Why Elon Musk Shooting A Car Into Space Really Bugs Me

In case you haven’t heard: Elon Musk sent a pretty powerful rocket up into orbit – but not without decking it out with a Tesla car inside complete with spaceman and accompanying soundtrack. (*Cue me rolling my eyes endlessly forever*) The spaceship itself is really cool and I know Elon Musk will save us all with his Mars colony once the Earth is a fiery mass, but his antic really just rubbed me the wrong way.

I know – it’s stupid, right? It’s a car in a spaceship! But it’s not really Elon Musk that makes me mad, to be honest. I think his whole stunt reminds me of a lot of other conversations I’ve been having with my friends about men, privilege, and what our culture is willing to indulge when it comes to the male ego. Let me catch you up…

PC: The Guardian 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways that our culture excuses men for things that suck. Obviously a lot of this has been spawned by the Time’s Up movement, the Aziz Ansari article, and the almost daily revelations of sexual harassment and abuse by one famous man after another. I’ve seen a lot of people make excuses for these men because they make great movies or are very successful businessmen, but that’s the kind of thinking that protects them. The whole idea that someone’s contributions to the world can somehow protect them from the consequences of their own actions is pretty fucked up.

I’ve also been have a lot of discussions with friends about the expectations we have of men in relationships. One friend is taking classes to prepare for her new baby and over and over again she hears the refrain: women are primarily responsible for domestic labor and we should praise men for picking up a dirty dish. Our culture doesn’t expect men to take care of themselves or, God forbid, take care of a family. We laugh it off saying that men are just messier than women or don’t care about that sort of thing instead of setting the bar higher for men. We just don’t expect men to step up in the way that is inherently expected of women, especially in domestic spaces and relationships.

A friend sent me this article recently that talks about “the price of genius” and I think it sums it up pretty well: when men shirk their duties and damage their relationships in the name of their work, it’s considered the price of genius. In fact, we lift up this behavior as being the ultimate sign of dedication to their work – so what does that say about women who aren’t typically afforded the same opportunity to wall themselves up if they so choose? That they aren’t dedicated? That they don’t care as much? But women don’t get to have it the other way, either – when a women shirks her duties, particularly domestic duties, she’s a bad mother and heartless bitch. There’s no way for her to win so work-life balance becomes a daily struggle for women, but weird that men never get asked questions about how to “have it all?”

PC: The Chicago Tribune

Okay, so you’re probably thinking “Maddie, you’re really just going on a rant about how much the patriarchy sucks and this has basically nothing to do with Elon Musk.” And like, you’re not totally wrong lol – I have been especially existentially exhausted by being a woman recently…

BUT I can’t help but see this pattern again and again of how we, as a society, make excuses for men in so many arenas of life. It’s fine that my male partner never does the dishes because he works a lot (as if I don’t?). It’s fine that Woody Allen sexually assaulted a child because Annie Hall is a masterpiece (as if that makes up for it?). It’s fine that Elon Musk shot his own car into space for the hell of it because he’s such an incredible businessman (as if it wasn’t an obnoxious ego trip?). Obviously there’s a huge spectrum here and I’m not trying to conflate any of these things together, but, to me, these are all examples of how society lets men get away with things that women would be criticized for or not allowed to do in the first place.

At the end of the day, it’s not about Elon Musk. It’s the fact that we indulge Musk’s ego trip as a fact of life and don’t question it because he’s a rich white guy. It feels like the same indulgence afforded to so many other men for so many other reasons. They all fall on varying degrees of the same turn-the-other-cheek mentality society has when it comes to men. Women can’t make any mistakes, while men just have to do one thing right.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about the last couple of days lol. You can take the woman out of the women’s college, right? Cheerier stuff coming to the blog soon, but I really want to use this space as a place to process a lot of the shit that’s going on right now. I’m not always going to get it right – and maybe you think this is a stretch – but I’m just synthesizing a lot of the things I’m noticing about the world. Thoughts welcome!

(P.S. Elon – you wanna put a woman on the BOD of SpaceX? Or more than one person of color? Just sayin’.)

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Weekend Vibes // The Week of January 26

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a Weekend post, but a lot happened this week and I’d like to get back into these! It’s always so fun to look back and see what was on my mind. I’m excited to have a pretty free weekend ahead – I’m going out to dinner for restaurant week tomorrow night (think oysters!), but other than that no particular plans. I’d like to get some blog work done, a bit of reading under my belt, and maybe even an outdoor run on Saturday since it’s supposed to be 45 again! Yaaaasssss!

Here’s a few bits and bobs from this week that caught me eye. Enjoy your weekend, guys!

