Monday, December 5, 2011
A big reason that I love contributing to this blog is because it promotes women’s intelligence, autonomy, and self-awareness. That being said, I think it’s important, while we are asserting the strength and beauty of women, to keep a careful watch that we do not give a bad name to our male counterparts. The world assigns false ideals of beauty to women, but it also assigns false ideals of masculinity to men, and can portray a view of them that is not only flawed, but also debilitating to how women relate to them.
So I wanted to say thank you to the many real men that I know. They understand what it means to be honorable, and they live their lives accordingly. I must note that, no, not all members of the male gender are this fantastic, but a lot of them are. And I believe that if we as women don't recognize and appreciate this true manhood, it will continue to be undervalued and sometimes unnoticed.
So thank you, men who:
- still open doors and give compliments.
- appreciate a woman who speaks her mind and utilizes it.
- respect when a woman needs space, emotionally as well as physically.
- care about children, and encourage their excitement and progression.
- refuse to view pornography or other media and messages that would only fill your mind with filth and disrespect for yourselves and others.
- not only encourage women to pursue worthy goals in education and careers, but pursue worthy goals yourselves. Thank you to the men who know where you want to go and are working to get there.
- recognize that no one is perfect, but try your best to improve daily.
- dedicate yourselves to serving your country, your religion, your family. Thank you, men who understand that there are greater purposes than serving yourself, and try to make a difference.
- try your best to soothe, comfort, and care for others when necessary.
- work hard to make others feel included and important. Who seek out the lonely or unnoticed and let them know that they are not alone.
- are responsible with your money, your time, and your resources. You are mature enough to recognize when it's alright to throw caution to the wind, and when it's time to control yourself.
- work hard even when it is unpleasant. You who know how to put in an honest day's work, thank you.
Each of these statements is made in reference to one or more specific men that I know who are true men. In all we do to recognize the wonderful traits in women, let's please not forget the amazing men we know. Let's not tell jokes about how clueless men are or how they don't try. Let’s not assume they are all pigs who only care about what women look like. Because honestly, I think we can all pinpoint many men we know who are doing amazing things. We should encourage the wonderful things the men in our lives do if we are to expect support and encouragement in return.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Here’s my list:
lock my doors; walk with my keys in my hand; check the backseat before getting into my car; hold my head up and walk with purpose; don’t accept help from male strangers; don’t linger outside at night; don’t go running at night; take my phone to the gym; don’t walk with my iPod in…
Some have become second nature; others, I consciously think about.
So what’s the difference between being safety-conscious and being paranoid?
My view is that being safety conscious means you take reasonable precautions to protect yourself; being paranoid means you assume the worst is going to happen in every situation. It means your life balance is a bit thrown off by your measures. It means you deny yourself certain activities because of what might happen—actually, what has a slim chance of happening. A paranoid person becomes irrational and unreasonable in their behavior—in this case, to keep oneself safe.
A paranoid person adopts the victim mentality—the idea that the world is out to get you, that you are powerless in its endless advances, and that your life is destined to be horrible. It can be extremely difficult to sidestep this mentality if you have experienced past trauma. Past trauma involving a violation of your personal safety can easily lead to sweeping generalizations about certain groups, e.g.: “All men care about is sex”; “Men don’t care about the feelings of women” and feeling like a healthy relationship isn’t realistic.
When I find myself getting anxious in a situation with a man, I try to trace the source. If this man weren’t shabbily dressed, would I have the same reaction? If it weren’t nighttime, would I feel differently? We are all shaped by the stereotypes constantly chucked at us; the key is to examine our reactions.
That being said, it is essential to trust your instincts. Statistics show that in over 80% of rape and sexual assault cases, the perpetrator knows the victim. If you feel uncomfortable, speak up! Ask to be taken home, announce that you are leaving, ask some friends to join you. This is not the time to be nice. Your safety is more important.
It’s more than likely that you’ll never have to employ any of the self defense you’ve learned. It’s more than likely that you’ll never see the fruits of your labors to protect yourself from stranger assault—which, to me, is comforting. However, taking appropriate measures to protect yourself and above all to follow your instincts will only benefit you.
