Soon after suspecting our apartment was haunted, this shows up parked on the street below us.
Run far away
No. Don’t run. Bake an apple pie and make a salad. Chill all the beer in the house. Put on your sexiest clothes and MAKE US PROUD.
but seriously run
run before you become the first five minutes of an episode
This was once the most common representation of female bodies. The rolls of fat and pudgy bellies existed along with thick thighs and broad hips. Some of those bodies were slim, some were chubby, some were fat, but they weren’t stretched out and smoothed out in Photoshop. They acted like bodies do, they looked real and believable. We lost that somewhere along the way, when people in the fashion business started wiping out any inconvenient fold, making us think they don’t exist and to have them is a blasphemy. Maybe it’s about time we remember they are perfectly normal and everyone has them, sometimes or all the time, no matter skinny or fat.
My Costumer taught me his bitter song, and it is guaranteed to make you feel better, especially if sang with a group of people joining in. So I thought I’d share it for any of you who might need it
If you’re bitter and you’re jaded clap your hands
If you’re bitter and you’re jaded clap your hands
If you’re bitter and sadistic and about to go ballistic
If you’re bitter and you’re jaded clap your hands
Sheryl Sandberg (via psych-facts)
Where is it written
that women should be meek?
I only ask because,
I am a Beast
and I’ll devour you,
but only if you want me too.
by~sw (via ms-woodsworld)
I don’t know how it ends,
or even if it’s mine,
but some kind of future rolls
over and over in its sleep
under the skin of my hands
when I think of touching you.
Peregrine (via youreyesblazeout)
According to SpaceNews, Obama nominated Dava Newman for the position of Deputy Administrator at NASA. The position was held by Lori Garver from 2009 to 2013 and has since been vacant.
Dava Newman is a professor at MIT and director of the MIT Portugal Program. She is most well known for her work on a formfitting spacesuit, pictured above.
[Image: Dava Newman in the form fitting Biosuit.]
(Disclaimer - this is one perspective, which in this case is both cis and framed as heterosexual. There are more perspectives and more varieties.)
Women are socialized to be competitive with each other. This is part of the hierarchical perspective of social life that we are initiated into early. The programming goes deep; consider, when is the first time you remember comparing yourself to another girl? When is the first time you remember thinking to yourself “I’m better than she is” with a sense of pride and success? If you can remember, I’d lay odds that it is early in your life. More likely, I suspect that you don’t have a first time you can recall, any more than the first time you shook hands with a stranger, got mad at a sibling, or put on an adult’s clothes. Without exceptional circumstances, that memory is just part of “the way things are done”. It’s in the code of our social programming, and it’s woven throughout our lives.
We’re socialized to be constantly running the comparison game. If looking a certain way is valuable to you, you compare yourself to other people who look that way. If it’s intellect, you compare knowledge. I’m somewhat femme, so I can only really speak from my experience, but there is this constant and immediate judging how a person looks and comparing it to how I look. Many, many women are familiar with this, and many may be disgusted at how frequently they are doing this when they begin paying attention. The problem with the comparison game is that it is attached to our egos – we are proud when we assess ourselves to be better than, and hurt or unsure when we assess ourselves to be not as good as.
We are taught many lessons about our value as women, few of them good, many of them hierarchal. A thought experiment: yourself and nine other women in a room. If you need a visual, grab nine people from your friend list. EACH of you can effectively arrange yourselves in a hierarchal line for multiple variable. Prettiness, best dressed, intelligence, social grace, social power, strength, financial stability, fuckability, and on and on. We can do that because we are socialized to be doing it all the time. And there’s a big messy one – attractiveness to men on both a sexual and a relationship scale.
By the time we can speak, we are already taught that our value as humans is based in our relationships with other people. We are taught that we do not have inherent value, but that who are parents are, who are friends are, who loves us is what lends us value. You are someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s sister, someone’s niece, someone’s girlfriend, and that is where your meaning rests. Maintaining that standing becomes a social survival strategy; maintaining relationships becomes maintenance of stability. It is stealthy and permeates this shared existence.
We are furthermore taught that what makes are relationships meaningful are things that only exist in limited quantities. There is a framing in non-monogamy that uses the analogy of a pie. You a get a slice of it, and that’s all you get. The pie is finite, and we have learned to hunger for it, so we understand it to be in our best interest to get as much of the pie as we can. Sometimes, by whatever means necessary. This is still social survival. Some things are finite, of course. There are a specific number of hours in a day. There is your personal budget for the day. There are the spoons that you have to engage with today. The amount of minutes left on your phone.
I hope you see, and note, that each of these things are refreshed. These are rechargeable batteries. Already the pie framing we so readily accept is incorrect (unless you’re constantly making pie, I suppose). There isn’t time right now? Ok, there will be more. There isn’t enough money? Ok, there will be more. You’re out of spoons and minutes and fucks to give? That’s alright, it comes back around, take some care of yourself today and feel well soon. Grabbing the biggest slice you can, as quickly as you can, is based in FEAR THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ENOUGH FOR YOU. This is the scarcity model in a nutshell.
