Women’s World: Hat Pins and Feminine Erasure

Lipstick

I’m gonna fix my lips then tear your argument to shreds!

This morning at church, one of the ladies noticed I had a knitting needle plunged through my hat. Her husband was perplexed, but she understood when I said it was to keep the hat on my head.

Once upon a time, there was a solution to this problem: Hat pins. They daintily skewer the fabric and don’t require permanent holes in felt like knitting needles do.

Hat Pins

They were also good for stabbing!

They still exist and can be found on various online marketplaces. But they don’t sell them anywhere in the real world, where I do still do most of my shopping.

For one thing, hats as a staple were out of fashion for, what, 80 years? Long enough that culture has forgotten most of the stuff that goes with them.

Short-haired people don’t have this issue, their hats fit more snugly. And if you have long hair you should wear it down, anyway. It’s sexier that way.

My hair is the longest it has ever been. I grew it out because I’m pushing 40 and it’s fading. I figure this is my last chance. I often wear it up because it’s distracting. It gets caught in stuff. The toddler pulls it. It blocks my vision.

How to keep my hat on when it’s chilly and windy (ya know, when you need a hat!) is a practical issue for me. It’s frustrating to know that it’s been solved but I don’t have good access to the solution.

I can’t help but think it has to do with long hair being coded Feminine. Smart women have long stayed away from everything with that label, and men don’t know or care about how women wear hats.

Hat pins are just my latest example of a lifelong struggle. It doesn’t get much ink or airtime, but I have had the conversation with many women.

Clothes are not actually designed to fit us. Women’s clothes are mostly designed by men. Many of them are impractical and absurdly expensive for it. They lack pockets. They are just tweaked versions of men’s clothes. They are flimsy and drafty.

This is probably a familiar topic to you.

Sometimes there is a company or clothing line run by a woman and a big deal is made of that. She may even be creating things specifically to fill women’s needs. But aside from hype that has a feeling of tokenism, they rarely make a dent in the market.

A big exception would be Spanx, which is interesting because it’s designed to be hidden.

We allow ourselves to be a niche market because, as long as Feminine = Weak, declaring our woman-ness is proclaiming weakness. And most of us know in our gut that our position is still too tenuous to do that.

We have thrown out the baby with the bath water, ladies.

Too Small

What? My stomach is naturally flat! It’s a curse!

The blurring of lines between force-fed frivolity and genuine female culture has been costly for us. Along with home making and high heels, strong women have turned away from domestic knowledge and most elements of style. Those who don’t are expected to apologize for it.

If you are butch, I love you, sister. But not all of us are happy shopping in the men’s section.

And I’m tired of pseudo-think pieces about how women can empower ourselves by improving the clothing industry.

This is all symptomatic of systemic sexism. It’s more than having pants that actually fit around the waist and the hips, with functional pockets.

It’s the same reason 80% of medicine is designed by and for men. And entertainment. And transportation.

But not only is most of the world not built for us,

We have willingly given up what we built for ourselves in exchange for entry.

What was left of it after the Witch Trials of the Middle Ages, that is.

I understand why a large number of women has always been put off by Feminism. But through coercion and force, the world of women has been demolished and thrown in the bin.

It almost feels like a dirty trick. I can run my own company and wear whatever I want. But I don’t know what to do with these leftovers, how to get these stains out or how to heal my children.

Precious Baby

Don’t worry, Junior, we’ll see what WebMD says!

Because eating well, looking after one’s appearance and caring for others is Girl’s Stuff.

Look at what is missing in the world.

Notice any correlation?

Sometimes I am cross-eyed with anger over knowledge that I’ve been told existed, historians talk about what has been lost, burned and spurned out of my culture. I am so sick of trying to play by the boys’ rules but I’m at a loss for alternatives.

Patriarchy has even absorbed Feminism. Transwomen adopting the frills of girlhood and popular talk of “empowering” stripping classes make it even harder to honestly evaluate the female identity.

And we need to have our own identity. If we content ourselves with imitation we give up our natural power.

If we want to maintain and advance the achievements of our foremothers, we have to rebuild the female identity. The time has come to stop being ashamed of the moments we reveal ourselves.

Womanhood is not weakness. The variety in our personalities shows the flaws in the stereotypes we fear. We can no longer allow them to cause us to fear ourselves.

Why You Are Turning Into Your (Grand)Mother – Consequences of Consistent Mate Selection

Humans select animals with traits we like, and breed them together to create more animals with those traits. This is common practice everywhere, it’s how we get “breeds” of anything – dogs, cats, horses, bovine.

Hilda Reaps

I am both mistress and subject!

It’s also done with plants. Controlling the reproduction of flora and fauna is a big part of agriculture.

I’m simply saying that we do it to ourselves, too.

No One is Born Blank

And I’m not the first one to ponder this. Gordon Allport founded the study of personality 100 years ago. His work is the garden in which all others bloom, such as the Meyers-Briggs and Big Five systems.

Some personality theories address the cause of temperament, and some don’t. Dr Hans Eysenck, founder of the “3 Factor Model,” critic of Freud and stalwart advocate for science (“I always felt that a scientist owes the world only one thing, and that is the truth …. if the truth contradicts deeply held beliefs, that is too bad,”) believes personality derives from the brain. Much of your brain structure is down to genetics.

However, the brain turns out to be much more malleable in adult life than was previously believed. Think of temperament as your personal baseline.

Kiss A Cowboy

I just love dirty fingernails, what can I say?

Gentlemen Prefer Hourglass Figures

Over time we have selected mates with desirable qualities, whatever those happened to be in our time and place. Many personal quirks have enjoyed crosstemporal trendiness, and a few physical traits seem to be beloved across the world.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Beyond matching on similarly, little is known about why we choose who we choose.”

Men have gotten taller while women have been selected for petiteness. The average erect penis is 1/3 larger than the average vagina…. What sense does that make in Nature?? Small wonder so many straight women experience painful intercourse!

What About Personality?

What Am I Doing

What the fuck am I doing??

Domesticated animals are also bred for temperament. I see no reason humans should not be affected similarly.

And I believe many of these traits can lie dormant until triggered by outside forces.

As a kid my idol was Idgie Threadgoode and these days I’m genuinely interested in what Martha Stewart has to say. I still love the outdoors but also a good Clean & Organize.

I did not learn to enjoy domesticity so much as attain a different understanding through what felt like osmosis.

I find my fingers itching to sew, to bake, to turn the dirt and create in all kinds of small ways. But like a purebred hound raised as a pet, I have instinct but no real training.

There’s a feeling of emptiness where domestic culture should be. I blame the Cult of Youth where each generation is encouraged to ignore the knowledge of their elders. And I blame the intergenerational breakdown in my family. My mother can’t teach what she was never taught.

And, frankly, I blame Feminism. With its rejection of the womanly in favor of beating the boys at their own game.

