Tag Archives: equity

350. EQUITY AND FAIRNESS

I have several half-written posts.  Can’t seem to focus and am being overly self-critical over what I choose to write.  It’s as if I am expecting only great prose consistent with my history of keeping it short, writing clearly without repetition, culling my adjectives with literary precision, mixing my rhythms, ditching modifiers, letting the verbs do their magic, and throwing in some unexpected words to shock you into greater understanding.   AS IF!!  

That’s never described my writing style, so why start now?

One topic that’s been rattling around in my mind quite a bit lately is feminism.  And with recent events in the US, I’ve realized my views about it are deeper than I once thought.  I’ve posted about this before and will try not to repeat myself.  If you want to understand how a submissive woman who apparently has surrendered to the patriarchy rationalizes the feeling that she is a feminist, read that prior post.     This post takes a different angle to what feminism means to me.

MORE THAN FEMINIST… A HUMANIST
I consider myself a feminist with a little “f”, not Feminist in regards to what the word represents to most people. To me, feminism is a part of humanism, and I consider myself a Humanist (capital “H” for sure).

Humanism encompasses gender, race, and all other criteria society uses to identify and separate people.  It accepts that such identifiers can be helpful for statisticians or community psychologists to understand and quantify certain things, but it does not accept those labels as assigning values as to the level of goodness or purpose a person has.    

WE ARE ONE, BUT NOT THE SAME
Feminism, as a movement, has the noble goal of equality; however, for too many people the term “equality” gets interpreted as “sameness.” And to me, it is not about equality. It’s about equity and fairness, not equality and sameness. There’s a major difference between those as I covered in this post.

I don’t know any woman that wants to be the same as men, but plenty that what equity and fairness.

We should never strive for sameness. Not because one gender is different from another, or a particular race is different from another, or people with certain sexual preferences or sexual identify are different from those with other preferences or identify a certain way, or that people with or without certain religious beliefs are different, or people from certain parts of the world or regions within a country are different. We shouldn’t strive for sameness because WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS. We are different. I am not the same as everyone who shares my gender, race, sexual preferences, sexual identify, beliefs, or geographic location.

There is a sameness that unites us all. Where we are the same is that we are humans. Humanism is about not defining ourselves and not defining others by categories of gender, race, religion, geography, sexual preferences, you name it. It is about defining ourselves by how we treat others and define them by how they treat us and others. It’s about how we interact with others and how we make others feel and how they make us feel. It’s by the equity and fairness, both in how we treat others and how we expect others to treat us and everyone else. If we must categorize people, categorize them by “healthy or toxic,” nothing more.

I think that has been the secret sauce to my happiness. I have filtered out any toxic people and any toxic thoughts. I surrounded myself with people who are healthy for me and I focus on the things that fulfill me and give me purpose. I have found equity and fairness in my marriage and in my dealings with friends and family.

Advocating for the right of women to achieve equity and fairness is a no brainer. It’s simply being humane. That’s what feminism means to me . And if that equity and fairness comes from leading, working, or doing anything considered “man’s domain,” or comes from submitting, serving, or doing anything considered “traditional” woman’s roles, or anything in-between, that’s fine by me. It’s not for us to define what others should find equitable and fair for their lives — but it is up to society to ensure everyone has access to what is equitable and fair for them.

CURRENT EVENTS
I was going to end the post here, but recent events prompted me to dig a little deeper into my thoughts about this.   As I previously stated, it is more than something I believe about women.  I believe it is a right everyone deserves.  Regardless which label a person fits into regarding their gender, race, religion, region, or sexual desires, the only constraints anyone should have in their pursuit of equity and fairness is that the things they do should not infringe on the equity and fairness of others.   And that is where my ideal hits a wall.

Too many people feel an “affront to their sensibilities” is the same as as loss of equity or fairness. They equate their disdain for someone based on their gender, race, faith (or lack thereof), sexual preferences, or place they are from the same way others might look at someone who endangers their physical well being. Such people may even go so far as to accept an immoral and corrupt leader just so long as that leader allows them to act on their disdain for those they label “others.” They may even go so far as tolerate the murder of man as collateral damage towards protecting their sensibilities, protecting their status quo. 

