Thursday, December 2, 2021

Another chipped tooth


Thick, twisted trunks of time

Tuneful, timeless tweets

Narrow-hipped cyclist competes

Confidence careless against

Well-wheeled, broader-hipped cars

Greenred hedges clipped

So thick and slick

You want to take a bite

Out; to leave your mark

On the narrow-hipped, clipped idyll

But you don’t. You can’t afford

Another chipped tooth

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Pink hair does not a woman make

Human females have a constitutional (disease-resistance) advantage over human males, an advantage that the Covid pandemic is appearing to prove , especially in older people but the advantage exists at all stages of life; while men have a structural strength advantage over women, an advantage that transwomen in female sports are consistently and increasingly showing up to everyone's ultimate cost. 

These differences are not political, they're poetical, if anything. We should each be playing to such strengths not denying and trying to battle them, as trans activism is increasingly doing. Mother Nature knew what she was doing in creating these strength differences that should ultimately be complimentary not combative. 

Sex 'transition' by all means, as far as you can, if you want to live the outward life of a person of the sex other than that of your birth sex (for 99.99% of humans at least), but accept that you will never be able to reproduce like a person of the other sex or to run or even walk or indeed to battle diseases, and many more things besides, like a person of the other sex. 

So don't expect to be a person of the other sex. It's never going to happen. And in reality, if it were possible, none of us would want it to be the case, as much of the charm and challenge of human interaction lies in these differences - and in the similarities - when interacting with people of the other/same birth-sex as our own. Vive la difference. 

Women and men are not meant to compete with each other in physical strength and endurance tests, only in intellectual and creative ones, the much more meaningful tests of our individual strengths and abilities anyway, tests for which we can appear however we choose to appear in body size, shape, dress and gender identity, without it affecting our chances, in fair intellectual and creative tests at least. 

Mother Nature knew what she was doing in creating our different strengths. We should listen to the Mother.

Pink hair does not a woman make, rather a spoil sport. Man up, 'Rachel'. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

'Telling the [trans] truth is more important than being nice'

I used to think I was good at puzzles, being able to put the right pieces together in the right way at speed, but the issues arising in recent debates around trans rights and what it is to be a woman specifically that involve far more than 1,000 pieces, have tested the puzzler in me in new and disorienting ways, such that I don't know if I can claim to be 'good at' putting things together to make a coherent picture, fast or slow, anymore... 

Then a couple of mornings ago on Twitter one of my preferred commentators on the subject, Dr H Brunskell-Evans, a respected and trained social-political philosopher, posted this article from The Spectator that made me think that maybe I, who agreed entirely with its puzzling (analysis), have not lost my puzzling mojo altogether. The article challenged the BBC's reportage of 'a woman' found to have more than 80,000 images of child porn, including rape, on 'her' computer, when 'she' in fact had a man's body and had only 'identified' as a woman for a year. But the BBC saw fit not to mention these  details. 

I posted the article with this quote about truth being more important than being nice on Facebook and got only one 'like' other than my husband's. That's not particularly nice. And the truth, I suspect, is that my FB people are afraid of telling or endorsing the trans truth, namely that when we let men call themselves women and force authorities to do the same, all sorts of abuses of girls' and women's safety and freedom are likely to occur. 

The article also says that the police are yet to decide whether  thos paedophile should be sent to a female or a male prison. Really? Perhaps if he goes to a women's prison the women there can do his gender 'reassignment' surgery for him on the cheap, saving money on anaesthetic.

Then a couple of days ago, I read the article that includes the above image  raising concern about the increasing 'corporate colonisation of human sex' and the growing commercial industry around body mutilation, especially the double mastectomies performed on the perfectly healthy young breasts of women and girls who have questions about their gender and will be susceptible to persuasion by ads such as this, as all young and confused people are susceptible.  

The article claims, with good evidence, that the number of young women identifying as men has 'soared' in recent years in western cultures, with many choosing this drastic route of having elective breast amputations as well as skin grafts to create fake penises at a young age, and that the whole thing is being capitalised upon by the multi-billion dollar beauty and fashion industries and being sold to kids as trendy, while the media and Hollywood promote it as 'progressive.'

Call me old-fashion or much worse, as many have called Brunskell-Evans, but I think we have taken a wrong turn when we are celebrating people, probably men, making money off of young women cutting their boobs off, as well as letting men pass as women to better hide their paedophilic impulses and urges, and for better access to young women and girls in bathrooms and other public places, and we have done this and much more in the name of being 'nice' to gender confused people, we are the confused ones. And we are not nice. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Horizontal therapy

Flowers to celebrate a rare, somewhat spontaneous sexual encounter with my husband of 5000 thousand years last night -- that's the marriage of 5000 thousand years not him, though he could be younger..., as could I...
This is NOT us having sex

I've been meaning to bring in the new season pink-white camellias, but it took a little horizontal therapy for me to finally do it...

