Healthy Relationships: Conversing about Ultimatums (because #metoo)

There is so much good going on lately, with #metoo storming social media and providing a succinct way to show solidarity as well as start a conversation and show the need for change.

As a facet of that movement, I want to urge parents to tell your daughters (ok, and your sons) that anyone they might date who tells them ‘do this, or else I will break up with you’ needs to break up with that person On The Spot. No second chances. Relationships based on ultimatums are unhealthy. Let your young women know that no relationship is worth going against their values. Having a relationship doesn’t transform you into a worthwhile human: you have always been so very worthy of good and you always will be.

I want to urge parents of boys as well (ok, boys and girls), please tell your sons to avoid Ever issuing an ultimatum to anyone. Saying ‘do this or else’ is to try to force someone to bend to your will and that is so inappropriate no matter what context, but especially in a relationship. If you are unhappy with the way dating is going and you have tried mature ways of working it out (you may have to ask an adult to give you mature ideas, that is a good and normal thing to do!), then break up. You can respect a person’s limits by breaking up, but not by threatening to break up. Honestly, you’ll find another relationship. If you hold out for one in which you know that your non-negotiables will be met, then you will be able to work through the challenges together.

I know deep in my bones this is a vital conversation to have.

When one person grows up socialized to think they hold all the power, they wield power. Relationships are not about wielding power; they are about communication, staying true to yourself, and respecting the other person’s limits. They’re about a million things, really, but in a healthy relationship all of those things are kind and good.

 

I’m feeling good about parents and mentors nurturing respect through this conversation.

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#StabilityInFlats : your prerogative and mine

The Little-Heard History of High Heels…

I would like to share a link, calling particular attention to this portion of the article linked to:

‘Fashion’s Victims’ through the centuries

The return of women’s high heels in the late 1850s and early ’60s served a different social purpose: a form of censure for women at a time the sex was becoming outspoken in the abolitionist movement. The heel had been banned for most of the century due to its association with debauched French aristocracy. Its revival was intended to summon similar negative associations, says Semmelhack: “It was called the ‘Louis heel’ to make sure everyone knew it was a reclamation of the 18th century. It was intended to be highly destabilizing.”

The high heel was intended to destabilize women, and to shut us up when we were speaking out against slavery!

For those interested in intersectionality, this is a keen opportunity for you to make a statement: Women were speaking out in support of the rights of those in slavery, and were silenced by being associated with loose morals via high heels. I am boycotting high heels to show my stability, my right to speak, my right to support whatever causes and people I choose to. Join me!

#StabilityInFlats  : because women are capable of being sensible, intelligent, seeing through tricks and illusions, and flat shoes are safer and healthier for our bodies!!

Say no to the control measures of corporations. I don’t need heels to know I’m attractive. I’m #notbuyingit and #notwearingit

‘Penelope’ film review

Penelope is a wonderful movie; you should watch it immediately. Here’s why.

  • The heroine narrates her own story, from a place of power, ownership, and strength.
  • The plot-line elicits compassion, and while it is fantasy-based, it is highly symbolic and meaningful to any of us who have ever struggled to love ourselves as we are.
  • It is not your typical romantic comedy… to say the least.
  • Christina Ricci is awesome, and she carries off the lead role incomparably well.
  • If you want to be cheered-up about leading men. Typically I find them pathetically immoral, asinine, rude, unkind, dishonest, selfish… and just generally unworthy. You might understand more fully my meaning as you get to know the leading male character of Penelope, and see how he is an appropriate foil to most leading men in modern films.

Please enjoy it. And if you fancy, submit it to the Bechdel test. Penelope is available to stream from Amazon Prime and Netflix.

No More ‘Sad-Vertising’!

Personally, I make it a point to avoid purchasing products which use “sad-vertising”… a term I’m using to refer to ads which encourage women to feel bad about ourselves in some way.

You know what I’m talking about… commercials where we’re portrayed as being inferior in some way, until we buy the product. They play on the desire many people have, of wanting to be liked. They also promote a lie that affirmation comes from material possessions, and even worse, that self-approval relies on other people’s approval of us.

