Sunday, March 08, 2009
If my "porn" were standing before the judges on American Idol, Simon would totally call it self-indulgent nonsense. Like shooting almost entirely non-nude sets of pictures with a ren-fairish flavor just because I REALLY LIKE WEARING LONG VELVET DRESSES AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE NECKLACE AND I LIKE PRANCING AROUND IN THE FOREST!! From my latest members-only update:
Most people don't "get" non-nude or softcore porn, and I do think there's a bigger market for straightforward explicit hardcore sex (and I myself prefer to masturbate to fairly explicit, genital-oriented content, though not the generic kind), but make no mistake . . . there's definitely a market for the soft stuff. I'm not sure, but I'm *guessing* that its appeal diminishes the older the model gets, but I could be wrong. I *hope* I'm wrong. Because I will proceed as though I *am* wrong about that. Because I'm totally a self-indulgent softcore kind of lady. Well, not totally
. Which is what makes my site difficult to categorize since I love hardcore stuff, too.
Running a personality site means I'm selling myself -- intimate access to WHO I am -- as much as jack-off material (which is everywhere nowadays for free), but maintaining a balance can be a challenge particularly since the balance other people want to see really varies. There are a lot of people who think the porno stuff is boring and others who think the "self-indulgent" softcore/personally revealing stuff is boring. I don't get that information from my own members (who I guess usually know it's futile/counter-productive to complain about what I do/don't do), but from surfing around and reading the variety of opinions/assumptions on this matter. I gave up on trying to please "everybody" a long time ago, but still feel self-conscious sometimes KNOWING that people will look at some of what I put out there, particularly something they paid for, and will be dissatisfied. Even when you know you can't please everybody, you still feel crappy sometimes that you can't. That you know someone will be distinctly UNhappy because you're older, because you're too nasty, because you're not nasty enough, because you're shaved, because you're hairy, because you're too quiet or not quiet enough. It's a constant challenge to silence that chatter in your head of what other people might be thinking and listen only to what you yourself want and think. But when I do, I hear that I want more cheap, stretchy, crushed-velvet dresses from the thrift store. I want more of the scenery I love that is home to me. I want more cleavage and swooning and vulgar meaty thighs.
I like being suggestive without fully delivering. I wonder how much of that's a (mostly) chick thing -- enjoying having a scene set and characters drawn and then using your own imagination to fill in the blanks to your own liking whereas (most) men want all of the blanks filled in for them in explicit, glossy detail. I have actually been thinking about duplicating and reformatting the way I present some of my softcore picture sets in order to fill in some of those blanks, or ramp up to the nudity in a way that makes it feel more like a money shot once you get to it, but I'm not sure I'll ever have time for that project. I think it would be very effective, though.
Lately I feel a little tempted to stop updating my site as frequently and focus more on marketing Delia's site
. Financially, that would make a lot of sense, but I don't want to do that. The fact that Delia's site significantly outsells mine does free me up to think of her site as the bread and butter that allows me to totally fuck around on mine and do whatever I want without worrying that we'll lose our main source of income when I alienate all of my members. Not that this would happen, but the appeal of Delia's site compared to mine does give me a sense of freedom that it's not all about me. It doesn't all rely upon me. That's a huge relief that allows me to end these annoying trains of insecure thought on a positive note and go back to indulging in my own flights of fancy. In the forest! Twirling around in a long dress! Wearing a gypsy necklace with amethysts! And what more do people want than my boobies, anyway?
Labels: aging, customer relations, fears, gender issues, identity, nature, Pacific Northwest, PHOTOS, Seattle, things I treasure, TURN ONS, webwhore insights, work
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Pigtails & Pajamas (PICS)
After the gloomy pictures and tone of this post
I'm overdue posting something cheerful that reflects how I'm feeling A BILLION TIMES BETTER, so here are some happy pictures from a recent members-only gallery
and an update on what's going on in my body and head.
It's hard for me to describe how profoundly different/healed I felt within a week of starting to treat my hormone problems. I can only compare it to what born again Christians feel like. Seriously. Only I feel like I just established a close personal relationship with NORMALCY rather than with Jesus. And now I am wondering how the fuck I was even getting out of bed at all, because I was really REALLY sick.
