"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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ghost Pictures

I want my picture back

I know it's your face
And your coffee
And your cheeky little smile

But they're my headphones in the frame
And my hands behind the shot

And it was taken with my love
That you couldn't understand

How can you use it as your face for the world
When I am dead to you?

I don't want people to forget
As you have forgotten
The invisible girl behind the camera
Who loved and lost you

I don't want people to think
That smile was for her

Because I own this one thing of yours
That smile was for me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

B & S

I started to think
'How on earth do you expect me to endure this?'

But then I realized
You weren't thinking of me
You weren't thinking of anyone but yourself

And I don't quite know what to say
But does it matter?
I know you're not listening

Poetry is for silly little boys
To scribble empty words
And broken promises
To exalt things they do not understand

How can you talk of love
When you forget your flesh and blood
And your flesh friends crying blood tears

You're the one with the God
But no conscience

And I
I will do what I always do
Whisper silent goodbyes
Pick up the pieces

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We drove into the clouds today and I
I do not mind if I should die here

I have finally learned my lesson
That the spaces between bodies do not matter
Whether we are pushed together or wrenched apart

It is the distance between hearts
And I know, now, for you and I
They have always been worlds apart

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I cannot fix our problems
On my own

My faults are my own burden to bear
And I am sorry that they have hurt you

But I think I can say with a little certainty,
A little honesty,

That you have not sobbed a lullaby
And let your tears rock you to sleep

For me.

I have survived horrors that you have never known
And I hope you will never know

I live with demons in my head
And war wounds on my flesh

But this cold, cruel indifference
Shall be the death of me

Some say the world will end in fire,
But I say ice.

I can already feel the chill of your icy contempt,
Your frozen neglect.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I know it will hit me
Like the waves I never quite learned to dive under

But what a thing it must be
To lay down your head and sleep

I am more afraid of pain
Than drowning

I wish more than anything
That you can lay down your head and sleep

But I cannot remember you as you were, my friend
I cannot even remember what colour your eyes are.

And I cannot pray for you, my friend
I don't quite know how

But I will let it hit me
Like the waves I never quite learned how to dive under

And sink, or swim
For you.

For a dear friend. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Running Circles

Let us be kindred sinners
Rather than warring saints

Why do you always have me running circles like this?
Why do you always have me running circles for you?

And if I saw any kind of hurt, or pain, or contempt
Perhaps I could understand

But there is nothing at all and I
I cannot bear indifference 

You keep asking about him
As if he and I are a puzzle for you to unravel 

We stand on shaky ground 
With our hands clasped tight

And for us, that will always be enough 

I don't know if that is something you can understand. 

But don't think about him, my friend
Don't think about our bodies entwined or our childish games 

He and I build sandcastles that do not survive the tide

But you and I, my friend
Will we survive the hour? 

Why do you always have me running circles like this?
Why do you always have me running circles for you? 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

My Boys.

Now Playing: How to Save a Life by The Fray (where did I go wrong, I lost a friend somewhere alone in the bitterness)

Have you heard 1D's new song?

Damn, is it catchy.

It's also super problematic, mostly because the lyrics revolve around the premise that 'everybody wanna steal my girl', but they have to 'find another one because she belongs to me' because 'I don't exist if I don't have her'.


I learned a lot about the ways of the world from men, partly because they're all I have much experience with and because most of the people who are genuinely comfortable with their own sexuality and sexual appetites are men (yay, patriarchy!) So I've probably inherited a couple of unhealthy attitudes that will, I'm sure, be corrected by my fierce dedication to feminism. But some of the criticism I get is pure double standards and misunderstandings.

It's been a running joke for most of this year that there are a few boys who I refer to - and who my friends started referring to - as 'my boys'. The joke was that I'm part of a charity thing and we were running short on boys, so I happened to recruit a good friend plus a couple boys I met at parties, but most of the joke is that they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, *my* boys. Firstly, anyone owning anyone else is...slavery...and also because these boys are my friends, and it's always been abundantly clear that there's nothing more between any of us; and regardless of anything romantic/sexual that happened between any of us, we've all led our own separate lives with other people, and we've all been cool with that. Because friends.

The men I referred to earlier often had girls they referred to as 'their girls'. Part of it was a joke, part of it was misogyny, part of it was that we were all so drunk everything suddenly became ludicrously funny. The thing is, though, is that a queer woman of colour doing something, especially in jest, can sometimes be fundamentally different to when a white man who has stacks of privilege baggage does something. I don't have that baggage. White men have never been institutionally enslaved, raped and oppressed by Asian women. When I refer to someone, or some people, as 'mine', I cannot mean it as any more than a joke, even if I wanted to.

