well it was wednesday…so I danced 😀 it was practice for the coming weekend’s festivities in the Isle of Wight 😀
It was a variable practice where I danced ok once I had got very very angry and cried for a while… It is a long story, but all to do with a comment about being too heavy to move quickly and my brain convincing me it was true…
It isn’t true, and I know that this morning 😀 I knew that last night too really…
I also went for a walk during my lunchbreak and met a medium sized cat who didn’t seem to have any quests for me to go on, but did let me stroke his little head 😀 😀
Daily mileage 4.05
Total June mileage 53
(yes I know I should have posted this yesterday, but I was busy finding my flamethrower)
Today’s favourite things are squats and kettlebells 🙂
They took place in my PT session which happened at 7 o’clock this morning. I think I have had PT at 7 o’clock on a tuesday for nearly the entire duration of this blog (which is a startlingly long time) so this can’t be too surprising really…
I had PT this morning and I did squats, and kettlebells, and big heavy slam ball, well, slams…
It was all pretty blooming awesome. Even if I did have to do sets of 10 of everything, which cause me to complain because 10 is lots of anything to do in a row!
(This post should have gone out yesterday… but I fell asleep)
Well…after all that dancing over the weekend, what else could I do today but walk!
I walked twice though so it was definitely good exercise 😁 I went once at lunchtime and once after work…
lunchtime I went on one of my normal routes around where I work…
I took some photos 🙂
After work, I went over to the downs link path where I live, and accepted the challenge for the second time in the day, if taking photos of a place I go all the time and making it look different!!
Miles for the day 3.8
Total Miles for June 46.6
I know, I know, exercise every day and blog every day… well this weekend will be a to have a joint post because I have been living in a field since Friday… and not only that, but I have been dancing… a lot!!
Look the field in which I have been living…
I have been at Wimborne folk festival all weekend, I have been doing a lot of dancing and it has been blooming hard work!
Mostly good fun (Except for a small amount of time when I was unable to interact sensibly with people…but had to anyway..) but still hard work…
I think a lot of walking (16 Miles over the three days) and a lot of dancing (19 dances over two days) in a good deal of heat definitely counts and blooming once for the weekend is a consequence of being extremely tired for the whole weekend!!
I didn’t get too many pictures of the dancing…I was too busy dancing 😁
Today started in the gym… which is unusual for a Thursday…
I met my friend Jeanette and we did squats, and sled pushes and kettlebell sumo squats and slams… it was awesome 😁
When lunchtime rolled around, I decided it would be wise to walk rather than run, mainly because getting changed at work is just awkward!
I took pictures 😁
And just in case people think I work in a rural area… this is what half the walk looks like…
Day 7 done 🙂
Miles today 3.54
Total June miles: 27.2
I forwent the gym this morning in favour of a good leg prodding..
Or sports massage in real language 😁
In aid of keeping my legs in good working order, I decided that I would walk this lunchtime. I didn’t walk super fast because I got somewhat distracted by playing with my camera…well my phone camera anyway…
It was a good walk and lovely to get out of the office and into the sunshine 😊
Basically I wandered about and played with Hipstamatic and rediscovered the double exposure setting 😁 I look frowny in that pic…I wasn’t I promise!
Later that day…
There was dancing!! Lots of it…
Well of course there was it is Wednesday 🙂
I did forget to take pics though so here are a couple more from the weekend 😊
(Thanks to Andrew for taking them)
Or what it is like to be the only angry woman in the room a lot of the time and why it is necessary.
Also why I am really grateful to my parents!
I will start with the why I am a feminist and why I had trouble with the concept…
The concept and the label feminist used to worry me.
I used to say, I am not a feminist, I am in favour of equality for all people including men.
I used to say I am not a feminist because I didn’t want to be seen as a man hating shouty woman.
I used to say I am not a feminist because I didn’t understand what one really is.
I am not professing to be an expert, but I will tell you what I have learned and what I now believe being a feminist is.
Being a feminist is believing in equal rights for women.
That is EQUAL rights, not better than men, not more entitled than men, not a cunning ploy for women to rule the world, and definitely not an excuse for double standards.
That is equal RIGHTS, the right to do the same job as a man, if you want to. The right to wear revealing clothes if you want to. The right to do anything (within the law) that you want to.
But it is also the right not to.
