Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tee, Tee Em Eye

So because I fascinate you endlessly (whoever 'you' are), I thought I'd share some highly personal shit that's been on my mind. Mostly about me, how I think, what I identify as, and how this affects me as a feminist, a person, in my relationships, my writing, ad nauseum.
So, for the political. I'm left-leaning, favor Hilary over Obama just a bit, and believe we need legislation that will help us achieve equal rights in regards to race, gender, and sexuality. (I also believe in legalizing marijuana, but that's another story.) I want the laws to change but secretly I dream of La Revolution and say things like "break out the pipe bombs!" even though I don't usually advocate violence.
The educational- I'm a recent graduate with a BA in Liberal Arts (essentially). I know, not too useful, but I plan on going back for a graduate degree in something and it's helpful for that, if nothing else specifically. I'm a bit of an intellectual snob.
The physical- I'm short, curvy and technically overweight. Yeah, I'm a fat chick. I've been brainwashed my whole life to think that I needed to be thinner and at this point, I'm comfortable with myself the way I am. I'm both functional and attractive, and the former is way more important. My purple hair makes me wildly happy, and my style is broadly defined as "practical/blue jean femme". Makeup is a rarity, as are skirts or heels. I've become girlier of late, partially because feminization is necessary to look 'presentable' or 'professional' at most companies, but also in response to the butch/femme dynamic. More on that below.

And now, the sex. I'm... sex-positive, in that I think sex is great and anyone who wants to, should be able to, with whom they want. A few caveats apply, such as: so long as you are careful of your health and safety and that of your partner (meaning, use protection, and use a safeword, pick whichever apply); so long as you are both/all consenting adults (should be obvious); and so long as you are aware that your right to have sex ends at someone else's right to not have sex. If you want sex with bananas and a feather boa and 3 guys and 2 girls and a birdcage, go to it. I'd love to see a video of that logistical feat if you do. But I digress.
I think women have the right to be protected in their sexuality, meaning: I support the Twisty definition of consent, and I believe that abortions should be safe, legal, the choice of the woman to make and not anyone else's, paid for by health insurance and if need be, financially assisted by the state.

I don't identify as a sex-positive feminist. I think we are so entrenched in the Patriarchal society that until we are truly seen as human, most sexual aspects of women will continue to be seen as both only part of and less important than men's pleasure. And so porn, strip joints, Suicide Girls, and prostitution aren't things I think are good. This does not mean I believe in demonizing or looking down on sex workers; I think we all try to navigate the Patriarchy as best we can. The problem is drawing the line between where the Patriarchal brainwashing ends and a woman's choice or agency begins. I don't know where to draw that line, so I try to stay out of the debates until I know more. I do know this: anything that degrades and dehumanizes a woman is not good for women as a whole.

I'm into BDSM. I know, I fail the Twisty RadFem litmus test. I'm unapologetic. I choose to see this as my choice, something I do with my (female) partner that we both enjoy and take pleasure in. It's not something I take lightly. I do a lot of reading and research and a lot of introspection on the subject, and my partner and I spend as much time communicating/talking about it as doing it. I'm a sub; I'll top if I need to, but that's about it. Part of why I do it is that I'm a bitchy, bossy, takes-no-shit type who's all about being in control of my own life. That's stressful as hell sometimes. I also have trouble releasing that emotional stress. Engaging in BDSM with my partner allows me to give up that control in a safe space where I can release the stress if I need to. I don't think it's a perversion, it's just something we do. We like it, it works for us, it's private and doesn't hurt anyone (unless there's a safeword involved, LOL).

I'm into what I call the butch/femme dynamic. I could write for pages and not cover this; for that I suggest you go check the Sugarbutch Chronicles- on whose creator I admit to having a massive crush. My partner is butch. That's the way she's been, from the day I met her about 10 years ago. She was butch even before she came out. I tend to be a bit andro-dyke, believing in function over form (read: jeans and comfy shoes, and screw the makeup most of the time). I'm not, however, butch; therefore I became the default femme. I found I enjoy the balance of our energy- hers is very masculine, and mine is, well, female. Feminine seems to me be about heels and skirts and pretty stuff, and while I'm not all about that, I love being a woman, usually. I love having long hair and lady-parts, I love having a clit, for damn sure! I love my curvy body and my sultry voice and the way my brain works. So I just kind of... started to be femme-ier. No pushing from the Ferret, though- she loves me and thinks I'm sexy, brainy, and fabulous no matter what I wear or how I act. We've had to talk about her butch traditionalism meeting my feminism, though. Which is a whole 'nother post. Suffice it to say, we've come to an agreement.

How, you ask, can I be a feminist and still let my honey squish my spiders and carry my groceries? How can I be against porn but into BDSM? How can be against traditional gender roles and still enjoy butch/femme?
I don't know, except I have to believe in my own agency. I chose these things because I enjoy them. In fact, they run counter to a lot of the things women and feminists are supposed to do. But really, I don't know. I don't condemn them for anyone else, either.
As long as it's not hurting anyone, do what turns you on.
"An it harm none, do what ye will, but know that every act comes back threefold, for good or ill"- The Wiccan Rede
...Did I mention I'm a Wiccan, too? ^_^