Archive for the ‘women’ Category

What?  So sue me…

 So, today, I wrote a post over in my LJ in which I wondered about an eerie fascination some women folk have with a character I play who is a seriously nasty piece of work and is not the type of person- fictional or real- that women should find….er…sexy.  Ever. Yet, for some reason I do not quite grasp, they do.

 And but whom should I end up talking about this phenomena (aside from Rootie)  with but, well, Hugo.  I asked him what his take on the Women Liking Bad Boys and Feeling They Could Fix Them theory was, as well as the White Knight who Feels He Can Save the Weak/Needy or Fallen Woman.  Hugo has written on these things before and pointed me towards some of his posts, which are good, and interesting, and I am linking them.

 Go read them.  THEN come back here….

One   

Two

You DID read them, yes?  There may be a quiz later you know…

 So then, well before too, the old noodle got to churning and an amazing realization dawned in my pasta like grey matter:

 One, yep, this whole routine is sexist, because well, it assumes women by nature fall into caretaker, “I have so much love to give”, nurturer roles or damsel in distress roles, and men fall into “bad boy” roles or I need to rescue and protect roles….

 Think about it: How often do you see these timeless tales….in reverse?  Men thinking they can tame the bad girl and fix her with their endless awesome amounts of love and nurturing, and women donning their armor, convinced they can slay the dragons and save the man is distress?

 Not too often, eh?  It is not, oh, a huge reoccurring theme in movies, books, sonnets, songs or…life.  The scale is tipped heavily by what people assume is, by nature and nurture, the essence of women and men.

 Which prolly explains really well why I do not…get it.  ‘Cause in the epic saga of my life, well, the mean, leather-wearing, hard drinking occasionally drug using foul-mouthed ill tempered fist fighting snarly surly anti-social type has always been…me.  That shit scares White Knights I guess, and does not necessarily lend itself well at all to the ‘delicate lady in distress’ trope, and well, were my door to swing that way, any woman who came along with the theory that her love and devotion could break me of my wild ways….well, now she’d get a stern and quite possibly snarky lecture….a few years back, she prolly woulda gotten a pop in the mouth for her efforts (and, if like many women who do fall into this save the bad boy –or girl in this case- a pop in the mouth did not dissuade her…well, a restraining order.) 

 It could be, what with my amazing empathy and all, that I do not get it in any way, shape or form that someone A) might think the “bad” sorts even WANT saving, B) That love will conquer jack shit, much less that shit, C) Or why someone would set themselves up for undoubtedly a serious amount of pain, trauma, insanity and quite possibly physical harm even trying.  Hell, I know how I react when people attempt to pull that kinda shit…so why would a guy be any different, and why would such a woman be so convinced that HER Mojo would some how be…that good?  And heck…what does it say about those women themselves when fucked up, half cocked and hostile are seen as “attractive” traits.  Sure enough, dangerous can get the adrenaline pumping, but it really should not inspire love and a willingness to possibly receive grievous bodily harm…

 The simple fact is, I think, the world would do its future generations a lot of good if they would quit letting kids watch Disney movies, ect.,  without discussions of fantasy vs. reality and start teaching young women and men that a partner is a partner, and not a project. 

 Loving someone is not saving them, taming them, fixing them, or rescuing them.  That shit is for shelter animals, not humans…and until people figure that out, there is a good chance decent people will continue to get their hearts (and possibly faces) broken by “bads” and their armor (and feelings) tarnished by “in distressers”.

 So now I am gonna kick back amid these words of advice, put my boots ON the table, and offer these words of wisdom:  Ya can’t save what doesn’t want or need saving, and if you insist on saving someone….save yourself.

 And well, for the hell of it, That Charming Game Dude and His Equally Charming Sister.  (Pfft, you think I prefer reading over looking at the pictures?  Come on…)

Some things are just not fixable, or dateable...

