Monthly Archives: February 2011

Love is not blind. It’s short-sighted.

Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Or so said Dorothy Parker. I have to confess, I’m not sure I agree with the Constant Reader on this one (although her observation that ‘women and elephants never forget’ is spot on). My glasses have, on occasion, been known to bring all the boys to the yard – much to my surprise, it should be added. It might just be the case that I’m especially attractive to visual impairment fetishists, or perhaps I appeal to men repressing their lust for Roy Orbison and Jarvis Cocker. Either way, this latest phase in my bespectacled life is a welcome change to the years of myopic teenage sturm und drang, in which glasses were the enemy of all things dear to a 14-year-old girl’s heart – Getting A Boyfriend, Looking Vaguely Cool, and Not Getting My Face Kicked In After School. So fiery was my passionate hatred for glasses, that I very often refused to put them on to watch TV in the privacy of my own bedroom. As such, it wasn’t until Season 4 of Buffy that I realised Giles was actually the Nescafe Gold Blend man; having watched virtually all previous episodes through the haze of an unmodified -2.75 prescription.

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Filed under Feminism, Identity

Very bad girls

As a shady eavesdropper on feminist-oriented blogs, and lurking in the back row of Gender Theory lectures, I have often been privy to the phrase ‘bad feminist’ being bandied about. It is muttered as a sheepish apology whenever the speaker feels that she (always she*) has confessed to a taste or a practice not in keeping with the feminist ideal, which itself is rarely elucidated properly but always felt as a vague guiding force. I dislike the phrase, instinctively because it sounds like disciplining a family pet – “No, Eve! Drop that apple! BAD FEMINIST, BAD!” – and intellectually because the notion of apologising, for failing to ‘meet the standards’ of a discourse that is supposed to be about choice and liberation, strikes me as inherently problematic.

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Projections

Following on from last night’s grousings about the difficulties I have had in accepting my work as something of intellectual value, it’s worth considering the idea of ‘disjunction’ more fully. By disjunction, I mean the mental gap between the projected, external self and the internal workings of the private mind. I don’t intend to address this from an ontological perspective, although I might betray a weakness for pseudo-existentialism –  but only because those kids of May 1968 looked so damn good with their Gitanes and Breton jerseys, regardless of how flimsy their house of revolutionary cards turned out to be. But I digress. Rather than looking at disjunction as a phenomenon of abstract consciousness, I’ve been thinking about what it means as a lived experience. A psychological analysis, if you like.

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Filed under Fiction, Identity

The parasitic pedagogue?

A PhD? We always knew you would end up doing something like that. Everyone must be so proud!

Did you, now? Did you indeed? How very perspicacious of you. Because I certainly didn’t. As with everything else I have ‘achieved’, I stumbled upon it in search of the praise, the recognition, the tangible achievement upon which my self-worth has largely been predicated since childhood. I have, in a sense, jumped through a series of social, academic and financial hoops in order to be able to counter ‘And what is it that you’re doing now?’ with something that allows me to project competence, intelligence and success. That ‘something’ just happens to be ‘a doctorate’. Sounds fancy? Perhaps. But still, just hoops.

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Filed under Identity, PhD

adieu tristesse/bonjour tristesse

This is my first proper foray into blogging. I do use Twitter, sporadically, but I worry about turning into the kind of person who lovingly documents every meal, television programme and crowded Tube journey for the delectation of a not-so-fascinated public. I don’t intend for this blog to be like that. Rather, it has several (serious) purposes. But before elaborating upon those (‘What could they possibly be?’ I hear you cry), I should first make the obligatory apologia for having the effrontery to think that my thoughts – MY thoughts – could possibly be worthy of public, online documentation.

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