The F-Word

I am a firm believer of equal rights across the board.

I am a a feminist.

Now, the reason I even mention this is because I’ve been thinking much about this ‘label’ recently due to some reading I have done. Yes, it has negative connotations and negative subsets and extremists, but so does everything. It’s like saying I’m white, so I must be racist. Or that I’m part German so I must be part Nazi. No to both. A label defines to a degree, but not completely. A label is more or less what you make of it. I follow the definition of feminism, at east the more ‘modern’ version which has been expanded a bit from women’s rights. If equalist was a thing, I’d call myself that. But it’s not, so I’m a feminist.

First thing you have to understand is that there has been mention of how there is a divide between ‘first world feminism’ and else. (The term so coined by Maisie Williams, or better known by her character Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.) The reasoning behind this is sound: women elsewhere than Europe and the U.S., like the Middle East which has recently become it’s own subset, face different problems. There are women still being stoned to death and having way less rights than women in so-called ‘first world countries’. That is not to have it thought that ‘oh, I shouldn’t complain because it’s worse elsewhere’, but just to put things into perspective. If you say feminism isn’t needed, you are completely disregarding other parts of the world where it most DEFINITELY is needed.

But I’m going to focus on the first world bit simply because it is where I live, and covering elsewhere would be much longer. You only have to look to see what is going on elsewhere, again explained by stoning and, also, female circumcision for the sole purpose of keeping them from sex until marriage.

I am not planning to belittle the issues that men (going off the binary scale of gender for the moment) face, since there are issues. I recently tried to explain to my brother that saying you would judge a guy for driving a pink car is sexist. It didn’t work, so I gave up instead of causing issue with my own family. But that does not erase the fact that such stereotypes for what is ‘manly’ is trying to fit men into a certain mold. And just as putting women into a certain mold is sexist, so is the other way around. Yes, there are differences between the two, but both of these ends of the spectrum should have a choice without being scolded. Boys should be allowed to cry and play with dolls. Girls should be allowed to get dirty and be ‘rough’. Boys will be boys, and girls will be girls.

We can keep the ideas of what is masculine and what is feminine, but if a boy wants to follows more feminine ideas and still identify as a boy, let him. The same goes for girls. Personally, I am a female who is a woman who is feminine in most aspects. I prefer smooth legs, so I shave. I prefer medium-length hair because it doesn’t get in my way, so I cut my hair. I’m too lazy for makeup, so I only sometimes where it. I like glitter and fruity smelling things. I like fruity drinks because the taste of alcohol does not agree with my tongue. I want to have kids someday. I would be bored to tears if I ever somehow ended up as a stay at home mom. I want to help people, work with children. I like video games because sometimes I am just in a mood where I want to shoot something or crash into things.

My mold may lean a bit more towards feminine than anything else, but my mold is…me. Deidre is my mold. I am so grateful to have parents who didn’t try to push pink and princesses on me, but instead let me play with what I wanted. They did the same with my brother.

Like I am my own mold, it reminds me of something a friend of mine, K., says sometimes. She likes to wonder why she has to be a race or anything, why she can’t be simply a person or K. She’s proud of who and what she is, she just doesn’t want it to describe her, for any stereotype to be what people think of when they see her.

I know I may have seemed to go off on a tangent, but I’m really not sure how else to describe how both sexes are being pushed to fit certain ideals. Then there are all those that are none or in between and it gets even more complex. And then the molds are definitely broken. I like the idea of the only mold one should fit is you.

But this is why I call myself a feminist, because I want everyone to have a choice of what to do and be and dress as and so much more. A man shouldn’t be thought of as less because they want to be a stay at home dad, just as a woman shouldn’t be expected to stay at home with the children. If we want equality, as much as can be had with how humans are, then we need to address issues on both sides of the argument. Apparently some men have decided to give up on women and instead stick to one night stands or pleasuring themselves. Part of the argument I read has me think ‘okay, yes, not enough thought is given to men’s issues’ the other part had me think ‘…well, that’s sexism at it’s finest’. (The latter due to the mention that women aren’t being women anymore because of feminism and that they need to go back home and other such things that had me cringe.)

I’m not overly sensitive, not now that I’m older at least, but a lot of things still have me think that this world has a long way to go. If you want to say men and women are equal, alright, fine, but I can point out a lot of instances, for both sides, that say otherwise. If you want to say that there are gender differences and they should be embraced; I’m not arguing, I’m just saying we all should have a choice of if we want to do one thing or another. And I mean a REAL choice, not one where we have a ‘choice’ but we’ll get odd looks and snide remarks if we choose what is not the norm. (Like not standing during the pledge, which is a legal right.) If you want to say feminism is not needed, look at other countries. If you want to say feminism is not needed in ‘first world’ countries, I circle back to I would be willing to point a few things out.

I’m a feminist. I am not angry. (Most of the time.) I do not burn my bras. (Even if I have a love-hate relationship with them.) I am not hairy. (Other than my head-hair.) And I do not want to be a man. (Really am fine with being a woman, that’s my gender-identity, thank you.) Even with all the negative connotations, I believe in fixing what the word and movement means instead of hiding and claiming to not be a feminist because of some extremists.

