WIP IT

Young Women Leaders

Archive for the category “Inequality”

there will always be something

I’ve felt like I am not doing all that I can to move forward. But it hit me the other day: discrimination and injustice will not disappear in a moment. Sadly, of course, but at least I know that there will always be work for me to do. And that is strangely comforting.

Wise words

“With being a boss comes being alone. With being a woman and being a boss comes being even more alone. And the higher up you get, the more obvious it becomes.”
– Ciss Elwin Frenkel, publisher for the Swedish worker´s union Ledarna (the Leaders)´s magazine chef (boss), writes an editorial about her experiences and the vulnerable reality for women bosses.
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Slutshaming pt 2

Hey again, here´s a great video by Laci Green, and she is doing a great job arguaing against slutshaming, so I will let her talk:

Thank you to Belinda for this!

Slutshaming

I am on instagram and every day I see many young girls uploading pictures of themselves in positions I assume are meant to be sexually suggestive/ “sexy” posing, etc. Of course we all want to be liked and noticed, but it makes me sad to see that it is so common for girls to put themselves out in this way. BUT it is their right to put up whatever THEY want, it´s nobody´s business to tell them what to do.

Even worse than these pictures/videos is the the slutshaming that goes on, where people comment on these pictures, or even are the ones putting them out with out the girl´s consent. A dear friend sent me this link and I suggest you listen to it, it´s disturbing and sad, but it is the truth about what is going on out there.

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/07/168812354/online-shaming-a-new-level-of-cyberbullying-for-girls

It is definitely some heavy material you have in your hands when choosing to publish sexually suggestive/ naked pictures of young girls or women. Of course it is awful to become published on a website this way, but even worse when people start commenting on the pictures, about you being a slut, the way you look, etc, etc. People are letting these women down. Maybe they posed for a boyfriend/girlfriend, thinking nothing of it, doing it as an intimate thing. And then they are being published for the whole world to see. Or they took the pictures for themselves, for their own reasons, and somebody steals and puts them up.

Where does this hate come from? To try and destroy somebody´s life and make her feel awful in her own body?

Hanna

PS. Please watch this awesome woman.

Don´t f-ing tell me what to do! I smile whenever I want to.

My apologies for the above suggestion that you should smile because you are at my site. Geez, my blog is good, but that´s no reason you should be smiling. My explanation is that this comes with the default settings for this blog and really I should change it asap.

For some reason, other people sometimes tells me to smile. It is sometimes in situations when I am mad, when I´m angry disappointed or sad. Aka situations when I REALLY do not want to smile. It can also be in other situations, as a good-bye in an e-mail or such. You know what happens when people tell me to smile? I GET PISSED OFF!
Look, I am aware that I am not in a good mood, or maybe just in any mood except that I am not smiling. Smiling will definitely not make this mood go away, it just makes me feel stupid that I would be such a shallow person that just by smiling, all the bad stuff would go away.

Don´t mess with me.

Don´t mess with me.

Yes, I know that smiling per se makes us happier, and that a forced smile is better than none for that, but I do not want to smile when somebody tells me to, because it is my friggin´ right to decide when to smile and when not to. Don´t tell me what to do!

The other thing is that women are expected to smile more, and also do, than men. When a person is smiling, they are perceived as less threatening, and I think that is why us women are expected to smile more than men. We smile when we meet new people, when somebody do us a favor, when we run into friends, when there´s babies/kittens/cartoons around (or at least we are supposed to). Men are just never expected to smile. They can just go along with a straight face and are seen as normal people, while women who do not smile enough are seen as boring, aggressive, disturbed or not feminine.

PUH-LEASE! Don´t tell me what to do, and don´t expect me to smile upon being TOLD to do so. Then I will do it even less. Smiling is in one way to ask for acceptance and I am currently practicing not smiling (just check out my profile picture for this blog).

(BUT a smile in the right situation can change the whole thing. Makes another person less aggressive, way great thing to do when flirting and to give to a person that actually do deserve a smile. So I´m saving those smiles and holding them becak when they just come automatically and stereotypically.)

