Into basic pieces
The brain finds its releases
Stuck between the stipulations
Of our lives’ concentrations
The wind blows through my ears
Into the tiny spaces
My eye always fears
Who looks in the corners
In the empty spaces undefined
Dorothy, don’t look behind
The wizard is nothing but a man
Nothing more than a little voice saying
I can, I can
Weakness laid to waste
Beneath the hair
Behind the caste
Whispers the lion to the scarecrow
I just need a heart to be brave
Without a brain the scarecrow knows
Nothing will the lion save
Some puzzles shan’t be solved
Some toys can’t be put back together again
The Father’s Folly
music of monuments,
telling stories of the noble fight to climb beyond
the sun, Daedalus
he who rose so high
by throwing his own son
to death amongst the feathers
of protected ego; vanity itself incarnate
locked in stone upon
the beating breast of a nation
the phallus finds its way
towards the sky
oh! Daedalus how you search
vainly for your son to reappear
between the clouds
your monuments pierce
you will not find him
for he was laid to rest;
below the earth, mother
takes all the fallen,
tokens of masculinity
she takes them in
and lets the feather fly free —
the air is full of them —
the dressings of ego,
the flighty fancies of men.
Presenting to the University Senate on Tuesday.
Still worrying about finalizing this documentary.
There are moments when I remember that a year ago I didn’t even know we had a University Senate. Those are good moments, because then I remember just how much life can change and how much I can learn and impact when I put my mind to it. Life goes on. It’s all going to be alright.
Taking Inventory in Long Hand
So I saw something on campus two weeks ago and it’s been nagging at me. Somewhere in one of those little corners of the mind where there aren’t due dates and I can really take my time with things. Back where things gather dust if you don’t remember to shake it up every once in awhile and take inventory. So I’m taking inventory and here’s what I have in stock:
I saw a sticker on someone’s laptop that said: “Smart is the new sexy” and I chuckled at first because I get the joke, I guess. It’s a play on the idea that sexiness is a descriptor of physical appearance as opposed to personality or intelligence. And I’m smart, so I’m like fuck yeah, nerd girl power or some shit like that. And then I was like, hold the fuck up, was smart not sexy before?? Did I miss that? Did I just not care? Or I am pretty enough that I’ve never had an issue one way or another?
And then it occurred to me, looking at the girl who owns this laptop sticker which has preoccupied me for about 15 more seconds than she probably spent deciding on whether or not to stick it to her macbook pro, that the consumable pro-nerd culture/feminista perspective that she was communicating was splitting me and women in two. By implying that smart is the new sexy, physically sexy clearly isn’t sexy anymore. Sorry Megan Fox, you need to hit those books. Pretty girls, find glasses and study math. Don’t be you, be different to be appealing. And dear smart girls, smart women who have spent their adolescent and adult periods believing their sexual partners when they say you’re sexy, you’ve been hoodwinked! You were nothing til now, but worry not, your time has come. Fuck those skinny sexy bitches, nerd is in. But you can’t be both.
We’re still making a commodity of women, no matter how far we go trying to break these molds, we’re just making more narrow ones. Fuck that. Be you, be sexy, or don’t be. Just be you.
Back in that corner of my mind I wonder why people like me. And that’s sad to write down, but I’m feeling honest and don’t expect most of my readers to get this far into my rant, especially given that I’m writing it at 2:11 AM on a Tuesday morning. So yeah, back there where things don’t grow, where ideas slither, I wonder why people like me. Why men find me attractive, why women find me attractive, and why I never I expect them to. Because I sincerely don’t. That sounds like bullshit and hey it might be, but I don’t think so. Every time it surprises me and every time I fucking feel thankful. As if for the first time SOMEONE LOVES ME, SOMEONE SEES ME. But it happens all the time and I can see the looks, I can see the appraisals and I can see that I could have almost anyone I wanted. But I still can’t believe it when they want me. And I think it’s because I’ve spent 20 years not understanding why they’d want me. Not to say I don’t have positive characteristics, or that I’m not pretty, I’m good looking and I have been known to put on the charm once in awhile.
But when culture espouses all these HYPERspecific concepts of what a woman is, it becomes terribly difficult to figure out who I AM. And I wonder some days if others know better than me, or if really I’m the only who will ever know me. I wonder if having a pretty face or a 3 thousand dollar smile (holla at the orthodontist yall) has made people more likely to get to know me or less likely to care about what they find. I wonder how it feels to know without doubt that the only reason someone is talking to you is because they think you’re cool, and that your looks have nothing to do with it. But (on a good day - on most days) I love the way I look. And I wouldn’t want it to change. I just have difficulty, I guess, celebrating me and my body and how I love to dress and all those things that we should do as people and women and all that. I have difficulty doing that, knowing that my celebration of self is seen by others, that it changes how I’m perceived and it makes me more (and sometimes less) likely to be approached.
When I was younger, if someone called me beautiful or pretty or gorgeous or (be I so lucky) sexy, or even if they just stared at me while I stared at them out my car window while driving to soccer practice, I liked it. I felt powerful but more so I felt validated and valuable. All those creepy smiles didn’t seem so creepy to me, they seemed kind, like someone telling me that I was something that this society valued, even if I didn’t hear it as often as I liked. Admitting that now, I feel oddly free. Because I knew that wasn’t appropriate, that feeling of validation and sexually derived power and, without any doubt, I knew I didn’t know how to control that power of mine. Have I learned how to? I guess so. More than before. And I know what the looks are about. It’s all lost some mystery to me and that’s a good thing.
I still stare out the window. But when a man looks at me, I look right through him. The compliment is lost on me now. I know I’m beautiful and I know that it’s much easier for someone else to find me attractive than it is for me to see that. And I know that many don’t even need to find me beautiful to stare, inherent in my being is all they need to look. I am a woman and some men stare because of that. I know I’ve grown up now that I see that. And now that isn’t inherently anything special to be called attractive by a stranger. It’s almost a redundancy, as it’s nowhere near new, it’s a pick up line I’ve heard many too many times. That doesn’t mean I don’t find myself beautiful and there are people who will always broaden my smile by saying they find me that way too. But when they say it, and I when I say it too, I am not only speaking to my body, I am speaking to my soul. I am speaking to the part of me that is stupid but sexy as hell and the part of me that has always seen my intelligence as something sexy. I am speaking to the soccer player, the poet, the economist, and the french major with dreams of changing the world. And when I receive a compliment I now know if the person is speaking to a who, like I do, or a what, like those my younger self would have made eye contact with.
There are many a moment where I wonder how I got here in life and in mind. But I’ve learned a lot about being a woman in the world and I’ve learned even more about being a person while being a woman, and neither of those are simple tasks. So, thanks for listening.
I could sleep.
I could stay awake.
The fact that I cannot make up my mind more AND there is no factor forcing me to choose one of these two options must mean something is wrong. I have a test tomorrow but I studied and like come on it’s not the time for the last minute review yet. Even for the dates (12 siecle, 1405, 1429, 1555, 1594, 1578) like c’mon. And I read for Econ. And I found what my research advisor wants but don’t feel like writing it up at the moment. So I should sleep. But the classical spotify station is so nice. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NICE. Ahhhhhh.