Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not-Sketchblog 13: The Theme of Revolution Is Love

If you've already read my post on facebook,
you have my permission to ignore this post
(it's copy-pasted anyway).

So, according to Google, today is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day.
Whatever the heck that means.
Oh wait, that's right. Google.

Ohhhhh. Well, cool!

I've always been about empowering women, raising them up with a strong mindset that they can be just as powerful as men in this world.
I'm by no means a "Feminist" (going by the definition of the term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism).
Oh wait...
Maybe I am a Feminist after all.
Well, call me whatever you like,
I've always stood by the belief that ALL humans are created equal.
Our society has come a long way, giving women the right to vote, the right to a career, the right to own their own property and body and whatnot.
But somehow there's still something amiss.

Much of the world still views women as the weaker race.
Is it because we typically are not as physically apt to hard labor as our male counterparts?
Or is it because we don't have that harsh, brutal warlike mentality?
Perhaps we are seen as weaker because we fall to our emotions easier than most men do.
But those are still all soaring gender stereotypes.

True, women have the better "mother" quality,
the soft, caring touch that babies and children need to grow with values and
gentleness toward the world around them,
and men have the strong "father" quality,
in which the child learns strength (emotional and physical), and work ethic.
But the child can learn both these lessons from each parent, not just one or the other.

We still live in a heavily male-dominated society.
The workplace is still a harsh place for a woman,
and it is mostly men involved in politics and government affairs.
There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

Then there's the issue of rape.
The way our country deals with rape is quite curious.
It wasn't until very recently that we began to change the approach to the subject of rape.
Where before, we only warned women and told them to prepare themselves with self-defense classes or carry mace,
or even told them, "Don't go out after dark alone,"
we have started to tell everyone to be cautious, not just women.
The problem isn't just with women who go out into the night alone and put themselves in danger,
it's also with the men of the world who haven't learned to control their own primal drives.
that's the bulk of the problem.
There was a campaign I heard about that specifically spoke to the men of the world,
telling them that they too must be held accountable on the topic of rape.
They too have a choice to prepare themselves before going out into the world,
but not with mace or self-defense classes.
Rather, they must prepare themselves with restraint and responsibility.
While this is a good campaign, it isn't pushed enough.
Men of the world, you must take responsibility and teach yourself to control your desires.
Women of the world, you must ensure that you don't put yourself in a situation that could harm yourself.

Rape isn't the only issue on the gender equality table that has yet to be addressed correctly.
The idea that women are the ones to raise children is still highly flawed.
Yes, we've touched on the fact that women are more gentle and caring,
which is important to a child's development,
but the man has to be present in the equation as well.
An imbalanced household is likely to crumble quickly.
So, men, make sure you step up and raise your child proper.
And women, make sure you pick the right man.
Don't fall for the guy that runs around and parties all the time,
and if you want to have kids, make darn sure he wants to have kids as strongly as you do,
otherwise he will only raise them half-heartedly.
Of course, these are generalizations.
Sometimes having a child can make someone turn around and change into a drastically different person,
but mostly, women have to know what to look for in a guy.
This brings me to my next point:
Don't follow your fleeting emotions.
I could talk for ages on this topic, but instead I'll direct you to my blog post on the subject:

There are still so many things wrong with the gender equality table.
Too many to discuss,
but these are the major ones.

There's a big problem, too, with girls being raised to be almost "too girly."
Beauty pageants, cheerleading, girls' sports, fashion, celebrities, home economics,
all are portraying this idea that a woman has to be completely separated from a man's world,
and that femininity is a thing of delicacy and fragility.

There are still so many girls that are afraid to ask a guy out because it's "the guy's duty."
I'll admit, I feel the same way.
I want the guy to chase me,
make me feel important and unique,
as if I'm something to be desired.
I want the guy to ask me out and treat me to dinner and a movie or buy me gifts and food and serenade me and whatnot.
But when I sit back and think about it,
where does that put me?
I'm objectified.
I'm a thing to be obtained or bought.
I must sit there and look pretty until someone notices me in the window and casts his lot in.
If there are multiple men, I must sit and wait for them to fight over me and find out who the victor is.
I can't intervene.

if I take the role of the "guy" and ask him out;
if I chase HIM,
I become a thing of desperation.
I turn into some sort of beast that strips away the manhood from someone and wears it like some sort of horrific wolf in sheep's clothing.
I've asked my fair share of guys out,
and it always ends up sour.
The guy tends to think,
"Oh... she's so forward.
She's impatient and desperate.
I don't want to be involved with someone who won't let me do what I want."
Rejection after rejection in this manner has taught me to keep my mouth shut,
put on my makeup every morning,
buy nice clothes,
do my hair up pretty,
paint my eyes and lips,
cross my legs,
act delicate,
be feminine and proper in public,
and wait for the man to make the first move.
the guy needs to have the courage to ask me out.
I don't want to have to be the one instigating everything all the time.
But there's a serious problem when I feel guilty,
when I fear that I'm overstepping my boundaries when I ask a guy out.

