Halloween Sluts

Halloween is a time when women come under fire.  People (mostly women) are shouting and raging about women’s costumes, saying they are over-sexualizing women and the women who wear them are sluts!

Personally, I would love to see more costumes that cover my body.  I don’t feel comfortable in the costumes presented to me in the store, these super super low cut dresses that barely cover a woman’s butt.  That is not how I feel comfortable presenting myself as a woman in a public setting, maybe to a husband or something, but not just for fun in public.  If I wore some of these outfits, I just feel too exposed.  I went shopping for an outfit once and I finally found one that went down to just above my knees and wasn’t too low-cut.

However, just because I don’t feel comfortable wearing those costumes doesn’t mean I have to right to order around women who do.  I am a feminist.  What is the difference if I’m telling a woman what to do, wear or think or if a man is telling her to do that?  If a woman feels comfortable dressing like that, then she should have the right to do so.

We can’t just go around calling women “sluts”.  That is slut shaming and makes it ok for women who do express their sexuality in ways that are more liberal to be labeled as dirty or slutty or a multitude of negative names.  However when men express sexuality, they are just being men, shame on you men,  That’s about it.  We are always taught that women are the source of men’s temptation (like their pants just FLY off when a woman walks by) and that women should be the pure ones, which is why women are called sluts and whores while boys will be boys.

This is a general statement & not everyone is like this but it is a prevalent theme in society.  Women in society can no longer be characterized as something negative if they are more liberal and make their own choice to act a certain way, whether that be a tiny costume to going home with a man.  I wouldn’t partake in any of these actions and going home with someone could be very dangerous so I’m not suggesting that is something you should do, but if a woman does do that, makes a consensual choice she is not a slut, she is a woman.  She is a woman making a choice of her own.  She is a woman not a slut, a woman.

Don’t judge a woman and seriously remember (no matter how childish it seems) when you’re pointing a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at yourself.  I’m sure there would be plenty of people who would have labeled my costume as “slutty” or me a “slut” even though it went to my knees and didn’t show cleavage, but to some that is more liberal than they choose to be.

I also understand that when you dress a certain way there are going to be judgements about people, that is just human nature and a fact of life.  However, my point in this is saying, yes you can be mad at these costumes and don’t buy them for yourself, but keep in mind there are women out there who feel comfortable wearing them.  So maybe it is over-sexualizing yourself if you wore them, but other women don’t view it as such.  Don’t try to take away choices from women because then you are no better than the society & men who try to take away their choices as well.

Just some food for thought.

Everyone have a happy happy happy Halloween, be safe, be smart and enjoy your holiday.

♥ Meggie

Saturday’s Inspiration

On Saturday I went to the Civilian First Responder Conference hosted by Women at Risk International. The entire conferences was about 1 of the 14 risk issues women face around the world that WAR works with.  That issue is human trafficking. They discussed what trafficking is, how to identify it and what you can do about it.  Now, I’ve heard all these stories and Becky the founder does not hold back.  She includes all the graphic details because that is what trafficking is.

The hardest part was hearing the story of Rhoda Kershaw.  She is a survivor who was trafficked by the Japanese Mafia.  She is a singer & has been gifted with a beautiful voice. Her story is on her website.  It was so hard listening to her even though I”ve heard this story a million times at the store.  She began to tear up while speaking and it honestly broke my heart.  I just wanted to run up on stage and wrap my arms around her.

What I love about WAR is the fact that they are a Christian based group, but Becky is so open and makes sure that they help anyone who needs it no matter race, religion, or sexual orientation.  Even during her speech she was talking about how the women are judged or thought of as less therefore the poor treatment of women is very accepted in many countries, so people just turn a blind eye.  Then she opened it up to the crowd, asking for another group who is mistreated and people turn a blind eye to crimes that affect them.  People said children & elderly, which she agreed to, but the she yelled homosexuals!   She said this is a group that is beaten, abused, violated and people turn a blind eye!  She told the crowd it doesn’t matter your opinion of their lifestyle, NO ONE deserves to be treated like that because we are all God’s creatures and deserved to be loved and respected.  Statements like this are why, even as a non-Christian, I support WAR because they act like how Christians should.  Instead of being judgmental or cruel, they  say it doesn’t matter!  We will love you, we will help you and we will take care of you if you need it no matter what.  She even made it clear that they don’t “beat the survivors over the head with the Bible”, that they have religious services, but none are forced, anyone who needs help is more than welcome to stay at the safe houses and will not be judged.

She then talked about sex, which shocked me!  I rarely hear such a devoted Christian speak so freely and openly about sex.  I know it is possible, my parents have always been very open about sex because they want my sister and I to be able to come to them about anything & never ever feel uncomfortable.  She told the group, don’t treat sex as something bad.  She said, sex is wonderful, sex is beautiful, God created sex!  Teach your children sexuality is not a bad thing, that it is a beautiful thing and that there are bad people in this world who make it something dirty and unclean and evil.  Be open with your children so they feel comfortable to come to you and talk to you.  Your home should be a safe place where your kids can come talk to you about anything and everything, be involved in their life, know their friends, their friend’s parents.  Being an involved parents is one of the greatest preventative tactics to keep your children from being trafficked.

95 people (including me) showed up, men and women, even some high school students.  I felt this wave of inspiration, hope, amazement.  I love seeing others get involved and fight for something.  It makes me feel so much less alone, like my single action WILL help because I know for sure that there are 94 other people out there doing the same thing!  So I’m not a single voice anymore.  Hearing Rhoda speak ignites a fire within anyone, her tears like gasoline, fueling this burning passion I have to keep women (and men) like her safe, to keep my family safe and to keep me safe.

