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I Am Not A Feminist

deeandlouI am not a feminist.  For one thing, I’ve never really known exactly what the term means.   Thankfully, Murphy at PUMA Pac provided me with a clue by posting this quote:

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
– Rebecca West

While that’s nice to know, I’ve been more inclined to accept the “me, a name I call myself” type labels ever since I first learned the song that line comes from.  Which brings me to another point, if feminist means celebrating the “feminine” that lets me out right there.  I’ve never been, nor wanted to be, “feminine.”  While I’m perfectly comfortable embracing the “female,” “feminine” has always seemed to me to be the definition of  female as “less than,” and I can’t go for that.   The “just a girl” attitude I’ve always perceived to be associated with the word “feminine” has always pissed me off.

Some might say that’s because I was born gay, but I’m not buying that either.  While I was born gay, I didn’t really recognize that about myself until my mid-twenties, believe it or not, and didn’t really accept it until even later than that.  “Gay” was just not talked about in my house, or anywhere else I was exposed to growing up in the late fifties, early sixties; there were girls, boys and tomboys.  I was a tomboy.  But even once I embraced my lesbianism, actvism was never an option I considered; nobody I cared about, gay or straight,  discriminated against me, and that was all that ever mattered to me.

I feel the same way about my blackness; I’m not militant about it; like being a gay woman, it is simply who I am, who I was born to be.  I’ve always known I was black, everybody in my house was too, even though none of us really have the same hue.   The first time I was aware of it was probably about the same time I realized girls were just as good as boys, about the same time I first heard “doe, a deer…”  Seeing people on TV who were just like everybody else I knew, only a different color, made me ask my mother what was up with that one day around the time I started school.  The nature of society as it was reflected on the news probably had something to do with my racial awakening, but even with all the unrest roiling around the country, to me my blackness was no big deal.  Some people didn’t like girls and tomboys either, but that was their problem.  Politicizing my “me-ness” has always seemed to me to be accepting of other people’s definition of who they think I should be, in fact, in my mind, to be radical about one’s inherent physical qualities requires that one define oneself on others’ terms.

I am a black gay woman.

Deal with it.

But, first and foremost, I am a human being.  On that level, I’ve always been pissed off that some people think they’re better than other people, no matter what the reason.  So what if you’re rich, or white, or smart, or tall, or go to a different church, or pee standing up?  That’s who you are, we either like each other or we don’t; life goes on.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never been able to abide anybody abusing anybody else.  Who do you think you are?  What gives you the right to try to impose your will on somebody else?  What makes you think you can hit, or hurt, or be mean to another person just because you’re mad about who they are?  Because that’s what just about all conflict comes down to.  We get mad at our lovers, spouses, friends, children, enemies because they’re not who we want them to be at that moment.  The same is true for religion; you don’t worship the way I think you should so I hate you, you’re not the right kind of believer.   You don’t drive the way I think people should drive so screw you, you’re not the driver I want you to be.  You’re gay, you’re white, you’re stupid, you’re wrong.  For some reason, too many of us think some aspect, any aspect, of other people’s reality is subject to our approval.

So people around the world blow other people up because they exist in places they don’t want them to be, people dedicate their lives to trying to force other people to behave according to the standards of their “one God who loves everybody the way they are,” people shoot other people because they own things they want and don’t want other people to have, people invent ways to hurt other people for being who they are.  And nobody ever stops to consider how silly it all is.

A man wants a woman to behave the way he wants her to; he wants what he wants, when she won’t allow it, he shoots her in the face with a shotgun.  That is the way he is.  He has done things like that before, if not stopped, he will do it again.  But, how do you stop him without becoming like him?  If you do, when will the cycle stop?  Because he hurts the woman, the people who love her will want him to be hurt the same way, that’s human nature.  But, no matter how unreasonable he is and always has been, somebody loves him, too.  And, even if they don’t love him, if he is hurt in return, some who identify with him will take up his cause and hurt people on his behalf.  Which will of course require further retaliation; and so on, and so on…Ongoing wars that began millenia ago have been started in much the same way, many feuds, fights, turf wars, etc., have been started for less.

