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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In response to… International Women’s Day 2017

hairy armpits blog in response to... international women's day 2017 8 marchWomen’s Day. Source: februarycalendars

This being a feminist website, I thought I’d best talk about the one day a year dedicated to celebrating women!

I usually don’t take much notice of it (which is perhaps ignorant, considering Annie Lennox’s wonderful and inspiring speech about the coming together of women of this day) as I write often about this subject, and I see everyday as a chance to inspire women; I see everyday as women’s day already. But a day to come together as a collective, to empower each other and to remember, that no woman is alone in this struggle for equality can only be a good thing in my book.

hairy armpits blog in response to... international women's day 2017 a lifeA life. Source: isis.aust

This year, sky are dedicating a week’s viewing to women’s achievements, the UN focused upon equality for women in the workplace by 2030, and Michelle Obama made an awesome speech about why young girls need to be educated.

Emma Watson once asked ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ and I think this question answers all of the doubts those wondering about why a women’s day is needed. Because it’s one time when all of the issues we are concerned about can be discussed, together. And that is really empowering. Knowing there is a time for your voice to be heard, makes it easier to speak out knowing you will be supported. You were going to say it anyway, but it just makes sense to say it then.

So here’s to another 364.

 

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What do you think? Are you a fan of women’s day? What did you do this year to celebrate? Let me know in the comments!

Why women are not sl*ts- they are temples

The Golden Temple (holiest Sikh shrine), Amritsar, Punjab, IndiaSri Harmandir Sahib. Source: WordPress

I see myself as a Goddess. If I value myself and my body and decide that it is sacred – does that mean no one can come inside and visit? No. A truly beautiful temple has many visitors. This doesn’t mean that a woman who saves herself for one man or woman or trans person, is any less of a temple.

We need to see ourselves as beautiful beings, and tell our friends, no – just because someone burnt down the alter, or wrote on the walls, does not mean you are any less of a goddess temple. As the line says in the poem– “no man can make a wounded energy of your flesh.”

And no name- no shame- that you felt after the one night stand, the rape, the callous looks of someone who is upset about something in themselves and has nothing to do with you, can ever take away the fact that you know your inner value.

That’s why the word hurts so much, and I don’t use it as I know that it has been used all too much. As a hopeless slur, to abuse you. To abuse all of us. As younger generations appear, I am confident there is not a fourteen year old school girl that has not been called this name in some form or capacity – as- class shaming becomes pre-dominant and as a way to cut girls down when they are learning so many other things from the media and TV about what it is to be a girl – and what’s bad about it.

About how bad it is to have larger breasts, or to have smaller breasts, to have sex with consent, to refrain from it. To wear short skirts and low cut tops, and to cover up, and to be human, and to live and to love and to cry.

And I’m sorry if I’m getting emotional, but this is important to me. Because those girls are important to me. Because they are me – I was them once and they will become what I am now, and I hope to God that they can see themselves as lovable with all this crap going on as women begin to find it hard to orgasm with all of these conflicted and shameful messages in their heads.

Tell your daughters- they are a temple. They have their own inner space and power. Don’t let any media image or bitchy girl trample all over that, because that is so easily done. And at that age, it is hard to become un-done.

Tell them, they are never a slut.

 They are women. And we laugh at the crocodiles.


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Ten reasons not to use the word sl*t

awesome-jelly-what-makes-you-a-slutLegs. Source: Awesome Jelly

If you’re reading my blog, I am probably preaching to the choir, but here goes, ten reasons not to call anyone a slut.

  1. It implies sex is bad – and hello, everyone knows the opposite is true! (hat tip to asexuals who might not enjoy sex at all)
  2. It implies there is something wrong with the victim of this abuse, and they must change.
  3. It implies you are a God-like judger who knows how someone ‘should’ appropriately behave.
  4. It shows a lack of respect and caring for the person.
  5. In insulting one woman, you are putting down women as a gender, by telling them that she does not have autonomy to choose for herself what she does with her own body, neither then, should any woman.
  6. It contributes to rape culture. I’m not saying everyone who has used this word ever is a rapist, of course not! But what I am saying is this violent language is in the ballpark of ‘she was gagging for it,’ ‘I would hit that’, ‘no means yes’ language. Using the ‘s’ word is a stone’s throw away from making rape a more accessible means of violence. The same way amtssprache made killing easier for the Nazis. Language like this similarly dehumanises people, and makes violence easy. And beings one in three women in America will be either beaten or raped this year, I’d say it’s a good reason to stop.
  7. You’re not being accurate. If you call someone a slut, chances are it has nothing to do with their sexual experience. This shows there are complex reasons why you might want to say what you’re saying – what is it that you’re really getting at? What are you really upset about?
  8. It’s classist. The girls using it in sororities use it to put down the other girls who are poorer than them; they don’t dance in a way that they would like (or have as much money as they would like).
  9. It shows that women are making leaps and bounds in terms of freedom and equality. There is a direct correlation with the amount of slut shaming in relation to a movement of free speech and women’s rights. The suffragettes were, apparently, total sl*ts!
  10. You can break a young girl down and get her to question herself, her place in  the world, to feel like she has to live up to other’s expectations, that she is never good enough, and even, sadly, to feel that she is sexually ‘broken’.

