On Feminism, Anti-Feminism, and the Things That Mystify Me

Its blog posts like this that make me love feminism more 🙂

Kelly Barnhill

I am ten years old. I am riding a banana seat bike through the alleys. I am allowed to go as far as 31st Street, and then I have to turn back. Words cannot describe how much I love this bike. It is turquoise with sparkly flower decals and I ride back and forth through blocks of alleys singing the entire “Mary Poppins” soundtrack at the top of my lungs. My knees are scratched. My hair needs a comb. I probably haven’t brushed my teeth.

A man in a car pulls up. He opens the window. He asks my name. I have been well-trained. I have learned about good touches and bad touches in school. I know that good people don’t drive up to children on bikes. My teachers have been very clear. I take a good look at his face. I notice his red hair. I take…

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The Moment.

The moment when you realize you have no idea what you’re going to be doing with the rest of your life.

The moment when you realize that there’s a chance you could fail in what you want to do.

The moment when you realize you’re going to be an adult very soon.

The moment when you realize you have no idea how to handle that responsibility.

The moment when you realize the people you know today, could be a stranger tomorrow.

The moment when you realize you’re probably going to have a whole different group of friends.

The moment when you realize you’ll probably be a whole different person.

The moment when you realize you probably won’t even be in the same country.

The moment when you realize that in the next decade or so, you’ll probably have a family that relies on you.

The moment when you realise that the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, is somewhere in this world right now.

Life is filled with these moments, and its our decisions that shape our path. Life is filled with twists and turns and dead ends. Recently I’ve had to think a lot about my future, about what I want to do, where I want to end up in 5 years time, I’m always making these plans and feeling so anxious if they go wrong yet everyone around me? Its like they don’t care, they’re just sitting back without a care in the world, not thinking about the consequences for their indifference. It frustrates me to the point that I want to scream!

Yet then someone said to me ‘Chill out, there’s no rush, this is life, just see where it takes you’ and that made me realize that no matter what decisions I make now, I’m still going to have all these moments of realizing how much has changed and how I got there without even realizing my life was moving forward.

 

So, I guess now all I can say is today: I had the moment when I realized I wasn’t afraid anymore. And it was that moment I realized that I’m ready for it.

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Break break break

Okay so it has been wayyyyy too long since I’ve posted, for that I am very sorry but recently I’ve been preoccupied with Life in general basically. Luckily there has been one thing on my mind enough to drag myself onto wordpress and post it. 

I wrote a poem another the night explaining my feelings for this particular situation and I guess I’ll explain it more by the time you’ve read this poem, if you haven’t guessed already, its called ‘Breaks Breaks Breaks’

 

Today I met someone,

Someone who is sweet,

Someone who is complete.

 

He is different yet similar,

Strange yet familiar,

Yet so far far far.

 

His name is the justice of my heart,

The law of my feelings,

The hopelessness of my want.

So far far far he is, 

Yet so close close close

I feel to him.

 

So I ask you life,

Let it not be too long, 

nor too unlikely,

for us to meet in surprise,

hug in response,

and look into one another’s eyes?

 

Give me this chance,

This dream, this wish.

Humour me with the fairness,

of a kiss kiss kiss?

 

So I would never miss,

what I never had.

Surely that seems too fair,

to my feelings?

 

Let my heart ache ache ache,

with the one moment, touch, gaze,

That I would ever have with him.

 

Would that appease the unfairness,

to the heart that would,

Break break break?

 

So I consider this to be one of my more unusual poems yet basically, it describes what I’ve been feeling towards this one person, who lives thousands of miles away. If you haven’t guessed yet, yes we met on the internet but I know he’s a real person! like Mavis from Hotel Transylvania, it was just like ‘ZING’.

We click, we connect, however you want to think of it but it made me think about how life is so unfair to this kind of thing. How unlikely is it to meet someone so…incredible, yet you know the chance are you’ll never meet in person.  Even if we did it would be oh so bittersweet, as it said in the last 2 stanza’s, my heart would break break break if I was only given that one moment with him and to never see him again after that.

The saying ‘It is better to have loved than not at all’ but sometimes, its better to save those horrible feelings of  the one goodbye in person and the forever hello’s on Skype and Facebook etc. But then my imagination goes wild and I see myself being in one of those great love story articles like ‘Steph and Andy met online 5 years, now they’re getting married after one year of being together in person’ or something along those lines. But me being me, my future can’t be that exciting to have a romance like that. I hope someone who reads this might be in a related situation. Anyways, Thanks for reading! especially after so goddamn long! :’) 

 

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Body Image.

