Friday, August 31, 2007

More photos from immediatedly after Shmolee's birth...

Stinkpaee has a wonder wall full of photos tracking her right through the years of her life. Things have been pretty intense and chaotic for the first year of Shmolee's life. But, I finally started his wall today. I'm so excited! He's got one birth picture, his ultrasound picture and three photos Papi took of him when they were on the front verandah.

I posted two earlier today. Here are two more taken a little while, I think, after Shmolee was born. My midwives came to look at Shmoles, prick his feet...my doula came ready to mother this mother and to just generally give care.

Despite her better instincts, I think that was the day I cooked a big feast and everyone ate on the deck right off my bedroom...except me.

Prettifying myself and cooking the meal was plenty, what with the sinking cervix and cramping uterus, passing giant blood clots feeling. After the examination, I just stayed in bed with Shmoles and watched everyone eat and have conversation.

It was a good day.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Counting down to Sunday's Refried/Remix...

I want to remind everyone that Sunday is my first attempt at doing a carnival. It's called Refried/Remix. Anyone who comes relatively often...comes to read my blog, that is :)...will know that every Sunday I've been revisiting older posts that I remember fondly, pushing them out into the limelight once more as if to say: "Go on, honey. This is your encore. Not too late to break a fucking leg."

Last Sunday I decided I was going to be ballzy and invite reader/bloggers to offer one of their oldie but goodies. It could be as old as the hills. The older the better. I'm looking for something that kicked but the first time, that you'd like to see reloaded. Actually, come to think of it, I'm gonna change the name of the carnival to Reloaded. There.

Have you been coming around for a while? When it comes to blog postings, do you have a pretty good idea of what makes me juice and tick and jump for joy? Dear GAWD! Don't be shy. Send me one of your babies.

What'll happen to your dear one? Well, I've seen other weeklies (sugasm comes to mind...but puLEEZ don't go peek if you're skittish and "funny" about the erotic, cuz you'll just freak and start carrying on about porn and trust me, porn isn't the problem...so if you go, byopa - bring your own political analysis) ...where was I, YES...I've seen weekly gatherings where the editors put together a list every week of works voluntarily submitted by individual bloggers. They email the list to every single person who contributes. Every person posts that list of contributor links on their blog. They get attention for the posts they posted. They get increased traffic to their blogs and they get increased links.

The damn things bounce around in the blogosphere for months. My contributions to sugasm from weeks ago are still turning up as listings on technorati...which is cool because I loved the story and the posts I've submitted.

Thanks to Sarah at allaboutmyvagina for her contribution. If I can get five more, I'll be a happy camper, indeed. But don't wait too long. Wouldn't want to find myself on Sunday morning having to put the whole thing together.

So, there! I'm hoping that my "regulars", those people who've come and read and/or commented will send me something something old an sweet right quick for RELOADED. Fingers crossed.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

More on my obsession with "mess"...

So, this morning I was saying to Papi: "Oh GAWD, Papi! The lesbians are gonna hate me." He goes: "Why are you saying that darkdaughta? Do you really give a fuck if they hate you?" And I'm like: "Okay, it's not that I'm worried about whether "they" hate me. It's more like I'm worried that they're gonna go: See? She's fucking nuts. CRAZY! She's completely and utterly insane." Papi says: "But you are." And I respond with: "Yeah, that's true." He says: "But everyone is pretty much insane. The difficulty is that we all spend a lot of time performing. We spend so much time trying to perform something we think looks like sanity, like we've got it all together that we forget that we're completely off our rockers, imperfect and insane. I think your problem is that you're not interested in performing a reasonable facsimile of sanity. You don't want to try and pretend at all. And I think that you know that people get angry when they see you not pretending and letting all your messy bits hang out and that they'll try and pathologize you for not playing the game and pretending along with the rest of us."

I was like...
"Yay." sigh...

So, I've noticed that TLC has realized that there's a bigger market in trying to slightly bow to new birthing market trends. Now they're doing "messy, exciting, off tha hook birthing..." Hee, hee, hee.

No more made up and drugged wimmin in floral print nighties come to have the babies hacked out of them....well, less of them anyways. Now on some afternoons I get back to back howlers in sopping wet hospital shifts being switched back and forth from birthing pool to hospital bed and back again. :) It's soooo exciting. I'm really glad that TLC decided to sexy it up by splitting the television screen into multiple parts. It's like I'm watching "24" only the star isn't running from "their" side or "our" side. Nah. The star is gritting their teeth, breasts carefully obscurred from view, hairy crotchular region fuzzied out for sake of christian propriety and privacy, pushing out babies.

I'd be happy to see these shows after all these years if the producers hadn't once more managed to turn birthing mama's experience and newborn into televised product. Watch how they still allow for the harsh glaring lights, whisking baby away from mama to "clean" off any unsightly fluids or substances, watch how baby is still immediately cut away from mama via the severing of umbilical cord immediately, watch baby shut down, eyes tight shut...is that life unscripted? Hell no.

Anywayz...
I've been decorating. That's what I do for fun these days. Next it'll be bon bons and the fucking soaps.

I found these two pictures of me and cringed. Amerikkka's fucking Next Top Airhead photos these are not.

I balked at the sight of my life unscripted, wrinkled, drained image...so oblivious to the gaze and to the need for me to perform even in my own bedroom. I look(ed) like an ageing woman nearing forty.

"Ew!", part of me thought. That's not sexy. Another part of me elbowed her in the ribs. "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with that? This is you and it's inherently good and beautiful and interesting. What do you want? Post partum botox and airbrushing? Get over it!"

I wanted to hide them away before someone saw them and decided that because my image was not processed and smoothed over in that vulnerable, post power overdrive moment, I was of way less value, not "interesting", not good enough to pay attention to, not a desireable product.

deep breath in...
See, Shmolian lying next to you? You just finished changing his diaper. That's calendula cream in your hands.

See that open mouth? He's trying to latch on and you're about to try and stifle a scream cuz it hurts.

These are everyday moments. They're real.
sigh...
I see serene and present...I see me inside me, not performing for those who can never truly be anything but observers...relegated to the outside.

I see unashamed, no self doubting, no primping for the camera, no made up to appear natural, just plain human animal focussed - me.

deep breath in (I already released the last one)...out...still tight...want to get comfortable...trying to eak out a space alongside the "surface, don't you want me, don't you want to want me, performative media/youth/popular/oppressive" culture.

Make no mistake: This blog is a product.
But it is my product made as bizarre, obnoxiously counter present trends that demand the manufacture of surface beauty, processed human, more perfect than ever truly attainable, as I can manage.

This blog, is my mirror.
The mirror I hold up reflecting me, facing you has been so badly, purposefully smashed there will never be one whole view available for easy consumption. My mirror is not just multi-faceted. It's dirtied, having been smeared with piles of shit, vomit, piss, snot, tears, sweat and blood...and other bits of crap I try to evade that belong to other people.

I can't block my/your/our need to assign market value to every single creature, thing and experience on the planet due to a putrid and ubiquitous capitalist model that blankets this globe. I can't block the fact that Black people's images are on the auction block everyday and that we collectively understand this experience as a measure of our collective market worth and power. I can't block the fact that wimmin are expected to perform and smile even as we choke on our own bloody, foul tasting oppression. "Try to be nice and beautiful." I can't block any of the STOOpid crap that marks our ability to shoe horn ourselves into experiences that impose surface ideas about worth and beauty and intelligence and, and, and...there's more...I won't bother, the list would never end.

Being expected to perform sucks. Being judged and graded according to how well I can perform and being understood as less intelligent when I refuse to participate in the marketing of someone who bears a surface resemblance to me, but no more than that, sucks.

There is no way to fight the power when power is all, resonating through and controlling not just our interrelationships, but also the ways we present ourselves when we relate, one to another.

