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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oprah, Guilt, Privilege, & The Lesbian Brain

I do have a freak flag and I am proudly flying it high.

Bear with me bois and grrls as I sift through the early morning fog of my aging brain. The nasty nurses woke me at 0430 just because they could. Unable to go back to sleep, I got up to grind my beans and my gears at the same time. This morning it is once again Papua New Guinea. Rich and aromatic, it tears up my gut but soothes my soul.

I put a picture of a vagina up here just because I can. And I have given so much time to the penis lately that I decided this lesbian really ought to give equal time to the vagina. After all, it's what I do.

Over the past several days, my web travels have taken me to some thought provoking places. The funniest this morning was
Twisty's diatribe about the late 20th Century Prophetess, Oprah the Great. Mentioning Oprah here is really apropos of nothing. But it sounded good in the title.

And please. I really do love Oprah. Call me a shallow tool of the patriarchy but, as I pointed out to Twisty, I cry whenever I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Apparently, I am a product/victim of my times.

I first saw the AP article on the Lesbian Brain posted by my bud
Kitty Litter. The research is interesting but it sounds to me as though the media is attempting to turn this into something like this: Dykes have Man Brains and Nancy Girls have Woman Brains. While some may find this a comforting way to explain homosexuality, it makes me squirm and squeal. Yuk!

No Dildo Head. That's transexualism. In the context of the article, how do you explain a MTF lesbian as anything other than really fucked up? Recognizing that I left an opening wide enough to drive a Mack truck through, just chew on that for a bit.

Where does privilege end up in this soup? Did I promise you a cogent or coherent thought this morning? No. I did not.

Geeky Mom had a great post this week called Changing Our Lives to Suit Our Politics. And she pointed me to the Phantomscribbler who made some distinctions between the term spoiled and the term privileged. Which got me to thinking. Katy (May 8 entry) also talked about classism with regard to her students who are not privileged and therefore, because of all that is inherent in the system, did not make the citywide freshman dance team.

Anyone who can pour $20,000 into a 6 pound dog over the course of 7 years is privileged. There is no other way to look at it. It's not something I feel guilty about. I don't own a yacht or a summer home on Maui. I live in a tin can for God's sake. But privilege is something that many of us do not recognize that we have because we are so busy feeling sorry for ourselves.

I'll tell you what I do have. I have white guilt. I have non Jewish, German parentage guilt. I have survivor's guilt over my schizophrenic brother. I have single driver destroying the earth guilt. I have 20 years on the couch and you're still screwed up guilt. In fact, I have enough guilt that 10 of you can feel free to give up your own.

Once I have paid off my veterinary debts, I will be writing checks to Save the Children, the S. Ford Foundation for Animals, the Literacy Project, and all of the children starving in Africa. But if I don't go to Appalachia or Bangledesh to practice nursing for a few years after retirement, I will probably die still feeling guilty.

Kinja, the weblog guide


Blogger Vanda said...

Gee thanks Pam, I'll pack my guilt into a nice little purple box and send it to you. You can just put it in the far reaches of your closet;-)

None of anyones business how you spend your money and if it's on a beloved fur kid so be it.

Before I forget I got the J.D. Robb book memory In Death. I inhaled every word. Thanks!

8:21 AM PDT  
Blogger KMae said...

Love the V art!!
Always love looking at a pretty vagina!

8:49 AM PDT  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Honestly? I don't think much of Oprah. I think she spearheaded the American pathos of wallowing in past grief, wringing from it all the emotional currency and sympathy possible, and NEVER F-ING GETTING OVER IT, that has plagued us for decades.

Seriously. No one can just get over anything. Wah, wah, wah. "I am a victim of abuse, neglect, rough toilet paper and burnt toast. Pity me. Cry with me."

It's a sign of how easy our lives are that we can cling to each crisis (and turn non-crisis into disasters, if necessary) for years.

Bleh, Oprah. Rant over. :)

That's quite a vagina. Why's it blue? Is it cold? Hee.

10:13 AM PDT  
Blogger Syd said...

Very thought provoking post, Pam. Visually appealling as well. ;)

6:55 PM PDT  
Blogger purpletwinkie said...

I think the word "guilt" is so overused. I used to comment, "I feel guilty for _______" until someone told me that guilt happens when you have done something wrong (which in these cases I hadn't). It at least made me think. I rarely use the G word any more.

The other day, I read an article about Indians who believe being gay or straight was determined by astrology.

gay or straight: stars can tell orientation

Ok, I take it all with a grain of salt, but the term in the article that made me say WTF was when the gay person is referred to as a "third gender." Last time I looked, I didn't have a Pagina between my legs.

7:36 PM PDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

My first thought, as I rounded the corner in the trailer park was, "Wow! Nice vulva!!" (spoken in my huskiest, most velvet whisper)

Thanks for pointing me back in the direction of Twisty's. I finally got her on my 'blogroll' and linked.

By the time I got to the lesbian brain, I could only respond, "Well, duh," to the 'discovery' that "Lesbians' brains react differently ..."

Great post, Pam. Classism and privilege (or a sense of entitlement) are always very much on my mind because mine is a very diverse ER, which causes problems sometimes with those who feel they are entitled to something more or better because of their race, social status, money or connections. That sure burns me butt!

2:24 AM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Hey Vanda! Glad you enjoyed that book. Not taking on your guilt but you can bury yours in the backyard 'cause I have enough for at least 10 people ;^)

That is a pretty vagina isn't it KMae?

LOL Pat! I have no idea why it's blue. Suffering from a lack of oxygen after 14 orgasms in a row?

Thanks Syd. Vaginas are always visually appealing ;^)

Hey purpletwinkie. I think the third gender stuff is from the Native American tradition of berdache. But a PAGINA? roflmao!

Glad you liked it Cheryl. I know what you mean about those health care consumers with a sense of entitlement. If I hear one more person say "Well I have private insurance and he's just got medical" I'm gonna scream.

8:49 AM PDT  
Blogger just me said...

This wouldn't open for me yesterday. I like your vagina ;)
I love your posts they usually really make me think, Thank you.

9:38 AM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

HA JustMe. I must confess. That isn't really my vagina. I stole it. I am a shameless thief. ;^)

7:54 PM PDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Pam, if you happen to find any others laying around, perhaps buried outside among the guilt hills, will you please ship one or two choice ones to the east coast? ; )

8:03 PM PDT  
Blogger G. L. Gross said...

(said in a humorous tone of voice)Well, I'll tell you, man brain or woman brain, it's my brain. No one can really explain why heteros have to make sense of anyone that's gender different. I still say that that's how heteros were made. (no offense to any heteros)

8:25 PM PDT  

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