Women’s work is never done… but today it is.

November 21, 2006 at 1:55 pm | Posted in moi, women's work | 3 Comments

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce

In this new age of working women, what is it about us that makes us overwork so much?

Women – and I apologize if advance if I sound as if I am stereotyping – have an innate tendency to accept responsibility. This is not a judgement at all on biology – rather, it is a social judgement on how we are raised in society. Women are raised to be nurterers, to be the responsible one in the family. We are the ones who clean up after messes, who write the Christmas cards, send the thank-you cards, order the flowers and make arrangements when someone passes on. We are single mothers, widowers, and of course, workaholics. We know how to survive and how to make life work for ourselves and our families when times are tough.

All that said, is this what contributes to the enormity of women who are over-working multiple jobs today, endlessly single from trying to progress their work lives, to succed, without time for relationships?

Today I had to write the incredibly difficult email of having to quit a job that I had taken on, but truly just didn’t have the time to do. Of being stretched too thin working not one, not two, not three, but four paid jobs plus volunteer work and unpaid work. Something’s gotta give, and it has to be what one doesn’t enjoy.

This design job had progressed far too long without any progress. Promises had been made, and I should have backed out many many moons ago.

It is still never easy to write that letter, to say the words – “I quit.”

I want to do it all.

I want to save the world.

After all, I am a One Woman Army.

– Artemis.

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Holiday shopping and feminist fun!

November 18, 2006 at 4:09 am | Posted in Feminism | Leave a comment

eve_squestgame.jpg

In need of a little holiday shopping ideas for your favorite feminist?

Check out Eve’s Quest from creators Joanna Broadbent and Odette McCarthy.

Every little detail regarding women’s history, trivia, and facts and figures that you ever (or never) wanted to know .

This is by far the coolest Christmas gift I have seen yet….

Artemis.

Feminist Five…

November 12, 2006 at 1:14 pm | Posted in activism, Feminism, status of women canada | Leave a comment

As a move against the Canadian Federal Governments massive cuts to Status of Women Canada and need for equality, Progressive Bloggers launched a campaign during the month of October “Five Things Feminism Has Done for Me”. Looks like people are still taking part, and there’s no end to the amazing lists that people are coming up with.

One of my recent favorites courtesy of jenleman:

FemFive

My own feminist five list keeps growing, depending on the mood of the day.

1) Feminism gave me women’s studies, the choice of higher education, and the ability to pursue my dreams.

2) Feminism gave me the right to be an independent woman who lives on her own, supports herself, can travel, write, work, be single and unmarried and without children still at the age of 27!

3) Feminism gave me the right to choose to not have children.

4) Feminism gave me The Vagina Monologues – the sources of so much power, freedom, and voice for myself and so many other women.

5) Feminism gave me the right to TALK! To refuse to be silenced, to stand up and shout, to voice my opinions and ideas.

-Artemis.

Vagina love and worship; Vagina heartbreak and pain…

November 5, 2006 at 11:29 pm | Posted in The Vagina Monologues, Thesis | 1 Comment

Tonight, I am overwhelmed with emotion for what we, as women, go through.

I spent this afternoon in the amazing company of three wonderful women, doing my thesis interviews. We talked about an enormity of things. My thesis, as I’ve discussed before, is on The Vagina Monologues (TVM), but more to the point, on theories of collective remembrance and bearing witness.

Today, I feel as if I was privileged to bear witness to the experiences of three incredible women and I am in awe, and humbled by their experiences.

While our conversations began around their experiences as actresses in TVM, it wasn’t long before it turned to personal experiences. And what I can’t help but think is, I really had absolutely no clue at all what these women had gone through before they came to the show, and just how meaningful and incredibly important being in the show has been for them.

I’ve read alot of discourse on TVM, much good and much bad. The arguments of course, are of the heteronormativity and heterosexuality of the play, and also the white ethnocentrism. More recently I’ve been reading discussions on how TVM promotes another ambigious and overarching, all-encompassing word for female genitalia – “vagina” – without taking into consideration that the vagina is simply one organ in the entirety of the female genitalia – and the discussion’s questions are of course – are we replacing one general word (cunt, down-there) – with another general word as opposed to teaching and making acceptable all words (labia, clitoris, uterus, etc)?

