Dark Mother

I am continually surprised that the words “male” and “female” are so broadly conflated with “masculinity” and “femininity”. The scientific reality of who we superficially label male, female, or intersex is a many faceted and complex chemical, biological, and chromosomal reality. A reality that incredibly few people (if any) know the entire story of, even about themselves. How many people have been tested for chromosomal variations, had their hormone levels scrutinized, or their brains scanned for sexed patterns? Not many.

The reality of how bodies are constructed and what each individual is capable of and incapable of across any number of skill ranges, emotional responses, desires, likes, dislikes, and preferences is far reaching in its variance. Many personal preferences emerge due to socializing and family upbringing rather than natural instinct. Looking across cultures there are more than a few “masculine” traits deemed “feminine” from one culture to the next, as well as flipped expectations historically as we travel through time. Ruth used to be a man’s name, pink was what boys wore not so long ago, and women weren’t allowed to don pants in public (much less prefer the clothing style) once upon a time. The desires we attach to femininity or masculinity are largely based in archetype. The Mother archetype drives “feminine” expectations, and the Father, “masculinity”. Certainly though, in this day and age (and indeed throughout history since the beginning of time), many citizens have not opted to become parents. Many AFAB bodies never become pregnant due to capability, desire, and/or circumstance. Many AMAB people never accomplish impregnation for a plethora of reasons as well. Does this mean that these “females” are not feminine, or that these “males” are less than masculine? Of course not. And what expectations do we lay upon the intersex child? What desires and skills are set aside for them as they grow old and discover the world?

In truth, we are all capable of a very wide range of instincts and desires, skills and preferences. We are all connected to the nurturing Mother archetype, and the engine for action which we deem masculine. In many philosophies it is believed that each individual holds both yin and yang within their bodies and spirits, and balance is the ultimate goal. Why then have we designated demonstrative extremities of masculinity or femininity to be markers of successful maleness and femaleness respectively? Each of us can desire both and neither from any entry in a collated column of social standards. Phenotypic sex, that moment of assumption from a medical professional who checks a box on a piece of paper, is a singular tragedy which plays into our future potential measured by society. This one cosmetic assumption (or surgical creation) is only a fraction of the story about how a body functions, yet it becomes the flawed measuring stick the whole of our lives is measured against. Women with high sex drives and no desire to raise children, men who are stay at home fathers and love to garden and sew, intersex people, transgender people, non-binary realities — these lives are not supremely rare nor deeply hidden when you look around, even if they are maligned, ignored, suppressed, or downplayed by the limited imaginations of scores of binary-mythology devotees.

It is time to look deep within. Who are you? What do you love? How do you want to be known? What is this life, this body, to you? To love your body is to know what you want for yourself in your life. Whether you are into body modification to make you feel more desireable, whole, or content (be it in the form of piercings, plastic surgery, tattoos, hormone replacement therapy, or any number of other expressive choices you make for yourself), or whether you are content not to change your physicality at all to center your empowerment (choosing only to drape your body to suit your tastes), you are allowed the life your heart feels is your own. Your body, your gender, your sex, your potential, all these things belong to no one other than your intelligent, changeable, ever evolving self.

***

Dark Mother

Out of dark waters from the Mother
We come marching

The battlefield of our lives
Finding sanctity of self

Quick, away the raining conquests
Who would see you in jails unimaginable

Welcome these three forms first
Wanting nothing from you
To your door instead

Feminine nurtures you whole
Masculine carrying momentum
Enchantrix Balance awakens the garden
Of Joy, fulfillment, and potential

Open your arms
Cook for these close strangers
Bed them in your home

They will teach you how to pull the strings
Connecting us all

***

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

National Abortion Coming Out Day

I finally figured out what lipstick is for. Photo by Karin Webb

One of the things that contributes to healthy BDSM and Kink is the clear understanding that we own ourselves regardless of what is going on. This primary acknowledgement is what allows us to give control over to others and to take responsibility for our actions. We can consent to being used and to use, to find limits, experiment, and celebrate our flesh and our fantasies together. Without first owning ourselves, we can not give or take back freely and safely; we end up looking to another for permission or to know what is right. It is important and radical to know yourself, to own yourself, to fight for that one thing you were born with: your body. Today I write about a topic I feel deeply about:

HAPPY 44th ANNIVERSARY OF ROE V WADE!!!!! It has been 44 years since the half of the population who can get pregnant has had protected legal access to abortion and to the choice of how to govern their own bodies in the United States of America. Safe and accessible abortion is not, though, easy for much of our population to get to, afford, or feel safe accessing, and every day groups work to take this medical privilege away. In honor of choice and bodily autonomy being preserved, respected, and improved, I move to name today January 22: “National Abortion Coming Out Day”. The idea has been on my mind for a very long time, and I think this is the year that I can no longer put my thoughts off until tomorrow. Today is the day.

