Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Are Living in a Sexist Society

   Call this a rant. Call me a feminist. Say that I'm trying to get out some angry frustration because my four-year-old has surgery tomorrow.... I don't care what people may say about me now because the reality is I've been planning to post this for a few months.
    Many of you know I started my photo challenge early in 2014 (post a picture a day for a year). Well, I didn't make it a year (yet another goal unmet after my divorce....), but I did learn A LOT. Some pics were silly, stupid, racy, but they were all meant to be fun. 
    I did notice something strange early on though; some of the pics were garnering attention I hadn't expected--from women.....


    Even though my book sales began to soar, I had strangers emailing me; some were very kind and concerned while other were quite venomous. 
    A dear friend from long ago sent this to me:

Elisa,
Is this really how you want to be seen?  Your Facebook is public.  Your blog is public.  As a woman, if you aren't a good mother or wife, what are you? That's our place in this world.  Are these pictures showing the "YOU" you want to be and are? A good wife and mother? This isn't the person I knew.
Love ya, girl.

My response:

Dear Friend,
    I'm divorced--and I'm surprised you didn't notice that, since most of my pics are about divorce. I guess I wasn't the best wife on Earth, nor am I perfect--like God. Sometimes I suck at everything and succeed at nothing. Other days I hold the world by its tail.
    I'm a regular girl trying to get by. I'm a single mother, a momentary hero to my kids, an alright cook, a tired writer, a student without a job, an ex-wife, a washed-up businesswoman, an achiever AND a failure...but on the bright side, I think I have nice hair! 
  If you aren't a good wife or mother, what are you? YOU can be anything you want to be. It's foolish to impose limits on ourselves--limits that only exist in one's mind.
  I know you mean well, but I'm just trying to have fun. And--as a bonus--my book sales are climbing! This helps me have extra money to support my kids.
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Another email, from a reader of mine stated: 

  Some people might be offended by the pictures of you.

  Emails like this dumbfounded me especially after, with my boyfriend's permission, I started posting pictures of him in a swimsuit. Did anyone send upset emails? No.
    I even posted this pic, and got a response solely about my top--and to think HE wasn't even wearing one!
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    I guess what I'm trying to say is that responses like this, (and the fact that I've discovered how hard it is being a single mom) well, it's discouraging. Life is hard enough, being a woman, fighting to get a high-paying job, being treated like an object on some dates (before meeting Mike of course *blushing*)--even if I wore a turtleneck and baggy pants some men expected a kiss saying things like, "Come on, baby. Just one kiss, dinner was expensive!"
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   This post might seem ridiculous to most. But I just want to say that no matter your sex, your race, your creed...and for women: your pant size, your bra size, your orientation, your height, your outer "beauty," your tattoos, your naired lip--like mine--I don't care. Just be yourself. Make goals! Shoot for the freakin' stars. I'm an AWESOME example of failure. I'm failing right now. But I'm determined to outlast all the bullshit and keep moving forward, beyond my haters, nay-sayers, and all who don't really care. I hope somebody out there will "get" this post. I hope YOU will see your potential :)

Best to you--I'll post about Indy's surgery tomorrow,
Elisa

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