Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Woman on a wire

Enough said.


A quick apology to my younger son - and possibly all the sons - for using the Zeke filter; apparently it's the height of uncool. But I am out on a limb here, walking on a wire in boots and it's not easy to know how to achieve the right look and perfect balance when you're out on a wire in boots, especially when you're a woman. Wait, the explanation for that sweeping statement about it being harder for women follows.

A while back I searched images for 'analyst' wanting to develop an analysty logo for a new project I'm working on and every single person featured in the numerous images offered was a generic man in form and attire, which is why my 'woman' on a wire looks, shall we say, a little metro-sexual (if we can still use that slightly outmoded term), wearing a kick-out skirt over trousers, which is not an outfit I'd ever recommend or wear, nor is it an outfit suggestive of a particularly sharp analytical (or artistic) mind, especially the eyelashes, which kind of got away from me, possibly due to a subconscious menopausal hankering for the return of my younger lashes.

Though I do quite like 'her' all the same. Sometimes you can like people more for their flaws than their strengths, so the eyelashes that could be mistaken for eye fingers are kind of growing on me (if only they would!). And I think she's gutsy too for walking out on a wire in knee-high boots. I bet that Frenchman who needs a bloody great pole for balance (in addition to his other, rather shorter pole) when he walks out on a wire, couldn't do it in boots. In fact I have it on good authority that he wears special wire-walking shoes. Hmph! Men. They're always getting a leg up, or at least a shoe up.

Speaking of the French, I was reading earlier this morning about this remarkable French woman who had her head removed for advancing ideas of equality between people of all races and genders, as well as capital tax, social welfare and various other political reforms that came to pass eventually in some degree, if they are yet to be realised in full anywhere, two-hundred-plus years after she advanced them in 1791. Off with her head! Nasty woman.

So inspired by this 'nasty woman', who wrote possibly the first feminist treatise, which has been all but lost to history till quite recently, I decided this morning to add an 'e' to my 'overanalyst', which makes no difference to the spellchecker that rejects the word either way, and probably makes no difference to anything else, though it does change the pronunciation of the final syllable from list to leest, which I prefer, for my own reasons that are difficult to explain in brief, and we've run out of time.

Indeed I am partly calling myself an overanalyste in an attempt to recognise a slight personal flaw and work through that flaw by thinking and writing more concisely, as if I were indeed walking on a wire, without a pole of any length, or special shoes to help me, and having to focus on just one thing: namely, not falling. And getting to the other side. And wondering if I should have tied my hair up in a ponytail to look less like a transvestite and reduce wind resistance. So three things. And...   

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Googling myself

Now normally I'm FAR too busy to waste time googling myself, but...

this afternoon, after a virtuous morning, I happened to have a spare moment or two and decided to treat myself to myself, as it were, and found this little line-up of ladies, one of whom, I won't say which (she's a different colour) is not me.

I think possibly the confusion came in because this other Sacha Jones has a fringe, though you can't necessarily see it in this picture, and I searched for my name with fringe, as you can see, even though in one of the pictures that is me I don't have a fringe. Confusing. But life can be confusing. 

Anyway, I just thought I'd explain that, as far as possible, for the record.

As you were.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Jane: In no man's shadow

If you didn't see Jane, the 2017 documentary film on Jane Goodall's pioneering research on chimpanzees at the cinema, then do not fret, because Netflix have picked it up. And it's a must see, a film for our times indeed, though the footage for much of it, previously unseen, was taken in 1965.

Jane's research was the first to challenge the notion that only man (men) possess the capacity for rational thought, by documenting  chimpanzees fashioning tools to procure food.

Jane discovered this by immersing herself in the environment of the chimpanzees in the wild and observing them closely and patiently, the first human to take that much trouble and to be fearless and humble enough to open her mind to the possibility that these animals might be able to teach us something about ourselves, and in the process to check our unfettered arrogance.

After many years of observing the same community of chimpanzees living in harmony with each other and their environment, Jane observed something less well publicised at the time about how this male-dominated species live. When the matriarch of the extended family finally died, her grown son in his grief stopped eating and within three weeks also died, and a part of the extended family broke away from the group, and were then hunted down and viciously killed for their defection.

So, it seems, chimp tribes are ostensibly led by a dominant male, but it is the strongest female that binds them together, apparently with something more meaningful than the fear-based dominance that typifies male power in all the primates, a quieter, more compassionate strength that keeps the males from killing each other and from losing the will to live.

We can learn from this.   

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Tiny diplomat

A mighty miniature Ms
From Last Blood to First Baby, which is also a first blood situation, if not THE first blood situation, never mind the movie.

