Just a person

Am I the only woman on the face of the planet who thinks running ‘women only’ blogs or competitions ‘in support of female whatevers’ is detrimental to equality? Do we not declare that yes, we are unequal and we need extra help in order to compete in the real world by participating in these things?

By the Goddess, judge me on my work, not on my sex!

What a sad situation. I participate in these things to try and get my work read and noticed. I hope for the best. Yet I grit my teeth as I submit (truly, in every sense of the word) to this male-dominated ‘we are victims’ ideology.

Many a time I’ve submitted as a male, or as an unknown quantity (always the best) by using my initials only. Fallback is to assume I’m a man: again, I view that as a compliment. They don’t see me as a female writer, oh, please! Read my pitiful work and give me a nod because I’m a woman and I need it. No. Straight up addressed to “Mister”.

And what the FUCK is chick lit? Puh-leaze! Another male dominated term used to belittle anything with women or women’s issues as the focus. Suck it up, guys: as women, we’re expected to read and admire many pieces of literature with men as main characters (even the current Harry Potter series chose a boy to focus on, NOT a girl). Tit for tat. Deal.

But, no! Never has there been a more whining minority than that of men. Oh, we can’t read that; it’s for girls. Chick lit. Discount.

I can’t fucking write that. I can’t even fucking deal with the idea of a ‘chick lit’ category.

Managed to take care of all those traditionally female jobs in the household: dishes, laundry, hoovering, dusting, shopping. I do these things despite the stereotype, despite everything in me thinking good Goddess, I’m supporting all the bullshit chauvinists spout because I can’t wrap my head around the idea that keeping your personal space clean is a women’s only thing. It’s not. It’s a health thing. But let’s face it: if you live with anyone else, it’s also a support issue. Helping out people around you by keeping things clean, making their lives easier – that’s just caring and common decency, right? Or am I really fucked in the head?

What’s so difficult about being decent people?

What’s there to belittle or discount?

Do you see me? I’m a person. Can you hear me? I’m human. What’s it matter what set of sexual organs chance saw fit to equip me with?

All this bullshit makes me sick. Makes me wish I was sexless. No sex organs whatsoever. Not male, not female, not stuck somewhere in-between.

Just a person.

Make All Women the Norm

International Women’s Day. So far I’ve seen various articles on it. Most are men talking about how the day should be celebrated, or ‘fun’ little articles on how roses are being handed out to random women in a particular city. Would it kill the media to focus on strong female role models? Or even whisper about our pay inequality?

Apparently so.

And all the women shown to me today are thin, young, wearing fashionable clothes and make-up. Not a one over 40 (much less 50), not a one brave enough to show their true, unpainted face.

It brings to mind the very basic arguments of feminism: what and how can we be and act? Why do we even need to ask these questions? Why is every action or non-action we take scrutinized so fully?

Make-up. When I was young, I was all for it. I felt more attractive and therefore more confident. As I sit here sans make-up and with a lot more experience, I understand that the reaction I had when younger was denial: I denied the fact that I felt invisible and therefore used brightly colored paints to decorate my face in attempt to stand out and be noticed. That’s what truly lay behind my earlier viewpoint, tho I was unable to acknowledge it at the time.

And I believe that mindset lay behind much of the back and forth bullshit I’m hearing these days. It’s reinforced by media stereotypes, cultural influences, paradigms and idioms. It’s cemented in by jokes and situational comedies, by cover spreads and centerfolds, by our own desire to be seen, heard, and valued.

See me: we paint our eyes, outlining them in dark colors, adding shading and glints, we glue on false eyelashes, we stick color bits of plastic on our eyeballs to make our eye color change, we draw in dramatic eyebrows. See me; I’m here.

Hear me: we paint our lips, outlining them, plumping them, adding gloss and glitter all in an effort to draw attention to what we say.

Value me: we paint our cheeks with blush; too much and we are whores, too little and we are sallow-faced and unhealthy, but just right and we can be mothers, leaders, world changers.

Using make-up isn’t wrong. It doesn’t make you wrong, or less. But with the obvious (tho little discussed) health issues associated with make-up use, it does beg the question why women feel the need to continue using it.

We question why smokers continue to use a product dangerous to their health.

We tell drug users they’re killing themselves, and they need to get clean.

We body shame the fat, tell them they’re costing our health care systems millions just because they’re lazy.

But we don’t address the ‘window dressing’ women feel compelled to do. If we do, we are shunned. Extremists. Un-womanly women.

