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Things I've been silent about...

Feminism – What a crock! It has all gone badly wrong. Yes it has given us more choices. Opened more doors. Bridged the pay and opportunity gap. But let’s face it, I juggle more than my mother or grandmother ever did. I have more balls (in appropriately so) up in the air, I just try and do everything and I do them all badly. No real sense of achievement. Satisfaction not guaranteed.

Equality - My belief is that we are not equal to men. We are different. I have never grasped why a woman would wish to be equal to a man. We can only be equal in intelligence. In every other way we are different. They are stronger, more emotionally resilient and stable in the main. They have no biological and hormonal ‘happenings’ to deal with. Which is why historically men –and this is all just my opinion - have been politically and socially more powerful and in positions of power and authority. Even in these modern times, they are still the master of the political and business workplace. I believe these differences should be celebrated and applauded and accepted. Motherhood must be appreciated for the most worthwhile role in the world. The responsibility of nurturing and keeping another human being alive for me cannot be bettered by any position or responsibility in the workplace. Men can keep it.

Politics - I find I am mostly waist deep in the political mud. I am in turn flummoxed, frustrated and frightened by the political arena. The current development in UK politics, is the MP’s expenses exposé. Which may or may not be a devise to distract from the financial mess that the greedy fat cats have created (dare I say men?) It is shameful and must be addressed, how can they not be prosecuted, they have used badly worded systems to theeir advantage and in some case claimed inappropriately and incorrectly. How is losing a job in the cabinet the 'punishment' how about leaving right now! Because the system would grind to a halt. then what? Rebuild it. If I took so much as a paperclip I would be disciplined. I believe this is just a beginning of a new political structure and perhaps a platform for the future. This isn’t working that much is clear and I do feel there is a domino type of effect working here whereby we will see many established platforms, structures and systems tumbling down and falling. It is time for change. We need our own OBAMA moment.

Religion - I am still searching. I am distracted by the day to day. Perhaps the power of the NOW is the only belief system I know and understand. I am hopeful in time the truth will reveal itself.

Depression – A web of sticky threads, which can draw me in deep, when I’m not looking where I am headed. I carefully dust every nook and cranny regularly to keep the spiders at bay.

Family & Friends –The tree of family is rooted deep in my garden. Their branches reach out and touch. Keeping me near. They help keep the darkness at bay. Replenishing. Comforting. For which I am thankful.

Aspirations - Mostly left on a back burner. Silently and slowly simmering. My creative juices have been capped. Time restraints and family commitments have been my excuse for many years now. A few days ago I unpacked my easels, paints, pencils from their dusty boxes. I started faffing with some preparatory drawings for a small project I have in mind. I set myself small goals. Travel, photography, art, writing, reading, learning are the BIG goals. Baby steps for now.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderfully honest and authentic post! You are a lovely person!!! And I truly appreciate you!!!! And you continually inspire us with your creativity! ~Janine XO

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  2. I like your idea of big goals with baby steps.

    I know I have put my aspirations on a back burner as well and for far too long.

    I need to think about me.

    Thanks girl.

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  3. Well written - couldn't put it any better myself, particularly the bits about feminism, equality and aspirations. You sound like my alter ego!

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  4. Your views remind me a lot of my own! I just wrote a blog not so long ago about how the term "housewife" has gotten a bad rap - and how instead of feeling instantly ashamed of that title, I should embrace it and be proud. :)

    Thank you SO SO much for the link to my site! You are awesome, and I'm glad you liked it enough to share it with your own readers!

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  5. Aspirations - yes I still have them even at this ripe old age! Lovely post, honest and thought provoking.

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  6. Wow! I came online just for a second and got to read your post. Very well written and I totally second all fo that! Thanks for writing it.

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  7. What a well written, well thought out post. Thanks~

    I appreciate you visiting and saying 'hello' too.

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  8. Wonderful post Saz, and such true words about many things. I agree about the feminism thing. Where has it really gotten us? And what could possibly be more important than raising a human being, or two, or three. Or even not doing that--just being the half of the species that feels things! Geez why didn't we post that as a cause of depression Saz, the glowering differences in men and women and our emotional processes.

    Religion...aspiration...you're motivating me to get together a post in the making about a wonderful book called The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Love Love Love.

    Anyway I echo what others have said, thank you for your honesty and lovely writing. XO

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  9. Bum! I haven't got time to read all this now! I'll be back :-)

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  10. I agree entirely. If only people could celebrate and enjoy the difference between men and women. A true partnership of a man and a woman can make such a great whole and there is no need to vie with each other for supremacy. I would hate to be a woman with all that is asked of you nowadays. As you say, let us celebrate, applaud and accept our differences.

