The Subaru is nearly loaded up and ready for me and Mother to hit the road in the morning. We have something like a 1,600 mile drive ahead of us. I've been glad of the peace and quiet here at my parents' house in suburban Houston because I had sort of a mini-meltdown last week. All that commentary about Stubenville finally got to me, and I got so fed up with patriarchal bullshit that I removed myself from almost all my facebook groups even though these facebook groups were small and filled with people I considered smart and well informed. The trouble, as I see it, is that men occasionally say the dumbest, most patriarchal things without even realizing they've been inadvertently dumb and patriarchal. It wouldn't be so bad if they checked themselves and said, "Ooops, sorry." I have to do that sometimes myself because in reality I'm often a bit of a snob - particularly when it comes to determining if a man is marriage material. Some might say snobby and mercenary.
Guilty as charged.
But the thing is that I have enough sense to keep that side of myself under wraps unless I'm with my very best girlfriends. Too frequently, when a woman challenges something a man says because it's patriarchal bullshit - she's told to lighten up, get a sense of humor - whatever. Generally, I can handle these sort of conversations, but all the emphasis on rape culture lately made me touchy. It started with Seth MacFarlane and the boobs song at the Oscars and went into hyperdrive with Stubenville - but adding the alarming news coming out of India at the same time, about the Swiss tourist (Al Jazeera, 03.17.2013), and about the girl who jumped out her hotel window to avoid a rapist (Washington Post, 03.19.20130) - well, I had had enough of men pontificating on rape as if they knew more about it than I did.
I was well aware that my own abuse issues were activated by all the talk of rape, but I had forgotten that seventeen years ago on March 17, I was locked up in the looney bin for suicidal tendencies. Actually, I consider it a small victory that I had forgotten about the "anniversary" since for years and years, it was kind of a defining moment in my life. I'm pretty sure I was more agitated than I might have been otherwise because the Four Winds experience was in the back of my mind.
So it's been nice to have a little retreat here at my parents' house, and I have fully benefitted from turning my attention away from current events. I'll be interested to see what the Supreme Court has to say about Marriage Equality, but I really don't need any additional information about how fucked up the world is generally. I think I'm going to get an audio version of Marianne Williamson's A Return to Love and make mother listen to it while we're driving. I may get something by P. G. Wodehouse.
Or maybe Edith Warton
Or maybe Robertson Davies
Then again, Mother would certainly benefit from Daniel Quinn:
We'll see what turns up at the used book store tonight.