The New(?) Feminists

I posted this to my Facebook page on Saturday (26JAN2013) and a friend of mine decided to either tell me off or poke fun at me, I couldn’t tell which.  It prompted me to repost it here because I trust my readers’ opinions and their takes on feminists and feminism.  I have always believed that everyone should be considered equal– not just all men or all women– but men, women, tg/ts men, tg/ts women, gays, lesbians, queer folk, bisexual and bi-curious, even the heterosexuals out there!  I am upset that there are too many people in political power who hide their innermost sexuality; I would love for them to some to terms that being that way is the norm and not the exception!  Here it is with just a few corrections…

—–

Many of us as intelligent and free-thinking women have to put up or shut up about the sexist and manipulative laws and policies that oppress most forms of women’s presence in mass media, games and in movies. It too bad that grown men who like to objectify women seem to have the most to *lose* when women become the heroes or, God forbid, *equals* of their male counterparts. In games, it’s a narrative that’s sorely lacking; in advertisement, it’s still “Sex Sells”, from the Big-3 automakers to beer and spirits; in movies and television, the only reason to have a powerful woman is to write in a pregnancy scene and have her reduced to the collection of her ‘womany’ parts!

I am the head of an independent games studio who is inspired by the likes of Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency and the videos she has produced for BitchMedia. I am also inspired by those women who chose to become that which was trapped deep inside and prosper in the proper face that they identified with! I also write poetry, sci-fi short stories, erotic fiction (of all styles), and I prefer to write anything that suits me, from tirades and essays to personal plight and the strengths and prowess I gain from fighting through my own demonic problems. (Demonic means, at this point, the destructive internal struggles that must be defeated in order to become a better person; it does not mean devils, demons, or any of that ilk.)

People like Rush Limbaugh keep pandering to the right-wing religious fanatics who believe the woman’s place is in the house, not bothering with current events, hubby’s work and work-related problems, and carry on cooking, cleaning and raising a family while hubby brings home the money to pay the bills. This rhetoric is so 1950s! Rush, the 1950s called, they want their socialist rant back! It no doubt needs to be changed and I am hoping we can all decide on what’s right and good for the well-being of women everywhere. Women should also NOT be exploited as simply sexual beings whose primary goal is to be eye candy or the immaculate trophy wife of some sexist man who believes he’s God’s Gift to Women. I’m not pointing fingers at every sexist man, but I am pointing it at those sexist men who believe women should just shut up and not propose an intelligent opinion! I can name games, TV shows and movies where women have been objectified, impregnated, demonized and made to look less than human; can you?

I want to end this little tirade with a couple of thoughts. Why are feminists held in such a bad light? Why should feminism provoke a bad taste in your mouth, uttering such a word? It shouldn’t. Feminism is the belief and movement that only has the best interests for women, not just in the US, but everywhere. Feminism is the movement for Women’s Equal Rights. Being a feminist should invoke a great feeling of forward thinking, shackle-breaking, stereotype shattering women’s equality; a feeling of great accomplishment, but yet, a great feeling of “our work’s not done yet!” Policies refuting the choice of mothers from abortion by instituting hoops and tests and permissions from everyone under the sun, making abortions virtually impossible. Some states are even thinking of making miscarriage illegal! How can miscarriage be an illegal act? How? Some women, unless they have to take prescription medication, may not be able to carry their conceived to full term, and have a miscarriage! I can’t get pregnant; I was born without a uterus! I want children naturally, but can’t.

I believe in the Feminist Movement. I believe we can build this world into a more cohesive whole, but we first have to understand our failings and faults, before we can challenge the norm and bolster our issues. We need to believe in ourselves and in each other, helping to strengthen our weaknesses and cooperating on keeping our strengths…

One World.
One Love.
One Peace.

Is anyone with me?

—–

I don’t understand the whole “I believe in equal rights for men and women, but I’m not a feminist.” rhetoric that’s been spewing from every form of entertainment in recent years.  …  I just don’t get it.  In order to comprehend this kind of ass-backwards double talk, you need to understand why so many women fear the word “feminist.”  Take a look through the 6 part video series “Tropes vs Women” by Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency.  This group of videos goes quite a way to show and deconstruct just how badly and/or brutally women are placed in entertainment media, only to get a rise out of the hero/protagonist in these games/movies/novels.  Don’t get me wrong, but women are more than just a plug-in for a plot device to further the twisted fantasy that most adolescent males minds construct.  Strong women are strong, sometimes moreso than their male counterparts, but many never consider (usually men) that women can be strong.