A lot of stuff that I was experiencing I couldn't even verbalize without sounding totally crazy and was effecting me on every level you can possibly think of: mentally, spiritually, physically, socially, sexually, etc. My muscles, joints, head, eyes, guts, boobs, feet, jaw, ears HURT and weren't working right. Pretty much everything was causing me pain and fatigue, from the sound of people's voices to the loud conversations being held in my head to the TORTURE of dropping something and having to go through the agonizing, soul-sucking motion of bending over to pick it up. I thought I was being a hypochondriac to worry that I had lupus or something horrifying going on. All I wanted to do was work and be happy and do the millions of things I want to do, so I tried to exercise more, to cut back on things that were especially tiring (which got to the point of being EVERYTHING except the bare minimum -- I haven't been seeing my family, friends, or doing anything except trying to survive). The slightest annoyances were sending me into paroxysms of mean-spirited anguish. If you think I was complaining a lot about headaches and stuff, you don't know the tenth of it. I actually didn't even want to recognize how incredibly bad it was.
But then last week I started to feel INCREDIBLY GOOD. Like I looked in the mirror and didn't see death warmed over staring back at me -- oh yeah, THAT'S what I look like without a sickly pallor and giant, deep, dark circles rimming my eyes! Like, getting out of bed in the morning IS EASY and something to celebrate instead of something that caused me physical pain. I'm not exaggerating, I had been feeling PAIN reverberating through every fiber of my being. I thought it was just me being not-a-morning-person, "sensitive", etc. but as it turns out? FUCK NO. The first three days of feeling awesome last week are my new standard for how I should feel 99% of the time and I'm not going to accept anything less ever again.
Here are the supplements I started taking:
*Evening Primrose Oil
*birth control (chick hormones)
*potassium (in grapefruit juice, etc.)
*awesome Vitamin B complex
and changes I made:
*maintaining a stable blood sugar level (not letting myself get hungry, eating way less simple carbs/sugars)
*continuing to use tools & learn more for anger management, concentration, calm, etc.
*continuing to make 8-9 hours of sleep per night my goal
A lot of these are things I've done before that yielded positive results, but I never did them consistently or all at the same time or appreciated the importance of spending the money to stay stocked up on all of the vitamins or understood the big picture of how they were helping me. I still don't have a thorough grasp of that, but getting as totally fucked up as I was forced me to do a lot of research and over the years a lot of people and circumstances have handed me clues. Like not being able to get pregnant and slowly finding out a whole bunch of possible reasons why not. Like having people tell me over and over and over again to have my thyroid tested. Like having almost no stressors in my life and often doing everything right and trying my fucking hardest and still feeling WORSE instead of better. Like having some really great health care providers in my life and then having to deal with one who was really bad. Like THE INTERNET being an imperfect but still fucking fabulous resources. Like having a trans partner and thinking more about hormones, identity, and the nuances of gender. Like having people tell me I have too much testosterone. Like having my hair stylist tell me I had an unnatural amount of HAIR FALLING OUT OF MY HEAD (ahhh, so it WASN'T my imagination that was noticing my part widening in pictures and on the webcam I have staring down at the top of my head).
I really am sorry for how impatient I've been, how easily agitated I've been, and for how little time I've had for people and issues and projects I care about. Mostly I'm sad that Delia
had to live with someone so unpredictable and "touchy". But I'm really happy for us now that we are both getting ourselves sorted out.
I think this year (or at least the next six months) are going to be a time of simply catching up on time I/we've lost personally and financially/professionally. I know I've made a lot of posts in the past couple of years about ways I was reorganizing and reprioritizing things, and while many of them were necessary, very few of them were productive or successful because of what I now realize was a significant health problem. I am going to be patient with myself and try to enjoy simply feel good. REALLY good.
I'm not saying my life has been nonstop misery because that's not true at all -- hormones are shifty fuckers so there've been lots of highs and lows and near-normalcy, but I've likely been suffering from this for most of my post-adolescent life to one degree or another judging from how rarely I ovulated on time or at all; most people would say "judging from how rarely my period was on time", but I now refuse to refer to on-time periods as the sensible indicator of health when it totally ignores that timely menstruation is reliant on timely ovulation. It's not that I think ovulation is some holy fucking grail or that every woman should strive for FERTILITY, I just think there's so much MISSING from (and deceptive about) our language for talking about how our bodies function and how to identify problems and heal them. And you know how women who understand their clits and their g-spots and the rest of their bodies and how they work and where those parts live CAN MAKE THEM OPERATE BETTER and experience more pleasure? I don't think the rest of our anatomy and functionality is any different. If I understand that high blood sugar and cortisol and stress and testosterone and estrogen suppression and ovulation and concentration and happiness are all linked up and I can visualize those things and better know how to achieve stability there, then I am going to be a happier, better-functioning person.
