Hey all! I’m kind of wiped out from all the physical activity the rest of the Voxxies participated in. (I’m actually fending off an allergy-cold thingie, so more prone to fatigue than normal). Please meditate on this sad story of what happens when a woman efficiently and expertly does a whole bunch of unpaid and unappreciated labor for her husband yet fails to worship his masculinity properly. I’ll be back after my nap to continue my commentary!
tag urself: I am #12
Hey there reader(s), a few words of warning: a.) I am writing this on a blue tooth keyboard and my phone. I’m going to not worry about typos. b.) Seattle weather seems to have migrated south and it is starting to drizzle. So maybe I’ll be blogging this from the car. A little about this book. It was published in 1963, written by a woman who had a degree in Home Economics from BYU. Look, there’s nothign wrong with a home ec degree – in fact, I think those with home ec degrees should have W2 /401k type jobs. It seems to be a reaction to the 60’s feminist movement, and boy is it reactionary. Further notes will be added to the comments section. please feel free to add your oen comments if the spirit moves you!
I’m just practicing writing this on my phone with my bluetooth keyboard. It looks like it works (huzzah!) so I should be able to leave appalled comments tomorrow. Here is a preview of the kind of wonderful advice proffered by Fascinating Womanhood:
“WHEN WOMAN RULES”
When woman rules, it robs her of presence of mind to do her homemaking tasks well. Generally speaking it is trying on a woman’s emotions to assume the leadership role. But if she develops capabilities which make these masculine duties easy for her – she tends to los some of her essential feminine charm.
(OK, so I can’t seem to highlight that last sentence after the hyphen so that I can italicize like the book does, but otherwise, it’s just a good reminder that trying to take charge means our tiny ladybrains can’t remember how to clean a toilet!)
I don’t remember learning to read music. I don’t remember learning to read either. This is more an admission of my poor memory than it is of my precocity. By my best guess, I most likely learned to read music sitting with my family in a church pew. Growing up in a church with no paid clergy or musicians, the congregation was expected to have a certain level of musical competence – at least enough to recognize that when the little back dots went up, so did your voice. Mom, a trained mezzo-soprano and pianist, exceeded the minimal musical competence required of her, and would often change parts at the verses, raising the bass an octave, singing most of the tenor line, throwing in with the sopranos if necessary (it was no fun to sing the melody when all that harmony was just there for the taking). I learned to hear the “inside” voices of a chorale in church too, which was good because as I became school age, I found sometimes I couldn’t hit the high notes in some of the Primary songs and I could find a third or a fifth that worked in the song. Some of the kids gave me funny looks, but it was OK; the church taught me that Jesus wanted to hear all of us sing with whatever voice God gave us. If someone was singing the “wrong” note, someone else could always sing the right one louder.
As a kid I also learned to play the cello. I was at home in an ensemble with an “inside” part, and was well served by my ability to listen to where I fit in, adjusting dynamics and attack based on how others were playing. I also got fewer funny looks for my vibrato. When I came back to singing, I relished my time in the alto section of choirs (provided I wasn’t just singing a D or an F# for measures at a time; composers of intermediate level chorus pieces, we need to talk) and I loved being one voice in the midst of a big group, even while singing solos. That time learning music in church by singing with hundreds of other people of one heart and mind, if only for the space of a few hymns, had inextricably linked music with the numinous for me. I was incapable of making music without also connecting to something else. Something Big.
The spiritual and philosophical path my life has taken has not been without its twists and turns. The church of my youth didn’t have a place for the adult I became. I explored paganism, atheism, other forms of Christianity. It’s hard for me to describe myself, but maybe an agnostic with Christian leanings would be accurate. A few years ago I sang in a wonderful church choir where the desired sound was that of a boy choir. We were able to sing some inspiring music and that bundle of neurons responsible for my confusing music with God got a great work-out, but the biggest challenge for me was subconscious: if the “proper” sound for this choir was the hollow, cool treble tone of a pre-pubescent boy, the dark, warm alto instrument I had been blessed with never quite fit. Did God really want me to use a practice mute?
Vox Femina wanted my voice as a woman. As a community, Vox commissions new works, often from women, paying living composers to create new music. We do outreach in the community, sharing the joy we have in performing with kids who may not have the opportunity to hear or sing this kind of music. We sing songs about women’s experiences, about love, freedom, protest, kindness, hope, anger, and yes, even God. Every time the forty of us get together, we are united, making music with one heart and mind. Singing in Vox is prayer. It’s meditation. As a chorus, we breathe together – unless it’s staggered breathing, where we listen to our fellow singers and breathe when others are singing to ensure that every singer gets to catch her breath while the choir continues to make music. Listening, supporting, sharing. Vox Femina is a microcosm of the kind of society I would like to live in.
Well folks, I’ve got some good news and bad news for you…
First the Bad:
I had planned to read and review five books before Song Cycle, but now it looks like it’s only going to be four. Since that fifth book is something I’m excited about reading, I’ll still read and post a review but it won’t be before May 6.
And now, the Good!
Thanks to many generous donations, I was the first singer in Vox to reach my fundraising goal – which meant to me I probably should have set a higher goal. So last week I raised the goal by about 40% – which I am now only $20 away from reaching! If this happens, SWEAR WORDS FOR EVERYONE!!!
But this leads into more Bad:
So this arrived…
While the rest of my Vox sisters are biking, running and walking, I will be reading and typing about this ladycentric self-help guide. Here is an infographic that shows you (a lady) everything you need to catch and keep a man:
Hope this helps!