I reckon sex brings out the 'femininity' of a person of the female disposition, just as it affirms the 'masculinity' of a person of the male disposition, at least good sex does, bad sex is something else entirely. It probably brings out the worst in people; the worst of man, the worst of woman. I'm lucky I don't  much about it personally.

But at this point in time (30+ years married) we both need a bit of preparation ('warning'), though not always, and not last night. It's so much better without warning! Hence the celebratory flowers. They're the coda... and the entree...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Killing Comedy

'Ding-dong the witch is dead, the wicked old witch is dead...'

... is a celebratory song lyric written by a couple of musical men in the 1930s for one of the most popular films of all times, The Wizard of Oz. And for fans of this song, film and character – the Wicked Witch of the West, whose death they so joyously celebrate, a character widely voted ‘the best witch’ and female villain of all time – you will be pleased to hear that they have been resurrected recently by a bar in central Auckland called Ding Dong Lounge that hosts a regular Thursday night open-mic comedy gig known as Dead Witch Comedy. The witch may be dead – ding dong – but she lives on every Thursday night in Auckland.

As it happens I do a bit of stand-up comedy and performed fairly regularly at this open-mic venue last year, but that was before it was renamed for 2020 as Dead Witch Comedy. Then it was more innocently known as Comedy at Ding Dong, and on those occasions, standing up under a green light, with my big nose and pointy chin (and mic stand for broomstick when needed), I was probably the closest thing to a witch in body if not name, living or dead, on the premises. Probably; one never knows for sure with witches. But I was certainly the only woman over 40, the minimum age for witches ‘real’ and fictional in these line-ups that were routinely young-male heavy.

But with the re-naming to Dead Witch Comedy to bring in the new year and decade, along with a new logo depicting a young naked woman on a broomstick in rear view, I decided I was not comfortable performing there anymore and got in touch with the man who runs the gig, telling him that I would not return while this new name and logo were in place and requesting that they be removed. He replied that he had no control over the changes but defended the naked woman logo by telling me it was taken from a 1910 painting. Oh, so it’s art. That’s alright then. 

Except by my reckoning it is not alright. Art has come a long way since 1910, but it needs to come further still. And so I have not been back to do my funny dance under the green light at Ding Dong since these changes – their loss. Only it’s my loss too of course because comics need as much broom time as we can get.

The NZ Comedy Trust and Guild have just received a chunk of money from Creative New Zealand, some for Covid relief and the rest, they say, for working to make our comedy industry more diverse. But the Guild has regularly advertised this open-mic gig on its Facebook page, as has the Auckland Comedy Community online group, a gig in name and logo that brazenly panders to the juvenile and sexist sensibilities of some straight men, especially young straight men, the dominant comedy demographic by far, while sexualising young and demonising older women, the most underrepresented demographic in comedy by some measure. And sure enough the line-ups for these DWC gigs that comics volunteer to take part in continue to see far more men than women signing up, with the average line-up being 10 to 2 men to women, as well as a male MC. 

And these numbers are repeated across the vast majority of comedy line-ups for rookie and paid pro gigs in Auckland and beyond, because the problem of male bias in comedy is of course not only at Ding Dong. They’re just the most brazen and, you could say, honest about it. But the problem is global and in my observation increasing, not decreasing, as it should be with more women every year trying to break into the industry and ‘killing it’ on the comedy stage when they are given the opportunity.  

It does not help that our physical safety is at risk in this industry, as recent, and not so recent, sexual-harassment and abuse complaints by women comics here and in the Irish comedy communities attest to, as does the tragic 2018 rape and murder of a young Melbourne comic on her way home from a gig and the penis graffiti mocking her violent death that was drawn at the site afterwards by an established male member of the Australian comedy community. This is already more than enough to put women off turning up to perform at open-mics and other comedy gigs, without us having to do so in the name of dead witches and naked women on broomsticks.

I would like to end on a joke but I am a little out of practice. Also, I don’t feel exactly amused by this situation, not least because I have already had a previous complaint about it publicly mocked and shut down by men and women in the NZ comedy community. But if we are serious about making the industry more diverse and spending public money wisely and fairly, my two cents worth (I’m not making a lot of money here) is that we need to take active measures to ensure we have more inclusive and less abusive ways to ‘kill’ on the comedy stage than with bare bums  and broomsticks.  Ding dong. 

Published in 'Scoop' magazine today here:

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mall withdrawal

So... it's June already and I've only blogged once this year, way back in Feb, before Covid (BC), at least before the globalisation of this worst pandemic since anyone living can remember, even my mother, who is 96 . Admittedly, she doesn't remember much (except for my loooooooooong list of crimes, of course).

