Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Talk About the Word Vagina

So you know those people that like to say something just to get people's attention? Sometimes they do it in a really cool way and sometimes they do it in a really annoying way. I work for a woman that does it in a cool way. In a, I just said something kinda messed up but it's something that you might say/just said so why is that, kinda way.

She casually used the word "pussy" in class the other day. It didn't even phase me. It was whatever; we were talking about virginity double-standards in Southeast Asia. She's a sex-positive feminist sociologist, what did you expect.

But half the class freaked out. And then we digressed into a conversation about the etymology of the word "vagina." To which I said it means "sheath," to which the class was aghast, to which I had to Wikipedia it to prove that, in fact, "vagina" comes from the Latin "literally 'sheath' or 'scabbard'."

Look I know I'm not the first person to mention how fucked up that is, but seriously, that's so fucked up. Its not even the comparison of vaginas and scabbards that bothers me so much, but the implied correlating comparison between penises and swords (though, apparently, technically the word "penis" comes from the Latin for "tail").

Regardless, penises are not violent tools of pain and overpowering those who are less well trained, prepared, and informed.

What a disturbing metaphor. Maybe we need a new word, not that I particularly like "pussy," but mostly because I have an aversion to cats. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Perfect Storm

It is an intriguing talent of the cosmos to always make everything happen at the same time, even when it seems like it shouldn't. I was very pleased with my schedule this year after syllabus week because my classes all managed to have pleasantly spread-out schedules as far as work load. A paper at the beginning of November, mid November, late November, early December, much better than last semester when I frequently had two or three ten-page papers due within hours.

As per usual, however, the universe is an expert at conspiring against everyone and I'm in for two papers, a presentation, a panel, an interview, two extra shifts, one extra staff meeting, two swim meets, two quizzes, a discussion, and an RA application in the next few days. And an optional stress management session for my floor. And today, it rained, and we all know how I feel about that. Well played, universe, well played. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reevaluating MBTI

My dad's side of the family gets together every two years for a week-long reunion. I think they're crazy, but it gave me a good way to make time and my development growing up. I can remember myself at each reunion and it gives me a plot point for who I was at different moments in my life. I

t helped that my aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents had extensive rituals for systematizing all of that information, from lists of all of our clothing sizes and interests, scrapbook pages, measurements (height and weight), and to a bi-yearly reevaluation of where we stood on the Myers-Briggs test.

ENTJ. I have always tested an ENTJ. Always. Like, massively, dramatically, unquestionably ENTJ. Extroverted, intuitive, thinking, judging.

Last August, Ben and I started dating. Two weeks after that, I took the MBTI for work. I was an ENTJ, barely. I was almost an INTJ. An E to and I. An E, the part of that status I have always held most dear, taken the most pride in. There were only ever two Es at family reunions, my mother and I, the odd-balls of the group for sure. That E that put off my family for so many years started to retreat.

I'm not sure why I've always been so attached to that extrovert status. Maybe because I never really was and I was trying to grab at something I thought I could be because I kept testing that way.

When I took the test last summer someone pointed out that the introvert/extrovert dilemma isn't about how you usually spend your time, it's about where you draw your energy. Maybe that misconception is why I always tested an E; I have always tried to be busy, spending lots of time with friends and getting involved in my community.

But where do I draw energy? Increasingly over the last two years my energy comes from being alone (or virtually alone, because in many ways I consider being with Ben, being alone). The moments I am sitting in a dark room, writing a terribly self-assessing blog posts, are the moments I live for.

Perhaps as my life gets busier in terms of school and carer planning, it is nice to be calm and safe and quiet and alone.

And I think, increasingly, I like that. 

Shutdown Schmutdown

What the hell does a government shut down even mean really? The zoo animals are still getting fed, wars are still being fought, and congress is still having a crisis.

I live in the capitol city and I'd just like to put out there that not a who lot has changed.

I am NOT saying that that isn't a problem. I'm saying that's a horrible reflection on what our government gets done on a normal, non-shutdown day. In case you were unclear, it's very little. That's a lie, a lot of paperwork gets done and a lot of other bureaucratic mumbo-gumbo, but in our daily lives, little of what the federal government fights about trickles down to us.

This isn't an argument about the size of government, either; I don't much care how big or small it is as a general figure. It is an argument about effectiveness. We are doing less than the Do Nothing Congress, and for that, we should feel terrible about ourselves' utterly ashamed that we can't shut up about whether we are conservative or liberal and get some shit done, like, oh, maybe not defaulting on our debt and tanking the American economy.