Monday, April 2, 2012

Feminism Alive

I began reading a book last week called, "Heartburn." Nora Ephron writes the tragedy that is a 7 months pregnant woman who discovers that her husband is having an affair - and the tragedy is bitterly funny.

What makes me chuckle most about this book, is Aiden's fascination with it. I think maybe he really likes the cover art, but I can't be quite sure.

Anyway, he keeps picking it up and telling me that he has to read his book. When I ask if it is a good book he says, "Yes Sir!" When I ask what it's about he says, "hot dogs." I could derail here and tell you my whole schpeel about whether "chick lit" is a genre or not but I think Aiden has already debunked my central argument.

I have also picked up a zombie anthology and for extra income related reasons, I have been reading Vogue and Harper's Bazar cover to cover. Most notably on my current reads list though, is "Sex Tips For Girls" by Cynthia Heimel. This novel contains no sex tips whatsoever, so un-bunch your panties now please.

Instead is is a pretty hard core feminist commentary about "women today" and feminism itself. Frankly, the word "feminism" has a negative connotation in my vernacular so I don't blame you if you run away from the rest of what I have to say about it - burn your bra and yada yada yada...

It's really funny though, and kind of, exactly, sort of, just what I needed. Now, I have 6 things I remind myself to do every morning:
1. Have Adventures. 
2. Give fear exceedingly short shrift.
3. Shun boredom.
4. Cultivate a deviant attitude.
5. No power politics, no backstabbing.
6. Only drink and take drugs if you have to.

On having adventures - Aiden is my ultimate adventure. I follow his driving directions even when he is not in the car - "go that way Mommy!" plays tirelessly in my mind whenever I think of taking a short cut. Aiden reminds me to discover new places and uncover old ones I have overlooked. 

I am working to "go with the flow." My worry and stress are not going to make any more magical-supposed-to-be-moments than will my surrender to what the day holds for me.

On slighting fear - fear is healthy in small amounts, and sometimes when necessary in large amounts it is fear that saves our lives. In fact, I find that I am here simply writing this right now as a direct product of confessing to a confidant how truly fearful I was. Fear saved my life. 

But I can not allow fear to keep me from living it. Doing the harder things, saying "no" even when worried about the reception of the word - in these moments, fear has little value.

On boredom - boredom is some days, what I welcome to my doorstep but never comes. Nights I have wished for the thoughts to stop swirling in my head, for my troubled heart to give way for maybe a little rest...yet even now in the eclipse of it all...I would rather these continuous equations and probabilities and mean-to-bes on my mind over boredom.

On a deviant attitude - Cynthia says, some friends will notice and like a change in you - other's will be repulsed by it and say, "you used to be so easy to please." Do not be hard to please, but do not allow people to walk beside you who are overjoyed by your complacency. 

On backstabbing - I find with age, that the women I know are guilty of backstabbing themselves more than they are each other. We are all so concerned with how someone might feel or what they maybe said. We forget to just ask, "hey, did I do something wrong?" or to tell, "You really hurt my feelings." Instead we become exactly what men hate about us - manipulative, plotting, suspicious, jealous, and hateful - a bag full of PMS. 

Life is too short to not value your friends even when they have angered you. And as all women know, we carry with us our own secrets - so why not appreciate that there are so many more like you who feel the same as you do? Perhaps your very best friend needs your help and can't ask. Perhaps you are too busy or scared to offer. Can we please follow our intuitions? 

On intoxication - margaritas are for bad days, anti depressants are for the depressed, pain medication is for when you are hurt, champagne is for celebration, etc. 

My point is this - feminism is only negative when we are fighting our battles alone.

And when you can't see your way out, can't pick up the phone, don't want to get out of bed....pick up a hilarious book.

You will survive.

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