I guess you´re ok...

I guess you´re ok…

Ya look good when you smile AND when you do not.
Hanna

Yes, it´s complicated to have a sex life when you don´t have words for it

Last night I was at a meeting for women who wanted to get involved with the local young women´s shelter. Well, it´s not a shelter, more of a chat/ phone line for young women, but that was the best translation I could get. I got in late bc of course my train was late even though I left work early (damn you trains/SJ/växlar).

Anyhow, not only did I get more information on how to be able to support young women in my hometown, I also met a lot of new people, young, older, more interested in looks, less interested in looks, stable, less stable, skinny, larger, etc etc women. I LOVED IT. It shakes me, but it´s good to see that there is no clear definition of what a woman “should” look like or be like and I think it was beneficial to all of us.

For me, it has been a long-term goal to get involved with young women´s groups/shelters/chats/phone support because I know I have something to contribute in a positive way to these women. Junior high, and the beginning of high school was absolute shitters for me because I was not popular, didn´t feel like I fit in, wanted to date somebody but truly could not feel a thing for those guys around me. All of these things made me feel ugly/stupid/fat/lame/out of it/insecure, etc. etc. BUT I have lived through all of it and because of that I know what it feels like AND can maybe be of service towards the once who are still living it.

One of the things that the leader of the organization mentioned when talking about problems young women may face is the lack of describing sexual assault or their own sex life because they do not have a word for their own sex! I can totally identify with that, so few words are actually even usable when talking about a woman´s sex that in the end we might just avoid talking about it altogether.

That sucks! How is one supposed to put your experience or feelings into words when you don´t even have a word for it???
You tell me? Word choices? There are so many words for a man´s genitals I can use (without being too embarrassed) but very few for women´s. WAG is what I used to say in English. You have a vagina, you got WAG (not swag ;)). But is that one ok?

Hanna

Thank you for the support on “Scaring the Shit out of Bros”

When I was about to publish the above mentioned post I hesitated for a while because I was scared of what people might think. I was scared that I would be seen as making fun of bros (which… I actually was…) and that especially people I went to college would think that I overreacted.

But then I realized that I really do believe and agree with what I wrote, and there´s no need for me to censor myself in this. If you think I was wrong, please discuss with me or we can agree to disagree and not be friends.

What really made me happy was the response I got from people. Some sent me messages on FB, some retweeted, some liked it and one of my (male) friends sent me a text that “we are going to talk so much about equality, just so you know!” next week when I meet up with some friends. Also super happy that one of my friends from college asked me to do a guest entry for his blog (more to come on that), especially since I thought of him as a male that could handle being around strong women when I wrote the entry.

Anyhow, THANK YOU for supporting!
Hanna

This is an important movie

How to scare the shit out of bros by being a strong woman

I am giggling a bit when I write this, mainly because I think it´s a funny story but it´s part sad giggle because this story does make a little sad (and a wee bit angry). I will say to all the bros out there: don´t be offended if this story doesn´t apply to you, be happy.

Me being stereotypically Amurrican in 2011.

Me being stereotypically Amurrican in 2011.

Imagine this: summer of 2011, it´s friggin´ HOT every day in Ohio, USA, we keep sweating, staying inside for work and occasionally going for a drive to the nearby reservoir. I have just begun making friends with this fellow student, we can call her Al (mainly because that is her name). So Al is this awesome woman, she´s smart and funny and powerful and good-looking. She can, like me, see that being a senior woman in college will not really offer any chances of romance/dating/relationships because all guys are… well, let´s say more interested in beer and being bros. (Not all of them, I promise, but the grand majority of boys at our college.)

We talk about our grand dreams of taking over the world and being able to make it all happen, despite the claims on us as women to take care of a family, raise kids and such. I mean, how do you really do this if you want to start a career??? And mind you, in the US it is much harder than in Sweden. We planted the seed of this organization called WIP (that this blog is named after) with our friend Layzoor on a roof of a dorm drinking beer (yes, I can now admit we did this). We talk about the hookup culture and binge drinking at our college that really doesn´t do anybody any good. We can see all these amazing young women in leadership positions on the weekdays – turning into very drunk people and making decisions they regret on the weekends.
Look, no judgments on women wanting to have fun and hook up, but I saw more women being dissatisfied with this way of living than satisfied. There´s a difference here, the women were often hoping that these encounters on the weekends would lead to something more than just the casual hookup. The boys in general seemed happy with it (not saying that they were.)

