Today's Quotes

"Champions have the courage to keep turning the pages because they know a better chapter lies ahead."

~Paula White

Thursday, December 15, 2011

7 Habits... - Habit 1

"Your life doesn't just "happen." Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear." 7 Habits of Highly Effective People -Stephen Covey

Today I went to a conference on volunteering and gender through an organization I volunteer at called Federacion de Mujeres Progresitas (Federation of Progressive Women FPW) and as I listened to some of the messages about women and volunteering, something bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on it.

Tonight when I was reading the 1st Habit of Highly Effective People I realized what it was that bugged me.  As Stephen Covey puts it there are two types of people Proactive and Reactive.  He says that proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence.  They work on the things they can do something about:health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus on things over which they have little or no control: national debt, terrorism, weather, he calls this the Circle of Concern.

Today at the conference some of the conversations where focused on the Circle of Concern and it struck a nerve.  I also met some fabulous people who are very proactive and are doing wonderful things as volunteers to help other women and themselves.  One person who really impressed me was a young lawyer from Latin America who had such an amazing positive attitude to move forward with her life and to help others despite her own circumstances.  It is so refreshing to meet women who don't focus on gender roles or the obstacles we face as women, but who see the barriers yet continue to move forward to reach their goals.

As women we face many challenges, roles that want to limit us, media that feed us messages to keep the status quo of the patriarchal societies we live in, but we have to say no living a proactive life, the life we choose.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great read, especially at times that you are needing a little support in achieving your goals.  For me right now it is just what I need.  I've decided to focus on one habit a week, so that I may really own it and live with it.  So for this week it is Habit 1, being proactive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Men's Magazines References to Women

I recently got this link on my FB account to an article about a study done comparing comments in British men's magazines to the comments about women made by convicted rapists.  The article is in  When I read the article I was flabergasted to say the least and at the same time not that surprised.  It's inconceivable that in this day and age women's decision to say no, is still seen as playing hard to get.  It was actually hard to tell which comments were made by the rapists and which ones were made in the men's magazine. Can you tell which one is a comment made by a rapists and which one was made by a men's magazine:

"3. A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy.

6. Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won't do any harm either . . . ‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore' . . .

7. You know girls in general are all right. But some of them are bitches . . . The bitches are the type that . . . need to have it stuffed to them hard and heavy.

9. You'll find most girls will be reluctant about going to bed with somebody or crawling in the back seat of a car . . . But you can usually seduce them, and they'll do it willingly."

I couldn't and it is really sad that through these magazines we are promoting violence against women. As the   article says  "...are teenage boys and young men best prepared for fulfilling love and sex when they normalize views about women that are disturbingly close to those mirrored in the language of sexual offenders?"

I call upon you to keep on saying no to this normalization of the degradation of women.  You don't have to go protest these magazines, although if you did especially the advertisers who advertise in them, that would certainly make an impact.  You can read these magazines yourself if a male in your family buys them and see what they are saying.  If you find something offensive toward women, point it out to the male who is reading these magazines.

If you are lucky and no male in your family or friends reads these magazines, you can say no every time those men in your life who love you make derogatory comments, joking mind you, and ask them to think about what they are saying.  Telling them that promoting disrespect toward women promotes violence against women.

I recently had to make a comment on my nephew's FB account when he mentioned hoes in reference to women.  I wasn't sure whether to address it or let it go, I didn't want him to un-friend me, but I can't see someone who I love and know loves and respects me, forget that when he speaks of women in such a manner he is disrespecting me and all women.  I think he got the point, I hope he got the point.

We need to stop calling women hoes, bitches, ball-busters and all the other terms that denigrate women.  We need to keep on saying "No means no," until it resonates in men throughout the world.  We need to eradicate it from our language and mentality until it is, we as women will continue to fight an uphill battle in the violence against women.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

"Wide Open Spaces" - Dixie Chicks--

My niece introduced me to the Dixie Chicks.  The first song I heard was "You Were Mine" and everytime I heard that song I would cry.  I even listened to it when I needed a good cry and I couldn't  cry, this song would do it for me.  But then to lift myself out I would listen to "Wide Open Spaces", because this song was about me and my eternal search for wider spaces.  I know sometimes it's hard for our families to understand when we go searching out in the world.  But I think that after all these years my family has accepted it.  At times it is still hard for me to accept and now that I am a 5,735 miles (9,229 km) from California and I miss my family I wish at times that I would have been happy staying at home, but it isn't me.  So every now and I gain I listen to this song to remind me that it's ok to need Wide Open Spaces.