But people weren't uncomfortable with me calling them 'my boys' because it was an untrue statement and they couldn't see the (admittedly very subtle and ill-conceived) irony/humour/sarcasm involved. They flinched at the idea that a woman of colour could be in a position of respect in relation to white men, and that I felt comfortable using an endearment rather than an honorific. That for once, in a passing comment, I was not subservient or subordinate to white men; they were my friends, my boys, just as much as I was their friend. Egalitarianism, or even a system of hierarchy that does not conform to systems of privilege, confuses people. We see oppression where there isn't any when white men are not given the automatic deference that I have been taught, since I was a little girl, that they deserved.

'My boys' was an endearment; a well meant one, and most people saw that. I had a great deal of love and affection for the boys who were considered 'my boys', But why does nobody bat an eyelid when some skeezy white guy drawls about 'his girls', but an Asian woman can't affectionately, sarcastically, refer to her friends as 'my boys'? I never saw it as a possessive statement. And clearly, as is evident in the popularity of One Direction's 'Steal My Girl', despite a history of female oppression and patriarchal dominance nobody sees a man calling a woman 'my girl' as a possessive statement.

It turns out someone was offended by my arrogance and presumption in calling them 'my boys', and perhaps they have a valid point. But instead of talking about it logically and working out the kinks in our relationship, they let it fester. When you have virtually no privilege aside from cis, and perhaps arguably wealth, you get in the constant habit of updating your friends and tactfully - but firmly - discussing things that aren't okay, or that are triggering. They're not fun conversations. Sometimes friendships break over silly arguments like that. But healthy relationships demand solid communication, and strong friendships endure even the most awkward, uncomfortable conversations.

People in positions of privilege are, as I've found out, not so used to having to talk about feelings. Apparently it is my burden to constantly read minds and decode feelings they refuse to talk about, and I've lost a lot of friends this way. As a friend, or as a partner - even as an acquaintance - you have the right to object to anything I do or any aspect of how I treat or care for you. BUT I HAVE TO FUCKING KNOW ABOUT IT OR I WILL OBLIVIOUSLY CARRY ON, IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU OBLIVIOUSLY CARRY ON IF I DON'T CONSTANTLY PULL THE #CHECKYOURPRIVILEGE CARD.

I will inevitably end up doing and saying things that are problematic, or that rub people the wrong way. But we have gotten into the habit of monitoring and censoring the words and behaviours people who exist outside of hegemonic masculinity, we forget that those with the most privilege can get away with things that I apparently cannot, even though they carry all the baggage that makes something problematic, offensive, or uncomfortable.

I'm sorry if I have hurt or offended anyone, but I urge you to take a step back and consider what you were offended by and why, and think about the onslaught of microaggressions those who lack privilege deal with day in, day out, simply because we live in identities that do not have normalized power, and we do not enjoy normalized deference.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

I am tired of people who meet me, and then tell my friends that they like me because I'm quirky, or sharp, or smart, or bright, or the multitude of sweet nothings people throw at me.

I'm tired of being objectified and reduced into something I'm not.

Yes, I'm smart. I'm funny. I love making people laugh. I've always been childish and cheeky and I think eighteen's too young to change that. I have a weird way of looking at things and I have a wicked sense of humour.

It's an act. Of course it's an act. It's the most genuine, sincere, fulfilling performance of my life, but I can't keep it up, all the time. Do you have any idea how I feel when you stop talking because I stop cracking jokes, for a heartbeat, just to catch my breath? I'm glad you enjoy the things I can do, but I'm not here for your entertainment.

There are times when I am in so much pain that I lash out blindly, and the people closest to me will get hurt. I'm rude and selfish and dumb in the way that most eighteen year olds are. I'm the girl in the pretty dresses and red lipstick but sometimes I am in bloodstained sweatpants on a hospital trolley.

I love my friends and I always try to do my best by them. But sometimes I fuck up. I make mistakes. Sometimes I need space, and sometimes I need people to be there for me. I feel like people only like one side of me, and when I can't be that person I am all alone.

There are parts of me, there are things I can do, that shine like stars. But with those stars comes an endless darkness, a vast expanse of night sky, and you have to be okay with that. If I'm not worth your time, you're not worth mine.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Like Meteors

Once upon a time
I told you that I remember things in flashes

And all I can remember is seeing you from backstage
And I know that you knew that I was there

But not there 

As if the fake armour was real 
And even if you should see me 

You would not recognise me
Without my harlot's lips 

At any rate, my fickle friend
I know that on stage,
In your arms

To you, I am never really there.

And I was absently following advice
A voice from another time once told me 

Before I felt myself freeze over 
Felt my blood turn to ice

Because that voice drips with poison honey 
And I tried, I tried to tell you


This is my ugliness





So there you are, my friend.

These are my thoughts that soar
Like meteors
In my lonely, empty heart tonight. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

a letter to a hypocritical lover, with great affection.

