April 28, 2010

Every once in a while one comes across a book that is simply too delightful not to share with the world.

Genevieve Antoine Dariaux wrote such a book.

Specifically, in 1964, Dariaux penned Elegance: A Complete Guide for Every Woman Who wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions. From the front jacket flap:

From A (Accessories) to Z (Zippers) here is a truly comprehensive encyclopedia covering every item a woman wears or carries and describing how each may be selected for quality, attractiveness, and appropriateness. From the proper length of gloves according to length of sleeve, to the correct use of alligator and mink, to complete wardrobes on a minimum–and maximum–budget, to planning for a country weekend or southern cruise, this book is filled with common sense, stimulating suggestions, and reliable advice.

Because I’ve waited 26 long years to learn the correct use of alligator and mink, I’ll be tweeting choice gems from Elegance all day. And possibly longer–I suspect there’s gold in them there hills, and it may take me longer to mine it all. You can follow all this in my Twitter stream or by simply following the #elegance hashtag. (…Which is apparently in use in kind of a spammy way by fashion tweeps, but perhaps you can look past those.)

Hair Trigger

March 20, 2010

I’ve been seeing my therapist now for somewhere in the neighborhood of seven or eight months. This is a record for me, by far, and a little surprising because I feel so much “better” now and I’m still seeing her. (In contrast, every time I’ve needed to do physical therapy, I tend to stop when I stop hurting. Which really isn’t the way that’s supposed to work.)

I think the main reason I’m still going every week is that she keeps coming up with things that totally blow my mind. Case in point: I have a trigger.

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Women. Not Girls.

February 17, 2010

Dear Olympic commentators: adult female athletes are women. Not girls. Yes, even the younger skiers–you know, the ones who are 21–are young women, not young girls.

Out of the Mouths of Boys

January 20, 2010

[Mild trigger warning for language]

Since I started working schools, I feel like I’m constant Language Police duty. At my last school it was “no homo.” Here, it’s “That’s gay,” variations on the f-word (no, not the four letter one), and something I didn’t expect at all: rape analogies.

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Victim Blaming: Starting Young

October 30, 2009

Last week our school was lucky enough to host Kathi Meyer, a local mother whose teenage daughter died last year after drinking with friends before and after homecoming. Because our own homecoming was last Friday, we wanted to use the assembly as a jumping off point for discussing responsible choices with our students, particularly freshman and sophomores in our advisory groups.

For once I was on my own with advisory Friday (I usually have a co-advisor, but she was out), and I did veer a little into some interesting topics–somehow a student came up with the misconception that light beer has less alcohol (which is apparently true in other countries, but not in the US, where “light” primarily refers to low-calorie)–but my kids mostly had great contributions to the discussion.

One contribution I wasn’t expecting? Blaming the mother.

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“I wish she came with more accessories”

October 1, 2009

Earlier today, M clued me in to a new(ish) doll in the American Girl line. If you were to just browse through the online store, Gwen seems like any other doll–she comes with a book, she has a few accessories. Unlike most of the other dolls, though, there aren’t other outfits you can purchase for Gwen. Why not? Because she’s homeless, silly!

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Born of bad-ass women

June 14, 2009

My grandmother died on Wednesday.

This wasn’t unexpected, but expected earthquakes still shake the buildings.

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The Blue and White

June 6, 2009

(This will be a short post because I’m on a mini-vacation. The kind where I’m theoretically supposed to not be glued to my laptop. Which is, of course, why I brought my laptop with me.)

It’s graduation season, and for the first time I’ve noticed how many schools have different colored gowns for male and female graduates. This wasn’t true for me in high school or college, so I suppose I didn’t have much reason to think about it until now.

What’s the point of separating the men from the women (or the boys from the girls) in this way? I don’t know if this is a case of me reading too much into something, but I’ve noticed that if one of the color options is white, the girls wear it. Why are the boys never in white? (My high school’s colors were blue and white, so if we’d had two different colors, I would’ve been in white, and I think I would’ve been really jealous of the blue robes.)

And what does that mean for anyone who might identify as genderqueer, or otherwise outside of the binary gender norm?

An Ode to Our Hairy Feminist Selves

May 20, 2009

Earlier today I realized that I’d been seriously entertaining the notion of shaving my armpits. This is pretty significant for me. It’s rare that I even have the impulse, and I haven’t gone through with it since my senior year of college. With that one exception, I haven’t shaved them since I was 16 or so.

Naturally, my first step was to tweet.

One of my friends, bless her heart, responded thusly:

Well, isn’t the bottom line of feminism doing whatever the hell you want? Shave em, baby. Trust me, it’ll grow back if you dislike.

Could it really be that simple? Is shaving, which I know is linked with standards of fashion and propriety, just another choice? All too often I see women recoiling in horror from the spectre of the feminist as hairy lesbian and I want to say you’re not doing me any favors! There’s actually nothing wrong with being a hairy lesbian, either!

And let’s not forget–my hairy feminist self got me into college.

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Gendered Sentencing in Teen Texting Case

May 12, 2009

Two Ohio teens–both 15–were sentenced yesterday “for their role in nude photos of minors found on a cell phone.”

According to this judge’s definition of Ohio Chapter 2907 (sex offenses), two teens exchanging nude photos–either of themselves or other teens–constitutes delivering, disseminating, providing or presenting

to a juvenile, a group of juveniles, a law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile, or a group of law enforcement officers posing as juveniles any material or performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles

We can quibble about that later, but here’s what I find really interesting: the boy and girl involved in this case received different sentences.

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