Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

There are two significant causes leading to me writing this particular entry on this particular evening:
1) In less then two weeks it will be the 8th of March, also known as the International [Working] Women’s Day.
2) I am currently writing my first essay in Feminist Philosophy.

The past years I have been active in the planning and celebration of the International Women’s Day in Bodø, so it felt natural for me to be active in the group planning the celebration “Ladyfest” in Tromsø. (That’s right: Tromsø have enough people to actually have an entire festival… In Bodø we had a march for women’s rights and hardly anything else…) I’m glad that I joined the group to plan it, especially because the other women in the group are incredibly nice and supportive.

So, why do we demonstrate for women’s rights? A lot of people ask me about it, and especially in Norway where women are supposedly equal to men. And yet they make lower wages, work more part-time, are the victims of nearly all sexual assaults, have higher rates of eating disorders, and the list goes on. These are some of the reasons why I feel it’s important to keep working for women’s rights, and what’s more: It isn’t all about the norwegian women. It’s called the International Women’s Day.

Let’s face it: This is a man’s world. The dictators in Egypt, Libya and the rest of the world are men. The people who will get the power when these dictators are gone are also men. And they will decide the faith of women in their countries.
In South-American lands such as Nicaragua and Venezuela women are denied abortions. Even if they were raped, or victims of incest. In U.S.America Justin Bieber says to Rolling Stones-magazine that abortion is murder, while rape happens for a reason. Chavez [Venezuela] and Ortega [Nicaragua] are men. Justin Bieber is supposedly male. And they still get the right to speak about and rule over women’s bodies, rights and reproduction, when the women themselves aren’t granted the same chance.

Simone de Beauvoir, one of the best known feminist philosophers, critiqued psychoanalytics (such as Freud), scientists and biologists for using the male as the rule and the women as the exception. Freud even went as far as to say that all women at some point in their life feels like a mutilated man, and that something is missing about them. This is the well-known theory of “penis envy”. [Oh my god, she said penis, right?]

One would think that more than 50 years later this will be better. That the woman is an equal, and not just seen as a secondary creature with a secondary nature, but no. Today, if a woman chooses not to give birth (like Simone de Beauvoir did herself) she is often spoken down to for it. And if a woman, or a girl, chooses to speak up for her beliefs she is automatically labeled a tomboy or a problem child.

The problem I see with the world, and that Simone de Beauvoir also saw, is that women are confined to a certain way of life and thought that people try explaining with science, but that really is nothing more than a social construct. And men uses this social construct to keep their power. This is gender, not sex, and women who don’t fit in are pushed out and away. No wonder it’s hard being a teen-age girl, right?

-“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
-Simone de Beauvoir
And now I’ll return to my writing.

-Frida

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Lately I have nauseated the people around me, and probably to some extent the readers, by being insufferably happy. The reason for my happiness is both simple and complex.

Simple version:
I’m in love.

More complex version:
The change in my life, when I moved to Tromsø, gave me a new kind of energy. The new subjects I’m studying are perfect for me. The feeling of finally being in controll of my life and getting somewhere gives me reason to get up in the mornings. And the man who is the object of my most obvious love is kind, caring and (for some reason I still can’t quite grasp the concept of) in love with me as well. Shortly: I’m in love with my life, my subjects and a man.

Oscar Wilde said to “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” And being a man who sacrificed his social standings, his career and his health all for “The love that dare not speak its name”, another man (which was a criminal offence in England in the 19th century), I’m guessing he knew a little something about love.

My life felt like that sunless garden for some time. It is a cliché to say that love shone a new light, but guess what: There’s a reason to clichés becoming what they are. And the greatest part of it is: The more I love my life, the better it seems to get.

This incredibly happy and optimistic submission is not only my way to force my happiness down your throats, but also an attempt to outweigh my previous life-categorized posts of a more emoistic character (not a word, I know, I made it up…) and to let you all know that I have found happiness. For now, at least, and hopefully one that will last, no matter what the future holds.

Buddha told us that happiness never decreases by being shared, using the metaphor that “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” I try my best everyday to make people around me happy. I smile, I try not to be mean, and I try to be the best person I can be. I believe that it is everyones shared duty to make the world a better place. And now I feel it returning to me: The joy and the happiness I wish for others are filling my heart, making it even easier for me to smile and be nice. And I can tell you something: This is the best way to be happy. Be happy, share happiness and it will return to you.

Those are my words of wisdom and sickening smugness for the night. I actually did mean for this post to be funny and upbeat, but I guess you’ll have to settle for what you get.

-Frida

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