textualdeviance: (Default)
The end is near--of the solar year, at least, if not the world. Seems like every year, I get completely out of whack between Thanksgiving and Solstice, but then I'm finally able to put the year away this day, and enjoy the rest of the calendar without worry that I've missed something. I probably have, but I stop caring, at least. So hooray for that.

Alas that this year's December chaos was far more intense than some, and it kind of came to a head the last few days. There's a lot going on--waiting for the adoption, getting my first book prepped to pub, holiday stuff, etc., but the biggest has been health issues. The plague I got just before T-day was huge--and it's still hanging on by its filthy fingernails, causing fairly massive exhaustion and lethargy, plus on-and-off fevers. And then there's also the knee issue, which still hasn't really resolved, and which is making standing, walking and even sitting difficult.

Thinking I'd be smart and at least get in for a physical/pelvic, I did so Tuesday ... and that's when things got weird. First, I noted to the doc that the ENT folks said my headaches aren't sinus-related, and suggested that I see a neurologist. My primary, however, doesn't think that's it. Instead, she thinks I have something called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Which is fancy words for saying there's too much fluid in my brain, and so when my BP is up--as it has been lately--there's extra pressure on my head, especially my optic nerves, causing the migraine-like symptoms I get. I go in soon to see an opthamologist to get screened for it, but I admit I'm seriously freaked out. One of the main treatments for this is a lumbar puncture to drain excess cerebro-spinal fluid. Hooray.

I also got the usual chiding about my HDL being too low and my BP edging into concern territory. And she needs me to see my endo soon, even though my A1C was basically fine. She also sent me in for a mammogram--my second, since I started last year. I'd thought the new protocol was every five years until 60, but apparently no. And, well. Good thing, because it found a lump.

(Way to bury the lede, Shawna. Sheesh.)

It's tiny--about the size of a pencil eraser--but it's big enough to feel, and doesn't have any surface disturbances to blow it off as a sebaceous cyst or something similar. Given that I have practically no risk factors (my family generally gets hypertension and diabetes, not cancer) and the thing is small, chances are it's no big deal. But I go in again the day after Christmas for a better scan + ultrasound to be absolutely sure. The location of it is also a bit concerning because it's close to my lymph nodes, so they want to confirm that it's not anything bad.

Like I say, chances are it's not. But if it is worrisome, I have absolutely no compunctions about them cutting that thing out or even hacking off the boob. I honestly couldn't care less whether I have boobs or not, so they can both go away if needed. Hell, I already straddle the line between butch and trans, so it's not like I'm going to have a problem with not feeling femme if I no longer have chesticles. And Susan G. Komen and her pink brigade can still kiss my ass, with how much money they waste on "awareness" when it could be going to research. Bleh.

At any rate ... I don't plan on dying soon, and I admit this has me scared enough that if it does turn out to be nothing, I may well get my lazy ass in gear and try to get the ol' bod a bit closer to not-fucked status. I already know there are some issues that won't ever go away, but I can probably at least get my HDL and BP in better nick, so there's that. Of course, if this turns out to be icky, the adoption is probably on permanent hold, but if it doesn't, we'll likely have a kid next year. And I'll want to make sure her non-bio mama is around long enough to see her get a few degrees and go live in space or build an underwater city or something. So there.
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textualdeviance: (Eowyn pen)
So, while I've been waiting for beta reader feedback on Harper (the novel I finished a few months back), I thought I'd get silly and do some fantasy casting for the eventual movie that will be made from it (because of course that'll happen, right? ;) )

Harper was the hardest to find, because he's half-Egyptian, but I think I totally found the right guy. Even better: I know he'd do the role, as he's the guy behind that Straight But Not Narrow thing Gethin did.

Avan Jogia


Tris needed to be someone who, though older than Harper by a few years, nevertheless seems bookish and frankly a little skittish. (He's older than he looks in some of these pics--see Treasure Island for an idea of what he currently looks like.)

Toby Regbo


And for his best bud Mo:

Amrita Acharia


Oliver I could see as Andrew or Gethin, though Gethin has more of the look I had in mind. And I want Eve Myles for the voice of Tanwen, and Alan Cumming for her mate Dilys. (Though they'd prolly be way too expensive.) Phil's essence is pretty much dead-on embodied by Ksenia Solo, but she's about 50 lbs too small, and it'd probably be seen as typecasting her as Kenzi again.

