dream #19: andrea
my mom gives birth to another daughter. this surprises us all because my mom is 60. my sister andrea and i go to the hospital to see the new baby, both of us in shock that we have a new sister. “i’m 32 years older than my new sister!” i keep exclaiming. my dad, smiling and proud, greets us in the waiting room and leads us in to a room with a crib to meet the baby. “her name is adalaide arabella,” my dad says. “that’s not fair,” i say, “her middle name should be elabella. that way her initials have a letter from andrea’s first name and a letter from mine.” my dad agrees, “we’ll change it,” he says. i pick up the baby, she is big, like a six month or eight month old baby even though she has just been born. she is healthy and beautiful. i am overwhelmed by love for her. ‘i didn’t think i could love a baby,’ i think to myself, ‘but i can love this one.’ i point out to my sister that adalaide elabella has my her nose and my eyes. she’s like a perfect combo of the two of us. but i think she’s going to be blonde. i move my face close to the baby’s face to discern her hair color. i can see that my big eyes are as beautiful as everyone always says they are. i can see it, finally, looking at this baby. i turn to see what my sister has to say but she’s gone.
andrea is driving us home from the hospital. my mom and dad sit in the back with the new baby. i sit up front with andrea. we are on a long scenic drive through colorado and arizona. my mom, dad, and i are all enjoying the view. andrea is cryptically silent. she smokes cigarette after cigarette, hunched over the steering wheel. she lights one cigarette off the end of another. my parents are oblivious but it starts to make me angry. “first of all,” i tell her, “you don’t even smoke. second, you’re filling the whole car with smoke and it’s really bothering me and i *do* smoke. third, you have asthma, what are you even doing?” she glances over at me, cigarette clutched in one hand, scenery flying by. i can see in her eyes she is seething with anger. she’s miserable. she hates the new baby. she hates us for being so happy.
'that's funny,' i think, looking at her, this new feeling sinking in, 'i was always the one who was left out before.'
patrick rothfuss is just so, so weary
i’ve been puzzling for a few days over this whole thing where fantasy author patrick rothfuss (pictured above) decided to weigh in on the controversy over sexism in the scifi and fantasy community. misogyny within genre seems to have reached a real boiling point lately with women in these communities using social media to bring attention to the issue and speak out about how they feel. in response to them rothfuss tweeted: “Um, guys? Can we all stop being dialed-to-11 offended about everything? Then being offended that people are offended we’re offended? Please?” followed shortly by: “I know these conversations are important. But it feels like I’m awash in an endless sea of butthurt all the time these days.” with the hash tag attached to it being: #soweary
i used to be a big fan of patrick rothfuss. i appreciated his candor on his blog when talking about the writing and editing process and on what it was like to publish your first novel. it was very encouraging for me as someone who was trying to write a book. but over the years i have had less and less support to offer him in light of the ways he talks about women and uses them in his novels. these various problems come from him making a calendar where he turned famous female heroines of fantasy books into pinup girls to raise money for charity, him not defending or supporting women attacked in threads related to his blog despite promising to, him writing a long post about what feminism means to him which is basically that you get to choose what it means, etc. i have no plans to read his third book in his trilogy at this point. long before #soweary i had become weary of his so called “feminism” where because he had some basic understanding of what feminism is he was now allowed to do or say anything he wanted and was accountable to nothing and no one. here’s a jezebel article pointing out some of these issues with him specifically for those who are curious.
so i was wondering why, after having already withdrawn my support of him, i was so angered by his tweets over this issue. it wasn’t like they surprised me. and then it hit me.
i just needed patrick rothfuss and anyone out there defending their right to just live quiet peaceful lives inside the dude universe where they get to have all the ice cream to shut up. just fucking shut your mouth, patrick rothfuss. no one is trying to take anything away from you by talking about sexism. you’re a straight white man, you’re a big success, you’re in a position of power. now is not the time for you to speak up, in fact, it is never the time for you to speak up. if you want to, just ignore whatever is irritating you, if you want to go look at scifi bikini babes, just go do it, no one is going to stop you, all of the internet awaits. but marginalized people in the scifi and fantasy community are not looking for you to weigh in. you don’t need to. again: you’re a straight, white man. your POV has been well documented. you’ve been heard. you’ve been catered to. you’ve been published, lauded, applauded. so let the people who need to talk about what’s going on with them talk. nobody needs you to step in like daddy and say that they’ve had enough time to talk, lights out. nobody needs you to define feminism for them. nobody needs you to objectify female characters inside a genre where female characters are few and far between and almost always objectified. nobody needs you to write a character who saves women from being raped in order to make a point about how all men aren’t bad. nobody needs you to save the reputation of men. nobody needs your perspective within feminism. if you want to participate in feminism maybe start by being quiet and listening to the people for whom feminism is a tool to fight oppression, as opposed to trumpeting your own “feminism” over the people who actually need to be heard.
this is exactly like when ani difranco decided to hold her retreat at a plantation outside new orleans this summer and then, when women of color decided to speak up and say that they were uncomfortable going to a plantation, ani decided to explain to them how they should feel about racism. nobody needs to hear what you think about racism, white lady. shut up. let the people talk who need to.
It was so clear to me
That it was almost invisible.
I lie across the path waiting,
Just for a chance to be a spiderweb
Trapped in your lashes.
For that, I would trade you my empire for ashes.
— Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
March 8, 2014 at 5:45pm
Is there even going to be a cabin by a lake by the time I get old? Or will the whole earth be murdered?
is there anything truly mysterious that happens in this world?
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Ulyana Sergeenko and Christian Louboutin ‘Pigalle’ heels at the Texas Film Awards.
for some reason johnny depp and amber heard’s relationship represents everything depressing to me about age, divorce, beauty and loneliness. all i can think about when i look at them is how sad everything in life is and how vaporous beauty is. he reminds me of citizen kane and his girlfriend who he’s trying to make be an opera singer or something. i just want to hold his hand and tell him one day he’s going to die and there’s nothing he can do about it.
Thinking is my fighting.
— Virginia Woolf, in her essay Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid, dated 15 May 1940. (via elucipher)
(Source: sangfroidwoolf, via soniasaraiya)