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Linking Time! Also: I Will Bring Shame Upon My Family

This morning, I woke up full of dread and shame. Bleary and haggard, I stumbled toward my computer screen.

“No,” I muttered. “I didn’t do that. I would never do that. I must have dreamed it.”

But I was wrong. There, before my eyes, was a pale-blue Safari window, glowing with menace.

“Holy fuck,” I said. “I just wrote 3,000 words about Valley of the Dolls.

On that note: it’s Linking Time! My most favorite time of all! (Note: this is a lie. My most favorite time is actually Smoking Time, but I am going to give that up – again – in approximately 48 hours. I will be in Ohio, so you won’t have to witness my Neely O’Hara-like withdrawal unless you are a member of my immediate family. If you are, well, sucks to be you, I guess!) Here are some people who are much better at blogging than I am:

Man Madness is the single greatest use of the Internet, whether or not you live in DC. Which is manlier – the FBI or the CIA? Place your bets now!

Mainstreaming feminism: it turns out that’s a problem! This is because it allows Sarah Palin to cuddle and/or cash in on the movement like it’s an adorable Downsy baby. Also, things only get absorbed into the mainstream if they’re not that threatening in the first place, so feminism is selectively mainstreamed? And the good stuff about the movement then becomes invisible? See also: sex-positive movement, relationship of Sex & the City to.

You guys, the military is sad and scary. (Have you read Our Guys yet? If not, do it. Warning: it is the only book that ever made me vomit. Aside from Atlas Shrugged, I mean.)

Other things that are sad and scary include: violence against sex workers. The Good Guys trial reports are fascinating. It’s like watching a really good procedural, except that Amanda Hess actually writes about strip club workers like they’re people, instead of Symbols of Decadence and/or body-count increasing devices. Revolutionary!

Oh, hey, sheep people!

I read Emily Gould’s blog. This rambling, ambivalent, occasionally mean, often sad piece – which touches on Emma Goldman,* “Song for Sharon,” Prop 8, love, solitude, and that damn Beyonce song – is a good example of why I do that.

Some other people, who are funny and smart, are complaining about the Beyonce song, because they think it’s kind of regressive, what with the forcing men to marry you and give you presents for sex and whatnot. Personally, I feel that the song’s main theme (“don’t be mad when you see that he want it / if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it”) is simply another way of saying, “if you were really that invested in our relationship, perhaps you could have made that clear BEFORE WE BROKE UP AND I STARTED MAKING OUT WITH OTHER PEOPLE,” which is a sentiment for the ages.

Now that I’m defending Beyonce, I must also tell you that I read a Bukowski poem that I liked! What has become of my standards, I ask you?


* However, I must respectfully point out that quoting the Goldman piece without qualifying it is objectively kind of bonkers. People do this a lot! Often in Women’s Studies classes! Goldman made quite a few points in that piece, many of which were specific to her day and age. For example, she writes that marriage may come about because of love, whereas love does not come about because of marriage, a point which is no longer even vaguely controversial, and which is the precise reason that people tend to live together before getting hitched. She also argues against compulsory marriage, marriage as the goal of a woman’s life, and prohibitions against sex outside of marriage – and all of these pressures still exist, but are considerably less powerful now, given the fact that all but the most conservative people resist or ignore them. Goldman also speaks out against marriage as an economic arrangement while completely undervaluing the presence of women in the workplace. If you have no income of your own, you might have to stay with someone who treats you badly out of sheer financial necessity; if you have a job, an income, and savings, however, then you get to stay for precisely as long as the marriage meets your needs. (Hopefully it lasts forever, but, you know, things happen.) At the time Goldman wrote this piece – when you were expected to marry someone without sleeping with him, living with him, or even knowing him very well, and were also encouraged to give up your entire career once the wedding had taken place – some of what she had to say was smart and relevant, if overblown; now, however, people tend to quote the piece as a support for their vague “marriage-is-bad” arguments, which rest mostly on the fact that their parents were fucked up or their exes were mean and they’re consequently scared of commitment. This is quite another thing. Anyway, end of post derailment.

6 Comments

  1. Perfect Ratio wrote:

    Oh I love that Beyonce, just sometimes she reminds me of my 85-yr old Jewish grandma with a seemingly out of place premium placed on commitment-as-ownership. She also has a song that goes something like, “now that I have a boo, I just want to stay home and be a good girlfriend.”

    Also, your blog just asked me to type “Ovaspeci” as my word verfication. It’s like it knows.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  2. The Sexist wrote:

    I love the Beyonce video. I take it as a sign that I’m comfortable enough in my largely-anti-marriage-feminist-politics to enjoy a song that’s basically about harping. I also loved Twilight, so, Hell, actually, what’s happened to me?

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  3. Sady wrote:

    Oh, yes, Beyonce has some stuff to unpack. For example: “Ran by the men but the women keep the tempo / Still play my part and let you take the lead role / Believe me, I’ll follow, this could be easy /
    I’ll be the help whenever you need me.” Beyonce! That is YIKES!

    And yet, my feelings on “Single Ladies” are complicated. Just like my feelings on marriage! This springs, in both cases, from the fact that (OVERLY PERSONAL CONFESSION) I got close to it once, like talking-about-rings-and-locations-and-number-of-kids close, and then that, um, did not happen. That is not actually the biggest deal in the whole wide world – better to figure out that you shouldn’t be married to someone before you are, you know, MARRIED to him – but I can see now why marriage is so important to some people, while also realizing that it’s basically just a symbol of a commitment that’s already there, and should not be put on a pedestal or given special rights.

    So, “if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it” – indeed, my good woman! I sympathize! Now, let us examine some of the assumptions in that statement.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  4. Emily wrote:

    No I mean I agree that quoting that piece without contextualizing it at all is misleading but then again I didn’t go into “Beyonce’s career started in a group called Destiny’s Child” either. Bonkers, maybe. I mean the whole thing was bonkers, clearly. I took out the meanest part however!

    Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  5. Sady wrote:

    Yeah, I didn’t mean “bonkers” in a nasty way. I’m sorry if that’s how it came across. That piece is just something I’ve read and heard referenced many times, and it’s weird because people tend to embrace it completely or reject it completely. I myself have done both! I therefore needed to add an entire insane footnote about it, so that I could actually work through it and try to figure out some more nuanced perspective. In front of people! In long-winded footnote form! WOO.

    Also: “yearlong festival of It’s All About You” was actually one of my favorite lines. Mean, maybe, but hey – it was funny.

    Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:23 am | Permalink
  6. shalottianshards wrote:

    Hey, thanks for linking my article about the creepy sheep people. I really appreciate it! :D

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Permalink