Apologies to anyone out there who might have missed me, I have been neglecting you a long time now and cannot blame any virus for that. So I would not blame you in the least if you have long since given up on me and moved on. Indeed we have all 'moved on' since those deceptively innocent times in Feb, some, tragically, not of their own volition. And so no one can blame anyone - well except HIM (and him, and...) for anything.

As I write, the Covid death toll has topped 400,000 and the number of cases this morning reached a staggering 7 million across more than 200 countries, which is most of them, though a handful of countries are now - for now - Covid free, including NZ almost (we have 1 active case), numbers that just a short time ago no one would have imagined possible, except of course for the many experts who predicted the very thing and told us to STOP LIVE ANIMAL MARKETS and various other precautions in an attempt to prevent such an outbreak, but we did not listen. Instead, we went shopping, in our various live animal markets...

Until we didn't.

And you know something has changed at the heart of the capitalist world when the malls are closed for business for whole weeks and months, as they were here for 2 months and are still elsewhere closed, a totally unprecedented occurrence. Oddly, though we thought we couldn't live without malls, it turned out that we (the lucky ones at least) could and did - everywhere except Sweden that is - and survived, with a little or a lot more cash in our pockets and fresh air in our lungs.

They reopened their many doors here on May 15 but we only capitulated to their bright-lights lure last weekend to get emergency shoes for two of our crew of three, one a birthday present (one pair not one shoe. We're not that cheap). And the small, mid-range shop we ended up favouring, according to its manager had done more than $2,000 in sales that day, and it was only mid-afternoon, which she informed us was a lot! A lot of work! It wasn't our fault, we didn't spend that much, we only bought two pairs and the second was half price!

But never mind shoes. The queue for the makeup shop shamed all the other shops, even the shoes, and suggested its customers might have been suffering a degree of mall withdrawal during lock-down. Suffer no more, the mighty mall is back, with its many lovely lures. Just beware those live animals, they are not all as lovely as they (we) may seem and look, with or without makeup -- and heels.   

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Douglas: One giant leap for womankind

As a fellow white Australian female comic...

and after a couple of good nights' sleep, I feel strong enough now to talk about Hannah Gadsby's latest stand-up comedy special, Douglas that I watched live with about 2,000 other woman-identifying humans and my husband (and maybe another 12.5 man-identifying humans, if appearances are anything to go by) in Auckland last Saturday night.

It was brilliant.

As I prepare to stage my own solo stand-up show in the same city in a few weeks time on a slightly smaller scale as evidenced by the much bigger title 'Joke She Wrote: The Egg and Sperm Race II',  I feel I am nonetheless more inspired than intimidated by Hannah's astronomical achievements on the global comedy stage and her unique comedic talents as seen on epic display in this second of her international comedy specials.

Douglas, as reviewed in rave terms - by a man! - in 'London is Funny'  last year, is a show first and foremost about the absurdity of being a woman in a world where men get to name your body parts (including 'the Douglas pouch' located in our nether regions, after which she says her dog is named, and I don't doubt it) and mansplain to you about the importance of positivity: 'Ya know it takes more muscles to frown than smile' in a dog park. I guess men feel they have to tell us to smile because so many of them struggle to make us smile by any other means. It doesn't work. Perhaps they should come to our shows to try and get a better handle on what actually makes us smile - and frown. Just a thought.

But Jack Whitehall was doing his goofy privileged white-boy thing on the same night as Hannah's show in a 12,000-seat stadium just around the corner, so that would no doubt have absorbed most of the comedy-minded men in these parts, and many of the women besides. Because women go to see men of all orientations and arts perform (I've seen a fair bit of Jack), but men, well, they haven't quite made that 'giant leap' that Neil Armstrong claimed walking on the moon was for their kind to be confident enough in their manhood to pay money to see a show with no men (and a bit of feminism) in it. And for my money that's the giant leap they need to take; never mind the moon.

And although Hannah received vicious criticism from men for her breakout tour de force stand-up show, Nanette, men who told her that show was 'not comedy', as if they knew better than she did what made women (and a few good men) smile and laugh out loud, and as if she hadn't been fairly upfront about the show's more serious aspects, which she totally had, the fact that she has taken that hostility and turned it into a seriously funny follow-up show that doesn't shy away from calling out men like that who think they can shame and shut down a woman - a comic - of her calibre, is encouraging for the rest of us and a potential giant leap for womankind, I think, and by 'womankind' I mean of course all of humanity.

Following in those giant footsteps of Hannah's is not going to be easy when my turn comes, but I am happy to be honouring and I hope contributing a very small something to the new tradition of call-out feminist stand-up that she, and a few other brave female comics, has helped launch by giving it a go. 

Baby steps.

Oh and happy Year of the Rat -- god help us...