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emmanation

You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

Archive for the ‘turns out I'm a feminist’ Category

instagram

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Instagram vs Snapchat.

One of my very bestest friends is an avid snapper, and I was trying to put my finger on why I don’t snap now but I am all over insta like a … a … well, someone who posts a lot on insta.

I do post a lot, especially lately. I mean, I don’t know what a LOT a lot is, but I post two or three times a day most days. Is that a lot (she asks as if she wants reassurance but she really doesn’t)?

I guess I think of insta like a diary. Facebook used to be a diary. For example, six years ago today on Facebook I posted the status ‘iPad, check. Toothbrush, check. Camera… SHIT.’ Obviously I was going somewhere (sailing I think), and I forgot my camera! That’s a fun tiny blurb, yes? No? Yes. But Facebook is mostly for pictures and sharing political links now (and it’s dead, right? Let’s all agree. It’s basically dead. Our grandparents are on it and we are parents of people who are also on it. It’s Main St USA and no one actually thinks it’s cool to be on Main St.)

The thing about Instagram is: it stays and pictures are unambiguous. Filtered, yes, but if you were with someone or not with someone or home or in Portland, that’s permanently represented.

The thing about Snapchat is: it goes away.

I get the appeal of that, but I also feel like it’s part of the issue about space women are constantly struggling with. When you snap, you’re putting something into the world that says ‘heeeeeyyyy guys here’s a thing if you wanna look at it but if you don’t don’t worry it’ll be gone pretty soon so don’t worry about it if you don’t want to ’cause …. yeah anyway thanks byyyeeee’.

I could be wrong. It could (always) be my personal awareness of taking up space in the world. I’m a woman who, despite her best intentions, worries endlessly about the effect my very presence has on other people. Am I too loud? Is my skirt too distracting? Am I talking more than I should?  Does my new tree bug my neighbors? Does my new shampoo smell? It’s tiring, and Snapchat is a relaxing way to show people things. It’s easy to think ‘oh no one has to see this if they don’t want to’. However, by that same measure, Snapchat doesn’t tell any kind of story about you or your life.

So Instagram. Insta is the diary-est of all the available diaries.

(Excepting a blog but WHO BLOGS ANYMORE?)

So, Instagram. People can opt into you without you doing the same and vice versa. Everyone loves a sunset and dogs and yoga, which makes it feel like a wonderful place to *also* love all those things. You’re easy to scroll over, but also anyone who cares can roll back through months or years of what you’ve been up to, and you can too.

None of this touches on the overwhelming desire to share in the first place, of course. I’m always aware of what the perception of my pictures might be, and I’m open to it. This blog is over a decade old – I’m a committed sharer and the reasons are between my and my psyche.

I just … want to leave a mark.

God I’m old.

But still cute. You can confirm on my insta.

ice cold I roll my eyes at you boy

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Picking songs that other people are going to listen to is VERY STRESSFUL.

Like, I think I have good taste in music, but literally no one doesn’t think that about themselves. If they thought what they liked didn’t show good taste, it would thoroughly undermine the entire concept of good taste and that would be the nucleus from which the end of the world sprouted. (No? Are you sure? Like, double check quantum physics and get back to me. I don’t fully understand quantum physics but I went to an engineering school and am pretty sure someone there told me once you could use them to explain any damn thing you wanted, and this is the quantum-music-taste hill I’m going to die on.)

When I was in Portland with my little brother last weekend we had a whole app based youtube queue set up on his chromecast (<- today in sentences Emma from ten years ago would think were gibberish).  We were all adding, and it was skewing rap heavy because that’s mostly what he and his friends listen to. I could have backed off and let it happen, but I wanted to contribute and also not to listen to rap for four hours.

(I don’t dislike rap but I have a hard time staying engaged when there’s not a through melody. Like, I’m a huge Childish Gambino fan, but my brother hates him… I guess he’s intro rap? Because … of the melody? I know it’s shocking, but this is NOT something we covered in engineering school. All your preconceptions blown, right? Right.)

My approach was either great song or great video. I went retro a couple of times (Leave the Biker), full on pandering at least twice (see Lana del Ray and the Jenny Lewis video with Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart (a combo that surprisingly fills the needs of most people who like girls? Can I get an amen?)), and I’m not embarrassed to admit I appealed to my brother with people we’ve seen together.

