the whole world is going to be composed of beautiful sustainable societies of people living in peace. We already have the technology, knowledge and power to create that world now - it’s inevitable that we’ll apply it to our lives soon.
Here’s what you need to realise about anti-racism: It’s not about you. It’s not about your feelings as a white person. What you just said is that you’ll entertain the idea of listening to POC talk about ways they’ve been fucked over by whiteness, white privilege, and white people as long as they don’t hurt your feelings.
To put it another way: you’re saying that not having your feelings hurt is more important to you than actually trying to understand PoC’s experiences of enduring racism—which is, itself, perpetuating racism. No, maybe you didn’t partake in whatever act of racism we’re talking about in this very moment, but if you’re white, then you are benefiting from the systemic racism that allowed it to happen, whether you like it or not.
Yes, listening to the ways that your privilege fucks over other people is uncomfortable. Yes, it can be embarrassing & lead to feelings of guilt, but it is not up to People of Color to censor ourselves to spare your delicate fee-fees. If you truly want to be considered anti-racist, you need to deal with those feelings with other white people & not add to the burden of PoC’s experiences of racism by saying that you won’t take us seriously unless we’re ‘nice’ about the emotional & psychological violence that we endure simply by being PoC in a racist society.
So literally, all I want you to do is understand that being anti-oppression (of any kind) is about understanding how the oppressed group is affected & then countering those systems, activities, mindsets, etc. It’s not about you being comfortable, because if you’re doing it right, it’s not going to be comfortable.
Pads have been made out of the same fluff for years. Today, there’s Always Infinity. The most amazing pad ever. Made of an innovative material.called Invisicel not used before in other pads. With a unique foam-like core that molds to fit your body so you hardly know it’s there. Plus, it keeps it shape better and absorbs up to 60% more. Always Infinity - created by women for you.
has inspired this rewrite:
Pads have been made out of the simple stuff for years. Today, there’s Luna Pads - the most amazing pad ever. Made of a familiar material called cotton historically used before in other pads. With a unique hand-sewn core that tucks into the liner so air can flow through there. Plus, it treats the Earth better and absorbs up to 600%* more. Luna Pads - created by women for you. (*this statistic has been imaginatively fabricated.)
I’ve read that some used to perform handfastings "for a year and a day" at which point, the couple would publicly announce their decision to renew or refuse to continue their vows. Seems Mexico City is proposing a renewal of this rite.
I’m in it for the long haul with my fiance, and I hope that turns out to be "until death do us part" but I accept that love in the past and present are not a guarantee of love in the future. I don’t know if we’ll actually use the phrase "as long as we both shall love" in our wedding ceremony, but it’s certainly implied by the notion that we choose to be togetheras compatibly as possible every. Single. Day.
In sum, there is a sprawling apparatus of federal and local militarized police forces and private corporate security designed to send this message: if you participate in protests or other forms of dissent outside of harmless approved channels, you’re going to be harmed in numerous ways. As Yves Smith put it this week:
I’m beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US. No one who is a wage slave (which is the overwhelming majority of the population) can afford to have an arrest record, even a misdemeanor, in this age of short job tenures and rising use of background checks.
This is all designed to deter any meaningful challenges to the government and corporate institutions which are suffocating them, to bully those who consider such challenges into accepting its futility. And it works.
»ORAL EXPRESSIONS RECOMMENDED FOR MODERATORS AND SPEAKERS
We use Positive Speech avoiding negative statements which close the door to constructive debate. It is a less aggressive and more conciliatory type of communication. It is useful to open a debate with the points that unite before dealing with the points that separate.
1) ‘Don’t touch that dog or it will bite you’ could be phrased as ‘Be careful with that dog because it could bite you and neither of us would like that.’
2) ‘If we don’t reach a consensus here all efforts will go to waste’ could be phrased as ‘It’s important we reach a consensus in this point or we could end up losing strength as a group and nobody wants that to happen.’
We use Inclusive Speech which makes no gender distinctions. It is clear that force of habit can be hard to break, but it is convenient that between all of us we mutually remind ourselves to remember this.