Personally I'm excited about the discoveries I'm making about myself and feel so fired up about so many things I'm back to my "normal" scatterbrained whirlwind of divided attention (and haven't been taking Ritalin since I started my little regimen above). I'm also really angry and thinking a lot about how most health care providers are totally incompetent and uncaring when it comes to endocrinology (unless it has to do with diabetes) and SUPER COMMON hormone problems. I believe to my core that misogyny is the root of the ignorance and lack of care; people believe and want women to age a certain way, to become dried-up shrews. They believe we'll complain about anything and are still mostly just hysterical, crazy bitches and that our problems are all psychological. Everyone thinks it's so "advanced" to treat depression and anxiety as real stand-alone illnesses now that we can throw fucked-up, addictive drugs at when so much depression and anxiety and other mental illness are probably caused by hormonal problems that don't always originate with (or aren't limited to) poor brain chemistry or treated best just by addressing them. I'm certainly not suggesting we all go Tom-Cruise-Vitamin-Crazy, I'm just saying that health care professionals aren't even bothering to test for or treat underlying hormone imbalances, and most people like it that way. It makes a lot of women sicker, not healthier. Just to give you an example, this doctor I went to was ready to put me on anti-depressants, didn't believe me when I told her I knew the birth control itself would help a lot, and refused to test my thyroid (the most common "thyroid" test done is for TSH -- thyroid stimulating hormone -- and it doesn't really test your thyroid gland, it tests your pituitary gland AND the results are months old by the time it reaches your blood). You have to wonder how this woman thinks that anti-depressants are going to cure me of hair loss, weight gain, constipation, lethargy, etc. when you know it will make most of those symptoms WORSE. To her I was just a crazy, miserable bitch demanding a "complicated" explanation for what seemed obvious to her: THAT I'M SIMPLY A CRAZY MISERABLE BITCH.
If we removed the stigma and value judgment from the statement "she's got hormone problems" we'd lose one of our most precious and reliable punch lines. So many women would feel so much better the world would be turned upside-fucking down. It probably wouldn't be very good for the sex industry, I imagine, if more middle-aged women felt like a million bucks. Or maybe it would . . . . My sister, a nurse, said she thinks endocrinology is too nuanced for traditional western medicine to deal with and that it's not a "sexy" field like surgery. I think it's the opposite. It's the sexiest field of all. It IS the source of what we think of as sex and gender and for us to really understand it and the role it plays in our lives and how it is the foundation for so much of our identities would pose such a threat to the status quo and to the people we rely upon to make the rest of us feel normal by comparison that it's just a giant taboo. In generations to come I think it's transgender and people who defy gender stereotypes and limitations who will force the medical community and other people to understand endocrinology a whole lot better and how hormones can be manipulated to help us lead our best, most authentic and healthiest lives.
Anyway, long post short, I was feeling pretty bad. And now I feel really great. And that makes me really happy. I'm fueling up now for good things to come.
Labels: dildo, health, hormones, identity, migraines, natural boobs, PHOTOS, pop culture, PORNOGRAPHY, rants, thanksgiving
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Did you see the chick who kept mispronouncing "larynx" and "trachea" on American Idol
Yeah, well I *loved* her. Because I could relate to her so much. Her seriousness and convictions and reaching for the right words (but getting them all wrong) and insisting upon precision with her responses to questions and bewilderment over the rules of the interview at the end. I loved her voice and she was the kind of smarT I recognize as my own.
I hate myself for watching that show, but almost feel like it's my duty to know how we're being taught about our own and other people's value. If you have bad teeth, if you're mentally ill, if you're overweight, if you're an aspie
(see above), if you're overweight AND wear tight or revealing clothing, if you're borderline retarded, you're fair game for the Idol freak show. All of America joins together not just to laugh at you, but to FEEL GOOD about laughing at you without compunction. It's a family show! Everybody's watching! It's okay to laugh in someone's face, punctuate every gaffe with sound effects, play songs like "Weird Science" when you walk into your audition if you're a nerd (two scores I'd personally be pleased with -- that song is googlyicious GOODNESS and that one nerd with bad teeth could have played Patrick Bateman's long lost hillbilly cousin!). You can laugh right in someone's face and still be considered kind as long as you chuckle "good lookin' out!" and say, "awwww, you should never sing again but I can tell you're a real sweetie!