And, that is not the way we should be.  But, what to do?  No one should bear the pain of losing a family member, let alone two, to someone else’s ego-driven rage of insecurity.  We can never, ever expect anyone to accept that kind of injustice.  Their anguished howls of outrage and pain are outrageous and painful to all who hear them, and if they are unbearable for those of us not directly affected, and they are, we can only imagine the depths of the despair they feel, which anguishes us even more.  Never would I suggest that anyone in that situation simply “take it” in the name of “getting along,” or “stopping the cycle.”   But my outrage, pain and anguish is not because I empathize with another woman, but because she’s a human being.

As am I.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, as long as we, as a global society, a human family, approach our attempts at conflict resolution as feminists, blacks, gays, Christians, Jews, Muslims, whites, Democrats, Republicans, or any other kind of “-ists” “-isms” “-ians,” or “-ites,” we’re doomed to perpetual warfare, personally, nationally, politically, and ethnically.  Until we see ourselves and others as what we are, human beings, there’s no hope for any of us.

My thoughts and prayers go out to fellow PUMA Betty Jean Kling and her daughters, Denise Richardson and Louisa Richardson-Rodas.  May God bless them and show them mercy.  I support her in all her endeavors to seek justice for her family and all who have ever, or might ever, find themselves in a similar situation, which is, unfortunately, all of us.

This angry, black, lesbian, Baptist human being reaches out with open arms to another human being suffering a fate no one should ever have to even contemplate, and offers her and her family love.

What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.

Though we have never met, Betty Jean, this post goes from my heart to yours.

If I have trivialized, misrepresented, sensationalized, or offended you in any way, please accept my humble apologies.

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103 Responses

  1. A tip of my hat to you, Cinie, for that wonderful post.

  2. Part of a comment i wrote last night said.
    Part of the history of this country is based on says
    all men have the right to life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Woman deserve that right also.
    All people should have the right to make their own choices on how they live their lives so long as it does no harm to another.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  3. should read history of which this country is based on

  4. You don’t support Obama, therefore you are a racist!

    Too bad, you seem like a nice person Cinie.

  5. As always, Cinic, you wrote a remarkable post. Thank you for the reminder of my humanness.

  6. Although I loved the whole piece Cinie I was particularly struck with the following paragraph:

    But, first and foremost, I am a human being. On that level, I’ve always been pissed off that some people think they’re better than other people, no matter what the reason. So what if you’re rich, or white, or smart, or tall, or go to a different church, or pee standing up? That’s who you are, we either like each other or we don’t; life goes on.

    I’ve always been pissed off for the very same reason. You are a a black gay woman who also happens to be a Baptist. I am a white straight woman that used to be a Catholic. Does that mean we have to hate each other? Does that mean we have to insist that one of us change? And change from what? From black to white or white to black? From gay to straight or straight to gay? What we are is what we are. Why does it matter to someone else if what we are harms no one? Why do they care?

  7. Sorry, I meant Cinie. Stupid fingers just waking up.

  8. Beautiful post, Cinie, thought provoking and insightful.

  9. Why, myiq, didn’t you know r*cists can be swell fun sometimes!
    And, Scrubs, cinic works for me most of the time.
    KenoshaMarge, if I had the answers to any of those questions, well, I guess I’d be God.

  10. Wow! I am once again blown away by Cinie and KenoshaMarge’s accurate, spot on, bullseye comments. You guys are terriffic. It is almost like sitting in on a women fueled seminar and having my brain filled with insight and intelligence.

    You guys keep posting. It is food for the soul.

  11. My last post at my site was similar, but the only thing I may only slightly disagree with is our gender.

    Facts are facts, until you know someone, you don’t know, if they are baptist, catholic, gay, straight, tanned or of another race, democrat or republican. But gender is something that comes through right away, unless you are Pat from SNL.

    Gender might decide if you are going to make as much money as the person sitting beside you doing the same job. Gender can decide if you are going to be taken seriously on some issues and gender, took the candidate from us that would have made a difference in the gender war we are now facing.

  12. I AM IN MODERATION!

  13. Beautiful! Until this electoral cycle I wasn’t aware at all of the political significance of my being a woman. It’s been a very rude awakening.
    Also, Bagobamarama – the senate episode – gets more entertaining
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/andhes-out-white-rejects-only-black-senator/

  14. A wonderful and thought provoking post which is in line with some of the thoughts I’ve had recently (such as the inability of women to speak with one voice, because we fragment into various interest groups). Being too quick to throw labels at people, spending too much time categorizing them and concentrating on differences can lead to endless conflict. In most cases, even those with vastly different outlooks should be able to agree on basic things.

