"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Yo, Where my Boys At?

Now Playing: Bad Blood by Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Laymar (you've got to live with the bad blood now) 

By far one of my most favourite things to do is lunching with the ladies. This is closely followed by clubbing with the ladies and then coffee with the ladies.

I love my girlfriends. I don’t have many, and things ain’t perfect, but I love having friends I can really talk to.

They’re all straight, I think. I’m not, but it’s never an issue; I pass as straight enough, I don’t make passes at them, and if things get weird hey, we can always talk it out. We’re grown-ups.

Case in point: A guy was being an ass at a club. I retaliated by telling him that the boys were sub-par, but my girlfriend and I were having a great time, and then informed him that he had missed out on the chance to have an amazing threesome with said girlfriend. Poor boy had a meltdown.

An hour later, one straight girl and one almost-straight girl passed out together in bed, after a blur of costumes and cocktails. After a joke of a crowd at a joke of a club, the final joke of the night was ‘look at the threesome he’s missing out on’.

Also, for the record, I’ve made out with a few of my girlfriends. We’ve all seen each other in various states of undress. We have all slept together – like, literally just sleeping. We cuddle, and I’m conveniently boob height for a lot of them, and nobody cares. The queers amongst us make our own arrangements, talk things out with other queers, and the straight ladies do us a favour by not freaking the fuck out over nothing and yelling NO HOMO at everything. Nobody thinks anybody wants to marry anyone else, for the sole reason that I’ve never expressed this intention to any of them. Things are comfortably platonic, because ladies don’t lose their shit over drama that isn’t there. We balance our friendships and our pseudo-lesbianism and our actual lesbianism and our random drunk pashes the same way that I expect all adults of all genders to; by being grown up, by doing the honest communication thing, and by enjoying relationships for what they are instead of freaking out about what they’re not.

Boys? Fuck. Boys.

I don’t treat boys very different to how I treat girls, mostly because I feel the same about both genders. And that, apparently, causes problems.

I refuse to tiptoe around egos and follow the bullshit rules of heteronormativity because some people I want to be friends with happen to have penises.

I miss my guyfriends. I miss having guys to talk to and mess around with. I’ve had great relationships with a lot of really cool guys and it is endlessly frustrating and exhausting that a bizarre mix of ego, heteronormativity and misogyny has ended the good times.

I also hold men to the same standards that I hold women to because I am a feminist. I expect that all people of all genders are not perfect. I expect that all my relationships with people of all genders will have ups and downs and awkward moments and messy feelings that will need to be sorted out. People are complicated. Relationships are complicated. And complicated things need a lot of communication or things are going to go belly-up very quickly.

I can’t deal with this whole ‘men don’t talk about their feelings’ shit. Fuck, in my experience, men don’t talk about anything. Any tension that would have been sorted out after a few strong cocktails with the ladies builds and builds and builds until it is a MASSIVE problem that *I* was meant to solve with my secret lady-powers of mind reading or some bullshit.

News flash. I cannot read minds.

Men also tend to rely on social norms to define and protect a relationship; but if I followed social norms I’d be speaking Canto and doing a science degree and listening to K-Pop with other K-Pop fans, and I don’t. That’s not me. I don’t do social norms; I do what is comfortable for me. And if that’s not comfortable for you, for fuck’s sake, talk about it. See point a) I can’t read minds.

Another thing I love about the ladies is that, because we are not conditioned to see everything between two girls as inherently romantic or sexual, they don’t read into things. A hug is a hug. A kiss is a kiss. It is whatever *we* want it to be. If you’re not sure, fucking ask. If you’re not comfortable, fucking leave. It’s really that simple.

I get myself into trouble a lot with the whole ‘falling in love with your best friend’ thing; but lately the problem has been more ‘my best friend thinks I’m in love with him because I broke this unspoken rule, cannot read his mind, and he refuses to believe anything I say’. My feelings are my own. I am single, I’m staying single, and I haven’t met anyone who has changed that for me; and if I did, I’d tell them. Maybe I’m being cuddly because I have a crush on you. Maybe I’m being cuddly because I’m a cuddly person and it doesn’t really matter if you have a penis or not. If I don’t explicitly say I am in love with you can we have a little forever together, then that’s not what I want, and that’s not what you should read into anything I do or say.

