August 19th, 2019

demure, sad, polite, boxed in, Misty in Box

Introversion vs. Shyness

"idk why introverts have a reputation of being quiet and shy people who'd rather be alone. have you ever been friends with an introvert who's decided you're worth their time? we turn into the clingiest, most needy pieces of shit on the planet because there's so few people we can actually stand"  ~talkdowntowhitepeople

"That's exactly what all people should know."

"Also if an introvert feels comfortable around you they will literally talk and talk. It's because they spend most of their time alone so they gather a lot of information, ideas and they just MUST share them with someone."
Introversion and shyness are two different things (and both are yet different from "social anxiety"). A person can be both introverted and shy, but they are separate concepts. Introverts get overwhelmed by people. This manifests in different ways - sometimes it means that they take a long time to "warm up" to someone. Sometimes it means that they use up a lot of emotional energy after being social and need to "recharge" with some alone-time afterwards.

Sometimes it means that large crowds are actually good for them if they have a specific job function in that crowd, because a large enough crowd stops being "lots of people" and starts being "one crowd" (i.e. actors, public speakers, community organizers, etc.)

Ask my partners after I haven't seen them in a while about my info dumps. Because I spend most of my waking hours alone, and the rest of those hours at work where I don't particularly *want* to talk about important things to my coworkers, I just kind of store up conversations in my head.

The longer we go without seeing each other, the more topics I queue up. Then, the minute I see my partner, it all comes out like word vomit and I basically talk non-stop for an hour or two (or longer, depending on how much I have to say).

Introverts are not (necessarily) shy. We tend to be deep thinkers with a lot of time to do that thinking. So we might feel uncomfortable with "small talk" and not want to bother talking at all unless we can avoid the more superficial topics. But bring up something that we're passionate about? Good luck shutting us up.

This, btw, does not mean that extroverts are NOT "deep thinkers". Extroverts just need less motivation to talk to someone because talking to people energizes them, whereas talking to people we are not emotionally connected to uses our emotional energy.

For an extrovert, talking *is the point*. They like engaging in conversation for its own sake. They might have additional reasons for liking conversation, but the conversation doesn't have to be a vehicle for anything else - conversing just to converse is reason enough.

For an introvert, it's a sharing of the self, so we need more of a reason to do it. If we can have a conversation with Not People, it won't drain our energy. Large, faceless crowds can become Not People for some of us, and close, intimate friends / family / loved ones can become Not People that don't drain our energy. Or, if the subject is something we feel passionate about, it will be less of a drain because it's not so much about "talking with people" but more about "sharing of ourselves".

"Being seen" is something that most people have a drive to do. That manifests differently in different people. If you can convince an introvert that we are being "seen", we'll open right up and you won't be able to tell the difference between us and an extrovert unless you understand the real difference between introversion and extroversion.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/398307.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Super Tech, strong, feminism

100 Easy Ways To Make Women's Lives More Bearable

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bj5ex8/how-to-help-gender-equality-international-womens-day

I usually like to pick out a paragraph (or 4 or 5) to highlight as the main reason(s) I'm sharing a particular article.

For this one, I spent all 100 lines going "oh, and this one!"

So just read the whole thing. And then do these things to "make women's lives more bearable" but to also just make life more fair.

It seems to be implied that it's aimed at cis men. But there are some things in here that apply to everyone, particularly with respect to internalized misogyny like calling mean women "bitches", being aware of intersectionality, etc.

And finally, if you are a cis man, don't tell the women posting things like this the ways in which you are #NotAllMen, even if you aren't tying to dismiss the woman's post but just want to point out how you agree with her because you do whatever things she's asking men to start doing. We don't need to know.

Your men friends *do* need to know that you do those things, but they also need to know in what ways you're trying to do more. But we don't need to hear about it, just do them. We'll notice. Telling us is a prompt for emotional labor, where we feel compelled to give you cookies for doing basically the things we're saying are the bare minimum just to make us even.

You may not be asking for those cookies, but that's part of the experience of being socialized as a woman where we are trained to feel obligated to reward you when you bring your work to our attention. So don't feed into that socialization. Don't tell us the ways you don't suck, just don't suck.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/398533.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
demure, sad, polite, boxed in, Misty in Box

Oh, I Don't Care, Whatever You Want

what she says: "Oh I don't mind, we can eat anywhere. I'm not picky."

what she means: "For my entire life, I've been called bossy/picky/selfish/arrogant/bitchy for voicing my opinions and making my views known, so now when someone I care about asks me about what I want, my immediate gut reaction is to defer to the other person's preference. it's less of a hassle to capitulate to someone else's desires than to risk having someone verbally berate me for being truthful about what I want."
~GALLICINVASION
I was part of a 6-person web for a while. "What do you want to eat" was the biggest fucking chore. One time, that question literally resulted in 3 days worth of panicky, tearful emails and emotional processing. To this day, I still have no idea how.

Even when we instituted the rule "whoever vetoes the most recent food suggestion has to come up with a new suggestion, or else we default to the last unchallenged food suggestion", we still took ALL DAY to decide what to go eat for dinner as a group. And I mean, we would start discussing it when the last person woke up that morning and keep discussing it right up until one of them yelled that we needed to make a decision or else she was going to pass out.

So I had to hone the skills that I had begun practicing years before, where I literally did not allow myself to have a preference, and to just learn to find something I liked no matter the menu. Because at least then there were only 5 people arguing about food instead of 6.