Being a feminist (just like being a woman) is not the same for everyone, for some the choice to stay at home and look after children is the right choice for them. It is the same with the choice to wear conservative clothes or a headscarf.
As far as I am concerned, as long as this is a genuine choice, and not done because a person believes there is no other option available to them, then it is all good by me.
(not that I am expecting people to get my permission, or feel in anyway validated because I say it is ok, but you know what I mean).
Feminism to me is simply the belief that any woman, is worth as much (not just monetarily) as any man. It is the belief that all people are valid and deserve equal treatment no matter what.
(Note I am talking in terms of men and women, I fully understand that these terms as not as absolute and clear cut as the two terms would suggest, I am just using them for ease of writing)
So why is any of this important?
More to the point, why is any of this important enough to keep saying, to keep talking about, to write off topic blog posts about?
(yes…it is off topic, this is an exercise blog remember)
This is important because, as far as we have come (in the UK) since the days when women had to chain themselves to railings and burn bras, we still have a lot of inequality of attitude (if not actual legal inequality) and everyday sexism to deal with in this country. Not only that, but we can’t ignore the fact that there are still parts of the world where women are abused and oppressed simply because they are women.
We still live in a country where it is celebrated, or at least noted, when someone becomes the “first female…*insert male dominated profession*”. I personally know one of the first female London bus drivers and the first female deputy head college porter at an established Cambridge college. I remember when the first UK woman went into space (1991) and I remember when the British Army first allowed women in to combat roles (2016!!). I remember a lot more firsts like these, and I am only 41. This is not a long time really!
If we were living in a truly equal society, a woman doing a traditional male role, or even just a non traditional female role wouldn’t be cause for comment. Actually, it wouldn’t be a thing at all because the delineation between traditional male and traditional female role wouldn’t exist. Or at least it wouldn’t be as clear as it is at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that there are some differences between the sexes. Even I would be hard pushed to deny that the desire to have children and look after them is an instinct inherent to many women. Many, but not all, and I would question the role of societal conditioning in some cases.
Which quite neatly brings me around to one of the main problems that stand in the way of a truly equal society. The problem of society itself!
We live in a society that is inherently sexist:
We live in a society in which it is ok to write off acts of everyday sexism as jokes. Women who complain about constant “joking” derogatory comments about parking or clothes or shoes or shopping or “a woman’s place” are derided and glared at (sometimes even by other women) for not being able to take a joke. They get branded a “typical over sensitive woman”, get called “the fun police”. Any requests for consideration get branded “political correctness gone mad”.
Incidentally, political correctness is generally just asking people not to be dicks. Being angry that the “political correctness brigade” no longer “allow” you to laugh at or deride sections of the community because of gender/race/etc stereotypes makes you an idiot.
We live in a society where it is ok to question someones knowledge and ability just because of their gender. Ok, not legally, constantly and subtly. As a woman in engineering it is still common to be assumed to be in a junior or administrative role just because of gender.
We live in a society that thinks it is ok to commentate on women’s looks and fashion choice rather than their achievements and abilities. Now if it is a fashion magazine, this is probably acceptable, but it is not by any means limited to there.
We live in a society that conditions boys and girls to become a certain way from the moment they are born. It is done unconsciously and consciously through language, and expectations and marketing. It is this conditioning that needs to be addressed before we can live in a truly equal society.
If you don’t know what I mean, just listen to the way parents speak to their children.
To girls “you’re so pretty” to boys “you are big and strong”
To girls “that’s not very ladylike” to boys “boys will be boys”
Girls get to be the princess and boys the hero.
Girls are given cookers and baby dolls and boys are given cars and tools.
Being a girl is even spoken about as if it is an insult. Parents tell their boys not to be “such a girl” they tell them they are a big girl if they cry or show emotion. How does this tech anyone that people are equal. Boys and girls learn from this that a girl is a weaker person and a bad thing to be.
Girls learn that their looks are valued above all else and boys their strength. Boys are far more likely in many cases to be praised for their achievements rather than their looks. This continues well into the adult world, to the point where there is a subconscious belief in many people that a woman can’t be intelligent and pretty. There is a fundamental societal belief that a woman’s value is measured by her looks and a man’s by his achievements.
