Dear Diary

March 7, 2012

Humanity, creativity, sexism, and a FART MANIFESTO.

Minna's autumn rainbow—because it's autumn in Australia!

Dylan

“Some REAL DEEP Thoughts: Art and Life Edition!” Read More »

Naomi

When a film or a book or a piece of music speaks to you, it’s such a powerful feeling. Read More »

Katherine

In an ideal world, farting would be the most OK thing ever. Read More »

Ruby

Sexism is a tricky thing to talk about. Read More »

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61 Comments

  • callie March 7th, 2012 7:14 PM

    totally get ya, ruby! in the last year ive suddenly become soo aware of dumb sexist crap, but also suddenly boys want to buy me drinks? ah, puberty. so i feel kind of hypocritical when im like FUCK YOU, CHAUVINIST PIG (butiwilltakethatfreebeerandholdthedooropenformethankyou).

  • MissKnowItAll March 7th, 2012 7:16 PM

    I have a wandering mind and I can’t focus on something intensely for more than an hour. When I draw I feel like I need to be immersed in it or else I wont be doing the best I can. I’ve accomplished quite a few things with my wavering mind but I feel bad because I never feel like I’m a 100% committed to something.
    When it comes to sexism, I have equal frustrations. My guy friends always threaten to punch me or smack me but whenever I do the same, they all laugh. Granted I’m only 5″2 but the fact that I can beat the living day lights out of someone amuses them.
    I saw the same Michelle Williams movie and it got me to thinking. My life feels like it’s going to fast and with school and family and friends I feel like I’m drowning. I always dream that in 4 years, it’ll all be over but then I know that I’ll be given a whole new set of problems. I tell my mom about my anxiety but I feel like no one takes it seriously just because I’m a teenager. Reading Naomi’s diary entries always make me feel like I have someone to confide to. Thank you Naomi! I hope we can be friends one day!

    • Naomi March 7th, 2012 7:24 PM

      you’re really sweet <3

      • MissKnowItAll March 8th, 2012 8:46 PM

        Just out of curiosity, do you like One Direction?

  • chantal March 7th, 2012 7:17 PM

    Ruby, that post expresses so many of my thoughts! Especially the part about sexism working for us. Guys have to register for the draft when they turn 18 but girls aren’t required to do this… and in all honesty I’m very relieved. Supposedly there is never going to be an actual draft again but if some president broke that promise and the guys were called to go to war I’d feel so guilty.
    As for guys not being able to hit girls because “girls can’t defend themselves”… that’s just how I was raised but a part of me feels like there’s something unequal about this because some girls actually can defend themselves. Idk, it’s a great discussion topic.

  • VintageAddict March 7th, 2012 7:24 PM

    OMG we were just talking bt the draft in social studies and all the girls were like “im so happy that i wont have to ever b drafteD!” but i was PISSED, because as much as i think drafting is stupid and i would never want to go to war, why should girls not have to sign up?

    • hazeleyedgirl March 8th, 2012 2:53 AM

      Agreed! If the guys have to do something and horrible as that, EVERYONE should have to.

  • Ruby B. March 7th, 2012 7:31 PM

    Katherine: yes! I agree with every word!

  • bookworm123 March 7th, 2012 7:33 PM

    Whoa, Ruby– in school today, in our weird little feel good team problem solving “fishbowl” chat, we talked about that exact thing! Its like a paradox–so wacko and frustrating!

  • queserasera March 7th, 2012 7:38 PM

    ruby- we’re have a battle of the genders week next week. it’s a school tradition, but this time, i couldn’t believe the admin approved it after what happened last year. during last year’s rally, some pig composed a super sexist cheer (concerning girls and kitchens) and the admin turned a blind eye. also, the principal said during the rally that she personally was rooting for the guys, since they won’t abuse the free dress with shorts and stuff (the winning sex gets free dress, we’re a uniform school) it was disgusting. i don’t want to repeat it again, but looks like it’s going to happen.

    http://mercurialmanic.blogspot.com/

  • puffytoad March 7th, 2012 7:56 PM

    Dylan- I totally understand what you mean about “living” art 24-7! I actually had the same realization recently. I’ve loved music my whole life, but my dad always told me it wasn’t a good career. So I majored in psychology and never felt excited about most of my classes or my future. Now that I’ve graduated I have decided to go in the total opposite direction and do something with music. I’m thinking about going back to school for it or just doing it somehow. I’m not afraid of dedicating my life to one thing anymore. In fact, I could never dedicate myself fully to psychology because I was always thinking about music!

