Is she still talking??

A short fable about a pebble 

once upon a time there was a flat little pebble sitting by the seashore, all by himself. He was very envious of the seashells that got picked up by the beach goers. They oohed and ahhed over how pretty the seashells were and the people took them home. Their happiness over the shells’ beauty made him envious and sad, for he was but a flat rock.

One day, a bunch of people started picking up all the flat pebbles. The pebble was very happy because finally he made someone happy. Finally, someone wanted him. The people began throwing the flat pebbles into the sea, skipping them along the water and they all sank to the bottom of the sea.

The pebble then spent ten thousand years waiting for the tide to push him back onto the beach.

Moral of the story: shut up and enjoy the view.
(Hubby told me to tell him a bedtime story. This is what I came up with)

Edit – Thanks to Chris Lindsay for the suggestion on changing “jealousy” to “envious”. Check out his blog for a collection of beautiful essays and short stories.

https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/

My Tits Are Not Your Visual Amusement Park

Yesterday, two things happened. Actually three, but two of the things have been lumped into one incident.

1. I had, on two separate occasions, men obnoxiously stare at my tits (at the gym and then the moaner on the subway).
2. Of the men I’ve told this to, almost all of them asked what the issue is.

Before I get started I will say this – I don’t expect men to understand why this is such a problem for women. I just hope you’ll respect the women around you. Even if they’re sluts. Even if they’re hookers. Even if they’re stay at home moms. 9 to 5 women. Unemployed women. Doctor women. Nurse women. Lawyer women. All I ask is that you just. respect. women.

*

The issue is that my bags of fat are not here for your own amusement. Yes, they’re pretty, and they’re pretty big, but when I go to the gym I am not there to add to your spank bank, or whatever the reason is that you have for staring at my tits in such an obvious and disgusting way.
To make matters worse, I was inches away from a man on the subway who was moaning every time he looked at my tits and another woman’s legs. How do I know this man is not unstable? I don’t. I told him to fuck off and moved two cars away from him. He then followed me, moaned a bit more and got off (no pun intended) at Bloor station, all the while looking at me with a demented smile on his face.

While telling a female coworker (not my direct coworker), her male coworker chimed in and asked what the big deal is, he does it all the time. Then he proceeded to tell me how when he went to the clubs he would place his beer bottle just so and then that way he could grab women’s boobs in the nightclub.
He didn’t particularly like it when I pointed out that he was sexually assaulting women and said it wasn’t like that. I again pointed out, and added, that sexual assault could result in jail time. Again, he assured me, with a smile on his face, that it wasn’t like that.

PLEASE READ THESE WORDS:
I am NOT talking about just checking out a girl’s body. I am not talking about glancing while her back is turned so you can check out her ass, or checking out her boobs while she’s got her head turned.
I am talking about craning your neck while trying to walk on the treadmill, to the point that you have to hang on to prevent you from falling, just because you want to see how my boobs look while I’m running. If you think it’s okay to do that then you, my friend, are a piece of shit for a human being and I hope you get stuck in a small room with a very big and scary person who thinks you should be their sexual bitch.

Men. I have to ask, is this behaviour okay with you? Do you not know what sexual harassment is? Do you not think that just because I have tits that I don’t hate every unwanted set of eyes looking at them?? If this were your daughter, would you stare at her tits the way you stare at mine? Would you be okay with men staring at her tits the way you stare at mine? Yes, there’s a huge difference between your daughter and my chest, but it comes down to respect. Treat me how you would treat your daughter.

But, because some men don’t get it, here’s what the problem is:
It’s not that you’re looking at my chest. Everyone looks at everyone else. That’s just human nature. Admire beautiful things.

The problem is that I shouldn’t be made to feel so uncomfortable, so disgusting in my own body, so disgusted BY my body, just because, just for being, a woman.
You see, every time a man disgustingly ogles a woman’s chest, or ass, or whistles at her just for walking down the street, we feel gross in our own bodies. Our bodies are bringing us shame. And no, you don’t see it like that because you are not me. You are not the woman who was raped, or the girl who sexually molested. You don’t understand. All you see is that you see a pretty girl, or a girl with a great rack, and you think about what they look like undressed. Or whatever your reasons are for looking at my chest for 30 seconds.

