"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.


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. 

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