National Abortion Coming Out Day is about creating space for people who have had abortions, who have had partners who have had abortions, people who’ve supported someone getting an abortion, or who love and care for people who have had abortions to openly speak their truths. Open discourse about this topic has been suppressed and controlled through fear, violence, abuse, and an ensuing silent void. Take a moment and think about your history with abortion. How has it impacted your life? How has it impacted the lives of people you care for? How does the issue of abortion impact the lives of people less privileged than yourself? What questions do you have about abortion?

Share something about what you find with your community. Be willing and open to have conversations about what it means to own your body and your life. If you want to connect to a community with resources and support, check out the 3 in 1 Campaign, they’re great!

People have been having abortions, inducing miscarriages, and controlling their fertility since the beginning of knowing how to do it. You are not alone or unloved for choosing what to do with your body or your life. If you choose to carry a pregnancy to term, good for you! If you choose to terminate your pregnancy for any reason, congratulations on taking care of yourself, and good for you too! Our options stand on the shoulders of the fertile people and those helping them who have come before us, for thousands of years in study, wisdom, and developing practice. Medical people, Midwives, Doulas, Shamans, Witches, Doctors, Nurses, Veterinarians, Herbalists, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, even neighbors, lay people, and activists have had a hand in making abortion accessible and safe.

I had an abortion when I was 17, and I’m really glad I had access to it. I was supported emotionally, materially, familially; and I had the help of a partner with a car, and time to schedule it and heal before getting back to my high school classes. My life would be very different if I had a 21 year old right now, and that’s not the life I chose for myself. I don’t regret having that abortion one tiny little bit, I am grateful for it. It was safely performed in a hospital in Bangor, ME, and I was lucky that there were no complications. Since that time I’ve taken Plan B a couple times when condoms broke and the timing was bad, and I educate myself about aborcienifant herbs, tinctures, my fertility cycle, and natural methods of inducing miscarriage or starting a sluggish menstrual flow. There have been times I’ve taken herbs to jumpstart a late period when I was worried pregnancy was a possibility. I don’t have sex with people who are anti-abortion and anti-bodily-sovereignty. I have a right to my body and my bodily functions. So do we all.

Handsome devil with a uterus at your service… Photo by Karin Webb

So why are you sporting a mustache and binding in the photographs?

  • Shapeshifting to understand myself more deeply is a part of who I am as an individual and as an artist. I perform drag (across many gender constructs); I have since I wrote my first monologue at age 11. I enjoy binding in my daily life and wearing facial hair sometimes. Those are two ways I express myself.
  • I am gender fluid identified and use a few gender labels to explain my identity.
  • I think assumptions about gender in conversations about healthcare further alienate and put in danger people who aren’t men or women. Transmen, Intersex individuals, and people who don’t identify as women get to make choices about their fertility too.
  • I can’t post a photo of my breasts on most social media sites, so binding fits — there are only so many times you can grab yourself on camera to avoid areola exposure and not get bored with the results. It’s also an opportune moment to point out sex-based discrimination.
  • Culturally when we think of “ownership”, we most often associate the concept with masculinity. How has that affected the historical and present conversations about bodily autonomy when we consider fertility and offspring?
  • I think this photo says something about the entire concept of owning one’s body in our society. I had to break a lot of rules to even conceive of it.

Who gets to own bodies? Historically? Religiously? In relationships? In families? In hospitals? In bed? Over time? In prison? In poverty? Out dancing? In different cultures? In resistance? In public? In art? At school? In dangerous situations? At any moment someone else feels uncomfortable? Under the influence of various substances? At work? Within the constructs of privilege? …

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and consider supporting me, or just click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

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