For the last several years, to avoid the stress of choosing food, I have started simply packing my freezer with premade meals (which I was already mostly doing for other reasons that I don't want to get into here) and then just eating what was on top. That way I didn't have to choose. The amount of freedom that not having to choose food has given my emotional stress and decision making process is shocking.

BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE MADE CHOOSING FOOD SO STRESSFUL THAT I WOULD RATHER LITERALLY PICK WHATEVER THE FUCK IS ON TOP THAN MAKE A DECISION ABOUT FOOD

No fucking wonder I became anorexic. In a world where I have no control over anything, including food, I can at least control whether or not I eat by not eating anything at all.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/398760.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Super Tech, strong, feminism

No Single Men, Couples & Single Women Only

PSA: Look, all these rules about "no single men" in an effort to weed out the predators is bullshit. Predatory men don't suddenly get not-predatory when they find their prey. A douchebag with a partner is still a douchebag.

In fact, a lot of douchebag, predatory men deliberately cultivate and groom women as partners and friends to be their beards. They know that they look more trustworthy with a woman to vouch for them, so they go out and find women to vouch for them.

Not only that, but the assumption that a douchebag stops being a douchebag once he convinces a woman to date him is basically making women be their man's keeper. It assumes that she will keep him in line. There are even songs about women making men Walk The Line. We have an entire culture built up around insisting that women police their menfolk and keep them in check. Stop making women be the keepers of men. Make them grow the fuck up on their own.

And also, here's a newsflash for you: WOMEN CAN BE PREDATORY TOO. Not having a penis (because all of these kinds of rules pretty much associate genitalia with gender) does not prevent someone from being a predatory douchebag.

Two of the worst manipulative abusers I've ever met are women. But they both get held aloft in the poly community as leaders, invited to speak, their writing passed around as Truth, and asked to organize events. Why? Because they're women, so if they cry "abuse" first, we all have to believe them  automatically, even though crying "victim" is one of the most common tools an abuser uses to isolate their victims from their social support network.

And no one is allowed to name them publicly, one of which because she managed to orchestrate a gag order on her victims, and the other because of the issues with victims going public, so to protect her victims, she remains a Missing Stair that we all have to whisper about in PMs and face-to-face conversations. Hell, even doing that is fraught with danger because someone warning someone else about her, if the person you're warning is a POC, risks you getting accused of making POC do your own emotional labor, or something.

If they were men, in today's political climate, we could name them publicly and there would be backlash. But we can't, so they go on about their merry, abusive ways.

My point is that none of these "no single men" rules actually protect your groups from predatory behaviour. "No single men" only ensures that your predators are harder to spot because they've manipulated the system with a layer of protection behind women champions, and "single men pay a higher price" only ensures that your predatory people have yet another layer of privilege on top of everything else because they are *wealthy* predators who can afford the extra money.

"No predatory behaviour" is what protects your groups from predatory behaviour. If that happens to make the single men demographic a little thin on the ground in your group, then so be it. But then the single men who *do* pass the bar are going to be quality people. And you might be surprised how many partnered men and how many women end up getting weeded out too.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/399014.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Nude Drawing, sex

I Wish Kissing Buddies Was A Thing

I've said this before: I wish Kissing Buddies were A Thing; considered "nonsexual" even among monos, even if it produces sexual arousal; just friends who match your kissing style that you don't want to shag, just kiss. Maybe you're mono so you choose not to, maybe they are and choose to remain sexually fidelitous to someone else, maybe you're asexual or have a low libido and just aren't interested in more, maybe they're not the gender you're attracted to but they're still a good kisser, whatever.

I have a couple of people in my past who I had the opportunity to make out with who, for whatever reason, I can't anymore and I miss it. But I don't want sex with them. Cuddling with platonic friends is generally acceptable, especially if at least one of the people doing the cuddling is or presents as a woman, but kissing is not, and I think that's a shame.

And unless that other person is part of the radical relationship paradigm shifting communities that I am, it's not even very realistic to propose the possibility, because they (or their mono partners) will just get weird about it. At best, they'll reject the proposal, which is fine because I can handle rejection, but it still leaves me in the same position had I not asked - no Kissing Buddies and wishing that was A Thing.

Cunning Minx once coined the phrase "boobiesexual" for someone who was just really into boobs but not so much doing other stuff. Perhaps I'm part hermitsexual and part kiss-sexual? Smoochsexual? Neckingsexual? Snogosexual?

#DefinitelyNotAsexualOrDemisexualThough




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/399207.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Purple Mobius, polyamory

The Polyamorous Trial Period

http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettworks/2016/03/be-brutally-polyamorous/
"“I’m polyamorous, but my partner’s new to this. They say they’re okay with what I’ve told them about poly, but… I can tell they’re nervous. So I’m going to damp it down for a while just to be kind to them – I’ll go easy on the side-dating.”

Don’t do that.

Your kindness will rip ’em to shreds.

Because if you give someone an artificial trial period, one where you give them the faux-monogamous experience to make them comfortable, then all you’re doing is lulling them into a sense of “Oh, this is what it’s like.”"
From the archives, this blog piece from Ferret explains why the "ease them in" method of polyamory is a terrible method, and why it's actually less kind than the alternative.
"And here’s one of the central truths about relationships: What usually scares people the most is deviations from the established norm."

