Women’s Day? and other happy things…

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

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?

Thanks much, Pursuer of Literariness. I enjoyed taking a look at this list which came forth this day. ♥

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9 Responses to “Women’s Day? and other happy things…”

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I don’t see this as no particular order Muse because it seems very much in order:

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!

I see similarity in our sarcasm! :-D

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?

Glad to hear this from you :-)

What a great post, Muse! I know many choices or options that are out there for women are easier said than done. They might be scary, they might even make life harder for them at first. But to make or force change, these seem to be the things many women must do in order to accomplish what they want to change. It has to start somewhere and like you said, there needs to be a group action or help from people who are ‘in the field.’

It is sad that women have to resort to this in today’s world. When I read Apar’s post it really opened my eyes to what women in other places are in terms of equality. Women here have certainly come a long way. Not that this type of abuse doesn’t happen all over the world. It’s just that I never really thought about it so much, until I read her post. I thought of it again today. It just seems so unreal.

Ohhhh, I love your MusEism! And I agree with you: Act like it just should be, not like it is a big deal. That is how I was when I started doing what I do for a living. I let my work speak for itself. Nothing else. I refused to feel different or less than.

On to your 10 things:

‘blissed out’ – Love that. It is going to become a part of my vocabulary. ;)

1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9! Yes! Yes!

#10 I’ll tell you! So there! You are important, competent, loved, and worthy. Not meant to freak you out but just so you know that you are from other people.

Take care and thanks for sharing.

ooooohhhh nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 i like too! especially bright, shiny things. :D birds of a feather… and pasta, mmm… i can never get bored of italian food.

I meant to get back to you on this. I hope that what I say doesn’t sound too awful. I think it will though.

I see it as being a generational change. As in: the upbringing of children. If they are raised to believe or feel a certain way about things, then it will just become over time. It will be the ‘norm.’

It’s not unlike how politicians, the military, the media use views and propaganda to shape the views of people. They are very intent on reaching the younger audience. It’s much easier to shape a child’s view than it is to change an adults view.

It’s a shame that they are almost used like pawns in the game of life. But I see it everyday.

I don’t know. That’s just a thought.

Oh Muse…your words on women and life and women as we perceive ourselves and life ;-) resonate strongly with me. Well, the whole post was terrific as always…but I just have to riff on how much we bring to what we get from the world.

I am of course conscious of being a woman and conscious that things are done around me and said and thought of me based on things like gender (also insert height, age, looks, intelligence, attitude, speak-up-for-myself-and-others-tude, etc.) that have caused reactions around me and may have denied me opportunities. And of course we need to remain conscious and speak up and all that good stuff.

But truth is…I just went forward anyway (almost oblivious at times I guess) learning to be myself and go after what I wanted while doing my best to treat people as fairly as possible – even ones who might have been working against me.

No…I didn’t get to be the CEO of a major company; but then I pulled myself out of that running years ago. And no…I didn’t get to become (insert dream here), but that was always my choice to pursue or not pursue. Even if “greatness” as judged by society may elude us, greatness inside is always there to access – instantaneously if we just try. And one can still be something they love as long as we’re willing to adjust our manner of manifesting that desire.

Truthfully…when I hear people say someone else stopped them, I just don’t buy it. maybe stopped in the moment – or for years in certain cases – but not forever. (And I say that knowing gender, race, religion, looks, class, etc. are used against folks every day.) But people of every gender, race, religion, looks, class, etc. also get to do stuff they want.

In the end, for me it comes down to how much we believe in ourselves and in our right to go after and achieve stuff in our own way – and whether we are willing to keep going and define our own successes no matter what others say.

Wow! That was a long rant. Sorry if i rambles on a bit. Just let me just close with something I recently read on my UK friend Paul’s site: (And yes…the cyber-friends we meet are so cool, Muse.) True he’s a man so maybe his perspective is different – but one of the most supportive, caring men I’ve ever known and one who right now is defining success for himself in his own way – and definitely not in the way society does it for us. So here’s what he wrote that I just love and that I feel speaks to all human creatures of any gender: “It may feel like it sometimes – but other people are not in your way!” (from http://Work/Life Fusion.com) Simple and insightful.

Peace out and in, Muse!

~ Ronnie Ann

Oh, thanks, poch! Unintentional orderliness intrigues me. :) Regarding animals, it seems like cats are the ones most like me. And they can take or leave me! :) 10: I’m glad you are glad about that. :D

Thanks for such a studied comment, BD! I’m always amazed at the plight of oppressed people. I know there are reasons, but sometimes I wonder why “women”, who are *not* a minority, put up with it. Thanks for enjoying my MusEism and my list. As for #10, wow! you made my day! :D

Hehe, nylusmilk. Really, my eye goes right to bright colors; I notice them before anything else! Pasta also includes (for me) all kinds of noodles like soba, and many others! mmm :) Thanks for the tag; I enjoyed the opportunity to appreciate things. :D

And, BD again: you are not in the least awful! It takes a lot to overcome our childhood programming. I believe I was almost always a rebellious sort; lately I’ve been more able to turn that feistiness towards what I want than to rebelling against what I don’t. But that came with time, spiritual exploration, and some introspection…it’s interesting you mention “propaganda”. It can feel very good to be in a group; involved in a cause. I do think some power-mongers use that. Still, one must look to oneself, I think. I love your perspective, thank you!

RAAAA! Oh I know I’ve given you too many “As” but this is an A+ response! I really enjoy how you say “I went forward, anyway.” Indeed! I think if we are willing to follow internal guidance (once we know we can) the other “world stuff” somehow sorts itself out. And, although we can’t judge another’s path, for many reasons, such as not knowing all the facts, we can find inspiration in others.
You don’t buy it when someone says that someone else stopped them? Me neither, ultimately. Yes, most of us face obstacles at one time or another. Such is the rich and tasty experience called “Life”. But, if ONE person can surpass what one would expect, and go on to be an inspiration to others, then I can too! (And you, of course, as you very much are!)
I did not experience rambling from you! On the contrary, I’m honored you chose to post such insightful reactions on my blog! {Hugs} And I love your UK friend’s quote. YES! You both rock. :)

Awww…thanks Muse. Right back at ya. Just found this artist’s vision and thought it added nicely to the topic: http://www.mfalstreau.com/Hourglass_Women.html

Big hug!!!!

Hi Muse. You mentioned about why people ‘not’ in a minority put up with it. I know so many people in this position. I’ve asked them why and have been so surprised at the answers. I’d like to blog about it but so many of them know about my blog. I know they wouldn’t appreciate me writing about them. I can say after many years of being abused my Mother said you just wake up one day and know you’ve had enough. That is when it stops. When you decide you’ve had enough.

About how children are being raised. I meant to add that they will begin to see that what is going on needs to change. That their parents can play a huge role in that. So the cycle does not continue. The hope being the next generation might bring around the change that is needed, in a good way.

They do! Those posters are wonderful, RA. Thank you for sharing them.

I agree, BD. It could be somewhat facetious for me to ask “why?” Many people are not aware they have a choice. But, there may be reasons for that, too. And yes, indeed, parents can turn the cycle around showing respect and love for the little beings in their care!


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