    Katherine- I am so sorry a single fart ruined your social life! Holy moly! I’m an outsider for other reasons, so I feel your pain. *insider wink* *I mean outsider wink*

  • erin March 7th, 2012 8:18 PM

    oh ruby, I know where you’re coming from. the other day my mom told me “that’s the good thing about being a girl; boys have to take care of you” and I kind of chuckled and was like, “yeah…” but inside I was like “What? Why? I can take care of myself, I don’t need a guy to do that for me.” I think about that with all sorts of things, like boys opening doors for us, scooting out chairs for us. It’s just a thing, a tradition that no one really thinks about. We’re bound by these ancient rules. At this competition thing I do, whenever you go onto or off the stage, there’s a guy waiting on the side to help the girls up and down the stairs. So far, I’ve avoided their “help” by just kind of clutching my own hands together. It’s the only way I can think to resist, in a little way. I’m a girl in the 21st century, and though I’m wearing a skirt, and I can, indeed, walk down stairs by myself. I make it down a whole flight to my room every night, anyways.

  • hunkiedory March 7th, 2012 8:21 PM

    Katherine! I feel very similarly, espescially about bowel movements. I have found that girls are afraid to poop in front of others, because if they did, someone might, eek!, figure out that girls actually poop, and if that happened, the world would pretty much end. It makes me incredibly sad when I go in the bathroom at shcool, and someone who was previously pooping, stops what they are doing to wait for me to leave the bathroom. (Okay, it makes part of me sad, and makes another part of me want to take as long as humanly possible in the bathroom, to punish them.) But that aside, I tried to start a kind of “poopalootion” at my school, with signs and slogans and the like, but it was, how do I say it, not very well absorbed by my peers… I tried to make a change like the one you described wanting to make, and all I discovered was how shallow minded my fellow high schoolers are. At first I was very angry that they didn’t accept people, and natural bodily functions and maybe I still am, but I’m learning that sometimes revolotions like this don’t happen overnight, that even if right now I am not able to change my peers opinions, I can make a very big statement by doing the thing they fear most–pooping.

  • shjaron March 7th, 2012 8:24 PM

    This was one of the Dear Diary pieces I enjoyed the most. Ruby, I am impressed by your thoughts, your perception and your words. Katherine, yours surprised me a bit. I thought it was going to be a funny story, but it gave way to something much deeper and I thank you very much for sharing it with us.

    Thank you, thank you.

  • erin March 7th, 2012 8:26 PM

    I just read the comment above my first one, too, and that reminded me of something else. In my town, people are very religious and when boys in the church turn 19 they are allowed to be called on a mission somewhere. Girls, however, have to wait till they’re 21. Funnily enough, a good portion of the girls around here, whether they plan for a mission or not, get charmed by return missionaries when they themselves are around 18 or 19 (there are about four girls in my school engaged right now, and it’s not a big school) and become engaged. They never get the opportunity to go on a mission, because they get married and start families, and I think it’s intentional, so that there are young girls here left for the boys to get married to. it’s pretty insane.
    http://keepingupwithunstuck.blogspot.com/

  • Sphinx March 7th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Ok, so I’m not proud of this, but I have no problem with hitting boys when they’re being total jerks.
    For years I’ve been acting as sort of a “body guard” for my friends when guys try to annoy them.
    I don’t care,cause if you tried to open a girl’s bra over her shirt, if you violate someone’s private space or if you constantly insult them, you deserve to be punched.
    (of course this can backfire and boys can start to annoy you to see if they can runaway before getting hit)

    • Ruby B. March 7th, 2012 10:01 PM

      I agree! There is a big difference between self-defense and just hitting someone because you know you can get away with it.

  • Jaime March 7th, 2012 8:31 PM

    I forget how old you are, Dylan, but I just have to say, first of all — rock on! Second, I just want you to know that even though these feelings are wonderful and important for someone in a creative field, you might find that they’re not always going to be there. I’m a professional writer, which I still feel amazed that I get to say. I’m obsessed with writing — so many of my friends and long deep talks are centered around exactly what you’re talking about, those magic moments of creative drive and purpose. But there’s also plenty of lull. Part of being an artist is wasting a lot of time doing meaningless frustrating bullshit that doesn’t get you anywhere. Sometimes you will spend whole days in your room watching reruns of Parks and Rec. Sometimes you will procrastinate on the internet or smoke too much weed or hang out with boring people. And I just want you to know that if that happens to you, too, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you’re less committed to your art, or less creative. Without the stupid lulls — without a break from a totally creative atmosphere — those moments of clarity would be less special.

