Friday, July 29, 2011

naughty thoughts

It's early in the morning.  I'm sitting beside the kids on the couch as they watch TV, which, despite my protestations to the contrary, I feel rather guilty about.  But that's the only way I get this time to write, when my frazzled and distracted brain will allow, which admittedly of late, isn't very often.  (Sorry for that folks).

Today, I'm letting my brain take me temporarily into the land of fantasies I dare not entertain too often.  Curious? What, you might ask, do these oh-so-naughty-fantasies consist of?  (My, my, what a turn this blog has taken, you might be thinking to yourself.) 

Well - the fantasy I've found myself falling into lately, involves some fantastically lusty thoughts about going off to a cabin for the weekend.... all by myself.  With some books.  Some coffee.  And a few bottles of wine.  (And maybe some food - though I'm so sick of cooking that a few bags of Doritos might suffice).  Having a bit of space and stillness.  And time to think.  Maybe a fireplace to stare into, a good window to stare out of, a view - but I'm not so picky.  Hot, right?  I'm sure everyone else is just as turned on as me right now.  Yes?  Am I right?  If I really want to send myself right over the edge, someone could sneak in just to quietly cook for me.  (Cook for me. Imagine!)  You can feel free to insert the hitting of operatic high C somewhere around here. 

I think such fantasizing comes down to my need for a little clarity.  I don't know how to think in the constant roar of action and energy.  So it feels as though my days just become a series of seconds, minutes, hours strung together in mindless autopilot.  Lots of feeling, lots of tending to needs, lots of dealing with here-ness and now-ness and necessities of living.  But no time to sit still and take stock. And when I do manage to stop to try and reflect, in moments like these,  I cannot fathom how it could ever be possible for me to return to school.  I can't even get it together to try and find space and energy to wrap my brain around what my application might look like, how I might focus my work, applications for scholarships.  The barest of bare bones of what I need to get started.  What I might need to actually finish said PhD is a thought process I dare not let my mind wander to right now.  Far, far too terrifying.  And besides which, I'm more interested in the process itself than the finishing anyways. 

No matter.  Such details feel much too far removed from my day-to-day life to be real at the moment.  For today, I'll just try to find a few moments to let my mind drift into naughty, lusty cabin thoughts.  And let that be enough.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Repost: Out of the ordinary

Out of the ordinary . The aforeposted link is to an excellent rebuttal by Ivan Ivonavich about a snarky-assed, really offensive email sent by a 'normal' lesbian (whateverthehell that mythological creature might be). It's a good response. It needs reading. And posting and reposting far and wide.

The Dear Photograph project...

This is a really cool arty-historical kinda photography project that one of my highschool pals posted on facebook.  Check it - it's really quite neat.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

well - this puts me in a marginally better mood!

Song for a grumpy day....

Shouting out this song by get set go NEVER fails to make me feel better when I'm having a shitty day. It's deliciously satisfying, gratifying, and wonderful to shout that you hate everyone. A perverse pleasure for people-pleasers like me.

Give it a whirl and see how it works for you :)

Political InQueery: Mourning in a Busy Internet World | Bitch Media

This is an interesting post from Bitch Mag's on-line edition about how mourning world events is challenging in our ever-digitized world.  A worthy morning read, if you've got the time.  Political InQueery: Mourning in a Busy Internet World Bitch Media

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kidlit Review: Perfect Man, by Troy Wilson and Dean Griffiths

Wilson, Troy and Griffiths, Dean.  Perfect Man.  Orca Book Publishers: Victoria, 2004.  32 pgs.  (For the 3-6ish year old set).