And everyone seems to think the large issues need tackling first. That’s silly. It’s the small stuff that should be worked on first: build from the ground up. Show real women: women over 40, women over 50, fat women, skinny women, ugly women, beautiful women. Women with make up on and women with make up off. Make all women the norm. We need not be one thing or another, this or that. That truly is extremism.

 

 

 

Day 2: 3 Day Quote Challenge

imgres-1.png

Cheers to socialworkerangela from iammyownisland.wordpress.com for nominating me. Anyone willing to step up to the challenge is most welcome to do so!

For day 2, let’s talk about sexism. I received this in my email the other day:

13332957_1038748672847674_6522211789510421377_n.jpg

It was sent to me by my uncle, who probably thought this was complimentary towards women. Can you spot the sexism in the text? No? Let’s see what this says about women. We make babies. We make ‘homes’. We make meals. We love easily. All sexist concepts. Not all women fit this description, and of course the kicker line is just that put-down hidden behind a joke that’s been done to us for ages.

Let’s move on, shall we? How about this gem: “Straight men just can’t imagine the bliss of being in a relationship with someone who finds farting as funny as they do.” – Graham Norton. Whoa! I expected a bit more from that effeminate icon. But, no. Women are women and seemingly deserve putting down, regardless if it comes from hetero- or homosexual men. For the record, I laugh my ass off at a good fart.
Do we need more? Sexist quotes are easy to find:

“While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve. I’m no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women.” – Stephen Hawking

“Relationships are made of talk – and talk is for girls and women.”- Deborah Tannen

“Were there no women, men might live like gods.” – Thomas Dekker

“Women are frightening. If you get to 41 as a man, you’re quite battle-scarred.” – Hugh Grant

“Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”- Friedrich Nietzsche

“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”- Phylicia Rashad

“Nature makes woman to be won and men to win.”- George William Curtis

“No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.”- W. C. Fields

“Women will never be as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them.”- Dick Van Dyke

“Emancipation of women has made them lose their mystery.”- Grace Kelly

“Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.”- George Bernard Shaw

All of that from a simple search on ‘sexist quotes’, and only 2 pages out of 43 on one site. Some of the people quoted above are well known sexists. Others are, as you may have noticed, women themselves – something I find terribly disturbing. We are lumping ourselves into these boxes, saying all of us are this or that. Simply because I have the physical capacity to bear a child does NOT mean I want a child, nor does it mean if I did have a child that I would suddenly become a ‘motherly’ type of person – a scenario that is, sadly, often portrayed in films. And why do we even say ‘motherly’? Shouldn’t it be some parental instinct present in BOTH sexes? But no. Put a baby into a woman’s arms and we’re all supposed to go gooey and begin that baby talk. That view of women IS sexist.

Sick. Not in the cool sense of the word. In the original sense: unwell, diseased. Sick.

The sickest thing is the blindness of people to this subtle sexism. And the reaction that if any protest is lodged, well, you’ve got to be some man-hating neo nazi feminist. After all, they and the dykes are the only people who really have a problem with this, right? The ugly women, in other words. The ones that can’t catch a husband. You know all the phrases; I’ve heard them ad-infinitum for the past 50 years.

I’ve got a real problem with this, and I’ve never been called ‘ugly’. I’m not a dyke. Nor a neo-nazi. Those are YOUR labels.

And I’m not against a good joke. I like to laugh. What I’m against is this MOUNTAIN of ‘jokes’ against women. This tsunami of narrow thought. This pervasive idea that women are a side salad in life, draped over a car and taken at a man’s whim.

Men, is that REALLY what you think of you mothers? Because there’s no real difference between your mommy and the woman you encourage to dress provocatively and gyrate all over the hood of your vehicle. That’s your mother dry humping the car. Your mom showing her tits off and spreading her legs. Your mom being a bimbo, your mom being raped, your mom getting backhanded across the face.

Women do not become sainted after giving birth. You’d rarely know that from men, though. How often do we hear in real life and in film, ‘don’t say anything about my mother’ as a point of argument? Men somehow think their mommies are the virgin Mary, pure as the driven snow. Mothers never flashed their v’s or fucked in a back alley. That’s what whores do. Right back to that virgin/whore thing again. Why? Because it’s so deep in our society and culture you can barely extract yourself from it.

Sick.

When you counter a woman’s argument by telling her something about her looks, you’re being sexist. When you fail to listen to a human being because they have tits, you’re being sexist. When you lump all women into any category, you’re being sexist.

This isn’t a hard concept to understand, is it? I’m not using too many big words, am I?

The only mystery a woman has is the innate silence of thousands of years of holding our tongues when you put us down. The only reason that ‘women are from venus and men are from mars’ is that this simple concept isn’t understood. That look we give you…Want to know what it is?