Communication.

It’s also insulting to say that, by virtue of our differing genitals, we can’t have an intimate non-romantic, non-sexual relationship, or varying combinations of the above. The thing is, women are perfectly capable of relationships that are intimate but not romantic or sexual. Or sexual but not romantic or intimate. The only people who can define a relationship are those who are in it and, oh look, you do that by *fucking communicating*. I was doing the casual sleepover thing, a while ago, and I got sick of constantly having to confirm that no, I was not looking for anything else. Why is that someone, by virtue of owning a penis, is capable of casual sex, but I, by virtue of not having one, am not?

I have girlfriends who don’t like hugs. Don’t want to talk about certain things. I know about these things because we talk about what makes them feel unsafe, and I don’t do those things because I am a decent human being trying very hard to be a good friend. I know how to treat my friends, I know what kind of friendship they’re looking for, because the smart way to navigate relationships is to be open about your needs and boundaries, instead of letting people accidentally trigger you over and over, or letting something bug you, unaddressed, until you blow up and shit hits the fan. If you want to set boundaries, set them. And then fucking tell me about them, so that I can respect them. But set these boundaries for you. Don’t make up rules with the design of preventing me falling in love with you, because frankly, that’s so offensive.

Whoever told men that they can’t be friends with single women? Why do men have it stuck in their heads that single women always have ulterior motives? I can’t believe I’ve lost so many friends over this bullshit, and I can’t believe that they’ve all been men.  

What hurts the most is that I told this friend of mine, over and over, that I am single, that I am staying single, and that I am learning to be happy, as a single person; only for him to turn around and accuse me of chasing him, of being jealous of his romantic pursuits, of putting myself between him and the girlfriend he didn’t tell me about, because he was afraid that it would hurt my feelings. No. What really hurt my feelings is that he didn’t trust what I said, didn’t respect that I have made decisions for myself.

Yes, I had a crush on him. They were not feelings I was going to act on. I was hurt, and still hurting, when we became friends. Debilitating anxiety and scars from emotional abuse are not easy burdens to carry, and I relied on friendships like ours to give me something to power through; I didn’t want to compromise that by dragging uncontrollable, and definitely unrequited, feelings into it. I was trying to save myself from more pain; instead, he hurt me more than I thought anyone could. And, above and beyond any other feelings, I loved him as a friend; I loved his friendship, I loved his company, and it destroyed me when that all fell apart. I was far from a perfect friend and we had a far from perfect friendship, but to watch it crumble over some non-existent bullshit problem that he had dreamed up was horrible. He had sacrificed a friendship that had meant a lot to me because I was a convenient villain in his fairy-tale love story. Because a girl cannot love a boy in any meaningful way that isn’t sex or fantasies of white picket fences, right?    

We believe men right off the bat when they say they are not looking for a relationship right now. We assume they’re still having sex. We assume that they still have friends. We assume that he is not, in all of this sex and friendship, covertly running Operation Find Me a Girlfriend Because I'm So Lonely. We give them the dignity and the agency to make their own choices, and to not impose our own opinions or values onto them. We believe their intentions or lack thereof. Why can’t I get that same respect? Why is it that a single woman is a liar, and doesn’t mean what she says, or needy, and can’t possibly be happy the way she is?

I miss my boys. But more importantly, I am nostalgic for a non-existent time when I can do what I like with who I like, and not have people over-think and over-read. I am nostalgic for a relationship with a guy where all cards are on the table, when we talk about our feelings and boundaries, when there are no misunderstandings. I wish guys would not jump to the conclusion that we are in love with you, or want to get in your pants, and then freak out about the emotional drama and commitment issues that we don’t even have. These are not problems I have with ladies, so gentlemen, please, grow the fuck up. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wonderland.

I saw your painted arm today
And I didn't have to see to feel your eyes on me

It took me back to another time
Took me back to your Cheshire Cat smile

Do you remember our reckless daybreak adventures?
I wonder...

