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?

Emma Watson Introduces He For She Solidarity Movement

UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson speaks eloquently and powerfully on unifying the gender equality movement.

Not only so that women have equal rights Everywhere in the world, yet also so that men can be free to be sensitive and all can respect ourselves for who we are. She says it beautifully. Please do watch and leave a comment here or on her twitter: @EmWatson

Support the movement by your actions. Be one of the ‘inadvertent feminists’ she speaks of. Take action here via the #HeForShe website, as well.

I need a summer- but the summer’s come and gone

What is up with the title??

Glad you asked, my friend. So I was listening to this song by VAST (awesome awesome band) and one thought led to another. Go ahead! Listen to it. See what comes up for you:

Winter in My Heart

So he says ‘I can’t find all the pieces of my broken life‘ and I wondered what that could mean to me. After a couple thoughts, suddenly I remembered these beautiful sunny yellow pants I had between 2005-2009 (yes… I kept track like they were a pet or a child). I had just sewn a green patch on to fix a hole in them before they got lost. I’ve been looking for them for years now, more years spent looking for them than was spent with them, in fact. I’ve messaged people, posted an APB on facebook, talked to folks over campfires, mentioned them to anyone who might have seen me wearing them and could pinpoint that last time I had them…. so I could know where I might look.

Why do I care so much? I don’t think I even have a picture, or if I do it will be tough to find.* So why do I care?

These pants were a symbol for me…. I recalled a particularly unpleasant vacation that I survived while wearing them and even found my own ways to enjoy parts of, and another rough experience that I’m just grateful to have survived… and I remember looking down at those pants and being so grateful to be in them… grateful they had so many functional pockets, grateful they were bright yellow (they even forged a friendship between me and a co-worker who had bright orange pants and his former roommate who he’d ‘borrowed’ them from – they both appreciated my sense of style), grateful they were 100% cotton and thus I could wear them during welding class and not worry about them melting and sit close to the campfire and not catch, and mostly just grateful to have something that I knew I liked.

*strangely enough this photo was difficult to find... I lived in these pants.

*As I mentioned above, despite the fact that I lived in these pants, this photo was difficult to locate

The woman who gave them to me (yes, they were a treasured hand-me-down) was named Jessie and she was someone I greatly admired. She gave me several pairs of her old pants and I felt cared-about and connected-with because she had noticed my style and said I reminded her a little of herself as a college freshman.

These pants were with me during hard times and fun times, and I don’t know where I lost them. They might have gotten ‘cleaned out’ of a locker in the welding classroom, or left in the car of a road-trip, or ‘borrowed’ by a friend…. who knows?

I know I miss them. But I still have the resilience they represented, and I always have that. I am the strong one; the pants were merely a good symbol of it. So maybe I don’t need all those old pieces of my broken life that I can’t find. Maybe it’s kind of like this:

4f2077d5cf751581c4e45da07b946781Where all the broken pieces that remain add up to something greater than what they originally were.

Maybe it Could be Ok…

…to share your story.

I’m reading a book by Brené Brown, called ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. The author’s work was recommended to me by two guiding women in my life, who have made a profound impact on the way I see the world. The one who first told me of Brené Brown gave me hope that through my active participation I can heal my body, that I can live the life I imagine and not be held back by health concerns. The one who loaned me her copy of this book has led me by example since I was a small child, showing me that it’s ok to live joyfully and authentically and accept being as imperfect as humans can’t help being. It’s ok to play it by ear, measure once and cut twice, and -not only ok but vital- to love yourself through it all. This book deals with those same topics, and is exactly what I need to hear.

If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way– especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.

~Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Brené mentions shame, that shame does not ‘like’ to be talked about, that when it has the chance to isolate us, it gains control over our lives. We all have shame. I know I do. We’re all afraid to talk about shame- interestingly enough, my friend mentioned this topic comes up a lot in her activist work with people whose homes have been foreclosed on. Talking about shame is the method that makes it go away.

What do you have shame about? I would like to invite you to send me an anonymous email with your story. If you would like your story shared as a post on this blog (I will do so at my discretion), please write at the top of the email or in the subject line of the email: “Share my Story on FGAF.” Send stories to feelinggoodfeminism@gmail.com

No matter what your story is about, there is no topic too big, nor too small. If someone else shares your topic, still write your story and share it. It is important. You may help someone else, and most importantly, you will help yourself.

I’m feeling good about wrapping up my shame in a cozy blanket of self-acceptance.