My Amma Doll

May 15th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Admissions | Introspection | Spiritual - (0 Comments)

In which I write about a toy. A doll. A temple idol, a spiritual tool.

I’ve had an Amma doll for a long time, and over the years I’ve collected all the outfits and extras, and I keep it all in an old wicker picnic-style basket. I can dress her in her whites, or as Devi, Krishna, or Kali.

There’s also a nightgown, socks, a swim dress, perfumes, a sun dress I made, and a tiny Home Depot apron (in case she ever wants to do some yard work or something). Garlands, necklaces, earrings, belts, a mala. A hairbrush.

There used to be a sweater, but apparently I’ve lost it.

Amma doll

I’ve read treatises written by those who don’t yet grasp what spirituality is or what it’s for, droning on and on about the phenomenon of white women and their Amma dolls, trying to make all kinds of Freudian implications about infantilization and adult women “playing” with dolls, as if there were something wrong with play, something sinister about child-like joy and absorption.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. There is evil in the world (although this is not it), and the dolls creep you out. Whatever. Your mistakes are your own. Or are they?

Because the fact is, this doll isn’t a Barbie, empty of meaning. It’s not a collection of plastic crap that symbolizes only imperialism and consumption. This doll is a profoundly useful spiritual tool, whether anyone who thinks they’re weird is capable of understanding that or not.

When you’re nearly always apart from your guru, being able to play with and cuddle a toy, one imbued with layers of complex spiritual and philosophical information, is a fucking oasis in a desert of streaming services, social networking, avarice, empty affluence, fear, and anxiety.

The process of handling the doll focuses the mind on the guru. Changing the costumes over time creates deep curiosity — why does Kali have a garland of skulls? what issues are there to consider about religion and violence? is suffering different than violence? is death meaningful? what the fuck is a demon: is it a literal bad entity, or a representation of one’s own flaws? is the mind a demon? Does Krishna’s flute, like, symbolize something? maybe Krishna just liked to play the flute? does it have to be meaningful? What’s the difference between information and meaning? what’s it feel like to be enlightened? aren’t the enlightened supposed to be without preference? so why the flute and not something else? — which drives self-education and awakens the understanding that all this shit represents something.

Kali Ma

These symbols are not just arbitrary foreign cultural weirdness. They have meaning. They peel like an onion.

When you see your guru for two days a year, and spend maybe 4 minutes of those two days actually with her, you need a conduit, a way to get back, a helpful symbol. When you’re losing your shit because you don’t know what the fuck is going on with your life or what you are or are supposed to be doing, you grab your Amma doll and you have a good cry.

Or, as I frequently do, you bitch God out for this stupid reality in which one has to have a mind capable of suffering in order to want to become enlightened: you cannot even want enlightenment without suffering first! It’s built-in! What the fuck!

Brahman dwells within itself, forever content. In the deeps, God isn’t even aware of us. If he’s the brilliant scientist in the state-of-the-art lab, we’re some random bacteria in the sludge around the drain in the unused third sub-basement he doesn’t even know about.

This occasionally makes me so infuriated I bitch and hiss at my doll, because it’s easier to have a conversational focus in the form of a small item than it is to try to somehow address the entirety of the manifest universe at once, because seriously, where would you even look?

My Amma doll

You look at your doll, as a representative of That, and you complain. You lay out your grievances. You pitch a fucking fit. You say you know everything that exists is a manifestation of an inherent quality of the Lord’s, and you know that selfishness, stupidity, and greed are just as much expressions of God as generosity, intelligence, beauty, and sacrifice, and that’s cool, but: suffering! Why is there suffering? Why even manifest as apparent discrete entities with minds of their own when that is itself literally the cause of suffering? What’s the point of us even being here to experience shit when it’s frequently so awful? Why even do this in the first place? How can You be loving if this manifestation with all its inherent bullshit is a fundamental expression of what You are?!

