the Miscellaneous Feminist

Reformed misogynist and recently realised queer – or "miscellaneous" gendered, as she prefers – Fury is all about personal voice, atonement, empathy and explanation

Month: October, 2013

I don’t want to be a girl anymore

Let me be clear. How I feel is in no relation to how anyone else might feel. I’m no bastion of the queer movement and though my experiences may be shared, they’re not universal.

I don’t want to be a girl anymore. I guess when I say I don’t want to be a girl, I mean I don’t want to be gendered a girl by others. I don’t want the constant barrage of things that come with that. I don’t want to transition, I’m only really mildly dysphoric with my body but I don’t want this body.

I want to come back and be born as a boy.

I’ve never been at peace with the socialising of girls and have often been ostracised for it. I’ve always joked that I thought more like a boy but I’ve stopped joking about it. I’m still coming to terms with who I am under all of this gender indoctrination. I don’t think I’m a boy. I don’t sit neatly within the gender binary.

Today I walked down a street in a foul mood, heart broken. It was sunny and beautiful – everything I wasn’t feeling. I’ve worn my queerest, most androgynous outfit because I wanted to be left alone. This is how it is for me, now. I don’t know if I can return to the femme outfits for the vast disparity in treatment I receive.

Usually I wear jeans and shirts to work but the one day I wore a miniskirt, doors were opened for me left right and centre. Not a metaphor, unfortunately. Females are relegated to the literal, physical embodiment of these privileges – the ones that don’t afford actual furtherment.

On the street, the work place laws don’t protect me. Even at work they don’t protect me as a guy I slept with once consistently meddles with my sex life. I think I’ve finally shut that down, but it means we can’t be friends anymore because he didn’t hear “stay out of it” so I had to say it with increasing volume and harshness until he did.

On the street I’m subjected to harassment daily and I’m tired of it. I don’t want people to talk to me because of the way I look. I don’t want people judging me. It would be bad enough if they were holding signs like my life were a beauty pageant, but imagine a beauty pageant where all the judges cat called the contestants.

“Hey baby. Come home with me. You know you want to.”
“I got something for ya”
“Ciao bella. Hey! Come back! What’s your problem?”

I don’t want it. But what I want isn’t important to them. What’s important to them is how they feel when they say it and the thrill they get when they make me uncomfortable, aware.

For anyone who says “just take the compliment”, no.

It’s no compliment. It’s mind games. It’s an assertion of power. It’s meant to keep females off guard and slightly intimidated. It’s meant to provoke, to destabilise, to make someone feel like they’re being watched; judged. It’s a stranger trying to push themselves on me; their wants, their approvals, their desires.

Then, when I can’t take it anymore, I yell. I want to beat them till I have their teeth lodged between my knuckles but instead I flip them off.  They laugh. They always laugh.

They like that they have triggered me. They like the reaction. They like that they have the power to push me to the brink.

So next time the words “angry feminist” threaten to slip from your lips, no. I’m not ‘just another angry feminist’. I’m a human, pushed to the limit. Tired, tired, tired of fighting to be respected. Tired of not being given space to walk down a street. Simple, simple acts of freedom. To always, always be reminded I am on display. To always be reminded that my body is there to please the eyes of men. And the cocks of men. And the minds of men.

I am so sick of it that even when I feel like dressing femme, I don’t. I don’t want what comes with that. Most of the time androgyny works to ease it. The brain power it takes to gender me leaves no time for a cat call. I often wear brightly coloured socks, too, so that when they look, they are drawn to my feet and not to my chest.

But there are always some who find a way.

Today I dressed androgynous but I dressed well. I’m wearing a crisp shirt, a strapped chest and some beautiful leopard print brogues.

This is not me dressing for you. But I suppose you know that, don’t you. This is not an invitation, but I suppose you don’t wait for invitations. The world is yours, after all, why would you? Why would you stop to ask what I want? You already know what you’re going to give me.

