Monthly Archives: May 2013

I have had several sexual partners in my life, but I won’t tell you how many, because it doesn’t matter. It could be in the thousands, and it wouldn’t make me any less cool to go to lunch with. It wouldn’t make me any less terrible at ironing a shirt. It wouldn’t make me any less likely to love shitty reality television I know is bad for me. Who I am and what I offer to the world has nothing to do with how many sexual partners I’ve had, and I’m not interested in justifying myself to someone who will have already judged me anyway. As much as I’d like to comfort you with some notion that I’ve been impossibly chaste up until the moment I find the “right” man to “complete” me in some way, I must tell you that I haven’t been waiting for anyone. I’ve been living my life exactly as I want to since I’ve become sexually active, and my choices weren’t made to impress an arbitrary committee of judgmental assholes.

–Charlotte Green, “I Am A Slut

(via Spinsterette)

A woman-of-color who writes poetry or paints or dances or makes movies knows there is no escape from race or gender when she is writing or painting. She can’t take off her color and sex and leave them at the door or her study or studio. Nor can she leave behind her history. Art is about identity, among other things, and her creativity is political.

–Gloria Anzaldúa, Making Face/Making Soul: Haciendo Caras — Creative and Cultural Perspectives by Women of Color 

(via Free Bird)

It is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of real and important progress. The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as a terrific sign–celebrate your struggle.

–Neale Donald Walsch

(via More than Words)

For me, queer theory is the emblematic example of how we say the value of what queer politics brings is a challenge to what is the normal. And it’s of course what that whole angst is about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and marriage equality. On the one hand, those are basic citizenship rights, right? You always know that there’s some second-class citizenship going on in military policy and marriage policy, right? If you’re looking for second-class citizenship, look in those things and you’ll often find it. So it’s a very reasonable set of political strategies, but the problem is also a very normative set of political strategies, right? It’s not about, “We have a right to be queer and create different kinds of communities and different definitions of family.” It’s about, “Look how much just like you we can be; look how respectable we can be, see; we can have our families look just like your families, and we can serve in the military just like you; and so look how straight we can be!” Rather than, “Look how queer we can be and look at how valuable it is to take queerness and open up the very definition of what constitutes respectable and normal.

–Melissa Harris-Perry

(via Sister Outsider)

We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.

–Courtney Martin

(via Spinsterette

Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss. […] [T]he point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess. […] Remember what it was to be me: that is always the point. […] And so we do. But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.” We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful pensees; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its marker. […] I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. […] It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you.

Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook | Brain Pickings

(via She Who Shall Not Be Linked To)