Friday, July 3, 2015

You had one job!

If you are a county clerk and you disapprove of an 80-year-old man marrying a 20-year-old woman, you have to issue the marriage license. If you disapprove of an Hispanic man marrying an African-American woman, you have to issue the marriage license. If you disapprove of Jane from your neighborhood marrying Joe the asshole from the next town over--you have to issue the marriage license. And yes, if you disapprove of two men or two women getting married--you have to issue the marriage license! Your opinions are not important.

This is not a matter of religious freedom, it is the job you signed up for--put on your big girl (or boy, or somewhere else on the spectrum) panties and deal with it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Feminist as fuck

Yes, that is me--and yes, it should be you.

If you say you are not a feminist you are either saying that you do not believe that females are equal to males, or you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism means. I am guessing, and hoping, that the latter is the case. So--here is a tutorial...

A feminist is: A person, regardless of sex or gender identification, who believes in "social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men." Thank you, dictionary.com.

Pretty simple, right?

Now, I do understand that some people associate the term feminist with butch women who don't shave their armpits and want to castrate all men (and, for the record, I am a fan of butch women who do not shave their armpits--though I do draw the line at castration). Or they equate it with women who spend a lot of time telling other women how to be women (no, you cannot be a housewife, or enjoy submitting to a man, because patriarchy!).

Sure, there are women in the world who hate men, and there are women whose sole mission in life is to bring down the patriarchy by whatever means necessary--and there are women in the world who fight the patriarchy in subtler ways, and women who are pretty damn meh about the whole thing.

The thing is, though, that people are making the mistake of associating any individual, or group of individuals, with a much larger societal concept, and by using such a narrowly defined definition of feminist they are distancing themselves from a movement which is, sadly, still very necessary.

So--in case you are still unsure--here is a little quiz to help you figure out if you are indeed a feminist or not: Are you a feminist?

And, just because he is awesome, Mark Ruffalo on feminism

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tribe

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a few friends, and a whole bunch of strangers, in the desert for 48 hours of “building tribe.” My intention for the weekend was to provide energy and support, and to feel the collective energy of a bunch of like-minded people—all of which I did—but I also did much, much more.

That weekend, I overcame my fear and walked on fire, and I formed deeper connections with existing friends and met people with whom I feel deep connections are possible. I also thought, a lot, about the notion of tribe and what it means in my life, and this is what I have come up with:

Tribe is energy--Good, clean, concentrated, fluid, amorphous, life-sustaining energy.

Tribe is history, both ancient and modern, shared knowledge, common experiences, new adventures, and constantly forming memories.

Tribe is recognition--of kink, of soul, of energy, of family, of the ties the bind, and the journeys we have taken.

Tribe is love--Romantic, friendly, sexual, sensual, primal, passionate love.

Above all, tribe is acceptance. Tribe is the place where to thine own self you must be true because tribe demands authenticity and fiercely protects your most honest self.

The tribal energy in my life waxes and wanes—currently the members of my chosen family are spread over three continents and separated by busy lives and non-tribal obligations—but I embrace its ever changing nature because change brings growth, both of the tribe as new energies enter, and of myself.

So tribe, to me, is energy, and history, and recognition, and love, and acceptance--and very, very necessary.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Consent: A play in one act


Scene: A munch, sometime before today.
Characters:
Your friendly, neighborhood wench
SF (her main squeeze)
Skippy: A male acquaintance
~~~
Skippy—speaking to SoleFood: “Do you mind if I do something to your wife?”

SF: “Well, she isn’t my wife, yet, but, regardless, you should really ask her.”

Skippy: “But this thing could get me in trouble.”

SF: “Again, she is an autonomous being—speak to her.”

Skippy turns to the wench in question and, without speaking to her, grabs her arm, pulls up her sleeve, and pinches her hard enough to leave two bruises.

Wench: “If you ever do that again, I will punch you, hard.”

Wench storms off stage left.

And…scene.
~~~
So, yeah, this happened—and sure, a pinch on the arm may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was—and what it says is huge. It says that, to some, my consent in this community means little. It says that if I am partnered with a man that this man must speak for me. It says that there are people out there who think they can grab a woman and cause her pain without any type of permission whatsoever. 

This isn’t the first time I have written about this (exhibit A), but this is the first time I walked away with actual bruises, and every time I think about it, it pisses me off all over again. I am just so tired of having to fight for what I feel should be assumed without question--namely, that I have ultimate control over what happens to my body.  

Yes, we are in a community that engages in power exchange. And sure, a woman may give the power of permission to some other individual—but if you want to know if that dynamic exists, ask her, and recognize that it is she who has given that power.  The default simply HAS to be that consent lies with the individual.

This is an important discussion because these consent violations are not always being committed by those we consider predators. Seriously. This guy is not the creepster that girls need to be warned about. He has sincerely apologized and will most likely not be making the same mistake any time soon. But it doesn’t really matter in the moment if the person who is treating you as less than a fully-functioning human being is misguided or an actual predator—it sucks either way. 

So—let’s make this simple: Don’t. If you do not have permission from or through the person whose body you want to touch--just don’t. That’s it.  Just. Fucking. Don’t.