And then you get the brain dump. God, Guru answers. No, you don’t see visions or hear voices, but suddenly you have understandings that you didn’t have before. Knowledge just appears in your head, intact. (I’ve noticed when reading Matruvani that devotees’ stories are often like this. They’re waiting and waiting for whatever outcome they think they want, and eventually they get freaked out and complain to the altar or a photo of idol or guru, and then, and only then, at the final hour, the thing, the outcome, the whatever, occurs.) I think that it’s perfectly fine and okay and even encouraged to natter and nag and bitch at the Beloved. Amma even says several times in various books that one should have a running commentary and be always thinking of and talking to one’s beloved deity. Don’t gossip with others, tell the beloved. Don’t complain to others, tell the beloved. Don’t suffer needlessly and stoically, tell the beloved.

The whole point of and thread running throughout is about where the mind should be. The mind should be not on worldly bullshit, but on any symbol that will eventually lead it inward. Apparently this is called pratyahara, and is the process of withdrawing the mind from distraction and turning it inward toward its source. It’s a pain in the ass, in one way, because it’s hard and tedious and sometimes it hurts. But it’s also effortless, in the sense that at some point you realize that there is no effort, only grace. Because you feel like you’re making effort but you eventually come to know you’re not: you go years sometimes without effort, and then suddenly great strides are made. Your heart is arid and then the rains come, and you’re not the rain. You reach for That when the guru wants you to, and at no other time.

Another irrationality, that, as most of it is in this arduous process of destroying the world, and yet once you know it, you know it. Since there’s nothing to measure, you can’t prove it, but you have experienced it and know it to be true. They say if you take one step toward the guru, the guru will take a thousand toward you, but you also know that shit does not move at all without the guru doing it, because you’re not the doer, you’re not even real. You are your mind, and your mind is a reflection of consciousness.

Just like you know God’s not an asshole but doesn’t really find human suffering all that compelling, in the same way a human being does not find the death of a few skin cells all that compelling, and yet, by the same token, some aspect of God does shit like takes birth and gets nailed to a cross like Christ or dies of cancer like Ramakrishna or crucifies herself in her darshan chair like Amma in order to point us in the right direction. They come and They come and They ever come, these incarnations, and They show infinite love and beauty and grace and They say, look, I’m suffering my balls off here, because hey-what, the suffering of the mind and body is irrelevant. And let me teach you why.

And it’s utterly impossible to encompass, but there it is. The whole thing’s a huge joke somehow. You’re not even here, your you-ness isn’t real, it’s a soup of consciousness your mind is building the whole of reality out of, and your mind is not even conscious itself. It’s a construct! It merely reflects! I’m waiting for the punch line!

Terror is the mind realizing you know it’s not real, and that you’re becoming willing to surrender it to That in order to escape suffering, which is also not real.

I’m waiting for the punch line!

On the crushing stress of debt.

May 13th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Finance | Soapbox - (0 Comments)

In which I lecture.

This article advises you to immerse yourself in all the miserable details of your debt, and feel how bad you feel for an entire week, because apparently remorse and guilt will somehow magically attract money into your life. Because your debt is the result of your own terrible emotional flaws, and not a system set up to put you in debt.

“Unconscious spending habits”? Like you’re somehow not aware your outgo is higher than your income? “Messy money practices”? How is being poor in a rich society a messy money practice? Don’t spend any money for a whole day! Fuck you, person who wrote this article who has obviously never been broke a day in her life. Poor people tend to have to buy every day, because they can’t afford to purchase in bulk.

When you’re living hand-to-mouth, you tend to buy food and gas daily, in small increments, with the ten bucks you have to your name. You can’t go buy $150 worth of sensible groceries to last you for the next three weeks of frugal meal-planning, because you don’t have $150. You can’t cross town and fill your tank at the one gas station with the lowest prices, because you don’t have enough gas to get over there, in the first place, and even if you did, you have to eat so you couldn’t even buy a quarter tank anyway.

These sorts of articles about debt, about writing it all down in excruciating detail, living cash-only, really getting a handle on it… they’re all bullshit. You fuckheads have literally no idea what you’re talking about.

To fix debt, you need money. That’s it. Emotionally torturing yourself with your poverty, in minute detail? For an entire week? Is just weird. You already know you own more than you can pay. You’ve already tried to earn more. This isn’t psycho-fucking-therapy, it’s math.

