Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Village

Usually the holidays don't slow me down, but somehow this year I had to slacken my pace, even though I love nothing better than writing about Christmas traditions.

While the Quotidian posts for December have been few and far between, never fear, there are still the Fortnightlies to peruse:

~~ Irish Village Christmas ~~
~~ Cool Girl ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony


My Miniature Village Scene (click to enlarge!)

Village Detail

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Don't Look Up My Dress!

“Los derechos de la mujer" / "The Rights of Women"
two verions, by Debora Arango
Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellin, Colombia

Last month, I had the good fortune to visit Medellin and view the dramatic, larger - than - life work of Debora Arango. Her paintings capture many harsh and conflicted aspects of religion, politics, urban poverty, and gender.

For example, the above postcards above, make the point that the women are trapped between men either tyrannizing them or looking up their dresses or both. My friend Jan concurs: "Yes -- that's my read, too! I just read your Fortnightly about Raunch Culture and watching a British 'comedy' with your sons and husband. I often find myself in the same role you found yourself. I wish more men would try harder to imagine themselves in a woman's place. Really enjoyed reading this."

I was concerned about going out on a prudish limb, but wanted to look at the troubling concepts of "Cool Girl" and "sweet - assed gal" and felt that Arango's paintings made a fitting connection. To be screamed at from above or stared at from below is not really what women want.

More about these problematic gender issues on my current post

~~ Cool Girl ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hip, Hip Hooray, for
Christmas Vacation!

"Stockings Were Hung"
I love these urban Christmas cards!
By New Yorker artist Witold Gordon (1885 – 1968)

Sorry I can't promise many posts this month . . .
because -- Hip, hip, hooray --
Christmastime is Here!

Christmas Vacation

It's that time, Christmas time is here
Everybody knows, there's not a better time of year
Hear that sleigh, Santa's on his way
Hip, hip hooray, for Christmas vacation

Gotta a ton of stuff to celebrate
Now it's getting closer, I can't wait
Gonna make this holiday as perfect as can be
Just wait and see this Christmas vacation

This old house, sure is looking good
Got ourselves the finest snowman in the neighborhood
Ain't it fun, always on the run
That's how it's done on Christmas vacation

Let's all deck the halls and light the lights
Get a toasty fire buring bright
Give St. Nick the warmest welcome that he's every had
We're so glad it Christmas vacation

And when the nights are peaceful and serene
We can cuddle up and do our Christmas dreaming


Christmas vacation
Christmas vacation

We're so glad it's Christmas vacation

Peace and joy and love are everywhere
You can feel the magic in the air
Let the spirit of the season carry us away
Hip, hip, hooray for Christmas Vacation

Fa, la, la, la, la and ho, ho, ho
Jingle, jangle, jingle as we go

~ Mavis Staples

Hip, hip, hooray for movies we love to watch every year:
Christmas Vacation & Home Alone I & II

Also by Witold Gordon: Skating at Rockefeller Center

Friday, December 2, 2016

Not There Yet

1980s Virginia Slims
April Fools Day Magazine Ad

Of course, there is the irony, unintended at the time, of equating cigarettes with liberation! I happened to think of this vintage advertisement (yes, I saved a paper copy in my Women's Studies Notebook) in conjunction with a recent discussion of both smoking and feminism, though not combined Virginia Slims - style, but as two separate topics.

Here's an excerpt (click for more):

~~ Carriker Barrel ~~

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

Concerning gender issues, you ask, "What's left? Aren't we pretty much there? What do women want / expect? What are the limitations?"

First, I worry about the role of women in a country soon to be led by a man who feels entitled to leer sexually, even at his own daughters. Despite all the men in America and in my family who love and respect the women in their lives, the acceptance of such lascivious public discourse defies belief and damages the position of all women. Until this kind of callous objectification is eliminated, we are not "there" yet.

Second, we are not "there" yet, as long as I can still attend a formal event and hear a speaker (male) begin his keynote address with a tired old sexist cliche --
“A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough
to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

-- that relies solely on the assumption that women are for gawking at. I don't care if it is attributed to Winston Churchill, it is not funny; it's embarrassing. And I'm not talking decades ago at a bachelor party but recently at a holiday dinner on a university campus, where half of the guests were women.

This kind of so - called humor gives women in the audience three choices:
1. be one of the guys, guffaw guffaw

2. assume that you too are a sex object, valued for your legs, for your skirt, and for being stared at

3. know that you are in a some other sub - category of women who are no longer -- or have never been -- considered sexually desirable -- so no worries, right?
For any self - respecting woman in the audience these are three equally uncomfortable and insulting options.

Third, religion, has a long way to go before it is part of the solution rather than part of the problem. My son Ben has predicted the demise of religion (see below), but lets say that it stays around, then one of my required targets for gender equity would be to see the Catholic Church relinquish its opposition to female priests. I rank this as important whether or not I'm a Catholic because the Catholic Church has over a billion adherents worldwide and a great sphere of influence. Why not use that massive influence in the interest of including women rather than excluding?

Here's Jimmy Carter's opinion on how the role of women in the church informs their role in society at large:

Thank you President Jimmy Carter!
Jimmy Carter: "At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities. . . .
The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."

Take Back the Day!
Remember the Take Back the Night rallies and marches
and candlelight vigils that began back in the 70s?
As I've mentioned elsewhere & many times before,
Take Back the Night is a noble sentiment . . .
but first things first! Let's begin by making
it safe to walk around in broad daylight!