Thursday, December 15, 2011

Probably Not Politically Correct

In modern America, gender and sex are two different things. Sex is determined by biology: body parts or perhaps chromosomes in unusual circumstances. Gender, however, is social construct, and (apparently) left entirely up to the individual. I think, though, that this system is socially counter-productive in a way, because even if you choose your gender, you're still saying I'm this gender because I have/desire qualities that are typical of this gender, thus perpetuating related stereotypes. Ideally we would all be genderless and our sexualities would all be less defined, but that will likely never happen.

I've been pondering my place in our society as a woman. I suppose everything you read from this point on is a long-winded diatribe derived from a matter of semantics.

What's it mean to be a woman?

Yeah, I have ladybits. That thing that babies come out of. Those things that babies suck on.
(The whole sexualization of breasts is a weird thing, to me. Think about it. Men have nipples too. What's the difference, really? Why are ours obscene? Because they're fattier? Fat men get boobs too, but they aren't forced to hide them. That's hardly fair. Titties aren't any more special than other parts of the body, like the neck, or navel. They aren't sexually explicit, they just aren't.)

But there's more to it than that

Every society has it's own gender roles. I don't need to spell them out, you ought to be well aware. Girls like shopping, boys like video games, blah blah etc. Traditional roles are being defied more often, but we just come up with new ones in their place.

I've always hated being female. The sexes are equally capable, but there's no denying they are naturally suited for different things. Social intelligence vs. mathematical intelligence. Balance vs. strength. Hormonally speaking, if I had more testosterone, I'd be naturally more motivated and goal-oriented. One of the reasons I stopped taking a medication of mine was for the concern that the excess estrogen was diminishing these traits. Are these traits I should value, though? Have I been completely misguided? I am always taking on more challenging tasks in an effort to prove people wrong. Should I just embrace my strengths? There is nothing I value more than the pursuit of knowledge, but does that mean I have to pursue it? Why not accept my place in nature as a female? I could contribute instead by nurturing men, be they partners or offspring, who are more suited to this pursuit than I.

Alas, in the manner I was raised, I don't think I'd be content with that. And in the society we live in, I don't think men would allow us to be content with that, even if they say otherwise. Because no matter your skill or intelligence, you will still be ridiculed for your decision to follow the homemaker route. You have to prove yourself. Nurturing a great thinker is not as good as being a great thinker. We just don't place as much value on the natural strengths of women.

And as I soon learned upon finishing puberty, being a woman sucks when you want to make friends. Men (the vast majority of the time) don't want to be your friend unless they think intimacy might eventually be involved. Theoretically that's fine if you are okay with having sex with all your friends. I imagine that would be exhausting, though. And women? Well, honestly, I just haven't tried very hard at making friends with women. I guess I don't have the right to complain until I do. I am at a disadvantage here because I am a sexist fuck and I think women are manipulative, vapid and boring.

My given set of circumstances has put me in a position of self-hatred. I don't like being a woman. I don't want to be a woman. It doesn't align with my set of values and life plans. What the hell do I do about it, though?

I realize personal testimony doesn't mean shit, but I offer this: On the few occasions I have dressed in drag to appear as a convincing male, I found that people took me more seriously, even if they knew me well and were aware that I was a female.

As far as I'm concerned, you're sexist even if you aren't sexist. I am too. It's okay.

Soft Machine

Sometimes I am painfully or pleasantly aware of how human I am. How alike I am to everyone else, how different I am from everyone else. I take a moment to use my senses to their fullest, to marvel at the world around me and the vehicle I use to experience it. I flex my fingers, I inhale deeply. I think of the blood in my veins and the impulses winding through my nervous system and the mechanics of my eyes and ears. I see, I think, I feel, I am. I am an animal yet I am unique. I am machine, with many complex components and programs. I am animate. I am fragile.