"Giving them a “trial period” and then dropping the big change of “Oh yeah, I date other people now” is going to hurt someone unfamiliar to polyamory more. Often, a lot more. You are doing them zero kindnesses."
I've seen this from personal experience more times than I'm proud to admit, and I've seen it from observations in the poly community so often that it's a cliche.  And even after I had learned this lesson, and firmly held this to be true, my libido is so low that I just don't have much *room* for a lot of partners. So a new partner often gets to know me when I have, like, only 1 other partner and he's long-distance.

NRE spikes my libido temporarily with the new partner, and he gets used to the idea that I like lots of sex and *technically* have another partner but he never really has to deal with it.

Later, when NRE wears off, my sex drive drops and he starts to feel abandoned, like I've lost interest. And then, inevitably, someone new comes along, spikes my libido again, and now he has to deal with me suddenly dating someone new when he had gotten used to basically having me all to himself, on *top* of whatever other insecurity he feels about my roller-coastering libido.

I am *not* a beginner relationship.

People do not do well with change in relationships (me included), so don't make polyamory itself into one of those changes if y'all know going into the relationship that it is supposed to be polyamorous.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/399384.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Purple Mobius, polyamory

Poly Semantics

Hey, polys, I know that we like to make up our own terminology and stuff, and I actually think that's great.  I think it's both useful and humorous.

BUT WORDS MEAN THINGS!

I mean, sure, living language, words evolve and all that, but poly terminology is LITERALLY LESS THAN A GENERATION OLD.  Most of the people who coined the various words are still alive.

Could we, like, not start making words mean their opposite while the people who coined them are still alive to define them?

We ARE all about "communication, communication, communication", yes?  I know this is a radical concept, but communication is *easier* when everyone in the conversation is using the same fucking definitions for the same words.  Sure, there are no thought police, nobody is going to drag you off to poly jail for using a word differently.  But you're making things more difficult for everyone, yourself included, by just arbitrarily making words mean their opposite.

Can we just agree to use the words as defined at least as long as the person who coined them (or popularized them) is still alive and can confirm its intended definition? Can we make our own vocabulary just last at least as long as that?

Here's something that just occurred to me that I wonder about.

So, the poly "community", the concept, whatever, has been mostly led by women or non-cis men identified persons.  I'm going to stick with the term "women" for right now because the original pioneers and the largest names with the widest reach all used that term.  Point is, women have been at the forefront of the poly "movement" from the beginning.  Literally, both the people tagged with coining the word "polyamory" are women.

Because women have been the bulk of the supporters and champions of polyamory, women have been the coiners of most of our vocabulary.

I get into a *lot* of semantics debates around poly terminology. People insist that words mean their opposites all the time, which is frustrating in general, but in the poly community, the people who coined, popularized, or invented our terms are mostly all still alive and we can *ask* them what the word means.

But people will tell those coiners, *to their faces*, that the words they invented do not mean what they created them to mean.

And because it just occurred to me, as I was thinking over the last 20 years of all the arguments I've had on poly semantics and who came up with which terms, that the vast majority of people I have had to defend as being term-coiners, have been women.

So now I wonder ... if men had developed all these terms, would we still be arguing about their definition?  Would so many people so vociferously declare to the person who invented a word that "language evolves"?  How much of the willingness to tell someone that their own word does not belong to them anymore and we can use it however we like is related to our cultural willingness to dismiss women's ideas, ignore women, 'splain to women, and take credit for women's contributions?

How much of our semantics debates are related to some deeply internalized misogyny?  How often do we arbitrarily change the definitions of terms because we, as a culture and we subconsciously as individuals, do not give women the authority to define and shape our communities?

These are all rhetorical questions.  I am not looking for anyone to answer them because I don't think they can be answered.  I just noticed a pattern, because pattern-recognition is one of the things I'm particularly good at. It might be nothing.

But it might be that, even in a woman-led movement and among women ourselves, we still don't give women the credit that they deserve.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/399619.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
demure, sad, polite, boxed in, Misty in Box

Challenge For Cismen

Challenge for all cisgender (particularly white) men:

Go for one entire day without making a single, unsolicited comment at someone. If nobody asked you, personally, a direct question, don't respond. Even if someone asked a question generally, such as a social media post or a room full of people, if your opinion, advice, or answer, specifically, was not solicited, then don't give an answer.

Exemption: If a thing is going to happen to you personally, if the subject involves you - your body, your emotions, your time, your possessions, your agency - then you can voice your opinion because then your opinion is relevant and your agency is important. But make sure this actually involves *you*, personally, not just a subject you have emotional feelz about, which makes it *feel* "personal".

If your partner says "let's have pizza for dinner" and you're really not feeling pizza, then give your opinion even though they didn't ask you a direct question. But if someone you know says "I like pineapple pizza", don't tell them your favorite toppings or recommend your favorite pizza parlour.

If you find this challenge difficult, ask yourself why. If you are able to complete this challenge, try doing it for an entire week.

Contemplate how difficult this challenge is for you. How did your social media activity change? How did conversations IRL change? Consider how many other men inserted their unsolicited opinions into the space you left for them that you are now aware of because you held your tongue. How did conversations look when only non-cismen were contributing?

Count the number of times you were about to say something and then remembered not to. Count the number of times you failed. Think about how often you had to actively make a decision about offering an unsolicited opinion. Ask yourself how much effort did it take for you to stop and think about everything you wanted to say, to see if it met this challenge or fell under the exemption? Ask yourself how much effort did you make rationalizing, justifying, excusing, or legitimately categorizing the things that you did end up voicing as an "exemption".

