February 2018
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my worldview as spiritual, genderfree, a radical feminist/equalist, queer, & polyamorous

Building on the post about lack of community, what I yearn for is to know more people who see the world in these ways*:

★ spiritual (not religious) -- believing in spiritual things, yet adhering to no external creed or tenets; believing in what resonates with one's own spirit, and questioning anything that does not.
I take spiritual guidance from a blend of ancient Egyptian concepts (Kemetic beliefs), Native American animism, the teachings of Jesus (NOT the christian church), and Neo-Druidism, and it is wonderful to find those who also take spiritual guidance from one or more of those paths. This is the easiest one to find, and for that I am really grateful. Even if people share none of my paths, sharing the individual-spirituality-journey is pretty incredible.

★ genderfree* -- believing that sex (physical genitalia) does not create an inherent difference in the inner-self, that we have the power to rid ourselves of gendered thinking, and that it is important for the sake of equality to choose to change one's thinking/language to eliminate* gender (not necessarily to the point of using genderfree pronouns).
This is a big deal because the concept of gender influences everything -- and it is also the hardest thing to find. It's such a widespread concept that most people don't even question it -- even if they feel that they don't fit within their sex's assigned gender! I appreciate when people say/act "this gender doesn't fit me, so I'm leaving it" as that is brave and so true (since gender doesn't fit anyone), but I feel that that is just the first step. Rather than moving from one to another or making a new, smaller category, I'd like to broaden and merge the categories into human. I'm a person who happens to be female in the same way I happen to be white -- those outward qualities affect my life, but do not define/decide who I am. I am aware that I am being stereotyped when people call something-that-does-not-have-to-do-with-the-female-body feminine/girly because that implies that since I am female/a 'girl,' I am drawn to (or defined by) whatever is being called feminine/girly. I find this upsetting and I would like to know more people who also find it upsetting and avoid using gendered language. (my body is completely unrelated to mani-pedis, gossip, the mall, diets, long hair, jewelry, romantic movies, makeup, the color pink, frills, lace, fluffy things, high heels, skirts, etc. etc. etc.)

★ a radical feminist/equalist -- believing that all human beings should be treated with the same respect yet are not, and taking responsibility to change the world by eliminating hate speech as well as other forms of discrimination.
Since I see women as the most widely oppressed group, I feel that feminism is the first stretch of a journey toward full human equality* (thus the addition of the 'equalist' modifier). Radical feminism is a small subset of feminism -- getting into the differences would be a post to itself. Suffice to say that as hard as it is to find people who are passionate feminists, it's at least three times as hard to find radical feminists. And to find spiritual feminists is ALSO very hard because a lot of feminists see theist spirituality as an expression of religion, and they see religion as a structure that enforces discrimination -- so they tend to be atheists. (which, I need to remind myself, is NOT the same as being a physicalist!) But the point is, they're very hard to find, extremely hard when you add spiritual, damn-near impossible when you add genderfree. And this one is extremely important to me because I feel this world is in extreme crisis and we need everyone to become aware and create change.

★ queer (and activist) -- being true to oneself after having deeply and open-mindedly considered one's sexual attraction, and taking responsibility to change the world so that all adult-human-to-adult-human sexual attractions are treated with equal respect.
I feel especially kin to people who are bisexual / pansexual / sapiosexual out of a disbelief in gender, but I feel kin in a broader sense to everyone who has at least considered attraction to more than one sex, because it marks a journey of understanding oneself. By 'activist' I mean taking personal responsibility for eliminating discrimination; if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. This one is important to me for the same reason feminism is -- I feel this world is in extreme crisis and we need everyone to become aware and create change.