I feel most fully human and least boxed into ill-fitting categories when referred to by gender-neutral pronouns. How ‘bout you, friend? What’s your androgynous pronoun preference?
Throughout our polyships and nonmonogamous lives, we’ve all learned lots about how to make this lovestyle work and how to trip over failures along the trail to success.
What are some of the nuggets of knowledge you’ve gleaned from experience? What kind of sage advise have you given and/or received?
Some of my latest learnings could be phrased thusly:
The tortoise most often wins against the hare in love’s race. In other words, relating to others at the pace of the most reluctant partner most often tends to bring all parties across the finish line together. Don’t drag the slow pokes behind you or push the speedy ahead - do walk together at a rate where all can keep up without breaking much of a sweat.
Be all talk before, during and after any action. Meaning, talk about your fears, fantasies, expectations, acceptable boundaries, agreements, curiosities, triggers and titillants. Talk about these things before you do anything. Talk about them while you’re doing things. And talk about them after you’ve done things. Talk the talk first before, and during, then after you walk the walk.
A final tidbit of info for ALL lovestyles, including monogamy:
If you wouldn’t do it in front of your partner, don’t do it behind their back. Simple as that. There really isn’t any further explanation needed, is there?
Sometimes you meet people that in some odd way give you hope.
He is homeless. He owns a car, a bike and a didgeridoo. He has dreadlocks and is wearing some kind of poncho. It looks old, worn out. I have seen him walking around in the city a couple of times before. Every time I see him he is…
I’m taking a wild guess at your email address here, so I hope this message finds you, and finds you well. Being that you’re the General Manager of SEPTA, I’d like to introduce myself as a life-long customer who’s been taking buses, the El, the subway, and the occasional Regional Rail line, to and from school and work within my hometown of Philadelphia for at least the past 30 years. While I have thankfully not had the displeasure of witnessing the type of situations I’m about to discuss with you, I have felt quite uncomfortable each time I buy my monthly transpass. While my gender identity is fairly obvious, I accept that is not the case for every one of your customers, and I often think of what hardships those people experience while using your service.
I understand that SEPTA uses gender designation stickers in order to prevent the sharing of transpasses, as that may detrimentally affect your company’s revenue. Though I honestly doubt this been a proven reality as compared to before 1981 when the stickers first started being used. Despite the lack of research in that regard, in my experience these stickers do not actually prevent the sharing of transpasses at all. The stickers merely limit the sharing to those of the same gender, and only in those few cases when those sharing a pass are traveling separately and keeping separate schedules.
The only actual prevention these stickers permit is the prevention of transgendered people from being afforded a safe environment in which to travel. Forcing SEPTA drivers to “gender police” riders is an inappropriate work practice and creates a potentially dangerous situation for all riders. Humiliating a person in public based on a driver’s inability to correctly determine someone’s gender at a glance while trying to do his job safely creates a hostile environment for all on board the vehicle.
Simply put, this is an act of bullying, toward a group that is already severely marginalized and dealing with a high risk of shame and violence directed toward them. When SEPTA continues to uphold such a discriminatory and dangerous policy, it proves the decision makers clearly lack the empathy and emotional intelligence to recognize that there are more than two genders of people who use your service.
There are only two obvious courses of action to remedy this situation. Either remove the gender stickers for everyone, or follow Australia’s lead (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14926598) by including a third sticker for transgendered people. If the latter decision is adopted, I’d suggest the use of T – alluding to a gender-neutral title of Traveler, or X – referring to the one chromosome we all share).
Please note that I am not transgendered, though I am committed to speaking against civil rights abuses whenever I witness them. I’d appreciate your response to this letter, if you would be kind enough to take the time.
Thank you for reading,
Pollyanna (I used my full given name, actually)
Thank you for sharing your opinion and I agree with you. I also saw the article regarding Australia and we are considering it. Regardless, I plan on addressing this matter soon and have asked my staff for alternatives.
Soon sounds great, do you have a date? Would this be a meeting that’s open to the public?
I’m so glad to hear you agree! I suspect such a change would actually boost your sale of transpasses to the LGBTQ community in particular as well as likely increase ridership and customer satisfaction in general.
