Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2009-09-03

Correspondence: Online Dating for High Femmes & Lovers of Same

TO: [My profile name on OK Cupid]

FROM: [Name withheld]

RE: [No Subject]

I have seen you around before. I have a question, my ex is high femme, but other than that they are hard to find, where do i look for them? okcupid certainly does not seem to know. 😉

Dear [Name withheld]:

I totally hear you. On my end it’s hard to find dapper butches, genderqueers and FTMs who are even into high femmes on these online personal sites. Like, first and foremost, how hard is it to have a queer gender clickie box? Like, M, F or Fabulous?

My take on OK Cupid is that it is a great way to take fun quizzes and compare your results to your friends. It is also a great place for really hot fat straight or bi girls to meet cute nerdy boys who like really hot fat straight or bi girls. The amount of fat burlesque performers I know who have met boys via OK Cupid is staggering. At my part time job at Re/Dress, one of the Glamazons was lamenting the lack of datable boys in the city. I suggested she go on OK Cupid and then 3 months later she came back into the store and was happily moving along the commitment road with boyfriend she met there!

Also, I know a lot of genderqueer folks who identified as female on the site and found other genderqueer people for some genderqueer on genderqueer switchy pronoun love, which is totally awesome.

To answer your question about “where do you find high femmes” I asked around and found a lot of my friends who found love online found them through the current incarnation of butch-femme.com. Not the old matchmaker, which had its hey day in the early aughts, but the current incarnation. Either through chatrooms, forums or the photo galleries. People nowadays might want to plan to attend their Vegas Bash October 8-11th. It sounds like so much fun–imagine Vegas overrun with hot butches and femmes from all over the world! The best way to see the sin city, I think. I would totally go if I were not broke.

I performed at the Bash last year. I have never been active on the site, though I am good friends with a lot of people who are, and I found the Bash to be so welcoming and sweet. The people involved with the community there seem very invested in taking care of one another and celebrating each other’s awesomeness. This was the sense I’ve gotten in person. As with all online communities there are some trolls full of hateration on there I am sure.

In fact, I did meet someone really hot and fabulous at the Bash and had a great date with them a few months later when I went back to the Bay Area. I lament the distance.

Other than that, there is the old standby of Craig’s List. Which isn’t so bad, considering you can just do a quickie search of “queer” and “femme” and find someone or post something yourself. Since I acknowledge that as a Queer Fat Femme (and flamboyant, a burlesque performer, and confident) I’m a specialty food and not palatable to everyone, I like to post my own ads. It’s like fishing. Plus you feel less rejection when you’re in the driver’s seat. I think it’s also true for FTMs as well.

I’ve found the best Craig’s List ads work when you are more ambiguous about what you’re looking for. For me I need the people I date to be ethical smart confident good communicators who have thought about their gender and are comfortable in their skin. I prefer tattoos, good hair, over 5’5″ and at least a little chubby, but these are things that are not all necessary in one person.

Other than that, the other dating sites I’ve found (nerve.com personals, match.com, that one true love thing advertised on facebook)* have zero results. Most of the people I find to date are through dumb luck or meeting them in real life and having crushes on them for a long time and one of us ends up propositioning or whatever.

As for you, you seem really cool, dapper and hot (and I think I recognize you as well). I’m sure you’ll have no trouble. If you ever find yourself in NYC or I am in [hometown withheld] (I travel to perform a great deal) and you want to ask me on a date, I’ll definitely say yes.

xoxoxo,

Bevin

*A butch identified girl I know told me recently that she signed up for JDate personals even though she is not Jewish. She said it was because they have a section for goyim. They don’t actually, they have a section for “Not affiliated” and I feel a little complicated about infiltrating that. Glenn Marla is very confident it is for Jewish identified folks only. Any high femmes out there have any luck on J Date?

2009-04-07

Guest Post: Stacy Bias on the Hegelian Dialectic and HWP on Craig’s List

Hey, the Fat Girl Flea Market was an intense success! I raised $7,500 for NOLOSE, an organization I have mad love (and some critique) for with the help of Marisa. I have a video blog about it coming, as soon as I figure out how to edit video, which is my next big media idea and venture. In the meantime, here’s a guest post from my friend Stacy Bias. Everytime I see “Height/Weight Proportionate Please” in Craig’s List ads, I remind myself that the work I do as a Queer Fat Femme activist, performer and community leader is going to make it easier for the queer fat femme 20 year olds of today to date when they are 30 year olds like me. Simply stated, I use that shit as fuel for my fire. Here’s Stacy’s reaction, which is in the form of PROSE. xoxo, Bevin

The last few weeks I’ve been scouring the Internet for information on Hegel and his dialectic. His thing was “thesis, antithesis and syntehesis” — simplified, it’s “Problem, Reaction, Solution.” Now it is entirely possible that I have this wrong — I have no seat in the Ivory Tower and Hegel is notoriously complicated. What I offer below is, at best, an over-simplification — and at worst, a joint misconception, but even if I have but a fraction of the idea, it’s worthy of discussion. And it’s been enough to piss me off — which is really all I want to do with you here. I want to piss you off and remind you to ask questions. And maybe entertain you a bit at the end with a poem.

So – there’s nothing inherently bad about Hegelian Dialectic on its own, but when applied with forethought and sinister intention, it becomes a powerful tool for manipulation and shady transfers of power. It’s impossible to research the Hegelian dialectic without being dragged, wide-eyes unblinking, into the disturbing world of conspiracy theory. The most common Internet example given for understanding Hegel’s dialect involves the proposal that 9/11 was an ‘inside job.’ I’m not really interested in coming off as a crazypants, so I’ll choose a less extreme example. It’s important, however, to not dismiss this concept because it is, I believe, the foundation on which consumerism stands and is the rot at the root of our social evolution, both individually and as a culture.