For any information on Human Trafficking or Sexual/Physical abuse, you can always ask me questions.  I have resources for those just becoming interested, to explain how you can help and more.  You could always go to Women at Risk’s website which is linked above.

♥ Meggie

Who Knows?

Life is absolutely crazy.  You think you have the entire thing planned out and then the road rips off in a different direction, you gripping the wheel for dear life, trying to just hang out, terrified, confused.

I guess that’s how my life went.  I had my plan, high school then college.  I didn’t have a job planned for the future, but I could find something.  I was too timid to volunteer alone.  Then I met my boyfriend and we have had one hell of a ride, but some how we come back to each other and right now, strange at it may be, our communication has improved so much, we barely fight, maybe a spat every now and then but nothing we can’t talk about.  He is definitely one of the strangest, most powerful co-pilot you could have, but we’re taking it slow, very slow.  We need to work on everything first so we don’t fracture again.  After meeting him is when I got involved in my community, in the world, he inspired me to go for it, just like he goes for whatever he wants in his life.

I went to my first event alone Thursday.  A local store, Jeans and a Cute Shop, is hosting a bra drive for Free the Girls and, with my Aunt’s incredible help and support, collected 59 bras (including some of my own).  I couldn’t find anyone to go with so I went by myself and I was so nervous, but it went well.  I talked to the store owners and nothing bad happened!  I get so nervous about absolutely nothing!

I love the work I’m doing now, all of the volunteer work, donation collections, articles on Facebook.  I was so afraid that people would think I’m strange, or end up disliking me but in the long run, I don’t care.  None of my friends would care & as it turns out, a lot of people read what I post.and love it or want to get involved.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing or where your life is going to take you.  Sometimes you are very literally riding completely blind but that’s ok, it really is.  Just let go, don’t let fear control you.  You can do it, you are enough and you are completely capable.

♥ Meggie

Women aren’t the only ones. . .

I do quite a bit of work with anti-trafficking efforts in Chicago & I am starting to get involved in domestic abuse efforts, mainly spreading the world and donation collections.  In these efforts, you hear about the women and children being trafficked or abused and you hear about the men who victimize them.  You hear about husbands/boyfriends beating their wives/girlfriends, you hear about men forcing women in 3rd world countries into brothels.

I just heard about the Unbreakable Project.  They collect photos of sexual assault victims holding a sign with the last thing their attacker said to them.  If you click this link here, this is a series of 26 male sexual assault victims.

Both men and women have problems coming forward after being assaulted.  Women are blamed or told they deserve it by the way they dress or how much they drank.  However, in society, women can at least be accepted as victims, it is still incredibly hard for them though and I am not trying to lessen that, because I know it can be difficult.

For men though, a man should be able to defend themselves.  I mean, how could a big strong man be raped?  Of course, only weak men get raped or small men, maybe young boys? We also all know, because it is common sense of course, that a woman could never rape a man or abuse him physically!  WRONG!  Men can be raped by men or women, age and size have nothing to do with it.  If a man is raped, that does NOT make him any less of man or mean something is wrong with him.  These are such common misconceptions, even in the list above the men hold up signs saying “‘Men can’t be raped’ when I told someone” and one man was asked “How can a girl rape a boy?” and later told to “man up” by his fiance when had a panic attack after seeing his rapist 8 years later.

Whether the victim is a male or female it is NOT OUR  RIGHTto judge them, tell them they’re lying, blame them for what happened.  We should be embracing them with love and understanding, we should help them in whatever way they need help.

I have had a male family member physically abused by a woman, a woman smaller than him & I have someone in my life, incredibly close to me who has been sexually assaulted.  Right now, my role in support is just being there, having fun, going out and letting him know that he is not less of a man and I will never think that about him.  I let him know that whenever he wants to talk I am here for him and I offer a safe place and will only show him love not judgement and that is how  both men and women should be treated.

Maybe after reading this, after seeing the photos, you might have to change your perspective, hopefully in a positive way, to be accepting and understanding.

Always remember not to judge, just accept with love.

♥ Meggie

 

International Day of the Girl

I’m so excited to finally have time to sit down and write this blog.  Friday was International Day of the Girl, a day created by the UN to raise awareness of women’s risk issues, everything from discrimination to sexual violence and more.  Love Letters, the women’s empowerment group I just started working for, decided to throw a celebration.

It went so well!  We didn’t get 200 people, but quite a few came out.  The day started at 3:30 with a free yoga session and a women’s business expo where we had so many wonderful groups join us!  The Ladies Room came to film a bit, which was very exciting!  Then we had the Butterfly Ceremony, where Jillie spoke and we got together in groups to talk about us as women, our fears, proud moments, whatever needed to be talked about that’s what we did.  Then we all wrote 1 thing we wished to release from our lives on a sheet of paper and burned it in the bonfire.  It was truly an amazing night.

What made it even crazier was that one of our guests came up with this adorable Pitbull.  I was so excited I started playing with this little girl and told our friend I didn’t know she had a dog.  She said she doesn’t and she found her wandering the parking lot!  I took the dog from her since she was having a hard time handling her.  I got her some water, took her on a run,  She was a good weight, gums looked good, there was some scaring on her head and back, which worried me, but no new cuts, and she had cauliflower ear.

Luckily, one of the business expo participants from ChiroOne owns 2 Pits and came over to help me . I contact some groups I follow about what to do since she had a collar and leash but no tags or way to identify her.  Animal Control was eventually contacted to pick her up, she doesn’t have a microchip so she is being kept in animal control for now.

The woman from ChrioOne offered to foster so I’ve been on the phone with some local Pittie rescues trying to see how they can pull her and what is even better is that we have a potential family who wants to adopt her!  Hopefully everything will work out! 🙂

♥ Meggie