The last two nights I have slept through till morning. No waking up at two am gasping for breath in a panic. no anxiety stomach cramps. Unfortunately my rare deep sleep on Tuesday morning meant I didn’t stir when my partner thought he had locked himself out on his way to work without his car keys. Not even stones on bedroom window or knocking on the front door managed to wake me. It is alright though. The keys were in their jacket pocket all along.
Yesterday I walked into the CBD to my friends apartment for poetry book club. I had not read the poetry book but did want to see my friends. The book was Look At The Lake by Kevin Brophy. Poems created while he lived in Indigenous communities for two years. As I walked into the city I revelled in the temperate weather and tried not to think about climate change and how this winter had been scarily un winter like. I had not needed to wear the coat I got in London even once.
I love my poetry book club but I am not a huge fan of our newest addition. A person who seems intent on bringing very little of interest to discussion. When they arrive I do not jump up to hug them like I do everyone else. I know this is unkind. But do you want to ever be in the position of accepting a hug that is not genuine? The poems that get read aloud are good. I like that the poems are observational and paint beautifully snap shots of life out in the bush. They are not the poems of a person with a white saviour complex. My friend offers white wine that we drink and both agree is terrible but continue drinking anyway. When I get home I am tipsy and hungry. My partner has made a pizza. It is delicious.
Today I was listening to Triple R as I finished my book. It was the great show hosted by Bethany Atkinson-Quinton called The Glasshouse. A show about all things literature. I had forgotten that I had run into her during The Melbourne Writers Festival and she had asked if she could play a recording of me reading my piece about masturbation and how I had overcome 23 years of sexual repression and being told that masturbation was dirty and sinful, to finally discover the joys of learning to play my own lady harp. I was reminded of this conversation when I heard Bethany say my name and introduce my piece. I jumped up to turn the radio down as I really was quite shy at the thought of hearing me actually say the words I wrote and said out loud. I am still pretty thrilled at being played on triple R though.
This and a few months ago another recording of me speaking on a panel at The Wheeler Centre about how I came to become a feminist was shared about three times on ABC Radio National. I only found out because a friend messaged me excitedly to tell me. My parents listens to Radio National i think in a panic when I finish reading the message. Only in the car. They would have to be in the car at those times to hear it. I calm down its not like I said anything bad. They are proud of me, even if they don’t always understand my unapologetic feminist ideals.
Instead of working on my play today I finish Boys Will Be Boys By Clementine Ford. It dismantles toxic masculity and provides alternatives to strive for. A society where boys are raised to be gentle and emotionally expressive. A society where boys can grow up and be able to say I love you to theIr mates without fear of being called weak. I appreciate her humour scattered throughout the book as little nuggets of positivity in the face almost total despair at the world we allow our young men to exist in unchecked. But I feel rage as well and the target in patriarchy and the men who uphold it while pushing women down and Ford makes no bones about her contempt for such a system and the people who uphold it. I love her take down of the question regarding if Rape Jokes are funny.
The second last chapter is particularly upsetting but helps illustrate just how little men who are accused of rape, sexual misconduct or violence against women and girls, lose out. The message is clear: if you are a white cis gender man with power, money or creative or athletic talent, you can pretty much go on making money doing what you want. I am glad the book has one last chapter after that that has Ford writing to her own tiny little son. It is so beautiful and full of hope. It is in our best interest to keep on a hold on hope as we charge forward in bringing the patriarchy. Seconds after I put the book down I read an article about how a great many Millennial men think women are favoured in the workplace. #facepalm The further we move forward the more enthusiastic is the pushback.
In other reading that made me laugh and roll my eyes was the article about how The president of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints Russell Nelson ( Oh ! so Thats the name of the current leader! I think. Its been a while since that sort of information was second nature to me ) wants the abbreviated name for members of the church to be no longer used. https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimdalrympleii/the-mormon-church-doesnt-want-to-be-called-mormon-any-more?utm_term=.oho5GydZxE#.fe9NeDZOyP
We ask that the term ‘Mormons’ not be used,” the style guide now states. It also says that the term ‘Mormonism’ is inaccurate and should not be used.
This is the grand and important revelation that the lord has bestowed on President Nelson. A revelation that seems somewhat odd considering they spent all that money on advertising all over the world as The smash hit The Book Of Mormon the Musical toured. The church even made advertisements using ”cool’ people like the lead Singer Of The Killers, Brandon Flowers. In the short film slash advertisement we see The lead singer cavorting wholesomely with his family and playing music, whilst he speaks over the montage about family and values and ends with the statement ”I am a Mormon” which is the actual title of the entire campaign.
Here are some more pressing issues that I think the lord should be revealing to The president of The Mormon church in this day and age.
Use reusable shopping bags when grocery shopping. Its not that hard to do.
Women are human beings and should be given more autonomy within the church. Stop telling young people in the throes of puberty that masturbation is wrong. It hurts nobody and releases tension. You cannot get sexually transmitted diseases from it or get pregnant.
Give young women in the church more options than marriage and motherhood.
Churches should pay taxes and members of the Mormon church should not be asked to give ten percent of their income to the church. Members pay tax but the church doesn’t? Not very cool. Members paid for all that church advertising declaring the word Mormon and now its no longer a preferred term? Maybe concentrate on the more harmful terms that shouldn’t be used like racial slurs and ablism slurs. I remember reading about how a black woman was called the N word by a person inside one of the temples. Let that sink in a moment.
Maybe The Lord could reveal to President Nelson the evils of late stage capitalism and beseech the president to council his flock of followers to try and get universal healthcare rolled out over the United States.
Perhaps God could tell President Nelson to tell his church members that its ok to feel sad and other negative emotions. That suicide is not a sin but a tragedy.
That being gay or trans or bisexual or anything other than heterosexual is ok.
But this is all suggestion and magical thinking. I am under no illusion that these types of revelations from God will be bestowed on the leader of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. Which is only one of the reasons why I have not gone to church in over a decade. Its even more since I went on a regular basis. To quote Michaela Coal (writer and star of amazing two season series Chewing Gum) when speaking about how she stopped trying to ”save” gay students at her college and introduce them to the bible and the saviour Jesus Christ, because she became friends with the queer kids instead ”Homosexual bonds replaced biblical ones.” I love that.