Sunday, December 12, 2010

Most women are one man away from welfare. ~Gloria Steinem

This blog post has been a long time coming. This will probably be just Part One of many blog posts of mine on this/these subject/s. It most definitely won't be the last. If you know me this well by now, you know that I'm a feminist. Yes, I'm one of those. As much as I kind of, sort of, don't want to admit it, I am. I get into arguments with men (who aren't my close significant other) who call me "baby", "sweetie" "good girl" (I just did a little shudder at that last one, did you?) I quietly in my head have arguments with thirteen year old girls (and their parents) who have children. And with women my age who seem to think that finding a man and marrying him is our only salvation and we just can't seem to possibly survive by our own devices. But truly, it's not our fault. We have been socially conditioned from the time we pop out from our Mother's womb. We're sung pop hits, told fairy-tales, read poetry, watch movies about finding love. And not just about finding love. But waiting for that one special man who will sweep us off our feet and let us stay at home and cook and clean while they win the bread elsewhere. But the thing is that most men are not capable of doing this. It's not their fault, they're socially conditioned as well. Now, I can tell you first-hand that as a woman who is most definitely deeply and truly in love, that it is grand. But it's not everything. I promise you that. And I can also tell you that most people my age were raised by single women who often times did not get credit for the insane amounts of work they were just expected to do. And by Fathers who lied, abused, ran off, cheated, didn't take responsibility, etc. And we're told to give them the benefit of the doubt because, well, it's not their fault. They're socially conditioned.

From a very young age, I questioned everything. I severely questioned the authority of "rules", moral values, and most significantly, The Bible. I had been taught most of the stories since I was young. I even went to private Christian school until the 3rd grade and went to church frequently until I was about in third grade. I went to church for a brief time in middle school. I went on church trips. But I think all of the illusions shattered when one of the pastors told our youth group that we should be leaders in the Church and that we should consider becoming preachers as well. I went to express my interest in becoming a preacher and was told that I couldn't. And that I should try to become a preacher's wife. Little did I know that God has prerequisites for becoming a Church leader and that having a penis, testicles, and a Y chromosome were a few of them. I shouldn't have been surprised, there is justification in his attitude. 1 Corinthians 14:33-38 goes as follows: "As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church."

I could go on and on about Bible doctrines that subjugate and opress women. But that would be besides the point I'm trying to make. You find it in the Old and New Testaments, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita. And you find it in modern day movies, songs, the fashion and beauty industries. In the magazines on the shelves of the checkout counters. In the t.v. advertisements we see every day. On billboards shouting at us and our cars on every interstate drive we make. But the most important thing is that we stop buying in to it. That we realize that as soon as we stop giving these people our collective time and money and that WE SHAPE OUR ENTIRE WORLD that these things will either change or completely cease to be.

You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. ~Elizabeth Bibesco

I wish someone would have told me that, just because I'm a girl, I don't have to get married. ~Marlo Thomas

Men weren't really the enemy - they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill. ~Betty Friedan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My to-do list for 2011

If you know me, by now you should know I have a hard time finishing anything. And I forget everything. I'm a procrastinator to a fault. And I'm a little bit lazy. Add all of this together and you get the most unlikely candidate for New Years Resolutions. Or maybe the best, I'm not really sure. But, let me back up here for a moment. Before I make my to-do list for 2011 I'd like to mention some (actually, kind of big) achievements for 2010. I was in two plays (Steel Magnolias and Dearly Departed) I had an art show. I've painted about 20-something paintings. I've started reading about 15 books and finished 3 all the way. I've gone hiking. I got into a car crash. I went to Orlando. And Tampa. And Atlanta. And Naples. I've met so many new friends, watched some of them go, had some of them come back. Wow. . . I feel like I did more than that. . . but back to the point.

Here are the things I would like to accomplish by this time next year:
Finishing 50 paintings and/or works of art. Approximately one a week.
Maybe sell some of said paintings.
Make more stuff. Like clothes. Or jewelery.
Possibly another play or two.
Read books by only women authors.
Read more in general.
Watch fewer movies and shows. (Certain exceptions apply)
Shop local and eat local more often.
Stop using plastic bags (even though I recycle them now)
Excercise more. Do yoga. Hike. Bike.
Maybe, possibly, hopefully move to another town (this is kind of on the DL)

Well, thats about it. . . until about ten minutes from now when I think of something else. . .

Monday, November 29, 2010

"How you doin' today, Sister?"

