Monday, 22 September 2008

This Is Not The End


The last ten days of Ramadan have a special significance in Islam. For what it's worth, I'm going to step up, and try to spend sometime on my religion. Maybe I can try and reconnect with God. I don't know that it's the only way, but it's the only way I know. Wish me luck!

I'll be around, commenting and what not, but I won't be really up to posting. See you in October!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Just One of the Boys

*Warning: This Post contains Large Amounts of the Word 'Misogyny' and Some Strongly Offensive Language*

I'm waiting for them to come by any day now to take away my feminist card and issue me a misogynistic asshole card. I do respect women, truly, but sometimes it seems like I try my best to prove otherwise. Sometimes it feels like I'm the antithesis of everything I stand for.

Strike One: The Swear Words
Is it a sign of my immaturity that a large part of my preferred vocabulary is unprintable? I swear much too much. I try not to do it loudly in public, because I don't do it to deliberately cause offense. I just developed an affection for it in my formative years. If I was a better person I'd probably find a better way to express my self, or I'd want to find one.

Worse than the fact that I can't seem to lay off swearing, or stop being so comfortable doing it, is the type of swear words I use. I don't know if it's the language or just me, but the way I swear just seems degrading to women. Bitch, pussy, whorecunt, cocksucker, these all extremely derogatory. The only one of these words I'd use in reference to myself is bitch, with its slightly less negative connotations (I wonder if it's because it's less passive ). I'm more comfortable being refered to as a dick, jerk, prick, asshole. (3 out of 4 phallic swearwords, interesting)

It doesn't matter that I use these words on an equal distribution of genders, the words themselves are the issue. My heirachy of swearwords is that of an over privleged frat boy.

Strike Two: Entertainment

This might be more Hollywood's fault than mine, since very few of their movies pass the Bechdel Test. First let me confess that I am a fan of the big commercial movies. I like action flicks. I like movies with lots of guns, blood, and explosions. I like shallow comedies with lots of dick jokes. I like movies with a lot of male bonding (bondage too, but that's another story about homoerotism and gay subtext in action flicks).

These movies aren't the best place to find strong female characters. They can be strong, they just have to do it as sexy dominatrix-types that give away when the hero gets his balls back. On the whole though, it's much better for them to be the hot piece of ass that makes the mission that much more important. So I watch movies where manly men fuck brainless scantily clad women, where the role of female characters is marginalized, where sometimes the women could easily be replaced by cardboard cutouts. And I. Eat. That. Shit. Up.

Another aspect of the entertainment is my sense of humor. My occasionally misogynistic sense of humor. Example:I'm a huge fan of Bill Hicks. I'd like to think that he was a product of his times, that maybe he wasn't necessarily homophobic or misogynistic, other than a way that was typical of the the early 90s, but it's hard to hold on to that believe when I listen to his act. The man thrived on being politically incorrect so it's not like women and gay people were his only targets, but it's hard to paint him as someone who was supportive of the feminist cause.

Strike Three: I say dude a lot

Now, I don't know if that's misogynistic or just sad. Sometimes it feels like I'm taking on some masculine traits. The way I talk, the way I talk, the way I interact with my friends. If this was a purely natural way of expressing myself, I wouldn't have been concerned.

The truth is, sometimes I do it because I enjoy it, because it feels good and I don't know why. Is it because deep down I hate being a woman? I don't think so, I have the occasional brief penis envy and do envy them their male privilege, but honestly I like being who I am. Is it because I feel a need to manifest my gay identity? Maybe, it's hard to be for all intents and purposes a non-functioning lesbian, it makes my struggle with my sexual identity that much harder.

I really don't know if these aspects of my personality makes me anti-feminist. I think I can beat up a hooker in Grand Theft Auto and still oppose violence against women. I think I can watch half naked dancers in a rap video without going out and objectifying women in real life. I think I can say the word cunt without losing respect for women. Does that make me a misogynist?