I totally hope these things we can build upon and work out to make the world a much better cohesive place.  It is a dream that I would love to extend into the workplace and into the world; somehow, somewhere…  Another link is BitchMedia which has more information dealing with sexist and male-centric craziness, but is run by women for women, and is a really great resource for all things woman-driven!  http://bitchmagazine.org  Check this website out for more information about Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency.  http://www.feministfrequency.com

I have never wanted anything more than to help forward the plight of women, but even those of us who are transgender or transsexual need to have their warriors and their consorts in order to perpetuate and follow through what we much accomplish in order to be and feel that we belong.

Wanting equality on a personal level is a great thing.

Seeking equality on a professional level is a wondrous thing.

Finding equality on a global level is a glorious thing!

Should we not strive to make it happen?

Advertisements

For the Ubiquitous Ugliness that Belies the Incorrigible

I think there’s a time and a place for everything.  It is the best thing that can become whatever we feel is necessary in our lives, the most important of all things, that of working through friendships and relationships, and taking it all in to deduce what’s right and just to make the best of things.  If I’m wrong, tell me.  If not, then allow me to continue…

I have been in this situation since last September (2012) and have been working to a culmination of various things, hoping that my decision is true and just for what I believe to be the crowning factor in what’s been a lie for over 20 years!  Nothing I have done or said to anyone has really been to hurt them, but to enlighten them to the fact that I’m pursuing a drastic change of lifestyle and demeanor. I never wanted those I considered my friends and family to turn their backs on me, snub me like a murder convict or as the “Scum of the Earth”, but that’s what happened when I told my former landlord, my former fiancee and a few (whom I considered) of my closest friends.  I felt like just abandoning life, running for the closest place I could to get away from everyone, and take my own life. …

I refused!  I told them, in my own way that I am just a human being.  I feel just like YOU!  I hurt just like YOU!  I bleed just like YOU!  I want my human rights just like YOUYOU’RE giving me nothing but anguish, hating me for my views and telling me off like I’m some kind of circus or sideshow freak!  I’m sorry that I’m not Lobster Boy or the Bearded Lady!  (ALL of these sideshow “freaks” were HUMAN, TOO, with FEELINGS and FAMILIES!  It was NOT their fault that YOU exploited them for YOUR sick and twisted amusement!)

Where have I gone wrong?  What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment?  I keep asking the same damn questions and I keep coming up with the same conclusions:  not a damn thing!  I know I’m just having problems with certain people and that they happen to get their facts tangled, then blame me for their misdirection.  It makes me feel like they’re trying to sabotage any relationship (friendship or business relationship) what we may have.  I struggle every day with acceptance and understanding for my acclimation and transition, but when that challenge is itself challenged, I tend to be defensive and unwilling to listen to anything these other people say– nothing– and I usually tune them out (or hang up on them, whichever is more convenient).

It kills me that there’s a bunch of ignorant and belligerent people who believe society is the way everything should be.  It also bothers me that there’s too many people who also think we have a binary gender system.  Not anymore!  All forms should have a list of choices for a person’s Gender:  Male, Female and Other!  This way, you don’t have to put yourself into the general binary gender system.  Why are there so many who fear us?  I’ve not done anything to anyone calling themselves Male or Female, nor have I caused them any harm.  I don’t really care what you call yourself, but I am a woman and I am that way because it’s not about the sum of my parts, but how I perceive and identify myself.  You no longer have control and I believe that’s what frightens you:  your society keeps telling you you’re doing the right thing, when obviously you’re not!

But how does my gender identity frighten you, when it’s not about you and how you feel?  “I think, therefore I am,” is a quote from some historical great thinker.  It makes some sense, but it belies a much deeper meaning than just those five words.  “I exist because I think.” … “I exist because I can think.” … “I exist because I choose to think.”  The fact that individuals can understand being is knowing and that knowledge is power should take to the streets and assist us in our personal struggles, where I believe that’s the stuff the flock is looking out for that makes them afraid of those who are like me, my brothers- and sisters-in-arms, and our supporters.  Why should they be afraid of us?  Sweden and the UK, even Ireland and Russia, Thailand, Japan, China and Canada all have transgendered and intersexed citizens, why can’t we?  Why do we not rate among the World Society?  As US citizens and many of us hold professional positions, vote, and pay taxes, why can’t we get the care, the medications and the services we need to help us become whole?

