By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 11:39PM | Sat, July 9th | 2011
Subject: Confused Thoughts In My Brain
Security: Public
Mood:confused confused
Tags:#gender issues: complex & fluid, #sexuality issues: gender, thinky thoughts

Romance & sex are separate. But if someone doesn't think of things like that, do they/would they be alarmed at the possibility of individuals they think of as children (too young) feeling romantic love? Because they think it must, has to, will always go towards, etc... sex? I find myself pondering the possibility that children can feel romantic love without it having a damn thing to do with sex. They can be in love, fall in love, it being more than a crush (where did the term crush even come from, what's the official definition, does it have one? For that matter what's the definition of 'puppy love'?)

I'm currently being startled by the thought that the children I have known, who seemed very much capable of falling in love (a situation thought of as cute and chase but not really respected depending on age, or if age was higher the affection/inclination raised all sorts of alarms and worry) - might just have been wee little asexuals.In which case... And here my thoughts scatter and only pick up again in what feels like a side tangent of; I wonder which of them grew up convinced something was wrong with them, or that they were gay but not gay enough (thus something was wrong with them) or worse.

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Willow
Date: 11:46PM | Tue, June 14th | 2011
Subject: The Bible Says
Security: Public
Mood:pondering pondering
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, #sexuality issues: general, thinky thoughts

Thou shall not sleep with a man, as with a woman.

I've always, always wondered at that bit, and at how lesbianism (the possibility of woman to woman sex) isn't mentioned at all and it has finally hit me; the misogyny of it all. To sleep with a man, as with a woman would be degrading and wrong. To treat a man as a woman, would be wrong. But that doesn't actually have to happen in order for there to be sex between men.

I wish I could find the key to see it differently. But the missing piece I've puzzled over for years, pondering the concept of respect and substitution, is misogyny. Call a man by terms usually said to a woman? Put a man in sexual positions, usually reserved for women? The modern (not so modern) leap from gay to gay sex to penetration to who becomes subservient/submissive - all about that 'but then someone is a woman'.

Which I guess is not at all news to a great many people who're queer, queer and spiritual and the rest of it. It' just that, I missed it. I completely missed how misogyny plays into it. I was caught up on it not being respectful to another man to be thinking of someone else while with him (just as it might not be respectful towards any sexual partner). And I missed it, completely missed the; power plays and inheritance issues, an the ability to protect oneself and one's family all tied into the presentation of masculinity and strength intertwined.....

And there it is, threaded into queer culture via the homophobia and misogyny and general assholishness we all have to live through; dehumanize and be disgusted by the one in positions/scenarios reflecting traditional dependence for life. Children's rights, women's rights, rights and freedoms and respect for the disabled - it's all tied in.

Not that I have a clue if there's a culture somewhere where what happens sexually between men is a manly thing between equals as long as who knows what requirements are satisfied.

And yet, I don't want to believe this as just a blanket generalized ahah; because I believe in the 'A husband should satisfy his wife, if not that's grounds for divorce'. There are shared facets of culture due to environment and geography between the religion and cultures of muslim/jewish, arab/persian/varied desert tribes & civilizations. Or was that bit, yet another way in which Jews were meant to be different than the societies surrounding them?

Then again, I'm never going to make sense of things following the paths as currently laid out - because I ponder stupid questions of; Well, theoretically it could have been Adam and 'Steve' (Or Lilith and Eve) until 'expulsion' and then the need to procreate. Why have breasts without children to suckle nourishment? Why assume in a religious depiction of the creation of mankind, within an age of innocence, that gender or genitalia would play any part? (I remember one case at least where the Greeks didn't).

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Willow
Date: 08:17PM | Wed, September 22nd | 2010
Subject: Hey Society!
Security: Public
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender

On the bus today, four women, myself included and one little girl, whose mother comments that yeah, all the toys in the area are hers, she plays with boy and girl toys and the mother is not fretting about it. One woman says 'Wish my mother was like that, I have a twin brother and she always made sure to get boy stuff for him and girl stuff for me, one year he got a monster truck and I got my little ponies. First chance I got, I ran that truck of his into the mud'

Said woman also says 'Then when we both got bikes, I wanted his, cause it had the crossbar. Popped a wheelie too, but slid and fell on it, hurt myself. There I was curled up on the ground with my parts hurting and my mother runs up and says 'That's why girls don't use boy toys''.

