- Getting stabbed, stabbing someone (I have nightmares about this)
- Antibiotic resistant infections
- Friends dating someone else and then never making time for friendship
- A favorite item of clothing getting stained/torn beyond repair and never quite finding something as perfect
- Inadequate interpersonal, organizational, or motivational skills
- Losing/not finding community
- Increasing totalitarianism eroding our democracy
- Global warming’s most devastating effects
- Resource scarcity
- Sitting on my hands and being unable to apply my considerable training and skills to the world’s most important problems
- Religious fundamentalism’s rise and subsequent fall of the secular, logical systems we rely on to fix problems and guarantee human rights
What brings up this particular issue are two recent current events: controversy surrounding Wonder Woman’s Israeli identity (and “pro-IDF and therefore pro-terrorism” stance), and the removal of marchers carrying rainbow flags with the star of david on them at the Chicago pride rally.
Me, I am a white Jew with a dual American/Israeli citizenship of very liberal upbringing.
It has been brought to my attention recently, by the liberal left, that my Israeli identity is triggering to some and is pro-occupation.
As someone who grew up with anti-settlement, pro-two-state talk in the house, this was a surprise to me. Was I not vocal enough in my dissent?
On the other hand, where would my parents be were it not for THEIR parents’ ability to flee to Israel? Fucking gone. There was no other safe place for Jews. It’s REALLY hard for me to apologize for the existence of a state that literally saved their lives.
And when non-Palestinians non-Israelis voice these sentiments, it boils my blood because they don’t know the region. They don’t know what my family has been through to survive. They don’t know. And as long as Israeli children attend schools and Israeli hospitals operate there will need to be a military to protect them. And unfortunately that same military engages in occupation as well. (This is where I interpret Gal Godot’s tweet as being pro-two-state solution while still supporting Israeli troops… though I guess who knows what her opinion is on the settlements.) But as long as Hamas fires rockets into Israel, the military will fight back. And as long as the Palestinian people are desperate, Hamas will not stop firing rockets. It’s a vicious cycle that we kicked off… that Europe’s antisemitism kicked off.
I don’t have easy answers here. And the sad reality is, coexistence is a distant dream at this point. What do we do, us Jews who benefitted from the creation of a state just for us–a state that then went on to occupy others and support islamophobic xenophobic policies? It’s no longer home for my parents, nor is it home for me; nevertheless, I won’t apologize for the identity I have. To me, that identity means survival, and I can’t think of anything more important than that.
But times change and the politics changed, and though I’ve never aligned myself with the more imperialist policies, fighting them can no longer be a passive pursuit.
I’ve found some great organizations, starting with the Jewish Voice for Peace, an org that
“opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East. Current mission statement adopted in 2009.”
And I’ll keep looking.
The first time we met you were so shy. You slunk your little body behind the couch, but with one look you conveyed everything: that with time comes trust, that you’ll give me a chance, that you’re just looking for laser buddies and treat buddies. We didn’t have much alone time, as I was dating your human, but you know when I came over it was you I was excited to see.
When we did have alone time, we could chill for hours watching TV, or you’d nap with me while I worked, or you’d beg for my food, or you’d find the mysterious laser light bouncing around the apartment just as you started getting restless. And when your human was there, we’d always make space for you to sleep with us and curl up with us, letting you warm yourself on top of the blankets radiating our collective body heat on cold winter nights. And I’ll never forget your little paws, and how you kneaded my stomach before making yourself comfortable.
No, I don’t have my own cat yet. But I have fond memories of you; and believe me, when I do get one I’ll be looking for one that reminds me of you: your youthful, playful energy and how sweet you were when I was upset.
I miss you every day… your human, not so much.
You guys have to listen to this episode. Tina Horn interviews the manager of my favorite toy store in New York (sorry Babeland; can’t beat the Pleasure Chest’s selection!) in an amazing conversation about queer as the opposite of capitalist in the context of sex: sex that is creative and not procreative, that takes up time and money and is solely for the purpose of pleasure and personal expression.
Pangs of jealousy when they talked about just how much creative queer sex they have.
