I am a product of Oregon’s school funding crisis. I was in first grade when Oregon voters approved Measure 5, the constitutional amendment that shifted the financing of public education from local communities to the state by capping property taxes in Oregon. For the next 12 years I saw my education opportunities diminish as teachers and school programs were continuously cut because of inadequate funding from the state.
Is there a term that is preferred to “transgendered”? I recently wrote an article that described a MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she is one of many). Upon seeing a draft prior to publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that.
This year marks my 30th year in Oregon. To celebrate, I took in a double feature which exemplifies the two poles of my Oregonian experience. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, both films helmed by directors of color. 12 Years served to ground me in reality, while Gravity took me to my favorite fantasy: a world without borders, floating free among the stars. The reality of space, though, is that it has no breathable atmosphere, extremes of hot and cold and is always trying to kill you, nothing personal. Same with Oregon; sometimes we don’t like your kind.
The recent celebration of Occupy Wall Street’s (OWS) second anniversary triggered a series of blogs with pronouncements that ranged from “Occupy is dead,” to critiques of its organizational (non)structure, to suggestions how we should act in order to succeed (by those who claim we have failed). The question is, of course, how do we define success and what is Occupy’s aim? Ultimately, Occupy can succeed only if people provide support by donating time, money, materials, ideas and good will.
I’m a 34-year-old straight female. I am morbidly obese and have been for most of my life. I have never dated. I’ve been on a couple of dates, and only when I asked the guy out. From reading your columns and books, I am aware that some men are attracted to fat women. But since I never received any real sexual attention as a teen/twentysomething, I don’t know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would develop into a relationship. I also think my (lack of) experience has caused me to become bitter toward men.
DEAR READERS: Sophia Wallace, the NYC-based conceptual artist behind the amazing Cliteracy project, was a guest on my podcast recently. (To hear our conversation, go to savagelovecast.com and look up episode 371.) During our chat, Wallace told me that a column I wrote years ago about the importance of the clit had a big impact on her as a teenager — in fact, she still had the copy of the column that she had clipped out of the newspaper.
I’ve talked to my girlfriends, my mom, and his mom, but I need some unbiased advice. I’m a 28-year-old woman in a relationship for 3.5 years with a wonderful man, also 28. I hit the jackpot: He is loving, sweet, kind, driven, active, handsome, generous, etc. We’re very committed to each other and planning our future together. We’ve lived together for 2.5 years. Life is so great! Enter the issue: We’ve been discussing marriage since January of this year. Until May, he was opposed to it.
EW ran a feature on LCC’s “Creativity for Peace” program Oct. 17, including a photo of Israeli and Palestinian exchange students smiling happily in a semi-hug. It looked benign and hopeful. Until one looks more closely. The headline read, “Peacemakers: LCC Students from Israel and Palestine.” The story described how two young women from “opposite sides of a conflict” are being prepared “to pave the way for peace in their communities and across borders.” Unfortunately, this introduction seriously misrepresents the reality of the Israel/Palestine relationship.
I’m a straight woman who loves my boyfriend, but sex isn’t a priority for me. His sex drive, on the other hand, is ridiculous. He gets very upset when I don’t have sex with him and accuses me of not being interested in him anymore, which isn’t the case. I just can’t fuck on demand! Most people would probably say that my boyfriend is an insensitive asshole for pressuring me for sex. Except this was a switcheroo exercise: I, the girlfriend, want more sex. He, my boyfriend, doesn’t see sex as a priority.
Darkness comes early in December, now that midwinter is upon us. Remembering that Solstice isn’t until four days before Christmas, long nights are going to be around for a couple of months. We treasure clear, chilly nights when the stars put on a show from early in the evening. I mark the yearly cycle with only one constellation: Orion of Winter. It is the easiest to recognize, after the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. Orion has three bright stars decorating his belt; his sword marked by four close, smaller stars angling off below.
Saving energy and improving energy efficiency is vital to restoring the environment, reducing carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change and creating sustainable jobs. It’s being debated all over the world, but the debate over how to get there has left out something more meaningful to a lot of Lane County residents: saving them money.
I’m a bi woman in my mid-20s in a great monogamish relationship with my straight boyfriend. We occasionally invite other women into our sex life, which is really enjoyable for both of us. He isn’t threatened by other women, only by other men, which isn’t an issue since I’m not interested in any other men. So on the occasions when we find a lady we’re both into who’s also into us, anything goes, and it’s awesome. We’ve hooked up with both friends and strangers, but always as a couple because it makes us both feel safe.
Global warming is the most serious crisis that humanity has ever faced. The world is headed directly towards a cliff in the dark: We know the cliff is ahead of us, but we don’t know how soon we might reach it. Some people think that the countries of the world will not be able to do what is necessary to avoid millions of people suffering the death penalty as a result of global warming. When they express their defeatist attitude to others, they make things harder for those of us actively fighting global warming. Nobody can predict what the future will bring.
I recently ended a relationship that lasted a year and five months. While I loved this woman, for much of the relationship she was, to varying degrees, depressed. I tried to be as helpful and patient as possible with the hope and expectation that she would get better. I got her into counseling. We went to couples counseling together. She got on medication. I encouraged her to eat well (I cooked her many healthy meals) and exercise daily (which she was never able to do). I tried to get her out into nature. I tried to listen and practice strong communication skills.
I’m a heterosexual guy in my early 20s. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about six months, and we’ve been having some fights recently. The problem: I have a high sex drive in comparison to hers. I want to be intimate on a weekly basis (at least!), and she’s told me that she’s more of a once-every-three-weeks-or-so person. I’m trying not to put pressure on her. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable — she’s a virgin (no penetration), and the thought of the pain of that first time scares her a bit.
Local media is all abuzz about a proposal to reconfigure Willamette from 24th to 32nd. Writing in the Nov. 3 Register-Guard, Jack Billings clearly identified cyclists as the driver of efforts to alter South Willamette — efforts that would remove one car lane and add two bike lanes. Quoting Billings, “The discussion [about Willamette] is only about bicycles. Were it not for the small but organized bike lobby, there would be no debate about reconfiguration.” Billings doesn’t know the half of it.
When I ran for Congress in 1986 I campaigned against the unsustainable timber harvest levels in western Oregon. Back then the Bureau of Land Management was logging 1.6 billion board feet per year on the statutorily unique O&C lands.
I advocated for a 30 to 40 percent reduction on the O&C lands. But today, O&C timber harvests have dropped by more than 85 percent. I didn’t think then, and I don’t think now, that an 85 percent reduction is necessary to protect old growth, rivers, streams and wildlife — particularly given its negative impact on county revenues and rural communities.
It has become an a matter of widespread belief, as Giesen asserts, that economic contraction not economic growth is essential for an ecological future. I would like to offer another prospective based on the pursuit of sustainability and making economic growth mean ecological improvement. It is a fundamental error to conflate all economic growth with ecological pillage.