A woman that changed the way you think!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Diana, Jun 28, 2014.

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  1. The thread title was a writing prompt I got on facebook this week, and I thought it would make a good discussion!

    Though it's better than it was 50 years ago, we're still in an age where things like you act like a girl is an insult. The way women are treated and women's rights of equality still kind of suck. And this spills out in to other social problems, like racism (do you know the kind of crap a black woman has to live with her in lifetime?) or trans rights (transguy shame on you, you need to go back to being a woman - transgirl, no you'll never be woman enough). This even negatively affects men. A guy likes romantic comedies and romance novels? Total fag. A man dresses nice and doesn't even lift? What a pussy.

    For THIS topic we're going to talk about awesome women in your life! Tell us about a woman that changed the way you think, has influenced you, been a role model to you, or is otherwise just a really awesome lady.
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  2. I guess everyone's waiting for a man to go first. Tis right and proper. :|

    My first writing partner was Maria - a strange bisexual tarot-reading former actress who was haunted by ghosts. I met her at a time when I was angry about leaving the Army and having no prospects, and I had spent every penny of my savings on a Master's Course in professional writing. She sensed that anger and was drawn to some of the dark stuff I was writing back then. She made it her mission to broaden my mind and introduce me to some of the weirder things of life - witchcraft, shamanism, fey, tarot. I thought it was all bullshit at the time, and told her so repeatedly. But she answered reason with reason and took me into a social group that was alive with freakish wonder. And when she described the physical injuries she had suffered from poltergeists, it was downright revelatory. She took me from a position of extreme skepticism to a love of the mystical. And to this day we still edit each others work with ruthless cruelty.
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  3. Oh man, so many.

    One of the first that comes to mind is my cousin and my aunt (her mom). They have such an amazing heart for environmental and social justice. Living in British Columbia, my aunt has worked with many of the Native communities in regards to health (she's a retired doctor) and my cousin is not afraid to talk about and challenge the thinking of topics other people wouldn't touch. What really inspires me is the loving way in which they do it. They always approach the discussion with open hearts and minds, and challenge and inspire me all the time.

    My friend Shari-Lynn. I knew her from I was growing up, she worked with my dad for many years, but it wasn't until I was in University that she came out as gay. Bermuda does not have the best track record for gay rights (not the worst, but def not the best) and just seeing her live her life so openly and campaign for the rights of others is inspiring. And she's just a great friend. :)

    My best friend Joanne. She is one of the most awesome women I know. She is that friend who has gone everywhere and done everything (it seems). She and I both grew up being odd ones out, but in very different ways. But she is someone who really inspires me to not care what other people may say or think about me, and just be me.

    EDIT: How coincidental and appropriate.

    #3 Cammybatty, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
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  5. Let me get this off my chest right away. Unless you were born with a condition that prevents it everyone regardless of gender should work out extensively. And hold a physically demanding job at least once in their life, the kind only a cold beer and hitting the sack early cures.

    And it was a woman who taught me that. My aunt on my father's side. She is Half Japanese and Half Cree by the way. Anyways after my Father and Mother Died when I was Seventeen she came out to stay with me and my sister. Needless to say we were not handling it well. I actually did something I am quite ashamed of now but that is a story for another day.

    Don't get me wrong I've always been in fairly good shape all my life. But my Aunt could put a Gurkha to shame and she ran circles around me. So she pretty much used a horse whip to drive me into physical training. To this day I have no idea what her ultimate end goal was but in all that sweat I found a certain level of peace despite my emotional state at the time.

    It was if by pushing myself beyond my physical peak I could ignore all the voices in my head. And because of that I could go back into my real passion. That being of cars and everything to do with them. Using the skills my Father taught me no longer brought such painful thoughts to the surface.

    And strangely enough I think I owe it to an ocd exercise freak of an Aunt.
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  6. I have always been attracted to strong people. In my life the majority of strong people I've met have been female.

    My life partner, user Fijoli, is an amazing girl. She never fails to motivate me to become a better person.
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  7. It took me a while to figure out a decent answer to this. Kinda seems kind of like a cop-out to go with my mom, but she really has been my rock and constantly pushed me away from falling into the trap of tradition and social norms. Not 100% of everything she's done for me has been for the best, but what parent is immune from that?

