I never thought I was one of those white people with privilege. As a mixed race child born under no predetermined God or any such religious sanctions, as a child raised hearing broken English and a slight Texan drawl as my first language, as someone with no sense of nationalism, patriotism, or race, I didn’t feel like anything but a soul in a female meat suit which, in a world run by mostly male patriarchy, is not very privileged in and of itself. As an attractive mixed race girl with no affluence I was assigned descriptions better suited for furniture and food like “exotic” or “rare”. I wasn’t, and am still not, taken very seriously as most of us Hapa’s (asian/white mix) look eternally youthful. As a teenager in Japan, I was treated like a cartoon character and would get pushed into random family photos made up of short asian people flashing their infamous crooked teeth (which I too would inherit) and holding up their middle and index fingers like happy little “V’s”. This was not reality and I was not a part of them and I often felt like I should have been paid to be in these photo ops.
However, it wasn’t until I entered college for the first time at the ripe old age of 40 in 2019, with the intention of learning more about our Public Health System while acquiring any kind of certifications that will help redirect my career onto a more meaningful path, that I could see how I have been privileged as a white woman. I learned how social systemic oppression in redlined zip codes has segregated brown skin and white skin, even amongst the same social class. I learned that white people walk into an establishment and expect something to happen for them whereas brown people do not expect anyone to do anything for them, ever. I learned that I have exuded these same expectations, and not because I think I am worthy of being waited on like a queen, but because I’m posturing as someone who has money to spend and am terrified to be outed as a broke ass bitch. So, instead, I flex my whiteness when convenient and act like I have every right to look at the things that would cost me an entire paycheck.
A middle class white woman is really the most overlooked group of people whose influence on society seems to get lost, or has historically been overshadowed by her white male counterpart. Factor in how attractive a woman is, according to the social standards set by the Kardashians or any other famous person who makes their living off the insecurities of the entire world, and that is how much more or less relevant that woman feels in our society. It appears that the women fighting the loudest for equality are still women of color, women of the LGBTQ community, women who have been marginalized in more ways than her gender and therefore with less to lose and so much more to gain, while the middle class white woman seems to still be a snug little bug in her safe little rug sort of quietly getting by, maybe feeling sometimes emboldened to support her “sisters” in her pink beanie with kitten ears when it’s time to march down to City Hall, maybe posting awareness videos about healthy smoothies and self care, or otherwise regurgitating the latest buzzwords or hashtags that indicate her ‘wokeness’. It’s hard not to be judgmental of the privilege to be able to select a stance on these matters, for women of color who have been the most oppressed in our human history have no such choices to just work on herself, hence the fight.
The modern day fight for gender equality in the workforce, in terms of pay and respect, has been on high demand for decades, and now with cameras in phones more injustices can be captured without the shadow of doubt. However, within these same handheld devices are the pictures that we present to the world of our perfect lives, of our perfect broken lives, of our reborn or reawakened lives, or anything else we choose to present about our lives. Within these devices lives the ‘You’ you would like to be whom seems to take precedent over the ‘you’ that is, actually. And to whom do we hold ourselves to?
I think about this person, the white woman flying under the radar of social responsibilities and not swaying from her husbands social and political views for fear of losing her security. I think about whether she’s afraid to lose her livelihood or afraid to have to successfully create her own. Who has time to fight for women’s rights and start over when you have a job and kids and a home to tend to? I think about me as this woman, and how I am also this woman that I have tried to deny. I never felt white enough or Japanese enough, I’ve never even felt womanly enough so I didn’t accept any responsibility for the paralysis that occurs in women under the construct of male patriarchy. I thought not identifying with a group of people somehow made me immune to their constructs. Not feeling wholly part of any demographic I have conveniently picked and chosen the aspects of whiteness that suited me and denied association with all despicable parts of white history. I realized that’s not a thing, I can’t very well accept any part of white culture without accepting the ugly darkness behind its whiteness.
It really wasn’t until the most recent Women’s Rights Movement that I realized how I have deceived myself in thinking that I don’t rely on my whiteness, or that I am truly independent or don’t lean on men to support me or provide security–after all, he, who is conditioned to take on the pressure and scrutiny of success in this world is just… better at it.