And challenge other cis men.

(challenge idea from Holly Freundlich)




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/400067.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Bad Computer!, anger

Stop With The Trying To Control Your Ex Bullshit

I'm starting to think that when men go through a breakup, there should be, like, this mandatory "rehab" building where they get put, where they don't have any contact with any people for a few days, they get fed, get comfy accommodations, and are only given squishy things or non-breakable things. They have to go there and just feel like shit for a while, all by themselves.

Only after a couple of days when the most acute pain has faded, then they get to talk to counselors who are especially trained in anger management and loss processing. The counselors can make a judgement call about when to let them out, whether to allow contact with loved ones and when, and whatever else needs to be decided for their recovery.

Only when they're deemed to have processed their anger and grief in healthy ways are they allowed back into society. They may still be going through the process of loss, because some breakups take time, but its that initial destructive period of anger and hurt that is the most threatening.

And if men can't figure out how to feel angry and hurt without property destruction, revenge, control, or making a "statement", then they ought to be put in isolation until they can get a handle on it.

Women too, because I've seen some really fucked up shit from women going through a breakup, but men have the power of society behind them and much fewer resources for helping them process difficult emotions.

Sometimes I see men going through breakups and I just want to lock them in their rooms for a while and take away their phones and internet until they calm the fuck down and stop trying to *make* their exes do whatever it is they feel entitled to making them do ("pay for it", "come back", whatever).

I recently had a friend who, until their breakup we all called *his girlfriend* the problem child (and she really was - manipulative, controlling, the whole 9 yards), ended up getting Baker Acted by his ex-girlfriend because he used a suicide threat to get her attention. He was held for several days with minimal contact outside.

I think that was probably the best thing she ever did for him. When he got out, we still had to metaphorically spank him occasionally to get him to stop fucking calling her and trying to "win her back", but it was *much* less destructive than before.

The longer it takes me to finish this breaking up book, and the more breakups I witness because of how many people now come to me with their breakup stories, the less lenient and lovey-dovey I become over how people should breakup. Now I just want to lock everyone in padded rooms until they come to their fucking senses and stop being jackasses.

Maybe we should pipe in some pro-agency inspirational messages to the rooms like 24-hours a day for some cultural reprogramming or something. Apparently it's going to take some sci-fi Russian super-soldier training methods to make people just STOP FUCKING TRYING TO CONTROL YOUR ROMANTIC PARTNERS, INTERESTS, AND EXES AND DEAL WITH YOUR OWN GODDAMN EMOTIONS




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/400149.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
statement, Kitty Eyes, being wise

For People Going Through A Breakup And Their Friends

PSA: When your friends are going through a breakup, if you are particularly close with them and have previously been in the role of support for them with their relationship stuff (or they have for you), and your friend reaches out to you for support during a breakup, you may choose to be there for them, or you may choose not to take on that particular role for yourself at this time.

But if you have not already established this kind of supportive role with your friend who is going through a breakup, try to resist the call to suddenly be their sounding board.  Even if you think you can handle it.  Even if you think that you truly have the purest of intentions.

Some people want to manipulate social circles with sordid stories of the breakup or the ex.  Some people want to gossip.  Some people want to elicit a more active role from you in revenge, punitive action, or other things.  Abusers, in particular, are *very* good at convincing others that they have been harmed and making it look like they're just "reaching out" for support when they're actually undermining the other person's ability to find their support.

Some people just don't have very good boundaries and don't recognize what is appropriate and what isn't in terms of sharing private and personal details of a relationship and a breakup.  There are tons of reasons - both benign and harmful in *intent* - for someone coming to you with the story of their breakup.  But there are very few times in which accepting that role is actually *helpful*, either for your friend, for you as the support, or for the community everyone is all a part of.

So if you don't already have that kind of relationship with someone and they contact you from seemingly out of nowhere wanting to connect or looking for support for a breakup, and *especially* if you *do* have a connection to the ex, it's probably best to clearly state your own boundaries that this is not a role you feel suited for at this time.

If *you* are going through a breakup and you have somehow managed to lose or avoid building your own support group with a very small number of people who can handle being in the role of "I will listen to you trash talk your ex so you can vent" buddy, you may find yourself now needing to reach out to people you haven't before.

Some advice:
  • Keep it to a small number of people, preferably people who are at least on the next closest ring of your concentric social circles, so it would seem like a natural next step in a progression of intimacy when you reach out to them, not a weird, out-of-the-blue request.  Don't spam dozens of people, you really only need a small handful of close confidantes, and they should be people who are close *enough* that it doesn't seem like a leap of intimacy.
     
  • Try to pick people who are not also friends with the ex, or who are more distant friends with the ex than they are with you.  That way you don't unintentionally (or subconsciously intentionally) fuck up their friendships, support networks, or social circles too.
     
  • Focus on YOU - on what YOU did, on how YOU feel, on what you could have done, on what you plan to do from here, etc.  Leave your ex out of it, other than the fact that being an ex is what makes you need support in the first place.  Your breakup is about YOU, regardless of what they did or the details of what happened.  Support is about YOU, not about your ex.
     
