privacy, sexism, the personal public

what is already yours

RECOMMENDED READING: Gratuitous: How Sexism Threatens to Undermine the Internet.

[…] Checking my Tumblr feed is like checking in with my friends, even if these “friends” are people I know very little about and will possibly never meet in real life. I met most of these people through friends of friends or via the social discovery that re-blogging affords. I somehow stumbled into their worlds, and they were interesting enough to make me want to come back. I interact with enough of them that I can pretty clearly say that when they post something, it is intended for me. I’m part of their small group, and I have no qualms about that.

Lisa, on the other hand, is a different matter. Lisa is a college student at a large university in the Midwest (and Lisa is not her name; I don’t know whether she would want a bunch of book nerds suddenly reading her posts or not, so I’m not going to link to her blog here, either). She seems pretty smart, and she blogs about her love life, her schoolwork, her friends, and all of the other things that matter to her. I find Lisa’s life very interesting, and her blog is great. But I haven’t completely settled the “is she talking to me” question. While Lisa follows me back, we don’t interact with each other. She uses Tumblr in a very social way, she isn’t really part of the crowd of people whom I otherwise follow. And I find this somewhat troubling. […]

The pane of glass, and the contrast between the brightly lit casting room and the dim audience space, was enough distance to effectively dehumanize these girls. There were other factors at work, such as the blonde California girl’s status as marketing conceit and sexual totem, but I think a big reason we all felt free to dissect and dismiss these girls is because they couldn’t really see us. We were, more or less, anonymous. It was especially unsettling to turn around after watching for a few minutes and see one of the girls who had been in the call standing just behind us. How long had she been there, the girl in the leopard print shorts? And how did she suddenly become so real? […]

Why are women treated differently than men online? I suppose the greater question is why they are still treated differently everywhere — online or otherwise — but since this post is about the web, I will focus on that. Surely there’s the garden variety sexism that permeates most of our culture, where women’s opinions are discounted or denigrated, and where the female form is used to sell everything from liquor to football. But I think there is something else at work online, and in many ways, it’s related to the strange feeling of watching all of those girls wait to have their pictures taken, as well as my conflicted feelings about enjoying college girl Lisa’s blog so much.

“A willow deeply scarred, and somebody’s broken heart”


After Rick was a no show yesterday after work, I tagged along with Sam to a game of pool. A friend of his leaving town. Let’s get together. Celebrate. Yaletown, home of the tax-bracket enabled. Thread count, thread count and pool halls with clean floors and flat tables. Prettier people, better teeth, nicer shirts. Barefoot, I walked in and looked around. I made a three, not enough for another set. I looked around and wondered. I should be at the hospital. I should be finding busses, climbing hills, breathing sterilized air. Pressing twelve, the elevator button lighting red under the pressure of my finger.

Massive Attack – Teardrop

Matthew, Sam’s actor friend from L.A., was paired with Francois, a SFX make-up artist from Montreal. They were the cats. Graceful, fun, the polished easy flirts. In this situation, the social strata lattice-work puts them on top. I barely exchanged words with them, but species calls to species. When it was time to leave, I railed a little at Sam, as if by sheer force of will I could change his community DNA into something that would be helpful to me, some sort of chaperone who was in on the game, but he was left behind. A secondary player, uninvolved in the double-meaning conversation of glances and inconsequentialities. When it was time to go, I railed and gave up. I gave in. Francois left first and I followed, confident I would find him on the corner. We drifted out like smoke. Matthew would follow. This is all part of the scene. Leaving behind everyone else in such a way they don’t think there’s more of a party. Tag, you’re it crowd.

Media Banned from Red Light District.

Now I’m in the clothes Francois’ was wearing yesterday, low slung dark blue jeans and a long sleeve black shirt with ZERO written on the front, (my mind is now pronouncing it “zehro”), that I stole from the hotel room floor while he was sleeping because mine had been too spattered with chocolate and strawberry juice to wear to work, wondering how to create a break in my chemical fall-out refusal to go back to the hospital. I know I went playing pool out of avoidance. I agreed to hang out after out of avoidance. It’s clinging Monday depression like a wall, thick and cloying, turning my thoughts away, making me think twice. I went in Monday needing to feel cared for and walked out feeling like I’d been shot. Not his fault, I didn’t say anything. I never can. It’s not my place.

That’s part of the problem, same as it always has been. It’s like the business card that Atticus threatens me with. Jhayne Holmes: Awesome Mistress.