One of our latest kidlit acquisitions comes in the form of Perfect Man, written by Troy Wilson and illustrated (comic book style) by Dean Griffiths.  Boy-o plucked Perfect Man off the shelves in a bookstore one day and insisted this was the book for him.  So insistant that this was the book he wanted, his parentals agreed to take it home unpreviewed, which is a darn rare occurence (because there is an astounding amount of shitty-assed kidlit out there, friends).  Anyhow - the gamble paid off.  Perfect Man is pretty darned good.  Maybe even pretty darned great.  It tells the story of a young boy, Michael Maxwell McAllum, who loves to write, and who is infatuated with a super hero, aptly named Perfect Man.  Perfect Man's absence leaves a gap in the boy's life, but this gap is soon filled by a marvellous teacher by the name of Mr. Clark.  Michael Maxwell McAllum soon decides that Mr. Clark is Perfect Man, gone off the grid and incognito.  The story of the relationship between Michael and Mr. Clark plays out in a lovely way, with Mr. Clark encouraging Michael's love of writing and such.  It's good.  It's sweet.  And Boy-o loves it with a capital L.  I don't mind it, either, which is more than I can say about Boy-o's growing collection of Diego books.  And the subtle challenge to readers about rethinking the superhero is an excellent message to kids in a world that shoves the superhero crap down boys throats.

My personal favourite part of the book is the advice Mr. Clark gives Michael about honing the craft of writing: "'You have to live,' said Mr. Clark.  'You have to try new things.  You have to meet new people.  That's what good writers do.  They live.  And it's all research.  Every second of it'"  (24).

I love this sentiment.  It makes the book, which is pretty great even without this thought, even better.  I've even used on it myself a few times lately, when I've been feeling like a screw-up.   

 ***It's all research.  Every second of it.***

Boy-o says...

Outta the mouths of babes there comes brilliance from time to time.

Last evening, Boy-o informed me:

"Mama?  I think that some teenagers are grown-ups.  And some grown-ups are teenagers." 

Sage, or what?!

Monday, July 25, 2011

HOw to get everyone to look at your knockers...

Just take your son to the library.  Okay, you might have to take MY son to the library. 

We were dropping off some garden spoils to my good friend, a librarian.  And as we are leaving, my son announces in his normal announcing voice:
 "Guess there's no BRA today!"  "I don't see BRA anywhere!" 

At which time I feel several sets of eyes leveling on my boobs.  He is saying this so convincingly, that despite the fact that bras have been holding up the considerable knockers fate decided to bestow upon me in grade 5 -gee thanks for that fate - I even find myself looking down to make sure I have the girls, you know, secured.  Yup.  All is well (although by now I'm totally blushing and somewhat paranoid that library patrons are still trying to catch a glimpse of my apparently wild and free boobs). 

"What do you mean, 'No bra?'" I ask Boy-o. 

"You know!" he says, annoyed that it isn't OBVIOUS.  "He works with Kim!"

"Honey, do you mean ROD?" I query.

"Oh, yeah.  Rod.  No Rod today!"  He parrots back.

Rod (not Bra!) is the librarian that Boy-o thinks is a super-star because he looks like one of The Wiggles.

And that friends, in a nutshell, is how to get everyone to look at your knockers.

Top Ten Myths about Introverts

Okay - so this has been plastered all over FB, including my own wall.  But this post from Jerry Brito's blog is so good that I have to post it here too.   I felt so - understood - when I read this.  So read away - it's bloody brilliant.

(And then give all the introverts in your life some lovin', okay?)

a wee morning pick me up

I was having one of those mornings.  The kind where my self-esteem is in the shitter.  Nothing looks right.  All of my clothes are drab.  Uninspired.  And I am drab and uninspired in them.  I gave up, threw on some jeans and a bright yellow tank and wandered back to the bathroom where my smalls were puddling around contentedly in the bathtub. 

And this is when my Girlio, (who at the age of two is already showing signs of catching her mama's penchant for overabundant empathy) looked up at me and said: 

"Oh Mama!  You look PANTASTIC!"

Bless her little toddler heart. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

the good, the bad, and the jobby.

When I envisioned myself going back to work, I pictured the right job.  Something challenging, satisfying, (but not depleting) and part-time to allow a more gradual transition to the kiddies (and to me).  I will wait for the 'right' one, I reasoned.  Otherwise, why not just keep on keeping on? 

