Beauty is the path

I had a distressing conversation the other day. It went something like this:

“Man. I am bummed. I was involved in an exciting project, and now it’s over. And there are, like, hurt feelings on both sides. Bummer. Man.”

“Well, considering the fact that you use your looks to get involved in most exciting projects…”

“Er, what?”

“Oh, you heard me.”

“WHAT?”

“You heard me say ‘you heard me.’ I know it, because you flinched.”

“OMG! WTF? STFU! GTFO! DIAF!”

Etc.

I’m not Angelina Jolie and never will be, but, sure enough, I perform beauty while I’m still young. I checked out the spring collection at Naf Naf the other day, for example. I made it out of there with a pink strapless minidress adorned with large, purple, blue and white flowers that are vaguely reminiscent of a blown-up Japanese print. It’s layered, and make me look like a very complicated dessert and makes me feel like I live in a painting. I love it.

As much as I love it, I know that even this little dress can come with some big consequences attached. Why, I find out new and exciting things about me and people like me every day:

Continue reading “Beauty is the path”

Not “just sex.” Just life.

There is green grass growing outside my window in Kiev. There are new puppies in the street. This isn’t exactly an spring-themed post, but this is nagging me, therefore…

A couple of people forwarded this post to me in the last few days, and I’ve been mulling it over. As I understand it, the gist of it is such: open relationships only benefit men, a “fun feminist” = idiot with Stockholm Syndrome, men who contract HIV apparently do it to screw other people over, and also a bit about how PIV intercourse should not be mandatory (which is something I wholeheartedly agree with, because I understand that it isn’t for everyone).

Well, damn.

I want to address the open relationship bit in particular, because I think that this is the sort of lazy, knee-jerk thinking that ensures that monogamy remains the standard outside of certain Muslim countries and, in the process, creates serious issues of prejudice and inequality in society. Continue reading “Not “just sex.” Just life.”

Hell is other people: why Natalia won’t be singing praises to Sheila Jeffreys any time soon (no matter how often you ask)

Mandy is not the real name of the individual who inspired this post. Our conversation was conducted in private, hence the change.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I am perfectly cool and open to long-time readers and lurkers friending me on Facebook. A few requests popped up. All were nice and courteous. All were friended back. A person named Mandy, however, friended me with a caveat attached: she didn’t want to be friends per se, she just wanted to clear up a few things she thought I had gotten wrong about radical feminism, but didn’t feel comfortable doing it in the commenting section of this site.

I said “shoot.”

I’m not exactly sure why I did that. Was it a slow day? Not likely. Am I a masochist who enjoys having the same pointless arguments with people, in which my selfhood is devalued and my autonomy is brought into question as a matter of course? Possibly. I think I find myself a frequent target for people like Mandy, because some people can’t pass up the chance to educate a wayward Slavic woman on the error of her ways. Women like me are commonly understood as “wanton,” “slutty,” “irresponsible,” “invested in their own subjugation,” “patriarchal-patriarchal-patriarchal-say-it-three-times-and-turn-and-look-into-the-mirror” types. And I don’t always do a good job of resisting that, because my morbid journalistic curiosity takes over at moments like that and I desperately want to see just how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

Continue reading “Hell is other people: why Natalia won’t be singing praises to Sheila Jeffreys any time soon (no matter how often you ask)”

A parting shot in the BDSM wars: “You deserve to get fired and have your kids taken away”

For all our differences, Nine Deuce, I expected better from you. Allowing your commenters to rip into BDSMers, whilst using bigoted language no less, as you sit back and insist you’re encouraging debate on the issue? Didn’t expect anything different. Couldn’t bother with it.

Nine Deuce as one of my favourite LOLcats
Nine Deuce as one of my favourite LOLcats

Your latest comment and attempts at justifying it, on the other hand – deserves some verbiage. And LOLcats.

“Stop comparing your situation to the plight of homosexuals. And stop comparing my arguments to those of asshole homophobes.”

I’m neither gay nor kinky, but I think it’s fairly obvious that there are some parallels here. Many homophobes do exactly what you and your commenters do, ND, be it a) Assuming that TEH GAYZ are “sick” people who can one day “see the light.” b) Acting threatened and/or angry because this group doesn’t fit into their particular ideology. c) Believing that the group is full of dangerous perverts.

Oh, speaking of which…

“Why are people getting fired for being into BDSM? Ever heard of sexual harassment? Talking about sex at work isn’t cool, whether you’re straight, gay, into BDSM, or celibate. It’s just not appropriate.”

ND, you don’t realize that it is the outing (as opposed to zealous over-sharing) of kinky people that directly contributes to most of these firings – or else you are just being deliberately obtuse. I’m willing to bet it’s the latter. But you have nothing in common with homophobes, is that right? The same homophobes that assume, for example, that there should be no gay people in the armed forces because they’re icky bastards who harass the straight population…?

“And to be honest, if I were a parent, I’d be concerned if my child’s other parent were into BDSM because I wouldn’t want my child exposed to it. It’s absolutely ridiculous to think you ought to have the right to normalize that kind of behavior in front of children who haven’t got the critical thinking abilities to understand what’s going on.”

