Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Truth About Honesty: As Within, So Without,,,


I present this award to YOU!!
(You should know who you are...)
I have a secret lust for a very few eye-candy, drama llama shows on tv. Since getting rid of cable, I've been able to stream a few of them via Netflix. One of these is Private Practice, the older, somewhat more mature sister of Gray's Anatomy. Drama llama, AWAKE!

One topic of the show, midway through the second season, is whether people should be completely open and honest about everything with their relationship partner, or if a person needs to keep certain things to themselves in order to retain their individuality. Of course, this was in relation to admitting to an affair, which, if told, could hurt the partner and the relationship. The benefit to telling would be that the partner would know (although how beneficial that would be was questioned) and that the cheater would relieve their guilt.

Ohh, yeah...
Let the drama begin!
My answer, because I like to talk to the tv, is that it doesn't matter. Whether admission of action is good, bad or ugly, there is only one thing that is consistently required: honesty with oneself.

One must be honest with what they did. Many people simply do not evaluate their own actions, dismissing them with superficial acknowledgments and covering them up with justifications. If you do something, acknowledge that you did it. No buts. No conditions. No excuses. No! Just say what you did. Noun followed by verb with subject/predicate phrase/etc. (if absolutely necessary). For example: I cheated on (name). Or: I ate all the cake. Or: I broke (partner's name)'s favorite (object). Be direct. Don't hedge with yourself.

No, no, I don't believe you.
One must be honest with how that affected them and their relationship partner (or other person). Don't pretend that something that would break the heart of any other human being with an emotional fiber the size of a fishing line is going to be okay with your partner. Really? Admit that what you did sucks, and to what level. If it was an accident, SO WHAT? You did something. It hurt someone. You have to acknowledge that, in this moment, you suck. Otherwise you are just brushing over the pain of your relationship partner. For example: (Partner) was/will be betrayed and hurt that I would cheat on him/her. Or: The kids will be heartbroken that I didn't save them any cake. Or: (Partner's) iPhone was his/her lifeline to social media; this will devastate him/her, and I may have to make it up to them.
Only when you get to this level of honesty can you understand what you need to do to make things better/right/just.

One must be honest with their motivations, whether they decide to keep the secret or admit their wrongdoing. If you cannot honestly say to yourself that telling will make your partner's (NOT your) life better or more just, don't do it. You have to be honest if you are going to be selfish about your actions. You have to be honest if you are going to swallow (read: wallow in) your guilt. Don't tell just to make yourself feel better. Don't keep it a secret so that you don't have to pay the consequences. If it's about how YOU would feel upon taking an action, you're doing it wrong. If you aren't honest about this part, you will - I repeat WILL - make the same mistake again. You won't have learned your lesson. You won't have grown as a person.
Wise man... one of three.

Be honest with yourself, and you will be the best friend/parent/child/lover/partner anyone could ask for.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Me to Z: I am a woman, and I don't hate or fear men.

I have seen a lot of stupidity in human actions. I have seen a lot of beauty in human actions. I have noticed that, while there are certainly trends in biology and society, that doesn't even come close to being able to define individuals. Generalization is a handy tool, but it shouldn't be mistaken for a call to judgment.

I am in mourning. I have had certain ideals taken out into the street and flogged. I have seen promises of yesteryear shot in the head. I have been betrayed by people who claim to have MY best interest in heart.

In the Pagan community, there are people who are leaders, elders, or BNP (big-nosed pagans - I don't know where the term came from). These are the famous ones who helped pave the way for how Paganism is viewed and practiced today. Some of them need to go away now.

I say this as one who has been considered an up-and-coming elder/leader/BNP. I am not famous, nor have I achieved the title/respect of that status... yet. But I, and several others, am well on my way. And, this is something I take very seriously. It is a duty.

One of my fellow U&Cers (up & comers) had a talk today about what happens when Pagan leaders/elders stop growing, when they become caught up in issues as they WERE, not as they ARE. And, to be blunt, people like that do no one any good. That is why I am mourning.

Many of you are aware of PantheaCon, a wonderful gathering that I have been, as of yet, unable to attend. Last year, it made news, which was summed up nicely on the Wild Hunt blog. The leader at the eye of this storm was one Z. Budapest, a wonderful author and progenitor of Dianic tradition and mysteries in the modern Pagan movement.

