A YIN-YANG RABBIT HOLE - Straddling the Feminine-Masculine Spectrum
Eartly 20s Tomboy Glitter-Grrl
My friends and foes, we’re about to tumble down a rabbit hole, and some of it is a bit volcanic.
“Nooooo,” you say, nocking your interrobangs and taking aim. “Volcanic rabbit hole?! Around here?!”
I know. Inconthievable.
But yes indeedy, it’s true. It all started with an innocent critique of people critiquing my story about a woman who fights in the arena based on decades of:
Preconceived notions of what a gladiator looks like, since I write about a gladiaTRIX (female gladiator).
Widespread disbelief that gladiatrices had ever existed in the Roman Empire. They did. Turns out they weren't only comedy and titillation acts between real fights.
Preconceived notions of what a gladiatorial combatant is in general, based on Hollywood myths, historical inaccuracies, and androcentric assumptions/omissions.
Bechdel Test failure of countless well-loved tales, whereby all female characters are relegated to fluff, arm candy, hero glorification, a quest object, or a reward for completing a quest.
Bechdel Test failure of simply not having any women present at all, especially in heroic quests and action/adventure sequences.
The sexist belief that females can’t fight, and that historically, warrior women only existed in myth.
The alternative belief that the only way a female can be strong, powerful, independent, confident and take charge of her own destiny is by butching it up and following the hyper-masculine model.
The assumption that there's really only one way to tell a compelling heroic tale: the Hero’s Journey.
A cultural indoctrination that even dismisses the soul-searching and meaningful depth of the classic Hero’s Journey in favor of the American Monomyth. 🤢
The fact that I am not writing either of these types of tales. I am writing the She-ro’s Journey with a completely different type of character arc and trajectory that—
“Okay, stop. Who's Bechdel? Whadya mean I don't know what a gladiator looks like? Who says females were real fighters? What's the Hero's Journey? She-ro whazza? This all sounds like a bunch of sh—“
Stick with me. That’s the rabbit hole.
But first, we need to clarify some stuff.
Sidnote: This post is brought to you by one of my favorite characters who is responsible for providing some of my greatest rebellions against the classic Russell Crowe Gladiator Trope. This concubine-turned-gladiator was once the Emperor's lap-puppy who was born with both a penis and a vagina...adores glitter, flowing robes, and cosmetics...turns out to be scary-lethal with daggers (or without them, for that matter)...and has always identified as "he"...why?
Because he says so.
This post is also brought to you by my gladiator world's primary creation deity. Great Mother is female and male, simultaneously both and neither, as well as something beyond mortal comprehension.
How did I choose the foundation and name of this deity? I pulled two tarot cards from my beloved Shadowscapes deck: The World and The Empress. (Hence the name Mother, not Creator or something neutral. I actually go back and forth about that, but for now, the cards have spoken.)
After supplying the name and flavor, Great Mother delivered the entire creation myth that someday will probably be a novel of its own because gods are fun to write.
Thank you to the non-binary community for giving me the language to describe a creation deity like this. Because I've long heard that my birth-religion's God the Father is not reeeeeally only male, or is counterbalanced by the female Holy Spirit, therefore this is not reeeeeeally an exclusionary system that I, my over-thinker's brain, and my seven-year-old chromosomes could not relate to, is it?
Well, in the religion of my birth, God is still called "He," I've never heard the Holy Spirit referred to as a counterbalancing "She," and I've certainly never heard any divine being slapped with the label of "It." So even though my fantastical Great Mother is a mother--THE Mother of everything--Ze is not purely female, and prefers Zir pronouns to reflect this. (1)
This one's for y'all who straddle and swing across the Feminine-Masculine binary spectrum, and for y'all who reject it completely. It's also for all of us who identify in one camp but like to play with toys that have long been marked "off-limits" because of gender. And it's for...I dunno...humans?
Let's get the clarification thing, as well as the upcoming content and language warnings out of the way, shall we?
In this rabbit hole series we're going to be discussing the Archetypal Masculine and Feminine along with things like sexism. (I know. Equally shocking around here.) This does not mean that I think males, cis or otherwise, can't or shouldn't exhibit tons or a few of the attributes traditionally ascribed to femininity if inspired to do so.
