Thursday, January 31, 2008

if Hillary wins . . .

So the blue John is out and the red John has picked up that momentum that's been so elusive for the Republican candidates until now, with less than a week to go till Super Tuesday.

I couldn't be happier. With baby John out of the race and grandpa John surging ahead as the next best hope for the Republicans, it feels like we should be celebrating. I'll try not to get ahead of myself, I really will, but it does feel like a heady time.

This week, at MORE Magazine, Deborah Siegel asked this question to a number of prominent women: Will life change if the 44th president is a woman?

The answers are rich and diverse and thoughtful. Contributors include Margaret Cho, Daphne Merkin, Lynn Harris, Dee Dee Myers, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Suzanne Braun Levine, Mary Catherine Bateson, Marie Wilson, Gloria Feldt, Pat Schroeder, Pepper Schwartz, Jane Swift, and others. Go check it out.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

all about Susie

A couple days ago I received a link to this blog post from Susie Bright's agent. I wanted to blog about it because I found it super charming. Sweet that this woman posted this missive all about Susie. She's only posted nine times since starting her blog, and so its very existence reminded me of the coolest thing about blogging. It's expressive and personal, and you can write crushy love notes to people you've never met or about people you admire. You can speak to a hidden audience and impact people you'll never meet.

I love it when people are moved and inspired by others, and Susie is a moving and inspiring person. We have the great honor of publishing her memoir---in fall 2010. That's right. It sounds far off, doesn't it? But she's well worth the wait. And considering that we courted her for nearly two years (we gave her that tiara she's wearing!), it doesn't feel all that far off to me.

The blogger, Vanessa, writes about Susie:

"She was electric and charming, in her home-sewn dress and Earth boots, hanging out in front of the podium instead of back in the Green Room, discussing the death of her father, reading a story about a religious sexual sadist, and telling us of her admiration for her teenage daughter all in one moment. She was cozy in her body, her project, and her honesty, and I admired her not just for the work she's done to help people quit their prudishness, but for the embodiment of genuine performance she gave to us, a gift of love without the appearance of it being laborious."

When we took Susie out to lunch and came back to the office, our VP of Marketing commented that Susie is a lusty personality. I haven't forgotten that. Because it's rare to know someone like her---a person who is wholly present and engaged and who you know hasn't been sitting around, even for one second, and letting life pass her by. It's pretty easy to fall in love with her. I hardly believed I was the only one.

So thank you, Vanessa, for reminding me that it's good to post crushy love notes from time to time.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

movie mania---it's that time of year

I know a lot of people who are trying to cram as many Oscar-nominated flicks as they can into their busy schedules before the big show on February 24th. I'm not a huge movie buff, but there's something about this time of year---these handful of movies being the chosen ones, these actors and actresses having achieved something special, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these epic films, like There Will Be Blood, which I saw last night. It was violent and grimy and agitating, but also magnificent. Two hours and forty minutes of being transported to the early twentieth century---feeling the highs and lows of new industry, of opportunity, of having everything to lose.

And though these blockbusters get the crazy attention, there's also big news for women coming out of Sundance this year. More than 25 prizes for independent filmmaking were delivered last Saturday night. And though only 25% of the nominated films were directed by women, they won 50% of the top prizes. So put 'em in your Netflix: Lisa Jackson's THE GREATEST SILENCE won the Special Jury Prize: Documentary; Courtney Hunt's FROZEN RIVER garnered the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic; and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's TROUBLE THE WATER took the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. Also, two of the festival's four directing awards went to films by women: AMERICAN TEEN by Nanette Burstein (Directing Award: Documentary) and MERMAID by Anna Melikyan (World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic).

Way to go, gals!


Friday, January 25, 2008

oh, the love and the hate

Our lovely intern, Tina, found these old ads in the midst of her research for our forthcoming Feminism and Pop Culture book (fall 2009). What can you even say about these? It's like pure delight and horror mixed into one concise ad campaign. You can't not love the hair, the poses, the essence of the 60s. But what about the women who read these ads? Did they really feel so liberated? If you were a woman of the 60s and this campaign spoke to you back then I so want to hear from you.

Just in case you can't read this caption it says, "In 1915, Mrs. Cynthia Robinson was caught smoking in the cellar behind the preserves. Although she was 34, her husband sent her straight to her room."