    • Dylan March 9th, 2012 9:47 PM

      Oh yes!!! OH yes! But I think those creativity lulls beat the cubicle blues any day of the week :)

  • discofaerie March 7th, 2012 8:35 PM

    Ruby… you could have been angry at him for doing that. It would have been okay, I promise. Sounds like he deserved it, equality and all. But I admire you for not being a passive little sweet girl that first time around.. I’ve made that mistake faaar too many times.

  • moonchild March 7th, 2012 8:46 PM

    Oh my god yes yes Ruby yes. Also, it’s hard when I’m all like *feminism bla bla feminism* but then the next day, boys are discriminated against by teachers etc.

    They think that everything that happens is a boys fault.

    But then again that comes from the sweet week girl stereotype…
    *sigh*

    And also, yes. I agree. Farts ruin lives.

    Gwen
    http://under-a-bridge.blogspot.com/

    • moonchild March 7th, 2012 8:50 PM

      Oh and also, I love LOTR too! Not as much as hp OF COURSE but I watched the series back to back one time and it was a REALLY GOOD EXPERIENCE. yah. I MAY have teared up. but I think that was just allergies. *cough cough*

  • I.ila March 7th, 2012 8:57 PM

    To quote Dacid Byrne (or whoever wrote the album insides for Stop Making Sense:
    Crime is a job. Sex is a job. Going to school is a job. Growing up is a job. Going to parties is a job. Being creative is a job.

  • Emmie March 7th, 2012 8:57 PM

    Ruby, I remember in high school saying that if the draft was ever re-instituted I would want girls to be drafted also and everyone in my class was shocked… and even though I explained that it’s not that I want to fight or anything, but that it’s only fair, barely anyone got it. It’s frustrating! I think it’s important to never make yourself feel gross by allowing people to treat you in a way that completely opposes what you believe in… even though it can be hard sometimes to stand up for yourself.

  • Maddy March 7th, 2012 9:55 PM

    I was at the dentist’s the other day, and the hygenist with her hands in my mouth was talking with another hygenist about how lucky us girls were that we didn’t have to shovel snow. She asked me if I agreed, more like a “Right, kid?” and I said that no, I thought that was reverse-sexism. That stumped her, she was like “Uh.Well. Nooo?” and didn’t ask me any more questions.

  • Casey March 7th, 2012 10:21 PM

    During badminton in PE, one of my guy friends was saying something about girls and how it isn’t hard to be one, and I just literally yelled “Do YOU have to deal with periods every single month?? It feels HORRIBLE!! Are YOU expected to wear heavy mascara and use billions of hair products so your long, luscious hair stays straight?? DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE BIRTH???….”
    (I probably said more, but since this was a few weeks ago, I don’t remember everything. :s)

    His reply: “Well guys don’t get to wear skirts or dresses!”

  • taste test March 7th, 2012 10:21 PM

    argh, dylan, I love your post so much. the kind of life you want sounds so amazing. I don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life, but I know whatever I do, I will keep writing. for me, not writing isn’t even an option- I’d go insane if I tried to stop. and that’s got me wondering why I even bothered only applying to schools with good science and english departments, why I didn’t just apply to an artsy college with an awesome creative writing program and never do anything else again. but at the same time, I have so many other interests, and I don’t want to ignore them, either. and I also know one day I will need a Real Job because writing isn’t exactly a stable source of income. I don’t know. I hope one day I can confidently make a choice that won’t make me hate myself for the rest of my life.

  • Sugar March 7th, 2012 10:58 PM

    Hey Dylan, I was at the LA Roky Erickson show!

    • Dylan March 9th, 2012 9:46 PM

      FUCK YEAHHH! You probably saw them. You also probably saw Roky’s son, who opened too. And for that I am sorry. They were just no no no good.

  • ivoire March 7th, 2012 11:05 PM

    what is minna in australia?! yay!

    • Minna March 8th, 2012 5:25 AM

      Oh totally! I live here. In Melbourne specifically. Are you from Australia? I always see school girls on the train and try to pick which ones read Rookie!

      • ivoire March 9th, 2012 6:36 AM

        OMG I LIVE HERE TOO!! But I live in Sydney. No one reads Rookie at my school though haha.

  • Juniper March 7th, 2012 11:27 PM

    This is the only good thing about Wednesdays! <3

    • Juniper March 7th, 2012 11:45 PM

      Also
      Dylan, I just love the way you write!

  • Adrienne March 7th, 2012 11:53 PM

    I can totally feel your frustrations Ruby. In fact, just a minute ago, I checked my facebook page, and some idiotic boy wrote as his status (complete with his spelling errors and capitalization problem),
    “how many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? trick question, femeninsts cant change anything”.

