“Why Society Still Needs Feminism”

Why Society Still Needs Feminism

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.

Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a
college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time
of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking
expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.
Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to
protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.

— Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University.

I came across this on one of my favorite blogs, “Sweet Madeleine“. It really resonated with me. Currently at my University, there is a man going about at night attacking and raping women. There have been 5 victims so far and he has not been found. So needless to say, it is a scary time to be a woman living in my area. And it just straight pisses me off. I should not have to be terrified to carry my trash to the dumpster. I should not have to carry pepper spray with me just to go check the mail. I should be able to feel safe in my home and not feel the need to check the locks all the time. And the sick thing is that I know if I was a man, I would not be concerned for my safety in the slightest. Life is not fair folks, and it just plain sucks.

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Trying to walk the walk. This sucks.

I have started back to classes last week after taking last semester off to work on my mental health and generally just get my shit together. And for the most part, I am much better than I was at the beginning of the Spring semester that I dropped out of (I cringe just typing that, it sounds like such a failure to me still). I am still having moments of struggle though. And this is frustrating to me. Maybe I am being to hard on myself, as my mother likes to point out to me. Even so, I set high standards for myself and I just don’t feel like I am living up to them.

Now, I know that I am still suffering from the disease of depression, and that there isn’t a magic switch that just shuts it off (medicine). But I was still hoping that once I started to feel better, that it would last longer. That I wouldn’t have a panic attack trying to pack my backpack for the day just because I couldn’t find the right notebook for class. I was hoping that I wouldn’t want to sleep for hours after getting back from a full day of class. I’m tired of the tight feeling of anxiety, I am sick of being tired and feeling guilty. I feel like I am not living up to my full potential, which just kills me.

At the risk of sounding less than humble, I will say that I am a very intelligent person. Before all this happened I was getting a 4.0 in every class, without much effort. And now, I feel like half that person, the way I think is different. The way that my mind works just feels fuzzy still. And that might be the medications, but it might be that I have been permanently changed by this strange beast called Depression.

I hope that all the changes, well the bad ones at least, I hope that they are not permanent. My greatest hope is that I can return to my “normal” self, maybe just stronger for coming through all this.

Until then, I am trying to just walk the walk. I am doing my best to go about my daily life as if nothing is wrong. To not let the panic, anxiety, and exhaustion dictate my days. If you met me today in person, I know that you would not suspect that I had depression/anxiety. I have not decided if that is a good thing or a bad thing as of yet, but it is the only way that I am coping. Putting on a brave face and muscling through the day with a smile. Even if I have to fake that smile. What’s that saying, Fake it til you make it?

Well, I’m working on it. Depression sucks. Anxiety sucks. I just want my whole self back, but I am coming to the scary realization that this may never happen. This thing is big, and may have changed me forever.

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Sometimes I am just so scared.

Sometimes I just want to fast-forward and be done with this, to see if I come through it OK.

Depression sucks.

Facing Your Fears: A Milestone!

So this weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to overcome one of my biggest fears. I have always been afraid of airplanes, flying, and just heights in general. But with everything that has happened in my life recently I have decided to not waste anymore time being afraid to live! So what did I do this weekend?

I flew in a HELICOPTER!

That’s right. And not just any helicopter. Oh no, the one I flew in was downright dinky. Like smaller than my car!

Our ride, an R44 helicopter

Our ride, an R44 helicopter

Let me tell you, I was terrified at first. I put on a brave face though because I was with my boyfriend (who I’ll call D for the blogs purposes). Well, D is taking lessons to become a helicopter pilot, so he obviously loves to fly. And he has a wonderful instructor who is very good at what he does!

Anyways, we pulled up to the hangar where they keep the helicopters and they got me all strapped in. Let me tell ya folks, I was hanging on for dear life. I was so distracted trying not to pass out that I don’t remember much of the beginning of the flight. But eventually, and with many hand-squeezes and encouraging smiles from D (bless him), I calmed down and started to enjoy myself.