(Is my stocking still on your floor?)

I don't remember you, I remember the rush

We found Wonderland, my friend.
We were Romeo-

No, I was just Juliet.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Honest Blood

I wonder how many other girls like me
Have asked boys like you to hit them

I still remember sitting here, typing those words.
I remember brutal, bloody, frustrated honesty

I remember you saying you wouldn't,
That you would never,
You paragon of decency, you

And I still stand by what I said
All those years ago

I wish I had a scar to show them
Because my words are lies

But all bodies bleed the same.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Penis Guy.

So, like, feminists get sprung a lot of weird questions, which to me have the same kind of inexplicable logic of 'if man evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys?'

and the one that pops up - a lot - is 'does size matter?'

Firstly, since when do feminists do sex a special way, or that all feminists do sex the same way?

Secondly. Heteronormative bullshit.

Thirdly, since when does the admission that one is a feminist make it permissible suddenly spring an out of context sexual question.

Fourthly, I know this is a trap. If I say 'no', guys always think I'm lying, and if I say 'yes', they cry misandry. YOU ASKED MY OPINION DON'T GET UPSET AT THE ANSWER.

But because I get asked it a lot, I've had to think about it a lot, and I feel like this is a good teaching point. So bear with me.

Society dictates what is and isn't attractive for men and women. I know that no matter what people say to me the media says that women should look a certain way and I certainly don't tick all boxes. I also assume that men have enough brain power and life experience to gather that literally nobody looks like the models on billboards, including the models themselves, and that there is a difference between fantasy and reality.

The lack of body diversity in popular culture also gives the impression that there is one way to be attractive, which is totally not true. I've met some women who are attracted to men who I personally think are not attractive, and not all my girlfriends approve of my taste in men, and that's okay. It's not like I'm an 8 and you're a 5 and that will never change and dictate your life forever. You might think I'm a 10; you might think I'm a 2. Attraction is weird.

The answer to this question, for most people, is aesthetically, I have my preferences. They are influenced by the media, and also my own personal taste. But it's not very important, and doesn't really matter. Physical attraction and chemistry is important to me and I'm not going to pretend otherwise, but I will turn down Ryan Gosling if I have to if he's being a dick. A pretty dick only gets you so far if you are an actual dick.

My friends and I also agree that, if a guy is really nice/kind/cool/considerate/etc., nobody's going to bring up any...physical shortcomings. The guys for whom this topic becomes fair game are normally shitheads who have fucked up. Girls will bitch about anything and we will literally go for the low hanging fruit if we can.

I will say one thing - what they say is true. It really is what you do with it. And the rest of you. A lot of best selling luxury sex toys are much smaller than the average penis, just saying.

Also, penises are not a first impression thing - unless you are the kind to try and whip it out in a public place to prove a point, which has happened to me, believe it or not (keep reading for the Delightful Tales of Penis Guy). Penises are not like breasts; you can't really see them, unless you have terrible taste in trousers, until you get down to it; and if you get to that point with someone you'd hope that you have good enough taste not to sleep with a judgemental weirdo. So, girls do not turn you down at the first pick-up line because your dick is small.

A little while ago, at a party, the whole boy meets girl thing happened, and I swear to God, this guy was obsessed with his penis. I literally found out nothing about him that wasn't about his penis; I still don't know his name. All he would talk about was The Penis, and all I was allowed to say was Praise for The Penis. He was not interested in me having fun; hell, he wasn't even interested in himself having fun, it was just constant penis validation. When I got disinterested at the prospect of hours of Penis Talk and tried to go away, the first thing he said was 'you think it's small, don't you?'

I don't know what kind of insecurity and entitlement you have to have for this to happen, but I took off pretty quickly, and he physically tried to stop me; and let me tell you, karate chopping your way away from Penis Guy is not fun. I don't know anything about him, I don't remember what he looks like, all I know is that this guy was obsessed with his penis so no matter how well endowed he was (WE WERE FULLY CLOTHED IN A CLUB I DON'T HAVE MUCH OPINION ON PENISES BASED ON DESCRIPTION ALONE), I obviously don't have a very high opinion of him.