But gradually, it seems as though this was a utopian thought bubble.  Because one has to secure childcare before one gets a job, right?  So - we've secured a great spot for Boy-o starting in September, in the before and after care program at his school.  It's a full-time spot, because that's all they offer.  But it's a great program and we feel pretty good about it.  However, starting in September, our expenses move up $700 per month.  Not including whatever we will pay for Girlio's as yet unprocured spot.  And I still don't have a job.  Um, not that I'm panicking or anything.  (Me?  Lay awake at night in sheer panic?  Nah.  Not me.)   And then there's the issue of whether I'll actually be paying to go back to work.  Which is a whole 'nother ball of wax that may or may not have me lying awake at night. 

And so I've found myself tempted to apply for jobs willy-nilly.  Crap jobs.  Any part-time job. (and a whole lot of them are crappy).  I've written cover letter that  dumb down my skills in the hopes that someone will want a filing clerk with an M.A.  Because we can't go into debt anymore.   Because maybe my frustration at the constant backwards financial slide is greater than my desire to be intellectually stimulated.   I'm not really sure anymore.

Maybe I should just stay put. 

Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Mom - sometimes I get that not-so-fresh feeling"

Remember that ad?  Anyone?  I think it's permanently emblazoned in my noggin.  But in case you need a refresher...

Ahhh- the good old body shaming 'feminine hygiene ads'.  Well - according to some of the folks at Sociological Images, there was a trailer for Summer`s Eve, which makes some of said aforementioned ridiculous products, before Harry Potter 6.2 across the U.S.   Which is, in a nutshell, all kinds of gross.  But I guess if you`re aiming to make women believe that their vaginas are dirty and smell bad, you gotta get èm while they`re young.  And - if you want to really get all the kids - making separate ads for different racial groups, using all kinds of super funny stereotypes is even better!

Check it out if you need your daily dose of "are you fucking kidding me?!"

and then, if you need your daily dose of laughing your arse off (it's worth the trip).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another kid's music artist who won't make you want to cut off your own ears...

This artist was introduced to us by some friends just before we left Winnipeg for the long car ride home. This album got a LOT of play, and this song in particular never failed to bring a smile to Boy-o's face. (And I'm kinda sweet on it too.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

pickin' your poisons

So as I type, the kidlets and I are testing out one of those toxic-fumes-spewing-mosquito-killer lanterns in the backyard.  It goes against most of my morals.  What with all the fume-y grossness being inhaled by my littles, the birdies, whathaveyou.   It even says right on the freaking package that said product has proven destructive and deadly to fish, so we ought not to put it near water or directly inhale.  Lovely

The thing is this.  My Boy-o is a sensitive lad.  In all kinds of ways.  But the pertinent way for today's conversation is the rather severe allergic reaction to bug bites which cause him to scratch off layer after layer of skin until he becomes a wee walking festering wound.  And this after constant use of Afterbite, calamine AND daily doses (and sometimes overdoses) of kids Claritin to try to help deal with the problem.  Friends, it ain't pretty.  We've tried every natural bug repellent known to humanity.  Dryer sheets, citronella, natural sprays, etc. etc.   I've endured smug Organic Planet staff telling me things like: "If he just had enough B vitamins, the mosquitos wouldn't bite him."  And I didn't even drop-kick her on her hippy patchouli-scented- Birkenstock-lovin' arse.  (For which I believe I am due some serious karmic points for said feat of restraint).  We moved on to deet.  More deet.   The little dude is still covered in bites.  And open wounds.  It's itchy.  It's painful.  It's awful to watch and often more than a little gross.

So my choice becomes this:  kill the baby fishies and maybe even a few baby birdies and let us all inhale a few toxins or give up on the idea of finding some relief for my kiddo. 