We’re thinking what dickheads you all are. We just don’t say it.

Yee-haw

images.jpg

Mid-day. My brain is busy conjugating Dutch verbs. It keeps working on Dutch longer and longer after every class. Soon I’ll ditch English in my brain entirely unless I’m writing or watching something from the BBC. Looks like beginning September I’ll be in a new class. New teacher, new building, new classmates. And a whole new learning regime. I only hope that my new instructor is as good as my current one. Getting a mush mouth or someone who screws me up isn’t going to go over well with me. In the meantime I’m cramming as much knowledge as I can possible stuff into my head while I still have my current instructor to correct me.

Wish I could feel more excited over this change. I’m not excited. Just apprehensive.

I don’t want change right now. I’m just starting to feel safe.

*sigh* But I guess there’s really nothing safe about learning a new language. You’ve got to put yourself out there, try to talk to people even if you screw up. It’s the only way to move forward.

Part of me already bemoans the loss of my lightening fast communication in English. The only answer to that is: drill, drill, drill.

Meanwhile, in other parts of my brain…

Last night’s telly viewing was difficult, particularly at first. All I could do was count how many men were seen vs women and in what context they were shown. When The Daily Show came on all I could think was that I’d been watching it since the beginning, with Craig Kilborn as host, and if media had fulfilled its lip service to fair representation of women, two of the three hosts The Daily Show has had should have been female. But no. Not one woman among them. Then it was onto a BBC panel show, which had a fairer representation: half women and half men. I cooled of a little bit. Wound up the night with Castle, which I enjoy – yet I couldn’t help but notice that although the main character is surrounded by females, it’s still a man’s show.

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me there comes a time I just have to throw up my hands and declare ‘Men!’ as the only possible answer to this continual conundrum. And that’s NOT a blame statement. It’s just an acceptance of the fact that the opposite sex simply can’t grasp this idea. They’re blinded to their blindness. Just as once the majority of men didn’t see a problem with slapping a girl on her behind or pinching her ass, the majority of men now can’t see the more subtle programming that’s present in every single thing the ‘modern’ world produces.

What I want to know is: what happened. I’m not completely ignorant on this subject. During a certain time period in human history, women were the rulers. Our ability to give birth was viewed as a mystical thing, the feminine essence was worshipped, and at least 50% of the deities prayed to were female. Then came the change. Men came to the forefront. Women were blamed for the original sin. Commandments came down that basically enslaved us.

So who was the woman that took it too far? Who was that one upstart that men felt so threatened by they erased her from history? The more I look at it, the more convinced I am that this is precisely what’s happened. We can see similarities in modern history, at least in the attempt to blot from history certain persons (after all, if those who re-write history are successful, we never find out what we don’t know). The saddest thing is, if I’m right, we’ll never know her name.

Let’s all raise a glass to those women we don’t know, the ones who came before us, who thought, who fought, and who’s voices have been drowned out by the passage of time. They are me, and they are you.

Okay…gonna climb off that pulpit for now.

I’ve got test results to pick up from my doctor’s appointment. The doc just said ‘call for the results’ and at the time I was too pleased that the appointment went well to question any further. Calling..on the phone…*shudder* I don’t think I need to reiterate how much I hate that in English, much less Dutch. I don’t know if I need to speak to the doctor of if someone else can relay the info and set up a further appointment if needed. So I’m not sure if I can just drop by and find out what I want to find out at the front desk. Need to make some sort of decision in the next 24 hours. Just imagining the lifeless voice of the automatic answering service – in Dutch – makes me wince. I’ve tried calling before.

Still. Props to me. One year ago and just going to the doctor’s to ask for an appointment made me break out in a sweat, never mind trying to call on the phone. Progress has been made, and that’s good. …Having a VERY difficult time accepting that. Very. difficult. My speed is just never fast enough, no matter what I do. I always see what I don’t know rather than what I do know.

I blame my mother. And my sister. My moster. Or my sither?

Yeah, let’s crack that brain wide open with nonsense. Just what it needs. Shut up.

Hey. I’m doing all I can to contain that shiver running up and down my spine. Don’t ask me for anything coherent.

In a few short hours I’ll be alone, able to let this madness loose via pacing and talking to myself, probably in tongues. There’s not many things I choose to do solo. But this? This is a one horse horror, and when she comes riding to town it’s best to skedaddle.

Yee-haw.

IRL

imgres.jpg

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS A REAL RAGE DUMP.

No matter how bad it gets, remember someone always has it worse than you.

