Ambition is demanded of us because we know mediocrity is not an option. When society tells women that if we are just averagely good-looking, or averagely smart, or reasonably high-achieving, we will never be loved and safe, perfectionism is an adaptive strategy. We learn that if we want love and security, we have to be perfect, and if it doesn’t work out, well, that means we just weren’t good enough. And we know it probably won’t work out well. Girls aren’t fools. They know what is being done to them. They know what means for their futures in terms of money and power.

Girls get it. An under-reported, crucial facet of the study is the extent and cynicism of girls’ concerns about economic equality and unpaid work. A full 65% of girls aged 11-21 are worried about the cost of childcare, and while 58% say they “would like to become a leader in their chosen profession, 46% of them worry that having children will negatively affect their career.

Girls know perfectly well that structural sexism means they can’t have everything they’re being told they must have. They are striving to have it all everyway, striving to have everything and be everything like good girls are supposed to, and it hasn’t broken them yet, for good or ill. That’s is one reason young women still do so well in school and at college despite our good grades not translating to real-world success. It’s one reason we’re so good at getting those entry-level service jobs: we are not burdened by the excess of ego, the desire to be treated like a human being first, that prevents many young men from engaging proactively with an economy that just wants self-effacing drones trained to smile till it hurts.

The press just loves to act concerned about half-naked young ladies, preferably with illustrations to facilitate the concern. Somehow nothing changes. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe part of the function of the constant stream of news about young girls hurting and hating themselves isn’t to raise awareness. Maybe part of it is designed to be reassuring.

It must be comforting, if you’re invested in the status quo, to hear that young women are punished and made miserable when they misbehave.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it: for all those knuckle-clutching articles about how girls everywhere are about to pirouette into twerking, puking, self-hating whorishness, we do not actually care about young women - not, that is, about female people who happen to be young. Instead, we care about Young Women (TM), fantasy Young Women as a semiotic skip for all our cultural anxieties. We value girls as commodities without paying them the respect that both their youth and their personhood deserves. Being fifteen is fucked up enough already without having the expectations, moral neuroses and guilty lusts of an entire culture projected onto this perfect empty shell you’re somehow supposed to be. Hollow yourself out and starve yourself down until you can swallow the shame of the world.

We care about young women as symbols, not as people.


Girl trouble: we care about young women as symbols, not as people

(via socio-logic)

"perfectionism is an adaptive strategy"

(via geardrops)

Wow. Thought provoking.

(via thisfeliciaday)

(Source: arabellesicardi, via thisfeliciaday)

This is the Den, there’s hot cocoa next to the stove.

I know, I know, it’s not much, but it’s mine, and you’re all welcome to pull up the mismatched chairs and settle in. I think this is going to be a mixed blog, like so many others, but unlike them, this will have a lot of personal anecdotes and such, and general observations. Also, probably quite a few writing ideas and random photographs of the Den itself and around town here, but I hope you’ll all enjoy it.

To start with, I’m not here doing this to just get followers; yes, it’d be nice, but it’s not a thing I desperately need. This is just for me. For me to vent, to rant, to rave…to dream, to dare, and to share. It’s a little bit a blog, a little bit a diary, and a lot of figuring out a way to tear out my old associations with this site and set up some new, healthy ones.

The old ones are with rp, like so many things now, and con-friends and former friends who turned out to be…less than good people. Or I should say, less than good friends. Still good people, just not great at the whole friendship thing. Which, to be fair, isn’t an easy task with me. I’m not exactly the best of people to be friends with, as I tend to drown out folks, even those I love, from time to time. I’m working on that.

So, I think this will be mostly writing, some photos, some introspection…a way to maybe break down the things that are wrong with me, and slowly make them right again. Maybe all the way down to the ground, because some of this is deep. I’ll probably post mostly original fiction, and plug in my fanfiction when it’s appropriate, so hopefully no one is bothered by that. If you are…well, the links are voluntary, no need to click on what you don’t like.

But there again…I’m opening this up to anyone who might need just…a place to settle. It’s a comfy place, and I always have treats available. So come on in, settle back…and let the world take you where you need to go.