Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rumour quashing

The mixture of absinthe and HP sauce, in the presence of lesbian activists, does not automatically lead to abseiling. Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder*; if it leads you - alcoholicly and alliteratively - to abseiling, that is not my fault. If devoted best friends Mary and Frances, living and loving and working together, strike you as lesbians within the current remit of the term, well, that is a subject for a future essay. If abseiling and lesbians give you a frisson of radical nostalgia for protests of yore, then I congratulate you on your knowledge of recent Parliamentary history. But I can categorically assure you that Mary on the Green is not an abseiling type of organisation. The rumour is quashed here, as dead as those foxes Otis Ferry likes to hunt.

(If you dream tonight of Mary abseiling into the Commons, or of her as a suffragette smashing windows - "Votes for Women! Justice for one half of the human race!" - , or of her gigantic statue the size of both Buddhas of Bamiyan rolled into one, with pilgrims abseiling off her thoughtful nose, blame your dream on intellectual indigestion, literary late-night snacking on Ben Gunn's toasted cheese. Blame not this blog for your imaginings. I wash my hands of you.)

*If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit:
We all assume that Oscar said it.

Dorothy Parker, of course. Credit where credit is due, and cash when they really get anxious. (I said that.)

What the heck is that picture about, I hear you asking? When I did a Google Image search (I was going to write "when you do a Google search", but sadly (?) those impersonal days of stable shared search results are over, and without even knowing it, we wear the goggles of the Filter Bubble) on "abseiling lesbian", I got three categories of images: nothing NSFW; a few pictures of people abseiling, who on inspection of the source pages could not be guaranteed to be lesbians, and thus the use of these images might contaminate the carefully guarded honour of this blog; and a photo of some gingery-looking dark cake, sliced. So I went to Wikimedia Commons, was not surprised that "abseiling lesbian" turned up nothing, and looked for "cake slices" instead. This is how my mind works, slipping sideways by association. Some call it genius; some, madness. Frankly, I'd just like a slice of that chocolate-whisky concoction. By FotoosVanRobin, CC-BY-SA-2.0 (


  1. I am all for a vindication of the rights of both abseiling lesbians and chocolate-whisky concoctions, but my point in commenting this morning is to mention that Mary Wollstonecraft is currently the featured biography on the Wikipedia biography portal...

    Three cheers for Mary!

  2. Thank you for pointing that out, Anonymous! I hadn't been aware of the WP biography portal, though this blog has mentioned the times when MW appears on the front page of the whole she-bang. (Not that there are quite enough of the she's in the bang, but that's another campaign.) Indeed, I remember a post here just about the wonderful Wikipedia Wollstonecraft cycle.

    How did you come across this blog, may I ask, Anonymous?

  3. I'm pretty sure it was a post on the Feminist Philosophers blog this past April.

    It seemed as if there was a flurry of posts about your work and your blog around that time, though, so I'm not quite certain about that. I especially enjoyed your five-minute speech, which was also up on video somewhere.

    It's great to hear about Mary's life and to see people taking up her work and her spirit!

  4. Ah yes, that spring flurry....

    The video you mentioned is here.