Romance While Feminist

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Romantic comedies are my go-to movies. For the longest time, 27 Dresses played in the background while I dealt with menial tasks and humdrum days. I am a complete sucker for formulaic meet-cutes and/or hate-to-love plotlines. But as time progresses, the common thread of phony-independent women starts to rise from the woodwork. All the tropes become obvious and I begin to feel hypocritical or even dirty for being such a fan.

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Love and romance is such an age-old mind boggler that it’s quite easy to turn to oversimplified scripts of what love should look and feel like. Of course, judging from my perpetual single-dom and fear of pretty much all serious emotion, I haven’t quite figured it out.

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But I believe that hope is not lost. Here is what I do know:

Self-esteem and self-love is key!

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Falling in love with someone else while you aren’t quite as loving to yourself is detrimental. A partner can help you grow and be your best self. But, if you go into a serious relationship without figuring yourself out first, it creates significant damage  mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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You become reliant on the validation of your partner and you become lost and self-loathing when they aren’t around. You may be solid as a unit, but what happens when you are left alone to your own devices?

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If you don’t love yourself first and be solid in your own worth as a human being, you can become a swallowed up and withered version of yourself, regardless of how gracious your partner is.

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I believe if I were ever to fall in love, it would be when I am sure of myself. I was born into this life alone as my own individual and I will leave this Earth as such. It’s a decidedly grim outlook, but it does teach me one thing:

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No matter how amazing my rom com meet-cute will be, I will always need to be the master of my own destiny. My future partner shouldn’t never complete me. Instead, we should supplement one another and bring out each other’s best sides.

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I may have a love affair with rom coms, but the important thing is that I learn to I learn to fall in love with the safety and security of my true worth.

Fall in love responsibly!

All artwork by Pebbles.

 

 

A Follow-Up on Pink

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Last Saturday, a friend of mine tasked me with recreating a tattoo from the most recent cinematic incarnation of The Joker for a Halloween costume. It was honestly one of the stranger things I’ve done:

Faux tattoo made with eyeliner drawn on a man's chest.

Photo by Pebbles

When it came time to set the “tattoo,” my friend produced an aerosol can of men’s hairspray. I made a face and asked him what sort of tomfoolery this was. They produce sex-specific hairspray? Isn’t hair just hair? (Albeit, we were using it for incorrect purposes…)

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Unamused, my friend says to me: 

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So, of course, already well aware of the issue and just a tiny bit peeved, I turned to the internet for a little research.

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I had written “Pink,” but it was time to dive deeper. Here’s what I found:

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This higher cost is the result of extra taxes specifically placed on women’s goods most commonly known as the “Pink Tax.”

With children’s toys, girls’ toys are priced higher but often have less capability than boys’ toys and are lower in production quality. Lower quality is also seen in other products such as female razors, where men’s razors can last month while female disposable razors dull out halfway through a shin.

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What’s more, advertising aimed towards female audiences tend to program a viewer to associate female products with emotional stability instead of a product’s quality and merit. This conditioning makes women reliant on material things for happiness and security. Psychology is a powerful weapon. 

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The marketing industry see women as their prime target. Once the women have been softened for the kill, retailers do not stop. They invest so much money into marketing to women that women ultimately pay the price. The Pink Tax covers the billions of dollars set to market women’s items and extra packaging and very minor variations in design. Often, the motto for companies when creating and marketing a product to a woman, despite its price, is to “shrink it and pink it.” That is, make it smaller and more delicate for the fragile women and make it, of course, pink!

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The assumption that women have nothing better to do than just shop stems from a deep rooted sexism that seeks to leave women as the subordinate sex. The extra few dollar for “women’s” hairspray goes a long way to continuing to promote this fiscal misogyny. With women making only a fraction of what men make in the workplace, it is no wonder that women are suppressed. Our patriarchy has created an endless loop of categorizing women as insecure shopaholics, spending billions to encourage materialism and taxing the conditioned materialism, only to give us a sole fraction to pay for the overpriced goods.

Ultimately, this must change becuase Lord knows I need that extra change for tuition… 

 

If you would like to read more on this issue, here are a few links you could follow:

  1. The Pink Tax: Why Women’s Products Often Cost More
  2. “Pink Tax” Forces Women to Pay More Than Men 
  3. How Much the “Pink Tax” Is Costing Women on Everyday Items 
  4. The Pink Tax Explained – What It Is and What You Can Do About It

All artwork by Pebbles.

Only Boys are Scientists

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A young girl in my Sunday school class asked me:

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Slightly horrified, I gaped as all her friends looked at each other sullenly and agreed. They sadly nodded to one another and sat in quiet contemplation. Being as they were in my classroom and about a foot away from me, I felt it was my duty to pick up these poor disillusioned younglings.

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Of course, in my mind, my intervention was almost divine and third-eye-opening. Unfortunately for me, it came out as a garbled mess of rushed words:

Nothey’renot!”

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Flustered, I looked the four fourth graders dead in their eyes and waited with bated breath as to view their reactions. One said:

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 To which, I replied: 

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And let me tell you, the wonder in these young girls’ eyes was almost too much to handle. It was as if, for as long as they’d been alive (approximately nine years) it hadn’t occurred to them that they had such power even as woman in such a male-oriented world.

Nine years is a long time!

Why do we systematically tell such precious souls that they can’t achieve what they wish to achieve? These little beans had no idea that they could be whatever they set their mind to and worked hard for! Insecure women stem from these little girls who are constantly told  that only men can do certain jobs and that women should take on occupations of the “gentler” notion.

But we can change this, y’all!

We can educate these young girls that they can be engineers, surgeons, doctors, astronauts, construction workers, boss ladies! They should never have the wonder that I saw in the eyes of my students last Sunday because they should have it instilled in them that they can do it all. It should not be a surprise but a  normal everyday thing: Girls are amazing, and we can do anything!

The truth has to take root from childhood and these young ladies need more than their Sunday school teacher to teach them that. We need to bring this kind of encouragement not only into classrooms, but into family homes, playgrounds and anywhere we go. A future of strong female leaders are waiting for their time to bloom. We owe it to them to start nurturing that seed.

Why?

Because scientists aren’t just boys.

 

All artwork by Pebbles.