Tag Archives: sexism

I DO!

“Everything that I know…

I know only because I love.”

Tolstoy – War&Peace

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Everybody’s had marriage on their minds recently. Some of you want to stay away from it, some of you are trapped within it. Some of you feel free because of it and some of you don’t know how you feel about it. Some of you are desperate for it, some of you have dreamt of it since you were wee and some of you couldn’t care less.

All of that is ok and all of that is valid.

Not that you need an ‘ok’ from me – I just wanted you to know that I get that life is complicated and there are few safe places to feel accepted and at peace. You can relax here and you can speak freely.

F is for Feisty welcomes you with a big fat FUGGLE! (A free cuddle, or free hug = FUG)

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Here are my messy, random, frantic, silly, OTT, slightly odd thoughts on the matter of marriage.

I got married in 2009 on July the 4th.

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Some may find that ironic, but for me it sits perfectly.

In a previous post about changing my name when getting married, I said…

From the day Russ and I started dating I felt strongly about not wanting to lose myself to the relationship. I had been ‘lost’ so many times before, I’d seen so many people get ‘lost’ and I didn’t want to sink and just be ‘Russ’s girlfriend’ or ‘Russ’s wife’.

I wanted to be Kate.

An individual who was free and independent with her own mind. And you know, Russ knew that. Before I told him. I didn’t have to spell it out – he knew my heart and he wanted to be the one to free me from the crap that bound me from negative experiences in my past.

!SOPPY SLUSHY PUKEY WARNING!

For our last wedding anniversary he gave me a bird cage, with a bird shaped candle inside.

He told me that the door on this little bird cage would never be closed – and that has been our biggest promise to each other for 6 (nearly 7!) years now – to give each other wings, to free each other from pain, insecurities – anything that holds us back.

To want the best for each other and to FIND ourselves within the promises we made, not LOSE ourselves.

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I am glad to say that this is still the foundation of our marriage – that, and honesty.

When I got engaged, I got a lot of confused looks and a lot of questions. I also got a lot of remarks like:

‘but you still have so much of your life left!’

‘but you’re so young!’

‘why not wait until you’ve lived and you’re ready to settle down’

‘marriage is for old people who are miserable!’

and so on.

My favourite list of comments showered me when I was at the hairdressers one spring afternoon back in 2009….

Shocked to see an engagement ring on my finger, my hairdresser – visibly panic-stricken – asked if I was part of a cult or if it was some kind of an arranged marriage. A good effort was made to talk me out of it and to get the ‘real story’ out of me, like I was a lost child with ‘help me’ written on my oh-so-youthful forehead. Having never met this hairdresser before I was a little baffled by the whole thing. The sad looks like I had announced I had days to live, the slight snigger at my ‘young age’ and the patronising list of questions about the seriousness of this commitment all added to my confused little chair/mirror/cape/towel combo.

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The thing that kept me confused and pretty speechless throughout the whole shebang was that my hairdresser – shocked and fearful at the mere thought of marriage – was about 7 or 8 months pregnant.

Now, please don’t hear me wrong – I have nothing against makin’ babies. In fact, I CAN’T WAIT to have a little tribe of mini people to live life with.

My point is – when did marriage become this plague-like life sentence that we are victims of and need rescuing from? When did it become a retirement home for the miserable and doomed?

Why is it for some people and not for others? Who gets to judge or decide that? Who gets to deny or grant it?

What the F-is-for-Flip IS it?!

A simple ‘define marriage’ in the google search bar gave me this ‘gem’ of an explanation:

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Personally I feel this is extremely dated and rather vague and, well, RUBBISH.

So, naturally, I turned to my friends kids.

What is marriage?! I cried. Who is it for?!

This is what they told me….

Marriage is when you marry someone and it’s after you’re engaged.

The book reader says you are now husband and wife and the lady gets another ring.

The lady changes her second name to the husband’s second name and you have bridesmaids to hold up the end of the bride’s dress.

You live together forever.

