If You Want To Change The World…

Dear Kids,

You are growing up in a crazy world. Sometimes it’s crazy beautiful and sometimes it’s just plain crazy. The difference is really all in your perspective. You will grow up hearing words  & phrases like “feminism,” “women’s rights,” “human rights,” “climate change,” “back the blue,” “black lives matter,” “all lives matter,” & proclamations of “let’s make America great again!” These things will mean something different to each person who says them. I won’t dive into all of that today, but there are a few things I want you to know about a few of these words which will permeate this part of your life & profoundly affect the way you experience & perceive the world around you.

ct-womens-march-national-pg-20170121Recently, there have been a series of marches and protests happening around the country, all for one cause or another, some peaceful and some not. You may have heard about it. Your kids – should you choose to have them –  may learn about it in school one day; this is your history in the making. For the rest of this post I’m just going to assume you’ll one day have a family of your own. If you decide not to, that’s okay, but to drive home my point, I’m totally going to use my future grandchildren. 😉 (If the word “children” doesn’t apply to you, maybe substitute nieces and nephews? I know how literal you 3 can be. *sigh*)

One day you will be faced with the responsibility that every generation before you has faced; the responsibility to enact positive change for the next generation. It might sound irrelevant to you when you consider how fortunate you already are and how much you already have. It might sound like a pretty big deal. It may sound almost unachievable for one person. So, how do you do it?

Do you make signs and march? Protest? Riot, rally in anger, preach in righteousness, fight…? Maybe you’ll feel like your voice is best heard in a group because how can just one person – or even two people – make a positive impact on any part of the world?

images-3I just want you to know you can & I’m going to tell you how. I don’t personally believe that real, effective change is brought about in crowds yelling, inciting anger, violence, fear, & hate. Or yet in silent, peaceful crowds carrying signs about love. It makes a statement, sure…but what kind of statement? Some people are just really good at making speeches or signs and can make you buy what they’re selling regardless of your own convictions. If you don’t do anything else I ever tell you, at least do this: know that you are only responsible for yourself. Learn what you can from history & verify it for yourself rather than taking other people at their word just because they can make it sound good. Evaluate the words and actions of others for yourself. Study. Watch. Listen. Get your own facts, your own references. Just as you take responsibility for yourself, let the ones around you take responsibility for themselves. Do not ever let another person dictate your beliefs for you. Make choices you can be proud of.

You can’t make anyone do anything. You cannot make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time so you need to be able to live with the choices you make. You probably won’t cause huge cooperations or groups of people to change their beliefs, or their approach no matter how many people you rally, especially if their main concern is the money they’re making. This is because real change is a personal responsibility rather than a global one. It starts small & ripples out slowly over time, affecting one person at a time beginning with yourself.

Change starts with you. It has a ripple effect in regard to what you teach your children; if you want to change the world, start with your world.

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Feminism is simply a belief in equality, yet our society has bastardized it and given it some incredibly negative connotations. What are women really saying when they walk around with their shirts off yelling about being ‘nasty women?’ How does this help? Are they really ‘taking back the power?’ Really think about that. What does that even mean? How does excluding certain women send the message ‘we are all equal.’ That, in my opinion, certainly doesn’t communicate anything reminiscent of equality. It is a contradiction to everything they claim to stand for. Your time would be better spent at home teaching your children the value of kindness, chivalry, self-respect; teaching them to set standards & boundaries for themselves so that they can make positive choices in their own lives, thus eventually rippling into the hearts and minds of others.

“Black Lives Matter.” Of course they do. “All Lives Matter.” Unequivocally. I find it abhorrent that after everything we’ve been through in this country, after everything generations before us have fought for, we still live in a time where this distinction is necessary. How can you change this? Not by blaming or segregating, but by teaching your children to choose their friends based on the content of their character and nothing else.

Climate Change. I believe it’s a thing; some do not. Your beliefs regarding its validity make little to no difference when you consider that there are things we could be doing to help preserve and protect our environment whether you believe in the effects of climate change or not. If we all recycled, used less energy or more solar energy, turned the water off while brushing our teeth, unplugged appliances we aren’t actively using, turned off the lights and the TV when we left the house (your dog doesn’t care about The View, I promise), put our trash in the trash can or a recycling bin instead of tossing it on the ground, etc. not only would you see a decrease in your bills, but you’d be helping to ensure the future of our planet. These small choices we make daily have the biggest impact. Teach your children to respect and care for their environment and your beliefs about climate change become irrelevant; you’re doing your part for the world you want your kids to inherit & you’re teaching them to do theirs. That’s all there is.

