My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

The blame game April 9, 2016

 

 

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I’m diverging a bit here, so follow me down my minds rabbit trail if you will please.

 

I was strolling through Pinterest, when I get to one pin full of dental shirts.  *thank you dentist man for your profession invading my pinterest, fb and every other feed, I hope you get sewing supplies suggested*  Very cute shirts too mind you.  Things like “This dentist is the greatest dad”, or “This hygienist has the greatest patients”.  Me, being me, seeing several comments, made me wonder what would make  you comment on something like that?  People saying “Ooh how cute?”  or, “That would be great for so-and-so!”?

No.  No, to my surprise it was someone commenting on how misogynistic it was that this company would assume that the dentist was male, and the hygienists and assistants were female.  (I won’t even go into the statistics on the fact that yes, majority at this time are male and yes, majority are women….)  A quick click on the product page showed that every item (short of the mom/dad shirts) were unisex.  Meaning, that both male and female dentists were represented, and both male and female hygienists or assistants could have the greatest patients.  After pointing this out, a barrage of comments pointing out that the company shouldn’t assume that a male is the dentist and shouldn’t advertise that way, as though they had unlimited space to advertise every product available.  And that men are the reason why most women choose to be hygienist or assistants over dentists.

My argument that more women than men are now becoming doctors only infuriated the commentators more.  However, I didn’t have time for this… I have a life.  However, my mind would drift back while doing random jobs around the house.

In the U.S., I can get any degree I choose.  I can go into any profession, even to the front lines of battle.  If I choose to hold the same hours as a man, I can make the same amount of money.  I can own a gun.  Vote.  Leave my house whenever I want without an escort.  Drive.  Buy a house.  Choose to have, or not have children.  To get married.  What ever the heck I want!

The only time I’ve ever had a man tell me I couldn’t do something, was at Home Depot.  I’m not sure what’s up with Home Depot?  Anytime I got a wild hair up my backside, it was a bunch of guys telling me to do it.

I’ve only had a few women tell me the same thing.  Usually being told  “You don’t look right for this position.”,  “You aren’t smart enough.”,  “You’re too small.”,  “Girls don’t do that.”,  “Why would you want to do that?”, the lovely  “Don’t you have a husband for that?”, or  “Wouldn’t you rather….?”.

Or in this case, it’s blamed on men.  “Men won’t let you.” “They don’t become hygienists, assistants or nurses because they’ve been told it’s not ‘manly’, whatever that means?”  What does that say to those male nurses that have been working on my son’s arm?  Or the male assistants my husband works with in the Navy?  How misandrist of you!  (I want brownie points for that new word btw!)

 

Not falling for that here in the U.S. or any other first-world nation in 2016!  Or, even since I was a child and Sesame Street showed women as doctors, police officers, CEO’s, business owners or astronauts.  Nope.  Whatever you choose to become, it’s your choice, no one else’s.

 

 

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Mind you, I was pondering this while researching underwater welding careers.  And while rewiring the heater in my van, replacing it’s door handle, wiring in new lights into my kitchen and researching some new tools for the counters I’m about to build.  All with the help of men who were cheering me on, coaching and pushing me to try something I hadn’t done before.  “Of course you can do it?  Why couldn’t you?”  The words of a misogynistic patriarchs telling me what roll I should play in society?  Or words I’ve been hearing from my society for the last 40 years?

Unless you can actually point to a resume, college application or some form of documentation that says you were denied, or steered from a certain career, merely because of your ta-ta’s, I’m not falling for this evil patriarch stuff.  What you choose to do, in our current first-world society, is all on you babe!

And me telling you that there is no hidden misogynistic patriarchy holding you to a certain position in today’s society is not tearing you down, it’s opening your eyes to all the things you are capable of.

 

You, are the holders of society – You hold society in your bellies.  You hold it at your breast.  You hold it on your lap.  You hold it on your shoulders.  You hold it in your arms.  You hold it in your hearts. You shape the world around you.  Not men.  You.  A woman.

 

You aren’t being held down by men.  You’re being held down by your excuses.

 

 

blame

 

 

You really want to rock the world – go volunteer to help some girls in the third-world.  Now *that* would really be changing something!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl gifts November 14, 2015

Filed under: Family,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 7:55 pm
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Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

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I started my Christmas shopping tonight.  I started making several gifts months ago, but not everyone digs hand-made’s and I’m down with that.  I know what to buy all the non-handmade gifts people on my list.

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Except for my oldest niece.  I’ve got nothing!

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We all have those two or three, or ten people who can either buy whatever they want, so you’re sort of useless, unless you can buy those few things they can’t afford.  Or they just don’t like anything.  Or you are so polar opposite of them, that anything you buy will be galaxies away from anything they would ever want.

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We have a few of each on our list.  Gift cards for coffee are usually what they get.  Or, like my father-in-law, a golf shirt.  Every year.  *sigh*  I’d really like to branch out, but sometimes you just go with what you know works!

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Last year, I totally scored with my two younger nieces.  I mean, how can you go wrong with rub-on glitter tattoo’s, and hair chalk!  C’mon – I rocked that one!  Yes, they’re both under 10.  And sometimes… majority of the time, so is my brain, so I totally nailed it!