Second woman, shakes her head and goes 'I had to sneak and play with the boy toys. They were just cooler'

Me: "When my mother finally got me the bicycle I wanted, it was pink."

Communal groan.

Me: "With fairies on it."

Larger communal groan.

Second woman: "Why do they do that?!"

Woman with twin brother: "What color did you want?"

Me: "Purple." Sighing. "My mother had to set me straight. Cause I left that bike untouched for a week or more. I was so upset."

Four random women in a bus, and a little girl - total strangers - and we'd all had that moment.

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Willow
Date: 11:50AM | Fri, February 12th | 2010
Subject: Thoughts.
Security: Public
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, #sexuality issues: general, #sexuality issues: the erotic, thinky thoughts

Is it gender equality when women have locker-room talk about men; specifically male actors?

I realize I'm being triggered here and thus my perceptions are shaded by multiple things in my brain. But I'm not sure being triggered invalidates my questions. Are the squeeful delights at seeing nude or near nude shots of male actors or models based on models of male behavior? Or is lust, lust, with no particular gender traits and anything that could be coded male, is influenced by decades of males dominating the expression of lust?

But if that's the case; decades of males dominating the expression of lust; then wouldn't that mean men have been modeling lust for decades, so women could be unconsciously modeling men when they begin to forthrightly express their own?

So at what point does one step back and contemplate if western female assertive expression of desire doesn't have seeds in misogyny? That is, is objectification always objectification, or only when men do it? What else is there besides objectification? What is admiration? How is that expressed and does it have prior societally approved modes to be examined and considered first?

Is a new path of sexual autonomy being forged? Or is it being mirrored? And how do we ask these questions without seeming threatening to those who have experienced threat in expressing themselves at all?

At least in writing this out I've figured out part of why I've been triggered so much lately. Whether or not expression of desire is entangled in gender expression - it likely is to me. Because following this line of thinking, I recognize the feelings I have when triggered, and they're very much how I'd react to male objectification of women - male dominated, dominant, objectification of women with attendant feelings of helplessness, frustration, disgust and rage.

There likely is no one way to express one's desire, lust, sexuality as there's no one human being dominating the planet. But whether things are being mirrored or not, I am associating those expressions with negative and demeaning emotions. I associate expressions that... are depersonalized? Seem depersonalizing? What verb do I use? How do I know if it's expression of lust that activates thoughts and associations of objectification in my mind or if it's actual objectification?

How do those who've experienced objectification and found it negative, express their desire without falling into objectifying another individual? Are there models for this? Are they online? Cause that would be helpful.

*sigh*

At least I've figured out the why.

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Willow
Date: 01:29AM | Wed, September 30th | 2009
Subject: Ok, Fickle?
Security: Public
Mood:outraged outraged
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, #social justice issues, wtf!

You were wondering who to support and who not to support?

Do not support THESE assholes. These are people who've signed a petition to 'Free Roman Polanski'. They want to free a man who raped a 13 year old girl, plead guilty, and then ran away. His warrant is over 30 years old.

Hollywood apparently thinks his actions are ok or somehow deserving of a pass.

Thank you Hollywood for cementing the fact I shouldn't even try to pick and choose anymore and should just walk the fuck away forever.

ETA - with mentions of what he did, thus might be triggery. Also my anger at the whole 'Let The White Man Be Free' )

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Willow
Date: 08:14PM | Tue, September 1st | 2009
Subject: Shit That Upset Me And Keeps Me From Sleeping.
Security: Public
Mood:pissed off pissed off
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, #sexuality issues: gender, #social justice issues

Ogi_Ogas Quote:


Well, slash is kind of the female equivalent of the straight male interest in transsexuals. That is, the opposite of what culture would predict. So it probably reflects a more direct subcortical effect. Also, there's already data out there about romance novels we can use, which probably overlaps with relationships in fan fic, but we do have a few questions that aren't specific to slash. Maybe we'll have more in the next round.


