LinuxChix Africa

Guess I'm out of the loop, but this is the first I've heard of LinuxChix Africa, launched on 25 February 2005. I'll definitely be back there. What a cool logo, and it's a Drupal site.

Via Black Looks.

Poetry Month

I haven't blogged a poem for National Poetry Month yet; I was just waiting for the right one to come to me. It's apparent if you've been reading here lately that I've been depressed, but I'm trying to be positive and focus on the it's-going-to-be-okayness. Looking at the tree outside my window this morning, I see little leaves trying to poke through the tips of the branches. Compartmentalizing for the moment the sadness I feel about the fact that it's probably already beautiful in the south, that the dogwood blossoms will probably already be gone by the 20th, which is when I'll be going down there again, I'm going to try to be hopeful. This morning I thought of this Dylan Thomas poem:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Friday Cat(-Sitting) Blogging

Cat-sitting for Amy while she's away at the AAG Conference. Not bad for a camera phone, huh?

Quick Question

Still on hiatus, but: Do you think a woman might have written this article differently? Less (no pun intended) unctuously, so that it didn't smack of a penance/redemption quality? Or am I being too sensitive a reader here? I am a big Delta Burke/Designing Women fan. Snippets from the article:

But the uppers stopped working. The pounds piled on. And she began a journey - well ahead of Kirstie Alley's - into obesity, humiliation, self-acceptance and image adjustment. Ms. Burke was a very fat actress.

[. . .]

She recalled how keenly she envied less hefty peers, Ms. Alley among them.

[. . .]

She looks a bit chubby, unequivocally pretty and entirely real.

[. . .]

When the cable television series "Queer as Folk" made its debut in 2000, Sharon Gless was barely recognizable as the onetime pixieish star of "Cagney & Lacey." In the current Broadway revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Kathleen Turner cuts a much less svelte figure than she did in the movie "Body Heat."

[. . .]

But old vanities die hard, and she talked about her body and her bulges without all that much prodding.

Hiatus (for about a week)

I have to cut out as many extracurricular activities as possible and try to rest. I've never thought of blogging as expendable before, but I'm tired, depressed, full of self-doubt, in the throes of career crisis, you name it. Some stuff has to go so that I can put my self-soothing skills to use by going to the park and knitting in the sun, watching movies, and reminding myself that the semester is almost over, really it is. But until then, may I have one of each of these -- and these? My supply of 5-HT is nil.

Reminder, to self

Read The Rude Pundit when you're depressed.

Baby's First Thesis Committee

I've been asked to be on the honors thesis committee of a very sharp student. I'm honored. :-)

Silent Femmes

Lest anyone think I hadn't seen it: Amy Sullivan addresses the "gender gap in punditry."

Political magazines—with the notable exceptions of The Nation and Salon—are run, edited, and written by men (indeed, the masthead of our own magazine, which has launched some of the sharpest pens in journalism, includes only four female names in the list of 36 former editors; that's 11 percent.) Even in that brave new democratizing world of blogs, the professional bloggers all have names like Mickey and Eric and Andrew and Josh.

As a female editor at a political opinion magazine, I've bucked this trend, but I've also worried about the absence of women's voices in my field. With a paltry 10 to 20 percent of opinion pieces in major newspapers written by women, surely editorial page editors could improve their percentages without lowering their standards. Is it the case, however—as Estrich's righteous, old-style-feminist “let us in the door!” cry would have it—that the problem is mainly one of gender bias? When I considered whether to take this job, one of the first questions I asked was why there had been so few female editors at the magazine. The response—women just don't apply for the job—was both surprising and unsatisfying. The disturbing truth is that women's voices aren't rare in political discourse because of blatant sex discrimination; they're rare because women don't raise them. But that's because women themselves have been raised to feel ill-at-ease in the rough-and-tumble, male-dominated world of political expression.

Sullivan traces this phenomenon back to elementary school classrooms and notes that several notable female commentators -- "Meg Greenfield, Molly Ivins, Ellen Goodman, Anna Quindlen, and Jodie Allen" -- went to women's colleges. Women have to buck their socialization, their teachers' biases, etc. and speak up, Sullivan argues. I want to say more about this article, as well as Dahlia Lithwick's piece, Michael Kinsley's, and Kevin Drum's latest, but I have more pressing things to do right now, unfortunately.

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