They feel harmed by someone kneeling in reverence as a solemn reminder of injustice, but not kneeling to subdue, oppress, and kill, because at least the latter is consistent with their sensibilities. 

They feel harmed when someone in need is given help, unless they are the one in need. They feel harmed when others demand fair wages for their work.  They feel harmed when someone makes a choice about their life that is inconsistent with choices they would make for themselves. They feel harmed with other demand equity and fairness.

They have a mindset that THEY are the victim.  The victim of having to live with anyone or anything that is different from them.  

And the irony is, these “victims” are quick to become the victimizer, as forcing their mindset on others is the only thing that gives them purpose.   And the more they victimize the more their victims cry for justice.  And the louder those demands for justice, the more harmed the victimizer feels.   These are the people who should receive the full force of societies disdain.  Not a gender, not a race or religious belief, not a geography or sexual orientation – but a mindset that hurts everyone, physically and economically and the mindset that denies equity and fairness to others.

ASSHOLES
Yes, we will find that people who have that mindset tend to skew towards a certain gender, race, religion, etc., but to define them by those terms is to do to them what they are doing to everyone else. I may poke fun at white, male, reichwinger, closeted-gay Southerners clutching their guns like a two year old’s favorite teddy bear, but like all stereotypes, the semblance to the truth is tenuous. Let’s call those with this mindset by how they treat others and not by their gender, race, or other identifiers. They are cancers, they are inhumane, they are immoral, they are evil, they are unAmerican, and they are assholes. And we need to stop putting them in positions of power because empowering them allows their mindset to spread.

And once these assholes have usurped democratic institutions such as free and fair elections, we are no longer represented by the views of society at large, but by a group of assholes who represent a cancerous minority view.   And in all human history, minority rule can continue only by fraud and force, and such rule has NEVER ended well.    If the voice of the ballot box is voided by the assholes, what voice does the majority have left?   

The scarier proposition is that what’s going on today is nothing like what we are facing come November.    Whether the assholes win or lose, it will be bad.  And win or lose, we can only hope police, Justice Department, military, and the courts will side with the Constitution – but don’t be so sure that they will.  Those institutions have been stacked with assholes. Sadly, even our camo-wearing military leadership.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH
It’s no longer enough to not be a racist, we must be anti-racist.     It’s no longer enough to not be a fascist, we must be anti-facist.  It’s not enough to not be an asshole.  We must be anti-assholes.  

It’s not enough to just blog about this.  I am doing what I can within my power and ability to support organizations that facilitate and demand change.  And more than that, to challenge and call out those that do not.   This isn’t a political blog, so I don’t intend on sharing specifics or which organizations I think fall into each category.   

This post was intended to pound home my ideas about feminism, which are linked to ideas about equity and fairness, which are linked to current events. Through equity and fairness we can bring about a better neighborhood, a better community, a better country, and a better world.

That’s what feminism means to me.  That’s what humanism means to me.

NEXT: 351: Our FREE (three) time thanks to COVID

261. A bit more Kayla

I left a bit of a cliffhanger with inference there is a disturbance in the DD force with Mike and I.  I will get to that in my next post – promise!  I was re-reading my prior posts and felt I left a bit out that I want to add regarding Kayla. 

HOW DOES KAYLA FIT IN TO OUR EQUITY? 
We weren’t looking for a relationship with Kayla, and it wasn’t like we were “needing” it.  But our willingness to continually put our equity into our relationship means our relationship is open to so many new and wonderful things.

To re-visit my prior analogy, our marriage is not a closed box containing the two of us, it has a door and windows, and if someone rings the doorbell, we check out who it is.  Maybe, just maybe, they get invited in.  Some temporarily, like John, Donna, and Matt.  Some..or make that one, stay indefinitely, like Kayla.

And what does it mean to have Kayla as part of my relationship with Mike….well, not just a relationship, but a marriage?

We both feel strongly connected to Kayla.  She is part of us. “Us” in my marriage is three.  I shared some of the things we have done to further “bond” her to “us.”  Here are a few more things –

SOME SIMPLE THINGS
Public displays of affection — holding hands, putting arms around each other, or even the quick little pecks on the lips.  Yeah, they happen, whether Mike and her, or me and her, or the three of us.  Pda’s can happen, but generally aren’t in our nature, so not a lot of that, but, they aren’t forbidden.  Both Mike and I try to do it a little more with Kayla, as it is a simple gesture to show her we aren’t hiding her.

