Change and ‘The Power’

I’ve been feeling pretty rotten over the last couple of days. Had episodes of probably what is vertigo, essentially, dizziness and that run down- bleurgh feeling. Feeling sea-sick as I woke up at 6:45 and as I tried to get out of bed the, ‘why am i doing this?’ question came to me and I got back in and emailed to say I wasn’t coming in. I have spent most of the day reading ‘Power’ by Naomi Alderman. I finished it. And i’m quite confused by how I feel about it.

I’ve had a look at other reviews of the book to get some other insights.

It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting and I gorged on the first 100 pages or so because of how inventive it was . I think as the story developed it did lose some of it’s realistic appeal to me. Yes, the story is pretty fantastical but I feel it wasn’t supposed to be just that.

I really enjoyed the first 100 pages because I really felt a lot of aspects were covered by Alderman. It felt like there was a lot of clear messages to be taken from it. How different people coped and reacted to the changes that happened. I think it wasn’t what I thought because it wasn’t actually as nice and successful as I’d hoped. I think the idea that women are more powerful than men, to me, would mean that greater, fairer things would happen. This wasn’t the case and my naivety has been put to shame!  It isn’t power over another that is successful… Ever. It’s not dominance and submission (oi oi) but being on the same level and this is what this book shows. Too much power in any hands can be a bad thing.

The particularly poignant part in the book is quite early on and it is when women start rioting and cannot be controlled and are feared because of their power. There’s a dialect something like “what do we do?”,  “we kill them.”,  “But we can’t kill all the women in the world”

At this point it very is man vs woman. Which actually is totally pointless because both need each other.

And  it makes you think about other riots and wars. And you think, this is pointless too? We are at war against each other. It’s pointless. It’s power not wanting to be lost. But what are we actually fighting for? Those at the top already, what are they actually defending that’s worth defending anymore? Are we asking to be heard or asking to take over and be in charge?

Most minorities just want to be heard and to have fair treatment. That’s what the women’s marches, the LGBT marches that i’ve been on have been about. They were for me anyway.  How can humans be so anti-eachother? Just seems like such a daft concept when you take a step back and look and what we’re doing now and what we’ve done for ridiculous numbers of years. And for what?

I dunno, all I want is to achieve a couple of things that I’ve always wanted to achieve. Do good where I can and use what I have. Power has never been something I have been after so I wouldn’t know! #simplebutcompletelife 

I lost the flow of the book by the end. I don’t think I quite caught the point of some of the character’s stories, maybe I haven’t digested it well enough yet. I thought the book was very honest and fair. There wasn’t an agenda to the book I think apart from a look into power and where we are at the moment. I think I wanted Alderman to talk more about the injustice in parts of the world but she didn’t go into too much detail. Having read a book recently which I reviewed a lot of the countries talk about – India in particularly the reactions really resonated.

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So I’m moving out this weekend back home for the year. I’m on placements all over the UK and in other countries come next week so I’m pretty much going to be living out my car, Betty.

I’ve been in this little room for two years and It hasn’t dawned on me that I’m saying goodbye to it yet. I was reading and it’s been raining all day and with my cup of tea I saw a photo opportunity. My phone never sees what I see but it got close enough.

I’m half packed. It’s going to take a couple of trips. You can see the magazines i’ve yet to read and leaflets about jobs and careers on the side. You can see flowers that Rosie bought me. They’re probably past their best now but i’m not ready to let them go. There’s a half empty box for packing, my keyboard which was fun to play for the four weeks that it fitted in with my routine. My wooden post from one of the marches I went on. I intend to use it again at some point.. It did have a poster on it..

I do and don’t like the idea that I don’t know where I’ll be in a years time. I think I am naturally a home maker and I do want a home or nest of my own. My own nook. Makes travelling all the more special because you have something special to come back to. 

 I suppose I have just been in so many places that I’m just looking forward to not having too much upheaval for a short time. Until I get bored and a wandering eye ;).. 

Rebecca x 

 

 

 

Gay Britannia and Bisexuality 

*This post started as a mind explosion and I typed whatever came to mind on Sunday evening. I have tidied it up a little but I’ve noticed this with a lot of my posts…that I’m not very good at concluding or keeping a good flow….. I’ll work on it.*

So the BBC is showing a load of LGBTQ+ programmes at the moment and so far what I’ve seen has been great! I know so little about LGBT history, it’s shocking. And with all this and pride at the moment it’s really got me thinking about who I am and what makes me me.

I can’t imagine living with constant fear and not being able to be who you are. I know it is still often the case, but we can’t be arrested for it! These programmes are making me realise really how much we really do have to thank the older generations for pushing through and doing what they did. So brave, so courageous.

