Archive for the ‘think about it’ Category

I haven’t posted in a while. 756 days to be exact (that’s a made up number). The reasoning? Feeling like the world is going to shit and there’s nothing I can do about it. Why have I decided to post today? Sex. Sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment. Sexual abuse. Sexual Violence. Rape. Molestation. CONSENT.

I started this blog eight years ago because I wanted to share my feelings, ideas, opinions and thoughts with the world. I had such strong feelings about my experiences and surroundings and was curious if anyone felt the same way. I never once used my blog as a teaching tool. I wasn’t writing to preach my opinions or convince others to see the world through my eyes. I often put disclaimers on my posts stating I don’t know anything about anything.

This is not that kind of blog post.

Today I not only have something to say, but I have something to teach. Today I AM going to try and convince you to see the world as I do. Today there will be no disclaimer.

There is much discussion about the increasing amount of sexual harassment* coming to light in every country, city, town, business, sport, school, house, room and bed on this planet. If you haven’t heard or still don’t realize, sexual harassment* happens everywhere, to every kind of person. If this is shocking to you than you are one of the privileged people who was born with a set of amour that gives you a mild form of protection against this abuse. However, even that amour cannot protect you 100%. How do I know this? Because I was born with a set of amour, white, middle class amour, and I was not fully protected by it.

There is much discussion about why sexual harassment* has become so rampant in global society. There is even more discussion about why sexual harassment* is STILL happening in the so called “developed world”. I know the answer. Sexual abuse* has been a part of human society since humans began recording their history and I would argue since long before that. In fact, it is still legal in many countries to sexually abuse* women, men and children as a form of punishment or retribution.

In countries where sexual harassment* is illegal there is a fear and stigma built up around it that makes it almost impossible for those experiencing it to defend, speak up, and demand justice for themselves. When those brave few are able to grab a hold of their voice they are then ripped apart by family, friends, coworkers, judges, police officers, and the media.

In short, sexual abuse* has always been here.

I’m not sad. I’m not depressed.  I’m not in despair. I am enraged. I am burning up inside. I am about to explode in a fiery feminist ball of fury!

There is no other option. THIS. MUST. END. The time was up long ago.

I have a suggestion. I have an answer. I do not have THE answer but an answer, because as with all social issues there is no one way to move forward. Instead we must create an endless river of consistent changes. However, no matter the issue (poverty, racism, sexism, violence) the river must always start with the youngest of people, with the intervention of early education. And not just standardized education. Sexual education. Compassionate education. Anthropological and sociological education.

There’s a reason we start school when we are young. It is how we as humans learn. We take our time to mature and develop. You don’t start primary/elementary school learning how to read Tolstoy or doing complex calculus or being expected to solve physic problems. Instead we start by learning the alphabet, and simple numbers. Then we move up to spelling small words, and adding tiny numbers etc. Our education is gradual. Sexual education should be no different. Sex ed should move from simple understandings about the body to more in depth discussions about things like intimacy, pleasure, contraception, and STI protection in high school and beyond.

Why isn’t current sexual education gradual? Or worse, why is sexual education non-existent for the majority of the world’s population?

When we grow up learning about sex it will no longer be a taboo or shameful topic to discuss. People should grow up understanding that sex is not be used as a form of power over someone else. Sex should not be used as a form of control. Sex should not damage your sole. Sex should not be used as a fear tactic. Sex should be about fun and pleasure, and if you want it to, sex can also be about reproduction. Sex should be built on the foundation of respect for each others bodies and for our own.

Some will argue that sex* is too complex for children to understand, but it’s not. When I speak about sexual education I really mean body education, autonomy education. Children should and must grow up with the understanding that their body is their own. WE OWN OUR BODIES. Therefore, we make the rules for our bodies. We decide what feels good, who can touch us, and when we want something to stop or keep going. We are the sole givers of consent and we reserve the right to revoke it at any time, in any space.

I own my body. I am an expert in my life experiences. I know that sexual education can and will drastically reduce sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual violence, rape, and molestation. Do you?

