July 19th, 2009


What?! No!!!!

I've read about the place that *of course* the Triple J listeners voted for all male artists, look at their demographic (assuming that it's white men between say 16 and 25 or 30), as though that explains it and that that means it's not therefore a sexist outcome.

I just read cassiphone's post discussing this article on whether boys need more books written about boys for them to read.

The article has this great quote:
I get where you're coming from. But the problem isn't the books, it's the way we're raising our boys. If they aren't willing to read about girls, and if we're indulging that sort of nonsense, then we are raising boys who will have a hard time functioning in a world where girls play serious roles. In other words, the real world.

And cassiphone sums it up both for that and for the music issue: Gee, you mean people's TASTE can be affected by prejudice? Really?


To Do List

I think the only thing to counter my lethargy today is to post my to do list and cross off as I go

  1. Read the new reworked chapts of RWE
  2. Sign off on the cover of BoE!
  3. Sort the proofings for BoE
  4. Sort the layout of the BoE inside cover
  5. Write editorial thanksyous for BoE
  6. Send author ack to layout
  7. Catch up on slush - shiny, sprawl, novella
  8. Get emails down to 40
  9. Sort wardrobe
  10. Clean out fridge
  11. Post FAM Day 6
  12. Tidy Study
  13. Make progress on sorting TPP finance spreadsheets


Female Appreciation Month Day 6

After yesterday's absorption into the work of Janis Joplin, my spirit was a bit fragile and I didn't know who to follow with today. And then, I realised that the answer was obvious: The Queen of Soul.

Two of the all time greatest songs ever are two favourites of mine - like Aretha Franklin's voice, they are strong, deep, filled with passion, empowering and uplifting. In 2008, Rolling Stone Magazine listed her as #1 on their list of The Greatest Singers of All Time. She has won 20 Grammys and has had 20 #1 hits on the Billboard R&B Singles Charts. And since 1961, has had 45 Top 40 Hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. She was the first woman to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987.

Natural Woman, here performed in 1968:

and of course, Respect:

She initially was working towards a career in gospel music which was derailed due to her becoming a teenage mother at 13, and again at 15. Though offered a contract by Motown, she took a deal with Columbia Records instead in 1960, where she had a few appearances in the charts with some jazz songs but then moved to Atlantic Records in 1966 and sung more bluesy numbers. Her first song there was I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and was her breakthrough song. Respect soon following which hit #1 on both the R&B and the Pop charts and sat there for a record 2 months. In the next ten months, Franklin released a number of top ten hits including "Baby I Love You", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Chain of Fools".

Franklin's voice has become a permanent number on the soundtrack of our lives. More movies than I can count include a Franklin hit for critical turning points to do with love or self empowerment. We associate her voice with light, love and hope - I Say A Little Prayer.

Aretha Franklin singing America My Country tis of Thee at Obama's inauguration:

She is still recording new music. In 1998 she had success with an album produced by Lauryn Hill - A Rose is Still a Rose and in 2007 released a duets album with some mighty fine voices that I think I need to go get myself - Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen.

In summary, Aretha Franklin is an awesome feminist who shines the way. Thank you for your music! Thank you for standing as an example that women can overcome to shine and for showing that power and strength and boldness are beautiful and admirable qualities in women. Thank you for your example!

(Also we share the same middle name. I'm gonan dislike it slightly less now and wear it that much more proudly)


can you feel it in the air tonight?

I've had an odd kind of evening to be honest.

There was the exhilaration of seeing the final version of the cover of A Book of Endings.

There was an extension of assistance by someone whom I greatly admire in the scene. A show of support that I am unbelievably touched by.

jbaby77 dropped past with the copy of that book I was moaning about a few weeks ago. She kindly picked it up for me. And ... well it really is worth the coverprice, it's a great thick chunk of a hardback. $84 is a good deal for it.

But the really extra special thing, apart from the fact that she picked it up for me and has been trying to drop it off to me all weekend, was when she arrived at my house, at about 7pm, she called my homeline to tell me so I wouldn't get a fright when she knocked on my door. I think that is just so considerate.

Also, my lovely sister totally understood why I couldn't make it to the luncheon she was throwing today, after the stress etc of this week. And my lovely cousin checked in with me to see how the tests went.

I feel very special today.

Less special is the realisation that Benji has been superclingy, as in sitting on me in some way all day, because of the impending storm. Which just hit. And has been loud and showstopping. Hope he settles down soon.

And I am working from home tomorrow. Yay.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

I haven't commented on the congressional interrogation that has been going on to decide whether Judge Sotomayor is gonna be allowed to join the Supreme Court.

Mostly I haven't cause what with the rest of what was going on last week, I think paying too much attention might just have caused my feminist head to explode. I mean, starting out by stating that she could almost not blow it and then ploughing into her the way they did was kinda insulting enough to start with. Cause what was the point except to make some kind of example or statement?

And then the idea, THE GALL!, that those old white men could sit there and tell HER that HER experiences made her biased in her judgements and totally didn't see the utter ridiculous logic that perhaps therefore so did theirs, just kinda incensed me into numbness. I still don't understand how being able to relate to and understand the people who come before you in court, especially as The Other, because really don't criminals relate to being The Other?, is a bad thing?

Seriously? Are the ideas of compassion and empathy truly abhorrent to these old, white men?

Anyway, Justine Larbalestier has a good post about it and includes an awesome piece by Stephen Colbert that about covers it - "everything that happened in Sonia Sotomayor's life needs to be invisible".

But I will admit, I'm excited and anxiously awaiting her appointment to the Supreme Court. You know, when those men get the hell over themselves. Because I always thought that judges should be kind, reasonable, understanding, wise people who never get rattled and smile benevolently before explaining the situation with logic and patience. And that's what she's done! She's someone I look up to as a fine example of a human being. And isn't that what the world so desperately needs, right now.