Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Spring?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life in a day

Watching the movie "Life in a Day" is a good reminder of two things. 1 - We are all connected and 2 - Someone always has it worse.  Everyone does what they can just to survive in some cases but they filmed their day because they were thankful for whatever life they have.

There are days when I am angry about the difficulties I've experienced, just as I am sure most people are.  But then I look at my husband and son and I am reminded how wonderful even the gloomiest of times can be.  It's good to see that I'm not the only one to realize it.  Everyone across the world feels this way.

It's important, I think, to examine your life on a regular basis.  I try to remember everything and take pictures as often as I can remember to document life.  I also try to remember my mistakes, so I can avoid repeating them.  As hippie as it sounds, I try to balance pragmatism with optimism, cynicism with trust.  This is harder than it sounds for someone who possesses a dry, dark sense of humor.

Honestly, I love people, but I detest the lack of common sense I see displayed all the time.  I love teaching and I adore my students.  I find it shameful how badly our educational system has failed us though... I know this is a familiar rant.  When I see how determined some of my students are, though, it gives me hope.  And teaching reminds me how lucky I am.  I am smart, clever and creative.  I desperately hope to pass those traits on to my son.

So, I like movies that examine the human condition and reminds me that we all have similar hopes and fears, and we're capable of great things and capable of great failings...  Sometimes in the same 24 hour period. And sometimes, the most amazing thing is simply that we exist, right here and now.  We speak, we breathe, we communicate.  No matter who you are, you matter.  This truly is life.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feminism, Femininity, and the V word

As one of my fellow bloggy friends pointed out, the word 'feminist' has become a bad word.  When did this happen?  And why? It seems that most people believe a feminist is someone who believes in the superiority of women, seeking to set themselves apart from their counterparts by changing e's and a's to y's and removing men completely from the cycle. 

"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle," as the saying goes.  Sadly, that was backlash to the equality movement, and it was totally understandable. To a certain extent, it still is.  Women still earn less on average than men.  They are also still expected to complete their standard workplace jobs and then go home and complete most of the typical "female" jobs.  Women were told they could do it all, be it all, have it all...  But it seems the men forgot that in order for the women to get anything close to fair, they had to share. 

So, women became strident and demanding.  When the mainstream became ashamed of some of their demands and claims, the detractors added to it.  "You don't want to be a feminist," they sneered.  "Baby killing, man hating, painting with their own menstrual fluids.  They are jealous of men.  They want to BE men."  It was simply another way to slip the vagina back into a neat, little, lace-covered box (pardon the pun). 

When I was in college, I took part in an underground production (at an all-women's college!) of "The Vagina Monologues".  I used a whip and wore my hair in pigtails, playing the part of a dominatrix.  I played the part of a woman comfortable with being a woman and having a very feminine power.  The idea of embracing sexuality and power was a little too risque for the school, so we performed via word of mouth from dorm to dorm to avoid sanctions by the hierarchy. 

It was really the first step in embracing true feminism.  There is nothing wrong with demanding your due.  It is not strident to want equality.  It doesn't mean you want to be superior, it simply means you want to be held as important.   But feminism is more than equality, it is also about femininity.  We are not men.  We will never be men.  We should not fight the way men do. 

In "The Princessa ", Rubin argues that we should embrace the power that women naturally have.  Our ancient ancestors saw the importance that women had in the lives of their families and in the life-giving connection to the earth.  Our industrialized society bound women in steel corsets, and we lost that connection to ourselves.  And now, it's worse. 

When women became afraid of being called feminists, it gave the misogynists a chance to swoop in and decide for them. Men are deciding how women should use their sexuality and their ability to choose.  It's time to stop being afraid of feminism and in effect of femininity.  I am a feminist, with all the strengths and weaknesses that go with being a woman and being human. 

Are you a feminist too?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Angry at Facebook rant of Randomness

Facebook decided that I was spreading viruses and is preventing me from commenting or updating on Facebook for 24 hours.  After scanning my computer to be sure that I did NOT have a virus (I don't, other than this sinus/chest thing which can go blow a goat) I decided that since I cannot randomly plod through the world at large and express my thoughts on it on Facebook, I would do an update of major randomness.

Homeschooling - We did stuff FOR SCIENCE today.  Little Guy learned about states of matter and converting material from solid to liquid to gas using water.  He also got to see "condensation" in action.  We also officially practiced the scientific theory and made hypotheses (guesses). One thing I hope my Little Guy understood after today's practice - just because a hypothesis is incorrect, it is not bad.  An incorrect hypothesis can often lead to a correct answer.  Yesterday, we planted some flowers out front for him. He got to pick out a wildflower seed pack at the local store and we found a suitable spot in the front yard.  We even marked down on the calendar when to start checking for seedlings.  

While we planted flowers yesterday, I put the ingredients for dough into the bread maker.  However, because I am me, I could not leave well enough alone and completely ruined the first batch of bread.  With a minor adjustment and a little patience, I left the next batch alone and ended up with a loaf that was edible. I also found ham on sale at Meijer for $.59 a lb and made a 10 pound ham for dinner one night (complete with a honey-brown sugar-brandy glaze).  It was delish.  Last night for dinner, we used some of the left-overs and some swiss cheese to make Hot Ham and cheese sandwiches.  I bet it would be even better on the homemade bread. 

Sprng is in the air and we opened up the porch for use last night.  The heat is supposed to go up to near 80 this weekend and, I must admit, I'm kind of excited about it.  Also, after next week, I will be on vacation for a week.  You have no idea how much I am looking forward to it.