It should also be noted that I don't believe all heterosexual cis males who exhibit an abundance of the traditional masculine qualities are automatically toxic, oppressive, abusive, and sexist. There are unintentional and cluelessly accidental prejudices and assumptions that can't help but infiltrate, however, I refuse to ASSume that I'm so planetarily telepathic that I could say with any authority "All" or "Not All" Men.
Honestly, I really don't give a flying fig about defending such black-and-white generalizations. Neither do I believe in relegating men to "dumb, clumsy idjits" who are only good for providing snarky feminist rimshots and taking out the trash.
Although I have experienced a lot of gender prejudice through my life, I actually believe that the Masculine is the side which has taken the deepest damage.
Because a bunch of it is not the obvious damage.
There's the damage done by being the oppressed--and make no mistake. Being told, "Real men don't cry," and every other dehumanizing, polarizing wad of bullshit males get shoved down their throats from birth IS as oppressive as, "You're too weak/dumb/incompetent to do that because you have a vagina."
Beyond that, there's also the damage done when you ARE the oppressor, the bully, the abuser. This kind of damage rots people beneath the shiny facade. It infiltrates what was once naturally brilliant and loving, and twists it. You might not even know you carry so much damage, so neither do the children you raise. They just believe you when you say that "this is what a real man does." (2)
More often, the message is that "this is what an ideal and good man does." These children believe the way you believed this thing that feels really good to believe: "You Are Right. You Were Born On Top. You Are Awesome. You Deserve This."
That shit's addictive to anybody.
Today, men can't friggin' sneeze without being told they suck, and yes. Too many millennia of bad apples have ruined it for the bunch. Unfortunately, dramatic pendulum swings are necessary to break stuck patterns.
But I've watched this since I was a kid and I've gotten swept into this whirlpool over and over:
"Y'all are cruel and coarse and uncaring! Learn some sensitivity. Oh, for fuck's sake, what's with Sensitive Ponytail Man? What a wimp! Stand up like ya got a pair. Geez, you guys are so cold and unfeeling, so manipulative. Just own how you feel and be honest about it--whoooah! Why are Y'ALL so pissed? You males aren't the oppressed ones! We are, so sit down and shut your mouths for once! Geez, you're so armored and barricaded! Why can't I get you to open up and talk to me about our feelings and--"
Yeah. It's a problem.
As much as I raise my first and roar for the rise of marginalized groups, I do not believe cis-het males are The Problem. I believe The System is the problem, and cis-het males are caught in it along with the rest of us--with the additional bonus of having the comfy power-spot that the human brain really doesn't like letting go of. (3)
This is what I'm constantly writing about. It's one of my most basic core beliefs.
BALANCE. DICHOTOMY. VARIETY. UNITY.
After all, try to create a new human child with just a uterus and unfertilized eggs. Ooooh, and you know what would happen to this planet if it stopped having both nights of darkness and days of light, right? We were created upon a system of Yin and Yang, with infinitesimal grayscale and a rainbow in between, so nope, posts like the ones in this upcoming series are not "man-hating rants" any more than I write "femi-nazi novels."
Granted, in the expression of my rage and grief about all these things I've clutched close to my chest deep in the Writer's Closet for decades, it might be easy to mistake that at first glance. But that is not the adventure we're on, because this is not the Hero's Journey, and males are neither Sauron nor the One Ring. They're swirling in The System's tidy-bowl of doom right along with us.
Which have you found harder to do in your life? To muster the motivation and courage to battle for equity once you know you don't have it and you deserve it? Or is it harder to willingly release a comfy place on top? To realize, "I was wrong," much less own it and change deeply ingrained habits with passionate desire and motivation?
I know which things have given me the most difficulty. Sometimes it's releasing and admitting I was wrong. Sometimes it's mustering the courage to fight. Neither path is "easier" or "harder." It depends on who we are and what we've experienced in life. It also shifts inside each individual, depending on which thing we're being asked to fight for or release at any given moment in our lives.
Tell ya what. In this time of upheaval and rapid change, I do not envy our cis-het brothers, especially those over the age of fifty with an uphill battle to retain neuroplasticity on too many decades of synaptic repetition. Power and comfort are more addictive than cigarettes, and we see how slowly that change is going.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a divine paradox that holds the key to the patriarchy’s destruction. Perhaps it can only be dismantled by women not fighting for themselves, but for men. And, just as importantly, men fighting on behalf of women. In that, we would all be forced to put down our swords and shields (our over-extended masculine) and meet one another in an energy of receptiveness and nurturing (our lost feminine).
