Monday, March 26, 2012

Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better

A friend’s sister turned to me and said of her brother “He’s amazing, he can do anything”.

Granted at the time he was doing back flips so I could see where she was coming from. But I had a similar conversation with my older brother, where he told me that I was beautiful and intelligent and that I just did everything with ease and a smile on my face. When he said this it floored me, HE was the intelligent, articulate one. I just sat there and smiled because I couldn’t add anything to the conversations. My other brother was the social, charismatic one so I always saw myself as “the other one”. Just the girl of the brood.
We seem to directly compare ourselves with our siblings. After all we have the same genetic makeup (give or take), the same parents (give or take) and often go to the same schools and grow up in the same neighbourhood. So how come they can do it and I always seem to fall short?

I’ve seen my parents do it with their siblings. Compare, compare, compare. So we don’t seem to grow out of it.

The only measure I think anyone should use is themselves. But I’ve only come to this conclusion rather recently. So for most of my life I was comparing myself to my siblings and peers. The benefit of peers is they seem to drift out of our lives at some stage, either by choice or just by lifestyle, people drift apart. Often this doesn’t happen with family. Throughout your whole life, there they are, being different, making other choices, showing you how it could have been if you had done what they did.
Hearing my brother say I was successful, that he felt I was getting something right, was a really helpful part of growing up. And let’s face it, we’re all always growing up. We always have someone else in our life that has a better car/job/style/hobby/pet/cook but not one of these people have ALL of these things. My friends with amazing hobbies and passions for something tend to earn less money and those who own their own home and have a better car have more stressful, taxing careers.

Trying to look at all the good things about our peers and see if we can learn something from them rather than letting the envy takeover would be much more useful.

All those amazing, accomplished people in your life are open books. Read them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dirty Bird

When a man watches pornography, why do (some) women feel unwanted by their partner? I don’t get this association. When I read a book it’s not because I think my partner’s conversation is boring. If I watch a travel documentary doesn’t mean I’m not happy in the city I live in.

I’ve had the conversation many times with women. Their partner/boyfriend/husband watching sexually explicit films somehow means that he’s not satisfied with her performance. I personally think that’s rubbish and I reiterate that regularly.

“But all the women have HUGE boobs and I don’t” Firstly, they don’t and secondly, have you ever seen how well hung the men are in these films? How do you think your boyfriend feels about that?! 

“He only ever watches girl on girl and I’m straight” Then go find a film YOU like and pop it on. Duh.

“Why is he watching them? He should want to watch me!” Then put on a show sweetheart, he’ll watch it.

“These girls do things I’m not willing to do” AH! This one is actually valid in my books. This doesn’t mean he’s not satisfied with what you WILL do. Maybe it’s a curiosity. If you’re comfortable with your partner then try it, it may not work, you both may not enjoy it and the curiosity will subside. Or you may both find something that to add to the repertoire. But always keep in mind your partner may not expect you to do any of these things, so relax.

I’m using heterosexual examples here because I’m yet to come across a gay/lesbian relationship that has these issues. Not to say it doesn’t exist, but the above are extracts from actual conversations and are applicable no matter the orientation.

Many women also have the reverse issue. They watch “those films” and feel they can’t watch them with their partner because they will be labelled a “slut” (I love inverted comers). Although many men say they would love it if their partner chucked on a movie, sometimes when that happens they freak out.

Why? They feel like they are not satisfying their partner. Why would you need a film on, isn’t he man enough? HA!

It’s about self esteem and what you find alluring. If someone puts on a film that you’re not into AT ALL, then maybe you’re not sexually compatible. Understand that everybody is trying to find what their own buttons are throughout their whole life.
We should be sexually active for the vast majority of our lives and you can’t expect missionary to be on the top of the list every. Bloody. time.

In closing, go to a restaurant with your partner and order something off the menu that you’ve never tried before. Then go home and do something you’ve never tried before.   
You may find your new favourite dish.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Women

My great grandmother  had two daughters, both of these daughters were to be well educated and have careers. To be their own women and not defined as “their husbands wife”. One became a doctor and the other was meant to become a concert pianist.

My grandmother didn’t want to be a pianist, she became a housewife... with seven kids. My great grandmother was not impressed, she wanted her daughters to be “modern women”.

But my grandmother still rallied for women’s rights and to have political awareness, for women to be seen as intellectuals that had something to say and had a right to say it. She put on her first pair of slacks when she was in her early 20’s and announced she would never wear a skirt again… ever.

She lied, but in the late 40’s this was a bold move for a woman.

She said she was an advocate of woman’s rights without being a woman’s lib type and after her death I realised how much she did for woman in Australia, which is a pity because I would have loved to talk to her about it.

She was also a religious woman who thought a woman’s place was to be a homemaker. I have no doubt that she battled with these points of view, again I wish I could talk to her candidly about it now.

Moving right along to the next generation, my mother is/was women’s lib to an extreme, stereotypical extent. When I was about 9 she came home with a crew cut and refused to wear makeup or jewellery and didn’t shave or pluck anything… except for her top lip. She did have her pride.

She also decided she was a born again virgin (not sure how that works when you have three kids) and she believed that women (more specifically, mothers) were the single most important thing on this planet.

At least this was my impression of her when I was 9 to when I was 15.

She still has the occasional tendency of “man bashing” and making broad brush strokes when defining what “men” are like. My poor brothers, I’m happy that I was a female in this environment.

I’m not kidding, I am happy I was in this environment. I was raised that women, all women, had the power and strength to be what ever they wanted. Anything at all.

So I, the 4th generation of strong, motivated women…. became an accountant.

WOO! I am woman hear me roar!

I think I take my rights as a woman, or rather as a human being, for granted. I know the women before me fought and are still fighting for our right to be equal to our male counterparts.

But I also enjoy being in the kitchen and wearing make up and I rather value my bra (yes, I know they didn’t actually burn their bra’s, it was symbolic). I value being a women and I enjoy wearing skirts and slacks and I think that women’s right is the right to choose. As it is a man’s right to wear skirts or slacks if he so chooses.

I think the post modern woman doesn’t need to be anything other than what they want, if it be a pianist or a homemaker.