    From my earliest days, she's made it clear that the only person standing in the way of my dreams is me. Whatever I want to do or be, wherever I want to go and whenever I want to go there, it can be done as long as I'm willing to work hard enough and make the right sacrifices. Her motto in life is "you can have anything you want, you just can't have everything you want". That's probably the most important thing she drilled into me, but there's been plenty over the years. Never borrow money against depreciating capital. Every day, you decide who you're gonna be tomorrow. Voting is your ticket to bitching about the system- if you didn't show up and at least try to change it, you can shut up and sit down when it doesn't go your way. Always buy good shoes and good sheets, since you're in one or the other of them for 20 hours a day. "Why not" is a shitty way of deciding things in life- if you can't find a reason for it, you probably shouldn't do it. Figures don't lie, but liars sure figure. Never draw a conclusion and then go looking for evidence.

    She's raised me on the "innocent until proven guilty" theory. I'm allowed to do literally anything I want to until I prove I'm incapable of handling it on my own. If mommy has to step in and save me, she can write the rules for me from then on. Needless to say, I don't party hard. I don't get in trouble with the cops. I don't get drunk or high or stoned, or pop a few Adderall before a test. My SO policy is strict on the no BS, no crazy, no mean categories. Why? I like my freedom. I like being able to stay out until 2 a.m. at a guy's house with no parents around. I liked being 16 and travelling a thousand miles away with no supervision to see my boyfriend over the long weekend. I like being one of the 2% of incoming freshmen who attended the college orientation alone, without mommy holding their hand. I think it's an important perspective that lot of my peers won't get for a while yet- the idea that flying solo and handling life on your own is both liberating and carries a heavy burden of responsibility. Responsibility has always been the name of the game. She had a zero-tolerance BS policy. If I screw up, I own up, and we sit down to talk about how it should have gone and how it's going to go in the future.

    Her feminism is where I got the biggest dose of mine. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that my mother is sexblind more than feminist. She doesn't believe that there's a qualification in the world that sex is relevant to, or any situation it's appropriate to judge someone by their sex. She's worked manual labor and traveled the world, gone to college and gone to protests. None of it, in her mind, is any more or less impressive because she's got tits and a vagina. She certainly doesn't let me use any of those excuses- I wasn't "the highest scoring girl on the math test", I was fourth in the class. I wasn't "the only girl to climb the tree", I was one of five people who climbed the tree. But when I did place first, when I did get leadership roles and awards and recognition, my sex played no part in that either. I never "did pretty good, for a girl", I either did good or I didn't. There was never the option of just comparing myself to the people of my sex or my age or my experience, only looking at the bigger picture and seeing where I fell. She's always told me that if I only compare myself to those around me, I can never get much better than those around me. I've got to open my eyes to the world and see that it's not just my city or my school or my country, it's billions and billions of us, and in the end it's the choices we make that draw the differences between us.

    I wish that everyone had the opportunity to spend some of their childhood with a mother like mine. I think if more people were raised with the idea that the only meaningful limits are the ones you place on yourself, this world would be a better place.
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  8. Honestly, I can't live without women. I mean, I came out of a woman's uterus for Anne Shirley's sake!

    But seriously now. I don't think I can name all the awesome ladies I've met that have really influenced my life, since there's just so many of them! So I'll just name a few, and perhaps describe them a short bit, a la the acknowledgements section in the back of a book.

