“Slender, Naked, Silent, Hairless”

Despite the fear of living up to Janeane Garofalo’s “I’m Only Creative When I Smoke” pothead poet character from Half Baked, I’m going to now start posting poems from the past. Yes, my poems.

Now how we woman may

manipulate ourselves is

how the visionary masters

foresaw us in their oil

manipulated with fur.

Now we should be as their tools:

slender, naked, silent, hairless

but for our glorious crowns,

and only in those places may

we burn like tapered candles,

losing shape with the

glowing then flickering,

flaming locks growing thinner.

A tiny flame smokes out as

the waxen body spills

formless around

and only the painters of the past may

fashion immortal women as bright

as the lights in which we’re said to end.

{ I found this thing above in an old sketchbook. From what evidence I’ve gathered therein, it was penned in 2008(ish) and I was perhaps feeling feministy during some post Renaissance art history studies? }

Image

^Botticelli’s Birth of Venus^

Advertisements

Barbie Was My Bitch

As I grew older, I started hearing the rumors that one of my best life long friends was secretly a bitch out to ruin me… after all we’d been through. And I was still only in elementary school!!

Through whatever mainstream media here and there slipped the gossip over time that my girl Barbie had been trying to covertly push eating disorders and body dysmorphic complexes on me. The betrayal! With Barbie I had owned a joint vet’s office and pet shelter (incorporating Littlest Pet Shop of course), become a successful artist (she did large format paintings via coloring book pages), experimented with lesbianism (why can’t Barbies kiss other Barbies and not just Ken?), and even killed off an abusive boyfriend (I guess I watched too many soaps with Nana)… and this whole time she was a mole for the patriarchy!?

I never fully bought it, but as I grew up and into my pubescent, curvier, lumpier form, I grew apart from Barbie. She became large tupperware box full of dolls that I donated to the Youth Emergency Shelter in my teens. I could never live up to her form, but I never felt the need to. Instead, perhaps, I only gave myself high expectations for my own success based on my childhood adventurous scenarios with my Barbies. Maybe it’s because of my amazingly encouraging and open minded/hearted mother that it was this way for me.

In college, I learned of Barbie’s nefarious origins. Unsurprisingly, she was designed after a pre WWII german doll meant to be a masturbation aid. And the misogyny only both spiraled and camouflaged thereafter, apparently.

I now acknowledge the bitch Barbie was made out to be… but she was my bitch and I’m not a worse person now for our time together whatsoever. I don’t know if I’ll buy and introduce my maybe one day daughter a Barbie, but if her little friends play with Barbie and she wants one for her birthday or something, then she’ll get one and I’ll do my best to be as supportive and awesome of a mom as mine was.

For those unfortunate little girls out there that do end up having problematic body issues, I hope they find healthy and healing solutions. If blaming Barbie is a part of the road to healing, so be it. But I am left wondering when it comes to dire problems with westernized youth today about the assessed proportions between blaming our kids’ toys, video games, and music interests as influences (and corporate responsibility therein) vs. personal responsibility of parents, teachers, and caretakers.

Image

The Name Game

This is honestly the first time I think I’ve ever actually been confused about anything to do with anything to do with alternate gender.

I guess I could say that I’m an advocate of transexual rights. I’ve never went anywhere to really wave a banner or anything, but I’ve had what I would assume to be more than the average American’s usual assemblage of transexual friends and aquaintances throughout the past ten years. Just some chill people with unique stories, just like everyone else, but perhaps a little bit more “unique” one may say. Pronouns have never been a problem for me. Each trans person I’ve known always went by the pronoun of their chosen gender and it weren’t no thang, really. (Except when I got into that fight some time after someone tried to “out” a friend at a party in college. That was kind of a big thing. 😦 ) So I guess I had to stop, pause, and think quite a bit when I started seeing pins (yes on Pinterest) from feminist boards I follow in protest of the term “shemale” as derogatory, promoting the title “trans” if such a title must be used. I don’t necessarily outright disagree with this PSA (made largely by droves of what I very highly suspect to be middle class mostly white cis gendered females as myself) but I started looking at TransNews etc. to find directly translife related boards nearly devoid of the same aforementioned PSA pins. (Just an observation, honestly.) Hell, I myself have such a board on my account and I do remember posting an o so cute “Some women have penises. Get over it!”

Well, sure enough when I searched Pinterest for the word “shemale” I indeed get back a lot of porn and not much else besides those PSAs (as I refer to them). (Also! You may or, like me, may not be surprised to know that there is a whole mess of porn on Pinterest, and I like to follow some of it out of mostly simple curiosity and amusement of what people out there are masturbating to.) I guess the negative connotations of the word “shemale” rise from its almost exclusive association with pornography and furthermore the association of the perceived “dirty kink” of trans woman attraction which could be seen as degrading objectification. (As it so often may be with most any sort of pornography at all, regardless of sex and gender roles therein.) Well, I’m not afraid to admit it… I think the anatomy and poise of a confident trans woman is sexually attractive. And so it is with my heteroflexible male partner. No “dirty” kinks for us, just open and broad tastes. I don’t know about crusading to try to scour the english dialect of the term “shemale”, but I admit that I myself have always had a sense of its derogatory nature outside of porn search engines. Maybe it could, or even should, just be left to that porn category, which already seems to be the case. I saw no insulting cheap jokes at the expense of trans women pride under the “shemale” tag on Pinterest, but when I searched the single term “trans” I actually did get back a few such rather disgusting pins, including the slouchy crotched, elastic wasted mom jeans revered to as “tranny pants”. And I personally found this more disgusting than any of even the most ludicrous “shemale” porn that had come up just before. At least someone out there searching for trans woman porn is admiring these women in some form or fashion, I guess? Now I’m left to wonder who is adding to the perceived degradation of the word “shemale” (and thus trans women) more, the people typing it into XVideos in order to fulfill perhaps a secret but natural masturbatory fantasy or the people going around saying how bad of a word it is under the banner or equal rights, accusing the other side of being sickos for having aforementioned fantasies? I still don’t know completely how to think or feel about this Pinterest experience, and I don’t even know why I performed what scant “research” I did, but like I mentioned before… it’s at least a worthy observation that is sticking with me for some reason. Tricky, tricky… language is tricky. That’s the only certainty I come away with for what contemplation is scrawled here, now.