Awakening Sexuality & Activism for Women's Rights

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OpEd: The Activist’s Guide to Putting Aside Our Differences to Fight for Our Differences


Tree of Life - As Above, So BelowA while back, a friend made the comment that she had seen my Facebook status, and it made her think about that particular issue I’d brought up, saying, “You have so many causes, I can’t keep up.”

Wrong.  I have ONE cause — Human Rights.  All other rights issues stem from this central trunk of the rights and issues’ family tree.  Women’s rights, LGBT, genital integrity, workers’ rights, children’s rights, and more — ALL are branches of the primary concept that roots us in our basic right to self-determination, autonomy, and our humanity.

Today provided a perfect example of how different experiences color our activism.  Usually, this is a good thing, but occasionally, our pain from our own experiences clouds our words, resulting in our message devolving into a war of emotion.  It becomes a contest of “my pain is greater than your pain”  — a competition no one wins.

My morning started with me checking my Facebook and Twitter while I made breakfast as I hurried my daughter to get up, get ready for school, and catch the bus.

I try not to spend all day on Twitter, but tomorrow’s Full Moon seems to have kicked up people’s crazy cycles a day early.

First, on Facebook, I responded to a friend’s comment about his neighbors’ loud sex last night.  As the conversation progressed to sex positions (okay, I brought it up), I mentioned that the reason the original missionary position is the only position ever condoned by the Catholic church was because it provides the least pleasure for the woman.  It puts the man in the superior, stronger, aggressive position while the woman is inferior, at the mercy of the man, and passive and submissive.  Another chick chimed in saying some women “love to be ‘conquered.’”  As a woman who has spent most of my life fighting NOT to be conquered by men, I disagreed, but I did not linger since I had to get some real work done.

I spent a couple hours working my day-job (Thursdays are a day-off for me), and what followed was an entire day on social media in one activist role or another.  And I have preserved some of those exchanges in the photo gallery below. (To view them at full size, click the box on the lower right of your screen.)

The second round of today’s activism started out simple enough — me talking about orgasms, specifically, mine, and how I cry when I orgasm.  I followed that with a comment that men crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  Twitter being a public forum, a random guy jumped in the convo with a rude comment ridiculing how it would look with a “he man blowing his load and crying.”  This began a series of tweets back and forth as I tried to explain that a man crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  After all, men are human beings, and human beings have feelings.

Apparently, men are still not allowed to be full human beings in our society.

The third and most exasperating exchange occurred with a man who, it turns out, is also an activist — an intactivist, to be precise.  An intactivist is someone who fights for ending all circumcision — on males and females — because genital mutilation is a human rights violation of a child’s bodily autonomy and is sexual assault on the child.  This guy had tweeted the following comment:

“The sexual urges of women in our society are more important than the pain of a baby boy.”

After a morning of hearing that some women want to be conquered, men who cry are not masculine, and a few other ridiculous notions that are proof positive our society is still sexually repressed and almost entirely mentally unbalanced, I could not sit by and let this tweet go without standing up for women’s right to be sexual and not be shamed for it.  Did I do it the right way?  Could I have handled myself better?  Should I have called him a moron so many times?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thought I had toward the end of this Twitter war (that lasted over a couple hours) is that this guy is reacting and projecting because of his own pain with his circumcision.  Just as I possibly was too harsh in earlier altercations today. 

Hearing a woman wants to be conquered made me think back to when I was molested as a kid, my rape when I was 21, and my Steubenville-esque experience.  Talking about the horribly unsatisfactory missionary position brought to mind my own status as one of the 70% of women who has never orgasmed during sex — a statistic for which I still feel shame for myself and anger at my partners for not caring enough about me to ensure I had pleasure, too.  It reignited my distaste for the porn industry that created a caricature of women as hyper-orgasmic nymphomaniac slut-bunnies — as opposed to erotica that presents sex and sexuality in a beautiful, honorable way.

I was reminded yet again of the hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women who have been raped, tortured, killed outright, and burned at the stake by the Christian church who has feared women’s sexual power since Peter stole the church’s high seat from Mary Magdalene.  As a pagan witch doing research for my stage writings, I spent years reading witch trial transcripts, scouring historical documents of witch hunters, Inquisitors, and missionaries in Europe and in colonial America who were obsessed with exorcising the natural sexuality of women.  This does not include the women who were beaten, raped, and killed for wanting the right to vote, or the right to fight alongside men in the modern military.  Too many thoughts and memories swarmed in my mind.

