Sunday Reading: The strength to love edition
I feel a little raw these days.
Not because things are bad, (they’re kind of wonderful in fact), but because holy shit, does life move fast. October is my favorite month, and also the month most likely to make me feel both reflective and nostalgic. My time in the Bay Area may be in the very beginning stages of wrapping up (like maybe in six months to a year I’ll leave) and that’s straight up weird to me. Once I moved back here (this is basically my home town) I thought I’d be in for life. Weird how that works out, huh?
I have literally never in my life wanted to own a house, but as a renter, I have to say it can be tough to live in someone else’s home who may not have your best interest in mind. I had a real reality check moment with my current landlord last week, and when I pulled my head up from my humble abode and look at the prices around me, well, my brain just about exploded. California is wildly expensive! (So then I look in other states, kinda let my eyes virtually wander the US, and it makes me feel a little crazy. Minneapolis? Philadelphia? Austin? Portland? LA? hell, I dunno, SEDONA?!) There are a lot of cool places in the world to go, but none of them have year round mild weather and an endless bounty of fruits and vegetables right at my fingertips. How does one choose their place when they are not necessarily governed by biological family? And how can we keep our chosen family close when we move every few years?
Things to think about indeed. If you have any ideas on where I should live, I would be totally happy to hear them.
NOW. Onto the links!
This article focuses on two things: two of my favorite female protagonists ever, Harriet M. Welsh of Harriet The Spy and Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird, and their authors Louise Fitzhugh and Nelle Harper Lee. It discusses Harriet and Scout’s relative contempt for femininity and heterosexual coupling, and their admiration and emulation of masculinity. The article says that both characters define themselves in opposition to the standard girly girls on the playground, and the grown up wealthy women in their neighborhood. The characters hate dresses, they’re loud, they stick their noses where they don’t belong.
I was incredibly intrigued by this article, because I would happily think about the subject of Harriet and Scout all damn day. BUT, I can’t quite touch my finger on this, but I found inherent sexism lurking as I read, and I couldn’t tell if that was in the article or in the books themselves. While both Harriet and Scout were absolutely stellar girls, girls I’d love to know and the kind of girls I work to be a role model to, why is the focus so distinctly anti-feminine? Why is curiosity, bravery, ingenuity, and drive portrayed as NOT feminine, either in these books or in the article? I certainly adore the celebration of a good Tomboy, but something about the writing here seemed strange. Thoughts?
My totally awesome and beautiful friend Ariel made me my first pumpkin pie of the season last week, and I want many MANY more before the new year hits. This recipe is totally next in my queue.
Raechel is my blogger soul sister, and like many of the things she has written, this article had me in tears.
There is something so incredibly beautiful, exhilarating, terrifying, and painful about being someone who was socialized as female living inside of a body. We are taught to fight wars with ourselves, to whittle ourselves down, to carve away at ourselves. We are taught that our bodies are simply wrong, as far as I can tell, pretty much no matter what. I’ve struggled with my thighs, my hips, my butt, my nose, my boobs, for much of my life. These things, I’ve been sure in the past were all JUST TOO BIG. and then I had the experience of shrinking, of watching the number on the scale go down, of my hips, butt, thighs and boobs disappearing (the nose was still big, not much you can do about that) and STILL I felt too, too, too…..something. Too skinny, too stupid to just take care of myself, too tired to put any effort in. The pain of the body is real, my dudes, and from where I sit today, I can say that the excitment of the body is real, too. It’s just a process. Raechel writes about this process beautifully.
This piece really got me. The discussion of the complexities of loving different kinds of people, paired with the strong female voice….total perfection.
Maybe I’ve been on the west coast too long, but it seems to me that when people walk around hating themselves all the time, it proliferates and makes everything around you that much more hatable. This talk discusses self-love as a life or death situation, and it’s totally intense and inspiring.
Have a wonderful weekend!