The discourse and criticisms are great – and have a lot of good points. In talking with these women today, some of the criticisms did come up – the heteronormativy in particular, and the lack of bisexuality, homosexuality or transsexuality in the piece.

But despite these criticisms, I’m finding one thing has to be said about the play – the absolute, utter importance of it for so many women, in enabling them to share with other women their common, yet unvoiced and secret experiences, to heal with one another, to heal eachother, to share, to grow, to voice what was previously unspoken and shameful and turn it into something that is acceptable.

It is so so important.

Today we talked about hatred of our bodies, absolute utter hatred of our bodies manifesting itself through eating disorders (3 out of 4 of the women I’ve spoken with so far have had some form of eating disorder), repressed sexuality, fear of sex, abusive relationships, fear of female friendships.

There was so much crying, so many tears. Some of the women, though having been in TVM for a year, for several years at times, still feel shame and contempt of their bodies. And my heart broke for their pain, and what they are going through.

But being in TVM, for all of them, being surrounded by like-minded women and being able to voice their fears and shames and to be open to an environment where the body is beautiful, and where they will not be looked down upon for thinking otherwise of their own bodies – was an essential, integral, utterly necessary and life-altering experience for them.

Eve
I am in such deep awe, such deep worship of women in this moment.

And of Eve Ensler, for bringing forth such a mechanism for women to work with, to evolve to, and for women to continue to mold and shape as The Vagina Monologues.

Novelist extraordinaire…

November 4, 2006 at 5:59 pm | Posted in moi, Taking Action | 2 Comments

Nanowrimo
Okay I’ve done it.

I am now committed and dedicated to writing that novel.

What it will be about, or how good it will actually be, I can’t really say.

Its all a part of Nanowrimo – write a novel in a month for National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words here I come!

As if I don’t have enough else to do….

– Artemis.

Carnival time…

November 3, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Carnivals | Leave a comment

Two fabulous carnivals are now up with a plethora of fabulous feminist material…

Start your day off with a look through the Carnival of Feminists No. 26, hosted this issue A Blog Without a Bicycle – a great blog from another masters of women’s studies student.

When you’re finished scrolling and reading and musing through the amazing posts there, head on over to the Carnival Against Sexual Violence. Bloggers against sexual violence are highlighted here – many wonderful, amazing, sometimes painful, but always incredibly important posts.

-Artemis.

Sisterhood stories…

November 2, 2006 at 2:56 am | Posted in Sisterhood, The Vagina Monologues, Thesis | Leave a comment

V-Day

“if the call to witness can be understood as a summoning of one to listen to another’s remembrance of… then the bearing of witness is first and foremost a practice of listening. But a listening that takes a particular shape, that is, listening not only for what is being testified to, but also for how the testimony impacts on and implicates a witness…” (Rosenberg, 1996, p123)

Today, I finally did my very first thesis interview.

All day long, my nerves have been wracked with anxiety and stress. Stress that I would fail my program, stress that I’ve waited too long to do my interviews, that my amazing women who I’m interviewing would be bored with me and not want to talk or share. That my interviewing skills have diminshed over the years. That I would flunk my program and be stuck with a huge student loan for absolutely nothing.

Despite that there is always a danger of flunking, my fears *thankfully* were all completely unfounded.

Sitting with my wonderful participant this evening and talking about all things woman was absolutely wonderful. This wonderful woman I have known for some time and truly admire. To those who say “but what about bias and objectivity?” this is feminist methodology. Autoethnography, shared storytelling, empowerment.

We talked. She talked. I talked. We listenened. It was a shared interview in so many ways. Participatory. Dialogue. Both with power, both with control. We talked about all my favourite subjects via The Vagina Monologues: body image, violence, trans-issues, love and romance, partnerships and relationships, sisterhood.

A truly wonderful first start (if late).

-Artemis.


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