Sorry baby fishies.  You're shit out of luck.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Uncomfortable epiphanies of the parent variety

All these years, I've been coveting a lovely bathside table (you know, something pretty and functional) for my bath accoutrements and, no, this is not an invitation for naughty thoughts (though I've always been a do-whatcha-gotta-do kinda gal). I'm talking about my book, my highlighter (which I believe we've already established is a life necessity and pleasure) and my glass of wine (which I doubly believe we've already established as a life necessity and pleasure). Anyhoo... It turns out that all I really needed was the ever nifty stepstool potty combo, which comes in a lovely (ugly) shade of mint green, and is available (in case you are finding yourself feeling insanely jealous) at Toysrus.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Halifax newspaper pulls Venus Envy ads

The Metro paper in Halifax has pulled an ad by local queer owned Venus Envy because they deemed it innappropriate.  The paper cited "graphic depiction of a sex toy" as their reason for pulling said ad and suggested that readers and other advertisers found the ad offensive.  The sex toy in question is the "the Rabbit" - and yes, yes it is the very same one (though perhaps hers was unfortunately less rainbowy) that Charlotte developed a lengthy relationship with on Sex and the City. 

People will likely protest that they don't want their kids' tender eyes to see said Rabbit.  To this I say: "Poppycock!"  "Hogwash!"  and "Mallarky!"  If we're more worried about our kids finding out about how satisfying sex is a wonderful, nurturing part of life than we are, say, about their daily dose of advertised encouragement of self-hatred, body dissatisfaction and the other general shite and misogyny much advertising pushes, then we all need to give our heads a giant collective shake. 

But I wonder, in my heart of queer hearts, if perhaps the Metro didn't pull the ad because the mere sight of our be-rainbowed friend Rabbit is offensive.  I wonder if the pull, and the complaints that resulted in the pull, have just as much to do with the rainbow-y-ness of the Rabbit, as with the site of that rascally old Rabbit itself.  The ad is full of words and phrases that depict queerness and sex.  And queers loving sex and being public about it?  Now, that is downright scary.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

URGENT: Hunger strikers’ health rapidly deteriorating

URGENT: Hunger strikers’ health rapidly deteriorating

The above link details shocking events taking place in California prisons, and provides a link to a petition, as well as pertinent politician contact information. So click and read for a daily dose of GRRRRRRRRRRR.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Simple girl, happy belly

Fresh rainbow swiss chard, plucked from the garden, lightly sautéed in garlic, lemon, white wine + shucked peas from the market, lightly simmered Atlantic salmon, marinated in balsamic, maple syrup, garlic, dash of salt and pepper and thrown on the BBQ + teensy new potatoes, direct from the market + marvelous mojitos, muddled to perfection by The Mrs. =


The moody blues

I'm grumpy. Grey. (Or gray, depending on which way your potAto/potahto falls). This always happens when I get back from being home.

Because visiting home is time with my moms, my sis, and the kind of good, good friends that you can speak to every six months or more, and just pick up where you left off. Being at home is being surrounded by the beauty and ease of my old 'hood. Being at home is being taken care of, not making dinner (heavenly), babysitters who love the time alone with their grandsmalls, and tell you to go out again the next night. A breathe of fresh air, a time of reconnection, a glimpse of freedom.

But vacations don't last forever, no matter how lovely. And when I come back to Edmonton, I mourn the loss of the freedom, my people, my family, my stomping grounds. And Edmonton seems too industrial, too sprawling, too isolating, too much.

This return has the added bonus of throwing a bit 'o 'get a damn job because you are now the proud owner of before and after school care that you can't afford for Boy-o' stress, combined with the old 'you still don't have a daycare spot for Girlio which you also can't afford' stress, with a little bit of 'who the heck is going to hire you anyways?' stress thrown in for good measure. And let's not even get into the am-I-really-smart/crazy/driven enough to put the gears in motion to return to school next Sept. and all the corresponding hoops that will entail. I got to forget all about those persistent worries on vacation, but it seems to have waited patiently for me. (Lucky girl.)

In a few days I will remember the things that I love about this city the people I have met and grown to love, the places of beauty nestled in between the industry, the opportunities for my family, maybe for me too.

I will remember that you need to grow where you're planted.