★ polyamorous (committed, not-kinky)* -- open to multiple serious romantic relationships that do not involve b/d/s/m.
I specify committed because casual sex does not interest me -- I only want to share myself in a committed way*. I specify not-kinky because 90% of all the polyamorous people I've come across are into b/d/s/m and I am not at ALL interested in that* as I do not like power imbalance/exchange, or giving/receiving pain. So as hard as it is to find poly people, it's 10 times harder to find poly-not-kinky people. That's a big deal to me because my philosophy on sex involves seeking a perfect power equality continually, so it's not compatible with those who do not seek the same thing. This one is not important that friends share with me, but it is really rare and it frustrates me that the people I come across seem to either be monogamous or have an incompatible view of sex. Not that I want a billion lovers, but I would like more possibilities... ultimately I would love to have a small family of partners (maybe 3-4).

um. to sum up: [spiritual + (kemetic + animist + druid + jesus(-church)) + genderfree + feminist + (radical + genderfree) + queer + polyamorous + (committed + non-kinky)] = very very small percent of general population. I tried to make a real equation but then my head started to hurt and I remembered I haven't done real math in untold ages. I fail at geekery.

* ETA August 2009: this needs editing because some of my views have expanded, though they maintain the same core.

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raine_insane ══╣╠══
This was a really educational post, I feel like I know you better now.
phydeau ══╣╠══
Very informative. I'd like to hear more about radical feminism being a subset of feminism.

I did some quick, ugly estimates, and even taking genderfree out of the equation left an estimate of about .012% of the general population, possibly as high as .1% if you assume that a person's propensity for one aspect may increase the likelihood for having a propensity for the others.
darkpool ══╣╠══
Thats 720,000 people, unless I added in an extra zero which is possible.
phoenixdreaming ══╣╠══
Have you ever read anything by Starhawk? (Witch, feminist, environmentalist, activist.) What you say about gender reminds me of reading her Spiral Dance (Goddess spirituality text written in the late 70s), the 20th anniversary edition with the dual-gendering of the original and of 'traditional' Wicca challenged -- can't remember if it was in the notes & preface or if she rewrote some chapters to free them of the gender essentialism (I think the latter). It was incredibly inspiring to me as a 16 year old or so, shaking up my notions of gender as inextricably linked to sex. (Among many other things -- was rather a life-changing book for me.) I suspect you might really enjoy her writing; I can certainly see parallels between your beliefs and what I know of hers.
cheshm_badoomi ══╣╠══
i dont know, maybe youre just hanging out in the wrong spots sweetheart. im up to my eyeballs in "spiritual, genderfree, radical feminist/equalist, queer, & polyamorous" folks. so much so that it drives me crazy. go take a class or something, go hang out at the wst department for .02 seconds at gsu. im NOT spiritual, im a radical feminist, but it seems like we might have different ideas of what that entails, my thoughts on gender are i dont know, semi related to yours, but not on the same page really, i think queer is a silly term, and we've discussed this before, and in general i think needing to 'define' sexuality is a really weird, disgusting, and pathologized western concept, and polyamorous.. well, im just not. i dont really care if others are, but its not important to me either way.
its not like ive made a million best friends downtown. i cant speak for the emory wst department ,because im not as familiar with them, but i can say that at least at gsu.. maybe 80% of the kids in the department either completely think like you, or have way more in common with you than they do me. i dont know. no one is as special as they think. not even me, to my own dismay haha. there are far more people out there like you than you know about, guess it sucks for me that i happen to know all of them instead. and you know, 'out there' isnt out in some broad, vague, internet-land ... im talking about atlanta. theres no lack of community for you, you just havent seen it yet. youd get on better with the wst department, professors and students both, much better than i ever have.
also, your comment about feminists mostly being atheists.. can i ask why you think that? i think its a really unfair generalization, and i have no idea where youd get that idea from. the majority of feminists ive ever interacted with, radical or otherwise, felt some sort of 'spiritual' connection, many saw it even as a device to fight the misogyny they saw in organized religion. spirituality has long been used as a tool of american feminists. im not religious or spiritual, but im also not an atheist.
adamantplatypus ══╣╠══
I was thinking about you on my drive into work. Is it possible that living in the south -an area with a more conservative view on most things- might be the reason?

