Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Kesiena Boom talkes about FEMME

A lot swirls around in my head as I watch the word “femme” take on all kinds of different meanings than the one I came out into. There is a lot to talk about here, and we will, my darlings, we will, but for today, take a look at Kesiena Boom’s excellent discussion of the whole “women and femmes” thing.

Kesiena, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for fearlessly and fiercely parsing through this perplexing phenomenon.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/03/women-and-femmes-phrase-in-queer-feminist-activism-makes-no-sense.html

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

Published in: on February 27, 2019 at 5:02 PM  Comments (2)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Healthy

The other day, Tex reminded me that Bayer bought Monsanto recently. The stunning implications of this are that now one big corporation can handily sell you genetically modified foods that make you sick and then sell you drugs to “heal” you. The powers that be love to see us all sick, addicted, and isolated – it suits their purposes to a T. Oh, and those powers like us to feel completely overwhelmed, too, which is how I start to feel pretty much daily when I hear the latest disaster news, and there is a lot of disaster news. Not to mention my own human challenges with daily living, especially my 57-year old body and all it’s stuff – combinded together, as my children used to say when they were tots, all of those things weigh very heavily.

But wait, there’s help! If you just do enough research yourself online, then find an expert, and you spend enough time and money, there is bound to be a solution! For example, is your issue something to do with histamine? Gluten? SIBO? You can find untold numbers of quick fix stories on the internet: “Once I figured out my problem was X, I did A B and C, as dictated by NAME OF PERSON who is an expert and whose advice I followed and products I bought, and NOW I’M FINE!”

As someone who inevitably has all the symptoms described for all the different things that can be wrong, these kinds of stories hold a great deal of appeal. I have spent a lot of time chasing after different diagnoses and putting a lot of eggs in various health regime baskets, some of which were helpful and some of which did actual harm.

Our bodies and our health are not beloved by the mainstream. We are not seen and treasured by so many of those in the medical profession. We are baffling and perhaps even dangerous with our strange symptoms and “lifestyle choices”. We move from our small towns to larger cities in the hopes that we might find community and sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. We track down doctors who are said to “get it”, and sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. We make it through another day. And another. How do we move in a healthy way towards being healthy? What does “healthy” even mean?

We are not separate from our bodies. Our wonderful, giant brains are part of our bodies. We don’t exist outside of ourselves. Our bodies are genius, always trying to heal, always moving towards balance. It’s all there inside us, if we can only still our thoughts enough to reunite ourselves with ourselves. When we are in health quandaries, is it possible that our own prayers and intuition might steer us in a better direction than endless hours on the internet (or that hours on the internet are better spent when following prayers and intuition)?

Poet Wendell Barry goes and lies down “where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds”*, 12-step members attend meetings and strive for progress not perfection, Buddhists work on equanimity and contacting inner tenderness, and you might sing or dance or say the prayer your Gramps taught you when you were only little and he was your shining star. We all need a nature/spirit connection, and the good news is that there are so many of them, all around us, always. We queer femmes have been wounded by organized religion, sure enough, but our spirituality is our own and it is housed within us. Only we know what it looks like and how deeply it comforts us.

Today, my spiritual femme sisters, sit quietly a moment and feel. Hear. Know. It’s there, your connection to connection, love, gratitude, sweetness. We cannot always live in harmony and joy with others or even ourselves, but we can return there, again and again until it becomes a habit, until our habit is to reach for calm, reach for our exact and exquisite place in the All, until we are us again, filled and empty and ready to heal.

*”The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Barry

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

 

Published in: on February 25, 2019 at 9:58 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Inspirational Book: The Way of Tenderness by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

Here at the Total Femme, we do adore some Buddhist wisdom, but there are times when it can just be soooo straight, sooooo white, and soooo smug. The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender is balm. I flip it open at any page and come across profound and healing wisdom.

Deep gratitude to Zenju Earthlyn Manuel for thinking and writing so deeply and with such great love about our precious bodies.

