lay behind much of the back and forth bullshit I’m hearing these days. It’s reinforced by media stereotypes, cultural influences, paradigms and idioms. It’s cemented in by jokes and situational comedies, by cover spreads and centerfolds, by our own desire to be seen, heard, and valued.

See me: we paint our eyes, outlining them in dark colors, adding shading and glints, we glue on false eyelashes, we stick color bits of plastic on our eyeballs to make our eye color change, we draw in dramatic eyebrows. See me; I’m here.

Hear me: we paint our lips, outlining them, plumping them, adding gloss and glitter all in an effort to draw attention to what we say.

Value me: we paint our cheeks with blush; too much and we are whores, too little and we are sallow-faced and unhealthy, but just right and we can be mothers, leaders, world changers.

Using make-up isn’t wrong. It doesn’t make you wrong, or less. But with the obvious (tho little discussed) health issues associated with make-up use, it does beg the question why women feel the need to continue using it.

We question why smokers continue to use a product dangerous to their health.

We tell drug users they’re killing themselves, and they need to get clean.

We body shame the fat, tell them they’re costing our health care systems millions just because they’re lazy.

But we don’t address the ‘window dressing’ women feel compelled to do. If we do, we are shunned. Extremists. Un-womanly women.

And everyone seems to think the large issues need tackling first. That’s silly. It’s the small stuff that should be worked on first: build from the ground up. Show real women: women over 40, women over 50, fat women, skinny women, ugly women, beautiful women. Women with make up on and women with make up off. Make all women the norm. We need not be one thing or another, this or that. That truly is extremism.

 

 

 

Day 2: 3 Day Quote Challenge

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Cheers to socialworkerangela from iammyownisland.wordpress.com for nominating me. Anyone willing to step up to the challenge is most welcome to do so!

For day 2, let’s talk about sexism. I received this in my email the other day:

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It was sent to me by my uncle, who probably thought this was complimentary towards women. Can you spot the sexism in the text? No? Let’s see what this says about women. We make babies. We make ‘homes’. We make meals. We love easily. All sexist concepts. Not all women fit this description, and of course the kicker line is just that put-down hidden behind a joke that’s been done to us for ages.

Let’s move on, shall we? How about this gem: “Straight men just can’t imagine the bliss of being in a relationship with someone who finds farting as funny as they do.” – Graham Norton. Whoa! I expected a bit more from that effeminate icon. But, no. Women are women and seemingly deserve putting down, regardless if it comes from hetero- or homosexual men. For the record, I laugh my ass off at a good fart.
Do we need more? Sexist quotes are easy to find:

“While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve. I’m no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women.” – Stephen Hawking

“Relationships are made of talk – and talk is for girls and women.”- Deborah Tannen

“Were there no women, men might live like gods.” – Thomas Dekker

“Women are frightening. If you get to 41 as a man, you’re quite battle-scarred.” – Hugh Grant

“Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”- Friedrich Nietzsche

“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”- Phylicia Rashad

“Nature makes woman to be won and men to win.”- George William Curtis

“No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.”- W. C. Fields

“Women will never be as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them.”- Dick Van Dyke

“Emancipation of women has made them lose their mystery.”- Grace Kelly

“Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.”- George Bernard Shaw

All of that from a simple search on ‘sexist quotes’, and only 2 pages out of 43 on one site. Some of the people quoted above are well known sexists. Others are, as you may have noticed, women themselves – something I find terribly disturbing. We are lumping ourselves into these boxes, saying all of us are this or that. Simply because I have the physical capacity to bear a child does NOT mean I want a child, nor does it mean if I did have a child that I would suddenly become a ‘motherly’ type of person – a scenario that is, sadly, often portrayed in films. And why do we even say ‘motherly’? Shouldn’t it be some parental instinct present in BOTH sexes? But no. Put a baby into a woman’s arms and we’re all supposed to go gooey and begin that baby talk. That view of women IS sexist.

Sick. Not in the cool sense of the word. In the original sense: unwell, diseased. Sick.

The sickest thing is the blindness of people to this subtle sexism. And the reaction that if any protest is lodged, well, you’ve got to be some man-hating neo nazi feminist. After all, they and the dykes are the only people who really have a problem with this, right? The ugly women, in other words. The ones that can’t catch a husband. You know all the phrases; I’ve heard them ad-infinitum for the past 50 years.

I’ve got a real problem with this, and I’ve never been called ‘ugly’. I’m not a dyke. Nor a neo-nazi. Those are YOUR labels.

And I’m not against a good joke. I like to laugh. What I’m against is this MOUNTAIN of ‘jokes’ against women. This tsunami of narrow thought. This pervasive idea that women are a side salad in life, draped over a car and taken at a man’s whim.

Men, is that REALLY what you think of you mothers? Because there’s no real difference between your mommy and the woman you encourage to dress provocatively and gyrate all over the hood of your vehicle. That’s your mother dry humping the car. Your mom showing her tits off and spreading her legs. Your mom being a bimbo, your mom being raped, your mom getting backhanded across the face.

Women do not become sainted after giving birth. You’d rarely know that from men, though. How often do we hear in real life and in film, ‘don’t say anything about my mother’ as a point of argument? Men somehow think their mommies are the virgin Mary, pure as the driven snow. Mothers never flashed their v’s or fucked in a back alley. That’s what whores do. Right back to that virgin/whore thing again. Why? Because it’s so deep in our society and culture you can barely extract yourself from it.

Sick.

When you counter a woman’s argument by telling her something about her looks, you’re being sexist. When you fail to listen to a human being because they have tits, you’re being sexist. When you lump all women into any category, you’re being sexist.

This isn’t a hard concept to understand, is it? I’m not using too many big words, am I?

The only mystery a woman has is the innate silence of thousands of years of holding our tongues when you put us down. The only reason that ‘women are from venus and men are from mars’ is that this simple concept isn’t understood. That look we give you…Want to know what it is?

We’re thinking what dickheads you all are. We just don’t say it.