Category Archives: Opinion

Why Men Are Uncomfortable with Ambitious Women

What is it about an independent and ambitious woman that makes most men squirm? I have a few thoughts …

ambitious-women | I Am Rosa

My boyfriend came across an article talking about how men aren’t comfortable with ambitious women. He’s a pretty forward-thinking guy who spent years looking for a lady actively pursuing her own ambitions. He’s genuinely baffled by the news that other men aren’t comfortable with strong, independent women.  He asked me:

Who are these guys?

I’m afraid I had a bit of knee-jerk reaction and blurted out:

OMG!! Almost every effing man I’ve ever met!

“Why?” he asked. “I don’t get it.”

Why are some men afraid of women with ambition? Good question. There are a lot of reasons. Let’s look at some of the ones I’ve encountered throughout my life:

  • Insecurities;
  • Jealousy;
  • Being raised with specific expectations and views of women …

And some guys are just plain jerks. Over the past 20+ years as an adult with dreams and goals, I’ve run into a staggering number of responses from men that warrant some mighty big WTF?? reactions. Some of these were from the important men in my life!

  • If I have an idea, it’s not good enough until a man comes up with it. (I’m not alone and thank goodness the women on Obama’s staff taught us how to deal with that!)
  • If I don’t have an equal education, I’m not considered smart or even useful beyond a certain point.
  • If I want to learn more, I’m so “cute” which sometimes includes being patronizingly patted on the arm, back or head!
  • If I clearly and respectfully express my boundaries, I’m a bitch.
  • If I don’t respond to a pick-up or turn down a meet up, I’m a snob and anti-social.
  • If I go out to karaoke or dancing and don’t want to hook up with some random dude, I’m a tease.
  • If I don’t want sex, I’m an “Ice Queen”.
  • If I do want sex, I’m a slut or “needy”.
  • If I express my likes or dislikes, I’m bossy, picky, and can’t be pleased.
  • If I make a certain amount of money, the men who don’t make as much think I’m greedy, sleeping with someone, or outright try to derail my progress.
  • If I get groped or kissed without permission, I  am told to be grateful that someone found me attractive.

Some men who say they want a woman who is equal or has goals, visualize that reality with a limitation for the woman. It’s either because he doesn’t see himself going very far (so she can’t either) or because she “should” also be running the home, popping out babies, and raising them while meeting her goals (!?!).

Each of these statements were said by men who claimed they wanted an ambitious, independent women:

  • How did you ever get along without me?
  • What would you do without me to do this for you?
  • You’d never survive without me.

You may have noticed these statements invalid my ability to think or function. They presume I did not – and would not – do well on my own. Like having a penis in the home saves me from the incompetence they presume upon me.

Not all men are jerks, obviously. Some men are afraid of women with ambition, strength, and skill because they don’t know what they can offer. These are men who cannot see their own worth or value to an ambitious woman.

It’s important for men to know that a strong woman values her man for other reasons. She may not need him in the traditional ways our society has trained them to be needed, but there are things a strong man can provide that will make her thrive, including:

  • His autonomy in the relationship;
  • Unconditional support;
  • Sincere encouragement;
  • Admiration …

These things make him a priceless asset. A man she will love, adore, and depend on more than if he just opens the pickle jar or changes the oil in the car. If a strong woman doesn’t need you, it’s because you’re not giving what she needs.

“And a strong man doesn’t see his S.O. as a servant,” my boyfriend piped in. “He sees them as a partner.” He gets it. That’s one of the many reasons I’m dating him. Now, he needs to explain it to the clueless men around him.

 


Want to know what strong women want in a relationship?
Read 10 Things Alpha Women Need in a Relationship
by Power of Positivity.

Lest We Forget: Paris 2015

Dear Friends; I share your outrage and anguish. I hear you shouting for justice. I also hear some calling for retribution, comparing last night’s terrorist attacks to the campaigns of Hitler, and demanding we take immediate violent action.
 
Please understand; This is not the same situation as either world war. This enemy is not the bold bully that acts in plain sight. This is an arrogant enemy that hides in the dark and uses innocent people as shields – sometimes, even as their weapons. We cannot take the same actions our ancestors did in the past.
 
There’s a reason we said, “Lest We Forget” 3 days ago. It is not a kitschy reminder of evil. Sadly, we can never forget evil. When we say those sacred words, we’re referring to the cost of war; the innocent lives lost or destroyed.
Lest We Forget - Paris 2015 | I Am Rosa
As a child listening at the knee of WW2 vets and civilian survivors, they all told me the same thing in different words:
 
“We remember those days, lest we forget
the cost to our souls and sanity
to take the life of another.”
This is our legacy from them.
 
We must not act in anger or we will live in regret. When we act, let it be with deep forethought and calculation, so when we strike, our blow is swift, true, and accurate.

