Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I like superhero movies and ones based on graphic novels or comics. I have to. Otherwise I'd be rolling my eyes through most of M's film choices, haha. That said, it was my turn to choose and therefore my idea to go and see Hancock recently. I kind of wish I hadn't bothered now.

If you haven't seen it, I wouldn't recommend reading any further as spoilers follow in (hopefully) the same colour as the background, highlight to read...

My main problem with the film is regarding Hancock's female counterpart, Mary. She takes the executive decision to let Hancock remain unaware of her existence and leave him in his amnesiac state. So far so-so, if they're together they're mortal and they'll end up getting murdered or whatever, and she can't bear to see him in pain or watch him die. OK.

He gets about the drunken bumming (cos nobody cared enough about him to claim him from the hospital = her fault) and bit of heroing.

What does Mary do? She finds a widower with a child, settles down and lives a very conventional domestic life. No heroics for her. She's not out to change the world, she's not looking for new England, la la la. Her choice is to "save" one man by being his wife and a mother to his child. She plays a part hiding her true abilities, even to the extent of pretending to need Ray's (her mortal husband) help to open a jar. She doesn't even lead a double life and do a bit of rescuing on the side, her whole secret is that she used to be Hancock's wife - and his vulnerability.

She claims to be stronger and in some ways more powerful than Hancock in their later confrontation, but he was somehow always the best at the hero business, apparently. She can throw him about the room (well, through it) but she couldn't possibly have an interest in being heroic outside the home, making a difference on a national or even city-wide scale, oh no.

Ray raises Hancock out of his self-pity through his idealism and Mary finishes the job by being the catalyst for making him the hero he is supposed to be. Ie. in the end, Hancock sacrifices his love/happiness and saves both their lives by leaving. And she can go back to playing happy families with Ray.

It galls me that the essential message I get about women from this film, is that at base being someone's wife and mother is their real aspiration, desire, raison d'etre and they are willing to give up everything else about themselves for it. While it's important for Ray to promote and help Hancock live up to his potential despite his reluctance, funnily enough, he's content to let Mary return to obscurity at his side. Hmmm.

It's not that those roles of wife and mother are not important or valid choices, for they are, very much so - but to the exclusion of all else, to the rejection or dismissal of one's own potential and even identity?

Think of it this way, could the roles of Hancock and Mary have been reversed? And if not, (and I do believe it is "not"), then why not? Why would it not have been alright for him to choose domestic tranquillity and her to go off springing across buildings to a life of lonely glory & heroism?

Finished: Wide Sargasso Sea

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Conversation with a small boy

"Have you had an accident?"


"Are you sure? Your trousers look wet?"

"It's water."

"Where did you get the water from?"

"My willy."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denote denote denoted

The old-fashioned formal way of addressing a woman through her husband's name really ticks me off. Eg. Mrs Rosco P. Coltrane.

The woman's identity was completely erased and she only got to use her first name formally again when her husband carked it.

Funny really, how women were completely identified by marital status/availability: if she's married, she doesn't exist apart from as Mrs, if she's unmarried she's Miss and if she's widowed, she uses her first name and her married name. These days we have Ms as well, which was supposed to be an equivalent for Mr and replace our excess of markers, but now people take it to mean divorced or feminist. Score!


What makes me annoyed by this today is that there are plants (and probably other things) named in this manner: thus a rose named for a wife ends up being called Rosa "Mrs Rosco P Coltrane". It's complimenting and commemorating the husband rather than the wife, isn't it? Talk about giving with one hand and taking with the other.

I have nothing against women taking their husband's surname when they marry, cos what's so great about being identified by your father's name instead? It's all the patriarchy! #foams at mouth and falls over#*.

I do think it's darned convenient and possibly helps with a sense of belonging if a family group or unit all have the same last name, so on that basis it makes sense to me. Then again, I like that it's becoming less unusual these days to blend surnames. Double-barreling is a bit ungainly at times but making a new surname? Well, why not? I think it could be a really positive bonding thing, a symbol of a couple's marriage as much as the wedding and general hoohaa.

I didn't do it myself cos I didn't like my original surname at all and was glad to get rid, but think! Imagine if you please, Christopher Lillicrap marrying Agnes Stonewell: they could blend their names to make Mr and Mrs Crapwell!

Or Lillistone.

* Not really. Obviously. It really is the patriarchy, of course. It's the foaming at the mouth I'm not doing. Clearly.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I managed to bash myself up pretty good the other day. Something to do with thinking a dustbin should serve as a step-ladder.

Hmmm. In retrospect a stupid idiotic idea. I plummeted and pulled various bits and twisted other bits and it was all rather ouchy and when I had a nice sit down, I was shaking and going hot and cold all over.

What's turned out to be most embarrassing about the whole misadventure, however, is the black eye I gave myself. I worry that people think I am a battered wife!

You don't know whether to explain it, hide it or brazen it out without a word. If you rush to explain, maybe people would think you're covering up something and won't believe you fell off a bin, haha. Perhaps they haven't even noticed and you're bringing it to their attention unnecessarily.

If you don't explain, perhaps they are drawing their own conclusions. I know a lot of folks would automatically assume the worst. Hehe, poor M.

This is where most people's tactfulness and or fear of embarrassment/confrontation play against you a bit. Nobody, except for my mother, has asked me about it at all.

And I guess it plays against battered partners who might *want* someone to intervene or say something. Of course it's a common theory that someone who is subject to domestic violence will deny it and rejects help until they're "ready". Is that really true or is it a convenient out for not getting involved?

I have seen it work that way, with the old standard of a woman getting hit in the street by her boyfriend in a drunken spat and then when someone asks "are you alright, do you need help?" or the like, getting cussed out by her and told to mind their own business or worse. But I'm not sure whether it shouldn't be challenged. Perhaps in some cases, asking after someone, asking them about injuries, might be what they need, to let them know someone cares or notices?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Unhappy ending

Seagulls are sort of horrid things in their rubbish-scavenging, sandwich-snatching, washing-pooping-on ways.

But the chicks on our roof are very cute fluff-balls, with ginormous wading legs that seem to belong to some other bird - as though they have borrowed their mummy's shoes. Only they are legs.

One fell off our roof. It seemed alright so I borrowed a ladder and we scooped it up in a box and shoved it back up again. I had hopes it would be ok, its parents seemed to be looking after it despite its adventure. But when I wandered outside in the late evening, it was by the bin again. By morning it had died.

It seemed a bit smaller than its siblings, so maybe it was the runt and maybe it didn't fall, it was pushed? That's nature for you. It could have been the wind rather than murderous nest-mates as well.

What kind of July is this anyway? I want my money back.

The recently deceased.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Local yokel

I really like Steph Newton's music. Cornish gal.


There is an advert for pregnancy tests that can work up to six days before your period is due. I'm slightly apprehensive of these.

I guess if a condom broke or something, you might be very anxious to find out as soon as possible. But in that scenario, there's a possibility it might alleviate worry wrongly: as a test can give a false negative and this is far more likely early on when the pregnancy hormones are less abundant. Still, I suppose if it's a positive, the earlier you know the better if the chances are you might not want to continue the pregnancy.

And if you're actively trying for a baby, there is often a lot of stress and anticipation around testing time, so perhaps the sooner the better, to get over the expectation.

I think I feel a bit negative about it because a lot of pregnancies don't stick in the first few weeks and I've seen women desolate when they discover it's miscarried. I think there's something to be said for not knowing too early and not necessarily being aware.

Still, I suppose someone who is trying to conceive would be pretty conscious of what was going on, so scrub all that.

This post was a bit of a nonsense.