women laughing

I am going to have a little moan today! I see lots of activities out there aimed at women, both pagan and non pagan and that is great. However, when I investigate a little further, they have the same old gender roles expectations and I am afraid, I get so bored with all of that. Call me strange, or unwomanly or non feminine or maybe I am the odd ball. I don’t know but it fires my bones and annoys me. Yes, I know, there will always be those that don’t push the boundaries, those that are safe with the roles thing and those that actually love the role thing. One of my own daughter’s I jokingly dub Barbie. She loves pink, she is a dancer and hairdresser, she has blond hair and walks on tippy toes, like a Barbie doll might if she could walk without your hand for help. She would be quite happy with pink utensils in the kitchen and a pink bin and pink trimmings in her car and those ridiculous eyelashes on your headlamps. But you know, you could be forgiven for not seeing beyond that. You would miss someone who is amazingly versatile, has the heart as huge as a giant and would give you the clothes off of her back. She has the determination and perseverance of a mountaineer; is able to paint and decorate, put up flat packed furniture, like it was a tea set; work all the hours there are in a day and beyond, can do figures with her eyes closed and can whizz you up a costume for dancing in a day, cut your hair and style it, sort out your accounts, choreograph you a dance, edit the music to fit, be the life and sole of the party, make home made bread for her children and cakes with her children and then go to college one day, work the next and be there for a friend. She is inventive and uses her iniative and can think on her feet. She is loyal and 110% trustworthy. She is even quite astute and psychic, when she isn’t worrying about where the next penny is coming from. That’s my fabulous girl that you might never truly see. But she likes her box!

mums with vigour

barbie

The above is not my daughter! She hasn’t become Barbie!

However, if your like me, then your kind of hampered. I get bored if I am not learning something new, I don’t like fashion, I don’t like having my hair done or my make up, though I wear make up. I don’t like pamper parties or massage or any other form of pampering, (except with my partner but I guess you can’t call that pampering!). Give me a bow and arrow instead or a song to sing or something exciting and exhilarating to do, like a show or a play or walking round the Scottish Highlands and surviving in the wilds, or something to learn like history or ancient ways and crafts. I don’t want to cook or clean (yes of course I have to), or talk about my periods or the peri-menopause or the menopause. I don’t want to talk about men (obviously!), I don’t want to talk small talk or be thought of as an angel. I am not! I don’t want to talk about sex, I don’t need to, I have my partner to talk about those things with. I don’t want to talk about washing powder, or exchange recipes or knitting patterns, though I might admire your cardigan and if I do, I might want the pattern but don’t make me sit and listen to a load of women talking about recipes and knitting. When I was young, I didn’t speak about my children very much because I kept what I thought to myself except for with family because to be honest, who else is really interested? I would feel a swelling pride in my children as they grew and developed but I didn’t boast about them to all and sundry. When I would hear mum’s at the school, it was like a competition. “Oh Craig, got his front teeth yesterday,” “Oh really, how old is he?” “Oh he is eight months old now.” Frown. “Oh that’s late isn’t it? My Jamie got his teeth when he was four months, sat up when he was five months and walked when he was ten months. Does Craig say any words yet?” “Er, sort of, you know, dada and ooo!” “My Jamie said his first word at five months and it was as clear as a bell and he hasn’t stopped since,” followed by a little trill type laugh. On top of that, its a fashion parade isn’t it? Some of the mum’s arrive five hours early in their great big monster four by fours and block up the entire road like they were the most important people in the world. Then they get out with their swanky hair that doesn’t dare blow in the wind but stays where it is put, carefully (“three hours with Julian you know,” the hairdresser not the lover, not time for one of those). Their clothes look like they have just come from the fashion designer and their nails are long, false and freshly lacquered. Then you see someone like me, huffing and puffing as they run to the school, without the car, their hair is a mess, they have come straight from cleaning the house through while the kids are at school, they have been to work before that, popped in to see their sick aunt and make sure she has clean pyjamas and knickers and rushed round the shops and turned up at the school like a ragamuffin. The cool mum’s look away in disgust and continue their wonderfully interesting conversation about the wonders of their children and who their favourite designer is, the problems with hairdresser’s these days, their latest trial at the nail bar and what is the best wine to have with the new recipe for dinner and so forth. Yawn!

mad woman

mums at a school gate

Anyway, before you say it, I know not all women are like the above but if I decide to go to a woman’s event that is not a feminist one or lesbian, I often find it so boring. I know that is probably a terrible thing to say and I am sure I am equally boring to them as we have nothing in common. The saddest thing is, that many intelligent women fall into the trap of talking about the mundane and even becoming mundane. You might have been a nurse, a teacher, a solicitor or even an author or a director of a corporate company or a film director but now you have turned into the worlds authority on children and the kitchen, you’ve lost your sense of humour, your witty conversation. Where have you gone? I had a friend once who was so dreadful when she had her second child, I couldn’t bear to be near her. Fortunately, I was studying (nothing’s changed there then!), which gave me an excuse to avoid her but she really was so boring I couldn’t stand it. She was obsessed with diets, childcare, scrupulous housecleaning, her child, her child again, and yes, her child again. She could not hear or see anything else. I decided that after a year, she may have recovered from her baby brain and be human again which she was, most of the time thereafter.

