Dear Me.

Dear Nicole,

This probably sounds a little dumb- I'm sure you know a lot know than I do at this moment.

I just want to remind you that things are going to be okay. I hope you're gloriously happy and fulfilled, but just remember, even if you're not- you've been through a lot, and even I know that you'll come out alright.

Even though things have already been tough for me, they’ve probably been tougher for you. A mental disorder like yours just doesn’t go away. And that’s okay- you don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay if you’re not off all, or even some of the medication by now. Hell, it’s okay if you’re on more. I know you were hoping to be completely free of it, but even if you’re not, know that the 20 year old you thinks that will be okay.

He and I & this space of non communication

This is something I wrote last year, when really really angry. It was a long time ago, and looking back I think my thoughts were ridiculous. I am now so proud to be a woman - wouldn't change it for the world. But this strange 'Grrr I hate being a women' phase was very necessary.

I said, making general assumptions about a particular gender and its specific behaviours is wrong.

I said, we are not even in the right position to comment on something we will never truly understand. Another gender’s reality cannot be grabbed by someone of the opposite sex because the person will never ever experience how it feels to be a man, or a woman.

Dads

My dad. The person who is against feminism. My father claims that all women are here to cook, clean, and, have kids. I beg to differ. We are not here just to cook, clean, and have children. He tells me that when I am older I will get married, have kids, and be a stay at home mom. Whats wrong with that picture? He thinks that women should not be allowed to
1. vote
2. work
3. drive
4. wear jeans
5. have a chance like men

Thats unfair, we are all the same. IT reminds me of some of the music on the radio. But thats a whole new topic.

What IS the All Girl Army?

What IS The All Girl Army?

  • A blogger collective of no more than 29 women between the ages of 10 and 25, who identify as feminist chosen via an application process based on their desire to create and nurture women's community, explore feminist issues and their own lives in context via writing and discussion.

An Exercise in Vaniloquence

“The thing I treasure most in life cannot be taken away.” -David Draiman, I'm Alive

A blue cat-o-nine lays idly on the stained black sheets while Nicki Jaine warns me of pretty faces in her lulling, raspy sort of way. A Dark Cabaret is the name of the record. Massive, black denim curtains swallow up whatever daylight might viciously seek to disturb my sanctuary. A little Grim Reaper Beanie Baby(tm) watches me from the bookshelf.

My name is Irmelin, and I am that spooky (but devilishly sexy) young woman who carries a parasol to go outside, writes aggressive poetry in dragon-adorned notebooks, and makes the room jolt with the occasional reassurance that my vocal cords are well in tact, healthy, lubricated, and dangerous.

AGA Roll Call: Dear Me

I had the absolute delight, during this year's Seattle International Film Festival, of seeing an amazing film, writer/director Lynn Shelton's "We Go Way Back."

In the film, the lead character Kate, a woman in her twenties, is confronted with her 13-year-old self via letters she had written back then to her older self, one for every upcoming birthday.

On the website for the film, Shelton says: "I once heard a writer refer to the 20’s as a woman’s “geisha years”. Feeling a little lost, she seeks direction from those around her and expends enormous amounts of energy fulfilling the needs of everyone but herself—particularly men. I certainly went through this phase in my own life and what breaks my heart about it is that it was not a lack self-direction and self-respect but rather a loss. At thirteen, I possessed a clarity of vision and a degree of self-confidence that I marvel at today. Somehow, the experience of adolescence stole it all away and it took me years—decades, really—to get it back again.

Take Back The Night March

This is an important story. I am a proud Torontonian and a proud female. (Can't call myself woman. I'm a girl.) I am a proud Pagan. I stand up for my rights. I want to live in a better world.

So I'm going to tell you about something we do once a year in Toronto. I've only done this once, two years ago. Last year I was busy being in the hospital to do anything.

The closest thing I've ever had to a 'feminist hero' is my grandmother. I admit it, I've always been closer, and looked up more to Daddy. Because he was a wonderful person: he was almost everything I wanted to be in life. But he wasn't rich or anything. I spent that time with him.

the feminist in everyday life

Welcome, welcome to the All Girl Army. Looking for some inspiration quotes, I once came across a Latin proverb: "A woman for a general, and the soldiers will be women." How a propos, huh.

I admit that I never meant to be a feminist. It's one of those things where you're working on a cause and you stop and look around--only to find that you've worked yourself right into something entirely new.

