“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw...
Dear Britt: This a response to your Facebook note.
Welcome to the world.
As long as there are men and woman there are going to be issues with WHO is in power or has the power. Men will be conquering other men, and women will be telling other women they are cop-outs and not standing up for the cause and are weaker for it. Who is right and who is wrong. Both sexes will be trying to control the other in any manner possible, sexual power, intellectual power, by force, violence and whatever else there is, and then there is us. The ones are not the extreme but have strong beliefs in who we are and how we want to be treated and will let not others push us around. Who just want to learn from friends, have conversations, and intellectual stimulation based on education and life lessons learned from each other, sharing our experiences, so to speak. And ones who just try to put you down, baby!
I consider myself a Feminist (not a radical one but do believe in equality for all sexes, ethnicities, and ages) in that I choose whom to be friends with, female and male. Some say that that women and men cannot be friends without sex entering into the picture, and in the end controling one or the other; I tend to disagree with that one strongly. I have not thrown myself on any one of my male friends yet. We have come a long way where a man and a women can be friends. I do agree that there are still issues that women and men need to address, but since the end of the Victorian era there have many changes for the better in the society. Remember these strong women who helped us get to where we are, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Mary Wollstonecraft, Gloria Steinem, Helene Cixous, and writers like Kate Chopin, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Virigina Woolfe, and Margaret Atwood, just to name a few, and there still is a long way to go. It will never be an Utopian Society because we are human beings, and of various states of mind, of levels of learning and opinions and values. There will always be men who think women need looking after and women are the weaker sex (Man! Do they have that one wrong LOL! Try childbirth once buddy and find out!) and Women who will want to be looked after, their choice and in my opinion nothing wrong with that. Women that are put down and are controlled by violence, so wrong, so very, very wrong. Men, who will control and put down another man, woman and child and they will and women will do the same, all wrong, no respect for others. However, these are extremes. Then there are us, middle of the road types (the majority) who want to live a life as a couple, female or male partners, and make our lives as perfect as they can be for us within our parameters.
I am not upset over the conversation I had with this woman. SHE was expressing a very strong opinion that she totally believes in. I respect that but although I don’t respect the fact that she thought she could tell me in rudeness what she thought about me. What you think about me is nto really important but telling me my life has been easy because I am a stereo type and go with the flow is wrong. She made a judgement error based on looks and I do look like she says, but my question is, is that wrong? She says she is a feminist, and that I was not in her way, but I felt it was more a power issue, she decided to extert her power over me. I listened but NOT once did she ask me where I stood on any issue.
Did standard of living, my family, my husband, other men, women, societal standards, just plain life experiences, influence me? Well YES! They made me who I am today. I am sure they have an part of me, and in a few moments of conversation she made the mistake of thinking I was a influenced totally by men, was a 1950's type who met the hubby at the door in heels with a martini for him... Heels hurt, and he comes looking for me, and I drink the martini he can get his own, and was worse I was not making my own choices. She had only spoken to me twice. I just refused to be attacked by anyone male or female without them knowing my opinions on what she decided I needed to be told. As you know of me, I can be outspoken, but I am never rude or try not to be, I try to listen, and I refuse to let who I am be judged and I won;t judge you and yoru choices. I have been called a slut and a bad mother and now a stereotype, because I look a certain way. BAH! not worth my effort to worry about these opinions of me.
Why did I post a blog about this conversation? It was to show and teach others that outside is not what counts, and you have to take time to get to know a person, and it may take years. Outside forces influence us but ultimately we make our own choices. I have made many good ones and bad ones. You can form an opinion about me, good or bad, but respect others and me for their choices, and you may find your opinion or first impression was wrong. I have a hard enough time living my life; I certainly don’t need to live anyone else’s. Sure, I am a product of my upbringing. Poverty, and told in school I would never be smart enough or pretty enough or good enough. I just said BULLSHIT and moved on, and that was my upbringing, if you want it work for it and work hard. SO if that is horrible then, move on and leave me to my own devices.
SO why am I in school now TRYING to improve myself? Mainly because I LOVE LEARNING! And this is part of learning in this enviroment that I did not expect. Another lesson learned. I just plainly told this woman, that she was stereotyping me and in doing that was doing the same to herself, I had a choice to get up in the morning and dress myself, IF I choose to look like, a mother, or sexy, or just well turned out, then so be it but who is she to tell me that this is wrong? As long as I am happy about it and feel good about me, then this is self-empowerment at its best, when I feel good on the inside and out. I thought logical dialogue and discussions were part of the University experience, not personal attacks. I learned something. She truly believed she could change my opinions or lower myself esteem, and I am sorry, but I am too old for that bullshit. Or maybe old enough not to take that bullshit! More power to those of us who will not be judged and live, love and laugh. WHICH everyone knows I love to do!
Therefore, Britt this blog is for you. What is Feminism? Being a strong woman in your own choices, choose your road or change it, it is all up to you! You don't need a manifesto to follow, follow yourself. I am stronger for meeting this woman. She was a life lesson, just like the other woman at the beginning of the school year who called me all those nasty names. Just like all the learning I am doing now, and at 47 it is coming fast and furious and I am loving it!
A male friend of mine whom I adore said to me “Sharon, Class does not compete with trash and Hunny you are not the trash!” I love that line and because of that woman’s efforts to control me by nasty words, I am stronger for it. I am a strong woman for meeting all the brillinat people, men and women, who are influencing me right now, and you included. Some Feminists would say I sit on the fence, or I am a couch Feminist, does that make me any less in my beliefs because I am not “radical” or out on the front lines? I speak my opinions when asked, but do not I force my views on others, just like don’t force my kids to eat spinach. I am I feminist, but not just a feminist... but like I said before that is one aspect of me...I am everything else combined and choose to be just so.
Who am I? Sharon, plain and simple.