Fundamentalists are Boring & Heteronormativity and Gender Roles Suck – A Mission Statement

I thoroughly believe that once you become too serious about something, you become too boring to listen to. I know that sounds incendiary, but once you get to the point where you can’t laugh at yourself, even a little bit, you become stodgy and stuck up and simply too stuck in your ways for anyone to want to listen to.

Its like the crazy people with the GOD HATES EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY YOU) signs. They take that pseudo-church bullshit way too seriously (I say pseudo-church bullshit because while I grew up Hindu-Christian, we read the gospels. Jesus said love thy neighbor, not burn a cross on his lawn. Thus these people aren’t following Christ, they are following hatred and bigotry and most of their rules are from the Old Testament, which isn’t even their book [Lewis Black]. I have never seen a Jew with a sign saying “All Fags to burn in hell”. If you have, let me know. However, these crazy sign people seem to be interpreting the Old Testament in ways that the original readers don’t. Seems fishy. This is an argument for another time, but still, I hardly think their all loving God condones hatred of his other children)
So back to the crazy people. No one bothers to listen to them, at least no one I know. The only people I know who bother with the crazy people are members of Anonymous and hot gay couples who like to get photos making out next to the crazy people signs. You don’t actually listen to these people. I have yet to hear of one case where someone found ‘religious enlightenment’ from a crazy person with a sign denouncing humanities ‘sins’.
“Omg You are So RIGHT! I have been wasting my life in secular SIN! I have seen the light. I must dedicate my life to a more noble pursuit; yelling at people who have REAL jobs on the corners of intersections with signs that spew hatred! YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!”
Said No One Ever.

I think this tenet is true pretty much everywhere. I’m not saying you have to go make huge jokes about your passions, (obviously in some cases this would probably be vastly uncomfortable) but having a little perspective and the ability to poke a little fun at yourself allows you to be relatable. People who become too serious are very boring at parties. All they talk about is THAT ONE THING, they get really offended when someone pokes fun or GASP isn’t interested.

I fully admit to being a Californian pseudo Hippy from a bizarre religious background. But I have the perspective to realize that my desire to dance in the moonlight on the 21st of December in the bitter cold while surrounded by candles……sounds like complete and utter bullshit to a lot of people. I get that, and I’m not even offended. Sometimes when my toes are freezing and I’m already wearing three pairs of socks I wonder why I couldn’t just choose a nice indoor religious practice. Like being a nun. However, I realize that my taste in ceremony isn’t for everyone. (Although I must admit that I have a weird fascination with the Eucharist. You’re eating HOLY BISCUITS! It’s like a little bit of the divine gets taken inside you all week.) Perhaps my attitude comes from my bizarre upbringing. Perhaps it comes from the fact that early on I was taught that all religions are equal. (The followers on the other hand…. Well that’s an individual gamble now isn’t it?)
But have you noticed that once someone becomes too fundamentalist, no one except other fundamentalists will listen to them? Other fundamentalists and people searching for an identity really. Oh, and Fox News. But no one of a different perspective will sit down with a crazy fundamentalist for any cause and be open to considering their ideas in a sane and rational light. When I run into a crazy fundamentalist, all I’m thinking is ‘How do I get out of this situation,” I am not thinking “Oh you have an interesting point, maybe I should consider your ideas.” I am looking for an exit strategy.

So I’m not just mouthing off on crazy religious people today. I actually penned this article for another reason.

I’m worried I’m in danger of becoming boringly fundamental about the annoyances of heteronormativity. Its just so pervasive and annoying and closed minded, it drives me nuts. Anything that has any variation of “Omg Men and Women are lyk different!!!” makes me want to stab the speaker in the legs with knitting needles til they look like swiss cheese. And I wonder if I’m getting boring. There are a lot of important issues out there and we need non-boring people to champion them. People who can take the time to be able to make their issue approachable and not-crazy. People who have perspective and lives and are able to make issues relatable. I worry that I might fall past that into the ‘crazy ranting lady on a street corner’ category.

Heteronormativity and Gender is my issue at the moment. Gender roles bother me on a deep and profound level. George Carlin had a riff about how ethnicity is an accident of birth. It is not something you control. You can’t help what ethnicity you are born or what skin color you have. You have absolutely no control over who donated to your genetic makeup. Gender, to me, is the same way. Gender roles are really just the equivalent of racial stereotypes. “You’re a girl so you should cook” is really just as demeaning as “You’re black so you like fried chicken.” (Hint: You know who else likes fried chicken? EVERYBODY -Fabrice Fabrice)

But I worry that I’m becoming unrelatable. Because the entire social construction of Gender is utterly pointless to me. In fact I tend to find it rather insulting. I am NOT saying that women who like pink and shoes and Barbies and cooking aren’t valid in their expression of self. Nor are men who like Cars and Sports and Beer. Nor are women who like Cars and Sports and Beer or Men who like pink and shoes and Barbies and cooking. Or any combination of any preferences.
There is nothing wrong with liking what you like. But to me the whole system breaks down when you realize just how constructed gender roles are.

I’ve gotten the argument that “Well boys and girls play differently! They mature at different rates.” Its bullshit. Sorry folks. Its a bullshit argument. EVERYONE plays different and matures at different rates. You early and late bloomers know what I’m talking about. Sure, what’s happening to the boys is similar in a broad sense but the timing isn’t uniform, nor is the expression of the changes. Some people are inundated with hormones and try to get some, some pine awkwardly for years after some first love, and some decide to blow apart their school with weapons from their grandfathers arsenal. Three very different reactions to puberty.