I am a fan of ink.  I admit this freely.  I am also a fan of art, which I admit freely as well.  I have always loved to draw, and as far back as I can remember, I wanted to have tattoos, to put art that was somehow special or meaningful or interesting to me on my body.  I got my first tattoo when I was 20 and in college, a rather primitive and geometric looking spider, done on my left calf.  It’s fairly small, and I got it done at Bill Clayton’s Tattoos in Fayetteville, NC.  Others soon followed: a spiral design on my hip bone, a black hand print between my shoulder blades- I had heard three was the decision making point, the line that was the one people crossed or did not cross- the magic number that decided if one was addicted to ink or merely a person with a couple tattoos….three came and went, more tattoos found their way on to my skin; the Arabic symbol of the Hashishin and a naga form Kali on my back, a black, three-leaf clover, a bar code, and the Egyptian god Set on my arms, a set of crossed claw marks and why yes, Magneto from the X-Men, on my legs.  Stars under my collar bones…and yes, there are still tattoos I would like to get:  a scorpion and the Scorpio zodiac symbol, the Roman Eagle, the symbol my SCA persona has as her standard…hey, I can still get ink because I still have skin….and should the Broncos ever win another SuperBowl within my lifetime, there are plans afoot for myself and the inkless Brother Evolution to go get the Horse together.  Each of my tattoos, well, I have drawn them out on paper myself, made them look as I wanted them to, then taken them to the artist for putting on my skin.  Everyone who has given me a tattoo says I’m a great customer…I don’t flinch, I don’t whine, I don’t do anything other than sit there, very still, even though it does hurt.  The one time this was not the case was when I got the Kali done…the woman who was doing it for me saw my Magneto, and also being a huge fan of comics, asked me if I could draw Marvels Thor for her….so while she was inking me I was drawing Thor.  She finished my tattoo then proceeded to put my rendition of Thor on her own leg.  I thought that was really pretty awesome.  I liked her a lot, and did get other work done by her afterwards.  Her place, by the way, she owns it, and it is Ancient Art, in Orlando FL. 

I have gotten tattoos with friends, we’ve gone together to get our ink.  I’ve gotten them with people who were pondering getting ink and wanted to see just how bad it hurt first ( I am not a good person to gauge that by, however), I have gotten them with SCA buddies and college dorm mates and life long friends.  And each one, as silly or strange or even offensive (like the bar code) might seem to others, well, they are all special to me.  I like ink, I like art, and I like my tattoos.

But they do come with consequences.  My mother, for one, comes from the school that tattoos are for military men, convicts, and bikers, and I am none of those things.  When it became evident to her that I was not merely going to stop at the odd spider on the calf, the spiral on the hip bone, and the hand on the back, she made a great attempt to warn me about how having so much ink would play out, how I would be judged for it.  She was even willing to admit that it did seem to be socially acceptable for a woman to have a flower on her shoulder or a dolphin on her ankle…but tattoos that could not be hidden, on places like ones arms or collar bones?  Well, she found it to be…tacky.  She once voiced the concern, as we were sitting around the pool at her house in FL, that no one would ever know that I really was a loyal and decent person because they’d be scared by or turned off by my ink.  I never bothered to tell her that hey, I just as soon people not approach me and think I was nice and all that crap, and well, anyone who was gonna judge me flat-out and straight off the bat because I had tattoos was not a person I would want to hang around with anyway.  When we all went out to Colorado for my cousins wedding- in which I was a bridesmaid- she was very aware of the fact that the dress would not cover any of the ink on my upper body- and that I had no intention of trying to cover it.  Turned out that no one but her really cared, and my race car driving male cousins immediately ran up to me after the service and showed me their own ink…all of them sporting race helmets with crossed pistons underneath, ala a Jolly Roger, with their racing team name arched over the top.  Something that is undoubtedly special and meaningful to them, and designed by the youngest one of the lot.  She was enraged (as were other people in my family) when I got the bar code, seeing it as a huge insult to my Grandfather who also has a number on his arm, albeit for a far more horrible reason.  This rage was chopped off at the knees when at  family BBQ my grandfather noticed this tattoo and said it was nice not to be the only person at the gathering with numbers on him.  Then again, he always did have my back when it came to being the black sheep of the family…Nowadays, my mother has become resigned to the fact that I have ink, and not much she has to say about it is going to change the fact.  Upon seeing me, she immediatly searches for new ink, and if she finds it, there is merely a resigned sigh. 

But you know, I cannot bear to tell her, in some cases?  Her insight and thoughts on the matter were right.  There are a lot of people out there who, misguided or not, have certain opinions about folk with tattoos, and are perfectly willing to judge them merely by their ink alone.  And I am not even talking about people with tons of prison or gang  ink or sexist racist shit splattered all over their bodies.  I am talking about anyone with ink at all.  Ive been turned away from straight jobs because of it, and hell, even been told I have too much ink to work in various strip joints or hired for various porn/nude modelling work.   Even though there is a huge market for “alt girls” in the sex biz these days…well, aside from the ink, I am too tan, too buff, and not nearly pierced up enough to be an “alt girl”.  I have had people look at my ink then look at me like I am something they scraped off the bottom of their shoe, assume because of it I am a criminal, or a junkie, or some biker’s bitch, or unintelligent and uneducated.    I have heard countless people say that folk with ink, especially women, only have it because they are seeking attention…

And you know what?  That, at least in my case, could not be further from the truth.  My tattoos are not “pretty” or “cute” or “inviting”, they are not colorful.  They are pretty well-done, but I am not so sure a six armed half snake half woman wielding swords and axes is adorable or an open invite for conversation.  In fact, I think of my tattoos more like armor and a warning label; something that just might say if you are of the mind to judge me by them, maybe I really am everything you already assume me to be so perhaps it is just best to stay away. 