I repeat: only money fixes debt. Nothing else. Not guilt, not self-recrimination, not even more austerity. Just money.

Odds are you’re not in debt for making extravagant decisions. You’re probably in debt because you were given a line of credit you could not support, by a greedy corporation eager to exploit human nature, were or are un- or underemployed through no fault of your own, or went to college to get a degree that doesn’t boost your earning capability (because that’s what they said you were supposed to do and you were compliant).

Very, very few people live beyond their means in the sense of buying too many extravagant things. Paying rent and bills, buying food and clothes, and having the same sorts of extras everybody else in your class has (like vacations and iPhones) is not extravagant.

Most people in debt are in debt because their employers don’t pay them enough to live like the rest of their class lives, or because they can’t get any or enough work. Not because they’re greedy or lazy. The numbers show most poor people actually work more than full-time.

Wages have remained stagnant for the past thirty years. You’re not earning what your parents earned at your age, and yet society expects you to do what they did and buy a house, get married, have two cars so you can both get to work, have new cell phones every two years, own a sufficiency of linens and dishes and furniture and be able to afford hobbies and toys.

Having to choose between groceries and the dentist is bullshit, but being told to take better notes and avoid spending for an entire day to get out of debt isn’t advice, it’s abuse.

I’ve invented Chipotle!

May 11th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Domestic Goddess | Food | Recipes - (0 Comments)

In which I cooked, like, all afternoon, basically.

Today, I made two salsas:

Salsas and an air plant!

A hot poblano-corn relish:

Poblano corn relish

Spicy black beans:

Black beans

Mexican brown rice. That weird cottage cheese guacamole I make. And shredded chicken, for him.

Cheddar, sour cream.

There’s leftover queso blanco dip, so I heated that up, too! What the hell!

Fuckin' yum!

Look at that. Fuckin’ delicious burrito bowl.

Dinner

And I didn’t even have to put on pants!

Another ride

May 10th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Admissions | Life | Panic & Anxiety - (0 Comments)

I’m so fucking high strung, you guys.

So I woke up this morning, had a hummus/tabouli/falafel/feta lettuce wrap, drank some water, decided being awake was stupid, and went back to bed ’til afternoon.

Detail

Got up a second time, had some water, rearranged my very dirty hair, put on eyeliner, dressed, took my shit out of one bag and put it into another, and went for a bike ride.

Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. No one to see. It was so easy when I lived in a small town and didn’t have a car. Got my exercise in without noticing, in the form of transportation.

It was raining. Low-seventies. Nice light spring rain.

It rained

Rode to the Midtown Global Market again. Locked up my bike, under a tree to help keep the seat dry. Went inside.

Walked around for a few minutes. Realized I was hungry. Walked around until I found a place selling chile rellenos. Ordered some. Wandered over to a coffee shop. Didn’t buy coffee. Felt anxious and weird, dizzy maybe, and realized that my vision isn’t really up to dealing with very high-information environments: the two different prescriptions, both out of date, plus the addition of the floaters that have been slowly and regularly increasing over time, make my brain feel weird.

Chose a table. Took out my readers and a magazine. Leg bounced. Felt like I just wanted to get back on my bike. Uncomfortable. Not an anxiety attack yet, but close. Also, the body, so unaccustomed to exercise, feeling different than usual.

I had cheese chile rellenos

“Number one seventy one? Do you want salsa?”

“Please.”

“Mild or hot?”

“Hot.”

“Green or red?”

“Red. Thank you.”

Sat down to eat. Can’t really see my food; really need to get in to see the optometrist. Put my readers on. Methodically and rapidly devoured a chile relleno. Unwrapped the tortillas. Cut the other chile relleno into thirds. Made three chile relleno tacos. Wrapped them up. Took off my readers. Cleared my table. Got a container from the counter and put my tacos into my messenger bag.

