How to turn your angry feminism into peace

It was really hot that day, so I was walking around in my worn out hiking boots, tiny cowboy shorts and sports bra, when he came driving up the driveway. As he stepped out of his work truck I met his gaze and smiled at him cheekily as my response to his, “G’day” was: “Are you feeling hot, do you want to get wet?“. Standing with the water-hose in my hand, I was feeling ready to play in the hot sun – especially with a good-looking stranger. Laughingly with a touch of shyness behind his stormy sea-colored eyes, he politely turned down my offer, rationalizing that it might not be too smart to mix water and electricity, seeing as he was an electrician. “Right.. Gotcha!” I said with a big grin and put down the water-hose, to finish off my gardening. He was watching me from the corner of his eyes, smiling at me whenever our eyes interlocked from a distance, which made me want to chat to him. But I had work to do and so did he, so I simply enjoyed feeling the energy of flirtation stretching in between our space of unspoken words.

Have you seen the hot electrician?” I said to my 19-year old german work mate, who just shook her head and laughed at me: “God woman.. Is that all you think about. Leave the electrician alone.” Well.. I couldn’t. It was just too exciting, and I was just feeling too playful that day. And the fact that we were living deep in the country, with no male energies to play with, made it all a little more interesting. He was standing in the room where us wwoofers were sleeping, fixing something on the wall, when I came in to grab my iPod and hula hoops. I only had to give him an inviting smile before he started chatting me up. We spoke a little about this and that, things I don’t really remember, because I was feeling a bit too warm in his presence, and caught myself fantasizing about him pinning me against the wall. However his work needed attending, and I needed to leave him alone. But oh my.. The electrician definitely sparked some electricity, which I then used as fuel to go hula hooping like a mad woman, listening to Florence and the Machine.

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I looked at the electrician, thinking he was hot, I checked out his body thinking he looked strong and fit, I flirted with his gaze wanting him to check me out, wanting him to see me as something erotic too. I saw him as a sexual object before I thought of him as a person. Is that wrong? When a woman talks openly about things like this, some people might think, “what a slut” and had I been a man saying what I just did about a woman, I’d probably be classified as a sexist, a chauvinist. Certainly not by everyone, but definitely by some.

Lately I’ve met a lot of feminism and man-hate. Especially on social networks like Facebook. I saw this one video from HuffPost Women, showing a bunch of women of all ages, quoting sentences of subtle sexism they’d received from men throughout their lives. Sentences that men just wouldn’t hear in a lifetime. And to be honest it made me feel sorry for the male species. “stop being so dramatic“, “you’d be much prettier if you smiled”, “you’re so exotic, where are you from?” were just some of the sentences some of these women had found discriminating.

Is this for real!? Yes.. we women can be very dramatic, accept it. Yes.. we’re all a little prettier when we smile, accept it. Exotic… I don’t mind looking exotic – thank you.

– If this is all it takes to make some women feel discriminated, then how do you think some women (or men) would react if I had been a man, writing what I just did, about a woman? I’m sure the electrician wouldn’t have minded if I’d said this to him: “I’m sorry but I just can’t concentrate on what you’re saying, because you’re too sexy.” But how would you feel if someone said that to you? How would some feminists feel?

Hmm.. Perhaps some would feel disrespected. Like sex objects. Like their personalities meant nothing. How would I feel? I’d take it as a compliment. Why? Because I like being sexy. Because I know that my personality means everything. Because I know that I’m worth a lot in this world. Because I respect myself.

Fuck off Theresa, are you saying that these women don’t respect themselves? That’s exactly what they do! And that’s why they wouldn’t tolerate being spoken to like a piece of candy.

No.. It’s not what I’m saying. I’m merely pointing out that when you’re happy about yourself and who you are, very little in this world will knock you down, make you angry and push your buttons. Instead of pointing our sticky fingers at other people, be it men, women, religious believers, non-believers, smokers, homosexuals or whatever, we should point that dirty finger at ourselves and look inside. “Why am I getting so upset?” “Why do I feel offended by his/her remark?” “Where does the pain come from?”

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Someone once said I was easy, and I felt hurt. Someone once grabbed my ass, and I felt disgusted. Someone once laughed at me when I spoke, and I felt silly. Someone once told me I was too much, and I wanted to be less. Yes, I’ve been hurt by the stinging word and actions of men, as well as women, but they helped me look inside, where I found the reason I got upset, was because I just wanted everyone to love me. And so the quest on loving myself began.

If we want world peace, we need to find peace within ourselves. And we certainly won’t find any peace unless we start looking to our hearts and stop blaming other people for our misery!


 

Loving smiles,

Theresa Johanne

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