Sexuality among other things…



I have a thyroid condition…stick with me, this will make sense. I have been on the same medication for, oh more than a decade. I knew I’m supposed to take it first thing in the morning. I later come to learn it should be taken on an empty stomach. Then I learned you should wait 30 minutes before eating anything (to which my Italian Zia told me she sets an alarm, wakes up takes her medication, then goes back to sleep until she’s able to eat. As much as I hate the stereotypes, food is a big part of our culture). So, I’m not good with routine or following rules. I would often forget to take my pill, remember sometime mid-morning taking after I’ve eaten breakfast or before lunch, taken it with coffee instead of water (wait, “no eating” also includes no coffee? Yes, you’re doing it wrong.) There are emotional repercussions to not taking care of your thyroid properly. There are also emotional conditions that inhibit you from taking care of your physical self. As not to overshare, let’s say I am on a “wellness path”. And on this new path I learned YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT FOR AN HOUR AFTER TAKING THIS DAMN PILL…AND…YOU NEED TO REMAIN UPRIGHT AFTER TAKING IT! (Thanks for that hack Zia, you played yourself.)

So a New Years Resolution “Wellness Path”: Take the damn thyroid pill the correct f’n way. An hour? In my head I can here Stimpy (of Ren and Stimpy) saying “but what’ll we do till then?” It turns out we read.

I finished this collection of essays on art and sexuality. Since I was already 55 pages in, I’m counting from the remainder of the book. It was so long ago (almost 3 years) since I had read those pages, that I placed my bookmark back where I found it and might read backwards to the beginning at a later point in this challenge. There’s so much in this book. So many artists and theorists. It wouldn’t be fair to give a book report type review. I had chosen this book initially as a means of articulating how my art operates within this larger dialogue. I am no longer in thesis writing mode, so I didn’t underline. highlight, or annotate anything. I just let it enter my brain and rattle around a bit and what sticks will stick and it will probably become gooey while I’m making my work in the studio. One term I have always grappled with personally is “queer”. When I moved into my studio, an artist adjacent to me asked if I were queer after seeing my work. I explained how I feel hesitant to label myself as that, not out of shame, but because I live I fairly heteronormative life. I am a cisgendered straight woman in an exclusively monogamous relationship with a cisgendered straight man. [But even now as I type this, to use the would “straight” seems odd, because I certainly don’t want to imply that the other is deviant of straight.] I’ve also read a critique calling out white feminists as the only people co-opting this term “queer”. The last thing I want to be is part of the problem. I don’t want to occupy spaces when I have not faced the same kind of persecution from society. And at the same time, I totally understand how my ART is queer.

I liked the idea of writing a compilation of books read like what Sollantra said they used to do. I’m going to include my ongoing tally as a blocked quote at the end of each entry.

Sexuality: Documents of Contemporary Art, Edited By Amelia Jones: 170 pages read

A Working Theory of Love, By Scott Hutchins: 69 pages so far

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, By Neil deGrasse Tyson: 10 minutes of the audiobook so far. Not sure if I will stick with it, but it’s read by the author which is a great plus!


13 comments on “Sexuality among other things…”

  1. Reading is a personal thing yet it connects us to others in so many ways. I don’t know that I believe in to much information. Sometimes I feel (particularly in America) there is a discomfort with openness. Being open allows us to find others who can be our cheerleaders, allies or who need to hear someone else’s voice telling part of their story. I’m glad you shared and in the interest of genuine connection I hope you share more of yourself.
    I loved your musing on “queer”. Queer is an identity I took at 14 when I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate all of the politics of sexuality and labels and it is for me, a place that recognises my past and passions and future possibilities. I have enjoyed and suffered for my desires -all of which have been other people’s prejudice on socially constructed ideals about who is and isn’t an appropriate sexual partner based only on gender or sex.
    I take your point about white feminists, and I ask. Is it such a bad thing to be a white feminist and use the language of that group? Is it not appropriate that we have a set of norms and cohesive language identity? As a woman am I any less queer if I take a man’s penis inside me? Wouldn’t only being and wanting women make me a lesbian. Or is the concept really more than that?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, absolutely, the concept is much more than that! There is a bit of the mentality of “am I punk enough?”…in this case “am I queer enough?” I think personally, I’m not in a place where I can say a definite yes as confidently as I can for my art.