That is way too much thought.

Literally, what is the worst thing that could have happened? That my brother’s friends didn’t think I was cool? I’m his older sister – they were pretty decided on the coolness of me long before now. (Probably I won some of them over when I looked super fly in a suit as his best man a few years ago.)

These are phases I go through. It’s like I’m scared, sometimes, to take up too much room in the world. To make someone do literally anything that’s not exactly what they had planned.

Probably I need to switch over to some Blondie. Some Tegan and Sarah. Some Tove Lo. Sometimes it’s ok to play your own song.

 

fake nails and new hair

Monday, November 21st, 2016

I have both of those things, and as soon as I realized it I felt kind of weird about it.

The nails are the press on kind – Kiss French Tip Petite, if you must know. I just superglued them to my real nails, which sounds really dubious, right? Pieces of plastic shaped like nails are covering my real nails.

I don’t have a good reason. I could say it’s because my nails are trashed from improper removal of the shellac I got for our wedding, and that would be true. Of course, the improper removal was on me, because you gotta dissolve that attachment in a serious paint thinner type way and I went the mechanical-force-due-to-boredom way. I could also point out that I’m going to see Crockett’s family in a couple of days, but there’s no one in that family that would respect fake nails more than crappy real short nails.

Mostly they just make me feel pretty.

I have a new wedding ring, and I type all day. I look at my hands, and I like how they look with uniform, shiny, white tipped nails. That’s on me just as much as ruining my natural nails.

My hair is in a shaggy shag shagalious thing, now. I’ve been growing it out for quite some time, and my mom took a pic yesterday during our family thanksgiving. It was long, and voluminous, but not interesting. I wanted more of this, and today I saw my stylist in my last chance before she goes on maternity leave and I got it. I didn’t NEED a haircut, but I paid her a well deserved $87 (including tip) anyway, basically just to make me feel prettier.

I feel guilty and angry and angry about feeling guilty and guilty about feeling angry about both of these things.

I very much want to not succumb to the trappings of the patriarchal definition of beauty. I also don’t want to deny myself something I enjoy because I have doubts about its origin. My desire for pretty nails and hair likely has its roots in man-catchin’, right? But since I’ve internalized that ideal to an extent that I now want it for myself, what’s the right thing to do? I’m not using it for man catching. Crockett finds my fingernail painting and faking and shellacing …. well, I don’t think he finds it much of anything. He probably would think of it as a hobby, if he was forced to classify the piles of tiny bottles and glues. The state of my nails isn’t important to him, for sure.

He probably does care about my hair, but he’s so carefully complimentary that I’m not entirely sure what hair he likes more than other hair. (He’s vocally anti-bang, but I think mostly the beauty that is bangs are appreciated by women.) So technically my hair isn’t for him any more than my nails.

The point is, when you’re this aware of what your choices mean, there are only a few ways to go.

  1. Do what I want, beauty wise, and ignore the kyriarchical implications.
  2. Do what I want, beauty wise, but be fully aware of the roots of those rituals that exist in sexism and oppression.
  3. Stop any kind of beauty routine, because fuck male idiots for thinking that occasionally shaving less than a square foot of face is the equivalent of shaving six+ square feet of skin, moisturizing, blow drying, and making up. Or worse, those that think that women should work harder on their appearance because beauty is what they’re good for.
  4. Maintain the bare minimum level of grooming expected by a woman in 2016 America and seethe every day about not getting to wear fake nails OR let my armpit hair grow loud and proud.

Dunno, guys. I guess I’ve settled into #2 for the mo? But not cozily. I like to feel pretty, I know pretty is primarily a construct meant to keep women secondary, and I can’t resolve the two.

Whatever. It’s Monday! The 21! Eight days left of every day posting, guys. Who knows what gems will surface.

 

nobody puts yeah

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Jennifer Grey, babe.

THE HAIR.

We’re watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, cause I let Crockett pick the movie and he’s done really well lately at committing to one movie quick and making it a good choice. Not, like, a totally outside the box choice – more something if you were flipping through channels and realized it was just starting, you’d stick with that channel for at least one ore two commercial breaks. (When do we as a culture really need to start explaining those references? People like Buzzfeed already are, but the concept of channels still 100% exists. And commercials. I guess anyone who uses DVR instead of the Netflix/Hulu/CW/HBO bastard conglomerate we’ve assembled still totally knows.)

