A few months ago, I holed up in my aunt's house while she was on vacation in Florida. On the surface this was because I was a selfless niece, eager to keep her newly-bought fiddle fig tree from a premature death. Yet in reality, this staycation had one end goal - I needed space.
When I say 'space', this roughly translates to 'I needed to sing along to Mulan's soundtrack without fear of eviction; I needed long, languid hot baths filled with brightly-coloured, Lush-smelling water; I needed to spend the better part of a week in my underwear making poor food choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.' Most of all, really, it means 'I need to catch up on 'me' TV.' Because goddamit, I love TV.
It's not a popular thing to admit. In a world caught up in the romanticism of the outside (doors, self, whatever), admitting that your nights and/or weekends don't involve hikes/dinner parties/the sun/other people isn't very cosmopolitan. But, yeah, TV is cool, man.
Take The Handmaid's Tale, for example. A gorgeous re-imagining of Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel by the same name, that features a much more radical-minded protagonist, played by 'was way more amazing until we found out she's a Scientologist' Elizabeth Moss. If you're into feminism (congrats, you have thought about the current state of women's rights logically even one time!), sci-fi, and Max Minghella's ability to speak directly to your teenage girl self with one piercing look, you've just found yourself a new favourite show.
Without giving much away to anyone not familiar with the novel, I'd like to take a minute to ruminate on one of the central symbols of both the book and the show: 'Illegitimi non carborundum.' Don't let the bastards get you down.
The subversive nature of this sentence increases as you progress through the story, but can be argued to essentially be a big 'fuck you' to all the times the patriarchy tries to make you feel less than. INTRIGUED? Read the book, then watch the series or vice versa. Vintage have recently brought out a stunning special edition, on that note btw.
a list of times when I let the bastards get me down
When a lecturer's repeated negging made me give up my interest in the subject, and stopped me from trusting other male teachers.
(Side note on negging: Hey, guy. How are you? Good yeah, I've been good, thanks for asking. Listen, I've been meaning to say - could you please stop using negging as a form of flirting and/or as a distancing mechanism for women you find attractive outside of an appropriate setting? It's not someone's fault that you find them attractive, so maybe don't be a dick in anticipation of a woman catching on that you fancy her? And also know that being mean to someone doesn't, to your great surprise I'm sure, 'keep them keen.' Mostly we just think you're being an asshole. At best, really, you'll LITERALLY BE MANIPULATING SOMEONE INTO DATING YOU. Like, is that seriously your end goal? That's the prize, there? Tricking someone into a relationship? If you're just now at a loss for what to do the next time you want to make a woman hate something about herself because of a yonder stirring in your loins, how's this - don't!?? If you're uncomfortable about teaching/managing someone you've got the hots for, try just a smidgen of professional courtesy. A peppering of maturity, if you will. Want to get to know someone on a romantic level? Ask them a damn question about themselves! Where are you from? What do you do? What do you like to read? What do you think about Fanonian politics in a post- golden-era ANC? All amazing options, mate. You don't need to put someone down for them to like you. You're better than that. Good talk, good talk.)
When a senior colleague made a boob joke at my expense in front of a group of my peers, and I laughed along.
When woman-on-woman hate made me start to cut ties with the video game industry.
what i'll do in future
Harness the power of Offred, baby.