" as they exit.
They pretend American Idol is a competition only one person wins at the end, but the real reason it's popular is because we ALL get to be winners at home each and every time they show us another fucking loser. The same people who've been targets of cruelty and ostracism for centuries -- sissy boys with lisps, fat girls whose pants split, ugly people who dare to smile wide, and village idiots whose ears stick out and eyes are too close-set -- willingly subject themselves to torment. Compared to them, the rest of us come out so far ahead! We are smarter, prettier, stronger and more likely to fit in than THOSE Americans. We wouldn't make their stupid mistakes!
We just watched an episode (Yokel Chords
) of The Simpsons that made fun of this phenomenon with Homer demonstrating exactly the behavior I'm talking about, pointing at the inbred hicks on tv, calling them stupid and feeling so good about himself in the process. I totally understand the appeal; in the internet porn industry I'm surrounded by people I subconsciously think of as easy targets (mostly my male "colleagues"); I feel like it's my duty to be mean and ream them out, but maybe I actually waste time around them on webmaster boards because I'm a small person who wants to pretend she's an advanced and sophisticated thinker. How petty and embarrassing is that?
It's taking me a long time to put it into practice, but I really want to stop doing that. Awhile back we heard a comedian on the radio asking why it's not okay to make fun of retarded people but people who are just plain STUPID are totally fair game. It kind of blew my mind because I like to think I'm one of those defenders of political correctness and sensitivity, but I totally have that double standard that I should be empathetic towards people who are developmentally delayed or have other identifiable REASONS for not being great intellectual thinkers, but it's not only acceptable to mock and hate on stupid people -- it's like I sometimes feel it's my fucking DUTY to be mean, angry and impatient with stupid and/or ignorant people. Like they have no excuse for being so dumb or lacking information. Granted, most of the time when I feel that way it's because they're acting like judgmental know-it-alls themselves or because they're idiots writing to me with offensive demands, but it doesn't really accomplish anything or make me a better person to behave the same way. I feel especially gross about it considering that under other circumstances -- if I were in a different role doing a different kind of job (teaching, for example) -- I would never allow myself to act that way and would be horrified by other people doing it. There are a bunch of ways I defend my behavior and even as I write this think it's the RIGHT thing to do in certain circumstances. What I want is to understand what *I* get emotionally out of being an asshole to stupid people and decide whether or not it can accomplish anything positive next time I feel like calling someone a moron. It's gotten so reflexive that nary a day goes by that I'm not screaming at someone for being a dumb-ass. Dumb fuck, dumb ass, crazy bitch, stupid shit, crazy SON-of-a-bitch, cocksucking moron . . . apparently they're everywhere I look and it doesn't really make me feel good to label people that way everywhere I look, even if I only do it in my head or muttering under my breath at the grocery store, "MOVE, you stupid shit-for-brains, MOVE!!"
I wonder why I've gotten worse about this as I've gotten older. Is it because I'm more socially isolated and feel less connected to other people? Is it because I'm more and more aware of my own limitations and am just projecting my own feelings of inferiority? Is it because I have some hormonal stuff going on that's making me more of an asshole than I really am? Is it because I know that I'm actually one of those stupid hillbilly nerds they make fun of on television? Whatever it is, I'm going to try to be less of a shithead and recognize that the only person I am in competition with is myself.
Labels: class, health, human nature, identity, pop culture, spiritual issues, television, the porn industry, values
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In Passing: Feminist Porn
Thanks to our friend Nerdy Anna
for pointing out this post on Feministe about porn
sparking a discussion about whether or not "feminist porn" exists, etc.
Honestly? I only hastily skimmed the post and avoided taking a close look at the comments. Not because I don't think it's a worthwhile discussion. Not because I don't want to help "represent" the feminist pornographers of the world. But because for me right now, the most feminist thing I can do is make money and be free of debt, because paying credit card companies tons of interest is totally not feminist. With that being my focus I view reading and participating in these oft-irrational discussions as a big waste of my time. I was much MUCH happier reading the Feministe post on The Golden Girls which I, of course, agree with.WARNING: reading the following rambling may be a total waste of YOUR time, but it was highly therapeutic for me to write about it.
