I’m not looking for it. It falls in my effin lap (pt.2)

Ah google feed.

Again. I did not start my day trying to find sexist crap. Google shows recommended and popular items to me. This one was popular. Anyway. The above video is a parody of an advertisement for a peice of cloth that covers cleavage. The parody takes offence at this because (ZOMG!!!) The Dude Nation needs to have boners, and their only joy in these hard times is to stare at women. Women are only here for the benefit of men.

of course if women did have low cut shirts then they would be dirty whores and need to be more modest. so yay for the gray area of not winning.

I skimmed the comments until I was disgusted. It did not take long.

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Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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why do YOU have sex?

I accidentally came across this article. I skimmed as much as I could so I wasn’t ranting about something I hadn’t read. Now my head hurts. (though it does acknowledge cultural constraints on women’s sexuality)

My biggest problem with the article is that I don’t understand why we need such a study. Or rather, I DO understand why we need such a study and I think ugh.

I know why I have sex. so I’m guessing this article isn’t for me. Who cares why women have sex? oh. MEN. (and maybe lesbians but I’m pretty sure society still thinks that they only exist for men to fantasize about.)

Plus the whole article goes on and on about how women have sex to get back at people, or they are trading favors, or “simply to “keep the peace” at home.” (Um rape culture anyone? 84% of women report this. If saying no was easy and respected this wouldn’t be an issue…)

The article has a tone that implies that this behavior is female in nature. Men’s sex drives are mentioned briefly a couple times, but usually to uphold that men have sex for pleasure or because they are in love, (both in the top 20 reasons men have sex). See it’s those complicated women that make sex complicated!!

Actually, it is not the study itself I cringe at but how the analysis is used. if we looked at how sociologically we are programmed we might find that these results are consistent and indicative of a problem. but the patriarchal lens looking at this study could never make those connections: “More than half of women under 60 still suffer from low sex drive.” Low sex drive in women is a problem for whom? Who is suffering from it really? if I don’t crave chocolate one day am I suffering from lack of interest in chocolate? I mean eating chocolate does bring me pleasure when I do it. so isn’t this the same problem? no. why? because chocolate is just a preference.  And who decides what a “normal” sex drive is?  “Low” is BAD!  why???? If women aren’t interested in having sex whenever a male is, this is seen as problem. Why isn’t that just a preference?

And they only have what people report. People do things all the time without thinking them through, then piece together why. Also there are societal constraints on how we are expected to answer these questions. and women are not supposed to feel pleasure. We are supposed to lie back and think of our country. would that color how people report their reasons for sex? I think so. Its that whole ontological reality thing. we don’t have access to it.

When you have a relationship with someone, no matter how brief, is what 64% of the people do important? no. It is what you and your partner think and communicate. It is how you feel, about how you’re partner feels. Because no specific person will match up with the “general” person on everything, so you must still listen and react and be honest.

Or maybe I’m just being reactionary because this study shows I am in fact a freak of nature because I believe sex should be grounded in consent and pleasure. Plus I think that my body should never have to be used as a bargaining chip because I want to be seen as a whole person, even though I acknowledge that I don’t yet live in that world.

this is what I don’t get

some excerpts from a post my friend wrote about a conversation he had:

Pointing to the flowers on my table while I was working and then pointing at my computer he stated, ‘See this and see this? They are different and should be treated different. I wouldn’t water the computer.’ ‘See this,’ he said as he went for a stack of my business cards and began laying each one side by side. ‘They are the same – not the flowers and the computer but the cards.’ ‘We can’t treat them all the same if they are different.’