This one is all about how these poor women of the 1910s had to sneak around, and the blurb next to the woman says, "Is it just a normal ordinary cigarette we call a woman's cigarette? No. We tailor it for women. We tailor it for the feminine hand. Virginia Slims are slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke. They have the kind of flavor women like---rich, mild Virgina flavor."

Fun distraction for a ridiculously rainy day out here.

Happy weekend.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

how is drew peterson still a free man?

Every single morning I watch The Today Show and am reminded of why I have started limiting my consumption of news more and more with each passing year. We live in a world where the things that make the daily news are alternately distressing or repulsive, and with this morning's news about Drew Peterson wanting to date again, I just about had it.

He wants to date again. Stacy Peterson, who would have been 24 this week, has been missing since October 28. Three months. Even if Drew Peterson is not a killer (and it's REALLY hard to believe that he's not responsible for her disappearance), what man in his right man wants to date three months after his wife's disappearance? Even if she's just run away with another man, which is what he's claiming. But she hasn't just run away. She's disappeared off the face of the planet. A woman with two children and a supportive family. Poof. Like that.

No, it just doesn't work that way. I sat there feeling hatred toward this guy, and hatred toward his lawyer, who told Matt Lauer, "We know that Stacy abandoned her family and ran off like Stacy's mom before her." Come again? What kind of deductive logic is that? So so wrong.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

public apology aftermath

Well, it turns out that readers and fans do make a difference. After last week's post about missing the deadline for submissions to the Lambda Literary Awards for She's Not the Man I Married, Helen's readers petitioned the board and, lo and behold, we've secured a late nomination.

Hurray. It's nice to see flexibility on this, particularly given the circumstances. I'm always relieved when people weigh things out and make solid decisions. It makes up for all the days when rigidity takes over and you feel like you're dealing with soulless androids.

Thank you to the Lambda Literary Foundation for this.


Author Mail Question for You

OK, here's the thing. Brooke and I are having a debate about author mail. I'd like to hear what you have to say on this topic. Our policy has always been that we pass along any mail that comes in to our authors (positive or negative). If we receive a letter, often directed to Seal Press, sometimes to the name of the book, and rarely to the name of the author, (even though that makes the most sense), we open the mail, determine who it's for, and we forward it to the author. We don't aim to dress it up or make it other than what it is; we all know there are some eccentric (generous for unpredictable and off) people out there. We put the mail in an envelope and forward it. Today, we received an especially intriguing piece of mail--a fan letter to be sure--but with it, the sender included a pamphlet from a particular religious organization. My line here: We stick to our policy, and we forward the whole thing, the envelope, the letter, and the pamphlet (referenced in the letter, of course). Brooke feels we should spare our author from this experience. (At least we've established she's nicer than I am.) What do you think?

Let it be known that I get what Brooke is saying. She is the best advocate for her authors (this mail happens to be for one of her authors). Would I feel similarly if this mail were for an author I had worked with closely? Maybe. But I don't think so.

One of the most fascinating parts of this job is reviewing unsolicited submissions, which we still do here. We're so old fashioned. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff that comes through the door. We've bought very few projects this way, but you never know, and really, looking at what the "eccentric" people send to us to be published is highly intriguing and even, OK, I'll say it, entertaining. I mean, we've seen some crazy stuff. My experience is that author mail or just mail from the public in general is also, if not entertaining, at least interesting. It's a study in humanity. I love that someone took the time to sit down and write a letter about one of our books. Even if it's a WHOA kind of letter, (not threatening or anything, just WHOA, like somebody really was thinking about this?) it was someone's real experience after reading the book. I don't want to deprive the author of having the look I had on my face when I read that letter. And that brings me back to WHOA.

So . . . tell me. What do you think?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice Day

Blog for Choice Day

If you've been poking around anywhere on the feminist blogosphere today you know that it's Blog for Choice Day. Happy 35th anniversary of Roe.

Part of today is about talking about why we're pro-choice. I actually remember a time in my life when I thought I was pro-life. I was in high school in conservative Orange County. I was heavily invested in my beliefs. Only a handful of my friends had even had sex back then. I was supremely sheltered. Growing up like that does give me insight into how people can pass judgment when they can't fathom being in another person's shoes. It's easy, after all, to go through life with blinders on. Ignorance is bliss.

