International Women’s Day

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On March 8th it will be International Women’s Day. A day that’s celebrated in a number of ways around the world. Maybe as a form of respect and ongoing love- can there ever be too much of that? Or perhaps coming from a political and social awareness view point. Here, they are all enthusiastically supported, and for me International Women’s Day is an important one.

Within these blog pages I’ve written about being a Distracted Feminist, about women that inspire me, why acknowledging the wonderful everyday women in your life is important and some guilty rambles with a divided heart. Yes, talking about women, the way they work, the way we feel, the way women are portrayed, the countless journey’s that still lie ahead. It’s important to me.

Am I a feminist? Damn straight I am.

Do I believe in starting conversations and causing ripples where often inequality silently still sits. Yes, yes I will. As my beautiful friend Fran keeps reminding me, ripples become waves and waves change things up. There are still countless opportunities in our communities for things to be changed up.

In order to make those changes you need to believe in something. You need to have a fire within your belly, you need to be inspired and sometimes these changes take time. Inspiration can come from countless different places. Whether it’s your own musings propelling you forward, the people that surround your every day giving you strength or the very things that you see before you.

Our visual story is an important one, and one that I’m acutely aware of at the moment. With less time for words these days, many people often hold far more importance to a simple picture. It can be worth a thousand words, and it can also ignite a multitude of action towards gender equality, empowerment, or simply kindness. And that can only be a good thing. #beboldforchange

Happy International Women’s Day.

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Some links for Change, Thinking and Inspiration

A change.org petition for gender equality school uniforms

Mem Fox- “No more passive behaviour. Hear me roar”

Women Photograph

Why female photographers matter more than ever

UN Women

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All About Women

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

In the lead up to International Women’s Day I sent out a bunch of cards to a bunch of women that in someway, shape or form rock my world and I think they are a bit awesome.

I’d written before about giving bunches of lavender, this time I wanted to give a card. A few words, a tiny token of thanks for being a pretty wonderful woman in my life.

Speaking of wonderful women, last Sunday I got to hang out with Elizabeth Gilbert and hear her talk on creativity. Hear a panel that included Germaine Greer and Clementine Ford, taking in their thoughts on “How to be a Feminist.” And lastly watching the documentary of Finding Vivian Maier.

Three completely different trains of thought, that at the end of the day I think I felt a bit overwhelmed with. I felt charged and inspired with the first two and then watching the documentary on Vivian…in some ways it felt like the complete opposite to the first two. Certainly lots of bits to muse on over my notes anyway.

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Are you scribbling notes anywhere? What have you been up to?

The distracted feminist

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Hello. My name is Brydie and I’m a distracted feminist.

It’s an odd title but, but there it sits. Like me sitting down to write this post. I thought, I ummed, I errred a little, I paused, I read and then I thought some more. I had an idea, and then…well, I got distracted. Distracted by the bills that needed paying, one or two children, the door bell briefly and then I got distracted by the enormity of the topic- feminism.

I read article after article on different feminist points of views. I had rich and emotionally charged conversations with my husband. I laughed and laughed when I watched this funny lady. And then I thought some more.

Initially, I thought feminism wasn’t dead at all, instead it had just been pushed to the back of the ‘I’m too busy’ pile along with so many other things that people used to have an opinion about.

When people’s attention span has so dramatically decreased in recent years with the introduction of social media, online options, and general ‘busyness‘. It’s hard to hold someone’s attention for ten pages of feminist musings. Let alone, an entire book.

After that initial thought though, I leapt from one thought process to the next and wondered if our communities weren’t being exceptionally dumbed down and our women still indeed have a long road to travel. It sits uncomfortably that thought, but it sits all the same. Gender based inequalities, a rather long held topic really.

I do think living in a continually distracted state can keep us from some of the most important things in life- things that we should have an opinion on and be engaged with. 

While I’m completely guilty of being a distracted feminist at times, I’m also more aware of things then I ever was as my younger self. Stories, plights, endeavours and opinions of my fellow women I will devour and never tire of hearing about. Why? Because I am a woman and I want to think about these things. I want to have an opinion. I want to play a part in trying to change things that need changing. And it’s not just women that need to think about these things it’s our men and boys as well. Inequalities should be thought of as we are human, not because of what sex we are.