Do I look nervous?

Do I look nervous?

This guy. He's pretty awesome.

This guy. He’s pretty awesome.

Dare I say I have become a lover of flying?! It was so much fun, I felt like I was riding high all day, even after we landed. I owe D a lot for talking me through it and to his instructor for making it a very smooth ride and for helping me feel comfortable.

Our pilot, Dennis

Our pilot, Dennis

Moral of the story, do your best to face your fears because it might turn out to be not so bad as you thought. And if you are as lucky as me, you could have the time of your life!

I cannot wait to fly again, I am hoping to ride along with D next time he takes a lesson.

In the meantime, I am settling for looking at the pictures I took while we were in the air. So I hope you enjoy them as well. Michigan really is breathtaking.

(Click on the pictures to make them bigger)

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Our tiny shadow

Our tiny shadow

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Thanks for stopping by! Hope everyone is having a great day/night!

Why I may be a nut job.

Well, besides the obvious reasons…

Just got the official pictures back from the Lansing 5K I did last month. I laughed so hard when I first saw them, and you will see why.

Everyone around me in all the pictures is so serious, and I am just well…

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#261: Crazy in a sea of runners

Here’s a pretty “normal” one of the Start too where I restrained myself…

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Then back to crazy woman at the finish line.

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Apparently my race motto is “Look as silly as possible”. And people? I nailed it.

Success.

A Fresh Start

Hello everyone out there on the Interwebs. You are out there aren’t you?

I have been pretty quiet on this blog as of late, having been very busy getting my head together for the start of summer classes. As you know, having read this, I am suffering from a depression and anxiety disorder. Because of the acuteness of my condition I was let go from a job that I loved and had to drop out of school for a semester. I could barely handle getting dressed or feeding myself, let alone attending class with hundreds of others and putting on my “normal face”.

But I have started seeing a new wonderful doctor and started taking a miraculous (to me) medication. I am starting to see the light at the end of a very dark , self-flagellating tunnel.

As of this coming Monday I will be starting summer classes. I am taking 2 courses, each lasting 6 weeks. And to be honest with everyone reading this, I am terrified. I am terrified of failing again. I am terrified that my fellow students will look at me and know I am on medication. I am terrified that I will let myself slip and have a panic attack in class like I did last semester. (The most mortifying experience of my life to date. They thought I was having a heart attack.)

I am trying my hardest not to let the fear consume me and instead focus on the little blossom of hope I am starting to feel. The past few weeks I have slowly felt myself coming back. I am not waking up every morning crying and shaking. I am grocery shopping and cleaning the apartment and paying more attention to my cat. I am becoming a whole person again, not just the shadow of one that I was for so many months.

But the scary thing with depression and anxiety disorders is that there is no magic cure, it is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, and it makes me feel weak. It makes me feel like I don’t deserve to succeed or be happy.

I have to reach deep down and find the inner strength that once used to come so easily. I have to fight to not let myself sink back into the dark recesses of my mind and find that despair that has become so familiar.

So I am starting classes again this Monday, and I am going on a job hunt today (wish me luck!) and I am trying to move on with my life.

Something my therapist said has stuck with me. It’s that I am a person suffering from the disorder called Depression. I am not depressed. That should not be a word that I let define myself.

I am Katie. That is what defines me.

And while I may be terrified to start over, a small part of me is starting to feel that old excitement about starting a new class and going out to find a new job. Because before this all happened, I loved work. I loved school. And I am fighting my hardest to get back to that.

So please keep me in your thoughts these coming weeks, as a lot of scary change is happening. I can use all the positive vibes I can get!

And because this post was so heavy, here’s a picture of my cat to cheer you up 🙂

Snuggly cat says don't worry. Come snuggle!

Snuggly cat says don’t worry. Come snuggle!

Thanks for reading my ramblings this morning, have a great day everyone!