defining sexuality

so. I generally identify as straight. but I’m at a place where I’m attracted to my good female friend. am I bisexual? maybe. And I know that people are going to be pissed with me, but I don’t think so.

I know there is a lot of bi-phobia out there, and I’ve seen a lot of reactions from people who feel betrayed by people who have relations with people of both sexes but don’t identify as bisexual. It is not my intent to distance myself from the queer community. In fact I’d feel guilty if I identified as bi.

I have straight privilege. I know that when watching movies or whatever that people will have relationships that have the gender make up of the relationships I’ve had. I’ve never dated a woman, and I’m not really interested in most women. I know, I know, that’s like labeling all virgins as asexual. Obviously you can have sexual feelings and know who you want to date even if you haven’t dated them. but this is different. I’ve always wanted to date men, with their hairy faces and penises. It is not just a response to being programed by society and not being true to myself. (Yes I have had people argue my sexuality with me before so I’ve thought about it and had to deal with this argument). I don’t want to co opt a culture and movement with my mostly straight voice.

I would be okay with being called my-specific-best-friend-sexual. because that’s what it is. I like her specifically. not that when I date boys I don’t like them in specific, but a large range of men stimulate me and the same doesn’t happen around women.

It feels like I should have this sorted out by now. not my entire love life, but my sexual orientation identity. I don’t even like that sexual orientation should be be part of my identity. I identify with much more important things. Thing I’m super passionate about. I’m a math educator, I’m a subverter of the dominant paradigm, I’m a feminist, I’m a nudist. but that’s part of straight privilege. I’m “normal” so I don’t have to deal with my sexuality as my identity as a part of me that others me from society. if I did date a woman then society would label and identify me. I would have to respond to that, or at least live with that, unless I moved to a cave.

in the post-everything-bad world the label would be meaningless. everyone would just date who they like. And what their genitals looked like wouldn’t be a big deal. but that is not where we live. sigh.

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what will you do for a gender free tomorrow?

I’ve always been a huge proponent of gender deconstruction. But I don’t know if that is really the right phrase. People talk about hetero-normative culture, I believe it is only part of a larger problem of gender-normative culture.

What is “straight” but a gendered expectation on who we should want to fuck or raise a family with? The patriarchy thrives on the gender binary system. It sees Masculine and Maleness as good and anything outside that as, well, not good. We can not live freely as womyn if we are living in the confines of “femininity”. But we cannot change what it means to be a “woman” without affect what it means to be a man. If we take away the strict definition of “man” the patriarchy has no legs to stand on.

Men also cannot live freely withing the confines of “Masculinty”. But while womyn have risked their lives, careers and families for the ability to wear a pantsuit, most men do not stand and fight for their right to wear pink frocks. That would be fighting for something that is doesn’t fit into the male= good paradigm. So the few men who do fight for equality in gender relations are cast out and punished (including physical assault) by the dominant system as a warning to those who would question the status quo.

And the Pantsuit is no salvation. It is women taking on a masculine costume to gain the power that masculinity brings. It does not change the “male=good” definition. This is not an unreasonable plan since no true revolution has come yet.

Gender-normativity is so built into our culture that we don’t have the words to adequately describe the world without dividing it into “girl things” and “boy things”. And English isn’t even the worst at it. In most romance languages every noun has a gender. But even though English isn’t the “worst” it is still completely deficient.

We need a singular pronoun that is gender neutral, because “it” isn’t cutting the mustard, and “they” gets really confusing and difficult to decipher for some people who insist it is plural.

Gendered expectations control lives, oppressing our true autonomy. I say no race, no economic conditons, and no government has the right to take my autonomy. (They do. All the time. But I’m talking about my dream of the post patriarchal world here) So why should I let gendered expectation control me? there aren’t always options, (esp for children.) Many Schools in NZ have uniforms that require skirts for girls and shorts or trousers for boys. from day one we are told we either belong in the cult of pink or blue.

I know it seems I am not offering solutions. I don’t think that a world free from gender-normative expectations will happen overnight. So here’s what I’ll do:

1. I will speak out against destructive gender-normative impositions as I see them in everyday life.
2. I will encourage and support those in my community who act outside of gender normative expectations to live the life they choose.
3. I will respect and support those who live in fear of coming out as not wanting to live within gender normative expectations (this includes not outing anyone).
4. I will proudly not fit into rigid gender roles when I don’t feel they define who I am.