Walked around the market some more. Really should have enjoyed it, because it’s really the sort of place I would enjoy, with all the international stuff and all the interesting people, but didn’t. Just wanted to get the fuck out, get back on my bike, move, use up some energy. All the little shops: didn’t go in. Last time I was there, last winter sometime, I saw a really great top in one of the booths. Didn’t even look for it. Walked by the coffee place again, decided I didn’t need a drink because I had a water bottle on the bike. Really not feeling at all normal. Just being here is fucking difficult. What the actual fuck. I have nothing to do until work at 6 tonight, and I came here to sit and read and write, didn’t I? What the fuck is even wrong with me?

Sat down at a table in the central seating area. Readers and magazine out. Knee bouncing, I made it fewer than five minutes before I got up and left.

The rain had stopped.

Unlocked my bike, tied up my right pant leg, and off I went.

Nice ride. Much better. Leg muscles working felt good, damp air felt good, the lilacs are finally in bloom.

Most of the Midtown Greenway is in an old train corridor, beneath the streets and safe from traffic. Saw Mexicans under the overpasses. Some were singing. One was sleeping.

My Schwinn

Pulled over at a rock and sat for a few minutes. Thought it would be a nice place to meditate, but didn’t want to mediate. Wanted to go the fuck home and relax. Got up, rode the last thirty feet to the Soo Line Garden, dismounted, and pushed my bike up the bark trail to street level.

Flushed, hot, inwardly shaking my head at how honestly hard it is to walk my bike up a steep hill, almost there, almost at the top, slow steps, at least nothing hurts.

Still aware of how floaters confuse my brain’s interpretation of what I’m seeing and what’s moving when I’m outside and the light is bright. I don’t notice them at all in familiar or low-light situations, but out in public in bright light there’s a sensation that everything is moving, even though it’s not, and my response to weird vision and being in public is to ratchet everything up, fight-or-flight style. My internal experience is one of great agitation and intensity and nervousness, and I’m having to deliberately focus on the feel of the air and the smells and all the nice nature around me rather than the quite frankly irrelevant internal experience.

Meanwhile, while all this weird shit is going on, simmering half a degree below a full-blown goddamned panic attack, I look like a pleasant, plump, white lady, slowly walking her retro bike up a hill through a garden, wearing black linen palazzo pants and a slouchy V-neck, meditation beads and a messenger bag. Really makes you realize that nothing is how it looks. You see someone and have no idea what it’s like to be them; who knows what goes on in the skulls of other pleasant-looking, plump, white ladies?

They’re probably all mad geniuses but too pleasant to say so, or gacked out of their head on street drugs just walking along, looking like somebody’s grandmother, smiling pleasantly.

In which there’s a map, and a bangle of sorts!

Google Maps never really does well with the Greenway, but this is, more or less, my path for the day.

Ride

(I still can’t tell, honestly, if I’m charmed by the knowledge that my Android phone tells Google Maps everywhere I go, or freaked out.)

In the early afternoon, I stopped on the corner for a jar of delicious iced coffee and a salad to go, and then I rode to the lake, sat my fat ass in the grass behind my bike, ate, and then I rode home again.

It occurred to me that going to the park specifically to eat was an excellent fat-girl behavior! Hi, I’m fat and I’m the only person in sight who is eating! I just ate and took off. Didn’t even walk out on the floating dock I love so much. Oink!

Lake Calhoun

Fucked around at the apartment for a couple hours, but wanted to go ride some more. So in the late afternoon I rode the Greenway in the other direction, east, and bought dinner from the Midtown Global Market — a cheeseburger for him, falafel for me — so not only did I spend a bunch of money today for no reason (there are plenty of groceries in the kitchen) but I rode 5 miles!

Now, the ride to the Midtown Global Market is a fuckin’ breeze, and you’re, like, Oh, yeah, I got this, my quads are in better shape than I thought, far the fuck out. But the ride home? Is ever-so-slightly all uphill and OMG IT half KILLED me.

But still, I rode five miles today, voluntarily and on purpose, for fun, by which miracle I conclude that this RoadID bracelet, which arrived in the mail today, is magic.

Five miles isn’t far, of course, but it’s a lot more than no miles!

Anyway, it’s basically dog tags for your wrist:

RoadID

Apparently, if you get knocked off your bike in a car accident, your shit usually ends up many feet away from your person, and often isn’t found until after you’re off in an ambulance. So I figured, since this is a super high-traffic neighborhood, everybody here drives like they have PMS, and I’m usually alone when I’m out walking or riding, some wearable ID would be a good idea.

