Monthly Archives: July 2014

Feminist In-Fighting

There is a lot of feminist in-fighting.  I realize that the word “feminist” can mean any number of things to people – depending on who you ask.  As far as feminism for me, it means not treating women as second class citizens.  It means treating them equally.  While, I personally like to acknowledge there ARE differences in men and women, either physically or evolutionarily, some people like to be gender-blind and they are entitled to that.  I think that acknowledging differences means we can celebrate them rather than pretend they don’t exist.

I also don’t believe most feminists want to elevate women above men, nor do they want to deny that men have issues of their own to deal with.  I don’t wish to diminish them as victims.  That isn’t what feminism is supposed to be.

At any rate, the issue I have taken recently has been regarding “age gap” and “power gap” (that’s what I’m going to call it) relationships.

The matter first arose when I was reading a John Green blog entry about a young man who took advantage of a young woman at a con, in which the young man represented part of Green’s empire – DFTBA.    I have little doubt that that relationship was ill-fated and ill-advised and there does seem to be elements of abuse and possibly rape (the girl was underage, but I don’t know how far apart their ages were – and I don’t have the whole story – this was internet based chatter).  The whole thing unfolded on Tumblr, and John and Hank Green were pretty upset.  Understandably.

That topic came up in a later Laci Green video.  I enjoy Laci Green tremendously and I have long wished there had been somebody like her when I was coming of age in the early 1980s.  We had Dr. Ruth.  Not bad, but Laci is vibrant, smart and hip and fun.  Plus, she’s in video format, which is incredibly helpful.  Anyway – in the video about how to practice good consent Laci Green says that a person who is a fan of a celebrity CANNOT give consent.  I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THAT.

YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEO AT THIS LINK (I do recommend this for great consent tips!)

At 3:24 where “Consent CANNOT Happen Even With a Verbal Yes” under situation #3 When You Hold Authority” over somebody.  I agree that ethically therapists and physicians, teachers and so forth should NOT be having sex with any students, patients, etc.  I am less enthusiastic about the whole celebrity and YouTube celebrity thing.

In fact, despite Laci Green being a big proponent of feminism, mutual consent, empowerment, and a generally sex positive attitude, I think the idea that a person (in this case I am talking about women, since I am talking about feminism) cannot in some cases give consent if there is a power imbalance actually DIMINISHES women.  To me it is decidedly UN-feminist to suggest a 20 year old woman can’t give consent to have sex with with, say, David Bowie if the occasion should arise.   Or an 18 year old man can’t give consent to have sex with Beyonce or a favorite YouTuber he worships – male or female.  Or for that matter I – a 44 year old woman – couldn’t give consent to have sex with Viggo Mortenson.  Viggo – if you happen to read this – call me!

There are all kinds of ways power is in and out of balance in sexual relationships (and pretty much all relationships).  I think I understand why some girls and young women are getting a mixed message about feminism making victims out of them and they don’t like being seen as victims.  I can totally understand that.

The fact is that women can make choices to have sex with whomever they so desire.  Sometimes they will make mistakes.  Not every sexual misstep has to be a victim/victimizer situation.  Some are definitely unethical – but that still does not make them criminal.

What I think has happened here is that for so many years women’s concerns and abuses have been systemically ignored by the power structure.  And still are.  So there is a push back to keep it from happening and define what is and what isn’t assault or abuse.  We need those things in place to protect people.  Laci has a lot of fantastic advice in her videos and I highly recommend them.  But I do not agree with her on that particular point and I think it also drives this idea that the anti-feminists are picking up.  Even though Laci doesn’t say it’s only women – I think because of the situation and where it stemmed from sort of implies it to the audience.

This is never going to be easy.  We have to talk these things out, but we’ve got to stop fighting about it.

Talent Tuesdays – Kim Kash

For any of you non-Marylanders reading this, Ocean City is kind of a big deal here.  The kids have a senior week (mine didn’t – helicopter mom) and spring break in Ocean City.  Ocean City is a place many of the adults visit too, sometimes driving a couple of hours just to spend the day there.

Well, if you like Ocean City or want to visit it or just like novels and travel books then Kim Kash has the books for you.  Also, she has a blog, which you might like to peruse.

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You can buy Kim’s novel Ocean City Lowdown, set in Ocean City or you can buy her Ocean City tourist guide.  Click the images below to be taken to the Amazon pages!

