I Suppose

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There are two types of tired, I suppose. One is a dire need of sleep, and the other is a dire need of peace.

May your week be a peaceful one.

Happy Monday!

Mari

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One Life

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He said “One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough. And the obvious conclusion would seem to be that, at the very least, we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely, and beautifully, as we can”.

❤ ,

Mari

The F Word

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A woman yesterday said to me “My husband left me and I’ve always depended on him. Now I have to figure out how to find a place to live and find a job but I don’t know how to do any of it. I haven’t worked since we got married, he made way more money than me. Now, I have nothing and he will still have everything because even if he left me the house, I would never be able to afford it. What do I do? Where do I start?”

How do you tell someone how to do life? I wanted to tell her we are all in the same boat with her because nobody knows how to live, really. We’re all just sort of figuring it out as we go. You know?

Instead, I told her to take it one day at a time and before she realizes it, everything will work out (because it always does) and I didn’t say it in a cliché kind of way, I meant it. Life, I’ve figured out in hindsight, has always worked out for me. Perhaps, not always as I’d envisioned it would but definitely always for the better. Especially, once I learned to stay out of my own way.

But that conversation left me thinking “this is why we need feminism”. Because feminism means equality and women need to be equally capable of taking care of themselves as men are when relationships don’t work out.

Census numbers from 2012 show that U.S. women were more likely to live in poverty than men. Especially, if they’re raising families alone and thirty percent of single mothers in America lived in poverty then (I’m not sure what that number is now).

Poverty among women is not only about the wage gap between men and women but, combined with the fact that women tend to end up raising their families alone more often than men do, women’s disadvantage in their earnings potential is ultimately what has the biggest impact on their economy.

Being a feminist is, sometimes, misinterpreted by people. It’s often confused with wanting to be better than men. People assume that if you are a feminist, you must hate men when what we really hate is the huge gap that exists socially, economically, and politically, between men and women’s rights.

I find it especially unsettling when the ones misinterpreting feminism are other women. My stomach sinks when women shame other women for doing things men have done since the beginning of time and no one’s batted an eye over it, or it’s taken as “men being men”. A prime example of it is that a man that believes and openly expresses that women must be “grabbed by the pussy” is running our country RIGHT NOW.

Yesterday, a female user posted on Facebook “It’s sad, but I’ve never seen a generation of women be more proud of being hoes, strippers, side chicks, and thots (slang for sluts)” to which I replied, genuinely intrigued, “Why is it sad? Men have been proud of doing the same shit since the beginning of time and I’ve yet to hear one man call another one any of those names. We should really stop judging each other so harshly.”

Rather than replying to my question, the post was taken down completely or I was blocked from seeing it because I couldn’t find it anymore.

I often wonder if women who don’t believe in equality truly believe that other women should be treated as less than and shamed for the same behaviors that men are praised for. And I wonder if they portray so out of fear of their own strength, or out of shame for not standing up for themselves.

Honestly, I believe that those who feel threatened by feminism are either men who don’t deem women worthy of being treated with the same respect they expect to be treated with, or they are women who don’t realize that there is something terribly wrong with women having to say that they have a boyfriend in order to stop someone from harassing them at a bar because it’s easier to get a man to respect another man who may, or may not, exist than it is to be respected for being a human being.

Perhaps, those women have been raised with patriarchal values and they don’t know any different. I don’t know but I won’t shame them for it.

My wish for them is that some day they realize their own potential, and that they stop contributing to their own oppression, so that they can step into their own power and thus join the rest of is in paving the way for other women to realize their strength, beginning with our own daughters.

As for me, I am raising my daughter to believe that she is worthy of as much respect as anyone else is and to not allow the world to ever deceive her into believing that she is less than anyone else because she is a girl!

Since I cannot trust that the world will teach their children how to respect mine, I am teaching my daughter to know her own strength, because feminism isn’t about making women stronger, it’s about helping them realize the strength that is already within them so that they may stand on their own two feet and do the hard things we have been told for so long that we are incapable of doing.

Have a great weekend, you guys!

