the Life and Times of Warrior Woman

blonde recluse. nihilarian pronk.

Posts Tagged ‘feminism

for the men who still don’t get it, by carol diehl.

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I found this on tumblr some weeks ago, and thought that I’d share it here as well. There’s been some criticism of this being cissexist, and it may as well be (at least the line about menstruation is), but it still needs to be said. Warning: adult in nature.

What if all women were bigger and stronger than you? And thought they were smarter? What if women were the ones who started wars? What if too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos and no K-Y Jelly? What if the state trooper who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike was a woman and carried a gun? What if the ability to menstruate was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs? What if your attractiveness to women depended on the size of your penis? What if every time women saw you they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands? What if women were always making jokes about how ugly penises are and how bad sperm tastes? What if you had to explain what’s wrong with your car to big sweaty women with greasy hands who stared at your crotch in a garage where you are surrounded by posters of naked men with hard-ons? What if men’s magazines featured cover photos of 14-year-old boys with socks tucked into the front of their jeans and articles like: “How to tell if your wife is unfaithful” or “What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate” or “The truth about impotence”? What if the doctor who examined your prostate was a woman and called you “Honey”? What if you had to inhale your boss’ stale cigar breath as she insisted that sleeping with her was part of the job? What if you couldn’t get away because the company dress code required you wear shoes designed to keep you from running? And what if after all that women still wanted you to love them?

For the Men Who Still Don’t Get It, Carol Diehl

Found here (NSFW).

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Written by Alexandra

26 September 2012 at 6:49 pm

on my mind: women.

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There are a lot of women-related things I want to write clever words about.

Women and culture.

Women in culture.

Women and men.

Women and women.

Women and religion.

Women and Church.  My Church.

Women in media.

Women and science.

Women and career.

Women and fashion.

Women as a target audience.

Women and marriage.  Children.  Go make me a sandwich.

Usually I don’t write about any of these, or any other clever things, because I’m not clever.  I might get eloquent and throw in a reference or two, but I can’t be too detailed.  I can’t always build a cause and effect connection.  Hell, I can’t always see what’s a cause, and what’s an effect.  I’m not a good critical thinker.  I don’t respond.  I react.

So please keep this in mind.  I’m not responding right now.  I’m mostly reacting.

Right now, I want to talk about women and weight.

Not body image.  Body image is something more detailed and something that goes deeper.  Body image covers weight, of course.  But it could also include legs, nose, ears, boobs, fingers.

I want to talk about women and weight.

Just weight.

I went out with my friend last week.  She was going out to a late supper (or at least that’s what was implied in a casual invitation over a fcbk chat – a late supper, not a late cuppa or a pint or dancing or whatever) – anyway, so she was going out to a late supper with her friends, and she invited me to go with them.

I didn’t want to, at first.  (Intuition.)

But I did.

So she picks me up, and she’s with a man I later vaguely understand is a friend of a friend, and we come to the restaurant and we make our order.  I’m pretty hungry, having only had time for a quick lunch and a shaurma later, so aside from tea I also order a beet salad and a portion of draniki.

As I was picking my order, I was aggravated by some words in the menu.  It was ~*~quirky~*~, you see, with a bit of an ~+~edge~+~, and even though some things implemented by them (like short stories about the origin of the dishes’ names) were great, others – not so much.  At least three places mentioned women, in the context of weight, diets, and curves.

I wanted to open my mouth and go on a spiel how it’s microaggression, and it’s degrading, and it’s sexist.  But, ah, you know, the good old cowardly PC me.  I didn’t.  Besides, I am sure they’d just tell me to chill, to not overreact.

(“Don’t be an idiot, order a dessert – a woman is prettier with a curvier figure.”  That’s a translation of one menu… inscription.  So no, I wouldn’t have been overreacting.  What I was doing was under-reacting.)

Drinks are brought, and as we wait for the rest of our (mine, really – everyone else was only having drinks) order to arrive, more of my friend’s friends show up.  Two ladies I’ve never seen before.  To distinguish, let’s call them A and B.

Let’s also call my friend C, and the man D, while we’re at it.

Now, A really wants to go dancing all of a sudden.  She’s dressed for it too, even though from what I’ve picked up from A’s conversation with my friend, earlier on the phone she said she couldn’t go dancing.

But now she wants to, and is behaving quite rudely in general.

B introduces herself to me.  A doesn’t even try.  When I look at her and open my mouth to introduce myself to her, she starts facebooking on her phone.

Right.  Whatever.

I sip my tea.  A wants us to pay and leave.  Friend mentions we’re waiting for the rest of our order.

We wait for my salad.  A is impatient.  Eventually she makes me look like an arse in front of the waiter, because she asks where the salad is, impatiently, but then asks me what salad that’d be.  So not only an arse, but a cowardly arse.  I mean, not that I’d deny the accusation, but honestly.

So the salad is brought, and I eat it.  I ate it, and A got up, and insists that we pay and leave.

I mention another dish.

Now, let me remind you, dear reader, that up to this point, the only line directed to me by that person was the question about the salad I ordered.

“Is she your friend, C?”  A asks my friend about me.

“Yeah,” I say, “we’ve known each other since high school.”

“Yeah,” my friend answers, “we’ve known each other for 15 years or so.”

“Because I don’t know, if she were my friend, I’d stop her,” she raises her eyebrows and goes back to her phone.

“I- what?”  I say.

“Why should I stop her?”  My friend says.

“Well I don’t know, talk to her about diets or maybe invite her to your gym.”

And then she proceeds to talk about a friend she has, who eats a lot, and who weighs 110 kg.

I weigh less.

Not that it matters.

I count to ten.

Now, I make no secret of the fact, that I am overweight.

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I’ve also been losing some of that weight, maybe slower than I’d like.

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(Yes, that is toilet paper.  Yes, it’s clean.)

Aside from wanting to be able to wear this without every fat fold falling out, I want to look best for my mum, who in turn simply wants me to look my best.

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I also make no secret of the fact that I believe people should eat healthily all the time, and try to lose weight or get in better shape if theirs limit them.

It’s okay to lose weight.  It’s okay to diet.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of yourself, and if that entails losing a few (dozens) extra pounds, then so be it!

What’s not okay is to be uncouth, uncultured, tactless about other people’s weight.

You’re not being direct and open, you’re being an ass.

You’re not telling the truth, you make yourself look like an uneducated prejudiced pig.

I counted to twenty.

I didn’t say anything.

I would’ve, if A’s words were directed at, say, C.

B proceeded saying something about human rights.  A brushed her off.  C asked me if I want to be stopped when I’m eating.  I didn’t answer.  I ate.  Without appetite.  But – deliberately – very, very slowly.

Two incidents of such nature during one outing, one very short outing.  First the menu, and now a person who doesn’t even know me.  Who didn’t even try to get to know me. 

I wasn’t offended.

I mean it.

I was horrified at our culture.  A culture that’s pulling a woman’s mind and a woman’s body in all directions.  At first one is screamed at to eat, to get curvier.  Then one has to listen to tirades of strangers about 250-pound friends of friends and a bleak future.

Moral of the story:  Women, stop trying to guilt trip other women (or men, or undecided – but we’re talking about women here) into not eating because you think they shouldn’t be.  That way two things lie: a reputation of an arse for you and – way more important – a possible eating disorder for other women.

There are a lot of body types, and as long as owners of such types are healthy, they’re all doing great, weight-wise.

I’m seriously considering to photograph a night raid on the fridge, with time stamp on, so I could send the picture to A.

Over fcbk.

Tagged, “stop this.”

Written by Alexandra

9 September 2012 at 3:33 pm

the old adage.

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I started this blog because that’s what I do.  I start blogs.  I’ve been blogging since 1999 (it wasn’t called that way then).  My attempts to make money from it failed so far.  My attempts to keep a regularly updated personal blog failed as well.  I’d like to explain why, but I think if I knew, I would’ve corrected the mistake by now.

I like writing.  It’s an outlet, always have been.  I like blogging.  I like sharing, even though after all these years I still haven’t found that balance between sharing and oversharing.

I like writing about many things.  Sometimes I’m afraid that these things are too many to fit into one singular blogs.  But when I try to open separate, so-called ‘niche’ blogs, none of them get updated ever.  Yet when it’s thrown into one blog altogether, it’s kind of a mess.

And I guess it’s a reflection of me.  I am a mess.  I would perhaps get into the details, but where I live it’s 2 am, and I’ve been up since 7 or 8 the day before, and I have to stay up for another 1.5 hours or so, to give my mother her medicines.  I’ve just finished the last episode of GCB, so writing is pretty much the only thing left to do.  Besides my endless list of house tasks and, of course, praying.

It’s been hard to pray lately.  I’m hardly managing Our Father, Hail Mary, the Prayer of the Publican.  On a good day I manage Seraphim of Sarov’s prayer rule.  I’ve read two kathismas during the last three days.  I try.  But lately the only prayer falling from my lips is “God, help me”.  Lord, have mercy.  I’ve given up on my morning and evening prayer rules.

I pray.  But it’s mostly in a form of questions and thoughts.

One of the reasons I started writing this blog was to find answers to my own questions.  Answers that are not easily to be found, either via reading, or my own writing, or talking with more knowledgeable people, with elders, with veteran members of my Church (in a big, universal way).