  • Be clear on what you are asking for.  Do you just want someone to listen while you sort through your thoughts and that takes speaking them out loud?  Do you want advice?  Do you want someone to hear your story and give you reassurance?  Do you want someone to hear your story and give it to you straight, whether that turns out to be reassurance or some hard truths?  Do you just want to sit with feelings of being petty and a space to be ugly for a while with someone who won't judge you for it?  Be clear.  Tell people which role you want them to play, and be prepared for them to tell you that they can't play that role for you.
Breaking up is hard. It's where your ethics meet the road.  And we ALL fuck up here.  This is how to fuck up a little bit less.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/400614.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
statement, Kitty Eyes, being wise

A Cop Drama Illustrates Privacy vs. Secrecy vs. Transparency

I'm watching one of my cop dramas (because I have a weakness for them) and this episode has a scene that very clearly illustrates a point.

A lot of people seem really confused on the whole "privacy vs. secrecy vs. transparency" thing. I've written about it before and even have a recent post with that phrase as the title. But some people don't seem to understand how one can be transparent and still maintain privacy.

I think it's really simple.
"But boss!"

"No, I'm asking you to trust me, please. I can't tell you what's going on right now, but I promise I will tell you when I am able to. For now, just drop it."
That's it.

The plot involves a mass conspiracy that's been going on for several seasons, and recently the protagonist did a thing to thwart the agents of the conspiracy, and so needed to do it totally secretly, without the knowledge or assistance of the rest of the cop team, because mass conspiracy.

Now the conspiracy is doing its thing, and others on the team are starting to notice weird things are happening. But in order for the good guy plan to work, the silence needs to be maintained.

So, these are *cops* - detectives, no less. They're trained in the art of investigation. Lying to one's own teammate, especially in the course of the teammate doing their job and trying to solve crimes, is ASKING for crossed plot lines. This is how otherwise Good Guys end up suspicious and accidentally sabotaging the protagonist and furthering the schemes of the conspiracy.

So this character* didn't. This character was honest that there was *something* - yes, teammate, your instincts are correct, so please stop digging because you are right but I am keeping secrets for a reason.

That's all that is needed in romantic relationships too. If you trust them, then you let it go right there. If you don't, well, then you have other issues.

I can be honest with my partners and still respect privacy:
I'm sorry, sweetie, I love you, but that's not my story to tell.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you not to pry because this is a personal matter that I don't want to share.

Yes, you are noticing something correctly. I am not telling you everything. There is a reason for that, and I will be able to tell you soon, but not now. Please trust me.

Yes, there is something bothering me but I do not want / cannot go into it right now, please drop the subject. I will let you know when I can talk about it.
You can decide how much trust you want to give to a partner who requests privacy. You can decide that whatever they don't wish to share with you is a deal-breaker. That's your right. But privacy is *their* right.

And as the person trying to maintain privacy, you can decide if this is the privacy you wish to stake your relationship on. But one can be transparent and maintain privacy at the same time. One can be *honest* about maintaining privacy. These are not mutually exclusive goals.

All too often, "honesty" is put in opposition to some other goal, like "kindness" or "privacy", as if you can only have one or the other. Most of the time, you can have both. But it takes trust going both ways in a relationship, and courage to be vulnerable and to stand one's ground, all of which require a foundation of good communication so that both people in the relationship *know* or feel confident about the trust and the safety of their vulnerability and in themselves to stand their ground.

But a good relationship does not require you to sacrifice something else important in order to be honest. If you feel that you are forced into this dichotomy, you are probably not in a healthy relationship.



*It's probably not a coincident that the teammate / boss who chose to be honest and just ask for trust is a female character. Male characters, especially cops, tend to bluster and bluff and let their egos get in the way. The female character relied on her relationship history.  I doubt that was a deliberate feminist critique of emotional labor, but I also don't think it was an accident that this is the dialog chosen for her and had it been one of the male characters or had her character been portrayed by a man, I believe this exchange would have gone differently.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/400801.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
statement, Kitty Eyes, being wise

#ThingsIWantToToon All The Cats Stalking Me

#ThingsIWantToToon: In the first panel, I pull my car into my parking spot next to my house. It's night, and everything is dark, empty, alone.

I get out of my car and look around cautiously, it's just the kind of neighborhood where you want to know what you are about to turn your back on. Nobody and nothing around.

I lean into the car to get stuff out of the front seat.

I turn back around and close the door. Behind the door is the silhouette of a cat, sitting facing me. I pause, wondering where it came from. But there is a chain link fence between me and the cat.

I turn to walk towards the house.

Another cat silhouette is behind me (now in front), slowly walking towards me. I stop. I am between the 2 cats.

I look back towards the other one. There are now 2 cat silhouettes sitting, watching me. Where did the other one come from?

I start walking towards the house again. The moving cat veers to intercept me.

All of this is done in spooky tones.

Then the motion sensor light comes on as the moving cat reaches me, and I lean down to pet a smiling, purring #TonyTheCat, as the #EgyptianFerals kittens come bounding up, only to bounce away before I get too close. Tone changes to bright, happy tone.

I make it into the house and fill a bowl of cat food while Tony winds his way between my feet and the kittens butt-wriggle-pounce on something in the yard. I smile.

#LifeWithFriendlyFerals #StreetCatSaga #TheCatChronicals #Toxoplasmosis #DamnParasite #CatSlave #MoreImportantThatCatsLikeMeThanPeopleLikeMe #FeralCatsAreMyPatronus #ThisIsNotMyCat #ThisIsProbablyMyCatNow




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/401131.html.