Not sure yet who I want for Lang--Judi Dench in an Amazonian package is a little hard to find! Donald Sumpter might be an interesting against-type cast for Hanover.

Of course, first I need to get this damned thing published. Which means getting it off to agents. Which means pestering my beta readers for feedback so I can do a final edit. ;)
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textualdeviance: (Connor:Reading)
I'm sure one of my SFF-savvy friends will know this:

Has there ever been a book/movie/etc. in which it's posited that ghosts are actually holographic projections of a flash-memory stored version of ourselves that gets uploaded somewhere when we die?

I'm thinking along the lines of our brain contents and basic physical image being stored in a cloud somewhere (a literal cloud, if one wants to use iconic heaven imagery) and then called up in virtual form when our meatspace hard drive crashes. And because the memory form in question is read/write, it can use that existing snapshot as a building block from which to create new actions and experiences, even if our meat machines aren't there to give us proper sensory input.

I know similar ideas have been used in terms of uploading exisitng people to new bodies (Old Man's War, I believe, does this, and then there's always the Cylon rebirth business) but I wasn't sure if it's been used to explain the metaphysical.
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textualdeviance: (Default)
Am already failing in my promise to myself to not read comments, because the ones on this article about strange men approaching women? Made me want to scream. So, SO angry at the sense of entitlement from the guys there. (Side note: Was also grousing about entitlement in fandom over on Tumblr today.) Amazing how so many of them seemed to think they have some sort of inherent right to attempt social contact with everyone they see. Just. No. Merely being in meatspace is not a 10-foot-high neon sign that says "HAI, PLEAZE MAKE FRIENZ WITH ME" and no-one--not a single person--is obligated to be overtly social with others just to go about their daily business.

I think what bugged me the most from those guys was the insistence that if they weren't allowed to approach strangers, they'd never get a date. Which just ... OK, unclear on the concept doesn't even begin to cover it. It's kind of telling that these guys are clearly so socially stunted that they can't seem to find a date via other activities, and have to resort to desperately chatting up complete strangers. If you can't even hook up with someone you meet at church or a bowling league or a book club? You have far deeper problems than chicks on the street telling you to fuck off.

Now, of course there are many folks who are interested in hooking up with strangers for mostly-physical encounters. But virtually all of them go to places/do things that are conducive to that sort of activity. The vast, VAST majority of women, and even most men, who are just going about their business in meatspace aren't actually interested in hooking up with people they know nothing about, and--this is key--who know nothing about them. And this goes for friendships, too.

If a total stranger approaches me in meatspace, I assume they're either going to harrass me or try to scam me or sell me something. Why wouldn't I assume they're just friendly and want to get to know me better? Because they know jack shit about me based solely on what they can see of my physical self. I dunno about y'all, but I'd prefer to socialize with people who know at least a little more about me than the shape of my body, the color of my hair and what I happen to be wearing on a given day.

Contrary to the argument put forth by the jackass commenters over there, NO, this does not preclude socialization at all. Hardly. Every single friend I have I met through a common interest or activity of some sort. Fandom. Chorus. Gaming. Politics. Classes. Friend-of-a-friend. Hell, I met M on a BBS. I'm perfectly happy to chitchat with "strangers" in those situations because we already have a non-physical basis of interaction. If someone approaches me online, chances are they've read something I've written, participated in a discussion with me, know we share an interest in something. Likewise, if a fellow chorister or even someone at Pride or something talks to me, there's already something more there for us than just two bodies. THAT is what starts meaningful social relationships. Not someone babbling away at some poor, half-awake person in line at Starbucks.

I, like virtually every other woman on the planet, have been objectified my whole life. I have been told that my body is the most important thing about me--often the only thing about me that matters. I've been told that my relative attractiveness is cause alone to either adore me or hate me. And y'know what? I'm really not interested in giving any of my valuable time and energy to people who think that way. My body is part of me, not the sum total. And if you're someone whom I'd actually like, you're going to be someone who understands that, and who would therefore want to get to know me better than a chance meatspace encounter could possibly allow for.

Yes, of course I'm flattered when people are physically attracted to me--it's rare enough these days--but I'm really not interested in hooking up with someone who becomes interested in me only because of how I look. Physical attraction should be part of the whole package, not the entirety of it. If I just want to get off, there's a guy upstairs who's usually happy to help out, and a couple of electronic devices if he's not. I don't need that from some nameless person on the street who just wants to stuff their face in my tits.

