Thursday, June 23, 2011

Women are always beautiful. ~Ville Valo

We all have stereotypical visions of how everyone around us should act, talk, look and be. Unfortunately for us, not everyone is privy to those rather detailed ideals. Take women, for instance. Society sets extreme standards of beauty, plastering them across the globe. Perfection stares at us through magazines and televisions. Young girls and boys are mockingly told they throw or hit “like a girl”. Since when is that a bad thing? While many young girls and boys of today proudly trample on gender lines, they aren’t free from ridicule. They suffer.

My leg...courtesy of practicing the art of kneeing.
Long ago it was established that a lady was well-spoken, polite and refined – that’s even stated in the definition of a ‘lady’. However, explain to me how a woman who, perhaps like me, is well-spoken, polite and refined, but also likes to strip away the archaic demands of society and kick some effing ass, is somehow no longer a lady? I have recently discovered Krav Maga, Isreali self defense courtesy of Imi Lichtenfeld. Krav is an extraordinary way for men and women, old and young, to gain the skills to defend themselves. These pictures, taken after two particularly aggressive classes, have frayed the edges of my ‘ladiness’, so to speak.

My arm after learning Buck and Roll, removing an attacker who has you pinned on your back while he/she straddle your midsection.
I take these classes seriously. My life and the lives of my beautiful daughters may one day depend on my ability to incapacitate an attacker, who most likely out weighs me in muscle mass (given that I’m all of 5’2”, we can assume my attacker would probably be taller than me as well).  Why shouldn’t my determination, my aggression, make me MORE of a lady, more of a woman? I have been a victim. I have been the helpless child, the helpless teen. Why is taking control of my body, control of my abilities, a deterrent to my ability to be seen as a lady? Less of a woman? I am told that I am more aggressive than the guys…well, I should be. I’m smaller. I have more obstacles. I’m the underdog.

I guess if I have to relinquish my “ladiness”…for my girls? for my self-confidence? for my ability to defend? Totally worth it. Suck it society. I’m aggressive. I kick ass. I’m a woman! (Hear me roar?) 
And now...a BIG thanks to some wonderful authors who have written heroines that I can relate to. Who, in their actions and beliefs, their very being, epitomize the fluid concept of woman. If you've not yet seen their work, I highly recommend the following authors (and heroines):  Keri Arthur (Riley Jenson), Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson), Jeaniene Frost (Cat Crawfield), Elle Jasper (Riley Poe), Nancy Haddock (Cesca Marinelli), Chloe Neill (Merit), Rachel Vincent (Faythe Sanders) name a few!

Thank you so much to these authors, and any author, who has created characters that mar the pristine image society has chiseled for us women.                                              

Friday, June 10, 2011

first up: what type of books do I even like?

I'm very eclectic. In just about everything. Music. Movies. Sports. So it's no surprise that my tastes vary in books as well. I love historical fiction, autobiographies from WWII, and young adult fiction. My current favorites though are urban fantasy and paranormal romance! I have fallen in love with the writing styles of several authors and continually expand my knowledge base.

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