Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The News from 1968

I'm exhausted to a degree which I don't know that I've ever been before. Not physically. I am intellectually exhausted. It might have to do with the election. People know that I'm political and have, up until this point, been more than open to discuss politics. But now I am tired. I am on pins & needles over this election, mostly because as a woman, a student, and a member of the middle class, there is a lot at stake for me. If Obama loses the election, I am, to put it less than eloquently, fucked.
If you haven't heard about it yet, there's an uproar over last night's debate in which Mitt Romney commented, in a question about whether or not he supports fair pay for equal work for women, that he has a "binder full of women." He went on to try to say that when he was elected governor, he went out to women's groups and tried to find women to be part of his cabinet (because apparently he didn't know any women in the workforce). Romney has never once in his run for Presidency said whether or not he is in support of the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Isn't it pathetic that in America, only in 2009 did women gain larger access to be able to sue their employee over gender-based pay discrimination? It sickens me. What sickens me more is that there is a candidiate up for Presidency who continually evades the yes or no question of whether or not he supports this bill. How did he get so far when he is so sexist?
I am exhausted of being a young woman in this society. I could scream. I wish I could scream a scream that would wipe away sexism. A scream that would wake up the bigots, the porn mongers, the pimps, the politicians, the movie makers, and the entire male population. A scream that would tell them that I am equal, that I am not any less than them, and that the way women are treated is not okay. A scream that would let them know that rape exists, sexual assault exists, and that is not okay. I am exhausted because everyday, I am forced to hold this scream in. And when I do dare to open my mouth about rape and about equal rights, I am ignored. Or worse, I am told that these are not my rights, they are my privileges and I shouldn't fight for more than what I've been granted. Wouldn't you be exhausted, too? Wouldn't you just want to scream until people actually noticed? Until people cared and became proactive?
I took these photos out on the porch. I finally convinced my parents that it was time to re-do the porch and offered to take total design control. We ripped up the linoleum flooring and underneath were hundreds of old newspapers from 1968. I spent a long time reading through many of them and carefully picked up the ones that weren't stuck to the floor so that I could peruse them later.
My grandfather Ray had put them all down before laying down the flooring. I never met my grandfather. He died in 1985 at the age of 62 due to the effects of smoking. But I've always treasued him and in my desperate eyes, these newspapers are simply an extension of him. I'm sure we've all felt that way about someone. Someone you love so desperately but you never knew them, so instead you collect photos and letters and things that they touched because you just want to know them so badly.
I'd like to say that this outfit is inspired by 1968, but I really don't think it is. I don't even know what this outfit is! It's a bit boyish, a bit preppy, a little bit of the '80s, a little bit of the '50s. Also, sorry about the weird lens flare on my sweater in most of these. I do not know what was going on!
This photo looks all model-y and pose-y but really, I was just watching a black squirrel playing games in the fallen leaves. That little guy's been living in my neighbourhood for a few months now and I think it's time to give him a name. But what? Hmmmm.....
Back in middle school, I used to keep a list of my favourite names for when I played The Sims and my Sims had babies. I've gone back and looked at some of the names and was astonished at my poor taste. Sunshine? Rainbow? Rietgaard? (I hope I don't offend anyone if those truly are your names....) However, considering that I want to name my first son Raymond Apollo and that my favourite girls names are Doris, Eloise, Mabel, & Clara, my future children really are not any better off.
(Also, isn't it remarkable how I switch from topic to topic? This is a glimpse into the inner workings of my brain.)
I look extremely melancholy and serious in these photos. It's the exhaustion. It's seeping into every area of my life. I did, however, post an outtake to the blog's Facebook page (why do you not "like" me?) in which I am smiling. See, see, see?! I can smile! It does occasionally happen! Actually, at work, I'm pretty sure they should just nickname me Smiley because I can never seem to wipe that grin off my face. It just never spills over to when I am alone.
Also, I constantly have people comment or email me saying, "I think I saw you in such and such place!" and it's almost always me so I think, "Why don't you ever just say hi?" and then I realise that I usually always have major bitchface when I'm alone or on campus, and no one wants to approach that. But seriously, come say hi. My bitchface is misleading.
(As a sidenote, if you're just some guy coming to ask for my number or to pass some inappropriate commentary towards me, then the bitchface applies. Oh yes, it applies.)
Unfortunately some of the newspaper got really really stuck to the floor (excess moisture aka cat piss?) and will not come up no matter what. I took quite a few photos of what I did manage to pull up. Some of the headlines are hilarious, same with the advertising! It is so different than what we have today.
(I thought that the above was rather festive given the upcoming Halloween)
Anyways, sorry for the rather serious post. I just have so much pent up feminist rage lately. Today some guy walked up to me at the train station and said, "Hi my name is Brian. Where're you from?" And when I said St. Paul, he instantly replied with, "So can I have your number?" I wanted to reply with, if you actually knew me, you'd probably think I was fucking crazy...but instead I just said no. I'm going to try the fucking crazy line next time. I really am. (Also, isn't "Where are you from?" the laziest pick up line in the world?)


Meli said...

Or, instead of ignoring you or saying that those rights are privileges, saying that you're just imagining things, and that those problems are all in your head, that that's just the way the world is and that you better get used to it. I feel you. I'm terrified of what will happen if Mittens gets elected. Whenever I hear friends talking about him in a positive manner it is so hard not to ask, Are You Completely Insane??

So I get it.

Also, how are we going to spend our time when the elections are over? I suppose conservatives won't stop saying stupid things just because they're over, but everything will be less publicized, and we'll have to work harder to get outraged..

Meg! said...

You look AMAZING. And I wish you could scream that feminist scream, too.

HannahMMurphy said...

I absolutely loved reading this post, and I can relate to practically everything you have said. Even in the UK we have issues like this, women's rights are very close to my heart. x

Milex said...

love it ♥.♥

Nora said...

i think this is the most engaging post i've read in the last few weeks, especially on a 'fashion' blog (how condescending does that sound?)

xx Nora

Alaina M. said...

Great post. I feel your frustration. It's really hard for me to see all the women on my facebook feed who are up Romney's ass. It's like we're living in alternate universes where they don't hear the awful things he says. Recently I had a couple of women as patients who 'came of age' in the late 50s-early 60s and they were appalled at how backwards some of the rhetoric in this election is. Some young women don't realize how good we have it, and that's a damned shame.
I like your outfit too.

Hot Trash Vintage said...

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Anonymous said...

Girl you are soooooooooo beautiful...oughta take up a career in modeling! I love, love the retro feel of these outfits and your tough ass photos ;)

I'm sorry about your intellectual exhaustion...but glad to know there is another passionate person out there! I totally am with you on just wanting to scream so loudly it tears apart the porn industry and pimps and sexist directors and bigotted artists...having been part of that community, I have seen enough to make me sick too.

<3 Cambria

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Nicole said...

Ah Chloe you're so lovely. I've been reading your blog since I was a freshman now I'm a senior in high school! This is my first time commenting though. I love the way you write. And dress of course:)

Wishing you well,

Kathy said...

I agree completely! I have some friends (more like acquaintances) who are also middle class female college students and are huge supporters of Romney and I can't fathom why.

I think people don't like to say hi first because they're either lazy or want to avoid a possibly awkward situation because I get that a lot too.