Becoming a parent introduced me to a whole range of subtle feminist musings I had never previously considered as a childless person. Things to consider, actions made or simply words and their substantial weight when said in a seemingly careless fashion.

So how does my day-to-day life align with feminist thinkings without dusting off the Germaine Greer books by my bed side table and stalking Clementine Ford‘s twitter feed? Well, it’s having an opinion and speaking up when I hear stupid comments like…

“Oh take your skirt off!” said to the young boy when he was hurt playing soccer and had paused the game.

“Boys will be boys”, on a messy bedroom. No, just because they have a penis doesn’t mean they are entitled to a room that looks like a bombs gone off, and yes girls can do that just as well, (my sister was an expert in this.)

cityhippyfarmgirlI don’t just read books to my kids where the hero is always a male. Nor do I subscribe to the useless princess stories waiting for her whole life to be fixed by a charming prince.

I won’t put clothing on my daughter that will restrict her playing, learning and her general keeping up with her big brothers (or anyone else) because she is the “dainty feminine one”. Sure she LOVES tutus, and if that tutu is covered in mud and paint splodges at the end of the day well, it looks like that has been a damn good day.

I won’t cultivate my boys interests to more “masculine” orientated themes. If they are interested in something, bloody hell, I’ll do whatever I can to encourage that.

I also refuse to take stupid comments like, “oh your husband will understand better” on asking for technical advice in a phone shop, before being fobbed off. No. Err, no he won’t, which is why I am here asking for help.

It’s true. I am unfortunately a distracted feminist- things can get busy round these parts, just as they can for so many other people. But I can also can be a distracted mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister. Along with a 100 other labels I could pin upon myself. The difference is, that I am interested, and I do have curiosity to know more, do more, think more. I certainly don’t see my sex as being inferior or less than and I refuse to take on any restrictions that someone cares to throw at me because of it.

What I will do is, have an evolving strong feminist leaning opinion…albeit at times a slightly distracted one.

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Today is International Women’s Day, the 8th of March– this post, along with another at the end of the week will be written with a feminine curve, (just as I did last year with these posts below.)

Guilty rambles with a divided heart

Lavender and inspiring women

lavender and inspiring women

lavender || cityhippyfarmgirl

Last year I wrote of giving lavender on International Women’s Day to those women in our lives whom we loved, respected, found inspiring and wanted to show a small sign of respect. While I think that respect and love should be given through out the year, I do think once a year an acknowledgement or prompting is still a wonderful thing.

Here are a few fearless inspiring women that have shaped or rock my world.

Sheryl Sidery– Shaped and rocked, for this beautiful woman I would plant an entire lavender farm.

Ina May Gaskin- I was lucky enough to hear this amazing woman speak in 2011. After respecting and looking up to her for 19 years, that felt pretty special.

The little old lady at the end of my street. She stands and watches from her front gate, never missing an opportunity to smile and give a little wave as my children and I walk by.

My beautiful blogger friend @ The Monkeys Nest– mama to new twins, that’s an incredible path she’s now walking.

Nicky Gemmell- Honestly: Notes on Life is a book that’s sitting on my “list”. I adore Nicky Gemmell‘s writing- sometimes it feels like she is typing words from within my head.

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Which women have shaped, inspired or rocked your world?

international women's day || cityhippyfarmgirl

In the lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March– this post is one of three with a feminine curved theme.

guilty rambles with a divided heart

denby || cityhippyfarmgirl

From the very first page I started underlining sections. Highlighting paragraphs, drawing arrows to particular lines I liked and folding tiny corners of the pages back.

I nodded, I sighed, I sat back and contemplated. I understood, I could identify and times I simply wanted to shout YES!

This was the book that spoke to my very bones. Rachel Power understood, and all these wonderful women that she had interviewed understood. They spoke of the joys, the heart ache, the balancing acts, and the guilt. The guilt that seemed to go hand in hand with being a mother and living a creative life.

And yet I carried my own special little brand of guilt. A slightly different slant of guilt, as I felt guilty in even identifying with these famous women. I wasn’t a composer, a journalist, a musician or writer. I didn’t make a living from my creations, not even slightly- I didn’t make one dollar.

And yet, there the guilt sat.

