trade wars

“the first 50 hours of resurrection are beautiful,”
says the man holding the door

–Tongo Eisen-Martin, excerpt from remove my heart racing, and babylon is fine

artist: Helen Nishi

we learn to trust wars: trade, sex, cold. as acceptance forms rules, we smooth out the most deprived ideas and prioritize all threats as urgent. in theatres of conflict, repetition is grandeur. this translation officially makes mob landscapes familiar.

that’s why when your hands brushed against my sharpest edges: my heart, my gaze, my inordinate sense of danger; I felt intimacy performed as spacial intervention, an interlude. your fingers interrogated and found hard answers wrapped around tender legacy. we became undone. mapping unearned dreams onto each other’s gravitational pull, an attraction, we made our own stars.

future philosophers will discover these tensions and name them holy

buttons

Did you know we have started living in isolation to prepare for colonizing Mars?

Seattle Oct10
Seattle Oct10

There is dedicated front cover news space to our collective denial about the basics of life on this planet: water, menstruation, dignity. A particular death-wish resistance to facts because we can’t face our feelings; our responsibility as witness to 24-hour broadcasted cruelty. Gripping so tightly to distance, we can think only about scale not urgency.

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake data reads like an ultrasound of the earth’s surface. What’s at our center?

“An ellipse is richer than a circle. It possesses two centers. It’s a dialogue.” — Louise Bourgeois

Those smallest details of absence and desire go almost unnoticed, felt as impetus. A survivor’s mentality.  An orientation to want (hunger) as something outside of you, something to be experienced. Unapologetic formations to desire are apocryphal stories of purpose. They hold between their lines our remaining humanities. Revelation is all around us. A range no longer than a row of buttons.

 

credo

The day starts with blessings, with sacred reminders of what I know and why.

I’m grateful for the person who tagged “gender fucked” on the border of east and west bay.

This form of witness bears repeating.

Port Angeles, WA 2007
Port Angeles, WA 2007

I start packs on Sunday, bleed on Tuesday, and plan for French Fridays.

There are four core love asteroids: Amor, Eros, Psyche, and Juno, also the queen of Heaven.

Florence, Italy 2008
Florence, Italy 2008

There’s a desire to write from a place of softness, from sentimentality.

To record; to repair.

Make visible; resolve.

April16
April16

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself,
beloved on the earth.

–Raymond Carver, Late Fragment

joyful rejection

We are a cramp nation. Involuntary, restrictive, a tool.

Oakland, June 2016
Oakland, June 2016

our periods, collectively, are politically vogue
as gender representation reflects without liberation
we process its reclamation as speculative transmissions

even the clouds
and now their patterns
wander lost

the simplest narratives are stored in the bends of our flesh
rancor its own habitual expression, a saturation of cultural static
transfigurations of competitive positivity, a sharing economy
Angela Davis said the political reproduces itself through the personal

how far does your radiance reach?

heavy hearts beat soundly

jump on the bandwagon
it means we are winning

artist: Sonia Rentsch
artist: Sonia Rentsch

So much to internalize:
confiscated weaponized tampons at Texas abortion rallies
for some, stand your ground means justified deadly force

As fast as cracks form in the system, they are filled.

hot spring nights

california sunset
california sunset: as seen through a bathroom window (May13)

If I told you there are members of our society
who want to regulate menstruation,
will you finally see their strategies of brutality?

Hot spring nights remind me of
places where towns have edges.
All of us carry desire and violence.

Eyes like mouths, wanting:
dirty pillows, tight skirts, faceless crowds;
negatives transformed into positives.

like a fish out of water

Happy Birthday Jesus.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

found via reCycling, source The Frisky

An interview with myself:

1) What was the first word or phrase you thought of when you woke up this morning?

Me: leg salad (both an image and words)

2) What was the last thing you picked up off the street?

Me: a fortune that said, “FORTUNE TRULY HELPS THOSE WHO ARE OF GOOD JUDGEMENT”

3) Name something you wish you would have picked up but didn’t, and why didn’t you pick it up?

Me: a twisty balloon that looked like a strawberry, it was in the middle of a busy street and I thought it belonged to a baby that had just passed me

4) What do you wish you were doing right now?

Me: walking in dry, crunchy snow that is glittering in the moonlight

5) Do you like to ask questions or answer them?

Me: I tend to ask questions but really enjoy answering a good question.

6) What are you currently obsessed with?

Me: contradictions, dichotomies, and the space in between

7) What makes you angry?

Me: traffic lights that make you push a button in order for you to walk, murdering animals for food, invoking sexuality to sell fast food

8) What makes you happy?

