I will survive (maybe)

Before I dig into this post, can I hear from Audre Lorde again, please?  I know it’s a meme we’ve all seen a few different times, including this post from October, but it’s just too good not to repeat.


Thank you, Audre, wherever you are.

So it’s the holidaze again, and in anticipation, my clever editors at the Minnesota Women’s Press organized the November issue around the theme of SURVIVAL.  For those who feel sorry for themselves that they have to grit their teeth through a meal with relatives who, like Karl Rove, still don’t quite believe that Mitt Romney lost the election, there is a great article about a woman born in a federal women’s prison who is now an advocate for prison reform.  That is some serious surviving.

The cover of the issue is also brilliant, featuring a photograph by Nicole Houff of a glamorous but dead-eyed vintage Barbie in her candy-colored kitchen, holding aloft a beautifully trussed turkey:



Despite great gains for women outside the home, what happens inside the home is another story.  I bet that the record twenty women in the United States Senate are still expected to get a damned turkey on the family table next Thursday.  Whether they cook it themselves or grab it from the deli at Whole Foods, it’s still considered a lady’s business to get that shit taken care of.

In case you’re curious: NO, I am not hosting T-day this year. Let’s leave it at that and move on.

My contribution to the November ish is a column called “My Feminist Survival Kit.”  I bare my soul in this one, folks–that is, if there’s one reader out there who would be surprised by the fact that I prefer Sharon Needles and Snooki to Don Draper and Walter White.

While I declare in the column that “burnout is painful but entirely preventable if we have the courage to make our frustrations known,” I regret that I am still more likely to cook you a fabulous turkey feast than tell you what’s really whirling around in my addled mind.  I remain my own harshest critic, unable to extend to myself the compassionate understanding I so willingly offer others.

But it was ever thus, especially when we approach mid-November.  Here in Minnesota, where the sun dips beyond the horizon at 4:30 in the afternoon, everyone is feeling dark.  One e-mail I opened last week revealed that a woman was leaving her husband, perhaps permanently.  Blogs I follow overflow with spilled secrets, deeply felt pain, suicidal ideation.

Allow myself to quote….myself: “as my Internet speed improves, the cacophony amplifies and multiplies, until it threatens to drown everything else in my head. I’m learning that I can write an angry blog post about Todd Akin tomorrow. Today, however, I can turn the computer off.”

Why, I think I’ll do that.






7 thoughts on “I will survive (maybe)

  1. deb

    great post – and the article too. i know what you mean about how exhausting it is to be both blessed and cursed with the critical eye. i’m so glad to hear someone else indulges in mindless entertainment as a salve. I have what my husband calls a “stupid movie habit.” Years ago, in graduate school, i had a night off inbetween semesters. I went to see Saving Private Ryan with my husband. Already so ramped up from whatever paper i had turned in that day, and still pumped up with caffeine, I had to leave the theater in that 1st horrible 20-min. war scene and have a full blown anxiety attack in the bathroom. After that, my husband had a much better appreciation of my need for a low-expectation romantic comedy that I could make fun of because, in my opinion, that’s what it was made for. anyway, i hope your strategies are working for you – i liked them all!

    1. Shannon Post author

      OMG YES. I did the same thing with “Saving Private Ryan,” though thankfully at home with the DVD, which was a little easier to escape! I felt the same way about the ending of “Titanic.” How could people watch that film over and over? People were dying in all kinds of horrific ways–ways that ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Gahhhhhhhhh!!!

      1. deb

        you’ll love this: someone once said to me, “i really liked titanic. it was a nice love story that took place on a boat that just happened to sink.” !?! Although, in its defense, i have to say it had some nice marxist moments where it highlighted class and labor issues – but still…!

        1. Shannon Post author

          A boat that happened to sink?! I believe that was GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, not Titanic. Wouldn’t it be nice to be that clueless?!!

  2. deb

    sorry – i’m back. i forgot to say: when i get overwhelmed with hopelessness or frustration with the latest misogynist, materialist, anti environmentalist or whatever development, music is my cure. make a play list of stuff that makes you feel good. make it a long list just in case. it’s like meditation, but way easier. :)

  3. Pingback: Role Playing on Turkey Day | Feminism is For Everyone

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