Then there's the time you're actually in a relationship.
The guy has to be the one to hold you, because he's strong and able-bodied,
and will protect you from the horrors of the world.
The guy has to open the car door for you,
so you don't chip a nail or break an ankle.
The guy has to buy all the meals,
because he's the one making the money with his job,
unless you're eating in,
and in that case the woman has to make the meals,
because obviously she knows how to cook,
because she's a girl.
That's what girls do, right?
They cook and clean and pop babies out and take care of them till they're off to college?

Sure, we can read that above paragraph and say,
no, absolutely not,
those things aren't the norm anymore,
we've surpassed those stereotypes.
But when you think about it,
we really haven't.

A woman loves to be held by a man, because they're warm and big and comfortable.
A woman feels flattered when a man opens the door for her, because he's being a gentleman.
A woman enjoys getting treated to dinners and receiving gifts, because it makes her feel special, wanted, and princess-like.

These things are all true as well.
It's great when a man is affectionate, when he's courteous, when he's willing to sacrifice for his woman,
but he doesn't have to do it all of the time to prove it.
The woman should return the signs as well.
She's entitled to prove that she cares for her man in the form of holding him when he's down, buying him a dinner when his wallet is getting a little thin, or, heck, helping him carry or move his stuff... even build something with him!
These are not out of the question for a woman to do,
but there's still a stigma about it.
If we women try any of this, we get a little wave of the hand and a "no, no, I got this."
It's as if we are treading on the man's territory.
But aren't we allowed territory as well?
Can't we share it?
Haven't we surpassed the primal instincts to protect and fight for our territory because we now acknowledge that the world belongs to everyone, not just ourselves?
Maybe we haven't.

In this heavily male-dominated world,
pointless wars are still waged,
murders and rapes and hate crimes are still committed,
and greed and selfishness still prevails.

Women were built with strong emotional instincts,
and men were built with strong survival instincts,
this is natural.
But it doesn't mean that the men have to rule the world in order for our race to

What if women ruled the world?
What if countries were run based on emotions of love and understanding,
instead of greed and selfishness?

It has always been my belief that love is the solution to all problems,
and that remains unchanged.
Love allows us to see past ourselves to the whole of the universe,
and gives us the patience to try and understand our so-called enemies.

Women can be strong and powerful just as men can,
but we have something amazing that gives us an extra edge:
emotional power.
It's a very strong power, in my opinion.
Wars have been waged for women.
So it is my belief that women can stop wars.
We can end the cycle of hatred and abuse and greed and selfish behavior that has been recurrent in this male-dominated world.
But we need to be strong and believe that it's possible.
We can't submit to the image of the "beautiful woman" who is delicate and sweet and loving and caring and affectionate.
We can be all those things, but we can be so much more.
Beauty can also mean power.
And power can mean change.
And change can com from love,
and only love.

Love is not some mushy, touchy-feely emotion.
It is a passionate, intense, strong, overbearing, life-changing source of power that,
at this moment, women have the higher playing field on.

I always strive for a world of understanding and equality,
educated and selfless,
where everyone cares and nobody fears,
and I believe love is the path to that.
Men can do this too,
but they need to observe and learn from the women around them.

Here's our voice:
we are strong,
we are powerful,
we are world-changing,
because we are lovers,
and not fighters.

There will be a day when wars are intellectual,
and fought with discussions and not guns.
If we love each other and come to understand that all humans are equal,
all can achieve greatness in the world,
and all impact it in a great way,
then perhaps we can reach that day soon.
But we all have to make the effort.
Man and woman alike.

I propose a new kind of femininity:
the masculine feminine.
A woman of stature and high position,
maintaining the beauty and emotional instinct of a traditional female,
but independent and driven to change her world.
Powerful and delicate,
strong and gentle,
firm and caring.

There is a balance to the world,
and as it is now, we are teetering on the edge of demise.
We can shift the table,
if we all work together and instigate change as a unit.

Down with the self,
forward with Love.

Thanks for reading!

Love you all,
and goodnight!

Emily J. Sampson

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