The Changeling's Lament by by shira lipkin

I have studied so hard
to pass as one of you.
I’ve spent a lifetime on it.

I have tells.
Blisters, tremors, bruises,
all the signs that I was not meant for your world,
was not meant to be contained
in your clothes,
your shoes.
I have this terribly inconvenient allergy
to cold iron.
Hives, really.
Welts.
I stand out.

When I was little,
I asked my alleged mother,
what’s a girl?

She said
you,
you’re a girl,
and she laced me into dresses
(that I tore off in the school parking lot,
in line for the bus).
Laced me into ballet shoes
that left blisters
and bloodied my feet
until I had calluses.
Which she had filed off,
beauticians pinning me down,
because it’s not beauty
if you don’t bleed.

My dancing was different.
My dancing was swaying treelike,
or launching myself across the room,
spinning madly,
but that is not what girls do,
not human girls,
not ladylike,
not contained.

And everything
is about containment
is about being delicate
and pretty
laced into corsets
whalebone stays digging into your ribs
because it’s not beauty
if it doesn’t hurt.

But I studied.
I pretended.
I hid the bruises
and the tics.
I hid the big dark parts of me.
I tamed my hair.
I watched my mouth.
I hid my magic.
I did not speak of such things
because we do not speak of such things –
not anger,
not homesickness,
not longing.
Not this sense
that I don’t know what the hell
a human girl is
and I can tell, I can,
that everyone knows I don’t belong here.
I laugh too loud;
I am too fast or slow to laugh.
I am an anthropologist in the field of girl.
I study
but none of it
ever comes
naturally.

None of it is in my nature.

I am something larger,
more fluid,
less constrained.
But I am stranded in this place.
I have had to learn how to live here.
I have tried.
So hard.

Watch on fuckyeahsimonlipkin.tumblr.com

Simon Lipkin Ice Bucket Challenge

Beyond Diversity Day is a handbook for teachers, counselors, administrators, policy makers, parents, and students who want to understand and affirm sexuality differences; promote and protect the well-being of all students; and reduce bigotry, self-hatred, and violence. In question-and-answer format, Arthur Lipkin offers advice to nurture positive relationships among glbt youth, their families, and the schools; welcome glbt families in the school community; support glbt educators; and incorporate sound and appropriate glbt-related curricula across disciplines.

Written by a veteran high school and university teacher and staff developer, Beyond Diversity Day weaves sound scholarship with vivid real-world examples from classrooms and the media. It offers a compelling blueprint for working with diverse students and for improving schools.

[PDF]

"Brown describes girl-to-girl aggression as a reflection of a sexist culture in which girls internalize and continue their own oppression:

'Girlfighting is not a biological necessity, a developmental stage, a rite of passage. It is a protective strategy and an avenue to power learned and nurtured in early childhood and perfected over time. Undermining other girls for attention or boy's favor is qualitatively no different from jealously protecting one's small piece of patriarchal pie from other women. The bigger question, too infrequently asked, is who cut the pie this way in the first place?'”

Girl’s Studies, by Elline Lipkin

SHIRA LIPKIN, “The Selves We Leave Behind”: On the night side of Las Vegas, you can lose yourself… to a blessing or a curse. And when you lose everything, you get to decide what to pick back up and take with you.

The Changeling's Lament by Shira Lipkin



I have studied so hard
to pass as one of you.
I’ve spent a lifetime on it.

I have tells.
Blisters, tremors, bruises,
all the signs that I was not meant for your world,
was not meant to be contained
in your clothes,
your shoes.
I have this terribly inconvenient allergy
to cold iron.
Hives, really.
Welts.
I stand out.

When I was little,
I asked my alleged mother,
what’s a girl?

She said
you,
you’re a girl,
and she laced me into dresses
(that I tore off in the school parking lot,
in line for the bus).
Laced me into ballet shoes
that left blisters
and bloodied my feet
until I had calluses.
Which she had filed off,
beauticians pinning me down,
because it’s not beauty
if you don’t bleed.

My dancing was different.
My dancing was swaying treelike,
or launching myself across the room,
spinning madly,
but that is not what girls do,
not human girls,
not ladylike,
not contained.

And everything
is about containment
is about being delicate
and pretty
laced into corsets
whalebone stays digging into your ribs
because it’s not beauty
if it doesn’t hurt.

But I studied.
I pretended.
I hid the bruises
and the tics.
I hid the big dark parts of me.
I tamed my hair.
I watched my mouth.
I hid my magic.
I did not speak of such things
because we do not speak of such things –
not anger,
not homesickness,
not longing.
Not this sense
that I don’t know what the hell
a human girl is
and I can tell, I can,
that everyone knows I don’t belong here.
I laugh too loud;
I am too fast or slow to laugh.
I am an anthropologist in the field of girl.
I study
but none of it
ever comes
naturally.

None of it is in my nature.

I am something larger,
more fluid,
less constrained.
But I am stranded in this place.
I have had to learn how to live here.
I have tried.
So hard.

image

As usual, our instructors  killed it this summer:

Seth Fischer interviewed Edan Lepucki about her new novel California for The Rumpus.

Edan Lepucki debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list for her novel California.

Elline Lipkin‘s nonfiction essay “Trying” will be published in the forthcoming anthology “My Other Ex” edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, out this September. Her essay ”The Books We Hold More Closely” will be included in the tribute issue to Eavan Boland of PN Review, which comes out in September as well. The Society Pages published her review of three books ”(M)Others: Good, Bad, Real on Girl w/Pen: Bridging Feminist Research and Popular Reality.”

Amelia Morris’s debut memoir, Bon AppetemptA Coming of Age Story (With Recipes!) was included on The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books List.

Margaret Wappler has written for Los Angeles Times and Bookforum.com. Yoko Ono retweeted Margaret’s DAME piece to her 4 million followers!

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