Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 570247 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #780 on: November 24, 2013, 05:34:10 pm »
Five to ten years ago, if I heard a woman refer to "my partner" I would assume her partner was a woman, and sometimes would be mildly surprised to find it was a man. But these days it has become such a common locution that I don't make assumptions one way or another when someone says it.

I guess I don't hang around enough straight people. I've never heard a straight woman refer to the man in her life as her partner.

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I decided to retrieve the relevant passages. She doesn't appear to be quite bending over backward to avoid revealing gender -- the sentences feel graceful and natural -- yet the omission, over three mentions, doesn't feel quite random, either. Meanwhile, at least two men in the piece are referred to as having wives.

I'm sure it wasn't random.

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I agree that the partner's gender is not crucial to the story. But the essay is full of details that, strictly speaking, it could have lived without: the games she played as a child, what the Greek publisher and his wife (ahem) served for dinner in their apartment, Mongolia's mineral resources. I'm not saying they were excessive or padding, I'm saying that it seems significant that out of all the details she did include, one she didn't, apparently deliberately, is the gender of her (presumably) same-sex partner.

Sure, she obviously made a decision not to include the gender of her partner.

Meanwhile, what's the deal with Jackson Cox (see page 27 in the hardcopy magazine) and his "friend"? When she arrives at Cox's apartment, they're pouring champagne and listening to Beyonce? After dinner at a French restaurant, they take her to an "underground gay bar"?

First of all, it's interesting to learn that there are French restaurants and gay bars in Ulaanbaatar, but secondly, I'd like to know what she meant by "underground." Illegal, like a speakeasy? Or just in a basement somewhere?

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Given that one of the benefits of marriage equality is that it "normalizes" women having wives and men husbands in mainstream minds, it would have been nice to see a casual mention of her wife without further ado. I'm always happy to see same-sex couples portrayed in the media in ways that we're used to seeing straight couples portrayed, without fanfare.

I'm afraid marriage equality is never going to "'normalize' women having wives and men husbands" for this old buzzard. Those terms, wife and husband, are so heteronormative and gender-linked for me that I'll never be comfortable with their use by same-gender couples. They're also linked in my mind to sex roles--that is, roles in sex--that I don't like to think about. But that's me, so never mind. ...

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Another possibility is that this is actually a later marriage, the spouse/partner this time is a man, and if she used male pronouns she feared she'd confuse people like us who are familiar with her wedding essay. But nor did she want to have to stop and explain ("Oh, by the way, in case you read my other essay, this is someone else ...").

So you're speculating that she's actually bisexual, or she decided she wasn't a lesbian anymore (it's been known to happen)?

Edit to Add:

This just in: For what's worth, the Wikipedia article on Levy mentions only her marriage to Amy Norquist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #781 on: November 25, 2013, 01:24:57 am »
I'm afraid marriage equality is never going to "'normalize' women having wives and men husbands" for this old buzzard. Those terms, wife and husband, are so heteronormative and gender-linked for me that I'll never be comfortable with their use by same-gender couples.

It's probably a little difficult for all  of us old buzzards. But when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time, and when that happens it's amazing what people can become comfortable with and nonchalant about. When I lived in New Orleans, every time I would see a black person and white person over a certain age talking amiably and as equals, I marveled at how much people can change.

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So you're speculating that she's actually bisexual, or she decided she wasn't a lesbian anymore (it's been known to happen)?

Edit to Add:

This just in: For what's worth, the Wikipedia article on Levy mentions only her marriage to Amy Norquist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Levy

I was speculating something of that nature. But I believe Wikipedia in this case. So now I'm back to square one for an explanation. She could have used a feminine pronoun at some point and not changed one other thing about the piece and it would have been just fine. But for some reason, she chose not to.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #782 on: November 25, 2013, 10:13:45 am »
But when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time.

You can say that twice and mean it!

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I was speculating something of that nature. But I believe Wikipedia in this case. So now I'm back to square one for an explanation. She could have used a feminine pronoun at some point and not changed one other thing about the piece and it would have been just fine. But for some reason, she chose not to.

Yeah, who's to say? The best explanation I can come up with is still that for some reason she thought it would have been a distraction. Clearly it would not have been to her readers who already know she's lesbian, but maybe she thought it would be for others.  ???

Meanwhile, I'm still curious about those guys in Ulaanbaatar.  ;D
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #783 on: November 25, 2013, 10:53:10 am »
... when I see even a few straight Republicans swinging over to at least a mildly same-sex-marriage-friendly stance, I know the culture has undergone massive change in a very short time, and when that happens it's amazing what people can become comfortable with and nonchalant about.

Conservatives usually change their stance when they get to know a gay person personally or if there is someone in their family. Think Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Rock Hudson and he and Nancy became near-advocates for equality. (Although he might not even be thought of as a Conservative today!) However, people like Dick Cheney are die-hards.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #784 on: November 25, 2013, 02:28:15 pm »
The Nov. 18 article about the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington is very enlightening.
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #785 on: November 25, 2013, 11:43:14 pm »
Think Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Rock Hudson and he and Nancy became near-advocates for equality.

Reagan was a California Republican, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clinton Eastwood -- fiscally conservative but not especially socially so.

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However, people like Dick Cheney are die-hards.

Actually, I'd always heard Dick Cheney was an exception because of his daughter.

But what I was thinking of was a video I saw online of Bill O'Reilly's on-air statements about same-sex marriage over the years, from likening it to beastiality, I think, to becoming more and more nonchalant about it to finally saying he wasn't opposed.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #786 on: November 26, 2013, 02:31:48 pm »
The Nov. 18 article about the used grease business was fun to read over lunch.  ;D
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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #787 on: December 06, 2013, 11:18:58 am »
The New Yorker's website has some nice Mandela coverage:

http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Mandela




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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #788 on: December 18, 2013, 09:31:32 pm »
The "Snow Angel" Francis issue arrived today and I'm looking forward to reading about the Pope. I hope there is a lot about the Pope himself rather than mainly people's reactions to him.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #789 on: January 01, 2014, 08:27:19 pm »
The "Snow Angel" Francis issue arrived today and I'm looking forward to reading about the Pope. I hope there is a lot about the Pope himself rather than mainly people's reactions to him.

Jumping around among issues as I do, I finished James Carroll's article (Dec. 23-30, 2013, issue) about Pope Francis over supper this evening (I enjoy James Carroll's articles). I think there is a great movie, a love story if not a sexual one, about the future pope and the woman who mentored him in his secular career before he decided to become a priest and a Jesuit--the woman who was later murdered by an Argentine death squad.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.