Thoughts on the book Sleeping Beauties

15 02 2018

sleeping_beauties

Concepts from the book Sleeping Beauties reviewed

*Spoilers Ahead*
I spent the last ten days of my life reading Steven King and Owen King’s co-authored book Sleeping Beauties, all 700 pages. As someone who has read all 700 pages I’ll let you know right now that you could skip from about 530 to 650 and be just fine.

The premise of the book is pretty simple. Women fall asleep and as they sleep a cocoon wraps around them, if any dude tries to cut the cocoon off, the women violently attack them. Men freak out. Basically fuck up the planet even more. While the women sleep, they’re transported to a different world where they can start the whole thing over from scratch.

The men battle over the one woman who has all these magic powers and can wake back up after falling asleep. If they choose the right course of action, the women in the other world have the chance to vote on whether or not they want to come back to the world of men or start anew.

Okay, maybe the premise isn’t that simple.

But I must say I was quite disappointed by the end of the book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Maybe because I have no husband or sons but I found it rather odd that every woman chose to go back to the land of men. There wasn’t one woman in the entire new world that wanted to argue to stay, wanted to make a new world that had less violence and pain in it. I get that the authors were trying to show that women as a whole have more empathy, patience, strength. I get that a child-less woman would understand why another woman would want to go back to a world where her male children were.

Yet, women are also known to make sacrifices for the greater good. One could argue that the greater good of the planet would be to start over fresh. It was strange that not one woman would at least bring up the option. It was almost as if the authors got tired by the end of it and gave up.

What if women had to start over without men?

Would new patterns of behavior emerge? Would old ones quickly return? Is this a nature v. nurture debate? This was almost a Herland in reverse, where there once was an island of only women, then men came along and ruined everything.

It’s mostly annoying though, that there is still so much of a divide. Like, do we really need to pit women against men? Can’t traits like empathy, confidence, assertiveness, be traits on their own without assuming they’re gendered? Can we imagine a future where people are generally decent regardless of their sex? I know that’s a hard one.

It was an interesting concept for these authors to take on, considering. Of course it’s a trendy topic, but at least it’s finally trending. It’s good to get people thinking about these ideas who maybe have never before, though admittedly, 700 pages was a bit much, particularly for such an anti-climatic ending.

Advertisements




If I Was Born With a Penis

12 02 2018

buck

What would you look like as the opposite sex?….An app that seems to be the newest Facebook craze going around has got me thinking about not only what would I look like (which according to the app is closer to aging white trash serial killer with terrible facial hair and a possible meth problem than any man I’d want to look like) but what would I BE like if I had been born with a penis instead?

According to my parents my name would be Bryan Buck, which I believe would not have been the best start for a boy born in rural Kansas. Or maybe it would have been the best start, who can really know for sure.

I do know that when an asshole male classmate was cheating off of my math test in 5th grade that my teacher wouldn’t have said to me, “There’s no way he’d cheat off of a dumb girl like you.”

I know that I wouldn’t have been told by my English teacher in 9th grade that Shakespeare was “above my comprehension.”

Or in 7th grade algebra, I wouldn’t have been forced to sit in the corner with the girls so they could “chat,” while the boys learned math because girls were “too dumb to get it.” I would have at least been taught something, whether I did anything with it, who would know.

I know I wouldn’t have been forced to put on a shirt in the heat of summer when I was five years old because a group of my dad’s friends had pulled into the driveway… because boys can go around without shirts on whenever they want no matter how old they are, not just at Burning Man or nudist colonies or in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

I probably would have become a hunter, like my dad. Worked in the oil wells, like my dad. Or maybe a mechanic or a factory worker. I’d probably still be living in Kansas and have a wife and three kids. Or I would have become a pothead like my cousin. Ended up in jail. I most likely would know how to crush a 30 pack of natty light in one night, that’s pretty much a given.

I hope that I would not have been like most of the guys in my high school class who thought it was okay to grab women’s breasts during gym class, during lunch, in the hallways. Guys who would get blackout drunk and piss themselves at parties. Or puke in woods and then come back and try to make out with girls who were not quite as drunk. Or if the woman was quite drunk, I hope I wouldn’t have been one of those guys who thought it was okay to have sex with her while she was passed out. Or thought that a woman “owed” me because she was my girlfriend and had sex with her even though she said no. I hope I would not have been one of those guys who slut-shamed women who didn’t like me back. I hope I would not have been like a typical guy.

Yet, I was not born with a penis. And of course, like any curious person, I have wondered what it would be like to pee standing up, but I don’t necessarily have envy for one. Maybe white male-privilege envy but if that means being like a typical guy from my neck of the woods I’m very grateful I was born Krystal Fawn and not Bryan Buck.

