Real Men, Real Love, Beautiful relationships

Due to illness and a need for rest on all levels here is some inspiration for women and men who desire a world and relationships based in real love.

“Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for other women because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.”  (Drake)

“We need to teach our daughters to distinguish between a man who flatters her – and a man who compliments her. A man who spends money on her – and a man who invests in her. A man who views her as property – and a man who views her properly. A man who lusts after her – and a man who loves her. A man who believes he is God’s gift to women – and a man who remembers a woman was God’s gift to man…And then teach our boys to be that kind of a man.”  (unknown)

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

 

Men against sexism publish Lingerie Football Article

The wonderful Dr Michael Flood from the Australian ‘men against sexism’ website http://www.xyonline.net/ has published an article on the Lingerie Football League coming to Australia – ‘LFL, what is it really about and do we want it in Australia”

xyonline is a fantastic website for men who desire a just society for both men and women, please check them out on the above link and view the article at http://www.xyonline.net/content/lingerie-football-league-what-it-really-about-and-do-we-want-it-australia

And thank you so much good men of Australia for supporting our campaign to stop the LFL from coming to Australia xx

Sign petition here http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-lingerie-football-league-in-australia

Stop the Lingerie Football League in Australia updates

It’s been 3 days since the LFL petition went up and already more than 600 signatures, 1 promoter has pulled out and today the Herald Sun | Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun ran an article on the petition called Outcry over Lingerie Football League’s planned Australian visit’ More at com.au

And last look, just as many men are signing as women, thank you good men for speaking up also. Let’s keep the momentum going. Australia does not need another organisation that sexualises and exploits women, as Dr Eileen Zurbriggen member of the American Psychological Association Task Force reminds us, “As a society, we need to replace all these sexualized images with ones showing girls in positive settings. The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescent boys and girls that lead to healthy sexual development”.

America has Gridiron, we have Rugby league, and we are a large female footy playing nation already, with teams vying for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup | Facebook (ok, so not me, more of the creative type who tends to have butter fingers around balls, but). Let’s give these female athletes of Australian football some focus instead, they warrant the air time far more than the latest sexploitation-money-machine out of America. Australian Womens Rugby League – SportingPulse  http://www.ourfootyteam.com/women-in-league.php

If you haven’t signed already, do so now and tell people you know. It only takes 1 minute for your voice to be heard. Stop the Lingerie Football League in Australia For more information go to: www.collectiveshout.org

Feminism needs Good Men now!

A man called David Moscrop has written a paper that was published in The Ottawa Citizen  on March 26, 2012, called Why all men should be feminists – Ottawa Citizen

I agree we need good men to support us in our feminist causes and to speak up for us to other men. We need good feminist men in our  relatinships, our lives and our world. Here is an excerpt from David’s paper;

But these comforts (for men) come at far too high a cost to both men and women. The sexist ideas, words, and practices mobilized by some men and bolstered by eons of encoding into both the visible and hidden structures of our society, don’t just do harm to women. They also turn men into stunted stereotypes who, like lemmings marching along a path laid out by years of misogyny and ignorance, will eventually parade right off the edge of the cliff. These ideas, words, and practices make us lazy, predictable, and pathetic, protected by delusions of our own superiority that make us, in at least one sense, intellectual and moral toddlers.

I have an alternative approach. It’s my approach, and others exist. But my way of being a feminist includes choosing carefully the words I use, avoiding offensive gendered terminology; it relies upon the sometimes-uncomfortable task of calling out those who perpetuate gendered stereotypes in their words and deeds; it begs for the public advancement of alternative ways of shaping social and personal gender relations; and it absolutely requires constant attention to the way I think about and treat women, so that through practice I am able to re-write the narrative implanted in me through social structures hostile to true gender parity. It takes what the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called “long practice and daily work at it.”

Someday we will pass the Event Horizon of gender equality, that point beyond which those who celebrate gender diversity and parity, those who refuse to participate in structures of gender domination, will have moved permanently beyond their intellectual and moral ancestors. Men today can choose to be a part of this movement or they can continue to hide behind false and overwrought notions of either liberal equality or gender exceptionalism. However, in choosing the latter path they will prolong the life of moribund — but still harmful — relations that keep so many women underemployed, under-represented, and in violent relationships, and that arrest the development of the male gender.

The latter choice is the wrong one. It’s time for all men to be feminists.

David Moscrop is a PhD student in political science at the University of British Columbia and founding editor of Thought Out Loud (thoughtoutloud.org).