If I believed in shame as something useful, it is in this grey area of existence as a woman that I would admit to feeling some shame. I confess there is a part of me that doesn’t actually want to be the bold independent woman that needs no man around, that indeed I love being the nurturer and the one to iron out the wrinkles when he brings home a sorted mess to work out, that I rather like being the soft touch to his rough edges. Half of the time I’m too tired to fight for myself and I’d rather work on loving others. Can you fight society with love? In these movements I feel I’m working counterintuitively, trying to be a brave independent soldier on the front lines of civil justice, and yet, I feel further from safety and truth and quite inauthentic in the process. Can they tell? Isn’t this awkward social displacement I feel just a drop in the well of discontent that the truly oppressed have been submerged in for generations? If I have any noble act in this movement, it would be for me to really feel and know this displacement, this uncomfortable swell of uncertainty for where we are with each other as a society; because my brothers and sisters of color, my LGBTQ family, and any persons who have been marginalized by our society has only been allowed this discomfort and are, they themselves, breaking out of it and redistributing it back to the source. Therefore, I must be uncomfortable, too, at least if I believe that we are in this together.
One thing about humans that is true for everyone is that we all have a mom. That’s not to say that we were all mothered, or that you were raised by your mom, but we all most definitely were born from a woman who became a mother upon delivering you to the world.
It wasn’t until I became a mother and went through my own hardships that I could understand the kind of mother I grew up with. My mom didn’t have friends (by choice), in fact, I can only recall a few times in my childhood anyone coming over to our house to spend time with her. She didn’t attend any school functions, she didn’t ask me about my homework, she didn’t throw parties for my birthday, she really didn’t like anyone but our family to come into our home, so I spent most of my time away from home. My mom rarely said “I love you”, or hugged me, or asked me what I was up to. I compared her to other moms a lot, it was confusing to know if I was loved according to how other children were with their mothers. I couldn’t see it then, I couldn’t see where the love was.
You might be thinking I had a shitty mom based off of societal norms that have been created for mothers. There seems to be an unspoken, assumed and exhaustless, super hero expectation for what makes a good mother. I’ve been a mother for 12 years now and the feeling that I am not enough of a mother has never subsided.
My mom wasn’t a societal norm, nor did she wish or try to be. When all the ladies in the 80’s had big hair and pop rock make-up, my mom swore off hairspray and curling irons and kept her face bare most of the time. She made almost all of her own clothes in deep earth tones accented with just a bit of color in the buttons or the stitches. She used the remnants of the fabrics to make mini-me culottes and little tops that buttoned in the back. I remember being disappointed that they were not made with trendy hot pink and neon colors of the time, but also proud to say my mom made my clothes. She never stopped teaching herself a new skill, she was always making something, always trying to be of value in the way that she knew how. My mom is an artist. The sounds of paint brushes on canvas, knitting needles clacking softly against each other with amazing speed, the diligent churn of a sewing machine was white noise and comfort in my memories. She would never be a career woman, she would never hold a job for more than a couple of years, it exhausted her spirit to be confined to someone else’s schedule and it would push her into deep depression when it was necessary.
When my mother worked my brother and I were left alone. We would advantageously invite all of our friends to meander through our home to look at all my mom’s artwork. In our house were oil paintings of me and my brother, several drawing pads filled with charcoal drawings of us as babies, crocheted blankets and tablecloths decorated our furniture, and so much more. We subconsciously knew this was where her love was and we proudly wanted to show people what she was capable of. When she would find out that we did this she would become angry and annoyed at us, but somewhere in her face I sensed she appreciated it, too.
For years and years I wished my mom to have friends, to be in love, to show her art. I wished for her to be different until finally I realized how much my wishing for her to be different must have hurt her. The truth is, she has always been the same, she has never changed from this woman, nothing was ever taken from me in this regard.
So I love my mom, I love her for who she is and I see her love everywhere, in her art, in my art, in my kids art, in my independence, in my guts.
I see you, Mama.
It has been a month since I fed the life line of passion that has been fueling and consuming my womanly spirit for over a year. I can’t tell yet if it is too early to reflect on this, as my heart still hurts from feeling neglected and unloved, and my ego is still purple and yellow from all the ways I have pressed on my wounds to ensure that they are real, and my lust still yearns, from the deepest curves and hollows of my woman, to be filled by his man knowing full well I’d instantly forgive him if he were to present himself in this very moment. Damn him.
So, perhaps it is still too soon to tell if I should make any conclusion of this mini voyage I just returned from, so fresh off the Love Boat. And yet, it is with urgency that I write this so I don’t forget any details of the spontaneous ways we would entertain each other (or truth be told, that I entertained him), or even the long periods of time I would sleep next to my phone patiently waiting for it to light up with just one wave from him…my spirit animal, keeper of my woman, my man to my “wo”, Him! Who will open me up and free me…or just text “Hi”, anything.