Fear.  That’s all it is…  Simple fear.  The politicians are scrambling to quell the onslaught of our LGBTQ community, though a healthy smattering, 30 to 35%, cross-dress or are closet homosexuals.  Another 2 to 5% are hiding their transgender status.  Yet another 1 to 3% are stating one gender when they are truly intersexed.  It all comes down to societal fear, and the yearning to be a generic normal.  Newsflash:  there is no generic or societal normal anymore!  I am a single member of this great nation, the US of A, and I am a single member of the LGBTQ community, through no fault of my own, and I am proud to be who I am and not the sum of my parts!

Knowledge is Power.  This has been blasted into me since I was old enough to read, write and comprehend!  I know many of us are Christian in some fashion, and that some of us are of other religious systems, but what bothers me most:  I see many of you harboring a deep-seated resentment or hatred for your fellows in religion.  Don’t call this a Holy War!  God made His flock in His image to help us to mend what we’ve broken, love unconditionally, and to never hate and envy our neighbors!  If you’re not religious, then it’s all to perpetuate love and kindness to all!  Karma can be well-deserved in any form it chooses, Good or Bad, benefiting or hurting whomever had made their choice.  I consider myself Wiccan and Christian, as both are symbolic of a Greater Love and Affinity for Life!  I would hope you, as fear-seekers, would just stop being prejudicial against what you don’t understand, open your minds and hearts to what we’re trying to explain, and allow our message to help guide you to be more understanding to what we are asking, as a whole, ending the violence and anti-LGBTQ policies and bills that you are trying to pass into law.  Allow us our freedoms and we will show you just how much like you we truly are!

Consider this.  I blog when I have been unjustly blasted, either verbally or physically, by someone I thought I could trust.  I cannot stand idly by and let people do this to me, nor can I delve into the possibilities that would compromise our collective safety, but I will notify and work out the pain, hurt and transgressions I feel, openly and with those of you who can honestly say “Hey, I know You!  I’ve been there. … How can I help?”  I am working through an exceptionally tough time right now and I want anyone who reads my blogs to, at least, have some kind of awareness that I am in need of assistance.  Nothing is needed more than to get “my transition on”.  I have few options, minimal funds and a loving wonderful family (family, friends and associates whom I consider my extended family) who are struggling as we all are in this horrendous economy.

I am looking toward alternatives for getting what I need for my transition, but I am seriously struggling in every aspect:  naysayers, non-believers and the prejudiced.  I put them out of my mind and take matters into my own hands (non-violently, of course).  I need more than just assistance:  I need more caring and loving friends, colleagues and acquaintances.  We all do.  My brothers- and sisters-in-arms do as well, and there’s almost no help for us medically…  Why?  Politicians and hateful/prejudicial Christian fear-mongering.  That’s all it is.  If someone at work is part of our LGBTQ community, then pull her aside, say something kind to her, and rally behind her when she needs it most.  Take up your pens and write to your state representatives to start more LGBTQ initiatives; help us get he medical treatment we need, the health assistance we have the right to, and bolster us when we fall.

I just want all of us to be happy and healthy.  Why can’t we?

Music, its Meaning and the New Year

This was sent to my friend Gina via Skype, with references to our mutual friends, and some of the best memories I’ve had relating to music and friends.

Listening to Evanescence and thinking of all the songs that have meant something to me, touched me, or brought me to tears.  Much of Evanescence does, Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero”…

I just f**king wish certain people would just leave me the f**k alone.  Not ever you, of course.  My ex-landlord for instance… >_<

I want you to know that I think I found Bert on Facebook this evening.  I do hope it’s her.  Fingers crossed.  LOL

I need some way to get some of this stuff done and working.  There’s nothing I want more than my surgery, my hormones and a great wardrobe.  (A loving family and a caring significant other wouldn’t hurt either… LOL)

I want to do something special with what I have left of my life.  I want everyone who’s helped me along my journey to get the recognition they so deserve.  I want all of the women and men that have helped me along the way, to realize who I am and what my next steps are in my journey, to get just a couple words of grace and praise that I can’t express, that my heart yearns for them to have.