I stopped working and looked at my friend. I said they are the same and they are different and that when you really get down to it they are all made up of energy and matter… it’s all the same by then. No you would not water my computer or water my cards, but they all have value. Diversity and differences don’t mean that discrimination is necessary. They must all be cared for differently, but not treated with any less respect. The flower has value because it is a flower and we can appreciate that. It is different but not less than a computer. The business cards while each is almost identical will each serve out its own unique purpose that even while I may guide – I cannot control the outcome.

now, I think he tagged me so I would read it. I think he wants me to be more patient with people who say bigoted things. I think I’m as patient as I can be. I am willing to point out to people when they are being bigoted but I don’t have the time or energy to spoon feed them the information. Then pat them on the hand and say “its ok I know its so hard to deal with privilege.. you poor poor thing.”

I need to build my own community so I can feel safe. I want to be able to relax occasionally and not have to worry that on my day off someone is going to make a joke about forcing a penis into some orfice on a woman. (or whatever the hate that day)

but what really gets me. How can someone write the above be the same person who every time we mention food has to tell me how he “needs” his “bloody steak” (or other animal flesh).

they are the same and they are different and that when you really get down to it they are all made up of energy and matter… it’s all the same by then. No you would not water my computer or water my cards, but they all have value.

We are all different, all of us, each of us. None of us WANT to be discriminated against, none of us want to be less than, none of us want to be beaten, abused, harassed, killed, shamed, disrespected… NONE of us… none of us. (I began to tear up and paused for a moment.) We all – ALL of us – want love, and to be loved, and respected and at the very least left alone to live our lives freely.

except for the things it IS ok to kill. it is ok to consume the products of rape and of torture and of murder. because those lives are only there for our consumption. those lives only have value to us for what we can get from them.

The flower has value because it is a flower and we can appreciate that. It is different but not less than a computer.

I have value in the male gaze as an object. I can be beautiful as a flower and be appreciated. but that is not who I am or respect how I want to be treated. as the Dude said in the Big Lebowski “he treats objects like women, man” the comparison just doesn’t work.

yes partly I’m ranting because I’m still mad about everything else. And this note feels like it is supposed to be a lesson to me. I have been patient with the liberal bullshit. but I just can’t take the bigots anymore. because to them, liberal seems to mean, “I pretend I’m joking when I say bigoted things instead of saying them out right, then claim I’m pushing the envelope.”

I don’t want to work for equality with those groups because the I don’t want a world with their type of equality. Where we are all equal but some are more equal than others. I want to build a community that is loving and kind and supportive. I want a community based on personal responsibility. based on love.

I will just build a better life
where we will never feel the need
to chop down any kind of tree
or topple over gifts wrapped up in paper
I would like to see
stockings stuffed with things I can use
tips to prevent domestic abuse
all I want for christmas are the blueprints of community

my different friend’s friend’s band wrote that. fuck yeah.

fighting the fight with allies, shouldn’t be like this.

this weekend was, well, not so fun.

I think I need to find another cause. And this sucks. I believe in equality. so I can fight that on many fronts, so its not the end of the world. The problem is I don’t have the energy to fight it on all fronts, at the same time. Especially since I don’t feel like I have a safe space now that I’m back in the states. Especially when I have to fight the fight with very little support within a group that is supposed to be a safe space.

I’ve been doing a lot of work fighting for equal marriage. (that’s same sex marriage to all of you who aren’t clued into the lingo.) I’ve been having a few doubts about my involvement.

1. I would much rather abolish the word marriage from legal documents. fundemental unit of the patriarchy and all that.
2. the debate is phrased as any “TWO” people should be able to get married. that leaves out a lot of my friends and their relationships. Polyamorous groups should not be denied hospital visitation rights because only two of the people are really married. There should be a document that says, “hey we’re family, we take care of each other and we have the rights and responsibilities of being family”
3. this document should be available regardless of the sexual or non sexual nature of the relationships. If I want my best friend as my next of kin and we look after each other as family, it shouldn’t matter that our relationship isn’t romantic in nature.

now on top of these concerns, I’m getting fed up with the sexism in the movement. let me retarget that. I’m getting fed up with sexism in the group I’m working with. oh, and the racist comments, and the biphobia, and transphobia and other remarks I probably haven’t even noticed yet. (plus everyone likes to tell me about how they like bloody steak and other products of rape, torture and murder.)

