The 10 reasons Sense8 changed my life (and it will change yours, too!)

sun3Sun.

I have an apology to make… to all of my friends and family who I talked to about Sense8… I’m sorry. I have become all enthralled and totally enthused by this show. And so I thought I would write a post to explain myself… here is why I became so god-damn obsessed with this show, and you should, too.

1. It made me feel less alone.

I have been very lonely of late and have found myself huddled away behind my canvas, my notepad, my meditation and the shadows of trees in the sunlight. With only my cats to talk to, I found Sense8 to be a lifeline.

Sense8 is a show that gave me a new perspective on my loneliness. It helped me to realise that even though I was on my own here, I am connected to other people in the world, perhaps in ways I don’t know yet and that have not been revealed to me.

The story line is about eight people joined by their own emotions and senses. The idea that I can be connected in this empathic way to people I haven’t even met, reassures me. It puts new hope and faith in humanity, that they are out there, my close friends, just waiting to be met.

2. It reminded me of empathy and life purpose.

Well, as you know from my post about how to empathise, I was already into empathy. That said, I sometimes am human and forget all about it and my passion for truly hearing people.

The sensates themselves can already feel everything the other person is feeling instinctually. This level of effortless understanding is something not attainable by us humans so easily, but is something to aspire to – a oneness that many of us are thirsty for. It reminded me of the beauty of true human connection in which everyone is transparent, authentic, and connected to one another.

beaut intro sense8 the tubeSense8 intro. Source: The Tube

3. It reminded me of the beauty in the world

In this time of difficult times, it is easy to forget and to focus on the negative side of everything, of humanity. But Sense8 reminds us through the amazing and beautiful (emmi nominated) cinematography, that the world can be and is, a beautiful place. Shot in eight different countries for each character, this is true dedication to diversity and sharing what each place has to offer.

Not only is it beautifully shot, the message of hope and strength that runs throughout each storyline is clear. -The emphasis on celebration and the positive side of human nature reminds me that it is not all bad in life. And the open appreciation of the LGBTQ+ community and relationships is an added bonus.

4. Knowing that I’m weird just became a strength

If you’re one of the weird ones on the outside looking in, possibly a Lady Gaga fan, you will relate to this show. It takes self-acceptance to another level.

Birthed by trans sisters, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, their original take on being an outsider is clear through their writing.

The theme of each of the characters being different but this being a strength as they bring something new and essential to the table, is a message that is highly needed in this often hostile political climate.

The messages here give representation to those who do not feel heard in a world that slowly seems to be going to shit!

you did it will riley giff .gifWill and Riley. Source: rebloggy

5. It helped with my trauma

This will likely not have the same effect on others as it did me, but the story about one young woman’s trauma, and how the writers made sense of this on a spiritual and emotional level helped me to understand a little more, my own.

This is the purpose of all art, I believe. Particularly in good and talented writing, it is to pose our own questions and to delve deep into what we might find as our own personal understanding of what once posed a problem or a psychological curiosity. It gave me a reason to fight past the trauma, for the people we love.

This was the Wachowski’s two cents. And for me, it proved very very insightful and transformative.

6. It is the perfect show for INFJs

This show is based more around the character’s development than anything. Being a show already primed for empaths of the world to unite, the ‘feeling’ personalities will eat this up. My life and brain works this way. Logic often is lost on me.

And so seeing a show that also shows my own perspective, was freeing to me. And seeing an introverted character be one of the most badass superheroes I have ever seen, was refreshing in itself.

lito beauty gay manLito, the beauty. Source: tumblr

7. I saw real women, real trans people, real gay people … I saw myself.

The best kind of art makes you connect with the characters, but also to see yourself clearer than you had before you saw it.

Often we see women as superheroes who are just a hot body in a tight suit, with no real personality, no real humanness to them. They are perfect and they kick ass. And yes, when I watch them, I do want to be them. But I also feel ‘less than’ them.

The difference here is that the female characters here are all beautiful, but I can SEE MYSELF within them. They show weakness, they love, for real, they are tender, for real, sexual, for real, and if they can be this strong and passionate, smart and fiery.

Then so can I.

