Women’s Day? and other happy things…
Apparently, March 8th is International Women’s Day. I didn’t realize this until my friend Apar tagged me to participate in a contest honoring the day. Apar is very dear to me, and I recommend her post, Abuse—not just physical!, very highly! It brings a dimension of thought to the issue I haven’t seen elsewhere. Read it, if the topic calls to you at all. I’m pleased that Apar thought enough of my opinion to want to recruit me to write about Women’s Day on my blog—thank you, Apar, you honor me.
My post is a bit different. I have to ask, as women are 52% of the population, why they often feel, and are treated as if, they are NOT empowered. Let me say, at the outset, that I am a card-carrying feminist, and I mean literally card-carrying, as I am a member of NOW, the National Organization of Women in the United States. What I say here may seem contradictory to that fact, but I never said I was not a complicated person!
I think that the best thing women can do for themselves is to do whatever it takes to give up the victim role. Because of my spiritual beliefs, I tend to think we find ourselves in situations we didn’t necessarily consciously create, but once we are awake and aware of them, the BEST work we can do is to look within ourselves, and ask how we are feeling victimized, and then work on the feelings, rather than to change perceived “outer” wrongs. This flies in the face of many tenets of social activism, and, by the way, it applies equally to men. It is also my belief (I have many of them!) that men who appear to “victimize” women are themselves feeling pretty powerless, or else they would not feel the need to prey upon a segment of the population they feel is weaker or “less than” them. So I would hold men equally to the task of looking within and freeing themselves from their less-than-powerful feelings. If we all would take care of ourselves first, everything else would naturally fall into place.
It seems many groups with the intention of “empowering” women tend to disintegrate into “male-bashing” sessions. My feeling is that the genders are really not as different as society likes to portray them. Of course, women’s bodies carry pregnancies—that is the main biological difference, although there are said to be others—but many women don’t have children, while many men are single parents. So to apply a standard to all members of a particular groups when there are so many exceptions is nonsensical, in my view.
I don’t care for arbitrary decisions like this. I’m studying a great deal about racial classifications as well, and I’m learning that to assign a particular “race”, and therefore a set of standards, to a particular person based on appearance or other criteria makes as much sense as saying: “All people with brown eyes have X characteristic, therefore they must be classified as Y.” Women are known as “the largest minority group” while they are, in fact, the majority. As such, it is up to them to band together, if they wish change, and affirm what they DO want: stand strong and have expectation of great results rather than blame others–namely men—for their perceived travails. I would say this to anyone who perceives themself as a “downtrodden minority”, a position in which I have felt myself in the past.
The only rational argument (and I don’t necessarily put much credence in “rational” arguments) I’ve heard against this is something along the lines of “Well, men are physically stronger than women, so therefore_____(fill in blank). Yes and No. It may seem an obvious truth, but is again not universally so. I think if we all support each individual’s right to choose her/his path, we will draw to us those who can assist us when we require support.
I think (and here’s the politically incorrect part) that often women are their own worst enemy. I was at a meeting this evening where one of the topics discussed concerned setting up tables for a large speaker event. One of the women there proposed finding “strong men” to move the tables. This just perpetuates unfortunate stereotypes. If it takes three small women to move a table that two large men could move, then, by golly, recruit the three women if that’s who is available in the volunteer pool.
I watched a bit of the Oscar ceremony this evening, and I found it unfortunate that the “buzz” was that FINALLY, a woman won the award for Best Director. Is it rather appalling that it took until well into the 21st century for a person possessing a slightly different assortment of body parts than other winners to win this time? Of course. We would all be better served to “act as if”. Act as if this was commonplace and expected. Act as if it was no big deal. Act as if this is a joyful thing. “That which we rail against comes back to us, as does what we invite”. (A MusEism) Let us declare what we want, not feed what we do not.
OK, rant over, onto brighter things. It’s seems somehow appropriate to post my other “tagged” meme along with this one. I’m pleased that the splendid book blogger nylusmilk, of The Literary Pursuit, wished to know my answers to this meme: The rules for the Bliss (Happy 101) Award are that I list out 10 things (only 10???) that make me happy, then pass it along to 10 other bloggers.
I will happily list ten things that make me happy (does happily listing count as one?) but I have not been an active tagger much of late, so if you happen to read this, and choose to indulge in the VERY WORTHY exercise of focusing on what makes you happy; please do take this meme as your own.
In no particular order:
1. I still, after several years at it, get totally blissed out by the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world through blogging and other online communities. This is just the w00tiest!
2. Picture it: A sunny afternoon; not too hot; my easy chair by the window with the view of the mountains. A stack of three books on my side table; one a juicy novel I’ve just started and looks promising, one a well-written tome about spiritual or conscious explorations, and one a journal or recent publication about the latest scientific discoveries. A nice cup of tea, and all the time in the world.
3. Running, and achieving that perfect balance; “in the zone and feeling free”.
4. A philosophical discussion about cutting edge consciousness with an old, dear friend or a new person with a new perspective, engaged in with respect and excitement.
5. Bright colors and shiny objects. (I’m simple-minded, really!)
6. Listening to many kinds of music, but specifically when I’m after a deep contentment and connection, the instrumental music of J.S. Bach. Sublime!
7. A really, really good, restful, superlicious night of sleep!
8. Pasta. Need I say more?
9. Interacting with a very nice creature; could even be human, but I’m thinking of lovely cats, birds, bunnies, and other animals who sometimes have time for me!
10. There’s nothing like the bliss of allowing myself to realize I’m important, competent, loved, and worthy. If I don’t tell me these things; who will?