I love writing and I love taking photos and would dearly love to get better with both of them. So, I get up early, I go to bed late and utilise the hell out of nap time. My children always come first during their waking hours but come sleep time, and the call to create can be hard to ignore. I greedily want that time to myself or at least partially.  I want that time to somehow put my creative stamp on the day. I know I’m a more levelled parent and considerate partner if I have had that time and yet still the guilt can quietly sit.

the divided heart || cityhippyfarmgirl

To solely write or just take photos as an individual act can often feel incredibly self indulgent and selfish in contrast to parenting; where at times it can feel you are giving, giving and giving to everyone within in the household on a 24 hour basis to all but one.

I am lucky, in that I quite often also use food as a creative outlet. I can get creative and feed my family at the same time- incredibly convenient for all of us. I’m also lucky in that doing things in five, ten minute increments- can actually feel incredibly satisfying at times. I’ve been doing that for so long now, I’ve got no idea what it would be like to just sit down and write for six solid hours. Bliss I would imagine. Sheer bliss. My mind would probably go into a spark inducing overload, the inability to multitask would feel quite strange.

And yet occasionally there are those moments of a couple hours to myself. Everyone is out and a whispered ‘write, just write’ is called as the door pulls shut. Then the pressure is on, the pressure to create something of note in the allocated time. I twitch, I feel scatty, I procrastinate and then finally something clicks and the fingers begin their work. Immersed in the moment, the intensity, the zone- I’m finally neck deep in words and suddenly you hear little people voices in the stair well, the key in the lock and the shout of what’s for dinner?

I reluctantly give a deep sigh, the silent click of ‘save’ and you greet them with a loving hug and a kiss, wondering too, what on earth we are going to have for dinner?

Reminders

* Having a clean bathroom isn’t nearly as satisfying as having written something and edited photos for an hour and a quarter during little girl nap time. Grout will always be there- coherent words falling out my head, no. They can disappear in a blink of an eye.

* Giving chocolate ice cream as a starter for dinner- 1/ gives you bonus points as a parent, surprises the hell out of everyone when it’s suggested, buys you crucial minutes to pull together something more nutritious to follow on with while they happily eat it; and being the awesome little vegetable loving imps that they are, they will always eat their greens after their ice cream.

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In the lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March– this post is one of three with a feminine curved theme.

lavender and inspiring women

cityhippyfarmgirl

A gnarly sun kissed hand pushed a bunch of wattle towards the car window. The driver reaching out for it, swapping the vivid yellow for a few coins and on they drove. The traffic continued, until the next change of lights, where the gnarly hand would once again push forward, offering the small bunches of bright yellow to the driver.

How wattle got to be a symbol of International Women’s Day in Italy I’m not sure. But this is how a number of Italian menfolk show their love and gratitude towards the women in their lives on the 8th of March. Mothers, wives, daughters, co workers, friends…they are all acknowledged, with a little bouquet of wattle. Whether those little bouquets are given as symbolism for the political and social struggles of women this day was initially started for or it’s more a mark of respect, love and appreciation I’m not sure.

Either way, I think I like it. A small symbolic gesture, that I would imagine be really appreciated. Now wattle originated in Australia, so does Australia have a similar culture or giving tradition on International Women’s Day?

Unfortunately no, nope not in the slightest, but I’m wondering… perhaps it’s time we started?

lavander

Some inspiring women in my life that I’ve been thinking of lately, and would love to give a small bouquet of lavender to…

My gorgeous friend who made the mammoth shift of moving states, to give her family a new start- Taking that plunge takes incredible courage.

This wonderful woman is a Doctor with MSF. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her a couple of times, being a good friend of my good friend. The site won’t let me embed the video here, but PLEASE take the time to watch it. (3 mins)

Another artist friend who is at the very beginnings of studying law. As a mama to two little people, I’m in absolute awe of her, (I can barely finish a cup of coffee at the moment.)

And my wonderfully strong blogging friend Mariana, who is still dealing with the aftermath of severe flooding on her property.

All incredibly strong courageous women, that I feel honoured to know.

Which women are you inspired by at the moment?

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Also a few books I’m thinking about for my girl…

Not one Damsel in Distress-

Grandmothers Stories-

Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters-

I think my boys will enjoy these stories too.