9. It teaches that courage is courage.

Kind of in opposition to the last point I made. -Whilst I find it highly beneficial to see ‘strong’ female leads, I also value the point made here which loosens up the boundaries of what we think we need in order to feel courage, or to be strength. The point is made that it doesn’t matter who is being courageous, it the intention and the act, rather than whether it is a man or a woman. That ‘who we are’ is an abstract construct when you consider yourself one in eight different people, or one in a million. If courage is represented only by men but you are female, in a way, it does not matter, because you can still be inspired by the qualities you like, no matter what your gender. (I believe this is true, along with representation of all walks of life being highly valuable to all.)

love is art twitterLove must be free. Source: twitter

8. It makes me want to create more art

This series is heart and soul defined. It is the new chicken soup for the soul. It has spiritual teachings scattered around beautiful scenery, scintillating chemistry, hot sex scenes (that embrace this side of human nature), humour and strong connections and empathy throughout.

The one liners are never ending in this piece of art. No line is wasted.

It’s like Hemingway on crack.

I could eat these lines up the same way a Woody Allen movie fills me with inspiration; it gets me up off of the couch and to my typewriter. It just works.

10. It calls for revolution like a ‘whisper’

This show encourages people to do better and be better than they already are. To think for themselves, to not accept the status quo. This is exactly the kind of message we need for people to be free again. To remember our true power; to fight for what is right and for what is ours.

I believe this fighting spirit is what gave the Sense8 fans the tenacity to petition and rally together for a month upon its cancellation and to succeed in getting back a two-hour special for the series completion. Not only that, thousands of us are still fighting for a full third season, and more if we can get it.

sense8-sun hugCluster love. Source: google

This is not only a fight for us, it is for ‘we’ – it is for all – so that more people can see this show and have the same ‘aha’ moments and chills we have had, the same amount of joy in its humour and love for the human condition; the love of the ‘mess’ of all of us, the strength and power each of us have, and how, when we are different, we are #strongertogether.

Like Almanita says, ‘I am also a ‘we”. This I believe to be absolutely true, more than ever. Let us not forget it.

Lilly. Source: The Tube

“While the ideas of transformation and identity are critical components in our work… the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”

I would like to say a personal thank you to Lana and Lilly Wachowski, you do not know how you have changed my life and touched my soul. I aspire to be exactly like you lovely ladies as I grow as an artist.

You are my benchmark. # I am we. ❤

What do you think? Seen the series? Want to?! Let me know in the comments! Thanks in advance for any gifts you might want to give, they are most appreciated.

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In response to… the trans ban

Well, it’s been awhile since I wrote and I just couldn’t hold it back any longer. Like Marvyn Gaye’s love for… everyone; the current was too strong. So let’s get it on.

We all knew this day was coming, well… many of us; that something crazy and stupid like this would happen. Following the people ban, and the idea of a big wall, this new development maybe isn’t as surprising as it should be. Just incase you didn’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll catch you up – here.

I love transShowing some love. Source: flickr

For me, this brings about mixed feelings. Of course I’m outraged at the idea that Trump would decide that trans people are not worth the investment and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to fight in the military. In all of the haze of anger the figure of 15K current people serving are trans. I don’t know if this is accurate. But the point still stands, a minority have been chucked out where they previously roamed free. This is not ok. And it is a worrying step forward.

That said, if you have read any of my blog posts, you will know I am a pacifist at heart. I can’t help feel a little relieved at the fact that, if this happens, the army will be weaker. If the US army are weaker, will will be less likely to be attacked. War attracts war. And if there are less people in the act of ‘doing’ war, arguably, from this point of view, it is better for all of us. Less people will be killed by these people, less people will therefore, kill us.

love-equals-love.jpgLove = Love. Source: lifemusicfun

But on the side of human rights and basic human freedom, it is a sad day. My heart sinks for what this says to a young trans girl or boy, wanting to go into the world with full confidence considering the hostile environment right now.

As a feminist, I am aware of certain inequalities for women. I am also made more aware of inequalities in race and sexual orientation.

