Friday, February 28, 2014

I am woman, hear me roar!!

I normally try to reserve my blog for things related to my craft of work, but every once in a while (which seems more often lately) something really irks me and I feel I need to write about it. I chalk it up to saying, I am still writing, which in a sense is a “craft.”


The other day I was approached by a stranger who said, “You would be amazing to photograph, you have a beautiful face, very pretty legs, but I think you would have to trim down the middle if you wanted to make it a serious profession.” One, no I don’t want to make being a model a serious profession, I have no idea where that came from. And two, the nerve people have saying this to complete strangers. I in fact did not reply, mainly because it would have turned into me screaming at him about how rude it is to tell a woman she should try to be smaller, skinnier, more trim. Basically, if someone ever approaches me and says, “You’re chubby, you should hop on a treadmill,” I might actually punch them in the face. If I come back demanding respect I get the “she’s a feminist crazy girl” look, which honestly most women should have. We are women yes, we do demand respect, and I am one that will fight until I achieve it.


When did it become more attractive to look like a mini bean pole? When were curves and a full bodied woman seen as unattractive? I don’t think beauty is about a dress size I think it’s about the confidence you carry, the dazzle of your personality, however I have never had a guy come up to me and say, “wow, your brain is beautiful.” Women are looked at as a sexual object. We are objectified, shot down, pushed into the corset of societies ideals of what beautiful should be. We wake up and pile on the makeup and hair products, we squeeze into tight dresses and short skirts, snap into the super lift extra curvy bra and plaster on the sparkling smile because….why? To impress? To feel beautiful? We buy certain outfits that not only fit, but also slim, to hide unwanted extra belly fat or disguise the extra wide hips and larger thighs. This isn’t just annoying, it can be utterly depressing. And then you open a magazine and see all the size zero models with perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect outfits and massive amounts of Photoshop that ISN’T REAL!!


Women are taught at a young age, through ways of observation, that we are to be thin and dainty. We must refrain from speaking our minds and keep opinions to ourselves. If we choose to speak we must choose our words wisely. Women aren’t to be on top in the work place, we are to remain just beneath the status quo. You know what I say to that, I say SCREW IT! No, I will not take a back seat when I want to sit in the front. I will wear pants and tank tops and flats to work if I want to, I will wear a dress when it suits ME. I will speak honestly, and don’t think I won’t be forward you will hear what I am thinking. Yes I do want that last cookie, no I don’t want to stop eating bread, yes I know that sandwich has calories, and no I don’t want a non-fat extra lite soy calorie free latte. Give me the sugar, the fat, the everything I want because I want it. In a lovely poetry slam edition, a poet named Lily Myers stood and shared an impressive poem called “Shrinking Women.”  It’s worth a watch, and it explains the issues of what we have learned through our lives as a woman and how completely ridiculous it is that we continue to live this way.


Mean while, on the male’s side, I won’t lie you have your own fish to fry. But….you can actually eat the fried fish can’t you? You don’t worry about too much extra when you waltz into older age, men look esteemed and classic with grey hair, round glowing cheeks, a full belly and a scruff of beard. Women, you better color that hair. You better buy gobs of wrinkle contol, pore diminishing,  skin brightener, luminating cream, cover up, and when all else fails go under the knife to rip out the fat, tuck up the laughter lines and crow’s feet and why not lift the flat breasts while you’re at it so the world has something to look at when they are talking to you. Do you see the ridiculousness of this harsh difference? I'd you don't you are...ignoring it.


The problem with being a woman and dealing with this struggle to maintain appearances is that even when you go the lengths to be “perfect” from the eyes of the world today, it doesn’t always work. In the business world, it almost doesn’t matter what you look like, you are female and that is already one negative aspect against you. When thinking about publishing my novel I am thinking of using a suedo name so that I am not based on my name alone when people go to look at my work. How sad is that? I am afraid that I won’t be judged on my work, but solely on my sexual being. I am a woman, therefore my novel is filled with yucky women stuff, lovey dovey mush, and of course whiny unmanageable characters. NO YOU ARE WRONG! That doesn’t stop the publishing world from thinking it though. In a Huffington Post article I was amazed at the research done by VIDA stating the differences of publication stats of men and women.


“According to VIDA's study, the New Yorker published 459 pieces by men vs. 165 pieces by women in 2011. The New Republic published 198 articles by men vs. 50 articles by women. The New York Times Book Review reviewed 520 male authors vs. 273 female authors. It is not the first time someone has called the New York Times Book Review out on not paying enough attention to female novelists.”- Huffington Post


“The numbers show what many of us have suspected or known for a while: women are underrepresented on every level in these publications.

The stats are published online in the form of pie charts, and there’s something peculiarly poignant about seeing them broken down in this way: the small blue female slice, often scandalously slim, in a big red pie. The New York Review of Books last year published 79 women and 462 men; The Times Literary Supplement reviewed books by 330 women and 1036 men; The Paris Review interviewed one woman author and seven men. That’s a small slice.”- The Wheeler Center


I wish I could say, “I am going to change the worlds view on this!” I wish I could say that it were as easy as a spoken word, but it isn’t. Women look at themselves with a notion of needing to make themselves better to fit in. Look at Marilyn Monroe, she changed everything about herself just to take a place in the spotlight. She was a beautiful curvy woman, but the spot light highlights the flaws society deems unworthy of perfection. I can’t change what people think, but I can change how I live my own life. I am who I am, and I will be loved that way or not, but I won’t allow the NOTS to cinch me into the mold they prefer. I am a size 10, I have curves and I am proud of what my mama gave me. Take it or leave it, because I will never change my appearance or who I am for someone else’s gratification.


