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An Open Letter to Men from Women on Misogyny, Abortion, Sex and Equality

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

As a feminist mom of teenage girls, this is the post that lives in my mind at all times. As a daughter and granddaughter of a mother and grandmother who have always been marginalized by what lies between her legs, I am offended.  As a woman who has been judged, juried and punished for being feminine and curvy, I am livid. As a woman who has been sexually harassed and abused by men and afraid for as long as I can remember, I am done. As a woman who thinks and feels and sees and exists, I am outraged. This is my open letter to men on misogyny, abortion, sex and equality

For as long as I can remember, I have walked through the world feeling in danger. In danger of being touched, groped, raped and even assaulted by men. Worse still, I have learned to survive. To make myself small and quiet when I needed to which if you know me, you know is not me. I am not alone.

When strange men on trains, on planes, in clubs, at school, at church, online, at frat parties, walking home from school, playing at a friend’s house, while shopping, while eating, while working, breastfeeding, playing at the park with my children, while living my life and even while sleeping have forced their crude remarks, wandering hands and themselves upon me, I had to learn to escape with the least amount of damage; not unscathed because, as any woman knows, that is impossible. So I made a decision, a long time ago, I refused to raise my daughters to make themselves small and I myself will never again make myself small…because they (my daughters) are watching.

Misogyny

I refuse to raise my daughters to hunch their shoulders, hide their bodies in baggy clothes, feel shame for being attractive or saying no. Not today misogyny. I would not raise them to consider anyone other than themselves when getting dressed. No one else’s opinion on what they wear, their size, shape, hair color, makeup or sexual prowess is any of their business. I taught my girls that they are equal to men and, let’s be honest, in some ways, they’re better. Most importantly, I raised them to respect themselves and their own thoughts and opinions over anyone else’s. That being said, they were taught that everyone else is entitled to their opinions about life but those opinions have no effect on our lives.

My girls know what consent is. I taught them to say no loudly and habitually when they want to. Their body is their body, not mine, not yours and not some random dude who can’t keep his toxic masculinity and hormones in check, not even their husband or boyfriend. Believe me, toxic masculinity comes in more forms than just a rapist in a dark alley or skeevey dudes at the clubs, these men can also be your boss, your priest, your friend, the old man down the road, the boy next door and the guy who’s supposed to protect and serve your community.

I’ve fought the school on dress codes and refuse to have my daughters wear baggy clothes just because it’s too distracting to the boys. Why aren’t clothes that fit enough? Sorry, breasts and butts happen. We all have them.

I’ve fought public opinion on my daughters wearing bikinis when they were toddlers because someone had the audacity to say I was sexualizing my toddlers. No, you pervert are the one sexualizing a child. That’s a “you” problem. I was simply buying a suit that was comfortable for my tall child. Covering her belly button is not more important than preventing discomfort or causing infections. As teenagers, I stand by that statement. What women are wearing is not a concern for men. If it offends you or overstimulates you, overt your fucking eyes. Stop policing us. We don’t police you. Stay in your lane.

Sex

I’ve taught my daughters that sex is beautiful when they are mature enough to handle all that comes with it. We’ve talked about sex since they started asking. It’s not dirty or bad. They are not naughty for being curious. I don’t preach abstinence. I talk about respecting their bodies, themselves, their partners and waiting until they are ready.

I tell them that sex does not equal love. Sex is sex and someone can love having sex with you and not love you at all. I’ve taught them about birth control and responsibility, taking it themselves and demanding it of their partners. Sex with someone you love is beautiful and sex with yourself is cathartic. We don’t slut-shame so I’ve even taught them that we don’t judge and criticize other people’s sexual choices.

Abortion

I am pro-choice and I’ve raised my girls to know why. It’s not that I am pro-abortion or that I’ve had or would’ve ever chosen to have one. It is that I respect women and their lives and it is every single human being’s right to be in control of what happens to their own body. You can argue that you are pro-life because you believe every single life is precious but if that’s your reasoning, what about the life of the girl or woman who finds herself pregnant (for whatever reason, the reason is irrelevant…women should not have to qualify the choices they make for their own bodies to anyone else, especially men) and is not capable of raising it, taking care of it, wanting or loving and providing for it in the way that she wants at that time?