And in regards to all the things you detest in me
She is no better

I say this with compliments to her;
Not you. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

let it be known.

I will have 'I'm sorry' carved into my skin tonight
I hardly know if they are your words or mine

I won't follow you into the rabbit hole
I said I would, but then I saw your shriveled bones
They didn't want me to

But let it be known that it was not my promise to break
Let it be known it was not my oath to keep

Let it be known that my love endured
Until it consumed me.

I can't follow you into the rabbit hole
I said I would, but then I saw your hollow eyes
You didn't want me to

I will have 'Forgive me' carved into my skin tonight
And I know they are not your words, but mine.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yes, I think you're naive.
I see you, hulking
Towering over me

And all I see is a silly little boy.

I am crass, and rude, and loud
I know.

I sit with my legs spread and teeth bared

And I talk.

Don't look at me like that
When I laugh at my tears

What else can I do?

Do you think I don't know
That they're laughing at me?

The only thing I can do is laugh back
Bite back.

Yes, I know you think I'm naive.
I know you see me, small
A head and more shorter than you

And all you see is a silly little girl.

This is how I survive
This is what girls do

We grow up, quickly,
Faster than our bodies do

Because there are things out there
Things that go bump in the dark
Things that claw at my flesh
And pull my hair

So I must bare my teeth,
And smile.

Because you, my hulking, towering friend
You are too naive to fight for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grandfather, I know
I know I am the blood of kings
I know I am ice and fire
I know I have a heart of stone
I know I have the strength of steel

But, Grandfather, you see
They have drained me dry
I don't feel your indomitable will
Coursing through my veins
The music of my pulse is fading

Grandfather, teach me how to breathe
Grandfather, teach me how to be

Monday, October 20, 2014

It is an insult to her, and to me
To think of her as a
Better, prettier, shinier model

As if we are computers for you to play with
And then leave on the curbside, spent.

What a fool I was to think that you were here for me
Because you loved me
Because there was something that wasn't fame or glory
That kept you at my side

When I was a rising star you clung to my coattails
And now you are her knotted bed sheets
You are my hanging rope

It was not a twist of fate that brought you here
She has a name.
Her name is me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Once I slept on a girl's sofa
When there was a boy with her in the other room

I had your shirt pressed against my cheek
It was almost like you were there

And in the morning you woke me up
Loud, rude, impatient as usual

And with phones buzzing and kettles singing
It was almost like you were there

Now I feel like I am back on that sofa
And she has another boy with her in the other room

But your shirt is on the floor, not in my arms
Because that boy is you

Don't wake me up in the morning
I don't want to be there

Saturday, October 18, 2014


What use is a pat on the back
If it is done with a knife?

Take your hands off him
Because he's the only one that I have ever loved

If you must dispose of me
If the light in my eyes is too bright for you to bear

Please don't find her skin
When you turn the lights out 

At least have the decency to hang me from the trees
For everyone to see

I don't want to imagine words you spoke to her that night
Naked bodies look like porcelain 

Let me die with your blood stained, guilty hands 
Around my neck

You both knew I'd be bleeding inside. 

Inspired by Love by Daughter 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


You cannot treat me like this.

You cannot treat me like a child now
When we were slaves to the beat
When your hands fumbled and found me
When my hips swayed and I tumbled into your arms

I was woman enough then.

You cannot do this to me

We cannot be strangers now
Remember your place is sealed with a kiss
Remember you stand your ground because I stand at your side
Remember I can destroy you as easily as I raised you

I am Nemesis.
You do not toy with me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Indifference is not a language we know,
You and I
We care too much

Love is a language we no longer trust
Lust is our common tongue

But that smile
That sweet swell off affection
Such a strange, alien rush

It's a beautiful lilt to our little song

You are more forgiving than you know,
My vengeful little beast

You have felt too much, you bruise too easily
You have known pain you never show
You have known hurt that the world will never know

But I cannot unman you.
You have always been a boy to me.

I love the way your head absently rests against my shoulder
I love how quick you are to pick me up, carry me away from my sorrows

I love that you kiss back.

I love sitting next to you in your favourite shirt
I love our clothes strewn across your floor

I love that you kissed back.

I love that you were the first to hold me through the night
I love the way you hold me as if you would never let me go

I cannot carry you in my broken, ugly heart
I do not have the heart to gaol you here
But you are on my lips, my thighs, my hair

I love knowing that for us
This will always be enough

I love not loving you, my love.

Sunday, October 05, 2014


I am afraid of the day that you die
I am afraid a part of me will die too

I am afraid I will forget
All those times you tried to kill me

I am afraid that your death will hurt me more than life ever could.