Recently I read a story about body dysmorphia (sorry if I spelled that wrong) it was called ‘I am so pretty’ at the beginning of the story, you don’t even realize the girl is suffering from this terrible mental illness, you just think that she must be genuinely hideous as she is so desperate to get surgery and to hide herself away from the world – a quote saying ‘I could feel all their eyes looking at me, judging me, wondering who had let this crazy disfigured, monstrous looking woman into the store’ As being self consciousness goes, this is a bit extreme.

Truly, it was a sad story with an even sadder ending. The surgeon she went to see, refused her surgery deeming there was no flaws to correct, nothing more they could do….so she took matters into her own hands.

She bought scalpels, gauze, needle’s and thread and began cutting into her face, lifting her cheeks, adusting the structure of her nose. It gets quite gruesome as her nose starts to fall apart (obviously, since she isn’t using the proper stitching required) she panicks and cuts into her cheek too deeply. She has just enough time to call her sister for help before she passes out on the floor of  her bathroom, in a pool of her own blood.

The last scene of the story, she is sitting up in bed in the hospital, her entire face covered by bandages except for one eye and the opening of her nose, the doctors said that she will have scars for the rest of her life. She is speechless with augish, staring ahead at nothing as she faces the rest of her life.

The last few lines are simply a nurse saying ‘Such a shame, she was such a pretty girl’ and then ‘My name is Kathering Miller and I suffer from body dysmorhpia’

This is a powerful story, it really opens the eyes of people who are incredibly ignorant towards the illness and it definitely made me look at myself as to how I’ve responded to the insercurities of some of my friends and myself.

One of my friends suffers from body dysmorphia, yet I never really took her seriously when she talked about it. She’s a petite size 8, blue eyes, pale skin, not ugly but not exactly supermodel material. She’s perfectly ordinary, doesn’t stand out from the hundreds of people who go to our college, yet she’s probably the most self conscience person I know and whenever she would say ‘I feel so fat today’ or ‘I wish people would stop looking at me’ and a quite alarming comment ‘why does this college have so many mirrors and reflections? I see myself enough as it is’ I would always say something along the lines of ‘Don’t be silly, no ones looking at you’ or ‘How can you honestly feel fat, you’re tiny!’ and very oftenly ‘You look fine, stop being so negative!’

None of this would ever upset her, she would just laugh and say that I just don’t understand and she would hope that I never would because now I can now honestly understand how it must feel to think that you’re ugly all the time, that you need to change, become ‘Perfect’. That’s the only thing she worries about all the time and I know a few pep talks and positive words from me won’t make the slightest difference in what she thinks of herself, so I’m at least going to say this to all the people who have ever suffered from these kind of insecurities.

NOBODY IS PERFECT – So don’t try to be, everyone has different idea’s of what ‘perfect’ is, so you can never be what everyone wants you to be, just be the best person you can be, otherwise you’ll forget who you are as a person. Your personality will end up changing, not your appearance.

PERFECTION IS BORING – If I could get the most beautiful, handsome man in the world, who did everything right, I would be so bored! Its your imperfections that make you who you are, the qerks, the habits, the unwanted feckles or birthmarks, they are the things that set you apart from everyone else and its those things that make people fall in love with you. So cherish them, don’t demolish them.

WORDS WILL NEVER HURT YOU – If you have ever gotten bullied by someone such being called ugly or fat or a waste of space, its usually those people who are the most insecure. They are only jealous of you and by putting you down, they make them feel better about themselves, so just ignore them. They’re the pathetic ones.

Thats all I really have to say I guess, I hope in some way this has cheered up some people. Thank you for reading!

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Another Poem – You Never Did Notice Me.

Again, I wrote this poem a while ago, so sorry if its kind of terrible but there is a message that I’m trying to get across.

You never did notice me,

In my world of despair,

You hung out with the popular people,

Who just didn’t care.

 

I was always alone,

with no friends and no family,

An orphan,

I was all on my own.

 

Some people knew this,

Some people didn’t.

 

The ones who didn’t,

Bullied and teased me,

The ones who did,

Ignored or avoided me.

 

I was the loner,

the freak.

And now the reunion’s come up,

Oh joy, how wonderful.

 

I’m still alone but I’m happy,

I realised this world ain’t so crappy.

I’ve travelled and teached,

I’ve swam with dolphins and preached.

 

I’ve climbed mountains and explored forests,

I even helped out some weird tourists,

I took a course on how to be a nun,

I was a call girl for a week,

just for the experience and the fun.

 

And now I’ve rambled on,

Because I saw you again,

you smiled at me and knew my name.

 

It’s been a year now,

and so much has changed,

We’re getting married,

with a baby on the way.

 

Everything’s so perfect,

Life couldn’t get much better,

Still,

You never did notice me.

 

This poem was inspired by a book I read, to this day I don’t remember what its called but its star character was a girl who was forced back to her hometown after a decade of being away for her fathers funeral. While coming to terms with how everyone she once knew has changed (and obviously her fathers death) she runs into her old crush, who in the past was really mean to her but now he’s a completely different person and predictably they fall in love and live happily ever after.