It’s too early to tell. Depending on what SEPTA staff proposes,public hearings may be required. The new fare system would eliminate the need for the stickers but implementation could be three years out. I would like to make some revenue modifications prior to implementing the new system . Any changes will be publicized.
My closing for the moment:
Thanks for the information!
I’ll keep my eyes and ears open regarding more immediate changes in this important matter, and I’m looking forward to the new fare system being implemented in a few years.
I’ve got a couple of my own moments which could be featured on this so-sad-it’s-silly blog.
Here’s an example:
He said: Hey sexy I got some1 we can have fun with blue eyes with blonde hair I have pic
I said: Your profile is so cliche I believe this is a threesome spambot. Human beings understand that there is a process to getting to know people.
Not all bots and obliviants (oblivious deviants) are presenting as male, btw. Here’s another:
She said: hi there, check out my profile and let me know if you are interested in trying a 3sum with me and my bf. thanks
I said: Propositioning someone for a threesome with a profile that mentions nothing else makes you reek of obliviousness or bot-hood. I’m not interested in either.
Listen, if you will, to some advice from a unicorn who’s also caught a couple unicorns herself. If you’re looking for us, stop. When we’re looking for you, we’ll call. We’re magical and we can find you, but you rarely ever get to find us.
The strong father-daughter relationship depicted in this play made me cry the whole way home (yes, I have daddy issues). The use of technology was clever but a little more reading time and a slightly larger font would have been appreciated. The ability of the two actors to become every character was not distracting as I expected, but very well done.
9/2 @ 8pm - Afrikaner (FREE)
This mother and musician from South Africa gave a free performance at World Cafe Live that featured a few covers and many original songs, as well as a free gift for everyone in the audience (cleverly hidden with an ice cube).
9/3 @ 1pm - Hear Again Radio Project ($12)
I really love this show - seen it at least two years in a row (maybe even all three). The nostalgia of these shows (despite have been missed due to my youth) managed to raise a lump in my throat. Had a great conversation with Susan (stranger seated next to me) and we both proudly supported Plays and Players Theater.
9/3 @ 6pm - Let Me Tell You About a Dream I Had (FREE)
The parade of unusual bikes from Broad and Pine reminded me to wish some friends a Happy Burn Day in my head, and the gathering at Clark Park thereafter kept the theme of strangeness going. The bicycle-powered ferris wheel (which has been on a boat!) was quite entertaining, and the musicians rocked.
9/3 @ 8:30pm - Five Minute Follies ($10)
I forgot to buy my ticket before hand and this was sold out. Maybe I’ll make another showing in the future.
9/4 @ 7:30pm - The XX Chromosome Genome Project ($22)
This choreopoem is inclusive, inspiring and empowering - last show tomorrow 9/5 @ 7:30. Chapbooks sold for only $5 during the intermission.
9/7 @ 7pm - Lord of the Flies (FREE)
I missed this show, thanks to Hurricane Irene. :(
9/9 @ 8pm - This Is How It Goes ($15)
Despite two main actors having to drop out, the writer/star of this play brought in two professionals who managed to act despite having to read their lines from paper. An intimate, interesting, powerful, provocative and compelling work of art.
9/10 @ 10am-10pm - Gender Reel Festival ($15)
I have two words for ya: Buck Angel. And if you don’t know bupkiss about Buck, then I have three more words for you: trans porn star. Before the brief Buck Angel finale, I enjoyed twelve hours of feature-length and short films, panel discussions, Q&As, art exhibits, and workshops. I may have to volunteer next year!
9/11 @ 8pm - Song of the Sacred Whore ($15)
Sensual, emotional, poetic and passionate - Embrace the whore you are!
9/13 @ 8pm - James Bradford is … Thick ($15)
Sandra Bernhardt would be proud of you James. Good show! And it was great to talk to Joe in the audience (he organized Gender Reel)…
9/14 @ 7pm - One Peace at a Time (FREE)
This was not at all what I’d thought it would be, and I’m glad it was what it was.
