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Archive for the ‘women’ Category

An open letter to Rita Atria

Posted by E on July 26, 2012

This is a love letter to the sister I never had.

On July 26, 2012, the twentieth anniversary of your death, I want to say that I will never forget you, Rita. I want to shout your name from the rooftops, and hope that somewhere in the echoes that bounce back, you are still there. I want to say that even though I never met you, I will always consider you a sister of my heart. You are my shadow self – a firefly in the darkest sky, a girl who never grew to be a woman.

We were born 3 months apart in the latter half of the same year, in the same part of the continent. We were both loud, vivacious, black-haired, brown-eyed girls endowed with a penchant for mischief. You were born into a small village of Mafiosos and I was a street urchin seeking out a family among a group of hateful extremists who envisioned that they would one day rule the country.

We were both seventeen years old when we saw our “family” for what it really was and tried to get out. We were both seventeen when we began to compile information on the men who we had once trusted, looked up to, even loved. We were little girls who wanted to pretend that we were soldiers in a war greater than ourselves.

In the greater scheme of things, we were little children. Disobedient children who spied on our families and turned against men who had once held us close to them and called us “daughters.” We sat in open court and pointed to such men, denouncing them for the vile criminals that they were. You testified against the Cosa Nostra, men responsible for murdering your father. I testified against the Heritage Front and helped shut down Canada’s largest white supremacist organization, bankrolled and condoned by Canada’s Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

We both betrayed the only family that had ever embraced us.

I am you, Rita, and you are me. We are no more or less than any other teenage girl who wants to make a difference in her life, who wants a better world for her unborn children. We are every girl who lives in fear today, yet holds within her heart the flicker of hope that she will one day be counted. That someday she might make a difference.

We both know the seclusion of safe-houses, the anonymity of a new haircut and a bottle of scalp-burning dye. The unfamiliar utterance of a new name in our mouths. We know what it is like to have an entire world hate us and call us traitors. We know the words grown men have spoken after us, the threats and hits that were placed on our heads. And the truth, Rita, is that we were both children. We were idealists with hardly any concept in our minds of the ugliness of the world, of the seclusion and loneliness that would come.

When you’re in hiding the sky is always starless, muffled by an oppression of perpetually-low clouds. There’s only the stillness of empty apartments, where the silence of incalculable whitewashed walls closes in on you. After a while, the danger is no longer as relevant as walking to the window to tear apart the curtains, regardless of who might be lurking below. Because all you can say to yourself is, When the gunfire erupts I will not duck, I will not retreat.

I wish I’d met you, Rita. I wish that I could hold your hand and call you Sister. When you climbed over that balcony and flew down to your death, broken-hearted after the Mafia assassinated your only friend, magistrate Paolo Borsellino, convinced that nothing would ever change, a part of me was there with you. A part of me has always longed to take flight too.

Every year that passes since your passing, after the great snowfalls recede and give way to the delicate beauty of new growth in spring, I think of the shadows of us two – two teenage girls who wanted to make this ugly, senseless world a better place.

You live in me, Rita. And I will never forget you.

Posted in activism, beauty, cosa nostra, csis, family, freedom, history, identity, innocence, italy, letter, life, love, mafia, media, news, paolo borsellino, politics, revolution, rita atria, truth, Uncategorized, violence, war, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beauty and the Psycho

Posted by E on June 11, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl. Who met a charming, smooth-talking prince by the edge of a beautiful blue ocean. And then the prince turned out to be a psycho and murdered the girl. And then he murdered another girl. And he kept getting away with it, because his daddy was a judge, and the police preferred to investigate poor, black locals, and the FBI refused to follow the extortion leads until it was too late.

Not many people know that I’ve been following this story since Natalee went missing while on vacation in Aruba, back in 2005. There was something so engaging about her story, that beautiful smile, her desperate parents, and the breathtaking locale where all this happened….I followed the newscasts and the documentaries that asked what happened to Natalee, and I too, like so many other bloggers and readers, speculated on whether the rich Dutch boy did it.

And then this past week, EXACTLY five years to the day Natalee went missing, with the murder of Peruvian citizen Stephany Flores, the answer came. An answer that, as horrible as it may be, will bring peace to Holloway’s family and incense the hearts of a new family whose daughter did not have to be taken from them, if the authorities had done their job.