Note: I understand that cultural differences and understandings affect the ability of sexual education to be taught in school. However, cultural differences cannot and should not be blamed for sexual abuse, except in a global sense. I know that not a single person on this planet WANTS to be sexually abused/harassed/violated/raped/molested regardless of their race, culture, religion or creed. Therefore, these differences should not be a reason to give up the fight against sexual abuse/violence/harassment/rape/molestation.

I also understand that formal education is not offered to millions of people, however sexual education is something that does not need a classroom to be taught!

* This post is about all forms of sexual abuse, harassment, misconduct, rape, molestation, violence. So when I use one of these terms I am really mean all of these.

If you are experiencing sexual abuse tell someone you trust.

www.crcvc.ca/links/

I turned this post into a video blog, here’s the link http://telly.com/AHJBM3

I think I have an analogy for the world, a comparison, a similarity….Okay, I don’t really know what it is so I’m going to begin with a bit a backstory. A setting up of the punch line if you may.

As some of you may know I am a nanny for triplets, all girls. I’ve been taking daily care of them for fours years now. As many of you may not know, caring for triplets and or raising them is quite different from raising a singleton, twins, or several kids of different ages. It comes with many disadvantages but also its fair share of positives. I love my job and have gained so much life experience by being able to submerge myself into the family mould both by becoming family member but also an observer. Everyday get to see the challenges a family/marriage must face from a relatively non-bias point of view. Is it a beautiful thing to witness but also somewhat tragic. I see how much the outside world affects who you are as a person. When I started watching the girls were barley speaking, they had such a limited vocabulary because they had developed their own language to talk amongst themselves, they spoke triplet. This quickly changed as I talk A LOT and was spending upwards of 10hrs a day with them. They were quick to learn from me.

As they grew older and their vocabulary grew larger I tried to teach them as best I could to be understanding of others. I love to see them standing up to anyone who uses a colour as an adjective to describe as person.

“People are not colours.”  They say.

“What?” Confused bystander.

“They’re just people.” They smile and continue on.

This is not a dramatization this has happened many times, they are expremely vocal to and about their surroundings.

I’ve Mentioned before in a post but I think it’s important to repeat that we have also discussed things like same-sex relationships, adoption, poverty, charity, amputations, metal disabilities, crime, recycling, aliens, religion, racism, and hate among a plethora of other things. Now I want you to understand we don’t sit down and say, “Today we are going to talk about same sex relationships.”
No, they always initiate it by asking a question about something that is abnormal or different to them. I answer them in the way I would have wanted to be answered when I was a child. They responded greatly to this. Now that they have begun school some of this teaching has been damaged by opinions of their peers and their peers personal family ideal, however I do still see more empathy and compassion in their souls then most adults and I hope the world doesn’t keep breaking it down.

I seem to have gotten a little off track but as I said this is the back story to this epic analogy to describe equality and the lack their of it (if you haven’t guessed yet, the triplets are involved ;p )

About 20 min ago I was telling my best friend about my day with the girls and how I painted all three of their nails. I told her how they always want to have the exact same colour and exact same pattern as their sisters have (this happens when we do crafts as well) Today I didn’t let the girls see each others nails until they were all completed and each had picked different patterns and colours. I had a realization that they all wanted to be the same because in their mind “same= equal”, “equal=same”. They always want the same amount of attention and praise, and if one receives an extra praise for her beautiful nails then they see that girl as somehow more important or better. AHA! So much of the fighting, arguing and frustration they have with their sisters makes sense now. That being said, I feel like it will be hard to break this habit, but I hope to stress to them that different doesn’t stand for better… or worse for that matter.

Now here’s the analogy, the comparison, the similarity. The triplets are really just a miniature version of our current world. People believe and most likely have always believed and may possibly continue to believe that difference creates inequality. That to have equality you must have sameness, that we Must all believe the same thing, perceive the same, see the same to be equal.

I would like to dispute this!

