reappropriate

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bigger Things To Worry About

This morning, I was perusing Site Meter and stumbled across a blog of a girl I used to know. She has posted on this blog before and featured heavily in the diaper fiasco. She posted a post in which she scathingly questions my leftism (I'm apparently too economically privileged and too libertarian to be a "real" leftist) and my feminism (I haven't read enough Gloria Steinem to be a "real" feminist). All of which is bullshit. And I'm totally prepared to say why. All morning, I've been writing a long response to that blog, which I planned on posting here. I've been neglecting real work to clarify my position on diapers. And then I realized the absurdity of it all. This afternoon, one of my dearest friends in the world, a sweetheart, gentle giant of a man who I never thought would be one of the only people in this life I would feel to be so genuine and so deserving of so much better, IM'd me to tell me of some recent heartbreaking issues in his life. I realized, at that point, that my petty annoyance with a person beyond my concern, who I had written off a long time ago and who was never one of my friends anyways (though she did give me my original online moniker) and her sniping was nothing compared to the real issues that both he and my gentle giant friend were dealing with. People think I'm fake. People think I'm stupid. People hate electroman because he runs around half-cocked, speaking over people's heads. You know what? I'll deal. It's certainly mild compared to the real life drama regarding myself and electroman and our acceptance in this world. Maybe I do deserve him, with my head full of stuffing and my heart full of pain, but it's better than both one's head and one's heart being full of emptiness. So, with that, I'm putting to bed all of my irateness and remembering why I never cared to reconcile with some of my friends from high school, in the first place. As much as I was afraid and I wanted so badly for them to like electroman, they wouldn't. They couldn't. Very few people do and I blame none of them for it; no one pretends, least of all him, that he's not a difficult person to like. But, I realize now that what I was really afraid of is not that they wouldn't like electroman, it's that they wouldn't like the new me. And you know what? Now that I'm faced with the outcome, I'm really okay. And as for my gentle giant, as much as the geographic distance prevents me from being physically there during this next couple of weeks, and as much as I wish I could've been there for the last couple of months, I'm with you, now and I will always support you, one way or another. You are not alone. And, I don't care how cheesy it sounds.

7 Comments:

Blogger nykol said...

So this is like the second time I've tried to post on your site today. Haloscan keeps eating my comments.

What I wanted to really say though is no one needs to read Gloria Steinem to be a "real" feminist - whatever that means. Who can really claim authenticity anyway?

You might have economic privilege but that doesn't mean that you don't experience the oppression from being a marked/minority individual. And, sociologically speaking, being involved with another marked/minority individual actually causes you to lose some of your privilege in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

So screw that. Whoever tells you that you're too privileged and too libertarian to be a "real" leftist is soooo buying into the program and buying into spoonfed bullshit that is handed down from the "man." You go chica, and keep doing your own thing.

BTW - what is the diaper fiasco?

7/20/2005 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

lol... diaper fiasco. without going too much into it, i have a problem with the lack of responsible parenting in modern society -- modern parents are, imo, short-cutting the responsibility of parenting by relying on government censorship, v-chips, etc to parent their children. I used specialty diapers as an example of this problem -- some parents, i think, use specialty diapers to accomodate potty training to their own schedules.

(incidentally, i really don't have a problem with parents who use specialty diapers properly to train their children. i was more trying to ask that parents spend more time with their children, not pawn them off to the television or teachers to raise).

and not that some parents might not have their own, very valid reasons for using specialty diapers, such as being a poor working single mother. i can understand that some people don't have the time to potty train their children. but that doesn't mean that i shouldn't point it out as a problem as far as modern attitudes towards child-rearing.

unfortunately, a couple of commentors got upset, basically arguing that because i wasn't willing to give working mothers a break, and that because i was arguing that some parents were even having children without a full understanding of exactly what kind of time-suck this might be, that i was blaming all working mothers and/or all users of specialty diapers bad parents.

then, i was told i hate poor people, believe that everyone can and should be a housewife, and that my background as having come from a relatively affluent middle-class family meant i suffered from a fatal dose of class bias. i'm really not sure how that happened.

i'll admit i wasn't entirely clear on my position in my post, or that my attitude towards working mothers/housewives hast shifted slightly since that earlier post, so i'll take some credit for the fiasco. but not all of it. most if it seemed kind of inane.