Name, age, location, emergency contact, medical information: apparently these details are fantastically useful to EMTs when an injured person is unconscious.

Now, I guess if you’re sporty, you put some kind of motivational motto on the bottom line, like SHUT UP LEGS or some shit, but I’m not so I put a mantra. And the badge thingy on the left is a custom ‘OM’ symbol. Custom! OM!

I briefly considered the ‘BIKE’ badge, because I ride a bike and have done for the past decade, but I’m hardly a real cyclist, like those skinny nerds with all their clothes and gear, so I figure it would have been weird. I’m riding along in Thai fisherman’s pants and a Hanes cotton t-shirt, right? I’d probably be publicly shamed for appropriating jock culture or some shit, amirite? YOU’RE NOT WEARING WICKING LYCRA, YOU HIPPIE, YOU CAN’T HAVE THE ‘BIKE’ BADGE UNTIL YOU DO A TRIATHLON. IN NEON LYCRA!

To conclude: I am older than I’ve ever been and in tremendously bad shape, but it felt so great to look at things that are green and flowering and to smell the spring breeze and to move and to ride along the lovely Midtown Greenway!

Such a gorgeous day! Yay!

In which there’s a screen shot.

THIS IS A TWEET FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ACCOUNT: “During the last 8 years, Americans have been under attack from the federal government for following the tenets of their faiths.”

Wait, what?

Oh. No. No. No, no, no. Christians are not under “federal attack.” Trump’s basically agnostic, so this is about money, power, “winning.” He’s sucking evangelical dick, too. Not just Russian.

“If you still want to quote from Leviticus, despite Jesus’ doing away with Mosaic law, then you better be prepared to enforce the whole thing, not just the parts you like. This includes not only the injunction against shellfish and mussels and such, but also against wearing fabrics made of blended fibers, cutting or shaving your beard, sowing mixed seed in a field, and a slew of other things nobody but Orthodox Jews take seriously anymore.”

http://www.godhatesshrimp.com/

Oh, great. Not.

May 1st, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Panic & Anxiety - (2 Comments)

In which there’s a tostada.

Tostada

I made the salsas and the guac and fried the tortilla. I even put on a pot of pinto beans, but they’re not done yet. I mean, I made salsa. Look at this shit.

Making salsa Salsa

And then about a third of the way through eating the glorious thing with the delicious salsa on it, I had a panic attack — first one in awhile — and now it’s just sitting there, getting soggy, and I’m sitting here twitching and freaking out and I have a fan pointed at me because I think there might be a hot flash component, maybe? But I’m definitely dying.

Heart attack, maybe organ failure. You know how it is.

I went to the site I used to go to when having panic attacks, but it’s dead. Looks like the last post was a year ago, and the login no longer works and the forum posts are there but filled with database errors.

Fingers are numb, heart is pounding, dizzy, tense: the works. God, but I do hate me a panic attack!

Although the process of writing this post, together with Rainy Mood in another tab, has gotten me most of the way through. I think I’ll get up and move around now… maybe put the rest of the delicious but only partially-eaten tostada away, and then maybe curl up because now, between the open window and the fan, I’m really cold. Of course.

May your day be panic and anxiety free!

Tiniest little sprouts!

April 30th, 2017 | Posted by Mush in Life - (0 Comments)

In which there are tiny baby tomatoes.

Sprouts

In which I’m just going to go right ahead and say that maybe the reason women didn’t traditionally run universities was because everybody knew we’d start giving out PhDs in queer vegan comic blogging.

This is another anti-feminist rant. I know, I know, nobody cares. I get that. It’s fine. Listen, I know I’m a bossy, frequently abrasive little twerp, but this?

THIS is a motherfucking DOCTORAL THESIS:

Interviews? COMICS? HOW IS HAVING YOUR FRIENDS DRAW COMICS ANY SORT OF “DOCTORAL RESEARCH”?