I can't stop it. Sometimes I play at it, performing the performance...just so I can make it through another fucking day...

I can fuck it up, though, here on this blog, my product...by utilizing this product to ask questions and to problematize other people's assumptions about what makes an acceptable, shareable, broadcastable, bloggable product/image.

I'm hoping you'll get me when I say: Really, at the end of the day, it won't be my image that I offer up for consumption. Nah. Tha's just the first layer. Go deeper.
It will be the questions brought on by repeated barrages of slightly off kilter, bent images combined with even more off kilter wordings encouraging readers to wonder and to think and to venture, that will end up being my "product".

That's the best I can do.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Visiting Weff 's Musings which led to musing about my former lesbian life...

I was googling my way through the blogosphere when I came across Weff's Musings. She wrote a post where she problematized her lesbian identity, challenging herself to complicate not just her identity but also her desires.
The Meaning of Lesbian
.....Well. Fine, I said. Awesome. It's better to be a lesbian anyway. I choose to be attracted/engaged with only other women. After all, men are women's main oppressors. It must be healthier to date/love/fuck only other women. Lesbianism became seemingly inextricably intertwined with my feminism. I became, if you will, a lesbian purist. Almost all of my friends were lesbian. I did my best to read books by female authors with female leads. I attended a lot of women only events. I determined not to involve "new" men in my life in any significant way. I briefly considered setting a goal of moving to lesbian land. My major and research interests during the last two years of my undergraduate career revolved solely around, you guessed it, lesbians.

And then, out of school, I began to work "in the real world," at various part time jobs, while I was trying to figure out what to do with graduate school. And lo and behold, some of my co-workers were men. Some of whom I liked. Enjoyed spending time with, even. Often, more than many of the women I worked with. At the same time, life outside the ivory tower demonstrated that, as interesting and potential-filled as academic theory can be, it is all too often over-simplified. I began to be interested in the queer and postmodern theory that I had spurned in my purist days. My reading interests expanded. Etc.

Slowly, I realized that, while it is definitely true that women are still an oppressed class, and women's and lesbian's rights and cultures are still things I value immensely, it isn't a good thing to objectify individual men as simply "oppressors." Sure, some men are real assholes to women, and I don't want meaningful personal relationships with them. And every man hangs on to some vestiges of sexism, no matter how much he tries to eradicate it from his consciousness. But I hang on to vestiges of my white, middle-class privilege, too. In short, we all hang on to our privilege, and instead of forced alienation from each other, we need to learn to work together. Sometimes, we may need to withdraw, inasmuch as such as thing is possible, to "safe" places away from oppression, but to effectively battle injustice, we all need to band together.

At about the same time that I was experiencing these political outlook shifts, I was also realizing that I find men sexually attractive, and that I would consider pursuing relationships with a sexual component with the right men. Not without condition - for example, penetration with a penis is not something I ever expect to be interested in - but, still. Given our polyamory, I discussed this with Crystal, and though such a thing would need to be taken very slowly, she is supportive of my feelings, and would be okay with me pursuing such a relationship if and when the potential for one arose.

So, now, the big question is: am I a lesbian? I'm in a long term lesbian relationship, I've embraced a culture and a set of values that can be identified as lesbian, and I see the world from a lesbian perspective. But my attractions are bisexual, and the potential is there, however remote, for me to actualize those attractions.
more...
Got me to thinking about my messed up identity. I commented...wrote a small zine's worth on her comments page...I added some stuff to the original comment.
"Tell me about it. I came out as bisexual in my very early twenties because I was sort of "tainted" :) by having had sex with men. Hee, hee, hee.

Then I morphed into "lesbian" after deciding that I was "never" going to have relationships with men "again".

Then, sadly, disappointingly, I had a good many hellish, odd, disappointing, painful, stupid, draining relationships with wimmin who I just wasn't well matched with...understatment of the century...don't make me get all up in it. If I'd been older and more experienced....maaaaaaaaybe I would have survived inside one of them and stayed put. sigh.

In anycase, frustrated and seriously lacking in the hope department I looked the idea of being "alone", never having children and growing old on my own in the eye. I didn't want to be deprived of the life I'd envisioned with a woman partner because I couldn't find...a woman partner. (laughter of the damned)

I decided that I had options and that they had penises. Men were definitely second choice...but without understanding how fluid my sexuality was at that time, I claimed the right to seriously consider any/all genders so as to arrive at a truly representative sample. :) I decided I would be "open" to meeting whoever came (pardon the pun) who was respectful, intelligent, stimulating, emotionally present, loving and encouraging of me as much as I was encouraging of them.

How hard could that be?

I dated men and wimmin. The men I chose were disappointing and barely present in this dimension, child like, transient. The wimmin I chose, sadly, made the whole relationship with a man nonetheless a real no brainer.

So, I kept checking the boys. I think I tried three binary gendered men before I met Papsi.

By this time I had stopped defining as a lesbian and as a feminist because of conflicts in spaces like Michigan where trans and S/M issues really got me to thinking about inclusivity and oppression inside our ranks.

I had already been defining as a dyke, moving toward queer as my sexuality and sexual preferences became more edgy.

By the time I actually started having a relationship with Papi, around the same time that I got pregnant with Stinkapee, I was mostly defining as queer.

Most of what happened for me with Stinkapee and Papi can be found on my main site darkdaughta.com and of course, here on this blog.

But I have to admit that it took me entering into the blogosphere and realizing how staunchly conservative so many of the wimmin who were defining as radical feminists were, to kick me right back into defining as "feminist" again.

I was like: "Hell NO! No fucking way are these wimmin, no matter how well educated, no matter how vocal, no matter how well meaning, gonna speak for me, gonna manifest as MY leadership just because I decided to enter the blogosphere."

I decided that I would muddy the picture a bit, mess things up a little, complicate things, fuck things up and just generally contribute to more of a multifaceted, left leaning feminism here in blogland. So, I dug around in the attic of my soul, found my feminist gold card, dusted it off, pinned it to my chest and walked into the fray.

I wanted to articulate a space and to define some rules for engaging with oppression that broadened the scope of discussions I witnessed wimmin having that were really uni-layered.

I came out as a feminist again, this time without the L word attached.

So, yeah, at one point my identity as a Black person was powerfully attached via wimmin like Audre Lorde and Pat Parker to my chosen self naming as "lesbian" which, in turn, was very wedded to my feminist politics. This combination rolled off the tongue beautifully. I'm a Black lesbian feminist. I'm a Black lesbian feminist. Years and years over a decade of "I'm a Black lesbian feminist".

At one point I couldn't even see what life would look like away from being, presenting and identifying as a Black lesbian feminist. It was all. It was of massive importance. It was my world.

But I grew and changed and encountered things, people, ideas that transformed me and didn't allow me to fit into the identity I'd constructed for myself.
whoo-HOO! I GREW and moved.

I'm happy enough about it now. But I think when I was more in the middle of the crucible, changing, stretching, bleeding, regretting, trying to not move out and move away, it was awful and I was enraged as I believed that my change in circumstances had been heralded, brought on by so many painful relationships...my little girl felt chased out of her "home", banned, called out of what she thought would be the new and permanent spelling of her name.

But I realized I could survive away from the amazons I had understood as my extended family. I realized that they actually existed as fierce Dahomey wimmin only in my mind. I had created them - infallible, powerful, loyal and true - more than human, perfect, goddesses each and every one, because that was who I was striving unrealistically to be and that was what I craved.

I think the fundamentally imperfectly real and human reality of these wimmin, the wimmin I met was a lot more complicated, ofttimes depressing and sometimes downright horrifying than I was prepared or equipped to deal with. Yeah, I desired them, desired what I wanted to see of them, handsome, gorgeous, tall, thick, confident, strong...a construct emanating from inside my brain... I didn't desire the reality of so, so much crappy, oppressive residue played out so painfully up close, so intimately, so relentlessly.

