A Dirty Word

I am a feminist. I said it. I actually thought being a feminist meant that I believed in equality for women. I thought that women should have the same rights as men. Wikipedia defines feminist as:

  1. Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

Then I have discovered that people’s view of what feminism mean is much different then mine. There is a movement #womenagainstfeminism and I was a bit shocked not because what was said, but by the confusion of what they were belittling and my view on what feminism is all about for me. Quotes such as, “I don’t need feminism because equality doesn’t have a gender.” or “I don’t need modern feminism because I don’t need to be Superior to men in order to feel confident.” or “I don’t need feminism, kill a child is not a right…doesn’t make me more woman…just demonstrates a lack of humanity!!” and last but not least, “I don’t need feminism because I support equality not sexism.”

Let’s imagine we go back 100 years to 1915. Now, in my province of Alberta I would not had the right to vote until 1916 and not until 1919 could we vote in a federal election. I could have never taken a political role either. I’d most likely be married and my husband would be supporting me. I would have few rights. Even if I did work my salary was legally my husband’s property. Just a side note, it took until 1940 for women in Quebec the right to vote. I agree that I support equality, but 100 years ago it was sexism that limited our access to be considered a person. I didn’t have to live back then to realize that to change something that had been in effect for thousands of years was a huge accomplishment.

It wasn’t until after 1880 did a women practice medicine in Canada. I am so pleased to have a female doctor. I guess that makes me sexist since I don’t want a male doctor to look at my lady parts. As for abortion, the comments for the against feminism, seemed to imply that a feminist is promoting abortion. I am not. I believe in choice, which in fact this movement believes in too. So, I would not choose to have an abortion. Am I supporting equality or feminism? Hmm, we do have common ground. I believe women have been given a lot more choices. It isn’t because of ladies gathering around and saying “Oh Martha, look at Susie working in her garden, she knows that Bill likes his supper on the table for 6 o’clock sharp. She planned pot roast. She deserves the trouble she’s going to have if supper is late. Speaking of supper have to run home for Dick, you know how he can be if tuna casserole isn’t piping hot. Tee Hee.” Don’t start on me because, I have been a stay-at-home-mom. I got to make the choice. Thank goodness. Then, I got to make the choice to go to work. Thank goodness for that too.

How on earth did anyone suspect that they got to 2015 without a bunch of hyped up feminists pushing for change? Seriously, if no one took the initiative to say I want the right to vote, to own land or to be considered a person then you wouldn’t even be speaking of choices and egalitarianism. Now they could argue, that they are speaking of “modern” feminism and yes they understand all of the suffragist movement that was labored for so long ago. I tried to find what being a modern feminist was defined as and why it was considered such a dirty and nasty word. I think the best I can define it as that a modern feminist is only associating rights for women, but not as much on equality and focuses to much on being sexist towards men. Being a feminist entails that you are a man basher, baby killer and your muff grows naturally.

What sparked the blog today was that I read an article that a girl wore a shirt that said “feminist” and the school photoshopped it out because of its political ramifications. She was in eighth grade. I thought wow, the word feminist is like having the word fuck on your shirt. Is it really that dirty? Is being a feminist that bad? School Censors Girl's Shirt for Yearbook Photo

My definition is that feminism is what has provided me to express my feelings in a blog without being told that I am not allowed. It is me working at a job that I get paid more possibly then some men or women for that matter. It is having a husband that listens and accepts my ideas. I can vote. I have so many endless choices that I would not have had if the feminist movement had not occurred. I have the choice to reject feminism. I can be subservient to a man or beast. I get to choose all the time. I can make my husband lunch and I can say the next time I don’t have time. I really do believe that feminism is about equality. I also think that if you believe that woman have equality around the globe and that there is still not a fight to fight then there are many women who are still at war that would disagree. I support them. And, I support those that don’t believe it is relevant to them. It is all good, and that my fellow women (and the one man that will read this) is a choice.

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HOW To Finish Your Damn Book

Just a good reminder for me!!

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

At the beginning of this year I wrote a post for that treasure trove of writing and publishing information, Writing.ie, about why you should finish your damn book. You can read that post here. It proved really popular. So popular that it seems to me like a lot of you are in the same place I was until last summer: wanting nothing more than to have finished your book, but finding yourself doing everything but writing it.

It’s all well and good for me to tell you why you should finish your book (nutshell: a finished book is the one thing everyone who ever got published/successfully self-published has in common) but how do you do it? How do you overcome procrastination? How do you finish your damn book?

I only know what worked for me, but maybe you’ll find something in there that works for you. Let’s see…

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My Prayers Have Been Answered?

Evan Almighty. This movie came on TV and I thought the kids might like it so we watched it together. I told them the story about Noah’s ark and how the animals came 2 by 2 so that they might get the gist what the heck this was all about. The movie is ok, but I heard something in the movie that Morgan Freeman said as the God character in the movie. I mean who else could play God in a movie, Alanis Morissette? Oh that’s right, she did too. I found that this quote brought me a greater awareness in my life. It was this:

God : Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feeling, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

It is like that isn’t it? If I pray to have more patience and it is not patience I am given. I will be given an opportunity to wait. I will have free will and choice on how to handle that time. I could definately be impatient. I could tap my foot and throw a fit. Or, I could have a small spark of thought that shows me this is my moment to sit in peace.