But I am more afraid that that day
Will slip by unnoticed

And the little girl who loved you
Will be worlds away

And the woman who loathed you
Will hate you even in memory

Is this what we have become?
Why have you wasted your days

Your beautiful, precious, chocolate-eyed days
Destroying me?

Think of me one last time
Try to think of me fondly

And I will try, too
For you.


Even in this heat I'll put another jacket on
Wrap the blanket a little closer 

So it feels like you are here

I can still smell you on me
And that's enough for me

It feels like you are here 

Pretend my flinches are your heartbeats 
Pretend my sobs are your sighs

Pretend my demons are your whispered goodbyes 

I put another jacket on
Yet it still grows colder 

But there's so much ice in your voice
That even in this blistering cold 

It feels like you are here 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Dark Shadow

Someone once told me
That little girls want to marry their fathers

I found one just like you, you know
When I was a little girl

I never knew when he would snap
I never knew if he was hot or cold

He was just like you.

And when I swirled on ice
(Not that you ever saw)
I was never afraid

I am not afraid of pain, or failure
I have had enough practice as your daughter.

You are my darkest shadow
And my deepest fears
You are screams in the dead of the night

There is too much of you in me
But without you, I am incomplete.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I am tired of men who say
'My God, I love a strong woman'.

I cannot love anyone
Who loves my war wounds
More than me.

They will let anyone
Say anything, do anything
And watch in glee as you grit your teeth

And when finally you snarl and roar
Like a baited bear

They will say

Look how fierce she is
'My God, I love a strong woman'.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pearls Before Swine

I know you think badly of me
For my ravishing, voluptuous, lascivious nights

I know it is not love, but
I think the fence is beautiful
I think vicious, vapid lust is beautiful

I admire its purity
I admire its integrity
I admire all that is bold and brazen in this world.

And when I float down the stairs
With kisses on my thighs
And knots in my hair

I feel beautiful

Believe me, my friend, I know what it is to be used
I know what it is to be betrayed and abused

Not by them
By you.

My lovers have loved me well
Only if for a night

But my friends
My honest, honourable, patient friends
The ones I would cross oceans for
Do not even walk over puddles for me

If my body be sacred, like
The cathedral on 8th Street
A thousand men may enter me
And I will still have my sanctity

But there are other things that break much more easily

Do not give what is holy to the dogs
Nor cast your pearls before swine
Lest they trample them under their feet
And turn and tear you in pieces.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cloud High

Will you live your life as a tree for me?

Never changing
Ever changing

What God has put on this earth
Let only an act of God
Or child of God

Tear asunder

And I

I will live my life as the hummingbird

Whimsical, beautiful, ethereal

A heartbeat away from death
A bullet away from the grave

But, my love
Aren't we all the same?

My love,
I do not leave you on the ground

Birds and trees alike

Cloud high

I do not have your strength
To bear the burden of

Snow fall
Snow melt

God never made me for the earth
He made me for the trees and the sky

He made me to fly

Up to His kingdom

Cloud high

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Keeper of Dreams

And when I have another dream
I think of you 
I want to tell you, tell you everything

Tell you what warm, distant future tomorrow might bring 

Do you remember?
We dreamed of a room together, far away 

In some ancient college of new knowledge 
A church to nourish our blasphemy 

Dreams are what you make of them, my friend 
I do not give up and I will not give in 
I do not fly like a wasp caught between roses

Our dream is now my dream
And I dream of it for me 

You were never my dream, my friend
This was. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I am sorry that you fell for
The red lipstick girl
Her tinkling laughter
And swirling silk clothes

But remember
When you were done with her
The lipstick was gone
And her dress was strewn across your floor

Why do I waste my breath talking, my dear?
When one word from a stranger
Can make you doubt a friend
When white words make yellow silence

I am tired, so tired, my friend
Of working so hard for so little
I watch in the shadows
As you, the golden boy
Receive my crown
On a golden platter

Forgive my magpie greed, my love
But I am not interested in baubles
Or your love affair with love

I take what I need to keep it together
Because you will not be here
Come hell and high water

And I must not fall apart.

Monday, July 14, 2014


i am not your marionette
the ties that bound us
were puppet strings
i don't dance for you now

we are unquiet ghosts
always lurking
stop, start, stare

we have crossed the wide sargasso sea
but a fallen woman, a gaoled woman
is not a quiet one

i am the blood of kings
and i will thrive
like the rose in the cracks
in the concrete

you banished me
and yet here i stand

there's a phantom ring on my finger
and phantom chains that bind
you are here but not here

and i know you see me
when i see you my blood turns to ice

you said you'd leave
leave, then

don't come back with green grey eyes.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Why Aren't You White.

Now Playing: Viva la Vida by Coldplay (revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate, just a puppet on a lonely string, oh, who would ever want to be king?)