One wonders (hypothetically of course, since the answer is pretty clear) if Stephany Flores would still be alive if Joran van der Sloot’s daddy wasn’t a prominent judge with money to burn, and an uncorruptable desire to cover up for his psycho son at any cost.

One also wonders how many signs there must have been in Joran’s teenage years, signs of a troubled psyche including, but by all means not being limited to – binge drinking, drug abuse, harming small animals, adding Rohypnol in college girls drinks…. I imagine the whole sordid saga will come out during the inevitable trial (and appeals, and retrials ad nauseam, until the money for high-profile lawyers runs out) to come.

I know, I know. No use asking the What Ifs now. Two girls are dead, and for all we know, there are others. But still. The only comfort there can be in this whole ugly mess is that Joran will spend the rest of his days inside a brutal Peruvian prison. And given that his now-deceased daddy wasn’t a local celebrity in these parts, I doubt his son will get the royal treatment. That is, unless a new judge caves in under the persuasion of smooth-talking defence counsels, and signs an extradition order for Joran to spend his sentence(s) concurrently in the relative comfort of a Dutch prison.

Let’s just watch and make sure that doesn’t happen. But if I were a betting girl, this is what I’d predict: rich boy will finally tell where Natalee’s body is, so that he makes sure he’s tried in Aruba first (and presumably convicted there) so he doesn’t have to do time in Lima (one of the most violent places in Latin America) and get his ass kicked, raped or murdered by the other inmates.

Your thoughts?

Posted in crime, murder, news, rant, thoughts, violence, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Renouncing Motherhood

Posted by E on July 2, 2008

I don’t want to worry after a child. I can’t imagine what it would be to experience the uncertainty I have seen in mothers’ eyes when they look out the window and see their baby crossing the street and disappearing into an uncertain future filled with other anonymous people who don’t have the same tenderness, the same cherish, the same endless adoration for the one you love.

I don’t want to feel the trepidation of watching the one you have cradled in your arms and fed at your breast, as he or she stumbles away from you, away, away, falling and crying but always moving further out of range, propelled by an inexplicable forward motion into the distant unknown, propelled by a bottomless ache for exploration that stabs you through the soul.

I don’t want to bear the weight of my grandmother’s fears, as she looked out the same window so many other women before and after her have stood at, arms tucked like prayers in the hollows of elbows, holding themselves tightly, trying to abate the cold that seeps in – the cold of What If? Will he be safe? Will my boy come home tonight?

I don’t want to be my mother standing in that window, on that grey concrete balcony of hers, stubbornly ignoring my furious waving for her to go back inside. I don’t want my eyes to carry like hers do, at the back of my head, so heavy with regrets – regrets of abandonment, of hurting me, regrets of a wretched life that vibrates like a shout in the air between us. But her eyes, nonetheless, full of regrets as they are, plead after me in the road until I am swallowed up by the urban concreteness of the city, and they can no longer follow the shrinking pinprick of my outline.

I don’t want to carry that worry inside me like a shadow infant, a twin of the one who has been born and tears away from you. After a physical birth, a secret pregnancy continues, an afterbirth that you carry in your spirit forever. Even as your baby turns into a toddler, then a youth and finally an adult who goes to school in another city or perhaps gets a job in another country, the twin thrives, sucking from your marrow, clawing through your heart, becoming the pulse in your veins and the throb in your gut.

I don’t want that. I don’t want to bear the pain of creating something as fragile as a human being only to watch him or her slip away from me, while I die a little every day inside. I don’t want to tell her of all my past hurts and all the hurts and demons of her grandmothers and the great-grandmothers before that. I don’t want her to inherit the suffering of her forefathers, the ache of a wounded country, the knowledge of having inherited her flesh from generations of women bloodied by revolutions and wretched men and abandonment and despair.

I think it is more merciful to murder the idea of an infant before it hatches into something more. To hurl that idea as far away as I can, to hurl it like a rock into an abyss of oblivion, to get it far away from me, away, away, away.

(written today, on the occasion of my mother’s birthday)

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Posted in children, family, freedom, mother, personal, pregnancy, thoughts, women | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Reflecting on my visit to Cuba

Posted by E on December 25, 2007

So I’ve been back from Cuba for about two days now, which is just about how long I’ve needed to get over the vacation, sunburn and trauma of leaving the sunshine behind and being air-packed like a Polish sausage into the tiniest airplane seat I’ve ever sat in…and this is coming from me, the queen of budget airlines.