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  11. I'm so glad you spoke up! I feel that you are quite a lot like me.

    I feel exactly the same about feminism. Yes, it's done us some huge favours, but also some serious disservice. One thing you forgot to mention in there is that the rise of feminism is (in my opinion) directly responsible for the rise in crime against women, and the weaker members of our society. If everyone is equal, everyone is fair game, it seems.

    I'm floundering with you in the mire of politics, I've been in the web of depression, family is very important, and I too have had my aspirations on the back burner. And it's only in the last few years that I've begun to do those things I've always said 'one day' about. I think art may be next.

    Thanks for this post. :)

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  12. I am a feminist and it seems that younger girls don't even know how hard it was to fight for equal rights, and we're still fighting for equal pay and equality of opportunities in so many walks of life...

    I don't blame feminism, however, for the economic costs of living, which mean that most women do have to juggle caring, either for children or relatives, with a job as well... Women are different to men, and think and care, (and bitch, we have to admit - All-women teams can be difficult to work in, in my experience...)

    I think you work well at the balance, Sara, and I also feel we are unnecessarily hard on ourselves... I am glad that you are developing your photography, and it's wonderful that you are planning to paint again - So relaxing...

    We all need to work towards feeling bien dans sa peau, non?!

    My love to you, and my best thoughts for healing and your pleasures in life... xox

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  13. Nicely put, in many ways. We (all human beings) are different from one another. Sometimes those differences are quite delightful! Why try to equalize that which is better being unequal?

    On religion, as is sometimes my wont, I'll put in a plug for Jesus Christ. I'd start with the Gospel Of Mark, if you want reading material :-)

    (Of course, with you knowing my stance on other things, you may wonder how I reconcile my religion with those stances. Good question. Maybe someday I'll figure out the answer... :-) )

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  14. Hello F, F & F. Do you remember me - I used to post as Gone Back South but now I've changed my name and started a new blog - ain't technology just wonderful?

    Don't really agree with all of what you say, but hey we don't all have to agree! I think the roles of men and women are a work in progress - they're evolving all the time.

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  15. I have to go with A Woman of No Importance - our foremothers fought so hard for women's rights, and we are still part of the movement. No, we haven't got it right. We have realised that we can't have it all, or don't want it all. That's partly because our men don't have it all - they are still expected to work non-stop and aren't often given the lee-way (sp?)to take time off work for family events and problems. And when parents divorce, the onus usually lies on the mother.
    But I refuse to blame Germaine, Betty, Gloria et al. They fought really, really hard to give us a chance. We aren't even there yet and we are still figuring it out. Our (40-50s) generation are the ones who are suffering "the backlash" but don't write it off. We can teach out daughters something.

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  16. I find your comments very interesting. I'm in my mid 40s and very much consider myself a feminist. I can't give thanks enough to those who lead the way.
    Feminism is still evolving and hopefully one day we will all value motherhood and careers.

    I had a career and then I had a child so I have been both. I never felt anyone judged me on either choice, at least not to my face.

    Men, however, may be physically stronger to some women, but it depends on how well they keep in shape! As for emotional stability, it depends again on the man. We've all heard of the famous mid life crisis.

    As for increased violence against women...there has been an increase in violence in society in general. I think crimes against women are reported now than they were. I watched an old 50s movie today where a married woman was raped and she and her husband never reported it!

    It is hard, or maybe impossible to "have it all", but I hope you find what you want...which I always felt was the real goal of feminism.

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  17. Just for the record, I'm in my mid-fifties and lived through all the bra-burning and fighting for rights.

    i do agree that all forms of crime and disaster are more widely reported now than they were in the days of my childhood and I'm aware that a lot of crime against women went unreported. But I do see a lot more open abuse of women in rather more subtle ways. Some of it is very minor, like having doors let go in my face, but looking back, there were very few openly committed crimes like muggings against women and the vulnerable. It would have been considered despicable. Now it seems it's not, and while many women are fit and able to take care of themselves, as others have said, men are usually physically stronger, and women are often in a weak position by reason of motherhood or pregnancy.

    Society used to (rightly) protect its vulnerable members and in particular, value those who produce and care for the next generation. The respect has been lost.

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  18. Interestingly I've just read an article written by Erin Pizzey who agrees with me.
    That we have been mislead and misguided and that the path she (champion of rights for women and the founder of the first female uk refuge)

    I believe that the feminist movement envisaged a new Utopia that depended upon destroying family life. In the new century, so their credo ran, the family unit will consist of only women and their children. Fathers are dispensable. And all that was yoked - unforgivably - to the debate about domestic violence.

