Friday, November 20, 2009

Magma is a funny word.

So, lately all my post titles have been pinched from Looking for Group comics. Ah well, there's nothing original on the internets anyway, right?

I was just thinking that actually, hectopascal is a funny word. I always thought it was spelled hecterpascal, thanks to the delivery of the weatherman throughout my childhood, Mike Pook. (We always called him Pookie. The nightly weather was a somewhat onesided conversation at our place. Aaaand this haphazard train of thought has reminded me of the insane way my sister used to giggle whenever someone said 'Hong Kong', and got the old theme music from The Bill stuck in my head.)

Trying to distract myself from the ridiculous heat (I can't help but sit here and whimper at the fact that it's only going to get hotter for the next couple of months), I have, of course, been blogsurfing. Strangely, this is a form of procrastination I've only (relatively) recently embraced. At times it's a hugely counterproductive activity, since I have a tendency to get cranky when I'm thinking about stuff and things from a feminist perspective. At this point it's probably necessary to state that I am, in fact, explicitly outing myself as a feminist. Probably kindof obvious too, but what the hell.

So. For the past few months I've been wending my way through various blogs, grateful for these intelligent, articulate women writing stuff that makes me think, but intensely frustrated by the very stuff it makes me think about. A recent chemical change (hello, happy pills!) has me on a more even keel, and I think I've finally got the hang of thinking philosophically rather than angrily about male privilege, patriarchy, 'culture', all that jazz. V's probably sobbing with relief, since on of the real outcomes of this particular epiphany is a little less ear-bashing from me.


Ahem. Not sure what the actual point is here, but I reckon I might get to it eventually. I started wandering through feminist blogs (as a spectator; I don't tend to comment) because of this post. Some of them are on our blogroll; if you're at all interested in reading actual content from actual people who are actual feminists, I'd suggest dipping a toe in. I don't mean feminism in the sense that a lot of people seem to think about feminism; there's no bitter man-hating going on. It's not about teh evil menz so much as it's about paradigms, and paying attention, thinking critically about the ways people relate to each other and what that means.

A couple of months ago I was incredibly angry that no-one (apart from a bunch of people with blogs) seems to credit this as a conversation that desperately needs to be happening. John Howard might believe that we're in the 'post-feminist' stage of the 'debate', but I like to think that anyone with even a little bit of a brain can see that it's not a 'debate' when the wage gap is still ridiculous, and it's not a 'debate' when the choices women face in terms of career and family are so structurally unfair. It's not a debate when the much-needed American healthcare reform turns into an exercise in neglecting several forms of basic healthcare for women, or when the 'principles' of American conservatives prevent any federal US funding from going towards aid programs which provide abortions.

It's weird, to be something other than angry about all this. In a way, I am angry - I'm angry every time I hear someone say something that I know needs to be challenged - angry at them, and angry with myself for failing to challenge it, as I know I often do. Angry that on those occasions when I do manage to make that challenge, I fail to adequately articulate why these things are important, to me personally and to society as a whole.

So, maybe I am angry, but at least it feels like good angry. I spend a good chunk of each day hoping for updates, reading intelligent, articulate people write about important things, trivial things, amusing things, interesting things. I've learned a bunch of things about random stuff, from pedagogical techniques (I find myself addicted to academic blogs, even though I'm no longer studying; it's making me rethink my approach to being a student, even if it is a bit late...) to fat acceptance, and more topics in between than I ever thought I'd spend hours reading about.

I think maybe I lied before. I'm not sure I am getting to a point; I think I'm probably just crapping on about how awesome the internet can be. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with this random little epiphany, if I do anything; I guess I'll just leave this as a thankyou to all the people I've got blog-crushes on, who routinely make my intellectual life richer thanks to what they share.

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