Keeping The Same Tabs Open For 9 Days Straight Because They Contain Information Relevant To Tasks You’re Too Lazy To Complete - A novel by me
Got a lyric, just need the rest of them and a tune
There is no polite practice I dislike as much as I participate in than placing a napkin on my lap during a meal.
Who started this? It was a man. I have never dropped food and have it land on my napkin-sheathed lap. Every woman knows it hits your tits first.
The patriarchy strikes again.
Trigger - Eating Disorder
I ate out alone the other night, and it was a weird experience. I eat alone. I eat out. But generally not at the same time. Especially not at night.
It was Tuesday evening - La noche de los libros or International Book Day. Remembering this shortly after eventually making my way to the library, I bailed on my work. Instead I spent the afternoon looking around pop up book markets (being propositioned by a middle aged architect), drinking coffee and reading one of the books for my dissertation (Atxaga’s The Accordeonist’s Son). After attending a conversation between two directors on the relationship between art and film, I planned to go to a poetry slam. When I arrived at the bar there was no one there and I was starving. I remembered having walked past a Greek restaurant just a little down the road. I walked back. I read the menu. I walked away. I read the menu. Everything sounded delicious. I walked away. I texted a friend to see if she wanted to come to the poetry slam. I read the menu.
I was happy. I had spent the day by myself and it had been fucking marvellous. What was I doing hesitating on the doorway to a restaurant offering the perfect end to my day? I didn’t want to be that person eating dinner on their own. A café in the middle of the day on your own is perfectly acceptable, why should dinner be any different? But it is. The image of a woman eating out alone conjures up a scene from a poor romcom of a woman recently dumped, pushing food across her plate as she mourns the loss of love and her current loneliness. But that isn’t what I was feeling. I was feeling hungry. So I took the plunge.
I went inside. I asked the waiter for a table for one and I sat down. He looked at me sympathetically and asked how I was. The pity in his face made me think again. But I just replied I was fine and asked for a menu. I looked around briefly; I was the only person dining alone. I ordered. Gemista (red pepper stuffed with rice and roasted vegetables, and a glass of wine. Haters have been known to hate. As I waited I was still quite tense - what were the other diners thinking of me? And the waiters? Who was this twenty-something year old woman who couldn’t find someone to eat out with her and obviously had no one waiting for her at home? Then came the food. The goodness. I took a bite. The flip switched. Bodily pleasures are the best. I know, I know, I study literature, I attend a university whose student body prides itself on its cerebral culture, too much heavy drinking and clubbing bores me to tears, but even the most engaging discussion doesn’t satisfy me quite as much as the thrilling three as I have just now decided to call them (I’m a sucker for terrible alliteration) - dancing, food and that other one. And if I’m really truthful the last one is so rare in my life I’m happy to just settle for dancing and food. I would trade all the intellectual discussions in the world, even those ones where someone really gets your philosophy, for beautiful food and someone to dance with.
Digression - it’s a wonderful thing, right? With that first sweet, comforting bite I was overwhelmed by just how little I cared about my image and how much I cared about enjoying my body. Enjoying the hot pepper and sticky rice, the smooth, fruity wine that warmed my chest and flushed my cheeks (ooo-er). And so I sat and I ate and I drank. Then came dessert, the best frozen yoghurt of all time. As I let each spoonful melt in my mouth I wondered why I had been so scared. Why I was comparing myself to the people sitting with their friends or family or partners? Our experiences of the restaurant were entirely different things. I had overhead snippets of conversation - two young women were eating out, one obviously with her visiting friend from England and I noticed this dance “Oh I’m not really hungry…oh when I see the food I just can’t really stop myself!” and maybe these were just honest comments but they reminded me of those landmines of eating with another woman - am I eating too much? Too little? I’m really hungry but what if they think I’m criticising the amount they’ve ordered? Will they judge me for ordering a dessert? I, for the most part, will always do what I want with food, but I do justify my decisions to eating partners (“Oh I’ll just have the salad because I ate a huge lunch!…I’m starving because I haven’t eaten since brunch!..I’ve been so good lately, so I deserve some ice cream!”) and I realised that none of those thoughts had crossed my mind. I picked my food purely because that’s what I wanted and I enjoyed every single bite, no guilt, no reasoning, just eating. But that’s what eating alone is. It’s eating. It’s enjoying eating. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Equally those dances around food when with other people aren’t shameful either. They’re thinking beyond yourself - most young women I know have or have had at some point a troubled relationship with food, mild or extreme, those phrases allow us to recognise those issues and they try (perhaps not always that successfully) to remove some of the stress from the situation by showing some form of control. Because eating with other people is not really about the food, it’s about the interaction.