Plus, I would not have been a very cute dude.

me_opposite_sex

(I really didn’t want to show this to anyone, but there you have it.)





Has feminism gotten too trendy for its own good?

22 01 2018

Thoughts on the latest Women’s March.

Here’s the deal. As a feminist I feel like no matter what I do or what I say, someone somewhere will always be there to tell me how I’m wrong; they will be there to inform me that I don’t do enough for the cause. And you know what, fine.

I am wrong.

I don’t do enough.

The other night I fell asleep on my friend’s couch in Cap Hill, in the morning I awoke to the sounds of shouting and stomping and cowbells. I knew right away it was the Denver Women’s March. I thought, ‘good for them’ as I tried to go back to sleep. The noise continued. I realized the only way to get back to sleep was to make my way home, which meant I had to step into the noise.

womens_march
People who fight oppression all have different individual approaches, which I appreciate. When we know our own strengths we can utilize those skills to make a more lasting impact. Mad props for the 200,000+ people who showed up at the Women’s Marches across the country.

As someone whose strength lies in critically analyzing situations, people, things, media, and events, I have to admit that for over a year now I’ve been confused as to what the point of the Women’s March actually is.

According to their website:
The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”

Huh?

So, the women’s march is an ‘umbrella march’ for people to come and walk around yelling about whatever thing bothers them the most?

Cool.

Now what though?

When I left my friend’s place I only had to walk one block before being thrown into the thick of it. There were indeed thousands of people; they were energetic, their pink pussy hats perky with the possibilities of change; you could see the excitement on their faces as they screamed words that were only barely understandable; their well-made witty signs glistened waving hello to me in the morning breeze.

Because I’m still trying to understand the point of the Women’s March here’s what I hope happened.

I hope the women’s march left people feeling inspired, motivated, ready to go back at it and work to make the changes we need to live in a more well-balanced culture.

I hope that people learned more about how inequality, discrimination, intersectionality actually works etc. and what we can do to dismantle it.

I hope that the women’s march and everything that surrounds it isn’t just a liberal trend that helps feed capitalism in a different way (anyone else remember the 90s “Girls Rule, Boys Drool’ campaign?). Tired of these old white dudes? Support these women and people of color with your hard-earned money instead (as we still feed the same system that has always been in place).

I hope that we realize that sexual assault/harassment is bigger than Hollywood, that it infiltrates all the way to the lowly bottom of society and is taught in the homes and in the education system either consciously, subconsciously, or both and it will take the collective to overcome, that a new way of understanding has to be written.

I hope that the Women’s March and all the latest feminist discussion isn’t just about getting more Democrats elected into office, but that we all pay closer attention to the viewpoints and action-plans of ALL people running for politics and that those people understand that we are indeed ready for a positive paradigm shift and that we choose those who are willing to do the hard work to make this shift happen.

I hope that we learn how to dismantle the patriarchy in order to have a system in place where all people feel empowered, where all people have agency, and this isn’t just about flipping the roles of power.

I hope that one day there will no longer be marches at 10 in the morning on a Saturday when people could be sleeping in instead because there will be no need for such things.

I hope.

Which, is more than I was doing last year when I was more or less depressed and apathetic about everything.

womens_march_2
I escaped the throng of the pink pussy hat crowd and had made it several blocks away by this point; the white dude lit up on the street sign and I started to cross the next block. I made it about halfway when a large red SUV started to turn into me oblivious to the fact that a pedestrian not only has the right away but that a pedestrian happened to be walking across the street at all.

The vehicle’s window was down.

“Hey, yeah! I still exist,” I yelled.

The car stopped inches away from my body, I noticed a basic white bro in the driver’s seat.

I gave him my classic side eye.

“Sorry,” he mouthed.

I’m not sure if I believe him, but I, like the rest of the world, want it to be true.





Sex, Tinder, and More Than That

12 01 2018

On changing up my dating life patterns and getting something better than before

Since getting back on Tinder in October of this year, I’ve matched with over 300 people, had conversations with 30% of them, and gone out with maybe, maybe 10 different souls.

Love_Sex_Tinder

It’s strange to me because 300 seems like a pretty big number and yet, I feel more disconnected than I ever have in my dating life. It’s as if the more people I match with the less likely I’ll find anyone of quality.

I know, I know, Tinder was created specifically for quantity. It’s designed so you want to keep coming back because someone hotter and funnier and smarter could be just a swipe away.

 

I get that we’re all throw-away people to each other now.

 

That we find ourselves rating our worth on the number of matches we have.

Yet, even though 300 people potentially would fuck me based off of a couple of photos, that doesn’t mean any of them would ever like being around me.

