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Open Thread 59

September 17, 2010

  1. September 17, 2010 8:48 pm

    The only infestation/woe you can talk about having socially is termites. Everything else is your fault.

    Got lice? Your fault.
    Got roaches? Your fault.
    Got mice and/or rats? Your fault.
    Got adult relatives (including your own children) living off you? Your fault.
    Addicted to prescription drugs (that a doctor gave you initially instead of finding an alternate method to meet your problem and then abandoning you when you are wanting too much?). Your fault.
    Poor? Your fault.

    See, only termites come without you personally failing.

    Can you list what else is your fault?

    • Mary Sunshine permalink
      September 17, 2010 9:22 pm

      My age.

    • September 18, 2010 5:42 am

      Sexually transmitted infections.

    • soulsis permalink
      September 22, 2010 10:12 am

      Ha! Let’s try:

      The “privilege” (gag) of being female. Ya know how lucky us vag having folks are!!!
      Um hmmm being black must also be my fault. It certainly isn’t the fault of whites and non-black ppls that the privilege scale is tipped in their favor! I mean really, if I would just pull myself up by the boot straps, like they did/do, and found me a land inhabited by folks I can easily rape and murder then I wouldn’t have any reason to complain about my “lot in life.”

      And that’s about all I can stomach lol

  2. joankelly6000 permalink
    September 17, 2010 10:40 pm

    – being talked down to
    – getting sick
    – not having it in you to constantly take on bunches of assholes

    • Pseudoadrienne permalink
      September 18, 2010 5:44 pm

      -being offended by misogynistic, racist, and lesbophobic comments. “Gee, if you would just stop being Nonwhite, non-heterosexual, and a non-male, maybe you would have a sense of humor and wouldn’t be such a P.C. b*tch.” I hate my profession. Oh and how often are abused women and girls blamed for the terror that men and boys inflict on them?

  3. September 18, 2010 12:05 am

    You know what sucks? Running out of yarn for a particular project and not being able to find it in the shops. I need three skeins of Lion’s Brand Homespun Coral Reef. Wal-Mart, no, Michaels, no, the other Michael’s no. Here is the kicker. I bought the first four skeins from Wal-Mart for 4.97 each. Michael’s is currently having a sale on Lion’s Brand Homespun for 4.57 a skein and they have plenty of other colors. On the Lion’s Brand site not only is each skein $6.99 they have the nerve to want almost $10 to ship. I will unravel or mix colors before I put up with that extortion. It is my fault though, I totally underestimated how much yarn I would need.

  4. la redactora permalink
    September 18, 2010 12:11 am

    Being homeless is always totally your fault. Bootstraps for everyone!

  5. September 18, 2010 12:16 am

    Veering away from specifically infestation/woe, others things are totally your fault as well. Such as teh fat.

  6. September 18, 2010 12:25 am

    Thinking about fault makes me always think of one of my brothers. It is a running joke in our family, well among the saner members. Everything that comes out of his mouth whenever you say anything, complaining or otherwise is, “Whose fault.” He is like a broken record. “Whose fault…….Whose fault.” As if the second fault is established, everything can then be made right. Yet, that is not what he uses the question for. He uses the question as a means to say, “Not my problem.” Or my personal favorite, “Sounds, like you have a problem.” I can label his reaction with an expressed phrase unlike the actions (or I should say inaction) of other family members. The overall mentality is about the same as his is, it just takes longer to get around to making the person who has a problem that needs support to understand that she/he will not be getting any support.

    Stepping back and examining how several family members deal with issues, I can see now why no one is willing to own anything. If one were to own then there would be no hope for support/help. Even if one has been burned enough to know the end result will be you are alone baby, all alone. I suppose the hope, albeit false hope is at least enough to push one forward, a bit.

    • September 18, 2010 12:40 am

      I think I am grasping for, “It’s a wrap people! We have established whose fault it is, so now we can all go home.”

    • la redactora permalink
      September 19, 2010 9:51 am

      Your brother sounds like most people. Currently I give myself the false hope of thinking it is a USA trait (though I’ve known plenty of English with similar views). Then again, I don’t know that your brother is an American.

  7. September 19, 2010 7:02 pm

    “Gee, if you would just stop being Nonwhite, non-heterosexual, and a non-male, maybe you would have a sense of humor and wouldn’t be such a P.C. b*tch.”

    Too right. Describes my electrical college perfectly.

  8. September 20, 2010 10:28 am

    I feel so muted and useless lately, like I don’t have anything worth saying. I have emotional reactions to everything, but none of my emotions translate into language. Or, at least, the language at my disposal is the wrong one. Inadequacy is what I feel most consistently these days. I’m not the right person, at the right time, in the right way. And my wrongness is an unspeakable burden to me.

    I wish I could say more clearly what the problem is, but, of course, if I could, I’d have already solved it.

    • Mary Sunshine permalink
      September 20, 2010 4:43 pm


      I have been in and out of that state all my adult life. It will resolve.