So a couple of days ago we were in Kalbarri whale watching with a bunch of other tourists, and one of the ladies asked us, before she even said hello, where we were from.

Which is a reasonable enough question, because nobody actually lives in Kalbarri.

We told her we were from Perth, and she just glared at us like we were little kids being sassy. And then she said - slowly - 'no, before that'.

Ohhhhh. You don't actually care about the geographical location of our family home. You want to know why we're not white.

People are constantly asking me why I'm pretty critical of Australia - the culture, the society, the politics. People tell me I should have a bit more patriotism, a little more national pride. How? How the hell am I supposed to consider myself 'one of the Aussies' when other Aussies clearly disagree on that point?

I'm pretty proud of my Asian heritage; it's interesting being bicultural, but it's also really difficult. It's hard belonging and not-belonging to three totally separate cultures, and constantly being falsely aligned with one or the other. But it's a complicated story, and not one that is particularly useful or interesting for polite small talk between strangers who have never met and will never meet again. And I don't appreciate being interrogated for the crime of being Not White, considering that Australia is part of Asia and the indigenous population are decidedly Not White, too.

Mum then asked her where she's from - because, as I said, hardly anyone in Kalbarri actually comes from Kalbarri. And she just said 'Busselton'. End of discussion.

I almost said 'no, before that', like she did. I almost said it even though I knew it was a rude question. I almost said it because, you know, she didn't look particularly Aboriginal and therefore she must have 'come from' somewhere that is Not Australia. But considering she thought we were sassing her by not immediately diving into our story of Ancestors from Not Australia, she might have punched me if I had asked her what was partly an honest question - after all, I have lots of white friends who have fascinating stories about coming from places of Not Australia - but mostly I really wanted to show her how inappropriate it is to ask a total stranger what their genetic makeup is.

It's perfectly fine to ask your friends who are people of colour what their ethnic background is. Most people of colour are very proud of their heritage and are happy to discuss it in painfully excruciatingly pedantic detail. But when you don't know someone's name and when 'where are you from' is a more important question than 'how are you', that's racism. I don't have a story of being born in some Very Poor Asian Place (that has been Bombed Out by the White People, but let's just pretend that all Oriental misfortume was the Oriental's fault) and coming to This Beautiful Country. I was just an Aussie kid born in an Aussie hospital trying, and failing, to be Properly Aussie; because even if I beat all the white kids at English and be stubbornly monolingual like the rest of them, the main criteria for being Australian is not, apparently, being Australian; it's being white.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Speak Now #34: How to do Feminism.

Now Playing: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (city lights lay out before us and your arm felt nice wrapped around my shoulder and I had a feeling that I belonged, and I had a feeling I could be someone).

I feel like many feminists are forgetting who the real enemy is.

Feminism is a sisterhood, and if you have a sister like I do, you know that it's not always smooth sailing. You're different people with different ideas and different ways of doing things and you're never going to agree with each other 100%, 100% of the time. But beneath all the petty disagreements is a belief in some higher ideal.

Feminism is a big, messy, complicated sisterhood involving thousands of sisters around the world and across the centuries. There are going to be fights. There are going to be disputes and debates and disagreements; I'd argue, nerdy academic that I am, that this is healthy, to make sure that we are always keeping our arguments relevant and in perspective.

But we have to remember who the real enemy is.

Tearing down other feminists is not helpful. Proving that you are a better woman and a better feminist is not useful. Making other feminists too afraid to speak out and voice their opinions because they're terrified they'll unleash an onslaught of abuse and criticism is not solving anything. Cutting people down and tearing them apart for a tiny slip, a minute error, or a different sense of the ever-increasing terminology surrounding feminism/poc activism/queer rights movement is not facing the real problems facing women and feminists and people in general.

Of course, be critical of feminism and other feminists. Call out racism, slut shaming, queerphobia, and the like. It's your job as a feminist and you should take it seriously. But there is a difference between sensitively and civilly talking to a fellow feminist, a fellow human being, to discuss any problematic issues, and yelling insults at them on public forums. I'm not saying that feminists are required to be polite or are even required to entertain toxic attitudes, but I'm talking about fellow feminists; feminists who might be new and not quite steady in their beliefs, or sincerely believe in crushing the patriarchy but have, like the rest of us, subconsciously absorbed the ideals and attitudes of our society, or just didn't realize that something that might seem innocuous is actually offensive. This isn't saying that feminists shouldn't call out problematic issues; in fact, I don't think we do it enough. But we have to recognise that a different perspective or a little naive ignorance is not the same as being a fedorable neckbeard serial rapist woman-killer.

My Guide to Being a Feminist: 

- Recognize that you are not an authority over All Other Feminists, and your position is not automatically 'better' than anyone else's. Feminism is about demanding that women be imagined complexly; you can start by doing that yourself.

