body autonomy

And You Wonder Why We Live In Fear

 

There is sadly a truism about dating in this over-connected world.  There is always a seeming level of disconnect between the types of communication that are available to us. Someone you might enjoy the company of in person can become someone entirely different when texting or emailing.

Plus, we women have to make a risk assessment any time we physically meet someone we’ve only just met on the Internet. It’s actually something we have to do any time we’re out with someone – even someone we may have known for a while.

Men complain that we don’t trust them. That we assume the worst of them before they’ve even gotten a chance.

As girls, we’re taught that men and boys only want one thing — to have sex with us. So before we’ve even started dating, we’re already set up to be afraid — whether it is on a conscious level or not. Then, we’re taught to dress in a certain way, act in a certain way or any of hundreds of other little criticisms about our behavior that eventually mean that if a man or boy actually attacks us sexuality, we are already set up to believe that the problem is with us, that we somehow provoked the attack by how we dressed or how we acted.  Rarely, until more recently, was it ever stated clearly in many public discussions that perhaps the rapist is the problem, not us.

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Categories: body autonomy, Feminism, inequity | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Living the Fucked Up Life

 

Via How Late Divorce Seriously Messes Up Retirement For Older Women

Why is this a surprise to anyone?

Women born in the late 50s, the 60s and the early 70s got stuck with the “Superwoman” concept (meaning we’re between the ages of 40 to 70). We were taught that yes, we could be absolutely ANYTHING we want to be. However, in the process of “being who we want to be” we also needed to excel in the so-called “traditional roles” of women.

We could be a CEO, but we also had to be a perfect wife, a perfect mother, a perfect housekeeper and a number of other time-consuming roles that meant we did absolutely NONE of them well. So, we spent a good portion of our lives feeling we were failures.

It wasn’t until the latter 80s and some of the 90s that we even had a GLIMMER of support in being the person we wanted to be, whether or not that had anything to do with the “traditional female gender roles.”

And, we are STILL fighting that same damned fight.

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Categories: body autonomy, Body Health, Feminism, Gender Inequities | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being In Control

I don’t like not having a plan.  Yes, I admit, I am a control freak in a hell of  a lot of ways.  And yes, I do tend to vacillate between wanting to control those around me, followed fairly quickly by trying to take a far more hands’ off attitude, putting all my control in controlling myself.

And I have gotten far too good at trying to make sure I am always in control of myself.

It’s one of the reasons that as a young 20-something, I chose to lock away all of those chaotic feelings.  Highest on my list was passion.  I locked that away actually far earlier than 20.  I locked it up my sophomore year of high school (1983/1984).  I put passion deep down in an oubliette, and bricked up the hole. The way I was thinking, passion did nothing for me except cause more pain.  Without it, I was able to be more rational, more able to deal with the fairly normal ups-and-downs of teenage angst.

Aggression was next.  Note, not assertiveness.  Pure aggression, with all of the violence that it entailed.  I had spent far too much time dealing with keeping myself as safe as possible without having to join a gang, and wanted to end that willingness to physically destroy someone else to keep myself safe.  I forced myself into the mold of a pacifist (not that I could even honestly call myself one).

Shame was on that list too, but I was never very good at keeping it or guilt under control.  In fact, far too often both shame and guilt were fairly easily used for someone else to control me, or at least manipulate me into allowing them to control me.  A fairly strong lack of body modesty helped me to turn body shame (except in relation to romantic interactions) into my bitch, but instead of turning it onto myself, I externalized it quite a bit.  That left that huge hole open for my ex-husband to use against me.

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Categories: body autonomy, Body Health, Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“There is no situation in which an individual cannot control his/her sexual urges.”

Via Judge Dispels The Myth Of The ‘Perfect’ Rape Victim In Powerful Verdict

There is NO EXCUSE for the fact that our culture STILL teaches us that when it comes to sex, the male is at the mercy of his sexual urges and therefore innocent of this heinous crime because the woman should have been pure and virginal. 

How can the rational men in our culture actually be happy to be told they are nothing more than than rabid beasts??

In any other crime — especially ones which are motivated by a need to control and subjugate the victim —the victim is EXPECTED to have a hard time remembering the exact details of it.  Yet, in rape cases not only does the victim get judged for a spotty memory caused by shock, the victim’s entire life choices are on trial as well.

God forbid that a woman like myself, who has a fairly large sexual history, gets raped. Everybody KNOWS a woman like me is just ASKING FOR IT!

Out of the 70+ men I have slept with in my entire life, I can honestly say that I felt “obligated” and/or “forced” to have sex with approximately half of that number. I’m fairly certain that the men involved would be horrified to learn that I felt that way (except for the small percentage who felt that I OWED them the sex)!