“Rules for Dating My Daughter” Memes …

Someone recently told me that this is the Year of the Offense. Everyone seems to be offended by every little thing going on around them, which is of course amplified by the media highlighting the most ridiculous and inane things to stir the pot. This includes some bloggers. So, guess what the big offender is now?  Well, the title should give you a clue, but you can humour me by making a few wrong guesses …

Okay, okay.  It’s those “dating my daughter” memes like this one:

dating-my-daughter-funny

For some idiotic reason, folks are missing the point that these memes are jokes; exaggerated caricatures of fathers wanting to protect inexperienced teenage girls who are (generally speaking) wrapped up in romantic ideals and fairy-tale notions.

In fact, one daddy blogger stated that these demeaning memes show that men don’t trust their daughters, have no confidence in them, and think their daughters are “weak and feeble creatures” (that’s a direct quote).  From his comments about over-bearing fathers bullying, intimidating future friends and dates, and his obnoxious choice to post this topic under the category of “bad parenting”, it’s obvious that he’s confused the satirical portrayal of fathers in movies and television with real life. As the rest of us know; very few people actually behave the way these memes portray. That my father greeted a young man at the door with a shot gun in hand was just poor timing and reinforcement that you should always call ahead before showing up at someone’s house (… that’s also an attempt at humour.)

For that daddy blogger and any others who struggle with this topic, here are some points to consider:

jmok1

 

1) When Dad screened potential dates, met them at the door, spoke to them on the phone, and/or “put the fear of God” in them, I never felt like he didn’t trust me. Know why? Because, *MY* behaviour wasn’t what he was worried about.

Dad trusted me to do the right thing, and then he empowered me to be able to make good choices by teaching me what to say, what options I had in certain situations, and if all else failed, where to strike if I needed to. He did that so I would never feel or be defenseless just because I was on my own.

Nor did I feel “owned” or like property by the fact that his primal instincts were to protect his offspring. I find the above mentioned daddy blogger’s suggestion of that ridiculous and, dare I say – offensive.

 

delicate

 

2) At no time did Dad’s (over)protective behaviour give the impression or make me feel like I was a helpless little thing that would collapse in a fit of vapours in a crunch. Instead, I feel important, precious, and worth protecting.  I also felt confident that Dad had my back if things ever went sideways. He taught me that family takes care of each other; I could count on him to step up if I got into a situation I couldn’t handle on my own as an inexperienced teenager.

 

Cartoon by Mark Parisi
Cartoon by Mark Parisi

 

3) My old-world Italian father was pretty blunt about men and dating, but he didn’t teach me to “fear” men by being (over)protective. You know who did?  Men (and boys) who didn’t respect me; mentally, emotionally, or physically. Those assholes really drove home everything Dad was trying to tell me about why he was so worried  and why he felt the need to teach me how to slam a fist into a man’s throat.

 

You know why fathers do and say these things? It’s not that they don’t trust their daughters or think they’re “weak and feeble creatures”.

 

 

Fathers act in a way to protect their daughters in dating situations, because they’re men and they’ve “been there”

 

To paraphrase Dad:

Not all parents raise their kids to know and do what’s right. Even those kids who are raised properly make mistakes. It’s a parent’s job to make sure everyone is on the same page – that there’s a mutual understanding and respect.  And, if there’s a lapse in respect, there is a knowledge that there will be consequences – obviously not Liam Neeson style, but real solid consequences to their actions.

Despite the “caveman instinct” to protect our young, these memes, and the “tough-guy” mentality that some people are sneering at, isn’t about feminism, sexism, lack of trust in our children, or “bad parenting”. It’s about teaching our daughters (and their potential suitors) that “Even when you’re by yourself, you’re never on your own.”

 


 

Is it Secured? Is it Safe? (Guns in the Home With Kids)

I came across an article titled, “Want to Schedule a Playdate? Let’s Talk About Gun Safety First.” As the title suggests, it’s about knowing how other parents deal with having guns in their home before allowing your kids to go over to visit.

Photo: Norm Bosworth
Photo: Norm Bosworth

I grew up in Northern Ontario (Canada). A lot of homes have hunting weapons and we never thought anything of it.  Our parents certainly never asked, “Do you have guns?  Are they locked up?” But, maybe they should have.  There weren’t any laws back then to make sure weapons were secured from little hands that may want to explore.

We lost a few school friends to gun accidents throughout the years, even ones that were taught gun safety. The grief and horror on the face of the “safety trained” kid who accidentally shot his best friend … it never left him.

My dad always kept his guns unloaded and hanging high up on the wall out of reach. He taught my brother and I at an early age that guns are weapons and weapons kill. It doesn’t matter if you’re an animal or a child, if a weapon is pointed at you, it can and will kill you. On purpose or by accident – dead is dead.  We’d seen enough dead animals to know we didn’t want that to happen to us or anyone we cared about.

