There may well be more serious comments to be made, and repercussions and implications. Along the lines of the classic statement: it’s not guns that shoot people and bombs that blow them up, it’s (usually, most often) men. Combined of course with the fear, ignorance, territorialism (on which, see this recent post), and idiocy, that result in individuals (again, usually men) acting in hunting packs with unthinking lunatic mob mentality.
Yes, I mean “men” in the specific not generic/species sense. And no, of course I don’t mean all men are psychotic bastards with delusions, or even just skewed perspective. That would not be logical.
It’s interesting that throughout intellectual history, in most traditions/cultures it’s men who have been associated with reason, reasoning, rationality; and rational, free, self-aware, conscious and conscientious, understanding and intelligent thought has been percevied as the central human attribute, distinguishing them from other sentient being (let alone any life-forms and other things in existence). With women occupying a, well, other place in such orders of things.
Or, bringing the phrase “it gets better” into disrepute.
See, the real root problem in what follows is one of individual limits, a lack of contact with reality, and their combination with historical ignorance.
The first of those is a big problem: an individual who is not of the most blessèd in the brain department, who makes do the best they can with what they’ve got, but who is a fundamentally simple creature (like all trolls) with simple appetites, comprehension of their surroundings, and capacity for meaningful interaction and activity. I was always taught that one should pity the afflicted, and help them as best one can, as much as they can take too (because these are still sentient beings with feelings and will, albeit of limited judgement). Now, a simple creature thinks in terms of survival and territory. At least defending what territory one has (vs. diminution and extinction), at best expanding territory. The latter counts as “success.” One all-too-prevalent version of which is the Viagra Paradigm. Also, all Ayn Rand idiocies.
We’ve seen—heck, even Darwin saw this, and certainly Malthus before him—that how evolution and The World work is a bit more complicated. But here’s where the unhappy, nay verily tragic, conjunction of individual limits and interaction with reality intersect. For the simple creature does two things: Continue reading
… sometimes you want to kick and shout and scream. I’m not event going to hint what I think the just desserts should be for anti-choice (and in this case anti-female-life) people should be; ignorant blinkered conservative Catholics of both genders, plus the predominantly male pseudo-humans in charge of running the country. Down with patriarchy, starting with the obvious parts. And so much for no hinting.
Anger aside, reportage in the Irish media, and comments elsewhere on the following may also raise bile from racism. Plain simple stupid crass inhumanity most of all. I’m forwarding the link below as they have someof the most varied discussion, including from the “I’m not a feminist but…” brigade; and people who haven’t thought about the issue, or other issues, or maybe even much in general; and people who look to beaut.ie to read about, well, beauty stuff and craic and gas: but who are still riled and raging.
I will be even angrier still–OK, unless this is proof of a medical condition, in which I wish you well and if you hadn’t noticed it yet, please do seek professional help–if this does not also raise a fucking human tear in anyone, including you, dear reader.
- We need to get off the fence and demand full abortion rights. Rest in peace, Savitha (Beaut.ie, 2012-11-15)
- and as reported in Huffington Post (with, again, comments worth reading–though many of them got me riled as an Irish person)
- RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the Irish national public service broadcaster)
- and coverage in the Irish Times
Yes, hair again.
I’ve had to reconcile myself to a sad and bitter truth. As reported last week, silicone-y stuff (The Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Define And No Frizz) is great for occasional smoothing shiny blowdrying, the full blowdrying where every strand is flattened out, which takes quite a while as I have a lot of hair.
But my hair (despite being dry and with a tendency to poofiness, quite aside from curliness, frizz, etc.) is left lank and greases up, by the end of the day.
I could repeat the process every day. But I’m not going to:
- that’s a lot of time, and time in which I can’t multi-task: deal with first-thing-in-the-morning emails, read news, or indeed listen to news. IT’S SO BORING!
- and even with an energy-efficient eco-friendly etc. hairdryer, that’s a lot of energy consumption: environmentally naughty
So I’m not doing this every day. Or indeed that regularly. I’m compromising. Because everyday life, and living in the real world, is all about compromise. Instead, I’m doing this:
- back to John Masters Shine On
- either leaving hair alone
- or blow-drying the curliest bits into some submission: the result isn’t straight, it’s wavy, but the waviness is non-insane
This is probably all old news to teenagers and twenty-somethings, and people who spent their youth in the USA over the last thirty or forty years or so. So it’s not only a case of teaching granny to suck eggs, it’s also sort of the other way around. Any teenager could have told me this stuff (and probably given me a learned discourse on comparative virtues of a wide aray of styling solutions and hair-heating devices). And many do this every day. You’ve got to suffer to be beautiful, it’s an investment of time and effort (and money), and all that jazz.
But you know what? Sure, I’m vain; I’m human. But not that vain. There are limits. Compromises, again, to be compatible with the real world and everyday life. Laziness and annoyance win out over vanity. Life’s too short. In the old days, I’d be into the last half of my life; I’d like to think I’ve got more like 2/3 to 3/4 left these days. But every day is a day closer to death, and I’d rather spend my time more productively and wisely, live in a more fulfilled way than spending a total of hours a week
blast-drying my blasted hair. Planet earth’s got a certain life-expenctancy too. Humans aren’t being too helpful in extending that let alone just keeping it where it it. Surely, reducing blow-drying would be a nice simple thing that would help.