So we did occasionally frequent the local bar (one of three bars within walking distance to campus), not so much because of their scary dangerous drinks, but to show that we´re around, meeting up with friends and mostly avoiding alcohol. It´s hot and humid out there, and people are mostly just sweaty 24-7 (this has no point to the story, just providing you with the feeling of stickiness we had most of the time).

So, we´re at the bar, sitting outside at some tables, having a Blue Moon, me and Al. Talking about why gender stereotypes are bad for both men and women, and how we could somehow change this, but struggling with the HOW? (I can´t exactly remember what we talked about, but general stuff that concerns strong women, go figure, haha)
Enter: the bros.
(For those of you that are not super aware of American college life, the bros are basically male students, generally either belonging to a fraternity, an all-male club, or some kind of sports team where you spend a lot of time hazing each other and being stereotypically “manly.” They´re very common and for those of you that are more interested I would recommend reading “Guyland – the perilous world where boys become men” by Michael Kimmel http://www.guyland.net/ Look, they´re not all bad, but a lot of the culture they bring is not exactly great.)

The bros are sitting down with us because we know them. They get a beer or something and we welcome them. They are pretty loud. Me and Al are super interested in the topic we are discussing (again, gender and equality), and continue talking, making sure to not leave these people out of our conversation. After an extremely short period of time (we´re talking 15 second here, friends) I feel a tension in the air. The bros (there´s about eight of them) seem slightly uncomfortable, they are turning in their seats and looking around for nobody in particular. They become quiet. One after another they make excuses to get a beer or “I HAVE to go play pool” or just simply disappear. They do not return.

We continue talking, trying to figure out why these guys left. Was it because they were threatened by the topic? Because they did not find it interesting? Because they thought we were nuts? Or maybe because they just went to the bar to play some pool and wear their shorts low and their hats backwards and drink a lot of beer and HANG OUT WITH THE bros DAMMIT and all you can talk about is gender equality???!!!

Hey, yes, this was one of the first things me and Al did together in our friendship, and yes, we would look back at this throughout the year (and laugh) and really pinpoint it as an example of why we didn´t really see any men during our last year of college. But it saddened us too because we wanted to have this conversation with our peer male students and talk about it as an issue for ALL students. Unfortunately, I only met a few men in college that were comfortable discussing these questions.

What do YOU think? Is masculine and feminine stereotypes hurtful to society?
H to the A to the NN to the A

PS. I am still looking to meet a man that is capable and interested in discussing gender stereotypes, inequality and what the roles of masculinity and femininity does do our society. A man of quality is not threatened by (talking about) equality. 

Women in the media

So after watching part of The Two Towers I needed to share this great project with you. “Miss Representation.” As we know, Lord of The Rings isn´t exactly filled with women. Yeah, I saw one that is actually part of the story and then a few pass by as mothers, daughters, nobody special. Don´t judge me for not remembering names here, I don´t really remember any other names than the ones mentioned relatively frequent. Plus I was knitting at the time (yes I´m skilled) and had to make sure art was really created.

Last year I co-founded an organization called Women In Power (WIP) at my college and we hosted a screening of this movie. It points at many important thing that needs to be talked about with women in the media. If you ever get a chance to watch it, do it! There are so many amazing and inspiring women in this movie, plus a few men.
(Jackson Katz, an expert on masculinity, is in the movie. I am so sad that it is so rare to see men like him. He is amazing, and if you are interested in masculinity I would recommend his film Tough Guise.)

 

PS. I have already seen The Two Towers, so I really just watched the beginning and end of the movie because I watched Mama Mia! in the middle. Talk about women in there! Meryl Streep, you´re my hero.

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