She did it again. She turned away transgendered women from a women's ritual, drawing a line for what constituted a REAL woman. And, as if that was not enough, she posted a blog outlining how all men hate women.

ALL MEN.

HATE.

I am now taking it upon myself to respond, as a powerful woman beloved of men around the world (no, really, it's a fact), to this atrocity entitled "Nobody Loves Women".

No woman was sexy enough, good enough, trustworthy enough... This is what women are most afraid of. Loosing the love. The slim chance of male protection. This is the H-bomb of our psyche.
Loosing the love or protection is not even close to a consideration in my relationships. Communication, honesty, goals, mutually-assured progression: that's what I strive to bring to relationships, and what I expect from them. If you can't provide this, you aren't worth my effort. You'll take away "the love"? Bummer - buh-bye. You think I'm not good enough. Good for you - buh-bye.

Sadly, this means that I am forced to endure the adoring attentions of my significant other: a male who treats me with respect and honesty, who loves me for me, who cares for both my children equally (only one of which is his biological offspring), who APPRECIATES when I am BETTER than he is at things, who caters to my needs to be pampered and gets all hot-n-bothered when I take up power tools to be "butch". Sucks to be me.

...the fact that they chanted [“No means yes, yes means anal.”] together with each other, young men, their brains were actually having sex with each other... Many many young men at collage age are latent homosexuals, which is dangerous to women.
 I can't even wrap my mind around how completely out-of-touch, judgmental, and... WRONG this is. I know many men. While in college, I was friends with many men. For 15 years, I've been very close friends with several homosexual men. I can say with a HUGE amount of surety: This is fucked up.

I won't even talk about how this was taken out of context AND punished rapidly by the college.

I am, instead, going to say that this strikes within me the same horrified, disgusted reaction as when (some, not all) Christian conservatives declare all homosexuals to be pedophiles. The thought of anal sex itself does NOT imply homosexuality.

The reason for my conclusion is the word “anal”. Anal is not what young women are dreaming about when they think of intimacy. Women think of sex as the culmination of an emotional surge, and coming together with love and aroused body. But “anal” is most important in homosexual contact, in man on man love... So here the anger against women comes from the fact that having sex with girls is seen as normal, but anal is not. They need to loudly claim it. Because they are closet gays. And pissed off about it too.
Firstly, many homosexuals would disagree with this idea. My dear friend and partner in so many things, RevKess, a gay man, disagrees with this. "Most important"? Only if you cannot conceive of gay men who prefer snuggles, or who engage in non-anal sexual acts, or who just want someone to hold their hand and talk to them, only then can you say that it is that important.

Secondly, and this is quite TMI, I am not alone as a woman in considering anal sex to be a HEALTHY and ENJOYABLE aspect to my heterosexual relationship. It, like fellatio and cunnilingus, role-playing and bondage, and even coitus, are aspects of sex that each partnership must decide upon - whether to do it, how often to do it. It isn't something that is restricted to or symptomatic of (as if any sexual orientation is a disease with symptoms) a specific type of partnership.

Hating women is still fashionable. It’s manly. It’s a proof of masculinity to each other. It’s a male affirmation... The gender wars must be fought off camera, off printed matter. Never discussed in public...
This isn't the 50s, and this isn't what MY experience of gender discrimination is. I've seen gender discrimination, but this isn't the reality any longer. Or if it is, this aspect is so rare, we cannot logically apply this generalization to the male population as a whole.
The male gender is gender conscious, “us boys together” against the other gender. Women are human identified, not so much gender identified. They should be.
 We aren't? Funny, we have Girl's Night Out and Women's Mysteries, among other things, but we aren't seen as a gender-identified group? Put three to five of us in a group, and most men (REAL men) would rather go into military combat then speak to us. Cuz we are WOMEN and we can, and sometimes do, intimidate men. Welcome to the two-way street.

Why are we universally hated by the male gender? What have we as a female gender done to merit such lack of respect? Nothing.
I love this: "universally hated". I actually cannot think of a single male of my acquaintance that hates women. Maybe a few guys who I know second or third-hand, but directly? Not my father, not my brother (his issues aren't about women), not my SO, not my son, none of my coworkers (and they are "guy's guys" types), none of my male friends.