But part of maturing and experiencing life is understanding that people have widely varying life experiences, which include mistakes and falling victim to circumstances they never would have wished on themselves or anyone. And so, clearly, to impose our own set of reactions and choices and would-be decisions onto those scenarios is to choose to maintain a stance whose very foundation is riddled with self-righteousness. So yes, that's saying a lot about what I think of pro-lifers, and I still have friends who are pro-life. Which is why abortion and choice is so hard to talk about. It's unbalanced and polarizing and complicated and provocative.

I'm blogging for choice today because I can't imagine living in a country where that choice doesn't exist. I haven't been alive long enough to know what it was like before Roe v. Wade, and I dread the idea that I might be looking at a future where I'd have to.

Check out some of the following posts:

I Am Roe and I Have Questions for the Candidates, by Gloria Feldt

Feministing's highlights some of today's top posts.

Amanda at

And this late addition:
Salon's highlights, with entries from Gloria Feldt, Lynn M. Paltrow, Cristina Page, Frances Kissling, Amanda Marcotte, Jennifer Baumgardner, Kate Michelman, Shelby Knox, and Pamela Merritt (aka Shark-Fu)



Thursday, January 17, 2008

on female appetite

We spend a lot of time thinking about women's issues here at Seal, which means we also spend a lot of time thinking about why things are women's issues in the first place. So often---too often---it can be boiled down to how we're socialized. I'm not one of those people who thinks the only differences between the sexes are biological, but I swear I could come up with fifty stereotypical gender-associated "differences" in under five minutes if put to the challenge.

This is all coming up for me because of a conversation I had last night with one of my friends about food. She's a waitresses on the weekends and she was saying how nine out of ten times when she's carrying out chicken and steak that the steak is for the guy. I want to understand why eating meat is so associated with masculinity, or as an acceptable (even healthy) indulgence for women on the rag.

Lately I've found myself craving---yes, CRAVING---hamburgers. I had the stark realization one evening last week, when I was delighting in the meaty, juicy goodness of my third hamburger of the month (and we're not that many days in), that I felt apologetic. I found myself justifying my desire to order meat. I felt like a dieter trying to explain why it was okay to be making this menu choice. I observed myself as a stranger. Who is this person who feels like she can't order whatever the fuck she wants off the menu?

But too often we women just don't. We order what's healthy. We refrain. We choose chicken over steak. Salad over pasta. Fruit over dessert. It's often about being conscious of our weight (and I'm all for being supportive of people who are counting calories), but it's also very much about being socialized to curb our desires. Too be too desirous is to be out of control. Is to be scorned. Is to be judged.

Which reminds me of something brilliant Sarah Katherine Lewis wrote about Britney Spears in her forthcoming book Sex and Bacon: Why I Love Things That Are Very, Very Bad for Me, which you must must read because it is brilliant:

"Of course she's demonized: Britney is female appetite. Britney wants. She wants food and sex and love and trashy, sexy, no-account boys. But it's not the outward manifestation of her appetite her detractors can't abide---after all, many female actresses and singers are heavier than Brit's ever been (Kirstie Alley, Missy Elliot, America Ferrara, Kelly Clarkson, et al.). It's the fact that Britney appears incapable of hiding her appetite the way every woman is taught to from childhood, whether or not the truth she tells with her body is deliberate. It's undeniably familiar to me and to every single one of my female friends. Every single one of us fights the same war, attempting to forge a tenuous detente between what we want (everything) and what we're supposed to want (nothing). The difference is, Britney's fight is public property. Her attempts to make peace with her own body and its desires are accompanied by a constant chorus of criticism meant to shame and punish. You try living with that."

Try living with it, and try wrapping your mind around why we feel like we have to. I want my burgers, and I want to eat them every night for a month if that's what I desire. I don't know at exactly what point I started believing that female appetite---my own appetite---existed to be squashed. But I do know that I've always been drawn to women who resist that impulse---whether they're blissfully unaware of it or whether they possess the self-awareness to articulate their battle. I wanted a theme for this year, and I think I may have found it: to embrace my desires unapologetically.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

we heart a safer MySpace

I can only imagine that yesterday's announcement about new safety regulations on MySpace brought a sigh of relief to millions of parents nationwide, but, as Anastasia Goodstein eloquently reports in the Huffington Post, there are problems---most seriously the fact that it's not a solution that does much in the way of educating kids about the real dangers of online communities. Goodstein, author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online, advocates being proactive and educating the kids who are most at risk of giving into the kind of attention that sexual predators resort to.

