July 31   The Female Man

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I’ve had a ripper of a reading weekend this weekend and just finally finished the last 7 pages of The Female Man which I didn’t manage to do in time for the Spoilerific Russ Podcast.

And so I only just read the closing. And didn’t get to go all “awwwwww” on the podcast. Fave quotes:

Go, little book … Do not scream when you are ignored, for that will alarm people, and do not fume when are heisted by persons who will not pay, rather rejoice that you have become so popular. Live merrily, little daughter-book, even if I can’t and we can’t; recite yourself to all who will listen; stay hopeful and wise. Wash your face and take your place without a fuss in the Library of Congress, for all books end up there eventually, both little and big. Do not complain when at last you become quaint and old-fashioned. when you grow as outworn as crinolines of a generation ago … do not mutter angrily to yourself when young persons read you to hrooch and hrch and guffaw, wondering what the dickens you were all about. Do not get glum when you are no longer understood, little book. Do not curse your fate. Do not reach up from readers’ laps and punch the readers’ noses.

Rejoice little book!

For on that day, we will all be free.

I was all: No! Joanna will still love you and understand you! Oh. Wait. …

 

 



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I have another post to follow the last but right now I am finishing up my reading for the Special Russ Galactic Suburbia episode later tonight. Thee is nothing to soothe one’s feminist ails like reading Russ, I guess.

There used to be an odd, popular, and erroneous idea that the sub revolved around the earth.

This has been replaced by an even odder, equally popular, and equally erroneous idea that the earth goes around the sun.

In fact, the moon and the earth revolve around a common center, and this commonly-centered pair revolves with the sun around another common center, except that you must figure in all the solar planets here, so things get complicated. Then there is the motion of the solar system with regard to a great many other objects eg the galaxy and if at this point you as what does the motion of the earth really look like form the center of the entire universe, say, … the only answer is:

that is doesn’t.

Because there isn’t.

 

And this:

What is frightening about black art or women’s art or Chicano art – and so on – is that it calls into question the very idea of objectivity and absolute standards:

This is a good novel.

Good for what?

Good for whom?

One side of the nightmare is that the privileged group will not recognise that “other” art, will not be able to judge it, that the superiority of taste and training possessed by the privileged critic and the privileged artist will suddenly vanish.

The other side of the nightmare is not that what is found in the “other” art will be incomprehensible, but that it will be all too familiar. That is:

Women’s lives are the buried truth of men’s lives.

The lives of people of colour are the buried truth about white lives.

The buried truth about the rich is who they take their money from and how.

The buried truth about “normal” sexuality is how one kind of sexual expression has been made privileged, and what kinds of unearned virtue and terrors about identity this distinction serves.

And she goes on but you should really go read the book!



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I started the day with such energy and about 5 blogposts which I’ve been meaning to flesh out all week on the boil. And then I ended up taking that energy and reading a good chunk of Joanna Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing (one of the books we’ll be discussing on the upcoming spoilerific Joanna Russ episode on Galactic Suburbia). Reading this book has been a bit uncomfortable. Obviously there are elements of it that I was already aware and attuned to but other aspects have had me questioning a few things about my own experience and also seeing a few people, and their reactions and responses to me in certain arenas, in a different light. I also did some reading for Last Short Story. And like 5 or 6 loads of laundry. And lots and lots of cleaning up after puppy.

And some rearranging of things at C’s place. I am moving in with C. He actually asked me at the beginning of the year and we agreed that it was better timing after Swancon. I actually didn’t realise just how much Swancon was going to take out of me. It’s taking so much longer than I thought it would to get the emotional and mental energy back up to tackle things, to get up to speed on publishing, to be capable of socialising and a bunch of other things too. So the moving thing. Not really what I have energy for. And, as they say, one of the most stressful things you do in life. Yay. But it’s getting there slowly (not really, I feel like I have moved hardly anything). Most of Twelfth Planet Press is down here and in one room, more like a warehouse than an office but able to function and run things. Why do I have so many other (personal) books? And stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Still, the one carload at a time thing is starting to make me cry. I have to get a mover for the large items of furniture anyway so I am starting to lean towards packing boxes and having them brought down at the same time. Now just to actually leverage space in C’s house for me. Too little storage!

So I have much work still to be done this weekend. I feel very behind on the Twelve Planets. And ASif! And I want to get some traction on Last Short Story. And now that I have sorted my next two interviews for Galactic Chat, I have reading to do in preparation of those. And And And. You know how it goes.



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I’ve been trying to post here everyday, like I mentioned before. But it’s a struggle mostly because of the things I cannot say. I’m struggling too with the postcon crash. Today was the first day where I felt like things started to come back on track. Slowly slowly. I had a productive day at work and then I came home and had a productive day at TPP.

I have sat down now to read The Female Man and decided to start back at the beginning since I hadn’t gotten that far in when I started it before and I read the quote at the beginning of the book – by R.D. Laing in The Politics of Experience (Penguin 1967) and I *had* to repeat some of it here. After the goings on of about the last week, it made me laugh.

If Jack succeeds in forgetting something, this is of little use if Jill continues to remind him of it. He must induce her not to do so. The safest way would be not just to make her keep quiet about it, but to induce her to forget it also.

Jack may act upon Jill in many ways. He may make her feel guilty for keeping on “bringing it up”. He may invalidate her experience. This can be done-more or less radically. He can indicate merely that it is unimportant or trivial, whereas it is important and significant to her. Going further, he can shift the modality of her experience from memory to imagination: “It”s all in your imagination.” Further still, he can invalidate the content. “It never happened that way.” Finally, he can invalidate not only the significance, modality and content, but her very capacity to remember at all, and make her feel guilty for doing so into the bargain.

This is not unusual. People are doing such things to each other all the time. In order for such transpersonal invalidation to work, however, it is advisable to overlay it with a thick patina of mystification. For instance, by denying that this is what one is doing, and further invalidating any perception that it is being done, by ascriptions such as “How can you think such a thing 1″ “You must be paranoid.” And so on.

 

 



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