Sunday, August 17, 2008

so I finally caved in and watched some olympics yesterday, inspired by Ren's extensive coverage.

I decided I probably ought to watch Michael Phelps, atomic superman, win that eighth gold medal. you know, for baltimore. and I'm glad I did, because that was completely awesome. I gotta wonder, though, who among us will remember Jason Lezak? or Brendan Hansen or Aaron Piersol? poor guys.

now, here's a question - if you want to win NINE gold medals in a single olympics, do you have to enter two different sports? is that even allowed?

nifty as the swimming was, I found that I was even more intrigued by the ladies' marathon. once upon a time, in a former life, I ran a half-marathon. it took me as long to run thirteen miles as it did for these women to run twenty-six. (I'm a slug, that's why.)

this totally bad-ass Romanian Constantina Tomescu-Dita won:

by some crazy-ass margin, ahead of the pack by almost an entire minute, which in marathon-math equals nearly a quarter mile (correct me if I'm wrong, which surely I am).

She was, like, Secretariat-escu. and she looked all relaxed about it, just one foot in front of the other (at light-speed, of course).

and then there was this Chinese runner, Zhou Chunxiu, who just a few years ago had a cyst scraped out of her hipbone and now is a freaking marathon runner. (makes me ashamed that I don't run anymore 'cuz my crunchy old knees).

of course, all this means is that instead of digging out a pair of good sneakers and getting some exercise, I will be watching the olympics inside, on this beautiful day.

or maybe not. probably a brisk walk at least won't kill me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

now, the only thing I know about South Ossetia is that I once read about it in a book titled "Ten Places To Never Go", or something. the author thought it was too violent and dangerous. that was back in 2005, I think.

so I don't know anything about what's going on in Russia right now. but Natalia does. go get educated!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wanna see Wolfie?

"Teh Patriarchy? I iz Teh Patriarchy!"

here goes another one:

in the second photo, you can clearly see how closely I conform to patriarchal standards of beauty and acceptability...or something...

and I know that white boy babies are a dime a dozen, and ooze privilege from every orifice (whoo boy, lemme tell ya, I change a lot more privilege-y diapers than I ever thought possible), and are really no great shakes, globally speaking, and are nothing to celebrate. but I like this one, my Nigel here.

I don't think I'll be letting him loose on the world until he can cook, clean up after himself, wash his own socks and accept rejection without falling to pieces. I'd like to think we can teach him that being a bully does not equal being a man, and that chromosomes do not indicate superiority.

but for now, I'll be happy when he gets some teeth. learns to crawl forward. says "hello!"

baby steps, man.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

courtesy our good pals at La Leche League, for those of you who like to keep abreast of these things. (snerk)

Say what you will about the boob nazis (and you will, I'm sure), I respect their work. and I think that most of the time, under most circumstances, breastfeeding is the best choice for a mom and her baby and that all reasonable effort should be expended to ensure that breastfeeding continues for as long as both parties desire.

I say this because so far, nursing has been really rewarding for me. It's kept me sane and relaxed and healthy (more or less) - and my goodness! what a racket nursing is!

"Hey hon, can you iron my shirt?"
oh, sorry darlin'. I'm feeding the baby.

"Can you fix dinner?"
eeeeeeeeeeyeah, no - I'm nursing.

"clean the bathroom?"
nope, nursing.


see "nursing", above.

"Hello, this is Bill Billcollector, is Antiprincess at home?"
sorry, can't come to the phone. I'm nursing.

"dingdong! landlord calling!"

haHA! nursing!

so, yeah, it's been great for me the past five months. heh heh heh...pretty crafty of me, I think. nursing does give me a chance to slow down a minute, take a deep breath, relax a little - there's no way that's not healthy. And I think it's cool that no matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, I can make that annoying whine stop instantly just by jamming a boob in the baby's mouth. at home, at work, in the grocery store, on the city bus - absolutely free and instantly effective. the transformation from screaming trainwreck to merry little cherub is nothing short of miraculous.

(sigh...'scuse me while I renew my commitment to breastfeeding...)