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Checking It Twice

So the networks are gearing up for a new season of televisions shows. Here's a rundown of what's going to grace my TV screen.

*Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Shows I Will Watch:
  • House: Ye, it's formulaic as hell. Yes, the medical mystery is boring and predictable. Hugh Laurie's Greg House makes up for a lot. I find certain characters (House, Wilson, Cuddy) interesting, and if the give me inough character plot to keep me hooked, I'm going to keep watching.
  • Supernatural: Some of the individual episode stories were pretty cool, but I was much more into seasonal arcs. I am waiting to find out how they'll get Dean out of hell, and if Sam will be the Antichrist. If they keep up the violence, the angst, and the 'brotherly' love, I'll be there.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: I love Cameron so much. Maybe one day the blue fairy will make her a real boy. Until then I'll enjoy watching all the ways she makes mine and John's hearts ache.
  • Heroes: I like the comic book schtick. I'm hoping for interesting female characters that aren't mentally ill. I hope Nikki and Nathan are still alive.
  • Brothers and Sisters: I love Sally Field. The Walkers are wonderfully dysfunctional. I don't like Tommy much, but I love everyone else. I hear Eric McCormack is going to guest this season.
  • Dexter: I love this show so much. Dexter is adorable. Michael C. Hall and Julie Wentz, I like, and I don't hate the rest of the cast.
  • Entourage: They're shallow misogynistic assholes, but I love my boys. The season is off the a mediocre start, but I'm hoping they'll come through with the snarky dialogue.
  • Grey's Anatomy: The main couple annoys the hell out of me. Grey is too whiny and Shepperd is always tearing up. I have to watch this because everyone I know does, and I'll be overwhelmed by whining if I don't. Also, I like Bailey.
  • Torchwood: I heard that this season has been roformatted into 5 hourlong episodes that will be airing on consecutive days. I have no idea why, but it's not like I watch this show for the logic.
This post is already much longer than I wanted it to be so I'm going to leave the maybes for next time.

Monday, 15 September 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


Rain.
I love overcast skies. I love the smell before after and during rain. I love the way the air feels, cool and clean and wet against my face.

Chocolate. Cheap milk chocolate is like a one night stand. Quick and dirty against the bathroom wall, hot body and cool porcelain and then it's over. With dark chocolate is a committed loving relationship, albeit a long distance one. Sometimes when the separation becomes too much, I cheat, but ultimately I return.

Coffee. I have much love for coffee, but I don't drink it much. When I drink it everyday I start taking it for granted, and I haven't found decent readily available beans. I like it bitter traditional Arabic in the tiny cups. I like it mudlike Turkish. I like it in the somewhat crappy Starbucks raspberry iced mocha. I like it best black with a little sugar if its a really really decent brew. I also like it in ice cream, if it's strong and bittersweet.

New Who. I loved Eccleston's moody broody angst. I loved Tennent's manic-depressive manchild death god. (He has freckles)I liked the cheesiness. I liked Rose, I loved Donna.

Torchwood. All fucking all the time. As Campy as Cap'n Jack Harkness's toothpaste commercial smile, and as pretty as Gwen's freckles.

Supernatural. So much UST. Guns, Knives, and violence. The Impala. Jensen Ackles mouth. Jensen Ackle's freckles. Jensen Ackles in general, so pretty it makes me confused.

My Typewriter. An old manual Underwood model. Back when we were highschool my best friend got it for me, off of something I said about wanting to hear myself click away as I worked on my Great Non-American Novel. I never got it to work, and I wasn't ever much of a writer, but it's still one of the most perfect thing I own.

My Red Sin City Lunchbox. It's red, has movie Marv on it, and is just plain pretty. An indulgent purchase a couple of days ago, but I think I'm in love. It's tin and comes with a matching thermos. The only thing better would be original A New Hope.

Jane Austen. Because she rocks. And the Pride and Prejudice BBC mini series kicks the movie's ass any day of the week. I need to get my hands on a copy of Mansfield Park though.

