Feminism; Equality Takes Two

It is a strange world we live in; where one could decide they would like all things to be equal, and yet not decide they believe in feminism. The core concept of feminism, being that in a primarily patriarchal society, it is about time that women were given the same rights as men, and not be subjected to petty rules based on a pre-defined gender at birth. Ultimately, it is about shaping the world so that women are not classed as second class citizens. It makes no sense, to pay a woman less, to require she work harder to achieve the same goals, or to assume she must perform “housework”, must put on make-up or go through additional “grooming”, or must perform “womanly duties” because she is a female.  It’s creating fictitious rules one must abide by, simply because of their sex. This is archaic, it’s misogynistic, and it needs to change.

In the defence of those who are not yet feminists (one must assume ignorance before maliciousness), it may be that they are indoctrinated by a male dominated media, who have managed to swindle the case of feminism so that it appears all supporters are radical. It’s a common technique, called minimalising. Where you make an issue seem small, and that only extremists could care about it. Of course with all causes there are radicals. But it is important to remember they are called as such because they differ from the norm. It is vitally important, that you do your research, and understand what feminism really means. It is important, that women are given equal opportunity in the field of journalism, professional journalism, so that they may steer the view-point. With more women in the field, in the positions of power and with the ability to make change, so too will this trickle down to the masses, who will be educated on the other side of the the debate.

Equal Work Opportunity

Now what must be understood, as a matter of physics, is that to start moving an object takes more energy than for it to continue moving. So while it is unfair, the task is upon the world to make an effort, to gain the momentum we need, to reach the place we should be as a society. And that requires the participation of all peoples. Or all genders and sexes.

And yet, what is problematic, is that some are falling into a trope of assuming you must be radical to be true to the cause. What’s more upsetting, is that some vocal speakers, believe that feminism requires misandry. As a male – I come across a common issue when trying to comment on feminist issues, to show support for it. I come across the issue, where I am immediately made to feel not welcome, or when I do enter a forum and read a horrific story a woman has went through, the top and most up voted comments are to the effect of “Typical man.” or “Of course it was a man who did that.”

And when you do try to comment with your own perspective, you are touted as not being eligible to have an opinion on the matter.

Some people are under the impression to be a feminist, you must be a female. This is categorically false – and remarkably short-sighted. This would be similar to saying you cannot believe black people are treated unequally because you are not black. Which would be a very stupid thing to say. If we could only comment on qualities we posses, then one could not believe disabled people require support; unless you are disabled, or that gay people deserve equal rights; unless you are gay.

Long story short; you are allowed an opinion on a matter, even if you are not the direct subject of it. To say “You aren’t X so you don’t have an opinion.” is moronic, and cowardly. We all fit into the society we are creating, which means we are all allowed our takes upon it.

To say, “Typical man” or “Of course you’re a man; you would act this way.” is the very definition of sexism. Do not fall into this trap. I understand, as a male, my struggles to enter the feminism debate does not equate in any way to the struggles of the brave women out there who have had to endure endless ridicule and denigration because of their sex – what I am saying – is that there should not be an additional barrier to being a feminist. Especially an invisible one.

Because the Male Sexists of the world will use it as ammunition. They will be given evidence, however false, that will allow them to spin stories, and tell lies about feminism. They will point to the one negative article surrounding feminism, and ignore the adjacent positive hundred. It’s very easy to convince large groups of people, when you show them a narrowed perspective. This in turn will slow the move towards feminism, which will in turn increase frustrations, which may lead to more misandry, which will in turn slow the transition more, and so on.typography-2730340

The fight for equality requires that we both participate. And while the rules of progress are still debated, please ensure you are moving towards the solution, and not simply creating a problem.

Lastly, if you are a man, and you believe this is a fight.  You believe this is a fight, where the women are stealing your power, they are stealing your advantage, they are stealing your ways and the traditions of how the patriarchy has operated for thousands of years, then understand this; this is a fight we must lose. 

We are on the side of the privileged – and in a world where we should all be given an equal opportunity, it is important then that we lose this advantage. You are not losing your opportunity – you are just ensuring others have it too. In the race of life, we must all start on the same line, as best we can. We cannot make education, opportunity, work, money, healthcare, safety, politeness, caring, kindness, or priority, different for one sex – and not the other.

