You’re Woke And It’s A Huge Problem

Woke was a term that when I first heard it, I thought it was a novel way to describe oneself. By the second time I came across it, the word had already soured. I realized quickly that it would be a self congratulatory term and as liberals we do too much of that as it is. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge to any group but most certainly the liberal/left is to check your ego at the door. We like to think that our views (or perhaps our belonging to a disenfranchised group) put us above others, that we are somehow better than whatever out group we have established. The truth is, most of us are still jerks that live a very unexamined life. If that sentence pisses you off then you need to keep reading more than anyone else. 

We hide behind labels. If we are woke, feminist, liberal, and egalitarian then we can’t be sexist, racist or transphobic. We make those who are outwardly racist/sexist/queer phobic evil and so we must be by opposition, automatically good. 

If being critical of racism, sexism and heteronormativity makes you feel good about yourself then I assure you that you are doing it wrong. Why do you feel good about affording people a basic level of decency? It is because you have positioned yourself against your so-called villains that you seem so accomplished and enlightened. 

Casting ourselves as heroes shuts down our critical thought. This is why women and people of color (though by no means exempt from my criticism) lament the emotional labor they have to expend on their supposed allies and sometimes ask for spaces which exclude us. 

We are still sexist. We expect certain physical or personality traits from out partners (you must be this tall/short and masculine/feminine to ride). The idea of what male and female is has been deeply embedded in the ways we think and act. We think we choose our partners freely but that is no closer to being true than it was 50 years ago. Sure we can marry a wider breadth of people than we could then, but our stereotypes still remain as to how people must look and who they can be in relation to us.  

We have more diverse friends now but how many of those friends serve to make you feel good. I have a friend who talks about being the token black guy among his liberal friends and as much as I’d like to assure him that this isn’t true I know there is an element of truth to it. Likewise, as a queer man, who cross dresses occasionally, I watch liberal women’s faces light up when they tell me they would gladly go out on the town with me in drag. What a story that would be for them and it’s a great way to get your “woke card” stamped. 

Our privilege (ie: ignorance) surfaces when we ask someone to speak for all people of their identification or sexual persuasion. It happens when we occupy the spaces of feminists or people of color and feel resentful that our opinions aren’t weighted to the degree we are used to. It happens when we use others to atone for our “social justice sins” by hogging the spotlight for ourselves and our woes. We want to be good but not at the expense of others noticing how good we are. We languish in our selfish habits. 

Essentially, we rely on others to do the work that we should damn well be doing ourselves. No one is asking you to break down and ask forgiveness from the group (i.e. representation of the other). They are asking you to listen, then take responsibility and put your words where your mouth is. You have to do your own work. The information is out there if you look for it. I hate this term but I’m going to use it, “google it!” Alternatively, ask people what might benefit you to read or watch and then actually do it. 

For instance, I’ve been reading work by trans folks/people in an attempt to understand them as much as I can. It’s shocking how much I thought I was being an ally and yet I was still making so many assumptions that could hurt them and their cause. It’s hard to learn we are wrong but it’s absolutely necessary. Moreover, learning there may not be a correct way to view certain things, like gender, can be exciting and humbling all at once. It’s not always fun work but it’s work that needs done. 

While you’re taking in new information be so honest with yourself that you’d rather not. Then be honest even more because I guarantee you that no matter how much work you do there is still more to be done. Your job of self growth ends when you do. And for god (that I don’t believe in) sake, drop the fucking self-congratulatory labels.

Why She Is A Slut And You Shouldn’t Care

A very short but useful article straight from the source. If you want to help her cause, stop slut-shaming when you hear it. I’m fairly easy going but I’m quick to interject my alternative view that there is nothing wrong with being more open with your body and sexuality than others may be comfortable with.

http://www.femalista.com/im-a-slut-and-100-proud-of-it-so-stop-shaming-me-already/

Biphobia & Orlando: Am I gay enough to grieve

So this woman wrote a wonderful article exploring the competing feelings that she experienced as a bisexual after the Pulse night club massacre. It’s about a two minute read and well worth your time.

https://medium.com/@elledowd/biphobia-and-the-pulse-massacre-add1dd9b27be#.a2fz3vk6n

By contrast: for me this was the first time I felt gay enough. The knot I had in my stomach for the two days after told me that every fiber of my being belonged to the queer community.

Man Writes Letter to His Cock

As I get a little older I find a lot of wisdom in what this guy is saying. I’ve found that my cock is influenced not only by my biological state but my mind as well. In fact, guys tend to view their dick as a separate entity all together. If you don’t believe me ask yourself what names you, or someone else, has called your cock by over the years. There has to be a healthier way to regard this sensual part of the male anatomy.  Give this a read and tell me what you think.

http://www.jaysongaddis.com/a-letter-to-my-cck/

The Most Beautiful Photos You’ll See All Year

motherhood-photography-breastfeeding-godesses-ivette-ivens-6-728x400

I’m a photography lover so I see a lot of women featured in portraits. Most of that work seems to fall under the title of “Look I got a woman to pose naked for me” and not much else. Those types of photos are lifeless and use women as props more than anything else.