He appeared out of the blue like magic, direct messaging me on one of the few social media outlets I express myself on. Appropriately, I bestowed to him the endearment “Magic Man” or “Magic” of which I will continue to refer to him as. Originally, Magic inquired to work together on a visual art project where I would be his muse. Feeling an immediate and curious energy in his every word, I quickly Google searched his name, as most people do these days, to see what sort of work he did, unaware of who he was and his current success. It turns out Magic Man is quite esteemed in his art and craft, and not slowing down any time soon. The opportunity to create something with his level of talent and recognition was an exciting honor.
It took but a heart beat to feel our mutual attraction, and soon I was divulging all of my life motivations, super grand ideas, endless optimism towards humanity, and above all, my open beliefs about sexuality, women, and men. Magic’s particular project that he invited me to muse in was meant to present a strong sexual woman, sort of shameless and unafraid of it. I felt like an eager student in class, hand erected high above others “Me me me, I’ll do it! Yes indeed, I am all of those things, you’ll see.” That he called to me at my ripe age of 37 (at the time) inspired me to dig into my woman, pull her out of me and show him everything. And I did. I did for over a year.
What the fuck does that mean, “I showed him everything?” Like…everything? Basically, I did show him everything I could think to show him.
“So what? Like you peed and poo’d on camera?” Poo, gross, never! Not our thing. But pee for each other we did often, indeed, that was one of the few visual teasers I received back from him. Magic liquid gold. Yum, I drank it up….over the phone, of course.
It can NOT be forgotten for a moment that 99.99% of this entire years interaction was done on my IPhone. My woman lived in the pocket of his pants. Every time he told me to get naked I stopped what I was doing and found an opportune place within seconds of his request, and I would drop trou’, bend over and spread, pull up and off, whatever needed to be done to show him all of my lady bits. It came easily and naturally for me to reveal myself to him. I grew in love with the playful, adventurous person I felt when fueled by Magic. Our connection didn’t stop with our sexual friskiness. We spoke excitedly about our ideas on art and community, and more so, the similar ways we process life, process art, process love, and respect the process. It was THAT that I desired to express myself to him, do something different with a man, feel him in a different sort of way, by sharing all of my process in the rawest, most organic way that I could muster. I knew already, living in different cities only close by air, that I would never be able to want him around all of the time, would never think to imagine being in his every day existence, which I remarkably did not do in the time that I spent pining for him.
I imagined that we were that rare connection when energy meets it’s true match and magic is created. That we were made up of moments filled with brilliant truths and beauty… on my phone, on this fucking phone that illuminated everything I wanted to believe in wholeheartedly. My phone became him, this precious thing I would love and feed, and feed, and feed, so that he, it, would grow to love me.
Did it? Did it love me, did you love me, Magic? Sometimes. Sometimes just when the static silence pierced like micro needles injecting self doubt and hopelessness into my spirit, a single line from Magic Man would appear like words from God, and it would part the clouds and shed warm light into my dark places. I would be lifted to the point of flight, and with this electricity between us I was compelled to be creative, produce any sort of random thing every day to have something to show for this precious space we shared. My process became my everything and it was all I could do to keep myself from throwing it all at his feet.
My shares were like dares to myself. How far am I willing to go? Is there a limit to which I will reveal myself? Aware of his exposure to the rich and famous, and the wealth of talent he has at his finger tips, I dared to be as natural and real as I could, not hiding my imperfections or always submitting perfectly filtered images of myself. I vowed to be authentic so that some day when we meet I would be exactly as I presented myself, but better.
