The Bluestocking

I looked up at her, my eyes moving between her face and her breasts. Her eyes were almost as bright as I remembered them, and her face nearly as pretty, but her breasts were uncovered, which was definitely not as I remembered them.

Between her breasts, on its original ribbon, dangled her University Medal. At my request, she had got out the prestigious item to show me, a testament to her academic prowess, and put it on around her neck as a joke – and left it on when she undressed to make love.

Impaled on me though she was, she was still the bluestocking. And she was one of those girls who like to talk during sex. Really talk.

We made love lazily. I have never found the “woman on top” conducive to passion – but it was how we had begun – and I was happy to finally be up inside her. When we were students together, this would have seemed as unattainable as climbing a mountain like Jungfrau, but somehow our being in the world for a few years had brought us both down to earth.

If only to stop her chattering, I suggested rear entry and she was excited enough by that stage to agree to the slight indignity without a fuss. I put her over the edge of the bed, with her hands on the floor, and held on tight to her hips to help support her weight. Even so, she was so busy catching her breath and holding her position that she finally shut up and I was able to finish the act without distraction.

Afterwards, we lay back, and I looked around her bedroom. It was small but cosy.

“So, you kept the medal. You didn’t pawn it?”, I teased.

“No, but perhaps I should.”

“Why?”

“Well, it didn’t help much. Like they say, that and 4 dollars will get you a good cup of coffee”.

“Oh, surely it is not that bad. It is not nothing.”

“It hasn’t helped me get my grant extended”.

“But you have submitted your thesis?”, I enquired.

“Yes, of course. Ages ago”, she replied quickly, and began to fiddle with the medal resting between her breasts.

“I tried writing a novel … but I am really more of a critic … I suppose I may have to go teaching high school … at least for a while”.

“Moulding young minds”, I said with a fake jollity which I instantly regretted.

“That is one way to put it, but maybe I would just be creating more kids who confuse literature with life.”

“I am not ready to settle down yet, or whatever they call it these days, of course. That hardly needs saying”, she went on.

I reflected to myself, uncharitably, that maybe primitive man invented sex to avoid having to talk to a woman. But I did quite want to hear what she had to say. I added:

“Well, be careful about taking that temporary, first job. They have a way of becoming what you do for the rest of your life.”

I looked slowly around her room, a student’s room still. A few stuffed toy animals, of course, and some trinkets; but instead of the usual inspirational posters, a serious library, with many of those dark-spined classics in paperback. I decided to borrow a couple later. As temporary souvenirs, if nothing else.

“So, what are you reading?”, I asked, “You must be focusing on some new author.”

“No, still Austen. I have articles to write now.”

“Did Jane Austen ever have sex?”

“No, don’t be silly. Not in those days.”

“She must have thought about it.”

Not dignifying my comment with a reply, she went quiet for a while.

After a respectable time, I got dressed, borrowed a couple of her books, and left her to write her next article.

… planning her divorce …

At the Australian National
Botanic Gardens it is cold,
so we make for the kiosk,

where we eat pies with
sauce and vegetable curry
soup, and wipe our faces
on the serviettes,

trying not to listen to
the woman at the next
table, planning her
divorce,

as outside the window,
a kookaburra shows
himself, and a tourist
snaps a picture,

for which the Australian
icon fluffs his feathers
right up,

so typically Australian,
showing off.

Cafe

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$girl-coffee

Cafe

Her porcelain skin,
her laughter like
a tinkling spoon,
her rich brown
tints and aroma …
keeping me awake
at night.

Julian O’Dea

Modern women unhappy with their female bodies

Many modern women seem fundamentally unhappy with being born women.

Feminism only encourages this. There is no end to feminism, because the fundamental problem feminists face is being women. What they suffer from may not be “penis envy”, but it is so close to penis envy that it makes no difference. Not only do they resent not having penises, but they resent having vaginas.

The obsessive desire to “prove” their equality with men has this problem at its root.

The only solution is to embrace their femininity. Unfortunately, this is the only solution that the currently fashionable social progressivism does not offer women.

What I wrote on “penis envy”.

Feminist self loathing” (at the Dalrock blog).

The Girl Next Door

I wrote this recently about a man I used to go to high school with:

“He was the kind of man who is going to hang around with his old school friends, going to the pub, playing some sport as an adult, and getting some respectable job in the local area. I had however been on the road as a “wandering scholar” for a number of years, and I put school and school friends behind me pretty quickly.”

On reflection, that ignores my own reality. It is a lot harder to escape one’s background than one realises. I suppose that is a commonplace observation.

Looking at your own life and social surrounds, you tend to see the details and the nuances. You make distinctions that an outside observer will not make. (A good recent example came when I jokingly referred to learning “how Yanks talk”. A commenter on the Internet said, “what about how Southerners talk?” I did not have the heart to tell him the truth – namely, that all Americans are Yanks to outsiders, even Southern folk.)

Stereotypically, a man marries the girl next door. If not next door, then in his neighbourhood at least. (I once read that we only meet a handful of people in our lives that we can feasibly marry.)

Despite my dismissive comment above, I did pretty much what the man I used to go to school with did. And I married “the girl next door”, figuratively speaking. From the same suburb; similar social class; same religion; not the same school, but from the “sister school”; similar ethnicity; and so on.

Is it only the exceptional people who break this mould? Exceptional in a positive or negative way?

Inattentive film critics

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“Audrey Rouget” in “Metropolitan” (1990)

From here.

The Kids Stay In The Picture: Whit Stillman

Not a bad review but it has the usual silly errors.

“Audrey Rouget … begins the movie in tears after her brother insults her brand-new dress …”

(No. He makes fun of her “huge” bottom.)

“They … compare private educations …”

(No. They don’t.)

“Nick Smith … doesn’t take it all too seriously …”

(Yes. He does.)

“Unlike the rest, Tom is middle-class …”

(No. He is upper class too. His father has left his mother and his circumstances are reduced.)

Women and Philosophy

A recent comment I made at the Dalrock blog:

” There may be something in that complaint about philosophy, but what nobody will ever admit, if they want to remain persona grata in academia, is that women may simply not be as good at or as interested in logical argument.

Something which is common to Judaic, Christian and Islamic traditions is complex argumentation based on sacred texts. Boys have always excelled at this. The fact that this is not a big feature of modern education may help explain why boys do not find school interesting. An extra emphasis on “how do you feel?” questions and discursive rather than definitive answers in education also helps girls. There is a general tendency to regard any area in which boys naturally excel as a problem to be fixed.

Some subjects, like philosophy and mathematics, are hard to reduce like this; and men still tend to excel. It may be partly simply an IQ thing, because these subject require very high intelligence, and most of the very high IQ people are male.

Continental philosophy, rather than the analytical style which I assume is being discussed in the article, might appeal more to women. I must say I agree that the Anglo-American analytical style of philosophy can be pretty arid at times.

The “gladiatorial” element may be especially bad (or good) in philosophy, but trenchant personal criticism is part of science too. I think that was part of Professor Tim Hunt’s point, that women take it a bit too personally. Of course, he got into career trouble for his pains, despite being an English Nobel laureate. “

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