Now I feel like I'm missing out on something. Have I been sheltered my whole life that I know so microscopically few of these males? But they "universally" hate women. So that's ALL males, or close enough, statistically, to not matter. Then wouldn't some of the several hundred males I know be women-haters? Men who don't respect women as real people? Men who secretly want to violate women? Men who despise not owning women in some way?

Maybe I'm just not seeing it... Maybe I brush over the signs... Maybe I'm actually blind to their hate...

Which means that there are a LOT of seriously good actors in my life - Not likely.

Next we explore how universally (what? I like that word...) epic women are.

No males are allowed to love female values. If you assume female values of peace, cooperation, communication, men will loose their fury little balls. They will loose rape culture. War culture.
Gosh, that means that I'm the pacifist among my male friends... HA! Not likely!

Men don’t see why they have to pay for a child they fathered. They imagine the mother would abuse this and spend the money on herself. Since she is no longer “his” wife, back into the hated gender with her. Hence withholding the money from families is justified.
Only if you are a dick, and that has NOTHING to do with genitalia. BTW, the list of men in my life who pay or (for grown children) paid child-support willingly: my step-father, my son's father, my former roommate (hi, Scott!), and at least one not-so-closet gay man. Men who have taken LOVING responsibility for children who aren't their biological progeny: my step-father, my significant other, my SO's step-father, my boss's SO, and at least one of my male co-workers.

Evil bastards, all of them.

God is male, and men are gods... Religion long ingrained into our impressionable psyches, since childhood, declared that anything male is sacred, anything female is suspicious and subordinate. Weak.
This is a condition of one aspect (becoming defunct) of society and a few (admittedly majority) religions. This is NOT an across-the-board way of looking at things, even in Christianity.

 So the genders represent the opposing views of how to live on earth.

Women feel they need peace to raise children and civilization which includes commerce, the arts.
Wow, more universalism. I personally know a few women who don't feel this at all. They don't want their children, except as pawns to manipulate the unfortunate (but evil!) males who helped create those children.

Glorious male self created doom. Why still cling to it? Because what if other men attack us? Then what? Who would defend us? The women fall quiet, because the answer is that globally women would demand an end to violence, ending wars altogether. Globally.
 And here we have the perfection of woman.

Are you kidding me?!? Women aren't universally pacifist any more than men are universally war-mongering. In fact, check out a episode of any of the Real Housewives franchise, and you can get an eyeful of how non-pacifist women can be.

Warning: the following is pretty... um, real.
Z, I'm talking directly to you now: HOW DARE YOU! You don't like when women are seen as the Whore, so you push the equally false and equally harmful idea that we are all the Virgin? YOU DARE paint me into a corner because I have a vagina and I'll tell you where to shove your women-superior attitude. I do NOT appreciate being put up on a pedestal for ANY reason, especially for what is or isn't between my legs. If I want to be on a pedestal, I can DAMN well get up there on my OWN. I don't need to ride the coattails of my my birth channel. A COW can give birth. I'm BETTER than that and for better reasons.

I am WOMAN, and I am AWESOME. But the fact that I'm awesome doesn't come from the fact that I am a woman.

Now, I'm all for continuing the fight to make women safe and equal. In fact, front-line me on that battle (oh, wait, women are pacifists...). But I will not say that women are better then men. I will not believe that all men either want to fuck me or want to fuck me over. I will not believe that men are sexually aggressive because of a propensity for rape or because they are closet homosexuals.

In fact, I'll introduce you to a staggering number of sexually aggressive BBWs, and you can tell me how they fit into your delusional pattern of the sexes.

I will not believe that all women want peace. The goddesses themselves cannot reflect that. Check out Hel, Sekhmet, Athena, Freya, Artemis, Tiamat, Durga, Erishkigel and Kali, just to name a few. These are women who are strong unto themselves, aggressive, war-loving Goddesses who can and will kick some ass. Most of them are PROTECTORS and mothers, but they know when to bring out the war machines.

And most importantly, aside from Artemis, none of them had to say that males were lesser beings.

Found this... says a lot.
Z, get a grip on modern reality, find a bit of self-esteem that doesn't use the crutch of hate, and then, maybe, I'll consider you as a role-model again. Until then... buh-bye.