But still, it's a start. And MySpace isn't the only social-networking site teens turn to. And it's not just sexual predators who are causing a commotion online. Let's not forget the case of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after a neighborhood parent, posing as a teen boy, showered her with compliments and then turned on her and made her feel like shit, all in some whacked-out revenge scheme she worked out because Megan had called her daughter, of all things, a "lesbian."

Point being, it's all scary. And the world is changing way faster than parents can keep up with. Most kids are way ahead of the curve as their parents try---or don't even know how---to play catch-up. There should be Internet Safety 101 starting in elementary school. That's what I'd advocate for. But here in California we have a governor whose solution to the state budget crisis is to cut funding for schools, so go figure. So while this particular solution is another drop in that black hole where good ideas go to be ignored or forgotten, three cheers to the awareness for greater Internet safety.


Monday, January 14, 2008

a public apology

This heartfelt apology goes out to Helen Boyd, author of She's Not the Man I Married and My Husband Betty (a book we've inherited from the now-defunct Thunder's Mouth Press and which we've just reprinted under the Seal logo).

Helen's book did not receive a Lambda nomination because of a mistake on our part. I wanted to write about this egregious oversight when I announced our two winners last Friday, but we were still trying to figure out the best way to handle it. But there is no other way to handle it other than owning it. A number of things---our move, turnover in our publicity department, and lack of follow-up---resulted in She's Not the Man I Married being sent in too late to be considered for this year's nomination to the TRANSGENDER category, the category under which we have two other nominations.

Both of Helen's books shine much-needed light on the subject of what it's like to love someone who's decided they want to transition. She is the partner, the one who's experience is rarely portrayed (perhaps because so many partners end up leaving when their wife or husband decides they want to transition). She grapples with the very difficult subjects of what her husband's crossdressing, and ultimately his choice to live as a woman, means for her own identity, what it feels like to want to have sex with her husband as a man, what their public and private life really looks like. Reading these books back to back is to experience what it would feel like to ride the rollercoaster of emotions and reactions that you'd feel if your partner went from occasionally crossdressing to choosing to live as a woman.

Helen and Betty are a delightful couple, an example of what it takes to make it work: sacrifice, honesty, love for the person despite their gender. I acquired this book because I thought every woman needed to read Helen's insights on gender roles and expectations, the nature of the male/female dynamic, and so much more.

She's Not the Man I Married not only should have made the list of nominees, it had a very real chance of taking the category. It's a memoir that's as moving as it is thorough and deep and utterly real.

Helen, we're sorry.

Public, read Helen, and buy her books.


Friday, January 11, 2008

we don't have the globes, but we have the lammies

This year's Lambda Nominees have been announced. The "Lammies" were established by the Lambda Literary Foundation to celebrate or explore LGBT themes in literature.

Krista and I had the honor of attending in New York last year. Seal Press has two nominations this year, Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano, and Nobody Passes, by Mattila. Congratulations Julia and Mattilda!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gee, um, let's get her in there first, eh?

I read Frances Kissling's piece on Salon this morning Why I'm still not for Hillary Clinton, but I had to keep putting it down. I felt frustrated. Angry even. Frances, whoa. She asks herself if it's possible she's harder on women than on men? And it looks quite clear to me. Yes, she is. And she's not alone. Frances claims that Hillary has missed the opportunity in her campaign to talk about what it really means for women to be equal in this country.

Hmmm. Let's think about this for a second. There is no way a woman running for president can stand up and speak on this topic and be elected. It's naive to think so. Let's be realistic.

I hear and completely agree with the disappointment around Hillary's views on Iraq. I felt let down too. I didn't agree with her. But I don't know when I have agreed with every decision anyone's made? Not a politician, not even my best friend. I'm wagering she did represent the views of her constituency--her job as a Senator, let's keep that in mind--even if I didn't agree with those views. She did move more toward the center than I wanted her to, but I want her to get into that oval office. She can't do anything for us unless she moves in first.

