Why does a party lifestyle blog need feminism?

Why does a lesbian need feminism? Why does a lesbian going out to a gay bar during San Diego Pride week need feminism? I mean, I’m categorically sexually disinterested in men, I’m in an environment which should not have friction or competitiveness or predation between women and men, and this week is, in theory at least, all about solidarity in our minority status as LGBTers. So you’d think I could take off my feminist hat and just enjoy my Adios, right?

Actually, my interactions went fairly well last night. The only example I can truthfully give is that a friend-of-a-friend started to tell a story and stopped at the word bitches, “Sorry, I always say that word. Anyway these bitches…” So, at least he was aware. Fuck though, I hear the most misogynistic crap come out of the mouths of gay men.

Part of me wants to give them a break. If the world has been trying to force-feed you women on a platter like they’re juicy delicious burgers (every Carl’s Jr ad, ever) and you finally want to express your right to want something different in life by proclaiming, “ewwww vaginas,” who can blame you, right?

I’m full of empathy until gay men I’ve barely met spin me around like I’m a little doll (ok, sometimes I like that because my shoes are awesome — but it doesn’t matter if I like it; he should get my permission first) or whistle at me in a drive by or slap my butt or (and, of course this happened) touch my crotch. They basically do this because there’s some sort of agreement between gay men and straight women that she can treat him like a little pet –hashtag gaybestfriend!! — in exchange for a boost in confidence from his (male) approval, and he can…well I’m not sure what he gets out of the arrangement but I’ll have to talk to my gay male friends and get back to you. Perhaps the social mobility through her straight world? Anyway, whatever the deal is, I think it’s a weird and kind of fucked up relationship. And it certainly doesn’t work for me when I’m assumed straight and so desperate for validation from a man that I will accept it gladly from one who isn’t even sexually attracted to me. More willingly, even, because I’m not expected to “pay out” for the favor.

Even when I attempt to retreat from the pressures of the straight world — when I try to go somewhere where I’m not going to be bombarded with cheesy pick-up lines or creepy staring — even at a gay bar, my interactions are still colored by the gender roles which filter and mutate into my environment. Sure, I’ll be able to relate with a gay man on many points about our shared queer space. But there are still going to be moments here and there where his viewpoint as a man means he’s going to trample over me. I will grant a few jabs because of my femme privilege — in that I blend into the straight world so easily and by choice of appearance or whatever he might not. But, I think there is a point where a negative attitude against women goes beyond the objection to the oppressive straight culture and into just mirroring sexism from that same culture. There are moments where I am made the object of a joke, or I have to witness a drag performance which is overly mocking of women rather than gender roles in general, or I’m actually molested, or I see other women treated this way. These things remind me of why we need feminism.

Just because it is to a lesser extent does not mean it should be ignored. Party environments can of course amplify misogyny — hello booze and hook-up culture. But environments which are expected to be safe can still host some of my most uncomfortable moments. Even a party thrown by a particularly enlightened bunch of hippies. Not every moment is going to be puppies and rainbows, but as long as the risks are so dire (rape, violence against women) I’d like to not be reminded of them. Not when I’m trying to get drunk on blue liquor, especially.

And that’s just the gay bar. Like I hinted at before, booze and hook-up culture makes for some pretty desperate maneuvers (and upsetting behaviors) at any party. All I really need to say is I live in a world where telling a man that I’m a lesbian does not turn him away; it turns him on.

There is no escape from the restrictive narratives which police gender. There is no escape from the entitlement that many men feel they have in regards to women’s bodies. Not even parties, and especially not parties in a lot of ways. People are trying to get drunk and fuck, after all. So long as I am surrounded by people who are trying to have sex with each other, and our larger cultural example of how to negotiate around sex and gender is so broken, I am going to be a witness, collateral damage, and/or a target of sexism. And I’d like to help fix that. So I can drink in peace.

