Use Your Words: March 13, 2015

Hello and Happy Friday the 13th!

Welcome to March's Use Your Word writing challenge!

How it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now. (Cue ominous music.)

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.     

My words are: Prompt ~ Hurricane ~ proud ~ stoke ~ conditioning

They were submitted by:  Battered Hope -thanks Carol!

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March is Women's History Month. It is time to spend recognizing and acknowledging contributions of women to events in history and  society. It is celebrated in various countries and perfectly corresponds with International Women's Day.

Seemingly, there is always some themed day or month raising awareness or honoring a person or an event. Understandably, some people see this as silly or useless after a while. I get that it can be overwhelming and tedious. Who wants to celebrate cheese day or President's day?

Oh yeah...people like me.

Any day we choose to recognize in honor of someone, a group of people or an event is an opportunity for us to learn, research history, and grow. Choosing to celebrate the little things does not make us silly or dumb. It just means we are comfortable and smart enough to realize that life is short and we may as well celebrate and learn as much as possible in these short numbered days we are here.

Before we choose to honor strong females throughout history, I think we all need to take a moment and be grateful for something we all have in common.

There is something that unites us in a way we cannot deny. It is natural and healthy to give into this urge. Though some people would gladly talk for hours on the subject, I find others are made uncomfortable and even upset when it is merely mentioned. Sometimes it prompts people to blush, become speechless, laugh nervously or abruptly leave a conversation.

The 'f' word.

After years of conditioning, it is hard to convince some that it is okay to embrace that which unites us.

Even though I personally find it fun and invigorating others may find it exhausting and a chore. There are some of us who become defensive and upset, while others become relaxed and at peace. 

It can be soft and gentle or rough and abrasive.

It can be life affirming or soul sucking.

It most definitely is open to interpretation and everyone has their own style and techniques but everyone has their own opinion and knows what works best for them.

It can rock and unsettle you like a hurricane or warm and comfort you from the inside out like a well stoked fire.

But there is no denying it. We are all here because of it. We all have an opinion about it. We all know what filthy, dirty flirty, "F" word to which I am referring to.

Feminism.

Oh my...did you feel that electrical charge in the air or was it just me?

Feminism. The crazy notion that women are people too. Many years I struggled rejecting the term 'feminist' thinking it was reserved for angry-man-hating-bra-less-hairy-hippies. (Have I ever mentioned how I'm the first to admit when I make mistakes?) I thought only women who did not want a family life or who disliked pretty, fashionable women were earmarked for feminism. Not a girl who's first dream job was a nun.

Feminism, funny enough, is not a bad word.

After my vision of a life with the church dissipated, I dreamed of having a family. Kids. Stay-at-home situation. My life did not quite turn out that way. I love cooking, cleaning and doting on others. I thought for sure I was the antithesis to a feminist.

Here's the thing, I was an idiot.

There is no one way to be a feminist. There is no right or wrong way.

Feminism is not bad.

I believe in equal rights for everyone, equal pay and benefits. I believe that genital mutilation is wrong. I believe that everyone should have the same opportunity to go school or find employment. I believe women should have a choice to do what they want with their body. I do not find it appalling or 'a waste' if a woman does not want to have children.  I think we should fight harder against sex slavery. At the same time we need to acknowledge there are sex workers who enjoy what they do and willfully so. It is bothersome a woman is told to yell fire if she is being raped because more people would help. It is beyond annoying that people like Chris Brown are forgiven easily and that many, many people stuck up for him. It is terrifying to realize how many people feel that women can'ask' for abuse. I enjoy strong women and do not find them offensive or bossy. I find it appalling we demean women on how many sexual partners they have had but applaud men when they screw their way to the top. It is repulsive we traditionally jail prostitutes over and over when we should be attacking the supplier (the pimps) or the buyer (the johns).

Feminism is not a bad word.

It is disturbing and disgusting that when a woman or child is molested or raped we know statistically many will not report it because they will be challenged, grilled and blamed for their attack.  I hate that we are okay with excuses for rude or violent behavior with a quick 'Ohh boys will be boys' or worse to mock someone we make sure to inform them 'they're such a girl'.  How dare we blame rude and uncouth behavior on all men and how dare we accept that being called 'a girl' is an insult. It is sad that if we hear of a rape many will first ask what the person was wearing as if cut off shorts are an invitation to be violated in a horrible way. It bothers me that people think that feminism is only for women. It bothers me that we have to put a face to a cause-think of your mother, sister, daughter-instead of just wanting a better world for everyone.