Speaking of nails… I thought “13-year-old girls like to do their nails, right?”, so I bought my oldest niece a full nail kit.  It had everything a girl would need to do her nails!  She is after all the girly girl of the three, so I thought I was being pretty darn awesome!

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Yeah, not so much.  The kit shows up one day before we have to leave to meet with the whole family, and upon opening the package for wrapping, I realize that this is NOT what was pictured!  First, glitter was *everywhere*, which for me is a bonus, but I hear most people think of it as some sort of problem.  Herpes of the craft world?  And “the finger”.  The boys loved this!  This bent, pale index finger.  There may, or may not have been some chasing going on with said “finger” before it made it to its wrapping.

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So, one crooked finger on a stand, to supposedly practice your “nail art”.  Along with several packages of false nails, glitter to add to the paint, jewels, files, those little foam toe thingies to keep your toes behaving, those pokey sticks and a few other nail items that I have no idea what they do.

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It sounds way better here than what showed up, I swear.

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I packed my sad little gift into the nicest container I could find, hoping it would somehow magically make it look amazing, or at least like it did from the website.

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When it comes time for her to open it, I spied around the bodies between us.  If it were possible for crickets to have chirped on Christmas morning… they would have chirped their last and then shot themselves.

Quietly she pulls “the finger out” and quietly places it back in the packaging.  She begins to look around as though there had to be a hidden camera.  I have to applaud her here, this normally very loud, very opinionated 13-year-old could have shouted out, somewhat rightfully, “This is what you got me?”.  Silence.  She tucked it away and later very politely said thank you for her gift.

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*FAIL*

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I refuse to have that happen this year!

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I have been searching website after website looking for what 14-year-old sporty, girly girls like?  Most websites either tout uber expensive items that no kid really needs and is WAY over my budget, or infantile “learning games” that a kid that age would think were completely lame.  And I’m not buying her clothes from stores that sell thongs to 10 year old’s!

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“Gift card?”

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NO!  I refuse to give yet another gift card!  I should know my nieces well enough to know what they want!  Right?  Oy!

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So here I sit, several hours later, with everyone else’s gift found in the process of finding her’s.

My list is now finished, except the person’s I started out looking for.

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Think she’d want a bra?

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bra

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KIDDING!

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Body shaming vs. Boy shaming September 5, 2015

Filed under: Boys,Family,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 3:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

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For 20 + years I’ve been surrounded by nothing but masculinity.  Excluding my fury “girls” I know very little of the feminine side, short of what I know of my tom-boy selfness.  My thoughts and actions tend toward the more masculine side with their own feminine flare (glitter power tools anyone!).

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With this in mind, I have a slightly unique perspective into both worlds.

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My FB feed is a lot of news; I’m a bit of a news junky.  And a lot of it lately has been on “body shaming” of girls for various reasons, among them for the way they want to dress.  They want to wear, what they want to wear.  And I for one love this idea since I have my own unique style… that is until I see what they want to wear and why.

I fully agree no adult should be told what to wear.  You’re an adult and make your own choices in life.  If you want to walk down the street with a giant pink foam cowboy hat, a glitter leotard and a blue boa, I’m all for it – I mean really, who *wouldn’t want to see that*!  Even if you walk down the street neked – it’s your right.  However…. you cannot tell me, not to look.  Or for that matter, form an opinion on said attire.  Neaner-neaner – it’s my right, same as yours.  This also means dealing with the consequences of that choice – say a lost job because your boa keeps getting caught in the meat grinder?

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Schools are asking girls to please refrain from certain outfits for various reasons (and boys for that matter) and they and their parents are getting their knickers in a wad because it’s “shaming” their body.  “They shouldn’t have to hide under burkas!  And boys should just learn to look the other way.”  *evil boys*  To a certain extent, you’re right.  Not on the body shaming, but that they shouldn’t have to hide under burkas, and boys should learn to look the other way.  But in all honesty, most girls dress a certain way, not to impress their friends or because it’s comfortable (seriously, are “Daisy Dukes” even remotely comfortable?”) but to have boys look.  A 5-year-old wearing spaghetti straps is not looking for boys attention, she’s comfortable.  It’s warm.  This is what she wears.  A 16-year-old, wearing “Daisy Dukes”, with a slashed, backless top with, or worse, without, a bra, is not only a distraction to the boys in the room, but the girls around her, AND the teacher, male or female.  Wearing see through leggings with a bright pink thong that says “Juicy” – I know I notice, could you imagine being a 16-year-old boy?

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Here’s the deal that parents of girls (and some boys) seem to forget.  Boys from about 13 – 26 are very, VERY, hormonally driven.  They’re not perverts.  There isn’t something wrong with them.  This isn’t something we should chastise them for.  This isn’t an illness.  And it isn’t something to fix.  This is how humanity survives.  People wonder what makes boys do some of the dumb things they do – girls!  Girls in sweats.  Girls in swim suits.  Girls in leggings.  Girls in pajama’s.  Girls in jeans.  Girls.  As their parents, it’s our job to shout over hormones until they can think over the hormones on their own.  And I seriously doubt Algebra is able to shout loud enough to do this?