Now, it could well be that not everyone who would approach me in generic meatspace is a shallow idiot, and I might miss out on a potential friend. But y'know? If it means I'll avoid being harrassed by the other 90% of the people who'd approach me thus, that's a risk I'm willing to take. I'm a very social person, and I'm always open to making new friends, and even open to the possibility of more than that. But only if they're going to be genuinely interested in me. And a person who thinks physical presence alone is enough of a commonality to approach me? Ain't that.

ETA: I think I can boil this whole thing down to this: No-one is entitled to other people. You don't get to demand attention, love or sex from anyone who isn't willing to give it voluntarily. And only when one is in a specifically social space should one assume that other people there will be open to social advances from strangers. You're at a singles/cruising bar? Sure, you can ask if you can buy someone a drink. You're at the grocery store? Not so much. You are entitled to pleasure in your life, sure. What you're not entitled to do is to take that pleasure from anyone you choose, regardless of whether they've made it clear they're up for that.
Nov. 11th, 2011 01:31 pm

Blowing in

textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Got a little spoiled with how gorgeous it was the last week or so. The cold, gray, rainy stuff is kind of sad. Not entirely, though. It's adding to my nesting jones. Feel as if I must Bake All The Things! and make the house pretty. Also looking at holiday plans. We currently have no T-day plans and are open to options.

Also, consider this a call for card addresses (comments are screened.)

Spent yesterday tidying up the back yard, putting patio furniture away, etc. Am feeling it, today. Some of that stuff is way heavy. Ow. Glad I did so, though, considering today's storm. The birds seem to be happy as well. We've had a never-ending swarm of sparrows and starlings gorging themselves at our feeders the last several days. Also still have some finches, juncos and a few flickers hanging out, plus the usual black-cap and chestnut-backed chickadees.

Have gotten into birding so much these days that I now want to go to Oz/NZ expressly for that purpose, considering the freakyass birds they have there. Sigh... :)

Khaleesi is still terribly shy with the other cats, and Otter's still being a shit to her, dangit. She's also been meowing her head off, apparently looking for her lost kittens. Not entirely sure what to do about that, though we may intro a new little one and see if that helps.

First adoption meeting this week went well, but I'm not sure we'll be going with that agency, as most of their placements are foster-to-adopt, or otherwise come with a lot of baggage. Drama is inevitable no matter what we do, but I'd rather not have that kind. So we're reconsidering the open agency, and have a seminar with them at the end of the month. We'll see.

Up to ~18k words on my NaNo project. Hope to cross 20k today, and 25k this weekend. Plot pushing is happening a lot faster than I'd thought. Suspect some of the last bits of it will be going back to fill in gaps.

Managed to get a screenshot of the 11/11/11 11:11:11 thing. Feel proud of myself for it. Because I'm dorky that way. :)
textualdeviance: (Default)
In my head in the last few days is a whole bunch o' stuff about mean girls' terrorist tactics and people in oppressed classes idolizing members of such who have gained power via violence and other things (including things that further oppression) and people who feel entitled to abuse the weak and taxes being the dues we pay to live in a civilized world and goddammit libertarians are selfish, ignorant asshats who refuse to acknowledge the help they've had in life and ...

Butcha know? The sun is shining, I'm feeling pretty healthy today and I have other things I wanna do. The world can wait for my bellyaching.
textualdeviance: (trapped)
So, another year's Geek Mardi Gras* is basically done. Holing back up in the hotel room for the rest of the day and then flying back home tomorrow afternoon.

Even though there were good moments, this year's fest felt markedly different to me on a lot of levels, and I'm actually in kind of a crappy mood. Part of it's physical. The heat/humidity are killing me, and I picked up some sort of digestive bug yesterday (bleh,) but there's also a mental component to it, too.

Like most folks, I dislike crowded, noisy spaces, and big cons like this are quite awful on that count. But I'm also finding that I dislike meatspace and dealing with strangers in general. Even strangers with whom I theoretically have a lot in common, like I would here (or in queer spaces.)

I still enjoy going out sometimes, but only if there's a central purpose for it. Travel, for instance, I do because I want to see new places, and I do occasionally enjoy seeing a first-run movie in a theater, or doing a bit of retail therapy. But for the most part, if I don't have to go out and deal with masses of people I don't know, I'd rather not.