I’ve watched ‘Prejudice and Pride: The people’s History of LGBTQ Britain’ and ‘against the law’,  ‘queer art’ and ‘The man in the orange shirt’.  While watching some of the programmes with Rosie (I have the irritating tendency to talk through a programme. Rosie pauses it. haha soz) we talked about bisexuality and how it never has been that much of a deal. I mean even the programmes so far have been predominantly about gay male relationships. (It is the 50th year since the act was abolished so there’s justification behind it.)

A big thing we have realised is that gay men suffer their own insults but they don’t generally get the brush off that bisexuals and lesbians do. …The number of times I have heard, “they just haven’t found the right cock yet.”  How many times have you heard someone say a gay man hasn’t found the right vagina yet?

However! I’ve got a big buzz with it all at the moment! The “Everything is great and will be great and I’m bisexual and being bisexual is amazing”. It’s a nice feeling! Feeling that it is perfectly fine and there’s nothing wrong and just have a good time and love who you feel like loving.

When I can talk about my relationship freely like those in straight relationships, it feels so natural. Withholding what I want to say because i don’t think people will understand or take it the right way or if i’m worried they’ll respond badly is really hard to handle (let alone not telling anyone and having to hide it entirely!).  It’s like a subtle and ongoing sensation that makes you continually doubt your validity.   Being able to sit with my arm around Rosie while chatting to other people and couples is one of the greatest feelings in the world to me. Just the unity and fuzzy feeling is a guilty pleasure. ❤

We also brought up how the things we have read about women’s sexuality have always been pretty negative and hard: depicting the struggle. Which is great for inclusiveness when you feel like you’re dealing with it all by yourself. But it doesn’t often bring hope. So I want to be positive on here! Show why It’s so worthwhile!

If anyone asks me, I say that I am bisexual. It has been a long and winding path to get to this point but it’s definitely what rings truest. If I found myself single one day, I have no idea if the next person I would date would be male or female. I like it. It’s exciting. I definitely go through phases where I feel like I’m more attracted to one than the other but the ability to feel towards both is always there. Often, i’ll just be spending more time with a group of one or the other sex and that can sometimes feel like it’s shifting a preference. For example, at university it’s pretty much 85% female so the chances that I’m going to find people I get on with that are women is pretty high, so maybe that swings my preferences.

It is a shame to be put into the wrong LGBT group. I guess most people that know of me will assume I’m a lesbian. * It’s Tuesday now and a conversation I had today proves this more for me*  But it cuts out so much of my life and story and makes it all seem so clear and easy. Being LGBTQ+ is hard, and I know most about being bisexual.

Bisexuality is hard because when you have the option to go with the ‘normal’ and easier sex (I.e hetero) it makes it harder for others to understand why you would choose to be in a homo relationship. I certainly think that’s why It took me a long time to think about the possibility of dating women. Because if I know I’m happy enough looking for Mr Right why would I make life that more difficult by being open to finding a Mrs Right too? Obviously, it just doesn’t work like that, but I suppose it kind of does, I suppose it could be possible to hide one part of your sexuality forever for the ease. But that wouldn’t be fair on you or do you any favours.

It’s a mindfuck when i consider that I would likely never have met nor spoken to Rosie if I hadn’t have decided to try dating women. And yet she is the closest person I have ever been to, my bestfriend and I am absolutely ridiculously head over heels in love with her… except when she does something that annoys me 😉
So therefore I do think that bisexuality is an invisible sexuality at the moment and there are a couple of campaigns running along this line too.  Basically, If a bisexual woman is with a girl, she’s a lesbian and a guy, she’s straight. And bisexual men are men that are actually gay but don’t want to totally admit it. Excellent.

There’s also a lot of talk about promiscuity with bisexuals. Like how can you trust a bisexual when they literally fancy everyone? Haha… Because there’s never been any cheating in straight or gay relationships…? But perhaps as some bisexuals will agree that the sex of a person is far less important than the person they are, it suggests that we could be fussy because we’re looking for someone we really connect with.

So onto Sexual fluidity. The concept that every single person is on a spectrum and lay somewhere between straight and gay and where you are on that spectrum can change throughout your life. Before I go any further, this really does have to be the simplified version as there are groups in LGBTQ+ that aren’t included in the spectrum. (asexual, pansexuals etc)

I know a lot of girls (probably because we’re more happy to talk openly about it) who have considered their sexuality once or twice or quite a lot.  They’ve wondered if they had had a crush on a girl previously or have kissed girls on drunken nights out etc.

I’m not saying that every one of these girls is a bisexual and should relate and be categorised under this term (no way!), but they are on the spectrum like everyone else and would probably be placed somewhere closer to the middle between straight and gay than just one or the other side.