Instinct Vs. Intellect

All of this has been very difficult for me to admit – That I was feeling this way at all, let alone that I have no real idea what I’m doing. I have always shied away from “girly” things because dimples and freckles are bad enough. I thought maybe if I swaggered around like a man, people would take me more seriously.

Surprise

Surprise! You can’t identify out of womanhood!

And if I didn’t find myself in the position of Lady of the House, I doubt that these thoughts would be bubbling up.

I lack positive associations and role models for these traits. I’m conflicted about it all, to say the least. But I have to ask myself, Where is it coming from?

Science Gets Weird

Scientists are just beginning to understand that our lifestyle leaves its mark not just on our bodies, but on our genes. Epigenetics is the fascinating idea that the genes you pass on are directly effected by your behavior.

Then there’s the weird concept of genetic memory. People have been found to have aversions that reflect experiences of their direct ancestors. So, what if dozens of generations of your ancestors lived pretty much the same lifestyle? Hypothetically, you could have strong temperamental leanings for that lifestyle, even if you had never done any of it.

Scientific American says, “Everything from perceptual phenomena to intuitive physics to social exchange rules comes with the brain. These things are not learned; they are innately structured.”

Is Philosophy Genetic?

None of this rules out free will. Just because we have an inkling to pursue something doesn’t mean we have to. Or that we can’t find success doing something else. And some people will have stronger expression of any given attribute than others. Just like any physical trait you can think of.

Bored Operator

Another double standard rooted in unconscious bias? How boring!

I wonder if our stubborn refusal to accept the mind as an outgrowth of the body is causing us to overlook a potentially very fruitful field of psychology. If we have genetic code for our minds as well as our bodies, understanding this could lead to amazing shortcuts in treatments and development.

This idea is not controversial when searching for the genetic components of cancer, diabetes or autism.

Knowing what environments could trigger certain traits could bring a whole new vibrancy to education.

But to consciously harness the power of selection for good –

(This is NOT an endorsement of Eugenics! Traits are just traits, people don’t need Official Help finding partners, and race is not a real thing 😁)

– We have to accept that we are animals, too. Not holding my breath on that one.

Capitalists Are the Enemy of Us All (The Revolution Will Be Commodified)

Hug a conservative. We must beware of tribalism.

It’s the old story of the single-issue voter, red vs. blue, conservative vs. liberal.

Walk On By

No time to waste on Trumpers!

It’s what causes the thought error that, because radical feminists and religious fundamentalists agree on the existence of biological dimorphism they must, in fact, be members of the same group.

Or that someone who is “Pro-LGBT” supports social programs or civil liberties.

As those on the Left are fighting to defeat corrupt Republicans, we must remember who it was that corrupted them.

I don’t frequent sites like The Federalist but the headline was too good – Rich White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology. The author Jennifer Bilek has one other article along the same lines. She appears to mainly be a gifted portrait artist.

But her interest in the subject was piqued a few years ago, “As an environmental activist who was deplatformed from a speaking venue by transactivists, in 2013 I developed curiosity about the power of this group to force this development.”

She says her years-long investigation took her down money trails to some of the richest, most influential, most anonymous men in the world.Pandora

She used the family of one transwoman as an example. “Once a family man and a decorated member of the armed forces, Jennifer Pritzker…. is one of the largest contributors to transgender causes and, with his family, an enormous influence in the rapid institutionalization of transgenderism.”

“Some of the organizations Jennifer owns and funds are especially noteworthy to examining the rapid induction of transgender ideology into medical, legal and educational institutions.”

The influential organizations Jen has in his pocket include:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union
  • Planned Parenthood
  • The Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago

Jen’s aunt and uncle founded a hospital for children’s psychiatry at UC San Francisco. There’s an LGBT medical center in Lakewood, Ohio. He funds the guy who decided Target needed gender-neutral bathrooms.

His cousin Penny is even better. She was instrumental in getting Barack Obama elected. Under Obama, she secured $70 million for biopharmaceuticals. “Penny has funded the Harvard School of Public Health…. as well as providing scholarships to Harvard University medical students.

“The Boston Children’s Hospital Gender Management Services wing physicians are all affiliated with Harvard Medical School.”

Sometimes we may marvel at how anyone is swallowing this regressive, sexist stuff. But if the people telling you your boy is really a girl are from Harvard, I think that would give most of us pause.

Disgust

I mean, Boston Children’s Hospital and Planned Parenthood? Way to hit us where we live, guys!

Penny’s brother J.B. ran for governor of Illinois last year. He owns and funds several medical technology companies. He and Jen both have global influence over what devices are in your hospital.

This is just a smattering of what Ms. Bilek reports. Several times, while listing all the prominent medical facilities founded for LGBT, she reminds us that homosexuals and bisexuals don’t need specialized medical care.

So who is all this for?

And it’s way more than medicine. “Along with support by pharmaceutical giants such as…. Pfizer…. Bristol-Meyers Squibb…. major technology corporations including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Dell and IBM are also funding the transgender project.”

Can this really all be because they are afraid of being on the wrong side of history this time around?

The massive medical and technological infrastructure expansion for a tiny (but growing) fraction of the population with gender dysphoria, along with the money being funneled to this project by those heavily invested in the medical and technology industries, seems to make sense only in the context of expanding markets for changing the human body.

“Martine Rothblatt suggests we are all transhuman…. Expressing that could be a never-ending saga of body-related consumerism.”Farnsworth Meme

Ah, there it is! Capitalism loves to eat social movements and sell the regurgitated bile back to us.

Trans people are lifetime medical patients. It’s the perfect cure – The one you have to keep coming back for!

“As these corporations were pushing for transgender bathrooms, they were fighting President Trump’s travel ban and immigration policies. In reporting the incidents simultaneously, CNN News made the obvious connection between the corporations’ interest in the immigration ban and commerce…. “It is inflicting significant harm on American business, innovation and growth.”

“It made no such equivalent connection for the corporations’ interest in transgender rights. The obvious question would be: Why do they care? The obvious answer is:

Money.

Roulette

I don’t like these odds!

So while those of us on the Left rail against politicians who take money from the NRA, we have to look long and hard at those who we might consider part of the liberal cause.

We have all heard about the shrinking conservative base. How the GOP is the party of a fading demographic. While a Blue Wave might sound glorious, you can bet the capitalists are following the money.

They will abandon the conservatives as the money dries up and seek greener pastures. Like a newly reinforced Federal Government. And they will suck all the life out of any genuine progressive agenda by commodifying whatever they can.

Love the band? You’re not a real fan until you own the t-shirt!

And we will let them in the front door, like every time before. Because they will be raising money for the poor trans children.

The conservatives are going to lose, and we will have a whole new crop of villains emerge. Capitalists don’t care, they will fly whatever flag is necessary to gain the public’s trust. So they can empty our pockets.

BrazenShe’s Radical Feminism for Beginners

In my recent adventure with the Trans Rights Brigade, I ran into some serious misunderstanding about what Radical Feminism is.

Coincidentally, this week I also found a very good, concise statement of the Radical Feminist platform over at Women’s Liberation Radio News.