women's rescue

I am not usually given to being horrible but I think please, are there women out there that don’t want to talk about children all day? Are there women who like to do adventurous things and hard challenging things (but not normal sports), who are funny and don’t want to go on a cooking marathon but want to do something different? Are there women out there that have a life of their own even with children and cooking and what not? Are there women out there that hate mainstream magazines – dubbed as women’s leisure? Are there women out there that love do it yourself stuff? Where are you lady mechanics, aeroplane pilots, women that would love to build a boat, women that sail or go tracking. Women who want to build their own homes, women comedians, artists, musicians, women that have great big hearts and care as well but don’t give their self and their lives to domesticity to such a degree that they are lost in that. Women that don’t like Eastenders or reality shows or agree with women and their little girls looking like Barbie dolls (sorry ria!). Please, I can’t be the only weird person? Let me know if you can think outside of the box, if you are an independent woman, if your quirky or humourous, have a great and wonderful hobbie or career. I want to go to a women’s group where we talk about interesting things, adventurous things, quirky and arty things, where women are bonkers mad, intelligent, funny, dressed up to the nines or dressed down to their joggings, with great hearts, but loads of gusto.

brave women 2

I want to read a magazine by women, about women doing the interesting, individual and humorous things that women do. How great would that be? I am reminded of that advert, I am not a number – I am not just a mother, grandmother, housecleaning cook, I am a million times more than that, I am not my physical or mental symptoms either, I have intelligence, a dubious wit, I sing and love to write and dance, and perform and sing some more and love herbs and making herbal things, I love history and ancient stuff and woods and trees and druidry and want to do so many things and fit it into however much life I have left as well as be a friend, mother, a grandmother etc. I don’t put partner in the same place, as my partner is my inner and outer life, all and everything, she runs through, holds and is part of everything I am and do.

adventurous women

heroic women

Talking of my partner, she who is amazingly funny, a natural comedian, she is also scary in the extreme. She fears nothing if she sees someone being hurt or if she sees injustice somewhere. In she marches, without thought for life or limb and gives the perpetrators a piece of her mind and ensures that the person being abused or whatever is able to get away or she simply marches them away. She is brave my partner, but she will probably never get a medal for it and she will probably never go down in the great annals of history like the male heroes.

brave women4

Oh and for anyone, who might doubt it, I am also quite feminine as well. I love flowing dresses and sleeves, like to make wedding, christening and costume dresses and the like as they are pretty. I love flowers, especially roses. I love to create pretty things. I love beautiful antique furniture and pretty linen and towels. I love beautifully embroidered or appliqued bedding and clothes. I love pictures of women in beautiful dresses and flowers in their hair and love to paint women. I love fine china and beautiful, finely detailed ornaments of pre-Raphaelite women. I love long hair and have long hair. So that takes me out of the lesbian box as well.

preraphaelite art

Preraphaelite art 2

The point of all of this is, boxes and fixed roles are what make people boring, not the act of having children or cooking or being a stay at home mum or even looking like a Barbie. It is the hiding behind these things. It is the becoming these things and not allowing yourself to be all that you are. Most women are a whole heap of things, they are often intuitive, often fabulous in an emergency, often great organizers ( I am not!). Women are the most fabulous beings in the world, in my humble opinion and yet we only have bits of you. Give the world your all, even if your world, consists of your family and friends and the community in which you live. Don’t stint and become the job you do, shine! You have loads of skills and character, share it. There is a quirky lecturer at my Uni and she talks about herbs and herbal recipes and growing and harvesting herbs but she is quirky and funny with it. Her passion for what she loves shines through. Another of my friends could get caught up in all the diets, fashion and looking good to the detriment of herself and her friends who had to listen to her at these times. However, despite being a stay at home mum who could make the best tuna sandwiches in the world, with so many children in the end, I don’t know how many she had, she was funny, big hearted and her own person with very definite ideas and opinions on things. She wasn’t boring. (I have a sneaking suspicion that my daughter, spoken of above, has the ability to change people’s lives and spread good everywhere she goes, but don’t tell anyone, I am talking about my child!)

brave women 3

So you women out there, please write a comment, let me know your real dreams, who you are, what you love, hate, what thrills you, what makes you laugh. What would you secretly love to do? Would you, like me, love to head up an army like Braveheart or march in full armour and a broad sword into a battle? Would you love to climb a mountain or canoe up a stream with rapids? Would you love to ride a motorbike and feel the wind in your hair and the trees speeding past you and the exhilaration of nature and bike and you? Would you like to build your own home, (you, not your husband or boyfriend), what materials would you use, what would it look like? What are the things you secretly would love to do but can’t or haven’t or are scared to. What are the exciting things you have done? What is your dream career/s, don’t limit yourself. Let me know.

brave women

Okay, that’s me done and I still need to write the next part of my novel! Have a great day and a happy one!

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