I’m finally saying something

Where to begin?

I live my life from the viewpoint of all angles. I put myself in someone else’s shoes. I think about it. I try. That’s something, right?

I hate being generalized.

Lately, with all the talk about birth control and abortion and pretty much the fact that most conservative politicians want to take away all woman’s basic rights, I’ve been peeved. Why the sudden attack on women? Why the sudden hatred toward your mother, your grandmother, your daughter, your sister? Why are we suddenly viewed as pets? Or vessels for babies?

I hate being told that I’m not worth it because I’m a woman and all women think the same.

So, wait. Because I have ovaries, I’m suddenly a useless, trite individual? I lack the ability to argue and am better to be seen and not heard?

News flash. Men have no idea what it’s like to be a woman. None. That’s not a generalization, that’s a fact. I, of course, have no idea what it’s like to be a man. I don’t pretend to. So to have the audacity to say that women are x, y and z irritates me to no end. Sorry, we don’t come with a user’s manual.

I personally believe that this new found irritation towards women is nauseating. Are kids being raised to believe this stuff? Are they honestly being told that it’s OK to treat a woman a certain way because she is, in fact, a woman? I certainly didn’t choose to be a woman, just as much as I didn’t choose to have hazel eyes or to be 5’8″. I did, however, choose to be a loving individual who gives the benefit of the doubt.

I love being a woman. I love my shape, I love my curves. I love my emotion, I love my spirit. I love my kind heart and my comforting ways. I love being a mother and I love being a daughter and sister and niece. I love being me.

Why is that such a bad thing?

Would it be rude of me to say that the majority of conversations I’ve had with men in the past 10 years of my life have been while they’ve been staring at my boobs? Would that be a generalization? Or an observation?

Exactly.

I am not a perfect person. I’m not a perfect person by a long shot. But every now and again I take  a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that.

Clearly, I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. I simply breathe in and breathe out and hope that I’ll be allowed to do that in the next 10 years.

Every day I try to make myself a better person. And trust me, I don’t always succeed, but I try.

Do you?

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I really HAVE been trying every day to ask myself, “Is what I’m saying building up the people around me?” And it is HARD. It’s hard to take time to talk to everyone at work who wants to be entertained while I would rather be blogging, and it’s hard to not say something snarky when someone has an ego, just like It’s probably hard to not want to control women’s bodies when you have no respect for them. I think your point about this debate being founded on viewing women’s bodies as simply vessels for babies is so right on.

    The baby feminist in me has to mention that this only seems like a “sudden attack” because of what’s going on politically in our country, but there’s a whole lot going on every day with individuals that just never sees the news, you know?

  2. I do! I feel the same way as you do. I try every day, but every day I’m a little more disgusted by how few people actually do try. It goes right back to accountability – not many have the ability to take a step back and evaluate themselves. So if you have no concept of walking in your own shoes, it makes it impossible to walk in someone else’s.

    As for women’s right, I go by the rule of, if you have no girly parts, you have no say. 🙂

  3. This is why I left the Catholic Church long ago. You have a bunch of men, men who aren’t even allowed to “get personal” with women, demanding women act exactly as they say, or else we are horrible sinners going to hell. Never mind that birth control pills could be used for reasons other than birth control. HELL IS WAITING. And now politicians are pandering to the frighteningly large constituency of voters who feels the same way. And not surprisingly, these men who say birth control is evil are usually the first ones to complain that women are bitches and moody and crabby. Gee, maybe if they could take birth control, which helps with the hormonal issues that contribute to bitchiness, crabbiness, etc, they wouldn’t be so “intolerable.” I would love for Rick Santorum to get a menstral cycle. Then tell me birth control is terrible… Bah.

  4. I think behind all these “attacks” is a fear of loss of control. Men have controlled women forever: institutionally (“Do you promise to obey…” etc.), physically, and sexually. Oh…and monetarily. I forgot that one. But the one thing I need to say about this attack on birth control is that it opens the debate about what we all do behind closed doors. The major majority of people who had sex in the last minute, hour, or week (or all three!) didn’t do it to become pregnant. They did it because it feels good, it’s an expression of emotion, it’s a controlling mechanism, it’s ALL KINDS OF THINGS. Most people…not all, by any means…want to F without consequence. Even the most devout religious types if they’re honest with themselves just want to have a big O without hearing “I’m pregnant” four weeks later. Nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is that a few vocal religious types and Rush Limbaugh (who never impregnated any of his four wives….hmmmmmm…and who uses Viagra) equate sex with ONLY reproduction. And thus, looping back to your original point, relegating women to vessels for babies. Which is why we have been controlled all these years in the first place.