Join me. What will you do to support a gender free tomorrow?

I’m afraid my screams give no voice to the silenced

I sent the following as an email to all my friends in the states:  

I got the heads up about this from here.

“On Monday, President Bush appointed Dr. Susan Orr as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (a Health and Human Services Agency), placing Orr in charge of the nation’s family planning activities under Title X. In the past, Orr has applauded efforts to exclude birth control from health coverage for federal employees, stating that “fertility is not a disease,” and encouraged efforts to withdraw approval of RU-486.

Orr previously worked as an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, as well as for the anti-contraception and anti-reproductive rights Family Research Council. ”

That is to say that the person incharge of “Family planning” is opposed to the only known way of decreasing the abortion rate.  (which is access to birth control )

If you are Pro-Life, she is against the only known means of reducing the abortion rate and therefore against you.

If you are Pro-choice and/or think women should have reproductive rights, she is against you.

Please take a moment to sign the Planned Parenthood Pettition .

Thank you,

xxxxxxxxxxxx

feel free to copy and share or just share. I’m happy to get the message out.

of course this comes at a time when even democrats are continuing abstinence only sex ed. GAAHHHH!!!!  I could just scream.

I went in curious and left amazed. GO SEE THIS IF YOU CAN!

“The Business of Being Born” & Its Effect on Audiences

by Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM

I’ve watched fourteen audiences walk into and then out of Ricki Lake’s childbirth advocacy movie “The Business of Being Born,” and the word that stands out is transformed.

Natural birth advocates leave natural birth fanatics.

Pregnant women walk into the movie as patients at local hospitals and walk out with resolute plans to leave their doctors and find a midwife for a birth they know will be safe and respectful.

I’ve role played with women who want out-of-hospital births (or out of unsupportive doctors) after seeing the film, but whose partners (who wouldn’t attend the screening) are fearful – helping them with ideas to get their loved ones to the movie.

And families who were initially hesitant to support a midwifery-attended birth have become ardent supporters intent on converting their misunderstanding friends.

I’m finding it challenging to get the press to either view the movie or to cover the importance of it in our community. It seems some people find natural birth not newsworthy… a big ol’ yawn.

But, how can any thinking person who cares about the effects of hormonal attachment/detachment that occurs during birth in our culture find this unimportant? How could someone yawn about the economics of slicing a person open for convenience’s sake (the convenience of the clock, the wallet and the courtroom)? I would think that someone with any semblance of a heart would “get” that birth as it stands today is abhorrent and a complete overhaul is needed.

This movie explains why it goes far, far beyond having or having not medication at birth… it is an entire mindset of respect for a woman’s autonomy and the understanding that choices in birth create the most amazing human beings that walk in our neighborhoods. Damaged women and babies do nothing but hurt the world… why foster the continuation of such cruelty?

If the right people saw the movie, the word would get out. That is what is so challenging about the publicity surrounding this movie. It has amazing amounts of well-documented –and jaw-dropping – information that relatively few know about. The people seeing the movie could quote the statistics chapter and verse! It’s those that haven’t seen the movie that need to plop their butts in the seats and then they need to tell others about it from their points of view.

If you’re reading this, you can do your part by either attending the movie yourself if it is in your area (check www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com) or sponsoring a viewing.

If you are so inclined to educate the public about the movie, write letters and send fliers to whomever you can – the press, letters to the editor, your email lists, friends, family, support groups, children’s pre-schools, middle and high school health and sex education teachers, women’s studies programs, child development programs, psychology classes, childbirth education teachers, local midwives (including Nurse-Midwives), La Leche League leaders, head nurses on Labor & Delivery floors, friendly obstetricians, chapter leaders of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, local leaders of midwifery organizations, natural clothing stores, cloth diaper suppliers, childbirth educators and lactation educators as well as putting fliers on bulletin boards at natural food stores and attachment parenting baby stores, Babies R Us and other kid-friendly stores and locations.

Together, we can bring more people to know what we’ve known for far too long. Birth can – and should be – an honored and cherished experience, no matter where, or how, it occurs. It is in the knowledge of options and in the light of respect and humanity that birth becomes perfection.

Perfection is rightfully ours.

sugar

I’m craving it.  I was good earlier, I walked away from the remaining chocolate covered raisins I placed in the breakroom.  They should be gone by the end of the day.