In this upcoming series--and heck, in general on this blog--when I speak about issues faced by women, girls, or females, I mean the vast array who were born with vaginas and kept the identity, those who feel, to the nuclei of their cells, like they have one even if their bodies don't, and those who desire to live/identify as female, intermittently or permanently. These things also affect those who were born with vaginas and reject the feminine identity because y'all still have to deal with bathrooms, birth certificates, birth names, and ASSumptions.
When I speak of The Feminine, this isn't something limited to females. Everybody exhibits these traditionally ascribed traits on a spectrum and I believe we should be allowed to choose it however it best fits each of us.
When it comes to exclusion, omission, oppression, and abuse based on gender or sexual preference...for this series I'll be mostly talking about my own wheel base of identity, presentation, mindsets, and roles.
But I think about y'all, too.
I have not forgotten about those who blend, swing, or combine gender traits, body parts, activities, and apparel differently from me and the societal norms I'm discussing. But this is MY memoir. If my experience is familiar to you, hop aboard. If not, abandon ship or stick around to learn how it's been on the Leaky Rowboat Hartebeast.
Also. When we're talking about all things Feminine and Masculine as well as my fiction, that means we might delve into...*furtive glance in every direction before blushing and saying under my breath:* penises and vulvas. Eeep! We might mention testicles, breasticles, and clits, oh my! And yes, we might discuss *covering my scandalized, gasping gob before whispering under a hand:* sex acts. Worse still: non-heteronormative sex acts committed by binary and non-binary people alike--NOOOO! Our sex acts could even venture past the yummy vanilla fun of missionary, doggie, cowgirl, and a nice round of oral. 😱
Ummmmm...yeah, exactly. Sometimes it looks just like that.👆 Or like 👉🍩.
I know. "You're going to Hades!"
But fear not, dear reader. The steamy fiction and the explicit dives into KinkVille and SexLand are confined to the Speakeasy. You have to know where the secret entrance is and you have to know the password to stumble into all that.
That doesn't mean I won't ever talk about it here. All of these topics I blog about are as interwoven as a tapestry. If these subjects make you squeamish, that's why I've created the Table of Contents by category.
Here it is if you'd like to get back to Dance, Dain Bramage, and Defense.
Speaking of the fighty aspect of my life, we're about to dive back into my obsession with fighting in armor and the creation of my Gladiatrix. Hooooo-boy-howdy.
The "how" and "why" I started writing this head-lopping character is very simple: art therapy. My subconscious needed an outlet to deal with the things that I had experienced since I was in diapers, and I have been a fiction writer since I learned how to string sentences together. It was a completely organic, unconscious thing I only began to understand in my thirties.
Seeing that I dealt with my traumas by creating a Gladiatrix--both the one on my pages and the one inside me, I hope it's obvious that we're going to be discussing things that are violent. We'll also be touching on abuse and prejudice, as gladitrices are women in a man's world.
When it comes to racist slurs or horrible names that people have never called me, you betcha, I will bleep those out and talk around the circumference of them, because they're not my triggers. But the nasty things that have been hurled at me personally? I don't always BL33P them out. If I'm detailing what I've experienced, I hope you're aware by now that I don't pull punches with this crap. Not here, and definitely not in my fiction.
Yeah, sometimes I paint the picture by talking in code and letting your imagination do better work than I ever could.
Sometimes I don't.
Be warned: if I've taken the time to detail violence or abuse into scene form or if I've given you a direct quote instead of telling you about it in a post like this? That's because it's meant to land hard. If you're not up for that rollercoaster ride, I do not blame you. But seriously.
DO NOT Read Mah Shit.
When we cycle back to Violence & Women, especially sexual violence against women, it's important to note, again and again and one more time for those just joining us, how often these things also happen to people who are not cis female. At least we get more screen time and acknowledgement now. Hate crime violence is finally starting to get some, and at long last, there are a couple small corners for boys and men to safely admit that it happens to them, too.
So when I and the videos I share refer specifically to problems females experience, it's because I am female, and in this series the main YouTuber I'll be introducing you to has the Female Gaze as one of her primary topics. I can't give you memoir excerpts of the Trans or Male experience any more than I can give you the Black, Asian or Indigenous experience. Or the Gay experience or the Asexual Gender-Fluid experience or the Punjabi experience or the Peruvian experience or...or...or...or...
