Saturday, May 15, 2004

Word of the day: Tetchy

Thanks to unemployment, my sleep schedule is slowly but surely falling back into its natural state - that is, me falling asleep at 7 in the morning, and getting up at 2 in the afternoon, without even needing an alarm. Good thing that interview I was supposed to have today got rescheduled, because I didn't get to sleep until nearly 6.

Since it was rescheduled, I went back to sleep this afternoon, waking up shortly before J got home from work. We sleep naked, so since I hadn't even really gotten up at all today, I was still in that state. I was standing in the hallway when he got home, looking tired and forlorn, wrapped in a towel. He was his bouncy six-year-old self when he got home today. That grated a bit.

I crawled back into bed and was reading my copy of The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. It's fascinating and thought-provoking, but something I learned in high school was that everything has a spin on it.

It does have an agenda, if you will; it's blatantly feminist and rather anti-Church and patriarchy, but in a somewhat subtle and rational way. The Church, in any of its incarnations, is fallible, and has made some serious fuckups. It's also hypocritical, oppressive, and just flat out full of fucking assholes. But so's the rest of the world. I am tempted, however, to write to various Catholic and Protestant leaders who are up in arms about gay marriage and shrieking that "from time immemorial, marriage has been between one man and one woman and that's how God decreed it and it's sacred" about how their own church used to preach that celebacy was the way to go, and didn't even recognize marriage as anything but an abomination until fairly recently it its history. Funny that.

Obviously there's a lot in the book about matriarchal societies, how the Goddess was around first, usurpation of Pagan rituals for the church's benefit, etc. and so on. I like matriarchy; my mother's side of the family pretty much is one. Sure, there's more guys than women, but if you're around us much, you'll notice a pretty clear pecking order, and it starts with my grandma. The men are all well and good, and we love them, and they're great at supporting us and being there, but really, the buck stops with the women - my grandma, my mom (as the only daughter), to a lesser degree my aunts. They're the ones raising the kids, picking the house and furnishings, cooking the dinners, cleaning the house, painting the walls and fixing stuff, taking care of everyone else, and most of the important family belongings and valuables are passed down via the women. I am cast from the exact same mold as my mom and grandma. I look like them, I act like them, I even sound like them (my mom especially; people often can't tell us apart on the phone), and in the family, I have the same sort of authority as them, albeit on a greatly diminished scale for now.

So after reading the entries on marriage, motherhood, sex, and so on, and reflecting upon my background, I'm trying to reconcile my desire for submission with my upbringing as a matriarch-in-training. It's making me, quite frankly, tetchy. Being conflicted about what one is and what one wants to do is not pleasant. J's not helping either. When I get this way, I get a bit snappy, and tend to tell him what to do, and dammit, the dipshit just does it. So far I've made him fetch me snacks, refill my water bottle, and ordered him to stay the hell away from me right now. To me, this rather defeats the purpose of his proposed activities for the weekend. Maybe it's just a character defect, but I find it difficult to submit to someone who takes orders from me without question or hesitation.

But dammit, everyone else does! I'm one of those people blessed (cursed?) with physical presence - I'm not a small person, in any sense of the word. And, when I give flat-out orders, people tend to follow them. Even in my sorority, my unofficial name is "matriarch" - as much for the amount of littles I have as the way I act. I don't believe that it's really too much to ask that at least in one aspect of my life, I'm not in charge. I'd really like a man that's able to keep up with me - not completely conquer me, and subjugate me, because I need my independence, but who can be stronger than me and, when needed, take me in hand.

And to tie that into the feminist and matriarchal angle, I don't think that really goes against any of those principles - despite the spin of the Women's Encyclopedia, which tends to put most aspects of BDSM on a level with patriarchy and suppression of women. I think a woman can be strong, the archetypal "house-goddess", and still have a strong male consort. I think that having a strong, even, dare I say it, dominant male as a provider and protector of the female goes hand-in-hand with reverence for her and her abilities - especially if it's by her choice. And I think that serving and taking care of a man fits right in with the "traditional" role of women as care-takers and mothers. I'm confident enough in my abilities to be able to admit that taking care of people makes me happy, regardless of how undervalued that capacity of women is lately.

If every goddess has her consort - who, by most accounts, weren't wimps - then dammit, I want mine.

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