I wanted less...unh...I wanted more....wanted them to be more...couldn't stand the fact that they refused to change according to my needs so that I could stand to be around them. I wanted to be more when I was with them, understood myself as more when I was with them. I wanted to grow and become even more and didn't understand how the power of one, my own power, not crutched up against the power of another crutched up against the power of another...could be enough. I didn't understand, didn't want to have to understand how to surge, move, evolve away from them, without them, without the reflection I understood as kindred, looking back at me.

So, they would be themselves. Nothing more. And that just wasn't desireable. It wasn't a turn on. I think the reflection, bringing me back time and time again to the worst possible fears, the insecurities, the sense that we really weren't going to survive...combined recently with the drive toward institutionalization communicating the idea that we will only be strong if we build institutions full of bureaucratic red tape similar to the organizations that have oppressed us, pretty much dealt a death blow to what was left of my woman centric, community polticized desires... I was tired of screaming and crying and running and staying and fighting and flirting and screaming and crying and running and resolving to stay no matter how awful, no matter how disappointing, embarassing or humiliating...

I haven't really mourned. Everyday is a mourning day for that former life. I don't feel like I've cried it out, screamed it out, vomited it out...I feel the bile rising, threatening to choke me. I'll just keep typing, things'll settle down...they have to...don't they?

sigh...
In any case, I realized that I could actually poke my head "outside" wimmin's community. After years of avoiding men, following repair men with cast iron frying pans...just in case they turned out to be bashing rapists...I could venture outside and have a look around in the world outside wimmin's community. I was strong enough. I had learned my lessons well. A lot of what I write about here, a lot of what I understand has it's complete grounding in what I was taught as I read and listened and watched...I watched and learned a lot, I was invited to experience a lot, to experiment a lot. I'm the better for it. Today, I don't think I'll be going back. But tomorrow is another day.

Cocoon split, ejecting me forcibly outside the gates, I'm realizing that I can find ways to step out into the world and that I don't need the relative safety of the artificial constructs aka the places I've called "home" and "community" to understand myself as safe or to understand myself at all. In truth, I've learned that there is no muthafuckin' safety. There is no FUCKING safety. Once I understood that, I could check out anytime I like and I could actually leave.

I can go. (smiles)

I can draw breath outside. I've been living outside. I can actually sustain myself and my children without the fabrication of an inside space, constructed space of resistance and belonging. I carry resistance in me. I have it right in here. :)

It has been a fucking stretch, though. When I started my relationship with Papi, I think I started seeing everything I hadn't allowed myself to see about the spaces I'd been inhabiting. I was saying goodbyes all over the place, to so many people. Silent goodbyes. They didn't realize I was leaving. Though I would send emails with the same sort of content my posts have, I don't think anyone took what I was saying seriously. I have some debts I need to settle up and then the strings will pretty much be cut.

Wordings have been hangnail issues. How would I define? What would I call myself? I was jumbled. For a long while I believed that I could not exist as a radical feminist, in the ways I had when I was a dyke, while being in relationship with a man. The voices of purity undercutting my belief in my complicated politic and erotic selves were pretty strong.

Nonetheless, I've managed to finally draw some really intelligent, politicized, sometimes even fun boundaries around stuff I would not compromise about or concede to. I remember, even in recent years, having some really terse, and when I say terse, I don't mean terse like the whispery straight ladies who balk at speaking their mind forthrightly, who scare themselves when they show any emotion, "terse". Nah.
I mean terse like I was like: "Papi. Do not for any reason refer to me as bisexual. I'm not. I'm queer. It doesn't matter if you understand the politic or the theory behind it. Just read my lips: Queer. And Papi? Do not refer to me as your wife. I'm not your fucking wife. You're mine. Are we clear? Sweet."

It's been a real mind bender, trying to figure out how to define or how to understand myself after so many years of living, loving, writing... especially writing...my whole published existence has been as a dyke..., fucking...everything I know about sex I learned actively while being in relationships with wimmin...so, up until very recently, I wasn't even sure who I was going to be with my life so fully existing outside the realm of things lesbian or even dykely.

I still poke and prod at Papi when I get ready as if to remind him that his body is alien, odd, other. I think he enjoys it when I dry hump him in the kitchen missionary style. He understands that even if I don't ever fuck another woman, something in me has got to "practice" and maintain proper "form". Hee, hee, hee.

But jokes aside...no, I really do grab him and bend him over...but joking about it, aside...

I think my beautiful Stinkapee talking to me in the Dollarama while we were buying garden stuff saying: "Mama, you're a dyke, right? You know the wimmin at the Dyke March who don't wear their tops and don't wear bras?..."

With such everyday, comfortable, pride, understanding, confidence and acceptance she snapped me right back into who I energetically, politically, socially and emotionally am. Her words spoke to me and reminded me, challenged me and invited me to be at "home", at peace...inside me.

I'm a queer Black feminist! I'm a Black dyke feminist. Hear me ROAR!"
Okay, this is all garbled. It's a bit longer than what I left for Weff. But, you get the idea, right?





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Resisting The Ergonomics of Spatial Domination...

Give me a sec...
I have to go google "ergonomics" to make sure I'm using it correctly in the title of this post...............okay, I'm back.

wikipedia says:
Ergonomics (or human factors) is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use (definition adopted by the International Ergonomics Association in 2007). Ergonomics is commonly thought of as how companies design tasks and work areas to maximize the efficiency and quality of their employees’ work. However, ergonomics comes into everything which involves people. Work systems, sports and leisure, health and safety should all embody ergonomics principles if well designed.(International Ergonomics Association in 2007) It is the applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. The field is also called biotechnology, human engineering, and human factors engineering. Ergonomic research is primarily performed by ergonomists who study human capabilities in relationship to their work demands. Information derived from ergonomists contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people (IEA, 2000).
Good enough.

I've been meaning to talk about the way bedrooms/personal spaces have been alloted in our house.

Papi, who spends the least amount of time in his room, preferring to be out in the world doing meetings, running errands or at the computer, mostly only occupying his room when he wants to sleep, chose the smallest room for himself. He liked this room because it was serene...after we painted the "shit brown" coloured walls yellow...it's east facing and every morning it's flooded with light...which he likes.

My room, which is where people tend to congregate, sleep, get dressed, have conversations, has the largest bed, has some floor space, is getting a couch and is the mid sized room.

Stinkapee has the largest room. This is the room that would traditionally be referred to as the "master(s) bedroom". It's the room facing the front of the house with the big bay window, largest floor space and most wall space that the male patriarch and his twatting possession aka consort aka his "Wife", usually takes for themselves. Hierarchically speaking the largest bedroom is one of the spoils or perks of domination played out in the context of the traditional nuclear family.

Even though most parents spend the majority of their "conscious"...okay let's just revise that...even though when they're not purposefully sleeping and their eyes seem to be open as they walk zombie like through their days...either out of the home working or in common spaces refereeing family interactions, only retreating into personal private space in their rooms in moments of high anxiety, severe depression, raging disagreements they want to whisper behind closed doors so that the kids can pretend they didn't hear a thing or when they are forced to sleep...the majority of adults (in mixed gender or same gendered relationships or who are single) engaged in parenting, reserve the right to cordon off the largest room in the house for themselves, relegating their children to smaller spaces of lesser importance as befitting those who are understood to be of less importance in nuclear family constellations. Ageist, familial domination played out spatially.

This is what makes sense for us:
Given that Stinkapee is the most active person in the house, most energetic, most given to run and jump and bounce off the walls, she needed space and lots of it. She entertains friends in her room. We don't. Her diminutive size means that her room seems even larger to her than it would to us adults...so from where she's standing, she has a LOT of space to play and run and jump and bounce off the walls. Given that she can be periodically sent there for alone time (hers or ours) as well as for time outs (her decision or ours), it also makes sense that she have a massive room where she won't feel overly cooped up and contained.

