Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dyke Life, Review

Because I am one of those people who like to research their new ideas, my wandering of the queer shelf at the local library resulted in an anthology called Dyke Life, edited by Karla Jay. I was really excited about this book because it promised the telling of a new story, against heteronormativity, a story where lesbians share their intimate lifestyle choices.

In reading this book, however, I felt really angry. The book was written in 1995, but so few of the changes these authors anticipated have come to pass. Yes, some states have allowed same sex marriage. Yes, some businesses are supportive of their LGBT employees. But everywhere, and especially here in South Carolina, it is always a fight. In a state where employers are not required to justify firing an employee, those LGBT folks may be fired immediately with absolutely no repercussions for the employer, just because they are living their life as they see fit.

I'm pretty sure that my college, perhaps because it is public, doesn't support benefits for LGBT faculty's families. Additionally, the city (which is the most liberal city in the state) as well as the college are also not in support of an LGBTQ minor. Although, according to the local newspaper, 12% of the student body identifies as LGBTQ which equals 1200 students. This is nearly twice the number of black students on this mainly female, mainly white campus.

As a lesbian living on this campus, I feel angry about the lack of LGBTQ representation on this campus. While the Office of Institutional Diversity holds panel discussions about minorities on this campus, there is one minority that is routinely left out of the discussion. While I am here for the next few years, I want to change that. I want to talk about it. I want to be seen. I want to be heard.

If you want to read Dyke Life, please do. The essays are insightful into the struggles of lesbians throughout their life, particularly the concerns of older lesbians like caregiving, parenting, and health.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fairwell, Fair Bullet

Previously this year, I won my very first vibrator similar to the one pictured. Somewhat nervously I took it home and soon had it buzzing away.
I thought that a vibrator would put twinkle lights in front of my eyes in a hot second, but that wasn't really the case. According to some women's experience, sure, but not me. I found the vibrating was a little jarring at first- not bad, but different.

I felt a smidgen disappointed that the vibrator didn't result in a bigger O than usual because I do see a lot of media portraying the vibrator as the end all, be all savior of women's orgasms. That's not a fair or accurate representation.

However, what I did love about my vibe was the sheer possession of a sex toy. It felt like I was breaking taboos and also one of those ladies who is experimental and passionate and in charge of their sexuality. And now that I've broken it beyond repair, I feel really sad. Damn electrical wires. It was one way of neatly solving my What to do with this when I go home this summer so my mom doesn't find it? dilemma. Still.  Maybe I'll save up this summer for a fancy new vibe from Babes in Toyland.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: Review

Courtney Martin may well be a genius. I loved this book. The issues that she tackles are central to all young women, not just those who are among a privileged few. If you get a change to read this book, please do. I cried when I read it, and could not stop thinking about Martin’s insight in relation to myself.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mayday, Mayday!

A short, theatrical production of: Tantrums on the High Seas

Scene: A small, lonely ship is floundering around in storm conditions on black seas.

FakeMate 1 to Group: Group! Let's sail on to the far, far seas. I have heard tales of lustrous, rich color - the likes of which would lighten my shriveled, dry heart!

Group: mumble, mumble. I don't know about this. That does sounds nice though.

*collective imagining of lustrous, rich seas*

Group: Okay! Who's telling Napoleon?

FakeMate 1: I'll do it! I am up for the task of corralling her into the mast, and talking some sense into her. She'll see good reason to change our course.

*FakeMate 1 takes Napoleon up into the mast to "scout the course," and have the talk.*

 Napoleon: For the LOVE OF PETE - what is wrong with you people? Are you crazed, saltwater drinking, neuron exploded loonies? That water is shark infested! We'll be eaten alive!

FakeMate 1: Don't be dramatic.

Napoleon: I WON'T do it. I won't go. I'd rather have heterosexual intercourse and watch penis puppetry!

*Napoleon executes a neat dive off the mast straight into the deep, black water.*

FakeMate1: Ahoy! Woman overboard!

Group: Ooooo. Ahhhh. A 9.5 for a clean presentation!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hoodwinks (and highjinks)

So, today is April Fool's Day, which used to be a favorite holiday of mine. No one ever suspects me of being particularly mischievous - just sweet and silly. Which I am, sometimes, but not always. Perhaps I am a mistress (? not sure about the connotations here, haha) of delusion. So, pranks were always lots of fun for me, but now I just take myself too seriously for the old baking soda in the altoids tin trick.

Tricking myself though, is altogether a different story. Sometimes (lots of times) I have a very fanciful imagination. Reality is a whole other ballgame though. For example, I always imagine myself to be at least 5'5," and quite suave, especially when I wear my sexy imaginary glasses and suit combo with a french blue blouse. . . which though hard to admit, is not exactly the case. I still pretend though.

Point being - tonight was Take Back the Night at my school. And based on my feminist perusals, I built up this expectation of Take Back the Night as this beautiful, lady love and power fest, where we eschewed the "power" that some men think they have over our bodies. I was ready to stamp/stomp and dance to riot grrrl tunes, get all teary and angry at the same time, and celebrate feminism in all it's We Are Womyn- Hear Us Roar glory. And, I also thought it would be dark. The setting was an important aspect.

To give credit where it's due - it wasn't bad. It just . . . wasn't everything I thought it might be. I'm sure that one day, when I am living in some exotic feminist mecca/ lesbian locale, I will get that experience. And I can't wait.