Frances says, She [Hillary] has shown no interest in using her extensive international experience to push for more women in party leadership, state legislatures and even the Senate. A woman candidate who considered her gender a strength (as opposed to something she needed to overcome) would announce a series of measures specifically designed to ensure that women's needs and rights were at the forefront of her agenda.

From my perspective, feminist values ARE at the core of her decisions. Look where she is. Look what she's doing. It's not been done before. She wants the job of President of the United States. She brings tremendous experience to the table. She's not perfect. Why, women, do we insist on holding her to some absolutely impossible standard?

The country IS on the road to further transformation, Frances. But don't you think that having a woman in what is arguably the most powerful position in the world speaks volumes to people of any age, from every walk of life the world over? Doesn't it say, "The country IS transforming." Doesn't it say feminist values are at the core of OUR decisions, that as a country we are learning to respect women, to listen to them, to believe in their vision in a way we have never done before? Why tear Hillary down because she can't be all things to every woman? What male candidate have you felt was the perfect candidate who represented all your thoughts and dreams?

I want the six-year-old girl in Missouri to see that it's not lip service, this notion that you can be anything you want when you grow up. If Hillary can become president, she's not going to have to talk quite as much about what it means for women to be equal in this country. Actions speak much louder than words.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Read Traister Now

That's all I have to say. Short and sweet. Go to Salon right now, and read Rebecca Traister's article The Witch Ain't Dead and Chris Matthews is a Ding-Dong.

Thank you Rebecca. Go Hillary!


abortion clinics are not terrible places

Abortion isn't a sexy topic. It only makes news when we're on the verge of losing our right to it. So I guarantee it'll be back in the news again in the not-too-distant future. Just because Iowa and New Hampshire are sucking the air out of everything doesn't mean we're not still stuck with the justices we have.

Over at RH Reality Check this week, Amanda Marcotte, author of our forthcoming It's a Jungle Out There (please read this brilliant book) draws attention to two of the most popular movies of 2007 and their depictions, or lack thereof, of abortion. In Knocked Up, the main character, Allison, doesn't even seriously consider abortion, even though any woman I know who got pregnant from a one night stand with a guy that immature totally would, and in Juno, the abortion clinic is painted as this horrible space, playing a role in the high schooler's decision to have the baby. This reminded me of an episode from last season's The L Word, in which Kit (who's in her fifties) decides she'll abort and visits a clinic that turns out to be one of those crazy places that shame you for even considering it. The nurses charge at her with photos of bloody fetuses yelling something about killing her baby. She gets the abortion in the end, but that's what you get of the clinic.

So it got me thinking, are there any movies or shows that show positive abortion clinic experiences? Where a woman sits down with a counselor who helps her make the best decision for her? If I were considering an abortion at this point in time, I wonder how I'd feel. The media is all over Jamie Lynn Spears, but mostly I've been hearing that it's a good thing she's keeping the baby. Am I the only person who thinks abortion might have been a good option here? I mean, obviously I'm an advocate for choice, so if her choice is to keep it then that's hers. But she's sixteen.

As a culture, we don't offer balanced accounts of what choice or abortion clinics or even abortion really look like. I feel like this is intentional, controlled by some larger moral force. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. It's just too one-sided to be otherwise.

And yes, Hillary won NH and assholes everywhere are trying to assert that women came out in droves because Hillary almost cried and now we love her. Get a grip. I couldn't even bear to post about it because my fingers started shaking. But I didn't cry.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

yay Hillary, boo media, boo boo Edwards

For those of you didn't see Hillary's response to the question about "how she does it," watch here. It's a moving moment.

The media, unfortunately, is going ape-shit over this thing. Because it's yet another opportunity to take a swing at Hillary's femaleness. When she tears up, when she wears a low-cut shirt, when she's too hardcore, or "steely," when she "looks old"---it seems there's no okay way to exist if you're Hillary. No matter who you support, this is getting really old. Last night on NPR the reporter covering the story felt the need to qualify: "She didn't actually cry." So she teared up, and it's national news. But so is the blow-by-blow on Britney's mental breakdown, so maybe I'm holding us all at too high a standard. Take a look at the language, though. The New York Times reports, "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's eyes welled with tears, and her voice cracked dramatically . . ." And then, "At this point Mrs. Clinton's voice softened and lowered to a near-hush, and she spoke more haltingly."