And then comes a bevy of well meaning (I would guess) journalers who immediately jump to "WTF! Why did you overlook the obvious parallel of straight men liking lesbian themed porn!"

Meanwhile I'm still sitting with my head spinning at how one paragraph can insult so many people, while utilizing so many stereotypes at once. And before I can take a breath, seemingly cisgendered women are clamoring about 'Why did you bring in transexuals' - which, yes, is a valid question. But I'm still trying to catch my breath at the swift upper cut implication that any attraction to trans individuals is deviant and in need of scientific study.

But lo, the need to defend slash is more important than the insult just given to trans individuals, their lives, emotions, sensuality and sexuality. The need to point out misogyny is more important than transphobia. G'damn white feminist, narrow viewing happy slashers making me want to puke at the very sight of them.

Daily 2009 builds brick upon brick, a house of reason that describes why I should hate the whole damn human race and cleave to a few precious and gifted individuals.

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Willow
Date: 12:25PM | Fri, July 17th | 2009
Subject: ABC + Transgender Defamation
Security: Public
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, #social justice issues

I've finally figured out what I feel puzzled about at the mention of the channel that '10 Things I Hate About You' is on. That's because I stopped watching ABC back when they were promoting Laura Schlessinger's show but had cancelled Ellen. And when I stop using a product I tend to forget it exists. It's been what? Several, several years since Ellen?

And now this; transgender myths personified on a show, a transgender person made into a villain and apparently needing to be hit to be made to stop all so a cisgendered, heterosexual white woman can feel safe/protected.

Am I saying 'It's ABC, don't expect any better'? Well, yes. Disney or no Disney - It's ABC don't expect any better. However, that doesn't mean 'don't protest' and 'don't contact them to tell them how full of fail they are'.

If there are links to such a thing, drop me a line please? I'm currently awash in Heath Ledger links and reviews for the original movie. My search engine fu is failing. And also, I think I want to get off the net. It's only been about an hour and a half and already 'THE FAIL IS STRONG TODAY' and I want out.

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Willow
Date: 04:57PM | Thu, April 23rd | 2009
Subject: Biting Nibbles Against Contentment
Security: Public
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, #sexuality issues: gender, one of those days

Slept most of the day away. This is a good thing. I feel much less grumpy.

Less good:

1 - I signed up for Twistory, got confused thought it wasn't working and asked to be removed. Now I can't resign up and get it to update and there's no contact info besides the removeable address, AND their twitter doesn't seem to allow direct messeages. I tried leaving an @twistory. But so far no response yet.

2 - Haven't found anything else to back up my nearly 4000 tweets.

3 - My attempt to make oatmeal just now was with milk that had gone off and I hadn't noticed until I went to take it out of the microwave and found grossness. Canned milk does not taste nearly as good.

4- Someone responded to my post on DW about gender and talked about how they wouldn't want the term female taken away as gender identification precisely because it states reproductive organs and they don't feel comfortable peering at gender identity. I think using the biological terms male and female to represent gender had been wrong and that it lends itself to analysts putting sociological stereotypes on biological descriptors and then demanding that everyone conform (or be thought insane). Even though sociological stereotypes/archetypes have the potential to change as a society changes and evolves.

I'm... really more upset than I thought I would be at a response that's all about their comfort zones. I'm not sure if the right anlogy would be "I don't want to talk about race or deal with new definitions of racism because that would require me to inspect myself and I already don't like doing that. It's unfair to take my definition of racism away from me". But that's how it feels right now.

5 - Bookcases still intimidating. Will see how I feel later today in terms of sorting/unpacking accomplishments even if I don't get the bookcase up.

6 - Need to change my gender and queer tags. I'm no longer comfortable having gender or gender identity associated with sexuality. Those are two different things.