We were allowed to handle Dad’s hunting weapons only when we were in a safe location and only when he was standing there with his hands on us and/or the weapon. We knew what it felt like to hold them, aim them, and fire them. We knew how easy it was for a gun or rifle to go off when we didn’t mean for it to and how easy it was to hit something we didn’t mean to. Seeing Dad treat every weapon (knives included) with respect went a long way. He was never casual with them:

 

“The moment you don’t respect a weapon, it will kill you.
Always treat it like it’s loaded and ready to kill.”

 

Neither my brother or I ever had an urge to touch/play with them or show them off to friends. In fact, we had friends ask us to take down a rifle or shotgun so they could see them. The answer was always no. On purpose or by accident – dead is dead.

Now, it’s law here that firearms must be unloaded and made inoperable with a secure locking device or securely locked in a container/cabinet that can’t easily be broken into. Plus, ammo must be stored separately or locked in the same container as the firearm.

Even though it’s required by law where I live, the playdate article makes a good point. We can’t assume that everyone actually follows the law. There’s always someone who figures it’s nobody’s business what they do in their own home and “What the law doesn’t know, won’t hurt me.”  And, for other places that don’t have these types of legal requirements, a conversation about guns between parents becomes more important.

It’s okay to talk about things that affect the safety of our children. If you have guns in your home, you can be the one to start the conversation with the parents of your child(ren)’s friends.  Tell them what steps you take to keep your guns secure and children safe in your home. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions. Keep the conversation light, yet respectful. You never know who’s life this simple, open discussion could save.

~*~

If you would like to know how to make your firearms safe in the home,
visit Project Child Safe.

For those in the USA, CLICK HERE to get a
>> FREE << Safety Kit, which includes
a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions.


I Thought about Quitting …

I’ve seen a few status updates today talking about Suicide Prevention and I know a few people on my social media lists are struggling with depression. I want to share something, because I’ve lost too many loved ones … and I was almost lost myself.

(Warning: Strong language)

quitting - title | I Am Rosa

About 15 years ago, I was living in Toronto on the 5th floor of an apartment building. I’d been broke, homeless, and hungry so often during the previous 8 years that it seemed like those things were the fabric of the marriage I was in at the time. I didn’t know how long I was going to have a roof over my head this time and, I was recovering from a near-death illness that made it impossible for me to even think about getting a job. I was scared all the time. I was angry and frustrated … and …

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was depressed. I didn’t know it when I gave away the things I loved and valued. Precious things from my childhood. Beloved things I had carefully saved up for – not expensive or grand items; books, a pretty blouse … things that made me feel happy.

It didn’t dawn on me that I could possibly be depressed, because I was always the up-beat, positive, forward-moving one that people looked to when they needed to be lifted up. There was always hope! Tomorrow was a better day waiting to pounce on us!

I had no idea I was depressed until I opened the bedroom window one afternoon, pulled the screen off, and hoisted myself over the sill. Hanging half-in and half-out of the window, I looked down at the pavement below trying to decide if 5 stories was high enough to kill me. I figured if I went feet first, I might just end up breaking a lot of bones, but if I went out the window headfirst …

That thought didn’t scare me. Not a bit. I didn’t think about how anyone would miss me or what would happen to them afterward.  Except, I did wonder one thing: What would *I* do after I was dead? Believing that I am an eternal being meant that death wouldn’t end the pain I was in. I would take that shit with me into the next realm and probably into the next life. I couldn’t stomach the idea of dragging my pain any further – infecting my eternal life with a temporary torment.

I climbed back into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and cried. Then, I went hunting. I tracked down the things that were making me unhappy. I dug to the roots of the pain, took names and notes, and when I could, I began eliminating those things.

See, I had something call “Situational Depression“. Change the situation that’s causing the depression and it goes away.  I dug deep and turned to face the enemy that put me so low in order to attack those hateful things instead of myself … I knew I had to share with those who are struggling right now. I desperately need to tell you this:

“Thought about quitting, then I noticed who was watching.”

“Thought about quitting, then I noticed who was watching”

GET THE FUCK UP!! FIND YOUR ENEMY AND FIGHT, DAMN IT! I love you and you have no clue who needs you! Find your enemy; situation, environment, chemical imbalance, whatever it is – hunt it down and FUCKING “KILL” IT! Remove it from your life with extreme prejudice like you’re a fucking sniper with no mercy.

sniper

You are the Light the others (including me) rely on when seeking an escape from their own Darkness .

Fight the Darkness Without Mercy. Lay your head down to rest. Then, get the fuck up, and fight some more.

You and me: We’re going to win this fight together!

glitter heart | I Am Rosa