Category: Girly

Emotional Labor

This thread is one of the most important pieces of group interactions that I’ve read in a long, long time.
It’s given me new vocabulary to describe and detect a dynamic that’s been eating at me in several different parts of my life: family, work, hobbies. So many thoughts, still parsing them all. Go read:

“Where’s my cut?” On unpaid emotional labor

Nike’s “Voices” commercial

Okay, so I have tons of problems with Nike’s sweatshop labor, and don’t actually own a stitch of Nikewear myself, but this is so awesome.

How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer science? Hint: it doesn’t.

View more presentations from Terri Oda

Why I like Derby so darn much

A few weeks ago, over Sunday dinner, my mom asked me why I was suddenly so obsessed about Roller Derby. At the time, the best I could muster was “It’s strong women going fast, and that’s awesome.” Which is true, but is only a fraction of why I find it interesting.

After a long talk with Paul the other night, and also after reading this post, I finally came to a better articulation: It’s a (predominantly 20-40 year old, predominantly white) group of women defining their own ferocity — and to an extent, their own sexuality — for themselves, for their consumption, as opposed to the exclusive consumption of men. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Derby is aimed directly at women, to the exclusion of men, but at its very core, it’s more about the skaters themselves, as well as their interactions with each other, and less about the people consuming the entertainment (Buddy and former Head Derby Ref Iggy Slop confirms that the philosophy is “By the skaters, for the skaters”).

It’s about women putting on the closest thing to superhero gear we have in the real world — right down to wearing your underwear on the outside of your clothes — but they’re designing it themselves to be badass on their own terms. It’s no surprise that while there’s certainly no shortage of miniskirts on the track, practicality comes first; a jammer has to be able to skate ridiculously fast in her outfit, and a blocker has to be able to check somebody off the track without her boobs popping out. It’s just so outstanding to see awesome, badass outfits designed for actual physical contact, instead of. Well. You know. It’s seeing the difference, firsthand, between how male-dominated media conglomerates define how empowered women should look, and how one group of empowered women choose to define themselves. (Yes, I know superhero comics != roller derby: fantasy, magic, superpowers, stockholders, selling to a wide audience. I get it. But. As a lifelong reader of comics, and as a lifelong fan of badass women in both fantasy and real settings, the parallel’s impossible for me to miss.)

Another thing that I love is that the players are of all shapes and sizes and ages: skaters like Javelin prove that you don’t have to be tiny to skate super fast, and skaters like Over-EZ prove that you don’t have to be in your twenties to still play hard. Roller derby is fast-paced, it’s empowering, it’s played with skill and strategy and no shortage of attitude. It’s a sport conceived for, played exclusively by, and owned by women, and intended not just for women’s entertainment, but for everybody’s. It’s just plain awesome.

The Bear and the Bow

Looking at the screenshots and teasers for Pixar’s upcoming movie Brave, it feels like Pixar phoned up my 6th-grade self and asked, “What would be all the awesomest things you could possibly think of to put in a movie?” I seriously cannot wait for this to hit theatres.


Shea butter is my new best friend. I love you, Shea butter.

Geek Girls.

Okay, so a few days ago, a friend of mine sent me this link to a song called G33k & G4M3R Girls. She was really enthusiastic about it, and I’m glad she drew some enjoyment (and maybe even some empowerment) from it, but I found it just made me depressed. Really depressed. This article neatly summed up why.

As a palate cleanser, I offer this Nerd Girl anthem from Marian Call as a much nicer substitute:

For these lyrics alone:

All the cool kids keep enthusiasm rationed

Right down to the last explosive ounce

But I’d rather indulge my many passions

Even if my squaritude’s a little too pronounced


The world is much too interesting to entertain ennui

And I won’t ever play it cool so I won’t ever once be bored

I am now officially in love with Marian Call’s work. A True Story by Jane, The End.

Oh my God, I think I’m turning into a girl or something

So recently, my durable old purse has started to come apart; it’s probably been a good three or four years of hard use on this one. I’ve carried the same kind of purse since about 1996: an un-issued WW2 Russian cartographer’s case. They’re compact, wicked tough, have nice little compartments for papers and sketchbooks and pens and pencils, and are relatively easy to find on eBay or from military surplus stores. An old friend gave me my first one after he found it at a gun and knife show, and I carried it backpacking across Ireland and for many years afterwards until it gave out. I tried a couple different bags to replace it, including canvas versions of the same bag, and was dissatisfied until I found another one just like the first. SInce then I’ve gone through two more — one generously gifted by another pair of friends who spotted them in a catalog — and just keep snapping them up when the one I’m currently carrying shows signs of decrepitude. I’ve even got a spare in the closet right now — and to be honest, I’ve kept the corpses of the last two purses, because I’m hoping I can repurpose something awesome out of them. They’re just that sturdy (it’s usually been the edges that give; the rest of the bag’s fine. The strap on my current purse is a transplant from the previous one, because it was so soft and buttery.) and the form factor’s exactly what I need in a bag.

Lately, though, I’ve been bothered by the single-compartment design; I’m constantly digging around in my bag to get to stuff at the bottom, fishing around for tiny jars of lip balm to feed my Carmex addiction, or taking five minutes to unload and reload just to get to my business cards. Getting anything out while I’m driving is a nightmare. So I started looking for a new purse, an ideal purse. A purse that wouldn’t be too big, or too heavy, but would also carry a lot of gear, and maybe even cart around my comics supplies so I wouldn’t need a separate bag.

I have this thing for bags. Not purses, but bags. If there’s one thing that can get me to open my wallet for a big-ticket item, it’s a luxurious hunk of man-bag made out of cow. When I started at my current company, I splurged and bought myself a gorgeous shoulderbag from Custom Hide as a present to myself, something I knew I’d use forever. It’s such a great bag, and I use it as my “purse” whenever I’m travelling and I need a big old carryon that I can use to haul a lot of gear and a change of clothes. I also figured I’d use it for a laptop bag when I finally got a laptop. Unfortunately, when I did get the laptop, it was wee. A micro-lappy, almost a netbook. It doesn’t exactly rattle around in there, but it’s way more bag than I need for daily use. And it clocks in at five pounds empty, so it’s not exactly lightweight.

I thought about getting one of these beautiful satchels — (the price tag’s staggeringly high, but it’s a cost-per-use thing. I know I could get ten years out of that bag, just like I know I’ll get ten years, at least, out of my CH bag. It’s an investment.) but it’s right back to the digging-around-in-the-main-compartment issue.

So I turned to my favorite site in all the world, Etsy.

And I found my dream purse. It’s made of recycled tweed suit coats. I convoed the artist and she made it to my specifications — a dark-brown inside to hide the inevitable spills and inkblots, just a smidge bigger than my lappy, and just barely big enough to hold my comics originals. It has nice little pocketses for all my stuff so I can get to it easily. It’s lightweight, but very, very well put-together. The strap’s very sturdy and is held together with nice brass hardware. The lappy compartment’s padded well, so I won’t have to bother with a sleeve. Best of all, it feels compact, nice, small — so I can lug a lot of gear around with me and not feel like I’ve got this enormous suitcase. It just all fits in there. I’m thrilled, honestly. Paired with this sweet wallet I got a few weeks ago, I feel downright girly.

I think I might be a girl. With a bag purse fixation. Still not sure what to make of this new development.

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