Example 1: You are a child, it’s X-mas Eve and your mother wants you to go to bed so she can finish putting together your toy bike. She can’t tell you this outright or you’ll know there’s no Santa. In this moment, you have the power. You are young and small, and she could physically force you to go to bed, but that’s really no fun for either of you. Barring being hog-tied to your crib, you could also continue to get up and ask for water, you could throw a tantrum, you could be stubborn and willful – to your own detriment, of course, as you wouldn’t have the bike in the morning, but no matter – you could definitely make things harder on the both of you. So your Mother wants you to give up your power and do as she wishes. To accomplish this, she applies the Hegelian Dialectic:

“Sweetheart, if you don’t go to bed then Santa will not come and you won’t get your presents in the morning! He may have already skipped our house!” — Manufactured Problem.
You, of course, totally freak out, as that’s the last thing on earth that you want — Expected Reaction. (fear)
And then you promptly brush your teeth, put on your PJ’s and hop into bed with the blankets over your eyes and don’t move a muscle until morning, lest Santa should truly not come. — Predetermined Solution.

(Should I have put in a Santa spoiler-alert up there?) 😉

So, that’s a simple, every-day application of Hegel’s dialect. No one was really harmed — your mom got time to do a kind thing for you, and you got a good night’s sleep. Of course, the hours you spent agonizing about whether or not you’d offended Santa were kind of unnecessary, but you still got your bike. As far as shady applications go, that wasn’t so bad.

But let’s talk about the more subtle and sinister applications that have been eating away at our collective self-esteem for centuries. Let’s talk about consumerism — which is, at its most stripped-raw, the attempted transfer of personal power from the self to the marketplace. Not an objective description, I’ll grant you, but frankly — fuck objectivity about consumerism. Now marketing, in and of itself, isn’t inherently a bad thing – just like Hegel’s Dialect is not a bad thing by itself. It is the way in which it is applied that determines its merit.

Example 2 is less specific — but only because it will seem so familiar it hardly needs an introduction. Most marketing systematically seeks to create the PROBLEM (Need to lose weight? Teeth not white enough? Thighs not toned enough? Clothes not hot enough? Skin too wrinkly? Hair not shiny enough?) in order to create fear and insecurity (intended reaction) in order to get the customer to give up their personal power (i.e. confidence/empowerment) and convert their insecurity into a projected *need* for the marketer’s product. (the pre-determined solution.)

Simple as that — Dig a hole, fill it with product.

This is a long-winded way to get to the root of what I want to talk about below — which is Preference. Personal Preference. And the fact that, in this day and age, I am fairly certain that none of us can be trusted to take our personal preferences at face value, given they have likely been systematically predetermined for us over the entire course of our lifetimes, all the while we are blissfully unaware that what we think we think are thoughts that have mostly been thunk for us. It’s not a pretty prospect — but I don’t care how pristine the wall is, if you throw enough crap at it, something will eventually stick.

Lest someone think I take issue with all preferences, let me clarify that the only real problem I have with preference is how much of it goes wholly un-examined. If you dig at the root of your preference and find healthy, sound reasoning that makes sense and works for you — go for it. But I believe that we must regard many of our likes and dislikes with suspicion — and that the only way to step out of this rather sinister trifecta employed by those who would have us salivating like pavlovian puppies at the sound of a commercial break is to be empowered, aware and conscious consumers — in all markets (tangible and not.)

This thought process brought me to the following, admittedly self-serving, poem — which joyfully employs a trite rhyming convention to illustrate why I hate surfing Craigslist.

Let’s talk about HWP. You craigslist junkies will likely know what this means, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure, I’ll expand the acronym. HWP = Height/Weight Proportionate. In other words, it’s a socially acceptable way to say “No Fatties.”

Now I’m recently un-coupled, and while not ready yet to date,
Just the fact of being single puts this dogma on my plate –
Checking ads to see what’s out there, just in case I get a whim,
I am struck by how the margin of acceptance is so slim.

Your weight must be exactly in proportion to your height?
Height of what, I ask you? Of severity? Of might?
Is my height of intellect proportionate in measure,
to the weight of skills I have in giving lover’s pleasure?

You see, Hegel may have called it out inside his dialectic:
predetermined outcomes based on formulated rhetoric.
But so subtle are the ways in which our views are formed and guided,
that often we believe they’re things we consciously decided.

I think nurture plays as big a role as nature in this game,
Nature being who we are, and Nurture; what’s to blame.
The thing we need remember is that even truth’s subjective;
opinions hardened into ‘fact’ by vote of the collective.

Let’s apply this logic, now, to beauty as a construct,
adherence to its rules; a voluntary code of conduct –
What if we were all to truly give ourselves permission,
to overwrite the jargon with our own new definition?

I offer, not as judgment, but as simple point of reference
that intolerance is often found beneath the guise of preference –
And if we are to bring about our social evolution,
questions, more than answers, will determine our solution.

Why is it I feel the way I feel about this thing?
Who is it that taught me – and what value does it bring?
Your conclusion, it may ultimately place you where you started –
What matters is the fact that you explored the paths uncharted.

I invite you, gentle people, with the best of your intention,
To take into your world a brand new sense of intervention;
To never take on faith the things you’re taught you should believe,
‘Cuz truth is seldom simple as our messy hearts perceive.

©2009 – Stacy M. Bias

Stacy Bias is a fat, queer femme dyke activist, educator and entrepreneur, nesting in the happy belly of the Portland, Oregon. As Bevin says, “Portland loves a fatty,” but even here we have borders to push. Stacy’s activist projects can be found at stacybias.net and her attempt to leave her day job can be found here: taproothosting.com

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