At work with my mother today, many machines hummed with the exchange of information. An accident had occurred one building over.
Then, in an inexplicable instant, after Ms. Hart placed one foot inside, the elevator suddenly lurched up, its door still open, according to the Fire Department. It dragged her until she was pinned between the elevator and the wall, between the first and second floors, the police said.

How horrifying.

Of all the things Ms. Hart thought about on her way to work that morning, I don't think "I might die today" was one of them.

It doesn't seem fair.

What intricate, delicate machines we are.
Machines with programs to conceptualize and fight for things.
Machines with true intelligence, ability to learn and apply knowledge.
Machines with ability to use logic and reason.
Machines with ability to purposely ignore such things.
Machines capable of working together or independently.
Machines capable of great destruction or creation.
Machines that can collect and record many varieties of data.
Machines that can connect to each other in ways worth dying for.
Machines with ideas, beliefs, passions and questions worth living for.

Our world fascinates me.

I think that, no matter what I do in life, I will always appreciate it for the fact that I am alive.

Yep, sums me up pretty well.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I consider myself a good person.
My moral compass, is probably a lot different than yours. I won't, however, deny that I've done wrong.

I've "cheated" on everyone I've ever been in a monogamous relationship with. Cheating is bad, of course, because it hurts people. I can't stand hurting people.

My solution? Fuck monogamy.

Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

 I spent an inordinate amount of my short life enamored with one person. The infamous first love. They greatly shape who we become as people.

For about a year and a half of my time in a "relationship" with this person, he was also in a relationship with someone else. Why did I let shit go on that way? I was naive as hell, and I did stupid things in the name of love. I was assured he was only with her for the company, and that I was the one he loved, and that he would leave her to be with only me again when the time came. This trained me to have a very odd mindset. I'm okay with him fucking other girls as long as he still loves me. I later found out he'd also lied about being in love with me.
From then on I divorced the ideas of sex and love. They became, for me, completely different things that do not necessarily go together all the time.

Through the duration of that disaster of a relationship, I believed that one can only romantically love one person at a time. This was the origin of most of my pain. Many people suffer from this same notion, however, it simply isn't true.

Firstly, there are many kinds of love. The way a parent loves their child, the way a person loves their pet, the way you love your first, and each love thereafter. Arguably no two loves are the same.

Secondly, consider this: When a family with a child has an additional child, do they love their first child any less? A friend shared a beautiful analogy with me, that I will paraphrase:
When we had our next child, we explained to the older one... that your mother and father's love is like a flame, and you, the children, are the candles. When one candle lights another, the flame doesn't go away, it grows. So we can give our love to your younger brother too, but it doesn't mean we love you any less.

The realization dawned on me. That same idea does work with romantic love. We love different people for different reasons in different ways. Why not be able to be intimate with all of the people you want intimacy from? Go to concerts with this person, go to museums with another. It's a matter of needs. We spend our whole lives being exposed to something contrary, but that doesn't make it true.

I am, for the first time in my life, in a polyamorous relationship. With someone I've yet to lie to. Which is a big thing for me, because I lie like a motherfucker. And so far, it's the healthiest relationship I've ever had. I don't fear replacement. I don't feel jealousy. Hell, he could have a harem of women and I'd be fine with it, as long as we were all aware of eachother's existences. Admittedly I'd vie for position as the matriarch, but I'd submit to the right woman. I mulled over the logistics of it, and really, the main problem with polyamory is that there are people that don't want to take part in it. This approach to relationships is still new to me, I can't say I've fully experienced it yet. But so far, it really works. In theory it's more stable and better than monogamy in every way.

Alas, not many people welcome this idea, or even comprehend it. And because of that, there are people in my life who I love, but will never hear me say it, and who I would make love to, but will never know it.

Did I adopt this approach to relationships for fear of being hurt? Originally, yes, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

I do believe in something like "true love," which I think is more appropriately referred to as "complete love." And I think it is attainable with just one person, but how likely is that?