I've got a number of drafted blog posts and of course plenty of thoughts about sex, feminism, porn, and all that "good" stuff (or bad stuff, depending on your perspective). But I'll take this opportunity to just briefly touch on a few of my positions and answer the question, in short form, of whether or not I think the porn *I* make is feminist.
(and especially being self-employed, and especially making GOOD money, ESPECIALLY if it's better money than men are making and especially all of these things in THIS country and cultural context) is feminist. Even if you're making money on something that seems totally counterproductive to feminism.
*The interesting thing -- the KEY thing -- is acknowledging that behaviors and products (and I use that term very loosely -- could be a piece of merchandise or the end result of certain behaviors or a speech or whatever) can be feminist in some ways, and not in others. You can do something that makes feminist progress in one area, but is regressive in another. That duality is intrinsic to the movement(s) and anybody who thinks it's possible to be and live and think and affect 100% feminist is fucking delusional. Because you can't control other people's reactions. Because sometimes making progress in one direction means distancing yourself from another point on your (or the group's) carefully mapped travel plans. Because everybody has something unique to contribute, and while they might excel in one area, they won't in another. THAT'S WHY WE NEED DIFFERENT WOMEN REPRESENTING DIFFERENTLY. Because it's not feminist at all to think we all want the same things, or to demand that we pursue the same things. Because it's humanly impossible to consistently put FEMINISM before yourself all the time. Because for some of us feminism means putting OURSELVES (specifically MYSELF or YOURSELF, in your case if you are a woman) first. Because life is just way more complex than "feminist" or "not feminist".
Maybe it's like a big scavenger hunt. There are tons of things on our list, things we should have RIGHTS to. Maybe you go look for education. Maybe sister over there goes and looks for health care. Maybe another goes and looks for safety. I hope there's someone out there looking for reparations. MAYBE I WILL LOOK FOR THE MONEY. Maybe I will look for proof that my body is not YOUR body, and maybe you'll be fucking confused because you think that if I sell my body to a man that I'm violating YOURS. Maybe I will have time to hold your hand and we can find RATIONAL THOUGHT together, huh? Wouldn't that be nice. Maybe we'll all accept that we all have the right to anger, and that a lot of it is righteously directed at each other.
Maybe you have no clue how often I advocate for some of the most unpopular feminist causes and rights while I am in some of the most hostile environments for doing so in the first world. Maybe you have no idea how much thicker the leather is on my militant boots than yours and your buddies, with your unproductive running-off-at-the-mouth. Maybe you underestimate how much more effective being feminist is on this platform than on yours. Maybe I love getting ALL. FIRED. UP! Maybe that's why I suppress my work on it so often. Because that fire comes close to incapacitating me with screaming.This is so not short or coherent the way I planned for it to be, but it's making ME feel better, and THAT is feminist.
*Do I, Trixie, make feminist porn (if such a thing exists)?
I do think feminist porn exists/is possible. I totally disagree with anyone who thinks it's a contradiction in terms. At the root of that mistaken belief is a huge double standard regarding PLEASURE, but that's a topic for another time.
Many people would say, "yes, Trixie's porn is feminist". I personally would say that the the individual chunks of porn I/we make are only feminist sometimes
. I will also say that I do not *want* all of the porn I make to be feminist. Because my sexuality and personality do not always cooperate with feminist ideals, nor do other people's. Because our fantasy worlds cannot and should not be bound by politics. Because sex as we experience it/feel it TRANSCENDS politics (even if it never transcends politics in reality). Because sometimes you specifically fantasize about un-feminist things because your ideals have created such intensely taboo triggers. Because it wouldn't be feminist to deny myself all of me. Because the most feminist thing I can do is MAKE MONEY and to represent myself as a feminist while I do it.