  15. Okay, TRK, but does that make it right? If men truly see women as inferior, and WOMEN ACCEPT THAT, and habitually respond from that point of view, does that make it the natural order of things, as it appears to be in our society, or something that might be significantly influenced by an attitude adjustment? That’s why I say I’m not a feminist, to me it indicates that I accept that there is something inherently wrong with being female.
    As for the woman candidate thing, if women had voted for the woman in the same proportions that blacks voted black, 2 things would have happened, more than half the votes would have automatically gone to Hillary Clinton, and less than half the black vote would have gone to Obama.

  16. Thx Cinie, there’s some really important points brought up here … why women won’t support other women is of continual interest to me.

  17. Cinie, all the things you point out are true. Am I a feminist? I don’t know, I am not even sure what it means. I am a human being and as you stated, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

    My point is when you go in for a job interview, they can’t ask your religious affiliation, your sexual preference, your political party, or your race. That is illegal, but you can bet your ass, it is okay to ask about your commitment if you have three kids, or if you are planning to have children soon. Gender is not something that can be filed away and dealt with later.

  18. The real Kim
    That is indeed THE question – why are women so eager to support the status quo? Survival instincts take over, me thinks. That and Stockholm syndrome mixed in.

  19. Kim, I know there are no easy answers, hell, most of the time it’s hard enough to figure out what the right questions are. I just choose to be responsible for me and let other people decide what that means for themselves.

  20. I have often thought a wonderful experiment would be to place 20 people in a pitch black room. Allow them to talk to one another and get to know each other. Allow a week or so to pass and allow them to meet each other face to face.

    Would the same people gravitate towards each other?

  21. Oh, Cinie – I sat in stunned silence after reading your post – it is so perfect -it says everything in my heart in ways I couldn’t.

    Meg Wheatley’s book

    Turning to One Another:Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future

    addresses this very issue – we seemingly can no longer speak honestly and forthrightly with one another – Gee, Kim, maybe that’s why the Obots don’t like us – we do speak honestly and forthrightly at the Confluence – no hidden agendas, everyone is allowed to be whomever they are, and support others – even those we don’t always agree with.

  22. Kim, to soem degree the blog environment is just that dark room – we often don’t know who is male, female, white, black, gay or straight until actually told.

  23. Thats all any of us can do Cinie. I have agonized over this so many times. I try not to judge anyone and hope no one judges me. The one thing I am certain of is that being a woman means less, than being anything else to a lot of people.

  24. Joanelle, I agree with the blogosphere as dark room analogy. I’m rarely as autobiographical as I was in this post. It just seemed so personal, Betty Jean so real, that the situation seemed to call for it.

  25. Maybe that is why all of us gravitate here so much. I don’t care who is what here. Only that the writing stirs something in my soul, sounds hokey, but it does. Cinie’s post made me think and I agree with just about everything.

    We can chose to decide at our workplace or gathering places whether or not to let it be known if we are agnostic or gay or democrat or of our racial make-up. But, for me, being a woman does to a huge degree, dictate my very being.

  26. Kim, I guess I’m just lucky to know so many men who actually respect women as people; men who feel that knowing and associating with women makes them better people. I know a lot of the other kind, too, male and female, but I try not to hang out with them.

  27. Magnificent post, Cinie. Thank you.

  28. You may not be God Cinie but you are a Goddess of Enlightenment.

    As is every other man and woman on this blog and every other blog that refuses to give up, give in, accept, enable or participate in the objectification or marginalization of women or to attempt to deny basic civil rights to anyone.

    I keep asking why because it all seems so damned stupid to me. Why does anyone care if we are black or white or straight or gay? What’s it to them?

    Bigotry, whether gender specific or homophobic or because of race or religion is something I have never understood. I must keep trying because of some deeply held belief that if only we knew why the pinheads thought like that we could find some way to cure them.

    Then they could be kept busy “curing” their affliction of bigotry instead of trying to “cure” the gayness out of someone who was born that way. Although I don’t believe their is a cure for stupid. A cure for ignorant yes, stupid no.

