In September 2017, I was asked to submit some of my photography in a art show called nasty woman art gallery. “The exhibition was a response to Donald’s Trump’s attempt to denigrate his opponent Hillary Clinton via the weaponized mutter “Nasty Woman”, before a live audience of millions of people, on the 19th of October 2016, during his ﬁnal presidential debate. This reference to a culture that demands that women be, above all, pleasing, had the opposite effect of diminishing his adversary – it awoke waves of feminism and prowomen empowerment. Since then, many rose and wear the Nasty Woman title proudly.”
First, my mind was totally blown and my heart was humbled when I was asked. Especially when all I want to do is help women see their beauty through my photos. Truthfully, as they are. Seeing their self-worth from the inside out. Being what I would say is my biggest accomplishment so far to date. Defining my own self worth, helping others see theirs and sharing my story. My experience. The fact that someone, anyone was affected in a positive way by what I do, how I write and were empowered by it. Inspired by it. Moved by it. To want to feature my work in an art show?! Made me want to do it so much more.
This art exhibition for me was an honour. I was caught off by the whirlwind of emotions the day of the show. Not knowing a thing about art, naming it, writing about my pieces, what they meant to me. How does one pick their favourite pictures and really try to describe how they empower me? What it means to me when with every stage of my self growth I come back to this blog, share it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Felt such pride.
Feminism. What it means to me.
Too many years did I live my life as I was trained to.The obedient, submissive, good girl.The ‘yes’ girl. Please everyone girl. Push my feelings aside, struggle, and hurt. Fight my intuition, cry. Give love and not receive. Too many years went by convincing the world I was fine, happy. Meanwhile, I was empty inside. I was lost. Am I a wife? Mother? Sister? Best friend? Business owner? Who am I? Why do I have it all, yet feel so empty? … Sad? Searching for validation through stuff/things. Looking at others problems to suppress my own. Painting a beautiful picture on the outside so people wouldn’t know the truth. Why must a woman suffer to be a good woman? I thank God I didn’t have the desire to use social media at this time of my life. I believe it could have been way worse for my soul, harder to heal having a bigger platform to project my struggle or my happiness. Yet, another way to seek validation. This is another blog in the making in itself.
So happy I’m raising my daughter to have a voice, her independence, and a son, who can stand by one. Patience, understanding, kindness, humbleness, loyalty, respect, integrity and COMPASSION are just some of the qualities that to me are feminism. Passionate about life, work hard to earn things, appreciate them. To be treated as you desire, to do the same in return. To be an all around good human being, not to be offended by the smallest things, sweat the small stuff and to recognize our first world problems. Appreciate their lives. This is feminism.
What it feminism? To you?
Is it when a woman breaks free from a shitty abusive situation comes out to shine on the other side of walking through the fire. Raising a family wearing the hats of several different roles with as much grace as possible? Without victimizing herself?
Is it when a woman puts an end to he her boss making sexual jokes because “he was just kidding about your tits”?
Is it a woman who opens up about accusations on Harvey Weinstein and blows Hollywood into shambles? Story after story. Heartache after heartache. Men and woman both, creating what would be one of the most powerful movements for awareness to date: #metoo.
Is it a man who looks & stands by the strength of his woman? Admires her. Listens to her. The confidence to accept her, as a whole, for whatever she is, and in return would expect nothing less for himself?- Straight up fucking sexy feminist <3
Is it a man or a woman who struggle financially, mentally, physically, with their family that need to be taken care of?
Is it a woman that refuses to depend on others to solve her problems, digs her heels in the ground figures out her shit. Do what she needs to do to pull through on the other side whatever situation she’s in, not looking to be “saved or validated by someone or the online social world?”
Is it a woman that leaves her country, not because she wants to, but because she’s been living in an active war zone for 3 years, nothing left but to escape. Save the lives of her children?
Is it thousands of children, young adults trying to make a stand? Make a difference with the gun laws in the US. So they can feel safe doing something so simple as going to school?
This is feminism.
