Link round-up (Polanski, hijab, zombies, etc.) and a moment of truth

Anne Applebaum annoyed me with her clueless stereotyping of Russian women, but she downright freaked me out the other day when she went to bat for Roman Polanski. Her subsequent defense of her comments is even worse – Applebaum has the nerve to call the victim’s testimony “salacious.” I don’t even know what to say to that. No joke I could crack right now could possibly be grim enough. Paul Campos is right, for Applebaum, it quite obviously comes down to “slut was asking for it.” Applebaum lives in a universe where some women – Russians, pretty little American models – can be consumed and spat out with impunity. A commenter on the Campos post probably put it best:

… Applebaum sees Polanski as one of the elite, with whom she self-identifies… Law and legal consequences are for the unwashed masses, not for the superior beings who hold sway in Washington’s celebrity circles. She certainly sees the girl as, at best, a DFH, who should have been glad to be drugged, raped, and sodomized by such a great man.

For more on the Polanski situation, see Jill’s excellent post about his famous apologists. Also, check out Daisy’s review of “Repulsion.”

I recently read “Dead Man’s Holiday” by Nick Seeley, and I am in love with the story. You should be too.

Speaking of Nick, he’s editor-at-large over at JO, and JO recently published my piece, “The Fake Muhajaba,” which is now online. It was difficult for me to write this. The sad thing is, I left Jordan for good this year. I made the decision shortly after the piece was published. There isn’t a lot I can say about it in this space, though a part of me misses Amman, and always will. It’s just that I could never have a life there, and that was something I had to face eventually.

In other news, Penelope Trunk is all kinds of awesome. Miscarriage is a part of life. So is abortion. It’s perfectly normal to feel relief when a clearly unwanted pregnancy ends.

I didn’t think I’d like “Obvious Child,” but I did. Bonding on the couch in an abortion clinic, on Valentine’s Day – what could be cuter? OK, maybe it gets a little too cutesy at various points, but at least there’s no PBR.

Zombie Research has a cool note up on zombies & rigor mortis.

Ren lost her kitten and is facing a huge vet bill. There’s a donation button on her old blog. Click on it if you can spare something. It sucks to lose animals, especially when they go while still very young.

Ex-sex – this was very sad, and very well-written.

On a personal note, I recently got a compliment on this blog from someone whose writing I admire. It felt odd and miraculous that it happened, because I have been thinking of nuking this enterprise. I’ve been questioning everything that I’ve been doing on here, obsessing about how pointless and stupid and embarrassing it is. I’m not of the “never apologize, never explain” school of thought, and it’s never been clearer than right now.

Things have odd lately in general. I’ve become the girl who sits at the far end of the table, stares down into her wine glass, and bums everyone out. I know it’s going to pass, but goddamit, when? My ever-helpful aunt suggested it will take about 6 years. Hah. And then she wonders why I never come over for pie anymore. Grandma’s been telling me to go to singles’ nights with all of these forty-something middle-manager types, and saying that I look “just like a girl” (I’m 25, grandma, in civilized countries, that’s still young), and I finally told her that I’ll shoot myself in the face if she doesn’t stop, which was a cruel thing to say, except that it worked.

The upside to all of this is that I’ve lost so much weight that my previously nice, tight jeans can now be pulled off me without undoing a single button. Which could potentially be hot. Or dangerous.

Still, I’m not nuking this blog. Or my face. “Not yet. Not just yet.”

14 thoughts on “Link round-up (Polanski, hijab, zombies, etc.) and a moment of truth

  1. Do NOT nuke this blog. If you feel like nuking it just go for a run until your mind clears. Don’t listen to relatives that still reside in the stone age. Whoever that writer was who said those nice things about you, he or she is right.

    Your hijabi piece was great, by the way. Required reading for anyone embroiled in the “pro” or “con” debate.

  2. I noticed the change of tone here and wondered if I’d missed something. I don’t have anything better to say than I’m sorry and that I hope things turn around soon. I’m also going to second the “don’t nuke the blog” sentiment, because I’m selfish and I enjoy your writing. You might as well spare your face too, since you only get one and you’d be kinda screwed without it.

  3. Anne Applebaum must’ve gone crazy. Chris Rock is right. This is rape we’re talking about here. “We want to kill Osama Bin Laden. Not rape him. Because that would be BARBARIC.”

    Do not even think about nuking anything, girl. You have your whole blog-life ahead of you.

  4. Here’s another one saying “please don’t nuke the blog.” I love your writing and I love the fact that you’re a feminist who understands what feminism means in varying cultural contexts. I’m so sorry that things are rough right now, but your aunt is wrong. You’ll be feeling better in less than six years. By the way, if you can pull your jeans off without unbuttoning, get thee to auntie’s for pie!

  5. Yet another “don’t nuke your blog (or your face)” comment!

    6 years? Yikes! You don;t strike me as the type of person who stays down for long. To much life and vitality in you! Hang in there Natalia!

  6. I know I have not commented in a while here, but when I saw this on my feed I had to say a few words:

    Don’t nuke anything. You’re OK. You have one of the most cerebral and at the same time provocative websites on the tubes. I love coming here because you contain Europe, North America, the Middle East… you have great range, artistic and emotional. Both in a professional and a personal capacity, you are a wonderful writer. Don’t stress about relatives. Just keep writing.

    On a thoroughly shallow know, most women would kill to be as erotic as you are. I say that as a woman. Never be ashamed of it, no matter how many other nasty people might dedicate blogs to how much they hate you (yes, I have not forgotten that, it was awful). If anyone is hounding you again, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up about it.

  7. Your article at JO is great! I agree with Captain Janeway, you’re a wonderful writer. When you talk about your home and Amman I really get transported there in my mind 🙂

    You’re already so petite I can’t imagine you losing more weight. I must insist you eat copious amounts of all your favourite things ;-).

  8. I think you need more cheese. In my experience, most negative feelings stem from insufficient quantities of cheese. Maybe fish and chips and ruby port would be a good idea too, although suggesting the combination to its inventor seems more than a little importunate.

    I like this link round-up. It’s depressing, but represents a better class of depressing than one normally encounters around current events. More of the same and fewer threats of violent suicide would definitely get my vote. And more cheese. Always more cheese.

  9. O hai guys. I wasn’t trolling for compliments, I swear. It’s just been a bad month, or possibly a bad year, so far. (Nobody that I know of is hounding me, I am doing a good enough job of that myself)

    And thank you.

  10. To add to the list: please don’t delete this blog. And you know my feelings about guns.


  11. Oh, Nat, I’m so sorry things have been so crappy for you lately. ((hugs))

    Adding my voice to the crowd: Please, don’t nuke your blog! (I should talk. I’ve nuked mine how many times?)

  12. Don’t nuke the blog.

    Now, for a confession.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and something that intrigued me was the dialogue concerning sex and sex workers. What I’ve read here and on other sites you’ve linked to has really made me rethink what it means to be pro-women and a supporter of women and I’m really grateful to you and your blog for that.

    I do prefer the old blog design though.

  13. This blog is a treasure – don’t even think about nuking it. You’re a real Virgil when it comes to explaining the hell (sex-trafficking, sexual harassment, etc.) that too many people are living through these days.

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