This is a trend that goes beyond childhood, women are marketed to based on looks and the perceived notion of achieving ageless perfection. Weight loss products are sold based on the notion that smaller is better, smaller and smaller and smaller until there are women and teenage girls starving themselves to fit into societal norms, to make men happy, to somehow achieve that ultimate goal of having a husband and children. 1000s of Anti aging products are sold to women because women must look youthful and vital at all times, presumably because the only way to attract a man is to look like you can have children. Even shampoo and soap is sold to women on the basis that it will make you look young and pretty, men’s are sold based on the fact they will make you clean, or smell nice… (with the exception of Lynx which is blatant false advertising anyway)
This type of normalised gender inequality is pervasive throughout all levels of society and it is this that needs to change before any real equality is possible. This is why it is necessary to keep pointing it out. Keep challenging people to consider their language choices. Keep making people think.
There is a danger that doing this will have you labeled the angry woman, or the fun police, or get told to lighten up…which is totally a proof that the problem still exists.
However as a good friend of mine once said, there is no good in just being ridiculed. So there are times and places for these things…
(I am very much a speak before I think sort of person, so I challenge everything…to the point of annoying people, but I don’t necessarily recommend it for everyone!)
Why am I grateful to my parents?
Well lots of reasons really, but for the purposes of this post I’ll stick to ones relating to equality.
I was brought up by my parents to believe that I could do anything. I was brought up to believe that I shouldn’t let anything as arbitrary as being a girl stop me doing things.
Whats more I was brought up to believe these things by being shown them again and again. I wasn’t simply told, it became a fundamental part of who I was.
I was raised in a household where both parents worked, both cooked, both cleaned, shopped, drove and most importantly treated each other as equals.
I was dressed in blue and yellow and green andpink, dressed in both trousers and dresses (not at the same time), I was dressed as a person.
I was given cars and Lego and dolls and bears to play with and books of all genres to read.
I was supported when I wanted to join air cadets, then the RAF (althuogh i didn’t in the end) I was encouraged to enjoy science and engineering and art and craft!
Whats more, all this happened in the late 70s early 80s. It is only very recently that I realised how rare this was at that time!
The most scary thing about this, is that sort of upbringing, free from gender stereotypes and expectations, is still rare now.
And that is why I am grateful to may parents, and why I won’t stop challenging sexist attitudes and behaviours.
First thing this morning I did a lot of deadlifts!! I had a PT session with Matt and it consisted almost entirely of deadlifts… light ones for a warm up (after a proper warm up) then heavy ones, then a drop set then paused deadlifts it worked out to be something like 56 deadlifts with various different weights up to a maximum of 80kg 🙂 we threw in some rows too just for fun!
It was pretty awesome though… I love deadlifts 😀
There I am looking all cheerful after deadlifts 😁
Later that day…
At lunchtime in fact, I decided that as it wasn’t as hot as it had been, I’d get myself out for a run! It was pretty slow tbh, possibly because of all the deadlifts but I think I did more running and less walking so that is good!!
I don’t think I look quite so cheerful there… but that is because running (although I actually quite like it now) is not as awesome as deadlifts!!
Even later that day…
I went to my pottery class where I found that my lovely pot was all glazed and pretty!!
I promptly started another one which is going to be similar in design but taller and narrower 😁
All in all it was a pretty good day 😁😁
(Miles walked 3.4)
No, I didn’t sign up for a half marathon.
No, not even a 10k.
Not a running thing at all as it happens! Well not exclusively running, although running will play a part.
I have signed up to walk (run dance etc) 100 miles.
Not in one go…but between the first and the end of June. It works out at an average of 3.3 miles per day. Which is doable, but challenging. It will be easy to cover that sort of distance on dancing days and dancing weekends, however my work days involve a lot of sitting. So, I am going to have to find ways of squishing extra walking around into my workday!
I signed up for this on Race at Your Pace, which is slightly annoyingly named, because it is not in any way a race. But anyway, they have challenges to walk (crawl, climb) or cycle between 25 and 200 miles in a month….
If you manage this, they send you a medal 😀 it isn’t really for anything other than a challenge and to give me an incentive to get up and go every day.
NB: for some reason I thought this was to be done before the 25th June…I don’t think this is true now I look back on the website. Bonus!! This means I am ahead of schedule! So far I am up to 19 miles and I have not finished today yet 🙂
Well you would have walked too after that weekend!!
Today was definitely a day for less vigorous activity 😁
It was a nice walk though and I met a cat who, I am pretty sure, wanted to take me on a quest. I had to go back to work unfortunately so I had to say goodbye to him…
With a tail like that it had to be a quest!!