10.30.2013

The Rebuttal

This evening, a good friend sent me the link to a well written but highly outlandish blog post. Now from one blogger to another, I too, struggle with what topics are acceptable for the internet ocean, where's the fine line? Usually the possibility of sounding like an ignorant ass keeps me from writing every little thing that pops into my head. But what do I know, Matt Forney? 

I'm only a confident woman.

Matt Forney recently wrote a blog post which lobbied against young women having a vote of confidence. Or in other words- a fighting chance in the society we live in. Now, for those of you that know me, reading this was hard to swallow. Not only am I sometimes too confident (dare I say it) but I also take great pride in my emotional and financial independence. I have never thought and will continue to neglect the assumed opinion of men who feel that these qualities make me a "man with a vagina." Because until a man can give birth... I don't feel like that's a valid call out Mr. Forney.

According to Matt Forney the following are the main flaws in today's modern woman:


1. Most girls have done nothing to deserve self esteem.

2. Insecurity is integral to femininity.

3. Women don't want to have high self esteem.

So, I shall respond in kind.

1. The very idea of SELF-esteem is that it comes from within. One does not have to earn an organ upon birth, and the same goes for feeling good about yourself. Do I refuse to acknowledge that we live in a society that harps on the fairy tale notion that each of us in unique and in Matt's words, "schpecial?" No. This is 100% true.  But in turn, his same argument that most women don't contribute much to society can be held true for men. After all, I don't see very many Hilary Clintons or Ghandis on a daily basis. You know why? Not everyone is going to be successful. Actually- most of us won't be. But that's not a gender issue, that's a flaw within the American people, where belly aching and bravado count as a contribution.

2. I don't think any boyfriend I've ever had has said to me, "You know KB... you're not very feminine." Maybe I should call each of them up and do a double check. As a woman, I believe and preach that femininity is an ever evolving idea. There is no way of measuring femininity and no real benchmark for what a feminine standard is. Insecurity is a quality derived from lack of confidence...not getting your period once a month. Saying insecurity is integral to femininity is the same as saying my breasts make me a woman. Guess what-- I know a handful of breast cancer survivors that would love to educate you on femininity. And needing a man has nothing to do with it. Me being able to pay my bills, buy a car, travel, and support my lifestyle does not make me less of a woman. Rather it makes me a woman worth knowing.  To any man who would prefer me to be insecure so he can appreciate my femininity, I say to him that Target sells doormats that don't require dinner and a show.

3. Women don't want to have high self esteem. Well...thanks for letting me know Matt! This one made me laugh, as this chauvinistic nature of telling women what they should want is exactly what makes you less of a man. You can ask every ex boyfriend of mine that I was not "crying out for a man who will wound [my] self esteem." Typically I break up with them...so maybe I missed the memo at the last "Women Wanting Wounds" conference.  When a man is disrespectful to me I give them a piece of my mind--not a piece of my heart.

Still arguing his case for women wanting wounds, he goes on to point out that several popular female artists sing songs complaining about men and heartbreak. OK Matt... but does this cast a negative light on men or women? Billy Joel, Van Morrison, and Elvis wrote about women... so I'm not really following this one. I could go on a tirade on what this says about male rap artists-but I digress.

The bottom line is that self esteem is not an attack on femininity.  It is taking a traditional notion and making it progressive. Having a self worth does not make me less of a feminine woman, just like bravado does not make you a masculine man.  I think it is time my fellow writer, that you analyze masculinity as much as you have femininity. Because I can assure you that as a woman, I do not find belly aching and brazen bravado to be very attractive. I find those qualities to be the problem and you are not a part of the solution.

I'm a woman who has made a life for herself, runs a business, and prefers to walk in stilettos. 

If this makes me "un-feminine" in the eyes of mankind...
well then I hope the men of America have great jobs. 
Because me needing you would be pretty damn expensive.

xox

KB.


10.22.2013

In a Show Me State of Mind

But if the bright lights don't receive you...
Well, turn yourself around and come on home.

It's funny how sometimes we don't realize how broken we are. And then, unexpectedly someone reaches out, puts their hands on you, and says, "Tell me everything." That's what happened to me last week. I received a phone call from a friend I have not spoken to in a long time. And no--this was not an ex boyfriend. They called out of nowhere, heard my voice, took a breath and said, 
"Kris...tell me every god damn word of it."  

And so I did. 

I love my memory. I love the sepia tint my mind gives the movie clips that flicker across my eyelids. I love the words I use to share my stories, dipping my tongue in ink as I recount moments that made my heart soar. But lately words have failed me and I've been left to watch with wide eyes for actions in the present. The memory is a beautiful and wicked thing, for it casts a biased veil on the now. You see the pages of what has been done instead of what will be...and you lose yourself in rereading books that have been shelved.

I will not deny that I'm a romantic. I live for the moments where my heart is next to the person who was meant to take care of it.  Because that's what this life is about...finding someone who loves your weird. For me, that weird is burying my head in a laptop and typing endlessly until my fingers plead for rest. My weird is staying up late and painting portraits in letters instead of brushstrokes. My weird has always been centered around the words coming out of a person's mouth. But words can travel by pencil, paint, or pen. Words have a way of slipping through the cracks in the movie theater called memory.

Growing up I would always promise my Dad that I'd get a college scholarship. This was usually my way of convincing him to give me the money he'd use for tuition so that I could buy a prom dress. My Dad is a smart guy sometimes, as his reply was always the same...

"I'm from the Show Me state...so don't say it...show it."

For the record, my father is not from Missouri. But he's not one to turn down a good quote due to birthplace. Lately those words have been pulsing in my ears. Show me. What a powerful demand, and an aggressive challenge to pose to someone.  Yet, it's validity in the world we live in could not ring truer or more necessary. It is easy, effortless even, to put letters and sounds in a pretty picket fence sentence. It is hard, grueling even, to show and act on the words we sprinkle on the ground everyday. When we act, we illustrate ownership over the words we say because we are bringing them to life. 

Actions are the life providing organs to words.  Actions are the lungs, heart, and brain, pumping blood into something once lifeless-and now ripe with color and promise.

So I propose a challenge to each of you and most importantly to myself.
Do something this week that gives your thoughts a heartbeat. 
Do something that will provide a memory without words and only acts.

I can't promise you perfection, but I can promise you that a soul thrives better on actions, 
than it does an alphabet.

xox

KB