I am an Orthodox Christian.  Orthodoxy, by its name in English, suggests conservative outlook.  And it’s correct.  Orthodox Christianity is conservative.  And I try to adhere, and in many ways I do.  And in some ways I agree.

Yes, that’s right.  In some.  But not in all.

Let me just say that I’m not about to jump boats and choose a different path of salvation.  Which, by the way, Orthodox Christianity accepts.  Yes, the Orthodox (like any other denomination, I suppose) believe that our Church’s way is the most complete, the most wholesome way of praising the Lord.  But they do not deny salvation to other denominations.  God is One.

So I am not denying the fact that I’m Orthodox.  There’s no denying it.  I’ve ‘toyed’ with other spiritualties for quite a while, both Christian and not.  For a while I’ve even considered myself atheist, though that was kind of silly.  I usually ended every day of that period with looking at the ceiling, thinking, “Nah, God, I don’t think I believe in You.  You do not exist.”

So, I am Orthodox.

But how do I find a balance?

Because I am also a feminist. 

(Ladies, before you start with your spiels about the idiocy of feminism, kindly remind yourselves that you can (in many countries) a) wear trousers; b) vote; c) work outside home; d) drive; e) get a divorce; f) have a choice. That’s what feminism is about, not who opens the door for whom.)

And even though the Bible says that I can consider fields and buy them (essentially, be a businesswoman), let’s just say that it’s preferable for a Godly woman to be a wife and a mother.

And I am not a wife and a mother.  I am not saying I will never be one, but right now the chances of this are slim.  Does that make me less of a woman?  Unfortunately, many of my confession will believe that yes, it does make me less of a woman.

I believe in the separation of church and state.  I don’t think I’m qualified to write about this, at least not in clever words.  But even though ‘one nation under God’ might sound alluring… It really isn’t.  Because there are a lot of nations inside any one country.  And, God help me, there can be a lot of gods.  We may believe in Saviour, but we cannot – and must not – deny that there’s such a thing as religious freedom.

And I’m a gay rights supporter.  Frankly, I don’t think there should even be a separation of rights.  We’re all humans, and in the heart of all true religions lies one thing – love.  Love as understanding, love as humanitarianism.

And before one bashes another person for their choices (which, I suppose, is not the most appropriate word), one should remember that God loves us all.  That Church accepts us all.

And I believe that God created this planet and all that dwells on it.  But it would be a bit odd for an educated person to deny science, evolution, and the fact that we’re made from the same elements the stars and planets are made out of.

Should I go on?  With my list of confusions?  I guess not.

So how do I find a balance between my religion and my secular beliefs?  How can I write about more serious topics (like the aforementioned gay rights), if most of the time I fail at answering the easier questions.  Like, if I ask my brother to go to the farmer’s market, does that mean that I’m serving him badly?  Do I fall even further behind in becoming a Proverbs 31 woman?

And what do we focus on most, in Proverbs 31?  Is it ‘double clothes’ and ‘beauty’, or is it ‘eager hands’ and industry?

And did you know that Proverbs 31 as a topic is much more popular and discussed between members of the Protestant confessions, than between Orthodox women?  I am yet unsure why, but it’s a fact.

And did you know, Orthodox have a different way of Bible study than Protestant confessions.  I am sure there are a lot of parallels (I mean, we’re studying the Bible, you know), but in general I am not supposed to read Protestant Bible studies.  They give interpretations which are different from those of Orthodoxy.  Same.  But different.

Complicated, isn’t it?

So I am back to my question of balance.  No matter what topic I start with (is it better to spend 15 minutes applying make-up, or should I read a chapter of Genesis instead?  Am I vain in thinking about my clothes, or will my stylish look reflect better on the image on my faith?  Do I spend half an hour cooking a separate ‘fast-approved’ meal for myself, or do I spend that half an hour with my family and eat what’s been cooked by mother instead, even if it’ll be chicken on Wednesday?  Should I abstain from reading anything that’s not God’s word during Lent, or may I allow myself a classic novel?) – there goes the question of balancing.

Is it better to read Our Father with all my heart, or should I stand for 30 minutes, reading out morning rule whilst thinking about my chores list?

Where does repentance end and self-flagellation start?

Where is the fine line between being a warrior in Christ and a mercenary?

How can I carry the Word to others, if I myself am so confused?

Not in Faith.  But in its forms of expression.

I ought to pray for Lord to give me a better understanding.  But recent events in my life taught me to pray for mercy first. 

Anything else might be too much for me to handle at the moment.

Written by Alexandra

28 July 2012 at 12:27 am