Start Doing Things the Way You Want Them Done

This is a bold statement, I realize that, and you have excuses why you “can’t” but I assure you, anything you want to do, you Can do.

Are you one of the people in your organization at work who deals with who is paid what amount? Go in and look at whether there are male and female employees there who are doing the same work. Even-out the pay between them.

Do you want to read books where the default pronoun is ‘she’? As in, “when any human feels they are capable of a task, she will complete that task with confidence” or myriad other examples. So write those books. Write those blog posts.

Do you want to fight rape on a real and personal level? Take reasonable precautions; Don’t invite people over until you know them really well, avoid getting completely intoxicated, and when your friends mention ideas of theirs that you think might put them or you in a dangerous situation, speak up and tell them so! Respect your instincts. Practice speaking up for yourself on all kinds of things, so that you make it a practice of making your needs and intentions clear.

And then my favorite: Do you want to see media that *respects* women? Create it. Create movies that don’t question female power and agency; they exhibit it. Create advertisements (even unofficial ones!) that show healthy women whose features aren’t obscured by makeup and don’t bother to call attention to the fact. Calling attention to something makes it increase, as it is the focus. So create the world as you’d like it. Show these strong and beautiful ideas of yours with confidence and abandon!

And keep it positive.

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Lindsey Stirling [is Awesome]

So I’ve liked Lindsey Stirling’s music from the first time I heard it. I’m also into Steampunk. Hence this particular choice to showcase her talent and general awesomeness:

She doesn’t sacrifice a thing. This video is fun with a strong female empowerment message. She’s portrayed as a formidable rival for the outlaw as well as a good friend to her female co-workers and a hero responsible for the safety of the town.

Not only does she show up as strong and good, but also adorable and confident. And she fights off the bank robbers with music and gadgetry, on equal footing. My favorite part is that the costumes are humanizing, which is a refreshing break from music video traditions.

On top of all this cool, the video is her own concept. So rock on, Lindsey!

I absolutely love it. What’s your favorite Lindsey Stirling song?

Trusting your Story

This post is inspired by something I saw on Etsy just now, as well as recent events.

When your gut instinct tells you something, I think the initial reaction for many tends to be to apply logic, to deny that intuition could be right on the mark, and to ignore the message. What I’ve been learning for the past couple years (at least) is that my intuition rarely fails; though occasionally I fail to heed it.

In the book ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’ there is a story called Vasalisa the Wise, in which a girl is given a doll by her dying mother. Her mother tells her to feed the doll regularly and she will be protected. When she doesn’t feed the doll, she gets into dangerous situations, but when she does feed it, the doll begins to speak to her. The author, Dr. Estes, compares this to intuition; when we ‘feed’ our intuition by heeding it, the voice of our intuitive knowing grows more powerful and we are able to hear it more clearly.

I have been heeding my own intuition more and more over the years, and whereas 4 years ago I felt I was walking around confused and blind through many situations, unsure of what decisions to make, now I feel that I have a much brighter and clearer view of the safest and best path.

  • I’d encourage you today to get quiet, close your eyes, focus on your heart while breathing deeply and
  • see if there is a nagging thought or feeling there.
  • Begin to write whatever comes to mind on a piece of paper until you have nothing left to write.
  • When you’ve done this, look at the paper and see what decisions you might be mulling over.
  • Accept that you are or aren’t sure right now, of what to do.
  • If you know what to do, (which for me, I get a sense of peace about that path if it’s the right one) you might write down some first steps to take: don’t just think them! Actually write them. Somehow this always makes clearer in my mind how easy they are, though they seem hard before they turn from thoughts to printed words.
  • If you still don’t know, let that be ok. The answers will come at the right time. Come back to your heart again later.

It may take several tries of getting centered over several days or weeks before you are able to write anything. Keep attempting. The simple act of centering in your heart is food for your intuition anyway.

I wish you the best in this. Remember to trust your story. If you feel like something’s ‘off’ or out of place, it most likely is; so take the steps you need to take and trust yourself.

Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

What does it matter to you? It doesn’t matter to me. I have my own style and feel no need to follow the ‘fashions’, plunging money into cheaply-made ridiculously-priced clothing that will fall apart by the time I’m no longer sure why ‘orange and blue go so well together!’

Honestly? Why do we follow it?

Confidence sets the standard of beauty, not some entity or fashionista. Prices skyrocket because there is such a high demand for fashionable ‘on-trend’ clothing. When enough people quit buying this crazily-priced cheaply-made nonsense, prices will drop. And when enough of us speak up, the quality of garments may improve as well.

