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Ursula K. Le Guin on menopause

Anyhow it seems a pity to have a built-in rite of passage and to dodge it, evade it, and pretend nothing has changed. That is to dodge and evade one’s womanhood, to pretend one’s like a man. Men, once initiated, never get the second chance. They never change again. That’s their loss, not ours. Why borrow poverty?

Ursula K. Le Guin on the menopause, from her essay “The Space Crone” in Dancing at the Edge of the World

This essay has maybe my favorite final line I’ve ever read.

“Into the space ship, Granny.”

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One person’s abortion story

So the SCOTUS struck down Roe v. Wade recently. Abortion rights are now up to the states. This is inhumane, in my opinion.

I have a lot more to say on it but lack both the time and the clarity of mind to articulate the injustice. In lieu of that, I wanted to record this post on LinkedIn, shared with me by Sam. I don’t love LinkedIn generally, but I think it is a hell of a brave place to share an abortion story.

Unfortunately, after an agonizing wait, both my blood tests and CVS (large needle to sample the placenta for abnormalities) confirmed a devastating chromosomal issue. If you have a strong constitution, feel free to look up Trisomy13 on Wikipedia. Median survival after birth is 12.5 days, and the prognosis is pretty awful beyond that. Neither my OB nor genetic counselor had ever had a patient continue with such a pregnancy, so I scheduled my termination.

There’s an important call out here. My life was NOT in danger. I simply cannot fathom being forced to have continued with this pregnancy, knowing all along that I would have to give birth to a child that would die. I would never judge someone else who chose that path, but the mental toll on me and my family – and the thought of suffering for the baby – it didn’t even register as a choice for me.

This is one person’s abortion story.

According to the report “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy” by the United Nations Population Fund published this year, it is likely that nearly half of of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended.

Her story is one among billions.


Related point: There is nothing in the Constitution preventing discrimination on the basis of one’s sex. The Equal Rights Amendment would fix this. It has already been ratified by 38 states and passed by both the House and the Senate. One of the only things holding it back is a minor clause in the introduction that it should have been passed within seven years. In my opinion, and in many others’, major legislation like this should take a long time. Seven years is a ridiculous limitation.

If you live in the US, write to your senators now and urge them to dissolve the time limit for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The House already did it in March of last year.

You can learn more about the Equal Rights Amendment on eracoalition.org.

Visit senate.gov to easily find your senators’ contact information.

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To read: “Making Space: Women and the Man-Made Environment” by Matrix

Another one for the list.

***

Read Making Space: Women and the Man-Made Environment by The Matrix Feminist Design Cooperative, published by Pluto Press in 1984.

Came across it via this article in the Guardian, wish I could see the exhibition currently on at the Barbican.

It’s long out of print so pretty pricey secondhand… but the ever-useful Monoskop has a copy online and supposedly Verso is reprinting it this year. Definitely one for the wish list.

Related to this, check out the Matrix Open feminist architecture archive online which includes a few texts and other resources.

Random coincidence: Apparently Pluto Press was located on Torriano Ave. in the mid-80s, the same short street in Kentish Town where I lived when I first moved to London. Looks like the Torriano is now the Rose & Crown, but it sounds like it was a relatively gentle change, as far as pub refurbishments go. Pluto Press is now up in Archway, just up the road from the old Byam Shaw School of Art building. Wonder what CSM is doing with that space now…

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Link: Cyberfeminism Index

Mindy Seu’s Cyberfeminism Index is now online. From the New Museum’s First Look:

In Seu’s telling, the term “cyberfeminism,” which came into usage in the early 1990s, “was meant as an oxymoron or provocation, a critique of the cyberbabes and fembots that stocked the sci-fi landscapes of the 1980s.” As a provocation, the term has certainly succeeded: over decades, it has brought feminisms and technologies into conflict and conversation, while the term itself has been contested, reimagined, debunked, and expanded. Cyberfeminism Index does not attempt to resolve these contradictions, but to honor the multiplicity of practices that might be gathered under this imperfect umbrella, particularly making efforts to center non-Western and nonbinary approaches.

