The Grandest of Gaucheries
"I didn't want to be a boy, ever, but I was outraged that his height and intelligence were graces for him and gaucheries for me." -Jane Rule
I believe we need more love in the world. We need the courage to live and love wholeheartedly, to be vulnerable and out there, with the belief that those we love will see our beauty and worth and give us the love we deserve. This blog is part of my attempt to live fully, to love generously and courageously.
May this serve as a refuge for anyone else out there feeling like an alien in a foreign land.
it’s sad that all they have to do is show our faces in order to strike fear into other people. that we don’t even have to try and look menacing for someone to find us scary looking and worth being shot or hunted down like an animal. we could be the most loving fathers, brightest teachers/students, and they’ll still figure out a way to make it seem as though we had every bit coming to us for existing while black.
We have, as a society, such a completely disordered, distorted perception of female bodies that the vast majority of people are incapable of recognising what “overweight” actually looks like on a woman, let alone “healthy”. As such, we’re now at a point where women are not only…
I don’t know what prompted you to send me the dumbest message I’ve received in at least 6 months, but nowhere in the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “fitness” do I find the word “skinny.” Even synonyms for the word “fitness” focus 100% on health attributes as opposed to size attributes. So I’m sorry if you have this deep seeded complex that refuses to allow you to accept that, from all standpoints of medicine, science, and flat out fact, fitness is irrelevant to body size. That really sucks for you that your brain is struggling to let you come to terms with that. However, it is also 100% not my problem.
Omar Khadr, a sixteen year old Guantanamo Bay detainee weeps uncontrollably, clutching at his face and hair as he calls out for his mother to save him from his torment. “Ya Ummi, Ya Ummi (Oh Mother, Oh Mother),” he wails repeatedly, hauntingly with each breath he takes.
The surveillance tapes, released by Khadr’s defence, show him left alone in an interrogation room for a “break” after he tried complaining to CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) officers about his poor health due to insufficient medical attention. Ignoring his complaints and trying to get him to make false confessions, the officers get frustrated with the sixteen year old’s tears and tell him to get himself together by the time they come back from their break.
“You don’t care about me. Nobody cares about me,” he sobs to them.
The tapes show how the officers manipulated Khadr into thinking that they were helping him because they were also Canadian and how they taunted him with the prospect of home (Canada), (good) food, and familial reunion.
Khadr, a Canadian, was taken into US custody at the age of fifteen, tortured and refused medical attention because he wouldn’t attest to being a member of Al Qaeda, even though he was shot three times in the chest and had shrapnel embedded in his eyes and right shoulder. As a result, Khadr’s left eye is now permanently blind, the vision in his right eye is deteriorating, he develops severe pain in his right shoulder when the temperature drops, and he suffers from extreme nightmares.
He has been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, suffering extremely harsh interrogations and torture (methods), and is now 25 years old.
Icelandic descendants of Vikings singing a hymn in a German train station. They totally need to be on the next Thor soundtrack.
Oh man oh man oh man. 6 guys, and it FILLS THE SPACE. Luck of the architecture - and they know how to pull it off. Nothing is easy making vocal music in a space not built for it. I want to do this kind of thing - randomly perform multipart harmony in public spaces.
Nancy Wake, who has died in London just before her 99th birthday, was a New Zealander brought up in Australia. She became a nurse, a journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler, a wealthy French socialite, a British agent and a French resistance leader. She led 7,000 guerrilla fighters in battles against the Nazis in the northern Auvergne, just before the D-Day landings in 1944. On one occasion, she strangled an SS sentry with her bare hands. On another, she cycled 500 miles to replace lost codes. In June 1944, she led her fighters in an attack on the Gestapo headquarters at Montlucon in central France.
Ms Wake was furious the TV series [later made about her life] suggested she had had a love affair with one of her fellow fighters. She was too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements, she said.
Nancy recalled later in life that her parachute had snagged in a tree. The French resistance fighter who freed her said he wished all trees bore “such beautiful fruit.” Nancy retorted: “Don’t give me that French shit.”
Ms. Wake … had mixed feelings about previous cinematic efforts to portray her wartime exploits … “It was well-acted but in parts it was extremely stupid,” she said. “At one stage they had me cooking eggs and bacon to feed the men. For goodness’ sake, did the Allies parachute me into France to fry eggs and bacon for the men? There wasn’t an egg to be had for love nor money. Even if there had been why would I be frying it? I had men to do that sort of thing.”
“A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.”
I’ve reblogged this before and I will reblog it again.
“You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.”