This is a sad day. The only ray of light that we can take from this moment as we move on, and we must, move on, because that is the only way progress is ever made, is to see all of the huge outpouring of support for trans people that will appear over the coming days and weeks.

Trans people are people. We are all people. We deserve the same rights. And we stand with you, side by side, through this storm. We all need each other, compassion and support from each other more than ever.

you-and-i-equals-love-tattoo-on-fingerYou and I. Source: tattoostime

So, be there on the ground. -Be there for anyone you know who is trans and might need support. Talk about it. There is power in words.

And remember, to always walk to the other side of the road when there’s a blazing madman there shouting at you. Don’t talk to him – just keep on walking.

This too, shall pass.

Marvyn. What’s Going On? The Tube.

Thanks in advance for any gifts you might want to give and comments left, they are most appreciated.

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Peaceful promise

I’d like you to join me, in starting with this pledge to allegiance for peace:

 

I promise, from this day on, to try to contribute to peace on this planet.

I choose to live my life in a peaceful way, taking responsibility for my choices, and contributing to the cause of peace in any way I can.

I choose to see people’s needs and feelings, and to use language that contributes to life, rather than creating enemy images or dehumanising my brothers and sisters.

I do this because I know the huge impact just one (seemingly) small person like me, can have on other peoples’ lives.

When I think of all the people I will meet during my lifetime, I believe that if just a handful are touched by my peaceful ways, then I will have helped to contribute to a better life for those in the future, and I will know that mine was a life well-lived.

I want to stand for something. I want to stand for peace.

Today.

Everyday.

Peace.

Maybe if enough of us say this and act upon it, maybe one day we will have world peace.

Please share if you believe in this, too.

how-to-love-your-piccadillos-hairy-armpits-elephant-boyPeaceful trunk. Source: arynbates

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.”

Aeschylus

Thanks in advance for any gifts you might want to give, they are most appreciated.

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The human feminist – a field beyond feminism

Feminism isn’t about hating men any more than enjoying the music of the Beatles is anti-Beegees. As Caitlin Moran said, not all feminists want to burn penises. I’m actually quite against it, myself.

caitlin moran feminism

“When women talk about “The Man”, we’re not talking about you. You’re just a man. You’re not The Man.”

Caitlin Moran. Source: interview magazine

 

In a recent conversation with a few friends I got told there were some people who might expect an angry woman or get scared at the idea of me, if I were to call myself a feminist. Maybe it was a good idea for me to stop using that word, they said.

Thing is, I just want to be able to say what I believe without being put in a box. I am just me. Just little old me, typing at my computer. So when you hear the label ‘feminist’, please don’t jump to the conclusion that I burn bras or begin an ‘all people like you…’ list.

The label only serves for me to express my beliefs. That’s all.

feminist-quote-29-picture-quotes-aziz-ansariAziz Ansari. Source: Pinterest

I am a white, female, feminist, pacifist, humanitarian, egalitarian, humorous Brit. But none of those things make me who I really am. To say you know who I am because of my job description would be just as dehumanising. It is my decision what I call myself, how I express myself. I believe in equality. And peace. And to deny that would be unnatural.

Perhaps one day I will become ‘the writer formerly known as hairy’. But in the meantime…

mlk

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King Jr. Source: seattle times

I like the idea that we can be judged on the content of our character, instead of what is seen on the surface. I’m not just a feminist. I’m so much more than my labels. And so are you.

And right now the world seems so separated by these names, these ideas, of what one person believes, or not.

So, let’s try and see behind the labels.

Break down the enemy images.

And remember we’re just all human beings.

rumi-quote-about-love-and-the-picture-of-amazing-field-rumi-quotes-about-true-love-930x617Rumi. Source: mactoons

What do you think? Ever been labelled and want to break free from the stereotypical chains?

Let me know in the comments, and as always, thank you in advance for any little gifts you might want to give 🙂

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10 ways to get comfortable using the ‘f’ word

feminist lookbookSwag. Source: lookbook

It has taken me just over a year to begin feeling comfortable with calling myself a feminist, with putting it on my site, even.

Here’s how you can, too!

