sunday afternoon : herbs, pages, lyrics, and women


i think i'm getting the hang of this pages thing. it's been difficult to unplug as i'm finding i have
more of an addiction to the laptop and these "convenient" smart phones we all carry around.
but i'm making progress, and pages are slowly taking over my life beautifully,
filling my mind with wonderful pictures, and creating questions that sometimes feel too big to approach.

ceej is out of town, jet-lagged in germany. i think his leaving just gets harder and harder every time.
but i guess that's a good sign, yes? 
this afternoon i took a break from one little book to retreat into the kitchen
to have a little refreshment by a sunny window with notes to review and that will hopefully
help me to read more deeply.

i've been reading about women in eighteenth century britain...what a gender-biased time to live in.
i have to admit that i sometimes wonder if we {women} have progressed as much as i would hope...
there seems to be so much more to be done in terms of equality. what do you think?
there are so many women i admire these days, changing the way things work and how we view them.
i am certainly grateful that i am even allowed to attend a university, vote, and generally have more control over my own life and its direction.

i'm interested. what do you think about women and our place in society?


Being Julia said...

I could write for hours on this subject...since it was my major...yes...we have made progress...but sometimes what has seemed like movement forward has actually been movement sideways...the women’s movement was so very strong for a time...but things have faded to the background and because of it we are losing ground in many ways...American women are very lucky in some ways and it is disappointing that we are not at the front pushing HARD, because by doing so we make it better for all women world wide. A great book to read on current women’s issues: Women hold up half the sky...(I think that is the title...its been awhile). It is an EXCELLENT read.

Erin said...

I think as women we have to create our own lives. No society or cultural norms can do it for us. Obviously, I am grateful for the many women who have gone before me who have opened up the world to me, made so much available for me to even dream about or plan for, but even they are not to blame or credit for how I choose to live my life now. I am a stay-at-home mother, and that means a lot more to me than babysitting. Motherhood is perhaps the greatest way that women have influence and impact in the world. If we raise men and women who love their neighbors and cherish learning then I feel no liberator of women could do any better! I am a mother, a painter, a knitter, a seamstress, a nurse, a carpenter, a gardener, a manager, a non-conformist, and a life-long learner. These are all parts of being a woman to me. We make our own lives. This world will never be able to create for me what I can create for myself. My university education did not teach me to raise my children or how to fill my time for the rest of my life. It made me more literate, and for that I am grateful, but I can increaase my literacy better on my own throughout my life than my university education ever could in the years I was there. Wow, this is a long response, but I find it such an interesting topic! I suppose I admire others who advocate for those who don't see the need for change, but for those who want to see change, it begins with our own choices and not the choices of the society around us. I think, anyway...

nacherluver said...

So much to say, no time to comment. Got me thinking though. And wanting to sit and sip lemonade for a spell!

Ann Marie said...

Julia, I totally agree. I do think we're losing ground sometimes...going "sideways" is a good way to put it.

Erin, I also agree that our relationships in this world are what's most important. It's important to me to be a wife, a sister, a daughter, and someday a parent. I feel like my university degrees have not only opened my mind, but opened my heart. I feel like my imagination is not just for writing or creating "fiction" but that my imagination is what allows me to have empathy: that I can imagine what it's like for women who live in extreme poverty in countries where they have little to no rights. I also agree that we can choose for ourselves (unfortunately, not every woman in this world has the option to choose for themselves, and I want to fight for them). As human beings we should not be defined by what we "do," but by the mere fact that we are all human beings. I am grateful for women before me who paved a way so that I could vote, hold property, choose to work where and when I want, and I am ready to make the path broader. Anyway, I hear you. Can't wait to be a parent someday. Can't wait to experience more school. Can't wait to meet people all over the world in hopes of learning and sharing what I have learned. Experience, whatever it is, can help whomever is in our sphere of influence (including ourselves) matter what the experience.

This is too long.

KEEP THE COMMENTS COMING. I am already in love with this discussion.