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Willow
Date: 12:19AM | Sun, August 31st | 2008
Subject: Another random thinky thought
Security: Public
Mood:irked irked
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, #sexuality issues: gender

Has it ever been proposed to the people who claim that the transgendered are only reinforcing gendered stereotypes that perhaps, just perhaps the reason it seems that way is because our society places so much emphases on said stereotypes? So that the young man looking to confirm and affirm himself as a young man has nowhere to look as to how to do that BUT stereotypes? And maybe as he grows more comfortable with himself his focus will be more on who he is as an individual who's growing and learning and less on how to continually stamp into the cosmos the awareness that he is male?

Has it ever been proposed that the young woman, looking to affirm and confirm herself as a young woman (or older woman for that matter) clutches to gender stereotypes because in a society so obsessed by them; to be female but not 'female enough' is a dangerous and often deadly situation?

But what does it matter to them, right? Those people who refuse to accept individuals as they present themselves / as they are - it's all just theory to them anyway. Right?

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Willow
Date: 10:27PM | Sat, May 24th | 2008
Subject: How Slash Changed My Feminism
Security: Public
Mood:thoughtful thoughtful
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, about me, question everything, thoughts on: life

Do note my feminism extends only as far as the title. I've been leaning heavily towards secular womanist since I got fed up with the femiblosphere. There's a holistic (as in the big picture) view of the world I've found in womanist writings. The secular bit is because I'd like a little less religion in my gender equality. But that's just me.

Rape apologists get called out, and then begin to defend their position aka The Ants Nest Of Feminism Gets Stirred And Everyone Trying To Be Queen - Attacks, Attacks, Attacks.

What does this have to do with slash?

Well, before I read slash, before I became part of the slashy fannish community; reading, writing, doing meta - I couldn't handle men. I couldn't deal with them. I didn't want to be around them. I was very upset I even found some of them attractive.

Most of the men in my life have been violent; violent, abusive, domineering sons of bitches. Uncles to sheriffs and then some. I did not trust gentle men. I did not trust the concept. I didn't even like gay men, though I could tolerate them more than other males, because to me at least they'd had experiences of being the powerless one at some point in their life, or being picked on.

And then there was slash and men became individuals, or at least male characters did. They weren't unfathomable. They had motives I could understand. They had impulses and urges that they controlled. They had screwed up parents and screwed up values and sometimes they realized they were screwed up, but they didn't know what to do to change.

It was a personal revelation.

Men were put in a context where I could understand them. Morever, these men were being written by women. I was experiencing women writing men as trusthworthy; and not prince on a horse fantasy men either. I was experiencing women making references to traits a character had that was like; their brother, their father, their male best friend.

It dawned on me that my one sided world was fear based and incredibly so. It dawned on me that there was a wide and vast array of personalities and identities in the world that were also male.

I read more.

I read about male characters trying to figure out what it meant to be male. The best thing about reading slash and slashy coming out stories was watching male character after male character do this questioning of self and this questioning of what they'd learned from society. And I realized that I'd never questioned what I'd learned from society about men.

And so I did.

And then I realized there were men floating in the orbit of my life who weren't hiding who they really were - as I'd always thought they were. Being in tears over a separation from their family wasn't an act. And I could relate it back to the stories I'd read. And then I began to build on that and poke at it and experiment with online friendships with men, and take the time to actually talk to the gay men in my life, or the male therapists walking around the clinic.

It totally broadened my perspective on FTM transgendered individuals. Because there was a very stand-offish kind of respect before,(everyone should get to be themselves) but it was absolutely dripping in "Why would they want to give up being female?" But I took the time to get to know those in my sphere; acquaintances and friends of my then current gf or members of her church. And I listened. And I learned.

Maybe fear and rage aren't what's causing this whole 'All Men Are Rapists & Brutes. Feminine Supreme Power Now!' attitude that I saw and disliked, among other things, within the groups self labeling as feminist.

But slash changed my life. Slash turned men into people. And people could be good or bad, decent or rogues, respectful or thoughtless, cruel and self centered. People can be manipulative or peaceful negotiators. People can find ways to channel their wants and needs safely, or they can pick bar fights and get off on other brutalization.