You see, it’s a power thing. It’s a physical thing. For the same reason that many men aren’t okay being hit on by a man: Because someone who is stronger than you could actually hurt you and make you do things that you do not want to do. Because you have.no.control.
Rape is a very real thing for women. And it has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re wearing and everything to do with the asshole behind the prick. It has everything to do with control and taking away from the woman, disrespecting the woman, taking away her power over her own body.

You may not have any respect for women because somewhere along the way, some woman treated you with such contempt that you now hate all women. Chances are it was your Mommy or the first woman you had sex with, and she made fun of your premature ejaculation. God only knows what your issue is. But I am done. I am done giving you the satisfaction of knowing you make me uncomfortable and I will now start calling you out every time you check out my tits in a disrespectful and disgusting manner. I will call you out publicly and I will publicly shame you. Why? Because if you’re going to try and take from me the power I have over my own body, then I will take it right back.

Dear Women

It occurred to me earlier just how valuable female empowerment is. And no, I don’t mean the kind that bashes men. I disagree with the bashing of anyone, especially those I love and live with.

No, I mean the kind of empowerment that lifts women up and helps them to see the value in themselves, as well as those around them.

I was having a conversation with a friend earlier and we spoke about how hard it is to parent in today’s society. In a world where children, tweens and teens, young adults and even adults alike are bombarded with negative thinking from all angles. To raise a child in a society that says a size 6 for a tall woman is fat. Where the words “fat shaming” even exist. Where judging someone based on their outward appearance alone is completely acceptable. And where racism and prejudice, sexism and agism, religious persecution even exist at all.

To have my friend tell me, despite my 35 years, grey hair and extra 60 pounds since she last saw me, that I am beautiful and that I am doing a great job, is empowering. To have her say to me, “I understand where you’re coming from” when I talk about how in my youth I thought, at that size 6, that I was fat. I subscribed to the media’s message of “thin is in”. I subscribed to the shamers. The haters. But now, in my 35th year, I know and feel, truly, that it is not the outside that matters but the in. That’s not to say that we don’t feel the pressures to surrender to the scrutiny the media* would have us believe is real beauty. Even Dove, with its real beauty campaign, is targeted at a certain demographic. That being a size 8. I’d love to see them using women of ALL sizes, not just thin ones.

When my husband tells me that I am beautiful, I believe him. And, to his discredit, I feel that maybe sometimes he says that when it isn’t the truth. I know that I have gained, in the 8 years we’ve been together, 20 – 30 pounds. Physically, I am not the woman he fell in love with. And there’s a certain amount of guilt that goes with that. I feel badly for him that his wife is the size she is.

But to have a woman tell me, “It’s okay. You’re doing a great job. You look fantastic.” It makes me realize that the words my husband tells me are true. Because guess what? Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love was right. He doesn’t leave the room when I take my clothes off. He isn’t repulsed. Though I may feel, wrongly, that he should be. He isn’t and he loves me still, is attracted to me still, as I am to him.
Despite the negative thoughts I feed myself with.

Those thoughts aren’t nourishing for the body, soul, and mind.

It is time, ladies, that you realize the media hates you and wants you to hate yourself.

When you look in the mirror today, smile at yourself. Flirt with yourself. Ask yourself, “How YOU doin’??” If someone holds the door for you, say thank you. If someone offers to help you with your bags or the stroller, say thank you and accept the help graciously. Just because you CAN do it yourself, doesn’t mean you should have to.

And then, in turn, offer those same kindnesses to strangers. Because what better way to go through life than to love?

The power is not in the fact that you CAN, but the KNOWLEDGE that you can. Flaunting your power merely lowers your own worth.

* by media I mean magazines that photoshop their photos and tell us how to get thin in 25 days and how to fit into that summer dress. The shame should not be on women for their size but for the magazines who would have us believe we are less than we are just because we don’t fit into their mold.