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Category Archives: Guest Posts

Yoga, Flow, and Aunt Flo: Toward a Feminist Yoga Practice (Guest Post by Margaret)

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Welcome back, Margaret, fellow professor and yoga practitioner:

I love cults, reading about them, writing about them, even joining them—how else did I become an academic? Unfortunately, fellow members of my latest cult, yoga, have a few habits that strike me as deeply sexist. Most stem from the treatment of menstruation, commonly referred to in the yoga studio as “moon time.” Using this euphemism, however grounded it may be in a mostly mythological understanding of the body, gives me that yucky am-I-living-in-a-tampon-commercial sensation that made me avoid yoga for too many years. So first of all, please don’t call it moon time.

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What else? Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my period. When was the last time a woman choked on her own menses after too many moontime headstands? I think it coincided with women losing their uteruses mid-marathon. If women can’t handle inversions while menstruating, then there would be a regular exodus of lady astronauts from the international space station. Look it up, it doesn’t happen.

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The Ember of Rage, Revisited (Guest Post by Neal)

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This post has taken me a long time to write. I “promised” it to Jennifer and Lisa over a month ago—which was at least over a month after I had initially started it.

For a long time, I was in that awkward place of, “here’s this thing I want to write about—” this thing that is very important to me. But that’s all it remained—a thing at the back of my mind.

Backtrack.

A month before graduation, I found work as a social worker (or, as I said to the myriads in shock, ‘a job in my field, thankyouverymuch’). My company works with individuals with intellectual disabilities; I quickly found my “niche” in the autism department.

The description of my job duties is intense, to say the least. My clients are all male, and between the ages of six and sixteen. My day is broken into any number of 3-4 hour sessions spent with individual clients both in their homes and in the community. Each of my clients has a “Lifestyle Plan” which is tailored to their needs, abilities, and target areas of learning. Broadly, I work on language and communication, fine and gross motor skills, and general socialization/social skills. It requires intent, creativity, and no end of energy.

In previous drafts, I have wanted to talk about many things: (A) being a gay male and the problems it can present modeling “masculinity” for my clients (this draft was called, “Do They Pee Standing Up?”); (B) being a male in general accompanying small children into the community (titled, “Is That Your Brother?”) or (C) the interactions I’ve had with other parents telling me how to do my job (called, “Thanks for the Suggestion, but I Know Why He’s Crying”).

The post that will hopefully follow is actually (D) all of the above. It also contains a bit of (E), a topic Jennifer earlier broached as “The Ember of Rage,” which is the only title I can really put on it.

Story time. Read the rest of this entry

Bropocalypse Now (Guest Post #2)

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Yesterday I saw Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This is the End, a meditation on the difficulties of balancing friendship and ambition with a lot of demons and dick jokes. I liked it, even though it resoundingly fails the Bechdel test; I don’t think a single conversation takes place between two women, full stop—forget figuring out if all they have to talk about is men.

This-is-the-End

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Can Women Be Bad Asses? (Guest Post #1)

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Lisa and I will be inviting people to do guest posts every couple of weeks because we have some amazing friends, family, and (former or current) students who have great things to add to the conversations we are trying to have on the blog. This first guest post is brought to you by Neal, a student of mine (now graduated – congratulations, Neal!), who wrote a brilliant analysis of the film Zero Dark Thirty and its contribution to the “faux-feminist heroine” model:

I have a fetish for movies with strong female leads. My Netflix account has become overrun with genre suggestions such as “Romantic Comedies with a Strong Female Lead,” “Indie Films with Independent Women,” and (my personal favorite), “Emotional Lesbian Movies.” In all these films, however, I’ve found myself wanting good feminist heroines—not watching them.

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