You'd be surprised how radically different folks in another area may view the world (and I have been!).
fire_my_spirit ══╣nekkid stars by icon_possession╠══
I'm interested in your concept of gender as it relates to someone's spirit or soul, instead of their physicality -- and I ask this question in honest curiosity. I am very accepting of the concept that someone's gender is a separate thing from their sexual organs, and though the people around me often prove the stereotypes right I don't approve of gender-based stereotypes and it makes me angry when someone explains behavior by saying, "Well, that's because he's a MAN" or some such.

But I find it difficult to conceive of there not being a gender difference at all, perhaps because I have a very deep and strong feeling that I am a woman, and I know what it means to be a woman, so deep that it's a knowledge about myself that I have not yet found a way to turn around and express it in words. And at the same time I understand somewhere what it means to be a man, but I have a very clear awareness that I Am Not That, and I am comfortable and even happy with all this. Though I love my own physicality I'm not sure how much any of this is tied to it, and my own awareness of myself as "woman" does not seem to have anything to do with my physical body or the fact that I drape it in skirts.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I would like to hear more of your thoughts about gender and if the concept of male and female is even something that exists at all for you. I actually love the duality of it and I'm not sure it's anything I'll ever truly want to be away from, but I'd like to try to wrap my head around the concept of no gender if I can.
austentatious ══╣╠══
I love reading your posts. :) I hope that I don't sound like a broken record, but I always learn something from each of your posts.

I agree/understand/relate to a few of these things, while others I don't feel as though I relate to personally, for me. I hope that it doesn't make our sense of community any less though. :(

I keep meaning to make a post like this one but I never get around to it. Maybe this weekend! *optimistic*
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
I'm not poly (anymore? I've sort of bordered on it in the past), but I totally feel you on the "NOT kinky" thing. Non-kinkiness is a big deal to me too.

And I'm with you on the genderfree/feminist/queer stuff too, of course.
fialleril ══╣wisdom & strength╠══
I'd consider myself spiritual in the sense you describe and religious. But for me, for the place I am in life right now, I practice an established religion because I can experience my spirituality through that, and because through my religious liturgy I feel connected to humanity as a whole and to the divine. I do speak of the divine as God, but I don't consider that to be a gendered word, and I would equally speak of Spirit, Tree of Life, Rain Water, and any number of other images. I'm not sure if that would fit in with what you're describing here or not.

Gender-free is definitely something I can understand. I'm asexual, and one of the things that meant in my experience (though this isn't true for all asexuals) was that, growing up, I was very unaware of gender for a long time. Until I was about 12, maybe even a little older, I never thought of myself as a girl, or of other people as either girls or boys. They were just people, and that was how I described myself, too. But as I got older and started encountering all of the many, many things my society told me I couldn't do because I was female...well, I suppose I was almost forced into perceiving gender where I might not have otherwise.

Now, I'm not sure I can really say I'm gender-free, because to me it feels like trying to paint over the very real inequalities that exist between the genders. And whether I personally identify as male or female or non-gendered almost doesn't matter, because the world is still going to treat me like a woman, and try to dictate my behavior accordingly. Which is, of course, where the feminism comes in. I'm glad to meet someone who's both a feminist and gender-free, because that means there are people who aren't just painting over the socially imposed differences.
willowing ══╣╠══
i don't know here *that* well but giniliz seems to have a lot of similar opinions/ views to you. maybe you guys can connect. :)
bellerisa ══╣╠══
I think it's really interesting that the majority of polyamorous people are kinky. Not quite sure in what way it is interesting though - my brain hurts too, lol.

It is tough not belonging to a like-minded community. You could take comfort in the fact that you really *know yourself* well. Another rare thing!
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I think that we do share a similar worldview, in that we are both spiritual, feminist and queer activists. I think we differ mainly in the fact I am monogamous and anti-gender stereotyping rather than genderfree. I do not see our differences as a bad thing, I see them as a source of thought and contemplation and what it is that is fundamental to our own being. I truly believe to understand your own worldview you need to understand other worldviews and your willingness to share helps me do that. :)
musicandmisery ══╣medium - allison <3╠══
I already knew that there were so many different ideas and layers to these descriptives, but you writing this all out really hit it home for me. I really appreciate this post because it was educational in a way, and it also gave me a better insight to who you are. :)
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.