The size question seems to be, to me, a way of asking if you are good in bed, which is an incredibly subjective, personal, intimate question that random girls you meet on sweaty dance floors can't answer. But what I can tell you is that Penis Guy is absolutely, 300%, guaranteed, terrible in bed, and I would not sleep with him for a million dollars. So how do I know that? Someone who doesn't care about you, doesn't care about what you want, doesn't respect that you are a person with needs and wants and opinions, an doesn't care about himself enough to introduce any part of himself aside from his penis, would be absolutely terrible in bed. Any kind of interaction involves communication and respect, and someone like that is incapable of either.

So what I'm trying to say is, stop worrying about your penis. I can't say with complete honestly that size absolutely does not matter ever under any circumstances, because the truth resists simplicity and women (and men - you can fuck those too, you know) are complicated as fuck. I'm telling you to stop worrying so that you  don't become that guy. Whatever you do, do not become Penis Guy. That is a bad way for a woman to remember you.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Soiree on the Moon

I feel like a balloon on the ceiling
Privy to, but not part of

And I am not free
Not free to rendezvous in the clouds
Or to burst into the heavens

Are you afraid
That the sun will catch my eye?

I an not a planet in orbit
You are not the centre of any universe
And certainly not mine

There is a soiree on the moon tonight
Let me be there

I am tired of smoke and spilled drinks
Tired of noise and broken vows

Let me fly away from here


Friday, May 08, 2015

This is Not a Love Letter

I don’t particularly want to wax lyrical
Over a boy who grows mould in his sink
But I should elucidate, I think

The great affection I have for you.

I have not yet had the time, or the words, to tell you
My friend;
How grateful I am for your constancy; how

Despite time and distance
Come hell or high water
Your sincerity never fades or falters

I know you will not slander my good name, or yours
By misunderstanding my intentions
My affection for you exists on a purer plane
Than the rabble can imagine

And the things in my heart that I explain to you once
I never have to say again.

(There are too many people, my dear
Who see Cupid lurking in every shadow;
I cannot tell you how glad I am that you don’t)

I wanted to say, old friend
That I am thankful for your solidarity
And your smile

It is a hard world to not have big arms around you
And I am glad of yours, when you are mine.

for Brady. 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Here's to the Sun Streaming Through Your Second-Floor Window

I remember, tangled on the dance floor
Meeting a rather confident boy

And I remember, tangled in the bed sheets
You made me swear to be your friend

Well, my dear
I am still here.

I must confess, my friend
There is a lot I object to
About you

But your easy generosity
And your deadly smile

Is not a thing any woman can resist

Believe me when I say
I cannot love you

And believe me when I say
I always will.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm writing up a lesson for my student just like the ones my teachers wrote up for me; and I remember the great debt I owe them for teaching me all that I know, and for giving me the courage to pass that knowledge on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Comfort Women

Brethren!
Remember-
You are the daughters of comfort women

Perhaps not.
Perhaps not all.
Perhaps some of us
Are the daughters of happy wives

Perhaps some of the grenade martyrs died
With bile in their mouths
And ‘Mother’ on their lips

That is your story, little white boy
Clutching poppies and rosemary at dawn

This is mine.

Perhaps some of my conquerors
Died scraped-knee, grass-stained boys
Without the scent of a woman on their skin

But-
Some of them went home
To make comfort women of their unhappy wives
Making love to a memory
Of guns, germs, steel
And the stench of death

Making love with our blood on their hands

Our lost childhoods
And our dead babies in the river
Are lost to the history books

But blood is thicker than water
And sticks to the conscience like mud

Lest we forget.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Old Friend

What a grand thing it is, old friend
That I can finally be myself around you
You have turned out exactly as I expected

You realized too late
How ardently I cared for you
In our rose thorn, sun baked,
Thistle and beer bottle childhood

But I am all woman now
And what a man you have become

It has not yet been a decade
But it feels like an eternity
Since our childhood escapades

First love, golden boy

And though your apologies come
Years too late, I do not mind
But don’t step any closer, old friend

You and I both know, I think
It is now my turn
To be too good for you.