In response to… me too

me too heartMe too. Source: all express

Well, this is an idea I had about two years ago. I’m glad someone else got there and made it happen.

I think the idea of sharing our stories of sexual pain or attack as women (and men, actually) can be majorly healing. I believe that shedding light on the dark corners of our human experience always helps encourage healing; helps us connect as human beings. We are all having difficulties and challenges with similar things throughoutour journeys on this tumbledown earth.

Like many, I have been assaulted. The #everydaysexism is something so common, it is unfortunately expected as a given if you are a woman. When talking of assault, the idea that you might be upset or want to express feelings of grief for the violence, is often frowned upon.

Feminists are mocked for being possible rape victims with a chip on their shoulder. The thing is, is this not a valid thing to be upset about? Hundreds of women (…or is it thousands by now?) are able to say that it is.

I find the idea of sharing a scary one. Many may feel their privacy needs to be kept intact and sharing is not for them. This I totally respect, of course.

But for me, the values of Lana Wachowski ring in my ears as I see the feed on my facebook wall fill with a chiming solidarity between my sisters, as they vulnerably speak their truths.

But, as Lana says:

‘Sacrifice of my private civic life 

shall have value…’

in-response-to-hairy-armpits-world-in-hands-inner-michaelWorld is in our hands. Source:

And so, here it is, my vulnerable, very human, expression of solidarity to my sisters and brothers: me too.

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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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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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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.

 

If you liked this post and feel moved to give me a gift, I thank you in advance ❤

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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.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to give me a gift, thank you in advance x

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