But yeah. #YallToo.
For ease in communication, I will be referring to the archetypes, metaphors, philosophies, roles, stereotypes, and energies that my cultural lineage has, for an obscene number of centuries, attributed to The Masculine and The Feminine. The Anima and the Animus. Yin and Yang, which includes the Light-Dark polarity.
If this rubs you raw after a lifetime of lambasting or exclusion, this series of posts might not be for you. I blow you farewell kisses if you flip your middle fingers "I'm out!"
I especially use this language that I grew up with when delving into my first explorations as I tried to figure this stuff out in myself and the world around me: my childhood through my early 20s. That means the 1970s-90s, man. (Duuuude, did you guys see what I did there?)
I was raised that there were only two genders, determined by one's sex organs, and that for those "unfortunate" souls who were "cursed" with both types, the "cure" was to turn them all into girls. This was only a topic appropriate to be discussed in science class. Briefly. With copious squirming to alert us how unsavory this topic was. 🖕
Also. Boys wore blue; girls wore pink. 🖕🖕
It raises my Spockly eyebrow that, as a kid, when I was forced to hammer down ONE favorite color from my actual favorite (the rainbow...duh, Sagittarius) I always picked purple. This was met with widespread, "Ewwwww!" and became Reason #633 why...
Navigating this gender binary has always baffled and frustrated the fuck out of me, hence why it'll take a rabbit hole to talk about it. This touchy topic is a direct contributor to so many of my life experiences and decisions, but it is one that I never could have comprehended, much less voiced until the world brought it up because I've always identified as female and I (now) obviously look like one. I had also always identified as...well...mostly heterosexual. Sorta? Yeah, mostly. No matter how many people tried to convince me that I was a closet lesbian, that question mark didn't come up for me until my twenties.
So these gender and sexuality issues manifested as subtly yet as impactfully as that time I stood in a crowd in Colorado and realized, for the first time in my life, just how white I am, in spite of the fact that I always mark "Caucasian" on my forms. (I grew up in northern Minnesota and have French-Canadian ancestry, which was a very "bad" look to have up there. Especially as I lost more and more of my toddler-blonde hair with every year.)
When it comes to my own Anima and Animus, I swing a lot. I have the physiology of a female and have always identified as "she," but my personality and many of my mindsets contain traits that are traditionally attributed to masculinity.
Except where they're not.
And except where I’ve worked really hard to cultivate my rejected, once-despised femininity. (Remember that point when we get to the Heroine's Journey. It's a crucial step in the character arc, as well as my own healing and growth arc.)
This identification with the Masculine has been problematic for me since I was in kindergarten. In the days when Shirley Temple was still the ideal of what a little girl should look like, we girls who looked like boys were considered "ugly, yucky," and therefore outcast, especially if we also liked "boy stuff." Which I did.
Once I was old enough to style my hair and dress the way I preferred, I outgrew my childhood "Are you a boooooy?" presentation. That was a relief, because I'd always yearned for long, flowing hair, in spite of how often I would have been tangling it in sports and the woods.
Alas for my pretty princess aspirations, my mom has always had a thing about styling hair. She HATES it with a passion, so having to deal with girl-hair on her daughter in addition to her own hair woes was not something she was willing to spend time and energy on. Thus I looked more like Luke than Leia until about fifth grade.
Actually, Luke and Han both had flowier hair than I did.
Then I had to get through puberty--umph--and learn the hair-styling thing on my own. And shed braces and headgear. And get contacts. (We didn't have cool glasses in the 80s. They were huge, dorky, and hideous.)
I did not, however, shed all of my Duckie tomboy habits upon completing my Swanning Maneuvers. This means that, if you're not paying attention to anything more than the exterior's surface, there's a lot of incomplete advertising around here. Sure, I pranced in the cheerleader's shortie-short skirt, wore makeup, and tossed my permed hair like a girl. Later, I became a belly dancer in spangles and silks.
Why? Because it's fun and I like it.
But I had also learned early on how to hang out as One of The Boys. For the first half of my life, I was far more comfortable in that mode than with females. Although I am sometimes the epitome of elegance, it's not uncommon for me to be caught in Dude Mode while wearing all the frillies. (The reverse is also true.)