 

 

 

 

  • I’ve been putting Slow TV on at work this week and it’s oddly soothing. The train ones especially are great – it’s white noise punctuated with laughter and the voice of a kindly train conductor. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter if someone walks into your office unexpectedly lol.

 

 

 

 

  • Music pick of the week: The Good Side by Troye Sivan. It’s a little bit Sufjan Stevens, a little Years & Years, but still very Troye. I loved his Blue Neighbourhood album that came out a few years ago and I’m so glad he’s back doing some more acoustic stuff.

 

And in case you missed some of my recent posts: read all about my Marie Kondo cleaning expedition, help me decide what I should buy with the Free People gift card I found in said Marie Kondo cleaning expedition, and check in with my January resolutions. That’s all from me – have a great weekend, folks!

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Weekend Vibes // The Week of September 15

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House Madison Wisconsin

Hey guys, hope you’ve had a good week! I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few days and left a lot of stuff around the house undone so I’ll be channeling my inner domestic goddess this weekend. I’m hoping to get outside a good bit, though, since it will probably be one of the last nice weekends for a while. 😭 I might head to Live on King Street tomorrow night and then plan to go out with some friends on Saturday, too, so it’ll be nice to get out of the house. I rounded up a few bits from around the web for you, if you’re interested…

A friend said this hotel that rents fish to lonely people reminded her of me. Thanks girl…

9/11 is such a tough and complicated day for a lot of people. This video haunts me every year and this is an important reminder of how life changed for many after the attacks.

There’s been such a variety of responses to Hillary Clinton’s new book. Although I admire her for writing about defeat while it’s still so fresh, it seems like a pretty thorough piece of propaganda (and revenue). Interesting takes here and here.

But at least we’re making some progress, even if it’s only in stock photos.

Former Veep and major DILF, Joe Biden, paid a visit to my alma mater, Trinity College Dublin, yesterday and looked fly as hell.

In #BachelorNation news, who the eff is the new Bachelor? Also having mixed feelings about the new spinoff, Bachelor: Winter Games. I feel like things are sort of falling apart over there…

In other TV news, I’ve gotten really into Peaky Blinders this week. A lot of strong female characters and I’m a sucker for an Irish guy who looks like he’s been punched in the face.

Plus, my favorite moments from NYFW:

Go sit in the sun with a beer and have a nice weekend!

Missed this week’s posts on toast? Check out my recent treat yo self purchases and how I got inspired to yes more.

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Women’s March Madison + 3 Things I’m Pledging to Do

On Saturday I marched with thousands of women and men (and children and grandmas and families) to say that we will not be silent for the next four years. It was the first time since I voted for Hillary Clinton that I felt proud of our politics, that I felt any sort of hope for our future.

After living abroad for so much of the election the divisions here at home came as a shock. The last few months have been hard for a lot of reasons, but watching Trump throw tantrums at the media and scramble to assemble a (white, male) cabinet have been an underlying source of depression.

But the power, excitement, and humor of the Women’s March was so energizing and has me thinking a lot about my own actions and impact on the future. I’ve also seen so many poignant posts about the necessity of intersectional feminism and how much work there is to be done by my demographic (myself included) to support black women, trans women, and indigenous women.

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There’s a lot of discussion about now what – we did the march, but we have to keep the momentum. I’m so excited to see what comes next in this movement and here are a few things that I’m pledging to do:

1. Contact my new local representatives, especially Republican senator Ron Johnson who has consistently voted against access to contraception and abortion. Boooooo.

2. Dedicate a portion of my monthly income to local women’s organizations – I’m coming for you Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and YWCA of Madison!

3. Do more to celebrate the amazing women in my life – call my best friends more, go home for the weekend to hang out with my grandma, reach out to women at work who I find inspiring. Ever since I left Bryn Mawr I’ve felt like I’m missing my community of women, but I have so many great female friends, mentors, and family members right here. It’s time to cultivate these relationships again.

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Did you go to the women’s march? If so, where? I’ve seen so many amazing photos, signs, and stories from Saturday – would love to hear. And if there’s anything that you’re doing as a next step, let me know too! There’s a lot flying around about important actions to take from here and I’m all ears.

“As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.”

Bread and Roses, 1911

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Louise O’Neill Interviews Lindy West in Dublin

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Last night, I had the extreme pleasure of going to see Lindy West speak with Irish author Louise O’Neill here in Dublin. The event was part of Lindy’s book tour promoting her memoir, Shrill, but they also talked about body positivity, the #shoutyourabortion campaign, and Lindy’s ideal internet troll.

