Day: September 16, 2008

Feminism, PUMAstyle, tail end Baby Boom & a joshua tree! (as I get back near an ocean at some point today)

Well, I could actually do a book about these last few days, perhaps I will.

One thing about this election that is VERY important to realize is how women who call themselves FEMINISTS have been HURT by the fact that HILLARY was OUR CANDIDATE, because of the “glass ceiling” — we were just behind her generation growing up.

Feminism for my generation meant women going to WORK.

At least for me, it meant accomplishing something in terms of work.  What that WORK has “been” has shifted around.  The Baby Boom does a lot of things — they aren’t content with just one, so if I had to list all my careers?

First, modeling and fashion.  (Degree in Art)

Second, Newspaper! (a very long time, and marriage during)

Third, back to school for that MA, Therapist…

Fourth, Writer and Artist.  Writer and Artist is how I was at thirteen, before MEN began to “choose” for me.

You are asking, “Well, how does that happen?”

It does.

At thirteen a group of girls and I wrote for a little school newspaper.  I was the “poetic” one.  I can remember being “hissed at” by other girls and boys and called a “lesbian.”  Now, I liked boys so, I wasn’t gay.  But, I had seen gay men all my life.  My mother knew tons of them — most were artists and decoraters.  Or working in fashion.

I’m sure that a few of those girls might have been gay?  Their parents were professors in a big University in my town.  I wanted to go back east myself for college.  I was the fashionable “Mademoiselle” magazine girl.  In those days they had writing contests, and in the September edition you could see the girl who won that.  My mother was quoting Dorothy Parker to me from DAY ONE of my life.  Oh well…

Anyway, my tenure with the Press taught me all about MALE RULE.  It was only during the late eighties that women made STRIDES in Newsrooms.  Editors I knew there told me they were relegated to the Food and Society pages…

Seriously.

At that job, I advanced quickly because I was smart.  So, you could say that was feminism?  I was also paid the same as males because we had “contracts” — however, when the NYT arrived — they dispensed with that…

Umm, hmmm.

Not every woman has enough strength to “do it all” ——– if they do?

They are pretty strong.  Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton are both strong that way.  I read once where Hillary held Bill Clinton off because she though she was going to “lose herself” (meaning work) if she got married.  I felt like that too!  I wanted to live MY LIFE like Georgia O’Keefe.  Well, now I am looking at what marriage has cost me that way.  Because, once you marry?

Well.

Marriage is a partnership?  A difficult one.  To keep.  The feminist in me wants a break right now.  I’m going to arrange that for myself.  This election has cause me to rethink my life.  The PUMAS have caused me to rethink my life, completely.  I’m going to put it in order now, and do WHAT I WANT.  Not what a corporation wants, not what he wants, not what clients want and most especially not what men want.  Frankly?  Lovers are better and more interesting to have.

Last night, I watched my old friend get angry.  I saw what marriage to him must have looked like.  Ugh.  He got divorced a few years ago.  Now he is hunting for Ms. Perfect.  It’s sad.  Like a Nathaniel West story.  What he told me about women though, over these last few days?

Wow…

I’ll be telling you all of it, because, curiously…the FEMINIST in me is laughing!  Maybe women are different?  He was one of the boys in high school who wanted me for a girlfriend.  But I held out for an older man at 19.  I missed all that high school sweetheart, prom-style stuff.  So, Palin’s life looks interesting to me because she had all that.  But, will it last?

Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes it does.

In college, we were lovers — but stayed friends, past that.  He told me I broke his heart.  Well, men have broken my heart a few times — and I broke plenty too.  That’s just this part of the Baby Boom and how it acted in relationships.  That date he went on yesterday?

He wants a relationship with a black woman.  And, they want him.  That’s what he’s looking for now.  He told me that white women were problematic and complex.  Too complex.  Isn’t that funny?

My old best friend Pam also wants a relationship now only with black men.

I like white men, they are what I know and where I fit.

I know what I like and what I am.  By the way, I want to note just for therapy-style purposes here — that sexuality is in place by about five years of age.  One tends to know which direction they are going, that way.

I had been writing about the EMOkids?  They seem to be transgender or bisexual.  My sense is that the Religious Right thinks everyone is Heterosexual?  They aren’t.  But you might want to assess why such large numbers of transgender people all of a sudden or why people choosing gender as a “design” — in the writer’s group I was in — some wrote that material, as well.

So, my heterosexual male friend had a homosexual experience once, with one of our friends from our college days.  He had mentioned it to me about a year ago, and we talked about it again the other night.  He said –”I just wanted to see what it was like.”

This is kind of the way that Southern California is.  It’s going to perhaps look different in different states — but I bet along the coasts, and among the PUMAtribe we are all aware of these things.  Our group is experimental that way.  We were given “choice” early on, not just Roe, but, that we would choose our way of being in the world.

You could call this Liberal?  I suppose.  Well, we are.

So, I called my husband.  He will be arriving in a few hours to take me home.  I learned a lot this weekend.  About myself, my past, my future and myself as a feminist.

What my friend wants is a “traditional” marriage with a woman who is going to cook and clean for him.  I suppose my husband wanted that too.  Frankly, I could care less about that sort of thing, unless I am in the mood.

For me, being a FEMINIST is about “work” outside the house!

I am a fab cook though, when I feel like it.  My marriage has given me tremendous room and freedom.  Right now, I think I want a separation.  I want to go elsewhere and paint and write — and I just have to find the right place to do that.  I will.  I could divorce, I could separate or?  Not sure.

One good thing though, is in this marriage we have been friends.  True Friends.  At this point, I’d like us both to have what we want!

It happens I wrote a short story about my old friend a few years ago, for ERWA — that is where I was on the writer’s list.  It’s called “Swingtimers” — and it is a real glimpse into the psyche of 80′s culture.  It is a piece of erotica in a sense, but also a morality tale as well.  The person my friend “experimented with” is the Stevie in the story — and I called him “Timbo.”

Last night, watching “Ask the Dust” made him cranky.  It’s one of the most incredible films I’ve ever seen.  If you write as the writer did in that film, you’ll know what I mean.  So, if you want a read of that short story of mine — just search my name and that title and you’ll get the link.  You’ll see what it was like, in that era, as fiction.

I am writing (once this election is over with) “Whitegirl” because it documents sexuality as lived by myself as a white girl.  Few know this?

Our stories aren’t written?  Yet.  So, that is what it is about.  Raymond Carver is one of my faves and he wrote that way as well.  He wrote his life into his work.  I think that is what makes for a powerful resonant voice in a fiction writer.  In mine, I always try and put a morality tale.

Well, today clouds block the heat of the sun — could be thunderstorm clouds?  In the fall in the desert there are powerful thunderstorms all the time.  Spectacular!

I want to go to New Mexico I think.  I love that state — it’s so Magic.

A beautiful part of the desert.  Instead of Joshua Trees — they have Pinon Pines.  And painted rocks, and clouds — and the BEST yummiest food ever, like Sopapillas.  All would be right in my world if I could have sopapillas every day!  For breakfast!

I miss my computer, so next post — will have art & links when I get home!