It also isn’t uncommon you hear us use various terms of endearment here and there… a “luv” here, a “babe” there, or even a “sweetie” at times.  Any one of us may be directing it at any one else.  It has even been a bit funny when someone says something and throws in a “babe” and the other two are like, “which babe are you talking to?”

SOME SEXY THINGS
Of course there is also the sex.  Kayla sleeps in our bed all the time now.  Sex is an every night thing.  Sometimes it can be more Mike and Kayla or more Mike and me, or more Kayla and I…it simply is whatever it evolves to be for the night.  I do love watching the two of them.  There are times I tell Mike I am fine with just the two of them having sex and I will just watch and masturbate.

We still have our one night a week alone with Mike.  Kayla or I sleep in the guest room on alternate weeks on the nights the other one has their date night with Mike.  Mike occasionally gives Kayla and I our own night out as well and he sleeps in the guest room.  It’s nice we all get to pair up and have our own one-on-one time.  We also all three go out on occasion when we have someone to stay with J.

SOME FURNITURE THINGS
And as part of her moving her things into our room, we went shopping this week for new sheets and bedspread and we let her pick it out.  We also got a new dresser that better compliments our decor so that Kayla could move all of her stuff into our room.  Another little thing we did is that instead of  “Kayla’s dresser” and “Jen’s dresser,” we alternated the drawers such that some of our stuff is in each dresser.  No “her’s” and “mine.”

Lastly we made room for her knick-knacks and some pictures.  Overall the feel is probably still a bit more Mike’s and I age, but it clearly has a Kayla touch.

SOME D/s THINGS
I find happiness in Kayla’s happiness and in all her
growth and happiness our relationship has brought her.   Further, I am so proud of Mike of finding it within himself to be able to give Kayla what she needs and desires – even when those things differ from what I need and desire.  It can’t be easy to deal with two women who have different needs – but it sure helps when, in our case, the two women share a #1 need of pleasing him.

Their D/s has continued to evolve and has a lot more M/s elements to it.  I joke that Kayla doesn’t breath without Mike’s permission.  That’s an obvious overstatement, but, there isn’t much she can do without his permission or command.  From speaking when he is around, to eating, to using the restroom – you can pretty much name it.  

EQUITY IN OUR MARRIAGE
Overall our “open” marriage means we were open to all the things that we have subsequently experienced since adopting DD. 

  • Open to people – obviously the deep relationship with Kayla, and the sexual/friendship relationships with John, Donna, and Matt. 
  • Open to life –  Our recent adoption of nudism is a good example of us finding something we weren’t even looking for.

EQUITY FOR KAYLA?
How does Kayla feel about her relationship with Mike and I?  I shared that she is happy and fulfilled, but what specifically does she find fulfilling.  I asked her.

In Mike – she admits there is a bit of a fulfilling father-figure to him.  His intense interest in who she is and how she feels, and his eagerness, not just willingness, to focus on her needs.  She felt these things even when she was a little girl, and those feelings ended up serving as the foundation for her puppy love to become amorous and more.

She loves serving him, and craves his approval.  At first it devastated her when he disapproved of something (punished her).  That’s why she use to be a big crier.  But she quickly learned that the thrill of doing better, serving him better, and being the person she desires to be, all make the punishments worth it.  She learned they didn’t mark a failure as much as mark an opportunity. 

She still tends to be a bit of crier, but she says her tears are different.  They are often out of immense thankfulness and joy.  A recognition that she is worthy of his guidance, expectations, and love.  I know that phrase probably sickens those who are unfamiliar with DD or D/s.  But I completely understand why she feels that way. 

In me – Kayla also admits I serve a a bit of a mother figure to her, more so than she says Mike serves as a father figure.  Probably because she feels a bit closer to her own father than her own mother.   Kayla says she yearned for a mother figure. Someone to show pride when she did well, give unconditional acceptance, even when she did “dumb shit” as she puts it.  Someone who cares when she suffered and who not only made efforts to help her feel better, but whose efforts actually succeeded in doing so.