Stinkapee's room also serves as family gathering, cushy place space and Shmolee practice walk and climb room.

"Master" bedroom?
Having explained to Stinkapee about the Middle Passage and about the white people who thought they were our masters, she understands and we all agree "There are no masters. We have no masters." So, it follows that there is no need of a master bedroom.

So, that's Stinkapee...
But you should see the looks Paps and I get when we drop in conversation that we have our own rooms that each of us sleeps in. Does this sound like lesbian bed death? :)

The choice of separate rooms for Papi and me does fly in the face of romantic ideas not grounded in the reality of how much wimmin are called on to be
(emotionally, psychologically, sexually) accessible during the day, only to also be understood as of course accessible to partners (especially male partners) at night as well.

The reality is that having two children on really different schedules and a partner who understands deep sleep as his due once he's horizontal, meant I had to profoundly disturb the idea of the family bed and the couple's/parent's bed, too.

This works for future poly activating plans too in that at some point Papi will start to date again. I've already said that I find the idea of rubbing genitals and emotional scars with a stranger, another person repugnant...been there in spades, for what feels like decades, already. Blech.

Papi having his own space means that he will be able to rub away at will without me having to stake out the "couple's" bed as my "territory" or having to be "turfed"
out for some fun boinkerama. :)

So, our set up means Papi is responsible for Shmolee at night. When he wakes and wants food, it's Papsi's job to get it for him. Whether this means bringing Shmolee to me or making him a mini meal Shmolee's apetites are Papi's responsibility. One reason I demanded this was that Stinkapee has ended up sticking close to me for most of her sleep times for most of her life. This flowed naturally from her always sleeping with me as a baby and me mostly being the one who dealt with her either with Papi or on my own because Papi would go into a coma when he hit the pillow.

As she grew older, even when I dearly wished for a break, she pretty much stayed course until very recently. Now, she sometimes sleeps with Papi...and I have Shmolee.

Without the rooms being separated, Papi would most likely go into deep, deep REM sleep and my people pleasing, pragmatic worker child would resentfully take care of both Stinkapee and Shmolee.

So...Little Blackly Locks -













big room, doubles as crawl space for Shmolian and family common play space during the day

Mama Bear -












medium room, shared with Stinkapee and sometimes with whole family...with negotiation, no assumed access for Papi

Papsi Bear -













small room, child friendly space, shared with Shmolee and sometimes with Stinkapee depending on if she wants to snuggle or access his emotional, physical, psychological presence and care

Shmolee Bear -













pretty much roaming where ever he will




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Butoh Blackness...

I've had really tense conversations with other Black people from time to time about manifestations of Black culture, arts...music, visual art, dance, writing...starting off as powerful manifestations of the collective and of the SELF, charting our experiences through time emotionally with the aid of language, colour, sound, movement...
Soon being "discovered" by other people not us and from there morphing into capitalist, surface seeming, popularity accruing, consumable exploit...no longer ours, almost completely not associated with us.

This has happened in kkkanada where hip hop, break dancing and associated clothing are now called "urban" culture. White supremacist popular culture creation machines absorbed expressions of resistance linking Black folks here to diaspora, craved the colourful, vibrance and intensity, remade it, renamed it and is now in the process of selling us the "new" product back to us and others as something divorced from who we are. Sweet.

I went through this really intense period in my early twenties where I was obsessed with everything Black. I only wanted to hear music by Black people, read books written by Black academics and novelists, go to movies where Black people figured prominently, go to social events where Black people were in the majority, go to plays about Black people...

At some point this started to shift. I think my first exit point was created for me courtesy of the homophobia and lesbophobia I started to acknowledge encountering in community. It was polite oppression, cuz we're in kkkanada, now. People didn't say "don't come near us". They just made sure that spaces were oppressively heterocentric. They didn't say "don't speak about who you are". They just made certain that whatever could be said that might serve as a critique of their obsession with towing particular lines of compulsory heterosexuality was given precious little space.

From a distance I started to see other fault lines, other places where interacting was extremely problematic. People didn't/don't have...well, let's not talk in the negative...people have the sexual critiques of their parents...which is to say that even among twenty somethings, people considerably younger than I am, christian conservative sexual conservatism is rampant.

What's even more disturbing for me, what I understand to be evidence of white supremacist colonization, evidence of Black people's obsession with seeming perfect and therefore worthy of the name "human" is the obsession with tidy, clean, overly polished/produced/practiced images, music, dance, photography...poetry. Pop culture, consumable culture, easily taken in and understood because any of the gristle, any of the bone, any of the burnt and crusty bits have been sliced away leaving only a pablum like paste no one has to chew too hard to consume.

I think this is why I like the idea of Butoh dance so much.

It's thinking dance...
It's feeling dance...
It's traumatized dance...
It's ugly dance...
It is a confused howl of complete horror....
It's muddied, gory dance...
A by product of a nation's experience...after world war two...after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This is not the dance of people who give a fuck who's watching.
This is not the dance of people who wonder whether their performance will garner applause and good reviews.
This is not the dance of people who worry about buying some more bling.
This is not the dance of people who worry about whether the cameras are getting their good side.

I want Black, Diasporic, lost fucking cousins Butoh.
I want rage at never being able to truly "return" "home" Middle Passage Butoh.
I want confused, coloured and colonized settler Butoh.
I want a furious spastic, a-rhythmic dance that doens't transport me bumpin and grindin down that Egyptian river aka De-Nile.
I want a ketch she and rape she, miscegenated, worst of both worlds, pappy/minstrel show gone horribly wrong dance that doesn't offer me fantasy space away from the knowledge of who I am.

I want trauma dance...
Angry survivor guilt dance that will wo'k it out fer real not made amusing or lighter by anybody's foot being hol' up, anybody's wais' winin'.

I want a Butoh dance that rocks me right on through the Middle and out the other side fer real.
I want a copper smelly, sticky, dirty, settler made really bad choices, hands stained with Native blood dance not decorated with multicoloured feathers and sequins that makes space for completely unrehearsed, unmodulated shrieks of disgust, terror and horror combined.

I want a tumbing, jumbled, troubled space of self articulation beyond already diseased products Sony or Disney or BET or Mirvish Productions can purchase, gut even further(...is it possible to gut something that was lifeless to begin with?), market and sell back to me.

Dear Goddess! Dear Goddess! Dear Goddess!
Just once, just once, just once!
I invoke thee. I invoke thee! I INVOKE THEE!
This is me shrieking an early 40th birthday wish!

Smash the over proof soaked dark cake and smear sticky, stinking icing on the walls!
Feed vermin the split peas and rice, curry goat, blood pudding and souse!
Break forty candles and light the master's buffet and table on fyah!
Kick the honoured courteous guests in the head and send them screeeeeeaaaaaming clothing ripped to tatters out into the streets to spread the word!
Jump for melancholy, twisted, hurting, burning, fuk'd in the head
joy!

Black Diasporic African BUTOH
,
Black Diasporic African BUTOH, Black Diasporic African BUTOH!

hmmm...
maybe I've found a new calling -

Darkdaughta,
Artistic Director
The Diasporic African Anti-Christ's Completely Spastic and Dingy Dancers From Hell (opening a chapter on a block near you...be afraid, be very afraid)

Yeah, I like the sound of that. :)



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Were they trying to be "progressive"?...

I know this song from my teens. Today, I was writing a treatment for a video we're doing and Iron Maiden's song "Run To The Hills" popped into my head. Youtubed it.

