Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#YesAllWomen

It's a hashtag circulating on twitter, and it's an important one.

If you've been following along I have been doing an On Raising A Daughter series of blogposts. They're important to me because my daughter is going to be a woman one day, and I have concerns for her in how she will navigate a misogynistic society that doesn't admit it is one.

Because that's today's climate, and yesterday's, and it's not okay for anyone to think differently. Maybe in your little pocket of the enchanted forest you live in you don't see discrimination and violence towards women, but you can't ignore it isn't real. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not real.

It's real.

I am lucky. I'm so lucky because I have never been molested or raped. God I'm lucky. But that doesn't mean I haven't been in uncomfortable situations.  I have been sexually harassed by a slow-moving truck full of teen guys wolf whistling at me, asking me to turn around and show them my tits, then calling me a bitch and telling me I have a fat ass before speeding away. I guess I was supposed to be flattered they noticed me? That was on a Monday afternoon while I was walking on a very public river trail. I have been groped in bars, grabbed, been assumed to be public property just because I was a woman in a bar, then angrily called a tease when I told them to stop. I've 'accidentally' had my ass grabbed by a skeevy perv when standing in line at the bank machine.

I've been in a roomful of guys where they talked about my breasts like they weren't attached to me. A person.

I've been told to show more cleavage.

I've been told I'm ugly. By a stranger. Because I wouldn't kiss him.

Remember, I'm lucky.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years. How do you break-up with someone who makes you believe you are unlovable? Unwanted? How do you confess to people that you now believe that, too?

So you stay.

And stay.

And stay.

Until you're not even 1/10th the person you used to be.

He did that to me.

Remember, I'm lucky.

We're told that if we don't want the attention, we shouldn't dress like whores. I watched a reality t.v. show where a dad told his daughters that "men get ideas when too much skin is shown. It can be really hard on a man to have all those feelings churning inside him, so you girls need to be modest so you don't tempt men."

It's emphatically wrong that a woman should modify her wardrobe so a man doesn't have to modify his behaviour.

We are told that it's her fault for always dating losers. It's not the abusers fault, it's her fault for continuing to choose them.

 We blame the victim, because surely she played a role in bringing it on herself.

As teenagers, in our hormonal craze of wanting a boyfriend (perfectly normal) we learn to accept unacceptable male behaviour because isn't that attention better than no attention? We learned this from our sisters. And they learned it from theirs. Boys will be boys, don't forget. They can't help it.

Feminists are crazies.

We should ignore their entire message.

We shouldn't classify ourselves as feminists, despite being females. It's a dirty word and the men don't like it. So let's allow them to continue voting and passing laws on what we should be able to do with our bodies. They know best.

Let's not speak up when they dismiss a woman's competency because she's a woman; let's say nothing when a sexist joke makes you feel uncomfortable because Jesus H. lighten up, IT'S JUST A JOKE. It's your fault you don't find it funny.

You're the problem.

Women are told they can't do the same job as a man.

Women earn less.

All women are scared walking home alone, at night. Because what if...

#NotAllMen are like this, but #YesAllWomen should be passionate about this. And their husbands, and brothers, and fathers, too. Passionate about it for your daughters. Your sisters. Your mothers. Your sons.

I want better for my daughter.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lotions and Potions

You know how cigarette packages must have mandatory health warnings printed on them just to remind people, "Hey! Might not be a good idea! Why don't you go drink a green juice instead?!" Well, I'm starting to think babies should come with a similar warning. As in, every time you stop to admire someone's newborn there should be a little sign around its neck stating the following:

"Hey, just so you know my parents are going to be exhausted for the next five years! Hope they like feeling sluggish and fuzzy-headed, because neither caffeine nor sleep is going to cure this kind of tired! And I'm so freaking cute I'm playing mind games with them as they dance between remembering those days when they were rested and functional, but feeling conflicted and torn because I wasn't there. HAHAHAHA. Suckers."

Hey Ma, I'm just chilling against this wall right now, wearing my wooden bead necklace you bought me so I'd stop breaking your necklaces. I've got my doll and my ball. Life is sweet, and what? Who? Me? I'm not that much trou.....

MEOW! I'm outta here mom, just saw a cat. Don't even try to catch me.

Oh my lord Internet, she is so stinkin' cute. SO CUTE. It takes all my effort not to photo-bomb Facebook and random strangers with the hundreds of pictures I take of her. I just love her to a million little bits, but Lord, she makes me tired.

SO TIRED.

I said to Dan a couple of weeks ago that it looks like Ma Ingalls just took my face and ran it up and down a scrub board. That's how perma-tired I always look. The fact I don't go to bed until 11:30 probably isn't helping matters...but WHATEVER. 

Night owls unite! For Life!

Recently I was in The Body Shop to get some of my Shea body butter, and I saw these two products and thought I'd give them a try to perk up my skin.


Cleansing Oil and Vitamin E serum

In addition to being tired, my skin is so dehydrated and dry. This is a massive change for me, since you used to be able to oil griddle pans with my acne riddled complexion. But not anymore. Now my skin is Dryee McDryerson.