Looking back, Magic shared very little with me. For every 50 images or videos I sent to him, I received one. I never expect anyone to be as wordy as I am, but in truth, I did most of the talking. It was through his validations of my heart and mind that I felt I knew him. He told me he loved my mind and how I think, that I am the closest he has found to how he thinks. *melt* With those words alone I was in his clutches. That would remain to be the best thing any man has ever told me. He would deliver accolades that would confirm our likeness but not really tell me much about him. In reality, my birds eye view was not much different than any other Instagram follower of his. I was able to rationalize this obvious fact even when lengths of silence would drive me down a rabbit hole of Google searching more about his life exposing the family he is committed to and the history of his success. I would find myself in moral conflict over whether to continue interaction with him knowing that I am his phone mistress, simultaneously wondering what that means about me. *cringe
There were rounds of moralizing over the fact that I was a secret in his life (or a magical little treasure in some rationalizing), whereas he was not a secret in my life. Part of me felt convinced that as long as I am being true to myself on my end, I shouldn’t feel morally wrong, that what is happening on his end is none of my business. I was well into an open-end[ing] marriage, self discovery, my art, and learning to have a healthy mom-self balance when Magic Man sniffed me out. There’s a shitty feeling that comes with being someone’s mistress (basically a secret lover), and it’s simply that I felt disposable. My partner pointed out once after a night where I confessed my love for Magic Man and all the wonderful, glorious ways I have been exploring and feeling, that while he genuinely felt happy for me I’m just “extra”, not a factor in Magic’s life. I beat myself up a bit about the fact that I knew I could be knocked out by Magic’s silence at any given moment, that I was setting myself up to be the loser in this. But still, this space had what I wanted…to be anything.
The .01% of time that was not spent on my IPhone with Magic was the one hour that I spent with him when I visited his studio. I bought a plane ticket and waited around all day in a city I didn’t know, wandering in and out of shops enjoying that no one knew me, feeling a little mischievous and hungry for what I had waiting for me. I arrived mid morning with plenty of time to enjoy watching a man search for treasures in the sand at the beach with the use of a handy metal detector. Aside from worrying about my phone staying charged I felt free and invigorated there. At last, in the late afternoon, Magic invited me to visit his studio where he warned I would be met by his crew. While I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to reach out and feel his body with wild abandon, I was content in knowing I would be breathing in his air.
And then he was there, approaching me from the other side of a gate. He never said my name. In fact, I’ve never heard Magic say, text, or mutter my name the entire time I’ve known him. In this moment, that didn’t matter at all. His eyes glowed behind all the whiskers on his face, and even though he held an air of bold confidence, there was a subtle shyness in those eyes that made me want to kiss the lids of them (and then lick them). The playful woman in me was certainly ignited by the vibration in our air. With people around I spent much of my time trying not to touch him. I wasn’t able to make the eye contact I so desired for fear of being so obviously smitten by him around his creative team. Instead, I watched Magic’s hands, their every gesture, how they lifted small objects, how they fingered different surfaces, how they sent waves of electricity through every vein in my back when one would guide me through his space. His beard smelled like my best girlfriend and wood fire, which made me feel warm immediately. Had I known this was going to be the first and last time I would see him, I would have climbed him like a tree and then grabbed that beard by it’s thickest tuft, and I’d slap his face hard and kiss and nibble through his whiskers, then leave a bite on his chin identical to the one he has taken out of my heart.
I don’t want to go on to do the thing of finding ways to hate my Magic Man. I don’t want to start peeling open every little interaction and find myself crying mad and embarrassed at myself for sharing these moments with him. I wanted to do it. I wanted to tell my phone lover everything. I wanted to tell him stories and make him laugh. I wanted to explore the kind of natural woman I am and show her to him. I shared with him a week I spent in my own menstrual flow, refraining from all modern day feminine care products just to feel my bleed. And then took self portraits of my bloody kitten covered in wild flowers, and captured the tender moment on video when I sat up after my pussy had filled with her own blood and poured out into a puddle onto my living room floor. And when I sent that to him with abandon I wondered if that was too far? And it never was. So I kept digging and digging deep into my woman, coaxing her to expose all her desires, all her fears, all her urges with Magic as the reason to come out. But I see I did it for me, I did it all for me. He gave me nothing but I gave myself my woman. Magic.
My Morning Thoughts:
I’m not a religious person, and I understand why people are. I don’t think that people are wrong for having or believing in a God/religion. The power of belief is beautiful and real, we all need to believe in something. So this is just my belief.
While binging on a slew of documentaries about sexuality, strife, rags to success, our lovely planet….I thought of something. In my viewings, often there was a call to God for strength, comfort, and guidance. Or a feeling of failure or confusion about God when tragedy occurred.
In the case of children, it is told to them by their parents and trusted adults to pray to God in times of need to ask for his love, strength, and forgiveness.
Having been raised in a Godless (not loveless) household, and now raising my own children this way, it seems to me that what we ask our children to ask of God they should feel safe to ask in us as guardians of their youth. Religion seems to create complacent parenting.
I realize how offensive that sounds and how defensive a religious person might become reading this, it sounds accusing and judgmental. But by complacent, I don’t mean that religious parents don’t do everything they believe to be good for their children, that they don’t diligently involve them in the teachings of their Lord instilling the community of their church and neighbors, that they don’t create a foundation on which they feel their children will grow into good people.