Yeah, basically all the stuff a mom would do, she said she got that from me. And like with Mike, those things preceded our “adult’ relationship.  We were those things to her when she was 11, 12, 13, etc.  Again, all serving as a foundation for a love that eventually turned amorous.      

And just to clarify, Kayla said while she feels “let down” by her parents, they were not abusive in the typical meaning of the word.  Numb, not caring, not nurturing, yes – so she feels fortunate they were not abusive other than the abuse of disinterest.

WHAT NEXT?
Who knows what’s next…or even if there is a next.  But whether or not there is, or whatever it may be, I know we are receptive to exploration – so much so that if only one of us wants to explore, they are free to do so, without the others.

I believe the roles, responsibilities, and relationships that Mike and I have, with each other and with others, is highly equitable.  But, what if Mike or I wanted something that wasn’t equitable?   See that?  A nice segue into what I alluded to in the prior post regarding DD sympatico. . .  Next post, I promise!

260. More Mike, Jen, & Kayla: Equity vs. Equality

260

OPEN MARRIAGE
Labels are always tricky.  I don’t like the word “open” in the context of my marriage.  It infers “always open” as in, no barriers to entry and just picking up whatever the wind blows in.  It’s not like that.

It is open in this context – we are open to the concept that love is not finite nor needs to be confined to just two people.  My marriage indeed has barriers – say, four walls and a roof – it is just that the doors aren’t sealed shut.   We are open to answering a knock and evaluating whether or not we let them in.

ANSWERING QUESTIONS
As we are now open about Kayla, a few brave souls have asked questions – both people in my family and, during our vacation, some of E’s family.  Neither Mike, Kayla, or I had any qualms about answering any questions. and most were directed to me.  I think being the wife they felt I had some sort of aggrieved status that made my answers more credible, or at least more interesting.  

Many of the questions inferred concerns which fell into the same three buckets as what my sister’s expressed about my DD.  It’s degrading, it’s unfair, it’s unhealthy.  I used some of the same responses I used on my sisters as shared in Post 136. 

People seemed generally receptive.  They at least seemed to respect that I had thought through those issues and at least reconciled them for myself.  I learned if I answer their questions truthfully and with conviction, they quickly go from being concerned to simply being curious.  That curiosity often led to discussions about our views on relationships in general.

As I mentioned, I used an approach similar to that in Post 136 in answering their questions.  However, as it just so happens, I came across an additional way I can express myself going forward and I wanted to share it. 

INSPIRATIONAL CREDIT
I credit livingwithx.wordpress.com as my inspiration (i.e., I copied a lot).  I encourage you to read his About section.   I love to reflect and get all esoteric – but I know I do it in a wordy and rambling sort of way.  I appreciate his ability to be succinct.  What takes me an entire post to try to convey, he accomplishes in a few words or bullet points.

The concerns people expressed to me were often rooted in confusing  FAIRNESS with SAMENESS (which I covered in Post 136).  But it is deeper than that, and livingwithx explained it in a way that I feel was more eloquent and powerful than delineating fairness from sameness.  Their concerns were also rooted in confusing EQUITY with EQUALITY.

You can pretty much substitute his word, Equity, with my word, Fairness, as well as his word, Equality, for my word, Sameness.  It isn’t so much the labels that were powerful to me, it was in how livingwithx defined them.  

Equity is giving your relationship everything it needs to be successful.
Equality is making sure everyone in the relationship is being treated the same.

It’s simple. In your relationship, do you value success, or do you value sameness?  The answer seems obvious, but society conditions us to focus on the latter.  People are quick to identify the injustice of the smallest inequality.  So much so that they often overlook the devastation that comes from a lack of equity. 

As I illustrated to my sisters in Post 136, their drive for equality in their relationship has led to a lot of inequities.  I am not saying they are miserable — they are happy in their marriages.  But I am saying their relationships with their husbands could be more fulfilling (and they agree!).   And part of the reason is their focus on equality over equity.

Next time I am posed with a “Kayla” question, I think I will start it with a statement that in my relationship with Mike, we value success over sameness.  Then let the conversation go from there.  I believe most people agree they want the former, not the latter.  If so, then it is simply about finding what it is that your relationship needs, and go for it.  So did my relationship actually “need” Kayla?   More on that in a bit. 