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/should+feminists/6359537/story.html

Homage to the good men

I have known for many years now that there are truly good, loving, kind, honourable men in this world who treat the women in their lives and all women and girls with the utmost of respect, value and dignity. Prior to this, after some very traumatic experiences in my life at the hands of men, some just plain heartbreaking ones and viewing first hand dishonour and disrespect of other women via their husbands/partners or strangers, I had a few saddening years of dismay that these ‘good men’ simply did not exist.

But then one day, being the total old-fashioned romantic and spiritual woman that I am, I realised that, if I exist as this woman with this heart and these values than it is a certainty that others do as well, and if I exist as this feminist with these standards and hopes than it is a certainty that others do as well. I grasped the concept that though I may not personally know of these ‘others’ yet, that I must trust in my innate knowing from my eternal soul, that they surely walk upon this earth.

For there is not just one lily flower in this world, cherry blossom or frangipani tree, it is indeed fact that there are many lilies adorning vases around the world and cherry blossom tree’s rooted deep across this earth, though they may not stand in the one place together, others most certainly exist.

This has been the hope that has kept my heart – vibrant red with passion and abundant with love – alive in the romantic sense.  And since this realisation, I have heard some stories of ‘truly good men’, finally confirmation in the physical of my innate knowing.

Here is a beautiful post I read the other day relaying another story of this existence of ‘truly good men’ which inspired me to write these words today – The Good Guys

It will surely lift your heart’s as it has mine, and because the poem this blogger shared with her story is so beautiful it deserves to be published again. Many blessings to these ‘truly good men’ of the world.

The Bridge Builder
By Will Allen Dromgoole 1860–1934

An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haire­d youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

Comments  lilithrose76 #  November 23, 2011

That poem by Dromgoole made me cry… I love these good men you write of though I do not know them… I too am standing where Eve Ensler was when she wrote those words of hers you quoted above. I know there are really ‘good’ men in this world, I know this innately and I know this because I have heard of and read of them and their example, of the bridges they have built and I know the day will soon come where I will call one on them my partner, my lover, my husband. Thank you for this beautiful inspiration, hope and more validation of this knowing I have within. Soon, very very soon I shall be writing these words you now pour with love, honour and respect across my screen 🙂

An inspirational man

Tonight I saw a beautiful interview with a young man born with Down’s syndrome on a news/events/comedy show called ‘The Project’. He had starred in the latest ‘Tropfest’ short film festival’s winning film and works 4 half days at a theatre company each week. The interview was about removing the stigma associated with Downs syndrome and raising and educating these children like everyone else so they may go on to live normal lives with jobs, relationships and moving out of the family home. This young man revelled in his acting and his job and in his interview said he was looking forward to moving out on his own and finding someone special, the ‘one’, to share his life with. I had tears in my eyes and Goosebumps at this stage and then he said, “We are all equal, if given the chance”. That’s when my tear clouds burst.

This is what defying any ‘ism’ is about, whether it is treating people differently or ‘less than’ because they are a different race, a different sex (being born female), a different class, or living with a disability. We are all equal, if given the chance

http://theprojecttv.com.au/

Appreciating the beauty before you

Yesterday in the sauna at the public pool there was a Thai woman talking with a man about their weight loss efforts, a little while later I unwrapped my towel from around my waist and joined her in the spa. We started talking and she told me what a great body I have and asked me how much weight I had lost. I replied none, that after starting a new contraceptive pill a few months ago I had gained 6 kg taking me up to a size 10 – 12 (Aus), but was not that bothered by it. She talked to me about trying to lose weight and wished she could have a figure like mine, but she had a beautiful figure and I told her so.

A couple of girls probably 15 or 16 then came into the spa wearing bikinis so tiny they may as well have been strips of tape and as she watched them I could see her entire being wishing she was young like that again. I told her to try not to compare herself or her beauty to them and that it was easy to have a figure like that when you are a teenager. She laughed and agreed saying how her body is not the same since she had her two children. She asked if I had children and how old I was, I told her I had two boys and I was 35. She was dismayed to hear this and again told me what a great body I have, she then told me she was 40. I looked her in her sweet brown eyes and told her she had a beautiful figure too, that she was a beautiful woman, which she was, and that we are both women with beautiful women’s bodies, not teenagers. She stared at me shocked so I told her again that she was beautiful to which she asked sincerely, ‘do you really think so?’ I smiled and told her ‘of course, I wouldn’t have said it otherwise’. She smiled and lowered her eyes as she took in my words.