Try telling your friends and people who support you

It’s funny to me as I meet new friends and they gasp (maybe not quite gasp), but as they wonder at how I could be so bold as to say that I am. I used to wonder if I could be so bold, also, but now, it’s really become easy, old hat.

My newest friend asked me if I get a lot of negative reactions, and the answer is honestly, no. I do see negative reactions to feminist videos, to anything that might resemble a woman standing up for her rights or talking about other women as if they had rights (audacious, I know!) but I personally have never had anything close to abuse or negativity about my views. (Touch wood!)

Talk with other feminists

Being in a group where you know there will be no retribution and will support your views is always a good thing. A lot of the people I follow on twitter I know are feminists or supporters of feminism (if they’ve not quite got there yet!)

Perhaps this is because I am always networking with those of like-minded thoughts.

I don’t get into comment fights if I can avoid it, and any comments I make are only for what I believe is a positive step for feminism – I express my enthusiasm, and it’s very difficult to argue with someone who has not even given an opinion, only expressed a feeling of joy that equality is that little bit closer for all women.

Express your feelings, not your opinions

This is not to say that voicing your opinion is not a good idea, it’s simply for those that don’t want to get in a fight about what they intrinsically believe – and why should they if they don’t have to? The idea is to stand up for what we believe in, not to bring others down who don’t believe in it.

Empathise with those who don’t believe what you believe

When some people say why you should shut up or shouldn’t call yourself a feminist specifically it can be hard to hear, if that’s what you identify as. But empathising with those statements, i.e. seeing the feelings and needs behind them can allow you to accept any differences of opinion. We’re allowed to disagree.

Plus, a bonus of this is people expect a dehumanising argument sent back their way. If you instead try to connect with their statement, it will at least confuse them, and at best, help both parties to feel heard and understood.

Know that you don’t have to use ‘the word’

Some people just don’t like the word ‘feminist’ I’m not sure why, and I will be writing a post on that topic next, because when it comes to it, it simply means wanting women to have basic human rights and equality.

But, just because I use the word for myself, doesn’t mean YOU have to. -Who cares?! A word is a word, and it’s my own right to identify as any identity I want to, and it is yours, too.

And if you do like the idea of equality, you might come to call yourself a feminist just to yourself, as I did, at first. It’s not like I go around with an ‘I am a feminist’ t-shirt on all day. I don’t talk about it all day long to complete strangers – it’s just a part of who I am – what I believe in – and why I write these posts in my attempt to empower myself and other women.

You don’t have to give up lipstick

Or make-up. Or hair products. Or being girly. Or manly. You don’t have to be angry all the time. Or give up having fun. Or laughing. Or having sex. Or not having sex.

It’s just about equal rights… Not about hating.

Shout it out

As Caitlin Moran suggests, try standing on a chair and yelling out words like ‘feminist’ and ‘environment’ until they become as natural as saying chocolate or macadamia nuts. (bonus points if you got the Eat, Prey, Love reference)

Use a disclaimer

The first post I ever wrote on this blog was about how not all feminists are dungarees-wearing, bra-burning, hairy-arm-pitted lesbians. I explained who I was, how I am JUST interested in equality for women.

Remember, it’s not your responsibility how other people react to you

This is simply that a friend of mine told me maybe the word feminist isn’t so good’er idea to use the actual word. It might offend some people. But that’s because they don’t know who I am, and they don’t know what I’m about. And they have their own stuff going on.

And that’s ok, but it’s not my responsibility to help them out. I might want to. I might want to clear some things up. To use a disclaimer. In that case, I would. But I am what I am as they say, so I’m not about to go around apologising all the time if they can’t believe me, the same way they don’t need to for disagreeing with me.

Remember, it’s about individuals

We’re all different. Some people won’t agree with you. No matter what you say. So you may as well say, quite simply, what you believe in.

I choose to use the ‘f’ word. Because it defines easily what I believe and any misconception that it means anything other than (I’ll say it again!) wanting equal rights for women, is a shame, but I have stated simply in what I believe and if someone chooses not to take my word for it, that’s really their prerogative. I don’t have to prove my beliefs to them.

In the same way, I am a pacifist, no one questions what this means.