WHAT DOES EQUITY REQUIRE?
Many people have relationships where they settle for less than what their needs require.

Ouch!  I think that deserves repeating.   Many people have relationships where they settle for less than what their needs require.

Why do people stay in such relationships?  At least try to invest the equity it takes to improve things.  As someone who has always been very self-reflective and in constant state of investing equity, it is hard for me to relate to someone accepting an equal relationship over one that is equitable.

I’ll admit though that my investments in equity didn’t always pay off.  Partly because I wasn’t being honest with myself regarding what I really needed and partly because I wasn’t being honest with Mike in communicating what I thought I needed (i.e. I lacked vulnerability).  Oh, and partly because Mike wasn’t in an equitable state of mind because he was also focused on “equality” plus, he wasn’t always open and honest about what he needed (i.e he lacked vulnerability).  So yeah, just wanting and seeking equity doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

So if equity isn’t about seeking everything your relationship needs to be successful, what is it?   Oh!  It is about finding what it needs to be successful.  How do you do that?  It’s a learning process.  So how do you learn that?

IT STARTS WITH YOU – YOU ARE #1
I know it sounds selfish, but first, you have to know what you want and then, you must be willing to ask for what you want.  Simply put, you need to find a partner that fulfills YOUR NEEDS.  Nothing really selfish in that.  That is relationship 101.  Why would you want a partner that doesn’t do that?

In order to have your needs fulfilled, you have to communicate them (i.e. you have to be vulnerable).  My plethora of vulnerability posts can be found in the Finding My Happiness section of my Shortcuts.

IT THEN TURNS TO THE NEEDS OF THE OTHER
While it starts with you, it doesn’t end with you.   Equity requires that you focus on the needs of the relationship, which means – others in the relationship.  In order to have your needs fulfilled you have to be willing to fulfill your partner’s needs as well.  It is through that emotional and physical investment of fulfilling each other’s needs that you create EQUITY.  It doesn’t matter if the emotional and physical investments of each person were not EQUAL.    

In our case, there was a change in what I needed from our relationship and my life.  That change happened to involve DD.  I had to understand it first, then had to communicate it – that is, I had to ask for it.  That understanding/asking is laid out in my first half-dozen or so posts.

I was then fortunate enough to have a partner in Mike who was willing to invest his equity (efforts, emotions, actions, ) in fulfilling my needs as he saw that there was potential for my equity (efforts, emotions, actions) to fulfill his needs.   And what if there is a situation where partners don’t agree on the equity?   That’s where communication and give and take have to come in, and in our case, Mike’s role as HOH comes in.

What if you are having too many situations where we can’t agree things are equitable?  To me the result is that the relationship can’t be fulfilling.  Someone – maybe everyone – is settling for less than their needs require.  You can only do that for so long before resentment builds, leading to a downward spiral that self destructs the relationship.

DID MY RELATIONSHIP “NEED” KAYLA?
You can’t always define everything your relationship needs. It is more about addressing each of life’s situations and opportunities as they come.  So we didn’t “need” a third and then go looking for one.   Instead, our relationship has a need to remain open and honest about everyone’s wishes and desires.  This leads us to be open to life’s possibilities…in this case, the possibility of a third, such that when the right situation presented itself, it happened.  

Does that mean we are open to a fourth?  Why stop there.  A fifth?  Well, sure, why not? I don’t foresee that happening, but I know our relationship will take whatever path it needs to take to ensure success.  I can’t imagine how more people would add to our success, but frankly, I could have never imagined how Kayla could have done so.

So that is my long-winded way of laying out my thoughts on my marriage.  I don’t know that I specifically answered how it is that Kayla fits in to our “equity”  Or how say, John & Donna, or our overall sex life,  Matt, nudism, and oh yeah, and Domestic Discipline – how does all of that fit into our “equity?”    I think the simplest answer is, “It just works for us.”  Wow. This entire post could have probably been just those 5 words.  

With that settled. . . what of my inference to Mike’s Dominance perhaps evolving beyond where I would like it to be?   Well, that all makes for a good next post!

NEXT: 261.  A bit more on Kayla