And I most certainly don't want to do so for the purposes of socialization.

I love people. I do. Really. So much so that I prefer actually getting to know them. )

If I had to rely only on meeting people in physical space, I'd never have any friends, and I wouldn't be married, either (M and I met on a BBS, after all.) So why on earth would I want to waste a bunch of time trying to pick out that one person in a crowd of hundreds who might actually like the real me when I can do that kind of filtering in a much shorter amount of time, and from the comfort of my own computer?

This is not to say that I want to conduct friendships or relationships entirely online. I'd much rather have M within poking distance than stuck in his office across town, and anyone who knows me knows I'm a major cuddle slut with the people I love. It's just that when it comes to the initial butt-sniffing dance, I'd much rather do it in a way that lets me instantly sort for affinity, allows for actual conversation, and allows me to get to know a person instead of just a physical body.

Life's too damned short to waste any of it sifting through haystacks to find a few needles. So sue me if I'd rather bust out the metal detector and make that process a hell of a lot quicker and less painful.

*DragonCon. As opposed to SDCC, which is Nerd Prom.
textualdeviance: (Bridal Illusions)
So, I wanted to write a followup about this post I did over here, but M just came home, and I'd rather go hang with him instead.

So, in place of my usual metacultural babble, just imagine that I've said something profound about how pop culture not only encourages asexuality or immature sexuality in girls and young women, but grossly underprepares them to deal with the hardcore sexuality it conversely instills in young men.

Or, in other words: There are legions of 16-year-old girls out there who really don't get that that 25-year-old idol they crush out on probably has three dozen favorite porn sites and is into stuff they've never even heard of.

(And, even sadder: When they do figure this out, said girls have a tendency to go way overboard in trying to adapt to this, and end up doing stuff they really don't want to do just to make these guys happy. Bleh. :( )
textualdeviance: (Connor/Becker secrets)
I think the reason I get so twitterpated when I see men showing each other affection is because it's so, so much more likely to be sincere than any other sort of PDA (in Western culture, at least.)

Women are affectionate all the time, but the affection shown often well outweighs the actual emotion behind it. We often do these things by rote or cultural expectation more than because we feel truly compelled to do it, so any given hug isn't guaranteed to be something genuine.

And straight guys, of course, will show affection to women expressly for the purpose of getting them in bed, so there's no guarantee that's genuine, either.

But it's different when a man's hugging/kissing another man in public. The cultural stigma against this is so great that it takes quite a lot of feeling behind it to get a man to push past whatever the world might think of him to be demonstrative with a man he loves.

The one caveat is that this isn't necessarily true in gay spaces. With the stigma removed there, hugs and air kisses between men can be just as insincere as the same between women. (That said, gay men also know they don't have to fake affection to get laid, so that part, at least, is somewhat less likely.)

But in general public spaces? Yeah. Probably means something. I'm talking here, of course of PDA outside of celebrating touchdowns, acknowledging major life events and "man smacks." Full-body hugs, kisses, cuddles, handholding, etc.--those always mean something if they happen in view of random other people. It's not always sexually charged, of course--though it often is--but regardless, there's real emotion behind a pair of men joyfully embracing each other when they're nowhere near a sports field or funeral.

And because so many people these days seem afraid of showing emotion and bonding with others, seeing something that real and genuine is incredibly touching to me. It's a sign that maybe not everyone in the world has lost that need. It's hopeful, in other words.

So... Yeah. Bring on the huggy boys, please. :)
textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Weird contrast when we got off the plane in MN: Suddenly, a heck of a lot more fellow fat folks around.

I loved the trip, of course, but had had quite a few instances in which I felt uncomfortable because I was the largest person in the room. Got more than a few rude stares, etc., unrelated to the tourist thing (we mostly dressed like locals, and this often happened before we spoke) which kinda dampened my mood a time or two.

This happens to me a fair amount in general, of course. The Northwest has its share of chubby folks, but we also have a lot of tree-climbing health nuts who are of the opinion that my ass is going to single-handedly (double-cheekedly?) destroy the planet. So I do get the occasional bit of flak here at home. But it's a trade-off, because every other weirdness I have is generally accepted well enough. We have a high enough geek population that open-mindedness WRT the queer, atheist, gender-non-compliant thing is pretty common, so long as you're West of the mountains.

