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Oh crap, I committed to something - Tactical Ninja

Jul. 5th, 2013

09:09 am - Oh crap, I committed to something

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So. Dry July. Like FebFast, a good idea and the money raised goes to a good cause.

But part of me can't help but cast a jaundiced eye over the idea that giving up your favourite drug for a month is some kind of virtuous pursuit, to be marketed and sponsored and bragged about, when I could get thrown in jail for using my favourite drug even once. Even though mine isn't addictive, has no known deaths associated with it, and doesn't even register in the 'cost to health services' statistics. I could lose my job, in some countries I could have my kid* taken from me, I could be coerced into 'treatment' for my 'problem', and be rendered unemployable. And all the folks who are so proud of themselves for giving up their regular grog habit for a month could pat themselves on the back** for being so restrained and not a loser druggie like me, because the world only accepts one arbitrary method of altering your headstate.

I might be a bit bitter about this, and these self-denial campaigns really bring it out in me. I keep saying "It's for a good cause" and I really do think folks who do it are good people, and probably doing their health the world of good as well. Good on you all. I'd like to think some of you would spare a thought for those of us who don't get to.


Yesterday I emailed the guy back about that article for publication. Yes, I know. It was never in any doubt that I'd say yes, but I sat on it for three weeks while I dragged my head back to reality and convinced myself that I really do want to spend time in the middle of my gap year doing academic writing. It wasn't that easy, y'all! But yeah, I told him yes, and asked a bunch of questions. He emailed me back straight away. The upshot is:

- 4,000 to 7,000 words.
- Fairly well-known Australian sociology publication that doesn't get a lot of articles about drugs
- No timeframe
- Literature review already done
- Standard format (background, methodology, results, discussion)
- I know this stuff like the back of my hand anyway since I did all the interviews and wrote the research summary that's been getting presented.

So he sent me a bunch of stuff, which I have in a neat and tidy folder and which I will read over the weekend to refamiliarise myself with the topic.

Remember how I said this weekend I was going to finish the Magister staff and Cold Blooded? Hey guess what? *sigh*

On the upside though, it seems that if I do this well enough, I will finally get to say stuff about BZP and the implications of prohibition of legal highs (don't tell me that's not currently topical), and have some authority behind it. Which is kind of cool.

On the downside, part of me seems to think I must have forgotten how to do academic writing in the 9 months since I last wrote an essay. Which I know is bullshit, but I seem to have a self-doubt button that gets auto-pushed any time an opportunity presents itself, and tries to talk me out of going for it. I am trying to see it as healthy, in that it makes me work harder and not just do a slaphappy job, because if my own self-doubt is silenced by the quality of my work then it's probably pretty good, right? But right at the beginning, before I've even read the background stuff over to remind myself of how well I know this topic, it mostly just tells me I'm an impostor into academia and this is the bit of work that'll make them find me out.

Shut up brain, you are full of shit.


Meanwhile, rivet is being particularly interesting this week. Following on from the stuff about charm, there was an offhand comment about how people would be if they had been born a different gender. She actually put some thought into this, imagining her family and personality and upbringing, and how that might have turned out had she been born male. It's an interesting thought experiment. My conclusion about myself is that I'm kind of glad I was born female, because I'd probably be one of those awful macho men who was kicked out of school as a teenager and gets in a lot of fights. Or I might be the manager of a large South Island sheep station, because having a Y chromosome would not have made me stupid and might have removed some barriers. Either way, I really like where I am now and I wouldn't have been here, that's pretty certain.

And now I'm imagining all my friends gender-switched. It's .. equal parts amusing and terrifying.

* Ex-kid. I'd like to see anyone try to tell him what to do now. *ahem*
** I'm aware that this group includes some folks on my flist, and I'm also aware that not everyone doing Dry July is that ignorant, but it still blows me away (OK makes me fucking angry) how many people have this attitude and will happily espouse it while chugging on their glass of booze.

Comments:

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From:m_danson
Date:July 4th, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
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I think it might have been easier for me had I been born male. I'm considered too aggressive as a female and my first career choice was engineering which is still a men's game here. I think my anger would have been more validated but my depression less validated. It was really drilled into me growing up that I'd utterly failed as a woman so maybe I would have had a better shot at fitting in as a guy.

That said, if I had a choice I would go with a gender identity of neither and shape-shifting sexual characteristics so that I could be whatever I felt like at any given momment.

[edit] Or maybe I'm actually a male from an alternate dimension already living out this thought experiment in this dimension (which is actually a brain in a jar).

Edited at 2013-07-04 09:21 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:July 4th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
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I was told in no uncertain terms when young that I couldn't do what I wanted to do (be a farmer) because farmers are men, and I got put in Home Economics by my school when I wanted to do Agriculture, because I was female.

Meanwhile, I spent most of my younger years wanting to be a man, emulating men and doing 'man stuff'. It wasn't so much that I felt I was a man inside, but that men got to be protagonists in their own story - in media I watched and also in real life (see above), while I was being groomed by society to be the background scenery in someone else's. I was never satisfied with that and my response to all this was "Just watch me!" But the role models I had were all men, so they were who I copied.

I have only realised this stuff with hindsight, but it does make me wonder - if those barriers hadn't been there, would I be as determined? Or more aggressive than I already am? I don't really know, but I like who I am so I'm kind of thankful for what made me that way.

I'd love to be gender-fluid though (like in a physical sense, not just internally). Hell yes.
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From:m_danson
Date:July 5th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
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This made me think of you and this conversation.

http://isanah.tumblr.com/post/54671598034/everydaycomics-follow-your-dreams
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:July 7th, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
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My mom basically told me I was too tubby to be a jockey. I graduated high school at 115 and am 5' tall. The exercise I would have gotten as a jockey would have probably trimmed me down a bit too so I have no idea what she was on about.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 4th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
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*mesmerised*
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From:rivet
Date:July 4th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Left without comment (except to say 'ignore the title') http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25desire-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&
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From:tatjna
Date:July 4th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
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This made me cringe:

"And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person."

Cue another million articles about how women don't know what they want and need someone to tell them.

Hi, I'm Tats and I'm turned on by all sorts of weird stuff. And sometimes I'm not. Because I'm a person. Duh.

That study is the same one that sparked the book that my last "What Women Want" rant was about. It's really interesting, but I am so over hearing about how female sexuality is such a complicated mystery. Sure, it's not as visible when we're turned on, but does that really make it so difficult to understand? *sigh*

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From:Will Marshall
Date:July 5th, 2013 04:52 am (UTC)
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I was more outraged at this:

While the subjects watched on a computer screen, Chivers, who favors high boots and fashionable rectangular glasses, measured their arousal in two ways,
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From:tatjna
Date:July 6th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
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"While the subjects moved on the dancefloor, Marshall, who wears his hair fashionably shaven and favours lightweight, close-fitting shirts, measured their arousal in two ways"

It's just not the same is it? You're right, I don't give a crap what she was wearing.
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From:pundigrion
Date:July 12th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
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Only because I am so tired of hearing this about females - I am pretty amused that our Prime Minister's favourite clothing choice is widely mentioned and lampooned. It's kind of a shame, because I secretly rather like a good sweater vest.
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From:pundigrion
Date:July 12th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure were I male, I'd have made a lot more money in my life...
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