This is unfair. Just because it has been the way, and the way for a long time, does not mean it must continue to be. You must not continue making a mistake, simply because you have committed so much time to it. This, is a honey pot.

As we move towards equality – a world where men, women, and children of all genders, ethnicity, and sexual orientations are allowed equal opportunity – we will move towards a world of peace, of understanding, and of a forgetting of past bitterness and unfairness. We do not have to be dystopian children; dystopian dreamers. We can have a future, and a beautiful one at that.

Be sure that in the future, when you look back upon your contributions; you see you fought for the winning side; the side of feminism.

 

 

A Healthy Body

Look after your body.

Remember that the saying, “A healthy body, a healthy mind.” is not just a catchy saying. Rather, your mind – as abstract as it feels – IS maintained by your body. In fact, your mind as beautiful and intrinsic as it is, is made up of a series of connections, that determine and create chemical reactions which in turn allow you to feel and think and control your body in turn.

It’s cyclical. Meaning if your mind cannot be properly maintained, because your body has been poorly looked after – you will think bad thoughts, and make more bad decisions, and feel bad, and so your body too will decay, and slowly but surely this cyclical process will take a devastating toll on your overall well being, and lead you to places of sadness and negativity.

A treat – foods that taste good but offer little sustenance or nutritional value – is a shortcut to happiness. But shortcuts often lead to long delays. If you find yourself using these shortcuts too often, you will eventually build up your backlog and it will hit you hard. Hard in the form of a dependence on those shortcuts, because your body can no longer make the chemicals it makes naturally in a fit and healthy body – because it does not have the nutrition and the vitamins to do so.

So while decadent treats certainly are such – remember that often they are a treat for the tongue alone. They do not generally account for the nutrients and energy that your body needs. Don’t eat fruit just because you’re told to – eat it because it’s good for you. Eat your vegetables, and enjoy them, knowing that you are fuelling your body to a brighter tomorrow. You are boosting your immune system, and giving your body the excitement it needs to do new things, create new ideas and new works of great.

You do not want to be out of breath walking up some stairs, because your body is struggling to move itself and convert chemical energy to kinetic energy, because it has not properly been topped up.

With no energy, you cannot even embark on the adventures that you so desire, for a wonderful life.

Equally, prepare your body for those adventures. Even the adventure of daily life. By improving your cardio, you will ensure that should you need bursts of energy, you can do so – because your body has learned to function more productively. When the air sacs in your lungs can perform effectively, they ensure your body can respire aerobically, meaning your blood is oxygenated and can carry oxygen to your muscles that require it so they can perform optimally.

Your body will also, at some point need to bear a heavy load of some sort. Perhaps you will carry a dog down a hillside, after a hot and tiring day. Or perhaps your children in your arms, up to bed.

Then, it behoves you to ensure your muscles are ready for this task. The way your muscles work, is that they can only grow in size, once they have been proved to not be strong enough to handle the current load. So you must work out your muscles, lift heavy objects and lift them repeatedly, until your muscles tear (slightly – not as in an injury) and then they must repair themselves stronger so that they know not to be broken by that same activity again. Then you must lift heavier objects, let them tear, so they grow bigger to not be broken again by that activity, and so on.

Run far; lift heavy and repeatedly; and eat healthily; and you will prepare your body in such a way, that it can live it’s best life naturally.

It is as simple as that. To be kind to yourself; you must be kind to your body.

There Isn’t Enough Time With You

There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.


Isn’t it amazing that we share the same time as every other person on this planet Earth, and yet when we are together, each passing moment seems to move so unforgivably faster.

How ironic it is, that no matter how much time I get with you, each second still seems to shorten its length, and that the time I do get vanishes, more fleeting than he last. The more I love you, the more that time seems to slip away from me without my permission. And as I love you more, each and every day. And each and every day I come to realise, more so than before, that no matter how much time I get with you, it will never be enough.