Being a feminist, to me, is the same. And that’s my prerogative

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be ‘weak’ or ‘whiny’

You don’t have to be a ‘victim’ to be a feminist. You just need to want equality. It’s. really. That. Simple.

You can be super strong and want equality (if you like). Like Michele Obama 🙂

You can give feminism a good name

Feel like feminists have a bad rep? Well, you can change that.

Anyway, I’m not saying deciding to take that great leap and claim the name is easy. But I will say that if you are brave to even say the ‘f’ word once a year, you will be giving it a new shine, a new lease of life. Because there is a stereotype of angry bra-burning feminist, people shy away from using the word. But it’s not a big deal. It’s like saying, I eat chicken, I am a pacifist, I believe in human rights. I believe in equality. It’s the same thing.

Sharing that you are a feminist can be scary, but once you’ve done it, it really becomes reassuring just HOW MANY people will support you in your boldness to claim the label; to make it clear that you stand for women’s rights, and to show that you are not a horrible man-eating ogre to boot! 😉

 

So there we have it, ten ways to feel more comfortable using the ‘f’ word. I hope it’s helped.

Overall I have made my peace with the fact that there are those out there that do not believe what I believe, who do not understand my need for equality, who will make arguments against why they don’t see the need. And that’s ok. Hopefully one day we will be able to connect. Or not. But that’s their role in life, and this is mine. And I have to play it out with as much gusto as I possibly can.

I think one reason my blog has had so much support and not one negative comment (again, so far!), is because I am usually positive with my posts, always looking for the best in any situation and supporting young women. There is no ‘down with men’ speak of any kind, because I love men, and I think being a woman is a wonderful thing to be, I just also want equality…

 

What do you think? Are you loving the word or does it not matter at all? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks in advance for any little gifts you might want to give 🙂

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I am looking for a feminist designer

hairy armpits I am looking for a designer feminist AF t-shirtFeminist sweats. Source: Etsy via pinkboxstudio

Hey guys and gals,

I am wanting to create some super cool t-shirts with someone!

I am needing to make money, yes, and also really wanting to have people become a walking advert for feminism and all these lovely things we are talking about here on the Hairy Armpits Blog.

I’m hoping for someone who ‘gets’ the style that I am looking for and is kinda cool. No office politics here, just friendship and respect. I will never talk to you like a computer and we can sort out pay afterwards – whether that be a flat rate per design, or a little bit of money in for you each time a t-shirt is purchased.

I need someone who:

  • is confident in designing logos and images/text for t-shirts
  • likes what they do
  • respects deadlines (or ignores them, but essentially gets the work done, because they care, too)
  • has some training in this area, either self-trained or otherwise
  • ideally has less experience, so we can grow together – if you KNOW you have potential but no one else is giving you a chance, I am especially interested in working with you.
  • likes the idea of making my ideas into a reality, along with having the freedom to try out their ideas, providing I’m on board

…I mostly need someone who cares about the same things as me (equality, peace, humanitarianism, gender, the environment and hairy armpits) so we can make something awesome together and make some dough!

If you know someone who might be right for this position, share this post and I’ll see if we can get  them on board. If you’re interested in this position yourself, please contact me via my facebook page, or via elunedmurphy@outlook.com, thanks!

Love you!

Ellie xx

p.s. you don’t have to have hairy armpits to apply 😉

In response to… feminist boyfriends

in response to feminist boyfriend hairy armpitsFB. Source: jezebel

This is the response to my own post, rather than anything that has happened of late.

I just wanted to add on the clause that; when I am writing a fun article, I am in no way including misogynists who lie about being a feminist just to get into your pants, and possibly manipulate you in the name of feminism. There are many articles about this, so it seems to be a thing. I’ve never met a smooth talking faux, but I suppose looking out for the warning signs of manipulation in any relationship is always a healthy way to go.

So, if anyone is claiming feminist status, but does things like slap you on the butt and ask for a sandwich, then probably best to steer clear! Likewise, if a guy doesn’t explicitly say he is a feminist, but he does agree that equality for all is best and can empathise with the inequality you have experienced…

“Deeds, not words.”

“When people show you who they are, believe them.” Source: The Tube