But right now, I'm feeling more than a little sad, and perhaps a little surly about the end of vacation-y glowy-ness.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gay and trans jokes in pop culture

What to say? It's everywhere. Most movies have a gay joke, a person of 'questionable' gender as a source of levity. (Or a fat person - they're super funny too. Anyhow). Its very annoying Bitch magazine posted an interesting discussion and video montage of treatment of queerness on Friends. Makes for an interesting watch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thrifting in Winnipeg

Winnipegers are renowned for being cheap. In fact, new products are often tested here, because if Winnopegers will buy it, anyone will. This means that Winnipeg makes for excellent thrifting opportunities for broke wannabe fashionistas like yours truly. Here's my thrifty trip tally:

2 dresses
4 skirts
1 pr shorts
1 t-shirt
4 blouse-y shirts
Set of striped martini glasses
= 66$

Not that I'm excited about that or anything :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So what? I'm still a rockstar...

This vacation has been wonderful. A visit to home ground, full of my moms and dogs and friends and the ease of familiarity. It's been carefree and rejuvenating. Its also been a big boost to the old self-esteem. Because here, at home, I'm a total rockstar. I don't mean that to sound snotty. Just that when you go away and then come home again, everybody wants to hang out with you. And for a girl like yours truly, who is not yet realized as a rockstar in Redneckville (don't worry, I still am a rockstar, I'm just - you know - incognito, I suppose.). And it has been so rejuvenating to spend time with old friends who I love and who think I'm kinda wonderful. And to make new friends who seem to find me reasonably interesting as well. So, so, so nice. It's been a long time since I've thought of myself as wonderful and interesting and worth getting to know. I guess sometimes, it's nice to be reminded that no matter who notices or doesn't - you're still a rockstar.

So thanks Winnipeg. For all kinds of reasons and in all kinds of ways, you'll always be home to me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Neighbourhoods and daily living

I'm back on my home turf, in the house of my youth, in this fabulous neighborhood called Wolseley. Now, my other friends poke a bit of fun at Wolseley, deservedly, for it's hippy/lesbo/green-y/lefty earnestness. But being back in this neck of the woods feels like heaven right now. It couldn't be farther from my Redneckville neighborhood if it tried.

For starters, you're more likely to see People driving a Prius, Volvo or Subaru than you are to see the Tonka trucks that proliferate back home in Northend Edmonton. And you're more likely to be hit by an errant cyclist than a car here in Wolseley. The streets are lined in 100 year old elm trees than make enormous canopies over the roads and the 100 year old houses, whose front doors are more likely to be blue or red or yellow or pink (naturally, my personal fave!) than beige or white or brown. The streets are filled with the bustle of people walking dogs and strollers full of littles and bags full of organic groceries. (Did I mention there was a street corner with two competing organic stores?). The gardens are beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Haphazard and wild and unmanicured kinda beautiful. (My kinda beautiful). Even the boulevards are full of shocks of wildflowers, bluebells, irises, daisies, towering masses of lilies and hollyhocks.

And running through these streets every morning feels like such a treat. Because everything feels alive, lived in, artful, historied. And makes my home neighborhood seem drab, dull, lacking noise and vibrance and, well, life. It's not that folks don't garden in my neighborhood back home. But Wolseley gardening makes those wee flower beds seem perfunctory and devoid of imagination. And it's not my neighbourhood's fault it isn't full of turn of the century homes. (Though certainly their doors and gardens could use some serious inspiration). It is what it is, which is the only neighborhood we could find a house we didn't hate that we could also (almost) afford in Edmonton.

But this sojourn into Wolseley has reminded me about the importance of inserting beauty in one's everyday surroundings. And how much your everyday surroundings can impact, even sustain you, whether it's immediately noticeable or not. And how very much I miss that kind of daily dose of loveliness.

My favorite pink door.

A red door across the street.

Garden bliss.

Elm canopy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Morning Wolseley Run

Aaahhhh Sunday's in Wolseley, where a busy avenue gets blocked off to all vehicles. There's something very satisfying about running in the middle of an ordinarily busy road. And then, a funny Wolseley sign, reminding cyclists that they need to make room for car traffic. Hilarious!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The sound of therapy

Ever wondered what sound your kids future therapy makes? Girlio's apparently sounds like SQUEAK!

