#yesallwomen is not enough, lets kick it up a notch

Its been almost a week of media and blogosphere frenzy of rape culture, misogyny and #yesallwomen but #notallmen since the most recent American mass murder last Friday. In case you somehow missed it, a psychopath who refused to take his meds who had some pretty fucked up ideas about people went on a killing spree leaving behind youtube videos explaining it was because of his frustration with women who weren’t attracted to him. He was 22 and never been kissed and we all know what that makes us. That’s right, such a loser.

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Maybe you won’t be surprised by that synopsis that I’m of the unpopular opinion that the guy was a bit nuts and that’s unfortunate but we’re getting a bit rabid here. I mean, when people kill in the name of religion we call them extremists but when some nut kills in the name of misogyny we decide the whole culture is misogynistic.  Don’t get me wrong, I hate sexism (obviously!), along with all the other isms as well, but something about all of this has just not sat well with me all week long. I know that our culture is actually sexist, I do buy that. Misogynistic, or an actual hatred of women, not so much, but that’s hairsplitting I know. Anyway, I didn’t always believe that society in general was sexist, because I haven’t always felt it. Growing up I didn’t think that being a girl meant I couldn’t be whatever I wanted to be. I didn’t particularly notice anyone think I wasn’t as smart as the boys. It wasn’t until I got older that I noticed and I’m more than willing to admit, it may just be a mature mental faculty thing. But also to tell you the truth that one time some guy grabbed my ass was a lot less damaging than the constant abuse and mental anguish I got from girls, and not just in school, but after then too. More on that later.

And so while I really couldn’t pinpoint why I felt uneasy about all this #yesallwomen stuff I continued to ruminate and think about it, ‘cus that’s how I am. Its not like I don’t absolutely and completely stand behind women who have been raped or told they are less worthy or not given promotions. I totally stand behind the woman who has decided to wear shorts  under her dresses because of not just ass grabbing but penetration by unseen hands when she goes out. None of that is OK.  But today, when I finally figured out why it was I felt like saying, “oh just shut up already” it felt like an obvious epiphany. One of those thoughts that is always there, everyone knows this but no one is tying it all together.

You know what I wanted to say to the #yesallwomen crowd? I wanted to say “yeah it really sucks when people are crap to you because you don’t fit into their worldview of what people should be like doesn’t it?”  Maybe it’s because I never really felt like I fit into any group of people that I can’t quite get behind this movement, because all it’s really doing is dividing people further.  #notallmen discriminate against women, #notallwhites discriminate against blacks and other minority races, #notallmiddleclasspeople discriminate against the working class and #notallnormalweight people discriminate against fat people, but like John Scalzi says we all do really. I reblogged his post for a reason, it’s worth the read, go for it now.

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I’ve been discriminated against for all sorts of nontraditional reasons. Basically I’m weird and people don’t like it. #notallnormalpeople are assholes to introverted, geeky creative types but you know what? A damn lot of you are. The fact that we need to face up to is that humans in this western society (and who am I kidding WHAT society is different) loves a pecking order. Its a bit more subtle once you’re out of school but that’s because kids have immature growing brains and haven’t figured out subtlety yet. We all like to rail against bullying but you know what?

They learn it by watching us.

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Kids learn from modelling not from lectures and every time you have something to say under your breath (or not) about that fat kid, or that grubby looking couple or that girl in the weird outfit they get the lesson that people not like us are not worthy. You don’t even have to go that far. Every time you talk about how fat you look or how awful you look so you can’t go out and be seen you’re setting the exact same example. Obviously some people are worse than others. Some go as far as to talk down to minorities or people of a different class, or indeed, women (or men) or gays (the list goes on and on doesn’t it?) I haven’t spoken much about my disdain for pink and frilly baby girl clothes and toys (as well as the blue and browns, trucks and trains for boys). Other people have done a far better job anyway. Suffice it to say we freaking love to have a neat little category to put everyone in so we know where we all stand with each other (cluck! cluck! cluck!) and if they don’t fit it well we don’t like that one bit.

So this is where I’m going with this, it’s not that I’m pro-misogyny or anything, in fact I’m anti-isms in total. Can we please just stop with the sorting game and let everyone just BE!?

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The Four Levels of Discrimination (and You) (and Me, Too)

This guy gets it. Not much more to say than that really.

