Get it! You Deserve It!

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Today, if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you woke up this morning in your own home, drank at least 2 cups of coffee that you made with delicious and clean water, you then ate something sustainable for your morning before heading off to work, school, errands, etc.

( I am assuming most of you drink coffee before eating….just a guess)

Hopefully this morning, you didn’t get yelled at by a complete stranger or be discriminated against for the color of your skin or your sexual orientation. (however, if you are reading this and that did happen to you today, I am sorry. It should not have happened.)

I think most of us would agree that we deserve to have a home, food, and water. But why? Do we deserve those things because we worked hard for them? Well, I guess that means you didn’t deserve it when you were 6. Definitely weren’t working then. Okay, do you deserve it for doing the right thing and being a moral person? I mean even prisoners get those basic things. Maybe you deserve it because you’re an American and we are the best (cough cough sarcasm cough cough). Well there are many countries who are doing much better than us in terms of housing, food, and having clean water for their whole population, so I don’t think being an American really does it.

So, questions of the day:

  1. Why do we deserve the basics of life?
  2. What are the basics of life?

To answer question one, we deserve the basics because we are human beings. It really is that simple. All human beings have the right and deserve the same basics of life regardless of country, age, gender(s), race(s), beliefs, morals, etc. There is nothing I can do in this world that would make me deserve less than my neighbor. Nothing at all.

I can hear some of you going…what, you think a sexual offender deserves the same things as your kind, elderly neighbor? Yes. Bluntly, yes. As long as we are human beings, yes. There are certain intrinsic rights all humans have and they shouldn’t lose those rights based on someone else’s moral, political, whatever agenda.

 

So what basic rights or basic necessities do all human beings deserve?

  1. The right to dignity and respect. This means the right to live in a world without discrimination, sexual harassment, racism, abuse, exploitation, etc
  2. Clean water– to drink with, bathe with, and to cook with.
  3. Shelter. Housing that a person can rest in safely.
  4. Food that meets nutritional needs.
  5. Access to affordable healthcare that matches the level of care needed. Health care that doesn’t discriminate against the sick, elderly, women, etc A person shouldn’t have to fear getting sick, not getting meds, getting pregnant, long-term debt, or dying simply because they can’t afford GOOD healthcare.
  6. Freedom of Choice. I think a lot of people would disagree with me on this one. I often hear from people that if a person in poverty is on Medicaid or Food Stamps, they should have less options available to them. (they don’t say it that way, but that’s what they really mean) I’ve heard people say welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy junk food or pop. Because they need help financially, they should have to take classes on how to eat healthy and on how to properly use the healthcare system. My issue here is it seems being poor gives others a right to take away their choices. If one is successful and wealthy, its okay to eat shitty food leading to a heart attack since tax dollars aren’t paying for it. Instead they get insane tax write-offs for going on a charity booze cruise and getting totally smashed. We live in a world where many of us think that because we give something to someone for free, we then have the right to dictate what they do with it. Which, what does that say about us and what we think people deserve? Freedom of Choice is a basic right. I don’t think systemic poverty changes that. 
  7. Love and Safety. This is harder to gauge, because how do you measure love? But, I believe every child deserves and has the right to be kept safe, be nurtured, and to know they are loved. We know developmentally this is what kiddos needs. That doesn’t change as an adult, it just looks differently. I believe no child should have to wonder their worth or value, because I believe no human should have to. Humans deserve to be looked in the eye and actually seen.

I hope you read this list and thought “I have all of those!” That is awesome. You deserve it! Maybe you read this and could check off some boxes, but not all. I hope you fight for the pieces you are missing, you deserve it! You might have checked all the boxes but know others can’t: advocate! They deserve it. And maybe you read this and disagree, I hope you share your thoughts. I am one voice of many and would love to hear what you have to say.

 

 

Feeling Empowered Yet???

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I was recently talking to someone…a male identified someone who said to me “Doesn’t seeing Mylie Cyrus swinging around on a wrecking ball make you feel so empowered as a woman?”

