Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a positive and
non-demeaning depiction of 'househusband' in image form?

Pictured: a househusband who may actually exist (though,
seriously, baby wearing on the front whilst dishwashing? This
is likely staged).

Not pictured: me.
Musings yesterday were followed, as one would imagine, with further thoughts and soul-searching in the evening and a late-ish bedtime. This morning was slow, languid, and not at all enjoyable - I heard my alarms go off in the morning and then simply watched the clock, all the while cursing my laziness, until I got out of bed. I rushed getting ready, had a bath and did the pots, and then left the house late, about 7.50am. At this point the house was asleep so, as is usual, I left in silence. I can't complain, after all, I tend to get sniffy and annoyed if the children wake up before I go and I have to be fetching breakfasts as I rush to get out of the door - I am not being sarcastic when I say I am pretty rubbish partner in the household and fulfil rather 'male' roles and opinions. In essence, I suck at being different and educated and informed.

Do meetings like this actually exist? Just who is she giving eye
contact to in this instance? Is she framing her breasts?

Pictured: successful presenter at a meeting sharing high
performance figures.

Not pictured: me.
Tired when I reached work I made the mistake of having a coffee and spent much of the day flying and buzzing, with my nose particularly twitchy and my prose garbled and quick - though I did manage to rein it in enough to actually have a stab at educating students. There's the member of staff that is still potentially a problem and my ultimate boss is keeping tabs on them, meaning that they are keeping tabs on the whole Department so as not to appear to be victimising a single member of staff. This does rather make me nervous given that numbers are far below what we'd like on pretty much all metrics and a meeting about this yesterday was honest and frank on what this means. I have plans, plans within plans, but they only count if we see some of them work. I've said it before and I shall say it again: I can inspire but I can't deliver the necessary numbers and letters in the right place and I likely never shall.

Pictured: woman in sensible coat with largely
sensible hair charges an EV.

Not pictured: me.
There was also having to get a cob on about various things. Anger, in measured but brilliant (as in bright light, not as in excellent) displays, was called for on a number of occasions. In short, my patrician style and traditional male input was required and dispensed. Lessons were had about domestic violence, patriarchy and the power of autocracy in Russia - essentially a cavalcade of patriarchy in action and under the spotlight. And I was traditionally patriarchal in my dispensing of the analysis, however much it may have been guided by feminism. As I write this, well, now as I wrote this: I was charging the EV up at the local services with their rapid charger (from 18% to 96% in 55 minutes - it does 20% to 80% in around 35 minutes - and so I can't complain). I read a bit of Private Eye and I wore a military surplus coat with trainers and trousers - because my clothing is important, see?

In short, it was a typically masculine day. As in 'typically masculine' rather than a day that was typical to me. I have tended to the car rather than childcare (itself an extension of gadgets and logic: I lowered the brightness of the display and was rewarded with even more efficiency, to quite a considerable margin too) and I have worked as the primary wage-earner rather than done home things. I had my food prepared for me so that I could eat on my return (including ingredients that Tilly does not like and a meal that Tilly did not share). Tilly even prevented the girlie from 'bothering' me as I ate because I'd "just got in from work" - this was, in my defence, over my protestations that I did not need 'protecting' from being 'bothered'. I am nothing if not a big, fat, walking stereotype of male-ness in a stereotype of a nuclear family situation. Parsons would love me and Oakley would illustrate treatise with my slovenly male behaviour.

Pictured: how I feel I must appear to my family,
my colleagues and readers of this post.

Not pictured: mainstream understanding and
depiction of patriarchal terror.
Lacking the imagination, education and courage to eschew gender binary trappings and all that they entail, this has led me to conclude that I am feeling masculine again. But here's the strange little kicker: all of this was done whilst wearing one of my camisoles and, oh, how I have missed wearing one. It was the aubergine (eggplant) one, or one of them, and I wore a dark shirt over the top. It felt reassuring, comfortable, snug. Of course, I am a coward, and so I took it off and hid it again on the off chance I would have a hug with Tilly (given the above on the family I can rather see why that's not going to happen; add in some inadvertent passive aggression on a card from me to her and you have all the ingredients of a typical marriage ploy of affection denial that just plays to the expectations of masculine and feminine roles).

I was feeling rather clever until I read the comment on the last post and realised that I am so much not clever that, sometimes, it's painful to observe. Basically I am, as I have always been, an agent of the status quo and the sort of boorish pillock that perpetuates both gender binaries and the genderisation of virtually everything from body spray to cup-holders. Even wearing a camisole, I'm just a male stereotype colonising the female experience playing at being a unique snowflake.

Pictured: me as a fork. The broken one.

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