Me: epiphanies, phrases that make your heart stop for a nanosecond, uncovering the obvious

9) What makes you brave?

Me: knowledge

10) What are you excited about for the upcoming year?

Me: riding my bike, making music, and deconstructing the hype of an impending apocalypse

Feminist Future

“…a feminist future depends not on erasing or celebrating sexed differences but on producing a collective consciousness that theorizes and acts on social processes and their implications.” – Chris Bobel

New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and The Politics of Menstruation

Strategic Intervention

Mooncup ad found via re:Cycling

Reading Chris Bobel’s book, New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation, has left my nerd whiskers quivering. Bobel states, “Thus, study of menstrual activism yields important insights into the evolution of social movements and feminist epistemology, a system of knowledges in constant flux.”  New Blood is an excellent and thoughtful expose into generational feminist praxis.

she’s gotta have it

“What relationship can you have with yourself if you systematically  hand your genitals over to someone else?” – Virginie Despentes

Waiting in the Walgreen’s pharmacy line, listening to a man get medicine for his cat (to be picked up by his wife), I was seething. Having been told that I couldn’t refill my birth control prescription until my pack was “80% complete” because “people would buy more than they needed,” I stood at the nexus of body, choice, and a child-free future.

I didn’t want to be the “crazy lady” but I also didn’t want to roll over and take it. I knew the women behind the counter were not to blame for this injustice; this discrimination against my sex.  They were simply reading the computer.  However they were responsible for spewing its bullshit on me and justifying that “insurance companies don’t want to pay more than they have to” mantra.  I don’t want to have to pay more than I have to either: dollars, grief, and potential unwanted pregnancy.

In the end, after my blood pressure returned to normal, I walked out with three more months of apparently highly addictive estrogen and progestin. I was lucky this time and I know it.

It seems like we’re all fighting for autonomy these days.  Ironically, me and the Tea Baggers might actually be yelling about the same things. Stay out of my bedroom and I’ll stay out of yours.

Tear Jerker

There are beautiful things in the world. I think I may have fallen in love.

Breakfast, as we demised, was glaring. You are right. The transparency of the glass ceiling is obvious.

artist: Carolin Loebbert

Today’s word: tears

Conservative white men assert their rebel yells and women weep. We shouldn’t be surprised that with the rise of neopatriarchy the front page of the New York Times has an article about menstruation and women’s libido.

Dorothy Parker said, “Lips that taste of tears, they say, are the best for kissing.”

A permanent MUM?

 

Judy Chicago - Red Flag (1971)

 

Read this interview with Harry Finley, curator of the Museum of Menstruation.

An excerpt from the interview:

On menstruation enthusiasts: “Probably 99 percent of the visitors to the museum were women in pairs, or women accompanied by men. I got the feeling that the men were body guards. Almost never did single women visit the museum. I think they were afraid of what they would find. I can understand that. When I step back and look at it, it is kind of weird. Occasionally a single man would come in and take a look, then hurriedly go out. These are men who are interested in the subject but didn’t want anyone to know they were interested. In a sense, I have functioned as a surrogate for these people.”

If I had the $, I would so make the Museum of Menstruation a permanent public display.  It’s an incredible dedication to the private space, to confessions, to transgressions, to sexuality.

obsessions

artist: Lorena Vigil-Escalera, found via design work life
artist: Rob Mongomery, found via girlafraid
artist: Sarah Small, found via 1000 words photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!  And even happier day to those of us who choose not to birth or be restricted by our wombs.

Gail Collins’ Op-Ed column in last week’s New York Times, What Every Girl Should Know, is a stark reminder of how precarious our happiness is and how we all need to be advocates for our choices, lest they be made for us.

Sometimes it feels like change is glacial.  Yet it’s only been 50 years that the birth control pill was approved by the FDA, 45 years since married women were prescribed the pill, 36 years since single women could gain access to the pill, and it’s only been 37 years since abortion was codified. It can seem like menstruating women are measuring time by trimesters and months.

We often forget that transforming the cultural landscape is a modern project of progress. We assume that we can map out all the complexities of change and have thousands of theories of action to document these assumptions.  But this is a project where constant change is the chorus and trying to interpret the illogical can become an obsession. What we choose to focus on and obsess over matters greatly because if change is the constant, you may find yourself looking back and not recognizing where you came from.