    I am just in a rage right now.

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • caro nation March 8th, 2012 12:11 AM

    *Goes to dig out her Huggy Bear album and her 13th Floor Elevators T-shirt.

  • ivoire March 8th, 2012 2:12 AM

    Today is International Women’s day. My goddamn commerce teacher was like,’No. It’s not a day for women, it’s a day for everybody.’ And then this jerk was like ‘And every other day it’s guys day.’

    • ivoire March 8th, 2012 2:30 AM

      also i pretty much get away with farting. if someone hears it i dont get embarrassed, they do. its kinda funny

  • Iona March 8th, 2012 2:25 AM

    Ruby, i totally get where you are coming from. I’m in my last year of school and today some guy put up some rudy-nudie pictures on the wall of our common room. my friends and i sat complacently until one of the teaches commented on them… although i must say that the girls in our class are not entirely blameless for the pin up war, i hated that these pictures objectified women so much. How can one react to this as young women? our society if infiltrated with these images! if we pull them down people will say that we are double standard making angry feminists, if we leave them its just passively sitting there because we don’t want to cause a fuss, then what is the point of everything our mothers and grandmothers have done for us? Some of my girl buddies and i got creative and made some groovy clothes for them and a big sign saying “Pin The Clothes On The Playboy” when everyone came in after class they were very impressed; everyone (even the boy who originally put them up) loved it! One boy said to me afterward ” i don’t dig feminism, but this has style.” I think that it is hard to deal with these issues as a young woman in a way that is not hypocritical or angry, but we cant go all nice-girl-i’m-not-going-to-do-anything. i think we need to learn to stand our ground in a strong and creative way… you are right that blind anger gets nobody nowhere but neither does passivity, maybe we just need to learn different ways of dealing with these things. All the best to you Ruby and all the other girls going through similar stuff, you’r not alone!

  • TinaBallerina March 8th, 2012 4:45 AM

    Ruby, I so relate to this. It’s really unfair. It’s not like we want the guys to hit us back, but it’s such discrimination. At my last school we had a discussion about typical women’s and men’s jobs, and it turned into a riot. The guys wrote on the blackboard that typical women’s jobs were having your period, working as a prostetute, being cranky and whining. They also attacked me and another girl personally when comments we made were misinterpreted grossly. Our teacher (male) didn’t understand what the fuss was all about, even though all the girls complained afterwards. A few weeks later, we discussed it in class, and when the guys said it was a joke, the discussion was “over”. I’m still angry today (on the international women’s day!) at the teacher. He and the school allowed this and much worse discrimination for years.

  • Tourdivoire March 8th, 2012 7:30 AM

    @Minna: SO jealous right now. Australia is number 2 on my “I need to get there as soon as possible” list. Number 1 is New York City, because, you know, I’m so mainstream.
    Oh, and I LOVE your artwork, it has inspired me to start drawing again, so thank you.

    @Dylan: Cling to those epiphanies, they might come in handy when you feel lost and uncreative later. I wish I had chosen the same path, that of constant creativity, no boundaries between my job and my “real life”. But I’m trying to change that… Your diary entry was perfect timing for me!

    @Naomi: LOTR… I mean… LOTR! I cry every time. I totally understand what you mean about how frustrating it can be when you find a piece of art is reading into your soul, and someone else thinks it’s meh… You just have to accept that everyone has a different sensitivity, eventhough you feel like their heart is made of stone.

    @Katherine: I feel for you! But it’s never too late. I spent my school years being categorized as ‘fun, outgoing girl’ one day, ‘semi-autistic girl’ the other. No need to be reduced to one social stereotype!

    @Ruby: My take on feminism is that I should never accept any mark of sexism, even when it works for me. It can come accross as very weird, especially in France, the country of ‘galanterie’, but I try to stick to it.

    • Minna March 8th, 2012 10:36 PM

      Oh thanks, you’re a doll! You should definitely come to Australia, it’s a dream! It’s no NYC though!

  • filmfatale March 8th, 2012 8:06 AM

    Katherine’s essay was so charming and true. I can’t wait for her follow-ups: “Burping in church/class/at dinner is soooo great” or “Let’s clip our nails in public!”

  • giov March 8th, 2012 12:25 PM

    A part of me totally agrees with you, Dylan, and would like be creative 24/7 and surround herself with super-interesting-omg-that-is-so-cool people. Another lazier part of me kind of hates super interesting people and prefers staying home baking vegan cookies while listening to the radio with a clay mask on her face and some really unattractive slippers on. Guess which part rules my existence?

