Monday, March 5, 2012

I don't know. A bunch of things.

~~ I am teaching an afternoon class at Lighthouse Writers Workshop on March 24. You should come! Tell a friend! Here's the info:

5 Ways to Revise a Poem 
For many writers, revision is as difficult as producing the first draft -- if not more so! -- and a big part of the problem is knowing where to start. In this class, you'll learn five+ approaches to revising a poem as well as tips for making revision easier and more generative. Although the class will focus on poetry, the revision methods and tips we review will be helpful for writers working in any genre. Students should bring in 1-2 recent poem drafts to use as starting material for several in-class writing exercises.  
Instructor: Elisa Gabbert
Starts: 03/24/2012 Time(s): 1:00PM-4:00PM
Cost: $55.00 members / $70.00 non-members
Location: Lighthouse Attic (3rd Floor), 1515 Race Street, Denver, CO 80218

~~ James of Pur Autre Vie has been blogging about marriage and LTCRs (long-term committed relationships), in response to recent writings by Matthew Yglesias and Ross Douthat (puttin' on his doubt hat). It all raises some interesting questions: Are women better off now that marriage is in decline? Are children? Is anybody? Is the LTCR a myth perpetuated by the upper classes? Is commitment really commitment if people are only expected to stay committed for as long as they're getting something out of it (are "happy")? What is "happy"? Can happiness have meaning if it is only self-reported? Things that haunt me: Women are less happy than they used to be; most people choose power over happiness. "Why are there no great female composers?"

~~ I've also been thinking about the pretty widespread idea that conventionally "girly" things are anti-feminist, i.e., you can't be a feminist and care about fashion, or you can't be a feminist and wear makeup. It's on my mind right now because I'm reading a book by a longstanding feminist who was surprised to find herself  interested in, nay, obsessed with perfume. (Inner and sometimes outer voices: "But perfume is so girly!") But this also comes up whenever conservatives make the argument that women earn less than men because they choose to do low-paying work. The problem is not that women are choosing low-value work; it's that we don't value, as a society, the work that women do. And the same goes for hobbies and interests: I truly believe that fashion is no more frivolous than sports. We just value sports over fashion because the former is associated with men and the latter with women (and gay men, who are uncomfortably close to women and as such icky, inferior examples of men). Don't let people, even feminists, tell you that your hobbies are "girly" and therefore frivolous. Dolls are just as interesting as plastic guns. (Also, "greatness" tends to be measured against standards set by men.)

~~ More links:

~~ I had an encounter at Beauty Bar in Chicago that made me understand what Britney Spears means when she says she's in it for the fans. Then Kathy and I photoboothed. I like this picture because we appear to have cheekbones. In reality, we're chipmunks. (Ah, so that's why people do the duckface.)

Then I danced my ass off. Oh yes, I went to Funkytown.


  1. 80218? the lighthouse homepage says the zip is 80206

    i want to send it/them some books to stick on their freebie shelf

    1. I'm not sure why the discrepancy -- according to Google Maps, it's 80218. However, it's quite close to our apartment, and we live in 80206. Strange.

      My guess is either would work, but you could always send them to us and we can hand-deliver them. (Us being me + John Cotter.)

  2. Re the sexual revolution, my initial reaction is similar to your blogger:

    A. Young, healthy, attractive women who don't want children. Since youth and beauty fade, and many women want children, arguably women on balance lose. It's pretty hard to be sure, but if I had to put my money one way or another. Note women being less happy etc.
    B. Attractive and charismatic men. They were probably winning before too, now it's just more out in open.

    etc etc.

    I sometimes think that some of the SR (Cosmo, pornification, etc) must just be a grand manipulation by a few clever, powerful, heterosexual men. Ha ha!

    1. I feel like your last statement is definitely true to an extent. See the widespread belief that porn (and pole dancing, etc.) is somehow empowering to women.

    2. Hmm...I really want to say something about feminist porn and how it positive it really can be, but as we know I'm not a very skilled arguer:)

    3. But *most* porn (by an overwhelming degree) is completely terrible for women. I feel like once "sex-positive feminism" became a thing, everyone just decided all porn is fine.

    4. Maybe so. I won't say more since I'm not an authority on feminism or even, shockingly, porn, but this article by Tracy Clark-Flory (probably my favorite sex writer) seems encouraging.

    5. Yeah, I'm not saying porn can't be made by women, for women, with a responsibility toward women, etc., just that it usually isn't.

  3. Yeah or tall heels. But please, by all means, continue wearing them.

  4. Re: "the widespread idea that conventionally "girly" things are anti-feminist," did you see this piece in the Guardian re: taking that approach toward baking?

    1. I hadn't. Thank you! Three cheers for Nigella.

      "If we are working toward a society in which women are valued equally with men, it's not enough to champion what I (here in New York) call the 'Hillary Clinton route': women accessing careers that have historically been the provenance of men. Of course, this needs to be done – there are glass ceilings to smash and equal wages to fight for aplenty – but we need to do the opposite, too: we need to champion what has traditionally been devalued as 'women's work' and respect it for what it is – work. And valuable."

  5. Replies
    1. Yeah, I've been reading Ashbery ;)