choosies

PISCES – The Partner for Life (February 19 to March 20)
Caring and kind. Smart. Likes to be the center of attention. Very organized. High appeal to opposite sex. Likes to have the last word. Good to find, but hard to keep. Passionate, wonderful lovers. Fun to be around. Too trusting at times and gets hurt easily. VERY caring. They always try to do the right thing and sometimes get the short end of the stick. They sometimes get used by others and get hurt because of their trusting. Extremely weird but in a good way. Good sense of humor!! Thoughtful. Loves to joke. Very popular. Silly, fun and sweet. Good friend to others but needs to be choosy on who they allow their friends to be.

RUFESCENT

He’s got a ticket 
to the memory palace, crepuscular.
Dreams sealed in a packet of salt;
the choosy part of brains on the altar.

The penguin gentleman line up powered by malt.
My candied violettes kiss the market.
Each tart taunt descends into a pillar of said-salt.

His cheeks bleed paprika; his body parks it.
It’s daunting, especially in the starkness of twilight.
His leaning inward helps me decide.
I mark his donor stance. 
Peck, and now there’s an even redder mark.

The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.
—  Steve Wilhite, the creator of the GIF, chiming in on the pronunciation of the word. (As everyone knows, choosy memes choose “jif.”) Wilhite, a former CompuServe employee, created the format in 1987 and is to receive an award for his creation tonight

For the thousand ways I resist the patriarchy every day, there are another ten thousand ways in which I give in, lie back, and let the flow of oppression take me away. … I have never consented. Not once. Every single sexual encounter I have ever had with a man exists on the same spectrum of rape from the most obvious to the most insidious. Every time I do so much as shave my legs, simply because I have been conditioned to hate their natural state, my body is not my own. It is always a tool of the patriarchy, valued for its fuckibility. I stand in front of the mirror plucking my eyebrows weekly, pleased with their socially acceptable shape, but horrified by the realization that I have no idea what I would like my eyebrows to look like if I was a truly free of this horrid cycle of self-hatred and mental illness. I love myself for looking pretty, I hate myself for looking pretty. I love myself for resisting looking pretty, I hate myself for resisting looking pretty. This horror is specifically constructed to take away our consent in almost every detail of our lives.

Every single one of us is sick. The society which has given us our life has taken away our identity and agency. Who am I outside of the short brunette with purposely tousled sexy hair? I have no idea. Simply the mental energy required to resist the smallest details of the patriarchy is beyond my grasp. I can float on top of this vast ocean of madness, but I am still a part of it and my toes are not dry.

And I hate myself, almost as much as I hate the men who would use me and discard me as a temporary sheath for their penis. When I take the time to really think about who I am, and how I know who I am, its very clear that everything about me is manufactured for the profit or pleasure of someone other than myself. This sickness is like a cancer, a parasite, that encompasses my entire existence and being… it is Stockholm Syndrome. I am happy for being oppressed. I “consent” to oppression to be happy. All I can do is condemn the patriarchy while hypocritically adhering to it in ways unknown and known to me.

This violence will not cease in so long as we remain complacent that our choices are good and just because they must be our own. The entire structure of society is based on a convenient lie. I did not manufacture this atrocity, I did not set the gears in motion. Sometimes I oil them, and sometimes I throw small pebbles into the clockwork out of futile spite. In my lifetime I will never be free of the patriarchy, no matter how far I run, and neither will anyone else.

My only consolation is that I am self-aware enough to admit my madness, to mourn for a world that is terminally sick, and that my purpose in this vast mechanism is to be oppressed rather than to enforce and perpetuate the oppression. Why I live is not that because of the knowledge that my choices are my own, because that delusion is not available to a critical mind. No, I live with the assurance that in so long as I live, I will never consent to bring another into this existence of internalized agony, nor will I ever pretend that this is what I would want, if I was ever, even for a moment, given the free choice.

—  Jen, in a comment from IBTP