You know you picked a good craigslist roommate when you say, “okay, let’s go kill ex#7”, and she says, “okay, how are we gonna do it?”
The time has come to begin the extermination of my exes.
Oyeyemi says that she thinks of herself as “ugly but interesting,” and she’s happy with that. “It helps me to think more clearly, if that makes sense.”
I ask why she thinks she ‘s ugly.
"Boys would come up and tell me," she says, matter-of-factly. "I’d be on the bus home, and they would say, "You’re so ugly, do you know that?" And after a while, I would just say, "Yes, thank you." At first I would cry. But I after a while you just think ‘Why does it matter so much?’"
Oyeyemi clearly still carries wounds from her teenage years: “I was suicidal for a long time in my teens and I was so unhappy,” she says. “It was the kind of unhappiness that you know everyone else is feeling, but you don’t care because you’ve dehumanized them, because they’re all monsters and demons and beasts who are out to kill you, so you become a beast and a monster yourself. I regret so much.”
Her fairy tales are not of the happily-ever-after variety: “Sometimes people ask me what I write and I say that I retell fairy tales, and they say, ‘Oh, children’s books!’ And that makes me laugh. People say things like ‘I want a fairy tale existence.’ The Brothers Grimm would be looking at them in this astonished way, like ‘So you would like your whole family to be murdered and then eaten in a pie?’” She laughs delightedly.
"People think they’re soft because they’re these perfect examples of narrative order. There is an ending that is usually happy, and a beginning, middle, and end … In this era where everyone is kind of postmodern and meta, we dissociate in a lot of ways from our circumstance. So I think there’s that sense that they’re so ordered, and therefore orderly, but actually, they’re just completely chaotic."
And fairy tales teach lessons, she says. Lessons like “Everything that you see is not necessarily what it is. You have to find another way to know things. You have to find another way to know things. There is inner vision. And then there’s exterior vision. There are levels of seeing.”
They reveal “some of the hardest and harshest truths about the ways that we live and the ways that we’ve always lived.” She cites a story she found in a book of Czech fairy tales. A princess is being courted by a magician, but she refuses him. In punishment, the magician turns her into a black woman. As Oyeyemi read it, she started crying. “It was awful … The worst thing that the teller of this tale can imagine is being black.” In Boy, Snow, Bird, she writes, “it’s not whiteness that sets Them against Us, but the worship of whiteness.” She tells me, “I feel as if we’re still in that era. There are still lots of ways in which it is horrific not to be the norm.”"
The most poignant part of Helen Oyeyemi's interview on NPR where she addresses some very heavy personal issues concerning depression and suicide, race, universal perceptions of blackness and the “worship of whiteness”.
Conversely, the interviewer, Annalisa Quinn, starts off the article by writing, "The first time I met her, it was in a bar so dark that all I could see were her eyes and very white teeth", ignoring the matter that Oyeyemi raised on whiteness and its lack of racial sensitivity.
Okay, but 4 orgasms before 4pm? Can every day be a sleepy day off?
Anonymous asked: Can I ask you to talk more about the idea of political transness? I'm afab and have always identified as cis. More recently I've felt like binding and/or presenting/performing as more agender or genderweird seems appealing both personally and as a statement in reaction to the current social/political situation, but I've avoided it because it seemed too much like playing dress-up with somebody else's identity, since I am generally comfortable identifying and being identified as female.
here’s what i think about political transness: the idea that transness can only be an innate and inherent identity, that there’s no other way to be trans, that it’s not a thing you can simply want for yourself, is an attempt to limit the number of people who get into it, to reduce the amount of threat transness poses to society, and to split apart people who want to transition or want to do trans shit for different reasons, in different ways. it’s a way of dividing and ruling. it doesn’t make society any friendlier to trans people who do have innate things that drive them towards transition, it just makes them easier to chew up and swallow.
i don’t have an identity at all. i don’t even know what having an identity would mean. when i go out people scrutinize my face and my chest with prying eyes. when i talk people think of my voice as fake or weird. when i bind my body language betrays that i’m bundled up like a sausage in a loop of gut, my kidneys itching all the while. when i kiss girls people think i’m an obnoxious queer. when people treat me the way they treat women it disgusts a thing deep in me, and it disgusts a thing deep in me more to imagine passing it along to others. i don’t know what having an identity would change about these things.
i don’t know if anyone has the identity that cis people want to talk about trans people having. it’s certainly not me and i don’t think it’s being taken away by people doing shit that makes me less small and alone.
what i think about political transness is that it’s not to my advantage to be alone, and there’s a reason all the cis people in my life seem to think it is