So, let me say it again:

Change starts with you. It has a ripple effect in regard to what you teach your children; if you want to change the world, start with your world.

16194956_1240064922755969_8824124583631119672_nNo amount of sign-holding, marching, yelling, fear-mongering or hate-speech will ever effect the kind of positive change people talk about wanting to see in the world. Nor do I  personally believe that tolerating and accepting everything & everyone is the appropriate response. I don’t tolerate racism, rapists, abusers or manipulators. I don’t tolerate people who would treat me as less than simply because of the color of my skin or my gender. I don’t tolerate people who mistreat my family and friends. Does that mean I’m going to go blow up a prison, get a group together to beat up someone I don’t like, or put on a mask and become a vigilante? Of course not (I’m not nearly as good a shot as the Green Arrow anyway). I won’t be burning down buildings because I don’t believe in the politics or ethics of that business or group of people; I’ll simply stop buying their product. I’ll never walk around topless yelling about my lack of rights and if I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t do it in America where I HAVE RIGHTS (but that’s a different post). You’ll never find me disrupting traffic & stopping people from going to work just because I’m angry & want the people around me to feel angry, too.

you-teach-people-how-to-treat-you-quoteWhat I will do is make choices to ensure these types of people are as far removed from myself and my family as is within my power, & I will do my best to teach you – my children – what it means to be people of character & integrity.  I will teach you to walk away from people & situations which make you feel inferior. I will teach you to choose your friends wisely, to sit with the lonely kids at lunch, to offer help to those in need, to get outside your comfort zone & not to place ridiculous standards or restrictions on yourself. I will teach you about humility. I will teach you about respect, both for yourself and others. I will teach you to apologize when you should & how to recognize when there is nothing to apologize for. I will teach you to work hard, to earn rather than expect. I will teach you to lead by example, & even, sometimes, to follow. I will teach you to share, to give freely, to speak kindly, & love fiercely.

You are not sheeple & you do not have to flow with the status quo; you always have a choice. You have a miraculous gift, both common to all people & still uniquely individual: it’s called a brain. Use it.

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Not to sound like a cliche’ or anything, but…

Love,

Mom – xoxo

 

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The Bad Blogger

Dear 2017,

As part of a 30 day blog challenge to get me writing again, I’ve decided to talk to you a little bit about the name of my blog & what my goals are this year. I know you and your cousin, 2018, couldn’t possibly care less about my goals or my blog, but I do and since I let 2016 beat me into silence I’m determined not to let the same thing happen with you. So here goes…

I just realized my blog has no name. I have a web address (1badblogger.wordpress.com), but no actual blog name. No tag line explaining what my blog is about. How have I had a blog for years now and managed to not give it a proper name or context?! I guess that happens when you’re a bad blogger. Maybe that should be my name. The Bad Blogger. Erin Motz gets to be the Bad Yogi so I can claim the title of Bag Blogger…assuming no one has claimed it already. *does quick google search* Okay so it’s sort of taken. What I mean by “sort of” is that when “the bad blogger” is typed into google, you get a flickr account of barely dressed Asian chicks, but no actual blog by that name. Regardless, I still like it. Every article I read about blogging tells you to write about what you know, pick a theme and keep your posts generally within that genre. Tutorials, DIY, parenting, humor, photography, advice, art. music, books…etc. but what if I don’t want to stick to one theme? What if I don’t want to be put in a box? What if I want to hop around like an ADHD 6 year old on red dye #5 & coca-cola?

These articles also tell you to write once a week or  more. I’ve tried, but consistency just isn’t my thing. The only thing I’ve ever been consistent with is my husband, my kids, & being inconsistent. I’ve never finished a single challenge I’ve started and I probably won’t finish this one. I want to write when the mood strikes me, when inspiration hits, when I damn well want to, thank you very much. Whether that’s once a week (which I hope it is) or once every decade.

I’ve read countless advice articles on how to gain followers, increase readership and comment interaction, but what if that’s not what is most important to me? I mean – not gonna lie – having more than three active readers who comment would be a dream come true – but that isn’t my main goal. I didn’t start a blog to become internet famous. I started a blog because I like to write, my kids are funny as they can be & my family was missing things due to our Army-life PCSing, & because Facebook used to have limitations on how long one’s status could be; 2014 may have called to warn you, but just in case she didn’t, I’m a little wordy so it was easier to share my long-winded tales of my two year old singing “what the f***” to a My Little Pony toy on my blog than it was to share it to The Book of Faces.