Oh GAWD. What were they thinking?
Iron Maiden, a bunch of white british rockers, the descendants of the people who really put their all into creating the mess we're presently living, write a song with verses about Native people's land being invaded. But the archival footage they used was ludicrous, laughable and not to be taken seriously. It made fun not just of the white genocidal settlers, but also of the Native warriors who are doing things like riding tandem bikes and running around waving their arms like...well, you know what people would call a bunch of dark people who are making too much noise and aren't in "control" of themselves, don't you?

sigh...

I like the energy and rawness of metal. But I still maintain, it's hard for any musicians, who deal primarily in rhyming coupled sound bytes, to say anything substantial or meaningful about any issue, whatsoever.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Take Two - Poor Bashing...the sexualization of poor wimmin is actually the erotic oppression of ALL wimmin...

I can tell I'm excited about this post. It's not quite tight yet, still has fuzzy areas I want to tweak. In anycase, I kept fiddling with the older version until I finally decided that it was worth an updated, new post altogether. Keep reading 'til you find the new stuff.

Poor Bashing. I love this book. Can't say it enough. I don't do many plugs. This book, in really plain english, lays out some really important ideas about the creation of the welfare state and the subjugation of poor people.

I've been thinking...
about the stratification of most societies on the planet according to the oppressive distribution of wealth, resources and credit.

...About what it means to come from a part of the world where, in families, villages, parishes, blah, blah, blah...still functioning to this very day under the vestiges of white british colonial rule, values and beliefs, only two things really count - shade and class...they influence everything, even people's understanding of their own erotics.

I've been thinking about how all this has touched my life, shaped my life without my fucking permission or consent...especially in the area of desire...the erotic.

This is gonna be quick and dirty. I think I'm too annoyed about it to want to sit still with it right now. But this is it in a nutshell...

I'm completely fucking shocked to see that middle-class, closeted christian people are running organizations and getting funding to run organizations where they can pass on backward, outmoded victorian ideas about sex, labeled promiscuity, and intertwine this lack of analysis, with ideas about what it means to succeed and be an upstanding member of community or society. Christian camouflaged claptrap designed to mislead youth, miring them in confusion, shame and self hate.

I think about all the wimmin I've encountered over the past few years...of course I'm talking about Black wimmin, since that who I mostly dealt with for a very long while. I reflect on how their existences were/are so defined by their relationships to crazy ass. christianized ideas about the erotic.

Who is sexual?
Who is "nasty"?
Who is "clean"?
And therefore, who is deserving of respect?
Who is deserving of alliance?
Who is deserving of support?
Who is deserving of community?
Who can play the game?
Who knows when to shut up?
Who knows when to roll over and play....dead?

I've known Papi for almost seven years. I've been in partnership with him for less than five of that. Stinkapee is almost six years old. You do the oppressive, backward, illigitamizing, patriarchal, hetero, monogamous math.

I'm almost forty and was always interested in having at least one long term relationship. I was never interested in marriage...to a man. :)

Less than one year ago, last november I think it was, we signed privilege accruing papers designed to give us and our partnership more rights than other people's relationships under the law. Shmolian is more than fifteen months old. Again, please, do...figure out the oppressive, backward, illigitamizing, patriarchal, hetero, monogamous math.

When Papi and I walk the streets with Stinkapee and Shmolian sometimes we run into this strange breed of urban black chick. Haunted, slightly jealous, insecure eyes.

Why?
They're not married "yet". They're getting older and they're not married yet.

Papi quips that they probably fucking hate me.

Why?

Well, I'm a low class, no last name, no old or new money, bitch of a woman who spits on ideas about the worth of a "good" woman so intertwined with oppressive beliefs about marriage, heterosexuality, fucking MONOGAMY, sexual health...related to Black people's experience of white supremacist colonial oppression and classism. I don't deserve to have anything, relationship, home, children, safety, health, smile, contentment, attention.

"Nobody's" daughter, openly scoffing at their engagement parties and wedding invitations, at their attempts to sustain monogamous heterosexual relaionships with men who are clueless, where they smile, use soft tones, try to work around their male partners, try to cover for their male partners, try not to undermine the overdeveloped egos of their male partners, try to make sure that their little men feel like African kings of the fucking castle...
They don't get how a queer, polyamourous, skank with a loudmouth, who is greying (fast), fat and periodically hugely pregnant, so obviously past the initial glow of her twenties ended up with what they would call a desireable man. :) Twits.

According to their belief systems, with their extended, fairly extreme attempts to prove their loyalties to various systems of domination, which they have so willingly and skillfully internalized, they should be married and I should be HIV positive, living in a bed bug ridden rooming house and working for crack on a street corner somewhere downtown. :)

I see them and besides just generally cringing, I think: "How sad..." What I disdained and avoided, finally opting to undertake for my own reasons according to my own carefully stated and planned out agendas, they stay up late at night, eyes reddened with spent tears, hands wringing, wondering: "Will I ever find Mr. Right?"

When I drive by them or run into them (oops that sounds like I'm plowing them down with a 4x4...I don't own a vehicle and I can't drive...legally) on the sidwalks we lock eyes and I register that they know I'm the proof that value systems predicated on the oppression of wimmin they understand as less deserving don't actually function in the favour of those who uphold them. Erotophobia and classism intertwined and deeply ingrained, they've abstained, disdained and remained insane without being able to access the full perks and benefits.

How sad.

As for me?
Well, I've pretty much only got my analysis to keep me warm at night. This analysis includes an understanding of classism and poor bashing solidly built on the ideas I've read in political writings most often penned by "good" or "nice" academic wimmin who don't implicate themselves and their own experiences as wimmin very often taught from childhood on up to divest themselves of any outward evidence of the erotic so as to be taken seriously as proper, professional, intelligent, nice, marriageable, respectable.

Without the literary inclusion of ideas linked to their own domination as part of the picture, they're just doing academic charity or missionary work where they attempt to "save" the sexualized Poor Woman from oppressive constructed erotics.

Without these very same academic wimmin, especially women of colour, holding the mirror up to their own lives...without them moving beyond the whole: "We've been sexually oppressed, raped, and controlled and don't have any more time to spend playing at things erotic when there are demos to attend and immigrants who need to safely cross borders," they position and pit fundamentally linked aspects of people of colour's, wimmin's, working class, workers' struggles in false opposition.

This is a fear based reaction that stunts the growth of any collective political strategies that might offer them an understanding of how classism and poor bashing linked to the constructed promiscuous poor erotic actually function hand in hand as parts of the matrix of power and domination...which means that ideas about the oppressed and/or liberating erotic are inextricably wedded to colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, immigration policy...I could go on, but perhaps, I'll simply invite you to fill in your bits and pieces here...

sigh...
In any case, I don't have the luxury of ignoring how oppressive ideas about the links between poverty, class and the erotic have played out in my own life. I walk the streets of a city, when I have to, where even well known, well respected Black and of colour feminists, activists, academics, artists, writers attempt to give shade for imagined transgressions even as they have no problem turning around and writing/theorizing/performing about, building reputations as rude and transgressive while maintaining social networks bound together by colonially based understandings of proper conduct, speech (or rather silence) and morality.

(I once worked with a woman at a film and television workers' union who used to say stuff like "I'm so mad I could spit," when she was really incensed.)

I'd like to spit.
How can I type me spitting?
Is there a set of characters, that, when placed next to each other by me, when projected onto my screen and eventually published electronically showing up on this blog, end up looking and sounding like a pus filled, deep, nasty, disgusted hork?

Can I spit here? I'd like to spit.

sigh...
fuck...
I understand, mourn and rage against the concessions I choose to make, have been forced to choose to make as the sex positive, goddess loving, queer mother of two children not being raised inside a protective, family friendly, homeschooling, queer, Black conscious, class conscious, womancentric, intentional community/extended family. It's just not fucking safe and most often it hasn't been safe precisely because of the ignorance I've encountered when in close proximity to the dominated in complete collusion with their own subjugation. Fuck.

Keeping on...