    • September 20, 2010 6:34 pm

      I feel that way often, especially about having emotional reactions that I can’t translate into language. I’ve come to think it is a valuable/necessary stage of learning. I teach language, and one of the stages that students always go through is a ‘silent period’ or a ‘learning plateau’. It usually happens after they have learned a lot, and it can last for many months. They find it really hard to speak in the new language, have nothing to say, it’s like the words are all gone somewhere else. It can be incredibly frustrating and demoralising. But when it breaks, there is a new level of fluency and understanding. It’s like your brain is just going quiet while it gets used to all the new knowledge. I don’t know if that relates to anything you’re saying here, and obviously it’s not the same thing at all, but I thought I’d offer it. I sometimes feel that it’s just that I’m just in a stage of processing information and knowledge, and even though it feels terrible to have nothing to say, it’s only because my brain is working on it, synthesising it and integrating it, and changing my inner model of the world to suit.

      Whatever it is, I hope it passes quickly xoxox

    • September 21, 2010 6:14 pm

      Margaret, how old are you? Because it sounds like MENOPAUSE to me. 😀


      I wish we could have open conversations about menopause, but I’ve noticed that even discussing hot flashes must be done in whispers; it is considered bad manners to talk about menopause if men are around. There you are, burning the fuck up, sweat streaming down, and you can’t even say “Damn hot flash!” even if it is APPARENT and OBVIOUS. (I do, of course, but I have noticed how embarrassed everyone is when I say it. Why? I’m not. Facts are facts.)

      Open discussions about menopause would be re-assuring that these incidents you describe are normal changes/fluctuations in hormones. Remember, they used to say PMS is bullshit too! (and “PMS” is another thing we aren’t supposed to say in polite society, never mind MENSTRUATION…)

      TBL, Buddhism would say you are transitioning to a higher consciousness and must assemble the new words/vocabulary for your new awareness.

    • September 21, 2010 7:38 pm

      Neither can be discussed openly because both are wield at us like a prison escapee with a machete.

  9. September 20, 2010 11:18 am


    I don’t know if I’m reading you right, but no one can be everything to everyone. I don’t know if you realise it, but you’ve changed a lot of women’s lives, including mine. You’ve already done more than most people. I admire the hell out of you.

  10. la redactora permalink
    September 20, 2010 11:55 pm

    Best of luck in working through whatever it is Margaret. But like others have already said, your ideas here have done a lot for a lot of women, and from what I’ve gleaned from your posts you do the same for women in your everyday life.

    “And my wrongness is an unspeakable burden to me. ”

    Maybe you just need to let yourself be “wrong” for a bit…

  11. September 21, 2010 2:11 am

    Thinking of you, Margie, and hope that whatever this is, it passes asap. I can’t fathom not-wanting to hear anything you have to say, but I can definitely fathom the feelings you describe, and that’s what I’m hoping passes, because I know it’s painful.

  12. September 21, 2010 5:55 am

    Dear Margaret,
    maybe it’s a season change thing. sometimes season changes are difficult times. Your writing here is important. When the words come again, and they will, they will be the right words, your ideas will spark up other women…I’m sure the problem will be revealed and eventually resolved. in the meantime, no pressure, eh. You get to sit with it for a bit, take some time to breathe. Hang with the folks who love you.

  13. September 22, 2010 1:28 am

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. I wish I could say this *thing* was limited to my inability to write or blog, but I feel the same incapacity to speak. Sigh.

    Daisy, unfortunately, I’m not yet menopause age, but I’ve noticed the same thing you have with regard to the covenant of silence around it, and around women aging in general. There’s also a lot of defensiveness from the younger women, too, who very often don’t realize the ways in which youth is privileged by male society. Younger women vilify older women just as males do. I remember one young woman in particular claiming that the only women who could possibly disagree with her yay!-femininity! take on “feminism” were stodgy old women, and that she spoke for young women who were disrespected by the voices of old women. Of course, she included me among the old curmudgeons, although I am actually younger than she is. Just say a woman is old and you can justify your refusal to engage with her – wisdom dismissed as “generational difference.” And yet she, and plenty of other young women, believe themselves “oppressed” by this state of affairs.

    There are so few Crones writing from a radical/lesbian feminist stance online; it’s a voice I miss. The one or two that I knew of aren’t writing anymore. Does anyone know of any?

  14. September 23, 2010 2:47 am

    Margaret, I dug up a crone for you… she died in 1984 but was an awesome lesbian feminist who went to Vietnam and marched with MLK and the whole nine yards. She spent time in jail many times, did not cave. Tough as nails.

    They don’t make em like Barbara Deming anymore. 🙂

  15. September 24, 2010 4:29 am

    Jill Johnston passed, did anyone hear? If I hadn’t gotten the hits on her name, I would never have known. Feminist Blogdonia is totally silent. 😦

    • September 25, 2010 1:17 am

      No, I hadn’t heard about that. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Lesbian Nation is an important book, although I never would have said that it “spearheaded” separatism, the way so many male critics have. If anyone was going to spearhead separatism in the west, it wouldn’t have been an ex-het mother of a son; it would have been never-het lesbians. It always saddened me, though, that Johnston, like so many lesbian separatists of that time, stopped being a vocal advocate. I suppose it gets tiring to constantly be that scapegoat with a bull’s eye on it’s back. I’m glad she had her lesbian lover with her in the end, and my thoughts are definitely with her in her loss.

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