 But man, I’m craving chocolate and sugar.  I took a preemptive alieve to thwart the chocolate withdrawal headache.  But I’m going mad. 

 I know that every time I turn it down it will get a little easier.  But it’s hard the first day.

Published in: on September 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

still off the wagon but wanting back on

What I really wanted to write about is how much I suck at self control.  I mentioned that I wanted to give up chocolate. Well that has failed so far.

I was rationalizing that while I was menstrating it was reasonable to crave such things. But that is now over.

Yesterday I bought a container of Dark chocolate covered rasins. I could have sworn that they were vegan. It wasn’t until later that I noticed “milk fat” on the ingredient list. did this stop me from eating most of the “11 servings” in the container? no. Why not?

oh, because i’m addicted. I could not stop eating them. I now feel slightly ill. I need to quit. I put the rest of them in the lunch room at work so they would “disapear.”

so now I need to go through the withdrawal and have a horrible headache.

it’s hard to listen to your body when you use stimulants (like caffine). It can really fuck up the messaging system. I’m also surprised by how well I can rationalize things I really know I shouldn’t do. (“it has milkfat, but I’ve already pruchased it, so it would be a waste not to eat it” ) Uggh. well it was a waste. now I’m not feeling good and probably won’t for hte next few days I suffer withdrawal and side effects of eating too much sugar. Because refined sugar is icky.. at least it didn’t have high fructose corn syrup.

Menstruation is Good

I’m not being sarcastic.   It is good for the body and reminds me that I am woman with all that comes with it.  

I am currently menstrating so it is on my mind a bit.  I really wish I could shake the world by it’s shoulders and get it to realise that a monthly flow is not gross. ProFeministe Male supports me leaving my vagina as is, but the industry doesn’t.

I mean without this function none of us would be here. my vagina is clean and smells like a vagina. I use a diva cup because it is tidier and doesn’t cause tss. no string hanging down to carry bacteria up inside me.  Occasionally if I don’t want anything inside of me I will use a pad.  I’m hoping to get Glad Rags so that I’m not adding to landfills when I do that.

Just two days ago I was running into problems that people have because I admit to bleeding about once a month. I was a bit worried because I was late, (not so late I was freaking out and heading to the pharmacy, esp since I use spermacidically lubricated condoms) and I mentioned this to a male friend. He freaked. we were in public! his main concern? “Keep your voice down!” So I did what any immature recently out of college youth would do: I continued talking about vaginas and menstration. I even called out “menstration” after him at one point when we were leaving a gellato place in china town SF. Most of the comments weren’t that graphic, such as, “I need to hang out with menstrating women, my body is really sensitive to syncing up with other people”

If you are a girl and you are reading this and think that anything I’ve said is gross, or I’m crazy to mention menstration to a guy. Let me tell you:

Your body is fine. Your vagina is wonderful. Your vagina is beautiful.

 You do not need to lemon scent it, you do not need to hide it’s monthly flows. It is how it should be.

do not be afraid to touch it, or have it touched (lovingly).

it is not dirty. It is the place from which life springs. It is the place from which orgasms spring. Rejoice.

You are wonderful.

On Hooking Up

It seems like I’ve done nothing but sift through links  about Laura Sessions Stepp as I’m reading blogs recently. The short of it is she has a book on “the hookup culture” that is ruining today’s youth.  or something. 

I pretty much agree with what everyone else is saying.  So I don’t want to blog about that.  But it has got me thinking about my views about me “hooking up” as I haven’t really done it much.   (so much for the “hooking-up culture”)

In theory I think it could be great.  In practice I have turned it down several times.   Why? (this is as much a question to myself and the following is unorganised introspection)

 Well in college I was completely shut down physically.  I was in emotional upheaval for the better part of it.  I was not in a place I could emotionally or physically connect with other people very well.  But I got my degree!  So yay? 

Reasons for being so disconnected from my physical needs:

  1. poor sleep habits
  2. drinking alcohol
  3. eating fried foods
  4. paranoia

 This is college life right?  Never again.  But let’s look at #4.  when I was in highschool my sister got pregnant.  She was 19.  She is now a stay at home mom with a highschool diploma.  my first (and only at the time) experience with sex was so emotional that I couldn’t imaging seperating the act from the emotion. 

I was afraid if i had sex I wouldn’t get my degree.  I was afraid i wouldn’t get my degree anyway.  (My dad almost finished colleged but dropped out in the end.  (but I did get my degree.. at a detriment to my health and well being, but I did it!))

