Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back To Whining

The family archivest went back to graduate school today, and here I am, back to whining...I mean, blogging. I'm nearly three weeks older than I was at my last true post. What have I learned from these three weeks of experience?

Well, I'm sure you all remember reading Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique as a teenager, as did I. And I'm sure you all had her comment about housework expanding to fill the time available seared into your young brains. Well, it is so very true. And it's also true of all kinds of repetitious work, and it's true of what might be termed life work or life chores. I thought that while I wasn't blogging in the evenings these past few weeks I might use a little of my blogging time for some reading or tidying up my journal. No, what I used it for was slogging through family junk that dragged on through the day and slopped into the evening, doing some cooking so that I could have some time on a few Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to write, and tending to some end-of-the-day cleanup for another family member who was buckling under elder care. It was the middle of last week before I was able to even look at my blog reader, forget about anything more substantive. And I didn't look at it much.

I did get some writing done. I also cancelled my subscription to Publishers Marketplace because I've been going months without looking at it. I then left three of my listservs (including my beloved child_lit) to eliminate some distractions and free-up some time. I'm still on the New England Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators listserv as well as the kidlitosphere's.

I've noticed that over the last couple of months I haven't been blogging as often as I had been. I have a couple of days a week when I'm away from the house nearly all day on family business (and martial arts training), and often can't get into the office those evenings. Back before the kidlitosphere exploded on the scene and I got all hopped up about being part of a blogging community, my goal was to blog three times a week. I'm going to go back to that schedule now. That way, instead of feeling badly because I'm not blogging every day, I can feel relieved if I meet me goal and delighted if I exceed it.

I am rather good at manipulating myself.

As long as I was mentioning feminism at the beginning of this post, I thought I would stay on the subject for a moment and take the opportuntity to refer you to an essay that very nicely summarizes my feelings about the word "girl" when referring to anyone above the age of eighteen. I sent this link to a couple of young family members with whom I've discussed this issue, and I found out today that at least one of them (much to my nonsurprise) didn't read it. So I'm going to try to force it upon you guys. My favorite lines:

"In the 1970s, there was a groundswell of opinion suggesting that "girl" was a highly pejorative way of describing a female who was over 18, used to belittle her and rob her of status." Yes, damn it. That was exactly how we felt. What the hell happened to everybody? Why would anyone with an IQ want to be addressed as girl? No, girl is not the female equivalent of guy. It is the female equivalent of boy, a male child. When men are called boys, they know damn well they're being belittled and robbed of status. The "old boy network" is not a good thing. "Good ol' boys"--not positive at all.

And in discussing the acceptance of the word girl when desribing what are without doubt women, the essayist says, "The queasy worry is that in a big swath of popular culture, women are still being infantilised, and that they prefer it that way." That is totally, totally how I feel whenever I hear a woman referring to herself or others of her kind as girls. Where's their self-respect? Personally, I don't even like hearing teenage females referred to as girls. They are young women. They should be treated and referred to as such.

Oh, how I enjoyed writing those last two paragraphs.

Back in a couple of days.

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