Having perfectly sleek hair is already a flawed idea, in feminist, ethnic, political terms. Even if it weren’t, hair isn’t exactly a matter of life and death survival. Even if it’s part of the animal survival of attracting a mate (sorry teenagers, that’s what’s happening and part of what your crazy hormones are up to), not all potential mates go for the exact same characteristics; and you don’t have to accept every potential mate coming your way (heh), you can be picky. And besides, there’s more to survival of a species than pair-bonding and/or simplistic maximum reproduction. Breeding isn’t the be-all and end-all of life: of the individual or of the species. There are other (equally) important evolutionary roles to play too: nurturing, supportive, educating, doctoring, ministering to spiritual and cultural needs, preserving and propagating knowledge. And that’s not only the case with humans; life’s a bit more complicated than the older simpler Mendel-Darwin model, or that stupid fecking Rand character, even with later additions from evolutionary and behavioural biology combined with social anthropology. Add in: this last paragraph has been looking at the individual and the species; both of which are part of larger eco-systems and a planet as a whole. On whose survival everything further down the chain, back down to the individual, depends.
So think on’t the next time you pick up that hairdryer, those curling tongs, the straight-iron. Compare your energy consumption and state of happiness to boiling a small quantity of water and making yourself a nice cup of tea instead.
Or, OMWTFG. My thanks to bellakahlua @ MUA for passing this one along…
In other news:
- The Guardian (2012-08-27): “From the archive, 27 August 1970: US women find some advertising offensive, insulting and degrading. Fearing a backlash, the manufacturers rushed out distressed defences of their beleaguered products“
- Jezebel (same day) comments on it: “1970s Sexist Ads Depressingly Pretty Similar to Today’s Sexist Ads“
- The Observer (2012-08-19) picks up on “mirror-fasting”: for more, see it principal practitioners, Autumn Whitefield-Madrano of The Beheld and Kjerstin Gruys of Mirror mirror… OFF the Wall
Some links, from more-or-less recent bookmarks. The long-promised Critique of Pure Reason As Applied To The EWG Sunscreen List will be coming up next week; like the last few Grand Epics (e.g. vitamin C serums), it’ll be in the form of several posts over the course of the week. Continue reading
[UPDATED + see tomorrow's post too]
Comments and critique: this may be a bit rapid, main points only:
I finally got around to updating my MUA notepad. Somehow, I’d not managed to for months: the last update was back in January, and that was when I just managed to update “date of last update” before other updates I tried crashed into error messages.
The MUA set-up just wouldn’t play along with my usual computer and my usual browsers (tried: FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera; not tried IE because, well, it’s IE). Oddly enough, updating worked on my computer at home: elderly MacBook that’s nearing the end of its days, so it’s been retired to a rest-home where it gets to sit on a comfy chair and interact very gently with people who treat is with care and due deference. It’s been in this state for a good year or so now: I thought the poor thing was going to die on me, partly as it’s been a real workhorse computer, had acquired a good few cracks and batterings in the course of everday life and much opening and closing of the lid, and was now identifiable in any line-up from the unique patchwork of sticky tape covering it.
Last actual update would have been about six months ago. A lot changes in six months. A-Derma no longer being cruelty-free meant major moves in all my skincare, not least the two basics of soap and moisturiser. Discovering meadowfoam seed oil has simplified everything: there’s now just one oil for all purposes, head to toe. I’ve circled around and poked around at other things, but ended up back with older stuff that works. I’ve been dabbling in buying things from Etsy.
Here’s the current list of things: more on some of them next week, most of the others have been covered on here previously. Continue reading
It was International Women’s Day last week. Why mention it now? Because, as I said on the sticky post through the end of the week, which I then left up for the rest of this week too,
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
Remember: just like
otherdomesticated animals kept as pets: a woman is for life, not just for Christmas Valentine’s DayWomen’s Day. It’s Women’s Day every day, or at least—statistically—every other day. Tokenism, gestures: but it’s a start (with a good solid past history behind it), and celebrating women is of course always a good thing. So are celebration and happiness themselves, for whatever reason—any reason—or no reason at all, do you really need one?
My favourie spinster aunt—Twisty Faster, of I Blame the Patriarchy*—had, as you might imagine and I most certainly expected, a nice neat take on the matter:
Also: swoon for her new blog design!
* I Blame the Patriarchy: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Yes, they’re at it again.
They didn’t manage the last time, with that last bout of clobbering you with lead. But, brave souls whoever They are, they mixed up their adages:
If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.
Don’t try harder. Try different.
Try again. Fail again. Fail better.*
As a global conpiracy by Forces Of Evil, that last leaden one was subtle. Maybe too subtle. Lead poisoining c/o face products, especially whitening creams? Done to death, so to speak, over the last several centuries. Lead through water-pipes? Not for a while, most of them have been replaced. Good old-fashioning whacking someone with a solid block of lead, a statue, a bit of broken-off piping? Still turns up from time to time. A bit crude, though. Continue reading