Letters to Ms.

esquirehandbookforhosts_women

 

“I finally got up the courage to challenge an old established male tradition in my office. I do telephone sales. Our working area in the office has always been covered with “girlie” pictures and photographs of devastating (and devastated) maidens. This made us few women in the office feel terribly uncomfortable.

When the majority of the male staff was out to lunch, we proceeded to rape the latest issue of Playgirl of its best. Over my desk now hangs one gorgeous specimen of the male species, the centerfold. Everywhere there was a girlie picture there are now beautiful stud photographs.

I think the reactions of the men in the office could best be summarized in terms of shock. Although everyone tried to be good humored about it, jokingly or otherwise, they all compared themselves in some way to the models. It was a marvelous experience to see super-duper macho stud types go all to pieces when confronted with the same thing we have had to face for years — images of ourselves as we could never hope to be, images of ourselves as seen only in the minds of men.”

Name Withheld
October 13, 1975

More power from the embattled gender – Letters to Ms.

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Summer Reading

  

It’s been a good two years since I’ve truly felt inspired. Is that bad? I’m supposed to be creative, should I have been inspired by the things around me? Or maybe I simply didn’t surround myself with inspiring things. Inspiration is tricky like that, who knows where it comes from or why we feel it; but when it hits us it’s the best feeling in the world. Other than hanging out a sunroof while in a fast-moving car with a bottle of whiskey in hand.

Anyways, lately I’ve felt inspired in every single fibre of my body. Creatively, career-wise, thought-wise, attitude-wise, and life-wise.  I’ve been inspired to grown up, budget, save for a house, and I’ve been inspired to try all sorts of new things like yoga. Inspiration isn’t always new though, it comes in the form of being inspired by things you lost the inspiration for. Last weekend, I returned to watercolours and found I had much better control of the paint and overall, more skill.

Most recently my inspiration has come in the form of reading. Honestly, I haven’t read in way too long. I just haven’t been in the right mindset to pay attention to someone else’s plot. My life has been foggy lately. But now that I’m clear headed, I headed out to the library to get a library card and stock up on summer books. The best part is, I have only a vague idea that all three books are emotional and dark. I’m feeling the opposite of dark, finally – but I’m hoping to find some parallels between these books and by previous darkness so I can squeeze out some inspiration.

A Little Bit of Whitman

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it, and the moss hung down from the branches;
Without any companion it grew there, uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself;
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves, standing alone there, without its friend, its lover near–for I knew I could not;
And broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away–and I have placed it in sight in my room;
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than them:)
Yet it remains to me a curious token–it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana, solitary, in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life, without a friend, a lover, near,
I know very well I could not.
– Walt Whitman