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To The Men Who Are Now Living In A Post Wonder Woman Society
June 7, 2017, 12:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Now, this is not for every man out there. I know there are plenty of men who are embracing this movie and the wake it is leaving in society.

But there are a few–some that I have even witnessed–who refuse to accept what is happening here.

So, for those few, allow me to explain some things.


 

I get it. I totally get it. You think we are coming for you. That an angry mob of liberated women is going to try and take over the world. I can see where that might be terrifying. People are always afraid of things they do not understand.

I can understand why you would feel left out or –segregated– when theaters chose to have special viewings of this film for women only. Don’t we have enough films tailored *just for us*? Lala Land? An Affair to Remember? Every Nicholas Sparks movie?

And now…NOW…we have come for your action movies. As if giving us X-Men and Black Widow wasn’t enough.

And to your point, yes, it is just an amazing super hero movie that is doing extremely well.

BUT to then also say that we are being dramatic and the whole smash the patriarchy thing is getting old and we need to calm down with the feminism…

Did we watch the same film?

Maybe not. Maybe you accidentally walked into Guardians of the Galaxy or something.

Let me tell you what this movie was about and what it means to women:

My daughter dressed up as Captain America for Halloween last year. Not a girl version of Captain America…the little boy labeled costume.

I have been taking my daughter to see action hero movies since she was 4. She knows every Avenger’s name. She knows who Ultron is. She loves the Hulk.

She refers to Black Widow as “the girl one”.  Which is fair. That’s basically what she is. That girl who sometimes shows up with Hawkeye.

As I watched Wonder Woman with my daughter last weekend and gasped as Diana climbed out of that trench and proceeded to take all of the fire so that the baffled and scared men could then finally advance towards the Germans-

As I watched a woman, who had just been told “no”, do exactly the opposite of that-

I had such a strong reaction that even when I recount the scene to my parents or sister on the phone or strangers on the internet I get emotional. That moment was a moment that I never realized I needed. I teared up and grabbed my daughter’s hand. I squeezed it and she squeezed back, her 3-D glasses fixated on the screen as she watched for the first time what a super hero could be.

This movie was a movie–a moment–that I never realized I needed. I don’t think any of us did.

This Wonder Woman was not sponsored by Revlon. There is no sparkle to her. No cutesy dialogue.  Instead, we were shown an entire island of women who spend all of their time training like damn Spartans. They were dirty, sweaty, not a lick of mascara in sight and hair thrown back in functional pony tails. They were Amazons in every sense: tall, lean and muscular, hardened in the ways of battle with absolutely zero need of men.

But they were beautiful. They were a beautiful and fearsome sight to behold.

We have been living in a world where strong women have been portrayed as an exception to their gender. When a woman is outspoken or has strong opinions she has to be labeled something BESIDES A WOMAN. Often she is called a bitch, a lesbian, or just plain wrong.

We have been living in a world where to be taken seriously in the eyes of the public, you have to strip away your feminine side. Harden up. Be prepared to be bullied by the men who have resided in certain arenas since the dawn of time. We have watched women be interrupted during their allotted time to speak. We have watched women be physically intimidated on live tv. We have watched women be literally silenced for doing things…exact things…that their male counterparts get away with doing every day.

But we have also watched these women persist. Resist. Rise up. Instead of complaining about being intimidated or slandered, they sit there with their eyes set dead ahead. Instead of being silenced, we have seen women continue on to prove their point that is merely stating exact facts. And every time this happens, it becomes a movement. Every time a woman makes a man look like an idiot, it becomes national news because the idea is so novel.

Diana Price–Wonder Woman (a title that is actually never used in the film)–is the harbinger of every thing these modern women are trying to trail blaze. She refuses to be silent. She refuses to go along with a male agenda. She literally cannot grasp when they try to feminize her so she blends in more with their society.

She does what has to be done and what she is there to do. She steps out in to no-man’s land…and perhaps it is aptly named…and does what men could not do.

She doesn’t do it to prove a point. She doesn’t do it because she is a woman. She doesn’t do it because she knows she has powers inside of her that remain untapped.

She does it because no one else will. When the men said “No” a woman said “Yes”.

So yes, gentlemen. You are living now in a society where women are feeling validated. Empowered. Bold.

We have sat through film after film of men doing what is right and saving the world. We have applauded them and enjoyed the movies and encouraged our daughters to be like them even if they are a different gender.

Our daughters have been taught that if you want to appear strong, you have to be a man. If you want to be strong, it is more socially acceptable to be a man.

And now we are a society where the word “woman” means nothing and everything. The word no longer comes with the string of other words that have been attached to it for so long and instead can now be associated with:

Power

Bravery

Justice

Compassion

Strength

A symbol has appeared in our society that will now rock the scale of what it means to be a hero and I feel sorry if you feel like that somehow infringes on the space that you have already rented out for every other super hero ever. I feel sorry for you if you think that Wonder Woman will require her own space in comic book movie cannon simply because she is the first of her kind to do something like this.

We are not here to diminish male super heroes. We are not here to say Wonder Woman is a better super hero than anyone else. We are not here to brag about how it is now the highest grossing female directed movie in history, dethroning movies like…Frozen and Shrek. We are not here to smash your precious patriarchy that you don’t think exists with our hyper feminist agendas.

We are just happy to be here. We are crying tears of joy to have received an invitation like this, like this woman, like this film.

Women are not here to take over the planet, gentlemen. We are here to help save it.

And a woman

–not a Wonder Woman–

just a woman named Diana

has now shown us that we do not have to change a single thing about ourselves to do it.