Le River Rouge

The film, Zach Johnson, has been referenced here and here. Having men menstruate, or have symptoms of menstruation, has been done before. See video below:

Zach Johnson is a precocious boy who loses his penis and gains a vagina. Zach learns that boys are pigs, baking alleviates PMS, and wiki will shed light on things you can’t discuss with others. Despite its charms (the red river defined as masculine) this narrative is not transformative because the same tired cliches (i.e. fear of all things white) about menstruation are still there – being a girl sucks because you bleed.

I can’t help thinking about the Heaven’s to Betsy song, My Red Self, in which the lyrics scream:

“Is this the rag you use to humiliate me, cuz I was born, I was born a girl?”

This viral ad campaign is about selling tampons. Period.

The last entry of Zach’s blog, ends with the plea, ” Guys, you need to get your period. And you need to get it now.”

And you better use Tampax, please.

And don’t get pregnant, heaven forbid.

damn!

A powerful iconic image – mother nature controlled, subdued. The pleasant, hydrating waters are contained. Dry, desert to the front symbolizes the mighty effectiveness of an engineering marvel.

Diamond Anniversary

Happy 75th Anniversary to the tampon!

On November 19th, 1931 (only one month after Thomas Edison died) either Dr. Earle C. Haas or Dr. Philip Harville submitted a patent for an “invisible” device that once inserted into a woman’s body, collected her menstrual blood. A little device called a tampon.

Whoever submitted the patent did so with the explicit notion that women should not have to touch themselves while inserting said devise. Despite its initial association with destroying women’s lives (rupturing sacred hymens did not help its initial sales), tampons were considered a convenient revolution. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the general public shed the illogical belief that a tampon was synonymous with a dildo.

With menstruation becoming obsolete will the tampon remain revolutionary?

Menstruation, Chimpanzees, & Good Women

According to this recently released study, women dress sexier when they are at their fertile peak. They wear skirts and “fringy scarfs” instead of bloaty sweats and baggy t-shirts.

Much like our not-so-distant cousins, the chimpanzee, women metaphorically display their fertile swollen genitals by wearing cute accessories paired with low cut blouses.

Is the model to the left at her fertile peak?

In other fashion news: Chan Marshall sells out.

iPledge allegiance to irony

The FDA does not allow women who are capable of becoming pregnant to take a powerful acne drug, Isotretinoin (Accutane), without jumping through stringent hoops.

For example, two negative pregnancy tests must be forthcoming before you can even think about getting a prescription.

After delivering your two negative sticks, entering your name in the iPledge database, promising to use two forms of birth control while acknowledging that taking this prescription can cause birth defects (if the two forms of birth control or enjoying periods of abstinence doesn’t work), and admitting that thoughts of suicide are due to the ingested drugs, not the state of our culture, you get to have magazine skin.

The FDA has claimed that its program has produced no pregnancies (starting late December 2005 until late March 2006). Mandating that women take two kinds of birth control in order to consume a cosmetic drug is sadly ironic in our culture of shrinking choices. To be fair, this is the same agency that regulates tampons as medical devices.

Demanding such extraordinary corporeal policy while simultaneously shrinking women’s choices regarding their lives and bodies demonstrates the hypocrisy of a government that propagates “family values.”

This paternal ideology should be easy to spot, but like a bad pimple, it always seems to lie just beneath the observable skin. Alert the evangelistic – the FDA condones forced birth control! In fact this public policy acknowledges that in order to look good you need to be practicing safe sex. A rather radical notion in a state of controlled desires.

Homeland Security


Ladies – the future has arrived! Technology will save us. If you have ever found yourself stuck in a public stall and your monthly friend has arrived in all her glory and you have nary a quarter to waste, this will be your new best friend.

Sign up for EggAlert – a service brought to you by PDAHealthWare, Inc. Planning a pool party or planning a baby? You’ll receive a text message alerting you that your period is about to begin in 5 days.

Using this innovative service, couples can attempt to choose the sex of their unborn child or a teenager could plan her life around her personalized EggAlerts. According to Dr. Dave, the president of PDAHealthWare, Inc., “EggAlert provides a sense of freedom and comfort for a lot of teens who want to know when they are going to menstruate because it can have a significant impact on planning of social and recreational activities.”

The cultural landscape of menstruation has been redefined. The consumer of EggAlert can be relieved of the annoying duty of tracking their biological function. The menstruating body is privately alerted to its impending function. The menstrual body as potential reproductive vessel is a product packaged in freedom and empowerment. Freedom to transgress the worries of menstrual surveillance. Text as empowerment.

Scratch-n-Sniff

Tampax is Fresh. How fresh? Their tampons have scented cardboard applicators and their ads smell too!

How do you market a product that is unnecessary? Manufacture a desire.

