Department Of And How Did You Spend *Your* Weekend?
Dateline: last Friday evening, riding MAX (the Portland area’s light rail system) with MH, on our way to attend the first night of the Portland Folk Festival. My phone beeped; ‘twas a message from friend JWW, who had been caring for our house while we were out of town for several days. I dictated my reply as the rail car jostled along the tracks.
I still have your keys. May I bring them by?
We are not at home.
We are on Max, on the way to the Portland Fuck Festival
at the McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom.
Fortunately, I proofed the message before I sent it (and rarity for moiself, I must confess). I first had to show MH the unedited translation. He said that, the acoustics on the light rail being what they are, my cellphone’s translation app was just making logical fill-in assumptions as per my usual vocabulary.
* * *
Department Of Just Wondering
If there were a Portland F*** Festival, what venue would host it? How would the publicity be handled, and who would be invited and who would print the tickets….
* * *
Department Of Thoughts That Seemed Profound In The Early Morning Hours
Life is like a toilet. Sometimes, every flush is smooth, and other times there will be minor snags – your tank’s lever chain gets hung up on something and you have to jiggle the handle….
Shhhh, go back to sleep.
* * *
* * *
Department of Defusing The Bombs
( aka, “Why is the door open until we have to slam it shut?” )
♫ I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Men are scared that women will laugh at them
I wanna walk through the park in the dark
Women are scared that men will kill them
I hold my keys…between my fingers…. ♫
(chorus of Nameless Faceless,
by Courtney Barnes )
I am reading Know My Name: a Memoir. Until the author wrote the book she had no public name; she was referred to as “Brock Turner’s/that Stanford swimmer’s victim,” or “Emily Doe,” after her victim’s impact statement was posted on Buzzfeed.
Chanel Miller is the young woman y’all and moiself had heard about but whose name we didn’t know, until she revealed it four years after she became Emily Doe. Few people knew her personally, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from commenting on social media and new outlets about what they saw as her flaws. This is because the American pastime is not in fact baseball; rather, it is two related bloodsports:
* criticizing other people’s parenting skills, and
* blaming sexual assault victims for their own attacks
This book has been a difficult read. Not quite as difficult as Ayann Hirsi Ali’s Infidel,  still, one chapter at a time is all I can bear.
Miller writes beautifully, with vivid imagery precision, grace, and even a survivor’s humor. What happened to her was, in a prosecutorial view, “the perfect case, in many ways – there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured…” Still, Miller experienced profound isolation and shame in the aftermath of her assault, and “…her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators (and) indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable.” 
It saddens me that, to be realistic, I am not exaggerating to consider that so many women (99%, I’d bet) who’ll read the book will identify with at least one of the experiences Miller has had, both before and after her sexual assault: via just walking to class, running for exercise, meeting friends for coffee… in just Stepping. Outside. And. Being. In. The. World…. Both the realism and sadness continue, as I must also consider how many men will not be able to understand at all, or even try to empathize, with such experiences.
Which is why I want menfolk to read it. Yes, all of y’all. Send this book to the top of the GQ and Men’s Health reading lists.  Even you who consider yourselves to be feminist, supportive, “woke,” etc. – I know many such men and appreciate you more than I can say – y’all need frequent reminders about the frightening, nasty, time-consuming, ambition-choking, overwhelmingly unjust and yet unspoken assumptions of the patriarchy, which fall upon women: that of men feeling entitled to have access to women.
“Wooo there honey!” (accompanied by various whistles, grunts, tongue-clucking and other sound effects)
“Where are you going?”
“Do you need a ride?”
“You look nice; Can I walk with you –
I’m just trying to start your day right…”
“Hey pretty girl you sure are pretty…”
“Come talk to me (after making a u-turn in his van to follow her),” I’m lonely.”
(not even scratching the proverbial surface of comments, from a man/men to a women walking by herself
[read: “alone,” as in, without a man to claim her as his] ).
Read it, and please read it again, paying particular attention to chapter 4, where Miller unloads on her (genuinely) supportive boyfriend, Lucas. After her assault by Turner and before the trial, Miller moved across the country to attend college. She recounted to Lucas her *daily* experiences with (always male) strangers, on foot and in cars, who felt entitled to honk, click their tongue, smack their lips, and make comments to her as she walked to and from class or the park or a grocery store or for exercise….
Miller used her cellphone to tape many of those encounters. She sent them to Lucas (who, I would add, likely did not get that these encounters are daily reality for women across the nation, they were not particular to his girlfriend *after* her assault). He offered to pay for Miller to rent a car, so she would not have to walk to and from classes, to the store, etc. He also asked her to stop sending him the videos (“I can’t watch them, these guys make me too angry.”). Miller agreed, then regretted doing so ( my emphases):
“I felt like I’d done something wrong…It also seemed like he’s said, ‘If they’re bothering you, why are you still walking?’ It didn’t seem like a solution at all; they’d forced me to seal myself off in a car. I didn’t want to give up my sidewalks.
I called Lucas back. ‘That’s not fair,’ I said. ‘I just want to walk home from school, I’m not doing anything wrong. I should be able to. You can walk anywhere you want.
It’s not fair you get to unsubscribe from the videos. You get to turn off the feed, you get to see it selectively. I don’t have that option, to decide not to live it. I’m trying to show you what it’s like for me. It doesn’t matter what I do, doesn’t matter what I wear, how I act, it’s constant, the harassment is constant.’”
“Walking down the street was like being tossed bombs. I fiddled with the wires, frantically defusing each one. Each time I was not sure which wire would cause it to detonate, tinkering while sweat ran down my forehead. Women are raised to work with dexterity, to keep their nimble fingers ready, their minds alert. It is her job to know how to handle the stream of bombs, how to kindly decline giving her number, how to move a hand from the button of her jeans, to turn down a drink.
When a woman is assaulted, one of the first questions people ask is, ‘Did you say no?’ This question assumes the answer was always yes, and that it is her job to revoke the agreement. To defuse the bomb she was given.
But why are they allowed to touch us until we physically fight them off?
Why is the door open until we have to slam it shut?”
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
The Ultimate Vegan cookbook for your Instapot, by Kathy Hester
Recipe: Indo-Chinese Corn Soup
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
May you be cognizant of when other people cannot “turn off the feed;”
May future generations not need the
May mundane household conveniences supply you with life metaphors;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Which, after all these years, I have *still* not been able to get through, as I cannot go far past her description of her undergoing genital mutilation.
 Quoted excerpts from book jacket.
 No, I don’t know if those magazines even have such a list. Maybe you could suggest they start one?
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) once recipe from one book.
* Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin, a character from The Office who’d eat anything, would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up.
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.
The Menfolk I’m Not Controlling | The Blog I'm Not Writing
Jan 24, 2020 @ 01:37:17