This particular clip created quite the stirs. I resonate deeply with pretty much all the lines narrated here. Only that feels like yet, many things are still left unsaid . Seeing it more than once, I started counting how many of those I have encountered and more. So here it is, coming from both women or men, no exception:
Why are you so angry?
Why you are laughing so loud? It’s vulgar for a girl.
Why do you talk like that? These are not lady like words.
Oh, you looked younger from behind.
You look so young for your age!
You look a bit to skinny. Eat some more.
You are fat. Do some sports.
My friends are not promiscuous as yours. In my circle no one talks like that.Maybe you should change your crowd.
You have a tattoo? white trash people wear a tattoo.
You put a bit too much make up today?
You look a bit tired.
Why don’t you smile more?
You dress too young for your age.
What is this outfit? It makes you look like a boy.
I’ve noticed you start letting yourself go.
Why are you complaining? You have a job and a place to sleep, you are part of the fortunate ones.
Urghh you have so many opinions.
You are ignorant.
You are not so bright, get a job, no need to go to university.
Oh, it’s too hard for you. You will never learn a foreign language.
You learned how to send emails in Romania?
You are a bit blonde, are you?
Oh, you passed with an A your Bachelor thesis? I didn’t even expected you will finish those studies.
You can afford to go in this vacation? Why do you need to go so far? We have beaches around here.
You will be a failure and a whore, just like your mother.
You should get married.
You must keep up, a man IS there for you.
It’s time for you to have a baby. You are not getting any younger.
Don’t settle for this, you can do better.
Don’t you have no pride? Stop crying like a little girl, you are a grown up.
Don’t make a scene, why can you not wait until we leave the restaurant?
You are making me uncomfortable, why can you not adjust your tone?
You are being unreasonable, know your place.
Where IS your father? You don’t have one?
Oh, you ARE a bastard, not even your own father wanted you.
You are ugly.
The list could continue but I’ll stop here. I am sure many of us experienced at least the same amount, if not more “corrective” uncalled for advices. And, equally, there will also exist that percentage of women that will say out loud: “I have never been discriminated because I am a woman.” you lucky 🍀 girl!
“I am a woman.”“Resignedness is only abdication and flight, there is no other way out for woman than to work for her liberation.” (639)
So i read and read and the more i read, the more i get angry. Ok, ok, i am angry naturally, is just a gift that i have – some would say – but getting more acquainted with this particular topic makes me understand the struggle and incredible journey of being a woman, and how fortunate i feel to be here today having the right to work, to drive a car, to go unaccompanied in the streets, to be financially independent, to choose where i want to live, to dress how i want to dress, to express my opinions freely, to vote (yes, to vote!), to be able to travel, to write – yes to have an education, to have a voice, to respond back if i feel necessary, to have a choice about who i am.
Not only that i consider it my duty as a woman to understand feminism, but the current social-economic context requires it. Also, i love it when people get upset when i use the word “feminist”. There it is, i said it again, i wonder how many “friends” i will lose this time. Last time i dared to share an opinion on this topic a so called friend called me uneducated.
So, for the sake of the debate, there it is a list with only a few books that may shed light on the topic that i dived in lately.
Feel free to recommend more and dare to contradict me, bring your arguments and let us debate. These are some of the ones that i mostly resonate with and are not only a feminist manifesto but display, equally, amazing life stories. Stories of struggle and love and power and finally, resurrection and triumph over any sort of oppression.
Educated by Tara Westover
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Chronology of Water by Yuknavitch Lidia
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Massie K. Robert
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Educated by Tara Westover
Tara Westover wrote the story of her life in such a powerful way that i often find myself thinking about her story. She was born in Idaho, USA and now she is living in the UK. Her was father opposed to public education so, as a young girl, she was not allowed to attend school. She spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. lacking a formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far, if there was still a way home. (Credits https://tarawestover.com/book)
The Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood wrote more than a feminist manifesto. Her story of Offred, a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead reminds me of George Orwell’s “1984” or Aldous Huxley’s “Brave new world” except(!) is written from a women’s perspective. The dystopian story is horrifying and all together convincing, and from a certain (historical) perspective not so far from realities endured by women over time.