9/15 @ 10:30pm - The Witch in the Wood (FREE)
Great to see something like this in a more mainstream kind of setting, with a more mainstream kind of audience. Couldn’t touch my friends at ArcheDream for HumanKind, though… :D Check out www.adhk.org for more information
The storm Air swirls dust in a white out, The art’s burning bright ‘til the Fire’s out, You have only Water you brought in, And Earth has become someplace foreign, Your Spirit is truly transcending For this is the magic Man Burning
I love my prose, even when morose. Have just written a really powerful and powerfully dark journal entry about the dearth of healthy father figures throughout the first half of my life, I’m eventually going to turn it into a poem (see below written on September 8th). I’ve only ever written one poem about my biological dad in particular, and another about all those men who attempted (and failed) to achieve a role of fatherhood with me as a child.
How do others deal with their “daddy issues” as adults? I’m thinking of throwing a funeral - to posthumously honor my childhood. But in the meantime, I sent my dad a birthday card for the first time in my life.
Here’s the poem I wrote a week after this post:
Deal With Dad
Dear Dad, I could not find a greeting card Containing words befit our unique bond Though neither of us means to disregard It’s true that we so seldom correspond
Our history is fraught with pain and fear Your sickness and my sadness harm us both We all have made mistakes, that much is clear So I ask you if we can make an oath:
To heal our future in the present now To speak about our past, but not to dwell To face our fears, acknowledge them, endow Our hearts with empathy, which will expel
The scars and open wounds we need to heal. Let’s work together – do we have a deal?
Jealousy is a great opportunity to learn what exactly one is afraid of, how to communicate that fear to one’s partner, and how to work together to conquer the fear. The jealous partner could spend some time alone - in meditation, with a journal, some soothing (or raging if preferable) music - to examine the particular fears which define this feeling. Write them down, as a list, in sentence form, or otherwise just name them consciously in your head. Then, do some more hard work: speak them aloud to your partner. ”I am afraid that [this] will happen" or "I think you’ll do [this] and I’ll feel [that].” When addressing the fears raised, determine together if each fear is indeed rational or irrational. This is why naming your fears by speaking them aloud is so helpful. It enables you to separate yourself from them momentarily and get two outside perspectives (your own and your partner’s). Once the rationality is determined, one of two outcomes results. Either one of you works to change your own perspective over time with assurances from your partner that the fear is irrational; or one of you works to change your own behavior as quickly as possible with assistance from your partner because the fear is rational.
Jealousy is just a type of fear. When avoided, or left unresolved (as is sometimes the case with monogamy) such a conflicted feeling will often grow. But when faced and resolved (as can be the case with all lovestyles), especially as a team, such an emotion doesn’t need to be thought about or reacted to in fear, and it can instead be communicated about and responded to with love.
This is a process, however, not a one-and-done type of thing. You’re not going to resolve all conflicts and reassure all jealous feelings in one shot, with one tough little chat. This is an ongoing conversation, that will get easier to initiate and endure, that will change topics, and that will become second nature over time.
I’m referring to a most talented, creative, compassionate, and all-around-awesome human being by the name of Ashley Smith. She’s not just any incredible photojournalist… she’s also agreed to be my wedding photographer.
I suppose it helps that my wedding’s gonna be one of her most interesting gigs. There will be an outdoor handfasting with rainbow-hued ceremonial threads, poetic words of wisdom (and physical gifts!) from the elements of air, fire, water, earth and spirit - in addition to our family and friends; not to mention a fire-spinning officiant, LED-hooping bride, and piano-playing groom.
Here’s another slice of virtual life from Facebook … shared with permission by those who are named (initials for those who did not respond to my request for their blessings)
Ashley The problem is not that there is nothing to do. It is the effort of sorting through the infinite possibilities to find something truly worth doing that can lead us to be overwhelmed and confused. At these points we must not retreat again into idleness, but seek and actualize our potential.
D amen sister, damn!
A Omg exactly. Sometimes it results in me doing nothing.
Ashley That’s what I’m getting at! And it’s something I’d like to help prevent, for myself and for other people.
Just know that you are a beautiful human being, with infinite potential, and the way you spend your days has an unfathomable impact on… the world. Even if you’re only concerned with your own personal world, there are so many possibilities for personal growth… and they’re all a hell of a lot more fun than doing nothing. I can attest to that.
