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My reliable support system. June 20, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, family, fat, feminism.

I’m in a tailspin, y’all.

I just confirmed on Wednesday that my husband has been cheating on me, in a manner of speaking.  I now know that he has at least engaged in phone sex with a coworker, kissed her, fondled her, and expressed the sense that she understands him in a way I cannot because they are both survivors of sexual abuse.  I had my suspicions beginning a few months ago that something was amiss between us, and then a few weeks ago it amplified.  Last week I had no doubt that there was a huge problem, and this week I did the footwork to get a clear picture of what has happened.  I’ve done some snuffling around the ‘toob for support for infidelity, but I need to tell my story and hopefully someone here can assure me that I’m not crazy. (more…)

The end. June 13, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, blood, family, fat, feminism, fun, health, medical school, phlegm, yellow bile.

This is a difficult decision for me, but I am certain it is the right one.  Effective 1 August 2008 this blog will be sacrificed to the Toob Gods.  I’ve discovered that I spend a great deal more time online than I would like, in general, and way more time thinking and worrying and prepping for this blog, specifically.  I am definitely available by email (see “Comment Policy/Contact Me”) and would love to hear from my, erm, fans.  The blogroll is a good place to start looking if you want to find something else sort of like me that contains some fun ranting and hearty thinking, but I just can’t do it anymore.  It hasn’t remotely been what I expected—no fault of anyone’s—and I can’t put the energy into something that isn’t bringing me joy.  Peace out, y’all.

Deserving. May 27, 2008

Posted by phledge in black bile, fat, feminism, health.

There are two things wrong with the word “deserve.”

First, it perpetuates the culture of entitlement to which we all belong here in the West.  The trigger for this post was actually a car commercial, one notable for its lack of bragging about its >30 MPG (which amuses and disgusts me simultaneously, as it’s pretty bogus to suggest that anything below 40 is reasonable)—presumably it doesn’t get good gas mileage.  Anyway, in said commercial, a woman slinks by the side of this vehicle—I seem to recall it being a Mercury—and says seductively, “You deserve it.”  The implication here is that if you’ve been Good then you deserve to splurge on something that will kill your pocketbook and the oil fields.  Forgive me for picking on the car folks; this is not just their flaw but ranges widely across many, many advertisements.  “You work so hard and isn’t it a pity that you haven’t given yourself a Coke today?  Because, Jesus, you deserve it.  Like you deserved that diamond bracelet and that off-road vehicle and that flat-panel TV that’s just like being at the game and that cell phone now with fifty percent more shit you won’t use anyway.”  Anyone here old young enough to remember the McDonald’s jingle, “You deserve a break today, at McDonald’s?”  It’s like that.  So when kids come to their parents and give them a ration of shit because they don’t get everything they want, and they pine, “But maaaaaaaaahm, I did my homework and my laundry and I even ate your horrible casserole!  I deserve to go to Brittney’s house!” we know from whence this attitude comes, or at very least is reinforced.

The second beef I have with the concept of deserving is that it skews our perception of how the world really is.  How is it that poor kids deserve less attention at Christmastime than rich kids?  Oh, wait, they don’t.  The rich kids didn’t earn it, and the poor kids did nothing to lose it.  Who deserves cancer?  Who deserves being raped?  We have an inflated sense of vengeance justice and we like to see it served, don’t we?  When tragedy strikes (and don’t get me started on how so few “tragedies” today really qualify as such in the classical Greek sense of the term), we cluck to ourselves and think, “Well, maybe that person deserved it.”  And we hope that we don’t.  But really, there is no turning back either blessings or curses.  Much of our lives are driven by sheer luck and showing up.

Of course, in fat hatred we find people justifying their prejudices by insisting that the fatty deserves everything they get, from mockery to malpractice.  How comforting it must be to think that the recovered fatty doesn’t deserve these things!  Surely this is one of the Fantasies of Being Thin—not ever being sick!  In medicine, it’s not uncommon to find caregivers who think that smokers deserve lung cancer and emphysema and, by extension, do not deserve excellent medical attention.  (See also alcoholics, IV drug users, drug users in general, unwed mothers, liberals, illegal immigrants, and the homeless.)  Oh, if ONLY people wouldn’t drink, smoke, fuck, eat, ride bicycles, drive, get piercings, move, breathe, live—ah, THEN we would not have sick people!  Huzzah!  A profound achievement in disease management!