    1. My mother, my grandmother, my grandmother, my sister, my numerous aunts and female cousins - Because. Especial shout out to my mother, sister, and grandmother (father's side), though: their fairly large book collections were probably what influenced me to turn my room into a very shitty version of a library read a lot and collect books.
    2. My teachers pre-college - Speaking of books, I'd like to really mention my social studies teacher in 5th and 6th Grade (may she rest in peace), besides my two grandfathers she's the one who really started my (obsession?) with history; my English teachers in high school, and my English teacher in grade school who wasn't ever really my teacher but due to her friendship with my sister gave me a neat book as a birthday gift anyway, who really broadened my horizons not just in Literature, but also in the arts in general; and my science teacher in grade school, and my biology and earth sciences teachers in high school, who set the foundations for my broadening horizons on the other side of the spectrum (ie science).
    3. My favorite authors ever - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Edith Hamilton, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, and Madeleine L'Engle. I have to say, their books influenced me much more as a writer (and perhaps human being in general) than Tolkien or Poe. Especial shout-outs to Austen, who really influenced my style and way of seeing things, and Hamilton, who was the one who really got me into mythology, and ultimately fantasy in general (the neat book that English teacher I didn't really know, by the way, was my first copy of Hamilton's Mythology, now lost to a thief's inventory (I, however, have about three copiesand a of the book now, though, so it doesn't really matter now).
    4. My female friends throughout grade school and high school - What they've really influenced in me is my behavior. Especial shout-out to the first girl I ever liked-liked, without whom I would have not discovered the joys of romance; my friend who was way more balanced than any of my other friends, she taught me how to reconcile the Dionysian and the Apollonian in me; and all of my female (and that one pre-op transgirl friend I had, although she really remained ambiguous throughout all the time I knew her, so I don't really know) artist friends, who really developed me as an artist, and are still aiding me in my development as an artist (by keeping in touch and such).
    5. The red-haired, green-eyed woman of my dreams - Really, this is a much more mystical thing than all the other stuff I've described here. I dreamed about her once (in a serious but NON-SENSUAL dream), and ever since then everything I've been doing has essentially been for her first (aside, of course, from my spiritual and familial motivations). I kinda consider her very image symbolic of something, perhaps my own femininity or the one woman of my dreams (in the other sense), so I'm not really sure if she counts here; still, she's an awesome, life-changing woman, so....

    Really, without the other sex, the world....I don't know. Wouldn't exist? Or maybe we wouldn't exist to appreciate it....

    On the opening post: I kinda don't get how the text prefacing the pink intro relates to all this. What is this topic supposed to be leaning to more, exactly: the amazing women in our lives in general, or the amazing women in our lives as related to the general idea of femininity, as implied by the opening statement? I, like, most of the posters here, am assuming it's the first one, but still.
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  9. I interpreted it as something along the lines of "In the context of the general experience of women (among other groups), who in your life shaped your personal beliefs and experiences the most". The pink text, to me, was personalizing a generalized issue.

    ...now I'm wondering if I'm totally off-base, lol.
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  10. I really love my mom.
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  11. The pink and white text are directly related. Women get a bad rap in general, and some of them are indeed utter idiots. But when looked at specifically there are many who are paragons of life-changing virtue.

    It's the link between public perception and personal experience, in which the latter should negate the former.

    Like how the three nicest people I have ever met in my life were Muslims. I use those personal experiences to build my perception, and not all the comments on YouTube.
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  12. My sister has really been the best woman influence in my life. She's stayed with me three times after I was diagnosed with cancer, she's been to every important even that meant something to me, and she's kept me going. Whether it is having to wake her up in the early morning when she has to work that day so that I can be pulled from one of my more serious panic attacks, or just keeping me company, she's always been a strong force in my life.
  13. I had to really give it some thought. Weirdly, mostly men have had the bigger influences on my life.

    Maybe it's cliche', but my mother suits this topic. She has a dark history, as do I, and I really wish I didn't hide so much of it from her. Anyway, her strength, her ability to accept people for who they are, and her generally positive attitude has had a huge impact on me. Growing up was super duper hard for me and to this day, I'm ashamed of the mental disorders I have. :/ My mom, though, has been nothing but supportive of me. Even after the hurt I've caused her, she's shown me how powerful a mother's love truly can be. I have two sisters who also cause her pain; one is just a lazy bitch, the other is a low level sociopath. (Pretty sure she is, anyway.) Yet, she mothers them, feeds them, and clothes them because they are her babies. Same with me, even with me living miles and miles away. She herself isn't perfect, and that's okay; she taught me it was okay. Also, she tells me how much of a shining influence I am, being a mom and a full-time student who almost has her AA degree. :] No matter how old I get, I'll still need my mom. And when she passes away, I'll miss her terribly because I'll still need her...

    She taught me independence, too. I learned how to be happy by my lonesome, through her. Since my step-dad was abusive and biological dad wasn't around, I kept thinking I needed a man to depend on. When I learned to embrace who I was and be happy with who I was, the world suddenly looked different to me.

    I can only hope to be as awesome as a mom as she is as the years pass. What I've done for my family has been done with her in mind. She's one of the strongest people I've ever known. Now in my older age, I look back and wish I had done some thing differently, because I can see how much my bad decisions have effected her. So I'm doing my best to make up for it, and be the best person I can be for her. For my whole family, really.
    #13 Fluffy, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
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  14. Asmo pretty much explained it for me! o___o It was an example of stupid crap people think and say about women, and the purpose of this thread was to stop and think about the AMAZING qualities and influences of women in your life who have have done so despite stigma, stereotypes, etc, etc.

