Tag Archives: feminism

learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

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learning curve (n.) a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)

I find it interesting how things NEVER turn out the way you think they will. I feel like humans spend a lot of time anticipating things and the ease with which they will happen some strange day in the future…

As soon as I get out of school;

As soon as I get into school;

As soon as I get married;

As soon as I get divorced;

Or in my case, as soon as my kids grow up and move out.

I have a relationship history, baggage let’s say. due to the fact that I am apparently old… I have more than the average of marriages/divorces under my belt but that average was from before I was 23, I am a very different person now and like ALL OF US, with what I know now, of course I would make different choices. But then, I made some pretty grown up decisions that have somehow, made my life easier then, and decidedly more complicated now. What vexes me is that I always thought it would be easier now.

What I am finding however, is that most everyone within what I find to be a comfortable dating age range either has very young children or wants to have them. Many who approach me right out the gate make it clear they are looking for a stepmom not a partner per se (mostly the freshly divorced). It is frustrating. Not to mention, the job I have now is less than encouraging when it comes to parenting or co-parenting. I see the worst in people as it relates to parenting and children. So, there is that, too.

I could have more children; if I got a $7,500 surgery or did IVF, I have checked into it, as recently as two years ago. I have been curious about it a long time. I was even going to do surrogacy until I turned 37, which is the magic age that makes it unprofitable. I am at a point in my life, professionally, psychologically, financially, etc. that I would probably be a really good parent (not to say I wasn’t before, but hey money and education really do help.) I envy some of my friends who are just having their first. My family members, too. Meanwhile, I’m expecting grandkids any day, at the ripe old age of 38. But I really don’t think I would want more of my own; that being said…

I’ve never had kids with someone who wanted kids. I’ve never had kids when I wanted kids. I’ve never really co-parented longer than a couple years. It is all very tempting. Truly. I had my tubes tied at 21? 22? because I love kids. I just couldn’t afford more of them and without support, couldn’t parent more than the two I had, alone.

Once upon a time, I thought that would be attractive to someone. No ticking biological clock. No concerns about a pregnancy oops. No reason to use protection in a relationship. You know? Alas.

Instead, I find that really amazing connections and potential connections, are lost because of it. Sigh. Patriarchy wins again. And I didn’t even get to participate in the conversation, it was just a decision they made. (At a point in dating that had I, as a female, brought up having children, I’m sure it would have been weird…)

Men have no real shelf life when it comes to producing children.

*yes, yes, #notallmen are fertile. I know.*

But in general, if a man can find someone to get pregnant, he can until he dies.

We women, we are burdened with the choices that we have to make to raise the kids we have. We bear the main burden and decisions to keep or not keep a child. Yes, men might participate but we bear the brunt privately and publicly. We are burdened with a window of time to procreate.

We are burdened:

Be pretty. Be young. Be fertile. Be smart. Be humble. Be a feminist (but not so much that I can’t open a car door for you or be manly).

BE.

Be what I want or need in my idea of how things should be.

I wish people could communicate better, I am very upfront about not looking to have more kids or get married.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just that I am not looking for that.

There are always ways to make a family. Family isn’t always about marriage or genetic children. And hey! Technology has made all sorts of things possible. People are having children in their 60s. Men are having babies. Nature and technology can find a way.

Meh, I digress. This post wasn’t meant to be about that particular piece. But regardless, of my ability/inability to breed, navigating online dating is much more difficult than I ever imagined.

Maybe I am too hypervigilant. (*Just because I am hypervigilant doesn’t mean I am wrong… Just FYI)

Maybe I am gunshy. Maybe I don’t know the new world rules of what is appropriate now in nonorganic database dating regarding contact, texting, amounts, context. I never really “dated” before. I was married at 16. I have randomly been with other people over the years, but usually it was friends of friends or friends that I became romantically involved with. The first time I online dated, I got lucky. I ended up spending the larger part of 5 years with the first person I dated from okcupid. So, my experiences have been limited. And everyone seems to have a different idea of what “normal” is.

This dating go round, 25% have been amazing, too awesome, probably. 25% have been boring beyond belief. 25% have been aggressive and controlling. And the last 25%? Oh yeah. Sex offender. Woot. Hell of a learning curve there.

Way to go, filters.

So I will just sit here, like the memes say, and wait for mr/mrs right to break into my house, I guess. Huzzah.

Side note:

*I might have agreed with them in said conversation which never took place. Or maybe I’d have wanted to have a baby. Who knows now.

But you know, I just wanted to know they knew what it felt like to be thirsty. I didn’t want a glass of water.*

Bonus points if you get the reference. 

 

 

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Poverty. Totally a choice.

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Poverty. Totally a choice.

Bootstraps. Pull yourself up by them!

Unless you are barefoot and pregnant….and that was YOUR decision. Fu*king breeders!

Just kidding. I get tired of feeling like I have to explain my clients or enlighten people on oppression and poverty and every other ism that exists in my world (your world too, just FYI). I digress.

When I started out down the social work path, I was very vigilant and ready to educate the masses; I was excited to understand the criminal justice population I had previously been working with in another light. I wanted to fix the world, change society.

Now I just want to help individuals. I am sure that is why nothing changes and if it does it is a very slow painful process….because all our passion gets sucked out and replaced by not apathy but sheer exhaustion. Or we feel liuke we did something by liking something on Facebook or blogging about it or signing a dumb ass petition on change dot org….

You can’t fix ______________ so you just try to negate the damage.

It’s sad, but it is what it is.