      When I mention “white feminism” I am thinking in terms of the long exclusionary history and racist behavior of say the Suffragette movement or even second wave feminism that fought for the right to work outside the home while women of color didn’t have the luxury of choice. Do not get me wrong. I love my right to vote and the autonomy of having a career, but these rights came about in a complicated way. I am white and a feminist, but I strive towards intersectionality, which to me means to continually check my privilege. This branch of “white feminism” is still very pervasive in our contemporary culture. Just look at the last presidential election.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this post and its related comments earlier this afternoon and have been thinking about it ever since. I am queer, though I rarely say that to almost anyone. I have always been bisexual but since I’m married to a giant white Polish dude I lost my gay card? So, anyway, in short I am with the both of you on the labels, etc. I do not identify as a feminist because of some of the sash-wearing politics associated with the earlier, whiter, richer, parts of the movement. I just don’t seem to feel like I can honestly say I am one for some reason, though of course I’m not anti-feminist and I respect anyone who identifies as a feminist and so on– you get it I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read your comment after replying to Solantra. I hope maybe you could adopt the term intersectional feminist. I still think the term “feminist” is relevant (despite it’s history) because it call attention to the oppressive nature of the patriarchy on women. With intersectionality that umbrella opens to include all people.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a big fan of Rev. Barber of Moral Mondays. He has begun a new movement in the style of Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. He uses the term “Fusion Politics” to describe activists coming together and working together on issues from a variety of perspectives. I think just policy for all, especially the “least of these” is the bottom-line. If that’s where labels and affiliations lead, I say great!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Uggh, I have a thyroid condition too. Your solution to the no-food-or-coffee-for-one-hour is brilliant! My solution has been to drag myself outside to walk the dog, who appreciates the attention, but I may try reading while waiting for that wished-for first cup of coffee.

    It occurs to me that we are incredibly lucky to be able to call ourselves what we feel we are, to be open with our identity instead of having to hide.Whatever the language.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is i true with a thyroid condition, we aren’t supposed to have gluten? If so, how do I know if gluten has a negative effect on me? People who are gluten intolerant always seem vague about their side effects…maybe this is a question for Borkali, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a lot of misconceptions about gluten– the thing about it, is gluten is found in many processed carbohydrates– think pasta, bread, etc. These foods not only contain gluten but are also very easily digestible, and often have a lot of other processing additives such as added sugars and such involved. Most people are not gluten intolerant, and the thyroid does not have much to do with gluten in general.

        If you have thyroid issues here are a few tips:
        -limit or eliminate added sugars from the diet
        -make sure to get in at least 10,000 steps a day
        -drink lots of water (or seltzer– nothing with sweeteners, sugar or artificial)
        – fasting helps, which sounds like you are approaching with your eating pattern

        This is a very quick thing but if you ever want to talk about nutrition and health, I am happy to have a chat any time!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Apparently I do seem to have some sort of thyroid issue and am still working on getting it diagnosed (it was diagnosed when I was at a clinic in India in December). I am frequently intolerably cold and that’s how it manifests mostly. An extreme intolerance to cold and pretty low level energy-wise. Thanks for these tips and I’d love to hear any others!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ohh, I could never give up bread–there’s a bakery here that makes an incredible whole wheat sourdough that I could happily live on–or even pasta, though I don’t eat it as frequently as I used to as when there were kids living under this roof with me who seemed to exist on macaroni and cheese and who nevertheless grew to be taller than me….

        Liked by 3 people

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