Monday, November 27, 2006

Closer (Portman, Owen, Law and Roberts)

Remembered today that I saw Closer the other weekend. Interesting movie. It felt like a real grown up movie without that much "fluff" stuck into everything but rather just the story about relatioships and there problems/attractions. I had some problems with every character (indicating complex things which I like) and I felt sorry for some of them, maybe all, in the end. And it left a certain taste in my mouth that the most happy of them was probably Owen's character.... and he did some very questionable things as well as being the one who were determined but also the revenge guy. I resented, for a short second, that the character of Julia Roberts could be allowed to have a happy life after being so decieving but then I realised that that is the hope for us all. That we can rise above the mistakes of ourselves, as well as others, and forgive both ourselves and those who trespass against us.

(Yeah, going to church/thinking too much does this to me. Realising it is nobler (gooder? better?), mostly for your own good and sanity, to be forgiving than to turn into hate.)

On the other hand, I am not really there yet. Give me the bullies of my school years, only two of them nowadays, and I must regretfully admit that I have not fully forgiven them...

so this test was not completly off mark. Even though I thought I was better than this...

You Are 64% Evil
You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

How Evil Are You?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Bringing back the thought about the corperate wives since there is an ongoing debate (and has been for a while) back home about selling and buying….women. (Partly based on a book by Petra Östergren that just got released.) Or maybe I should just call it a debate about selling and buying sex, why and why not it should be illegal? Obviously the debate and arguments are done in Swedish but I can not leave it without a word.

So, here a link in Swedish by Katrine Kielos that points out some things that I ususally see as the heart of the problem. (Note, yes it is Expressen but their opinion pages and editorial section are generally interesting.) Maybe it will be a little more understandable when saying that P. Östergren has been influenced by Gayle Rubin and her article "Thinking sex: Notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality" . It pretty much sums up her standpoint on the issue and in the other corner, this time, one would find the researcher Jenny Westerstrand (phd student in law).

And I guess the sentences that summarise the article and the idea behind it is these: (and oh by jolly gosh I know my translations will suck. Hey, I’m just trying here.)

That the man, in order to be a man, has to buy a female body with a transaction in some kind of currency (social security, four gin and tonics, 12 long stemmed roses) is a rule, not an exception.
(Att mannen för att vara man måste köpa en kvinnokropp mot betalning i någon valuta (social trygghet, en fyra gin och tonic, tolv långskaftade rosor) är regel, inte undantag.)

A higher value as an object only gives more/bigger freedom to choose customers.
(Ett högre värde som objekt ger bara större frihet att välja kunder)

And maybe I am portraying myself as a radical feminist, maybe I am not. The only thing I do know is that this points to one of the main things I find difficult here in the States, accepting people giving me coffee, food or drinks… since my upbringing always keeps me thinking “what does he want in return?”. (Thanks grandmother for telling me never to accept gifts from men that are worth more than a certain amount… it really messes with your head.) When I know that most of the times it is just a normal thing to do... but still, is it normal because men usually make more money? (Since when I try and buy back it is ...well, let's just say that it isn't that easy. And it is, almost always, a thing about it.)

And yes, maybe I am just a cynical woman who has trouble believing in men being good for the sake of it? But hey, it isn’t that uncommon with ulterior motives, but perhaps they can not be found everywhere?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

wives and their purpose...and goals

I recalled a conversation a few days back when I read the interesting, yet enormously sad, article The corporate wives’ club by Vicky Ward in The Financial Times.

A random quote just to being about the thing I recalled
."She needs, above all, to understand The Deal. The Deal is that her life is about one thing only: him. She must be there at the end of the day, looking good, drink in hand, ready to pleasure him with witty conversation or in other ways. If not, she will be sacked. And since she will not have entered this relationship without having signed a pre-nuptial agreement, she knows exactly how she will be sacked and what assets she will be left with."