Music. Old School Gulfi. Glam. Iggy Pop. Rockabilly. Singer-song writers. The Who. Thin Lizzy. Jeff Buckley. Regina Spektor. Big band. Classic Rock. Fairooz. The Doors. Kibarye. The list is endless and varied.

American Gods. I love love love Neil Gaiman's stuff. This book was the first of his I read I think. This is actually where I got my pen name.

Irony. Sometimes, it's all I need to keep me going.

Freckles. They are hot liek whoa.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Wish List

There are a lot of things that I want to do. Some of them are easy things that I know I will be able to do eventually. Others are things that I may be able to do with effort and relocation. Others still are things that I’m pretty certain I won’t be able to do.

Some of these things:
  • Graduate: Hopefully in about eight months.
  • Get my MBA: I was hoping that I’d push up my GPA high enough that I’d qualify for a scholarship to go abroad, but I don’t think that’s happening. I still qualify for a local, so maybe I’ll stick around for a couple of years and get one while I work.
  • Get into shape and get into an EMT then a paramedic program: If I can get a non-KU MBA scholarship for somewhere other than Kuwait, maybe this is something I can do on my own dime. I don’t think I’d like a desk job much, and being a first responder seems useful, something I’ve always sort of wanted to be.
  • Become an assistant to someone who does something interesting: I think about doing this after I get my MBA. I’m not an efficient person by nature, but I’d like to learn to be. Also, it seems like a good way to learn about the real world.
  • Go bungee jumping: This just seems like a lot of fun.
  • Go skydiving: Again, fun.
  • Learn to ride a motorcycle: Same. Also, pretty.
  • Read something Non-Fiction and finish it: I’ve just never been able to do this. I need a plot to hold my interest.
  • Learn to not suck at video game: For my hand to eye coordination of course.
  • Learn another language: Maybe Spanish or German. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Knowing only two seems so… limiting.
  • Learn Sign Language: It just seems interesting.
  • Learn to play a musical instrument: Most likely the guitar. I’ve always loved music, I’d like to be able to be part of it.
  • Go to a music concert: But to a band I like and whose songs I know. Maybe with some people I could enjoy it with. Some of my friends went to the Muse concert in Dubai a few months ago, and I’ve always resented my not being able to go.
So, is there anything that you wish you could do?

Edited to Add: Get Laid: I think this one speaks for itself. (Insert wry smirk here.)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Situation Normal

All Fucked Up.

A few years back, I’d have never thought of going to a Baskin Robins and getting a flavor I’d already tried. Once I tried to dye my hair blue (it was too dark to make a difference). I tried to learn skateboarding at a heavy and highly uncoordinated 17. I wrote terrible poetry and attempted to write what was possibly the world’s worst rap. My grades were not good enough to get me into university. I was miserable and felt like my life had no potential (with my family the options seemed to be either get into college or find a way to erase myself from the timeline), but it was freeing in a way. I was a sheltered kid leading a boring life, but I thought I was the biggest screw up that ever existed.

At 19, I graduated with a GPA that got me into university, barely. In Kuwait, you have to decide what you want to study before you register for university. I flipped a coin and went into business school where I was an unexceptional student, albeit one that was taking way too long to graduate. I made a few friends, had a few laughs, and shirked as much responsibility as I could. I tried to rebel, and decided to change majors. Took some time off to get my shit together, and spent it taking to my bed with the vapors. I watched a lot of porn, read some Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, ate my weight in junk food, and spent way too much time reading fanfiction exploring teh gay subtext (and turning it into the mansex) between the male leads of several tv shows. Then, with no real desire to do so, I went back to school.

Soon I will be starting what is hopefully going to be my last year of being an undergrad at Kuwait University. Today for the first time in too long, I ordered an ice-cream flavor I haven’t tried before. About one week ago I started this blog. A month ago I submitted an essay to the editor of the newsletter of a gay women’s group to which I belong. A year ago I met that women’s group for the first time. Two years ago, I came back to school. Five years ago I finished high school.

