Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday Feminism: keep your head up, keep your heart strong

i wasn't going to talk about the hard stuff until i was well and truly into this feminism series, but i've had that sort of few days in a row of things that are tough, and a text message from a friend who is feeling the same way, so i thought i'd talk a bit about how i deal with my tough days. tough feminist days, in particular.

it's been a tough few weeks for feminists and women in general in australia. tony abbott, newly sworn-in as prime minister of australia, has made some decisions that are a definite cause for concern. women's issues, as well as indigenous affairs have been taken on by tony abbott's cabinet themselves, which mr abbott says means they will be at the centre of the government as whole-of-government priorities.

it sounds nice, except that mr abbott has made some pretty disturbing statements on women in his off-the-cuff press over the past 12 months. his attitude towards julia gillard, our former PM, as a woman (the scariest kind: the kind with more power than him) was disgusting, and wonderfully addressed by her in this speech.

my little brother commented on facebook yesterday that women are in trouble with this turn of events. i'd say we're all in trouble. a country that is lead by someone who has chosen a cabinet with only one woman, who has chosen to be looking out for women's rights when he actively and vocally undermines women's roles in our society, be they the average women on the street (or at home with a baby on one arm and an iron on the other) or running for election with all that sex appeal... a country with a leader like this is a country regressing to the 1950s, a country that is an embarrassment in the global community. men and women, we're all in trouble.

the problem is that once you start to care, or even just start to inform yourself, it's impossible not to feel disillusioned with the situation here. there's a reason i took a bottle of whisky with me to a friend's election party a few weeks ago.

i've had one of those days today where i just wonder about what the point is, exactly.

as i observed via text message, sometimes it's hard to be a human, with a heart. people are awful. they're killing the planet, they're killing each other, they're being mean and making me sad.

so how do you be happy in the face of all that?

you have to keep caring, and you have to keep talking, and you have to keep doing. you have to keep your head up, and your heart strong. we need the people who care and who see the wrongs to have the motivation to change things. we need you to keep imagining how great the world could be and trying to do things to change it. that's why i've started with the Friday Feminism.

besides that though, here are some things i did today to make me feel better:
  1. i slept in til i felt like getting out of bed
  2. i got a coffee from my favourite coffee shop, the goldfish bowl. it was creamy and delicious
  3. i went and sat in the park and read an essay by clem ford in the book "destroying the joint" which is motivating and inspiring and highly recommended
  4. i ran into the lovely ellie who i will soon live with, which is very exciting
  5. i followed her into her work, which is a used book store, and sat myself down in the feminism section
  6. i bought 4 books, which i promise to review/drop into blog-versation sometime soon
  7. i ran into another friend donna, who i caught up with sitting in the park talking about our lives and our plans and our things
  8. i ate a delicious salad sandwich (i said yolo and ate the bread too, because today life feels short)
  9. i bought a new scarf from my favourite opshop
  10. i collected a pretty dress i had on order and it fits perfectly and is colourful and lovely
  11. i drove maude around town and had my window down and played this cover of "say it ain't so" and sang along obnoxiously
  12. i made plans for dinner and comedy with my friends
estelle tang wrote this piece for rookie that i firmly believe in.
birdee also made a handy list of 32 things, in case my things are not enough - read this article

you will observe that being out and about and seeing nice people is basically the logic behind this day of feelgood. the temptation is to stay in and pretend it's raining, but it's really not raining (if it is raining, i apologise. all bets are off. stay inside and watch a breaking bad marathon, and try again tomorrow). i highly encourage the act of dragging oneself out of doors, dressing up in your favourite thing and going for it. remind yourself what you're trying to save, or help, or improve. remind yourself why being a human is a good thing, and recharge those passion batteries (help... i can't think of a better metaphor).

cups of tea are also great.

in conclusion, keep your head up and your heart strong - the wise words of ben howard, covered below by a lady i found on youtube.


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