Monday, February 19, 2018

The Cactus Blossoms - Mississippi

I heard this song on "Twin Peaks: The Return", episode 3.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Women Who Refuse To Take Their Husband's Surnames

I found this article about women who did not take their husband's surnames upon marriage interesting and I do agree with it to some extent. I took my first husband's surname. That marriage ended in an ugly divorce. I kept my maiden name when I married my second husband, and we're going strong over 20 years later. Take all that as you like.

I kept my maiden name because it's my name. I am already known well by that name. I  used it for my past political and feminist writing. I am aware of the irony of my maiden name coming from my father – another man – but I didn't sign over my identity by changing my name upon marriage. That's how I see name changing for me personally. I already have an identity and I didn't want the hassle of changing a multitude of legal forms. I could have taken my maiden name as my middle name and my husband's name as my married name but I rejected that, too. I did that for my first marriage. Switching back and forth before and after that marriage was a pain in the ass.

The problem is that the description of men whose wives do not take their surnames as being perceived as being "less masculine"  in the article from the Independent seems to be seen as a negative thing. Far from it. How do we define what is masculine? The traditional definition seems to me to be somewhat harmful to men. Some positive attributes considered masculine include being assertive and ambitious. However, "Real" men are also strong who keep their emotions in check. Big boys don't cry. Brute force is a positive thing. And what's wrong with a man being seen as more feminine? A balance between stereotypes would go a long way towards showing more humanity.

Those who decried the research (the term "hostile sexism" was thrown about) thought of men whose wives did not take their surnames were "disempowered as a result of their wife’s decision." That's a load of crap.

This statement also intrigued me: "A woman's marital surname choice therefore has implications for perceptions of her husband's instrumentality, expressivity, and the distribution of power in the relationship," explains lead author Rachael Robnett. My marriage is not traditional. The power is evenly distributed throughout our relationship. There is no God-ordained leader in my household. I'm not submissive and when I'm upset or angry I feel free to express myself without repercussions, unlike my first marriage. That's not related to whether or not I took my husband's name but due to the nature of each marriage.

I also kept my maiden name upon my second marriage because I had taken his surname for my first marriage. I had done it once and didn't see a need to do it again. I also didn't have a traditional white wedding for my second wedding. We had a nondenominational ceremony in our backyard with me in a green lace dress. The town clerk officiated. Our sons and my son's best friend attended. Then we went inside, had my chocolate sachertorte wedding cake I had baked and watched Hellraiser. Hey, there are newlyweds in that movie! It's appropriate!

I am probably viewed as non-traditional in my marriage, my actions, and beliefs. According to previous studies, "women who violate the marital surname tradition are viewed differently from others. They are described in terms of instrumental traits that in a gendered society are typically assigned to men. These include having a higher status, wielding more power, being more self-focused, ambitious and assertive. These traits contrast with the expressive characteristics that are typically assigned to women, such as being more nurturing, kind and having less influence and power." My husband freely expresses his emotions like sadness and insecurity as well as anger. Why is anger seen as a masculine emotion? I see why nurturing is seen as feminine since women traditionally have raised children, but that is not an exclusively feminine characteristic.

My point in this rambling post is that keeping my maiden name was a personal choice between my husband and I with my feelings being paramount. Maybe it reflects the dynamics of my second marriage, maybe not. I just know that traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity can be harmful to both men and women. It's time we viewed ourselves as individual human beings with our own wants and needs and not be held hostage by stereotypes.

Anske pres. Aqsua - Aquatic (Original Mix)

Heard this on Sleep Relaxation Music on Radiotunes.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Stargliders - The Red Nebula

Welcome, 2018!

This is my first post of the new year. January brings forth new goals and dreams. It also brought on a lot of snow. We got a foot and a half and I have cabin fever. I'm tired of snow. Bring on spring!

I used to see ponds ice over when I lived in Maryland. Here, the ocean ices over. Yesterday the whitecaps at one of the beaches looked like a slushie. I wondered what flavor it was? I've never seen anything like that before. A pond near home has completely iced over like it does every winter. I saw some kids playing ice hockey on it. That looked like fun.

Writing when you're hunkered down surrounded by piles of the white stuff can be a bit daunting. I need to write two short stories for some interesting submission calls but I can't figure out what to write about. Both are horror, which should be easy to write in this miserable weather. I know what to do when I can't figure out what to write – I read. I'm going to read Teeming Terrors to kickstart my ideas for one of those horror stories.

2018 is turning out to be a good year so far. Granted, we're only 8 days into it, but it's still good. My story Invisible was cited in The Solstice List 2017 The Best In Horror. It appears in Zippered Flesh 3: Yet More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad which was also cited. I won one award before – my Night Owl Romance Top Pick award for my erotic romance novel Don't Call Me Baby. That book is currently out of print.

My main goals for 2018 are to finish and publish Secrets and Lies (my cozy mystery/thriller) and Happily Ever After: A Collection Of Erotic Fairy Tales. I also want to submit more short stories and see them published. I probably will no longer host Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black because podcasts are a lot of work and I don’t enjoy them anymore. My goals are about my writing now. I don't want to get off track.

Here's hoping 2018 is a good year for me personally and professionally. I'm off to a good start. Let's keep the good mojo going.

Thursday, January 4, 2018