And about children playing differently at young ages – Are you really so naive as to believe that children aren’t inundated with Gender Roles from the moment they open their eyes? Blue blanket, Pink Blanket. Think about it. The minute someone finds out the gender of your baby its suddenly GENDERED EVERYTHING!!! “All I know is that when my daughter was young, she was all about pink.” Right, and she grew up in a gender neutral bubble at the same time. It had nothing to do with the fact that in all likelihood, in particular due to the trends in baby garments and toys over the past twenty years, everything bought for a little girl the age of your daughter would have probably contained some trace of pastel ‘girly’ colors and an overabundance of PINK!!!!
I played with trains and dinosaurs and Legos as a child. (And dolls. I like to BUILD them houses mostly and have elaborate soap opera sex orgy stories about them. I was probably a very special child). My cousin played with GI Joe and Barbie dolls with his friends. (Barbie was Joe’s hot girlfriend between battles sadly. Should get some Camo Barbie in there). You can say that ‘Boys like cars and videogames’ but a lot of people like cars and videogames. And how do you know that that boy wasn’t castigated by some other child or adult for even TOUCHING a Barbie doll. If he grew up in a standard Heteronormative household, its likely he never saw one except on TV or in his sisters bedroom. When my brother was 5 he got an American Girl Doll for Christmas because he wanted one. He got to pick her out and everything. My white hetero videogame loving little brother chose an African American girl doll for Christmas and we made them skis and a ski run in his bedroom. Then we built a K’Nex Roller coaster and played Native American’s in the wilderness with PlayMobil figurines.

Like I said, I am not castigating anyone who likes the preferences attributed to their chosen Gender. I happen to like Pink myself. The very dark almost red fuscia pink. Extremely saturated. I am also very fond of noxious Blue Raspberry Cerulean Blue and that bizarre Yellow/Green ‘kiwi’ color that looks nothing like kiwis and more like a fake poison. Just think about a bag of Tropical skittles and you’ve got my colors down pretty pat.

But, God its so bloody mindless! This acceptance of the ‘norm’, this acceptance of MAN MADE CONSTRUCTED PERSONALITIES that we are meant to pull on from birth like some kind of outdated ill-fitting chastity sack. Don’t go thinking outside the bag children, that’s a sin!

We shouldn’t throw away our identities but we should at least analyze it for a moment. At the very least be aware that society is trying to brainwash us into assuming roles that may or may not be in our best interests. I don’t honestly care how people identify or present themselves, I just want us all to have informed decisions. A decision based on who we are and not who society tells us we should be.
The problem is that I think I sound preachy. I think I sound like some high minded fundie who thinks they have the whole thing worked out. And I don’t. I know I don’t. I just don’t want other people who are stuck in my position, feeling kind of awkward and alone and confused, to believe they have to bow down to societies dictates over their sense of self.

So there’s my rant. I’m curious to see if I get any flak for it. Although I suppose, in this business… if someone doesn’t disapprove, you aren’t doing your job right.

Writing Erotica 3: Gendered Anatomy (Fight Heteronormativity)

I ran into a fic today that more or less tickled me pink.
Let me explain.

While I personally loath the practice of personifying genitalia, it does seem to be somewhat common. In particular the urge to engender one’s anatomy with the pronouns ‘She’ or ‘He’. Generally speaking, vagina’s are personified as female, and penis’s as male. I suppose this seems fairly straightforward (and thus to my mind, boring).
The fic in question turned this on its head by having one of the main characters refer to his cock as ‘she’.
Edit: Another instance of this phenomena occurs in the film Pitch Perfect. In the film, the character Stacy refers to her vagina as a “he”. Her self satisfied smirk is amazing. Go watch it!!
Continue reading

The importance of Trigger warnings in books and Fanfiction.

I don’t know if I can accurately portray just how important it is for authors to include trigger warnings in their work. But let me put it like this; the feeling of revulsion and renewed trauma experienced by the triggering reader can go on for days and weeks, it essentially reopens their original wounds, cuts into their slowly healing soul and gouges out sections of their mind and sanity. It is the equivalent of mental torture, and authors need to be aware that their words have barbs.

I don’t think some authors realize just how badly their words can hurt. How deeply they can cut. The trauma of rape is something that never leaves but is slowly scarred over. Triggering causes the wound to burst open, bleeding freely and poisoning the mind until nothing but harsh images and hurt spiral out of control.

If memories are boxes in the houses of our mind, triggers cause those boxes to explode. Violently. Infecting everything else. Shrapnel cutting into the foundations and shaking the walls like an earthquake.

Continue reading

Writing Erotica 2 – Vagina Terminology

I’m sort of abstractly peeved that I wrote the penis post before I wrote this one. In a way it just seems like I was totally buying into the dick pervasiveness in society..

Note: In the anatomy section, I do refer to the Vagina as part of the ‘female reproductive organs,’ however Vagina’s are NOT solely female as the world is exciting and filled with all types of people.

Both Men and Women can have Vaginas, So please Use this Writing Erotica guide for your Vagina-equipped characters.

Anyway, let’s get to the meat of it!

Warning: This is NSFW and there is an image of a VAGINA after the jump!!! (Run in fear)

This is NOT supposed to be a guide about using language in society, this is a reference for erotic writing and getting readers in the mood.

Continue reading

Writing Erotica 1 – Phallus Terminology

In literature, life, and of course fanfiction, there is the endless debate over what words to use to describe objects that continually show up on the same page or in the same paragraph. For instance you might call your character Sam – if that is his name – or Victor, Mr. Henshaw, the poet, the soccer star, the blonde, the brunette, the dashing rogue, Vickie, Vinny, or Vivian.

However it is the debate over something much more awkward that is our topic of conversation today.

What exactly do you call a penis?

Note: I read a lot of erotica, or as I like to call it – porn. I read porn. A LOT of porn. I have been reading porn for around ten years, or there abouts, and thus can discuss it with some vague faux credibility.

Continue reading