Mari

Like A Glass Building

When you fall, do it gloriously; Collapse like a glass building, sink like a gigantic ship. And when you are done sinking and collapsing, and sinking and collapsing, build yourself with your own wreckage.-Noor Unnahar

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❤ ,

Mari

Words

“If we can’t express our insides with words, we tell the truth with something else and it shows on our outside. But everybody tells the truth with something. I used to tell my truth with booze and bulimia, and broken relationships. Now, I tell my truth with words”. Glennon Doyle

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Happy Tuesday,

Mari

Me Too

To some, it’s just a trending hashtag. To others, it is the opportunity to end a silence complot that has allowed perpetrators to continue being on the prowl among unsuspecting potential victims.

All of the me too posts showing up on my timeline have brought back memories I’d long shoved to the very back of my mind, like old things I’m undecided to let go of because of the inconvenience of having to sort through them, and the pain they will, inevitably, evoke.

This movement is a collective sigh of relief, that no one single person who’s experienced sexual harassment, or sexual abuse, is alone in it. That we can finally breathe without fearing that the words we have been holding in for so long will spill out and taint the world when we speak them.

Still, some folks would rather not be inconvenience with such stories-not right now. Right now there is too much to deal with already. Someone on my Facebook timeline said “Why do they (the women) think that this is the best time to let the world know these things? What is it going to solve? Our country has enough with the political issues and natural disasters that we are facing. Now this? It’s ridiculous!” with obvious contempt.

As these Hollywood stories started trickling into the spotlight one by one, I began to feel a twinge of unease. I, unknowingly, resented those women, at first. Until, I realized why.

I felt like them revealing their truth, was intentionally triggering me into reliving my own and how dare they do that? I am not ready, yet! How dare they do this to ME?!

So, I understand the person’s view on my timeline. I would even go as far as to say that there’s a chance this is someone who’s experienced sexual assault, or sexual harassment, but isn’t ready to say “me too”. So, instead, she feels annoyed by other people’s revolutionary acts of speaking out.

It isn’t only because the thought of sharing one’s story and being doubted, or accused of doing it for attention, is scary as hell! It is also because once we tell it, it is out there for others to interpret and manipulate to their level of comprehension, or liking.

What people tend to do with stories like these (especially, the perpetrators) is undermine them. Accuse their victims of misinterpreting situations and that what they are saying is not what happened at all, further victimizing them by making people doubt their stories. So, some of us are not ready to put ourselves through that. Not yet.

However, even though, I am not ready to tell my story, I am-at least-ready to admit that it happened to me too.

I was molested, not once, or twice, but repeatedly over the course of my childhood. As a teenager I was sexually harassed by someone I had to see on a daily basis. Then, as an adult, I was groped when I drank too much and passed out at a trusted friend’s house.

And you know what? Guilt is pervasive in those situations. EVERY single time, I took the blame for it, even as a child, I felt a deep sense of shame and guilt each time it happened-Just typing about it, I am overcome with an incredibly deep sense of sadness.

This is how I imagine the person on my timeline must be feeling and she isn’t the only one. There is a countless number of women walking around carrying this dark secret, like a brand on their back showing who their stories are owned by because for as long as we keep our secrets, those who trespassed on our bodies own our story about it.

They live knowing that we feel ashamed enough of their actions that we will not dare let anyone else in on them. For as long as we keep silent, they hold the rights to that part of our story but once it is shared, it becomes our truth. And our truth is that we didn’t ask to be a part of something so violating and so pervasive that its consequences seep into every area of our life, every decision that we make, every little way in which we choose to do things in hopes of guarding ourselves from it happening again-or it happening to someone we love.

Just yesterday my fourteen year old daughter looked at me with frustration and, in a reproachful tone, said “Why are you so paranoid? Why do you have to be such an over-protective parent?” because I wouldn’t allow her to spend the night at a friend’s house.

Instantly, I felt shame for the secrets I keep that influence me to be this way but I am not ready to share them. Not yet.

Countless women are, at last, taking their “me too” stories off the shelf, dusting them off, and revealing them to the world for all to see! For some, that is an empowering thing.

For others, their wounds are still raw, too tender to touch and be put on display. So, they will remain silent until they feel strong enough to do so.

And that’s ok, too.

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There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming.-Shauna Niequist

❤ ,

Mari

This Is Your Life

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It’s the oldest story in the world. One day, you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then, quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today, and that someday is yesterday, and this is your life.-Nathan Scott

❤ ,

Mari