So, there you have it, ten reasons not to use the ‘s’ word anymore- ever again. If you have to – try saying the ‘s’ word or putting in a star the way we would for n****r. Distinguishing the difference between saying the word and alluding to it shows that it is harmful – and shows that we are moving forward in terms of what we all, deem to be an acceptable way to treat each other in society.

What do you think? Are there any reasons that I’ve missed? Please let me know in the comments.

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Word play : SLUT

arts-effect-slut-the-playSlut the play. Source:Arts effect 

Warning: NSFW

Ok, so this one is about the word: slut.

I think this one may actually be more offensive than cunt. Because a cunt is just a strong sounding word for a vag, but slut has all sorts of connotations and judgements of its own.

The thing is, like how being hairless was associated with class, i.e. those who were hairless tended to be in the upper classes (poor people couldn’t afford razors!)… the word slut was actually originally used to describe a man who was dressed badly (“Did you see what John was wearing? -Flannel pants with a checkered shirt – what a slut!”)

omweekend-hot-slut-clubPopular Slut Club. Source: dollskill

It was next used to describe girls in lower class status when they were working as maids and didn’t do the housework to the standards their boss would’ve liked. So really, we are implying girls who have more sex than the next girl are lower class citizens – but we knew that anyway, right?!

Just think of the type of girl who is a slut. Got her in your minds eye? Now, is she a powerful business executive who likes to sleep with guys when she pleases?! I’d guess not.

That’s why the word slut is not just about sex. It’s not just about telling girls it’s wrong what they do with their lady parts when they’re turned on (whole other blog post!) – it’s about what she looks like, how she dresses, her intelligence level, her class, if she has a lot of make-up on.

urbanette-magazine-slut-bitch-whoreSlut Whore Bitch. Source: Urbanette magazine

It’s also about her autonomy. And it’s about how the person using the word is feeling. It takes away the focus from them, and whatever needs they may have that aren’t being met (and believe me, they have them if using this word!), and puts it onto you. It’s about insecurity and fear, at the heart of it all.

The Cambridge Dictionary definition: (slang) “A woman who has sexual relationships with a lot of men without any emotional involvement.”

This word is so strong it can provoke strong reactions in women and men. ‘Slut’, of course, can now be used against men as well as women. Men who are deemed ‘too promiscuous’.

We’re all different, and some people like getting down a lot more quickly with a lot more people than other people do. And I don’t see why two consenting adults having a good time shouldn’t be able to do that without judgement or shame. In fact, as a pacifist, I would much rather that be a pass-time than war.

Women Calling Women Names

true-star-beaut-slut-pictureBeautiful slut. Source: true star

TV has educated us well to expect girls to be catty to other girls, and to fight over each other for the man. This is not an accurate representation of life. Nor is the idea that women only ever talk about men all the time and little else. But there is some truth in there: women slut shame.

Girls in high school reportedly call the other girls sluts in order to gain a higher rung in the pecking order (…noticing a pattern here?!), and women have been known to call the other girls sluts, because they would like the guy to see her as special. She’s the one who doesn’t give it away so easily. She’s special. He will have to work to get her. She is an upper class citizen, comparatively.

It’s this kind of behaviour that separates womankind. And that’s the saddest thing of all. -Have you ever heard of any other group doing that?

Do I look like a slut? Source: The tube

Creating a class within and between other women, is not a great way for us to all move forward as a gender. It implies that most women are below that of a man’s status, but a few are equal to it – the ones that aren’t sluts. The ones that don’t put out?! It’s ludicrous.

On top of that, if this system actually worked, none of us would ever get laid!

Then there’s the other sad side of this word. The part that relates to sexual violence. The idea that, if you can begin by calling a woman this label, it makes her a certain type of person – almost less human. And any kind of dehumanisation can easily lead to other forms of violence.

inside-sao-paolo-slut-walkI am not a sandwich. Source: Inside Sao Paolo

Words are powerful. Words of hate used against any group or individual need to be taken seriously.

So, what now? Well, considering it’s a word to denigrate women and lower their status as human beings, a violent phrase that implies unworthiness of love and equality, I’d say we have two options: we either don’t use it, ever, or, only women use it in a POSITIVE way (if this is even possible).

video-italiano-pulp-fictionSexy intellect. Source: videoitaliano

I, personally, am down with sexy women – sexual and creative and expressive beings. Women empowered in their sexuality – not put down by a classist, racist and sexist word.

“Sexy is always good.”

Donatella Versace

To support an anti-women shaming group, click here. And as always, leave a comment, let me know what you think!

 
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Anxiety, jealousy, depression: It’s not who you are

Ok, so I am stealing this off a friend of mine, a three principles practitioner… this wisdom is just too good to keep to myself.

