Living in the World as a Woman.

I have made the choice not to live in fear.  I leave the house at night, I ride the bus alone, and I will not let my life be ruled by fear.
But it’s still there.  I am still aware, making choices to look you in the eye when I am walking alone at night.  To cross to the other side of the street if I’m about to pass a man in the dark.  I put my bag next to me on the bus to try to keep that seat unoccupied.  Because for some reason you are less likely to touch my stuff than you are to touch me.
The life of a woman, any woman, is frought with fear.  Our brains are constantly working, to make snap decisions about whether we can trust you or not.  And you will never understand it.  I find that very sad.
There is a difference between choosing not to let my fears rule me, and choosing to be a victim.  A friend of mine was told that recently.  That it is our choice to be a victim.  And the person it came from was chewing on their own foot at the time, because I think I know what they were trying to say.  But that came off so badly.
So stop telling us how we should act.  Stop telling us what we should do.  You are not us.  If we say that you are creepy, then you are acting creepy.  Deal with it.

Accidental Bigotry

…or: Do you know what you sound like?
I have friends that have touched on issues that are important to me, hitting my buttons in a bad way, who don’t seem to understand why I take issue with what they say.  That’s because they don’t understand that we have to fight in the world we’re given.
A perfect society, that didn’t have all these prudish ideas about what was male and what was female, what it meant to be either of those things, would be amazing!  Yes, I want that!  But am I realistically going to get that?
So what I do is fight for the rights in the context of what is achievable.  And they keep talking about shit that isn’t.  And it pisses me off.  Because when they say “Why does it matter what bathroom they use, just use the one that matches your plumbing,” it sounds incredibly bigoted.  And while a bit of me knows that they don’t mean it that way, I can’t help but get angry.
You see, your argument is that one needs to change the foundation of the world.  But there’s already this giant city built on the bedrock.  So we have to start from the roof and bang our way down until we reach the foundation.  And not even Blacks are there yet, and they’ve been at this the longest, at least here in the United States.  So why would the other minorities be anywhere near that?
So no, while I get what you’re saying, I still have to educate you.  Because what you are actually saying is something so very bigoted, and you don’t even realize it.  I know you’re a good person, so I want to save you the rage of someone who doesn’t understand you.  Because it will happen.  That linebacker in a dress who played football in college and is transitioning from man to woman?  She’s going to kick your ass.

Activism: it’s a special kind of Masochism

If you’d asked me a year ago what I was passionate about, I would have said gaming, my husband, and animal rescue.  I’ve always had a little bit of an activist inside myself.  But then something happened.  I started looking around.  I have friends who are in various minority groups, and I started to see my Married White Cisgendered Female Middle class privilege.
Now, I don’t feel guilty about my privilege.  It’s not my fault, and there’s nothing I could really do to remove it as a factor.  I get to go through life in relative easy mode.  But I have so many friends who don’t.  There’s so much out there that I didn’t see before.  Not because I wasn’t looking, but because somethings are very hard to see.
So now I’ve taken on causes not my own.  For all my Trans* friends who don’t have the same rights.  For my gay/lesbian/bi friends who can’t marry members of their own gender.  For my friends of multiple ethnicities.  These things are not directed at me, but they are my problems.  They are mine because I can see them, touch them, and the people I love have to live with them.
There are some problems that I see in my life.  Just because I have it easier than some of my girl friends who weren’t always labeled girls, or who can’t pass for white, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot out there for me to fight against for me.  Rape culture is a thing, and it’s a thing that affects me.  It’s hard to say it doesn’t when I ride public transportation.  I haven’t had any of the really bad experiences you hear about, but I do feel objectified a LOT on Metro.
All these things mean that when someone pulls my activist strings, they usually get more than they bargained for.  And I do try so very hard not to jump down people’s throats, but these are my passions.  They are varied, but none is less important to me than another.
And I still think you should spay and neuter your cats, and adopt as many as you can.  I always will.