Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rational Women Must Lead The Way

In reading response comments to a political meme about Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer the other day, someone called her a "cunt".  There were more like that, different words, same meaning.  These are the people that in many ways, are ideologically like me.

I don't like Jan Brewer, and her cohort, Arizona State Representative Kimberly Yee (Yee co-wrote a bill t.  I don't want Mitt Romney to be my president and I REALLY don't want to see or hear Paul Ryan ever, ever again.  I don't agree with their world view.  I don't like that they are in positions of power.  I would like to see them driven out of office, hoisted on the petard of their own ridiculous words and deeds.  But calling them names is beneath us.  It obfuscates the narrative they are writing, that we are part of.  And calling them names does not hurt them, it only makes us, those who oppose them (fiercely and ferociously) look like bullying idiots.

The internet and social media are, for the most part, fantastic tools.  But we have come to rely on them as oracles - we forward posts, we post comments, we sit at our desks and read the words that others write, taking them as fact, not opinion.  On ALL sides of any given point.  We are a nation of pundits now, and while I believe that honest, intelligent discourse is crucial to a civilized society, finding the facts is like looking for a specific grain of sand in a Haboob.  There's just so much out there that is hearsay, it's hard to find original content.

Don't get me wrong - I do my share of all of it.  I get riled up, I get a bee in my bonnet just like you do.  Hell, I just referred to my coochee in a comment today in a friend's post.   I guess what I'm saying is I think we can do better.  I hope that I can do better.

Rational thought, factual debate.  We can do this.  I know we can.  Stick to the facts.  The facts are repugnant enough.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

#8 Embrace My New Superpower: Invisibility

I'll never forget it.  I was having a conversation with...?  What?  Wait?!  I have forgotten WHO I was having a conversation with, and I don't remember WHERE I was, but I'm okay with that because I DO remember what they said, and how I felt about it at the time, way back in my thirties:  "The older you get, the more invisible you become".

I was HORRIFIED!  The thought of being invisible was tragic, something to be fought against.  How would I ever be okay with not being looked at, or desired, or, heaven forbid, loved.  Someone tried to make me feel better about it, equating it to being like The Velveteen Rabbit, which just made me feel worse.  I don't care HOW loved I am, I never want to lose my button eyes and have to sew my seams together!

Recently however, I've been feeling so good, so comfortable in my own skin, and I realized that I was far happier in my body and in my life than I ever was in my 20's, or 30's or even 40's.  Rather than feeling self-pity for my wrinkles, my gray hair, I couldn't imagine myself without them.  I have been coloring my hair for years, and I did it again the other day, and when I finished I looked in the mirror and thought "this has to stop".  I don't look like I should.  For me, it's the last vestige of soaking in the pool of popular thought and culture that we should FIGHT aging, especially if we are women.  Years ago, living in LA, you could see a woman from the back and think she was in her twenties, but in the front there was so much plastic surgery, hair extensions, etc., that the only things you knew for certain were these two things:  a) she wasn't as young as she was trying to be, and b) she spent a LOT of money to get that way.  I understand that for many, it makes them feel youthful and viable, but I know for myself, it feels false.  Like I am trying to hide my true self.

But today, while talking to a dear friend, I had an aha moment.  By being invisible, I am finally able to see myself.

Being invisible is pretty amazing.  In fairy tales and movies, invisibility is a gift, a rare and powerful gift.  Being invisible doesn't mean you don't participate in life, it just means that more often than not, you are able to observe situations with more grace, more subjectivity than ever before in your life.  You realize that you don't need to compare yourself to anyone else, because no one else is even considering you.  It's a place of freedom and power.

AND it's the least strenuous of the superpowers.