Basically, I break all the rules. I write about whatever I want whenever I want & I write for an audience of one (plus my mom because some things I want to say she’d wash my mouth out for…sorry Mom, just keepin’ it real.) So what do you think? Should I stick with the lame-o “Bethylicious” title which I hastily gave my blog when I couldn’t think of anything else however many years ago, or should 2017 be the year of The Bad Blogger? You tell me.

Sincerely,

A Really Bad Blogger Currently In The Midst Of A Weird Sort Of Internet Identity Crisis Which I Didn’t Realize I Had Until I Began This Blog Challenge

 

 

Harry Potterotica & Why I Love It

No, I don’t actually like Harry ‘Potterotica’ so let’s go ahead and get that out of the way first. However, it is relevant. Between these two videos is everything I ever wanted to say on behalf of the treatment of women & the pornography industry which I absolutely detest. I wish I had even a speck of the talent & vision these two ladies have. And the best part? Somehow Harry Potter is involved & I love me some Harry Potter.

Disclaimer:

Before you click on either of these videos, please be aware that the content therein is not suitable for children or work. There is explicit language and sexual references in both (particularly the first), but at the same time, they are both profound and powerful. I hope that men and women alike will take a look at these and let the words sink in.

If you liked that one, feel free to like her Facebook page 🙂

That was Madiha Bhatti and the only place I’ve been able to find more about her is here. I think she’s pretty incredible. 🙂

Thanks for reading/watching and please feel free to share this post or any other ones that you may have liked. My post on what feminism is and is not would be a good one to go along with this one. 🙂 I want everyone to hear what these women are saying!! This is the world we’re raising young men and women in; the way we treat each other needs to change yesterday.

Is That Your Bra I Smell Burning?

Most of you know that I am a self-proclaimed feminist. Most of you also have no clucking clue what a feminist is, so I thought I would educate you in the hopes that it will cut down on the accusations that I just hate men and think women are superior. The whole point of feminism is for social, political & economic equality. See…

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What Feminism Is NOT:

It is not grounds for one sex to claim superiority over the other. It does not mean I want to eradicate men from the planet. It does not mean I want to be a man. It does not mean I can’t be feminine. It does not mean I don’t know and accept that men are generally better than women at certain things. It does not mean that women do not naturally perform better at some tasks than men. It does not mean I think men and women must be considered 185,000% equal in all things at all times. It does not mean that I’m secretly a lesbian. It does not mean that I want to burn my bra. (I happen to like having perky breasts, thank you very much.) It does not mean that all feminists are women. It does not mean that I won’t cook, clean or do laundry or that I regard marriage as an outdated, sexist institution.hairy-legs1 It does not mean that I boycott shaving. I mean…in the winter I might skip a few leg-shaving sessions, but…don’t judge me.

6206884-woman-with-machete-isolated-on-whiteIf you hold a door open for me, pull out a chair or do anything else within the realm of gentlemanly behavior, contrary to popular belief I will respond with ‘thank you’ and a smile rather than a machete to the throat. Just because I CAN do it myself, doesn’t mean I should always have to. Feminism does not automatically qualify me as an advocate of abortion (but that, my loves, is a different blog post.)

What Feminism IS:

It is the advocacy of women being treated equal to men in ways such as being paid the same wage for doing the same job or not constantly being held to a more stringent standard of beauty, or being expected to bear children just because most of us have the ability to do so, etc. 6352_525290790835404_2103968774_n-1It is respecting and appreciating men and women for their different characteristics and talents. (For example: Men are typically stronger than women, but this does not mean that women are weak by any means.) Feminism is about not taking away one’s choices solely because of his or her gender; it’s about letting skills, experience, confidence and competence speak for themselves and not automatically disqualifying a person because they have a vagina. Feminism is respecting myself enough to require that other people respect me also if they intend to have any sort of healthy relationship with me. It is about not tolerating any language or behavior propagated specifically to make women feel as if they are less deserving of love, consideration & courtesy.

Respect, integrity, encouragement, acknowledgement, appreciation, affection, compassion, honesty, reverence, adoration, loyalty…none of these things should be gender-specific. 