But it was more than that.  I was chronically depressed and stressed out.  None of the situations I found myself in felt “right.”  In fact some of them were really ‘wrong’ feeling.  Like the time I dated the guy who laughed at my body and was so broke that he could not afford to call me. 

 See I’m really glad I didn’t have PIV with him.  or ever even sucked him off.  And while he was the worst, I never really connected with anyone I actually dated during college.  nothing lasted more than a couple months, and I always wanted to take it slowly.  It was never quite right.  I ended up fooling around and having some amount of Sexual relations, but PIV seemed too invasive and personal with any of the opportunities presented

Skip to my life after college.  There’s only been a year and a bit of it so far. May 18 my life began again!  Well, everything else was going well at the time as well.. but the big moment had it’s seed.  The 18th I met a nice young man who I was having a great time flirting with.  on the 20th he was leaving the state to back to school.  The 18th itself we were both covered in muck and really tired… (there was some college event i crashed at ucsd involving a water slide while in my clothes.)  So the 19th I stole him from the friend he was visiting and for the first time in four years and 10 months (exactly) I had PIV.

It was so much fun.  I was in a place where I could connect with another person even if it was ephemeral.  I knew what I was getting into.  He was studying in Pennsylvania, and I was planning on leaving the country at the end of the year.  There was no way it was turning into anything long distance.  Just one day.  Yes I was sad when it ended, but dammit I took what I could get and thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

The next week I started dating someone else, but it didn’t feel right.  So we didn’t do anything and I broke up with him and that nice young man passed through town for 6 days.  That was a fun week.  it sucked when he left.  but I’m so grateful that i was in a place to take advantage of what was offered.

so my in my limitted experience, hooking up can be very good.  I don’t think I’d hook up with people I’d see on a regular basis afterwards.  I mean what’s the point?  If you have great sex with them, then why not just keep doing it? Then you’re either fuck buddies or in a relationship both of which aren’t really just hooking up.  and who wants to hook up if it’s going to  be bad sex?

so Yeah.. In the past two weeks I found myself a boyfriend.  I’ve actually known him about 2 or three months, but I wasn’t paying much attention at the time as I was proccupied with boys from far away.  we didn’t wait long.  My body has been awakened.  I don’t think I could have waited long.  but again.  it feels right.  it might not feel so right in the near future or when I leave the country, but I’ll worry about that then.

Veganism is a healthy lifestlye

She says as she finishes her fried peanut butter and banana sandwich sprinkled with cinnamon sugar . 

 oops.  Good job.  I try to eat healthily.  I’m big on the whole grains and  I do think that avoiding animal protein is healthier in general… but I am human and I am weak and make mistakes.  but damn tastey mistakes.   it could only be tastier had I added some vegan chocolate to it.   But I think I should give up chocolate as well.

now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think chocolate is “unhealthy” so to speak, but I find if I’ve been eating it, and then I don’t eat it, I get a headache. 

so my life includes making sure i have chocolate around or being in pain.  I’m not a fan of addiction in general.  So I’m giving it up, (again….see there was this wagon, and I had fallen off.)  I went back to chocolate when I gave up dairy.  trading vice for slightly lesser vice.   Today I trade down to fried peanut butter sandwich and coconut sorbet.  oh gawd those would be good together.  (bad brain! I want to give up unhealthy habbits not acquire new ones.) 

 but it is a new month, so by our arbitrary conventions, I will start today!

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 10:11 am  Comments (1)  

It is not a “meat substitute”

I don’t eat meat and I don’t need a substitute for it.  It drives me absolutely bonkers when I hear tofu or seitan refered to as a meat subsitute.

 it is a protein source.  That is true.  but what does that have to do with meat?

 tofu is it’s own glorious thing that in many cultures is eaten along side meat, or in dishes that never intended on having meat.  (it’s actually really hard to find vegetarian stuff at “Tofu house” off of convoy, it all has beef in it)

 Tofu is not trying to be meat.  The only reason I ever buy anything resembling “meat subsitutes” is that I go to a lot of bbq and I want something that fits on a bun so I can be a part of that social sphere.  hanging around the grill cooking dogs is a very social thing, something that you can’t tap into with zuccini alone. 

 Anyway, that is my rant.  you may go back to your regularly scheduled lives.

Published in: on August 29, 2007 at 6:27 pm  Comments (3)  
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