The queer theory silver lining in each chapter:
- Early Beginnings
- All out rebellion against my dad’s lies
- Pathological Anarchist
- A feminist-ally is unable to understand he’s being abused by a member of the oppressed.
- A fresh start, but do dreams ever live up to reality?
- I’m a better anarchist than you…
- The Personal is Political – Reflections on Mike Mills film Beginners
- The Spaniard
1) Early acts of rebellion and identity formation. An experiment in writing about entitlement and hardship, I wanted to show the value for other kids in reconnecting with your family history and the best privilege of all is having members of the family who truly love and care about you as true co-conspirators. See also Refusing to be a man.
2) How having a sucky dad can be useful in distancing ones ideas from men larger than life at an early age.
3) How anarchism justified my desire for a nomadic existence and how I sought interdependence as a solution to a changing world. See also how our histories of abuse infect our anarchist practice.
4) a) Finding a language in consent culture to identify and call out controlling manipulative behaviour even of those most active card waving members of a fiercely emancipatory movement;
Being in a relationship with a woman with a toxic mix of guilt around them:
Enjoying romantic gender polar role scripts clashing with their identity as gay, wanting to not feel the need to hold on to a romantic relationship to men.
Feeling like they’ve been promised certain sexual experiences by images and role scripts in society and turning to coercion to get it, clashing with their identity as a feminist. Wanting to be able to say; be a man!
b) Undercurrent of separatist feminism and privileged students being blind to the way they enact classist exclusivist clique lingo, how chasing a gendered ideal subject youth project made them ignore relationship abuses that weren’t male perpetrated.
5) a) Being let down by the prospect of getting to let go of control through submission, to then be asked mid-scene to become the dominant again whilst still being tied up, triggering feelings of being dominated from the bottom again and being tricked, literally ‘tied’ into the idea whilst still in ‘sub-space’.
No one in the wrong, just a failure of communication beforehand, I wasn’t ready to switch roles so fast. Nothing wrong with this type of scene either, there are many people who enjoy being or being with dominant bottoms without even thinking about it or giving it a name and still more who script role-play scenes around this idea or advertise themselves in groups on dating websites as such.
b) An unconscious personal uneasiness with PIV coming to the surface, as the crescendo of sex and the way it shapes dynamics, who is performing, who is judging, who is giving access.
c) Awkwardness around stopping sex and making the other person feel unwanted whilst feeling unwanted for being real me, feeling fake, complicated or limited sexual desire and trying to find ways to feel ok about that in a sex-positive movement.
d) Getting hurt by experimenting with polyamory again and not being myself to feel more liberated and feeling numb this time when it all comes crashing down again.
6) Sex critical movement ideas being re-produced, opening up honest dialogue about sex role scripts and personal authenticity, instead of sectarian identity politics.
7) Tolerated identities of resistance. A couple who don’t feel restricted in their expression or identify as oppressed because they aren’t stigmatized like their parents were, but were both educated in the patriarchy through their Freudian relationship to their parents, try to work through their repressed childhood and new found freedom by being fiercely spontaneous in face of any rules, and creating safe spaces with each other which allows for not being taken too seriously.
8) Ways to take down an alpha male without becoming one, and to feel ok about not being a macho activist in the process.
Honesty when writing
More honest than I would be to a stranger on the street but also more distorted image than I would give to a friend of only the bad times in my life.
Way to honest to justify myself to the terms of true victimhood under essentialist feminism in the movement in order to be accepted, I should have felt ok about holding back and being backed up by my emancipatory intersectional co-conspirators, but I wasn’t.
But it worked because it showed where drama ran over into abuse and how the framing of the interaction (them the oppressed) stopped me from taking the necessary steps to leave the relationship.
Even though I was victimized, my reason for writing was to describe the tools I had picked up along the way in the movement to stay true to myself and the ability in many of the situations to exit the drama triangle because I was contemplative and didn’t play the game.
Much more likely these days to laugh about the obvious flaws in trying out different relationship styles like asexuality midway through a relationship, but I simply wasn’t in that place at the time and I’m glad my writing reflected that because I don’t think it would have packed the same weight as if I’d brushed it all off so easily.