Sunday, December 31, 2006

because it's December, the other day, on a walk through the neighborhood and to the bank, i wore a yellow wool knit cap i have had for about ten years. It's cute; it like it - it has a gray stripe around it, and I bought it at a resale store store in Seattle when I first moved there. While I was wearing it, I thought back to one of the first times that I wore it. I was new in Seattle, and I was still just exploring the city more, and had decided to take a ferry over to Bainbridge Island. While i was on the ride over, I was sitting next to this older fellow, while I gazed out the window at the wide gray-green Bay. It was a normal fall day in Seattle, cloudy, slightly rainy, and a little cold. While the ferry plowed over Elliot Bay, to the nearby island, I struck up a conversation with the man, who was probably about 45 or so, with slight graying hair. He mentioned that he lived on Bainbridge, and I told him that i was new to Seattle, and then asked him what Bainbridge was like. He replied, "it's cozy, cute, and little boring .... how's that?" And, I just kinda smiled and looked back out the long ferry windows. Then he added, " and I like your hat." At that moment too, he bent his head toward me, and gave me this slightly flirtatious, coy, and paternal smile all wrapped in one. Women know the smile, I think. And, as I wore the hat, nearly ten years later, I thought to myself... will i ever get that kind of a smile from a man again? i am older now, and i think that receiving that kinda smile and bit of attention from an older man, talking briefly to young woman, in a knit hat, jeans and a backpack, headed to a island near her new city alone for the day, are gone.

It was a sweet moment, and now it feels a bit bittersweet, because I am thinking that such moments are passing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Last week, I attracted a comment to one of my blogs on myspace about Hello Kitty. I suppose this blog is a rant. I suppose I need a space to vent that won't cause so much controversy. But then, why not? I will likely copy this and paste it into my myspace blogs anyway. Why be afraid of creating an issue? Isn't that part of the purpose of blogs? And, the issue merits some discussion and thought, I think.

It started the morning when Clay Aiken made the insensitive mistake of putting his cupped hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth during the taping of her show. A rude gesture, for sure. The incident caused much attention, and, sadly, was probably capitalized as publicity for her show, and perhaps, even for a little needed attention for Clay Aiken. Anyway, women on another TV show, "The View" were discussing it, and one of the women made the point, and rightly so, about how men will say and do things to women that they would not do to other men. Very true. Would Clay Aiken have put his hand over the mouth of Jay Leno, David Letterman, or other? I truly doubt it. It's a power thing, and he felt like he was being funny and cute by cupping his hand over the blond's mouth. Insensitive and thoughtless, really.

Okay, back to Hello Kitty. About a week ago, I posted a blog about Hello Kitty's lack of a mouth, and how a female photographer pointed out that Hello Kitty can be seen as representative of the role of Japanese women - cute, curious, but silenced. I was struck by the metaphor, and in many respects, I think the photographer had an interesting point.

One of the people on my friend's list commented that the feminist photographer was wrong, and that although Japanese women act subservient in public, at home they, "rule the roost." Therefore, Japanese women aren't really silenced and inferior. He abruptly said, "The feminist is wrong." It really bothered me.

Why is it that some men, even men we don't know very well, think that they can, and actually do, talk to women this way - even when feminism is discussed. The irony of it all is incredible. Many men honestly think that they have the final word, and that women, poor creatures that we are need to be corrected and admonished. They are the authority. So many, and I know that I am generalizing, think that they are the final word on so many things.

Most of the comments that I have posted in response to others' blogs have been either:
1) supportive and complimentary, or
2) humorous

I think that I rarely give dogmatic statements or make proclamations to anyone, especially men. I recall reading Deborah Tannen, a linguist who writes about the communication differences between men and women, and how women will usually ask men questions, or make statements that ultimately become questions. How easily we fall into gender roles, and how easily men think that women need these sorts of inflexible, uninvited statements in order to be clarified or gain "the final word."

Hello Kitty needs a mouth now - with teeth.