7/20/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

regarding the rest of what you said, amen, sista. I knew it was BS when I read the person's accusations.

btw, what's going on with the comments? is there something i can do to fix it? i'm using blogger comments, so maybe there's something screwy in my settings...

7/20/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger nykol said...

I don't know what's going on with the comments - they just seem to be GONE. That happened with me as well, but I don't know how to fix it. I had posted something on your visa issue, and poof! it was gone. Maybe you can drop the Haloscan geek team an email.

That diaper fiasco is something else. I want to comment on that one, but gotta go do some errands first.

7/20/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger nykol said...

and not that some parents might not have their own, very valid reasons for using specialty diapers, such as being a poor working single mother. i can understand that some people don't have the time to potty train their children. but that doesn't mean that i shouldn't point it out as a problem as far as modern attitudes towards child-rearing.

I'm not so sure if the majority of poor, working single mothers can afford specialty diapers. Remember, they're poor.

unfortunately, a couple of commentors got upset, basically arguing that because i wasn't willing to give working mothers a break, and that because i was arguing that some parents were even having children without a full understanding of exactly what kind of time-suck this might be, that i was blaming all working mothers and/or all users of specialty diapers bad parents.

Without reading the post, their responses seem to be extreme. I think folks need to be reminded that there is a problem with modern child rearing and how its marketed in American society: from the high-tech specialty diapers to the issue of nannies (both legal and illegal). I think both have a great deal to do with how society sees/values parenting and motherhood. I'm not going to get into all the ugliness of the issue, but I do think a lot of the things you touched on above has something to do with the value placed on parenting, class distinctions, and (gasp!) government censorship, and how those things are marketed in society.

And I think that the more important issue is not whether someone is using specialty diapers, but why has our society gone nuts over such specialty products in the first place? The specialty diapers is just one aspect of how parenting has become externalized and "outsourced": to the nannies, to the television, to the video games, to the daycare, and so forth. And there's nothing wrong with pointing out that this phenomenon is being normalized.

7/21/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

(regarding the comments issue, i'm not using haloscan, but the blogger comments function. if you're not already logged into blogger, you sometimes end up losing your comments. if this continues to happen, i'll transition to haloscan to make things easier for you, but i like blogger's comments because the comments will appear as part of the permalink page of each post. also, if this seems like it might be an ongoing problem, you can try highlighting your comment using ctrl+a, and copying it to your clipboard, just in case blogger decides to delete it, you can just paste it back in and post it again without having to retype it out. i'm sorry for the inconvenience and definitely if this is really a recurring problem, i'll transition to haloscan which seems to at least be able to remember people when they visit a blog, which blogger can't do.)

regarding the diapers, yes, i think you basically hit the nail on the head. that's exactly what i was trying to argue, albeit somewhat inarticulately, it seems. i'm glad you seem to agree for the most part in what the original point was -- i've been really furious with what i see as a recent trend in placating children rather than parenting them. there's a tendancy towards lack of discipline, order, and putting the blame of teaching children morality, behaviour, and right-and-wrong that I see as emerging out of parents' "outsourcing" of time and responsibility.

maybe this is too anecdotal, but I swear I never used to see as many misbehaved children in public even a few years ago. lately, all children seem to be misbehaving, running wild, and worst of all, disrespecting their parents, talking back to them, even calling them names or refusing to listen to them. i think modern parents have less control over their children because they take less time in establishing themselves (and not nannis or the television) as parents.

7/21/2005 10:52:00 AM  
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