This woman was really beautiful inside and out and again I felt dis-ease at our society and the constant imagery of youth and perfection that is conveyed to us as beautiful, that a woman like her and yes a woman like me could feel so down on ourselves and not good enough or worthy enough at times. And it really saddens me. It also really saddens me that  her partner and so many others don’t see and appreciate and acknowledge the beauty before them. And what a difference this would make to the women that love them.

That, as Naomi Wolf says ‘(The effect of beauty pornography in media and movies) is to keep (men) from finding peace in sexual love. The fleeting chimera of the air-brushed centrefold, always receding before him, keeps the man destabilized in pursuit unable to focus on the beauty of the woman – known, marked, lined, familiar – who hands him his coffee every morning keeps our lovers so focused on this beauty-pornography image around them that they don’t appreciate and value the beautiful woman before them. Appreciate as in add value too, which would therefore add value to their relationship together, their happiness, their sex lives etc.

That watching our partners glued to the replicate version of youthinised beauty that the media spawns detracts from us and distracts them from the way they see us and view us. And let me tell you, taking the effort to wear something nice and do your hair and make-up or put on a pretty nightgown and make yourself look and feel beautiful only to walk out to your partner in the lounge room or the bedroom while he  looks around you to keep viewing a sexy ad or sexy scene in a movie, or even to watch something non-sexual, is about as much of an anti-aphrodisiac as the couple of times I had to sit myself in an ice bath after giving birth to my first child.

And it raises the issue of another epidemic that I will write about next ‘The shallow Hall complex’ that the men of our society and relationships have developed, mostly without even realising it, after being raised into men being indoctrinated by all these images of a small window of what beauty and sexy is in our mass media, that even with all their obvious physical imperfections they sit back, judge and give commentary like they could have this or that actress or singer in the flick of their fingers while neglecting their girlfriends and wives.

But until then I hope and pray that us women can start seeing and appreciating the beauty before us when we look at ourselves in the mirror and carry that confidence and belief in ourselves with us throughout our day, and that the men in our lives, our lovers and partners can start turning away from this outdated distortion of beauty that fills our televisions, billboards, shops and streets and start appreciating the beauty before them in the women they love.

Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. – Mary Wollstonecraft

Pay respect to womankind, as they are born of the family of the Divine Mother. Abuse or punish them not, in however a mild manner, whatever the reason. Give attention to their worth and excellences, not their shortcomings.“- Katha Upanishad (Vedic/Hindu)

“Respect and consideration for women mark the precepts. All women are to be looked upon as manifestations of the Great Mother.” – Kaulavali Nirnaya Tantra (circa 1600 CE)

“If anything is sacred the human body is sacred” Walt Whitman

“Right. I look fine. Except I don’t,’ said Zora, tugging sadly at her man’s nightshirt. This was why Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn’t be able to protect them from self-disgust. To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman’s magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki’s knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies– it seeped in with every draught in the house; people brought it home on their shoes, they breathed it in off their newspapers. There was no way to control it.”  – Zadie Smith, On Beauty

I ask no favors for my sex…. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks. – Sarah Moore Grimké

“Woman’s degradation is in mans idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“I think being a woman is like being Irish… Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the time.” –
Iris Murdoch

It’s important to remember that feminism is no longer a group of organizations or leaders. It’s the expectations that parents have for their daughters, and their sons, too. It’s the way we talk about and treat one another. – Anna Quindlen

The conception of worth, that each person is an end per se, is not a mere abstraction. Our interest in it is not merely academic. Every outcry against the oppression of some people by other people, or against what is morally hideous is the affirmation of the principle that a human being as such is not to be violated. A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered. [From: An Ethical Philosophy of Life] – Felix Adler

I am beautiful as I am.  I am the shape that was gifted.  My breasts are no longer perky and upright like when I was a teenager.  My hips are wider than that of a fashion model’s.  For this I am glad, for these are the signs of a life lived. – Cindy Olsen, co-owner of The Body Objective

As you grow in self-esteem, your face, manner, way of talking and moving will tend naturally to project the pleasure you take in being alive. – Nathaniel Branden

“I heard what you said. I’m not the silly romantic you think. I don’t want the heavens or the shooting stars. I don’t want gemstones or gold. I have those things already. I want…a steady hand. A kind soul. I want to fall asleep, and wake, knowing my heart is safe. I want to love, and be loved.” – Shana Abé

In an unconscious marriage, you believe that the way to have a good marriage is to pick the right partner. In a conscious marriage you realize you have to be the right partner.” Harville Hendrix