My truths include:
-Poor wimmin are not inherently more likely to be sexual than wimmin of the middle or upper classes.
-Poor wimmin are not biologically predispositioned to give birth outside the constraints of oppressive patriarchal monogamous heterosexual marriage contracts.
-Poor wimmin are not born more susceptible to HIV or any other STDs.
-Poor wimmin's children born out of the above mentioned oppressive relationship contracts aren't automatically born less healthy, more malnourished, less well educated or more well suited to low paying jobs because of their mother's lack of wedding rings or experience of the erotic.

These are constructs I don't see fully DEconstructed in eduational materials where the implications usually play out in the space between the lines, in silence rather than in information offered with full context.

What I understand:
-Poor wimmin are targeted as sexual receptacles by middle and upper class patriarchs who are sexually compartmentalized, shame filled, dishonest and dangerously ill educated.
-Poor wimmin ae defined as erotic terrain through their labelling as inherently promiscuous.
-This labeling allows them to be simultaneously constructed as untouchable and as desirable, marks them as targets for the rage and desires of others.
-Middle and upper class wimmin (of all sexualities and racial constructions) are taught/forced to control any outward signs of their desires so as to more adequately participate in the sexual othering of poor wimmin.
-Poor wimmin who attempt to control any outward signs of the erotic so as to more adequately avoid their own sexual othering are offered reminders and disincentives that remind them of their "proper place".
-Poor wimmin who attempt to resist their own sexual othering by openly embracing their own erotic are targeted by middle and upper class wimmin as well as by the afore mentioned dominated and compliant poor wimmin who all crave, demand and enforce the compliance of all wimmin so as to justify the internalized torment they have shouldered and accepted so as to avoid being othered as poor and therefore inherently promiscuous

Ultimately?
Patriarchal men of all classes benefit from the othering and shaming of poor wimmin's erotic. They also benefit from the shaming and stunting of middle and upper class wimmin's erotic. Classist, sex negative, monogamous, patriarchal, heterocentric relations actually subjugate and damage all wimmin not just the ones who are humiliated and looked down on as lesser, ignorant and diseased sexual receptacles.

But...
Without the collusion of wimmin who understand their market value and their intellects as higher because of their ability to willingly collude with sex negative, classist oppression...
Without the aid of wimmin who maintain "propriety", who fearfully or disdainfully abstain from expressions of public sex(ualness)...
Without the support and well wishes of wimmin who "wait until they're married" to do "it"...
Without the ignorance of wimmin who actually believe that monogamy (not open, honest, caring communication) will keep them safe from sexually transmitted diseases...
Patriarchal, classist, colonial systems of domination would have a hard time keeping wimmin in their proper places...beneath one or m/any oppressing, patriarchal men, missionary position style.

Wimmin who only see five minutes in front of their faces, jumping for joy over down on one knee marriage proposals followed by honeymoons on some oppressed colonial island or back home in oppressing colonial original superpower fatherlands (europe) without understanding the source of their own happiness and, dare I say, relief...
Without realizing that they breathe more easily and understand that they have been made "safe" due to having found one patriarchal sponsor, a male, who through the cordoning off a twat, his territory, attached to a woman dedicated to the satiation of his desires, not hers, offers nonetheless a "suitable" venue in which she can be rendered a "pure" yet usable erotic vessel with a socially validated procreational purpose, magically innoculated against HIV, herpes, genital warts, chlamydia and the clap by virtue of having been sanitized by his salty viscous flow... Without worrying about being constructed as disposable, low class, diseased trash, accessible for use by any patriarch's dominating, lustful gaze...

Phew! What a relief.
"Always a bridesmaid (put to serve and grovel at the feet of those who have ascended). Never a bride (able to access full societal validation and popularity based attention in that moment)."
"I thought he (any man who stands still long enough and is passably civilized, clean and employed) would never ask...never pick me for his team mate so I can be cool and have the other wimmin who are still cows struggling to not give up their milk for free, come to my wedding and give me presents and look on me and what I've "achieved" enviously, crying tears of worry, wondering when, if ever, their turn will come."

These wimmin so recently engaged breathe a sigh of relief as privileged teflon primadonnas who are now "off limits", no longer infantilized or overtly sexualized...
"Just wear The Ring...oh, it's a south african oppressed miner blood(ied) diamond? Just flash The Ring and all the world will know you don't play...
Flash The Ring and even parents will look upon you more seriously, knowing that you are soon to be robed transformatively in white as the outward manifestation of brand spanking new higher status as owned erotic vessel/object pissed on...unh, that's not right...I meant to type -- cummed on and in by only one man. :)

Newsflash privileged and ignorant heffahs:
Without realizing that patriarchy constructs us all as whore receptacles regardless of whether we come from "good" fucking families or not, whether we live in a trailer park/government housing or not, whether we buy designer clothing full priced or shop at the Salvation Army or can't afford to get anything at all, whether we do our own laundry or not...
Whether we play along with, resist the effect of or are ignorant of the existence of deviance manufacturing, woman targeting social relations ...wimmin who occupy the upper echelons of hierarchies prohibiting the expression and embrace of the publicly manifested erotic where poor wimmin are always defined as less than, actually encourage and participate in the oppression of all wimmin. Whether we keep our noses in the air or have them ground into the mud, we are all targets of sexually conservative class and/or race based erotic oppression.

Locating "nice", "suitable", heterosexual, patriarchal, monogamous mates won't change a damn thing about dat.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Respectfully riffing off Sark...

I have a mounted poster called "being a succulent wild woman". I found it one night while I was out walking, freaking, trying to shake the grip of my own issues so powerfully manifested through an absolutely fuk'd and crazed relationship with a woman...I guess the new agies would say, through an absolutely fuk'd and crazed relationship with mySELF...true...sad...horrifying...sobering...

I set eyes on this poster and felt multiple clicks, like someone had sent information just for me, specifically on that night, at that particular time in my fuk'd and crazed life.

I've moved lots of times. I've ditched furnishings and bought furnishings. I've found home decorations and given away or thrown out home decorations. I've collected ritual bits and pieces, stuff to help me remember who I am, who I want to be...who I don't want to be anymore...this poster remains a central fixture in whatever household I occupy.

I made a version for Papi. Don't want to be hearing from anyone's lawyers. So, I'll very clearly say, my man related version is for personal use ONLY and is a direct quote, based completely on SARK's original.

I saw him carrying it around this morning. He's looking for somewhere to hang it up to help him ground and remember who he's been and who he's decided he wants to be. Sweet.


















































































if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Poor Bashing...the sexualization of poor wimmin is actually the erotic oppression of ALL wimmin...

Poor Bashing.
I love this book. Can't say it enough. I don't do many plugs. This book, in really plain english, lays out some really important ideas about the creation of the welfare state and the subjugation of poor people.

I've been thinking...
about the stratification of most societies on the planet according to the oppressive distribution of wealth, resources and credit.

...About what it means to come from a part of the world where, in families, villages, parishes, blah, blah, blah...still functioning to this very day under the vestiges of white british colonial rule, values and beliefs, only two things really count - shade and class...they influence everything, even people's understanding of their own erotics.

I've been thinking about how all this has touched my life, shaped my life without my fucking permission or consent...especially in the area of desire...the erotic.

This is gonna be quick and dirty. I think I'm too annoyed about it to want to sit still with it right now. But this is it in a nutshell...

I'm completely fucking shocked to see that middle-class, closeted christian people are running organizations and getting funding to run organizations where they can pass on backward, outmoded victorian ideas about sex, labeled promiscuity, and intertwine this lack of analysis, with ideas about what it means to succeed and be an upstanding member of community or society. Christian camouflaged claptrap designed to mislead youth, miring them in confusion, shame and self hate.