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Evolution Convolution, Expression Regression

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I find evolving as a person to be difficult at times, to say the least.  Sometimes I want to hang onto childish jealousies and spiteful thoughts, just because those things were conditioned into me for so much of my young life.

That’s the reaction.  The immediate.  Somebody does something and you feel your lizard brain REACT.  You’re mad.  You’re hurt.  You’re afraid.  You feel disrespected.  The immediate reaction is what flashes through you.  It’s your inner seven year old.  And for years I didn’t know any other way to handle things, other than simply reacting. And the hurt often came with lots of comforts at some point, which were nice.  This people is what we call the forging of an unhealthy cycle.

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I thought it was being authentic and my version of boundaries.  But some time in my late twenties, I started to realize that it was actually harmful to be addicted to hurt.  I still have ghosts of that behavior from time to time and I have to consciously ghostbust.

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In order to love better and be better and evolve, we can’t just be junkies for that fire that makes us feel a rise in our emotions.  And yes, like adrenaline or booze or cigarettes, that rush of emotion can be addictive.  Particularly if the feeling is towards somebody you are very bonded to, emotionally.

The things that bite me sometimes surprise me.  I think to myself:  Oh gosh, I’m SO OVER being jealous.  I’m confident.  I’m a Goddess.  I’m soooooo gosh darn evolved.  I’m smart.  I’m clever.  I’ve learned that I matter and give myself permission to be wrong or make mistakes.  Things bounce off of my shield of self esteem like so many bullets off of Wonder Woman’s bracelets.  That can’t hurt me, I’m too secure.  I’m too certain.  I know the way it is.

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Oh, yeah – those are the kinds of thoughts that happen right before Mistress Life wants to make sure you have a lot more to learn, little girl.

It’s not easy to strike a balance between what you need for your heart needs and what somebody else needs.

Relationships are always about compromise. Every relationship is about compromise.

I don’t do some things I might like to do because I’m in a relationship.  I don’t even go places in my brain or my imagination sometimes because I am in a relationship.  I don’t typically express that somewhere.   But I’m doing it now.  Because I need you to know 1) You’re not alone in making sacrifices to be in a relationship.  2) Sacrifices aren’t bad things.  They can actually help you grow as a person.  And 3) You only make sacrifices if you really want to.  And if you choose to, it’s very unfair to express that it’s somehow the other person’s fault or because of them you can’t be who you are.  If you can’t be who you are you are then you are in the wrong relationship.

You should be with people who make you want to be a better person.  Not people you are addicted to.

You should be with somebody who you feel secure with and trust.  Not somebody who puts questions in your mind every day as to their devotion to you.

Somebody who truly loves you can say, “I need this if we are to be together” and you can choose.  You have a choice.  You can tell them what you need and they can say, “I can’t do that–” and then you have to move on some how.  You jut have to.  Your heart may not ever be the same, but you will survive.

I know I’ve stated some of these things rather simply, but they can take years to manifest.  And sometimes you think you can live with something and years later you realize you can’t.  And that’s hard on everybody.  But ask yourself some questions before you try and leave a relationship, make sure you aren’t doing it for the same reasons over and over.  Because usually – that’s about *you* and not about *them* – so you’re doomed to repeat it.  But that is also hopeful because it means you can look inward and work on yourself, if you want to.

Also, somebody wise once told me that your relationship isn’t just about you, it’s about the whole network of threads that attach you to the other person and all of the things that they are attached to as well.  You have to think about all of the things you’ll be losing.  But if you are gaining more than you’re losing, then I think the answer is obvious, but not necessarily easy.

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Talent Tuesday – Susan’s Yard

I went to an open garden that a new friend was having Sunday.  I got to sit on her sunny porch and eat an amazingly strong mint leaf – YUM!  Come to think of it, I should have asked if I could take a few leaves home with me.  I could make a limeade with mint!

So this afternoon I am editing the photos of her yard to post here and I was thinking of how much experience and talent it takes to organize a nice garden.  Then I realized that tomorrow is Tuesday.  I haven’t posted a Talent Tuesday in weeks and this seems like it’s just right.

So here you go, some photos from Susan’s yard.  Only a small sampling of the many lovely things in her yard that she’s got planted and on display.  I had a portrait lens so, you are getting mostly close up stuff.  Next time I will bring other lenses.

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