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Super Tech, strong, feminism

A Cop Drama Does Feminism & Gender Reversal Well

Watching a cop drama. Two of the cops have gotten married and had a baby (and since left the force).

Just saw a scene with a wonderful twist:

The woman leaves the baby with the man to go into the other room to get something for the baby.  We hear a small crash from the other room and the music changes.  He calls out her name and she doesn't respond.  We know something bad has happened.  The father goes into the other room, calling for the mom, and gets distracted by finding the thing for the baby. Suddenly, an armed assailant appears with a shotgun and fires, while the dad's cop instinct takes over and he ducks.

Here's the twist - the dad, unarmed, is the one running through the house and hiding, protecting the baby, eyes wide with fear.  Meanwhile, the mom pops out from around the corner with her gun drawn and has a gunfight with the assailant, scaring him off, while the man huddles in the pantry, shushing the the baby.

It would have been SO easy to have this scene with the characters reversed.  Someone would have had to consciously thought to make this scene play out the way it did.

And it helps that the man's character has been building up as the nurturing, father-figure type.  There have been several scenes in earlier seasons, when he had a baby with another character, that highlight his growth from naive rookie with daddy issues from his gangbanger dad to responsible father who makes very different decisions now that he has children to raise.  So this role reversal isn't out of the blue, it's totally within the character arcs of these characters.

But even still, I was pleasantly surprised to see this scene.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/401255.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Purple Mobius, polyamory

I'm Just A Jealous Person

Him:  I just don't get how you all keep track of everyone!

Me:  The same way I keep track of all my siblings and cousins. I know who they all are and what I've done with each.

Him:  But it's different when you have a real intimate connection. Then there's jealousy that you don't have with friends or family.

Me:  See, this is what I hate about emotional labor.  You guys are socialized to have women do your emotional labor for you and to only view your sexual partners as "intimate".  Women are socialized to have many intimate connections.  I can have several platonic girlfriends who are all deeply intimate connections, so I know that it feels the same as the connection I have to my romantic partner, sometimes it's a deeper intimacy, even.  If you could develop intimate connections with anyone other than your lover, you'd know that jealousy and all the other emotions exist whether there is sex or not and monogamy doesn't prevent them.

Him:  but don't you all feel sexual jealousy?

Me:  1) yes, but 2) not being poly doesn't prevent anyone from feeling sexual jealousy either.

Him:  But for me, sexual jealousy is this primal, internal, instinctual thing.

Me:  Yeah, all jealousy is like that.  Babies feel jealousy about parents and siblings.  You just happen to attach your feelings of jealousy to sexual activity, but it's still the same jealousy that everyone feels over anything.  Think of it like anger.  Jealousy is just an emotion.  Anger is just an emotion.  Some people are pretty laid back and don't really get angry or upset over much.  Some people get angry over very specific things but they're ok most of the time.

And some people are just Angry.  They see red.  Their anger is primal, and always there.  It's a part of who they are, it's in their identity, they are an Angry Person.

People who get angry have a few choices.  They can choose to only date people who never do anything to make them angry.  They can have random bouts of anger and that's just how a relationship with them goes.  Or they can try and learn some anger management skills and learn how to deal with their anger without making other people responsible for managing them.

But no matter which option they choose, the anger never "disappears".  There is no world in which anger is gone.  People who choose to date only people who never make them angry never lose their anger, they just don't have it triggered very often (but inevitably, *something* will, because nobody is perfect at managing other people's emotions).

People who choose anger management never lose their anger, they just learn how to manage their own emotions and, more importantly, how to choose reasonable behaviours in response to their emotions.

Now imagine that society said that the Angry Person is the default, that this is just how things are, that anger is immutable and fixed, and that all relationships should alter themselves to avoid triggering anger at all costs, and any relationship that allows the kind of behaviour that might make someone feel angry are "weird", "abnormal", and even "immoral", even if the people in those relationships are OK with having that kind of behaviour in their relationships and even if that behaviour doesn't actually trigger any anger in them at all.

Poly people are just normal people with the same range of angry feelings as everyone else but who said "I don't buy that, I think some anger is learned and angry behaviour is excused, and I think that there is a better way to feel and deal with anger."

Him:  See, that's why I admire you poly people.  I'm just a jealous person, so I couldn't do that.

Me:  #FacePalm That's the thing, you *could* if you wanted to.  But society is set up to support you in not addressing your jealousy, in just accepting it.  As long as you think it's "too hard" or you can't do it, you won't be able to because society will support you in not trying, and will actively work against you if you do try.  You could change this about yourself.  But only if you want to.

Poly people aren't special or better at any of this, we're just more deliberate about our relationships.  Anyone *could* do it, it's whether they *want* to overcome the hurdles that society has put in their way.  For some people, it's not worth the effort.  If you do not *want* to, then don't do it.  Don't come into my communities kicking and screaming and not wanting to be there.  You'll just fuck things up for all of us.

Just know that you're a making a choice. Your jealousy doesn't have to dictate your relationships, if you don't want it to.  It only does because you choose to let it.

#ActualConversationsIHave




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/401479.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Purple Mobius, polyamory

Many Of My Poly Skills Come From My Hetero Mono Family

*sigh* my sister...