I understand people aren’t perfect. I mess up all the time. I’m still learning about how to mindfully watch my language. But I’d like to think I’m genuinely trying. This weekend was the leadership retreat, so we had a lot of time with each other. We also, largely because i had earlier brought up my concerns, had a discussion about being more mindful in our speech.

It was a very useful discussion as it helped me identify who I wanted to work with more and who I wanted to avoid. I had been trying to take everything with a grain of salt, focus on the issue at hand, all that stuff. but there are some things I can’t ignore. a member of the “team” posted a racist remark on my facebook.

I updated my status to reflect that one of my friends is looking for a home for their dog. the Nice Guy(tm) NG commented and I commented back:

NG: I was going to type something really off message. *lips sealed*
me: you get a gold star for keeping it to yourself. I’m very proud of you.
other dudely man: But now I just want to know Nice Guy(tm)’s off-color comment about dogs. :(
me: I already deleted it. I don’t allow that type of thing on any page associate with me.
NG: You’re so silly Lauren. ♥

now you can guess that there was a comment by the Nice Guy that isn’t shown in this exchange. as i deleted I don’t have the original text, but it was something like: “Plus my Vietnamese friend would be upset if I started talking about how he eats dog”

wha…?

so I deleted. I would have removed the person from being my friend, but we work together. so I had a discussion with the chapter leader. and thats how we ended up with the discussion.

this is in addition to people slut shaming, constant use of the word “bitch”, gossip about how the bi-guy is really gay, (“I mean really.. he’s just sooo effeminate”). wha? in a group that is fighting for “equality”?

in the course of the discussion the racist Facebook comment was brought up by the Nice Guy(tm). he doesn’t get how it’s racist. “I mean, my friend really does eat dog, it’s a true statment!”

wha?

I start getting really upset. he feels upset and “victimized” because I didn’t explain it to him at the time. He doesn’t get it. It is obvious that I should spoon feed him the information. and he’s studied sociology, so he knows about this stuff.

I mean, come on. I call bull shit on that. actually bull shit can be useful as fertilizer, I call carnivore shit on that. because their poo is that much more gross and full of disease. (I love kitties, but they have super icky poo) The point is, if he truly believed it wasn’t “that” offensive, why did he self screen at first. why not just make the statement if its not racist?

so that was awkward for everyone who witnessed our heated argument.

The next morning at breakfast everyone was talking about how if we make everything PC then we can’t do anything, because everything is offensive to someone. the thing for me is, who are we offending. am i offending someone I am at odds with? am I offending the Mormons? because generally my existence offends a lot of people. and trying to not be hurtful to oppressed groups when our individual privilege gets in our way of being compassionate, is different from the “moral Majority” being offended that women want equal pay. (or whatever).

the burden should be taken up by the privileged. This is our way of dealing with our own biases and recognizing ways to improve ourselves as human beings. so the breakfast group completely diminished the impact of the discussion the previous night.

The leadership team is mostly gay men. there is one bi guy, me, another straight girl and a bi girl. could it be at all possible we’d have more women if there were fewer sexist jokes? maybe?

the moment that takes the cake. we go the the park, someone’s boyfriend meets up with us. He has volunteered and as the bf of one of the leaders so he is tagging along on the leadership retreat. At the park he decides to share a joke that someone sent him:

“a man is getting into bed with his wife, she says ‘I have a headacke’ he says, ‘perfect, i’ve just been powdering my penis with asprin, you can take it orally or anally”

what progress. I call him out on it. he tries to backtrack and apologize, “i’m not really sexist”, and “all my female friends thought was funny” because a man talking about forcing his penis in a woman’s mouth or anus
must be hilarious. wtf? yeah.

