Digressions

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As women, when we’re children we’re taught to enter the world with big hearts. Blooming hearts. Hearts bigger than our damn fists. We are taught to forgive - constantly - as opposed to what young boys are taught: Revenge, to get ‘even.’ Our empathy is constantly made appeals to, often demanded for. If we refuse to show kindness, we are reprimanded. We are not good women if we do not crush our bones to make more space for the world, if we do not spread our entire skin over rocks for others to tread on, if we do not kill ourselves in every meaning of the word in the process of making it cozy for everyone else. It is the heat generated by the burning of our bodies with which the world keeps warm. We are taught to sacrifice so much for so little. This is the general principle all over the world.

By the time we are young women, we are tired. Most of us are drained. Some of us enter a lock of silence because of that lethargy. Some of us lash out. When I think of that big, blooming heart we once had, it looks shriveled and worn out now. When I was teaching, I had a young student named Mariam. She was only 11 years old. Some boy pushed her around in class, called her names, broke her spirit for the day. We were sitting under a chestnut tree on a field trip and she asked me if a boy ever hurt me. I told her many did and I destroyed them one by one. I think that’s the first time she ever heard the word ‘destroyed.’ We rarely teach our girls to fight back for the right reasons.

Take up more space as a woman. Take up more time. Take your time. You are taught to hide, censor, move about without messing up decorum for a man’s comfort. Whether it’s said or not, you’re taught balance. Forget that. Displease. Disappoint. Destroy. Be loud, be righteous, be messy. Mess up and it’s fine – you are learning to unlearn. Do not see yourself like glass. Like you could get dirty and clean. You are flesh. You are not constant. You change. Society teaches women to maintain balance and that robs us of our volatility. Our mercurial hearts. Calm and chaos. Love only when needed; preserve otherwise.

Do not be a moth near the light; be the light itself. Do not let a man’s ocean-big ego swallow you up. Know what you want. Ask yourself first. Decide your own pace. Decide your own path. Be cruel when needed. Be gentle only when needed. Collapse and then re-construct. When someone says you are being obscene, say yes I am. When they say you are being wrong, say yes I am. When they say you are being selfish, say yes I am. Why shouldn’t I be? How do you expect a woman to stand on her two feet if you keep striking her at the ankles.

There are multiple lessons we must teach our young girls so that they render themselves their own pillars instead of keeping male approval as the focal point of their lives. It is so important to state your feelings of inconvenience as a woman. We are instructed to tailor ourselves and our discomfort - constantly told that we are ‘whining’ and ‘nagging’ and ‘complaining too much.’ That kind of silence is horribly violent, that kind of insistence upon uniformly nodding in agreement to your own despair, and smiling emptily so no man is ever uncomfortable around us. Male-entitlement dictates a woman’s silence. If we could see the mimetic model of the erasure of a woman’s voice, it would be an incredibly bloody sight.

On a breezy July night, my mother and I were sleeping under the open sky. Before dozing off, I told her that I think there is a special place in heaven where all wounded women bury their broken hearts and their hearts grow into trees that only give fruit to the good and poison to the bad. She smiled and said Ameen. Then she closed her eyes.

A Woman of War by Mehreen Kasana (via pbnpineapples)

GODDAMN YES.

(via whenihavewings-to-fly)

FUCKIN’ A!

(via anarchisttiger)

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oupacademic:

Three OUP Employees Pay Homage to International Coffee Day (Everyday)

The Fresh Pots Society (FPS) was born when three OUP publicists—Jonathan Kroberger, Owen Keiter, and Sam Blum—realized they had a shared fascination with coffee, caffeine intake, and general snobbery. Each afternoon, Jonathan, Owen, and Sam convene over a delicious French-pressed pot of their finest grounds and catch an afternoon jolt of much needed caffeine and conversation. The process of preparing such coffee can be quite laborious, however. To get a better idea of how we make our brew, see the series of gifs above.

Adieu,

The Fresh Pots Society

More research

Filed under oupacademic coffee

2,759 notes

npr:

According to a Turkish proverb, coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love. 
It’s National Coffee Day, and to celebrate we took a dip into the NPR archives and found this great report tracing the history of the coffee break, courtesy of Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg.
Enjoy!
-Kate
Photo: iStockphoto

Research reblog!

npr:

According to a Turkish proverb, coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love. 

It’s National Coffee Day, and to celebrate we took a dip into the NPR archives and found this great report tracing the history of the coffee break, courtesy of Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg.

Enjoy!

-Kate

Photo: iStockphoto

Research reblog!

Filed under npr coffee

7,279 notes

Here’s a sure-fire way to know that you hate women: when an incident of intimate partner violence in which a man knocks a woman unconscious gains national attention and every question or comment you think to make has to do with her behavior, you really hate women. Like, despise.

There is no other explanation. There is no “I need all the facts.” There is no excuse. You hate women. Own it.

Now, you probably don’t believe you hate women. You probably honestly think you’re being an objective observer whose only interest is the truth. You are delusional.

We have this problem in our discourse around the most important challenges we face where we feel we have to be “fair to both sides.” But sometimes, one of those sides is subjugation and oppression. If you’re OK with legitimizing that side in the interest of “fairness,” you’re essentially saying you’re OK with oppression as a part of the human condition. That’s some hateful shit.

Mychal Denzel Smith, "How to know that you hate women" (via thepeoplesrecord)

Read It Later Reblog!

(via theashleyclements)

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New Rule

Anything I think will be funny in a bitter, snarky way must be edited three times before I hit the Post button. I have just read over some older posts and have concluded that I am a Mean Girl, Cady. I am a bitch.

Filed under don't be mean

238 notes

NaNo Prep: Don’t Waste a Single Moment

lettersandlight:

image

NaNo Prep is here! Whether you’re planning your November novel down to the final scene, or soaking up inspiration for spontaneous story creation, we’ve got the tools you need to make this year’s NaNoWriMo your most successful ever. Today, author Eileen Goudge shares why a writer shouldn’t look for time, but should take long baths:

I was recently reminded, reading novelist Claire Cook’s inspiring (and hilarious) book, Never Too Late, that every author has his or her own “sure-fire” method for writing. Mine is simple: I commit to writing at least a paragraph a day. Almost never do I stop at one. In fact, once I get going it can be hard to stop. Try it. It works.

When I used to teach writing the question I got asked most often was, “Where do you find the time?” Good question. Where did I find the time? When my kids were little, I envied parents who worked outside the home. They got to sit at a desk that wasn’t in the kitchen. They could talk on the phone without a child screaming in the background. I wore shirts with spit-up stains to work. My typewriter represented the four food groups, with spaghetti sauce stains to go with the crumbs in the keyboard. And have you ever tried to type with a small child on your lap?

Along the way I learned a few tricks about time management, so here goes:

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NOTES FOR REMEMBERING AND STUFF