Tag Archives: feminism

#imwithher: this isn’t defeat

Something horrible happened today. (Or, if you’re on the opposite side of the world from where I currently am, maybe it happened last night.)

As an American, I am utterly shocked at what we, as a collective group, did. We elected a terrifying, sexist, xenophobic, lying, tax-cheating man into our most highly regarded office. I wasn’t prepared for the blow of disappointment that swept over me this afternoon. I confess I took a (rather unhelpful) nap to escape it.

I don’t know what this decision will truly mean for our country; I don’t know that any of us truly know. As much as the election results were today, now it’s simply a waiting game, isn’t it? Where will this road lead us?

It’s too soon to tell.

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I tried committing… but I wasn’t ready…

Lately, my thoughts are all over the place. It’s been such a long time since I’ve written anything for myself. Part of this is unintentional; much of it is/was a product of my life circumstances.

I ended up dating someone (like, an actual, real relationship) for about 8 weeks and that really effed things up. I spent zero time writing for myself. I worked on a couple of things early on and then, my life revolved around a relationship I wasn’t sure I wanted.

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being married to me… a story about learning to love myself…

If you’re not new to A Little Bit Brave, you know that I’m all about me. I don’t say that to sound selfish, but instead to make a point – I am all about doing what is best for me, not making my decisions to please someone else.

Thanks to my time in Korea, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be and feel confident. I’ve learned to appreciate and embrace my independence. Two years ago, I decided I wanted to make a statement, so I got a tattoo to represent that I was married to me:

This was something that made me feel powerful – like I could do anything and be the woman I had always dreamed of. It doesn’t mean that I absolutely never want to get married; it just means that I know I have to love myself first.

Self Love is Real

Last fall, after showing off my tat to a new friend and talking about living a single life abroad, she emailed me a video a few days later that encapsulated a lot of what I have been trying to say all along.

So much of what Ms. McMillan states is what I’ve felt for a while now. I couldn’t relate to everything, but there was one thing that stuck out more than any other: I have to love myself first.

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Jim Bob and Michelle’s big mistake… don’t make it yours…

 

Everybody’s talking about the Duggars, and probably for good reason (much of the time, anyway). Just in case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s a link to an article detailing why the Duggars have been – yet again – in the news.

I don’t want to join the thousands of haters. I don’t want to condemn Josh Duggar for his past transgressions, though I have concerns about that, too. I don’t want to blame him for this current situation because, let’s face it, folks: he did not ask for this. Nor did his victims.

You may disagree with nearly every defense the Duggar clan has made about this whole debacle. You may absolutely hate them for a myriad of reasons. You may have supported them in the past and now, you just don’t know what to do. Whatever your current stance, I think we can agree that there were many “mistakes” made in this sad story – not just “mistakes” (a loose term in this situation, in my opinion) made by Josh, but also mistakes made by his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

The Duggars are a hyper-conservative family and openly oppose hot topics like abortion, LGBT issues, and a slew of other things. A lot of their commentary is just downright insensitive in my opinion, though there are many who support and agree with them. They are part of something called the Quiverfull Movement, a disturbing religion-based community that places misogynistic power on childbearing, dating relationships,  and of course, sex itself. You can read more about it here and about a woman’s revelations after being raised in a Quiverfull family here.

So knowing all this, and now what we know about Josh Duggar’s “mistakes” (as the family has chosen to call them), what can we say about Jim Bob and Michelle? Is it fair to accuse them of also making mistakes?

Abso-effing-lutely.

Like me, you may disagree with how the Duggar parents dealt with such a serious issue in their home. The amount of time that passed, for one, before they sought help is troubling. How they went about seeking help is also concerning. But what’s the biggest deal that no one seems to be talking about in all of this mess?

Chances are, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar never talked in detail with Josh about sex, human bodies, hormones, and all the stuff in between.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s no secret that the Duggar clan is a devout religious and conservative family. While many of their values are admirable, some of them are incredibly outdated. I would even argue that, in this day and age, their methods are archaic and a complete disservice to their children.

Let me explain.

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to all the brave girls out there… this is for you…

When I started “A Little Bit Brave” in early 2013, I meant for it to chronicle my experiences living and teaching abroad for what I thought would be just a single year. Since it’s inception, my hopes for the blog have changed and grown.

I had started a couple of blogs a few years before during a very difficult period in my life and I hadn’t really shared them with anyone… I complained a lot and, in my defense, was experiencing some pretty serious depression. After what seemed like an eternity of difficult years working shitty jobs and feeling like I was drowning in a sea of depression, I set out on a new adventure: teaching English in South Korea. I felt like I was truly embarking on a new chapter in life, finally, and seeking the happiness I so desperately had been searching for over the past few years. I deemed my leap to move halfway across the world to teach English as being “a little bit brave,” and so the title was born.

Since starting the blog, I have tried (not always successfully) to share some of my cultural experiences here in Korea. Despite my poor blogging habits, I’ve also rediscovered my love of writing. I found my voice again and started sharing my opinions on things, wrote about things I think are funny or that will make you, Reader, laugh. I also realized that there are other women out there whom I truly respect and admire. The internet is a scary and beautiful thing – it has opened a door to me that I didn’t bother to open before.

All across our world, women are taking steps that are leaps for them. They are writing their own stories and making their own rules.

They are a little bit brave.

After finishing a series telling the story of my journey to Korea, I wanted to keep the “series” habit going, so I reached out to a friend about doing a guest post about her “brave” story. After two of these posts by two awesome women living and working in Asia (you can read them here and here), my plan for the blog evolved yet again.

In asking these women to write and starting the recruiting process to find others, I started thinking about women I know back home in the Americas: many of my friends in the States hadn’t left the shores of our homeland, and yet I knew they were still living and writing brave stories of their own. Suddenly, it was clear to me that “A Little Bit Brave” wasn’t just supposed to be about me. It wasn’t just supposed to be about other women who had left their homeland to find an adventure. It was about all women who were taking leaps and risks, no matter where they were. 

We live in a time where women are becoming more empowered and encouraged to take these risks. It’s time that we embraced this and shouted our stories into the wind.

It is my hope that this blog will be a place of empowerment and encouragement for women of all ages. No matter where you are in life, no matter your story, this is a place for you. We are women and we are strong. I hope you find the story here that will convince you to take your own leap and start writing your new story.

We may not be fearless, but we are a little bit brave.

*This post was written partly in response to WordPress’s The Daily Post: Singular Sensation.

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