- The majority of feminists, particularly social media feminists, are very young, or started getting involved in the feminist community very young. Feminist or not, all teenagers say stupid things. It is also not reasonable to drudge up some out of context remark someone said when they were basically in diapers and hold it against them for the Rest of Eternity.

- We all have our biases and prejudices; we have all grown up in a sexist, heteronormative, queer-phobic patriarchy and we have all mindlessly absorbed some of those attitudes. Nobody is a perfect embodiment of feminism, and that includes you.

- The correct response to a problematic text or piece of popular culture (I'm talking Game of Thrones problematic, not like...Elliot Rogers' manifesto problematic) is to say 'the portrayal of women/poc/queer folk is interesting/progressive in x and y example but is problematic in this way and that way because reasons'. Not ERMAGERD KILL IT WITH FIRE.

- Be sensitive to the fact that many feminists have mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. No matter what they've said it is cruel and dehumanizing to deliberately trigger that by being excessively aggressive in your response to problematic discourse. You might think you're being smart and sassy, but you're just being an asshole.


Monday, June 23, 2014

the dehumanization of feminists

Now Playing: Women's Revolution by Blue King Brown ft. Queen Ifrica (in our resistance, freedom finds a place to dream)

I apologize for my absence from blogging; I've been juggling three jobs, two mental illnesses, a heart that sucks at being a heart, full-time study and all the ups and downs of being eighteen.

But really, mostly, I'm exhausted.

I've been pretty active on other forms of social media; facebook and tumblr, for the most part. And it's really, really exhausting, being a social media feminist. Or any feminist, really. Being a woman who generally sides with the interests of women is kind of hard in patriarchy.

The attacks on Facebook have been particularly vicious and incredibly demoralizing; I used to face this head on, full of enthusiasm, but now it just fills me with exhaustion and anxiety. Anything I say, or anything I do - even things that aren't especially 'feminist' - are endlessly criticized and pointlessly nit-picked simply because I'm out as a feminist. I enjoy Facebook and other social media platforms for feminism because, like many social justice movements, feminism has become a rather grassroots campaign; and the internet encourages such wonderful debate and diversity. I also like Facebook because it's accessible; we can have debates and experiment with different ideas and different forms of expression without the sometimes absurdly-pedantic restrictions of academic discourse. So you know it's not in the pursuit of knowledge that people demand a Chicago-style bibliography or flawless rhetoric every time you dare to suggest that women are, you know, human beings.

I know why this is, of course. The oppression of women and subordinate masculinities by hegemonic masculinity is required and produced by a culture of 'common sense'. Things that adhere to this thought are not questioned; it simply is, it is simply common sense, it is simply how the world works. Things that challenge this are simply not trusted; I know I am not trusted. Why would I be? I am a queer woman of colour, an out feminist, and I don't have a crown or a crucifix to give me any kind of authority. People like me rarely write a single letter of history; our stories are not known, and we fear the unknown.

People excuse what can only be called abuse and harassment because I am a 'feminist'; because feminists have become a breed of monster, an inhuman, unthinking, uncaring menace to society. They forget that I am human, I have human feelings, and I have made human mistakes; any errors I make are simply further evidence that I am simply monstrous. Being out as a feminist is not proclaiming that you are a perfect person or a perfect representation of feminism; it is something I am endlessly accused of failing to live up to, but I have never claimed to be. I fuck up. A lot. Everyone does. And when you hurl abuse at a 'feminist', know that you are hurting a fellow human being and there's only so much I can take. The endless assault on feminists is part of rape culture; by being out as a feminist, I am 'asking for it'; I am apparently a free-for-all for the kind of vitriol nobody should have to put up with.

For feminists, 'the personal is political'. We have no agenda, unless you are really cynical enough to call 'self preservation' an agenda. The queer community don't campaign relentlessly because they want some kind of Gay Domination; it's because real queer folk in the real fucking world are daily bashed, bullied, murdered and discriminated against. I'm a feminist because I've been assaulted, I've been harassed, and there are times - too many times - when I have been genuinely terrified of men. I'm a feminist because I feel compelled to write this; because the bullying has really become too much. Sometimes I just have to remind people that I am a survivor, that I am not making it up when people honk from their cars or assault me, and then they say 'oh, yeah, this isn't for you, I understand you, but it's for all the *other feminists*' WHAT OTHER FUCKING FEMINISTS?

We imagine, falsely, that everyone has an equal playing field; that if someone wins a fight, it's because they are indisputably 'right'. Since when has morality ever had a part in choosing a victor? If this is a war, you have a bigger army, and there was no strategy or brilliance involved in the Battle of Thermopylae. And if you have to resort to threats, ridiculous demands and abuse to 'beat' me, perhaps you really are scared of the little Asian kid who happens to be halfway through a Gender Studies degree.