And it is late now. And I’ve lost track of my thought. I’ll publish and edit in the morning.
Check your privilege - Deshazte de tu privilegio
El eslogan asociado con todos los movimientos de anti-racismo, anti-sexismo, y anti-opresión, movimientos de igualdad, con el repentino aumento del feminismo por jóvenes periodistas y por los blogs se ha entrado en el debate de nuevo. Acabo de leer un artículo por Zoe Williams, una periodista de periódico inglés, The Guardian, abordando esta idea de privilegio en el discurso feminista, y toca dos temas que durante los últimos meses me preocupaban: el privilegio que tengo y la lucha interna entre las feministas. El artículo refiere a un episodio reciente cuando alguien le acusó a Mary Beard, una historiadora famosa en Inglaterra, de ser racista en Twitter. Parece que a final estas acusaciones fueron injustificadas pero antes de descubrir esto un grupo de feministas interseccionalidad lanzó un ataque a otra mujer que pidió evidencia.
En mi definición de feminismo no cabe la mentalidad racista, y creo que es una idea universal – el feminismo no se concierne solo con las mujeres blancas de la clase media, sino todas las mujeres de cualquiera raza, sexualidad, religión, o clase social. Pero entiendo esta reacción contra la mujer blanca de clase media, he notado cuando le pregunto a alguien si es feminista o no, los que me responden con no dicen que es que ahora no necesitamos el feminismo, ya hemos ganado todas las batallas . Como Isabel antes, puedo pensar en miles razones por las cuales esta afirmación es incorrecta, sin embargo entiendo como gente de una situación parecida a la mía pueden llegar a esta conclusión. No me han rechazado ninguna oportunidad por mi género, al menos no abiertamente. Mi madre luchó por ganar el mismo dinero que los médicos generalistas masculinos hace veinte años, pero esto ocurrió hace veinte años, ¿verdad? Pero esta lucha fue suya, la mía es diferente, y a veces lucho por otras.
Estoy segura de que puedo tener éxito a pesar de mi género, pero el feminismo es más que una mujer, mi situación no es tuya ni la de las mujeres en Afganistán, ni una negra en los EEUU, ni una irlandesa de clase obrera. Y no soy ninguna de estas mujeres, a veces me encuentro mal cuando hablo del feminismo; soy blanca, de clase media, cisgénero, heterosexual, ¿mis pensamientos son los de la burguesa blanca que habla sobre una situación que no conoce de verdad? Quizás, y es por eso que creo que el feminismo necesita recordar que una idea de la condición de ser mujer y feminista no es la única. Discriminación de género no ha terminado sino ha cambiado. Aunque privilegio permanece un problema en el debate feminista, no cree que lo resolvamos por insultar a las mujeres con privilegio sino por presentar las otras verdades de ser mujer. El feminismo no puede llegar a ser lo normal si las feministas seguimos luchando entre nosotras. Con un movimiento que es, al base, filosófico, hay que haber diferentes escuelas de pensamiento, y todas no pueden ser tuyas, pero puedes respetarlas en cierta manera, incluso a Femen, pero dejo mis pensamientos sobre este grupo para otro día.