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

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

In the beginning…

This post has been several years in the making.  When I first thought of using the internet to help me remember what I am doing, blogs were popular.  Yes, sometimes I’m that far behind the times.  So, why now?

Everyday I find myself dueling balance in a million ways and by the end of most days, I am no closer to finding it.  Some would say that’s because I enjoy the perks that come with being an unbalanced person :-).  Today, the reason I start this blog today, is because I can’t get one question out of my head.  Does balance exist?

Balance, as defined by dictionary.com has 31 definitions ranging from “a stable emotional state” to “to reckon and adjust accounts.”  To me, balance has always been tied to the idea of equilibrium.  Give and take.  My parents taught me this at young age of 5 when I first got my allowance.  If I’d given my time to chores that week I was given some money, some of which I had to save, some of which I could take and spend on whatever I wanted.  I quickly learned that the more cheerful I was about my chores, or to be more honest, the less I complained about them, the more money I was given.  They taught me that being part of the family was rewarding to my desires as long as I also fulfilled their desires.  Looking back, this was a lot to grasp as a whiny 5 year old – but I’m glad my parents thought highly enough of me to teach me.

Balance must exist as the result of understanding the system.  It’s the peace that you get when you know that you have sacrificed something for something else.  However, I’m years removed from my allowance days and able to look back at them now and see them as rewarding.  I am beginning to challenge myself – what sacrifices do I complain about to today that are truly worth it?  where can balance be found and where should it be fought?