And no, I don’t imply that me wanting to dress a certain way to dissuade people should be done. What should be done is people not judging on looks. People minding their business. People not reducing women in the many, many ways that they do.

As today proved – this isn’t even an effective method. People will take what they feel entitled to regardless of how I dress.

And no, I’m not at all saying that any trans*, queer, whatever people dress or feel like representing themselves as their gender because they’re sick of the oppression they receive. That’s just silly. They receive a lot more oppression trying to move through the world as their non-assigned-at-birth gender. I said specifically that I’m outside the binaries, anyway. But I suppose we all are a little bit.

A queer male tried to challenge me to what I call an ‘oppression off’ when I told him he had privilege around being male, recently. The cold truth is that even queer males have more privilege than queer females. He should know that, but he chose to be an asshole about it and ignore what I was saying instead listing off all the ways he was oppressed; like that is somehow relevant.

He does not have men cat calling him constantly. He is not made to feel unsafe in this way. He wasn’t even prepared to acknowledge that, putting his own experiences first instead of acknowledging very basically that he cannot comprehend mine. He then went on to suggest that we fuck in a hot pool.

I’m tired. I’m tired of being female. I don’t want it anymore.

I don’t want it anymore.

Dick

This is going to be short and sweet, just like your penis.

I have a vagina. It is pretty great most of the time. A lot of the time I get off using just my fingers.

I doubt your penis is bigger than my fingers. Even if it is/isn’t, it shouldn’t matter too much because 80 percent of females have difficulty cumming from penetration alone, or so the internet tells me.

But who trusts the internet, let alone percentages from the internet.

My point is, at the end of the day, sex is not about your dick.

Making it about your dick and its relative size is stupid and insulting to everyone who has sex without a dick. Not to mention it assumes that everyone likes the same thing.

Sincerely,
Furious

Open Letter to Nice Guys (real and perceived)

Tony Abbott is the Minister for Women in Australia, Prime Minister elect after the world stood behind Gillard when she called him a misogynist. He paraded his daughters and wife like trophies rather ironically with the intent to prove he is “a good guy”. His cabinet is less gender equal than Afghanistan. This man will attempt to strip me of every right I have, and he is not the only one.

For years I’ve been told that I should take thanks for a sexual based compliment – whether they be from a boss or hurled from a car in the street. I’ve been told that I’m both too sexually promiscuous and not to be too chaste. I’ve even been told that I’m responsible for maintaining, controlling and also tending to the sex drive of a sex I’m now not particularly attracted to.

Nice Guys, this is a letter to explain to you why you’re so baffled by the people you like and why they seem to go for people ‘who treat them like shit’.

You see, I, like so many of my fellow female peoples, have very little agency in this world. What agency I have, I have clawed for. I have sacrificed years of ebbing hurt and energy into a relationship with a mother who still doesn’t fully understand why and how she hurts me. I’ve crammed myself into moulds to try and be the thing that people expected of me, only to give it up and suffer aggression from strangers when starting to come to terms with who I am now.

I have pretty privilege, I have thin privilege – I’ve been told my entire life that I am beautiful, smart, clever, intelligent, successful (in that order). I am in the best position for a female to feel good about themselves.

Please keep this it in mind when considering how other females might feel about their bodies, rights and autonomy. There will be many with less self worth than I have.

Nice Guys, when I encounter a cis male, I always run into several problems that I think have never been addressed, certainly never en masse.

With a lack of agency, comes a lack of power. For years I carved power from manipulation, getting very drunk off it for quite a long time. I take responsibility for my actions but I do not blame my former self. After all, I was fulfilling a cultural niche* that instructed me that this was the one arena of power that was not only socially acceptable, but also expected of me.

What these purported people who ‘treat them like shit’ do is, in essence, afford someone who feels powerless a safe venue in which to engage with their own agency. In my experience, the most comfortable situations with people like this has been less to do with a lack of caring about me and more to do with a lack of expectation from me.

Expectation is perhaps a too tough word, though the word ‘hope’ is fairly apt.

