|photograph of Lorca Cohen, new parent, and Martha Wainwright, new aunt, is from here|
Congratulations to the man I once wanted to marry: Rufus Wainwright. Alas, he's taken--and busier now than ever. I'm only sorry his mum, Kate McGarrigle, didn't live long enough to get to meet the little girl. But, maybe, on some other plane of existence, she has and is getting to know her granddaughter. At least she'll have a wonderful Aunt Martha to know on this plane of existence. Years ago I saw both sibs perform together in Montreal and they were each fantastic.
I once called out Tim Wise for promoting the idea--and reality, no doubt--that his daughters are 'beautiful'. (He got quite pissy about it.) This word 'beautiful' MUST be used to describe girls. It MUST. It's a social law as entrenched and intransigent as any. To NOT call a girl baby 'beautiful' is to insult her and parent(s). This imperative doesn't exist for boy-babies; they can be cute, or "daddy's little bruiser" or whatever. Not 'pretty', maybe. But they can be beautiful too. They just don't HAVE to be. This is not just sexist and heterosexist. It is discriminatory on many levels, often functionally racist and classist, as only people with a collection of privileges tend to be identified as 'beautiful' once grown up. It's most often blond white thin young women who society-at-large assumes are heterosexual.It is part of what instills in girls a sense that their value is their physical appearance--whether or not it is pleasing to others, particularly to men who hold the most power to name beauty and punish those who aren't seen as beautiful. Of course women named beautiful by men are also abused by men. There is no socially safe option for girls and women.
This repetitive, ubiquitous, compulsory calling of girls 'beautiful' is done in a society in which girls, increasingly younger and younger ones, are trafficked and sexualised for men's entertainment and predation. Hopefully Lorca Cohen, Rufus, and Deputy Dad Jorn can keep those predatory het men away from their girl-child. Please note how emphatically the term 'beautiful' makes an appearance in the announcement below.
I pray that Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, and all newborn girls, and all little girls will a know a life free of het men's intimate abuses. Tragically, no one will be able to avoid the institutional abuses.
On a cheerier note, how wonderful that Viva gets her mother's last name! That's a nice matrilineal touch. Far too little of that going on in my family and life experience. But maybe this'll catch on in the white Christian patriarchal West. This ethnically Jewish child is of Canadian, Lithuanian, and Polish heritage; and, specifically, she is a Cohen/Kohen. For those who don't know what that means, please see *here*.
My blessings and best wishes to the new family. Mazel Tov!!
[Source website for what follows is Queerty.com, *here*.]
Rufus Wainwright Welcomes Daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen
Like Elton John and Neil Patrick Harris before him, Rufus Wainwright managed to sneak his new fatherhood beneath your prying eyes. The singer announced on his website that he and partner Jorn Weisbrodt are the proud new fathers of daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, born Feb. 2. "The little angel is evidently healthy, presumably happy and certainly very very beautiful," the note reads. "Daddy #1 would like to offer everyone a digital cigar and welcome the little lady in with a French phrase from his favorite folk song, A La Claire Fontaine : 'Il y a longtemps que je t'aime, jamais je ne t'oublierai.'"
A reader relays that Rufus actually dedicated a song to Viva at his sister's concert last Friday while appearing on stage with Martha, who was performing an Edith Piaf collection, though he didn't mention at the time who this Viva person was. And the fourth name Cohen? That would belong to Lorca Cohen, who carried Viva and is the daughter of Leonard.