“How many alternate versions of you are there? Five?”
“Six that I know of. Seven counting the version you’re currently speaking with.”
“You realize this means you have to form a band, right?”
|—||Irving knows exactly what to do with Emily’s 6 timeclones|
This summer’s round of job applications was the first time I put “Ms.” down as my prefix instead of “Miss.” You know, second-wave feminism was very problematic in a lot of ways, but coming up with “Ms.” was rad as hell. Because, like, of course getting married is a big step, but it doesn’t have anything to do with your business relationships, which usually are the only time you use prefixes anyhow these days. And it’s no bigger a step for women than it is for men. So why the hell does a woman’s marital status have to be part of her formal name? It’s just a really silly, degrading tradition and everyone’s so used to it that they don’t realize that.
perhaps the first songs were lullabies. perhaps mothers were the first singers. perhaps they learned how to soothe their squirming simian babes by imitating the sounds of moving water, the gurgles, cascades, plashes, puddlings, flows, floods, spurts, spills, gushes, laps, and sucks. perhaps they knew their babies were born from water. and rhythm was the gentle rock of the water hammock slung between the pelvic trees. and melody was the sound the water made when the baby stirred its limbs.
there is the endless delight we take in new beings. and there is the antediluvian rage they evoke by their blind, screaming helplessness. so the songs for them are two-faced flocks of geese lulling in the gentle maternal terror of the viciously surrealistic words. rock a bye, baby, on the treetop, when the wind blows the cradle will rock, when the bow breaks the cradle will fall, down will come baby, cradle and all.
imagine falling through a tree, your legs locked and your arms tightly bound to your sides. imagine falling down into the world with your little head bongoing against the boughs and the twigs, and branches whipping across your ears as if you were a xylophone. imagine being born. lullabies urge us to go to sleep at the same time they roar the horror of waking. in this way we feel the immanence of all feelings and the wretchedness of thoughts as they wheel away through fireballs and babies falling to earth. fall to earth.
Laurie Penny’s Saudade
There are more of us than you think, kicking off our high-heeled shoes to run and being told not so fast
The best minds of my generation consumed by craving, furious half naked starving-
Who ripped tights and dripping make up smoked alone in bedsits bare mattresses waiting for transfiguration.
Who ran half dressed out of department stores yelling that we didn’t want to be good and beautiful
Who glowing high and hopeful were the last to leave the gig our skin crackling with lust and sweat and pure music
Who wrote poetry on each other’s arms and cared more about fucking than being fuckable
Who worked until our backs stiffened and our limbs sang with the memory of misbehaviour that was what it was to be a woman
Who dared to dance until dawn and were drugged and raped by men in clean T-shirts and woke up scared and sore to be told it was our fault
Who swallowed bosses’ patronizing side-eyes stole away from violent broken boys in the middle of the night and vowed never again to try to fix the world one man at a time
Who slammed down the tray of drinks and tore off our aprons and aching smiles and went scowling out into the streets looking for change
Who stripped in dark rooms for strangers’ anodyne dollars because we wanted education and were told we were traitors
Who sat faces upturned to the glow of the network searching searching for strangers who would call us pretty
Who bared our breasts to hidden cameras and fought and fought and fought to be human
Who waited in grim hallways with synth-pop crackling over the speaker system for the doctor to call us clutching fistfuls of pamphlets calling us sluts whores murderers
Who crossed continents alone with knapsacks full of books bare limbs clear-eyed vision running running from the homes that held our mothers down
Who filled notebooks with gibberish philosophy and scraps of stories and cameras to prove we were there keeping our novels and the names of our children close to our hearts
Who were told all our lives that we were too loud too tisky too fat too ugly too scruffy too selfish too much too and refused to take up less space refused to be still refused refused refused to be tame
Who would never be still. Who would never shut up. Who were punished for it and spat and snarled and they shook the bars of our cages until they snapped and they called us wild and crazy and we laughed with mouths open hearts open hands open and would never not ever be tame.
Sara, I’m with you in hospital, in the narroe rooms where you have put off your veil to count your ribs through your T-shirt, short hair and secrets and quiet defiance crying together that we don’t know how to be perfect-
Lara, I’m with you in mandatory art therapy, where we draw pictures of weeping cocks and are told we are not making progress-
Lila, I’m with you in a north London bathdroom, watchhing unreal maggots crawl in the cuts in your arms and listening to your girlfriend drunk and raging through the wall-
Andy, I’m with you in Bethnal Green where you love ambitious angry women with heart brain pen fingers tongue and you have a line from Nietzche tattooed over your cunt-
Adele, I’m with you in the student occupation, with your lipstick and cloche hat and teenage lisp drawling that there’s not enough fucking in this revolution and we must take action-
Kay, I’m with you on the night bus, half drunk and high dragging bright-eyed boys home to our bed, where we watch them worn out sleeping and whisper that we will never be married-
Katie, I’m with you in Zuccotti Park, where a broken heart is less important than a broken laptop is less important than a broken future and we watch the cops beating kids bloody on the pavement for daring to ask for more-
Tara, I’m with you in Islington where you have thrown all your pretty dresses out of the window and flushed your medication so you can write and write-
Alex, I’m with you and a bottle of Scotch at two in the morning when you tell me that no man will make us live for ever and we must seduce the city the country the world-
We are always hungry.
There are more of us than you think.
Laurie Penny’s Saudade, from Fifty Shades of Feminism (via mollycrabapple)
This is so amazing. It’s like a feminist “Howl.”
Also I have book posts queued that I’m actually like especially proud of so you should check the psychedarlings tag and also check out the little bit I just posted
This is the final paragraph of “The Cruelest Month,” and even though it took almost an hour to write these three sentences, I’m now satisfied that it’s basically perfect. I guess out of context the last sentence seems like a weird place to end, but the whole point of that story is that the psychedarlings have to prove themselves and prove TO themselves that they can still do it even without Emily (to whom they turn not just for her time-travel expertise but for her ability to hold the team together and look after everyone). And in the things leading up to this story I’ve tried to make it pretty clear that this is a huge source of stress for her, the worry that things could fall apart with her gone. It’s not really any lack of faith in them that drives this—it’s that the things that she was told about herself as a kid and during her time in service of the Society, when everyone around her had essentially given up any hope that she’d ever be able to relate to or get through to other people or have any sort of positive impact on the world, are so ingrained in her that no matter how many people tell her so she has trouble believing she’s a good teacher or a good leader and she worries that she hasn’t taught them well enough. EBW is a person of few insecurities, but that particular one weighs very heavily on her, especially when she comes to the realization that she’s not going to be with them forever. But then in this story she’s either comatose or delirious with fever for a good long while and lo and behold the world keeps turning, and seeing that is a huge weight off her shoulders. So even though she’s got every reason to sleep soundly since she’s recovering from a terrible injury/infection, this ending is also about that.
Also Irving just…reading modernist literary criticism for pleasure like someone who has absolutely no life (which he kind of is)
(Also since it’s named after/opens with the first lines of The Waste Land I guess that’s sort of full circle, although I actually didn’t think of that initially.)
I love how precisely one bra was burned during the entire fifteen years or so of the Women’s Lib movement and it still became everyone’s go-to stereotype of feminist protests