Need some advice on how to approach a femme? Go check out my post at Butchlesque! Feel free to comment there. The owner of that site will love that!
The Femme Handbook on Butchlesque written by yours truly.
Politics and religion are two things that are likely to get people all wound up and yelling at each other. Or hating each other. I hate that we seem to have become a country where no dissent is allowed – you either toe the party line or you’re outta there.
What’s worse is that we have become so hard-headed that we’d rather see catastrophic things happen (the government shut down, the US default on our debt) than compromise. Collectively, we have come to believe that compromise is a sign of weakness and it must be “my way or the highway.”
Can we grow the hell up?
I was reading a League of Women Voters publication about the candidates and I discovered something that shocked me. Gary Glenn, President of the American Family Association of Michigan, and I actually *agree* on something. It’s a small something, but it is something. We both believe that the process to become an American citizen shouldn’t be so difficult. Gary Glenn and I couldn’t be any more different but we have a common ground.
I have a twitter friend who writes for the Log Cabin Republicans. She sent me a link to some of her writing and guess what? We had some common ground. (In the interests of full disclosure, I can’t remember what it was but I do remember being shocked.)
I think we are all a mix of beliefs. For example, I’m pro-soldier, pro-military-preparedness and anti-war. I think there are few things worth fighting a war over. I am pro-gun and ALSO pro-gun control. I can’t think of one single reason why a person would need a fully automatic weapon. I’m pretty sure that the Founding Fathers weren’t thinking of Uzis. I’m a Christian who believes STRONGLY in a separation of church and state and will argue with anyone who tells me that we are a Christian country, because we expressly are not. (That pesky constitution again.)
What I wish is that we, the collective US we, not just Democrats or LGBTs or The Opposition, would just settle down and open our minds. We have some differences. We certainly do. I wonder if we paid attention to the deeper message and not the sensationalist headlines if we wouldn’t find more on which to agree.
People like this Todd Akin are the exception, not the rule. I know it doesn’t seem like that, does it? Because who do we hear about? Extremists on either side.
Can we stop arguing with our friends and start to listen? Even on very touchy subjects? Can we try to find a way to agree on things? It may be that we aren’t able to change our political process and our politicians but it will lower our collective blood pressure, at the very least.
Tell me what you believe. I want to know. If I don’t agree, we can talk. I will give you the courtesy of listening, if you return the courtesy.
I overheard a conversation between two young women the other day. They were talking about another girl who was making a concerted effort to “steal” the girlfriend of Girl A. Girl B told Girl A that she had better “fight for her woman.” I wanted to go over and talk to them but I knew that they would just think I was some weird woman, so I didn’t. Here is what I wanted to say:
Girl, know your worth.
Do not catfight. Do not fight over a woman. Know your worth. If you know your worth, as a woman and as a girlfriend/partner, you’ll only want a woman who freely chooses you. Wait for someone who freely chooses you. Trust me when I say that if your girlfriend wants to go elsewhere, you are better off to let her just go. Don’t “fight for your woman.” That’s a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
If the relationship is having problems then, by all mean, fight for your relationship. By that I mean do the work that you need to do to fix things. Talk, go to counseling, whatever, but work at the relationship.
Don’t be jealous if someone is flirting with your woman, no matter how blatant the flirt. Be annoyed with the woman, tell her to step off, but don’t be jealous. Know your worth as a woman, know that your girlfriend loves you for a reason and be secure in that. If your girlfriend is flirting back, have a conversation. Talk about why she’s doing that. Is it just her basic personality to be flirty/friendly? Okay. As long as the both of you are clear that it isn’t going anywhere.
If your woman chooses to leave you for someone else? Let her go. You’re better off without her. I promise you, you are better off without her. You will be sad, for sure. I’m not gonna lie, it will hurt. You will meet someone at some point who ALSO knows your worth. In the long run, you are better off waiting for someone who loves you, who shares your values and who wants the same things you do.