Seeing the body as nature is to directly see form as nature, as of the earth. It is to see the pure form of life without the distortions. Although we are confronted with the challenge of the varied forms of nature, we have a tendency to view this challenge as strictly non-organic, as not of nature. Rage springs up when certain embodied forms of life – blackness, queerness, and so on – are not recognized and honored as part of nature. The embodiments of race, sexuality, and gender are in fact the fires through which we must pass to awaken. The fire will not destroy us if we can see authentic interrelationship in its flames.

 Are these bodies really the enemy of the spirit? Do our struggles with race, sexuality, and gender belie a hidden denial of the body, a mortification of the flesh? Need we sacrifice our bodies in the name of spiritual attainment – hurting our backs and knees far too long in meditation? Why do we ignore the nature of our bodies, something we all share in common? What is this body?

The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, “Body as Nature”, p. 91.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

 

Published in: on February 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM  Comments (2)  
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Pingy Dingy Wednesday – Pussywalking with Sasha Cagen

My dear friend Milva McDonald over at A Potluck Life just sent me this lovely link, and I think you, darling femme sisters, will also enjoy!

Sasha Cagen and Pussywalking, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your promotion of the positive and for spreading the joy of pussy!

https://sashacagen.com/pussywalking

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

Published in: on February 20, 2019 at 4:48 AM  Leave a Comment  

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Witnessing Ourselves


I have loved to sing my entire life, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I started taking some voice lessons and venturing out a bit to join various low-pressure, no-audition groups. About a year and a half ago, I ratcheted up the oompah and kicked my own ass quite firmly to audition for a local women’s chorus. It was scary, but I did it, and what do you know, I’m now a member. I still don’t have a huge amount of confidence in my own singing ability, though, so I like sitting between two stronger singers and, if I’m not careful, will completely lose myself there, following them even if they make a mistake or stop singing altogether. I usually can’t even hear myself. The other day at rehearsal, though, through some quirk of acoustics, I heard my own voice, quite clearly. I wasn’t loud, but I was singing with a lot of love. And it sounded good!

We live in such a culture of experts, professionals, snarky commentators on people’s abilities, looks, and heart’s desires, that those of us of a more retiring nature (and even those of us more outgoing) can remain hovering in a comfort zone of blandness, denying ourselves pleasures and joy. Or we might make a herculean effort to check off one of our bucket list items, only to be so anxious once we’re there that all we can think about is how we’re not good enough or not doing it right.

It was such a surprise, so unexpected, for me to suddenly hear my voice, right in my ear, that night. Especially since, for just a moment, I didn’t recognize myself. Right in that split second was when I thought, “Oh, she sounds nice!”

Dear femme sisters, step away from the noise in your head just a wee nip today. See yourselves, hear yourselves, watch yourselves without judgment and with no other purpose than to witness your own joy, that ur-joy to which we are all entitled, the one we were born with and the one always doing its best to bubble up and out.

Yes! You are shining, bubbling, beckoning, rising, lilting, stepping so sweet! It is a joy to bask in your effulgence!

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

 

 

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:29 AM  Leave a Comment  

Femme Friday – Anne Bonny from The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

Ok, sweetie pies, were you just pining for a queer pirate story? I know you were! Well, Miriam has written one and you should rush out and get it! It’s a rip-snorter, narrated by Mary, a girl passing as a boy (read it to see why), who, whilst at sea, witnesses this thrilling scene:

            Eyes wild, the fantastic creature had two men down before Mary could scarcely register the sight of her. A girl. Unmistakably a girl, like her, but dressed in battered velvet and lace worn in a steady salt spray and the West Indian sun. Her curly red hair tangled atop her head in an outrageous mess. She sweated, beaming, as if she’d impressed herself by ascending the grappling line in skirts.

Deep gratitude to Miriam McNamara for her take on real-life pirate Anne Bonny as a fierce femme and for the rollicking ride of The Unbinding of Mary Reade.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

 

 

Published in: on February 15, 2019 at 5:06 PM  Leave a Comment