The New Feminism

FEMINISM

Here’s a little thing about me.  I love being a girl.  I can get down in the mud with the best of them, but in my daily life, I like things that would be labelled ‘feminine’.  I like pink and lace.  I like having smooth legs and bouncy curly hair.  I love experimenting with make-up and feeling light and girly.  But I also believe strongly in equality.  Not just for women, for everyone.  I thought standing up to fight put me in a category that would ridicule me for my ‘girly-ness’.  I was no naive.

Growing up I believed that calling someone a ‘feminist’ was an insult.  No joke!  As a child I was a tomboy, and for a little stretch I even cut my hair short like a boy and didn’t wear make-up.  I dressed in tracksuits every day and spent my time playing soccer and fighting with my mom about ‘looking nice’ for events.  If there was ever going to be a cliche feminist in my school, it would have been me.  But I hated it!  I shrunk back, just wanting to be me.  Why do I have to label myself?  Why couldn’t I just be a girl that like the dress like a boy?  Why did I have to be a ‘feminist’?

Emma Watson said it best in her speech at the UN Conference back in 2014 when they launched the campaign #HeforShe.  If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s a must!!  She talks about this very cliche.  We’re hearing the word ‘feminist’ and putting a very ugly picture on it.  I think of a very belligerently obnoxious woman dressed to look like man, ranting about gender equality without ever giving a second to have a serious discussion or hear other opinions.  A sermon, pushing her beliefs on the rest of us.  Our opinion is wrong if it differs form hers.  Sometimes when I think of a ‘feminist’ I hear my friends mom going on and on about the disgusting cruelty of men as she smoked and refused to shower.  I see the kids teasing me at school, or the teacher who had armpit hair that they all laughed at.

(Here’s the link: Emma Watson UN Speech.  Feminism has become a bad word.)

A few months ago there was a girl in my go-to coffee shop with armpit hair and hairy legs.  I couldn’t care less about those choices, but she was being very obvious about holding her arms up and spreading her legs like she was a guy sitting down.  Her entire self said ‘look at me, I’m a feminist and I’m going to get in your face’.  I wanted to tell her that I agree with a lot of her views, but I don’t respond to her aggression.  You attack me, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, I’m going to be defensive.  Of course it’s not all about me, but there are a lot of people who respond the same way I do.

I shy away from people like her not because I don’t believe in the same things they do, but because in my experience they look at me like I’m the problem.  Something for them to fight and pressure.  They want to tell me I’m wrong just by looking at me.  This coffee shop girl didn’t ask me a single questions.  She saw my heals and pink hair streak and labelled me.  I’d conformed to the way ‘men’ saw me.  I was playing by their rules.  Her mind was made up about me based on a single look.

What are we really fighting for?  What does being a feminist mean? Continue reading

I Want to Be a Writer

Books

This will come as no surprise.  I want to be a writer.

A lot of people say to me and all over the internet that ‘if you say you’re a writer, you’re a writer!’.  I believe that’s true to an extent.  I have this blog and I write every day, so technically I am already a writer.  But that’s not the dream.

Here’s the way I see it in my head…

I have a beautiful house with a huge porch that wraps almost all the way around it.  The yard is beautiful and full of green and pink trees.  The fragrance is soft and clean, the light is diffused in a luminous way, and the atmosphere is quiet and serene.  I get up every morning and make breakfast, something delicious and all-natural that makes me feel nourished and healthy.  I wrap myself in the softest big knit sweater I can imagine, a soft dove grey colour, and I go into my office.  It’s in the back of the house, the windows looking out to a garden or stream.  It’s very shabby chic, creative and inspiring.  The desk is white and large, repurposed from a really cool old carved wooden table.  There are notes everywhere, carefully strung around the room in an organized chaos.  It’s pretty and a little girly, soft pinks and dove greys.  I start writing and nothing distracts me.  This is my job.  I don’t go to an office somewhere, I don’t have a ‘day job’ to support my creative side, I have enough money to live based on my writing.  I can sit in this beautiful office all day and create fanciful worlds of love and adventure.

This is the writer I want to be.  This is how I dream of my future.  So yes, I am a writer, but I want to be so much more.  I want to see my books on the shelves of bookstores, or online catalogues.  I want to spend all my time creating new characters and new adventures.  I want to be passionate about every single day I’m allowed to get up and write.

I’ve written a book. Continue reading