Girlio has, of late, rediscovered her baby giraffe squeaky toy. And insists on falling asleep with it. And also insists on using it as a tool in her already stacked arsenal of sleep resistance tricks. She NEEDS to snuggle the giraffe. And the giraffe squeaks when you squeeze it. You see how this might be a situation of un-fun-ness for the parentals of Girlio.

So - enter a particularly bad night of trying to get Girlio down. Giggle. Squeak. Gigglesqueak. Mama lays down law. Quiet. Squeak. Peals of laughter. Law riot act. Quiet. Fake snores. SQUEAK. This went on. And on. Until Mama, in a fit of parental frustration grabbed said giraffe. And threw it across the room. Where it hit the wall and landed with a resounding squeak. Perhaps not my finest hour. But very, very satisfying.

Now, days later, whenever Girlio gets mad at me for various reasons, she looks accusingly through tears and reminds me: Mama threw giraffe-y. SQUEAK!

And that friends, is the sound of future therapy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 8, 2011


My apologies for lack of prompt and interesting bloginess. I'm on vacation, and the sunshine has been proving far too compelling.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feminine scream...

There are some days where I wish I could carry around magic scissors and give especially deserving people vasectomies. Today at the park, this complete and utter jackass was berating his son for having 'a feminine scream' coming down the slide. Made my heart ache and my stomach turn. I walked by him loudly recreating what he had said to a friend, adding "you wanna hear a feminine scream?!". I know he heard because he had the wherewithal to look simultaneously sheepish and aggrieved. But I still didn't feel remotely mollified.

Snip, snip buddy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 4, 2011

Self-care and motherhood...

Sunscreen.  I always forget the freaking sunscreen.  Not for the kids - they are slathered in it.  I always forget to put it on me.  And even when I do remember, I still get burnt because I can't reach, you know, the hard to reach spots.  It's really easy to forget yourself as a mama.  I know, I know, everyone will give lip service to the 'the kids won't be happy unless their parents are happy/you have to take care of yourself first' business.  And I totally agree with that business.  It's just good business sense for the survival of mamas.  BUT - it's not always so practical.  I do what I can.  I'm trying to get out more.  I'm trying to read more books, take more runs, look for jobs and daycares, and somehow make more time for me.  However, my day-to-day existence often makes remembering about the minutiae of self-care kinda difficult.  I'm the mama who's at the park, with sunscreened, bugsprayed kids, complete with sunhat, snacks and water, having had the forethought to anticipate everything my kidlets might need or want.  I'm also the mama who's at the park, skin getting sun-damaged  and likely courting skin cancer, and surreptiously sneaking goldfish from the tots' snack tupperware and sips of water from their sippy cups.  This is due to the fact that my toast from breakfast is still sitting in the toaster because somewhere between wiping the kids out from under their oatmeal haze and breaking up fights #1, 2, and 3 of the morning, I totally forgot to eat.  I'm the mama at the park, marvelling at how easy it is to forget one's own existance. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oh Kia, really?

So - I was reading the daily blog post by Phd in Parenting, which yesterday was all kinds of holy shit disturbing.  Advertising is bad (of course, not all of it - but I'm talking the mainstream stuff).  Advertising is exorbitantly saturated with sexist, misogynist, racist, homophobic and other kinds of all around yucky imagery.  But an ad that actually overtly celebrates a male teacher imagining how sexy and buxom his grade-school female student will become?  All kinds of icky-unacceptable-gross (Um, yeah, it's a word - look it up ;)  It was run in Brazil by Kia.  Yup.  Kia. 

And this ad - apparently - it won an advertising award.  For reals.  It can be seen here, at Peggy Orenstein's blog.  Doesn't look ironic to me.  Doesn't look funny to me, or tongue-in-cheeky (which when done well, I'm all about).  It sure all hell isn't hot.  It's just, well, icky-unacceptable-gross.  It makes me stinkin', hoppin', holy-mother-fuckin' mad.  That could easily be a depiction of my kids.  Or yours. 