Guys already have a hard enough time with body parts misbehaving at random moments of the day for no apparent reason – add to that see-through leggings on a perfect 16-year-old backside, and even the most chaste 80-year-old man will have a little “moment”.  And if I’m looking, so are guys.

And of course guys aren’t merely hormone driven, knuckle dragging, neanderthals either.  Boys (the gentlemen of the classification, not crappy “players”), love various other things.  But at this stage, their changing brains make doing just about anything way more challenging.

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Girls around that same age are also hormonally driven.  That’s why a lot of them are wearing these types of outfits.  I’m not talking about leggings at the gym, or wearing short-shorts at home watching t.v., or even non-see through leggings at school with a long t-shirt, because gosh darn it, they really are comfortable.  And it’s easier to think when you’re not being stabbed, cinched, wrapped, and contorted.  I’m talking about the swim-suits that leave half the cheek hanging out (ok, they don’t hang at that age).  I myself wear a bikini because swim-suits are too long and I want to keep everything inside the suite.  So a pair of board shorts and a tankini top to make sure everything is covered.  I get it, you can’t swim in the old-fashioned 1920’s full body wool suits.  I’m with you on that.  But leaving your butt cheek out and a sliver of a top isn’t making swimming any easier (which is obvious by all the tugging, adjusting and checking), it’s just letting people see as much of you as possible.

Just don’t look right?  Standing in front of you in the water park, one step up and there a poor 13-year-old boy stands, with a girls keester 6 inches from his face.  Even I’d want to goose her!  Or in class, as she leans forward to ask someone in front of her a questions without even a thought to her what her backside is doing, and her now half covered buns are a foot from his face.  So he looks to the left so as to not “stare” and the girl next to him is grabbing her books and her top is so loose he can see to her navel.  He looks at his paper and draws a complete blank.  “What class am I in again?”

Seriously – why can’t you just be less human guys?

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I once asked a guy about the more revealing outfits, “Sure, I love those!  But I wouldn’t marry a girl who wore one?  She’s already shown everybody everything.  What’s left for me?”

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Wow!  Even I was shocked by that answer.

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I completely agree that rape isn’t about what the girl is wearing.  It’s about control.  It can happen no matter who, or what you are wearing.  But when a girl is wearing as little as possible, she’s given all her control away.  She’s given everything away.  She’s just making it a little easier to justify in the attackers head.  Luckily majority of boys and men will turn and look the other way because they’ve been taught to ignore every fiber of their sexual being and walk away.  They have control.

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“But stores only put this type of clothing out?!”  No, no they don’t.  There are stores that exist that make clothing that covers all the right parts, male or female.  And no, they aren’t Amish looking.  And buying it only makes them purchase more to display.  If they made thongs for a 3-year-old would you buy it?  (Maybe you shouldn’t answer that?)  No, because it sexuallizes them?  Ah – yes, yes it does.  And the same for the 10, 12 and 16-year-old.

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modest

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Added to all of this is a huge double standard.  Men can show off as much, or as little of their body as they want and women are encouraged to ogle, “What a hottie!”  No problem.  A girl shows off everything and boys are shamed for even a passing glance.  And if a guy in school were to dress a bit more provocatively, say, letting his “happy trail” show (oh, don’t fake like you don’t know what that is) he’d be considered a perv and told to cover it, he wouldn’t be a victim of “body shaming”.   Schools ask them to not let their skivvies show (in most schools), but no one has an issue with that standard.  Why is it ok for a girls thong to show?

While my boys are in the house, I make sure to dress them as to not be a distraction to those around them.  One child had a purple fohawk, that was about as wild as we got.  Why, because we wanted them safe, and thought about those around us, and about our sons futures and how what they do now, may affect that future.

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No matter where you come from in life, religious or not, sex was a design/function built-in to us for pleasure and for carrying on the human race.  Our bodies were made to induce certain things in each other.  And let’s face it, neked bodies are pretty awesome!  That’s why we keep them covered (hopefully), so as to a) not freeze/burn to death, b) make cooking bacon easier, and c) not be turning everyone on, all the time – I mean, somebody has to do some real work around here!

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I am no prude.  I love my yoga pants, I wear a bikini (sort of) and think sex rocks.  Which brings me back to the beginning.  I know how my brain works, and that majority of the time it’s thinking about sex.  Which means as a girl (woman, female, duddette, chick) I have to control myself so that others are able to control themselves.  Me, doing whatever I want – be-damned how it affects someone else, isn’t always the best life choice.

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As for the “body shaming” – it’s the exact opposite.  Society holds women’s bodies to be so freaking awesome, we can hardly stand it.  Guys so love everything about us, that the mere thought of it makes them giddy.  It’s something for special occasions – say, their wedding night perhaps?  Or, to a lesser extent, lets just keep the massively flesh bearing outfits to a night out or at the beach when those around you aren’t trying to take a test?

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Shaming works both ways, and so does self-control.

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knight