why women need other women

Lately, I’ve put a lot of thought into my love and appreciation for the other women around me. I’ve come to a conclusion. There is something beautiful and magical about having another woman to talk to.

I am not one to espouse women’s solidarity against the metaphorical man; in university I even refused to join the clubs and organizations that were specifically for women. My stomach would churn when I heard a woman I previously respected in engineering or in the sciences talk about how it was ok to feel intimidated by the men around you, it was ok to feel awkward, it was ok to be stared at and it was ok because we women would get through it together. The need for this kind of comraderie was absent from my experience. Since elementary school, my best friends had always been boys. I’d long since become one of the guys and did not feel intimidated or awkward when the boys excluded me or poked fun, I did what any good boy would do and dished it right back out.

For years, I saught to make the personality that would make me fit in with the boys around me and for quite some time it worked. Until I realized that I was incapable of communicating to my friends, collegues, romantic partners and everyone that the one true thing I really needed was to be a woman. To those around me I was not a woman, I was this other word we use to describe women who are not womanly; I was a bitch.

Let’s talk about this word bitch. Continue reading

on truth’s value

The real searcher after truth will not receive the old because it is old, or reject the new because it is new.  He will not believe men because they are dead, or contradict them because they are alive.  With him an utterance is worth the truth, the reason it contains, without the slightest regard to the author.  He may have been a king or serf – a philosopher or servant – but the utterance neither gains nor loses in truth or reason.  Its value is absolutely independent of the fame or station of the man who gave it to the world.

Robert G. Ingersoll

Green, Red, Black and Female

I recently read a very moving and persuasive article on Truth-Out.org, one of my progessive blog reading indulgences.  It was so powerfully written that I can’t help sharing some of my favorite quotes and some of the questions it flooded into my mind.  The Future Must Be Green, Red, Black and Female just had one of those titles that grabbed my attention and demanded to be read.

Robert Jensen is an outspoken activist and constantly inspires on how to make things happen in the future.

Our task today is not to scurry around trying to hold onto the world as we know it, but to focus on how we can hold onto our humanity as we enter a distinctly different era of the human presence on the planet, an era that will challenge our resolve and reserves.

 This point of view seems to be an essential part of the thought process of all of my friends and peers, we assume that we are creating the world we will live in.  But the challenging portion is that we don’t necessarily imagine that the world we will live in is nothing like the world of our parents, even less then how their world was like that of their parents.  There has been a fundamental shift in the power balance of the world; our population and consumerism have done nothing but grow for centuries, but can they continue to do that?

Continue reading

working harder

My husband and I both struggle on a daily basis. We struggle with a tendency towards laziness. We’d both rather watch tv and play games and read books or blogs than do anything else. (Doesn’t everyone?)  So why is it a struggle to focus on work?

We both grew up in houses where our parents worked to provide enough money for our comforts, We were fed, we had good lives, but none of our parents enjoyed their lives (their whole lives). They went to work just because they had to do it, there was no joy in working, there was no joy in things getting done. Our parents came home from their duty and started enjoying family and watching tv. Even though we knew what they did and they weren’t necessarily unhappy, it also didn’t make them happy or fill them with passion. Don’t get me wrong, I (and he) were instilled with values of duty and excellence and general succesful life tactics but I’m beginning to suspect that none of that matters as much as the fact that we were at the same time being subconsciously taught that work can never be fun.

I want to enjoy my whole life. I want to be entrepreneurial. I want to follow my passion. I want work to be fun. Now that I know that’s the problem, I’m posting this because it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to believe it every day and reprogram myself (and my husband) to think that way. Here goes.

A Thousand Years of NonLinear History

A Thousand Years of NonLinear History is a must read for anyone remotely interested in cylical or systems thinking.  To approach the history of mankind with the same model as a scientists approaches a thermodynamics problem could be one of the most ingenious ideas I’ve read to date.  De Landa walks you (through myriads of systems storytelling) into the philosophical world of Lavas and Magmas, Flesh and Genes, and Memes and Norms on a quest, not for optimum efficiency or evolutionary fitness, but for a moment or two of balance between the phase shifts that are our historic eras.     In my opinion, every scientist, designer and thinker should read this book – if only for the priveledge of following the thoughts of such a well-learned man.

Check out some of my favorite quotes, ideas and the loads of references I’ll be reading up on:

Continue reading