“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”
So, here we are again. Today is the 108th International Women’s Day and while we have made huge strides in some areas, we have a very long way to go.
Much has been written in the lead up to today. And much of it grim. I won’t even go into the Tuam babies horror here. To mark the day I thought I’d post a compilation of important pieces about how women are (still) being treated in the 21st century. It’s not terrifically cheery reading so you might want to stop now. I understand, I really do.
Valentine’s day is here and for some, it’s not a rose filled mushy warm day. For some it’s just another day of surviving a relationship that feels difficult, or even abusive. It can be hard to know how to define abuse, and when we are ‘in’ an abusive situation, it can be hard to ‘see’ that it’s abusive. But you might have a niggling feeling, your friends or family may have expressed concern.
I’ve been meaning to talk about guilt for some time now.
Guilt is a feeling that is familiar to most of us – some more than others of course. And I find that it’s something that comes up in therapy a lot. We in Ireland just love our guilt – we are literally born with the stuff if we are Catholic, which most of us are.
But is guilt ‘good’?
I was catching up on my Facebook messages earlier and this post sent to me by a friend really caught my eye. It’s a meme from one of those humour pages on Facebook. Judging by the comments it resonates with most people and they think it’s really funny! (It is too – I mean who hasn’t waited years for a plumber?!!)
You’ve probably already heard about the new Calvin Klein advertising campaign. It’s worked, that’s for sure, in that Twitter and Facebook can’t get enough of complaining about it. And of course the pro-sexism and creepy factions can’t get enough of defending it and lashing out at people who recognise it for what it is – blatant sexist glamourisation of and dismissal of sexual harassment.
Some people are saying that the allegations about UCD male students posting “revenge porn” in a Facebook group with over 200 members is ‘unbelievable’. And as it turns out, the allegations went unsupported, there is no first hand evidence to support the claims.
For so many though, the story was totally believable. Some people still believe it, thinking – well can’t the evidence be deleted? Isn’t there sufficient shame around sexuality and sex crime to prevent victims from coming forward when invited, encouraged even?
One major piece that this has highlighted for me is this question: what made this story so believable? And I feel it’s because this happens now, we all know it. For any of us to say otherwise at this point is somewhat naive.
Do you suck your tummy in when you think other people are looking at you?
Every day, women (and men) are bombarded by messages on the TV, radio, print media including the internet telling us (and selling us) on how to change how we look. Unless you actually live under an actual rock you are bombarded by change-your-body messages maybe twenty, thirty times a day (?!!). All designed to sell you something. All disguised as “help”.
Yesterday I wrote about my depressing experience in a gym changing room where a little girl sucked in her tummy when she noticed me looking at (admiring) her.
Today, I’ve decided to suggest things we can collectively challenge in our society, things that hurt us and our children. I’m a big believer in taking action!
Here’s a little taster of where I’m going with this one:
I had an unnerving experience two days ago and haven’t quite yet recovered.
This thing happened in the changing room of my local gym.
Here’s a meme I made for the occasion. It might give you a clue as to where I’m going with this…