That’s DOCTOR bitch, to you

I have—rather demonstrably—a potty mouth. I even lay claim to it in my tagline up there.

This propensity towards foul-mouthed discourse probably explains my love for T-shirts with provocatively foulmouthed slogans.

Now, I’m actually too chicken-shit to wear anything so bold and brassy, but I continue to dream of myself as if I were braver. And there was a time, back at Penn, when I had a mildly foul-mouthed shirt that I loved.

Transcription: I'm not a bitch. I'm THE bitch. And I'm Miss Bitch to you.
I used to wear this. In public. Ah, youth!

I am, of course, musing on honorifics today on account of a truly execrable Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal some week-and-a-half ago. You probably know the one—I’m not linking it here—where Joseph Epstein, some retired lecturer I shall be calling “Joey” for the duration of this piece, lambasted Dr. Jill Biden for continuing to use the academic title (Dr.) relevant to her graduate degree (Ed.D.) and profession (community college professor). Since Dr. Jill Biden is not an MD-carrying medical doctor, Joey suggests, she shouldn’t put on airs by using any title beyond “First Lady.”

Honestly, I wasn’t planning to write about this. It was so obviously click-bait, something designed to provide outrage—which it quite deservedly and expectedly did, despite the follow-on article by the WSJ’s opinions editor saying how shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) he was about the liberal snowflakes over-reacting to the piece.

Animated gif of Jim Carrey over-expressing shock and horror.

So why give these douche-canoes more of the attention they were so obviously craving? There’d be better things to write about…

But then someone on a distant external ring of my professional circle commented in an email about how, ideologically and symbolically speaking, he and Dr. Jill Biden were equally under attack by this op-ed’s voicing of current anti-intellectual and anti-education beliefs. Him and Dr. Jill and their “fake degrees.”

And I nearly took his fucking head off. Which belatedly made me aware that I’ve been having some feelings about this all.

Animated gif of Kate Walsh making an angry face and lifting her clawed hands towards the camera.

So, time to come off hiatus and come back to the page.

Continue reading “That’s DOCTOR bitch, to you”

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Another title from the “just caught my attention” collection. This book caught my eye last year when I attended my second Mama Gena’s weekend in the Ziegfeld Ballroom. That site isn’t actually the building where the Follies were performed, but it still had a potent resonance, walking in the spiritual footprints of the Ziegfeld Girls while doing Mama G’s program, and then learning about this novel about 1940s New York showgirls all at the same time.

Full disclosure: I’ve never read anything by Gilbert before. I know Eat, Pray, Love was a huge phenomenon, and that Gilbert followed it up with another memoir (or two or three) as her life took additional twists and turns. It wasn’t ever a definitive decision I made against reading her stuff, I just never got around to it. (So many books, so little time…)

Still, knowing what little I know about the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing, I was truly puzzled about what type of “New York showgirl” story this particular author might want to tell. Would it completely eschew her introspective memoir thing to go all the way into glitz and escapism? Would it tell an anachronistic story of female sexual liberation and expression? What exactly would I find behind this pink feathered cover?*

A closeup of the book cover for City of Girls, showing the title in front of a picture of pink feathers.

The answer? A little bit of all of the above.

Continue reading “City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert”

The unexamined majority

Finally back to my election post-mortems! Here’s the prior in the series:

Anyhow…

So, one of the things that’s been pissing me off this election season is all the calls for liberals and progressives to dig deeper and understand the Trump voter. NY Times think pieces on how we don’t understand America if we don’t understand Trump’s appeal. CNN op-eds on how we need to listen differently. Politicians and pundits alike have been telling liberals to reach out, to empathize, to build bridges.

And why has this been pissing me off? Because 4 years ago, after Trump won in 2016, democrats, liberals and progressives were inundated with the exact same advice. Listen. Learn. Understand. Build bridges.

It’s almost like there’s certain groups of (*cough*white*cough*) people who want to make sure they stay at the center of the universe and the center of all American discourse.

Hogging the spotlight, as it were.

A black and white of three spotlight beams merging to form an illuminated circle on an empty stage.
Continue reading “The unexamined majority”

White women, do better

[CW: gender binary, racism]

Preface: I’m not sure how many posts I’ll make analyzing the 2020 elections through various lenses. I have at least 2 such lenses rattling around my brain, but it may unfold into a longer series. We’ll see. I’ll just keep cross-linking this little family of posts together as it takes shape. So: watch this space for more.

============

Here’s my first, unfiltered, thought upon seeing the demographic breakdown of Presidential votes by race and gender:

Good grief. America does not deserve the goodness that Black women do.

A medium shot of approximately 30 people at a protest. In front and in focus are four Black woman in a variety of clothes, hairstyles and skin tones.
Leading the way. Again.
Continue reading “White women, do better”

Interoffice Mail

Mid-day today, I got a group Facebook message from a friend of mine, C:

Hey! If you are getting this message it’s because either you have posted about Warren or I think you might like/support her.

On my way to work today, I realized that I drive by her house every day. People are leaving notes and flowers on her porch. 

Cambridge loves you

With this realization, C had had a flash of inspiration. Her plan was simple: she was offering to deliver any messages any of us wanted to send to Elizabeth Warren. If we could email our message to C by 5, she’d print them all out and then drop them on Warren’s porch as C made her way home from work.

Continue reading “Interoffice Mail”

First Amendment Protection

Since our extra-successful weekend errand running finished up so quickly, I decided to use some of that time watching movies, as well as the reading I’ve already mentioned enjoying. And, with last holiday weekend signaling the end of May, I decided to start my film selections by taking a quick look at the HBO list to see what movies are about to drop off of rotation, in case I wanted to see any of them before I lose my chance. (You may recall that’s how I started doing film reviews on here in the first place.)

There was only one movie that jumped out at me form the “departing May 31st” list, but it was a film well worth seeing: Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

Continue reading “First Amendment Protection”

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

We had one main project for the holiday weekend, but we were able to wrap it up so quickly yesterday that I’ve had some extra-luxurious reading time on my Saturday and Sunday. Which means that after a long dry spell, I’ve finished yet another book—this one, the latest choice from my fat activist/HAES/body love reading list.

Sonya Renee Taylor and her radical self-love/liberationist platform, The Body is Not an Apology, has been on my radar for some years now. I think it was my friend Alice who first brought Sonya into my awareness. Even if I’m misremembering this detail, I am going to stand by this poetic retelling for the rest of my days. There is something so just and sacred and fitting in a poet of Alice’s caliber bringing me to learn about a poet of Sonya’s caliber.

So as soon as Sonya’s book was released last year, I bought myself a copy. And then I let it sit on my bookshelves with all the other body love/goddess power books I’ve been ignoring in my quest to be super smart and fulfill all these reading challenges.

My decision to abandon reading challenge perfection in 2019 to make more room for actively self-nurturing titles put Sonya’s book back on the priority list, and then a guest teacher call with Sonya as part of the Mastery curriculum put this at the very top of that list.

Continue reading “The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor”