you center respect and love for women and femmes in how you do relationships.
you understand and care about how your actions in relationships are directly connected to the well being of your communities….
translation: your poly is only politically relevant if you conduct yourself the way I think is right.
how would that fly if you replaced “poly” with “queer” or “trans”? or “race”? none of those things are inherently radical or meaningful either. they’re just facets of the human condition.
your poly is only politically relevant to me [and, please note, the fucking title includes to me and is thus a statement of personal opinion] if you do it without perpetuating tired old oppressions. i’m sick of reckless, lazy, white, middle-class, masculine queers flailing about, communicating terribly, being selfish as all get-out, fucking people over, and calling it poly. and if you want to replace “poly” with “queer” or “trans” or “race,” i dunno if the grammar will work, but it still stands that i expect you to conduct yourself without being sexist, femmephobic, disrespectful, coercive, abusive, entitled, etc. that is all i have to say about this.
you center respect and love for women and femmes in how you do relationships.
you understand and care about how your actions in relationships are directly connected to the well being of your communities. (y’all know that this shit breaks up friendships and communities all the time.)
you are aware of and work to resist heterosexist and patriarchal notions of love that are grounded in ideas of capitalist property ownership, misogyny, and racism.
you respect any and all of your partners.
you do not pit your partners, hookups, or love interests against each other by being shady and shitty about communication — especially if you are masculine-identified and your partners, hookups, and love interests are women and femmes. *of course, when this happens, it’s “unintentional,” right? but when misogyny structures how we understand and do relationships in such concrete ways, you need to fucking fight as hard as you can to actually BE intentional. being unintentional in the way of, “oh it just happened,” or, “but i didn’t do anything wrong,” when what is naturalized is being careless about the relationships between women and femmes, then not having intentions or thoughts around all that is a problem.
you understand the importance of (and work to center) the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and boundaries of yourself and your partners.
you understand how each of your relationships impacts all of the other ones. and you understand that the way you carry yourself in one relationship will show up in your others relationships.
you do not dismiss your partners’ jealousies, insecurities, or negative feelings as just them being “jealous” or “too emotional” or “not really getting it.” you don’t blame people for their emotions.
you accept full accountability for your actions when you are hurtful, unintentional, or careless in your interactions with others.
you do not dismiss others’ concerns about you being possibly disrespectful or misogynistic as them not being radical or sex-positive enough.
you understand that having the space/freedom to love and fuck however you please does NOT mean that you are operating in a vacuum. you understand that everything you do has consequences - and act with care.
you understand that poly is not about having the freedom to do whatever the fuck you want to. you understand that poly is about having the freedom to pursue your needs and desires openly without shame, and to hold yourself to being intentional and responsible especially becausethose needs or desires are about OTHER PEOPLE and OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES.
you get that you are not entitled to the guarantee that everything you do/want will be okay with all your partners or your communities, esp when your actions will impact them and when people are always operating from different contexts, traumas, desires, needs. (aka, you don’t do disrespectful shit and expect your partners or friends not to respond just because you didn’t mean to hurt anybody.)
you understand the importance of informed consent — meaning, if there are things that are going on that might even possibly make someone reconsider cuddling with you, having sex with you, or being intimate with you, then you need to be open.
you don’t take consent for granted. ever.
you know how to set, talk about, and respect boundaries.
you don’t use your “poly” status to be emotionally neglectful and/or abusive to your partners.
you don’t treat people like they are expendable, disposable, or otherwise meaningless, even if it’s a quick fuck or a fling.
you communicate openly and honestly without withholding important information, especially when it’s hard.
the desire to love/fuck lots of people at the same time is not something inherently radical or meaningful. people have always wanted to love/fuck multiple people, whether or not that’s been in accountable ways. basically, if people are side-eying you about how you do poly/relationships it’s not always because they’re just colonized sex negative tools of the state or some shit lol.
(and thanks disorientd, seafoamknives, & lowendtheory for talking/thinking through a lot of this with me. all love. ♥)
Why is there very little utility to women’s clothing? Why don’t we get pockets which actually open? Why do we have to put up with the ‘false pockets’ that are frequently sewn onto women’s jackets and pants to give visual interest without ruining the ‘line’ of the garment? Why, when pockets are actually present, are they so rarely large, stable, or loose enough to accommodate a phone or a wallet? And why, given this is the case, do women go on to cop so much flack for carrying handbags around with them?
Oh wait. Is this one of those double standards which we feminists are always going on about; one of those innocuous little things which everybody just accepts because it is the norm?
Women carry handbags. It is known.
But why? I have watched my male friends get ready to go out. They slip their wallet into one pocket, their keys into another, their phone into a third pocket, and some of them even still have spare pockets large enough to carry a novel for the journey. Those of my friends who wear women’s clothes, though, face an entirely different situation. If they are wearing the right jeans or jacket, they may have up to two usable pockets (not at all guaranteed). However, in most cases they won’t have any pockets at all. Utility and style rarely meet in women’s fashion, so they grab a bag.
Contrary to all the jokes, most women don’t ‘have’ to leave the house with everything they pack in their day-to-day handbag. Most of the items in a woman’s everyday handbag are in there because, if she’s going to have to carry it anyway, she might as well make it worth her while. Excuse us for making use of the one useful item we find in our wardrobes.
I had white boyfriends who’d point at pictures of white women— Suicide Girls, Brody Dalle, etc.— and tell me that’s what they wanted me to look like.
I had their fucking white parents get uncomfortable with their sons dating me, asking them how long they planned on being with me, if I put out because “that’s what Latin girls do.” Oh, and even that one guy’s white supremacist dad who would leave the house if I came over, and sent his son to boot camp so he didn’t have to see me.
I had white girlfriends who’d tell me I’d look less skanky, less “J.Lo” if I wasn’t so bronze. They’d tell me the only reason guys wanted to date me was because I was just a fantasy, because I had a big ass. That I looked “wrong” in punk clothes.
If you were me in high school, you’d wanna be white too, asshat. You’d never wanna look back.
FOR REAL ALL OF THIS all of your posts about this have been really really good and really important
the last time I was in my parents’ house I found skin lightening cream on my mom’s dresser and got really sad but I didn’t know what to say to her because I didn’t want to make her feel bad about it but I wanted to make the entire fucking world feel bad about it
(reblogging with fuckdudeskilldudes tags b/c i obvs can’t say it better myself)
“You have never looked more sane, standing there naked except for a towel on your head, plucking nearly invisible hairs out of your legs, singing “I’m a hot knife.””—Sound, and also Fiona Apple’s new album
I have contradicting and vaguely important feelings about referring to yourself and your significant other as partners.
my girlfriend uses it on occasion: to speak with my doctors so they’ll take us more seriously and so that they’ll understand that I’m not clogging the exam room with my friend, since many people say girlfriend when they mean friend. “My partner” sounds wrong to me, but I understand and respect her using it. I understand and respect amplifying your language to appeal to people in authoritative positions. in those settings, she introduces herself as Catherine’s partner right away. preemptively. partner says that the relationship is serious, almost as serious as marriage, and is to be taken seriously, almost as seriously as marriage. she said partner to the nurse when she wanted to be able to remain by my bedside in the hospital.
since gay marriage became legal in our state last summer, some of the “partners” in stories told by queer women I know are now “wives.” some remain “partners.”
gay marriage only became legal last year in New York. the first United State to legalize gay marriage, Massachusetts, did so in 2004. that’s a lot of couples who have been together longer than they’ve been able to marry anywhere in the country. that’s why, for lesbian and male gay couples, partner is the word of choice to describe our serious girlfriends or boyfriends. marriage couldn’t be the natural progression of their relationships. the queer people before me redefined criteria for a serious relationship and started using a different word to signify the person who meant the most to them.
that’s why I’m uncomfortable with it at this point in my girlfriend’s and my relationship. my girlfriend and I are approaching our first anniversary (in July; we’re accepting gifts now). the people I know who refer to their significant others as partner have been with them for years, even decades. some of them began dating their partners when lesbians and bisexual women still commonly called their girlfriends their “roommates” in conversations with straight people—and when straight people still didn’t suspect that those were cover stories. some of them began dating their partners when AIDS was GRID. the women I know whose partners I meet at events have salt-and-pepper hair and wrinkles, and they’ve survived the trials and tribulations associated with lesbians and bisexual women of their generations.
there are young lesbians, bisexual people, and gay men who have survived homophobic events, too: assaults and negligence perpetrated by others and self-inflicted violence and negligence due to internalized homophobia. when young queer women or men who have been with their girlfriends or boyfriends, respectively, under a year refer to them as partners, they’re quite possibly in puppy love and jumping the gun, but maybe they’re (also) asserting their relationship against being pressured to break up because it’s gay.
my girlfriend doesn’t call me her partner when she’s not addressing authority figures. nor do I call her my partner with my mother, sister, friends, or father. I’ve used girlfriend throughout this post, even. we live together, and we are not partners. we could be, but we’re not yet.
I don’t get new straight couples who call themselves partners.
“Instead of trying to fictionalize gender, let’s talk about the moments in life when gender feels all too real. Because gender doesn’t feel like drag when you’re a young trans child begging your parents not to cut your hair or not to force you to wear that dress. And gender doesn’t feel like a performance when, for the first time in your life, you feel safe and empowered enough to express yourself in ways that resonate with you, rather than remaining closeted for the benefit of others. And gender doesn’t feel like a construct when you finally find that special person whose body, personality, identity, and energy feels like a perfect fit with yours. Let’s stop trying to deconstruct gender into nonexistence, and instead start celebrating it as inexplicable, varied, profound, and intricate.”—
Butch has been a great term for me, when I encountered it, it seemed like I finally had a word for what it was that I experienced as embodiment, so I really clung to it. I’m somebody who has seen several waves of transgender activism since I came out, but I still hold onto it, I recognize that it may in fact be descriptive of people of my generation and be less descriptive of younger folks, and I don’t need to hang on to a word that doesn’t work for other people, but I do tend to use it about myself. I like the idea of being a transgender butch, which is that you are completely cross-gender identified, that masculinity is what defines you but you’re not trying to live in the world as a man. That’s the difference between me and a transgender man.
It’s not totally important to my understanding of self that other people read me as a man. It’s important that they read me as masculine, and it’s important that they read me in some way that I’m at odds with female embodiment. But it’s also important that they read me as someone who is not going to have that tension resolved by getting some surgeries. We’re living in a moment where people are pretty creative about their relationship to gender variance, and I think that the queer worlds we live in can tolerate a lot of different gender designations, so I don’t see why we can’t hold onto “butch” along with a whole set of other markers and identity, difference, embodiment, masculinity, variance and so on.
And it’s amazing; [borderline people’s] ability to take care of someone else, to give the right answer of what you would do for that person, is very different from what they would do for themselves. Because my belief—and I’m sure it’s not only my belief—is that the borderline patient really essentially inside feels unlovable. Feels like there’s something missing, that they’re not worthy of love. And so they tend to seek out people who validate that—and if they do find someone who doesn’t validate that, they try to sabotage that relationship to keep that myth alive.
…And while that idea saved them—in their childhood or their youth or infancy—it is now actually killing them.
For me at least, the conviction that something is inherently defective about me seems to be the crux of my BPD. Spielberg explains that this belief in your own defectiveness/terribleness often forms early on in the face of neglect or abuse because it’s easier to blame yourself for something than it is to admit that you’re powerless against others. Later in life, he goes on to say, borderline people often fail to give themselves the compassion they would extend to other people because of the belief that they’re “unworthy.” Many borderline people also seek out relationships that will confirm for themselves that they are defective after all.
If you're a feminist who understands the (apparently not) radical concept that women can have penises and men can have vaginas (and that there are people with either or both of those who may very well identify as neither a man nor a woman), would you mind reblogging this? I could really use a little faith in humanity being restored right about now.
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t…
kinda feel like this poem sums up exactly why bukowski kinda sucks, actually. all blurting and bursting when no one asked him to; no searching.