Monday, October 24, 2016

That other "F" word...

This morning, I saw a post on Facebook that really bothered me (by now, I should know better than to be bothered by social media memes, I know...).  

Generally, I have a problem being stereotyped and lumped into ANY category, and I have a problem with people thinking one type of personality/choice/action describes the sum of things.  Social media is FULL of these types of generalizations and ignorant memes, and usually I can just scroll past with an eye-roll.  But this one - well, it pissed me off.  It annoys me that people create these images and they spread like wildfire, showering the world with misinformation and unrealistic, incorrect and negative connotations. 

My issue is a lot deeper than a silly image.  Here's the deal:  
I'm a feminist.  I am loud and proud and will fight for women's rights, any day of the week.  Do I do so by carrying assault rifles?  No.  Do I do so by protesting in the nude?  Nope.  I live it by being the best I can be each and every day, in my relationships and in my career.  I don't let gender limits define me.  I don't play victim, but I don't victimize others, either.  

But is that what it "means?"  This "F" word that has gotten such a bad rap?  I looked up a few definitions, just to be sure.  Mirriam-Webster defines feminism as "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; organized activity in support of women's rights."   That makes perfect sense to me.  So HOW did this word become associated with such negative connotations?  WHY isn't every woman proud to declare herself a feminist?  I don't understand... even Urban Dictionary gave the word a legitimate, sensible definition.  So, why the hate?

I started digging around the internet and found the Facebook page for "Women Against Feminism." My gut reaction was to be appalled- but after visiting the page I can agree with many of the points these women are making.   The page focuses more on the idea of "equalism," which to me IS the point of feminism.  Many self-proclaimed equalists are claiming they want the separation to end.  I get that.  I agree.  But after spending some time with their social media account, I couldn't help but feel that this movement could be causing much of the division.    Many women feel shamed for their lifestyle choices- whether it be that she wishes to be the CEO of the company or she wishes to stay at home to raise her children.   The worst part of this shaming comes from the fact that it is most often women shaming each other.  This, to me, shaming isn't feminism.  And it isn't equalism. 

After searching for a little social clarity, I feel more torn and confused about it all.  I believe women are equal.  I believe men are equal.  I believe people of both sexes are capable of being and doing whatever they put their hearts and minds to.  I believe people can be born under one gender but identify with the other.  I fiercely believe in each human being's right to choose to live his or her best and most true life, as long as that lifestyle is of no physical or emotional harm to others.   Does that make me a feminist?  An equalist?  

Maybe it just makes me a believer.

What about you?  Are you a self-proclaimed feminist?  An equalist?  What does it all mean to you?  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Just a quick catch-up...

...and just like that, a month has passed and I haven't blogged.  The best of intentions don't always pan out...

So, here's a quick look at the last month:

Work had me traveling a bit over the past few weeks, and I spent a couple days with my best friend and her family during one of my trips.  It was great to get some time with the Smith family... especially this little love-bug, Garrett.  He's going to be one year old this weekend!  I won't get to celebrate his birthday, though....

...Because these two are getting married!  We've had lots of wedding showers over the past few weeks, including this one held by Lucas & Lauren's church family in Lawton.  During this photo, their pastor was putting them to the test with a game of "Who knows each other better?"  It's going to be surreal to watch my baby brother become someone's HUSBAND this weekend, but I am so excited for them both and am anxious to help celebrate their big day!

This past week, Michael and I went to Tulsa to see one of my very favorite men in the entire world... Kris Kristofferson.  My love for him is probably a little odd for someone my age, but it knows no bounds.  (That's worth an entire post of its own...)

Kristofferson was receiving an award at Cain's Ballroom, so there were other singer/songwriters there to honor him.  Above are legends "Ramblin' Jack" Elliot and Rodney Crowell.

And after the show, Rodney Crowell walked right past me on the sidewalk- so I HAD to get a photo.  And, in true Jessica fashion, the pic is fuzzy and my eyes are closed.  

And of course, no month is complete without a few beverages.  And beverages just can't be consumed without photographic evidence, right?  

A few things from around the web before I go-

Are you watching this show?  It is so, so good.

I found this interesting about Anne Hathaway,  about how she felt after she played Fantine in Les Mis...

I never get tired of this band, or this NPR series...

I just adore this blog.  I've been reading for years, and often go back to read posts I may have missed here and there.   This morning, I've been catching up on her relationship posts.    

-Have a great weekend!