Summer Fun

This Summer fun is interrupting my studying!

“Third Wave” Isn’t Feminism

Before we dive in, I want to spotlight the fact that “Third Wave” Feminism is actually backlash against the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 70s.

The 1970s saw significant legal progress for women. We acquired the privilege of applying for credit, terminating unwanted pregnancies, and legal protection against housing discrimination. The UN declared 1975 International Women’s Year. Women’s Studies became a feature on campuses everywhere.

These days, it’s morphed into Gender Studies.

Hmmm, How strange! In 50 years we went from “Please can I have a bank account and an apartment?” to not even needing a single dedicated class? Has any movement ever come so far so fast?

Of course not. But Patriarchy runs the show and, after giving women a few showy wins, sat back and waited for our guard to slip.

So now we have boys winning girls’ track scholarships and men are being counted in affirmative action quotas. We are losing access to reproductive healthcare. Meanwhile I have people trying to argue with me about female penises.

Which is why we need Radical Feminism more than ever.

Radical Feminism Is:

  • Focused on female power, freedom and independence, not on the reformation of males

Guys, it’s not always about you.

Ssshhh

It’s gonna be okay, darling!

  • Anti-Capitalist
  • Anti-racist
  • Anti-classist
  • Anti-imperialist
  • Anti-war
  • Anti-Patriarchal religion
  • Anti-gender

Especially femininity as performed by women.

  • Critical of heterosexuality, marriage and the nuclear family

This is a neglected point. Tends to get reduced to ‘marriage is oppressive!’ Which has merit but some of us are straight, y’all!

So I figure I’m on the front lines of this one.

  • Against the hatred and oppression of lesbians

Because they’re women, duh.

  • Recognizes and condemns males violence against women and children, animals and the earth

Thus the anti-Capitalism and all that. Capitalists would happily burn up the planet for profit.

  • Supportive of female segregation and female-only spaces

    Good Lesson

    There’s some education for ya!

Another one that should be obvious. ‘Exclusion’ has become a dirty word, but sometimes being exclusive is the point. Like making the Dean’s List or joining a hiking club.

If you don’t make the cut or are unable to go hiking, those groups are not for you.

If you are a male, the ladies’ room is not for you.

  • Anti-rape, including paid rape in the pornography and prostitution industries
  • Anti-BDSM and all forms of abuse generally

I’m personally still working on exploring these topics. It’s slow going because of some experiences that turned it into a personal minefield.

  • Morally absolutist/culturally universalist on issues relative to female oppression

This is probably my favorite part.

I don’t care what your culture or your religion says. If you think educating girls is a waste of time, you are part of the problem.

If you think a woman’s value lies in her body, whatever form that belief takes, you are part of the problem.

If you support anyone born male having access to women’s spaces, you are part of the problem.

Your Argument is Beside the Point

Domestic Labor

I can’t theorize this laundry done!

Because before I am American or white or red-headed and frumpy,

I am female.

It’s something fundamental we all share that can’t be taken from us.

No matter how many words get redefined or how many TERFs get punched.

What really sucks is, it’s all irrelevant!

Calling me every name in the world won’t stop Patriarchy. It won’t stop the epidemic of male violence.

Someone came at me saying he had to confront me because he couldn’t let dangerous bigotry and hatred go unanswered.

I asked him to go pick a fight with one of the many thriving white supremacy groups, but told him I understand that picking on me is easier. Just don’t pretend it makes you some kind of hero.

Radical Feminism is about liberating women everywhere from the tyranny of Patriarchy.

And as Patriarchy gets more creative, so must we be creative in our response.

So, yeah, I’m a straight white lady with a big ass, and I’m gonna tear holes in all the sexist, racist, greed-infested bullshit I can find.

Radical Feminism is real. It’s nuanced. It’s intoxicating. It’s woman-focused. And it’s growing.

You’re A Man, Honey, and That’s Okay

Male Violence is The Enemy

Hey, guys, I get it. As much as any lady can, I sympathize. Being A Man is a big freaking deal. Men are kinda nuts.

Lincoln

And the way they are mythologized creates an impossible standard!

Forced Into the Butch Box

If you are just not much of a hard ass, if you find yourself drawn to the lighter side of life, you may also find yourself targeted by the Man Police. They are regular guys, your friends, your boss, your teacher. Your Dad. Any or all of them may take it upon themselves to kick your ass if you step out of line.

I’m not going to dig into why that happens. It’s pretty foreign to me, and I truly don’t mean to patronize you.

But this stuff is directly concerning to me because there are men of all ages who I love dearly. They are deeply affected by these things.

One of my oldest friends is a poet and an artist. He is also a hard motherfucker who is covered in tattoos and recovering from heroin addiction. Because of experiences he has referenced but never really told me about.

My husband is barely on speaking terms with his father, who had a habit of humiliating him in front of the old man’s friends for giggles.

My own father has never been able to maintain normal relationships with women. He has apparently wandered off into some scary corner of sexual sadism and I really don’t even want to know about it.

I have two sons and I take my responsibility to them very seriously. Who better to teach them that women are people? I actually get pretty upset sometimes when I see things written by lonely men who are frustrated by their lack of connection with women.

The Root of Misunderstanding

Sad Cowboy

Patriarchy creates a world where a heart is a liability!

They don’t understand that the question, “How do I relate to women?” is the basis of the problem.

You relate to a woman based on what you can observe about who she is as a person.

Women are people, with every personality configuration imaginable. Just like you.

You are also complex and that’s okay. Men are capable of some amazing things, that is undeniable. Being one of the good ones begins with approaching yourself and the rest of humanity with the understanding that we are all people first.

Be Yourself, Darling!

If you feel like you are most feminine person on this green Earth, you do you. I support you in throwing away all that toxic, judgemental garbage that has been polluting masculinity forever. Being A Man has nothing to do with what you wear and everything to do with how you behave.

Be a thoughtful, respectful person. It’s really very simple. Go about your business.

If you find yourself with some leftover passion, join us in trying to stop male violence.

Threats 1

Feminists don’t kill transwomen!

Male violence is what kills transwomen. Feminist activists don’t kill people. Insecure, homophobic men kill people.

Male violence is everything from domestic abuse to mass shootings to war. It is the locker room bully. It is all those ironic motherfuckers who visited me this week and told me their suggested method for my death.

Lead the Revolution!

Male violence is the enemy of us all. Female, male, trans, all classes and races. It is caused by the isolation integral to toxic masculinity.

You could be the front lines of dismantling the system that you so clearly hate. Be A Man. On your terms. Don’t let them take that from you.

Regarding Being A Woman

I am tired of debating who is a woman or what a woman is. That is a stupid waste of everyone’s time – We all know what we are talking about. To suggest that people are going around confused about the biological and potential reproductive nature of anyone’s body is absurd and I am not going to engage with that any more.

Be the femmiest man you can dream of. I will support you and cheer for you.

You are not a woman, honey, and that’s okay. Men can do great things. Go normalize your truth and fuck gender labels.