I don't know why I feel compelled to blog about this, but it affected me very deeply. On a lunch trip to a local resturaunt yesterday I saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk. She was dressed in old clothes and had what looked like a blanket and a backpack. "How you doin' today, Sister?" she asked. I knew the routine, she was going to ask me if I had a dollar and hold out her hand. I've met this woman before, but I'm not sure if she remembered me. Maybe she did. Maybe she remembered that I've given her money before and thats why she asked me again. In all honesty, I'm usually very suspicious of people who ask for money. Unsure of their intentions, I usually try to give them food or water. So I asked her if I could get her anything in the resturaunt and she said "A large diet Pepsi." So after I ordered and picked up my food I got her a drink and a bag of chips. When I walked outside I handed her the cup and for a brief moment our hands touched. Her skin was dry and I could see her skin was blotchy. She had a contemporary version of the Bible. Maybe its because I'm a very empathatic person bordering on the extreme. Maybe it's because I'm about to start my period. But after this moment that I CONNECTED with this woman it hit me. It was if I had felt this woman's pain with her. Had experienced the same grief and loss she had. It wasn't a flash of images or anything. I didn't see clips of the movie Precious (based on the novel Push by Sapphire). And all of a sudden my eyes were watering and I felt this incredible urge to throw up. By the time I had gotten back to my car I was crying. At this point it was uncontrollable. And I wasn't crying for her because she was in a different place in her life than I was. I completely see this woman as my equal. In fact, I could be in her present situation at sometime in my life. And so could you. I don't know why I thought this, but I thought what if this woman had children somewhere? What if she had been abused? What if someone she loved had put her in that spot. I felt bad that all she had was a scared, lonely white girl helping her and the sidewalk.

Before you tell me that I shouldn't feel sorry for her and that she probably put herself in this situation I want to leave you with this:

•61% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

•There is no city or county anywhere in the United States where a worker making the minimum wage can afford a fair market rate one-bedroom apartment.

•People who are released from hospital, prison, residential institution or leave the armed forces and have not place to live.

•One out of 50—or about 1.5 million—American children are homeless each year.

•Over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime.

•Among all homeless women, 60% have children under age 18, and 65% of them live with at least one of their children.

•Among all homeless men, 41% have children under age 18, but only 7% live with at least one of their children.

Hope you're having a good day, Sister.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Women Who Make the World Worse

While on a trip to Naples my friend Sarah picked up a book from a thrift store called "Women Who Make the World Worse" by Kate O'Beirne. I couldn't read a single paragraph in it without yelling profanities directed towards the author's ignorant and blatantly biased views. This woman and others like her are the reason why women get paid less for doing the same job as a man and are more likely to live in poverty. So, here is MY list of women who are truly making the world worse!

5. Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Taylor Momsen, Myley Ray Cyrus, et al.

As if young teenage women (and men) weren't impressionable enough the only "strong" female role models they are given are vapid, ignorant, and completely mindless human beings who really have no apparent talent. Okay, Lady Gaga does have talent, but the music she peddles doesn't have a trace of it anymore. And in case you didn't know, Taylor Momsen (the girl on the cover of Revolver) is 17. It just sends the message, you don't have to be smart and talented. You just have to be a thin, mindless, half-dressed bumbling idiot to be succesful. You don't need to write intelligent and inspiring works, just let catchy made-up words fall out of your mouth and make a shiny pointless music video. Oh, and dress like a heroine addict and shake your ass.

4. Stephenie Meyer.
In case you didn't already know, Stephenie Meyer is the woman who (poorly) wrote the Twilight novels. This woman who has pretty much set the current trend in vampires has NEVER seen a vampire movie except for parts of The Lost Boys which she thought was too "creepy". Vampires are vampires for a reason. They aren't supposed to be seductive in a sparkle in the sunlight kind of way. They aren't vegetarians (except in the case of Anne Rice's Louis, but she actually developed that character beyond whispered sentences and sullen facial expressions). Unfortunately these books have become a phenomenon of epic and nauseating proportions and Bella has become the epitome of an ideal teenage girl.

3. Nancy Grace.
Oh. My. Gee-yad. This woman annoys the shit out of me. I don't understand how people can watch her show for more than a few seconds without beginning to convulse and/or have minor brain damage by the end of her show. Can anyone tell me, is she still on the air?

2. Nicole Polizzi a.k.a. Snookie

I really don't have to say much for this burnt, mentally challenged, alchoholic sperm dumpster so I'll just let her say it for herself. Ooops, did I say too much?

"Vinny's like my big brother, I love him.. but usually you don't have sex with your big brother." (not usually. . . .)
"Word of the day: sympathetic. That’s a big word."
"I don’t go tanning tanning anymore because Obama put a 10% tax on tanning. I feel like he did that intentionally for us, like McCain would never put a 10% tax on tanning.. because he is pale and he would probably wanna be tanned."

1. Sarah Palin

I really don't care which side of our two party system of democracy you plant your flag. It really may seem otherwise, but I truly don't. But I absolutely despise this woman. Anyone who supports the aerial hunting of any animal for sport is an absolute crude and vile human being. Enough said.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Driven Like the Snow - A Soundtrack for Winter

So, after a suggestion from a friend and a little bit of procrastination on my part, here is my blog. I'm still attempting to arrange my thoughts in to blog format (as oppose to the crazy ramblings and half-finished sentences that usually come out of my mouth) and for my first blog I'll take the easy/ lazy way out and create a list. And what theme better fitting for a hopelessly despondent pseudo-goth girl like me than a Winter themed play list accompanied by the wondrous magic of YouTube music videos!  So here it is, my soundtrack for the upcoming Winter season!

Sisters of Mercy-1959
Zola Jesus- Trust Me
Bjork- All is Full of Love
Leonard Cohen- A Thousand Kisses Deep
Interpol- Leif Erikson
Bat for Lashes- Daniel
Echo and the Bunnymen- The Killing Moon
Sisters of Mercy-Driven like the Snow