Tampax is marketing their “new” tampon with a cheeky scratch-and-sniff advertisement. The ad copy reads: “Beguile your senses. Succumb to the freshness.”

Deceive your senses and others around you. Now others will think you smell like roses during your monthly visit. Yield to your overwhelming desire to have a scented cardboard tube enter your forbidden zone and leave smelling as good as when it entered. Truly scandalous.

For some, these ads represent a way to ameliorate the constructed embarrassment that is inevitably associated with menstruation. Hide the offensive product in a ambiguous marketing campaign and no one need blush about a natural body process.

Smells fishy to me.

Grab the Bull by the Horns


Why does PETA think parading naked women will make “Homeland Security Mom” and “Nascar Dad america” throw down their steak knives and join the animal rights movement?

The human cutlets exhibition, the Pamela Anderson lettuce bikini, and the “naked fur” blitzes are just a few examples of how PETA chooses to relay their anti-meat message. Their formula of human (mostly women) as sexualized object equals don’t eat flesh message is lost in the tits and ass eye candy media stunts. Water cooler discussions rarely focus on the complex dynamics of eating flesh, the digestion of murder, and the environmental damage of sustaining such a barbaric lifestyle. It’s hard enough explaining to the average bloodmouth that being a vegetarian isn’t that freaky or that hard. PETA continues to frame their public media actions in such a sexist way it makes it that much harder to discuss the topic in a non-juvenile way.

Images of violence bombard our screens everyday. Continuing to use sexist images and cliché slogans doesn’t help save anything except the current hierarchy. I doubt the millions of cattle in america’s feedlots care that a few stereotypical hotties giggling behind their homogeneous placards are doing it for them. When they cry out as their throats are slit for the mcburger they are about to become, the naked flesh of a PR release means nothing.

Feminist Reality

You must read Bitch Magazine. A fabulous and s-m-r-t magazine for the sophisticated feminist.

Case in Point:

Wendy Weiner’s expose about uber-reality shows such as Survivor, Colonial House, and Frontier House lack of reality is a must read.

What do these women do when they are menstruating? Despite the grand posturing of real life dramas and constructed challenges, the inherent lack of such bodily truisms makes for dull television. Imagine how much easier the plot would flow. Feminine hygiene products have all sorts of useful functions out on a tropical island. Wings were the greatest invention of the 20th century. At the very least, normalizing a real event in women’s lives could do us all some good.

Realistic portrayals of women would be nice too.
————-
Other reality news: Germaine Greer has left the British Big Brother after only 5 days. Declaring the show “poisonous crap”, she left the “fascist prison.” As an underworked and unknown feminist, I would gladly take her place. Think of the book and movie deals….I’d be bigger than Gloria Steinem – maybe even bigger than Mary Magdalene .

"A New Kind of War"

Interesting account of a little hero named tampon:
Houston Marine Moms save lives with tampons

Posted By: David Benzion on http://www.lonestartimes.com

Here is the email discussed during Dan Patrick’s interview of Becky Williams, a Houston area Marine mom.

(post is edited for length)

He told me how wonderful the care packages were and wanted me to tell everyone thank you.

He said that one guy we’ll call “Marine X” did get a girl care package and everyone was giving him a hard time. My son said, “Marine X got some really nice smelling lotion and everyone really likes it, so everytime he goes to sleep they steal it from him.”

I told my son I was really sorry about the mistake, and if he wanted I would send Marine X another package. He told me not to worry aboutMarine X because everytime I send something to him Marine X thinks it’s for him too.

My son said they had the most fun with Marine X’s package.

Then of course, they had the tampons. When he brought this up my imagination was just running wild, but I let him continue. My son said they had to go on a mission and Marine X wanted the chapstick and lotion for the trip. He grabbed a bunch of the items out of his care package and got in the humvee.

As luck would have it he grabbed the tampons, and my son said everyone was teasing him about “not forgetting his feminine hygiene products.” My son said things were going well, and then the convoy was ambushed. He said a Marine in the convoy was shot.

He said the wound was pretty clean, but that it was deep. He said they were administering first aid but couldn’t get the bleeding to slow down, and someone said, “Hey use Marine X’s tampons.” My son said they put the tampon in the wound.

At this point my son profoundly told me, “Mom did you know that tampons expand?” “Well, yeah!” They successfully slowed the bleeding and got the guy medical attention. When they went to check on him later the surgeon told them, “You guys saved his life.” If you hadn’t stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death.

My son said, “Mom, the tampons sent by the Marine Moms by mistake saved a Marines life.” At this point I asked him, “Well what did you do with the rest of the tampons?” He said, “Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets, and I kept two for our first aid kit.”