The Chronology of Water by LidiaYuknavitch
Lidia Yuknavitch writes her memoir with a fervour and rawness that will touch you to the bone, especially, if you have struggled with depression and/or addiction and loss.
It is a life that navigates, and transcends, abuse, addiction, self-destruction and the crushing loss of a stillborn child. It is the life of a misfit, one that forges a fierce and untrodden path to creativity and comes together in the shape of love. Credits https://canongate.co.uk/books/2479-the-chronology-of-water/
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by RobertK. Massie
Before reading this book i knew nothing about Catherine the Great. Now, after finishing, i find it mind boggling and incredibly resilient and powerful at the time (and not only).
“She sat on the throne of Peter the Great and ruled an empire, the largest on earth. Her signature, inscribed on a decree, was law and, if she chose, could mean life or death for any one of her twenty million subjects. She was intelligent, well-read, and a shrewd judge of character. During the coup, she had shown determination and courage; once on the throne, she displayed an open mind, willingness to forgive, and a political morality founded on rationality and practical efficiency. She softened imperial presence with a sense of humour and a quick tongue; indeed, with Catherine more than any other monarch of her day, there was always a wide latitude for humour. There was also a line not to be crossed, even by close friends.”
Do i even need to present you Simone de Beauvoir? I do not pretend that i can, I mean this book is called “the feminist bible”, so all i can say is: check this book! And, she was an existentialist philosopher too.
Beauvoir was a pioneer and she remains as valid today as it was back then, i hope that will continue to inspire future generations of women. Reading De Beauvoir has reminded me of my privileged situation compared to the atrocious abuse inflicted upon women, victims of religious fundamentalism or totalitarian governments in most countries of the world: cases of rape, physical and psychological maltreatment saturate the media, disturbing facts that back up De Beauvoir’s theory that being feminine is neither essence or destiny but an artificial construction of the cultural, societal and historical requirements of time and place.
Mercury Retrograde is back to hunt our lives and i am back with it, to complain about.
I will try not to (complain), however, it’s very hard since the dark winter is not gone , Dennis The Storm is friendly haunting us and it’s not even the end of February.
The year started pretty strong, and i am not a bit surprised, since nothing ever changed only because 2019 turned into 2020, or something like that. When i say strong, i want to say “crap” – but i don’t actually talk like that, despite what some of you might think.
I have literally no words these days (as George Constanza would say “I am speechless, i have no speech!”), there is a numbness and lack of vitality that are only shaken slightly by the prospect of a vacation.
When i hear vacation, this magic word that in my head is only linked with sandy sunny beaches and a turquoise calm sea. And don’t you dare say “you just returned from vacation!because we cannot call it that. I will not get into details, because boring and even I am fed up with my existential dramas.
To real bad news is that Corona (the virus, not the beer) reached Europe and havoc and panic is already taking over.
All things considered, is not all that bad this Mercury Retrograde. Harvey W. was found guilty (I wanted to say that pig, yet it would be an offense to the cute little/big pigs). Even tough there are some question marks there, we leave that to the judicial system (or do we?).
Furthermore, veganism has a strong start this year (alleluhaj to you Joaquin!) hence, less red meat consumption, hence less animal killing, hence less water consumption, hence long live earth. You get my point.
On a more positive note, spring is almost there and we don’t really care about the financial markets anyway❤️
Ce am mai facut anu’ asta si ce mai facem la anu’? Nu?
Așa e trendu’ – facem un bilanț al anului care tocmai se încheie si (re)scriem noi liste lungi cu rezolutii pentru 2020. Bineînțeles începem cu mâncatul sănătos si făcut de sport. De mâine, oricum e imposibil între Craciun si Anul Nou.
Ce sa vezi, ia te uita ca refuz. La fiecare final de an e la fel. Ma lepad de anul care a trecut repede, ca a fost nasol si trec “in revista” (sic) cam ce cred eu ca ar trebui sa se intample in noul an.