I get up and go for a walk and call a friend. I need to get away from this person. eventually I come back. I’m tired and I left half my stuff at the house where we are having the “retreat” I end up sleeping there a while, then meeting up with a friend. she lets me know, there are lots of causes, maybe there’s another way to be involved in the issue that is not with this group. those are probably true statements

I have brought in so many volunteers, I have raised so much money for this group. at least I know the money goes back into the community. I do think they use money well as an org. I think that the type of work being done is useful. but I’m too tired to fight all these fights at once.

it’s like “but what about teh menz?” but with jesus

Thank goodness for people who like to nicely organize the truth so I can just cut and paste.  Be warned some images are graphic and may trigger.

(more…)

Just saying

I read Full Frontal Feminism a while ago.   and it was ok.  It was definitely not written for an already feminist audience.  but whatever.  It read a bit like an extended blog post, which is not a complaint, just an observation.  I mean, I read blog posts all the time (I even read jessica’s blog all the time…).

Anyhoooo, I do have a bit of a critique.  Jessica tells young women to never, ever sleep with a guy who is pro-life/ anti choice.  I don’t have the exact quote the book is not currently in front of me and I’m at an internet cafe so, I’m not digging it up.

This irked me.  I think that doing away with the women=sex=vagina thing is fundamental to feminism.  and I just feel that it’s not appropriate to use your sexuality to reward men.  or rather it’s not ok to tell other people to use their bodies to reward men with good politics.  I mean, shouldn’t sex be about what *I* want?

Maybe what I want is to convert people to my political way of thinking, but maybe, just maybe, I want an orgasm. Or to be physically close to someone because I need that every so often in life.  And I personally probably wouldn’t be attracted to or feel safe around anyone who was anti-choice, so I personally probably wouldn’t sleep with them.

The whole idea of it seems just a bit too much like PETA telling us that we should use our bodies as a form of outreach which is something most feminists condemn….

If an individual wants to use sex as outreach, good for them, but don’t think it’s cool to suggest I SHOULD do the same.

I don’t want eher to be a jessica stein type experiment

I love a woman.  I have for quite a while.  And she just broke up with her S.O. 

I’m pretty sure she loves me too. 

 But I think I’m really heterosexual.  I really like PIV and well, cocks in general.  I really don’t know if I could do without them at all. 

So what do I do?  She’s two oceans away, but that could change soon.   I don’t want to fuck up one of the most amazing friendships I have, but I don’t want to pass this by either. 

 sooner or later I’ll crave PIV.  I  can feel it.  I don’t want to do that too her. 

 It may all be moot.  She may not want to risk our friendship either.

 I feel like I’m in highschool.  Shouldn’t I have figured out my sexuality by now? and the kicker is if I could completely surrender to gender deconstruction, would it matter if she had a cock or not? 

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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personal experience of the male libido

We all know men are only after 1 thing.  Sex. Sex. Sex.  right?  I’ve posted on the fallacy (heehee… “Phallus-y” ) of this statement before.  But recent events are bringing it to mind once more.

 the last Two guys I’ve made out with have not wanted to go all the way.   Fellow A it was a mutual sort of agreement.  Fellow B was being a damn dirty tease.  Well it’s not his fault.  People go at there own pace, and “their own pace” is even subject to change at different points of their life.  but man, when you are in that moment and don’t get satisfied…it messes with your head. 

 At least he was honest with himself and me.  As far as I know at any rate. 

 I guess I’m anxious because there are deadlines with everyone I’m meeting now.  People are travelling and moving on.  A month is not a long time so I want to make the most of every frickin’ minute.  Everything happens as it does.  once it has happened there is not changing it.  So I can choose to enjoy someone’s company with a big “maybe” hanging around but no promises.  or I can be bitter and push the situation which will make him uncomfortable and distant.  

 yeah the first option sounds better, but it is difficult to do.  Lessons in patience are definitely one’s I need to learn, so it will not be a useless endeavor.  grumble…grumble.