Love & Hugs,

– Sarah

Trans Attacks!

For those keeping score at home, the Facebook trolls have not let up yet.Terf Gun

They took my walking away after two and a half hours this morning as some kind of victory. But guys, I have stuff to do!

They threw a couple studies at me, but the majority of it has been vitriol demanding my submission.

It’s all public record and I encourage anyone to go read it, if you have the stomach.

It’s Raining Crap!

The onslaught has taken various forms.

There’s the ever-popular repetition of meaningless slogans

And some apparent confusion about those slogans

I was threatened repeatedly.Threats 1

 

But the most interesting part was being told about my own political beliefs.Alt Right Tho

There was some strangeness, too.

And, of course, just a lot of pointless insults

These are but a few examples I spent a few minutes collecting. To post them all would take all night.Threats 4

It’s still going on as I write this. The post that started it all has blown up. I have gotten 13 new followers so far.

Unfortunately for them, I have not been cowed. Or “educated.” I had been thinking of taking BrazenShe in a more overtly political direction next year, there are lots of women’s issues at stake in the election.

This week has shown me that opinionated women are still shat upon. Even in the US, where we are supposedly a beacon of freedom, they flocked like moths to a flame to put me back in my place.Wife's Huge Cock

“TERF” is a slur, in case anyone hadn’t caught that already. Not that they need it, having no problem calling me scum and a cunt and a bitch and I don’t even remember what all.

After a while, all that negativity does begin to weigh on a person. Happily, there were a few brave souls who stepped into the fray behind me.Mental Health Problems

And even if I had been alone in this, nothing changes based on what a bunch of internet trolls say. Female oppression is still a thing. Gender roles are still Patriarchy’s favorite method.

Trans politics ignoring all of this and codifying gender stereotypes into an unquestionable religion is shockingly offensive.Twaw

Society uses our bodies as the reason for our subjugation. People are much more than just bodies, but physical form matters. It affects our life experience and how the world treats us.

To say women have some feminine essence is to imply we have been complicit in our own oppression.

Fuck

That

If you are upset by this, go in peace. I’ll see you on the flip side.

If you are on board, good news! This loudmouth bitch is only going to get louder.

Laws are being changed. Canada is now recording crime according to gender identity. (“The variable ‘Gender of person’ and the ‘Classification of gender’ are expected to be used by most social statistics programs.”) The UK is on the precipice of Self-ID becoming law.

Male violence is arguably the biggest issue women face. I could swear 20 years ago, everyone knew this! If we can’t name the problem, if we are robbed of our privacy, we are left defenseless.

Stand with me and speak out for women’s rights. Your daughters will thank you.

***Stay tuned for the first installment of our Feminist Education Series, and the finale of the Summer Series, Fight Despair Together. Because I haven’t forgotten that everyone could use a little personal growth.***

“It appears the page is run by a TERF”

It’s amazing how difficult it is to talk about women’s issues.

Today I was outed as a “TERF.”

Viral Post

The post that started it all

For those uninitiated, that’s Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

Which is technically true, I suppose. In that I understand that the only thing that makes a person one sex or the other is their anatomy. The rest is all gravy.

Trans Politics Dwell in Hyperbole

I have resisted getting directly involved in the conversation for two reasons:

  1. My focus is women. Not what makes someone a woman or men who want to be women.
  2. I have more important things to do than deal with trans rights activists who are not going to listen to a damn thing I say.

I already lost one old friend over this. A friend who started life as a girl and now lives as a man. Someone who I knew years ago and care for deeply.

Someone who wouldn’t listen when I said that I do understand.

I thought of myself as a man in a woman’s body for 15 years. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating because every time it comes out that I disagree with trans identity politics, people assume I don’t understand.

Or that I was never “really” trans.

Yeah, and no true Scotsman could be a sex maniac.

Because I disagree, they try to write me off. Because disagreement isn’t allowed.

Policewoman

Stop right there! I’m gonna have to issue you a citation for Engaging A Famous Fallacy!

Which tells you everything you need to know, really.

What Are We Even Arguing About?

It’s not possible to “be a woman inside” because the only thing that makes anyone a woman is her outsides. The “science” they cite is all small, cherry-picked studies. It reminds me of how Rene’ Descartes declared the pineal gland the seat of the soul.

He’s the one we have to thank for this whole body-soul separation thing in modern philosophy, by the way. Thanks, Rene’.

And do I need to remind you that “lady brain” has been used to treat women like children for ages??

Not to mention, if you’ve never been something, you’re only imagining what it’s like.

If being trans is totally valid, why transition? If transwomen “are women” then what are they transitioning to?? Why go through hormones or surgery? Why worry about “passing?” Normalize presenting somewhere between the accepted categories! Please, for the love of god! Little gay boys and girls everywhere will thank you.

Not to mention the bald-faced irony of trans women wanting into women’s spaces as safe havens from men…. while ridding us of safe havens from men!

Your body is not female just because you say it is.

You can be the most effeminate guy around, you may very well be more “ladylike” than me. But you are a man, honey.

Brazenshe You're A Man Honey And That's Okay

It’s okay, darling, we’ll figure this out!

Yes, I received several braindead replies saying that transwomen have female bodies.

None of them were able to tell me what ‘female’ means. Woman = female = woman is not a definition, it’s a thought loop. 

I was having a lot of fun for the first few hours. But eventually I got tired. I told someone that they knew perfectly well what ‘female’ meant and that the argument was dumb.

They did not respond to that.

This Isn’t About You

You may have noticed that my original post above doesn’t mention trans anything.

I never said trans people aren’t people. Or that they are not deserving of human rights.

I said what women are. And what I believe motivates anyone who says differently.

And lots of people took that very personally.

Trans women are men. Anyone with an identity integration issue that messes with them that bad needs help, not hormones.

By The Hair

Transactivists don’t care for your opinion!

But compassion is only allowed one shape. Only “affirming.” Independent thought is discouraged. I came to the wrong conclusions so I must not understand.

And it’s their business to make me understand.

Actually, this is the weirdest part to me.

I do not know most of the people I argued with today. Come to find out through a third party, they were sent my way by my sister. Who told me to leave her alone but doesn’t feel the need to return the favor.

Why they felt compelled to Set Her Straight I can only speculate.

But it sure doesn’t come across as security in their convictions.

And, anyway, how self-absorbed is it to insist that everyone around you play along with your denial of physical reality? Or you will threaten them. Or shout at them. Or sue them (and call 911 when they ask you about it.)

And yes, this is about transwomen, really. Literally the only person who spoke up for transmen was my old friend. 

But I was told how “transwomen are women” by over half a dozen uninvited guests.

Transwomen are Not Our Allies

But the reason I have a problem, the reason I care to begin with

Is because transwomen are not allies to women.

Bogey Man

We need to wake up!

They don’t care about abortion access except to insist healthcare providers call us “uterus-bearers.” They don’t care about rape survivors being traumatized by the male form. They don’t care about women in third world countries. Or the ongoing plague of female feticide.

They don’t care about the United States’ awful maternal death rate, so long as the midwives refer to us as “pregnant people.”

There’s only one type of person who might get pregnant. And we have been oppressed for millennia because of it.

And trans women don’t care about that. They don’t see that. They see us having feelings and wearing dresses and call that “freedom” because it’s what they want to do.

So do it!

You have a sex and a personality. One doesn’t have to determine the other.

That’s really all I wanted to say.

Why Do Men Run the World?

The film begins with a man in a kitchen. It’s the scene of a revolution, he says, where men and women are renegotiating the human power balance.

By The Wrists

This isn’t what I meant by ‘holding hands’!

When you don’t get much time to sit and read, a good documentary can be the greatest thing.

I found one that really pulls it all together. And it’s over 25 years old!

Dr. Gwynne Dyer is another new name to me. He’s getting up there these days but still maintains an active publishing and speaking career. He even has a Twitter.

He’s a journalist and historian who’s taken his education and experience and synthesized a unique perspective. He uses it to spell out the origins of Patriarchy.

He explains why it first emerged and how it’s become an outdated handicap.

Filmed in 1992, the backdrop of the inaugural festivities of President Bill Clinton provides its starting example of The State. Militarized, hierarchical.

Then he takes us all the way back to the cave times. Hunter-gatherer societies were different depending on their circumstances. Some were warlike boys’ clubs, but others were egalitarian.

Dr. Dyer tells us that, before agriculture, there is little evidence of one sex being considered superior. Then with the advent of farming – “probably invented by a woman” – men suddenly lost their role.

A Men’s Revolution

During the village time, the members of the village discussed things and came to a consensus of how things would be. But women oversaw the homestead.

Hilda Reaps

I make things grow, what can I say?

Fertility goddesses reigned supreme. Hunting was no longer necessary, and men took a back seat. He tells us archeologists find 100 female fertility figures for every one male figure from this period.

But perhaps most gut-wrenching of all was that, at the birth of the concept of Wealth, a man’s property was passed to his sister’s child when he died, not his own.

You might not know who a child’s father is, but you always know who the mother is.

Dr. Dyer tells us about “the makings of a revolution, ….so old it’s not in the history books.” Men took over and spent thousands of years taming the power of female sexuality.

As agricultural villages coalesced into nation-states, a full quarter of the early Mesopotamian laws were restricting what women could do.

Huda Lutfi taught history at the American University of Cairo in 1992. She had many amazing things to say in this film. She was studying women in Medieval Islam, which meant reading between the lines.

Women in Medieval Islam are invisible. They wrote nothing and left no records. She says she knows what they were doing by what the scholars wanted them to stop doing.

Why Would Our Men Do This to Us?

Why did men, who basically cared about their mothers and wives and sisters and daughters, cooperate in such a scheme?

As civilization became bigger and more complex, tyranny was the only way to keep everyone together. Ruling by terror was the only way to communicate to the masses.

Despair

How could you do this to me, babe?

Needing to Defend Their Country Gave Men Status Again

Dr. Dyer shows us how the great pharaohs’ tombs are surrounded by hundreds of other graves belonging to servants and slaves. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Welcome to civilization.”

These men who stepped up to fight other aggressive men offered men in general a much-needed status boost.

“Sure,” says Dr. Dyer, “you’ll have to obey us but you’ll have control over your women. And your property will go to your sons when you die.”

And Patriarchal religions tied it all together, the Universe a perfect hierarchy with God at the top. Then man, then woman.

Why Push Women Down?

The tyranny necessary to create and defend a nation is fueled by soldiers. If women have freedom, the birth rate drops because babies are a lot of work. And women develop other interests.

Reducing women so our only place in society is childbearing is how you get enough soldiers to win.

“Men Were Never Oppressed.”

Dr. Dyer tells us how global mass communication is chipping away at “the old ways.” Global culture is, by its very nature, more cooperative. More feminine, I suppose, if only by virtue of women participating at all.

One thing that hits me that Dr. Dyer doesn’t really dwell on is, “men were never oppressed.” When women have freedom we don’t use it to lock men away. A woman-lead society is a more equal society.

I believe part of this is because of innate differences in perspective. The interconnectedness of people can be a brutal force in your life when you make people with your body.

And when that body and the world remind you of this possibility incessantly.Film Capture

A record number of women were elected to Congress in 1992. One of them was Elizabeth Furse from Oregon. She tells the story of taking the group picture on the steps, she was at the top, in the back.

Just in time, two white men stepped in front of her. “There’s no me, it’s almost like I’m not there.”

Above the pageantry of the 1992 inaugural parades, Dr. Dyer tells us that Patriarchy is slowly collapsing.

After 5,000 years, Patriarchy is not just in our institutions, it’s in our heads. But it is not in our genes.

“The problem is not ‘human nature,’ it’s that mass societies are still trapped inside the ancient machine they built thousands of years ago, to deal with the problems of thousands of years ago.

Lifeguard

Just stay right there, okay, cutie? You know, forever.

“The machine called Patriarchy was the only way to run an early mass society. It was refined into both a killing machine and a breeding machine as the early mass civilizations started fighting one another. And we conquered the whole planet with it.

“But now, our weapons have become so destructive that we can no longer afford to fight major wars. And we don’t actually have to live in patriarchal dictatorships anymore. Mass communication means that we can be democratic.

“Patriarchy no longer makes sense as an institution.”

As a white man and military historian, he has no axe to grind here. I think this makes his words that much more insightful.

He leaves us in the kitchen where we began, saying men and women are renegotiating the most fundamental human partnership. He offers this as reason for hope.

He doesn’t specify what partnership he means but, as he shares a bite with a little girl in the final shot, the meaning is clear.

Reproduction and raising the next generation is both the biggest burden and the biggest opportunity we have to impact the future. In modern times, women have asserted our rightful place of power in the system.

We don’t want to enslave men. We want our reproductive capacity to not be weaponized against us.

Dr. Dyer’s hopeful tone stands out to me because many of us are good at pointing out where Patriarchy fails us, but so few have an inkling where we are going from here.

He leans into snark a few times, making his own feelings clear: Patriarchy is on the way out, and everyone will benefit. Just as a natural result of the evolution of society.

This information should be everywhere. It should be in children’s books and kitchen conversations.

Understanding our past will enable us to consciously create a better future. So few of us have any real understanding of the causes or the effects of the societal structure we live in. We tend to take it for granted (or even claim it doesn’t exist!)

We can’t afford to go stumbling into the future without a strong understanding of ourselves.

Watch the movie, it’s less than an hour long. It explains everything.

Bathrooms and Abortions: Divided Left Leaves Progress in Danger

Not so long ago, there were no ladies’ rooms.

No powder rooms. No little girls rooms. No restrooms full of stalls, each with a little metal box on the wall. “Lack of access to toilets effectively tied women to their homes, putting them on a leash as long as their bladder capacity.”

Suitcases

Don’t worry, darling, I almost have all my supplies together!