In their discussion of internet trolling, Lindy’s story for This American Life came up. I immediately remembered the harrowing tale of an internet troll who created a false online account of Lindy’s own father, who had recently passed away, saying horrible things about his ‘daughter’. The story has stuck with me since I heard it over a year ago, but I (dumbly) didn’t even realize that this was the same woman until that moment. Now seeing her in person and watching her light up the entire room, the depth of that story hit me all over again – How could something so horrible happen to someone so vivacious and warm? Are some people truly that threatened by other people’s happiness?

But what makes Lindy incredible is that she did not simply accept this troll and let him continue (although she did talk about when that is totally okay to do too), she actually confronted him and spoke to him for several hours about his own life and how he came to troll her for the last several years. Who confronts and forgives their horrible online trolls?! Lindy West, people. What a badass.

The two went on to discuss Lindy’s new book (which I’m totally picking up now so bravo at successful marketing), where she shares stories of her journey from quiet human to loud and proud fat woman and feminist. Just hearing her speak for that hour, I can tell that her voice is thoughtful, funny, and fierce and I’m excited to see how this translates into her writing. I’ll keep you posted!

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The whole night was actually a fantastic reminder that the feminist world is a rather small one and is full of women who want to help each other out. Because I’m on my own quite a bit, it’s easy to think that maybe I’m the only person thinking about this stuff, maybe I’m the only one feeling this pressure. Especially after leaving Bryn Mawr, where everyone talked about feminism constantly, the real world has seemed so barren in terms of these kinds of conversation. But being in that room with women (and men) who wanted to talk about these issues and share their real stories felt so good – someone even commented that they wanted to bottle up this feeling and carry it with them all the time. And I think that’s the challenge for feminists everywhere: how do we live our values every day in a world that tries to tear them down? To that, I don’t think there is one right answer, but last night definitely reminded me that solidarity is essential in making equality happen and allowing diminished voices to become amplified.

A huge thank you to Louise O’Neill and Lindy West for an incredible evening and a huge boost in my feminist confidence! Also shout out to Irish Tatler for the wine, mini hamburgers, and for sponsoring our sweet selfie – always appreciated!

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Weekend Toast V.8

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{Photo of Ashley Graham by The Coveteur}

With my friends heading home and the boyfriend over in Jordan, I’ve been hanging alone for the better part of a week now. I’ve gone through all the stages of having the apartment to myself: giddiness, the crushing realization that I am indeed alone, wine, netflix, and acceptance. I celebrated my glorious ‘me time’ by doing things Ian would pretty much hate: baking, watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and going to bed before the sun goes down (which in my defense is like 10:30 here). It is kind of comforting to know that my natural state is that of an alcoholic grandmother…

Other than frozen pizza and reruns of That 70s Show, I had an afternoon of working in the shop today and actually visited a new church this morning for the first time in a while. The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll be a regular (mostly for scheduling reasons), but it was nice to try something new after being in Dublin for so long. I’ll be continuing to buckle down with my dissertation reading these next few days, but here are a few bits and bobs for a little procrastination inspiration…

If you’ve seen Ex Machina, this is hilarious.

Skeptical, but so curious to try these.

Yaaaasssssss 🙌

Made these last week with a veggie friend and was shocked at how tasty they were!

Too real, guys…

Interesting conversation on Irish twitter about the authenticity of bloggers. Positive space or lying to get free stuff?

I wonder what my aura tastes like.

I am about this life! Having space from work should be protected!

Excited to be attending this event tomorrow night – will report back.

That’s all for now, but I’m excited to have one of my besties visiting this week, as well as a ball to attend. Stay tuned!

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International Women’s Day ♀

I know I’m a day late, but I wanted to wish you all a happy International Women’s Day! Trinity has put together an awesome program of events all week long, a few of which I’ve had the chance to photograph, and let me just say the feminist spirit is alive and well in Ireland!

I attended 2 panel discussions yesterday that were amazing – nothing fills up my heart quite like seeing women come together for empowerment, debate, and solidarity. I’ll be sharing more of those discussions next week, but wanted to celebrate some of my favorite female heroes today…

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Top to Bottom:

  1. “Women who Changed Science and the World” by Hydrogene (also love the female scientists artwork from this etsy shop)
  2. Katharine Hepburn loading up, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey getting hipster
  3. Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, “Men put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”
  4. The stately Frida Kahlo, The perfectly askew Patti Smith
  5. Michelle Obama (and the arms that changed a nation)
  6. The blissful Maya Angelou, A vintage Britney Spears
  7. The unstoppable Anna Wintour
  8. Margaret Hamilton with the code she wrote for Apollo 11, the stunning Pina Bausch
  9. Of course, my inspiring, strong, goofy mother 💕

Who are your favorite female role models? So grateful we live in a world with so many amazing women to look up to…

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