Advertisements

Vagina Relationships

I’ve been thinking a bit about this for some days now, after I had my first little meet-up thing for those in the Vagina Monologues show at my college.  Our first thing they asked us to ‘write down our relationship with our vagina’ and I drew a big blank, only ending up with a sentence roughly saying that it’s a part of me. Now, I wasn’t the only one blanking, but others had these stories. One wrote about her first period when she was young, some wrote about having been through a rather awful experience, some about how their still a virgin, some about masturbating…and then there were others like me with short things that basically said they had no idea what to write.

Personally, I’ve never though of that question and, now that i do, it’s mostly that the thing is a cause of worry for most of my life. First when I was panicking about how I was a really late bloomer, and now something else entirely I should get figured out to see if I need worry or not. Else, it’s more of a ‘eh, it’s there’ thing. Sure, it does stuff. Stuff every month, and it’s not immune to excitement, but still.

I figure most don’t think of this because of a few things; one being the ‘stigma of muttering the words vagina, cunt, pussy, etc. in public because women are sexualized and put on a purity pedestal and all that. But then there’s something that carries over all sexes: the hush hush of sex in general. People are getting better on that now, being more open and all, but there is a still this ‘you don’t talk about this to people’ way of thinking. My brother and I never had a sex talk with our parents. We learned everything from inferring, TV, books (me mostly), videogames (him mostly), and the internet. Not the most reliable sources, but still. And all that was learned in school was ‘don’t have sex. You’ll get pregnant or an STD. Abstinence is the only real protection. Not condoms’. And that, yes, was mostly aimed at us girls, not so much the guys. I still remember them saying that they mostly wanted all girls to take one of the robotic babies (cute baby doll things that cry loudly) home,and the boys could do it by choice. Makes sense, to a point. The only problem is, it more or less said guys shouldn’t worry and shouldn’t care about leaving a woman with a baby. I did it, I liked it, it didn’t throw me off of the idea of having sex or having a child, even though I know having one at any age before I’m done with college would throw me off a lot. And believe me, if someone got me pregnant, they would either be helping or paying child support.

In any case, sex was never taught. You got a video in elementary school about your puberty, if you were a girl, and guys got one about here’s and then, later, about girls. Girls never got a video about guy’s stuff. I learned that from various sources, some friends. I wish I was kidding.

But with sex being so quiet, it’s…almost like it’s a bad thing. Which it’s not, so long as it’s done right and you don’t feel bad about your choice. Though it’s taught like you shouldn’t do it. Ever. Why? Probably because, for so long, it was though sex was for married people and baby-making only, and also thought that women didn’t enjoy sex and only did it because they wanted kids. And then there was all the stuff with laws on how to have sex and everything that is, thankfully, null and void now. Of course, simply asking if someone likes men or women or both is also a no. When a friend was asking everyone at the table what they like the other day, I was thrown off. You don’t usually hear that from people, but she’s straightforward and was curious. So we answered, after a bit of confusion.

While sex itself isn’t quite ( and I use that word lightly) as stigmatized as in the past, female sexuality still has a bit to go. Yes, it’s more open now and people don’t immediately think ‘slut’ if a woman has sex with a new guy/girl every week. But it’s not something that is loudly boasted, like with guys. It’s still a bit of tweaking for people to realize that every human is a sexual creature. Sex feels good, if done right. Yes, that was originally for reproductive purposes, but now? Now we don’t need to breed as much. Actually, probably we don’t need to at all with all the children about waiting for adoption, but people still do because it’s nice to have your own child, of course. Though that’s assuming you like/want children, and I know plenty of women who want no babies at all.

I think, too, that we all should think of our relationship with our lower parts. Whether a penis, vagina, both, nothing, or what have you, think about it. We should all be more connected to that part of us, which has the ability to create life, even if just adding an ingredient and not carrying it, so to speak, and that can be a source of pleasure or irritation. Our brain plays a role in that, I know, but that doesn’t downplay the importance of our genitals. Our minds, our emotions, our personalities; all big parts, and that other part should be included int he talk, too.

My relationship with my own vagina isn’t much besides worry and, every month, inconvenience, which I should probably work on. But that’s how it stands right now. So, man, women, both, neither, take a minute to think, really think, about how you feel on the parts between your legs.

Gendered Marketing

I’m just going to leave this here, because it’s a mix of funny, true, and sad. Sad because it’s true, that is. It’s also something I noticed and why I am currently in possession of ‘guy’ razors; I got more for less, I don’t need frilly colors, thank you.

It’s also nice they mention the other genders that are recognized now.

Sex Scenes (because it’s the only appropriate title there is)

I was going to watch Once Upon a Time tonight, but seeing as I forgot I had workstudy, I’m sitting in the library instead. Oh well. On the plus side that means that I can type away while waiting for someone to maybe come up to the library desk for a test or book or what have you.