The conversation I recalled was more about the fact that I find it hard not to generalise and say "It is hard for a female PhD to find men that aren't threatened by the degree [ambition and determination]" as well as 'why would you marry a scientist with her own agenda and lots of work since even if you would like the family, the woman should be home'. I guess that is my first mistake. I wanted to have a family as well as a job. Not to say that I would like never to be home with my kids and only pursue my own career, gosh no, but (and this is the infamous but) I would like to have a job that I like and be able to share the responsibility of children with my husband. This is all a hypothetical argument at the time but still... paternity leave back home is 14 months shared by both mother and father so... the option is still huge and possible. Still, it is a mom’s world, even with the option... so either society has rules that will not be shifted too fast, or biology is a very strong thing that can not be overruled by silly thoughts of certain career hungry women.

Anyway, the other comment I have been brooding for a shorter while is that it is still considered to be a male thing, this sex need/drive . Same conversation, between two men, going on about the "need you have after a few months/weeks alone"... well... let me tell you a secret, not only you can have that. Women do to. The question, of which I am not going to tell ‘the answer’ or ‘the truth’, would rather be if women are less likely to "live the urge" than the men, since they can not hide behind the comfortable "I have needs you know, I am a man".

And I have this nagging feeling that this will be another of those things men do not really want to know. (Like the conversation a few while about what women say and what men say about the other gender… women are apparently more explicit than men when it comes down to it. Men tend not to want to discuss the whole ‘does size matter’. Most women I know don’t want to talk about their size or what men think about their size either… but that is of course another size.)

Going back to the article, it is on of those things that I am wondering about for real. What turn these men on? Personally I have a little problem finding a very handsome, yet nonambitious, nonworking, non-‘I have my own thing’ non-whatever self, that attractive and he wouldn’t really be my first choice in the marriage issue. I prefer men (one man) that have their own agenda, yet are interested in building something with me and can be vulnerable with me as well as the strong one to take care of me in case that happens… more of the “two can play that game” rather than one fixed role in the relationship. On the other hand, I am just going to shut up now. Obviously I have somewhat of a thing going on so maybe my need/wanting is just non-feasible?! I’ll leave this with this.

I do not, honestly, think that a relationship will ever be good for both individuals if the power is solely with one person, i.e. like the corporate wives thing, simply because I can not understand where the safety and trust would build on.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Luxury problems.... maybe that is the term I should say instead of the beautiful word 'lyxproblem'. (I have started to miss my own language. The nuances I can master which is not as easy in English.)

I wrote a while ago, that perspective is a fond friend to understand your own importance in the world. While I might think the world, and God, is unfair to me I have to realise that I am not that important and yet I am just that important. Contradiction? Maybe. Maybe not.

Life is not fair, life is very unfair. I was born in a place where I didn't have to be scared that my parents would not come home since they got killed when going to work in the morning. And all those things I experienced when I was younger, well you know... lots of people have those. It is just a question of raising to the challenge, again, and walk through life with a little more memory.

The cronicle published in The guardian yesterday was one of the worst things I have read in a while. Simply beacuse it is so clear, it is so horrible. It is soldiers with guns on one side and unarmed children on the other side.

The same thing with Sudan, Somalia and other places that we tend to say "never again". Well, I am not convinced. Maybe even more since the trial against one former soldier in the Balkan war started yesterday. (Wondering if I should call it the Kosovo or Bosnia war, or maybe just Jugoslavienkriget as we would do back home.) All memories come back now. The world watched, but then it took time to actually do something. And that was chillingly the same places where WWI started.... and we stopped talking about it in class since we had one boy from Bosnia and one from Serbia... and the weirdest was the realisation that their extended families were fighting against one another, and that they were friends prior the war. I guess I could see it as hope for the future though, when they stayed friends after everything, even though they never went home together. Their parents were closer to the conflict.

Just a reality check when I feel sad and complain over my bacteria or my life. It could be so much worse. So much worse.