I did get to thinking in MN, though, about how much more accepted my body might be if I lived somewhere that it weren't so unusual. If I'm 1 in 100, instead of 1 in 1000, I'm not going to stand out as much. Flak would still happen--it always does--but I wouldn't always feel like the sole target of it. For a moment, the lure of being able to walk around in public without always worrying if someone's going to harass me was pretty strong.

The problem, however, is that most of the areas with a higher population of fat folks also have a higher population of anti-queer religious folks. And they're quite often the same people. I won't speculate on why that is (though I have ideas) but the fact remains that while most of the folks I'd run into in, say, Texas might accept my surface existence, once they got past that, it'd be a whole 'nother story.

I do sometimes wish there were a magical land in which I could be a fat, queer, atheist, gender-non-compliant, progressive geek (etc.) without having to constantly worry about whether a given stranger was going to have a problem with one or more of those things. It wouldn't even have to be everyone--as long as I felt like at least half the population had my back for all of those things, I'd feel better As it is now, though, there's no guaranteed place or group of people where I know I'll be safe, so I feel like I have to keep my guard up at all times. And that's a pretty sucky way to live.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Had quite a surprise earlier with a post talking about someone who apparently lacks the ability to visually imagine things. I'd never heard of such a thing before, and had in fact always assumed that everyone had the ability to "make movies" inside their heads like I do (waking or sleeping.) But I guess that's not the case.

This sort of matches up with a convo D and I had the other day about different learning and communication styles, and how I greatly prefer learning or having important conversations via text. Partly this is an ADD thing. When I'm interacting with someone in person or even just on the phone, there are a lot of other stimuli around dividing my attention, and I end up getting only about every third word. Lectures are always useless for me. But hand me a book or throw in a Powerpoint, and I'll have it memorized well enough to ace a test on it weeks later (I can actually still recall textbook pages I read in 5th grade. How's that for weird?)

I also have good taste and touch memory, too. I could describe for you exactly how my mother's potato salad tastes, or the precise feeling of the quilt I used to sleep under when I was 6.

What makes this even more odd is that I do have incredibly detailed audio memory but in only one circumstance: When there's music involved. I pick up new songs almost instantly, and can recite music-heavy movie or TV scenes almost verbatim after only a viewing or two. I can still sing about half of a song I only heard once in a concert 18 years ago. I think the reason this works when lectures or regular conversations don't is because the music keeps my attention from wavering. (It's the same reason why I get a lot of boring stuff at work done when I have Pandora playing.) I guess something about the part of my brain that processes rhythm and melody has to be active in order for me to retain the rest of what I'm hearing.

Anyway, I think all this is why I'm so comfortable writing and interacting online. My imagination is so vivid and detailed that I don't feel like I'm losing out if I don't have a visual reference. Other people who may not have such a detailed mind's eye, so to speak, may need to have all the extra stuff that comes with in-person communication or information transfer. I've known for a while that people have different learning styles and different methods to commit things to memory, but I guess I'd always assumed that visualization was part of that for everyone. Knowing that it's not--and that there are probably degrees of it, in any case--really changes how I think about interacting with other people.

I don't know how much better my mental movie ability is than most other people--maybe it's my superpower?--but it does explain why I often have disconnect with folks who might not "see" things the way I do.
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textualdeviance: (UK Coming Soon)
First off: *points to icon*

It's officially official. We've both been cleared by our bosses! Now just nailing down exact dates. At the moment, the most likely is May 20-June 10. Or thereabouts. We'll definitely be hitting the London Expo (already have tickets) and also doing a Duran Duran concert that weekend at the O2 (also already have tickets.) Haven't seen them live since 1984. Figured since I'm (almost) 40-going-on-13 these days, may as well go all in for it. (Heck, I may even go haunt the red carpet zone at the BAFTA TV thingy going on then, too, if my lad's stuff gets any noms.)

The specific itinerary for the trip still being worked out, apart from that weekend. Thusfar, I know for sure we want to hit Brighton, Bath (and yes, Stonehenge), Cardiff, Dublin and Leeds. Plus a bunch of touristy crap in London. Depending on timing/routes, we'll prolly also hit Glasgow and Belfast (or at least thereabouts; I want to see Giant's Causeway.) We'll likely also make some stops based on birding/caching/gardens stuff, and I hope to find a way to hook up with at least some of my fandom peeps (if not at the Expo, then some other way.)

