Tag Archives: feminism

International Women’s Day, My experiments in equality

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
-Anne Lamott

I sat on the title for this post for a long time.
“Sexism experiment”
“The problem with a dirty name”
“My own social experiment”
“How to loose a guy in a month”
“My body, my choice”
“Nature Vs. Sexism”

But in the end, I decided to post on international women’s day, so I shall honor that.

Let me start by saying, that I do intend to “throw people under the bus”. But hey, like Anne Lamott said, you should have behaved better, and I won’t hold back my story, my feelings, or my writing for anyone. I also have no apologies for being blunt or honest about parts of my body. Just throwing that out there. I am not ashamed of any part of my body or any way that *I* choose to handle *MY* body.

Months ago I started a low key social experiment, I stopped wearing make up to work. The first day, I had just woken up late and decided not to take my make up bag with me to do on my break. I just went au natural. I got so many comments on how I looked different, tired, that my face was broken out, and that I looked better with make up on. So I did it again, and again, and again. Then randomly, one day I wore make up, not a lot, just enough to look different but not to actually tell I had make up on. And I was told how beautiful I was, how rosy my cheeks looked. The next day I went all out on make up. I was told I was wearing too much. I went without it, and told I should wear it. All by my male coworkers. I started to reverse the roles. I told them they looked tired, and that maybe they should start wearing make up. I got laughed at. I asked them why it was different for them than it was for me, the only answer they had was: “You’re a woman”.

The next month, I decided to try something else. After reading a new study showing that bras actually increase your chance of getting breast cancer, I stopped wearing them. right away I got remarks, but not what I expected. People started asking me if I put on weight, if I was pregnant again, if I should really be eating that. You see, I am a small chested woman, so without a bra making my chest look bigger, my chest and stomach are about the same size. Not wearing a bra made my boobs look smaller, and my stomach look bigger. These comments came from male AND female coworkers, on a daily basis. Always without couth. Always without thought or care of my feelings. It was perfectly okay to tell me that I looked fat, even months after giving birth. It started extending further, my family told me I looked fat, and I started to believe them. My self-esteem started to drop, and hasn’t truly recovered. But I refuse to start wearing a bra again. I’ve had days here and there where I felt ashamed, and put a bra on, but I took it off within hours. Why am I going to put myself in pain, and increase my chances of literal CANCER for other people to enjoy looking at me?

Last month I started a new experiment, I knew I needed time for this one, that I wouldn’t be able to put it into play until summer. I stopped shaving. As a young girl, I was taught as we all are that we need to shave, and that body hair on a woman is gross. When I came of “shaving age” I was obsessed with being “beautiful”. I shaved my legs, my privates, my arm pits, my arms. I wanted no body hair at all. I thought it made me beautiful. I look at my husband, or my brothers running around with body hair and wonder why their hair is natural, but mine is disgusting. When it physically hurts to shave, when I spend way too much damn money on a razor, when it literally doesn’t improve my happiness or quality of life at all, why do I do it? So I stopped. I just stopped. I figured I wouldn’t see the full extent of my social experiment until this summer, when I was in tank tops and a bathing suit and everyone could see my awesome leg and armpit hair. But after only a week, my own husband asked me if I was going to shave. When I explained to him that I was not and why, I was met with backlash. Will writing this and calling him out create more backlash? Probably, but that’s exactly why I need to talk about it. He said I needed to shave, and when I asked why he didn’t need to, he said because I wasn’t disgusted by his body hair, but he was disgusted by mine. That if I was disgusted by it, he would shave it. But it still didn’t answer my question, why was my body hair disgusting to him, but his wasn’t disgusting to him? Why is it, that when I stop doing as I’m told, and I let my body, MY BODY be natural it’s disgusting? We haven’t talked about it again, but I continue to rebel against what society has always told me. And you know what? I’m so comfortable! My skin is no longer red, and bumpy. No more cuts, or ingrown hairs. I feel, for maybe the first time ever, totally empowered by my own body.

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And yes, I do plan on dying it a crazy color when it’s long enough. Because it’s my body, and I want to.

So what does feminism look like to you? Are you a feminist? Have any of the above things ever happened to you? Have you ever questioned why you do some of the things you do? Do you actually enjoy them? Are you stuck thinking that you have to do something, just because you always have, and not because you actually want to? Question your everyday things. Fight back when people continue to tell you what you should do, man or woman. Keep moving forward, it’s the only way to show other people the inequalities that are at play every single day. So go out without make-up. Burn your bra. And stop buy $18 razors that hurt you. Or keep doing them, because YOU WANT TO. Be you.

Happy International Women’s Day. Today, Tomorrow and everyday.

What will you tell your children about 2016?

What will you tell your children about 2016? What will you tell your daughters? What will you tell your sons?

Will you sit your daughter down, and tell her that 2016 was a year to remember? That it will be written about in history books? Will you tell her that you were scared, or that you were angry? Will you tell her that you had a voice? Will you tell her you posted memes on facebook and twitter? Will you tell her that you stopped the conversation, stopped talking to your friends or family because their opinions were different than yours? Will you tell her you called your representatives? That you were a force to be reckoned with?

When you talk about womens problems, will you tell her to keep her mouth shut if a man forces himself on her? That it’s better not to anger him? Will you give her a whistle? Tell her to yell “fire” instead of “rape” because no one will blink if she does the latter? Will you tell her to cover up the body that you grew? Will you tell her that men “just can’t help” themselves? Will you tell her to fight like hell, give her a weapon and pray to whatever god you believe in that she never has to use it? Will you tell her about the man who could just grab anyones pussy because he’s famous? Or will you tell her that it’s ‘normal’ for boys to talk about her body like that behind closed doors?