Do I care about animal welfare? Fuck yeah, I absolutely do. I “came out” as vegetarian at 19 or 20, and am proud to have not eaten hundreds of entire beef cows, chickens, pigs, and goats in the decades since. Am I aware of the life cycle of the commercial milk cow? Yes, I am, and it’s crap, and don’t even get me started on the calves. But I’m also aware that people in those industries aren’t all brazen assholes, and that we’d have an awfully hard time producing dairy products at current volumes from low-yield, hand-pastured, hand-milked Imaginary Idyllic History cows.

Note how the author writes “twelve (12)”, as if there were a real danger that we, as readers, would be overwhelmed by THE ONLY NUMBER ON THE PAGE. Autoethnography sounds like a nifty science-y word… if you’re an idiot who thinks writing about your subjective feelings is some form of scientific research. It’s not. It’s a diary.

And I’d wager you did little to no historical research into vegetarianism, veganism, and the moral and ethical issue surrounding meat-eating, or, you know, actual ethics, let alone any past or present scientific research into diet and metabolism. If you’ve ever even heard of Jain Dharma, let alone possess an in-depth understanding of their philosophy and the ability to speak intelligently about the meaning of “harmlessness” and renunciation, I’d be pleased for you.

But I’m guessing you chose to turn your diary into comics because you didn’t, don’t, and haven’t.

I’m not anti-diary. I majored in English and I’m very interested in diaries, journals, experiences, inner voices, growth and change. And I’m not anti-blog, either. I’ve been blogging since you were in grade school, and there are some insightful-as-fuck pieces scattered in amongst the self-indulgent, whiny crap on this domain, and I wrote IT ALL.

I’m just pissed that I didn’t get a doctorate for it.

THE POTENTIAL USE OF COMICS IN RESEARCH.

I do not think “research” means what you think it means.

And what the fuck does queerness have to do with diet? I’LL TELL YOU. It informs your choices and causes you to avoid certain foods, increasing your chances of self-inflicted malnutrition, but it does not have any impact whatsoever on what nutrients you actually need to thrive. Digestion doesn’t give a FUCK about how you identify, because it’s an actual thing you could study if you weren’t trying to get a PhD in vegan comics blogs.

I’ve been letting my feelings inform my diet for a long time, way longer than you, so I’m an expert in this shit. I get it. The very concept, the very idea of animal suffering is nearly paralyzing. I remember feeling that way, too. It’s the normal tenderness of youth, for some of us. But with perspective there comes an understanding that everything suffers, everything dies, animal products have always been in our species’ diet, and nobody cares if you do or don’t have some cheese, and even you won’t care about such trivial shit when something truly transformative finally hits your life.

I have no issue, honestly, with people who want to study twee shit like gender theory, and hang out in their little enclaves. Knock yourselves out. But it is not academia. The person who wrote the captioned thesis is obviously not equipped to tell the difference between a feeling and a fact, and yet will believe they’re scientifically qualified when they receive a doctoral degree. Meanwhile, in truth, the one single skill they’ve learned is useless: how to torture the language of the diarist into some ersatz, technical-sounding, empty jargon. This is an absolute failure of education. In a decade, when that candidate realizes they don’t actually know anything, they’re going to be furious, and rightly so.

When a person leaves university they should know facts, actual facts, like how things work and where various things come from, and they should be equipped with the ability to learn more things. They should be able to effectively self-educate, to discern between hard and soft sciences, they should have an understanding of human and natural history, and they should be capable of problem-solving. A PhD in blogging is bullshit, and according to Based Mom we can thank third wave feminism for this cloistered, self-obsessed pseudo-scientific bullshit.

Academic feminism co-opted the language style of scientific papers in order to give their own “research” more gravitas and cachet, and all it did was teach a generation of students how to write impenetrable, unreadable crap. As a life-long reader and a regular writer, seeing so much noise in the signal, in an effort to emulate science, and, by extension, men, just bugs the shit out of me.

As an equality feminist from the 1970s, I am dismayed by this new craze. Women are not children. We are not fragile little birds who can’t cope with jokes, works of art, or controversial speakers. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are an infantilizing setback for feminism—and for women.”

– Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Honestly, if this is what women-run education looks like? I’d rather put those horrible, oppressive white men, you know, the ones who gave us medicine and food preservation, back in charge.

Can you even? I mean, like, the logic is so circular it blows the mind.

In which I’ve read so much socially acceptable male-bashing bullshit online today, I just can’t even.

But I’m going to anyway, and it’s this: what if society was structured with women’s and men’s spheres mostly separate… for a reason? Maybe women domesticated ourselves, just like cats, deliberately.

Also, I’ve been out of school a long time, and don’t really remember how to structure a thesis, so this is a sloppy-ass brain dump.

It started with this diatribe (go read it, and come back) this morning, from a woman who appears to blame men for the fact that she’s never won an award for any of her books? She doesn’t say exactly, but random entities tell her ‘no’ a lot, and ‘sexualize’ (or gender) her, so I assume they’re men, because women are never imperfect unless a man makes them that way. The piece is well-written, quite, but I’ve never heard of her nor any of her published works, and as cream does rise to the top, couldn’t it be possible that she’s just not award-winningly brilliant? It’s not like women don’t get Man Booker and Pulitzer prizes, you know.

Then there’s this next one (click the image to read it). I generally like McSweeneys, but if you’re a man and you ever speak to a woman, compliment her, disagree with her, stand when she enters a room, hold a door for her, or ever make any social judgement mistakes, you’re a fucking monster:

The best thing about feminism right now is hating men and brutally mocking men and all things male, like when men hold open doors or breathe or make mistakes or exist, because by merely existing they’re ogres and hideous, and to brutally mock them is acceptable and widely celebrated and witty and clever, and it’s their fault that we’re not exactly like them with their qualities and leanings and abilities and ambition, because men and women are identical in all ways!

Oh, and the fact that women appear to be less ambitious in the workplace? MEN’S FAULTS:

Alert! It’s entrenched, systematic sexism that women don’t care as much about devoting life and self to work, that we don’t have the identical values as men, that we make different choices and have different goals. Because companies make women less ambitious over time!

There’s no possible way that maybe we just don’t care about work like men do, oh no: anything men can do, we can do better. And if we don’t, IT’S THEIR FAULT, it’s their SEXISM that stops us from being exactly like them!

The pervasive, endemic male-hating is astonishing. Even from males. Here are two males discussing economic policy, taking a break to dis men:

The alt-right unequivocally hates women? Because it’s impossible that A.) the alt-right doesn’t hate women, or that B.) they treat women as equals, and bitch at them and berate them right back because women demanded equality, and they’re giving it to them?

I mean, I’m not defending the totality of “the alt-right,” whatever that really is, but if you want all the rights, risks, and responsibilities men have, it means you do not get preferential treatment because of your sex. It means when you fuck up, they’re gonna treat you like they treat each other when they fuck up. Because that’s what equality is. When you do dumb shit, they’re gonna mock the shit out of you, and you’re not gonna get a pass for being a girl.

And if you’re going to say that “the problem” is, in fact, in the way males treat each other, you’re still male-bashing. Men didn’t demand entrée into womens’ space, we demanded entrée into theirs. Now that we’re here, we don’t get to whine about how male society error-corrects for wrong behavior.

(I begin to think, here. Men didn’t demand that they be allowed to leave their work and come do ours, but they did engineer us out of it. They gave us stoves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, laundry machines, easy-care fabrics, dry cleaning, blenders, microwaves, preservatives, and the pill. They basically took our work away from us, or at least reduced it a great deal — keeping a home is not trivial, but it certainly isn’t a dawn-til-dusk proposition anymore. They basically drove us into their sphere. So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we do get to emasculate them so we feel more comfortable among them. Shit, I don’t know, but I’m betting compassion and accountability are probably key, rather than victimhood-as-identity, derision, and rage.)

It’s embarrassing that women demand rights but reject responsibilities, and yet bitches be doin’ it ALL THE TIME. This whole imbalanced, irresponsible, male-bashing ideology is part and parcel of the social fabric right now, and it’s driving me nuts. (Last night I told a male feminist that when a woman puts herself in a dangerous situation and something bad happens it’s her own fault more than anyone else’s, and he said he was too uncomfortable to discuss it. Just the idea that a woman could ever be responsible for her own choices freaked him out, and he’s a feminist. This is how insane it’s getting: to be a feminist is to demand to be absolved of responsibility for their own choices!)