I've decided to bite the bullet and rent a car while we're there. Not while we're in London--gods, no--but for the rest of the tour, I think it'll ultimately be easier than figuring out trains, etc. (especially with my somewhat-limited mobility.) Slightly terrified of getting used to things being on the "wrong" side, but if I start out in a smaller town (Leeds or Brighton) and make sure I have an automatic, I should be OK after a day or so's practice. Just hope I don't smash things up while I'm learning!

I can't believe we're actually doing this, though. First--and probably only--time for something this big. I've never done a three-week vacation before, never crossed the Atlantic, never been on a plane for more than 6 hours, and the only foreign country I've spent more than an afternoon in is Canada. So. Yeah. Big deal for me. *wibble*

More updates )
Sep. 11th, 2010 10:43 pm

Moving on

textualdeviance: (skwirls)
We're often told to just "get over" something; to forgive, forget, move on, whatever.

In many cases, this is good advice. Absolutely, past traumas may indeed have lasting effects on us--may change forever how we go through life. That's reality, and people who don't understand that and tell us to "get over" something when what they really mean is that they don't want to have to give a shit about someone else's pain deserve a smack. But there is a point at which living within long-past trauma becomes its own trauma. As in the case of the 9/11 porn, for instance, we need to understand that this happened, it's over and we need to go on with the business of living nine years in the future.

But...

What if the trauma isn't really over? It's one thing to advise someone to work past something that is ancient history, so to speak, but quite another to demand that they do so when that trauma is ongoing.

A classic example is a serial cheater or abuser who demands that their partner just get over the past bad acts and forgive. Such demands may even come with the insinuation that if one doesn't issue that forgiveness, then they're the ones with the problem.

Um. No. When someone's behavioral pattern is such that they keep repeating a bad act, each individual act can't just be separated out and treated as a single incident that should be gotten over. When there is an ongoing, reasonable fear that more pain may be coming, you can't just get over the last time it happened.

Additionally, even bad things that happen to someone else can continue the pain. Being a victim of some sort of completely random, unusual trauma doesn't carry as much power to cause lasting damage as being a victim of a type of trauma that continues to happen to other people. Sexual assault, for example, is one of those kinds of traumas that can never really go away for many folks because it keeps happening, every day, to others. It's not just the fear of being a victim of the same trauma again, but the knowledge that you can't do anything to stop that trauma from happening, period. That haunted demeanor you may see in people who have experienced something like this is often less about their own experiences and more about the ongoing referred pain from the similar experiences of others.

People who have never had these kinds of experiences, or who have dealt with them by burying their feelings in general and pretending they're not bothered don't get it. They don't get that these are real, reasonable reactions to trauma that isn't actually over. And the kicker is that these people don't understand that, in demanding that people move on from something that's still happening, they're only making things worse, and making the healing process that much more difficult.

So, the next time you're tempted to tell someone to just move on from something traumatic, step back a moment and think carefully about whether that trauma really is over. And if it's not, then do what you can to make it stop before demanding that someone cater to your discomfort with their continuing pain.
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Sep. 11th, 2010 12:35 am

Ugh.

textualdeviance: (Default)
I think I need to face the fact that I've become lactose intolerant.

Given my adoration for all things cheese and ice cream, plus considering cereal an appropriate meal for any time of day, I'm completely screwed.

I may try those little pills, I spose.


Also, am slightly disappointed that I got wrapped up in writing tonight and somehow missed M going to bed. Was all ready to go cuddle and chat for a bit a couple of hours ago, and he was already passed out. :(

At least I'm proud of what I wrote, though. Did a very difficult scene--pushed past my comfort zone.


Hanging out a bit with K tomorrow (which means ~4 hours in the car) but also want to write and work on vids, and dig into the Supernatural season 5 discs we're getting from Netflix. Too much to do in my one remaining weekend before I have to start being responsible again.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Finalizing my schedule (at least in rough form) for this shindig.

If anyone out there is going and wants to hook up, lemme know.
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textualdeviance: (skwirls)
It's getting toward the end of the day, and I'm tired, so it must be time for some slightly weird thinking out loud...

I wonder if it's true that people tend to gravitate toward others they consider sexually attractive, even if they don't actually want to have sex with all or even any of the people in question. I'm sure there's some level of that here and there simply because of cultural conditioning that tells us that "attractive" people are better people in general. But I also wonder if there's something about even friendship-level attractions that has a sort of... chemistry component that's based at least a little in "hm. hot person."

