Friday, March 30, 2012

Spreading Books




Up until the middle of college, I was an avid television watcher. On average, 5 hours of my day were spent watching tv. I also read happily - whenever I was in a place where tv wasn't. I thought that my love of tv was normal, and even took pride amongst my classmates that I was "allowed" to watch so much.
It was only after graduating college and getting rid of tv that I realised how damaging this addiction was. I wasn't "allowed" to spend the majority of my waking hours outside of school watching tv, I was put in front of the screen because it was a convenient way of getting rid of me. Other people were considered threats to the authority of my guardians and tv kept me from realising just how few people were in my life.

In high school, my obsession with tv had finally become clear to my mother as a destructive force. She told me, especially when I began thinking about college, that her friends in college read and discussed books as entertainment. It didn't seem to occur to her that it wasn't the motivation for literature debate that I lacked, but the fellows. My friends and I in high school were Wiccan and we exchanged many books on that, but any socialising outside of school was forbidden to me. People will leave tv on to "make their pets feel less alone" while they're at work, it was used the same way for me.
Still, whenever I wasn't at home, I took every opportunity to read. And exchanging books with my friends, however small the genre, delighted me. This continued in college, though I was irked by how many people in this supposedly advanced academic atmosphere loathed reading. More often than not, recommendations were never taken nor followed up with discussion. My poor professors, who couldn't get most of their students to read the material, let alone ENJOY it.

Only within the past year (graduated college 05/09), have I found a social circle in which books are passed around and enthusiastically discussed. Middlesex by Eugenides, Lolita by Nabokov, The Bell Jar by Plath, Where Good Ideas Come From by Johnson, Sex at Dawn by Ryan & Jetha, The Morning After by Roiphe, The Hunger Games by Collins, Good Omens by Gaiman & Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment by Pratchett, Sacred Clowns by Hillerman, Siddartha by Hesse, John Green, The Secret Garden by Burnett, Anne of Green Gables by Montgomery, Karen Armstrong, Jessica Valenti, The Ethical Slut by Easton & Hardy, etc.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Wisconsin Women's Health

Illinois Healthy Women provides medical insurance coverage for my reproductive/sexual health - they paid for my Paragard IUD in full.

Minnesota has a similar program. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the contact information for the person I knew who had gotten her free IUD through that.

I have many friends in Wisconsin who want similar coverage for IUDs. Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation doesn’t provide this, Wisconsin Well Woman Program works only with menopausal women, and all my searching keep leading back to Planned Parenthood.

Any information regarding birth control coverage in Wisconsin would be very helpful. Or any state for that matter, we could make a map of states’ coverage!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

90's chicks




I'm not usually attracted to femmes but, maybe because I was born in '85, 90's chicks are the exception.





As a middle schooler in '99, I went to several open houses at local high schools. I remember drooling over the babes in their wide-leg cargo pants and belly shirts.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pansexual Confession

Confession as a pansexual: My dynamic with feminine people is drastically different from my dynamic with masculine people.

This is a phenomenon I have yet to see discussed in bisexual/pansexual circles. Understandably, the more pressing issues include awareness in general (as opposed to "you're with a man/woman now, that makes you gay/straight" and "bisexuals are just greedy") and breaking the gender binary. Because the B in LGBT tends to be tokenised, the collective statement is that the genders of one's partners are not what's important, that all are equal. That's true for many people, though deeper discussion could prove valuable.

The lesbian and gay communities has been awash with butch vs. femme for decades. It's not unusual for straight women to compare a rugged, manly man to an intellectual, artsy man (Friends had an episode about this). And, this is just from personal experience, the men I date have remarked how refreshing it's been for them to date someone who can be so masculine. Within one gender, discussion of feminine vs. masculine is not unusual. And yet it seems taboo to discuss feminine vs. masculine of all genders, especially within a romantic/sexual context. The queer community hesitates, if not outright refuses, to compare genders - considering the hostile homophobia/heterosexism in our culture, this isn't surprising.

I've made a strong, ongoing effort to cultivate an awareness of our cultural bias against femininity. From the whore-madonna complex to pervasive sexual harassment and assault, femininity is not a safe place to be. So when I'm flirting with a feminine person...I worry over being too assertive. With masculine people, I'm forward and blunt - this is usually appreciated with shock! But I find it harder to read the feminine people with whom I flirt, so I worry about being overbearing...and then nothing happens.