People fail to imagine feminists complexly. They fail to see us as women, as people, as bodies, as sexual beings, as feminists, as humans, as lovers, as people with friends and families, as people with interests and talents and hobbies, as survivors of abuse and assault; we are all of that and much more, all at once. You can't divorce one facet of our multi-faceted beings; you can't imagine us as bodies without brains or voices without reason. People talk about intersectionality; it's time we applied it to individuals. You will somehow have to learn to imagine me complexly, because that's what feminism is about; and if that's too hard for you, then you are proving that we really do need feminism if women in our society are simply not worth the effort of being considered full human beings. When you tell a rape joke to a feminist to 'put her in perspective', you are probably hurting a rape survivor who has a lot more bloody perspective than you do. When you bully a feminist, you are also bullying someone who has been bullied their whole lives, long before they knew what feminism was.

My whole life people have been telling me that I'm arrogant, that I'm provocative, that I am making trouble where I have no business to, that I am flat-out wrong. It's really not news to me anymore. People are not really in the business of listening to me, or respecting me, or even considering me a full human being without shoving me into a box - 'woman', 'Asian', 'nerd', and now 'feminist'. People are in the business of silencing me, of making me apologize for the space I take up. But I will not apologize for anything. I will not apologize for fighting the good fight.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Little Infinities

I believe in fate, my friend
Because I met you

I still find it so strange that our little infinity
Was born from coincidence
How can accidents be so potent?

I am so used to love
At the tip of the sword
Fate has never been very kind to me
It was always easier to accept
Chaos, in its cruelty

Sometimes I pray, you know
Is it sad that all I can do is pray?
I pray that this barren world is fertile enough for this

Call it a house, a child, a tree
Call it love, call it me.

And I know these scars will bleed
But both of our hearts believe
That all of the stars will guide us home.

Inspired by The Fault in Our Stars 

Sunday, May 11, 2014


I had a dream about you last night.

I remember your sparkling chocolate eyes
The feel of you against me
I remember your muscles flexing around me as if you would never let me go
(But you did, evidently, you did)

I've yet to meet someone with your shoulders
I could never quite wrap my arms around them
But I tried, I tried, I tried
(I remember your heart beating through your shirt
Shaking me, violently
Your demons never played well with mine)

I remember the roughness of your schoolboy sweater
And the man beard on your boy chin
The scent of you, the soft curls of hair
(and I remember the stench of sweat
When you grabbed me without consent
And it clung to me all day, I swear they all knew
But I never said a word)

But I cannot remember your voice
Your sweet, laughing, dark honey voice
Your lips were Cupid's bow
And your words like arrows in me
(You talked of wanting to be inside me
I did not know you meant it quite so literally)

All your kind words
And sweet nothings
Are lost in the terror of your cruelty
That is what I remember
Such volatility
I cried out, and awoke
Tangled in sheets

How many times did I dream of waking
Tangled in sheets with you?

I had a dream about you last night
An angel with blood dripping from his mouth
The golden boy transformed into a monster

Violent delights have violent ends
Which in their triumph die, like fire and powder
(Which, as they kiss, consume.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

tabula rasa

I am always a little afraid
That you will be his ghost

Forgive me
You are your own person
And I should not compare anyone
To a monster

Much less you, my friend.

It's not that he is a part of you
He is a part of me
A festering wound
A gnarled, ugly scar

And I am afraid that with every embrace
Skin on skin
Breath on breath
A little poison will bleed from me to you
And then back to me, ever more potently

But as summer yields to winter
I yield, too
To reckless faith.

for Ben. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

perfect in the distance

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to see her
so i took

and i noticed the way her ankles rolled
in when she walked

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to meet her
so i took

and i noticed a smudge of lipstick
on her nose

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to greet her
so i took

and i noticed a little bald spot
on the back of her head

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to know her
so i took

and i noticed a little red spot
on her chin

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to befriend her
so i took

and i noticed a little roll of fat
spilling over her belt

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to like her
so i took

and i noticed that her eyes
were red and sore

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to kiss her
so i took

and i noticed her lips
trembled and bled

she was perfect in the distance
and i wanted to love her
so i took

and i noticed the scars between her breasts
and along her wrists

she was perfect in the distance
and now she looked at me
like she needed me, desperately

but i took

because she was perfect in the distance
and from a distance was the only way i loved her.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

pour mes hommes.

I have become a hoarder
Of pretty eyes and beautiful bodies
Of winks, and smiles, and laughter 
All for me, for me, for me

Words fly, and then sparks 
There is a kind of vicious thrill
To living so voluptuously 
To conversing so ferociously 
And it's all mine, all mine, all mine

For the first time in my life
You clutch coffee with me, with me, with me

I think of you in my sleep 
Warm arms and sweet words 
How many times I have been kissed
Loved, admired, adored
And not one of them hurt me
Not one, not one, not one. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

my pain is not beautiful.

