Monday, December 02, 2002

Well. Now I have a dilemma.

When Halley posted her post on girlism on Blogsisters I reacted. But I wasn’t sure how to respond to it with out sounding angry and hurt. So. I just backed away from the computer. Then Shelly posted. And I was relieved. But. I have felt like it kinda sucked that I waited for someone else to say something.

You know. I tend not to read people who I know are going to piss me off. There is enough in the world to be pissed off about. And I think people have a right to their views.

I don’t read Halley. But I do read Jeneane. And this morning she linked to a post by Halley. I read it. I reacted. I just told myself to shake it off. And I kept going down the blog roll. And then I went to Blogsisters. And Jeneane is pointing to it again.

Now I have a dilemma.

I have all this emotion in my body. I have all this feeling. And I figure that what ever I write may sound …uh …aggressive. And I don’t really want to go off on another women.

I strongly feel that all women have a right to their views. Back before I had perma links I had a few days of debate on my blog about fat women who pose on the Internet or in magazines in thongs and in the style of girlie magazines. And to anyone who doubts that there are men who want to look at that – think again. Of course, in order to make that point I’ll need to link to fat porno sites and I don’t wanna. But I defend the right of women who want to wear thongs and play with their appearance. It is a way of playing dress up. Or down.

But it isn’t interesting to me.

And now I have all this emotion.

So. Despite the fact that I don’t read Halley, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read me, I am going to respond to her post.

I don’t know what feminism Halley is talking about. I will argue with the idea that “the feminist version of female sexuality” was “strident and unattractive.” My feminism is about a lot of things. And as I have said, my feminism includes men. My feminism is about opening up the possibility that there is more than one experience of being woman and more than one experience of being a man. And my feminism is about the issues of women and men who are caught up in a system of thought that squeezes the breathe out of diversity.

My feminism is very much about owning my sexuality. And I do like sex. And I do like sex with men. I don’t want to have sex on MY terms. I want to have sex on OUR terms. In fact, the word terms is for lawyers to use when writing contracts. I’m not interested in a negotiation of power. I don’t want to teach men. I want to have relationships of mutuality. I want relationships in which all (or most) of who I am can be expressed and I want my partner to be able to express himself as well. I expect that we will have moments when we aren’t able to contain one another. Things will go wrong. We will talk. Or something. We will try to push past our limitations and engage one another.

Maybe I’m dreaming.

Beyond feminism? What does that mean?

Does Halley really think feminists don’t masturbate?

See. I’m having all these feelings. And I’m trying to find a way to engage this conversation and allow that Halley and I are just coming from very different places. I doubt I’d get much argument that feminism is important when it comes to equal pay, representation in the halls of public policy, access to learning and so on and so on. And I hope I wouldn’t get too much argument about how much work there is to be done in those areas.

I always wonder about women and men who don’t want to say they are feminist. I always suspect it’s because they don’t want to be seen as people who don’t like heterosexual sex. And they have a very narrow view of how heterosexual sex is expressed. And there’s a real homophobia in this. Because we know that there is work to do when it comes to parity for women in all the things I described. And none of that has to do with what we do in our intimate lives.

And the word girl is used to describe a young girl.

I still feel like a young girl sometimes. And sometimes, when I am attracted to a man, I feel girlish. And, surely, a man who I might be involved with might feel like a boy sometimes. But we also have to feel like a woman and a man. We have to understand ourselves in the context of the culture in which we live, we have to find ways to grow together, sometimes it will be serious and sometimes it will be playful.

This is a dilemma for me. I don’t want to feel like I am opposed to Halley. I don’t know her. But I don’t want to leave it to Shelly to be the one who says something.

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