Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can We Change the World?

I was reading up on some blogs that I've missed recently and came across a link to this one. When I began reading it, I was a little angry. I was offended. I thought things like, "How could someone say things like this?" and "Wow, way to make me feel better!" (do you hear the sarcastic tone?) Then I got some courage to read on...

So I'm reading this blog and trying to understand just what it is he's saying and when I've ever actually heard someone say these things and he asks the question, "How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought?" "How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?" It was like I was just hit by a bus. I have thought these cruel, hateful thoughts. I have said these cruel, hateful words. To myself, mostly, although I'm sure that I have said these things aloud to someone or about someone else, other than me.

I am ugly.
I am fat.
I am a bad wife.
I am a terrible daughter.
I don't keep my home clean enough.
I am stupid.
I am weak.
I do not dress well enough.
I am nothing but a doormat (until, of course)
I became too mean; too opinionated.
I am not good enough.
I will never be good enough.
I am worthless.

Dan then goes on to say that men are responsible for these thoughts, words and feelings. I'm not sure I believe that completly. I think that men contribute but I know that women contribute as well. Dan states, "Guys... It is our fault. The blame lies with us." I think the blame lies with everyone.

How many men have thought these same things? Of course, "wife", "mother", "daughter" aren't terms for men but you get my point.

We need to stop being so judgemental - of ourselves, of others.. We need to embrace each other and the strength, beauty and honor that they possess. Dan says, "It's time we make a bold declaration against everything we've ever been taught," and he's right. Maura Kelly's cruel article about "Fatties" getting a room (and how hurt she must feel on the inside) shows just how badly we've all been hurt and how much we've been taught about perfection being the goal in society.

Dan states, "It is not the impossibly air brushed females on magazine covers who are causing women to hold themselves against a standard of perfection. No, it's not that at all. Holy crap. Why am I just realizing this? Why doesn't anybody seem to realize this? It is the men that stop and look at those magazines."

But women look at those air-brushed models and envy them too. Not just to win over our men so that we can stop thinking that they only way to make them happy is to be perfect.

And what about the "beautiful" men in their magazines? The half-naked men in advertisements... Women look at those. Are you saying that women make men feel fat and unattractive?

I know that I've felt - who am I kidding? I feel as though being beautiful and thin and smart is the only way I'll be able to be happy with myself.. That without all this extra weight, I will be able to run and spend time with my dogs and hopefully, in the future, with my children. It will make me healthier and strong enough to do the things that I want to do. That without my "ugly" face, I will be able to smile and make other people feel happy. That being smarter will allow for me to get a "full-ride" scholarship so I can finish my education and learn more!

Dan does go on for a while, explaining his thoughts in detail and how important he believes a man's role is to help women change the way they feel about and view themselves. I believe it's not just about the men and their views and opinions. It's up to everyone, as a society, to believe in each other and see people as people.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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