“I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.- Booth Tarkington

Appreciation and self-love are the most important tools that you could ever nurture. Appreciation of others, and the appreciation of yourself is the closest vibrational match to your Source Energy of anything that we’ve ever witnessed anywhere in the Universe. – Abraham

Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back. – Princess Diana

If I could give you one key, and one key only to a more abundant life, I would give you a sense of your own worth, an unshakeable sense of your own dignity as one grounded in the source of the cosmic dance, as one who plays a unique part in the unfolding of the story of the world… – Greta Crosby

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. – Margaret Cousins

Love is like a campfire: It may be sparked quickly, and at first the kindling throws out a lot of heat, but it burns out quickly. For long lasting, steady warmth (with delightful bursts of intense heat from time to time), you must carefully tend the fire. (2007) – Molleen Matsumura

Living with integrity means:

  • Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships.
  • Asking for what you want and need from others.
  • Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension.
  • Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values.
  • Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe. – Barbara De Angelis

Good men calling for an end to sexism and the degradation of women

These good men are so inspiring and beautiful in their support of treating women with dignity and respect and their desire for fulfilling, loving relationships with women

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm

MENININST: MEN SUPPORTING THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

Meninist is a global organization of men that believe in and support the feminist principles of women’s political, social and economic equality. The following represents the platform we believe in (but the need for equal rights for women should be self-evident in this day and age). This page hopes to convey that a growing movement of men recognize and support the women’s movement, for the benefit of women, men and all of humanity.

1) We are opposed to all forms of misogynist behavior and sexist attitudes; we respect all women.

2) We believe in a woman’s reproductive freedom and right to control her own body.

3) We oppose all forms of violence against women, including rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence, as well as all negative stereotypes and violence against women in film, television and advertising.

4) We understand the need for men to participate in the women’s movement and help end 2000 years of men’s patriarchy. We pledge to support women in every possible way we can, including sharing responsibilities around the house and in parenting.

5) We believe that women should be paid in parity to men for the same work done and women should be given the same opportunities in the work environment. We oppose the so-called “glass ceiling” (the oppression of women’s ability to advance at the workplace). We oppose the “Old Boy’s Network”:

We welcome all “meninist men” of like-minded feelings to submit their letters of support.   E-Mail us

Here are some excerpts from comments on the page to get you even more inspired, to read more go to http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm

The patriarchal system is at the core of most of the problems our society faces. Men were not born on Mars and women were not born on Venus. We were born on the same planet as equals. Although we have biological differences, 99% of all other differences are manufactured by societal stereotypes. If someone had asked me 10 years ago if I was a feminist, I probably would have said no. But if they had asked me if I thought men and women were equal and should be treated equally, I would have said yes. What’s the difference? As a heterosexual, Caucasian, man I benefit the most from this patriarchy. I get the good jobs, more money, more respect, and no discrimination. I was unknowingly taught at an early age to do my part to maintain the system that benefits “us”. As a result I acted macho, objectified women, and suppressed my feelings. Admitting to being a feminist would have been a sign of weakness on my part and given strength to a cause that would dismantle a system I benefit from. Men everyday claim to believe that women are their equal, but they don’t live it. They treat women as inferior, often without even realizing it.

I have two sons and I am very concerned about their happiness. I am concerned about their ability to have healthy relationships and healthy friendships. Something I have discovered about myself is that although I have benefited financially from this system it has not made me happier. It has made me a jealous, controlling, angry man. Self discovery has helped change that and now I want to see change in other men around me. Girls and boys need to be taught that boys too can be sensitive, caring, and loving and girls too can be strong, independent, and capable. Traditional gender roles need to be broken in order for all of us to have healthy relationships with our partners, kids, friends, parents, siblings, etc.

Violence is rooted in unresolved anger. Anger is unresolved because individuals, usually men, never learn the skills needed to process their feelings. Our patriarchal system teaches boys and men to suppress their feelings, leading to anger and then violence. It is a vicious cycle that will only end when the patriarchal system is dismantled and stereotypes are eliminated. Imagine a world without violence.

I’m glad the Meninist Organization exists. I hope more men will start to see the light.

– Kelly O’Donnell
Ottawa, Ontario

I spent a good time being a “passive” sexist. That is I contributed to sexism through my words and actions without consciously thinking about it. When I became the father of two daughters and started thinking about ways to raise them to be strong, I realized just how sexist and wrong I had been. Since then I’ve been trying to support feminism and supporting other men trying to do the same. I’ve started an e-mail discussion group to discuss issues relating to men supporting feminism.

