Some thoughts: heat, books, knowledge, anger, frustration & defeat

The heat wave mentioned in my last post is in full force. Temps around 90 seem to be the new norm here in (typically) moderate western Washington USA. No end is in sight as the extended forecast charts the temps to continue at mid 80’s level or above into the foreseeable future. This makes me grumpy.

Also, from past posts, I reviewed Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks recently, mentioning that she was originally a journalist who moved on to fiction writing.

**I do not feel in any way inclined to link back to these earlier posts so if you wish to review you’re own your own. I told you I was grumpy.

So impressed was I with her work that I quickly sought out her fiction and found all four of her novels, used and at relatively low price,  from Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon. I will link this site as Powell’s (if you don’t know it) is a gift to readers of any genre. Their inventory is amazing. If you ever find yourself in Portland Oregon and you have even the slightest interest in books GO THERE.  You will not be disappointed, however I would plan on at least a half day for uninterrupted browsing, more if you are truly a bibliophile.

The arrival of these books is proving to be slow. Powell’s can be slightly slow out of the gate when ordering online, something I’ve noted from prior purchases. Perhaps it simply takes them extra time to locate books from their floor to ceiling, entire city block inventory. In this case, as I am a mere 2 1/2 hour drive from this store, I am mildly kicking myself for not simply driving there. I do however find a minor thrill in receiving packages and, even with an air-conditioned car, have no real desire to swelter when not inside said car, so I wait with the hope that the package arrives tomorrow.

I am anxious because: the review of her latest novel is notable, and nothing else on my shelf seems to peak my interest right now. This second reason is located within a truly downtrodden set of mixed emotions regarding my place in the feminist scheme of things.

You all know by now that I spent two years with a decided focus on women (their marginalized, oppressed, and unequal status) as I worked through a Sociology degree. You also may know that I continue to be driven by issues that detail this social crisis focused on half of our population. To keep current I follow (regularly) a few national organizations devoted to women’s issues: NOW and The Feminist Majority. Facebook has also led me to numerous, smaller feminist organizations, e-zines, and such, some of which are better than others.

I admit that I found myself a bit overwhelmed with the numbers of such sites that were showing up in my news feed. The renewed affirmations that women are (mostly) still not worth squat in our society, gained from coursework and research in WGS and feminism during my degree, are (were) slapping me in the face constantly while I am online. The moderate amount of renewed knowledge, along with current status on this topic is important, don’t get me wrong. We (feminist women) need to speak on these issues, need to explore solutions, need to demand that change occurs.

Yet, when I pull out a book from my summer reading shelf that details feminist history, and read of activists (hysterical females) from the 1700’s, (Mary Wollstonecraft), and 1800’s, (Stanton, Anthony, Sanger, Gilman…), or add to that the references by Simone de Beauvoir of women such as 15th century author Christine de Pisan (Pizan), or 16th century feminist Modesta di Pozzo di Forzi, who were speaking out for and fighting against the very same things that feminists today are focused on and fighting for, it is obvious that oppression is alive and well and it can be labeled as woman. 

What that realization does is make me angry and frustrated and I want all of this to stop. It also makes me feel a strong aversion to reading of any more current women’s issues. I don’t want to hear any more news that highlights just how much things (life and liberty) have not changed for women in society, or how we seem to be taking greater steps backward, such as the right to control choices surrounding our bodies.

I don’t like this world. I don’t know when or if it will get better. I am angry, like all those women before me were angry and I’m tired of being told to settle for minuscule gains, or that women have come a long way.

No, we have not come a long way. We are still controlled by societies created and endowed by men to recognize the importance of a penis over all else.

I am also tired of being angry with each new days plethora of articles and insight focused on women’s issues. I feel defeated.  My ability to anticipate positive change is nil. I am jaded, and so I have removed the connections to feminist issues for now, for a needed break.



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