“What choice do I have?” ask the liberal gentrifiers, if you press them a bit. “This is the only place I can afford to live!” This sums everything up perfectly, puncturing the bubble of individual choices that make up liberal politics.
You have no choice; everything’s been decided ahead of time. If you want the American dream of a middle-class life with a home you own in the city in which you work, you have few other choices than to join the shock troops of the onslaught against the urban poor. Align with big capital and the repressive state in the conquest of the city, and maybe you’ll have enough equity to send your kids to college.
Sure, you may feel a bit of guilt, but when it comes down to it, you’re still calling the cops at the slightest provocation. After all, it’s not just trendy bars and cafes at stake — it’s the yuppies’ privileged position in ruling class administration, one of the dwindling means towards any semblance of economic and social stability in this time of crisis. The gentry weren’t drafted into this army, but they didn’t exactly volunteer.
this is an EXTREMELY thought-provoking piece. as a (young, white, privileged) student living in a mostly-hispanic, mostly-low-income neighborhood, I think a LOT about gentrification, and I have a lot of bad feelings about being part of that. and I don’t know that this article presented any solutions, but it articulated the problem(s) in a new way to me, so I hope you read it.
More and more often, women today are asking themselves the important question: have I already had children? If so, when? Where are they?
The most important issue facing modern feminists in today’s Easy-Squeeze, public bathroom, instant timer world is whether or not women have already had children, and if so where they saw them last. It’s hard enough trying to balance a career with the children you can find inside of your house. Women shouldn’t have to balance work, play, and a family they can’t remember if they have or not.
Have I given birth to anyone? Do I have a life partner, and if so, did the two or more of us decide to adopt? These are real questions that every woman has to ask in her lifetime. It’s time we stopped being embarrassed about it.
Sometimes women find themselves juggling a career, a husband, and trying to figure out whether the children they’re with are part of their family, someone they’re babysitting, or just standing near them. I know I’m not the only one among us who’s stopped dead in her tracks in the park and whispered in terror to herself: whose hand am I holding?
“It is not possible to be truly balanced in one’s views of an abuser and an abused woman. As Dr. Judith Herman explains eloquently in her masterwork Trauma and Recovery, “neutrality” actually serves the interests of the perpetrator much more than those of the victim and so is not neutral. Although an abuser prefers to have you wholeheartedly on his side, he will settle contentedly for your decision to take a middle stance. To him, that means you see the couple’s problems as partly her fault and partly his fault, which means it isn’t abuse.”—
"Why Does He Do That: Inside The Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft
“Biologists call a small male fish who darts in to fertilize eggs a “sneaker,”, a medium male who resembles a female a “female mimic,”, and a large aggressive territorial male a “parental,” to place a positive spin of his egg guarding. Both the sneaker and the female mimic are “sexual parasites” of the parental male’s “investment” in nest construction and territorial defense. The sneaker and the female mimic are said to express a gene for “cuckoldry,” as though the parental male were married to a female in his territory and victimized by her unfaithfulness. In fact, a territorial male and the female who is temporarily in his territory are not pair-bonded. Scientists sneak gender stereotypes into the primary literature and corrupt its objectivity. Are these descriptions only harmless words? No. The words affect the view of nature that emerges from biology.”—Joan Roughgarden (2004) Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, University of California Press, Berkley (via 420-catnip)
“An estimated 63 percent of young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are imprisoned for homicide have killed their mothers’ batterers.”—Kimberle Crenshaw, in her article Intersectionality and Identity Politics: Learning from Violence Against Women of Color (via androphilia)
“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”—Maya Angelou (via ethiopienne)
Remember how everyone’s favorite part of Heath Ledger’s performance in Brokeback Mountain was his almost painful physical repression, his reluctance to express any emotion that wasn’t punching or SHUTTING DOWN? His voice was closed in on itself in a raspy burr — he fell to the ground rather than shed tears — his face was hooded and dark and full of twitching cheek muscles. Kristen Stewart is Heath Ledger, I assure you. She has the same handsome face, the same winsome, masculine smile, the same reluctance to make direct eye contact.
