Tag Archives: Europe

Content related to the history and politics of Europe, also including travel.

I’m not gon’ do it, girl…

I did it! (If you haven’t seen this popular TikTok trend, peep it here).

SURPRISE! If you’re reading this, I’m on my way to Madrid, Spain and I didn’t tell ANYONE I was going (sorry, mom)!

The week before last, I was extremely depressed, couldn’t sleep, and basically at my wits end with life. I had just filed my taxes a few days before and simultaneously realized I hadn’t done anything for myself (other than ordering random garbage on Amazon…dopamine, amiright?) in a really long time, we’re talking like 5 years.

I thought for a few hours and decided I was going to take a trip! Where could I go for the cost of my tax return? I looked up a few flights, crowdsourced it, checked out the cost of food, and looked up the crime index on Numbeo (I even did my due diligence to make sure I don’t wander into any heroin dens, haha!)—ultimately, I chose Madrid! All in all, it took me about 12 hours to find flights, accommodations, and build a full 6-day itinerary.

I originally found another flight for a seven-day trip but I was too slow (and waiting for “signs” that I wasn’t being totally insane, haha!) and it was gone by the time I built up the courage to book my reservations. Lesson number 1: Don’t hesitate or you lose out on better deals!

I’ll share the places I plan to go now and wait to share each day’s itinerary after I’m back in my apartment for the night.

I used Google Maps to plan my entire trip!

I visited Spain on a tour in 2008 but I haven’t been back since then. I also haven’t been on a solo trip or to Europe since I went to Italy in 2014.

Little bb Anna in 2008

So, for the next 6 days, I’m going to be exploring Madrid (with a day trip or two), on a budget. Activities might include: a Real Madrid game, all the museums, some Catholic stuff, the grocery store, going to the movies, la hora del vermut, geocaching, etc. I’ll be making a post every day to chronicle my trip but I’ll also make a post about costs, my AirBnB, and other details once the trip is over.

You can find a cost tracker and packing list here. If you want to see how I spend and how I packed for a week in a carry-on, follow me on TikTok and Instagram!

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and follow me everywhere (literallyyy every social media channel you can think of) @thatgingeranna!

European and U.S. Populisms: Gender, Economy, and Society.

Let’s talk about European and U.S. populisms, shall we? Maybe you read my previous post about how one could equate Fascism and Communism as they relate to populism. Well, on Friday I went to a conference at NYU titled, “The French National Front and Beyond: A Global Populist Movement?” It was SO interesting. I was able to confirm several things I understand about populism, come up with some new questions, and widen my understanding of Right-wing political movements in both the United States and Europe. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay for the keynote speech because I arrived when the conference started and couldn’t stay until the evening, but the two panels I listened to,“Sexual Politics” and “Populism from Below: Ethnographers at Work”, were both amazing.


DISCLAIMER: I have complex opinions (some lengthy and mature in their development, others new and ever changing) regarding topics each panelist spoke about. I am not prepared to write each of them out in this post. When I write about my disagreement with a panelist it does not mean that I agree with the alternative viewpoint, it only means that I don’t agree with their specific interpretation in the context of their presentation. If I write something that offends or confuses you, ask me to clarify what I mean and I will gladly do so!

The first panel was about Sexual Politics and three presenters spoke about their work: Kathleen M. Blee, Anika Keinz, and Cornelia Moser. Kathleen spoke about Right-wing movements in the United States as they relate to gender. Kathleen touched on something that I agreed with: the Right isn’t necessarily ignorant, but they use a different strategy of ideological bundling than the Left. Ethno-nationalism, masculinity, hierarchy, and anti-globalism are each ways the Right in the United States is able to appeal to different ideological bundles people hold. This directly confirmed my idea that one’s hierarchy of social identities determines if they will vote Left or Right. I did disagree with one assertion she seemed to make which was that politicians who develop or articulate their stances issue by issue rather than as a complete ideology are opportunistic. I am of the opinion that anyone (politician or not) can hold opposing views on different things without being a hypocrite or an opportunist so I would have liked to have heard more about her ideas on that.

Cornelia spoke mainly about gender and the Right in France. I liked all of the presenters, but two points in Cornelia’s presentation struck me. She identified the Right as “familialist”. That is, promoting ideologies that emphasize families in tandem with oppressive sexual and gender norms. Had this been used solely as an adjective to describe the way the Right wishes to organize society, I may have agreed, but it wasn’t. I understand that it refers to the way in which a group hopes society organizes itself-that is in a familial structure-but the definition of a family has expanded considerably over the years. With the progressive changes in domestic partnership and adoption law (especially in France), the traditional husband and wife with two children is no longer the only form families take. What I mean to say is that familial organization of society is not as narrow as it once was and doesn’t not have to denote “oppressive sexual and gender norms”. Even historically, a familial organization of society has not always meant organizing around a nuclear family. I also do not know what one who is against familialist parties or societal organization would propose as an alternative. Cornelia mentioned that the Right is also anti-individualistic in some ways, so I am again curious what the alternative is, if anti-individualism and familial organization of society are both negative. Cornelia also spoke about something that was my biggest objection of the 6 presenters: “dediabolization” or the idea that “making stances discussable” makes them less negative. She specifically mentioned this regarding neo-nazi stances. I wish I could have asked her to explain what she meant more clearly but I vehemently disagree that talking about an idea or stance makes it less evil or negative.

Continue reading European and U.S. Populisms: Gender, Economy, and Society.