David Bowerman three principles not who you are.jpgMy friend, Dave. Source: david-bowerman

Last night I explained a problem I was having in which I felt jealous of someone.  And this is what he said to me about my worries: “It’s not who you are.” The jealousy, while being an emotion I feel, is not me. It’s a transient feeling that I felt. And it doesn’t define me.

I also suffer with anxiety and suddenly I realised – I am not my anxiety, and I am not my anxious thoughts, either! … Which led me to the conclusion that I am not an ‘anxious person’, as I had once thought.

monkey-mind-heather-gorhamMonkey mind. Source: Heather Gorham

These moments of stress happen to all of us. And sometimes there’s nothing you can do about them. But once you’ve felt that stress – knowing the fact that it doesn’t define you forever – is redeeming.

It’s not about denying that you feel anxious. It’s about knowing that, it really doesn’t matter.

nothing-hapennedNothing. Source: ironbridgefurniture

“Until mind says something happened, nothing happened.” Mooji

And then this can also apply to things people say or do around us. Life can knock you down, but how do you take it? Do you think it’s about you? Or just a new direction to take you in? Is it only meaningless pain, or do you prefer to see a purpose to the pain, or a lesson to be learnt?

… So if someone rejects you, or you don’t get the job you want, or you’re broke, you’re body is in ill health right now, these labels do not define who you are.

What does is deeper than that. It’s the true you.

videezy-lightLight. Source: videezy

Ultimately, we’re not the avatars we create. We’re not the pictures on the film stock. We are the light that shines through it. All else is just smoke and mirrors.

Jim Carrey

We are the peace we feel when walking through the forest on a snowy day, the calm after meditation, the sleepy feeling when it’s warm under the covers in the morning. That is the light shining through.

And we are insights, and doing what naturally occurs to us.

Even the pain of anxiety is leading us towards ourselves, because it points us in the direction of what we want.

Oprah realises who she is. Source: The Tube

“All trial stands outside of yourself.”

Oprah

We are the person observing the feeling of calm, or anxiety. We are the calm once the storm is gone. The feeling of home within us.

ooo-peaceful-skySky. Source: paper4pc

“It is not who you are.” – It made me remember. We are not the clouds. We are the sky.

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Soldiers are human, too

soldiers-are-human-too-hairy-armpits-cute-kid-interraction

Soldier and boy. Source: wow amazing

This is a post I thought I would do as most soldiers and the general population are encouraged to see other soldiers through the lens of enemy images.

This is why the press will call the ‘other guy’ names, and will make them seem less than human. This way, when we are riled up enough and scared enough of them, so then (in theory),  it’s ok if we kill these people who are: just, like, us.

So, in response to the dehumanising messages – this is the other side of war.

The cute side.

soldiers-are-humans-too-hairy-armpits-kitten-awwwSoldier and kitten. Source: boredpanda

Soldiers like kittens…

soldiers-are-humans-too-so-cute-hairy-armpitsSoldier and kitten. Source: boredpanda

soldiers-are-humans-too-hairy-armpits-kittenSoldier and kitten. Source: whyzat

And dogs…

soldiers-are-human-too-hairy-armpits-ukranian-soldier-redditUkranian Soldier and his pup. Source: reddit

soldiers-are-human-too-hairy-armpits-marines-puppy-earth-pormPuppy with marines. Source: officialhuskylovers

They care for children…

soldiers-are-humans-too-hairy-armpits-man-with-childSoldier with child. Source: Pinterest

so-cute-pinterestMaking the girls laugh. Source: pinterest

sweet-picture-soldier-and-children-press-examinerLet’s be friends. Source: press examiner

soldiers-are-human-too-afgan-soldier-with-young-childAfghan soldier protects crying child. Source: emlii

soldiers-are-human-too-hairy-armpits-woman-and-little-girl-ndu-eduSoldier and little girl. Source: ndu.edu

soldiers-are-human-too-jordanian-soldier-warms-syrian-refugee-babys-handsJordanian soldier warms Syrian refugee baby’s hands. Source: huffington post

And they are not afraid to cry…

soldiers-are-human-too-beautiful-soldier-criesShellshocked and smoking. Source: last resistance

soldiers-are-human-too-us-soldier-criesUS soldier crying. Source: flickr

soldiers-are-human-too-soldier-cries-with-his-brotherCrying. Source: pinterest

soldiers-are-human-too-cryingSource: pinterest

soldiers-are-human-too-soldier-cryingSource: standtall4pts

soldiers-are-human-too-hairy-armpits-group-crying-beforeitsnewsSource: before it’s news

Often innocent women and children are killed in action, but I cannot believe after looking at these photos that any soldier was ‘naturally’ born to kill. I believe they were naturally born to love. That is why training to kill must become an automatic and learnt response.

It has been hard for the army to work out how to get people to kill people. Because they instinctually don’t want to kill their brothers and sisters.

My hope is that, if we can all continue to see the humanness in all of us, then we eventually will find, no one even wants to practice killing. Only love.

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