Ann Marie said...

Oh ya, and I have heard of "Half the Sky" and I want to read it!

Tonia said...

It really depends on where you live -having just read the Bookseller of Kabul and caught a glimpse of what women have to deal with in other countries, makes me very ashamed of the less-than-life threatening issues I navigate my way round every day.

Anna said...

I'm definitely glad I'm living in this time as opposed to previous ones...when girls are all "I wish I lived in the 50's just because the outfits were so cute!!!" it really annoys me. However, as long as our society revolves around power structures, women will continue to be marginalized and oppressed in small ways just due to ingrained stereotypes and differences in chemical and physical make-up. All we can do is continue to individually stand up for ourselves in the workplace, in the home, and with our political participation. BUT in terms of campaigning for women's rights? I think we need to focus globally as you and Tonia have mentioned, on the more conflict-torn and "developing" (w/e that term is supposed to mean) parts of the world, because giving women independence and agency is the key to lowering birth rates, curbing violence, and building more productive and educated economies.

Cassie said...

I've been thinking for several days how I would respond to the question you posed here. There has been progress, but we still have a ways to go. I am the breadwinner for our household. My husband stays at home with our children. I feel blessed that we have the opportunity to make it work this way, but that doesn't mean that we don't face an occasional judgment about how we do things (mostly this comes from older generations.) I am also fortunate that he does most of the housekeeping, and cooking as well. I know that this isn't always the case when mothers work, and that many women feel that although they've entered equally into the workspace, that the other "duties" haven't become equal in turn.

Inge said...

As I was reading the comments, it just struck me how strange it all sounds to me, that women actually have less rights than men, especially that you are grateful to be allowed to do certain things. It's one of those things that are just so incomprehensible when you really think about it.
I also thought that I don't notice it in my own life, but then what Anna said about power structures just hit the spot. That is so true.
Don't know where I'm going with this, just my thoughts. You caught me of guard on a Saturday morning :)

Joana said...

i've been a silent reader for a while now but this topic made me come out of my shyness.

i think women are still greatly discriminated and most of the times considered ''less'' in some way or another by the rest of the world simply because we are different. different then men.
and we are intrinsically different - and we should praise it, encourage it and be proud of our difference. i don't think the path to equality is only achieved by pursuing big careers and saying we are and can do the same as men. i actually feel the pressure of needing to want career while i actually don't. which got me into a couple of arguments with some ''feminist'' friends of mine..
i dream of a world where being caring and loving is as respected as being ambitious and powerful. we don't need to be viewed as the same, we just need to be respected as different.

hope i make some sense. english is not my native language..

and on another topic, i love to stop by your blog, love the photos, the poetry and your thoughts. thanks for sharing :)

Ann said...

Wow. I'm so surprised to read all these comments. I'll grant you that women in other, less desirable countries need some liberating, but here in the US? Really?! I'd like some examples, because I sure don't feel repressed in any way. I breezed my way to an advanced degree in the male dominated field of mathematics, for goodness sake! What more do want from society? I think we made it, girls.

Ann Marie said...

Hey Ann,

I am so glad to hear that you feel so empowered! So awesome. I hope that all women can arrive where you have.

I think that even in the U.S. we have some gaps to close when it comes to equality: women, in many occupations, still don't receive equal pay as to their male counterparts; women are still a small percentage of CEO's (we can get there, but I think it's more difficult for women to get there than for men for many reasons); we don't have very good maternity benefits (seeing as we, women, give birth to consumers which fuel any economy); in our pop culture women are still treated as objects and portrayed as victims of violence (which is somehow becoming "acceptable" or even "desirable"?)

...and on and on and on.

Brava to you for making it as a brilliant mathematician. You said it yourself, it's a male-dominated field--I'm hoping that someday there is no male-dominated or female-dominated field. I know I'm an idealist, and reality might thwart my dreams, but I'd like to think of a world where there are as many female mathematicians as males.