I have so much to write, yet I am unsure as to how coherently I am able to put it down. I want to begin with a few words on the WOW festival which my sister and I went to last month and I have to say it was an eye opener and I certainly plan on going next year. One of my favourite talks was called Who Owns Your Body in which an array of subjects from public breastfeeding (not allowed in America- what the hell) S&M, 50 shades of grey to the portrayal of women in music videos had been discussed . I also thoroughly enjoyed a talk and readings of Emily Dickinson by Juliet Stevenson, gosh that Dickinson was something. Strong minded, strong willed and a prolific writer utterly ignored in her own time.
Now I have a confession to make, one I in fact made to my sister whilst leaning against a pillar in the Southbank hall whilst she tried to work out if she was going to purchase the WOW necklace or settle for a tote bag (she chose the tote bag, you can never have too many). I told her that I’ve never been comfortable in a room full of women. I think many women understand me when I say this. I’ve always felt the female gaze was one filled with judgement. I’d wonder, “is my hair being judged?” are my clothes being judged?” “Am I cool enough?” and so on. Truly ridiculous, shallow worries but I had carried them with me since secondary school….until I became a mum. And there I was, surrounded by women, Amazonian like women and I finally felt like I belonged to this tribe of women and that in itself was an amazing revelation. And so, the question is, what did I take away from this experience?
. A deeper outrage at the injustices toward women, they are there at nearly every level.
. A better understanding of my fellow woman
. More control over my own body since turning toward the mooncup which by the way takes a while to get used to after the initial fear when you first try to take it out and you think your insides are going to fall out. But after practice, knowing I wasn’t having chemically treated products in my body or being exploited in terms of cost by the tampon industry, I felt I was being in charge of this powerful, and positive thing called menstruation! How ruddy incredible is the body (minus the pain- embrace it- ovuuuuuuulation).
. A stronger need to show my daughter that a woman is capable of anything. I’ve already got a strong baseline for this as my own mother is a true warrior; she is shy and humble but has always taught my sister and I to get jobs and rely financially on ourselves as well as other motherly wisdom.
Of course there is so much more I could talk about, but I’ll leave it at that and say, give the WOW festival a go, take your sisters, friends, mothers, mother in laws and husbands.
Instagram & Blogs
A lot of the time, it’s not real. There is an odd blur between the staged and what actually is. It’s ok as long as you know that half of what you’re looking at, half of the staged perfection is simply an illusion which gets taken far too seriously. Blogs are full of posts on the beautiful only, the perfect wife a lot of the time, a small band of children, beautifully decorated homes, freshly baked goods set up on the most beautiful table without a child in sight, Is that child in the corner nestled on top of a mountain of laundry watching Peppa pig on the ipad?
Of course, blogging has changed dramatically, it has become , for some their income. We are sold products continuously. We have never been such easy targets for advertising, oh hold on a second, I must get those shoes for my toddler, at lease 10 parents on instagram have bought them for their kids…my daughter needs them godammnit…do you see what I mean? I’ve lost count of how many times I heard someone say “I must have this!” I tell you what I must have…air!
The vast amount of these trends/illusions that are taken too seriously can lead to a slight inferiority complex and a sense of alienation. I’m not saying I’m perfect, that I don’t subscribe to these images because of course my eyes go all googly for that one moment, then I minimise the screen and get on with real life, my pile of laundry in the middle of the living room which my daughter emptied out so she could jump into the basket and eat her lump of chocolate in peace!
But of course, there is a beautiful flip side to these on-line communities. I’ve been lucky enough to converse with like minded people/mothers who have offered vast amounts of support and advice in moments of need and for those people, I am ever grateful.
Well, I started this post a few weeks ago as I came down with the chesty flu thing my daughtr spread with love and lost my train of thought! It’s a bit of a mish mash of a post but there you have it! Maybe the next one will be a bit more coherent. Since I started writing it, I’ve;
*Read a whole book, it was a gut wrenching read but an incredible insight into early onset Alzehimer’s
*Greeted spring by getting burnt in the sandpit!
* I also bought these two books as we tend to follow and enjoy all aspects of the seasons as a family and practically live outside. My little one can name, Parakeets, robins, magpies, blosssom etc. I’ve always felt there is a great importance in being grounded in our environment and have hopes of raising a wild child!