I came across an article/blog post recently that had gotten me thinking. It was about if people prefer more erotic scenes in their stories, or if they just like the ‘fade-to-black’ tool most authors nowadays employ. Now, I cannot talk for romance novels, which is what the article seemed to hone in on, since I do not read those. They bore me to tears most often. (Even though some friends are determined to get me to read ones they count as good, I doubt it’ll make me like the books) But this is still something that interests me, for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons being something that makes me debate putting it on this blog, or one connected to the thing more closely. I think, though, it belongs more over here since I don’t think I’ll focus on that bit but so much. Maybe. We’ll see.

I know I’ve read two books that really hit me with the fading bits, and I was kind of sitting there with the thought ‘but…but…please?’ No, not because I enjoy reading such thing,s but because I think it would’ve added something oh so wonderful. One was in the Bloodlines series and another in the Infernal Devices series. In the former, I really think it would have added this elusive something if, and I cannot remember if she had started with Adrian POVs by that point, if she had put that bit in his POV and maybe had something with him trying to not bite her. Not sure if that temptation was there or not, but it may have been. The not knowing is why the scene needed more! I don’t know, I’m just spewing ideas. With the latter, Will and Tessa…oh, so many things with that series is amazing but, while like the Bloodlines book, it went on to pretty much ending with him on top of her before fading, it still could have been…more. I will take what I can get of both of those couples, and I would not have objected to reading on each’s first times together. Of course that would have had the books bump from young adult to adult, but still.

The thing with having sex scenes in books, if done correctly, is that it can be so wonderful an addition. If done correctly. Okay, if you suck at writing about sex, use the fade tool, if not…give it a shot. If you’re not aiming at a younger audience, go for it. Granted, teens form thirteen on are very ‘educated’ about such matters, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to publishing industries. Not that I’m saying thirteen year olds need to be reading about sex; they really, really, REALLY don’t.

If I was better at writing on sex, I would probably put it in my WIP books in the right context; mostly the first time a couple is together, if they’ve been separated a long time, if I never showed how they work (or don’t) together in that context. It would really depend on a few factors, but I wouldn’t do it all the time because that would make it…sex heavy and, unless you are wishing to write erotica, that’s not needed. You don’t even really need to go into detail, just give a hint as to how whoever’s POV your writing in is feeling with this, what they think

And as I think about it, I take back what I said earlier; both Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare did fabulous with their fading. They didn’t need more detail with how they did it, though Mead’s could have used maybe a hint more since it didn’t stick with me as much as Clare’s. Clare’s, while still a FTB, was…perfect. It had Tessa describing how she saw Will in this light, how much love there was, and…I don’t know. I still can vaguely remember a few of the lines and the scene in my head. Mead’s…I can remember it to an extent, so maybe a hint more in there would have made it stick. Either way, they did both well with what they did, and it worked for the targeted age group especially.

Now, like I said, I suck at writing sex scenes. I can do it to a certain point, but then it just…drops. But with that said, I may or may not prefer/dabble with writing certain types of scenes in roleplay. ONLY because I am comfortable with the person who I write such things with, else it would never, never, never happen in a million years. It also helps that he’s fucking (no pun intended) amazing at writing that kind of thing. Seriously, just thinking of the wonderful writing makes me all sorts of happy. While I cannot match the skill level, I try, and when we’ve the time for it/I convince him I’m really happy. Why? No, not because of what you might be thinking, but because of the fact those scenes really add something. Especially when you are writing for a character, those scenes just…add something I cannot name. Even if there’s a fade that happens way later on, after clothes and all that is gone, or if there’s a short summation of it all, it makes it have something more. Going full out makes it all the better (sometimes), but there are ways to work around that if you can write well; which said writing ‘partner’ is. I’m really happy I met him and became comfortable even for that with him, too. Really. I hate asking to not fade scenes because I’m shy and, again, awful at writing those scenes (but I’m working on it), but still happy I’m able to from time to time.

So, yes, when done well and not overly so that the work of writing spills over into erotica, I like ‘racier’ scenes in novels instead of ‘simple’ FTB scenes; more developed FTB scenes (seriously, read Infernal Devices, I forget which book. But read them all because all are wonderful anyway.) sure, but simple and stopping soon as someone looses a shirt, no. This is something I’m not ashamed to admit, because it isn’t as if I’m looking for such scenes for my own sexual gratification, but more for the so beautiful addition they can be. The bit about if you can’t write sex scenes stick to FTB still applies, seriously. If you can’t write that kind of stuff, don’t hurt us with publishing a book with a long, bad sex scene in it. All the readers will skip it.

I really do find this topic interesting, and am truly curious as to what others think if they are for such scenes, or if ‘cleaner’ is more their style. I think the like and dislike of these scenes tells a bit about a person in terms of how much they prefer privacy or if they may be open about the sex life. That’s speculation, but it’s still a possibility.

And because I found the post again, here’s what got me thinking (and the except in that post is something along the lines of what makes me happy in books, it doesn’t need to be but so detailed to make it work):  http://jezebel.com/steamy-sexxxy-raunchy-books-are-you-pro-or-con-1624591921