Cine e mai organizat (de exemplu, un Capricorn ) are agenda (bullet journal – sic Angela) si le etalează frumos pe saptamâni, luni, evenimente astrologice si zodie, după calendarul maya sau vedele indiene, după înclinația fiecăruia.
Dar să termin bilanțul, înainte sa ma apuc de o noua strategie anuală. Ca să nu vă dezamăgesc – 2019 a fost nashpa. Știm cu toții. Rezoluția nu a funcționat ca pe caiet. Am scris eu, dar: am procastinat, am mâncat prost (nici anu’ asta nu am devenit vegană), m-am lăsat de sport, am reluat alte obiceiuri rele de care mă lăsasem, nu (!) m-am lăsat de fumat, m-am lăsat manipulata de (mainstream) media, nu mi-am închis Feisbooku’, am cumpărat multe lucruri de care nu am nevoie (capitalismul m-a cuprins de-a binelea), nu prea am citit, am văzut (cred) toate serialele de pe Netflix , nu am mai văzut nici o țară/loc nou, am mers cu avionul (forgive me Greta) și am muncit până la epuizare. Etc etc.
Pe de altă parte, am petrecut timp mult cu prieteni, am plâns, am făcut ceva noi prieteni, am râs, am dezbătut, am sarcasm, am astea. A fost bine la noul meu job, am învățat și dezvățat. M-am mutat intr-o nouă casă, mai umană și mai dătătoare de speranța. E ca și cum aș fi un om mare. M-am responsabilizat, îmi plătesc facturile și taxele la timp, am învățat cu mine și despre mine, am mai lăsat pe alții sa câștige, pentru că, nu-i așa , trebuie sa ne alegem câte o bătălie, nu le putem purta chiar pe toate. Astea fiind zise, copy și paste în noua listă de rezoluții (pe care nu o mai fac).
Un lucru e sigur doar: mă las de fumat. Măcar dacă e în eter, pe sfântul internet, nu mă pot dezice.
Încă ceva: voi încerca sa fiu mai puțin nesuferită cu ceilalți oricât de greu mi-ar fi.
Dacă le îndeplinesc p-astea doua, eu zic, că e bine.
Yada yada yada. Hai vă pup si la scris noi liste cu voi.
Oh, and by a miracle from God, my hair is fabulous.
As the year comes to the end, as usual, the celebrations get ahead and people start organising the pre- fun of the actual festive days to come.
So there are a few weeks before that, where you will probably attend a series of parties and social gatherings, supposedly to wind up after the hard work during the year and to get some celebratory feeling that we all HAVE to get into.
Nothing wrong with parties or cake or alcohol or binge eating your guts out. So far. Being a good friend, colleague and/or family you say yes to all the invitations without skipping a beat to support the madness.
The trend that completely drives me insane tough, is when someone is asking me( more than once): “why aren’t you drinking? You are no fun, come on! Lose it a little! “
There are two questions deriving from that: first of all “why drinking is supposed to make me fun?” And “why do I have to be fun to begin with?” Can I not be myself ? what makes people think that drinking will change my personality and become this amazing fun person ( that I am often without alcohol enhancers or any other type for that matter).
So having to answer to the 1st question is already enough to make me anxious about any social gathering, in general. I sometimes drink but more than often I don’t. Do I have to explain people why I don’t? Like, not having a glass makes me a pariah of the party, “the party pooper”, as they say or simply the boring girl that is not drinking.
Often you give in the pressure just to get away without the pestering. Or you pretend having “gin tonic” while your glass is pure mineral water, alcohol free. And so, people are happy. “Oh good, thank goodness, I thought you are not drinking anything!” Why people feel the need to have your alcohol intake under control? where is this coming from?
My explanation was that there is this “belief”: if one is not drinking is impossible to have fun. Which goes to my second question. Is fun imperative? Why is fun so important and why I need to make sure that is happening? My simple self is not good enough? As a friend put it: I’ve had my share of fun, i simply evolved and my idea of fun comes from so many other things, alcohol not being a priority or simply not doing the trick anymore.