As you can find in my user profile, I started into women's issues during the Alito confirmation hearings, but the truth is that it starts with the fact that I'm a sucker for nineteenth century literature and finally got a professor willing to push the canon boundaries enought to get us reading Fanny Ferne and Louisa May Alcott's lesser known social satire. It's easy to forget that women have been writing as long and as well as men have. But I digress.

Feminism is...

We asked the applicants for the All Girl Army to share their definitions of feminism with us, knowing, understanding, and celebrating the fact that there IS no one definition of feminism, just as there is no one definition or experience of being a woman.

And so, from the mouths (or keyboards, as it were) of women from the age of ten to twenty-three, we give you the AGA collective definition of feminism, in all its fantastic diversity and unity.

Feminism is...

  • where women stand for what is right for all women.

So when I figured it out...

Feminism is such an interesting and controversial issue.

At fifteen, many people would call my feminist ideas typical teenage rebellion. Well, it’s not.

When I was seven, my parents divorced because my mother is homosexual. I did not know this until the next year or so, because no one particularly thought it pertinent to tell a seven year old why her family is being ripped to shreds. But that moment, when my sister and I were sitting on top of a concrete drain tube in the woods on our property, I realized so many of the injustices in the world, and I began to see how many of them dealt with women in general.

‘Football and women’ aficionados.

It's the soccer World Cup in Germany right now!

Major sales! Last days before liquidation! 40.000 women available for sexual services!

With the ecstatic moments of joy linked to sport-related victories come the moments of celebration: all those ‘hurrahs’ and hand clapping, the hilarity and cheers accompanied by the ‘pop’ sound of champagne bottles.

And during those festive times, one might also seek physical proximity. At least that is what the German authorities anticipated when they decided to create mobile brothels to satisfy the -mainly heterosexual- male’s sexual needs which are susceptible to arise during the next four and a half weeks.

Aleena

A month ago me and my BFF went to a party to go get one of our freinds, Colline, and after a hour I couldn't find Aleena, my BFF. After about 10 more minuets she came running out of a nearby room with her makeup smeared and clothes torn. We ran out side and she was crying and she told me that she was raped. She was a virgin.

How can a guy do that? Have they no respect for women, no matter how young? Where do they gather that doing that it is right and they will get away with it? That guy took Aleena's most prized possetion. Why? Why would ANYONE do that?

About 2 weeks after that we were at a freinds to get her and her older brother was having a party. The guy that raped ALeena was there. The police had looked into the matter of the rape but he lied about where he was. Aleena was scared to the bone and then he came up to her and threw her against a wall and said somthing to her, but i dont know what. She ran away. I found her about and hour ago in that bathroom bleeding. She slit her wrists. She told me that she could not handle knowing that the guy that raped her was still here. She died in my arms.

Mom.

If you ask about my favorite feminist, my female role model, my inspiration for my beliefs, one person comes to mind: my mother.

What can I say? I’m not only a feminist, but the daughter of a feminist. I’ll probably have little mini-feminists of my own some day (or maybe not). However, the situation in which my mom discovered her feminist views was very different then my own. I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where the majority of people were feminists- whether they realized it or not. My mom wasn’t.

My mom was the valedictorian of her high school. Her guidance counselor sat across from her, looked at her grades, and replied that she’d have no trouble getting into a very nice two-year women’s college. After attending Trinity College in Connecticut, she was accepted into Yale graduate school- on scholarship.

A post that I am sure will be turned into a regular thing..

A few of my feminist idols that you may (or may not) have heard of…

Ama Ata Aidoo; Ghanaian author; always mindful of what it means to be both African and female; true inspiration for those of us who carry both of those labels proudly.

Alice Walker; feminist, environmentalist, civil rights and gay activist… enough said.

Ruth Hughes; one of many inspiring English teachers that I have had, the first one to tell me that even today, women are paid more than 30% less than men in the same workplace.

Ulle Lewes; One of my college professors, always something original and inspiring to say, always sharp, always funny, always so knowledgeable.

Being Sexualized

I was channel-surfing a few minutes ago, and saw a snippet of a reality show in which a man was juggling in some sort of talent contest. For no particular reason, the man was not wearing a shirt.

This pissed me off.

I don't have anything against any man taking his shirt off in any public forum. What I do have a problem with is that I cannot do the same.

Where I live, in New York State, I can legally walk around topless, and I have in the past. But whenever I do this, it's an EVENT. First I have to check out my surroundings and discuss it with my friends. Then, if I take my shirt off, I have to deal with people staring or freaking out or making comments to me. Men don't have to deal with this. They don't even have to think about it. That upsets me. It isn't fair.