How remarkable it is, that mundane tasks are now no longer taxing. As I make coffee in the morning; if it is for myself, my feet scuff along the carpet and my eyes roll around my head uncouthly. I loosely lift the kettle and the weight of it clashes against my mug. I rub my eyes and shield them from the light of day, as I consider returning to bed instead, and snoozing until I no longer can.

But when I make coffee for you, when I have the pleasure – my heels lift off of the floor as I walk to the kitchen. I select ground of coffee that look the freshest, I stir for longer than usual, to make sure the sugar that you like does not settle at the bottom of the mug that I bought you. I clean the rim with a dishtowel, to ensure it looks as good as I hope it tastes and then I carry it slowly, and I bring it to you with a smile on my face.

I will never tire, not for one day, at the look you give me when I enter the room. The way your resting body seems to come to life, and your eyes meet mine. The way your body rises, with new air, and the way you seem to brighten up the room with every breath. That smile that you give me… that beautiful smile that appears from nowhere. It renders me vulnerable every time.

As the day begins to pass with you, never once is there a moment when I am not completely and utterly in love.

Never before, could I imagined that a human so beautiful, so thoughtful, so kind, and so wonderful could exist in this world, let alone choose to spend their time with me. Never before, could I have thought someone could be so delicate and fragile, and yet so strong and fierce all at once. So caring, so clever, and so determined as you are. Never before could I have dreamed, that a room could be brightened, and that the grey of colours could dissipate into the background, just by your very presence. You bring about the sun to shine the smiles of faces. You are the warmth, through the night.

I could watch the hair fall over the corner of your glasses a thousand times, and still catch my jaw in awe of falling strands. I would watch as your curled fingers grasp around them, and pull them back into place behind your left ear. If I’m very lucky, you’ll smile at me as you do it. And just as in the morning, it will take me by surprise. Suddenly I’m smiling too; although I think I have been for a while and not realised it until now.

At night you sit on the couch with a blanket cradling your toes. Your legs are folded underneath you, and if a book is not in front of your eyes then you hand rests gently against your chin as you “watch” something on TV. Really, we’re both just trying not to stare at one another. Still, I play the game. I’ll watch random iridescent images flash in the iris of your eyes. A slightly skewed version of those images on your eyes reflects onto your glasses, dancing. You close your eyes. Slowly, your eye lashes begin to open, and you look at me.

I still melt. Every time. If I’m lucky, you’ll give in and look at me first. You’ll shake your head – same as I do. We’re laughing; we’re smiling. Because still it is unbelievable a concept to us, that we love each other as much as we do.


There was a time when as the stars passed by in the night outside my window, I would stare out at them with hopeful eyes. They were most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So full of potential, so full of life, so grandiose and yet so small in comparison to the black sky. I saw my future in them, every star a new possibility and awed at their very presence. And they filled my heart, with such great wonder.

But that was a time.  Now, as I walk to bed, I do not stare up at the sky, and the splendour of the great beyond outside my window. I close the curtains; I don’t need them anymore.

I lie in bed, and struggle to stay awake for as long as I can; for the dreams I’ll have, could be no comparison to the reality of you. My eyes begin to falter, and I stare at your face as they do. I wish for just one more day; so that I can spend it with you.

And as sleep comes over upon me, I do not miss those days when I gazed out at the sky. For I no longer see my future in the stars, but instead I see them in you.

Home

Broken heart; and tired mind.

Useless body, set out to find,

A solemn place to belong,

Where you can dance, and write your song.

Where worries past, will not follow,

Torture you, obsess and swallow.

Where what you grow into; matters more,

Than what you were, from long before.

 

Companions come, and surely go,

And while where they went, you’d like to know,

Free they are; let them wander over hill,

And out of sight, forever still.

Love you’ve had, has left you to dwindle,

And still with open heart you’ve managed to rekindle,

Time again sparked hope from ash,

And time again, your body’s been smashed.

 

Bruised and cracked, imperfect and scarred,

Your thoughts and feelings, permanently marred.

Trust and expectation are always cautious,

Every bout of closeness, makes you noxious.

Never been given reason for kind,

Yet still your heart, and that word entwined,

And so through fog you wander on,

To find the place, where you belong.

 

It’s darkness out there, with fumbling hand,

You cast it out, searching for land,

In lieu of that, as you’ve found times past

Instead you feel somebody, at last.

