Saturday, December 26, 2009

We've come a long way, baby....?

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Well, as much as I've actually matured, shall we say? ;)

While I'm all for 'equal pay for equal work' and letting men and women choose their occupations, etc, there's still something that bugs me. Let me say, from the outset, that I do NOT consider myself a feminist. I'm a woman. A wife. A mother -- often that job is first and foremost when it comes to my time and attention. I'm also a friend. A writer. A hard worker. And a dreamer.

I believe men and women are equally important in this world and in the grand scheme of things. I do not, however, believe that we are equal in everything. Men and women are inherently different in many ways -- mentally, emotionally and physically.

Not all women are the same, either. Some are nurturers at heart... but not all women carry that trait. Some men are heroic warriors, yet not all are good on the battlefront. It doesn't make them any less womanly or manly. It makes us unique individuals, as intended.

I'm proud of who I am. I also know, however, that I have a long way to go before I become everything I'm capable of being. What worries me, however, is the direction many women of the coming generation seem to be going.

I heard all about the 60s and 'free love' ... sorry, folks, but nothing, NOTHING on this earth is free. I also heard about being liberated and that if it was okay for men to have multiple sex partners -- than, hell yes! It must be okay for the women, as well.

I personally, am very old-fashioned when it comes to sexuality. I am also very conservative when it comes to relationships. But that's beside the point. My questions to women -- especially the younger women today -- are these:

When did become okay to exploit your body for all the world to see? Is this really what the women of the liberation movement fought for? To see their daughters or granddaughters half-naked and performing for any man who cares to look? Is this truly liberation and freedom ... or are women still allowing themselves to be used?

In my most humble opinion, this is not the way to garner true respect. This is not the way to gain liberation or freedom, for you are simply becoming a thing to be drooled over; lusted after; joked about. Sure, you have their attention, but for how long?

I have three daughters and two sons -- I don't want any of them to witness some of the displays of skin and sex that I've seen recently. Someone posted a photo of a doll, in a bikini, attached to the antenna of a truck like a pole-dancer. What does this tell anyone who sees it? Well, it tells me that the person in that vehicle doesn't respect women. They are seen as things, not human beings with minds and feelings.

Is that what young woman of today really want? Attention at all costs? Lust instead of love? Leering instead of respect?

You can be beautiful, ladies, without showing every inch of skin possible. You can be sexy without being crude and cheap. You can have respect from others -- if you show respect for yourselves.

I only hope more young woman start to care.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas lists...

I now know why Santa checks his list twice. I've had to check mine at least ten times to remember what I've bought for who!

But I wanted to share my other list with you this year. My list of things I love about Christmas:

1. The reminder of all the blessings I've been given in my life, especially the blessing of my faith. Life would be unbearable without it.

2. Christmas music -- there are so many lovely carols and songs. They always brighten my mood.

3. Christmas lights -- those are my favorite decorations. I love lights -- the colors, the twinkling, the way they brighten the dark winter nights.

4. Toy stores -- I love the kind of store that sells a million cool things that you never, ever see on television. Unfortunately, those unique stores are few and far between these days.

5. Christmas cookies -- I'm a regular cookie monster. ;) But simple, cut-out sugar cookies are my fave after chocolate chip.

6. Good will -- I like how this season reminds us all to think of others and to actually DO something for them. Only wish we could all think like this year round.

7. The smells of Christmas, including cinnamon, pine trees, and gingerbread. Oh, and don't forget baking ham! Yum!

8. Christmas movies and specials. My favorites include: A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott; Scrooge with Albert Finney; A Christmas Story; A Charlie Brown Christmas; and You've Got Mail.

9. Fudge... it's one of the few times a year that we make homemade fudge. Which is probably a good thing. ;)

& 10. My favorite thing about Christmas... the looks on the faces of my children when they see the tree Christmas morning and while they open their presents. I revel in the pure joy I see in their smiles... in their eyes.

I hope each of you finds something to rejoice in this holiday season. Be happy, be loving, be blessed.