And I have noted, as Kim mentioned in her epic post, that even though tattoos have become somewhat commonplace, they are still far more socially acceptable for men than women.  And I do not have half the ink she does.  You don’t see a man with a lower back tattoo (and they do exist) getting told he has a “tramp stamp” or a man with a tattoo along his side being told he has a “ho handle”.  But people automatically assume women with ink are sluts (even if they aren’t), nevermind the lower back IS the perfect place for a woman to get a tattoo if she wants one-it is precisely because women PICK this spot that tattoos in that area now have their own special little name.  And as Kim said, how do you think a woman who has a tattoo there, something she probably loves and thought hard about and endured the pain (and spent the money) to get feels when she hears her art refered to as a “tramp stamp”?  How do you think any woman with tattoos feels when it is assumed, because she has them, that she is just so easy and okay with making decisions she might regret later?  It’s almost laughable if you are a grim twist like me.  A dude with a lot of tattoos?  People assume he is a tough guy or a bad ass or someone you best step away from.  A woman with a lot of tattoos?  Well, she’s an easy piece of trash.  Nevermind both the inked up man and the inked up woman have endured the same kinda pain getting their ink and endured the same kinda bullshit from other people for having it and probably both love their art and find it meaningful and special…at least he gets some sort of respect with his, and she gets the exact opposite.  It seems with not even something so once upon at time as counter-culture and “different”, and now mundane as, ink, can the sexes be equal. 

And its funny, because now when people ask me about tattoos, and they still do, and I try to be nice about it even though I have been asked about mine a billion times before, my advice and conversation about it has changed a bit.  It used to be the simple “yeah, it hurts” kind of thing.  Now I will say, if the person is a woman, they might want to think long and hard before getting something on their arms, or that will show in a backless dress, and if they are prepared to have the art they love called a “tramp stamp”  or have people assume they are skanky trash because they have tattoos.  A woman I know wanted to have the name of her son who had passed away tattooed on her, but decided against it because she did not want people asking her why she had a mans name other than her husbands tattooed on her body.  Smirk.  Hell, any dude who wants to say sexism is dead should try flipping bodies with a woman who has tattoos for a few weeks and see how that goes.  People make assumptions about folk with lots of ink period, but as seems typical, women get it more and worse.

Be that as it may…I still love my tattoos, and I love art, and yep, sure enough, its been awhile since I got some ink and with everything else that has been going on in my life, I figure I’m probably justified in treating myself to a new one sometime here soon.  I already got enough that I get all the bullshit that goes with having them, so what’s a few more…still got empty skin after all.    Heck, I even know Kim knows a great artist, maybe I should make my way up to her neck of the woods and spend my tattoo money on an artist who I know is good and hang out some with another inked up gal who knows how it is…maybe I’ll even get a tramp stamp…after all, by then, my lower back will be used to needles and I might as well put something I love over a part of my body I have come to hate. 

::Raises her red bull::  here’s to tattoos and the tough ass women who have ‘em and put up with everything that goes with ‘em.

Dear Universe….

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Personal, Rants, women, WTF???

You know all that bitching and whining I did in puberty about having no freakin’ womanly curves and all that shit?

I TOTALLY take it ALL back….

AH yes, this is a shopping story.  Once, about every five years or so, when summer rolls around I find myself looking at the shorts I’ve worn for the last five summers (usually three pairs or so), deeming them derserving of a merciful death, and in need of new shorts…which will hopefully last another 5 summers.  So it was this summer- and I decided hey, since I am gonna BE in FL, I might as well shop for shorts there because – well, being FL and all- they will prolly have a better selection and stuff will be cheaper (always is)….  So the Renegade found herself in a Target, looking for a couple pair of new shorts.