Then you’d deserve good medical care.

If deserving is an element of justice, then I think we could all do well with a dose of compassion, which is an element of mercy.

Alright, I have to share this with you. May 7, 2008

Posted by phledge in blood, family, feminism, paganism.
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Mr Phledge has been reading a lot about global warming and the unavoidable energy crisis and maybe we’re just gonna go live on a farm and buy a lot of guns type reading.  We’re lying in bed last night, chatting about how in the bloody hell we can turn this Titanic around, how the NASCAR crowd and people like my dad would willingly submit to a concept that asked them to walk to work or compost, and I (not entirely in jest) said, “Revolution.  It’s gotta be a full-fledged revolution, overturning the patriarchal dominance/submission paradigm because that’s what allows us to be Us versus Them.  Fucking patriarchy.”

A pause from the other side of the bed, then, softly, “Yes, dear.”

Ladies and gentlemen, charity begins at home.

Wouldn’t you know? May 6, 2008

Posted by phledge in fat, feminism, medical school, phlegm.
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Just when I decide that I really should focus on studying, Kate goes and links me to Shakesville.  I kind of feel like a rube invited to meet the Queen—Shakesville is one of my favorite places on the ‘toobs—but all I can say is:  Welcome Shakers!  Hope you find something useful here, and I’ll be back in a jiffy.

Vajayjay? Honestly? May 1, 2008

Posted by phledge in family, fat, feminism, medical school, yellow bile.

I’m ashamed to say that, as I alluded to in a comment, I am indeed not very good at confrontation.  Upon reading SM’s brilliant analysis of what words can do, I let my sister get away with it. And this is the one to whom I’m closest, the one with whom I can talk all kinds of issues and still feel safe and loved (more…)

Pardon me? April 29, 2008

Posted by phledge in feminism, medical school, yellow bile.
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So, when an older black gentleman, clearly a distinguished member of his profession, teaches at our medical school and makes a whack-ass comment about how “real women don’t work in the yard” and I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, and then he goes on to say “men are wimps” and I can’t tell if this is a joke or not, is this evidence of why all human rights dialogues should be merged?  Because do not tell me for a second that this man has not had his share of repugnant experiences in his time based on the color of his skin, and if for a sweet second he realized the nature of his own biases that he would, in some way, see a connection.  It popped an aneurysm in me cranium to think of how wrong it is to be a member of a minority and bash on a member of a different minority.  It’s all xenophobic us-versus-them patriarchy, and it’s all fucked up.

Whoa, lotta shit goin’ down. April 26, 2008

Posted by phledge in fat, feminism, phlegm.

This blog, for me, is just a place for my random thoughts and emotional venting.  I like to pick my ideas apart in front of everyone (yeah, all—what is it, now, seven?—all seven of you) and allow others to help me clarify what’s right and good and holy about humanity.  So I’m a little worried that maybe I should be more aware of all the feeds that come into my brain, have a little tango, and wash back out onto my shores, based on seeing what’s been going on with the whole blogger of color/white feminist privilege thingy.  (I will not name names here because I don’t think I have even a sliver of insight about the conflict.)  Let me say this here:  if you see something here that belongs to you, or if you think I’m wagging my privilege, call me on it.  Please.  The last thing I would want to see would be someone feeling left out or taken advantage of because I’m a little bit of a bull in a china shop.  I try try try to be cautious and compassionate and I don’t expect someone to “correct” my privilege—that’s mine alone to deconstruct—but I know I don’t always succeed.

Oh, and if you feel so inclined, I’m always looking for folks to put on the blogroll.  If your name isn’t there it’s not because I don’t like your blog but rather because, for a future medical professional, I actually have a rather short attention span.  Oo, daisies!

How the FLDS brings a lot of my concerns together. April 20, 2008

Posted by phledge in family, feminism, phlegm.

First and foremost, there’s always more than one side to a story. See, today I was talking to someone at my church who has a friend who has a friend in the FLDS community (small world, non?) and he said that there are actually “normal” people in that group who do not practice polygamy and are actually devastated that their children have been taken from them. I’m not sure I understand how they can be involved in a community whose religious beliefs mandate polygamy and not actually engage in it, but meh. Not my pig, not my farm. (more…)