So, my family is, like, totally "normal".  They are what we are told we are "supposed" to be: my dad proposed to my mom at her senior prom, they got married right out of high school, are still married, had 2 kids and a series of dogs and raised us in the suburbs.  My sister was "the jock", I was "the brain", my mom came from a lower class immigrant family and moved into middle class, even sent me to private school.  All we lacked was a literal picket fence.

Even our dysfunctions were "normal":  I dropped out of college to work in manual labor, my sister got pregnant in high school and became a single teen mom, but we both mostly stayed out of real trouble and we love our parents.  So my sister is totally not part of any alt communities.  But she really should be.  She has like the most queer-platonic relationship I've ever seen.  Her best friend is the girl who grew up next door to us and they do *everything* together.

After I moved out, when my oldest nibling was a toddler, my sister and our next door neighbor became really close friends, so the neighbor kinda stepped in as an additional parent when I left.  She just adores my niblings and they adore her.  She is unmarried and has applied for adoption.  Even though she has a boyfriend, she is planning on being a single mother.  Perhaps if her boyfriend becomes a husband, he'll also become the adopted kid's father, but she has been planning to adopt for quite some time and is doing everything under the assumption that she will be the sole parent.

Except for my sister.  As soon as my neighbor announced that the adoption application was approved, my sister immediately teared up and shouted "WE'RE HAVING A BABY?!?!"

Once my neighbor gave the go-ahead for my sister to start telling people, she always said it as "*we* are having a baby", and the neighbor seems to be approving, not just tolerating, this perspective.  My sister will be the secondary parent to her best friend's kids, whether she ever has a spouse or not.

And now, my sister is posting pictures from her honeymoon in Cancun.  Guess who's there?  My sister brought her best friend (and her bf) on her honeymoon.

No, she is definitely not poly or bi.  We've had frank discussions of both, and, while my sister understands and accepts both concepts in other people, she says they're not for her.  But she clearly has "alternative" family structures.  Her bestie is also a co-parent and a life-partner, and apparently neither of their straight male romantic partners mind.

I keep saying how all of my alt-family philosophies and skills come from my Christian, hetero, monogamous upbringing.  I also keep saying that very little about polyamory is specific to polyamory.  My sister is proof of both.  She's not poly at all, but she still applies very poly relationship skills and traits to her het-mono life.

Considering that we hated each other as children, have *nothing* in common except a few bands that we like, and are not related by genetics, I think this supports my assertions that there is little about poly that is poly-specific and the sheer diversity of mono families can produce some healthy relationship lessons so that you don't have to be poly to still have decent relationships.

If you just look at a snapshot of our respective lives, my sister actually looks more like the "alternative" one.  I live alone and hardly ever see my partners, so if you only peek at a slice of my life, I would seem to be just a quiet, spinster aunt, while she's the one with tattoos, kids that are not much younger than herself, and what looks like a poly quad and multiple co-parents.

#SeeingPicsOfMySisterPartyingInMexicoApparentlySendsMeOnAPolyPhilosophyTangent #QueerestPolyestStraightMonoWomanEver #ILoveMyFamily #WellMostOfTheTime




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/401794.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
demure, sad, polite, boxed in, Misty in Box

Gaslighters Just Keep Getting Better And Better

[This is a post I made on FB on May 6, 2018]

Y'all, I'm watching a master gaslighter at work.  I thought my ex, who had me convinced that his victim was the real problem, was good.

Amateur. 

I then thought that this Missing Stair, who has left a trail of broken victims throughout her city and somehow managed to stage a coup against me which I caught wind of and yet she still convinced half the online poly community that I was unreasonable and on a power trip because I put a stop to the coup, was good.

Hobbyist.

It's truly impressive to watch a real pro categorically deny ever having done or said things when there exists actual print evidence that they did, and to see people fall one by one, like dominoes, into the pro's camp.  And there's nothing that can be done.  To speak up after the smear campaign has started is to create "drama".  And Hades forbid we have "drama" in our communities!  To keep quiet to avoid "drama" is to allow the accusations to go unchallenged, which makes them believable.

Any attempt at a defense is met with hostility by people who heard the first accusations and have chosen to "believe the victim" rather than look into the situation.  Remember, abusers often use our sympathy and empathy against ourselves.  In our current subculture climate, they can cry "victim" first, and be automatically believed, setting up their victims for a no-win situation and further traumatizing them. 

As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell the difference between a true victim bravely stepping forward to share their story and prevent future abuse, from an abuser crying "victim" first to win over public approval and support and further traumatize their victim, without a thorough, deep dive into the situation, which most bystanders are not in a position to do. 

And the more gaslighters I have the misfortune to meet, the more and more difficulty I have in telling the difference because I keep meeting better and better gaslighters.  They just keep upping their game. 

This one is fucking *good*. 




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/402175.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Purple Mobius, polyamory

Once Again, Abusers Are Not Cardboard Villains But They Are Still Abusers

I've said this before, but I just woke up and I have to get ready for work, so I don't feel like taking the time to find the post about it.

Reminder:  Not all gaslighters are cardboard, black-hatted villains, twirling their mustachios and stroking their white cats in their uncomfortable looking armchair, plotting the deliberate crazy-making of their intended victims.  I'd even venture to say that *none* of them are.

We are taught that gaslighting is an appropriate method for dealing with intimate connections who do not behave as we wish.  This is not limited to romantic partners either.  The example I use is that of a tired and harried parent trying desperately to get their child to eat their vegetables.  The toddler says "I don't like broccoli!" and the parent says "yes you do, now eat it!"