I can’t believe it’s already 2013!  When I was 8, I told my friends in Oshkosh, WI that I was not going to be attending North High or South High.  I just KNEW.  Three years later, I was shipped off to my mother, unbeknownst to my father, taken care of by my evil step-mother, and it was over 4 days later when he found out I was in Illinois.  She never told him that she shipped me off.  I will say this:  It was the BEST DAMN THING SHE’S EVER DONE FOR ME!  I learned my mother had cancer (single mastectomy back in the mid-70s) and fought with everything she had.  She died of bone cancer at the age of 50, I was 17, on September 18, 1988.  “The Mouse that Roared” was at the Little Theater at RIHS; I sat and watched, and felt my mother pass away at 9:19PM.  I made a mental note of it and ran the 2 1/2 miles home, in the snow, downhill for about 1/4 of it.  I never let up, ran past cars as if they were standing still, and nearly took the door off it’s hinges when I hit the front door!

My mother was the best thing that happened to me (except for my hidden high school lover– another story).  She was my confidant, my friend, my disciplinarian, my everything.  Even a kind ear and a shoulder to cry on.  I loved her as a son loves his mother, but she was so much more than that.  It’s like a small child ripping open a brand new toy, only to play unhindered with the empty box!  For me, my mother was like that empty box– oh so much more than just a box– she was my imagination, my inspiration!

I met a few people in my life that helps to transfix my love of music with the memories I have.  The Ketterings (back then) were a great family.  I loved Jame’ and Debbie and their two children, Taren and James (they called him Cricket).  Their adopted son, Doug Pierson and I hit it off well, and we became instant friend.  I had a crush on Debbie for the longest time, but I knew nothing would become of it.  I was about a year older than Doug, but it was all cool.  Doug’s parents were deaf and the sign language my friend Clayton Bowman taught me had sunk in some; Doug could hear and we’d screw around with each other by making our own signs…  It was kind of fun.  We also played the crap out of the role-playing games we had access to:  AD&D, TMNT, Star Frontiers, Paranoia and a few others.

Jame’ had more Native American in him than I had in me; it showed in his Totem Animal readings and his love of nature.  Debbie had a good chunk of Native American, too.  There are some songs that would fit these memories, but nothing seems to come.  We all had our moments, but we were bound by our heritages to be one with each other, and with the land.  We did, and we were.  When I left, I felt saddened, but I didn’t go far; just a few blocks away.  I would see Jame’ or Debbie in passing, but I stayed away.  I was afraid I’d say something that would make the immediate situation unbearable…

My first female love, Fawn, I met in Davenport, IA when I was only a couple months into my 20th year.  We were inseparable for about 6 days.  She gave me a letter about how she wanted to be with me for the rest of her life.  I didn’t know how to take it; this was my first intimate sexual encounter with a woman (six days ago) and she felt like this?  I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t know what to do!  As soon as I gathered up my courage, she tells me that she no longer wants me, she wants my friend Jesse’s younger brother, Jeremy, who’s 17.  Fawn’s 24.  I’m 20.  Her twin sister, Dawn’s also 24.  Erik’s 25.  Jesse’s 25.  I’m devastated!  I run to a corner of the apartment and cry my eyes out.

The following day, I’m still reeling from the heartbreak.  I write this epic poem about how two people pledge to live the rest of their days together, regardless how the world feels.  It’s my first science fiction poem and it’s literarily poignant.  I means the world to me that she keep the poem, should she want to get back with me, it’s an open invitation.  I end up moving to Clinton, IA with Jesse as winter sets in and make my home there.  I meet some great friends and mentors, making my way into the workforce and making a name for myself along the way.  One year later, just before I move in with one of my friends, Erik and Fawn are looking for me around where I live.  (I live above a pool hall/pub that’s run by a good friend and a great guy and his wife.)  They leave me a note and a phone number.  I call the number and ask for Erik.  It’s my buddy Erik from Davenport, IA!  Fawn and Dawn are there too!  I talk to Fawn and tell her I have to prepare some things before I can go.  That night at work, I tell them I want to transfer to Texas, but they’ll have more information that following Monday.  I took that weekend off, met them at my place, and packed for the weekend.