The vacation itself was sunny and lovely, this being my first time visiting Cuba – of course I fell in love with the azure blueness of the Caribbean sea, as much as I fell in hate with the system of unabashed oppression in this country.

People made due, of course. They adapt under any circumstances.

Late at night, hotel staff snuck into the Internet room to check world news and their emails; on a sunset walk on the beach, we came across another employee carefully clipping out articles from an international newspaper some tourist abandoned on the beach. Earlier in the day, we bought bootleg rum from the bar server – who snuck us into the back of the bar and sold us a tall bottle of Havana Club for four pesos.

Everyone tries to make their way through a system that now has decided to attack its own people with its advent of the cuban peso convertible – an odd, makeshift currency that simultaneously attempts to copy the euro, take advantage of tourists, and rip off its own citizens. Nowadays, waiters, bartenders and chambermaids make more in a month, after tips, that doctors, lawyers and government officials do.

It’s sick.

The country is turning topsy-turvy, with the elites being those who work in the tourism trade, and the intellectual professions becoming less paid, and less regarded as something to strive toward. One of our waiters had been a Spanish teacher for seventeen years and confessed that he had always wanted to teach and worked hard to achieve that distinction. However, he chose to don a waiter’s outfit in order to make significantly more money, though the hours are long and he has to commute for many hours while working six days a week.

The ones who suffer the most in Cuba are the people who are not associated with tourism, who do not have access to the new “cuban convertible peso” currency, which is 25 to 1 the rate of the regular people’s peso. Those people see the nike shoes and brand name clothing being purchased by rich Cubans from specialty shops, and are getting angrier.

We took trips into local towns and the poverty is sickening. I predict the Cuban government will fall in the next 2-3 years. Maybe sooner. Who knows if Fidel is even alive? I have my doubts – nobody has seen him since his health problems last year. I don’t believe that the propaganda writings of Che adorning the walls of the sugar and tabacco factories we visited will hold back the masses of dissafected youth who hang out on the streets, find ways to access the outside world through internet and word of mouth, and ache to travel outside their suffocating little island.

I felt like crying, because I knew, I totally knew that if I had been born in Cuba, I too would follow those who desperately do anything to escape – in rafts, in boats, in anything that would get me out. Cuba is such a beautiful country, but if you are trapped, unable to think or travel anywhere, even paradise can become a horrifying place.

I remembered the oppression of growing up in Romania, and how we left just two years before the Revolution. But even in Romania, people could sometimes travel. I cannot fathom a more oppressive government than Cuba – excluding of course the Middle Eastern nations who would rather stone a woman to death than allow her to go to the market by herself, or have a strand of hair show through the burke.

Religion and ideology are the same. The opium of the masses, the poison of free thought, the exile of humanity from this world.

Posted in censorship, commentary, communism, cuba, freedom, life, politics, propaganda, religion, revolution, romania, thoughts, women | 6 Comments »

Want bigger boobs? Now easier than ever – just eat these F-cup cookies!

Posted by E on August 17, 2007

fcup-cookie02.jpg 

Hello ladies,

 on the heels of my recent entry about Japanese ice cream flavours (like goat chunks and raw horseflesh), here is another delectable offering.

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought, “hmm, I wouldn’t mind a larger cup size” but don’t want to go to the expense and risks of plastic surgery, you can opt for this yummalicious-yet-practical snack: it acts like yeast on your boobs, growing them to immense proportions.

Each cookie contains 50mg of the “miracle breast enlarging herb” Pueraria Mirifica. How many cookies you’ll have to eat to get size F Cup is yet unknown.

But dear ladies, do beware, and try not to let your snacking get too out of hand, or your lovely cleavage might explode! Remember, they are called F-cup Cookie for a reason!

I only feel sorry for those plastic surgeons…now they’ll have to go out of business.

I regretfully must inform all that no, I do not offer these cookies on my site – though how I wish! I’d be making a fortune instead of begging all of you to buy my books or a cup of coffee, which none will do for me! (alas, cheap is the price of entertaining the masses these days…)

I would try to import these lovely cookies for you all but I am prevented by a tangled mess on international restrictions, a lack of vendor resale numbers, and a various unpleasant assortment of complicated tarrifs and Canadian food board censorship.