People can get trapped by societies' roles and scriptures and cultural expectations. People can get hurt trying to be themselves, individuals, in the face of that.

I already knew this of women. I expanded it to all people. My world changed.

It's a nicer world.

Best of all, I've gained allies and true, good, friends that I otherwise wouldn't have. I've gained people I trust. I've gained my brothers, who I can look at and respect and love without the backburning fear that they'll grow up to be something else, something OTHER.

There have been a lot of little steps taking me away from a feminism that to me has become all about grrl power! And less about equality for all human beings.

Slash changed my political objectives in life. It changed my philosophies.

That's pretty damn mind blowing for a little bit of fanfiction.

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Willow
Date: 08:04PM | Sun, April 13th | 2008
Subject: Ramblings: On Realization Of My Lack Of Womanism
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: general, #sexuality issues: gender, lb:tm, things i like

In order to distract myself, I'd like to write up a few thoughts I've had about LEGALLY BLONDE - THE MUSICAL. When I went up to Boston, [info]fickle showed me the MTV televised broadcast of the musical. I'm now curious to actually read the book; more curious than I was when I first saw the movie, because I've actually put the book on hold.

Here There Be Musical Spoilers... Of A Sort )

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Willow
Date: 05:33PM | Fri, October 19th | 2007
Subject: a series of comments on one of Bellatrys' latest
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: fandom, #sexuality issues: explotative, #sexuality issues: gender, reading: comics, things that suck, wtf!!

Comment One: Wherein I respond to Bellatrys journal entry in utter shock and full of wtf over Asian Representation In Comics (specifically DC).

___________

Also I'm reminding myself right here to go WTF over Sasha / Checkmate / Owen and torture. Because I only saw those scans in relation to Dick Grayson being a Dick. Seeing things even more strong together the prior wtf on the net over Sascha's depiction as weak - makes a lot more sense.

___________

Comment 2: So those outrageous Asian characters aren't ghosts of long dead racist/privileged creators. Oh no. This is new shit. This spins off from 52. The Great Ten especially, whose character designs were interesting doodles for Asian costuming.

I'm still going WTF over the 'Gives birth to a litter of 25 Chinese Super Soldiers'.

But go on and see how there's a Buddhist and a Tibetan all apparently working for the Atheist Chinese Government. And the Buddhist looks more East Indian than Asian. But that might be just me.

---

PS: Tom Foss discusses the possibility that treated well, and written in depth none of the above characters might remain stereotypes. And he's right. A Stereotype can be just a short hand introduction and then the meat of things is gotten to. And I would enjoy seeing how individual characters react against the expectations of a government into who they are and how they perform and what they do.

However, Tom Foss isn't writing them. And no one writer likely will continue to write them for their entire existence. And there's quite a lot of writers out there who simply aren't trust worthy with tasks like this. They can barely handle White Women in their work, far less a minority character who's initial foundation is rooted in a stereotype.

And let us not forget the artists for both interior and covers. Blank stares, lego-bricks make up of women, appealing to stereotypes and the lowest common denominator because it's been shown to work.

And what about the executives and what they want and their suggestions and input and how all that factors a story? Some of them haven't been proven trust worthy either.

Face it. If Neil Gaiman or Octavia Butler (bless her soul) had put out on a website that their next series would cover these particular modeled characters - I know I for one would be intrigued and curious as to where they would take them and how they would form them. And the seeming stereotype would seem like the precursor to a twist.

Comics aren't single novels, written by a single artist. They're not even novels written by ghostwriters or various other writers where things are based on a bible so that even if character quality and depth varied from writer to writer at there was the chance that something new could be added to the bible and/or despite what the covers looked like, such and such a writer would be known to do 3 books a year in that universe.

Comics are collaborative in an invasive way and are currently controlled by people with whom I and many others have no consistent vote of confidence. That to me is what helps make this all so much more outrageous and makes me so incredibly sad.

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016