Scotland
June 3, 2017, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a funny idea–the notion of going on a sort of adventure in search of something. What drives us from the safety of our houses onto an unknown road trying to find something that we never knew was missing from us?

As I boarded my plane that would take me over the wide Atlantic I found myself thinking about the notion of finding what I was looking for or finding myself while over there. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I didn’t know what I was going to find.

I wandered deep into the Scottish highlands, standing in basins among gargantuan hills that, unlike mountains, had rolling crests like the profile of a dear lover’s face where glaciers had slowly roamed and settled.

I followed rivers for miles to find blue and green pools of water where surely fairies must have taken up residency.

I intrepidly maneuvered my way down to the edge of the pools, dipping my mortal finger tips into freezing and divine waters. I flicked a coin into them and watched as it settled down with the pebbles. The day was cloudy–the day was always cloudy–but somehow light reflected off of the coin that I left as an offering. A wish. A gleaming wish.

I turned around to see how far I had walked to get to where I was and the road wasn’t even visible. It was like I had fallen out of time and I wondered how far I could keep walking– deeper and deeper into the prehistoric wilds of Scotland.

Away from everything I had known. Away from lives that I thought I had wanted. Away from expectations and disappointments. I would vanish without a trace.

But I didn’t keep walking. Eventually I turned around and followed my own footsteps back to civilization and drove on, marveling at how many shades of green seemed to exist all of a sudden.

I passed lakes, the water’s edge so close to the car you felt like you could just reach your hand out and drag your fingers along their surfaces as you passed by, like a skipping rock or the kiss of a fish as it bobs up to catch a bug–just leaving a small ripple in its place.

I got lost in gardens, heard the bleat of thousands of newborn lambs, meandered through castles, smelled the cold and grey scent of open ocean.

I traveled through every season, every kind of terrain, every dream I had ever come up with.

I struggled.

When an incline was too steep, when my body had used up all of its reserves and I could feel my muscles eating themselves, I stopped. I bent over and gasped for air or tried to find a place to rest, to watch everyone else pass me by on their own journey, probably not even seeing me in my failed state; lost in their own euphoria.

A voice urged me on. I had to try to get to just the next check point, then rest again. It was always just a little bit away to the next check point. Don’t look at the big picture. Don’t look up. Don’t feel dwarfed. Keep your eyes on the path ahead of you, keep your eyes on your own feet and you’ll eventually find yourself in a place you never thought you could get to.

I did not find something that I had been missing in Scotland. I did not suddenly feel like a different person and realize some sort of personal potential while getting lost on roads with no names and highways that could only accommodate one way traffic. When I woke up in the morning and looked at myself in the mirror, I recognized the girl looking back at me. She was no stranger.

I didn’t find anything, but I lost plenty. I lost layers of myself that I had always hid behind. Missing was my connection to the outside world; my need to validate my experiences with other people who weren’t on that journey with me. That faded. Gone was my self conscious sense of appearance. I let the wind whip my hair into all sorts of disarray. My cheeks chapped in the cold. I arrived back to my room damp and disheveled more nights than not. I let go of my need for control. If I felt lost or defeated, I didn’t curl up into a small ball and start heaving and gasping. Paths are there for a reason, roads–no matter how small–always lead somewhere and if you don’t have a finish line, if you don’t have an agenda, there is no reason to ever feel lost or out of control.

You are never in control in the first place. I learned that as well. It will always rain. There will always be traffic. You will not always know where you are.

All you can control is your reaction to those things around you. Controlling your reaction may seem like a large undertaking; I know before this trip it always seemed easier said than done for someone with my emotional capacities.

But, here is what I learned about controlling your reactions:

It never means having to reel yourself in. Controlling doesn’t mean holding back or girding yourself from something you might have a large reaction to.

It means being brave enough to crack your chest bones and grabbing your own heart. It means giving yourself room on the inside to experience everything around you. Things only seem hard if you yourself are a hard person. Become soft and let the world around you seep in like damp sand during low tide.

Unhappiness, fear, stress, heart break–these things are only mirror images of preconceived notions that you thrust upon yourself. It is easy when you around jobs and technology and people to set up expectations–linear expectations–of what happiness, calm, and fulfillment feel like.

Don’t do that.

I stood in a world that over whelmed me and I felt full. There was no divide of emotions anymore–I felt happy and loved and calm and encouraged all at the same time.

It was all the same feeling, don’t you see?

It’s not that I found myself in the hills of Scotland.

It’s that Scotland took everything that wasn’t truly me away.  I had been under there the whole time, like a sleeping druid.

And when it was time to go, to board the plane and fly back over the ocean to where divided emotions ruled, it didn’t feel like a goodbye. It felt like an assault.

I wasn’t ready.

And I was scared.

What would become of me back in the world without all of my armor, without all of emotional defenses and notions? The world I was returning to was a hard world and I had just become a soft soul.

But I left, just the same. I let time and expectation rip me from that country, from those hills and fields. It all seemed unfair. It seemed like everything I had learned had been in vain. I felt like kicking and screaming as I drove across the border, back to the airport.

It suddenly felt like everything had been a dream.  Like a twist ending to some 60’s tv sitcom show. It didn’t feel like it had really happened. I looked out of my window as I drove through the hills, the lakes, the sea in reverse realization and discovery.

I memorized it all. It was real and no one was going to take it from me. No matter how soft I had let myself become, no one would rob me of this.

 

 

But still, I lamented.

 

“How can I leave you?” I asked quietly, as I left.

“But my love, if you don’t leave now, how will you ever return to me?” Scotland whispered back and it sounded like lullaby.