If you’ve ever doubted yourself, walk deep into any forest. Notice how the trees still stand even though they are given no recognition. Walk along any stream. The water still flows, though no one stops to praise it. Watch the stars late at night; they shine without acknowledgment. Humans are just the same. We are made out of the same elements as these beautiful wonders. Always remember your beauty and self worth. 

"Your mother did not raise you with a wolf in your chest so you could howl over losing a man."

read this on here today and i haven’t stopped thinking about this quote since (via pluiedem)

"Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be."

Eric Thomas

"Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t even fucking understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to Western Union and Money Gram. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on."

Immigrants. First generation. - Ijeoma Umebinyuo.

"

I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.

The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.

1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.

The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.

3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.

The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.

4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even as a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.

The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.

6. She is entitled to her expression.

When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.

7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.

I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted.

"

Lessons I Will Teach, Because the World Will Not — Y.S.

"Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?

Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?

How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”

Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.”

Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word “slut” liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?

I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don’t remember them. The likely reason is because you didn’t have them. In fact, most parents haven’t had them."


We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors – not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors – not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.

"Women are described in animal terms as pets, cows, sows, foxes, chicks, serpents, bitches, beavers, old bats, old hens, mother hens, pussycats, cats, cheetahs, bird-brains, and hare-brains…‘Mother Nature’ is raped, mastered, conquered, mined; her secrets are ‘penetrated,’ her ‘womb’ is to be put into the service of the ‘man of science.’ Virgin timber is felled, cut down; fertile soil is tilled, and land that lies ‘fallow’ is ‘barren,’ useless. The exploitation of nature and animals is justified by feminizing them; the exploitation of women is justified by naturalizing them."

Karen J. Warren Ecological Feminism

"Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement."

Albert Camus, The Fall

A message from Anonymous


Do you spout childish, absurd feminist tropes while making a huge effort to physically be the male ideal in order to confuse other women, who are on a primitive level your competition, or to make actual feminists jealous, because they are such tiresome fuglies?

spearmintblonde:

Okay, usually I would giggle and delete such a ridiculous message but I am bored and the sky is grey, so I will bite.

If you think I am ‘the male ideal’ then I am flattered at your attraction, however being your ideal does not mean that I submit, conform to nor comply with the male gaze. I am the opposite of what the male gaze wants, and I can tell you this for certain having worked in an industry that centres around female sexuality.

The male gaze does not like tattoos; the male gaze is offended by tattoos because pictures on the skin are a reclamation of the female form that (straight, cis) men see as alarming and offensive; sure, young men who don tattoos themselves may see a woman with sleeves and think she’s sexy, but young men do not make up the majority of the male gaze, nor do they have an impact on its cultural ramifications; young men don’t control the media, young men don’t control our laws, young men have little to no impact on how the female body is perceived within the western world, they simply consume it.
I can promise you, for every 23 year old getting off to Christy Mack’s porn videos, there are one hundred middle aged men who find women with tattoos to be an affront on the very image of what they consider ‘feminine’. These are the men who shape the ‘male ideal’, friend, these are the men it is fun and revolutionary to offend with your very existence. Next.

The male gaze does not like my style of makeup. I don’t know who the fuck you think people draw winged eyeliner on for, but it ain’t men. “What are those flicks?”, “Why do you wear so much makeup?”, “I like the more natural look” and many more, are thrown at me constantly by men. The male gaze likes natural, dewy, sunkissed skin, a couple of coats of mascara and some lipgloss (or so they think); you only have to look at the most celebrated “sexy” women in our media to understand this truth. Men do not like ‘unusual’ makeup, or makeup that they can see has been applied heavily/at all; it subconsciously crushes their idea of makeup’s purpose to ~enhance natural beauty~ and therefore cater to their desires. Next.

You will find that the male gaze shames plastic surgery. Next. You will find that the male gaze favours ‘natural’ hair colours and has a fundamental issue with hair extensions. Next. Men tell me every day that they hate the way I dress - I have been everything from too gothic, to showing too much skin, to overdressed, to so underdressed that I am not allowed within their establishments and everything in between.

This message is so obviously from a neckbeard, it’s not even funny. This message wants a rise out of me; this message wants to hurt my feelings and belittle the pathetic response it assumes I will provide. Unfortunately for this message, I have been completely in control of my body since first dyeing my hair pink at age thirteen. I have made my own decisions and I have gone behind peoples backs to do it, from my first forbidden piercing at fifteen to the tattoo I hid for eighteen months at seventeen years old, I have actively rejected not only the male gaze but society’s eye in general when it comes to the physical manifestation of the entity that is Daisy Lola. I know this is a terrifying thought to you, and I know you will by now have spilled your Mountain Dew on your spare fedora in rage at my insubordination in refusing to facilitate your opinion on how my body should look, but, and let me put this in the simplest possible terms,

  • my body is not for your consumption
  • I make active choices to make my existence offensive to ~the men in power~ within this ridiculous world
  • 99% of women make their choices based on their own ideals, not the ideals of men they don’t give a fuck about
  • other women are not my competition
  • your mother is calling you down from the basement; your frozen pizza is ready to go.

"

Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.

When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.

The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…

But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.

"

"When he decides he doesn’t love you anymore,
here is what you do: Move on quietly. Love yourself
loudly."

©2014 Karese Burrows

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time