You’ve heard of this girl before, her name is Summer or Alaska or something else that sounds cutesy and different because she’s always trying to define herself as not being like ‘other girls’. The girl who reads doesn’t shop, watch sports, play video games or anything else that she deems to be beneath her. She buys books instead of clothes because who needs to be dressed, she is obviously lying if she says she understands Ulysses and doesn’t find a strange man sitting down beside her in a coffeeshop and buying her a drink even though she doesn’t want one to be predatory behavior. It’s okay to lie to or fail her because she confuses real life with fiction, wanting conflict right before the climax and then a sugar-coated happy ending.
She isn’t a girl at all. She’s an idealized portrait of the already idealized trope of the manic pixie dream girl who only exists to serve as a love interest and teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life’s many mysteries. Women do not exist to complete you or give your life meaning. It is not our job to get you to see the world with ‘renewed eyes’ and we certainly do not live just for you to project your half-baked obsessive fantasies on us and then call us foul names when we don’t fulfill them because excuse us if they’re your visions and not ours.
And the Girl who Reads is one of the more toxic incarnations of the MPDG because it tells girls that if we like clothes, boys, being around our friends , taking pride in our appearances or anything else that doesn’t seem ‘deep or intellectual’ that we’re catty and jealous. We’re constantly trying to tell ourselves that we’re not like the other girls as if there’s something wrong with them. We all want to seem special and different and quirky so that we’ll eventually find someone whose personality quirks align with ours and create a lasting love affair. The girls who are not like us are called horrible names and treated like they’re worthless as if what they choose to do with their life is our decision. And as girls we cannot help tearing each other down; we see another girl on the street and think ‘oh she’s prettier, skinnier, smarter, more popular, more athletic’.
With the Girl who Reads we measure a person’s worth based on how many John Green books are on their shelves or if they enjoy Bukowski. You do not have to be widely read or able to wax poetic about your favourite author for hours on end to be intelligent or interesting. But it is not the Girl who Reads who looks down on the girls who don’t and labels them as stupid, catty, vain, promiscuous or boring, it is the people who created the idea of her, they believe that because she is so deep and mysterious that her special snowflake syndrome will prevent judgments from being passed at her. Everybody wants to be different, everybody wants to be special but let me tell you something. You are exactly like those other girls; you all are made of the same atoms that make up the solar system but do not think that because you have nebulae in your bones that you are better than anyone else.
I am sick and tired of people romanticizing this belief that if you don’t read that you’re not worth being loved. There are countless people I know who don’t like reading and who are still worth being loved the same amount as the people who do. Tumblr users say that they want to live like the Girl who Reads and be suffocated by the amount of literature they own because clearly book hoarding is the best way to go. Great for you if you want to find someone who likes the same things as you to be in a relationship with, you should want that. But if being a hollowed out shell of a manic pixie dream girl is your ideal life then you need to think more about what it means. I refuse to be a blank canvas on which you draw out all your delusions of what life and love should feel like according to you. I do not exist to counterbalance you.
Stop looking for the Girl who Reads because you won’t find her. There are girls who read but they are not singularly formed archetypes constructed for your approval. Stop looking for someone who fits your 27 point idealized criteria of a person and find someone who’s real. Nobody ends a date by saying ‘wow I think you’re great and all but you’ve never read A Farewell to Arms so it’s not going to work out between us’. That’s just ridiculous. Date someone who makes you laugh so hard that you snort soda out of your nose and even when your shirt is soaked with carbonated bubbles they will still find you and your laugh cute when nobody else does. Date someone who understands when you’re upset with them that you are not just waiting for the plot to advance because the hero always fails at one point or another. Do not fail her, do not lie to her, because she won’t think ‘oh boy this is some conflict before the resolution’ she’ll just think you’re a jerk. Which you are. Date someone who you can love as a human and not as a fairytale. A Girl who Reads may be able to give you a world full of adventure and imagination but you know who could do that even better? A person who actually loves you .
And pardon if I’m more than a little irked by the fact that we can’t even love each other as humans anymore, pardon if I am a ‘raging feminist harpy’, pardon if I don’t want to be the dramatic backdrop to your trials and tribulations, pardon if I would rather people to see me as a person and not a walking, talking library . But I am 50 shades of done with the elitist belief that reading makes you worth more as a person and why is that? Because I am a girl who reads, I am a girl who writes but most importantly I am a girl.
written in response to ‘Date a Girl who Reads’ by Rosemarie Urquico (via textsfromumbridge)
"I refuse to be a blank canvas on which you draw out all your delusions of what life and love should feel like according to you. I do not exist to counterbalance you."