Hearing that a man can’t cry when he experiences pleasure infuriated me because so much of our patriarchal, imperial, testosterone-driven culture still carries the gender-role prejudices of religion and hierarchical misogyny and misandry that does a disservice to women and men.

Today’s activism was about shame.  And pain.  And how, even when we mean well, speaking up for one issue cannot happen at the expense of demeaning other people who are probably also in pain.  After all, the oppressive culture that says mutilating a child’s genitals is okay is the same repressive culture that says a woman is to blame for her rape because of how she was dressed, or two people cannot love each other because they’re the same gender.

I’ve been a grassroots activist for 27 years, and I’ve seen in-fighting in every single rights group I’ve ever worked with — religious rights, American Indian rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.  Who’s a real witch?  Who’s a real Indian?  Bisexuals aren’t really discriminated against.  Women don’t need full body autonomy or equal pay.  Conservative Democrats aren’t real Democrats. And it’s all bullshit.

My motto has always been, “Human Rights are non-negotiable.”

I love that there are so many of us, each working in a niche that is important to us.  Yet, that does not mean one corner of activism outweighs another.  We can’t all work for all causes at all times.  We have to split up into different groups to cover all the bases.  Remember that equality does not mean we are the same, but rather, though we may be different, we are of the same value as human beings.  Our human rights family tree is rooted in and celebrates our differences, with roots deep in the soil of our humanity, echoing the ancient axiom, “As above, so below.”

However, if you only care about one group who is hurt or exploited and not another, then you’re not working for rights issues, you’re a special interest asshat who is no better than the elitist oppressors who mock human rights activism while making fortunes off the masses’ suffering.

So I may not know the full extent of pain that another person has experienced, just as they won’t know the full extent of mine.  But we can try to listen better.  We can forgo the pain-game and stick to the work at hand.  Don’t allow the oppressors’ need to stuff us into boxes and categories or divide us into opposing sides hinder our work of coming together and doing the work.

We are better than that. Do the work.  Be the Change.

We Are All Connected.

trish

 

Further Reading:


NEWS: High School ‘Class Actor’ Announces He’s #LGBT at Awards Ceremony


Being awarded the title of “Class Actor,” Jacob Randolph accepted the award, announcing that he’s been acting every single day of his life — the part of “straight Jacob” when he is in fact an LGBT teen.

Here’s the video his father took of the ceremony. Jusy listen to the crowd’s response as he finishes:

trish

Recommended:


Submission Guidelines for #TeamUncut #ForeskinFriday Penis Pics to ArousedWoman


In a selfless gesture to help the women of America overcome their phobias and misunderstandings about uncircumcized penises, I am accepting self-portraits of men who are uncut, aged 21 and over.

Don’t get me wrong — I love ALL penises: circumcized penises, small penises, large penises, all of them.  But some uncut men in the United States still have to deal with discrimination from partners who are unaccustomed to seeing, handling, or loving a natural, intact penis.

I recently saw a tortured comment from one uncut guy on Tumblr.  He was so distraught by a girlfriend calling his natural penis “nasty,” he was seriously contemplating getting circumcized at his current age of 23 or 24.  I was horrified — not only at the thought of an adult male choosing circumcision just to be considered “normal” in a culture that has no clue about what normal sexuality should be (i.e., not evil, not sinful, not shameful, not jackhammering a vagina), but this girlfriend then told all her friends about his “nasty” penis and he became the laughing stock of his friends and acquaintances — at a college, no less.

** Stepping up on soapbox:  America’s Puritanical overlords and evangelical bullshit have so warped our culture, few people have a clue as to what is natural and beautiful… in penises, breasts, or vulva!  And yes, I am one of those radical tree-huggers who views routine infant male circumcision and any female circumcision as aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon, with the perpetrators being culpable and deserving jail time.  (Stepping down…) **

I have already had a few submissions, and while some are great, some are a bit lackluster — not for size or shape, but for the absolute disregard for ambiance!!!  Jeez!  Dudes!  You’re taking pics of your penis for a woman!!!  Why is the toilet in the background?!

So I’m laying out some Submission Guidelines.