I’m starting to think that it is possible for me to get my act together.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Effortless

I make no effort.

The following is a short film on gender representation in advertising that came out in 1999 but is still pretty relevant I think.



I feel a little guilty that the treatment didn’t take.

I wear size 16 American. I’m a big girl with small to average breasts (all the cons none of the pros) and I think they may be a little lopsided. I have big hands and wear size 9 and a half shoes. I rarely wear makeup and my hair gets to do whatever it wants. I’m not tanned, toned, groomed, or plucked. Despite my family’s best efforts, ranging from locking the kitchen and fridge when I was growing up to my favorite, “You’ll never get a man looking like that” (pity, that), I don’t hate myself or the way I look. I should probably make an effort to get a more feminine self-esteem.

That said, I think this is pretty serious stuff. It took me a long time to shut out the sound of other people's voices and learn to accept my body.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

It's Not an Addiction

I can stop anytime I want. When I'm dead for instance.

I have a very clear memory of the day I bought my first book; the first book that wasn’t a hand me down or household communal property. It was a book not to be read to me at bedtime, but one that I could read all by myself. I was in first grade, and it was my first year in a school that taught primarily in English. It was the first year after Kuwait’s liberation. I was learning a whole new language and the possibilities seemed endless. I went with my mother to a bookstore downtown; it was down the street from the Sheraton roundabout. I remember feeling excited and proud and so very grown up.

My memory of the book is vague but affectionate, like a much beloved photograph faded by time and the touch of too many hands. The pages were stiff cardboard and it was brightly colored, I remember the blues, reds, and yellows shining out at me like never before. It was about anthropomorphic animals receiving a series of phone calls, and when you finished the sentence on a page you could press a button that would ring cheerfully at you just like a telephone. Sometimes, I would daringly press the button without even finishing the sentence.

Looking back, the book must have been made for a younger child, but I might as well have discovered the atom. It was just that huge. As a child, I never had much interest in other kids. A curious amalgam, I was an antisocial chatterbox. I enjoyed asking questions but more than that I love to talk. On and on I’d go in these monologues about everything and nothing. But reading was better than all of that. I took the plunge, and I’ve never looked back.

Reading quickly became the most important thing in my life. It was like an obsession, an addiction; I just couldn’t get enough. I read in during recess, during class, in bed, in the car, even in the shower. I remember my bemused parents catching on and putting me through searches at the bathroom door.

I was (to my eternal shame) a fan of the Baby-Sitters Club and the Sweet Valley High books, until I was about 14. After that I spent a summer as a hardcore John Grisham fan, my mother spent that summer parceling out his books in daily doses worried that I’d blind myself if I read more than one a day. Scattered among these were The Outsiders, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Narnia Chronicles. If I ran out I’d go into a panic, one memorable time reading the backs of cereal boxes to hold me over until I got to the school library.

It made being grounded a very odd experience, my parents carting away my books in a big box. Being sent to my room was never really an effective punishment for me. They could take away my television privileges, but they could never manage to take away all my books. I was a devious little thing, hiding supplies underneath my mattress and in my underwear drawer. Although I would worry that my grounding would outlast my secret stash. My greatest fear growing up was boredom. I remember the agony of being banned from the school library once, when my teachers where unhappy with my grades; a punishment both cruel and unusual.

Through the years, I’ve picked up and discarded dozens of other interests and hobbies, but in my heart I’ve always stayed true to reading. I’ve changed, grown up, learned to function in polite company. I’ve made friends, and even liked some enough to keep them. Sometimes I’d even go for months without cracking open a book. Well, weeks at least. A couple of times probably.

In the end though, I’ll always come back to literature. You never forget your first love.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

In Loco Parentis

Yeah, I wish.

I was raised my real parents in a two parent household. My parents aren’t perfect but they did the best they knew how to do. I’m pretty sure they love me, I’m even almost certain my mother does. I know they want what’s best for me. I love them back. Well, I love my mother and I’m working up affection for my father.