There are times when it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the wait, but it is. I promise you, it is. Because you keep your self-respect and your integrity. Without those things, you can’t have a healthy relationship anyway.
So tell me, pumpkins: do you know YOUR worth? Do you feel confident that you are an amazing woman who someone would be lucky to love?
That was for me – not you all this time. Remember I wrote that whole thing a couple of posts back about how I was just gonna have to work harder? Clearly, I didn’t follow my own advice!
I’ve been busy.
I was in Chicago with my new girlfriend for 9 days of loveliness. Yeah, you read that right: girlfriend! Her name is Jake and she is 6’2″ of Southern butch fabulousness. Her only flaw is that she lives too far away. Which, you know, prevents UHaul Syndrome, so it might be good. Next week, I’m going to Florida to visit her for 6 days. Yeah, you read that right: Florida. That right there is how you can tell that I like her: I am going to Florida. In the summer time. Where it is hotter than Hades. In hurricane season. Where lizards roam around loose in her backyard. She is THAT fabulous. *grin*
I also got a new job. I started last week. They have a policy about personal blogs so I can’t link to them but … it’s a great job. Lots of mess to clean up, which is what I LOVE to do, so it’s perfect. The people here are fabulous and I get to wear jeans every day. And there are dogs and cats here.
In the interests of getting my writing mojo flowing again, you’ll probably get a lot of nonsense over the next few weeks but there should be some good stuff in there somewhere.
When you’re young (and by “young” I mean “younger than 30”) is the time to do crazy things, date lots of people and find out who you are, what works for you in a relationship and what does not. You can’t learn about your relationship skills and needs unless you have relationships. Some things cannot be learned from books.
Many of us are so focused on the GETTING the relationship that we don’t spend much time on learning how to have a good one. Presumably, what you want is a good marriage/relationship. If you’re still single, I highly recommend you read “Keeping the Love You Find” by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. It is written for a heterosexual audience but LGBT people will find it useful too, I think. Or at least I do. It isn’t so much about “how to get a relationship” but how to be prepared for one when it does show up.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that some things come up again and again when a single friend is upset about her lack of a relationship. I’ve learned two things that I wish that I could magically imprint into every woman’s brain:
Sex is natural. Sex is fun. Not everybody does it, but everybody should. (Thanks, George Michael!)
I’m not at all saying that you should only have sex if you’re in a relationship or if you’re in love. [*I* think sex is BETTER when you’re in love but that’s because it’s more emotional for me and I like that.] You can have very fucking good sex (no pun intended) with someone you don’t know at all.
If you continue to pursue women are who only interested in having sex with you, what do you think you’re going to get? Yep. Sex. Which, fabulous. If that’s what you want. I think you can’t focus on finding a possible partner if you’re ALSO, at the same time, focused on finding someone with whom to have sex. I know it happens in the lesbian world that you’ll have casual sex with someone and decide to have a relationship – it happens a lot. Still, I hear lesbians say, “If I can’t have love, I’ll settle for sex. I’m lonely.” Until you stop settling, you’re not going to get what you really want.
That goes hand in hand with the second thing: love and respect yourself. Why would you *settle*?
Some psychologist [I was married to a psychologist for 7+ years and she was always quoting someone or another. I mix them up. I think I also combine their quotes.] said that you teach people how to treat you. If you don’t treat yourself well, others won’t either. If you’re willing to accept less-than-good behavior from a prospective partner, then you’ll attract people who will treat you that way.
On the other hand, if you will *only* accept being treated in a respectful manner, then you’ll attract THAT. Okay. The truth is you’ll still attract the not-respectful but they won’t affect you because you’ll say “no, thank you” and move on.
I can hear you now “It’s not that easy, Barbara. I can’t just change that over night.” No, you can’t. I know that. But you can work toward it. You can see a therapist, read books, get to know you, learn to love who you are, to recognize what your strengths are instead of always focusing on your weaknesses.
