Be afraid of the lame
They'll inherit your legs
Be afraid of the old
They'll inherit your souls
Be afraid of the cold
They'll inherit your blood
Apres moi, le deluge
After me comes the flood
I must go on standing
You can't break that which isn't yours
I, oh, must go on standing
I'm not my own, it's not my choice
(soundtrack to the book. . .)
* * *
I was ranting to Jacob at the restaurant yesterday:
"I stayed up for an extra two hours after work to finish reading The Handmaid's Tale. I read it before, a long time ago, and didn't begin to understand.
Now I find it real, horrifying. Compelling."
I don't know why feminism feels so central to me. For all the substantial violence I've been subjected to in my life, there's little I can point to as concrete evidence of oppressive widespread patriarchy that doesn't come off as paranoiac whining.
Paper-thin parodies of liberatory thought that find their way into the popular consciousness don't scratch the surface of the problem that concerns me, personally, the most; I want to be taken seriously. Women are taken seriously at some things, a few things, but the largest parts of me are most interested in being in the places where we aren't taken seriously--continental philosophy, hardcore non-humanities scholarship, violence, emotion.
I want to be taken seriously without giving up fun.
And I want my priorities to be taken seriously, even when they don't match up with the patriarchal ideal--stay at home mothers, for instance, are not a solution to the complexities of adequate childrearing in an egalitarian society--and yet these complexities deserve to be understood, dealt with, respected, maybe even solved. Wanting to be safe, but not patronized by a "protector" (who himself is free to subject you to whatever he likes; see: God) is not "trying to have it both ways."
Still, I feel that I must be exaggerating; it can't be that bad.
The waitress came back with the receipt and returned my debit card to him.
Things are not done.