I believe the core quality of equality is acceptance. If there must be any sameness, let it be that we all treat everything in is world as if  all on the same level. Every single thing on this planet deserves respect and love from the smallest grain of sand to the last star in the Sky. It may seem like such a large, exaggerated, unimaginable expectation but that is how open my mind is.
Equality = acceptance of difference + love x compassion. Such a simple equation.

I want to leave you with this unwisdom challenge of the day, of the month, of your life.

Take a moment, now or later, tomorrow or ten years from now. Just take a moment and let go of every assumption you have about the world. i mean absolutely everything you ASSUME you know. You may be surprised to find that you know nothing at all. Freeing isn’t it?

Peace and love and equality
Lindsay

 

Disclaimer: I am not a political person nor do I claim to know much about politics. 

 

Recently I’ve been besieged by a radio ad, it seems every time I get in my car and turn on the radio, I hear this ad. It’s a political ad stating that if “so and so” gets elected as the new leader of the NDP (new democratic party) he will impose a carbon tax on almost all goods and services, in turn, making everything you buy go up in price. The ad also states that if this new tax was instated gas would go up a WHOPPING ten cents a litre. The ad is basically encouraging people not to vote for this “so and so” person in fear of this tax being created. (as you can see this entry is not about who is running for the NDP or who is running against the NDP)

 

I have a serious problem with this ad, I feel like it is mocking me, as if I don’t know that a carbon tax will make prices go up. Isn’t that the point of the tax? To make goods and services go up in price in hopes to curb our consumption, helping us use less, consume less and lower each persons individual carbon footprint ( or maybe I have the wrong definition of carbon tax). For instance, if this tax was created and gas went up ten cents and tax on my car went up as well maybe I would consider buying a new electric car avoiding both the carbon tax and the gas price increase. Or maybe I would stop buying bottled drinks, or buy more fresh products instead ones wrap in layers of plastic and cardboard that were no doubt produced in a huge factory that creates mass amounts of pollution.

 

I think this tax is logical and rational, people don’t seem understand how much useless production and consumption goes on in the world. Maybe having a tax that directly responds to these excesses would help people see that we really don’t NEED to use and produce as much as we do. What we NEED is clean air, clean water, and clean food. Realistically, everything else is a want and just because you want something doesn’t mean you need it. It seems today that people have lost sight of this, suddenly our wants have become our needs and our needs have become something we waste and destroy with our wants. We destroy our clean air, our clean water, our clean food but polluting all three with the materials and by products of our wants and then we create more products to help re-purify these needs in turn creating more waste and pollution. It really is a vicious cycle when you take the time to think about it.

 

That being said I am guilty of all of these things, I drive a gasoline powered car, I take long showers, I buy what I don’t need, I give into my wants daily. I think the difference between me and others maybe that I understand this is not a healthy way to live. I do try to do my part and make up for my discrepancies, but I know I need to do more. What’s upsetting to me is to hear this ad on the radio and know this person/group/political party is trying to encourage people not to think about our overconsumption, to try to make it seem like this “so and so” person is creating this tax simply to make things more expensive for us all.

 

In closing this rambling blog entry I want to state that I do not claim to have the answers to our over consumption problem, in fact, I don’t have answers for anything, I simply ask questions and hope it sparks questioning in others and in their questioning maybe they can find the answers.

 

Peace and Love and Carbon

Lindsay

(I realize now this blog really had nothing to do with politics, but I like the title so I’m keeping it!)

If you enjoyed this entry I strongly suggest you read or watch Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and the 2011 documentary Surviving Progress

It’s Pride, my city, surrounding area and places across the world are flying the flag with what else Pride! This brings me to the topic of my entry today, Homosexuality(or as I like to call it sexuality!). I was born in the 20th century and maybe was I exposed to more open ideas than some born in other decades or other parts of the world, but I have always been unaffected by same-sex love. It has always been a part of my life and never bothered me. What does bother me is how much other people seem to be bothered by it.

