“Hong Kong drinks but doesn’t create. Beijing creates but doesn’t really drink. The wine is stored in my room.”
“China is full of this sort of creative opportunity. Maybe New York is too, but I didn’t feel that way when I was there. I felt looked-over for older versions of myself.”
“ Facing rejection, like really facing it, seems impossible to me.”
“I want to be the Joan Didion of our generation and I also don’t have the energy to clean my own room.”
“In other news, the duuuuude from p*tchfork wrote back asking if I have a photographer. I obvioulsy lied and said I did.”
“Self destruction: Instead of going home, reading Ann Beattie in a noodle shop till 4.”
“I will wear a Power Suit and then some creative-looking blouse. I need a manicure? Or specifically don’t need a manicure. I hate that these are the questions I’m thinking of.”
“i am just plainly socially inept? i would say unlovable, but that has to be an all or nothing fallacy.”
“ I can see myself as I watch a character in a film with whom I empathize but pity, for whom I hope good things will happen but can predict the obstacles.”
"I am ABANDONING jayson in the middle of the night tonight, skipping town, and having my own vacation. thank GOD. AREN’T you proud of me?"
“I’m sitting on my sofa shoufaing.”
“ I’ll be able to live in this country on $5 a day for 80 days, but I’m not going to—I’m going to stay for 30, I think, and just hop beach-to-beach.”
“Part of me says—if I can get happy without him, then I can tell him I love him. If I love him only with a desperation that claws toward him as one can claw toward happiness, then fuck it. That’s just neediness.”
"Wish I could be in a place that’s not the world’s sex capital on Christmas day."
“I am going to turn off my phone and my computer and just try and live the life of a saintly monk in a cupboard down a well who feeds on roots brought to him by the local mothers.”
"Anyway, we want our friends to be interesting and our lovers perfect. At the sandwich shop, a man had written on the wall with sharpie, "I miss home" and illustrated it with the eerie line drawing of a skull with a dagger through the eye socket.. "
“They played green day at 80s night the other night. you would’ve cried. i don’t think china understands time.”
"There’s a sandstorm outside now swilling the air in here and oh, things outside are crashing—my bike for one. I’m drunk if you can’t tell by the rhythm of the writing here."
“there’s no weird ‘Oh, i feel weird calling him now’ stuff. He loves to bicycle.”
"She pronounced that my neighborhood is what all of Philadelphia is like. "Lots of skinny bikes. And the boys that ride them always have their U-locks in their back pockets." "Track bikes," I said. And then explained carbon weave tires. So yes.”
Just searched through my e-mail for “defense” (to see thesis defense schedule) and somehow came to my e-mail chain with Kari about our lame 21-year-olds book club, and somehow came to diary-entry-like e-mails sent from Hong Kong, and somehow found this description of a night:
A little bit drunk from the open bar boat party, I talked to him right away—he being the only one there I actually liked, and I____ being at the corner pizza shop waiting in line for a slice. I told him I missed him, and what was he doing, I wanted to hang out with him FOREVER. Forever? He said. “Yeah, forever.” And we had this drunk conversation where we said we were going to get married, and talked about how forever would never end, and I wanted a cat but he wanted dogs, and I said that’s fine but refused to walk it, and he said:
What’s depressing is you’ll never remember saying any of this by tomorrow.
Here’s what’s depressing: I don’t remember saying any of that now. Or why. Or where we were.
He tries to yell so she can hear him over the music, but also to yell in a way that’s friendly and blithe and not all the things that yelling is: an act of pitiful domination, of needing someone to hear and knowing they don’t care to.
Hopefully this answers some of the great questions I got last week about what is “feminist” about this project. And what is definitely not.
Also I am going all out that week. You can follow thequotaproject’s tumblr and tweets. I will be steadily updating in anticipation of starting this Friday, and clicking lots of familiar faces to follow.