Wanna tell Kia where to go?  You can do it here:  They also have posted their statement regarding said ad.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Today, if you don't already know, has the auspicious distinction of being International Femme Appreciation Day. You might be saying to yourself, what is a femme, and just why should I appreciate them? Or possibly querying (queerying?): isn't that just buying into traditional notions of femininity which have saddled women with all kinds of, you know, oppression-y badness, for years and years? Aren't those women just capitulating to heterosexist notions of beauty and gender? To the first question I say, read on. And to the second I say, not so much and I don't think so. And that, in my not so humble opinion, is an overly simplistic reading of what inhabiting 'femme' means for and to a lotta folks.

For starters - for those not steeped in queerspeak already - it's important to say that not all lezzies identify in terms of butch or femme, not all butches dates femmes and vice versa and etc. etc. Moreover, it is both tiresome and misleading to speak about femme-ness as the binary to butch-ness. Femme-ness is not the natural match to butch-ness any more than woman is the natural match to man. You see where I'm going with this? And further to this - femme is not just an identity inhabited by women. Many men, gay and straight and tranny and not, also identity within the spaces of femme.


Inasmuch as femme can be described, we are difficult (and more than likely worth the effort) to pin down (and I do mean that figuratively and literally, in case you were wondering), a few general trends do emerge.

1. Femme is queer. Intrinsically. Always. 2. Femme rejects traditional culturally enforced notions of femininity. 3. Femme insists upon sexual autonomy. 4. Femme is complicated and muddied in all kinds of ways by social locations of class, race, ability, gender, body size etc. All of these impact the particular ways in which feminine bodies are inscribed with meaning and read in our culture(s) at large. (Fatness and body size has certainly has an enormous impact on my own experiences of femme, and how my femme-ness and body get read)

And to explain further, I will turn to turn to some of the brilliant femme minds of "Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity", edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri. In snippets. Just snippets. Because femme is shifty. Slippery. Ambiguous. We like it like that. It's part of the mystique ;). And also because it's really quite challenging to blog on one's iPhone in one's car on a roadtrip with children in the backseat. I do what I can...

Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri offer this:

[F]emme might be described as "femininity gone wrong"- bitch, slut, nag, whore, cougar, dyke or brazen hussy. Femme is the trappings of femininity gone awry, gone to town, gone to the dogs. Femininity is a demand placed on female bodies and femme is the danger of a body read female or inappropriately feminine. We are not good girls - perhaps we are not girls at all (13).

Kathryn Payne describes:

Femme is the position that deliberate feminine sexual agency often occupies in queer girl subcultures (49).

And one of my favorite descriptions, which answers to concerns (criticisms?) about the gender performance(s) of femmes, is brought to you by Lisa Duggan and Kathleen McHugh. They argue:

And now, in the postmodern reign of The Queer, the fem(me) reappears, signifier of another kind of gender trouble. Not a performer of legible gender transgression, like the butch and his sister the drag queen, but a betrayer of legibility itself. Seemingly "normal". She responds to "normal" expectations with a sucker punch - she occupies normality abnormally (167).

And last but not least, another gem from Duggan and McHugh:

Rejecting Girl-By-Nature, the fem(me) is Girl-By-Choice. Finding in androgyny...too much loss, too little pleasure, and ugly shoes, the fem(me) takes from the feminine a wardrobe, a walk, a wink, then moves on to sound the death knell of an abject sexuality contorted and subjected to moral concerns (166).

Sufficiently confused now? Good. Then all is as it should be. Remember - shifty. Slippery. Hard, (but not impossible), to pin down.

So - to the badass, the gorgeous, the sassy, the sexy, the saucy, the tough-as-nails, the fancy and the fabulous femme-tastic girls and boys out there - I appreciate you - your femme-y ways, femme-y wiles and femme-y wickedness.

And I send you all a great big air kiss with lips resplendent in my shiny and fabulous pink 'revolution' lipstick...

Excerpts taken from: Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity. (eds). Chloe rushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri. Arsenal Pulp Press: Vancouver, 2002.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone