Category Archives: Empowerment

Back-stepping

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I saw this on the internet today at Stuffmomnevertoldyou.com. Needless to say it destroyed my faith in humanity for a moment.  This is insanity and a strong wind is blowing in. You know I’ll be riding it like a kite with a key attached, ready to Ben Franklin those who catch my tail into a revolutionary idea that isn’t revolutionary at all. 
I thought we had gotten past this nonsense decades ago and the people who agree with this train of thought should be ashamed of themselves. The implications of such idiocy are damaging to both genders and, in my humble opinion, these ideas are a result of lethargy and laziness. To call them lackadaisical would be a great kindness as these authority figures and institutions have obviously quit on our kids. It’s much easier to put a sweater atop temptation than to teach a boy to become a gentleman but, that doesn’t make it right now does it?
These policies that are plaguing campuses and institutions across America only solidify the outdated and archaic ideas we’ve been fighting to be free from for a century, and the fact that girls are being punished with these rules while boys everywhere are free to enjoy their educations, being made a priority above females once again, makes me so *explitive* angry I could *explitive* vomit. 
These rules don’t just apply on educational campuses.  I was told I couldn’t bare my shoulders in a rehab facility a few years ago because it would distract the “men” there, depriving them of the opportunity to focus on their recovery. What the hell did you say?! 
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We were all adults for God’s sake. I had no idea my body turned men into helpless, mindless jellyfish who are incapable of processing and supressing their physical urges and prioritizing their own thought processes when I walk into the room.  Go me! Apparently there is some sort of magical power, some type of witchcraft in this collarbone that I don’t dare uncover for fear of upsetting these delicate creatures.  Under this logic I could rule the world, amirite?  I could walk into the U.N. naked and take ownership of a country. I’d melt their faces off like they had just opened the Arc in that awesome Indiana Jones movie or some such ridiculousness.  I don’t want a country, you’re all safe.  For now. 
This train of thought follows far too closely to the one that tells a chick she deserved to be raped because she had asked for it by wearing a short skirt, and I won’t accept it. I will NOT accept that nonsense.  Not ever.
I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. Or a democrat. Or a republican. Or a kitty cat.  I try to avoid affiliations of any sort as my mind changes so frequently but, when it comes to insight and foresight, feminists and the other brave women and men who’ve chosen to speak up about this issue seem to have far more sense than anyone imposing these rules and I hope they keep screaming that sense at these idiots until they’re forced to see the truth.  Let’s face it. Sometimes we have to get loud and act crazy before the children pay attention and anyone who believes that these rules are righteous has the brain capacity and intelligence of a toddler and shouldn’t even be allowed to babysit, let alone control masses of blossoming intellectuals and future world leaders.
I have a daughter and two sons, all under the age of ten.  WAY under.  My boys already know that no means no, stops means stop NOW, and that if they can’t focus when a pretty girl enters the room, well, they’re just plain screwed.  I PROMISE you, and I mean PROMISE, that if my daughter comes home from school, sweating under a borrowed t-shirt, MAMA will be stomping into school in her highest heels and leggings with a photo of Audrey Hepburn wearing short shorts on my skin tight t-shirt.  That gorgeous woman is the epitimy of class.  Jackie friggin’ O wore tight pants under that pillbox hat. 
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These styles aren’t some new hyper-sexual attack on the “delicate male psyche”.  Seriously dudes, you’re better than this.  As always, we find ourselves spinning in the revolving doors of fashion, returning to the styles of the 50’s and 60’s.  No one told the pink ladies to cover their asses in Grease.  I realize it was only a movie set in that time period, but you catch my meaning I’m sure.

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Women learned to own their own bodies with the clothing they chose sometime in the 60’s and, I for one, will not let anyone take that from me, or my daughter. And here we have a timeline. 

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It seems that these folks may actually be trying to force us back into the 50’s.  I for one have not heard great things about women’s rights in that decade, so, no. No thanks, pal. I’m staying right here in the 21st cenury where I live free thanks to the women who fought tooth and nail to change the rules for my sisters and I.  These rules are the things that are alive in the wrong century.  Kill them and take them out of their confused and misguided misery, please.  They are as out of place as the male enhancement ads in my email inbox.  Seriously, I don’t need help getting an erection. 
I live in the sweltering south currently.  I WILL be scantily dressed from time to time because it’s HOT.  And holy hell is it HUMID.  I will wear what I’m comfortable in, tastefully, because I’m a lady.  A classy broad who knows her worth, her rights, and is proud of her body and it’s capabilities and true purpose.  Everything under my clothes belongs to ME and I’ll cover it in whatever I please. I refuse to teach my daughter that she should cover up because the boys can’t handle it. I WILL teach my boys to be respectful and well disciplined, though. And I’ll teach them all to love and respect themselves enough not to have all of their bits and pieces waving about in the wind for everyone to see because, honestly,  a gift that has no mystery and needs no unwrapping just isn’t as special as one that has been kept a surprise. That is my Minnesota modesty. I understand some may view it differently and I will defend their rights, even if they oppose mine. Women and men, mostly women, suffered and fought to give me the right to choose. I won’t waste their sacrafice. Seems the sensible thing to do, to me. 
When I was young I didn’t wear short shorts. Hell, I didn’t own a short skirt until I was married because I always thought of my body as being very personal. I viewed it as a great gift for someone to be able to see it in it’s entirety.  I wanted to keep it to myself like some dark and sacred secret that I would only reveal to someone who proved they really deserved it.  My body is treasure.  Everything it contains is pure gold. It’s special and unique and it belongs to me until I allow someone that has earned my trust to see it all in it’s most vulnerable and raw state.  Also, it’s as cold as the Antarctic tundra in Minnesota so pants were a safe choice. 
My parents didn’t leave it up to a school or even a preacher to tell me how to dress.  THEY didn’t even tell me how to dress. They taught me to wear what I was comfortable in so I’d have the confidence to succeed.  As the years have passed my tastes have changed. So have my clothes because my attire is MY choice. That’s just my experience and I understand many disagree.
And the notion that the media and new generation are to blame is ridiculous.  When I was in school, almost 20 years ago, boys fully expected me to throw sex at them like parade candy WHILE I was wearing the long pants and sweatshirts every day. Do we really think it takes a bare shoulder to get a teenage boy horny?  They rub against a desk in the right way and have to walk out of class hiding their groins behind books. We can’t blame girls for these pubescent anatomical malfunctions. Even grown men, if deprived of female company for more than a few weeks seem to struggle to contain themselves when estrogen presents itself.  The good ones have no difficulty being respectful and concentrating on what’s important, though.  Where do you think they learned that skill? 
The systems of authority have gotten lazy.  The focus, the emphasis, the blame, it’s in the wrong place because ADULTS are either overwhelmed, ignorant, or simply giving up.  I refuse to give up on my children.  Yours either.  It takes a village.  But the idiots are in charge and we’re all in trouble if we don’t sit them down and silence them because children are impressionable and the messages that are being sent are dangerous, cruel, and represent misogynistic attitudes as acceptable for humans with penises and the widespread oppression of anyone without one. Nonsense, shenanigans, tomfoolery. Hot steaming bulls***.  Stop it.

I keep praying

I just keep praying.  I don’t know who is hearing the prayers,  i just know they keep answering.  I ask for more faith and less fear.  I ask to help keep my intentions in goodness and out of vengeance.  Sometimes,  though,  it’s just too hard.  I know no one is perfect.  Certainly not me,  but this battle is wearing on me today and I feel the anger rising.  So much of my life seems to be in the hands of others right now and that has always made me uneasy.  So many times people have proven that they just can’t do the right thing.  I have to force myself into the level of thinking I recently reached and not allow myself to go back to the old.  Nothing,  not one thing,  is in anyone else’s hands at all.  Everything belongs to my Creator now and I need to be reminded of that sometimes.  Sometimes it is just too scary to have faith in moments like this.   I’ve never felt so afraid. But,  this time,  I won’t let the fear send me spinning out of control or into the illusion that I have any at all.  This time,  I will let it drive me closer to the Man up in the cosmos who has kept me safe all along.  This time,  I can’t be beaten if I remember what i’ve learned and use it.  This time I will have peace WHILE I cry instead of afterward.  I just needed to write that down here to make it real.  My enemies have always been so much bigger and louder than I am. I know that it was never really me who won at all. I have to keep the faith, but today, it’s been difficult.

