In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Snow Day

We are under warning of a Winter Storm, but the snow is so peacefully falling that “storm” is wholly the wrong word for this bit of natural serenity.

I would enjoy this view from my back window if I weren’t feeling so under the weather. Some time last night I began to feel that nasty feeling in the back of my throat, the kind where you realize you’ve been draining something nasty on a direct route from the sinuses to the stomach all day long. This shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’ve felt run down all week — achy, tired, like my mind and body are moving through molasses. To comfort myself, I threw together a chili recipe in a crockpot that hasn’t seen the light of day since before I was born. Scary.

I’m almost done with the first of four panels for the Klaralund sweater. Two rows and a bind-off row to go.

I wasn’t keen on the colors after knitting them up, but it usually takes me a full skein to warm to the color repeats. Once I began the second skein, a love affair with Silk Garden had begun. This is exciting – it’s my first wearable object that isn’t an accessory. Conversely, it is also dangerous. After seeing this poetic take on the Clapotis, I could be in for some serious debt. The colors! The drape! Lovely!

I’m also finishing up with massive felted Skully bag this weekend, I hope. I hate sewing and two very large pockets must be sewn onto the front after the bag dries. Pictures to follow.

The rest of the day will be spent watching horrible TV movies on the couch, knitting and coughing, and attempting not to move in any direction further than my arms’ length. And being short, that’s not very far.


My classes start tomorrow at 7:30 in the morning. When I am president no work or school will begin until at least 9 o’clock in the morning. Anything else is just straight stupid.

I got (count ’em: 1, 2, 3, 4) four hours of sleep last night, I’m on my second cup of tea, and it looks like an unintended nap is inevitable. I sill have to get E in the tub and to bed, finish up some laundry, and tackle the obscene pile of dishes in the kitchen. Perhaps I’ll move them to the bathtub. I really wanted to finish up my knitted Skully book bag tonight, but that is now out of the question.

It hurts.


We rolled snow around the yard in near silence, asses in the air, rolling, rolling like arctic dung beetles and occasionally stopping for a mini-snowball fight. Include one pause to glare at a man trying to park in front of my driveway to save himself some time walking to the basketball game. Later, include a healthy dose of hot chocolate and what-will-we-have-for-dinner fantasies.

Meet Mister Snowman, as christened by Ethan. What you can’t tell from this picture is that this six-feet tall Mister Snowman took up nearly all the snow in my double lot, and even some scraped off the top of my hedges. Frugal and psychotic, we are.

A Long Rambling Post On Snobbery and Slumming

I was struck by this post by Amanda, reflecting on Roxanne’s New Year’s resolution, snobbery, and intelligence:

I had a conversation a few months ago with a friend who drunkenly told me that I am sort of amusing because I apparently make like I’m some punk rock chick but deep down inside I’m really bright and educated and I just told him that I didn’t really think the two were opposites or anything. He was mildly humbled and corrected himself, but I knew what he meant.

I told him I disapprove of the division between high and low art. But obviously, the distinction still stings or I wouldn’t have a post like this. But I did quote the Ramones to make my point, and it was pretty funny. So it’s very confusing.

I’m stung by snobbiness. By no means do I think Rox is a snob, because true rejection of snobbiness would mean embracing high and low art without double-checking it or anything. I am acutely aware that many aspiring and educated people I know have sneered at me for having my rock music habits. And many of my good friends who didn’t study what I did in college or didn’t go at all sometimes worry that I think I’m better or something lame like that. The worst is people who come from the snotty, educated background but like to hang out with a sort of wide-eyed wonder at how cool they are being by being near the rock and roll, what they perceive as thuggish types that are many of my friends. Or, to put it more succiently, they’re slumming.

I’ve always viewed my open snobbery as a fun digression into playful competition. Almost a year ago I wrote on this very subject:

…things I am snobbish about include celebrity worship and fansites (trash), materialism (stupid), misplaced wealth (I might be jealous), video games (waste of time, unless it’s a game I like and play myself), music (the more obscure the better), fashion (“classic” looks only, please), and snobbishness.

Even as I look down on snobbery, which suspiciously seems like snobbery, I know that I am a snob. I don’t know of any of us that aren’t.

The commenters on this post were asked to list their snobbish habits and which forms of snobbery are unacceptable — a very interesting thread. But over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about elitism of another sort, the same sort that Amanda references.

Earlier today I went on my biyearly trip to the hair salon. I was musing on a potential writing project aimed at young single parents, born from my ruminations on the weird ways I save money and the weirder ways I spend it. My hairdresser and I were talking about antiques, high school, Nikki Sixx, and dating.

“You and I are alike,” she said. “Kind of weird, unwilling to accept the standard.” She was referring to men.

Agreed. I’ve never been one attracted to the guys in crew cuts and polo shirts, or those whose interests don’t go beyond football, Victoria’s Secret catalogs and Smallville. And in my experience, in this town, that leaves me with a select few, a population who must be combed of those whose hobbies include a never-ending ingestion of illegal drugs and those who engage in LARP. One of my sisters suggested that what I need is a nice graduate student, but even these are a chaparral of football-loving, Victoria’s Secret-gazing, Smallville-watching, pot-smoking, live action role playing kind of crew. Or for that matter, unforgivably snobbish. In the bad way.

Finding women my age with whom I’d like to spend time is just as frustrating. I find myself navigating a sea of competition and infighting for male attention not worth having, the arrangement of an unspoken pecking order, or for some reason, younger women all too eager to pander to my feminism and just as willing to degrade themselves for the attention of football-loving, Victoria’s Secret-gazing, Smallville-watching, pot-smoking, live action role playing men. This is why I was pleased when my hairdresser gave me her phone number and encouraged me to come out with her sometime. And why I was also pleased when another two women I have long admired invited me out to play over the holidays. I’m shy enough to have trouble approaching people for anything more than a pen or a stick of gum. I don’t make new friends very well and I hold on tight to the ones I have.