They hold you tight, and pull you close,

You could not tell who needs who most,

But of course you would not let on,

Your defences are up, you appear to be strong.

 

You’ll try not to care, for fear of ridicule,

It will go unnoticed, that it’s yourself the fool.

You’ll talk and wonder, and eventually you’ll share,

And at some point you’ll come to realise you care,

You capsulise and notice, every detail

And while you try to find the bad, every time you fail,

While every other has given you reason to doubt,

You find yourself in wonder of what this person is about.

 

There’s hope and wonder now in your eyes,

And try as you will; you can’t disguise.

They’ve broken through; see who you are,

And they adore you still, for that every scar.

Through imperfection they’ll see you perfect,

They’ll see beauty where you see defect.

And as paths ahead split, you wish; nae you know,

They’ll follow you wherever you go.

 

Then at some point, as you both foot down path,

And you try to anticipate what could be aftermath,

You realise you no longer travel simply side by side,

But you walk hand in hand, and together you stride.

You don’t look ahead, and rather stare into eyes,

As the dawning sun, breaks the burning skies.

Together you slow, almost down to a crawl,

Amidst dewy grass, wild land critters answer the call.

You both seem to hear, you need not travel any more,

As together you understand, what you’ve been looking for.

Come away; take them in hand, and lay, for no longer you roam,

What you searched for was love; and so with love – you’re home.

 

Pressed for time.

You will always be aware of the passage of time. As leaves around you turn amber and crumble, as trees wither and rivers shape mountains, you will be well aware that nothing can escape its grasp.

Man – is the only animal on Earth that pertains a concept of time; and with that comes an equally unique fear; what happens when it stops.

Rather than spin this in dim light, rather – look at it with unhinged beauty. Time is based on our own perspective. Five minutes to someone in an excruciating interview will crawl its way along, while the same five minutes to new lovers will pass in the snap of a finger.

While you can be certain that your life will expire as it is at some point in the future, and while you can say with relative certainty you will not live to be as old or much older than a century, equally, you could unexpectedly perish tomorrow of some unnamed disaster. While you know your time will end, you do not know when. You do not know how worth your time will be, or how quickly it will pass. The time on your clock may tick for the last time, in the following heartbeat.

So… run. You are pressed for time. And if you wish to leave some part of you in this universe, act with haste. Do not put up with situations that bring you unhappiness. Relish in those that do. Do not bother with people who are toxic to your well being, in any way. Rid their weight from your shoulders and press forward linked in swinging arms of equally enthusiastic runners. You owe nothing to anyone, and are bound by nothing but that which you yourself will accept to be bound to. The thing about the great social contract (where we conduct ourselves uncharacteristically for the sake of  the acceptance of others) is that we do not have to abide by it at all. And just because we have spent so much time on it, does not mean we must continue to do so.

“You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago”
– Alan Watts

Rather, do what brings you joy. With happiness being forever fleeting you must pursue it as though fire burns at the back of your heels. You must dish it out and lend a helping hand to those you can. Kindness and happiness can be shared without depreciation. So, do.

Put nothing on hold – because it can be dropped at any point – no matter how securely you imagine yourself to be holding it.

Let no anchor tie you to the shoreline, because adventure awaits beyond the horizon. To find new land, you must watch traverse stormy weather, and watch as the horizon obscures the security of where you came from.

Plan; but do not fret if the reality of the situation alters so much you cannot use it. While your sail can steer, it is still influenced by the wind. And the changing of that wind, is anyone’s guess. But that does not mean you should opt to float on driftwood, just because the sail may fail.

And so with that in mind, equally do not judge. Others or yourself. This will only stifle your release of endorphins from your runners high. In fact, do not concern yourself with the achievements or the decisions of others. Comparison rarely every bring anything other despair.

Instead… run, and beat the clock.

And while you will always be aware of the passage of time – you will slowly start to realise you no longer fear it. And the time you spent on the race will no longer matter, only how far you ran, and all the things you saw along your way. How you turned the leaves red, and shaped the mountainside.

 

 

 

Quote of the Day: The River

“The river breaks through the landscape; not because of its power,

but because of its persistence. “