So, for me, sexual fluidity would be something like this…

For example, let’s say if a girl is 80% straight, she only dates men and has only had relationships with men. But, she has wondered about being with a woman once or twice. Now, whether she would ever take it any further, think more, act on her thoughts and whether she would even feel right in a relationship with another woman is a totally separate thing. But say a couple of years later, for whatever reason, it’s now 60:40, that could be enough for her to start thinking and acting on it. She’s still more into men and it’s all she knows and starting to date a woman is going to take a lot of encouragement and persuasion. It’s going to be confusing and baffling for most of the time too. It’s going to be a case of getting to a point where she feels she needs to answer this niggling question… Can she be with another woman, does she fancy women? I feel like a lot of women don’t feel the need to answer this niggle. And obviously, that’s entirely fine, they’ll be closer to the straight side of the spectrum,

So for me, when I was younger I only ever thought of men. I had the occasionally feeling towards girls but brushed it aside thinking i was in awe etc. Then i got older (obviously), met new people, saw new places, read new things and my mindset altered, I became open to other options.

I have read blogs and discussions about how bisexuality is it’s own entitity entirely. And i don’t think that’s wrong. The spectrum really helped me come to terms with my sudden shift a couple of years back and it works for me.
When talking to people about bisexuality there’s a sense from them that you are or you aren’t and you must have an answer. Whereas if you’re happy with the sexual fluidity perspective, you do what feels right for you at the time. Possibly partly why I struggle to accept the term bisexual. It’s actually quite inflexible and vast and doesn’t say much about an individual at all.

So yeah, this is where I originally came to a totally dead end in my word splurge on Sunday evening. Not even a hint of a conclusion. haha. But today I had a conversation with two girls that I have been working alongside with at university a lot recently. They’re absolutely lovely and we get on well but this just proves an inability to understand the concept of bisexuality.

So basically we were working with two absolutely gorgeous male clinicians. They’re charming and they bought us coffee. Putty in their hands we were. And we were talking together about one in particular. And I said how I liked his blue eyes. (drowning in crystal blue seas and all that… ). One of the girls said to me,

“Well it doesn’t matter to you as you’re not into men.”

I mean for one thing, you don’t have to fancy a person to be able to appreciate how good they look.  But anyway!

I was a bit taken aback but we were all messing around and so i didn’t get particularly serious. I just replied that I do like men. The other girl shook her head and put her hands out to show the separation and said “no, you just can’t like both, one or the other.”  And so I looked into her eyes and said “watch me.”  To which we all laughed.

But actually, how can you feel so confident to tell me that I’m wrong about who I feel attracted to? Why would I lie or pretend when I’m so open about other things? I used to think that I could only like one or the other but that was the most confusing part of all because I couldn’t choose which. I don’t need to choose.

It was lighthearted and they did not mean to insult me. It just showed the ignorance that is out there.

What if I became single and started dating a chap? Would they tell me that I was straight (and just experimented or went through a phase with Rosie) or actually just a lesbian who’s hiding how she really feels? There’s seems to be no understanding that the sex of a person is just not on my priority list. It’s absolutely the person.

So, I could just not care I suppose. I could just not right this article and not care how people see me or how they categorise me. To be honest, I don’t really mind. But i don’t like that people don’t understand me, what I’ve gone through and how I think and feel, especially those people that I otherwise have a good time with. Though actually i don’t like the feeling it’s assumed to be a phase, as though i’m just messing around with people and testing waters. That would belittle any relationship I had over another persons, when to me, my relationship is the best and strongest and most serious and loving and stable relationship I have had.

So let’s conclude lol. The BBC is doing a great job in celebrating LGBT. But there is still a long way to go. If you’re in the LGBT club, you are still considered different and I don’t think that should be the case. There are misunderstandings everywhere regarding LGBTQ+ groups and one of them is not appreciating bisexuality. What does it mean to be bisexual? why it’s not a bad thing, a phase or experimenting. One of the ways I explain it is through the sexual fluidity concept. And it is hurtful and harsh to brush off a person when they say they’re bisexual because you’re invalidating their entire history. You’re saying that they actually were never really in love or felt for the one person they used to see because they’re now in love with a new person of a different sex.  Maybe not on purpose but you’re telling me that a big part of my life that probably helped shape the person i am wasn’t real and wasn’t significant. And we can entirely talk about crushing on any sex. But we can also talk about how hot someone is without bringing sex into it too.

A bisexual is someone who has the ability to feel attraction to another person they’ve connected with regardless of this person’s sex.

Rebecca x

Don’t judge for adding a wikipedia link.. it explains it well – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexual_erasure

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/12/bi-erasure-hurts/

i feel this article a lot :http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/on-bisexual-erasure-in-th_b_9995418.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p059lylf