My parents are typical salt of the earth folk. They’re traditional moderate to conservative Kuwaitis. They struggle to give me freedom within limits they see fit; after all I am an unmarried daughter living in their household. They expect me to honor and obey them, as they expect it of all their children.

I do love them, and on the day they need it I plan on being there them as they have been for me. To this day I rely on their financial and moral support. They provide me with all the luxuries that they can afford. Yet sometimes I dream of leaving them behind and never looking back.

I’m not out to my parents or anyone else in my family. I don’t plan on ever coming out to them. I don’t want to lose what love and respect they have for me. Also, I’m terribly fond of being alive.

I love my family, but I don’t trust them. I believe without a doubt that if they found out who I really was, they would harm me both emotionally and physically. I don’t know for sure what they would do and I hope that I’ll never find out.

I don’t think they’d actually murder me. Would they? Perhaps they’ll only lock me up. Take away my dignity. Take away my freedom.

I’m still trying to come to terms with that knowledge. It’s not a pleasant thing to have to do.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Dude, Where’s My Cock?

A study on pop culture’s role in increasing the masculinity of females in the 18 to 45 demographic. Or not.

I’ve always been interested on what really defines gender, because I’ve been made to feel that I’m somehow masculine just because I don’t fit into the traditional Kuwaiti female role. Then again, the traditional Kuwaiti female role is pretty retarded. I really resent that people think that there’s one right way to be female. Who are these people who think they have the right to define how I should or should not be?

So I’d rather shop for books than shop for clothes. So I’ve never cared about fitting into other peoples definitions of beauty. So I’m not some sort of shrinking violent. So maybe I like a little violence in my movies. So what? Who gets to say that being a certain way takes away from my female credentials.

It seems to me that individual taste is really underappreciated in Kuwaiti society. If a girl likes to play video games then she feels the need to apologize for it. ‘Oh I play video game, but I also really like fashion too!’ Well, fuck that! I’m tired of these arbitrary stereotypes.

I like video games (suck at them but like them) and hate fashion. I’m a sci-fi geek. I don’t really follow a particular sport but will usually watch if I have no better options. Very little scares me, but that’s more stupidity than bravery. I enjoy driving, but hate the roads. I love food, and am too lazy to exercise. I’m pretty sure I have commitment issues. I rarely finish what I start. I’d love to learn how to cook one day. I like kids, in small doses for short burst of time. I prefer dogs. I’m comfortable around both guys and girls, possibly more so around the former. No matter what anyone says, I'm still very much a woman.

If you fit into the stereotypical definition of woman? More power to you if that's what you choose to do. I'm not in any way against the hetero normative life style. I just resent being expected to live it. What's wrong with being yourself, no matter who that self is, perfect housewife or radical feminist? Hell, you can be both for all i care, as long as you let me be who I want to be.

I really wish the people I know would stop trying to fit me into some sort of category and just join me in appreciating individualism.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Artificially Distressed

Like a pair of jeans. So.

I like someone and this is new for me. It’s been four years since I admitted to myself that I wasn’t 100% straight. Since then, I’ve buried any spark of attraction I felt under guilt, fear, and paranoia. Hell, I had myself half convinced that I was asexual. Then she shows up in my life.

I’m not ready for her. She’s got these eyes, and this smile, and her *hands*. I could have shrugged it off easy if she’d only stayed quiet. But she’s smart and funny, half confident, half cocky. She’s got a filthy mouth and a chip of her shoulder, and I. Just. Stare.

She makes me flustered. I’m never flustered! I can’t talk to her, and I’m the type that will talk about anything to anyone. And yet when I’m around her I can’t put two words together. Either that or I babble incoherently in ways that I will cringe about for days after.