Many of us have experienced true scarcity of things which are necessary for our survival. I still get a little freaked out when I am sharing a plate with someone and they are eating faster than me. Doesn’t matter if there is literally more food on the plate than I could physically eat, that the fridge is full, that today is payday. Part of my brain reacts from the WILL THERE BE ENOUGH fear. Make no mistake about it: love, compassion, and care in the context of relationships is something that we NEED to survive. We are social creatures and these things are vital. Loneliness can and will literally kill you, just as not eating will. But many of us are not in positions where we have to react from fear – not for food, and not for love.
Life lesson break: Your reasons are understandable, but this does not make your behavior acceptable. When you recognize that you have the choice between love and fear, choose love. Choose whatever is not fear.
Non-monogamy can be a vehicle for interrogating and dismantling hierarchal forms of engagement. Non-monogamy does not function well in a scarcity model. Relationships do not do well when they are based in fear.
The scarcity model, and the comparison/competition socialization are related, and when given a non-monogamy framing, cause complex issues. Combine the surety of THERE ISN’T ENOUGH with the competition for resources. Add intimate relationships and love, and you end up with women who are competing with each other for the attention, love, intimacy of another person or persons. We know, because we’ve experienced it, that competitive women get beyond catty. We can be downright cruel and manipulative. This situation additionally does not take the person who is the “goal” of the competitions’ needs, desires, or goals into account.
There are as many ways to do relationships as there are people who are engaged in relationships. Nonetheless, when you choose to engage in a lifestyle that goes against common moralities, you will be engaging consistently in related social assumptions. Non-monogamy isn’t just about choosing to love more than one person at the same time. You will also find yourself engaging with heteronormative paradigms of relationship creation (e.g. the relationship escalator), family styling, culture of consent, and thousands of other models of engagement. Choosing to live in a way that is somehow different from the way you’ve been coded to live leaves you with the responsibility to choose.
We can choose how we engage in the world and with other people. We have, I think, a responsibility to be actively engaged in our choosing. Part of choosing non-monogamy is choosing love over fear. We have the individual responsibility, furthermore, to engage with ourselves honestly to discover our paradoxical programming and work to change it. We have the responsibility to ensure that our ideas and our words align with our actions - to be better ourselves.
My perception of my ideal non-monogamy is that we are all on the same team. My partners’ partners are friends, compatriots, and allies. They are important in their own rights, and our relationships are important. The maintenance of those relationships is important to me and to us. I conceptualize relationships as a third energy-being that exists between two people. When participating in a non-monogamous relationship, each of those relationship-beings is attached to a third, a sort of multiple person and multiple relationship creation. Each of these connections requires love, attention, care. Each of these is valuable.
When women fall into the traps of our socialization, we are hurting all of those relationship connections. Because we are engaged in a sort of mutual energy feedback, we also hurt ourselves. Relationship competition hurts everyone involved, either actively through cruelty and controlling of others, or passively by reducing individual members’ ability to grow, to stretch their capacities and improve. I watch this being chosen over and over again, and I have been in the position of choosing this, and it is the most love impoverished I have ever been.
When we begin engaging with our paradoxes and adjusting our core programming, we experience cognitive dissonance. This is an uncomfortable and frightening sort of psychological vertigo when data doesn’t match what we understand to be “true”. Many people will stop at this point and not follow the uncomfortable down to the paradox, down to the code that is harmful. Working on yourself is one of the hardest tasks you will ever undertake, and this is part of why. To be our ideal selves, we have to learn to engage with cognitive dissonance, to meet it humbly, to acknowledge that we are wrong, and to integrate the new information into ourselves. Some of participating in non-monogamy requires deconstructing of ourselves, of the space between who we think we are, who we act to be, and who we desire to be.
For additional complexity, we feel validated and sure when we run a comparison assessment and find ourselves to be “better” than other women. It is reinforced both internally and externally, making it more difficult to excise. It is a hard lesson to learn that because something feels good does not make it helpful. Feelings are not facts.
Take every little part of this - scarcity, comparison, competition, relationships as mutual energy exchanges, cognitive dissonance, and harmful behavior reinforcement - and know that we can choose differently. The strongest relationships I see are ones where each person’s love is valued, their commitments supported, their self encouraged. Women engaging with women in relationships can and do perceive each other as compatriots rather than competitors. Work and dedication to a relationship is not a thing that happens in a void even within monogamy. With multiple partners who have multiple partners, every individual can actively decide to view their partners’ partners as allies.
If we are engaged in some relationship form together, then we are all working together to common ends of love, stability, and intimacy. We are, in fact, stronger and more successful together. This directional dedication requires that we each, individually, do our work to ensure that we are being part of that same team. We must be actively and courageously choosing to love and to be vulnerable.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
― Brené Brown,