I cried last night

Last night was a rough one for me.  When things are quiet and dark, with no distractions and no interruptions, my thoughts flow furiously through me.  I was forced to face reality again.  I cried last night like I haven’t in weeks.  Waiting for justice is exhausting.  Fearing an unfavorable outcome, grieving the loss of someone who is still alive, resisting the temptation to dwell on the “fairness factor” that seems to still be missing in it all, I was overtaken and the tears burst free.  They came in ugly sobs and pitiful whimpers.  I was like a damned lost puppy.  I have my moments.  I’m only human.  I have searched for protection in every face, everywhere, for as long as I can remember.  My parents tried.  They tried hard.  Life and circumstance and my own poor choices made their efforts inefficacious and all of the others I chose for the job ran into the same problems.  My self hatred and tendency for self abuse and destruction caused me to accept situations and treatment undeserved because I intimately knew how much worse it could be.  I settled for the lesser of the evils far too many times, running into the arms of the alpha, even if the alpha was cruel.  I’d justify it and excuse it because, at least the alpha had some sense of control, telling myself it’s better to be abused by one than by many. I limited my potential by settling for these dogs and the small plot of territory they ruled over.  I’m not a dog, though. The suspicion that I didn’t belong among them has been affirmed and legitimized.  I don’t belong there.  I don’t belong anywhere.  I belong everywhere.  I am the alpha in a place I created.  Looking back, universal forces have prepared me to protect myself and to protect others as well.  I have been proven capable, strengthened and fortified by experience, given the wisdom needed to navigate any part of the world I enter into by choice or by force.  I had been following the rules of a dying generation and those rules no longer applied.  My elders had tried to lead me out of the darkness, bright lights shining on my face.  I couldn’t see past the glare and I got lost so I wandered and grasped at the walls.  I had to find my own light, it burns inside me brightly now.  I stumble and fall, frequently.  I will always have moments like I did last night because I have been blessed with a wonderful burden.  Too many emotions reside inside of me.  Too strong to contain.  While others can scarcely fill a drinking glass with theirs, I struggle to contain the ocean in a gallon jug.  I read something like that in Wuthering Heights and when I read it and realized there were others like me, that there always had been, it felt like someone punched me in the heart.  I cried last night.  I let the pain fall from my eyes because it had been resting atop my spirit for far too long.  I cried last night, looking for the hero inside of me but she was hiding.  She does that from time to time to let the lost girl out.  The vulnerable one.  The hero hides so she can cry alone, without shame.  I cried.  I cried hard.  I fell asleep.  In my dreams I saw my friend Andrea and she asked me for help.  I handed to her my abilities and assistance and was reminded of the toilsome task at hand, but, I was also reminded of the wonderful people that have been placed in my life to support, to guide, and to bring me joy, just when I had begun to feel the lonesomeness again.  My best friend, the one from my dream, my soul sister, lives thousands of miles away. Most of my proven friends do. But, she found her way into my dreams to bring me comfort and to make me laugh. She reminded me of who I am just as I was beginning to forget. I woke with a smile and sense of peace only palpable to those who have experienced true triumph over trauma. I woke, after all. How dare I frown being given the gift of another breath? I woke with a smile, and I’ll use that smile, to disarm and dissolve my oppressors.  I cried, but I smile, and over and over again, I am grateful for it all.wp-1461160936616.jpg

Abuse, it’s not that complicated.

Folks, it’s not that complicated. Actually, it’s pretty cut and dried. There’s not a lot of grey area when it comes to abuse but, for some (usually the abuser and the ones who insist on protecting them) there still seems to be some confusion on the subject. I’d love to say that I don’t understand how anyone could misconstrue something so incredibly straightforward but, unfortunately, I get it. I get it completely and all too well. The ego, the pride, the self preservation. It’s all too familiar but, reality and the clarity of hindsight have entered into my perception and I have to say, there’s just no excuse or place for it in my life anymore. I’ll simplify the simple for those who may not understand this subject as intimately as I have come to know it, so, here it is guys and gals. If, at any time or for any reason, your intention was to harm someone, you my friend, are being abusive. Abuse becomes even more clear if, at any time or for any reason, you put your hands on someone in anger or in order to gain control of their movement or the situation. Shall we take this a step further? If, at any time or for any reason, your touch has been aggressive enough to leave a physical marking on the person’s body in any form (a cut, a bruise, a red mark, an indentation, a scrape, whatever it may be) you have been abusive. Every time. Every situation. Every reason. That is abuse. And I’ve only described the physical kind. Lord knows there are so many more types. It makes me a little sick to my stomach to think of it all. So why do so many deny that they’ve been abusive when the signs are oh so obvious? I have a few insights on that matter as well. It’s because they can’t face reality. They can’t take responsibility. Their ego and pride won’t allow them to see that they are at fault and have done anything wrong. Perhaps they feel justified in their anger and actions. Maybe at some point their victim has been their abuser. Guess what. It doesn’t matter. Unless you are acting in defense of yourself or someone else, if you do any of the aforementioned, you are being abusive. I know a little bit too much about this subject, but I can’t really divulge those details yet. I have to say the following, though. Even though I’ve been victimized far too many times in my life, I’m no victim. I shed that mentality long ago. I’ve been knocked down, literally, repeatedly. No one has ever kept me down. You’d have to kill me to accomplish that. You would literally have to kill me, because the fight in this skinny scrapper is far too strong. I always get back up and I always will. Forevermore, I will rise. All that good poetry lives in my head and inspires me but the most powerful word, the one that gives me all of the fortitude and comfort I could ever need is one I applied to my soul a million years before I was born. Indomitable. I hear it whispered in my ear, in my Mother’s sweet voice. She repeats it to me, her baby girl, until I say it out loud and believe it. I am indomitable, dammit. I was born that way and will always be. The only one who can change that is me. Do you know the truly beautiful thing about that word? Anyone can become it. You need only decide to rise after you fall. Rise. Fight as they hold you down. Fight. Get back up when it’s all said and done. Please get up. Anyone can do that if they choose to do so. Anyone. It’s my choice to carry an indomitable spirit inside of this battered body of mine and I implore those who struggle to do the same. You can.

