I’m not perfect. My feminism is not perfect, my queerness is not perfect, my understanding of privilege is not perfect. I continue to grow, evolve, learn, try, fuck up, and try again. My intentions are generally to share information that I think is interesting, and see what discussion comes out of it from people. Sometimes I have to step away from conversations though, because I get really frustrated.
Today I’m grouchy about Dan Savage. I wish he would take ownership of the critique that he harms more than helps when he uses words that don’t belong to him.
Today I’m grouchy about feminists who are openly transphobic. I’m sorry, but I do not agree with you that sexism against women creates an environment that oppresses people into gender dysphoria. That may be true for someone you know, or some trans people, but it does something that I feel really uncomfortable with: it takes away people’s agency. Yes, I agree that gender inequality fucks us all over–but telling me how to express my gender without masculinity is no better than those who tell me that I’m only supposed to have one kind of femininity as a female-bodied person.
Ooh, that might be a longer post at some point.
Today I’m continuing to love Tiger Beatdown. Check this one: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/10/10/my-feminism-will-be-intersectional-or-it-will-be-bullshit/
I know this isn’t a specifically feminist quote, but it’s been on my lips all day.
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all. -Mario Savio
I’m finding it difficult to be online without reading everything I come across regarding the Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno/Second Mile/Penn State University Football Rape Cover-up story. I’m interested in the story for a million reasons.
One simple reason I’m fascinated by this story? This whole thing reeks of patriarchy. Power, cover-ups, loyalty through injustice, sexual abuse, lies– patriarchy. Shit, even one of the principle character’s name means FATHERLY. So let’s be real– even if I did not work in university administration (I do) at a division 1 big sports school (I do), even if I was not a feminist (I am), even if I did not stand in solidarity with survivors of rape (I do), even if I was not a mandated reporter (I am), even if I was not critical of the way that collegiate athletics get away with a lot of shit (I am), I would still be glued to this story because it touches the root of who I am as a person– Do Not Let These Fucking Assholes Get Away With This Shit.
I want to share this link: http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2011/11/10/the_fall_of_giants.aspx
I want to say that if these men had really been giants, they would have used their giant power and giant money to protect those who needed protection.
And I also want to share this link. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/11/10/omelas-state-university
There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly. The… the other important joke, for me, is one that’s usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud’s “Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” and it goes like this – I’m paraphrasing – um, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” That’s the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.
Despite my better judgment, I just can’t help myself. I love old Woody Allen movies. I started watching them when I was in high school–I’d check VHS tapes out of the public library up the street from my house. This isn’t a post about Woody Allen movies, or why I was the weird kind of teenager obsessed with them (especially Annie Hall & Sleeper) but now that I think about it, that would be a good post.
This is a post about how I’m not a joiner.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m an only child. It’s true. I feel like I’m a really serious major only– an only’s only if you will. In addition to being the only child of my parents, I don’t have cousins my age. On my dad’s side, I’m 10 and 11 years older than my two cousins. On my mom’s side, I’m five years younger than the closest cousin and five years older than the next one. The late 70s were quiet years in my family…save for the birth of me.
This is relevant because I think it speaks volumes to the fact that I’m not a joiner. Now, when I say I’m not a joiner, it doesn’t mean that I’ve never joined anything, because that’s not true. I was on teams and in clubs, but the way I’ve always most enjoyed working in teams is independently. For instance, the sports I was most committed to were track & swim team. Individuated participation in a team setting. In high school, I learned a lot about joining from marching band– but I played an instrument where we were kind of independent– tenor saxophone–and for three years, there were only two of us. I was in drama guild, but preferred to take on tasks that allowed me to work independently, such as stage manager. I was one of four editors of the student paper for two years consecutively, which was mostly independent work. We each had our sections to edit and columns to write, but we didn’t have too much work together. In college, I was active in a few groups, and in my post college life, I was super involved with one group.
Now I’m a grown up, and I have this professional life (which I’m trying harder to develop), but the kind of job I have really doesn’t allow for much team playing. Yeah, I have responsibilities to the department, and to the other professional staff and the student staff, but again, I mostly work as an individual in a team setting.
The reason this has been weighing on my mind, is that I don’t really know how to make new friends. If I were more of a joiner type personality, I might be more apt to get involved in some kind of community activity where I could meet potential friends. Add the awkwardness of being a queer person with no children, and I feel like if I want to reach out to make new friends, I have to put a big loud disclaimer on it:
I AM NOT TRYING TO HOOK UP WITH YOU. I AM HAPPILY COUPLED INA MONOGAMOUS YET LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP. MY INTEREST IN YOUR COMPANY IS MERELY PLATONIC.
And honestly, starting things out with that big announcement makes shit pretty awkward.
I wouldn’t be overthinking it so damn much, but it’s what dykes do. You seriously have to make your intentions clear.
When I left Minneapolis, I left my amazing radical queer community, and there’s nothing even close in Cincinnati, from what I can tell. I got connected to some amazing queers when I moved here who I sort of knew…and now, a year later, they’ve all left town. Of course, my modus operandi is to GTFO of here ASAP as well, but I still can’t help wondering how my life could be different if i were more of a joiner.
anyone have thoughts on this subject?