The photographs you’ll see at the link below on the other hand are some of the most beautiful I have ever viewed. These photos embody the emotions women feel about breast feeding. In a world of synthetics it’s hard to believe that something so natural, beautiful and all around kick ass can still exist.

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/02/24/racy-or-beauty-these-breast-feeding-moms-are-blowing-up-the-internet/

A Word On Marriage and Divorce

Marriage

I’ll just let this story speak for itself because no matter how much I wear a dress I can never fully appreciate what women have been taught about what a marriage proposal is supposed to mean. I did find the idea that a marriage is not an accomplishment thought provoking though.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-brooke/getting-married-is-not-an-accomplishment_b_9189828.html

 

Divorce

You should read this even if you’re happily involved with someone else. I wish I had this information earlier. This article basically talks about how divorce can be a positive thing and I totally agree. I love the idea of fighting for a marriage or a relationship, but not every battle ends as you would like.

For me my first marriage is most applicable to this article. I was chastised once by my first wife for considering divorce as one of all the possible outcomes for a relationship. She said I was preparing for divorce if I thought that. I developed a fear of bringing up ways that our relationship wasn’t functioning because of this.

To make a long story slightly less long, it’s pretty easy to see how a real or perceived inability to address relationship problems results in a non-functioning partnership, and so it was.

I went for maybe 4 or 5 years hoping that things would get better. They didn’t. One day I had an epiphany which let me see how bad things had become and I also realized that I couldn’t go on like this anymore. I was exhausted and done. Truly done. I had been trying so much by myself that I didn’t want to lift a finger for that relationship anymore. Perhaps that is horrible to say, but it was true. Once I was to that point of realization divorce was the only reasonable choice.

When I awoke the next morning after making my decision I felt so light and unencumbered. I knew divorce would turn my entire world upside down, and so it did, but it was also liberating (for both of us I imagine).

It’s for this reason that I can completely relate to what’s being said in the statements compiled in this article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whatever-you-do-dont-say-divorce-is-not-an-option_us_56b90119e4b01d80b24768f6?

Laughing and Learning With Guys We Fucked

I’m not sure what to say about these two women except that I think they’re awesome. Truthfully, they’re awesome regardless of what I think. If you want your sexuality delivered with a heavy dose of humor and anti-shaming then look no further. Need jokes about a groupon for getting a Brazilian wax? Check. Serious interviews tinged with humor? Check again.

Sometimes I feel like the humor can overshadow their message. However, I’m super prone to doing this as well. If my blog was a podcast I’d be right there with them so we’re kindred spirits in that regard.

This show isn’t for the uptight, but then neither is this blog so you’ll probably be in good company.

Here’s a good article with an interview:

http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/11/guys-we-fucked-podcast-corinne-fisher-krystyna-hutchinson-miley-cyrus-beyonce#testa

Here’s their broadcasts:

https://soundcloud.com/guyswefucked

Do You Love An Idea Or A Person?

http://elitedaily.com/dating/someone-loves-idea-you/1321834/

I can add another sign to tell if someone was in love with the idea of you or the actual you. If they use one of the reasons for their initial attraction as a reason to break up then it’s likely you were idealized to some extent.

I’m pretty sure this happened to me. I had a beautiful relationship, or I think it was, with a pretty dynamic individual for almost three years. Shortly before we started dating she told me that she had always wanted to date a bisexual man. I knew I was being fetishized to some extent and that her urge was built upon what she believed a bisexual guy would be like, but it is important to me that my partner accept my sexuality and on that front this seemed like solid ground.

Fast forward to the end and it was the primary reason given for our breakup. She accepted me being pansexual intellectually, but had a negative visceral reaction to me liking men. Identity issues are a big deal for me so for the person I cared the most about to reject me on a very fundamental level was deeply hurtful to say the least.

I struggled with this for awhile, until I read the article below and it started me thinking that maybe this is what had happened to us. The idea of dating a bisexual guy was a romanticized one. The actual experience was apparently drastically different for her and it was too much to handle.

I want to leave you with a slightly different approach to handling the reality of who a person is. For me learning the ways someone violates my expectations is one of the exciting things about getting to know them. In the television series Firefly there is a line that has always resonated with me, “It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another.” It’s about nuance and the juxtaposition of the ideal verses reality. It’s what I love about people and eventually it will be one of those things that someone loves about me.

So what about you? Has this ever happened to you and which side of the relationship were you on?

Biphobia and its Effect on Mental Health

I think this article makes some good points. One of the things that most resonated with me was when the author says, “I could not be myself until I could be all of myself at the same time.” This has been so very true in my experience. I didn’t start coming into my own until I started being out about one of my last secrets; that I was pansexual.

I’m a little lucky in that to some extent I’m kind of like her rebellious sister in that I didn’t really give a fuck what other people thought of me. Still, I can feel the pressures that she discusses in this article and I think this is an important discourse to have.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/01/bisexuals-mental-health/