The major way my work is feminist (outside of or next to the money-making arena) is that I consistently remind people who I belong to (MYSELF) in contexts where it is unexpected. My body belongs to me. I consistently assert my will, my self-ownership, even when it is counterproductive to making sales. My work as a whole is feminist because I REFUSE TO BE A NON-PERSON or a partial person or a person only part of the time. Anybody who looks at my work as a whole (or even/often just in small parts) can see that I REPRESENT MYSELF AS A WHOLE PERSON. To an extent that I think very VERY few people, men OR women, in ANY industry or from any walk of life, are willing to do or are allowed to do or know how to do or are brave enough to do or have risked as much to do. I AM A WHOLE PERSON, and my work in porn is contained within that and presented from that place of wholeness. Being a whole person and INSISTING UPON wholeness everywhere is awesomely feminist. Paradoxically it means that I cannot BE wholly feminist or affect in feminist ways all of the time.I could spend a lot of time describing what I mean by "a whole person", but I'll just clarify a little by saying I don't mean "perfect" or "finished" when I say "whole" On the contrary, I mean I am and deserve to be and insist upon staking my claim on IMperfection, meeting my primitive needs, fucking-up, growing sideways and in general pursuing happiness.
You *can* make feminist progress in your own life and in others' by making art that is gender conscious, class conscious, and power conscious EVEN WHEN your representations of it are stereotyped and politically incorrect (sometimes BECAUSE they are, especially if they're totally campy and over-the-top). Especially when it acts as therapy and finds meaning/truth. And MOST especially when it's presented in a broader context that is overtly or even covertly political and/or built on a feminist foundation or told by a feminist voice (even when some of those stories and characters played are distinctly NOT feminist).
I, presenting myself as a whole person, am the context. In everything I do. And I am feminist. That is the powerful truth in my life and work and someday I hope I'll be better at articulating it.
Labels: ethics, feminism, gender issues, identity, politics, pop culture, PORNOGRAPHY, priorities, rants, spiritual issues
Thursday, April 17, 2008
You don't know what SMFRBJK-FALCO stands for?!?!
aka "Acronyms and the People Who Love Them".
I grumble whenever I read a blog post, a letter to the editor or anything intended for a general audience using an acronym or abbreviation that hasn't been spelled out; unless you are writing for a special audience of people you shouldn't assume everyone will know what you mean when you type out XYXY blah blah blah.
Today I found myself *especially* annoyed when I read this email about who qualifies for affirmative action when choosing delegates for State and National conventions:
*The WA State goals of their 97 delegates is: 6 African Americans, 3 Native Americans, 10 Hispanics, 3 Youth (between 18 and 24), 7 LGBT (if you have to ask- you are not one), 9 Asian Americans, 3 disabled
Sigh. And if you are too busy being cute or evasive that you can't spell it out, then your email isn't really helpful in answering people's FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). FYI: LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi(sexual), Transgender.
I know I'm guilty of assuming my readers understand the terms I use. I know I don't always explain things as well as I could (and am sometimes just guilty of shitty writing, like the way I totally didn't explain up there that the reason I *got* that email was because I am an Obama delegate to one of the low-level meetings where they decide who becomes a delegate to the NEXT level and so on; if you're a minority, you have a better chance of being selected to move on). And I know that other people who drop acronyms without defining them are usually in a hurry or DO write for people who share their specialized knowledge (though I think they can really alienate people who DON'T but are seriously trying to understand the writer; it bugs me when unnecessary hurdles are placed between me and information). This case just REALLY chaps my hide because the person writing it 1) acknowledges that some people might not know what it stands for, 2) decides that the information isn't applicable to anyone who DOESN'T know, 3) decides to withhold the information when it would take just as many keystrokes to spell it out as it did to deny us the information, and 4) is just really insulting and patronizing to people who aren't "in the know".
I'm sure the person writing it didn't MEAN to be an asshole, but it's so TYPICAL of Democrats and "Liberals" who are so busy bullshitting themselves and each other with their social awareness and intellectual elitism that they don't even bother to notice that THEY AREN'T HELPING OR EDUCATING ANYBODY outside of their literati circle jerks. Oh, sure, most people these days probably have an idea of what LGBT stands for and I wouldn't have even batted an eye at the acronym if it weren't for the flip secret-password remark afterwards.
I imagine there are a lot of people, older people or even younger people just becoming self-aware, who don't go to fucking rallies and meetings and parades and stuff and maybe have not even given any thought to the possibility that they are part of a special group. I feel like too many people assume that the whole world is full of social butterflies and they don't GET that some people don't identify with the cliques and the crowds and the activists with their secret codes and handshakes. And WHY do you want your readers to have to interrupt the flow of reading whatever it is you supposedly want them to hear and understand just so they can consult a dictionary or encyclopedia or google to find out something you could have explained in four words or less?