I read this today and thought it was a nice look into the lives of the people some of you are blaming and bitching about.

http://killermartinis.kinja.com/why-i-make-terrible-decisions-or-poverty-thoughts-1450123558

And just for fun, here is my favorite explanation of white privilege for you white boys who don’t believe in it.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

I hope Daniel reads this.

What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

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What every teen girl should know about sex and the alleged men they are having it with….

This is a first draft excerpt of something I am working on….

            As she walked down the sidewalk, barefoot and confused, she tried to put together the jumbled pieces of what the last few days had involved. Thoughts floated in and out of her consciousness, alternating between internal processing of the previous night and external concentration to avoid stepping on glass and goat heads in the gutter. Her feet were leathery tough from years of being barefoot, but it still took effort.

            Self-conscious, she tried to smooth down her long strawberry blond hair which probably hadn’t been brushed in a few of days. She was certain that the people in passing cars were staring at her, knowing all her deepest secrets simply by looking at her. Frustrated by her inability to recall simple details, she knew she had started out the day before with Laynie’s sunflower sandals. She was positive that she remembered taking them off in his mom’s room, but when she went back in there this morning to get them, they were no longer there.

            It was all pretty overwhelming; trying to put memories in sequence after having only just slept a few hours after not sleeping in several days. The first thing she could remember definitively from this last episode was Laynie taking her to the mall to lift some new Mossimo clothes, then flagging down two boys named Shawn and Brody in the parking lot…..but it started much longer ago than that; it had really started the morning she began working at the Western Inn.  That was the first time that she met Katie Kizer.

            Katie Kizer was a pretty girl with a chip on her shoulder you couldn’t see because of her beautiful and thick black hair. She had moved to Belnesse from Portland, Oregon and Lila was immediately taken with her. Katie had stories that made fifteen year old Lila’s small town adventures of sex and drug use seem very pedestrian…. 

To be continued….

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

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Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Mother, Mother

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Mother, Mother

Maybe not meaningful to you but meaningful to me is the fact that this song came out the year I became a mother…albeit a pre-birth mother, but a mother aware of the child inside her all the same…

I identified with this song so much.

Somedays, I still do.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the men and women mothers or mother role holders, even the ones that weren’t close to perfect.

transitions lenses

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transitions lenses

I’ve redeveloped my love for this song….It suits me these days. I’m not angry. I am just going back to the path I was on once upon a time with some better understanding of myself….

I am getting so much closer to being a well rounded healthy individual!

YAY!

But until then…..Have some Ani.

Kisses

Jani

Dirt(y)

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Dirt(y)

I’ve been fond of thinking,

rationalizing really,

that surface dirt collects

and the times that we don’t clean it

are the times that new things

are trying to take root

on hard surfaces

and need top soil.

I’ve been fond of thinking,

rationalizing really,

that my chaos is spinning

for the sake of growing taproots

to discover the ways I am

and who is an authentic me

Turns out,

I like being dirty.

The Girlchild is officially a Womanchild.

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The Girlchild is officially a Womanchild.

My Girlchild turned 13 recently and boy is she proving to be quite the little wise woman. We went on a mini-road trip this weekend and the Manchild went to a pal’s house after it, leaving she and I to amuse ourselves, and each other. We watched a movie, dyed her hair, cut her hair, got me a new outfit eventually for my impending interview(s), went yard sale-ing (which allowed me to check something off of my list of things I want to do from age nineteen…I bought a typewriter), etc.

But late at night, we talked. She asked questions about my previous life as a Girlchild which led to discussions around my previous life as a Childmother and my evolution out of that into Grownass Womanmother. In my infinite wisdom, I found it helpful to share journals that I have had for what feels like millenia. I wish I had my diaries from when I was her age, but I burned them in an act of rebellion against particular patriarchy. So what we have to work with is journals from age 19 on and poetry from age 12 on. It is a blessing, I never realized.

Mind you some passages involving her father we decided to skip as to not traumatize her 🙂 There are just some things you don’t want to think of your parents thinking.

I was even able to inspire her to start journaling in the hopes that she could share them with her own child or even me someday.

The most amazing part was the wisdom she shared with me at the end of the evening.

She told me, (slightly paraphrasing of course, as I didn’t transcribe her exactly…)

“You seem like you are always doing amazing things when you are single and then you get with these people and then you start trying to fix them, instead of fixing you and following your path. You always take care of other people instead of you. Why do you do that? Why don’t you just fix you and do the amazing things that you start when you don’t have men to fix?”

That is a good question, Womanchild, that is a good damn question.

Out of the mouths of babes, I guess.

 

 

Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

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Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

Today there are old, frightened, white, straight men as the majority of our Supreme Court making decisions for the rest of us….I hope they make them in the best interest of all….toward equality and what is right and just….not maintaining status quo for political bullshit.

Don’t make hate your precedent. Don’t rule for inequality.

Do what Batman would do SCOTUS. Do what Bruce would do. The right thing.

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Disenchantment

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Disenchantment

I am beginning to lose hope in things; most pointedly love. My whole life my dad encouraged me to listen to John Lennon’s words…..”All you need is love….” It’s been a mantra of sorts….But nowadays I am feeling that love is no longer enough. I love things. I love people. And I am miserable and disappointed. I try to look at things in a Buddhist POV, from lots of perspectives really…and I don’t know how to not be disappointed. I can’t do unattached love. Eat Pray Love BS. Love them and let it go?

Boo

I want my happy fucking ending.

I’m about to create it myself.

Screw boys. Screw girls. Screw romantic love.