Pollyanna In short: when you can’t decide what to do, do something, rather than nothing.
Ashley Yes, exactly ^
Troy well said. What does it mean to seek and actualize potential? perhaps… At these points we must not retreat into idleness, but venture into the uncertainty of choosing, despite the lack of assurance that we’ve made the best choice.
Ashley Now, one could argue that idleness is, in fact a choice. And sure, it is, but mostly when I become idle I just get frustrated and antsy. I don’t do anything of benefit for myself or others, and I wouldn’t call that the best choice in any situation.
Pollyanna Good point, Troy. Instead of looking at is as too many choices to decide which ones you do, just pick which ONE you’ll do FIRST.
Pollyanna There are a few occasions when I choose to be physically idle, physically, but also simultaneously employ some mental exercises, emotional flexibility, and/or spiritual agility.
Troy I do believe that idleness is very important, rejuvenating and worthy for its own sake. But only when done guilt-free. It’s the “deer in headlights” idleness that its best to avoid. That’s what creates the big hole in the bucket that the value of guilt-free idleness slips out of.
Dear Reader, what do YOU think of idleness? How do you idle, and how do you run?
This link had a paragraph that defined exactly why I do want to talk about race. An excerpt of that paragraph reads:
"There needs to be discussion among people who think of themselves as white. They need to unpack that language, that history, that social position and see what it really offers them, and what it takes away from them.
So I posted the link on my Facebook page and a brief conversation ensued between me and another “white” woman. It’s not much, but it’s a start…
Her: I wonder if we will ever see racism end; I really think all races need to make an effort; if everyone wants to be treated equally, they have to be a part of society; I think sometimes, some folks see our society as “white” so they purposely… try to destroy things, and use the excuse that they aren’t a part of society; we all make up society, and should not be judged on the color of our skin, or gender, or religion, etc. Everyone needs to work together for this goal , so we have to move past the complaining and know there are people that believe in treating others fairly, and yes, some of them are white!!
Me: I wonder the same. I don’t know what you’re referring to re: those who “purposely try to destroy things” but I am certainly trying to do my part to destroy the current perspective that any person is more worthy of peace and happine…ss than another based on biology, psychology, spirituality, nationality, intellect, politics, etc. I’m gonna keep complaining until I’ve got nothing to complain about - that’ll likely be when the rest of the world treats everyone as fairly as you and I do.
Her: Sorry; I was referring to people going around destroying property, including where they live; just not giving a crap! Although, I feel that this could be more related to drugs and crime. I’m just saying that we all have to make an effort to end racism; it can’t be up to just one race!!
Me: Agreed - we definitely need to work together. However, I think as members of the “preferred” race, that puts the onus on us to work on ourselves first (as you and I obviously do) in order to show others how we do that so they can start doing it for themselves. So the goal would be for us to work independently, together.
This week I enjoyed an especially salacious “one-handed read” featuring a sort of MMF threesome in the Aug/Sept 2011 issue of Bust magazine (pick up a copy and check it out) and then tonight I read this online:
Having identified as mostly gay myself once, I was quite intrigued with the article’s reference to men being mostly straight. My sexuality has fluctuated all over the Kinsey Scale through the years (hence my coining the term flexuality).
I’ve been single and asexual, monogamous and straight, polyamorous and bisexual, partially open and mostly gay, I’ve even briefly been a very bad lesbian (who knew that’d be when I’d happen to meet and love a a number of male friends?).
Not everyone’s flexuality is so flexible - and that’s the beauty of such human complexity. Some people may only ever happily transition from asexual children to monogamous heterosexual adults. And that single transition is just as valid and acceptable as a plethora of transitions by another person. We are dynamic living beings, not static impersonal things.
Human beings, not human’s been. Keep being you, cause nobody’s better at that than you!
…A good friend doesn’t consider your friendship with him(r) belittled because you have other friends, does (s)he? No; (s)he recognizes that you connect with all your friends on different levels for different reasons and find outlet for the expression of different levels of your personality. Why should the same not go for lovers?
Jealousy needlessly turns love—one of the freest emotions in existence—into a zero–sum game. We can overcome this, and return love to its natural win–win–win–win state.