If you are pro-life only for an unborn fetus, then you are not concerned with life (because you have disregarded the woman’s) you are concerned with moral superiority and inflicting your beliefs on others. It’s a power struggle not a pro-life issue. If abortion morally offends you, simply do not have an abortion. Period. While we’re on the subject, can all the politicians please GTFO of our uteruses?

Whatever your belief is, the consequences rest with the woman having the abortion and it’s between her and her God. She will have to live with that choice forever. There is no way around that. If you think the decision to have an abortion is one a woman takes lightly, you’ve never actually asked a woman who has to make that choice. Her decision has no immediate or direct effect on your life. It’s not your business to decide and making abortion illegal will not stop abortions, it will only stop safe abortions which means they will put women’s lives and their future reproductive health in jeopardy.

Equality

My girls are free to make their own choice on which side they choose to support because I respect them, their intelligence and their right to choose. If my daughters ever find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, I will do what any parent should do, I will counsel, love and support them in whatever decision they make for themselves. But at the same time, it’s my responsibility, as a parent, to teach them about respecting their bodies, loving themselves, pregnancy prevention, sexual safety and knowing the difference between love and sex.

Don’t misunderstand, I am not promoting teen sex, promiscuity, unplanned pregnancy or abortion. I am simply saying that these things happen and, in case no one was paying attention, it takes a man and a woman to get pregnant but only the girl or woman is left with the immediate responsibility of raising, caring for and providing for the child because we are the ones who carry it. Men can walk away and pretend it didn’t happen and some do. Men are not the ones paying for the consequences of one night for the rest of their lives, women are.

So until men can be held equally accountable for women’s reproduction, they should have no say in what we do, how we behave or what we choose to do or not do with our own bodies. Women are not property, nor inanimate objects, we are not born to provide care and pleasure for men…we are simply born to live and pursue our own happiness, just like every man.

It’s enraging enough that we are not given equal pay, equal voice or equal respect or rights as human beings. The world teaches little girls that doing anything like a girl is bad, weak and less than. It teaches girls to be quiet, be amiable, smile more and accept the places they’ve given us. Little girls need to be encouraged and empowered to use their voices, stand up and be everything they dream of being without the worry of being oppressed and reduced to their sexuality. Our girls are more. We are more.

This is not about me bashing men. This is me protecting and standing up for my daughters and every other child. These things I am teaching my daughters; need to be taught to our sons as well. Things will never change until we all work together to change the way things are; we have to stop accepting misogyny (in all its forms) as just the way it is. I don’t want my girls to feel scared and afraid of men and boys and I don’t think your boys want my girls to feel that way either. It starts now by refusing to let one more girl make herself feel small and quiet just to feel safe living with girl parts in the world.

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Are CoVid Vaccinations Putting Us All at Higher Risk due to False Security

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Today, my girls return to in-person school during a pandemic, after a 10-day quarantine. Three days is how many days my girls were back in school before they were quarantined for 10 days. Yes, you heard me correctly, my daughters who are fully vaccinated were both directly exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus at school where masks are not mandated but encouraged. No, my daughters were not wearing masks because my daughters are vaccinated that was definitely my poor judgment. But breakthrough CoVid infections are real and dangerous. Did I mention that masks are not required and mode 3 virtual is not even an option at my daughters’ school this year? It’s not. Leaving me to wonder are CoVid vaccinations putting us all at higher risk due to a false sense of security?

Why my girls were quarantined

Both girls were exhibiting potential Coronavirus symptoms that were on the “must quarantine until they get a negative CoVid test result” or as I like to call it, the “CoVid No Fly” list. We got the test results back and both were negative but because they had been directly exposed and had been sick, even with the vaccination and negative test results due to the possibility of a false-negative test they have to quarantine for the entire 10 days. While I am thrilled that the school is doing their due diligence and my girls are negative (yay science), I am pissed off that there are so many parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated and still send their kids to school sick, unvaccinated and refusing to wear the masks the school has asked unvaccinated students to wear. Their recklessness has caused a large number of quarantines within the first few days of school being back in session and it’s only going to get worse.

Here are the most recent CDC guidelines for back to school.