I don’t care what Jennifer Grey did to her nose. It was bigger and now it’s not? I heard that it may have affected her career, but suspect that may just be how much ‘we’ hate it when women make choices about their physicality that ‘we’ don’t agree with (wherein said we is a bunch of men usually who probably think they were special for seeing her cuteness when her nose was a little larger than average and are irritated that she changed so that everyone else (who already thought she was cute) also thinks she’s cute, right?)

I do really love her hair. It must be naturally curly, but she makes it look like it’s not crunchy. I think that’s a hard hard thing when you have curly hair, and she’s been nailing it since 1986.

Jennifer Grey = babe.

 

fuck politeness

Monday, November 14th, 2016

(I can’t remember if I’ve written about My Favorite Murder before. Is this why people use real tags instead of half thought out run on ones about the post content?)

There’s this podcast called My Favorite Murder. It’s kind of famous now, but I’ve been listening to it since close to the beginning (tosses artfully unbrushed hair over shoulder and pushes glasses up nose) and I love it. It was the impetus for me and a girlfriend to start our own podcast, actually!

(Our podcast was super famous, you wouldn’t have heard of it … but then my cohost/friend got possessed. She’s got an exorcism scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving, so perhaps at some point the podcast will return and share space with the blog.)

One of the key tenants of the MFM listeners (women, let’s be straight – they’re all women. Men don’t have the constant sense of unease that leads to an obsession with the worst things that can happen that comes with having a vagina. That’s why true crime readers/listeners are almost exclusively women which is a well known fact that I totally have a citation for) is ‘fuck politeness’. See, they have a goal of teaching the women who listen ways to be safer, and they’re fun and useful things like ‘stay sexy, don’t get murdered‘, ‘you’re in a cult, call your dad‘, and ‘stay out of the forest‘.

Also, fuck politeness.

Crockett and I know this guy. He’s a nice guy, we see him out and about in town. Lots of people we know know him, and I’m not sure they all like talking to him but no one actively avoids him.

The core of ‘fuck politeness’ is that women can easily get in trouble because we’re taught to be sweet above all else. Polite above all else. To go with the flow and not be a problem, above all else. The action of ‘fuck politeness’ is that, if something doesn’t feel good, then don’t worry about being good. It’s not our job as women to listen to men who want to carry our groceries to spend a few more minutes with us. It’s not our job to drink a drink someone bought for us without asking.

It’s not our job to be sweet.

This guy we know, he makes me uncomfortable. He’s not done anything aggressive. If anything, he’s more Elmyra Duff than Buffalo Bill (the Silence of the Lambs one, not the cowboy one). He likes me and Crockett, but tonight he saw us out with some friends and came to stand with us. He was too close, and he’s been too close too many times. I feel bad, like I’m overreacting. Everyone I know knows him! And he’s a good guy!

But also. In my head, he sort of feels like a kid who might give a puppy a bath and not understand how long that puppy can stay underwater. Does that make sense? I don’t think he means any harm, but I also don’t trust that he would know what the lines are if he found us in a position where no one else was there to help?

I don’t know, man.

I left, after a little while. I didn’t ask him to step away from me, I just backed out of the conversation.

The problem with ‘fuck politeness’ is that it sounds totally reasonable when you hear someone else explain it. “Oh, he showed up at your house to return something you don’t remember dropping, after you said no to a date? Babe, fuck politeness – say thanks and close the door on his request for a glass of water. Then call your best friend and describe his ass, just in case.” “Oh, he has a map and would really appreciate it if you’d roll down your window so he could ask for directions? Babe, let him ask a car that has someone in it that isn’t a woman alone.” Those seem medium rough, but also totally reasonable.

This guy hasn’t done anything weird. I mean, yes, he’s written a poem about me (tonight) but he thought it was based on a prompt by Crockett and he writes a lot …

I don’t know. I can’t boil this one down. He makes me edgy, and maybe that’s enough. I did say goodbye, but I left. And I might continue to leave if he shows up and stands too close to me.

Fuck politeness.