    ……sigh……I’m done now.

  5. I completely agree with you on this Cassie. I’m simply amazed at some of the things that come out of politicians’ mouths that are championed by men and women alike. Women’s rights have always been present, but now that an election is coming up they are easy things to wave in front of the population to piss people off and distract us from the REAL problems we’re facing.

    Do I think religious liberty is an issue? Yes. But I also think that women’s liberties are an issue too. You have to be fair and recognize that women are people too and without us men would be in pretty sad shape.

    Re: Lauren, I agree with what you say for the most part (especially the Santorum bit). However, I literally asked a Catholic bishop a few days ago about using birth control pills for reasons other than birth control and they fully support it. Something about it’s primary use not being for contraceptive is ok. In fact, I work for the Catholic Church and they will cover the pill if you have a doctor’s note saying that it’s needed for health purposes. Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. (Whether their stance against contraceptive is a good or bad thing is a different issue, but just so you know!)

    • *Note: I know women’s liberties are REAL issues too. What I should have said is some of the other REAL issues we’re facing.

    • That’s really interesting, because when my mom went to talk to our priest about it (11 years ago) he basically told her that they could find other means of treating my problem, and that birth control was viewed as a sin, and that my parents were complicit with the sin b/c they were paying for the pills. Is this something that’s changed in the last several years? Just curious, and if that is what they’re going with in your experience, I’m really glad to hear it.

      • Oh my gosh that’s terrible! No wonder you left the Church. What our bishop told me is the official stance of the Church (and the priests are under the auspices of the bishops).

        It’s interesting. I know our bishop really well and he is firmly against this HHS mandate, but not because of the birth control so much as the government stepping in and telling the Church they have to pay for something they are morally against. In fact, during marriage prep, our priest told us that as long as my husband and I were happy with our child planning choices it was fine by him.

        As in so many cases, the ones who speak the loudest are often the ones who are heard. I hate that a priest told your parents that. But I do know the official stance of the Church is that as long as contraception is the “side effect” and not the primary use, it’s ok.

  6. I don’t live in the US (I am from Germany), so I don’t know exactly what the debate you are referring to is/was like, but I HATE it that women are still discriminated and not being treated simply like the human beings we are (duh!). I mean, come on, how much longer do we have to wait? I am fed up with it, and I am even more fed up with men who are complaining about women making a big deal out of the discrimiation of women and stating that feminists MUST have a personal issue with men. WT???

    I try (although I may not always be successful) to treat each person I meet according to the things she/he says and does, and I even try to do that with all the men I meet ALTHOUGH I have had enough bad experiences with men in my life [think staring at my breasts while talking to me, think patronising me, think not letting me finish my sentence because OF COURSE they have more important things to say, and so on and so on…], so WHY can’t I get the same treatment?

    It is so sad that we still have to dicuss women’s rights today. It is my body, it is my choice. That’s it.

    Fine

  7. The statement you made at the beginning – “I put myself in someone else’s shoes. I think about it. I try.” – is EXACTLY the problem I’ve been having with a lot of the Republican politicians and far-right conservative stances over the last several years. So many things that that side stands for these days are based on an “I know better than you do what is right for you” mentality, and that lights my temper faster than anything. My #1 reason for supporting pro-choice is the case of the rape victim. I don’t know if I, personally, could ever go through with an abortion, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to advocate taking the opportunity away from someone else. How many of the far-right have ever considered what *they* would do if something like that happened to them? Not nearly enough, that’s for sure. Great post!

  8. I’ve heard it said that you vote according to what you see our your front window. If all you see is people like you, that’s how you vote. One thing I love about living in the city — especially compared to what it was like living in the western Chicago suburbs — is that I have so many people in my life who are NOT like me. Young people, gay people, punk people, artistic people, black people, Jewish people, Muslim people, poor people, and conservative people. I don’t agree with all of them, but they are all in my life. And I love that.

    For me, part of being a better person is opening your mind to people with different ideas and experiences. You really don’t change or grow much by hanging out with people who look and think just like you do.

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