This is something my mother, and the many people I know who believe as she does, has never understood, how I could be a reasonably successful, intelligent, (on my way to) well-educated person and surround myself with people Mom might describe as “tacky.” Where she sees someone’s lack of formal education or perhaps a few past digressions, I see whole people. When I have pointed out to her that if someone judged me on my past, my language, or my easily shifting demeanor, I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere, she dismisses that as somehow different. When she laments their tattoos, I remind her that I have tattoos. Weird hair? I have weird hair. Spurious circumstances? I have spurious circumstances in some circles. And when she suggests that I am somehow a wide-eyed voyeur in a “thuggish” world, I want to take her hand and show her that the lives of blue-collar workers, gays and lesbians, people of other colors and cultures, aren’t that much different from ours except in the most meaningless ways. But usually I remind her that in many realities, my reality is less than desirable.

Sometimes I wish Mom had met Tammy. Hell, I wish everyone could meet Tammy.

What it really comes down to, as Amanda put it, is offense at the taste of others. I’ll never understand my poor mother (who I have apparently decided to pick on in this post) and her penchant for manufactured pottery, and I imagine she’ll never understand my thing for red wine (a maybe once per week thing she has deemed “too much”) and obscure music (“the drums are so loud! it’s just so noisy”). She’ll never understand my compulsion toward male-centered homoerotic novels or why I use the F-word far too much in adult company. So be it. She has to love me. It’s practically a law.

The incongruities between perception and reality are difficult to reconcile to someone who remains and will choose to remain an outsider of different realities, why Amanda and I sting at the assertion that being “some punk rock chick but deep down inside I’m really bright and educated and I just told him that I didn’t really think the two were opposites or anything” because they aren’t opposites or anything. And this is why, to pick on the parental units again, that I continuously feel the need to defend my choice of friends and mates across the four-decade generation gap between me and my parents. A lack of formal education does not equal a lack of intelligence or a lack of worth.

And believe you me, when I find someone worth my time I drink it in. Intelligent people don’t waste good company on faulty preconceptions.

[To anyone interested in football, Victoria’s Secret catalogues, Smallville, marijuana, or LARP: Present company always excluded. I swear.]

Because Lists are Fantastic and I Can’t Sleep

If Trish and Amanda jumped off a bridge, would I?

Pet Peeves

  1. Repetitive clicking of ballpoint pens or fingernails.
  2. False sincerity.
  3. People who try too hard. Painfully hard. Embarassingly hard.

Favorite Sounds

  1. A clear, open voice in song.
  2. Ethan’s belly laugh.
  3. A soft breeze at night.

Least Favorite Sounds

  1. The alarm clock.
  2. My other alarm clock, Pablo, who goes off every morning at 7am.
  3. Other people’s cell phones.

All these things are so damned startling and disruptive to my pseudo-peace.

Favorite Flavors of Candy

  1. Cherry suckers.
  2. Chocolate.
  3. Mint.

Not a big candy fan — I prefer icing in a jar.

Biggest Fears

  1. Fish.
  2. Anything that deals with the Achilles’ tendon, or for that matter, anything that involves pain or breakage of the phalanges.
  3. Falling on my head.

Biggest Challenges

  1. Overcoming procrastination.
  2. Laundry.
  3. Sad attempts at optimism.

Favorite Department Stores
We’re avoiding department stores, so I’m filling in my own.

  1. Von’s Bookstore, a local joint that sells beads, books, jewelry, candles, gifts, cards, and has the best CD store that I’ve ever visited (even though I could kick any of their empolyees’ asses on music trivia).
  2. River Knits Yarns, my favorite place for S.E.X. (Stash Enchancing eXcursions).
  3. Sunspot Grocery, a local healthfood store that carries anything crunchy-granola-hippie one could ever want including organic produce in the dead of winter.

Most Often Used Words

  1. Dude.
  2. Fuck (in it’s many incarnations).
  3. Nebulous.

Favorite Pizza Toppings

  1. Fresh basil.
  2. Whole tomato slices.
  3. Olive oil.

I’m about to reveal myself as a food snob.

Favorite Cartoon Characters

  1. Betty Boop.
  2. Nermal.
  3. Ren and Stimpy.

Um, I don’t really like cartoons at all.

Recently Viewed Movies

  1. L.I.E.
  2. Chuck & Buck.
  3. Monster.

If you haven’t seen “Chuck & Buck” go out and find it immediately. It’s disturbing and endearing, homoerotic and innocently virginal, funny and sad all at the same time.

Favorite Fruits

  1. Fresh cantaloupe, the kind so juicy it runs down your chin.
  2. Pear (on a basalmic vinegar-dipped roast beef sandwich with Swiss cheese).
  3. Warm strawberries.

Favorite Vegetables

  1. Asparagus.
  2. Spaghetti squash.
  3. Crisp, uncut green beans.

Sometime in the next year I will cut back on the fluff and get back to more serious and/or editorial material, but hell, it’s vacation and I’ll blather if I want to.

About Lauren

Lauren left Feministe in January of 2006 after three years at this domain.

Most banners are created using old advertisements, illustrations, and pin-up art that have been found on the internet. When one’s hobby is web design, Google Images is one’s best friend.

Background tiles are most frequently taken from Squidfingers and Pixel Decor.

I am available for freelance blog and ad design, as seen at Slim Coincidence (splash page and professional portfolio), Michelle Maklin (a political parody for April Fools’ Day), Bitch Ph.D, and Pandagon.

Lauren takes briberies here.