The problem today is that people continue to tolerate it. Buying uncomfortable shoes and clothes, necklaces that hurt our necks or smell bad, rings that impair the movement of our fingers… why? Because of some pretty photograph on the internet, and a precious little word or phrase like “bespoke” or “oxblood” or “mint green”.

By the way, this is the color of mint:

The plant commonly referred to as ‘mint’.

So what can I do, as a smart person? I find these measures to be quite an ‘innocent rebellion’:

  • Trade clothes with friends. Surely just because you don’t like this shirt anymore doesn’t mean it goes in the trash! Maybe a friend of yours would enjoy wearing it.
  • Buy clothes at a thrift store or consignment store or on ebay. There is well-made clothing with high-quality fabric for sale everywhere if you just look.
  • Make your own. Learn to sew! Use a pattern! You’ll find how very freeing and empowering this can be.
  • Settle on the idea that your wardrobe will last a long time, contain shapes and cuts and fabrics that look good on You, and will potentially not be ‘on-trend’. But lucky you! You’ll look much cooler than anybody else who is screaming ‘how high??’ when the fashion blogs command them to jump.

You are so much smarter than marketers give you credit for. I’m increasing my wage just by refusing to sink money into disposable uncomfortable clothing that I truly don’t need.

I have Hope for the End of Street Harassment

The work of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, artist and activist, is incredibly inspiring. She is combating street harassment using only her art and her mind, and the stories of volunteers!

Read what she’s doing and why: http://www.tlynnfaz.com/Stop-Telling-Women-to-Smile

Check out the Official website of Stop Telling Women to Smile.

And follow STWTS on Twitter: @STWTSmile

I agree with what she posted on her Tumblr, that telling women to smile is akin to asking us not to express our full range of human emotions. You could say that ‘it’s nice, I want you to be happy,’ but no one’s happiness other than your own is under your control. As well, having other emotions is an integral part of experiencing happiness eventually, and of feeling safe. Honestly, I hope that lots of people smile, because it’s a joyful activity. However, I know from my experience as a woman that I feel afraid to smile or make eye contact with people when I’m out in public, for fear they will take my smile as an invitation to harass me. Personally, I have hope for the end of street harassment.

Are you wondering what you can do to help end street harassment? I hope you are! Here’s an article that gives great points to start from, called ‘Three Ways Straight Dudes Can Help End Street Harassment.’

Setting my Standards

I’ve been wondering…. who sets the standard of “beauty”?

Who says it’s shaved legs?

  1. the photos in fashion magazines?
  2. the pornographers?
  3. the women who don’t dare miss a day of shaving their legs?
  4. the men who require their girlfriend or wife to shave her legs?

Who says it’s high heels?

  1. the corporations who sell high heels, but could sell something else if they chose to?
  2. the pornographers?
  3. the women who wear high heels because they ‘want to look sexy’ and don’t think they do in flats?
  4. the men who give lots of attention to women wearing heels?

What do you actually want to wear on your feet? For comfort’s sake? For safety’s sake?

Have you ever actually tried growing out your leg hair? Have you tried loving yourself despite long hair on your legs? Have you? Because I promise you it is possible.

Here’s my proof.

DSC_0313

I’m heterosexual, and brush my teeth every day, and love myself completely. It’s totally possible- in fact, it’s true. And I spent 6 months without shaving.

Female Genius …and Busking!

I figured I had better drop in and assure you that my tactics for surviving Valentines day did in fact work. I did not perish horribly for lack of ‘box of chocolates gifted by an adoring fellow’ nor any other unfortunate malady. You’ll never guess what I -DID- just find.

are you guessing?

I was searching for ‘movies about street performers’ on google, in part because of my admiration for Amanda Palmer and her amazing work, and due to my own interest in possibly developing an act.

I found THIS. Make sure to check out the second page. The link is sort of hard to find at the bottom there. ‘5 Crazy Street Performers (Who Happened to be Geniuses)‘ impressed me, but what impressed me more about the list was that the author hadn’t felt it necessary to include any female street performers!

One quick visit to The Busking Project‘s website led me to Dawn Dreams, whose contact juggling left me breathless. Rhiannon Schmitt is an experienced busker and violinist who has written a comprehensive article about street performing’s rigors and joys.

And then of course there is Amanda Palmer, who is in my opinion undoubtedly a genius.

So, post your links and knowledge and everything good you can find about female buskers HERE as comments to this post. Go!!