Cue the Fireworks and Exploding Brains, Please

6627903160d69678267f88bc2225dab4Good afternoon, kittens! As you may have noticed, all has been quiet at Spinsters over the last few months. That’s do to a few reasons, honestly–Mae recently moved to Nebraska with her love, Kate has been absolutely swamped in her corporate day job, and I…

Well, I’ve been really happy, y’all.

Since marrying Professor McGregor last winter, life has been a charmed existence of singing bluebirds and hazy weekends of love/pie. Well, mostly. I was also finishing, then defending my dissertation, and trying to form A Grand New Life Plan. Most blog posts would have been me rambling about how cozy yoga pants are (Why can’t I just wear them always!? Why!?) and waxing poetic about Oxford commas. No one wants to read the innermost thoughts of a lovestruck, pajama-clad, academically addled newlywed. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to write any of those thoughts either. So, I waited for something else to come along. I waited for something that made me so rabidly, bone-crunchingly angry that I either had to write about it or storm out of the house on a quest to kill and maim and destroy.

Then, of course, it happened. One can only go so long without running into a troll. This troll took the guise of a kindly grandmother from California, emailing me about my sewing blog.* In the sweetest, gentlest of ways, she informed me that I was doing myself a disservice by wearing floral dresses and posing cutely for my blog. A woman with a Ph.D. needed to stop discrediting herself with all this “twee” nonsense, grow up, and start wearing pants. The feminists of the seventies did not fight for equality of industry, so that I could wear flowers, infantilize myself, and pose with pointed toes. Perhaps I didn’t understand feminism, she intimated, because surely I was doing it wrong.

So…that happened. Once I’d scraped all the brain goop off my walls, I was properly enraged. I showed the email to Professor McGregor, complete with wild gesticulations and loud scoffs of disbelief. I called Mae, read it aloud to her, and ranted for an hour about demonizing the feminine. That conversation then devolved into mutual complaints about how fucking far away Nebraska is, because AARGH BEST FRIENDS SHOULD NEVER MOVE AWAY. ALSO, FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT WAS KIND OF A PHILANDERING ASSHOLE AND WHY DO ONLY MEN HOST LATE NIGHT TV SHOWS AND I AM SO TIRED OF BABY PICTURES. MAKE THE WORLD STOP BEING AWFUL!

If you’ve been timing how long I could go on being pleasant, without flights of righteous indignation or virtual stomping about, press the stop button now. Six months is my official limit. While I am incandescently happy with Professor McGregor and the home we’ve made, my patience with society is sapped. Hello, my name is Grace. I’m a comically angry blogger and I’ve missed you. Would you like to hear my feelings on gender reveal parties and professional football? Stay tuned.  

*Explanation for the uninitiated: In the non-anonymous world, I also write a sewing blog, on which I post the aforementioned floral dresses and periodically rant about fashion. It’s neat.

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29 thoughts on “Cue the Fireworks and Exploding Brains, Please

  1. And what a magnificent way to return to the blog here!

    The label “feminist” can be such a double edged sword and why don’t people understand that being feminist doesn’t mean not being feminine!

    • I completely agree, Jaina! The two are not exclusive to each other and shouldn’t be. If we make feminine a negative thing, then we’re making “woman” a negative, as well. How could that be feminist? I will never understand such lines of thinking.

  2. Silly me. I thought feminism was (partly) about not having to dress to fit another person’s preconceived notions of my place in society. I will immediately cease wearing dresses because FEMINISM. Also, I have two kids and the idea of a gender reveal party makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Rage on!

    On a side note, please don’t ever stop making and posting your wonderful dresses, floral or otherwise. You sew lovely things and I enjoy seeing them very much.

    • You know, it’s funny, I had the exact same ideas about feminism, Sarah! I wonder where we’re getting all our misinformation? Someone is apparently spreading evil ideas about feminism meaning gender equality and the freedom to make one’s own choices and identity decisions. How terrible!

      Also, thank you so much for the dress love! I’m so glad you like them and the blog, even with the apparent twee factor. 😉

  3. Grace did you see the magnificent Emma Watson’s speech at the UN on gender inequality & feminism. Maybe you should send the kindly grandma from California this…. Ms Watson even wears a dress whilst delivering a bloody good speech!

    • I did! She was absolutely fantastic, wasn’t she? Watching the fallout from that speech, though, has been a bit horrifying. Who would have thought such a rousing, sensible speech could make so many trolls angry? That’s a sign, as if we needed one, that there’s still so much work to be done.

      Also, I am entirely too tempted to send the speech video her way! It’s a brilliant idea.