I'm really not the right person to answer a question like that, being as how I've been blessed (cursed, really) with the whole thing about finding just about everyone attractive on some level if their personality is interesting to me. I spose monosexuals might be able to answer it better, perhaps: Do you find yourself more interested in people you consider attractive (however you define that), even if they're not the gender you get the hots for?
textualdeviance: (More You Know)
Looking out a second-floor window earlier today (I spy on the birdfeeder that way sometimes), I noticed some strange body language from the parking lot of the park across the street.

I couldn't hear what was being said, but it looked like a young couple was having some sort of mild argument/disagreement. Not unusual in itself, but for what was happening physically: He kept trying to hold her/kiss her, and she kept backing away, shrugging him off, etc. It wasn't necessarily abusive/violent in itself, but it did unsettle me--enough so that I watched carefully until they got in their car and left, to make sure that nothing worse happened. (The park was otherwise empty, so there would've been no other witnesses had something bad gone down.)

Only slightly related, I also saw today that some of my favorite actors have been participating in a "Real Men Don't Rape" campaign. Which is awesome, of course. But in combination with the earlier event, it made me realize something: Many--maybe even most--people who rape don't realize that that's what they're doing, because they've been conditioned to expect resistance as part of a "normal" mating dance.

It took me years to learn this, of course, but now that I have, it seems so very simple to me, and I wish this was the message we could get out:

Consent obtained via wheedling, bribing or threatening is not actually consent. If you have to try to convince someone to have sex with you--regardless of the method you use--you're not getting real consent, and you need to stop.

Granted that a jury isn't likely to convict you of rape just because you were an asshole who convinced your girlfriend that she'd be breaking your heart if she didn't do the deed, but still: If the other person involved isn't equally excited to be there, then that's definitely something less than full consent. You don't want to just not hear "No"--you want to hear "Yes! Yes! Yes!" And without the slightest hesitation.

Granted that some awful people actually get off on violating consent, so that's what they go for, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of people who do this don't realize that that's what they're doing, and it's because they don't understand that the only true consent for physical intimacy is when everyone involved is 100% happy for it to be happening.

I don't know whether that guy today had or would have ever done more than what he did, but I'm guessing he at least saw absolutely nothing wrong with what he was doing. The woman he was with wasn't specifically saying no to his attempts at physical intimacy, nor was she seriously resisting. She just wasn't welcoming those attempts--she wasn't returning his affection in any way. She kept increasing the distance between them, crossing her arms over her chest, etc. And I doubt he even saw that, because he'd been conditioned to believe that that sort of avoidance was normal.

Short meta postscript: Entitlement )
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
(On a small feminist jag at the moment...)

I've been told before that I'm anti-feminist (and perhaps even sexist) because I reject commodified, caricatured ideals of femininity.*

Just realized that I've also gotten a very similar accusation from folks who think I'm anti-sex because I rect similar caricatures of sexuality.

It's kind of scary, IMHO, that these two artificial constructs are so pervasive that they've become assumed to be essential: That people have become so tied into these definitions of what it means to be a woman or to have enjoyable sex that they figure anything that doesn't conform to those constructs obviously can't be authentic.

It's sort of... Oh... The cultural equivalent of arguing that if you prefer what comes out of the tap to a bottle of Vitamin Water, you're anti-water. Just because that bottle has the word "water" on the label doesn't mean it's the end-all, be-all definition of water. And in fact, it's mostly anything but.**

*Nevermind that I also reject caricatures of masculinity.
**Yeah, the metaphor breaks down there, because it would also have to include serious social penalties for choosing to drink something other than Vitamin Water...
Aug. 7th, 2010 11:45 pm

GIP

textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
Because I'm sure this will get a lot of use. ;)
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Jul. 30th, 2010 01:40 am

Random

textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Sorta on the heels of that last post:

I wonder if there's a word for the feeling you get when you have a sudden surge of hope after a long despair, but then have it immediately tempered by a dose of reality.

For instance, if you've been working for ages without a vacation, and you finally get a hint that you might get to take some time off, so you get really excited for a minute... Until you realize that you can't actually afford to travel anywhere.

I think that feeling is one of the worst in the world. I'd rather be in a constant state of low-grade depression than to get happy about something only to watch it blow up.
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