I got the vaccine. My girls and the Big Guy, we were first in line after a year+ of being societally obligated to be imprisoned in our own house due to a pandemic and some fun underlying conditions that made the world a virtual minefield of danger zones for our health. We masked up when so many others in our area were not. We were genuinely afraid of contracting and dying from a gnarly case of coronavirus. We did everything we were supposed to (and more) watching in horror as friends and family contracted and died from the virus. When school was scheduled to start back on August 11th, we were nervous but excited. We knew we had to be diligent but felt safe returning to school during what we believed were the end stages of the coronavirus pandemic. We were absolutely wrong in our false sense of security and believing that others did their part.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist or particularly scared of anything in the world. I wasn’t raised on fear. I’m a Gen Xer who has had her fair share of cooties. I kissed a lot of frogs in my lifetime, observed the 5-second rule and regularly used other people’s toothbrushes in a pinch during my college years. However, I do believe in science and my IQ is a little higher than the average bear.  The biggest thing is that I can read, have intelligence and believe that a brand new respiratory virus is going to be contagious. My doctor also believes that the horrible “virus” I contracted in early February of 2020 left me nearly for dead, so much so that I literally gave my notice at work, complete with loss of taste, smell and even CoVid toes before it was even a thing, in fact, early days rona. Did I mention that I lost three family members to coronavirus? I did. It has been an epically shitastic year and to make it all worse, I am surrounded by idiots.

Yep, I said it. You can’t wish away rona any more than you can cancer. It’s here, whether you want to believe in it or not and guess what? It is coming for you. The only unknown variable is will you be an asymptomatic carrier who spreads and kills others, maybe you’ll get long-haul symptoms (it’s possible even when asymptomatic) like strokes, heart attacks, asthma or brain damage afterward. Maybe you get a mild case and survive or maybe you catch it and suddenly find yourself dead. I’m sure your family will love the fact that they lost their mom, dad, sister, brother, son or daughter because you decided your right to be a selfish asshole was more important than wearing a paper mask in public and staying the eff out of other people’s personal space for the greater good.

Anyways, I got my vaccination and so did my immediate family. We did everything we could to be part of the solution instead of the problem. We don’t want to be responsible for killing others. We’d rather gamble on science. For a couple of months, we felt safe. Slowly, we ventured back out into the world amongst other people. We thought everyone was doing their part. We were dead wrong.

Are CoVid vaccinations putting us all at higher risk due to a false sense of security?

It was exhausting because in the last 17 months peopling has become terrifying; every single person we encounter is a potential assassin and we really like living. School started back for our girls. They are in person for the first time since March 2020. My girls celebrated 2 milestone birthdays confined to the house like criminals on house arrest; we all did. We chose to do the right thing and still, here we are in the middle of yet another surge because other people still chose to believe conspiracy theories over science. These are obviously the same think tanks who refuse to believe that dinosaurs existed, the Holocaust happened or anyone ever set foot on the moon. Yep, the same geniuses who think the world is flat. If this part is offending you, you should stop reading because I don’t think we could have an actual intelligent conversation together in person so let’s stop wasting each other’s time.

My whole point is so many of us did the right thing and the rest of you are messing this up. It’s bad enough that you’ve destroyed the climate now, you’re openly chastising those of us trying to save the world. This group project sucks and I am so tired of being the one who’s doing all the work. Do your part. I’m so mad at myself for letting my guard down.I think in some small part having the CoVid vaccination is putting us all at higher risk due to a false sense of security even though literally it is saving our lives.

Here I am somewhere between terrified of dying and so pissed off that I’m about to start throat punching random people who refuse to mask up. The trigger in my brain that felt safe for those couple of months, doesn’t want to believe that some of you don’t give any f*cks whether you kill my mom and dad or my elementary school-aged nieces and nephews but I’ve seen your posts and I know that you don’t care who you kill, as long as you can run around without wearing a mask. Mentally I am spent.

I’m tired so tired and I don’t want to play this game anymore. It’s 4 a.m. and I’m awake with a Freshman who has gotten no sleep because she is stressed out about returning to school tomorrow; afraid of coronavirus and the 11 tests and quizzes that she has to make up upon her return. The bottom line is, you’re an asshole if you’re not vaccinated. Adults you need to do your part; wear your masks at all times in public, wash your hands and social distance. You liars and rule-breakers are the reason we can’t have nice things (like safely being able to exist in the world and do things like going to school and getting groceries) and the reason we’re all going to end up back in lockdown and to you, I say, “EFF YOU.”

