Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Rain reigns, reins

That's not to say that the film didn't suffer from the usual
pitfalls of films by casting a male anger and female disgust
and weighty frumpy sadness... but you get the idea, it was
a pretty good film by those standards.

And yes, there were stereotypes played to (and don't get me
started on whoever wrote the supporting book sold at the cinema
who clearly didn't get the memo that the point of the film was
that being incessantly happy was not an achievable nor healthy
goal!) but they were background noise rather than the front
and centre they are in so many films.
Since opening this place up again I've been thinking more. This coming week is going to be a busy one and the week after will bring me back, I hope, to full working capacity and thus better able to get on with work when the time comes. Of course, I have now had two years of working in a place that is a little more supportive and forgiving and have fared very well, so this is much less stressed than it used to be. I have also been out to see Inside Out with both children in a mild post-alcohol-induced haze of a hangover. This is a good film, with arguably one of the best depictions of depression I have ever seen (as well as it being the enemy and the threat, well done) but there was also much in the film that seemed to go nowhere and looked like there was something else going on. I would love to have seen this elongated through a mini-series to explore all the avenues that were laid out but, let's face it, that was never going to happen. Back up. Friday night I went out, as in out out, with a colleague and we ended up doing an impromptu barcrawl around my local area, whereupon I imbibed a good eight half pints of mainly bitters and dark ales, which is a good thing. Fun was had and much was discussed.


Throughout yesterday and the day before I was rereading posts here, which was a bit of an eye-opener as I had sort of forgotten much of the specifics and, especially, the order of events. Looking at just how far back some of the issues I had assumed to be new to the blog had gone was particularly interesting. In the process I unearthed some posts about music and looked up the videos again. At the same time my friend published some new stuff and I read that and then I read some other articles and a few things started turning and, well, you know how I work by now.


Not even close, but isn't it nice?
So, what do I have to say about it all? I shall try to keep this pointed and brief, I'm still behind in my beer blogging. First point is that whole thing about internal and external. I have yet to work out what my internal is, but the bits I do have in place tell me that I feel most myself when wearing clothes that society would define as feminine. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean obvious female garments (or even discreet ones) as it includes the shirt I bought many years ago (that Tilly hates) with the lilac leaves, still one of my faves. That does it. But there's also the notion of risk involved. In order to feel more like myself I have to run a gauntlet of societal pressure and the risk of upsetting Tilly. Recently there are many positives - we are a bit more open and do spend time talking.

Not sure the image I want exists. Dial down the dreamy eyes
and have us both sat behind the bar and you have it.

Of course, since then we've been out and she's been managing
her media presence as book panic takes full hold. It's hard to
be supportive in a proactive way. The stress has activated a
new level of back pain (left over from Christmas) and so
hugging is back off the menu. The panic also means that other
contact is gone too. The media part means that talking whilst
driving is out because she's keeping up with critiques and...
you get the idea.
Case in point, on a recent trip to my mother's end of the country we had a night out. There were no deep and meaningfuls because we talk like that pretty often, certainly more than we did before Easter last year for example. Hell, more than we did before Christmas last year. In short, our conversation that night was simply a continuation of our ongoing conversation throughout the evenings when we do sit in the same room. This was nice. We have embarked on a new way of dealing with our intensely angry daughter and, though difficult, we are at least on the same page and, despite setbacks, are able to keep going most of the time. This is best summed up by the time when our daughter went on a tantrum, stubbed her toe on the wall, and came crying to the top of the stairs to be met by a rushing Mummy, the daughter wailed "Please don't say nice things to me, don't hug me, just sit there!" I think our new approach will work, but it will take a long time to bear the kind of fruit we're aiming for.

If this is the original author and they want it removed, hell, if
they ask me to remove it, I will. It just seemed neatly to sum
things up.
I also read this article. It was stirring stuff. I do not consider myself to be like the author really. For one, the bullying I experienced throughout my school life was far from physical and, though I could make a convincing case for it being down to my failure to perform as a masculine male, mostly it's because I was a bit strange and off-putting already. However, I did identify with the confusion expressed. I think I've already related my argument where I ended up shouting that I wasn't a man. I still don't self-identify that way. But nor am I a woman. This morning, as I trimmed my beard, I reflected that I rather like it and the familiarity of it. I also rather like my plumbing. I understand it, I can use it, and despite its cursed nature, I'm not sure I can imagine life without it. As a consequence I found much that was familiar in the choices made by the author and the stories told.