Women are not the only targets of this, of course. Men are frequently targeted as well. It needs to stop. And we need to speak up about our dislike of it.

SAY NO TO SAD-VERTISING. I’m #notbuyingit

#saynotosadvertising

We also need to ACT on our dislike of it by consistently avoiding purchasing items promoted using sadvertising.

Money changes everything. We have the power to make change,* and we have the right to use it.

 

*ten points to any pun-sters who caught that.

Women are so cool.

Some articles that appeal to me:

26, Unmarried, and Childless : Hear hear! I am doing awesome things, too! This article rocks my socks. There are other women out there like myself. I would love to be married and holding my kids in my arms by now, that would be great. But other wonderful, necessary, important things are actually happening Right Now. Personally, I try to live in reality, not regret nor fantasy.

Jesus Feminist : Jesus treated women as his equals, forgave wrongs done by women and by men, and had female as well as male friends. I am worthy just because I am (and so are you!), and that worth is entirely independent of any relationships or personal qualities or achievements. I am wonderful and I do my best to live in a way that supports values of love, honesty, faith, peace, and integrity. I especially love the following quote:

“So the Kingdom of God stands in sharp contrast to the ways of the world. The church has not always stood in sharp contrast. Yet the Kingdom of God is bigger even than the Church’s failures and successes, disappointments and triumphs. As the people of God, we proclaim and we dare to live out the truth for us all: you are valuable, you are free, you are loved.”

And finally, writings of the funny brilliant genius who used to be my neighbor before she moved halfway across the country.

Women are pretty amazingly radically mind-bendingly life-alteringly cool, aren’t we!

Notice how not-a-question that statement was. I’m feeling good about being so cool.

 “I know it’s important to be honest; to honour the stories of hurt and pain, but it is just as important to tell and hear the good stories of the people of God.  I believe we can be critical thinkers without a critical spirit.”  ~Sarah Bessey, ‘Jesus Feminist’

Tranquil Space Foundation

This sort of thing is exactly what I began this blog to promote and support:

http://www.tranquilspacefoundation.org/

The Tranquil Space Foundation “expands opportunities for girls and women to develop their inner voice through yoga, creativity, and leadership activities.”

E-mail: info@tranquilspacefoundation.org
Twitter: @tsfound
YouTube: youtube.com/tsfound
Facebook: facebook.com/tranquilspacefoundation

Let’s support and promote this organization! I want to hear how you choose to support TSF: will you ‘like’ their facebook page? add them on Twitter and retweet their twitter posts? Will you post their youtube videos to your facebook or email them to your friends? Will you tell the people in your life who know teen girls about the workshops for girls in grades 9-12?

Thank you so much!!! Your voice matters!!

Seeking Healthy Relationships

Do you have difficulty knowing what you’re feeling? Is it not worth sticking to your values if that means you’ll be rejected or someone will be angry with you? Do you believe people are incapable of taking care of themselves properly? Do you use sexual attention to achieve what you want? Do you pull people toward you and then push them away when they begin to get close?

Often women are described as putting others’ needs ahead of our own, thusly forgetting to take care of our own needs. This wikipedia article has something intensely interesting to say about this sort of behavior which you can read under the section ‘patterns and characteristics’:

 “This creates a sense that they are “needed”; they cannot stand the thought of being alone and no one needing them….When they do stand up for themselves, they feel guilty.”

I’ve recently been hearing about the concept of ‘codependence’, so I decided to do some research. What does ‘codependent’ mean?

Well, for starters, if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions in bold or any behind this link, you may decide to look into recovery from codependency. Here’s a Wikipedia definition, as an additional help:

“[Codependency] refers to the dependence on the needs of or control of another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.”

There is hope. CoDA meetings are a resource for people who would like to have healthy relationships. For those who cannot find a meeting local to them, here is a beautiful list of affirmations to help you.

I’m feeling good about loving, healthy relationships.