The other day, Arianna Huffington spoke at a luncheon here in Chicago and said, when it comes to giving women equal rights, there is no 'other side.' We believe women should be paid fairly for the labor we provide, or we believe women should be shafted in perpetuity because we have lady parts.
One of my favorite characters on my favorite show once said that she didn't support the ERA because she always thought that the Constitution guaranteed her equal rights, and how offensive to think she needed special legislation. That sure sounds all well and good, but as plenty of documentation shows, current and past interpretations of ye olde document sure as hell aren't doing a very good job of protecting our equal rights, so maybe we best just tie up that loose end, eh?
Wrapped up The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency today, to which I have to say mostly, eh. It was entertaining enough, and certainly easy enough to breeze through in a few days. And I think were it marketed as a young adult novel (I don't believe it was, but could be wrong) I would have been fine with it. But as it wasn't, entire sections definitely felt clunky and heavy-handed. The characters are the best part, and it is, as advertised, a love letter to a country. But I can't say that I'll be picking up any of the subsequent volumes.
Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, by Cory Doctorow. Apparently if you're a reader of boingboing.com (of which Doctorow is a cofounder) then you were already all aware of this guy, but he's news to me. I can't even remember how Overclocked ended up in my amazon wishlist in the first place, but if I had to guess, it was mentioned in Mother Jones. Anyway, it's a collection of short stories, and I'm only one story (about 1.5 pages) in, but the second one is titled "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth," which just makes me smile. So far, so good.
Going out and being old
Can't remember if I complained about this here (though I probably did, as I complained about this repeatedly to anyone who would stand still long enough to hear) but one of my best friends moved away this morning, and his going away party was last night. At this dive bar in buckhead that I hate, because it's a pain in the ass to get to and a pain in the ass to park near and is full of handsy, drunken frat boys (with a healthy dose of bachelorette parties showing off their amateur pole dancing skills). Plus, the party was themed. Ordinarily, I love a theme party, but this one was offensive*. I was bitter and cranky about the whole thing pretty much from the start. But I was trying to get geared up about it because I knew that it would be my last chance to see my friend and that his feelings would be really hurt if I didn't attend.
And at the end of the day, I'm really glad that I went. I actually had a pretty good time, actually managed several minutes of quality time with my friend (despite the deafening volume of the club), and a pretty decent goodbye.
But I had forgotten how gross it is to go out, especially to places where you're still allowed to smoke. Stepping into the shower this morning I hadn't missed that ashtray smell that comes out of your hair when the steam hits you, and I was more than a little glad to wash everyone else's sweat off my body. Now, I like to dance, and a few times a year I get all excited about a big night out consensually rubbing up against strangers**. So maybe I just wasn't in the right mindset last night, but the first time we set foot on the dance floor, it suddenly became clear just how absurd these places are. How all the men act perfectly entitled to stare and touch. Which reminds me of Jessica's lovely "Fuck you public perverts" (originally from Holla Back NYC, here via I Blame the Patriarchy). The best part is the conclusion - "I know it's a controversial idea, but women do in fact have the right to exist in public places without fear. It's our world too."
*the theme was the ever-popular pimps and hoes. I inappropriately suggested attending 'off-duty' in jeans, t-shirt, and fake bruises. **though really I prefer gay clubs or places like Thursdays in Akron (or at least, what it used to be like 6 years ago when a friend DJ-ed there) or the Star Bar in my neighborhood - less beautiful people, more freaks and geeks who like music and moving.