What I mean is religion creates an emotional complacency, that you don’t have to personally deal with another’s pain, fears, or innate sexual nature. That these are God’s children so He will make it right so long as you ask Him and do right by Him. A child doesn’t have years of life experience to have the faith in something so fantastical, no more than the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. They are doing what their parents want. Children know what is physically there, or whose existence is still engrained in our walk of life that it is obvious that something was once there, but no longer, like the Wooly mammoth.
But if every time your child is afraid, or has been emotionally or physically harmed, or has lied or stolen, or has experienced an erection and can’t stop exploring that, or is drawn to the same sex, or falls into addiction, or is working their ass off toward their dreams, why do we send them straight to God? Why don’t we give them the love, the support, the guidance that we have in ourselves as parents and grownups who have lived a life so far and have their experience to share?
The separation of oneself from their emotions creates shame, fear to do wrong and that someone will find out, and that everyone and God will be angry. Shame is not a natural feeling, shame is manmade, created to control our behavior and emotion. It is a debilitating tactic to keep us from exploring beyond. Animals do not feel shame, they do not worry that all the other animals will be angry at them for the things they have done.
Many religions are fear and shamed based, which means to me, that God is manmade.
The spirit of anything is forever, and those to me are the angels that keep us human, and they are forever passing their knowledge onto us the more we live. #freetobelievewhatyouwill
Re: Clinton running for presidency unveils deep-rooted sexism.
That’s right about these issues coming out of the woodwork; not only has sexism reared it’s over-privileged ugly head, for some, it has also exposed some deep-rooted PTSD from being sexually violated, or taken advantage of as little girls (and boys) by neighbors and relatives. And the fact is, I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been violated in some way or another. This isn’t because men are inherently more perverted than women, TRUST ME!! I’m not shy to kinky fun and have my own consensual pervy ways. However, the culture of male bonding over objectifying women, high-fiving for the crudest remarks about her body, or looking at young girls as future playthings…that’s where men need to make changes. And the truth is, only a man can push for this change.
Females have endured the wrath of man’s ego, control, and lust for centuries, an accessory to the man’s legacy and success. Fuck that!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really even a full fledged feminist, I love men. I love them so much I feel bad for them. They have had to maintain a manly bravado, they have not been as much a part of their families lives, their worth has been determined by their bravery, strength, or wealth. They are victims of a mindset that gives them no sense of ease or appreciation, they only have sought power and control. Women are rising and men are humbling…it’s a hell of a lot harder to step down.
A friend of mine recently told me that “love is a priviledge.” Granted, this was in the context of how distracted Americans are by the antics of our Presidential debates, meanwhile there are more impending, big picture issues like WWIII …
This statement has been festering in me since, and I want to dig into it a bit.
First of all, I couldn’t disagree with my friend more. My initial response to this statement was to say that not everybody can focus on the possibility of WWIII, and that by not doing so one hasn’t chosen ignorance or bliss, but rather nurture and hope. Particularly mothers and fathers have to maintain a minimum level of hope at all times when raising our young, and when you have something so vast and out of your control like war in your forethoughts, that hope can quickly diminish.
But to me, this is less about social issues and politics, but more about our disregard and undervalue of love. How dare you call it a priviledge. I believe to the core of my existence that love is innate, that everybody possesses this from the start. Every living being has a purpose, a contribution to the existence of this earth. Even the mosquito, who could disappear forever and will have no real impact on the earth…EXCEPT, the rainforest would have been long gone by now. Because of the mosquito, humans have not been able to survive the rainforest long enough to destroy it.
I’d like to believe that humans are more exceptional than the mosquito, though we’ve managed to spread disease and take out entire populations just like they have. But what do humans do that no other living being does? We ingenue fantastical ways to exist with each other, and be on top of the food chain. Why? Why do we do all of this? Because we want to go to war? Because we are so controlling as a predator of this earth that we would be willing to take out entire regions through nuclear warfare to prove our power? This is our purpose as humans?
No. Power is Loves ugly head reared and on full display. It is the disllusionment of what our purpose is about. The crux of a fight is love. Love of this beautiful land, love of your spiritual beliefs, love of your family, love of your lover; LOVE is why we fight. Money doesn’t have love but it has become the motivational force behind all of our fighting, the thing that jades humans of our purpose.
Love is not our priviledge, it is our purpose.