*Let’s talk ladies*

There has been quite a bit going on politically regarding women’s health and rights. I would like to tell you all about the jams I have made and the infused vodkas and all sorts of cute, easy and fun things. But there is so much that I want to write about and I will save all of the cute stuff for later, ok maybe I can make this kind of cute. Hella pics.

1. women


Here is what I think. As women we are brought up in a culture that thrives on our insecurity. It tells us that we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough. We read magazine articles and see images that craft what we should be. But we are too emotional, unstable, and crazy. We can’t do certain things because of our sex and we are only as worthy as our sex. It pins us against the world, but the deeper more sobering reality is that it pins us against each other. Competition and judgement aren’t part of our dispossession, they are symptoms of a society that makes women feel that they have to prove their worth. Women competing or judging other women is too often considered a norm in workplaces and in social situations. This is a result of a society that has pushed women down repeatedly and denied their true strengths. I really believe that genuine power and true beauty are a threat to societal social norms. If you make women feel like they are inferior and their worth can only come about through their obtaining the unobtainable they more easily manipulated and ego driven. Thus more easy to control. Validation through social acceptance creates a state of chaos and is at the root of how women are trained to define themselves. In my opinion the most direct attack on women is through other women. This isn’t the most powerful or pervasive but the most direct. We do this through the way we judge them, be-friend them, teach them, talk to them, raise them. And we do this through the ways in which we support them or choose not to.

The political attacks that have fallen upon women and families are an example of using women bodies as a tool. Their bodies can be manipulated and disputed, debated, discussed and ridiculed. They can be judged and demonized for what they are, or aren’t and all of this is through the eyes of someone else.

Often, I hear women say how these issues don’t affect them. Literally, it doesn’t affect them; like, “this isn’t my problem and I have enough problems, thank you very much.” And to that I want to say a million things, one of them is I understand that life is hard and that your life in particular might be very hard right now. But also the greatest movement, in my opinion, out of your own personal problems or struggles is to see yourself in a greater context. That is to see how you (little you) fits into this bigger world and the bigger (YOU).

I think this is our time to stand together as women and not let society define what that means for us.

2. Men
Ok so really men have no business saying what is right for a woman. I am serious.

3. I use to be very fearful of getting involved in anything. I thought this isn’t my fight..” after spending time in Armenia and seeing dynamics of power differently, I feel differently. I understand that those who can use their power and influence to bring about freedom for others, should and must.

I use to also hate flawed institutions and government. Being informed wasn’t particularly interesting because the more I learned, the more I felt disconnected from a society that didn’t represent me. Many people feel that their government doesn’t represent them and many people don’t vote because they think that all of the candidates are all the same and don’t represent THEM. But I see how vastly different the candidates are and how close elections can be.

I use to think, what can one person do? There is SO MUCH wrong with society. As I became more informed, involved and curious, I saw the power in individuals. One person is more than one person, that person is part of a community, family and social structure. Their one voice hold with it the power of their collective shared values and their experiences. Their one voice has the ability to motivate and inspire others and in that choir of voices there is the power to shake up the foundation of society.

It is all of our roles and responsibility to do what we can with our time, actions and resources to make this world better, not worse.

Better: is expansive; it allows for greater opportunities, freedoms, and resources. It is fluid and doesn’t view the world as white or black but sees the complexity, and range, of human experiences. It meets people where they are, and yet invites them to more fully express everything that they already are. It isn’t about limitations or denial, or about what is right or wrong.  It is acceptances of what is and growth through learning. Better is involvement and action and connection to those around you. Maybe this fight doesn’t affect you but if it did you would want your friends, community, and government to have your back and support you in whatever decision you thought was right for you at that time so maybe, just maybe, it affects us all.

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*i think*

So I have been developing this little theory in my head and I haven’t quite sifted it all out but I am going to write about it, regardless. Now I feel like I am going to begin oversimplifying and making general statements that aren’t entirely fair for me to make but for the sake of the formation of this idea, I am pretending that I know nothing about the generalizations and stereotypical thinking I might potentially embark upon. Instead I am going to try to get to the source of this idea.

ok

So I am a white girl and I don’t know what it is to be black. I have no idea. I don’t know what it is like to live in the ghetto or the real struggles of black communities but I can draw from the things that I do know and the world conveyed to me through those that, perhaps, do know. I just got done reading Malcom X and A people’s history of the United States these books hold within them the stories of struggles and challenges and the reality of society in that time. Within the civil rights movements there was a very solid clash between the theories of the nation of Islam and Martin Luther King. I am sure that some would argue that at the core what both groups wanted was very similar but their ideas about the nature of reality was very different. The result was clashes in ideology and what resulted was conflict. And as Malcom X was moving towards a concept of social responsibility that unified himself and made the conversation less about the differences between the factious group but about the unification within the culture, he was murdered.
Now, we make a jump but just a little hop, women. Women have made tremendous stride within society in every way, institutionally, educational, politically and socially. Their roles have changed dramatically and the expectations that society has placed upon them has a new added complexity that is still tethered to the ties of the past. It seems within this added complexity, women haven’t been able to truly rectify the clashing social factors and the result is conflict internally and externally. When I hear women speak about other women, typically this is easily observed in workplace dynamics, there is talk of gossip, cattiness, bitchiness….Most argue that this is a product of man’s classification of women and another example of discrimination (aka a way to keep women in their place) but it doesn’t hold up if you really look at the situation. Maybe, I am examining something that feminist theorist know, I don’t know, I tried to research this topic but I found nothing pertaining to women, workplace dynamics or power that was in anyway relevant. Maybe this is some know idea but whatever, here is what I think-

That the clashes that exist between women are a product of society in the way that women have been cradled in a world that supports their inferiority but also ushers them to succeed in the parameters established by society. As women gain power and the conflicts that arise with other women are due to feelings of inferiority within the structure. Quite simply, they don’t understand their power. So the action described as catty, bitchy or whatever it is, is a reflection of insecurity not superiority. And I think the problem is that women have silently agreed to adhere to the current structures in society, and at the same time those structures don’t support them so as they move within them everything thing that society has told them subliminally or outright that they are, they believe. It seems that their is a deep prevalent inferiority complex among women-I am sure if you look at the sex of who is shelling out $100’s of dollars to go to conferences to have some man tell them how to be better looking, more confident and succeed, it would be women. Or the prevalence of face lifts, surgeries and boob jobs (mom!). It seems to me that women are scared to show their vulnerability and their weaknesses because they have been placed in the awkward position of attempting to thrive in a society that still objectifies them. Similar, in some cases to the struggles within black communities, I can’t speak, as much about this but it seems that if people really understood their power and didn’t look to society to validate them then the room for conflict decreases and the room for true power and success, expands.