We are people deserving of the same rights & deference as anyone else. We are not put here simply for sexual pleasure or for anyone to control or “manage.” We weren’t put on the Earth to have your babies & do what we’re told. Women are not the weaker sex. It is not a bad thing to do, say or feel something “like a girl.” WHY is that an insult? We are not just baby machines and personal maids, but likewise, if a woman wants children & has the option of staying home with them & being a “housewife” – there’s nothing wrong with that. CHOICES, people! Parenting is the hardest job there is and we’re already leaving our planet to a bunch of entitled, whiny people incapable of successfully and positively dealing with the realities of life; maybe if we had more stay at home moms (or dads) that we were lifting up, supporting and appreciating, we wouldn’t have a bunch miniature assholes running around. My point is…

Just as men do, women also contribute much to society and to the world. Realize that & respect it.

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If You Carry A Big Stick……She Will Beat You With It

Dear Ignoramus Man,

You’ll know if you’re an Ignoramus Man if you read that headline and suddenly think “this is BS. I’m not reading this girl-power crap” (or something of that nature.) A Real Man would not let a general statement define him personally and would probably want to read this just to see what’s got girls pissed off now. He might even chuckle at the word choice. Or maybe he knows the title is entirely true. Women are a force to be reckoned with; we can kill you. Maybe not physically, but we can suck the soul from your body or we can breath new life into everything you do. The Real Man knows that, but the Ignoramus Man? You think it’s ridiculous that a woman could have any effect over you short of making you horny or angry. And you’re certain that she’s not strong enough in any capacity to beat you. You’re pretty much just a modern day caveman.

You’re the guy who is threatened by a strong woman. You don’t like women that stand up to you, make more money than you, are smarter than you or that do anything better than you. You like to make fun of women that “act like girls” (or men that are more evolved than yourself) simply because girls are weaker in your puny little mind; inferior to you, the Ignoramus Man. A Real Man doesn’t have to make anyone – male or female – feel less valuable than himself. He is secure enough in his worth that he can value the worth of others just as well. But not you…you have to make everyone else feel irrelevant because that’s the only way you can feel good about yourself; feel like you’re on top, feel like a man.

You’re the man whose word goes in your household and if you meet any opposition, you throw an award-winning tantrum. Two-year olds could certainly learn a thing or two in that department from you. You will also swear, when confronted with this, that you are not “threatened” by strong, smart &/or successful women; you just ________________________ (fill in the blank: don’t think they’re equal to men, should be in positions of power, belong outside the home, don’t like feminists, etc. and so forth, yada, yada, yada….) These are Ignoramus Man Rationalizations and unfortunately, not even clubbing you over the head will cure you of this stupidity.

However, there is hope.

I’ve replaced your daily vitamins (oops) steroids (oops again) “daily vitamins” with estrogen pills & it will not be long before you begin losing your hair & muscle mass, feeling emotional and wanting to cuddle absolutely everything. Have fun being a woman trapped in an Ignoramus Man’s body and pray your significant other has mercy on you after all you’ve put her through (and after all she has allowed you to put her through). She’s obviously a push-over anyway, but once she realizes the beautiful gift that has been given to her, (and gets angry about all your previous cave man behaviors) she’ll whip out the camera and start making memories!

And when you start developing feelings for her best guy friend, she won’t argue or make fun of you. She’ll hook you up with a date and the chances are good that she will even help you with your wardrobe and do your hair and makeup. She will have to get pictures of your first date before you go and when your man-friend returns you home safe and sound, she’ll be peeking out the window (through a telephoto lens) waiting,  like an anxious mother (with a particular blackmailing agenda), to see your first kiss.

And then, when the time is right, she’ll put those “daily vitamins” back in their rightful place and you can begin your normal routine of taking supplements to enhance your “manliness.” After a while, your breasts will shrink, your muscles will regain their near body-building (and entirely puke-inducing) appearance, your hair will begin to resurface all over your body and you will once again be able to lift your caveman club without emanating a girlish grunt.

You will find yourself treating your loved ones with more respect and care. Mostly because you don’t want your significant other to post those pictures of you kissing another man while wearing a mini-dress and press on nails to facebook, but your motives don’t matter nearly as much as your actions. She will appreciate not being called your “Ol’ Lady,” “Ball-N-Chain,” “the little woman,” or any other name you bestowed upon her specifically for the purpose of making her feel insignificant.

And should you ever, ever use that “because I’m the man of the house and what I say goes!” line again, I can guarantee you “the little woman” will not be afraid to remind you what color palette in her makeup bag best accentuates your eyes and about how slutty you looked in her little black dress or how she catches you staring at it with longing on a regular basis.

Be afraid, Ignoramus Man, be very afraid.

Tread carefully around those you think less significant than yourself…because you’re not at all important without them.