So if you’re refusing to do your part, remember that there are children who don’t have a choice but to put themselves in harm’s way physically and mentally because you can’t make good choices. Your choice to disregard science, ignore facts and not wear a mask or get vaccinated go way beyond you. This is not a personal choice that only affects you but every single person living in it. Your one moment of selfishness can mean death to others. The kids are not alright and as adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe and sound. If you don’t care enough about yourself to do the right thing, what about the innocent kids who are suffering from the mental and physical stress of trying to live in a coronavirus world?

If you live in an area with no mask mandate in place in the schools, are you sending your kids back to school in person and if so what precautions will you take to keep your family safe?

Do you think CoVid vaccinations are putting us all at higher risk due to a false sense of security?

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As a mom, how often have you felt overwhelmed and overworked in your life? Most moms will acknowledge the responsibility that is motherhood, and no matter how much help you have, it seems mothers are hardwired to carry the weight of motherhood physically. All the parts you can see and the parts you can’t see. Even if you manage to share the load with your other parent, husband, partner, chances are most moms will still feel the stress that comes with parenthood.

“A mom’s work is never done.”

More so now, during a global pandemic, moms and dads alike often forgo what they need themselves as they strive to provide for their family and keep everyone happy, safe, and healthy. Sadly, this means as parents, more often than not, your needs come last. But all the stress, worry, heartache, and mental juggling of tasks can take its toll on your mental and physical health.

Even those pushed for time need to take some time to make sure they don’t burn out and make themselves ill. Your family needs you to be healthy, and this means looking after yourself as much as everyone else. Even if you feel like you don’t have the time or you shouldn’t. Self-care needs to be standard and not classed as a luxurious treat. You can learn new ways on how to take care of yourself by visiting aromatechscent.com.

Self-care can simply be the act of putting makeup or completing a full skincare routine with cream, oils, and face masks. You can also treat yourself to facials and other cosmetic procedures at a dermatology center. Whether you’re treating yourself, or shopping for a significant other, you’ll love West Dermatology’s Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide. Check out these FAQs on the best type of oils to use for your skin. It can be reading a book or taking a long hot bath in peace. It doesn’t matter what it is or how often you do it, as long as you do it, and it makes you feel better.

Accept help

You may be able to do it all on your own with no help, but that doesn’t mean you should. New moms, let someone take over the small tasks for you. Sure, you may not want to leave your new baby, but having someone come over to help clean up, put the dishwasher on or washing machine or simply make you a hot drink and some food can be a huge help during those first weeks of getting used to life as a new parent.

But as your family grows, learn to accept the help for what it is and not as an attack on you and your parenting skills. Having the kids go for a playdate for an hour or two can give you breathing space to do something you need to do. Be it a nap, drink a hot coffee or binge watch that show on Netflix everyone is talking about. If it makes you feel better, do it and don’t punish yourself for accepting help – a happy parent is a much better parent, don’t you think?

Eat well

How often have you tricked your child into eating healthy food to make sure they are getting all their vitamins and minerals? When was the last time you checked to make sure you were getting all of yours? Neglecting your diet can lead to unhealthy choices and a lack of energy as your body isn’t getting what it needs. If you are struggling with choosing the right foods, try meal planning, and prepping to make sure you have healthy meal options available at all times.

According to Functional Medicine Associates, supplements can help boost your required daily intake but not replace them. You shouldn’t rely on vitamin supplements to get what your body needs each day. Keep a fruit salad prepared in the fridge for a go-to snack or have healthy nuts and seeds for you to snack on during the day. Look after your body, and it will look after you. After all, as a busy parent, you need all the energy you can get.

Sleep

Easier than it looks. Parents sleep if their kids sleep at night. And if they don’t, coffee is your best friend! The baby and toddler years can be rough when it comes to sleep deprivation – especially if other parents brag about how their child sleeps through the night! You may feel like you will never get a good night’s sleep again. But little things can be done to help you fall asleep faster and make the most of the time you do have to sleep. You can even opt to visit a nearby Sleep Therapy Center if you want to eliminate any possible sleeping disorders you currently have.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” Possibly one of the more ridiculous things to say to parents. As much as you may want to nap, chances are you will have other things that need taking care of instead.