I am renowned for being able to out-belch men, I have a mouth like a sewer, I can be a really big dick, and I'm told that there are ways in which I have quite the weighty pair. I'm also sexually assertive. Although I don't have much in the way of boobs, I have a whole lot of ass (figurative and literal). Prior to TBI and bodily injury, I had a propensity for math, science, logic, direct communication, and athletics--all things that were still attributed to the Masculine in my childhood, no matter that girls were finally encouraged to pursue them.
Encouraged officially, that is.
There were still...societal undercurrents. Especially in academics, because athletics were segregated by gender so we did get to play. Except if we wanted to play things like football or hockey. And we "only" had to deal with the greater importance given to boys' athletics over girls'. After all, we didn't get cheerleaders or pep rallies. We were lucky to get new uniforms. But in academics, we were all lumped together, which made it especially sweet when I, as Valedictorian, and our Salutatorian were both female.
As an adult, although my jobs were stereotypically feminine (executive assistant and belly dancer), I also became a martial artist and a fantasy writer. In my culture, both of these activities are still male-dominated with hefty gender prejudices to this day.
On the flip-side, I am super girly and a loud-mouth feminist. I believe staunchly in those adages about vaginas: "take a pounding...flexible and can snap back after being stretched outta shape"...and my favorite--"What other creature do you know that can hemorrhage for seven days straight and not die?" I'm also a staunch Vagina Monologues devotee who enthusiastically reclaims the word "cunt." (4) I can deal with that word way better than "pussy"--I know, weird, considering my kitty-cat fixation.
Maybe it's because so may people hurl "pussy" at guys in derogatory spite to shame and insult them as "weak." Or because so many guys use it with derogatory lechery when speaking about vaginas and females, whereas most people here hold the C-Word in check because of the punch it packs. Maybe I instinctually preferred to identify with packing a froth-mouthed punch than being seen as weak. I dunno. I have noticed my friends across the pond use "cunt" far more often, and even fondly in rough verbal play, which I personally like. Same with "twat."
In my family? There are certain prejudiced slurs one simply does not use. Period. But after that, the C-Word is THE beat-all-end-all, most offensive word that could ever be spat to express anger, frustration, or hatred. Yeah. This for the most intimate, vibrant, sacred, succulent, life-gushing center of my Femininity. 🖕🖕🖕
As for speaking sensually and reverently about the female genitalia, I wish we could more widely get on board with "yoni" but it's so loaded with the stigmatic, "Oh. You're one of thooooooose people." (New-Agey, hippy-dippy flakes, witches who dance naked in the woods and eat babies, and femi-nazi cunts. See? Perfect example of the "appropriate" time to sling that word as the most hateful term imaginable.) 🖕🖕🖕🖕
Alas, my own problem adoring "yoni" has to do with some very important women in my life who were avid supporters of it. When I hear this word, I can't help seeing their smiling faces as they surreptitiously slid a knife between my ribs. Some of these women turned out to be female supremacists, manipulative sociopaths, or judgy sisterhoods spouting another polarized creed I can't get onboard with: toxic positivity. I wish I could embrace "yoni." But I'm still working at healing these sister-wounds along with my mother-wounds and the wounds that infiltrate my entire feminine essence. It's not there yet.
Anyway, I vacillate between sleek belly dance priestess, raging cunt, mercat unimaid glitter-girl, and sporty-spice tomboy. Even when I dress in a traditionally masculine uniform like a karate gi, medieval armor, or the rare business suit, I still have an obvious female presentation.
Except when I don’t.
To this day, this dichotomy wreaks havoc on my attempts to participate in romance and sex with the kinds of people I'm attracted to because I just can't seem to Female correctly any more than I can dance "right".
"You know what you need? You need to admit that you just wanna wear the pants in the relationship." (I really, really don't. I prefer a balanced dynamic, which is rare and elusive for me. But thanks.)
"You just need a good fuck. You need to be pinned down and made to shut the fuck up by having a dick crammed down your loud, opinionated throat." (Well, I dunno. Are we in a loving relationship whereby you adore me? Are you willing to receive everything from me that you say I need in a nice switchy turn-around? *eyebrow waggle-wink* No? Then you're threatening me with felonies. Buh-bye.)
"You just need to let yourself be Zoe and dominate a guy like Wash." (I love Wash and he's smokin' hot. But nope. Not my dynamic, because I also have way too much Kaylee, Inara, and River in me.)
"You're just a fuckin' bitch." (Not really. I'm actually extraordinarily kind, compassionate, and sweet in my base operations. But sheesh, being with you sure brings out the ravening bitch in me, doesn't it? We should break up.)
