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The death of Dr. George Tiller has stirred something furious in me.

As a Canadian, it's not something that affects me. As a woman who is not pregnant, it does not affect me. I had never met George Tiller. To be perfectly honest, I was little more than vaguely aware of him before his murder.

But he's dead, and here we are.

Women are being excluded in this conversation. Right wing outlets are framing it on Tiller, the babies being saved, and how the pro-life movement will react. Nothing about the women who will be unable to obtain the procedures they need after this, or the women who have been affected by Tiller's death.

I have never felt such rage.

Today, I am going to look up pro-choice organizations in Toronto where I can volunteer. It may not be effective, but it's something, and that is what I need.

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Thanks everyone for the help and support in comments. I still need to e-mail some people, wrap some stuff up, but god it's fantastic to get that shit off my chest and just get support.

 

Nothing beats a good social support net, and who cares where you find it.

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I've finally been writing again, and I've managed to bang out some total fantasy tosh. I'll post it up as soon as I get it off my laptop. I'm proud of it - kind of. As much as you can be proud of a cliche riddled fantasy adventure story written by a teenager.

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I don't know if anyone reads this blog, but I need resources. Free therapy, something. Help. Please.
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I'm still quite busy. I've applied for a writing position that pays like, real-life money though. So wish me luck.
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I just made this three bean salad out of fava beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas that looks divine. I just threw them all in a bowl, diced up an onion, cut up a green pepper, threw in some garlic, some oregano, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and now I have lunch for the week. So easy to make. 

I also bought the ingredients for a successful bologna sandwich, so I can go either high class or low class. I am set for lunches.

I really need to stop struggling with food. I find my center easily when I cook often and cook well. I just lose naturally - I am overweight, and while that's not a bad thing, it's because I eat under stress and I eat from depression.
 

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Where should I donate my time in the Greater Toronto Area?
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I'm not dead, promise. Not quitting either. But it has been my birthday and I have been tired, so things are quiet. They'll pick up soon, trust.
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Something I've noticed about our society is our odd, ever-present fetish for roles and positions. We dress to indicate our position and our status. Businessmen trot down the streets in polished shoes and suits, retail and fast food workers wear the shirt with the company name embroidered over their breast, and when you take a trip to Yorkdale you'll see the crowds of women dressed in the latest fashion checking out the new designer sale.

Now, all of this is quite practical. It makes sense for the Burger King supervisor to wear a visor over their hair net, or the accountant to wear his office clothes. But even when we try to opt out of normal societal roles, it becomes a song and dance, a costume to let the world know why we're opting out. Even punks and goths and other malcontents wear their little uniform. Even with my plain dress – right now I'm wearing my school uniform pants, a coors light shirt, and beat up sneakers – I fit the role of 'slob'.

What bothers me about this is that indicators besides clothes start to filter out. Respectability extends beyond clothe and the necessities of hygeine – it becomes thin, preened, eyeliner and mascara and an unnaturally colored smile.

As a woman, I feel like my body is a foreign language in these little conversations of cues and signs. I have broad, strong hands with no polish and shortly trimmed nails. My upper arms have muscle, my lower arms have hair and freckles. I have a gut. Size 11 feet. Broad shoulders. These just aren't womanly features – or at least, the woman we see in society never has them.

I don't fit a dialogue because I don't have a role in the story. There's no female version of The Big Strong Lug Who Thinks Things Through With A Heart of Gold, nor is there a female version of The Isolated Loner Who Stands By Herself And Is Kind Of Bitter. Males fit into a wide range of stereotypes an archetypes, seemingly enough for every man (except those who don't fit The Patriarchy(tm)). Women are shoehorned about or left aside.

But imagine how boring this blog would be if I did fit into one of those little boxes.

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When I tell people that I have social anxiety, there's kind of a tensing on the other side of the conversation and then usually one of two responses:

“Are you okay?” I usually get this from 'normal' folk.

“Are you diagnosed?” comes from my nerdier counterparts.

I get both responses, although both of them come in uncomfortable tones and make ME a little uncomfortable. I get that people generally don't want to deal with someone who's nervous and unaware and afraid because it's not very fun to navigate the labryinths of social fear and nervousness that some people have, and I get that people just want to make sure that I'm not making it up as some sort of excuse to have poor social skills.

On the other hand though, it's quite offputting. It's not as though I tell people this at any chance I get (Unless they're my blog audience), and I do my best to work through this as best as I can – that's why the answers to both questions are always yes. That's also why I work in the service industry and try to keep a social circle going – it's because I'm working through this damn thing the best I can.

On the other hand though, I hate having people ask “Social anxiety? Are you okay?” because to me it sounds less like “I'm concerned” and more like “I'm uncomfortable dealing with this sort of thing.” - once you tell people that something is a disorder – a MENTAL disorder no less, they kind of prickle a little. And of course, it wouldn't be a disorder unless it interfered with my life. But on the other hand, I'm not asking you to be my primary caretaker! I'm just letting you know a piece of personal information about my life.

And the “Are you diagnosed” question sometimes really is a cover for “Do you REALLY have social anxiety or are you just bad at dealing with people and don't want to get better?” - which is “Can I believe you because there's some evidence, or should I just assume that you're an asshole or awkward and too lazy not to be?” Which is even more insulting, obviously.

Do you know what a great response would be?

-“Oh, that sucks. Are you dealing with it?”
-“I hope you have a good doctor. On any meds? I'm on...”
-“Oh, okay.”
-“That explains the one time you were hiding in a closet at Janice's birthday party!”

Or something else that does not assume I am all awkward or uncomfortable to be around or a liar! Pick one! There are many responses not listed, I'm sure you can make your own up.

I mean, jeez.

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