So, you are one of those that brag about being completely wasted at the party last night? I am not impressed.
As I was complaining in one of my previous posts about having to wake up on a Friday, I had to wake up in the same (extreme I would say) conditions on Monday.
So I make it to work. I drink half of my coffee after having to be nice to people, I get into a meeting, forget my coffee on my desk. I survive the meeting, did not say one stupid word (clapping to myself, yey) – open my inbox – still forget about that coffee.
I remember I have an appointment at my psychiatrist at 5:30. Why the hell I have even accepted this time on a Monday?
Oh, well. The rain, wind, whatever ( well, not in the office but you get the drill, still have to complain about it) continues for the rest of the day. I am stressed I won’t make it to my appointment.
Hope by now that you got over the fact I have a psychiatrist, I manage to finish everything (pretty much) ahead of time and I run to my appointment. I even get there on time. I sat in the waiting room about a good 15 minutes.
There is another person entering the room, I look up and I know I must have messed the hour again. No, this would not be a first. This guy looks at me and he says convinced (in trueness) that his appointment is 5:45. Oh well, I take out my agenda (which I have to avoid this kind of situations), I look it up and of course I have arrived a week earlier. By now I keep thinking how to deliver the news to this person that he’s right and not look completely idiotic. Too late anyway, and on top of everything, he looks familiar.
Obviously I don’t remember his face but it triggers me that he looks embarrassed. Well buddy, that makes two of us. At least you don’t have Alzheimer’s, you are probably “just” depressed.
My therapist gets out, she sees me and starts laughing when I already tell her that I know I arrived a bit too early. She apologised- I don’t know why, maybe because she felt sorry for me, I wish her a great week and run out the door.
Few minutes out, I realise that the guy in the waiting area is one of the clients of the agency I work for. We had a meeting not long ago.
I now have this app to exercise memory. Good luck to me.
Fridays. The eternal day of hope for all the corporate people out there.
Early December, on a Friday. Waking up at 7 (is this even an hour to be awake at any level?), it’s dark all right. The decision – it’s really too dark to get up. So you stare at your ceiling a bit more until you are really late for you to go in the office. Yet, you have too. Yes, but you cannot leave the house without having a coffee. So you take your time in making one. Take even a slower shower, you need a bit of motivation really. After two hours that are too short for you to be in any state of meeting people, you drag yourself out of the house.
Since it’s winter, it’s really cold. You got used to that. To make things better, it’s raining, still dark, you are in Belgium after all. Now, you are really late. You decide to take the tram – if will ever arrive. It only arrives after 10 minutes. Not so bad. Arghhh – first contact with people. They are all wet and look at you with hate and disgust, it’s ok, you feel the same. They dont move an inch so you can have some personal space. Ok, hold your breath and close your eyes, they might disappear. Nope, it doesn’t happen, still there.
Now, you think you won a few minutes. Wanna bet? You did not. Something happened somewhere in the city and created chaos, even more chaos. Sirens and car honks everywhere. Oh, i just wish i we’re somewhere warm. Like the office. Not yet. the tram doesn’t move for a few good minutes. Almost there, oh wait, now, you are blocked in the tram right before your last stop. Oh, well, you are already late. What’s a few minutes more.
Finally, it moves!!!! You get out, in the merciless weather. Now it’s even windy and your umbrella carries you away like you are Mary effing Poppins. More humans are pushing you. Just a few more minutes and you are almost there. You see a few teenagers eating croissants in the rain – that i get, it happened to me as well. They look happy.
Still rainy, dark and windy. But hey, you are almost there. Getting in the elevator after searching your badge for a few minutes. Now, you have to put on a smile. Your work smile. People in the elevator look as relived as you to be inside. They make some noises like they just finished a battle. Almost one hour later: yep, that is exactly how it felt, like a battle to get in here.
At least there is chocolate here. And coffee. Oh, Fridays.