This would not be a good system for me.

Museum of London describes the problem for us, “‘Respectable’ women couldn’t relieve themselves in alleys as men did, and the few toilets available in Victorian London were overwhelmingly built for men. Women who wished to travel into central London or even further for leisure and pleasure had to carefully plan where they could ‘stop off.'”

Time Magazine has a slightly different take on the idea, framing sex-specific facilities as simply customary, and definitely antiquated: “[Ladies’ rooms] were adopted to create this protected haven in this dangerous public realm.” We needed protection because, despite entering the workforce and propelling the Industrial Revolution, we were still seen as weak and stupid.

“Today,” Time continues, “even though society’s views on women have largely shifted, sex-segregated bathrooms remain the custom.”

Meghan Murphy and Twitter

Meghan Murphy is a Canadian Feminist writer. If you are reading this you have probably heard of her but maybe, like me, you don’t have time or energy to follow what most of the world is doing.

Right now, Meghan is suing Twitter.

That is a crazy thing for a writer to do! But Twitter banned her from the platform late last year, after suspending her several times, over “misgendering” a transwoman.

Thou Shalt Not

Look at this amazing picture! Censorship is bad!

A transwoman who has systematically bated and litigated 16 salons in Canada when employees refused to give him a Brazillian wax. Like, one salon? Okay. Three or four, even, maybe. But 16? I don’t believe that person is acting in good faith.

Anyway, Meghan referred to this person as “him” and Twitter lost their mind. She was permanently banned and she is suing them for loss of income. The main attraction, however, is the hypocrisy.

“Twitter grew to prominence by advertising itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party,”” explains the website dedicated to the lawsuit. “It repeatedly promised its users in its Terms of Service and elsewhere that it would not censor their speech.”

What’s the big deal?

Canadians recently acquired the right to self-declare their gender.

I mean, their sex.

Or, is it both? Are those words interchangeable, or what?

I seem to remember a long period when they were. ‘Gender’ was adopted as a polite substitute because no one liked saying the S-E-X word. Good thing we have come so far from those crazy Victorians, right?

But so, this means those who believe they are the opposite sex can legally become so, just by officially declaring it? And how does one go about declaring it?

What I could find was that Parliament added gender expression to its list of things it’s illegal to discriminate against people for. The provinces already have similar amendments on the books. It sounds logical and harmless but, in our quest to write away badness, we find ourselves lost in a Kafkaesque maze.

Keep Away Pinup

I don’t care how open-minded you are, some things are private!

“Non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression may very well be interpreted by the courts in the future to include the right to be identified by a person’s self identified pronoun,” The University of Toronto explains“The Ontario Human Rights Commission …. states that gender harrassment should include, “Refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and proper personal pronoun.””

That’s awfully wordy. Let’s try again. “In other words, pronoun misuse may become actionable, through Human Rights Tribunals and courts.”

The likely punishment? “Monetary damages, non-financial remedies and public interest remedies.”

The University’s Brenda Cossman lists these details to refute claims by a misogynist named Jordan Peterson that these laws will criminalize free speech. “Jail time is not one of them.”

That’s a relief!

Meghan, with her Masters degree in Women’s Studies, has been calling out this idea for years. “The idea that if you have a male body but feel you are female you have every right to women’s space was obviously going to have huge impact on women.”

“Laws were being passed and …. You just had to accept it or you were a right-wing bigot.”

What The Hell Pinup

What the hell is going on out there??

In addition to putting the corporate Public Square on trial, Meghan recently toured the UK. Among other engagements, she was invited to speak to the Scottish Parliament.

The invitation came from MSP Joan McAlpine. Ms. McAlpine shares some of Ms. Murphy’s reservations about self-identification amendments and has drawn wrath by saying so. Both women (and many others) have received threats and abuse for their questions.

What does that tell us? Does that sound like liberal discourse to you?

The UK is embroiled in several political swirls these days, and the debate around the Gender Recognition Act is as lively as any. This is despite a hostile social climate like Meghan describes in Canada.

Those who want to discuss trans politics from the perspective of women’s rights are denied venues. They pull out of speaking engagements because of death threats and universities cancel their panel discussions. They are called derogatory names and dismissed for being “hateful.”

The irony is thick here.

“We Just Want to Pee!”

Trans people (mainly transwomen) stepped onto the cultural stage in a big way in 2015. The scene had been set for years, sympathetic portrayals in movies and TV shows only accelerated after.

Coincidentally, that same year my sister’s husband announced that he was really a woman. She supported him and I supported her, but I had to admit to being upset by the whole thing.

Funny story – For years I thought of myself as a man in a woman’s body. I had a pretty bad case of what they now call “Gender Dysphoria.” Feeling so out of sync with my body and my life, eventually I had to critically reevaluate the beliefs that lead me to be so miserable.

It was terrifying. But I started over and created a more grounded paradigm for myself. My life these days is very different and I wouldn’t go back for anything.

Point is, I have some experience in this area. I recognize the struggle of those who insist I recognize their pronouns. And I feel wrong indulging them.

Which would just be one lady’s opinion, except that ladies’ rooms exist for reasons.

Do Women Need Protecting?

I'm Not Scenery

This picture was intended to be cute! And many people apparently agreed! What boundaries?

Time Magazine invokes our rejection of paternalism to reject private spaces in public places. the idea that all women are in increased danger in mixed or gender-neutral bathrooms doesn’t make sense, as predators are not waiting for permission to dress up like a woman to go into bathrooms.” Baby with the bathwater, folks.

But it’s true – Men are already the majority of perpetrators of assault on women. They aren’t waiting for anything.

Women need enforceable female-only spaces for safety because some men are extremely dangerous to us. It’s a prolific minority, but they don’t wear name tags. And they have a habit of being sneaky to get what they want.

“This Never Happens”

Despite proclamations by hand-waving do-gooders, not all transwomen are sweet, misunderstood souls.

They creep on women in department stores. In locker rooms. In our homes. Even in prison.

They put their families through years of bullshit.

We need to be able to call these men out and defend ourselves, verbally and legally.

If you are a transwoman who pees, washes your hands and leaves, anyone who bothers you needs to get a life. But we can’t allow predatory behavior to use Wokeness as a shield.

Bathrooms are Just the Beginning

There’s also the rape crisis shelter in British Columbia that lost its funding because they refused access to male-bodied people. The Dyke Marches that exclude lesbians asTERFs.” There’s the children being coached to “transition” and put on life-altering hormones.

Hilda Squirrel

Am I still a girl if I act like a squirrel?

There’s the epidemic of young girls rebelling as they hit the wall of puberty, facing the choice between being a woman or a complex human being. Many are opting out, declaring themselves “non-binary” or stripping themselves of feminine markers  with binders or surgery.

I feel for these young girls. We live in a world of intense objectification. Conformity is ascendant and those who call themselves Progressive are preoccupied with labelling everyone according to old-fashioned gender stereotypes. It’s confusing.

Many Feminists consider it to be a new form of backlash against the Women’s Movement. The pathologizing of people who don’t conform to sexist expectations could be seen as an assault on the homosexual community. Your swishy son can’t be gay if he’s really a girl!

Is Your Mind So Open Your Brain Fell Out?

Amid all of this, anything besides repeating slogans risks being labeled and shunned. Meghan Murphy is standing up for the gains women have made.

“I find it odd because I never feel I’m saying anything crazy, just normal obvious things …. “I think young women don’t have much knowledge around the history of the women’s movement. I don’t think they realise how hard they had to fight and how long this fight lasted – and how it’s still going on. When women were fighting for the rights we have now – which so many take for granted – those women were dismissed as crazy and radical.”

The Right Swoops In

Meanwhile, states like Georgia are passing draconian anti-abortion laws, hoping to get a crack at the Supreme Court and the infamous Roe v. Wade. (That decision is actually founded in some interesting Right to Privacy stuff which would have lots of ripples if overturned, but that’s another post.)

Starboard Lies

Come back inside, darling. Seeing the view will only give you ideas.

The root of the anti-abortion crusade is not concern for babies. It never has been. I have met many a deluded soul who truly believed that every little life was sacred, people whose passion has been manipulated to support a movement that would see us back in the kitchen.

The anti-abortion movement is funded by powerful men who understand Patriarchy and that controlling reproduction is how it is perpetuated. They know where their bread is buttered, that Civilization Classic was set up for their benefit by others like them.

It’s an ancient trick, using people’s faith and sense of duty against them. I’m far from the first to write about American Christianity’s deal with the political Devil. In the 1970s, the ends were seen as justifying the means – A return to how things “should” be. With everyone in their place and white men on top.

They Stole Our Words

And these days their plan makes a lot of sense. In many ways, it has been successful. Many a greedy egotist saw profit for themselves along the way, everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Donald Trump, Alex Jones and everyone in between. Individual congressmen who gained from exploiting divisions, megachurch pastors and small-minded authoritarians everywhere. Now they have colonized the Left, using our language and openness against us.

Postmodernism – the rejection of absolute truth – has been misappropriated and used to justify insanity. The language of Progressiveness has been corrupted and stolen in service of regressive agendas.

Whether they saw the grand plan or not, many people have contributed to the place we now find ourselves – Where men can be women, but women don’t control our own bodies.

Good People Need to Think Critically

I actually got started on all this because I have quite a few lefties on my Facebook list. They regularly share things in support of Trans Rights. Some of them have trans relatives. Most of them have trans friends. They are understandably protective of these people they love.

Then last month when Georgia did their thing, suddenly my feed was filled with Feminist stuff, throwing in their two cents for bodily privacy.

Peaking Out

But thinking for myself is scary!

Which is where the two sides of the zeitgeist crash into each other. How do you deny biology one day, then speak up in a debate that assumes it the next?

Cognitive Dissonance is Stressful

The Left and the Right are having two different conversations. The Left considered the bodily privacy issue settled and has been pushing its boundaries. The Right has been pushing back against the whole idea. Both sides have reached a precipice and the resulting in-fighting is creating instability.

Conservative think tanks are inviting lesbians to speak. Liberal bureaucrats are censoring unpopular opinions. Kids are being given injections and surgery to fit an ideal in the name of inclusivity. Feminist writers are being invited to Parliament.

It’s definitely a far cry from the world I was born into. Where Mr. Rogers liked you just the way you were, and every single muppet was different. The subversives did a decent job getting their message out.

War is just an absurdly elaborate game of TicTacToe. We are all Basket Cases, Jocks, and Princesses. Things aren’t always what they seem. The bad guy is usually someone you know and trust. Woven between the songs, humor, drama and drug references, tolerance and self-determination were the fabric of popular culture.

Boomers Lack Follow-Thru, Again

But the generation that saw itself as the bastion of a New Age started to fall into old age. With characteristic self-congratulation, they simply assumed that in passing the torch they had won. Around the same time, the elder statesmen of liberalism like Rogers and Henson began leaving us.

But they were the new kids on the block. I think they all failed to appreciate the depth of the problem. You can’t flip the world in a generation, no matter how many pills you invent or how many songs you write.

I have rambled here, but I applaud Meghan Murphy for trying to hold the Left accountable for the progress it supposedly stands for. The Left needs to grow up and take stock of itself. Tolerance and self-determination are beautiful ideals but they require work, thought and compromise.

We Need Objectivity

Young Couple Cropped

Stop and think for a moment!

We can’t abandon Science, which is the foundation everything else rests on. Everything, from understanding the heliocentric nature of our existence, to The Pill, to your reading this right now. Biology may not be destiny, but it sure is the basis of Patriarchy.

While we’re over here in the throes of Death By 1,000 Pronouns, Patriarchy and all who serve it are glad to take advantage of our loss of direction. To swoop in and take away the Privileges – that we so naively refer to as Rights – gained by the oppressed many.

A girl who wants to be a boy needs help. A man who thinks he’s a woman needs therapy. The giant countervailing currents can’t be ignored in favor of “affirming” someone’s identity.

More Labels is not Progress

Progress was supposed to be when everyone could be who they wanted, love who they wanted, without worrying their label – Black, Gay, Poor – would disqualify them.

So, yeah, when the so-called Progressives came at me with a new label for myself – “Cis” – I was not receptive. And I was called bigoted for not wanting to allow myself to be labeled. As something, incidentally, that I don’t feel I am. I certainly am not comfortable with the social role of “Woman.”

Liberal Fragmentation is Scarier Than Any Conservative

The fight is not over. The more I get drawn into the current arguments on the Left, the more I see that we have lost the thread. Consumerism has absorbed almost everything and taught us that we get it Our Way. Jim Henson said it well, “I think it’s good to be your own person. But individuality is a mixed blessing. People who are ‘different’ are isolated.”

The Right has a unifying conformity, and that is their strength. They have been more than happy to use the Left’s diversity to divide and conquer.

We must refocus on creating the world that everyone from Mary Wollstonecraft to Martin Luther King Jr. dared to dream about: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin” Or sex or orientation or wardrobe choices, “but by the content of their character.”

So, no, I don’t want to share my bathroom with you. But it’s so, so much more than that.

 

Top 5 Women Bloggers I Love

It’s funny how putting yourself out there is a great way to meet people.

Definitely more effective than my old favorite method – Keeping to myself and hoping to be noticed.

Along my journey at Brazen She I have met some really cool people. I want to give back to this great community.

Here are my top 5 favorite woman bloggers who I’ve met during my time here. They are a diverse group of voices each of whom enriches the world using her unique perspective. These ladies are brazenly themselves.

Women Bloggers Breeta

Breeta – A Voice

Breeta – A Voice

Breeta shares her experience and perspective with infectious enthusiasm. She shares her struggles, her insights and, more than anything else, her favorite songs.

