I saw the new Ghostbusters with my 11-year-old daughter. It was the first movie she’d ever seen in which a team of female heroes are never subjected to the male gaze—in which they are always the agent, never the possessed. It was the first movie like that I’d ever seen, too.
There is spirit possession in the new Ghostbusters: you’ve seen one scene in the trailers, where one of the Ghostbusters is briefly possessed an evil ghost but quickly saved by one of her colleagues. Female friendship, female cooperation, is enough here to drive out evil. When women’s bodies are the battleground, women just as quickly become the warriors. Nor are women uniquely susceptible to possession: the hunky male receptionist is possessed, too, and must be saved.
The first Ghostbusters movie suggested to boys that if they just hung around long enough, women would see that their other options for possession were far worse than just giving in. The newGhostbusters movie tells girls that there’s another option. They can possess themselves.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s cat has a blog and it is wonderful.
Case, Lang Veirs, Atomic Number
Beth Orton, Ooh Child (alternative version)
Carina Round, You Will be Loved
Joan Armatrading, Help Yourself
Al Green, Love and Happiness
Laura Nyro, Eli’s Coming
Corinne Bailey Rae, Diving for Hearts
Joni Mitchell, Tin Angel
Bjork, The Dull Flame of Desire
KD Lang, Season of Hollow Soul
Mariee Sioux & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Loveskulls
Joseph Arthur, Love Never Asks you to Lie
Brandi Carlile, Raise Hell
At this point I would like to make a radical proposal: that we temporarily forget about who calls themselves a lesbian; why, or why not. Instead, I propose that we look into the emotional, psychological, economic, political, intellectual, artistic, sexual, daily and life long experiences of women who allowed or refused the embrace. The conversations that did happen and did not. The words permitted, and those uttered without permission. The invitations refused and accepted. The fears. The imaginations, erotic and projected. The walks in the woods, the fucking, the pleasure of the company acknowledged and refused. The meals, the conversation, how and what conversations provoked, the actions, the artworks, the articles, books, tears, orgasms realized/failed/imagined/remembered, caresses, tendernesses, the refusals of tenderness, kisses that were and should have been, and how this moved the earth, the culture, the society or even just one or two people’s small lives. I propose that we call this whatever we want to call it, but that we not let it fall by the wayside, because when those of us creating queer history and culture display a reluctance to go deeper and transcend the artifice of restrictive thinking, the mainstream representations are handed a convenient model of hesitant obscuration. Lesbians give each other meaning in private, and it is too easy to keep the secret. It doesn’t have to be clean, neat, safe, compartmentalized, or expected. Show it all and let the chips fall where they may.
Sarah Schulman, ‘Making Lesbian History Visible: A Proposal’ at Out History
Borth is a coastal village in Ceredigion. I love beaches and I’d never been to this one, so we decided to pay it a visit.
We considered hiking up to the top of that cliff. Then we thought better of it.
The view looking towards Aberdovey.