September 22, 2005

Seven Surprising Things About Me


People are surprised when they find out that

1) I live within ten miles of where I grew up. Well, no one in my hometown acts surprised about this, but colleagues at academic conferences think it is unusual.

2) I don't drink. They often will say, "What about that time at that party when you ....?" But no, I just act crazy when I'm perfectly sober.

3) I love to go on pub crawls. They say, "But you don't drink. You just told me you don't drink." But I still like to hang out in bars and get into deep philosophical conversations about the meaning of life.

4) I like the movie Dirty Dancing. I don't get why I am not supposed to like this movie. I think Jennifer Grey does a wonderful job portraying the range of emotions experienced by a teenage girl. And I like any movie that has dancing in it.

5) I hate the movie Casablanca. I am a feminist. Why would I like that dreadful sexist movie?

6) I am a feminist. Okay, it's mostly students who act surprised. They will say things like, "You can't be a feminist. You like men." Or this summer, a man said to me, "But you just talked about how much you loved pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding. You can't possibly be a feminist." Or often I get, "But you seem too feminine to be a feminist." These kind of comments leave me wondering where people get their ideas about feminism.

7) I can't sing. Because everyone else in my family can. I come from a family full of musicians, I live in a houseful of musicians, every one of my kids has sung in a choir .... and I cannot carry a tune. I am living proof that musical talent can skip a generation.

22 comments:

Phantom Scribbler said...

Aw, come on, even feminists can enjoy Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart (or Claude Rains and Humphrey Bogart).

Anytime you want to go on a non-drinking pubcrawl, I'm up for it.

reverendmother said...

I love Dirty Dancing too. And I'm a feminist who turned into Coyote Woman during my last labor and childbirth, and I will soon be doing it again. Yee-haw!

Not Scott said...

Seriously, what is it about the generation behind me that doesn't get feminism? I have strong, intelligent women who want high-powered careers with presumably equal pay and equal treatment who literally shudder at the thought of being labeled a feminist. The first few times I encountered this lack of understanding, I was dumbfounded. Shit, it still leaves me dumbfounded. About the only other thing that really gets me angrier are these flat-earth types ranting about intelligent design.

Its always worse when they are my students, because at 18, they still think they know everything--or know just as much as some professor. They only give me credit for knowing some things about books and writing. They never assume that I would have any more knowledge than they have about such social issues.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Oh, yes. Dirty dancing. Love that movie. Love it.

Nels said...

I always thought of Dirty Dancing as a feminist film. I mean, the plot of the film is fueled by an illeagal abortion. It seems to be about nothing but women and silence and voice.

Mieke said...

Have you seen Jennifer Grey lately? She had a nose job and she looks TOTALLY different. You'd NEVER EVER recognize her.

Rana said...

I love your list.

And a non-alcoholic pub crawl would be fun. :)

Teri said...

Where do people get their ideas about feminism? Ummm, Pat "Feminism makes women divorce their husbands, kill their kids and become lesbians" Roberts (or one of his minions), maybe?

I liked Dirty Dancing too. But I love to dance.

Laura said...

I vote Rush Limbaugh, feminazi man. I like Dirty Dancing too. It's the perfect movie to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Running2Ks said...

Some of the fun of going to bars where others are drinking is being sober and watching :) The conversations are often deep--and the sober person remembers them!

I loved learning about you.

joanna said...

I'm a feminist who can't sing and lives 10 miles from where she grew up (well, the last place, my dad was in the foreign service). We should start a . . .support group?

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

ME TOO! (I mean, I think Dirty Dancing is a wonderful movie, and I thought Casablanca was SO overrated!)

Lucy said...

I had a great english teacher at my all-girls high school who used to rant about girls who claimed they weren't feminist. Her argument was "do you want to have a say in what you do with your life? Then you're a feminist; get over it"

Sergei C. said...

Only (5) and (7) surprise me at all. Is Casablanca dreadful, in your opinion, exclusively because it is sexist or is it otherwise dreadful as well? I'm just curious. As to the singing, I cannot sing at all myself, but always assume everyone else can (until they prove otherwise).

Pink Cupcake said...

I LOVE Dirty Dancing. I watched it so many times when I was younger that I knew the whole thing by heart. I haven't seen it for years, but could still probably remember 80% of it!

I'm not at all surprised by most of your list though, although I did think you'd be able to sing. :)

ccw said...

I love your list!

I am also a man loving, breastfeeding, Dirty Dancing enjoying feminist.

Scrivener said...

Dirty Dancing? Seriously, you like that movie? Why haven't you ever mentioned this surprising detail before? Now I'm going to have to reconsider our friendship. ;-)

Casablanca not my favorite movie of all time or anything, but I'll take it over anything with Patrick Swayze in it anytime.

liz said...

I love your list but don't quite get the "Casablanca is sexist" thought. For the time, it was very progressive. Ingrid Bergman's character is involved in the resistance, not just married to the man that the resistance revolves around. It's much less sexist than most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood at the time.

That said, I love Dirty Dancing too. And will watch it or Casablanca anytime they show up.

And the real star of Casablanca is Claude Rains. He gets all the best lines. And Paul Heinreid, who plays Major Strasser gets huge kudos for making him human, even though Heinreid was Jewish and Gay and could easily have acted him as just pure inhuman evil.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Do I have to be the one to defend Casablanca?

I love Casablanca. It took me a while to even see why you called it sexist. Is it because Bergman is called on to sacrifice her relationship for the greater good? I suppose that would be sexist if it were a context where people didn't have to sacrifice male things--like money or power for the greater good. Then the message would be "in times like this, you must put aside silly girly worries about love."

But at the time the Casablanca was made, all movies were about making sacrifices for the war effort. Most of the time though, it was just about the sacrifices our brave fighting men made. If anything, by introducing a woman's perspective and a woman's sacrifice, the movie is being progressive.

"I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue."

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

You're always so thoughtful and practical! :-)

Sometimes, you write what I wish I'd written if you hadn't thought of it first.

You define feminism much like I do. Good thinking, LOL! :-))

I hope while you're at the Monastery, you will write something else to inspire us upon your return. Or, maybe I hope you'll just relax and have fun! Hmm, hard choice there. LOL, Mary

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

PS, I can't sing either, and my parents were incredibly talented singers! WAHN! And look at Graham, OK, well, maybe that doesn't count. (LOL!)

Borg said...

I fell in love with half of Casablanca. I feel there is still something to be said for traditional chivalry, when it is used as a form of translating loving dedication. But I do agree that the majority of the part of Ilsa fully lends to digressing the equal role of a woman not only in the work place, homelife and such typical structures, but also in the world of love between a man and a woman. The only cooperative love that I saw present in that movie was that of Renault and Richard; a love written more delicately and intricately woven that it further displays the sentiment of present society. While walking into the fog, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Such a quote along with several uses of "us" and a plane flying off with Laszlo, and Ilsa following (no use of the word "us") leads my mind to abandon the love of a woman as an equal in society and love. I fear that idolizing such films in our society is simply deepening the teachings of inequality. I am hurt just as deeply by these deeds as I find it difficult to find a strong woman who respects herself and thinks about the world around her as both an individual and one who loves as much as she is loved.