    Better yet, let them try to cure me of being “white”. I’d like a lovely coppery gold color please. Kinda like Beyonce.

  29. Cinie, I agree with your point of view, as it is mine as well. Each human is worthy of equality with other humans. It is so odd that women are still viewed by many, men and women, as second place citizens. And that there is no penalty for the ugly misogyny displayed by the media boys and girls during the past year. And by the pres candidates themselves.

  30. Yes, Cinie, that makes you very lucky. I have not met that many men that I thought respected me. A dear friend of mine once told me that most of the men she met were very respectful to her, but, she thought it was because she was gay. She thought because they couldn’t objectify her as a sexual object, she was placed in a different category. WHo knows? I try not to think about it.

  31. The dictionary definition of feminist is:

    A person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism

    The dictionary definition of feminism is:

    Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes

    I realize that the term “feminist” has come to mean many other things to people, but in general, think about where the negative associations have come from: people who don’t support equality of women (think men, religious organizations, Republicans, etc…).

    Do you think there should be equality between men and women? If so, you’re a feminist.

    Equality doesn’t have to mean “equal to in every possible respect”, as you often hear silly objections like “does that mean no single-gender bathrooms!?” and other such nonsense.

    Phil

  32. “there were girls, boys and tomboys. I was a tomboy. ”

    So was I, it was simply who I was. It was so hard not being a tomboy any more. Having to become a girl, and having to become very careful so as not to get hurt-physically that is.

  33. Marge said: I keep asking why because it all seems so damned stupid to me. Why does anyone care if we are black or white or straight or gay? What’s it to them?
    I do a workshop called “Living Fearlessly” and it talks about personal mastery – it looks at how much fear people carry within themselves for no valid reason and helps them “dump” those fears once they figure out who and what they want to be.
    So to answer your question, Marge, people are just fearful of “different” – silly but true.

  34. I was just able to vote the confluence the best liberal blog …. we’re ahead so far 🙂

  35. over at the orange cheeto .. they have diary named

    “2008 Weblog Awards: Vote DOWN “The Confluence”

    so far only 4 comments …

  36. I was a tomboy too – still am – my husband and sons know that I am their equal when it comes to fixing things, playing many sports (although age is starting to limit me) and because I’m MOM – I can do many things that they never paid any attention to! 🙂

  37. I just voted for theConfluence too, Kat!!! 😆

  38. Over at the orange cheeto they have a diary up named

    “2008 Weblog Awards: Vote DOWN “The Confluence”

    only four comments so far …

  39. ooops sorry ..

  40. And so far the Confluence has the most votes: 6

  41. I’m not competitive at all – whoo hooo!

  42. I voted too. The Confluence is in some pretty rarefied company, btw. Isn’t Think Progress the Podesta/Obama Transition team Center for American Progress blog?

    http://thinkprogress.org/about/

  43. How do we vote? I want to send out an email to family and friends.

  44. I just voted also. You can vote once a day, apparently. And Confluence is leading at the moment, with 11 votes!

  45. Question #13 on the NY TImes puzzle The Year in Questions is : Who are the PUMAS?

    whoooot!

    we’ve made the NY Times crossword puzzle!!!

  46. gxm17> There’s a link to the voting page in the upper right corner, where the announcement of the nomination is.

  47. Confluence leading with 16!

  48. We have 17 votes!

  49. DK: What was the answer?

  50. the top of this page Gxm – on the right you’ll see a “VOTE HERE” under the announcement of the award. Click on it and go vote!!!

  51. Keep a-goin’!

  52. Great post Cinie.

    The power of naming is awesome indeed. Especially with homo sapiens. We are so wrapped up in our words and story lines. Raised on MANufactured stereotypes, we develop a persistence of vision that advances the script we’ve been given. It’s hard to break free which is why we often see women siding with the misogynists.

  53. NY Times Crossword Puzzle! Whoo Hooo – the big time!!! 😯

  54. We’re up to 26

  55. Thanks, DYB!

  56. One more thing – when checking the numbers it told me “you voted less than 24 h ago”…Interesting.

  57. Hillary Clinton supporters who refused to support Barack obama

  58. 13: Hillary Clinton supporters who refused to back Barack Obama.

  59. Everyone, the voting is open over at the weblog awards site. You can click on the link on the right hand sidebar and vote for The Confluence.

