Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In which I rant

I worry that agnosticism coupled with budding feminism has turned me into a bore. I have become quite a bit more sensitive to male privilege, especially when that privilege is endorsed by religion. I read about and talk about these issues more and more. Unfortunately, most of my family and friends are tolerant but uninterested. They don't share my outrage and are (most likely) too polite to risk an argument. My attempts at conversation are turning into lectures, which is not at all what I want.

At the same time, I am frustrated by bigoted and sexist attitudes among my family and friends - attitudes that I trace back to the religion I was raised in. I see them clinging to a faith that I can't share; I don't understand why they stay when, to me, logic dictates that they should go. I assume that they are afraid; that threats of damnation are enough to keep them yoked. It is especially frustrating to see women accepting and reinforcing the idea that they are less important than men, pushing themselves and each other towards marriage and family because they have been told that it's their highest calling - told so by men - and then berating themselves for selfishness and other perceived faults when this achievement of marriage and family is not fulfilling.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against marriage or children, but I think people (especially women) can afford to put it off for a few years. I've known too many girls who never bothered to develop any skills because their entire purpose in life was to get married as soon as possible and raise a family. These girls had no one telling them that they were just as capable as the boys and could achieve just as much. How much talent has the world squandered by not encouraging the girls?

I think these topics hit me so hard because I never did achieve that so-called highest calling for women: finding a husband and raising babies. Now, in my mid-30s, I'm angry because I spent so long clinging to a hope that one day, some man would give me value; beating myself up because I didn't think I was pretty/nice/thin/interesting enough. But even while I craved the validation that would come with it, I was so very afraid of being forced into a mold of the perfect wife and mother. I worried that I could never be enough.

I'm angry today because I didn't realize that I *did* have value. I had it all along. Humanity, sentience, intelligence; this is what gives me value. Not my weight, not my appearance, not the approval of men. And yet, I'm still inhibited and uncertain. I stumble over words, I start sentences with "Ummm...", I don't assert myself. Most importantly, I don't try for the things that I want. Logic and action are separate entities. Maybe in that way, I do still have a kinship with people who can't abandon their faith.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Checking in

Hey, lame inactive blogger here. I can't believe it's been over a year since I published something! What a year it's been. Let's see; I fired a therapist. I was promoted at work to Senior Compensation Analyst - and, once again, I was asked by the hiring manager to apply for the position. I discovered and became hooked on Minecraft (thanks Five). Along with Minecraft came the discovery of and addiction to several Let's Play series' on YouTube. I listed my religion as "Agnostic" on Facebook and began openly self-identifying as atheist/agnostic. I gained weight and lost weight (I'm currently on the "losing weight" side of that pendulum; 30 pounds since October!). I canceled my cable subscription and went with Netflix/Amazon Prime instead. I hired a guy to mow my lawn. I got new glasses with purple Vera Wang frames. I went on a cruise with my brother Five. I joined Costco. I put together a 500 piece puzzle in under 8 hours. I discovered and became hooked on Carcassonne (thanks again, Five). I discovered and found that I agreed with several feminist bloggers. I learned a few very personal things about people who are close to me and, most importantly, I learned that I was completely okay with their choices. I read books, watched shows, played games, chased cats, ignored my hair, got an allergist, suffered through bronchitis, read more books, and gave geeky shirts as gifts.

What will the next year hold? Who can say? It may or may not include more blogging. It may or may not (probably not) include more dating. It may or may not include getting a dog. It will definitely include at least one visit to see my darling nephews. It will (hopefully) also include more weight loss. I hope it also includes more self-discovery and more self-acceptance. A little more maturity would be nice, too. Just a little. :)