From zero to intense

Monday, 25 March 2013

“You go from zero to intense in a second”. Someone close to me told me that a few days ago. Which is true, it’s a flaw, among the great many others I have. I sometimes think it must be really difficult to love me. When I plunge myself into something, it is with total concentration, and I shut out the world and everyone in it. That’s pretty much been the case in the last week or two until I submitted my grant application (which is thankfully all done now). I don’t remember putting so much of myself into one project in a long time; it almost felt like the last few weeks of my PhD, when I would sit and stare at the computer at the end of the day and realise I haven’t eaten anything all day. This is probably not the healthiest way to go on living life, but this is how I do things, and I’m so tired of fighting myself. I think when you go through periods of relentless stress, you project this idea of calmness, structure and purpose onto other people’s lives that your own is lacking. I turn this into a pointless exercise of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ Only this time, as much as I was stressed, I didn’t feel as if anything was wrong with me; which makes for a nice change. Anyway, if you believe in karma, luck, or whatever, keep your fingers crossed for me.

A few other things ...

Thanks for the super enthusiastic response to my proposed book challenge. I’ve now created a badge and an ‘about’ page for anyone who wants to join. I’ve also named it the Women Writers Reading Group. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, but to answer a few I’ve already received: No, the books don’t have to be in English, and no, the reviews of the books most certainly don’t have to be in English either. One of the reasons I didn’t make this reading group country or language specific is because I want everyone to be involved. Also, this is not like a regular book club: I’m not going to prescribe to people what to read, or when to read it. You basically pick whatever you like and read it whenever you like.

And I’ll leave you with a few articles I’ve been reading. I’m too tired to comment on them myself, but I think they’re important, and should be shared:

* Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment
* Steubenville and the misplaced sympathy for Jane Doe’s rapists
* Online threats against women aren’t trivial and don’t happen in a vacuum
* Off the battlefield, military women face risks from male troops
* Some of my best friends are women
* The scarcity of women in peace negotiations


Niina said...

A nice bonus/feature to this book reading challenge would be a list of free titles available as e-books (links please!). I know there are some because a lot of those mentioned books are quite old (and therefore available). To make things even easier to get started ;-)

Jane Flanagan said...

Congrats on getting the grant application in!

Danielle P. said...

Oh, it must be such a relief to be done with your grant application! Good on you for working in the way that's best for you and not feeling there's something "wrong" with you.

I'm so happy there's such a warm reaction to your WWRG!

Denise said...

Hila, while awaiting my passover guest, I only had time to read the first Steubenville article. I am ENRAGED - as a women, wife,mother, girl scout leader and human being! I am active in the 1 billion rising and was invited to a debate at the NYC Paley Center moderated by Eve Ensler, unfortunately, I was closed out as it is a small place. (Yes, my middle aged body danced to Break the Chain on 2/14 in NYC). I am following this closely, but I only have a minute to say how much I respect you and your wisdom and heart. You are one of the two or three blogs I follow and am enlightened from. Thank you from my heart for taking the time for this blog.

Hila said...

Niina: I'm pretty sure sites like the book depository and amazon have comprehensive lists of free ebooks if you check - it would take me forever to list all those books myself!

Jane: Thank you! Huge relief.

Danielle: I'm happy too, I'm glad people would like to participate.

Denise: That first Steubenville article is the best one I've read on the subject. I just can't even explain how angry this all makes me feel. I'm enraged too - to think that we still live in a world where women are treated like garbage rather than human beings. And some idiots out there, including reporters and the mainstream media, actually feel sorry for the rapists. It makes me feel like as a woman, I live in a world that disregards my humanity. 100% of my sympathy is with the poor girl who was raped; her rapists don't deserve any pity whatsoever. They should have been jailed for far longer, they got off lightly. Rape is one of the most horrific crimes.

hungryandfrozen said...

I...identify with that first paragraph so much. Apart from the PhD bit, that is. Fingers very crossed.

Very excited about the Women Writers Reading Group!

rooth said...

Thanks for pulling the WWRG together - I added your button to my blog today. Look forward to sharing lots of good books with you

Hila said...

Thank you both, glad to have you join.