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I’ve been talking about sexism recentlymy own and others — and I have to say I’ve found it increasingly exasperating to see the massively defensive response of “not all men are sexist” that inevitably follows. One, because it’s wrong (more on that in a bit), and two, because the more I see it, the more it’s obvious that it’s a derail, as in, “Holy shit any discussion of sexism makes me uncomfortable so I want to make it clear I am not sexist so I’ll just demand recognition that not all men are sexist so I can be lumped in with those men who are not sexist and I can be okay with myself.”

(I also note a fair correlation between the men who demand acknowledgment that men are not all sexist and the men who show some general hostility either to women or to the idea that…

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Sending back my favorite shoes

I intended this to be a very happy, smiley, chirpy post today. I’d been waiting and waiting for this and it just hasn’t gone to plan. Instead it’s a sad and disappointed day for me a bit.

Last Friday, I’d basically decided that I would, indeed buy the shoes I’d been wanting to buy for… maybe months! Certainly weeks. I decided that I would buy them and then I put on my old black trainers and went to work, hoping I wouldn’t have to wear them again except for you know, hiking or something. As I was walking through Norwich toward my destination I heard a couple of girls lower their voices as they approached me, say something in another language (I think) and then as they passed one of them said “footlocker maybe” and I realised that they were mocking me. Ugh! How dare they? They have no idea what my life is like. They have no idea if I just have bad taste or if these are all I have available for the moment for whatever reason. (By the way, I have two kids, I work part time, my husband is trying to finish a degree so doesn’t make money right now other than sporadically, so yeah, things are tight.)

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Truffle Platform Loafer Flat Shoe

Anyway, I had left the window open on the computer and my husband bought them for me. He bought both pairs so that I could decide which I liked best! (He’s so good to me!) I was sooo excited waiting for them.

They arrived yesterday (that was fast) and guess what? They don’t fit! One of them really really is just too tight even without socks on. The other pair I’m tempted to keep because I love them and can’t find anything else like them but they would end up those pair of shoes in my closet that I look at wistfully then remember the pain and choose something else.

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Asos Truffle Chunky Loafer with Tassle

So, sadly, I’ll have to send them back and sadly they don’t even have them in my size at all so my search for shoes I like continues! Anyone seen anything like this anywhere?

Leopard Print Bellbottoms

Maybe it’s because I’m a 90’s girl who was in love with the 70’s even back then, but I do love a super pair of bell-bottoms.  The more flare the better; I’m so jealous of skinny girls who get more flare just because they have a smaller waist. I don’t see why it has to be that way though, I’m happy to wear ridiculously flared trousers, even if it’s not quite in right now. Hayley of Tea Party Beauty was mostly right in Trends From The 90’s You Won’t Be Rocking, almost completely, but this trend I really could go back to.

Well imagine my excitement when I found these while I was searching Etsy for some great leopard print finds. Leopard print bell bottoms. Excuse me but… Eeeeeek!!!

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You can find them here along with some other very cool flare trousers for sale from Flare Street on Etsy!

 

 

Vintage inspired jewelry haul!

I love this necklace! I linked to it in my last post, having almost bought it already as soon as it was posted up on Facebook by Sam at Iridescence. But I do try to control myself sometimes and I know there are a large number of pieces from Iridescence that I would like to have. Monday morning my husband watched me buy some DIY stuff for a leather and swarovski pendant necklace without saying a word even though he’d already ordered this necklace for me, or at least knew he was about to.

Both pairs of earrings went quite well with it and I have no idea which I prefer. I walked around with one in each ear for a while but I think I need to choose which to wear before going out. Maybe I can start a trend? If mismatched socks can work, why not earrings?

I’d just like to take a moment to say that I’ve been married for almost 6 years now and he’s still an amazing husband so I think he’s a keeper! Haha!

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Art deco necklace – Iridescence by Sam

Vintage bird earrings – Iridescence by Sam

Flower earrings – Iridescence by Sam

 

How bloggers and entrepreneurs can better chase their dreams!

I’m very political; I have lots of opinions about how things should work, and I don’t think they are working right now. However, I’m completely aware that not everyone is interested to read dry political theory. If you wanted to do that you would go looking for it (like I do lol). Instead you are reading a fashion and lifestyle (and opinion!) blog. So, I’m going to keep this sweet and simple.

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Most of us writing blogs and starting businesses have to balance these dreams with maintaining a life with a roof over our heads, food, clothes for our ever-growing kids, transportation, etc etc. Cost of living has gone up so much; it’s literally gotten much harder to live a modest life than it was 20 to 30 years ago. Baby boomers that complain about the lazy Millenials are just plain wrong. Stuff is more expensive and jobs are harder to find. Truth.

