Friday Links: A Drove Of Bullicorns

Can The Neo-Colonialists Writers Shut Up? Thank You In Advance
Eunsong Kim helpfully annotates the neo-colonialist poetry of Jack Gilbert, showing the reader exactly which adjectives are missing from his poems that supposedly transcend race to speak to a “human” experience. Kim was inspired by Jen’s post, When “Life Hacking” Is Really White Privilege, particularly the part where Jen rewrote a hedge fund manager’s tips to include the all-too-forgotten fact that he was benefitting from white privilege. ” Let this be a disclaimer to lovers of the canon and colonialist poetry,” warns Kim, “your introduction and reminders of colonial writing will go uncredited. Or you will be credited as “predictable white man.”

Why You Should Stop Calling Powerful Women “Working Mothers”
Why are women who work and have children always “working mothers”, but men who do the same are just “men”? This is reminiscent of a classic Bullish Life: Tomboys, Career Women, Male Models, and Other Words We Should Dismiss Forthwith, where Jen said:

“Career Women”: Let’s stop saying this. Now. WTF? It’s true that some women don’t have careers, but it is also true that some men don’t have careers, and no one ever says “career men.”

We also don’t say “taxpayer women” or “voting women” or anything else that describes the actions of most adults in a modern society.

“Career woman” is just a way to make the normal actions of working, making money, and spending it on stuff sound like the obsession of a hardened, unfuckable shrew. Whereas, in practice, if I were a man, I’d probably prefer to fuck women who have the ability to buy their own goods and services.

Who’s Emotional – Feinstein or the C.I.A.?
Here’s a horrifying question posed by Amy Davidson on The New Yorker blog: “what is the proper emotional response to a history of torture and lies?” The gendered political maneuvering of men trying to prove that Dianne Feinstein is somehow too squeamish (read: too feminine) is a tactic as old as time. My favorite part:

There are really two issues here. One is the reflexive tendency to disparage or dismiss a woman in politics (or in business, or anywhere) with a remark about her supposed susceptibility to emotion. The other is the way a certain femininity—the wilting kind—is ascribed to those who doubt that torture is good for America.

The cartoon is of the clear-headed torturer who has put tenderness aside for the sake of country, against the squeamish, sensitive, can’t-handle-the-truth doubters. The supposed contrast is between focussed, rational realism and a tendency to faint. (Men and women can be put in either role, as in “Zero Dark Thirty.”) But fear and a desire to punish, which disabled the judgments of many in the government after 9/11, are emotions, too, and even harder to control than, say, mercy. So is a fascination with one’s own power to protect or, less charitably, one’s self-imagined ruthlessness. So is a tendency to be charmed by dark sides. One can argue that those who turn to the law or a moral code, in moments of crisis, can be the least flushed by feeling. That is not to make a case against inserting feeling into politics: righteous indignation and kindness can anchor, rather than discombobulate. It might be most accurate to say that various emotions serve us differently. They wake us up, and, when they do, in what can be an outraged, bleary-eyed moment, we should be careful about what we reach for.

And if the intelligence community thinks that the controversy over our legacy of torture is just the result of some silly girlish feelings, then we haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of those years.

For a refresher course on how women’s emotions are always “emotions” and men’s emotions are simply “how people talk”, revisit this classic Bullish Life: Bullish Life: When Men Are Too Emotional To Have A Rational Argument.

How to Know What You’re Really Feeling So You Can Feel Better
Talking this much about feelings makes me want whisky instead, but transforming guilt into fear into desire sounds pretty enticing. In Bullish Life: What Do You Feel Guilty About Today? Jen wrote about whether or not guilt is an inherently female thing; better pour another glass of whiskey and read that one too.

And here’s Bullish hanging around the interwebs:

Writer Babe Kara Andersen: Motivation Monday

Amber J. at The Fab Life Project: Are You Making This Career Mistake?

Have a great weekend, Bullicorns!