Side effects include cancers, pulmonary embolism and potential death. Methinks the recipe may need to be adjusted.

 must run along now. ta-ta, my pets 🙂

Posted in cuisine, food, girls, humor, humour, Japan, news, weird, women, wtf | 1 Comment »

Sex Kitten, Radical Feminist, or Mommy-wannabe – what kind of girl blogger should I be?

Posted by E on August 7, 2007

contemplation.jpg

For a while now I have been musing about which angle I would take this blog toward. In order to attract a good amount of readers, a blogger has a choice to make:

1. Drive readers toward you based primarily on your personality – and you can write on any subject you like, since visitors are interested in you and what you have to say, OR

2. Develop a niche area that you preoccupy yourself with, thus becoming a blogging expert in that field. In this case, readers come to your blog because of the subject, instead of you personally.

For the last couple of months I’ve wondered how I could do both and get away with it. I would like to be visited by repeat and loyal readers, but I’m not sure how entertaining I can be to each person since I don’t know them personally! And as a writer, I tend to like to cover a wide variety of subjects, and really don’t see much appeal to cornering a niche market, even one on the subject of writing.

I find niche bloggers who focus on writing and the writing process to be among the most tedious and boring offerings on the net. God, even I as a writer can’t stand posts on end that cover grammar, how to attract agents, or how you’ll never be published unless you do X, Y and Z.

What niche am I in? I’m a woman, so I could write about woman stuff – that basically renders me to choose between a radical feminist angle (The Bitch), a mommy-and-kiddies angle (The Saint), or a sexual vixen with a penchant for odd-shaped toys and wild encounters (The Whore). Those archetypal personas just about sum up 99% of the girl blogs I’ve come across.

Ok, so since I’m not a mommy that eliminates me from possibly commenting on the subject, or so many would think. So since I won’t be blogging about my daughter’s birthday party invitations or how much fun face-painting and pony rides might be, or the tantrum she threw last night when she has to share her Bratz doll with her visiting cousin. Oh, but what if I don’t want to be a mommy, after all? Yikes, I couldn’t possibly write a blog about the joys of being childfree and not be attacked by my mommy readership!

Being a lesbian, however, almost demands that I take a radical feminist or a sex maniac angle, thus blasting the doors open to new blogging possibilities. Hmmm, so many decisions, so little time!

As a feminist blogger, I could tackle the mass genocide and abandonment of millions of female infants in China and India, or how I don’t think anyone wearing a hajab can call herself equal to a man, or otherwise truly delude herself into thinking that she is liberated from western sexuality rather than oppressed.

But I can just see all the flamers and critics already get choked up in a flurry of ruffled feathers and muffled indignation as they get ready to peck my eyes out.

I will now allow myself the pleasure of fantasizing about the kind of attention a sex blog might bring – lots of adoring readers, a stalker or two, various requests for odd and unusual tête-à-tête, and a genuine elevation of my ego to unheralded proportions.

All I would have to do is put together some scantily-clad photos of myself kissing a girl, maybe some free graphics of fetish wear – stilettos, black leather, you get the point – and an occasional review of the newest and most improved dildo and flavoured lubricant. Couple that with a link of my fav music video from YouTube (replete with semi-nude whiny vocalists) and we have ourselves a winner!

The only flaming I’d receive is from the burn-in-hell type (and we know those types love their sex blogs!), but maybe as a Sex Kitten someone would actually buy me a damn latte and maybe a few books on my Amazon wish-list….

So if you’re reading this, dear visitor, please add your two cents as to what kind of blogger you would love me to be – Bitch, Saint, or Whore! I welcome all comments on the matter!

Either way,  I am beginning to add different categories to this blog, so I can appeal both to niche readers and those who like me for me.

Any thoughts?

Note of discretion to all regular readers: this post is more of a tongue-in-cheek, ironic commentary on the trend I’ve noticed in women’s blogs recently, rather than a definitive attempt to categorize myself. But just out of curiosity, do you find you read a certain type of blog more than another? Artsy stuff, political blogs, satirical/funny blogs, feminist or family-centered material? I’d like to know what you find interesting.

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, commentary, feminism, gay, girls, lesbian, life, niche, personal, sex, thoughts, women, writer, writing | 8 Comments »