    Or, an opportunity to talk about nice things for no reason while subtly getting you to think about social issues! 8D

    MY INFLUENTIAL WOMEN, are ironically the same two that have vexxed me. >< My mom and grandmother. We do not have a good relationship, BUUUUUUT, One thing they drilled in to me since I was really young, was to be independent and how to take care of myself. That I should never wrap my identity around my boyfriend/husband/friends and I should always think for myself and make my own choices in life. No one else lives my life, no one else has the right to dictate it.
  15. The woman that has influenced me the most would have to be my "ex" best friend. Technically we are no longer friends anymore, but I still appreciate the time I had with her. She taught me to look at life through a new perspective. One that is bright and positive. Unlike my dull and negative perspective. Before me and her became close friends, I absolutely despised people. I hated being involved in anything, and I just over all hated living. I will have to say, life has been hard without her, but I've learned (from her) how to deal with hard and difficult situations. Yes, losing her was tough, but friends come and go. All that matters is that you appreciate the time you have with them. I can thank her for saving me from doing something absolutely stupid.
  16. Well the mother lady of course.
    Despite the many years of hardships in dealing with on-going mental lapses and psychotic breakdowns with the occasional bought of foreboding depression, the mother was a person who I would forever hold dear to the walls of my heart. For if it were not for a person of such extensive flaws, beauty and subjective knowledge gained by many years of age and other experiences, I would not have formed into the man I am today. Though there are others, they pale in comparison to the many lessons taught through childhood and the teens years, all the way up to an adult when her life could no longer sustain itself and the body shut down.
    Even then, in death, another lesson learned; having accepted not only the inevitability of death, but accepted that everything will go on and there is no need for fretting.

    I remember once she'd hit her head and couldn't smell anything for two years once.
    One day she ate a piece of chocolate and tears came running as if she'd expected never to taste the sweet sensation again.
    One of my clearest memories of the mother one.

    Otherwise, a woman I once knew, a girlfriend of sorts. If not for that woman's inability to give one not only space, but lack of privacy, this one would not appreciate confinement and being solitary as much as I do now; and yes, it was to such an extreme that it has affected the way of thinking when it pertains to the need for nothingness, privacy and a severe lack of social interaction.

    Edit: And Miss Gloria. One of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure to know as a child. Even to this day, though my religious beliefs differ from others, I'd say if there were ever a woman I knew who had been blessed by God or a God, it was her. Even on a clouded day her radiance alone would be enough to fill the hearts around her with brilliance and wonder. Though she was very old, the soul that lingered behind the wrinkled flesh was and always will be as tender and young as a newborn. I will always think fondly of that woman, though I know she is no longer among the living, yet still blesses a heart through both death and time.
  17. My grandmother. This woman never received a high school education, and actually cried to her father when she saw her younger brother enter high school when she couldn't. She understood rather quickly how important it is to have an education, and wanted to be sure I got one. She escaped the Vietnam War with her family, and they almost got deported when she suddenly became deathly ill on the way the States. She's an eccentric and annoying woman who I think talks too much, but she's taught me generosity, kindness, and how important it is to offer physical affection.
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  18. Probably Tegan and Ampoule. I met them when I was going through the hormonal phase. Looking back, I wouldn't exchange that experience for anything else.

    Mom and the SO too. Mom is independent, and SO teaches me that there are other perspectives in life.
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  19. The lady I've been courting. She has brought balance and perspective where it didn't exist before, some encouragement that was desperately needed, and the inspiration to continue reaching for the stars -- despite all odds.

    I don't think she realizes she does this, but it has affected me greatly over the past few months. Things can only go up from here.
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  20. 1) Octo-Mom - literally embodies all the women I've come to love in my life.
    2) My Grandmother - she helped me pack my bags and readied me for my new life with October.
    3) My Aunt Heather - for teaching me how to love people even when they put me down, getting back up only happens after you've fallen down.
    4) My mother - for teaching me how to be strong at all, stand by my convictions, and filled me with determination.

    as for the non- immediate female in my life that has and continues to inspire me is this chick -


    she was silly and not brave enough to be silly, the greatest thing in the world is to bring others happiness and laughter.
    I admired her since before I could remember and maybe while, her voice can sometimes be shrill, She still remains to me, this
    amazing woman with a great gift of bringing smiles to many faces. I love you Lucy.
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