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Monthly Archives: November 2012

When I became interested in feminism, one of the things I found hardest was that remarking on appearances is bad.

Of course, not everyone believes this, but still. It was a very novel thought and it’s still weird, to be honest.

Most people are sensible enough to not go around and insult other because of how they look. We might secretly laugh at an old lady with purple hair, but we wouldn’t ever say it to her face.

(Or most, wouldn’t, at least.)

Except for the magazines and newspapers and online forums.

“Lady Gaga’s fat!”

“What has Katie Holmes done with her hair?”

“The worst dressed at the Cannes Film festival!”

Why is that acceptable?

Remember that old proverb: “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

But compliments, nice things, they are a different matter, right?
But if I tell my friend “Oh your hair looks so nice today!” doesn’t that imply that her hair doesn’t look good? And basically, what I’m doing is passing judgement on someone else’s looks. I’m rating her.

What right do I really have to comment on how someone else looks? Don’t I value my friends for a lot of other things than how they look? In fact, that’s the least important thing in a friendship, right? But we so really give each others real compliments.

“Thank you for being such a good listener.”
“You know what, you’re great at PowerPoint presentations.”
“You write so well!”

Instead, we talk about looks, as if they were the essential thing. And it’s almost always aimed at women.
But it’s so ingrained and it’s so deeply, too. That the nicest thing you can tell a woman is that she’s beautiful.
It’s going a step beyond “everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like” and asking: “why is it important that everyone be beautiful?”

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Some Sondheim to start your week off!

While he isn’t one of my favorite composers (I’m not refined enough for that! ;)) this performance by Susan Terry is absolutely amazing and life-affirming. The movie A Little Night Music is based on, “Smiles of A Summer Night” also happens to be one of my favorites.

I read a lot.
Like, a lot, a lot.

And one of my absolute favorite genres is young adult literature.
It might seem silly. Shouldn’t I read  classics or something like that? But I adore the many excellent books in the YA sphere, and I follow quite a few wonderful bloggers/authors.

And YA lit that’s norm critical or feature a strong heroine and some darkness? Even better.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Tamora Pierce – I read her first book when I was twelve, and I’m still reading today. Historical fantasy with wonderful heroines, often struggling in a man’s profession (such as knight or police.) She’s an oldie but a goodie and just gets better for every book she writes. She isn’t afraid to put sex, violence and “real world” things in books for children/teenagers. Start with Song of the Lioness and move on to her other Tortall books.
    My favorites: Trickster’s Queen, and the Provost’s Dog series.
  • Vernoica Roth – Really young (my age, I’d guess) dystopian writer, with only two books published, but they are good. A lot of psychology and questions about nature vs nurture. Divergent is the first one, Insurgent the second.
    My favorite: Divergent
  • Lauren Oliver: Has written a very acclaimed series, starting with Delirium, about a dystopian future where love is a disease that must be cured.
    My favorite: Delirium
  • Kristen Cashore: Highly knowledgeable about YA and children’s lit. She’s written a fantasy triology about Gracelings, people born with very special skills. Katsa, the heroine in Graceling, has a gift for killing.
    My favorite: Bitterblue


These are just some of my favorites, and they’re all pretty well-known and worth a read. All these authors have blogs, which I’ve linked, just click their names. If you like books, women’s issues and writing, read them!

First of all, thanks to everybody who’ve read, retweeted or followed, and especially to the wonderful people (mostly my lovely friends) who’ve given me compliments for this blog, in person or on Facebook. It means so much to me and I hope you know it.

It’s my birthday next week, and I had some friends over for an early birthday tea today. I made apple cardamom and cinnamon cake and we talked and talked and laughed and I think most people enjoyed themselves.

Something I’ve always been fond of, and I get that from my parents, is to mix different groups of friends. Today, I had some people from high school here, some people from my new class at college and some people from my old college class. And while it may get awkward and grouped sometimes, it’s always fun (for me, I like to play God ;)) to see people bond with new people. My parents have always had parties like that, where different people get together, and it’s always been really appreciated.

Meeting across generations is also amazing. A few weeks ago, I was at a dinner with some friends, a dad and his collegegues and several other people, some my age, some in their 60s, all with different backgrounds and professions, and we had SUCH interesting conversations. I learned about Egyptology (apparently there’s a great school in Copenhagen for that), weight-lifting (how to breath and use the muscles between the ribs) and the origins of the Swedish word “rotvälska”. I loved to hear their stories, and maybe I’m vain, but I think they enjoyed it too

It really should be easier to meet across generations and groups.

As I come closer to the end of my studies and the start of my career, I have plently of opportunities to consider who I want to be.

What do I want from my future job?

Well, I can’t say that I know that right now, in fact I’m pretty sure I’d like pretty much any job, since I’m pretty flexible. But I’ve seen some things already:

It’s important to show yourself off, from your best side.

Never show any weakness.

Take every opportunity to get ahead and sell yourself.

And I’ve realized that while I want a great career, I want to be able to look back and say I’ve acted honorably all my life. That I’ve been kind. That I’ve helped people. If that means I won’t earn that extra promotion, well, I’ll just be happy with less money.

I know some people will say that you should put yourself first, because others will do the same, but alright then.

Basically, just because you’re ambitious, does that have to mean you don’t care about people?