-Jim Salisbury

Dear Meninist community,

I am so glad to find like minds out there countering the myths and slander to all men that come from the mouths of pimps and pornographers. It is exactly because men can choose to change who they are that men can and have been, graciously, held responsible for their actions by the feminist movement. The late Andrea Dworkin might smile to know some men understand how compassionate she and so many others really were and are when they demanded, even asked us to stop being oppressors. Though of course until the day without rape that she calls for in one of her speeches actually materializes, the man-made world has so far to go to undue itself.

There may be no longer-lasting nor more deeply ingrained notion than sex oppression, beginning from and undergirding the very differentiation between the sexes the way it exists worldwide today. That there are so many men out there who gladly give up their privilege, resting on the backs of women as it does, says so much about the humanity of men, that we really aren’t made to oppress and abuse and kill and subordinate as, in actuality, so few (if powerful) men proclaim. I so appreciate the collection of beautiful words on this page and add my own so as to make it clear that those who proclaim men’s superiority, women’s inferiority, or any denigrations on women disguised as sex “differences” that they do not speak for me. I own up to my identity as a male, not out of pride but so as to stand as an ally. My love for women, men, and myself demands nothing less.

May this meninist movement shake the foundations of the sexual order, letting it be seen for once as the pernicious absurdity that it is; let this movement in love mark the beginning of the end of the precedent set by the founders of the male dominated world.

All my hopes,
– James French
Brooklyn, NY

My name is Ian Young, I am an 18 year old University Student up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and for me, feminism means more than helping out our women, or lending a hand to a worthy cause. I am pro-feminist because living with such an unjust set of publicly accepted beliefs and boundaries, limits not only how we succeed as individuals, but as a society as well. When we bring people into this world that begins their lives at a disadvantage, we are doing them no favors; we are setting them up for an unnecessarily difficult existence. Feminism is not what I believe in, simply a title given to a process which I believe strongly in, that process being the institution of equality. Equity, for me, is not a notion that should even be challenged, is there a doubt that we are all born equal? Is there a doubt that we should be allowed to lead equal lives? Should we not all be free to live the way in which we desire? We are all raised to “be fair”, so why should these questions even be relevant to the world. I am a pro-feminist male because I strongly support bridging the gap of equity between the sexes.

I am pro-feminist because women’s liberation is necessary if we are to build a just world free from sexism, racism and homophobia. I am pro-feminist because women are partners in the struggle to end
militarism, imperialism and colonialism. I am pro-feminist because women deserve the right to live their lives free from male violence and oppression. I am pro-feminist because I can see no other way to live my life with dignity and pride. I am pro-feminist because if over 50% of the world’s population are not free none of us are truly free. I am pro-feminist because it is right and just.

Peace,

Tim Looney
Chicago

I consider myself profeminist for a number of reasons.

First of all, because I believe that women deserve all the respect, dignity and honour that men do — what women have his-torically been systematically denied.

Secondly, I am profeminist becuase I recognize that there are both institutions of sexism racism, homophobia and classism that hurt women as a class and individual women — and that there are ways that I as a male benefit from these same institutions. The ways that I benefit, without challenging those insittutions or those benefits, are the ways taht I parparticipate in the institutionalization of sexism.

Thirdly, I recognize that I also act in sexist ways that I need to be accountable for.

Finally, I’m profeminist because I believe that feminism has much to offer men. As we come to a better understanding of being able to stand on our own 2 feet, without being on the backs of women, we realize our own sense of selfhood, and true empowerment (as opposed to powerover).

Rus Ervin Funk
Washington, DC Co-founder – DC Men Against Rape – Founder Men for Gender Justice – Author “Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men”

I am a 30 year old physician in Los Angeles Area in California, in USA. I was born and raised for 15 years in Iran, a country not known particularly for its social and sexual justice, to make an understatement.

I think that empowerment for women is empowerment for men. It is empowerment for people. True and basic self respect and self esteem cannot coexist with a belief in superiority of men over women, because the concept of superiority is wrong to begin with. The man who believes he is superior to another, also can believe that another is superior to him. So, besides all the practical benefits mentioned by all the other members of your organization in their support letters, there are fundamental, ideological and psychological aspects to being a man who is profeminist.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to feminist studies in college and to take a few classes in the subject. The company of women in feminism is stimulating. They are intelligent, just, kind, wise people. So, if for no other reason, just interacting with women in feminism is an experience that uplifts us and adds to us.

I appreciate my inclusion as a member in your group.
Pedram Majidishad, M.D.

Blessings to these beautiful men

To write your own letters of support and find out more about Meninists go to –

http://www.feminist.com/resources/links/men.htm          http://www.feminist.com