flash inspired by two women wearing the same shirt at French Meadow
Maurice and Paul showed up at the party wearing the exact same shirt. It wasn’t only the same plaid pattern, which was common, it was also cut in a Western way, and the petalling of the cuts was exactly the same, and the buttons were brass-edged moonstone and both were embroidered with the very same figure of a rose just above the heart. Ellen Miles made them let her check the labels; which Paul was very loathe to do for whatever reason but which Maurice was quite excited about. The labels were indeed the same and Paul asked if he could borrow a shirt from Peter Tracker, whose party it was, but Peter said it was no big deal and Paul shouldn’t be embarrassed. Maurice did not ask to borrow a shirt; Maurice didn’t care. Maurice went up to the roof where Stewart Mulcolme was smoking a blunt and talking about how he didn’t have any women. The only other person up there was Jane Drey, who was just nodding along because she was so thin that she was already stoned. Maurice suggested callously that perhaps Stewart didn’t have any women because he was in love with a woman who didn’t want him. Jane nodded. You mean Ellen Miles, said Jane. Yeah, Maurice said. It must be pretty obvious, said Stewart. Well, said Maurice. If you’re stoned all the time you tend to sort of give things away. What about you, said Jane. You and Paul. Me and Paul? said Maurice. You and Paul, said Stewart, defiantly. You and fucking Paul. We’re not fucking, said Maurice, enunciating fucking in the same way that Stewart had said it. In fact, we’ve never touched. But you know that he likes you, said Jane. No, said Maurice. I don’t know. Well, I didn’t know. Not until the incident with the shirt. What incident with the shirt, Stewart asked. Maurice explained to them what had happened downstairs. Yes, said Jane, stoned. You can see that he really loves you. Stewart couldn’t understand what the incident had to do with love, and Jane said it was more like admiration. Stewart still didn’t see it. Maurice said that if Stewart were gay or a woman, he would see it. They talked about that, but somehow did not get around to deciding what Maurice should do about it. Maurice said he didn’t know how he felt about Paul. He never knew how he felt. He was twenty-seven and he wasn’t sure he knew what love was. Jane described all the times she had ever been in love and what each one felt like. She said that David Bryan had been like taking a shower where the water was ice-cream. Very sweet, and very ineffective. Stewart agreed he had never felt the way that Jane had felt and so maybe he, like Maurice, had never been in love. When they got cold, because it was April in New York City in 1998, they went down the ladder. Jane went slowly, and first, because she feared skinning her knee like she had once skinned it on the pavement during track practice, for which she still carried a scar. Stewart went last so that he could close the porthole door so that the landlord wouldn’t get mad if the rain came in, or so that the rain would not come in. When they got downstairs Paul had changed into a shirt of Peter Tracker’s. We didn’t know where you all were, said Ellen Miles. We were upstairs, said Stewart. When you don’t know where we are, we’re always upstairs.
I’d love to hear about your experience enacting your own Quota Project this summer. I challenge you to set out to consume only media made by women for however long you want and write about your experience! Or video about it. Or make a song about it. Or, you know, dance about it. Then, email me here –
– about how it went. I’ll publish favorites on this blog and in the fall I’ll compile a group of submissions for an E-Zine. Hopefully, the collection will show a broad range of experiences.
Oh, and FAQ:
Q: Will you justly pay women for their written work, which they toiled over? Or will you be part of the system that doesn’t pay women for work that men are paid for? And will you be part of a rising, unjust economy that refuses to pay writers what they are due, thus supressing a broad range of voices?
A: Yes, I am terrible. This is all an un-funded work of love, which you can tell because it’s sort of shoddy. My total budget was $18 dollars, which is how much WordPress charges if you want some fancier things. I will probably have to buy a few coffees though, this summer, to get internet access some days. If I get the sixth coffee free because of the punch card, I will let you know and you can come join me and I’ll give you the sixth coffee.
Yo! I have a new blog that is perfectly formatted. And has comment capabilities. So go there. Or just read below. Because I need your help!
Could you feminists out there help me define what media made by a man is? Read on…
One of the super terrifying questions that have popped up since I confidently/naively proclaimed this undertaking has been…
“How are you defining, ‘made by a woman,’ exactly?”
The more common question, whose very grammar shows our cultural biases, is:
“What will you be allowed to read/ watch / etc.?”
“Allowed to!” “Allowed to!” I will be allowed to watch everything that has ever been worth watching, I will be allowed to consume the work of my gender and to revel in the accomplishments of women. I will be allowed to watch…
The reason that this challenge is “super terrifying” is that when you begin looking around for what is made by women and women only, it turns out that you are basically a baby pig searching for his owner in the big city.
We’re living in a society where on most projects, men and women collaborate. It would be weird if you were working in an office that was only men or only women. And so too, it would be weird if you were writing for a television show where every writer was a woman. Or if you were acting in a film where every actor was a woman. Or if you were writing a novel where every editor and copy-editor and publisher that affected its text was a woman. This sounds like the plot ofDavid Boring. And I’m not about to go there…
So while I would absolutely love your suggestions of where to find media that is made solely by women (comment away!) I would like to define what we see as a project that is conceived or lead by women, as well as what “media” is in this age of “social media” so that I can define the rules I’ll stick by.
Here are a few questions to get us started:
For a film or television show, is it essential that both the writer and director are women? And if so, must the star be a woman as well? Shows like 30 Rock and The New Girl could fit these rubrics, but both are also occasionally directed by men.
For a novel or newspaper article, must the editor be a man as well? Certainly, his input had a huge influence on the text… But, these are a woman author’s sentences… And if so, does anyone have any suggestions for a database where that information might be listed? (As opposed to googling and trying to hunt down Publishers Weekly info…)
For a live band or recorded music, if the band is fronted by a woman, does that count as a woman-created sound or stage performance? On a record, a producer may be male as well…
Just some questions to start us off. And now the completely confounding question:
How are we defining media?
Because my friend Stan wants to know if this means I won’t be reading his Twitter feed.
Are facebook and twitter and tumblr…”media” that we create to amuse not a wide readership, as media has so often been defined, but rather our small tribe of friends… our “social media circles” (Bleugh. I threw up in my mouth when I typed that.)
If so, I would HAPPILY go a summer without the facebook, twitter, and tumblr — as I’m sure they deplete about an hour of my day, every day, which I could be using for more productive things. Like reading novels written by women. That said, how will I get to see iPhone photos of my friends babies and weddings and cats and the offensive signs they saw mistranslated… Okay, get me off that stuff.
So what do you think? What defines work made by a woman?