Facing Reality

Let’s be honest here (and the truth isn’t anywhere near as dramatic as the title suggests), this blog isn’t what it used to be, what it set out to be.

When I started out, I had all these grand ideas about left-wing feminist activist-type discussions rantings, focused on fat acceptance and sex positivity.  Over the course of the past two and a half years, it’s really diversified into all kinds of things.  Nothing shows this better than my current Twitter profile:

twitter profile

This blog has become about all of this.  And I really don’t think that’s a bad thing.  It’s like a window into being me, and that’s more than I ever thought I could do when I first started this endeavour.

So yes, I have managed to derail myself, but now you get all of me, the real me. (Yay you!)

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If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

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That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Diary Post 2: 18th February 2011

Thought it was about time for another general update 🙂

The wedding date for me and J has now been changed to 27 January 2012, as J’s sister’s husband’s sister (is that sister-in-law? I’m not sure) is having her wedding on 3 February, and having our’s on 2 February wasn’t going to give them much time to travel from up here back down south. Initially we were going to move it to 1 August 2011 to coincide with Imbolc and this date would have been even better in regards of being a tribute to St Brigid. However, it turns out that would be right in the middle of Term 3 for uni, and that just wasn’t practical. So instead of changing the date to the mid-semester holidays in July (and only giving us about 4mths to get organised), it was decided that 27 January would be the date 🙂

With St Brigid being a grain Goddess, having the ceremony around any particular harvest festival is okay, which means Lammas (2 February for the Southern Hemisphere) is still a fine tribute and the new date is still around about the right time of year. It’s all about the intent remember (yay paganism!!).

Now we just need to confirm this date with the celebrant and the venue (both of which we have now found), then it’s all go!!

What else happened this week….

As I mentioned the other day, I got my lip pierced as an early birthday present from J. Seems to be healing pretty well at this stage, though it is slightly annoying only being able to eat food with a fork, or a teaspoon, or by tearing it into tiny bits with my hands. But we’ll get there 🙂

I completed my enrollment for this semester at uni and managed to get a really pretty ID photo for the first time ever, so that’s a bonus 🙂

Yesterday I changed operating systems on my laptop from Windows XP to Ubuntu 10.10 in effort to get my computer to run faster. I was sick of the ridiculously long load times, especially when opening Firefox (though I use Chrome predominately). So far it’s all running well, though I did have some issues with the TweetDeck desktop app taking up far too much of the CPU. So I’m using TweetDeck for Chrome, purely because all the other apps for Linux are shit, to put it bluntly. What I really need is a new laptop, probably the next size up from the HP netbook I have at the moment. Having a 10″ screen is fine if you’re just using it for typing up lecture notes, but for everything else it can be a little annoying.

Today we were supposed to start packing up the flat for the move next weekend, but with all the fluffing around with the laptop (they’re good like that), then forgetting to have lunch which caused my blood sugar levels to get really low and for me to get irrationally angry (particularly with the lack of good Twitter apps for Linux and small screen sizes), time has just run away from me.

That’s all for this rambling diary post today. On Monday I start back at uni for the first semester full of Political Science, Sociology, Modern World History and Philosophy, which will hopefully result in some deep and thoughtful posts in the near future.

Another Addition to my Rebellion Against “The Man”

Got my lip pierced today 🙂 It’s an early birthday present from J.

Just another one part of my fight to be individual and to stand out from the crowd. Like my tattoo I got nearly a year ago:

I know my Mum will hate the piercing, just like she doesn’t really like my tattoo, apart from the colours I had it done in, because they make it more subtle.

Next on my list is another tattoo on my left arm in this design:

This is the word “Spirit” converted into Long Branch Runes. A tribute to my Viking roots.

Another tattoo I am wanting to get is the Tree of Life in the top centre of my back with the Triple Crescent above it in tribute to Goddess Brigid (also known as St Brigid):

The back tattoo at least is a little out of range of my budget at the moment… donations gratefully accepted 😛

Guest Post: Spirituality and the Sex-Positive Community

Following on from this post, my good friend Alexis has written this post on how people in the sex-positive and spiritual/religious communities perceive each other:

I’ve been following sex-positive politics for many years now; and something that i still see too frequently is open and unmitigated hostility towards all religion and spirituality.

There’s no doubt in my mind that religion and spirituality has, historically speaking, promoted sex-negativity and contributed to sexual repression and unhappiness. And mainstream, widely-socially-acceptable religions and spiritualities generally continue to do; the ongoing debates around homosexuality are but one example.

However, it’s also true that many people are finding ways of integrating sex-positive attitudes with their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. There are reinterpretations of key texts; there are approaches which seek to extract still-relevant ideas whilst leaving behind sex-negative ones; there are beliefs being created out of whole cloth, based on people’s lived experiences. I know sex-positive, queer-friendly Christians, Jews and Wiccans, who are well aware of the sex-negative, heteronormative aspects of their traditions, and who have more than a passing familiarity with their traditions’ text and beliefs, but who have used that knowledge to continue living within a belief system that resonates strongly with them.

And I think this is wonderful!

I don’t, however, see a great deal of support for these people within the sex-positive community. On the contrary: what I frequently encounter is blanket condemnations of religion and spirituality, or, worse, of religious and spiritual people.

It feels to me that there’s a certain amount of born-again atheism involved: for people who have been raised in repressive religious atmospheres, for example, becoming a conscious atheist can be a liberating experience. It seems to me there’s often an earnest and well-meaning desire to ensure that other people don’t suffer or miss out on a variety of enjoyable life experiences due to religious or spiritual repression, whether internal or external. This is something I can certainly identify with: I myself was an atheist for many years, primarily driven by the sex-negativity I observed in various religions. And even though I’m now a panentheist, I still get irked by anti-atheism FUD (for example, that atheism necessarily results in a complete lack of morality) – I believe that misrepresentation of people’s attitudes and beliefs is not only unethical but doesn’t, in the end, benefit anyone.

Nonetheless, I feel that there’s a choice for sex-positive atheists to make here: to decide which is more important for them to promote, atheism or sex-positivity. I believe either choice is valid. But I also believe promoting sex-positivity means not making totalising statements about religion and spirituality or about religious and spirituality people; it means acknowledging the possibility that atheism is not the only possible framework in which sex-positivity can exist; it means recognising that there are people creating sex-positive religious and spiritual perspectives which provide concrete alternatives to sex-negative beliefs for those who are not ready or willing to give up their overall religious or spiritual paths.

Many years ago I was part of a group organising a protest. Our organising group had several members of the Young Christian Workers. One member raised an objection to the possibility of socialist groups being able to sell their newspapers at the protest, saying something along the lines of “After all, how would you feel if we were to hand out Bibles?” My personal response was: “That sounds great! So much reactionary stuff is done in the name of Christianity; it would be good for people, including Christians, to know that it’s not a given that Christians must take reactionary positions.”

If people in the sex-positive movement promote or support the notion that sex-positivity necessarily implies atheism, it puts people who – rightly or wrongly, whether supported by evidence or not – have strong religious or spiritual beliefs in the position of feeling like they must choose between sex-positivity and religion/spirituality. Though many might choose sex-positivity, it’s also likely that, given religion and spirituality often address a greater variety of issues than simply those around sexuality, many might feel that sex-positivity is the thing that needs to take a back seat. And that, for me, wouldn’t represent progress.