Be empowered!

 

GLORIA

 

 

Well the first semester is over and i can honestly say it cold not have gone better. Yes, it was stressful at time when i had to juggle work and school in an area that wasn’t home, but i handled it. Claiming my education is the best thing that i can do for myself. This semester has made me realize that my decision to Minor in Women’s Studies is the best decision i have ever made. i have always been an advocate for women’s rights as well as the rights of others and to be able to turn my love of activism into a career is so rewarding.

i thought i would share with you, one of the first articles i read for my Women’s Studies class. It is an article i had read before, so i was thrilled to read it again.

If Men Could Menstruate by Gloria Steinem

A white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking that a white skin makes people superior – even though the only thing it really does is make the more subject to ultraviolet rays and to wrinkles. Male human beings have built whole cultures around the idea that penis envy is “natural” to women – though having such an unprotected organ might be said to make men vulnerable, and the power to give birth makes womb envy at least as logical.

In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless – and logic has nothing to do with it.

What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

The answer is clear – menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood, with religious ritual and stag parties.

Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. (Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of commercial brands such as John Wayne Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-dope Pads, Joe Namath Jock Shields – “For Those Light Bachelor Days,” and Robert “Baretta” Blake Maxi-Pads.)

Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve in the Army (“you have to give blood to take blood”), occupy political office (“can women be aggressive without that steadfast cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priest and ministers (“how could a woman give her blood for our sins?”) or rabbis (“without the monthly loss of impurities, women remain unclean”).

Male radicals, left-wing politicians, mystics, however, would insist that women are equal, just different, and that any woman could enter their ranks if she were willing to self-inflict a major wound every month (“you MUST give blood for the revolution”), recognize the preeminence of menstrual issues, or subordinate her selfness to all men in their Cycle of Enlightenment. Street guys would brag (“I’m a three pad man”) or answer praise from a buddy (“Man, you lookin’ good!”) by giving fives and saying, “Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!” TV shows would treat the subject at length. (“Happy Days”: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row.) So would newspapers. (SHARK SCARE THREATENS MENSTRUATING MEN. JUDGE CITES MONTHLY STRESS IN PARDONING RAPIST.) And movies. (Newman and Redford in “Blood Brothers”!)

Men would convince women that intercourse was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself – though probably only because they needed a good menstruating man.

Of course, male intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguments. How could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics, or measurement, for instance, without that in-built gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets – and thus for measuring anything at all? In the rarefied fields of philosophy and religion, could women compensate for missing the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death-and-resurrection every month?

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind: the fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life or connecting to the universe, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine traditional women agreeing to all arguments with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly. “Your husband’s blood is as sacred as that of Jesus – and so sexy, too!”: Marabel Morgan.) Reformers and Queen Bees would try to imitate men, and pretend to have a monthly cycle. All feminists would explain endlessly that men, too, needed to be liberated from the false idea of Martian aggressiveness, just as women needed to escape the bonds of menses envy. Radical feminist would add that the oppression of the nonmenstrual was the pattern for all other oppressions (“Vampires were our first freedom fighters!”) Cultural feminists would develop a bloodless imagery in art and literature. Socialist feminists would insist that only under capitalism would men be able to monopolize menstrual blood . . . .

In fact, if men could menstruate, the power justifications could probably go on forever.

If we let them.

Gift that keeps on giving!

I don’t normally celebrate Christmas, but this year my family has decided to join in on the festivities. However, when my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I had no idea what to ask for. I didn’t just want anything from the mall..I wanted a gift that actually meant something. I want a gift that keeps on giving. So I put in a stipulation that if I get any gift, it has to be a gift that supports a good cause and benefits those in need.

One organization that I particularly fond of is V-Day. V-Day is an organization founded by Eve Ensler, that raises money and awareness to end violence against women around the world. I first heard of V-day in my women’s studies class the other day and when we watched a documentary called “The Vagina Monologues.”   A documentary that that brings awareness about rape and violence against women around the world.  A truly moving film that is raw, moving and at times funny, but most of all enlightening. 

Image

In an effort to raise money and awareness, Eve Ensler teamed up with Amanda Keidan Jewelry and put together a line of rings and necklaces to support the cause. This is one gift I would not mind receiving, since it is for such a good cause. My suggestion for everyone is to pick a cause that is close to your heart and celebrate the spirit of Christmas by picking a gift for a loved one that supports people around the world. Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday

 This weeks set of questions for FBFF are possibly the most interesting one’s I have come across! I am very excited for another addition of FBFF Thank you so much Modly chic for starting this community) let’s get this ball rolling. This weeks set of questions deal with feminism.

1. Do you think there is an incapability between feminism and a love for fashion? 

Not in any way! To me Fashion and Feminism are two different things. You don’t have to give up fashion to believe in feminism.  Both men and women each have their own traits and style. Men have their masculinity and we women have our femininity. Men express their masculinity the way they see fit, and we woman express our femininity the way we see fit. And more than often it is through our love of fashion. We also express our individuality through fashion. Every person is different when it comes to personality and style, and we should be able to express it. It is completely different from being treated unequally just because of our sex. To me feminism is being equal to men. Not above or below, but equal. We get the same privileges, and the same respect in and out of the work force. If men do not have to give up their masculinity then we should not have to give up our femininity. We wouldn’t have equality between the two genders if one had to give up something, and the other did not in order to earn the same amount of respect and opportunities.

 
2. There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?

Well the reason I joined FBFF was, because I felt that I wasn’t incorporating enough of myself into my blog. Joining FBFF was a great opportunity to showcase more of my views and opinions to my readers.


3. With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?

This may sound very bad, but I had no idea that the fashion industry was male dominated. That being said I don’t really think it would be that much different  from what it is now. Maybe all types of people would be displayed. I would love to see more curvaceous people being glorified for their beauty, than the typical 6 ft tall, small breasted, small waisted people on the runway. I would love to see all body types… tall, short, skinny and curvy all on the same runway.

4. How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

 Again,  feminism is equality between the two genders in the way we receive respect, and the way we earn our opportunities. Judge me based on my merits and my mind, not by my gender. That is my belief. So I wont change the way I carry myself, and I won’t down play my femininity in order to be excepted and respected in or out of the workforce. That wouldn’t be equality. Even though women have way more rights, and way more freedom then we have ever had before, we still live in a mans world. I want to be equal to a man, while keeping my femininity.

5. Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

I see how some people may feel that clothing, makeup and the way you di your  hair are superficial add on’s, but to me it is the way I express my individuality and my femininity. When I was younger I was embarrassed to dress  pretty and girly the way I wanted to. I was embarrassed to do my hair nice the way I wanted to, and I was embarrassed to wear make-up for fear that the boy’s at school would make fun of me, and not take me seriously, because I was always a bit of a tom boy. But a girl can play soccer and love football, but also still be fashionable and feminine. It does not have to be one or the other. I am a women and I am proud. And clothing makeup, as well as the way I do my hair is a wonderful reminder of that fact.