I can't imagine this being real. If you see what I mean.
On another blog I read with interest about the themes being discussed of Femdom and the like. I have spoken about these before on here and have already come to the conclusion that they are vanishingly rare in real life, relationships with that form of Femdom, and probably not something I would do well with in real life if I had the opportunity. Occasional play, perhaps, but even then we're into interesting territory that is practically untested and unknown.





Apparently not said by Gandhi. Which is a real shame.

Doesn't make it any less of the code I try to live by though.
Where does that leave the line between internal and external? The answer is, as it is for everyone, that I don't know. My views on marriage are what they are. As discussed with Leslie, there is no way to bring my internal and external into closer alignment but hard graft and the willingness to, ultimately, change myself. Back when I was looking at getting CBT I spoke with a therapist, before the lady who tried hard to help, and he posed a question that occasionally comes back to haunt me. I opened by explaining my crossdressing and how I wanted to change it, and most of my sexual predilections as Tilly did not share them. He, and it was a he, asked "why do you have to change?" My answer then, as now, is that I have to change because I know from experiences that other people do not. Both in real life and online, in debates and in day-to-day dealings, people are more likely to become entrenched rather than being open to change. People do not consciously change. On things involving religion, politics and sex people are remarkably resilient. If I wish for an easier path or to seek compromise then I must change first. I must do so without regard to whether others will join me in changing and without expectation. Indeed, my default setting is that they won't.

Judith Butler.

I think it's well worth reading some of the stuff that has been
produced and perusing videos that use her name.
So what? Since then I have come to terms with my crossdressing. I have realised that it is not a thing that I can drop as it is not about the clothing so much, it is about identity. I do not pursue extreme femininity or the perceived extremes of femininity, nor do I pursue female plumbing for myself. In that sense, reading this article was interesting to me. I am perfectly happy for women to deny entry to spaces to trans-women. No, scratch that, I am not happy with it but it's a battle that can take more time. The first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the need for women-only spaces by making toxic masculinity less of a thing. Not to say the battle shouldn't be had or that TERFs aren't missing the point (I feel) but there you go. No, none of this was the point, and my half-baked thoughts on it were never shared when I read it for precisely this reason, no, the point of relating that here now is the fact that I perform my gender and I consciously have to work at being 'masculine'. I am, of course, far from it. But nor am I 'feminine'.

Okay, this is more sexual. But, again, I'm not sure the image
I'm looking for exists, so it will have to suffice.
My thoughts on bondage are mainly sexual, yes, but I've also explained that bondage just feels 'safe' to me, that it can be lovely without any sex involved. Indeed I have spent nights restrained in the past that did not involve any sexual aspects, well, as far as anything can involve no sexual aspects - in that I carried out the restraining because it felt nice rather than sexual. I am denied... no, I cannot indulge this aspect because of the sharing of lives that is in effect in marriage. One day I hope to discuss and find out what about it Tilly finds so threatening but, ultimately, if I want to bring my internal and external into line it is I who must change - I cannot expect anyone else to change as society is relentless in telling us that change is weak. One can lead a horse to water but then one can do no more. So in teaching in life.


2 comments:

  1. "Does this look sexual to you?"

    I need to read Judith Butler. Have you read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, because I can see a lot of similarities between him and you.

    I like your therapists question about why you need to change, and your answer is very telling. You apply different rules to other people, who don't change, than to yourself, who has to change as a result. It's a heady combination of martyrdom and egomaniacal self-loathing that I find all too familiar. It's a very British thing too, not wanting to cause a fuss, and it's something that a lot of women do, including my mother, who is a grand master of not causing a fuss.

    In other news, I'm knocking around a few posts in my head, including stuff on gender identity, the non-sexual parts of my submissiveness and the weirdness of having sexual fantasies that hardly ever involve having sex. Look out for those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to read actual Butler rather than articles about Butler! And, no, I haven't yet read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, but I know I need to.

      Yes, you are correct about applying different rules to myself and to others. It's incredibly ego-maniacal. In the words of Don Carson, I try to hold myself to a higher standard than I hold others. Mainly because I can control that standard, I can't control other people. As for creating a fuss... I tend not to subscribe to the idea of Britishness but your point stands neatly. There's a whole other thing there for me (not that I'm 'different', just in this instance the wellspring of my answer is from another standard deviation).

      I am looking forward to your posts on these subjects as I'm sure that they will provide much food for thought and grist for't mill.

      In the meantime, I may see about ordering the Perry book. Thank you for reading!

      Delete

All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!