Yes, you’ll have lonely times. It will be difficult. It’s better to be single and focused than in a bad relationship. Trust me on this, okay? I have been single for 5 years now. I’ve dated people who weren’t right and I’ve learned something from every one of them. I have every confidence that the right woman will show up in my life. I am working on making myself a good partner, not just hoping the right relationship will “fix” me.
What have you learned from your years of dating/relationships/ marriage?
Telling other people how to raise their children, especially when not asked, is an exercise in futility. I promise you that they will ignore you. Even when they ask you, they are likely to ignore you, if they don’t like what you have to say. For example, a lot of people know that I have ADD, so they’ll ask me about ADD in their children. They then argue with me about everything I tell them.
So let’s get a few things straight.
I know that you do not want your child to be labeled. They are going to be labeled, though. If your child has untreated ADD, what they’re
going to be labeled is:
Would you prefer a child who is properly labeled and properly treated or would you prefer a child called any or all of those things? Would you prefer a child who has no friends because they have no impulse control and hit people when they get mad? Or who say whatever comes to mind, no matter how inappropriate?
We all have labels and I think labels can be good. No one minds their child being labeled The Smart Kid, do they? Your ADD child might well get THAT label if they are properly treated and can function well in school.
Get over yourselves. This is about what is best for your child, not what image you have in the world at large.
People also say to me, in a very dismissive tone, that they “don’t believe in ADD” and that it’s overdiagnosed and that kid just needs his/her behind paddled.
I’m amazed at how many people “don’t believe in ADD.” What’s not to believe? It’s a medical fact. It’s not the Virgin Mary showing up in someone’s potato.
As it happens, I agree that it is overdiagnosed. There are a lot of lazy parents out there who think that because their child is a child, that they are hyperactive. MOST children have a lot of energy and need engagement, attention and something to do with all that energy. THAT IS NOT ADD. That is childhood.
I also think that spanking children only serves to teach them that violence solves things. I know our parents spanked us and all the arguments that the pro-spanking people have. I also think that spanking is lazy. If you whack a kid, they’ll probably stop doing something but it’s lazy. And it teaches them that violence is the solution. So. If you are too lazy to parent your children, then don’t have them. (PS: On the other hand, I completely understand the *urge* to smack that freaking look off a kid’s face. I just don’t understand that actual doing of the smacking, even on the behind.) [Oh, and, yes. I have had children. This is not a *theory* for me.]
Also, not every child who has ADD is hyperactive. I’m not. I was the daydreamy child. The one who couldn’t pay attention or stick to the topic at hand. I still have ADD. There are 2 kinds of it. Just because your child is not hyper, doesn’t mean they don’t have ADD.
There are also the smug parents who say that they will not give Ritalin or Adderall to their child because a) it’s addictive and b) they are controlling their child’s ADD with diet and exercise.
For a person who has ADD, Ritalin/Adderall is not addictive. I have been taking it since 2000 and I’m not addicted. How do I know? Because I frequently forget to take it! If I were addicted, trust me, I would not forget it. The medication makes my brain work more closely to normal. The end. If a non-ADD person took my Ritalin, they wouldn’t get calm and focused, like I do. They’d get jacked and jittery.
If your child gets a diagnosis of ADD, I absolutely encourage the parents to try the diet/exercise thing. It certainly cannot hurt. A healthy body is good all around. HOWEVER, ADD is a brain dysfunction. It cannot be treated by diet and exercise. If that works for your child, they do not have ADD. The end. Given the fact that ADD is frequently misdiagnosed and you never want to give a child medication that they don’t need, definitely try the diet. Just remember: if the diet works, your child does not have ADD. Don’t go around smugly telling other parents whose children are ADD and ARE taking medications how superior you are.