She’s a friend of a friend, and after our first meeting I have no way of contacting her. I nurse a tiny crush for a little while, and despite my friends pressuring me to find a way to see her I decide to move on. She’s out of my league anyway. It’s nice to know that I can feel attraction to someone not on the TV screen, but that’s that. But apparently it’s not my shot to call.

I’m out with a friend when I bump into her again. My brain runs for cover. She beams as she greets me and insists we exchange phone numbers. I do my best to seem sober and coherent but manage to sound like a concussed drunk. She doesn’t seem to notice, waves goodbye as I drag my friend in the opposite direction. My friend is in awe of the level of retardation I've achieved. She mocks me and tries to convince me that getting in touch with Terrifying Gay Crush would not actually kill me.

I do get in touch. It takes me about a month to get over being completely chickenshit, but I do it. I send her an sms, and try very hard not to be crushed when I don’t get a reply. A week later, she answers. She’d like very much for us to hang out but unfortunately she’s out of the country. We exchange a few friendly (flirty?) messages, before she says that when she gets back ‘all of us’ should get together sometime in Ramadan. I’m not disappointed, baby steps, right?

I wait two weeks, because I’m not a stalker. I mention the possibility of plans. She apologizes that she’s swamped. I ramble disjointedly (yes, in a message, it’s a gift), hopefully conveying similar circumstances and that we could do something some other time. She tells me to check with Mutual Friend and let her know. It seems like a brush off. So I’m assuming that I did come off as a creepy desperate stalker and I need to back the fuck off.

I suck at this.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

This Isn't What You Think It Is

Except it is. Just a little word porn. Lesbian word porn because those who can do and those who can't blog apparently. I need to break the habit of writing in the first person. The present tense is new for me I think.

Her hands are unhurried as they map my body. Softly, god so softly they trace their way over me. From the bottom of my ribcage, down to my hipbone, up down up down. She's driving me mad. I’m so conflicted, part of me wanting her to never stop and part wanting those clever hands elsewhere. I don’t know where, don’t care, above, below, I just want her to fucking move.

She smirks knowingly as I arc up pushing into her touch, begging for it to be a little more substantial. She drifts down; bypassing the place I need her most, stroking my thighs, her fingertips warm against my calves. Does she know how crazy she’s making me? She must, but I won’t give in, not yet. I press my lips together, holding it back. She’s not winning that easily. And yet… just one word and I know I’ll get what I want. I shift, enjoying the press of my cotton panties. I’m so wet.

Her mouth is warm against my jaw, my neck, my collarbone. I can’t. I won’t. Her eyes are full of mischief as she smiles at me. My heart beats loudly, my breath sounds harsh to my ears. And still she smiles. I cover that arrogant mouth with my fingers, brushing her lips back and forth with my thumb. She parts them, lets it in and softly bites down on the pad of my thumb. With that my resistance crumbles and I give her what she wants. I whisper it once, then again louder.

Please.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Trite

It's the flavor of the day. Not a great literary work or anything like that. This ain't Ginsberg's Howl. Definitely shit, but it's my shit. Anyway.

Abomination
They hiss
I think
Of abominable snowmen
Except
I am real
Here, Queer
Not hiding in mountains
Not a story told
To frighten kids
I am
Taking the same class
In the next cubicle
Borrowing staplers
Sitting at the table
Making breakfast
So I don’t understand
What they mean by
Abomination

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Inauspicious

Starting this blog during Ramadan might not have been my best idea. When you start a blog about being a nonpracticing closeted Kuwaiti lesbian there are probably better months to start it that the holiest month on the Islamic calender, but needs must. There's some stuff I just had to get out, and it felt like a speak now or forever hold your silence sort of situation. So I am. Speaking. Now.

So here are the basics. I'm Kuwaiti. Female. Muslim. Ish. Gay. Ish. Mid-twenties. Unsuccessful writer of mediocre talent currently between situations, thinking of pursuing of activist work.

Think of my mind as a busy metropolis and of this blog as its main landfill. This means everything from bad poetry to worse erotica to treatises on my sexuality and what it means to me.