Thursday, January 25, 2007

Grabbable Asses!

Conseula blogs. I rant. I rant like an old man sitting on his porch complaining about those dangblasted teenagers. Today, I'm going off on a tirade about women's body images. Let me be the first to say that when the revolution comes (and it is coming people) that some of the first ones up against the wall will be those thrice-damned tabloid people, and I mean all of them -- writers, editors, and publishers. One week they'll run an unflattering pic of Jessica Simpson with the headline "Jess is wasting away!!! Family and friends tearfully beg her to eat!!!" Right next to it will be another rag with a different photo screaming "Lonely Jess is eating herself to death!!! How will she get Nick back after packing on twenty pounds?!!!" Meanwhile, a third magazine will blare "Jessica's secret diet plan!!! How you can eat healthy and look good too!!!"

Yesterday Conseula told me that she overheard some students talking about how fat Tyra Banks is. Okay, Tyra Banks is 5'11" and currently weighs in at... wait for it... wait for it... an elephantine 145 pounds! Jesus, the average American woman is 5'4" and weighs 140. The average American woman weighs 2.18 pounds per inch. Ms Banks weighs 2.04 pounds per inch. I've seen recent pictures of the woman, those pounds are distributed quite nicely.

My point is, if Tyra Banks is considered to be fat (compared to runway models), then what hope is there for the twenty year-old who gains five to ten pounds while living in the dorms? What hope is there for the young mother who hasn't lost all of the pounds that she gained during her pregnancy?

Finally, who are the tabloids to tell me who's sexy? Personally, I happen to like a woman with curves -- hips, a defined waist, and (please forgive me) a nice grabbable ass.

Curvy women of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but a poor body image!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Things They Say to Me #2

I had a whole different post planned about people's reactions to me after I was hired at the College, but I thought I'd share this instead:

Last week my picture was in the local paper. I am the pronouncer for the local spelling bee and was photographed congratulating this year's winner. As happens when your picture is in the paper, tons of people emailed and stopped me on the street to tell me they saw me. Several people clipped the picture and gave it to me. In church on Sunday, after Mass was over, an older black woman came up to me and said, "I saw your picture in the paper. I am so proud of you. You know you must be very articulate if they let you pronounce the words for the white folks."


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why I'm Pro-Choice

So I missed Blog for Choice Day yesterday. But I have been catching up, reading tons of pro-choice posts (and, sadly, tons of pro-life hate). I read Alison's post here about working clinic defense over the weekend and another post about how her ability to choose if and when to have to have children allows her control of all the other aspects of her life. I'm a swirl of emotions now.

When I had my abortion there were tons of protestors. We could hear them inside the clinic. The doctor who performed the procedure was male and incredibly insensitive, clearly making a moral judgment about my decision even as he performed the procedure. I was also alone, very young, and incredibly scared and confused. I wouldn't wish the experience on anyone.

But I would do it again. I have the life I have now, a life I love, and the children I have now, two wonderful girls I adore, because I got to make the choice then. I got to determine for myself what my life would be. Because of that one choice, I got to make a thousand others that having a kid would have made impossible.

Every woman deserves to get to make a thousand choices.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Biffle and the Catholics

Recently at a party at Alison and Walter's, Walter said that Alison should put out the best wine first (saving the cheap stuff for when every one was good and tipsy) because that's what Jesus would do. Now, I haven't known Walter very long, but he strikes me as the sort who enjoys spinning a good a yarn and saying things just for effect (nothing wrong with that). I assumed that "Jesus would put the good stuff out first" was one of those moments. Imagine my surprise when one of the readings this morning (John 2:1-11 to be exact) in Mass featured the very passage to which Walter referred. Apparently Jesus is quite the gracious host. Does this mean I have to believe everything Walter says from now on?

Today was the last Mass conducted by our substitute priest. Our permanent priest, Father Francis, returns from Nigeria this week and it's not a moment too soon. Last week Brian had to physically restrain me so I wouldn't storm out after substitute guy told us Jesus wants us to be pro-life and, thus, Democrats are evil. I am often dismayed that the Catholicism I have encountered as an adult bears little resemblance to the Catholicism of my childhood in Louisiana. I grew up with nuns in blue jeans and priests influenced by liberation theology. I grew up among Catholics who, as a matter of faith, were more than generous with their time and money and affection. As a matter of faith they were suspicious of wealth and vanity and ego. Many of them indeed were pro-life, frowned upon pre-marital sex and cohabitation without the benefit of marriage and other things (like birth control and women in the priesthood) that make Catholics seems foolish and out of date. But they also believed in the most fundamental aspect of Catholic doctrine--the dignity of human of life. That belief, that people every where in every condition deserve to live and work in dignity, and that we, as a matter of faith, need to do everything in our power to ensure that dignity, keeps me from breaking up with the Church completely. (Well, that and my very Catholic husband committed to raising Catholic children.) But it is increasingly becoming a difficult relationship to maintain.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sure Sign that You're a Hopeless Nerd

Every year, the night before the first day of school found me lying in bed until 2 0r 3 in the morning, unable to sleep because I was so excited about getting to go to class and meet my teacher and get assignments and write in my new notebook with my new pencils. This continued into college and grad school--I remember being excited at the beginning of every quarter in grad school about getting new purple pens and yellow legal pads. Fast forward to the present day--I am currently fighting off sleep because I was up until 2 this morning giddily anticipating the first day of classes. The sad part is that when I actually do get to school on the first day (as student and now as a teacher), anxiety sets in. Will my students like me? Will this class go well? Am I even smart enough to do this job? Everything always turns out well. The anxiety doesn't last very long at all. It would be nice, though, to get a good night's sleep before classes start.