Let me start this off by saying NO.  Seeing a half-naked or fully naked person swinging on a ball and chain in no way makes me feel empowered as a woman.* My mind was blown by this question and I started asking my own questions:  Do people really think that is empowering? Is that what men think a strong and confident woman looks like? Is that what women and young girls feel empowered by today? I only have my own experiences to draw from…I can’t speak for, nor do I represent women everywhere…so speaking for myself: no, I do not find that empowering.

It really got me thinking about empowerment. What famous women and cultural icons make me feel empowered? Who are those people I look at and see strength, beauty, vulnerability, and courage? Who are the women of this time that raise me up and call me forward?

This blog actually took me awhile to write. Not because it’s long or wordy, but because I really struggled with identifying women who empower me. Women who I look to as a beacon of strength and empowerment. After much thought, talking to others, and a little soul searching, here are women, alive today, that make me feel empowered. Make me feel inspired. Women that make me proud to be a woman.

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Brene Brown- She calls us to deeper and more wholehearted living. She asks us to be vulnerable in our lives and lives vulnerably. She empowers me to dream bigger and fall harder.

Susan Cain- Susan challenges mainstream societal views around introversion and what we introverts can do. She thinks differently and encourages others to see the other side of the coin. She is bold in her thinking and gives voice to many who didn’t know how to find their way through a loud and extroverted world. Thank you for challenging the status quot.

harry potterJ.K. Rowling- Harry Potter…need I say more? Well yes…why? Because Rowling not only writes beautifully and uses her gift to change lives, make people dream, and provide hope through story telling, but she also writes important characters. Real characters. Characters that fail, succeed, doubt, struggle, hope, form friendships, are smart, and are loyal. She also advocates for marginalized populations. Love it.

Meryl Streep-  Classy, outspoken, courageous, privileged, legendary. All words I would use to describe Meryl Streep. I respect her because she uses spotlight moments to raise up and call out others with privilege like her own. Most of us hold privilege and that’s not inherently wrong…its what we do with it. I like what she does with it.

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Sophia Bush– Some of you might find this an odd addition, but here is the thing: Sophia Bush calls BS on the harmful things in society affecting women: sexism, eating disorders, unrealistic beauty standards, etc. She literally calls their bluff. Sophia Bush speaks out frequently against companies like Urban Outfitters that has t-shirts encouraging girls to “eat less.” She has raised my awareness on certain things and I appreciate it. Way to call BS when you see it girl!

Jen Hatmaker– If you are reading this and a Christian, you’ve probably heard about Jen Hatmaker’s recent interview where she talked about privilege, race, and LGBTQ rights. Oh yes…she also talked about holiness. Many people were very upset by this interview. Well…I loved it. It is so hard to question what we believe, to admit we might be wrong, and to open up to other ideas even if they aren’t popular. So she is someone I respect and admire. She was willing to ask questions and find her own answers. She stepped into the uncomfortable.

Those are all the women you probably know of. But these are the women I know personally…Kim Hazlip, Caiggy Roth, Cathy Barthelmas, Jodi Main, Lindsay Davis, Casey Brett, Kathleen Aren, Noelle Cothern, Lindsay Webster, Abby Meysenburg, Tracy Mowery, Devin Mowery, Monique Hubbard, Kenzie Gentry, Delyse Lawless, Heather Lawless, Vicki Canan,  and so many more…the women in my personal life who show courage, compassion, drive, love, fierceness, joy, pain, and loyalty. The women who have raised me up as a woman. Who have bared their hearts and scars.

These are women, real women who make me want to be better, try harder, dream bigger, and rise stronger.

What women in your life empower you? What does empowerment as a woman mean to you? I hope you comment below!! I know I would love to learn about the awesome women in your life and who you admire…I’m sure others would too!

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*This article was in no way bashing Miley Cyrus. I find her humor, confidence, and joy all very refreshing.  She is a power house artist and a go-getter. I simply don’t find her nudity to be empowering to me…but hey, others might. You do you.