  • Photo must be of you and submitted by you, and YOU must be 21 years of age or older, regardless of where you live in the world.
  • Photo must be a close-up of your penis and testicles, or of your body somewhere from your navel to above your knees, i.e., your face should not be in the pic.
  • Multiple photos are permissible to show the way the foreskin moves/changes in different states: unaroused/natural, partially aroused, fully erect, etc.  No cum shots will be posted (but you can send them anyway :-) ).
  • Photos should be taken in natural light with NO FLASH — using flash does NOT make your penis look inviting.  (Sorry, but that’s the truth.)  So take the pic near a window, outside in the woods or other place where you won’t be arrested for indecent exposure, etc.
  • Higher resolution is better.
  • Photo may be edited by me for size, color tone, etc.
  • I HATE BLUE!!!  So please don’t have anything blue in the picture.
  • All men — straight, gay, bi — are more than welcome!

If in doubt as to tone and ambiance, PLEASE look at my Tumblr page.  I adore sensuality.  Crude porn shots is NOT what I’m looking for.  I want to honor the male and the uncut penis.

Sumbit via email on the main ArousedWoman.com website.

P.S.  Cut guys — feel free to send pics, too, and I’ll put them in a separate collage.

trish

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AskTrish: Bisexual Man Comes Out But Girlfriend is Now Jealous


Hey Trish @LibertarianJhon here, I recently came out to my girlfriend about me being bisexual and ever since then she has felt this pang of jealousy. She feels that now she not only has to compete with other women for my attention, but other men as well. I keep telling her I’m interested in only her but my voice seems to be falling on deaf ears. I feel like I’m losing her and I don’t know what to say anymore. Was hoping you could help me help her understand that she’s the only I want.

Jhon

Hey, Jhon!

This is an excellent question! Many people are now acknowledging their sexual identity as bisexual — as opposed to being hetero or gay/lesbian.  Trying to make sense of being attracted to both genders can raise a number of issues for the individual, their partner, and even their friends.

As someone who is also bisexual, I can attest that being open about your bisexuality is not easy.  Straight friends may feel more comfortable that you’re not “gay  gay” but still not understand how you can be attracted to both genders.  Your gay friends may accuse you of not being willing to “commit” to being “actually” gay — as if you’re trying to play both sides: one for society and one for how you really feel.  Ultimately, it does not matter what anyone else thinks about your bisexuality as long as you are  happy and comfortable in your own skin.

Self-identifying as bisexual and acting on your desires can be two different things.  You can be attracted to men and never have a relationship with a man, but still identify as bi.  Or as I once heard bisexuality explained, choosing between being with a man or a woman is like choosing between a redhead or a brunette — it’s just what you want at that moment.  Each person finds what is right for him or her, both in identity and in practice.

As for your girlfriend, she seems very insecure, and from your phrasing, I can only assume she was jealous and insecure before you dropped the bisexual bombshell.  Because I know some of your background already, I know that you are 24 and the two of you are in a long-distance relationship (that is important info, by the way).  Being apart can conjure all sorts of insecurities.  Now her mind is wandering with even more visions of infidelity in her head.  She probably spends most of her time worrying that you’re cheating on her with the entire population, not just the female half, and you probably spend most of your communications with her reassuring her that you’re faithful.  That is a one-sided relationship that is all about what she  wants and making her  happy, meanwhile you are miserable and feel helpless.

The unfortunate truth here is that you have explained who you are, and either she accepts you as you are or she does not.  You have explained how you feel about her, and either she believes you or she does not.  You cannot make her understand something she is unwilling to comprehend, and you cannot make her accept you completely if she will not.  If her reluctance is also based on her religious beliefs, that’s a whole other can of worms — and by the way, you can’t win that battle either.

You cannot change another person.  The person has to be in a place in his or her life to want to change; and the change that does happen occurs from within them.  Are you going to keep your life and happiness on hold for someone who is not in the same place emotionally or intellectually?

I can almost guarantee that if you stay in this relationship with this immature, insecure female, you will either hate her for being so rigid while she dominates and sabotages the relationship, or you will hate yourself for having been honest with yourself and for confiding your true self with her.  Always side with truth.  And if she can’t handle it, your relationship will only get more toxic.  She is not the only woman in the world, and it sounds to me like she needs to grow up, and you need to move on.

trish

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