For years, everyone in the world has misunderstood Kristen Stewart’s compressed emotional range. They thought it meant she was a limited actress; it means nothing of the kind. She is John Wayne being forced to play the Maureen O’Hara character. Give her a rail to lean against during a sunset, a military jacket, a toothpick to chew on, and something to squint her eyes against lazily in the distance, and her guardedness will be transformed from unsuccessful femininity to The Great American Male.
“When you hold me there are words for that. I do not remember the words for that but I remember that there are words. There are not words for when you do not hold me. I remember that there are no words in the world so I say them.”
Ladies, I am holding out my hand. Do you trust me?
I need you to open Google Maps. Locate your nearest mall. Get in your car. Drive to Yankee Candle.
Past the seasonal pumpkin display, near the back of the store, you will find a trash pile Man Candle section. You will see candles called MMM, Bacon!. Riding Mower. Man Town. (I’m not kidding. Man Town.) Stay strong. Not in this section, but likely very near this section, you will find a candle called Mountain Lodge.
Hold this jar in your hands like a talisman. Close your eyes and picture a man.
I want to be clear: I’m not talking about a Hugh Dancy. Or an Andrew Garfield, a Ben Whishaw, even a Tom Hiddleston. This exercise requires someone in the Chris Evans weight class. The Richard Armitage department. Someone with smile lines around his eyes who could chop the cedar for your bower with his own hands, strangle an alpha wolf, carry you home when you sprain your ankle in the woods, bench press your entire body. Picture this man in your mountain home with a full beard, a slightly grimy white henley, a fond half smile he reserves only for you. Now open the lid and smell Mountain Lodge.
Steady yourself on the man candle display. Give yourself a second. No, you’re not wrong. Yes, the Yankee Candle Company has just eliminated the need for men. This medium tumbler Mountain Lodge candle jar is now your boyfriend. The Yankee Candle Company has effectively replaced the need for contact with the male half of our species with a compact and clean-burning candle in a jar.
"Do you like this one?" the cashier asked, ringing me up. "Every man should be required by law to smell like what this candle smells like," I replied intensely. "That’ll be $12.01," she said.
The bride took her husband’s last name. The bride took her mother-in-law’s bracelet. The bride took six gold candlesticks from the reception hall. The bride took her sister’s dignity and her cousin’s eyes. The bride was last seen heading north.
The bride is keeping her last name but has forsaken all else. The bride no longer answers the phone after the sun goes down. The bride wears an eyepatch and stays indoors when it rains. The bride is giving away her earthly possessions on the front lawn of the wedding chapel every Sunday for the foreseeable future.
The bride is keeping her last name but has forgotten the rest of it. Started with an S, maybe. If found, please return to the bride.
The bride took everything, and now there’s nothing left for us.
The bride is keeping her name in a golden casket locked in a cave by the sea. The bride’s name is guarded by a beast with no eyes and three hearts. No man born in Christendom can find the cave; no man baptized in the name of Christ can defeat the beast; no man raised on free soil can open the casket. The man who finds her name will receive his heart’s desire.
You write, “It’s like I keep figuring this shit out, and then forgetting it immediately.” That’s not your strange little personal problem. That’s not what makes you uniquely fucked. That’s a universal truth, a fundamental dimension of the human condition. You know who feels that way? You, me…
9:17 p.m. Earlier I said these mozzarella sticks taste like garbage. I would like to amend that statement. They taste worse than garbage. I would prefer to eat garbage, because then there would be the chance I would get to eat a bite of something good someone started to eat but couldn’t finish, or paper.
The water outside TGI Friday’s is black now.
9:23 p.m. I keep thinking I hear people say “Caity.” I write down in my notebook that I am “definitely hallucinating.”
I put my head near the table to write more and the scent of old marinara and burnt rubber fills my nostrils. I sit back up.
9:36 p.m. A waiter tries to give me another table’s Boneless Buffalo Wings. Do not tempt me, Satan.