"If you're gonna stand there holding your dick and defend your position with logic and facts like a lawyer who becomes more terse, cold and concrete every time I raise my voice--if you're gonna argue with me like a man, then I guess I will just treat you like one and raise something else." (Thanks. I love having to vacate my home at Mach 10. I love getting back repressed memories of domestic violence. I love being on disability. So...because your debate skills and your evidence are too paltry to convince me or our relationship counselor that your conduct toward me is "Right," yet you don't agree with me that we should go our separate ways, your only solution is resorting to physical violence? Nice.)
"You know what your problem is?" (Do please tell me.)
"You're a dick-envying dyke and you're too scared to come out of the closet." (Actually, I'm not. I know this from experience because I have wondered multiple times if y'all were right about me all the way back to seventh grade when you first nicknamed me "Lesbo," so I took it upon myself to find out by running some experiments. Although I have nothing against a good dildo and I find Lexa, Inara, Asami, Amanita, Vi, and Callisto swoonable--yes, I have a type (5)--I've never had the opportunity to try out a relationship with a non-male I was mutually attracted to enough for that dynamic. Sexual attraction is weird for me. But that's a topic for another day. Oh. And if I was a dyke, I wouldn't consider it "my problem." Thanks-byeeeeeeee.)
Maybe it would be easier to deal with me if I was consistent in both presentation and operational mode. But I pendulum swing between my extremes, sometimes rapidly, sometimes in longer waves. Sometimes I feel really neutral. Sometimes I am the love-child spawned from the steamy, adoring union between my Anima and my Animus. On those days, I am a walking yin-yang symbol--I am both extremes simultaneously, and yes, at those times I still identify as a woman.
Huh. I guess my tarot cards were telling me something after all, considering I am the Prime Creator of my fantasy worlds.
As such, I am really excited about this latest gender identity wave of, “FFS let people identify and present as who and how they are, however and whenever they friggin’ wanna be.”
Sure, it's a little in everybody's faces right now. Shrug. That's the only way the problems stand a chance at being solved. Yes, it's confusing, complicated, and the Alphabet+ changes every other month. I admit, the Dain Bramaged One doesn't possess the neural real estate to keep up with the lingo all the time. Neither do a bunch of kind, conscientious people without brain injuries that I know. Shrug. That's because the English language doesn't possess one standardized neutral lexicon yet, and we're only beginning to comprehend just how many types of people are affected because they've been silenced, assaulted, killed, or have hidden themselves for millennia.
Then you have people on the fringes like me who might have never even considered that this was a dynamic affecting us personally. I always attributed these issues I experienced to...well, I didn't know what to attribute it to, because I've never talked about it through this lens until recently. I sure write about it under the guise of fictional characters. A lot. But gender and sex stuff have always been two facets amidst the ever-spinning jewel of "There's something wrong with you. You Suck."
This whole thing is a process and a learning curve, therefore I fuck it up all the time, just like I do with all the racial civil rights changes. Eh. I'm a beginner-to-intermediate student, depending on the topic. But this stuff is important enough for me to actively want to learn it.
YOU are important enough. All of you.
I look forward to when we can stabilize into a way of speaking that doesn't marginalize, abuse, accidentally wound, or omit anybody.
Until that day, I'm going to keep writing fantasy, twisted history, memoir, and myth. ✨🦄✨
I'm also going to write this next blog series using the familiar binary extremes of Masculine/Animus/Yang/Light Side and Feminine/Anima/Yin/Dark Side. Because yeah, you betcha. I am a child of the 70s, I've always believed in the Gray Way, the rainbow is my favorite color, and there's a whole lot of Star Wars coming up in our near future.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
--UP NEXT: THE INCONCEIVABLE - ASSumptions About the Gladiatrix--
Huh. A slight detour. Next we actually get to do INJURED. Again. (And Then My Ass Fell Off! Just go with it. It's an inside joke for geeks of my kind. Links provided.)
--OR: If you missed the start of how gladiators hijacked my life, you can find that HERE.
--OR: I've started writing about my own days as a fighter-chick in armor.
--THE NAVIGATION TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Gender-neutral pronouns 101
2) What does it mean to be a man?
3) This Is Your Brain On Power
--Neuroscience Just Gave Lazy Humans a Free Pass
5) My Type