Break It Down, Butch.

December 23, 2010

[50] Whining.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 00:29
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I lost a client at work today.

I can’t go into much detail — confidentiality issues — but it was renal failure and an expected death and three fucking days before Christmas. I don’t want to whine, but Jesus, it’s my last week and this shit is not cool, universe.

He was a nice guy. He didn’t deserve to go out like that.

Everyone says that. And it sucks that most of what I’m focusing on is how I feel bad about things, but it has seriously been that kind of year. I have four more days at work (not including the three I get off in the middle), and I am sick of disasters and illness and fucking medication and people dying. I’m sick of being stressed out and screwed up and completely exhausted. I am really, really sick of sleeping on my mate’s sofa.

I’m heartsick and soul-sick and so not feeling butch right now.

This is just a bad moment, and I know things will look better when the sun comes up, but seriously, I need to get a job as a lumberjack or something.


August 30, 2010

[39] No good deed goes unpunished.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 17:40
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The next time I get all bright-eyed and enthusiastic about a too-good-to-be-true project, I warmly request that someone kicks me in the head. A lot. Until I come to my senses.

Remember that job promotion I was so pleased about?

Well. It turns out ‘we’ll train you up to use the systems and give you lots of golden opportunities to enhance your resume’ actually means ‘we’ll work you like a dog until you are a broken husk of a human being, drowning in an ocean sorrow’. Or something like that. Last week I worked over a hundred hours; this week I look set to do at least seventy. And it’s only Monday. By Friday I fully expect to be asleep in a ditch somewhere, possibly under the wreckage of my car.

Of course, it’s still interesting. Devastating to body, soul, and health — but interesting. I’m learning all sorts of useful things, chief of which is that my own blasted sense of honour and duty won’t let me quit in the middle of this hellhole. I plan to–

Ahaha. Midway through writing this, I got a call from one of the carers (one of my carers, because she is awesome and therefore one of my people) who just solved a big work-related problem for me. I feel much better.

Anyway, my plan is to stick things out for at least the next few weeks — insane hours and stupid girly work uniform aside — until we can get the new co-ordinator in and settled, and until I can see what the shape of my new job-niche looks like. And then I’ll go from there. Either things will get better, or they won’t and I’ll look for a new job.

Bizarrely, I feel optimistic either way. Apparently gut-wrenching exhaustion makes me fey.

August 29, 2010

[38] Ranty McRantison.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 20:46
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Today I had the privilege of working with an absolute berk.

He was twenty-six years my senior (though I outranked him, which, I’ll admit, was deeply satisfying) and utterly despicable. I found myself wishing he would die of impotence and scurvy. He was arrogant, racist, unbearably opinionated, massively overweight and sweaty, and just clever enough to be irritating but not enough to be useful. He cracked inappropriate, misogynist, horrible jokes all day, to the point that I threatened him with physical violence. And considered doing it.


I’m fortunate in my life, I think, that pretty much all the men I know are stand up, decent, honourable guys. Including the ones with XX-chromosomes, or otherwise. Part of that’s luck. Another big part is that I weed out the people I spend my time with pretty thoroughly. It’s a self-defence thing.

I found it genuinely, possibly naively shocking that this… weasel had survived past his thirtieth birthday. (Though not for the universe’s lack of trying, if his overblown accounts of being shot in Iraq, blown up in Iraq, assaulting a commanding officer in Iraq (and subsequently receiving a dishonourable discharge), and falling off a sixteen-foot crane in England are to be believed).

It’s a pet peeve of mine, when I read butch accounts that vilify men whilst lauding masculinity, as if masculinity only really works when housed on female foundations, but honestly, I wanted to cut this guy’s testicles off with an ice-cream scoop. He made me want to be female, truly female, out of sheer horror of sharing any commonalities.

Well, for a millisecond, anyway. Then I came to my senses and swore to be ten times the man.

It wouldn’t be hard.

May 14, 2010

[24] Playing Nice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 02:53
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Sometimes, speaking online is like having all your teeth pulled.

I should rephrase that. Sometimes, speaking nicely online is like having all your teeth pulled. Often willingly, so you can sit fangless in good company and not upset the mood. Because discussion should be polite, well-intentioned, forgiving of personal foibles, and inclusive.

I am not being sarcastic.

No, really, I’m not. Discussion should be all of those things. It really should. But here’s the nasty little glitch in the Matrix — we’re not just discussing here, us online gender-writers. Okay, some of us are, and that’s awesome and groovy, but a lot of us, a whole lot, are ranting and debating and thinking and raving and theorizing and defending our brand new points of view*. Our right to have rights. Hell, just our right to draw breath.

This butch thing, it’s not easy. And I resent the unspoken code of conduct not to wade in with a flaming torch and ass-kicking boots when someone crawls their way inside one of our journals and starts spreading verbal slime all over the walls. I resent that I’m not allowed to go to bat for my brothers and sisters for fear of reducing this little internet circle to “an unsafe space”. Seriously, that’s not cool. And while I’m all for polite discourse on the subject of whatever, I’m also going to very impolitely point out that there are no safe spaces, not really, not if you’re not willing to stand up and make them so.

Jesus, it took the Stonewall Riotsriots; blood and fists and bricks in the street — just to make a start in butch and queer getting some kind of acknowledgement, some free-thinking room, and now we’re so goddamned nervous of offending our own shadows.

We were born in battle, guys. In hurt and fire and hard, secret places, and we had to fight just for the right to stand next to like-minded folks. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that much has changed in forty-one years. Most of us still have to fight for the right to wear what clothes we like, to date who we want (be it butch, femme, twinkly lady-boy, kinky leatherbound furry, or what-the-hell-ever), and to piss wherever’s safe. To walk unmolested in the goddamned street.

So please, forgive me if I’m not feeling especially inclined to bend over backwards just to make Joe-ignorant or Lucy-asshole all warm and fuzzy when they come into our space, spreading whatever brand of bigotry most appeals. Particularly if Joe-ignorant or Lucy-asshole claim they are a part of our community to start with, because then they should damn well know better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to do gender my way. I’m not. Do it however makes you happy and more power to you, god yes. What I’m saying is that if you aren’t respectful, aren’t open-minded, aren’t willing to back up and consider that you might have made a mistake by being a fucking moron — myself included — then you sacrifice your right to be treated with any kind of courtesy.

I appreciate chivalry. I admire gentlemanliness (and gentlewomanliness). But I also thoroughly endorse thrashing the metaphorical hell out of anyone deserving in a good old-fashioned, well-crafted, blistering debate. And I really, truly, throughly do not care if fragile egos and delicate feelings get hurt in the process because, Christ, welcome to the freakin’ club. Grow some armour; build some character; experience some empathy, jackass.

Here’s the thing, we have come a long way from Stonewall, but we still have the absolute right to defend every last inch of ourselves, head to toe, inside and out, internet spaces included.

And seriously, if you find yourself changing the subject, you just lost.

ETA: In the spirit of brilliant timing, JB just threw up a guide to the art of argumentative shut-downs. How’s that for a hive mind?

*And a lot that aren’t brand new, if I’m honest.

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