If you’re a parent of a child with ADD, please get your child treated properly. It will make a world of difference in their life. I can tell you this from experience. I was 33 before I got my diagnosis. I thought it was nonsense until I started to take Ritalin and saw my entire life change. I don’t struggle with things that other people do easily. I can remember stuff! My relationships are better, my work is better, my LIFE is better. I am happier because I don’t feel so frustrated and I no longer have conflicts that I don’t understand.
It isn’t about self-control or discipline. If your child has ADD, they have a brain dysfunction. You wouldn’t ask your diabetic child to use self-control to manage their insulin, would you?
Get educated about ADD. There are good websites and TONS of good books. If you want a recommendation, just leave me a comment and I’ll send you some information.
Overall, I’m a woman’s woman. I don’t mean that I’m a lesbian, though I am. I mean, I love women. My sister says she doesn’t really like women – she thinks we’re catty & nasty to one another. I am the opposite – I think we’re wonderful, even if flawed.
When one of my women friends has something good happen to her, I’m genuinely pleased for her. I love seeing my women friends be successful in whatever it is they are doing. Whether it’s getting a job she wants or finishing her first marathon or having a baby, I am *happy* for her.
Twice in my life, though, I’ve had women who I both liked quite a lot and couldn’t stand.
The first was Remy Gonzalez, my sophomore year of college. The second is a fellow femme blogger who I am not going to name. You can all wonder if it’s you!
Remy was in my Spanish class and she was beautiful. Delicate, feminine, Spanish. Well, she was American but her parents had emigrated from Spain. She had dark curly hair, porcelain skin and gorgeous eyes. She was dainty. I was a runner and weight lifter. I wasn’t dainty. I was feminine, but not dainty. I mean. I’m 5’8. I could bench press 250 pounds. I was not dainty. Hell, I didn’t even *aspire* to be dainty. I grew up in a place where dainty got you in trouble. I wanted to be *strong* and fierce and fearless.
Miss Remy was also sweet and charming and funny and you just couldn’t help but like her. She was *genuinely* nice. She was helpful. She was …. lovely. I was good friends with one of our classmates and at lunch one day, she and I were talking about Remy and why I had such conflicting feelings about her. She said, “well, maybe because she’s beautiful.”
That wasn’t it, though. I had beautiful friends. I went to a private Catholic college with rich kids from all over the world who were flawless in appearance. Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you good skin, perfect teeth and good clothes. It wasn’t that she was beautiful or privileged.
It took me a long time to figure it out: she spoke better Spanish than I did. Isn’t that ridiculous? I was used to being Senor Soler’s star pupil and I didn’t like this upstart showing me up. To be fair, she worked at it. Though her parents were Spanish, she was raised to only speak English, so she had to learn the same as the rest of us. The sad fact is, she worked harder and did better. I mean, she studied. I drank. She studied. I went to the gym. She studied. I slept in. She studied. I didn’t. Naturally, she did better.
The second woman is a blogger. Like most of my blogging friends, we’ve never met in real life. She writes about queer stuff, too. She is also femme but she has a very different perspective than I have. Sometimes I like her quite a lot. Then other times, I look at her blog and her tweets and think not so nice things about her. I don’t say them because I know I’m being ridiculous. But I think them. [Full disclosure: sometimes I text or DM Jolie and say them. I know she understands that I’m just being momentarily bitchy!]
I wouldn’t say she is a better writer than I am, but she’s a good writer. She is also more productive. She has more readers. She has more readers because she writes more often and she promotes her blog, so people know about it.
FemmeFairyGodmother.com had a fair number of readers but there was a time there when I got sidetracked, had writer’s block or something. I didn’t renew the domain and so it fell by the wayside. This particular blog I’m not that great at updating, either. So, she is a more successful blogger because she works harder. Sigh. There is room in the blogosphere for more than one femme to write. Of course, if I actually *wrote* on any consistent basis, maybe I’d feel differently about her all together.
With Remy, it was that she worked harder and spoke better Spanish. With Ms Blogger Femme, it’s that she works harder, so she has more readers, etc.
I guess I’m going to have to work harder, aren’t I?