OK Hippies, You Win

I know, I know, I forgot to post last week. I was halfway to Mexicali when I remembered and I contemplated posting from below the border, but roaming data is something ridiculous like $15/MB.

Mexico

Anyway, the fog of fever has cleared, and I’ve thought about my life choices. Namely, that binging on Del Taco after several days of dried figs, almond butter on whole-grain bread, and kombucha is not what my body needs.

That was after my trip to SF, where I spent a week with a vegan. My body promptly responded to the Del Taco feast with the “horizontal cold” in which I spent 36 complete hours horizontal. I used several of my coping mechanisms, in part because I had less than 2 weeks to heal up for Mexico.

I did it; I healed it like a champ, blew out the last of my snot the morning of, and hopped in a truck packed with people and camping supplies. I am not intending, by the way, to write much about my trip. Normally I’m happy to exploit the fuck out of my friends’ fun-times for my blog but this is an instance where I’m a little too romantic about the whole thing and will keep most of those memories to me, myself and my diary. I will say (again) I encountered two scorpions and killed one of them. Over and over again with a rock. Then I shook with primal bloodlust, murderous joy, and sadness for its death.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America. She took a picture before killing it because she’s thoughtful like that.

The first thing I did when I got home from my treacherous camping trip was not, as I usually do, chuck my belongings in a discreet corner and procrastinate hygiene for a nap-crash. I shook out my sleeping bag and put it in the wash, I went into the pool to (remember what cold felt like and) buff out some of the dirt, I brushed all of my sister-wives length hair, I showered, I actually moisturized, I cleaned my room… Civilization was so much easier than everything I’d been through in Mexico that I might as well do chores.

And I ate. I did not stop by Jack n’ the Box on the way home. I made myself a plate of oranges, eggs cooked in minced garlic and onions, and baby bok choy. I ate carrots and prunes and drank water. I ate a spoonful of coconut oil. I ate hippie bullshit food, and I loved it.

For Mexico, I had packed garden burgers, Dave’s Killer Bread, and avocados. I didn’t do these things because I wanted to eat like a rabbit. 1. Garden Burgers are good cold and don’t spoil like regular burgers, 2. Dave’s bread tastes great even if it’s been sitting in the sun or if you massage it with your knee somehow whilst crawling into your tent, unlike other breads, 3. Avocados are the best food. Full Disclaimer: Katelyn helpfully packed me tuna salad + cracker snack packs, which I discovered contain FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, which I discovered is actually sawdust, and which I enjoyed anyway. Other than that, I ate wholesome things, and people fed me wholesome things, like vegetables.

I don't know why I took a picture of my cooler before my trip, but I'm glad I did because this thing is the most badass motherfucking cooler and you need to know about it. I had the last cold beer in Mexico.

I don’t know why I took a poorly-lit picture of my cooler before my trip, but I’m glad I did because this thing is the most badass motherfucking cooler and you need to know about it. I had the last icy cold beer in Mexico, and it came from this cooler.

I’m beginning to understand that eating good food isn’t just helpful for [insert sappy body and health-related reasons that I don’t care about because I’m in my 20s], but also makes for better partying. If I’m always eating healthy then I’m basically in a perpetual state of detox and can tox’ it up that much more. In Mexico on the first night I drank probably 1 flask of Jim Beam (I filled it twice but I spilled much of it on the rocky trails and in my friends’ mouths) and a few Tecates and I woke up not hungover. Now, that’s just anecdotal evidence but, I’m convinced.

My granola crunchy friends aren’t just getting into healthy diets because the universe and everything and love. They have landed on a formula. They are giving their bodies nutrients instead of Taco Bell and are rewarded with endurance and energy. I was trapped in a vicious whiskey / crunchwrap / gatorade cycle just trying to survive ’til next Friday. Now I’m enabling my liver to handle more abuse, and I’m so excited for that.

Next thing you know I’ll be aligning my chakras and reikiking my (uh…?) and whatever to party harder. You win hippies. You win for now.