Tuesday, 2 September 2014

On Being Manic Pixie Dream Grrl'd

You are not the first to say I changed your life, to imagine that I exist solely to challenge those around me. As if I don't have my own life to live. Imagine how it must be constantly living that challenge, to know that your push and pull can eventually drive those you love away. They tire of your mental health, they tire of looking after you, they tire of the challenge and want for something quieter.

I self manage in an effort to stay off medication (I'm largely treatment resistant anyway) so that the shorter life I will live will be as meaningful and wonderful to me as possible. This self management means constantly being selfish, constantly having to put myself first so that I can live rather than survive. My very disinterest these days in a normal life (let's face it, anyone who knows me since childhood knows that was never really me) is exactly what drives people to manic pixie dream grrl me.

But that very trope is dehumanising at its core. It makes you into a character in a movie and nothing else. It strips you of being anything deeper than fun, quirky and colourful. But I am more than those things, I am strong & assertive. I am many character traits that were they in a man they would be lauded rather than shamed. I will not be made to apologise for who I am, you do not know what it took for me to get here.

I do not exist as a footnote in men's lives so they can reach their goals at the expense of my humanity.

Monday, 1 September 2014

On determining your worth from your sexual partners

It's 2014 and we're still running the tired old game of women who are promiscuous as sluts and men as studs. What we're really saying is men gain worth when they have sex and non men loose their worth. In no uncertain terms, what society is saying, is that if you have sex outside of marriage or a relationship you are not respecting yourself. That by us exercising our enjoyment in something we're not conditioned to be allowed to enjoy we give them a part of ourselves each time.

This idea paints everyone in a terrible light does it not? There are men that have done awful things to me and though they may have taken something, they did not take my worth. There are also other men & people where we've done nothing but enjoy ourselves, so why is society telling us that that interaction was a give and take of personal worth? Why do we continue to paint men as some kind of sexual beasts and anyone else as victims of their sexual prowess? What of the men who have little interest in no strings attached sex, are they less of a man? What of people who are not men who's sex drive is incredibly high? Will we really buy into some of the ideas of radical feminists that women and non men can't possibly enjoy sex, that it's a lie told to us by the patriarchy? I believe telling anyone, not just women, what they can & cannot do or feel is the ultimate form of kyriarchy.

Whatever your personal attitude to sex is, remember this, how many or few people you have sex with does not determine your personal worth. This idea also only holds up in heteronormative discourse, what on earth happens when two women have sex with each other? Do they both loose worth? Both gain?

Let's stop this flawed logic. Let's stop shaming people for how much or how little sex they want to have & with how many or few people they want to have it with.