That's gaslighting.  That parent is attempting to overwrite the child's feelings by telling the child what they feel.  In the grand scheme of things, this one specific example is minor - I wouldn't call the parent "abusive" over this.  But we learn from a very early age that we can tell other people what they feel, and we can insist that we know them better than they know themselves.

We also all have shitty memories.  Yes, even you with the really good memory, you have a shitty memory too.  Our brains suck.  They do not record reality like a video recorder.  They record *feelings* and *impressions* and general concepts.  And then, when you re-tell something later, that re-telling overwrites the original memory and you remember the event as you just re-told it instead of as it was.

If a person has a shitty memory (which we all do) and also has confidence in their memories, a person without malicious intent can be very likely to insist that an event happened in a way that it did not, in fact, happen.  Combine this with an ingrained acceptance of gaslighting as a cultural practice, and I guaran-fucking-tee that every single one of you has gaslighted people before.  Only I would bet that you don't even remember doing it.

My point is that there are some people who are actually abusive with their gaslighting.  They do it habitually, they do it with malice, they do it with forethought.  But the vast majority of people are somewhere between the occasional, minor gaslighting of the parent just trying to get their kid to eat healthy and the dude deliberately trying to send his wife to the asylum to get her money (the movie where the name came from).

I fully believe that my abusive ex, whom I use as a teaching tool frequently, who had me convinced that his victim was the real abuser, genuinely, sincerely feels that he was the victim in the whole scenario and thinks I'm the evil one for accusing him of abuse.  I believe that he, to this day, does not think his demands to control his partners' behaviour with their other partners to manage his own insecurities, was "abuse", or even "controlling".  I believe that, when he had hours-long arguments with his victim that resulted in her recanting her pain and comforting him instead, I believe that he fully believes that he did not change her reality so that she became so twisted up inside that she couldn't tell what reality was.

So, when I talk about master gaslighters, I'm not trying to guess their motivations or turn them into said cardboard, black-hatted, mustachioed villains.  They are still people with complexity, and I'm quite sure they do not view themselves as the bad guys in the situations I comment on.  It doesn't change the fact that they are saying things that are not true, though, and what they say is turning people against those they are telling the not-truth about.

How or why they do what they do is not my point.  Sometimes, I may believe that I have some kind of insider information that allows me to comment on the how or why, but mostly, I'm just commenting on the what.  And people, especially those with exposure to the SJW communities, are getting REALLY GOOD at some really shitty things.




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/402201.html.

This blog has been moved to https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/ due to the new Russian laws regarding LGBTQ content. The new blog will continue to cross-post to LiveJournal as long as the LJ blog still stands but comments at LJ have been disabled. Please update your RSS feeds for my new home.

 
Flogging, BDSM

Advanced Relationship Skills

Relationship Negotiation 201 -

Me: As a future local partner, you will be subjected to all kinds of movie marathons, many of which include truly terrible movies. That's just part of the relationship contract of being with me.

I probably ought to have included that in the vows, or the prenup or something.

Franklin: I think I knew that when I signed on. I suppose we could make a deal: I’ll put up with your taste in movies if you put up with the fact that I like sex that’s messy and squidgy.

Me: um... maybe bad movie watching isn't so important after all?

#WhenOppositesAttract #TheRealSecretsToASuccessfulLongTermRelationship #GiveAndTake #NoSeriouslyNotWatchingTonsOfBadMoviesWithMeIsKindaADealBreaker


Metamour Relations 302 -

Franklin: Eunice suggested this totally evil idea to torture me! She's trouble.

Me: Ooh, that sounds like fun! I think I'd like to help her with that!

Franklin: You’re terrible! That’s a terrible idea! 😮

Me: I dunno, I thought it sounded like an excellent idea. I shall have to commend Eunice on her creativity.

Franklin: ...

Franklin: That also sounds like a terrible idea. The last thing she needs is someone encouraging her.

Franklin: Wait, scratch that. The last thing I need is someone encouraging her!

Me: Positive reinforcement is an excellent bonding tool.

Franklin: Um...I’m not sure we have the same idea of bonding tools.

Me: I thought you wanted all your partners to get along with each other?

Franklin: Well, there’s getting along, and then there’s “getting along,” if you know what I mean.

Me: This is what polyamory is all about! All of your partners encouraging each other, cheering each other on, helping each other out...

Franklin: I don't recall polyamory being all about ganging up on me!

Me: Details! It's the bigger picture that's important here! All your partners like each other, communicate with each other, and cooperate with each other. See? Helping each other torture you is the pinnacle of successful polyamory!

#ThePolyFamilyThatTorturesTogetherStaysTogether #PolyRoleModels #SchemingAndPlotting #JorethControlThem! #IAmTheyAreDoingExactlyWhatIToldThemToDo! #TheAmorphousSquiggle #TheTangle #SquiggleFunTimes #ClosestKnitKitchenTableInclusiveOpenNetworkEver #WhoSaysSoloPolysDoNotHaveCloseTiesWithMetamours? #MetamoursAreTheBestPartOfPolyamory #BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor #WhenAllOfYourPartnersLikeEachOtherItDoesNotAlwaysGoSoWellForYou #OrItGoesVeryWellForYouDependingOnDefinitions




This post was originally posted at https://joreth.dreamwidth.org/402654.html.

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