  60. Hey, dakinikat, at least the Times was accurate.
    And, from what I understand, edge, you can vote once a day.

  61. voted-also voted for mutiny.in, which turns out to be a nice Indian (as in Gandhi) blog, in the small blog section.

  62. Cool! It looks like we can vote every day. 🙂

  63. briana: that thread has instructions on how to cheat and get more than 1 vote … gee, doesn’t that sound like an obot to you or what?

  64. Dakini

    They fit that in a crossword puzzle box? That’s an awful lot of words and letters.

  65. be sure to go vote for Nice Deb on the best small blog … also uppity woman is up for best new blog

  66. Yup, cinie. That’s my understanding too.

  67. Right now we are leading the voting with 31 votes out of 77 total! We can take them by surprise. So go vote everyone!!

  68. Cwaltz: no it’s not a crossword, just checked, it looks like a test sheet !!!

  69. Obama picks Leon Panetta for his CIA director .. getting some flak about it .. no experience etc… in that area .. ..

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-obama-spy-agencies,1,5305444.story

  70. Looks like the panty twisters will be whining. The site already has 37 votes- not bad for a blog representing “40 bitter, racist women.”

  71. I voted for Deb in the small blog category and at this point she is ahead!

  72. Joanelle: as long as it isn’t buttburger

  73. I would have voted No Quarter in another category – but since they just blocked me from posting comments…they kinda lost me.

  74. Uppity’s way ahead.

  75. O/T but did anyone else see the diary “VOTE DOWN THE CONFLUENCE” on the cheeto network?

  76. Uppity is leading her category with 51 votes!

  77. Uppity Woman is leading in best new blogs

    and the Confluence is in best Liberal…so far

  78. TorchWood .. I have the link .. I was afraid to post it ..

    so , if anyone wants me to post the orange link .. I will post it …

  79. Kat -who is buttburger?

  80. Thanks Briana. m Saw it for a second then couldn’t find it again.

    What a bunch of jack-holes.

  81. kat -I figured it out -they aren’t even close

  82. LOL

    Cheetopia isn’t doing that well last I checked. No Quarter was beating them.

  83. Hmmmm, now I see what you all having been talking about. Those cheetos have cheese for brains. And old, stinky, smelly, runny cheese at that.

  84. TorchWood
    They should get out more. I don’t think there’s a “vote down” in this thing – they must stop thinking they are the center of the universe.

  85. Too true, Edge. And to think of the amount of time I used to spend there…

    Oh, well, there’s always Karma. They can ask Bill “Judas” Richardson about that.

  86. Pardon my ignorance but who is Cheetopia?

  87. Daily Kampf Joanelle

  88. ahh thanks, Kat

  89. Edge- shhhhhhhhh- If you don’t point that out then they will be in complete and utter disarray and without a clue without anyone telling them what to do.

    Why do i know this? Because that is what sheep do.

    Let’s see how long it takes them to realize there is no “vote down”

  90. Joanelle,

    It’s the cheeto place, you know, the big orange blog owned by Markos Moulitsas. OK. It’s daily kos. But I’m deleting this comment after you read it.

  91. Confluence 91: Uppity 87

  92. Everyone, please spare poor Joanelle…

    Cheetopia, cheeto network etc. are some the many names for another site with orange as one of its primary colors. I can’t bring myself to name it , but . think of it like the devil is called Lucifer, Satan, The Beast, etc. You get the drift and they’re in the same league.

    Many of us, including Riverdaughter consider ourselves refugees from it when they started shoveling the o-shit by the gross and totally turned on Hilary. Suffice it to say, that they weren’t on my X-mas list.

  93. Comment in moderation?

    Oh, come on… I kept it as clean as I could considering what I was talking about.

  94. beautiful post, cinie. thanks.

  95. Cinie, I’m awestruck at the way you put it.
    ” The same is true for religion; you don’t worship the way I think you should so I hate you, you’re not the right kind of believer. You don’t drive the way I think people should drive so screw you, you’re not the driver I want you to be. You’re gay, you’re white, you’re stupid, you’re wrong. For some reason, too many of us think some aspect, any aspect, of other people’s reality is subject to our approval.”

    In short, I am the victim, because you aren’t the way that I want you to be.

