The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

Would you Read your Mother’s Diary?

I “Accidentally” Read My Mom’s Diary Over The Holidays And It Turned Out Terribly | xoJane.

I think it would be one thing, if you had never known her. If  she was deceased and you wanted to get to know who she was. But, in that case you would not be reading her thoughts about yourself as an adult.

My Mother does keep a diary. But, she encourages all of us to write in it too. So, I do read her notes and she reads mine. This kind of diary is filtered through your personal censor as you write it, knowing others will be reading it. In the case of our family, we don’t filter much. Things are pretty open and we aren’t waging battles against each other, holding grudges, etc.

The post on xoJane was written by a daughter in a different kind of relationship with her Mother. I don’t think she ever should have read that diary. She had no right to pick it up and read anything in there. Using the excuse of finding it is pretty awful and kind of phony. There are all kinds of things you might find in a bedside night table drawer – to pick out the most personal and read it is really arrogant and disrespectful.

This was my comment on the post, written thinking of my Dad who is now deceased.

For me it wasn’t my Mother but my Dad. Still,.I would never have read his diary or put his private thoughts online for anyone to read. You can’t control what your Mother says, does or thinks. But you should work on your own actions. Just because a diary is in a drawer, rather than locked up, does not mean you should sit there and read it. You and your Mother seem to feed off each other. If neither of you changes things will stay the same. If you want love from her you could at least not treat her like “the enemy”. It’s not easy to ignore all the history in your relationship but if you act like you’re in battle – always trying to win something from her, it just won’t ever work out. Neither of you will get the type of relationship you want because you both focus on your own needs and winning rather than (if not giving something) at least not taking something.

Ecard Writing Tips from SomeEcards

Tap into a jarring thought, a complex emotion, a contradictory behavior, an absurd scenario, or a general societal observation – however rude, embarrassing, or illegal. Try to not make your card as overwrought and pretentious as the previous sentence. Make every word count. The key is that your sentiment rings true, but also feels like something people haven’t quite heard before.

Let the image help tell the story – a glance, outfit, time period, unexpected pairing, odd gesture, or age can do wonders to elevate a well-crafted dick joke.

Keep your card to one sentence with no question marks or exclamation points. This is a general rule of the site for the sake of compactness and consistency. Rules can be fun!

Do a gut check on whether it’s “sendable.” Would someone want to receive your card? Will they “get” it? Will they read too much into it and think the sender is desperately unhappy in his or her job or relationship with them? If you answered “yes, “yes,” and “I’m an unemployed loner” then it’s probably fine.

If you love your card right away, something may be horribly wrong. Take a break, then come back to reevaluate. Is your card clear in its intended message? Is it a mind-blowingly profound insight on the human condition? Is it sort of funny? Maybe run it by a few friends to check. Then edit the words or image for a long enough time span that you can’t even remember what you’re doing or why. Continue this until you confidently admire your card or start feeling incomprehensibly alone in the universe. That means you’re done!

-Brook Lundy, co-founder & head writer

via Writing Tips | someecards.com.

No Reply At All

One more small thing that annoys me… people who put out an email asking me a question (like why I’m not using their network/ service) and then use a noreply@whatever.com as an email address.

Do you see the problem with this? Have you experienced this yourself? Doesn’t this feel like an irritating sales call you’d be happy to hang up on?

Please, if you are asking someone to give you a response, let them give you a response. Or, just don’t ask in the first place!

Today I had a reminder email from an online service which offers to store your computer files on the web (basically). I had to register on the site in order to find out more about it. (I would have rejected it right there but it was a link a friend had sent me). I could not see any real use for the service, plus they wanted me to download software in order to use the service. I didn’t want to download anything. I don’t know what it is they are having me download or understand the need for a download to use an online service. That was a week ago.

Today the reminder email came. They told me what they can do for me and gave me another link to the download for their software. I began to send a reply email, telling them I don’t have a need for their service, then I noticed the address my reply would be sent to: no-reply@xxxx.com. So my time sending them an email would be wasted. They don’t want to hear anything from me, just get me to download their stuff.

Would you trust them at this point? Pretty one way relationship they are setting up, I give and they take. Would you trust your files to a company that works this way? I’d explain to them why I have set their email address into my spam file, but… why bother?

Tips for Giving Criticism

From All WomensTalk: 8 Tips for Giving and Receiving Criticism:

3. Don’t Say Always
Always is an incredibly long time! Don’t use always or never in your criticism. “You never…” is going to make the person feel under attack, and immediately go defensive. If you need to use times, use frequently, or sometimes. This is probably much more accurate anyway, and will stop you using ‘negative’ words!

6. Remember the Motto
Catherine the Great once said something we should all keep in mind….praise loudly, blame softly. Make sure that if you offer criticism, you also offer praise. Not at the same time, as this can make it appear fake, but at some point. For example, my boyfriend is excellent at cooking, but frustratingly rubbish at making complete shopping lists. I prefer to remind him how much of an excellent cook he is rather then rant at him, though, and when I do need to criticize, it doesn’t affect our relationship or his mood. He knows I think he is amazing, anyway!

7. Focus on “I”
Think about how you write in your diary. You are more likely to use “I”…I think, I know, I presume…then to use you. Use this in your criticism. Make it personal to you, not an attack on the other person. I believe that…is much kinder then saying you are doing this wrong, and is the correct way to phrase it. Think me, not them.

All eight tips were good. These three were great. Taking and giving feedback is never simple. If you can manage not to make it feel like a personal attack you will actually be able to get an information exchange and (possibly) really help someone.

It Was Laughable

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~Victor Borge

Write a scene where two people meet. Have something happen that makes them laugh together and that is how they go from just meeting to getting to know each other. If you have people meet in this way it also gives you something to refer back to later in the story when you need to reinforce their relationship, or just give them something to laugh about and lighten the mood.

Love, Dear Valentine

Love is not finding the right person
But creating the right relationship.
It is not how much love we have in the beginning
But How much love we built until the end.

– Unknown

“I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.”

– Unknown

Remember Why you Love to Write

“Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world. We try to humanize them. If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday … or if she can make someone chuckle about a stressful relationship, I’m happy. Putting a smile on people’s faces is what it’s all about.”  John Wagner, creator of the Maxine comic for Hallmark Cards.

Maxine even has a blog of her own now.

I like the quote about cartoonists because it can apply to anyone writing, drawing, sculpting, etc. As much as we write for ourselves it is good to think about who is reading what we write. How it will be perceived and what kind of reaction it gets.

Think of your writing goal, are you writing horror, comedy? Then plan your writing that direction. Seems overly simple but worth keeping in mind on days when you feel you are getting lost in the details or just need to get yourself back into loving your story again.

Your Romantic Relationship Personal Best?

Your ideal romantic relationship is peaceful, romantic, and private.

This came up as a result from a quiz on Blogthings.com. It’s probably right. I do want something close, personal and cuddly. Not that I am all cuddly all the time. But, that is all a part of being close in mind and in body. Spirit too but that could be asking too much, besides I’m not looking for a complete clone of myself. Still, I’d never stay in a relationship where there was a lot of discord (with himself or his family/ friends).

How would you sum up your own romantic relationship personal best in just three words?