    To my mind, it has never been a gender issue - those exposed to violence in early childhood often grow up to repeat what they have learned, regardless of whether they are girls or boys.

    I look back with sadness to my young self and my vision that there could be places where people - men, women and children who have suffered physical and sexual abuse - could find help, and if they were violent could be given a second chance to learn to live peacefully.

    I believe that vision was hijacked by vengeful women who have ghetto-ised the refuge movement and used it to persecute men. Surely the time has come to challenge this evil ideology and insist that men take their rightful place in the refuge movement.
    she writes...
    'We need an inclusive movement that offers support to everyone that needs it. As for me - I will always continue to work with anyone who needs my help or can help others - and yes, that includes men.'
    on bbc2 this month she says...
    '
    peaking as part of a BBC programme about the role of women in the workplace, she said many are mothers who are having to juggle jobs at the same time.

    She said: 'There's been a subterranean war between men and women which has been won by women and they don't actually understand what they've lost.'

    The campaigner added: 'I don't think anybody foresaw that what a freedom of choice would do is imprison many.

    'Many women, they don't have a choice now, they have to work, they have to work hard, and I just see an exhausted generation of women trying to do it all.'

    times online India Knight article,
    May 17, 2009
    'Having it all is a myth girls, so just make sure your daughters marry rich men
    After years of fighting, it is not the glass ceiling but working mothers’ dreams that have shattered. Is there a new way forward?'

    but frankly, in most middle income families , I find that women would give up work in a heart beat (and that would be their preffered choice) and do a great job at home, without the slurs, guilt and now expected career aspirations...my main gripe here is that

    true equality would not be judged and our choices would be celebrated whatever they are, whatever the individuals capabilities.


    rather telling that the feminist issue is the one that has attracted most comment!

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  19. Again, a lively discussion!

    Both of my grandmothers worked. They had no choice, because both of their families were poor and needed two incomes to survive. And neither of them ever imagined getting an iota of help from their husbands, and God forbid if dinner was late. In fact,my father, from a young age did many household chores and even some cooking.

    My mother was offered three choices for career in the late forties/early 50s -- nurse, teacher, or to take home economics. Once my eldest sibling was born, she quit nursing. It was heartbreaking to watch a women of such intelligence grow bitter and sad. She was a great mother; she should have been allowed to be a great doctor. Interestingly, she was a nurse, who worked with women and she always said that there was a ton of violence against women..but husbands could not be charged, rape was swept under the carpet and women "deserved" beatings, etc.

    It's sad that the US has such short maternity leaves. In Canada, I believe it's a year, which of course, not everyone can afford to take off.

    My decision to work during my son's second year (I was home his first year, due to Canada's mat leave policies) was finaicial.

    Most of the women I know who work, work out of necessity. They do not have the luxury of choosing. I think we need broad societal changes, which take a long time, before we achieve real choice for women.

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  20. as women, we put ourselves into boxes without meaning to, or even being aware of it. Not every woman's box is the same, and I think part of the problem is individually, we often try to define "feminism" too narrowly, and not accept other people's rights to differing opinions. Political views aside, here in the US, watching over the past year how Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin (and now Sotomeyer) have been cast compared to Michele Obama (a well educated, strong woman who is an ultimate SAHM) really says something - I'm just not sure what - about how far we've come, and how far we've yet to go.

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  21. I'm with you on so many fronts. I'm glad for your stab at feminism. We need to not reinvent but come up with something more honest. I think you've addressed equality more honestly, too, although the roles seem to mutate across the spectrum now for individuals, verses men and women and that suits me fine. Politics is important to me but at grassroots, mostly. Religion is more spirit for me. I don't deal with depression but certainly struggle with moods, my biology. And sometimes I even struggle with family, but in the end family and friends get us through. Thank the chocolate gods, too! Oh, now those goals...I pledge to be truer to myself and that my friend is BIG steps, some of the hardest I'm afraid.

    It's always good to know you better, Saz.

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  22. Thank you, thank you! I love when women will speak up and use their voices with real views on this. I think sometimes we are timid to say that we want to embrace the idea that men and women are different. This to me is a gift. It is how we compliment each other.
    I think there is a lot to be said about the roles of the old days when we knew the roles of men and women. I think life was better supported because we weren't all spread so thin.
    Enough of my rant. Thank you for your post! I'm glad I found you today.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x

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