But someone like me doesn’t deserve justice, right? I’m just a dirty slut who somehow DESERVES to be raped, because “I’m just giving it away!”

BUZZZZ, wrong again!

It doesn’t matter what my sexual history is! I could be a prostitute, and still be raped. 

It’s NOT about sex. It’s about power and control. And it’s about men who feel entitled to own or control any vagina they see. These mass murders by “rejected” men or the players clubs or the pick up artist seminars are all about the same damned issue! These are all ways to encourage men to view women as a combination of prize and prey.

I’m not going to talk about your mothers, sisters or daughters. I want to talk to YOU!!!!

Are you really content to live in a culture that sees you as a rabid beast? A culture that limits your expression of yourself to that of a predator? A culture that values hiding your real self behind bullshit, drama and a constant struggle for power?

Categories: body autonomy, Sexual Positivity | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Look, How Hard Is It To Not Judge?

via Looking Too Normal To Be Handicapped

I don’t have MS like the woman in the article, but I do have a number of “invisible” handicaps.  I have arthritis in my ankles, feet and back.  I live with chronic pain 24/7. I do exercises to even just keep the current mobility.  I do try to extend my endurance, but unfortunately sometimes my mental issues (chronic depression exacerbated by the chronic pain; anxiety and PTSD from living with my ex-husband) interfere with the self-care regimen above the required mobility exercises.

So, yes, I park in the handicapped spot, just like my parents do.  And, more often than not, I try to take the furthest handicapped spot from the door, because while I have mobility issues, other people have it worse than I do.

I use a “mart cart” (the small motorized carts that grocery stores have), and when I’m doing the household groceries, I also grab a regular cart and drag it behind me carefully (because the household groceries don’t fit in that smaller basket).  Why? Because I don’t have the endurance to walk all over the store.  By the time I’m ¼ done if I’m walking, all my pain issues go from the median level of 4 to an 11!

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“…I Ain’t Your Mama!”

In this context, I’m using my ex as an «example,» not as a whipping boy. In this particular situation, a majority of men in both my generation and the previous one still have the idea that anything having to do with maintaining the household is automatically women’s work!

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Categories: body autonomy, Feminism, Gender Inequities, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Privacy and Celebrities

I keep seeing these articles about Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston dating. And most of them are basically saying it is a PR stunt.

Seriously, people? Why do we care?

Just because someone is a celebrity, it doesn’t mean that they do not deserve privacy when it comes to their life outside of what they are famous for.  Like the rest of us, they are human beings.

Think about it, people.  How do you react to a peeping Tom? How do you react to having a private choice of yours made public?  How much do we bitch about privacy when companies are researching new hires through social media?

If I chose to be famous, for whatever reason, why can’t I have a private life outside of the talent that made me famous?

Given I don’t let anything really be private unless it involves other people, I know that there are things I could be “outed” by paparazzi or over-zealous journalists if I became famous.  But because I’ve already “outed” myself about many of those things, I would not really be embarrassed by or fear that people called me pejorative names.  Of course, if those people crossed the line and spoke of people that I am being confidential for, I would definitely confront them about that.

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CONvergence and Me

I returned this evening from my annual trek to the science fiction/fantasy convention known as CONvergenceAs usual, I am physically exhausted.  Think about it, four days (Thursday through Sunday) of being immersed in a large group of people not too different than myself.  And just to point out to those who like to think that geeks, nerds, freaks and weirdos are a minority of the population, this convention has been going on since 1999, and has grown in leaps and bounds.  This year, registrations were above 7,000.  I know that’s not comparable to the West Coast’s Comic-Con (which, let’s face it is essentially shopping with discussion panels), or Dragon Con (which is the gold standard, at least for me – 2015 attendance for them topped at 10x as much. In other words, they topped 70,000 attendees).  And, maybe we don’t attract the kind of high-end names that Dragon Con does.  But I can tell you this much, most of the guests that come to our con end up partying with us, because the fan base for them is polite – and no matter how much squeeing is going on, the reality is that famous people are human too and deserve their own space.

As usual, just like any place that has a larger group of people around, there are always going to be the small minority who are narcissistic, self-absorbed assholes who think they are “God’s Gift” (note, not just “….to women” – there are just as many females pulling that shit as there are males).  And just because CONvergence is the absolutely safest place I have ever had the pleasure to be involved in, doesn’t mean that boundary violations never happen.

Do you know how absolutely WONDERFUL that can be to a person who finds it hard to trust people?  To know that the overwhelming majority of people around me would actually jump in if someone was harassing me or worse.

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Categories: body autonomy, General Contemplation | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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