Sometimes just coming along for the ride is not to be missed. In a post under the hashtag #Drunkposts, she writes,

And watching Heath Ledger as Patric, all young and bright-eyed and sweet and… alive, with those 90s pop in background…I mean I am an Indian kid and those exact songs were never part of my 90s days but the musical vibes… you can’t miss…

I am a hot mess now and fighting really hard to not drunk-text my old high-school crush and feeling like banging my head and crushing skull or break at least something…

I love the cultural perspective – I am always falling in love with new songs or revisiting old favorites. I feel a kindred spirit with her whimsy, wistfulness and wry humor.

She also has a gorgeous Instagram where she posts her photography. Truly a voice from another corner heard loud and clear.

Women Bloggers Claudette

Claudette – Writer of Words, Etc.

Claudette – Writer of Words, Etc.

Claudette is someone I can see myself getting coffee with while we vent and laugh about our kids.

While I rolled out the dough I made them sweep, vacuum and de-clutter the entire open concept area around me.

I will spare you the various antics that ensued to get them to conform to my wishes pleads expectations, but I will say this:

Their dad avoids confrontation.

Me?

I’m half Italian…BRING IT ON.

Sigh

What I mean by this isn’t that I *want* a fight, certainly not. I was quite sick with a nasty head cold all day, didn’t even make it out to food shopping due to all the sneezing.

Soul sister! Pity she lives in Toronto. But I still love reading her stuff, she’s so prolific I’m jealous and inspired all at the same time.

Sometimes she is very personal, after a while it starts to feel like you know her.

I am my own worst enemy.

I go up and down and sideways with my internal turmoil that it mostly leaves me mentally exhausted rather than inspired, or focused on the here and now.

Just reading her posts helps remind me to be brave, but she has also made the leap to try fiction.

Women Bloggers Justine2

Justine – OK Vibes

Justine – OK Vibes

I’m just going to let Justine introduce herself:

Justine Monikue is a chocolate-covered 80s baby, born abroad in Germany to military parents.  She spent a good chunk of her childhood in the Mid-Atlantic region of the USA (hence why she refers to submarine sandwiches as hoagies)

I relate very much with Justine’s philosophical tendencies. This lady can squeeze meaning from the simplest things:

Though I’ve been callenging myself not to dwell on the past, I find myself questioning my life choices when my life plans aren’t manifesting in the way I’d hoped, or an inconvenient event surfaces.

Omg I am right there with you! Justine helps me feel a little less crazy about looking for growth opportunities under every rock.

She shares her struggles and also gets creative with flash fiction,

Mei Fan was alone at the local beach, waiting on her bestie, Chandra, to show up. Chandra was always late, which irritated Mei Fan since she prided herself on being punctual. She checked her phone, no texts or missed calls from Chandra. Maybe she forgot to charge her phone again? Wouldn’t be the first time.

….Mei Fan’s phone rang, she grabbed hastily and answered without checking the caller ID.

“Sorry I’m running late, traffic is crazy as fuck today! Plus my mom wanted me to grab flour for roti, she called as soon as I started heading to the beach. Forgive me?”

Mei Fan sighed, “Always, I know how your mom is. That’s why you gotta start leaving earlier C!”

And poetry

Juicy warm and ripe

in fitted denim so tight

pits of flesh will rise

Hot stuff.

Women Bloggers April

April – Anxiously Imperfect

April – Anxiously Imperfect

April is the kind of blogger who posts when the mood strikes but when it does, watch out!

Her blog centers on living with anxiety and depression. Two of the most common mental health issues and two things that need talked about much more. While describing what it’s like with aplomb, April takes you right into the center of the storm. Her goal is to remind others that we are not alone:

Yesterday was a bad day for me, ….I didn’t realize it through my haze of anxiety, but I had scared my boyfriend.

….Later after my anxiety haze had faded and I could think more clearly.
I started thinking about who I am as a person in spite of my anxiety.

….I AM MORE THAN MY DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY!!!
Please remember that the bad days don’t last forever!
Don’t give into the stigma and seek treatment if you need it!

I love April because so few people really capture the feeling of a panic attack. Most of us wait until the storm has passed. The raw emotion in some of her writing grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let up –

I’m sorry that going out was just too much for me today!
I’m sorry that you are tired of hearing about my mental illness!
I’m sorry that I embarrassed you when I had my panic attack!
I’m sorry that I made you uncomfortable when I “lost it” today!
I’m sorry that I shrieked at you when you told me to just “lighten up!”

Although April is a personal friend of mine this list would be incomplete without her. She has been instrumental in keeping me motivated, directly and indirectly.

Women Bloggers Tamla

Tamla – 12 Raisins

Tamla – 12 Raisins

Last but definitely not least, Tamla explains the title of her blog,

At the stroke of midnight, I ate 12 raisins, one at a time, each one representing one wish for the New Year…Wishes fulfilled, I embark on a new journey. A journey of writing, motherhood and reflecting on this thing called life.

And reflect she does, with a calm intelligence that guides readers through events with a firm hand,

I knew class was coming up, and because he’d walked out on us after the first class we had to ‘catch up’ and had double the readings (which was A LOT). Not only that, he assigned an extra reflection for us to complete…there was no way I was going to get it all done….. This is a guy who only alotted 5% for participation but expects you to be in every class and never late.

I was reminded by my loved ones… “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Personally, I would have been livid but she deals with frustration with inspiring composure.

[My little guy] used to eat vegetables back when he ate pureed food, now he wants nothing to do with them. As such, I’ve resorted to sneaking them into his meals. Nowadays, if I can even get him into the high chair, mealtimes are often filled with negotiation and bribery (other big no-no’s in all of the literature for feeding a toddler). It’s exhausting. I worry about him becoming a fussy eater but know that I have to be patient and his fussiness is likely, as they say ‘just a phase’.

Toddlers are so difficult! And adorable! Tamla writes a lot of great material about mom life, with a steady hand and an eye out for life lessons. She’s also a teacher and you definitely get the sense that this lady is a rock. She knows how keep her balance on life’s choppy seas, something I could definitely use more of.

Like the rest of our group, Tamla is also unafraid to tackle the meatier topics that come her way –

For my second last course I took “Decolonizing Education” which turned out to be one of my absolute favourite courses out of all my years in school.

For our last class we were asked to create a piece of poetry using the final chapters of our readings. Essentially, summarize decolonization.

She published her impactful poem in its entirety. It begins,

Language. Expression. Relevance.

Clearly.

To see ourselves.

In relationship to ourselves.

And to other selves.

What a thought. What a concept.

Of course she immediately begins to find practical use for this experience to enrich the lives of others,

What a beautiful way to ask learners to be thoughtful and creative while synthesizing a final unit or theme of study and inquiry…. I can imagine this task working with a wide range of students of varying levels and abilities and am excited to one day try it out in my own classroom(s).

Reflectively yours,

Tamla

Reflecting on these fellow travelers fills me with excitement for the future of literature and cultural dialog. Knowing there are so many other women out there pondering life and all its facets is some of the best motivation there is.

Love you gals!