Even though the romance novel was typical and predictable, it really made me realize something. There will always be people we know that we don’t like, or have never paid any attention to but lets say in 10 years time, they are a completely changed person. Maybe they’ll have won the lottery, moved country, invented something or just have matured and had a family, got a really good job.

There are plenty of people I can name today that I could just not imagine turning out to be like that in future, but its not impossible and I guess that’s really helped me go by the terms of  ‘Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover’ because their story isn’t over yet.

In terms of love, which is what I focused the poem on (I realize some of the lines might be a little offensive such as ‘a call girl for a week’ it was only used as an outrageous example) it pretty much follows the life of a lonely, unassuming girl, which in the beginning doesn’t seem capable of rising up, exploring the world and becoming the person she was and in any case, finding real love.

Yet when she came back, she met the guy who she always had eyes for, yet he had never glanced her way. She’s remembering this and she’s realizing if she hadn’t of gone out experiencing the things she did and changing, he may yet still have ignored her.

That comes to my last point. In order to find that one person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, its going to take a lot of living, a lot of growing up and a lot of changing. You could be looking at that person right now and even though they may not be looking back, doesn’t mean they never will, you just haven’t become the person who your meant to be yet and the person their meant to fall in love with. If you just go with it though and live life, these things will fall into place and then they won’t be able to take their eyes off you.

Sorry if I haven’t explained this well, but I hope you got the gist of it. Thanks for reading!

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A Poem – It Was All Clear Again.

 

Something I wrote ages and ages ago, basically describing my first ever heartbreak. Slightly childish when I think back on it now but I am quite proud of this poem.

 

These days, questions are asked so often,

an endless list of nothing but boredom,

one afternoon though, a question was asked

about you.

 

How did I feel about you?

How would I be when you found someone new?

Or the words you would say to me,

remained a measly few?

Well I can answer the first one.

 

Imagine this.

A storm came over my Island of bliss,

Tall trees, strong and sturdy with its tender leaves,

fell to their knee’s.

A tornado of confusing and unexpected pain,

tore a path to my core,

before my very eyes.

 

My sun in the sky . . . was gone,

Frost crept in with the stinging wind,

and the newly introduced night.

The lonely moon, slightly covered,

by the dark clouds,

wept a tear or two.

 

The storm was long since over now,

but left in its place,

damage and destruction was my Islands new face.

A long, jagged, bleeding scar,

throbbed faintly on the ground.

 

For months it lay there,

a taunting reminder and stubborn bully,

though life started again,

trees and animals began again.

 

You, however, stood at the end of my island,

of my paradise,

lingering to see the damage that was done,

but it seemed that I was done now,

as the waves decided to tide in,

and wash you away with the pain and the sin.

 

A bird, bright among the despair,

flew past, up and up into the dark greyness,

that was my sky.

 

I stood suddenly, feeling was coming back to me,

the sky tore open,

and the last tear drops fell warm on my skin,

and suddenly, it was all clear again.

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My Future Addresses, Hopefully…

Switzerland – Ever since I passed through here on a coach trip to Italy, I’ve been adamant that this is the place I want to live at some point in my life. It is amazingly beautiful, staggeringly rural and natural and just one of the most spectacular places I have ever got to set my eyes on. It was also so bizarre! Here I was in the middle of the Alps and right by this huge lake, there was a level out ground where guys were just casually playing football. In a place so untouched by urban society, at least where I was, it was just surreal! and I definitely want to experience what life could be like there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City – In stark contrast to this, I have always liked big bustling cities, filled with constant energy from people all over the world, so what better place to go than the city that never sleeps! My plan to live out the NYC lifestyle is to study there for a year (some of the courses I’ve seen offer this) this would be a massive opportunity for me but I guess the only thing stopping me is the fact that most of my life is here, my family, my friends, everyone. I just think I would be too lonely if I left them all behind for a whole year.

Australia – Another place that is again, completely different with its soaring hot temperatures, gorgeous beaches and beautiful cities. Not to mention its supposed to have a really good economy, which is always nice. I think the only thing I’m scared of facing is well…apparently they have really giant bugs, particularly spiders…yeah, me and spiders don’t get on well to say the least.

Canada – I want to go here, mainly because my dad said it was one of the nicest places in the world and the people he met there were wonderful, he specifically meant Toronto. I’ve heard many stories of people’s experiences there and generally what a beautiful place to love so I’ve decided to try it out for myself.

China – My main ambition about going here is to run the length of the great Wall of China, it’d be so cool! and okay, maybe to learn a form of martial arts, that’s be pretty awesome too. This place is once again, another big bustling city, filled with life and energy and everything out of this world, so it is my mission to see it.

Looks like I have a long way to go, challenge accepted!

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