Try to find a good bedtime routine that works for you and your family. Take note of advice such as removing electronics from the bedroom, keeping the tv off at night, and having a bath before bed. Practicing yoga can help to relax you as can meditation if you can find time to get into the right mind space for it to be effective. Lavender works wonders for inducing a calming night’s sleep – for you and children too, as can using a sleep mask and the right bedding for your bedroom for any given season. You can also apply a mānuka essential oil before you sleep to combat the signs of many common skin issues such as anti-aging and acne. Read more here about it. Exercising in the evening can help you to burn off any pent up energy and allow you enough of a release to sleep better at night. But, working out too close to bedtime will have the complete opposite effect—trial and error but always worth trying out.

Exercise

Taking the baby out for a walk in their stroller is exercise, as is chasing a toddler around the local park or even jumping in the pool with the family on a hot summer day. You can use the altitude sneakers perfect for your routine, and here is a Cold Weather Running Guide so you can be prepared with no excuse !
It isn’t all about hitting the gym and pushing yourself as hard as you can. But if that is what works for you, then it can be that—a dance class with your friends or a neighborhood basketball game. Get out, get moving, and raise your heartbeat. If you’re someone who enjoys working out in the comfort of your own home, you can check out https://wodreview.com/equipment/best-air-bike for great exercise equipment. The wonders those feel-good endorphins you release when you workout can have considerable benefits to your physical and mental health.

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Awareness of mental health issues is on the rise and it’s becoming clear that a lot of young people suffer from conditions like anxiety and depression. That’s why it’s so important that parents educate themselves about the symptoms of mental health issues and the treatments available for depression like ketamine therapy. If you can pick up on the signs early on and help your child to find the support that they need, you can deal with the problem before it gets a lot worse.

But parents don’t just need to think about their children, they need to think about themselves as well. Becoming a parent is an incredibly stressful time and a lot of new parents struggle with postnatal depression. The stress of raising a family also means that a lot of parents are working too hard and neglecting self-care. If you don’t look after yourself, you increase your risk of mental health issues and that makes it harder for you to be an effective parent. If you have been neglecting your own mental health, these are some of the most important ways that you can look after it. 

Don’t Downplay Your Symptoms 

It’s so easy for people to downplay their symptoms because they buy into a lot of the damaging language about mental health. Mental health issues are often marginalized and people talk of how depressed they are when they just mean that they had a stressful day, or they claim to have OCD because they are a neat and tidy person. There are also people out there that will tell you to just get over it and suck it up. Life is hard, they’ll say, that’s just the way it is. The problem with this kind of language is that it assumes that a diagnosed mental health issue is no different to the normal ups and downs that we all have, which isn’t the case at all. It’s fine if you feel stressed and a bit down every so often, but it’s not fine if you feel like that constantly and you never have the energy to do anything. If you notice the symptoms of a mental health issue, don’t downplay them and don’t let others convince you that things are fine when they aren’t. Always seek professional advice if you are not sure. You can also take CBD oil from Kushie Bites to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Take Days Off 

Being a parent is a full-time job and you need to take some days off from time to time. But a lot of new parents think that asking for help means admitting defeat, and they worry that people will judge them and think that they can’t handle being a parent. But that isn’t the case at all, and it’s perfectly reasonable to take some time off for yourself. It could be as simple as using stress-relieving products, such as a CBD flower, in order for you to take a breather.

When you do get a day to yourself, you should spend it doing something relaxing like a spa day (click the link to learn more about finding the best ones) or engaging in one of your hobbies. You can use the time to catch up on chores if you like, but remember that you’re supposed to be having a day off, and that still works. Asking a family member or friend to watch the kids for a day every now and again will make such a huge difference to your mental health. 

Get Outside 

New parents often end up spending a lot of time inside and they rarely have a chance to get out of the house. But that isn’t good for a few reasons. It can be very isolating and being stuck in the same environment all the time isn’t great for your mental health. It’s not great for your child either because they need to start experiencing the outdoors. Studies show that spending time outside can improve your mental and physical health, so it’s important that you don’t stay shut up indoors all the time. Even a short walk each day will make a big difference. 

Eat Properly 

When your kids get older and you all start eating meals together, it’s easy to keep up with healthy eating. But new parents find that they spend so much time looking after their child that they don’t have time to prepare proper meals for themselves, and that’s not good. If you are eating a lot of unhealthy convenience foods, you lack a lot of important nutrition and you will struggle to find the energy to do things. A bad diet is always bad for your mental health, so it’s important that you eat fresh, healthy food. 

As a new parent, it’s important that you follow these simple tips so you can manage your own mental health effectively.

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