And then, Edwards's response to all this: "I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business." When Matt Lauer asked him about his comments on the Today Show this morning he essentially claimed that this response had nothing to do with Hillary's moist-eyed moment.

Boo boo.


Monday, January 7, 2008

a sorry bunch indeed

I know it's hard to see this cartoon so click here.

I got this just a few days after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's op-ed in The Nation, in which she laments how little girls are so obsessed with princesses:

"Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are. Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them. . . . [T]he Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning."

So right on. We published a book---Kill the Princess---that got mostly negative review attention for proposing these ideas among others. People want to believe that little girls' love of the Disney princesses is harmless. And I dunno, I'm not one for ruining little girls' playtime with long diatribes about things they're too young to understand. It would be good to kill off the princesses, though, to replace them with a group of women who are doing way cooler things---who aren't saddled with taking care of seven dwarfs or being punished for being too beautiful. But Disney's beaten us to the punch by making little girls love these silly princesses. It'd probably be too hard to kill them off now---and maybe hypocritical, like killing them off just because they're useless. And so these are lessons, I suppose, that are meant to be learned at a later age.


Friday, January 4, 2008

prez politics: on that crazy little thing called separation of church and state (part 2 in an ongoing series)

So I was wrong about Huckabee. Or I was right then, but he's a rising star, who's figured out that the way to win over the GOP is to appeal to voters' religious beliefs and values.

According to an entrance poll for The Associated Press, 8 in 10 Huckabee supporters said they are born again or evangelical Christians and 6 in 10 said it was very important to share their candidate's religious beliefs.

What's particularly disconcerting here, in the aftermath of two consecutive Bush terms, is that this little idea called Separation of Church and State---which actually comes from the Constitution and is an important part of our national identity---means nothing to the conservative Right. These very same people are more often than not Biblical literalists who believe in taking scripture at its word, and who claim to interpret the Constitution on the grounds of original intent, meaning what the Founders meant at the time. So what gives?

Given the current political climate, I think what gives is fear. It's hard not to look at Huckabee's win and think about all the voters who are grasping at straws, voting for the candidate who's most like them. Romney doesn't stand a chance. It really is all about religion. And no one plays to people's fears and sense of moral superiority like the religious right.

Last night John King was on CNN comparing Obama to Bobby Kennedy, saying that it's not very often that a candidate is able to rise above the fray, and that there's something in the momentum he's building that's going to transcend all of this bullshit (I'm paraphrasing, of course). And the poll numbers provide some support for that viewpoint. Republicans got 115,000 voters out as opposed to some 239,000 for Democrats. That's a HUGE difference, and encouraging.

I'm scared of living another four to eight years in a country whose practice of pushing its religious values and moral superiority has already created a disaster of incomprehensible proportions in terms of our global image and relationship with the Middle East.

I do not HEART Huckabee.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

what you miss if you're not reading Feministing

We at Seal are super proud to be Jessica Valenti's publisher, and we make a huge effort to keep up with Feministing on a regular basis. Krista regularly emails me about their posts and I check in as often as possible.

But, of course, sometimes life intervenes. Which is how I found myself cruising through the archives last night and seriously engrossed by this 45-minute documentary on men who have relationships with dolls. It's like a train wreck. Jessica calls it creepy, but it's actually sociopathic. And since I'd just watched the movie Little Children on New Year's Day as part of my all-day hangover-remedy movie marathon, sociopaths who are incapable of intimacy with other humans was already lingering uncomfortably in the back of my mind.

I encourage you to watch it, and I don't exactly know why. Maybe just as a warning, or as an educational tool. For women to watch out for men who exhibit antisocial behavior. If it feels weird it probably is weird. I found myself feeling protective of women last night watching this thing, feeling scared that this company exists, that men are spending thousands of dollars for custom-made life-sized dolls that have removable tongues and different faces (awake faces, sleeping faces, engaged faces), and now, which Jessica reported on Tuesday, that men are actually pimping these dolls out (cause not enough men can afford to buy their own "relationships" apparently).

It's true that it's sickening and sad, but I also feel like I'm glad to know that this exists, as a reminder of the fucked up world we live in. As a reminder to take charge and trust my instincts. As a reminder to value the fact that I do know intimacy. And that I'm lucky for that.

Read Feministing. Read it often.