  4. OH, well then, silly me. I thought feminism included being a woman in whatever way being a woman makes sense to you! ( I like your sewing blog and It makes me feel good as a woman because I identify with your wit, your curves, and your smartiness)

    • Senjiva, I had the exact same silly thoughts! Who knew that gender equality actually meant gender equality… as long as you act like a man? Here I thought every choice a woman made about her identity and lifestyle should be respected. We were so misguided! (My eyes, they’re rolling so hard right now. I will stay a feminine feminist, despite her prodding!)

      Also, thank you so much for the kind words about my sewing blog! It means so much that you identify with what’s happening there. I love the sewing blogger community–it’s such a refreshing, lovely experience to see so many body types and styles in my reader every morning.

  5. Wow, I am right there with you on the feminism front. I’m new to this site and have read some of your previous posts on this blog but can’t for the life of me figure out what a “gender reveal” party is. My first thought was someone having a party following gender re-assignment surgery but now I think it is for an unborn baby to announce the gender of the baby. What is a “gender reveal party”.

    • Ha! You know, I really wish your initial thought was correct on gender reveal parties. That would be so much more interesting than the truth! They are, unfortunately, parties where the couple either reveal or discover the gender of their impending baby. Friends bake gender-signified cakes that people cut into, or they unwrap “pink” or “blue” onesies, etc. They are a bit awkward and completely needless.

  6. Ah, how you’ve been missed (in this form, anyhoo. I of course adore seeing all the pretty floral dresses you can churn out!). There is a little saying a friend of mine say to each other slowly when there is someone or something that has just given away to the world the limit of their intelligence. Say it with me now… People. Are. Dumb.
    The whole point of feminism is that people have the right and the means to choose what lifepath they pick. You should sent that granny an empty email with a link to the speech Emma Watson made at the UN. A little passive aggression never hurt anyone… right? haha.

    • Ha! Mel, my mother has a very similar mantra. She’s constantly telling me, “Dear, half of the population has an IQ under 100. It’s amazing they can drive, don’t expect too much more.” Which is, of course, hilariously insensitive, but always makes me feel better. People. Are. Dumb.

      Also, I’m so tempted to send the Emma Watson video her way. Gender equality doesn’t mean destroying the feminine, it simple means giving us freedom to be whomever we choose. That passive aggressive part of me may win out! 😉

    • You may have solved the mystery! I certainly like the granny panties theory better than wondering how many of the old guard feminist are uncomfortable with our new wave. Surely, we have fought so that woman could choose their identities and not be pigeonholed into one “perfect” version?

  7. Yes! You’re back! I admire your ability to go six months without needing to rage against society. I think I can make it six minutes at a time. Or six hours if 5:59 of those hours involve sleeping. Granny doesn’t get feminism.

    • S, I am just going to blame the dissertation for my lack of righteous indignation. I think my brain requires a full night’s sleep to handle all my lady rage appropriately. Now that it’s finished, I’m feeling much more up to rabble rousing!

  8. I thought that dress was adorable. I understand where that feminist was coming g from in a way because I am sick of seeing women dress like prostitutes and calling it liberated. But surely women can wear flowers and fancy shoes without being accused of selling out.

  9. Oh you feeble headed young thing. Don’t you know that feminism means being like a man?! You fool! Away with feminine fripperies like dresses and looking nice. Put on some overalls and be done with it!

  10. A few weeks back, a blogger-friend was talking about how some people in the body positive movement had subtly criticized her for wanting to start a workout regimen, as if she couldn’t possibly be happy with her plus-size body if she wanted to exercise. I don’t know where a lot of people in these movements get the idea that being a feminist/body-positive/whatever means you need to look or act in one specific way. It’s like…helloooooo, the whole idea of these movements is to embrace that there IS no one way of being a certain type of person/doing a certain type of thing.

    Anyway, cannot wait to meet you in real life in a few weeks and talk all things sewing and feminism and good food/drinks!

  11. First and foremost, I empathize with receiving an unsolicited, unfriendly email. Just received one myself today on how it’s not “its” it’s “it’s.” Sometimes people….. I wonder if they have better things to do.

    Secondly, I have nothing but unfettered absolute love for your floral frocks. Sigh.

    Thirdly, why is that so many think that “feminists” seem to entail that wearing feminine garb or evening acting feminine is not feminist? Instead we should all be behaving like men because that is how we assert our true power as women!?! Ironically interesting, that. I’ve always felt that to be feminist, we shouldn’t ever try to cover up or deny our femininity. Instead, embrace it.

  12. I’ve missed your blog so much! Welcome back!

    If it makes you feel better, Millennial Feminists (or just Millennials since egalitarianism is big with us) are all about you doing you. Wanna be President? Great. Wanna be a homemaker? Also great. Want to be one of the 100 finalists for the one-way trip to Mars? EXCELLENT! In the end, what makes you comfortable must be right. So wear those damn flowers!

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