Commissioned by Rhizome, developed by Angeline Meitzler. On larger screens, you can click the items to curate and download your own selection. Check it out.

cyberfeminismindex.com

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“Keep your eyes on the skies and your butt close to home”

Been interested in the Feminist Bird Club ever since we talked about them at an early FemOS meeting and Sophie kindly sourced some 2020 patches for a few of us. They’re not doing events right now of course, “Keep your eyes on the sky and your butts close to home”. So I signed up to the SF Bay Area chapter’s mailing list for updates. Gonna read up on some things and go for a few good walks.

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Overheard on the 73, “it’s just one of those things”

I’m not going to lie, when I get a few drinks in me… I’m a little nasty to her. But it’s just one of those things.

Overheard on 10 April 2013 while sitting on the the upper deck of the 73 bus between Euston Station and King’s Cross, headed towards Stoke Newington. Said by a middle-aged businessman with a blue tie and London accent talking on a mobile.

Seems particularly awful since obviously there is self-awareness. He just doesn’t care enough to act differently.

***

Found in one of my old notebooks that I’m slowly de-cluttering.

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1979 to 2012 on 70,000+ VHS tapes

Black and white photobooth photos of Marion Stokes

Marion Stokes recorded television news twenty-four hours a day between 1979 to 2012 on to over 70,000 VHS and Betamax tapes, planning her days around the length of a tape and storing her output in various apartments. Her collection was donated to the Internet Archive and the tapes are now being digitised so that they will eventually be available to the public online.

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project is a documentary, a portrait of Marion Stokes by filmmaker Matt Wolf. The image above is a still from the trailer. I really hope to see it at some point, maybe it will come to London. Thanks to RE for bringing this to my attention.

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“That cloud, that cloud / It looks like Ireland / C’mon and blow it a kiss now / But quick! / ‘Cause it’s changing in the big sky”

Yesterday was a Good Day ⚡️ Made a jumbled playlist with summer, optimism, a dash of rebellion, a little relaxation, and being ok with not being ok. Tracks as of 28.05.18:

  1. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads
  2. I Love Hot Nights – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
  3. Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley
  4. I’m A Lady – Santigold ft. Troubled Andrew
  5. Acid Raindrops – People Under The Stairs
  6. Blue Sky – The Allman Brothers Band
  7. Failure – Kings of Convenience
  8. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
  9. Lady Pilot – Neko Case
  10. For the Dishwasher – Grandaddy
  11. Lola – The Kinks
  12. I Love You All – The Soronprfbs ft. Micheal Fassbender
  13. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  14. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Ms. Lauryn Hill
  15. Mushaboom – Feist
  16. Circle – Shugo Tokumaru
  17. Your Arms Around Me – Jens Lekman
  18. The Big Sky – Kate Bush

EDIT 28.05.2018 at 14:37:
After making this playlist, SB suggested “The Morning of Our Lives” by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers which does indeed fit the brief perfectly. Searched for the song on Spotify and came across this playlist, which IMO is superior! And it’s longer, so 👍

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Surfing with coffee 4

Surfing with coffee #4. This is off the back of Odrathek with Musarc, includes a few things/people I’ve looked in to after that overwhelming experience. Not comprehensive, but perhaps consider this big wave surfing…

A
Célia Gondol (B↓)(C↓) Chase the vibrations; Jenny Moore (↓D) (↓E) Sang “Reclaim the night” the whole way back last night (Central line din disguises humming nicely); Neil Luck (↓F) Reliving childhood softball injury; Bartosz Glowacki with Lore Lixenberg (↓G) First time a live musical performance has made me cry; Edka Jarząb (↓H) Intoxicating voice for change; need to find the red book she read from on third day; read Warsound Warszawa; Rie Nakajima (↓I) Creator and destroyer of helpless noise creatures

B
Good Vibrations

C
Cordel Literature on Wikipedia

D
Reclaim the night, sung at Greenham Common women’s peace camp

E
Thank you internet, 8m51s in on showreel (↓J)

F
Bloody Sirens GET IT NOW!

G
Akkordeon Baroque, tickets for 23 May 2018

H
Wyjaśnienie na marginesie – Ginczanka // Explanation in the margin – Ginczanka (↓K)

I
Dead Plants and Living Objects (↓L)

J
Holly Pester

K
Zuzanna Ginczanka (↓M)

L
Pierre Berthet

M
On Centaurs (↓) Not ideal since it seems to be paginated for press…

N
Not all of me will die

And 🌈, with added 🌧! To be restaged next Saturday 19 May 2018 at the RA for RA250.