Feminism is not bad.

I also believe that pink, pretty sparkly baubles, laughter, enjoy screwing my husband, making dinner, frilly skirts, shaved pits, and pastels make my world a happy place. And that makes me no less of a feminist than anyone else.

Feminism is not a bad word.

I am proud to be who I am. I am proud to know strong women, to come from strong women, to hopefully be known as a strong woman one day. I am content to say what I want, when I want and have no worries about what others think of my thoughts and ideas.

There is no box for any of us to fit in. There is no time for judgement. There is no time to compare ourselves amongst one another and determine who is superior.

There is just time to make the world a better place.

We can start by refusing to tear each other down, we can continue by uplifting each other up, and we can succeed by loving one another.

Love one another by not judging someone else's appearance. By refusing to stay quiet about inequalities. By learning from our past. By acknowledging there are issues to confront in this world. By rejecting any little box anyone tries to shove certain people into. By starting dialogue. By refusing to dismiss ideas that make you uncomfortable. By taking steps, by trying, by learning, by standing up for those around you-you are putting love in the world.

We can start enriching the lives of others by refusing to tear each other down, we can continue by uplifting each other up daily, and we can succeed by loving one another respectfully and honestly...and of course by remembering that feminism is not a bad word.

Being Women's History Month, I am curious to know who is the strongest woman you know? Who had the biggest influence on you? It can be a family member, fictional character or historical person. I'm curious if you consider yourself a feminist or not. If you follow me here or on Facebook it should be no shock to you that my mom is my choice.  She is the strongest, most feisty, hilarious woman in my book who always encourages others and has no time for bull.

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Links to the other awesome “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

Stacy Sews and Schools

Battered Hope

Eileen’s Perpetually Busy

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Southern Belle Charm

Searching for Sanity

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Climaxed

Evil Joy Speaks

         

Comments

  1. I think, sadly, like most things that "catch on", the "feminist" movement swung so far to one side that it took on a negative connotation for many. Now the pendulum is swinging more towards the center, towards women being comfortable with who we are instead of all of the extraneous nonsense that gave feminism a bad name. I hope that continues and as a group we can turn that word back into the positive word that it should be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's the goal for many-to bring back the positive. To me standing up for yourself and others and wanting equality is never a bad thing.

      When people become abusive or cruel and try to force their opinions on others that is not acceptable.

      Although, I do occasionally scream 'Smash The Patriarchy' with much glee ❤

      Delete
  2. YES! YES and YES!!!!!!!!!! ALL of that!!!!
    Absolutely brilliant!!!

    And to answer your question- My grandmothers were the best, strongest, most awesome women I have ever known. I was so honored to have them in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never knew my grandmothers so I'm a little jealous ❤

      I find it beautiful and refreshing when people can connect with another generation who has much to teach and impart to them.

      I am sure they were honored to have you in theirs. Xo.

      Delete
  3. Wow, what a post! So many true statements.
    One thing was bothering me, though. Why could you have been an idiot?

    I'd say my grandmother is the strongest woman. She was a Jewish fugitive who escaped from Germany in time. She was a teenager who pretty much gave up her childhood in favor of surviving. Today she's 95 and still very sharp.

    Considering all the facets of being a feminist… yes, I'd say I am one. I have to admit to me "being a feminist" had the same undertone as "being ambitious" - not desirable. You may just have changed my perspective with your post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Idiot perhaps is a bit too harsh but I was close minded. It took me a while to figure out who I was and what I believed in and worried too much about what others thought.

      I just believe in equality for all and believe we can get there if we try. Small acts of kindness, lifting each other up and refusing to belittle each other would make this world such a better place ❤

      Delete
    2. And your grandmother sounds like she has an undeniable strength within her!

      Delete
  4. So many women have inspired me, kept me going in tough times, I couldn't name them all. The one whose voice I hear most often in my head, good times and bad is my maternal grandmother. I hear it every day, encouraging, loving and giving me a kick in the butt when I need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh those butt-kickers make our world such a better place. She sounds amazing ❤

      Delete
  5. YOU inspire me, Sparkly Jenn! Your positivity is amazing and I am proud to know you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin-the feeling is mutual ❤

      Delete
  6. You've redefined "feminist" and it's lovely.

    ReplyDelete

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