Friday, September 14, 2012

Consent is Sexy...and Mandatory!

Consent is such an important aspect of sexuality and human existence. If I don't want someone to touch me or even come near me, that is my choice. I should be able to say "no" in any version of the word and have it understood and respected. Rape should never be as rampant as it is. People(regardless of gender) should have their boundaries honored. I mean, what is the point of having boundaries if no one respects them? Radical consent is my dream. I want to walk down the street and not be honked at, because for me that negative attention invades my boundaries. I want to not be leered at if I choose to not wear a bra(because I hate them). I shouldn't have to mention that someone shouldn't touch me without getting my permission first, but I have to because the prevalence of rape and sexual assault is not decreasing. It's being normalized. A woman's body is already a commodity in the media and it is becoming increasingly commodified in everyday life. Until people start respecting boundaries in non explicit sexual situations, I don't foresee any change in rape culture.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where's my team?

I am a postmodern, slightly radical, riot grrrl feminist. I fight for women's rights. I don't expect a Queer or Black Rights movement to fight for women's rights. Why is it so fucking necessary for me to be a feminist crack feminist?! I am not a humanist. I never have been, I never will be. I fight the battles I want to fight and not the ones I don't. I have no right to fight a race related battle, because if I tried I am told I have no right to say anything, so I don't. When I try to work within the queer community, I am often treated as if I am not queer enough (I am categorized as bisexual), so I don't do as much in that regard. I tried to get involved with the Trans* Rights movement, but no matter what I try, it is made VERY clear that I am unwanted. It is constantly insinuated that I am cissexist.
Yes, my feminism is for women. When feminism was created it was for women. Its not that I want to deprive other people of rights, I just do activism in categories. I feel its more efficient. You don't fight the whole war in one battle throwing everything you have at them, that's how you lose. You use different tactics and generals and attack at different times. And I know once again I will be yelled at for this but, what good is it to hold everyone back to try to advance everyone equally? I get the "you are only as fast as your slowest teammate" philosophy, but I've done team sports. If you all run at the pace of the slowest person, you will never get any better. You need to pave the way, pull them along, without cutting your time. Finish the race then go back and run with them (if they want you to).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Humanity Discovered

I just realized about 5 minutes ago, how I fucked up on my feminist journey. Its not that I was wrong, or even out of line. I just completely lost my humanity. I wouldn't allow myself to be vulnerable, to care about people who don't agree with me. I lived in a black and white mentality, which wasn't necessarily the problem either. Just because someone is wrong in my eyes doesn't make them evil. I don't have to be best friends with them or even discuss the things that we don't agree on. But the fact that I was metaphorically spitting on every pro-life, hunter, man's face wasn't productive. I still have problems with people telling me what to do with my body. I don't like people talking about the animals they murdered. And I am still uneasy with a lot of men. But that will take time and I have the right to not like those things as long as I respect the people for being people. I, however, have problem with the Women's Center that will not be remedied that easily, I have been typecast by them and they have a history of not listening to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Walking Alone

I walk alone at night. I do. There is very little anyone can say or do to change this. I have had many people try to convince me otherwise or order me to change my methods. But I like walking, I feel lazy taking the bus, and I shouldn't have to avoid walking. I understand that as a woman I am taking unnecessary risks, which could endanger my life. The more people tell me I can't do something, the more likely I am to do it. I am told constantly by the people I live with to take the bus, or if I want to go for a walk, I need to have someone with me. I have also been commanded to take pepper spray, when I carry a knife and wrench regularly and it is proven that pepper spray is more dangerous.
I have on two distinct occasions I have had someone walk me home or to my car, but (though he feels I shouldn't walk alone) does not tell me I have to or make me feel unsafe. If I ask him, he would walk me but he does not impose. This is what I like and what makes me okay with it.

I guess my issue is why I need to be walked home? What about me needs to be sheltered and protected?