So I am going to go eat a healthy sandwich, because I want to, and follow it up with a big pint of ice cream…because YUM! You better hide delicious calories, I am coming to get you!!!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When did dating turn into this?

I am going to Preface this with a small note: I don’t need to explain to you why I am single, but I feel maybe other women want to hear they aren’t alone in the issues that crop up when you are a strong independent single woman.


I am going to follow that up with a small message: I don’t appreciate when I tell a guy I want to take my time, and get to know him and he automatically assume I am rejecting him and tell me…and I quote… “maybe you should go find some dumb ass meat head who only wants to get in your pants, maybe you just want that anyway.” Doesn’t that also mean that you are turning your hate on me because you are lonely and…also I quote…. “just want to be with someone, anyone, it doesn’t matter who as long as she wants to be with me. I don’t want to be single, and I want to find someone who also doesn’t want to be single.”


Yesterday I was asked a very simple question, one I know I have been asked before but for some reason when this question filtered through my synapses into my brain, it really irked me. The question was: “Why are you still single, is there something wrong with you?”


Now, to explain the situation, on this date were discussing the difficult position of being single when February hits. I, on one hand, would love a sweet romantic evening, but at the same time I don’t want that from any joe-schmoe. I would love to be with the person I love and care about, but if I don’t have that when the infamous hallmark holiday comes around I don’t get sad. I don’t worry about being alone, and I don’t care that I treat it like any other normal day. I actually enjoy being single, I enjoy the freedom and the carefree way I am able to live my life. Now, that isn’t to say being in a relationship sucks. If you are in a healthy relationship and love your S.O. then awesome for you, and I am happy for you!! I am only trying to get the point across that whether you are in a relationship or you are not, you should love living your life and enjoy what you have. Being single comes with many perks, as does being in a relationship, but when someone actually makes the point to stab at my singleness like it’s a disease, it makes me a little annoyed.


I am not single because I am forced to be, I am single because I choose to be. There is a very big difference between the two. I would rather be happy on my own than be in a miserable relationship because I am afraid to be by myself. Just because I am alone, doesn’t make me terminally lonely.


Something else that has happened more recently;  I am finding a lot of men take me trying to “be friends first” in a negative way. If I don’t meet a guy in the normal organic way, and we meet with the precedent of going on a date, they almost automatically assume that if the date went well I will be their girlfriend by the end of the week. I’m sorry boys, it doesn’t work that way. Even worse, they expect that if the date went well and I show interest, they assume they will also get lucky by the end of the night. I really really don’t understand that logic. (Now, disclaimer….of course this isn’t every date. I have had some seriously great dates, have amazing guy friends, and have dated some wonderful men that I am still really good friends with. Those are the men that I share with the people in my life, of course you don’t really hear about these guys that I am referring to because they rarely last longer than a week on my radar. Just needed to clarify.)


Look I like going on dates, I like meeting new people, and I like making new friends in the wild search for my one “true partner in crime.” The problem is, that once you do something that the guy you’re on a date with doesn’t like or agree with you immediately get dubbed the slut, the bitch, the crazy, the overly sensitive…they go from telling you they are beautiful to calling you a crazy psycho bitch in less than 30 seconds.


Now I am not knocking the dating scene, or first dates, on-line dating, or anything that involves dating. Like I said, I do enjoy the random outing, but I am more and more amazed at the reactions I get from guys when I tell them something they don’t want to hear. The list of things they usually get upset with……

1)      You are really nice, and thank you for the date, but I really think I should go home instead of going back to your place

2)      Well I have only known you for less than a day really, I don’t think being your girlfriend right now is a good idea

3)      I like to take my time and get to know a person before I become romantically involved with a person

4)      The first date was fun, but I don’t think you are what I am looking for in a relationship


Actual responses to these statements

1)      I thought you were fun and easy going not a stuck up bitch

2)      I thought we were really great together, we had so much fun. I guess I was wrong about you though, you just aren’t up to par of what a perfect woman should be

3)      Does that mean you play the field and sleep around, because I don’t date whores

4)      Fine, whatever, go sleep with all those other ass bags who treat you like crap. You probably like them for that anyways, sluts normally do.

Talk about defensive, crazy critical…..and RUDE!!


I know your reaction might be….”Jessica, why are you taking this so seriously?” Well, to be honest I am not taking it to heart, but I think I am more amazed at how many times this has happened in the last three years of me being single. This isn’t a onetime thing, this has happened repeatedly. Those men who swear they are the last gentleman alive, but then call you a total bitch and whore because you didn’t sleep with them. It seriously boggles my MIND!!!


The truth of the matter, I don’t need a man to be happy. I don’t need to lock down a boyfriend ASAP to make myself feel fulfilled. I don’t need someone else telling me who I am, and how I should  live my life, and that they think I am a shitty person. I know who I am, and I won’t apologize for also knowing what I want.


I am a single woman.

I am independent.

I am happy…and no one can take that away from me.