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June 6th, 2005


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07:56 am - Some anger management
Last week, someone (I don't know who, and I don't care) referred to my friends as objects. In particular, they were talking about the women I know and have known at festivals over the past two years.

Now, I don't mind rumours: they'd all be untrue, and everyone knows that.

What I do mind is that these people I know; the ones I hang out with; the ones who have taught me a lot about and shown me what independent, strong-willed, assertive women can really do; and the ones whose friendship I wouldn't trade for anything have been painted as "arm candy".

Like I said, I don't know who used that particular phrase, and I'd prefer not to. I'd rather think that it was someone who doesn't know me or the women I hang out with.

I would ask, though, that you stop and reconsider that language. The women I've met at festivals, through PSA, through ADF, and through my involvement with various other Pagan groups are more than just pretty faces (though many of them are very pretty). They're indepedent, interesting people. Each one of them has brought something new and interesting into my life, each one has added a layer of depth (not superficiality) to my world, and each one has proven time and again that they're more than some pretty thing sitting on my arm.

I spend a lot of time with individuals at festivals, I know that. Often, I spend that time for various reasons (I may feel protective, they may show great hospitality, or I might feel safe with them). In the long run, I never plan on it happening. It just does. They may offer me a mead horn, share an interest in a topic, or corner me and not let me go. But I always, always find them amazing, intriguing, deep people with more layers than I can ever count, and that is why I find myself so interested in them.

Special thanks to smithing_chick, ceolnamara, mistw02, qorinda, perlgirlju, shizukagozen, healing_coyote, singingwren, and Erien, all of whom are really beautiful and wonderful people that I've spent festivals with.
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: "Island Fever", -JB

(44 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:fred_smith
Date:June 6th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
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Its good to know that you are hanging out with Humans, and not cabbages or anything.

I find it odd to compare your situation to that of most of my female friends, who are the sort of people to hang out mostly with blokes. It seems to me that their friends never get thought of as a harem or arm candy, or as property. Maybe there's a double standard thing going on.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I would never hang out with cabbages. *shudders*

The Harem itself is an interesting study, because it's a self-identification. No one gets put into that that doesn't want to be. My "harem" is made up of women who have said they are part of it, not by women who have been placed there by others.

Hell, I didn't even call it that (and never would have, either, if danicia hadn't used the term to refer to the way I was picking up LJ friends from Cedarlight Grove).
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From:unnamed525
Date:June 6th, 2005 12:51 pm (UTC)
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You know, it could be argued that you're just saying all that in order to gain points with them ... but even though I don't know you all that well, I think you're far to sincere to do something like that.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
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*wipes brow*

Whew. Almost figured me out there. You're dangerous :)

Actually, I'm saying it because it's something that needs to be said. It's too rare that we tell people how much we really think of them.

And of course, the list of people above are just the women that I've spent *lots* of time with at various festivals, and doesn't begin to cover all the women I've met at them.
From:ravenlaughing
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
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holy crap, are you clone-able?
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Maybe. I'm not sure. You'll just have to try and see.

But the world probably doesn't need more than one of me :)
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From:singingwren
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)

is this comment longer than your post? he he...

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Sooner or later, a shallow comment like that is bound to happen. Some people get jealous, or some people feel like they are no longer as important if a friend theirs continually acquires other friends (particularly those they may perceive as competition.) They feel "replaced," I think. But these reactions are selfih.

In truth, it's terribly fun to have friends who are engaging and social. Not only do you have fun together, but they expand your world as well. On that small list you posted at the bottom alone I know half and the other half I've commented back and forth on, and all of them are just the type of people I like and would like to befriend. But I wouldn't have ever come in contact with half of them (Monika Bononika is the perfect example) if not for you. I am positive that Erian and I will be friends when I meet her, too. We can run around and climb stuff together. :) And whoever comes next, bring it on. I know you well enough now, or at least I fancy that I do, that I know we are not to be dropped as soon as something prettier comes along.

Besides, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but there's a pattern in these women -- all of them would bring about your destruction if you tried to abandon them. ;D Haha, but seriously, can you name one person on that list who would quietly accept an arm-candy status? ;)

Despite all that, though, I would not be so harsh with the person who gave you this comment. I understand that it angers you -- justifiably -- but do consider the fact that we all tend to react more strongly than normal when something touches a nerve. It's obviously a sensitive point with you because you know it is easy for people to judge you, and you are frustrated by the fact that people who do not take the time to know you better write you off as some sort of pimp (which you might be, but that's beside the point *grin*). Things like that happen to a lot of people because society is nuts. And some people like it -- there are wussy-ass girls who LOVE being called arm candy out there. *mutters about people who propogate stereotypes*

It's human nature to judge, though, especially if one is jealous. Doesn't mean it's okay, but it does mean that this person did not necessarily intend to affect you so deeply as they did. Or if they did, then it was motivated by ignorance, and ignorance is not an unforgiveable sin. It was tactless and it was crass, but at least you can have the confidence to say that if the person really KNEW you they would not be saying that. And that matters: that's where your sincerity comes from. I wonder if maybe the comment affected you more deeply than usual BECAUSE it resulted in you having to examine your sincerity, which, knowing you, is an extremely important trait that you would not like others to doubt. Luckily for you you found it true (and I do not doubt it either), so all is well.

Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am that you are my friend.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC)

Re: is this comment longer than your post? he he...