I head first to the Women’s Dept.  Where sizes range from about 8 to 32.  I am not, nor have I ever been close to any of that myriad of sizes….thus, we then go to the Juniors Section, where I, at age 39, seem to be relegated if I ever wanna buy anything off the rack that will fit…so I am poking around- and I note something- in both the women and juniors sections:  They have shorts, a ton of colors and patterns and sizes and stuff….but they are all…well…REALLY short.  I mean seriously, no golf shorts, no walking shorts, and well, it’s a goddang rare freakin’ day when you can EVER find cargo shorts- the real deal and not some lowrise pocket lacking poor ass attempt at cargo shorts in any female based clothing department…but yeah, EVERYTHING is really, really short- tennis short short to Daisy Duke short short…and thats it… well, not true, ONE pair of walking shorts, but they were pink and lime green plaid and a size 18- so yeah, that shit ain’t happenin’.

At which point a Renegade becomes *quite* put out.  Now sure, there is a time and a place for shorter shorts- but hell, for daily all summer wear, I do not want that.  I don’t want shorts that are so short if I sit outside on a lawn chair I am gonna burn the fuck outta my thighs (or, considering the lengths of these things-my ass) on the dang chair.  And I am thinking this is Florida!  People wear shorts 360 days a year down here, and for some reason, I cannot see too many women over 30, or over 100 pounds, or who need to sit on damn car seats or lawn chairs- wanting to wear short-shorts ALL the fuckin’ time!  I mean seriously…I cannot be the ONLY woman in the world who prefers looser, baggier, longer shorts with actual REAL pockets, can I?  Well, if the women’s/junior’s departments in this massive freakin’ Target are any indication…I am.

So I grumble and eyeball a pair of the shorts shorter than what I actually want to wear, thinking how the holy hell am I gonna hook my wallet chain and keys and leatherman and shit on these stupid flimsy ass things… and then I look at the price tag…and the answer is Oh Hell No…

But then I have a thought…

See, for years uncounted, well, from puberty on anyway, I have been aware of the fact (and often teased for the fact) that well, I ain’t blessed in the curves department.  Hell, the few I have?  I bought  ‘em.  Much like most of the women in my family…I am ALL shoulders and spine, really…and hips?  Heh…I dreamed of having those once, but guess what?  Never happened….so, devious minded non-hip having me heads to the Boy’s Department…

SCORE! 

Yep Yep Yes indeedy, the Renegade is now the proud owner of three pairs of ACTUAL cargo shorts, with all the pockets and everything!  Nice, heavy-duty, long, loose and baggy and wonderfully comfy REAL LIFE CARGO SHORTS!  Six Pockets per Pair!  And they cover my thighs when I sit on lawn chairs and hot car seats!  Boy’s Size 16 baby, and they fit PERFECT….oh yeah, and were like 12$ a pair and decently made and hell, should hold up a few summers and did I mention….came in colors like black and tan and (sighs lovingly) camo and NOT pink and teal and yellow?  My wallet chain has a happy new home!

Hell yeah, y’all….

So all that bitching and whining I did about having no curves and ALL the jokes I have heard from folk about being built like a 14 year old boy?  Heh, yeah, thank god for that shit!!!

*and I am not even gonna START on the only short shorts and skirts and skimpy ass bikinis and shit in the GIRLS dept.  WTF…I mean seriously…just WTF????

One, I gotta say, since I shut down the old joint I have really noted who has kinda stayed around because well, holy crap, I am more than the sum of my former bloggy goodness…and its kinda cool because who reads here is kind of a diverse bunch, I like that.  And yeah, I was happy to see AntiPrincess pop up and comment (heya AP, how you been?)  Need more Kim thou…never enough Kim in blogland.  But yah, digging the diversity of folk around this blog these days.

Other things of note worthy diggness:  Have y’all seen the movie “Winter’s Bone”?  If not, I cannot recommend it enough.  I really, really liked it, in so much that I plan to own it, and probably read the book it was adapted from.  There were a million different things that I liked about this film, from the music to the style of film to the characters, but something I was very impressed with was…aside from the lead character being a pretty tough cookie, and a young woman…the whole cast?  Real Looking People.  None of this glammed up Hollywood BS where the actress playing our decidedly NOT glamorous lead had to be hawt and made up and perfect, all of the actors in this flick, every single one of them…looked like a real person.  They fit the story.  This thrilled me beyond words.  So yeah, see this movie, the God Emperor of Rome Commands It! 