Fawn and I got back into the groove, I began to serenade her with some Seal, Jesus Jones and Billy Joel, just like I did when we were together a year ago.  She showed me the poem I had written.  I looked at her and held her close.  I told her I couldn’t marry her.  My reasons still involved her being married and estranged from her husband; she never got the divorce.  “I wasn’t ready to get married” was another reason.  We argued a gentle back and forth, citing questions and answering them carefully and honestly.  I loved her and that’s all that mattered to me; for Fawn, she knew she had lost that one ‘man’ who made her feel truly worthy of her body, her mind, her soul.  I wanted her to realize how she had broken me.  I wanted her to know I was a human being, with feelings and a broken heart…  The broken feelings came flooding back; I couldn’t stop crying, I wanted to go back in time and tell her exactly how I felt; marrying her right then!  She was still estranged from her husband back then, too.  I wanted her to me my wife in the worst way, and I didn’t know how to handle rejection again, but she didn’t reject me– I rejected her– but it wasn’t that I was trying to be cruel about it; that was far from what I wanted to do.  We remained intimate for the entire weekend, being close and talking, looking into each others’ eyes, holding each other in embraces that seemed to last hours, listening to the radio (and crying when those songs came on that I remembered singing to her).  She knew…

I saved myself for her over that year; I was celibate.  Once we parted company back in Clinton, IA, I told my friends after work that Monday that I was staying.  I forgot to tell work to stop the transfer; I lost my job.  My buddy Dave allowed me to move in, as security for his apartment, and that I could come and go.  All he wanted was assurances that I would adhere to his rules.  I told him as long as the rules aren’t crazy or unenforceable, I was in.  It was here that I started leaning and learning that I was different.  Not real sure what was going on, but women’s clothing was starting to enter into my wardrobe, bit by bit.

Let’s cut to now.  Most of the time I see myself as the same person I was, just in a different package, wrapped up in a lovely ensemble.  I want to make the inner me and the outer me match and sync.  It’s one of the hardest things I can do right now.  Listening to certain groups and entertainers helps me to cope in times of trouble, depression and angst.  My friends love me and help me with various things, but overall, it’s all on me to make sure I eat right, take my meds and dress the way I feel!  I love deeply, and will always do so.

Some of the best music I have ever listened to has been Depeche Mode, Evanescence and Amy Lee, Creed, Metallica, Weird Al (yes, Weird Al!), No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, Simply Red, Ray Parker Jr., Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, Hoobastank, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Aqua, Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, Sting and The Police, They Might Be Giants, Bowling for Soup, Abba and a handful of others.  Much of this music reflects the anger and angst that I held for so long, scrabbling and defying the world!  While other artists and bands helped to shape my look and demeanor for years, helping me to finally feel again!  Love, being the only universal concept, besides war, that humanity seems to be able to possess in seemingly equal quantities, gouges and rends flesh from my soul, stripping away all that is superficial and draining away the unnecessary parts to reveal whatever remains:  that place where love resides.  Hatred and strife can be conquered with music; songs can uplift your soul to heights that could never be achieved by conversation~!  Give a listen to Creed “My Sacrifice” or Evanescence “Sweet Sacrifice”; you’ll know what I mean when you take the time to really understand and listen to the meaning behind the lyrics.

Music is a universal reasoning system of mathematically-melodic frequencies.  Once you realize that, you can accomplish great and wonderful things.  Why do you think Gospel music is still so popular?  It’s the message behind the music!  With the right message, the music practically writes itself.  Certain harmonies and chords are struck at the right times to make the message more or less important, more or less dramatic, more or less loving or angry or factual or fanciful– whatever you feel– it can be something that’s needed, or needed in your own life~!

This new year is something that’s going to be bountiful.  A year full of choices, full of truly amazing things for you to discover, realize and put to good use.  We’re all struggling to figure out what’s all happening all at once.  Watch the skies:  there’s some stuff out there that’s going to startle and amaze you!  Listen to your heart:  there’s some stuff around you, near you, just within your grasp that you’re going to rediscover, and it’s going to change your life!  Take a little time to relax, curl up with an LP, a 45 or that favorite mix tape that you’ve had for oh so long, and take a really good listen– it’s going to reveal something that you’ve either never heard before or that you’ve long forgotten– and it’s going to make you realize there’s truly something missing in your life.  Music is what we can all get into.  It doesn’t matter where we’re from or who we are; all that matters is that we can make music, listen to music, whistle, hum or sing– it all comes from deep within– it all comes from someone’s soul, to your ears, and deep inside, resonating with our lives and helping us to learn who we really and truly are.

I’m going to leave this here.  For everyone has their own meaning for the music in their lives.  Let’s live this new year as if we, as individuals with an opinion and a conscience, believe in the everlasting touch of music.

Music can, and will, conquer all~!