You see, assholes expect, nice guys hope.

I don’t want someone who does either of those things.

When I encounter an asshole, I will tell them and their expectations to get fucked (you know, because I’m not going to do it).

When I encounter a nice guy, the stakes are different and fraught. I know he’s a nice guy, that’s why I’m there, expressing that I like him. Maybe I’ve slept with him before. Maybe it’s been something as simple as kissing him.

Creating a sexual premise with a nice guy is a really big step because once you initiate the undercurrent, it will taint everything. Nothing will be innocent anymore, everything will have this subtext. You cannot invite him over to watch a movie. You cannot go out for a bite to eat. There are no take-backs, because take-backs hurt.

What nice guys and assholes have in common is a reduction of agency on the part of the person encountering them. Hope and expectation come with different forms of pressure. As a person who experiences a lack of agency in constant day to day life, this is so far removed from what I want in a sexual sphere it becomes a massive turn off.

I want to like you, but the things you are doing are making me feel powerless.

For instance, I fooled around with someone recently and made a note to tell him that it’s safe to assume – at least for the initial contacts – to only ever remove your own clothing.

By removing an item of my clothing, he was enacting a facet of power over me that he probably wouldn’t have realised he was doing. The difficulty in these situations is that I’m loathe to stop him, for fear of making him feel bad (I like the guy). However, it also functions as a turn off that I now have to battle internally to try and be sexually ok again in the dynamic.

It doesn’t matter how far along you are in undressing, you could be buck naked and them fully clothed, it’s their choice to remove clothing. If they haven’t removed clothing, it’s because they don’t want to – not because they missed the fact that you were stripping.

For initial encounters, I say, this is a safe route – and I fully acknowledge a personal one.

Another matter would be the dispersion of attention.

Introduce me to a man (person, even) who has never watched porn and I will wash his feet with my hair. You may have noticed, but female pleasure is not super high on the importance list of those making porn. This means a lot of cis men believe on some level that sex is centred around their pleasure.

Things I have found with cis men
1) It is not uncommon for a cis man to give head to me as foreplay. It has been unheard of for a cis man to give head to me (to completion and otherwise) and not expect sex after it.
Yes, the data set is large and varied.
2) It is not uncommon for me to give head to completion and not receive sex or pleasuring afterwards.
3) When requesting to be pleasured, several partners have made the argument that if we have sex then both of us will get off simultaneously – therefore it is the superior choice.

These are just some of the outcomes of male-centred views on sex.

Cis men, if you wish to be desirable, it is suggested you learn how to take enjoyment from giving.

Linking back to the previous point, however, taking enjoyment from giving means not only putting aside your sex drive, but also the expectation or hope that your sex drive will be satiated in return.

I know, I know. That feels insurmountable, right?

Women have been taught this for decades. It is expected of them.

The reason behind a person ‘treating them badly’ is, in my experience, a complex weave of things. Firstly, the initiation is one of open space for action but not a pressure.

For instance, the person has said “I really like you, but if you don’t feel that way, then all good.” This, in essence, presents an open space but relieves a lot of pressure to react or make decisions around how the other person feels.

Basically, it puts the ball in their court.

Once the ball is in my court, engagement is quite tempting. Even if I’ve not been overmuch attracted to them, curiosity and comfort through this sort of agency means that I feel comfortable to explore possibilities of something else.

Things go sour when the person starts to pull back. Again, it’s a power thing. It is so rare to find a dynamic in which I feel like I am on even footing that I will sacrifice a lot to keep it.

This is in no way me attempting to set up ways in which to manipulate people a la The Game and all it’s sociopathic spin offs. As a confessed ex-manipulator, I can assure you that those things will not help you in the long run.

What I’m trying to do is express why I feel so many cis men “nice guys” remain so baffled.

If you wish more success, quit expecting, quit hoping, focus solely on giving. The irony of this being, I suppose, once you give up wanting something, you’ll likely receive better results & connections.

 

Sincerely,
Furious

*look up “Femme Fatale”