I tell my friend that sometimes when you get stuck in the long line at the grocery store that maybe the universe is saving you from something else that you are unaware of that is happening outside of your knowledge. What if having patience in that moment in line helps to avoid a strange circumstance? It gives you a moment to acknowledge the people around you. It gives you a few moments of breath work. Deep breathing to clear your thoughts. You have now shown patience in a time when normally you’d have been annoyed the whole time and taken it out with your negative energy around you.

It starts with you. I have prayed for peace and have realized that it has been in opportunities that I haven’t reacted the same way that I have before. I have watched the words escaping my lips more consciously where in fact they don’t escape, but are chosen. I have said no when my heart does not desire what has been asked. I have accepted that I need to look at my self to make the choices that are right for me.

What does it all mean? Well, if you want to create family bonding time you build an ark and have a flood and then crash into the Whitehouse. Simple. Right?

If It Were Like The Movies

My favourite scenes in movies are the ones that the actor shows what he would like to do but doesn’t really do it, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in “True Lies”. He takes a test drive with a man he suspects is cheating with his wife. He smashes his face on the steering wheel, but in fact he doesn’t really do it. It implies he wanted to bounce his head like a basketball in a crushing nose kind of way. If you aren’t as old as me 😉 then you might know Ben Stiller’s movie “The Secret of Walter Mitty” in that he daydreamed what he wished was really going on. I’ve had these moments. It happens with a blink of an eye not like a 30 second dream in a movie. One punch to the throat or kick in the balls is over in a second. The unsuspecting victim doesn’t know it, and I feel some strange satisfaction for having my moment of revenge. Then, my feng shui, chakra-balanced, meditative mind comes into play and I think, yikes, that is not good Karma of you. Let’s imagine we give them a hug instead. Virtual spiritual hug! No actual touching required. 

 Or how about those montages in the movies, such as they work out steady for like a minute pumped up with Finger Eleven* in the background and at the end has lost weight and is all buff. No, that doesn’t happen? Darn it. I really wanted that one to be true. But, seriously, the montage of them getting dressed for a big event and having a hundred different outfits and some sassy retail staff waiting on them hand and foot. I would like this one to be true. I’d love to have the money and time to clap my hands together while they brought me outfit after outfit all the while sipping champagne and charging up the plastic. But, I consider that the next time I go and need a dress and start flinging the 25 dresses and do a little number every time I opened the door would probably have mall security be the ones helping me out of the store. Have you ever really tried to put on that many outfits? After one outfit my hair goes frizzy and when I have to mutter to the 18 year old staffer that I need a bigger size and we exchange the attempt-outfit over the door I don’t even bother coming out to parade my outfit. If I can zip it up it is in the consideration pile. 

 Love-making in the movies, ya right……. enough said. 

 The one that really does get me everytime is the escape-trip to find yourself. I really believe that those moments I wish were real. “Under the Tuscan Sun” is by far a movie that depicts all reasons to get away. I was just googling yesterday on going to Tuscany. Diane Lane’s character goes there for a trip and stays. The people. The food. The character of the country changes her life. It makes it seem that if you ran away to escape the endless reasons which mostly is break ups and bad decisions that all problems will be changed in a new and unforeseen way. Sigh. Look at Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love” and took a journey of a lifetime to discover herself all the while with the intention to write a book. I read a facebook entry of hers or maybe it was the Super Soul Sunday interview that she said people stated that they took the same trip as she did but didn’t find the same kind of change she did. So, you are telling me that Julia Roberts played her in the movie version and that was not a step-by-step account of figuring out your life for the masses. Huh? (My inner soul says lay off the sarcasm.) C’mon, it was a depiction of her life. Plus the movie didn’t capture the greatness of the book. An escape is what you make of it. I could dream of Tuscsny. I can go there. I may or may not live there for the rest of my life. I hope that when I’m there that I can keep the wondernment of its art and history forever alive in my heart. I could go to Bali. I could do the ashram in India. (Actually I couldn’t. No interest in that at all). But escaping is still possibly coming back to the same. It is truly what you change inside. I use to escape in the bathroom when my kids were little because it was the one door that locked to have a 2 minute break from my kids. It was no Tuscany. I guess if I had snuck a bottle of Italian wine and closed my eyes….. no that doesn’t sound good. As for escaping I realize that my life is a choice. I choose to find me in the midst of where we are raising our family. I escape to visits with friends or great laughs with the fam-jam. I may not get to run away to villas in the Italian countryside painting scenery but I could watch the movie again and get carried away in it and drink Italian wine.

Movies are just movies. Entertainment at its finest. Excuse me while I drive my kids to the pool sideways in my mini-van while there is vehicles exploding and as the cast of Glee comes out and starts singing “Ring of Fire” but a pop version. Ya, that’s an escape…..

*Finger Eleven, great Canadian rock band. Check them out.