If you read the many comments on my last post, you will notice that some of them are, shall we say, far from loving. While I was happy to have some interaction going on in the beginning--I always wonder if anyone except a few close friends reads my blog--towards the end I found the comments to be painful. A friend was being attacked, and while I value freedom of speech I could no longer sit by and watch.
I stopped writing in my blog a few years ago for the same reason. Some unknown guys were attacking me every time I wrote. They weren't discussing the issues, but instead were telling me what an old hag I was, how I was flat chested, on and on. I was surprised to find that these comments really threw me off, that they hit the core of who I believed myself to be. I believed myself to be attractive, desirable, etc. The comments served to wake me up to the fact that I had given my life force to maintain that image, but it was time for the image to shatter.
Since then I have noticed the misogyny that exists in the world. I didn't notice it when I was young, looked good, and men were after me sexually. But I started noticing it in my mid-fifties. I noticed that men had stopped smiling at me, and that I had become invisible. That was the best case scenario. The worst case was that I was being attacked for speaking my mind.
So what to do? Do I shrivel up into a corner and keep quiet to stay safe? What kind of a life is that? Or, like Shandi, do I say that what you think of me is none of my business, and go out and live a full life speaking my truth? This culture seems to have only a couple of role models for women: Being sexy, gorgeous and young, in which case you can say any absurdity and everyone still adores you; or being motherly, loving, safe, and quiet. Personally it would be stupid of me to try to be the former, that's a losing battle. And motherly, loving, safe and quiet just aint my type.
So time to create some new role models for women. One of them is the outrageous, older woman who is outspoken and doesn't care what others think of her. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.