Like many people, I enjoy sex. I also have a higher sex drive than most people, men and women alike. It’s often not difficult to find someone willing to sleep with me. Yet, no matter how much I enjoy sex, one night stands, fucktoys, fuckboys, fuckgrrrls (is this a thing?), no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits–it’s all becoming rather tiring.

It’s time to go deeper with someone–not physically deeper–emotionally, spiritually deeper. It’s like we’re all afraid to actually get to know someone. We come with excuses that are worse than the ones that George and Jerry and Elaine always seemed to find. Hands are too small. Nose is too big. Beard is weird. He still eats Chef-Boyardee. She does this annoying popping thing with her toes. He texts too much. She doesn’t text enough. He sucks my nose when we’re making out. She pees a little when she sneezes. etc. etc.

 

But why the constant excuses? Is it fear? Is it FOMO? Is it actually justifiable and we should know they’re right from the beginning?

 

I’ve decided to slow down. To rid my expectations of other people. To attempt to learn something from everyone I meet. To stay curious and open to the exploration of other souls–and at the same time, my own.

 

The Tinder culture is addicting. It’s like junk food, it tastes delicious but it’s just a bunch of empty calories nothingness.

 

You keep wanting more but it’s not good for you. Instead of rotting your teeth though, it rots your soul. It makes you feel both wanted and rejected at the same time. It makes you think that the possibilities are endless and you should never settle. And of course you should never settle, but you should also not keep repeating a pattern that fails to live up to anything substantial or meaningful.

tinder_junk_in_and_out

I’m not sure if it’s a waste so much as a distraction. A tool that we use to keep ourselves occupied, to keep opportunity available, to see just how fuckable we are on a surface level. Because we all want the possibility of connection, even if it’s just for a night, but many people, whether we want to admit it out loud or not, many of us want something more, something with legs, something closer to longevity.

Maybe all it takes is putting down the phone and looking around, interacting with people in real life situations. It at least seems more fulfilling to talk to someone face to face, see if anything is there, and act upon it if there is, walk away (quickly) if there isn’t?

All I know (which isn’t much) is that I have to stop thinking Tinder is the answer. To be honest, I can barely even remember the question, but I think it has to do with how we uncover love in its long form.

My plan is to create new habits and knock off the bad patterns regardless of how long it takes or how hard it is because I want more–and I’m going to get it.





Throwing in the Love Towel.

10 08 2012

Yesterday I had what I’d like to call a “Rage Against the Machine Day” because I literally wanted to rage against the jackhammer that started chopping up asphalt at 8 in the morning and didn’t stop until 4. . . when I had to go to work. Not everyone has an 8 to 5 schedule. There are some of us who actually work the opposite of that. And this world is obviously not designed for our convenience, which is probably while most of us drink excessively and hate everything.

Speaking of hating everything–that happened again too.

It wasn’t a feeling of being tired, being tired I could handle (and do on a regular basis). It was a feeling of being fucked. No, not fucking, or fucked over or fucked up. Fucked. I thought maybe I had done something really shitty and the world was trying to balance it out, yet I have no idea what that would have been, so the whole karma belief dissipated and I realized that sometimes existing is just rough.

It was a day in which I questioned everything I believe in and started to believe in nothing. . . no, I didn’t even believe in nothing. I had no beliefs. I gave up on all the abstracts we cling to, love, loyalty, honesty, happiness. And instead I just glared at people. Wondering how they continued to move through the world every day in a seemingly content sort of way; wondering how I move through the world every day without completely destructing.

And it hasn’t gone way entirely yet either. I’m still in that thought-mode.

Even concepts that I’ve believed in for so long I’ve given up on, veganism, feminism, etc. It’s not like I’m going to go out and kill a cow or try to outlaw abortion–I just don’t care anymore. I don’t care enough to stop being vegan or to stop being a feminist, but I’m not going to put any effort into them, whatever that means.

It comes down to my whole issue with giving up on love. The big one. The abstractest abstract concept of them all. I think I’m mourning over the loss.

Okay, giving up on love is pretty vague. Here’s more of what I mean. When I think about what I need from people and what I can give, it doesn’t match up. It’s not fair to get involved with people when I’m such a mess. It’s not healthy for them or for me. When I sit here and imagine my future, there is no one I can vision getting me or even wanting to.

Maybe that’s the even bigger issue, I can’t see anyone wanting to, and that’s okay. Yeah, I’m a little sad about it, but I also want to be realistic about my existence. Why chase something that will never be?

I need accept it.

Just like my schedule doesn’t align well with jackhammers neither does my love align well with, well, anything.