    Recognizing our humanity and owning our truth, as you so eloquently stated, is how we become empowered. Your statement above set the onus on each individual because it is because that ‘you aren’t the way I want you to be [fill in the blank] that justifies my anger/war.’

    So recognizing HUMANITY starts with the INDIVIDUAL. It starts with ME.

    We’ve lost this ownership of responsibility as a society, and suffer from a dearth of real LEADERSHIP on every level because of it. Nobody wants to be blamed. Nobody wants to be accountable. Nobody wants the mantle of responsibility.

    My heart truly goes out to Betty Jean for putting so much faith in Hillary. I completely understand how she feels let down. So the only thing we are left with is ourselves, because NOBODY wants to take that responsibility mantle. Including Obama. It will be an era of more faux leadership and bankrupt promises.

    I did see a glimmer of hope in Sarah Palin (of all people, a Republican) because even though the setting of her church on fire was not her fault, SHE took responsibility for it, acknowledged HER possible role in it, and wholeheartedly apologized for it. And SHE didn’t have to do so.

  96. Beautiful post, Cinie. I am in tears after watching Betty Jean;s video….

    Joanelle, whenever I go to the hardware store I always put on my prettiest earrings — yesterday I carried my red holiday purse with the cute little penguins on the front (my son’s Christmas gift to me). Then I come home and teach my sons how to drill the holes and use the level and put up the shelves and cut the carpets down to size…. 🙂

    And Fembot..we now have the antichoice, anti-civil union, anti-stemcell research Tim Kaine for head of the DNC….. we might as well have (the very, very evil) Sarah Palin!

  97. Please be gentle with me – I never even knew what a blog was until last summer. I have come to this site as a refuge ever since then.
    I’ve only been to a few – Myiq’s Klown House – Heidi’s – Edge and that’s probably it – I’m a grandma and still learning!

  98. Hey you!

    Cinie — I grew up with all kinds of people like you — and I am a psychotherapist — the training my school gave me?

    With the assitance of writers like all the pumapeople are?

    Your saying this is going to heal all across the world!
    I will ping you and RD manana — but come by my place and you came meet my school and how we think?

    Pacifica Graduate Institute

    and ps: our sexuality starts forming naturally in childhood and ummmm you can learn all about othere “just like you at the places I wrote literary erotica!

    cleansheets.com or erotica-readers.com

    sining off as a feminine white hetero who grew up surround with gay male friends of all types! And Black women and Latinas and Asians — were were all friends and ps My uncle Spence played with Kid Ory down N’awlins way HONEY I grew up listening to things like EVERY BLACK — well let’s start with say Al Green! and take it over to Billie Holiday — and Josephine Bakir !

    hugs and I love the way you write — Glen out put this up over at BLA

    I grew up on my mothers fav poet MAYA ANGELOU!

    ahem—

    so what was that racism thang again Obots!

    my blond best friend? Her first boyfriend was Lantino!

    He was like one of those Aztec gods? Ummmmm

    Oh, he broke her heart though — just like my first guy did too I’m writing a book about it called whitegirl — a sort of coming of age tale as a feminist work including a first eight year old *crush*

    hugs you!

  99. REAL KIM!

    I hope you don’t mind if I use your idea of a black room as a part of my treatment plan?

    It’s perfect

    hugs you!

  100. “Feminist” is not a dirty word.

    I am a liberal. I am a feminist. I am a woman. I am bisexual. And I am damn proud to be all of those things.

    As usual, I’m commenting way too late for anyone to read this post, but I had to put it out there.

  101. Cinie – That is beautiful.

  102. Seraphiclight, I never meant to imply anything dirty. It’s just how I choose to define myself. To tell you the truth, my point was primarily that caring about the suffering of other people doesn’t require the assumption of a group identity.

  103. tpfka nycblue,

    I grew up in a very conservative Republican household, evangelical/pentecostal, with stringent rules and roles. But, the one thing that we were always taught by our parents was tolerance. I became a Liberal Democrat by choice, and it pains me that so many Liberals have become intolerant. It’s beyond a feeling of just identity; they really hate Republicans. I really don’t understand it either.

    Joanelle, WELCOME to the blog world. Most people are nice, but you will come across some nasty people who refuse to listen/understand your viewpoint, and will call you names because of it. You may get angered by this (occassionaly I do). Have fun!

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