Is it the man, who was left by his wife with his three children. Making a choice. Putting them first and raising wonderful people.
The cancer patient. The overworked doctor or nurse, the homeless person. The addict, the recovering addicts. Feminists.
The woman who is discovering herself. Sexually, financially, emotionally. Nasty, nasty woman!!!
The teenager ~ being so strong, aware, smart, funny, and VERY emotional. Yet more people desire to be more like her every single day. Her smile, lights up the world. When will she see this? … Feminist.
The best friend~ Doing something so brave, so courageous so out of her comfort zone – Feminist.
The woman that knows and practices the difference between a powerful woman, and a woman with power.
The couple, (or parent) which is desperately spending 24 hours a day. Keeping their child alive due to an illness day in and day out. Or heaven for bit lost a child…I bow to you- Feminist!
Ask yourself can you handle your own shit? With as much dignity you possibly can? … Feminism.
Feminism is not burning our bras down the streets. Screaming for more rights. Women have come so far. We can thank our mothers and grandmothers for voting rights, ability to work, etc. Feminism isn’t about man hating or bashing. There are incredible, powerful, good men out there. Feminism is about equality. Equal opportunity. We are so close. We have come so far, there’s no stopping us now.
I don’t miss saying yes when I wanted so badly to scream FUCK YOU!! When a woman or a man is kicked down so low they don’t know who they are anymore or what they stand for. It’s always possible for them to come to the brighter side of things. Actually DO all the hard work it takes to make a change! – FEMINISM.
I broke the chain of behavior between husband and wife, man to woman for generations. Without a doubt the best gift I could give both my children, and myself. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother, came from a world that a woman had no voice. She is to speak when spoken to. Praise the man; he can do no wrong, stand by him. Your job as a woman is to cook, clean and take care of him and don’t ask questions. A woman was to know her place.
I was raised with a lot of these beliefs. Taught that a good woman was to obey her man. Listen and to be told. Different set rules for me growing up then my brothers. They could do whatever they wanted because they were boys. I could do nothing, because I was a girl. I was being trained to be the perfect wife. It’s not their fault; it’s all they knew at the time. I’m not angry for the way I was raised, only grateful to see the other side, grateful it has shaped me to be who I am today, because of that experience. I can’t tell you what a badass I feel like for breaking that chain of behaviour. My father is an incredible amazing human. So much heart, passion, LOVE. This is something that was passed onto my brothers and myself. Now onto our children. He too is a feminist more than he will ever know. He doesn’t understand some of my choices, but not like I’m trying to change a 70 year old man. I just finally accepted him. Love him. What we can do is raise our sons to know better. One man at a time. I love my parents so much. The fact that they just support my choices without understanding them shows more feminism in my eyes for them than I ever thought I would see. To admire my mother. For doing what she was taught was the ‘the right thing’. To sacrifice her own self. Incredible to watch a woman at her age grasping her own empowerment.
When will we stop using terms to label one another, and start to empower one another. Encourage, care for one another? Black, White, Greek, Chinese, gay, straight, bi, trans, queer, liberal, conservative. When do we get to live in a world with no judgement, no labels? No hatred? No anger? This is feminism. One love, peace. The solution to having a happy united planet seems so simple to me. Yet, we’ve complicated the fuck out of everything making it impossible to breath. I don’t live like this. I have learned the beauty of simplicity, the power of balance, and learning the importance of self care. Try very hard not to get caught up in the world of what I want my life to look like on the outside, rather just actually live my life! This is Feminism. Simple. When you stop living for everyone else and start living for you. When you can look in the mirror and can absolutely be in love with what you see, who you are, what you stand for, where you want to be and no matter how little of how much you have. What you can do for others. What can you give? Perhaps when the world is completely run by women, we will see this peace. Until then, BE NASTY!!! Stand for who you are without apologizing for it. A good man or woman is respected and admired by others like them. This is feminism. Stronger United.
This show meant so much to me. The woman that held it together, to be in their presence… What an honour!! Thank you <3