Tag Archives: feminism

I Am A Woman Not A Doormat, Dammit

Yesterday I rose above the late morning clouds of the northwest sky and air-bussed my way to sunny southern California. I like to travel and though the lines and tunnels to board any plane can feel quite a bit like a cattle shoot, there’s always an air of expectancy to any trip. Cattle or no.

Because I travel fairly often I’ve learned a few tricks and Mr Dreamboat has mentored me as well. Things like choose your seat-mate and board early can make all the difference between an relaxed adventure and an uncomfortable three hour nightmare.

The second I did, the first, not so much.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about a video I recently saw showing empowered women in the workplace and daily life. What gave me pause was the apologies. A veritable plethora of them voiced by women from all walks of life.

There was a submissiveness to them that made the video uncomfortable to watch. Perhaps because of the truth it revealed. About me. About you?

I was sitting in my aisle seat on Southwest and I was sitting there because I chose it, because I checked in early and as such had a broader choice of seats than those who were not so diligent.

When 6’4” man came to sit in the remaining middle seat I felt compelled to give him my seat. Because he would be more comfortable? Because I am kind? Because I am a women?

Then I started to wonder if his friend didn’t pointedly ask if he should be sitting in the aisle because of his height. And I wonder if he wasn’t leaning further into my seat because I am a woman and another man occupied the seat to the left.

Truly, I do not know the answers to these questions, but I think they’re worthy questions.

I am a 47-year-old woman with important work to do. I seek to bring a greater lightness to the world, to preach self-love and love for one another. I cannot do it if I’m apologizing about things for which I am not and cannot be sorry. But when should I be sorry? This I do not know.

I am a woman and I want to be kind and generous and thoughtful and at this juncture I’m not sure where the line of between kindness and submissiveness is.

But I’m looking for it. I’m looking for it 20,000 feet above the earth and in my daily interactions. Maybe if we look for it together we’ll find it.

Like, share comment, tweet and remember it’s rare we find something we aren’t seeking.

Celebrate Women

In my studio hangs a canvas of my grandmothers. In it, they are young and smiling and full of life. The words, “Ciao Bella!” are written underneath, as if every time I walk into the room they are welcoming me by saying, “Hello, Beautiful!” This is one of the reasons I love to spend time in my studio.

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These two women were lovely and strong. They were not without flaws, just like you and I, but they were full of love and life and strength. I am proud to come from a line of very strong women.

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Max is On the left. Don’t tell him I put this in…

Friday night Mr Dreamboat and I hurried back from Austin, Texas to attend the Candle Light Procession for Kids Making Miracles, the culminating event for the youth organization that fund-raises for Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital. Our son Max was a key speaker, having served on the committee for years and serving as a Co-chair this year. He is the third of our children to do so.

The event is always touching. Real kids help save the lives of other kids. It’s a worthy organization and I am very proud of my children for making it a priority during their high school years.

What struck me this year, was the women who attend the event. This year I spoke with a young Imagemother who has had 5 major surgeries in the last 6 months to free herself from cancer. She has spent her time, most definitely her energy, as well as quite a financial investment to stay alive. Her driving desire, to stay alive for her family.

Another woman there has older children… and now a younger one as well. She and her husband have taken in a brother’s child to raise as their own. My lively, kind friends both looked just as beautiful as they do each year, but let’s be honest, they are worn out. Just telling you about these two women makes me tired.

And then I start to think about many, many women I know. I think about personal stories of love and sacrifice. I think about generous hearts that are open and homes that are shared. I think about the mothers who have helped raise my own children, as each has journeyed further and further from our own nest.

ImageThis Mother’s Day I, along with millions of other women, was honored with gifts and kind words and silly cards that made us smile. I had the privilege of honoring my own mothers as well. I like Mother’s Day, in all its schmaltzy glory. But it’s not enough.

While you may or may not have enjoyed your Mother’s Day, every day is You Day. Every day is a day to not only celebrate you, but to celebrate the women with whom you come into contact. We need to revel in the glorious beings that we are. We need to embrace the magical feminine energy we hold. And by doing so, we will in turn celebrate the wonder that is masculine energy in our world. It’s sweet and salty. It’s yin and yang. It’s men and women and we are amazing beings.

So this morning I will run through my normal routines. There is much to do and I am so very excited to do it. But for just a moment I will give a nod to my two grandmothers. I will smile right back at their youthful, energetic images and greet them back with a “Ciao, Bella.”

And I am sending it to you through the nebulous ether that is the internet. I send out my love and admiration for all you do. I am grateful for your energy and for your strength and for all the kindnesses you administer on this daily walk through life.

I hope you remember today is You Day. I hope you remember that each woman, each soul, you cross paths with today is changing the world with their unique energy. Greet them with a “Hello, Beautiful!” and help them on their way.

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Women

One of the most humbling things about having my husband in jail (for fourteen months and one week), was that I was in a place and with people society has labeled as bad. I sure agree with the “place” part, jail is not for pansies. But the people I met along the way were varied and interesting.

We met musicians, pro football players, business men, drug dealers, cowboys, Indians and one poor schmuck, I mean kid, who downloaded bootleg movies from the internet and got 6 months. Be warned.

Christmas was challenging for our younger kids as it appeared that Santa and Mrs. Claus were making out near the vending machines. Like I said, it was not for the faint of heart. We met people from all faiths, those practicing and those who wished they’d followed a little straighter path in life, and we saw tattoos applied by professionals as well as those crafted in prisons all over the country. Federal prison camp is a veritable melting pot.

Not only did we have the pleasure of experiencing what’s known as a “walk away”, but Aaron spent a month in the Detention Center (it’s a holding facility), with its razor wire and 23 hour a day lock down, as well as a few unfortunate days in the “Medium High”. I have to admit that the latter seemed to house a rougher crowd. Even the guards seemed more hardcore.

The part of humanity that was consistent throughout all these adventures was the women.

While Aaron was on his “Sojourn” to “Prisneyland”, I was the head of the women’s organization in our church. I was a sort of women’s clergy, if you will. I worked with a team of remarkable women. You can imagine that it seemed ironic to have the President (as it is called) of the organization have her husband in jail, but through the four years I served, I never once caught a glimmer of judgment from the women I worked with. Neither my team of three other women, nor the women we worked with on a daily basis. All were accepting. All were kind with their service and respectful of me. Public, giant warts and all.

Not only were these church going girls wonderful, but what humbled and astonished me were the “jail wives” themselves.

When you go to a prison for men, the people waiting in line to visit them are women. Mothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends. When you go to a prison for women? Same thing. Sisters, mothers and friends. They were there supporting their loved ones, but even more amazing was the support they gave to one another. I write that sentence, and I realize that in a way I have distanced myself. But the truth is that WE supported each other.

We stood in lines and we taught the new kids in town how to fill out the forms and what to wear to get through the metal detectors (the answer to that is sports bras). We gave each other change for the vending machines and one very distinguished older lady pulled her high end sedan over on the side of the road when she recognized me and thought I was having car trouble.

One of my favorite people in the world I met in jail. Sista Jones, as she is known in our home, is a young, wise and fun loving woman who generously, painfully, and laboriously supported her man through their nightmare. She really is my sister.

I’ve mentioned my sketchy history with teachers, and the truth is, I’ve met some pretty dangerous women. But right along with that is a reverence for them, for us. I am humbled by the service I’ve received at their hands. I am in awe of the strength of the so called “weaker sex”. I am very proud to be one of them

“Here’s to good women,

may we know them,

may we be them,

may we raise them.”