And speaking of the non-glam Win of “Winter’s Bone”, Joan Kelly has a post up that I love more than…well, okay, no…there are very few things on this earth I love more than biscuits and gravy…but well, I like it a whole lot.    One, anyone who actually manages to quit smoking has tons more willpower than I, and two…its a good post.  I really, truly, honestly myself do not care if, how, or when various women do or do not engage in femininity in all its various forms.  I honestly think there are women who absolutely enjoy it, and those who absolutely hate it and do it only because they have too, and some who sometimes feel both those ways about it depending on time or reasons…but sure enough, I do not think for a second that it something that women are not encouraged, pushed, guided, heck, even forced into, and I sure as heck do think there are consequences for non-compliance…from outright aggression and ridicule to, well, being rendered invisible to…well…everyone.

It’s also a subject I personally have very mixed feelings on.  I think it is stupid that it is forced on women and they are so harshly judged due to compliance or non compliance.  I think it is flat out disgusting that things like “sexy clothes” and make up and diets and nail/hair salons and stuff are pushed onto girl children at a mind-blowingly young age.  IMHO, there is NO dang reason that young girls need micro mini skirts and super low rise skinny jeans, or sparkly glitter lipstick, or appointments to get their hair highlighted, or any of that shit…and it is all out there and happening  (I mean, heaven for fend girl kids just get to be kids for awhile before they have to worry about being pretty and hot and skinny and perfect and having a boyfriend and shit like that…grumble).  I know how absolutely horrible teenage girls can be to each other over everything…and at that age, so many girls end up with so many issues because they are being picked on for being too heavy, or not pretty enough, or having boobs that are too small or too big , or not having the latest trendy clothes, make up and hair styles, and well, just about every other dang thing you can imagine. …

Yet, I also know how much easier a great many things can be for you if you are considered conventionally attractive or pretty or hawt or whatever.  I know because I have, and always have had, thin privilege that my life is easier for it…and totally true and honest?  You know what…I’ve not much ever feared getting grey hair, or some wrinkles, or having scars (good thing, eh?), or a bunch of other things…but I have- since I was aware enough to notice- feared ever being overweight.  Why?  Because I have seen how heavy people, esp, women, are treated and talked about.  And it sucks.  I also dang well know that…aw screw all the long explanations and stuff:  consider my job.  It pays to be seen as attractive.  literally.  Conforming to the heels, thin, make up and long hair and femmey femme fem stuff makes life a shit ton easier a whole heck of a lot of time.

And growing up I missed the worst of it I think because one: thin, two: tom boy, three: couldn’t afford any of the trendy fashiony popular pretty girl shit anyway, so I never even had the chance to get caught up in that rat race bs teenager shit.  Thank God, I think.  But be that as it may…

No one gets outta the forced femmy machine unscathed.  I may ignore a lot of it these days;  I rarely wear make up (but you know, I do think I look better when I do), my hair..well, shit, its lucky if it gets washed once a week, let alone preened over very often, I generally dress like one of those spooky backwoods militia people (but I do dress up sometimes, and have several pairs of heels, and a ton of sexxxxay stuff), and you know what?  While I might scare people in my general civilian wardrobe…I absolutely and without a doubt get treated better when I am Girled-Up…by both men and women alike  (unless of course, I look er, slutty, then the guys might be nice and chatty, but the gals can get mean and catty).  And I admit without shame but with absolute knowledge that it wasn’t my original idea that I shave/wax.  Obsessively.  Now, since I have been doing it for so long I actually feel uncomfortable if I do not, and have developed such an aversion to body hair that I don’t just do the normal woman deal (legs, pits, womanly bits, eyebrows, whatever), hell, I wax my dang forearms and shit…but I wonder if I never had, or if it was not what women did, if I would be bothered by body hair at all?  And see, that right there, that’s the killer of it all right there:  Women have hair.  On places other than their heads.  It is natural.  It is the way they are made.  Body hair is about as real, full on womanly woman as you get.  Just like sweat, periods,wrinkles that come with nature, gravity having its way with breasts, grey hair, morning breath, acne or dry skin, scars, stretch marks, and everything else that goes on with women…a lot of which goes on with men too….but Being Feminine?  Hell, that means lying about being a woman and what goes on with us naturally and hiding all that natural shit under make up and hair dye and perfume and brazilian waxes  (which, btw, that shit hurts).

But a lot of us do it.  Sometimes. Full time.  Whatever.  Why?  Because it makes us feel better.  Why?  Because then we get noticed, or fit in…or at least are not as often singled out for ridicule…and I cannot nor will not ever blame someone for wanting to avoid that shit.  But is sure as shit ain’t fair.  Might not even be sane.  I sure as shit bet most dudes wouldn’t do it.  The one great truth however is that being feminine has shit all to do with being a woman.

Wow, that actually turned into a post…I can dig that too.