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Enter Universal Basic Income. As Thomas says in the link, it is “a proposed economic system in which all adults within the economy receive a guaranteed basic income irrespective of whether they have a job or not.” No one starves anymore. No one has to be homeless. Everyone’s basic needs are met and everyone is free to chase whatever dream they want to chase. Just so you know, numerous trials all over the place have shown that small business creation increases quite considerably.

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Small wonder huh!? Entrepreneurs in this system are free to chase their dreams. Yes, this includes bloggers! Many of us who would like nothing more than to plunge every waking moment into our various projects would jump at this opportunity! I don’t have to worry about starving? I don’t have to spend a third of my life bored or stressed out of my mind just to stay afloat? Yes please!

If you want to know more, please please feel free to have a look at the piece I linked to above at Another Angry Voice. It’s a really good explanation in plain English about why it is actually a policy that is good for the economy rather than bad for it. There are lots of people who bristle at any mention of something like this but actually it would increase freedom, help the economy, and help streamline government spending. And apparently only the Green Party will consider it. <—- That link is quite a good piece on the idea too.

I just thought you should be aware.

 

Why I am not losing weight

I’m trying to get over a bit of writers block. But this isn’t normal writer’s block, this is life is shit writers block.  I decided tonight I would write a post and I sat down to look for some motivation and inspiration.

I found it here, Why am I not losing weight. Jess at Feeling Stylish wrote this post about common reasons you think you should be losing weight but you’re not. Only I read it slightly differently as “Why I am not losing weight.” I thought it might be a personal account of what’s going on and why it’s not working. That’s the mood I’m in. So, I’m going to tell you why I am not losing weight.

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These are how my healthy mornings start. They don’t always stay that way.

I’m actually doing quite well. Last time I weighed myself I was down 2 kilos from the time before that. I don’t weigh myself regularly because it depresses me. But I’m slightly down and that was with having a bit of dessert twice that week as well as pizza (my kryptonite). Since then it’s all gone to hell.

I held a bake sale at work for a colleague who could use the help so made a tonne of my amazing brownies. They didn’t sell so well (people just don’t understand these are not like the cakey brownies you get in shops around here, these are like truffles in a bar shape!) and I took them home. Snack. Snack. Snack. Not to mention the Peanut Butter Cup Bars that didn’t make it to the bake sale at all sitting in my fridge. Snackey snack snack!

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You should go get a wristband for Norwich Cocktail Week right now! (This is their photo)

There have been discussions about the state of our life between my husband and I and thoughts about how to change things up to make some of it easier or more productive for each of us. These have taken an evening or two and required a bottle or two of wine. Maybe a cup of hot cocoa. (Though I am all for cocoa and last year I lost a stone having real hot cocoa every night. So it’s not the cocoa it’s everything else.) That cocoa recipe will be forthcoming if you want. It’s deep, dark and intense.

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A bit obsessed with this. I should just buy it instead of showing you really. Iridenscence.co.uk!

And then we have tonight. Sunday is Mother’s Day in America, which is where I’m from. I’ve been here for five and a half years. The past 24 hours have affirmed the fact that my mother and I are indeed estranged. I won’t actually get into details because although I fantasized all day about writing a tell all post and I agree with the sentiment that you should tell your stories, I just think it’s unfair. People make mistakes. Some of them were mine and some of them were my mothers. I thought we could get past them but we just keep making them. We just keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper into the pit of relationship hell where no one gets out alive. We’re both hurt and neither of us can be honest about that hurt without lashing out further. Living 3500 miles away doesn’t help. Having phone phobias doesn’t help, not when you live 3500 miles apart. I fear this is the end.

It wouldn’t have affected me quite this way if I didn’t have my own two girls. I lay in the dark with my one year old and I know that my own mom held me this close once and even if that was a million light years away, she never would have expected us to get to this point. I would certainly never want to let it happen with my girls, but we just get busy with life don’t we? We live, we react, we make mistakes.

So I’m going to leave you with some advice today. No matter what happens; live, love, give and for god’s sake open up. My relationship with my husband is the best relationship I’ve ever had with anyone; because we talk about how we feel, we allow each other to feel those things, and we know the difference between feeling upset and being justifiably treated unfairly. In some situations you might be unhappy with how something went down but it’s not actually fair to hold it against the other person. It’s ok to be upset but it’s not ok to hold resentment about it. Talk about it and then let it go.

 

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It’s not easy, not everyone can calmly discuss these things. I have no answers for that. I’m still in training myself. My short term goal right now is to gain some equilibrium and manage one very low day ala the 5/2 diet. I’ve been trying to do that all week.

Have you had any very trying but important relationships?