  • mayaautumn March 8th, 2012 3:51 PM

    I’ve only read Katherine’s one so far and the fact that its all about farting made me chuckle -i really think everyone can relate to that;)
    Also Rookie, one day will you publish a proper Rookie magazine? i reckon if you did it would be unbelievably popular!!<3

    http://cottonmixblog.blogspot.com

  • Emilie March 8th, 2012 9:08 PM

    FARTING

  • harri March 9th, 2012 6:19 AM

    Ruby! Sexism. You say the guy was picking on you because you couldn’t defend yourself. What about the fact that he (if he’s a decent lad) cannot defend himself against you in that way either?

    Also, the battle feminism has to fight is not a war of the genders. that is horrible discriminative towards both sides- it assumes all girls are great and all boys are terrible. Not the case!

    • harri March 9th, 2012 6:23 AM

      *horribly. sorry for typos.
      also i know for a fact that trying to allign your feminist beliefs with how you want to live your life is one of the most challenging aspects of being feminist.

    • Ruby B. March 10th, 2012 5:37 PM

      I didn’t say he was picking on me because I couldn’t defend myself. He DIDN’T hit me, because HE assumed I couldn’t defend myself. And I agree that he couldn’t defend himself against me either- that’s the whole point of this diary. It’s an endless cycle in which nobody wins.

      I’m a feminist, not a sexist. Feminism is gender equality, not “girls are all great and boys are terrible”.

  • Mom March 9th, 2012 5:31 PM

    dylan I found your column hopeful and inspiring. I believe in the magic of creativity I’m with you all the way. Inspiration is divine.

    Love

    Mom

  • saltwater March 10th, 2012 6:16 AM

    I always love Naomi’s entries, I guess, because we have a lot of superficial (living near eachother, a love for Kelly Reichardt films and LOTR and animals) and not so superficial similarities. It’s just such a lovely feeling to read her entries and think “I could have written that” so thank you, Naomi!

  • lorobird March 10th, 2012 1:12 PM

    When I was in high school I was already very outspoken on political issues. There was this guy in my class, typical disaster, failed year at least twice, did nothing, acted cool and all the boys loved him, etc. He was also a huge bigot. Sexist, racist, Hitler-admiring (I think he partly did it for his rep, but he was really shitty to some people anyway).

    I always confronted him verbally, and I’d get angry and angry and never let anything he did or said go. Ever. And it would piss him off a lot.

    One day he told me, “If you weren’t a girl, I’d beat the shit out of you for being a leftist.”

    I answered with some ‘come at me’ remark, but afterwards I’ve thought about it over and over and I found it really unsettling. I don’t know what’s worse, that this guy could beat anyone up without major problems (not only was he bigger than me, he was big for his age and two years older), or that he was playing with that power inside his head.

    I still don’t know if I’m grateful for his sexism, or if it angers me even more than his violence.

  • Gretchyn March 10th, 2012 2:30 PM

    I LOVE THESE EXPLORATION THEMED DIARY ENTRIES. I totally agree with ya Katherine, about the whole avoiding sympathy friendships thing. I’ve become a loner too (for quite some time) and sometimes (a lot of the time) it sucks that people aren’t accepting to the complexities of human existence. And Ruby’s story was very, very truthful + I’m glad you put that idea out there. This stream of consciousness is nice + reading other’s makes me feel less isolated. Thanks Rookie x

  • saraj00n March 10th, 2012 10:52 PM

    Katherine – the name “Fartacus” made me imagine you farting in class and everyone looking around trying to figure out the culprit, then people standing up one by one declaring “I AM FARTACUS!” “I AM FARTACUS!” “I AM FARTACUS!” *music swells* etc

    • VanyaTheDinosaur April 11th, 2012 8:26 PM

      ohgodohgodohgod

      dying of laughter

      DYING, I SAY

  • jayelle604 April 10th, 2012 8:47 PM

    girlfriend you are HILARIOUS
    as well as a great writer

    power to you and your healthy colon!

  • farawayfaerie April 19th, 2012 4:33 PM

    Ruby,

    This is my philosophy when it comes to being a feminist, and those *annoying* moments when people make sexist jokes, or discriminate against girls or guys and you feel really *angry*: Be angry, get cross, be shocked, tell them they can’t say that, or that they must take responsibility for what the say, or if they say it’s a joke, tell them it’s not funny. Don’t be afraid of the angry feminist stereotype – anger is an emotion, so when you feel it, don’t ignore it -you can try not to be aggressive, or not to raise your voice, but don’t try not to be angry, it’s important.