And we're back!

seriously, if all my milk dried up tomorrow and we had to switch to formula, Wolfie would be fine, just fine. ('course, paradoxically, we'd have to sell the baby to FormulaCo, or whoever. that shit's expensive!) but I'm not overly worried that formula is made of pure poisonium killyounate, at least not while our privileged white american asses have a reliable source of clean water.

you all know where this is going, I'm sure.

in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, let's revisit our esteemed blog colleague Justicewalks, to wit:

We could do this by refusing to be mothers to males. Even in places where abortions or other adequate birth control are lacking, women could refuse to nurse male neonates. You may wonder what horrible tragedies would befall the poor women who didn't give men the sons they demanded. Might they be beaten? Might they be raped? Might they be killed?

I remember back in the summer I went a little nuts about that, when I read it. maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the hormones, who knows. but I came fairly completely unhinged about it.

JW later explains herself here, saying:

A good keyboard-chum of mine reminded me the other day about all of the overwrought histrionics surrounding my supposed advocacy of male infanticide. I’ve found it all so amusing, really, the way the slightest anti-male thing gets purposefully misconstrued as violent, irrational, and haphazard, that I haven’t felt the need to counter it with any sort of dignified response. For me, the raving attacks on me have only served to show my opponents in all their saturated male-identification. But, for clarity, I thought I’d revisit that situation.

This is all I said:

We could do this [free ourselves from men] by refusing to be mothers to males. Even in places where abortions or other adequate birth control are lacking, women could refuse to nurse male neonates.

Then, Bird, whoever she is, in the very next comment, equated this, refusal of reproductive (and sexual) services to males, with killing them. Apparently, If you’re not offering up your wombs and extended nipples to the bastards, you’re KILLING THEM, I tell you!

well, yeah, overwrought histrionics, guilty as charged.

nonetheless, I struggle to find a common ground on this subject. even now, five months after those crazy pregnancy hormone spikes, it's still really sensitive and overwrought-histrionic-inducing for me. but I'll try to remain rational for a change.

maybe back then I should have asked exactly what she meant by "refusing to nurse". because there are plenty of other options to sustain the lives of newborn babies. I mean, was she thinking that baby boys should be given formula? baby boys should be given formula by their fathers?

unlikely, given this paragraph here:

In any event, and just to be perfectly precise about my perspective, I know that we must drastically reduce (if not eliminate) the male population in order to assure girls’ and women’s safety from prostitution, marriage, rape, sexual indebtedness, and reproductive slavery. And, yes, I see birth control, abortion, and abandonment as being the route toward that reduced (or eliminated) male population.

so, yeah, the way I read it, a drastic reduction (or elimination) of the male population would require making live male babies (not fetuses, not embryos) dead.

later she says:

"Abandonment is not murder."

but see, someone's gotta stick around and feed them something. otherwise they'll die. any baby (boy or girl) will die. at this stage in the game? the "neonate" stage, prior to a year, maybe two? yeah, leaving a baby to fend for itself is pretty much a death sentence. abandonment IS murder.

maybe at the time I missed her overarching point that men commit infanticide of girl babies all the time, and where were the condemnations of that? why does just a simple, innocent, harmless little suggestion of turning the tables cause such an explosion of rage?

well, for me, it was because I was pregnant, and touchy, and really trying to keep a lid on things IRL, and so probably lashed out inappropriately.


this whole "refuse to nurse male neonate" thing only works if you think that there is some innate characteristic of males that makes them Not Worth Saving, some inborn flaw in their character that is borne on their bodies, indelible, un-correctable, some Mark of Cain that predestines all men to devote their lives to harming women just by their very presence, and so worth abandoning.

but myself, I don't think that misogyny is innate. I think it's learned. or, hopefully, if I'm careful and cautious and responsible and paying attention, NOT learned.

and is there anyone, really, that can carry some innate characteristic of chromosome that is Not Worth Saving? is there any way to justify the abandonment of babies-of-color, on the grounds that they'll just grow up to (do whatever horrible thing people of color are assumed to do)? or the abandonment of babies with disabilities?

so, JW and I may respectfully disagree (now that I'm significantly less hysterical), if such is even possible for her, knowing that I'm a fairly white, privileged, "male-identified" and therefore irrelevant voice in a much larger blogosphere.

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