Yes, that’s me, tippity-tap-tapping away at my dented Compaq for your reading enjoyment. I do my writing on the dining room table, though. Who can type on a couch? Here’s a small sampling of what I’ve had published lately. Interpret according to your identity politics*:
Global patriarchy back in business. Minnesota Women’s Press, September 2012.
Periods of great national stress tend to demand scapegoats, even ones as unlikely as Sandra Fluke, the law school student at Georgetown who was called a slut and a prostitute after testifying before a Congressional committee in favor of legislation supporting birth control. The control of women and their bodies is a political imperative in cultures around the world and in eras throughout human history, and nothing brings out misogyny more than global recession, prolonged war and environmental catastrophe. Women are the canaries in this ever-deepening coal mine.
Lawn signs have their place, but shouldn’t neighbors be talking too? Minnesota Public Radio News, September 12, 2012.
She wouldn’t have learned much from me, but she might have learned something from other neighbors at National Night Out. Neighbors like the gay couple across the alley and the lesbian couple several doors down. Lest she think that all GLBT people in the area are in a mad dash to the altar, she could also have met the singleton known to mingle in Palm Springs at Dinah Shore Weekend.
And these were just the folks who were out; untold others could be B (bisexual), or T (transgender), or part of the rainbow of difference in countless other ways. At our block’s annual event last month, there were elderly neighbors, toddler neighbors, surly teenage neighbors, neighbors of color, white neighbors, a neighbor in a wheelchair, a neighbor with multiple disabilities, gluten-free neighbors who avoided the brownies and vegetarian neighbors who avoided the hot dogs.
“An Atheist Grieves.” Atheist Voices of Minnesota. Edited by Bill Lehto. Freethought House, 2012.
(enter to win your own signed copy of the book HERE!)
My son and daughter, ages 11 and 6 respectively, have never attended a funeral. By the time I was Elliott’s age I’d lost both of my Greatest Generation-era grandfathers; Elliott and Miriam’s four grandparents are Baby Boomers who are reaping the benefits of the late 20th century’s scientific advances, including the once-mocked theory that smoking cigarettes is a bad idea. My kids are lucky, though they don’t know it.
The nearest my children have come to the reality of death occurred in November of 2007, when my very dear friend Liz succumbed to colon cancer when she was only 35. Her death was painful, but foreseeable; during the final year of her life she was seriously ill, with more surgeries and hospital visits than I could count. I visited her as often as I could, but for my Minneapolis-based children her death outside Boston happened offstage, not unlike the lead character’s mother in Bambi. Instead of an echoing gunshot, my children heard the telephone ring at an hour too early for good news and the dull thud of my body as I slumped to the floor.
Finally, we have something that I didn’t write, but it’s too hilarious not to repost here. It’s in reference to a comment I made in support of a piece by fellow MPR scribe Haddayr Copley-Woods:
How, HOW, did this young lady** discover my secret? For years I’ve endeavored to hide my liberalism, my feminism, my atheism, and my socialist tendencies from the world! Sure, the masthead photos on this website feature the word “abortion” twice, but doesn’t everybody’s?
*my parents are under no illusions whatsoever about me working in an office. They know my all-time favorite job (other than child-rearing of course! derp) was selling used CDs at Cheapo. Gotta aim big, you guys!
**yes, Nicole, I know how to do Google searches too. In fact, it took me just a few clicks to discover that your boyfriend of nearly six years still hasn’t proposed, much to your family & friends’ chagrin. My “liberal/feminist/atheist and occupy supporter” advice would be to propose to him yourself, but you probably wouldn’t listen. If you’re truly as antifeminist as you claim, you ought to ask your Facebook pal Rush Limbaugh for his opinion, which I’m guessing would be: “stop putting out, you dirty tramp.”