I think about all the wimmin I've encountered over the past few years...of course I'm talking about Black wimmin, since that who I mostly dealt with for a very long while. I reflect on how their existences were/are so defined by their relationships to crazy ass. christianized ideas about the erotic.

Who is sexual?
Who is "nasty"?
Who is "clean"?
And therefore, who is deserving of respect?
Who is deserving of alliance?
Who is deserving of support?
Who is deserving of community?
Who can play the game?
Who knows when to shut up?
Who knows when to roll over and play....dead?

I've known Papi for almost seven years. I've been in partnership with him for less than five of that. Stinkapee is almost six years old. You do the oppressive, backward, illigitamizing, patriarchal, hetero, monogamous math.

I'm almost forty and was always interested in having at least one long term relationship. I was never interested in marriage.

Less than one year ago, last november I think it was, we signed privilege accruing papers designed to give us and our partnership more rights than other people's relationships under the law. Olamina is more fifteen months old. Again, please, do...figure out the oppressive, backward, illigitamizing, patriarchal, hetero, monogamous math.

When Papi and I walk the streets with Stinkapee and Shmolian sometimes we run into this strange breed of urban black chick. Haunted, slightly jealous, insecure eyes.

Why?
They're not married "yet". They're getting older and they're not married yet.

Papi quips that they probably fucking hate me.

Why?

Well, I'm a low class, no last name, no old or new money, bitch of a woman who spits on ideas about the worth of a "good" woman so intertwined with oppressive beliefs about marriage, heterosexuality, fucking MONOGAMY, sexual health...related to Black people's experience of white supremacist colonial oppression and classism. I don't deserve to have anything, relationship, home, children, safety, healthy, smile, contentment, attention.

"Nobody's" daughter, openly scoffing at their engagement parties and wedding invitations, at their attempts to sustain monogamous heterosexual relaionships with men who are clueless, where they smile, use soft tones, try to work around their male partners, try to cover for their male partners, try not to undermine the overdeveloped egos of their male partners, try to make sure that their little men feel like the kings of the fucking castle...
They don't get how a polyamourous, skank with a loudmouth, greying, fat, so obviously past the initial glow of her twenties ended up with what they would call a desireable man. :)

According to their belief systems, with their extended, fairly extreme attempts to prove their loyalties to various systems of domination, which they have so willingly and skillfully internalized, they should be married and I should be HIV positive, living in a bed bug ridden rooming house and working for crack on a street corner somewhere downtown. :)

I see them and besides just generally cringing, I think: "How sad..."
We lock eyes and I see that they know that basically I'm the proof that value systems predicated on the oppression of wimmin they understand as less deserving don't actually function in the favour of those who uphold them.

As for me?
Well, I've pretty much only got my analysis to keep me warm at night. This analysis includes an understanding of classism and poor bashing solidly built on the ideas I've read in political writings most often penned by "good" or "nice" academic wimmin who don't implicate themselves and their own experiences as wimmin very often taught as children to divest themselves of any outward evidence of the erotic so as to be taken seriously as proper professionals in academia.

Without the literary inclusion of ideas linked to their own domination as part of the picture, they're just doing academic charity or missionary work where they attempt to "save" the sexualized poor woman from oppressive constructed erotics.

Without these very same academic wimmin holding the mirror up to their own lives, especially women of colour, without them moving beyond the whole: "We've been sexually oppressed, raped, and controlled and don't have any more time to spend playing at things erotic when there are demos to attend and immigrants who need to safely cross borders" they position and pit linked aspects of peole of colour's, wimmin's, working class struggles in false opposition.

This is a reaction that stunts the growth of any collective political strategies that might offer them an understanding of how classism and poor bashing linked to the constructed promiscuous poor erotic actually function hand in hand as parts of the matrix of power and domination...which means that ideas about the oppressed and/or liberating erotic are inextricably wedded to colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, immigration policy...I could go on, but perhaps, I'll simply invite you to fill in your bits and pieces here...

sigh...
In any case, I don't have the luxury to ignore how oppressive ideas about the links between poverty, class and the erotic have played out in my own life. I understand, mourn and rage against the concessions I choose to make, have been forced to choose to make as the sex positive, goddess loving, queer mother of two children not being raised inside a protective, family friendly, homeschooling, queer, Black conscious, class conscious, womancentric, intentional community/extended family. It's just not fucking safe and most often it hasn't been safe precisely because of the ignorance I've encountered when in close proximity to the dominated in complete collusion with their own subjugation. Fuck.

Keeping on...

My truths include:
-Poor wimmin are not inherently more likely to be sexual than wimmin of the middle or upper classes.
-Poor wimmin are not biologically predispositioned to give birth outside the constraints of oppressive patriarchal monogamous heterosexual marriage contracts.
-Poor wimmin are not born more susceptible to HIV or any other STDs.
-Poor wimmin's children born out of the above mentioned oppressive relationship contracts aren't automatically born less healthy, more malnourished, less well educated or more well suited to low paying jobs because of their mother's lack of wedding rings or experience of the erotic.

These are constructs I don't see fully DEconstructed in eduational materials where the implications usually play out in the space between the lines, in silence rather than in information offered with full context.

What I understand:
-Poor wimmin are targeted as sexual receptacles by middle and upper class patriarchs who are sexually compartmentalized, shame filled, dishonest and dangerously ill educated.
-Poor wimmin ae defined as erotic terrain through their labelling as inherently promiscuous.
-This labeling allows them to be simultaneously constructed as untouchable and as desirable, marks them as targets for the rage and desires of others.
-Middle and upper class wimmin (of all sexualities and racial constructions) are taught/forced to control any outward signs of their desires so as to more adequately participate in the sexual othering of poor wimmin.
-Poor wimmin who attempt to control any outward signs of the erotic so as to more adequately avoid their own sexual othering are offered reminders and disincentives that remind them of their "proper place".
-Poor wimmin who attempt to resist their own sexual othering by openly embracing their own erotic are targeted by middle and upper class wimmin as well as by the afore mentioned dominated and compliant poor wimmin who all crave, demand and enforce the compliance of all wimmin so as to justify the internalized torment they have shouldered and accepted so as to avoid being othered as poor and therefore inherently promiscuous

Ultimately?
Patriarchal men of all classes benefit from the othering and shaming of poor wimmin's erotic. They also benefit from the shaming and stunting of middle and upper class wimmin's erotic. Classist, sex negative, monogamous, patriarchal, heterocentric relations actually subjugate and damage all wimmin not just the ones who are humiliated and looked down on as lesser, ignorant and diseased sexual receptacles.

Whether the "nice" girls find "suitable" heterosexual, patriarchal, monogamous mates or not, ain't nuthin' gonna change that fact.

there's an updated version here



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Refried/Remix...and an invitation...unh...no...okay, yes...an invitation

It's 10:36 and my offering for Refried/Remix Sunday comes late Saturday night.

See...
It's perfect here...Stinkapee is sleeping on a make shift bed not even two meters away. The Shmolian dozes as he sucks titty. Paps is out at dinner with a woman friend in the making. That's good. He's amusing himself and getting lots of attention.

Me?
Well, I'm gonna watch horrors or sci-fi or something.

But I wanted to drop something for tomorrow's Refried/Remix....
Oh! But first I wanna extend an invitation for anyone with layered politics who is reading. Care to join me for a remix next Sunday?

This is my reasoning:
I'm thinking about all those carnivals that showcase recent work on a particular theme. Very rarely does my work present in a form that might allow someone to shoe horn it into a uni layered gathering. Very rare is the time I would actually like my work to end up in a blogland gathering. Most times when I have been interested, it's been because an older piece came to mind that I thought would be good.

Problem is that carnivals very often seem time sensitive. You're bringing a piece that you posted in the last week or something new you're going to promise to write and post really soon. I don't know about anyone else, but I might not be able to look back in the last seven days and find something that fits. Or I might not have creative juices surging in the direction of the theme they're calling out for right at that sec.