It’s easier to be open about one’s sex life when it’s fairly boring

and yet still awkward.

I was at free concert at a university yesterday. The national health group was passing out free condoms, of which you can never have to many. So I grabbed a bunch. Then the lady asked me, “would you like a free chlamydia screening? It is anonymous and discreet.” I was sitting with two people I had only just met earlier that day. it took all my nerve to say, “sure.”

I haven’t had any vaginal “issues” for a while. The most recent was the damn yeast infections from taking antibiotics when I had an ear infection. Damn non alkalizing environment… But it’s good to know. it’s good to be sure. And since my last routine pap-smear/std check-up (which was all clear…) I have had (protected) PIV with two men and sexual contact (non PIV) with another.

I also Fundementally think other people should be checked regularly. I never think about myself in those terms.. but I want to know that if I sleep with someone they have fairly reliable info that they are free and clear. So really I should do the same for them.

But damn it feels weird. Almost as if checking to see if something is wrong will suddenly cause something to show up on the test. Murphey’s law of STD’s or something. And it was very unconventional for an STD test. but hey it’s free right? I’m supposed to be bumming around this country, where will I get turning down free things?

Anyway, I get given a tube with a swab connected to the top after I fill out the paper work. I then take it in a plain paper bag to a port-a-potty. I try not to touch the interior of the blue smell box while I pull down my shorts and panties. My legs are spread enough so that my clothing doesn’t touch the floor. I look into the paper bag; inside it is plastic bag. It says “biological samples” I’ve got my pants around my shins a paper bag under my arm and I’m opening the ziptop bag take out the swab from the tub and try to get a proper swab of my cervix.

I felt like a moment in a sitcom when the character has to carry one more item and then tries to open the door or something, but the amount of stuff their carrying makes the task hillariously diffficult. I swab as best as I can , secure the swab in the tube, then put it back in the plastic bag, then back in the paper bag. Only then do I pull my pants up. I step out of the port-a-pottie and try to nonchalantly walk back to the health stall and give them my sample. They will email or text my results to me within 10 days. For my trouble I get a box of twelve more condoms in addition to the five or six I grabbed earlier.

I can only hope I get as lucky as the new pile of condoms in my backpack implies.

I heart Planned Parenthood

I was thinking about this more as the controversy over IL is still looming.  So I thought I’d share my experience with them. 

 First off, I’ve never had an abortion and I’ve never been pregnant. 

 But when I was in Highschool I sure didn’t want my mom to know I was considering having sex.  (Even though, looking back, she probably assumed I was sexually active WAY before I was.) 

I was on my parents health insurance so I didn’t want to go through a docter like that, but I was a teenager and didn’t have money to pay out of pocket to see a doctor about my questions.   I was dating an older guy (26) , but was 18.  So everything was legal, just darn awkward. 

 At the time I wasn’t even sure when I was going to “do it.”  I was a virgin.  I’d been dating “old” (as my highschool friends called him) for about 6 months.   I loved him, so I was pretty sure I wanted to have sex with him, but was terribly afraid.  (I’d never even used tampons. ) But I wanted to be prepared.  My sister had an unwanted pregnancy (that turned into a beautiful and very wanted child) just the previous year.  But I was going to go away to college.  I couldn’t have a baby, I needed to go to college.

I went down to the clinic with my then boyfriend.  I was so nervous.  I anxiously asked if he would take an STD test and he agreed.  I was so afraid and I’m still not sure of what.  I wanted him to come with me to the back, but it was against policy.  (a sound one in case some one is in an abusive relationship or something.)  At the time that made me feel a little alone.  Here I was to talk about SEX.  Something that was mysterious and, well, not supposed to be talked about.

So I got on the pill, and they handed me lots of condoms.   

It was because of them that I was never in a postition that I had to choose. 

 This sentiment is echoed here and here.

YAY for truth and knowledge.