I don't think this UN ID for the youngest diplomat ever is real, as in actually required for access to the UN, the 'Ms' suggests something other than official bureaucratic business at work (alas), but that matters not.

For Ms Neve Te Aroha, New Zealand's first First Baby born while her mother was the Prime Minister, is also the first baby to attend the UN and with both of her parents, her mother addressing the general assembly and her father as her primary caregiver, and that shit couldn't be more REAL.

It is also no doubt working some international diplomacy of revolutionary proportions in a less than united world that has for so long justified the exclusion of women from the corridors of political power, decision making and diplomacy on the basis of our designated separate (and lesser) role as mothers and primary caregivers of children.

But that undiplomatic, divide and conquer, control and corrupt approach hasn't worked out too well for the world. On the contrary, while women have made babies in the political wilderness behind doors that only opened for men, those men have made wars and laws that have brought misery and fear to the lives of the majority of those babies, female and male alike.

And so that misery making will continue if those doors are not opened widely to women and their babies so that men, as well as women, but especially men, can be reminded where the first, and last, blood really comes from.

It's a girl! 

The First Mum's speech to the UN General Assembly     

Friday, September 14, 2018

Last Blood

Today a man (who looked like, and may have been, a frog) I had just met asked when my last period was. Quite a forward frog he was. I replied anyway, these are forward times and you’ve got to keep up. Go with the flow. "I’m on it. It’s now. It’s happening, as we speak!", I said, in a challenging tone, matching his forwardness and raising it some.


His bull-frog face stiffened momentarily before the professional behind the frog re-emerged to ask: ‘How many days ago did it start?’ A forward frog indeed. I couldn’t remember precisely. My mind was boggling like his eyes. 

He was, of course, at least officially, a doctor with a professional interest in my blood work. We didn’t just meet on the street or by a pond. No. He was about to get down deep and dirty with my blood, as he duly informed me, not in so many words. He intimated that it would be in his hands – I didn’t look – that I was about to put my bleeding uterus and vagina.

Prior to this last-minute pre-surgical consultation out of which I could not get without unwinding at least five months of preparation and another year of procrastination before that, I had been led to believe the operation would be performed by a female doctor I had met several times who went by the elegant and trustworthy name of Abir. Now this frogman stood, well sat, in her place.

I can’t recall his name, given quickly, and there was no real explanation for this substitution, other than a small box at the bottom of a long form to be checked by me that waived my right to elect a specific doctor, or even species of doctor (apparently), to perform my procedure. I checked it with a brave, almost perceptible grumble.

Why do men get into gynaecology?  Hmm... Frogs might have additional motives, too. Perhaps a spell had been cast that only baptism by vaginal blood could undo and prince he could become once more. Stranger things have happened. The fact that I would be asleep during the procedure did not alleviate my concerns. And what had he done with Abir?

He hopped away, leaving me to change into my sexy backless hospital smock and shower cap and to think. Always to think. Is this regular? Why was nothing said before? Am I always the last to know? On the other hand, what's the big deal? So a half man half frog is replacing an elegant Arab woman as my vaginal surgeon at the last minute. It happens. First World problem. Get over it. Also, I used to collect tadpoles as a child, so I was probably asking for trouble with a frog eventually. 

He did ask me if I wanted to keep my removed tissue. Perhaps that was his way of getting the permission he needed to take off with my tissue and clone it into a real woman of his own who he could force to kiss him and so be returned at last to his princely form. Who wants to keep their tissue? I nearly said yes.

Ribbit. Ribbit.

Post-op update: Alive and all but intact, other than what was taken of my tissue by a frog with an attitude (and a scalpel) while I slept. Not yet hopping. Taking that as a good sign. Frogman wasn’t there when I woke up. Most suspicious.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Thinking about Aretha

You really can't pay tribute to a singer like Aretha Franklin in pictures. Pictures might speak a thousand words but they can't sing a single note. Although you can almost hear Aretha in this picture, in the smile squeezed into her tight shut eyes as she opens her mouth to release a note of song so joyous that it speaks a thousand smiles and all who hear it are stunned speechless by the wonder of such a smooth smiling soulful sister sound.

Clearly words are inadequate to the task of tribute too, and maybe that's how it should be.

As for the furore over her funeral service which by most accounts failed to pay fitting tribute to the Queen of Soul, partly because men hogged the mic and did not show the RESPECT Aretha commanded and demanded from men on behalf of women, that is another example of how we struggle to pay tribute to such a woman. Although there we might aspire to do better. And so we will.

RIP Aretha, long live the Queen!