I would be more sympathetic if the authors of these things were writing a fucking telegram or a tweet or something else short and sweet BUT THEY NEVER ARE!! These people invariably have the time and energy to write at least fifty-nine exhausting paragraphs telling you more information than you could possibly ever want or need, letting you know what they had for breakfast and how many hours they slept the night before and every single model of camera they've had since they were in Kindergarten, but they refuse to trouble themselves with two to ten words that are actually fucking relevant. You torture yourself reading these people's writing, you know they have something important to say, and while you're giving yourself a migraine staring intently at your monitor they HURL these sharp pointy rocks at you every so often just to break up the monotony: ASFW! MRPQ! WOS-VINA!!
Anyway, I shot myself in the foot (as I like to do) by writing back to the person who sent the email:
It *is* possible for someone to be "LGBT" without knowing the politically correct and cool acronym that goes along with it. I'm not sure what is accomplished by acknowledging some people might not know what it stands for and then denying them the explanation. Also, people who AREN'T queer or transgender might like to be in the know; it would help raise awareness where it's lacking. Just because people are interested in participating in this particular process doesn't mean they are politically savvy about every special interest group out there.
I'm sure whoever wrote this didn't mean to be insulting or maybe they were just in a hurry when writing it, but it would have taken about the same amount of keystrokes to spell it out as to dismiss the information as inapplicable to anybody who doesn't already know. I feel like a lot of communiques (not just this one) from the Dems assume readers have information that many do not; it alienates people by making them feel like they're not part of the in-group and undermines real communication and education when all it would take is a couple extra words typed out to introduce acronyms. If the goal is to make people aware and invite them to become involved then why not spell it out instead of withholding the information?
I know it seems like a small thing and I'm not trying to make anyone feel badly about it; but it did chap my hide a little. It's not a big deal, but it can be frustrating when I (and maybe other people) read these emails and feel like they're not really written for everyone who identifies as a Democrat in this county, but are intended for people who are already super-involved and up-to-speed on everything. I don't need a reply or anything, and I do know what LGBT stands for . . . just offering it as food for thought.
I know, I know -- you have to be living under a ROCK to not know what LGBT stands for, right? But there are lots of people living under rocks, many of them quite happily, and they are JUST the people who DO need to know what LGBT stands for so when you alienate them? It's really counterproductive.
And you know what else? If I hadn't read that email I wouldn't have known that I actually have an on-paper edge for going to the next level; yes, I *did* think about my sexuality and my partner's gender identity as things that make me special/representative of a minority group, but I totally hadn't thought about it being, like, OFFICIAL. And seriously, I actually have had and will continue to have qualms about counting myself as part of that minority group because I believe the *majority* of people are bisexual and I don't believe I've "suffered" enough personal persecution because of my pansexuality to "deserve" to check a special box; this might come as a shock, but I spend a lot more of my time thinking about porn and sex work and promiscuity and making money than I do about the intersection of my comparatively mundane sexual preferences with personal political privilege (I think about it with regards to OTHER people and I think about how scary it is to live next to violent misogynist rednecks while in an "alternative" relationship but I just didn't happen to wander across thinking about affirmative action having anything to do with me *personally* in an up-and-coming kind of way; I think about the ideas of things and sometimes the reality of them comes as a total shock). So guess what? If *I* have trouble knowing how to identify myself, I of the blogs and websites and open-mindedness and college-education and whatever, then it's not hard for me to imagine a whole lot of other people are unsure too. I mean, I'm pretty sure that at least half the individuals in the world know less than I know (individually, not combined!). Not to be an asshole, but seriously. FWIW.
WTF? LGBT FTW.Oh, I know similar complaints could be made about using "big" words that the average reader doesn't use on a daily basis (if ever), but I honestly think big words are different from acronyms; you can usually suss out the meaning of a big word based on context clues and familiar-sounding PARTS of the word. If not, the reader has only missed out on ONE word, not a whole batch like those contained in an acronym which is often the subject of the sentence, not just some fancy-sounding adjective thrown in for its saucy sound.
Labels: affirmative action, audience, blogging, customer relations, identity, LGBT, politics, rants, sexuality, sociopolitical commentary, writing