Every family must have a Nine Deuce on call to ensure appropriate behaviour at all times. Get yours today!
Every family must have a Nine Deuce on call to ensure appropriate behaviour at all times. Get yours today!

Naw, this isn’t at all similar to the familiar GAY PEOPLE CORRUPT OUR NATION’S YOUTH.

ND, for someone who prides herself on her superior intellect – can you not see that any parental extracurricular can be taken to an extreme?

Example: some parents abuse their animals, beat them, chain them outside and do not allow them to be socialized, and then act surprised when said animals attack a child.

On the other hand, you have my dad. He got us a Doberman when I was in the first grade. She was trained as a proper guard dog. She was tough to handle at times, but she was a much-needed addition to our family. She rescued my mother twice. She allowed me to have a lot of independence when I dealt with trauma – because I could go anywhere with her, and I slept soundly in my room knowing she was outside. This animal was loved – and it loved in return.

Men like my father have little in common with individuals who deliberately turn their animals into psychotic killing machines – but by your own celebrated logic, ND, my father had no right to have custody of me either.

BDSMers are no different. Some make great parents, some not so much. Issuing blanket statements on the matter is pure bigotry.

When someone, Antiprincess to be precise, calls you on your bullshit, saying: “tell you what, then – I’ll just bring my little boy around by your house, and you can raise him, to spare him the horror and indignity of the possibility of being “exposed” to the tragedy of my life as a kinky person.”

you know it's bad when you have to dust off the George W. Bush administration to illustrate your point as to the epic-ness of said fail
you know it's bad when you have to dust off the George W. Bush administration to illustrate your point as to the epic-ness of said fail

– You don’t even give this woman the dignity of a proper response. You know why? Because you can’t. You can dodge the subject, speak in generalities, have your commenters point out “but here’s this one case where a BDSM father was abusive!”, and otherwise shut down and divert discussion – but you can’t honestly respond to a woman who’s telling you “here’s my child, whom I love and care for, and who the hell are you to imply that I deserve to lose him?”

Go ahead, put your money where your mouth is. Offer to give this woman’s child the same love and protection that his mother gives him. Because you care so much (as opposed to the fact that you are willing to engage in crassly inappropriate insults of an entire group of people that reveal how much “examining” you probably need to do of yourself in your own spare time – and being unwilling to admit as such when confronted directly with the absurdity of your claims).

On your “About” page you have the following to say to your readers:

“If you happen upon anything you find terrifically offensive, consider the possibility that it might be a joke or a rhetorical device. If both of those alternatives seem unlikely, you’re probably either a crybaby or an asshole that I’m not worried about offending.”

Go ahead, call Antiprincess an “asshole crybaby.” It will be like the delicious icing on the cake o’ fail. Everyone knows that only asshole crybabies object to having their children ripped away from them. And after you’ve chased away everyone willing to engage in debate with you, I hope you enjoy the echo chamber.

For more on the subject, see Ren. And Ren again. And Trinity:

“[ND] wants fame for having the most massive ovaries in bloglandia, which she has confused with having (or trying for, anyway) the most viciously thoughtless fingers in bloglandia.”

Hate to say it about someone whose Philip Roth takedowns I had enjoyed – but I agree.

Why sleep with a boy? Natalia regails you all with personal musings on sexuality!

Please note that this post stems from a discussion started here – at Twisty’s blog. Also note – I have bolded the nickname “undercover punk” so that reading this rather long post is easier on you.

I moonlight as a valiant defender of my own brand of cynical, eurotrash feminism over at Twisty’s quite a bit these days. I find that the discussion does occasionally get interesting. I like to dialogue with people – especially with radical feminists – and the opportunities for that are rare.

Now, I have met a radical feminist who goes by undercover punk. Undercover punk recently asked this question:

If a woman claims to be conscious of the many insidious ways that patriarchal dominance and oppression invades our everyday lives and our private relationships, AND feels any sexual attraction to women (and considering how the female body is so fetishized by mainstream culture, I really cannot conceive of any way NOT to internalize this at lease to some small degree), WHY would a smart, rational woman choose to sleep with men at all????

I replied that even though I enjoy looking at women as much as men, sex with the former doesn’t appeal to me. I also found that the question had an underlying assumption that it’s dumb and irrational to sleep with men – an assumption that undercover punk says isn’t there. Undercover punk went on to ask more questions – these of a more personal nature. I decided to take my reply to my own blog, since I didn’t want my response to turn into an epic derail.

Here are three important facts, before I get started:

1. Even though I enjoy looking at women (and frequently post pictures of women I consider beautiful on this blog), I do not identify as bisexual.

2. I am presently in a committed, long-term relationship with a man. Have been for… geez, over 5 years now. Holy crap. Gettin old.

3. I don’t think that human sexuality is either constructed or immutable. I think for all people, there’s a degree of both. How large a degree, either way? Depends on the individual in question.

OK, now, on to the more personal stuff! Pull up a chair, grab a beer/popcorn/Valium, and enjoy!

Continue reading “Why sleep with a boy? Natalia regails you all with personal musings on sexuality!”