Seven years ago, when I was but a wee baby 24 year old in the 2nd year of my PhD program, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek, fart-joke-filled post celebrating International Women’s Day. I would like to update that post for my 2018 post-graduate school life.
Hello, women. Everybody remembered the secret handshake to get into the International Women’s Day Secret Underground Bunker, I see. Scale of 1 to 10, how are we all feeling? 2, 3-ish? Great. Huge improvement from six months ago. Well it’s International Women’s Day once again, and for some god forsaken reason we’re still paying lip service to this weird holiday that used to celebrate amazing things but now just feels like a hilarious practical joke, because our legislators are trying to pass laws outlawing pornography, refusing to let pregnant senators vote for bills in absentia because preggo lady baby brains are like so crazy loopy we can’t trust ‘em, criminalizing even saying the word “abortion” or anything that kind of sounds like it, like “abnormal,” “aboriginal,” or “artichoke,” but oh wait you want a decent amount of paid time off work to take care of a fresh-out-of-the-box baby? HAHAHA no. Stupid woman. You have literal food in your boobs, how is that not enough?
Remember when we all called 2016 a dumpster fire? That was cute. I’m still spending International Women’s Day in much the same way I did seven years ago, except 475% angrier all the time, a general base layer of anxiety that feels like the emotional equivalent of a paper cut, and constantly standing twenty or so feet closer to that proverbial cliff of restraint off of which I am almost always just about to jump, swinging my fists the entire way down. Definitely still normal amounts of bed farting and Dutch oven-ing the dog, though.
I stopped wearing makeup a year ago because every time I try to earnestly improve myself or my surroundings I suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of pointlessness, like my soul itself is careening at light speed toward a black hole and making any efforts only hastens the inevitable. Instead, I’ve started getting out of bed every morning and habitually falling face-forward, dragging my face across the carpet in some weird depressed downward dog that, were you to witness an actual dog doing it, you’d be like what the fuck is wrong with that dog? I feel like the red carpet burns really reflect how cool and awesome I think everything is right now. And the inane pointlessness of scraping my face on the floor reflects what an idiot I am for thinking that 2018 is any worse than it has been at any other point in history, because everything has always been crap turds.
That is not to say I don’t perform acts of self-care. In fact, my self-care efforts are up 10000000% since this time last year, but they have shrunk in scope and intensified in…intensity, I guess. Self-care now looks like a long bubble bath during which there is a more than 50% chance I will cry for no reason, four layers of face and body lotion, a cotton robe I anger-bought at Target one day while I yell-muttered under my breath I deserve a fucking robe goddamnit, and sitting in front of my tea tree lemon oil diffuser while watching Spongebob. The more I can mentally and physically shrink into myself, the better.
I shower, because I’m a fucking gross monster, and because I have to be around people. I spend a few naked minutes lying on the floor, breathing. I become acutely aware that my boyfriend and my dog are both probably looking at me like I’ve lost my mind, but I pay them no attention because I don’t care and I have. I feel a fleeting moment of happiness that my dog has no idea how broke as fuck everything feels.
I think about how much I hate our President about 4,395 times a day, on average. I think about how much I love baby goats and how I wish that no baby goat in the world ever felt any pain any more forever, and I want to cry. I think about how our government’s answer to mass shootings in schools is to arm teachers. Then I realize I’ve been naked on the floor for a while now, and my thoughts are kind of starting to feel like prayers, so I jump up in a panic because the last fucking thing I want to be doing is praying to the God that told Evangelical Americans he’s actually suddenly super chill with an adulterous, lying, cheating, greedy bastard of a President and a majority party whose motto is “blessed are the rich, for they will probably create jobs once they’ve jumped through all their tax loopholes.” God’s fine with that now, apparently, and will gladly accept your tithes in the form of AR-15 bullets.
I scroll Twitter purely out of sadistic masochism, absentmindedly realizing that the only way humanity actually has any hope of racial, sexual, or income equality is by calling a mulligan: Etch-a-Sketch the whole lot of us with a few big cosmic shakes and try again. But before we do that, we should remember to find some big flat rocks and carve some important lessons in them for future humans or visiting alien species to read. We can keep it pretty simple, I think:
- Eat the rich
- Care for the babies
- Some of you are different colors because colors are neat and fun YAAAAAY end of story
- Don’t be dumb jerks
- The only body you own is yours
Is it attractive or fun or cool that this is generally how it feels all the time? No. Do I wish that, whenever a man I do not know approaches me in a public place, my instinct was anything other than to move at his exact pace in the opposite direction from him, lest I risk him trying to actually talk to me? Yeah, that’s not a super fun instinct. Do I give a flying shit what you think about how I think feel and/or am I willing to accept unsolicited advice as to how I should be feeling and thinking? I feel like at this point I don’t even need to answer that for you. Happy International Women’s Day. Let’s group hug.
–Katie Sisneros is just, like, generally not in a good mood.