My first memory of homosexuality is from the sitcom Ellen. I think I was about 7 when she came out on her show. For some reason I distinctly remember Ellen leaning over the microphone in an airport and saying “I’m Gay!” After that the show got cancelled and I remember my mom being disappointed because she loved the show and she didn’t seem to mind that Ellen was gay. I’m not even sure I knew what that really meant back then. When I was about 9 my parents sat my sister and I down and told us my Uncle had come out as gay I think my response to this news was something like “Okay, can I go back to playing now?” I knew at this time that being gay meant dating someone of the same sex, I don’t know how I knew this. I don’t remember my parents telling me what it meant to be homosexual, I wasn’t very sheltered as a child so I’m guessing I saw or heard about it from television. Having a family member who was gay didn’t really change anything for me personally. At some point I met a boyfriend of my Uncles and all I can remember thinking is they hug like my parents hug, they hold hands like my parents hold hands, they kiss like my parents kiss. In their entirety they loved like my parents loved, and I was content with that. My family seemed to continue on just like it had before, nothing changed. I don’t know if being exposed to the lifestyle as a child aided in my acceptance or it’s just who I am. I don’t care who you love as long as you treat them right. This seems logical to me. You dating a man or a woman has no affect on me personally so why would I care?

I know people who say “I accept homosexual people I just don’t want to see it,” What does that mean? You accept them but you don’t want to see them be affectionate? That is not acceptance. Some people say,  “I just wish they wouldn’t rub their sexuality in my face,” again to this I say what? Don’t heterosexual people flaunt their heterosexuality all the time, walking in public holding hands, kissing, touching? Heterosexual people don’t have to sit their family and friends down and say, “I have something to tell you, I’m straight!” So why should homosexuals. Why does homosexuality have to be something that has to be announced like it is automatic that you are supposed to be born straight and if you’re not you either have to hide or tell the whole world?

I don’t understand people who say that you choose to be gay. You choose to be gay as much as you choose to be straight, or as mush as you choose your hair, eye or skin color. My common argument to this topic is “Why would you choose to be ridiculed, taunted and bullied?” I also don’t get people who say there is no such thing as bisexuality, you must either like boys or girls, it’s impossible to like both. No one has the right to decide how you feel about any specific person except you.

Sexuality is on a spectrum, and any person can fall anywhere on that spectrum. People are so concerned about life being black and white, no grey, no in between. Here’s a fact people IT’S ALL IN BETWEEN. The truth is there is there no black and white, there is no right and wrong, there is no gay and straight, there just is.

In the end you are who you are and you love who you love and I’m okay with that. I wish more people would be okay with it too.

wordsofhonestunwisdom

I have read a few articles within the past year stating that Legalizing Gay Marriage would be America’s downfall and that accepting the gay rights movement could corrupt the world’s youth. Strewing morals of who people are supposed to love. This astonishes me!

Let me ask you this, was the Women’s Rights movement a downfall for humanity? Was the African-American Civil Rights movement a downfall to society? Of course not, these were not hindrances to the world these improved it. How can acceptance and recognition and equality hurt humanity?

What hurts us as a Global population are things like bombing/killing/blowing up other people and countries thinking that this is the only way to get a point across; Or letting whole countries and continents starve as others exceedingly prosper; Genocide, Xenophobia, Judgement, Stereotypes, Greed, Power. These are the things that cause hate, suffering and despair in the world.

I find…

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This is a Quote from a woman by the name of India who was on an episode of Oprah‘s LifeClass featuring Gloria Steinem. After the woman spoke Oprah’s response was I could just weep over that.                                                                                                                                                I did.

“People always ask can you have it all? And I think one of the questions we need to start asking ourselves is not can we have it all, and mean marriage, children, career, but do we have the power to do the things that will make us happy?”

Do we?

What is this life? Is it nothing but loving and losing? Is this not a life for the damned? Am I damned, are we all?

This life, this life is only living, only loving, consistently growing.  You can never lose love, you can only lose the living. The reality of death is not losing someone but rather gaining them whole. Their whole heart, their whole soul, their whole being. That is this life, and the next. If that makes us damned then let us all be damned.