Ugh. Enjoying a feels buffet right now. Here’s what’s steaming in the chafing dishes (all of which pertains to people–mostly straight men– who I’ve met through apps, and a small subset of whom I met/talked to in person):
- I’m never sure when I’ll feel safe and comfortable with someone, and therefore completely open to everything, or when i’ll feel turned off and distant. Just one off moment, and I shut down.
- I have trouble meeting people in person because we have to keep the vibe light but in reality i’m always a little scared.
- There are some very friendly, open, warm inviting swinger couples I’ve talked to, and I’ve always chickened out for one reason or another: the guy is driving everything, or asks me about things that again would bring down the vibe.
- Why should I constantly worry about killing the vibe?
- I have trouble thinking about/conceptualizing kink dynamics that are open and honest in person, because I’ve had two potentials fall through: one because he didn’t fully disclose his relationship status, another because he crossed a line. I hope I can build that trust.
- Feelings make so much more sense to me now after having re-engaged with straight dynamics. The first straight man I hook up with who is respectful, with whom I don’t have any reservations, I catch feelings. I’m not able or willing to pursue him, nor is he able or willing to pursue me; we don’t have time, there’s too much life. But that attachment was real for quite a while after we hooked up the first time. All it took was for him to stop when I said stop, for him to hold me when I needed to be held, for me to think WOW THIS MAN INVENTED RESPECT AND CONSENT. He didn’t. It’s just basic decency.
Outlets for talking about sex seem to be focused on pleasure and turn-ons, and maybe turn-offs/triggers/hard- and soft- limits; there aren’t many for bonding or communicating about the double-edged sword that is this incredibly intimate act. I want to process all the things, but I’m not sure how. My processor is at capacity.
Sex is so unfair to genders other than cis men. I feel alternating pangs of sexual empowerment and disempowerment.
Ugh. Hooking up with sperm-producing individuals is so fraught. There is a lot more trust involved, and that makes me feel inevitably disappointed when their level of vulnerability does not match mine.
I had a date tonight with a slightly older woman, and it was wonderful. I’m tired of dating younguns who don’t know what they want. But I’m also tired of older people who don’t know what they want.
It doesn’t help that I’m not among my things, not living near my friends, and that my self-care routine is non-existent. Instead I drink, smoke, and date people who are as unhealthy as the food I’m eating. Only 2 weeks til I move and start fresh…
Basically, and I know this isn’t cool these days, but I’d love to either be alone or enjoy monogamous partnership. I’m tired of the in-between; it’s a young woman’s game, and it’s a waste of time. But then I get lonely, and one “hey what’s up?” later I’m giving space in my life to someone I loathe.
I assume this will get better when I move.
Feeling much much better this week. I had a week of weakness but am now getting my confidence back up there.
I’ve learned a lot in the past week.
- Friends are amazing. I’ve been incredibly depressed but nowhere near the edge because shoulders to cry on and people to laugh with abound. I only hope I’m as supportive in return when another friend is in crisis.
- Nothing is black and white. I think of my ex as manipulative, but I also think I tend to be very self-sacrificing. The combination was bad, but I think I could have stood to push back a little bit more. I’m now in a phase of getting to know my own boundaries, and value those boundaries, and it’s been great.
- If I were to generalize… haha I feel like cis straight men are generally terrible at sex. Queer sex can be bad too of course, but the concept of tuning into one’s partner feels more intrinsic to queer dynamics. Cis straight men who have gotten their sex education from a limited range of outlets and who were never told that their anatomy isn’t going to make up for lack of finesse are limited in their capabilities. I could definitely stand to be more clear about how I like being touched, with all partners.
- Anger is valuable, has been good this week, but can blow small crises out of control. Anger means I’m valuing my side of things and asserting myself, externalizing rather than internalizing pain. But it also means I stop listening and taking in information. And it means it puts me closer to collapsing.
- When I slack on self-care, I lose the ability to handle life situations. I’m missing writing, reading, yoga, meditation, exercise, and healthy eating a lot these days.
Everything will be alright in time. I’m doing okay, all things considered. Working on being okay with myself, valuing myself, forgiving and letting go of anger and pain, is a long process.