My pain is not beautiful
It is terror and bloodcurdling rage
It is coldness and cruelty personified
It is a moan, low and desperate
It is a scream in the night

My pain is ugly, twisted scars
Tear stained pillows and shaking hands
It is deformed bodies and broken bones
Bruises and dried blood
It is words caught in my throat
Crippled nerves and bitter regret

My pain is laboured breath and restless longing
Demons in my head and hands around my neck
It is men with pretty eyes and hands that wander
And hearts that break, then break again

My pain is not beautiful.
I am.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Anna

And now she is dead, my love
Dead and gone
Sweet Jane, Saint Jane,
Milk and Honey Jane

Have you forgotten, my love?
I lived and died in torment
And now I am here,
In your cabinet of broken things
Mutilated by the violent terror of your affection

And now she is here, here with us, my love
Shall we forgive the Blessed Jane for you?
Will she come to us, your blood stained virgin
You burned a saint and a martyr for her
With the shrouds of dead wives
You made her wedding gown
Our blood is on her hands, too

She left you
As you left her for me
And me for her
But we are friends in death,
Katarina and I
As we were foes in life
Though she stands
Head and shoulders above me

I will not leave you here
I will take any form, drive you mad
And when you cry out, out damned spot
We will laugh and drive you madder still

Come join us, my love
In this broken hearted purgatory
We will lock you in your own cabinet of broken things
For you are the broken one now

Come, come my love
Vengeance is waiting for you

Thursday, February 06, 2014

"Take it from me; friends come and go, all throughout life. It's hard to accept that they go, but always remember that if they haven't stuck around, they're not worth sticking around for. You made new friends this year - and I hope, for my sake, they will be life long friends."

- R

I hoped for my sake we would be lifelong friends, too.

Never Grow Up: Another Letter to Seventeen Year Old Me

Now Playing: Sweeter Than Fiction by Taylor Swift (seen you lost in the crowd, seen your colours fade, wish I could make it better, someday you won't remember the pain you thought would last for ever and ever)

Dearest Seventeen,

It's late in the afternoon of the first day of my eighteenth year and I'm nursing a beautiful hangover, but I'm sober enough to tell you that you did okay.

I know you were hoping this year would get easier for you, but it doesn't. Uni is hard, and even though you don't need to catch up in terms of books and papers, you do need to catch up on just being the grown up that you aren't yet. There are fights. There are tears. There are bouts of melancholy that last for days on end. Every day is inebriated with crippling anxiety. But you still do okay.

I want to tell you that you're back in your element. You're back to being the eight year old who knew exactly where she's going; it hasn't changed much, but the detours between then and now have been insightful, if not exactly useful. And I know that doesn't seem like much, because you were bullied so much for being a dreamer, but it's what keeps you strong, and it's what keeps you going.

R leaves. It's not kind, and it's not out of mercy. It's ugly and cruel and you are the target and collateral damage all in one. You don't know whether this is a good or bad thing, or whether you wanted it or not, or whether you expected it or not, but either way your world falls apart. You were broken and he put you back together, and when he left he took the time to rip you to pieces again. There are anxiety attacks, every day. You can't look people in the eye, and you start to stutter again. Some days you can't make it out of bed. But the one thing that keeps you going is that in English class, you can't shut up even if you try. And even when your phone was buzzing with the final assault, you kept talking, and people kept listening. I don't blame you for being dependent on that boy, Seventeen. It doesn't make you weak or pathetic. You're strong. Because no matter what happens, you keep talking, and people keep listening. And no-one is ever going to take that away from you.

You join Guild politics, and it makes you feel alive. You talk to people. You make new friends. Slowly the panic attacks fade and the smile grows. And you learn that people can tell you that x and y is stupid, but you'll do it anyway, and you do so well. You make mistakes, and you get hurt, but that's just growing pain. Everything is reckless and exciting and everything has the sweet tang of freedom. You're growing up, and people are starting to take you seriously. You've always wanted to be a force to be reckoned with, and I think it's finally happening.

I know you're angry, and I know you're hurt. I know you just want to be happy, and in some ways you are happier than you've ever been. But even in the blissful glow of a very recent birthday, I know we've got a long way to go, but we'll make it, together. Without the bullies. Without the haters. Without R. We'll do it alone.

Dearest Seventeen, don't cry. Because on your eighteenth birthday, you do what every eighteen year old does; stumble around. But you've got friends to hold you up, and when you're not intoxicated, you hold your head high just fine by yourself. You'll be okay. Trust me on this one.

Just Eighteen.