True on so many levels

"Could be a little richer… (more art)… B+"

The grade I got on my visual journal for Parisian Contemporary Art. He wrote it on a neon green post-it.  I don’t know why, but I loved it. It’s now in my scrapbook.  

A truly post-modern problem

When wondering how to get dressed in the morning, I often check, a site which I have discovered gives a completely inaccurate weather reports 100% of the time, we’re talkin degree-wise and cloud/sun or rain forecast. Always wrong. Consequentially, some days end in backaches from the pointless umbrella stuffed in my already weighed-down purse or ruining various leather/suede products from walks home in the pouring rain. 

After time and again being misled by weather sites, I started to actually (gasp) open my window to check the weather. Not able to quit cold turkey, I would proceed to check quickly after to verify or deny what I have myself felt and seen. This, my friends, is where my post-modern problem comes in. After feeling/seeing the weather with my very own eyes and body, I always trust the website even when it says something completely different. “So,” I say to myself, “the ground is wet and people are walking with umbrellas but predicts a 0% chance of rain, so I think it’ll be fine”. Technology over experience? over the view from my window? I mean, fuck you, but really fuck me for this absurd learned behavior. I wish I could quit you.

PS this site may not be accurate but come on look at that title:

Yes, everything is art, but that doesn’t mean you’re not fucking insane.

Here’s looking at you, Sophie Calle. The bourgeois woman who got a job as a maid at a hotel so she could look through people’s possesions and photograph them (L’hôtel, 1981). The artist who stalked a man for a week including following him on a plane to Italy to document his every move (Suite Vénitienne, 1980). The person who found an address book in the street, and instead of returning it to its rightful owner, called and interviewed every contact in the book to ask them about the person who owned it (Le Carnet d’address, 1983). Keep up the good work crazy, I’m writing a paper about you right now. 

am i lazy for just posting pictures? this is bandol, france.

am i lazy for just posting pictures? this is bandol, france.

memories are just moments, fragmented pieces of feeling, scents, sights. this is one of my favorites. hvar, croatia. climbing to the top of an ancient fortress just in time to watch the sun set over this view.

memories are just moments, fragmented pieces of feeling, scents, sights. this is one of my favorites. hvar, croatia. climbing to the top of an ancient fortress just in time to watch the sun set over this view.



This is why I’m a feminist

Around 12:30 last night, A taxi dropped me off four blocks away from my apartment. As I was walking home, a man started running towards me from across the street screaming “mademoiselle can I ask you something? I need to ask you something!” I ignored him as I thought would be the safest option (as opposed to telling him to fuck off, which I haven’t quite mastered yet in French). He started aggressively walking with me, ranting about things in an effort to provoke me in an uncomfortable proximity to my face,  ”Why aren’t you responding?! Say something. Are you scared of me? You think I think you’re pretty? You think I’m trying to fuck you?” This proceeded for a block in a half. With my heart racing, all the articles on women’s safety I’ve ever read flashed before my eyes. Namely, if someone is following you on your way home, don’t go home. Secondly, draw attention to the situation. Thank God there was a man and a woman about twenty paces behind me, who I screamed to for help. They tried by walking with me but the guy persisted, continued walking with us and continued to yelling other things about me which I won’t translate. He finally left right before we reached my street and I raced home, terrified, overwhelmed and furious.

So this is why I’m a feminist. I’m a feminist because woman eat, breathe, and shit in fear. I’m a feminist because every walk home at night I worry that this— or worse— will happen. I’m a feminist because women are constantly demeaned in this unique way, tailored to the fact that anyone can and will insult, harass, assault or rape us and we are rendered utterly helpless. I am a feminist because I believe this needs to change.

I am not one to ever tell anyone how they feel but I firmly believe that the majority of women who say they don’t often feel this fear just haven’t realized that the way they feel when they are alone at night isn’t the way men feel alone at night. It is not the feeling that you are about to be robbed, or beat up. It is a feeling in the pit of your stomach and in the back of your throat that because you’re a woman, this man feels entitled to approach you, say and do anything he wants to you, and this entitlement is reinforced constantly.

I cannot emphasis enough how much this is linked to the depiction and portrayal of what it is to be a woman in the world. It is all connected. If woman are objectified in tv and film, woman are objectified in the streets of cities. Anyone who cannot connect the dots, or cannot understand why it is so offensive is because they don’t understand or have not experience the extreme danger, disservice and dehumanization this does to women.

Yes, we can take precautions. We can take taxis all the way to our doorsteps. We can walk in groups at night. We can make sure to have mase, or a rape whistle with us.  But it doesn’t get rid of the fear and it doesn’t make it fair. So I will say to whoever reading this, that if you still can’t understand why feminism isn’t a dead movement, and if you still don’t consider yourself a feminist, than you are in effect saying you don’t give a shit that your mother, daughter, sister, girlfriend, co-worker, best friend, wife or whoever experiences this veritable fear in our daily lives.

Everything you don’t want me to write about part deux

Below is the what I was going to submit to that writing contest, before I read the directions (see earlier post ‘Everything you don’t want me to write about’). It’s also an ‘excerpt’ from an essay I have yet to complete.

Everywhere you go there you are and other cliched epiphanies

After choosing Barcelona on a complete whim with no background in Spanish or Catalan, no concept of the cultural, historical or political environment, I moved into a dark, oddly adorned apartment with a 75 year old Spanish woman who spoke no English. My journey winds through alleys on dark cobblestones streets, up high-ceilinged cathedrals, and through cozy smoky cafes, only to wind up exactly where I began; an American in Catalunya.

This essay will describe my existential experience with the malleability (or lack thereof) in one’s identity. And the real lesson I learned, that the location doesn’t change oneself- it is oneself that (can) change in one’s location. However this did not come easily for me. It only happened by actively pushing my own personal limits; befriending strangers with my primitive Spanish, talking walks with no destination, and trusting the city to provide the raw materials as I shaped my own adventure and consequentially my own narrative. 

In the end, this resulted in the on-going process of becoming a more complex version of myself. Not a new woman- but the same Me- just with new experiences. The abroad experience is marketed as a pre-packaged all-inclusive ‘life experience cruise’ of some kind, and this experience for me happened to be in Barcelona, which provides for frilly descriptive prose describing striking colors, scents from la boqueria, and panoramic views from rooftop. But this experience can happen anywhere, at anytime for anyone who challenges themselves because ultimately; wherever you go, there you are.