Shame on me? I disagree.

Skinny shamers,  take note!  Chubby shamers too.  Body shamers of all sorts,  heed this warning.  Your time to be judged is coming.  Tisk tisk tisk,  you judgemental buggers.  I’ve been catching some heat for my weight recently and I thought I’d make mention of it today as weight and body image have become a newly conquered trouble in my life. I probably won’t say anything here you haven’t heard before,  but it seems there is a need to repeat this information as there are still people in every corner of the world trying to eat themselves sick and squat themselves silly to have a nice fat bum, or starve themselves nearly to death in order to fit into a pair of skinny jeans.  It’s unnecessary.  Unimportant.  A waste of your precious time,  Beauties. I started out at 8 pounds and worked my way up to 200 at one point.  I’ve been a size 3 and a size 15 and all of those inconsequential numbers in between.  The ineffectual importance of my external image became obvious to me when I entered high school.  My sister decided to start dressing me and doing my hair. I’m assuming she did this so I wouldn’t embarrass her with my daily attire of windpants and printed sweaters. That sh*t was colorful and comfy and I was happy in it with my unbrushed hair.  But the minute I became what some folks call “attractive” I found myself  to be the unwilling center of attention and  uncomfortable object of desire.  I noticed the eyes on me and the attentive nature in which people listened.  When I was a skinny geek with a white girl afro I was invisible,  for the most part,  and I liked it that way. People didn’t come to me for the answers once they started calling me pretty.  Suddenly it was assumed I was an idiot or a slut.  I took great pride in my humor and intelligence and now my value seemed to be based on sh*t that didn’t really matter.  It didn’t matter to me,  anyway.  Now I had to find a new identity and,  as I grew,  my appearance changed drastically from year to year.  Sometimes I did it on purpose and sometimes God did it for me.  The “freedom moment” came to me just one short year ago.  I weighed nearly 200 pounds but my spirit had never been so light,  carbonated and tingling with confidence and security.  Because, I realized something. Something very powerful.  The outside parts were never meant to be permanent.  I’d get older and this meat sack I carried my soul around in would eventually die and rot.  Morbid,  I know,  but it’s true. It seems trite to say that the insides matter most and finding value in myself was most important but, messages like that only become trite because they’re repeated so often.  And they’re repeated so often because they’re true.  As soon as I realized who I was on the inside and developed and strengthened those skills solely because I had become so incredibly displeased with the outside,  the weight fell off and I was back to normal.  It was another “God thing”.   It helped that I had stopped taking a dangerous cocktail of anti-depressants,  mood stabilizers,  and anti-anxiety medications but that,  my friends, is a different story.  I weigh 120.  I’m 5 foot 8.  I have hyperthyroidism so,  unless I’m chewing,  I’m hungry.  I have to eat nearly twice as many calories as the average chick my size and 60 grams of protein every day or I lose weight. This disease affects every system in my body, every single cell. Trust me, it isn’t a disease you want to have.  I get accused of being anorexic and doing drugs all of the time because,  apparently,  it isn’t normal to have a body like this.  But,  isn’t this what ” they” wanted me to be?  The magazines and the people who ridiculed me when I weighed much more had called for me to be this way so, why aren’t they happy? It use to bother me that I’m cut like a G. D.  beast but people try to make me feel bad for it. Seriously?  Truth is,  the type of people who judged me for my appearance will never be happy with it,  no matter what form I take.  And do you know why?   They’re a**h**es.  Plain and simple.  Unless someone is legitimately concerned with my health, their opinion on my appearance means nothing compared to the opinion I have of myself. People can be jerks.  But jerks are usually idiots so why would I give a s**t what they think?  Really?  If you have a heart of gold,  good intentions,  integrity,  and a sense of humor, there’s not a damn thing they can say to upset you because you’ll know what you’re worth,  you’ll react to the world in a way that won’t send shame bouncing back at you,  and when the morons with torches come knocking at your door, you will disarm them with a laugh that screams,  “I dont give a SH** what you think!”  Try it sometime.  Laughing at yourself and at their remarks seems to shut them up much better than a punch to the face.  Less jail time too.  Give it a shot,  Gorgeous.