Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i grow a bit anxious

i haven't posted recently. as time passes between posts, i grow increasingly anxious. why? umm. well, it's either because i'm afraid i'll lose readers (hah), or i'm afraid i've run out of things to say (hah hah).

but, in all seriousness, i think it's the latter.

i don't, this minute, have anything profound to say. in fact, it's arguable that i ever have anything profound to say. in any case, i'd like to thank everyone for all of the feedback i received concerning my last post. if you're a blogger and wonder if anyone reads your blog, write about gender issues and you'll find out pretty quick.

the response was generally positive, with some concerns here and there about my denial of gender differences (we'll stay away from 'roles') - i think i've come to an understanding with all those concerned, i think. (women and men are different, but equal.) if anyone would like to enlighten/challenge me further, please do, or i will, in fact, kick you in the shin :)

someone mentioned the rising generation of males' lack of respect for women - they called it heartbreaking. i would have to agree. though i think that the rising generation of people have a general lack of respect for most things - the elderly, the middle-aged, me, each other. they do respect what tv tells them to respect, which i wish included regular people, rather than only the rich, famous, powerful, beautiful and plastic. is this a development? i don't know. i suppose that as generations pass, civil propriety is less and less of a concern and the instant gratification promised by technology captures focus.

also, it seems that as these young men continue to disrespect women, the young women expect less, require less. which came first? i couldn't say, but none of it is good. if the men were to begin respecting more, perhaps the women would expect more, but it would work the other way too, presumably.

it's funny how scantily clad women singing and dancing in ways that some (I) might find inappropriate think of themselves as being empowering to women.

i read about this band (they will remain nameless, though i'm sure a quick google search would steal their anonymity). there are 4 or 5 of them - all women, and they play shows without shirts. in the article, they were quoted as saying that they do this to empower young women to be confident and comfortable with their bodies.

am i the only one who finds this to be ridiculous? they are beautiful, thin musicians, and they think that by taking off their clothes, they are going to make young women feel better about themselves? they get more attention for their lack of clothing than for their music, and this is supposed to be empowering women?

isn't that kind of what we've been working against for decades? (i'll stop with the rhetorical questions now.) no one was arguing that women are attractive without their shirts. people were arguing what women could offer with their shirts on. this (maybe) talented group of women would inspire me if they left their clothes on and made good music - innovative, truthful music. that would make me feel empowered as a women - to know that i could make it in the music industry based on hard work and talent and without sacrificing any clothing.

hmm. i promise that when i started this post, i wasn't going to write about anything except some inconsequential bits of information about my life - i spent a lovely week with my friend johannah, we played a fun little show, i'm selling my car, i'm looking for another car to buy, yaddah yaddah yaddah. and here i am, at the end of another tirade.

my apologies for your thoughts :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

katie vs. the south

i grow weary of gender-role conversations.

i really do.

mostly because i hate feeling like a jerk, which is what always happens. i think it's because i'm misunderstood. i do not seek to batter kind men. that's not it at all. i'm not here to kick any man in the shin who even thinks about opening a door for me, or not allowing me to do manual labor.

thank you, kind men, for your kind deeds. it is not your actions against which i argue.

for some of you (and some of you women too) - it is your motivations, your thinking, your mindset.

i am 100% for acting kind, loving and courteous towards members of the opposite sex. that's very nice. i am not, however, willing to accept that these gestures are necessary or expected because you are a man and i am a woman. i do not want that door held for me (though i promise not to kick anyone in the shin) if it is because you are a man and i am a woman, i want it held for me because we are two human beings and you are showing kindness and consideration.

if i hold a door for a man out of this same kindness and consideration, i do not want to be looked at as if i am some sort of terrorist seeking the demise of the american family. i am not. i am simply seeking equality and understanding, love, humility, selflessness, and everything else that can be developed through remembering to serve others.

i think that my perspective is a bit unique because i have been rather independent for a very long time - no boyfriends carrying things or fixing my sink. now that i am in the south, men often offer to do things like walk me to my car, even when it's not very far and the journey is through a populated parking lot. i feel awkward when this happens, and i act awkwardly, and then the man rolls his eyes because he knows i am one of 'those girls' (the terrorist kind). this saddens me. i don't mean to be awkward and ungrateful. men, think of if every time we ate together, i offered to cut your food. that would seem awkward and unnecessary, right? sort of like i was treating you like a child? well, that's what these little gestures feel like to me.

(further more, if i were to offer to walk another female to her car, i would get the same terrorist look, as well as the awkward and unnecessary look. why? i think that i would be able to provide as much safety as many a man. if you're getting attacked, having another person around, be they man or woman, would be rather helpful, would it not?)

i'm working on being more accepting of these things, but it would be easier for me to do so, if i felt confident in the thoughts behind them.

let me reiterate that i am not calling for the cessation of all chivalric behavior, or any chivalric behavior. all i wish to challenge, is the thought behind it. i don't mind if a man offers to carry something heavy for me. he's probably stronger than me, so that makes sense. i'm not saying i wont offer to cook something for a man, if there's a good chance i'll be better at it. i would also offer to cook something for a woman, if there's a good chance i'll be better at it. this shouldn't be offensive, just like it shouldn't be offensive for a stronger man to offer to carry something for a not-so-strong man. we are all people with different abilities, largely disconnected to our genders. let us offer them up accordingly and offer little things out of love and not out of duty.

please, don't consider yourself kicked in the shin.

share your thoughts.

much love.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

knowing is half the battle?

they say this - that knowing is half the battle. presumably, if one is aware of a problem, they are half way to solving it. i'm not too sure about this.

i've been thinking about this lately because, in this fun new world of adulthood, i've been becoming aware of many things about myself. knowing doesn't seem to bring me any closer to a solution. maybe it's different for everyone. i've always been pretty self-aware, which is good, but that doesn't mean i'm good at self-improvement. one would think that since i am aware of my troubles, i would be able to fix them more readily. this is not the case. i could list several things that i know hinder me from the life i want, but i don't really feel much closer to change.

most recently, all of this applies to my undeniable codependent tendencies. i think i've decided that this demon must be conquered over and over again. i've conquered it before, in certain relationships, but that does not mean it is out of me, or even make it any easier to win the battle in other relationships.

i'm a middle child. i've been called a 'fixer' more times than i can count, and even a 'meddler' more times than i care to remember. it's all out of love, but that doesn't make it healthy, or even selfless. i guess it comes down to trust, dependence. i'm finding more and more that most of my problems stem from pride and binding self-sufficiency. i don't trust people to make wise decisions on their own. i don't believe that God can care for people as well as i can. it hurts me. i hurt me by believing these things and doing these things.

solution? i'm not sure yet. i know that my care for other people is a gift, a strength, but will only reach its full potential if it is surrendered to the Gifter. i suppose it's like anything else - any good thing can be a harmful thing if left in the wrong hands. clearly, mine are the wrong hands.