Sunday, January 07, 2007
(Slighty grumpy) random thoughts on friendships and community*
Negotiating friendships in a new town has certainly been a rollercoaster. I've tried to keep open and allow myself to refrain from making snap judgements. Being really out about my sex work has almost always made new friendships challenging - many people have assumed I'm sexually available to them even when I'm being clear that isn't the case. I've never understood why people believe that someone who charges will be 'easier' than someone who always has sex for free. the fact that I'm comfortable with discussing sex in an explicit way can create further complications. It's sometimes assumed to be a come on, when for me I'm talking about the nitty gritty (and for a long-term sex worker totally unerotic) aspects of occupational health and saftey issues.
The idea that I'm often hypersexualised because of the whole whore thing by others is still funny for me. In my head I'm still the nerdy brunette who reads too much and is obsessed with politics rather than sex.
The fact that if I'm perceived to be very sexual that somehow makes me less worthy of respect is not at all funny.
I do find it a leetle outrageous that some 'enlightened' queer women will still police or disapprove of the concensual sexual practices of people within our own communities. I get quite pissed off that as a polyamorous sex worker I'm sometimes not considered to have boundaries. I get really pissed off that a woman can repeatedly ask me for sex after I've said no - and not realise that even though she has a cunt it's still sexual harassment.
I'm disappointed that in some ways we still replicate some heterosexual norms, in that women who are sexual are perceived to be less intellegent and less valuable. Will it take a return to 1970s era feminist conciousness raising groups before we truly that liberation is in part about demonstrating our politics in how we treat one another?
I've spent some time with women who would see themselves as anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, etc - but who manage to treat the people around them in completely hideous ways. People who don't make the connections between big picture stuff, and the micro-level. Who aspouse great politics, but will happily bag someone for being fat, or not dressing stylishly, or being too vanilla, or not fitting in in other ways. Since when has being queer about fitting in? Some concerned, mumsy part of me has an image of a baby queer who has been suicidal and finally entered the community looking for safe space, only to find themselves once again on the outer. I'm not suggesting community members should fuck everyone, or befriend everyone, but humanity and niceness would be great.
I'm really interested in people who have great politics and great personal values. People who are compassionate and secure enough to not need to be funny at the expense of someone who's already standing awkwardly in the corner of the room. I have complete respect for people that demonstrate safe, sane and consensual and a real valuing of others - even if it's a one night stand, even if they or the other person is drunk, even if the other person has a 'reputation' I'm paying attention to people who want to be a part of my life to see if their behaviour matches up to what they say they believe in.
I have occassionally been appalled at witnessing some awful behaviour since I've been in Sydney, and become more watchful and disserning as a result. I'm very pleased to say I've also met some people who make me smile everytime I think of them.
* Some of the negativity in this post may be affected by lack of nicotine - I apologise - felt it was worth posting, all the same.