“There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country. We all owe so much to those who came before and tonight belongs to all of you.”
We sit across from each other at the table. The restaurant hustle and bustle has faded as we look at each other with saddened, tired eyes. I wonder where the love has gone, we used to be so full of it. Was it the kids, the bills, the routine? What killed our affection, our intimacy? I think I know, though I don’t feel safe to speak of it. Secrets. We have them. Maybe my secret is the destructive one, in fact I know it is. I’m sure you have secrets too, but if you do, you’ve hid them well. I don’t blame you, my secret has been killing me and also keeping me alive for a long time. Decades in fact.
Let me start off by saying that I respect what Caitlyn Jenner has done, in that she has taken to many social media platforms in order to answer questions from young, impressionable men and women. Good for her. She’s got a strong voice and she should use it. My concern is that, while she is stunning on paper, when she opens her mouth everything cringe worthy surges out.
We need to talk. About the Kardashians. As I was perusing Facebook this afternoon I saw a post that a friend who I usually consider to be pretty enlightened shared on their facebook wall. The text of the post, as delivered by a group titled “Expand your Consciousness”, is as follows: “Malala Yousafzai & Kylie Jenner. Both turned 18 recently. One was given a Ferrari and spent thousands on facial modification. The other was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, survived a gunshot to the face by the Taliban due to corruption in her country, and opened a school for Syrian refugees to combat the lack of education for youth around the world. What’s upsetting is the media is only covering one of these stories as “breaking news”. Share the post to spread real love and inspiration across the youth of the world. Last thing to note, Malala is infinitely more beautiful!”
The 88th annual Academy awards are right around the corner. We all know about them; we all hear about them endlessly. The be all, end all of Hollywood awards, they are. I personally gave up on the Oscars years ago. I find them to be dreadfully boring. What speaks to me about cinema as an art is not how many accolades those pieces receive from "The Institution", but whether it speaks to me on a personal level. Did I wake up thinking about a film the day after I've watched it? Did I feel the need to tell others about it? Did it do something for my understanding of a situation or a group of people or a happening in history? There are many ways in which I gauge the success of a film- none of which have anything to do with a beautiful gold statuette or a group of rich, entitled white people golf-clapping for it.
We’ve all seen them- those wonderful little memes that sum us women up by our shape, whether it’s a message of affirmation, or a message of shame. Some are fat shaming, some are thin shaming, some are simply reaffirming that we come in all shapes and we all have the capacity to be beautiful regardless of what the size tag on our trousers says.
The Laughing Lesbian has hit a milestone! We have hit one year and what a year it has been. When I first launched our small online magazine I had no idea what I was doing. And if we are being honest, I still don’t. I had a good idea of what I wanted and I had some big dreams, but in reality I threw myself into the ocean without learning how to swim.
Readers, this topic is very serious and dear to my heart, therefore I will be brutally honest. I hope you take my words for what they are, an opinion, and understand that whether you are in agreement or not, this topic deserves to be spoken about.
Rachel Dolezal has been all over the media circuit lately, because she has decided to take this time to “come out” as bisexual. That’s all fine and dandy but her reasons to do so are complete bullshit. Dolezal has been compared to Caitlyn Jenner by a plethora of people and I am one hundred percent certain this is why she has decided to take this time to come out. Dolezal is trying to divert the media’s attention from her foolish choice to pretend to be black and is, instead, trying to move her controversial media coverage over to her sexuality. By using Caitlyn Jenner to further her coverage, she has become the poster child for masking identity. Is Dolezal straight and white? Is she bisexual and white? Is she purple and asexual? Who knows what her next story will be.
Dolezal has said that she feels a connection with Jenner because she understands Jenner’s feelings of isolation and being misunderstood. Readers, I ask you, it’s a little hard not to be misunderstood with a mask on isn’t it? Dolezal’s sexuality is in no way comparable to Jenner’s transition. Jenner struggled for years to reveal who she truly is, whereas Dolezal has masked who she truly is because she simply wanted to. This, people, is the difference between choice and certainty. I, for one, do not take Dolezal seriously when she all of a sudden decides to come out on National television. Coming out is a hard process, a nervous process, and not something to be taken lightly. By using Jenner, Dolezal has taken a serious matter and made it into a joke. She has taken another person’s story of sadness and ultimate triumph and made a mockery of herself. Ms. Dolezal, you do not relate to Jenner, just as you do not relate to being black. Carefully take the time to asses yourself and take that mask off, maybe you’ll find your own person under all those lies.
Email me with you questions/comments/concerns. I am an open book.
As if we couldn’t love the women of Heartland the movie anymore than we already do, they threw this us little bit of love. This past weekend these lovely ladies took a break from filming and sent us a shout out from their set in Oklahoma!!
Thanks again, Rachel Paulson, Velinda Godfrey, Maura Anderson, and Laura Spencer!
And don’t forget to check out our past interview with Maura and Velinda on Heartland the movie!
As Mother’s Day passes, I’m contemplative as to why we have only one specific day to tell our mothers we love them. Why must we spend only one day telling these amazing women how grateful we are to have them in our lives? Shouldn’t this vocalization of thanks be a daily occurrence? Each breath we exhale is a whispered “thank you” to the woman who cradled us as a baby or to the woman who stood behind the hospital glass and said, “She’s ours, finally.” These women should be honored not with a day, but with love that says “This life of mine is of your doing and I will spend each day giving you thanks.”
Mothers are superheroes. They use their capes to dry our tears, to keep us warm, and to shelter us from the harm that exists in the world. Mothers remind us that we are strong through our tears and that weakness is not a flaw. Mothers teach us that no one can make us feel any certain way unless we allow them to do so. Mothers give us the strength to stand up when we feel like falling. Mothers guide us until we can guide ourselves.
Mothers are badasses.
My father married my stepmother when I was five years old. I cannot recall a time before her in which I felt so deeply satisfied with the word “mother”. There was not a moment in my life where I could look up to a woman and wish to be like her one day, until my stepmother arrived. I cried the day my father told me he was going to marry this woman. I cried as I walked down the aisle in my white, floor length flower-girl dress. Finally, I cried as my father said those words that would bind us together as a family: “I do”. This woman, whom I too had fallen in love with, would hold the title of “Mother” and for that, I am grateful.
I would learn to laugh because of this woman. I would learn that sadness is a part of life, however that sadness would not be of permanence. I learned that I’m strong in the face of weakness and that fear is temporary. I learned how to conquer because of this woman. She gave me the tools to succeed in life because she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She gave me a love that I had never experienced before and could not have known I would need. I now have a strong will because of her. I love myself because she has taught me to be free of self-hate. I am the woman I am today because of her.
To everyone else, this woman is Alecia. To me, this woman is Mother.