The other night, my friend Breann and I were going to a party. It was dark and she wasn't comfortable walking home and to the party alone. So she asked me, knowing I walk armed and my tough demeaner. I was her first choice. She could have asked a guy. So why is it that there are some people who believe I am truly competent and others who feel that I am not?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Feminist Retirement: Hanging up the Tutus

Okay maybe not that dramatic, but I am thinking of giving up feministy things for a while. Its too stressful and makes me too bitter. I have handed over the internship and I finished my Women's Studies already. I feel that I am a much nicer and more fulfilled person without it. I can talk to men without them waiting for me to hurt them in some way or me thinking they are going to hurt me. I feel that I am more pleasant and frankly, I am a lot more chill. I dont care what people really say as long as its not a rape joke(that's something I react to, not think about). Otherwise I dont care, words are words. I will still be a feminist encyclopedia and the go-to girl when one of my grrrls needs something, but I'm too tired to fight. Its exhausting and it doesn't help me deal with my issues the way I originally thought it would. I used to think that I was stronger because of feminism, but I think now I was always strong and if anything feminism was something I hid behind, that held me back.

I was a radical feminist, some days postmodern queer theorist, but I think now I am more of a practical feminist. I believe that is what I was in high school. I'll fight the fight when I have to, but I dont need to go looking for a fight. I'm growing up, I'm not that bratty teenager anymore. Yes, I am aware of what is going on in the world. And I will never forget the things that happened in my life that made me a feminist, but I need more in my life than anger. As long as I am a feminist fighting for what is 'right' (which is a subjective concept that many times I do not actually agree with), I will always be angry and bitter and I will never move on and heal my own wounds. Because honestly, I have learned that your wounds dont heal by stabbing another. I have learned compassion and I have realized how much harm I have done to myself and to others, in the name of feminism(and don't try to tell me that anything I did wasn't feminist, I dont believe in feminist crack)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Accepting being Wrong

I have always prided myself on being firm in my opinions and having an opinion about everything. But lately I have been put up to question opinions I have declared. There are few things where I am actually torn on how I believe, most things I am very set in my ways. I am having trouble dealing with two right answers or being able to be two opposing forces at once. I just want to help and really I want to help women, because that is what I do. She is making me realize this more and more. And frankly she has been making me realize how wrong I have been and how big my blinders were. Because as she put it, would I hate her and judge her for doing the same kind of thing? Probably not. And what if I was to do the same sort of thing one day? So why would I have one set of rules for her or myself and another for everyone else?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In Honor of a Few Good Men(and Women)!

I grew up being taught American Pride, respect and loyalty, not only by my parents but also by my teachers. My dad was in the Navy, and as much as I hated him being gone, it was a fact of life, almost everyone had a parent or sibling in the military. If anyone said anything trying to attack the military, we were on them, that didn't fly down there. We may not have liked the system or even some of the local squids but it was never about their military status. I guess what I am trying to say is that I can't understand living in a place where its alright to bash the military and hating America is perfectly fine. When I say something against the military bashers or anti-patriotism, I am either made to feel like something is wrong with me or people get mad at me. I dont get it. (people are also not fond of me saying: if you dont like it here...leave)
Yeah there are a lot of problems in this country especially with the government, but you know what? It can be changed, ya know if people truly gave a damn enough to do so. I bitch about the justice system, because thats where my major issues are, and who knows maybe one day I'll end up in law school so I can fix it, but I'm not about to run to Canada expecting it to be better there. I have personally thought about joining the Navy more than once these past 2 years but I dont know if I can do that to my dad, I know he never would want his daughter there, and I have to respect that. But just because the military is not the place I can be right now doesn't mean that I would ever not fully support the people in it.
A lot of this came to me today because at work today Jen and I met this man who was a vet living at the VA in St Cloud, who came in for a shampoo and cut. He was a very nice man who was regailing his war stories to Jen as she cut his hair and then was telling us about how he saved a couple men's lives and then the part that touched me the most was when he told us how he stopped two women from getting raped. I almost started crying right there. You dont see that too much around here. Men don't seem to stand up against other men to help a woman that they dont even know. Thats a kind of honor and respect I miss from back home. I have only met one civilian who would do that, every other man I know that would do something like that is military.  And in honor of the 4th and that man: Thank you to the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday so that I am safe and have the rights that I do have!