These are really nice. The cleansing oil doesn't leave me skin oily at all, but it does add some hydration. It's recommended for all skin types, in case anyone with oily skin is interested, and the Vitamin E serum has just given me a concentrated hit of moisture, which I then follow-up with my regular moisturiser. After a couple of weeks of using these every night they have managed to even bring back a smidge of glow to my otherwise dimly-lit face. 

The grooves under my eyes that look like tire tracks are another matter. One that an earlier bedtime might solve, but then how am I supposed to stare for hours at pictures of my baby girl if I'm sleeping?

How? 

How?!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Beautiful Things

It's storming outside.

Downpour, thunder, lightening, the whole works. I do love a good storm...except when we're on week three of stormy weather. Yes, it's unofficially Switzerland's monsoon season. Err, minus the monsoons.

My dad called me last week to say he was golfing with a European fellow, and when finding out Dan and I were in Switzerland, the man commented: "Ah Switzerland, beautiful country. Crappy weather." Yes, that about sums it up.

So instead of feeling droll about the weather, I thought I'd post a few beautiful things that are acting as my sunshine these days.

The first is that we have booked a Paris trip for the beginning of July. Oh yes! God I love Paris. Every cliche exists for a reason and this is my fourth time going; I can hardly wait to bite into my flaky, daily breakfast, pain au chocolat, and picnic under the Eiffel Tower, take LB to the Versailles gardens (we're skipping the actual Palace this time, because lord there is only so many times a person can be interested in the Hall of Mirrors), and avoid any and all attractions pertaining to Napoleon. Because, ugh, no Dan I don't care about that short little dude who needed to lift his leg and piss all over Europe and claim it as his own. I CARED THE FIRST THREE TIMES, NOT ANYMORE. I'm also excited to just be in Paris.

There is still so much of Europe we haven't seen. Scotland was a contender for I wanted to shut myself away in a stone cottage on a moor, teach LB to skip stones on a Loch, while Dan bombed around the countryside getting pissed at distilleries. It was a beautiful idea, but holy: it costs a lot of money to go get drunk in Scotland while your wife and daughter are skipping stones on a Loch. Since we fail at long-term vacation planning, that was out for our July holiday.

Then there was Sweden. Oh Sweden, I wanted to stay in a forest hotel. As in, the hotel is built INTO THE TREES. See above, re: shit, it costs a lot to sleep like Tarzan for a few nights.

Dan refuses to go back to Italy anymore because he's too Swiss, and Italy literally causes his brain to short circuit.

WHY ISN'T THE TRAIN HERE?
WHY IS IT SO DIRTY?
WHY DOESN'T ANYTHING WORK?
WHY ARE CHILDREN STILL PARTYING IN THE PIAZZA AT 11:30 PM?

Dan floated Germany, and I was all, "Deutsch, pretzels, and bratwurst...PASS."

So Paris it is, and oh I am glad.

The next thing making me happy are the following:

Angle One

Angle Two

So the first thing I'll draw your attention to is the make-up bag with the birds on it. I don't own a lot of make-up, but I learnt my lesson (see Cheap Nudes, somewhere in the archives...), so the little bit of make-up I own is good stuff, and I was keeping that good stuff in a ratty cardboard box. 

Fail.

I was out last Saturday, saw this bag, and snatched it up. Yes, a cardboard box is utilitarian but there's nothing beautiful about it, and I have been making a concerted effort lately that when it's time to replace something, I'm replacing it with the most beautiful option I can find. 

This brings me to the next item, which is the blue-flowered placemat. LB is eating at the table now, and after she dragged her cloth placemat through her dinner for the fifth time, I thought, 'It's time for plastic placemats!' 

Except, dudes, plastic placemats are capital U ugly. I did not want Tweety Bird, Cars, Tinkerbell, or farm animals at my dinner table. So I found these plastic placemats by Rice DK and boom. Problem solved.

Yes, I am fully willing to admit I am a snob when it comes to kid stuff. An utter snob. Which brings us to the third item: LB's new pj's. I have this thing where I think that children should be dressed just like little well-groomed adults. What I mean by this is I don't want her wearing anything that is ugly as fuck and clearly made 'for kids'. That means no Disney characters on her clothes, no juvenile prints, and NO SWEATPANTS IN PUBLIC.

You see? I am a snob. This snobbery is my financial burden to bear, for I'm sure there are a lot of parents out there who are shaking their head a little ol' fiscally irresponsible me because everything I categorised above is cheap. And kids grow fast.

And I don't care! 

So LB outgrew most of her jammies, and I needed to find her new ones that fit within my snobby parameters. This whale number did the trick. In fact, I also asked if they carried them in adult sizes, because damn, I totally want them too.

But they didn't, so I bought some peonies instead. 

My favourite flower, they're in season, enough said. 

I always have fresh flowers in the house lately, because why not. Fresh blooms are beautiful, and beauty is the point of life.

The end.

P.S. What's bringing you guys sunshine, if you're living under clouds?