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.
- NEWS: Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
- OpEd: ‘Male Circumcision Is No Biggie’
- Anatomy: #TeamUncut Intact Natural Penis Collage for #ForeskinFriday (21+ NSFW)
- OpEd: The Face of Orgasm: Is Your Woman Faking Orgasms or Not?
- DailyOJ 01-26-13, Part 2: The Fear of Intimacy
- OpEd: America’s Love/Hate Relationship with Breasts
Released on Kindle a few months ago, Chapter 6 of Confessions of an Aroused Woman is based on my personal experiences. Confessions of an Aroused Woman is a fictionalized series of erotica vignettes that is women-positive, sex-positive, and all-around fun to read.
Reviews on Amazon.com:
Refreshingly, realistically, erotic May 31, 2012 ~ By B. Lee
Trish Causey’s writing is as informative and exciting as her website. It is fascinating to read her first-person accounts of what an aroused woman feels and does. The scene in which she is showing her man her masturbation, describing in exquisite detail her actions and sensations and thoughts, while he honors her arousal and gradually contributes to it, is intense! The chapter is so descriptive, hot, and wet, that it’s almost an erotic case study, and men-loving women would do well to take notes, with a towel nearby.
An open door…May 31, 2012 ~ By Saloonsinger
I read with relish this chapter of Confessions of an Aroused Woman. Ms. Causey writes with power and emotion. She takes us with her on a journey into being her complete and sexual self, and in so doing opens the door for each of us to recognize the same power within us. I highly recommend her as someone to keep an eye out for in the book world.
One of my Twitter followers wrote on 09-03-12:
Purchase Chapter 6 for only $2.99 … to tide you over until the entire book is ready for publication!
Thank you! And I really hope you enjoy it. MUAH!! xoxo
While having a thought-provoking chat with a friend on Twitter, I got a bit of a shock out of nowhere. I’m not shocked easily. I wish I could say I’m not hurt easily, but even after all the crap I’ve been through in my life, my annoying humanity is still intact.
With the ridiculous comment from Rep. Todd Akin about “legitimate rape,” all of Twitter was a-buzz with chatter on the subject of rape. Interestingly, the topic which had started out being on abortion had shifted dramatically to rape, and not surprisingly, society once again placing the blame and the shame of rape on the women — the rape victim.
Out of nowhere, this jerk, “Dan,” buts into the civil convo I was having with my friend @sevenlayercake — though we differ in viewpoints, she and I can have amiable conversations. Whenever a Twitter interloper butts in, I check their bio. This guy was supposedly an “outspoken gay professional.” As a loudmouth Scotch-Irisher and theatre pro, I can certainly handle this guy.
I posted the link to my recent article on my rape — something I have never, ever, ever, EVER told the details of to anyone alive or dead on this earth until I wrote this article on it a few days ago. Why? For the very reason, I didn’t think anyone would believe me. And this jackwad says, “You want to milk your rape for sympathy.”
If this guy is “gay,” then he is the most fervently women-hatin’ gay man I’ve ever met. Gay men usually dig women, just not sexually. Being in the theatre, it’s not unusual for a gay man to ask me how I do my lipstick or to borrow my blouse.
So, below, is the conversation and yet another example of how the War on Women exists — and is apparently spreading to the gay men demographic, which I find to be very sad. :(
In my head, I hear the lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s anthem:
First, I was afraid, I was petrified…
I will survive
As long as I know how to love,
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live,
I’ve got all my love to give
And I’ll survive,
I will survive.
It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
I spent, oh, so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry but now I hold my head up high.
I will survive.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Continuing on with my desire for a Bohemian, hippy, free love lifestyle, doing Tantric yoga with an earthly male god, chanting mantras, and generally taming this Kundalini energy that has become so… unwound…
Diane, a gynecologist, commented on my lament of my current weight, and she gently beeyotch-slapped me back to reality and away from the evil that is media enculturation. I’ve already written about my personal history due to my breasts’ size, my rape, and America’s obsession with breasts along with the hypersexualization of women’s bodies.
This self-hate is not normal. Hating other women is not normal. I think this competition we feel and act out is due in large part to the male machine of media, culture, and religion, all of which vilify the female form in one way or another.
Thanks, Diane, for the reality check!
May the Vagina be with you all!!!
(Click image to enlarge.)