Fableogs

Authenticity is the Straight(est) Path to Fulfillment: The Monkey and The Leopard

I’m giving a talk in Nashville this weekend at HT Live! The topic is authenticity and identity alignment, so that has been much on my mind these last days. A topic like authenticity forces the speaker to confront her own inconsistencies (okay, even hypocrisies). Am I my power point slides? How do I polish the presentation, without polishing away the grit of my imperfections? The monkey and the leopard made their living at the fair. They each marketed their shows. The leopard said: Ladies and gentlemen, my renown and glory are known in all the best circles. The king himself has asked to see me. And, if I die, he wants my skin for a hand muff, because it is…

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Replace The US Constitution: The Mud Pot and The Iron Pot

This past week I saw the play What The Constitution Means To Me. In addition to the engaging performances, the play was thoughtful and provocative, posing the question, “Should the American constitution be abolished?” For many Americans this question is terrifying. Yet the constitution was drafted by white men of privilege more than 200 years ago, which seems, on its face, to be a group with which the vast majority of us have very little in common. So why do we continue to follow its word? The iron pot proposed a journey to the mud pot. The latter declined, saying it would be wise for him to keep to his corner of the fireplace. It took so little, really so…

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The American Double Standard: The Rapids and The River

The United States is experiencing a coup (defined as a sudden appropriation of leadership or power). The coup may be slower than sudden, but citizens no longer know exactly who is exercising power in the country or how their policies might differ from the public voice of power. There has been surprisingly little outcry in the country about this precarious state of affairs. At the same time, the New York Times published a story about how the United States government gave advice to Venezuelan military about how to conduct a coup. The article does not even mention the fact that the United States itself is undergoing its own slo-mo coup. Apparently a military takeover in Venezuela is chaos and in…

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How To Run Like A Girl

A big hello to Fit Is A Feminist Issue readers! I know that some of you may have heard from me before about mountain biking, compare-despair or the fraught issue of women’s wear and tennis, but this is my official “introduce-myself” post. I’ll be posting regularly on the first Saturday of the month for a while. And in between, when stories like Serena’s catsuit and Alizé’s sports bra are too provocative not to comment. I’m thrilled to be a small part of this thoughtful and inspiring community. So without further ado, who am I? I’m always tempted to say, “Nobody” in honour of Richard Wright’s haiku or Elizabeth Dickinson’s short poem. Maybe that’s because I’m a writer (though I hesitate…

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Is tennis trying to win a chauvinism/misogyny award?

First, the French Open decides one of Serena’s outfits back in June is cause to tighten up their dress code rules. I wrote about that only a few days ago in Let Women Wear What They Want. Yesterday, the U.S. Open penalized Alize Cornet for oh-so-briefly taking off her shirt during a match. Have women’s bodies become so hyper-sexualized that we (okay, really men) can’t even see a woman’s sports bra without coming apart at the seams? Watch the video. Alize’s shirt is off for less than thirty seconds. On a break, she had changed out of a sweat-soaked dress. She accidentally put her fresh shirt on backwards. I’m in New York City. I can attest to just how blistering…

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Let Women Wear What They Want

The powers-that-be in charge of the French Open, aka French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli, deemed the catsuit Serena Williams wore back in June as a fashion choice “gone too far”; one he considered did not “respect the game and place.” Oh please, seriously?! After I picked myself up on the floor from the outrage of the headline alone, I read the whole story. Apparently Serena wore the outfit because she wanted compression for her legs, because she’s been having problems with blood clots since she gave birth to her child. Also, because she felt like a superhero in the catsuit, along the lines of a Wakanda warrior (a reference to the movie Black Panther, which, if you haven’t seen…

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Compare and Despair: Help, I’m so cliché, why do I keep doing it?

Do you have a particular someone in your life with whom you compete or whom you envy? For me, it’s my partner. Not surprising. We are most likely to compare ourselves to those closest to us. Love and envy are flip sides of the same coin. In my case, the bar is high. My partner is super smart, engaging and well-liked, successful in his work and (this is the part I’m going to get into in a moment) he’s physically gifted. That’s why I love him. That’s why he is a source of more frustration than I ought to admit. I train harder and faster than he does and when we get to the starting line of an event, some…

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Riding over rocks and an appeal

Hello, Fit Is A Feminist Issue readers, this is my first time writing to you. So I’m excited about that! I want to share something I learned from a rock and then I’m asking you for some help. I love to mountain bike. I didn’t always. It took me a long time (like 20 years) to get past the fear that stood between me and making progress in my technical skill. Then about nine years ago I committed to getting better. I have the good fortune to ride on trails in the Sierra Mountains, in California, for 6 weeks every summer. The trails here are a School of Rock. I struggle to learn how to maneuver around particular rocks or…

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Let Serena, Alizé and All Women Wear What They Want: The Mountain Giving Birth

The tennis authorities are running amok. Getting all up in women’s business about their clothing. Seriously? —a full-coverage compression catsuit and a glimpse of a woman’s utilitarian sports bra have sent them scurrying to their rulebooks.  A mountain about to give birth raised such a hue and cry that everyone who came running at the screams thought she was going to give birth to nothing less than a city bigger than Paris.  She gave birth to a mouse.  When I think of this fable, of course the story lies, but the meaning is true, I imagine those authors who say: I’ll sing of the wars waged by the Titans against the god of thunder. That’s promising a lot. But what…

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Facebook Wants to Be A Mouse, A Bird and Catnip: The Bat and The Two Weasels

When questioned by legislators with the power to regulate (and possibly punish) its behavior, Facebook pleads it is a tech company. When Facebook is assessing what content to allow, it considers the newsworthiness, which sounds suspiciously like something a publishing enterprise would do. So which is it?  A bat found herself hanging head down in a nest of weasels. The moment she arrived, the mother weasel, who had long despised mice, came running to devour the bat.  What?! You dare, the weasel said, to appear before my eyes. After your race has tried to destroy me. Are you a mouse? Speak truly. Of course you are, or I’m not a weasel.  I beg your pardon, the poor bat said, that’s…

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