pandora_parrot: (courage)
A friend asked: When looking for potential partners, how much does physical attractiveness play a role?

I answered: " I'm very into looks.... Someone has to look excited about the world, happy about the things around them. They have to look at the things around them and think about them. They have to look at me, and like what they see. I love it when they give me looks of attraction and interest, and I love to give those to other people as well.

I'm VERY into looks like those.

In terms of physical appearance, I like people whose physical appearance tells something about them that I find appealing, like the idea that they don't give a fuck about social norms of beauty. Like bright colors to indicate they're a happy person... Colored hair to indicate a sense of artistry and creativity... geeky t-shirts that indicate they're into things that I'm into... stuff like that.

But usually, when people ask these questions, they mean "looks" in terms of how well it matches the definition of beauty as defined by white heterosexual cisgender US culture. I Don't give two shits about how well someone matches that.. In fact, the more someone matches white heterosexual cisgender US beauty norms, the less attractive I find them."
pandora_parrot: (Default)
There have been some great articles up lately on the connection of Burning Man and white privilege.

This article is the first one I found on the topic, discussing a "Go Native!" rave party thing that was appropriating native american culture and imagery. Some local native american activists found out about it and apparently spent four hours lecturing the burners at their party.

Feministing put up an article also discussing the topic, with a link to one feminist's experience at Burning Man the year before.

Some really powerful stuff there. I worry sometimes about how much white privilege seeps into burner and hippie culture. Like, I've purchased some really pretty outfits from a store that sells Himalayan clothing to local new agers and stuff. Are we blending cultural expressions or just fetishizing that "eastern" look and displaying it because that's the trendy thing for new-agers, ravers, hippies, and burners?

Reading these articles, I'm struck with a sense that there has been little thought given to these issues in many of the circles that I run in. People randomly adopt religious iconography, language, and philosophy from various cultures without stopping to think about what that means... I do it too, really.

I have always felt that building my own spiritual practice by hodge-podging a bunch of practices together is the right thing to do for me. Similarly, I feel that I like the idea of borrowing from various cultures to create my own image and iconography. But I need to stop and think about the implications of this and the way that my white privilege plays into my actions.

What are the subconscious influences that result from my white privilege and how does that play into my use of the imagery and philosophies of other cultures? How can I avoid disrespecting, fetishizing, or further marginalizing non-white people in my personal actions, especially as they connect to being a new-age hippie burner type? Ultimately, I think more dialog is necessary. I personally know that *I* have a lot to learn about this, as I don't really understand much about the greater power struggles going on, my own personal contributions to these particular systems of oppression, etc. I'm ignorant on these topics and need to learn.
pandora_parrot: (Default)
I had a bit of a rude awakening this past weekend. I was in the middle of a heated discussion with [ profile] aepalizage, which, in part, contained me lecturing her on what was wrong with her life and what she needed to do to improve herself. I explained to her, in my ever-so-clear-and-correct opinion, that ANYTHING is possible, if you are willing to pay the price.

She reminded me of something important then... Not everyone has the resources that I've had in my life.

This has been said to me before, but I think this was the first time I really heard it.

I am privileged.

I am well-off financially. Sure, I struggle with money a lot, but I make plenty of money to pay down my debts and live a very very comfortable life.

I am educated. For whatever reason it happened, I was able to get through college and get a 4-year degree in Computer Science and Mathematics.

I am not disabled, either by mental issues or by physical issues. I am able to function more or less normally despite what issues I do have.

I was socialized as a male, which I understand gives me reprieve from certain elements of cultural oppression that most women learn as children.

I am white. I don't have to fight against prejudice and racism in order to achieve my position in life.

I have lots of resources in the realm of social contacts and professional contacts.

There's plenty more, I'm sure.


I took what I said to [ profile] aepalizage back. Sometimes... people just don't have the resources needed to do certain things. Although I have accomplished a lot through intense effort, sacrifice, and hard work, I cannot divorce my results from the fact that I was putting forth such effort from a position of power. I can't use my success as indicative of what everyone is capable of. I can't tell others how to live their life based on my example.

I learned a bit of humility this weekend, and for that I am grateful.
pandora_parrot: (anger)
Check the profile for [ profile] humbled_females. (Warning: NSFW pic)

Sheer, unbridled rage, I have.
pandora_parrot: (feminism)
My responses to this rather interesting question over here

Oooh! A questionaire!!!!!!

First, I'm a pre-op transgirl, on HRT for 2 weeks so far. On the verge of going full-time, just waiting for a job prospect to pan out or not.

Okay... so the questions:

Is dating different now, that you are living as your "real" gender?
Quotes? wtf? :-D I didn't really *start* dating until I started my transition. My experience has been increasingly changing, though, as I grow more confident in my presentation. I did date a few people before that, but it was really weird. I wouldn't really call it "dating" per se. *shrugs*

Any bathroom issues?
I basically avoided using public restrooms while I was "mid-transition." I held off using any public restrooms until I was passable and confident in my passability. It's useful that I started HRT AFTER I got to that point, because DAMN does Spiro make me go a lot. :-D

Did you feel like you had to relearn any gender roles?
It's absolutely a bizarre experience, but I honestly feel more free expressing male gender role-ish stuff now than I did before. It's weird. None of it is exclusive to men, but its all stuff that men are more likely to be seen doing. Stuff like "busting the rock," using foul language, playfully teasing people, etc. It IS really weird, though, when I experience people "treating me like a lady." Like carrying my bags and holding the door for me and being extra kind towards me because I look female. That shit is weird.

How is it different, from living as a man to a woman? and vice versa.
You know... for me... I never was a man. I never got the chance to be one. In fact, I grew up wishing I could be a man. But I never was. I just was a robot, following my programmed instructions without emotional connection to anything. Life was a series of actions designed to satisfy other people. Living life "as a woman" is also a misnomer. I'm living as a me. As a Joyce. People look at me and see a woman, and that's totally awesome, but that's not my definition. I'm a software engineer, a loving cuddly person, and someone that is filled with joy and laughter. I really get pissed when someone tries to use my female gender as an excuse to treat me differently then they would treat a man.

Are you treated any differently (especially if you a transguy), as a male? Do you feel you have more priveledge?
When I was living in my supposed "male role," my self-esteem was too low to do anything right. I took jobs for far lower pay that I deserved, got into relationships just to not be alone, and had very few really close friends. I was quiet, meek, and unable to stand up for myself. People used me, abused me, walked all over me, and overlooked me every step of the way. Now that I'm "living as a woman," I have confidence, strength, and can stand my ground no matter what happens.

Hope this was helpful! Interesting commentary!
pandora_parrot: (anger)
I've heard of some people writing up contracts for their relationship, whether it be marriage or a poly-family or whatever. But this takes the cake.

Warning: The link is to something that will offend and disgust you... A LOT.

And now, the link: Sicko Marriage Contract


pandora_parrot: (Default)
Pandora Parrot

May 2017

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