Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Same Same (but different)

LänkI thought i'd grown. You know - matured, developed.

Turns out: no. I found this out when reading a post that is now almost 5! years old. Yes. I still like And One and talking cats and farting babies on youtube.

This is it folks, this is me. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The Female Man / Honmänniskan

I've Just finished a Swedish translation of The Female Man by Joanna Russ, who passed away earlier this year. It was a good read. The novel was nominated in 1975 to the Nebula Award, probably the greatest award for science fiction literature in USA.

The book is partly about travelling in time and between dimensions and is written by an angry, lesbian feminist. Russ is by far my favourite feminist theorist in science fiction literature and I warmly recommend her works, for instance How to Suppress Women's Writing. Her texts are clever, witty and really funny. Still, I found this book on the library sale.

...ok. Both science fiction and feminism are small fields, not to mention a combination of them. And the book has gotten old. Thoughts and currents develop and the new ones replace the old ones. But the book's age is, in fact, one of the things I like most about it. For me it summarizes many thoughts of the feminist movement at this time, and the mere genre it is written in is worth mentioning. When I wrote my BA thesis this spring (yet to be published, in Swedish though) I learned that genres such as science fiction and fantasy are someties used by feminist writers as a means to create and discuss alternative relationships between men and women, as well as “utopias” where women have taken over. In The Female Man Russ presents both the world where there are only women, which is good but hardly perfect, the future where there is a war of the sexes and men and women only meet to exchange goods, services and babies; the world as it was when the book was written and a more old-fashioned world. We get to know one women from each of these four worlds, and they meet of a reason told towards the end of the book.

I know I wrote earlier that the book has gotten old. Unfortunately, women are still facing widespread sexism and many of the same problems as in the beginning of the 70's, spite an ongoing feminist movement for the last... wow. More than 40 years. In fact, Russ ends the book by expressing the wish that the discussions in the book will once become old and impossible to relate to, laughed at and out-dated.

Gläd dig, lilla bok!

För den dagen är vi fria.”

The reader is among other things told about the blame that is put on the victims of rape, highlighted today in slut walks across the world. Women were and still are objectified and being told that being ugly is one of the worst things a woman can be: “Det var den hemliga skulden för sjukdom, misslyckande, fulhet (mycket värre saker än mord)” (s. 188).We read about men refusing to accept that there are some women out there who only prefer women. ONLY women. “'Drömmer du inte om det? Drömmer inte alla tjejer om det?' 'Det vet du, Lenny', sade hon. 'Visst gör jag det', sade han entusiastiskt. 'Visst. Det ser jag på er varenda gång ni kommer hit. Ni blir upphetsade bara ni ser det. Som läkarna säger kan vi göra det med varandra, men det kan inte ni, eller hur? Så ni får inget.'” (s. 164-165)

For instance.

The male people in the book are very stupid and more or less helpless, and all grim and selfish, except for the beautiful android sex-slave. One might react to this, saying “ok, she is an angry feminist and into women and all that but hey! men are not all that bad, there are nice guys out there”. True. But if we think about it, couldn't it be that by making a whole sex stupid and helpless, the author wants to tell us something about the characterization in too many other texts that we read?

I'd like to stress here, at the end, that the book doesn't give any answers. Russ does not point out the way for us, but she raises questions about what it means to be a Woman; today, back then and in a possible future. And she does it with anger, love and humour.


Den lilla blå anteckningsboken skramlade runt i min ficka. Jag tog fram den och slog upp den på det sista han hade sagt ('Din korkade brudjävel' et cetera). Under stod det: Flickan backar undan – gråter – manligheten hävdad. Under 'Riktigt Slagsmål Med Flicka' stod det: Skada inte (utom horor). Jag tog fram min egen rosa bok, för vi har varsin allesammans, och när jag slog upp instruktionerna under ”Brutalitet” stod det: Mannens dåliga humör är kvinnans fel. Det är också kvinnans ansvar att lappa ihop det hela efteråt.” (s. 52)

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Friday, August 12, 2011

For my sister

"The game gave him an inexplicable satisfaction, the same he felt when he lay on his back in bed hanging his head downward over the bed's edge, and by an act of will convinced his eyes that the floor was a dark dusty ceiling over his head, and the ceiling a white floor, with lamps sprouting upward from it: and a house different but the same, empty of furniture, extending outward room upon room over the tall thresholds of the open doors."

- John Crowley: Love & Sleep

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Monday, August 08, 2011

You got a golden star in your book yesterday for telling me that she is "a real woman", even though I usually get jelaous when I'm not in the centre.

I remember an ex-boyfriend saying years ago "Wheew! I thought he sung he wanted to be like Grace Jones. Who wants to look like Grace Jones?!"
An odd thing to say, and should probably have been taken as a warning sign, but being the good non-confronting girlfriend I was once upon a time I simply shrugged my shoulders (at the most).

Probably, a lot of people want to look like Grace Jones. At least they should. If you google her you will have pictures of style and creativity filling your screen. Try it!

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Friday, August 05, 2011

The Lawnmower Woman

I cut the grass in my mother's garden yesterday. Yesterday was a warm and sunny summer's day that, because of this, didn't allow blogging.
Since i'm not used to physical work, dragging this machine back and forth over the glass made me feel like he-man. Sweat, muscles, you know. My daughter and her father were picking berries in the meantime and all went well until the thing started shaking and I was unable to turn it off. E.F. helped me out while driving around a little (by doing this, the machine stopped shaking).
This was obviously a hard blow on my he-man ego.

How he managed to do this is a hard nut to crack.
That men by nature have a good hand with technical things sounds like hocus pocus to me, which gives us the inevitable answer:
His hormones had some affect on the thing.
It makes sense. Men have been the main-developers of lawnmowers and have probably also been testing them. Hence, lawnmowers are made for men. Unless it is a matter of hip-waist relations or absence/presence of breasts, the only explanation to why my mother's lawnmower listens to him and not to me ought to be due to hormones. Hormones, as we know, affect tons of things in our lives. This should be put on the list.

NOTE: Shortly afterwards, the lawnmower would not start. I turned it around, checked it in every way i was capable of and gave up. E.F. turned it upside down and took out the grass that made the blades stuck. Alright, his solution of the latter technical problem is explainable. He has been working with cutting grass and is used to these things.
But still..

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Einstein on the Beach

Today I went to the library and bought a pile of books that were out of use. One of them (Experimentfälten by Torsten Ekbom) was about pioneers in different artforms, and in the discussion following the purchase of the book E.F. played Einstein on the Beach for me on Youtube (in the meantime he deconstructed a computer to make some art - I do like the variety of his fields of interest!). Music was not bad.

The chapter was partly about the opera, it did sound very interesting, and now I want to see it.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Polish movie posters


I've never seen anything like it. Go, Poland!

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Friday, August 07, 2009


I told someone i'd try to blog during my trip, so here it is:

Paris is like in the movies. Old, beautiful, romantic and yet exciting. I've had busy days since i arrived (sunday) but today i rest.

It is a quarter to 8 in the evening and it is warm outside the internet café, cooler inside it but not cold, and on the street is a non-stop chatter of people passing by.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

quick connection communication

Libraries are the best. As well as strong black tea with milk is the best.

I'm looking forward to move back to Göteborg though Reykjavík isn't that bad either. I'm looking forward to meet old friends, family and to have more things to choose from. I'm looking forward to spend lazy days in my mother's garden.

Happy First Day of Summer!


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