If you find yourself struggling with feelings of hatred toward men, extreme distrust, or paranoia, call us to set up a free consultation: 801.422.4877
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Hi hi little blogging darlings. I know you missed me dreadfully around here the past few days.
I missed you too. While I was wakeboarding and surfing and getting very, very tan and eating pound after pound of delicious home-cooked food I thought of nothing but WSR’s poor, starved-for-brooke readers. This is a lie, actually. Sorry.
But anyway, here I am, and I’ve got something on my mind.
(After Kimi and I have talked about how she is getting married in eight days oh my gosh, looked at her bridals, chatted about her awesome DIY projects, etc., for some time.)
Kimi: “Brooke, I’m so excited to not have roommates anymore!!”
She tells me about how sometimes her kitchen gets very dirty, and when she just has good ol’ Benny she’s not going to have to worry about blame shifting and people not cleaning up their junk. (Actually she was much nicer than this. I dramatized it for effect.)
I agreed and recalled that my friend Becky has blogged about this very topic this very same day. How there will be no question as to whose dishes are left in the sink, because clearly they will be just theirs. How she will never be accused of stealing sugar, because no one else’s sugar will live in their cupboards. And you know what, this all sounded very nice to me, for the first time in my life. I have worshipped having roommates, being the only girl in my family and all. I really love living with girls—although there is a ridiculous amount of stray hair in blonde, curly, and two shades of brown that seems to come along with this package deal. Roommates are wonderful for a bucketful of reasons. However, I have to confess that I do get excited when I think about having just one other roommate someday, (keyword someday) for permanent, who is (shh) a boy. well, preferably a man.
Dang it. I just wrote a great paragraph about my un-favorite roommate who was totally, completely crazy, but then I decided that I probably can’t release these amazingly nutso stories because what if she by chance reads this blog, or some other that-totally-would-happen-because-this-is-blogger thing, and I offend people. So I will push it onto you, to divulge what you will. Hehh.
How do you feel about having roommates in general? If you are already hitched, were you glad to leave them behind? Has having roommates made the college experience harder or easier, better or worse? Any other wonderful thoughts?
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm not sure whether to begin with a pat on the back or a pause.
According to this article, women now make up 57% of college students, although there is a greater number of boys ages 18-24; the number of male college students has declined, is declining, and, yes, is predicted to continue to decline. Yipee! I mean, what?
That's a whole lot of decline.
Soooo...are we pleased? Is this female empowerment at its best?
Not in my book. This needs to be less about "look-what-we-can-do" and more about all those boys that aren't going to college. What is happening with them?
USA Today says that girls are inherently more likely to pay attention, and it seems less cool for boys to be interested in college. So if the difference is inherent, why hasn't the gap been around forever? The expansion of the female scope of opportunity has widened, and has certainly drawn many girls to college that otherwise wouldn't have attended. But hasn't the opportunity scope for boys been the same? Does more female empowerment innately mean less male influence?
Not necessarily. Leveling the playing field doesn't mean same gender role expectations, it means equality of opportunity. And we sure haven't gotten there yet, even if we're swinging to the other side of the pendulum in the college enrollment arena. Female inequities are still prevalent (whoa, really?!)
But progress, progress. We're all about increasing the numbers, seeing higher percentages of ourselves in whatever field, no matter the cost to the opposite sex (whom we actually need, believe it or not) or to humanity on the whole.
The article cites that women make a whopping .77 to every dollar men make. That is a number worth increasing. But enrollment majority in colleges? Seems empty narcissism at best to push a greater proportion of women in that realm, considering the effects:
The pros: In schools with a female majority, both males and females get better grades, and males are more likely to be dedicated to racial understanding (whatever that means). Cons: Men are more likely to take more liberal views on abortion, homosexuality, and social issues. OH, gosh. I'm all for girl power, but this seems a hefty set of pros and cons.
*Genius* excerpt from the article sums it all up: "If we create a generation of men who aren't getting an education, that's bad for women." bahahah.