Paglia — love her or hate her, she is a pretty solid thinker — talks about fighting for equality in college in the 70’s. The girls’ dorm had a curfew, girls had to be in by 11PM and girls were looked after and protected not only from the big bad dangerous world, but also from themselves. The boys could do whatever the fuck they wanted because, assumably, they’re hard to traumatize. Paglia says those girls, those women, wanted to take responsibility for themselves, wanted to make their own decisions and accept their own consequences. Wanted the right to make their own decisions, come what may.

Today as you read about the male gaze, and the modern feminist’s discomfort being looked at or spoken to, the vast number of consensual hook-ups she realized in retrospect were rapes, her perpetual fear of society, of being hurt, of being objectified, and her desire to be in spaces free of men, you can’t help but wonder if maybe this is why society was structured that way in the first place. Men and women for much of history had mostly separate spheres. Women had their power, men had theirs; women were spared putting up with masculine jock bullshit, and men were spared getting endlessly bitched at about hurts women inflicted upon themselves.

I did my fair share of fucking around, but now that I’m older, I’m no longer ashamed to say that I know very few women with truly high libidos. Most of us have very little if any use for dick that isn’t attached to a decent human being who is capable of feeling love and keeping his word. The sex positive movement sold me a crock of shit when it told me that I want and need and enjoy sex exactly like men do, because I don’t. I’m thankful for contraception, yes, but not for sex for its own sake on a grand scale. Out-of-context sex is, for most women, satisfying only on the rarest of occasions.

The rest of the time, it results in disappointment, heartbreak, and fatherless children. And these things foment a culture-wide, seething hatred for men because the assholes took our word for it that the sex had no strings attached.

Isn’t it possible that maybe, just maybe, it’s not that men are universally hostile and predatory, so much that women are just not that into living in their sphere with them? Sure, we can have commutes and be head of household and earn a living and work for the weekend, but where’s the evidence that we’re thriving? Mostly we’re just doing it because we have to; and most women are saying that they feel unfulfilled, unhappy, and unsafe.

There are outliers, naturally. Always were, always will be. The Joans of Arc, the women physicists and researchers and astronauts and warriors and firefighters and visionaries. But when basically every female you know, just, you know, kinda feels like shit all the time? Maybe it’s because most of us don’t like living like dudes, doing dude stuff, having dude responsibilities. Being the breadwinner sucks ass, as far as I’m concerned. Let him do it.

We all know at least one man who is neither hostile or predatory, not under any conditions. So it’s easy to extrapolate that to say that most males are just normal human beings who’d love to protect and care for you, if you’d just stop telling them they’re all just one dark alley away from committing the brutal rapes they all carry in their souls.

Just stop it. If soldiers can be socialized to rape, then civilians can be socialized not to. Men, as a group, are no better or worse than women. Some are psychopaths, some are geniuses, most are normal and common and not about to rape you.

I know that for every woman who’d like to stop working, there are a dozen who can’t, because they have to pay the rent and the bills and keep the children well, and still others who enjoy — or believe that they do — their jobs and responsibilities it the public realm. I get that. But if women were happy with their lot in life as it is, why would there be this deep need to vilify and denigrate males?

…Now that men have basically engineered/invented us out of our sphere’s previous domestic work, maybe we should invent another one for ourselves. Running a household doesn’t take much time these days, since “a household” is rarely more than a few people and we have wall-to-wall dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, electric cookers, and can buy canned food from the store any day of the year. So maybe we should focus on, I don’t know, philosophy. Altruism. Eradicating world hunger. Maybe instead of living separately in little homes stuffed full of meaningless shit, we should all live together with less.

Maybe “women’s work” isn’t making dinner, maybe it’s figuring out how to make the most people fulfilled and happy on a global scale, rather than being as “ambitious” as men in corporate settings.

I really enjoy cooking, though.