Monday, 28 February 2011

On Total BS

The total BS that goes on in everyday life as part of our culture in Britain is really getting to me. I was thinking this morning as I got dressed (a great thinking window for me) just how much is stacked against me. Not just me, but every woman who lives in our culture faces a choice: buy into the game of pornification, of female 'laddishness', be a part of it (thinking: 'alright, I see the game here, I'll play the men at it, I'll dress as they want, behave as they want, and get what I want ie to be wanted and desired by them. Then I'll be powerful'). As if to be a female fuck doll was somehow empowering. How do I know? I used to think this! Or think, I want something a bit different. Being treated as a sex object isn't empowering, being able to attract hundreds of men who want to fuck you isn't actually a measure of power. I want to play on my terms. I want to be attractive and have fun, but not attractive by conventional measures. I want to feel at ease with my body, rather than beat myself up for not being stick thin with fake breasts, as out norms demand. I want to treat men as my equal, rather than playing games with them in which I despise and scorn them and they degrade and scorn me. I want something more than skin deep, and more intimate than fucking.

Opting for the latter choice, as I do these days having witnessed the destructive damage caused by a sex industry pushed game playing based on lies and misinformation, I feel very very outnumbered. The other view is everywhere! Women are chosen as actresses on mainstream shows because of what they look like. They pose in scantily clad 'lad's mags', looking exactly the same as every other woman there - no room for mold breaking or individuality here! - and speak of feeling liberated. Sitting in our living rooms, we feel the opposite. Almost every film has female nudity in it, not parallelled by the males, and we've lowered the ratings. Almost every garage, every newspaper shop has shelves of 'lads mags' (so called 'softcore' porn, as if porn could be 'soft' or harmless) , every music video features gyrating semi nude women, pornography is now sold in Anne Summers which purports to be female friendly...
I could go on ad infinitum. There's no escaping it, as a woman, you have to fight to be seen in any other way than as entertainment. And as a man you have to fight against the all too common view that if you treat women as equals, as human beings not sex objects, you are somehow not 'a man'.

Let's cut the BS, take a risk and speak out and say that treating each other as the enemy, to be manipulated, conquered and discarded is neither healthy nor somehow inevitable. Men and women we can stand together and refuse to have our sexuality dictated to us by an industry that couldn't care less about sexual liberation or the people it uses, but is purely and simply a vast money making enterprise, the most profitable industry in existence.

Get active. Fight the bullshit.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Art of Grieving... Learning to Be

I've just lost my remaining parent, a difficult time. Though to the untrained eye I appear to be functioning pretty much as usual, I don't feel right. It's hard to say how I feel. So easy to say 'all over the place' but that doesn't really mean much. I feel, by turn, disconnected, lonely, angry, fearful. Ah, the fear! Always my default setting. I feel like my confidence, my security, has drained away through the sole of my shoes and I am scared, so scared, of life. The fear as ever shows itself through anger, an unreasonable temper and a clingness which throws those nearest and dearest to me into the middle of a tug of war: don't leave me - fuck off! Aware, as I am, of my moods, I feel I should isolate myself, crawl under a stone, and leave the others be. Of course I don't do this, because my addiction, my alcoholism, craves that.

I know what to do to stay clean and sober but beyond that, I feel lost. I don't know how to be. How should one be in grief? I know there are no 'shoulds' but I wish someone had told that to my casual acquaintances. They act nervous and embarrassed around the subject of the death, quite without need: my temper only manifests amongst intimates.

My body vibrates and then exhausts with feelings unrecognised, thoughts unheard. I feel a vast movement of things of which I feel I am at best partially aware. Old hurts return, the prostitution, the violence, the abuse. I'm on the defensive again. Past, present and the future run into one another. I take it one day at a time, but which day is it? My sleep and dreams are over-full - too much to process! The night holds no peace.

Still, I have much to be grateful for. I don't drink and use, I don't have to prostitute myself anymore, and I am not beaten and raped and in fear of my life as I was. Looked at like that, anything else is a bonus.