Will you look your daughter in the eyes and tell her that even though you can’t take organs from a dead body without their permission, she can’t have an abortion, that her body belongs to the will of people who have never faced that problem. Will you tell her that there is no real separation of church and state?

When she tells you about her first boyfriend, will you tell her “not until your 30!” When she’s hot from running around outside with her friends, will you make her wear more clothes than your sons? When she comes home crying because a boy made fun of her, will you tell her that it’s because he likes her?

If she says she doesn’t want children, will you tell her that her life cannot be fulfilled without them? If she has children will you tell her that her career and personal prospects in life are no longer relevant?

What will you tell your sons?

Will you tell him that he doesn’t need to clean up after dinner, or help with dinner, because that’s his sisters job? When he comes to you about his first girlfriend, will you smile and laugh and say how cute it is? When he cries, will you tell him to suck it up? Be a man? Grow some balls?

When he’s old enough to understand, will you tell him that he holds all the power? Will you tell him, that he has a choice? Will you tell him that he can be an oppressor, or choose to fight against it? Be the strongest ally for his sister? That even though he doesn’t know her struggles, he can acknowledge they are there, and chooses not to partake?

What will you tell your children about 2016? Will you tell them that you had a voice? Will you encourage them to have a voice? Will you stop the vicious cycle, or will you continue it?

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What will you tell your children about 2017…

When you feel like you don’t have a voice, find one.

Tonight I had a very humbling and eye opening experience. I attended an Anti-Trump protest.

I’ve never attended a protest before. I’ve thought about it lots of times, I cared about causes. I’ve written my pieces on social media. But I’ve never gotten involved, I’ve never thought my voice mattered.

I’m in mourning. Yes, mourning. At first I was in shock, then I was depressed, then I was angry and then I was bargaining to no one for this to be a nightmare. I’ve gone through this cycle a couple times in the past three days. Trying to understand, trying to process, TRYING to accept.

I turn on the news and see people protesting, and I feel the pull. I need to be a part of this. I need to have my voice be heard. But I’m scared. I’m scared that I don’t matter. I’m scared of being attacked and looked down on before of my beliefs, and I’m scared of “the system”. But then I stop. I am a white woman. I am privileged. How do the minorities feel right now? People I love. LGBTQ. Hispanics. African Americans. Muslims. Illegal immigrants. The disabled. I am a woman yes, and my rights are being questioned. Yes I have reason to be afraid. But others have it worse than I do.

Then I look at my children. “No” I tell myself. Not my children. Not my country.

So I looked into rallies. I looked for one in Fort Worth, my own streets where I feel safe. I find what I’m looking for, and I work myself up about it all day long.

At 6;30 I get dressed in my favorite shirt that shows the phrase “Feminism is the radial notion that women are people.” I grab a bandana as I’ve been instructed to do in order to cover my face. I take my ID incase the police ask for it, I tell friends where I will be and I set out the door. My husband decides to follow to protect me and document the event.

When I get downtown a fight is breaking out. A man with a confederate battle flag in hand is screaming at the peaceful protesters. He grabs a sign out of someones hand and throws it to the ground. A protester tries to grab his flag in retaliation. He jabs at them with it. The police come over and break it up before it gets out of hand and instructs the man to cross to the other side of the street. This is before I even join my fellow protesters.

I stand quietly at first, unsure of what to do or say. Curtis is with the media, not with the protesters. I am alone. Maybe I made a mistake? My adrenaline tells me that is not the case.

Standing on the stairs of city hall people are chanting. “Love trumps hate”. “Not my president”. Calls of “Show me what democracy looks like” is met with “This is what democracy looks like”. The chants change every few minutes. “Who’s streets?” is met with “Our streets”. “What do we want?” is met with “Justice”. “When do we want it?” is met with “Now”. The crowd claps in rhythm with every chant.

There are many signs being held up. Many saying things about the electoral college. Love trumps hate signs. I’m standing next to two young men holding hands on one side, and an older Hispanic woman on the other side. I walk around the crowd and introduce myself to a few people, without asking they tell me one by one why they are there. “End the racism! End the hate!” the crowd starts chanting as we leave our place on the steps and move into downtown. Some cars honk and show solidarity. Some by standers applaud and hold their arms up in support. Everyone is recording us on their phones. The media is everywhere. Some people are being interviewed. We chant and clap and walk peacefully on the sidewalks, the police guiding us safely the entire time. I’m thankful they are there.

Some people scream at us “FUCK YOU!” or “TRUMPS AMERICA!” It feels like a setback, but we get louder. “LOVE TRUMPS HATE!” I don’t have a sign, so I hold my hand up with a peace sign.

I meet a woman who looks to be my age. She has a little girl in a stroller. I tap her on the shoulder and say thank you. She says “It’s her future. She needs to know that we show love, and that we fought for better.” I hold back tears as we walk past a family with three children, what must all of the children think of us and our opposites? We get back to city hall and there an angry loud man, telling us to go fuck ourselves. That he voted for Trump and we lost and we were whine asses and we needed to get over it. We again chanted “LOVE TRUMPS HATE” to drowned him out.

Before we left, the organizer stood up and gave a beautiful short speech. And We all convinced them to hold another tomorrow.

My husband asked me, “What do you want to come of this?” and to put it simply,
I just want to be heard, and to not feel alone.
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