Víkendové surfovanie

o dni matiek, koláčoch a genderových stereotypoch

“…šije, varí, perie, zvára, ani chvíľu nezaháľa…” recitovalo prváča, ktoré sa na ďalší deň vyskytlo v našej kuchyni – partička dievčat k nám chodí piecť koláče (som zjavne jediná, ktorá je na takúto zábavu ochotná požičať vlastnú kuchyňu). Tak som ich preskúšala. Pre začiatok “cudzie termity”. Polovica uhádla, čo je “nezaháľa”, ale viac-menej z kontextu. So “zváraním” to bolo horšie. Dosť ma šoklo, že druháčka vie, čo je zváranie kovov elektrickým oblúkom…ale ani jedna nepochopila, prečo by mali mať v kuchyni potrubie, ktoré potrebuje zaplátať.

podvod v testovaní deviatakov? treba čítať aj s diskusiou a s touto reakciou

spomalené zábery toho, ako deti ochutnávajú prvýkrát dané potraviny:

Takže na svete je 3D tlačiareň, pomocou ktorej ľudia môžu vyrábať úžasné veci. Ale nie, my budeme tlačiť zbrane (“this tool might be used to harm people”). Tú pištoľ nazvali “the Liberator”. Asi preto, že tí, čo majú svoje vlastné 3D tlačiarne sú tak veľmi utláčaní, nie?

nemám rada patriarchát

Čiže sú to také radikálne matky, zrejme také mi pristanú. Nehovorím, že nie sú tiež obetavé, ale možno mám problém zahrať matku, ktorá je vo všetkom prispôsobivá, mäkká a podriadená hlavne mužskému pokoleniu, čo sa prejavuje aj v mojom súkromí. Nemám rada prílišný patriarchát, zdá sa mi, že v dnešných časoch by už mohol byť prežitkom…

cancerland

My official induction into breast cancer comes about ten days later with the biopsy, which, for reasons I cannot ferret out of the surgeon, has to be a surgical one, performed on an outpatient basis but under general anesthesia, from which I awake to find him standing perpendicular to me, at the far end of the gurney, down near my feet, stating gravely, “Unfortunately, there is a cancer.” It takes me all the rest of that drug-addled day to decide that the most heinous thing about that sentence is not the presence of cancer but the absence of me — for I, Barbara, do not enter into it even as a location, a geographical reference point. Where I once was — not a commanding presence perhaps but nonetheless a standard assemblage of flesh and words and gesture — “there is a cancer.” I have been replaced by it, is the surgeon’s implication. This is what I am now, medically speaking.

Possibly the idea is that regression to a state of childlike dependency puts one in the best frame of mind with which to endure the prolonged and toxic treatments. Or it may be that, in some versions of the prevailing gender ideology, femininity is by its nature incompatible with full adulthood — a state of arrested development. Certainly men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not receive gifts of Matchbox cars.

It was feminist health activists who led the campaign, in the seventies and eighties, against the most savage form of breast-cancer surgery — the Halsted radical mastectomy, which removed chest muscle and lymph nodes as well as breast tissue and left women permanently disabled. It was the Women’s Health Movement that put a halt to the surgical practice, common in the seventies, of proceeding directly from biopsy to mastectomy without ever rousing the patient from anesthesia.

No, this is not my sisterhood. For me at least, breast cancer will never be a source of identity or pride. As my dying correspondent Gerri wrote: “IT IS NOT O.K.!” What it is, along with cancer generally or any slow and painful way of dying, is an abomination, and, to the extent that it’s manmade, also a crime. This is the one great truth that I bring out of the breast-cancer experience, which did not, I can now report, make me prettier or stronger, more feminine or spiritual — only more deeply angry. What sustained me through the “treatments” is a purifying rage, a resolve, framed in the sleepless nights of chemotherapy, to see the last polluter, along with, say, the last smug health insurance operative, strangled with the last pink ribbon. Cancer or no cancer, I will not live that long of course. But I know this much right now for sure: I will not go into that last good night with a teddy bear tucked under my arm.

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