His

Beads of sweat still glistened, trapped in the soft hairs of his chest and belly. She gently wiped them away with the tip of a finger, one by one, reminiscent of the chasing and popping of bubbles floating through the air during a childhood summer.

Her ear to his chest, she could feel more than hear the thump of his heart beating against her cheek. She could taste him still on her lips, but just to be sure, she leaned them forward and planted a gentle kiss on his smooth, luminescent skin.

“I am yours,” she whispered. He nodded in agreement.

“Whatever that means….” she trailed off absent-mindedly. “I just know it means something.”

He tilted his head. “Mmmm?” he questioned. “I could hear the first part, but you’re whispering too quietly for me to have heard the rest.”

“I said I’m yours,” she repeated.

“Yes, you are mine.”

“And I don’t know what it means, but I know it means something.”

He smiled. “I think it means you’re my dirty, red-headed slut,” he said, reminding her of the force with which he’d just taken his filthy slut’s holes in succession. “I don’t know if that’s any great revelation though. You’ve been a dirty slut for a long time.”

“Sort of,” she laughed. Years of abstinence. Years of waiting for the right fit to come along. Desire and opportunity had never presented themselves together so perfectly until he came into her life. What made her the slut? The desire? The action? The sheer jubilation with which accepted orgasm after orgasm when he fucked her?

The truth hinged on the word “yours,” as it so often did.

“Before I was yours, I was Schrodinger’s slut,” she surmised.

His broad smile met with the twinkle of her deep blue eyes.

There was no doubt anymore. Whatever had been in that box all those years belonged to him now.

I guess I lost my sense of humor

I started paying attention to the news again.

About a year ago, I saw a friend of mine post a joke about Donald Trump running for president. Turns out, that wasn’t a joke.

And I thought, “Well, fuck…I sure have been out of touch.”

I had. On purpose. After my husband passed away, I really couldn’t deal with the world’s problems, so I shut them out. Stopped watching/listening/reading about what was happening in the world.

Managed to miss out on a lot of big stories – terrorist acts, big fires, crazy people running for president….

I went back in slowly. An article here or there; nothing crazy.

And now I’m full time listening to public radio in the car. I have Alexa read me the headlines every morning. I’m clicking on articles in my facebook feed that I would have scrolled right past before. It’s not just politics, either. All SORTS of things interest me. There was a story on NPR on the way home about gender testing in the Olympics. There was one earlier this week about athletes’ pay being comparable to actors, as they provide entertainment in a multi-billion dollar industry. And the one about rampant wage theft in the restaurant industry. And the story about the man sentenced for traveling to a Cambodian brothel dozens of times to sexually abuse children.

The result? I’m starting to identify in ways that I was brought up to disregard. The biggest one was feminist. Feminist was a pejorative term growing up. They were uptight women without a sense of humor. I’d forgotten that this was a thing I was raised to never become. To be a feminist was to be a punchline, a trope for unlikable….

AND ABOVE ALL ELSE, ONE MUST BE LIKED!

I’d not realized this until a few weeks ago when my mom used the word as an insult. Women’s rights are okay, she said, but feminists take it too far.

Look, I don’t know where this arbitrary line of “too far” is, but I’m pretty sure there are a lot of feminists (of all genders) that advocate on behalf of women’s rights on the relatively benign side of that line.

I mean, (arbitrarily speaking), there will be activists in any endeavor that take things “too far” – whether it’s animal rights, human rights, reproductive rights, or environmental causes.

I’m not the type that’s gonna chain myself to a tree, throw paint at a coat, or commit a felony on behalf of a cause I’m passionate about. That doesn’t mean I’m not part of that cause. But, to define any cause by the actions of the people who take it to an extreme (again…arbitrarily, because my extreme may not be your extreme, etc. etc.) has the effect of turning a word like “Feminist” into an insult passed from one generation to the next.

The first time I saw the abbreviation SJW (Social Justice Warrior) I didn’t know what it meant. For a long time, I thought it was the abbreviation of someone’s online handle. I didn’t know who this SJW person was, but I knew a lot of the popular folks on the internet┬áREALLY hated them.

Took a while before I discovered it was just a label. Even then, the tone with which it was used was one of disdain and ridicule. Oh, those pesky, humorless, drama-mongering SJWs!

The people we label as “Feminist” or “Social Justice Warrior” are frequently speaking on behalf of those who are too afraid to speak for themselves. Those who feel that they must follow that one simple commandment: TO BE LIKED.

Which, of course, for women means to be docile, compliant, and agreeable.

Today I saw someone made a joke about SJWs. They were the punchline. The joke made a mockery of a type of person I care deeply about – a type of person whose voice is frequently erased in the din of activists clamoring for attention to their causes. A person in my life who has a name.

And it struck me…..

It’s cruel. It stings to be on the receiving end of a joke aimed at belittling or mocking something that is part of your identity. It’s not that I don’t see why the joke is funny, it’s that I see all the reasons why that joke is NOT funny in the tears of my friends who are good, kind, honorable people who have done nothing to hurt anybody else.

So there it is. I guess I’ve lost my sense of humor, because I’m drawing my arbitrary line at jokes that hurt people for the sake of belittling, undermining, or erasing their humanity, identity, intelligence, or to further the notion that to be a “Feminist” or a “Social Justice Warrior” is an insult.

Any “Status Quo Warriors” who step over that line have, in my eyes, gone “too far.”