Look, bumblebee!

I asked the children “what do we do when we love each other?” a 3 year old told me…. “we get married and hug.”

Marriage is a festival!

Marriage is for mummy and daddy, you should marry daddy.

Marriage means getting married, you have a party!

It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.

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So I then turned to Sesame Street.

Seemed logical.

Cute, yes, but this kid obviously has better things to think about. He clearly isn’t FOCUSSED.

We need guidance, oh YouTube God! Help us in our time of need!

And then I saw a face.

A face in the darkness.

A face to light my way.

Yes, Brad Pitt, it was your face.

Oh sweet sweet you. 

Who actually talks SENSE!

Sweet sweet sense!

Brad’s is a message of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. It’s a message of SENSE and PEACE and of RESPECT.

It’s a message I like.

We, too, must put on accents and suddenly become a fictitious character on TV and be GORGEOUS in the face of injustice!!

F is for Feisty salutes you, Brad!

*fist pump!*

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At the beginning of this (now somewhat absolutely random) blog post, I quoted Tolstoy. It wasn’t a quote about marriage but about LOVE. I chose this because my reason for living is to love. I try to make every choice through the eyes of love and to see everybody through those eyes too. How many times are choices made without a moments thought of love?

Let’s give it a try.

Let’s start with LOVE and see what happens.

Let’s choose LOVE and see what happens.

Let’s speak LOVE walk LOVE dream LOVE share LOVE give LOVE see LOVE hear LOVE make LOVE create LOVE weave LOVE write LOVE and inspire others to LOVE.

over&out

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Feminiwhatism?!

To be honest,

I am figuring this one out too.

I’m figuring out most things and I hope I always will be. I hope I’ll always want to learn and listen to new and old opinions and experiences and theories.

Over the past couple of years I’ve collected some images and quotes which, so far, sum it up for me. I hope they’ll be helpful to you too.

Don’t forget to share what inspires you, makes you giggle, helps you get up in the morning,makes you angry or makes your heart beat.

Leave a comment, you know you want to!

And when I say you, I mean YOU. Whoever & whatever you call yourself.

I mean the unisex, err’body in the club, love train, join hands, brother, sister, S Club 7, boogie wonderland, marching band, yours&mine, rosie&jim, marvin&tammy, ziggy stardust, granny& gramps, R E S P E C T, mama, papa, hoe down, barn dance, fred&ginger type of thing.

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Graffiti, Soweto, Gauteng

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 feminism

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You & Me

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I love discussion, community, journeying, wrestling, chatting late into the night, learning, reading, understanding, growing and sharing and I want to do all of that with YOU! I’ll post questions I get asked and comments too so that we can work things out together.

I am definitely at the

discovery

stage of all of this and I’m loving it!

I don’t have answers and rules and nothing is set in stone here – feminism isn’t a club or an organisation with a logo and a membership card. It’s simply believing that you and me are people. That we’re valuable, unique and worthy of respect no matter what dangly bits we may or may not have. Simple!

Let’s get started with a few bits from this past week……

QUESTIONS:

I wonder what you think the most immediate goal for contemporary feminism should be?

Where do you think the most energy should be spent?

How do you choose your battles?

Not to imply that any issue is trivial but I wonder if there’s a requirement for more formalised leadership within feminism?

What do YOU think? Leave a comment below and let’s get chatting!

COMMENTS:

It was illuminating and concerning to hear successful TV cook Mary Berry announce that

feminism was a dirty word

and she

“didn’t want women’s rights and all that”

this week.

Perhaps she just can’t be bothered to have a career anymore, wishes she never learned how to read, got bored of choosing how to spend her money and ran out of ideas for her own opinions. Each to their own. But I’m pretty sure she’s enjoying many rights without realising.

She cited

not liking shouting and wanting to respect men as reasons to reject feminism

but this only highlights her misunderstanding of it. Good news, Mrs Berry –

feminism is with you.

We like the same things.

We can be friends.

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