My idea is to invite people who have been coming and reading and who don't get triggered too badly by what I write...or maybe who get triggered badly but can still look back in their archives to a time when they were capable of stringing together a series of relevant, intelligent sentences, to send me a post they really liked, still really like, that they thought was particularly insightful, charged, layered, politicized...something they'd dearly like to have see the light of day again, circulating through the blogosphere on a second run.

On my end I'll gather links to whatever shows up in a single post and ask everyone who ends up being listed to post my list on their blog, too.
An insecure little voice, the one I mostly keep locked in a Harry Potter at the Dursleys-esque closet under the stairs in my head, is pulling at my dress saying: "Darkdaughta, no one's gonna come to your little playground party. They won't come because your rep sucks and because you're not nice." hee, hee, hee, hee. I'm laughing a little maniacal, hysterical giggle because I felt a twang in my heart and knew that this was an acurate wording, lining up well with what my fear and insecurities looks like...but they don't rule me...completely. Nothing ventured, no ass kicked.
Soooo...that's my idea. The more intense, the more complex, the more convoluted and theoretical, the more heretical and downright outta orda and bad behave' the better. Just drop me a line and I'll put it together for next Sunday.

As for me, this is what I'm gonna lift up my skirt and show this time around...I wanted something about rage and defiance and choice and thought that was intense, critical and contextualized...I originally wrote it to address a minority of mid sized, semi popular bloggers who were trippin', complaining about my background image.

On the surface it was about how difficult my image made it for some to read my text. But I also know that I'd had a whole heap of interactions with bloggers who were taken aback by my image who indirectly insinuated that the image of a naked woman, however not presented to titillate, was sexual...ly exploitative, unnecessary, apolitical, uncomfortable, inappropriate...bullshite...whatever they came with, whatever their discomfort, I told them...in as nice a way as possible that I would not change my agendas or the ways I presented my agendas to suit their level of (dis)comfort. Had enough of that fucking shit in real time.

NO MORE. Not when I come here to this place for peace and release...my way.

Nonetheless, my little girl, the people pleaser actually considered moving over to a plain background with sidelined image (which I did do a few months later...for a very little while) Funny, the idea of using background images seems to have taken off. When I came here, only the artsies and some nature bloggers were doing full background images...that's where I got the idea from.

In any case, one post in particular elicited lots of comments from people basically insinuating that they weren't going to (be able to) read my blog if I didn't do something about my image...yeah, my image was upsetting them...their crap, which they were attempting to offer to me, was upsetting them.

sigh...

In anycase, I have to point out that I also got lots of comments from people who liked my image, understood its significance and had decided to find ways to read me...This was before I decided to go it alone because it the whole trying to be every or anyone's good blogger buddy had majorly not worked for me. :)

fuck.

So, this is something I wrote after I struggled to reconnect with my original reasons for introducing myself to blogland denizens using the most riveting, powerFULL and, at the same time, vulnerable images of me I could locate...as if to say, I approach, I will show you what I've got in spades, not much I care to hide, I approach workin' at being comfortable with me, working at developing power and consciousness I plan on sharing...who would have thought that this would have phreaked people out? hee, hee, hee.

(note to self: I have to rescan the image I first started out with, which caused the original kerfuffle...found it! I guess folks had never encountered a body/sex/pooni positive radicalized, politicized, layered blogging woc, comfortable enough in her own skin to not just bare her face, but also her bod...I had more than one really fucking terse email exchange with some really misguided people, who understood themselves as liberal lefties, doing completely messed up shite like warning readers that my fucking radical, politicized pregnancy blog wasn't work safe, what-tha-fuck-EVER)

(I finally decided on the blue image you're attempting to peer through now. When I decided to change it was because I wanted a change, wanted the image to function more as patterned background, less as twatting foreground. I wanted it.)

I showed love for myself that day way back when I came fully back to center, back to mySELF, taking the reigns of personal power away from the people pleaser...who is way too young and much too insecure to be tryin' to drive my fucking car, anyways. :)

The joys of ACTUALLY processing information...

I went for a poo and a pee. The combined effects of evacuating toxins from my body and taking time away to think always gives me space to get clear. (I just added this tonight: Before I jumped to composing on the keyboard, I used to love to write on the crapper.)

While sitting on my throne I thought. I processed information utilizing whatever parts of my brain routinely function when I engage in active (self)critique.

I thought about accommodation. I thought about who is asked to accommodate. I thought about who habitually accommodates as reflex, as something expected.

Nice wimmin accommodate...
Nice "gay" people accommodate...
Nice Black folks accommodate...
NIce dark people accommodate...
Nice upwardly mobile working class people accommodate...
Nice (I just added this tonight: pregnant/birthing) mothers and wives accommodate...
Nice immigrants accommodate...
Anyone who experiences oppression is asked to accommodate.
Everyone who doesn't have the power to say "NO" and get away with it, get away without being harmed or penalized in some way accommodates. Everyone who lives in fear of the oppressive power of others over their lives and exploits accommodates automatically.

I thought about never being accommodated, or about being cast as a diva, a brat, as angry, bossy, controlling, stubborn, immature, stupid, self-defeating or self-centered when I've stood my ground and demanded accommodation.

I weighed out what it would mean for people to read my words in the most accessible and convenient form possible for them not for me...
I weighed this against me asking others to accommodate me by seeing me and being asked to actually work if they are going to understand me...

I thought about what I really want, which is to find about five people, a handful hidden somewhere in a planetary haystack who are as politically linked up and obsessed with crossing critical thinking with everyday lived practice as I am.

That voice in my head, the tiny one that invites me to doubt my objectives got smaller and tinier. See, she lives in a cupboard under the stairs, anyways. So, even on good days, she only gets to whisper insecurity and doubt very, very softly, almost inaudibly...from a distance.

The rest of the village in my head, the bits and pieces of consciousness and analysis that sustain me speak louder, more insistently. They remind me of my chosen objectives when I get off track.

I thought about holding my ground and about the fact that although I've seen a few cool looking sites online, I really like the fact that mine visually offers what it backs up with words.

This blog sits in my orbit. Its dimensions and aesthetics are defined according to my comfort much as the wordings and belief systems embodied on other people's blog sites are evidence of theirs.

FYI:
This site requests your full accommodation as a registration fee...
This site demands your willingness to sweat as an access code, much as the blogs of others demand that I accommodate their beliefs, however excruciating it may be for me, if I am to enter and to read.

I'm really liking the image I've chosen. It speaks and is as difficult to navigate as I can be.

I'm looking for people curious enough and interested enough to want to read, even if it means working, actually, precisely because the act of reading simulates the work they will have to do in order to process what I'm trying to say. Besides my home and my website, there is no other place where I call the shots so fully from my location as the dominated.

And so...
This bit of aesthetic resistance must stand.

I know there have to be a few who will get it.
And lookee here, it's 12:01am on a Refried/Remix Sunday. The Shmolian is stirring. If I get up now, I'll make it to the bathroom with him in my arms, void the bladder and get back in time to watch Masters ofHorror...Stinkapee is up. Gotta run!

came back for a quick sec...
Okay, the bathroom went okay, breastfed mister squirmy while I peed and Stinkapee, still downstairs, stayed asleep...

I just fixed something that was loose on my bed...Ophelia is coming to sleep over and I needed to prep the Presidential suite. :)

So, I just realized that I misspelled accom...modate and all variations present in this post and in the original. Fixed most of them...in this post, get the original another time.

Again, I point out that I don't write this blog with a dictionary close at hand. For those who may want to utilize crapola spelling in order to insinuate that their belief in my intelligence is somehow lessened, fuck off. :)

I don't claim to be a perfect speller or spell checker. Just got some views, theories and emotions I need to vomit.



if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.