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I was researching whistling superstitions for my still unfinished third installment of Cortney’s Corner — an audio segment where I recite all the facts about something I don’t like over a very depressing cello solo — and learned about how a "whistling woman" was (and probably still is) considered vulgar, while men whistling was a sign of hard work. To me whistling is just audibly intrusive no matter who is doing it.

Whistling women and crowing hens Always come to some bad ends.
—American folk-saying

A whistling woman and a crowing hen Is neither fit for God nor men. —English proverb

A crooning Cow, a crowing Hen, and a Whistling Maid boded never luck to a House. —Scotch Proverbs, 1721

Every time a woman whistles, The heart of the Blessed Virgin bleeds. —Mr. Townley of Hull, 1879

Women were again behaviorally manipulated with the invention of “ladylike” and now whistling is a male-dominated activity. This is probably the unknown-til-now reason why I hate the sound of whistling. But really I just have a hatred for a lot of sounds, which is known as misophonia (basically the opposite of ASMR).

Alice J. Shaw was a very popular, world-touring whistling performer. They called her "The Whistling Prima Donna," and she made her whistling debut in New York at Chickering Hall in 1886. Here is a really vintage recording from 1888, and a detailed profile on her.

The only whistling I participate in is trying to mimic bird calls which I’ve done since I was a little kid. I have also recently discovered how to mimic angry squirrel squeaks thanks to my buck teeth. This absolutely means I will grow up to be the reclusive old lady who only talks to animals.

 

The Hilma af Klint show at the Guggenheim is so impressive. I expected it to be good based on the many instagrams I saw, but it was even better than that. I didn’t realize it was the same artist they mention in the Kristen Stewart film, Personal Shopper (a very good film — but what happened in the hotel room at the end?).

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Still from Personal Shopper

Here’s a pic of the exhibit text about her all-women spiritualist séance collective called The Five.

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There are only two days left to get my Emotion Statue t-shirt I designed for Everpress’s International Womxn’s Day campaign. Emotion statue is an internal game I play where I try to keep still when I feel an intense emotion. I pose like a statue and feel it rush through me. It’s hard work but effective in avoiding regrettable actions motivated by emotion. The face is the statue of liberty.

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I love anything Audrey Wollen writes or posts about, like this article about the many photographs of Marilyn Monroe reading books.

“There are more photographs of Marilyn Monroe reading than there are of her naked.”

 

Here’s an interesting article about how women made butter a major agricultural product.

...women began making butter for market during the late eighteenth century. At the time, few people in Philadelphia had cows. That made rural women—and their butter—an important part of the Revolutionary economy. Women began to make and sell butter, in addition to what they already produced for their families.

 

Mitski’s song “A Pearl” has all the words I needed to describe what it’s like for me to struggle as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Sorry, I can't take your touch
It's just that I fell in love with a war
And nobody told me it ended
And it left a pearl in my hand
And I roll it around
Every night, just to watch it glow

The song is probably about some other pain, but the line about “holding a pearl in my hand…to watch it glow” — except I substitute “hand” with “head” because that’s where I keep everything — is accurate. That’s all I’ll say about it since it’s kind of an aggressively heavy topic to send to your email inbox. But the point is, you may never be fully healed from your trauma, but finding words for your pain, even someone else’s, can help you understand it better.

I really appreciate Mitski’s writing, I hope she writes a book.

 

No poem by me this time, instead I made a public google doc that you can write in, add to, comment, etc, in honor of The Atlantic’s article “The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is … Google Docs.” It’s called WELCOME HOMEPAGE.

thanks for reading

:0)
Cortney