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Yes, that's why I don't want to know who said it. In the end, I imagine it was an offhand comment, and certainly it wasn't supposed to get back to me.

But it did, and I stewed over it for a while. It made me very, very angry for a while, not because it questioned my character (which is easy to do, and I could care less about it), but because I really, honestly, truly respect these women, and none of them deserve to be subsumed into my personality. Each one has layers and layers that I'll never even see.

Every one of them (including you) is very important to me, and far more than a pretty face. They're real people, with real feelings and real thoughts.

Besides, I can't handle more than one woman at a time. This has been proven.
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From:smithing_chick
Date:June 6th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC)
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I love you too, Mike. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm totally serious.

And we all know there are amazing layers to you I'll just never "get". :)
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From:romandruid
Date:June 6th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Of course, I don't know the context of this comment, so it's hard to tell what was implied and what folks actually inferred from it. I do know that we frequently speak, tongue-in-cheek, of harems, babes, hotties, etc. without ever intending to denegrate the individuals themselves. (Dunno if that's the case in this particular instance... have you asked?)

I know I sometimes make references to "eye candy" without meaning to imply anything beyond the mere fact that I really enjoy looking at beautiful things and people. (I also talk about "ear candy," for which I am heartily looking forward to Comfest -**SHAMELESS PLUG**- an event I highly recommend for afficianados of both eye and ear candy...)

If *I* were to say something that you or anyone else took offense to, I'd want to know -- which is why I wondered if you'd confronted this person as to the indignity. (Or is he/she too obtuse, do you think, to get it?) Can it hurt to let him/her know you took offense?

Aside: I note that I'm not included on your list of "really beautiful and wonderful people that I've spent festivals with." Hmph. Is that because we don't hang out at festivals, because you don't think I'm beautiful and wonderful, or anything else I should be offended by? [...still stinging after nearly 3 years from the "you can *have* her" comment--I'll get over it eventually, though I reserve the right to taunt you with it from time to time. :)]
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Actually, that particular list was drawn from a list of people who I have spent *lots* of individual time with at festivals. At Wellspring 03, it was smithing_chick. At Trillium the following year it was mistw02 (even though I spent a lot of time with satikat and sparkliedragon, both of whom would be on that list, were it complete. Erien is on the list because we spent so much time together at the last two festivals. In each case, it's who I spent the majority of my time with.

Omission from that list merely means that I haven't spent a festival hanging out with you almost exclusively.

And you're one of the deepest, most wonderful, really beautiful women I know, so stop trying to say I don't think it. :)

I haven't talked to the originator of the phrase because I don't know who they are (and don't want to).
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From:druid_medb
Date:June 6th, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
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It is very clear to anyone that meets you that you are very respectful of women. Sure you're a hopless flirt and an incorrigible tease plus you're attractive and brilliant to boot, but anyone who knows you, even only a little bit, knows that you would never treat a woman like an object.

I consider myself lucky to know you, you've given me back a little faith in the male gender.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
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Hopeless flirt? Check

Incorrigible tease? Check check.

Attractive? Dunno, I imagine that's in the eye of the beholder.

Brilliant? Not so much. I just know how to sound like I know what I'm doing.

But restoring faith is a good thing. As is respectful of women. They give so much, it'd be a real shame not to respect them (not to mention slimy and dirty).
From:ceolnamara
Date:June 6th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC)
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It goes both ways, dude.


{{HUG}}

Wanna go see Mr and Mrs Smith when it comes out?
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 08:12 pm (UTC)
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*sheepish grin*

I was just looking for video of Angelina Jolie on google. It's amazing how much porn there is that references her name. Lots to wade through.

But I started looking for it after seeing an article on Fark today.

Tina and I are planning on seeing it opening night Let me ask if she minds another person or not. I certainly don't.
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From:qorinda
Date:June 6th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
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Wow.... I'm eye candy.

Actually, it's probably more the other way around, that YOU are eye candy, Mike.

No, truly... objectification isn't fun; in fact, not half as much fun for either the object or the objectifier, as getting to know the real thing.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)
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In the end, I don't mind people objectifying me. I'm probably too fine with that.

Objectifying people I know and love and respect, on the other hand, is not fine.
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From:duriyah
Date:June 6th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
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You love women. Period. That's not a bad thing: women love you, too ;)What is special about you, though, is that you don't just love one aspect of women, such as physical beauty--you love the whole package: beauty, brains, strength, style, personality. You love women as individuals. If you treated or even thought of women as objects, we would see through you and kick you to the curb. Then you wouldn't be able to spend time with interesting women.

Besides, it goes both ways. I realized recently, looking back on my life, that the happiest times in my life were times when I was had a number of good male friends who were interesting, intelligent, good-looking, and flirtatious. I treasure my women friends, but there's something about male friends.... We're two peas in a pod, love. Only you're much more successful at it than I am *grin*

I wouldn't worry about what some crass remark. You can judge how you treat women by the caliber of women who enjoy your company.
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 6th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
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I'd say you're probably very right :) Except on me being more successful. That's still questionable :)
From:healing_coyote
Date:June 7th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
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aww, I love you man. And I miss you so damn much. Here's to a trip to Ohio in August and Austria in November!
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From:chronarchy
Date:June 7th, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Miss you, too. Love to see you here for Summerland :)

I have a nice spot all picked out for you in my tent. . .
From:shizukagozen
Date:June 9th, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
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But you're my arm-candy, not the other way 'round!

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