My ASS. If this were true, it would mean somewhere on the planet there is one person who has it absolutely the worst in the world. Could you point him or her out to me, please? Because I think we ALL need to know what’s “the worst”. To put our lives in perspective. Not some inspirational story about some paraplegic who’s managed to win a dance contest because they control their wheelchair with their teeth, not some dying kid who gives away everything to help other people. Show me the worst. Show me that drudge that’s got it so fucking bad I should shut the fuck up about my own problems.

I reject every goddamned meme out there that subtly and not so subtly tells me I’m not good enough, not worth listening to, not worth caring about.

And fuck you for even SAYING it.

Fuck you for even THINKING it.

Just off a dust off with my bro. Subject? Rape. I simply wanted to point out that now that male rape is being talked about, rape in general has become a whole other thing. It’s so horrible. Rapists need to be punished. Um…women have been saying that for fucking THOUSANDS OF YEARS and we’re still blamed for being raped more than half the fucking time. But oh no! Now MEN are fucking each other and oh, poor little men who get raped it’s such a goddamn tragedy and we should all line up and fucking cry for them.

For once, I was the one staying calm. I was only pointing out the change that’s come with the acknowledgement of male rape. He’s the one that went ballistic, cutting me off mid sentence.

Yeah, I’ve wondered before if my bro’s been raped.

And while rape is rape and a horrible crime no matter WHO it’s committed against, you’ve got to admit that the entire subject is being taken in a different light now. I’m not saying men weren’t raped thru the ages; I’m sure they were. As I’ve pointed out before, some men can’t contain their penises, and quite often rape is more about power than sex anyway. But please! Why is the topic NOW getting so much attention just because men are admitting to being raped? Because they’re men? It’s the only fucking difference I see.

Yet I’m to blame for bringing this all back to a men vs women argument.

But isn’t that what it IS?

Same with body shaming. I’m not happy to know that young men are being body shamed and encouraged to take supplements, steroids, and generally act counter to their good health. But why such a ruckus about body shaming now? Again, this is an argument women have been fighting for generations, and those that have had the courage to stand up against it have been called dykes, bitches, and worst of all (gasp!) feminists. Yet one fat man stands up and says oh boo-hoo, I’m being body shamed and the fucking media and social thought gets turned on their heads. Oh, this is so awful. Oh, we MUST do something about it right now.

Again, show me how this ISN’T a men vs women issue and I’ll back the fuck off.

The more I get this shit in my face, the more radical my thought processes become. I’m more than half way to voting every man’s dick should cut off right now.

*sigh* Let’s just leave that old wound alone…

Pleased enough to say my appointment went well yesterday. Then again, I worked hard for it. I cleaned myself up, donned better clothes, pulled my hair back off my face, and practiced some Dutch before going. Nothing about my last visit was hinted at. My concerns were taken seriously, and I had blood and urine tests done. Should get the results in a few days.

Got another doctor appointment today, for my psoriasis. Far less frightening.

Really wishing I didn’t feel so un-balanced at the mo. Guess who’s gonna scramble a bit to recover her calm exterior? I just don’t have a good idea on how to do that…

This fundamental unfairness I feel..it doesn’t go away just because I head out for a walk or turn my mind to other things. It’s always there, and I’m always angry about it. I don’t understand how you can walk this planet as a woman and not feel it. I suspect it’s the same for racial minorities or gays or any other group that is discriminated against. Say what they will: I STILL see more mid to upper class white men in film roles, on tv as presenters or guests or experts, in music, in literature – characters AND authors. The only time you see more women is when we’re showing our tits or draped across a car. And that sickens me, right to the core. It’s blatant fucking programming. White males are NOT the majority of persons on this planet. But you sure as fuck wouldn’t know that just looking at our media and culture. It should be closer to 51% female. THEN you can break it down into races, religions, and sexual orientation. But let’s START with a proper representation of the LARGEST dissed group: women.

And I get shit when I bring it up. Guess it’s an issue only white males should talk about.

Okay, so I didn’t drop it. I’m still goddamn angry.

How the fuck do you deal with this on a day by day basis? Huh? Ignore it? Forgive the foibles of men closest to you because they’re KIND of good guys? Because 85% of the time they think before they talk? Goddamn!

This reminds me of a South Park episode. Kyle makes the mistake of saying he understands Token and what it’s like to be black. Maybe that’s all I’m looking for here: an acknowledgement from men – from my brother – that they don’t understand what it is to be a woman and face this discrimination every goddamn minute of our goddamn lives. In the end of South Park, Kyle, of course, learns his lesson. But that’s tv.

What about IRL?